Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Static by LA Witt Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Static-Audiobook/B07MG5SS4N?qid=1548287456&sr=1-47&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_3_7&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=2GJDG2GPF838QPYS7GM7&

Blurb
After two years together, Alex has been dreading the inevitable moment when Damon learns the truth: that Alex is a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population able to switch genders at will. Thanks to a forced implant, though, Alex is suddenly static—unable to shift—and male. Overnight, he’s out to a world that neither understands nor tolerates shifters . . . and to his heterosexual boyfriend.
Damon is stunned to discover his girlfriend is a shifter, and scared to death of the dangers the implant poses to Alex’s health. He refuses to abandon Alex, but what about their relationship? Damon is straight, and with the implant both costly and dangerous to remove, Alex is stuck as a man.
Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn’t see how they can get through this.
Especially if he’s static forever.

Review

Book reviewed previously

WOW!

This ranks as one of my all time favorite books in this genre.
I can’t say enough good things about this – but I’ll try!

First – it’s sort of a unique shifter book. Instead of shifting into animals, in this world that LA Witt has created, some people can change their sex at will. Not just the important pieces, but their entire bodies. So they become more masculine, larger, muscular, etcetera for male and smaller, more delicate, etcetera for female. But like fraternal twins, they still retain that look about them so you can see the resemblance.

In this case Alex (both female and male version) is dating Damon as a woman. Damon doesn’t know about the male Alex and this causes a lot of worry as to how to go about telling him. The point becomes moot when Alex’s parents decide to force her to stay permanently male, or “static” by injecting an evil chip into her spine. Of course they have no knowledge of Alex’s female love-life, only a desire to have a son and NOT to have someone who can shift genders.

There is the possibility of removing the chip but it has the potential for disaster, paralysis, death, dismemberment – ok not really – but also continuing the static state. Some people choose this treatment voluntarily but not Alex. S/he has always enjoyed the huge freedom allowed by being able to be one then the other gender. And since she thinks she may be in love with her straight boyfriend, being stuck as a man is particularly harsh.

But… the time comes when Alex must show Damon the truth of the situation. And here is where things really get to be interesting on both a plot level and a sociological level. (This is what makes this book spectacular IMHO – the bringing in so flawlessly the social construct of gender identity and the breakdown of what it means to be woman or man – especially when – in this case – it’s the same person wearing a different “skin”.)

Damon really does care for – maybe even love Alex – so he’s willing to at least try to work through this crisis and see it through. He doesn’t know what he wants. For Alex to go through with the reversal surgery? To try to be with a man when he’s only ever identified as straight? To give up and let Alex do this alone? But no, he’s an amazing person and sticks with it.

The story is so full of social questions. There’s prejudice. There’s the discussion of what if feels like to be in the “wrong body”. There’s the gay/straight/person centric version of sexual attraction. There’s – Gah! So much!

In the end the two lovers must make a decision. Should Alex attempt the surgery and is the risk worth it.

I won’t tell you the final decision but it is thought provoking – to say the least.

LA Witt won some awards for this – as she should have – and I can see why. It’s so amazing, her ability to hit you with these social question while still weaving a beautiful and touching and sometimes erotic love story. Superb!

If you have any interest in transgender and gender fluidity or gender ID this is right up your alley. It also fulfills something for those GFY fans. But it’s still, at it’s heart, a love story and a story of knowing one’s heart – so truly, any fan of romance will be entranced.

I can’t recommend it highly enough!

6 of 5 stars

 

Audio

Michael does an absolutely fantastic job with this.  He handles the women’s voices, the angst, the drama, the timing all perfecutly.  He contributed to keeping this wonderful story one of my number one books/audiobooks of all time!

Highly Recommended in this format as well!

Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Escaping Mortality (The Escape Trilogy Book 3) by Sara Dobie Bauer

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43206768-escaping-mortality?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: Their ocean journey was successful, and Andrew and Edmund found an Elder just in time. As they wished, Edmund is now a vampire like Andrew. They have eternity together, but first, they must visit Edmund’s ailing mother in the English countryside with their flock of immortals, including the Elder, who has taken an ominous liking to his new creation.
When they arrive at Edmund’s family estate, his sick mother and her loathsome best friend await them. While ducking religious curses, Edmund struggles to harness an unexpected power gifted him by the Elder. Andrew fears for his beloved as Edmund becomes more and more monstrous—but vampires have always been monsters, haven’t they?
A battle is coming, for Edmund’s heart and his soul, and Andrew will lose neither. He escaped island exile and a near tragedy at sea to be with Edmund, the beautiful young sailor he loves. Andrew will do anything to keep Edmund by his side, but his most dangerous adversary may be Edmund himself.

Review:
This is the final book of the trilogy, and it is a fitting end to the story.
Andrew and Edmund have left New Orleans to find an Elder (Brien) who will make him immortal. They find and Elder (Brian) who turns Edmund, but not without some hidden consequences.
As the group (Felipe, Michelle and others), continue on their voyage to England (to see Edmund’s dying mother), they realise that Brien has given Edmund some extra powers. This includes the ability to control things and eventually, people; making Edmund more powerful – (a fact that will have dire consequences later).
When they get to England, we learn more about Edmund’s background, inheritance and his past relationships. Eventually, he finds out that he is indirectly responsible for his mum’s illness.
Again, the one thing constant throughout the stories is the love Edmund and Andrew have for each other. Ultimately, this is what sees them through trials they encounter with Brien and others.
In the end, both men get their eternal get their HEA. I loved the epilogue; definitely a treat to see he vamps well into the future ☺
This was a really good story. Loved it from the first to the last book.

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: An Unlocked Mind (Secrets book 2) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/an-unlocked-mind-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-10272-b

Blurb

Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go….

Review

The Secrets series soars to new heights with this one and to me it really stands out from the other books in the Collars and Cuffs & Secrets universe. I enjoyed reading all the books in these two series, but a couple of them resonated with me more than others and An Unlocked Mind is absolutely joining Dom of Ages at the top of my list.

Rob makes for a very unlikely sub with his cocky attitude, which he never loses, and that’s definitely part of why I adore him so much. The vulnerability he hides behind his bravado and the guilt he struggles with for how he treated his brother tugged at my heartstrings so much. I love the way Rob grows throughout this story, trying so hard to redeem himself, though sometimes stumbling along the way. I’m a sucker for redemption stories, especially of characters who messed up for MC’s from previous books in a series, so Rob was an unexpected treat for me!

Vic is the perfect match for Rob and at times almost too amazing and insightful. I loved seeing such a strong and outwardly tough looking guy be so caring and gentle, oh the magic of a Dom written exactly right. He’s there for Rob even when they barely know each other (or even like each other yet), no strings attached. I also adored him for not being too hung up on “the way things are usually done” and being open to it when Robs steps up to steer their relationship forward. The only thing that could have made this better for me was if Vic had also had a bit more of a growth arc himself. Apart from his love for Rob, he’s pretty much the same guy at the end as he was at the beginning of the book.

I loved seeing Jarod and Eli again, and I especially liked the burgeoning friendship between Jarod and Rob, which gets off to a rocky start because of the awful way Rob treated his brother Alex, who’s one of Jarod’s closest friends. We get the start of a new group of friends here and I hope their circle will continue to grow. Because I need the stories!

Narration: Joel Leslie did a truly wonderful job and I hope he’ll get to do the entire series. I very much enjoyed his performance, as I always do. He takes such care with the accents and has a great take on all the characters, main and secondary. I also love the consistency he can bring to the voices throughout the series. I cannot imagine Jarod or Eli sounding different all of the sudden from how they were in Dom of Ages, for example. That would not be a good thing. At all.

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Nomad’s Dream by August Li

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/nomads-dream-by-august-li-10134-b

Blurb

Two men, each with a hidden destiny. Can they defeat a web of deceit and dark magic to ensure their fates intertwine?

Bedouin Isra al-Grayjaab’s dreams lead him to Janan, an amnesiac beggar on the street of Qena—one who steals his heart and starts him on a seemingly hopeless quest. With only their wits, Isra’s knowledge of the desert’s secrets, and the aid of a mercurial djinn, they must recover Janan’s past. But neither can predict his true identity or the lengths others will go to see that his mind remains broken and his true power out of his reach.

In a sweeping romantic adventure that takes them across the Eastern Desert to the modern streets of Cairo and on to the luxurious Red Sea Coast, Janan and Isra seek a truth that will either bring them into each other’s arms or tear them apart forever.

Review

To me this felt much more like a mystery/adventure story, and rather less like a romance. Though Janan and Isra fall in love and spend quite a lot of time together, I was left wanting more. As love stories go this one is rather more mellow than I like as far as feelings & passion go. It reads like an action-filled fairy tale and I prefer my romances a little grittier with MC’s who develop a deep emotional connection and build a life together as couple. We leave our MC’s before they get to do that.

This book has a peculiar mix of paranormal characters on the one hand and very religious characters on the other, which is certainly different from what I’m used to reading. I think the author did an amazing job in describing the Bedouin way of life and the beauty of the desert, and I also liked how she interspersed the story with Arabic terms & customs. Always with a light and respectful touch. I felt like I stepped into a tale of the Arabian Nights.

The story is set in modern-day Egypt which still has quite a way to go in matters like LGBT rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment. These issues are important to the story and I was pleased to see our fictional characters come out on top and pursue a happy and hopeful life together. How that translates into their daily life stays vague, however, they are both still in the closet as far as I know.

The secondary characters are well-written. Flicker, the djinn who befriended and protected Isra, is intriguing and mysterious, and we also get two very strong and independent female characters, Sehrish and Nawra, which was a nice plus.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy, narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stranger-in-a-foreign-land-by-michael-murphy-9679-b

Blurb:
Losing his old life and finding a new love.

After an accident stole his memory, the only home American businessman Patrick knows is Bangkok. He recovers under the tender ministrations of Jack, an Australian expat who works nights at a pineapple cannery. Together they search for clues to Patrick’s identity, but without success. Soon that forgotten past seems less and less important as Jack and Patrick – now known as Buddy – build a new life together.

But the past comes crashing in when Patrick’s brother travels to Thailand looking for him…and demands Patrick return to Los Angeles, away from Jack and the only world familiar to him. The attention also causes trouble for Jack, and to make their way back to each other, Patrick will need to find not only himself, but Jack as well, before everything is lost….

Review:
Story 3.5 out of 5: I have mixed feelings about the story. I liked the premise – an amnesiac who’s stranded in a foreign land, he creates a new life and gets a new love. But, I just couldn’t really get invested in the characters. Patrick is a businessman, (not sure what his business was), he has a good sense of humour (as evidenced by his monologues ☺). Then he has an accident and loses his memory and identity. He’s soon befriended by Jack, an Australian who won’t (can’t?) go back home. Both men become friends, slowly turning into a mutual attraction and romance. Then Patrick’s past comes back in the form of his brother. He’s forced away from Jack and he doesn’t handle the separation well. The men eventually get back together, but the story ends rather abruptly. An epilogue would have been great to tie everything together.

Narration 3.5 out of 5: I enjoyed the narration and I think it’s a good way to experience the story. Colin Darcy does a good job distinguishing between the characters, however, accents are not his forte – (his Oz accent sounded more Texan? to me).

Overall: 3.5 stars out of 5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Duke’s Baby Deal By: Ann-Katrin Byrde; Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dukes-Baby-Deal-Audiobook/B07JG7CT1J?qid=1541104612&sr=sr_1_30&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_10&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=X77Y4GSGWXRWW9BP2DAG&

Blurb

All his life, Bram’s been told what he would be and what he would do. No one ever gave a thought to what Bram might think he wanted. There was only one career option for an omega – a mating, pups, and looking after the household.
But Bram wants more. He wants adventure, excitement, romance, and something different than looking after pups for the rest of his life. He flirts and teases with all the alphas, but the one he wants, he can’t figure out how to get. Until one of his more dangerous suitors goes too far and Bram finds himself in a situation that could ruin him for life.
Duke steps in with an offer of a respectable mating, and everything Bram wanted is somehow now within reach. But all gifts come with trials, and both Duke and Bram have difficult paths to tread on the way to happiness.
This audiobook can be listened to on its own, but it contains numerous references to characters and events in the first two audiobooks. It would be best listened to in order.

Review

This is a great installment in this series. It is LONG and very involved and you must read all the books in order to really appreciate the story but I bet if you skipped one or two you’d still get the basic gist – but you’d be remiss! This is a fantastic “dystopian” shifter series wherein the shifters are forced into enclaves. Usually I despise these scenarios but it works here. There is just enough joy and magic to make up for the awful way the humans act.

I love Nick J Russo and his narration is wonderful as usual. There are literally a metric ton of characters and he does a terrific job keeping them all straight.

Highly recommended!

4 of 5 for the story
5 of 5 for the narration
4.5 of 5 stars overall

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Werewolf’s Bravehearted Mate By Alice Cain

Good Reads

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/915865

Blurb

Alec Grison is more than happy with his current identity as an inner-city cop. He doesn’t need or want to remember the past, the betrayal, or the resentment he still carries two hundred years later. But when one of the men on his team is arrested, Alec can only wonder at the irony as his actions to protect the arresting officer bring his own family back into his life.

Angelo Hansen is a gay man fighting for his place in a straight man’s world. He’s a cop, and a damn good one, but getting some of his coworkers to remember that fact is a daily irritation. Arresting someone while off duty is not unusual, but when that someone turns out to be a fellow cop there’s no way it’s going to be good for Angelo’s career.

He’s very surprised, and more than a little suspicious, when Alec Grison—deliciously sexy, hard-boiled Swat Team leader and direct supervisor to the man Angelo arrested—steps in to support Angelo against the rest of the department.

But when unusual things start happening and secrets he never wanted to know are accidentally revealed, can Angelo trust Alec Grison is telling the truth when he can’t even trust his own eyes?

Review

The new Alice Cain is wonderful! It’s a little bit longer than her previous stories (https://www.goodreads.com/series/126439-lupinville) It’s very well-developed.  The characters have a lot more depth and  yet the romance is stil the central part of the story. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series!   

