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    Description

    Israel Ingham's life has never been easy. He grew up in a house devoid of love and warmth. Nothing he ever did was good enough. The fact that Israel is gay just added to the long list of his father's disappointments.

    Then a letter from Eastport Children's Hospital changes everything.

    A discovery is made, one of gross human error. Twenty-six years ago, two baby boys were switched at birth and sent home with the wrong families.

    Sam, Israel's best friend, has been his only source of love and support. With Sam beside him every step of the way, Israel decides to meet his birth mother and her son, the man who lived the life Israel should have.

    Israel and Sam become closer than ever, amidst the tumultuous emotions of meeting his birth family, and Sam finds himself questioning his feelings toward his best friend. As Israel embraces new possibilities, he needs to dissect his painful relationship with his parents in order to salvage what's left. Because sometimes it takes proof you're not actually family to become one.

    Contains mature themes.

    ©2016 N.R. Walker (P)2017 Tantor

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Dana Piazzi
    • Dana Piazzi
    • 15/06/2018

    A story to fall in love with.

    It took me a while to pick up this book by N.R. Walker. For the life of me, I don't know why. I love the author's writing and always fall in love with her characters. I'm a fan of the switched at birth trope, not that there are a lot of books featuring that. I also love the narrator, Joel Leslie. He is great at creating voices. So despite owning the ebook and having Switched on my audio wishlist, I didn't pick it up until I was offered a copy to review.

    There is something subtly amazing about the author's writing. It probably sounds strange but every time I read a book by this author I find myself surprised at how much I love it. Like I never expect them to be as good as they are. Maybe because there isn't really a lot of other things going on outside of the characters relationship and their semi-normal lives. For the most part, there aren't secondary plots with action or danger. Her books are just very sweet romances with so much heart that you can't help but be drawn in and fall in love with the characters.

    Israel has a close knit set of friends. I have to mention that I love their nickname for him because his initials, I.I. sound like aye, aye. He is called captain. It is brought up so often in the book and I thought it was cute, especially their singing of the Spongebob theme song. His good-natured acceptance of it doesn't make the joke get old as the story goes on. Israel's very best friend is Sam. And while he plays a big part in Israel's life this book is mostly about Israel.

    Israel has never quite felt like he fit in his life. Raised by distant parents and nannies he hasn't felt welcome in his family especially after he came out as gay. It feels real easy to dislike his parents throughout most of this book. There is so much lack of communication between them, that it takes learning about a mistake the hospital made in switching babies for them to ever really talk. Even then, they skirt around real feelings until Israel can't take it anymore and forces the issues of how they treated him his whole life. Family secrets are revealed and hearts are opened but there is much healing for them. Oh, the feelings!

    Isreael's friendship with Sam is tested throughout this book, also. He wants so much to lean on his friend but worries about becoming a nuisance. And has fears of rejection or losing his friendship. The truth is that he has had more than friend feelings. So does Sam. I usually feel frustrated when two friends keep pushing back their feelings instead of admitting things to each other. I do understand the worry about wrecking the friendship but still I am usually frustrated. Usually. I wasn't in this book at all. There was so much that Israel needed to go through and work out, I felt, before he could really be ready for it. And when they finally do get together, my heart sighed and sang. The author is really good at bringing out the emotions of the characters and allowing the reader to feel them.

    I mentioned that the story is really about Israel and a lot about his parents treatment of him. I do need to mention how great the other characters are. First, Sam. He is a great character. He was raised with wealth but he is humble. He is a very likable guy whose family just happens to have money. Sam's family is just like him and are more like a family to Israel than his own in the beginning. Israel's birth mom and the (now) man he was switched with are great. Donna is the reason that Israel explored the feelings he had for Sam and Nick becomes a brother figure. There are other brothers and sisters from that family too that become Israel's family.

    The end of this story was great with all these important people really coming together around Israel and Sam. There is a lot of healing for Sam and for the parents that raised him, the family he lost, and the family he made. My heart was extremely warmed by all the different types of love. I must remind myself in the future not to hold off on reading or listening to this author's books. I love being surprised over and over again by the depth of emotion in her writing.

