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Love Lines #1

Call Me Maybe

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Listening Length: 5 hours and 55 minutes

True love is on the line in this charming, laugh-out-loud rom-com—created specifically for the audio format!

Paint your toes. Pick up the wrong coffee and bagel order. Drive from Brooklyn to Jersey in traffic so slow you want to tear your hair out. It’s amazing all the useless things I can accomplish while on hold for three hours with customer service. Three hours when I should be getting the Date-in-a-Box website ready to launch at the big business expo in a few days. Except my shiny new website is glitching, and my inner rage-monster is ready to scorch some earth… when he finally picks up. Not the robot voice I expected but a real live human named Cal. He’s surprisingly helpful and really knows his stuff, even if he’s a little awkward…. in an adorable way.

And suddenly I’m flirting with him? And I think he’s flirting back.
And suddenly it’s been hours, and we’re still on the phone talking and ordering each other takeout while he trouble shoots my website.
And suddenly we’re exchanging numbers and sending texts and DMs every day, leaving voice mails (who even does that anymore?!).
And suddenly I’m wondering if it’s possible for two people fall in love at first talk.

Because I’m falling… hard.


Vera Hoffman has just days to make sure her website for her new Date-in-a-Box business launches. When the darn thing glitches, she calls her IT company and connects with Cal Kantola. An intense week of phone calls, DMs, voice messages, and texts ensue, and in between troubleshooting, these two start to develop feelings. But will their systems be compatible when they actually meet face-to-face?

6 pages, Audible Audio

First published October 20, 2020

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About the author

Cara Bastone

8 books876 followers
Hi, I’m Cara!
I’m a full time writer living and writing in Brooklyn with my husband, son, and an almost-goldendoodle. My goal with my work is to find the swoon in ordinary love stories.

I’ve been a fan of the romance genre since I found a grocery bag filled with my grandmother’s old Harlequin Romances when I was in high school. I’m a fangirl for pretzel sticks, long walks through Prospect Park, and love stories featuring men who aren’t crippled by their own masculinity.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,447 reviews
Profile Image for aarya.
1,207 reviews
August 22, 2022
The Audible Original team is killing it. I'm consistently impressed by the high production quality and narrator talent. It feels like listening to a movie or a full-cast radio production, and I really hope there are more romance-centric Audible Originals planned for the future.

Cara Bastone is becoming a reliable read! Her voice is super funny and sweet. In Call Me Maybe, a frazzled Vera calls customer service of a startup tech company after her website malfunctions. She's presenting her Date-in-a-Box business (a care package for different occasions) to vendors in an expo soon, and this website is crucial to any chance of success. Unfortunately, the only thing showing up in her website is confusing script and jumbled characters. After being on hold forever, she finally gets on line with Cal, a tech genius who has only recently started working in customer service. What should be a curt, professional call turns into something more friendly. Maybe something even more intimate. But can you really fall in love with someone you've never met?

The audiobook is a mix of phone calls, texts, and POV scenes from both MCs. The narrators (Luci Christian and Neil Hellegers) are AMAZING and their acting enhanced the entire experience. The story was clearly written for audio consumption; I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as much in ebook form. The background noise (Kal's cat meowing, sound of key turning in the door, traffic, other city noises, etc) made the overall listening experience more pleasurable. As I said earlier, the performance isn't like a typical audiobooks. It sounds more like listening to a movie or a full-cast radio production. I really loved it!

Re: the story itself, I have some minor plothole questions and nitpicks. It's irritating that Vera spends most of the story thinking that Cal has a girlfriend (he does not! It's a misunderstanding and it takes WAY too long to get resolved). It was hard for me in the beginning because there are SO MANY (intentional) awkward interactions/jokes and I cringed in second-hand embarrassment (it wasn't bad or anything, I just get embarrassed easily). Thankfully, that stopped relatively soon and the rest of the interactions is excellent. I also question some aspects of the website tech solution but... whatever. It's just a story, lol, and I enjoyed the narration far too much to analyze these things harshly.

Plus, the rest of the romance is swoony. Cal is this adorable sweetheart of a geeky tech genius who doesn't have a lot of confidence with women (or anyone. He's terrible at social interaction of all kinds). He is one of the nicest heroes I have read in romance, plus respectful and competent to boot. Vera is his polar opposite: sunshine heroine with high emotional intelligence and friendship magnet. She's also a bit of a hot mess in her professional accomplishments and feels self-conscious because of her "failures" (I really appreciated how Cal pushed against her family's view of her "quitting" mentality and reframed it into a more positive light). I don't have anything in common with Vera (seriously, her tech habits gave me hives sometimes, lmao), but her character arc is wonderfully developed. Even though the entirely of the relationship is via phone calls and texts, I 100% believed in the HEA and their future.

