Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Poppy's Secret by Andrew Grey Audiobook Review

A second chance born of love.

Pat Corrigan and Edgerton "Edge" Winters were ready to start a family-or so Pat thought. At the last minute, Edge got cold feet and fled. Pat didn't bother telling him the conception had already gone through and little Emma was on her way. He didn't want a relationship based on obligation. He'd rather raise his daughter on his own.

Nine years later, Emma and her Poppy are doing fine. Edge isn't. He realizes what he threw away by leaving, and he's back to turn his life around and reclaim his family. It'll take a lot to prove to Pat that he's a new man, and even if Edge succeeds, the secret Pat has hidden for years might shatter their dreams all over again.

Audiobook Details
Length: 5 hrs, 11 mins
Narrator: John Solo

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Poppy’s Secret is a very sweet, second chance romance with just enough angst to keep me entertained, but not so much that it enters new adult territory. I have to hand it to Andrew Grey on this one, the angst that occurs bleeds over from Pat and Edge’s time together in their early twenties, appropriate for the young men they were but not the more world weary men they are now, and for the most part, both men seem to recognize when their disagreements begin sliding back into the land of immaturity and actively try to reign it in, wanting to deal with the problems of the present without so much of their baggage from the past controlling them. It’s a fine line for an author to write and Grey does it well, yet still allows for human nature and hurt feelings to result in the men succumbing to the angst and drama when tensions run high – and there are plenty of reasons for them to run high.

When Pat’s partner left him nine years ago, on the cusp of them beginning a family together, he made the difficult decision to raise the child their surrogate gave birth to on his own and keep their daughter’s existence a secret from Edge, allowing the man he loved to begin the life he obviously wanted more than the family they had planned. Edge’s return to town throws his world into chaos as Pat worries what the man he once loved will say when he learns of Emma’s existence, especially when Edge learns the real secret that Pat has kept all these years. Assuming this isn’t the first romance you’ve ever read, you’ll figure out what the secret is pretty quickly, possibly before you even start the book. However, don’t let that deter you because Grey’s talent in Poppy’s Secret is taking a predictable plot point and crafting a believable story that has an unexpected twist or two to keep you from feeling like you’ve heard this story before. For me, one of the plot twists was one that forced me to abandon the audiobook for several months because I had to be in the right frame of mind for it. No, it’s nothing horrific – this is a Dreamspun Desires title, after all – but it’s a topic that’s I’m sensitive to, to varying degrees throughout the year. This time around, the issue didn’t bother me at all and I was able to listen to the entirety of the audiobook without any problems. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did have to pause the sexy times scene that occurs while Edge is painting because it was a bit too hot for me to listen to in public; yeah, that one tapped right into my voyeuristic nature and had me dropping everything I was doing just so I could listen to it closely… twice… okay, three times. As much as I enjoyed that happy ending, it doesn’t compare to Pat, Edge, and Emma’s happy ending, especially as envisioned by Edge. That really was a beautiful dream.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, John Solo brings a beautiful, storyteller voice to the Dreamspun Desires audiobooks. In Poppy’s Secret, he not only nails the men’s angst and frustration, but he does a wonderful job of conveying their fears, their hopes, and their love. I’m not sure how to preface this, but he also performs Emma’s voice in an interesting way. Rather than trying to feminize his voice and/or trying to make it sound younger or high pitched for a young girl, Solo seems to use a different cadence (I think that’s the right word) when Emma speaks. When Emma talks, there’s a sing-song quality to her speech that I think works far better than a pitch change would have. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but I think people who listen to the audiobook will understand what I’m bumbling all over here. Needless to say, I really enjoyed Poppy’s Secret, loving the conflict and angst Grey forced Pat and Edge to navigate through to achieve their happy ending, as well as the way Solo brings each character to life.

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and now writes full time.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing). He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Connect with Andrew

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Google+  ~  Instagram

John Solo has been a professional performer for 20 years, although this whole acting thing is a relatively new development. Prior to all of this he made his living as a salesman, engineer, security guard, mechanic, construction worker, purveyor of polyester dress suits… The list goes on ad nauseam, but he prefers to think of himself as an Itinerant Adventurer and lovable scoundrel! When not acting like someone else in front of a microphone, John prefers to indulge in the simpler things in life; games of chance, sword-fighting and traveling the world… all from the comforts of his own overstuffed couch.

Connect with John

Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free audiobook copy of Poppy's Secret by Andrew Grey, narrated by John Solo to listen to and review.

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