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Names Can Never Hurt Me Audiobook

Names Can Never Hurt Me

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Publisher's Summary

What if sexuality wasn't a definable thing and labels merely got in the way?

Nick Jones can't remember a time when he wasn't part of the in crowd. Everywhere he goes, he stands out as the best looking guy in the room, and women practically fall into bed with him. Then, after kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on many occasions, Nick's "screw anything" reputation escalated, but he didn't care.

When Nick meets RC at the restaurant where he works, it throws his whole life out of whack. RC lives up to his dubbed nickname "Scruffy Dude". He seems Nick's complete opposite, but Nick can't get him out of his head.

Because of peer pressure and his fears about defining his sexuality, Nick struggles with stepping out of his comfort zone and caring about someone different than himself. If he's lucky, somewhere between arrogance and ignorance, Nick might find out what it means to be an adult, but if he's wrong, he could lose everything.

©2015 Wade Kelly (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (12 )
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 (9)
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4.5 (11 )
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Story
4.3 (10 )
5 star
 (6)
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • masha
    06/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Adorable"

    I loved it.
    It has a few "hard to believe" moments going on, and some of the main characters' actions are more than a little creepy, but every time they fall they quickly get back up, and never stay away for too long, and this is what I love in a love story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremy
    Punta Gorda, Florida
    01/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Narrator was AWESOME"

    It kept my interest. Listened to the book in two days. The narrator made it enjoyable to the point where I couldn't shut it off. Loved it

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    24/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beats Expectations"
    Any additional comments?

    Within the m/m romance category it is difficult to find a coming out story that feels unique. The book description had me thinking this was going to be fluffy and sappy without much backbone. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. Though written in an almost journal like style I ended feeling like I spent the day getting to know not only Nick but the whole cast. The author took enough time to develop personalities that engaged me. Normally when I get frustrated with the protagonist’s stupidity I want to put the book down and walk away. This time I was invested enough to want to smack Nick upside the head, roll my eyes and ask “then what happened “?
    My only complaint came with the last chapter. I did not see the need for confrontation Nick wWithin the m/m romance category it is difficult to find a coming out story that feels unique. The book description had me thinking this was going to be fluffy and sappy without much backbone. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. Though written in an almost journal like style I ended feeling like I spent they day getting to know not only Nick but the whole cast. The author took enough time to develop personalities that engaged me. Normally when I get frustrated with the protagonist’s stupidity I want to put the book down and walk away. This time I was invested enough to want to smack Nick upside the head, roll my eyes and ask “then what happened “?
    My only complaint can with the class chapter. I did not see the need for confrontation Nick was given. I would have felt better with him having stood with his friend not the other way around.
    Over all this is a book I will keep and read again.
    P.S. The narration was seamless enough that I finished writing the review of the book before I remembered I listened to the story rather then having read it.
    as given. I would have felt better with him having stood with his friend not the other way around.
    Over all this is a book I will keep and read again.
    P.S. The narration was seamless enough that I finished writing the review of the book before I remembered I listened to the story rather then having read it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Morgan A Skye
    02/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good YA book with an adult edge"

