Home the Hard Way by Z.A.Maxfield ~ Audiobook Review by Queue

Title: Home the Hard Way

Author: Z.A.Maxfield

Narrator: Shannon Gunn

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Unknown

Story Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Release Date: 12/03/2016

Length: 11 hours 27 minutes

Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Gay Romance, Mystery/Thriller


Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

Story Review:

Caroline reviewed the eBook here.

I didn’t love this book as much as Caroline but that was because of the BDSM aspect of it not the main plot or the writing. I knew going in this was a BDSM relationship but was pleasantly surprised by the identity of the Dom. It wasn’t who I was expecting. The characters were strong and the mystery intriguing.

Here’s what Caroline had to say:

This was an absolute gem! Way more than a romance story!!

Dare Buckley made a momentous cock up as Detective in Seattle so is returning home to Palladian with his tail between his legs. The very town he left with his mother all those years ago after his father committed suicide. Never understanding why his father killed himself he figures he will be able to poke around and look into the circumstances to see if he can discover the reason once and for all.

Finn Fowler idolised Dare as a child and was forever grateful to him when he went after the bullies that plagued his daily life. When Dare left town the day after his fathers funeral Finn never heard another word from him and is left feeling disconcerted realising the man is now back in town.

As the two men become reacquainted strange things start happening in Palladian. Death, mystery and secrets from the past are just the start of it. Finn seems to be connected to everything that happens causing Dare to realise he knows very little about the man he has become friends with again.

Finn is definitely not the same person Dare knew all those years ago. After a tragedy whilst still at school Finn took control of his life and became master of his own destiny, literally, and Dare isn’t sure how he feels about this discovery.

This small town has secrets that entwine them all together through an event long gone and that most hoped was forgotten. Dare will have to work out who is telling the truth and what exactly happened to first save Finn’s life and then to discover whether they have a future together.

This was so tightly written that the mystery kept me guessing until the very end. There are twists and turns galore as all the old town secrets spill.

Narration Review:

I’m afraid the narration just wasn’t great in this book. It wasn’t terrible and I’ve certainly heard worse, but his voice did nothing to help the story along. The accents and changes in tone and timbre were inconsistent and often annoying. He didn’t work with the dark tone of the story.


Home the Hard Way on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
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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