• Create a Life to Love

  • By: Erin Zak
  • Narrated by: Lula Larkin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (119 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Romance novelist Jackie Mitchell has built a life that works: few responsibilities, friends that know she’s far from outgoing, and sex whenever she needs it. She has her past, but she doesn’t think about it. Ever.

All that changes when she finds the child she gave up for adoption standing on the doorstep. Now 16 years old, Beth Weber is resourceful, a blossoming artist, and a spitting image of her birth mom. To say Jackie is stunned is the understatement of the year.

When Jackie meets Beth’s adoptive mom, Susan, they’re immediately attracted to each other, but there’s no way Jackie is getting involved with a married woman, especially Beth’s mom. But when Susan and Beth need a place to stay and end up back on Jackie’s doorstep, their lives change forever.

Will these three women who share a past and face an uncertain future be able to forge a life of love together?

©2019 Erin Zak (P)2021 Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Create a Life to Love

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Excellent listen

this is a great story, I thought there will be more drama with the husband, but it was Ok that’s he didn’t cause problems.
The MCs were loveable and courageous. and narration was great.

3 people found this helpful

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Love it!!

Loved the story. Loved that it was told from the 3 character’s points of view and loved the narration!

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Super Sappy, lesbian U haul romance

So this story began pretty well with some interesting aspects. About half way through it became predictable. There was some decent character development but...omg the whinnyness of all 3 main characters and the narator had me hoping it would end soon. If you really like corn syrup sweet romance then this is your read otherwise look elsewhere.

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Great Listen!

Erin Zak, not sure why I didn't get this book sooner. I've loved the other books of yours and should've known I'd be happy with this one too. infact, I think this is my favorite audiobook by Erin Zak. The story was adorable with just the smallest bit of drama considering the situations. I loved all the characters. The dialogue was very real. Now that it's done I wish it didn't end. Narration was good. Definitely recommend this audiobook!!!!

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Lovely

Simply lovely. Loved the plot and the narrator. Fell in love with the characters. Making a connection to the characters was easy to do, do to the writing style. Just enjoyable!

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Really good.

A lot better than I was expecting. I’m glad there wasn’t so much drama that it distracted from the story. I had to settle into the narrator, though. Her voice was a little too anxious sounding for me at first, but once I adjusted I really enjoyed listening to the book.

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Not for me - totally unrealistc from word go.

Gave this back after 20 min. A 16 year old runs away, uses her mother's creditcard than rocks up with her birthmother back home and all the mother has to say is "hi" - in what world is that?

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Listening close

I liked the story line without the daughter being gay too. And the narrator voices were all too close. Let’s do a spin off of the best friend….

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A Floridian

I’m so happy to have come across Erin Zak. This is my first book by her, and I loved it. Had no idea she was our own local author. Love the fact that the story is set in St Pete, FL. Narrator is ok, I really enjoy when they have different voices for different characters however in a few cases I felt that the voice did not meet the right character but she clearly showed feelings in her speech. Totally worth it.

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Excellent narration for an unexpected romance

Five minutes in, I knew I was going to love this audiobook. It is not always an easy story to listen to. Then again, when did Erin Zak write an easy story? A huge part of why I love her books is how well she writes vulnerable characters and emotional pain. I know when I start reading or in this case listening, that my heart will cry at least half the time.

Jackie Mitchell is a successful lesbian romance author living in St Petersburg, Florida. Susan Weber is an unhappy wife in an abusive marriage in Savannah, Georgia. They’d never have met if not for Beth. A spunky sixteen-year-old, Beth started out looking for her birth mom and found a lot more than that.

The premise of this story feels a bit far-fetched, yet it works. I have no idea what it’s like to be adopted or to adopt a baby (I adopted my daughter but she’s my wife biological kid, it’s a very different situation) or to not raise your child, and I have no idea whether Zak nailed that part or not, whether it’s realistic at all. For me as a reader, however, on the emotions front, it delivered.

This audiobook came out recently but the book was released a couple of years ago. I didn’t read it then, and the reviews posted at the time are a little all over the place, which is always interesting. It seems that I enjoyed it a lot more than most of my favourite reviewers. I’m not sure if it’s because Zak’s books really speak to me or because of the narration. I absolutely loved Lula Larkin’s narration. I didn’t even care that when the characters were supposed to whisper, they didn’t. The story is told in alternate chapters in first person from the points of view of the three main characters and each voice is perfect.

Because the story is also told from Beth’s POV, it gives the whole book a YA feel, which I liked. Beth’s arc is extremely sweet and a good counterpoint to Susan’s back-and-forths.

I feel that Erin Zak’s books get better and better (I’m still catching up on her earlier ones, it’s the theme of the season), and the writing in this one isn’t without flaws. There are a lot of weak knees, aching hands and smooth voices. Susan isn’t always consistent, she knows Jackie’s attracted to her a moment, seems completely unaware the next, and there a few other inconsistencies throughout the novel. The story seems to lose steam towards the end, and the ending itself is a tad too convenient and cheesy. Despite all this, I honestly didn’t mind too much. I liked these three extremely endearing women, I wanted them to be happy and that’s what I got.

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  • FC51
  • 03-19-22

Erin Zak lets abusers off the hook in this story

SHAME ON YOU Erin Zak: A shrink who stays in a physically abusive relationship!!??? I don't think so!

The premise of this story, that a psychologist practitioner in a substance abuse setting, where violence is a common occurence, would stay in a physically abusive relationship with a man is not believable. That the same woman would excuse her partner's behaviour by describing it as "temperamental" not only undermines the character and the story but sends out a disturbing message to abused people. Erin's story lets violent men - especially those who are abusive to women - off the hook by describing their behaviour as a character flaw.

Abused women are already let down by the predominantly male mainstream media and police who excuse male violence and let men who abuse women and children off the hook 9 times out of 10. If the media bother to comment at all they highlight the 0.05% of cases where women are violent and ignore the 99% of cases where violence is committed by men.

I would have expected better from an educated female author, who's research, if she had done it thoroughly, would have told her that a woman in the psychology profession would know how to access the resources to leave an abusive partner. Erin Zak leaves out that every psychologist in a clinical setting would, as part of their job, be talking regularly to colleagues during which time the depression that she uses as a reason for Susan not leaving her husband, and the abuse she is suffering would come out. GET REAL ERIN AND STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR MEN!

The narration from Lula Larkin is disappointing. She uses the same voice throughout, which is confusing, and I got muddled about who was speaking. It also became monotonous to listen to and especially irritating when the author described one character's accent as thick Chicargo. Although I'm no expert, being English, but wouldn't the characters from the Florida area have their own accent too?