Driven series #4 (companion book)
by K. Bromberg
Narrated by Sean Crisden, Tatiana Sokolov
Publication date Nov 4, 2014
Running time 5 hrs
E-Book Print Length: 140 pages
Publisher: JKB Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (September 15, 2014)
Audiobook provided by Tantor Audio for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own unless otherwise noted.
Colton Donavan lived life in the fast lane, but it took Rylee Thomas to teach him what racing was all about.
Arrogant, rogue, broken, conceited, dirty-talking, rebel, egomaniacal, voodooed, bent, and reckless.You think you know him?
Contains mature themes. https://tantor.com/raced-k-bromberg.html
This was one of the more interesting audiobooks I have listened to. Why?
It is both a retelling of episodes in the Driven series by K. Bromberg from her male love interest’s point of view and the author’s notes on writing the character and the story from his vantage point. The author and the character are each voiced by a different narrator, and the author almost becomes another character in the book.
It is a very exciting experiment, and I have never heard, or heard of, anything like it. I enjoyed hearing how K. Bromberg made certain decisions while writing the series, and how she came to learn more about the character she’d created.
Experiment. Yes, it is an experiment and while I think the author-narrative was great, it did almost nothing to help me like this character. Colton is an extremely, supremely broken character. Outside he’s a total man candy shell, but instead of delicious chocolate center you get all kinds of effed-up. I’m not going to say he is spoiled, or icky inside because that is how he thinks of himself and it is a litany he learned from his mother. He’s a lot like the Christian Grey character in the Fifty Shades series: abused by a druggie mom and her boyfriend/pimp/dealer and then adopted.
He seems to undergo an epiphany that helps him where aeons of therapy and adoptive parental love have not. YES, it’s the ancient fairy tale of the love of a good woman (and she is good in the sweetness and light way) helping the knight errant to see the light, change his ways, fix himself and become a great guy. He might be a bit less of an ass but he is still crass.
It is the stuff of a lot of romance novels and yet here it is not applied with enough subtlety; it is a little too obvious.
Until the end, even as he is marrying the woman, he is thinking of sex. And, it feels like sex is the most important thing in their relationship. While it is an important, sexy part of the story, more attention needs to be paid (throughout the series) to not just telling us in the same words over and over again that he’s changed. Even though this is told from the interior of Colton’s head, we still don’t see the work. Except for one scene where his father acts like an avuncular therapist and we get to see the wheels turning, we’re more or less just told about it.
Another issue I had is that this offers discrete scenes spanning the other books in the series, and while this is stated upfront on Bromberg’s website and called a reading companion on Amazon, it didn’t help me feel less confused about what was going on. I read a lot of books and remembering every important scene from each book is just not within my mnemonic abilities. So the bar fight scene, or the almost sex scene, or this or that scene doesn’t give me an understanding of where we are. It is definitely not a stand-alone and must be read after the first three books in the series.
With this series, Bromberg has created a troubled set of characters and a heartbreaking plot involving children, abuse, and the lasting impact of that abuse. She sweetens the pot with hot sex and character growth. But the experiment, while interesting and novel has a mixed result for me. It didn’t make me think I wouldn’t kick that boy out of bed for eating crackers, it made me think he was a cracker. If a guy can’t think of my breasts by using the word breasts EVER, he is too crass for me to ever think of him as a romantic fantasy.
The narration is well done. I liked both readers and I thought Sean did a great job working the different male characters. I especially liked the voice of Colton’s father. I did not enjoy his voicing of Riley, the female love interest. As often happens with male narrators the woman comes off as simpering. Tatiana did a great job with the voicing of K. Bromberg’s notes — the were upbeat and felt like how I would have intoned them in my head as I read the book, if I were reading.
For the experimental nature alone I feel it is worth the read, especially if you have extra audible credits or can get it from your library. I don’t think I would plunk down the discounted price of $12.50 to $28.79 (depending on format) for it for the audiobook, but it is currently under $3 for an e-book copy and I would probably pop for that.