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Summary

I wasn't looking for Derek Wolfe.

I wasn't looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.

He's smart, successful, and sexy as hell - I can barely sleep knowing he's right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it's hard to deny there's something real there.

But he does. He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he's not into guys and what we did meant nothing.

He's lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it's better every time. I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I'm done hiding. If he's not strong enough to admit the truth, I'll have to be strong enough to walk away.

©2017 MH Publishing (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Misty
  • 29-12-17

More lovely than anything I’ve heard all year

Derek was the kind always taking in strays and never the kind to do what he needed to really make himself happy. Maxim was a Russian immigrant that was doing whatever it took to make himself happy and was a stray of the human variety.

Derek and Maxim’s story was so incredibly honest. I get so tired of love stories that build on simple miscommunication and this is NOT that story. Maxim is so heartbreakingly true to himself that I could not stop listening. Derek took some time to come around into himself and that journey is so painful to listen to that my heart just ached but these 2 men made it so worth it.

I also appreciated their love making, if we wanna get real. M/M sex gets to sound so gratuitous sometimes that I imagine it can’t possibly be even close to truthful. These love scenes were beautiful and so real to me, if I were to imagine it.

This is my favorite M/M book this year. Start to finish, I loved every minute.

Joel Leslie and Bruce Cullen did an amazing job narrating. I think the accents and the real sentiment in their voices seriously brought it home for me. I have nothing but praises to be said.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charo
  • 08-01-18

WOW!!!

I didn't want it to end.. This is the most amazing love story ever.. I laughed .. I cried. The main characters are conflicted and beautifully flawed. And the the sexy times were hot.. A must read.
Charo

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shivering Psyche
  • 07-01-18

When Double Narration Goes Wrong

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The BOOK, yes. The audiobook, no.
I haven't even finished the story yet, but I'm 99.9% sure I'd have enjoyed it much more had I read it instead.

Would you be willing to try another one of Joel Leslie and Bruce Cullen ’s performances?

Joel Leslie, abso-freaking-lutely. His range and pacing are phenomenal.
Bruce Cullen... Nah. I feel as if he's more suited for non-fiction and biographies. Definitely not this genre. And that Russian accent... Bruh.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

If Joel Leslie had narrated the whole thing. I may have forgiven the oversight of hiring Bruce Cullen had each character been assigned a narrator instead of the narrators switching between chapters.

Any additional comments?

The whole point of having two narrators is so they can each voice an MC. The fact that this audiobook has the narrators taking turns chapter to chapter is just weird and discombobulating.
Please, READ the book; don't listen to it. Narration can make or break books nowadays. The best books can be ruined by subpar narration, and vice versa. Disappointing.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Vicster
  • 20-01-18

What a surprise for me

Any additional comments?

I took a chance on a "new to me" author because I like Joel Leslie's narration. Glad I did. I liked the story, however, Bruce Cullen's voice was a little stiff for me. Story is a sexy, romantic, love wins all, which worked for me :)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kate M
  • 31-12-17

Sooooo good!

Strong enough was so good! I just finished it in record time because I couldn't stop listening.
It was about accepting who you are. It was sweet and hot 🔥🔥and had all the feels. This is my first book by Both theses authors, and won't be my last. Joel Leslie nails it as always 💕💕highly recommend

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marianne Hanna
  • 30-01-18

All the feels!

Okay so at first I had no idea this was a M/M romance novel until I read the first three chapters that these amazing authors provided for their fans, and let me tell ya, HOLY CR*P! I've never really thought to read M/M novels before (nothing against them at all) because I never came across one that captured my attention, but STRONG ENOUGH did and I'm so happy I read it AND got the audio book! STRONG ENOUGH delivers so much & although it's overwhelming, it's welcomed & so worth it! Derek and Maxim's chemistry is what real love stories are made of & one that you'll envy; I literally want to feel what they were feeling, even the bad and aching parts because it'll make me feel alive! It was beautifully written & I wouldn't change a thing, even though my heart was squeezing at some parts (still worth it), my thighs squeezed at other parts ;) if you enjoy M/M romance, read it; if you don't enjoy M/M romance, read it anyways because it's so much more than that. Always be true to yourself and remember that you too deserve to be happy! F*ck everybody else! I give five beautiful stars for STRONG ENOUGH! Joel Leslie and Bruce Cullen did an amazing job!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kestergayle
  • 02-01-18

Brilliant!

