Saturday, September 12, 2020

Audio Book Review: Mary's Boys #2: Vodka & Handcuffs by Brandon Witt

From The Blurb:
Listening Time: 3 hrs., 20 min. 
Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends don’t realize he hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s passion races back to life. 
Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. While Marlon loves his work, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator. 
Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love and chosen family they’ve found?

Karen's rating:

Admittedly 'Vodka & Handcuffs' did not turn out to be my favorite story in this series. 

While there were several things about it that I liked...there was also one major stumbling block that I just couldn't ignore. Ssssssoooooooo...let's start with that...
You see...I liked Vahin. He's the main bartender at Hamburger Mary's and he's cocky, arrogant and overall he's a player, but he's also kind, caring and loyal to his friends. So...sue me. I like the man and I was excited to get the story where we got to see Vahin get his man.

Problem is I saw it, but I just didn't feel it and maybe that's on me, but the fact of the matter is I could easily feel the love between Cody and Darwin, it didn't take a lot of imagination for me to picture these to men together and loving one another...but, here with Vahin and Marlon...well, I just wasn't feeling the love.

Things just weren't going tickity, boo for me with these men, was it because there wasn't a lot of on page, I don't need a ton of steamy hot sex to make me believe there's a solid relationship going on...honestly, I've read books where there's been no sex going on and all I've gotten were a few well described kisses or tender moments and it's felt like the book was scorching my hands.

However, in spite of that I liked the story. that surrounded them. I liked that these men were culturally diverse. I was impressed that Marlon was portrayed as a closeted, African American police officer and that Andrew, Marlon's partner on the force was a racist, homophobic, bigoted...closeted PoS! Did I like this no...did I appreciate that the author presented Andrew as he did...yes, because sometimes life...real life needs to be represented, even when it's just not pretty. 

Once again Gerrod Larkyn was the narrator and while the voices were for the most part fairly well done I again encountered the variance in the voice of a couple of the characters but again not so bad that I had a problem following who was speaking, nor did I have any issues in terms of clarity in his speech and the biggy for me...the characters were not monotone, nothing turns me off of an audio book faster than a narrator whose voice is stilted and monotone, trust me, there are some out there, thankfully Gerrod Larkyn is not one of them.

I think for me it came down to the fact that this was one that needed more time in order to allow for the romance and the story to be fully developed without anything being shortchanged along the way.

So while I enjoyed it overall a little more one on one time for Vahin and Marlon that revolved more around them getting to know each other and maybe a bit more in the ending both for the romance and the issue of Marlon's partner and what he did would have taken this from I like it to 'Holy hell!!! This is awesome." for me.

So it's back to Hamburger Mary's for me. Who knows maybe I'll see you all there.


An audio book of 'Vodka & Handcuffs' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Buy this audio book:

Reading gives us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are.  (Mason Cooley)

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