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I loved the premise of this book – a group of seven cabins on the Jersey Shore, LGBT-friendly. This particular week, all seven cabins are filled with an eclectic group of gay men. The operation is overseen by Cal Cozzi, assisted by his able and horny assistant, college student Connor.
While listening, it was hard to keep track of all the new arrivals and I found it easier to write them down. If you can’t, though, no worries. At the end of the first chapter, Connor and Cal review all seven cabins and their inhabitants.
Eclectic is the perfect word for these men and as they form acquaintanceships, friendships, and even romantic relationships, I found depth in these characters.
There were over-the-top moments, such as when the married couple freak out because their son is bringing home Julie (who, for the record, disappears completely without another mention).
The four-way (not in the way you think) between the college students was cringe-worthy. Way over the top in the silliness and miscommunications. I get it – trust is an issue. It got to be a bit much.
Another thing that niggled was how Cal met Michael. Michael shouldn’t have been walking around less than an hour after the ‘incident’. I’m not saying every law enforcement procedure needs to be followed, but the lack of care in applying them was glaring.
Finally, the physical descriptions of the men. Sure, it’s fun to hear every piece of clothing they are wearing – colour and all. It was the physicality of the men. I didn’t count, but I think ‘pectoral’ was used at least 10 times in the first two chapters. I get it – most of the men are buff. I don’t need the constant repetition.
Okay, on to what I loved.
Cal. All is not as it seems, but his desire to create a safe space for his guests is admirable. For him, meeting the young Michael is a turning point, and I love the growth in his character.
The mysterious hunk and Sean the novelist. They both have significant insecurities and huge baggage, and yet they work through it.
I adored Arthur the clumsy trainwreck. Anyone who has stumbled – physically or emotionally – through life – can relate to him. His story was unusual, his happy ending uncertain, but wow, when it came? Blew me away.
Finally, there are Mark and Tim. I don’t want to ruin their story, but by the time Mark is introduced in the first chapter, it is clear what his destiny is. And I’m tearing up now as I write this, even more than a week after listening to it. Be prepared – it’s an emotional wallop and a reminder of the power of love when all else is lost.
Chase Johnson is an amazing narrator. There are more than thirteen male voices and he made each distinct. This was important because there were many, many changes in point-of-view. Without the visual of a page break, it was sometimes difficult to orient myself. The cute transitions when one person saw another and the POV shifted is something I haven’t seen very often.
I went back and forth between a 3 or an 4. 3 because of all the irritations which often pulled me out of the story. In the end, I settled for an 4. Between Mark & Tim’s tale and Cal & Michael’s, there was some great storytelling, and providing so many happy and satisfying endings must have been a challenge.
But I got what I had hoped for – a special romance.
Audio review Chase Johnson is new to me narrator, but I loved this performance. I loved all the different voices for each character and the emotion he brings forth.
Where do I even begin? Bouncing back is the story of a resort called Cozzi Cove, run by Cal Cozzi. It Is also about the guests for this summer's season as well. In one Cabin we have Mario( remember him from infatuation?) and his twin Harold. We have a wealthy Gay couple whose son is coming for a visit as well. We have an OCD writer, a porn star, A man on his deathbed, a young waiter on vacation and a reclusive middle-aged gamer and a mermaid. ( I will let you read and see if the Mermaid is real.) And we have some regulars as well. Cal's sister Taylor, Carla, who runs the seafood restaurant in town and Tommy that owns the bar. Quite a cast of characters. The story is like love boat on land. There is a lot of different things happening and each romance is either funny or serious or a bit sad. I will warn you there will be tears so grab some tissue.
I'm not going into detail about any coupling as that would be spoilers so I will let you grab a copy to see what all goes on. I will say each storyline is fabulous. Though this isn't a mystery, I sat on the edge of my chair wondering who was going to fall for who and if it was all going to be happy endings.
If you like a lot of angst, some humor, love, sadness,(be sure to have a couple of boxes of tissue handy and some hot sensual man-sex I highly, highly recommend this book. I loved all of the Joe Cosentino's books, but I think this is my favorite to date! I am ready for book 2!