Tangled won Emma Chase Best Debut Goodreads Author in 2013. Indeed, her voice – channeled via hero Drew Evans’ POV – is refreshing, snarky, a pure fun winner.
Devilishly handsome Drew Evans is himself a winner. A multimillionaire workaholic shark who loves the game, he’s become the star investment banker in his father’s firm. Hot hook-ups are another game he plays hard and excels at. Indulged by New York’s most beautiful women, loving family, loyal friends, and seemingly the universe, it’s no wonder Drew is the unapologetic cocky player he is.
Drew’s worldview is shaken when he meets beautiful and brilliant (but engaged to her high school sweetheart) Kate Brooks, the new associate his father hires. As the book’s blurb puts it:
The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating. Drew’s charmed world has changed into, as he puts it, “the shit-pit soap opera that is his life.”
Tangled is like a well-written romantic comedy movie (which would have to be rated for erotic elements and crude language). The basic trope is one of enemies turned to friends to lovers. Since Drew tells this story, however, the journey to lovers is nothing like any romance trope. This is because we are inside Drew’s hilariously sarcastic, juvenile, warped mind as he falls in love for the first time. Just as priceless are the things that come out of Drew’s mouth as he interacts with Kate, his niece Mackenzie, his friends and family, and the advice he shares with us dear readers/listeners.
Narrator Sebastian York’s deep sexy male voice was great at relaying Drew’s funny and disturbing insights into the male psyche. Listening to the audiobook felt like Drew was sharing his story with me over drinks at a neighborhood bar; he’s just telling it to me like the way he thinks it is.
Comedy is all about timing, and Mr. York’s rhythm is spot on. He also subtly but consistently differentiates multiple characters – which had to be challenging given all the males in this story. He deftly moves from narrator/Drew, to softer-voiced Kate, singsong 4-year-old Mackenzie, to Drew’s friends and family varied by pitch and intonation.
While the narration is engaging and fun, I do wish Mr. York had imbued the voices with a bit more emotion (e.g. Kate’s vulnerability). It’s probably difficult given the narrative is from Drew’s POV. But there were bits of dialog that could have been delivered with a touch more emotion. Drew’s personality and the comedic moments shine in the narration, but Kate and the secondary characters are essentially overshadowed. A bit more acting for their voices could have compensated and made them more real.
Overall, however, I’d highly recommend Tangled for a laugh-out-loud listen!
Narration: B+ (but almost an A-)
Book Content: B+ to A- (I am truly torn with a grade here. It’s like a really good wine when it hits your tongue but with a short finish. I do know that when I’m in the mood for a rom-com, I will be rereading and/or relistening to this.)
Steam Factor: For your burning ears only
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Tangled was provided to AudioGals for review by Simon and Schuster.