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Title: The Beau & the BelleMy Review:
Author: R.S. Grey
Published by: audiOMG!
Release Date: April 25, 2018
Narrator: Luci Christian, Joe Arden
Length: 8 hours and 59 minutes
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Reading Challenges: Lenoreo's 2018 #LetsReadIndie Challenge, Lenoreo's 2018 New Release Challenge
Find it: Goodreads ✩ Amazon ✩ Kobo ✩ iTunes
Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.
I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.
That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.
A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.
Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.
Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.
My old friend, Mr. Fortier.
But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.
When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.
Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.
5 stars — This is the first time I have listened to an audiobook where I haven’t read the book before, because I have the attention span of a fruit fly…wait, do fruit flies have low attention spans? Anyways, I was always concerned that I would get easily distracted and miss part of the book, and truthfully that did happen a bit. So prior to this book I’ve only listened to stories I already knew and loved so I could stress less. But in anticipation of meeting Ms. Grey at Book Bonanza, and trying my darnedest to get as many books in as possible before then, I decided to try listening to a new to me book and I COULDN’T have picked a better one. I listened to this one during my morning walks, so I was less likely to be distracted, and I found myself LAUGHING AND LAUGHING out loud so many times, I’m sure if people had been nearby they would have thought me crazy. I think I now understand the value a good narrator can bring to a story…because this story on its own was probably 4.5 stars rounded up. But the narrators made this one a full 5 stars for me. Especially Luci Christian — she made Lauren COME ALIVE. I couldn’t imagine a better narrator for our neurotic heroine.
I remember reading the blurb and cringing at the concept of their age gap in the past. But after reading a few of Ms. Grey’s stories, I decided I wanted to see what she would do. And I’m not sure if it will work for everyone, but I thought she did an excellent job of showing a connection, but not making it creepy. Sure, I suffered terrible bouts of secondhand embarrassment at the hands of teenaged Lauren and her massive crush…but she was just so freaking lovable, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her crazy self.
And that’s the thing that made this book full 5 stars — LAUREN. I have the biggest book girl crush on her imaginable. She was sweet, and sassy, and hilarious, and ridiculously neurotic. I want her to be real. I’m not saying she was perfect, but I just loved her and felt all for all her vulnerable moments. I felt like her teenaged self was authentic and real and relatable. And I loved that she didn’t lose that spark as an adult. She was a very young 27 year old, but it worked for her. I saw myself in her — how you’re an adult, but you don’t really feel that different and you still feel like you don’t know anything.
My only real complaint about the book is that I wish we’d gotten more chapters from Beau. I felt like I didn’t really know him as well, we didn’t get to dive into his head and really understand his hopes and dreams and what attracted him to Lauren. What I saw (heard) I loved. He was sort of closed off at times, but you could feel that underneath he was just reserved and cautious in his love. I just wanted more. Obviously, not enough to lower my star rating, but it was still a desire I had by the end of the book. It felt like this could have been a single POV book and I wouldn’t have lost too much.
I LOVED their interactions with one another though. They were delightful, and charming, and hilarious, and snarky, and just…heart melting at times. I LOVED them together. They were like book couple gold.
I also LOVED both of their mothers. I mean, a lot of the secondary cast was fantastic, but their mothers in particular stole the show. You could feel how much love they each had for their children and vice versa. And they kept it real…they made me laugh at their teasing.
So yeah. I actually ended this one with a few happy tears, and cheeks that ached from grinning. I absolutely LOVE when a book just works for you, you know? This one was tailor made for me, and Lauren is now on my top book girl list. Highly recommend listening to this one if you get the chance, it totally enhanced the experience for me.