yearning audio coverStory Rating: 3.25 stars
Audio Rating: 3.5 stars

Narrator: John Solo
Length: 6 hours, 25 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Amazon/Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

Houston has his eyes set on the lovely young man who came to help the Devil’s Hands motorcycle club when a member got injured. Houston had thought the boy liked him; certainly every time Kenneth caught Houston watching him, he seemed pleased with the attention. But Kenneth didn’t ask for Houston’s number, and when he came back to take the stitches out of Six’s arm, he didn’t ask about Houston. Is it possible Houston was wrong about Kenneth being interested?

When a chance meeting has Houston showing up at the same hospital where Kenneth works, Houston takes a chance and introduces himself more formally. Since Kenneth took the time to sit with a club member who’d been called to help with a domestic violence call, Houston offers up his phone number as a thank you, and tells Kenneth that Houston owes him a favor. One he can collect anywhere, at any time. Any favor at all.

Kenneth isn’t stupid. He knows what’s being offered, but things are complicated. His former housemate, CJ, is now married to a member of the club, and when CJ was kicked out of the house they shared for being gay, Kenneth didn’t stand up for him. Accepting what Houston is offering, well, CJ might not like it, and Kenneth doesn’t want to risk breaking the fragile near-friendship the two of them are just now putting together.

Fortunately, CJ and his friend Ollie are willing to play fairy godmothers! With a bit of magic, and a bit of wax, they’ll soon have Kenneth and Houston as happy together as they are with their own men.

First, let me say that this book follows much the same structure as the first two in the Leather and Chrome series, Reckless and Temptation, with a tall, tough, strong, and sweet biker hero finding and falling far a small, sweet, soft, and gentle sub who craves connection and seduction. While the books can, from the outside, seem somewhat rote, each book has a sweet sincerity to it. Where CJ is all pluck and determination, and Ollie is sparkle and sass, Kenneth has a quiet, mournful wistfulness.

Kenneth longs to be touched, to be held and to feel safe. He’s often in his head, shy and sensitive, and, as a pediatric nurse, quick to become attached to his patients. To be honest, he seems quick to become attached to anyone. His previous relationship started when his housemate just drunkenly climbed into bed with him without a word, and there is a guy currently harassing him, but Kenneth afraid of being rude in saying no. So when he enters into a relationship with Houston, it didn’t feel to me as if Kenneth is making the choice for himself as much as letting Houston make arrangements that Kenneth is obliged out of politeness to accept.

Not that Houston pushes. In fact, he often pauses to ask if this is what Kenneth wants, to make sure people know that it’s Kenneth, not Ken, to make clear that he’s proud of his boy, proud of his submission and his graceful acceptance of his power over Houston. But it feels, at times, as though Houston is so dead set on having a sub that he hasn’t really stopped to ask if Kenneth — the person — is who he wants to be his sub. Houston seems to rush into the relationship blindly, ready to fall in love with someone who feels like he simply doesn’t want to have to be put in a position where he has to say no.

As with the other three books, I listened to the audio version narrated by John Solo who does his usual good job. However, when CJ, Ollie, and Kenneth were all in the same room having a conversation, the voices could occasionally blend together, and Houston’s voice was, at times, a touch inconsistent when speaking to other club members. That said, Solo always manages to capture a great deal of emotion in his narration, and I did enjoy the work he did.

I’m sorry to say that this was the weakest book of the three for me. Still, if the author continues writing in the Leather and Chrome series, I will be more than happy to pick up the next one.