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The Love Interest

Narrated by: Michael Crouch
Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be - whoever the girl doesn't choose will die.

What the boys don't expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich is a gay YA thriller that is nonstop action from start to finish.

©2017 Cale Dietrich (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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

Jaysus, can Michael Crouch narrate my daily life?

Where does The Love Interest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love an usual story that is inventive, innovative and well-written. This book certainly is that.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Love Interest?

What I loved about it was the matter-of-fact treatment of same-sex relationships which form a large part of the heart of this work. 10 years ago, that subject matter would have been taboo or groundbreaking. Now, it is just an element of the story, and a sweet one at that. Baby steps turn into giant leaps. :)

What does Michael Crouch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Oy, where can I begin on this? Michael brings his characters to life--each of them had a unique, nuanced, and very distinctive voice. He breathes life into them. You're not listening to an audiobook with him--you are eavesdropping on a conversation with the characters. At one point, he was managing FIVE characters at once, and making each one so real and personable. Michael is passionate, expressive, and real. I have quietly decided to build my own Michael Crouch library. That is all

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The epilogue was particularly satisfying. I had been tense the last few chapters. It was a very satisfying denouement.

Any additional comments?

How can I hire Michael Crouch to read me to sleep at night. Seriously.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love

I really enjoyed reading this book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great LGBTQ read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Really Bad.

The Reviews for this book were good enough and I decided to try it. It's.... not good. The Love Interest has an interesting idea but from the start, I should have seen it's nonsense. It could've been better but the way this organization is just placed in the world seems silly and it's done badly. I didn't like the ending. I had been practically hooked until the final act of the book. It feels odd. There a lot of things that the author throws in last second as a "twist" but it's unsatisfying.
It makes you go 'why? this is stupid.' Instead of when a good plot twist which is more like, 'wow! what's going to happen next.'

After listening to the first 9 hours in the span of two days since I was so hooked I stopped since the twist was dumb and the focus shifted from the romance aspect to the secret organization. It happens right around 8 hours where it starts to get weird. I finished it about to weeks later because I wanted to know the ending but the book was ruined for me

Without spoiling anything, the reason I started reading was that it's supposed to be a romance book. I ignored the stupidity of the organization they were in because-damn, forbidden love? It's LGBTQ? and one of them will die when the other wins? Spys? Sounds fun right? Well, it's not fun when the twist ruins the tension. Then it starts to get weird and we hear more about the organization and the more it goes into depth, the more you realize how dumb it is.

I actually kinda liked the romance so if you are the type of reader to only focus on the romance and literally nothing will distract you- it might be good for you. (I thought I was that type of reader before but I guess not) BUT if you do like the see the whole picture, don't read this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

The premise of this particular book sounded so intriguing and I remember being greatly disappointed when I was not able to get my hands on an ARC. Eventually, it came out in Audible format and I bought it and saved it for a long transatlantic flight. Sadly, the execution did not live up to the premise; very flat characters, logic holes, sloppy world building, and questionable writing really let the book down. Despite that, however, enough promise showed through to make me want to read more of what this debut author will produce in the future.

Story: Caden and Dylan are orphans raised by a secret group who develop/train and then provide 'love interests' to promising or powerful people. These love interests stay besides their 'prey' and feed secrets to the agency, who uses that information to gain power, influence, and money. Here, promising scientist teenager Juliet is targeted by "nice guy" Caden and "bad boy" Dylan. When Juliet settles on one of them, the other will be incinerated for his failure. Should the boys try to run away, they will be hunted down by murderous robots. But what happens when one finds himself attracted to the other love interest and not their target?

The first major hurdle with the Love Interest is that all the characters are flat. Especially Dylan, Caden's competition, comes off as a cardboard figure - no personality, no depth, and other than being physically handsome, no good reason for Caden's interest. He felt like an aging hound - lumbering, almost bovine with empty black eyes, and sounding like a halfwit most of the time. It was REALLY hard to understand Caden's interest (or Juliet's), despite being given Caden's POV for the entire book. Caden himself was also greatly underwritten, seeming more of a caricature than someone raised in a secret organization without family or affection. I won't even get into the side characters, who fare no better. But that segues to the second issue: logic and believability.

Much of the world makes absolutely no sense. Readers can suspend disbelief but it shouldn't have to be a constant fight, either, to do so. From the silliness of the secret organization or that we are being led to believe that this teenage girl is so damn important as to get two huge resources wooing her, the book really fell apart once it left the high school setting. I would have preferred to see the entire last quarter of the book jettisoned and instead focus spent on expanding and strengthening the first 3/4. The bad guys were stupid, the whole thing inept, too many coincidences, and with a far too 'pat' ending. There was a lot of eye rolling after the 80% mark.

The last big issue was that the writing was very simplistic and unexciting. When even a professional narrator can't elevate it (in my Audible version), then I know for sure that we have a problem. The love was 'insta' all around and certainly was as romantic as a dead cat. Juliet was a lot of 'tell' with little show and Caden spends most of the book mooning over 'Dyl' (who is oblivious) instead of actually trying to woo Juliet and ensure he isn't incinerated.

In the end, a very disappointing read of what could have been a fantastic premise. It greatly needed some gravitas and rewriting, something perhaps the writer will tackle some day when he has more experience under his belt. Reviewed from an Audible recording.

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Oh. My. God.

This honestly has been the best book I have tried this year. Forget this year, since forever! I almost never give reviews, but oh my God, this book definitely deserved one.
I guess I now have the perfect answer to the question, “What’s your favorite book?”

It’s something y’all don’t wanna miss.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Audible needs to revise their "steamy" rating

This was a cute, easy listen, but in no way is it a "hot damn" on the steamy scale. There is NO sex in this book. Not even close.