Narrator: Colin Darcy
Length: 7 hours, 40 minutes
I first read Family Man back in 2013 when it was originally released through Samhain Publishing (it was republished in 2017 by Dreamspinner Press). I just loved this age gap story that pairs the older Vinnie Fierro and the younger Trey Giles. So I was excited to see it is out in audio so I could experience the story again.
I really enjoy the dynamic between these guys. For his part, Vinnie is 40 years old, with three failed marriages to women behind him, and is just realizing that he is gay. Vinnie mostly takes this in stride, and soon is eager to explore being with a man and see if that gives him the fulfillment he has long been missing. Trey is a younger man, one who has always known he is gay, but who has had relatively little experience sexually. They have a wonderful dynamic as each man is coming at this relationship from a place of different experiences and they have new perspectives to share with one another. If you want to check out my original review and all my thoughts on the book, you can find it here.
This was an interesting situation in that looking back on my old review after listening to the audio, I find that I agree with pretty much everything I said about the book the first time around. However, it didn’t blow me away to quite the extent it did then. I am not sure if it is the repeated reading/listening, or the passage of time, or the audio experience, or what. But while I still really enjoyed this one quite a bit, I didn’t feel like it was a 5-star experience for me this time.
As for the audio, I think Colin Darcy does a nice job with the book. With one exception, the voices are done well. I liked the way Trey sounds clearly younger, but also world weary at the same time, as befitting his situation for most of the book. The women’s voices are done really well, something that isn’t always easy for male narrators. I also think Darcy does a great job getting the chemistry between Trey and Vinnie, allowing things to sizzle nicely. This is a slow burn book on the physical side, but there is so much intensity to the connection between the guys, you can just feel the sparks. And I think Darcy did a nice job conveying that through the narration.
The one area that really didn’t work for me is Vinnie’s voice. Vinnie speaks with a very strong accent throughout the book, which by itself isn’t an issue. I just don’t think it is carried out very well. He usually sounds Italian, but the accent wavers, and at times it is almost a drawl, and other times sounds like a different accent altogether. I just don’t think Darcy ever really settles into it. It is also somewhat jarring because with the exception of a couple of relatives, no one else speaks with an accent, even most of Vinnie’s extended family. And weirdly none of the women, even his sister, despite the fact that they all grew up together and presumably would have had similar accents. So it did take me a while to settle into things with Vinnie, as at first his voice felt quite jarring.
Overall I really like this story a lot and found the audio enjoyable as well. If you like age gap stories with a dose of coming out, an inexperienced virgin hero, and a big Italian family, this one is worth checking out.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.