date to impress him audio coverStory Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 3.5 stars

Narrator: C.J. Storm
Length: 3 hours, 32 minutes

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

Life has been busy for Madeo and Cosmo, particularly as they have three new shifter kids to help settle into their pride. Cosmo is determined to take Mads out on a date so they can spend some time just the two of them. Unfortunately, between family trouble and work crises, making it through a date without interruptions isn’t easy. Finally, Cosmo has to a get a bit creative, but for a chance to spend some special time with Madeo, it’s all worth it.

A Date to Impress Him is a short novel set in Michele Notaro’s Magi Accounts series. The story isn’t meant to be a standalone, but instead a companion piece that fits after The Shackles That Hold Us. As with the first side story, A Kiss to Revive Me, this book is told from Cosmo’s point of view, rather than Madeo’s like the main series novels. This offers a nice chance to get some more insight into Cosmo and how he views their relationship, as well as larger issues with the pride and their jobs. This story is sort of episodic, in that we see the guys have a few aborted dates and each leads them into various conflicts they have to resolve. We do get some tense moments, such as a breach they have to fight and a situation with Logan at the hospital that highlights how poorly mages are treated. But, mostly, this is a chance to get to see some relationship development outside of the main series where the focus is more on some of the heavier issues.

As with the other books in the series, I listened to this in audio with narration by C.J. Storm. Those who have read my other series reviews will know I have struggled with Storm’s narrative style. I find his narration to have an awkward cadence with emphasis placed in strange places that often doesn’t seem to align with the meaning of the text. Storm also uses significant pauses, particularly when introducing dialog, in a way I find very off-putting when listening. After struggling with the first book, I continued on to the first shorter story to give the narration another chance and that went a little better for me. Given that, I gave the second novel a try and found many of the same issues once again. Since, at that point, I already had this audiobook provided to me for review, I decided to listen to it as well. Looking back at the books, it seems like I am having an slightly easier time with the shorter stories, and I am guessing that is because so far they are all narrated from Cosmo’s point of view and some of the issues I have with the narration are less prominent when the story is told in his voice. However, I have decided at this point that it is time for me part ways with this series in audio, as I am struggling with the same issues over and over.

If you are a fan of this series, I think this second companion story is a nice break in the intensity of the longer books, while still getting a chance to reconnect with the characters. I am not finding the audio is to my liking, but the series overall is an interesting urban fantasy that I think will appeal to many readers.