• Tainted Life

  • A Sweet and Angsty M/M Romance Novella
  • By: Mel Gough
  • Narrated by: Brian Meslar
  • Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Metropolitan Police Detective Pete Tucker’s world comes crashing down when his wife sues for divorce and sole custody of their only son.

Desperate to forget his sorrows for a while, Pete seeks refuge in a Soho bar where he is approached by a sexy, funny, and clearly interested stranger. Photographer Liam Jackson is just the ticket for one oblivious night of perfect passion.

However, their attraction proves too intense for a one-night-stand. To his surprise, Pete finds that he’s game for something more - but his baggage soon gets in the way. Then Liam’s own dangerous secrets claw their way to the surface, and threaten to derail the budding romance.

Is their growing bond strong enough to weather the violent storms ahead?

©2018 Mel Gough (P)2019 Mel Gough
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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What listeners say about Tainted Life

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wish it was longer

This is a new-to-me author and narrator combo.

The story seems captivating. Also realistic. There’s triggers for those who’ve been in an abusive family relationship and past sexual assault.

For the most part, I love the relationship development between Liam and Pete. There’s low angst on that department. The angst came mostly from Liam’s personal struggle and his douchebag of a brother. And also from Pete’s divorce/custody issues.

I enjoyed the process of them falling in love. Even though there was that horrendous moment between them, I’m glad they were able to move past it.

The story seemed a little rushed towards the end though. I wish it was a bit longer. It really doesn’t explain why Karla changed her mind about the custody battle — which was the biggest cause of Pete’s struggle. Even the epilogue felt rushed. Like the author was fastly tying up all the lose ends.

The narrator did well.

Looking forward to reading/listening to more of the either of their works.

3 people found this helpful

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

over all i enjoyed it.

i found the characters well rounded, amusing and entertaining i liked their reactions to each other. this book has drama, mystery, suspense, heat and romance. over all, i found it to be an pleasant listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but not great

I got a promo code for the audiobook and now leaving my honest review.

The blurb made me want to read this book, but I was a bit hesitant to start it because I didn’t really feel like reading about violence and angst right now, and boy, there’s a lot of that in this book. Be prepared for that.

With that said, this was a good book with it’s strongest element being the writing. It was nice and easy going and easy to follow. Pete and Liam are two flawed characters, both having their own problems and secrets, which makes them human. I felt so much for both of them. All I wanted for them was to find happiness and love. The love they both really deserved. There was a lot of drama for the sake of drama and sometimes I felt like I would've needed a bit more background to know why the characters acted the way they did.

While there was a lot of angst and violence in this book (almost too much for me at time), they finally get their HFN/HEA, don’t worry.

The narration of this audiobook was... fine. It was my first one of this narrator and he did a good job. Not perfect, but good enough. I had some problems with how he did some of the secondary characters voices.
There’s was some kind of background sound in the first chapters which kind of annoyed me.

I will check out more work of this author.

1 person found this helpful

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

Good story

This audiobook was nice and sweet but much tamer than I prefer to listen to. The narration was fair. There was very little variation in the different characters voices. It was an okay listen.

1 person found this helpful

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

New to me author

This was the new to me author and narrator. The story was quite nice and I enjoyed it. The narration was fine but for me lacked a bit of life. There was a high hum in the background of the recording that I had to try to ignore. This detracted from the over all experience. The narrators accents were good. There just needs to be some improvement in the base narration to really make the characters come alive, less monotone and more emotion behind the words. The narrator does have some good potential.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Drama and Steam

Tainted Life is a short, sweet and angst filled gay romance novella by Mel Gough. Pete is a Metropolitan Police detective who is facing a difficult life change. He goes to a bar to drawn some sorrows and meets a sexy photographer Liam. Together they are on fire... but the secrets they hide and their pasts may not let them have a future.

Pete and Liam are interesting and entertaining characters. I liked their interactions together. Their story has drama, mystery, suspense, heat and romance. Overall, a satisfying read.

Narration of the story is done by Brian Meslar. The characters have their own voices and really stand out. The story comes to life and adds to the enjoyment of the story. Minor sound issues on recording that did not interfere with my listening experience.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

This is a good but quick story. I do wish we had more of the background with Pete and his ex and partner and I wish we had more of Pete and Liam as a couple and with Noah But overall it was a well written story with good characters. Narration for me was done well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tainted Life

A really good story. If you’re wanting light and fluffy this isn’t it. If you want a realistic story then this is a good one.

My heart goes out to Liam and all the suffering he went through but don’t worry too much. He does get his HEA.

