A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Rule Breaker (Mixed Messages #1) by Lily Morton and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

What a wonderful story! And the audiobook made it even better with the fantastic performance of Joel Leslie, who brought Dylan, Gabe, and the rest of the cast of characters to life. Listening to a book narrated by Joel is like watching the story unfold on the big screen. The voices become real characters. There’s drama, humor, tears (he does crying scenes so well!) and every voice is so distinctive that there’s never a doubt of which MC is speaking.   

The story of Gabe and his personal assistant, Dylan, is filled with the angst of falling in love with an unlovable man, but it’s also laced throughout with humor, much of it dry Brit wit and snark. The author opens each chapter with a note or memo from either Dylan to Gabe or Gabe to Dylan, and many provide laugh-out-loud moments and/or embarrassing barks or snorts in public places.

Gabe is smart, sharp, gorgeous, and wants no part of relationships or feelings with anyone whatsoever, even his current boyfriend. In fact, it’s nothing for them to engage in a threesome with a stranger and afterwards both leave Gabe to his own devices. Dylan is sweet, cute, snarky, and can see through the shell Gabe keeps locked tight around his heart. Their banter is a very important part of this audiobook and keeps readers like me constantly smiling.

Throughout much of the story, although they were attracted to one another, they didn’t act on it since it would break Gabe’s no-sex-with-employees rule. And then it happened and they couldn’t get enough of each other. Some of those locations and situations were funny, but then over time, Dylan loses his heart and Gabe refuses to take it.

Be ready with tissues for this one because Dylan’s heart was literally in pieces all over the floor. And the sobbing and anguished dialogue brought to life by Joel were painful to hear. And yet, I hurt for Gabe as well. His backstory, when we learn it, is heartbreaking and it’s no wonder he refused to share his love with anyone.

Of course, our guys get together in the end, helped along by Dylan’s bestie (who gets his own book next). The epilogue was long enough to tie all the loose threads together in a way that leaves readers knowing this couple is solid and well on the way to their HEA.

I highly recommend this 9.5 hour audiobook to all my friends who enjoy Brit humor, hot sex, angst, love, and redemption, and of course, a very well-deserved HEA.

The handsome man on the colorful cover by Natasha Snow definitely attracts attention.

Sales Links:   Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

Audible Audio
Published April 15th 2019 (first published August 17th 2017)
Edition Language English
Series Mixed Messages #1
setting London, England

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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