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Ask, Tell

Ask, Tell Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Abby Craden
Series: Ask, Tell Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)

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Summary

Captain Sabine Fleischer is a skilled and dedicated US Army surgeon deployed to a combat hospital in Afghanistan. She is also one of the thousands of troops who are forced to serve in silence because of the military's anti-gay policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)". 

Usually driven and focused, Sabine finds that battles raging both inside and outside the perimeter walls are making it more and more difficult for her to deal with her emotions. Dealing with loss and mortality, lack of privacy, sleep deprivation, loneliness, and the isolation forced on her by Don't Ask, Don't Tell are all taking their toll. Plus, her long-term relationship with a civilian back home is quickly becoming another casualty of war. 

Colonel Rebecca Keane is an enigmatic career officer who runs the surgical unit like clockwork. Well-liked and respected by those who work with and under her, she walks a fine line to preserve the military's chain of command while connecting with those under her care and supervision. Sabine knows the colonel is way off-limits but can't help fantasizing about her. Especially when she starts picking up unspoken cues - a stolen glance, a secret smile, an "accidental" brush of hands. Or is it just wishful thinking? After all, Rebecca's wedding ring shines almost as brightly as her deep blue eyes....

©2017 E. J. Noyes (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Aj
  • 10-07-19

Perfection

Just incredible, one of the best books I've read, really well narrated. I'd highly recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfect

E.J.’s beautiful words come completely to life with a wonderful vocal performance by Abby Craden. One of my favourite books arguably made even better. I cannot wait for the next instalment. If you haven’t listened to, or read, this book yet go forth and enjoy. You will not regret it!

3 people found this helpful

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Blown away!

Wow. Two months on and two more listens to this stunning book and I'm still a bit obsessed with it. EJ Noyes writes with an intensity that perfectly suits Abby Craden's powerful performance. Abby rarely misses a beat, but she is stunning here.
So, the story starts off not unlike many other perfectly charming, but not unpredictable lesbian romances, but suddenly changes, in a series of increasingly dramatic, emotional incidents, into a tense exploration of love, desire, trauma and mental distress.
Although this book works fine on its own, the sequel is excellent and helped me understand the character arcs and get some closure (though it is harrowing at times).
I've read a few war based books over my life, but I can't remember hearing anything as jaw dropping as some of the battle descriptions in this book. It's not for the faint hearted, but so incredibly tense, shocking, brilliantly written and crucial to the story that I still think about it often. I felt like I gained a valuable insight, and huge sympathy. It made me, unexpectedly, quite emotional.
This is certainly not what I was expecting, but I'm so delighted I bought this. The sequel is also great, as I said, though emotionally hard.
I've listened to this 3 times now, and I certainly got a lot from these extra listens. There's a lot of depth, layering and foreshadowing that rereading reveals.
So, fab stuff from both EJ and Abby, one of my top 5 listens of the past few years... :)

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating story. I was hooked

Not usually one for romantic fiction. But I was impressed by the amount of detail & captivated by the story. Will they? Won't they? Certainly had my heart racing.
The reader mis-pronounced a medical abbreviation "Lap Chol" there's no 'h.' The voice certainly matched the story. I loved it #newfan

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good

A well told story. Narrated very well. Enjoyed the book will look for more by author as well as narrater.

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Great story

Great story and narrator but certain prononciations were incorrect. For example lap chole should have been pronounced “Lap Koh-Lee” instead of “Lap Ch- OL.” As a surgeon, this hurt me a little inside, but did not distract from the story really.

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A lot of feelings came out during this!!!

I loved this book, so deeply emotional that I had to take a break a couple of times because of overwhelming feelings which were only brought more to life by the great narration of Abby Craden, which I adore :-).

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Superb

One of my absolute favourite books. I loved this Audible version. Great narration. Just superb.

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Decent

This is a little slow to get started, but if you persevere I’d say it’s worth the effort. Excellent plot, if a little predictable at times, and seemingly really well researched. And, okay, Abby Craden could read me Kafka in German and I’d go 5 stars

1 person found this helpful

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Disclaimer: only read 14 chapters.

14 chapters in and this could not be any drier. Nothing was happening, just a bunch of walking around with little to, in my opinion, no development from the supposed leads at all. The breakup scene was predictable and the aftermath and Sabine's behaviour was pretty irritating to deal with, like watching a child have a tantrum. There seems to be no chemistry at all between the leads cause they barely interact and the subtle hints are so deliberate. The narrating wasn't the best here, but it's tolerable.

