Sunday, November 26, 2017

Audiobook Review: TREADING WATER (with MICAH'S SOLDIER) by Jessie G. (Forgotten Soldier Series)

Treading Water 
(with Micah's Soldier)
Series: Forgotten Soldier Series #1 & 2
Listening Length: 6 hours 16 minutes

Blurb: After devoting 18 years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn't make chief petty officer before he's 20 - and it doesn't seem likely that he will - he'll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn't civilian material.

Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn't cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn't an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back hindered his every step, he survived Battle Stations and did his time. Six years out of uniform and Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.

On the surface, they couldn't be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a friend and each other in the process.

Author's Note: This audiobook includes the 6K word short story Micah's Soldier that started the series

Audiobook Links

Carra's Review

Micah's Soldier:
This is a powerful short story that tells so much more than what you hear when you read (or listen). Even though it’s only about 6,000 words, there’s a lot of emotion packed into them-enough to have made me cry.

My heart broke for Micah and Garrison both—and Micah’s unwavering support of Garrison (even when he knows Garrison doesn’t want him) is moving and part of the reason my heart was hurting for both of them. I was thoroughly entranced with their story, anxiously awaiting to see what would happen.

Micah’s Soldier is an amazing start to this series, and I am so very much looking forward to reading more of these stories. 5 very emotional stars for this story filled with heavily concentrated emotion—I can pretty much guarantee that if you read this, you’ll be clamoring for more as well.

Treading Water:
Talk about a story to tug at your heart...Treading Water was everything I've come to expect from this author, and is a perfect example of why I read her books. It has the ideal balance of serious and emotional while giving the reader a realistic, if abbreviated, insight into the issues facing military personnel. Not only do we get to enjoy Julian and Shane's journey to each other, but we also get an inside glimpse into Sean's turmoil as well as his revival.

When I first started the book, I thought I might have gotten my characters mixed up as Jared and Aiden are front and center, but then it transitioned to the real stars of the story after the background and setup (oh, but please tell me we'll be getting more for Jared and Aiden...please!). Julian is so sweet and an emotional person, with so much capacity to feel. Shane is the opposite, keeping things quiet and inside, controlling his emotion instead. Perfect complement? Definitely. And their physical attraction and strong chemistry added in makes for the complete package--as long as Shane is ready to hop off the hookup mentality.

Then we also get to follow along with Sean as he is adapting to his new reality, and honestly following along with his part of the story doesn't at all detract from the relationship development between Julian and Shane. Sean is the reason the two of them had the opportunity to come together, so having his story included fit well with the rest of the story for me.

The writing was excellent, clear and concise while easily conveying what all three men were going through. Everything flowed so smoothly that I didn't realize the time passing as I read. I was quickly pulled in to the story from the start, and was fully engrossed until the very end.

I loved Treading Water, and it's getting a full 5 stars from me. I highly recommend this book to any M/M romance fan, particularly if you love stories involving military men. It does set a good stage to continue on with more stories, and I'm hoping we get to see a lot more from this series going forward. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

The narration: This was my first time listening to Casey Hunter as a narrator. He did a good job with the characters’ voices, conveying emotion well. The overall pace of the story was good, however there were many times when pauses occurred that for me interrupted the flow of the narration, making it sometimes sound stilted or uneven. In addition, as soon as a chapter would end the words “chapter X” would immediately follow the final sentence of the previous chapter without even a breath in between which, in contrast with the erratic pauses, made it sound rushed. Regardless of the pauses and chapter changes, the narration as a whole still helped bring the story to life for me. 3 stars for the narration.

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