Crimes of Passion

For the week of Valentine’s Day, I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of Crimes of Passion, a novella by Jack Harbon. This enemies-to-lovers story stars two true crime podcasters with very different approaches to their shows. When they’re pushed to collaborate on a project, though, they start to realize that opposites can attract.


Calvin Chamberlain hosts a true crime podcast about the victims of police brutality, producing multiple-episode series with a wealth of detail and a refined, scholarly delivery style. In contrast, Emery Thompson’s podcast is about serial killers, and he spends his episodes roasting the killers and dropping jokes, all while sharing well-researched information. The two podcasters couldn’t be more different, despite their similar shows, and they’ve never liked each other. But when a fan of theirs leaves the world with one last wish—to see them team up on a podcast series—they can’t say no. Calvin and Emery will develop three episodes together, and they may just learn that they have more in common than they think.


Crimes of Passion is instantly a fun and engaging novella. The audiobook is narrated by a full cast and includes sound effects befitting the different settings. Each chapter begins with either a clip of Calvin or Emery’s podcast, a portion of a live event, or some other media scenario. But it’s not just production value that carries the story; the characters and plot are equally memorable.

I loved getting to know both Emery and Calvin. Emery is younger, has green hair, and tells jokes to keep his podcast high-energy. Calvin is a more formal sort of man, with a no-nonsense approach to his podcast. Each of them views true crime different. Should they come at it from a place of solemn respect or a place of roasting the evil-doers? Is it okay that Calvin and Emery each have different opinions about that?

When they first start working together, they see only the bad in each other. They don’t get along at all, and it’s only through working together that they gain a mutual respect. They actually have similar working styles, both doing tons of research ahead of time. Their respective delivery may sound disparate, but their content is comparable in terms of depth and import. Moreover, neither can deny their attraction to the other.

Crimes of Passion is a short and sweet romance. Even when Emery and Calvin were still enemies, I was invested in their relationship, and I enjoyed seeing them grow closer to each other. I really enjoyed both characters, their unique backgrounds, and their jobs as true crime podcasters. (And I would absolutely listen to both podcasts if they were real!)

Final Thoughts

Despite its short length, Crimes of Passion is a memorable romance that packs a punch. Calvin and Emery are delightful characters in an opposites-attract love story, and I enjoyed the true crime podcasting elements. This is my first book my Jack Harbon, but I would be happy to read more from them.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Get the Book

You can buy Crimes of Passion here – it’s available as an audiobook.

Crimes of Passion by Jack Harbon
Audiobook NarratorKevin Free; Ron Butler
Book Length2.5 hours
Format I ReadAudiobook
Original Publication DateMay 26, 2022

Official Summary

Press play on this funny, sexy short story about rival true-crime podcast hosts forced to play nice and work together when, in reality, all they want to do is kill each other.

Emery Thompson hates Calvin Chamberlain. From the way he acts like he’s better than everyone to the way he moves through the world thinking his podcast is the cream of the crop, every little thing about the man gets to him. Even that dashing, oh-so-confident smile. He’d rather be caught dead than be around the man any longer than necessary—or admit that last part out loud.

Calvin Chamberlain hates admitting defeat. It’s hard enough losing sponsors for his historical crime podcast while obnoxious pop culture ones like Emery’s only gain more, so it’s a particularly cruel twist of fate when a late fan’s request for a collaboration with Emery lands in his lap. He’s in no position to turn down the plea, and with no way out, Calvin reluctantly agrees.

But keeping things purely professional turns out to be a challenge when these two make it to the studio. Their chemistry crackles through their microphones, and soon, their numbers begin to skyrocket. Can these two make a killing off what they once thought was a death sentence—and more importantly, will Calvin and Emery give into the heat of passion?

About the Author

Jack Harbon

Jack is your typical eccentric twenty-something, writing stories much more interesting than their real life. If they’re not writing, they’re either reading books about magic girls, watching shows about blackmail and murder, or baking coconut macaroons. Follow them on Twitter @JackHarbon!

More Books by Jack Harbon

Jack Harbon - Kitten
Jack Harbon - Meet Cute Club
Jack Harbon - Parker

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