Two dominant males, two worthy adversaries, in a business that takes no prisoners will soon learn that fate refuses to be ignored.
My name is Troy Babilonia, but I'm best known as Babu, a renowned literary critic with my own online column. I'm followed by thousands! I'm a living god in the literary world. I have no filter, and for that my flock of humble followers are forever grateful. If it weren't for me, they wouldn't know what to read. I have zero tolerance for weak-minded attention seekers, nor do I have respect for the self-proclaimed geniuses of the indie world. My advice to all indie authors is to never break the cardinal rule in this cutthroat business. Ever.
My name is L. Blackburn, and I'm an indie author. My extraordinary genius was loved and worshiped throughout the literary world until one egocentric critic tried to obliterate my career. It seems I broke some "cardinal rule", and now I'm paying the price for it. But I don't plan on going down without a fight.
©2015 Smith & LeNoir (P)2016 Smith & LeNoir
Funny. Damaged MCs
Troy's letter to his psychiatrist, re. his stepfather's reaction to finding him kissing a boy when he was young, made me teary.
I hadn't read the book, so the story was totally unknown to me when I started listening. With Joel Leslie's narration I was quickly drawn in and he kept me hooked to the very end.
Joel is (in my opinion) a gifted voice actor, and he masters a variety of voices both male and female. I've listened to a number of books narrated by Joel, and he has thus far not disappointed me.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
I liked the originality of the storyline. It was intriguing as to how these two fiery and arrogant characters could get through the book without killing each other.
I loved the humourous emailing scenes and further on in the book I loved the fiery passion that developed between the two characters.
Joel's voice was amazing!! Not only did he showcase the arrogance of the two main characters fantastically but the tone of his voice was simply sublime to listen to. I was so glad I got the audio version of this book.
I laughed a lot at the sheer arrogance and connection between the two main characters. Their emails between each other were hilarious.
I must admit when I started listening to this I wondered what I had got into. Did I really want to listen to two Alpha Males pitching against each other. The answer was yes I did. The back and forth narrative between pretentious literary critic Babu and self righteous author L.Blackburn was so well written and Joel Leslie really brought these characters to life. This is so much more than the usual MM, meet, fight, make up, live HEA story and I loved every minute of it. It was So So hot when they did get together.
Ada was my favourite secondary character, Joel's characterisation of her reminded me of the Golden Girls.
The bonus chapters made my day, so funny. Made a dull day a lot brighter.
"WOW, JUST WOW !!!!"
OH MY GOD!!!!
* I received a copy of Black Balled audio for an honest review*
Let me first start by saying that I have passed up on purchasing other audio books in the past as I found the narrator's accent a bit much; however, Joel Leslie was perfect.
I purchased Black Balled ebook a few months back and could not pass up the opportunity to own it once it was out on audio.
So..... I thought Black Balled ebook was hot, boy was I wrong. Black Balled audio had me squirming (and in a good way).
This story is humourous, sexy and entertaining. Did I also mention HOT!!!
I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this book. I loved the banter between the 2 M/Cs. This story is just what every MM novel wants - 2 alpha males. There is a lot of humour and journey to self discovery.
Do yourselves a favour, don't think about it, just buy Black Balled, read and enjoy - you're welcomed :)
For your reading pleasure, Guns Blazing is a spin-off from Black Balled which I also loved..
"Great narration - Interesting story"
Maybe. It was interesting but so much dramatics in the way the two main characters behaved.
The neighbor lady, though I can't remember her name. She had a good sense of humor and kind of calmed the two men down.
He has so many accents and little variations that he creates with his voice that he gives everyone a unique sound.
The bonus stories at the end definitely made me laugh hard.
The narration: I have become a big fan of this narrator, Joel Leslie. He creates so many different accents and tones that it seems every character has it’s own voice. I have enjoyed several of his narrations in the past, and would definitely listen to more from him in the future.
The story: I have to admit I had reservations about listening to this book because it is at least partially based on a real life fiasco that occurred on Goodreads. There are a lot of low rated reviews, and plenty of people who shelved it as will never read because of it. The fact that I received a review copy and the need to form my own opinions made me decide to put aside my doubts and check it out for myself.
One of the things that made it easier for me to listen to was that the authors do not just villainize the reviewer but also the author as well. They even make the reviewer’s sycophants look bad. I appreciate that it wasn’t a one-sided blame game.
The story opens up on a review posted by Babu for L.(Larson) Blackburn’s newest book. The reviewer tears the book apart, questions the author’s sexuality, and hints that he hopes it is just a woman writing about things women just don’t write well and urges “her” to stick to romance and chick-lit. Babu’s followers immediately thank him for saving them time. Since many of them are women, I don’t understand how the sexist remarks don’t bother them. They are definitely portrayed as mindless suck-ups that accept the word of a popular reviewer without checking things out for themselves. While Larson appears to be victimized by this reviewer, his thoughts upon reading the review, don’t make him sound like a much better person. Apparently being called a female is the worse thing that could happen to him. Obviously he needs to prove his manhood.
