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Before the Call

A Small Town Hearts Novel
Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
Series: Small Town Hearts, Book 2
Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

Rule #1 Don’t fall for the ridiculously hot straight guy

Rule #2 Especially not if he’s your best friend

Rule #3 Extra-especially not when you’re supposed to be his private tutor

Rule #4 Oh, god, but those eyes

Rule #5 Okay, maybe eyes are fine if you don’t look south

Rule #6 Don’t look south

Rule #7 You looked south, didn’t you?

Rule #8 Are you even listening? 

Gabe Mitchell isn't listening. What's worse, ever since he moved back to the small town he thought he'd left for good, he's turned into a habitual rule breaker. 

Falling for his straight best friend, Clark Summers? Check. 

Falling for his straight best friend, Clark Summers, who also happens to be his newest mature student? Check. 

And don't you dare get him started about what's going on down south, because Gabe doesn't need to check that to know he's in deep. 

It's a good thing Clark's missed him these last four years, and a better thing that he's willing to do whatever it takes to have Gabe back in his life, because rules are about to be broken. All of them. And Clark’s only rule? The one about being straight? It might just end up broken, too.

Before the Call is the second book in the Small Town Hearts series, which features heroes scattered across the rural United States who find love where they're least expecting it. In addition to friendship that turns red-hot, you can expect to find generous servings of vanilla ice cream that are anything but vanilla, interesting “tutoring” techniques, a nerd who's head over heels for the best friend he can't have, and a jock who loves his Dork even after years apart.

©2019 Emma Alcott (P)2020 Emma Alcott

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sweet & Romantic, MF Does a Marvelous Job!

Emma Alcott’s newest novel in her standalone Small Town Hearts series, Before the Call, has been released in audio, beautifully performed by Michael Ferraiuolo.

A sweet friends-to-lovers story, Before the Call also touches on a few deeper issues as well. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say one of the younger brothers is a victim of a cat-fishing predator. Everything turns out okay, plus the entire community rallies around the family in the best of ways.

Michael Ferraiuolo does a wonderful job bringing this one to life. His soothing voice is the perfect way to enjoy Ms. Alcott’s heart-warming story. I highly recommend this one!

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Wonderful hug in a book.

Friends to lovers, long time crushes, I love this trope when it’s written well and this book is so very well done.

I really enjoyed Clark and Gabe they are such fun, steamy and perfect together, as they find their happy ever after. The secondary characters are just hilarious and full of mischief and drama. This is a fluff book lower next and high and heat full of good feelings. It’s a hug in a book.

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Perfect best friend romance with a wonderful voice

This is such a wonderful romance, best friends to lovers in a low angst relationship but with drama that unfolds with a member of family.
Gabe is back in town after leaving for college four years previously. He left behind his long time crush and best friend, Clark. Clark is ecstatic that he's back and soon brings him back into the fold of the family along with his numerous siblings. Even as friends they are an adorable duo but once it's hinted that Gabe may find romance with someone else, Clark finds his feelings quickly becoming clear for his best friend.
I love how easy it was to read their relationship. It's very laid back and moves along at a good pace, allowing the family drama around them to push them closer together. Things quickly heat up but Clark also wants to be clear on his feelings regarding Gabe and his new found attraction. It's refreshing to have that so early in a relationship. The darker side of the story comes from an event that happens to Clark's brother. Something that dims the light in Devon but, surprisingly, shows the true spirit of community.
Peyton, their close friend from highschool that Gabe now works with at that same school is so funny. She brings a lighter side to so many moments but isn't afraid to show her strength when it comes to standing up for herself and those she cares for. One of my favourite lines in the book is early on after Gabe reconnects with her - She wouldn't lie to him. If she did, her right to musically summon woodland creatures would be revoked and she would have to reapply for her Princess Permit.
This is a story that starts out with despair, for the characters and possibly the town but ends with hope and love. I really enjoyed everything about it and would highly recommend this and the series. Emma draws you in right from the start and
Michael Ferraiuolo is becoming one of the top narrators and this is just another example of his excellent work. He really brings the characters and story to life, providing a lot of emotion that pulls you fully into the plot and romance that develops between the MC's. I have to say though, my favourite voice he provides is for Missy. So much better than what I imagined!

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Loved

Great small town friends to lovers romance, Gabe and Clark were adorable together. There was a real emotional connection with these two which is excellently written, it grabs you right from the start.

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I loved the book and the audio was a real treat

This is such a feelgood book with just the right amount of drama. I completely fell in love with Gabe and Clark, such an adorable couple. Best friends in highschool, geeky, adorkable, Gabe has always had a crush on the oblivious Clark. When he returns home to take up a teaching position the pair rekindle their friendship which eventually turns to so much more.
The writing has so many quirky, humorous phrases peppered throughout Gabe's inner monologue that had me smiling and occasionally laughing out loud. I loved the book and the audio was a real treat

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lovely story

narration was good. story wise it was also good. being from a small town i noticed things that would never actually happen however overall the story itself was good. I have been enjoying this series and can't wait for more.

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2.5 stars

This book was a real slog to get through, and I could barely focus to the end (especially when it starting time jumping forwards arbitrarily). I enjoyed the first book in this series but this one didn’t engage me at all.

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🎧 LesCourt Reviewer 🎧

Before the Call (A Small Town Hearts Novel Book 2) by Emma Alcott. This was a slow burn friends to lovers romance. This story develops nicely. A good combination of world building and character development.
The Narrator Michael Ferraiuolo did a fantastic job bringing these characters and stories to life.

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wow

this narrator did an amazing job... wow.. so much sexy.. so many things going on.. personalities and love... emotions and laughter.. so many things going on and the narrator did an amazing job with these characters and their world.. wonderful!

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Small Town Friends To Lovers ❤️

This is the second in the A Small Town Hearts Novel Series by Emma Alcott and can be read/listened as a stand-alone.
It’s an enjoyable story of two reunited friends to lovers, adorkable Gabe, a high school maths teacher, who comes back to his home town and his best friend and secret crush, Clark, a high school dropout, who works in the mines, and has had to take on the roll of substitute dad to his siblings after his father passed away to help his mother.
I really enjoy this author’s writing style, it’s well written and easy to read yet her characters are well rounded and developed.
I look forward to listening to more of her work.
Michael Ferraiuolo was flawless as usual and brought individuality emotion and empathy to each character.

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  • Rellim
  • 24-03-20

Low-angst friends to lovers, fabulous narration

Also in KU.

While this is the second book in the series - there's no connection in any way to the first book, so this can be listened to all on it's own. Emma Alcott has given another wonderful comfort/low-angst listen with adorable characters. While there is a bit of drama, it's not between Gabe & Clark it's from external situations.

Not exactly GFY as much as Clark just not realizing what it is he wants, while Gabe has always known he wants Clark. I think this fits better in the best friends to lovers category.

Michael Ferraiuolo is amazing here. It's only the second book I've listened to him narrate and I love his ability to be a full cast all by himself. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to anything else he narrates.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Gay Romance Reviews and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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  • R. Wikoff
  • 24-03-20

Small town friends to lovers

Emma Alcott's humor, steam, and sweetness combined with Michael Ferraiuolo's performance is glorious. Gabe is adorably awkward and Clark is a clueless good guy. Ferraiuolo does a great job at portraying the MCs as well as the side characters. This will define be one of my comfort re-listens.

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  • Clau
  • 23-03-20

I loved it!

I think Emma Alcott is quickly becoming my to-go author when I'm in need of some happy time.

The story is great, with characters that you can't help but love, funny and sweet. I love Gabe social awkwardness and the way he tries to use his inner dialogues to get over it (they ARE funny!); and Clark is such a wonderful person, shouldering a lot of responsibilities and trying always to do what is best for his family.

Clark's family is big and loud and full of love; they reminded me of my own ♥

And I simply adored the way in which the town come together when Devon needed it. That was an awesome moment, and I really, really loved it. Yes, I have a soft heart *laughs*

And Michael Ferraiuolo does a fabulous job with the narration \0/

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  • Dmauritzen
  • 22-03-20

Great

So was a good friends to lovers romance. It’s never good when have a crush on your straight best friend. This i# book two and was a great fun addition. The characters Clark and Gabe are both interesting and blind well together. The narrator did a amazing job with theses characters. Can’t wait for more.

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  • JKS
  • 22-03-20

Friends to Lovers

I love this beautiful story about family, love, and friendship. Gabe returns home to take a job at the local high school, while out getting groceries he runs into his one time best friend Clark. I just love watching how their friendship turns into so much more. Gabe and Clark are so good for each other and I may have shed happy tears at the end.
Narrator Michael Ferraiuolo does another amazing job.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 22-03-20

good and funny

good story
good narration
good editing
good plot
fun main characters

tragic that a whole society is made dependent on the whim of one firm.

are schools in small-town America really dependent on the donation of big corporations, and if so how is that not corruption? I hope that parte of the story was made up. I do not know.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • V-Tachy
  • 21-03-20

hard time following

I listened to the first book in the series and was really impressed with and the narrator. When I discovered there was a second book I was really excited. After listening to the second book on its entirety. I have to wondered what I just listened to? Had it not been in the craziness that is Covid-19? I would have never listened to the book. I had a hard time identifying with either of the MC and plot at all. My takeaway is maybe this is a one off the Author had a hard time getting on paper. The Narrator did a good job. While the book maybe right up some folks alley. it wasn't for me.

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  • The Book Wench
  • 21-03-20

I love this!

What can I say? A great story masterfully performed by Michael Ferraiuolo! Clark Summers and Gabe Mitchell have been best friends for years, and while Gabe has known from the beginning that he's in love with his bestie, it takes Clark a bit longer to figure it out. On the way to that discovery, we learn enough about each of them to make us fall in love with both of them ourselves. Their story is told in each of their voices with humor and passion, and as they find their way toward their HEA, they reconnect with old friends, help Clark's brother find the strength to be himself, and help Clark to get back on track and lay the foundation for a brighter working future. It's a truly sweet romance, but bearing enough heat to satisfy our need for passion. And at the end of it, we can well understand Gabe's epiphany: "He was in love, had always been in love, would always be in love." And that's a beautiful thing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn M
  • 21-03-20

great story

Before the Call is the second book in the Small Town Hearts series by Emma Alcott. It is a contemporary m/m friends to lovers romance with the Jock and the Nerd twist. Its sweet with scorching heat. Gabe and Clark are fantastic characters and absolutely wonderful together.I felt like squee-ing a few times from their cute interactions. It had angst, humor and romance - fun characters too. There were parts that really pulled at the emotions too. I fully enjoyed the story. Loved it!

Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo, the story entertains and satisfies with great voicework and recording.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • April 🎧 Reads
  • 20-03-20

Friends to Lovers plus 2nd Chances

This is a sweet story about two childhood best friends who drifted apart after high school. A phone call brought them back together.

It’s a joy to listen, the unfolding of layers of their friendship. The challenges along the way. The strength of their friendship withstanding everything.

There’s a lot of humor in this story, a lot of steam too. And some serious parts but I love how Emma Alcott wrote those, it organic. The pace and resolution fits the flow of the story very well.

Michael’s showcase of different range of character voices is stellar on this one. His music is a great addition too, it makes the audiobook so unique.