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What made the experience of listening to Nowhere Ranch the most enjoyable?
Iggy Toma. He is a fantastic, very professional-sounding, talented narrator.
If you could rename Nowhere Ranch, what would you call it?
I think the title is perfect, to be honest, and wouldn't change it.
Any additional comments?
I bought the ebook version of Nowhere Ranch a while ago but it was languishing in my TBR queue because while I loved Heidi Cullinan’s Love Lessons series and bought all her other books after finishing it, I quickly found out after reading a few of her backlist titles that her older stories veered more toward the BDSM spectrum which I generally don’t go for in Romance. Nowhere Ranch definitely falls in the BDSM category, though it does have well-drawn characters unlike the empty, cardboard ones that proliferate in most of these types of stories.
I liked Roe, which is a good thing because the story is told entirely from his POV, in first person. My main problem with BDSM stories is that I have a hard time wrapping my head around how someone would get off on being humiliated by someone they love, or humiliating the person they love, but that’s a personal hangup. There are long, detailed explicit scenes in this story, especially in the beginning and the middle, and they are seriously K-I-N-K-Y, definitely not hearts-and-flowers (and thankfully not marinated in purple prose) which gives way to what I’ve come to expect from Heidi’s works. Solid characters, family drama, good supporting characters, and while not on the same level as Love Lessons (since this is after all, a completely different kind of story), a decent romance between Roe and Travis which was still believable regardless of how their relationship started as a purely sexual one.
Now, the narration. At this point I have to say I love Iggy Toma and I bought the audio version mainly because of him. Usually I tend to read the ebook version of a story first so when I listen to the audio and get distracted, I don’t get lost. But with really good narrators (like Iggy), my attention is focused on the story. He has such a pleasant reading voice and enunciates each word really, really, well. Even when I’m doing other things while listening to him, it’s still easy to follow what’s happening in the story. There are no distracting sounds, like breathing or swallowing, or background noise when I'm listening to him. And I’m amazed at how he read the extremely explicit scenes without breaking stride, tone staying consistent. I’ve come across other narrators who sometimes either sounded like they were getting carried away during the sex scenes or obviously uncomfortable. Not Iggy, though, and it made getting through those scenes less uncomfortable than it otherwise would have been if I’d been reading the ebook ( probably would have skimmed those parts). I am so glad this came out in audio with someone who's become one of my favorite narrators since I don't think I would have been able to finish it if I'd been reading it myself.
Recommended if you love Heidi Cullinan, and/or Iggy Toma, BDSM-y May-December romance (Roe is 25, Travis 42), a whole lotta kink, and drama in your M/M stories.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I love Cowboys. I love men who love men. I love men who are broken in ordinary but not predictable ways.
Roe is a guy who fights many internal demons. Some of those demons are ordinary - like a family who rejects him based upon his sexual orientation. He's a loner, fearing rejection and striving always for self-preservation. Roe lives in the shadow of everyone else's expectations and he doesn't know how to be what everyone else expects because not being gay isn't an option.
Travis is a man who seems ordinary. Peel back the layers and he's broken too. He's the older man. The stereotypical man who married, divorced, and came out past his prime.
Roe and Travis are great at the sex thing but communicating their other needs - not so much.
Here's the nice thing though. We don't have the stereotypical exes interfering. Instead, it's all about the individual growth of Roe and of Travis and then eventually of them as a couple. It's one thing to trust yourself - it's another thing to trust and believe in "us". The journey is raw, honest, and necessary.
And the sex thing - wow - just wow. It's raw. It's kinky. It's not the kind of material you usually come across in a book that has a solid, introspective story.
This book - I knew - I would like a lot but an audio version is always a risk. The narrator can either ruin the story or make it come to life. Iggy Toma did the latter.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful