Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied: All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family’s frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance.
Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever.
It’s a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.
Alexi and Cam's romance is sweet as sugar and absolutely heart-melting. Add in some rather colorful characters and the beautiful setting surrounding this pair and it all makes for an engaging read that kept me hooked from the beginning. The story is emotional, but the angst level is relatively low, making this one a perfect summer read, or even better, great for chasing away those winter blues. The book is well-written and Nick Russo's wonderful narration gives voice to each character so that I felt like I knew them. I loved that even though we do have a bit of drama with Alexi's struggle to come out to his family, it doesn't overshadow the growing relationship. This pair has such great chemistry and they're both just so likable that you can't help but root for their happy ever after.
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A coming of age story steeped in culture and the sights and sounds of New York. This author writes about what she knows, life in multi-cultural NYC. This is the story of two young men who watch each other for an entire summer season near the Boardwalk on Coney Island.
Alexi - of a conservative Russian family works at his family's frozen custard stand. He can't wait to have enough money to travel, to go somewhere and see the world. He doesn't feel that he can possibly come out in light of his conservative family and homophobic attitudes.
Cam, a singer, and musician, on the other hand, has done plenty of traveling and is now is looking for stability and to settle down. More than anything he wants to make connections.
These two young men watch each other for an entire season before making contact the following year. In the meantime, the attraction between the two silently grows. When they do finally connect and their relationship develops, they realize that despite their love, they want entirely different things from life.
You can count on a satisfying conclusion and this story is no different.
After reading the story, listening to the performance of narrator Nick Russo adds an entirely different dimension and allows for increased appreciation for the personalities of main and secondary characters. Mr. Russo is one of my favorite narrators and a strong motivating factor when making a purchase decision.
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This was actually just a really sweet, low angst (surprisingly) romance.
Sure, there's a bit of emotion that's kicked up by Alexi coming out to his family once he falls for Cam, but I was really happy that Felice Stevens didn't drown out the romance aspect of this.
Because this is such a short story, the narration was less than 4 hours, it needed to focus on the romance and it did. This is helped by both Cam and Alexi providing their POV. Sure, it's insta-love and everything happens very quickly, but I felt like Nick J. Russo sold it and made their romance believable for me.
Nick's got great timing and pacing, and uses distinctive character voices. I loved his Russian accents!
My only note about the accents is there were a few times when Russo dropped Alexi's accent and I was unclear if it was Alexi or Cam speaking for a moment, but Russo'd pick up the accent again pretty quickly. However, the consistency of the character voices was otherwise good.
All in all, this was just a really nice, fun listen.
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I had the opportunity to read--and love!--Felice Stevens's Landmarks series starter back in August of 2017, and because I've become a bit of an audiobook addict since then, there was no way I was going to miss listening to the audiobook for Under the Boardwalk, especially with Nick J. Russo as the narrator. This starts off with two young men, both of whom catch a glimpse of each other over one summer in famous Coney Island, never having the opportunity to get the other's name. It isn't the following summer that the young man manning his family's frozen custard stand and the young man busking by the boardwalk actually meet. Alexi Kharpov and Cameron Maxwell crushed on one another a year ago, and now, they're finally getting the opportunity to get to know one another. The attraction between them is palpable and the stolen moments they share mean more than either one could have excepted. However, Alexi's sexuality remains a closely guarded secret to everyone, and he has dreams to pursue--dreams that may take him far from Cam. Will their romance end with or go beyond the change of season?
Alexi and Cam were a study in constrasts. Alexi was out as a gay man and had been outside the confines of his home state. On the other hand, Cam was stuck in the closet and stuck in a place that he may consider home but wants far more than what it has to offer. These two were so clearly smitten with each other, but as much as I wanted them to get their happily-ever-after, I was also torn over whether one of them should sacrifice their dreams in order to keep their still young relationship going. But then Felice Stevens brought everything together quite nicely, and I honestly couldn't have come up with a better ending for Cam and Alexi had I been asked to. This had a bit of angst, but nothing overwhelming, making it a far lighter listen compared to the others from the author that I've listened to. I already liked the story to begin with, but there was something about Nick J. Russo's narration that elevated to a whole new level, truly bringing it to life. There's a reason why Russo appears to be a favorite among many an author; the proof is in the listening. The Under the Boardwalk audiobook gets five out of five stars. ♥
Under The Boardwalk is my first Felice Stevens book/audio; I listened to the audio without having read the book.
I enjoyed this story. It's a nice coming of age/coming out story. Cameron Maxwell has been singing under the boardwalk for a couple of years and at the same time Alexi has been serving custard at his family's stand. They've been admiring each other from a far but neither took the step to talk to the other…until they do.
