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Home the Hard Way  By  cover art

Home the Hard Way

By: Z. A. Maxfield
Narrated by: Shannon Gunn
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Publisher's Summary

Dare Buckley has come home - or at least, he's come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that'll hire him. There's one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father's suicide.

Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn't the same little kid Dare once protected. He's grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.

In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn's keeping secrets - his own and the town's. And he doesn't seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.

©2014 Z.A. Maxfield (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Home the Hard Way

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Frustratingly close to excellent

The narrator is inappropriate for this book. Putting that aside, this book has the feel of a Josh Lanyon mystery, but the potential is vitiated by some niggling things. The first is the premise that these two men have this deep connection from childhood. When you realise that he was only 9 years old when they parted it just doesn't make sense. The second is the BDSM aspect of the book. It is never explained how a small town guy aged just 25 became immersed in kink and apparently a very skilled & experienced Dom. That layer of BDSM also belies the foundations of the relationship. It feels rather like a compromise between two or three books. Very frustrating from such a skilled writer.

10 people found this helpful

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DNF

ZA Maxfield is usually an auto-buy for me, but this was a DNF. I listened to 3 1/2 hours of it, and I didn't really care for either of the main characters. There wasn't really any one big thing that made me stop listening, but a lot of little things that made finally just say enough, I'm not wasting 8 more hours listening to this.

5 people found this helpful

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I had problems with this one

The characters were engaging, but I had problems with Finn. I think he needs serious therapy before he should ever try to be in a BDSM scene. Although he is portrayed as being a competent dom, his emotional and psychological damage would scare the bejeezus out of me and would definitely never let me trust him. I'm glad there was a seeming HEA to this one, but I'm afraid for Dare. So glad Bill is getting therapy...

A very good story. There were times I wanted to walk away from it because the characters made me just that uncomfortable, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

The narration was a bit confusing at times. It wasn't always clear who was speaking. I don't know if that is completely on the narrator or not, but it seemed to be confusing even to him.

3 people found this helpful

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Exhausting

I really struggled to finish this book, it was exhausting, it went on and on when it should have ended long before it did. The BDSM stuff with the horrible cop and Flynn or Finn, I forgot already but it made no sense and it wasn't believable with he was treated. the writing couldn't show us how that came about because I'm sure that magic trick doesn't exist.

1 person found this helpful

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Not bad. Not good.

Narrator was fantastic! A lot of character to voice and pulled off very well. Story on the other hand was disappointing. Through the first half I was empathizing with Finn and Dare, but after the introduction fetish aspect I found myself viewing Finn as a manipulative man taking advantage of an alcoholic and Dare as weak willed lush. Disappointing because I wanted to root for these characters. I ended up stopping at the final bondage scene in disgust realizing I now hated both characters and didn’t care what became of them. I’ve listened to a few other Maxfield books that I loved, but this one... let me just say I’m glad it wasn’t my first.

1 person found this helpful

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An interesting journey...

The story of Dare and Finn is an interesting tale. As the story begins to unravel, I was unsure if I was actually going to like it...but as I continued to listen, I was dragged into the characters and their lives...plus the mystery was intriguing. Did not figure it out until it was revealed...I like stories like that. Z.A. Maxfield offers an intriguing tale loaded with some delightful and devilish characters. The narration of Shannon Gunn added to the deliciousness of this tale. Definite recommend!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Psych damage + BDSM + cops + bad narrator = cringe

ZA Maxfield is normally an automatic buy for me but this book was a disappointment. It felt like it could have been good but too many tropes were smashed together so none of them were done justice, and the narrator made the cringe moments worse with overdramatized voices. I trusted through it hoping it would come together somehow but ended feeling like it was a wasted effort.

Main characters are both psychology damaged and never receive any real help, adding a BDSM dynamic was unsafe for these people and unbelievable. Supporting characters were mostly bitter hypermasc angry people and the whodunit was lost in a sea of other general miasma. The dying Aunt was the only redeeming character.

