Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it's cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.
James Gallway's life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of 18, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by 28, he's lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can't believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.
Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.
©2014 Eli Easton (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
I loved the concept of this book but the execution is just so cliched and tiresome. I really struggled to get through all the sex. The novel felt like a badly written erotic fantasy with a story tacked on. The narration was also not very good. This was the first novel I've read by Eli Easton and it shall be the last.
"Equal parts sweet, funny, sexy, and touching."
I read the ebook several months ago, and while I loved it even back then, the audio version just made it even better.
Even the parts which I thought made the ebook drag in places (namely the excerpts from James' novel between chapters) didn't bother me in the audio version and actually made me interested in reading the full version of that story.
It's hard to say since I haven't read a lot of romance stories where one of the characters has a disability. But I guess, "The Rebuilding Year" by Kaje Harper, "Dance With Me" by Heidi Cullinan, "Never a Hero" by Marie Sexton and "Puzzle Me This" by Eli Easton have similar themes, but they weren't as sweet as The Mating of Michael and had different conflicts.
Michael Stellman just has the kind of voice I enjoy listening to. It's nice, deep, slightly husky and he reads at just the right pace.
Yes. I listened to it for several hours and would have kept going till the end if it weren't for the fact that my ears needed a rest from being squashed by my headphones. Pain was the only thing that kept me from listening to it in one sitting.
If you're looking for some hurt/comfort with lovely, likeable characters who also happen to be SciFi geeks with a dash of snark and great chemistry, with a good narrator, you'll love this. When I first read the blurb for the ebook, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it since I'd never read a romance where one of the main characters has a major disability or where the other character is a sex surrogate (which was something I'd seen in a TLC documentary before, so I knew what the profession entailed). It was a new dynamic that made me pause for a bit, but since I'd already bought all of Eli Easton's other stories and enjoyed them, I decided to trust her and read it. There were times I felt Michael (the character, not the narrator :D) was too good to be true, but he does have some flaws that keep him from being completely perfect.
Definitely worth the credit.
Another great story by Eli Easton. She has consistently delivered with each book of hers that I've read so far. Even managed to get me to cry this time too. Loved, loved, loved it!!
The hurt/comfort in this story is immaculate. When I first met Michael in The Trouble With Tony I thought he was an irrepressible little flirt and I liked him very, very much. When I got to see a bit more of him in The Enlightenment of Daniel I fell just a little bit more than in like with him. But now? I am totally all about Team Michael. I love him so much! His loneliness and vulnerability just cut through me. I wanted him to get his HEA. (Spoiler: He does!)
For me, this book is all about Michael (and Lamb). James and his flashbacks are all right, but frankly, if he didn't make Michael so happy I wouldn't like him very much.
The narration is terrific!
Michael Stellman doesn't do a lot of voices; he doesn't strike me as a huge performance narrator. His narration is more emotional. The way he delivers the words to you draws you in and blankets you in the story. He's not about the flash, he's all about the feeling.
And boy did I have the feels.
Eli Easton brings you a story steeped in hurt and comfort, with so many emotions, and then hot sex, and maybe a little too much backstory, but it's all just freaking fantastic. Personally, it's (by far) my favorite story in the series so far.
Get this book! Get the audio! Just...GET IT!
"An amazing book told by a great narrator"
Everyone should have a Michael in their lives. If we did, the world would be a better place.
I fell in love with Michael in the first of the “Sex in Seattle Series” and was so excited to see him finally get his own book. Eli Easton has taken a somewhat controversial subject, surrogacy, and shown us how beautiful and powerful a tool it can be for healing.
Through Michael’s story we are shown how sex is not only an important part of being in a realationship or being in love, but how it’s a natural part of being ourselves, being human. She has clearly done her research, as she explains in the prologue, and her effort shines through. I admit, when we met Michael at first, I wondered, along with him, how he could possibly have a long term relationship for himself, given his job. I felt how sad for him, and/or for his potential clients, because what he offers is such a gift, but it must be hard to share that with someone you love. This story addresses that issue. It is touching and sweet, sexy and informative. It made me laugh and cry and I couldn’t put it down.
I love Eli’s characters. They are not physically perfect gods, they don’t have picture perfect resumes, they have flaws, quirks and are real people. She has a fantastic grasp of pacing and story telling. I never felt like I needed to rush ahead but was always on the edge of my seat. The story just plucks at every darn heart string and leaves you with a huge smile on your face, after you’ve gotten done crying, of course.
