Thursday, October 25, 2018

Audiobook Review: FRANKIE-UNFORGETTABLE by Felice Stevens (Man Up #3)-Includes Excerpt!

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Frankie Cover 

Cover Design: REESE DANTE
Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Cover Model Andrew Biernat
Narrator: Kale Williams


No one understands why I love him.
Why I need him.
Why I took him back.
But they don’t have to.
I know.
Despite the hurt and the heartache, I see beneath his skin.
And I’m different now.
No more Flirty Frankie.
My dreams have changed, and so have I.
I’m stronger.
I believe in myself.
And I’m a hell of a lot smarter than a year ago.
Now it's his turn to show me the man he really is.
To prove it.
I've always loved him.
But that's not enough.
I need to learn to trust him.

No more excuses.
No more chances.
I make this right or lose him for good.
I have to do this.
No one has ever believed in me but him.
No one has ever wanted me but him.
I can’t let him down.
I won’t.
I can’t let myself down.
I’m trying, but it's so damn hard.
No matter what they throw at me, I’m stronger.
And I’m going to make it.
I’m on my way.
With Frankie by my side.
I can see the future.
I have a future.
Us. Together.


“Still no luck?”

I set a cup of coffee in front of Aaron and stood across from him at the small kitchen counter. He’d come over to my place early to use my computer and had been job hunting for hours. When Aaron got out of jail, he’d wanted to move back in with me, but I said no. The past few months, I’d let him stay over more often than not, but he still had his own place. I was being careful.

“No, I f*cking can’t even see straight anymore. I need a break.” He rubbed his eyes, then took a sip and let out a gusty sigh. “Thanks, babe. Hits the spot.”

The endearment sent a warm glow through me. In our joint therapy sessions, Aaron and I discussed his dislike for showing affection and how that made me feel unappreciated. Since he’d been back, he’d made the effort. It might not seem like much, but to me, it meant he listened and that my feelings were important to him.

I put on my most positive face for him. “Something’ll turn up. What about that one at the new supermarket that opened last week on Cross Bay Boulevard?”

He grimaced, his face darkening. “They said they didn’t have openings. But they still got the sign up in the window, ya know?”

I did know. And it worried me. Aaron had been out of jail for months now and had yet to find anything. And as much as I saw him trying to work through his anger issues, I worried he might slip and bring us back to that ugly place of last year.

“You want me to have Austin ask Rhoades? He’s got so many businesses, I bet he can find you something.”

“No,” he responded with an angry snap. “Your friend hates me. I don’t need no favors from him. I’m gonna do this on my own.”

“Okay, okay. It was only a suggestion.” He stood, and God help me, I couldn’t stop that involuntary jerk of my heart when he walked around the counter to stand in front of me. I hated seeing him defeated and sad.

“I know it was.” He reached out and cupped my jaw, his palm rough and warm against my face. I wished every one of the doubters could see these tender moments between us instead of remembering the old Aaron. “I’m not blaming you. My problems are my fault.”

I put my arms around him, hugging him close. “We both were at fault. But now we can do better. I want to show everyone the person I remember from when we first met. Smart, funny, sexy.”

He palmed my ass, bringing me flush up against him so I could feel the hard ridge of his d*ck against my stomach. “Sexy, huh? I’m only sexy for you.…You know that, right?”

“Mmhmmm.” He got me ready in no time flat.


Carra's Review

So, I know this book is titled Frankie since this is supposed to be his story in the Man Up series…but honestly, this one was all about Aaron for me.  We’d already been introduced to Frankie previously in this series, and yes this is his turn to get his tale told, but Aaron—who we also met briefly before—well, Aaron really stole the show.  

I knew from the get-go that Frankie was going to be fine no matter what happened.  He’s the kind of guy who takes things as they come and powers through, not afraid to take chances, and has a pretty positive outlook.  He knows he and Aaron can make things work this time around, and he’s determined to show everyone that Aaron has changed.  

Aaron *sigh*…there’s a lot we don’t know about Aaron and his past, not just with Frankie but before that as well.  As the story goes on and we slowly come to find out about his family and childhood, as well as his time in prison, it’s virtually impossible not to feel, well, everything for him.  No one deserves a second chance more than Aaron, and he has become so much stronger and wiser now.  He consciously keeps himself making the right decisions, firmly intent on showing Frankie that he can be a man worthy of Frankie’s love.

Since the book starts with the two of them already back together (which we saw at the end of Rhoades), this story concentrates on Aaron easing back into everyday life and starting over with Frankie’s full support.  We get to see the ups and downs he goes through, and how the two of them handle it all together.  Their resolve is constant, and their dedication to making it work is inspiring.  As for the physical side of things?  Lower your thermostats and keep some cold drinks with lots of ice handy because their chemistry is one thing they don’t have any problems with!  

We get the great cast of supporting characters that we had in the first two books, adding in a few newcomers like Frankie’s parents and some coworkers/bosses for Aaron.  We also get some more teases for Cort and Tristan at Man Up, as well as James—which of course is just making me that much more excited for more in this series.

This was a 4.5-star read for me, and Aaron is firmly cemented in my heart now.  He and Frankie deserve happiness together, and this story, while heartbreaking at times, is their journey to finding that happy ending.  Yes, you could read this as a standalone…but I honestly believe you’ll enjoy it even more if you read Austin (book 1) and Rhoades (book 2) first to get background on the other characters and Man Up, the club.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content, as well as references to some disturbing situations in Aaron’s past.

The narration: Kale Williams continues to deliver consistent character voices here in Frankie’s story, definitely nailing Frankie’s New York accent.  This time though, both Frankie and Aaron’s voices felt not quite as…warm?  That’s the only way I can think to describe it, meaning the voices felt a bit aloof from each other so I didn’t quite have the same flowing emotions as I did when I read the ebook.  The narration is still steady, well paced and even, and gets 4 stars from me.

About the Author

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Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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