Title: Shifting Gears
Author: Riley Hart
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Series: Crossroads #2
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: 05-23-2016
Genre(s): M/M Bisexual, M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 322
Listening Length: 6 hrs 10 mins
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won’t the man jump in the sack with him already?
Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.
Neither man wants something serious, but the more they’re together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.
But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.
Good characters, low angst
Shifting Gears is the standalone, second book in the Crossroads series. While one of the main characters is introduced in Crossroads and we get to revisit Bryce and Nick, the author sufficiently explains the backstory so it can be read on its own. I always like when a series builds on one another but features different storylines and markedly different characters, so I was pleased it wasn’t another GFY book. As in Crossroads, the romance is a slower build. The couple has believable chemistry and the reader witnesses the development from friendship into a relationship. The bulk of the angst stems from family issues that affect Rod and Landon’s views on relationships. However, I wouldn’t characterize it as drama-filled, but rather an easy read with just enough conflict to drive the plot.
I found both main characters likable with a good amount of depth. At times Rod’s come-ons were overkill, but I enjoyed his humor for the most part. Though the story isn’t overwrought with emotion, it’s not superficial either. There was personal growth as well as growth within the relationship, and the conclusion left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. As in Crossroads, there are plenty of sexy scenes with a good dose of dirty talk. The dialogue and writing flowed naturally, making it an easy, enjoyable audiobook. I had a little trouble with the voices narrator Sean Crisden used in the first book- particularly for the female characters. I didn’t have as much of an issue with the second. I’m unsure if it was because I expected them or he toned them down a little, but for me the narration was better in Shifting Gears. If you’re looking for an easy listen or read that doesn’t have limp storylines or characters, I recommend trying one or all of the Crossroads books.