Audiobook Review: Signs of Life (Resilient Love #2) by Melanie Hansen

Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

Listening Length: 8 hours and 13 minutes
Narrator: Robert Nieman

Signs of Life is a hurt/comfort romance that features two damaged men that came from different walks of life that find love by chance set in Oregon.

Jeremy Speer is a lawyer whose world was turned upside down for the worst and he reacts even more worse. It took him some time but he turned it around some and functioned by shutting everything out. Kai Daniels is an alternative high school teacher who was formerly at risk himself. He's streetwise due to being raised there. He is used to to life giving you shit instead of lemons. These two happen to live in the same town and meet one fateful and very hawt night at a club.

But before we take a magical trip onto the fire that is the chemistry between Jeremy and Kai., let's discuss that beginning shall we?

The beginning! WTF? It was two of the worst things that could happen to person, consecutively. Not even 3% and it felt like the world was ready to crash in. I actually stared at my Kindle for a minute or two wondering WTF more could happen. I read/listened to the entire thing from that point with trepidation and shield over my chest cavity just waiting for the next angst attack to happen.

(No tears because...

...Book! The eyes were dry. So hah!)

Let me get what I didn't care for as much out the way, so I can get to the good stuff. The good obviously outweighed the...not as good for me.

- the students - I know there are a lot of at risk teens out in the world. I've known a few in passing, know some now. Something about the lingo the kids spoke read a little off to me. Not all the time, but sometimes. I might be overthinking it but the West Coast vibe would vary from region to region right? Why was I getting Cali vibes from these kids for a setting in Oregon. It's a niggle of mine. I can't help but mention it as I would sometimes cringe at the narrator and text (and not for he words you might think) it read less authentic. Which brings me to the next thing...

- the teenager whisperer/ walking textbook - Kai was a former juvenile delinquent who is now reformed and teaches current delinquents. Uh-huh. He was borderline perfect. But overall I like Kai just sometimes the ease ruined the realistic vibe the story had going. And the clinical terms while speaking such as dysthymia, that read more like a educate the reader moment rather than have Kai speak regularly to a lover. It's a pet peeve of mine when the dialogue gets research-y rather than having people have normal conversation. It's a info dump moment. Kai was a mix of things former street tough, teacher, informal psychologist/counselor. I feel the mix of those different facets could have been smoother.

- Leticia - I wanted just a sentence of some sort of acknowledgement from Jeremy. He was healing, letting go of his anger at life. What happened to what he did in the beginning? If he's turning a new leaf, what about that one?

My niggles didn't ruin the story. It just made me pause or wonder if this would really happen. The angst got heavy handed in the beginning but it mellowed out for the rest of the book. In fact other than mostly internal and a few communication issues, the angst was pretty low.

This is my second Robert Nieman audio book. I actually listened to his narration of book #1 and  feel the same about both books. He doesn't do a variation of voices, sometimes he might act out some action, sometimes he might pronounce words funny but he was steady. Do I think another narrator could have done a better job? Yep. He paused at odd points a few times, rushed though text where as I read didn't call for it. But it wasn't bad. His narration is more of 3.75 Hearts rounded up.

The good though? Hansen can twist a tale. Nieman didn't enhance the writing. However, I enjoyed having him read her words. Because the words were good, really good.

Smutsters, this is a book you want to eye. The sex is a-plentiful!

Listen to me... You listening? *stares* Melanie Hansen can write a fuck scene. She didn't reinvent the wheel but she sure made that motherfucker spin. Wow! It was a checklist of my faves: SNOWBALLING, RIMMING, ROUGH SEX...PUBLIC SEX!

Those two couldn't get of each other. Both had unlimited rides to PoundTown and they acted like they only had one ride left on their ticket.

I love hook up to romance stories. And at first these men didn't seem like they could get anything meaningful since the sexual tension played a major factor and (a certain someone did a major DICK MOVE--twice!) But once the fella interacted outside of the sheets, I was on board.

While this can be read as standalone, the epilogue features followup to book #1's main characters and I squeed! It also covered this book's HEA pretty nicely.

For the most part, I bought it. Kai and Jeremy are very good for each other. They will continue to help each other heal. They will fuck it up from time to time but there is a shared bond and willingness to try.

Sometimes that's all you need.

Recommended for hurt/comfort fans, for sure-- audio or eBook works just fine (though I loved reading it slightly more)!

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