Audio Obsession – Heidi Cullinan

I have been listening and reading and not reviewing.  I thought I would have a quiet moment to share my experiences but that time has not been available since March, and now its July.  I will start with a partial list of the books I have been listening to.  I will start with Heidi Cullinan.  She is one of my favorite authors. I love her humor.  Her characters are charming, sweet, sometimes a bit broken or lost,witty, intelligent and always engaging.   I was looking at my Goodreads list today and realized that I had read eleven of her books, so far, with many more on my want to read list.  My audiobooks consists of these two (so far) and they are fantastic.

Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan narrated by Iggy Toma Title: Love Lessons (Love Lessons #1)
Author:  Heidi Cullinan
Narrator: Iggy Toma

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 10 hours and 5 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Insatiable Press
Audible.com Release Date: February 25, 2015

LYLBTB 50 star


Blurb:
Love doesn’t come with a syllabus.Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.
Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.
Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.
As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.
Warning: This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds.

Review:
The short version: Lovely, sweet, romantic story filled with Disney references. I enjoyed the contrast between the happy idealistic Kelly and the cynical Walter who used that attitude to protect his heart. Nice multi story-lines with Professor Williams and Walter and Kelly’s family and friends. I enjoyed this very much – very sweet feel good book. 
 Audiobook:
There is just so much I love about this series.  Walter has such a wall around his heart, when we find out why it is easy to understand.  Kelly may be inexperienced but he is strong and I love the way he uses that strength when it comes to Walter.  Iggy Toma is the narrator.  he brings all of the characters to life.  It took a moment to get used to how he spoke.  It was not bad – no, not at all.  It was the style he used, the way he said the words and it worked perfectly for this story.  I loved it!
Click to buy Amazons Audible audio edition :
 audible_icon


Fever Pitch by Heidi cullinan AudiobookTitle: Fever Pitch (Love Lessons #2)
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Narrator: Iggy Toma
Audible Audio Edition

Listening Length: 11 hours and 48 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Insatiable Press
Audible.com Release Date: March 18, 2015

LYLBTB 50 star
Blurb:
Sometimes you have to play love by ear. Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college – with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation and where he’s headed to school. Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.

Review: This audiobook is one of my first forays into listening to a book that I have not read first.  I loved the first book when I read it then listened to it.  I thought I would give this a go.  It was wonderful.  The narrator does a wonderful job with the characters. (After listening to Love Lessons, I can’t imagine anyone else giving these guys their voice, Iggy Toma is perfect.)  Knowing Walter and some of the other characters from the first book made it feel like revisiting old friends while getting to know the new characters.

Aaron really is a mess when we first meet him.  His father has his life planned out, Aaron is going to be a lawyer just like him.  The last thing Aaron wants to be is a lawyer.  Music is his passion or at least had been at one time.  If Aaron does not quickly find a school that his father approves of, his father will chose for him.  When Aaron meets Giles at a party he learns where he is attending and makes a snap decision to go there.  They have a curriculum his father approves of as well as a wonderful music program.

And they have Giles.

The first meeting and first encounter these two have is heartbreaking. Giles has been through hell being openly gay in his hometown. Aaron is in denial and fears his controlling father. He also has a past experience that leaves him pushing Giles away.  Giles has had more than enough bad experiences and even though he puts up a nonchalant front, it hurts.  Once at college things do not ease between the two. Misunderstandings, past hurts and fear keep them from connecting.   Luckily Aaron has an ally at his father’s law firm, Walter Lucas.  I adored Walter and Kelly from Love Lessons and it was wonderful to find them in Fever Pitch.  Walter is such a solid character.  He is the friend you want to have your back, so nurturing.  He helps Aaron through his doubts and confusion and it is a joy to see Aaron rekindle his love of music.  Oh, there is the music.  Music is central to the story.  It is fun and easy to get swept up in the competitiveness and camaraderie and music seems to fuel the heart of many of the characters and there are many characters in this story other than Aaron, Giles, Walter and Kelly. (which is another thing I enjoy about Heidi Cullinan and her ability to multilayer the story)

One of the secondary characters that stood out for me was Baz. In some ways he reminds be of Walter but with a darker edge and a past that we are not quite allowed to see.  Elijah, Aaron’s roommate is another one that was was not exactly likeable, then we get to know him better.  I applaud the way Heidi Cullinan weaves her stories.  Although this seems like a light story, there is also darkness and serious topics, but she gentles it with humor, music, hope and love.

I highly recommend this series and I cannot wait for the next book.

Click to buy Amazons Audible audio edition :    audible_icon

Happy Reading,
Melyna
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