Lovers of angst-filled contemporary romance are surely familiar with Corinne Michaels. She has even made me cry in a few of her prior books which almost always deal with loss in some form before the arrival of the HEA. Say You Want Me is no different, though I must admit that while it does have its sad parts, I wasn’t quite as surprised when the angst-filled event takes place in this book as I had been in prior books. Still, if you’re looking for a contemporary romance that has its share of highs and lows as well as a swoon worthy cowboy type hero, then Say You Want Me is likely to hit the right spot. I also really liked that this romance featured a couple nearing their forties and who was expecting a child no less! Moreover, the talented narration by Sophie Eastlake and Zachary Webber make this a great title to experience in audio format.
As this is book 2 in the Return to Me series, I think it is worth noting, before I lead into my review, that this book functions well as a standalone. Bu if you did read or listen to book 1, then you will recognize the heroine of this book as the sister-in-law of the heroine of Say You’ll Stay.
Wyatt Hennington, a rancher who lives in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and Angie Benson, a cupcake bakery owner from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are as different as night and day. He’s a small-town cowboy and she is, as he likes to call her, “Big City.” But they have a common bond: Angie’s sister-in-law, Presley, went back home to Tennessee after her first husband, Angie’s brother, committed suicide; Presley then found her second chance at love and married Wyatt’s brother, Zach. Presley’s move to Tennessee leads to Angie’s visit to Bell Buckle and one fun, no-strings-attached hook-up with Wyatt.
So imagine Angie’s surprise when she finds out that at almost 40 years of age, she’s pregnant. Thinking her tired feelings must be a sign that she is dealing with cancer (which runs in the family), she sees a doctor, but instead finds out that her no-strings-attached night didn’t obviate a lifetime souvenir. At this stage in her life, Angie never imagined getting married, much less having a baby, but she also knows that now that she is, she must go through with it and return to Bell Buckle to let Wyatt know.
Of course, Wyatt, being the cowboy he is, goes into full protective mode and determines that the answer to the situation is that Angie has to move to his hometown and they’ll get married. The big city girl in Angie, not to mention her independent nature, make her less sure of this plan. Thus ensues some heavy duty wooing, cowboy style. But can Wyatt convince Angie to give up the Big City life and give love with him a try?
Sophie Eastlake and Zachary Webber provide the typical dual narration where the female narrator narrates the chapters from the heroine’s perspective and the male narrator the ones from the heroes. As the vast majority of the book is written from Angie’s perspective this means that the Ms. Eastlake performs most of the narration with Mr. Webber narrating a few intermittent chapters. This approach works generally well as it provides a clear demarcation for the perspective being shared.
I have to say that Ms. Eastlake’s narration in particular blew me away. Her voicing of Wyatt’s deep raspy cowboy voice was fantastic and so different from her other characterizations that had I not known, I would have thought it was a completely different narrator! Ms. Eastlake also gave Angie the appropriate differently sounding “big city” intonation which drove home this cultural difference between the two characters.
I also enjoyed Mr. Webber’s narration, which really says something given that Ms. Eastlake’s fab performance was definitely a hard act to follow. I guess the only thing that kept me from giving his narration an A was that I felt like his hero’s voice could have been a tad deeper to match Ms. Eastlake’s rendition. Still, had it not followed Ms. Eastlake’s stellar rendition, I likely wouldn’t have noticed.
All in all, I enjoyed the storyline in Say You Want Me and it had the requisite angst-filled event that also drove emotions. There was also believable chemistry between the characters which is always a plus in a romance, and I really enjoyed that the story was told from more mature characters’ perspectives (a feature that I find is less likely to be employed in the romance genre but which I enjoy reading or listening to). I guess the one thing that kept me from rating it higher, however, was that I found it a little predictable overall. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a romance where the alpha cowboy finds his big city girl, then Say You Want Me may just be the next listen you’re looking for.
Narration: Sophie Eastlake A/Zachary Webber B+
Book Content: B
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Violence Rating: Minimal
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: BAAE Inc
Say You Want Me was provided to AudioGals for a review.