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Tainted Life

A Sweet and Angsty M/M Romance Novella
By: Mel Gough
Narrated by: Brian Meslar
Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian

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Summary

Metropolitan Police Detective Pete Tucker’s world comes crashing down when his wife sues for divorce and sole custody of their only son.

Desperate to forget his sorrows for a while, Pete seeks refuge in a Soho bar where he is approached by a sexy, funny, and clearly interested stranger. Photographer Liam Jackson is just the ticket for one oblivious night of perfect passion.

However, their attraction proves too intense for a one-night-stand. To his surprise, Pete finds that he’s game for something more - but his baggage soon gets in the way. Then Liam’s own dangerous secrets claw their way to the surface, and threaten to derail the budding romance.

Is their growing bond strong enough to weather the violent storms ahead?

©2018 Mel Gough (P)2019 Mel Gough

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-09-19

New to me author

This was the new to me author and narrator. The story was quite nice and I enjoyed it. The narration was fine but for me lacked a bit of life. There was a high hum in the background of the recording that I had to try to ignore. This detracted from the over all experience. The narrators accents were good. There just needs to be some improvement in the base narration to really make the characters come alive, less monotone and more emotion behind the words. The narrator does have some good potential.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathryn M
  • 09-09-19

Drama and Steam

Tainted Life is a short, sweet and angst filled gay romance novella by Mel Gough. Pete is a Metropolitan Police detective who is facing a difficult life change. He goes to a bar to drawn some sorrows and meets a sexy photographer Liam. Together they are on fire... but the secrets they hide and their pasts may not let them have a future.

Pete and Liam are interesting and entertaining characters. I liked their interactions together. Their story has drama, mystery, suspense, heat and romance. Overall, a satisfying read.

Narration of the story is done by Brian Meslar. The characters have their own voices and really stand out. The story comes to life and adds to the enjoyment of the story. Minor sound issues on recording that did not interfere with my listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 14-09-19

Worth a listen

This book’s tag line is A Sweet and Angsty M/M Romance Novella.

That had me intrigued. I enjoy sweet and I love angsty so how could they both come together – and in something on the shorter side, no less? Well, not to worry, Mel Gough managed quite competently. She’s a new author to me so I was intrigued.

Pete Tucker has just had a shock – his wife has taken their son and is demanding a divorce. He doesn’t react well, as I think many of us might not. The marriage wasn’t the strongest, but Pete loves his son and so was willing to deal with the downsides of the marriage. And when he discovers the reason she’s leaving? Well, that’s the last straw. He’s a cop, known for being level-headed and good at his job. Even that, though, isn’t enough to hold back his anger. Twice it breaks through and both times he pays a high price for not being able to hold himself together.
He meets Liam at one of the lowest points in his life. Here’s a flirty stranger making the moves on him. He’s bi, so that’s not an issue. Hasn’t been with a man since uni, but that’s not an issue. Hasn’t cheated on his wife, so it’s been a while since he’s had sex with a man, but that’s no big deal. So he plunges forward, has a special night, and then moves on.

Or so he believes.

Liam’s on the persistent side, though, not willing to settle for a one-night stand.


They get together for a second date and things go sideways. In a bad way. Liam leaves and is forced to face the seedier side of his life. Things are bad for Liam. Really bad. Pete was a great distraction, but real life is rearing its ugly head. Interestingly, most of the book is in Pete’s point of view and only this middle scene is in Liam’s. Usually I prefer more balance, but for something this short, it works to only have one primary point of view. And it also is necessary to see Liam’s life as he experiences it.

Things go right off the rails for Liam and Pete races to his side, prepared to stand by this man he barely knows but is coming to care for. At first some of this might be driven by guilt, but eventually feelings develop.

Real world comes crashing down again with more violence and the men are tested to the limit. Definitely angsty.

But it’s a romance, so I got my sweet happy ending.

Brian Meslar is a new narrator for me. I thought he was an interesting choice. The entire story takes place in England. The characters have British accents. The narration, however, is not British. I would peg it as American, but a very neutral American, no regional accent of note. This does work but it was a bit jarring. Also, Meslar mispronounced a few words. Not enough to pull me out of the story, but it was noticeable.

Overall I enjoyed the book and I’ll definitely pick up more by this author.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Momma Becky
  • 14-09-19

Terrific narration

A detective and a rent boy. Sounds like the perfect combination for and emotional storm when they can't stay away from each other. Except that's the really the direction taken in Tainted Life. Instead, there's a whole lot going on all at once, but then everything gets resolved very quickly. Some things are a little over the top and could've made for a gripping story, but there's just a bit too much going on. It felt like the story couldn't really settle on a plot, so it took several routes to get to the end and all of them got a little short-changed.
That said, I really liked both Pete and Liam. They're both wounded and in need of some comfort, and they just work together regardless of the differences in their lifestyles. Mel Gough does an excellent job of making their chemistry shine even when they're at odds with each other. The dialogue is another shining star for this emotional story. It's well done and flows wonderfully.
Narrator Brian Meslar did an excellent job with the performance on this one. The accents and voices are distinctive and add that something extra to the listening experience. He did a brilliant job of bringing Pete and Liam to life as well as the secondary characters who popped in along the way.
In the end, there were things I liked and things I didn't, but I did like the characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed Meslar's narration. The story left me somewhere in the fair to midlin range, but it was certainly worth the listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon
  • 14-09-19

It's really good

I really enjoyed this audiobook by Mel Gough. The story appealed to me and the narration was spot on. The audiobook is only short but it made driving to and from Sydney that little bit more enjoyable. I have no trouble in recommending this story.
Please note that I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. I was very happy with this as I love audiobooks.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • cheryl_cajun
  • 12-09-19

Thank you for the audio

Thank you for the audio,I voluntarily give this an honest review. Narrator Brian Meslar brought this book to life for the characters. Peter is getting served for divorce, on a mission to forget by drinking away the pain. meeting Liam who has his own secrets to forget. when a one night stand isn't enough can Liam and Peter make it a real thing or will the past come back to bite them? this was a great listen, filled with steamy romance, drama and suspense. high recommended for a great listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Starwarslover
  • 12-09-19

wow

this was amazing.. this narrator hit these characters on the head for me.. it was fun to listen to and fast paced.. it was sexy and just made me smile. i loved it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharonica
  • 10-09-19

Excellent Novella Wonderfully Narrated!💕


Title: Tainted Life
Author: Mel Gough
Narrator: Brian Meslar
Format: Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date: 9/06/2019
Genre/ Trope(s): MM Romance
Listening Length: 3hrs 32 min
SteaMMy Swordplay: 2 out of 5⚔
Sharonica-Stars: 4.5 out of 5✨
GoodReads AVG: 3.62🌟


MMy Thoughts and Review:
This story was one I would call, bittersweet. It was definitely true to life, with the struggles of the MCs. Thanks to the clever narration by Brian Meslar I was transported to England and became a voyeur as I closed my eyes.

The Story was angsty, and light with enough tenderness to make me cheer on Pete and Liam. I struggle with a lot of hardship and grit in my books, but that is simply because I am old and feel I have seen enough in my life, I don't want to read about it. This had the right amount... Not too much, but enough to keep a fire in my belly and a desire for the MCs to find some happiness. 💗

The Story: 4.25✨
The Narration: 4.75✨


I received a FREE copy of the audio version of this book. The thoughts expressed in the review are solely mine. 💋