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Family Man (Dreamspinner Press)

Narrated by: Colin Darcy
Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: Erotica, Fiction
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Summary

Sometimes family chooses you. 

At 40, Vincent “Vinnie” Fierro is still afraid to admit he might be gay - even to himself. It’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, it’s getting harder to ignore what he really wants. 

Vinnie attempts some self-exploration in Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood. 

Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek, Trey agrees to let Vinnie court him and see if he truly belongs on this side of the fence - though Trey intends to keep his virginity intact. 

It seems like a solid plan, but nothing is simple when family is involved. When Vinnie’s family finds out about their relationship, the situation is sticky enough, but when Trey’s mother goes critical, Vinnie and Trey must decide whose happiness is most important - their families’ or their own.

©2017 Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

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Great book, perfect narrator

This is the first book narrated by Colin Darcy that I've listened to. I've already read the book more than once, so knew I loved the story, but the narration was excellent. The voices of Trey and Vinnie were distinctively different, and perfectly fit their characters, in my opinion. It was read with plenty of enthusiasm and emotion, neither rushed nor unbearably slow. Quality narration - I will look for more by Colin Darcy.

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Profile Image for <Stacy> @SoCalBookReviews
  • <Stacy> @SoCalBookReviews
  • 07-06-18

Family Man

Alright... Can we talk about the Audio for a minute, before we get into the book... This book is not really a comedy, but something about the narrators voice Mixed with Vinny's character was just amusing to me and I could not stop smiling. I Also found myself laughing out loud during inappropriate times during this book, that weren't really supposed to be funny. It was almost like the narrator was trying to get into character and make Vinny into a Macho Italian New Yorker with the accent, but it didn't fully come across the whole time. Idk, maybe it was just me and my opinion, but it really made this book A Lot more Fun and interesting to listen to, since I wasn't quite sure what to expect from one minute to the next even though I had previously read this book. The first time for me with this narrator Colin Darcy and I look forward to seeing what else he's got for us.

Now... The Book.... I've read this one before, and liked it which is no surprise since these Authors are both fantastic at what they do individually as well as when they Collaborate books together. The only odd thing is the characters switch off between one point of view to another when talking, but the story is so well written its not a big deal where it could be if this was coming from different authors, it actually works for this book.

We have a late 30's Macho Italian man Vinny, with a Huge Family *Add in all Large Italian, Catholic Family & "Guido" Stereotypes* (which is NOT meant in a mean way at all, it is just describing his character and backstory *Think Jersey Shore*) Vinny is coming out as a "first time gay" even though he did mostly know he was, but was just denying his real feelings for years, being with and marrying women like he thought he was "supposed" to do. We also get sweet Trey who has an unbelievable amount of Angst ridden and Depressingly sad baggage he has to deal with daily in his life, which leaves him still a Virgin in his early 20's just trying to make it through life day by day. I absolutely love that even though they are both realizing their feelings together and for each other, Its not an instant-love story and they don't just jump into bed together. We get a real book here with actual feelings and romance, all drama and angst and family issues included with some slight twists thrown in. I would highly recommend reading this one.. And getting this book in audio too is just an added bonus, cause it was pretty great.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-07-18

3.5 Stars

I really liked the story as a whole. There's just the right amount of drama, only a little angst, a bit of humor, some wonderfully passionate scenes, getting to see Vinnie and Trey grow together and navigate their relationship...but the major issue I'd forgotten I'd had when reading actually became exacerbated when listening (the narrative changes in perspective from Trey's first person POV to Vinnie's third person POV) and made this, quite simply, a less pleasurable listen. 

Do not get me wrong, Colin Darcy did a good job. He uses distinctive character voices, employs emotion well in the narrative, has good pacing and timing. Frankly, if the story had been told in just first person or third person, I would be giving this 5 stars. But the change from first to third was just annoying in the extreme for me personally and I fought through to finish the audio. The only reason I finished it was because I enjoyed listening to Colin Darcy narrate.

The story had two points I can easily relate to: realizing your sexuality wasn't what you were taught it should be, and also the frustration, rage, and despair from loving someone in your family who uses their addiction as an excuse to continuously cut a wide swath of destruction in your life.

Family Man is a contemporary romance with light drama and angst, a very happy ending, and good narration. So take my complaining with a grain of salt, and check it out yourself.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LeEric Ross
  • 26-06-18

A terrific story!

I just loved this story. The authors did a great job with the main characters making it very easy for me to connect to each of them. As a gay man, coming out can be difficult process especially when it comes to family. They did a great job of expressing this making the story fell more realistic and relatable. I really enjoy Colin's performance. He made it easy to listen to and distinguish between the characters.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BrattyOz
  • 19-06-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

I did not have a problem w/ accents some other reviewers had, but I am Australian and didn’t know the difference. I just enjoyed the story very much and recommend it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cupcake
  • 14-11-18

Sooooo much to like!

This book has been in my TBR mountain since forever so I pounced when it came up in audio. Before I go into my thoughts on the book, let me just say that Colin Darcy did a wonderful job narrating. His Vinnie put a smile on my face repeatedly. My experience with Italian Americans is limited to The Sopranos so I've no clue if it's spot on or too much but I LOVED it. His Trey melted my heart. It was the sweetest voice! I don't know what he did to his voice for Trey but the timbre or whatever melted my butter. So, I will be actively looking for other books narrated by him in the future.

There are few tropes I like more than the age difference one and Family Man put the additional twist on of both men being virgins too! Well, Vinnie's only a virgin in same sex relations, but regardless I really liked this twist because it sort of leveled the playing field between them.

Vinnie having struck out in the marriage department three times decides maybe it's time to try to explore those attractions he's sublimated since college. Trey makes him feel things he's never felt before, things that are confusing and wonderful simultaneously.

What I liked so much about Vinnie was his authenticity. He's from a big, loud, very close knit family and they're important to him; he doesn't want to lose them. He also is falling hard for Trey and doesn't want to shortchange him either. The gamut of emotions he runs all felt very genuine, heartfelt and without artifice. He says what he thinks and does what he says he's going to. He also embraces his desires even though he fears being emasculated by them.

Trey is from the opposite end of the family spectrum. He's had to be self-reliant his whole life because his mother is an alcoholic. He has his gram but they are struggling to make ends meet and they are proud people. I could talk ad nauseam about Trey's childhood and how that probably relates to him still being a virgin who's waiting for The One at 25, but I won't. Suffice to say, he and Vinnie have much to learn from each other.

Family Man is a slow burn with oodles of UST and not a whole lot of sex, but their connection to and desire for one another is on display through both of their perspectives. However I would've liked more focus on their relationship development. There were so many things that occurred off page. Were this a movie a montage would've likely sufficed to show them spending more and more time together but as it stands it's just time jumps of them still being together and offhand references to past events.

I appreciated how the differentiation in their families was illustrated. Vinnie's family takes over.; if you're "family", you're family and they're in your life whereas Trey has had to live with disappointment. As someone with alcoholics in her family I felt for Trey, identified with his anger and respected his wariness. However, I think the focus shifted away from Vinnie and Trey to Trey's dysfunctional relationship with his mother towards the end. Unfortunately, the romance never regained traction and that overshadowing of the romance left me wanting. The ending felt rushed and left me wondering what about gram? what about Trey's mother? are the Fierro's just going to babysit her forever?

Unquestionably the ending is sweet and affecting but it also felt a wee bit disingenuous and I wasn't there yet. I needed Vinnie and Trey to have more time together. Another couple of chapters with them together, being fully immersed in each other's lives and getting acclimated to being out with Vinnie's family would've gone a long way.

Nevertheless, it's still a worthwhile read especially with regard to coming of age no matter your age and embracing who you are even if that person bucks traditional stereotypes.

#LGBTQ #AgeDifference #FamilyDrama #ContemporaryRomance #HurtComfort

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for TNI
  • TNI
  • 17-06-18

when a decent story meets bad narration

This is definitely a good story but the narration was horrendous. It almost felt like he was reading word for word insted of actually playing a part. Also when he did the role of Vinny I couldn't help but laugh it was like he was trying to hard to sound Italian and it just came off sounding like he was from Mississippi.
The story as a whole wasn't the worst story I've ever read but it wasn't the best. There was definitely a sense of reality there with the issue that Trey deals with with his mom and I get it but I feel like it kind of took over the story.
I would recommend the book just prepare yourself that the narration is a bit weird, also I don't like the way it ended.
ps there is only two sex scenes if you were curious.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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Profile Image for A T
  • A T
  • 03-07-19

3-3.5 stars for the story, 4 stars for the narration so I'm rounding up

Family Man marks the first time I’ve read a book by either of these authors, as well as the first time I’ve listened to this narrator. Gay-for-you/ out-for-you stories are always tricky for me but between the sample and positive reviews, I decided to give it a chance. Overall, Family Man was a good story with a very good narrator. While there were a few plot details that gave me pause, it was the execution and writing style that I struggled with most.

A May-December gay-for-you romance, Family Man had plenty of sweet moments between the characters and with secondary characters, while also offering some angsty issues Vinnie and Trey had to work through. I really liked the approach of the younger man being out and the older hero having the sexual identity awakening. I also liked that this was a slow burn, virgin romance because it gave both men time to develop before wading into physical intimacy, which inevitably made it more believable. The narrator did a good job injecting personality into his performance and it was easy to differentiate between characters, and all in all Family Man was an enjoyable listen.

Despite the unique characters, interesting storylines, and good narrator, the writing style felt stilted with awkward transitions. This wasn’t helped by each character’s point-of-view written in a different perspective. I don’t have a first person vs third person preference when it comes to reading, but Family Man is the first book I remember both used, with Vinnie’s side written in third person and Trey in first person. I’m not sure whether this was a co-writing thing, but it did seem clear when one author picked up and stopped again, and generally left the book feeling disjointed. That said, the story was a good one and the narrator definitely kept me engaged. I think Family Man is worth trying for fans of gay-for-you stories because it is pretty unique in regards to that trope.

*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*

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Profile Image for NH Bowler
  • NH Bowler
  • 14-01-19

Sweet & Romantic

The only flaw I could see was the narrator's accent for the Fieros. He tried for an Italian accent, but feel into a Spanish accent throughout the book. This would barely be worth mentioning if the story didn't revolve so heavily around the characters' "Italianess." Because of this, though, it was, at times, jarring.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tams (TTC Books and more)
  • Tams (TTC Books and more)
  • 02-11-18

If at first you don't succeed try, try again.

Thrice divorced, Vinnie is trying to figure out who he is when Trey dances his way under his skin. What starts out as exploration develops into something more like soul searching. And when push comes to shove, Vinnie is determined to go the distance. Now if he could only get Trey to agree with the plan.

This story was the perfect balance of intrigue, angst, romance and just enough humor to balance out the underlying seriousness within the story. It flowed really well from one chapter to the next and kept me completely engaged from start to finish. Narration stayed in line with the story and Darcy conveyed the characters exactly how I pictured them in my head.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jesus
  • 15-09-18

Good story

I liked it but Trays character kinda got on my nerves but very sweet romance.