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Radical Hearts

Deviant Hearts, Book 2
Narrated by: Dan Calley
Series: Deviant Hearts, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

How far would you go to protect the one you love?

Allowing a man into his life would be one distraction too many for security consultant Lee Adams, especially when the ink’s still wet on the career-defining deal he’s just signed with a high-profile property tycoon. 

Dominic Russell can’t help but notice the out of place, moodily good looking guy in the sharp, corporate suit who’s sheltering from the rain in the radical bookshop where he works. Just like he can’t help flirting with him.

With strands of bright dye running through Dominic’s dark hair, and his rainbow wristbands, Lee tells himself there’s nothing the two of them could have in common. Yet when Dominic asks him to a campaign meeting to save an iconic LGBTQ venue from being bulldozed out of existence, Lee says yes when everything tells him he should be saying no.

Against the background of Lee and Dominic’s unlikely love story, the Save Charlie campaign is falling apart. Nobody’s interested and nobody cares. When a stranger with vision, passion, and conviction arrives on the scene he’s the shot in the arm the campaign needs, and he’s come with a full syringe. 

But something about Charlie’s savior doesn’t add up. Lee’s determined to find out what, and why. 

As the disturbing, sinister truth is unearthed, it’s not only Lee and Dominic’s future together that’s in danger, it’s their very lives.

Radical Hearts is a tense, grip the edge of your seat opposites attract romantic suspense novel. No cliff hangers, guaranteed.

©2018 A E Ryecart (P)2020 A E Ryecart

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stealing my heart <3

I have to admit this is a brand new book to me so I headed in with no idea what I was going to hear, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Lee was a character I knew from the previous book in the series, and given the way events ended in that it was good to hear what happened next.

As an ex-police officer now working in private security the last place you’d expect him to end up, or even find someone he’d fall in love with is a niche bookstore and vegan café, but he does. Add in the fact there’s an LGBT landmark pub to be saved, a snarky ex and secrets abound and it all adds up the perfect book.

Dan Calley does a great job as always of voicing the cast of characters while making it easy to keep track of who’s talking and adding all the emotions and liberal sprinkling of angst we need as the story unfolds.

I know there is a third book in the series, and I say bring it on!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

as good as the ebook

The story is always full stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook. I can't listen to an audiobook without knowing the book, that's not possible for me.

The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. It took me a little bit, to come into the narrator, but at the end, it worked. I only have to take a few breaks between. I'm just not yet finish with the book, but I listen enough to give a review.

PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!!

To my ratings:

5* - very very good
it's like an A+

4* - very good and will be often re-listening
it's like an A

3* - it's more then a one-time-listening.
it's like a B

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow what a book.

This book had just about everything. Love. Laughter, angst, betrayal, twists after twists in the story.
My heart stopped a couple of times but I loved it and would recommend to everyone.
I listened and read this book, I loved the audio version. Can't wait to read more books from this author. Excellent.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Yes!!! Lee's story!

🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5
🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 4.5

Yes!!! Lee's story!

I just knew there was so much more to Lee and knew he had a good heart! After a chance meeting, sparks fly for Lee and Dominic. Both with their own baggage and issues they forge a tentative connection that leads to more. With some questionable characters, dubious intentions and some good old fashioned intrigue, we are taken on a twisted story of warped revenge against someone in Dominic's life. (no spoilers, LOL).

Now I must say, I was actually surprised by the links between the characters and looking back I can't believe I missed it! I think I was just too focused on the allusive and shady Jez! I feel these links between all the characters were very well done and I honestly thought there were parallels but no connection until the big reveal. Whether I just missed it or it was actually that well hidden I'm not sure but I still loved the twists and turn, danger and sparks along the way.

I really like Dom & Lee and liked that we got more of Dashiell & Billy too. A great follow up and great audio too!

Thanks for reading!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story with a twist.

I really enjoyed this audiobook. A.E.Ryecart draws her characters particularly well. If I met them on the street I’d know them. Even the subsidiary and minor characters have a depth to them. I loved the narration which suited the characters and made them distinguishable one from another. The story starts simply with boy meets boy but soon an undercurrent is detectable and the story enfolds into a family drama and a ‘who’s going to do what?’ which keeps you gripped to the end. I highly recommend this story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A radical heart...

