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Score

Men of Hidden Creek
Narrated by: Chris Chambers
Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: LGBT, Romance
4.5 out of 5 stars (355 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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Publisher's Summary

Home is where you make it.  

Beau Hopper is good at good-byes. A minor-league hockey player, he goes where the league tells him. Single and estranged from his family, Beau drifts without connections or commitments. He makes a living, not a life.  

Former Marine Connor Casey's life revolves around his siblings. After Hurricane Harvey took their home and a car crash claimed their parents, Connor is determined to rebuild their house and their lives.  

When Beau learns Connor might lose custody of his siblings if he can't finish the rebuild in time, he volunteers to help in exchange for a place to stay, and it isn't long before he finds himself in Connor's bed. 

It takes more than passion and plywood to build a home, so when the league comes calling after Beau, Connor can't ask him to stay...but how can he ever let him go?  

Contains mature themes.

©2018 A. E. Wasp (P)2018 Tantor
What members say
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story and Narration.

This is the first audio book I have ever listened to, because I just don’t have the tile to read anymore with work and school. I loved the steamy romance and I was constantly driven to an audible “awwwwe” while listening. Not to mention the several times I laughed and earned myself some strange looks from bystanders. It was absolutely a fantastic story.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story that falls into a couple traps

This was an excellent novel, and I very much enjoyed listening to it. It took me a little while to get used to the narrator, but he definitely grows on you, and his character voices are extremely good. The characters are likable and the romance is one that you root for.

Having kids in your story can be dangerous, because there's a tendency to make them just a little TOO precious. Mostly, this book manages to avoid this, giving each of Connor's siblings a distinct personality and I ended up liking all of them. There are a couple instances where they say things that I'm pretty sure kids wouldn't say--Connor's sister Fiona is the worst offender, with the youngest brother Benji close behind--but in general they're a lot better than most kids in novels.

More problematic is the pitfall that m/m novels fall into time and time again, and it seems an odd criticism coming from a gay man: there are too many gay characters in this novel. Seriously, the author goes out of her way to mention several times how small the town is, and how few and far between gay characters are there, but then every other adult character ends up being gay or lesbian. Connor's boss, a random coach, half the hockey players on Beau's team, random fans in the stands, and so on and so on. It gets so that whenever there's a homophobic character, you expect them to be overrun by the 75% of the town that calls themselves gay.

I don't want to get hung up on criticism because it really was an excellent book, and overall I really enjoyed it. It's VERY long, but I can definitely see myself listening to it again.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This steals your heart. The best.

Could not put it down. A masterpiece! I connected to this like it was my life.

2 people found this helpful

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Great listen

Good story, great character development, and just the right amount of fun scenes that leave you with a real laugh. Well done.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Story= 5 stars. There is a real storyline here. Amazing chemistry between really well developed characters.
Narration= 5 stars. First time listening to Chris Chambers.. I am very impressed.
Overall = 5 stars. This story is heartwarming, I teared up a few times, it was laugh out loud funny, and there was some sizzling delicious hot and sexy times.


Charo

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tantalizing

Very cute love story. Erotic sex scenes. Overall good book.
Didn't love the narrator in the first half but he got better as it went on

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Hockey Romance!

I haven’t read many of AE Wasp’s work, but this one will definitely make me read more of her work. She gives us a romance between two men, with a peek at a period in their lives, from meeting each other, to the proposal, that will lead to their HEA. A story with just enough angst, a bunch of adorable kids, old and new friends, as well as the usual annoying set of homophobes, who cannot beat Love. I loved listening to narrator Chris Chambers, who made each character’s POV come to live. Very entertaining and thus recommendable novel. ❤️

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Sooo Romantic

This story is so well put together and so romantic, and touching at the same time. The narrative is also perfect and fit the book.

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  • Kj
  • 04-23-20

A warning about the narration/sound

I'll start off with a review of the book, since I wouldn't have normally written a review for it I don't feel I have a very helpful opinion about the story. It was a pretty alright book, I always rate based on my judgment of a book alongside peers of the same genre(s)/themes/subjects, so out of what I'd expect after reading the summary, it was a generous 4/5. Worth the time spent listening to it, it kept my interest enough that I found myself willing to work longer just so I had an excuse to keep listening.

