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Elements of Retrofit

Thomas Elkin Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Series: Thomas Elkin Series, Book 1
Length: 3 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Summary

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?

A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his 40th birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.

Cooper Jones, 22 years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.

Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom's world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.

©2017 NR Walker (P)2019 NR Walker

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so incredible

listening to elements of retrofit was such a incredible and beautiful experience

nick j russo did such a amazing job bringing thomas and cooper to life he made me feel everything Thomas and cooper were going through perfectly

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Short but very complete and enjoyable story

With this being a novella at only 3 and a bit hours long I was expecting either a cliffhanger, or a story that wasn’t filled out enough. I was delighted to be proved wrong. I’m now astonished at how short it was. It left me feeling happy and satisfied, and eager for the other books in the series following these characters to come out to find out what they do next. N.R. Walker really is a very talented writer and I’ve loved loads of their books. They always have believable characters and I get absorbed in the stories.

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Well worth the wait for this Cooper Jones thing 😁

Woohoo!! Tom and Coop are FINALLY on audio. Thank goodness Nic decided to give this particular series to Nick J. Russo...he brilliantly captures Tom and Cooper, just as I'd imagined them to be. Puddle of goo big-time, and I have two more audios to look forward to. TOTALLY worth it...I feel like I've been waiting forever for this series.

***Book review dated September 2013***

This book was my read of choice on a recent trip from London to Lisbon, and well worth the wait. As is usual for me with Nic's books, it's a total keeper. 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Shortie review. Thomas Elkin, a 40's something architect meets up with his son who has brought a friend with him to dinner. The 'friend' Cooper turns out to be one of the interns that Tom is interviewing the following day....and Cooper won't let anything stand in his way...of his job or a relationship with his friend's father!! Wonderful.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-05-19

Need 2 & 3 STAT!

I have really enjoyed this story every time I’ve read, and now listened to, it. N.R. Walker takes a storyline that could be trite or well-worn and breathes new life into it. While there is instant attraction here, there’s no insta-love.

Single POV, age gap romance, low angst, steamy and sexy, with a happy ending. Books two and three are coming soon, but they both have happy endings too, just in case that's something (like me) you worry about (Don't mess with my happy endings!).

Nick J. Russo does an absolutely wonderful job. Great character voices, his pacing and timing are on point, and he breathes new life into an already terrific story, but I need the others NOW please!

A note, for those like me who have read the series before, the bonus chapter told from Cooper’s POV is NOT included in the audio.

Recommended!

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  • VHB
  • 19-04-19

Finaly is on audiobooks.

Loved this series on books . looking faward to the rest of the series being done on audio.
I LOVE the story , the characters . the narration is just perfection.
this one is a keeper.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-06-19

Tom & Cooper, a delight

These two sizzle - from the beginning - and have the usual age difference angst - with a twist - Tom has a son the same age as Cooper. That said, you can see from the beginning Cooper is an old soul. Love NR Walker, nothing can top her Red Dirt Heart Series - still my favorite MM series - but Cooper and Tom in these three books are a close second - do not miss these, I own almost all NR's books in e-book and audible - and find her narrators, Joel Leslie and Nick J. Russo to be excellent! Don't hesitate - Jump!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 21-04-19

Amazing performance

I've been waiting for this audiobook for a long while. I was not disappointed. Nick Russo brought Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones to life
the pace, emotions everything was on point. I can not wait for book 2

2 people found this helpful

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  • Morgan A Skye
  • 31-05-19

One of my favorite May/December series!

Thomas Elkins got married young to a woman he mostly loved, they had a wonderful son but then Tom realized as he got older that his love of men could no longer be denied. He got divorced, moved out and moved on.

Now, he lives his life as a rather famous architect in a lonely apartment in NYC, neither miserable nor happy.

One day his son brings home a friend, a very cute, very interested and interesting friend. Eye-ball messages may have been exchanged, but really, Tom thought nothing of it. He’s 22 years older than the guy for Pete’s sake!

