Audio Review: The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

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Title: The Hooker and the Hermit
Author: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Genre: Sport Romance, Humor
Narrator: Elle Newlands
Length: 10 hours 51 mins, 352 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis

New York’s Finest
Blogging as *The Socialmedialite*
April 22
LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!

You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy.

Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT

Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER

Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN

When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

The Hooker and the Hermit is a collaboration between authors L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid, is a full length 100k word novel, and is a standalone.

Grace Review
Story: 5 stars
My TBR list, like most other bloggers, is a mile long.  Usually my reading time is taken up by ARCs, with the occasional dip into my TBR list.  And that’s where my audio books come in handy.  As most bloggers will say, there are too many great books and too little time.  So when my 2 new Audible credits came, I was scratching my head as to where to start.  If your an audio book listener, you’ll know that not every good book translates into good audio.

So I asked one of my book clubs for recommendations and someone mentioned Penny Reid. She’s one of those authors that I’ve heard so much about, but haven’t had time to read. Looking at her audio books, this book seemed right up my alley as I’m a big fan of sport romances.

Annie Catrel, the Hermit, as you’d expect, is terrified of social situations, preferring more of a low key introverted role at work.  But when her publicity company takes on a new client, discraced rugby Hooker, Ronan Fitzpatrick, she is forced to come out her shell. Despite Annie’s fears of abandonment, stemming from her childhood, she has an attraction to the Irish player, who makes her smile and seems to enjoy her quirks and snorting laugh.

While the two are put in the position to have a “fake” relationship to improve Ronan’s public image, the attraction the have makes the relationship much more real.

Dearest Annie,
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I’m using my hand
But I’m thinking of you.
– Ronan
P.S. Just to clarify, I’m using my hand to write this note…get your mind out of the gutter.

The interesting twist to the story, is Annie’s alter ego as the Socialmediate. Initially picking on Ronan and his lack of style on her blog, Ronan and her create an odd friendship via social media. Annie uses this other personality to express her true feelings towards Ronan, something she couldn’t do in person due to her insecurities.

Both characters have hot and cold moments, usually as an overreaction to something perceived or said out of context.  As they try to get closer, forces also pull them apart:

*Brona (sp?), Ronan’s bitch of an ex
*Ronan’s mom, who cuts Annie deep with her harsh speech
*Annie’s secret identity

I thought Ronan handled those forces better.  Often apologizing for something that wasn’t his fault.  But Annie goes so deep into her shell sometimes, it was the only way to get her out.  I understood the reasons for Annie’s fears and insecurities, going from a hermit to dating a celebrity.  However, she often seemed to put herself first, before Ronan.  Not trusting him to protect her.  Given that he also expresses his feelings and she doesn’t really reciprocate, I felt bad for him.

In the end, one of the things that Annie feared the most, actually made the difference in saving both of them.  I loved how Ronan gives her confidence and courage to do the right thing.

Performance: 4 stars
I have mixed feelings on the voices for this book.  On the plus side, I felt like they were the right picks to represent each character.  The voice of Annie had a polished/refined tone that worked for me.  The voice of Ronan was swoonworthly with the Irish accent.  On the negative side, some of their voices for others were not appealing, particulary when the male narrator spoke the female voice (this hardly ever sounds good in my opinion).

Even with the negative, this was a very enjoyable audio book.  Both characters had a great energy, which made listening to it, a lot of fun.  It was also the quickest I’ve ever listened to an audio book, so that says a lot.

Overall: 5 stars
Sexy, sweet and funny, this story was a nice break from my previously intense reads. The plot was fresh and kept me throughougly entertained.  I especially liked the added touch of Annie’s cursing word vomt.

“Damn, dammit, dickless Donald Duck.”

That one was my favorite. : D

This was a great collaboration and was a nice way to expose me to their work.  *adds all of their other books to my TBR*

Parting thought: Did I mention the Ronan is mistaken for Colin Farrell?!  Put a fork in me.  I.  AM.  DONE.

– Grace

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