    6 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour kasono Mwanza
    • kasono Mwanza
    • 08/11/2017

    THE BEST!

    I️ belly laughed, I️ cried, was turned on, was truly touched, and felt the full gamut of emotions throughout this book! This is the story that would translate well onto the big screen, truly the story every romantic needs to read/listen to! The writing is SO GOOD! The small expressions, the detail, and the word choice... SO GOOD! Worth every second of your time!

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Alex
    • Alex
    • 27/10/2017

    Outstanding Tearjerker from the Land of Oz

    Aussies talk funny and they drink waaaay too much, but you will need a box of Kleenex to get through this one. Very emotional ride well worth the ride, but with a happy ending (Thank God!).

    4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Cranky Reader
    • Cranky Reader
    • 19/12/2019

    tearjerker

    If you want a story about fixing family dynamics that tugs constantly on the heartstrings & taxes the tear ducts, look no further. It’s nice to run across a story where grown adults act like grown adults, own up to their failings and try to make do from wherever they are.

    Steam med-low. The romance was slow burn but hinged on Israel catching up to Sam. POV only from Israel. Again, adults being adults, Sam never pushes Israel and they stay just friends for most of the book. The sexytimes come in, closer to the end. M/M on page, nothing extreme. I like that they are playful together.

    Narration: Overall decent, but has a weird fading effect. I don’t know if it was from recording quality issues or the narrator’s phrasing, but sometimes the vocals faded in a way that mimicked Audible’s “Sleep Timer” function so much that I would be pulled out of the story to wonder if I had set the timer, remind myself that I hadn’t, and then hear the volume go back to normal. It’s subtle enough it might not bother anyone without hearing struggles or someone unfamiliar with the fade out timer, but it tweaked me every time.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Christina Wade
    • Christina Wade
    • 21/01/2021

    Good story, excellent performance as always!

    This has been in my Audible library for a while and I’m not sure why I haven’t listened before now.
    If friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes, then childhood best friends-to-lovers is my kryptonite. The focus of the story isn’t really Israel and Sam’s relationship, that’s more of a secondary story however it’s hovering just slightly in the background the entire time. The focus is on family…what it means and what it doesn’t. //



    I loved Sam and Israel together. Their banter was entertaining, their protectiveness and possessiveness over each other were endearing and once they gave in, their sexual chemistry was off the charts. They were clearly meant to be together. Even their group of friends – who were amazing as well – saw what was between them before Sam and Israel admitted it to themselves. //



    One of my small niggles was with Sam. He was such a strong, almost dominant, person when they finally forged a relationship it was surprising to me that he didn’t push for more instead of waiting for Israel to make the first move. The lack of communication was a bit frustrating until Israel finally decided he’d had enough. //



    My other was Israel’s father…and his change of heart. It was semi-explained, but I still didn’t buy it. It was hard to believe he went from “you’re worthless” to letting Israel basically tell him to eff off. //



    Joel Leslie’s performance was brilliant as always. From portraying the true emotions of each character to using a voice for the women so unlike his own I had to rewind and listen to it a few times to see if I could pick up his voice, he just nailed this. There is no doubt listening to this book instead of reading it made all the difference in the world between ‘liking it’ and ‘oh my gosh this is amazing’. //

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour KrushUrDream
    • KrushUrDream
    • 05/01/2021

    Heartbreaking and wonderful!!!

    Loved this book... I cried so many times. But the laughter and love healed my broken heart.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour KCinOK
    • KCinOK
    • 18/10/2020

    Great Book

    This was a great book. Yeah, the romance was almost secondary, like 60% Israel’s switched at birth plot line & 40% his & Sam’s romance, but I don’t feel like that took away from the book. The romance is pretty low-angst, which I enjoy in my romances, but the other part is nearly gut wrenching-everything works out as well as can be expected. I cried a lot & I usually don’t over books. It was good though. The writing excellent and narration perfect.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Christina Azariadou
    • Christina Azariadou
    • 14/10/2020

    Beautiful story, amazing HEA

    One of N.R Walker's most beautiful heartwarming, heartbreaking friends to lovers story, made even more incredible by Joel Leslie's spot on, all the feels narration. You won't go wrong with this one!

