Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Audiobook Review: Stone Cold Bad by Tess Oliver and Anna Hart

Stone Cold Bad
by Tess Oliver and Anna Hart
Series:  Stone Brothers #1
Pub. Date:  Oct. 13, 2015
Publisher:  Tantor Audio
Narrator:  CJ Bloom, Mason Lloyd
Length:  4 hrs 35 min
Format:  Audiobook
Source:  Hoopla

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

He was definitely trouble, and the worst kind of trouble because he was wrapped up in an incredible package of muscles, ink and heartbreak. A guy like him was the last thing I needed now. A guy like Colt Stone was the last thing I ever needed.

Emotion, feelings and, hell, even love had been turned off in all of us Stone brothers long ago. Then Jade landed in my life. It was the last thing I ever wanted, to feel this way about someone. Attachments like this were only followed by heartbreak, and I wasn't into heartbreak. I wasn't into f*cking attachments.

Bad boy Colt Stone has a notorious reputation for being a tough and dangerous heartbreaker. A brutal childhood hardened him to the idea of any type of emotional attachment to anyone. When he becomes the unwitting accomplice in Jade Morrow's escape from an abusive boyfriend, he soon finds that he'll do anything to keep her safe. Has Colt found the one girl who can break through to his impenetrable heart?

When she runs away from her monstrous boyfriend, Jade Morrow has no place to go and no one to turn to. She accidentally lands in the arms of a handsome, tattooed stranger. Colt Stone is as formidable as he is appealing and Jade soon finds that he's equally hard to resist. When her troubled past catches up to her, Jade discovers just how far Colt will go to save her.

I like to listen to audiobooks when I am getting ready and driving to/from work... so I was scrolling through Hoopla and saw this one. It's rather short, just over 4 hours. So I thought I would give it a try - I was in a bit of a bad boy mood. And these boys, the Stone Brothers, are extremely bad. Cocaine couriers. Pot smokers. Facebook contest for "finger banging" girls. Treating the ladies in their life like crap - as in, I will use you (and every other girl) for sex but you are not allowed to talk to any other guy. And all of this is seemingly forgiven because of their tragic abusive childhood.

Unfortunately, this story didn't work for me. I blame some of that on the narrator, who was very shouty. There are ways to convey emotion that do not include shouting everything - it threw me out of the story, made me roll my eyes, or made me cringe. It also made me focus on the bad or annoying parts - like the TSTL heroine. The douche canoe behavior of the boys. The unreality of everything that happened, particularly the dispatching of the villainous characters. I'm sorry, but if you are telling a story that is dark enough to include rape and kidnapping, your villain is not going to go away just because you beat him up a little. The characters in this book were fairly shallow and undeveloped. It was more about the gratuitous sex which was, admittedly, steamy as hell.

About the only thing that I liked about the story were the characters' names. Jade, Colt, Hunter, Slade. My OCD kept me listening to the end, but I was rolling my eyes the whole time and yelling at the heroine about how stupid she was. Good times.

Stone Brothers