Controlled Chaos (McCullough Mountain, Book 6)

Lydia Michaels
Narrator: Salenah de Kai

CONTEMPORARY: Braydon McCullough has been searching all his life for the perfect woman. He thinks he may have found her when he meets Becca Stevens one night in a bar and they hook up. However, when he returns from the bathroom, she is gone. He doesn’t even know her last name or how to find her again. However, he walks into a meeting at her job, and it turns out they will need to spend some time together. Braydon doesn’t know that she has an autistic child and that the one evening she spent with him is the only time she has ever done anything like that. Her child takes every bit of her energy and time, and there just hasn’t been time for adult relationships in Becca’s life, other than the one with her ex-husband.

In this story, Ms. Michaels provides countless insights into autism and the way it impacts families. These insights seem authentic, implying that she either did a lot of research on the topic, or she has firsthand experience with it. Through her complex and intriguing storytelling, she lets listeners get inside the heads and hearts of these protagonists. It is also very appealing that there is a strong family component throughout this story. The plot seems a little rushed at one point, with more of the storyline occurring in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than seems to fit realistically within such a short timeframe. Nevertheless, the story flows nicely, and the pace stays steady.

Salenah de Kai does an amazing job with the narration of this audiobook. While some of the secondary voices sounded similar, the main characters were each distinctly different. Braydon’s mother’s Irish lilt is beautiful to hear, and as an added bonus, Becca’s closest friends are delightful and fun as well.

Carey Sullivan