Story Rating: 2 stars
Audio Rating: 2.5 stars
Narrator: Sean Lenhart
Length: 9 hours, 51 minutes
Nash is a man without a memory. When he walks into Brody Tyler’s bar, he has no recollection of who he is and only remembers the months he spent in the hospital after he was attacked. Brody has gotten burned before, but he is compelled to help the man in front of him with nowhere to go. Nash’s looks and gorgeous green eyes certainly don’t hurt either and Brody finds himself offering the man a job and a place to stay.
The men fall in love and are quite content until another accident causes Nash’s memory to return, only this time he forgets Brody. When Nash wakes up in the hospital a second time, he doesn’t remember the last six months. Nash is really a wealthy businessman and the almighty dollar is all that matters. He then learns that someone may be trying to kill him. With no access to Nash, Brody winds up being hired as the man’s bodyguard, although Nash has no idea how well Brody actually knows his body. Nash is attracted to Brody, but he treats him as the hired help and Brody is determined to protect Nash and desperate for his memory to return. But with a killer close by, it’s a race to see which will win out first.
This book was originally published in 2011 and has just been recently released in audio. This book suffers from many things, but the first is that it’s dated. The plot is dated and has been done many times, the characters are too familiar, and the dialogue is so clichéd I found myself being able to finish the sentences before the characters. Mostly, it was interchangeable with so many other books that are out there. I just didn’t feel that it held up and was worth investing in as a new audio release.
Next, was the actual story. Most of it didn’t work for me for so many reasons. To start, the set up was fine with Nash finding himself with no memory and wandering into Brody’s bar. The men bond and fall in love. But that’s only a small part of the beginning of the book. Nash is then hit by a car and his memory returns with the exception of the time he spent with Brody…convenient.
But…Brody is a wealthy businessman who buys and dismantles companies in trouble. If this sounds similar to the main character in Pretty Woman, it is, and it’s complete with a way too obvious take off on the final business scene of that movie. But the real Nash is a gruff, unfeeling, uncaring man that’s not nice to anyone. His family tolerates him as just being Nash and his staff are afraid of him and that’s just the way it is. But when he was with Brody, with no memory, he was a gentle and fun guy that everyone loved.
So let’s back up…Nash was attacked and lost his memory and was in a hospital for three months as a John Doe. His family was worried about him, yet with all their money they couldn’t have found him? He was in a hospital in the same state. Then, Nash is hit by a car outside of a business, knocked unconscious, and wakes up in the hospital. Yet, when Brody goes to the store and the area Nash was in, no one claims to have seen him after he left the store. How did a man get knocked unconscious by a car and then get transported to a hospital in the middle of the day with no one seeing him?
Then, Brody gets mistaken for a bodyguard and gets hired by Nash’s mother to protect him. Brody is not a bodyguard. He’s never asked for references or for his experience; he just walks in off the street and is hired. Someone is actually trying to kill Nash and Brody is not at all equipped for this. Then, most of the book is Nash being a complete ass to Brody and everyone else. But at times Brody was almost entertained by Nash as he remembers the “other” Nash, at least until he’s had enough. There was nothing engaging about Nash at all and even if Brody fell in love with Nash earlier on, Nash treated him so horribly I couldn’t follow why Brody was taking it all. Nash takes yet another blow to the head, well the face actually, because of course he has to remember Brody at some point and all of his personalities and memories fuse into one. I wasn’t buying all of the ways that Nash’s memory was coming and going and while I get that it’s fiction, there was no thread of believability at all for me here. I completely lost interest and patience with almost every aspect of this story as it continued on. The ending and who was after Nash was lackluster and also lacked believability once some of the details were revealed. Then, there is no discussion of Nash’s treatment of Brody at all and it’s seemingly all forgotten and forgiven.
The narration by Sean Lenhart did not help things. The beginning started out with being able to hear all of Lenhart’s breaths each time he inhaled. It was loud and distracting, but it did even out at one point. His basic narrative tone was fine. Now the story takes place in Texas and everyone had an accent but Brody which didn’t make a whole lot of sense for him not to have one as well. But, all of the characters with accents sounded like they were in the South living on a plantation. The accents didn’t appeal to me and for every male character, the narrator made their voices deeper to try and distinguish them. Brody’s friend, Wyatt, was the same age as Brody yet sounded an entire generation older. Brody had two female staff members that sounded the same and then the women in Nash’s family sounded the same a good portion of the time as well. A lot of the narrative lacked emotion and when Nash and Brody were together for the first time, it truly felt to Nash that it was his first time since he had no memory, but it was all flat. Then, there were no breaks between scenes as the narrative went from an intimate moment in one breath to Brody yelling about something wrong at the bar with zero break in between. The book also had areas of head hopping, which is always unpleasant, and while I can’t fault the narrator for this, it was even more difficult to follow in audio format.
Unshakeable Faith suffered from a dated premise, clichéd and repetitive dialogue, and too many areas that lacked believability. It wasn’t one I cared for in terms of the story itself or the audio presentation.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.