Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tartan Candy by KC Burn Audiobook Review

Finlay McIntyre (aka Raven) is a successful adult film star with a penchant for kilts, until an accident cuts short his stardom and leaves him with zero sexual desire, lowered self-esteem, and no job. He knew his porn career wouldn’t last forever, but he wasn’t prepared for retirement at twenty-eight. While trying to figure out the rest of his life, Raven agrees to attend a high school reunion. That’s when a malfunctioning AC unit in his hotel room changes everything.

Caleb Sanderson, an entrepreneur with his own HVAC business, has no idea what to expect when he steps into Raven’s hotel room to fix his AC unit. They’re attracted to each other, but Caleb, closeted, can’t afford a gay relationship, not with his mom pressuring him to produce grandchildren. If he wants to keep Raven—who no closet could hold—he’ll need to tell his family the truth. But Raven has a few secrets of his own. He refuses to reveal his porn past to Caleb, a past that might be the final obstacle to Caleb and Raven having any kind of relationship.

Length: 7 hrs, 21 mins
Narrator: David Ross

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Men in kilts!?!?! Yep, I can be that shallow. Well, shallow enough that the cover of Tartan Candy absolutely caught my eye, but it was the combination of an enticing blurb and Ross’s voice that had me queuing this audiobook up. I am delighted to report that neither Burn’s storytelling nor Ross’s vocal talents let me down because Tartan Candy will be a definite re-listen for me.

Raven and Caleb are both sympathetic characters in my world. Caleb’s decision to live in the closet, both why he made the decision to begin with and why he continued to do so, was an understandable one. Sad, but understandable. While it’s fortunate that Caleb’s best friend and cousin, Jaime, was able and willing to run interference at family functions to help draw attention away from Caleb, it’s also exceedingly sad that there is only one person in his large extended family who knows the truth about Caleb. Raven’s mental prison is just as suffocating, but in a way I suspect a lot of readers won’t fully grasp, and even my understanding of it is from a position of friend and confidante. I expect most people will understand how devastating the scars and injuries that Raven suffered from a motorcycle accident can be, that feeling that the scars make the person less attractive. However, having lived with a gay porn star for almost a decade, there is a HUGE part of their personal identity that is tied to their physical appearance, so when their “looks begin to go” or are changed drastically in the way that Raven’s were, there is a loss of identity that can scar worse than the physical marks. That loss of identity is exactly what Raven is dealing with in the novel – learning who he is now that he’s no longer in porn and how to overcome the stigma that some people place on him when they learn he did porn. I watched my best friend and emotional partner grapple with that loss of identity, that need to find his new place in the world, and it’s a difficult journey. Because of my experience, I was even more sympathetic to Raven’s plight, especially when Caleb learns of Raven’s past and lashes out in one of the harshest scenes I’ve read in a while. Harsh, but utterly realistic and believable, and it had my heart breaking for both men because with a handful of hurtful words, Caleb nearly destroyed the best thing that ever happened to them.

As for the relationship that develops between Raven and Caleb, it’s a nice mixture of sweet and sensual. Because of the extensive scarring, Raven had resigned himself to a life of celibacy. So to find a man who makes his body respond, who he finds attractive, and who is willing to take things as slow as Raven needs him to, it’s more than Raven ever hoped for. And Caleb is exceptionally patient, not simply because he takes “no” for an answer without getting angry, but rather because he accepts the intimacies that Raven is able to give and cherishes them. While they get to know each other, they snuggle, they kiss, they share a bed, they’re physically intimate without actually having sex – extended emotional and physical foreplay. When Raven is ready to take that next step with Caleb, it makes it even more meaningful – and sexy. What makes Tartan Candy even more enjoyable is Ross’s vocal performance. He does a great job with Raven and Caleb, but also with the myriad of side characters, making it easy to follow the story even during the Escobar family gatherings. I loved how effectively he conveyed the emotions of Burn’s characters, adding even more dimension to a beautifully written story. What I did not know when I started Tartan Candy, and am truly excited about, is that the author has written a second book in the series, featuring Will. I cannot wait!

Author of gay erotic romance, writing for Loose Id, Carina Press & Dreamspinner Press. Occasionally NSFW. KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own—getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.

Connect with KC

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Tartan Candy (Fabric Hearts #1) by KC Burn, Narrated by David Ross to listen to and review.

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