Title: Love You So Hard
Series: The Love You So Stories: Book One
Author: Tara Lain
Narrator: Ry Forest/Stephen Kurpis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 2 hours and 55 minutes
At a Glance: The way in which Ry Forest brought Craig to life in his narration made me love the guy even more than I already did.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Craig Elson’s life has hit rock bottom. Even though he’s one of the best strategic planners around, a more confident guy takes credit for his work, and despite being a good-looking man, he suffers insults from the slimiest creep at the bar. Taking care of his beloved mom, who has Alzheimer’s, uses all his funds, leaving him in a plain, depressing car… and a plain, depressing life.
Until he sees gorgeous grad student Jesse Randall and his T-shirt that reads “I Would Bottom You So Hard.” The message seeps into Craig’s soul, and he asks Jesse to teach him to top.
Jesse’s had his eye on the quiet hottie who comes into the coffee shop, and he’s more than eager to perfect his tutoring. He sets out to get Craig a new job, a new apartment, and a new life so far outside plain and depressing that it’s unrecognizable. The problem is, Craig loves his lessons—and his teacher—too much to want to graduate. How can Craig reach the top without losing his sassy bottom?
Review: Tara Lain has released a third edition of her novella Love You So Hard, and the audible rendition is really quite good. The story revolves around meek and mild Craig Elson, life’s perpetual bottom/nice guy, who is desperate to be top dog in more than one sense of the word. After losing the promotion he was sure he had in the bag to the guy who he was helping every day at work, Craig knows something has to change in his drab, lonely life. Every day he hangs at the coffee shop till the last moment possible, to get a glimpse of the young guy who makes his head spin and his fantasy about being some guy’s top rear its silly head. He has never really had a chance to be anything than a doormat for others to use, and who is he kidding, that this handsome young guy could possibly want someone like him?
But that is exactly what happens; suddenly Jesse Randall is interested in tutoring Craig on the fine art of being a top. Craig takes to the lessons like a flea to a dog and before he knows it, he is not only on top in the bedroom but the boardroom as well. The only problem is that Jesse and he had a deal, and the tutoring is about to come to an end. But try telling that to Craig’s heart.
Ry Forest is a new narrator to me, and I must say that he rather perfectly encapsulated Craig’s character in this Audible presentation. From the burning sarcasm as Craig gives himself an internal tongue lashing for what he views as foolish dreams when it comes to Jesse being attracted to him, to the subtle nuances in the changing tones he uses for the various characters in the novella, Mr. Forest rises to the task handily each time. I was captivated by his narration. Craig was such a loveable loser who really saw so little in himself, and this narrator really captured that reluctant tone that screams low self-esteem.
Using a breathier and slightly higher pitch for Jesse set him apart immediately, and Mr. Forest also handled the various female characters with great ease—both softening the deeper tones he used for Craig and making them sound feminine while not always using the standard soprano voice we often hear men use for women. But, it was Craig who this narrator really brought to life for me. With a change in his pacing (more hesitant), his timbre (lower and slightly raspier) and the ease of going from a sotto voce tone for his inner dialogue straight into full voice for conversations, I felt Mr. Forest’s presentation was spot on. The way in which he brought Craig to life in his narration made me love the guy even more than I already did.
Ry Forest may be a new narrator, but I think he is one to watch for in the future. He has some definite skill in bringing characters to life and using his vocal talents to make a story interesting and exciting to hear.
You can buy Love You So Hard here:
[zilla_button url=”https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-You-So-Hard-Audiobook/B07FMD6V8P?qid=1541595469&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=8FZDPAC2KD70VAZFY18Q&” style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Audible [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/love-you-so-hard-the-love-you-so-stories-book-1-unabridged/id1413364165?mt=11″ style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] iTunes [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B07FMCDX34?d” style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon [/zilla_button]