Narrator: Robert Nieman
Length: 7 hours, 23 minutes
Clear Water is one of my all time favorite Amy Lane books. In fact, it may be at the top of my list. When I read this story back in 2011, I loved it immediately and it was one of my favorite books of that year. This story hits that perfect sweet spot between Lane’s more angsty, intense, cry into a box of tissues stories, and her light and sweet stuff. Patrick starts off kind of an emotional mess, so convinced of his own lack of self worth that he can’t stop getting in his own way. Patrick has some real issues to deal with: his ADHD, his poor relationship with his dad, his feelings of insecurity, and his crappy taste in men. Then Whiskey enters like this bright light, someone who believes in Patrick, cares for him unconditionally, and is his staunchest defender.
What I love most about this story is the way Whiskey supports Patrick. Whiskey doesn’t “fix” Patrick. Instead he makes a safe space for Patrick to find himself, to trust in his own self worth, and to figure himself out. It is such a beautiful story that has some intensity, but at the same time a light sweetness and a beyond adorable character in Patrick. I particularly love how the book starts with Patrick the one so clearly in need of support, but as the book continues, we see Patrick take the lead in helping make a home for Whiskey, something he desperately wants and needs. So there is mutual support here, and I just totally adore both of these guys.
I enjoyed the audio version of this story as well. Robert Nieman has a really nice tone to his voice, and a sexy, raspiness that fits Whiskey in particular. His voice is pleasant to listen to and the pacing is good. There were a few issues here. First off, Nieman uses essentially one voice for all of the narration. Everyone pretty much sounds the same, and it doesn’t appear any attempt has been made to differentiate them. Most of the time this was surprisingly not an issue, but there were occasions where characters were in conversation and I could not tell who was speaking. The other issue is that Nieman also had weird pauses in the middle of sentences in places where it didn’t make sense to pause. I am not clear if these were bad editing jobs that placed artificial breaks in the recording, or if this was a choice by the narrator. Honestly, some of these were so long I feel like they had to be bad editing, but others were just odd blips. Either way, it was often distracting as I would think a sentence was over, and then after a pause Nieman would finish. Despite these issues, however, I did enjoy the narration and I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to Nieman’s work again. It just overall worked and I found this one very enjoyable.
So as I said, this is one of my favorite Amy Lane stories and one I would whole heartedly recommend. I think you can enjoy it in either audio or written format, but either way I strongly encourage you to give this one a try.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.