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Ask, Tell

Ask, Tell Series, Book 1
Written by: E.J. Noyes
Narrated by: Abby Craden
Series: Ask, Tell Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Romance, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Captain Sabine Fleischer is a skilled and dedicated US Army surgeon deployed to a combat hospital in Afghanistan. She is also one of the thousands of troops who are forced to serve in silence because of the military's anti-gay policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)". 

Usually driven and focused, Sabine finds that battles raging both inside and outside the perimeter walls are making it more and more difficult for her to deal with her emotions. Dealing with loss and mortality, lack of privacy, sleep deprivation, loneliness, and the isolation forced on her by Don't Ask, Don't Tell are all taking their toll. Plus, her long-term relationship with a civilian back home is quickly becoming another casualty of war. 

Colonel Rebecca Keane is an enigmatic career officer who runs the surgical unit like clockwork. Well-liked and respected by those who work with and under her, she walks a fine line to preserve the military's chain of command while connecting with those under her care and supervision. Sabine knows the colonel is way off-limits but can't help fantasizing about her. Especially when she starts picking up unspoken cues - a stolen glance, a secret smile, an "accidental" brush of hands. Or is it just wishful thinking? After all, Rebecca's wedding ring shines almost as brightly as her deep blue eyes....

©2017 E. J. Noyes (P)2019 Tantor

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Fantastic!

I've been a fan of EJ for a few years now, but this was my first foray into audiobooks. Am I ever pleased that I started with this one. Abby Craden did a phenomenal job reading, her voices fit the characters perfectly and she had a very pleasing tone. Even though I had read the book previously (uh, twice actually), hearing it narrated was such a rich experience.

The story itself is beautiful, frustrating, funny, devastating, and sexy as hell. I am not normally someone who likes stories having to do with anything military related, but the MCs in this are both doctors, though, a major scene does have a battle. The spark between Rebecca and Sabine is deep and achingly real, but due to DADT they cannot act on it, also because Rebecca is Sabine's superior. The secondary characters are a lot of fun and contribute added depth to the MCs. I just cannot recommend this book enough, and their story continues with Ask Me Again, which I cannot wait to be released on audio.

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i loved it

EJ is an amazing storyteller, for her first novel she soooo knocked it out of the park, amazing amazing amazing. Abby Craden is also an amazing narrator

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  • Jlnicky
  • 2019-06-15

Wow just wow PLOT is a 10 star

Just as a preface i was once under DADT but i was drummed out with Honorable Dis. All very civilized but still booted. That being said, the situation of someones livelihood and lifestyle not being allowed to flourish is very real in the military. Its like being part of a huge family, then after everyone suddenly turn their back to you whenever you enter the room. Its just cold. Thank goodness i was young and had some attitude and figured my way back to reality. A real family doesn’t do that. Now i look at those five years and i know the military lost out, not me. I have accomplished so much.

So this book sort of hit home for me. It was very realistic in the emotional path the main character dealt with (e.g. hiding the desires, the androgenized partner name, having secrecy about your life, even the alcohol. Hell you cant even talk about your family or friends in that situation. The wedding ring was ingenious. Wish i would have thought of that.

The narrator was very good but her dulcet tones were a bit languid at times when i thought they should have held more anger or sarcasm.

The story was excellent and had a satisfying ending. I enjoyed this immensely.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Worrell
  • 2019-09-30

hard read for the right reasons, loved it!

loved this booked! I was hit by an IED in Iraq in 2003. The author has done a phenomenal job of describing the feeling and the goings on as much as a person can just short of being blown up themselves which made it a hard read, but very good.

To top it off...love this developing love story abd cant wait to start book 2.

Thank you for doing your research E.J. It means a lot

3 people found this helpful

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  • IMO
  • 2019-06-23

Great audio

When I first read this book I was impressed by the authors writing. Listening to the audio version makes the story even better.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jude
  • 2020-02-17

Simply beautiful

I had been warned but still, I will never be prepared for how sexy Abby Craden’s voice is. And she also rules in non-sexy scenes. I have to say, she might have ruined me for average narrators.

I listened to this audiobook about a month ago but couldn’t get myself to review it before now. Now that I’ve listened to the sequel – Ask Me Again –, I had to review this one first. I read the book in December 2018, and the review I wrote then is kinda pitiful, so it was no help. Maybe I just have to admit I have no words for this book. It’s a debut novel, it’s superbly written, it made me ache and cry and rejoice, both in its written form and in audio.

Captain Sabine Fleischer is a U.S. Army surgeon deployed in Afghanistan. She’s meticulous, dedicated, focused. Except when her boss, Colonel Rebecca Keane, is around. Sabine’s crush on her superior is tremendous but she won’t act on it: she already has a girlfriend at home. And there’s also that teeny-weeny matter of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). When her girlfriend leaves her, Sabine has to go through the pain and betrayal alone, not allowed to talk about it with anyone, not even her best friend Mitch. The only good thing about it is that she can now allow herself to at least dream of something happening with Rebecca, who seems to struggle as much as her with their forbidden attraction.

As I wrote in my original review, I read a lot and most of the books I read are rather well written, but some are way above the rest. This is one of those. Not in a noticeable way that would make me stop to admire a sentence, as it happens sometimes with other authors, but in a completely organic way. It’s simply so perfect you just flow with it. Add to that the more than stellar narration by Abby Craden and I am in awe.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-02-17

wow so emotional

I loved it the fact that my favorite narrator Abby is doing this is just amazing I heard about the story the book but didn't know if I wanted to read it or not but yeah I went on ahead and got this book in the sequel and it was just good I truly did enjoy it

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-01-30

Second listen, still my favorite

The title says it all. Absolutely love this book and Abby Craden's performance! Slow build romance with great insight into what DADT was truly like.

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  • AZ Desert Gal
  • 2020-01-24

Well done!

Important and well told story of military life under don't ask, don't tell. Emotionally compelling and sizzling chemistry.

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  • cobaltblue
  • 2020-01-17

Outstanding!

E.J. Noyes is fast becoming one of my new favorite authors. This is the second book I have read from her and it is outstanding. She has mastered the art of 'showing' us her characters, not just 'telling' us about them. The characters here are fully formed and the story line moves along in a measured, logical way. E.J. also is a master as some amazingly hot love scenes. I hear they can be difficult to write, but she makes them real and real to the characters progression.
The combat scene was intense, to say the least. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and it felt authentic while moving at the perfect pace.
Abby Craden has done a good job with the narration. I wish some of the mouth clicks could be edited out, but the energy of her presentation and getting us to feel we were in the main character's head with all her emotions and inner thoughts, as well as portraying other characters, was superb.
Overall, I'd highly recommend this title. I will be purchasing the sequel to this, "Ask Me Again" tonight. Can't wait!

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  • Army Vet
  • 2020-01-15

Enlist in this wonder book on love under fire!

You don’t have to be a veteran to enjoy this book. If you are a lesbian veteran, you will love this book, especially if you like romance. I thought the author captured the stress of soldiers under DADT while trying to serve their country in a combat zone, all the while bringing the human side of the relationship between two women. These women had to dance around their sexuality with subtle hints and fleeting glances all the while trying to determine if the clues to each other were worth the risk of exposing themselves as lesbians, even to each other, and worth being thrown out of the military with a dishonorable discharge. If you served before before or during “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the emotional turmoil of being a patriot and forced to stay in the closet may bring up memories of when you served.

Narrator: Abby Craden is one of the best narrators I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. She fit this series so perfect. I have been a subscriber to Audible for over 10 years and have been listening to audio books since cassette days. Craden is so good that I would listen to her read stereo instructions and actually enjoy the topic.

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  • Carolyn G. Manuel
  • 2020-01-11

Realistic Depiction of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Sabine is an Army doctor stationed in Afghanistan. She has a crush on her Commander in spite of being in a longtime relationship. When her girlfriend sends her a Dear Jane letter, she breaks and is sent home for R&R by her boss. A great depiction of the agony of navigating a lesbian relationship while on active duty. Great performance. Recommend.

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  • Mireille Murat
  • 2019-08-26

magique

j'ai tellement aimé ce livre que je l'ai lu plusieurs fois, comment l'expliquer...tout est réuni : le style, les personnages, le contexte, l'histoire d'amour... j'ai voulu tester pour la première fois la version audible, c'est très sensuel et on reste suspendu à cette voix presque érotique...je recommande vivement