Audio Review: Ethan Stone – In the Flesh (Flesh 1)

41kZwK7KGXL_fleshAuthor: Ethan Stone
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: DSP Publications
Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Narrator: Tristan James

Summary: Reno Detective Cristian Flesh is an out and unashamed cop, but his slutty ways might be his downfall. Cristian lives by a strict set of personal rules, preferring hook-ups and anonymous encounters to committed relationships. His guidelines work for him… until one of his tricks is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect.

Leave it to handsome lawyer Colby Maddox to save Cristian’s life. He takes the case and the attraction between them is quick and undeniable. After several passion-filled encounters with Colby, Cristian unexpectedly wants to break all his rules. However, before they can contemplate a future together, they’ll have to clear Cristian’s name and find the real murderer.

Review: Christian Flesh is an out-and-proud Reno, NV detective. The man is not fussy at all about who he has sex with, but he wants no relationships, and he’s definitely a bottom boy. In fact, he likes the sex rough. And that’s why he has on-again, off-again rough sex with “Daddy Joe,” who just happens to be Pastor Joseph Pryor. And he’s not the only one, so when he learns that the guy he last visited when they were having sex—ahem, after he was there to question him about blackmailing Pryor—is now a murder victim, one wonders why he’s surprised that he’s a suspect himself.

The most important lesson I learned in this audiobook is that Christian Flesh is the KING of poor decision-making. Honestly, it was extremely frustrating to deal with this man. He wasn’t the least bit appealing, IMHO.

His partner hires her friend Colby Maddox to defend Christian after Chris is suspended from duty. Too much circumstantial evidence piled up to keep him on the force, but naturally, he doesn’t do anything he’s been told, and he strikes off on his own to investigate.

Christian lives by a set of rules, mostly sex rules, and he never breaks them, or so he says. He actually breaks them multiple times and one needs a scorecard to keep track of who he’s having sex with, or who he’s inappropriately following and then having sex with. He and Maddox start a relationship, but Colby is deep in the closet, and Christian is upset by that. Not that he want’s anything exclusive—except he does. Confused yet? Welcome to my world.

This was a loooooooong audiobook. Too long. When the mystery was pretty much resolved, and there was still 5+ hours to go, I knew I had to buckle in for the long haul. And though much of the latter part dealt with Christian’s and Colby’s relationship, or lack thereof, it was too boring, too full of angst, and I just wanted the story to end. But before it did, there was yet another twist to the plot and yet another suspect in the murder mystery that had supposedly been resolved. I honestly can’t say there was much about this book that I found enjoyable, especially since neither MC displayed anything more than superficial commitment to the other.

I love Tristan James’s deep, resonant voice, so I was looking forward to trying this new series in audio format. Unfortunately, his voice didn’t work here. All of the characters sounded the same. His Spanish accent was poor, which was totally unexpected since he does Irish and Brit so well. And there was no difference in vocal sound between the females and the males. I think it’s because his voice is so rich and resonant. I still love him. He’s just not a good match for this story.

So, this is one audiobook I can’t recommend to anyone. And as much as it pains me to give any author less than three stars, I can’t rate this above a two.

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