Friday, February 23, 2018

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: SURVIVOR by TM Smith


Taylor Langford’s world is torn apart when he is only thirteen years old—his parents killed, leaving him alone and orphaned. With no living relatives, he’d certainly be another statistic if not for the intervention of the policeman who found Taylor in the crawl space where his mother hid him that fateful night. Despite the tragedy and resulting anguish in his life, Taylor knows how lucky he is.

Frank Moore is a rookie with the Dallas Police Department when he and his partner answer a call in Devonshire, one of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods. They think the young boy in various pictures throughout the home has been kidnapped until they find him, shaken but alive. Officer Moore recognizes the pain in the kid’s eyes, having lost his own mother to cancer when he was just a boy. He steps in, making sure Taylor is placed with a loving foster family. Over the years, Frank becomes a permanent fixture in Taylor’s life. 

A decade later, the case remains unsolved and the once gangly, uncertain teenager is now a college graduate who knows exactly what he wants. He’s coming home to the man that helped mold and shape his life, the man he’s loved for as long as he can remember, Frank Moore. But Taylor isn’t the only person returning to Dallas, and while Frank is distracted by his own conflicting feelings and the new bond growing between the two, the past creeps up on them, determined to finish what was started ten years earlier.

Buy links: Audible | Amazon Audio | iTunes

Listen to a 5 minute sample here  

What reviewers think of Nick J Russo's narration... 

Wow!  AWESOME story! Gripped me from the very start. Loved the premise. Nick J Russo did a fantastic job with the characters. Highly recommend!

May-december, Friends to Lovers, touch of suspense. Nick J Russo is a favorite narrator of mine and I can never tire of him. His voice is smooth and his pacing s more like telling a story not reading it. I love his voices for both Taylor and Frank and how distinctive they are. This is on my to listen to again list!

Carra's Review

There’s so many things I liked about this story.  I love age gap books, and while the difference between Frank and Taylor is only ten years, the fact that they first meet when Taylor is only thirteen, and then getting points of view almost every year until they finally express their feelings as adults makes it seem like the gap is bigger than it is.  This actually threw me off a bit and made it a little awkward to me even though I knew the gap was only ten years.

I also like the hurt/comfort theme, and that this leads to the unbreakable bond that forms between the two men over the years.  Frank and Taylor's relationship could be seen as hero worship gone overboard, but that really is so far from the truth—even their friends and family who have figured out how the two men feel about each other know that is not the case.

Another aspect I liked was the first half of the story being told over time, showing how their relationship slowly develops from rescuer/rescued to buddies to close friends, to lust and then love.  Once the story reaches the point where Frank and Taylor are exploring their feelings for each other fully, the emotion and deep connection between them grows even more intense, but never feels rushed or like it’s too much.  And their physical chemistry—that was far enough off the charts that you may need some ice on hand to cool yourself down once things get that far.

Even though the development of Frank and Taylor's relationship provides plenty of romance to drive the story, there’s an added dose of drama and suspense related to Taylor’s parents’ murder.  It’s enough to keep you on the edge for a while wondering exactly when things will go sideways, which adds some great tension to the story.  

The cast of supporting characters is fantastic—I really loved how they all wound up becoming a big, unconventional extended family and how supportive they all were of both Taylor and Frank.  All of these secondary characters were well rounded and brought depth to the story, and there’s even potential among them for other stories in the future (please? okay?).

Survivor was a 4.5-star read for me, and I already know this is one I’ll be re-reading in the future.  I do recommend this to any M/M romance fan, particularly if you’re a fan of the tropes featured in this story as they are written well.  This story is strictly for readers 18+ for adult language/situations and sexual content.

The narration: Nick J. Russo did an amazing job narrating this story.  The characters had distinct voices, and they matched quite well to what I had thought they should sound like when I read the ebook version.  The pacing was perfect, and it was very easy for me to get totally absorbed in the story as I listened.  I know I’ll be queuing this one up again in short order...5 stars for the narration!

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A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning  Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.

Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!

Head over to Pinterest to see the Survivor album. 

Head over to Youtube to listen to the Survivor playlist.

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