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Sweet Thing

Pretty Boy
Narrated by: Gary Furlong
Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
Regular price: £18.29
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Summary

French male model Simeon Duchamp has a lot of explaining to do.

Two years after a breakdown, Simeon is off drugs and booze and wants to stay that way.

On his road to reclaiming his life and modeling career, Sim first needs to apologize to the man he hurt the most - his ex-best friend and object of his unrequited affection Pieter Bayer. Pieter now has a long-term partner, artist Emily Raven, with whom he shares a baby son. Sim is amazed when Pieter accepts his apology, and invites him into his family.

Closeness to Pieter sees Simeon's longing for his friend is rekindled. But then, when Simeon meets an attractive older man, Bastian Roth at an Art Exhibition, he realizes that there is a soul more broken than his, and Simeon feels compelled to help. Simeon's connection with the troubled Bastian Roth turns his world upside down. He has to decide whether to allow himself to fall for the man who wants him or pine for the man he can never have.

This book can be heard as a standalone.

Please note: This story contains graphic descriptions of gay sex.

©2017 Isobel Starling (P)2018 Isobel Starling/ Decent Fellows Press.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely stunning

I love redeeming characters and Sim is definitely redeemable. After leaving the clinic he sets out to make amends for all his wrong doings and along the way he meets the man who will complete his life. True love doesn't run smooth for Sim though and there are a few bumps in his road of recovery. It's such a beautiful story. The narrator is absolutely perfect. If you love English/French accents then omg you'll love this story. It's one of those books you don't forget.

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

Excellent

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story and I was not sure what it was about but as I had listened to the Shatterproof Bond set I knew I couldn’t go wrong.
I loved this super story about Simeon and Bastian. The relationship starts out badly with both having issues and you want to be involved and right there with them as they work out their problems and miscommunications. Can’t give too much away so take a chance and listen to this.. I adored the accents Gary gave to all of the characters, superb choice of Narrator..

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

Emotional slow burn romance

This is the first book I have read that is set in a different country to America or the UK, that isn’t just mc’s visiting. I loved that I didn’t know the area and wow do I now want to go travelling!!!

Bastian and sim are two broken men who find that love can work when you get to know each other and work at the relationship. I loved this story, it had me laughing, crying and shouting no no don’t do it a few times!! Word of warning don’t listen in the car because you get weird looks when you get to your destination and can’t leave the car because you are so engrossed in the story!!!! I liked both mc’s equally and was cheering for them both, this is a slow burn story where they get to know each other and build trust before they get intimate. There were few sex scenes which were relevant to the story and flowed through the story line.

Although I found Gary’s narration hard to get used to for the first 10 minutes, I think it was because of the heavy accent, but I quickly got used to it and feel it would have been strange without it and the story would not have been so deep had he not used the accents. I loved the voices he used for each character.

Really enjoyable story that I will be listening to again and again. Will also be checking out other books by the author and narrator.

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

Perfectly Sweet and Sexy

Simeon and Bastian are two lost broken souls and Isobel Starling has crafted a wonderful journey where they found love and acceptance. By the end of their journey the cracks have healed but they are still there beneath the surface. Simeon loves his best friend Pieter. But Simeon doesn’t understand why the love he feels is not returned. He then does something stupid and jeopardises that very friendship. What I liked about this story is the the positive rebuilding of relationships and in doing so Simeon is able to understand there are different kinds of love. He is then able to help Bastian heal. The road for them is not smooth and this, along with the very hot scenes, kept me riveted. The scenes were so hot I found myself double checking that no one else around me could hear them! And such a perfect ending, left me feeling uplifted.

Gary Furlong is such a talented narrator. His characterisation of Simeon, Pieter, Bastian and Emily was excellent. His use of language and accents (French & German) fleshed out these characters and brought a new dimension to the story.

I was given a audiobook copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

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

Starling and Furlong- an amazing team

When I see a new release by Isobel Starling with narration by Gary Furlong it's a must buy.

SWEET THING is not your run-of-the-mill tale. It deals with hard subjects like unrequited love, betrayal, loss, addiction and second chances at life and love. The writing is realistic and well observed. It is at times very funny and sweet, and at other times devastatingly gorgeous and heartbreaking.

Simeon and Bastian are beautifully broken and their journey to love is not an easy one, but my goodness its a rewarding listen.

Gary Furlong never ceases to surprise with his range of accents- in this he is English, French and German for multiple characters. Each character is well-defined and individual. He even speaks effortlessly in French and German (which is suuuuper hot!)

The story twists and tangles your emotions in the best ways and the ending is just perfect.
Another masterpeice. Highly recommended.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dee Winston
  • 11-11-18

In love

Getting to know Simeon has been wonderful. He's a man who is trying to find himself in a sober world. He's messed up and now is trying to make amends and find out who and what he deserves. And he finds it in another who has been struck by tragedy and finding it hard to move on. Watching Simeon and Bastian navigate something they've never done before has been a joy. Both men deserve to be happy. I couldn't get enough of these two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DPiazzi
  • 02-05-18

Great narration really adds to the story.

The narration: If you haven't listened to this narrator yet, you definitely should. He performs so many accents in a way that seems flawless to me. I am always impressed by his variation and his ability to emote. Listening to a book narrated by him only enhances the enjoyment of the story.

The story:  Sweet Thing is book 2 of a series and can definitely be read as a standalone. The first book is an m/f book, some of Simeon's backstory seems to take place in it. The author catches us up enough that it doesn't have to be read first, but I did find myself adding it to my to-read list.

Simeon is kind of a broken character. He is on the mend after rehab and counseling for drug and alcohol addictions. His addictive personality disorder isn't something that will go away so it's a constant struggle to stay away from his former vices. And not to form new ones. He finds himself having to apologize to his very best friend Pieter, who he hurt in book one. There is such a history that is glossed over in this book, but you can feel their bond. Hence my wanting to read book one. Through Pieter and his wife, Simeon meets Bastien.

Bastien is broken also. Pieter and Emily encourage the relationship between Simeon and Bastien, thinking that two broken men can help each other. It's debatable if that is a good idea, but their intentions are good. Bastien's problems are with intimacy and while Simeon is able to help, Bastien is also dealing with loss and a lack of closure from his last relationship. He cares for Simeon, no doubt, but he has a lot of issues that don't allow him to put Simeon first, and things between them hit some rough spots.

There is some angst in this book, but it's not overly emotional. I felt disappointed at times in both characters. Which means they aren't too perfect to be real. It's a love story between broken and flawed men. I enjoyed the story and really liked Pieter and Emily's place in the book. I'd say they are the most prominent secondary characters and they add to the story. Overall, I would definitely recommend the book, especially the audio version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kate M
  • 27-04-18

Oh the feels

Sweet thing is not your typical sweet and fluffy romance. My emotions were all over the place listening to this book. Simeon is recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. His past is a mess, so much that he ruined his relationship with his best friend Pieter. Luckily when Simeon gets out of rehab Pieter forgives him, and they work on rebuilding there friendship.
Bastien has a sad past. He had a homophonic father and his partner died in an accident. Simeone and Bastien first encounter was terrible. I kept thinking how are they going to get past this?? They work things out and a relationship blooms. Sweet thing is about second chances. It’s incredible emotional. It’s sad, sweet and hot. There were some twist and turns I wasn’t expecting. I couldn’t stop listening. The narrator did a really good job. I definitely recommend this book 😍😍

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-12-18

Simeon the not sweet

A good audiobook. Gary Fueling does an excellent job. His voice is just perfect.
I really enjoyed the audio, don't think I would have enjoyed the book as much.
The story just did not do much for me. The characters are good and developed.
Would have enjoyed this way more if Simeon was a vampire too.
(Given a copy for an honest review)
(Thanks)

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dee Slate
  • 28-11-18

Really good story, great narration!

