On the cusp of his 25th birthday, Bo Sanford grows frustrated with his directionless life. Slaving away at his father's construction company all week and partying every weekend leaves him little time for introspection, but he knows it's time for a change. When his best friend Mac drags him to a college party, Bo catches sight of a girl. But not just any girl - the girl of his dreams: a delicate blonde-haired beauty with a pink scarf and a smile that promises warmth and humor. There's just one problem: She isn't a girl.
Even after Bo discovers the truth, he keeps seeing Erick, and the choice to follow his heart despite the obstacles has profound repercussions on not only his sense of self, but his relationship with his family and even his job. Being with Erick makes him all the more determined to be his own man and claw his way out from under his father's thumb.
But Erick faces choices of his own: the choice to get involved with someone redefining his sexuality, the choice to trust again, and even the choice to believe love can last beyond the temporary.
©2013 K. L. Belanger (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
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"Pretty good gay-for-you!"
"A little less conversation, a little more action."
Yup, that's what I'm talking about!
I LOVE a good GFY. Give me a guy whose never been with another guy or has never been into guys before and yadda, yadda, yadda ---> SEXY TIME, and I'm a happy girl! What can I say, I'm easy to please! I also usually adore lots of talking. I love characters to really get to know one another and establish a great connection before moving on to a relationship. But here, it was HOURS (in audiobook time) of talking, hours of self-discovery, and while I appreciate the effort that went into developing these characters, it sort of dragged at parts.
This book was certainly insta-attraction and, arguably, insta-love. The two MCs had a spark between them that really came through to the readers. I usually hate any sorts of "insta" in my romances, but it kind of worked here. I bought the idea that these two guys saw each other from across a crowded room (awww) and felt that "this is it" sensation.
I also loved the way that we got to know the characters. I really felt such a sense of connection to them, and I understood exactly where each of them were coming from.
Just a warning for some readers; there is very little sex content in this story. Sure, there are some scenes, but they are pretty sparse. If you are looking for something scorching hot, look elsewhere.
In terms of the audiobook narrator, I thought he did a decent job. There wasn't as much differentiation between the voices as I would have liked, and the narrator was pretty forgettable, but I was able to focus on the story and get into it. He had a pleasant voice that was easy to listen to, and while he won't make my list of favorite narrators, I would listen to a story from him again.
All in all, if you like slow-paced GFY with a good heaping of angst and lots of self-reflection, this story is for you!
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
"Just as good, if not better, than the e-book!"
Close to the top. Perfect marriage of written words and narration.
The way Bo and Erick slowly fall in love with each other.
Everything. Especially the way he put so much venom in the character of Bo's dad, the man is truly ignorant and hateful, and you could literally hear that in his character.
It was, but it took 2 days.
It's been almost two years since I initially read Choices and Changes, as it was not only a favorite read but my first gay for you type story, I was anxious to dive into the audio version and visit with Bo and Erick again. Jonathan Waters did an amazing job of bringing Belanger's words to life, of giving Bo and Erick a distinct voice in his retelling. These two young men are portrayed so realistic, relateable, flawed and approachable that you can't help but fall in love with them, and root for them to find their own little piece of happiness.
Something that stood out more so in the audio version for me than it did in the print was the overbearing and abusive personality of Bo's dad. While this isn't the type of story where there is a villain per say, this asshat still managed to achieve villain status in my mind while I was listening to this story. I thought I was going to have to take a chill pill, literally, when he started in on Bo in the office the first time Bo tried to quit. And then to find out the truth behind what happened with Bo's mom, I seriously wanted to strangle the SOB. And Waters truly found this gravely, mean and hateful tone for the father that conveyed just how ugly a character he really was. Great job sir!
Colorful narration brought to life this richly written story about a strong young man that is struggling to figure out who he is and refuses to be labeled. If you have the opportunity, I suggest both reading and listening to this story, as each version is just as good as the other, and both are just a treat!
"Not great ending, but good first effort"
Bo is a straight guy – really – who is attracted to this “person” (he thinks it’s a woman) at a party. Well, it turns out it’s a guy, but the two end up talking anyway, and striking up a friendship. Bo, it seems, is not so very homophobic that he can’t conceive of something more, though he’d never thought of it before meeting Erick.