Interesting romance. A security guy, serious about his job. An out and proud guy who works at a library but likes to raise his voice for what he believes in. A bit of suspense and characters that surprise you at the end. The plot thickens in every chapter. Good book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoying this series

I listened to Captive Hearts, not knowing what I was getting into. The book was violent, heartbreaking, and emotional. I loved it, and it’s up there on my really enjoyed list. When this second book in the series came out on audio, I nabbed it, and I’m so glad I did. I think I was expecting violence, and there was some, to be sure, but it was more unexpected and therefore had just as much emotional impact on me as the last book did.

Lee Adams was in the last book as a grizzled undercover police detective. He was critical in rescuing Billy Grace. He became friends with Billy and Dash, even visiting the B&B they opened. He intrigued me, and I was thrilled to see that his book was to be next in the series. Billy and Dash make a cameo in this book, and it’s nice to see the progress Billy is making in his recovery. Not always easy, but with Dash’s support, he’s making improvements.

Back to Lee. He’s left the police department and has moved into private security. He’s got a couple of lucrative contracts but his personal life is on the downslide. He broke up with his long-time partner and has moved into a crappy little flat, unwilling to sell the joint property, more to spite his ex than any worry about getting the highest market price. Bitter? Just a bit. And rightly so. One day he enters a bookstore to get out of the rain. There’s a café serving healthy food, but that’s not what draws him in. He meets a young man who snags his attention. There’s a bit of flirting, but Lee perceives a rival for the man’s attention and he’s not into playing games. He doesn’t fish in anyone else’s pond.

Dominic Russell is intrigued by the stranger, and annoyed his ex-boyfriend won’t let up in his pursuit. Dom literally found the slimebag in their bed with someone else, and he has no interest in going there again. The ex swears he’s changed, but I’m glad Dom recognizes he got lucky. Now, though, the stranger has disappeared and there’s no chance they’ll ever meet up again, right?

Lee’s curiosity brings him back to the bookshop. There’s a local LGBTQ pub that is about to be demolished, and the owners of the bookstore are leading a campaign to save it. Lee’s wary of activists and becomes concerned when he sees Dom is involved. By then he’s becoming involved with Dom himself. This sets up the conflict nicely – Dom wants to save the old pub by whatever means necessary (short of violence), while Lee wants Dom safe and sound and at home in bed.

Part of me was torn. Activism is often the best way to accomplish goals, but I always wonder just how much difference these acts of defiance make. I drive past a group every weekend who are protesting the treatment of chickens at a processing plant. I admire their determination. I feel guilty about not being a vegan. Then I move on. I have a friend who was arrested for that activism (he broke into a processing plant). Do I admire him? Yes. Would I join him? Uh, no. I’ll sign a petition, but I know that doesn’t really make a difference. Should I be more active? Do more when I see wrongs? I’m quite sure the answer is yes. I’ll continue to donate money strategically, sign petitions, and share stories, but that’s as far as I’m able to go. Will I ever be a radical? Doubt it.

Did this book push me? Yes, it did. I wanted Lee and Dom to get their happy ending and they did, but man it was a rough ride. Like I said, there was violence in this book. Should I have seen it coming? Possibly, but if I had I think that might have lessened the effect. In the end, I loved this book almost as much as I loved the first one.

Dan Calley is quickly becoming one of my favorite British narrators. He helms this series as well as Jack L. Pyke’s Don’t books. He’s got gruff and grizzled down pat, but he also has a surprisingly lighter voice for Dom. The differentiation with the different voices worked, and this was another great performance by this talented narrator. I hope to see more of him in the future. And I can’t wait for the final book to come out on audio.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a journey

This story has everything to keep me interested. There is a good flow from Dom and Lee’s meeting to the drama surrounding the mysterious Jez characters. The balance between the gentle love story of Dom and Lee finding each other, whilst still dealing with aggravating exes worked extremely well with the suspense angle.
As always Dan’s narration is excellent. I love the way he gives a shine to a character just with the tone and accent he chooses.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This brilliant story has everything!

Dominic works in an alternative cafe where he serves security consultant and ex-cop, Lee, and the two develop a relationship. In his spare time, Dominic is trying to save an old pub from being redeveloped and he naively attracts some questionable characters to the cause. Lee feels that something is off, but can he work out what’s going on?
This brilliant story has everything: well-crafted main and supporting characters; a slowly unfolding menacing thriller that wasn’t upstaged by the romance; and utterly realistic dialogue! Although a little stilted at times, I quickly adjusted to the narrator. He used a more working class British accent and this suited the story perfectly!!

