The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5)

The Burnt Toast B&B - Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Tobias Silversmith, Dorian Bane

I haven't read either of these authors before because they tend to write stuff I don't want to read, but all my friends loved this one and I can see why. It's cute, and sweet, and yes Derrick is a massive bundle of hyper-masculinity brought on by schoolyard bullies in his formative years, during which he learned all the wrong lessons about what it means to be a man. Then along comes Ginsberg, and he's not putting up with any of that crap. He manages to get through to Derrick that being a man means not being afraid to be yourself, social norms be damned. While I'm not tranx and so can't speak with any kind of experience for how those parts were handled, I did love that Ginsberg stood up for himself when Derrick was being a jerk, and that he didn't back down or forgive because twu wuv or anything stupid like that. While this all does take place over a couple of months, I actually felt like we got to see their relationship develop and grow stronger,

 

The B&B was a horror story from Yelp! when Ginsberg first arrived. I have to say, its rundown state as first described needed a hell of a lot more than a week's worth of moving stuff around and wiping down windows. That was unrealistic, but I was able to check my disbelief at the door. It did help that there were still repairs being addressed later in the book. 

 

Derrick's ex Jim was also a hoot. Can't say I care about the whole TV show subplot because actors = yawn, but Ginsberg being a stunt double was neat. I haven't read any of the other books in this series, but as a stand-alone this one works really well. Prior knowledge of the previous books was absolutely not required. 

 

The narrators both did a great job, and I have nothing but praise for them. However, the way the narration was split (by the studio/publisher) felt amateurish and lazy. It was pretty clear that the narrators were not in the studio at the same time and that they recorded their parts separately. Having one narrator per POV is actually a really great idea. Since you can't hear a section break, having the narrator change as an audio cue is a perfect solution for that problem. It would've been better and worked more smoothly and given consistency to the performances to have Derrick's POV narrator voice all of Derrick's lines, and the same for Ginsberg's narrator, regardless of whose POV we were in, instead of having two different voices for each of the MCs. The same could've been done with the side characters too, but since they're not in the story as often, it's not as much of a distraction. Again, no fault of the narrators, since they were just doing their jobs, but I hope this isn't the new trend for M/M audiobooks. Please, put the narrators in the studio together and let them read together. I guarantee the result with be worth the extra day or two it may take.