• Pretty Pretty Boys

  • Hazard and Somerset Mystery Series, Book 1
  • By: Gregory Ashe
  • Narrated by: Tristan James
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (665 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After Emery Hazard loses his job as a detective in Saint Louis, he heads back to his hometown - and to the local police force there. Home, though, brings no happy memories, and the ghosts of old pain are very much alive in Wahredua. Hazard's new partner, John-Henry Somerset, had been one of the worst tormentors, and Hazard still wonders what Somerset's role was in the death of Jeff Langham, Hazard's first boyfriend.  

When a severely burned body is discovered, Hazard finds himself drawn deeper into the case than he expects. Determining the identity of the dead man proves impossible, and solving the murder grows more and more unlikely. But as the city's only gay police officer, Hazard is placed at the center of a growing battle between powerful political forces. To his surprise, Hazard finds an unlikely ally in his partner, the former bully. And as they spend more time together, something starts to happen between them, something that Hazard can't - and doesn't want - to explain.  

The discovery of a second mutilated corpse, though, reveals clues that the two murders are linked, and as Hazard gets closer to answers, he uncovers a conspiracy of murder and betrayal that goes deeper - and closer to home - than he could ever expect.

©2017 Gregory Ashe (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Pretty Pretty Boys

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

Must listen to whole series!!

The main takeaways I get with this wonderful book is 1) it is a really engaging mystery, 2) it has well written, well developed MCs that are flawed and have a lot of baggage, and 3) this is a romance over a series of books, a la Adrien English mysteries series. This first book is an intro to the characters and their background together. Hazard is a detective who left his small town because of the homophobic atmosphere and abuse he experienced as a kid. Somers was one of his childhood torturers who is seeking redemption and not going about it in a healthy way. They are thrust together as partners and have to navigate a minefield of the past, small town politic surrounding a murder, and secrets they have been keeping. But in reading the blurbs for the other books in the series, it seems that starting this series is an investment in completing the series to get to the HEA. Are the characters and writing worth the investment? I say YES!!

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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READ/LISTEN TO THIS SERIES

I have never laughed at characters the way I laugh at Hazzard & Somerset. You will fall into complicated love with them and never want to let go.

The narration is stellar! Tristan James makes these guys so real and alive with his performance.

Do not miss out on this gem of a series! The writing is *chef kiss*

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well written, missing out on some details.

This book was quite an interesting read, except that there is one factual foible in the very first chapter that threw me out of the story, and caused me to think that the author was a bit ... unreliable.

The writing overall was above-standard for a mystery novel, almost poetic in the description of time and place, and in the recurring flashback of the two main characters, as we learn over the length of the book was a recollection of their first kiss.

However: the premise of the book seems flawed to me, when a character shows up for work in a new town (in which he grew up, moved away... returned... etc.) and yet he doesn't know who works at his new job, or doesn't know anything about the police department in which he would be working, OR (and it's a big one in this particular story line) who would be his partner on this new detective job.

I had to pause the book and scream, "Did this man not go there for a job interview and meet ... maybe ... at least the chief of police??"

The beautiful writing throughout, and the interesting/compelling plot line could not make up for that problem at the very beginning of Chapter One. I just didn't "trust" details after that. Unfortunately, this was not the only example in the book of not "working out" the natural movements/actions of the characters; it's just the biggest one worth mentioning.

Caveat Emptor.

3 people found this helpful

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Decent

This book is made better by a great narrator. The story was fine, but not good enough to get the next in the series. It just didn’t hold my attention that well.

3 people found this helpful

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So disappointed

Never have I ever wanted to love a book as much as I wanted to love 'Pretty Pretty Boys.' It came so highly recommended, and I'm a huge fan of the narrator. However, the author ruined the story for me in the last chapter with his contrived twists and turns.

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely fabulous

I had to stop while listening to this story, to catch my breath, to digest the story, to eat. This story was long, but engrossing, and thoroughly enjoyable. I plan on listening again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It was great, a real treat. Nico or John Henry, that is the question.

2 people found this helpful

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Good mystery with exceptional audio.

I love mysteries. This one was very interesting and intriuging though I was able to guess who was the perpetrator. I think it's because I've read hundreds and hundreds of mystery booksThere were also some flashbacks in the common past of two main protagonists that helped to understand their characters. The performance was also exceptional. Tristan James is one of my automatic to buy narrator. I am glad that I bought this first installment of a series. there are three books so far with an audio and six in total. I hope that all six will be voiced. Thanks to both: Gregory Ashe the author and Tristan James the narrator for such a great beginning.

2 people found this helpful

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Complex, Exhilarating Mystery

Tristan James does a fantastic job of bringing this tight, complex, thrilling story to audio

2 people found this helpful

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Love this book.

Pi love the way Hazard puts Somers happiness above his own, even if Somers returns to his wife.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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i just read the book and now fantastic

i loved the book and thought the series was great. so happy it is in audio. That being said where is the southern accent? Where is the nuance in tone. I need more than adequate reading. I think a different narration style is needed. The voices of the author does not match the voice of the narrator. Recommend reading the book sorry tristan.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 09-19-18

great story, great narration

great cop story with lots of UST. Fab narration, I bought book 2 straight away.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wendy
  • 05-09-21

An addictive first in the series

I’ve had Pretty Pretty Boys in my audible library for some time and now I’m asking myself why it’s taken me so long to get started because I’m now totally hooked into this series and foresee a lot of Gregory Ashe in my immediate future.

