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The Swap

Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Non-member price: $27.79

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Publisher's Summary

When their daughter goes off to college, Samuel and his wife Gayle begin to take stock of their lives. Realizing they’re best friends and not in love with one another, the two agree to an amicable split. Nervous about jumping back into the dating world, they accept a friend’s invitation to attend a swap party. 

Tossing their keys into a bowl and leaving it up to fate to decide who they’re paired with is too tempting to resist. But when Samuel is faced with an audacious young man who strikes up a conversation, the attraction to men he’s kept buried for so long comes rushing back.

At 22 years old, Oliver Hughes is one of the most sought after male models in the world. Sassy and bold, with a penchant for wearing high heels and a touch of makeup, Oliver’s life is what he always dreamed it could be. Except for one thing....

Yearning to fall in love and settle down, Oliver’s grown bored of meaningless hookups with shallow, fame seeking guys. While attending a swap party, his last-ditch effort to find someone who doesn’t know who he is when they meet, Oliver finds himself drawn to a handsome, older man. One who’s endearingly unaware of his own appeal. 

As their relationship grows, something sinister and dark threatens what they’ve managed to build. What will it take for Oliver and Samuel to survive, and is their happily ever after doomed from the start?

©2018 Annabella Michaels (P)2019 Annabella Michaels

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-07-2019

listening is just as good as reading

Micheal paisley just brought Samuel and oliver to life for me. I loved reading the story but to have it narrated by Micheal just brought it to life for me, it just seems to enhance the story more.
Loved it can't wait for more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Annika
  • 15-07-2019

I wanted more...

I’ve seen some good reviews for this book, so when I noticed it was released into audio I decided to give it a try – besides Michael Pauley has a voice I love listening to.

Samuel and his wife realize that they are better off as friends rather than a married couple. That the only love they share is the one of friendship. So they decide to dip their toes into the dating pool again and set off to a swap party – which it turns out changes their lives. At that party Sam meets Oliver, a young male model that makes his heart pound and body react in a way it never has before. The feeling is mutual and it’s not long before their relationship burns the sheets. But all isn’t well in Oliver’s seemingly glamorous world and things aren’t always as they seem.

One of the main things why I didn’t love this book was that the relationship between Sam and Oliver happened off page. We only got the lust filled sexy parts. And if you know me, you know I want it the other way around. That I need that getting to know you and navigating something new – especially since Sam is only beginning to explore his bisexuality. I want to be there when feelings start to build and be a part of them falling in love, but since I wasn’t I just couldn’t get invested in their relationship. It felt rushed and insta-love.

On the other hand I really enjoyed the relationship between Samuel and his wife/ex-wife. How they were genuine friends and supported each other when they were both dipping their feet in the dating pool after so many years. Their relationship felt genuine along with the one with their daughter – which is not the way a LGBTQ romance should be.

The mystery part felt redundant and thrown in there to create some drama. I didn’t believe it, and it only made the story messy – and not in the good way – as in adding depth. The idea of it was good, but poorly executed and felt way too rushed. It felt like it was added only to create drama for the sake of it.

Michael Pauley delivered a great narration as usual with distinct voices and good pacing that varies after the situation. I think that what he portrayed the best was the friendship between Sam and Gayle and their love to their daughter Brooklyn.

This book could have been really good, but I was looking for something more.

A copy of this audiobook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

2 people found this helpful

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  • L.D.
  • 12-12-2019

New Starts

Samuel and Gayle are amazing parents. They put their child first, and when she finally goes off to college, they are forced to take stock of their relationship and realize they aren’t romantic lovers, but best friends. Instead of being bitter and angry about this realization, they work together to find a solution where they both can find happiness. I love that their relationship was painted in such a positive light. Sometimes relationships end, but it doesn’t mean that relationship was a failure, it just means it’s changed and it’s time for you to change with it. Annabella Michaels does such a wonderful job showing this type of transformation.

And then there’s Oliver – sexy, hot Oliver – who knocks Samuel off his feet. There relationship was HOT. I loved the age gap dynamics and how free Oliver was with expressing himself. I just adore Oliver so much, and he fit perfectly with Samuel. During all this bliss, an unexpected and terrifying force is bent on tearing Samuel and Oliver apart. This suspenseful mystery was very well done and added an excited twist to a romantic love story.

The audiobook was lovely and well produced. I enjoyed the narrator’s performance of the character and felt like the characters were right there with me in my car while I listened to it.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars. I loved the story, I loved the characters, and the writing was great and easy to read.

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  • Brittany (A Bit Smutty Book Blog)
  • 22-11-2019

So good

Adored this story and loved how supportive all the characters were despite a not so great circumstance. I fell in love with Samuel and Oliver!

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  • Aerielle
  • 05-11-2019

Good story

I really liked this story up until the last few chapters when most of the conflict happened. I felt it was rushed and not really fleshed out. Still a good story though.
Narration by Michael Pauley was as enjoyable as usual.

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  • Steven
  • 10-09-2019

An ok book, but....

It’s a “meh” kind of story if you’re in to kink or dress up. I won’t give away any details but it’s one that you have to like a little role playing.

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  • Erika
  • 16-07-2019

Loved it!

I didn’t what to expect going into this audio. I always wanted to read the book, but haven’t had time to sit and read lately so opted to hear it and am so glad I did. The narrator brought these characters to life for me. The voice for Samuel was smoky and for Gabriel it was cute. The swap party scene was sexy but I understand how not everyone may be a fan. I think it helped add to the intrigue of the book. Loved hearing the characters grow and own who they are, especially Samuel. Loved it!! :)

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  • H. Spanarella
  • 15-07-2019

Samuel & Oliver

This was my first book by this author, so when the audio came out I grabbed it right away! Samuel and Oliver's story had some of my favorites tropes in first time gap and age gap, which made this a must-read/listen for me. I also loved the premise of this book - dropping your keys into the bowl and swapping out partners for the night! When Samuel first laid eyes on Oliver he was immediately drawn to him, which is what brought him back a second time - to seek out the man he couldn't get off his mind. I liked that Oliver felt the same pull to Samuel, which had him dragging his tired self out to another party. I loved the super hot chemistry between Samuel and Oliver. I felt the relationship between Samuel and Oliver developed so organically, and didn't feel rushed. I appreciated how they faced obstacles together, and the realism portrayed of those obstacles. The narration of this by Michael Pauley was fantastic as always, and truly brought these wonderful characters to life! I know this will be a re-listen of mine!

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  • Mickey
  • 15-07-2019

Sexy and Mysterious twist

I'm a huge Annabella Michaels fan so I love her books. This one was a bit of a surprise...different from what I've come to expect. The title alone had me second guessing the book, but as I got into the story I became intrigued. I ended up falling in love with both characters. Michael Pauley was the narrator this book and he is one of my fav narrators. This time was no different. I loved the way he brought Samuel and Oliver's characters to life. I loved the chemistry between those two....the way their relationship was not rushed. Their feelings for each other developed and evolved over time. I also loved the way our narrator morphed into the the twisted killer. I gave this story a 4.5 and the performance a 5.
p.s. I loved Oliver's high heels!

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  • Belle9995
  • 14-07-2019

Wouldn't swap this one....

Annabella Michaels did it again. Oliver and Samuel have serious chemistry. I was hooked from chapter 1. I am one of those people that if you don't hook me from the beginning, I will skip around the book and finally just listen to the end.....that DID NOT happen with this book. I listened to it from beginning to end and will listen to it again. Michael Pauley's narration definitely made this even better. Will have to listen again.

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  • Ronald Betts
  • 08-05-2020

Good story with a nasty twist

Good story with a nasty twist and what a traumatic event can cause leaving mental scars and the time it takes to heal.

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  • Pixiebell
  • 20-07-2019

Annabella’s best yet!

Wow! This was totally not what I was expecting from Annabella Michaels after reading her Souls of Chicago Series.
The Swap is a not just a romance but also it slowly morphs into a chilling thriller involving a serial killer.
Samual and Oliver are likeable and I found I connected well with their characters and became invested in their chemistry and growing relationship.
The story had me gripped from the start and kept my interest throughout, narrated to perfection by Michael Pauley, this is by far Annabella Michaels best Audiobook!