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Upside Down Audiobook by N.R Walker, Narrated by Glen Lloyd.

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Blurb
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But when he realizes adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

Review
This was my second time reading this story, in audio this time. I admit I didn’t like this narrator in another book, he was not bad, just had a sort of flat emotional range in my opinion. Yet, here I slowly grew to love him, he had a great comedic sense, and I felt like he enjoyed narrating this book. I loved hoe he interpreted the characters, he got Jordan’s wacky, quirky humor just right, and added this layer of softness to the relationship between he and Hennessy.
This book was incredibly sweet, with the humor I liked so much in Walker’s ‘The Weight of it All’ and dealing with the subject of Asexuality in a wonderful eye-opening way. Walker showed the struggle Asexuals face in our overly sexualized culture.
I think the thing that makes this story so good it how much you don’t really need sex to feel the romance, longing and passion Jordan and Hennessy feel for each other. Jordan is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time, and he had me laughing more times than I can count. Angus and Merry were some of the most amazing side characters I have ever read and I wish we could get their story someday.
This book makes you feel so good, while still having emotional depth and dealing with serious themes. The ending leaves you smiling and a gooey happy pile of emotions. Just a wonderful read through and through.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Fade to black/No Steam Friends to lovers Geek/Jock Heat Index m/m Mild level angst Morgan Part of a Series Shifter Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words)

Daily Dose Short Story : Buddy the Cat by Sara Stark

buddy-the-catBlurb

Noel is a lonely librarian who spends most of his time working, surfing dating websites to no avail, and hanging out with the cat who shows up on his balcony every night. When he meets Mike, he’s finally found a man who holds his interest. But it soon becomes clear that there’s more to the bird-chasing businessman than what’s on the surface.

Category: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shifters
Pages: 22

 

 

 

Review

A lonely librarian sits at home contemplating a dating site and his loneliness. In wanders a cat. They become fast friends. Noel finds himself talking to the male cat he names, Buddy. One day while on a walk, Noel runs into Mike. Mike has kind eyes and an approachable demeanor.

What will happen when one day Mike takes Buddy’s place?

**

Sara Stark appears to have a few short story titles under her belt with various other DSP anthologies. I’m not aware of her other works, if any.

Her writing style was a bit clunky and showy. “I don’t know why I’m talking to you, after all you’re a cat!” over and over, reminding us that Buddy is something he isn’t. I got that Noel is shy, but his ability to talk to Mike was ridiculous – it didn’t even make sense.

It’s tough when you have a short story’s space to world build and relationship build – but … we really got neither. Most of this is Noel talking to the cat and dithering about what he should do about being lonely. I think better use of the space would have been more Mike as a human contact and maybe at least one paragraph about shifters in this world – Mike is a “businessman” but what sort? There just needed to be more information.

I loved the idea – like the whole pet to shifter idea – but this wasn’t build up enough to satisfy.

3 of 5 stars

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Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review