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Normally I start my reviews with the story and move to narration near the end. This time I want to start with Michael Pauley and his amazing performance. I have heard a few cringe-worthy narrations where the narrator tries to convey emotions – a person orgasming (man or woman), anger, delight, or even crying. Often it is over-done and hackneyed.
Michael Pauley never has that problem. He always hits the perfect note, conveying the story with strong and potent emotions while never pulling me out of the world the writer has created. Only at the end of the audio did I reflect on how unobtrusive and smooth the performance was. Michael Pauley is one of my favorite narrators, but this performance was him at his very best.
So, now that I’ve waxed poetic about Michael, I’ll move on to Lucy and Sloane. I found Lucy through word-of-mouth and Sloane through an amazing blurb. I took a chance on each of them – buying and listening to their first audiobooks. The rest was history. I buy their audios the day they come out.
Book 1 in the Twist of Fate series was “Lost & Found.” I really enjoyed the audio and fell in love with Bennett and Xander. Revisiting their love story and seeing how Lucky is flourishing now the two men have adopted him was wonderful. “Safe & Sound” is a stand-alone, but it is always nice to see old friends. Which brings me to Aiden – Bennett’s best friend. At the end of book 1, it was clear there was more to his story, so I was thrilled to learn why he is the way he is. As with all of the characters from these authors, there is more than first meets the eye.
Let me pause and say this is not an easy listen. I thought I had some idea but…well, it’s a good thing I had tissue handy. And every time I thought I was good, there would be some little twist I didn’t see coming that would break my heart just a little bit more.
Then there would be a moment of great levity and I would laugh out loud.
I expect some angst when I dive into a book by one of these women and maybe I should have known I would get a double dose. But don’t let that deter you. Ash’s and Aiden’s stories needed to be told and I’m so glad I listened. There were some really tough issues addressed, including why Ash so desperately needs help, but these things never felt heavy-handed.
I also want to say that I loved the secondary characters (the good ones, anyway, although I guess it’s a good sign that I really hated the bad guy – I mean really hated – and thought of all the men I know who are like him).
Emily, Ash’s boss, and Chance, Aiden’s brother, were integral to the story. And although you don’t have to be a geek or Trekkie, the references are more fun if you are.
But as often as I cried and despite how often my heart came close to breaking, Ash and Aiden did get their happy ending. Not that I had my doubts – this is a romance – but I wasn’t sure how much more I could take.
This book is near the top of my list of favorites because I just didn’t want to stop listening. (Okay, I listened to it in one day). I didn’t want the story to end and in a way it hasn’t because Book 3 is nicely set up. And since Jake has always been a favorite and enigmatic character, all I can say is, Lucy and Sloane – I’ll hold on, but please don’t make me wait too long.
Reviewed on Rainbow Gold Reviews
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I have cryed, smiled, gotten so mad and have finally got through this book. This book has so many ups and downs and twists. There's nothing I can say about this book this is one that you just have to read for yourself to know how amazing it is.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The reviews for this title, specifically the narration, amaze me. Unfortunately it has to be the worst performance of a book I've heard, so much so that I can't even fairly judge the merits of the story as it was so negatively impacted. The narrator veers between sounding like he's about to burst into tears and robotic, the inflections and pace completely off the mark. I'm afraid I will have to abandon this audiobook and try reading the print version instead. It sounds like this narrator has done other titles but I'm sorry to say I will have to avoid them.
I felt like I walked every step with Ash and Aiden. Looking forward to reading the next collaboration. Well narrated.