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Brave for You

Oahu Lovers Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Iggy Toma
Series: Oahu Lovers Series, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

Less than a year after moving to Hawaii, construction foreman Nate Ellison's wife leaves him and their infant son for another man. Months into single-fatherhood, Nate meets Andrew "An" Hoang and is slowly drawn into An's life. Through An's friendship, he finds himself finally enjoying his new home in paradise.  

An Hoang hasn't had a real relationship in years. With his pediatrics practice and a niece to care for on his days off, he doesn't have the headspace for more than a simple roll in the sack. But when he meets Nate - who just happens to be the gorgeous construction worker he encountered in the lobby of his apartment building - something about Nate makes it impossible for him not to care. When Nate needs An's help with his son, An doesn't refuse.   

What happens when Nate's past and An's old-fashioned parents interfere just as the two men begin to fall for each other? Will they find the means to be brave and give their love a chance to flourish?

©2018 Crystal Lacy (P)2018 Tantor

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Profile Image for Shin Mon Thway
  • Shin Mon Thway
  • 03-01-19

A paradise for two with babies

Sometimes, you just want to enjoy a low-angst, all good feels, slow-burn, sweet romance without being under an angst umbrella with a pack of Kleenex. 😁 I mean I love that bittersweet angst and heart wrenching emotional stuff but occasionally, we all need a break from books that make us cry. 😌 And so, this friends to lovers, GFY book is my version of Hawaii vacation. 😉 And Iggy Toma was my hunky boyfriend during this vacation. 😂👏


Nate is clueless about how to normally function his life with his infant son while working long hours at his job after being abruptly left by his wife. Cue and enter Doctor Andrew Hoang, Nate’s new savior and hottie neighbor who happens to be a pediatrician. 😉 Nate doesn’t know where his wife is or whether she will ever come back. And An is temptation incarnate, sweet, considerate, understanding and way too sexy for Nate’s liking. 🔥 While being a seemingly perfect man, An has his own problems too. While dealing with his homophobic parents and helping his sister singlehandedly raise a daughter, pining for his not so straight neighbor who’s still married to a runaway wife is definitely not a good idea. 🙂 But An has been following rules for all his life. And Nate is impossible to resist with that shy and charming smile and down to earth personality. Plus, he loves Neal, Nate’s infant son who’s very attached to An. After mutually deciding being friends is better than being something more, both An and Nate finds that it is impossible not to want something more from each other. 😌 It’s time to man up and chase the man you are dying to be with. And a HEA will be there for one who relentlessly pursue their dreams. Nate and An just need to be life in each other and give this relationship a shot. 😉


It was slow-burn, sweet, romantic and just a bit tiny angsty at the end before their epic HEA. I have always loved interracial couples and I do believe authors need to venture more into this sub-genre. So kudos to Crystal Lacy to pulling off a lovely interracial love story. 👏 And did I say there’s popping that butt cherry of our virgin Nate? 😁 That was one hot scene! 🔥 I liked that there are very believable and lovely secondary characters in the story. I really loved the presence of two kids in the story and MCs’ sisters. It makes the story really realistic. Overall, enjoyable, fun and heartwarming. 😊 And as always, Iggy Toma did a stellar job narrating this story. Highly recommended to anyone who are looking for low-angst GFY stories with friends to lovers trope. 😌


4.5 a paradise for two with babies stars
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Audio rating

story - 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Narration - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Performance- 4.75 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟
Overall - 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Belen
  • Belen
  • 08-02-19

Miscommunication 😤

I really enjoyed the first 84%, but the last 16% ruined the whole thing for me. I hate miscommunication, I hate unnecessary angst, and this whole thing... devolved so rapidly for me.

Narration was great though. Iggy Toma continues to be one of my favorite narrators. He infuses such emotion and develops the characters so well. Too bad the story didn't live up to his greatness.

The story takes place over about 9 months with lots of time jumps and has a "6 months later" epilogue to tidy everything up that gets broken in the last few chapters.

In the beginning, we find out Nate's wife Olivia recently left him and their two month old son, Neil, without a backward glance or good explanation. Neil, trying to hold it together, sells their townhome, and moves closer to his work and his sister, who along with her girlfriend help as a support system.

Nate takes Neil to the pediatrician for a wellness check, but his regular doctor isn't there, and the doctor's business partner is filling in and turns out to be Nate's new neighbor.

An's traditional Vietnamese family disagrees with what they think of as "his lifestyle" choice, and it created a wedge between them. Things got a bit better between them after An's younger sister had a baby out of wedlock and An stepped in to help her raise his niece Dai, but it's an uneasy truce where they all simply don't talk about An or his love life (or lack thereof). 

After Nate and An meet, Neil gets sick and An helps Nate out. An and Nate start spending a lot of time together. And while Nate's bi, he's still unsure of what's happening with his missing wife and doesn't want to start anything with An because of it. But after about 6 months they confess their feelings and begin dating in earnest. 

It's a sweet, gentle, romance with very little tension or angst, about picking up the pieces and taking a new chance on love.

Until 84%.

That's when Olivia, Nate's wife, shows up on his doorstep unannounced and everything blows up.

Frankly, I lost a lot of respect for Nate the moment he started a relationship with An and didn't start divorce proceedings. Then when Olivia shows up his reaction cemented my already troubled feelings for the character to outright disdain.

When Olivia shows up, the author decided the characters, who until this point were pretty rational, aren't going to behave rationally. 

So, yeah. The last few chapters filled with unnecessary miscommunication, which was so totally off kilter with the flow of the rest of the book, and felt like it got shoehorned in only for the super drama llama of it all killed me.

The story really didn't need it, it didn't enhance anything, and frankly ruined it for me.

Majorly disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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Profile Image for Marco Felgueiras
  • Marco Felgueiras
  • 19-01-19

Crushing hard on a pediatrician

What I really enjoyed in this title is that everyone is so incredibly relatable, you seem to immediately know all of them as if they are a part of your life. You are immediately transported into Ang and Nate's life and you get carried away to the growth of their relationship.

It's a book that will make you feel incredibly good, it's not overwrought with angst over every little feeling and your affection for the characters will grow as their affections grow.

Never thought I'd crush so hard on a pediatrician.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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Profile Image for Bridget
  • Bridget
  • 28-12-18

loved it!

I loved this book, it is a very sweet story! I have it on kindle also, but i think i enjoyed the audible version more (and it was nice hearing the correct pronunciations of the Hawaiian and Vietnamese words instead of me butchering them by trying to sound it out).

This was also the first time I've heard this narrator, he did a great job as well!