When Jake Westley relocates to join the WeHo fire department, the last thing he anticipates is reuniting with his secret high school love. Thrilled with the prospect of reconnecting with Bran, Jake feels no guilt in using his charming old dog as an unwitting matchmaker. As he and Bran rekindle their friendship, it becomes clear the intense attraction they once felt is stronger than ever. But as hard as they try to leave the past behind, painful memories resurface. Bran will have to confront his fears and consider the possibility that the man he swore was absolutely the wrong one might be perfect after all.
The author created an amazingly fabulous character in Brandon Good and the narrator brought him to life. The Wrong Man is the second in the Right and Wrong series but can be read/listened to as a standalone. I haven’t read/listened to The Right Words yet (Luke and Michael’s story) but I immediately went and added the audiobook to my wish list when I finished The Wrong Man. I was so glad to see that it was the same narrator because Michael Ferraiuolo fits this series perfectly and I heard just enough of Luke and Michael to know I needed to hear more, especially of Michael, I mean, that accent, daaaayyyuuuuummmmm.
Overall the story isn’t overwhelming on the angst-meter in that there was no manufactured drama, just overcoming of teenage broken hearts and a reconciliation of teenage feelings with adult reality. Brandon and the oh-so-very delicious firefighter Jake are reunited in a little meet-cute through Jake’s dog Mack, who I LOVED.
As the story progresses we get more insight into the past these two shared and it’s so very bittersweet and realistically heartbreaking. The build-up is paced well with Brandon’s trepidation and trust issues when it comes to reconnecting with Jake. And, while I wanted to throttle him for his insecurities at times, he sounded real and I completely understood his reasoning and I have to chalk that up to the narrator. He balanced Brandon’s fabulous persona that he shared with the world with his true feelings and very sweet heart. Jake was the perfect match in that he saw right through Bran’s diva moments, called him on them and then pushed him (very gently) out of his comfort zone and into Jake’s life again.
There were a parade of ex-boyfriends along the way on both sides that provided the drama and difference between the teen years and their grown up selves. Those guys needed to be there to create some outside conflict and emphasize the difference of who they were to who they had become. When the full story is revealed about what happened to Jake after high school, the story really moved past the push and pull of their budding relationship and into the realm of true adult communication. Jake had been through enough, so he was already there, but Bran’s teenage broken heart took a little longer, but it wasn’t overly drawn out and Bran was stubborn but not unreasonable.
The epilogue was perfectly perfect and all pet lovers, dogs especially will absolutely love it. I appreciated the author didn’t use Mack for anything over the top, but instead made him part of the family just as he should be.
Visit Dreamspinner Press for more information and to get your copy of The Wrong Man.
**a copy of this audiobook was provided to BMBR for an honest review**