Author: Andrew Grey
Narrator: Randy Fuller
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Story Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 03/11/2015
Length: 6 hours 30 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Drama, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
Carlisle Cops: Book One
Officer Red Markham knows about the ugly side of life after a car accident left him scarred and his parents dead. His job policing the streets of Carlisle, PA, only adds to the ugliness, and lately, drug overdoses have been on the rise. One afternoon, Red is dispatched to the local Y for a drowning accident involving a child. Arriving on site, he finds the boy rescued by lifeguard Terry Baumgartner. Of course, Red isn’t surprised when gorgeous Terry won’t give him and his ugly mug the time of day.
Overhearing one of the officer’s comments about him being shallow opens Terry’s eyes. Maybe he isn’t as kindhearted as he always thought. His friend Julie suggests he help those less fortunate by delivering food to the elderly. On his route he meets outspoken Margie, a woman who says what’s on her mind. Turns out, she’s Officer Red’s aunt.
Red and Terry’s worlds collide as Red tries to track the source of the drugs and protect Terry from an ex-boyfriend who won’t take no for an answer. Together they might discover a chance for more than they expected—if they can see beyond what’s on the surface.
So overall this was a middle of the road story for me. I liked the concept and I liked the message. I liked the idea of loving the person not the looks and supporting and loving your partner through the important things in life. There were parts of this story that hit me in the warm and fuzzies. Red and Terry loved each other and it was a wonderful and supportive love.
However, I spent the majority of the story feeling like I missed something important. I mean these men JUST met and within 3 days they were utterly in love and fully into a rich relationship. It was just too fast and I never understood or felt that love connection. I was told all about it, but I found that there was not enough history or character development to make me understand why it happened so fast.
I also never understood why Terry was “shallow” in the first place. Yes he made a rude comment at the beginning, but he instantly made a complete and utter 180 and became this new person who was anything but shallow. The author had him telling Red all the ways he was shallow, but it never came through to me. His actions were anything but those of a shallow person. There was no history for me to understand why he was shallow. I just didn’t understand why this was such a focus of this story when the shallowness was never displayed.
I did like that Terry helped Red learn to love himself. Red built a wall around his heart because of the bullying he received after he got his scars. Terry, the supposed shallow one, helped him see that the scars were just skin deep and Red was really a good person deserving of love.
I don’t know. I enjoyed this story for what it was, but I just felt like I was missing explanations needed for me to understand the character motivations and their love. The milestones were there, but the small connective tissue needed for things to be understood and to flow were not there. Like this was a bare bones outline that wasn’t fully filled in. It was just rushed and a bit incomplete for me.
Finally, I feel like this was meant to be some play on the “Beauty and the Beast” theme but I don’t think there was enough here for me to feel like this analogy was correctly used. Red may have been beastly on the outside but it was never because of a beastly attitude. He was always a good man. And Terry may have been beautiful on the outside, but he was also never beastly on the inside. It was hinted at, but never displayed in this story.
I think maybe I lost some of the connectivity to this story because the narration was not my favorite. It is hard to connect to a story that was almost read emotionlessly.
Randy Fuller was OK. His voice was clear and it was easy to follow the characters, but this was just a narration, not a performance. I think at times his portrayal of emotions and sexual attraction may have been weak and colored my interpretation of the story.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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