Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center - even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss's office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.
Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery's friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more - a secret that might destroy both of their careers.
But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.
©2015 Avon Gale (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I love the print version of this but the audio really brings Avery to life, and oddly, the less-lively Malin to life too. I love this and will definitely relisten.
There's no doubt that Avery is the centrepiece of the book. We get not only his interactions with the other characters, but also a lot about how he views these interactions and the people around him. You get a sense of endearing sweetness, a little bit of need, a ton of funny, but also that he's strong and independent.
He nails Avery pretty well - and whilst I prefer reading, the audio is great and is perfect for driving, running etc.
This is one of my favourite books - it's an unusual love tale, engagingly funny but not at all filled with fluff. This was more about an exploration of the MCs wants and needs with a bit of BDSM/fair bit of kink thrown in but oddly that didn't overpower the story at all, and it remained an unwaveringly honest read.
"Fantastic characters and and excellent story"
interesting, unique & hot
totally can't answer that without spoiling something...
again, Malin - what an amazing life he has led, and how he grows through his relationship with Avery is so well done... really a terrific story.
Read it or listen to it, Let the Wrong Light In is a fantastic book.
"Don't Let The WRONG Book In"
Nothing romantic about this story and I don't get the whole domination thing. Call me old fashioned, but there's nothing erotic about slapping, choking, gagging, etc. etc....One guy is a player and the other an abrasive ass. The characters are superficial at best and totally unlikable.
The genre of bad books? Well sure.
No issues with narration. The guy can only do so much...
After 4 painful hours, I did play editor and quit, which takes me back to not enjoying the whole BDSM thing.
I've read other books by this author that were very good.
"Some major issues, but I ended up liking it."
Wooooah, this one was a DOOZY! Lots of stuff to cover here, folks.
When I give 3-stars, it's usually because I liked a book but didn't really like it. In this case, the 3-stars is because there were parts that I really liked and parts that I hated, and those balanced each other out.
I didn't know much about this book when I started, to be honest. I don't read blurbs that often or that well, and I just saw Avon Gale's name and I knew that I had to have it. I love Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series (Breakaway), and I really wanted to read more from her.
To start, I had issues with the third person, present tense format. I really don't like present tense, and it sounded awkward in audio. However, that ended up being a minor issue for me because I got more and more used to it as I went along.
I didn't know that this book contained a first time gay experience before reading, but I think that is worth noting because that is a particularly favorite theme of mine. I liked how Malin was in his 40s and discovering attraction to another man for the first time. Avon Gale did a very nice job with that aspect of the story, and it was an unexpected bonus for me.
Now, onto the kink...
The kink in this book was a real sticking point for me. The first half of the book was almost painful to read, if I'm being honest. I'm not a fan of pain play or breath play, especially without boundaries or knowledge of how that stuff works. The kinks that I'm into are humiliation, daddy kink, and discipline, so beating and blood are SO not what I'm looking for. That being said, even if you are into that stuff, I'd think you'd feel mighty uncomfortable reading some of the stuff in this story. I legit HATED Malin at the halfway point, and I was fully rooting for Avery to just ditch him.
After Avery breaks through to Malin, things get much, much better on the romance-front, but it might have been too little, too late for me. I was team Avery/Malin by the end, but I don't know if it made up for the crappy, crappy way that Malin treated Avery before that point.
In terms of character, we only get Avery's POV but I feel like I got to know him really well. I loved Avery, and I understood him fully. I also loved his open attitude towards sex and sexuality, and how honest he was. This book was totally team #bisexualpride, and I loved that about the story.
The audiobook narration was very good, overall, but I had some small issues with it. I really enjoyed Derrick McClain's voice and his reading style, and I thought that he did a wide range of voices very well. A big pet peeve of mine was his pronunciations, which killed me. Every time he said "Berk-SHY-ers" for the Berkshires, I wanted to cry. It's "Berk-sheers," man! Derrick McClain also butchered all of the French works and names (every time he said Malin... cringe).
