Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Not Knowing Jack
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Narrator: Jason Winters
Series: Ohio Books #2
Heroes: Tony Gemetti/Jack Noble
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 6 Hours, 33 Minutes
Publisher: Insatiable Press
Release Date: July 18, 2014
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Bartender Tony Gemetti has it all: a rich, hot boyfriend, a McMansion in the ’burbs, and unlimited sex in an expectation-free zone. He thought that was all he ever wanted out of any relationship – until Jack begins making excuses for frequent disappearances. Realizing he has more than his libido and enough drawers for his T-shirt collection riding on this relationship, Tony figures it’s time to find out what’s going on.
Jack Noble has spent his life hiding his real self behind a carefully created image. With Tony, he finally knows real freedom, real happiness. Now a past of buried secrets and lies is closing in, and no matter how hard he tries to stop it, the truth is tearing through. Once Tony learns what kind of man Jack really is, he won’t stay. Jack’s sure of it. Suddenly the past shows up in a completely unexpected way, testing the boundaries of their old, coasting-along-on-fun relationship. Tony indeed finds that Jack isn’t the man he went looking for, but it’s too late. There’s too much at stake to just walk away. First, though, he has to make sure there are no lies left for Jack to hide behind.
Review – Book: Not Knowing Jack is the second story in the Ohio series, and one of my all time favorite books. Multiple reads naturally lead to an audio book listen, and even though the audio paled in comparison to the actual book, I still love this story as much as ever.
Tony and Jack are introduced in A Regularly Scheduled Life, book one of the Ohio series (a book I loved even more than this one), and I fell in love the with the flirtatious bartender, Tony, then and there. Tony has got to be one of the best characters ever developed in a gay romance novel, and I still say “everyone needs a Tony in their lives”. He is a big kid at heart, but is loyal to a fault. There is no one you can trust to have your back more than Tony. Jack learns this the hard way, after he treats Tony like crap and kicks him to the curb, twice, on the same day.
Jack has secrets, and his little white lies (though not very little, at times) are starting to get to Tony. He adores Jack, he can’t see himself without Jack, he loves everything about Jack… until Jack becomes a man that Tony never knew existed. I ached for Tony and I wanted to drop-kick Jack in the gonads. Jack, not matter how much he loves Tony, still acts superior and, at times, treated Tony like an unruly teenager. Okay, so matter Tony acts that way sometimes, but still, Jack either wanted Tony as he was or he needed to move on.
I hurt for Jack, too. His story is awful. I know it’s common to take your hurt and anger out on the ones you love, but Jack was really lucky that Tony was still there by the end of the book. Each reread still amazes me how awful Jack could be to Tony.
The way Tony handled Brandon, Jack’s son, was brilliant. Honestly, the best way to deal with an out of control teenager is to be a bigger and smarter teenager, which Tony excelled at even at thirty. Tony didn’t wear kid gloves around Brandon, like Jack did, and in many ways was a much better father figure. Tony is the star of this book in more ways than one. He was the pot smoking flirt, with a naughty mouth, but when push came to shove, Tony was the man that stepped up and kept not only him and Jack together, but created a better life for Jack’s kids, as well.
I usually hate kids in my books, but Tony was able to take that distaste away and keep this book as one of my all time favorites. That’s brilliant writing on the part of K.A. Mitchell. As well as her ability write steamy sex scenes. Tony is a real tiger in the sack, rawr.
Overall Impression: It was amazing
Review – Audio: I am almost afraid to continue on this audio book path because it seems like the audio can rarely live up to the book. I have read Not Knowing Jack multiple times and always seem to love it, and Tony, more and more. However, this audio book just killed me. It is so hard to properly rate an audio without dinging the story, and I will still keep my review as a five star on other sites, but this audio was so far from my reality of Jack and Tony that I would be hard pressed to give it even three stars. The narrator is new to me, and I was really hesitant to use my audible credit not knowing what to expect, but I did it because I loved this series, this book, and this author. I’ve been hoping for an audio of A Regularly Scheduled Life, but now, not so much.
My main issue was the tone of voice used through out the reading. Using a calm tone when the words spoken were “Jack said icily”. An icy tone of voice is not similar to one you would use when speaking to a toddler, and that is what I got. No emotion for excitement, sadness, hurt feelings, or anger…it was all kind of monotone and it really got to me. I’ve come to expect a lot more from my audio’s and when all I get is a reading and not a performance it just ruins the experience.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*