Reviewed by Christian (Brianna)
TITLE: All or Nothing
SERIES: The Together Series, Book 3
AUTHOR: Felice Stevens
NARRATOR: Nick J. Russo
PUBLISHER: Felice Stevens
LENGTH: 8 hrs and 18 mins
RELEASE DATE: January 10, 2018
A past he couldn’t forget.
Adam Barton is living his dream of working as a firefighter in his small Texas town, but a tragedy from his youth continues to haunt him. He decides New York City is the perfect place to start a new life and joins the FDNY, living and loving his own way – no strings and nothing personal. Until he catches sight of Rico Estevez, the sexy chef with the mysterious smile who rocks his world. After one explosive night together, Adam craves another…and then another. The more he and Rico are together, the more Adam wants him.
A future he never imagined.
Rico Estevez is living a lie. For years he’s hidden his sexuality, afraid to hurt the career of his politically ambitious father. He’s the perfect American – the best schools, top of his class, and most importantly to his father, a successful businessman. Who needs a boyfriend when sex is so easy to find? Starting a torrid love affair with Adam Barton isn’t a problem; neither is looking toward forever. But Rico’s father is about to get the chance of a lifetime, and Rico feels forced to play by the rules.
Rules are made to be broken.
Adam proves more unforgettable than Rico ever imagines, but he gives in to family pressures above personal desires. When a fire reunites them, both men discover their passion for each other hasn’t died; rather, it’s stronger than ever. Want turns to need and something even more dangerous to their hearts – love. Adam and Rico know if they want to have it all, they can let no one and nothing stand in their way of a life together.
All or Nothing is about two men who aren’t looking for a relationship. Adam is a southern boy who is a sweet firefighter. He is out to his parents and family and his mother just wants him to settle down with someone. Rico is a co-owner of a bakery, something he always wanted as a child. His dad doesn’t know he is gay, not because he thinks he will disown him, but because his father is a beacon in the Florida political community. Rico doesn’t want to harm his dad’s career.
What starts as, what it seems like Rico thought, was a one night stand evolves into friends with benefits. Neither guy wants a relationship, or so they say. Rico is very private, he doesn’t want his father to know he’s gay and he doesn’t want his best friend to know anything about his and Adam’s relationship. But things start to progress and Rico meets Adam’s family. They insist that they are just friends but Adam’s mom knows better.
As the book goes along Rico gets more and more scared about telling his father that he’s gay. At first he would just say that he didn’t want to tell his father because of his father’s career, but after a while he starts thinking that his father may disown him. What Rico needs to do is let his father’s needs go and focus on his needs, but will he?
The book overall was written well, especially if you like a good coming out trope. I just wish it had a better storyline for Adam. There were a lot of things that happened in the book, but I feel like Adam’s side of the story was just thrown together in no specific order. We got to see his family a little bit and his job but I never really felt like I knew him very well .
I loved Rico’s story line. His character was very well thought-out. I felt his pain and recognized the struggles that he was going through. The way the book goes into his family’s history and his father’s background is amazing, I really like to hear stories like that. He was a very believable and very real character.
Nick J. Russo’s narration was pretty good. But my favorite part of any of his audiobooks is his wonderful dialogue voice. I absolutely love how breathy the dialogue parts of the sex scenes are. They make me swoon. All of the other dialogue is clear, easy to tell who is talking, and perfectly timed. I absolutely love Adam’s southern twang and Rico’s grandpa’s accent. What was not dialogue, was all too much inflection, too much up and down within a sentence. If I didn’t focus on it too hard I could listen ok, but it was uncomfortable listening to the parts that weren’t dialogue. I honestly had to stop mid book and wait for a week and start it again. I had to take a full point out for this reason.
All in all this was an ok book. I’ve heard Nick’s narration before and have never had any problems, so this one surprised me a bit. I won’t write him off though, I do normally love his narration. Felice Stevens did a wonderful job on creating Rico and I’ve always loved her books. Perfect amount of hot and steamy and perfect amount of romance and heart warming tales. Including All or Nothing.