This is the MM romance I've been wanting to read for YEARS! Beautifully written, with compelling and sympathetic characters, an original storyline, and realistic emotional conflict. A gorgeous, heartfelt tale that I adored.

Maxim is a young Russian immigrant, dreaming of a career as a screenwriter and he gets robbed his first night in town. He ends up as a houseguest of Derek, a somewhat older, kind and caring man who likes helping people. Maxim is gay and immediately attracted to Derek, but Derek has spent a lifetime ruthlessly quashing any such impulses of his own. He dreams of a wife and children; he longs for that traditional life.

Derek is a successful businessman, albeit not a very happy one. Maxim is strongly independent, and is willing to work very hard to achieve his dream. They admire and respect one another's strong character and the attraction between them grows. But Derek has a long inner journey ahead, he needs to reconcile his desires to his dreams, and Maxim isn't willing to be a dirty little secret.

I thought this book was profound and meaningful, a lovely exploration of attraction and how it can sneak up on you in an utterly unexpected way. The love scenes are moving and powerful, with both tenderness and frenzy portrayed perfectly. There are gut wrenching moments, moments of transcendent joy, tears, laughter, and a lot of other stuff in between. I dare you not to love these two guys! They were both such utterly good and honest people, who were trying hard to find their way to happiness.

For me as a reader, character development is crucial. If the characters don't seem real the rest of the story tends to fall apart for me. These characters are fully developed from word one, all of them, not just the two protagonists. While the external circumstances of their lives is important, the focus here is on these two men, and that focus remains fixed throughout the story.

I read hundreds of books a year, at least one a day, most of which are some variety of romance. This is one of the best romances of any genre that I've read in quite some time. I listened to it all in one sitting and I know I'll listen again and again; this book deserves it.

The narration is very good, and only serves to enhance an already beautiful story. I will certainly be looking for more work by these two writers!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean J.
  • 29-12-17

audio version is wonderful

great book made even better by joel and bruce. hope to find more by this author

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Meg
  • 13-01-18

An unenthusiastic 3.5 stars rounded up

I have not read this book, and maybe that's where the disconnect for me is... but I could not get engaged in this story at all. I didn't feel any real depth to the characters, and I could not find any spark between the MC's. This is a new author/combo for me, and I saw it mentioned in a thread. But, I have to be honest: I bought the audiobook because Joel Lesley was one of the performers.

This was my first experience with two narrators. I have to say with the way this book is done, I'm not a fan. I wanted to hear a performance, not two very different performers switching based on the POV. I don't believe I have listened to Bruce Cullen before, but I think he could have done a passable job; IF he wasn't doing the back and forth with a performer like Mr. Lesley. The main problem with the way they chose to do this book, *in my opinion*, is that each person is doing an entire chapter. This means that when the other narrator's character *speaks*, the wrong narrator is doing the voice. Hence, you end up with two characters, with two voices...

And, although I'm sure Mr. Cullen would have been just fine, after hearing Joel Lesley perform his character, it's hard to reacclimate yourself to the fact that there is still, in fact, someone else you will have to listen to doing the same characters with an entirely different sound.

I finished the book, but I played games through most of the second half... the book has to be REALLY terrible for a DNF. But, as my title says, this is a very uncomfortable 4 star review. That's the overall rating, and I only rounded up because I thought Mr. Lesley did fantastic with the Russian accent. The story was humdrum...3 stars from me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen Burton
  • 19-04-18

Loved this Story

It was sweet, and hot and sad and beautiful.

I don't write reviews much, unless getting free book for review, but this one I just loved.

Buy NOW!!! Super M/M story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful