A Lila Audiobook Review: Love Hypothetically by Anne Tenino ~ Narrated by Nick J. Russo

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

LoveHypothetically_AudiobookPaul’s been called many things—graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke—but “forgiving” isn’t one of them. When the new women’s softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul’s forced to put aside his strict “no athletes” policy for the sake of his paycheck.

Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one—the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance.

There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.

Love, Hypothetically is a sweet second chance novella. I read Frat Boy and Toppy about four years ago, but it was easy to remember Paul and his larger than life attitude. As a series, the two stories have a great sense of place and age group. The author did an excellent job bringing the previous characters into this installment.

I’m not a fan of YA or NA, but this book was a good example of the genre done right. The characters acted their age; first as high school students, and then, as young adults. Their story is believable and doesn’t go over the top to get the characters separated or back together. The chain of events that brought them back into each other’s life seems possible.

Both main characters have very defined personalities that stayed true through the story and varied depending on their interaction with other characters. I wanted them to get another chance to happiness from the very beginning, and the pacing of their reconciliation worked for the short format.

Perhaps I wanted a little more, but that happens with every novella. I wished we got more time for Trevor to beg for forgiveness and to see how their future turns out. But since this is only book #2 in the series, I guess we will have a chance to learn a little bit more about them in the next installments.

The hypothetical conversation Paul has is perfect for the story. I can see anyone having that type of exchange with a friend. It was well-written and quirky enough to keep the reader entertain. Plus, his friend attitude added to the color of the story. We get to see how much Trevor means to Paul and how he used this hypothetical situation to open up and think about a solution to his troubles.

Overall, a story that has found a way to stay relevant several years after publication. The plot is universal, and the ‘love conquers all’ theme closes the deal. A sweet summer read.

Nick J. Russo is one of my favorite MM narrators. His voice went accordingly with the characters ages and the rest of the characters’ voices were well-represented. It was easy to be into the story the further it got. The difference between the main characters worked nicely.

L.C. Chase did an excellent job creating a cover that felt young as the characters were when their love story started. At the same time, it includes one of their dates during their rediscovery.

Sales Links: Riptide | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Length: 3 hours and 2 minutes

Published:  June 13, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN:  B01GW5WW3E
Edition Language: English

Series:  Theta Alpha Gamma
Book #1: Frat Boy and Toppy
Book #2: Love, Hypothetically

A Lila Audiobook Review: Eyes Only for Me by Andrew Grey and Tristan James (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

eyes only for me audiobookClayton Potter has been in love with his straight friend, Ronnie, for years, but he knew he didn’t have a chance, or that’s what he though. The book starts with Clay taking care of a business party for Ronnie and making it a success. We get to see Ronnie’s way with women and the relationship Clay and Ronnie share with their gym partners.

From the moment Clay gets the call about his father, Ronnie takes charge, helping him get to the hospital. He’s the support Clay needed and always craved, which confuses Clay. Ronnie booked a hotel for them to spend the night and that’s when their friendship starts to change.

The next morning, they deal with the consequences of their time together as best as they could. Clay felt Ronnie’s distance but understood his reactions. With Clay staying behind to take care of his father, they have the opportunity to think about their next move.

For the rest of the story, we get to see how they struggled to save their friendship and to be what the other needs. Their pasts and current situations take a toll on their new relationship, and they had to make the decision to give up on each other or fight through.

Eyes Only for Me wasn’t what I expected. The blurb sounded interesting, and I was ready for a nice friends-to-lovers story, instead, I got to read about two men that happened to be in the right bed at the right moment. I can say that this story didn’t work for me.

In my opinion, the MCs have two personalities each. One when they are having sex and another when they are not. There’s nothing wrong with having or giving control to your partner during sex, but the way Clay treated Ronnie felt uncomfortable. From their very first time, Clay is cornering Ronnie and acting as if Ronnie had been involved with men before.

Yes, some descriptions let the reader know that Ronnie wasn’t getting what he wanted with women, but Clay’s magically transformed him. For me, Ronnie went with the flow just because he could. I didn’t felt a connection between them other than in Clay’s musings. According to him, Ronnie was the type of partner he wanted, but that knowledge didn’t translate into the relationship.

Also, Ronnie’s memories about an event in his childhood felt unnecessary, and it’s a topic I don’t consider should be used to create tension between the characters or to be perhaps a reason Ronnie had never considered a relationship with a man.

The description of the settings and the characters were interesting and relatable. The writing is up to par. One thing the author was able to show very well was the friendship between the men, their gym trips, dinners, and breakfast meetings. We get to see all the personalities and how they interact. What they meant to each other and how far they would, or not, go for each other. And the way the author described how Ronnie’s mind works was credible.

Tristan James is one of my favorite MM narrators, and he definitely saved this book for me. If I had read the ebook, I’d probably had rate it a lot lower than three stars. As always, Tristan delivered an excellent performance. I enjoyed the way he made a distinction between Clay’s words and his narration. The female voices weren’t as perfect as the others, but that’s to be expected.

I loved the cover by L.C. Chase and the intensity of the characters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see Clay and Ronnie in them.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Tristan James
Length:  6 hours and 19 minutes

Published:  January 25, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01AYJEIC2
Edition Language: English