The Mating of Michael

The Mating of Michael - Eli Easton, Herrmann Michael Stellman

***** 5 fabulous stars *****

Audio edition, narrator Michael Stellman.
7 hrs and 55 min.

Overall: 5
Performance: 4
Story: 5

To briefly sum up:

The writing was excellent.
The characters were beautiful, deep, and so full of raw and tender feelings.
There was so much going on, but it all was interesting and so well thought out. It all fitted together. Never a dull moment. Perfectly balanced.
The secondary characters were just as important as the main characters. 
The story was so powerful, emotional, enlightening, heartbreaking, heartwarming, inspirering.
The story deals with abandonment and trust issues, and health and mental issues. I love the respectful way these subjects were handled. They're clearly well researched, and not plucked out of Google to make a good plot twist, which is sadly sometimes the case in some stories. Kudos Eli.
The way the story was interspersed with the book by J.C. Guise (James's pen name), and the reason for it. (Please Eli, write the Sentimantal Cyanide!)

I loved the way Michael's work was described and handled. There's a big difference between empathy and love. What you do at work and who you are as a person. Michael was such an empathic person. He gave of himself to make others feel good about themselves and heal. Also anyone who works with patient care knows compartmentalization. The person or "role" you are at work, what you do as a healthcare worker when dealing with patients is not the same as the person you are personally. Of course you bring your personality to your work, but professionalism and care is what you bring most. One person, two compartments. One for work and one for home. It is a clear distinction, but it's not always obvious for everyone. Michael has this clear distinction. His way of caring for patients pushes the lines of acceptance of others, though. It's perfectly described by him.

"It's like... it's a different part of my heart." Michael rubbed his chest. Sometimes, he could actually feelthat part of his heart, like a little extra chamber where he kept his love for his patients. "It doesn't fee like I'm doing something with another guy--it's just not the same. What I do for my clients is about... my work. Healing. Giving. Some of the men I work with are so... broken, you know? And I just want to help them."
"And that's now how it is with your writer in the wheelchair?" Marnie sounded sceptical.
"No," Michael said firmly. "James is... strong and so fucking brilliant. And he's beautiful and... he has all of me--the part that I give away and the part that I keep just for myself. When I'm with him, it's about me, I mean, about living my life, being complete, having what Iwant and need, having a love of my very own. He fits me. Damn, I can't even explain it to you. How would I ever explain it to James?" 

I was kinda dreading the last 20% because everything had been so fabulous up until then, and all the issues haven't been dealt with yet. I was so crossing my fingers that the story didn't take a nosedive into a rushed, unsatisfactory ending. I needn't have worried. Eli handled everything and she got me safely, albeit bawling, through the end. I loved the way she handled it! I had a rating of 4-4,5 stars throughout the book. The last 20% bumped the rating up (and beyond) 5 stars. 

There really is no way to convey how great this book is. It just needs to be read and experienced.

Even though it's the third book in a series, it can be read as standalone! Personally, I've only read #1 The Trouble with Tony beforehand. I liked it well enough, it was nothing like this masterpiece, though. I skipped #2 The Enlightenment of Daniel, because I just wanted to read about Micheal.

Michael Stellman did a good job with the audio. He's got a rich and sultry voice that I instantly took a liking to. It fitted the story and the characters. However, he did not distinguish between the characters. Women, men, young or old, they're pretty much the same. I didn't have any problems knowing who was saying what, but sadly Stellman just narrates the story and he doesn't make the characters come alive through his narration. I really wished that would be the case. I'm not saying the narration is bad, I enjoyed listening.