Title: Family Man
Author: Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton and Colin Darcy (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 5th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Sometimes family chooses you.
At 40, Vincent “Vinnie” Fierro is still afraid to admit he might be gay – even to himself. It’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, it’s getting harder to ignore what he really wants.
Vinnie attempts some self-exploration in Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.
Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek, Trey agrees to let Vinnie court him and see if he truly belongs on this side of the fence – though Trey intends to keep his virginity intact.
It seems like a solid plan, but nothing is simple when family is involved. When Vinnie’s family finds out about their relationship, the situation is sticky enough, but when Trey’s mother goes critical, Vinnie and Trey must decide whose happiness is most important – their families’ or their own.
I really liked the story as a whole. There’s just the right amount of drama, only a little angst, a bit of humor, some wonderfully passionate scenes, getting to see Vinnie and Trey grow together and navigate their relationship…but the major issue I’d forgotten I’d had when reading actually became exacerbated when listening (the narrative changes in perspective from Trey’s first person POV to Vinnie’s third person POV) and made this, quite simply, a less pleasurable listen.
Do not get me wrong, Colin Darcy did a good job. He uses distinctive character voices, employs emotion well in the narrative, has good pacing and timing. Frankly, if the story had been told in just first person or third person, I would be giving this 5 stars. But the change from first to third was just annoying in the extreme for me personally and I fought through to finish the audio. The only reason I finished it was because I enjoyed listening to Colin Darcy narrate.
The story had two points I can easily relate to: realizing your sexuality wasn’t what you were taught it should be, and also the frustration, rage, and despair from loving someone in your family who uses their addiction as an excuse to continuously cut a wide swath of destruction in your life.
Family Man is a contemporary romance with light drama and angst, a very happy ending, and good narration. So take my complaining with a grain of salt, and check it out yourself.
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