REVIEWED by Christie
SERIES: Shamwell Tales, book 2
AUTHOR: JL Merrow
NARRATOR: Mark Steadman
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 6h 58m
RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2017
All the world’s a stage…but life doesn’t come with a script. Posh boy Tristan Goldsmith has one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York – no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when the Shamwell Amateur Dramatics Society begs him to take a leading role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As an added incentive, he’ll be giving private acting lessons to a gorgeous local handyman who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances. As a late-diagnosed dyslexic still struggling with literacy, Con Izzard’s never dared to act before. With arrogant yet charming Tristan helping him with his lines, he finally has his chance to shine. But Con’s determined not to start a romance with a man he’s convinced only wants a casual fling. Tristan’s never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when he realizes his attraction to the tall, muscular handyman isn’t just physical. Just as he thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart – and given his own in return – disaster strikes with a slip of the tongue that shatters Con’s trust and sends him running for cover. This show may be over before the curtains even opened.
Okay, so the blurb for Played! by JL Merrow got me interested as to how the book would play out. Then, I went to audible and listened to a quick snippet of the audiobook because as far as I can recall Mark Steadman is a new narrator for me. And, holy wow was I totally sold on the book! The story fell a bit flat for me, but the narration was brilliant.
Tristan Goldsmith’s honorary grandmother recently passed, leaving him her home in Shamwell. Whilst temporarily staying in her home, the actor needed some repairs done and enlisted someone to come over to do so. The thing is, it seems he bit off a little bit more than he could handle when extremely tall, gorgeous handiman Con shows up on his doorstep to do the odd repair jobs that Tristan needed to have done.
Con suffers from low self esteem due to several factors including dyslexia, so he never thinks he has a shot with Tristan and misunderstands the man’s flirting as condescending and mean, instead of actual the actual attraction it stems from. This causes a lot of misunderstandings, and missed connections, so to speak. But, when an opportunity to act in a local presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream presents itself to Tristan, he jumps at the chance. It also means that he gets to tutor Con on his part in the play as well. And, we all know what can happen in close proximity with a sexy person we’re attracted to, right? Yep, awkwardness and misunderstandings. Can Tristan and Con work thru their issues and realize that their each crazy for one another?
To tell the truth, for me the book was simply okay. It was a slow burn with barely any payoff right at the very end of the book. I did not feel the sexual tension that should have been there in order to keep me interested in the book. The only thing that kept me from not finishing the audiobook was Mark Steadman’s impeccable narration. Wow, he has one sexy voice and accent!!!!