Off Campus, by Amy Jo Cousins
Series: Bend or Break, Book 1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Book Release Date: December 30, 2014
Narrated by: Cooper North
Audio Release Date: September 14, 2016
Audio Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.
But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.
Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.
Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.
In the Closet/Coming Out
Narrating a book as amazing as Off Campus by AJ Cousins has got to be an incredibly difficult task. Not only do you have to bring to life two incredibly complex, achingly gorgeous characters– both of whom have very distinct voices– but you have to do the book justice. Not just any narrator could turn Off Campus into a fantastic audio book… but Cooper North absolutely nailed it.
From the moment I heard the sample clip, I knew this narrator was going to do it for me. North’s voice is deep and rough, but in a soothing way that makes it a pleasure to listen to him read to you for ten and a half hours. He manages to make every voice easily differentiated from the next, so that even a scene with three men speaking can be followed with no difficulty. His voice for Tom was absolutely spot-on, and every time Tom called Reese “kid”, I got a little shiver of joy from the way North said the word!
One of the things I liked most about the audio is that it make scenes way more intense than when I was reading them off the page. For one thing, those sex scenes? I kept having to take my headphones out of my ears to make sure no one else could hear what I was listening to, because North made the intimacy and sensuality really come to life.
And there were scenes that I remember smiling over in the book that had me outright laughing out loud when Cooper read them with his fantastic timing and voices!
The only complaint I had wasn’t with the narration itself, but was an issue that I’ve noticed in other audio books. During scene transitions mid-chapter, there was sometimes a moment of confusion when I didn’t realize that the scene had jumped tracks, and I had to rewind to catch up. Either a slightly longer pause, or some non-verbal sound would be appreciated to signal scene changes, in my opinion.
Overall though, this audio book is magnificent, and highly recommended! And it looks like Cooper North does the audio for the other books in this series as well, which has me absolutely thrilled… and preemptively giggling at the sass-fest that’s going to be The Girl Next Door, because North definitely managed to narrate Steph with all of her sarcasm and wit perfectly!
Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series again. Amy Jo is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
Find her online at http://amyjocousins.com/