Review of ‘Thursday afternoons’ by Tracey Richardson,
Audiobook narrated by Abby Cradden
Amy Spencer and Ellis Hall have a mutually convenient agreement of casual, anonymous sex with no strings attached in a hotel room every Thursday afternoon. Amy is a busy surgeon with commitment issues and for Ellis, sex is an outlet to vent from her stressful job and her guilt-ridden personal life. As their chemistry evolves to off the chart levels, their arrangement is suddenly threatened when they find themselves on opposite sides of their workplace conflict. Will their budding relationship survive the odds or will it end before starting?
It is hard to build a powerful romance from a no-strings relationship that starts with sex at the very beginning of a novel. A couple of lesfic books come to my mind that achieved this extremely well: ‘Turbulence’ by EJ Noyes and ‘It should be a crime’ by Carsen Taite. In my opinion, ‘Thursday afternoons’ can be included in this very exclusive group. Most authors will tell you that sex scenes are hard to write, but to create chemistry on the first pages of the book out of thin air is seriously talented. What the initial sex scenes lack in romance, is compensated by the characters’ vulnerability which provides a feeling of powerful sensuality. It doesn’t hurt that the narrator is Abby Craden, who can make anything she reads sound sexy.
This lesbian medical romance audiobook is right up my alley, for me, it achieves the perfect balance between medical procedures, social policy discussions, romance, and sex. I have to clarify that there are only a few medical scenes, but they have the purpose to deliver a bigger message about the shortcomings of the universal medical system in rural areas of Canada. Even though Ms. Richardson’s discussion about these issues is quite deep at times, it balances well with the rest of the elements in the plot. There are a few subplots and family conflicts that are perfectly intertwined with the main arc which help to see the leads in another light and make the story more credible. This is all wrapped up in a very well written package.
I can only find one fault to my overall enjoyment of the story. At the beginning of the novel, both characters use false names in order to keep their anonymity from each other. As the story swaps points of view between them, so do their names which confused me a bit. As English isn’t my mother language, maybe a native or more attentive listener wouldn’t have this issue. Having said that, this problem was over for me once both leads started using their real names.
Regarding the audiobook version, Abby Craden delivers again in an outstanding way. As usual, her different characters’ voices are distinctive and associated with their personalities, her pace, and tone of the narration perfect, and the interpretation of the diversity of emotions is spot-on. As a bonus for the fans of EJ Noyes’s ‘Ask, tell’ series, her performance of the word ‘darling’ from Ellis’s lips, will remind you of Colonel Rebecca Keane. Priceless. Beyond this fangirling slip, what will matter to most of you is that Ms. Craden brings the story to life in all its powerful, sensual and compelling glory.
This audiobook is included with a Scribd membership. Duration: 7 hours, 26 minutes of audio bliss. 5 stars.