Get a free audiobook

The Lightning-Struck Heart

Written by: TJ Klune
Narrated by: Michael Lesley
Series: Tales from Verania, Book 1
Length: 19 hrs and 49 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the king's wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam's 14, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At 15, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle - Knight Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the king sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or, so he thinks.

©2015 TJ Klune (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic story and incredible narration!

I loved the book and Michael Lesley brings it to life with his amazing voices!

1 person found this helpful

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

Uproariously funny!

A laugh-out-loud funny book that I absolutely devoured. I have never listened to narration that better suited the book!

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

So good!

First, and I cannot stress this enough Micheal Lesley is AMAZING! The Lightning-Struck Heart is already so great by itself but Micheal’s narration brings it to the next level. The voices, inflection, and emotions he puts into his work is everything! He IS Sam of Wilds, not to mention the way he seamlessly switches between characters never once wavering. He expertly brings Sam, Gary, Tiggy, Morgan, Ryan and every other character in the book to life. He is the perfect example of what a great narrator can do. Not to mention the fact that his ability to say half of the things that come out of these characters mouths without so much as hint of a laugh has got to be worthy of an award in and of itself. Even if I had a thousand takes there is no way I could manage it. Needless to say, I would absolutely recommend Micheal Lesley’s narration to any and everyone!

Now for the story. TJ Klue, how on earth do you come up with this stuff? Seriously, your mind must be so bloody interesting. I cannot count how many times this book had me in a fit of giggles. I may or may not have gotten quite a few looks for acting like a complete lunatic in public. Even my fiancé was asking “what’s the matter with you?” when I listened to it at home. But this book is more than funny, its genuinely enjoyable in a way that only a good book can be. Even if you removed every ounce of humor this series is still one I would want to read.

*** Full disclaimer this book DOES NOT take itself seriously. Like at all. Even when the characters are in the direst of situations, they are making jokes and screwing around. So if you are looking for something with serious drama and angst you might want to look for something else. Also there is A LOT of swearing and crude humor. The vast majority of jokes are sex related so if that’s not something you’re interested in or can handle this book may not be for you. (However, if after all that you think you might be willing to give it a try, all I can say is DO IT! I promise you won't be disappointed.) ***

Take this excerpt in which the minutes are read from a meeting of the Ryan Foxheart fan club for example. For context, Tina is the sixteen year old president of the club for which Sam dons a wig and beard to disguise himself as Mervin so he can attend.

“President Tina noted that Mervin looked more flushed then usual and wondered aloud if he had just gotten filatiated by a street whore in the back alley. Mervin responded that at least he would, and I quote “be getting some unlike Tina who couldn’t even find a street walker who would take her money.” President Tina then stated that she wouldn’t be surprised when Mervin came to the next meeting with mouth sores and an itching rash in the most private of places. Mervin replied that if that happened he would just come to her for a solution since she obviously knew so much about itching rashes in private places. President Tina called him a ridiculous cock hound and Marvin said that he had never hit a girl before but that there was always a first time. Dolores then handed out the blueberry muffins which Mervin said he was allergic to and President Tina tried to force feed him three of. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and then for the next four hours there was a discussion on Ryan Foxheart’s biceps.”

Sam has had "a heart boner" on Ryan Foxheart since the moment he first laid eyes on him but Ryan is engaged to Prince Justin who Sam "wants to protect but also punch in the face." The man who will one day be king and for whom Sam will serve as wizard. For now though, Sam is just an apprentice. One who lives in the castle with his best friends, "a hornless gay unicorn built out of rainbows and bitchiness," and "a half giant who wanted to smash everything."
Sam resigns himself to stay away from Ryan and tries to stay out of trouble. However, that all changes when Prince Justin is kidnapped by a frisky dragon who decides he wants to “hoard” him and the king sends the group on a quest to save his son.

While it is absolutely hilarious (I swear my stomach hurt from laughing on numerous occasions) this book isn’t just jokes. The characters are well rounded, lovable and messy in the best possible way. The plot is fully imagined and interesting and the romance between Ryan and Sam is frustratingly believable. I say frustrating because you will most definitely want to smack them both several times throughout the book but honestly who doesn't act like an awkward idiot around their crush? Then again I might just be projecting. Anyway... this isn't one of those romance novels where two people meet for the first time, jump into each others arms and are confessing their undying love by the end of the week. While those books have their place this is is more of a slow burn. A really slow burn in fact but the journey is an enjoyable one. There wasn't a single moment when I wasn't entertained. I am so happy I decided to get this book and I cannot say how glad I am that this is a series. These are characters are ones I don’t think I can get enough of.

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

OMG 10/10

So I haven't finished this book yet but I have to tell everyone how much fun it is! I saw a negative review of this book and knew it was for me! The wit and humor is spot on and the narrator is the absolute best!

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

Sweet Molasses

My GAWDS this book is too much. if you are of a weak constitution, your heart may give out. I laughed WAY too much listening to Michael bring the characters to life. His vocal choice beautifully complimented each of the characters. TJs overall story telling is great, my only gripe is there wasn't enough magic fighting. other than that, it was AWESOME.

