We first met David in 'Out' and I liked him so when I found out that he was one of the MCs for this series I simply couldn't resist.
In 'OUT' David pursues Mark, who was his boss and he has a bit of a crush but not being the object of David's affections things stop before they get started, however, David and Mark do remain friends of a sort and when David's world begins to crumble after he gets caught in an indiscretion at work and the friend he's moved in with when he looses his apartment as a result gives him a not so subtle hint that it's time to move on. Desperate and not knowing where else to go David turns to Mark for help.
Mark offers him a job helping to set up his fledgling business and then helps him to find a place to live...enter Mark's friend, Rory. Rory's straight but he doesn't have a problem with someone who's gay and a boarder to share the expenses would be good. So suddenly Rory has a roommate and he thinks he might like this idea.
Rory's kids like David and so does Rory. As David and Rory spend time together and get to know each other they each discover that they really enjoy spending time together and Rory finds that as well as David's company, he just likes David...he likes how he looks.
I liked that this wasn't an insta-love relationship. David and Rory spent time together as roommates and friends getting to know each other, doing things together. Rory was uncertain about himself and I liked that we got to spend page time with Rory as he examined his life and his choices trying to sort out how he felt about David and what he wanted for himself and for him and Rory in terms of a relationship.
While Rory's looking at himself we also get to see David as he begins to realize that he's attracted to Rory, who isn't someone that David would typically be interested in but the more time David spends with Rory the more he realizes that he really likes Rory the person and he likes what he sees when he looks at Rory the man.
I liked the friendship that developed between Rory and David and the loyalty that they showed to each other from the start in spite of their insecurities and the uncertainty that comes with new love.
Once again Mark Steadman was the narrator for this story and once again he's done a wonderful job of bringing life to this story and it's characters. Providing unique and expressive voices for the characters while keeping familiarity for characters that we've met in previous stories...characters like Mark and Patrick from 'OUT' or Mark's daughter who we also met in 'OUT' and whom I have to say I enjoyed her more this time around.
'SPUN' is a story of love when and where you least expect it, of second chances and starting over. This has definitely turned out to be my favorite story in this series so far, but if there's more to come I look forward to taking a trip back to Shamwell and finding out whose story is coming next and hopefully seeing how the residents that I'm met so far are doing.
An audiobook of 'SPUN' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
'Out' is the third book in JL Merrow's 'Shamwell Tales' story and so far it's the one that I've enjoyed the least.
Patrick was a secondary character that we met in 'Played' and I was actually looking forward to his story. In 'Played' we met Patrick when he was recovering from a broken leg and he did a bit of flirting with Con...that basically went nowhere, but I was intrigued and when I found out that he was the subject of this book...well that was all I needed to say 'ok, hook me up.'
Unfortunately, nothing really hooked me until about halfway through the story. For the most part the first half of this book for me just seemed like a big ole bitchfest.
Patrick's a 25 year old charity worker, he's out and proud and spends more than a little time on his soapbox and apparently has a thing for older men.
Mark's a recently divorced father of a 14 year old who's closeted but not...it's complicated and I'm not sure I can explain this one so let's just move on from this. When Patrick's ex calls him at her wits end about their daughter's latest escapades. Mark decides that it's time he stepped up and took a more active role in her upbringing. So he leaves his job as a successful tax adviser and moves himself and his daughter to the small village of Shamwell. I think that Mark's daughter Fen (Florence) is suppose to be a feisty, sassy, little spitfire unfortunately what I got was an obnoxious, mouthy, ungrateful brat and I have to admit this was at times due in no small part to the parents...sorry, the dynamics between Mark, his ex and their daughter just were not good.
Then there's Patrick and his mother. Age gaps aren't really a big issue for me these days...usually, but when it was made clear more than once that 'Mark was old enough to be Patrick's dad or date his mom' which can I just say 'I think this was a case of overstating the issue...the age difference here is 14 years old so...we're talking a really young daddy here folks' and when it comes to Patrick's mom well for part of the story I was pretty unimpressed with her.
While the last part of the book worked better for me...mostly, it still just wasn't great and truthfully what was probably suppose to be an over the top comedy of errors, with a bit of tongue in cheek thrown felt more like something that was just trying to hard and falling flat more often than not.
Worst of all I totally didn't get Patrick and Mark. The spent so much times at odds with each other that when they finally got around to the 'I love yous' I was like what the hell? Really, cause I'm not seeing it?'
Ok so I've made my point overall this one just didn't work for me. But that's not to say that there wasn't anything that I liked. I liked Mark's PA from his tax advisor days and then there was Lex, Patrick's assistant at the non-profit and probably my favorite character in the story. There were in fact some enjoyable moments and Fen in fact actually began to become a likeable kid in the last part of the story...she felt more like a feisty, angst and emotion driven teenager and her obnoxious, brattiness definitely eased up.
Lastly if you take a boo over on GR you'll find a lot of reviews that don't share my sentiment and I'm thinking that this is just a case of it works or it doesn't and for me overall to much of it didn't.
Oh and before I forget the other thing that worked for me was the narration. Mark Steadman was once again the narrator for this story and from start to finish his narration was one of the things that worked and while I may not have enjoyed all of the story, I did enjoy all of the narration.
An audio book of 'Out' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I have to say that the blurb is slightly misleading here, there are some heavy themes going on in this story that I think are most appropriate for an older young adult audience. That being said, I really enjoyed Annie's character. Friendship, family and grief are all strong themes and they blend together beautifully in this well crafted story.
Ann isn't quite sure where she fits in at her high school and we are taken on a journey with her through navigating the complexities of high school friendships and family drama. I really enjoyed Ann's quick wit and sarcasm and her character felt very real. Dealing with a tragedy that shakes up your whole world view is daunting and we learn a lot about Ann and her strength throughout, but of course no good coming of age story would be complete without some major bad decisions along the way.
There is much to be said about grief and the many forms it takes. The raw emotions that Ann and her brother Tommy share made me tear up. So many emotions running high and relying on each other was the best thing to do and it really showed a realistic view of siblings. The family drama that is ongoing in the background of story is heavy, but necessary. It was an important part of Ann's story and it was nice reading something that felt very personal.
All in all this was a well written story with a characters, don't let the romance tag fool you, this story is about a lot more than dating. I recommend this to readers older than 16 because of some of the content, but I definitely would pick up a copy today.