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*Audiobook provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my listening pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Dare to Hope is Book 4 in T.M. Smith’s All Cocks Stories series. This series needs to be read in the appropriate order for full enjoyment. There are A LOT of characters in this series, they appear in multiple books and some storylines continue in other books. For example, this book is about Gabe, Micah and Tristan. Gabe’s introduction and his story begins in Book 1 and continues from there. Micah is introduced in a previous book and provides important character information. Tristan appears in a previous book because his brother is in a relationship with a co-worker of Gabe and Micah. See, it’s already getting busy with only five characters, add in all the others and you’ll understand why you need to start at the beginning. Look, I’m only thinking of you and your reading enjoyment right now. 🙂

This is a complicated tale between three men, two who have issues that have led to therapy to try to move forward. Gabe’s story was heartbreaking because we were with him and Gio from the first meeting, and then the author decided to break Gabe and our hearts with his death, sending Gabe into a spiral of depression and misery. Micah is new to All Cocks, but from the moment he first met Gabe, he is smitten. Micah’s trying to put together a life outside of the military, deal with the loss of his limb, and his PTSD. He and Gabe share the special connection of two men being at their lowest points, who has found the person that will understand. When Gabe’s depression gets out of control, the guys press him into meeting Tristan and considering therapy. Gabe agrees to this, as long as Micah will also be with him and talk to the therapist. Jon brings his brother Tristan to meet and help the men.

While I love the pairing/tripling of these three men, I did struggle with Tristan being Micah and Gabe’s therapist and having first a friendship, then a relationship with them. When I first read the book, this really distracted me throughout the book. In listening to the audio, I made myself a promise to be open-minded and maybe consider that it wasn’t an official doctor/patient relationship. But it was an official doctor/patient relationship, so the friendship really bothered me. Tristan did transfer Micah’s therapy to another therapist after they decided to have a relationship, which is the correct action but before all of this, I felt the relationship between Gabe and Micah and their therapist was on the line of inappropriate.

I’ve read all the books in this series, but I jumped to listen to the audio. Joel Leslie has narrated Books 2-4, and I thought he was the perfect person to take on this cast of characters. For some reason in this book, I felt some of the voices were off from what I expected. And I know that’s completely my bias, as well as the challenge of providing voices to all the characters in the story. The narration was well paced and interesting to listen to, but I never settled into the voices throughout the story like I have in the previous audiobooks. Maybe it’s because of how well I felt I knew these characters before this story even started? Regardless, this is completely my bias and I don’t think any other person would be bothered by this.

Overall, I still love the All Cocks Stories and read and listen to every one of them whenever I can! And, I can’t tell you strongly enough that you should be reading this series and getting to know all of these men for yourself!

Overall: 4 stars
Performance: 4 stars
Story: 4 stars