Scandal Never Sleeps
Narrated by Kaleo Griffith
The work of Lexi Blake and Shayla Black has been on my radar for some time now. When I saw the synopsis of Scandal Never Sleeps, Book 1 in the authors’ Perfect Gentlemen series, I decided it would be a good way to get a taste of their writing. Of course, the fact that Kaleo Griffith was listed as the narrator only sweetened the deal.
When Gabriel Bond learns of the sudden death of his long-time friend Maddox Crawford, he’s more than a little surprised. Sure, he and billionaire Mad have been feuding recently, but Gabriel was sure he’d have the rest of their lives to set things right. Now though, Mad is dead, and Gabriel finds himself at the top of the list of suspects.
Everly Parker has been groomed by Maddox to be the next rising star of his company. She likes to think she and Maddox were friends, even if no one else believes this. Maddox was nothing if not a playboy, and rumors have spread fast and furiously about Everly being his latest mistress. When she receives a mysterious letter, soon followed by a text message hinting that Maddox’s death was not an accident, Everly is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to her friend and boss. Maybe then, Gabriel Bond, the new CEO of the company, will start viewing her as more than the woman who lured Maddox away from his pregnant fiancée.
Gabriel doesn’t quite know what to do with his feelings for Everly. She’s pretty, smart and spunky, very different from the women he’s usually attracted to. Plus, he can’t get the memory of the sensual weekend they spent together out of his mind. But was that weekend just a ploy on Everly’s part, something to secure her job now that Maddox is dead?
Parts of Scandal Never Sleeps were a little hard for me to get my mind around. First off, Gabriel, Maddox and the group of friends they went to school with are incredibly rich and powerful. In fact, one of them is even the fictitious president of the United States. Their wealth and power are able to get them out of every situation they get themselves into, even if there should, in reality, be some consequence for their actions. I would have liked to see at least a few things spin out of control for these men who seem to quite literally have it all.
Another thing that rubbed me the wrong way is Everly’s insistence that she can find out what happened to Maddox without any help from the authorities. Her logic is quite flawed and doesn’t hold water. She’s supposed to be intelligent, but her actions come across as more stubborn than anything else. True, she’s very good with computers, but, beyond that, I didn’t see many signs of her intelligence.
Kaleo Griffith’s narration was one of the bright spots of this listening experience, because his voice is soothing and extremely pleasant to the ear. He does a wonderful job differentiating all the characters, making each sound distinct and believable. This must have been especially challenging given the number of male characters in their thirties who often inhabit the same scene.
I was quite pleased with Mr. Griffith’s ability to create believable female characters, which he does by softening his tone just a bit, and raising his pitch slightly so that femininity is suggested. He does not use a falsetto, something for which I am very grateful. His depiction of Everly matches the character the authors created to a tee. I’m pretty picky about which male narrators I listen to, but Mr. Griffith never disappoints.
Overall, I enjoyed both the romance and the suspense elements in this Scandal Never Sleeps. It’s not a perfect book, but it’s definitely an enjoyable one, and the authors have created a believable couple in Gabriel and Everly. I’m not sure I’ll continue with the series, but I haven’t completely ruled out the possibility either.
Breakdown of Grade: Narration: A and Book Content: B- Unabridged Length – 13 hours and 42 minutes