Cover Reveal for Colorado Flip by Sara York

Title: Colorado Flip
Series: Colorado Heart #7
Author: Sara York
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: September 5, 2016
Matthew ‘Tex’ Miller and Jordan ‘Jazz’ Bergeron settle in to their new life at Wild Bluff, but is their relationship as solid as they think, or will Jazz’s issues come back to bite them?
Tanner Parrish has a problem when he arrives at Wild Bluff, and only the team can help him solve the crisis. His twin sister, Suzanne, is in a world of trouble. She knows too much and her dirty boss at the FBI decides to get rid of her, but she’s resourceful and escapes, contacting Tanner via email. Honor and justice are more than just words to the men at Wild Bluff, they are a way of life. The Wild Bluff team decides to sacrifice everything to save Tanner’s sister, even giving up their location.
Once at the ranch, Suzanne reveals the reason her boss wanted her dead. Now the men at Wild Bluff are tasked with doing a job none of them ever wanted to do. Matthew is their best shot, but with the President of the United States in his sites, the pressure mounts. Deciding what is most important in his life, Matthew takes aim, knowing that his actions may change everything.



Writing is Sara’s life. The stories fight to get out, often leaving her working on four or five books at once. She can’t help but write. Along with her writing addiction she has a coffee addiction. Some nights, the only reason she stops writing and goes to sleep is for the fresh brewed coffee in the morning.
Sara enjoys writing twisted tales of passion, anger, and love with a good healthy dose of lust thrown in for fun. Almost a quarter of a century ago Sara met her lover, falling for him after knowing him for ten minutes. Sara’s passion for him comes out in her stories, mixing with her passion for life, love, and good times, flowing onto the page and becoming tales from the heart.

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Wrenches, Regrets and Reality Checks (Wrench Wars Book 3) by LA Witt

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wrenches-regrets-reality-checks-by-la-witt-7394-b

31315533Blurb

2nd Edition 

When Reggie’s garage became part of a popular reality show, business went through the roof. And he supposes having his shop in the black is a fair trade for jumping through the network’s hoops.

As the show’s lowest-ranking producer, Wes is tasked with proposing a new spin-off show to Reggie. The sexy mechanic makes him sweat on a normal day, but this time, Wes is holding cards he can’t show. With execs breathing down his neck, he’s expected to pitch a show Reggie will never agree to do, even if his rejection puts his existing show on the line.

The network is counting on Reggie refusing to sign. But they’re not counting on their messenger falling for the man they’re trying to fire.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press, 2015.

Review

I haven’t read book one in this series, but I did read book two and I’m a big LA Witt fan. I love blue collar MCs and mechanics especially turn my key. (Look what I did there!) The cover is really hot and while I was a bit leery of the reality TV thing, I was really hoping that the mechanic part of this story would negate the Hollywood drama. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

I admit to a definite bias against reality TV and Hollywood storylines. The fakeness of Hollywood and actors and the BS they do for their work make them unappealing as characters, so I avoid those storylines.   If those are things you like, then please take my review with a big grain of salt, because it might just be up your alley. The takeaway feeling I got by the end, was a temporary fix to the central problem and a tepid HFN. I don’t want to give away any plot points, but even at the end of the story I was still worried about the garage and it’s future, I was uncertain what sort of career Wes was going to have, and most importantly, I was worried that our MCs weren’t really going to go the distance– both in terms of geography and personal life plans. Perhaps if the story had been longer I might have been convinced, but given the story’s brevity – where we’re left is still on pretty shaky ground.

The writing was good, the smexy times were smokin’ hot, but the feels just weren’t there for me. I was left kind of anxious at the end of this story and I don’t like that feeling! I admit to wanting it all wrapped up in a pretty package (or at least looking like it’s pretty certain to be all wrapped up in a pretty package) and this just didn’t convince me. If you’re a fan of the series (I think there’s a lot of book one referenced in this), a fan of reality TV/Hollywood angst, if you don’t mind a romance with less “feels” in it but plenty of “sweaty, hot, blue collar meets white collar man on man” sex – this is the book for you!

2.75 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Wide Open Spaces by Renee Stevens

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wide-open-spaces-by-renee-stevens-7393-b

 

wide-open-spacesBlurb

Devon fled Wyoming as soon as he turned eighteen, leaving behind his high school love, Levi. After six years in the big city, Devon returns to his hometown. Not much has changed, except that Levi is no longer in the closet. He’s also single and living his dream—managing the local wild horse population. Both of them are very interested in picking up where they left off, but Devon is no more ready to reveal his orientation than he was as a teenager.

No one is going to shove Levi back in the closet—not even Devon. For a relationship to work, they’ll have to put the past behind them and find the courage to face the future as who they really are—a couple in love. But Devon doesn’t know if he’s strong enough. Maybe Levi would be better off without him—and his hang-ups.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review

First, I really liked the way the author really tried to incorporate little bits of what it’s like to be in Wyoming into this story. The dry air, the jackalopes, Yellowstone, rattle snakes, rainbow trout, the mines – it really felt authentic and like a taste of being there.

Second, I really liked Levi. What a great guy. Honest, open, accepting, so willing to forgive and forget. I liked his open communication style and his decision to call Devon on his crap right away without pressuring him to be someone he wasn’t.

Unfortunately, that was all I liked about this story. Devon made me cringe over and over. He was not a good boyfriend, he wasn’t true to himself, I didn’t think he had a bit of motivation to improve himself – no college, an entry level job that he seemed satisfied with, a move back home for no particular good reason… He felt lost and aimless and I didn’t get a good feeling about him at all.

I hated the way the story ended. Yes, he did finally stand up for himself, but to what end? The story just stops right when it was actually beginning to look interesting.

I can’t recommend this as it really didn’t inspire me much. I wanted Devon to grow up and be strong and realize his errors. I wanted him to have some goals in life. I wanted to know what the two of them were going to do as a couple. Instead I got the vague impression of more fear and maybe Devon losing his job…

2 of 5 stars as the writing itself wasn’t bad, but the storyline didn’t do it for me.

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna #4) by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lord-of-a-thousand-steps-by-tara-lain-7389-b

29761510Blurb

To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.

Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.

When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.

Review

Yay! Ian’s story!

Ian is Jim’s younger brother (by 8 years) from book 2. He’s now 21 and almost done with his architecture degree. He’s working for Braden Lord as an intern and really impressing him with his work – but both men figure the other is out of their “league”.

So – this is a bit more than a May/December story. It’s a Boss/Employee story, an OFY story, a Newly Gay story, a Single Dad story, a Rebound Lover story, a Friends With Benefits turns Serious love story… so many things!

As usual Tara Lain gives us two very hot MCs, and some scorching sexual tension, some serious/angsty moments, some humor and this time around, two very precocious children. I thought Jo-Jo, Braden’s son, was pretty accurately portrayed. He had several “teenage”moments, but some moments where he did the right thing, too. While I though Mirelle was fabulous and hysterical, she’s not a good representation of any five year old I know. But… she’s great nonetheless.

Of the four stories, I still love Book One the best, followed by Book Three, but this bumps Book Two for my third favorite. I loved seeing Jim and Ken again and appreciated the addition Ken’s family has in the Carney boys. I thought Jim and Ken’s wedding was hysterical and sweet.

I wish there’d been a bit more relationship building between Ian and Braden as a couple – they are together so briefly before the story ends – but I appreciated how quickly their “make up” scene happened – no drawn out angst needed.

I sincerely hope we don’t see Rico again – though I’m sure he’s got a story to tell – he was SOOOO douchey!

All in all this was a great addition to this series of great stories and for fans of the series/author this is a must. If you’ve never read any of the books in the series, you can probably read this on it’s own, though you’ll be missing out on some great stories!

(PS Anderson Cooper – LOVE HIM!)

Highly Recommended 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

Like Heaven On Earth By Jaime Samms – Blog Tour: Anatomy of a Dance Bag

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OS: We’d love to welcome Jaime Samms as she gives us an introduction to her new book, Like Heaven On Earth with a discussion of : A Dance Bag – LOL – read on to find out more!

JS:  Thanks for having me!  Let me tell you what a dance bag can teach you.

Anatomy of a Dance Bag

We all know a new mom is the best-prepared entity on the planet.

Have you just crossed a desert and you need a bandage? She’s got one. Several, in fact. In various sizes. Something to clean up? There’s an entire package of wet wipes in there somewhere. Water? Plain or sparkling? You’re starving? If you don’t mind a bit of lint stuck to the gummie bears, she’s got your back.

Enter the intrepid dancer with their satchel on their shoulder, and they can give that mom a run for her money.

