Moment of Impact, by Karen Stivali
Series: Moments in Time, Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Robert Neiman
Book Release Date: January 7, 2015
Audio Release Date: May 25, 2016
Book Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Audio Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.
Friends to Lovers
As opening lines go, this one was pretty memorable:
“I didn’t mean to see Tanner D’Amico’s cock. I really didn’t.”
And that, dear readers, is our introduction to 20 yr old college student, Collin Fitzpatrick. I like him already!
Closeted at home and at school, we quickly learn that Collin is bearing silent (and supposedly sleeping) witness to his roommate’s regular Monday night hook-up. While Collin would like nothing better than to change places with the girl in Tanner’s bed, he quietly crushes on his friend instead. Besides, Tanner isn’t even gay and Collin isn’t even allowed to think gay thoughts, thanks to his strict religious upbringing. But one Monday night, Tanner returns to the dorm on this own and proceeds to, er, take things into his own hands and Collin can no longer hide the fact that he’s very attracted to Tanner. And Tanner? Well, he has a few secrets of his own to reveal and suddenly, Collin isn’t just thinking about his crush, he’s acting out every fantasy he was never allowed to have.
Told entirely from Collin’s point of view, Moment of Impact felt authentically voiced. The dialogue never felt forced and the MC’s were never too young or too old for their actions and words, which is something that often seems to be difficult to achieve in many NA books. Their experiences felt like typical college student experiences – one of self-discovery and of forging independence from beliefs that have been force fed since childhood.
I loved how sweet and gentle Tanner was with Collin. When you’re told that even bringing pleasure to your own body is a sin, it’s no wonder Collin had a ton of hang-ups. But with Tanner’s encouragement and support (and a laptop full or porn) he quickly learns how to give and receive pleasure. Not gonna lie, those scenes were incredibly hot, sweet and tender.
Now for the sorta bad news….
The audiobook let this story down. The narrator had a very understated delivery that didn’t match the tone of the book and sometimes made it difficult to discern who was talking. At times, it felt like he was speaking in a monotone, such was his lack of inflection. I think a different narrator would have been beneficial, especially to someone (like me) who hadn’t read the story before and was listening to it for the first time because it’s often difficult to separate the story and the narrator when the voice isn’t working for you. Fortunately, Moment of Impact is an excellent book and even my disappointment with the narrator couldn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.
If you enjoy NA stories with a bit and angst and a friends to lovers storyline, this one will definitely work for you.
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends, who never seem to mind the excessive quantities she tends to prepare. She attributes her ability to multitask to the fact that she rarely sleeps, which gives her more hours every day. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.
Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic tales filled with sarcasm and sexy details. Although she writes both m/f and m/m contemporary romance, all of her stories are love stories with happily ever after endings.
Find Karen online at http://www.karenstivali.com/
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I received a copy of this audio book in exchange for a fair and honest review.