LISTENER

Cheri Champagne

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  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 68
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Will Listen Again!

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-26

I definitely enjoyed this one. Damon Suede has a way with words that is almost hypnotic. These two seemed like a great pairing. I honestly wish that Suede had more books on the market for me to gobble up, because I want to read more.

The only part of the book that I'm a bit hung up on is Dante's reasonings (revealed at the end) behind his desire to do the porn, and a few other things about the porn that I won't put here. Ultimately, this aspect of the book bothered me a bit. Otherwise, I adored it.

As for narration, I found that for the first 2/3 of the novel, everyone sounded the same, but in the last third, the narrator put on a Brooklyn accent for Dante. Not only that, but I wasn't so keen on this narrator's voice for women. I think he just needs some more practice, because otherwise the narration was decent.

Would Listen Again!

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-04

I adored this book! Honestly, my only complaint would be the pacing. In-between the action scenes (which, thankfully, there were quite a few of), there was a lot of internal dialogue, reminiscing, and some pointless bits of information that really didn't need to be put in. The extra, fiddly tangents dragged the story a bit, but ultimately, I really enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend this book.

Not The Greatest

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-04

I have a few complaints, but there was one big one that put me off of this book. Honestly, this story could have really worked, but what persistently bothered me was Hudson's constant insistence that he was straight. I realize that for some people it's difficult to accept, but this just wasn't written well enough to be taken that way. I felt badly for Charlie; he didn't deserve the garbage that Hudson put him through.

In general, I enjoy Michael Pauley's narration, but this book didn't work for me. The Irish accent felt off, but Hudson's parts were great.

I won't be reading any more books in this series.

Zero Sizzle

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

Reviewed: 2019-10-04

I have so many feelings about this book. Too many to really list them all, but ultimately, it boils down to this.

When I read a book, I want to escape reality and live in some good romance for a little while. Unfortunately, The Husband Gambit was full of politics--from the arguments of left vs right to rich vs poor, this book was packed. Jesse's homophobic family was horrible; so horrible, in fact, that I found them not quite believable. I get the dad and possibly even the mom characters, but how could his siblings be such static, one-dimensional characters that are only puppets for their father? They were completely unrealistic. That, and the constant punch-to-the-face hammering-the-point-home about Jesse's family completely overshadowed everything else in the book.

The politics and homophobic family in particular, but everything, really, was overly repetitive in the redundant, rambling internal dialogue of Jesse and Hayden. This made for a very slow-moving book, that at times had me wanting to skip ahead to something more interesting.

The worst of it all was the romance. Honestly, I could have dealt with the politics and pacing if there was a slow burning simmer of sexual tension building to keep me interested, but the glacial pace that this author took made me find it difficult to see any chemistry between our heroes at all. Sure, their friendship seemed genuine, due to their easy conversation and affable nature, but I didn't believe that they were falling in love. The sex, itself, was disappointing, because there was no build-up. It seemed to me like they did it out of a sense of convenience--we're both here in this room, both conveniently "hot" guys and horny, let's do it! *Ugh!* So frustrating when something that should read as so climactic ends up being such a dud. Also, why couldn't our author come up with any other descriptive words to describe these two, other than "hot"? After their first meeting, I genuinely forgot what they looked like, and found everything difficult to imagine. "Hot" simply isn't a good enough descriptor.

The narrators did a great job. I think that my only issue would be that the narration by Michael Ferraiuolo for Hayden's parts were inconsistent-sounding. Sometimes they were a bit nasal, other times a bit deeper in tone. Overall, though, both narrators did a great job. I would happily listen to both again.

This is the first book that I've read by L.A. Witt, so I don't know if this is the way this author writes, or if these issues are unique to this title, so I'll probably give them another chance. The plot had so much potential, and I was really looking forward to reading this, but it just didn't work for me.

Not My Favourite

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

Reviewed: 2019-08-27

I have many feelings about this book, and even some notes about specific scenes that particularly bothered me, but I'm honestly just too tired to get into it. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the plot, but I do not like this author's way of writing. I've tried reading her books before, and while she has a decent sense of humour, and her descriptions can be lovely, I don't like the omniscient POV (I prefer tight third in HR novels), among other things.

Honestly, I look forward to when this comes out on Netflix, because I think that I'll like the way it's portrayed far better on film than how it's written. Not sure if I'll read the others in the series, despite having already bought the next one.

Not Enough Romance Or Mystery

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-08-22

This one was such a disappointment. Usually with Josh Lanyon books, I know I can expect there to be a solid mystery with light romance (and at least one sex scene), but this one had neither. The mystery, while interesting at times, was slow and carried no sense of urgency, and the romance was basically nonexistent.

That all being said, I'm looking forward to my next Lanyon read. Her style of writing and use of description is still stellar, this story just didn't do it for me.

Frustrating.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-08-22

For the most part, I've loved Annabeth Albert's Out of Uniform series, but this book sticks out in a bad way for me. The lack of communication between these men was a constant irritant. There were plenty of outside factors to keep the story going on its own, so the added dramatic effect of these two at odds only served to make me frustrated with them.

Wouldn't Recommend It

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

Reviewed: 2019-08-21

**Spoiler Alert**

I'm sorry, I have to rant. I really don't like leaving bad reviews, but this book genuinely upset me.

I'll start with the plot. The story idea was common enough, but this book failed to deliver. There was no intrigue, no suspense, and no mystery. What little action that there was was such a short blip in the book that it was barely noticeable. Additionally, the story concluded about half way through the book, but the narrative continued on for no reason other than to drag the readers through a nonsensical changing of all of the characters' personalities. I'll get into that more later.

There are constant inconsistencies and typing errors throughout. This book *really* needed more editors.

Why, and how, do all of the characters' problems get wrapped up so tidily? There's a problem? Ooh! A character just remembered that they have a handy dandy solution right here. Please. A little realism would have been appreciated, at least to keep up the illusion that the story could be plausible. I really would have liked for the characters to have to *think* about a solution, and perhaps show some of their amazing detective skills that all of the side characters raved about.

On that note, where was the police work? Seemed to me that the heroes got everything handed to them (interviews, appointments, etc.) without the heroes even having to ask. I hate to say it, but more research was required in order to write this book. The author knew the terminology, but everything else felt wrong. Like cheesy TV.

Things with Godfrey's family wrapped-up too neatly, as well. It was literally unbelievable how quickly he could just put aside what had happened to him, particularly after years of hatred from his mom and brother, and after their last encounter.

The romance. There is no build-up, no natural progression to God and Day's romantic relationship. We as readers are merely expected to understand that their years of partnership had apparently bonded them in love, yet we don't get to see any evidence of this until they proclaim their love and start using pet names. It's very abrupt, and entirely unbelievable.

In the second half of the book, once the plot had actually run its course, the main (and side) characters all take a 180 in their personalities. It comes out of nowhere, with no explanation. Our heroes went from loving, devoted, and highly possessive men, to willingly sharing each other in a foursome. Now, even if this wasn't a plot ploy (partner swapping) that I completely despise in romance novels, it made absolutely no sense in this book. Not only were our heroes possessively in love, but they had actively hated the two men they ended up having sex with until the offer was put out for the orgy. Ronowski went from being a homophobic guy that relentlessly verbally assaulted Day, to a willing party in the sex, and the last we'd seen Johnson, he had been pursuing Day, not the doe-eyed lover that joined them in the sack. None of this made sense.

It made me cold and angry. I finished this book several days ago, but had to allow my outrage to subside before I wrote the review, though I fear that some of it may have come through, anyway.

This book was definitely not for me, and I will not read another of this author's books.

Slightly Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 2019-08-10

The story was satisfying, and I liked the characters, but for me this book's downfall was the writing. There is a serious lack of scene-setting, there were countless occurrences of "I could feel", "I could smell", "I could see" etc., and while I fell for the characters, Nico sometimes read very young.

Ultimately, I intend to read the next in the series, but I'm really hoping that the author's editor helps out a bit more.

Needs Better Editing

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

Reviewed: 2019-08-10

This is the second Lucy Lennox book that I've listened to, and my feelings about this one are almost identical to the other. This author knows how to write dialogue, plot, and characters in such a way that their story pulls you in, but all of the novel's other aspects are weak, which ultimately ruins the overall experience of the book.

Scene-setting and descriptions are lacking, which is a big disappointment. I found myself focusing less on what was happening in the story, and more on attempting to picture what was occurring and where they were in relation to everything around them. It was all so vague that I never quite knew where the characters were positioned and what the space looked like. I firmly believe that this author needs a new editor, because there were far too many occurrences of "I could hear", "I could feel", and "I could see", etc.

I don't know if I'll listen to another book by this author.