Story Rating: 4.25 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Matt Baca
Length: 8 hours, 12 minutes
Anthony has always lived in Glamour, Arizona. He loves the small town feel and he loves his big, outgoing Italian family. It doesn’t even really matter to him that his sisters are always in his business and his dad knows everything going on in town as the local sheriff. He likes his life as a school guidance counselor, but his love life is a different story. Having moved back with his parents after breaking up with his boyfriend, Anthony would love to just find the guy for him.
Dean has just come to Glamour on an emergency flight from Afghanistan, when a family tragedy leaves him as the only relative to his teenage niece. Dean is a military man and a man of few words and even fewer emotions. He thought he would just get in and get back out until he is confronted with an irresistible Anthony, a family that immediately accepts him, and a swirl of emotions where his troubled niece is concerned. Since he never belonged anywhere, he can’t possible belong in Glamour. His life is all about the Army and what would a nice guy like Anthony really want with him anyway?
This is a warm, easy to read, family-oriented story, mixed with finding love. As Dean heads straight from the airport to Anthony’s parents house to see his niece, he first encounters Anthony. Dean’s sister was his only family, they had fallen out of touch, and Dean has no relationship with his niece. He is so not prepared for a grieving 13-year old topped off with Anthony’s large, boisterous, yet supportive family. Although Dean really has no idea what to make of the whole family situation, he is immediately attracted to the warm and happy family energy and is also attracted to Anthony. Anthony is also immediately attracted to Dean, but there are so many other issues to attend to first.
The guys bond at first over the care of Dean’s niece and then they bond over their mutual physical attraction for each other. They are both suffering from thinking that they are not good enough for the other, but for vastly different reasons. They both want something more from their initial physical relationship, but again, neither will speak up. When there is a misunderstanding, however, it is dealt with immediately and is not drawn out unnecessarily. Anthony’s family comes into play a lot and his twin sisters are fairly prominent and vocal. They did walk a fine line for me between being caring and entertaining, to being annoying, but as Anthony’s sisters perhaps they just played their parts well.
This is a story with fairly little conflict and everything is pretty easy for these guys from military leave to falling in love. It’s a good choice for a story of two different men looking for love, family, and forever.
Narrator Matt Baca, overall, did an excellent job narrating this audio. His voice is clear and pleasant to listen to and each character has a distinct voice. The pacing has an even flow and the scenes and chapters move along seamlessly. Dean is a man of few words and when he does have a verbal burst, his character’s tone and execution was one of the highlights. Especially when Dean has a confrontation with Anthony’s ex, his delivery with just a few words was highly entertaining. There is even a young cousin that only speaks like a robot and the narrator handles that as well. There are a number of intimate scenes and Baca has an appropriate whispery, breathy tone here. Perhaps, he may have been a bit too subdued at times, but his voice offered an additional sexy quality. The only area that did not measure up to the rest was the female voices. Anthony’s sisters sounded remarkably similar, more whiny than conversational, and they are the only family members that seemingly had an accent. Anthony’s mother, while she had limited scenes, had a rather grating tone. But, the voice of Dean’s niece did work the best of the female voices. As a whole, listening to this book added another layer that would not have been achieved in the text version and this would most definitely be a recommended audio.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.