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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

A night of drunken confusion at 19 resulted in Patrick Connelly fathering a child. Determined to be there for his son, Patrick walked away from a sport he loved and forever hid his sexuality. After Patrick's brutal divorce and a vicious hate crime, his son, Jay, has become obsessed with graffiti. Hoping for a fresh start, Patrick moves Jay to his childhood home in Seattle. Within two weeks, Jay is arrested again. On his way to pick Jay up, Patrick stops an assault, then finds himself in handcuffs too. Thinking things can't get any worse, he's confronted by the sexiest man he's ever seen - his son's new probation officer, Ken Atkins.

The hardest part of Ken's job is working with difficult parents, and the undeniably handsome Patrick Connelly is going to be a difficult parent. A chance encounter and steamy hookup with Patrick leave Ken blindsided. As they work together to try to keep Jay on the right path, the passion between them proves impossible to resist. When the assault Patrick prevented comes back to haunt them and Jay gets into trouble again, Ken must convince Patrick that ensuring his son's happiness doesn't have to mean sacrificing his own.

©2015 A J Thomas (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    55
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    34
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    13
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    2
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Performance

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    46
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    31
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    14
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Story

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    52
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Story good, narration slurred and plodding

Interesting story but the narration was strange and slurred. Some parts drug on too long. Ended up rushing through the story. Narration did not match storyline.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Slow story but interesting premise

This story was set up well. Patrick Connelly got custody of his sixteen year old son Jay after he was attacked by some hatemongers. Jay was using graffiti and art to cope with his pain and trauma. However, his graffiti was getting him arrested for vandalism and defacing property.

Ken Atkins, a juvenile probation officer, was assigned to monitor Jay and give a recommendation to the court as to whether Jay should be removed from Patrick’s care. In working together to find out how to best help Jay, Patrick and Ken developed feelings for each other. They both resisted dealing with it until they just couldn’t fight the attraction anymore.

I thought the pace of the story was slow and didn’t really build up any angsty or momentum. The characters could have been developed better. I just didn’t feel like the actual story delivered what the blurb set up in my head. I didn’t enjoy this audiobook much and struggled to finish it. Normally, I like this author’s work (Least Likely Partnership was more enjoyable) and there is usually a character I really connect with. I don’t I would read this one again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Loved it

Loved it, except for a few things. The majority of the story centers around Patrick & Ken connecting & I really enjoyed that. The drama at the docks was pretty secondary and the conclusion of that was over with in very short order. What happened with Jay took awhile to come out & when you find out the entire story, it was just brutal. I know this was not his story but I would have liked if there was somewhere for him to safely do his graffiti art & stop getting arrested. The other issue I had was Patrick none stop blaming himself for everything that happens just because he is gay. Boyfriend, get over yourself. Bad things happen to good people whether they are gay or not. I so hope this turns into a series as I would love to see how they are later on down the road. Plus I loved Corbin & would love to read/listen to a story about him & he finally finding his one true love.

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

So good

The Way Things Are grabbed me from the very minute I started listening and didn’t let me go until the harrowing, action-filled ending. A combination of the perfect narrator and a talented author made for a truly enjoyable story.

This is a romantic suspense and A.J. Thomas did a superb job balancing both aspects of the story. Both parts were equally engaging as well as fresh and original.

Patrick Connelly is a single father dealing with Jay, his troubled teen son and Ken Atkins is Jay’s probation officer. Both men are gay and find an immediate attraction, which could be trouble consider their professional relationship. It doesn’t stop them from having a sexy hook-up at a bar Patrick works on his days off from working cranes at Port of Seattle.

The mystery that Patrick finds himself entangled in isn’t one I’ve seen often and I enjoyed the revelations along the way. Even the identity of the bad guy surprised me and I’m usually able to figures things out ahead of time.

Patrick’s job operating cranes added a freshness to the novel as well as contributed to one of the absolute hottest sex scenes I’ve ever read. It took place on the crane and was marvelously, incredibly scorching. I wished Ken had taken Pat up on the offer to be fucked against the safety glass because that would’ve been even hotter.

I loved how the conflict between the two was mainly external, despite Patrick never having had a real relationship with a man. They both wanted to be together but Ken’s job and the mystery Patrick finds himself in created problems. There was such amazing juxtaposition between the romance and the mystery here and I commend the author for doing it perfectly. Just as the men were taking a step forward and Patrick invites Ken to stay at his place, Patrick’s apartment is broken into and he’s concerned for his son’s safety.

That’s another amazing part of the novel—Jay and his relationship to the main characters. Yes, Jay is constantly getting in trouble, but he’s not a malicious kid or not stereotypical at all. He has a sassiness with his father that’s not negative, it’s how they interact. He’s a teen dealing with shit from his past the only way he knows how.

Jay and Patrick have a loving father-son relationship that seemed truly realistic. Patrick knows what Jay is dealing with and is doing his best to help him and steer him the right way, even knowing Jay will get in trouble again. There’s no yelling or screaming or useless threats. This is the way all fathers and sons should get along.

