• The Dark Side

  • Reese Holt, Volume 1
  • By: Laura Baumbach
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (181 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Kidnapping victim Alex Throne literally drops into the arms of security specialist Reese Holt, pulling Holt into a battle against a ruthless drug cartel, personal betrayal, and a specter from Holt's CIA past. Holt agrees to put his team of specialists on the trail of Alex's assailants while he takes on the personal job of protecting the life he inadvertently saved, motivated, in part, by a romantic attraction. Keeping his mind on protecting Alex could prove difficult, especially when he can't keep his mind off Alex's body.

©2017 Laura Baumbach (P)2017 Laura Baumbach

What listeners say about The Dark Side

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Difficult to put down.

This was the first book I've heard by Laura Baumbach. I really enjoyed it. Though the villain was pretty easy to predict, there were still details left to surprise the reader.
As far as the narrator, I will pretty much listen to any book narrated by Joel Leslie even if it's a book I might not be totally interested in. He is absolutely fantastic!

7 people found this helpful

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Awesome Book

Great Story AWESOME Narrator, as usual, Love it 100% Joel is one of the best narrators...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Joel Leslie 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Joel Leslie is a treasure for audio book... He’s the best I have ever listened to and I just don’t know how to listened to anyone else...He gira the right tone to every character and he always make the story much better... Thank you Joel 🔥🥰

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Narrator weird but story good!

I really enjoyed relationships in this book, between the male characters and between Reece and his team members. Don’t see a sequel. :(
Good level of drama. Narrator is a male yet he performed the males oddly. Don’t quite understand that. However, his non-character narration was enjoyable. I’d try another with him reading it. One complaint though—this book needs a trigger warning.

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Action Packed Adventure with Romance

Reese Holt is an ex-everything from CIA to Special Ops, and now manages a mercenary/security firm that works all kind of James Bond-esque missions. The book opens with Reese working job that takes him out to sea, where, quite literally, Alex Throne drops right in front of him in the middle of the water. From there, Reese and Alex’s lives are intertwined, and Reese finds a new mission in life: protecting Alex Throne. The plot is fast paced with a lot of action and some heart wrenching moments. There’s violence, grief, and implied sexual assault, but the relationship between Reese and Alex is loving and gets its happy ever after.

Joel Leslie is a phenomenal narrator and does a wonderful job bringing the book to life. I love the different voices he uses and the amount of emotion he brought to his performance.

Overall this book was a 3 star rating for me. The writing was solid, but the plot had a lot happening with not enough build up for my taste. I never fully felt like I connected with the characters, and that may be because this book was supposed to be the first in a series (unfortunately, I don’t think anymore books was written in the series) and it felt like an introduction to the characters. The book does well as standalone, and I still enjoyed the story overall.

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Eh

This was ok. The story was interesting, but I got really tired of the ego stroking descriptions of Holt. I don't mind a story that talks up the MC, but this was repetitive and irritating. And there needed to be more Avery. I typically laughed out loud when he spoke. He reminds me of Hawk from the Robert B. Parker Spenser series.

Joel Leslie, as the narrator, was not a good fit for this. His voice is breathy, and that doesn't work for these characters. He sounded like he was in pain while reading this. I have liked his narrations in other books, but just not this one.

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Love it

This is my first time reading a book by this author and I was not disappointed. I loved it! It had romance and suspense which is my favorite type of books to read.

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Decent story. Decent narration.

This was decent story. Maybe a bit too much melodrama for my taste, but entertaining.

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Not your average covert operative storyline

I’ve read and listened to many private investigative, CIA, Covert, secret service mercenary type stories. They are my favourite. However after a while they start to blend and you can pick out who the bad guy is within two chapters. NOT THIS BOOK.
This book has intrigue, plot twists, co hesive multiple storyline’s and characters that are well rounded, real and very believable. There is humour, sadness, anger, real love and a sex scene to die for. The author has given it all and it shows. I’m going to find more by her and read that too.
Joel is a spectacular choice for the narrator here. He brings so much to the characters. His females voices are very believable and not just a male version of a high pitched voice. Each character has a distinct sound and it is as if you are watching a movie or theatre play only your blind. Very very easy to listen too, very very immersive and very very hot where it needed to be. Need more Joel Leslie narration in my life.

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Loved the story but the narration not so much

This is really a great story but the experience would be so much better under different narration. Actually maybe Joel just needs to take a different approach. It comes off so much like "the name is Bond...James Bond" in a deep husky voice throughout the whole story, never just getting real. I've like much of his other work, however. Looking forward to what's next in this series!

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  • kindleaddict
  • 05-31-17

Stunning

I loved this in the book form! The plot has plenty of action right from the start. Alex is a fabulously complex and unspoilt character, Reese is very much a product of his life's experiences. They make a fantastic couple and I hope we get more from them soon. I could see these guys being as long lived ( in the book series sense) as Eve and Roarke in the In Death series.
Then we come to Joel Leslie's inspired narration. Every character has a distinct and recognisable voice. It is as always a joy to listen to words I've already read and hear different annotations. I would listen to this man read the phone book and enjoy it!
I would definitely recommend this audio to.... well Everybody really!

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for C M Silver
  • C M Silver
  • 04-26-22

Spoilt by narrator

My first time with this author. The premise of this story is serious: a kidnap, a rescue, then serious bargaining for life. Of loneliness, a man "with no time for romance", of acceptance, difficult life or death choices in work and theatre of war. This narrator's frivolous tone and camp nasal narration made light handling of the MCs in the first 2 hrs; it's so off putting that I never made it to the end of hr 3. There is nothing to make light of. It's not helped by how Reese continues to "perv" on Alex in almost every sentence after their meeting. OK it is an MM book, but you need to get the depth of story to allow your MCs to perform within it otherwise it's just a porn fest. Am I the only one who finds too much sex tedious? I feel duped and disappointed. I feel Kale Williams or Greg Bordeaux would've made a much better job of narration. Christian Fox/Aiden Snow would've been the cream of the crop. (They narrate together in The Elite series by Brooke Blaine and Ella Frank; it's just fantastic).

Usually this narrator gets it spot on ie in Black Balled and Evolved (which is one of my favs), but here he is awkward and cringe-worthy. My expectations were raised as the same model shown on the cover art is used in the excellent Josh Lanyon Adrien English series, (narrated by the excellent Chris Patton). There is no comparison whatsoever, so feel duped into choosing this book. It's hard enough to find good books, so to make a choice and get it so wrong is annoying. PISS POOR. DISAPPOINTING. RETURNED