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Too Close to the Flame  By  cover art

Too Close to the Flame

By: Ryan Taylor, Joshua Harwood
Narrated by: Kaeomakana Tiwanak
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Publisher's summary

Can he ever learn to trust again?

Brandon Weber’s old boyfriend almost beat him to death. Brandon survived, but still bears the emotional scars. Eighteen months later, he has withdrawn into himself, convinced he’ll never be able to trust another man.

Devin Macadam, fresh out of law school, has an exciting new job. He is also on the lookout for just the right guy, someone to take care of and love.

When Devin shows up for the first day of work at his new office, he meets Brandon, a legal assistant there. Sparks fly, but Brandon is paralyzed by fear and isn’t about to give another man the power to hurt him again. Devin, never one to give up easily, doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Both men feel the magic, but can their relationship ever get past the friend zone?

Too Close to the Flame is a dark-to-light, sweet romance featuring out and proud gay men, lots of feels, steamy love scenes, and a wonderful happy ending.

Trigger Warning: Too Close to the Flame contains specific memories of physical abuse. That said, the book is about Brandon’s recovery and HEA romance with Devin. Our goal is to bring attention to the often neglected issue of abuse in gay relationships.

©2020 Ryan Taylor, Joshua Harwood (P)2020 Ryan Taylor, Joshua Harwood
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Too Close to the Flame

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Loved the book, audio not so much

It really pains me to write a negative review because I know lots of hard goes work goes into both the book as well as the narration. I loved this book and the author was new to me, so I was eager to get the audio. However the audio version, after about two hours, I just couldn’t complete. It feels like I’m listening to young teenagers, not grown men. The narration is perky and overly enthusiastic. I just don’t think it fits the storyline. Again, great book which I highly recommend. The audio, not so much.

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Wonderful!

I’d already read the book and left a 5 star review for the story, it’s a great read! I didn’t know what to expect with the audiobook, I had never heard Kaeomakana narrate before. I loved it! He has a way of drawing you in to the story that makes it more exciting. Awesome narrator, phenomenal story, I’m hooked!

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A heartwarming story

Brandon had to overcome his fears and anxiety after being in an abusive relationship. Devin with his strong steady support and love helps Brandon be brave enough to try. I had read this book on Kindle prior to listening to the Audible version. It was worth the reread/listen. This book leaves you feeling good with a HEA.

The only downside to the book was I struggled with the narrator at times

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A medium angst light to dark romance!

Brandon Weber still bears the scars from his previous relationship both emotionally and physically.
It has been about a year, since Jeb, his ex has been put behind bars for aggravated assault and attempted murder. He is happier now, especially with his new job at the law firm. But when a handsome man with the most sparkling sapphire eyes shows up in his new workplace, he wants to give their connection a chance.

Devin Macadam has just graduated out of law school and is ready to take on the world and start his new job.
When he meets Brandon, the assistant at the law firm, he is instantly smitten with him.

Can Brandon learn to trust again despite the scars from his past or will his ex ruin his chances of finding happiness once again?

Devin was such a sweet, patient man. He was perfect fit for Brandon.
I absolutely loved their meet cute and how beautifully their relationship evolved. Jeb was the dark to Devin's light. He broke Brandon's body but not his spirit. Devin helped him to trust and helped him mend his heart along the way.

If you are looking for a dark to light, sweet romance with a HEA. I would definitely recommend this one

Kaeomakana Tiwanak's audio delivery was absolutely brilliant and engaging!

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Tugs at your heartstrings and doesn’t let go

I was THRILLED when I heard this book was coming to Audible. It was what introduced me to Ryan Taylor & Josh Harwood, and I haven’t looked back. After reading it, I went straight to Amazon to purchase everything they’ve put out. It just made that kind of impact, and has, once again, in audiobook format. The narrator did a phenomenal job with these wonderful characters, and told their story with the sincerity it deserved. I wasn’t let down by the voices he gave Brandon and Devin, as well as the other characters in the story. This is the authors’ first audiobook and I HOPE it’s not their last.

(Original review below)


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When we first meet Brandon, it’s not under the best circumstances. We get a look at the tragic aftermath of an abusive relationship. (TW: abuse happens off-page, but is discussed several times, including one with full details). It’s heartbreaking but is an important part of the story. It is a piece of Brandon’s history, and explains why he is the way he is. This is his story of healing and love, and it’s both emotional and beautiful. Brandon’s character is a survivor, who is at the precipice of being able to move forward, and LIVE his life, but he needs some gentle prodding. Devin’s arrival could be just the prodding he needs.

I love Brandon and Devin, together and separately. They were both written with sincerity and I felt like they were someone I could actually be friends with in real life. Brandon deserved the world, and if I had to draw up a character to fulfill that I would’ve chosen someone like Devin as well. While Devin brought out the best in Bran, it was also true in reverse. They both had something that just made the other...better. It was really enjoyable to watch as the story progressed. They were adorable and just made my heart happy.

I loved the way this story was written. It captivated me from the start. I was attached to Brandon by the time chapter one began and was rooting for him. I enjoyed the dynamics at the law firm. Yes, they were serious lawyers, and put in the work, but they were also a family (some were actually related). You could tell they had a history, and genuinely cared about their employees. They could also be playful and witty. They were all multidimensional, and well developed. After discovering several couples actually had their own books, I became eager to read them.

Overall, at the end of the day, this is a very well put together story, and I would absolutely recommend it. It will tug at your heartstrings and will have you running through several emotions before it’s over. I promise you that you will be smiling more than anything. With everything going on in the world these days, things that make you smile are precious. Read this book. I promise you’ll like it.

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A beautiful, emotional, love story

Too Close to the Flame is a beautifully written story of trust and self worth about Brandon and Devin that tugged on my heart. Brandon had nearly been killed by his ex and is hesitant to get into another relationship. Devin is new to the firm, where Brandon works, and has an instant connection when he shakes Brandon's hand. I love how patient Devin was with Brandon even after learning his secret. I love watching their journey as they fell in love together and Brandon is able to trust again. I love how the firm is a big family. Though this is a beautiful story on it's own, I love how we see characters from other books in this one. Definitely recommend.
Narrator Kaeomakana Tiwanak does an fabulous job. I love how his emotions come across in his narration. He is definitely one of my favorite narrators.

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Beautiful Read

I’ve read the book and loved Brandon and Devin’s story. I loved the audio version too. The narrator does a great job of bringing another dimension to this heartfelt story. A story of love, trust and courage that brings awareness to some difficult issues. Devin and Brandon are perfect for one another. This is one of my favorite stories.

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