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A Hard Call

Stonewall Investigations Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

Zane Holden hasn't had the easiest go of things. His childhood was rough, and adulthood hasn't been a walk in the park, either. The only good thing in his life would be Stonewall Investigations, an investigative company he found to work primarily with the LGBTQ community. Things were okay, and Zane was finally healing from a personal tragedy, but the reemergence of a serial killer turns his world upside down.

Lorenzo De Luca is a cocky defense attorney dripping in Italian charm. He's well known as one of the best lawyers in New York City, a title he worked hard to achieve. When he picks up a difficult case, he finds that he needs extra help. This leads him to Stonewall, where he meets Zane for the first time and instantly feels himself falling for the mysterious and stone-cut detective.

The two men have their own hangups to work through, but both men are having a hard time denying the connection between them, even though they're trying. When fate insists on pushing them together, Zane and Enzo give in and start exploring their feelings. They'll need to balance their budding relationship with the stress of Enzo's case, which takes them both on a twisting journey toward the truth, all while a bigger threat looms on the horizon.

Contains mature themes.

©2018 Max Walker (P)2018 Tantor
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ok this Narrator is an instant One click for me.

I hadn't ever read Max Walker before, but was looking for something that Greg Boudreaux Had Narrated and to be honest figured why not.
I wasn't disappointed I love this book, the storyline was so brilliant leaving the Unicorn uncaught for the next book, who knows the whole series?
I will be getting the rest of this series, I have to say some Narrators just make a story and that was it for me,I have bought a few books I would never have found because of that.

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Profile Image for Patrick Gallanger
  • Patrick Gallanger
  • 19-11-18

Good listen

Great story and plot. The character development is good, but could have been a bit deeper. Zane could have better developed.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jason Moses
  • Jason Moses
  • 03-05-20

Excellent Read

I just recently discovered Max Walker and the Stonewall Investigation series, and I am hooked! The author did a fantastic job of crafting together a touching and engaging story with multi-layered characters that are relatable. It was a nice balance between crime/drama and romance. I did notice some other reviews seemed a little unhappy with the steamy romance scenes but honestly it was descriptive enough to keep you engaged and wanting more without turning into raunch. I've already purchased several others in this series and I highly recommend this to anyone looking for M4M romance.

I also want to make a special call-out to the narrator Greg Boudreaux, this man is a genius. I've actually heard him cover another series of books and I am blown away at how easily he can transition across gender and nationality so flawlessly. You would almost swear you were listening to a radio drama with multiple actors. Fantastic voice talent!

1 person found this helpful

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  • averi54
  • 02-12-19

Bad PI, Bad Pacing...

It's said that Zane started Stonewall Investigation some ten years ago so you'd think that with all those years of experience the dude would have figured out the obvious when all his investigative clues pointed everywhere but at the guy in jail or the gang member. By then I, the reader, had figured out who the murderer was but no, not the experience PI. And really, what PI just sits there, comfortably in a chair, when the person he's interviewing suddenly gets up and locks the door. The mystery was obvious, too many clues for it to go unnoticed. Zane unfortunately wasn't able to solve the case. Really, the murderer just ended up giving themselves away.

Regarding the relationship between Zane and Enzo, it seemed to have moved very fast because the author skipped days and weeks off pages. So it made it look like it was insta-love. But there was some timing in the process, it's just the readers weren't privy to such time. i'm not a fan of authors who tell things off page because we didn't get to experience any real development between the MCs. By the time I knew, Zane and Enzo were already saying "I love You". Bad story and characters development pacing here. I ended up stopping four times because the 'Just Tell' antics used here bored me. I did finish it though. The thing is, I read the other book from the new series, Stonewall Investigation in Miami, first before reading this one. And I liked the Bad Idea book just enough which prompted me to come back to the original series. I couldn't stand this book however. And since I now have a sense of the author's pacing and writing for Zane and Enzo's crime solving and relationship continuation I won't be continuing with this original series. Zane and Enzo, or the New York's office 's plot and pacing just doesn't interest me enough. I will maybe, and it really is just a maybe, continue with the Stonewall Investigation in Miami series. The problem I have with Max Walker is that the guy moves his story along way too quickly. There's not much room for development since he does more telling off the page than allow us to embark on a journey with his characters. Walker's main focus seems to be reaching a clean ending as fast as he can and this really kills it for me because I fell like he could do so much more with the setting he has for both investigation offices. I have a feeling he's going to be another author I'll likely drop.



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  • R Keebler
  • 13-11-18

Great story, great narration

Picture a Film Noir with a twist (a MAN walks into a gay friendly, detective agency), sitting at the desk is a beautiful hunk of manhood, sexy lips, five o'clock shadow, chiseled jaw, lap begging to be sat on. Enzo is so taken with Zane that he ask him out and is shot down.

Zane is still recovering from the love of his life being murdered by a serial killer several years before. The killer has apparently reemerged. Taking away the peace he has achieved. They meet again when Zanes brother saves Enzo from a crazy person bent on revenge. They spend the night getting acquainted. Tasting a bit of each other for the first time.

Zane tells himself they are just working together trying to clear Enzo's client. Fighting his attraction is getting harder every time they meet and Enzo isn't making it easier.

There is peril for our heroes but you know one or the other will save the day.

Cazzo, (you will have to read the book to see what that means) these guys are really hot. I loved their cheesy lines and their snark. Through the whole book I felt like I was reading a pulp fiction paperback and enjoyed the hell out of it (although I seriously doubt Mike Hammer would of visited the Museum of Sex). This was fun. Looking forward to the next book in the series.


1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-05-20

3 Times

I've tried this book 3 times in an attempt to like it. I don't know if it's the writing, or the narrator. The narrator has a pleasant enough voice. But his switching back and forth is confusing at times. I REALLY want to like it because the story line is up my alley, but the writer just doesn't deliver.

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  • AmazonReviewer
  • 25-05-20

Needed procedural research

This wasn’t believable because of too many factual errors surrounding legal cases and police procedure. It spoiled the book for me. The narration was pretty good but the man spoke in a disinterested tone a lot of the time which didn’t do the book any favors.

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  • Cranky Reader
  • 23-05-20

Fun, mostly

Enjoyable mystery romance. While there’s mystery related drama, and past pains to get over, the romance is not a source of tears or much frustration. Secondary characters are minimal but used well to show Zane & Enzo aren’t unlikeable loners. Dual POV used nicely.

I liked how the guys had a discussion about how one did something to concern the other, they both thought about how to handle such situations in the future, then did that. I like seeing characters act like adults, specifically adults who care about each other and want to make each other’s lives less stressful.

Mystery: There are 2 mysteries involved. One is resolved. The back burner one is pretty clearly going to run for more than one book. I wanted more detail on how the primary case played out, despite knowing whodunnit and why. A quibble- why didn’t Enzo call Zane’s cop brother when he thought to check on Zane?Not enough of a lack (limited wrapup, forgetting bro) to downgrade what was kicking along nicely until then but the ending was rushed.

Steam: Hot. Zane & Enzo are hot for each other, and not much is held back. Detailed M/M sexytimes on page throughout. They’re fun guys and their enjoyment of each other is effervescent. The romance ending also felt disjointed. It wasn’t unexpected so much as lacking a smooth transition. If I were the editor, I would have requested more words to wrap up the mystery and fewer for wandering around, as well as another conversation between the guys about how details of their separate lives can better merge. Again, not wrong, and not scanty enough info to downgrade, just the pacing on the last 2 chapters really threw me. Thankfully, it also left me wanting more.

Narration: GB is generally a good listen and was mostly so here. Distinct voicing was done for each main character. I am not an expert on accents but Enzo’s sounded more Mexican-Spanish than Italian to me. The voicing was (deliberately) more distinct for spoken lines but tended to fade in and out more in Enzo’s POV.

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Profile Image for Jillian MacLeod
  • Jillian MacLeod
  • 29-02-20

Didn't finish listening

I managed to get about halfway through this book, but just couldn't finish. A brief list of the things that made me quit:
— The romance doesn't feel real or organic. It starts with InstaLust and there isn't enough framework built toward them falling in love for me to buy into it.
— Too much telling, not enough showing, which is something I can ignore if everything else about a book is great, but that's not the case here.
— Porn for the sake of porn. I like my sex scenes to drive the plot (relationship or an external plot) forward. Alas, there's no advancement of plot here, just spontaneous inappropriate boners as far as the eye can see. I kept thinking "Can we just get back to the mystery plots, please?"
— Unrealistic / unlikeable characters. I don't recall if it's specified how old Enzo and Zane are supposed to be, but I'm assuming mid-30s at least, based on where they are in their careers. Neither of them act nearly that mature, but Enzo is the worse of the two; he's annoying and reminded me of a whiny, entitled teenage boy. A whiny, entitled teenage boy who needs to take a sex ed class, because he tells his bff that he hasn't had sex with Zane after we've been subjected to at least two sex scenes.

Greg Boudreaux is one of the decent (though not exceptional) narrators out there, and he does a good job.

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Profile Image for Latecia M Jennings
  • Latecia M Jennings
  • 10-02-20

Loved it!!!

Loved Enzo....Loved Zane...Loved the story...the narrator was fantastic...wonderful start to the series...5 plus plus plus stars

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Profile Image for Dixiecowgirl060
  • Dixiecowgirl060
  • 31-01-19

Awesome Narration & Story! Highly recommend!

Strong men, powerful passion, intriguing story-line and heat melting romance make a terrific story! Well written with amazing characters and a gripping story-line that kept me reading all the way through in one sitting.

Zane and Enzo are so combustible together that you can feel the sizzle on your kindle. i really liked how we got to know these guys and i fell in love with both of them. i so want more of these men!

Highly recommend!