Title: Taking the Long Way
Author: Max MacGowan and Matt Milne (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 15th 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
Male escort Rye Bellamy is looking for a way out. Any way out. He’s getting older, and clients are getting more dangerous. If he doesn’t find something better, he knows he won’t survive.
He sees his chance in Marcus Townsend, a functionally blind Army veteran. Marcus, who refuses to accept his condition as immutable, has a shot at seeing a specialist who might be able to help him—but that doctor’s based on the other side of the country.
When Rye and Marcus meet, they realize they can help each other. Marcus can’t drive, but Rye can. Marcus knows what Rye is, but he likes him anyway. In fact, he more than likes him. Driving cross-country with a near stranger is a daunting task, but Rye’s biggest risk is falling for the gentle, stubborn-hearted soldier—and it might already be too late to stop that.
They plan to part ways when they reach their destination, but plans change as the affection between them grows. Now neither wants their journey to end, but continuing means finding a way to bridge the distance between who they were and who they’d like to become.
Take one rent boy, one functionally blind man, add a cross-country road trip, mix with some hot sexy times and enjoy! I originally read this story when it was first released and enjoyed it; I liked the premise, the characters, and most of the story, but I did not enjoy listening to it.
Milne’s performance did not do the book any favors, in my opinion.
The juxtaposition of English accent for the narrative portion and American accents for the characters was difficult for me to get used to, thought after a few hours I was able to largely ignore it.
Milne also had a habit of mumbling or dropping his speaking volume so it was sometimes impossible to understand what the dialogue was. I would try to increase the volume for the dialogue, but when Milne would return to his normal volume for the narrative portion it would be so loud it would hurt my ears. He also made several mistakes [i.e.: repeating the same line twice (this happens for the first time in the first 30 seconds!)] and had a habit of making odd pauses throughout the performance.
All of this was enough that I began to wonder if this was even proofed, and if so, why it wasn’t sent back for revisions.
That’s not to say it was all bad. I liked Milne’s normal speaking voice and wouldn’t mind giving him a second chance if he narrates something set in Britain.
He does do different character voices so, when you can understand and hear them, you can distinguish who is speaking and when. He also added a good amount of emotion into the performance, enough to have me overlook the things that were driving me mad and to keep listening.
Overall this is tough to rate. Honestly, if I hadn’t already read and enjoyed the book I would’ve stopped listening to this after an hour or so.
So…I’d recommend if you’re determined to listen that you proceed with caution.