The Best Friend’s Sister Trope with a Twist in SCANDAL NEVER SLEEPS

Scandal Never Sleeps

scandal-never-sleeps-200x300The Perfect Gentlemen #1
By Lexi Blake and Shayla Black
Read by Kaleo Griffith

Category: Contemporary Romance

Penguin Audio: Aug 18, 2015 | 821 Minutes
Also available in Paperback and e-book from from Berkley/Penguin: Aug 18, 2015 | 400 Pages


Audio provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.



They are the Perfect Gentlemen of Creighton Academy: privileged, wealthy, powerful friends with a wild side. But a deadly scandal is about to tear down their seemingly ideal lives . . .

Maddox Crawford’s sudden death sends Gabriel Bond reeling. Not only is he burying his best friend, he’s cleaning up Mad’s messes, including his troubled company. Grieving and restless, Gabe escapes his worries in the arms of a beautiful stranger. But his mind-blowing one-night stand is about to come back to haunt him . . .

Mad groomed Everly Parker to be a rising star in the executive world. Now that he’s gone, she’s sure her job will be the next thing she mourns, especially after she ends up accidentally sleeping with her new boss. If only their night together hadn’t been so incendiary—or Gabe like a fantasy come true . . .

As Gabe and Everly struggle to control the heated tension between them, they discover evidence that Mad’s death was no accident. Now they must bank their smoldering passions to hunt down a murderer—because Mad had secrets that someone was willing to kill for, and Gabe or Everly could be the next target . . .



My Take Oblong


I felt ambivalent about this audiobook: It was absolutely addictive, riveting, sexy and suspenseful.  On the other hand, much of it was completely unbelievable.  For example, after the funeral of his best friend, Gabriel sees a woman on the street.  Like Sherlock Holmes he immediately analyzes her socioeconomic position from many yards away by the quality of her clothing.  He is deeply grieving and worried about his sister, but still thinks about having sex with this woman he doesn’t know and who he sees is with another man. Also, he is very, very well educated and cultured and yet uses a  lot of  words I don’t associate with very cultured and well-educated men.  There are a lot of conditions like this: secret tunnels in houses in the middle of Manhattan, privately designed planes and helicopters, secret agents, missing young women, and many dead parents.  There are just too many “special circumstances” having happened to these five or six people. One is even elected president!

Another unbelievable thing, the kid that is elected president stages a prep school coup in the prologue and that never comes up in his campaign? Pretty much everything I have ever seen of elections brings up every little thing in someone’s past.

A lot of the book revolves around the “Best friend’s sister” trope as the dead friend, Maddox got involved with Gabriel’s sister and then left her pregnant, high and dry before dying. Of course Gabe is a suspect in the murder for really good reason! But, as overused as this trope is, Blake and Black were careful to create a few twists in the “Best friend’s sister” trope that keep it fresh.

On the other hand I was absolutely riveted, proving that as high-minded as I may claim to be, even as I poke holes in a story, I can glom onto its more salacious, and insouciant aspects be sucked in.  The sex scenes, for example — those are masterfully written and are get-out-your-fan sexy!  No, that’s not a hot flash, ladies; it’s just hot! The suspense is thick and the surprises are, well, surprising and often un-telegraphed.

One BIG point in the  novel’s favor is that the heroine, Everly, is NOT I repeat NOT too Dumb to Live! How refreshing.  When she does do something really dangerous it is with reason, and some back up.  But one of those unbelievable things and a detractor from the novel:  she is an ex-hacker in charge of internet security for a major company and apparently can only afford a studio apartment in Brooklyn and a cheap wardrobe (the one Gabriel noted).

In regards to the recording,  this is one where I wish the voice used was better at doing a female character. I HATE the breathy stupid voice Kaleo uses for Everly.  He makes her sound like a bad Marilyn Monroe impersonator. A lot of male narrators do this so he is not alone. Is this how we sound to men? Other than that he is great.

Throughout the novel, and even now, I kind of hoped the dead guy staged his own death. Would be nice because he was a fairly appealing character. In trying to figure out the perp, well, I was a little on the fence – in fact I was thinking it was the headmaster at the prep school who had done the dastardly deed.  Was I wrong?  You’ll have to read this series starter novel to find out.  I know I will look forward to the remaining novels in the series even if I have to maintain a high tolerance for the unbelievable.


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