Audio Review: T.M. Smith – Dare to Hope (All Cocks #4)

413EqRvoB2L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Author: T.M. Smith
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: TTC Publishing
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Summary:

Tristan is the second oldest of the Brennan brothers and the odd man out. Most of the Brennan men have careers in law enforcement, but as a psychiatrist, Tristan chooses to help people in a different way. Quiet and restrained, he is content to hover in the background of his more gregarious brothers. Then he meets two men, each broken and damaged from losses beyond their control.

Gabriel Simenson is mourning his lover’s death. The random act of violence that took Gio’s life has left everyone at All Cocks reeling. The only thing keeping Gabe from drowning in misery is the friendship he’s forged with Micah, the newest model at All Cocks. He continues to struggle, and at the urging of his All Cocks family Gabe agrees to counseling with Tristan under one condition: Micah must go with him.

Micah Solo can relate to unbearable loss, having lost his leg and so much more in Iraq. The past two years he has been alone, adrift and vulnerable — the memories of war haunting his dreams, spilling over into his daily life. At All Cocks, Micah has found the acceptance he craves and the family he lost, but still he yearns for happiness and peace within.

The friendship between the three is instant, the mutual attraction evident. They circle each other, wanting more, yet unsure if it is truly possible. Is life the mundane reality they’ve each come to accept for themselves or do they dare to hope?

The All Cocks Stories is a series set within the world of online gay porn.

*Warning* Micah’s PTSD is told in detail, including flashbacks to his time in Iraq.

Review:

At the start of the story, it was difficult to keep track of all the different names. Not having read the previous books in the series was a definite hindrance to my early engagement in this one. However, it wasn’t long before I knew exactly which of the characters were attracted to the other, and the engaging vocalizations of Joel Leslie were, in large part, responsible for my buy-in.

Joel’s narrations are terrific, but that bedroom voice of his is amazing. And though each of the three MCs has a different voice, the one he gave Gabe was pure sex appeal—definitely something I’d love to hear in my bedroom in my next lifetime—too late for this one, but a girl can hope. Sigh.

I digress. Back to the story—I was quite impressed with this story. To be honest, my impression, based on the name of the series, was that the story would be PWP or at minimum, gratuitous sex. But that wasn’t the case. It was an exploration of the very real grief one MC, Gabe, faces during the year following the loss of his lover. He has friends, including the recently hired Micah, but he can’t get past losing his partner.

After the loss of his leg when an IED exploded in Iraq, Micah suffers from severe PTSD, so much so, that any loud noise sends him into a flashback. Their friends at All Cocks encourage both to seek psychiatric help, and the two finally agree. Gabe will go for grief counseling and Micha will go for PTSD help.

Tristan is the man they turn to—a man who ultimately gives in to the temptation both men offer, as they all become friends and then each begins to feel much more than friendship for the others. This is definitely a love story and a story of healing, but it’s also a story full of friendship and fun. I think I’m going to have to go back and read more of this series since the secondary characters depicted here appear to have been MCs in the previous books and they all seem to be one big happy extended family—and coworkers at All Cocks.

Without giving away everything that happens to Tristan, Micah, and Gabe, I will say that if you plan to listen to the audio version (and with Joel Leslie doing it, why wouldn’t you?) make sure you have a personal fan with you at all times because those sex scenes are smokin’ hot and Joel’s bedroom voice(s) is to die for. Whew. I’ll say no more. Don’t miss this one.

**3 hearts for the story; 5 hearts for narration = 4 hearts overall**

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2 Comments

  1. Hello Barb,

    First, I’ve bought many, many audiobooks after reading your reviews,
    and I’ll buy this one too. As a published author, and book reviewer,
    I’d like to offer an opinion: even Mr. Leslie, who indeed has an
    incredibly sexy voice, can only be as good as the material he’s
    narrating.

    Best regards,
    LJ

    • I agree, and I thought I made that clear. But based on the blurb, I wouldn’t have chosen this e-book. The only reason I “read” this is that I learned Joel was the narrator. So knowing who narrates an audiobook is very important to me. And I was pleasantly surprised by the story itself, not just by his narration. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear. The story is good– much better than the blurb led me to believe it would be.

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