Overall, this book left me feeling good, but I almost quit in the middle due to the fact that Malin was so terrible to Avery and I wasn't feeling a lick of romance. Avon Gale made a recovery, but it was a close call.
*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
"Kink was too much, an dnot enough romance"
The narrator of this audiobook had a pleasant voice to and the story was well written. I just didn’t connect with the main characters here so it was hard for me to feel invested with their love story.
Avery Hextall was a junior architect who seemed to have all his design proposals passed over by his project manager Malin Lacroix. What made Malin’s rejection of Avery’s ideas worse was that Avery found Malin so attractive but Malin seemed to barely notice Avery.
When a breakthrough at work leads Malin to choose Avery’s business proposal, it led to personal connection between the two men. Soon, Avery and Malin began having secret encounters. Honestly, I didn’t enjoy their hookups. Without being judgmental, their kinky sex life didn’t convey pleasure to me, but it obviously met a need for the both of them as they kept finding their way back to each other.
Avery was in his head way too much for me. He seemed like he had self confidence in the beginning, but he was a ball on insecurity. Of course, he had to fall for an emotionally aloof Malin. I liked Avery a little bit, but I never warmed up to Malin. Even there was an explanation for Malin's attitude, Malin was just a closed off and robotic in action. I didn’t feel pulled into the story and I cringed during their sexual encounters. While I didn’t “feel the love”, the author was very descriptive and the pace was good. It didn’t resonate with me as I need more of an emotional connection in my love stories.
I am glad that I have read other works by this author so I know she is a great storyteller. The last 30% of the audiobook was much better but I never warmed to the characters.
"Not sure about this one."
I read some reviews of this in the Facebook groups that raved over it. It wasn't bad, but not rave material for me. I just couldn't feel the chemistry between Avery and Malin. I especially couldn't see how Avery could tell Malin he loved him and in the next sentence, tell him he didn't know anything about him.
The narration is just ok. I didn't care for all the hesitant gaps that made Avery sound unsure of everything.
It won't be a re-listen for me.
"5 stars = I freaking LOVED this book!!!"
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
I absolutely loved Let the Wrong Light In as an audiobook. Not only was McClain’s vocal performance completely entertaining, but the story itself appealed to me immensely. I’m not sure why, but the combination of Avery Hextall’s impulsiveness and Malin Lacroix’s staidness just worked for me. Granted, there is far more to both men than the face they show the world, particularly Lacroix. Perhaps it was getting to know the men, that made the book so enjoyable because each argument, each interaction, each sexual encounter, and each conversation revealed more and more layers to each man’s personality, revealing flawed, yet believable characters, characters who I couldn’t help but want to find their happily ever after together.
After yet another rejection of one of his architectural designs, Avery storms into his supervisor’s office and proceeds to make a total arse of himself. Instead of disciplining Avery for his insubordination, Lacroix takes the time to give Avery professional guidance on how to improve his future submissions. Although Avery has a difficult time being gracious in the moment, he does listen and implements the suggestions on his next project. And this marks the beginning of the rocky, awkward, and often volatile relationship that forms between Avery and Lacroix as they work together on Avery’s first building. What makes it interesting is that Avery spends a great deal of time denying and/or rationalizing his attraction to a man who drives him insane, a man he hates, until he can’t do it any longer and tempers flare, leading to a physical confrontation that brings Avery to his knees – literally. While maintaining a professional relationship at work, the men embark upon a pseudo-sadomasochistic semi-sexual relationship and things get complicated very quickly.
Notice the prefixes? As I think about it, it’s the prefixes that made Let the Wrong Light In such an enjoyable book for me. Avery and Malin’s relationship begins as pseudo-sadomasochistic because neither man is knowledgeable enough about S&M to engage in it properly and it does become abusive. While I don’t consider the abuse malicious (i.e., Malin didn’t intend to abuse Avery), Gale does a nice job of illustrating how important communication and knowledge are and how quickly a relationship can get off course if the people involved aren’t communicating with one another. The semi-sexual aspect of the relationship provides for further character growth because while it is made clear to the reader that Avery is bisexual, we’re led to believe that Malin is heterosexual… until Avery, at least that’s how I understood it. Because the story is told from Avery’s point of view, we see Malin’s sexual evolution through Avery’s eyes and their conversations, and I found it to be very interesting. Having the story told from Avery’s point of view also enables us to witness Avery’s character development as he works to learn a bit of impulse control and how to communicate his wants and needs to Malin. Even though we see it through the filter of Avery, I enjoyed watching the men learn more about themselves and each other, and how they both eventually realized that they had to put the other before their own pride if there was any hope of a “them” in the future.
Let me not forget that Derrick McClain’s vocal performance was astounding. I loved how he was able to convey Avery’s inner turmoil and outer lack of calm and frustration so effectively. Even knowing that Avery was misunderstanding Malin’s intent, I would still get upset on Avery’s behalf because McClain did such a good job of capturing Malin’s aloofness, which Avery seemed to interpret as dismissive or cold. And then later in the story, when Malin reveals his secrets to Avery, McClain gives us a new Malin – a Malin who has hope for a future with Avery and that hope is in his voice. Absolutely stunning. Gale’s words and McClain’s voice made Let the Wrong Light In a listening experience I look forward to enjoying again soon.
"Let the Wrong Light In"
Avery has been trying to get a design project approved my his manager for a while. He knows this one is it. Then ts not. He storms into his boss's office to be put in his place. He finally listen's, talks to the man that got the project and takes his advice. This time he does get a project and made friends with Brandon and his boyfriend Jason.
His best friend and sex buddy have cut him off, and Avery doesn't understand until Harlan tells him that he knows Avery has a crush on his boss. After another barge into his boss's office, this one putting his mouth somewhere else causes him yet more issues.
Malin doesn't know what to think of Avery. He pushes all of his buttons, especially some he didn't know a man could push.
This is a complicated story. There is a lot going on with new friendships, Avery and his crisis, Malin and dealing with his feelings and the two of them dealing with work relationships and other relationships along the way.
There is some light BDSM and some breath play so if this isn't your thing this may not be the book for you. It is handled quite well, very hot and if you have been considering reading some BDSM but have been a bit chicken this is a good starting place.
I think Derrick McClain did a pretty good job narrating this book. The way it is written with lots of internal thoughts made it pretty challenging. I will say at times I wasn't sure when it was narration with Avery talking or when he was thinking. I will say that I found Derricks voice for Avery perfect. I could feel it was Avery and was easy to listen to and charming.
Derrick also did a great job on the sex scenes and some of the other characters' voices too.
If you like hot architects, office romance, interracial romance, older man younger man romance, BDSM and a great romance, this is for you
"Fun with feelz"
Derrick McClain did a great job at narrating his. His voice is very pleasing. The accent was a bit off, but not enough to ruin anything.
Avery and Malin are a really odd pair, but come together in a very sexy way.
I'm glad this story was told only from Avery's pov, even though it limited how much we know about Malin. It kept things witty and light. Malin is a serious guy, so the story would have been much heavier from his pov.
Recommended for readers who enjoy Bisexual characters who talk about their attraction to both genders.
There was a lot of cringe worthy BDSM inspired mishaps in the beginning. This is BDSM lite, but it has some breath play, and impact play. Thankfully, their sexual play becomes more structured, and they fall into a nice flow.
The heavy stuff is handled well, and I felt connected to both characters.
Another fine book by Avon Gale, who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, and will end up on my auto-buy list.
"BDSM but it totally worked for me!"
Avery is a young, hyper, strange and funny architect who has recently graduated and is working under the very proper and uptight Malin. Avery is convinced Malin has something against him personally when none of his “obviously” wonderful designs are chosen. So… he goes in to give the boss a piece of his mind. What ends up happening is … well… he starts to fall for the boss. Even though he hates him. Sort of.
Malin is a recently divorced man who sort of hates the world and himself in it. He has a tragic past that clouds his future and no good way to deal with it. When the crazy bastard Avery barges his way into his life he doesn’t know what the fuck to make of it. But… he finds himself entranced. Avery brightens his world. Avery makes him crazy but he also kind of likes him. Sort of.
Avery has a thing for pain and Malin has a thing for giving pain. So that works.
They both like architecture and design and are very socially awkward. So that works.
But Malin’s never been gay. But Avery is bi so… that works?
In the end Malin and Avery will have to traverse a lot of ground. Some of it very rocky and emotional. But both are so good for the other, except when they’re not… in the end we get a very HEA.
My first thought as I was reading this was BULL. Avon Gale has to have another pen name somewhere else. This is WAY TOO GOOD to be her first book. Now… I don’t know if she’s hiding them somewhere else, or maybe she write het romance or something, but these books of hers (this and Breakaway) are absolutely amazing! They are witty and well thought out and the timing is excellent. Her characters are so flawed and yet sparkling and crisp.
I’m not into the kinky stuff they were … I don’t get it… but I didn’t need to. I saw that they were into it and since it worked for them, it worked for me. That’s a sign of a good author. She made the kinky stuff work for me because I saw that it did what it needed to for our MCs and that was enough.
I loved the windows and light analogy and the metaphors with the building designs. Wonderful!
I’m torn because I don’t know if I love Avery or Malin more. My heart bleeds for Malin – he’s so broken and needy. But Avery was such a bratty brat. Well, luckily I don’t have to choose. They’re both wonderful and so is this book. It’s funny and sweet and you’ll be happy you read it.
That is all.
6 of 5 stars
I’ve been a fan of Derrick McClain for a while and I think I can safely say he does yet another amazing job with this as he has in the past. I thought his timing for the humor was right on target. He gives Malin a subtle accent – I wish it’d been a little more pronounced when he was excited etcetera, but it was still really good. Highly recommend this as a way to LOVE this story.
6 of 5 stars
"You had me at Gin and Tonic....."
Warning: If you are not into heavy kink, more the SM side of BDSM, then this book is not for you.
I just have to say I love everything Avery in this book. Seriously, he is such a complex, amazing, kind and brilliant person. Avery is this bright shining star that attracts others; not even knowing his own self-worth. I loved the sarcasm, witty thoughts and analogies that just seemed to tumble out of Avery’s mouth without second thought.
As I listened to the audiobook, I have to admit I too thought the same as Avery’s friends throughout the majority of the book. Meaning I thought Malin was just using him. However, with help from his friends he starts to speak up, and in turn gets Malin to open up. Once this happened, my mood quickly changed. Soon I found my heart breaking for the insufferable asshole. I seriously did not see that coming at all. Thank you very much for writing such a well-written book that encompasses not only the good things in life that we sometimes take for granted, but the sadness that sometimes throws our lives off kilter.
After the revelation, I began to understand that it took someone like Avery to not only help Malin heal, but to love him as well. When the story concluded, I felt like they were finally able to start; especially since what was preventing Malin from opening up was no longer weighing heavily on his shoulders. Once that was done, you could see the feelings Malin was trying to hide/protect himself from. God no one should go through that. I feel bad thinking he was an asshole for 60-70% of the book.
One thing I wish the author would have delved a bit into was why Malin went from batting from one team to the other. Unless I missed it, there was no mention of being bi or even bi-curious. So, in that aspect I am a bit lost, because from the go he wasn’t put off nor extremely hesitant with any intimacy between Avery and himself.
Nonetheless, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book, and I think you will too! Avon Gale, if you have this sudden urge to write book 1.5 to give us a glimpse forward, like an Epilogue, that would be great :)
Derrick McClain did an amazing job with the characters of this book. Not only did he do a great job defining each character's voice, but the tone of the story as well. Oh, and the accents!!!!!! I really did enjoy his performance, and will definitely seek out books that he narrates.
I am one of many reviewers at Gay Book Reviews.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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