Update July 2016:
Audio edition, narration Joel Leslie.
5 hours 7 minutes
*The story rating of 5 is based on the book, since the story is fantastic. I have read it several times.
This is one of my favorite mm romance books (series). Charlie and Travis are very dear to me. I was of course looking forward to this audio.
Audios can make or break a book, or sometimes just be okay.
It was really bad. It did not work for me at all. It pains me, but it's my honest opinion. I managed to get through three chapters, which is a bout 50 minutes of the book, before acknowledging defeat and stopping.
The narrator's voice/accent for Charlie is terrible, in my opinion. And the whole book is in Charlie's first point of view!
First of all, Charlie sounds way older than he is 26 years. I kept thinking Charlie sounded like I imagine George's voice would sound like, and George is in his fifties! Meanwhile, George's voice sounded like he was in his eighties. There was a lot of "shaking" or quivering in the voices that did that.
Second, the narration is so slow. I use the Audible app to listen, and I had to speed it up to 1.2 to make it somewhat manageable to listen to, speed wise. But it didn't take away the main problem.
The Australian accent is too overdone. It's too much, too over exaggerated, too much tone or intonation, or what it is called in English when the tone of voice goes up and down, both in the middle of sentences and at the end of them. It made for a very up-down intonation when listening. I also feel the narration is too overplayed, overacted in a way. Well, it sounded like this for me. It was really grating to listen to. So I had to stop after only three chapters.
How will I know the Australian accent was bad, or sounded bad to me, you might say. The simple answer is, I don't, really. I did some googling, though, searching for audio book with (native) Australian narrators and listened to a whole bunch of samples on Audible. I also looked up how to do Australian accent on Youtube, to get a feel of it. Apparently, an Australian accent is hard to do, and there isn't a "set" Australian accent, since it's only a country, but a whole continent, and there are a lot of accents depending on where you're from in Australia. To me personally it didn't sound native Australian, but more trying to imitate what's thought of as an Australian accent might be like, if that makes sense.
Anyway, that's my two cents.
I'm so sad that it didn't work out for me.
My advice, please read this book instead.
Reread June 2016:
I loved this book this second time around too! This is just the perfect romance book, and I love Charlie and Travis. I feel generous so I'm bumping my rating up to 5 stars!
***** 5 favorite romance stars ****
Original review September 2014:
**** 4 Yank stars ****
"Where the American guy walks in, all blue eyes and disarming smiles."
"Smug fucking Yank. Yep. I said it."
Poor Charlie, he didn't stand a chance face to face with a cowboy from Texas coming to Charlie's station to learn the way of the land.
Charlie and Shelby.
Charlie struggles with the words his father left him. Charlie is as stubborn and head strong as the land he lives on. But Travis, with his easy going manners, disarming smiles and infectious laughs, is making cracks in Charlie's set ways.
"What are you scared off?"
Travis at the spring, I imagine.
A really great story. The description of the land and the people are beautiful. You can almost feel the heat and the sand. Hear the cattle and the motorbikes and see the sun shining from a wide blue sky and the red dirt.
And the nose-nudging! *squeee* I loved it!
A recommended read!