• Jack: Grime and Punishment

  • Brothers Grime, Book 1
  • By: Z. A. Maxfield
  • Narrated by: Joe Arden
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (866 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson's way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack's people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don't solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg's suicide. Ryan Halloran's cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick's suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them. Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick's lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they've both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime and Punishment.

©2013 Z. A. Maxfield (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Jack: Grime and Punishment

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

A nice story...

I liked this book. This was a story that could actually have occurred, making it real-to-life. The journey that Jack and Ryan find themselves on is an interesting one and each has to deal with certain aspects of life in order to meet at the end, together. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, even Dave. Joe Arden did a great job bringing the characters to life and enhancing the story. The details of Jack's profession was a new and inventive surprise and I learned things I did not know I wanted to know! Enjoyable story...

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Fizzled out about 2/3 of the way through

I started this book very enthusiastically; I liked the setup, I really enjoyed hearing about the crime scene cleanup, and I liked the main characters (Jack more than Ryan, but that's possibly because we only get Jack's point of view). Then about 2/3 of the way through, the book completely fell apart. Jack's friends reveal themselves to be completely awful people, and then after they've entirely sabotaged Jack's life, they demand that he apologize to them, AND HE DOES. And it's almost as though the author thinks he should, for some reason? I'm not quite sure of the logic. It's like, Jack was horribly betrayed and abused by someone in the past and nobody seems to think anything of making him apologize to them for... not dealing with it well? Honestly I have no clue why we're supposed to like his friends after this. And they're the main characters of the other books in the series. Awful. By the end I didn't even care if Jack and Ryan got together.

Either way, this is the second book by Z. A. Maxfield I've read, and the second one that I thought was pretty bad, even though her writing is fine (if a little overwrought). I won't make the same mistake a third time.

10 people found this helpful

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A lot better than most MM romance....

I really liked this a lot. Characters are well drawn, great dialog, just the right amount of fun stuff. Narration excellent. Also, concisely told. Very enjoyable and deeper than the usual fluff. If you like the genre, pick this one.

8 people found this helpful

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Surpringly entertaining

Any additional comments?

I read this story a while ago and I must admit Joe Arden brought life to these characters that endeared me to them on a level that had me caring for them deeply, well, except for David. Even after the apology, I'm still angry at him.

This romance broaches on some very tuff topics but it was told beautifully and Ryan 💖 Jack definitely deserved a 'Happily Ever After'

3 people found this helpful

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Cute romantic but kinda annoying

The romantic parts were sweet and cute but I don’t think this was the best display of su*c*de and s*xual ass*lt , the friends towards the end got annoying they told jacks traumatic experience to his new bf when jack said no and they got mad and made him apologize, made no sense logically or narrative wise on why they had to say it and they acted like assholes because he wasn’t handling it well really made me mad.

1 person found this helpful

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Another great story from Maxfield

I've been a fan of Z A Maxfield since I read Drawn Together. I'm glad to have a new series from her. Her characters have character and the sex is good, too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lo
  • 02-26-20

Cheesy and Anticlimactic

Just as the title says. No chemistry was really built. It was just bam boom love you too. There was no real climax, just resolutions to seemingly petty problems. Everyone has a good ol arm punching session of apologies. It was boring and over cheesed. Also the voice actor had an interesting way of reading lines. Made scenes more awkward than romantic.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Grimy!!

I enjoyed this just as much the second time around. Z.A offered up a story with a profession that I’ve never read in m/m before and it just makes it so interesting, and plus I really enjoy the authors writing.

The Story: 4 Pants Off

Jack is one of the owners in The Brothers Grime, a crime scene clean up service. Once a firefighter, an accident left him unable to continue the job of his heart but was able to find another way to help others. One wouldn’t think about what happens after the cops leave but Jack and his crew think about all that comes. They make it easier to clean up so the family, or maybe a spouse won’t have to deal with the hard reality of worrying about getting blood off the walls and out of a carpet.

When he gets the heads up from his detective on and off lover that his first love Nick from his teen years committed suicide Jacks knows he needs to bid for the job no matter that he’s too emotionally connected to the case. How he and Nick ended was very tragic and Jack still carry the scars of it all but deep down he knows he needs do the cleanup even though it will bring old hurts to the forefront. All that’s left is convincing his cousin Ryan who happens to be Nicks lookalike. Cleaning up what’s left of Nick while looking into eyes and face that’s a dead ringer to his once lover now dead is a bad idea of epic proportions.

As I said. I love the crime cleanup part of the story. No one ever thinks about what happens to crime scenes and the care that’s needed to cleanup. Thinking about blood born pathogens and all that isn’t even on people’s radar but Z.A brings it up here and gives you something to think about.

The relationship between Jack and Ryan wasn’t hot fire but I liked it well enough. What bothers me is how Ryan viewed Jack in the beginning without knowing anything and how Jack took everything on like it was his fault. I also didn’t understand why the story revolves around Nick and yet I know nothing about him expect he was a drug addicted punk. He obviously was dealing with somethings and his story intrigued me because I just wanna know “why”.

Overall, another solid book by ZAM. I’ve never really disliked a book by this author and this one had that dark morose element that doesn’t exist much in the other author’s work. It was a new type of pace.

The Narration: 3.5 Pants Off

The narration wasn’t horrible but I did find it forgettable. It’s a good thing the story is so enjoyable. The was no strong difference between the voice of Jack and some of the other characters. While not incredible I still enjoyed Joe Arden's narration. There was a lot of emoting and no actual strong emotions coming across and that stopped it from getting a higher rating.

1 person found this helpful

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enjoyable and entertaining

This was great and better than I expected. It took a minute for me to immerse myself, but then I was all in. Dave needs some therapy so he can get on with his life and not stay in the shadows like a dirty secret. I'm glad Ryan and Jack worked through things and had a dialogue even if it was forced on them. The ending was heartwarming and funny. I'd recommend this read. The narrator did a great job bringing the characters and story to life.

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Interesting

This is totally new take on a storyline for me! I enjoyed listening to this book

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  • 🎧Mandy🎧 Sawyer 🎧Audiobook 🎧Obsession🎧 Reviewer🎧
  • 04-04-22

Excellent chemistry

I really enjoyed this couples story. With a good storyline and excellent characters. I’m looking forward to the next book. Joe gives a sensitive performance.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K S
  • 03-26-22

Good story

I really enjoyed the book. I especially loved the part about first date playlists. :) The narrator was very good. It was easy to tell when different characters spoke.

  • 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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  • FBooks
  • 12-02-21

An eye opening and emotional read.

It ws truly eye opening to read this story. I feel it deeply when I read about things that some people go through because they are judged because of their sexuallity. It was also quite interesting to read about what at the guys to for a living, the type cleaning business and how they fear they will be perceived because of it. A good story that made me experienced many different emotions.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-21

Heart felt story of loss, new love ans some lol's

Childhood romance gone sour, a retired fireman finds that said man from said romance has committed suicide. His strange encounter with the deceased's cousin, sparks a few flames that he doesn't want to put out!

This is in some parts very close to the bone but also very humorous. It had me in stitches on more than one occasion.

Worth a listen!

  • 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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  • Michael Wild
  • 02-12-21

Enjoyable but short.

This is a bundle of a novel and a short story on Kindle. The audio only covers 75% of the book. A particularly well read audio book though. I will be following Joe Arden as a reader.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Buyer
  • 01-03-20

Great story superb narration

Joe is a brilliant narrator. The story is not for the squeamish but has a plausibility. All the central characters including the cat are plausible. ZAM please get Joe to narrate more of your books! He's sexy intelligent and perceptive.

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  • CJ
  • 06-08-22

Didnt like Jack

I have a reviews and someone said they didn’t like Ryan don’t see it, he is the reason I gave one star. Would of loved to see his point of view.
What happened tomJack was terrible beyond belief. But he still something for Nick that is sad and poor Ryan only being liked because he looks like Nick. And lets not start on the cheating because Jack and Dave were seeing each other even if it was only casual.
The audible kept cutting out during the story, so would miss parts of it.

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 03-24-22

Another excellent ZAM romance!

Disabled ex-firefighter now cleaning company owner, Jack Masterton offers to clean the house where Nick, his ex-high school boyfriend, has suicided. NIck’s cousin, Ryan owns the house and wants to help - it looks Iike Jack and Ryan both need some closure over the way Nick treated them. Having read The Trauma Cleaner, Sarah Krasnostein’s fascinating biography about Sandra Pankhurst, I was familiar with crime scene cleaning and I enjoyed the unusual meet cute this provided. While the setting was fairly gruesome, this thoughtful romance between Jack and Ryan was touching and I loved Jack’s mental work about letting go of his own past trauma and exorcising his demons. I wasn’t familiar with audio narrator Joe Arden, but throughly enjoyed his performance!