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Under the Boardwalk

Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Series: Landmarks, Book 1
Length: 3 hrs and 56 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied: All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family’s frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance. 

Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever. 

It’s a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.

©2017 Felice Stevens (P)2018 Felice Stevens

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Profile Image for Momma Becky
  • Momma Becky
  • 15-03-2018

Heart-melting romance

Alexi and Cam's romance is sweet as sugar and absolutely heart-melting. Add in some rather colorful characters and the beautiful setting surrounding this pair and it all makes for an engaging read that kept me hooked from the beginning. The story is emotional, but the angst level is relatively low, making this one a perfect summer read, or even better, great for chasing away those winter blues. The book is well-written and Nick Russo's wonderful narration gives voice to each character so that I felt like I knew them. I loved that even though we do have a bit of drama with Alexi's struggle to come out to his family, it doesn't overshadow the growing relationship. This pair has such great chemistry and they're both just so likable that you can't help but root for their happy ever after.

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  • MBN
  • 12-03-2018

Romance on Coney Island set to music

A coming of age story steeped in culture and the sights and sounds of New York. This author writes about what she knows, life in multi-cultural NYC. This is the story of two young men who watch each other for an entire summer season near the Boardwalk on Coney Island.
Alexi - of a conservative Russian family works at his family's frozen custard stand. He can't wait to have enough money to travel, to go somewhere and see the world. He doesn't feel that he can possibly come out in light of his conservative family and homophobic attitudes.

Cam, a singer, and musician, on the other hand, has done plenty of traveling and is now is looking for stability and to settle down. More than anything he wants to make connections.

These two young men watch each other for an entire season before making contact the following year. In the meantime, the attraction between the two silently grows. When they do finally connect and their relationship develops, they realize that despite their love, they want entirely different things from life.

You can count on a satisfying conclusion and this story is no different.

After reading the story, listening to the performance of narrator Nick Russo adds an entirely different dimension and allows for increased appreciation for the personalities of main and secondary characters. Mr. Russo is one of my favorite narrators and a strong motivating factor when making a purchase decision.

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  • Belen
  • 27-02-2018

Lovely and sweet

This was actually just a really sweet, low angst (surprisingly) romance.  Sure, there's a bit of emotion that's kicked up by Alexi coming out to his family once he falls for Cam, but I was really happy that Felice Stevens didn't drown out the romance aspect of this.  Because this is such a short story, the narration was less than 4 hours, it needed to focus on the romance and it did. This is helped by both Cam and Alexi providing their POV. Sure, it's insta-love and everything happens very quickly, but I felt like Nick J. Russo sold it and made their romance believable for me.  Nick's got great timing and pacing, and uses distinctive character voices. I loved his Russian accents!  My only note about the accents is there were a few times when Russo dropped Alexi's accent and I was unclear if it was Alexi or Cam speaking for a moment, but Russo'd pick up the accent again pretty quickly. However, the consistency of the character voices was otherwise good. All in all, this was just a really nice, fun listen. 3.5 stars

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  • Stephanie VO
  • 09-09-2020

Such a sweet listen!

Alexi and Cam are so sweet and I just love their story. I couldn't help but fall in love with these characters. Felice Stevens made such an sweet story that i just couldn't stop listening. Then to have Nick J Russo doing the narration just made the story even more amazing. I just love the way he brings this story to life and I just absolutely love it.

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  • Kat E.
  • 08-09-2020

Summer Romance

Story by Felice Stevens 5 Stars The story of a closeted young man that is afraid to veer from the conservative values of his Russian family was sweet, poignant and at times melancholy. Alexi just wants to live life to the fullest. Being encumbered in his family's business has been drying out his soul. During his summers in the New York City shoreside he helps out at his family's beachfront frozen custard stand. Though he loves his family he wants to experience more than familial duty. Alexi finally meets the gorgeous man that plays his guitar and has such an incredible voice. He has been eyeing him for awhile now and one day he realizes the handsome singer Cam is very interested in him. They connect and the chemistry is perfect. Even though they have been together a short time a strong bond is forged. Cam is fighting some serious medical issues but he is such a strong beam of light. He remains positive despite the fact he has encountered some major obstacles. Cam has such a marvelous and supportive family and it kills him that Alexi coming out to his family will be so difficult. Fear of acceptance, moving foward and unexpected changes in goals surround both of these fine men. Together they make the perfect melody and I strongly urge you to read this tender tale. Happy Reading! Audio by Nick Russo 5 Stars Nick nailed the voices of Alexi and Cam. I love the thick, realistic Russian accents that made the narration so interesting. Mr. Russo absolutely did justice to this sweet romance. I could picture the warm hazy summer days on the beach where the two men met. Each character was depicted with their own unique voice and this audible presentation was a delight to listen to. I strongly urge you to visit the seaside with Alexi and Cam and fall in love with this sweet story. Happy Listening!

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  • Susana
  • 29-08-2020

Love under the boardwalk

I love this story, Alexi and Cam are wonderful characters! Alexis the son of Russia immigrants, they are stuck in his old world values so he is affair of coming out to his family and be rejected, he is a college student and working at his family custard stand on The Boardwalk, his dream is to travel around the world experience new things and meet new people but his sense of responsibility has kept him there, he is intrigued about the singer in the boardwalk, he loves his voice and likes to watch him but is afraid to approach him. Cam is just totally the opposite carefree and out, he is a musician he was supposed to be a Opera singer but medical problem trunk his dreams, now he is a music teacher and spends his summer days singing on The Boardwalk. He likes Alexi and he is the one who went and introduced himself. Alexi and Cam are so sweet together, they have a great chemistry I love that they complement each other and be supportive of each other’s problems, when Alexi received a letter of a better chance to study aboard he is hesitant because of his family and leaving Cam, but travel is his dream but he wants to come out to his family he is so brave and I’m so happy that his mom and grandmother love and support him. Cam and Alexi fall in love even though they were trying to just have fun together. Cam is facing a few hard times with is medical problem but they want to stay together until Alexi have to go, fast forward 6 months alexi is back to spend Christmas with his family and Cam, I love that they go for the long distance relationship and more happy about Cam surprise! I really enjoy Nick J. Russo performance I like his voice, great accent in the Russian parts! This is a great story and I can’t wait to know more about his journey!

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  • AL
  • 27-08-2020

An interesting story!!!

Story: Two very interesting characters with complicated backgrounds, ser in a complicated point in their lives. I loved the idea for this story and the execution, as always with this author, was top notch! Conflicting emotions and great secondary characters made it difficult to get away from the story! Narration: a great voice. Well done with the accents, just enough acting to add another layer of feels to the story.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 04-07-2018

Summer Romance

I always enjoy a good Felice Stevens audiobook and one narrated by Nick J. Russo? Yeah, pretty much perfect for me. Alexi is a young man, the grandson of Russian-immigrants. His paternal grandmother is still around and she’s pivotal to the story. I love strong women in any romance and both Alexi’s and Cam’s mothers qualify. Alexi is a university student who works at his uncle’s food stand at the Coney Island boardwalk, selling custard (made with real pudding) to tourists and locals alike. For the past summer, he has been listening to a young man with a beautiful voice serenading the crowds for tips. Cam’s voice is magical and Alexi is called to him like a siren’s song, but somehow, they are never on a break at the same time so they admire each other from afar that first summer. I don’t know if I believe that because although Alexi is shy, Cam is less so. He’s worldly in a way Alexi is not, so his hesitancy is puzzling, although I guess Alexi’s young age may be a factor. Regardless, the next summer the men get to know each other. In those conversations, and eventually, stolen kisses and furtive moments, Cam learns Alexi is really far into the closet whereas Cam is out and proud. He does have a secret, though and – justifiably – Alexi is upset when he discovers that truth that is being withheld. These two men are close to their families, so I was not surprised they bonded to each other so quickly. Alexi has to worry about his cousin, Dimitri, with whom he shares a little apartment, but sometimes family loyalties can be strong, especially when perceptions and prejudices are challenged directly. Bonds of love can be just as strong as those of blood. When it becomes apparent Alexi and Cam were headed in different directions, I do admit to despairing a bit. But this is a Felice Stevens romance, so I got my happy ending. And Nick J. Russo? Love him. He did well with the accents and helped me fall in love with the men. Can’t wait for another book from this duo.

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  • Jen Valencia
  • 21-03-2018

Good story, great narration

I had the opportunity to read--and love!--Felice Stevens's Landmarks series starter back in August of 2017, and because I've become a bit of an audiobook addict since then, there was no way I was going to miss listening to the audiobook for Under the Boardwalk, especially with Nick J. Russo as the narrator. This starts off with two young men, both of whom catch a glimpse of each other over one summer in famous Coney Island, never having the opportunity to get the other's name. It isn't the following summer that the young man manning his family's frozen custard stand and the young man busking by the boardwalk actually meet. Alexi Kharpov and Cameron Maxwell crushed on one another a year ago, and now, they're finally getting the opportunity to get to know one another. The attraction between them is palpable and the stolen moments they share mean more than either one could have excepted. However, Alexi's sexuality remains a closely guarded secret to everyone, and he has dreams to pursue--dreams that may take him far from Cam. Will their romance end with or go beyond the change of season?

Alexi and Cam were a study in constrasts. Alexi was out as a gay man and had been outside the confines of his home state. On the other hand, Cam was stuck in the closet and stuck in a place that he may consider home but wants far more than what it has to offer. These two were so clearly smitten with each other, but as much as I wanted them to get their happily-ever-after, I was also torn over whether one of them should sacrifice their dreams in order to keep their still young relationship going. But then Felice Stevens brought everything together quite nicely, and I honestly couldn't have come up with a better ending for Cam and Alexi had I been asked to. This had a bit of angst, but nothing overwhelming, making it a far lighter listen compared to the others from the author that I've listened to. I already liked the story to begin with, but there was something about Nick J. Russo's narration that elevated to a whole new level, truly bringing it to life. There's a reason why Russo appears to be a favorite among many an author; the proof is in the listening. The Under the Boardwalk audiobook gets five out of five stars. ♥

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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 21-03-2018

I liked this a lot.

Under The Boardwalk is my first Felice Stevens book/audio; I listened to the audio without having read the book.

I enjoyed this story. It's a nice coming of age/coming out story. Cameron Maxwell has been singing under the boardwalk for a couple of years and at the same time Alexi has been serving custard at his family's stand. They've been admiring each other from a far but neither took the step to talk to the other…until they do.

Alexi isn't out to his family and, while he wants a relationship with Cam, he isn't ready to let his family know that he's gay. Cam is willing to wait under Alexi is ready to tell his family.

This is a sweet story about a summer fling that turns in too much more. Alexi has to deal with his family (his father in particular) and Cam has a health crisis to deal with. Cam helps Alexi figure out what he wants to do with his life and gives him the courage to come out to his family.

Nick J. Russo's narration is very good. He does a great job with the voices and accents so that it's easy to tell who is speaking. I've listened to a couple of other books he's narrated and I enjoy his voice.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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  • RachelM
  • 03-03-2020

Lovely

A lovely sweet, low angst romance, really likeable characters and great setting. The narration was fabulous.