Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review – Stay With Me by S.E. Harmon ~ Audiobook narrated by Michael Stellman

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5audiobook clipart bw

StayWithMeAUDMedMac (Mackenzie Williams) is a former cop, now private investigator who falls for his latest client—gorgeous lawyer, Jordan Channing. Jordan wants Mac to follow his fiancé who he suspects may be seeing another man. The problem is that over the course of the investigation Mac falls for Jordan, and it appears that the formerly straight Jordan feels the same about Mac.

Mac’s life is a bit complicated with past loves that he left each time he thought it was getting serious. His excuse? Everyone leaves him so if he chooses to go first, it won’t hurt. The reality is that Mac’s mother left him and it’s warped his sense of self-worth to the point where he can’t hold a serious relationship. His first major relationship with Nick ended when they were recovering from an auto accident which crippled Nick and left Mac with a bad knee. His next with Trevor, another attorney, ended when Trevor found a woman more attractive. The truth is that it was Mac himself who turned away from them, so no matter how he spins the tale and no matter what excuse he makes, the bottom line is that he’s the one who ran from commitment.

There’s a complex underlying storyline about both Nick and Trevor. In Nick’s case, he’s been trying to reconnect with Mac for quite a while. Now happily co-owner of an inn in Vermont with his partner Peyton, Nick really wants to be a friend to Mac. Trevor slides in and out of the story primarily because he’s in the same law firm as Jordan and because Mac feels that their dog, Finn, is more his dog than Trevor’s, and he wants him back. A little B&E toward the end of the story proves this point clearly.

Mac and Jordan seem to be on again, off again as Jordan finds himself struggling to come to terms with being attracted to a man. And Mac finds out that Jordan is still seeing his fiancé at various points in time, causing him to leap to his own conclusions about their relationship.

Listening to this story on audiobook was difficult for many reasons, primarily because there were so many past relationships and male characters in the story that it was hard to follow who was friend or relative and who was former friend or boyfriend. The narrator’s voices for both MCs were similar enough that it was difficult to pinpoint who was talking just by listening to the intonation. Added to that, the fact that Mac was such a whipping boy when it came to relationships that he took on the guilt for all the past breakups and for misunderstanding Jordan’s relationship with his fiancé was something I couldn’t wrap my head around.

It also stuck me as odd that in this story Mac’s old boyfriend left him for a woman, and now his new boyfriend is leaving a woman for him—that’s a bit too far-fetched to be believable. I also think the story would have been much more effective if the author had alternated POV’s so that we would hear Jordan’s voice. I’ve never read (or listened to) a GFY story which was not told from the POV of the straight man who goes gay. I just found it odd that Jordan fell so readily in lust with Mac and always seemed to know exactly what to do in each sexual situation.

So all in all, I didn’t care much for the story itself, though I didn’t hate it. I definitely found Mac to be in need of major mental health counseling, didn’t know where Jordan was coming from or what he really wanted until the end of the story, and didn’t feel that the narration added anything extra to the story.

If I was planning to recommend this one to readers, I’d say that it would be one for those who enjoy self-inflicted angst and an MC definitely in need of nurturing. And, since this is an audiobook review, I’ll say that I wouldn’t recommend the audiobook over the e-book or paperback simply because of the difficulty of following all of the characters as they weave in and out of the story.

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska. I don’t see that it lends anything to the story at all.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press Audible    iTunes        Amazon

Audio Book Details:

Cover Artist Anna Sikorska
Narrator Michael Stellman
Length 10 hours and 5 minutes
AudiobooksS.E. Harmon
Book Type Audiobook
Other Formats
eBookPaperback

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