It looks innocuous enough, doesn’t it? Just a shoulder bag with some dancerly things sticking out.

I promise you, a pair of pointe shoes and set of leg warmers are just the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

 

 

Lets just deconstruct this for a moment, shall we?

Everything our intrepid dancer could need for a class. Any class, because let’s face it, some days, not only don’t they know which end is up or what day it is, they couldn’t possibly tell you what dance class they have that day. Best to just be prepared. Or for a rehearsal, or quite possibly the Great Snowstorm of 2150. Sealed protein bars have an almost indefinite shelf life.

Clean Socks

Just…trust me on this. Short ones, long ones, fluffy warm ones, and thin, cool ones. It’s a thing and it Matters.

Entertainment

 

 

 

 

 

As any dancer (or actor) can tell you, there is a lot of sitting around waiting while rehearsing a show.

 

 

 

 

Hair Stuff

 

Every dance requires a different style, and no one ever has quite enough–or the right–pins, clips, elastics or spray. It’s a fact of life we all learn to live with: your dancer will spend the fortune of a small country on hair products.

 

 

Health and Wellness

We already talked about the power bars. Add fresh fruit (if slightly bruised), a microwavable heat pad, and endless supply of bandages, four sticks of deodorant, and a refillable water bottle, or you might as well take out shares in a bottled water and/or plastics company.

 

 

Also, we mentioned the sitting around waiting during rehearsals, which leads to the other part of the dancer’s arsenal: your average dancer has enough clothes in their bag and/or on their person to cloth a reasonably-sized invading force.

And we haven’t even gotten to the shoes.

It never ceases to amaze me what can be found in these magical bags of holding, or how incredibly personal each one is to it’s owner, even when they all carry much the same items. Dancers are, to be certain, an interesting and fascinating breed, and perhaps that’s why, even though I am not and never have been, or ever really wanted to be, a dancer, I found I had to write about them, explore their drives and get behind the beauty we all see on stage to what makes up the lives of some of the most interesting and inspiring people I know.

 

 

 

UntitledBLURB:

Cobalt Winslow lost two loves when his ex-boyfriend, Calvin Denvers, infected him with HIV, taking his health and his place as principal danseur in their New York ballet company when Cobalt became too weak. Now dealing with the aftermath as best he can, Cobalt teaches dance in Toronto with the support of his oldest friends, Conrad and Peridot. The one bright spot in his life is Malory Preston, his brother’s driver and a man who is always there when Cobalt needs him. Kind and attentive, Preston embodies everything Calvin lacks, but Cobalt can’t let go of his unhealthy, long-distance relationship with his ex.
Calvin brings a messy and violent end to their affair, but offers a chance for Cobalt to return to New York—as Calvin’s understudy—just when he’s on the verge of a real and lasting relationship with Preston. Now Cobalt faces a choice between two loves: dancing and Preston. Preston must show Cobalt that he has the power and support to make the life he wants and deserves, no matter what he decides.

Buy Link:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/like-heaven-on-earth-by-jaime-samms-7383-b

About Jaime:

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Often asked why men—what’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love—she’s never come up with a clear answer. Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.
These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Freya’s Bower, Dreamspinner Press, Totally Bound, and now, Riptide Publishing.
Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, is spent crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.
She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all . . .

Social Media:

Website: http://jaime-samms.com/
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000982219151&ref=tn_tnmn
Livejournal:http://dontkickmycane.livejournal.com/
Deviantart: http://dontkickmycane.deviantart.com/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/#!/JaimeSamms
Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/jaimesamms

Absolution: The Protectors, Book 1 Audiobook by Sloane Kennedy Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

 

61w63nnGSBL._SL300_Blurb

After four years abroad, artist Jonas Davenport has come home to start building his dream of owning his own art studio and gallery. But just as he’s ready to put the darkness of his past behind him forever, it comes roaring back with a vengeance.
The only thing keeping ex-cop Mace Calhoun from eating his own gun after an unthinkable loss is his role in an underground syndicate that seeks to get justice for the innocent by taking the lives of the guilty. Ending the life of the young artist who committed unspeakable crimes against the most vulnerable of victims should have been the easiest thing in the world. So why can’t he bring himself to pull the trigger?
After years of fighting in an endless, soul-sucking war, Navy SEAL Cole Bridgerton has come home to fight another battle – dealing with the discovery that the younger sister who ran away from home eight years earlier is lost to him forever. He needs answers and the only person who can give them to him is a young man struggling to put his life back together. But he never expected to feel something more for the haunted artist.
Cole and Mace. One lives by the rules, the other makes his own. One seeks justice through the law while the other seeks it with his gun. Two men, one light, one dark, will find themselves and each other when they’re forced to stand side by side to protect Jonas from an unseen evil that will stop at nothing to silence the young artist forever.
But each man’s scars run deep and even the strength of three may not be enough to save them.
Note: Contains m/m/m scenes and is intended for mature audiences.

Review

Oh man this was good! I’m not usually one for dramatic suspense but this one had me HOOKED! I obviously knew Mace won’t end up killing Jonas, but the reason why wasn’t apparent for a good long while and in the meantime I kept worrying for our boys!

I loved the way all three members of this triad were equal and that virtually nothing happened without the other there. This is a true equal relationship where they all fell in love together at the same time. It’s remarkably well done.

The angst is painful and hard to read. I think Mace’s story hit me the hardest. As a parent there is NOTHING as hard to live through (or imagine) than the death of a child and Mace’s guilt in this is gut wrenching.

I appreciated the imperfect way that things ended for our guys. I liked the work around the author gave us for solving some of the trickier problems, and the way that some issues just can’t be readily fixed.

Cole’s father and his situation was a nice side story as was the leading in to the next story with Ronan. I’m already hooked and his story hasn’t even started yet! (But you can bet I’m reading it next!)

This was a wonderful book – sweet, sexy, tense, dramatic, romantic, suspenseful and sappy. Just perfect!

Audio:

Joel Leslie gave us another outstanding performance. He manages to differentiate the MCs and the other guys in Mace’s group. (I love, love, loved Mav’s voice!) He does a good job with the female characters and the children as well. He has a great sense of timing and emotion and moves the story along at a good pace, too. He definitely added to the overall enjoyment of this story.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by the Author for Honest Review

The Queen and the Homo Jock King (Tell Me It’s Real Book 2) Audiobook by TJ Klune Narrated by Michael Lesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-queen-the-homo-jock-king-by-tj-klune-7494-b

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Do you believe in love at first sight?

Sanford Stewart sure doesn’t. In fact, he pretty much believes in the exact opposite, thanks to the Homo Jock King. It seems Darren Mayne lives for nothing more than to create chaos in Sandy’s perfectly ordered life, just for the hell of it. Sandy despises him, and nothing will ever change his mind.

Or so he tells himself.

It’s not until the owner of Jack It—the club where Sandy performs as drag queen Helena Handbasket—comes to him with a desperate proposition that Sandy realizes he might have to put his feelings about Darren aside. Because Jack It will close unless someone can convince Andrew Taylor, the mayor of Tucson, to keep it open.

Someone like Darren, the mayor’s illegitimate son.

The foolproof plan is this: seduce Darren and push him to convince his father to renew Jack It’s contract with the city.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Katie and I did a buddy read/review for this because Katie is a HUGE TJ fan and both of us absolutely ADORED Tell Me It’s Real. (MS – Morgan, KS – Katie)

Sandy: “You know when you have a dream about doing something you shouldn’t and then it turns incestuous and you think, well, that wasn’t so bad and then there are marching bands?”

MS: OMG I was so psyched to see a follow up to Tell Me It’s Real (TMIR)! To me this is TJ at his finest. This book has all the fun and only a little of the angst. There are even moments when TJ makes fun of his own angst love when Kori/Corey describes her time with Tyson at school. What did you think Katie?

KS: Sandy had a very distinct voice in Tell Me.. and Art/Breathing, in this book he sounded a lot like Bear and Paul. Which don’t get me wrong, love them both, but Sandy lost some individuality for me. Helena didn’t take over as much as she does in other stories.

MS: I agree, Sandy did go on a lot of “Bear-like” rants in this. Hysterical, but different from the Sandy in TMIR.

MS: So… I think anyone could read this as a standalone but… they’d miss a hellovalot! Sandy is Paul’s BFF and a SUPER FABULOUS drag queen – Helena Handbasket. Sandy is the mild mannered counter to Helena’s outlandish and sometimes snarky side. Sandy/Helena have had a run in years ago with Darren – the Homo Jock King and Vince’s half-brother. Since then Darren has attended almost all of Helena’s shows but always leaves with some twink. Sandy – who hates Darren with the fire of a thousand suns – leaves with some piece of frat/jock/anybody else not Darren.

