Title: Love & Loyalty (Faith, Love & Devotion: Book Two)
Author: Tere Michaels
Narrator:: JP Handler
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 5 Hours, 32 Minutes
At a Glance: I can honestly say that the audio version of Love & Loyalty was a wonderful way to spend a pleasant few hours
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Detective James “Jim” Shea is a Seattle homicide detective who has never taken his work home with him – until now. A case has gotten under his skin and though it’s “over,” it isn’t for Jim. The emotional toll has left him vulnerable and tied to the victim’s dying father.
Meanwhile, Hollywood comes calling for a hot story, and screenwriter Griffin Drake sees the tragic case as his ticket to more serious fare than his usual action blockbusters. But to get the whole story he needs to win over the stoic and protective Detective Shea.
Neither man has had much luck when it comes to romance or long-term relationships and neither is particularly looking but there’s an attraction from their first meeting that can’t be denied. Their impromptu first date seems to have no end in sight – quickly becomes a barreling freight train of romance.
Looming problems outside threaten their relationship – death, secrets and broken trust – and they’ll have to learn loyalty to save their newfound love.
Review: Love & Loyalty, book two in Tere Michaels’ Faith, Love & Devotion series, focuses on Jim Shea, the one night stand in that awkward moment in Faith & Fidelity when Matt succumbs to his loneliness after the initial breakup with Evan. Jim, an out of town cop, also needed intimacy with another guy in order to forget the stifling crush he had on his soon to be married roommate, Ben. Jim is back home and about to hear the verdict in a case he has more than just a passing interest in. When the verdict is revealed, and even more tragedy strikes the couple who lost their only daughter, Jim steps in to care for the ailing spouse left behind.
The case had garnered national attention, and Griffin Drake, a successful screenwriter, descends with his best friend and screen starlet, Daisy Mae, to wrap up a deal that will ensure the story is handled with grace and respect. But all is not gold in Hollywood, and Griffin is about to feel the sting of his best friend’s betrayal, which sends him straight into the arms of a silent, aloof cop who is best described as a loner. Jim, still pining for Ben, is stunned when he finds he is attracted to the sarcastic and affable Griffin. But surely this heady lust could not be misconstrued as love, or could it?
First, let me remark that I felt there was a huge change in this author’s approach to this second novel. Gone was the heavy angst of the previous book and instead, there was a lively story that captivated me completely. Lighter, witty, sarcastic, and just downright sweet, Love & Loyalty was a lovely novel of two different worlds colliding to form a gorgeous partnership. I must admit I simply adored Griffin; he was such an incredibly fun foil to Jim’s more dour and reluctant character. He teased such sweetness from Jim—much like Matt did in that short vignette in book one. This was a sweet story, shorter yet more complete in many ways than the first, the angst minimal, rather more time spent on discovering who these two people are and what makes them tick.
In keeping with this change in the author’s voice, the narrator, JP Handler, used a vastly different voice—deeper, gruffer and much more natural sounding. I felt that he really captured the essence of these characters with his tone and inflection. There was more variety in his pacing, and the speed of this narration was smoother and lighter. Granted, this was a great deal less heavy than the first book, but I felt JP Handler has developed better skill in varying his voicing of the characters. The only down side of Mr. Handler’s interpretation was that tendency to go breathy and a smidge high for both Griffin and Daisy. I felt that the style of voice used for Griffin made him just a tad bit too effeminate. Other than that little glitch, I really felt JP Handler grew into his craft with this novel, and look forward to hearing him do more work that will continue to stretch his abilities as a narrator.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The story was refreshing and sweet, the narration nearly spot on and playful. I can honestly say that the audio version of Love & Loyalty was a wonderful way to spend a pleasant few hours with a delightfully tender love story.
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