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Summary

Plants are easier than people - that’s Leo’s rule of thumb. After all, nobody really wants a man who looks like he belongs in a biker gang but would rather spend his time buried in books and flowers. It’s just easier to be single. Until he meets the owner of the new book shop. 

Jacob Morris knows two things: He’s really attracted to the man who runs the local flower shop, and he doesn’t date. Not when he’s still healing from a bad breakup, has a new business to run, game nights to organize, workshops to host, and a website to build.

When friendship blooms into something more, Leo and Jay must decide whether to roll the dice and take a chance on love or keep forging ahead on their quests alone. Will their roll yield a one or a perfect, natural 20? 

Natural Twenty is an 80,000-word contemporary-MM romance featuring Dungeons & Dragons, secret flower language bouquets, a spoiled Staffy (or two), and a best friend who is basically a gothic prince. It is book one in the Roll for Love series and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone.

©2020 Charlie Novak (P)2021 Charlie Novak

What listeners say about Natural Twenty

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Flowers, D&D and so much geeky fun

First let me say, this book had me at hello. A gruff florist, a geeky bookshop owner, and a Staffy? Yep, I’m in.

I also loved that each chapter began with the name of a flower and the secret meaning. I mean, I know nothing about flowers and I came away educated – in a good way. I also didn’t know there was such thing as a twenty-sided dice. Again, I love when a book subtly teaches me new things. I come away feelings satisfied and just a little smarter.

As for Jay and Leo? I loved them. Both have sort of sworn off love and aren’t looking. Jay in particular has a bit of a sordid history. His bookstore is a fresh start and he has his friend Edward to thank for that (and I love the Jacob and Edward reference).

This is a slow-burn romance until it’s not and then it’s hot’n’heavy and then it backs off a bit. Jay’s in a tough spot and he doesn’t know how to reach out for help and Leo wants to help but doesn’t want to be overbearing and eventually it all works out which made me so very happy.

I’m happy to see this is a series because I so can’t wait for Edward’s book.

Finally, the amazing Joel Leslie. He was perfect for this lovely book and he brought just the right touch of humor to it. So, well done and I highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed

I enjoyed listening to this new series and following Jay and Leo. I like the world building. It’s low angst and fun.

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Great listen

Natural Twenty is the first book in the Roll for Love series by Charlie Novak. The story of Leo and Jacob was sweet and well written. I like their story.

I liked the narrator

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Love this series

A gorgeous story that hits all my buttons. A mountain man with a delicate job, a bookshop - with LGBTQ focus, no less - a gorgeous dog, tears (mine) but not too many, and DnD. Yes, even though I'd already read the book and knew what was coming, I still blubbed like a baby when the time came.
Leo was my favourite (no surprise there), but I liked Jay too.
Joel Leslie did an excellent job with the narration.
I can't wait to see what he does with Edward's story.
Loved it.

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Tha language of love.

When Leo went to the Grand Opening of the new bookshop up the road from his florists he took a good luck bouquet for the owner and when he got his first look at Nerdy Jay he thought he was gorgeous. They chatted and Leo and Jay had so much in common. Joel Leslie did a great job narrating this wonderful sweet MM romance.

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Say it with flowers! :)

What a lovely story!
I really enjoyed this uncomplicated romance between Jay (still recovering from a bad breakup) - a newly minted bookshop owner and Leo - he owns the local flower shop. Leo welcomes Jay with flowers on the opening day of Jay's shop. They are attracted to each other, but they they take their time getting to know each other (mostly because Jay is still gun shy and Leo is content to go at Jay's pace). Also liked the other characters, especially Edward.
The story/plot is well written and executed and perfect for audio.

Speaking of audio - I have long associated Joel Leslie with pitch perfect performance and have never been wrong. His performance here bears witness to that thought. I absolutely loved the narration - Joel Leslie has a gift for not only creating the voices for the characters, but embodying said characters to the point that you believe you could meet them someday! I was totally immersed in the story!
Excellent audiobook and highly recommend :)

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Adorable!

I read the book back in October, and loved it. I recently listened to the newly released audiobook. Joel Leslie captured these two lovable dorks in the perfect way. His enthusiasm had me grinning and portrayed the emotions in a way that I felt them to my core. I am a sucker for the grumpy, quiet alpha/bubbly bouncy duos, add in books, D&D and cute doggos and you have a perfect natural twenty

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I enjoyed this a lot.

Natural Twenty is the first book I’ve read by Charlie Novak and I really liked it a lot. I have to admit right up front that I don’t know much about Dungeons and Dragons so a lot of the references to that game went right over my head. However, that didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the story.

Listening to the audiobook was really great. I give Joel Leslie a lot of the credit for my audiobook addiction. He performed the first audiobook that I truly loved (others failed to hold my attention) and I haven’t looked back since. His range of accents is phenomenal and I’ve never failed to enjoy any audiobook that he’s performed.

The story was really great all by itself. I loved all of the references to flowers and their meanings and the way that Leo used them to woo Jacob (Jay) even though Jay didn’t realize what was going on. Jay recently opened a bookstore and Leo loves books so he pays the shop a visit during its grand opening.

Jay is struggling with his new business and his confidence is at a low point. His ex-boyfriend really did a number on him and it’s caused him to doubt nearly everything he does. Leo really has to work hard to get Jacob to agree to date him. Once they get together things really heat up until Jacob begins to doubt himself again.

This story has two great MCs, sweet rescue dogs, a great epilogue and Jacob’s fantastic best-friend, Edward. Edward’s story, Charisma Check is available now.

A copy of this audiobook was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author or narrator.

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

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Lovely story with great english accent!

When I heard that this book is going to be on audiobook and would be narrated by Joel Leslie, I was so happy!
But when I finished the audiobook, my happiness was gone.

