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Summary

For the last year, Jay Warren has struggled to find the nerve to tell his wife he's gay. Every time he gets the chance, though, he freezes up. He's ashamed of hiding it all this time, he doesn't want to hurt her, and the guilt has been almost unbearable.

When his wife dies suddenly, Jay's conscience threatens to eat him alive.

Funeral director Scott Lawson deals with the bereaved every day, and he's all too familiar with the inside of the closet. He offers Jay some much-needed compassion and understanding, and from that connection comes a friendship that quickly - perhaps too quickly - turns into something more.

But are grief, guilt, and loneliness the only things tying them together? Or, will Scott get fed up with being used as an emotional crutch before Jay realizes what he has?

©2012 Lori Witt/L.A. Witt (P)2015 Lori Witt/L.A. Witt

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Morgan A Skye
  • 21-09-16

Loved Charlie's narration, too much angst tho

If you are a fan of angst, this is for you.

Jay is SO burdened by guilt, that even as the reader, I was feeling bad about him getting involved with someone else.

I think, had I been reading this, I’d have given up, but since Charlie David does such a nice job of narrating this and he’s got SUCH a great voice, it was easy for me to stay involved and to keep listening.

I felt like poor Scott really got the raw end of the deal. Jay is in NO WAY ready for this relationship and I feel certain it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. Jay is a MESS and really needed some therapy before getting involved with anyone.

I found the amount of sex these guys had to be a bit OTT as well.

All in all this just wasn’t one of my favorite LA Witt books. If you want (IMHO) one of her better books, try: Static (one of my all time favorite books ever! Covet thy neighbor- esp. in audio format or Conduct Unbecoming .

So for the audiobook (story and narration) 3 of 5 stars. It was entertaining, if not great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Christina Wade
  • 02-02-18

Not my favorite story by this author.

I’m going to start with the vocal performance because that is the easy part. I love Charlie David’s voice and he is fantastic at making the listener FEEL every emotion. The one complaint I have about his performance is there isn’t much of a difference between the voices of the two main characters so at times it was hard to tell them apart. And the music between chapters was just silly (I’ve never listened to a book with that added)…it made the story seem soap opera-ish.

This story was just OK for me. I’m not sure what I was expecting but there was too much time spent on Jay’s wife and his relationship with her. I don’t understand at all why he married her…that’s just unfair to everyone involved. I don’t know how I feel about him getting involved with Scott so quickly after her accident. He checked out of the marriage long before that but he didn’t deal with her death before diving in which was unfair to Scott. I completely understand the heart wants who it wants but the repetitive indecisiveness dragged on a bit much. The FIL was too textbook in his forgiveness, the MIL was over the top in hers and the closure of Jay’s guilt was a bit too perfect for me. When Scott finally throws his own angst into the story it felt contrived and like it came out of nowhere after all the back and forth they had already been through.

I do think Scott and Jay were good together. They have good emotional and sexual chemistry. All the angst (from Jay and all the outside sources) and guilt just got in the way.

Not my favorite ‘read’ by this author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 02-02-18

I couldn't stop listening!

This is the first audio book I've listened to by Charlie David. It's also only the second book I've listened to without first reading the book. I was captivated right from the beginning. Charlie David's performance of this story is very moving. He lets emotion come through in his voice when the character is struggling and I could hear that struggle and feel the emotions.

The book's blurb explains the story better than I could. Once I read it I knew that this was a story I wanted to review. I've read several books by L.A. Witt and enjoyed all of them and I loved For The Living.

Parts of this story broke my heart. Jay's in-laws don't take it well at all when he outs himself while he's drunk. He feels so much guilt that he never got to tell his wife that he's gay. He feels like her death gave him an undeserved "get out of jail" free card. The guilt is eating him up and causing problems for his fledgling relationship with Scott.

Scott is falling in love with Jay but he doesn't see how their relationship can work unless Jay deals with all of the things he's feeling. Scott is such a wonderful and compassionate character. He's the kind of character that everyone will love.

This is a book that I wish I could have listened to without stopping but it just wasn't possible because of real life stuff.

It's funny to me in a way… I usually at least partially judge how much I like a book by whether or not my emotions get strongly involved while reading it, but I never thought about whether or not that would happen with an audio book (I'm still pretty new to audio books). I had tears streaming down my face more than once while I listened to this; I loved it.


An advanced copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mari Cardenas
  • 02-02-18

Angsty audible

Jay has been trying to gather his courage to come out to his wife only to have her die in an accident before he has a chance to speak out. He feels guilty and is grieving his best friend's death, all while trying to come to terms with his attraction to Scott Lawson, the funeral director, who offers him his shoulder to lean on and a sympathetic ear to sound out his troubles. Their relationship quickly changes into more, but was it too fast? Is Scott ready to move forward with his life or is he just sort of using Scott in the meantime?

