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Ask, Tell

Ask, Tell Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Abby Craden
Series: Ask, Tell Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Captain Sabine Fleischer is a skilled and dedicated US Army surgeon deployed to a combat hospital in Afghanistan. She is also one of the thousands of troops who are forced to serve in silence because of the military's anti-gay policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)". 

Usually driven and focused, Sabine finds that battles raging both inside and outside the perimeter walls are making it more and more difficult for her to deal with her emotions. Dealing with loss and mortality, lack of privacy, sleep deprivation, loneliness, and the isolation forced on her by Don't Ask, Don't Tell are all taking their toll. Plus, her long-term relationship with a civilian back home is quickly becoming another casualty of war. 

Colonel Rebecca Keane is an enigmatic career officer who runs the surgical unit like clockwork. Well-liked and respected by those who work with and under her, she walks a fine line to preserve the military's chain of command while connecting with those under her care and supervision. Sabine knows the colonel is way off-limits but can't help fantasizing about her. Especially when she starts picking up unspoken cues - a stolen glance, a secret smile, an "accidental" brush of hands. Or is it just wishful thinking? After all, Rebecca's wedding ring shines almost as brightly as her deep blue eyes....

©2017 E. J. Noyes (P)2019 Tantor

What members say

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Amazing Book

I have a new favourite author. I have listened to this book several times and each time I hear something described that I missed the previous time. So worth buying as the story has so many layers. The story line is so much more than a Lesbian love story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A very enjoyable book.

I have to confess that I am a hardcore fan of E.J.Noyes. 'Ask, Tell' was the first of her print books I read and have read everything she has published since. All of her books are outstanding. 'Ask, Tell' is probably still my favourite and to be honest, I did enjoy the print version more than the audible one.. The narration of this book was competent. I did think some of the humour fell rather flat from the narrator's lips.. I know when I first read 'Ask, Tell' in the printed form the joke about Sabine, her sister and the parrot had me laughing out loud.. It was hysterical... However, overall I really recommend this book... it's a great 'read'.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story.

Kept me hooked all the way through loved it. Well written it felt real from the love story to the terror.

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Really loved this one, well written and narrated:)

Really loved this one, well written and narrated:)

Good pace and just enough detail to be immersed but not so much that i was bored. Enjoyed this one :)

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amazing

this book is the most amazing and in depth book i have ever read. char ascters are amazing and the accent omg...

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Fantastic audio book

E.J Noyes has written a poignant story of the effects of discrimination in the US military but when you fall in love, you fall in love and no roads blocks or the effects of war will ever stop you. Sabine and Rebecca have one of those meant to be forever types of love and their story told from Sabine’s POV is beautifully written by Noyes and the narration of Abby Craden adds another level to this story. I must have audiobook.

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  • Cam
  • 14-06-2019

Great story. Fabulous narration.

This is one of my favourite E. J. Noyes books and the transition to an audio version did not disappoint. Abby Craden’s interpretation of characters was spot on and only enhanced my enjoyment. All characters are well developed and believable with unexpected humour bubbling through the story. The slow burn of the main relationship, and growing attraction despite the DADT policy, makes this a beautifully paced read.

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  • Jlnicky
  • 15-06-2019

Wow just wow PLOT is a 10 star

Just as a preface i was once under DADT but i was drummed out with Honorable Dis. All very civilized but still booted. That being said, the situation of someones livelihood and lifestyle not being allowed to flourish is very real in the military. Its like being part of a huge family, then after everyone suddenly turn their back to you whenever you enter the room. Its just cold. Thank goodness i was young and had some attitude and figured my way back to reality. A real family doesn’t do that. Now i look at those five years and i know the military lost out, not me. I have accomplished so much.

So this book sort of hit home for me. It was very realistic in the emotional path the main character dealt with (e.g. hiding the desires, the androgenized partner name, having secrecy about your life, even the alcohol. Hell you cant even talk about your family or friends in that situation. The wedding ring was ingenious. Wish i would have thought of that.

The narrator was very good but her dulcet tones were a bit languid at times when i thought they should have held more anger or sarcasm.

The story was excellent and had a satisfying ending. I enjoyed this immensely.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • IMO
  • 23-06-2019

Great audio

When I first read this book I was impressed by the authors writing. Listening to the audio version makes the story even better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Worrell
  • 30-09-2019

hard read for the right reasons, loved it!

loved this booked! I was hit by an IED in Iraq in 2003. The author has done a phenomenal job of describing the feeling and the goings on as much as a person can just short of being blown up themselves which made it a hard read, but very good.

To top it off...love this developing love story abd cant wait to start book 2.

Thank you for doing your research E.J. It means a lot

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • TH
  • 17-07-2019

Fantastic

Captain Sabine Fleischer is an Army surgeon serving under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t tell’ (DADT) policy. Things are stale and disconnected from her girlfriend of nine years but nonetheless, Sab is taken aback when Victoria breaks up with her over a letter while Sab is deployed in Afghanistan. This sends her into a tailspin while only able to confide on her best friend because of DADT. While trying to cope with the loss, Lieutenant Colonel Rebecca Keane, her unit supervisor and platonic crush since meeting a few years back, seems to be interested in Sabine’s wellbeing. Caught in between grief, wanting and rules and regulations, Sabine must keep her feelings buried. That is, until an opportunity arises while on leave in the States and opens the door to an entire new dilemma.