Gregory Ashe is a talented, clever writer. His stories are intelligent, unique and well plotted with interesting and diverse characters. Hazard is gay but understated - he doesn’t sleep around and prefers monogamous relationships. This is one aspect I really like about this author’s writing - the lack of gratuitous sex. He hints at sexual attraction, but it’s slow burn and the way he implies it is actually far more sexy than full on descriptive detail; so if it’s hot and lusty you’re looking for then this author isn’t for you. Hazard’s obvious attraction to his partner, Somerset, and his to Hazard (although he’s closeted with a wife and child), slowly builds throughout the story. But it’s more in the background of this interesting and cleverly crafted story. I suspect it’s going to be a few books down the line in this series before these two gorgeous men get together.

Besides which, Hazard has a lot of issues to work through from his childhood with Somerset and this was yet another thread to the story that I found to be compelling and fascinating.

Overall a very satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable listen. However, although I really enjoyed the timbre and tone of Tristan James’ voice, I sometimes found it difficult to know when Hazard or Somerset were speaking. Strangely, only those two, as he has a wide and varied store of voices in his arsenal for the secondary characters. For this reason alone I am marking him down to 4* as otherwise I really enjoyed his performance and just wish he had differentiated more between the two MC’s.

1 person found this helpful

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  • alex
  • 11-19-18

Very slow very confusing

I decided on this following other reviews. it is droll and long winded and I keep having to rewind as I keep getting lost. it's all over the place.. Very boring.. I've managed about 5 chapters and given up.. Very boring

1 person found this helpful

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  • Northie
  • 07-05-22

Setting the scene

In revisiting this very first novel featuring Hazard and Somers, you can compare and contrast with what follows. There's a suitably knotty case but that has to fit around introducing the principal characters and their milieu. Of course, we don't learn everything about them. Gregory Ashe's characters are way too complex for that. He does well in establishing them both, Hazard especially. There's enough to intrigue, to lead you on, to wish you could fill in the gaps. Sixteen books on and they're still mysteries on some level.

Tristan James is equally finding his way. Although he has voices for the main characters, they're not second nature to him as they are in later books. Occasionally, it's not clear who's speaking but that soon resolves itself.

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  • LisaCanada
  • 10-07-21

One of the best series!

I finally take time to write a review for this book, I was too busy ready the next one of the series, than the next, then the next etc.

From reading the comments I was a bit septic as a lot of them say that it's much more about the crime story than the relationship between the two characters, no steamy scenes (which we don't mind having for sure ;D ), long to listen too etc. But I had it in my wishlist for some time so I decided to give it a go. And oh boy what a good idea!
I absolutely adore this series!
Yes it's focus on the crime/detective part a lot but for me it's one of the series the most focus on the characters relationship. No we don't have steamy sex scenes, but every look, every talk, every move is about their relationship, passed and present.
The crime mysteries on the side/front (depending how you take it) is really well constructed, interesting till the end and keeps the story going. It's over a short period of time so I don't feel it drags on.
All the characters are well done, have a past which explain their actions. Hazard and Somerset are old bully and victim, then partner, then friends and all along we can see their feelings changing, evolving.
I'm always disappointment about "enemies to lovers" (not saying it's how it ends, I haven't finished yet but I hope!) because it's going too fast, it's not credible. Here it feels real!
It's really well written, beautiful text and not complected.

The narrator Tristan James is one of my favorite so I wasn't disappointment here either. His voice is amazing and he's doing a great job at giving the text emotion. Somerset and Hazard voice, being similar, are a bit complicated to differentiate sometime but it's not too much of a bother.

It's a BIG 5 stars for me and I highly recommend giving it a go to annoying who likes crime/detective stories and love/relationship stories.

On my way to read the book 4!

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  • Glynis
  • 10-05-21

Great storytelling

Loved this book - reading and listending to it . Narrator does a greaat job. You woin't be dissappointed.

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  • Zaphod
  • 09-09-21

excellent story

Very easy to get too involved with the characters and wanting them to sort out their issues.

The plot is well thought out and the language used it easy to follow the twists and turns. I had no problems with remembering the different characters although some were a little improbable and designed to fit the story.

But a rivetting read (sorry listen), excellent storyline, excellent narration, thank you Gregory Ashe.

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  • Debbie Attenborough
  • 03-03-21

I enjoyed it, I just didn't love it.

I enjoyed this, I just didn't quite love it!

Hazard and Summers have history, that much is clear, but at the end of this book, they still haven't addressed that properly! And i wanted them to, NEEDED them to have done that, if nothing else.

Tristan James narrates.

I cannot fault the narration though! James is a master at his craft and gets all of both Hazard's and Summers' feelings about everything over exceptionally well.

Will I continue with the series? Probably not.

4 stars for the book
5 for the narration.

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  • Mrs C
  • 01-16-21

Brilliant

Absolutely loved this book. The narrator is fantastic at bringing Hazard and Somerset alive. Can’t wait to read/listen to more of this series.

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  • Avid Listener
  • 11-13-20

Pretty Pretty Boys!

Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.
Straight on to buying next in series.
Some reviews say it was a little slow but i think its supposed to be... First in the series, setting the tone, backgrounds of characters which moving forward will be important. Give this a go!

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  • Amber Smeenk
  • 06-09-22

great story, let down by narration

A few narrators can make the phone book sound like a great story. This narrator managed to make a good story sound like the phone book.
I thought about returning the book but the story did grip me enough. Would love to hear it read by someone else!