“To love and be loved, it’s all that matters. In the end.”
Socially awkward, thirty-six-year-old virgin, Simon Kadish, knows he wants more from life than a failing bakery and an empty apartment. He just doesn’t know how to get it. Living in a small town, trying to keep his bakery alive, Simon is single-minded and plans to stay that way.
And then Simon’s favorite Deaf porn star’s life falls apart in a very public spectacle on Twitter.
Simon doesn’t expect anything of the ASL message he sends to Rocco Moretti, but when he looks up one afternoon to find the man standing in the doorway of his shop, Simon realizes his life is about to change forever. Rocco is a force of nature, and Simon is quickly swept up in his wake.
But fantasy is not Simon’s reality, and there can’t be a happily ever after on that horizon. Can there?
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating POVs by chapter.
Love Him Free is the first book in E.M. Lindsey’s On The Market series. This is my first experience with their writing and I loved it. I couldn’t help but fall in love with these characters, their lives, and their blossoming relationship. But grab yourself a box of tissues because this is an emotional ride.
Rocco and Simon are both dealing with quite a bit in their personal lives – Rocco’s personal life is imploding publicly and Simon continues to turn in on himself in an effort to avoid the pain that has been constant since moving to the U.S. While things heat up quickly between Rocco & Simon, their histories and healing unfold slowly. There are a lot of painful revelations and self-discovery.
I liked the way Linsey approached Rocco’s deafness and Simon’s anxiety. It felt authentic without fetishizing. Lindsey does add a bit of humor, especially with the pets. “Pocket James” is just adorable. Ultimately, this is a really emotional yet sweet story and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Note: While this does stand on its own, Simon’s brother Levi & his partner James are from Kate Hawthorne’s book, Heartless. I haven’t read it (though I plan to now!) and don’t feel not having that backstory impacted my enjoyment of the story.
I’m looking forward to the next One The Market book, Love Him Breathless.
Nick Hudson! Oh my goodness. This narration is perfection. Hudson gives everyone in this book (and there are a lot of accents, inflections, voices) a unique sound. Additionally, he uses a slightly different voice on the chapters that are from Rocco’s POV in contrast to the ones from Simon’s POV. Not only does this give an added depth to the performance, it’s especially helpful when the writing is in 3rd person.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from Gay Romance Reviews and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
About the author:
E.M. Lindsey is a bisexual, agender gay romance writer currently living in the S.E. United States. They’re a full-time writer, Classics scholar with a penchant for Ancient Greek, and an avid collector of shoes they will never wear. When they’re not found creating happy endings on their laptop, they’re either walking their dogs, going on hikes, or enjoying their new home.
You can connect with E.M. Lindsey here:
About the narrator:
You can connect with Nick Hudson here:
My Favorite Quotes
It felt like a big, tangled mess, but he wanted to get lost in the knots. – Love Him Free by E.M. Lindsey #Audiobook narrated by Nick Hudson #MM #OnTheMarket #OppositesAttract @_GayRomReviewsTweet
He was often tired of sex, but he never got tired of genuine want – Love Him Free by E.M. Lindsey #Audiobook narrated by Nick Hudson #MM #OnTheMarket #OppositesAttract @_GayRomReviewsTweet
Perfect. Precious. You. – Love Him Free by E.M. Lindsey #Audiobook narrated by Nick Hudson #MM #OnTheMarket #OppositesAttract @_GayRomReviewsTweet