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Summary

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they're perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious, Todd Smitty. Richard won't find the right man if he's obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It's lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister's army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact, with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard's house, he's thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

©2017 The Romance Authors, LLC (P)2017 The Romance Authors, LLC

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

warm and fuzzies abound!

Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I PURCHASED my ebook copy of this book (July 2017) and I was GIFTED the audio file of this book.

Richard dumped Todd because was too young to be committed to him, but when Todd gets a second chance at happiness, he pulls out all the stops.

This is book three in the Hope series, but you don't need to have read the other two for this to make sense. But they are great reads.

As is this one!

Richard let Todd go, because Todd was still seeing other guys and Rich did not want to share. But he failed to tell Todd that! So when Todd finds out WHY Rich dumped him, he's keen to clear the air and try to get back into Rich's bed and his heart.

And its a beautiful story! It follows a CC track record, with the guys having done their break up, and this story is their make up. Its well written fro both Todd and Rich's point of view. It's sexy in places, and heart breaking in others, especially when we get to just what causes Rich to push Todd away.

I read this a while a go, but was going through a rough parch and didn't get a review written, but given the opportunity to LISTEN to it, I jumped at the chance!

Ezekiel Robison narrates, and he does an amazing job! I think I preferred the audio version to the print version, if I'm totally honest and ya'll know I gotta be honest!!

Robison's voice is smooth, and deep and even and his voices are spot on how I imagined Todd and Rich to sound like. I had no trouble following multi person conversations. He manages to get across what I did not get when I read, what THAT is, exactly, I have no idea, but there was something missing when I read it that was not there when I listened to it, and that can only be put down by the excellent skills of Robison.

4 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
4.5 overall.

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Audio surpasses the print version

I have read the print version of this book and to be honest, I had a few issues with the story, the perceived power dynamics and hypocrisy/lack of communication by the MCs. BUT - I've got to say that listening to the audio negated all of my hesitations. Ezekiel Robison manages to bring a sense of humanity to each character that I didn't get from reading the book and managed to change my perspective of the whole tale. I felt that whilst I may not understand the motivations behind each action I could empathise with them and understand that they were the right actions for each character.

I would recommend the audio over the print book, but would still recommend Cardeno C's entire catalogue. I've listened to this twice already.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Belen
  • 01-08-17

I love this narrator!

Any additional comments?

*Sighs* I love Ezekiel Robison, and his narration of this story is pitch perfect. He captures the characters so well, and even though I wanted to strangle Rich at first, I slowly began to like him by the end of the story.

In a lot of ways this is about miscommunication. The one thing Richard had wanted from Todd - commitment - was something he never actually discussed with him. Rich just assumed he knew what was best for Todd, because Todd is so much younger, and therefore couldn't possibly want to be in a long term, committed relationship.

I ended up really enjoying this dual POV, May/December romance with a hard-headed alpha male and the delightfully clueless man he loves. Especially the narration!

I just absolutely adored Todd. Man, I felt for Todd! It broke my heart to realize that he's just a simple guy who misses big clues and didn't understand what had happened when Rich broke things off with him. His low self esteem in the beginning killed me.

Todd is very happy being submissive, especially to Rich whom he implicitly trusts, because he just prefers for someone else to be in charge and hold the reins.

And Rich? Well, he is just what my brother would call "a poor dumb b**tard" - by not asking for what what he wanted and assuming he knew what was going on without having the conversation that could have cleared it all up he ended up making them both miserable.

It's Todd who, for all his simplicity, recognizes the issue, talks about it calmly and openly, and get things onto a track they are both comfortable with.
Sometimes he thought he was too simple to notice a problem. But other times he thought people made simple things way too complicated.

Though I had some issues with the way Rich handled their relationship by keeping it secret from the majority of the town, and how he behaved with Todd in the beginning, I came around in the end.

I just want Todd to be happy, and if Rich is what will make him happy, then I'm all for it. <3

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tams (TTC Books and more)
  • 14-09-17

Age is just a number!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I sure would, I love this Author and the narrator is pretty darn good as well.

If you’ve listened to books by Cardeno C. before, how does this one compare?

I've listened to a good many of CC's books and this one is somewhere in the middle. I had a few issues with a certain stubborn, pig headed male in the story. But overall I enjoyed it.

Have you listened to any of Ezekiel Robison’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have and I think that the more he hones his talent, the better his vocal tones become. This was the best from him I've heard thus far.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was and I did. Short, sexy and steamy are my three favorite colors!

Any additional comments?

Okay, I had one huge, glaring issue with this story.... Richard! Not completely, don't get me wrong. He's a big, brooding alpha male that is used to getting his way. He and Todd compliment each other because Todd likes being told what to do, but only by Richard. I wanted to climb into the book and throttle Richard a couple of times though. He is a grown ass man acting like an angsty teenager that needed some sense knocked into him and I was more than willing to offer my services.

There were two decades separating these two men but it was so clear that they belonged to each other from the start. I think my favorite aspect to this story was the character development and growth for Todd. He's young and bit naive and can't sort out how to define his thoughts, to put them to words to get Richard to understand that what he wants is Richard.

Robison has this sort of natural growl to his tone and it worked splendidly for Richard. I liked what he did with the characters in this story, can't wait to snag something else he's voiced.

Overall I really liked this one and will probably listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela S Goodrich
  • 25-05-18

This story was even better as an audiobook!

I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.

One of the biggest differences for me between reading a book and listening to the audiobook is that the narrator can change the way I interpret the story simply by how they craft the voices for the characters. In the case of Smitty’s Sheriff, Ezekiel Robison made the power exchange between Rich and Todd more apparent. While all of the books in the Hope series are May-December romances, this one has more of the Daddy-boy feel to it than the others. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not entering BDSM territory here, but the dominant, alpha male and submissive, younger man roles are more obvious between Rich and Todd and not just because of their age difference – it’s just who they are as people. Some people are leaders (Rich) and some people are followers (Todd) and for these two men, their natural roles click on a romantic level.

Another of the things Robison’s narration makes more obvious is Todd’s thoughtfulness. Yes, the young man can be a bit flighty and forgetful (weren’t we all at that age), but when it comes to the things that matter to him – repairing his relationship with Rich – Robinson captures Todd’s earnest consideration perfectly. Through the narrative performance, for me, Todd went from being a young man with a bit of hero worship turned romantic feelings, into a young man who knew who he was, knew who he wanted, and was determined to find out where they went wrong the last time and fix it, so he could find his happiness again. I liked Todd before, but after listening to the audiobook edition of Smitty’s Sheriff, I absolutely adored him. On a side note, the Big D conversation between Rich, Todd, and Todd’s sister is soooooooo much funnier on audio than it ever was in my head, and I laughed a lot when I read it. Todd can really be a cheeky little bugger.

While I was comfortable with my interpretation of Rich’s alpha male persona, Robinson still managed to add a layer of insecurity more convincingly than I did on my own. Rich’s worries that his controlling nature was or could become abusive towards Todd were performed so well that my heart broke all over again for him. The fact that Rich was even worried about it happening said so much about his character, in a good way. Could Rich’s controlling nature become abusive? With the wrong person, probably. However, he and Todd were made for each other (yes, yes, I know, it’s a book, so of course they were made for one another), but their personalities complement one another – the leader and the follower – so rather than an abusive relationship, it’s a nurturing one… well, once Rich stopped fighting it. I thoroughly enjoyed Smitty’s Sheriff and am so glad that I can listen to the audiobook anytime I like because Ezekiel Robison’s narrative performance made Cardeno C.’s words even more poignant.

On a side note, and because I’ve referred to it multiple times, if you’d like to read my review of the ebook, you can find it on Goodreads (sorry, but I can't link you to it).

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tyra
  • 17-01-18

Personalities perfectly captured.

Any additional comments?

Todd is young, youngest by several years in his family and young in actions. He just needs a little direction in his life and he thinks he finds that with much older Richard. And then Richard dumps he and won't speak to him about anything.

Richard is ready to settle down and he is incredibly attracted to Todd but he just can't handle sharing, so he has to let him go.

While this book is very well written I just did not connect to the MC's, especially Richard. I felt the way that he treated Todd was unfair, he never came right out and told him what he wanted, so I was annoyed with him through out the book.

The narration is very good at conveying Todd's confusion and desperation to understand what Richard wanted. I felt that Mr. Robinson brought the authors characters to life and captured their personalities perfectly.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-11-17

heartwarming

I enjoy a good m/M romance. The characters were developed enough and you almost became invested in their success.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Linda B.
  • 19-09-17

Great book!

This book has well developed characters and the storyline is fast moving and well thought out. Looking forward to the next book by this author.