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Starting from Scratch

Starting from Series, Book 2
Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Series: Starting From Series, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Romance, LGBT
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Charlie Rourke is an ultra-fabulous human whirlwind on a mission to launch the next biggest band in the world. However, he might have taken on more than he could handle when he signed on to manage Zero. Promoting a rock band and finding gigs shouldn’t be hard. They’re a talented group with a ton of star power. If Charlie can find the right record label, he’s sure he can help them get to the next level. The only problem is the skater boy slash bassist with a quirky sense of humor. He’s annoying and silly, and he’s exactly Charlie’s type. Except, he’s straight.

Ky Baldwin isn’t afraid to switch things up. He loves a challenge as much as anyone, but Charlie doesn’t make things easy. Zero’s manager is a force of nature with a razor-sharp tongue, a quick wit, and a no-nonsense attitude. Ky can’t stop thinking about him. Winning over Charlie becomes Ky’s pet project. 

But, when the ice between them thaws, neither is prepared for the intensity of going from enemies to lovers. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to start from scratch and take a chance on the unexpected.

©2019 Lane Hayes (P)2019 Lane Hayes

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I love Ky and Charlie!

I read this book originally when released as I'm a huge fan of Ms. Hayes.  I've included my original review of the book but added my thoughts on the vocal performance.

As you can read in my review below, I loved this book but for the conflict scene between Ky and Charlie.  Listening to the book actually helped make that part of the book a bit more bearable.  Simply put Michael Pauley IS these characters.  His voice for Ky - gah!  I could listen all day.  The vocal performance was perfect!  

Oh man, this book was totally getting 5 Stars from me until conflict scene…I read it 3 times and still don’t understand what happened. The argument between Ky and Charlie STILL has me scratching my head.

Nevertheless, this is a fantastic read. Honestly, the jury was out on Charlie at the end of book one for me, but I liked him in this book. I absolutely love that what you see is what you get with him. He lives and loves big and doesn’t apologize for it.

Ky…Ky surprised me. I love his free spirit and how well he balance’s the always wound tight and anxiety-ridden Charlie. My favorite thing about Ky though is his attraction to Charlie…strange as that sounds. His intense feelings and the pull he felt to Charlie’s chaos when everyone else usually runs melted my heart.

Ky and Charlie’s banter is endearing and while they spat at each other occasionally it was clear they were fighting attraction and not a true dislike of each other.

Again, the build up around Ky’s dad outweighed the payoff and conflict in my opinion but I still loved the book.

I’ve loved this series so far and I REALLY hope Tegan’s book is next because I’m all in with these guys!

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  • Cassi
  • ScrolMates Blog
  • 11-21-19

Another fantastic book from this killer combo

I love the guys Lane created in this series. I loved Charlie from the last book and couldn't wait to hear his story and I was eager to hear about Ky too. She always manages to work in such great life lessons for the reader that really resonate with me while still managing to write a funny and sexy story. Michael was perfectly cast for these books and he does a great job!

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Excellent Experience

Audio review of Starting from Scratch by Lane Hayes with narration by Michael Pauley.
I read this book earlier so reviewing the audio was quite the treat. At first, I was not sure I was going to like the audio version but after chapter one I was sold. The voice of Charlie grated on me a little but then so did the character when I read the novel. When Charlie was speaking, his words were so succinct, sharp and somewhat exaggerated. Then again this is Charlie, who is a sharp-tongued, witty and prickly man. Mr. Pauley’s interpretation of him was spot on. Trust me, Charlie will grow on you. He is the promoter and manager of the Band Zero who is fiercely passionate about his job and wants nothing more than to have this band skyrocket to the top of the charts.
I loved the narration of Ky which had a much slower surfer dude vibe to it. This is essentially the first impression you get from Zero’s bassist and the thorn in Charlie’s side. Ky is a loving and caring young man that has demons from his past to battle and you get a deeper understanding of his relationship with Charlie as the story progresses. Ky and Charlie spar often but this is only because Ky secretly craves Charlie’s approval. Mr. Pauley transitioned seamlessly between the two and you were never left guessing who was speaking. He also did an amazing job on Charlie’s younger brother Ollie and I absolutely enjoyed listening to this inquisitive and cautious young man. I was able to lose myself in this story and the narrator absolutely did this quirky and sweet romance justice.
This bright and sizzling story by Lane was wonderful both in the written and audible versions. I highly recommend adding this well-produced audiobook to your library. Happy listening!

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One of my favorites for 2019... 5+ stars!

I may have a thing for Lane Hayes's audiobooks. I've listened to every single audiobook edition of her books because she always seems to have awesome narrators paired with her stories. As of late, Michael Pauley seems to be her go-to narrator, having narrated her two on-going series, Out in College, which features college athletes coming out of the proverbial closet, and Starting From, which is about an up and coming band called Zero, and it's this Hayes-Pauley combination that's become one of my personal favorites. Their latest work together is the second audiobook in the Starting From series, Starting from Scratch, which features Zero's bassist and its manager.

