Great story and really loved the narrator.
I loved the sweet story.
This is the first work of this author Keira Andrews that I have come across, and enjoyed the style of her writing very much. It was believable and emotional.
Both the central characters Ethan Robinson and Clay Kelly fit their parts well.
Ethan catches his long standing boyfriend Michael in bed with his best friend Todd just one day before his wedding. He is badly hurt and betrayed, and decides to go on the Honeymoon to Australia alone since it was all paid up for and it will take him far away from Michael. But the memories continue to haunt him. He is lonely, hard of hearing, and uncomfortable in the presence of people. In spite of the struggle, he carries on with the journey.
But then he befriends Clay the kind tour driver who befriends Ethan. Ethan develops a crush towards Clay giving him something to look forward to but then feelings spark between the two.
Romance depicted between the two was just right in the story, and not over the top. And ofcourse, who doesn't like a happy ending. Two completely different people can make it work towards a happy and meaningful relationship, in spite of age and cultural differences.
I enjoyed my travel with the protagonist journey through Australia and kept my interest in the story till the end.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and the narration. I would like to read some more of this author soon.
I really enjoyed this slow burn romance. Both central characters were drawn nicely and felt believable. The Australian setting was also well written and Joel's narration was excellent. As an Australian myself his Aussie accent is spot on.
So sweet, I smiled and laughed and teared up.
Great story and Joel did a fabulous job narrating all of the characters.
Ethan Robinson was betrayed in the worst way. The night before his wedding he walked in on his fiancé and supposedly best friend having sex – in his own bed! Breaking things off (with both men) he decides to still go on the trip of his life. But travelling alone in Australia on what was supposed to be his honeymoon was more depressing and lonely than he thought. Until one of the tour guides decides to befriend him and show him the best of what Australia has to offer.
I fell for Ethan from the start. Felt his pain of the betrayal, his frustration of his disability (hard of hearing), having to constantly ask people to repeat himself and talk more slowly. I think that Andrews handled his disability in a good way, showing how most people react when constantly having to repeat themselves, to just say; “Forget it”. The hurt of being shut out in a world created by and mostly for able bodied.
Clay Kelly is content with his life. He’s in his forties, divorced (amicably) and has two grown kids. He enjoys life, guiding tourists and having a pint while watching cricket. He doesn’t need or want much, sure he might get lonely at times but can’t be bothered with the whole dating scene. During the tour he noticed Ethan looking down and sad. But also shut out as he misses a lot during the guiding due to his difficulties hearing. By befriending him, Clay hopes to cheer him up. So he starts to educate Ethan in all things Australian; from cricket to the language. And having a great time doing it too.
Ethan was in Australia in three weeks, so their romance developed quickly – at least from a logical stand point. Listening to their story you never felt that it was rushed, it didn’t have that insta-love feel to it. It felt like a slow-burn romance that grew from strangers, to friends and then to something more. So yes, this was a slow-burn romance over three weeks – and a sweet one at that.
Joel Leslie did a beautiful job narrating this book. He captured the essence of both Ethan and Clay, but also made you feel that sense of place. Made you believe you travelled to Australia with Ethan. He made you experience Australia, and cricket, with them.
I particularly loved Leslie’s performance of Ethan. I was bleeding for him when he found his fiancé and bet friend and all that ensued from that mess. I was bleeding with him in Australia, felt his loneliness and how out of lace he felt. Then there was that painful rejection, before he and Clay got together. Leslie made you feel every painful second of that rejection when Clay drew away. The hurt.
Another thing that I liked was how both Leslie and Andrews handled his disability. Where at first glance (listen) all of the mumble mumble throughout the book could have felt repetitive and too much, but felt it was just right. It’s always there, and not only in the beginning to create a backstory. They so clearly showed how frustrating it is when others just keep going and don't respect your disability - just because it's an inconvenience for them.
I loved every second of listening to this beautiful love story. It had it all and made my week in a big time!
A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.
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