    Nick Jones is a hard character to like, especially at first. He is a very self-absorbed, aimless young man, vain, wandering, screwing around in and through life. We are first introduced to him at a party where he is dared to kiss another boy for the first time, and lo and behold, “he kissed a boy and he liked it!” His reputation isn’t harmed by this little endeavor, it seems to merely open doors for more sexual exploration. Since Nick’s friends are mostly self-indulgent jerks, out for a good time, and (in the beginning) Nick fits right it, the first part of the book was frustrating – setting us up for the far more satisfying part of the book where Nick begins to grow and learn how to be a better human.
    RC, Raffael Coppola, is an ex fat kid who stumbles into Nick’s life via a sandwich shop. RC clearly has a crush on Nick, and though it takes him a little while to figure it out, Nick comes around to seeing RC as a friend, then more, until, finally, he is everything.
    I love RC. Love him! He is sweet, authentic, kind, gentle, honest, funny and sexy. He has had a hell of a hard life, but still he keeps an open heart and open mind. I really appreciated his ability to take care of himself, standing firm in the face of temptation, and really being willing to get what he wants and deserves.
    I also really liked the imagery Wade uses with RC’s use of contact lenses to hide his beauty and keep himself “hidden” from people’s attention, good or bad.
    Corey Parrish is not technically an MC but he could be. He adds so much to the story and helps to shape Nick into a somewhat likable guy that he deserves a mention here. He is Nick’s first foray into gay love/sex and ends up being almost a brother to Nick. He’s a flamboyant, lip-gloss wearing gay boy and he is so sweet and sexy it was hard to not root for him and Nick, at least a little, and I was so glad we got to see him find his own HEA.
    What makes this book so good are these characters and how they relate to one another. Wade Kelly does an amazing job of creating realistic, flawed-yet-wonderful people that you grow to love. Nick’s friends are perfectly skeevy and a perfect contrast to Nick’s parents who are amazingly caring and supportive yet dopey in their own way. I love how we see the natural evolution of growth and understanding – how at first some of the enemies turn into friends, once people cut through the crap and start to see the real people beneath the exterior. Life isn’t black and white and people do make mistakes and poor judgments and it takes real strength of character to move past that and let things go.

    My complaints about his book are two-fold:
    One – the length. It’s pretty long and though it is very rich and well written, I think it could have been edited tighter and made the story move at a better pace.
    Two – Nick. I didn’t quite feel like Nick deserved RC enough. He comes a long way. But he had a really long way to come. He was kind of a dick in the beginning of the story, and he made up a lot of ground, but I have to be honest… I’m not sure he made it to “good enough” by the end. I was also conflicted because I was feeling kinda attached to Corey so I was slow to warm up to the RC/Nick combo. Of course, I absolutely adored the romance between RC and Nick. RC is so effin’ adorable that you can’t help but root for his happiness and it was clear he was so, so happy with Nick. So… It’s ok. With RC as his partner some of that goodness is bound to rub off (heh heh) and I’m sure Nick will complete his growth process, and keep our RC quite happy for years to come.

    Overall I enjoyed this book, loved the topics Wade fearlessly tackled and the relationships she allowed to grow and change over the course of the story. It was sweet, sexy, sentimental and an excellent read. I recommend it!

    Audio
    I think that the audio format – narrated by Jack Amber – highlighted some things that reading this book hid.
    First, Jack Amber is a new narrator and his reading style is somewhat like an early Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted’s Great Adventure. His style works great for the dialog – because this is a very dialog driven story – and most of the characters are young – I think he’s a good choice for narrator. His narration during the non-dialog parts are a less good, but still easy to listen to.
    One of the things that happens when I listen to a book is that any flaw seems magnified. For me (at least), my mind can skip over some minor issues as inconsequential when I’m reading but as I listen – probably because I’m forced to slow down and really listen to each and every word rather than skim – I’m far more critical then when I read.
    In this case as I heard Jack’s surfer-style voice read the dialog it was highlighted to me how unrealistic some of the conversations were as well as how … unlikable I found Nick at times. He was just so oblivious and conceited and far too shallow for RC.
    I think, now having read and listened to this book – as well as seen other reviews for it – that this book would do better as a YA focused book – take out some of the explicit sex scenes and focus on the more “teachable moments” of acceptance and target the YA crowd.
    I think if you enjoyed the book you’ll enjoy the audiobook and if you’re a fan of YA this is a good audiobook for you.
    My overall rating of the audiobook is 4 of 5 stars.
    (I liked the original cover much better than this one – the nametags were a much “stronger” message I thought.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tams (TTC Books and more)
    JUSTIN, TX, United States
    11/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stellar story dampened by just ok narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Names Can Never Hurt Me to be better than the print version?

