Narrated By: Joel Leslie
Adrian DeSoto spent most of his time in high school being bullied and beaten up, simply because he was perceived as gay. Always slight, effeminate, he was the perfect victim for guys like Martin Cavanaugh, one of the high school jocks. When it all got too much, Adrian was faced with two options, one more devastating than the other. Eleventh grade saw a new Adrian, one who hid his fears and pain behind a mask in a bid to survive.
Eleven years later, and Adrienne is one of the top drag acts in Orlando. She's fierce, funny, and exuberant. A face from the past gives her a shock, and after that there's only one thing on her mind - revenge.
Marty Cavanaugh has a particular kink. He loves it when a drag queen goes down on him. But that's as far as it goes. He won't admit to himself what's under that tight fitting dress. And then he meets Adrienne and his whole world goes into a tailspin...
Warning - Contains men in drag, honey! You have been warned.
‘See Me’ is the third book in K. C. Wells ‘Lightening Tales’ series and so far, my favorite both in terms of the story and the audio.
While we haven’t really met Adrian DeSoto in previous books he has been mentioned and we were given enough information to know that for Adrian…high school wasn’t fun. Adrian was the popular choice for ‘bullying victim of the day’ with the school jocks. The start of grade eleven saw a change in Adrian he became determined that he was no longer going to be the victim and he used all of his considerable acting skills to hide his nervousness and fear as he begins to stand up for himself against the school bullies…jocks like Marty Cavanaugh.
Happily, we are once again treated to glimpses of Alex & Nick and Connor & Ric as their friendship with Adrian brings them into the story and while I had no trouble liking Adrian, Martin was a little tougher sell but not buy much. Adrian may have been a bit over the top and flamboyant, he was also sweet, vulnerable and nobody’s pushover…needless to say I quickly came to like Adrian…a lot!
What really surprised me was the realization of how quickly I came to like Marty. Initially I had my reservations where Marty was concerned and initially I think what I felt for this character was more pity and compassion than actually liking him. But little by little Marty whittled away at my defences and I really came to like him once I got to see the insecure and vulnerable person that hid behind the bully and cheer for Marty as he did battle with his demons to overcome the negative behavior that led to his behavior.
It broke my heart that for Marty interacting with his parents…even his mom who turned out to be awesome in her own right, was such a stressful event. Sadly, Marty’s father’s only redemptive quality was that he didn’t beat his wife…he just verbally abused her and his son…gee, what a swell guy he is…NOT!
However, one of the things that I ended up loving the most about this book is that we are shown a side to bullying that we don’t often see and frequently forget which is that sometimes even the bully gets bullied. Please don’t misunderstand ‘bullying is not ok’…EVER! But sometimes to make a person see why a behavior is wrong it helps if we understand what factors may have contributed to it. It was seeing this side of Marty that made me see him not just as the bully but also as the victim of bullying…he really was both and seeing so much of Marty’s life and not just his interaction with Adrian gave a much clearer picture of Marty.
I loved all the background that we were given between Marty and Adrian and how it was woven into the story. It was this background that not only showed us where they came from but so much of what shaped them into the people they became, what they meant to each other and how they influenced each other’s lives. Joel Leslie did an excellent job with the character voices in this audiobook. I loved the vulnerable quality that was clearly evident in both of the MCs voices as they bared their heart and soul to each other and all my boxes got checked when it came to being the narrator’s ability to lend consistency and uniqueness to the voices of the characters.
While I very much enjoyed the first two books ‘See Me’ really seemed to resonate with me and while it’s partly due to the fact that for me this was an even better story, it’s also due to the narrator making a better connection with the characters one that felt real and natural and gave me the voices that I was anticipating. At the end of it all it’s 4.5 stars for the story and 4.5 stars for the audio narration…this one’s definitely worth spending time with.
An audiobook of “See Me” was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Additional Tour Stops:
- June 26 - Open Skye Book Reviews, The Geekery Book Review
- June 28 - Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bonkers About Books, RAM PA Group, The Power Of Three Readers
- July 3 - Making It Happen
- July 5 - We Three Queens, Alpha Book Club, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Love To Read Romance Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Rainbow Gold Reviews
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….
K.C. loves to hear from readers.
Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. Among the m/m series he records are NR Walker’s Red Dirt Heart, Haley Walsh’s Skyler Foxe Mysteries, Sloane Kennedy’s Protectors, Adam Carpenter’s Jimmy McSwain Files, Perie Woolford’s Sam Dorsey’s Gay Popcorn, and Smith and LeNoir’s Blackballed trilogy. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.
He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs. He records projects outside of the m/m genre under the name Joel Froomkin. Visit www.joelleslienarration.com for more and friend him on facebook at Joel Leslie Froomkin.
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