• Cravings of the Heart

  • Trials of Fear, Book 6
  • By: Nicky James
  • Narrated by: Adam Gold
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Cravings of the Heart

By: Nicky James
Narrated by: Adam Gold
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Publisher's Summary

A relationship with his brother’s best friend had only ever been a dream.

A chance reunion with his brother’s childhood best friend leaves Arden hungry for attention. He’s always loved Iggy, despite their vast age difference, but he didn’t know Iggy was gay until now. His family wouldn’t approve. His brother wouldn’t approve. Plus, Arden isn’t in a position to have a relationship. 

Arden’s phobia is slowly killing him and consuming his life, and he doesn’t see a way out. He’s desperate to break free, but every day is a losing battle. It would be an impossible thing to hide, and when Iggy finds out the truth, could he love him the same, or will he decide Arden is too much to handle? 

Cravings of the Heart is a hurt-comfort brother's-best-friend age-gap MM romance with moderate angst. It is part of the Trials of Fear series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone. 

©2019 Nicky James (P)2022 Nicky James

What listeners say about Cravings of the Heart

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Highly recommend!

Iggy is a paramedic. Arden is his best friends little brother.
Arden's brother Phoenix was really dislikable for most of this story.

I felt sorry for Arden and how his relationship with food was totally misunderstood by everyone around him. No one even tried to understand..

I really enjoyed watching the relationship between Arden and Iggy grow and blossom into something beautiful. Iggy's unending support without judgement or prejudice was exactly what Arden needed.

I loved Adam Golds narration. He is quickly becoming one of my favourites. He has a way of voicing the characters that brings them to life beautifully.

A beautifully crafted story about love, fear, a religious family, forgiveness and hope.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome book

Wow how to explain how awesome this book and the research Nicky James did to make this series. I’m 61 years old. I suffered from anorexia/bile Mia from age 16-34. I so totally identify with Arden. Though his eating disorder was very different from mine, a lot of the fear and panic were very close. I only wish there were more Dr. Kelly’s in the world. I was sent to an awesome eating disorder ranch in Az. It helped me some but the counselors were not that great. Non of them dealt with anxiety. I come from an extremely religious background that beloved if the doctors or counselors weren’t Godly they were of this worldly mindset. It’s really sad that I was stuck in that mentality for many years. I’m now 61 as I said. Though I eat healthy exercise daily and still love God…. I do struggle slightly with body image. It’ll never go away but when someone makes up their mind to be healthy and move out of the fear with really healthy support that is not stuck in the church it’s amazing how life can be fulfilling. This book in my eyes was written by or received advice from someone struggling in that fear/anxiety arena. I really enjoyed it. I loved Arden and Iggy romance/friendship. I love that Arden’s brother Phoenix became a big supporter of him. Most of all I love how Nicky James showed that if one counselor doesn’t help keep trying others. Like I said I wish there were more Dr. Kelly’s in the world. I loved this book and cannot recommend it enough. So worth the time and money. The narration was superb. Best ever and thank you goes out to Nicky James for writing an incredible book.

1 person found this helpful

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So Good!

Each entry in this series tugs on my heartstrings in a different way and Cravings is no different. Seeing Arden's phobia impact more and more of his life was heartbreaking. Watching Iggy's kindness and compassion help Arden heal himself was heartwarming. Seeing Arden and Iggy overcome and grow together kept me hooked on this audio. Even the unlikable characters (ahem, Arden's family) kept me engaged as I day dreamed of a smackdown or two 😉 Adam Gold is a fantastic narrator for this series, who brings both the big and subtle emotions to life. His performance is truly excellent. Well worth a credit!

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nothing can beat hard work, dedication, and Iggy

I read this book when it was first released and I'm sticking to my guns that Adam brings everyone to life in a whole new way. I don't know how he does it but a;ojgr'opsifg . there are some characters that are same'sy and if you hear the other books sometimes they sound similar but pish posh its still great,

There are references to both Grey and Ireland ( and he shows up) as well as some of the other guys like Finn and Rory. I absolutely love Iggy, so much so my car is named Iggy, short for ignis instead of Ignites like our man here.. there are quite a bit of familial homophobia that can be and was a bit triggering. mainly the dad . shocker. there is one more book left in this series and I'm gonna cry again when its all over knowing how it ends.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

Omg. Jesus, this was a hard one. I can see this one being very triggering for some people, for obvious reasons. But as someone who loves food, I can’t imagine how hard this would be. And Iggy is such a damn GEM.

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Nicky James and Adam Gold are a dynamite pair

Seriously folks, I’m afraid I’m starting to lose street cred. Judging by my reviews of Nicky James’ novels, readers are going to assume all I ever award books are 5 heart/star ratings. I assure you that’s not even close to true; I’m actually very selective. It’s just that Her Majesty of Tortured Souls is a magnificent writer. And in the case of Cravings of the Heart, Adam Gold's narration is the cherry on top of a story about Iggy's love for Arden as Arden struggles to stay alive.

Rare phobias are the unifying theme in the Trials of Fear series. In this instance, Arden suffers from cibophobia – a fear of food – that arose after a tragic event in his life. The fear consumes him and he can only tolerate a small handful of foods. It greatly affects his health. He’s an outcast in his large family for being gay (his parents are deeply religious and homophobic), his interest in fashion design, and his disordered eating. They see Arden as weak and useless and he is filled with self-loathing. His parents barely tolerate him. But as much as he’d like to eat, the truth is he’s too afraid. He’s terrified. He’s embarrassed to be weak and fearful, and is ashamed at losing control.

Iggy is the best friend of Arden’s older brother, and Arden has had a crush on him since he was an adolescent. They haven’t seen each other in many years but when they run into each other again, sparks begin to kindle. It amazed me how much goodness Iggy has in his heart to support someone with problems of Arden’s magnitude. He sticks by his side even before they are involved much. Clearly, Iggy is smitten to want to proceed forward with this relationship. He wishes Arden could see himself as the beautiful man Iggy sees him as. His devotion and patience seem immeasurable. It’s evident Iggy loves Arden long before he realizes it himself.

From the very first paragraph, you can tell Adam Gold is going to deliver gold. He distinguishes himself as a voice actor, not just a narrator, by adding something special to fully engross his listeners in the story. His voice inflection, variations in pace, and emphasis on emotion make his delivery natural and conversational. But it’s more than that which sets him apart; he uses several specific techniques to enhance the audiobook. First, he uses thoughtful, brief pauses in his speech to convey appropriate emotion. Next are his unique voices over the phone. It actually sounds like the character is speaking on the phone. I can’t quite explain it but I love it. He also laughs when the character laughs. These little things make a big difference.

Mr. Gold makes Arden and Iggy's intimate scenes so meaningful, the words spoken with breathlessness, tenderness, and reverence. His voices vary greatly from one character to the next. Mickey’s unique voice, the Colombian accent for Mickey’s mother, his female voices, and that of an east Indian character are all on point.

Cravings of the Heart is not to be missed. It exists in a shared world but is completely standalone. Come along on Arden’s journey to gain control over his fears and not let them control him, and Iggy's gentle caring for the man he loves.

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Really good!

4.5 Stars

Before listening to this book, I had no idea there could exist a food phobia and I found it very interesting. Arden has been dealing with a fear of eating most foods ever since his twin sister and he got Botulism, especially since it cost his sister her life. Unfortunately, being one of 8 remaining siblings, his family hasn't really acknowledged his problem, other than thinking he's doing it to get attention. It's only after reconnecting with his older brother's best friend, that someone finally sees there's something wrong with Arden.

Iggy is a paramedic, and he's also very caring and sweet and soon realizes that there's more to Arden's illness than the anorexia his family thinks he has. Iggy and Arden are great together, despite their age difference, and Iggy is just the right person to help Arden face his demons.

I hated Phoenix, Arden's older brother, and Arden's parents, although Phoenix at least made an effort to help Arden once he realized how wrong he'd been about his brother. Arden's parents were not only homophobic, but also of the mentality of 'you live under my roof, so you have to do what I say.' The way they treated both Arden and Iggy made me so angry. They have a turnabout at the end, but I felt it was a little sudden and unrealistic, all things considered.

Adam Gold's performance was amazing. He always goes the extra mile with his narrations which I appreciate. He really brought the book to life for me and did a fantastic job with all the characters.

Overall, a great book to listen to! Emotional and engaging, I loved listening to Arden and Iggy's story and becoming so invested in their relationship and Arden's road to a healthier future. Very recommendable!

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Fantastic!

If you haven't listened to this series before, do yourself a favor and get to it! This is the sixth novel in the Trials of Fear series by Nicky James. James is a master author and this book displays her writing skills beautifully! Great storyline, beautiful characters, just a lovely novel! Adam Gold is perfect for this series!

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great listen!

This was a great listen! I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the narrator! He did an amazing job!

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Perfect age gap, hurt comfort, brother’s bff ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cravings of the Heart is another brilliant installment in Nicky James’ Trials of Fear series. Each story focuses on a different MC battling a phobia and finding love.

This time we are faced with cibophobia, the fear of food. The disorder is slowly killing 20 year old Arden and no one in his life seems to know or really care. No one, that is, until his older brother’s best friend, Iggy. Oh my gosh, if ever there was a perfect, patient, supportive partner, Iggy Rojas would be it. His fierce loyalty and determination to truly understand Arden’s pain thoroughly warmed my heart throughout the story.

Nicky James handles mental illness with amazing sensitivity and care. She teaches us the ins an outs of a condition as she crafts her characters. I understood Arden… I felt every blow to his ego and every crushing disappointment. I worried as he seemed to vanish with nothing to keep him tethered. And then I rejoiced when his boyhood crush, now 29 year old Iggy, came back into his life.

Iggy is strength, patience, and love personified. He is written with emotional depth and maturity. He sees the chaos that is Arden and also sees the wonder that lies within. Through Iggy’s eyes I fell in love with Arden a second time. I was captivated by how Iggy saw our broken, starving boy. Arden’s is a raw, dark, painful story… and Iggy is his shining light. Their story touched me deeply, made me think and ultimately cheer… and that story will stay with me!

As always, Adam Gold delivers a flawless performance for this audiobook. He fully captures the suffering, the seeming hopelessness, and the subsequent love between these main characters. He creates distinctive voices for all involved and he even adds realistic sound effects for things like emergency radio and phone calls. Listening to him narrate is a truly enjoyable experience.

Coupling Gold’s talent with a stunning Nicky James story, I knew I was in for a wonderful time. Cravings of the Heart delivered that and so much more. I recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful, intelligent, well researched, sensitive, hurt comfort story with excellent narration! Five stars all the way!!

Happy listening! 😊💖

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  • RACHEL REED
  • 07-03-22

So emotional!

This was a hurt/comfort emotional listen.

I loved this angsty contemporary age gap best friend's brother romance.

The characters were likeable and well fleshed out and the storyline was absolute gripping.

Adam Golf performed an amazing audio delivery and narration.

Definitely recommend

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  • Michelle Hayden
  • 10-06-22

Loved it

Once again an amazing listening experience from Adam Gold and Nicky James.

At over 12 hours long I was expecting my interest to lag but definitely not, from the first chapter to the last I was engrossed and liv8ng every minute.

Will definitely be on my favourites list.

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  • Mari Cardenas
  • 06-20-22

Emotional narration!

Before listening to this book, I had no idea there could exist a food phobia and I found it very interesting. Arden has been dealing with a fear of eating most foods ever since his twin sister and he got Botulism, especially since it cost his sister her life. Unfortunately, being one of 8 remaining siblings, his family hasn't really acknowledged his problem, other than thinking he's doing it to get attention. It's only after reconnecting with his older brother's best friend, that someone finally sees there's something wrong with Arden.

Iggy is a paramedic, and he's also very caring and sweet and soon realizes that there's more to Arden's illness than the anorexia his family thinks he has. Iggy and Arden are great together, despite their age difference, and Iggy is just the right person to help Arden face his demons.

I hated Phoenix, Arden's older brother, and Arden's parents, although Phoenix at least made an effort to help Arden once he realized how wrong he'd been about his brother. Arden's parents were not only homophobic, but also of the mentality of 'you live under my roof, so you have to do what I say.' The way they treated both Arden and Iggy made me so angry. They have a turnabout at the end, but I felt it was a little sudden and unrealistic, all things considered.

Adam Gold's performance was amazing. He always goes the extra mile with his narrations which I appreciate. He really brought the book to life for me and did a fantastic job with all the characters.

Overall, a great book to listen to! Emotional and engaging, I loved listening to Arden and Iggy's story and becoming so invested in their relationship and Arden's road to a healthier future. Very recommendable!

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  • Amelia
  • 06-19-22

Another gripping, emotional romance

Arden's struggle throughout this audio tore at my heart, and once again I was reminded of how raw and emotional Adam Gold's narration can be. Nicky James has created something unique and special with this series, and every time I press play I know I'm in for a captivating, angsty journey.

Arden's situation was particularly chilling to me, both because everyone around him had incorrectly categorized his disorder and because he himself knew he was wasting away but felt powerless to change the outcome. His story sent a powerful message about challenging assumptions, even those made by professionals and family members, and it was scary to see how close to the edge he got before someone finally figured out the truth. It broke my heart to listen to the fear and hopelessness that plagued Arden in the first part of this story, and I'm so thankful that Iggy didn't settle for anything less than honesty from him. The two of them may have started out as awkward, unsure lovers, but as they grew closer Iggy quickly became the sturdy rock Arden could lean on. Their romance was sometimes achingly sweet in contrast to the rest of the story, with such cute dates, snuggles, and unconditional acceptance. I bought in fully to Iggy and Arden's emotional connection, and though their steamy moments were slower to build, it didn't make the romantic buildup any less satisfying. As if Arden and Iggy didn't have enough to deal with already, their story also contained multiple messy family sub-plotlines. The gradual evolution of Arden's family's perceptions felt both realistic and satisfying, and though they took much longer to get there than I wanted, I was pleased that they had open enough minds to allow their assumptions to be challenged. My only complaint is that sometimes I felt like Iggy was a supporting character instead of an equal protagonist in this story. I get that the focus of this story was always going to be Arden's phobia, but it left their relationship feeling very one-sided instead of like an equal partnership. I assume that balance will be restored in the future, now that Arden is finally getting the help he needs, but it's the one loose end that didn't get fully tied up.

**I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this book. This review expresses my honest thoughts and opinions.

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  • loveQhuay
  • 06-18-22

Fear of the food and eating. LOVE IT

I looooooove this story and on audio with Adam's voice, just *eeeeeeeek*. Perfection. I love how he gives life to this characters with his voice, full with emotions. Nicky created an amazing world with this series, different love stories around different phobias, and then comes an awesome narrator and brings them to life, it's just perfect.

Teenage crush turning into love, brother's best friend, add an eating disorder ermm I mean phobia, fear of eating. Love it. And the characters are just the best. Loved reading this and now listening to it was great too

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  • Mandy Tunstill
  • 06-08-22

Absolutely Brilliant ❤️❤️

Another amazing addition to the trials of fear series by Nicky James was hooked from the start Adam Gold's narration blew me away how he brought Iggy & Arden to life and told us there heartbreaking and emotional journey together is superb he pulls you into the story and you feel everything these two go through it pulls at the heartstrings and doesn't let go i recommend so much you'll love it ❤️❤️

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  • DanNet
  • 06-03-22

what an emotional story

wow, I'm not sure what to say. Nicky has this tendency to write the most emotional and heartfelt stories and writes about difficult issues that you don't read a lot about and it's very clear she has done her research. i had tears in my eyes a lot of times listening to this. I felt Arden's anxiety. But above all it was a beautiful love story between Arden and Iggy but also about acceptance and love in a family. The narration was spot on too. Nick did so well with telling the story and getting the emotions and feelings across. I really enjoyed listening to this.

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  • Macbandit
  • 05-31-22

Touching

This story is a heartbreaker. It is mainly about Arden who has a phobia of food. He lost his twin sister years ago through botulism from food prepared badly. Arden also had it but he was able to recover but ended up with a few problems besides the phobia. He also is gay and comes from parents that believe he should be able to overcome it! He has been lying about why he is not eating but again his parents believe this is a choice of his. Arden also has had a crush on his brother’s best friend Iggy for years. When circumstances bring them together the attraction between them moves beyond crush. Iggy is a EMT so he feel’s Arden’s problems are more than he is admitting. When Arden ends up hospitalized the story gets serious. Iggy’s character is wonderful. He stands by Arden. It is interesting to see the family relationships as they change. There are so many issues addressed in this story and yet the author does a wonderful job of making sense of everything, addressing it all and making me really enjoy the stories. I think Adam Gold did a great job of bring life to the different characters. His narration made the story that much more enjoyable.

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  • AL
  • 05-31-22

To conquer it all

Story: Oh my lanta! The wringer the author put the MCs through was really impressive! I am in awe of Nicky James' talent of portraying the emotional traumas and struggles. The writing craft is really spot on and the story had my heart in a vise grip from start to finish!
Narration: The performance was so perfect! I fell in love with Arden all over again with the spot on voice Adam Gold gave him! It brought the story to a whole new level!

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  • Katie townsend
  • 05-26-22

Beautiful performance

Listening to Adam gold bring Arden and iggy to life was just pure perfection i felt all the feels emotions heart breaking moments and also the cute adorable and the heart warming moments

The storyline words and narration was absolutely breath taking

Adam gold didn't just narrate Nicky James's words and Arden and iggys's journey he performed them

Nicky James and Adam gold are the perfect combination

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  • The Smut Librarian
  • 06-13-22

My favourite of the series!

All the feels! I really felt deeply for Arden’s journey and just loved Iggy’s patience and understanding when building a relationship. Nicky is a master of delving into the motives and motivations for a character and her creation of Arden is a great depiction of that. Very well done.
Adam Gold's narration is superb!