Review of ‘The brutal truth’ by Lee Winter,
Audiobook narrated by Angela Dawe
Lee Winter is one of my favourite lesfic writers. Reading her books takes me away from my comfort zone every time. This book was no exception. In a way, ‘The brutal truth’ is a typical (very) slow-burn romance with the added ingredients of an Ice Queen character and a lot of sexy power play. But, along with the romance, the characters confront issues such as abuse in the workplace, the role of women in business and homesickness. It’s not a light read but Ms. Winter adds a bit of humour in the mix to balance things out.
The story centres around Maddie Grey, an Australian crime reporter based in New York and her relationship with her straight boss, powerful media mogul Elena Barrell. As their relationship evolves, they make a bet to tell the uncensored truth to each other. The repercussions of that seemingly simple bet lead them to a rollercoaster of emotions with unexpected consequences.
Even though I enjoyed this book, reading it was a bit frustrating at times, as frustrating as Elena character is. I think that’s the idea of the author, that the reader suffers along with the characters in their quest for happiness and get a sense of their own lives. That’s great but, having said that, I found it a bit long. I think a few thousand words less would have been better.
I was a bit reticent to listen to the audiobook considering my experience reading this novel but I finally decided after it was highly recommended to me (Thanks, Tere!). It’s an obvious fact that narration can make or break a book, a bit like a film version of a novel can. I have to say that Ms. Dawe’s narration made this book so much better for me. She’s got the perfect interpretation for each character, the youthful and irreverent Maddie, the aloof and sarcastic Elena. The huskiness of Elena’s voice is out of this world. While in my reading experience I wanted fewer words, I couldn’t get enough in the audio.
This lesbian slow burn romance audiobook is particularly demanding in the emotions department and Ms. Dawe’s interpretation is fantastic as usual. Free with both Audible Escape and Scribd subscriptions, you get almost 12 hours of great enjoyment. Highly recommended.
Overall, 4 stars for the book, 5+ stars for the narration. Average, 5 stars.