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, considering that it deals with some not so 'sweet' issues, like recovering from substance abuse, loss of a loved one and homophobia.
Simeon is the recovering addict, he's also on a mission to atone for past wrongs and win his friend, Pieter, back. It took me a while to warm to Simeon - he came across as entitled, bratty. Then there's Bastian who had his own issues - he'd lost a lover (died) and has intimacy issues. The story could have been really angsty, instead I found it to be a believable portrayal of relationships - between 2 broken men and between said men and their well-intentioned friends.
Gary Furlong made it easy for me to enjoy a story I would not typically read. He was very good with the accents (French, German), distinctly differentiating between the characters. His narration made it a perfect way to enjoy this story; from the European cast of characters, to the emotional, and sometimes dark themes addressed.
Really good!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • 14-11-18

Really good story about two broken men

At first I did not like Simeon, he came off as an entitled, spoiled rotten child. His obsession with Pieter was a little over the top. Pieter is deeply in love with his girlfriend. I loved Bastian right from the start. He is mourning the love of his life who died in an auto accident several years previously. It turns out that Bastian is having sexual issues as he feels like he is cheating on his lost love. Their first time together turns out be a total mess with a major miscommunication and lost of control, anger and Simeon getting hurt by an unwanted spanking gone wrong. But once we get past this point, I loved the book. I loved watching Bastian trying to get Simeon to forgive him, Simeon trying to get back into the modeling world, Simeon struggling with his sobriety, fixing his friendship with Pieter and the growing love between Bastian and Simeon. What we find out towards the end of the book about Bastian's dead lover pissed me off to no end & I could have strangled him! The ending was perfect for these two broken men & couldn't have picked a better outcome. Gary Furlong did an amazing job w/all the different accents and made the story even more enjoyable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vania
  • 07-11-18

Great narration!

Gary Furlong is a new to me narrator, but I will surely listen to more books narrated by him.
Loved the German and French accents, and the foreign sentences, and he's capable of portraying both Bast and Sim in a lovely way!
The book is fascinating, although I would have liked to smack Bast a time or two, or three.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michelle
  • 07-11-18

4 Stars Overall, Broken But Beautiful

Isobel Starling shows us there can be beauty in the rough, broken pieces... But they can cut too. I give the story a solid 3 1/2 stars and enjoyed it! It was well-written with flawed characters that sometimes stalled but ultimately grow not only as a couple but as individuals. I will admit, I warmed more to Simeon than Bastian mostly because of Bastian's actions early on. But as they come together, they felt stronger together and just... fit. There is plenty of angst in the story, but it is tempered by moments of love and caring not just romantically but through friendship as well (Pieter!). While I haven't read book one, the author gave enough backstory that I never felt lost or as though I was missing something.

Gary Furlong's narration was great. He excels at accents and the European characters in this story give him room to shine. I had no trouble distinguishing between characters. The emotions he gave to each character helped immerse me in the story. There was one moment where he narrates with this catch in his voice that just about broke my heart.

This is well worth a read/listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marsha Voelker
  • 06-11-18

Sexy Ride from Dark tunnels to the Light

I was blown away by this rollercoaster ride ! My heart ached for Simeon as he struggled with his love for Pieter and his demons of drugs and alcohol. His drive to heal the sexy new man in his life, Bastian, is a healing for Sim himself. Bastian's surprising discovery about his past lover and his dead father had me reeling. This is a dead on love story about two very troubled rich boys. You feel the pain and joy of a priveleded life and the hopelessness that comes with it. I was gifted this title in exchange for a fair review. I have to say I am well pleased with Isobel Starling's style of writing and pleased with the Narrator Gary Furlong as his voice fits the chactors perfectly. I will buy future works of these two without pause.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Imagine MM Reviews
  • 06-11-18

The love [...] filled him like a thirst quenched.

Omigod, omigod, omieffinggod!!!!! This! This book. Wait, THIS AUDIOBOOK, knocked me off my feet again and again!! 👏👏👏

Those knocks were emotional, I’m sure because looking at myself I don’t have any bruises. Yet those emotional knocks were soothed, balmed, and calmed by Isobel Starling and her magnificent writing.

And I’m fully including Gary Furlong’s voice in helping to kiss and heal all scrapes and bruises I may have experienced because of the AMAZING FEELS in this book!!!

I’ll be upfront right now and say that I asked for and received a copy of this audiobook from Isobel Starling, herself, in exchange for an honest review.

