Audiobook review: Try Over by Jill Brashear
Penny and BFF Lou (Try Easy, book 1) land in Hawaii after saving for months to get there. Penny’s cousin Henry (Try Right, book 3), is a stunt man working in film/TV on the island. At first Penny is not impressed, until she sees Bones. Penny is immediately attracted to Bones and feels he’s going to change her world. Likewise, Bones knows in his heart that Penny is his soulmate that the aunties predicted would come into his life.
Try Over is a slow burn romance that takes place over a couple of years. The story begins with Bones and Penny falling in love as he shows her the beauty of his island. They connect instantly, and the story has a soulmate/meant-to-be vibe, which normally isn’t my thing. However, because they fit together so well, it didn’t bother me that they fell for one another so quickly. The author uses wonderful detailed descriptions, painting a lovely scene of Hawaii. It felt like I was there, and I enjoyed the narration.
Because Bones believes in the Hawaiian traditions, he seeks the counsel of the island elder, who tells him something, causing him to push Penny away. Penny leaves Hawaii angry and heartbroken. Fast forward two years later, Penny is living in New York City teaching dance lessons. In order to save enough money to attend Lou’s wedding in Hawaii, Penny gives private dance lessons to a young girl, and becomes friendly with the father, Heath. He agrees to go to Hawaii with Penny to help her make Bones jealous.
While I felt the reason for Bones sending Penny away and breaking her heart was weak, I can understand his panic and why he did it. But what then bothered me for much of the second half is the couple’s inability to communicate. Seriously… all it would have taken is some honesty, and they wouldn’t have continued to hurt for so long. Even once they are in the same place, it continues until nearly the end. I also didn’t love that Penny is in Hawaii with one man while loving another. There are no promises between Penny and Heath, but it still feels a bit like cheating and didn’t sit right with me.
Narration: The story is shared via the third person alternating POVs Penny and Bones, with Kaleo Griffith performing Bones’s POV and Henriette Zoutomou performing Penny’s POVs. Both alter dialogue based on gender and ethnicity. Each narrator gives Bones and the other native Hawaiians an “islander” accent and use local lingo, but I don’t know how authentic it is. I felt KG’s accent was more consistent than HZ’s. KG’s male narrator has no distinguishing accent even though it is Bones’s POV. KG slightly alters his voice for female parts, enough to make dialogue effectively feminine sounding. HG also performed a neutral narrator. Both the narrator and Penny’s dialogue is light and young sounding, fitting of Penny’s optimistic views. HG also subtly changes the voice to fit Penny’s darker moods. She deepens effectively for male dialogue. Both infuse some emotion into their performances.
Overall, I enjoyed Try Over and returning to Hawaii. I liked seeing Bones and Penny fall in love, and it was great to see the couple work things out. I also really liked catching up the other couples.
About the Book:
He wants a second chance.
I want revenge…
And I’ll do anything to get it.
Two years ago I left Hawaii with a broken heart and a sunburn, and never thought I’d go back.
Then I got the invitation to my best friend’s wedding. She’s marrying the surfing world’s biggest dreamboat. And she wants me as her maid of honor.
There are two big problems:
- The wedding is in Hawaii
- The best man is the same gorgeous tour guide who broke my heart
I never want to see Bones Keakealani again. In fact, I wish a piano would fall on his head. But he doesn’t feel the same way about me. He’s insisting he deserves another chance. He promises he has a good reason for breaking my heart, but it will take more than promises for me to forget my heartbreak or my desire for revenge.
I plan to drive him crazy with my rich, handsome (and fake) wedding date.
Because even though the sexy Hawaiian is every bit as tempting as I remembered, the last thing I want with him is another try.
Author: Jill Brashear
Narrators: Kaleo Griffith & Henriette Zoutomou
Series: Aloha Series #4
Genre: Retro/Nostalgic Romance (1960s)
Audiobook Release Date: February 28, 2023
Publisher: Momentum Press
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
Source: book tour
Audio Speed: 1.4x
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