By 24, Carter Stevenson has stuttered and ticced his way to debilitating shyness. Although his friends accuse him of letting his Tourette's dictate his life, Carter moves from Los Angeles to a quiet California town. He'll keep his head down and avoid people. He doesn't anticipate his new neighbor, Ethan Hart, crashing into his solitude and forcing him to get out and live.
From the beginning, Ethan makes his love for Carter clear. But he fears Carter won't see past Ethan's damaged brain, even though it makes Ethan more attuned to his emotions than most people. For Carter, there's a bigger issue: He's been burned by so-called "perfect" matches, and he won't risk his heart again.
One way or another, Ethan's determined to show Carter they belong together. Then Ethan receives tragic news. Suddenly he must turn to Carter for strength and support. Will Carter come through when Ethan needs him most?
©2012 Ryan Loveless (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
Usually, when I write reviews for audio books, I write about the book first and the narration after. I cannot, simply CANNOT do that here. Why? I can't split them, because the narration is what makes this book for me.
Oh don't get me wrong, the book itself is awesome, but the narration K.C.Kelly is what takes it to another level. I truly believe I would not have enjoyed this book as much had I read it. Here's why.
Ethan is brain damaged from an incident (not saying what because that will give spoilers) and READING the book, when Ethan is talking, it might have come across as *finding the right word is HARD!* simplistic. That the way Ethan talks might not come across right. But the narration by Kelly? Gives it just what it needs.
Ethan and Carter are very different, their challenges in life so very far from each other, but from that very first time Carter sees Ethan, listening to the music in the clouds, he knows that Ethan is special. Ethan makes his love for Carter known from the beginning. He can hear Carter's music too, in his ticks and clicks and jerks. Oh, I loved the way Ethan's brain worked!
I loved Ethan's family and friends and how they all looked out for him. Ethan has some very laugh out loud moments, and some very heartbreaking ones. I understand why his family did what they did, but I can see why Ethan felt so hurt by it.
The research into both Carter and Ethan's conditions shows, and it makes for powerful listening.
Kelly's narration was, Ethan's voice aside, excellent. I loved his other voices, and his reading voice was clear and deep, and I had no trouble following multi person conversations. This is the first I have listened to by Kelly and my wish list on Audible is now several books longer. Its also the first of Loveless that I have read/listened to, again, wish list, longer!
I do hope Loveless will write more about Ethan and Carter, I'd love to catch up with them along their way!
5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall
**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Audible.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Kobo**
A resounding yes. This is such a feel good story. It has the right mixture of angst, humor, and erotic elements. I wish everyone would listen to it.
The apparent love and respect that everyone had for Ethan.
I don't think I could rename it. The title is perfect.
I don't normally read tearjerkers but I couldn't ignore this book. I don't know why I deigned to listen to it at work. There were many a scene where I reached for my tissue box. I haven't been moved by a story in a very long time. Initially, I didn't know if the narrator was the right choice. I am happy to say that he is. Mr. Kelly did a wonderful job. He evoked so much emotion from me and I consider that a job well done. Bravo Ms Loveless. I wish there was a sequel.
This is a lovely and super sweet story about the love between a man with brain damage and a debilitating shy man with Turrets Syndrome. Both young men have challenges and demons to face. They get together fairly early in the book so most of the book is about them learning to love and trust each other. There is no real conflict and it is a slow read and really sweet. Lots of "you're amazing" and "it doesn't matter what others say about you, I love you." It is well written but pretty predictable and a little boring in spots; no real surprises. Just a feel good listen about two inspiring young men. The narrator does a good job. I especially liked his voice of the two MCs. Worth a credit.
I read this e-book many months ago and really enjoyed it. I was so excited when I learned the audio version was coming and downloaded it the first day it was available. I took a chance that the narrator would honor Ethan and Carter with voices that they both deserved. I was so happy that he did just that. Both characters came to life under the narration of
K. C. Kelly. As a reader you learn that Carter has Tourette's and Ethan has a traumatic brain injury, I can imagine what they would sound like by reading the amazing Ryan Loveless's words. But K.C. Kelly brings them life. You cheer for their victories and want to shield them both from the brutality that others throw at them. And above all you want to be their champions.
Over coming obstacles and finding someone to love and accept you is pretty much the story line I love. Aaron by J.P. Barnaby is another excellent example of overcoming tragedies in life and the writing style is very similar in that they are both gifted in telling stories.
I have a very large library of m/m audio books that I have listened to but surprisingly this is the only one I have by this narrator. I hope he records many more and I will look for his name when I am making decisions on what to purchase next.
No I like to savor my books. Listen and then think about the characters. the story builds through the narrator and I like to build with them slowly.
Just listen to the Audio Book of; Ethan, who loved Carter. You will not regret a moment of your time and you will be touched by the story.
But keep the tissues handy.
The heat level is only mildly simmering in this one, but the love is really deep and transcends the flaws in Ethan and Carter. You will really love these men.
KC Kelly did a great job narrating. The different voices were distinct and during one part, he actually sang when the character sang.
Definitely one deserving of a second listen
"One of my favorite audiobooks ever!"
This is another book that I can’t believe I’ve never formally reviewed! It’s one of my all time favorites, and I listen to it over and over again. Several times a year.
I loved it as a book first, then the audio, but I think that now I love the audio even more than the book because KC Kelly’s voice has become the characters to me.
What I love about this story is it’s bravery. Ethan is brain damaged and at times that might feel like he’s young – too young to really have an adult relationship. But it’s just not true and the author shows us why.
Carter – who has his own demons with his TS – falls into believing that falsehood too – at first – but over time he realizes that Ethan merely sees the world in a different way, not that he can’t make adult decisions – but he does need help – and really? – who doesn’t?
The author does an amazing job of both being in Carter’s head and showing us Ethan’s POV as well. The language and the pacing of the dialog help to set the understanding of the black and white world Ethan lives in.
If I have any complaints at all about this story, it’d be the way the “truth” is handled when Ethan finds out more about his accident. In a way I think it needed more. It was a profoundly HUGE thing – both the whys and the hows and how his family handled the situation and I think it could have occupied even more space in the story as it was so transformative. I’d have loved to see these guys as a couple a bit more down the line after that new information had settled a bit to see how it affected them.
But… that being said, it’s practically perfect as it is.
I think my favorite parts are when Ethan tries so hard to explain his feelings to Carter and Carter realizes that Ethan has had it right all along.
The other thing I love about this is Ethan’s depiction of Carter’s tics.
It’s just an amazing book and a fantastic look at these two issues in a way that is both respectful and loving and the way these guys fall in love is just so sweet and special.
KC Kelly gives the stuttering Carter just the right touch and Ethan’s flat, more monotone voice the perfect tone as well. He does the emotion, pacing and non-dialog bits evenly and with just the right inflection. He doesn’t give any over the top accents to the secondary characters, but it’s always clear who’s talking. Instead, he lets Carter and Ethan be the stars of this story – as they should be – and let’s them tell us their tale.
I can’t recommend this highly enough, it’s one of my favorites. Give it a try.
6 of 5 stars
"5 stars = I freaking LOVED this book!!!"
I discovered Ethan, Who Loved Carter after listening to K.C. Kelly’s narration of Knave of Broken Hearts. I fell in love with Kelly’s voice, so having credits I needed to use, I went in search of other audiobooks he’d narrated. When I read the blurb for Ethan, Who Loved Carter, I knew that I had to have it. I’ve worked with persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and persons with stutters and tics similar to those of Tourette’s, so I couldn’t wait to delve into Ethan and Carter’s story. And Loveless’s words and Kelly’s performance made this an audiobook I know I will listen to again and again. I’m actually writing this review after listening to the audiobook for a second time, six months after the first. I wanted to experience Ethan and Carter’s story again because Loveless is releasing a young adult version of the novel entitled Ethan later this month.
Ethan, Who Loved Carter is an absolutely beautiful tale of acceptance – of one’s self and of others. Because of his stutters and tics, Carter is often underestimated by those around him who don’t know him. Sadly, this is an all too real occurrence, people assuming that because an individual has a disorder that impedes their ability to communicate, that they are not intelligent. Even knowing this, Carter’s initial interaction with Ethan is tinged with similar misjudgment because Carter assumes that whatever is “wrong” with Ethan will make him easier to talk to; and while Carter is able to stop stuttering while talking to Ethan, it only lasts long enough for Carter to stick his foot in his mouth. Despite his tendency to avoid stressful situations, Carter forces himself to go to Ethan’s house next door and apologize for what he said. Thus begins the journey of two men becoming friends, learning to enjoy one another’s company, learning to care about one another and each wanting to take care of other, and eventually becoming more once Carter admits to himself that he wants to be more than just friends with Ethan – something Ethan has wanted from the very beginning.
One of the many things I love about Ethan is how he sees Carter’s tics as music and is able to communicate his enjoyment of Carter’s “music” in such a way that Carter takes pleasure in Ethan’s joy. I also found Ethan’s capacity to love and to forgive to be beyond heartwarming. It’s far too easy to focus on the negative and see what’s missing in a person after they’ve experienced a TBI, but Ethan reminds us that we need to look at the entire person because while Ethan may not have had the chance to become the person he was on his way to being, his life is still rich – full of friends, family, happiness, and love. Ethan’s family plays a pivotal role in the novel as they are a big part in his life. I really liked how Loveless was able to show the love and support of the family, while adding the realism of the frustration and occasional resentment siblings may experience. Ethan’s family is not portrayed as being perfect and I love the author for that because it not only adds to the realism of the story, but keeps other caregivers from feeling guilty for not living up to fictional characters. And their easy acceptance of Carter into Ethan’s life made me happier than I can express for so many reasons. Having just finished the audiobook, with Carter’s wish for a teen-aged Ethan to have been in his life fresh on my mind, I cannot wait to crack open Ethan.
I reviewed my personal copy of this audiobook for Wicked Reads.
"Surprising and beautiful"
I absolutely loved this story. The way the two MCs grow together as individuals and as a couple is wonderful. The narration is spot on. Will listen to it many more times and I am looking forward to further books from the author on audible.
"Lovingly Written and Narrated, a Keeper!"
This is one of my favorite stories, one I've read multiple times. Couple my love of the story with excellent narration, and I know I'll be listening again.
K.C. Kelly delivered distinct characters, wonderful pacing, and great emotion into this story. There wasn't any time where I was drawn out of the story because of his narration.
I'm fairly new to audiobooks, so I've been easing my way in with books I already love. Having had a poor narration experience with another book that is a favorite of mine, I was delighted to find Ethan, Who Loved Carter's audiobook living up to the experience of the book in print. I'm looking forward to more of K.C. Kelly's work, just as I have Ryan Loveless'.
"B rating overall..."
On the one hand, this was an incredible book because the author took two unlikely characters for a romance story and made them into heartwarming, loving people that I truly loved to read about. On the other hand, there were issues with this relationship which made me uncomfortable and made me question the validity of the romance.
Carter is an adult with Tourettes which has made it hard for him to have a true relationship. His ticks and jerks are difficult for men to deal with. Ethan, who was brain damaged at the age of 18, sees Carters body ticks as a kind of music. Ever since his injury he sees the world differently than the rest of us do and he sees Carters ticks as a melody, music floating through the clouds. In that regard, this story was beautiful. I loved how Ethan saw the beauty in Carter.
Where this story didn't work for me was in their maturity levels. Ethan has brain damage and in so many ways is very child-like and needs someone to watch over him. While I completely got and understood the bond between the two men...for the first time, Carter has found someone who sees his ticks and jerks as beautiful...I have a hard time seeing them in an equal relationship for the long-haul. There's nothing wrong with Carter's brain...it's fully developed and matured. I think the child-like, heavily sexed up relationship between the two would eventually not be enough for Carter mentally and he wouldn't have that same level of satisfaction. And if that happened, Ethan would be completely and totally devastated over the loss. I don't think Ethan would be able to come back from that kind of heartbreak. Watching his breakdown in the book when his life took an unexpected twist...I think that having Carter gone from his life would be SO MUCH MORE of a blow to him mentally than the challenge he had in the story.
And this is where I get too involved with the characters that AREN'T REAL...LOL. Because let's face it, if Ryan Lovelace wants them to stay together than these two are totally going to have an HEA that lasts until they are over 100 years old. I just need to keep telling myself and reassuring myself that he'll make sure they stay happy and stable together.
Fiction=Make Believe from the author's imagination=I can trust the author that he will keep these characters happy.
Note: I listened to the audiobook version of this book. K.C. Kelly was an AMAZING narrator...from Ethan's slightly slower voice to Carter's ticks and stutters, the narration was 100% fabulous!
"Hopeful and sweet"
I’ve read this book in the past but hearing it on audio made it even better. The narrator, KC Kelly, does an excellent job portraying both the innocence of Ethan and the difficulty speaking of Carter.
Ethan has had a traumatic brain injury and he has an almost childlike innocence about him. He doesn’t remember much from Before (the injury) but family assures him he’s the same wonderful person. He has a job at a coffee shop with a fierce, awesome friend; he has an amazingly supportive family and he has his “music”. Ethan hears music in everything. He is so aware of the world around him but not as an average person would be.
Carter has moved in next door to Ethan’s family. He has Tourette’s and it has slowly made him shy and hermit-like. When he unwittingly insults Ethan at the coffee shop, he feels the need to make amends. This begins getting to know Ethan, who really is a sunny, sweet person. Ethan needs a lot of support, because the injury makes him unable to remember things. (When he comes out of the shower and realizes he didn’t rinse his hair, I wanted to cry for him.)
As the two form first a friendship and then start to fall a little more, pieces from the past come up to haunt them. It’s a very difficult thing because I could understand why the decisions were made and yet there was always the risk that the truth would come out.
I had a little bit of difficulty with envisioning their future, because Ethan seems to be pretty much where he is going to be as far as recovery goes, and he’s very childlike. But then when I realized Carter has that nurturing in him, treating Ethan as cherished and not dependent, well, okay then.
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