When that friend, Cooper, ends up being Tom’s new intern, trouble really starts showing up.

Cooper is 22, trying to make the best impression he can on an icon in the industry who also turns out to be his friend’s father and a super-hot-newly-out-gay-guy!

Cooper doesn’t back down from a challenge and when he notices the looks Tom inadvertently sends his way, not to mention the fact that the two can talk for hours without missing a beat, and the fact that he’s smokin’ hot… he decides to go for it.

What happens next is the two men making room in their lives for a less-than-usual relationship, in a dangerous-for-them environment.

Tom is afraid he’s too old. Cooper doesn’t know what a real relationship even looks like. Tom is scared that Cooper might be using him for his prestige. Cooper is worried he’ll never measure up or be thought of as an equal. Both are afraid of getting caught by their friends and family.

In the end (part one that is) they decide to dive in and make a go of it because what they feel is too wild and amazing to dismiss.

**

This is the first series I read by NR Walker. I have to admit that I avoided it for a long time mainly due to the name. It felt – stodgy. When I read the blurb I was worried it was going to be a very weird father figure type romance due to the tremendously large age gap.

BOY was I wrong. NR Walker is an amazing writer. Her stories simply flow off the page and into your heart. She creates these REAL characters with heart, and flaws, and compassion and fears and then shows us how they can grow/change/heal in the new relationships they forge.

Tom is kind of … boring. He doesn’t take a lot of chances in the personal department and has gotten lackadaisical at work. He’s… comfortable.
Cooper comes along and messes that right up!

Cooper is young, but way older than his years. Sure, he messes up and acts his “age” sometimes, but for the most these two guys are really well suited and never did I feel like there was a father figure vibe whatsoever.

The sexual chemistry between them is scorching hot, but has elements of realism too. The boundaries they set and the expectations.

All in all I absolutely loved this book (and series) and am happy to promote the new cover!


Audio
I am SOOOOOOOO glad she chose Nick Russo for this. He did an amazing job and he’s such an easy and wonderful narrator to enjoy. His voice is just the right amount of gravelly and sultry and snarky when needed.
I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation of one of my favorite NR Walker books and can’t wait for the next one!!!
6 of 5 stars

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  • Annika
  • 30-04-19

Absolute perfection

When N.R. Walker announced she was going to produce, or rather Nick J. Russo, was going to produce the audiobooks for the Thomas Elkin series I was thrilled. This series is an old favourite of mine and I couldn't wait to see what Russo was going to do with it.

Thomas Elkin is finally living his dream, most of it at least. He has a job he loves, he's finally out of the closet and living openly as a gay man. His relationship with his son is finally back on track after the divorce from his mom. The only thing that was missing was someone to share it all with. The last thing he needed was something that rocked the world he so carefully crafted. And Cooper Jones was definitely determined to rock his world. This man, half his age, that not only was the most promising intern at his work, but also one of his son's closest friends. Cooper Jones spelled Trouble with a capital T, yet they couldn't seem to stay away from each other.

Elements of Retrofit was sweet, sexy and funny. I loved the banter between Tom and Cooper, but also the tender and serious moments. They had chemistry right off the bat and it kept simmering until that first kiss when it all just exploded. I loved how this book was mostly drama free, no (or at least very few) guilt trips with "this is wrong" and "he's too young for me" no long inner monologues talking themselves out of what they both wanted. They wanted, they took. Sure there were and are obstacles that needs to be faced, their work and not the least Ryan, Tom's son and Cooper's friend and not all of it is resolved in this book and we will have to wait to see how the rest unfolds in the books to come.

You could almost believe that this book was written for Nick J. Russo to narrate. He nailed every single thing. He captured Tom just right, his matureness, seriousness and loneliness was there in his voice. Then there was Cooper, the much younger and eager Cooper. Every word was so vivid you could see it all unfolding as if you were there, standing beside them, in a non-creepy and stalkerish way.

Before starting this audio I had a dilemma; this is a story in three parts, one book is not complete without the other two. So should I wait so I could listen to them all in one go, or impatiently wait between the books for just one scrap more? Turns out I don't have the self-restraint to wait for all three books and now have to resign myself to impatiently watching the clock to see if time could possibly move just a little bit faster to get that tiny bit closer to the next book.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A.K.
  • 29-04-19

Phenomenal

I have to admit that Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones are my absolute favorites from the mind of N.R. Walker. They are brilliant and loyal and fun and witty and just perfectly everything.

I love how their story makes it possible to blend two different planes into one even better existence. Everything with them just clicks and it's inspiring.

This was my first audio by Nick J. Russo and it was perfect. He nailed both Thomas and Cooper's voices, their banter, the heat, the love. I was so excited to be able to hear them off page and this just met and exceeded every expectation. I cannot wait to hear what Nick Russo does with the rest of the series. This was absolute perfection.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Juan SOUZA
  • 27-04-19

fun and beautiful story

Listened to it non stop. Loved it and can't wait for book 2. Great performance too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 25-04-19

Two sexy men and generational fun

I am a huge N.R. Walker fan. I discovered her with the Red Dirt Heart series and was hooked. I’ve snapped up just about everything since. I hadn’t read her Thomas Elkin series but had heard great things from other fans so the moment the audio came up for sale, I grabbed it.

And am so glad I did.

This is one of N.R.’s older books and although the writing and story hold up, I found it missing some of the depth from her more recent books. Nothing to take away from my enjoyment, however.

The book, like Red Dirt Heart, is told entirely from one point-of-view – Thomas’. Helpfully, he is a fully-fleshed and strong character, so he’s able to carry the story. He’s rich, successful, recently out of the closet, and lonely. That loneliness called to me. We can have everything we’ve ever dreamed of – and great family to boot – but it can be lonely without someone special to share it with. Thomas is close to his son Ryan and enjoys a strong professional relationship with his secretary Jennifer, but that’s the extent of his personal involvements. He’s had a few short term relationships but hasn’t met the ‘one’.

He certainly doesn’t expect his son’s friend Cooper to be the ‘one’. He keeps reminding himself that Cooper is half his age, of a different generation, AND his son’s friend. Over and over he comes up with excuses why they can’t be together. Sometimes all the careful planning in the world doesn’t hold together when a force of nature like Cooper sweeps into your life. He’s eager, fresh, earnest, and hard-working. He’s attractive, fun, and diligent. And he systematically breaks down every one of Thomas’ barriers.

I love the interplay between the men. I am most definitively Gen X while my younger sister is a Millennial. She has never lived without an iPhone, a SMART television, and NETFLIX. She doesn’t even know how to use a rotary dial telephone. She’s also whip-smart and eager to make a mark in the world. Not all Gen Y and Millennials are lazy, and Cooper is beyond ambitious. He’s also a risk taker and, in the end, Thomas has to decide if he’s willing to risk everything to be with Cooper.

It was easy to fall in love with the two men and to watch them navigate the generational and power differentials. I also really liked all the architecture references in the book. Thomas often does projects involved in rehabilitating old buildings and finding new uses for them. In a way, his life is a metaphor for a retrofit project. He’s trying to make his way in the new world, rehabilitating himself and adjusting to the brave new world.

There are two more books in the series and I’m definitely hoping both of those will be made into audiobooks. I need to give a shout out to Nick J. Russo. He’s a solid narrator whose performances are always pitch-perfect. He handles the New Yorkers with ease, bringing forward a wonderful story and book. I hope he’ll be part of the next two books as well. As always, it’s easy to recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Heather K (Dentist in my Spare Time)
  • 11-04-20

Le sigh

Okay, I'm going to stop trying with N.R. Walker because I just never seem to like any of her stuff. I just... don't.

I seem to be in the minority, but I found Elements of Retrofit to be tedious, unconvincing, and just plain boring. Not even the age gap and one of my usually reliable narrators could keep my interest.

*shrugs*