We all find ways to run away. Some do it in seclusion, others in the arms of lovers.
Since the death of his longtime partner, Caleb Maguire lives a quiet life in Australia's Victorian high country with only his dog and horses for company. Each day is the same. There are no surprises - good or bad - until a major snowstorm hits his mountain, and Caleb is called out to rescue a stranded tourist. The late-night snow brings with it a lost soul who forces Caleb to reassess his solitary life.
Paul Turner is a barista in the trendy Melbourne suburb of Carlton. He lives life totally in the moment, but a life of no commitments is about to change for this city boy. Three days is all it takes for Paul to fall hard for Caleb, and Paul returns to the city with a promise he'll be back after turning his life around...but only when all the roads are clear.
©2015 Isabelle Rowan (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
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"Mediocre romance story impeded by narration"
The narrator does a reasonably good job with an Australian accent, except for mixing up the most obvious difference between Australian and American speech - the pronunciation of the words with the letter A. Words like veranda, which Australians pronounce the same way as Americans, are pronounced as 'verahnda' by the narrator, while words like class which should have a soft 'ah' sound are given the American pronunciation. It's a single flaw in the accent, but as listener you become aware of how very common these words are. It seems to come up every second sentence, and it very distracting as you begin to wonder how he could make this mistake when he go the more subtle differences right. And to ponder why it is that publisher persist in trying to get Americans to narrate Australian and British books, when it is clearly almost impossible for them to do well, rather than getting an Australian or British narrator, who could easily do either accent, to narrate them.
Worse still, the narrator seems to have put so much effort into the accent, that there is virtually no attempt to capture tone. Every sentence is delivered in the same dry tone as every other. There is no attempt to distinguish between the voices of the different characters, which makes it sometimes difficult to understand which character is speaking,
The story was quite good for the first half, but then the second half goes on for way too long. This made the supposed passion between the two MCs difficult to believe, and there was little in the text to indicate that it was even experienced by both of them. One of them appears to have very little interested in the other, while the ongoing long obsession of the other is not really credible. It's not at all clear why the two have not lost interest in each other after six months. I know I had.
However, I am making an allowance, in the scoring, for the story because I expect that my engagement was so diminished by the narration. I suspect I was over-generous, though.
"I just didn't buy the romance"
Caleb lost his lover several years ago and has since sequestered himself in their cabin in Australia’s mountains all by himself (except for the animals). He doesn’t want to meet anyone new and seems to be happy with his life, even though he misses his lover desperately.
Paul is a party-boy who sleeps with a new guy every night. When he and his pals go to the mountains for a party he ends up lost in a snowstorm and is rescued by the reclusive Caleb. There is an instant attraction, but Caleb staves Paul off up until the last day.
When Paul leaves, Caleb’s life advice sticks with Paul – forcing him to re-evaluate himself and his goals.
Caleb is more determined than ever to remain alone and miserable. Paul texts Caleb over and over and over, but Caleb won’t let Paul in to his life. When there is another emergency, Caleb and Paul are thrown together briefly, but Caleb again rebuffs Paul – and Paul almost concedes the fight.
Paul ends up meeting the sister of the dead lover and befriends her, she pushes Paul into continuing her pursuit and ultimately coming back to the mountain to try to knock some sense into Caleb.
Caleb resists up until the very end, when he finally capitulates.
Though the above seems to give the story away – it’s obvious the two MCs end up together because this is a HEA romance and so we know eventually it has to work out, the question is how? Well… I’m not sure how.
My problem with this book is that I never felt like Caleb got over his lover and so I didn’t feel that he and Paul really stood a good chance.
I also HATED that 99% of the book the two MCs are apart and not even talking to one another.
Paul’s infatuation with Caleb felt more like him being stubborn and feeling challenged because Caleb kept telling him “no” and less like any authentic emotional bond. How could they really bond after 3 days together (where Caleb is anything but open) and months (literally) of one-sided texting.
I just didn’t buy into the romance. I almost wanted the potential sad ending that Caleb was headed toward to happen just so the miserable guy could finally find some peace!
The narration was fine – Brad Walton used some nice emotional inflections but didn’t “wow” me either. (I'm not sure he's Australian or not...)
All in all – though I was compelled to finish the story, in the end I wasn’t really pleased with the final result.
2 of 5 stars for the audiobook
"It's okay, but difficult to listen to."
Set in Australia, not the outback fortunately, is the story of snowman and mountain man. Very little of it is actually the two of them together though, mostly it's their individual stories. As such it feels a little disjointed. There were moment where I wondered "when did that happen - was i not listening?" In the end, it does come together, but patience is required. The narrator has a love husky deep bass voice. Sexy as hell, but quite difficult to hear clearly. As for the Aussie accent - I'm on the fence. Just as I started getting used to it, the chapter would end and he'd announce "chêptir 10" and I'd cringe.
"How to get a stubborn man to want to be with you!"
This story has no heat factor at all so if your looking for something spicy this book is not for you. It's about a widower who helps a man trapped in the snow and for 3 days they became friends. The only thing that makes this book a five star and not a one star. was because you felt the new guys pain of wanting someone who's got to get his crap together while you get your crap together. There is little angst but it will make you cry. Narration good however I would of liked to see closeness or physical need to be together in which they didn't have. More like being on top of a mountain with just each other and no jobs will work. I guess if you have money but I don't think this book really had an end. It needs a novella or a second book involving the roommate maybe. Worth the credit.
love the narrator and the story. sweet romance. 7 words remaining 4 3 2 1.
"a little slow in parts"
My first book, audio book by this author. Also my first by this narrator, Brad Walton. And I have to say the combination was really good.
Breaking the story down, You’ve this guy that lost his love, best friend almost a year ago. And ever since his holed up in the farm they bought together, with just the horses, his thoughts and a dog.
In comes a young, sexy gay, city boy that gets himself stuck up the side of a mountain for no reason other than he was being a punk.
They spent three days together snowed in, and during that three days, Paul grows up and Caleb maybe starts healing.
Okay, so the bad parts, it was a little too long. I get that Caleb had to heal, grieve and we needed to give him time but I did find that it was dragging in parts.
However, I loved that Paul never gave up, kept sending text messages, calling just to tell him how his day was, what his plans are.
The second story of Paul and his friends in the city was a good touch, again showed us, life kept moving on.
Walking us through the fire and saving the animals, helping the firemen, all added a real feel of being there with everyone.
Even the end, with Paul and Caleb coming to terms on the HEA.
The narration was spot on, the smokey, older voice fit my picture of the mountain man perfectly.
I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review by Chrystal Many reviewers
The story itself I'll give 5 Stars, but the narrator gets 3 Stars so altogether a 4 Star Rating.
The story was a great chance meeting that ends up being so much more between two men who need some help remembering what is important in life. I really related to each of our main characters and what they were going through. While I'll admit that at times the story seemed to drag a bit, but in the end I really liked the way the story played out with everything.
The narrator I have to say wasn't my favorite. while his voice wasn't bad, there was a buzzing sound in the background or maybe something vibrating that was extremely distracting and annoying. So sadly it really took away from the story for me.
I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.
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