Title: Friendly Fire
Author: Cari Z.
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 8 hours and 5 minutes
At a Glance: Look for Nick J. Russo’s name on other books; you will not be disappointed. This book is fine for what it is, but other titles by this same author are much more complete and satisfying by their end.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: In a battle of wills, stubbornness could cost you your life.
Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job, his lover, and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats, and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.
Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie – a man who captures his attention, and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.
But Elliot is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.
Review: Elliot has had to reinvent himself several times. He finally seems to have found his groove, helping other well-heeled reprobates and ex-cons connect and network. It all seems to be going well until an obsessive stalker and a dicey past both conspire to put an end to Elliot’s efforts to turn his and others’ lives around.
Lennox is a security expert and a vet with an overbearing ex-wife and a daughter who is far too precocious for her age. Lennox also has the ex-military necessity, PTSD. He has a weird need to both protect and be protected by those he loves.
Nick J. Russo once again saves a so-so book and iffy plot with his excellent narration. Authors should be clamoring for him to rescue their less-than-great efforts, because he delivers every single time. Because this is a romance novel, some things are a bit contrived and suspension of disbelief is necessary at several plot points. The plot is not as fully formed as it could have been, and several subplots are not given the scope they should have had to make them useful to the exploration of the characters portrayed here. Russo pulls us through those rough spots with his inimitable style.
One of the best things about Nick Russo doing M/M is his ability to give the listener believable female voices. With this book there are several major female players, and each one of them has her own voice that is distinct and does not rely on the cliched tricks of other narrators (i.e. lisping or nasal presentations). It is a welcome relief when talent exceeds the material the narrator has been given. I can completely recommend this book for its voice work alone.
Look for Nick J. Russo’s name on other books; you will not be disappointed. This book is fine for what it is, but other titles by this same author are much more complete and satisfying by their end.
You can buy Friendly Fire here:
[zilla_button url=”https://www.audible.com/pd/Friendly-Fire-Audiobook/B074N2QCZ4?qid=1545052752&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=X0W8STQTST0G6BZG9TR2&” style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Audible [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/friendly-fire-unabridged/id1270316688?mt=11″ style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] iTunes [/zilla_button][zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B074N5PZCH?d” style=”blue” size=”medium” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon [/zilla_button]