Series: Starting From, #5
Author: Lane Hayes
Narrated by: Michael Dean
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: March 8, 2021
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
Genre: Romance, Age Gap, Rock and Roll, Hurt and Comfort, Bisexual, Contemporary Romance
The guitarist, the dad, and a band on the rise…
A quiet place to live and some time to recharge before my band heads out on the road again sounds amazing. I wouldn’t mind a distraction too, but my new neighbor is off-limits. There are rules about not getting involved with your bandmate’s ex, right? And Sean isn’t my type anyway. He’s too bossy, too commanding, and he has way too much baggage. I’ve learned that it’s best to let go of the heavy stuff. So why am I so drawn to him?
Coming out later in life has taught me to protect my privacy at all costs. And while juggling a handful of businesses and two kids isn’t easy, I excel at the art of multitasking and keeping everything separate. But Johnny blurs those lines. He’s easy-going, sweet-natured, and cool. In short, he’s everything I’m not. I want to know all about him…starting from the top.
Listen to a sample and purchase at Audible
Overall – 4 of 5 stars
Performance – 5 of 5 stars
Story – 4 of 5 stars
Michael Dean has done a fantastic job with this series…his emotions are on point and his variation of voices for all the characters has been perfect. I think in this book I was most impressed by his portrayal of Parker, Sean’s stuttering child. I read the ebook but listening definitely adds a component to the enjoyment of it.
Here’s my review of the ebook after reading it…my thoughts remain the same.
I don’t think any of us had an accurate opinion of Sean…Johnny included. There is a lot of history between the band and Sean. This book basically picks up where the last one left off so I don’t think this could be read as a standalone.
Sean is surprisingly sweet. He’s a great dad (I don’t remember this from a previous story if we learned that) to both his kids and his dog. He is wound tight and doesn’t like to lose control. Johnny is his opposite in many ways. He’s easy-going, fun-loving, and appreciates friends and family because his family life was never awesome. They balance each other perfectly. Johnny is great with Sean’s kiddos. They had a rocky start trying to figure out how they could forge a…relationship, I guess. It took Sean until about the 85% mark to finally admit that’s what they had. Thankfully, the relationship angst ended quickly.
There were a couple of things in this book that disconcerted me. The first was Clay. I don’t like how he manipulated Johnny. I don’t like that he takes pictures of people (and does other things) without their consent. I don’t like how blasé he was about his sinister behavior. This brings me to the next thing that bothered me…and that was Charlie. He totally blew off Johnny’s concerns and as far as I’m concerned, his best interest. He’s supposed to look out for these boys and protect them and he basically threw Johnny to the wolf, dismissed his concerns, and all ‘for the benefit of the band’. He pissed me off…and I usually like him.
If Clay gets a book…I would be out and I hate to say that because I’m a HUGE fan of Ms. Hayes’ work.
Other than those two issues, I liked this book.
Meet the Author
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards.
She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.
Meet the Narrator
Michael has well over 50 audiobook titles currently available for purchase on Audible.com. He is versed in multiple styles and genres including fiction (novels and short stories) ranging from romance to science fiction to crime dramas to thrillers; business strategy books; health and wellness books; and even an occasional children’s book.
Fans of Michael’s narration are welcome to follow him on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
If you are interested in working with Michael to produce your next audiobook, you can contact him directly at email@example.com