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M. N.

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  • One Man's Trash

  • The Heretic Doms Club, Book 1
  • Autor: Marie Sexton
  • Sprecher: John Solo
  • Spieldauer: 12 Std. und 2 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Geschichte
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

After four tours in Afghanistan, Warren Groves couldn’t settle into civilian life. For the last 12 years, he’s survived by working odd and often illegal jobs for some of Denver’s less fortunate. His personal life is equally unsatisfactory. He can barely remember the last time he had sex, let alone the last time he got to use somebody hard and rough, the way he likes. Fate intervenes when a favor for a friend leads him to a pretty, young rent boy named Taylor Reynolds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intense and fearless writing, excellent narration

  • Von Betti Gefecht Am hilfreichsten 22.03.2019

You don't know what you're getting into.

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
3 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 10.07.2018

This review contains spoilers for the novel.

I know that putting trigger warnings, etc on books/audiobooks that are being sold isn't a thing, but this is one of the books (just like the other one by Marie Sexton I listened to) that would've profited from it.

It contains abusive sibling incest, gang rape, and Stockholm Syndrome. Some of these things are semi-explicitly retold by the survivor. There's also an instance of withheld information that *could* have resulted in an STI or STD transmission, thus rendering the following sexual encounters less than consensual since informed consent to not using protection couldn't have been given.

The other element I would've liked to know about in advance since it's not a "mainstream" kink, is the watersports. And no, I don't mean the athletic kind, I mean the one with bodily fluids. I have no issues with the kink or with people who enjoy it. However, it doesn't float my own boat, and knowing in advance that it was going to be a graphic part of this story would've stopped me from buying or listening to it.

All of this has pretty much convinced me not to trust this author again. While I enjoyed the other work by them and found it to be respectful of survivors of sexual assault*, the other one, too, had too graphic scenes of sexual abuse of a minor at the hands of an older, male relative. What is it with this author and the abusive incest???

*I can't say that this book, One Man's Trash, isn't respectful of the diversity of how survivors deal with their trauma. I didn't personally find it lacking in that department, since all of Taylor's coping mechanisms are rightfully questioned and criticised for being unhealthy and self-destructive.

If, with all of these warnings/information you still want to give it a go, you definitely should. The performance by John Solo is absolutely solid and one of the few redeeming qualities this book had for me, warranting the only 5-star rating I can give this title.

  • Better

  • Autor: Jaime Samms
  • Sprecher: Randy Fuller
  • Spieldauer: 8 Std. und 33 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Sprecher
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Geschichte
    4 out of 5 stars 2

After filing charges that put his abusive ex-Dom behind bars, Jesse Turbul relocates halfway across the country, hoping to escape his past - but, of course, it's never that easy. When Jesse meets third-year law student Aadon at the library where he works, their mutual attraction is instant and obvious. Despite the sparks, they just can't seem to make it work. Aadon is mired in guilt over his inability to help his older brother, damaged by events far too similar to Jesse’s past. Jesse is stuck in his own desperate wish to forget the painful shadow that continues to threaten him.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Thoroughly underwhelming

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 10.07.2018

Thoroughly underwhelming

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
3 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
3 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 10.07.2018

This review contains mild spoilers for some things that happen in the book but nothing too revealing.

It's jarring from the start that the limited POV switches in the middle of the paragraph from one main character to the next. One sentence, you're privy to the thoughts and emotions of character A, and in the next sentence, you hear how character B is feeling about it. It's confusing and it threw me out of the story several times. When you do alternating POV (of which I'm a fan) stick to ONE point of view per scene or chapter - don't switch right in the middle of a paragraph.

The love story wasn't terribly interesting to me. I liked that there was tension and that the relationship wasn't an easy, magic fix to Jesse's problems. I also liked that right after victim-blaming Jesse, Aadon felt bad for doing it and later apologised properly for what he did. However, I didn't feel the spark between these characters.

Jesse's best friend Sarah comes across as controlling and overbearing and despite all attempts at explaining and justifying her protectiveness, the reader/listener can't really help disliking her - even when they're hell-bent on liking female characters on principle, the way I am. It only gets worse that, near the end, it's revealed that she's been in love with her gay best friend all this time, turning her into the worst cliché of a "fag hag".

As for the narrator. He's got a nice voice, and he certainly attempted to distinguish the characters, but I found Aadon's occasional slips into what sounded like a Southern drawl more annoying than anything else - but that's purely a personal opinion and I'm sure there are plenty of people who'll enjoy that.

What I did find slightly jarring is that more than once you can hear background noises in the recording, as if the narrator has been shifting around a lot while recording the story. I recognise that a lot of indie audio books are home made in every way, and being an amateur narrator myself, I know about the difficulties of finding a sound proof place to record on top of giving a solid performance. However, this is a performance that is being marketed and sold, and there are plenty of examples of indie productions where this isn't an issue.

I'm sorry I can't give this audio book (and this story) a better rating, but in my opinion, a lot of people will be better served listening to something else for 8.5h than this one.

  • New York Christmas

  • Autor: RJ Scott
  • Sprecher: Sean Crisden
  • Spieldauer: 3 Std. und 28 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Sprecher
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Geschichte
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

Seven years down the road, Chris is licking his wounds after being asked to leave the private school where he was teaching. He has no job, no money, and has to rely on his friend, Amelia, for the job and a room to live in. He needs a freaking Christmas miracle to make this season anything other than a total loss. Then Daniel comes back into his life, and suddenly everything seems possible. Not only is Daniel still the man Christian wants more than anything, but this time Chris may well actually tell Daniel how he feels.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Worse the second time

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 06.12.2017

Worse the second time

Gesamt
2 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
2 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
2 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 06.12.2017

I'm sorry but I cannot recommend this audiobook. Its only redeeming quality would be its shortness, but considering that it'll cost you full price regardless....

In my opinion, Scott isn't the most skilled writer, and there's a lot more plot crammed into this story than it needs. The main drama just about works for it, but adding some more angst towards the end just to give the other main character his own share of drama just falls flat.

Sean Crisden, unfortaintely, also isn't the most skilled narrator. He puts on a few voices and they're all nowhere near as nice as his actual tone of voice. The mild variation he does for narration and one of the characters sounds good, every other character voice grates -- especially those for female characters.

I listened to this twice, as the title suggests, once last year and then again this year - because for some reason I'd thought that I had only imagined how bad it had been.

If you love RJ Scott or enjoy Sean Crisden's readings, I'm sure you'll like this one.

  • Chaser

  • Autor: Rick R. Reed
  • Sprecher: John Solo
  • Spieldauer: 7 Std. und 8 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Sprecher
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Geschichte
    1 out of 5 stars 1

Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can't help but stare, even if he does make an ass of himself. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond with a dick that's just right. (They met in the bathroom - of course he looked!) But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Eh.

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 05.04.2017

Eh.

Gesamt
1 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
1 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 05.04.2017

I didn't have too high hopes from the get-go, and I'm glad I didn't.

The characters are pretty one-dimensional. Caden's only character development is when he realises that he's basically just as shallow as his friend Bobby, albeit about different physical traits, while Kevin doesn't actually have any kind of development except for getting somewhat more confident the fitter he gets.

Which is actually a hell of a lot fatphobic. Never mind that the word "fat" is continously associated with being undesirable and disgusting, one of the main characters also feels so uncomfortable in his own, chubby skin that he goes and starts to work out (in secret!) to get fitter and surprise his hot new almost-boyfriend.

I was hoping this story would express that being chubby or big or fat is not a bad thing at all, and that people who don't have pecs and butts of steel are just as beautiful and valuable as those who are ripped. What the story boils down to instead is that anyone who's attracted to big guys (or gals) is just trying to prove a point, or has some weird type that they'll overcome once they find true love.

