Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo
Length: 11 hours, 35 minutes
I am a big fan of Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly’s Forbidden Desires series. The series is kind of crazy with it’s imperious dragons, omegaverse mpreg world, and wacky pets, but there is something about it that I just love. My favorite part is the way the authors combine lighthearted fun with a storyline and a series arc that has a lot of depth. It makes the books engaging on many levels and the first three, in particular, really come together with a nice series storyline.
Mate is my favorite book of the original trilogy and the spin-offs, so I was really excited to get to it in audio. I love the dynamic between the somewhat stuff Geoffrey, the prickly but feisty Matthieu, and the slightly more even-keeled Ian. Geoffrey and Ian had such a strong bond and you can feel their pain as they fear they will be forced apart. And then I love the way Matthieu comes along and cuts through all the noise and helps them figure out how to make things work for all of them. They are such a great, sexy triad and I love their dynamic together. For more on my thoughts on the story, check out my review for the Mate ebook here.
Narrator Michael Ferraiuolo really shines in this audiobook and I found the narration particularly entertaining. Not only are there three male leads, but a host of side characters, as well as accents galore, and Ferraiuolo handles them all so well. The three men have distinct voices and, even when they are all together, it is clear who is speaking. I also like the way Ferraiuolo matches the voices among the various clans, so we can hear similarities in all the Amethysts, for example. It made it easier to manage such a large cast of characters and the voices carried over nicely from previous books.
In addition to the number of characters, this story also has a challenge of a variety of accents. We meet members of various clans from different places around the world, and so there are a lot of different accents to manage. I can’t say with my untrained ear how precisely they are all handled, but as a listener, I could easily identify where everyone was supposed to be from and the accents were clear and recognizable. My only small issue was that at times I had trouble understanding Matthieu, with his strong French accent. There were a couple of places I wasn’t even sure if he was speaking English or French. It wasn’t a huge problem, but it did crop up now and then.
And last, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Ferraiuolo’s narration of their beloved peacock honks! Like I said, this was definitely a story with a lot of narration challenges and Ferraiuolo rises to the occasion. I love this story and would definitely recommend it in either format.