Audiobook Review: Great and Precious Things by Rebecca Yarros

Posted September 5, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews / 10 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: Great and Precious Things by Rebecca Yarros
Great and Precious Things

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Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Published by Tantor Audio
Released on July 31, 2020
Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

Coming home for the prodigal and setting the past on its ear stirs a romance that was long overdue.  Rebecca Yarros is an author who hit my radar when so many book pals were raving about The Last Letter.  I had full intentions of grabbing that one first, but reading the blurb on Great and Precious Things had me changing my mind.  I have no regrets the way this one captured me from the beginning and gave me all the feels within the first chapter no less.


Review

Camden Daniels left his hometown of Alba, Colorado six years before swearing he would never return.  He was a rebelrouser as a teen and earned some enmity from most of his town.  As an adult, a few clashes made them believe he is still a bad seed and the death of his youngest brother that everyone, including himself, sees as his fault cements their opinion.  But now, one phone call from the dad who blamed him worse for Sully’s death than he could blame himself brings him back to face it all.  He’d rather face enemy fire back in the desert, but his dad’s dementia is getting worse and he will come home and help out his responsible older brother, Xander, who it turns out has his own agenda, while avoiding the one person he wants to keep away from at all cost, Willow.

Willow grew up as the tagalong to the three Daniels’ boys next door.  She was closest to Cam, whom few took the time to understand, but it was Sully she chose.  Cam’s return has stirred up the town, his dad, and her.  It has been stifling to return home and years later have no one believe that she isn’t still broken up over Sully’s death.  The town prides itself on keeping the past alive for the tourists, but this also is the case for the people.  Until Cam’s return, she was content to exist and have small rebellions like her graphic design business and support her sister’s even larger rebellions against the plan their dad the judge had set for his children.  Now, he challenges her to face some hard truths of what she really wants and whether she can stand beside Cam in the face of a whole town including their families to have her dreams.

Great and Precious Things is a standalone story about a military hero who goes home to hate and recrimination instead of being embraced for growing up and making good.  To Alba and his dad, he’s still the reckless and rowdy angry kid who punches one brother through a glass window, fights at the drop of a dime, and gets his other brother killed.  I was already on Cam’s side before I got all the facts.  It’s obvious he’s changed and is an incredible man, but very few see it.  Only Willow seems to appreciate it.  He knew his dad hated him, but when his dad called for help, he came running.  That’s a hero.

The story introduces the complicated situations and characters.  The past is relevant so each introduction comes with an in depth delving into individual and shared pasts.  This is a place that went to seed and bucks against new ideas and change.  So, it was not just a romance, but Cam is the catalyst who opens all the festering going on.  Some health and some are too far gone to embrace the brisk cold wind of change he brings.

Much was obvious from the beginning of where it was going to go from the romance, family dynamics, and events.  I wasn’t surprised, but I never felt bored.  Now, the second half did bog down a bit with extra dramas.  Poor Cam and Willow had so much to contend with that it felt like it went beyond reasonable into over the top.  I didn’t hate it, but I did get impatient.

I wanted to hate several characters, but, I ended up feeling sorry for them under my anger at them.  They are flawed and weak and it is obvious why they lash out at Cam and then Willow.  Some did some about faces which was good.  I really got a kick out of Willow’s older sister from the beginning even more than Willow really.  She took life’s knocks in stride and they only made her stronger and a warmer, mature woman.

The romance was beautiful in the sense these two people were a match, but had to wait a while to get their turn and go through a lot of years of hard road to get there.  There is sparkle when they are in the same room and it just sizzles with attraction.  Cam’s broody, smoldering nature and Willow’s forthright, steadier one balance out especially since they need to fight for what they want.

I’ve listened to Carly Robbins narration work before and enjoy her talent that matches well with this style of emotional story.  Eric Michael Summerer was new to me, but I liked his rendition of Cam’s point of view from the start.  He has a good range to do all the voices and he managed emotion and pace of the story so well.  They switched back and forth and I had no trouble with two narrators.

All in all, it was a hard-fought romance and heartwarming story.  I am definitely sold on trying more from this author and the narrators.  Those who like a slightly dramatic, but deeply engaging contemporary romance should give this one a go.

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


Challenges Met

New Release #138
Audio #73
Books N Tunes #36 John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High


About the Book
Great and Precious Thing by Rebecca TarrosGREAT AND PRECIOUS THINGS BY REBECCA YARROS

How do you define yourself when others have already decided who you are?

Six years ago, when Camden Daniels came back from war without his younger brother, no one in the small town of Alba, Colorado, would forgive him – especially his father. He left, swearing never to return.

But a desperate message from his father brings it all back. The betrayal. The pain. And the need to go home again.

But home is where the one person he still loves is waiting. Willow. The one woman he can never have. Because there are secrets buried in Alba that are best left in the dark.

If only he could tell his heart to stay locked away when she whispers she’s always loved him, and always will…

Contains mature themes.

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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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Lorna
Lorna
14 days ago

Sounds pretty good Sophia! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. After The Last Letter broke my heart I wondered if all her books were so sad. And you are right a lot of people loved it. I agree she is a good writer.

Sophia Rose
14 days ago
Reply to  Lorna

The heart-breaking part was what had me hesitating about picking that one up. This one seemed less of a chance for a tear fest. Truthfully, I got mad at the townspeople more than I came close to sadness. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I’ve seen good things about this author. I’m happy you enjoyed it too.

Sophia Rose
14 days ago

Oh yes, definitely worth giving a try. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
14 days ago

That sounds like it ended up being a good story and I love the colors on the cover.

Sophia Rose
14 days ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

As much as I love some aspects of small towns, this town was the villain. I really enjoyed this one.

Carole Rae
13 days ago

Awwwww. The hard-fought love is always heart-warming when they finally and truly get to be together.

Sophia Rose
13 days ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

I agree. He moved aside for his own brother so I was really glad he finally got the girl. 🙂

Rachel
13 days ago

Sounds like a lot going on. Glad to hear it worked well and you enjoyed the narration. 🙂

Sophia Rose
12 days ago
Reply to  Rachel

At first, it was catching up on each of the lives so the present circumstance made sense and then when I had that sorted, then several points of conflict got flung at them. It was a busy story. 🙂