Audio Review: T.J. Klune – The Long and Winding Road (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #4)

Author: T.J. Klune
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Narrator: Sean Crisden

Summary:
Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

Review:

First and foremost, readers (and listeners!) should have tissues handy. Because tears will happen—both happy and sad ones. This reviewer laughed and cried and felt wonderfully fulfilled when this story ended. As a bonus, the author explains why he decided not to keep going and it makes perfect sense. He gives us this beautiful capstone to a series that began with Bear, Otter and the Kid—one of the first MM romances I ever read. TJ Klune takes us back through memory lane, highlighting passages from past books, revisiting characters we’ve loved (and hated) along the way, and paying special tribute to Mrs. Pacquin, the woman who provided love and strength to Bear and the Kid in the darkest times of their lives. She’s actually one of the most memorable secondary characters I’ve ever read—across all series.

And then TJ gives us more—he gives us the present and the future so we are not left with wondering whatever happened to Izzy, Bear’s and Kid’s half-sister, and Julie, their mother, their friends Creed and Anna, the Thompsons, and finally, Dom and Tyson. All the pieces of all the puzzles come together to form the perfect scenario in the life of Bear and his one true love, Otter. We get a glimpse of what the future holds—and without giving away spoilers—it surely holds a lot of joy as their lives become fuller and richer and they find balance in their own inimitable way. Of course, no fear—Bear is still Bear in all his crazy glory.

As I said earlier, I laughed and I cried—unashamedly. It’s hard to find words to describe something so perfect. This is definitely my favorite of the series and the narration by Sean Crisden was spot-on. I think my experience with this gang was so much richer from having listened to his narration in this final story. I highly recommend not only this book, but I recommend it in audio format. And to those who haven’t read the series—hurry and start now. It’s outstanding and has become a classic among MM romance literature. Truly wonderful and an experience not to be missed!

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Dreamspinner Press 

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