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Since the death of his longtime partner, Caleb Maguire lives a quiet life in Australia's Victorian high country with only his dog and horses for company. Each day is the same. There are no surprises - good or bad - until a major snowstorm hits his mountain, and Caleb is called out to rescue a stranded tourist. The late-night snow brings with it a lost soul who forces Caleb to reassess his solitary life.
Paul Turner is a barista in the trendy Melbourne suburb of Carlton. He lives life totally in the moment, but a life of no commitments is about to change for this city boy. Three days is all it takes for Paul to fall hard for Caleb, and Paul returns to the city with a promise he'll be back after turning his life around...but only when all the roads are clear.
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By Ben on 01-01-16
Mediocre romance story impeded by narration
The narrator does a reasonably good job with an Australian accent, except for mixing up the most obvious difference between Australian and American speech - the pronunciation of the words with the letter A. Words like veranda, which Australians pronounce the same way as Americans, are pronounced as 'verahnda' by the narrator, while words like class which should have a soft 'ah' sound are given the American pronunciation. It's a single flaw in the accent, but as listener you become aware of how very common these words are. It seems to come up every second sentence, and it very distracting as you begin to wonder how he could make this mistake when he go the more subtle differences right. And to ponder why it is that publisher persist in trying to get Americans to narrate Australian and British books, when it is clearly almost impossible for them to do well, rather than getting an Australian or British narrator, who could easily do either accent, to narrate them.
Worse still, the narrator seems to have put so much effort into the accent, that there is virtually no attempt to capture tone. Every sentence is delivered in the same dry tone as every other. There is no attempt to distinguish between the voices of the different characters, which makes it sometimes difficult to understand which character is speaking,
The story was quite good for the first half, but then the second half goes on for way too long. This made the supposed passion between the two MCs difficult to believe, and there was little in the text to indicate that it was even experienced by both of them. One of them appears to have very little interested in the other, while the ongoing long obsession of the other is not really credible. It's not at all clear why the two have not lost interest in each other after six months. I know I had.
However, I am making an allowance, in the scoring, for the story because I expect that my engagement was so diminished by the narration. I suspect I was over-generous, though.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Morgan A Skye on 01-26-16
I just didn't buy the romance
Caleb lost his lover several years ago and has since sequestered himself in their cabin in Australia’s mountains all by himself (except for the animals). He doesn’t want to meet anyone new and seems to be happy with his life, even though he misses his lover desperately.
Paul is a party-boy who sleeps with a new guy every night. When he and his pals go to the mountains for a party he ends up lost in a snowstorm and is rescued by the reclusive Caleb. There is an instant attraction, but Caleb staves Paul off up until the last day.
When Paul leaves, Caleb’s life advice sticks with Paul – forcing him to re-evaluate himself and his goals.
Caleb is more determined than ever to remain alone and miserable. Paul texts Caleb over and over and over, but Caleb won’t let Paul in to his life. When there is another emergency, Caleb and Paul are thrown together briefly, but Caleb again rebuffs Paul – and Paul almost concedes the fight.
Paul ends up meeting the sister of the dead lover and befriends her, she pushes Paul into continuing her pursuit and ultimately coming back to the mountain to try to knock some sense into Caleb.
Caleb resists up until the very end, when he finally capitulates.
Though the above seems to give the story away – it’s obvious the two MCs end up together because this is a HEA romance and so we know eventually it has to work out, the question is how? Well… I’m not sure how.
My problem with this book is that I never felt like Caleb got over his lover and so I didn’t feel that he and Paul really stood a good chance.
I also HATED that 99% of the book the two MCs are apart and not even talking to one another.
Paul’s infatuation with Caleb felt more like him being stubborn and feeling challenged because Caleb kept telling him “no” and less like any authentic emotional bond. How could they really bond after 3 days together (where Caleb is anything but open) and months (literally) of one-sided texting.
I just didn’t buy into the romance. I almost wanted the potential sad ending that Caleb was headed toward to happen just so the miserable guy could finally find some peace!
The narration was fine – Brad Walton used some nice emotional inflections but didn’t “wow” me either. (I'm not sure he's Australian or not...)
All in all – though I was compelled to finish the story, in the end I wasn’t really pleased with the final result.
2 of 5 stars for the audiobook
1 of 1 people found this review helpful