Monday, December 12, 2016

Driven Snow by Tara Lain Dual Media Review

Young Snowden “Snow” Reynaldi is brilliant, beautiful, and alone. Though he’s shy, weird, and tolerated by the NorCal University students because he’s a renowned whiz at chess and helps put the school on the map, that doesn’t keep him from dreaming of the object of his desires: Riley Prince, championship quarterback.

When Riley needs a physics tutor, Snow jumps at the chance, and their relationship heats up—but Riley has to come out of the jock closet to get anywhere. Meanwhile, Snow’s one true friend and mentor, Professor Kingsley, marries a woman who secretly wants the chess tournament glory and money for herself. Soon after, the professor collapses and Snow finds himself underwater—literally. In a car!

Seven frat brothers from Grimm College rescue Snow just in time for his life to get even worse, and Snow discovers the one relationship he always wanted slipping away. With evil looming at every turn, Snow must survive if only to prove he’s the fairest of them all and regain the trust of his handsome prince.

Audiobook Details
Length: 6 hrs, 45 mins
Narrator: Kale Williams

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Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
ARe  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Audiobook Review

As a rule, I don’t read many modern day takes on classic fairytales – at least not those that make themselves known as such. However, as I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed Lain’s Love in Laguna series, and I found the chess-themed take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to be intriguing, I decided to give Driven Snow a chance. After spending close to seven hours being entertained by Lain’s writing and Williams’s narration, I’m very glad that I did.

Keeping in mind that this is a m/m variation on Snow White, Lain creates an interesting and entertaining cast of characters that Williams does an excellent job of bringing to life. The young grand master and chess player, Snow, was an immediately likeable character for me. He’s modest in his intelligence and skill, and uncomfortable with his beauty (which is commented upon regularly), thus making him a shy yet vulnerable character I couldn’t help but adore. That he was pining for the football team’s quarterback and got the chance to tutor said quarterback, well, I was hooked. Even knowing that this is based on a fairy tale, and knowing that the two will end up together, I found that I was just as enchanted as Snow was when he discovered that his attraction to Riley was not unrequited. Their courtship was sweet and angsty, with just the right amount of steam for two college students with limited experience – one because of his nerdom and one because he’s in the closet. As would be expected, the villainess is appropriately over-the-top in what she does to thwart Snow’s path to winning the upcoming chess tournament. And yet, I found it utterly amusing that the organizers of the tournament cared only about Snow’s chess playing skills and the attention he would bring to the sport, and didn’t give a whit about the accusations made about him. Lain’s writing and Williams’s narration had me chuckling, giggling, laughing, sighing, cringing, and falling in love with Snow, Riley, and the wonderful cast of characters who kept me entertained and engaged while I listened to Driven Snow. I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next installment in the series, as well as going back to snag Sinders and Ash for a listen.

Ebook Review

I have to confess that I requested this book before reading the blurb because Tara Lain will always be one of my auto-buy authors – so I only have myself to blame for not really enjoying this modern re-telling of Snow White. I’m not a fairytale fan. With the exception of Shrek and The Paperbag Princess, I’m not even really a fan of modern twisted fairytales. This is a modern new adult m/m retelling of Snow White in an American college setting. For obvious reasons, the characters in this story are cliché and the storyline is predictable.

Tara Lain is a personal favourite because I love her original, detailed characters and the wonderful emotion she packs into each book. Unfortunately, I struggled to feel any emotions for Prince or Snow. True to the fairytale, the baddies are evil and our heroes are nearly perfect. There were some clever moments and I liked the value placed on Snow’s intelligence as he competed with the Evil Queen character for the title of chess grandmaster.

I don’t want to pass too much judgement because this book does what it says on the tin. My reservations are personal: I should have read the blurb and avoided the fairytale.

TARA LAIN writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, and Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog (who’s a little jealous of all those cat pictures Tara posts on FB) in Laguna Niguel, California, near the seaside towns where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says that on her tombstone, it will say “Yes!”

Connect with Tara

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Driven Snow (The Pennymaker Tales #2) by Tara Lain, Narrated by Kale Williams to read or listen to and review.

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