Charlie Rourke loves working with Zero, especially since he considers its members family. All of them except Ky Baldwin. Sure, Ky's got the whole hot California surfer slash skateboarder dude going and he's a good bassist, but Charlie doesn't think Ky's serious about anything, which means that he can't possibly be serious about Zero. Ky's clued in to Charlie not liking him, and he isn't exactly sure why either. But when Ky offers to teach Charlie's younger brother how to skateboard, Charlie begins to see Ky in a different light. The attraction that's been simmering between them finally boils over, but will keeping their new relationship secret end up hurting everyone in the end?

As always, Lane Hayes has penned a great story that had my heart feeling full by the end of the audiobook. I loved Charlie and Ky, and going from people who liked to push each other's buttons to a couple pushing the boundaries of their relationship from professional to personal (and antagonistic to flat-out adorable) highlighted how good they were for one another after all. Michael Pauley, once again, doesn't disappoint, what with varying inflections that made one character easily distinguishable from another and bringing story to life with gusto. Naming Starting from Scratch one of my favorite audiobooks for 2019 is no hardship, and neither was listening to it. Five-plus stars. ♥

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Such a touching story with wonderful narration.

If you follow my reviews at all (thanks if you do) then I'm going to sound like a broken record. I reviewed Starting from Scratch as an eBook when it first released in mid-October. It was a great read but now Michael Pauley's audio performance makes it super special.

Michael's voice for Charlie is super fantastic and made my heart melt. There were some fairly sad scenes in this story and he had all of the emotions of the characters coming through loud and clear; I just can't say enough good things about his performance of this story.

Books that get my emotions involved are usually my favorites but it's somewhat rare for them to get as deeply engaged when listening to the audio of a book I've already read. The audio of Starting from Scratch was one of the rare ones. More than once the tears started flowing while I was listening. Some were sad and some were happy tears.

Whether you listen to or read Starting from Scratch I think you will love it.

The following is my original review of the ebook:

Starting from Scratch is the second book in the Starting From series and it's a fantastic story. You don't really have to have read book one, Starting from Zero, first but I think you'll enjoy this new one more if you do.

The story is told in first person, alternating between Charlie and Ky and I loved everything about it. Charlie is out and proud and he is fabulous. He dresses sharp and puts together outfits that no one else could manage to look good in but they look great on him. Lane Hayes descriptive writing style sucks me in every time and keeps me glued to my e-reader.

Ky is his own person; he doesn't like labels. He likes who he likes, dates who he wants to date – male or female – and Charlie has captured his attention. In the beginning they have a bit of a love-hate relationship going on. That soon changes as the heat between them becomes explosive.

They keep their relationship quiet for a while but the way they look at each other starts to clue others in on their relationship. I love Charlie's younger brother, Ollie and Ky is so good with him. Ollie is having a bit of a crisis about needing to wear glasses; he's afraid that everyone will make fun of him because he's not one of the cool kids. Ky used to be a professional skateboarder and he starts giving Ollie lessons and that really helps boost Ollie's self-confidence.

I really can't say enough good things about this book. It's witty – the repartee between Charlie and Ky is great – and sexy (HOT!) and brought me to tears more than once; it's absolutely my favorite kind of book to read.

I'm not sure who Lane Hayes will write about next but I can't wait for more stories set in this world.

An advanced copy of this audiobook was provided to me via IndiGo Marketing but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  • Overall
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Great Narration and a Wonderful Read!!

Michael Pauley is a great narrator who brings the story to life.

I love the world Lane Hayes has created and I have the highest praise for the first book of the series featuring Justing and Gray, but for me, there were a few stops and starts between Charlie and Ky that I didn't understand. They are both great characters; Ky knowing exactly who he is and what he wants, while Charlie is blunt, sometimes mean without a brain to mouth filter, and doesn't know how to deal with his lusting for Ky while he's managing the band, Zero. Their relationship had so many moments of I won't but I want to, I got whiplash from Charlie changing his mind.

But in the end, Charlie and Ky are such wonderful characters that I rooted for them to find their happiness together. The secondary characters are great, but ultimately not as great as the first book in the series.

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Charlie and Ky's story.

Gah! This one gave me whiplash and raised lots of questions as I listened.

I liked Charlie’s OTT personality in book 1. He was outgoing yet quite sweet and made for an interesting secondary character. I wanted to hear more about him.

In the first couple of chapters of Starting From Scratch I thought Charlie was quite nasty to Ky at times for no apparent reason other than to fulfil the enemies to lovers criteria. Sometimes it was meant to be taken as a joke but didn’t come across as such. It felt rather forced for the sake of dissent, but Charlie thought Ky wouldn’t be sticking around so wanted to nudge him out of the band sooner rather than later. Having said that, you could feel the attraction burning between these two guys. Ky had found his home and family and wasn’t going anywhere.

Ky… Mmm... I liked this skateboarding musician and sympathised with him because of his backstory. I’m still a little confused by his father’s character and motives.

I enjoyed the story more once the guys became connected and more civil towards each other. Even then, there was some friction between them. On the whole, I liked how Ky dealt with Charlie, especially during his various rants. Although bi, Ky hadn’t even looked at a man for five years. He sure made up for lost time! The steamy scenes between them were hot and Michael Pauley did a great job of narrating them.

For much of the story, I couldn’t understand why or how Charlie had become the band’s manager. He was relatively young and had little experience apart from being a successful ‘social media influencer’. He seemed to be out of his depth at times, although his main task in the story was trying to sort out which record label they should sign with. He’s sassy and cute, but his mouth runs away with itself many times and he conveniently lets slip several ‘secrets’ when he’s under pressure or intimidated. I’m not sure how he knew the rival band was going to be any good as they had only just got together.

Oliver, Charlie’s brother, helped bring them together and showed a positive side to Ky and Charlie’s characters. I did wonder where the boy’s ‘home’ was as he didn’t spend much time with his father, Sebastian. Another issue I pondered (and perhaps missed the explanation) was if Charlie had been dumped on Sebastian’s doorstep as an infant by his mother, she presumably was no longer around and couldn’t be the mother of Oliver—so were Charlie and Oliver half/step-brothers? Not entirely crucial to the plot but still...

The plot came across as disjointed a couple of times, almost as if the author started writing a scene and when she came back to it later took it in another direction. Certain things start to happen then they stop and something else happens instead.

Despite these rather negative points I’ve mentioned, I did actually enjoy the overall story. I always like Lane’s writing and the chemistry she builds between her main characters. The obligatory ‘break up’ scene was lovely as was their reunion. The guys are left in a good place and can certainly start to build their relationship from scratch…

Lovely narration throughout by Michael Pauley. I like how he varies the volume and speed of his voice to match the emotions of a scene. His voices for Charlie and Oliver were distinctive. Ky, Sebastian and Gray sounded similar to me but that didn’t cause an issue.

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Engaging characters!

I liked this one more than the first book in the series. I met Charlie in Starting From Zero and was immediately drawn to this mercurial character. I couldn't wait to read his story. He and Ky were a good fit after they got past the drama. Great narration by Michael Pauley. Recommended!

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Love Charlie and Ky

I’d love to meet this group of guys if they really existed. Charlie balances Ky in every way. Their love was beautiful in its imperfections. Michael Pauley nailed the narration as always! I’m looking forward to seeing if Declan and Teagan end up together. 😉

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Profile Image for KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 11-20-19

There’s more than meets the eye with these two!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.75 stars
🔥🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 4
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 5

There’s more than meets the eye with these two!!

A sort of enemies to friends to lovers to in love story with more depth than I first realized. I love Lane’s characters and I’m so glad Charlie got his own story! I love him!

I love Charlie’s “authentically me” personality and how he knows who he is, flaws and all! Charlie is just Charlie, out and proud, fashion-forward, and adorably sassy. He’s chalk to Ky’s cheese but they just work.

I loved that there was SO much more to Ky then first meets the eye and I liked that Lane took her time revealing all the complexities of Ky and his big heart. I loved that he was able to accept and go with the flow with his feelings for Charlie and I loved that they didn’t run from each other. Of course, there’s a nice bump/break in the road but thankfully everyone came to their senses really quickly and their happily ever after was back on track. I loved the push and pull with these two and the sexual tension was off the charts. I loved the tease and release 😉 These two have become two of my favorites! I can’t wait for more Zero stories and look forward to the next one. I’m loving Zero!

Thanks for reading!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzanne Christie
  • 11-14-19

Opposites attract

Opposites certainly attract in the latest instalment of this rock star series. Charlie and Ky definitely shouldn’t work, Charlie is chaotic, outspoken and has zero filter whereas Ky is quiet and a bit unsure of himself. But boy do these guys have chemistry, their banter and pranks are great Lane Hays does an awesome job of conveying their back and forth and it was only a matter of time before the UST exploded and that it did!
I loved how we saw Charlie grow in this book, he was vulnerable with Ky and when Ky needed him he was always there. Ky has had it rough and his life isn’t short of drama in this book either, although stubborn at first he learns to open up and let Charlie help him.
Michael Pauley can do no wrong in my eyes, he portrays Charlie exactly as I expected him to be I loved his narration of Ollie as well, kids can be hard to get right and he nails it.

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  • Alan Verhagen
  • 12-09-19

Fresh take on the rock band romance genre!

Laid back bass guitarist, Ky, and uptight band manager, Char, never see eye to eye, but sometimes opposites attract. I’ve read a number of these rock band bromances so I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh story and layered main characters.