Love the Sinner by Avril Ashton ~Audiobook

9781419939686Title: Love the Sinner

Series: Brooklyn Sinners, #1

Author: Avril Ashton

Narrator: Renard Pasquale

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Length: 9 hours and 22 minutes

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave (2-18-14)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Tams

Blurb: Detective Gabriel Ashby has never looked twice at another man, yet the criminal across from him, the man he’s interrogating, isn’t like any other. Gabe can’t deal with the sudden, intense need he has for one of NYPD’s Most Wanted. Everyone close to Angelo Pagan ends up dead, with the smug gang leader standing amid the rubble. Gabe would love nothing more than to bust Angelo’s ass and lock him up. So why is he seeing the bastard in his dreams at night?

Angelo Pagan knows attraction to Gabe is suicide. He’s resolute to ignore the chemistry…until a police raid goes wrong. He critically injures Gabe, changing the trajectory of both their lives. Now the two can’t get close enough. They settle into a forbidden affair threatened by lies and betrayal, living on different sides of the law with no way of breaching the gap between them. With the authorities looking to make an example of Angelo, Gabe has to decide if it’s really worth it to hate the sin but love the sinner.

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Review: Gabriel Ashby is content with his life, or so he thinks. He has a long time live in girlfriend and he’s a successful detective with the local police force. Now sitting in an interrogation room across from Crime Boss and all around bad guy, Angelo Pagan, he feels something for this man that he’s never felt before. Weeks later and Ashby can’t stop thinking about Angelo Pagan, but he stuffs those feelings down deep, attempting to ignore them. Until he is shot in an ambush, by none other than Angelo Pagan. The bullet is a clean shot with no chance of seriously hurting Gabe, well, other than his pride.

Angelo Pagan has been living life in a fog since his sister was murdered at her birthday dinner. And then he spent a miserable afternoon being questioned by Gabriel Ashby, now he can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous cop with the mesmerizing eyes and curly dark hair. When one of his men stumbles on Gabe at a raid, Pagan steps up and shoots Gabe rather than allowing his man to do it knowing the gunman would surely kill the cop.

While recovering and off duty, Gabe’s girlfriend moves out, something about him being emotionally absent. He too is now living life in a fog, not even realizing that one crime boss is watching his every move. Soon enough Pagan makes his presence and his interest in Gabe known. Gabe tells himself this is a mistake, Pagan is a mobster, and he is a cop, not to mention Pagan is a man. But the attraction will not be denied and the two begin an unconventional affair that seems to be doomed from the start. Making an agreement to keep their affair and their jobs separate, they quickly learn neither one of them will be able to follow through with that. Can Pagan keep his associates from finding out about Gabe? Can Gabe separate the man he is falling in love with, with the mobster crime boss that Pagan is when they aren’t together?

This story is all about the raw sexuality that is shared by two men who are complete polar opposites, but can’t seem to keep their hands off each other, among other things. The writing was gritty, as were some of the characters and the storyline. Pagan truly is a murderous gangster with a heart, his goal is to get out of the business and get as far away from all the darkness as possible. Taking Gabe with him, of course. Gabe has fallen in love with the tall, dark, and brooding Italian with the long curly hair and golden hued eyes that seem to bore through his soul. But he has a hard time with these feelings as they go against everything it is to be a cop. He’s supposed to bring down the bad guy, not fall in love with him.

Narrated by Renard Pasquale and though this is my first audio with him, it won’t be my last. He transitioned flawlessly between the American accent of Gabe and that gangster sheik Italian slang that Angelo threw around. I was completely engrossed in this story between the writing and the narration. Multiple characters were woven into the story and first off, the author gave each one a veritable attitude. And then Pasquale carried that over into the audio book giving these men their own distinct voice.

Angelo and Gabe carry this raw, passionate sexuality as well that could not be denied. I would definitely recommend this audio book, and I cannot possibly imagine reading it on paper would be any less rewarding. My only complaint would be a bit of a weird transition for Gabe from being almost shy and inexperienced and then not ten pages later, he is taking the dirty talk and directing his lover to a whole new level. That was off for me, but overall this was one of the sexiest books I’ve listened to in a while.