Title: Despite the Odds
Series: Odds Are book 1
Author: Chris T Kat
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Length: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12th January 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Never judge a book by its cover.
Michael Campbell can’t hold a job for more than a few days. He’s lucky his foreman is giving him another chance with the solar panel project at an elementary school in Atlantic City. When he spies a man walking strangely in front of the school, Michael laughs, assuming he’s drunk or high. Little does he realize that Joshua Stone, a teaching assistant, has cerebral palsy, and he’s having a bad muscle control day. Taking a tumble right in front of the handsome construction worker is just his luck.
When Michael learns the truth, he feels bad for his cruel behavior. He offers to give Joshua—and his tricycle, the Racing Rhonda—a lift. Joshua accepts the help, and suddenly there’s a gorgeous man breezing into his life, turning his world upside down. But Michael has more issues than his inability to hold down a job, and neither man is sure if they’ll be able to overcome their fears in order to be together.
Review: Michael Campbell’s mission in life is pretty simple… stay with a job for more than a couple of weeks, get drunk and get laid. Everything changes when he meets Joshua, the shy teacher’s aide with Cerebral Palsy. At first Michael ridicules him, thinking Joshua is drunk in the middle of the day since he can’t walk straight. Learning about Joshua’s disability makes Michael feel like the south end of a north bound mule and he sets out to make it right.
Joshua has been sneered at, leered at, picked on and put down his entire life because of his disability. The gorgeous electrician laughing at him and calling him a drunk isn’t anything he’s not used to. The apology, the ride home and the resulting friendship that blooms, that’s very different. Neither of them is a stranger to being on their own, to not being wanted because they are different. The question is, can they look past years of self-loathing and see what they see in each other?
This story captured my attention from the start and continued to carry its weight from there. This wasn’t a story about a guy down on his luck, lived a hard life, finding his prince charming. No, this was a story about two men down on their luck, for different reasons, getting a chance to have the life they’ve always wanted, but never thought they’d have. It was a little sad to listen to the inner thoughts and self-loathing each of them had. Joshua doesn’t see himself as attractive or desirable, mostly because of the effect his disability has had on his body, but a worthless step dad and a mother too wrapped up in said step dad to listen when her son told her how the man ridiculed and picked on him. Michael has never learned to read and doesn’t see himself as any prize either. Together, they both become more with the confidence that they lend to each other. What I enjoyed most about this story was Michael’s devotion and patience with Joshua, it was beautiful and brilliant.
Narrated by Joel Leslie and he is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. I love how every book I listen to that he voices is distinctly different. By that I mean the tones and nuances he uses in each book is different, rarely are there any two voices the same, that’s amazing in my opinion.
Definitely a must read for anyone that enjoys the stories with a hard fought happy ever after.