Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 3 stars
Narrator: Sean Michael Hogan
Length: 8 hours, 20 minutes
Small business owner Robby feels unfulfilled until he spies the gorgeous blonde in the coffee shop near where he is working. Robby strikes up a conversation and likes who he meets. Savannah is complex and strong, something he has found missing in other women he has met. Robby’s plans at seduction are derailed, however, when he meets Savvie’s roommate Tristan. Robby does not know what to make of the stunning young man.
The more Robby gets to know Savannah and Tristan, the more he likes them both, but his attraction seems to be growing toward Tristan. But Robby isn’t gay, right? Robby’s best friend Mikey is not happy with this turn of events and makes his opinion known by brutally beating Tristan.
Robby is afraid that his family will find out about him and Tristan, and as Mikey’s attitude gets progressively more hostile and the tension with Robby’s family continues to build, it is just a matter of time before the pressure cooker that is Robby’s duplicitous life bursts.
With the malicious assistance of former best friend, Mikey, Robby’s father confronts him and lays down the law. Robby must move out of that Queer’s apartment and straighten out his life.
The further into the story I got, the less I liked both Robby and Tristan, but more so Robby and his weak, cowardly, whiny directionless behavior. I just couldn’t like him after a certain point in the story. Tristan was easier to like simply because he was so sweet and kind, but Kerick took that to the extreme at one point, taking the flight instinct from a former homeless man right out of the equation. *argh!*
I would be remiss if I did not address the secondary characters, such as Robby’s father, mother, Mikey, and Robby’s sister and her family. None were sufficiently fleshed out to feel like real people. In fact Mikey was so narrow-minded, bitter, angry, resentful, and stupid that he struck me as a caricature of the bad guy as opposed to a real character. Robby’s family were also two-dimensional and did not add depth to the story.
I always like a story about coming out late or even a gay for you situation and although I at first thought this would be a MMF story, I was surprised since it was and it wasn’t. Savannah’s goal was to find a man for Tristan who could accept her in their lives as well since she was the rock in Tristan’s life. Sounds pretty altruistic, doesn’t it? Wrong. Savannah knows that the only way for her to move forward with her life would be to find someone for Tristan, making Robby a win-win for all three.
The narrator did Robby’s voice well, but just Robby’s voice. Since there were both Robby and Tristan’s POVs in the story, the lack of a defined voice for Tristan made the story hard to follow at times. Occasionally, Hogan would attempt a different voice for a character, whether it be Tristan or Savannah or even one of the secondary characters, but could not maintain the differentiation. There were no discernible gaps in the narration which showed excellent editing and the pace was just right.
Perhaps if I had read the book, I would have been happier with A Package Deal. In fact, sometimes I pretended that is what I was doing, but the narration just put me right off and sadly, I cannot recommend this audiobook.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.