Well, let me be honest: I loved, LOVED, ❤️❤️❤️❤️ this story. The audiobook made Isobel’s story fly!! 👏👏👏

So, here’s a funny thing....I didn’t like our MC, Simeon, at first. He appeared a petty, self-absorbed and spoiled young model. Yes, he was out of rehab. Yes, he was trying to make up amends for past wrongs; but his obsession with his ex-best friend and love obsession was enough to want to shake the pretty man with the pouty lips.

Yes, I felt bad that Pieter, his old bestie, had moved on and found the love of his life—a talented artist, Emily—and now had a baby son. Sure, Sim was in pain, but I wasn’t connecting with him. Yet. I wasn't connecting, YET.

Sim, himself, began to create a new relationship with Pieter and Emily and their son--one based on friendship instead of lust and envy. He GREW as a character. Thank you Ms. Starling for giving a character an arc in which they can CHANGE over the course of the story!!! So, Simeon soon wedges himself in my heart. Him, his new-found empathy and and his sexy as sin French accent—Gary Furlong is a narrating GOD!

I gotta admit that I can identify with Simeon and his addictive personality. That’s pretty much me except that I’m not a model. So, connection made. I'm 100% investes as Sim struggles with sobriety, low self-esteem, anxiety and the belief that his real self isn’t good enough for people to love. He breaks my heart 💔💔 and how I love this!!

So who’s the other half of this love story? Pieter, his unrequited love, is happily married, so it's not him. Who do we get, then since Starling isn't breaking up a marriage? We get a heartbroken Berliner, Bastian, who can’t get past losing the love of his life in an accident almost two years ago. We get plenty of flashbacks with Bastian and his ghost of a lover (no paranormal here). And I truly feel for the man, but I pity him, too. Bast can’t let go and he can’t move on. That is, until he meets Simeon. He sees in Sim something of his own sadness. I loved Bast...but he threw me for a loop, as well at the beginning and again near the end. But, boy, did he make an impression on me!

Sparks FLY between the older architect and the younger model. But are the sparks enough to banish Bast’s dead lover and Sim’s insecurities? You’ll have to read to find out!!

Gods! How I loved these two together! There was no insta-love. No insta-confessions. In fact, it wasn’t smooth sailing at the beginning and the pair hit plenty of speed bumps along the way.

And through this path I traveled with these men, a path that was not easy, yet not angsty, I saw how love can develop between two individuals who are less than perfect. It was their imperfections that made me connect with both of them, although Sim carved out a place in my heart for himself. It was his journey that faced the bravest challenges.

OK, enough of my emo feels for this story. It’s drama, but it’s good drama, real romance and the angst present isn’t shoved in the reader’s face. It’s just a fact. You have an addict and a grieving man: you can’t escape it when these men are working to heal themselves and each other. And....And....There’s a freaking amazing HEA!!! ❤️💕❤️💕❤️

Some quotes that stood out to me (and please forgive any errors in quoting and punctuation since I transcribed this from the audiobook):

Simeon on sex: “When I was high it was like a sport, I guess. Sex is fun and I guess I’m pretty good at it [...] but without the drugs and drink it doesn’t feel the same.”

Simeon on his first relationship (this one): “Sleeping beside you, waking with you, things like that are so simple to everyone else but they’re not so simple to me.”

Bastian to Sim: “...but there’s no way in Hell I’m letting you walk away from me or let you drink yourself into oblivion to escape from me. I will hunt you down and hold on to you until you realize how special you are. I won’t lose you, Simeon. I won’t.”

Sim: That was the thing about love, no two loves were the same.

If you’ve made it to the bottom of this somewhat scattered and possibly typo-filled review (on a phone here), I want you to know that above all, this was a MAGICAL and HONEST LOVE STORY. Anddddd it was a romance NOT SET IN THE US OR THE UK!! Thank the gods for that injection of diversity in setting and culture!!

GET THE BOOK. GET THE AUDIOBOOK—-Furlong’s ability with European languages enthralled me. And damn those accents are sexy as f.....!! 💕💕

CODA: Since no book is perfect, I'll add my minor critique here: At times it was difficult to know whose head I was in when there was a change of POV. Sim's? Bast's? Pieter's? It was minor and my confusion never lasted more than a sentence or two, but it was there, nonetheless.