Reviewed by JustJen and Susan65
Title: The Dark Side
Author: Laura Baumbach
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Series: Reese Holt #1
Heroes: Reese Holt/Alex Throne
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 240 Pages / 8 Hours, 20 Minutes
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: October 14, 2016 / May 15, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Kidnap victim Alex Throne literally drops into the arms of security specialist Reese Holt, pulling Holt into a battle against a ruthless drug cartel, personal betrayal, and a specter from Holt’s CIA past.
Holt agrees to put his team of specialists on the trail of Alex’s assailants while he takes on the personal job of protecting the life he inadvertently saved, motivated, in part, by a romantic attraction.
Keeping his mind on protecting Alex could prove difficult, especially when he can’t keep his mind off Alex’s body.
Jen’s Review of the Book: This was an interesting series starter about Reese, who is part of a special ops mercenary group who, while on what should be an easy recovery mission, ends up in the middle of a whole other mess. In the center of that mess is Alex who, in an attempt to escape his kidnappers, ends up falling right into Reece’s arms. Things are a little bit confusing in the beginning as you try to figure out who is who, as first names are used sometimes, and last names other times. Once I was up on the characters though, it was easy to follow.
Once the crew takes care of their initial recovery, they handle the return of Alex. But when things don’t seem as they should, Reese is reluctant to just give him up. After the tables are turned and Alex’s father wants to hire Reese and his company to protect Alex, he is unable to resist Alex’s pleas for help. Again, everything is not as it seems, and Reese and his team work to put their fingers on what and who, but it is sort of one race leading to another.
This was a rather fast-paced story that, while a bit over the top and unbelievable at times, was exciting and interesting and kept my attention. The guys were sweet together and had good chemistry. Gotta love alpha ex-soldiers! So, as they try to get to the bottom of things, who the kidnappers were and why they did it, Alex and Reese grow closer. When Alex is taken again from under Reese’s nose, things get pretty serious as Reese tries to figure out who from his past was able to get the jump on him. There are a few twists and turns, though nothing to hard to figure out, but it all made for a fun afternoon read that left me definitely interested in reading more in this series.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
Sometimes the audiobook just doesn’t live up to reading the actually book. That was the case for me with The Dark Side, Reese Holt, book one, narrated by Joel Leslie. I’ve listened to this narrator before and I’ve enjoyed his stuff, but for some reason, the narration and performance in this story didn’t fit the image I’d had in my head. I guess I can chalk that up to forming an opinion based on the actual book? Whatever it was, it took me a long time to get through this audio, and I had to force myself to finish it. Never a good sign.
I think the biggest problem, for me, was that Joel Leslie has a very distinct voice and, though he does an admirable job performing the parts and puts his all into the emotional aspects, he just can’t take out the distinction and so all of his characters sounds quite similar. Minus Nora, who for some reason, sounds nothing like the other characters. I was totally impressed with that.
Regardless, it’s a great book, and the issues with the narration are probably all my own, so please give this a try and make you own opinions.
Overall Impression: It was good
*We received copies of this book from the author in return for fair and honest reviews.*