This is not a book I can recommend, and given that the author has written more titles that lead me to believe that one (or more) characters is big in the beginning, I'm defintiely going to avoid any further works by them because this one disappointment is more than enough for me, thanks. I'd much rather read stories where no one pretends to be inclusive of big people only to turn around and laugh in their faces.

  • The Backup Boyfriend

  • Boyfriend Chronicles Series, Book 1
  • Autor: River Jaymes
  • Sprecher: Marc Bachmann
  • Spieldauer: 8 Std. und 37 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Sprecher
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Geschichte
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Professionally, Dr. Alec Johnson has almost reached his goals. As this year's recipient of a humanitarian award with his ex, Dr. Tyler Hall, Alec's work with the homeless is about to be recognized. Unfortunately, his personal life sucks because now he has to attend several events alongside Tyler - with his ex's new boyfriend in tow. In an attempt to lift his mood and break out of his rut, Alec purchases a motorcycle he has no idea how to start.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Could've benefitted from a different narrator

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 05.04.2017

Could've benefitted from a different narrator

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
3 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 05.04.2017

This wasn't half bad, actually! I did enjoy the story, but I'm also a big fan of fake relationships, so that ought to be kept in mind.

I was expecting half of the story to be about Dylan freaking out about his sexuality, but I was pleasantly surprised when that was his smallest concern. I would've liked to learn more about his background - or Alec's, for that matter - but they had more than enough going on with their relationship problems to be focussing on the past more than they did.

The characters are still interesting and three dimensional enough to keep the story entertaining. The sex scenes are way hot (especially since no ridiculous euphemisms were used in the writing of this story!), so that was a plus!

I'm not particularly interested in listening to the sequel, though, which has a lot to do with the narrator, unfortunatley.

Marc Bachmann's voice is nice enough but the way they kept over-emphasising every other word was highly distracting, and eventually annoying. I'll have a go at the sample before making a final decision, but by now I'm biased against him, unfortunately. Maybe when some more time has passed :)

Overall it's a solid story with good sex scenes. Anyone who enjoys fake dating stories, and some nice pining and denial will definitely enjoy this.

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  • Between Sinners and Saints

  • Autor: Marie Sexton
  • Sprecher: John Solo
  • Spieldauer: 10 Std. und 12 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Sprecher
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Geschichte
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Levi Binder is a Miami bartender who cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way, but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely worth listening to!

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 05.04.2017

Definitely worth listening to!

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 05.04.2017

I've been in for a positive surprise with this! I didn't expect this to be so respectful towards survivors of sexual assault, nor towards religious groups that condemn homosexuality.

And yet.

While I could've done without the semi-graphic description of Jaime's childhood trauma (sexual abuse by an older, male relative), and bearing in mind that I am not a survivor of sexual abuse/assault myself, I thought the way the author handled the way Jaime's slowly coming to grips with his past, and carefully testing his boundaries while learning to trust others and himself (!!) was well done.

In Levi's case there's a lot of bigotry and bias he has to deal with, as well as internalised homophobia and self-hatred (even though he's not aware of it). The way he learns to accept his family and himself, and be accepted by them in return is seriously well done, while the whole subject of being religious while homosexual is tackled - in my opinion - respectfully. Levi's approach to religion is much like my own, and it was refreshing to have a homosexual character who's (kind of) religious and not tearing themselves up over it. Levi already made his peace with his sexuality and his religion - it's everyone else that still needs to catch up.

Both characters, and various of the minor characters, develop and progress over the span of the story, and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. This book left me satisfied with the narrative and the characters, which has rarely happened in recent explorations of gay romance novels.

The steadfast absence of ridiculous euphemisms, and over the overall quality of the writing is yet another bonus weighing in favour of this story.

I deducted one star because of a handful of (more or less brief) moments where I felt the author could've done a better job with how certain themes are represented.

One slightly spoilery warning at the end of this review:

In one scene, Levi and Jaime sleep in the same bed (at this stage they're friends), and Levi masturbates while watching a Jaime sleep - which is all kinds of icky all by itself in regards to consent, but especially horrifying when you consider Jaime's childhood trauma. This is one of the reasons why this story couldn't have earned five stars.

  • When All the World Sleeps

  • Autor: Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock
  • Sprecher: Greg Tremblay
  • Spieldauer: 12 Std. und 11 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Geschichte
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so; he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper's house - with Kenny inside it - after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Eh.

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 15.02.2017

Eh.

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
2 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 15.02.2017

I don't even have much to say. The story falls kind of flat. For my liking, the relationship between Bell and Daniel developed too quickly, or rather not believably. I was waiting and hoping for something to tug on my emotions but despite the authors' efforts, it just didn't come through.

I'm sure others have different experiences with the story. There's definitely a lot of angst in it, and Bell tries to give as much comfort to Daniel as he can.

Part of what bothers me is how BDSM is displayed in this story. Neither of the protagonists really knows what they're doing, all the while refering to it as "kinky shit" etc. It just casts a bad light on BDSM in general and that makes me really uncomfortable. While it's clear that neither of them really knows what they're doing, and I feel like neither did the authors. If they turn out to be well renowned genre authors for BDSM, then ... well. They really should know better than to leave the reader/listener with the impression that BDSM is "kinky shit" that people use to give themselves undeserved and/or too harsh punishments while shirking responsibilities. Hence only 2 stars for the story. The reader, Greg Trembley, did an excellent job, so he deserves the 4 stars. The fact that I don't enjoy the drawl of Bell, or the whiney quality to Daniel's voice isn't his fault.

  • An Unlocked Heart

  • Collars & Cuffs
  • Autor: K. C. Wells
  • Sprecher: Nick J. Russo
  • Spieldauer: 10 Std. und 4 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Sprecher
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Geschichte
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Since the death of his submissive lover two years ago, Leo hasn't been living--merely existing. He focuses on making Collars & Cuffs, a BDSM club in Manchester's gay village, successful. That changes the night he and his business partner have their weekly meeting at Severinos. Leo can't keep his eyes off the new server. The shy man seems determined to avoid Leo's gaze, but that's like a red rag to a bull. Leo loves a challenge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unlocking the mystery of ambiguous settings

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 10.02.2017

Unlocking the mystery of ambiguous settings

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 10.02.2017

Overall I enjoyed this story a lot. Nick Russo is one of the better readers out there, which is part of the reason why I picked this.

I won't say much about the plot because you get what you see in the summary. There are enough twists and turns to make it interesting throughout the whole story, but not too much to overdo it on the drama. I shan't comment on the BDSM part of it because I'm not in the livestyle myself. I can tell, however, that it's a much healther depiction of a BDSM relationship that other works of fiction on the market. *cough*50Shades*cough*

Something I gratefully noticed: No weird euphemisms for or during sex scenes. I could do with less of the "tumescend" and "burgeoining" but at least all body parts are called by their proper (sexy) names and there are no analogies to fire hoses, natural phenomena, etc.

I do have a few problems with this story though. Not bad enough that it made me stop listening, so that's a good sign, but: Right at the beginning, the author (rightfully) engages in a bit of criticism against "50 Shades" of which I highly approve. All the more baffling then, that the Dom character, Leo, then goes and is a manipulative prick in the first chapters of the story. His behaviour is bordering on stalking, he abuses his power as club owner/dom/master over a club member who's a sub to get personal, private information about a man on whom he's been crushing for a while and has been on exactly one date. Let's not forget to mention that, at the end of that date, he coerces Alex to kiss him in the car even though Alex is scared that anyone might see and tell his parents. (Spoiler: A totally justified fear because someone DOES see and then try to blackmail him, which is where we get to the part where Leo abuses his power over Alex' friend to gain personal information. If I remember correctly, Leo never even apologises to Alex for making him kiss him despite Alex' hesitation ...................)

