The Last Boyfriend
Narrated by MacLeod Andrews
I should start by saying I’m a huge Nora Roberts fan. My 2010 ballot for AAR’s Top 100 Romances included 19 books by Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, including 6 of my top 10. I read in print, and enjoyed The Next Always, the first in this series. Jane gave the print version of this second entry a B- at AAR. That’s higher than I would rate the audio version.
I’m not a big fan of male narrators for romances and MacLeod Andrews makes this story worse. His pace is slow and uneven (at 2x some of the voices still sounded too slow). I found his rendering of voices more acceptable for men than women, but even his male voices often sound flat and emotionless. When the three women talk, they all sound the same. I often had trouble telling who was speaking without clear dialog tags.
If not reading for review I wouldn’t have finished The Last Boyfriend; I would have stopped at about the 10-minute mark and deleted the file. At some later date I might have tried it in print – when I could skim quickly through much of the early narrative. The first few hours were dull. After listening to what I thought was a couple hours of introduction I checked the time and discovered I’d been listening for 11 minutes. Time did not fly while listening and to show how uninterested I was, I couldn’t recall the name of the hero until about the two-hour mark.
With about 3 hours left I began to like the story, but the narration continued to distract. Many times when Avery and Owen (our heroine and hero) were talking, I had trouble distinguishing the two. And I absolutely hated Andrews’ portrayal of Avery when she was excited or pouting; she sounds like a two-year old, making me question how Owen fell in love with her. I know I wouldn’t have had those same feelings reading this in print.
I’m curious about what I assume will be Ryder and Hope’s story so will definitely pick up the third book. But unless there is a different narrator, I will be reading it in print. It would take something very special for me to ever pick up an audio by this narrator again.
Breakdown of Grade – Narration: D- and Book Content: C