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Cardeno C has become a favorite M/M author, but I also find his work frustrating because too many of his stories are just one good final rewrite away from excellence AND they don't get that rewrite. Also his work bizarrely comes & goes from Audible and isn't released in order.
HOWEVER, More than Everything is one of the Really good ones that keeps me coming back for more!
The performance is excellent, Ezekiel Robison's best one yet. Charlie/Chase is narrated just as the character is described without ever becoming a caricature. Scott & Adan have completely different voices and sound like the men the are. The women even sound female.
The story builds across a long period of time but keeps your attention for the whole journey. By the time all the strands are twisted together their relationship seems absolutely reasonable as well as incredibly sexy. I love how in his best books Cardeno makes the most unrealistic premises Completely viable!
More than Everything is not only dangerously hard to stop listening to, it is a book I will keep re"reading". Is it perfect? no. Is it worth 5 stars & a credit? YES!!!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to More than Everything again? Why?
Yes, I would. As emotional and angsty as it was at times, the story and the characters really drew me in and kept me engrossed throughout the book.
What other book might you compare More than Everything to and why?
Any other book in this series, they all have the same feel and narrator.
What does Ezekiel Robison bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He brought the characters to life, literally. I could always tell how each person was feeling by the tone he gave them.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
What's wrong with the title of the book?
Any additional comments?
Charlie Rhodes is in his thirties, going through the motions in life. Work, sleep, eat… he loves to dance, always has, but his love of dancing is the only love that has stayed with him through life. Charlie has loved two men, his high school sweetheart Scott, and a college lover Adan. When push came to shove, both men walked out of Charlie’s life without as much as a backwards glance. When his sister is killed, Charlie becomes the sole guardian for his young niece and nephew. In a strange twist of fate, it’s this traumatic time in his life when love reappears.
Scott Boone realized he was in love with his best friend and neighbor, Charlie Rhodes, the night of prom when instead of wanting to kiss his date; he wanted to rush home and kiss Charlie. The two make promises to each other that can only be broken at such a young, tender age. And that is exactly what happens when Scott moves to Nevada to be a closer to his little sister.
Adan Navarro is a player. He meets them, beds them, then gets up and walks away. Something is different about Chase Rhodes from the start though. Adan finds himself watching, admiring, wanting more for the first time. But when push comes to shove and Chase needs Adan to voice his feelings, he too walks out of Chase’s life.
The three points converge when Charlie moves to Nevada to care for his sister’s children after her death. The only two men he ever loved, the men that left him alone and killed Charlie’s need to be loved, roll back into his life like a tornado, threatening to destroy Charlie emotionally. It really is a small world after all when the two loves of one man’s life wind up together.
The story is told mainly through Charlie Chase Rhodes POV as he puts together a scrapbook of his life. The good, the bad, the ugly and the happy ever after Charlie feared he would never have. From the first day he looked out his bedroom window and fell hard for Scott, to the day Scott left him alone and broken hearted. Meeting Adan and going from skeptical to happy that his heart was big enough to love another man, only to be broken in half again when he too walks away. The death of his sister, one of the hardest times in Charlies life, a time that morphs into so much more when Scott and Adan walk through his front door and stake their claim, refuse to let Charlie go ever again. Oh he fights them, every step of the way, makes them prove that they love him and won’t ever hurt him again. What Scott and Adan give him is love, commitment, security and a family… it is more than everything.
Narrated by Ezekiel Robison and I really enjoy his style of storytelling. It took me a few minutes to get used to the voice he gave Charlie. He is flamboyant, full of life and energy, the kind of person you want to be around because his joy just spreads over everything. The twist on that, what really sold me on the choice of tone for Charlie was how Robison really brought Charlies pain to life after losing both men. Having the ability to convey that pain and hurt by literally bringing down Charlie’s voice much in the way CC brought the character down for a while there. Adan is the most accretive character so it made sense that Robison gave him a deeper, more commanding voice. Scott is the glue that holds them together, his tone was more neutral, and again fitting the way the character was written.
There is a good deal of angst and drama in this story; heartache and pain. But the balance is the happy times Charlie has with Scott, the two of them learning about and exploring their sexuality, together. Adan charging into Charlie’s life like a bull in a china shop, only to find temperance through Charlie. My favorite aspect of the story was the semantics of their relationship toward the end. Scott and Adan are very successful with their law firm, could afford any of the riches life has to offer. But what they want, what makes them happy is to support Charlie and the kids, create a safe place for them, become a family and build a home.
Definitely a must listen story, I’m certain it would read just as good. But the narration really brought each character to life and gave them a distinct voice. Either way, I highly recommend.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
As usual with Cardeno C you won't be disappointed with the story line and the sex is visual and hot
Where does More than Everything rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I enjoyed this one and can see myself listening to this again. Engaging story, even though it ripped my heart out halfway through. But I knew this would happen in advance (read the blurb) and so was prepared for the heartache, and absolutely loved how the threesome came together in the latter half of the book.
What other book might you compare More than Everything to, and why?
I'm always a little unsure about MMM since I can't fathom how not to be jealous of the third person and worry that someone is always a little less loved than the other pair, so I don't have many other MMM to compare to. That said, as a gay fiction novel, it was very enjoyable and as good as any other Home/Famliy book Cardeno C has written.
Did Ezekiel Robison do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?
He did - Charlie was completely different from Adan and Scott (who only very rarely sounded like each other), although I couldn't quite fall in love with Charlie's sometimes-too-whiny voice.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I would definitely read the book all in one go, maybe not listen to all in one go.
Any additional comments?
Cardeno C is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and a go-to-read/listen for me.