Erick is a psych major who doesn’t listen to his own advice. He’s been burned badly in his past and though he sees himself as a “helper to those in need” he doesn’t see a permanent relationship in his near (or even distant) future. He agrees to see Bo, as friends, and the two end up very close.
On a day when every thing bad seems to happen at once, Bo and Erick take their relationship to the next level. It’s everything Bo thought it would be and he’s hopeful about the future. He doesn’t know how to “come out” but Erick urges him to keep it quiet until he’s more secure about their relationship. This will come to haunt the pair down the line.
Meanwhile, at work, things are spiraling downward for Bo and he has to make a tough decision: stay with his jerk of a father as his employee or strike out on his own, possibly losing jobs for his friends. Erick would be there to help with this decision, but he’s tackling ghosts of his own past.
When the dust finally settles, Erick has tackled his ghosts (somewhat) and Bo has made his decision (as well as come out) and the pair decide to try to go forward in what can only be called a solid HFN, probably HEA.
Let me say that my first impression of the cover and the blurb were a bit misleading. I thought it was going to be more of a transsexual/transgender/transvestite type book. There is nothing of that in this book. Erick is only vaguely feminine and does not ever cross-dress or even wear make-up.
I really liked the beginning of this book, up to about the 60% mark. It was a slow burn, but it beautifully built up their relationship in a way that I haven’t seen a lot of GFYs do. They were truly friends first and only with careful consideration, did they move forward. It seemed very organic and realistic.
From that point forward, however, it sort of disintegrated for me. I had a hard time understanding Erick’s reluctance to trust Bo – yes he’d had some really bad relationships in his past, but it’s now been literally weeks/months of them being together. Surely he could at least talk about these things, or hint at them. He’s a psych major for Pete’s sake. I also felt the absence of a physical relationship was a little unrealistic. The author talks about the MCs having erections all the time, suggesting the attraction, but there are pages and pages of only dialog. It seems to me that two guys hot for each other would at least acknowledge the attraction and make a “plan” if nothing else.
I really disliked where it was left at the end. It felt so unsatisfying. After the immense build up of friendship, a brief moment of togetherness, a separation, a reconciliation and then the finale, the last 40% seemed disproportionately rushed, especially when there was so much for them to overcome. Though we did get one final closure scene, it was brief and not very fulfilling.
So, for a new author, I was definitely impressed. I would look for more from her in the future, but I did have some complaints with the story arc itself. Her writing was nice and flowed well and I’m looking forward to seeing what she produces next.
I would recommend this as a quiet love story where the back stories overshadow the sex and it would be really age-appropriate for a YA/NA grouping.
3.5 of 5 stars
Jonathan Waters is new for new as a narrator and he did a nice job. He is one of the narrators who does not do a lot of voice changes or “acting” but his reading was solid and clear, easy to listen to and immerse in the words of the author.
3.5 of 5 stars
3.5 stars – I liked it
"very nice listen."
I really enjoy the story .narration was good. a bit too much wordy with in the story. ...but over all it great.
"Nice enjoyable story"
This was a well narrated story of the evolution of two guys. One was learning to find his place amongst the family business and carve out his own niche. The other was coming to terms with past abides. I really liked it.
"Nice gay for you story"
The summary was what made me buy this - it sounded like a good storyline. It is and the book is not bad but i think that it had more potential than it accually showed. I liked the MCs but their background could have been explored more and thier characters could have been developed more. The drama before the happy-ever-after could with their background stories have been more explosive - because is that not what we look for in gay-for-you stories - a lot of conflict and then solution? It would have lifted this story too another level. As it is, its not a bad buy - just not the best either.
"Well worth the money it costs"
In the top half.
Dinner at Bo's birthday, when Ham says - after it took ages for him to realize who Erick is -there must have been something in the water at home.
Ham and Robert - it is sad that Ms. Belanger only wrote about them briefly. Hope we can expect a story of Andrea&Ham and Robert&Charlie.
Absolutely, I also kinda did...I stayed up way to late just to isten to one more chapter and one more
I do not like rape scenes - even if it is only retelling - but in this story it was well placed and not unnecessary too graphic and it was not in just for the effect.
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