Reviewed by Susan65
Title: My Hero
Author: Max Vos
Narrator: Jared Bradford
Heroes: Rich Miller/Johnny Milloway
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 6 hours, 3 minutes
Publisher: Max Vos
Release Date: August 13, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: When he was sixteen years old, Rich Miller saved a young man from drowning at his local pool. Little did he know that years later, as a senior in college and Olympic diving hopeful, Rich would meet up once again with Johnny Milloway, now a big football player – and when Rich says big, he really means ‘bear’. The shy jock remembers his saviour, and the two men become friends.
Johnny isn’t put off by the fact that Rich is gay. In fact, the more time he spends with Rich, the more curious he becomes. Johnny wants to know all kinds of things – what it’s like to kiss a guy, for instance. Only it doesn’t stop there…
Rich finds it difficult to believe that this relationship can go anywhere. Johnny is straight, and Rich isn’t prepared to deal with the heartache he knows will come his way in the future. He has enough on his plate as it is – the Worlds are just around the corner, his father would rather watch a football game than spend time watching his son dive…. What he doesn’t count on is Johnny, who can be very determined. And having Johnny in his life proves to be a catalyst for some pretty earth-shattering changes.
Review – Book: I’d actually read and listened to this book twice before I ever put pen to paper. That would never have happen if I could not connect with the setting, dialogue, and especially the primary characters. In addition to our young protagonists, Rich and Johnny, there are a plethora of secondary characters that truly bring life to this amazing story of young love, questioning sexuality, and family dramas.
Rich is an Olympic-hopeful college diver, out and proud, but he appears very melancholy because of his estrangement from his father, his only living relative. Johnny is a star college football player, apparently straight, with an impressive and loving family unit that bends over backwards to support their son in any way possible. These two guys would appear to have nothing but athletics in common, but you would be wrong, and for that we get an amazingly beautiful romance that starts out sweet, becomes a little (a lot) naughty, gets a teensy bit angsty, before finally ending on such a high note I had a couple teary moments.
One of the reasons I liked this story so much were the colorful secondary characters. Their presence was a necessary, and tangible, breath of fresh air that brought substance and realism to the story. I don’t think one word was excessive, the details were relevant, and it all created a setting that the reader could easily relate. Whether or not you like football or platform diving will have no bearing on the ease of reading about the growing love between Rich and Johnny. For me, a sports fanatic, it was just the icing on the cake.
This was my second Max Vos book, and so far, he is two for two. I guess I can now safely add him to my auto-buy list, and offer my complete endorsement of both this book and the audio.
Review – Audio: One of the many advantages of an audiobook is the life that is breathed into characters that you’ve grown to love. Jared Bradford may be a new narrator in the audiobook field, but he didn’t miss a beat in expertly giving voice to the many different characters with a wide range of accents. If this is what we get with his premier, then I can safely say he has an impressive, and very bright, future ahead of him.
It speaks volumes when the listener gets so lost in the storytelling that they forget everything going on around them.
I found myself completely immersed in the lives of Johnny and Rich. I was laughing at some of their silliness, cringing during the homophobic moments, and definitely blushing during the “oh, so naughty, but at the same time super sweet” sex scenes. The mark of a true storyteller is when they can make the listener feel so many emotions that they get teary eyed. You know that they are fictitious characters, but at that moment, they are so very real. When that happened to me, I knew Max Vos had chosen the right narrator to bring his story to life.
Jared Bradford took an already fantastic story and made it incredible. His voice, the many accents, and the multitude of scenarios were all brilliantly acted. I am excited for the sequel, not only because I need to know where Johnny and Rich go from here, but also because I know Jared Bradford will once again take me on a trip into this world that was so lovingly created by Max Vos, and I can’t wait.
On a side note: the original music at the beginning and end of the story added a special touch, one that set the tone for the listener and, once complete, gave you a few moments to reflect and “come-down” from the adventure. Loved it.
Overall Impression: It was amazing
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*