Title: Out of the Shadows
Author: KC Wells
Narrator: Finn Sterling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspun Desires
Run Time: 6 hours and 6 minutes
At a Glance: KC Wells takes an old story and retells it with her usual style. What is disappointing is the narration by Finn Sterling, who is normally much better at voice performances than this.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?
Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to the Jamaica Plain area of Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.
Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.
When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?
Review: Christian Hernandez has suffered a disfiguring accident and has changed towns, changed his life, and now lives mostly as a recluse. Until Josh Wendell is charged with rehabbing Christian’s apartment, and bringing it up to code. Initially, Christian pretends not to be home, hiding behind doors and in his bedroom.
Josh slowly discovers he is not as alone in the apartment as he thought.
Out of the Shadows is a sweet, all male retelling of the Beauty and the Beast trope, set in the present in a large Eastern city. Let me start out by saying the audio here is uneven, and this story deserved a better narration. While it is passable, listeners may find the altering of Josh’s voice—from a mostly masculine handyman to a breathy, fast talking, fey-sounding bottom—to be a bit off-putting. What starts out as a great narration rapidly loses its power.
Christian’s character begins as gruff and raspy, which is to be expected from a recluse who rarely interacts with the outside world. Josh is a handyman and groundskeeper, and is intrigued by who, or what, has been spying on him. Naturally, the two men meet when it becomes necessary to interact. The connection becomes immediately apparent, but both fight the urge to get closer.
This is a fine story that is purely in the romance genre. KC Wells takes an old story and retells it with her usual style. What is disappointing is the narration by Finn Sterling, who is normally much better at voice performances than this. If the voice for Josh had been consistent, I would be raving about this audio. Unfortunately, I can only marginally recommend it. If you’re a fan of the Dreamspun Desires line, this is a fine entry, because the story is complete and the plot believable. KC Wells does a lot with this trope, and makes it her own. If you are a fan of Finn Sterling, you may want to skip this one, as it is not his best effort.
You can buy Out of the Shadows here:
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