Promises by Marie Sexton ~ Audiobook Review by Zane

51biG8vL1UL._SL300_1Title: Promises

Author: Marie Sexton

Narrator: Mark L Jones

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Story Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Release Date: 12/15/2011

Length: 05 hours 23 minutes

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance


Jared Thomas has lived his whole life in the small mountain town of Coda, Colorado. He can’t imagine living anywhere else. Unfortunately, the only other gay man in town is twice his age and used to be his teacher, so Jared is resigned to spending his life alone… until Matt Richards walks into his life, that is. Matt has just been hired by the Coda Police Department, and he and Jared immediately become friends. Matt claims he is straight, but for Jared, having a sexy friend like Matt is way too tempting.

Story Review:

Promises has been a favorite book of mine since it came out. I’ve read each one of the Coda books in ebook and was excited to get a chance to listen to the audiobook. Just like the first time I read the book, I absolutely adored the story in audio format. The clear and concise writing style really lends itself to audio narration.

Narration Review:

I really struggled with how to rate the narration for this book. I loved the story, but I didn’t exactly love the narration of it. I didn’t hate it either, which left me in a quandary. Three stars felt too “ambivalent” to me, whereas 2 stars felt too low.

The first thing I want to mention is how annoying the little jingly music between chapters was. It kept pulling me out of the story when I was listening to it. I’m much more of a fan of audiobooks that simply state the chapter number (and title, if there is one) and then just move right back into the story. It feels more immersive and less disruptive.

Now onto the narrator himself.

The narrator has a great voice. He does a wonderful job reading the prose or narrative. Where he comes up short is with the dialog. I had many faults with the way he portrayed the dialog in this otherwise fantastic book.

First, he sounded the same no matter what part of the book he was reading. Whether it was the prose, Matt’s dialog, or Jared’s dialog, he didn’t even attempt to change his voice. This made it rather difficult to really follow what was going on, since it was harder to tell if what he was saying was narrative or internal thought or if it was one of the character’s speaking.

This was compounded by the rushed way he would read dialog. He’d go right from Jared’s dialog into Matt’s, barely taking a breath, and it all started to blend together. When you have parts of the book that don’t have dialog tags, because they’re not needed in the ebook, and the narrator reads it all in the same breath in the same voice, it becomes nearly indistinguishable.

His way of narrating is literally just reading the book into the microphone. There’s no passion, no emotion. Dialog that’s neutral, excited, or angry all sound the exact same. It really makes everything sound bland.

However, like I said earlier, I did like his voice. I’d be more than happy to listen to an audiobook where he does the exposition and someone else records the dialog. And since I love the Coda books, I’m going to keep going in the hopes he improves over the next couple books.


Promises on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
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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