    Nope. Now, I won't say the narration was horrid, I have listened to worse. But the narration didn't always fit the story and, at times, pulled me out of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Nick's naivete about life in general. He wasn't some blushing virgin or clueless guy, not at all. But the way he was written, there was this odd innocence about him, about his character that was very endearing.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Sometimes yes, but not always. I think what was missing, for me at least, was the emotion I wanted to hear in the narrators voice, especially when warranted within the context of the story.


    Who was the most memorable character of Names Can Never Hurt Me and why?

    Again, Nick. He grew by leaps and bounds from where he was when the story started and the person he became by the end.


    Any additional comments?

    I love this Author, she is an auto buy for me. I read this book as an ARC when it first came out and was blown away by the raw reality of the story and the emotions. Some of my favorite little scenes in the book were down played with the way they were voiced. For example, there is a pivotal scene about two thirds of the way through the story when Nick "cries out" and the way Kelly wrote just that one sentence held so much emotion. It was lost in the audio, shouted out like someone that was tripping over a shoe in the middle of the floor.

    I won't say I hated this audio, I think perhaps I expected a lot from this narrator and I just don't feel like he lived up to those expectations.

    Check out my review of the print version...

    Nick Jones life changes after just one kiss. He doesn’t realize it at the time, he’s actually always been gay, but he’s hidden behind a string of girlfriends and that one boyfriend that lights him up like none of the girls can. He refuses to be gay though, in fact, if he had a mantra it would be “I’m not gay!” for as often as he says it. Me thinks thou doth protest too much!

    A year later and Nick is just going through the motions in his mundane life. The only bright sparks are his friend and sometimes lover Corey, and the strange man that eats where he works all the time, RC. He’s broken up with another girl, and jumps straight into a relationship with yet another girl, trying to convince himself that getting laid on a regular basis makes him happy. But getting to know RC more with each conversation they have is making Nick take stock, and reconsider some things about himself.

    RC is not an easy man to get to know. He is always on guard and doesn’t let anyone close. He has no friends and no social skills to speak of. But there is something about the cute guy that works at the Diner. It takes a lot of effort and time, but the two become friends, best friends in fact. Both men appreciate that they can just be themselves around each other. But as Nick starts to open himself up to the feelings he’s having, he starts to want more from RC than just friendship. RC is adamant that he is not going there! His past is way too painful and Nick is way too much like a lot of the people that made that past painful. Nick is about to find out what he wouldn’t do for the right guy, which is nothing.

    This was very a much coming of age and finding yourself story. Not just for Nick who is trying to decide his sexuality, but for RC as well as he’s never actually been in love or been loved. Nick was raised with so much love, and the entire time he’s wrestling with his emotions over what his parents will say when they find out, he doesn’t realize they already know. What Nick has to learn is restraint, patience and unconditional love. So what if RC is a little overweight, and big, and burly. The way he makes him feel safe, protected and loved regardless is what Nick comes to realize are the important things. He fell in love with someone, the wrapping doesn’t matter.

    This book was an emotionally charged and endearing story about a very slow building love between two unlikely men. Trust and communication are what is at the root of their relationship, that is built before anything else, and it’s what makes them so strong. At first it looked like this was going to be another ‘gay for you’ story, but as the story played itself out, it wasn’t that at all. And these characters were far from perfect, if anything, they were perfectly flawed. Another thing that only added to the depth of the story. And it was refreshing to read a character that was surrounded by love and acceptance, his demons were the ones he created himself by his actions, and only he can change that.

    I devoured this book in one long setting. I was so intrigued by the dynamics of the characters, and the way they bounced off of each other. Sexy, romantic, endearing and realistic are just a few words to describe this book. Definitely a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    12/10/16
    Overall
    "Read it"

    Love this book.. Story was great. Need more from these to hope the story continues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    Hilo, HI United States
    20/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love this "twink-eyed" view of the world! "

    Gosh, was I REALLY like that when I was young??? Deliver me from Planet OBLIVION!

