Thursday, December 15, 2016

Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale Dual Media Review

Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.

Audiobook Details
Length: 8 hrs, 32 mins
Narrator: Derrick McClain

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Audiobook Review

I absolutely loved Let the Wrong Light In as an audiobook. Not only was McClain’s vocal performance completely entertaining, but the story itself appealed to me immensely. I’m not sure why, but the combination of Avery Hextall’s impulsiveness and Malin Lacroix’s staidness just worked for me. Granted, there is far more to both men than the face they show the world, particularly Lacroix. Perhaps it was getting to know the men, that made the book so enjoyable because each argument, each interaction, each sexual encounter, and each conversation revealed more and more layers to each man’s personality, revealing flawed, yet believable characters, characters who I couldn’t help but want them to find their happily ever after together.

After yet another rejection of one of his architectural designs, Avery storms into his supervisor’s office and proceeds to make a total arse of himself. Instead of disciplining Avery for his insubordination, Lacroix takes the time to give Avery professional guidance on how to improve his future submissions. Although Avery has a difficult time being gracious in the moment, he does listen and implements the suggestions on his next project. And this marks the beginning of the rocky, awkward, and often volatile relationship that forms between Avery and Lacroix as they work together on Avery’s first building. What makes it interesting is that Avery spends a great deal of time denying and/or rationalizing his attraction to a man who drives him insane, a man he hates, until he can’t do it any longer and tempers flare, leading to a physical confrontation that brings Avery to his knees – literally. While maintaining a professional relationship at work, the men embark upon a pseudo-sadomasochistic semi-sexual relationship and things get complicated very quickly.

Notice the prefixes? As I think about it, it’s the prefixes that made Let the Wrong Light In such an enjoyable book for me. Avery and Malin’s relationship begins as pseudo-sadomasochistic because neither man is knowledgeable enough about S&M to engage in it properly and it does become abusive. While I don’t consider the abuse malicious (i.e., Malin didn’t intend to abuse Avery), Gale does a nice job of illustrating how important communication and knowledge are and how quickly a relationship can get off course if the people involved aren’t communicating with one another. The semi-sexual aspect of the relationship provides for further character growth because while it is made clear to the reader that Avery is bisexual, we’re led to believe that Malin is heterosexual… until Avery, at least that’s how I understood it. Because the story is told from Avery’s point of view, we see Malin’s sexual evolution through Avery’s eyes and their conversations, and I found it to be very interesting. Having the story told from Avery’s point of view also enables us to witness Avery’s character development as he works to learn a bit of impulse control and how to communicate his wants and needs to Malin. Even though we see it through the filter of Avery, I enjoyed watching the men learn more about themselves and each other, and how they both eventually realized that they had to put the other before their own pride if there was any hope of a “them” in the future.

Let me not forget that Derrick McClain’s vocal performance was astounding. I loved how he was able to convey Avery’s inner turmoil and outer lack of calm and frustration so effectively. Even knowing that Avery was misunderstanding Malin’s intent, I would still get upset on Avery’s behalf because McClain did such a good job of capturing Malin’s aloofness, which Avery seemed to interpret as dismissive or cold. And then later in the story, when Malin reveals his secrets to Avery, McClain gives us a new Malin – a Malin who has hope for a future with Avery and that hope is in his voice. Absolutely stunning. Gale’s words and McClain’s voice made Let the Wrong Light In a listening experience I look forward to enjoying again soon.

Ebook Review

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
4 stars with Stipulation Attached
STIPULATION: This was really only a 4 from 75% on. Otherwise, it was maybe a 3.
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Let me start by saying that I didn't really like this story until the very end. It was somewhat dangerous and little abusive throughout the story. Almost to the point of where I wanted to stop reading... So, just be warned that this is not a story that is warm and cuddly, nor is it for someone who wants to "play" responsibly. There was almost no discussion about the roughness of their play, nor the abusive nature of Malin.

Avery is searching for something. However, he doesn't know what he's looking for. He loves his job, but feels that Malin has it out for him – that he purposefully makes Avery's life hard by not choosing his designs. Avery wants answers and he finds some of them through his attraction to Malin.

Malin is a hard one to know. He doesn't really engage until the VERY end of the story. All you know from the beginning is that he's slightly unhinged and can be potentially dangerous to Avery.

Like I said at the beginning of this review, I had a very hard time sticking it out for this book, but the ending kind of made it worth it. I wish that the ending had been more towards the middle and we had been able to see more of their life together.

After developing a mad girlcrush on Avon Gale while devouring her Breakaway series, I was thrilled to find another of her stories I had somehow missed. And while this book surprised me with adult characters who work grown up jobs, and enjoy rather hardcore kink, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Emotionally incontinent and unable to shut up, talented junior architect Avery is annoying, slightly infuriating, and impossible to dislike. I loved his conversations, and his thoughts are wildly amusing.

In contrast, Avery’s accomplished boss, Malin, is almost impossible to like for most of the story. But I would dare anyone to continue hating him once he finally chooses to share his story with Avery.

The kink in this story is pretty extreme. The relationship between Malin and Avery pushes consent boundaries uncomfortably. These men enter into D/s and S/m scenes without any conversations, safewords, or research. Malin hurts Avery in anger and he has very little understanding of his own needs or limits. In turn, Avery is too infatuated with Malin to put any limits in place to protect himself. The kink in this story really isn’t for everyone and it gets pretty dark at times.

This is an incredibly emotional ride. Avery’s runaway mouth adds some levity, but Malin’s early experiences, Avery’s desperate need to be appreciated, and the very dark kinky scenes make for an incredibly angsty read. Personally, I much prefer the younger, lighter relationships in the Breakaway series, but I still really enjoyed this slightly more adult story.

AVON GALE wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it—even if it was a bit weirder than the other hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after—though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. By day, Avon is a hair stylist who loves her job, her clients, and the opportunity to spend her time being creative and making people feel happy and look fabulous.

When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music, or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Connect with Avon

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale and Narrated by Derrick McClain to read or listen to and review.

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