Theatrical agent Payton Gowan meets with former classmate - and prospective client - Beckett Huntington, with every intention of brushing him off. Beckett not only made high school a living hell for Payton, but he was also responsible for dashing Payton's dreams of becoming a Broadway star.
Aspiring actor Beckett Huntington arrives in New York City on a wing and a prayer, struggling to land his first gig. He knows scoring Payton Gowan as an agent would be a great way to get his foot in the door, but with their history, getting the chance is going to be a tough sell.
Against Payton's better judgment, he agrees to give Beckett a chance, only to discover - to his amazement - that Beckett actually does have talent.
Payton signs Beckett but can't trust him - until Payton's best friend, Val, is attacked. When Beckett is there for him, Payton begins to see another side to his former bully. Amidst attempts by a jealous agent to sabotage Beckett's career and tear apart their blossoming love, Payton and Beckett must learn to let go of the past if they have any chance at playing out a future together.
©2015 Andrew Grey (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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"A really pleasant way to spend six hours"
This story has an almost fairytale feel to it. The characters all have exceptional opportunities and situations pop up immediately, mostly everything goes their way, and there's very little conflict.
I enjoyed most of the story, with the exception a bit of unnecessary drama (to me) in the third quarter, which, admittedly, is more of a personal peeve. (view spoiler) There are also two storylines, one involving a date gone bad with Payton's best friend, Val, and another involving Payton's co-worker that I felt kind of got dropped and felt unresolved. I would really have liked better resolutions for both situations.
In the end though, and aided by the exceptional narration by Tristan James, this is a sweet tale with some very nice heat and sexy times, easy flow, and likable characters (especially Pay's best friend, Val, who I hope will get his own story please!).
Tristan James has that uncanny knack to really bring the words in the story to life. He infuses his work with emotion, his character voices are entertaining, and his pacing is good.
All in all this was a really pleasant way to spend six hours.
Tristan James is an auto-buy for me regardless of who the author is. Andrew Grey's enemies to lovers story was cute.
This was a fun story with lots of humor. A romance story that makes you laugh.
"I really enjoyed listening to this one."
I know Andrew Grey's books usually have a random old flame or some new guy sweeping in and out of the main characters' lives just to build drama, but there's none of that here. Beckett does bring a friend onto the scene out of nowhere but there was no time between Pay seeing him and meeting him for there to be any kind of angst over it. Since I'm tired of that kind of misunderstanding pushing the characters into an epiphany I appreciated that.
I've listened to a couple other books narrated by Tristan James and I think he does a great job and has a voice I could listen to for hours (funny that). The one gripe I have with his narration (and many others, like Wil Wheaton reading 'Ready Player One') is that the main characters sound the same. There were times Beckett did sound different, a bit deeper, than Payton but then drifted back to sounding the same, or close enough to not tell the difference. Val did have a different lilt to his voice, which was a plus.
As for the book's summary...you're going to have to read that elsewhere. All I'll say is that I really liked the main character, his best friend, and the guy he hated in high school. I wouldn't mind listening to this one again down the road.
"Theater Drama and past wounds"
Tristan James brings to life this story featuring high school rivals. He always manages to differentiate the character’s voices so I am never confused as to what’s going on.
Talent scout Payton Gowan is hoping to rising to prominence at his job but to gain favor he has to cultivate a new talent, Beckett Huntington. The problem is that Payton went to school with Beckett and has only memories of Beckett the star athlete tormenting him. But Payton’s fortunes are tethered to Beckett’s.
It’s through spending time with Beckett that Payton gains a new perspective on his high school times. In addition, Payton learns that Beckett isn’t the monster that he remembers. Is that enough to move forward?
A cute story of enemies to lovers which saw Payton finally make peace with his high school bully. One of the things that stood out to me was Beckett’s confidence and Payton’s lack of it even after all this time. This book was a treat with the theater drama as well as Payton’s best friend Val. While it wasn’t a deep story, it did pull on my heart strings and I am glad that Payton and Beckett got it right.
Seeing someone from you're high school days who bullies you is tough. Falling for them is a whole other matter. I liked how this story plays out. Great characters that I could relate to. And a fun story to listen too. Tristan James rocks the narration!!!!
"Well Written and re-told by Tristan James"
The way Beckett tore down every wall Payton threw up between them.
Payton's journey as he learns that what he thought he knew was skewed and how he finds love in the last place he thought he would.
Every damn thing! Tristan James is a storyteller that embodies the characters in the voices he gives them.
This was an intense story with a plethora of emotions. Pay's warped co-worker made me laugh more than once, at him that is. And what happens with Val, Pay's best friend, made me tear up a little. When I read that scene it was emotional, but then to hear Tristan James really encompass Val's emotional state while narrating just drove that situation home for me.
Tam's E-book review - October 2015
Payton Gowan is very far removed from the shy, awkward, overweight gay kid that was bullied and picked on in high school. He has a great life, a successful career and lives in the same building with his best friend. And then his childhood tormentor walks into his office looking for representation and throws Payton for a loop. What Payton wants to do is tell Beckett to piss off and show him the door, but Beckett is very talented and at the end of the day, Payton realizes he needs to do his job and leave the past in the past.
Beckett Huntington doesn’t remember who Payton is at first. Payton has shortened his name to Pay, he’s lost weight and toned his body, gone is the acne, replaced with a very stunning man. Beckett is attracted and intrigued, until Payton reminds him of their shared past. Once Beckett learns that he was wrong about Payton in high school, he sets out to make Payton his. And while the attraction is mutual, Payton has trouble letting go of the past, even if it is threatening to destroy his future.
Enemies to lover’s stories can be quite good, if conveyed the right way. Grey painted a pretty vivid image of the interaction between these two when they were in high school, and how things could have been perceived the way they were. A decade later and Beckett has had to learn how to rely on his talent and skill instead of his size and good looks. Pay has worked his way up in a demanding, cut throat business, and still has a shark snipping at his heels. These two can be so much more together, if they can find a way to let go of the past and compromise to build a future.
This story showed Grey’s sexier side of writing. Beckett and Pay share an electric chemistry that jumps off the pages. Beckett is large and domineering, and yet, he is gentle with Pay when he needs to be. I especially enjoyed that while Pay wasn’t a virgin, he had not had generous lovers… so the relationship with Beckett was different, new and more meaningful for both of them; a very passionate romance.
I have to say though; I sincerely hope that Grey brings the guy with PTSD back. I would love to see what Grey can bring to the table writing a love story for a man that suffers from the inflictions PTSD causes in someone’s life. While Val was more of a secondary character, Pay’s best friend, I could tell even with the little page time with him that he just wants to be loved, and to love someone. I think they would be perfect together. We shall see!
Definitely a must read, especially if you are a fan of Grey’s work. As I said, the story is passionate and sexy with a bit of suspense and politics to mix things up. You can never go wrong with an Andrew Grey read.
"Great writing and narration"
I liked how the author descriptions painted a mental picture for me. The story was great and the narration was good as well.
Would recommend this to everyone.
"Cute story story"
I love the storyline , Andrew Gray is one of my favorite authors, Tristan James is one of my favorite narrators.
"Another great narration by Tristan James!"
Another comfort listen from Grey, and narrated by one of favorites. Love Tristan James' voice and wish the older series by the author would be reproduced with TJ narrating.
This is a low-angst frenemies romance, typical of Grey. No surprises and yes, formulaic but these are the reasons why I pick up an Andrew Grey romance!
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