Title: Open Road
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Narrator: Robbie D
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 6 hours and 4 minutes
At a Glance: Let me begin this review by saying I really liked the story. Like most romance books, it has a few plot holes that are easy to forgive. That being said, this narration was horrid from start to finish.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Angus has been with the same guy for ten years. When his boyfriend breaks up with him the night of his thirtieth birthday party and announces his engagement to a twenty-two-year-old less than ten hours later, Angus is… a mess. To put it lightly. He spends days in bed, drinks himself into a stupor every night, and ends up losing his job and his apartment. His best and oldest friend, Reece, decides it’s time for an intervention. And a change of scenery.
Reece and Angus take off on a buddy trip across the US. They don’t have much of a plan; they just start driving. It takes Angus a couple of days to do much more than grunt when Reece talks to him, but slowly he opens up. They drive, talk, heal, shout, drink a bit too much sometimes, dance, meet new friends… and somewhere between Portland, Oregon, and Portland, Maine, they fall in love.
Which was the last thing in the world Angus expected.
Review: Rapidly aging (in his mind) former twink, Angus, gets dumped by his lover on his thirtieth birthday. The two have spent a decade together, with Angus trying to please and be what his boyfriend desires—with little luck. The day after the public dumping, at Angus’s birthday bash, his now former lover announces his engagement to a much younger man. Reece, Angus’s oldest and best friend, decides to take him out of town to recover after Angus does weeks of heavy drinking, losing his job and his apartment. The story evolves from friends to finally being lovers at a good and steady pace, and is told from dual points of view between Angus and Reece.
Let me begin this review by saying I really liked the story. Like most romance books, it has a few plot holes that are easy to forgive.
That being said, this narration was horrid from start to finish. The voices were inauthentic and full of stereotypes that should have been put to rest a decade ago. The narrator completely ignores direct clues left by the author. What should have been a cross country romp becomes a tedious journey in the hands of this narrator. The tone of the voice given to Angus is, in a word, whiny. It does nothing for the character and does not show his progression from broken to nearly whole again. Reece is portrayed only slightly better.
This is really a shame because M.J. O’Shea and her fans deserve far better treatment. I do not recommend this narration. Buy the book, read it, it really is a fun and fine story. I have never come across a narration that got almost everything wrong like this one did. Let’s all hope this book gets a new narrator at some point. The book, the author, and the people who bought it deserve it. Robbie D should not be asked to narrate another book, and buyers of audio should look for his name and then skip it.
You can buy Open Road here: