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Narrated by: Mark L. Jones
Jared Thomas has lived his whole life in the small mountain town of Coda, Colorado. He can’t imagine living anywhere else. Unfortunately, the only other gay man in town is twice his age and used to be his teacher, so Jared is resigned to spending his life alone. Until Matt Richards walks into his life, that is. Matt has just been hired by the Coda Police Department, and he and Jared immediately become friends. Matt claims he is straight, but for Jared, having a sexy friend like Matt is way too tempting. Facing Matt’s affair with a local woman, his disapproving family, and harassment from Matt’s co-workers, Jared fears they’ll never find a way to be together-if he can even convince Matt to try.
Whoa, that was fun!
Promises is the first book in Marie Sexton’s hugely popular Coda series and I guess it should be a fair guide as what to expect from the rest of the series. Admittedly, I’ve read book four in the series Strawberries for Dessert and it’s sequel, book six Fear, Hope and Bread Pudding. What I can tell you is that I adore the way Sexton negotiates character development and that her way of creating characters which complement each other is something I find as a sweet treat. Sure, it can be rather formulaic: one character is gruff and with-held, while the other soothes and helps him come to terms with whatever he’s going through. One is always balancing the other perfectly, but let’s be honest, in true m/m romance: that’s a pretty swoon worthy combination. And this my friends, is a sweet friends to lovers story, so if you like that kind of thing then I think you’ll like this.
The story is narrated by MC Jared’s first person POV and while he’s the true protagonist, my heart belonged to his love interest – Matt. I loved watching his struggle and progression. Loved watching him come to terms with his true self and I loved that he was a big bad cop that learned to be true to himself without apology. Matt is the kind of character we love to swoon over – he’s a tall, muscular and lean, a police officer who is loyal to a fault. He’s brave and loving, and puts himself on the line for the people he loves. *swoons*
The ever increasing UST was delicious and the intimacy, whether sexual or not, was divine.
More of the formulaic storytelling was present towards the end where drama llama shenanigans reached fever pitch. It was expected seeing it was set up that way throughout the story, but whatever – risis and sirens, flashing lights, declarations and hearts a flutter – it was still a wonderful soothing comfort read. :)
Next onto narration which is performed by Mark L. Jones.
I have to also admit that I really, really enjoyed the narration. Jones’ cheeky, animated voice added just enough subtle spark in parts to bring scenes to life. The story is told in Jared’s first person POV and Jones’ voice seemed just about perfect for him. I’ve listened to books who’s narrators take on a theatrical approach to narration. I’ve also listened to narrators who sound around fifty years old while reading for a character who is in his early to mid twenties. Jones sounded about right to me; not too old or young, not too conservative or bodacious, and he didn’t put on ridiculous voices for different characters. In key scenes, I found myself nodding my head in agreement while I thrilled at just the right increased tempo which carried the story forward. Granted, he wasn’t selling the story, just working with it. And credit where it’s due: he narrated some pretty explicit sex scenes really, really well. He didn’t dramatise them or sound like he was auditioning for porn – he just kinda flowed through it, letting the story be told without getting in the way. Bravo, there.
To be honest, it’s a little embarrassing to admit exactly how much I enjoyed listening to this story. It really felt like I was there in person and found myself squealing with glee – and let me assure you, I’m really not a squealing kind of gal.
So all in all, listening to Promises was great fun. I’d definitely recommend it as a light, feel-good story.
Susan: 4 stars
Ami: 5 stars
Sheri: 4 stars
Shelley: 3 stars
Title: Promises (Coda, Book #1)
Author: Marie Sexton
Narrator: Mark L Jones
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 5 hrs, 24 minutes
Release Date: january 8th, 2010
Purchase Links: Audible