Title: Model Citizen
Author: Lissa Kasey
Narrator: Mike Pohlable
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 7 hours and 53 minutes
At a Glance: The story is fine as a mystery/romance. The plot is workable and progresses as you would expect. However, the audio is more than just a tiny bit grating.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Oliver “Ollie” Petroskovic’s life as an international supermodel was heading in the right direction. He worked part-time for his brother at his detective agency – Petroskovic Haven Investigations – and had just bought his dream house. But all that changed when he found his brother dead, a victim of PTSD-induced suicide.
Almost a year later, Ollie is trying to keep his brother’s business afloat, but can’t get his PI license. Then his brother’s best friend, Kade Alme, shows up, fresh from the battlefield after a close brush with death. Kade is looking for a new life, in more ways than one, and with PI license in hand, he’s exactly what Ollie needs to keep PHI running.
When one of Ollie’s childhood friends gets in trouble, Ollie feels he has to help. Kade insists on investigating, if only to keep Ollie safe. Neither realizes the danger they’re in as someone tries to tear them apart before they can find solid ground together.
Review: Ollie Petroskovic is an international model who also works part time doing investigations for his brother’s detective agency. All seems to be going well even though Ollie’s career as a model is slowing down. One day, Ollie discovers his brother, his hero, his parent since his teen years, has taken his own life. Ollie’s world is shattered. Now, almost a year later, Ollie’s friends are pushing him to get on with his life and to stop doing reckless things that endanger himself.
Ollie’s closest friend finally sends Kade Olme to the rescue. Kade was Ollie’s brother’s best friend and someone Ollie has known for years. It is also obvious—to everyone but Ollie—that Kade is totally smitten with him. Ollie has gained fame as an androgynous model. Considered beautiful as both a boy and a girl, Ollie likes to play with gender choices in his wardrobe as much as he hates being defined as a just gay or even just male.
When Ollie’s childhood friend comes to him after an accident nearly kills him, Ollie is dragged into intrigue and Kade follows willingly along. As the situation with Ollie’s friend gets more serious, so does the romance between Kade and Ollie. Despite Ollie’s fighting it, the sparks turn to flames and, finally, burning desire between the two. In the meantime, an accident turns into several, and a pair of murders, with Ollie’s friend being the center of it all.
The story is fine as a mystery/romance. The plot is workable and progresses as you would expect. However, the audio is more than just a tiny bit grating. Voices for Ollie and his twink former best friend are nasal and at times come off as both whiny and annoying. Part of this is due to the narrator’s own higher pitched voice, and partly because of narration choices. This narration is passable at best.
I am troubled by the short shrift that the gender fluid Ollie is portrayed with. He is neither firmly all male nor is he all female, and yet when he switches between the two, the narrator does nothing to help us see those changes. Rather, he relies on the written clues the author gives us for Ollie’s clothing choices to tell the story of gender fluidity.
The narrator portrays the character of Kade with the same unevenness as Ollie. Sometimes the voice choices detract from the enjoyment of the story. I would call him an average reading talent and this an average listen. Buy it if it goes on sale or if you like this particular author.
You can buy Model Citizen here: