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Book Title: Zen Alpha
Author: Sionnach Wintergreen
Narrator: Hugh Bradley
Cover Artist: DesignRans
Genre/s: LGBT, Gay Romance, Contemporary
Length: 3 hours and 7 minutes
More than anything, struggling tech support specialist Bradley Evans wants an alpha male lover. He thinks he’s found his perfect match, but when his domineering stock broker boyfriend goes too far, Bradley wonders if his flexible, mindful neighbor might be just what he needs.
Ward Linden teaches autistic middle schoolers and is sexy and kind…but he isn’t quite the alpha Bradley’s been looking for. Do nice guys always have to finish last?
Bradley explores what it means to be alpha male in this steamy, humor-laced gay romance. Due to its sexual content, this book is for adults only.
Buy Links and Listen to an Excerpt here
When I first read the blurb for ‘Zen Alpha’ it struck me as being a sweet little romance story that I could enjoy on a summer afternoon, so when it crossed my radar as an audio book who was I to say no.
Bradley works as tech support and he’s sure he’s found his perfect alpha made in his current stock broker boyfriend, Jackson but when said stock broker boyfriend crosses a line Bradley decides that he needs to step back and rethink things.
Things become even more complicated when Bradley’s upstairs neighbour Ward Linden steps up offering him the help and support that he should have received from his ‘alpha’ male boyfriend…’WTF!’ what’s with the ‘alpha’ male thing, Bradley…ok, hang on, we’ll come back to this.
Ward’s a teacher for autistic children at local middle school. He’s sweet, patient, kind and sexy as all get out but in Bradley’s eyes he’s so not an alpha male…again with the alpha male.
When circumstances put Ward and Bradley within proximity of each other on a daily basis and a friendship begins to grow blossoming into something stronger Bradley’s forced to look at his definition of what an ‘alpha male’ is and realize that sometimes even an Alpha can be Zen.
Overall, I definitely thought this one was adorable but unfortunately, I had a few niggling moments that definitely impacted on my enjoyment of the story. So, let’s have a quick chat about my niggling moments…
First off was Bradley’s obsession with the idea of an ‘Alpha male’. Seriously if you’re going to obsess about having an ‘Alpha male’ dear Bradley learn the difference between an ‘Alpha’ and an ‘A**hat’ (pardon my bluntness) but I call them as I see them and Jackson was by no means ‘Alpha’…he was however, a lying, cheating, emotionally abusive A**hat! Initially I was ok with Bradley’s misguided concept of what an ‘Alpha’ was. But for me it just felt like Bradley was a little dense when it came to realizing how ‘not Alpha’ his ex was.
Niggle number two was Bradley’s mother…I can’t even when it comes to this woman. No wonder poor Bradley’s ideals were misguided if this was the person who raised him…can we all say pretentious, self-centered, arrogant biotch…I’m going to nominate her for one of the moles in the new version of ‘whack-a-mole’ that I’m thinking about it’s called ‘whack-an-a**hat!’
Ok, now niggle number three was the disagreements that occurred between Bradley and a friend which I’m not going to say a lot about because…I’m trying to keep it spoiler free here folks. So, I’ll just say Bradley’s no better at picking friends than he was at picking boyfriends and then there were two…let’s call them miscommunications between Bradley and Ward and while in terms of the why and how’s of it I was ok with what happened it was the reaction of the injured parties that didn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying anything here other than their reactions weren’t mine so it just didn’t work for me. No right or wrong here just a case of ‘it didn’t work’.
On an individual basis one or two of these things probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much but all three combined just left me a little detached and not feeling as invested in the story as well as contributing to the fact that I just wasn’t feeling the love where Bradley was concerned and started to think that maybe he just wasn’t quite good enough for Ward.
I have to admit by this point in the story I wasn’t sure that even 3 stars was happening thing for me but thankfully things started to resonate with me a bit more and Bradley got himself some redemption. Plus there was the narrator…Hugh Bradley. This is only my second chance to listen to this narrator and as with the first book I was once again treated to a very well narrated story adding the emotion and character needed to make listening to ‘Zen Alpha’ a more enjoyable experience.
While this was not my first time listening to Hugh Bradly, it was my first time with this author, Sionnach Wintergreen, and even though I didn’t connect with this story as much as I’d hoped I would. I did like the overall story idea and as I’ve said before ‘one story does not an author make’ so who knows what the future will bring for me from this author. I’m looking forward to finding out.
An Audiobook of ‘Zen Alpha was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Sionnach (pronounced shuhn ukh) Wintergreen is a genderqueer author of gay romance, epic fantasy, and adult fantasy. (She uses feminine personal pronouns because she has lived most of her life responding to them, but she would love it if people used ‘they.’) Her character-driven stories usually involve misfits because she is one. Sionnach has always loved writing and animals; she was a grant writer for an animal rescue group. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and six furbabies—one sweet dog and five spoiled-rotten cats. She also has a wonderful human son.
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