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Summary

Xander Penn has been around the block more times than he cares to count, always searching for an elusive something he’s never admitted to wanting, not even to himself.

Until now...

Then again, realizing what he craves doesn’t mean he accepts it. It’s one thing to dabble at the open-door policy club he belongs to, but quite another to declare it to others in the real world. After a harsh rejection pushes away the one person Xander wishes he could pull closer, he spirals down a dark path using meaningless sex more as a punishment than a pleasure. 

When an unexpected ally makes him see he’s missing out on the best parts of life, Xander finally decides to open himself up to the possibility....

But by then, it may be too late.

Xander is an erotic romance novella intended for audiences 18 years and older. This novella is just over 30,000 words, and it contains a variety of M/M and M/F encounters.

©2018 Anna Ambrose (P)2018 Anna Ambrose

What listeners say about Xander: An Open-Door Policy Novella

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

Not a hit but not a miss

Just over a year ago I reviewed Lucy, the first novella in the Open Door series. I had a few issues but I did enjoy the story. With that knowledge, I embarked upon Xander with great hopes. I listen to tons of gay romances so this was right in my wheel house. Or so I’d hoped. I’ll touch briefly on the narration. It took some getting used to. Hugh Bradley does a good job, but at first I felt it was breathy and a little rushed. The quality was oaky but it sounded a bit tinny. I’d listen to another audio by him, but it did take some getting used to. Now to the story. Xander has been attending the Open Door for a while and it’s clear he’s done plenty with many people. He’s even tried some male on male action, but always when directed by a woman. So he could justify it as being a threesome and not guy on guy. He’s surprised to discover he has feelings for his friend Liam and instead of embracing them, he fights them. Even as he’s pulled towards Liam, he pushes back. He drinks alcohol rather than face the truth and when he finally does give in, he lashes out and hurts the one person who deserves it the least. I had a few issues with this book. First, if Xander is aware he has a problem with alcohol, why does he keep some in his apartment? I suppose he thought he could resist, but he’s quick to take back up with the bottle. I also didn’t like the cruelty. I think you can question your sexuality and not lash out. I think you can experiment without hurting those you purport to care about. Finally, the writing left me feeling a bit hollow. There were plenty of clichés used and they prevented deep diving into character development. Basically, I was left wanting more. I’ve given a 4-star rating because there were parts that I enjoyed, but this is more of a 3.5 rounded up. I liked the ending and that always helps bring up the rating.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Anna is a new author to me this is the first one and I Loved it. Xander and Liam what these two go through the emotions and Love it's Captivating and Heartbreaking with Xander not wanting to admit what he feels for Liam, denying he's gay not wanting to admit what he feels his Love. And poor Liam what he goes through the pain because he admits and tells Xander he loves him wants to be with him but he keeps pushing him away I cried it gets to you so much emotion and feeling. Hugh Bradley done a Fantastic Job, deserves more than 5 stars to me Brilliant 💖💖💖💖💖

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3.5 stars

enjoyed this one more as there was more to the story. Just needed a bit more development and story to be a 4 star listen. I really liked Xander (even though he was a jerk) and Liam and them together. I liked the narrator's reading and character voices.

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Short MM romance

This is a short, hot MM romance book. There was MF scenes too, which I know some MM listeners don't like. I didn't mind though, it was important part of the story. There was angst, denial and struggles on the way for happy ending. The narration was ok. Hot scenes should have been narrated with a little more passion. If you like hot MM stories with angst, this is a nice short book.

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Steamy Interlude

I really liked it, a hot, steamy novella with various MF, MMF and MM encounters.

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Enjoyed it

Xander is the story of two friends and how their relationship evolved from friendship into more. Its about Xander's struggle/denial and then coming to grips with his growing attraction to Liam his best friend. Although a short read, the story was steamy and filled with erotic MM, MFF scenes yet there was a good balance between this and the character interactions. The story was narrated by Hugh Bradley. I liked his voice and I would listen to other books by him. I would recommend this story to all lovers of MM romance.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Steamy Erotic Romance

Xander by Anna Ambrose is the second book in An Open-Door Policy Novella Series that I listened to on audio narrated by Hugh Bradley. The books can be read as standalones but they do make references to the couple in book one Lucy. Anna did a great job pulling you into the messy relationship of Xander and Liam. Hugh did a good job narrating. I enjoyed his deep gruff voice he uses for Xander. The book contains M/M and F/F/M Scenes. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Erotic Romances.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Quick, Easy listen

I received a free audio copy of this book. This is the second book in the “Open Door Policy” series. I did not read the first book, I really think you should but it isn’t an absolute most. The story was easy to follow and you were given enough of a back story to understand existing relationships. I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of novella’s which aren’t side stories to existing series. But this was a short, sexy listen. There is a lot, I mean ALOT of sex in this small book, personally one or two scenes could have been replaced with dialogue between the main characters. But it really is up to personal preference. I did feel the book had a good basis for a longer more in-depth story, the writing is good and shows that the author has the ability to tackle serious subjects which were only touched on (drink, sexual denial, dealing with illness). The man character Xander has issues and not to give too much away but he is a bit of an arse. The only upside is this story is told from Xander’s perspective so you hear his conflict. The reason for his main concern is not truly developed, I appreciate that your own mind is a terrifying place but I felt if there were outside factors they should have been explained. The whole story was a based on internal conflict/struggle and how Xander gets his happily ever after. How he got to that end as I said was with lots and lots of sex, but there were meaningful conversations where you saw Xander realising what he needs to do to get what he really wants. I had issues with narration, I’ve never listened to Hugh Bradley his actual narration isn’t bad. But the quality wasn’t great if you’re listening in complete silence or with head phones(which I do) the sound quality is quite tinny. But the narration isn’t bad, might listen to Mr Bradley again. Overall a quick easy listen with potential.

