Reviewed by Annika
TITLE: Dyeing to be Loved
SERIES: Curl Up and Dye #1
AUTHOR: Aimee Nicole Walker
NARRATOR: Joel Leslie
PUBLISHER: Self Published
RELEASE DATE: November 7, 2017
LENGTH: 8 hours 49 minutes
Gabriel Wyatt is a big city Detective living in a small Ohio town. He expects a peaceful existence once he moves from Miami, Florida, but that’s the last thing he finds. Instead, Gabe discovers murder, mayhem, and one smart-mouthed stylist he can’t get out of his head.
Josh “Jazz” Roman is a small town salon owner with big dreams and an attitude to match. He finds himself in the middle of a case that brings the dreamy detective to his front door. Josh learns that the biggest threat to him isn’t a killer; it’s a man who wants something from him that he vowed to never give again – his heart.
Both men deny that there’s something between them, even though they’re drawn together like magnets. Can Gabe convince Josh to let down his guard or will Josh let past hurts destroy his chance at a happy future?
Full disclosure; I read the print version of this book about a year ago and was very conflicted. I really enjoyed the story, the people, the town and not to forget I just loved and adored Savage! I’m his fan for life! But, the writing, or more importantly the lack of editing, completely destroyed the book for me. So when I had the opportunity to listen to the audio version narrated by Joel Leslie, I decided I wanted to give it another try. I mean Gabe and Josh are just a lot of fun, and I do love the rest of the series.
The verdict you ask? Well, Joel Leslie truly amazes me. He brings this book alive, he saved it! So I highly recommend skipping to read this book and listen to the audio instead. Really worth it! the only thing that didn’t work for me was Leslie’s impersonation of Savage, but that’s so minor in the whole scheme of things that I might just forgive him 😉
I was a bit surprised when the audiobook started out with the prequel, Fatal Attraction. On the one hand it was good to get the back story to how Josh and Gabe met. Who they were and get to know Blissville a little. On the other hand, large parts of Fatal Attraction is quoted verbatim in the actual book. And since you’ve just spent the last hour or so listening to it, it gets a bit tedious to listen to it all over again especially if you’re listening for longer periods at a time and not just a little here and there.
Once again murder shakes the small town of Blissville. A friend of Josh’s is found murdered so death once again brings detective Gabe to the doorstep of his salon. (The first time being in the prequel.) The mystery itself was good, there were many threads to follow up on and I can honestly say that I was surprised to learn who the killer turned out to be. Reading all those Agatha Christie books didn’t help me at all in this case 😉
I’m a bit conflicted about my feelings towards Josh in this book. At times he’s a lot of fun, cares deeply for the people around him and has the ability to see the beauty in people where others only sees ugliness (and I’m not talking looks here). I love that kind of genuine people. But I also had a hard time with how he treated Gabe. This hot and cold for most of the book drove me up the wall at times, and he really didn’t treat Gabe as he should’ve. I mean how long are you supposed to pay for an off-hand comment, or even worse, the mistakes of others?
Now Gabe on the other hand was much more, dare I say, stable (I do fear Josh might just come around and bitch-slap me) of the two. Sure he could be an insensitive jerk, but he was also quick to learn and trying to make amends. He made mistakes – he was human (aren’t we all?). But what I loved was that he was honest about it and tried to do better. I admire his immense patience when dealing with Josh. And it paid off in the end.
The book ends with a solid HFN for Gabe and Josh, but a part of the mystery ended with a cliff-hanger and will continue in the next book… So until then!