My favorite part of the book is... a spoiler. I don't wanna talk about this, even under spoiler tags, but there is one plot choice that is executed wonderfully and I want to give kudos for that. It's a plot decision that I normally dislike in most romance because the execution is usually crappy, but it REALLY worked here. There ends my vague compliment, haha.

Overall, this is a pleasurable way to pass six hours if you listen to audiobooks! I definitely recommend it, and I can't wait for the next installment (I hope it's about Vera's brother because there is sequel bait and I loved him. Gimme all the golden retriever heroes). I buddy-read/listened to Call Me Maybe with my friend Jenica and that was a DELIGHT. We messaged each other constantly with our immediate reactions, and that was half the fun.

Read via audio (narrated by Luci Christian and Neil Hellegers).

Disclaimer: I received a free audiobook from the publisher (Audible) in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,264 reviews425 followers
October 27, 2020
this was delightful!!
the smile was on my face all the time while I was listening to this...
Audible outdid themselves with the production...
If you need a quick, pick me up - I highly recommend this!!
Profile Image for Snjez.
716 reviews348 followers
November 23, 2022
Sadly, I didn't enjoy this one as much as book 3. The audiobook is only 6 hours long, but it took me forever to finish it.

The whole story is basically Vera and Kal's conversations over the phone and I was bored for most of it. I found Vera annoying at times, both her character and the narrator's voice. The story felt too long and some parts seemed pointless, like Kal's dad and the cat ransom.

Two things that bothered me: bad language, which surprised me in this type of story, and the fact that for the longest time Vera thought Kal had a girlfriend and yet she still flirted with him over the phone and developed a crush. Obviously, he didn't have a girlfriend, but she didn't know that.

I thought it was cute when they finally met in person, but that was literally at the very end of the story.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,753 reviews32k followers
July 3, 2021
4 stars

This was truly adorable and so much fun to listen to. If you’re looking for a sweet love story Call Me Maybe will hit the spot. The narration is incredible and I loved Vera and Kal. I wish it would have a been a bit longer and we would have had more time with the couple, but I enjoyed it so much! I’m so glad that Vera’s brother Eliot’s also has a book out. I’ll be getting to it soon!

Audio book source: Audible Plus
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrators: Luci Christian and Neil Hellegers
Narration Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 5h and 55m
December 15, 2021
Cute but a bit unrealistic!

The following ratings are out of 5:
Narration: 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧
Romance: 💋💋💋💋💋
Story/Plot: 📕📗📘
World building: 🌎🌍🌏🌎
Character development: 👩🏻🧑🏼‍🦱👩🏻‍🦱👱🏻‍♂️

The heroine: Vera - she has started her own business and has a convention coming up in which she will promote her business, but she needs her website to be up and running and impressive in order to look professional at this important event. Her brother Elliot told her to use his friends company to host the site and she took his advice but now it isn’t displaying at all.

The Hero(es): Kal - tech support at web hosting/content managing site where Vera has her website. He answer’s Vera’s call and attempts to help fix her site.

The Story: Vera spends more than three hours on hold because she has to get her website up and running and she refuses to get off the line while Kal is working on her site because she feels if she lets him off the call to fix it and get back to her she will end up getting an email days later and have it not fixed.

So Kal and Vera end up talking while Kal works on her website problems. Some of which stem from the fact that she never updates her computer and it is on an ancient operating system. Kal says there was a design flaw where the web hosting software didn’t take into account that someone on such an antiquated system would use it to design such an advanced site. So they end up talking more and more and learning more about each other.

This was the first book in the Love Lines series, though I listened to the second book first. Really they are interchangeable so it doesn’t matter which one you read or listen to first. Though both really should be listened to. These are made for audiobook format. This one was cute and I enjoyed it but I really liked the characters and story in the other book a bit more.

Profile Image for SHOMPA.
321 reviews112 followers
March 8, 2023
Not only was it super sweet and a little bit emotional, even the two main characters were extremely amusing. This light-hearted novella has worked like a charm to cure my recent sour mood, exactly what I needed.
Profile Image for Lucy.
410 reviews69 followers
February 18, 2022
I loved listening to this one 💕. Such a fun audiobook! It was quirky, hilarious, and entertaining.

This audiobook is not just narrated; it's a performance. I'd never listened to a book like that, so I was surprised by it at first. It's like listening to a play, and I actually loved it because it gave the story so much dimension. The narrators did an amazing job and gave Vera and Cal perfect voices!

