Title: Brokenhearted (Hope Cove #1)
Author: Cate Ashwood and John Orr (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: April 24th 2014
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Length: 6 hrs 17 min
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Hope Cove: Book One
Oliver Parrish has been alone in the world since he was born. So when Sheriff Owen “Mack” Macklin shows up on his doorstep to deliver the news that Oliver’s sister has died, he’s beyond surprised. Still, Oliver returns with Mack to Hope Cove, Maine, hoping to get to know the sister he never knew he had. As he tries to snap these new elements into his solitary life, he’s not sure how they might fit.
His life is shaken up further as he falls in love with the irresistible town of Hope Cove, and with Mack, it’s equally irresistible sheriff. But when he receives devastating news about his sister’s cause of death, Oliver doesn’t know whether to stay and fight for love and a good life, or cut his losses and run.
I will start by saying this – 5 Stars for John Orr’s narration! His narration was absolutely fantastic.
Orr was an absolute pleasure to listen to.
This should have been a slam dunk 5 star story for me. I am a sucker for this trope where a young gay man with a tragic past comes to a small town and gains love and acceptance. The story flowed well and everything was going great until…but I’ll get back to that.
So this story is about Oliver Parrish, a former foster kid who’s had a pretty hard life without a lot of love or help. He’s all alone in the world and his only dream and ambition is to be an Executive Chef one day. When he trudges home after yet another exhausting fourteen-hour day he finds Owen Macklin “Mack” on his stoop looking “emotionally broken” and asking for Oliver, Oliver reluctantly lets Mack come up to his apartment. Mack delivers the news that the sister Oliver never knew existed, Maggie, had died and left Oliver her bakery and apartment. He asks Oliver to return with Mack to Hope Cove, Maine in order to close out Maggie’s things and get to know the sister he never got a chance to meet.
Just an aside – the emotion Orr brings to the scene where Mack tells Oliver about Maggie’s death is heartbreaking. Maggie had been Mack’s best friend since fourth grade, and the utter devastation that Orr weaves through Mack’s voice…was breathtaking.
Once Oliver returns with Mack to Hope Cove he decides he isn’t comfortable staying at Maggie’s apartment, so Mack offers his guest room for the night until the B&B opens the following day. But the two men get along, and that one night turns into a few days…and the two find themselves falling in love. Their relationship grows and the sex is HOT!
The narration keeps the story flowing really well, everything was going great…and then. Then there is a BIG MISCOMMUNICATION detour.
Oliver gets some news and runs back to Seattle without telling Mack where or why he’s going. It turns into a thing.
- Oliver and Mack gets the gets news that Maggie actually died of cardiac arrest from a genetic condition. Oliver is tested and finds he too has the condition. Instead of staying with Mack he decides it’s much better to leave than allow Mack to get attached and have something possibly happen to Oliver, which would leave Mack shattered again (he was already broken after Maggie died), so Oliver leaves and then doesn’t return a single phone call over the next two months. And Mack tries to call him every day for two months.
I loved that I got to know Maggie a bit through her journals, I loved the town, and the sexy times between Mack and Oliver were smokin’ hot! Sure, there were a couple of little niggles during the story, but I thought the absolutely sublime narration quelled them quickly.
The story is sweet, I absolutely loved John Orr’s narration (and cannot praise it enough), the sexy times are scorching, and it’s got a lovely HEA.