The Best Men Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Best-selling authors Sarina Bowen and Lauren Blakely team up for the first time in an enemies-to-lovers, opposites-attract, irresistibly sexy stand-alone romance between the best man and the other best man! Performed by Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan!
In my defense, I was left alone with a bottle of single-malt and a lifelong penchant for protecting my baby sister. Still, that's no excuse to send 10 drunk-texts on why her hasty marriage would be a mistake.
If only I had just texted my sister. But nope. I accidentally sent the message to her, her groom, and his super hot wingman.
I also used the phrase “super hot wingman”, so I’d like to die now.
Instead, I have to plan a wedding with the aforementioned hottie and share a too-small guesthouse in steamy Miami. Three days in the sun with the cocky, charming former athlete who likes to push my buttons? Fine, two can play at that let’s-infuriate-each-other game.
Until Asher ups the stakes with one wildly sexy suggestion. A no-strings fling, then I go back to my single dad life in New York, and he returns to his star-studded one.
Sign me up.
But the more nights I spend with the other best man, the more I want days too, and that just can't happen. Especially when I find out the real reason why....
Contents Include: first times, a secret to-do list, champion-level flirting, fast cars, #eggplants, and two men who look good in formal wear.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 9 minutes|
|Author||Lauren Blakely, Sarina Bowen|
|Narrator||Jacob Morgan, Teddy Hamilton|
|Audible.ca Release Date||January 18 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #11,028 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#45 in LGBTQ2S+ Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#155 in Romantic Comedy (Audible Books & Originals)
#742 in Gay Fiction
Top reviews from Canada
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I liked that both of the main characters could make a long distance relationship work for a while before they needed/ decided to live together full time.
I needn't have worried, when the heat arrived it was pure 🔥🔥🔥
Once I got some saucy bits I was able to appreciate the slow burn build up.
I do suggest reading the prequel before reading this. I read it second and I think that was a mistake.
When these two get roped into heading to Miami early to coordinate the wedding plans, their poking and button pushing leads them to a Wedding fling.
One problem..the more time they spend together, and get to know each other, the more they may not be satisfied with 4 days.
They are a lot of fun and super interesting guys. I loved how straight-laced Mark is nothing of the sort in bed, and confident, famous Asher isn’t confident he’s worth loving in a forever kind of way.
Also, bonus points for Spreadsheet humour!! LOL
It made a really good audiobook, narrated by Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan. They do an excellent job at capturing the characters and the story.
This book is everything I've come to love and rely on from the authors: witty dialogue, multi-layered characters, compelling story, steam, and powerful emotions.
Mark was so endearing with his daughter, amazing with his sister, and my kind of hot nerd. The way he was able to fully explore his sexuality while being accepted by friends and family was heartwarming. (The way he explained things to Rosie was similar to what I said to my kid, too.) And I really appreciated how he finally put his foot down with his ex, though I would have liked someone to actually call her out on her previous bad behaviour. (Asher hinted at it, but something like this shouldn't be hidden.)
Asher was great, too! Handsome, charming, but with a hint of vulnerability. Such a nuanced character. It would have been nice if we'd had a bit more indication of his becoming more organised because of Mark. Or at least, changing his habits so that he checked his calendar more faithfully. A lot was made of his scatter-brained behaviour and his positive influence on Mark, but not much was said about the reverse.
And I would have dearly loved some acknowledgement from Asher and Flip that they were a little ridiculous with money/privilege/status. (Or just one of them could have said, "Money is great, but I would have preferred more time with my parents.") Asher threw money around for inconsequential things like flight upgrades and car rentals, but what about sending Rosie a giant stuffed toy when he felt guilty? How about buying Mark's mother a top-of-the-line casserole dish for her birthday/anniversary? Something with a little more meaning/heart behind it.
Overall, though, this book hooked me from page one and I devoured it in one day. I hope these authors are able to find time to work together again, sooner rather than later.
