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  • Off Balance

  • Painted Bay, Book 1
  • By: Jay Hogan
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Off Balance cover art

Off Balance

By: Jay Hogan
Narrated by: Gary Furlong
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Summary

When Judah Madden flees his tiny suffocating home town in New Zealand for the dream of international ballet stardom, he never intends coming back. Not to Painted Bay. Not to his family’s struggling mussel farm. Not to his jerk of a brother. Not with his entire life plan in shreds. And certainly not into the tempting arms of Morgan Wipene, the older ruggedly handsome fisheries officer who seems determined to screw with Judah’s intention to wallow in peace.

But dreams are fickle things. Shatter them, and it’s hard to pick up the pieces. Hard to believe. Hard to start again.

And the hardest thing of all? Finding the courage to trust in love and build a new dream where you least expected to find it.

©2020 Jay Hogan (P)2022 Jay Hogan

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What listeners say about Off Balance

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous!

My second listen, and I’m so glad. I haven’t been able to work for two days listening to this book. I adore the author and narrator. Definitely a five star review

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just the best

This is one of my favourite books to read, it has everything but add in this narration and it is out of this world. I’ve listened to a fair few audiobooks but this narration by Gary Furlong far surpasses everything else. If I could give 10 stars then I surely would.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gary Furlong and Kiwi accents 👍👍

🎧🎧🎧 Audio Review 🎧🎧🎧

Another great narration from Gary Furlong. I really do think he's doing his best work for Jay Hogan using a pretty authentic Kiwi accent, which for me means that he doesn't use his sketchy US accent or his boring, monotonous British accent, thank goodness.

***Goodreads Book Review ***

Yet another superb 5 star read from Jay Hogan...in fact, I think this is my fave Jay Hogan read yet [good job I've already given her a bookshelf of her own]!! If I could give more than 5 stars I certainly would, and straight onto my 2020 Best Reads and Creme-de-la-Creme bookshelves too!!

These two MC's just had it all; I loved the sexy, suggestive banter, the feels, the puddle of goo moments and the fact that although Judah had his annoying, life-altering condition, Morgan did his very best to deal with it AND make Judah feel good about himself, even though Judah could sometimes be a pretty fierce Diva!! The secondary characters were great too...other than Judah's berk of a brother Leroy, who definitely should have been an extremely protective big brother when Judah was facing up to bullying and needed him at school. Book 2 of this Painted Bay series eagerly awaited!! Great read Jay.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a great story & fantastic audio performance!

I read Off Balance with my eyes two years ago and loved it. There isn’t a thing that I can add to my original review except to say that Gary Furlong’s performance of the story was outstanding and made me love it even more. My original review is shown below:

What a great book!

Off Balance is the first book I've read by Jay Hogan and what a great introduction to her writing it was. In the author's acknowledgments she lets us know that one of the MCs in the story has Meniere's Disease. I didn't know this when I agreed to read and review the book for Xtreme Delusions so I'm grateful that I accepted this one for review. I had a close family member who suffered from this disease for several years but they were one of the lucky ones and it eventually went away and their life returned to normal. Unfortunately, one of the MCs in this story isn't so lucky.

Off Balance really resonated with me for many reasons, not just because I had some familiarity with Meniere's. Judah worked so hard to become the ballet star that he is until Meniere's hits him with devastating consequences. He endured bullying and more when he was young but nothing could stop him from pursuing his dream and now it's all be taken away.

Morgan has suffered losses, too. When he meets Judah, he can't stop himself from being enthralled with the young man. Their ten-year age difference bothers him at first but it soon becomes a non-issue between them. It takes Morgan a while to realize that he's finally ready to move on from his past loss but he soon opens himself up to Judah.

This story gutted me in places and had the tears flowing but in other spots I laughed so hard that tears also came. When Judah finds his widowed mother in a compromising position, I thought I would die laughing. The author's description of this scene was humorous but also respectful and I loved it.

Beyond the love story between Judah and Morgan there is a bit of intrigue and mystery going on regarding poaching. It didn't take center stage for much of the story but it added that little bit of something that made this an even better book.

Judah and Morgan have to work through a lot of things before they get their HEA but it was worth every bit of pain that I felt while reading because the ending was wonderful and I loved the epilogue. I felt like Jay Hogan also did a great job with the secondary characters. While I can't tell for sure who the next book might be about, I felt like several possibilities were woven throughout this story and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very unoriginal

Nothing special, very predictable, shallow characters, but I added one star for the narration.
I finished it, though.

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