Saturday, December 19, 2015

Audiobook ARC Review: Candy Man by Amy Lane

Candy Man (Candy Man, #1)
From the blurb:

Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and he missed a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he's taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that's to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers? Need not apply.

Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he's applying to Candy Heaven and decides he's much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny—and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning—Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.

But Finn is tenacious, and Adam's new boss, Darrin, doesn't take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder—letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple, and the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.

Heather's rating:

This is a really hard review for me to write, because I *ADORE* Amy Lane, and I especially adore Amy Lane's holiday stories. In fact, some of my favorite Amy Lanes have been her holiday novellas (like Christmas Kitsch). However, I think this one got away from me, and I'm putting a lot of the blame on the audiobook version.

Audiobooks are the most subjective way to interpret a story. You can love the story, but if the narrator doesn't agree with you in some way, it can blow it for you. Something like the tone of a reader's voice, the age of the reader, how well they do female voices; these things all contribute to how I feel about an audiobook.

I've listened to Philip Alces before, and I probably shouldn't have given him another shot. I looked back at my previous review of his narration, and I feel much the same way again. I find him to be too theatrical, too over-the-top, too MUCH for a realistic narration. He makes the characters sound cartoonish, IMO, and I don't enjoy his style. I give him credit for effort, and I think he really put his all into the narration, but it reads all wrong to me, especially for an Amy Lane book, which tend to have some serious angst. I thought that Philip Alces read the characters awkwardly, and I think it made me less invested in the romance.

Perhaps because of the way that this audiobook was narrated, I just didn't feel that spark between the MCs. The story felt a little rushed, and I had trouble staying focused on what was happening. I enjoyed parts of it, but it wasn't that feeling of awe that I get from most of my Amy Lane stories.

I want to read this book in ebook form to see if I could feel more connected to the story. I suspect that I would. I would recommend people skip the audio for this one.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Buy this audiobook:

iTunes, Audible, Amazon

See you guys later!

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