Review of Flipcup by Kim Hartfield, Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden and Angela Dawe
If someone asks a lesbian audiobook fan to name their top 3 narrators in the genre, it’s very possible that the names of Angela Dawe and Abby Craden will appear on the list. At least they are on mine, so an audiobook featuring both of them is like Christmas arrived early.
After many unsatisfactory experiences with men, Chelsea decides to do without them for a year. Celibacy seems like a good idea but when she meets Tara, she finds a loophole in her vow and it’s more tempting every day…
Flipcup is book 7 in the Vino & Veritas Series written by different authors. Vino & Veritas is a wine bar and bookstore where all the romances take place. There are 18 books so far in this series and only two are f/f romances; along with this one, Rachel Lacey’s Hideaway (book number 8). Tara is one of the bookstore employees and Chelsea works for a beer distributor that supplies the bar. Tara is a relentless flirt and Chelsea enjoys the attention of the attractive androgynous woman which makes her start wondering about her sexuality. But Tara’s flirtatious personality is a mask to hide feelings of insecurity and abandonment. Will a no-strings relationship work for both women and what happens if someone starts to develop feelings?
This was an entertaining, opposites attract, coming out story with two very different characters in terms of personalities and life experiences. Chelsea was blessed with a happy and fulfilling upbringing which makes her a bit immature and self-absorbed. Not a very lovable character but, despite that, her actions are understandable considering her age and life story. The problem is that maybe her character needed a bit more development or a longer journey to redeem herself completely. Tara, on the other hand, has been dealt with a really bad hand in life and she tries to make the best of it, despite her insecurities and fears. She’s definitely a more likeable character and easier to empathise with. Despite their differences, or maybe because of them, their chemistry is very powerful and one of the positives points of this book.
At almost 5 hours length, Flipcup is a relatively short audiobook — and it shows. The story itself is engaging and original but, as I said before, it could have been developed a bit more for better results. The book is written from both leads’ point of view: Angela Dawe performs Chelsea’s pov chapters and Abby Craden, Tara’s. I thought that was a good choice and both narrators performed them flawlessly.
I admit that I rarely like an audiobook with two narrators, maybe with the exception of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which incidentally had three. The issue for me is that once the listener gets used to the characters’ voices, they change in the next chapter. Personally, it gives me auditory whiplash and forces me to readjust to the new set of voices taking me out of the story. The same happens when narrators are changed in the middle of a book series. However, I admit this is my personal taste and this double narrator issue might not be a problem for other listeners.
Commissioning two heavyweights like Ms. Dawe and Ms. Craden to perform a 5-hour audiobook felt a bit like overkill. Having said that, I absolutely loved Ms. Dawe presenting Abby Craden as co-narrator and I hope that this isn’t their last collaboration. I can see the potential for other types of books. They are both consummate professionals and individually they did a good job but, for me, it didn’t mix well together. Maybe next time. 3.5 stars.