Queen Move - Review
Book slump has given audiobooks new life in me because I've been powering through these novels. Hooray for my TBR! I said I would knock out that list, and I have been sticking to the cause. Never mind that I still have 600 left to read. Anyway, the latest audiobook I enjoyed this week is Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan. I've mentioned before that Romance is not my type of genre, but something about this book made me pick it up. Maybe "one that got away" tropes are my hidden favorite? Who knows.
"The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can't have…
Dig a little and you'll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern.
Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old.
Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other.
The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence.
Get into our business and you'll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant.
Twenty years later, my "awkward duckling" best friend from childhood, the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore.
Finer. Fiercer. Smarter.
Tell me it's wrong.
Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have.
When we find each other again, everything stands in our way--secrets, lies, promises.
But we didn't come this far to give up now.
And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine."
Before we get into the story, let's talk about the voice actor performances. It was a team effort between Eboni Flowers and Jakobi Deim. Flowers was good. In my opinion, she carried the story, and I have no issues with how she portrayed and expressed her character. Now, Diem, I had problems with. Who the hell is this deep voice-sounding dude??? I would have had no issues with him narrating his adult character and leaving it at that, but he also had to voice his younger character, and it sounded so displaced. He cannot pull off childlike innocence. I also had a hard time trying to get into his sexier scenes. I couldn't take him seriously anytime he started talking about his manhood. He sounded so awkward! I don't ever want to hear him repeat dick. As a matter of fact, I don't want anything sex-related to come out of his mouth. On a side note, he would be perfect for the narration of classic black novels such as Black Boy or A Streetcar Named Desire. But I'm not going to take this role away from him either. As off-putting as his voice was to me, I wouldn't have his character, Ezra, sound like anyone else.
Queen Move is an adult story that depicts blossoming young love cultivating long-lasting relationships. We are swept in a duel POV whirlwind of Ezra and Kimba, friends from diapers and pacifiers to the successful adults that they've become. When someone is for you, there is nothing in the world that will separate that connection. But this story was more than just two people trying to find their way back to one another. It highlights healthy communication, little-known medical diagnosis, and pivotal crossroads where you can have your cake and be able to eat it too. And of course, there is sex. FYI, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS BOOK ON SPEAKER IN PUBLIC! Some scenes will make a sinner blush.
As small as this is, what shocked me the most about this story is how relatable the location setting was. I recognized every place they mentioned, and I felt a sense of familiarity when they talked about the changes gentrification has made over time. Now I've only been living in Georgia for five years, but I like to experience Atlanta with the characters. I've always seen people relate to stories solely off the purpose because it's based in their hometown, and now I have my chance to be a part of the in-crowd.
Overall, I rated this book 4.5-stars. The book honestly was a 5-star read, but Diem's narration was a four, so compromise! I enjoyed this story way more than I thought I would. Queen Move happens to be the third book in the All the King's Men series, but it could be read as a standalone. Add this to your romance TBR!