It's a first for me that I haven't enjoyed an audiobook from a narrator I love. I can't explain why (probably the strong english accent?! IDK), but I mostly just laughed on the audio. I don't want to be rude, but I think this was just too much on the english accent. I never cared about audiobooks if it's english or american or other accent, I just enjoy the story, but this time I couldn't and my mind was all over the place. (and it was like I was listening to one of Lily Morton's book - Joel is the narrator of those too, and I couldn't separate the voices)

The story itself really good, I love the book, but the audio wasn't working for me. And it's just a me-thing, I believe it's a great book and audio, but this time not for me.

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Rolling the Love Dice

Natural Twenty made me want to buy a bouquet of flowers and join a Dungeons and Dragons group as soon as I finished the book. I have never played a Dungeons and Dragons game in my life, but I really want to change that after reading this book. This was such a fabulous, sweet book about a stoic florist and a gregarious bookshop owner. This romance had it all: humor, cuteness, awkward flirting, supportive best friends, adorable dogs, flowers, games, and fandom. I thought all the characters were wonderfully developed and were full of depth and feeling. The writing was well done and flowed smoothly which made the entire book a joy to read.

The audiobook was narrated by Joel Leslie who did an incredible job. The characters were perfectly voiced and I could feel the emotion and energy, but the performance never became over-the-top – it was just right. I found listening to this book enjoyable which was enhanced by the well done audiobook production.

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  • Nutmeg
  • 30-01-21

Low Angst and sweet

Not bad, but I got a little bored. There weren’t a ton of hot scenes, but they were too long for my taste and I started skipping through them. The main source of drama came from a reluctance to ask for help, and I didn’t have a lot of patience for it. Leo and Jay were very likable though and I liked the supporting characters.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. Grey
  • 02-02-21

Utterly sweet and so full of perfect feels!

This book hit all the right notes! It’s a wonderfully heartfelt story with believable characters and plot, soooo many feels, and the happy ending we all deserve. Plus, some really steamy scenes that will have you needing a cold shower.

I want to hang out with all of these characters and am so looking forward to book 2 in this series!!

As usual, Joel Leslie gives an amazing performance, with wonderful accents and delivery that pull you into the story immediately.

What a winning combination!! Definitely give this a listen! You won’t be sorry!

1 person found this helpful

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  • MagicalAM
  • 30-01-21

Great book!!

This is really well done. A classic, sweet m/m story about two nerdy shop owners. I took a chance on this book because of Joel Leslie and he is at his best. Great writing, with interesting side characters. A few chapters end abruptly and one ended mid-sentence, which was off putting, but I don’t even care, I liked the book so much it didn’t bother me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Holly W
  • 11-04-21

Sweet Read

I absolutely love Leo and Jay!! This story had all the sweet low angst feels that I love! I love how the relationship between the two developed!

It took me a little while to get used to the narrator's voice but once I did I really enjoyed it!!

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  • Jill Yates-Campbell
  • 07-04-21

Good background noise

narrator isntop notch, I always love Joel, but the story is sort of juvenile. the story isnt jntense at all in both conflict or romance. it's more of a "put on in the background and do your chores" sort of story. there isnt anything you need to pay attention to. overall I think this is a skip. save your momey and credit.

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  • Amy M
  • 05-04-21

A critical success! A true nat 20!

I am a gamer geek, collector of shiny math rocks, and fan of tabletop RPGs. You don't have to be any of those things to enjoy this book! But it does make my inner geek chick squeal with glee to see a book series with a theme like this. Add in Charlie Novak's ability to spin a quality yarn and you have a winner all the way. Leo is so sweet and humble with his secret language of flowers too. I adored this book and throw in one of the best audiobook narrators out there in Joel Leslie and you absolutely can't roll a critical fail.

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  • Joan
  • 23-03-21

Not sure about this one

The story was hard to follow/enjoy. There is no actual story line. I tried to finish it but I could not connect with the characters. Joel is normally an automatic download for me but I could hardly differentiate the voices. He did a mediocre job on this one, I'm sorry.

I am not sure about a second installment if there is one.

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  • AG
  • 22-03-21

Leo and Jay

I enjoyed Leo and Jay's story. They both were awkward in their own way and adorable. I loved that Leo was determined to show Jay how he felt, even if it was secretly. 

The narration was okay, unfortunately the very strong accents caused me to have trouble understanding the story or which character was talking at what time.

I received a copy of this book and am giving an honest review

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  • Neta_BER
  • 16-03-21

Sweet, geeky romance

The narration was great, I enjoyed the cast of characters so much more with Joel Leslie narrating them. Accents were on point, tea was poured, it was amazing.
This is the first book I read by this author and I enjoyed it very much.
This story is funny, mostly angst free and geeky to boot. I really liked Leo, I love the big guys with soft hearts. I also liked how this was a closed group of friends/acquaintances and everybody knew everybody in a way.
Jacob was funny, though sometimes he was hard to like because he put himself down so much.
Their romance was very sweet, and although they get VERY heated they did take their time to get to know each other. I liked that because their friendship is so much more important then lust.
Great listen for long drives, not super mind engaging so you can do something else at the same time and sometimes not give it you 100% attention and it would still be a great read.

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  • kp
  • 12-03-21

Such a Treat!

I really enjoyed this sweet friends to lovers romance. Leo is a big, tattooed guy who really loves books and flowers. Jacob is a nerdy book store owner. These two might seem like complete opposites yet they complement each other perfectly. I loved watching their relationship evolve into a HEA~
This is a low to no angst, sweet read that you will enjoy!
Joel Leslie, as always, does an outstanding job of narrating this story and giving life to the characters.