Overall Rating: ★★★★ ½
Performance (Elizabeth): ★★★★ ½
Performance (Sebastian): ★★★★★
Storyline: ★★★★ ½
Narrators: Elizabeth Livingston and Sebastian York
Audiobook Length: 8hr 49m
Release Date: July-ish
Reading Time: 6 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Deadly Games from AudiOMG! in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author, narrators and/or publisher’s generosity.
ONE NIGHT ONLY
Special Agent Katherine Bowden doesn’t do girls’ nights out. She doesn’t do blazing hot dances with male strippers or unbelievable, uninhibited one-night-stands. If you ask her ex, all she does is work: study evidence, profile criminals, track them down. And now Katherine’s back home in Dallas, with a new set of all-male colleagues second-guessing her every move, and a possible serial killer hunting women just like her. But just this once, Katherine is going to try all those things she doesn’t do . . .
Growing up on the Reservation led Nash Hawkins down paths he’d rather forget. When his dream of joining the police force was crushed, he turned his hard body and wicked imagination into a meal ticket. His chemistry with Katherine is like nothing he’s ever felt. And though he’s sure a woman like her won’t want to get seriously involved with him, Nash knows things—things that might help catch a killer.
Nash and Katherine can save lives, if they put aside the desire that torments them both. But the closer they get, the more they have to lose…
First Line: “Pain killers, ladies?”
Narrator Review (Elizabeth):
This was my first time listening to Elizabeth. I popped her in while I vacuumed my house and let her voice take me on a new adventure.
First of all, her dialogue is en pointe. EN. POINTE. You can’t get any pointier than this! She makes me feel like a NEW WOMAN!
During the first chapter, I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy her calm tone and easy-going demeanor. It seemed too easy-going. But, boy, she sure did take me on a wild ride.
I went from lazily meandering around my kitchen vacuuming specs of dust that didn’t exist, to swinging around a stair baulister because I wanted to know what it would be like to be one of the male strippers she was describing in chapter one. Yes, I lost my mind.
Let’s just say I should keep my day job, but Elizabeth made me feel like I was awesome! So, it’s safe to assume that this was a WIN.🏅
It’s refreshing to listen to a narrator who’s voice is in a lower register. Ooo like corn on butter. Warmth and resonance for days, y’all! Her depth is so enrapturing. This narration is beautifully executed. At times the performance is slow which might irritate you lovers of fast-reading heroines, but this is like watching the Miss America Pageant in slow motion: elegant, refined, graceful. And the text—GAAWD THE TEXT—is so inappropriate and Elizabeth’s cool, calm narration emphasizes all the unique and quirky aspects of the book. It is a perfect juxtaposition that just works.
Narrator Review (Sebastian):
I put everything on hold to listen to this audiobook. The thing isn’t even out until July—talk about me being inpatient!! No dishes. No laundry. Certainly no yard work, although, fixing sprinkler heads with Sebastian whispering in my ear ain’t too shabby.
I’ve never been in love, but after listening to Sebastian York, I’m pretty certain this is what it feels like. Have you ever watched a movie and there’s just no one who can compare to the lead? There’s no heroine sexy enough, no villain cruel enough…
Two words: Sebastian York.
I’ve placed this man on a pedestal so high, he breathes the same air as Hercules. And that’s just from him TALKING.
I swear, if I someday meet him and he holds the door open for me, or—gasp!—pulls out my chair for me…staaahp. The heart trepidations have begun. That’s practically my BAE checklist right there (that, and I’d like my cowboy to have all of his own teeth).
Sebastian York is a rare breed, my friends. He doesn’t really do accents, he’s not particularly awesome at female voices, but I’m telling you, this man can do no wrong and that’s very, very dangerous territory. His voice is deep and full-bodied, buttery and complex, rich and smooth. Sebastian York is as opulent and savory as fine wine. I could listen to him every day on repeat because his voice is just that amazing.
⚠Warning: The sample clip doesn’t have Sebastian in it *raising fists to air*…but do we really need a sample? Because, come on, his voice is already engraved in our minds. He drinks whiskey to sustain himself and he showers in a tuxedo because that’s just what Sebastian York does.
“He anticipated her needs…”
Finally! This is what I’ve been waiting for. Until now, I had been hiding in my safe, suspense-free cave because I just hadn’t found anything that gave me everything I craved. I mean, for a YEAR, people! No romantic suspense for a year. That’s just wrong.
What do I look for in a suspenseful, heart-stopping read? Danger and romance need to find and propel each other to a satisfying, and totally swoony ending. Deadly Games gives me just that.
I love me some of dat deadly, toxic love.
We are first introduced to Special Agent Katherine Bowden. She’s in a strip club. Err. Mur. Guurd. Katherine is so awkward. I mean, she’s surrounded by MEN and her mind is someplace else entirely. Would you be able to focus with Magic Mike flaunting his trellis of abs? No. The answer is NO.
But Katherine, well, she’s focused on other things like her career. She can’t afford mistakes, not with her reputation on the line and a killer to catch (or avoid).
That doesn’t last for long because temptation gets the best of our sweet, driven, workaholic.
Let me just say that Karen Rock is a genius. I profiled Katherine better than she can profile herself all because Karen Rock wrote the book that way. Prepare to be fully immersed in these characters because this is freakishly vivid stuff. AND it’s in third person past tense (which you all know if my FAVORITE).
Bring out the gentlemen!
Next, we meet Nash. He’s just a mix of all our wildest dreams. He’s sweet yet sour. Bitter yet flavorful. Eep! He stretches my heart like a rubber freaking band. I’m emotionally drained just thinking about him.
Of course, Katherine chooses to get freaky deaky with Nash. He practically radiates hotness. That lust transforms to companionship, and with a little trust, their hearts are all in. ♥️
“She was physically exposed and emotionally stripped…”
But this killer is still on the loose! There’s no time for boinking!
Deadly Games is romantic suspense done right. The style of the writing is contemporary, the tension is permanently fixed on each page, and while I was falling in love with Nash, there was this undercurrent of doom waiting to be unleashed.
Yes siree, it unleashes.
So, what do you do when your emotions get in the way of your career? (Because that’s what happens here, and Katherine CAN’T AFFORD THAT as we’ve previously discussed!)
CUT. THEM. OFF. Turn off those emotions. Go back to being career-driven and romantically awkward.
Except Katherine and Nash can’t stop. 😏