Gary Keller is enjoying a cruise with new friends when he meets Scott Haworth, and unexpected attraction flares between them. But Scott has a past he's trying to leave behind. Nine months earlier, he was released from prison after almost a decade. The Innocence Project and DNA evidence exonerated him of the crime, but the victim’s brother still holds him responsible.
Gary finds himself drawn to Scott for many reasons, not least of which is that the big, physically strong exterior hides a vulnerable, unsure man trying to restart his life. But it's only a seven-day cruise, and when it ends, they both have to go back to their lives in different parts of the country. Is a week long enough to build a relationship that will stand the strain of separation? Or will the cruise just fade to a happy vacation memory?
An Unexpected Distraction
Would you consider the audio edition of An Unexpected Vintage to be better than the print version?
I didn't read the print version, but the audio was pretty good.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I liked Gary, Sam, and Scott. Phillip was quirky and cute, but the others were kind of boring. I really liked Gary's complete acceptance of Scott, regardless of what others thought and did.
What aspect of Douglas Barron’s performance would you have changed?
As a studderer, I typically give narrators a lot of room before I start knocking them, so this one was good. It would have been nice to have Mr. Barron differentiate between the characters, like Fred Berman (a great narrater) and Holter Graham (my absolute favorite and an excellent narrater) do, but it was good, nonetheless. Can't really complain. There weren't any really bad breathy sounds, page turns, or anything else, so yeah, good.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Phillip was funny. Gary was sweet. Scott was exactly how I thought he'd be, considering his history. Sam rocked. So, they were good characters, but no, I didn't cry.
Any additional comments?
I paid less that it would cost in paperback, so it's one more addition to my M/M library for when I get bored of the other stories. It's got lots of hot male sex in it, which is always a plus. The locations in the book are beautiful too. I just didn't get that into this one. Not sure why.
1 person found this helpful
- Ken Murphy
An Unexpected Vintage
A wonderful story full of twists and turns, like an out of control roller coaster ride. Andrew Grey takes us on a fantastic journey as two flawed, yet loveable characters find each other. Captivating from beginning to end.
1 person found this helpful
There were some issues
An Unexpected Vintage takes you on a week-long cruise where we meet Gary Keller and Scott Haworth.
Andrew Grey’s books tend to be hits or misses and I never know beforehand which it’s going to be. I’ve had my eyes on An Unexpected Vintage for a while but it never quite managed to reach the top of my mile long TBR list, but now I figured it was time to get to know these guys. Sadly this book wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.
The story and characters were there and you can’t complain on the setting, it made me want to go snorkeling for turtles. But rather than showing us the beautiful sights, being there when Gary and Scott got to know and fall for each other we were told about it afterwards, as in a summary in the spirit of “the night before they talked for hours about meaningful stuff”. Most of the book was told like this and personally this style of telling instead of showing keeps me from getting invested and it makes it difficult to keep my interest in the book rather than what’s happening around me in the real world. And I read and listen to books to get away from all of that for a while.
It’s a shame, because I wanted to get invested in the story. For all intents and purposes Gary and Scott were fascinating characters with a lot of baggage and theirs is a story I know I should have loved. I mean, take Scott as an example; he’s weary and don’t trust easily – people or happiness in general. He’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Then again, he was recently released after spending a decade in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Added to that a ghost from the past is determined to see him pay for said crime and is refusing to leave alone to live his life in peace. The characterization and backstory is there, I just needed more feelings, a connection.
I and many before me have said before that the narration can elevate a mediocre story or bring down a great one. And how you perceive a narration depends so much on the listener’s preference, what I love about a narration can be exactly what someone else dislikes. That being said, I felt like Douglas Barron didn’t do much for the book one way or the other. I mean he had a pleasant voice to listen to, but for me it kind of stopped there. I love when narrators are there in the story and feels it – performs it and makes you feel like you were there. Douglas Barron sadly doesn’t fall into that category. On the other hand he is a very skilled reader, so if that’s your preference you are certainly going to enjoy him in this book.
A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes,