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  • Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson (audio review)

Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson (audio review)

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Book Info

About the Author
Dirk is very much an outside kind of man. He loves travel and seeing new things.

Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades. 

He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job. But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he's built. 

Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends.
Author Website
Publication Date
May 11, 2018
Available Formats
6 Hours 59 minutes
Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken. When Staff Sergeant Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and his letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation. He's almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure—then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades, or will hope only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—that others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty.

Editor review

1 review
Plenty of action and a sizzling romance to keep you entertained and invested in its outcome
Hell and Back is a stand-alone romance/thriller with plenty of action and a sizzling romance to keep you entertained and invested in its outcome. At around seven hours it makes an ideal relaxing weekend escape. 

Forge Reynolds is an interior designer in the middle of a bitter divorce from his lawyer husband Granger. They still live under one roof and therein lays part of the problem. Coming home from yet another meeting with his divorce lawyer, Forge discovers his very dead husband in their backyard. Initial suspicion lands on him but this is quickly dismissed by an alibi and the fact that someone is clearly out to get Forge as well. A security expert is hired by Forge’s lawyer to provide twenty four hour protection, and when that protection comes in the form of his past lost love, Gage Livingstone, Forge is forced to confront a lost relationship he’s never truly gotten over. 

Gage has been working hard for the last seventeen years recovering from a traumatic injury in the army and establishing his protection company. Coming face to face with the man he loved and lost was not something he thought would ever happen, particularly on the job. Protecting Forge will be almost as difficult as losing him all those years ago. Keeping their relationship strictly business will be next to impossible. 

Hell and Back is a fast paced story with lots of action and mystery. Identifying the protagonists will take determination and complex puzzle solving skills. The clues are all there but Granger’s obsession with puzzle boxes and sophisticated encryption mean that the police and the MC’s are racing against time to identify the culprit, or culprits before they take Forge out of the picture permanently. The sizzling reconnection between Forge and Gage adds an excellent counterpoint to the action and I found each side of this story was well balanced and believable. The speed at which Forge and Gage reconnected was not an issue for me as a listener, as I can fully accept that a love as strong as theirs was would not take long to rekindle. 

I enjoyed this story very much but, for me, the narration was somewhat lacking. At times it was difficult for me to know which MC I was listening to. Their voices were very similar in parts of the story and the quick back and forth banter made identifying who was saying what quite hard. I found myself having to jump back thirty seconds to determine the source of the comments on several occasions. I personally prefer audiobooks where the main character voices are very different and easily discernible. That said, I loved the husky masculinity of the MC’s voices and their emotions were conveyed with passion and believability. I would recommend this book to lovers of well plotted thrillers with a good shot of sizzling romance thrown in. 

Overall 4 stars
Performance 3.5 stars. 
Story 4 stars. 

Top 10 Reviewer 85 reviews
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