Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Audiobook Review: Snowed In by Teodora Kostova

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Title: Snowed In

Author: Teodora Kostova

Narrator: Dan Rider

Release: 14th November 2016

Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins

Synopsis

Be careful what you wish for...

Nate has been in love with Quinn, his brother’s best friend, for as long as he can remember. But when he finally gets the chance to show Quinn how he feels, his heart gets broken in the most unexpected way.

Second chances come when you least expect them...

Quinn doesn’t believe in miracles, especially not Christmas ones. When he decides to win Nate back he knows it won’t be easy. The last thing he expects is a health scare, a road trip and a vicious snow storm to work in his favor.

In the end, a cabin in the woods turns out to be not only the shelter they desperately need, but also Quinn's very own Christmas miracle.

Sometimes, to forgive, you need to get snowed in…

©2015 Teodora Kostova (P)2016 Teodora Kostova

STORY

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NARRATION

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Mark’s Review

How would you react after spending a night of passionate love making for the first time with someone you have loved unrequitedly like forever and then the following morning you wake up to find the person gone and a note on your pillow? Yes, pretty much the same way anyone would, I guess. Hurt, angry, confused, sick, used, indignant? I guess there aren’t enough adjectives to describe this feeling.

But this is exactly what Nate has to live through and to be very honest I felt for Nate in this story all the way. Quinn, Nate’s older brother’s best friend, who has been living with his family since he was taken in by Nate’s parents, has returned home for a weekend trip with Nate’s brother and girlfriend. They spend a weekend in a cabin together and during this time the one thing that Nate has always longed for happens. A dream come true! But when he wakes u to find Quinn gone then the hurt is understandable.

I just couldn't believe myself that Quinn would have done something like this and could totally feel for the hurt that he put Nate through. However, time heals and life moves on, or does it? Quinn returns two years later and wants to make amends and try and win Nate back. Well, to be very honest again I could totally understand Nate’s indignance. What a cheek! Quinn turns up out of the blue and expects to walk back into Nate’s life again? No wonder Nate was angry, who wouldn’t be! But can Quinn win Nate over? Is there such a thing as second chances? Does the love you have for someone ever totally die?

Quinn definitely has his work cut out! First he has to deal with Nate’s fury which is totally understandable but in order to do this he has to come clean and say to Nate exactly why he left in the middle of the night two years before but he has to wait until Nate has calmed down enough to hear him out. I must admit that I was also intrigued as to the reason why Quinn left Nate. Well, Nate’s older brother in my opinion has a lot to answer because he brings Quinn back under the pretence that they’ll all be driving back home together to their parents for Christmas. Then Nate’s brother has to fly back earlier than planned due to complications with the birth of his first child. This leaves Nate and Quinn alone on their road trip.

I liked very much how the tension starts to break down gradually as these two guys are thrown together and have no choice to but to acknowledge each other. Nate is emotional and a bit of a hot head whereas Quin is solid and level headed. It’s obvious these two belong together but the elephant in the room and the hurt needs to be cleared out of the way first. When they have no choice but to be holed up together in the cabin where they first made love due to a snow storm and not being to drive any further then there is no way out for either of them.

Yes, this book is about second chances, hurting and making up again. Why did Quinn leave without out a word in the first place? Well, to be honest when the truth came out I must admit that although Quin saw it necessary to take off without telling Nate anything for me personally it wouldn’t have been a reason at all. He still could have gone and told Nate why he had to go after all Nate is an adult. I found it rather insulting to be honest on Quinn’s behalf that he didn’t give Nate the credit of being able to make his own choices. Nate forgives him and everything gets back on an even keel, I don’t think I would have been so magnanimous as Nate to be honest not after two years when my life would have moved on so far then there would be no turning back. Don’t worry, for those who don’t like cheating the reason that Quinn left is nothing to do with cheating or having an affair, so you can all relax there.

It was heart warming to read how the buried flame that Nate holds for Quinn after all this time is rekindled and they both fall in love again. Showing us that when you have loved someone so intensely then that love never really dies. It’s an emotional journey about forgiveness, second chances and hopefully not making the same mistakes again. A wonderful idea that tugs at the heart strings even though in real life it would probably never happen for me at least, but who knows? It would be nice to think it does happen and once you have found your soul mate you should never let go. That is where Quinn for me was a complete idiot! I don’t think I would have been quite so forgiving as Nate and would have made Quinn definitely work a lot harder for sure. I can recommend this book to anyone who likes the whole idea about forgiveness and second chances. I just hope that Quinn now realises what he has and does nothing to mess it up again, ever!

Narration

Dan Rider is a new narrator for me and I was delighted that I could get used to his style immediately with no warming up phase so to speak. For me the sign of a good narrator is that the listener has all the characters sorted out, the story is clear without noticing the narration. This is also partly down to the author but the narrator also has to create that feeling that you have been listening to this story already.

If I was to make one small criticism at all it would be a general one I have with most narrations and that is sometimes the anger just doesn’t sound angry enough for me. I mean when Nate is confronted with Quinn for first time I would have been livid! But sometimes this rage for me needs to be taken up a notch in the narration in order to give the anger credibility. Now maybe due to acoustics, etc. it might not be possible to start shouting but I just need to hear a little bit more anger / venom in a voice when the character is so angry. SO yes, putting things up a decibel or two in such cases for me would go a long way. There I have to find a narrator yet that will convince me of the anger in a character when listening.

Dan has done a wonderful job. What I will commend especially with Dan is that his female voice characterisations are the best I’ve heard to date! It’s always very difficult for a male narrator to characterise female characters and no doubt vice-versa. But Dan’s voice for Nate’s older brother’s girlfriend, Lisa, was spot on! It was suitably feminine with a higher register but never once sounded forced or unnatural, to be honest without the information about the narrator before if you only listened to the narration and dialogue of Lisa you would think it was a woman narrating. So I take my hat off to Dan on this one. Well done!

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Audio Excerpt

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Meet Teodora Kostova

author_pic_thumbHi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job a few years ago when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had the guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.

When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid.

Don't be shy and get in touch - I love connecting with my readers………

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM 

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