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  • L.D.
  • 25-03-20

New Starts

Lee Adams has had enough of police work. It’s taken a toll on him and he had to get out and find a new direction before he broke. Working as a security consultant, Lee can still utilize all his skills, and have a social life at the same time. And it’s the perfect time for Lee to get a social life – he’s broken up with his boyfriend, he’s secured a lucrative work contract – everything seems just right for a new relationship. Dominic is definitely new to Lee – he’s colorful and bright, working at a bookshop and trying to sustain a campaign to save a run-down pub.

I adored Lee and Dominic’s relationship. They are both such independent characters who have been hurt by past relationships, and yet they were able to fit together so perfectly. They had to work for it, but they never stopped, despite the obstacles (some of them quite terrifying) that popped up.

The narration was fantastic!!!! I love Dan Calley’s performance. I love the energy he infuses into his book. The steamy moments are even steamier, and he brings such an intensity to the action sequences.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MelRose@BlueRoseAudiobookReview
  • 22-03-20

Heart-pounding suspenseful romance

4.5 Blue Roses
4 Blue Flames

Narrator Dan Calley downright successfully delivered a foreboding heart-pounding suspenseful romance, in which two lovers are manipulated by the machinations of mentally ill stalker. Dan’s killer British accent infused each moment with pure angst and nervous anticipation.

The plot was sustained throughout the book. If we were conversing in Icelandic, I’ll tell you all about the raisin at the end of the hot dog! 🌭 Expect an unexpected surprise at the end of the book.

The character building was done brilliantly as the author managed to tactfully twist the storyline enough to obscure the road towards the unpredictable ending.

I recommend this audiobook and look forward to more from this author/narrator duo.

Happy Listening

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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 11-03-20

This is a great series!

I have to be honest. When I listened to the first book in this series, Captive Hearts, I wasn't sure how I felt about the narrator. You see, I'm American and Dan Calley's British accent was different from other ones I've listened to, and it was a bit tough for me to get used to. However, my opinion changed completely after listening to the second book.

As I said above, it took me a bit to get used to Dan Calley's accent but once I did, I was captivated by the story while listening to Radical Hearts. So much so that I went back and listened to Captive Hearts a second time. He does a good job with different voices for the different characters and I loved the soft tone of his voice. What this experience tells me is that I shouldn't judge a narrator solely by how much I did/didn't enjoy just one book.

Below is a portion of my review of the ebook from when it was first published:

Radical Hearts had a brilliant twist that I never saw coming. I knew that something was brewing when the character called Jez showed up but the author did a great job of keeping us in the dark and kind of stringing us along. I don't mean that things were too drawn out, rather I was kept on the edge of my seat, so to speak, waiting with anticipation and trepidation for the bad thing to happen. I surely didn't see it coming when the first thing was revealed and then another thing happened. Sorry for being deliberately cryptic but I don't do spoilers in my reviews (at least not intentionally).

Radical Hearts is a great story. If you like your M/M romance with a bit of mystery and suspense and an HEA you should enjoy this one a lot.

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

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  • enjoys a great read
  • 09-03-20

Loved it!

What a great storyline and filled with loads of twists and turns. Lee and Don sure had their work cut out for them but oh so worth it. Looking forward to more by this great author.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Donald
  • 06-03-20

An English Pub

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I has all the items in the writing to make an intriguing mystery. There is very little sex in this story, and to me, makes it more of mystery novel. Now I have to listen to book one in this series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Clau
  • 02-03-20

A great story :)

A lovely take on 'opposites attract' and 'friends-to-lovers', this book is a great second in this series.

We knew Lee in Captive Hearts, and if you already read this book you will have a better understanding of him, although is not in any way necessary to follow the story. Both, Dom and Lee, have less than nice exes, and things in their pasts that they don't want out in the open.

Dom and his ex, Tyger, are working to save an old gay pub, and Tyger brings another man, Jes, to help with it. But Jes too has secrets of his own, and Lee has a very bad feeling about him. Soon, danger enters into the mix and maybe not even Lee's instincts and training as ex-cop can save Dom.

A suspenseful, thrilling story with moments of great action that still manages to be a beautiful love story.

Dan Calley does an excellent job narrating the story.

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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
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  • B.McGrath
  • 02-03-20

retribution

There are few books that I finish and then sit quietly to reflect, but this was one of those. So much pain and suffering, love and losses, impactful , compelling and it resonated deeply in my heart and soul. Laughs and tears, and a heart full to the brim. This is a definite relisten when I can recover from all the feels. This author has a way of breaking you down to despair, and then lifting you up to dizzying heights of elation. The narrator did a fantastic job. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this story and am giving an honest review.