Alexi isn't out to his family and, while he wants a relationship with Cam, he isn't ready to let his family know that he's gay. Cam is willing to wait under Alexi is ready to tell his family.
This is a sweet story about a summer fling that turns in too much more. Alexi has to deal with his family (his father in particular) and Cam has a health crisis to deal with. Cam helps Alexi figure out what he wants to do with his life and gives him the courage to come out to his family.
Nick J. Russo's narration is very good. He does a great job with the voices and accents so that it's easy to tell who is speaking. I've listened to a couple of other books he's narrated and I enjoy his voice.
***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***
Alexi comes from a very conservative Russian family and works at their frozen custard stand on Coney Island's boardwalk. He's gay, but he dreads his family finding out for fear of their reactions. He's been crushing on the handsome man that sings in front of his stand for the last two summers, but he doesn't think he stands a chance with him.
Cam has been eyeing the gorgeous blond guy at the ice-cream stand and when they finally start talking, sparks fly between them. They grow closer as the summer advances, however, Alexi is not out and Cameron is fighting his own issues with his health and anyway, this was only supposed to be a fling, wasn't it?
I'm going to be perfectly honest here. I wasn't too sure I was going to like this book at first. It was too sweet and instalove, but Cam and Alexi won me over. They were adorable and hot and their chemistry and love were palpable, this was no fling at all, even if they were kind of fooling themselves. It felt natural, despite how fast it happened and frankly, I couldn't get enough of how perfect they were for each other. Cam gave Alexi the strength to finally stand up for himself, to overcome his shyness and his fear and it was amazing to see him grow and be the man he wanted to be. And similarly, Alexi gave Cam the support he needed when he found out he needed surgery again.
I have to say I adored Alexi's mom and his Babushka, they were just amazing and I was in tears during a highly emotional scene with them. Cam's parents were awesome as well. I wasn't too sure about Dmitri, Alexi's cousin, or Alexi's father (who I really wanted to slap silly) but they came around in the end.
The narration by Nick J. Russo was really good, his tone is pretty smooth and enjoyable and he imprints the necessary emotion into the story and was capable of translating the chemistry between Alexi and Cam to life. I was a bit confused with who of the MCs was talking in some parts, but other than that, I was impressed with Mr. Russo's Russian accent and I think he did a great job with this audiobook. Very recommendable!
Story: 5 Stars!
Narration: 4.5 Stars!
Overall: 4.75 Stars!
So I really enjoyed this book when I read it, I fell for these characters and loved their journey and I can honestly say that I enjoyed the audio version even more! Nick J Russo does a fantastic job bringing these characters and their story to life! I felt like he really delivers on the accents and different personalities and just absolutely nailed it for me. This was everything I look for in an audio book, delivering so much emotion that I just didn't want it to end.
I've been a Felice Stevens fan for quite a while now, she writes these amazing swoony loving stories and now I'm a Nick J Russo fan for bringing them to life in a whole new way. This isn't a long book but it's great and if you're looking for a quick, make your heart so freaking happy audio book, I highly recommend Under the Boardwalk!
One of the main reasons I like this author’s books is the characters. I know I can count on them to carry the story, and make me feel invested in their lives and relationships. This does happen again here in Under the Boardwalk, with both Alexi and Cam quickly getting under my skin as I read.
The fact that they’ve both noticed each other from afar—and not just in the present time frame—comes across as sweet with a bit of longing, and when the first move is finally made it was one of those *happy sigh* moments. The fact that this is novella length though means that things progress pretty quickly between them. They each have issues to deal with…Alexi not having come out to his family, and Cam with his voice issues…so for me I think a longer story would have given more time to fully explore these while allowing for more relationship development.
Story length aside, there’s still plenty to get readers sweating with Cam and Alexi’s hot intimate scenes. And there’s enough drama provided by their individual issues to cause a good amount of angst. The different backgrounds from which Cam and Alexi come from also give the story some great contrast.
For a good, relatively quick read with a nice dose of heat to add to the sweet, Under the Boardwalk will definitely fit the bill. For me, it’s falling somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 star rating, mostly because I felt like it could use a bit more length to really give Cam and Alexi’s relationship time to grow more. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
The narration: As I often find it does when the narration is really good, Nick J Russo’s narration of Under the Boardwalk has me more solidly sliding this title into a 4 star rating. He voices the characters quite well, accents and all, particularly when it came to Alexi in the more emotional and more passionate scenes. Nick’s narration made me appreciate this story more, making repeated listens at a future date highly likely since I truly enjoyed the way he brought Cam and Alexi to life.
I really enjoyed listening to this Audio book. Felice Stevens and Nick J Russo are a great pairing. The characters are really brought to life by the very talented Mr. Russo.
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