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Harold Klein
    • Harold Klein
    • 21/09/2020

    Wow

    The best book yet by NR Walker. Had me in tow from the start till the last word. Really satisfying.

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      2 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Zell Oakley
    • Zell Oakley
    • 06/09/2020

    Good writing, unlikable hero

    N.R. Walker's books, to me, are all just SO CLOSE to being great, and this one is no exception. However, they are also deeply flawed, and again this one is a good example. The basic plot outline is great--a combination of two tropes: switched-at-birth and friends-to-lovers. And both are well done; the switched-at-birth doesn't seem at all outlandish and Walker does an amazing job establishing Israel and Sam as best friends long before they become anything more.

    However: Israel is very, very unlikable, at least to me. He's had some bad knocks in life, but he constantly makes himself into a martyr, and he also bursts into tears at the least provocation. He comes across as brittle and maudlin, which is not a pleasant combination. Does he deserve a little leeway because of his difficult childhood and his uncaring parents? Yes, definitely. However, the problem lies in that almost all of the difficulty, and almost everything "bad" his parents do takes place long before the novel starts. Honestly his father doesn't even seem like a very bad guy for much of the novel. In fact, almost every time he makes an appearance, Israel is "stunned" at how nice his father is acting. I get that it's all apparently new, but since it happens from almost the very beginning of the novel, it's not new to the reader, and it just makes Israel seem like he has some sort of selective amnesia or something. I sort of cringed every time he had one of his breakdowns and said something particularly hurtful to his father.

    And he has a LOT of breakdowns. He's constantly falling apart and yelling at everyone around him. And every time it happens, it's preceded by some variation of the phrase "the dam burst" or "the floodgates opened" or something like that. By the end of the novel, you could have flooded the entire Eastern seaboard with how many times it happened. Again, like his father acting vulnerable or kind, I think we're meant to believe that this is a new development in Israel's life; however, because it happens constantly throughout the book, I was tired of it happening by about the midway point.

    Long-suffering Sam, the love interest, is a different story. Genuinely kind and noble, he doesn't deserve the overwrought boyfriend he ends up with. I'd gladly read a book about Sam ending up with someone who is genuinely going to make him happy. Israel starts seeing a psychologist (or maybe a psychiatrist, I forget) at some point, and it's the best decision he ever made. I just can't bring myself to enjoy reading about someone who is just such a useless emotional wreck as he is.

    Joel Leslie is a good narrator, but I'm not part of his fan club. His Australian accent is good but whenever he speaks with any accent, a lot of his sentences end up having the same cadence and this book is no exception. He also tends to sound melodramatic here but I'll give him a pass since Israel is a genuinely melodramatic person.

    Anyway the writing is great, like all N.R. Walker books. However, I'm just never able to really say I LOVE any of her books except the Thomas Elkin series. I keep buying more of them because I know she's capable of being a great writer, there's just always a pillar in the way for me.

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour RENATA RODRIGUES
    • RENATA RODRIGUES
    • 05/01/2021

    Sooo worth the reading/listening

    Loved Israel and Sam’s history, how they shared a bond so strong before falling in love with each other! Loved how Sam was there for Iz, how he was his anchor and base to go through the crazy shit that was happening in Iz’s life.

    I loved the side characters, the families with their own characteristics and flaws, but all in all I loved how this book was not just about the main characters relationship and falling in love, but Israel’s own struggles with his family and the new one he got to know after so many years.

    This book as special, it was touching, it was funny, it was hot and sexy, it was about real struggles that families go through and about getting over it, with the help of your friends, of your lover or yourself.

    This is going to the list of my all time favorites, I super recommend the reading! ☝🏻✨

    5⭐️+!!!!

    Ps. Looooved the audiobook too, the accent was everything! ❤️ Joel Leslie is amazing, you can truly feel every single emotion throughout his narration, gets 5 stars from me too! ☝🏻🌟