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Strawberries for Dessert

Narrated by: Mack L. Jones
Series: Coda, Book 4
Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Jonathan Kechter agrees to a blind date with Cole Fenton, he expects nothing more than dinner and a onenight stand... but he gets more than he bargained for in Cole. Cole is arrogant, flamboyant, and definitely not Jon’s type. Still, when Cole suggests an arrangement of getting together for casual sex whenever they're both in town, Jon readily agrees. Their arrangement may be casual, but Jonathan soon learns that when it comes to Cole Fenton, nothing is easy. Between Cole’s fear of intimacy and his wandering lifestyle, Jonathan wonders if their relationship may be doomed from the start—but the more Cole pushes him away, the more determined Jon is to make it work.

©2010 Marie Sexton (P)2012 Marie Sexton

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  • Meredith
  • 15-12-2013

Missed Opportunity for a Fun Characterization

I adore Cole and Jonathan and the way their relationship is developed - it's perfect the way Marie Sexton takes plenty of time to let changes occur and feelings build. This is a very affecting and sweet and also humorous story.

Sadly, the narrator has missed what seems to me to be a great opportunity to both have fun with a character (Cole) and show the nuances of his development in the way he changes inflection and tone. But the most annoying thing is the way Jones fails to pause in any of the appropriate places. Without changing voices and without pauses, the listener is frequently lost and confused. And he continuously mispronounces words! I thought he had improved with the "Z" books, but here he really blows it.

Read the book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • 09-05-2013

Worst.Narrator.Ever

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No. The narrator was poor beyond belief. In addition to errors in reading, repeated sections, and mistakes, it was awful. Buy the book. It is an EXCELLENT story!

What other book might you compare Strawberries for Dessert to and why?

Abigail Roux's Cut & Run series...not available on audio. :( A relationship where two people wanted to be together but allowed other issues to get in the way.

Would you be willing to try another one of Mack L. Jones’s performances?

Sure...if hell freezes over.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The closing scene. I was reduced to tears several times in the book, but the last scene took the cake.

Any additional comments?

This story was well written. I truly couldn't stand Jonathon in the first few chapters of the book, but found Cole so intriguing. As the story progresses and we see into the men's souls, we understand what make them tick. And we start to care about them. In the end, I'm totally in love with both these men. Beautiful story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Cupcake
  • 09-10-2018

good story; turrrrrrible narration

I don't relish being mean but honestly the narration on this was so awful that it hindered my enjoyment of the story. The sad thing is *I think* the story was a good one but I spent the entire time swimming upstream IN A HURRICANE trying to find it! I listened to a sample but what doesn't happen there is the narrator's uneven speaking style. His cadence is up and down with the added bonus of on the "down" he sounds bored AF. YAY! (sarcasm) AND there's no real rhyme or reason that I could parse as to why some things were "up" and other's "down". Six and a half hours of this! What's more, he stumbled over words, mispronounced words and none, I repeat NONE, of that was edited out. I've had some sub-par listening experiences since I started doing the AB thing and this will vie for the worst of the worst title. As for the story, I liked the way Cole and Jonathan were constructed as characters. The progression of their relationship was realistic given that they started super casual. I'm a sucker for femme characters and I REALLY liked that Cole's "femme-ness" (at times) has depth and meaning, how it varied depending on the situation. I do wish I knew more about him, more about his backstory. I found myself hungry for those little glimpses inside his head through the emails to his friend Jared sprinkled throughout. As I mentioned earlier, I liked the realism of this story. I found Jonathan's reservations regarding being a "kept boy" and his struggle with that to be credible. His pride does dip into misogyny with a dash of socially acceptable gender roles, both topics that could've turned the narrative preachy but I thought Sexton handled them with aplomb. The way this issue was resolved spoke to me and went a long way towards convincing me of their longevity. There were some heartfelt moments that not only touched me but worked toward convincing me of their connection. It is a romance but it's not a super fluffy one which aligned with them as people and their relationship, but I admit I was hoping for some fluffiness at the end. Maybe in the follow up. One can hope. Also, it wasn't a very sexy story which I'm actually kind of grateful for considering the narrator, but I was mildly shocked by this considering I know Sexton is capable of melting my face off. So, as awful as the narration was these characters were strong enough to compel me onward with their story. Not gonna lie, I was relieved to see the narrator change for Fear, Hope and Bread Pudding, though. Thank all the things. Recommended to fans of casual to love and/or opposites attract stories.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 17-09-2012