There are a few more small incidents like that where Leo, because he believes he has the right to make these decisions for the shy, introvert Alex, just acts on behalf of Alex. It's always justified, after the fact, when we learn from Alex that he, after initial hesitation and reluctance is grateful that Leo took charge.

It gets better once their relationship develops more. Alex becomes more confident and they have proper conversations about their relationship and everything it entails.

I am able to overlook the whole part where sex is equated with penetration and that one remains a virigin until they've either had someone else's penis inside their body (but mouths don't count, of course ...*eyeroll*) or has put their own penis into another person's body (again, mouths excluded). Still, someone kill the concept of virginity and how you need to have someone's penis inside your body (or put yours into theirs) to "get rid of" or "lose" it. There are enough authors out there who know better already, and Wells would do well to learn from there. (Or maybe she has. The book's from 2013 after all. Maybe in one of the more recent works there's a change there.)

Last but not least, if I hadn't looked up the author I never would have believed that this was written by a Brit. It's entirely possible that K.C. Wells had to have this changed so an American audience will understand everything, but to someone who expects a story that's well and truly settled in a Britsh context, it's jarring when there are an overwhelming amount of Americanisms and general absence of British slang, etc. Nick J. Russo might not be the best choice to read this but I can't even be upset about this because until I was at least half an hour in, I didn't even realise that this was supposed to be set in the UK. As it is, I'm better off pretending that this is an American town called Manchester that's trying hard to copy it's British pal (and failing miserably).

All in all I'm more than ready to give some of the other novels in this series a go, despite my misgivings about this one.

  • Beneath the Stain

  • Autor: Amy Lane
  • Sprecher: Nick J. Russo
  • Spieldauer: 16 Std. und 37 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Sprecher
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Geschichte
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers - and their penchant for making good music when they weren't getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends - especially Grant Adams - made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It hurts - but in a good way

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 02.02.2017

It hurts - but in a good way

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 02.02.2017

In good old Amy Lane fashion, this is a multi-layered story about growing up, finding yourself and finding love in the process. It's easy to relate to Mackey, or Trav, or even Grant, and that's why this story hurts a lot but also makes you happy when the characters are happy.

It's especially easy to fall in love with Grant the way Mackey did because Nick J Russo just gives him the sexiest little drawl. It always blows me away how versatile Russo's voice is and it really shows in this story again. So many characters and it's easy to tell them apart just from the cadence of Russo's voice, or the accent he bestows upon them.

As ever, there's some cis sexism, and some internalised misogyny only gay men are capable of in the story and language but overall Amy Lane is still one of the authors I trust to bring some diversity into her plots and to make male characters the kind that will stick up for women and - at least to some degree - question and challenge their own privilege.

Some of the sex scenes or sexually loaded scenes are packed full of the kind of language that makes me laugh more than it turns me on but I suppose that's par for the course. My all time favourite quote: "His cock lit up like a solar flare." ... that's got to hurt, but at least you'll be able to see in the dark, right? All the more credit to Russo for keeping me in the story regardless (and for not letting his smile be heard if he found the language just as ridiculous).

.

In the following there are spoilers for plot points you may not want to be spoiled for. However, if you'd like a warning about some of the heavier themes, read on.

Despite the obvious drug use, the following things happen to some of the characters (both minor and major): child abuse, sexual child abuse, rape (date rape) with forced drugging, terminal illness (not for the major characters).

.

