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Perfect Rhythm

By: Jae
Narrated by: Angela Dawe
Series: Fair Oaks, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Summary

Pop star Leontyne Blake might sing about love, but she stopped believing in it a long time ago. What women want is her image, not the real her. When her father has a stroke, she flees the spotlight and returns to her tiny Missouri hometown.

In her childhood home, she meets small-town nurse Holly Drummond, who isn't impressed by Leo's fame at all. That isn't the only thing that makes Holly different from other women. She's also asexual. For her, dating is a minefield of expectations that she has decided to avoid.

Can the tentative friendship between a burned-out pop star and a woman not interested in sex develop into something more despite their diverse expectations?

Contains mature themes.

©2017 Jae (P)2018 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! Narration matched the amazing story perfectly

I read this book 7 times before the audiobook was release, so I was worried that I would be disappointed by the narration. However it was honestly a perfect fit in my opinion. This was the first of Angela Dawe’s performances I’ve heard. But definitely not the last. I’ve since purchased a few more books narrated by her. 

I love that this story includes a character who is on the Ace (Asexual) spectrum. It’s the first book I’ve read with an Asexual character, and I loved learning more about this sexual orientation. 

As soon as I started listening to this audiobook I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stop. I absolutely loved everything about this audiobook, the talent of the narrator matched the writers talent really well.

*From my review of the eBook*.
I loved everything about this book... it's well written, has two romantic leads I could relate to and instantly liked, and it has a story that intrigued me and kept me turning the pages. It sucked me in from the beginning and just wouldn't let go. It gave me a lot to think about as well as giving me a romantic story that I enjoyed. 

Not only does this book cover sexual orientation/identity, but it also covers things that a lot of people can relate to...family issues, job issues, insecurities and more.

I honestly would recommend this book to EVERYONE. It's a sweet romance that will open your mind to new things... no matter your sexual orientation and how you identify yourself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Story, Good narration!

Jae's romance covers many subjects death and bereavement, new beginnings, small town girl to big time star, relationships, but the main subject of this romance 'Asexuality' was very delicately handled. The story of the romance was a bit like a roller coaster going from humour to sadness and back again by the chapter. What seemed like an impossible pairing somehow worked and all in all made a lovely story.

As with many of my favourite books, that I've actually read before getting the audio book, I'm always a bit nervous as to how the narrator will bring the book to life, but I had no qualms with Angela Dawe's narration of this book, Angela narrated it beautifully and the characters' voices turned out just as I had expected them to be, which made listening to the story again enjoyable.

To sum it up I found the story well written, it flowed very well and the narration made the audio book really enjoyable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Heartwarming and perfectly narrated

What can I say about this book without writing spoilers?
The subject matter is out of my experience but this book goes a long way to explaining asexuality - and the fact that within that definition there are many different 'norms'.
The leading characters in the story are engaging, the storyline absorbing and the narration is absolutely spot-on. Angela Dawes has a wonderful voice, slips into character with apparent ease and gives all the main players real personalities.
I guess the best recommendation I can give is that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve listened to this audible version of Perfect Rhythm. The story is refreshingly different from a lot of lesbian romance fiction, touching as well on family relationships, social acceptance and understanding there are different paths through life.
I’ve read the book many times, listened to it more than that and rank it right up in my top five favourite audiobooks. It’s been remiss of me to not post a review before now - almost wish I hadn’t yet listened to it, so I’d have that pleasure still to come!

I absolutely LOVE it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it.

I liked getting to know about Asexuality. It's the first book I've seen and read with a character being Asexual. So thank you it was a great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A compelling listen

Brilliantly narrated which makes all the difference to listening to audio books. Good strong storyline and convincing characters. A bit concerned about the number of scones consumed, but what the heck, when you’re in love you need the calories. A delightful book, will be downloading the next in the Fair Oaks series soon.

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  • D
  • 09-06-19

Don’t let the synopsis scare you away.

When I read the synopsis and it mentioned an asexual person I was leery and wasn’t sure how much I would like the book, but it was very well written, informative, but most of all a great love story. Like a lot of people know love isn’t always about sex, there is so much more. This book does just that. Would highly recommend.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Yamino Endo
  • 06-04-18

So happy I just cried for two hours.

I'm gonna keep this short, because otherwise I don't know if I'll ever stop writing about how good this book is. This book spoke to my soul, I'm asexual so it was so amazing to read about a character like me. And like Holly, I don't hate sex but I find pleasure by pleasing my partners. I wish some day I find some one that gets me like Leo understood her.

I'm too emotional to go into specifics, so I can't tell you about all my favorite scenes. But I will talk about one thing I loved, because it's so rare, even in other queer books I've read. It's was when threre was still like 2 and half hours left and I was like "omg there going to be some unnecessary drama right?" But no, they TALKED, which sometimes it doesn't happen in other books and it's SOOO frustrating.

So it was a refreshing story in lots of ways. Both the author and the narrator did an AMAZING job bringing these characters to life. Each was unique and perfectly portrayed, they felt real, like people you might know, so their pain and joy also felt real, which made this whole experience extremely rewarding.

I CAN'T recommend this book enough, so buy it, be it printed, Kindle or audiobook format, it doesn't matter, although the audiobook has the added bonus of the narrator. I know I'm gonna be getting it in ALL formats, even if it's the last thing I do. So stop reading my rambling, do yourself a favor and dive into this story, you're not gonna regret it. I know I didn't, and never will.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • kc
  • 23-05-19

Good Aesxual Representation!!!

