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Open Road is a dual POV New Adult story that begins with a devastating breakup leading to much wallowing, excessive drinking and a hell of a lot of self indulgence from Angus in the first part. Then best friend Reece (who secretly pines for Angus) comes to the rescue and take Angus on a (what ends up being a cross country) road trip and it switches to a best friends to lovers story in the second part. I far preferred the second part.
I hated the Brad character, and since we are only treated to seeing Brad's mean, discourteous and downright a**hole behavior I honestly couldn't understand how Angus mourned the relationship so deeply. I think if I had been able to see Brad as less of a cartoon villain, it might have made Angus's spiral into depression more understandable.
Regardless, once the road trip starts I began to love the story. I loved how O'Shea makes each of the visited cities (Las Vegas, New Orleans, Nashville, and New York City to name a few) an integral part of Angus and Reece's exploration of their friendship and romance.
This is a very tender, slow burn romance with just a little angst once you get past the wallowing in the first part. I might even classify it as "fluffy".
“But I would never do anything to jeopardize you and me unless I really thought something amazing could come out of it.”
Angus leaned in and gave Reece a long, slow kiss. “Yeah. I think you and I could be pretty amazing, don’t you?”
“I think we already are.”
For those who don't like a lot of sex in their romance novels, or are looking for only a light steam story, this fits that criteria well.
The narration has distinctive, separate character voices all done well with consistency...I just unfortunately did not like a single character voice Robbie D uses or his narration on the whole. I found some of his pronunciations frustrating, I didn't like the almost Thurston Howell III drawl for some characters, and I thought Angus sounded almost prepubescent, which was off-putting to say the least.
Overall, I wouldn't say the narration necessarily was bad, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I would definitely give Robbie D another try if he records in the future, but for the Open Road audiobook I'd absolutely recommend exercising caution before purchasing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Summer is such a good time to read “road trip” books! It reminds me of all the road trips I’ve taken and makes my feet itchy to go again!
This is one AMAZING road trip wherein our MCs hit a ton of cool places and in each place they grow closer together and heal.
The story starts with Angus and his boyfriend breaking up after what must have been months if not years of denial on Angus’ part. The coup de grace is that the boyfriend dumps Angus on his 30th birthday for a 22 year old and immediately gets engaged, when he and Angus had been together for 10 years with no such engagement.
Luckily Reece, Angus’ BFF is there to help – but not before Angus’ life spirals totally out of control.
To help clear the air and get Angus back to enjoying life, Reece suggests a road trip and off they go!
On the road Angus heals a bit and Reece finally admits some feelings he’s been holding back.
MJ O’Shea writes really well and she picked parts of the US that should resonate with everyone. It was fun seeing how the boys changed at each new stop. I also loved that they didn’t really bicker and we didn’t get loads of “car conversations”. She explains that away by having Reece do work while Angus is driving.
I liked that Angus’ alcohol thing wasn’t a thing… and that Reece recognized this too.
The romance is a slow burn but Ooo la la when they do begin to explore it’s very hot. My fav is probably in Vegas – those boys were on fire on the dance floor!
I really enjoyed this and had a lovely warm feeling of happiness when it was over.
4.5 of 5 stars
This didn’t work for me. At all.
I was psyched to see this in audio format because I really enjoyed the book. I’d not heard of the narrator, and I was a bit worried after listening to the sample. But… there was enough there that I liked that I thought I’d give this a try.
Unfortunately, the voice the narrator, Robbie D, chose for Angus (which you can hear in the sample) doesn’t get any better than that. It’s really high pitched and almost feminine sounding and YOUNG. He’s turning 30 not 13! I couldn’t get the impression out of my head of a young girl instead of a 30 year old man and it made me a bit skeeved out.
I liked his non-Angus voice, especially the non-dialog part. Some of the other – secondary characters and sometimes Reece’s dialog was a bit cartoonish and that bothered me, but it wouldn’t have made me dislike it. Angus’ voice, made this practically unlistenable.
I can’t recommend this. But… give the sample a listen. If you like the book (which you should!) and you don’t mind Angus, I think the rest of this was satisfactory as a listening experience.
2.5 of 5 stars
Overall 3 of 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful