Story Rating: 3 stars
Audio Rating: 3 stars
Narrator: Matthew Brown
Length: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Having survived being abducted, assaulted, and set on fire by one of his students, former high school teacher Lucas Kiefer has rebuilt his life in Cedar Point, North Carolina. Nicholas Demetris has had enough of hiding his sexuality, leaves the military, and assumes the mantle of Sheriff in Cedar Point, where he set his sights on the gorgeous yet shy bookstore owner Lucas Kiefer.
When Lucas’ attacker, Riley Miller, is released from prison, Lucas is resigned to the fact that his nightmare will return, while Nick is convinced that Riley will show up in Cedar Point sooner rather than later and is intent on protecting Lucas. Riley’s return ramps up the tension and Lucas refuses to allow Nick fully into his life, and with all of the forces conspiring against them, will Nick win the man of his dreams, scars and all?
Somehow Loving Lucas felt like a long, long story, when in fact is was more of a novella in length. For me, the fact that we were introduced to the antagonist, Riley, as well as the upcoming conflict in the prologue, may have been the reason I found the story dragging and uninspiring.
We meet Nick and Lucas years after they themselves met and had a chance to fall in love. This disconnect to the events leading up to their declarations of love made their relationship feel hollow, so much emotion without context. A challenge of a novella is character development and in all cases, I was left wanting more from the guys.
The audio performance was disappointing, Brown tried to give the characters their own voice, but in the end, most characters other than Riley sounded the same or started off distinct and melded into the regular narrative voice over time. Brown’s intonation was good, which was impressive since I found he spoke too quickly for comfort. And since I brought up Riley’s characterization, I must warn you that he sounds like a caricature of a bad guy. I almost expected maniacal laughter at times.
Overall, not much to be said about Loving Lucas, aside from the fact that there was too much in too short a story and so for me, it was far from satisfying in both content and audio performance and will quickly fade from my memory.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.