The story is fantastic! Cara Bastone is new to me, but I'm looking forward to reading some of her other books.
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,447 reviews1,158 followers
December 24, 2020
It was clean and I still loved it...

I started and finished Call Me Maybe in half a day. Honestly, when I started, I was a little ... OH, MY GOODNESS, WHAT HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO??? There was all this background noise and the narrators' voices were fading in and out, seemingly shouting at me, and REALLY emotional. It took me a couple of minutes to work out that I was experiencing a performance. This was one of the only times I have experienced a full-on acting extravaganza...in audiobook form. So, I was on my walk this morning, and it was hard to work out what I was listening to in my audiobook and what was background noise. Luckily it didn't take me long to adjust, and I happily settled in for this delightful, funny, and charming story.

I think I was in the right mood for this story, and considering the length, it didn't really have a chance to be OTT or annoying. The fact that I absolutely loved it and it was CLEAN (😲😲) is saying a lot. It was the journey that made this story so good.

Vera is really quirky. At first, I thought that it would get to a stage of frustration dealing with her overly dramatic way of dealing with things. Luckily, it stayed in the funnily quirky stage. What I loved about Vera is that she acknowledges her quirkiness and accepts that not everyone can deal with her. What I loved even more... Cal thought her quirkiness made her perfect.

I got Cal so wrong that I'm ashamed to admit my narrow-mindedness. I saw him for what he initially portrayed himself as, a smart and nerdy man who struggles to communicate with women. When we find out who he really is (I won't say more because it will spoil it), he becomes a whole lot sexier. Isn't that shameful of me? To think I can be so easily enticed by success.

Listening to Call Me Maybe was a unique experience and I will definitely be checking out more of Cara Bastone's work. Both Luci Christian and Neil Hellegers do an excellent job portraying Vera and Cal. I don't get to have the pleasure of listening to dual narration often. (Is it dual narration or duet, if the hero is performed by the male narrator and heroine by the female narrator together, simultaneously?) Whatever it is, it was awesome. It frustrates me when a very masculine manly voice goes all high-pitched for a female character.

Anyways... if you're looking for a fun audiobook, that is clean, I highly recommend giving Call Me Maybe a try.

Profile Image for Romina.
100 reviews10 followers
June 24, 2022

Is an easy, nice story. Nothing mind blowing but not bad either.
Follows the connection made between Vera serial trier and Cal Customer service rep, it starts with a non working Web site that prompts a costumer service call.
If you're looking for a cute romantic weekend story, this is your opportunity!
Profile Image for Jayne.
482 reviews163 followers
June 3, 2022
Move over, dating apps.

Per author Cara Bastone, it IS possible to meet your future significant other on a customer service call.

Really.....not maybe.

In "Call Me Maybe", Cara Bastone skillfully transforms an ordinary customer service call into an extraordinary and delightful "You're not going to believe where I met my boyfriend/girlfriend" rom-com.

Per Cara Bastone's bio, her goal in being a writer is to "find the swoon in ordinary love stories" and the author exceeded her overly ambitious goal with "Call Me Maybe".

Just like the author's "Seatmate" novella, this novella was an Audible Plus freebie that I would have gladly used one of my coveted Audible credits for.

Kudos to the publisher for doing an amazing job with the audiobook's production. The full-cast narration was over-the-top and the added sound effects made me feel like I was actually on a customer service call.

This book was Book #1 in Cara Bastone's "Love Lines" series and even though it is part of a series, it was a standalone read.

This was my second book by Cara Bastone and I look forward to listening to her future titles.

Thank you to Audible for the freebie.

Special thanks to Cara Bastone, again, for restoring this vegan's faith in rom-coms that are compelling and not cheesy.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,897 reviews1,503 followers
November 6, 2020
This is an Audible Original and you can tell it was written for an audio performance. The audiocapes are fantastic and the production magnifies that core very well. Indeed, this is a great example of the difference it can make when a story is written with the audio production in mind so kudos to Bastone for pulling it together.

Unfortunately, I'm taking kudos away for the rote romance. Kal and Vera are cute and their flirting is really endearing. But there's only one real conflict so Bastone has to drag it out the entire story. And because the entire story is them talking with each other (or very nearly), that communication black-out doesn't survive scrutiny. Bastone throws in a bonus conflict in there, but while Kal is right to be concerned about not being completely, even painstakingly up-front about who he is, it's not like it was deliberate or malicious and Vera doesn't take it that way, even a little bit, so his worry doesn't hold water, either.

