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Publisher's Summary

Taylor Langford’s world is torn apart when he is only 13 years old - his parents killed, leaving him alone and orphaned. With no living relatives, he’d certainly be another statistic if not for the intervention of the policeman who found Taylor in the crawl space where his mother hid him that fateful night. Despite the tragedy and resulting anguish in his life, Taylor knows how lucky he is.

Frank Moore is a rookie with the Dallas Police Department when he and his partner answer a call in Devonshire, one of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods. They think the young boy in various pictures throughout the home has been kidnapped until they find him, shaken but alive. Officer Moore recognizes the pain in the kid’s eyes, having lost his own mother to cancer when he was just a boy. He steps in, making sure Taylor is placed with a loving foster family. Over the years, Frank becomes a permanent fixture in Taylor’s life.

A decade later, the case remains unsolved and the once gangly, uncertain teenager is now a college graduate who knows exactly what he wants. He’s coming home to the man that helped mold and shape his life, the man he’s loved for as long as he can remember, Frank Moore. But Taylor isn’t the only person returning to Dallas, and while Frank is distracted by his own conflicting feelings and the new bond growing between the two, the past creeps up on them, determined to finish what was started 10 years earlier.

©2018 TTC Publishing & TM Smith (P)2018 TTC Publishing & TM Smith

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Really worth looking at - unique, sweet, touching

I am a fan of TM Smith’s All Cocks series and I think I was expecting this to be something like that. Well it wasn’t, but it was awesome nonetheless! This was presented in a very unique way. We start with our survivor meeting his “savior” as Taylor’s family is destroyed in front of him and Frank, a police officer, comes to his aid.

We grow up with Taylor as he deals with his tragedy and his burgeoning attraction to the older man, Frank.

Frank must also deal with his own feelings and weather what life throws his way.

To me, the amount of detail felt just right. I could totally buy the relationship between these two and though there was obvious moments of doubt and angst it wasn’t overwhelming and didn’t take the central focus in the story.

Secondarily, we are gifted with an intriguing mystery and some wonderful secondary characters.

All in all I was captivated by this story and thoroughly entertained.



As always Nick Russo does a great job with his narration. He chose a nice voice for both Taylor and Frank and handled the accents and female characters well. He’s so easy to listen to and does a terrific job with the emotions and pacing as well.

I highly recommend this as both a book and audiobook!

5 of 5 stars

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Good book

Survivor had a little bit of everything. It was sad, sweet, hot and had some mystery. The story is about frank and Taylor. They first met when Taylor was only 13. He was a police officer on the scene of his parents murders. Frank stayed in touch with Taylor when he was placed with a new family. Frank and Taylor’s new family vacationed together every year. Taylor and frank gradually become involved romantically, and when they finally get together there 🔥🔥together. There were some twist and turns I didn’t expect, and I held my breath on a few chapters because I needed to know what happens. Survivor is a really good book. I definitely recommend it. This was my first book by T.M Smith, won’t be my last . Nick Russo did a very good job with the narration!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Huh?

it begins excellently. Mysterious murders, lone survivor....killer at large. Yes!
No. It stalls afterwards. The lone survivor was a kid who ends up in a relationship with one of the adults who saved him. Granted, when the relationship began, the survivor was an adult himself. it just felt wrong. Then, the author remembered the survivor and murder have unfinished business hence the ending be ridiculously rushed. be

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A Sweet Romance that Missed a Few Opportunities

3.5

From the day rookie officer Frank Moore finds Taylor Langford in a hidden crawlspace in the attic, their lives and futures are entwined. Horrified by the gruesome murders that left Taylor an orphan, Frank makes sure to find him a good foster family and spends the next decade as a constant presence in Taylor’s life. As Taylor grows from a scared, confused and angry thirteen-year-old into a confident, accomplished twenty-three-year-old man, Frank’s role in his life evolves from guardian angel and confidant to the man Taylor can’t get out of his mind and to whom he compares all other men.

In the intervening years, Taylor’s adoptive family, Frank, Frank’s father, and Frank’s partner on the force, Caleb, and his wife spend summers together on the beach and create a new family and support system for Taylor. During the summer after Taylor’s high school graduation, Frank is faced with the discomfiting and unsettling awareness of Taylor as an attractive male. Having been a part of Taylor’s life as a friend and almost a surrogate uncle, his attraction to Taylor strikes him as wrong and misplaced. However, as Frank grows to admire the strength, intelligence and compassion of the man Taylor is becoming, he is forced to recognize that his feelings have only grown as Taylor has become an independent, capable adult.

For me, "Survivor" is one of those interesting stories in which the individual elements that usually make a great story—relatable/interesting characters, character development, decent supportive cast and a compelling blurb—are all present, but there is just something missing from the final product that takes the book from possibly being great to good. The book is structured to follow Taylor as he grows up and the evolution of his relationship to and with Frank, by using his summers in Martha’s vineyards until Taylor is twenty-three. While, this was done to help foster character growth and show the reader how Taylor and Frank changed, it does hamper the pacing somewhat. There is a bit of the inevitable redundancy that even Nick J. Russo’s talent can’t overcome.

Also, while there is evidence that Taylor struggles with his parents murder as an adult, and there is mention of him having issues when he was younger, the reader doesn’t get to see it. We get to see him happy on the beach and doing age-appropriate things, and family bonding, and growing more handsome over the years, but none of the real emotion that his situation entails happens until he is older, and it is mentioned as a part of his on-going adult struggle. For me, this created a separation between the character and his experience so that when the reader sees Taylor plagued by nightmares and learns he is medicated, it was almost a shock. It seemed tacked on to give him more depth instead of it being conveyed organically during the years we see him grow up, which contributed to the sense of “missed opportunity” I have about the book.

Additionally, I felt that Taylor was originally written to be younger to create a larger May/December age-gap than ten years, because of how he is presented and his dialogue at that age during a flashback that was a bit jarring. It almost felt like TM Smith decided having Frank so closely involved with Taylor and looking at him in a sexual way at eighteen might not have played as well if Frank had been substantially older. On the whole, "Survivor" is a romance book-ended by a suspense plot. It introduces you to Frank and the murder mystery, and then that plotline basically falls away until it ramps back up in the end. That being said, there was much to like about the story that was enhanced by Russo’s performance.

With Frank’s constant presence during Taylor’s development into a man, I think TM Smith did a great job handling how each man’s feelings changed and how it would affect their outlook about themselves and their behavior. The family unit created for Taylor was heartwarming, and Russo does an excellent job of infusing the characters’ interactions with all the joy, love, fun and affection they have for one another. I agree with Smith’s decision to include other lovers for the MCs, and Russo handles not only the passion but the conflict both Taylor and Frank experience afterwards when, inevitably, their thoughts return to the man who has captured their attention and heart very well. Moreover, I enjoyed the fact that although Taylor is younger, he possesses an extremely confident and assertive personality that clearly demonstrates he is Frank’s equal. Although Taylor could be a bit over the top in his possessiveness, Russo’s voice work keeps him from coming across too much as an alpha a-hole in these moments. While I expected there to be a bit more suspense and illustrations of Taylor’s struggle with his parents’ murder, since the reader is with him as he ages, on the whole, "Survivor" is a sweet romance that highlights the best in human giving and familial love—a tone and theme that is captured and expressed well by Nick J. Russo.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Frankie and His Tay

This book covers a decade, from the moment Taylor’s parents were murdered through to the reappearance of someone who might kill Taylor, the only survivor of that night of horror. The bulk of the book, though, is the love story. After the murder of Taylor’s parents, the young man was adopted by a very loving couple who made him their own, coping with the outbursts and tantrums and nightmares that plagued the young boy.

Fortunately, Valerie and Charles Stone are great people who understand keeping Frank and his partner Caleb in Taylor’s life provides stability and continuity. The two men, as well as Caleb’s girlfriend, form a support system to guide Taylor through his teenage years and into a successful college and then graduate program. At one point, Taylor assures the Stones that they are his parents and for anyone who has been adopted by loving people, that is an easy thing to assure. He will never forget his parents, but he’s built a good life for himself.

Ten years is not that much, but the power imbalance was a good reason for Taylor, and his savior Frank, to keep their feelings to themselves. Now, Taylor is ready to go out and get what he wants, and he wants Frank. Everyone around them has seen this coming and most are accepting. Is that realistic? I don’t know, but when two men love each other, fighting for that love makes sense. It’s interesting how the dynamic works for them – both men have an equal role in the relationship. Sometimes one takes the lead, while, appropriately, the other is willing to defer. And when it comes to being together, they do their best.

I did have a couple of issues. The 13-year-old Taylor, on the night of the murder, felt more like a 6-year-old. In fact, I had to double-check his age. Maybe it’s just me. Also, Frank is really expressive. That’s great except he’s a police officer and it’s hard to believe he can be so easy to read. Finally, the dénouement. There is an element of suspense, for sure, but the backstory of the murderer was just a bit over-the-top. It was so ridiculous, it took me out of the story. And, to be frank, I’m not sure I understand the entire ‘mystery’.

That being said, I did enjoy the book. I am a huge Nick J. Russo fan and aside from a few words that were mispronounced, he did a great job. I liked that he didn’t make Taylor sound too juvenile – making it believable that a man in his early twenties could be mature enough to be in a relationship with an older man. His narration brought the book to life.

I’m very glad I listened to the book. I was expecting something more angsty, but this worked out well. A good love story always pulls at my heart and I fell in love with Tay and his Frankie. Well-done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Sweet and swoony with a dash of suspense

SURVIVOR spans a huge time frame, starting from when Taylor was just thirteen years old as tragedy struck – and Frank, one of the police officers, was there to pick up the pieces. Despite their age difference, they stayed in touch over the years – even when Taylor was placed into another family. But as Taylor grew older and came off age, their feelings slowly but surely developed into something far surpassing simple friendship. But for them to finally have the balls to act on it… wow, it took forever and I wished something would have happened sooner – not necessarily in the timeframe, because them gradually coming to terms with their feelings, especially with Taylor being so much younger than Frank, makes it more believable, but in regards of the story in general.

I love a good May / December romance, which was what drew me to the story in the first place – this and the promise of suspense and drama. It was the mystery surrounding Taylor’s family’s death which kept me on edge the entire time, surprising me with little twists I didn’t expect. And no matter how much I wished for them to have gotten together earlier, I loved the relationship and banter between these two. It was all kinds of sweet and swoony!

The story is narrated by Nick J. Russo, who does a wonderful job in bringing the characters to life! I loved his distinctive voices for Taylor and Frank, although I somethings wasn’t sure if it was Frank or one of the secondary characters talking. This is the only minor critique I have. Other than that – I loved it – his smooth voice and vibrant storytelling on the very top of that list!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Romance with a Touch of Mystery

What did you love best about Survivor?

The characters were interesting and they propelled the story forward.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked Taylor's strength and his determination to go after what he wanted.

What about Nick J. Russo’s performance did you like?

Nick J. Russo offers a solid performance that makes for fairly easy listening.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The relationship and the mystery surrounding Taylor's past made for an intriguing story that made you want to keep listening.

Any additional comments?

This story had an interesting premise. Although it dealt with a darker subject with Taylor's past the book didn't have as much impact in that area as I would have liked. The story jumps over the earlier time of Taylor and Frank connecting and even when they do get together there are jumps over larger periods of time and the ending of the larger plot felt unresolved to me. If you are looking for a book based on trauma but dealt with on the lighter side, this could be one to check out. Russo is a familiar voice in the genre and offers a solid performance overall. He doesn't offer too much in the way of different character voices but makes for a pleasant listen as a whole.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Survivor

I Love this book. I was really happy when it came out in Audio. This book really gives you a bit of everything and the writing is structured really well. It pulls you in at the beginning prologue with the intrigue of what is going to happen with the Murder of Taylors parents. Then the author gives you little snippets from all the different years/ages of Taylor’s life after his parent’s deaths so we get to watch and hear him growing up as the story goes on, with his first crush's and love interests and then with his schooling through all different stages in time. And how Frank lives his life basically around Taylors but he doesn’t seem realize it till further into the story, literally everything he does revolves around Taylor. I really enjoyed watching the two of them grow as people and then fall into love with each other over time after being best friends for years. You have some Sex, and Romance, & then your pulled right back into the suspense of what is going to happen and who did it when the bad guy from Crazy town comes back, the ending is perfect in this book. I want more of their story. I didn't want this book to finish. And.... Will there be more?!?!

Audio - Nick was a great choice as a narrator for this book!! He makes it very clear which character is speaking throughout the entire story and going back-n-forth between the two characters, it was extremely easy to follow along with this book and not get lost at all. I really believe He did a great job on this one!!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • WMG
  • MARIETTA, GA, US
  • 02-02-18

Wow!

AWESOME story! Gripped me from the very start. Loved the premise. Nick J Russo did a fantastic job with the characters. Highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • SteveK
  • The Woodlands, Texas
  • 10-29-18

Not The Story I Was Expecting

From the description I was expecting more of a murder/mystery. NOT. It's just a mediocre M/M romance. The chapters are brief and start in the past at the time of the murders and then quickly skipping through the years to present day. This was such a missed opportunity for a story. "Survivor" content was limited to brief references to Taylor acting out during the 1st year after the death of his parent's. There's not allot of depth to the characters and I found myself not really caring how the story ended. The book also includes several personal pet peeves like the use of nicknames. "Frankie and Tay"? Seriously? Mr. Russo's southern (hillbilly) accents were also annoying.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Donna Hirsch
  • 03-12-18

Wonderful story

I truly enjoyed this book. From the awful beginning to the amazing end watching Taylor grow into a strong courageous man and going for what he desires was well written. i would love to see who Shannon ends up with Rand or Rory or both for that matter. To follow Frankie and Tay's life and the cold case of his parents. Nick was wonderful as always. I was given a copy for an honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dee Slate
  • 03-11-18

Really good!

I enjoyed the story, which starts with a tragedy/mystery.
Taylor's parents have been murdered by an unknown person. He is helped by policemen, Frank and Caleb, who were called to the scene and put with a foster family. The story follows Taylor from his pre-teen years to adulthood, chronicling his developing feelings for Frank.
Nick J Russo does a great job with the different characters, he had a wonderful way of portraying Taylor's voice from his young age to his deeper, older self. He was also really good with the character emotions, nothing over the top, just believable. My only niggle were the non narration parts, they were sort of flat, but that's just me.
I would recommend both the story and audiobook without hesitation.

I received a copy of the audiobook for my pleasure with no obligation to review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-25-18

Enjoyable romance with good narration

What did you like best about Survivor? What did you like least?

I like the characters the best. What I liked the least was how all the murder mystery drama all unfolded.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Have the bad guy be caught right away and do away with the murder mystery aspect.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

This isn't going to be a popular opinion, but I enjoyed the scenes where the two MC's are hooking up with other people. I thought it was realistic to see them not putting their life on hold based on possible feelings they had for the other.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Yep!!!!!

Any additional comments?

A complimentary copy of the audio was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Audiobook review:
The blurb for this book really got my attention. I do love age gap, and then you have a sort of quasi incest thing going because Frank was around Taylor for so much of his growing up years, one could see them filling "brother" roles for each other. Obviously neither had those types of brotherly feelings, which is good because once Taylor hit puberty, whew! :)

I thoroughly enjoyed the build up of this story. For those who don't like to see the MC's hook up with people who are not going to be their forever partner, there is on page action for both of them getting it on with other people before Taylor and Frank get together. I personally found all of it hot, and really world building. It helped show who they were as individuals and that they were caring people who definitely had lives outside of each other. Plus, did I mention it was hot? ;)

And oh boy, when these two finally do decide to act on their feelings, not only was the build up to that realistic (I thought), but it was so emotionally fulfilling. I liked these characters and wanted the best for them. So when they had a mature discussion about their feelings I was so happy! They didn't just jump into bed, which would have ruined everything. But they talked, and made sure that if they moved forward, it wouldn't ruin anything. When Taylor admits to having been in love with Frank for years (3 I think), I was just so "aww." Taylor felt mature beyond his years.

As for the murder mystery, I will leave most of that in the spoiler below. Just know the bad guy is caught, though I am not happy with how that whole drama unfolded. I really wish the bad guy had been caught right after the crime and then Frank and Taylor could have lived their lives without the drama. I didn't see the point in the plot unfolding the way it did. But overall, I enjoyed Frank and Taylor. I see them having a happy life together.

And as far as the narration goes, I really enjoyed it. Nick J. Russo did a really good job I thought and propelled this story to a new level. I have only listened to a few books narrated by Russo but that's because of lack of opportunity. ;) He gave each character (especially the women, which is hard) their own unique voice. I love when that happens.

Serious rant below. Includes some semi-serious spoilers.
[Why did the FBI get so involved in this case so much that they placed agents in key areas around these people? Taylor's foster parents had an agent (unknowingly) working as a maid or something in their house for years. Frank's booty call "flight attendant" turned out to be an FBI agent too, and they had known each other for like 9 years! There were so many names flying around I couldn't catch them all towards the end, but another friend of Taylor's turns out to be an agent too. What made this case so special? I didn't fully get it. Yes, there was an explanation but it was hard to keep track because they kept tossing out new names. This aspect of the story would certainly have benefited from reading vs. listening, because I really needed to go back and concentrate longer on the end part.

Also, how dumb was the bad guy in this book to have been arrested just a block or 2 away from the crime scene because of a broken tail light? How is it the police didn't question this guy for being in the area at the time of the murders? Oh, and how inept were they that they didn't even know this guy was using an alias!!!!!! Come on!! The bad guy murderer was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison because the alias he was using at the time had some sort of warrants out for him. I was just so flabbergasted as to the ineptitude of ALL of those involved. You have to wonder how crimes are committed or solved with bad guys and police like this.

The ending of the story with the bad guy is kind of eye roll inducing incredulity, but eh, I rolled with it. :) It wasn't terrible, but could have been better. The guy monologued for crying out loud!! Don't the bad guys know by now that to monologue is to sign their death/arrest warrant? (hide spoiler)]

Story: 3 stars
Narration: 4 stars