    Great peek into the sex-crazed mind of a young guy still living at home with parents who know alot more than their clueless gay kid!

    The narration/speaking performace is priceless and hilarious!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orlando
    Murrieta, CA, United States
    09/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Potential wasted"

    This story has such potential. Instead, it's ruined by a sex obsessed self agrandising jock with intellect of two short planks and the EQ of a rock. I lament for what it could have been and squirm at what it is. Next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Queue
    Ely, NV
    08/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible Characters"

    4.5 stars. Audio book review

    Names Can Never Hurt Me was reviewed several years ago by Leisa. Click HERE to read it.

    While I agreed with the initial rating of four stars there were times I flip-flopped as I listened to the story. Leisa described Nick, the main character, as physically beautiful and vapid and that description couldn't be more accurate. He is indeed arrogant and self-centered and also more than a little dumb.

    Some people might have had an issue with Nick because he is so freaking egotistic and moronic. Hell, he described himself as God’s Gift to Women. Some authors unknowingly create characters who are stupid or do thinks regular people wouldn’t. However, Nick’s stupidity and characterization were purposeful. He was meant to be like that. And for the most part, Nick stayed true to his character throughout the story and slowly grew to be a better man.

    I loved Nick and R.C.’s relationship. It was sweet and romantic and thought it built slowly anything quicker wouldn’t have been true to the story. When they finally do get together it is truly explosive.

    The supporting characters were awesome. Lots of different people with varied personalities and all unique. My favorite was Nick’s mom who could’ve been seen as overbearing but instead was sweet and caring.

    The only niggle I had with the story, and it didn’t affect my enjoyment whatsoever, is that on occasion Nick used certain words in his inner monologue that didn’t fit. But that was really a minor thing. Overall it was an amazing story.

    Jack Amber totally nailed Nick’s inner voice with his narration. He made Nick’s thoughts and whining, which could’ve been annoying or grating, and made it enjoyable.
    There are many supporting characters in the book with different behaviors and he made all of them unique.
    As far as I can tell this is Amber’s first narration. I will definitely check out any future narrations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
    Pleasant Plain, OH, United States
    30/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My First Ever Perfect 10 Listen"
    Where does Names Can Never Hurt Me rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    As I indicated in the title, it's the first audio-book I would ever classify as being perfect.I have only also heard Wade Kelly's, "Crap My Roommate's a Jock," and I enjoyed it, but not in the way I enjoyed this story. I won't lie--I found Jack Amber's voice so appealing--and sexy. I will forever think of him as Nick, which is only a great thing. All of his voices were completely distinct. I fell for both R.C., Nick, Paul, and Cory as the story evolved. Of course, this was due to Ms. Kelly's writing. So many times I stopped and repeated a phrase aloud from the story. They were so beautiful and honest.


    What other book might you compare Names Can Never Hurt Me to and why?

    This is difficult--I don't think I can. I just finished a string of wonderful m/m murder mysteries, but there were so intense with serial killers and all. I latched onto this story because of Nick, initially. I can't ever remember a protagonist who was not the sharpest tool in the shed, and a character who admitted it. That's what makes him so appealing; his gaffes were so adorable as he would never intentionally hurt anyone.


    Have you listened to any of Jack Amber’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but as soon as I finish this review, I am looking to see what else he's narrated. I noticed early on there's not much m/m from him. I hope Mr. Amber realizes that he is a gifted narrator, and he needs to contribute more of his talent to this genre. I could truly listen to him read from driver's ed manual!


    Who was the most memorable character of Names Can Never Hurt Me and why?

    Cory surprised me. He matured much more than most of Nick's friends, and I was glad to see this happen. He was fun, but eventually showed that he had a hard life as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Again....and the judges' scores...10....10...10...10 and 10!!! A prefect score!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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