Pass on this one

What would have made Strawberries for Dessert better?

Bad narration, I know every reader has a bad day but that is what post production is for. In this book it didn't happen. There are numerous voice errors and even a short section of the book is repeated.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ren
  • 23-05-2019

Please Read this Book Instead of Listening

I have no idea what the requirements for being a narrator on audible are, but I think I can easily be one with absolutely no experience if we’re using this abysmal narrator as an example. I’m serious. It would be tolerable, maybe, if the only complaint was the flat, toneless voice. I could suffer through that. But the fact that his voice doesn’t give you any clue that the character dialogue has switched to another person, whether it’s what the character is thinking, and no change of voice between characters is incredibly confusing. And I’ve read this book a few times. It’s honestly a shame because *****Spoilers***** the narrator could have had SO MUCH fun reading Cole’s voice. And I’m not saying “Because he’s gay! He would sound super flaming gay and feminine!” I’m saying that that IS Cole’s persona he uses when he doesn’t want people to get close to him because he’s afraid of getting hurt. He talks like that on purpose when he’s putting on an act. HE’S TRYING TO make you feel put off and irritated (because of the level of stereotype). Later in the book he’s still pretty feminine but he actually talks like a normal, average person. When he speaks to characters in that voice it means he’s opening up. Being vulnerable. Which lends itself to the plot. So when I say the narrator could have had so much fun being overly bubbly, obnoxious, and stereotypical gay man, it honestly disappoints me that he doesn’t. That’s Cole’s persona. Though I will add that it’s unintentionally humorous hearing him say Cole’s dialogue in a flat, monotone voice. In short: the narrator literally did not even try.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ezinwanyi
  • 15-01-2014

Loved Cole & Jon

Way better job on the narration. The last book was awful. The narrator at least announced who was talking as he alternated POVs.

What I really liked was that this book wasn’t as superficial as book 3. It gave us real insight to what drives Jonathan Kechter and Cole Fenton, and it was a pleasant surprise to see them in their own light, and not from Zach or Jared’s perspective.

Jon was an accountant trying to stay above water in a company struggling with economic woes. He just got back to Phoenix from a tense visit in Vegas, with his ex-Zach and Zach’s new love Angelo, Zach’s friend, Jared, and Jared. When Jared learned that Jon lived in Phoenix, he mentioned that he had a friend there and that his friend Cole would be a great match for Jon. Jared forwarded Jon’s information to Cole, who decided to ask Jon out.

Thus began a slow trot to love. In the beginning of the “relationship”, I kept thinking, what are these two doing? They don’t fit; they don’t seem to like each other that much because they keep trying to change the other person and their personalities seem to disconcert the other.

Then the walls slowly started to come down, and even though they were opposites, they seem to fit a need for the other. Jon was a workaholic, but Cole liked to take it easy. Cole loved to cook and pamper people, Jon loved to eat and receive the attention. They both longed to be accepted and belong to someone. Their lives began to mesh well and they formed a routine. But of course, Jon’s job decides to transfer him to another state. Though he gets to choose for a list, this transfer will affect his relationship with Cole. What should Jon do? What are his priorities?