I'm tempted to praise the underlying storyline, but for every plus I want to give (Vera's business is a cool idea and her passion for it is very characteristic), I have to take one away (an unpatched OS has nothing to do with how a webpage renders but even if it did, his programming genius taking days and days and days to fix it fundamentally undermines what we're supposed to believe about his talent and intelligence).

I'm glad it didn't drag out longer because seriously, that was a lot of weight to put on a single misunderstanding. The rest of the story was interesting and I really did like their relationship. But I'm going to wind this up with 3½ stars that I can't quite round up.

A note about Chaste: They don't actually meet until the end. Which was part of what made this cool and very audio. But it means that we get no sexy shenanigans and this is very, very chaste.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,119 reviews1,333 followers
October 20, 2020

It's official. Cara Bastone is one of my favorite 2020 romance debuts. There's something wickedly special about her voice and I'm hooked. Call Me Maybe, an Audible Original title, was one of the most entertaining and charming audiobooks I've had the chance to listen to. I was sporting a very silly grin while I was listening to it and I can't wait for all of you to pick it up and relish this sweet story.

Call Me Maybe is a love story between Vera, who is on a deadline to get her website running without any glitches, and Cal, a customer service agent at the website hosting company she finally gets ahold of. In the midst of trying to help Vera fix her IT issues so that she can showcase her business at a business expo, these two find a way to fall for each other. There was a sweet innocence to their relationship that made their crushes on each other believable despite the short period of time they've known each other and the fact that they don't meet face-to-face. It takes a talented author to make that kind of fictional relationship work and there's no doubt in my eyes that Cara Bastone is just oozing with all the genius. The witty banter, the sometimes shy awkwardness, and the moments of openness and vulnerability allowed their relationship to stand out and feel genuine. There were some misunderstandings here and there between the two given that their entire relationship was developing via the phone, but I felt like they all made sense given the context. Cal and Vera fit so well together as a couple!

It helped that both Vera and Cal were both extremely lovable as protagonists too. Vera was sunshine and rainbows. She was peppy, kind, and very friendly - she was the kind of girl that everyone wanted to be friends with because her personality was lovely and infectious. What she struggled with, however, was finding a stable career that she was passionate about. In the past, she had ventured into several fields only to find that they weren't for her, leading her to get a bit of a reputation of being a quitter with her family. Her new business Date-a-Box, a service to deliver care packages for all sorts of occasions, was an undertaking that she was incredibly enthusiastic about, and I loved that Cal was the one who showed her that perhaps, her parents were wrong for assuming she was simply a quitter, giving her the confidence boost Vera needed. Speaking of Cal, I swooned hard over this adorable, nerdy, and shy man. He was socially awkward, which showed very clearly in his discomfort and clumsiness at the beginning of Call Me Maybe, but we saw him come out of his shell by the end of the book. He was genuinely sweet and supportive and could be ridiculously funny, especially when the scenes involved his hilarious demon cat, Jewel. I was also truly impressed with how calmly he confronted his issues in the book. Cal was a swoony sweetheart and everyone should know that I've already claimed him for myself.

The production of Call Me Maybe in itself was brilliant. Luci Christian and Neil Hellegers brought every facet of Vera and Cal's personalities to life. They were terrific performers and I truly believed they embodied Vera and Cal. They had great chemistry together that only made listening to this audiobook even more fun. Another unique element that I thought enhanced this audiobook production was the use of background noises throughout - the sounds of the keyboard when Cal was typing, traffic, doorbells ringing, and my favorite, Jewel meowing for food, made for an almost cinematic experience. I loved everything about this audiobook and it has certainly inspired me to try more Audible Original titles.

Friends, if you're looking for a romantic audiobook experience that will absolutely woo you and leave you grinning ear to ear, you must pick up Call Me Maybe. I think there's something to be said about straightforward love stories that fill you with all the happiness, especially in a difficult year like this one, and this is certainly a book I think will make listeners happy. Don't miss out on this triumphant romantic comedy!
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,833 reviews623 followers
February 20, 2021
Holly molly! This is awesome story. If only my never ending relationship with customer service is just like Vera. Then I wont mind calling customer service.

Because this is audio format, the whole narrating is so much fun and alive. The narrators done a good job. The banter is funny and sweet. Both characters have a chance to develop well.

My only wish is the length can be longer.

Fantastic read!

4 stars
Profile Image for Natasha Niezgoda.
542 reviews217 followers
March 11, 2023

4.5 stars rounded up. Soooo freaking adorable... you will binge it and squeak in glee! You will want to re-listen to immediately! This is like a weighted blanket that you will curl up into and SMILE forever.


Just re-listened and LOVED it just as much! Yay yay yay! Also just realized that I apparently love reading this during the month of March 😏
Profile Image for Meredith.
238 reviews9 followers
January 14, 2023
I think I have a book crush.

Not a book boyfriend crush. No. I’m crushing on this book. It was so full of joy, humor and tenderness. I just want to hold it and smooch it.

But I can’t do that and it’s a beautiful tragedy. Because this was an exclusive audiobook. I got it for free thanks to my subscription on this famous website I won’t name. To put in more context. I was feeling a bit melancholic yesterday, because I wasn’t able to pick the audiobook I needed and it was making me sad. I was set with a great e-book. But I’m a mood reader, so it was not what I needed at the moment.

And then I saw this book and decided to try it out. It was like a bit more than five hours long, so why not check !?

And I’m so glad that I did. This was an all out experience. Thank you so much author and audiobook narrators for this, because this made my heart melt and I felt so amused, warmed and cosy during this reading. It felt like chocolate cake with a matcha latte cup on the side, near a window showing a beautiful view on the park.

I’m writing this review with the biggest smile ever ! And I can not stress out more how you will be thankful to have check it out.

This is a two POVs story told by Vera and Cal. Vera is struggling with her new website. It has to be ready for the big convention she enrolled in. But unfortunately, due to her lack of computer understanding and care for technology, the all thing is a disaster. Thankfully, Cal is here to save the day. He is working for the website company and is very dedicated to his job. Cal is in solving mode now and won’t let Vera down. While solving this issue, they start to speak and learn more about each other in an exhilarating conversation !

If you like audiobooks, sweet romance and quick reading to elevate your mood, this one is for you !

Profile Image for Laura Snider.
Author 7 books92 followers
February 11, 2021
The premise of this book is odd. This guy and girl stay on a customer service call for nine hours trying to solve a website issue. Then each character spends most of the rest of the book wondering if the other one is into him or her. Which is totally ridiculous because nobody willingly stays on the phone for nine hours. Not even with people they like or love. The whole book felt forced.

I also found the main character super annoying. At times she was trying to be funny, but I didn't find much humor in what she was saying.
Profile Image for Ⓐlleskelle - That ranting lady ッ.
982 reviews781 followers
April 13, 2021
My enjoyment was probably hindered some by the fact I'm not an audiobook person at all but this story was super tempting and came recommended on book twitter. It's an Audible exclusive otherwise I would have grabbed the ebook.

That being said, I LOVED the premise and the easy banter going between the characters, I liked the gradual yearning and awkwardness between the leads as the customer service phone call endearingly shifts to friendly, flirting chit-chat.
As much as I loved their conversations, I felt the story dragging and the possibility of any romance threatened by what had somehow become idle chat. Especially considering it would take several days for Kal—a computer genius— to fix what seemed like a basic coding error.

This was lighthearted and cute though, a slow burn of sorts, the phone calls never edge towards sexy (REGRETS!) and the audio ends the second Vera lands eyes on Kal for the first time.

(I subscribed to AudiblePlus for free, for a month, I think it was a promotion linked to my kindle unlimited subscription? Or Prime? Or neither? Look it up, you can access loads of AudiblePlus references—many romance— with it.)

More reviews and book talk at :

You can find me here too ☞
Profile Image for Dani.
555 reviews161 followers
June 26, 2021
*4.25 stars*

Noooo it can’t end this way! I need more from this couple!!

✨Epistolary-ish romance
✨Hero is a customer service support guy for a website company
✨Heroine is his customer whose business is selling custom care packages for clients
✨They fall in love over phone calls and texts later
✨Their interactions were so charming and funny af

I couldn’t stop listening even though it was past 4am. Can’t believe it ended right when they first meet and oml. I wanted way more. Please please please let there be a sequel to them 😭❤️
Profile Image for Ashley.
774 reviews419 followers
November 16, 2020
Star Rating: —> 3.5 Stars

This was just plain ADORABLE!

I loved this little rom-com! It just felt like *something* was missing. Whatevs— still adorable as hell.
Profile Image for BRIONY.
27 reviews42 followers
July 10, 2022
A wonderfully charming Rom Com that was made for audio. It made me smile the whole time. A light and fluffy summertime listen. Uplifting.
Profile Image for Amy.
911 reviews226 followers
December 20, 2022
I love these audios that are just sweet and fun and adorable! I couldn't get enough of this! I gave up a few days of Christmas Carols to lose myself in this! So worth it. I just adored these two.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,447 reviews

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