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Narrated beautifully by K.C. Kelly – this one punched me right in my feels.
Kim Fielding's "Brute" is a fantasy tale told from the perspective of gentle giant, Aric, known as “Brute”, who’s seven and half feet tall and been abused and mistreated since his father was hung for a thief and his mother died soon after. He went to live with an uncle who abused him terribly until he had his growth spurt. Unfortunately his growth spurt made him a bit of a freak among the people around him and he’d been further ostracized leaving him alone in a rather cruel world. Yet, even with all that misery, he does not wallow. Instead he is a thoughtful, kind, wonderful person.
After saving the life of one of the crown princes, and at terrible cost to himself, Brute is given a very important job in the King’s palace taking care of a single prisoner. The twist? He must live in the tower with the prisoner.
Gray Leynham has been harshly imprisoned for over a decade and horribly treated all because he is a seer who can predict death of those close by while he dreams at night. He has a terrible stutter and is only intelligible when he dreams of death at night.
“Your most important task will come at night, actually.”
Brute frowned uneasily, shifting his eyes quickly toward the barred door. “Night?”
“It’s quite simple. If he calls out anything in his sleep—and you’ll know he’s sleeping because the words will actually be intelligible— take note of it, then hurry off and repeat it to the guard at the door. It’d be better if you could write it down, but I suppose there’s no chance of that.”
As Brute spends time with him, treating him with the first care and kindness Gray has seen in all those years, the two develop a bond that will not be broken.
K.C. Kelly gives each character such an incredible voice and tone – it blew me away. I was so impressed with his narration – it was brilliantly done. Bravo, sir! Bravo!
I felt so deeply for the two main characters: Aric and Gray, but K.C. brings ALL of the characters to life so richly. I was woven deeply into the threads of the story, wrapped up in it until the very end.
"Why would you bring something like that on yourself?”
The answer was simple. “Because I love you.”
Though the story drags in the third quarter, it is overall so entertaining and emotional, that can be easily overlooked in my overall enjoyment.
A note for those who like a smuttier read – though they are lovers, this is definitely PG rated, kids. But I didn’t miss the sexy times at all. Kelly brings such a depth to his narration that I was engaged to the end.
Highly recommended for all, but fantasy lovers especially.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
4 stars for the book, 5 stars for the narration, 4.5 stars overall! This was an excellent listen!
Just from those first moments of the audiobook sample, I knew it would be a hit for me. K.C. Kelly did a gorgeous job narrating "Love, Like Water," so I had the utmost confidence that he would kill this one. And he did. With a rumbling bass for Brute and a perfect stutter for Gray, the narrator nailed it.
I happen to have a tender spot for stutterers, so listening to K.C. Kelly narrate Gray had me almost in tears. I come from a long line of stutterers. My father, brother, and grandma all stutter, but my brother's stutter is by far the most pronounced, affecting his daily life. Listening to Gray try to get out his words really moved me, and the narrator did a perfect job getting that intonation down-pat. I think K.C. Kelly might be known for this because he is also the narrator of "Ethan, Who Loved Carter," which also features a stutterer.
I also sussed out the narrator's home country from the way he gives many of his characters a New Zealand accent (I'm not that good, I knew it was Australian-ish sounding and then I looked it up!). I loved the range of accents and voices from Mr. Kelly. He did such a fabulous job giving this story character and body.
The story itself was also incredibly lovely. Brute is a tall, ugly, kind-hearted man who has been mistreated since childhood, and Gray is a prisoner, a condemned witch and traitor. The way they are thrown together and the way the romance develops slowly over time was really well done. I love slow burn romances, and this story really allowed things to happen organically between Brute and Gray.
Beware readers, this is a VERY angsty read. Brute was knocked down time and time again, and it was painful at times to read about the gentle giant being abused. Also, Gray's story is one that will break your heart. This story is also very light on the sex content, so strictly erotic romance readers, be forewarned.
My only complaint is that, at times, the story's pace dragged a little. There were many quiet, slow moments where nothing in particular happened, and I found myself growing a tad impatient in the middle of the book. However, the magic, the romance, the beautiful and careful way that the story was written, all make up for any faults. This was a book that will stay with me for some time.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Relistened to this again. KC Kelly is the perfect narrator for this story. I love it to bits. I get carried away with Brute on his life's story, and particularly the love between him and Grey. An absolute favourite of mine.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about this story?
if you are told you are stupid and useless and treated like dirt for over 20 years you are bound to believe it.. but just a few small things soon show you otherwise.. young Warrens friendship and Alice's 'love' where wonderful.. of course I could say more but am not into spoilers. all the way to the bitter end Brute could not see the man he truly was..
What about K.C. Kelly’s performance did you like?
on first listening, I felt Mr Kelly's voice was slow and emotionless... how wrong I was. his voice was perfect for the character of Brute, and really brought the character to life.
Any additional comments?
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. even aimlessly riding round in my car just to continue listening, though I think this is a stand alone story, I hope we have not heard the last of the characters, how does Alice fair and young Warren? and of course I would like to think we can revisit the main characters to see where life leads them next.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful