Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars
Narrator: Tyler Stevens
Length: 8 hours, 12 minutes
At thirty-five years old, Paul is looking for a stable relationship and a man that is calm and shares his interests of Jazz music and upscale dining. His career in fashion advertising has him dealing with stress and chaos all day long and he feels that a professional guy would be best for him at this point in his life, although, that’s not the type of guy he has ever been attracted to. Paul is attracted to guys like Seth.
Seth is a model in demand and he’s stunning. When he’s not modeling, he’s filling in as a guitarist for his friend’s band, but his true aspiration is to be an artist. He’s young and free, but Seth has seen a lot and has the scars to prove it. Their first date is a disaster as Seth is late and Paul has no time for someone he sees as flighty. But Seth isn’t at all what Paul sees and Seth keeps surprising Paul with his intelligence mixed with his laid back attitude.
The guys run into each other again and again and each time seems worse than the last as the universe is not on their side. They tentatively decide to be friends, which quickly turns into friends with benefits and Seth is determined to get the straight laced Brit loosened up. But Paul has definitely had his share of heartache and when a past connection rattles their newly formed bond, Paul has to decide whether he can take a chance again or continue to play it safe.
Better Than Safe is the fourth book in the Better Than series. It could be read on its own, but I have also enjoyed the connections of friends that have been made throughout the series. This series has also been enhanced for me through the fabulous narration provided by Tyler Stevens.
The book is told from Paul’s POV. He works hard and, while he has fulfilled his dream of moving to America from England, many still see him as a reserved Brit. Paul likes things to be on his schedule and under his control and is quickly annoyed when his carefully ordered world is disrupted. This makes for quite a bit of contrast to Seth who generally takes life as it comes. That’s not to say that he hasn’t had to work for the calm and easy going way that he likes to live his life and he’s certainly not as shallow as Paul first thinks.
The guys date and certainly enjoy exploring each other from gotta-have-you-now interactions to full out messy angry sex. Throughout it all, Paul certainly doesn’t realize or doesn’t want to realize that he’s really falling for Seth. The guys have a past connection that comes out slowly and then threatens to disable their newly found relationship and Paul may just not have himself as together as he wants everyone to believe.
The one area that I needed more from in this book was Seth’s POV. For the most part, Paul sways between angry, annoyed, and abrasive. He is always thinking the worst of Seth and is even hesitant to simply try things that Seth likes to do. There were times that I could have used more insight into exactly what Seth saw in Paul from the way Paul often acted and reacted.
Tyler Stevens continues the narration for the series and he continues to give an amazing performance. His tone of voice is smooth and sexy in all the right places. Paul has a British accent, which is portrayed in a lighter tone, but is well done and remains consistent throughout the book. Seth’s voice is clearly distinct and given how many characters Stevens has already voiced in this series, Seth’s voice is distinctly his own. Previous characters show up here, most prominently Aaron, and his voice as well remains consistent from the prior audios. The one area that was weaker than the rest was the female voices. The female roles are brief, but their voices did sound similar to some of the other male characters, but it was a minor inconvenience. I would recommend all of the books in this series and the narration as a whole has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of each and every one.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.