Top reviews from other countries
Well...that really did happen 😕, and I just about made it to 50%. I must point out that Him and The Understatement of the Year are 2 of my all-time fave reads by Sarina BUT after all the hype and build-up, this is actually just a story about a bisexual virgin, a more than willing 'teacher', loads of sex, too much money, little credible storyline and some particularly stupid and quite frankly ridiculous and ignorant ideas about the game of ⚽️ football ⚽️ from 2 clueless American authors 🙄.
There were SO many things wrong with what was written about Asher St James's Premier League stint and his background as a whole [Swiss boarding school..really?? 🤣🤣 Most of our PL players still come from working class/blue collar backgrounds, and are taken into the clubs academy if they show promise, sometimes aged 10 or even less. Yes, this is 'fictional' work, but PLEASE check your facts!!] and oh yes, I'm 💯% in agreement 🤨 that a bull 🦬 could run onto the pitch during a football match against Barcelona...not **HUGE eye roll**, AND that a player would be brave/foolhardy enough to be out and proud in our caveman-driven football leagues. I may have pointed this out before in reviews for other ⚽️ football ⚽️-related stories, but the abuse from some of the morons on the terraces [and some other players I've no doubt] would cripple him, so why do you think players only come out after they've retired?? They must understand the risks when they take up football as a career.
I've sent the audio back to Audible [some parts made me cringe, sorry Teddy and Jacob, but some of your pronunciations were WAAY off], and the book has gone back to Amazon. I can absolutely understand why I've never read a Lauren Blakely story...and probably won't ever again. Very disappointing.
“Asking me to be your boyfriend?”
*possible spoilers for some*
So in the beginning we've got Asher who is a charmer with a touch of arrogance and Mark who is controlled, uptight and has sent some drunk texts letting his sister know how he feels about her rushed, in his opinion, wedding and her husband to be's best friend which is Asher. Now, both are being asked to be the best men at this wedding.
There is tension, but I wouldn't deem this as a true enemies to lovers. Maybe more frenemies kinda thing?
This is a well written story, the pacing is great and the style of writing makes it for an easy enjoyable read. I have read more of Sarina Bowen than Lauren Blakely but it still felt like their writing really meshes together and I did see Sarina mention that both have written all characters rather than one each kind of thing and I think that comes through. There's great sweet intimate moments as well as the steamy ones. There's flirty and funny levity to the book, there's no big over the top drama. There's a love for spreadsheets and cute days out on the beach and drunk texts and letting go with one another. All the good stuff. It's a very likable book and I imagine many are going to love this and I'll more than likely be in the minority here.
But Mark. Bloody hell. Give me patience. Asher is supposed to be the one with arrogance, well Mark said hold my beer. For me I couldn't see Mark as anything but an overgrown man child.
[ His ex Bridget (Also once I clocked these names I couldn't help but think of Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones lol) is painted as an absent mother who has a glass of wine in her hands at all times and is manipulative of Mark as a parent and ungrateful of all that Mark has done for her and their child. He was soooo chivalrous and married her when he got her pregnant. Did he truly love her though? Meh. Is he gonna be bitter though when she falls in love with someone and asks for a divorce? Yeah. I get that part, I do. but basically the whole book is him taking a swipe at her whenever possible, even in the most subtler ways, then even Asher gets in on this. At one point all it seems to boil down to is that Mark didn't get with anyone once he and his ex wife split and he was sexually frustrated and he blames his ex for every damn thing. Is she flaky? Sure seems to be when it comes to events and games and such for their daughter Rosie. But we don't actually see the impact of that & she is there, it's not like she just comes for birthdays and Christmas then goes off again. Even when they're in Florida for the wedding she seems to be the one who is mostly with their daughter. For me it was too convenient, it seemed to be just constant swipes at her. There is a conversation that happened between Mark and Bridget regarding boundaries and if things were explored more like that then maybe I wouldn't be so annoyed but it just wasn't sold authentically to me. It very much felt like the convenient villain woman in an MM story even if it wasn't the OTT kind. If it had just more depth or even Mark went and actually said to Bridget that both of them needed to be sharing the same responsibilities they owe their daughter then sure I would have perhaps felt differently.
Then there's Flip's, the groom in the wedding, parents. I'm not sure if they were supposed to be a schitts creek kinda thing and it didn't translate well or if it was supposed to be like the reality of those eccentric characters. Either way, I hated them. They are rude and obnoxious and apparently because they are rich and wacky nobody stands up to them but instead just smiles and nods along. So glad they were only in a chapter or two.
Also that one scene with the cake tasting and all the sexual innuendos was done in a cringey way. There's a way to do those kind of things but this was not it. Asher and Mark basically had a big neon sign overhead, I rolled my eyes big time.
I was way too annoyed for a book that is actually mostly light hearted. I did actually like that when a conflict is present with the opportunity that arises for Asher that the authors didn't take an easy out and Asher didn't have his Lauren Conrad moment lol. Seriously though, I appreciated that and how they have to manage that as two people who want to be together. I do think this book has a great feeling about it but honestly when it came down to it I didn't like Mark. It's difficult to love a book when that's the case. The authors write brilliantly together but unfortunately this was not it for me.
I'm curious though, This seems to be marked as book #1, I don't know if there's more to come or if that's a mistake. If there is more to come is Brett getting a book? That's the only character I can think of that could possibly get one from this book. This one was not it for me but I'd still check out more by these authors.
What I liked:
- Their mean and cheeky banter. I'm always a sucker for good banter and there was some great laugh out loud moments when they playfully called each other out. It was funny and adorable!
- Mark was a pretty adorkable single dad and I loved the moments we do get between him and his daughter. Oh, also, I loved his one-eyed pirate orange cat named Blackbeard! 😂
- Once I got on board with their relationship, I loved how they were so soft for each other. It was meltingly sweet, especially when they were connecting through the period drama they were watching together. Their theories and banter were so cute!
What I wanted more of:
- I wanted to know more about what happened between Mark and his ex-wife, Bridget, particularly because it so deeply affected him and his stance on relationships. She does appear in the story (and quite selfishly) but I don't know what it tried to prove because her role never went anywhere so why was she even given page-time? 😂
- I wanted to see Asher and Mark get to know each other more outside of the bedroom! I mean, I'm always here for the steamy scenes, but I wasn't entirely feeling their chemistry. They spend time together to prepare for the wedding and they have a few personal moments where they talk about their pasts but not really in detail. I just wanted more moments with them discovering each other's personalities!
- I would've definitely liked to see more scenes with Mark + Rosie + Asher when he finally gets permanently involved. They had some cute moments but I wanted more connection!
I'm glad I read this but I'm also sad that I didn't love it as much as I was ready to!
Bottom line, it was rather tedious, with a few extra bits that I particularly didn't like:
- I didn't warm at all to Mark, who I found quite dislikeable. He was characterised from early on as one of those people who is 'rude to waiters', which is never excusable no matter how rich or successful you are. The way he spoke to the various sub-contractors who were involved in the wedding wasn't cute, or clever, or showed what an amazing person he was with finances. It was just rude. It's not a great start when you don't like 50% of your heroes.
- The story just didn't really have enough storyline. Sex is fine, but you do need to wrap it around some story that actually grips the reader. I just wasn't interested in what was going on.
- Spreadsheets? I think this was supposed to be some sort of light relief, but it was just tedious and not amusing in the slightest.
- Trevor & Oliver? Just not enough detail for readers to care. It became an unnecessary irrelevance.
- I really didn't like that Asher came back from Europe half way through his contract. It was his opportunity to show that he wasn't flaky, and he could see a job through successfully so that he could carve out a successful career. But instead he just abandoned it (apparently without thought or consequence) and all just because he missed Mark and couldn't live without him for another 6 months. It didn't exactly make me respect him. Funnily enough, focusing the book on how they managed to make their long-distance relationship work despite the obstacles (and doing some lovely French tourism together) might have given the book more storyline to work with. Instead Asher just abandoned France. Opportunity missed.
On the plus side, Rosie (Mark's daughter) was quite a good character.