Title: Open Road
Author: M.J. O’Shea and Robbie D
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 11th 2017
Genre(s): M/M New Adult Contemporary
Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Angus has been with the same guy for ten years. When his boyfriend breaks up with him the night of his thirtieth birthday party and announces his engagement to a twenty-two-year-old less than ten hours later, Angus is… a mess. To put it lightly. He spends days in bed, drinks himself into a stupor every night, and ends up losing his job and his apartment. His best and oldest friend, Reece, decides it’s time for an intervention. And a change of scenery.
Reece and Angus take off on a buddy trip across the US. They don’t have much of a plan; they just start driving. It takes Angus a couple of days to do much more than grunt when Reece talks to him, but slowly he opens up. They drive, talk, heal, shout, drink a bit too much sometimes, dance, meet new friends… and somewhere between Portland, Oregon, and Portland, Maine, they fall in love.
Which was the last thing in the world Angus expected.
Open Road is a dual POV New Adult story that begins with a devastating breakup leading to much wallowing, excessive drinking and a hell of a lot of self indulgence from Angus in the first part. Then best friend Reece (who secretly pines for Angus) comes to the rescue and take Angus on a (what ends up being a cross country) road trip and it switches to a best friends to lovers story in the second part. I far preferred the second part.
I hated the Brad character, and since we are only treated to seeing Brad’s mean, discourteous and downright asshole behavior I honestly couldn’t understand how Angus mourned the relationship so deeply. I think if I had been able to see Brad as less of a cartoon villain, it might have made Angus’s spiral into depression more understandable.
Regardless, once the road trip starts I began to love the story. I loved how O’Shea makes each of the visited cities (Las Vegas, New Orleans, Nashville, and New York City to name a few) an integral part of Angus and Reece’s exploration of their friendship and romance.
This is a very tender, slow burn romance with just a little angst once you get past the wallowing in the first part. I might even classify it as “fluffy”.
“But I would never do anything to jeopardize you and me unless I really thought something amazing could come out of it.”
Angus leaned in and gave Reece a long, slow kiss. “Yeah. I think you and I could be pretty amazing, don’t you?”
“I think we already are.”
For those who don’t like a lot of sex in their romance novels, or are looking for only a light steam story, this fits that criteria well.
The narration has distinctive, separate character voices all done well with consistency…I just unfortunately did not like a single character voice Robbie D uses or his narration on the whole. I found some of his pronunciations frustrating, I didn’t like the almost Thurston Howell III drawl for some characters, and I thought Angus sounded almost prepubescent, which was off-putting to say the least.
Overall, I wouldn’t say the narration necessarily was bad, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I would definitely give Robbie D another try if he records in the future, but for the Open Road audiobook I’d absolutely recommend exercising caution before purchasing.