Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Audiobook Review: A Walk Through Fire (Through Hell and Back #1) by Felice Stevens

walk through fire audioTitle ~ A Walk Through Fire (Through Hell and Back #1)

Author ~ Felice Stevens

Narrator ~ Kale Williams

Release ~ 6th March 2017

Length ~ 10 hours and 6 minutes

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance



Years after running away from an abusive foster family, Asher Davis still struggles with the guilt of leaving his foster brothers behind. He's climbed to unimaginable heights as a ruthless, high-powered attorney, creating a life of power and control.

Blaming himself for the death of his parents, Dr. Drew Klein retreats into a shell of loneliness, merely going through the motions of life. After a disastrous, short-lived marriage, Drew leaves his lucrative medical practice to set up a clinic for abused young men and women. The decision has more repercussions than Drew could ever imagine when the dark and sensual Ash Davis volunteers to help. Although Drew isn't gay, Ash is inexplicably drawn to him. He vows to simply bed him and forget him like he's done with every other man. However, Drew's sweet and caring nature and unexpected passion both stun and frighten Ash, who questions his right to any happiness at all. And when Ash befriends an abused young man who unwittingly draws the clinic into danger, threatening Drew's safety and that of his beloved grandmother, Ash discovers that there is nothing he won't sacrifice to protect the love he never thought he'd find.


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Jane’s Review

This is volume one of the Through Hell and Back series. It is an enemies to lovers contemporary m/m romance which does eventually have its happy ending. It focuses on Asher and Drew and the very complicated lives they lead, their own struggles with their pasts and how they learn to let love back into their lives. This book does have some trigger warnings as it touches on the abuse Ash suffered at the hands of his foster father which has left scars, both hidden and in sight. It is an emotional rollercoaster for both men and I loved the constant will they/won't they push and pull aspects of their intense relationship. They both have to work extremely hard to break down the walls and push through the defence mechanisms each man has erected to shield themselves from further hurt.

The secondary characters in this story add immensely, especially Esther, Drew’s magnificent nana. She oozes warmth, comfort and love. She sees through both Drew and Asher and is so sage with her advice. As a character, I loved her and what she brought to the story. One of Drew’s oldest friends, Jordan, not so much. I didn't really like him at all but when he experiences heartbreaking devastation I really did feel for him.

This book is all about family, finding it and being accepted into it and I really want to know what happens next with Ash’s foster brothers that he’s desperate to make contact with again. There are two further books in the series After the Fire and Embrace the Fire which I can't wait to read to see if any of my questions are answered. A great story if you like hot, broken men who need their hearts healed and who find their own happy ending.


The audiobook category is seemingly growing exponentially right now and so we are able to listen to new and different narrators quite often at the moment. Kale Williams is a new narrator for me. He captures the mood of the book very well. The timing and tempo is spot on and I made a note that the inflection in his voice was pretty great too. The narrator does a great job at several of the voices in this story. Ash’s southern drawl is well pronounced and his voice for Esther, Drew’s ageing Nana is genius. He manages to make the female geriatric voice so warm and full of love and comfort, a great thing to be able to convey. Also he voices Jordan's heartbreaking despair so accurately I found myself very moved by this. At just over ten hours in length it is a great story to get your teeth into. It would be great for longer journeys or long walks etc. but I found it surprisingly easy to stop and pick it back up several times over, in the space of a couple of weeks. The stop/start nature with which I listened to this particular story didn't detract from its emotional impact at all and it was a very enjoyable audiobook.


Audio Excerpt


Meet Felice Stevens

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed. But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back. Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.



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