Paul: “Because you’d fight him for the right to my nipples?” Paul asked.
Vince: “Sure,” Vince said. “I’d fight anyone for your nipples. And also because Darren wants to bone Sandy and not you.”

KS: I now love Darren, but again he’s sounding very similar to Otter, who is one of my book boyfriends – so not a bad thing. But… I didn’t need to be constantly reminded that they were the Queen and Homo Jock King, it was brought up a lot.

MS: Darren did get more of a personality here, but the firm delineation of Queen v Homo Jock King did get a bit overused. I think that one of my biggest “issues” with TJ’s work lately has been a distinct lack of editing. He is SO funny but the rants are getting longer and longer.

MS: When Sandy’s friends get involved there is a suddenly a need for Darren and Sandy to act as boyfriends to get Darren’s dad to help them save the gay bar… and well… it was confusing and it’s supposed to be. While “acting as boyfriends” – their deepest desires (who everyone else already knew) come to the surface and some of the old hurts dividing them get explained and fixed.

(One of the rules to their fake dating.)
Sandy: Ugh. That sounded terrible. “Only in public where people can see us,” I amended. “No inviting me to your house where I assume the bedroom smells like twink jizz and sadness.”
Darren: He shrugged. “It also smells like vanilla.”

(Darren and Sandy fake having sex.) Sandy: “There we go,” I managed to say. “I’m going to stick my dick in you now. You feel that? You feel me opening you up with my fat dick?”
Darren: “Yeah,” he moaned. “Oh, it’s slightly bigger than average and feels so good.”
“Slightly bigger?” I hissed at him.
“We have to be realistic,” he whispered back. “Not everyone has got a monster cock.”

MS: There is SO much to love about this book, besides the humor there is a lot of love. We see more of Paul, Vince, Corey/Kori and a different side of Sandy.

KS: I never thought of Sandy as slutty, but he kind of came off that way in this book, but still totally lovable.

Sandy: There comes a time in every gay man’s life where he’s asked if he got rimmed in an alley behind a Mexican restaurant. It’s almost a rite of passage.

MS: Paul and Vince are crazy as ever.

Sandy: “No one has ever had anything good to say when starting a sentence here’s the thing,” I told him.
Paul: “You don’t know that,” he said. “Gandhi could have been all, like, ‘Here’s the thing: love everyone and junk.’”

Vince: “And I know I’m right, because you can’t spell convinced without Vince.”

MS: So is Paul’s gran and Johnny Depp the parrot that hates Paul.

Darren: And then Johnny Depp started screaming that Paul was raping him
Darren: And that someone needed to save him from Paul’s pencil dick

MS: Paul’s parents are there being their weird/kinky/strange/loving selves, too.

“So they’re just sex friends?” Larry asked.
“It would seem so,” Matty said. “Should we get a sex friend?”
Larry shook his head. “I would get too jealous over something like that. Maybe we could borrow Vince’s riding crop.”

MS: We get the help from Mike the boss, and Charlie and a back-story about Vaguyna – Helena’s mentor.

Sandy: “A queen is never late,” I told Charlie. “As my dear mentor and savior Vaguyna Muffman used to say, ‘A queen always arrives precisely the moment she’s meant to and not a minute sooner, so fuck off, you cockmongers.’”

MS: My hope is that our dear Kori/Corey and maybe…. a certain bartender??? – will get a story next… Corey is too great a character to not have a book to himself.

KS: Yes! We need more Izaac! I’m hoping he’s mentioned so much for a reason. I love Corey/Kori and would have liked to see some conflict there, a continuance of Art/Breathing. Maybe them together?

Corey: “Take a shower. You smell like what sad dreams are made of.”

Izaac: “Would it make you feel better if you saw my nipples?” he asked, reaching for the hem of his shirt.
Sandy: I sighed as I shook my head. “Thanks, baby doll, but I don’t think even your nipples will help me out today. I best get in there and get this over with.”
He nodded. “That’s what my girlfriend said when we decided to try anal.”

MS: Fans of Tell Me It’s Real will LOVE this and if you haven’t read that – GO DO IT – then read this FFS.

Sandy: “And also please find out a way to send me back in time so I never have to hear you describe the term slow-bone to me ever again. If I had to list the top five traumatizing things that have ever happened to me that would be number 4. At least”

MS: The story winds and wiggles and giggles and meanders and twists and turns for 350 pages – but it’s so damn funny the time flies. 5 of 5 stars

Audio

Katie and I collaborated again on the audio review.

MS:: Katie, what was your favorite part of the narration to Homo Jock King?

KS: I love that Tj got the same narrator back. It was so nice to hear Paul, Vince and Sandy as I’ve heard them so many times before. Michael Lesley is great at going between the characters and making them each unique. I love the layering when they all shriek about something or stepping away from the mic when they’re yelling from other rooms. All nice touches.

MS: I thought Michael Lesley did a fantastic job with keeping all the voices unique and separate. Who was your favorite character based on the voices?

KS: Not necessarily because of his voice but Paul is always my favorite. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the author so when I read Paul I hear Tj’s voice. So it was really hard for me to hear another voice on Paul, but I’ve been won over (for the most part).

 

MS: I loved how the narrator used pacing and inflection to add to the humor in this story. When he does the very many monologues he slows down, then speeds up in a way that had me laughing at loud and giggling in public! What was the funniest scene you listened to?

 

KS: Tj is the master of awkward dinners, so the brunch was great. I mean Tj does them often, but they are always hilarious. Nana and Paul bidding on Darren was pretty great, as well as Sandy on the phone with Paul in the bathroom while at lunch with Darren and his father.

 

MS: Is there anything you wish were done differently? Anything else that caught your attention you wanted to talk about?

 

KS: Name pronunciations bothered me more than I’d like. I know different narrators but I didn’t like the different pronunciations of Corey/Kori. I didn’t like the Izaac pronunciation either. Overall so fun, and had me struggling to not laugh out loud at work. Love these characters so much.

 

 

5 of 5 stars – absolutely recommended!

 

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and Katie!

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

All of Me Audiobook by Cardeno C Narrated by Robert M Clark

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/All-of-Me-Audiobook/B01KG0VBTM/ref=a_search_c4_1_14_srImg?qid=1471541514&sr=1-14

51YidvI7qtL._SL300_Blurb

To bond with his destined mate, an Alpha wolf must look past what he sees and trust what he feels.

Bonded by their parents before they were conceived, wolf shifters Abel and Kai adored each other since they were children. As teens, the two future Alphas took the next step in their bonding process and vowed to remain true to one another until Kai came of age. But when tragedy struck, Abel felt betrayed and ran from Kai instead of completing their mating.

Abel never stops yearning for the man who was supposed to lead by his side and after years without contact, Kai returns, broken and on death’s door. If Abel wants to fulfill their destiny and merge their packs, he’ll need to look past what he saw and trust his heart.

 

Review

Ouch! Oh man. This hurt my heart to listen to. There is so much pain in the first third of this story. Most of Cardeno’s stories are like a blanket fresh from the dryer for me. So comforting and nice to wrap up in. But this was very prickly and I had to brace myself for the sad, sad, sad parts.

I really hate it when there is a “Big Misunderstanding” and though that’s not exactly what happened here, it is – in fact – the crux of the problem. Add to it years of separation and I’m just a sobbing mess.

What I appreciated was that once back together these two don’t mess around. They talk it out and get back in the program like all those years didn’t happen. Woot! Thank Goodness!

In the end, as expected, we have a great, super sappy, wonderfully happy, and marvelously Cardeno story well worth the pain at the beginning.

Audio

I am on the fence with this narrator. He sort of reminds me of Vizzini from the Princess Bride (http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2576385024/ch0003791) . He has a bit of a lisp that he mostly covers up but it still slips through and to me – sadly- was a distraction. I think he mostly understands and handles the emotions well. Sometimes he fell a bit flat for me – especially on the non-dialog portions – but there are times when he really shines in his grasp of the “scene” and the pacing.

So… while the story is a 4.5 of 5 stars and parts of the narration are as well, there are parts that are more like 3 of 5. I’m gonna round down the audio and give the overall audiobook experience a 4 of 5 stars. It was good, but I think in other hands it could have been great.

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

How to Wish Upon a Star: Howl at the Moon, Book 3 Audiobook by Eli Easton Narrated by Matthew Shaw

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Dr. Jason Kunik is working on the most earth-shattering genetics project ever: DNA mapping of a new species, the quickened – dogs who can shift into human form. The problem is, no one knows the quickened exist, and Jason can’t betray them by publishing his studies. When he moves to Mad Creek to continue his research in a town full of quickened, all he wants is peace, quiet, and to be allowed to bury himself in his work. Perhaps if he figures out how the mutation is activated, he can silence his own inner dog forever.
Milo is a hospice comfort dog who has bonded with, and lost, many beloved patients in his life. He intuitively understands sickness and pain on a spiritual level most can’t see. When he gains the ability to become a man, he thinks he finally has everything he ever wanted. But being a man isn’t the same thing as being loved, and taking shelter in Mad Creek isn’t the same thing as finding a home.
When a mysterious illness hits Mad Creek and threatens all the quickened in town, it’s up to the scientist and the comfort dog to figure out what it is and how to stop it. Along the way they might discover that true love is possible – if you wish upon a star.

Review

(Book Reviewed Here Previously)

First, though it says this is a standalone – I don’t think it is. So much groundwork is laid out in books one and two that, though you can sort things out, it makes way more sense in light of having read the previous books.

Second, the other books are way awesome so you should read them anyway!

Milo is a newly quickened human (a dog who receives a magical blessing and can now shift from dog to man) who finds himself in Lily Beufort’s helping hands.

He ends up staying at Jason Kunik’s house – a geneticist and born quickened – intent on studying the DNA of his species and finding out how new quickened are created.

Jason is all cerebral and Milo is all heart. Two more opposites never did meet. Jason absolutely NEEDS Milo – he’s so separated from his dog and his emotions that he’s a nervous wreck. Milo – for all his “newborn” mistakes – grounds Jason and brings him back to the present. All without letting Jason know he’s being helped!

Milo, meanwhile, is happy to be useful and is enthralled with Jason and willing to do anything to be near him.

Unfortunately, the town needs Jason now more than ever. A new virus is spreading and affecting only the quickened. As a result Jason has to expedite his research and find a cure or everyone could end up stuck in their furry forms forever!

**

OMG! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! I was so excited to read this! I was on pins and needles the entire time the folks of Mad Creek were sick – I can’t tell you who or why but – it was HARROWING!

Milo made this book for me. Jason is rather like a porcupine – prickly and sticks to himself – but Milo is that breath of fresh air who hugs everyone and makes them smile. Together they are truly breathtaking!

Eli is such a great writer. She did an amazing job of matching dog types with human personalities – a game I play at work! – imagining what this or that breed would be like as a human and vice versa.

Milo is the easy going, happy go lucky, Golden Doodle and Jason is the high strung and intense (and sometimes whiny!) Malamute. Perfect! I also loved Simon the Jack Russel Terrier bouncing into rooms and talking a mile a minute! Or the dumpy Gus – the bulldog and of course the Border Collies – always on the lookout!

I also loved seeing all the guys again – but I hated them being at risk! – and bit my nails throughout all of the virus crisis.

The science was clearly researched as was the medicine (though the time table was a bit convenient and unrealistic, but had to be for the story’s sake), I found it fascinating.

I highly recommend this to fans of the series and if you’re new to the series – do yourself a favor and start at the beginning – it’s well worth it!

My only complaint – and this I feel pretty much every time I read Eli’s books, is that they end too soon! I really wanted to see these guys as a couple more. I felt like we worked so hard to get them together – can’t we have a little bit of time with them as a happy couple?

My favorite remains book one – though I loved this and book two tremendously – you can’t beat Tim and Lance for a funnier and sweeter couple. (Be warned there are tears of joy and happiness in store for Tim and Lance – and potential danger!) I was also moved by Matt’s speech to Jason when Roman was put in the pathway of the virus – GAH! – man emotions – so sweet! – it was so touching. So – in a way – we get more of the couples we loved again in this story and that adds to the overall enjoyment of the book and the series tremendously.

4.75 of 5 stars

Audio

Matthew Shaw has narrated the previous two in the series, so if you’re a fan you’re familiar with his work. He already knows the story and has voiced several of the secondary (previously primary) characters in the story. He adds Milo and Jason to the bunch just perfectly! He gives Milo just enough air of innocence without making him appear juvenile. It worked wonderfully! Jason is the determined and sometimes oblivious researcher, not exactly cold, but definitely warming up more as the story proceeds. I highly enjoyed this and can’t recommend it or the series enough!

6 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/How-to-Wish-Upon-a-Star-Audiobook/B01JTEEC3I/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1471220909&sr=1-1