REVIEW by ALEXANDER
AUTHOR: Helen Kay Dimon
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 4 hours 28 minutes
NARRATOR: Dorian Bane
RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2016
Cabe got out of the gun-for-hire business the hard way – by nearly dying. Except then his former boss calls in one last favor for one final job. The mission should be simple: get a message to a retired operative in Alaska. But it puts Cabe face-to-face with the one man he doesn’t want to see and can never forget. Not after all the secrets and lies. Not after Brax almost killed him.
Brax Hughes lived hard and retired young to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Well, that was the plan, but before he can hang up his sniper rifle, he has one last mission: win back Kyle Cabe. Brax wants another chance, wants to come clean, but after months of lying to Cabe, he knows he could face a bullet – or worse – when they meet again. And they will meet. Brax made sure of that.
With a storm moving in and someone lurking outside the cabin, time is running out. Brax needs to talk fast and keep his weapons ready. And his best weapon is the truth.
Not my normal choice of books, and not knowing what to expect, Stranded was an interesting read. First, the MCs were / sort of are mercenaries, and so many of the plot devices were not what I was used to, and felt a little too contrived, like not being able to figure out where someone came from / went to…wait for it…in the snow. That is probably the most obvious example of situations that didn’t mesh for me.
Also, the fact that I didn’t like any of the characters in the story, not even by the end was a first for me. In a sense, that is probably one of the better aspects of the story, since it showed that the character building was well done, and they remained consistent throughout the book. Still didn’t like them, but that’s okay.
When it came to Cabe and Brax’s relationship, this was another area that confused me at first, because I got the initial attraction. I got the reason for the deception. I didn’t get the post-reunion byplay, specifically how Cabe could go from not trusting Brax for trying to kill him to all of a sudden being all lovey-dovey. A change of heart with reason would have been fine, but the off / on / off nature of their current relationship threw me for a bit of a loop and made me wonder if I had missed something.
I must be honest and say that I found Stranded to be confusing, primarily because Bane’s portrayal of Cabe and Brax’s voices were not consistent. This really affected my enjoyment of the story and was the main reason for the audio rating. On a positive note, Bane’s diction, pace, emotion, and the post-production quality (in other words, the technical aspect) were very good and made up for the fact that they guys sounded the same most of the time.