Ebook and Audiobook Review: Dyeing to be Loved by Aimee Nicole Walker, narrated by Joel Leslie (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries #1)

Note: This audiobook was provided by the author via Michelle Slagan in exchange for an honest review. The ebook is a personally owned copy.

You can't see me right now, but my forehead is displaying evidence of being banged against my desktop. Why, you may ask? Well, after reading along while listening to Dyeing to be Loved, I just realized what a complete and utter dumbass I've been because it's taken me THIS long to read not just this book but the entire Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series penned by Aimee Nicole Walker, who is now officially on my list of must-read authors and who clearly has a gift for writing romantic suspense. And if the rest of the audiobooks are going to be as superbly narrated by Joel Leslie (my absolute favorite narrator), then sign me up right now because damn, this was one of the best I've ever listened to. If you've yet to experience Walker's writing and Leslie's voice-over talents, look no further than this Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series starter, which also happens to have the Fatal Reaction prequel.

The bonus prequel covers the murder case of Bianca Dragomir in the small Ohio town of Blissville. This is where the paths of Joshua Roman, a twenty-eight-year-old salon owner and hairstylist, and Gabriel Wyatt, a thirty-five-year-old detective with the local police department. Gabe moved to Blissville with his then-boyfriend and guys like Josh have never been his type, though he admits that there's something about the owner of Curl Up and Dye that makes him difficult to turn away from. As he's trying to explain to his partner why Josh isn't his type, Gabe is shocked when Josh interjects and correctly guesses the reason. From then on, the animosity between the two is palpable, even though Gabe has tried to apologize time and again. Many insults and one unexpected hook-up later, Gabe finally gets a call from Josh...except it's to be told that Bianca's killer has his sights set on his next victim: Josh.

The actual novel takes place several weeks after the events in the prequel. This time around, Gabe is called in to the case of Georgia Beaumont, the former first lady of Blissville. The prime suspect? None other than the salon owner whose business Georgia threatened when she was booked at the same time as her ex-husband's current wife. Interacting with Josh proves to be anything but boring and it merely emphasizes the fact that the attraction between him and Gabe is as strong as ever. Just as things seem to be less hostile between both men, evidence crops up yet again that has Josh back in Gabe's professional crosshairs. But even when the focus of the investigation points Gabe and his partner in a different direction, Gabe's personal attention keeps landing on Josh. But how can he convince the man who's afraid of taking a chance on what they could have that they are worth it?

Gah! I was absolutely addicted to these two from the beginning of their story in Fatal Reaction to that cliffhanger in the epilogue of Dyeing to be Loved. By the time I was done reading the series this week, these two had landed on my list of all-time favorite fictional M/M couples. Aimee Nicole Walker's writing is on-point and she's impeccably merged that palpable feeling of anxiousness and anticipation of the murder mystery part of the book with that of the heat and heart of the romance aspect of the story. She's also given readers an amazing cast of characters--and I'm not just talking about humans here! Josh's pets are notable, but it's his dirty-talking macaw, Savage, who takes the cake. Talk about being a scene-stealer! Josh's and Gabe's circles of friends also play their respective integral parts in moving the story forward, and a few of them are part of the Road to Blissville spin-off.

When it comes to voice-over work, I make no secret of the fact that Joel Leslie is my top go-to narrator. The guy is unbelievably gifted, but then I had only listened to his work through three audiobooks that belonged to one particular series, which had Leslie working mostly Australian accents and one American accent. So, I was a teeny, tiny bit nervous about listening to him in Dyeing to be Loved. Of course, in hindsight, I realize that I should have never doubted the guy! I was blown away by narration, breathing life into both Gabe and Josh as well as every single peripheral and supporting character--including Savage! I'm going to cross my fingers and toes that he remains the narrator for the rest of the series because now, I can't imagine anyone else as Gabe Wyatt and Josh Roman. With Walker's story and Leslie as storyteller, Dyeing to be Loved is five-plus-star must-listen-to and -read! ♥

Date Read and Listened to: 20 November 2017

Learn more about Aimee Nicole Walker and Joel Leslie.

Purchase the Dyeing to be Loved ebook on Amazon.

Purchase the Dyeing to be Loved audiobook on Audible.


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