What I loved most in this book was the out pouring of emotion when the barriers had come down. Both men were emotional with each other and I love the strength in that vulnerability. Unlike the last book that gave me whiplash, this book was primarily a 2-person POV, with Cole and Jon, as the main voices. I loved Jon’s father and his growth. He was a stellar secondary character. The hug he gave Cole after a particular meal gave me goosebumps.

This book redeemed the series for me because after The Letter Z, I was done. But now, my interest was reawakened and I am ready to continue with series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trio
  • 21-06-2020

Sweet Romance

There were so many lovely, romantic things about this one. Unfortunately for me, their miscommunication just went on a bit too long. I might have to reach out to Audible, there are some huge problems with both the recording and the performance on this one. I'm sure it was recorded ages ago, probably just needs to be redone to keep up with our current expectations.

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  • Cranky Reader
  • 12-05-2020

Emptional

Slow progression romance. The stumbling blocks are mental, not practical, which makes it heartfelt but frustrating to a degree. I mostly liked it. It was interesting how two guys who are rather bad at communicating stay together long enough to learn how to read each other. There’s a lot of an “it’s always bad to put job interruptions before family” theme going on. That notion is partly right - loyalty to a company is not a reciprocal loyalty the way loyalty to a lover should be. But it’s also partly wrong in that people need to get along at work and don’t always have a viable choice to say no. Doesn’t mean work isn’t exploiting the workers & it helps when workers don’t always give in, but the people who say no to the boss too often can lose their livelihood which doesn’t make for a happy ending. In this book, I thought it played out well for Johnathon. Another quibble is a small detail about J not being used to nice hotel rooms. But he works for a high end hotel software supplier, so wouldn’t hotels put him up in at least minimal comfort in one of their rooms while he’s on site? Someone who works with high end hotel management shouldn’t be so unfamiliar with luxury hotel offerings. I liked how J’s friend Julia (Julian? Hard to tell in audio) took J to task for devaluing one partner living off another partner’s financial support. If one is making a commitment to a partner & the finances work out, it’s not a shameful choice. But there’s a difference between being a spouse & being a mooching houseguest. J & Cole needed their relationship to resolve this status/commitment but see above for how they prefer to communicate indirectly. They wound up dealing with it in a way that worked for them that wasn’t what I would have predicted. It was a little weird because there was real angst but all the resistance was emotional, not rational. The drama without trauma wound up being a nice story. Steam: Medium. Most, but not all, of the M/M sex is off page. The sex life isn’t lacking but we only see glimpses. Narration: I enjoyed the narration despite some verbal stumbles that weren’t re-recorded and a few mispronunciations. (Cioppino was the most repeated, although it’s understandable.) There was music played at some intervals which was ok.

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  • L. Campos
  • 15-01-2020

Why do I love Cole!

The narration isn't so great but bearable. I think it would have been better if the narrator took on a different voice for each of the characters because sometimes it was just bland. The story is okay but the relationship and how they managed to work it out is great. Cole is absolutely adorable.

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  • Captian95B
  • 26-11-2019

Enticing story, poor narration

The characters in this story grabbed my attention and pulled me in. Well written, although I found myself wanting just a bit more at the end. Sequel? The narrator did well in everyday story line activities. His rendition of the romance/sex scenes left much to be desired. He sounded bored, ready yawn and fall asleep. Not exactly the tone you want to here at that time in that setting. Would love to hear this book again with a different narrator.

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  • Kindle Fairy
  • 18-03-2015

Wish I could get a refund

I went back to reading the book after only a few minutes of listening to the audiobook... It was that bad! It was done in complete monotone, even the intimate scenes, even the voice of the flamboyant "femme sounding" male lead. I had to reread the original to catch up because I couldn't understand who was saying what. There were no pauses between paragraphs so one sentence ran into another that was set at a different time. Just bad. Appalling!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • RAEL.ORG
  • 03-03-2013

boring

A story without surprises, and without sex scene. Boring even with the narration : Mack L Jones uses the same voice for all the characters. It's sometimes difficulte to understant who is speaking.