Title/Author: Blood Brothers (Sign of Seven #1) by Nora Roberts.
Narrated by: Phil Gigante.
Genre: Paranormal Romance.
Publisher: Brilliance Audio.
Favorite character: Quinn.
All in all: Between Meh and Okay.
Synopsis: Every seven years, there comes a week in July when the locals do unspeakable things--and then don't seem to remember them. The collective madness has mad itself know beyond the town borders and has given Hawkins Hollow the reputation of a village possessed.
This modern-day legend draws reporter and author Quinn Black to Hawkins Hollow with the hope of making the eerie happening the subject of her new book. It is only February, but Caleb Hawkins, descendent of the town founders, has already seen and felt the stirrings of evil. Though he can never forget the beginning of the terror in the woods twenty-one years ago, the signs have never been this strong before.
Cal will need the help of his best friends, Fox and Gage, but surprisingly he must rely on Quinn as well. She, too, can see the evil that the locals cannot, somehow connecting her to the town--and to Cal. As winter turns to spring, Cal and Quinn will shed their inhibitions, surrendering to a growing desire. This will form the cornerstone of a group of men and women bound by fate, passion, and the fight against what is to come from out of the darkness.~Goodreads.com
My Thoughts: I took this out of the library because the synopsis sounded promising and to be honest, the pickings are getting slimmer regarding the audio books at my local branch. I was hoping for some horror scenes and scary moments, but this book is mostly about main characters Cal and Quinn researching the evil in the town and their romance.
I like Quinn Black, the female protagonist. She is a strong, funny character and the fact that she is kind of pushy adds to her personality. She knows what she wants and her confidence is admirable.
The romance is at times sweet. I'm not one for heavy mush in books, but I liked that Quinn told Cal she loved him simply because she thought he should know. Her feelings came off as very sincere and so did most of the romance. It is a little corny for me, but still romantic. Their banter back and forth is cute and fun. (Just a silly side note, the term "frothy underwear" made me laugh and took me right out of *that* moment.)
The book has some really nice creepy moments and elements and the dilemma is interesting, but in the long run, it felt like a long set up to me. It was a bit too convenient and predictable. Three men, three women and they all have backgrounds and secrets that have to do with this tale. I already know who will end up with who in the next books and I'm sure they will defeat the evil and break the curse. There was also some "As you know..." moments to recap, which worked as a plot device but didn't feel organic.
The narration of Quinn, Leila and Sybil also did not work for me. I understand that male narrators may have trouble with female voices and unfortunately, the young women in this production sound falsetto. Also, Leila is supposed to be from New York, but the accent was forced and at times sounded comical. The male voices were much better, with Cal sounding normal and Gage sounding like Sam Elliott. However, Fox's voice didn't work for me either. Sometimes it reminded me of a stereotypical surfer and sometiems it reminded me a little of Don Knotts.
I think the story is kind of fun, but the execution and characters could be richer. Nora Roberts fans may like this because they know what they are getting. But it is a bit formulaic and predictable to me.