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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Matt is Perfectly Flawed & Will SHRED Your Heart!

    ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FOUR & 1/2 - STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ > > Judging a Book by it's Cover < < Handsome young man peers out window, watching another man jog by. Background looks misty or foggy, obscuring any other features of the neighborhood. The left hand on the window does not look like it belongs to the man at the window, strange placement and spatial differences. Strong, bold title and author fonts. Intriguing synopsis. > > Looking Deeper < < POV ~> First person, Matt's POV. If your heart doesn't break, even just a little, for Matt then you surely must not have one beating in your chest to begin with. Matt's story is emotional. From the time he was sexually assaulted at sixteen by a trusted figure to now, thirteen years later, Matt has battled nightmares, terror, depression, anxiety / panic attacks, OCD, and a form of agoraphobia. It's not until murder mystery author, Charlie, moves to town and takes to jogging the dead end road that runs past Matt's house that Matt starts to feel that his safely isolated world is truly lonely. Charlie seems like a nice guy and made fast friends with Matt's brother, the sheriff. An accident brings the two even closer, bringing each man a completion and balanced inner peace that neither expected. The secondary characters are few, but lend a supportive role to the plot. The old store owner tries to steal his scenes in the most enjoyable ways. The story is dynamic, emotional, and perfectly paced. There are conflicts along the way that are addressed in very human ways, often in not the most efficient manner, but more real for their flaws. Predictability was low. In fact, I'd kind of hoped for some wonderfully tragic news to reach them regarding a certain person but sadly that not never happened. The ending is solid and satisfying with a playful hint that their story was not over (although more may not be written). Overall, YES, I would recommend this book to any of those M/M readers that love the perfectly flawed, wounded warriors, tragic past type characters and tropes. It's well-written characters draw you in and Matt will SHRED your heart early-on with his struggles! . Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.45 ~ Stars: 4 (4.5 if I could!!) ========================== ⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from Dreamspinner Press with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐

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  • 4 solid stars

    After being assaulted when he was a teenager, Matt retreats into himself and uses habits and cleaning to get through. When a jogger starts running past his house every day, Matt calls his brother, the police chief, to talk to the jogger. But Clay is worried about Matt and says he will, if Matt asks the jogger his name. When Matt manages to do just that, he is surprised how easy he finds it to talk to Charlie. Then one day, Charlie doesn’t come, and Matt goes into a tail spin. Can he leave his house, to see what happened to Charlie? Ordinarily, I would write a bit about the book, then about the audio but I might not be able to do that here. Since this book is written in the first person and ONLY from Matt’s point of view, the book and the narration kinda merge into one, and so I’m sorry if this review goes a little off tangent. Right from the very beginning, we are made aware of what happened to Matt, and what happened after. We get his slow spiral into a smaller and smaller world, and what that does to Matt, and how he deals with things. He is a recluse and does not like people in his space. The jogger throws Matt off, even though said jogger is only going past his house, and not coming NEAR it, Matt struggles. Talking to Charlie, though, was surprisingly easy for Matt, once he got over that initial. . . hiccup. Getting used to Charlie helps Matt in ways he didn’t know Charlie could help him, in ways he didn’t know ANYONE could help him. Charlie not coming one day, well, that messes Matt right back up, and Matt is pushed way beyond his self-imposed limits. Matt voice is clear throughout most of the book, but this is where my review bits merge. At points along the way, especially when Matt is *thinking* the narrator dips his voice, low, so very low. I usually have no problem with low voices and speech tones, but the narrator also lowers the volume of his voice, and I’m sure I missed some important musings from Matt because of this. Patrick Zeller is a new to me narrator, not having listened to his work before. For the most part, it was very good, with Zeller getting all of Matt across at some difficult points, emotionally devastating points to be fair, and you do get all that. It’s just the DIPPING I struggled with. Therefore I gave the narration 4 stars. His voices for all the characters are very different and clearly defined, and I had no trouble differentiating between who was speaking in multi person conversations. I won’t write him off, not just yet though. I went and had a look at his other work, and while nothing jumps out at me there, should another book narrated by him become available, I would give him another go. Parker Williams is also a new to me author, although I have listened to a couple of his collaborations before. Runner is the first book of Mr Williams I’ve read/listened to and I hope it’s not the last! I like the way he tells this tale. It’s not overly explicit, but then again, Matt is suffering from a sexual assault. It is extremely well written, though, the blossoming relationship between Matt and Charlie, and there is a good deal of evidence of research by Williams in Matt’s . . . .what’s the best way to put it. . . .coming out of himself, and beginning to live again, I think best fits. Recovery isn’t quite the right word, but very nearly. My only reason for giving the book 4 stars, was only MATT has a say. Because of COURSE I needed to hear from Charlie! Ya’ll know I need to hear from everyone, but especially here. I wanted to know what Charlie was thinking when he actually meets Matt, rather than just waving at him in the window, even if that first meeting is a little bit of a hiccup. What he was thinking when Matt finds him when he doesn’t come by the house, and when Matt discovers what Charlie and Clay did. I needed Charlie and I don’t get him, even if it would have been in the first person. So, 4 solid stars for the book, and for the narration too.

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