Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Performance (Maxine): ★★★★★
Performance (Joe): ★★★★★
Narrator: Maxine Mitchell and Joe Arden
Audiobook Length: 7hr 39m
Release Date: 05-16-2017
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Valentine French may be the sassiest dating columnist in New York City, but the abundance of metrosexuals in her adopted metropolis is seriously cramping her style. Where are the beefy all-American boys? Hoping to find some inspiration, Val heads to Alaska, where the men outnumber the women fifteen to one and wrestle grizzly bears for sport. Or so she can only imagine. Suddenly the most eligible bachelorette in a town full of horny lumberjacks, Val is writing her best columns ever. But if she doesn’t get her nose out of her laptop, she just might miss out on Mr. Right.
Logan Burke is the sheriff of the little podunk town that Val finds so charmingly backward. He’s not that different from the guys she’s using for her little experiment; it’s just that one date would never be enough for Logan. As he listens to Val complain about love over beers in the local tavern, he realizes that she can’t see the forest for the trees. Because if she would ever give up her Prada bags and fourteen-dollar martinis, Logan would give her the only luxury that matters: his heart.
First Line: “‘Sir, the 2007 Gaja Barbaresco you requested,’ the sommelier says as he presents it to Blain with a flourish. Blain doesn’t even look up from his smartphone, where he’s busily typing something, but he does say to me, ‘Go ahead and try it, Valentine.’“
Narrator Review, Joe Arden:
I’d describe Joe Arden’s voice as river water being filtered through a big ol’ heap of diamonds. Joe’s voice is rustic and woodsy, yet polished. This refined gravely undertone compliments the musical qualities of Maxine’s voice so well.
Maxine Mitchell and Joe Arden narrating together is so… right. I don’t know any other word to describe how perfectly these two complement one another.
I’ve never had the pleasure of listening to an entire audiobook narrated by one or the other, but if I see both of their names listed on an audiobook, it’s auto-purchase unlike anything you’ve seen before; I am a barbarian possessed!
I love listening to Joe Arden paired with Maxine because he leads Maxine in this wild romantic dance (because that’s apparently what gentlemen do) and he lets her shine. It’s totally swoony. It’s this completely unintentional debonair way about him. When they narrate together it’s almost like he steps aside to let Maxine and the beautiful qualities of her voice emanate. He just guides her along this dance floor of epicness.
I swear I could listen to this pair all day… in fact, I did. I even wore my wireless headphones to yoga class so I wouldn’t have to stop listening to this totally swoony audiobook.
Downward dog. Joe Arden. Breath. Maxine perfection. Cobraaaaa.
Well, I can tell you this: I’m not sweating because of rabbit pose.
Narrator Review, Maxine Mitchell:
Maxine has an incredible voice. Talk about voice envy! I kind of want Maxine to hiccup during a performance or snort mid-sentence. I mean, her voice is flawless and it’s like she’s having a conversation with me. Her voice is so conversational I even caught myself talking to myself.
“I know what you mean, girl.”
“Yuck! He’s a Douch Lord! Drop him like he’s hot!”
I’m sure you can imagine the looks I received while on the stairclimber talking to Maxine. Yes, I took Maxine and Joe on the stairclimber with me, too. Go ahead and judge me!
Sex in the Sticks showcases Maxine’s strongest attribute: her phrasing. The humor, the timing, the moments of hesitation. All of these qualities are perfectly encapsulated in this audiobook. My favorite quality of Maxine’s voice is her tone; it’s elegant, yet quirky. Since the woman obviously never hiccups, the quirky lilt she has makes her narrations… I don’t know… real. Her voice became my voice and it somehow amplified all of my emotions.
Listen and swoon, my friends…
Chop up my heart and feed it to the fire, this book is irresistible! Sawyer Bennett is giving us the crème de la crème of saucy romance!
We are first introduced to Valentine French as she is on, yet again, another terrible date. Why is it so hard to find a good man? Well, good thing she can vent about it on her blog…
Valentine runs a sex and dating blog called Valentine’s Couch where she recaps her detailed evenings with men in hopes to guide other women through the mad world of dating. Lately, the men in her life have been self-absorbed, egotistical, and selfish. Not that she wants a serious relationship or anything, but it appears our sweet Val has run out of REAL (smart, passionate, exciting, honest) men… so she desperately takes the advice of her cousin and goes to Alaska where she expects a plethora of men to pick from.
And whoooEEE she sure does have men! Hey, don’t judge her… her blog needs this new material.
Rusty, Portman, and Mike filled me in at breakfast, and apparently she has a few dates lined up this week…
A few WHAT? In one week? Girl ain’t got an anchor tied to her feet. But Rusty, Portman, and Mike all have one thing in common: they aren’t Logan Burke.
Logan Burke (aka McPlaidLovinHottyHot) is Valentine’s first encounter in Alaska. Logan is sweet, kind, selfless… He is obviously not Valentine’s type since she’s used to the whale poo in suspension at the bottom of the ocean. In New York, Valentine is accustomed to having the men in her life be at fault, but in Alaska, the tables have turned and now she’s the one who can’t seem to get anything right.
Dancing on tables. Getting lost in the woods. Setting up multiple dates in one week… and the one man who gets her out of every messy situation: Logan. Talk about embarrassing!!
If there’s a God, I won’t run into Logan.
Oh, but Logan is too irresistible with his charming Podunk manliness! Seriously, does this kind of perfection just emerge from the woods or something? Yes, yes it does, my friends.
But not everything stays good and dandy… we now have our first conflict: Val (finally) starts lusting for Logan.
How is she going to keep dating all these men when she is developing feelings for Logan? What is Logan going to do when he finds out? Because he does find out.
THEN we have our second conflict: Val writes about Logan on her blog and doesn’t tell him about it.
Girl girl GIRL this is a NO NO! I’m not talking about Val documenting everyday blurbs of life in Alaska. Valentine talks about getting down and dirty with this man from Plaid Heaven and completely bastardizes their “relationship.” But wait, Val doesn’t do relationships, remember?
I wasn’t kidding when I said she can’t seem to do anything right. There’s only so much a man can take! And with Valentine’s bad luck, Logan is going to end up another one of her failed relationship blog entries.
Sex in the Sticks is absolutely endearing! Sawyer Bennett presents us with conflict on top of conflict as we slowly unwrap Valentine and the straight jacket she’s placed around her heart as she flounders around dating every available man. As Val learns to trust, Logan begins to doubt, and we are sent on a sweet cyclic adventure between these two hearts. Oooo this ravaging war is so delicious!
This is a slow burning succulent kind of love. Sex in the Sticks is magnificent.