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First time gay but contains mf scenes

I really enjoyed this story. Both Xander and Liams characters were believable, my heart broke for Liam a number of times but glad he hung in there, I loved the ending and loved that I finished the book laughing. I enjoyed the narration and felt the narrator did a good job but would have preferred it if he had used a bit more emotion as I felt he read the book rather then got into the story and acted it. But definitely recommend for those who like first time gay and don’t mind some mf sex scenes

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a must listen!

If you like MM books this is for you, you don't have to have read Lucy to read Xander even though Xander ,Liam and Becca are featured in both It's hard to write a review of this without really giving away the story but Xander is working out some tough feelings towards another character in the book , he tries to push those feelings away but they just seem to get stronger , I loved the characters in the book and am so happy it worked out the way it did, I'm looking forward to reading more from this author the narrator was perfect for this book! his voice is definitely what I would have had in mind for Xander ! an absolute must listen!

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  • 🎧Pam Audio-Fanatic🎧
  • 14-07-19

Xander

Xander is having feelings for Liam, but he can’t let himself. Liam admits he has feelings for Xander but Xander wouldn’t accept it. So he sabotages himself with alcohol and women. He has to come to terms with his feelings, but by rejecting Liam he set things into motion that could have some pretty damaging repercussions. I loved that Liam puts it all out on the line; he isn’t afraid of what he feels and also understands if Xander can’t do the same. These two are explosive and I loved their story. The narration was ok for me, I felt like the narrator was talking from far away and tin can like. His voice was fine it was just the echoeyness threw me off a little.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maria Louden
  • 26-10-18

Super Hot!!

This short Sexy Listen was super delish!! I loved this hot number!! The narrator was great and it’s well written. I really loved the dialogue and chemistry between these too hot men!! There is a little touch of cheating I don’t care for that but it’s a HEA

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tracy
  • 09-07-20

4 stars

In general, I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. But, in my opinion, the story seems a little scattered. I would have prefered deeper character development of the two MCs, a little less of some of the extraneous sex scenes and much more between the MCs. I was given a free promo code in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth Swain ~ Carolina Chic's Read
  • 17-06-20

Really 🔥!

This was a super 🔥 hot novella! Liam and Xander come to terms with their changing relationship. One that turns into something beautiful and earth shattering!

1 person found this 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
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  • Domanasha
  • 22-03-20

Very Enjoyable!!

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review. I really loved the way the relationship played out between the guy. very much recommended to any one

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Candigirl
  • 19-03-20

MM w/ lot of MF

This is an MM with a lot of MF, so if MF sex makes you squimish you should avoid. The plot is pretty good but I feel could be more in depth. The female partner that gets dumped took it way too well in my opinion. But the characters are real and have good flaws, I just wish the story showed what was going on in the breakup instead of hearing about it second hand....

1 person found this 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
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  • Wonderland
  • 15-03-20

i enjoyed it

I enjoyed it but sometimes you just want to yell at characters to pull their heads from their asses. You know they see the writing on the wall but ignore it. It has a sweet HEA so it was well worth the listen

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandy
  • 09-03-20

Steamy and full of emotions

Aside from the scenes, it's about the journey of Xander realizing what he feels for Liam and acceptance. I felt a whirlwind of emotions while listening to this story; It's heart breaking and heart-warming. The narrator is new to me. I like his voice. He did a good job.

1 person found this helpful

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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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  • Joan
  • 24-01-20

Good

I listened to this book at 1.45x This was the 2 book in a series of books. You can listen/read this book without book 1, but I wouldn't. Anna Ambrose the author writes a good story. I enjoyed this one more then the first book, It seemed to be more detailed about the main characters. Hugh Bradley the vocal artist did a great job bring all the characters to life. on a heat level I would give it 4 flames.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • saskam98
  • 05-11-19

Sexy story, narration not my favorite

I struggled a bit with the narration here. I don't know if it was the narrator or the recording method, although the longer I listened the more I think it's the narrator's style. He has a good voice but I wasn't a fan of the delivery - very breathy and overly dramatic at times. And the recording style didn't do him any favors. The story is good, sexy and hot with some angst thrown in. I haven't listened to the first book. I didn't feel it's necessary. This can be listened to as a standalone although I might have been more connected to the characters if I'd gotten a sense of their chemistry from the beginning. If the narration style hadn't been mostly a miss for me I think I would've connected to the story better. I'd be interested in listening to something else from this author , and from the narrator if the style was different from this book.

1 person found this helpful