Brian’s narration was really good and I loved his accents.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

TOUCHING

Pete is going through some deep personal trouble. His wife leaving and taking his young son. Stopping for a drink he meets Liam. A stunning young man. Liam seeing Pete was struggling tries to be kind to this lost soul. These two seem an unlikely pair considering their occupations. I liked this Book. This is my first time for this author MEL GOUGH. I love finding a new Author. BRIAN MESLAR'S narration was perfect for this story. His narrative gave it just what it needed to send it over the top. I'm looking forward to more by this Author. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS AUDIBLE!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and wonderful narration

M/M
Short story
HFN

I was given a free audio copy from the author in a giveaway for review.

The narrator had a pleasant reading voice and kept a good pace. He used different voices for the diffetent characters and gave Liam a very nice English accent. He expressed the emotions well and made the story come to life. It was a fabulous performance.

Story = 4.5 stars

Pete is a police detective. He is newly divorced and his wife is trying to keep their son from him. He goes to a bar to drown his sorrows and meets a photographer named Liam who notices he could use some cheering up. Pete is bi but hasn't been with a man since Uni due to his marriage so he is definitely interested in atleast one night together but Liams life is bursting with drama that keeps them together.

This was a very sweet and very angsty story with a little steam. It was a very quick read/listen and it kept my interest the entire time. The main characters were both well developed and were both really likeable. They had amazing chemistry and made a great couple. This is a new to me author but I thought that it was well written and I really enjoyed it, so I would definitely read their work again and I would definitely recommend this one. My only complaint is I wish the epilogue was further into the future to allow for a HEA.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • HelenMK69
  • 08-19-21

New to me author and narrator

I went in blind on this book. But, as it was a short read, I went straight in. The story is a little slow, but when you get into it, I felt for both of the characters, having lots of baggage and not wanting a relationship, things go from a one night stand to a little more.

It develops into a great book, well worth the read. I will look for more from this author.

As I listened at 1.40 on Audible, Brian Meslar did an OK representation of this book. Although I believe he was American and the book was set in England, he didn't pronounce some words correctly. Also, if you don't increase the speed, then the voice is a little slow and mundane.


Tainted Life
A Sweet and Angsty M/M Romance Novella
By: Mel Gough
Narrated by: Brian Meslar
Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins


❤❤❤❤ Overall
🎧🎧 Narration
📚📚📚📚 Story
Read at 1.40 speed on Audible

I received this audiobook for free, and my review is my opinion and an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Vania
  • 07-13-21

Sweet but angsty.

Sweet but angsty, this novella has a slow but steady pace.
The two main characters have bot tons of baggage and a few truths they keep from each other, which adds both to my frustration (I tend to get vocal when I’m mad at characters, lol) and to the thickening of the plot.
Unpleasant or downright mean side-characters seem to be the theme of the story, too, what with Pete’s horrible ex-wife and Liam’s abusive druggy brother.
I really would have loved for the book to be a bit longer, I wanted to know more about Pete’s ex-partner and best friend and get a more “established” HEA for Pete and Liam, because with everything they’ve gone through they certainly deserve it!
Brian Meslar is a new-to-me narrator, and I think he did a good job. His voice is smooth and pleasant and the pacing flows naturally.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mama H
  • 09-30-19

Short but good

I went in “blind” to this book. I didn’t even read the blurb. I admit, I thought that a book this short can’t be good. I’m glad that I was wrong! It seems that the length doesn’t matter after all. This was actually very good story. Both MC’s are at the rock bottom of their lives when they meet. I like that the MC’s weren’t perfect and they made mistakes and bad decisions. And still, they weren’t afraid of their feelings for each other. No instalove but slow burn. This story had suspence, angst and love in perfect mix.

The narrator was new to me. Narration was ok, not perfect by any means, but ok. The occasional humming sounds in the background were a bit distracting though.

I can really recommend this book if you are looking for something shorter to listen to.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kay-Anne
  • 09-27-19

Story as expected

The story was as expected, let down by the narrator. I assume from his pronunciation of the London landmarks names that he is not UK born, but that happens. What was disappointing was his tone it was dull without inflection, with gaps to showcase his ability to voice multiple characters.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 09-18-19

A good story, but lacking something.

I did enjoy this book, but in both the story and the narration I felt it was missing something.
The narration itself was clear, but the London accents often felt forced and slipped into an almost South African twang. And a few pronunciations were wrong, the most obvious being Woolwich. It sometimes came across as a flat monotone making the pace of the book feel slower than it should.
Again with the story, it didn't have that spark I like to find in a book. Maybe it was the narration dragging it down, but nothing inspired feelings of either high or low. It wasn't awful, but it was far from the best I've heard.
In the end, it was good enough for me to listen to all the way through, but not enough to do so again.