Rating Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
- Rating for Story 3 out of 5
- Rating for Narration: 4 out of 5
Larson Blackburn is an author who is published by an independent publisher. He has been trying to get his life back together after the death of his father, caring for his mother, and the disappearance of his sister Kennedy. He believes that his newest novel will help move his life forward. When influential online reviewer Babu savages not only his book but himself personally, he does the only thing he can think of doing. Start an online war with the critic, a term he uses loosely.
Tony Babalonia, Babu to the hundreds of fans of his online reviews, is known as a savage critic, and that suits him just fine. The Simon Cowell of the literary world, he does not hesitate to call a book garbage if he thinks it the term fits. However, what he views as candor has sent many an author out of the business. What he did not expect happened two years previously when one of those authors met him in a crowded elevator and stabbed him in the chest, causing his lung to deflate. This caused Tony to become both a recluse and avoid elevators at all costs. He cannot believe the audacity of one author, an L Blackburn, to challenge him and the critique he gave his book.
The two continue their online war via Babu’s review site and personal emails, detailing their own sexual conquests with women. Then Larson’s ex-wife comes to Babu and hands him information that suggests Larson plagiarized the novel from another book. Things come to a head (literally) when the two meet at a literary convention. The two, along with a woman that Larson was taking to his room, become trapped in an elevator at the hotel the convention was being held. As they were attending a Halloween masquerade ball, neither man knew the identity of the other when sexual hijinks take place. Will this lead to hurt feelings being eased or ramp them up to greater levels?
When I received the blurb for this audiobook, it said that it was a tale of two dominant alpha males. I found the two MCs to be more like assholes the first two thirds of the book. I could really gather neither sympathy nor empathy for either character. Both characters try to one-up the other in either tales of what one will do to the other or what they have done to women, complete with video to prove it. The ex-wife, who should be the main antagonist, comes of flat. When the two men take the revenge on Noelle, it borders on cruel and sadistic. I must say the sex scenes, especially between the two MCs were hot and well done.
Narrating a novel from two MC’s points of view can be difficult but Joel Leslie does ad admirable job of doing so. If I had to stop listening, when I returned, I could tell which of our MCs was currently speaking. I am not sure if his narration made the MCs seem more distasteful that what was written but he seemed to bring out the true nature of the characters to me.
Cover art is eye catching and draws you to pickup the story just as it should.
Audiobook, 9 hours 28 minutes, 55 chapters
Published: June 8, 2016 by Andrea Smith
Published June 8th 2016 (first published April 27th 2015)
SeriesBlack Balled #1