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Recently, I listened to a book with a narrator so good, I upped my rating. This time, the pendulum swung the other direction. I really enjoyed Moment of Fate when I read the e-book at its release last, so I was excited to listen to the audiobook, particularly since it featured a new narrator. After listening to the sample, I jumped right in. Sadly, this version was more of a miss than a hit for me.
One of my favorite aspects of Moment of Fate as the emotion and palpable chemistry that built between Oliver and Bryan. When I saw the book on audio, I was hopeful the narrator would deliver and maybe even enhance those moments with his performance. Unfortunately his style made the narrative monotonous and unemotional, and I quickly lost interest in reliving Bryan and Oliver’s unexpected romance. The flat tone and narration also affected my other favorite feature of the book- the fun dialogue and snappy banter. Miss Stivali’s style and humor in the written version made the characters pop and come alive, but the narrator’s measured pace and detached delivery substantially muted that aspect.
So often when I pick up audio versions of books I’ve read and enjoyed, I worry the voices the narrator chose won’t match up to those I previously envisioned, but that wasn’t the case here. I thought the pacing and voices P.C. used fit the book and characters well, I just wish he’d delivered all the emotion and bright dialogue that made the book memorable for me. Although I still enjoyed the story and reliving some great moments with this couple, it simply didn’t wow me like I hoped.
*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
This is definitely a stand alone book, though it is part of the series, you don’t need to read all the books or in order.
Bryan is a musician and photographer whose life got too hectic. He had a scare that forced him to reevaluate his life choices and random sex got the ax. Oliver is a suburban boy who had resigned himself to a sexless marriage. When his intended ends up marrying someone she really loves, he decides a radical break from his old life is called for. When Bryan and Oliver meet the instant attraction simmers a long time before being acted upon and in the mean time a deep relationship based on friendship emerges.
What I loved about this book was the lovely slow burn romance, the wonderful characters, Oliver’s funny and sweet blog posts, the scorching hot smexy times, and the well crafted love story. Karen Stivali is an excellent writer and her writing flows so smoothly that the story just evolves effortlessly. I think her writing just keeps improving with each new story!
I think the way the author showed us the motivation behind Bryan’s decision was excellent – though I would have loved to see more follow up – maybe a future book? Using the blog as an entrée into Oliver’s life was also a fantastic tool and a great way for us to interact with him and his thoughts.
One thing I enjoy about Karen’s writing is the secondary characters – whether they get their own stories or not – they’re always fleshed out and feel integral to the story without overwhelming it. (We get to see Tanner and Collin, too!)
If I have any complaints about this story, it’s the predictable “we’re never going to work out so I’m leaving” before the final reunion that seems to haunt so many romances. I think these two characters were so in tune with one another and so open that it felt a little out of the blue for them to part as they did right near the end.
All in all this was one of my favorite stories from this author and I highly recommend it!
4.5 of 5 stars
The narrator PC is new to me. I listened to the sample and I thought it was OK, so while I wasn’t overwhelmed by the sample, I thought it was good enough to try.
Well… after listening to the book, I can say that PC does an okay job overall. His non-dialog is rather flat and he doesn’t do much to differentiate the characters. This is a pretty emotional book and it felt a bit uninspired to me. It was a fine way to listen to the book if you can’t read it, but I can’t say it added a lot.
3 of 5 stars
3.5 of 5 stars