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Solid Meh...

This was just ok. The story line was ok, the mystery bit was ok, narrator....ok. Character development...ok. Ending...flat and predictable. It lacked explanation where needed and gave too much in others. The "smexy times" felt empty and cold. The narrator rushed thru almost sounding angry he had to read it. An overall disappointment. Can't honestly recommend it.

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Home the Hard Way

This is a very good book it is a FABULOUS who don it with alot of twist an turns before You can see to the end I TRULY HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS BOOK AS MUCH AS I HAVE

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Incredible storyline

This novel presented a well-thought-out storyline that kept the reader engaged. It present more than great sex scenes. Also the scenes we’re people just went through their daily lives managing issues and problems to the best of their ability was written in a way that fully described, and illustrated the evolution of the characters.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-21

Extraordinary account of loss grief & dark desires

Beautifully written tale of a towns hatred and mixed feelings towards a broken family. Two childhood friends separated when one moves away. Years later they are reunited, they find out that their friendship was made out of lies. The pair try to get that innocent bond back but much has changed, the hero and protector now needs his friend to fight for him to rid him of his own demons. Will friendship and love win out?




Spoiler ***
Really felt for these characters. I felt I wanted more of them together happy as the ending seemed to cut off. Not with a cliffhanger but not fully complete....... maybe I am just being demanding and wanting more! 😉

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wendy
  • 08-27-22

won't read any more Maxfield.

I had hoped for less steamy graphic sex but this was not to be. The basic plot line is good, as with the last one but Maxfield needs to decide whether it's a porn novel or a crime story. I fast forwarded all the sex in the end. I have no objection to romance in a story or a bit of description of the sex but this goes on for pages and pages. I'd rather have heard more about how the relationship developed emotionally and less about the physical.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-24-22

alright, but...

I really don't hope people actually is like this in real life. Blaming a girl for/young woman for their dirtbag partners cheating? Blaming the son?!?
are people IRL like this? I hopefully newer meet them - or they will get a pice of my mind. Especially if they call themselves good and Christian. It is not good nor Christian to blame others for your own failings as a human or a family. Get your crap together and deal like an adult.
otherwise an okay book.

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  • JED66
  • 07-27-22

Lovely story

I really enjoyed this whodunnit. And the relationship between the two main characters. It was very complex. Narration was great, it took me a little bit to get used to it, but he really acted the parts.

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  • alex
  • 03-24-22

terrible narration

I managed about 10 mins and sent it back.. thank god it was a freeby

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa G
  • 01-28-22

Kept my interest.

It’s a great story with lots of surprises along the way,it kept my interest throughout. I found myself incredibly frustrated by one of the main characters,I totally wanted to smack him upside the head at times but he didn’t disappoint me at the end.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Wild
  • 02-19-21

I couldn't visualise this

It wasn't real. Maybe it was the exaggerated style of the reader not fitting with the story; maybe it was me.
I rated it as a measure of my enjoyment.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 04-29-20

Good story

Well written interesting story with likeable, realistically flawed characters. The narration though was overly dramatic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • 02-03-19

Great, complex story, good narration

I really enjoyed this story. It was very well plotted and surprisingly, I didn't realize 'whodunnit' until the reveal. Shannon Gunn can be really OTT with his narration, but he kept a measured pace on this book- until the sex scenes which were performed in a super-growly way that was not sexy, but instead made me laugh out loud. Entertaining no matter what, this was a great book.

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  • Lucky Bean
  • 12-06-22

Captivating and absorbing story

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn’t too certain to begin with as I’m am not a fan of any type of bondage at all. I decided to put aside my doubts and found myself curious to the end. The characters are strongly developed and the story well written and absorbing.

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  • Bridget
  • 05-03-22

The intensity!!

I have listened to this a second time. Shannon Gunn is so sensual and expressive
The script is good and keeps you interested to the end

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-21-22

amazing

loved it! kept me entranced and didn't want to out it down. Shannon Gunn was incredible!