Monday, May 2, 2016

Audiobook ARC Review: Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino

Too Stupid to Live (Romancelandia, #1)
From the blurb:

Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say “no” to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.

Until he meets Ian.

Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now—possibly—ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated. Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.

Until he meets Sam.

Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?

Heather's rating:

I originally read this book two years ago and adored it, and I stand by that review, which you can find here. However, re-reading an old favorite changes things a bit. This time, I listened to it in audiobook format, and I think that definitely affected my opinion of the story.

First I'll talk about the narration, which was done by newbie narrator, Tobias Silversmith. Now, the narrator did a decent voice for Sam, but I wasn't that crazy about the voice for Ian. It didn't have enough differentiation for me, and I didn't think it was strong enough to reflect his character. I also had some issues with the editing, which was choppy and noticeable at times. There would be a slight change in volume or tone to sections that were transitions or later edited in, and I found those little details to be distracting. The sound quality also wasn't great, with a very "home recorded" quality to it, instead of that buttery, clear sound of some of the more mainstream audiobooks.

I wavered between liking the narration and thinking that it was so-so, and I have to classify this one as a book where the narration lowered my rating versus boosted it. I'm hoping that this narrator hones her (while the narrating pen name is male, the narrator is a transwoman) craft over time and works on being careful with the different tones of each character. The narrator also sounded sort of breathy at certain moments, and I think a stronger voice would have helped.

In terms of the plot, this book was still adorable. I loooooved skinny, insecure Sam and his obsession with classic romance tropes. He was slightly kinky, totally lovable, and a very well-conceived character. I also really liked Ian, and I'm a sucker for any coming-out or closeted man story. Ian was sexy, and as Sam says, reformed rakes make the best heroes!

I thought it my first time reading, and I thought it again now; this book really does best when you read the Whitetail Rock books (Whitetail Rock) that precede it, even if it is billed as a stand-alone. I think you get more out of it that way.

If you are a fan of Anne Tenino, and like her sweet, sexy, fun brand of books, this one will be a winner. While the audio could have been a bit better, it was a easy listen that will please most listeners.

**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review**

Buy this audiobook:

Audible, Amazon

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