Audiobook Review: The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton

His future was set until a thief stole his heart.

All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.

Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield
Length: 7 hrs 35 mins

I think it's official.

I'm in lurve with the Dreamspun Desires line.

So much so that even the shaky narration of my cherry popper narrator, one Mr. Rusty Topsfield, couldn't deter the great story. [Thankfully, I had a personal copy to read along]

If Harlequin/ Boon & Mills like tropes ain't your deal, just walk away from this line.

This was a homage done right.

I loved just about everything. The premise, pace, plot and especially the characters. Eli Easton's New Adult just keeps hitting the win columns on my list.

Twenty year old shy, redhead virgin Jeremy Crassen is from the wrong side of the tracks. With a good looking but lazy older brother, a father who died while incarcerated and a scheming mother who the town painted as a slut, life has been constantly giving Jeremy lemons at his trailer park. Jeremy's mother cooks a plot for both of her sons to break up Trix Stubben and Chris Ramsey, children of the wealthier families in Clyde's Corner, Montana. Eric, the sort of dimwitted older brother needs to seduce and marry Trix and Jeremy needs to seduce Chris.

Jeremy is not out and though the town has an open gay couple, he doesn't plan to start gallivanting across town with any man. Nor does he think any man would want him. Only that the older Chris is straight...or so Jeremy thinks. Jeremy sort of goes along to steal Trix's suitor but the plan backfires...due to shared feelings.

The story is more from an ensemble cast POV, the Crassens being main players just as much as Chris is.

I meant to listen to the audiobook in piecemeal, stretch out the read/listen for a few days. But two things happened.

1) I'm too used to Rusty Topsfield's style of narration after 2 books. Meaning his characters sounds just about the same with his limited vocal range. There were about 10 or more people he had to voice and they sounded about like the same 3 or 4.

After the first chapter, I had to add my ebook to my reader or I'd have gotten lost. It's not a good look when I had to read or laugh at the melding voices.

2) I devoured the story in less than 24 hours. Even with the shoddy narration. Because Easton fleshed out her characters, made the plot interesting and reeled me in by dangling tidbits of feelz here and there.

It's clear to say after our first time, me and Rusty will have to take a lengthy TO.

(Unless he narrates another book I really need to listen to, then I'll have to reevaluate my need)

There were a few typos that Rusty didn't read over (Kudos for him) But sometimes his inflections and pauses he added, didn't fit the scene of the story. I don't think he's the worst narrator ever but I've listened to better. The narration is in the 2 Hearts range.

The story? I'm not adding the narration rating in my average of the story. It was that entertaining.

Jeremy, who kept his hair long and tried to have no one notice him due to a crap child hood and living with the bigger personalities in the Crassen household was a scene stealer from get. Easton showed his growth without changing who his character was drastically. He was an intelligent young man and aspiring writer that lives in a small town with limited resources and no encouragement from his closet supports to grow. Chris's attention? It was alike a spotlight on watched a neglected flower finally shine after a little TLC.

Chris? He was bisexual and honest with his feelings. Was he dating Trix while falling for Jeremy? Technically, yes. But their dates were platonic and both tried to force feelings that weren't there. Probably due to grief, Trix's dead husband was Chris' best friend.

Eric Crassen? He started as a lovable jerkwad and ended up being my second favorite Crassen. He never thought he should amount to anything because lazy. He saw his potential when he started working for it. And we get to see his romance! That's right there's a secondary MF plot happening concurrent to Jeremy and Chris's budding romance. (I read MF romance too)

Definitely warranted and added to the overall plot.

And Mabe, the schemer and hussy of Clyde's Corner? She has a secret that knocked everyone's socks off. But she's a good person at the heart of it. I was hoping for a little more showtime on her romance or possible rekindling.

There is a little mystery tied in. And even a little "OMG, you almost died!" action.

(My only quibble is Trix. I loved her and then disliked her as her and Eric's story line got more intense. Plus, during the action section, something about her reactions rubbed me the wrong way. When it was her problem, she was all guns ablazing. But when it was someone else's, her actions seemed a little cold.

The story has a slightly dramatic ending and a sweet HEA.I couldn't stop rooting for all of the characters from start to finish. It was a little sweet, a lot of enchanting writing and solid story all around. Sweet, sexy with a realistic build to the romance. Ah, Eli Easton done right.

Definitely my favorite so far from the Dreamspun line.

P.S. What's up with Henry Atkins? The town degenerate seems to have a story itching to be told. What's up with the change?

Find more info on Dreamspinner Press, Goodreads or Booklikes!

Our previous review of The Stolen Suitor ebook here

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