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At First Sight  By  cover art

At First Sight

By: Sharon Michalove
Narrated by: Emma Wilder,Jason Clarke
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Publisher's Summary

Oxford, England 1993. An awkward American grad student runs into a gorgeous English undergrad with her bicycle. She’s embarrassed. He’s intrigued. They go their separate ways, but neither forgets.

Chicago, Illinois 2013. When Cress Taylor starts receiving anonymous threats, the successful novelist feels her world crashing down. Max Grant turns up at a book signing and wants to renew their fleeting acquaintance. Is the timing coincidental or suspicious? Should she fall into his arms or run like hell? Then the plagiarism accusations start.

A former spy now working for a global security company, Max Grant has always steered clear of relationships—until now. When he sees Cress in a TV interview, his curiosity ignites. Will the spark he felt 20 years ago burst into flame? Cress is a magnet he can’t resist. As threats escalate to physical danger, Max feels driven to protect Cress. They must learn to work together if they want to stop her nemesis and find their happy ending.

Nominated in the suspense/thriller category for the 2022 InD’tale RONE Awards.

©2021 Sharon Deborah Michalove (P)2022 Sharon Deborah Michalove

What listeners say about At First Sight

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Did not love it

I did not like some of the authors choices, the story could have been so much more, even the ending was lack luster

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Suspense with awesome narration

3 stars for the book, 5 stars for the audio performance.

The premise of this book was very exciting but it unfortunately didn’t work for me. There was so much detail given to some elements, like describing the cars driven by Max; but ultimately, I had a hard time connecting to the characters. I never understood why Max didn’t immediately step in when the threat against Cress was apparent and why Cress was so unsupported as a best-selling author.

While I have reservations with the storyline, the audiobook narration was stellar with Jason Clarke and Emma Wilder voicing the characters. There were lots of accent work and English and French accents were French kiss!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Romantic Suspense

Sharon Michalove is a new-to-me author. She opens with a quote from a Penny Reid book, so I was instantly drawn in. This audiobook has an intriguing hook, captivating suspense, and complex characters. The trope and narrators were a huge draw for me with this book. I love Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke. I found the story lagged a bit at times in the middle, but I enjoyed it overall. I’m inclined to think some of the lag was due to the author world-building since this is a new series started. Emma and Jason were phenomenal. I’m intrigued to see what book 2 in this series brings!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Suspense heavy, spice light…but you don’t miss it

**I was given an listener copy in exchange for this honest review**

This was my first Sharon Michalove novel so I was interested in becoming adsorbed in a new author's universe in this romantic suspense novel. This book is kind of like an ode to the 'Missed Connections' section of Craig's List in the best way.

Dr. Cress Taylor stumbles into retired MI6 spy Max Grant exactly twice in her life. This first time with her bicycle around Oxford and she's desperate to leave and not live in her perceived slight and the other is just a bit of bad luck and a pair of too slick stilettoes at a fancy restaurant 20 years later. But what she doesn't know is that former run in left a much larger impact on Max's life than it did hers.

This love story is set to the backdrop of Cress's latest acclaimed book release that is bringing death threats in it's wake. Max is now working for Global Security Unlimited with his mates and can't bring himself to leave Cress along, or unguarded.

Sharon weaves suspense with a more obvious 'who dunnit' with the internal turmoil of a woman in her 40's who has been dealt a bad hand at love and keeps everyone except her inner circle MUCH farther than arm's length.

Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke brought this story to life beautifully carrying multiple accents and character arcs in a compelling way that keeps you engaged. While light on spice, this book delivers on a really great Happily Ever After

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great romantic suspense

A thrilling, slow burn filled with thrilling suspense. Cress and Max find themselves together again after a chance meeting twenty years prior. I loved that these two characters were older and loved getting to see these two heal together from their past traumas. The story was interesting and kept me guessing. I loved all the corny jokes that Max told it was a great comedic relief to the story.

The narration was wonderful. Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke did amazing with this story, portraying the characters emotions and making you feel the story. These two also do an amazing job with the accents. This was my first book by Sharon and enjoyed it and can’t wait to check out more from her.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful debut from Sharon Michalove!

How do I even go about describing the feelings this book gave me? It wasn't like any kind of story that I have ever read before. It took me awhile to really connect with Cress and Max, but I don't think it was because they were unlikeable. I think it was because they had both been through so much in their past. Fears of what this new relationship could be for both scared them because of the intense feelings they were both having.

For Max this was his second chance. A second chance to get the girl he has dreamed about for two decades to see him and want him as he has her. As a former MI6 operative Max never had the chance for relationships. After the choices he made and the things he saw with his job he might finally be in a place to have a relationship but getting Cress to let down her ice walls won't be easy.

Cressida Taylor has made the quite career for herself as a successful writer. When allegations of plagiarism arise, and her life starts to be threatened then Max shows up at a book signing all signs point to something nefarious going on. Cress doesn't know if she should let herself fall for Max or if she should run the other way.

If you love Jason Clarke and accents, then you are going to want to do the narration. We got some many delicious versions of Jason Clarke my ears were in accent heaven. The same goes for Emma Wilder. I don't think I have heard her do so many accents before and I was entirely captivated when she spoke French. I highly suggest the audio for this story because it really took it to the next level.

Max and Cressida's relationship is a whirlwind of past trauma, threats and so many twists and turns there won't be a moment you aren't entirely enthralled by this book. While this was a very slow burn, I didn't mind it all. There wasn't a moment where I felt like I was missing something because the progression of their relationship felt natural. With both of their histories it would have seemed forced if things started moving faster than necessary.

Looking forward to book two where we will get to see what new things are going on Cressida and Max's life as well as what happens when Max's past starts to catch up with him.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Touching story with fantastic narration!

At First Sight is a complex story of love and healing for damaged people struggling to let go of past hurt & embrace future happiness. This is a slow burn and there is a lot they both need to work through. Max never forgot the beautiful woman on the bicycle who ran him over 20 years ago, so when he sees her again he can’t pass up the chance to pursue what could be - while fighting his own demons. Cressida is a successful writer who has an extremely small circle by design. She is a bit paranoid about his motives but can’t seem to scare him off. I liked how they were both fighting with themselves and still moved forward - albeit slowly. When she is being threatened Max is in a perfect position to help her, so they both focus on that part and the relationship and trust develop quite by accident. This is my first book by this Author, but I will definitely listen to more. She introduced some great side characters that may get their own books, and I want to see what happens with them in book 2 and beyond.

Sharon Michalove also picked FANTASTIC narrators, which is why I chose this book in the first place. If you are a fan of accent work Jason and Emma both delivered absolute deliciousness in French. They really brought all of them to life and I love how both of them are able to flawlessly switch between characters of different ages, accents, genders, etc. without losing the story. I’m so glad they were chosen for this book and really loved the story all that much more with the energy and depth added by narration by these 2 amazing actors!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Jason and Emma knocked it out of the park!!

This is a second chance story about Cress and Max. After a brief run in (literally) run in back in their school days at Oxford, Max finds it love at first sight. fast forward 20 some years late and they run into each other (LITERALLY) again. Now, Cress is a popular, award winning writer that someone has it out for. After receiving multiple threats and accusations of plagiarism, she is voluntold to get security from none other then Max. Max is a retired MI6 agent who is also struggling with his own ghosts haunting him. They both seem to want to put their past and present issues behind them and start their own lives together.

By the sound of this book, I really wanted to like it a lot. I think there were a lot of good starting story lines, but towards the middle everything got a little tangled and messy to me. There are also A LOT of references to artists, musicians and authors that I feel not a lot of people would know off the top of their head. I found myself pausing and looking up a lot of the references before continuing because I am a visual person. Plus the characters had this weird, fast slow fast slow fast slow kind of romance to them. I do not read a lot of suspense romance books, while this was far more suspense then romance. I was hoping her stalker would not have been discovered till later and there would be this tension the whole time, but they kind of came out and said it about a third of the way through the book. They just came out and admitted it was them. Like I said, it had a lot of potential but I think definitely could have been adjusted better.

Emma and Jason were really the saving grace for me for this audio. Not only was Jason British the entire time (he really should have all the Brit rolls in my opinion haha) there were at least about a dozen other accents and he did them all so beautifully. Emma, as always was just amazing, she really made this sort of meh character on paper come to life in the audio. The way she would play off the nervousness and kind of frazzeld scenes was just fantastic. Plus them both reading in Italian *swoons*. If you are a big fan of both of them (like I am) I would recommend it just to listen to all the amazing accent work.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Jason Clarke & Emma Wilder were perfect

Sadly I just didn’t love this story. It seemed very long and too descriptive in most of the story. I honestly just couldn’t connect with the characters. Cressa was overly clumsy way too many times. It just didn’t make much sense to me or add anything to the story. I really wanted to love the story but I just couldn’t get there.

What I did love was the narration. Emma Wilder is always amazing. But Jason Clarke knocked it out of the park with his narration. He had so many accents that he performed flawlessly. The narration is the reason for the 3 stars of my review.

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Romantic Suspense Thriller

At First Sight by Sharon Michalove is a romantic suspense thriller that I listened to on audio narrated by Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke. This is the first book in the Global Security Unlimited series.

This is the first book of Sharon's that I have read. This book has a slow burn romance between Cress and Max. It focuses more on the threats that Cress is receiving and the secrets of Max past being a MI6 agent.

I look forward to the second book in the series At The Crossroads to be released on audio so I can get more of their story.

Emma and Jason did an amazing job on the narration. They both really know how to bring a story to life. I look forward to listening to more of their work in the future.

I would recommend this book if you like romantic suspense, thrillers, second chance romances, or contemporary romances.

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  • Jocelyne
  • 09-26-22

A Romantic Suspense!

This was my first Sharon Michalove‘s book, and won't be my last. This is the first book in the Global Security Unlimited Series, a Romantic Suspense. Cress and Max‘s slow burn romance is entertaining, filled with danger and secrets. Max, a former spy, is handsome and very protective. Cress, an author, is beautiful, smart, and brave. They are both great characters. The storyline is original, interesting, intriguing, and captivating. Jason Clarke and Emma Wilder did an excellent job with the narration. Looking forward for more in the series. If you like Romantic Suspense, this one is for you! I highly recommend it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Katharoo
  • 09-03-22

At First Sight

Oooh I love a good romantic suspense especially when it’s in audio and done by two incredible narrators.

At First Sight was a slow burn romance yet realistic between two older people who definitely have pasts that have influenced their dating lives in the present.

We see how Max and Cress met decades before in a incident that seems to have left a huge impression on Max.

Cressida Taylor and he attended the same university way back and now she’s an accomplished author. Max has a jaded heart from his past but when he sees Cress again during a televised interview he sets out to see her again. Only someone is targeting her and saying that she’s plagiarized her books.

She afraid and worried who is targeting her and is weary of any newcomers in her life and that unfortunately includes Max.

However Max is involved with a Global Security firm who just might help her find out more.

It’s a bit of a cat and mouse situation as the story progresses and we’re left trying to find out who is attacking Cress but Max shows he’s committed to helping her find out who is threatening her.

It left me routing for these two and I was happy they got their HEA.

The narration really brought this audiobook to the next level for me. Both Emma and Jason do several accents that blew me away.

#SharonDMichalove #JasonClarke #EmmaWilder #AudiblyAddicted

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • paddlefoot1397
  • 08-29-22

Super slow burn

Slow burn? How about 20 years in the making?

I always say that there is no such thing as love at first sight? Lust, sure, but not love.

Max and Cress take that and run with it. It is kind of a second chance story for Max, whilst Cress takes a little while longer, takes time to get to know him.

Oh boy was it a while longer hahah. So much attraction and spark between them,but it take them forever, and I mean foreverrrrr to do anything about it.

A villain or two, a guy who would do anything for the woman he is falling for and a whole lot of suspense kept me listening, wating to find out what would happen next.

Clarke and Wilder did a fantastic job with telling this story (he could read me the ingredients off a packet of chips and I would love it)

I am looking forward to more in this series.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire Annovazzi
  • 08-20-22

It wasn’t for me

(audiobook+ebook) I didn’t dislike this book–and I even thoroughly enjoyed some parts of it–but I guess it wasn’t for me.

I’m not particular about sexy times. I’ve read clean romances before. Of course, this time, there was a lot of build up and a strong attraction between the characters, and sensuality was on display. They just… did nothing about it. For a long time. It was the slowest of slow burns, really, since nothing happens before the very end of the book. And it’s fade to black.

Clearly, the romance isn’t about the sexy. But I’m not sure about the romance itself either. Cress and Max met twenty years before, kind of had a crush on each other but never acted on it. They meet again, and they’re suddenly all they can think about. They had relationships–though not many–but they’re supposed to still be hung up on each other. Highly doubtful.

But the book’s interest doesn’t lie there, I think. It’s first and foremost a romantic suspense, meaning there’s a villain or two, some mystery, a bit of violence, a white knight to save the day, and a victim. As the victim, Cress was an interesting character, as she mostly didn’t care. Death threats, public humiliation, but she almost shrugs them off. Meanwhile Max, the ex-spy security guy, makes arrangements to protect her.

Both characters also had another role besides the victim and their protector. Max serves as a reflection about duty and what someone’s ready to sacrifice for it, and the regrets that come with it. Cress’s creative mind was another topic, though less prominent.

Though the writing itself was okay, I had a problem with the way the author kept dropping cultural references, sometimes obscure. It made the characters look like snobs, and hard to relate to. I mean, I understand that Max and Cress were both nerds, no need to rub it in my face.

I guess I wouldn’t have finished the book if it wasn’t for the narrators. They handled the accents and the foreign languages pretty well. The emotions were present too, and it helped me connect more with the characters. Again, nothing against the story, just it wasn’t for me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • PATRICIA
  • 08-18-22

Fantastic romantic suspense!

The perfect mix of suspense and romance, Sharon Michalove pens At First Sight. This is my first listen by her and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into book 2 of this series. Not only original, the suspense is high and exciting! Cress is an author, promoting her book when Max sees her on television. Could it be the woman who ran into him with her bike in college? Setting out to meet her, the two connect and our romance begins. But it's not only the budding romance that is so good. Yes, at first sight follows their instant love from years ago, but now Cress is facing danger for a crazy opponent! High suspense and danger, and a relationship that though based on love a first sight is refreshingly fun because of the mature characters. Fun listen and looking forward to more!

Then to bring it all to life, Jason Clarke and Emma Wilder perform this like it's a movie in my mind. Clarke breaks out his accents and clearly understands each character. French, British, American, it all is fantastic! Wilder becomes Cress with all her emotions. Fear, love, anger, you name it, Cress has something going on and we can feel it. This is a team you do not want to miss!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • shedevilreads Bookstagram
  • 08-16-22

Romantic Suspense Thriller

At First Sight by Sharon Michalove is a romantic suspense thriller that I listened to on audio narrated by Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke. This is the first book in the Global Security Unlimited series.

This is the first book of Sharon's that I have read. This book has a slow burn romance between Cress and Max. It focuses more on the threats that Cress is receiving and the secrets of Max past being a MI6 agent.

I look forward to the second book in the series At The Crossroads to be released on audio so I can get more of their story.

Emma and Jason did an amazing job on the narration. They both really know how to bring a story to life. I look forward to listening to more of their work in the future.

I would recommend this book if you like romantic suspense, thrillers, second chance romances, or contemporary romances.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S. Cole
  • S. Cole
  • 08-15-22

At First Sight

This is the first book in the Global Security Unlimited series. Cress is Fictional Historical author. When she was in grad school at Oxford she bumped into a guy by accident with her bike. Twenty years later they see each other again. This time Max makes his move on a woman that has invaded his dreams for the last twenty years. This book is a somewhat stand-alone. It did end in a HFN. It is a slow burn with very mild sweet romance. Can’t wait to see who the next book will be about. Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke a did fantastic job narrating this book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carissa R.
  • 08-14-22

3 stars

I think this one was just OK. I think to me there wasn't enough build up of the relationship between Cress and Max. They sort of fell into each other even though Max's secrets and with Cress being hesitant by only past relationship and her current career. At times I think the story needed more detail to flesh out the flow of the story between scenes. It just needs something more for me to completely enjoy it. This cover is interesting though. This was first read for me by the author.

Loved the narrations by Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke, especially did a really great job with the accents.

I received this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bette
  • 08-13-22

A Riveting Romantic Suspense~Great Story & Listen🎧

This wonderful romantic suspense is original with interesting storylines that are captivating from start to end. It is my first book written by Sharon Michalove and I enjoyed her writing style and am looking forward to checking out more of her work. The characters are realistic, easy to relate to and connect with, they are easy to care about too. Cress Taylor is an award-winning author who has gained a following over the years, but that is not all she has gained, she has an enemy. It first starts with threatening messages, but the situation escalates quickly. Former spy Max Grant works for a global security company, he and Cress both attended Oxford and their paths crossed when she ran into him with her bicycle. She is very accident prone, and that does not change because in 2013, their paths cross once again similarly. Max had never forgotten about her and while he did not realize who she was at first he does when he sees her on television. And he feels the same instant attraction he felt the first time and, despite not being a relationship type of man, he wants to see her again. Cress had not recognized Max when she bumped into him or when he showed up at her book signing, though her seeing him again made her feel suspicious of him but when he explains who he was and reminds her of the time she ran into him at Oxford. She is not very trusting, and it does not help that someone is out to ruin her. He does not give up on her and she slowly lets him in, though knowing what he does she still never asks for his help but he gives it to her, anyway.I loved these two together and for each other, also loved how everything played out, a chance meeting twice in a lifetime, and on different continents, call it fate, call it destiny. This story is both cleverly and beautifully plotted and has the perfect balance of drama, thrilling suspense, heartfelt emotions and a slow burn, but, oh so, wonderful romance. Sharon Michalove, thank you for this great story and emotional rollercoaster ride.

🎧📚🎧 And for the fabulous narration, Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke are the perfect cast to bring these characters and story to life and they do so with a complete understanding of the characters they are portraying, giving each a voice that fits their character’s persona and are believable in every role they play. Jason Clarke nails it as Max, plays his role with perfection, swoon worthy accent and all. Emma Wilder plays the perfect Cress, as well grasping all sides of her personality. They set the perfect tone for the story, capture all the character’s emotions and project them into their performance and have you feeling every single one. These entertaining storytellers and versatile voice artists are a pleasure to listen to, and their narration enhances an already amazing story to another level. Thank you for another outstanding listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Erin
  • 08-11-22

Intriguing

This was good story. It has mystery, intrigue, & romance.
It’s a bit of a slow burn and the duel narration was excellent.