I’m a fan of Tanya Eby’s narration skills and I’d heard good things about Marie Force’s books (and they’re certainly very popular) so this seemed like a good one to try. But, I ended up with mixed feelings about it. The narration was superb and carried me through when I was frustrated (mostly by the hero) or the direction the story was taking me.
Cole Langston is a pilot whose heroic actions saved the lives of another pilot and the passengers on his plane the year before. He’s become the face of the airline and gets lots of media attention. And female attention. Let’s face it. Cole is a dawg. Oh, he’s up front about it – he lets the women know he wants nothing serious but he’s still a manwhore.
When he meets Olivia Robison in more heroic (albeit lower key) circumstances, they are both hit with the jolt of instant love. Yep. Insta-love. Not my favorite thing. Olivia’s cousin and BFF, Jenny, lost major points and was awarded the “worst BFF in history award” for being a total cheerleader and not at all the voice of caution. I mean, Olivia and Cole were exchanging “I love you” and talking about trying for children in less than a month of dating. Really? I mean, really? Nobody in this book was cautious except, kinda-sorta, Olivia. And she was roundly criticized for it. By Jenny and by Cole. And therein lies my problem. He’s got women coming up to him everywhere, giving him their phone numbers and throwing themselves at him. And he cuts her virtually no slack about it. He lives in a different city so their relationship is long distance and he flies all over the country. He’s got plenty of time to play up if he’s so inclined and lord knows, he has plenty of opportunity.
Cole is less than forthcoming about some of his past relationships and their current effects (he’s not cheating) and this, eventually, causes trouble in paradise. In the end, I felt that Olivia compromised (emotionally) and apologized too much and Cole too little.
Olivia is 27 in the story but she felt much younger to me – around 21 or 22. Also, she didn’t know how to use an iPod or when she was most fertile in her cycle. Some of her cluelessness caused significant eye rolling.
There’s something to say too about how women in general were depicted in the book. Olivia’s mother is an agoraphobic and a hoarder after a significant life trauma for which no-one seems to have very much sympathy. She has gone years without treatment (why??) and has turned very bitter so I suppose the reader was supposed to hate on her too. Not me. Her trauma hit my buttons and I wanted to give the haters some attitudinal adjustment and empathy management.
That said, there was definite chemistry and the sex scenes were fairly steamy and sensual without the prose being purple (which is so much worse on audio).
Tanya Eby nails the narration as usual. I’m sure I enjoyed this one much more on audio than I would have in print. She kept me from worrying too much about what felt at times like the sword of Damocles hanging over the relationship (– so much foreshadowing of the future trauma was there, I got a bit tired wondering when it was going to drop, actually).
Eby’s male voices are low and sexy and believable and Olivia was depicted as the very young, somewhat naïve 27 year old she was.
Added to that, her voice is just plain pleasant to my ear. I love the way she injects laughter into her voice when the characters are amused and the way she can actually sound out the chin quiver before someone cries. She even managed to get extra-husky when Cole had a cold (he was a terrible patient).
Despite my concerns over some of Cole’s decisions and some aspects of the plot, I did enjoy that Cole supported Olivia in her career and celebrated her successes. And I think Eby’s narration sealed the deal on my belief in their HEA. She was able to convey their connection, even in the face of some narrative issues I had.
Book Content: C/C-
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Tantor Audio
This books was provided to AudioGals for review by Tantor Audio.