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  • Jlnicky
  • 15-06-19

Wow just wow PLOT is a 10 star

Just as a preface i was once under DADT but i was drummed out with Honorable Dis. All very civilized but still booted. That being said, the situation of someones livelihood and lifestyle not being allowed to flourish is very real in the military. Its like being part of a huge family, then after everyone suddenly turn their back to you whenever you enter the room. Its just cold. Thank goodness i was young and had some attitude and figured my way back to reality. A real family doesn’t do that. Now i look at those five years and i know the military lost out, not me. I have accomplished so much.

So this book sort of hit home for me. It was very realistic in the emotional path the main character dealt with (e.g. hiding the desires, the androgenized partner name, having secrecy about your life, even the alcohol. Hell you cant even talk about your family or friends in that situation. The wedding ring was ingenious. Wish i would have thought of that.

The narrator was very good but her dulcet tones were a bit languid at times when i thought they should have held more anger or sarcasm.

The story was excellent and had a satisfying ending. I enjoyed this immensely.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Worrell
  • 30-09-19

hard read for the right reasons, loved it!

loved this booked! I was hit by an IED in Iraq in 2003. The author has done a phenomenal job of describing the feeling and the goings on as much as a person can just short of being blown up themselves which made it a hard read, but very good.

To top it off...love this developing love story abd cant wait to start book 2.

Thank you for doing your research E.J. It means a lot

4 people found this helpful

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  • IMO
  • 23-06-19

Great audio

When I first read this book I was impressed by the authors writing. Listening to the audio version makes the story even better.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Saluta
  • 07-03-20

Powerfully engaging from the first

I’m always a little hesitant to read/listen to a story involving military but I have absolutely no hesitation recommending this story as a powerful example of military bearing, DADT, and incredibly engaging story. I was loathe to stop listening as I was very much captured from the beginning. Abby Craden did an amazing job and the voice of each character were clear and distinguishable. Her narration style made me feel the emotions and brought me to tears with Sabine and Rebeccah. Definitely recommend this story!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kris
  • 02-03-20

Great book

This book deals with alot of truth on how the US military dealt with it's prejudices when it came to LGBT back in the the late 80's early 90's. It was a very frustrating and lonely time for many of our servicemen and women. I love how this book focuses on the difficulty having and maintaining a same sex relationship in the service. I did find that the two female MCs did fall in to their relationship quite fast, especially considering the situation Sabine was in at the time. All in all it was a really good read. Well written, and for my first book by this Author, I was quite impressed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erin Hartman
  • 21-02-20

Slow start, but picked up

The story started off a little slow but picked up in the 5 and 6th chapter. I enjoyed the story very much and my heart broke for the main characters regarding DADT.

I did catch an error or two but overall, a very good book. Abby Craden was fantastic as usual. You can't go wrong with her.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jude
  • 17-02-20

Simply beautiful

I had been warned but still, I will never be prepared for how sexy Abby Craden’s voice is. And she also rules in non-sexy scenes. I have to say, she might have ruined me for average narrators.

I listened to this audiobook about a month ago but couldn’t get myself to review it before now. Now that I’ve listened to the sequel – Ask Me Again –, I had to review this one first. I read the book in December 2018, and the review I wrote then is kinda pitiful, so it was no help. Maybe I just have to admit I have no words for this book. It’s a debut novel, it’s superbly written, it made me ache and cry and rejoice, both in its written form and in audio.

Captain Sabine Fleischer is a U.S. Army surgeon deployed in Afghanistan. She’s meticulous, dedicated, focused. Except when her boss, Colonel Rebecca Keane, is around. Sabine’s crush on her superior is tremendous but she won’t act on it: she already has a girlfriend at home. And there’s also that teeny-weeny matter of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). When her girlfriend leaves her, Sabine has to go through the pain and betrayal alone, not allowed to talk about it with anyone, not even her best friend Mitch. The only good thing about it is that she can now allow herself to at least dream of something happening with Rebecca, who seems to struggle as much as her with their forbidden attraction.

As I wrote in my original review, I read a lot and most of the books I read are rather well written, but some are way above the rest. This is one of those. Not in a noticeable way that would make me stop to admire a sentence, as it happens sometimes with other authors, but in a completely organic way. It’s simply so perfect you just flow with it. Add to that the more than stellar narration by Abby Craden and I am in awe.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-02-20

wow so emotional

I loved it the fact that my favorite narrator Abby is doing this is just amazing I heard about the story the book but didn't know if I wanted to read it or not but yeah I went on ahead and got this book in the sequel and it was just good I truly did enjoy it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-01-20

Second listen, still my favorite

The title says it all. Absolutely love this book and Abby Craden's performance! Slow build romance with great insight into what DADT was truly like.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AZ Desert Gal
  • 24-01-20

Well done!

Important and well told story of military life under don't ask, don't tell. Emotionally compelling and sizzling chemistry.

1 person found this helpful