Now I’ve seen drama shared on Facebook and Goodreads, where an author will have problems with a reviewer or sometimes another author. I do my best to stay out of the arguments and side-taking, because it bothers me to see people publicly bashed and to see others take sides without knowing the whole story. It all just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It was that same feeling I had for a few chapters into this book. Babu and Larson are pretty unlikable characters, but this is not the first book I’ve read where the mc’s are kind of nasty. Though I prefer nicer personalities, the truth is, there are people on this planet that aren’t easy to like and it just makes the story more realistic. Ultimately, I couldn’t stop listening to this drama filled story because, though the subject was sort of scandalous it was also engaging. Reality shows show how addicting people behaving badly can be.
As the story continues, we do learn more about Babu and Larson that sheds light on some of the reasons they act the way they act. The other facets of their personalities begin to redeem them some. Their hateful remarks to each other becomes like foreplay. An anonymous hookup between them, and a case of mistaken identity later lead to a physical fight. But when the smoke clears, the two must admit their attraction to each other. As a pairing, I actually like them. I’d have to say they deserve each other and not all in a bad way.
Though they do become a bit more likable, I can’t say that either of them changes completely. There will always be friction because they will always be stubborn. I felt the story was a telling commentary on the way some people act in the writing and reviewing community. I think constructive criticism can be helpful, but try to stick by the saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I don’t want to discourage people from reading reviews, because I write reviews and enjoy reading others thoughts on books. I do definitely encourage people to form their own opinions on whatever is being reviewed. We are all different and can’t allow others to think for us or speak for us. If I hadn’t ignored the naysayers, I might not have had this enjoyable listening experience.
p.s. The bonus stories from the point of views of the neighbor and her cat were just hilarious. Probably my favorite part of the book because of the humor and lack of drama.
This one is by far the best!!
The narrator Joel Leslie, he brought all the characters to life. I already loved this book, but he just made my love of the book that much more.
No, but I will be looking for more of his work.
I loved reading the ebook of Black Balled, but hearing the words come to life was an amazing experience. It brought to life all the humor, banter, and the emotions.
"1st half Almost DNF, 2nd half couldn't stop!"
from Amazon reviews I knew what I was getting into, but still had to FORCE myself through the first half of the book. AND since one of the majors plot points was the negative review of a book that the critic Did Not Finish... I kept going.
Once the MCs finally meet in person (stuck in an elevator while dressed as Cyrano de Bergerac and the Marquis de Sade, w/ George Sand along) things get interesting! By the last 1/3 of the story I couldn't stop listening long enough to do things like eat & sleep...
The story is set in the context of the current publishing industry and there are almost two different books here:
The first has unlikable MCs (one straight the other bi) behaving obnoxiously and insults anything/one feminine or effeminate including the evil ex wife. The narrator uses voices as annoying as the characters. This aspect of the book (mostly found in the first half) 3 stars overall, 2.5 performance, and 2 story.
The second has complex characters who have had MAJOR stuff happen to them. They are learning how to move forward in their lives. They are men wrestling with their baggage, people in their lives & on social media, and with each other. The chemistry between them is Potent and drives them to address/own their sexuality. Even the narration improves. You always know who is speaking and there are more character voices. For this aspect of the book 5 stars overall, 3-4 performance, 4-5 story.
I'm really glad I finished Blackballed, the 2nd half of the book was worth the credit.
"Great story and narration. 4.5 stars!"
I would rank it in the top five of the ones I've listened to. Probably in the top 3.
I think it was when Larson came over and Troy mistook him for someone else. After everything that happened, Larson dropped everything and decided not to get revenge. It was when he realized his feelings for Troy.
This is a hard one because he made each character unique. I loved his Ida though.
Again, when Larson realized his feelings. But that wasn't the only time. I would also say Chicago, or the stick. I shudder at the stick. Poor Troy.
After reading both Black Balled and Hard Edit by Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir, I have the urge to write this review like Babu would have. Don’t worry, after you read them, you will understand and hopefully life. Black Balled introduced us to Troy and Larson, and Hard Edit continues their funny and interesting story. Yes, this is an M/M story, and the dynamic between the two left me entertained and wanting more. FYI…I did listen to the audio book while I was trekking from Virginia to Missouri, so my review will be broken up into parts.
Troy and Larson did not have the most romantic of meetings, if anything they hated each other in the beginning. Troy, aka Babu, looks down upon indie authors and his review on Larson’s latest work was harsh and horrible. As a reviewer, I hope I am never that harsh. Yikes! Unable to hold back Larson responds to the review and from there, the two exchange emails and such back and forth…until a scandal explodes between them. Who is telling the truth? What will happen from here?
Story: 4.5 stars.
The authors were able to create characters you felt were real, who you wanted to get to know. Babu could be one of the reviewers with any of the blogs. Larson, could be an author you visit at a book signing. I feel I need to warn the readers though. You have to be able to have to read this book with an open mind and a sense of humor. As you know, I’m an indie author and part of this blog, and these books make light of a lot of things that happen in the Indie world, though, not in a bad way. I laughed about it all and kept nodding my head. I know these books aren’t for everyone, and that’s ok, but if you don’t mind the comedic way the authors portray self-publishing (they are Indies themselves and know this world), then I say give it a chance. And I absolutely adored Ida! I have to say, the supporting characters in this book added to the story and made it more real. In Black Balled, you felt the pain, the humor, frustrations, and everything else. There is more to both Troy and Larson than what you see on the surface. 4.5 stars and I recommend you one click today.
Narration: 4.5 stars
Black Balled was narrated by Joel Leslie. I’ve listened to Joel Leslie narrate stories before, and I have to say, this time was a wonderful performance. I love how he is able to give each character their own voice and make them individuals instead of sounding the same. There were a couple of slips in character, but not many. I could easily picture Troy and Larson in my mind, which his voice made them more real. 4.5 stars!
Overall: 4.5 stars
I loved the story and the narration. Overall 4.5 stars and I recommend you one click today!
This m/m book was so funny, the two main characters Larson and Troy had me cracking up though out the book. I just loved the banter between the two. I could not listening to this book until I got to the very end. This was a love/hate relationship with Larson and Troy starting off as enemies and then becoming lovers. A journey well worth following.
"I loved this book! ...I couldn't stop laughing !"
I must read more from this author and the narrator. he brought this book to life and kept a smile on my face the whole time. Both characters are so full of themselves but I still loved them! would have them in other way.
"Modern Day Love Story!"
This is my first audio book and I have to say...I absolutely loved it! Joel Leslie's voice was smooth and he added that extra little bit of something I was looking for. However, I am a traditional reader and will always love reading the words off of a page!
The elevator scene (WOW!), which was so unique and smoking hot! One of my favorite moments in a book period. I also love their story and how they discovered how perfect they are for one another.
The male aspect, which surprisingly made a big difference for me. It is interesting to hear a different voice other than the one in your head while you read (sounds crazy, I know, but that was my experience!).
It is perfectly named as is!
Black Balled is a modern love story between two strong willed and dominant men who were meant to find one another and, the way in which they did was fantastic, maybe even epic! This is also a book about finding and accepting yourself and learning to accept love when you least expect it and from a person you more than least expect. I went through a lot of different emotions while reading this book. I laughed (a lot), I cried and I seriously swooned for both H’s, Troy and Larson. But, if you think that the H’s are anything alike, you couldn’t be more wrong (well, with the exception of being alpha males). Although this is a love story, it doesn’t start out that way. The complete opposite, in fact. There is no insta love here, but a whole lot of insta lust and crazy hot sex scenes that will leave you wishing it was you in between them. Three words: “That bloody elevator.” Yes, that bloody elevator indeed. Just think of the yummy things that can happen in tight, closed spaces!
Not only are we graced with two delicious H’s, but two incredible authors, Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir, who brought both of their characters together as seamlessly as if it was just one author writing. A truly impressive feat and one that I believe is quite extraordinary.
Black Balled is an absolutely phenomenal and mind-blowingly naughty book. Trust me, you have to experience this book for yourself. I could not possibly give it a higher recommendation.
Wow! I have so many ways I want to describe how much I enjoyed the book and narration that I can't get anything out. This is a hysterical, hot, entertaining pleasure to listen to. I don't think any description, (that I give), of the brilliant narration of a an excellent book will do it justice. I had a blast listening. All I can say I have to listen to this again and soon.
Too many things (in no order)- the emailing back and forth between the H &H; Muffy's take on the fight (brilliant bonus scene btw); Larson being mistaken for the 'date'. hell, the entire book!
I first heard Joel Leslie on Seti's Heart and I was entertained. With this audiobook, I want to have his babies :) Seriously, he doesn't disappoint, only gets better. His range is exceptional- from snarky Larson, arrogant Troy, grandmum-like Ida. All the characters were so distinct, I had no trouble getting to know the characters.
One of the best audiobook experiences ever - Thanks Joel Leslie for the listening pleasure and thanks to Ms. Smith and Ms. Lenoir for an awesome story.
"Quirky. I think I liked it."
I'm not always a fan of books where chapters alternate between two main characters - I find it a little jarring sometimes. This one however wasn't too bad.
Few books successfully handle two very alpha males, there's usually a clearly distinction. This one seems to work really well. Interestingly the bonus chapters at the end are a treat - two minor characters take to the floor and review some of the story from their point of view. Loved that especially.
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