Narrated by Jesse Metcalfe & Grace Grant
Stud Finder is a novella published under the 1001 Dark Nights banner. For those who read or listen to Lauren Blakely’s books there will be some familiar characters popping up but it stands alone well.
Dylan Parker is a 28-year-old semi-dorky billionaire software developer who’s decided it’s time to find a woman to settle down with. Given he’s a big fan of all things technology, he puts an ad online. It doesn’t work as expected of course; he receives approximately 10,000 responses many of which are about hooking up and not about actually getting to know him.
Dylan’s sister, Olivia, used the services of a matchmaker to find her fiancé and that matchmaker, Evie, has now become her friend. Evie takes it as a personal affront that Dylan has attempted to find love by placing an ad on some kind of Tinder-like app. She offers her services pro bono.
Dylan and Evie know each other a little, Evie ‘manages’ the softball team Dylan plays on and they share many friends in common. As Evie gets to know Dylan in order to work out who to match him with, she is alarmed to find that he’s giving her the tinglies. She’s not in the market for a relationship and she’s supposed to be finding women for Dylan to date – it feels unethical for her to take him for herself.
Dylan for his part, becomes quickly enamoured of Evie but what if she doesn’t feel the same way?
The audiobook is only about 2.5 hours long so it’s fitting there’s not a lot keeping Dylan and Evie apart. What there is, is plenty of them getting to know one another, discovering they have more in common with each other than they first believed and falling inevitably into love. Sometimes a short, angst-free novella is just what the doctor ordered. *happy sigh*
Actor Jesse Metcalfe narrates the sections from Dylan’s POV. His voice is pleasant, if a little fast for audio and I thought his emotion and characterisation were good. But his character differentiation was virtually non-existent. All of the other cast members sounded the same. There was some effort to soften his voice a little for Evie’s dialogue but it was inconsistent and led to some confusion in the listen because I couldn’t always tell who was speaking. Mr. Metcalfe doesn’t usually narrate audiobooks. It’s no doubt a draw for newer listeners to hear a favourite actor reading books to them but the Venn diagram of actor skillset versus narrator skillset isn’t a circle. I liked his narration but it wasn’t as strong as some of the male narrators who are more experienced in the medium, such as Sebastian York, Zachary Webber or Shane East. That said, if Mr. Metcalfe decides he wants to do more narrating, I’m sure he will only improve (with Sebastian York being my exhibit A here).
Grace Grant narrates the sections from Evie’s perspective. Her female character voices were better differentiated than her co-narrator’s but her male voice wasn’t great. It wasn’t awful and there was a difference so I could always tell who was speaking. But it also didn’t quite let me sink into the fantasy that Dylan was speaking in my earbuds. Her pacing was better than Mr. Metcalfe’s – I expect this is at least in part to do with the number of previous audiobooks under her belt.
Stud Finder is a short listen, tightly focused on the romance between Dylan and Evie (just how I like it) and good fun as I’ve come to expect from a Lauren Blakely book. It’s also available in Audible’s new Romance Package, so Romance subscribers can listen to it without spending a credit.
TITLE: Stud Finder
AUTHOR: Lauren Blakely
NARRATED BY: Jesse Metcalfe & Grace Grant
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
STEAM FACTOR: Glad I had my earbuds in
REVIEWER: KaetrinBuy Stud Finder by Lauren Blakely on Amazon