Ken and Jay’s relationship was just as sweet. First as his probation officer then as his friend and father’s boyfriend, Ken was always calm and easy going, helping Jay to open up when needed.

And Patrick and Ken’s relationship? Perfectly portrayed as well. Like I said before, the sex between them is hot, but we see them bond in other ways as well. Their mutual relationships with Jay is one aspect, but there’s more as well. The story follows a rather short timeline but by the time Patrick and Ken say ‘I love you’ to each other there’s no doubt they mean it. This is not an insta-love story here, despite them only being together a short time.

To recap; great sex, fresh and realistic characters, unique mystery and hotter sex. The best combinations I can think of.

Narration Review:

Ron Herczig did an amazing job with the narration. His deep voice grabbed my attention from the get go. Even though the differences between Patrick and Ken’s voice was only slightly different it was enough. I never once questioned whose head we were in when the Point of View switched.

Absolutely perfect. He is now one of my favorite narrators.

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

Good Read

I enjoyed the book overall. I particularly enjoyed the chemistry between the two main characters. The class difference was interesting.

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

Under Cover Hero

Any additional comments?

This gay man didn't think he would ever be a father one night with a girl gave him his son. He married the witch and cheated on her the whole time finally he leaves her and this is where this story begins. His son who has mommie issues turns to tagging to deal with his problems and constantly gets his dad in trouble. Finally this new start brings in a social worker who is there for both of them. This is a sweet romantic story with a lot of angst in the begging. It had you hooked from the first line.

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

You did good A.J...

Any additional comments?

A story of gay love with a kid...I was impressed at the way you, A.J., wound the story around the characters and created a story that is very entertaining. Some will find the characters a little stiff, no pun intended as there are quite a few stiffies in this one, but get involved with their character and the stiffie makes sense. The narrator was a little droll, but he came thru ok and didn't detract from the story too much. A little more passion in your reading Dear Narrator. Regardless, A.J., thanks for this one.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Orlando
  • Murrieta, CA, United States
  • 08-20-15

So a review...

I've loved the story, but the narrator and the performance make it very difficult to enjoy. There are no pauses between paragraphs, sentences run into each other and all and all, it's a nightmare to follow. Such a pity.

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

Great Book

What did you love best about The Way Things Are?

Very unique story line with great writing.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Ken and Pat are in the Crane...

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

I absolutely adored the way Pat took care of his child to help him through a rough situation while being patient in an unique way.

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

Dragged on

The beginning of the book was interesting. The story line helped me get past the not-so-stellar narrator (though I have heard a lot worse), but around the 5th hour I was getting bored, and I stopped listening right before I hit 6 hours in. With a better narrator I might have been able to finish, but this is a DNF for me.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Petrus
  • 12-01-15

The Karma of Love

If you could sum up The Way Things Are in three words, what would they be?

Actions have consequences.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The father, Patrick Connolly. His love for his son, Jay, is deep and genuine which is displayed in his protective fatherly love of Jay. His personality is warm and endearing making him a believable character.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was generally good. However, a tighter control of vocal inflection might have lent a more exciting edge to the pace of the story.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"Standing true to yourself has never been so hard!"

Any additional comments?

The relationship between Patrick and his son, Jay, offered opportunities to explore the challenges of single parenthood which A J Thomas did beautifully, instilling a sense of affection in me for the characters which kept me engaged in the story. An enjoyable read, most recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alexander Sutherland
  • 08-27-15

Loved it!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Way Things Are to be better than the print version?

Super story, great characters, well narrated, exciting twist in the story. Good job! The son's character is a bit too perfect and could have been a bit more character development there, but overall good.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • alex
  • 08-15-16

GOD, but this is boring

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

anyone who isn't interested in a decent storyline.. nothing happens, there's slight build ups.. then nothing

Has The Way Things Are put you off other books in this genre?

no just no more by this author and/or narrator

What didn’t you like about Ron Herczig’s performance?

he is boring no life to the characters, no build up no sense of excitement, just monotone drivel

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Way Things Are?

all of it. I would have actually put some suspense into it.. at one point the boy is missing and of course we think he is kidnapped.. but no he is found safe and sound sat outside the library, where he said he would be.. ( don't worry this isn't a spoiler... there's nothing to spoil)

Any additional comments?

I was listening on his on my phone, (I drive for a living and listen to audiobooks at work), unfortunately you cant return titles via your phone or I would have returned it. as I had nothing else to listen to I had to carry on listening.. it just gets worse, and the sex scene that went on for about 25 mins!!! was boring.. obviously the author thought they could pad the book out... but believe me, it should have been left out

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. E. Errington
  • 01-19-16

The Way Narration Should NOT be!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If I'm being honest, then no. Not because the story is bad, far from it, the story is good, but the narration is poor.

What other book might you compare The Way Things Are to, and why?

There were parts of the story that could be compared to 'We Danced' or 'Family Unit'.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Definitely not!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt that with a different narrator I would have

Any additional comments?

A good story spoiled by poor narration. I would definitely return to the story, but not this audio version