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

:)

Entertaining, frequent laughing outbursts, content might be objectionable to some, but I found it hilarious

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

Wasn' t what I expected.

The book was full of foul language, as well as lewd and suggestive stories.
I thought I was buying a fantasy book of dragon lore...I got stereotype gay characters spewing profanity and lewdness. Not for me.



Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rain
  • 2015-12-23

Absolutely brilliant

I cannot say enough about this book. First, a warning; it's not for everyone. It is devastatingly funny, but the humor is sometimes crude. For me, it was quite amazing. I was constantly laughing and rewinding to my favorite parts. In over 19 hours, I never once felt like it was slow or boring. I'm doing my best to write a spoiler-free review, so it will not do the book justice.

I'm not one for warm and fuzzy relationships, nor relationships that are too easy or too anguishing. The interactions between Sam and Ryan make this relationship my favorite of all books I have ever read or listened to.

Every character was fleshed out, unique, and worked flawlessly in this story. I cared about each character, laughed at all the bad guys, and was never confused about what was going on. The details were plentiful without being too much.

The performance was phenomenal. The narrator's voices were very different, so I knew who exactly was speaking, and each matched the character perfectly. There was emotion in every word. It was not just a narration; it was a masterful performance full of emotion, laughter, and passion.

I would happily listen to anything this author and narrator ever created. I hope there is a sequel, that it comes soon, and that it has the same narrator. I will listen to this over and over again. It was more than worth the credit.

73 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon Dee
  • 2015-12-30

Best audiobook of 2015!

What made the experience of listening to The Lightning-Struck Heart the most enjoyable?

The narrator seemed to truly understand and enjoy the content so it was so much fun to listen to!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lightning-Struck Heart?

I can't even pick one! I love TJ's writing and wordplay and it was so well done by the narrator that the entire thing just tickled me!

Which scene was your favorite?

Again, not sure I could pick one but the opening scene really gets you into the style and humor of the story

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I REALLY REALLY tried!

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2015-12-13

There aren't enough stars for this...

Any additional comments?

The Lightning-Struck Heart or, as it was originally titled, Unicorn Star F**ker, is a fantastic story of love, friendship, longing, loss, and hope.

Is this funny? Yes. Yes, it is. It's hilarious. Straight up - I was obnoxiously laughing so hard and so loud for so long that I actually began to feel sorry for the people around me. Sorry they were being subjected to my overt hilarity and sorry they were not reading this magnificent and wondrous book so they too could laugh uproariously.

Does this book make your heart ache? In part. Yes, it will, a little. What can be more sad than wanting someone so desperately, but knowing you can't have him?

"...I’m sorry I made an oath. I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do. And I’m sorry that I can’t break it. But you have to believe me that it’s always been you. I promise. I promise." His voice cracked and my hands shook. "I promise, because when I look upon these stars, there is nothing I wish for more than you."

Is this just an OTT Fairy-tale on crack? No. No, it's not. Or, well, it's not only that. There are so many nuances to this. It has humor, heartache, and, most importantly, lessons to be learned about life, love and sometimes letting the things you love go even at the expense of your own heart and soul.

And, oh, the characters!

Wizard Apprentice Sam Haversford aka "Sam of Wilds" is maddening, fantastic and wonderful in all his blurty over-the-top goodness.

Sir Ryan Foxheart, is dashing and wonderful and...an asshole. But not an irredeemable asshole. Which is good.

The sidekick characters are utterly sublime! (Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, Tiggy, the half-giant, Sam's parents, Morgan and Randall the wizards, Kevin the dragon, Mama, Sam's fairy drag mother, the King, Pete, the guard...gods I could go on and on...) They all steal spotlight every time they appear on page again and again.

I *literally* loved every single minute of this.

If you are a fan of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, Top Gun, and The Princess Bride - then you will love this book. You will want to have this book's babies.

If you are a fan of T.J. Klune's, and love his characters Derrick "Bear" McKenna (BOATK), Paul Auster (TMIR), and Sandy Stewart (TMIR) - then you will love this book. You will beg for more ( by the way, T.J....MORE PLEASE!!! ) Literally.

Never fear, dear readers! You get an HEA, but it's also left open for more adventures. And, oh, how I want them. I literally want them so much. Literally.

Michael Lesley takes this funny, makes your heart ache, cracktastic fairy tale and maked it infinitely relatable to anyone who loves humor, sarcasm, sassiness, and even sadness.

This is fantastic in all senses of the word. Run, do not walk, to buy this audio!

HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. T.
  • 2015-12-24

The Go Word Is "Sam"

I love "Tell Me It's Real," but "The Lightning-Struck Heart" just took loooove to a whole other level! With best friends like Gary the hornless, gay unicorn (aka the perversion queen) and Tiggy the half-giant (who smashes and hugs with his whole heart), resigned and reluctant mentors like Morgan and Randall (respectively), a caring king and a butthole of a prince, a frustrating and sometimes stalker-y love interest (Ryan) this great book needs only one more ingredient (besides overly sexual dragons and fairy kings, though it has that, too) to make this book not just pretty awesome, but a vision of pure awesomeness almost too beautiful to put down EVER (okay, maybe that's a bit much...sort of): Sam of Wilds! With his kind heart, sassy mouth, bad sex puns and even worse jokes (love Wassa's name), and the fact that EVERYTHING wants to have sex with him, especially in front of Ryan, he makes a fabulous and fun and downright lovable main character.

And to Michael Lesley: you make this book and these characters really come alive. No other narrator that I've heard could do a more amazing job for these books and queens of sass than you!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin Smith
  • 2016-01-28

Like a Sassy Gay Princess Bride

Would you listen to The Lightning-Struck Heart again? Why?

Yes! Just pure entertainment, It's wonderfully funny, yet has it's balance in the achingly familiar longing for what you dream (but don't think you can have). It is an adventure tale that is both filled with excitement of perilous situations and the great delight of the just plain wacky ones.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lightning-Struck Heart?

There really are too many great moments to pick just one. What stands out is the sheer abundance of little moments. A line here and there, or the description of a scene or situation in the voice of the main protagonist and storyteller.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are so many scenes that I could think of, but then immediately think of others that could also be considered as a favorite. While not a scene, the relationship between the three friends (Sam, Tiggy The 1/2 Giant, and Gary The Hornless Unicorn) is so well done and complex it makes every scene between them eligible for the title of favorite.

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

It is extremely funny, and I found myself laughing out loud many, many times. But underneath the goofy situations, and sassy dialogue, is the ache of life not being like your dreams, or even easy. Characters that seem shallow and one-dimensional can open up for a moment and show their own aching heart.

Any additional comments?

A lot of "gay" fiction centers in the theme of not being accepted, by yourself or by society. It is refreshing that in this book being gay is thought of as just as valid as being straight, and not treated as anything but just another way of being.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tina
  • 2015-12-13

Awesome!

This book was exactly what i needed, I love this book I was laughing my ass off it was awesome, the narrator was great. This audiobook is Hilariously funny and enjoyable wow so must fun thanks TJ Klune and Michael Lesley for making my day. ( Warning DO NOT listen to this book outside you home because people will think you are losing your mind or high). I highly recommend it 5 star.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donald
  • 2016-04-08

Beyond the stars...

I have always enjoyed TJ Klune's work but this story has got to be one of the best that I have listened to since I began listening to audiobooks. The author's wit and writing style had me experiencing every emotion that one could possibly consider. They dynamic between Sam, Garry, and Tiggy was just awesome and the love between Sam and Ryan could be felt (physically) through the words. Adding to the majesty of the words is the excellent narrative abilities of Michael Lesley. Each character was brought to life with the differing vocals assigned to each. What an amazing talent he is! Exceptional is not nearly a strong enough adjective to describe the awesomeness of this book!!!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NJ Nubian
  • 2016-03-17

Prepare to get awkward stares

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

Absolutely! I almost gave up in the first 30 minutes because I'm thinking what nonsense is this! Are they for real? I am sooo glad I stuck with it. The reviews were fantabulous so I trudged on. By 1 hour in I was hooked! There was kerfluffle after kerfluffle and I could not stop laughing. I made the mistake of listening to the audio in public and I just didn't care. At one point it became a little awkward because I couldn't breathe from laughing so hard.

What other book might you compare The Lightning-Struck Heart to and why?

This is classic TJ Klune. But the best by far!

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene with Kevin! I played those scenes over and over again as I missed most of the scenes though my hysterical laughing.

Any additional comments?

I am not certain if I would have enjoyed this story as much without the magnificient narrator. What an absolute talent! Best narrator I have heard so far!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Riva
  • 2016-01-16

Epic and Magnificent!!

Epic and Magnificent!!! That is how I would describe this wonderful book and performance. For have not doubt, Mr. Lesley does NOT read this book; he performs it in a way that you "experience" this book. The combination of TJ Klune's imaginative, funny and poignant fantasy adventure and Micheal Lesley's amazing performance is the stuff of dreams. The story of Sam and Ryan and their marvelous Scooby gang of friends and family had me grinning from start to finish. At 19 hours you would think it would drag, but it didn't. And that is primarily due to TJ Klune's wonderful writing. He makes these characters so endearing that you can't help but get swept up in their lives. Of course there is the usual warning about listening in public. You will laugh out loud and get strange looks and wide berths. But it is so worth a little public shaming. The ending seemed to infer they may be more adventures to follow. I really, really hope there are.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K.S.
  • 2015-12-20

LOVE T.j klune

This author is absolutely amazing. I am in awe of the way his mind works. His books are serously funny mostly because of the fact that the main chacter telling the stories are sarcastic, unlucky and batshit crazy. This book is not different than his other books in that regard. It is however a lot different than the bear, otter and the kid series since this one is set in a fantazy world. The love story always seem to be the background story in the book and you do not get to know the love interest of the MC very well - he seems mostly to be "the pretty one" that he pines after due to his look. But it does not matter since i generally never listen to his books for the romance but for all the the snipy comments and impossible happenings that makes them fun to listen to. I still like the bear otter and the kid series better but this is absolutely worth the time too.

10 people found this helpful