It is had to find a book with asexual representation that is not "fixing" them. I love the continuous open dialogue between the characters and the omission of unnecessary drama!!
Narrator did a fantastic job of giving each voice a distinction, and added to the characters depth!!!
Great book would highly recommend to asexual, aromantic and alosexual people!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristy
  • 22-08-19

Yes this


We all expect wonderful words from Jae when we read one of her books and this one definitely didn’t disappoint I could feel the passion flowing from the pages just listening to her words, this story made my heart grow and open in a way I can’t even explain. This book opened my mind and let me experience things that I didn’t know were inside of me, parts of this book made me choke up and I found myself tearing up at times.

This story was so good it pulled me right in from the beginning where we meet Leo and find out that the life of a pop star is not as glamorous as people think. As she struggles to decide if this is the life that she really wants, her father falls ill and Leo finds herself back in her small hometown that she left 14 years ago and never looked back now she is home and trying to come to terms that her relationship with her parents is nonexistent.

Then we meet Holly she is the home health nurse that is taking care of Leo’s father and I liked her character the best she is feisty and puts Leo in her place right from the get go. We find out early on in the book that Holly is asexual and she is fighting an internal battle as she starts to develop feelings for Leo. I learned a few things from this book firstly about asexuals which I hate to admit I knew nothing about but now I have a better understanding about it I think Jae did a standup job educating the reader on asexuality from what I have seen there are not too many authors that have taken on this challenge and i feel that it is important that we support each other no matter who you love or how you love.

I’m glad that I read this book and I definitely recommend it to everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AZ Desert Gal
  • 10-05-19

Good narration helps an implausible story

I'm ambivalent about this story. It's well written. But the the trying too hard to be PC grated on my nerves. Also, it's kinda formulaic with the wildly successful pop star returning to her roots to fall in love and learn to appreciate small town life.

Spoiler Alert:
The 'ace' identity part of the plot seemed like a PC gimmick that was then walked back in the interest of putting some set into the romance. I did end up of caring about the characters even though I found the whole story implausible with the usual convenient magic money that one partner is fabulously wealthy at the tender age of 32. And she's gorgeous like a model, adored by fans, and doesn't mind committing to a relationship ostensibly without sex. Again, the author has technical skill, but the far fetched story line didn't ever let me totally believe in the story or the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vowels
  • 04-04-19

Gave me something to think about

This novel was fairly well written. I enjoyed the characters, and the flow of the story kept me wanting to know what would happen next. The whole idea of people being asexual was a bit weird for me, even though I'd run into it in a web series I'd watched, a while ago. I have trouble not thinking of asexual people as being handicapped or having suffered psychological trauma to put them in that state. I suppose that I find a naturally occurring asexuality to be unlikely, considering it's not something likely to be passed on through genes, for obvious reasons. I will say, though, that this story made me think differently about relationships in general, and I like novels that give me something different to think about. I actually found myself semi-analyzing my own relationships to see how they held up, with different standards of intimacy, and whatnot. I'm grateful to the author for giving me a new way to look at things. Also, the narrator was really good...hoping to hear more from her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Drusha
  • 07-11-18

Does not disappoint

Honestly the reason I got this book was because it handle an asexual character and I am wondering if I am asexual. This book gave me a good view and a lot of things made sense. It may be a romance but Jae stayed true to the charries. There was no sudden “cure” or reversal in feelings and it showed a great view of the complexities of a relationship. But it also made it clear that both parties cared for each other and were deeply in love. Perfect choice on if you don’t want to read a heavily sexed book as it is only one chapter to avoid. Also great on if you are trying to figure out or have an interest in a unique and well formed set of main characters who are not stereotypical of if you align with something beyond the more ‘traditional’ and limited scale of sexuality of LGB to include its fuller dimensions. Well thought out explanations as well for people more new to concepts. A great read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Trina
  • 15-10-18

Loved it !

Loved how the Narrator brought out all the right emotions for all the character in the book.
Loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura J
  • 26-06-18

Awesome!

I loved this book. A truly heartwarming story, and the narration was wonderful. Well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • IT
  • 19-09-19

Great writer, great performance, a PC development

I'm having a hard time rating/reviewing this book. The building of the story, the metaphors, the humor, the lack of stiffness, the absence of flowery and/or exaggerate language made the structure of narration and story feel real and natural. All of these are hallmarks not only a good writer but a great one. This is the first book that I read by Jae, but she's extremely talented.

As an avid reader of romance novels (LGBT & straight) not only do I expect but I actually enjoy the cliche themes that often strain the imagination and the limits of reality. I don't cringe at impossible scenarios and/or premises. Usually, those are "external" factors: a ridiculous social status/money in one of the protagonists; thrillers with villains who more inexplicable cunning or pretty dumb but keep getting away with it; sick/hurt protagonist that somehow still can have all-night sex, instant success, etc. It's all good. It's all part of the charm of the romance genre.

On this case, the central theme of asexuality/ sexual incompatibility is dealt with in a way that straights even my flexible standards. The underlying story development felt more like a politically correct "how to be the perfect partner for an asexual person" than a compelling storyline. I would have accepted this if both protagonists were in their late teens/early (very early) twenties. But these they are in their 30's. Adults that had to experience love/lost and life. I don't mind "unrealistic" but I like my characters - especially in character-driven stories - to be deeply human, meaning, flawed. That's what makes them relatable. Infusing the characters with so many pc-acceptable reactions/behaviors not only on how they managed their mismatched sexuality but the relationship itself. No outbursts of anger or frustrating, no miscommunications, perfect consent, etc. All of it made it even harder to enjoy because it isn't/was not believable. I cannot give the story a one star because again, Jae is extremely talented, even with all the self-imposed restrictions embedded in the storyline itself, she did a great job. But if there was a "roll your eyes" option that would be my choice.