Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.
It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.
When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?
Smitty’s Sheriff was a story I both a slow time getting into and warming up to. The rambling introduction to Richard, and , honestly imo, his quick to judgement attitude towards Todd and others, made him a character that was hard to connect with. It wasn’t that Cardeno C hadn’t made him a believable human being, no, he was that all right. It was that I just didn’t like him very much.
That took a while to come and it was lukewarm at best. How does someone look at another person after three years and not think they’ve had a chance to change and grow? No, this character seems happier with his personal judgements right up until the end. Poor Todd carries the burden of this relationship, which is odd because the story seems to be that Todd needs structure and is too “scattered” without someone to look after him. Which is strange because other than the total breakdown in communication here, Todd was doing great on trying to make it work. Go figure.
Loved Todd. Todd had my heart. His misjudgement, imo, was picking the Sheriff. Oh well. The heart wants what the author says the heart wants. And clearly Todd wants Richard. It takes a while, more major miscommunication ensues til I wanted to throttle them both and then the air clears and they get their HEA or HFN, depending upon how you look at it.
The narration of Ezekiel Robison also took a while to warm up. It started out a little bland and atonal. You had to work at differentiating what characters were talking at the time. However, about a third, maybe less, into the story, that changed, and the narration took a decided turn for the better. Robison eased into each character, assuming their personality, and gave them voice with a strength I wish he had assumed at the beginning of the story. By the end I forgot it was one narrator, listening to the multiple personalities that came across as the story flowed. I’ll certainly look for more stories narrated by him.
Overall, I enjoyed the listening experience, mostly due to the narrator and the character of Todd. I liked seeing him get his HEA. If you love May-December romances, Cardeno C, and contemporary loves, check out this audiobook, It’s short and sweet.
Cover art is adorable and works for the characters and storyline.
Listening Length: 3 hours and 19 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Audiobook, Unabridged, 4 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by The Romance Authors, LLC (first published July 17th 2017)
SeriesHope #3 settingArizona (United States)