I hesitated when reading the description due half the main pair being a hockey player, but gave it a shot because a review mentioned it wasn't very hockey-filled. I like a sports romance as much as the next person, but why are so many of them about hockey? It's been done very well enough times that I have good examples to judge every subpar book against, and I don't understand why it seems they're leading themselves to comparisons that cannot be flattering, is this a weird correlation where some hockey romances did well (because they were good) so now everyone who wants to write a sports romance writes one with hockey? Anyway, the other reviewer didn't lead me astray, I think there may have been more story time dedicated to talking about Beau's van than hockey, so it didn't feel like a sports romance much at all.

It was very much focused on characters over plot, as I'd expect given the summary. I didn't feel characters were too flat, even with how many there were. I will agree with the reviewer who mentioned it strained the suspension of disbelief that almost every character in the book is gay, especially given the small southern town they live in, but I've read books that are worse about this.

It had some nice elements of adjusting perspective to change the narratives we have in our heads about people who love us, how we grow up, what we deserve. I wanted to read this as I was craving a family-focused story, and it was, but not quite as much in the way of parenting-and-absorbing-scraps-of-domesticity sort of thing as sort of like it was, Connor is the oldest kid, he's very much their big brother rather than their parent, in my opinion as the eldest kid.

I believe the main pair were both meant to be around thirty (I know Beau was), but they felt younger to me, more in the new-adult stage of life than I would expect people who haven't lived with their parents in more than a decade to be. I'm in my mid-twenties and found it a big odd how their strained/distant relationships with their parents (or in Connor's case, what that relationship had been) and forging an identity were such huge factor in their lives given what was going on.

By which I only mean I think the ages were written to let hockey and the military have been a thing for them rather than for the age they seemed to be, but it wasn't bad. I felt for Connor, as I have some similar feelings about my dad, who I lost suddenly when I was 19. Minor spoilers, when the parent at the softball game was talking about Connor's stepdad and how he'd have been proud of him, how he'd never talked about Connor like he was a mess, was heartbreaking. And Beau and his dad made me tear up a little.

Anyway, it was worthwhile, not in my top domesticity or sports or really any category by any stretch but I'd read more by this author.

Now, the sound, the part I felt I needed to review.

I've listened to over 300 audiobooks and I've listened to enough hours of podcasts to add up yo months, I tend to be fairly well inured to bad sound editing, equipment, or narration style. I don't think I've listened to anything narrated by Chris Chambers previously, and I don't yet know if it was even his doing that the sound experience was not all-together pleasant. I like his voice itself, his southern accent was nice, he has a pretty good range of different character voices, and his narration style wasn't bad at all.

But I nearly stopped listening to this book within the first five minutes because of the loud inhales between every sentence, it was jarring and incredibly distracting. I've never had this problem while listening to a book before, I'm leaning toward blaming either the equipment or editing because I can't imagine he's actually breathing that much louder than any other narrator, right?

Poor audio quality is usually easier to ignore at higher listening speed, and I often don't even notice issues in cases where a healthy third of reviews complain about the sound/narrator, so I was surprised to see no reviews mentioning this when I started it off at 2.35x speed. After feeling like I wasn't able to parse meaning from the English language anymore between each loud breath, I tried reducing it in increments until I was all the way down to 1x speed, and it was still noisy. I tried turning the volume down, it didn't help. Tried using crappy headphones, but the gasp between sentences. Was. Still. There.

To give it the benefit of the doubt, maybe if you enoy listening at normal speed usually, and hadn't first heard the grating cadence of brief soothing speech interrupted by a loud, quick sip of air again and again, it might not be annoying. I borrowed this book for "free" (Audible Escape), so I'm not upset about it, but I would have returned it if I'd paid money. Still listened to the whole thing, still going to give the narrator another try, still felt I should say something about it.

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You Have To Listen To This

This has become one of my favorite books. Well written, and so heartfelt. The skit at the end gad me laughing. I loved it! I can’t wait to read/listen to more by the author. This is my first book by A.E. Wasp.

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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 04-18-19

Wow

I LOVED the skit at the end. Wonderful story of Beau and Connor meeting by Lady Gaga needing a mechanic, the love between them and kids and wonderful side characters make this one worth getting