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I really like Iggy Toma's narration in this - he gives a solid performance, I like most of his character voices, and he sucked me into the story making me ignore the outside world completely. Which is a good thing. No matter what my boss or co-workers might tell you.
Second Hand is one of those stories that has a slow build-up to the romance. Mainly because main character Paul is one of the most clueless characters I've seen portrayed in a long time. Paul is also what I call a downer dude or an Eeyore. He's constantly dragging about lamenting his life and the choices he's made. It's hard for me to like a character like that very much.
Conversely, El, for all his chain-smoking and brusque ways, was a delight to get to know. The problems he faces with his family situation felt real, and were, I thought, handled well.
I like that the story has a slow build up to their relationship. I like the time it takes Paul to realize, and then comes to terms with, liking El in a romantic way.
What I didn't like is the ex-girlfriend and the drama she brought to the story. Whenever she showed up I was livid while listening; practically boiling over with rage.
I also didn't like the POV. Paul's POV is in first person while El's is third person. It was weird. I'm not sure if the weirdness was lessened or exasperated by the narration. I just know I didn't particularly care for it. It wasn't a deal breaker, but it did feel like two different stories mashed up into one book. Which, I guess if the two authors were penning different portions that makes sense, but I would have though it would come together more cohesively.
At the end of the day, though, it was an enjoyable listen with a sweet HEA and fans of Tucker Springs shouldn't be disappointed with this installment of the series.
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What made the experience of listening to Second Hand the most enjoyable?
I didn't know what I was in for when I popped this in. I guess, based on the cover and blurb, I expected that it would be an ordinary, run-of-the-mill story about two guys falling for each other. That's not what I got, at all. It is a comedic delight. There were so many laugh-out-loud moments peppered through this movie, I swear I must have lost five pounds just from laughing so hard. It's such an enjoyable, refreshing, delightful story, that I just can't get the story and characters out of my head.
What other book might you compare Second Hand to and why?
I have no idea. Most of the M/M books I've read or listened to are paranormal romance, science fiction, or straight up drama. This was a comedy, unlike any I've read or heard so far.
Have you listened to any of Iggy Toma’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This was the first one I'd heard from this performer, though he sounds very familiar. The first half-hour or so, I thought this was the same person who did the Camp Half Blood/Percy Jackson books.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Yes. If I described it, I'd be spoiling it and that's just wrong. So I'll hint and say it involves a cell phone and ring combination.
Any additional comments?
I see this is part of a series. I don't know if they focus on the same characters, but if they do, then they are a must-buy.