Audiobook Review: Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke

Posted July 19, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke
Not Dead Yet
Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
four-flames


Series: Not Dead Yet #1
Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on July 24, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

A not-quite ghost who is a thief and his ex-boyfriend a cop solving a murder with paranormal elements together?  Sign me up!

Review

Not Dead Yet opens on a scene when Wes is in his ghost form preparing to reacquire something from a woman’s expensive apartment when he witnesses her being killed by someone with a weird vibe.  He phones it in, but then at the advice of his witch BBF, Lexie, he follows this up with a call to a man he hasn’t seen or spoken to in almost 30 years.  Wes thought he’d found love until Hud picked staying in the closet and his job over Wes and walked away.  He wonders if Hud will look old and gray since he’s human while Wes is immortal (Lexie’s great grandmother might have botched his resurrection so he can’t age and he straddles the plain of the living and the dead.

As reunions go, Wes’ sucked, but there is a murder to solve and he wants to help so he doesn’t let Hudson’s sneering words about him stuck in the same rut and never changing get to him.  It’s not long before the one murder becomes more and the wealthy folk of the Greater Toronto area might have room to be concerned.  Digging deeper reveals darkness and evil that might be too much and that’s after he learns Hudson’s secret and still finds himself being held at arm’s length.

I’ve been meaning to try this author’s books for a whole now and I already enjoy the narrator’s work.  The storyline was exactly the elements that I enjoy a great deal so grabbing this one up was an easy choice.  Overall, I did end up enjoying it, but that was only if I take it as a whole.  Bits and pieces were things that made me not enjoy it thoroughly as I listened in.  I even lost interest in spots, to be honest.

It was the two heroes that got on my nerves a lot, particularly Wes, but I suspect that was, in large part, because he was the sole narrator and I didn’t get such a large dose of Hudson.
Wes is high strung and often really self-absorbed.  Though, kudos that he did go back and try to make things right when he figured out he was being a jerk.

Hudson is the strong, silent, non-communicative type who spouted honesty with a strong dose of cruelty to Wes a few times and then blew hot and cold whenever they started to be in an intimate situation.  Granted, he had some secrets that were affecting him, plus the knowledge of their past and that Wes still feels that Hudson should have put love first and still blames him for being in the same career.  And, how does he quantify this love for Hudson?

Here’s the thing about the past breakup: Hudson was the one to walk away, but Wes practically shoved him out the door.  He was immature and woefully naive which didn’t work for me since he’d been alive since the early 1900s at this point.  It’s like he stayed locked in limbo and life experience and wisdom passed him by.
Back when they met, Hud was a rookie cop and has to put in his time and take the crappy shifts that might mean overtime and holidays as the low guy on the seniority roster.  And, its police work so, yes, its dangerous.  Wes told Hud that he shouldn’t have put all that time into his job and he should have picked easier assignments (when do cops get to pick and choose their assignments particularly when they aren’t seniors?)  It was also the 80’s and Wes wanted Hud to live as an openly gay couple and put Wes on his forms in his police file as next of kin and everything.

He was just not living in the land of reality while at the same time expecting Hudson to endorse his own ‘fab’ career using his ghost talent as a thief.  Choosy about the jobs he took on, but, bottom line, a thief who had no plans of quitting his jobs for Hudson’s sake.
They both turned out to be pretty high maintenance in their ways.

There was also that quick dig in passing at a certain conservative political party during a conversation between Wes and Lexie when discussing the murdering evil in this story.  Really?  They’ve got conservative values so suddenly their equated with murdering supernatural baddies?  Is that supposed to be funny or worse, true of a whole group of people?  Badly done.

The murder mystery aspect was a good twisting one that melded well with the strong paranormal element.  They both factor together in the big action, suspense, and reveals throughout the books.  I thought it was well done even if it had lag moments at times in the middle.  The end was properly exciting and drove Wes right to the edge with his strength, his emotions, and even his life.  Great finish!

Greg Boudreaux is a fantastic narrator that I’ve listened to with other books.  He does more of a voice acting than simply narrating the story, but it never goes into too much.  It’s just the right balance.  I really enjoyed how he did the dialogue moments with precision timing so Wes’ snark and high-strung moments were often amusing, but he captured the introspective moments nicely, too.  He voices the whole cast well whether male, female, older, younger, and man, does he get the chilling and menacing voices to perfection.

So, as I said, my overall impression was liking this one when it all finally came together and the relationship got resolved after both parties experience growth and working through the past.  It was exciting and suspenseful and I thoroughly enjoyed the paranormal world that was introduced and revealed.  I would recommend it to m/m paranormal romantic suspense fans who like some romantic angst and lots of spice, ongoing character development, exciting twists, and a breathtaking mystery and finish.

My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #104
Audio #66
Romanceopoly #41 Freedom Friars
COYER #32 MC is thief

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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LolaLindy@ A Bookish EscapeRachel @Waves of FictionJen TLover Of Romance Recent comment authors
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ROP
Guest

Clever idea for a story, and glad you enjoyed it! Hugs, RO

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, it was to have a ghost thief and a cop together solving a mystery. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
Guest

The supernatural element intrigues me but I’m not sure about the rest of it.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, I loved that he’s a ghost and that there are all sorts of supernaturals in this one. The romance was a tough one. 🙂

Melliane
Guest

I didn’t know about this one but it looks good

Sophia Rose
Guest

It did have some good stuff and it was fun to find a new to me author. 🙂

Carole Rae
Guest

“A not-quite ghost who is a thief and his ex-boyfriend a cop”?
So entertaining!!!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yep! That was exactly what caught my attention, Carole. 🙂

Lover Of Romance
Guest

how have I never heard of Greg Boudreaux because I need this narrator in my life *going now checking out books he narrates* LOL Brad Wills does the same type of stuff that I really like, can do as many voices as needed for the cast of characters no matter how many there are.

I love seeing relationship growth and looks like it was done pretty well in this one. Although Naive characters hardly ever work for me especially if you are that experienced in life.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes! LOve discovering new good narrators. He narrates under a couple of names and it was fun to discover this.

Yes, I did love seeing them go from nearly enemies to associates to friends and more. But, yeah, hard to believe a guy who had been around over a century just couldn’t understand basic things since they would have affected him somewhat, too.

Jen T
Guest

Hmmmm… very interesting. I’m not a huge suspense fan, but I like the paranormal aspect.. Thanks.

Sophia Rose
Guest

It’s about 50/50 on the split between romantic suspense and paranormal. Good stuff. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

This sounds like mostly a win. I’m sure Wes’s self-absorption would annoy me, but hopefully he turns around a bit? The narrator sounds like how James Marsters narrates the Jim Butcher series. An actor performing the part and giving it something extra special. Wonderful review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, he was an annoying one, but yes, he does figure out when he’s out of line and does something about it which I was glad for. 🙂

Oh man, I need to listen to that series too, Rachel!

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
Guest

The supernatural element and mystery sound really good. However, I can see where the main characters got on your nerves, especially with Wes being so self-absorbed and lacking in growth and wisdom for being alive for so long. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it overall as a whole. Great Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
Guest

You nailed it, Lindy. It was great with the supernatural and mystery and took a bit to be good with the characters needing to get their acts together. 🙂

Thanks!

Lola
Guest

I enjoyed this one and might listen to the audio as well eventually. I do agree that Wes could be quite unlikable at times, but I was happy to see how he tried to be better. And Hudson annoyed me at first with his hot and cold behavior, but once his secret gets out it explains a lot. It is one of those books I enjoyed more when I progressed. I thought the mystery aspect was really well done and kept me interested and the paranormal parts were great too. I also thought it had a fun cast of side… Read more »

Sophia Rose
Guest

You’re right about this one needing to be taken all together for it to be enjoyable since at the beginning neither hero was much fun. 🙂

Oh good that the sequel is just as good. Maybe better since they got a lot settled in this one.