 

Highly recommended!

4.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
Uncategorized

Recently Released: The Keeper (Demon Warriors #10) by Lynn Hagen

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41561559-the-keeper?from_search=true

Blurb

What would you do to save the man you love? For the Keeper, he would sacrifice the universe. Bitten by Morog, his first creation, the Keeper is dying. He isn’t sure how he ended up in the vet clinic, but when Trey walks into the exam room, he knows he’s found his mate. But he grows weaker by the day, depending heavily on Trey to keep him alive. When he bites his mate, the Keeper discovers that Trey’s blood just might be the key to his survival.

As far back as Trey could remember he’s had the most bizarre dreams. But lately, his dreams have turned apocalyptic. He sees the world ending, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. When Trey is kidnapped and forced to help a dying man who claims to be the creator of the universe, Trey isn’t sure what to believe. But the harder he fights against his attraction, the harder Trey falls for the one man who could destroy mankind.

Review

Sometimes turning off your “but how would this work” brain is really hard to do. In these last few installments of Lynn Hagen’s Demon series we are dealing with immortal beings that are on par with “God” and it’s hard to believe they have illnesses and things like that when they are literally the creator of all things…

In any case, it is all in good fun – and our Primal Source is quite a fun character who spends most of the book fighting for his life from a demon’s attack.

This is a typical “sweet, young twink” meets an “old, jaded alpha” and likes to be dominant.

It’s fun seeing some of the old characters still around but beyond this it was pretty “meh”.

3 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook Bad Attitude by KA Mitchell, narrated by Chet Daniel

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell-9505-b

Blurb

Saving lives never used to be this complicated.

Gavin Montgomery does what’s expected of him by his wealthy and powerful family—look good in a tuxedo and don’t make waves. When a friend takes a leap off a bridge, Gavin tries to save him, only to fall in with him. At least at the bottom of the river he won’t feel like such a disappointment to his family. But he’s pulled from the water by a man with an iron grip, a sexy mouth, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the national deficit.
Jamie Donnigan likes his life the way it is—though he could have done without losing his father and giving up smoking. But at least he’s managed to avoid his own ball and chain as he’s watched all his friends pair off. When Montgomery fame turns a simple rescue into a media circus, Jamie decides if he’s being punished for his good deed, he might as well treat himself to a hot and sweaty good time. It’s not like the elegant and charming Gavin is going to lure Jamie away from his bachelor lifestyle. Nobody’s that charming. Not even a Montgomery….

Review: Story previously reviewed.
https://openskyebookreviews.com/release-day-review-bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell/

Chet Daniels is new to me. He did a good job with overall narration – the entitled tone for Gavin and a more down to earth tone for Jamie, (although not a ‘Balmer’ accent as my Baltimore-born spouse will tell you). Mr. Daniels did have a curious way of transitioning between dialogue and non-dialogue parts. It wasn’t bad, just something I noticed.
I enjoyed the narration and I think it’s a good way to experience the story.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Tracker Hacker by Jeff Adams Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tracker-hacker-by-jeff-adams-10196-b

Blurb

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Codename: Winger One

Theo Reese is just an average high school student with a passion for hockey and an uncanny talent when it comes to computers… at least on the surface.

What his teammates, fellow students, and even his boyfriend don’t realize is that Theo leads a double life. When he’s not putting up his facade of normal, Theo is working as an agent for Tactical Operational Support, where his technical genius is more than just a hobby. At sixteen he is responsible for helping agents in the field and keeping the TOS network secure.

It’s a secret he has to keep—from everyone.

But secrecy becomes even harder when a hacker compromises the system TOS uses to track its agents and Theo’s dad goes missing. Theo must find him and stop the hacker, which means leaving the comfort of his computer screen and venturing into a very real and very deadly world.

And if that’s not enough to deal with, all the secrecy is really putting a strain on Theo’s love life.

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Review

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Theo aka Winger is a 16-year-old technical genius. After hacking his parent’s phone, he finds out that they are a part of a covert organization. The organization brings Theo on board for a sort tech support role. Aside from that Theo seems to be a normal teenager. He plays hockey and has an adorkable boyfriend named Eddie. Theo struggles with keeping his two lives separate, especially with Eddie and I have a feeling that there will be a big blow up later on in the series.

The story was fast paced, and it held my interest the whole time. While I had trouble following some of the more complex technical lingo. Jeff did a good job explaining what was going on. I also enjoyed that hockey played a role throughout a good portion of the story. I eagerly look forward to reading the next book in the series.

John Solo did a great job with the narration. He has a great range and was able to give everyone a distinctive voice. One pet peeve of mine with YA audios are that the characters sound too old but John succeeded in portraying younger sounding voices for the teenagers.

4 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review