Book Review: Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

Thank You for Listening  by Julia Whelan Genre:  Romantic comedy Synopsis:   For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a lon...

Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

Genre: Romantic comedy

For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger.

On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her.

As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more. If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Ableism, emotional abuse, body shaming, racism, trauma

Overall rating:  ★★★★☆

Can I just say how much I absolutely loved Thank You for Listening, while also saying how much it left to be desired. It’s a story of two audiobook narrators coming together to narrate one last romance novel, and I listened to it as an audiobook, which felt very full circle.

The story was fantastic. Though frustrated by her cynicism at first, I loved Swan as I got to know her character better. It was refreshing to have an MC with a noticeable disability, and I love that she wasn’t perceived as being anything less, in relation to her personality or her looks.

I loved the back and forth between Swan and “Brock,” and thought they had incredible chemistry. I mean, I really loved their banter. It was fun and witty and enjoyable.

"You can’t just look at who someone is. You have to look at WHY someone is. Surface versus substance. That’s the difference between caricature and character."

But here’s the kicker. Here’s where I feel like I was misled and done wrong. And it’s a bit of a spoiler (though not necessarily in terms of the plot).

If you’re reading this book anticipating incredible salaciousness and steamy scenes - let go of those hopes now. The book has a couple (truly only like two scenes) that include some *steaminess* and both of those are part of audiobooks (within the book). There’s no great moment of “release” for these two main characters, at least not anything on page, and those kinds of scenes are full of such joy when reading a romance novel. So I felt like I had gotten scammed into reading the book.

So I loved this book, but really missed out on all the sexiness that wasn’t included in its pages. Great book. Great plot. Great characters. Little to no salaciousness.

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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