James’ character is so heartbreaking, you feel for him, from the first page. His back story is amazing and so sad, but his ability to use his pain and turn it into something wonderful is a precious gift.
Marnie and Tommy are also inspired characters and brought both pain and love and humor to an already rich story.
I really loved the snippets of James’ book that we are shown throughout Michael’s story and would love to read the real thing! Eli may have to branch out into some serious Sci-Fi next, clearly she has a knack with the genre. Lamb’s story also made me cry… you bastard!
This is another one of those books that I will have to read and re-read because there was just so much going on that I am sure I missed some the first pass. But it will be a pleasure to find every nook and cranny because it is such a good book.
Thank you Eli for giving us Michael’s story and I really hope that there are people out there doing your work, it sounds amazing.
I highly recommend this book!
Michael Stellman does a great job with this narration. He doesn’t do much to the different voices, but he is really easy to listen to and handles the emotion so well. I really think this adds to the overall enjoyment and recommend the experience.
6 of 5 stars!
"THIS ONE ROCKS!"
I love this story, is a wonderful read and a very good listen.
I love Michael , what a sweet soul. Adore the Sub story of Lamb.
Well they all sounded the same , there was no distinction on the characters most of the narration that was my only issue with this audible, but his voice was so soothing I did not mind it .
Michael and Lamb.
my review on the bookAwwwwwww..... Soooooo good! I adored this book, Loved Michael sooo much, what a sweet, giving human being.I'm glad he found his HEA.Loved them together. Also loved the secondary story on this book , Lamb's story was so perfect OMG ! I could not believe what a genius this writer is,The story was satisfying and plain perfection Eli Easton is phenomenal when it comes to writingShe is one of the best MM writer out there.Highly recommend this book and all of her books also.
"Loved it! Best in the series!"
This one was an absolute winner. Listened all in one sitting, and even brought some moisture to my eyes a few times. I loved this one best of the three, and it was even better with the narrator choice. Thank you so much.
"Very beautful, one of my favorite M/M stories"
Eli Easton is one of my favorite authors and The Mating of Michael is one of my favorite books, so when the book came out in audio I was very interested in trying it. This alone is a little unusual for me. I tend to not listen to the audio of books that I've read before because I never want the audiobook to change my opinion of a book that I've previously loved. However, I've listened to many narrations by Michael Stellman, and so I was wiling to give it a shot.
First of all, let me say that this story is impossibly beautiful. Interestingly enough, it didn't make me cry or feel as turned on as I felt when I was reading the paperback version. I'm not sure if it is because I already knew what was going to happen, but I think my feelings were a little more... muted this time around. The story still sang to me, however, and I fell in love with Michael and James all over again.
Michael is tender, sensual, giving, and loving, and James is acerbic, slow to trust, and dying for someone to love him for who he is. They moved slowly as a couple, developing their relationship over time. I love how this story just perfected the hurt-comfort theme, and made Michael and James's romance feel absolutely epic.
In terms of the narration, I think Michael Stellman did a very nice job. I always sort of feel the same way about this narrator: he has a sexy, young voice that works well for M/M, but he is also totally incapable of creating different voices for different characters, which usually is one of my biggest pet peeves. Michael Stellman gets a pass from me on the vocal range because he just has such a freaking sultry voice, but I wish he was able to stretch a bit more. Still a very wonderful job, and with great understanding of the characters.
If you are looking to try this book out in audio, don't hesitate. It was a great listening experience that will touch the most jaded of M/M readers.
**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review**
"Thanks for reminding me that love can be beautiful"
I loved this book. Compassion and communication are the keys to lasting love. Fantastic read.
"Sweet comfort listen"
I loved this ebook and also loved the audio version. Although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. It is also told from both MCs POV. This is a very sweet, comfort read about Michael, who is a very sensitive nurse, who is also a sex therapist; in the best clinical way. He works for Dr. Jack who we met in the first book of this series. Both Michael and James are out and proud gay men, but have their own demons to overcome. Michael has a hard time finding love because of his sex therapist job and James has abandonment issue due to his mother abandoning him as a child when he contracted polio and loss the use of his legs.
This is my favorite book in the series as both Michael and James are great characters. There are not a lot of surprises and not a lot of drama with the main conflict being a failure to communicate. It is just a lovely story about finding love. The narrator does a great job in bringing the MCs to life.
"Such a great story"
And such a great narrator. I love Eli, one of the first authors I read when I started to reD M/M
"Great story brought to life with amazing narration"
It's a favorite, one I'll likely listen to over and over again.
Any other book in this series. Same writer/narrator.
His youth and vibrance.
I don't like this question, there is nothing wrong with the title.
E-book review July 2014
First, I see that the blurb says this can be read as a stand alone, but I suggest you read the series in order. I think that some recurring characters, especially Micheal, will make more sense that way.
Michael Lamont is probably the nicest, most honest and caring guy you will ever meet. He's a full time nurse and works as the part time gay sexual surrogate for the Horizon's clinic. For him, it's not about what people automatically assume, he's just out to get laid. As most of the time, his job isn't even about the sex nor is there any actual sex involved. It's more about touch and the ability to see past someones scars, self loathing or various other issues and see the person, touch them, love them, make them feel wanted. He loves his jobs but it has cost him in the love department, as most men don't stick around when they learn the details.
James Gallway has been confined to a wheelchair since he was five due to complications from Polio. He never knew his father, and his mother abandoned him not long after he got sick. Not having the use of your legs can sometimes make life a little boring, so James found solace in his thoughts and imagination. He wrote a best selling novel when he was just eighteen and followed that with several more. Ten years later his inspiration has dried up. He's a recluse and he's bitter. But a forced book signing is about to bring James out of his shell.
The best way to describe Michael entering into James life would be a force of nature. There is a spark there that can't be denied, but James is bound and determined to wallow in his misery by himself, thank you very much. Micheal, however, will not be detoured. He is relentless and tenacious and refuses to give up. James is convinced that no man would ever want him, be able to truly love him and see past the wheels he has for legs. Michael is certain he can break down that tough exterior show James how to love, and be loved. James definitely makes him work for it. The last thing you want to do with a man as unsure as James is keep secrets, so when he finds out Michael's second hand he feels betrayed. James withdraws and Michael is despondent. James has to figure out for himself if he can love Michael unconditionally, as Michael loves him.
So many feels! Anger, betrayal, denial, love, lust, hope... this book was a cornucopia of emotions. The push and pull between the two characters was engaging. As hard as James pushed back, Michael pulled him right back in, it made me very interested to see where it would all go. And then to watch Michael struggle with whether or not to tell James exactly what he did at the clinic, I knew it was a recipe for disaster, but I completely understand why he hesitated. Then the joy of watching James argue his case in side his head, he felt betrayed and lied too, perfectly natural. But then he knew Michael was an honest and kind person and that he'd fallen in love. Le Sigh.
I have to say, the secondary characters in this story added depth to the men. Marnie was my favorite, I was like 'You Go Girl!' when she showed up at James house in her pink fur coat and her beehive hair doo, red lips pushing him out of the way with her walker. It was hysterical. I'm so invested in these characters, I love how Easton gave us these perfectly flawed people and gave them depth, reality and meaning and endeared them to us within the story. OH, and there was a story within the story in this particular book. I won't spoil the surprise, I'll just say it's a must read, my favorite of the three so far. And these two are by far the sexiest of the mens so far, the headboard, just Wow! I'm excited to see what's next on the Horizon *wink* and I hope it's Tommy's story.
Narration review August 2016
I love when I listen to the audiobook companion of a book I read and loved and find something new in the audio version. Michael Stellman was absolutely perfect to narrate this story. While he doesn't have a wide range of tones, he is an amazing storyteller and the subtle nuances and inflections in his tones add something special to his ability.
While Eli Easton did a wonderful job exuding the emotions of these two men in the written copy, I loved getting to listen to the story as well. Oh my gosh, my heart broke for James all over again. Hearing the pain in the words as his story was told, being stricken with Polio then abandoned by his mother. Then to hear Michael's side and, I have to say, the text from James saddened me in the book but to hear it described, I cried! And then a character that didn't really affect me in the book, Tommy, tugged on my heart strings in the audio version.
Definitely a book worth listening too, the writing mixed with the narration are smashing success!
"Sugar and Spice!"
I probably would, because of the diversity of the two main characters
Michael. He was such a caring, thoughtful and loving character. The world would certainly be a nicer place if there were more Michael's in it!
Michael Stellman definitely enhanced the story and added to my enjoyment
Initially, no, as it took me a little while to get into the story, but certainly by the half way point I was hooked.
As much as I enjoyed this story I have to confess that it's not my favourite Eli Easton book. It's good, but not up to the standard of 'The Lion and The Crow'
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