This was not an easy book to read or rather, to listen to, it's angsty as all hell, which is not all that surprising considering the theme. Frankly, I am on the fence regarding Jay, I could sort of empathize with his pain and what he was going through, but at the same time, I wanted to punch him into a bloody pulp. I felt he was a coward, taking refuge in alcohol and excuses so he wouldn't have to come out to his wife and then it was too late and he was drowning in guilt and covering it all up by starting something with Scott way too fast. I actually felt sorry for Scott, I felt like he was too good and kind for Jay. Yes, they had great chemistry, but Jay didn't really have time to grieve for his wife, because he moved on too fast. Was it realistic, though? Yes, Jay was used to compartmentalizing his issues and this was just another example of it.

Charlie David's voice is very pleasant, I swear I could listen to him reading the phone book and I'd be mesmerized. However, I wouldn't have minded if he'd used more than one voice for the different characters, it was a bit difficult to make out who was talking some times since the MCs both sounded the same way. Another issue I had, was with the theme music at the start of the chapters, it was a little too much. I really could have done without it. Other than that, the narrator did justice to the angsty tone of the story and I probably wouldn't mind listening to it again.

Overall, while this wasn't my favorite LA Witt book, it was still pretty good. It was angsty, yet realistic and very sexy, as this author has us used to. Recommendable!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Carra at Making it Happen blog
  • 29-01-18

The narration boosts the overall story

High amounts of angst and guilt fueled much of this story, continually pouring from Jay’s side of things even after others have reassured him he should not feel that way. Scott was incredibly patient, being a friend when Jay needed one, but always ready and willing to switch to lover when that’s what Jay wanted. The physical chemistry between the two is never in question, and is off the charts from the moment they delve into a physical relationship.

For the most part, I had a hard time liking Jay’s character. There’s times when it feels like his relationship with his wife was more important to him and others when it was like she was an afterthought (usually when he was so wrapped up with Scott), which left me feeling unbalanced and sometimes even annoyed. Scott was wonderful—offering comfort and understanding, helping Jay make sense of his feelings—and I liked that under his more formal exterior that he had to present for his job, there was more of a wild, sexy guy underneath.

It did feel after a while like certain elements of the story became repetitive, constantly underscoring Jay’s mixed emotions, then moving back to the physical relationship between him and Scott. I would even go so far as to say some of these repetitive areas could have been edited down, and it wouldn’t have affected my reading and my comprehension of the story at all.

With the supporting characters, I found Jay’s family to be quite supportive of him once he came out to them though I didn’t understand the lack of their presence in the story in the time right after his wife dies. His wife’s family—in particular his mother-in-law—well, they’re another matter…though I was okay with his father-in-law in the end.

As for the story, I’m hovering between 3 to 3.5 stars…and this is where the narration comes in to give things a boost. I’ve enjoyed Charlie David’s narrations previously, and as with his other projects, I really liked his interpretations of the characters. His smooth voice is easy to listen to, and it is his narration that has me boosting my final rating closer to 4 stars overall. Whether reading or listening, this story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and hot and steamy sexual content.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lora J.
  • 22-01-18

A good story

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Performance: 4 out of 5 stars
Story: 4 out of 5 stars

Jay and Scott meet under the worst circumstances for Jay and you wouldn’t expect that anything could come from such a meeting. As it turns out, Scott is just what Jay has needed for quite some time and their relationship is exactly what they both need.

I didn’t give this story 5 stars because there were a few problems with the way things went. Sometimes it was repetitive. Sometimes the characters seemed too much -- too good, too evil, too whiney -- but overall I really enjoyed getting to know Scott and Jay. I wish we could have had some from Scott’s point of view because there had to be times he was going crazy and I wish I could have had a better look at this side of things.

The narrator was decent, but didn’t do a great job of distinguishing voices so sometimes I had to listen a couple of time sto know who was saying what -- or if Jay was talking out loud or in his head.


*** I was given a complimentary copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review ***

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lucrecia Graña
  • 15-05-17

For the Living

Great story, love LA Witt work ^^
Loved all Charlie David narrations so far, this one as well.
The music before/after chapters though? Most annoying thing ever.
Couldn't finish the audiobook. Read the actual book, blessed silence there...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • MoveMeIntoBooks
  • 10-10-16

Oh My, I usually like Witt's stories but not this

What did you like best about For the Living? What did you like least?

I disliked the narrator and the MC Jay, who came across as a very selfish person. I DNF the audio so he may have gotten better, but after the "date" like a week after his wife's death, I was like NOPE.

What was most disappointing about L.A. Witt’s story?

Her failure to get me to sympathize with Jay, which I think was likely her intention because frankly I couldn't find anything likeable about him.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

No, he was very slow and it made the story move slowly too.