Authors: Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz
Narrators: Dorian Bane and Tobias Silversmith
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 6 hours and 22 minutes
Category: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Transgender Romance
At a Glance: This is a nice addition to the series but may not be as strong as others by more polished authors who have written books in this group.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: After breaking his arm on set, Wolf’s Landing stuntman Ginsberg Sloan finds himself temporarily out of work. Luckily, Bluewater Bay’s worst B&B has cheap long-term rates, and Ginsberg’s not too proud to take advantage of them.
Derrick Richards, a grizzled laid-off logger, inherited the B&B after his parents’ untimely deaths. Making beds and cooking sunny-side-up eggs is hardly Derrick’s idea of a man’s way to make a living, but just as he’s decided to shut the place down, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep, pitiful and soaking wet, and Derrick can hardly send him packing.
Not outright, at least.
The plan? Carry on the B&B’s tradition of terrible customer service and even worse food until the pampered city boy leaves voluntarily. What Derrick doesn’t count on, though, is that the lousier he gets at hosting, the more he convinces bored busybody Ginsberg to try to get the B&B back on track. And he definitely doesn’t count on the growing attraction between them, or how much more he learns from Ginsberg than how to put out kitchen fires.
Review: Derrick Richards has inherited his parents B&B after they die in an accident, and, he hates it. Ginsberg Sloan needs a cheap place to stay after an on-set accident on the Wolf’s Landing set. Derrick’s B&B has the worst reputation, so an extended stay there will be cheap.
Derrick does his best to drive out Ginsberg and close down the B&B for good. Instead, Ginsberg pushes his way into Derrick’s life and helps him find a way to not only make the B&B successful, but a way to find a home he’s been lacking. Derrick has an issue with his sexuality, even as a grown man who literally works as a lumberjack. Ginsberg has been cast out by his family because he’s chosen to live as a gay man, even though he was born a different gender.
Discovering each other’s insecurities leads to all manner of miscommunications and even as they grow closer together, their mutual stubbornness pulls them apart to the point of separation. But this is a romance novel, so there is a grand gesture involved in the reconciliation.
The narration here is fine and serviceable. The change in voices between to two narrators is fine but leaves one wondering why it was necessary. While the older, gruffer Derrick should have a distinctive voice, it isn’t different enough from the voice of Ginsberg for anyone familiar with audiobooks. The choices made for Derrick’s best friend and ex-boyfriend’s voice tend to border on the cliché. Usually when a book gives you multiple narration voices it enhances the experience; here, it’s just OK. While there aren’t voice mistakes in the book, the listener is left wondering why the voices are not more distinct and why they don’t play off one another more.
While this book is set in the Bluewater Bay Universe, the story is standalone. The beauty of this series is that they can be taken in any order. Characters from the other books are referenced here, but you don’t need to know who they are, exactly, because we are given some minimal background to keep you focused on the current story.
This is a nice addition to the series but may not be as strong as others by more polished authors who have written books in this group. If you enjoy the series, and I do, then you’ll want this book to complete the collection. The voice work is serviceable and not grating, so it’s an easy listen. Buy it if you enjoy the series or the authors.
You can buy Burnt Toast B&B here: