Julian Nash should be excited: he's just earned a huge promotion at work and is going out to celebrate. But his happiness fades when he discovers his date cheating on him an hour before. Suddenly alone when everyone knows he's supposed to have a plus one, Julian is set for a long night until longtime acquaintance Ryan Dean bails him out of the embarrassing situation. During dinner, they discover they have more than just friendship between them: there is mutual admiration and heated attraction. But getting to know Ryan better - and finding a place in his life - will bring Julian frightening surprises and paranormal danger he never expected or dreamed existed.
©2010 Mary Calmes (P)2012 Mary Calmes
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"Worst narrator I've ever encountered so far."
I would recommend the ebook or paperback, sure. The audiobook? No.
The story was,interesting and had likable characters. I don't want to spoil the twist, but if you've watched some Japanese anime - namely something like Mirage of Blaze or Yami no Matsuei, then this would probably be something you'd enjoy.
I don't recommend the audiobook because the narrator was atrocious. I only got it because it was discounted when I purchased the ebook (now I know why!). He read the story with ZERO emotion, no distinction between character voices, barreled through punctuation (seriously, I was imagining commas, semi colons, periods all lying on the ground like road kill), barely took a breath between words, and just had this really unpleasant accent (sounded like a mix of New York/New Jersey with Boston mixed in - whatever it was it grated on my nerves). Also, there was this really weird thing where the recording seemed to fluctuate in volume. In some parts seemed to fade out which was annoying. And the audio didn't sound as clear as others I've listened to. Just bad production quality all around.
Julian. I have a thing for somewhat nerdy characters with inner alphas. And I thought he handled the 'revelation' pretty well. Also, hard not to like a character who watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Show, not the movie).
Everything. No seriously, there was no saving grace with this performance. If you need an example of how not no narrate a book, this is it.
I'd have to say no. I now have to read the ebook version to wipe the memory of this audio from my brain.
Re-do this with a different narrator and I'd be more than happy to buy it again.
Hot, Exciting, Original
Julian realizing Ryan is more than human
Good character voices and fluid perfomance
Julian...strong, sarcastically humorous, loving
Julian and Ryan's story is totally enjoyable! I'll definitely be enjoying it again sometime.
"Narrator Ruins It"
The narrator reads too fast in a monotone, same-pace voice, making it extremely difficult to tell when one character is speaking vs. another, let alone when someone is feeling something emotional, thus ruining the sensual/emotional moments. When one of the characters is supposed to be sighing/screaming in rapture, probably written as "Character's Name!," the narrator reads it as a statement with an exclamation point, as if telling him, mildly, to not step out into the street before looking both ways. I finally had to stop listening, not only because it was tough to listen to, but also because I was so angry that it was a good story that could have been so much better. My ratings for the story is 3 stars only because it was the middle choice, I technically can't comment because I didn't finish listening. The story was getting interesting though, and I thought the writing was good.
"Love Mary Calmes!"
I really enjoy this author. Her characters are well developed, relatable, and loveable.
I liked the narrators voice but often felt like he was speed reading, trying to get done really fast. Sometimes it took me a second to realize which character was speaking because he didn't pause and the main characters had the same voice. It wasn't bad... I've definitely heard worse but I enjoyed the story anyway.
Next book I come across with this narrator though....I think I'd consider the Kindle version.
"Fantastic story, not a great narrator"
So if you know Mary Calmes’ work, you know that she has this penchant for giving us these guys who are super awesome but don’t know it. That’s Julian. He’s hot, pulled together, sweet but tough, warm-hearted, forgiving, fantastic in bed and (of course) totally unappreciated and somewhat clueless.
Then we have Ryan. Ryan is a super-hero. He fights demons and all other sorts of bad creatures that go bump in the night. But… he also has a day job and in this case it’s doing a morning show as a talk personality. He’s also super hot, kinda quirky, a little insecure, and great at anything he puts his mind to.
The story of the Warders is this: there are a group of Warders for a given area who protect the people from the bad guys. They have some “powers” but are also well trained. Something about them drains the life force from their lovers unless their lover happens to be their “hearth”. In that case the “hearth” is their perfect mate, able to be the home they need when not fighting against evil, a place for them to rejuvenate and relax. They all want to find their hearth, but they have to be careful in their search because the process damages each lover unless they are the hearth.
Ryan believes Julian is his hearth, but he’s not sure and he can’t risk it. Up until the story begins Julian is involved with someone anyway, so it’s a moot point.
When Julian gets thrown over, Ryan is there to help him out and acts as his date. The mutual attraction between them is combustible and Ryan decides to test if Julian might be his hearth.
Luckily – he is! Now Ryan must introduce Julian to his world and in the meantime fight off the bad guys that have already found him
I love this series! It is fun and moves quickly. Each book has a different Warder but sort of takes place sequentially so you can read them separately but reading them in order gives you the most flavor.
Julian and Ryan are hot together and the magic and the action are fun and breath-taking. The huge payout is that once they realize who they are to one another there is lots and lots of sentimentality and lovey ooey goodness.
Boy I hate to do this. I love this series but I despise the narrator. Not all the books are narrated by the same guy (thank goodness!) but in this case we get Andrew Schwartz. I could tolerate his narration if he didn’t talk so fast. It made me feel like he didn’t breathe and I could feel the lack of oxygen right along with him.
If you can get past the quick pace, he does an okay job with the story telling. He doesn’t do much to change the voices or do much acting in terms of performing the story, but he’s okay.
I’d give the story a 5 of 5 stars and the narration a 2.5 of 5 stars so overall 3.75 of 5 stars for the experience.
The narrative wasn't that great. I liked the story. I read the book, Awesome
"Narrator ruined the story"
Mary Calmes is one of my favorite authors, and it's a shame her story was ruined by horrible narration. Every sentence was read with the same flat inflection, the voices were indistinguishable from one another, and there was very little emotion. I will not listen to the remainder of this series.
This is my first read of the warder series and it was a good story, short, action, drama, a good guy saving the city from demons but still wanted and needed a true love to make him a home ground him so he wouldn't lose himself to hell
"Actually book 1 of the series"
Ryan & Julian's story. Julian is one of Mary's beautiful but doesn't know it characters. So much fun to read.
"Almost too short to establish good ground"
Being the first book in a PNR series and a short novel, it was hard for the story to fully develop without rushing through. The characters are very likable and the world created is interesting, but I think it would have been paced better if the story was longer. The first 3/4 of the book focused on introducing the main characters and setting up their relationship. By the time you get to the overarching plot of the story, there is only 1/4 of the book left and by then things need to move so quick that is was unbelievable, rushed, and thrown in without regard.
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