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I haven't done a lot of dating since my jerk fiancé cheated on me two years ago, but I have a very full life: a great family, a fulfilling job, and a home in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Then my big brother introduces me to his mysterious writer friend from LA. I'm falling fast, but I don't know if I can risk my heart again. What if this gorgeous, sensitive guy isn't what he seems to be?

Sade is incredible, but I'm afraid to let her know the truth. I'm a reformed playboy sitting on the billion dollars I got for my real estate empire, trying to find my center after a decade of living for parties and cheap sex. This woman is something seriously special, but I'm afraid she'll reject me if she knows what a selfish prick I used to be. How can I be honest with her without losing her?

This collection includes romances from authors featured in the Scribble XO Book Club. They are standalone stories. No cliffhangers. Intended for mature listeners only.

©2016 Scribble XO Books (P)2016 Scribble XO Books

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  • I. King
  • 18-07-20

Story, check. Performance? Needs work.

This was a very cute short story that has everything I like in a story of this nature. There was a question or two that I had about a couple of scenarios. For instance, why did a poor Italian kid have a surname of "Sterling"? That made no sense to me, and it could have been easily explained.

The performance, on the other hand, needs serious work. First, it's important to understand that I like Eli Walker's voice, so that wasn't the problem. Her voice is neutral enough where she can sound like an educated American girl of any race. And, I think she's pretty good with emotions.

But the pacing! I believe with a little work, she could have taken a breath from time to time and not have nearly everything sound like a run-on sentence. There were several places in the story when there were conversations, but the responses were so close that it sounded like one long sentence. Taking some time to appreciate the punctuation was all that was needed.

The first time she had to do Luca didn't work out too well because she has a very feminine voice. Her trying to give voice to a man who's very tall, masculine, and Italian just didn't pan out. Afterward, she simply did her own voice, only slightly gruffer, but with no discernable accent. Maybe having an actual man with experience with accents would have worked better.

Pronunciations! I don't know how vetting of narrators works, but surely someone had to go over the way things are pronounced, particularly long or short vowels, syllables, or correct Italian pronunciation.


While I think there were a couple of others, these are the ones that made me cringe.

This could have easily been a longer story. I would have liked to have known a little more about David, for instance, and why he showed up in an emotional state. I already mentioned Luca's surname. More about Maria because she added some juicy drama to the story.

My verdict? Good, but needs work.