Audiobook Review: Best New Artist by B.A. Tortuga

Best New ArtistStory Rating: 3.5 stars
Audio Rating: 3.75 stars

Narrator: Brian Hutchinson
Length: 6 hours, 3 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks


The award for Best New Artist is about to be announced live on TV and Kasey Tuffman (KT) was told he would just have to smile for the cameras when his name does not get announced. Only, it turns out he is the winner. KT has been making music for over 20 years and he feels like the biggest sell-out with his designer jeans, brand new boots, and expensive haircut. When he gets to the mic, he lets everyone know just how he feels with an expletive fueled rant that the censors can’t keep up with.

Watching at home is KT’s former lover and best friend, Jonah Littlejohn. It has been ten years since he ended things with KT. While Jonah loved KT with his whole heart, he wasn’t going to live in the closet to further KT’s music career and he knew that KT was destined to be a star.

The men have not been in touch in all those years, but Jonah reaches out and offers KT a place to stay. Jonah is now a respected song writer and musician in his own right and has turned his home into a professional recording studio. He and KT used to make the sweetest music together in all of the ways and Jonah has been secretly waiting for KT to come back home. But Jonah was in a bad relationship, one that left permanent scars both inside and out, and although he knows KT would never hurt him, it’s going to take a lot of old fashioned tender care to get Johan to believe in love once again.

This is a lighter, easy story despite some darker themes that get added in on the surface. KT and Jonah were solid in their relationship years ago, but career goals got in the way. They haven’t kept in touch, but when KT’s career explodes, the only place he really wants to go is to see Jonah and Jonah wants nothing more than for KT to come back home. However, Jonah isn’t the same person he was all those years ago. This is due to Jonah’s last relationship with a man that turned abusive and nearly killed him. Jonah has since closed himself off to any type of romantic relationship, but he has the best of friends that are his family.

These guys are meant to be together, there was no doubt about that, but when KT returns, he expects things to pick up with Jonah right where they left off. It’s been a decade, neither man is the same, and their earlier relationship is told to us, not shown, so their true connection was a bit loose for me. Jonah also has a close group of friends that have such a history they came across as being from another story. The part with Jonah’s ex is also only hinted at. The attack is briefly mentioned, but not gone into detail, but the aftermath now controls Jonah’s life. There are also brief ideas dropped about what may have happened to the ex, but that also ultimately remains a mystery and I needed a lot more in a lot of areas to elevate this story for me.

The guys are sweet and tender together and despite my issues with the depth of the story, the characters still held my attention with a story about finding your way home when the spotlight doesn’t feel right.

The narration here was a good way to enjoy this story as Brian Hutchison brings a bit of good ole Texas alive through his accents. The characters aren’t overdone, but there is just enough flavor to capture the setting and the location. KT and Jonah did sound similar and there were times it was more difficult to know which character was speaking. Their voices also didn’t seem to match their personalities, but overall it was a smooth performance. The secondary characters were performed well and the addition of a few different voices certainly enhanced the story. This is an easy book to listen to if you would like to be transported to Texas for a low angst story about characters reuniting with their true love.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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