‘Ask, Tell’ was the debut novel by Ms Noyes. And what a debut it was! Narrated expertly from Sabine’s first person POV, the connection the reader makes with the character is powerful. I will credit this author with my love of first person POV. I have never experienced such a link with a character, no doubt due to the range of emotions she endures throughout the length of this book. What the author now refers as ‘The Incident’, was truly moving and left me in tears.

The characters in the book are well developed, a great feat since only seen through Sabine’s eyes. Rebecca is sweet and devoted, and I easily became her cheerleader and champion. Best friend’s Mitch and Amy are just adorable and quirky. Same with Sab’s sister Jana, whose banter with Sabine is endearing and funny. The settings are well described and for the dessert, the imagery left me tasting the dust and feeling the dryness. I could have been an spectator during the unit’s flag football games!

This time around (ok so I’ve read this book a couple, ok a few times), after waiting and waiting, I was able to listen to this story. It so happens that one of my favorite narrators, Abby Craden, was tasked with reading this one. I will admit that Sabine’s voice was a little on the raspy side for my liking, but the first person narration was in a much more soothing voice so I did not mind. It also helps to know that is how Ms Noyes envisioned it. Another very good narration by Ms Craden.

Overall a great story and in my opinion, a must read for lesfic fans. 5+ stars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • heather anderson
  • 07-12-2019

Amazing

EJ Noyes and Abby Craden is an an amazing combo. I will start ask again now and then if the shoe fits. The dadt was always so unfair, best thing ever for it to be done and over with. I love Sabine and Rebecca and of course Jana. Mitch is the most lovable queen and it was just out right amazing

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  • ItsMommyTime
  • 05-12-2019

Great read

This was one of the most compelling books I’ve ever listened to. Ms Noyes sure knows how to assemble her words and of course Ms Craden voice says it ALL.

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  • Vglo
  • 28-11-2019

Deep Listen

This was a much deeper listen than I think I thought I was getting into. My fault though because I don’t like to read reviews because I don’t like to sway my opinions. Overall great story but not a light read at all.

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  • Debbie Mallon
  • 11-10-2019

Well written and narrated.

Loved this novel. Great characters and well researched. Abby Craden does a great job bringing them to life. And it's pretty hot too 😉

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  • Laura
  • 06-10-2019

wonderfully written, relevant story

I loved this book. It was emotion evoking and thought provoking. I would recommend, even if you aren't lgbtq.

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  • Y. Osorio
  • 19-09-2019

Amazing story line

love the story line as many people can identify with this period in the military.

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  • Aj
  • 10-07-2019

Perfection

Just incredible, one of the best books I've read, really well narrated. I'd highly recommend it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • ClaireLJS
  • 28-06-2019

Perfect

E.J.’s beautiful words come completely to life with a wonderful vocal performance by Abby Craden. One of my favourite books arguably made even better. I cannot wait for the next instalment. If you haven’t listened to, or read, this book yet go forth and enjoy. You will not regret it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 03-11-2019

Blown away!

Wow. Two months on and two more listens to this stunning book and I'm still a bit obsessed with it. EJ Noyes writes with an intensity that perfectly suits Abby Craden's powerful performance. Abby rarely misses a beat, but she is stunning here.
So, the story starts off not unlike many other perfectly charming, but not unpredictable lesbian romances, but suddenly changes, in a series of increasingly dramatic, emotional incidents, into a tense exploration of love, desire, trauma and mental distress.
Although this book works fine on its own, the sequel is excellent and helped me understand the character arcs and get some closure (though it is harrowing at times).
I've read a few war based books over my life, but I can't remember hearing anything as jaw dropping as some of the battle descriptions in this book. It's not for the faint hearted, but so incredibly tense, shocking, brilliantly written and crucial to the story that I still think about it often. I felt like I gained a valuable insight, and huge sympathy. It made me, unexpectedly, quite emotional.
This is certainly not what I was expecting, but I'm so delighted I bought this. The sequel is also great, as I said, though emotionally hard.
I've listened to this 3 times now, and I certainly got a lot from these extra listens. There's a lot of depth, layering and foreshadowing that rereading reveals.
So, fab stuff from both EJ and Abby, one of my top 5 listens of the past few years... :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • karina cowell
  • 06-09-2019

Captivating story. I was hooked

Not usually one for romantic fiction. But I was impressed by the amount of detail & captivated by the story. Will they? Won't they? Certainly had my heart racing.
The reader mis-pronounced a medical abbreviation "Lap Chol" there's no 'h.' The voice certainly matched the story. I loved it #newfan

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaz B
  • 19-11-2019

Superb

One of my absolute favourite books. I loved this Audible version. Great narration. Just superb.

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  • Nanook
  • 20-07-2019

Decent

This is a little slow to get started, but if you persevere I’d say it’s worth the effort. Excellent plot, if a little predictable at times, and seemingly really well researched. And, okay, Abby Craden could read me Kafka in German and I’d go 5 stars

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-06-2019

Disclaimer: only read 14 chapters.

14 chapters in and this could not be any drier. Nothing was happening, just a bunch of walking around with little to, in my opinion, no development from the supposed leads at all. The breakup scene was predictable and the aftermath and Sabine's behaviour was pretty irritating to deal with, like watching a child have a tantrum. There seems to be no chemistry at all between the leads cause they barely interact and the subtle hints are so deliberate. The narrating wasn't the best here, but it's tolerable.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful