Thirteen years ago, Eli went on a summer trip with his mother and never came back. Now, existing in a new life as Jacob Somerville, he's again running from fear and memories, only to end up where he started. As Jacob struggles to reconnect with his father and brothers, he realizes that his lover, Craig Zhao, was the only thing filling his empty heart and standing between him and ghosts of the past. It will take the power of love - from his family, from Craig, and from himself - for Jacob to see that his life truly is filled with the promise of what can be.
A novella from the Dreamspinner Press 2011 Advent Calendar package I'll Be Home for Christmas
©2011 Mary Calmes (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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"Emotion packed novella"
I love that there's quite a bit of emotion packed into this novella and that it also includes a sprinkling of angst and some heated sexy times. If I have one complaint it's that I would have liked for the end to have been fleshed out a bit more, but that's more about me being greedy and wanting more of these characters than anything else.
Please note: This is classic Calmes - where the main character - Eli/Jake - is beautiful and beloved by all, and...well if you're a Calmes fan you know how it goes. Just sayin'.
Robert Nieman is a new to me narrator. I enjoyed his style; he was really good at conveying the emotional depth of the story and characters and he brought out the angst of the storyline without making it a caricature.
I'm a bit bummed that he didn't really do character voices, which would usually worry me, but he delineated enough in his tone that I wasn't confused when multiple characters were conversing. Sure, I would have preferred a bit more on that end, but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the narration on a whole.
All in all I enjoyed it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
"-shaky sigh- Just a Beautiful Story"
"When love trumps passion, you knew you were with the right guy."
This tale of loss and found is exactly how I need and want my romances to be. I mean I sighed, I actually freakin' sighed with this feeling of 'everything is right in the world' once the last word was spoken and that short music theme that reminds you you've just listened to a Mary Calmes tales.
This story lovely, heartbreaking tale of Jake/Eli love loss and found had the exact amount of emotion, love, self loathing, understanding the true meaning of true love (my god, Eli's mom, I can't even imagine), and acceptance. Robert Nieman was perfection in his narration of this story for me. -sniff...sniff- I think I fell in love with his voice a little bit. 💖
"dramatic and emotionally draining story"
What I don't like, the way Eli refuses to talk about his past is a tad too long after several chapters. Plus, I have to admit that the story is a bit melodramatic.
Not my favorite from Mary Calmes . Too much randomness and everything was too convenient.
"Not her best but I enjoyed it"
This is a fun quick listen to book when you just need to close your eyes and relax. Too short to really get too involved with.
If you haven't read/ listen to this authors books... keep buying. While this story is short and sort of fluffy this is one of the most talented MM authors out there. She had several series that are on my must buy/ listen to list. I actually own most everything in book kindle and audible format.
Disclaimer – The back story that Jacob (Eli) tells the family is a hard one to hear. Involving violence towards him at a young age and his mother.
This two and half hour audio has a lot to offer us. The healing of time and love as well as family and understanding.
We have a lot going on in the couple of days this is set over.
Jacob, has been living a false existence ever since is mother took him away all those years ago. And because of that he refusing to let anyone get close to him.
Until Craig steps in and starts getting too close for comfort, so Jacob runs. Problem is running causes more issues than first thought.
Craig and Jacob are clearly made for each other, and it takes the patients that Craig has to show Jacob that finally, finally he can stop.
I did enjoy this fast story, filled will enough info that I didn’t feel anything was lacking when it was done. The only thing, is I think it may be part of a bigger series? I kept thinking, I’m missing a bigger story, bigger picture I’m not aware of?
But that aside, these two clearly deserve the HEA that they get in the end.
Narrator did a fine job keeping up with different characters
"A darker side to Mary good narration"
Eli/Jake has a reason to go home, but he’s scared. He doesn’t know who he is now. He’s run all his life and now he can’t decide the next step, so he cuts all ties, even though he has a happy life and love in Chicago.
Craig won’t accept that Jake wants out. He knows Jake. Knows all his secrets. Knows he needs Craig’s help.
When Eli/Jake finally faces his family after 13 years of absence, there’s a chance he could lose it all, or finally be free.
This is a no-holds-barred emotional read. Eli’s past is harsh and the love that he shares with Craig is special.
It was hard reading about what happened, and so many times I was tempted to rush to the end to see what he’s hiding, but the way it’s laid out is perfect – of course – it’s Mary!
Craig and Eli/Jake are a wonderful couple and I wish we’d gotten more of their story – but I almost think it would have been even more painful to have it drawn out. Seeing this – the pinnacle moment – was hard enough.
I love all of Mary’s work, and this is one of her more dark stories, showing us her breadth of talent.
I highly recommend this and the author, in this case, especially if you are in the mood for a happy ending but a darker story.
Robert Nieman is a favorite narrator of mine. He always has impeccable timing and gives depth and emotion to his performance, I wish he’d do a bit more with accents and such to make the characters stand out more, but I always knew who was talking, etc.
He’s very easy to listen to and I think he added to the overall enjoyment of this audiobook.
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
"Wished it was longer!"
I really enjoyed the story, but I wished that it was longer with more character development as I would have liked to meet more of the people in Jake's and Craig's life.
I would recommend this as it was a fun read and I always enjoy this author's work.
The narrator did a wonderful job of bringing life and sound to the written word. Thank you!
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