Dana and Wendy review If Only For Today (Deerbourne Inn) by Gabbi Grey (Audio published by Gabbi Grey on June 18, 2021. Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo. 4 hrs 39 mins in length. Ebook published by The Wild Rose Press, Inc., April 14, 2021, 141 pages.)
Jared Langford is a happy man. The desk clerk at the Deerbourne Inn knows everyone in his cozy town in Vermont. He is accepted and loved by the community, but he’s missing someone special in his life.
Devastating news has brought journalist Xander Fortier to Willow Springs for some much-needed rest. He’s photographed every major conflict in the world for the last 10 years, but being stateside has forced him to reassess the solitary life he’s been living.
Something in Xander’s gruff demeanor calls to Jared’s caring nature. Soon the men are spending time together, but Jared’s kisses might not be enough to keep Xander from leaving. Can the men find a happily ever after if they only have today?
Once again I’m listening to the audiobook after I’ve read the e-book. I have to say that I’m having a great time noticing how different the two versions are from each other. You can read my review of the e-book HERE.
One of my favorite things about listening to both versions is that I catch little things that I missed the first time around.
I love that Gabbi’s guys have made it into 2 Deerbourne Inn books. What a great addition to the series.
I remember thinking when I read the e-book that it was one of the best books I’d read this year and now it’s one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to as well. It’s definitely my fave Gabbi Grey book to date!
The characters are more complex than they appear at first glance as is the story. It’s a very well written story that’s put together beautifully.
Xander and Jared are both a little needy and lonely and a tiny bit angsty. Of course they have some big things to work through and grow as individuals and as a couple as the relationship blossoms. I sometimes wondered how they would overcome things to reach their HEA, I sometimes thought that they were silly to impose some of those obstacles on themselves, I sometimes cried because the things they were feeling were so real and raw. I had moments where I was frightened for their future together and moments when I cheered on and celebrated them. I can assure you that they earn their HEA.
Lastly, I love that Callum and Elijah made an appearance in this book. I adore the both of them!
Michael Ferraiuolo’s narration was spot on for this book. He really does a great job bringing these characters to life.
10/10 Pots of Gold or 100% recommended
This is the third audiobook by this author I have listened to. With each book, I am more drawn in to the characters and their chemistry with each other. This book takes place in a series that revolves around The Deerbourne Inn which has many contributing authors focusing on many different couples. This is Gabbi Grey’s second in this series and it was probably as different from her first as the other novels in the series are. In the last book, there was a mystical twist with a happy ending and it was nice to see that couple appear in this book and to hear Michael Ferraiuolo’s Scottish accent again. Swoon! Since I’ve mentioned the narration, I have to say he is one of my favorites and he really brings the story to life.
So in the first book, I mentioned a mystical twist, and while I consider this book more settled in reality as we know it, I did have a moment of wonderment at the end of this book. Was there a possible miracle? Or was it human error, a medical mistake? I’m not sure, but I have jumped too far ahead. Lets start at the beginning. We start the story from Xander’s point of view as he takes in the quaint town of Willow Springs. It’s idyllic in ways but so different from the big city life and it’s conveniences that he is used to. He finds the inn locked up until Jared comes in and starts his shift in the hotel.
Jared is a real sweetie, whose past was marred by the tragic death of his sister. Misunderstandings had him feeling set apart from his family. He loves his job at the inn, acts in local plays/musicals, and has a serious photography hobby. Because of that he knows who Xander is when he checks into the inn. A world famous photojournalist who has been in war zones and poverty stricken areas to shed light on those situations and the human element affected by them. It’s fair to say that Jared is an outright fan. But as much as he enjoys his job and hobbies, there is a loneliness in Jared. He longs to find someone to share that life with.
Xander is also lonely, though some of it is self-imposed. Between his fast paced job with lots of travel and the devastating news mentioned in the blurb he lacks any relationships with emotional attachments. There is something about the friendly Jared though. Xander tries to hold himself back but he finds himself drawn in just as much as Jared does with him. In their brief acquaintance, I suppose things kind of move fast, but with both characters hesitancy it felt like it was a slow-ish build up to the two men falling for each other. They don’t know how much time they have, jobs out of the country, devastating news, and all. But they can’t stop themselves.
I really enjoyed this story. I thought Xander and Jared were sweet together, and I just really felt a lot for Jared in particular with his openness and caring spirit. I thought there was a decent amount of character growth in this somewhat short audio as well, as Jared takes a chance to mend things with his parents, and Xander learns there is more things in life for him to enjoy than what his old life provided. I am glad I picked up this audio and I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for me next.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.