Review of ‘Embracing the dawn’ by Jeannie Levig
Audiobook narrated by Melissa Sternenberg
Jinx Tanner is an ex-convict trying to build a new life for herself far away from her past and her family. E. J. Bastien is a business executive with her sexuality hidden from her grown-up children. After a one-night stand together, Jinx and EJ’s intentions were to go separate ways but chance will have their lives entwined and their mutual attraction impossible to forget. Will they have a future together despite the odds against them?
This is a fantastic lesbian romance audiobook that has many ingredients for its success: romance, family drama, personal struggles, and great sex scenes. Both main characters are very well written with wonderful depth, very distinctive personalities and a background story that makes them very credible.
The beauty of this tale is that, despite their contrasting life experiences, their encounter feels genuine and the progression of their relationship natural. As a result, their conflict doesn’t seem contrived or forced into the plot but it feels like a logical consequence of their past life stories and their present actions. Their chemistry is a bonus as Ms. Levig builds it from literally the first page and the reader/listener sees it progress into something more meaningful but perpetually sizzling.
The rest of the cast is diverse and multi-layered, their relationships with the main characters believable and the dialogues natural sounding. The author got the setting of the story perfectly with her lovely descriptions of the landscape and the beautiful metaphor of Jinx’s habit of enjoying the dawn. As with the leads in this novel, ‘Embracing the dawn’ deserves a chance.
I read this book when it was released and absolutely loved it so I decided to try the audiobook, which is available in Audible but unfortunately not in the more accessible Escape subscription. However, because of the quality of the story and its almost 10 hours length, it’s worth your money.
It took me a bit to get used to the audiobook as the characters are mature (in their late forties, early fifties) and the narrator’s voice sounds too young for them, specially EJ. However, Ms. Sternenberg’s performance, her interpretation of the characters’ feelings, the different tones of her narration, her well-balanced pace, made up for the youthful voice. She did a very good job of empowering the beauty of the story.
Overall, a compelling romantic story in which emotions run high. The very good narration honours the beauty of the story. 5+ stars for the book, 4.5 stars for the narration. Average, 5 stars.