The sexual abuse of a child is hinted at a couple of times but never fully brought to light until almost the end. While I think that it's important to address these topics, I wish that it would've been given more time. It happens/ed to a side character and thus their issues aren't explored as thoroughly, lest the story loses itself in the side plots. But while it's gratifying to know that their true family (the ones not related by blood) stands behind them and is ready to defend and shield them, I wish there had been more about a known child molester getting his due. Instead, he got away without so much as a scratch. I'm not a survivor of that kind of abuse myself, but I know people who are, and if not in fiction, where else are they going to get the satisfaction of seeing people who hurt them get what's coming to them?

The date rapist is caught and put into jail for assault, but not for rape to protect the survivor from public ridicule and humiliation, which is agonisingly realistic given real life politics and justice systems, and at least it's more than the damn child molester got.

.

Overall this audiobook gets a 4.5 star rating, and a lot of it is for Nick J Russo's narration, and the rest of it is for Amy Lane who made me laugh (sometimes involuntarily) and cry (definitely voluntarily).

  • Christmas Kitsch

  • Autor: Amy Lane
  • Sprecher: Nick J. Russo
  • Spieldauer: 6 Std. und 17 Min.
  • Ungekürztes
  • Gesamt
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Sprecher
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them - just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity - Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not - but then Oliver kisses him good-bye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Horrible title, solid story

  • Von M. N. Am hilfreichsten 16.12.2016

Horrible title, solid story

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 16.12.2016

The story is sweet, and, yes, kitschy, but also funny and warm. I've particularly enjoyed that the white, cis male protagonist learns to understand his privilege, and tries his best to counteract it. The love interest isn't white, nor rich, which absolutely helps the story, and this particular aspect of it.

It's a first person point of view story - of which I'm not usually a fan - but I didn't even notice until I was a couple of minutes into the first chapter. That only goes to show that I was gripped by the story right from the start.

There are clichés in this story, like in most fiction, but overall I'm pleased that the early "gay man misogyny" that often accompanies gay romance novels, slowly fades as Rusty learns more about his own (male) privilege.

I don't even mind the expressions Rusty uses for his penis half the time (instead of just calling it what it is :) ), because, as I said, it's first person POV, and Rusty is a teenager/young adult who's not all that emotionally mature. Of course he'd use funny expressions to refer to his dick. Not sure why it was important for him to have an above average cock, but I guess that's just for fun, eh? :)

My favourite character has got to be Rex, even though I strongly object to the way he basically sexually harassed Rusty after they've met. I wished he'd been called out on that behaviour in a more direct way that explains why it's ALWAYS inappropriate to willfully expose someone to sexual acts (esepcially when trying to coerce them into joining in). This is only made worse when he keeps doing it after Rusty specifically asks to be warned, and then TAKES AWAY the very thing that Rusty asked to use to be warned before entering the room that there might be things going on inside that he doesn't want to see. So, yeah, this level of manipulation really should've been called out more for what it is: Sexual harrassment.

However, I still love Rex because apart from that enormous lapse in judgement, his heart's in the right place. (My favourite part has got to be when he storms off to drag the professor out of the class he's teaching to make him apologise to Rusty.) It's nice that he found a boyfriend after a couple of years. I hope it's the professor's nephew. I also kind of wished that he'd end up in a poly relationship. It would suit him, I think, AND it would've given the story some more diversity/representation.

Finally, the reader. Nick J. Russo does an excellent job. It's thanks to him that I didn't even realise I was listening to first person pov until I was a few minutes into the story. He did such a good job at portraying Rusty, I'm sure I'll listen to this book again some time. I'm particularly pleased with how well he speaks female characters. Some (male) readers do over-the-top voices, or end up doing completely weird voices because apparently it's difficult for them to imagine what a woman sounds like. *eyeroll*

Not so Russo. He did incredibly well, it was a joy to listen to him narrate this story. His reading is one of the reasons why there are now several more audiobooks by Amy Lane, read by him, on my list :)

Overall I've greatly enjoyed listening to this and being part of Rusty's life for a couple of hours. I'm looking forward to discovering more of Lane's books, and Russo's readings!