Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Arranged Marriage Audiobook Author Provided Book Dystopian Dystopian f/f Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/f m/m Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Scorching/high heat Speculative Fiction

Opposites Audiobook by TM Smith Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

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Blurb

In the year 2081, our planet has survived global warming on an apocalyptic scale. When the dust settled and the water receded, Dr. Anthony Smith, along with the few survivors of GWI, started society anew. Having come to the conclusion that injudicious breeding played a huge role in the destruction of Earth as we knew it in the 21st century, he worked closely with other survivors to isolate the Dionysus gene: the gene has the ability to manipulate human DNA to ensure that all male children be born gay, and all female children be born lesbians.

A new society was born.

In the year 2300 Dr. Smith’s descendants are ushering in the 24th century, having maintained control of the government that still rules society. Twins, Aiya and Aiyan, are preparing to meet their matches and take control of House Gaeland, the current ruling House. But not everything is as it seems.

Love is love, it knows no gender and doesn’t conform to restrictions or boundaries. Aiyan has found his soul mate in Kaden, the prince of House Devi, whom he will eventually marry. But when the person Aiya falls in love with tests the boundaries put in place after GWI, all hell breaks loose. And in the midst of one secret unraveling, another will emerge. There is a growing anomaly that threatens to destroy over 200 years of progression. This anomaly is known as Opposites

 

Review

I have a (perhaps) unique perspective on this in that I listened to the novellas before the original novel. This helped me in that there are a LOT of characters and a LOT of world building going on – especially in the beginning. I can’t say I always kept track of who was who – I’m a far more visual person than auditory so my mind would wander a bit – but having the wonderful Greg Boudreaux narrating means that each character was unique and easily identifiable.

I found the concept of this story captivating and the romance(s) both really sweet and super sexy!

Usually I shy away from anything remotely “dystopian” as I tend to find them terribly pessimistic and dour, but this was almost like an entire other world and far less “doom and gloom” than the typical.

If you’re looking for a somewhat complicated, but rewarding and unique look at the future – and you really like some steam in your romances – this is the story (series) for you.

I think that listening to this is an amazing experience because Greg is such a tremendous performer. He really adds to the overall enjoyment by giving depth and emotion to the characters and making the story really pop up and feel multi-dimensional.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary Cop/Crime DA Established Couple Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Humor Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Mystery Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Psychic Purchased

Body and Soul (Psycop 3) Audiobook by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Gomez Pugh

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51efpj8h9-l-_sl300_Blurb: 
Thanksgiving can’t end too soon for Victor Bayne, who’s finding Jacob’s family hard to swallow. Luckily, he’s called back to work to track down a high-profile missing person.

Meanwhile, Jacob tries to find a home they can move into that’s not infested–with either cockroaches, or ghosts. As if the house-hunting isn’t stressful enough, Vic’s new partner Bob Zigler doesn’t seem to think he can do anything right. A deceased junkie with a bone to pick leads Vic and Zig on a wild chase that ends in a basement full of horrors.

 

Review:

In this installment, there is another mystery to be solved – this time it’s involving multiple missing persons and trying to track them down using ghosts who may have seen them last.

Jacob and Vic are moving their relationship forward and looking to buy a house/apartment, but finding one without roaches or ghosts is proving harder to find than either believed.

As our MCs grow closer, their sex gets more intimate and intense. Their everyday lives contrast more and more drastically as their professional mysteries become more bizarre though they become more settled.

The secondary characters (both living and dead) are a riot and the writing is impeccable as always. I miss Lisa and hope to see her again soon!

Audio:

Gomez Pugh is the PERFECT narrator for this series. His flat Vic and rumbly Jacob are SUPERB. I love his Latin hooker voice as well as his “Chicaga” accents. “Da Bears!”

I adore the series and listening to it on audiobook is an amazing experience, definitely the best way to enjoy this wonderful work.

 

5 of 5 stars

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Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Body-Soul-Audiobook/B00RM2KC2A/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1474522461&sr=1-4

Categories
5 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary Cop/Crime DA Established Couple Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Humor Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Psychic Purchased Thanksgiving

Criss Cross (Psycop Book 2) Audiobook by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Gomez Pugh

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51dboa4nk5l-_sl300_Blurb: 
Criss Cross finds the ghosts surrounding Victor getting awfully pushy. The medications that Victor usually takes to control his abilities are threatening to destroy his liver, and his new meds aren’t any more effective than sugar pills.

Vic is also adjusting to a new PsyCop partner, a mild-mannered guy named Roger with all the personality of white bread. At least he’s willing to spring for the Starbucks.

Jacob’s ex-boyfriend, Crash, is an empathic healer who might be able to help Victor pull his powers into balance, but he seems more interested in getting into Victor’s pants than in providing any actual assistance.

 

Review:

As this series progresses, we see a gradual deepening of the relationship between Vic and Jacob. (God I love them SO!) We learn more about Vic’s past, and especially his training. This one is far more creepy than book one.

The secondary characters in this story take more of a front seat: Crash plays a prominent role, as does Maurice and of course the new partner, Roger. I missed Lisa, but we still hear from her and I know we get more of her in future installments.

The story is far more scary than the first and it was hard to read/listen to at times. I don’t like it when my boy is in danger 😉 (So good to be listening to this in October!)

I love the gradual relationship changes we see with Vic and Jacob. It feels very organic and natural despite all the super crazy antics in their professional lives. It’s a lovely foil. (The final make-up scene is uber-hot and very sexy.)

I am loving this series and each book gets better and better.

Audio:

Gomez Pugh is FANTASTIC! He has improved even since his last amazing narration of book one. I love the changes he makes to Jacob – he’s more growly- YUM. I also love Gomez’s secondary characters: Jackie the hooker is so funny!, Roger-super psychotic, Crash- sort of hippie meets Brooklyn, Carolyn- pedantic yet comforting, Lisa-sorta of Jenny from the block, Maurice –staid but caring… each are individual and unique – wonderful to listen to. It’s like a radio show from days of old.

This is one of those cases where the listening puts the images in your head almost like a movie. Just terrific! (I’m running out of superlatives…)

This is absolutely the best way to enjoy this series – Vic is just addicting and the others in the story are icing on a perfect cake.

I can’t say enough for this, it’s perfect!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

 

Audible link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Criss-Cross-Audiobook/B00P8788EA/ref=a_search_c4_1_11_srTtl?qid=1474521576&sr=1-11

 

Categories
5 stars Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book College/University coming of age Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers High but not hopeless Homophobia Humor Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Virgin

Off Campus (Book 1) Audiobook by Amy Jo Cousins Narrated by Cooper North

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Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I started reading this book – intending to maybe only skim it – so that I could read books 6 and 7 which I’ve been asked to review. I thought I’d get some background and leave it at that. (Don’t ask why I hadn’t read it before now – I don’t know either!)

I couldn’t put it down!

I loved all of it from start to finish!

Tom’s father disgraced the family and Tom has been hiding from the paparazzi and broke and is struggling to make his own – legit – money to finish school so he can hold his head up high and make his way in the world on his own merits. He finally scrapes together enough cash to make the payments and finds his roommate in off campus housing is a gay kid with a huge chip on his shoulder.

Reese had been told that he’d be getting a single dorm room after his last dorm-mates were involved in doing something terrible to Reese. So he’s understandably wary of a roommate, especially another jock. Little does he know that he has nothing to fear from Tom.

Tom had previous experience in being “bi-curious” but still identifies as straight, until… he overhears his roomie having sex and can’t help but be turned on.

What starts out as a love/hate relationship between these guys slowly develops into a slow burn romance. Then… just as things are warming up between the two of them sexually – their friendship ends up straining the limits as both of them are in denial of their need to seek help for their hang-ups and the other is in no position to offer mental help advice.

Luckily they have friends like Cash and Steph who help them see the light and to keep them from disintegrating as a couple.

**

This book is full of pain, real people, funny lines, lots of angst and some seriously steamy smexy times.

I just fell in love with Tom – even though sometimes I wanted to strangle him for his near-sightedness. He’s such a big hearted guy and the perfect anchor for the more high-strung and emotional Reese.

Reese – however – is the braver of the two – and though he hides his pain in ways that are unhealthy – he doesn’t let tragedy take him away from life.

I really appreciated that though this is a solidly HEA story – the couple faces real struggles and they don’t just magically disappear because one guy said I love you to the other.

Highly recommended.

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

Cooper North is a new to me narrator.  I really like his voice quality.  He definitely knows the difference between “reading” and “performing”.  He’s great with the emotion, dialog, smexy scenes and pacing.  I thought his take on Reese was PERFECT.  This is absolutely the best way to enjoy this story and is highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Off-Campus-Audiobook/B01M12X77W/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg?qid=1474525948&sr=1-1

Categories
6 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Christmas coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Holiday Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m May/December Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat Shifter

Old Loyalty, New Love (L’Ange Book 1) Audiobook by Mary Calmes Narrated by Tristan James

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/old-loyalty-new-love-by-mary-calmes-6016-b

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When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father’s prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.

Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.

Review

I can’t believe I’ve never formally reviewed this! I listen to this several times a year, it’s one of my all time favorite audiobooks.

First, it’s about Jackal shifters – so unique! They have a slightly different shifter story than the typical wolf-shifters, a bit of Egyptian lore thrown in and some unique attributes.

Second, this begins a way cool series that is continuing as we speak with Jon’s story! But we already got Arman and Linus’ story – a Stag and a … secret!

Third, Tristan Effin’ James. Gah. His voice is orgasmic. I love how honey smooth it is. So easy to listen to! He gives Quade a nice “alpha” voice and Roman a lighter but not too femme voice. He has excellent pacing and handles the emotion, smexy times and action all equally well. He’s frankly a joy and I just love his narrations.

Fourth, WOW oh WOW the smexy times are off the charts!  But – also mixed in with loads of feels – so PERFECT!

It’s a bit of a May/December story, with some hurt/comfort and then the “mates and mine” thrown on top. Quade has been around forever so he has that “protector” thing going on. Roman is scarred – badly – so we get some hurt/comfort. By the time the two admit their feelings, there’s the urgent “mate” compelling force behind their first interactions. It adds up to SUPER HOT and sexy but also deeply emotional.

Because it’s Mary, it’s also funny. The two bicker like an old married couple and it’s hysterical. Also because it’s Mary, Quade is super perfect and does everything exactly right but is baffled at how much he’s valued for his actions.

If you’re a fan of shifters, Mary Calmes, Tristan James and/or funny hurt/comfort stories – this is for you!

 

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Bi-Sexual coming of age Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index High but not hopeless Homophobia m/m Mechanic/Car/Racing Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Scorching/high heat

Collide (Blackcreek Book 1) Audiobook by Riley Hart narrated by Luke Itzvic

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At 10 years old, Noah Jameson and Cooper Bradshaw collided midair when they dove for the same football. For three years they were inseparable…until one day when Noah and his parents disappeared in the middle of the night.

Noah and Cooper never knew what happened to each other. Now, 17 years later, after finding his boyfriend in bed with another man, Noah returns to Blackcreek looking for a fresh start. And damned if he doesn’t find his old friend grew up to be as sexy as sin.

Coop can’t believe Noah – the only person he trusted with the guilt over his parents’ death – is back. And gay. Or that Cooper himself suddenly wants another man in his bed for the first time. There’s no denying the attraction and emotion between them, but can they overcome the ghosts of their pasts to have a future together?

Review

This is another book I was shocked to find I’d never formally reviewed. This was my first “exposure” to the wonderfulness that is Riley Hart. This showcases her expertise at writing “gay first time lovers” so well.

First, she gives us two really well developed MCs with compelling back stories and then puts these guys back in each other’s orbit. That sets us up with not only an interesting, but a believable story.

Second, she excels at the emotion behind the sex. Sure, the smexy times are off the charts hot, but even more, they work so well because of all the FEELS. Coop and Noah work slowly toward one another. Each subtly noticing their feelings and then when they act upon them it’s an explosion because we’ve been working up to it right along with these guys.

Third, once they’ve begun acting on their feelings, things are magically “fixed”. There are still a lot of questions, regrets and worries. But… it’s not like they vacillate, just appropriately ruminate and contemplate and proceed cautiously forward. It feels really organic and natural.

I think the flashbacks did a great job of showing us the longevity of their relationship and help us to see some of Noah’s issues as well as Coop’s – beyond the new feelings toward each other.

I really loved this and was so glad to see it come to audio!

 

Audio

Luke Itzvic really impressed me with his work on the # Gearshark series (reviews to come) and he did an amazing job with this! He’s really good at the emotion, timing and grittiness of this story. There’s not much to distinguish Coop from Noah, but it was always easy to know who was talking. He’s got an easy voice to listen to and the sound quality is excellent. This is definitely the best way to enjoy this story and highly recommended.

 

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Audible Link

 

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Collide-Audiobook/B01LFD1CQG/ref=a_search_c4_1_6_srTtl?qid=1475030520&sr=1-6

Categories
4.5 stars Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book College/University coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index High but not hopeless Homophobia m/m May/December Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Opposites attract Porn star Scorching/high heat Virgin

First Audiobook by KC Wells Narrated by Gregory Salinas

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/first-by-kc-wells-7468-b

 

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It’s taken Tommy Newsome a while to get his head around being gay.

Growing up in a small town in Georgia, hasn’t prepared him for the more liberal life of a student at the university in Athens. Add to that the teachings of his parents and his church, and you have one shy young man who feels out of his depth. Working on his daddy’s farm hasn’t given him any chance of a social life, certainly not one like the clubs of Atlanta have on offer. Not that Tommy feels comfortable when he gets to sample it—Momma’s lectures still ring loudly inside his head.

All that changes when he goes to his first gay bar and sets eyes on Mike Scott.

When Mike’s not behind the bar at Woofs, he’s busy with his life as adult entertainer Scott Masters. Twenty years in the industry and the times, they are a-changing. Mike’s not had much luck in the relationship department, but as his mom is fond of telling him, you keep fishing in the same pond, you’re gonna reel in the same kind of fish. Maybe it’s time for a change.

And then a beautiful young man asks Mike to be his first….

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Tommy is a sweet, sweet 19 year old college student who has decided it’s time to come out to his family and be the man he always was inside. Part of this decision is his super-stalker-crush on the hot bartender he meets, Mike.

Mike is 40, a porn star and a bar tender at a local gay sports pub. He’s not really looking for a relationship as he’s just gotten out of one where – yet again- his boyfriend couldn’t handle his career.

When Tommy comes out to his family, they disown him, forcing him to re-evaluate his life and priorities. Luckily, his roommate’s family is awesome, and they mostly adopt him and help him with his new look on life.

With their support, Tommy gathers his courage and asks Mike to be his “first”. His first real kiss, sex and boyfriend.

Mike and Tommy find themselves connecting on a level that neither expected. To Tommy, Mike is everyone he’d ever hoped to find, even if he’d never really defined that. Tommy happens to hit all of Mike’s buttons, both protective and otherwise, despite the age gap.

The big conflict comes when Tommy – who comes from a very strict background with very black and white morality code – finds out Mike’s also a big porn star.

Mike has to decide – what’s more important? His career or his love life?

**

I really enjoyed this book. Tommy was a sweet heart and though he seemed almost too “good” to be true, I appreciated his ability to just set aside the non-sense from his family and concentrate on his own heart. I was glad that he got immediate support from his roommate’s family and that going to school was never the issue.

I also though that Tommy’s attitude about porn and his unwillingness to have Mike in the industry felt very authentic. And while Mike never made it out like porn was anything but work, I was glad that he could see Tommy’s side of things.

The “firsts” were super hot and I loved the chemistry between these two guys.

This was a fun, mostly angst-free look at first love and two incongruous people coming together in a perfect fit.

I’ve always enjoyed KC Wells’ writing and find it smooth, flowing and immersive.

I highly recommend this book.

Audio

Gregory Salinas is a new to me narrator.  He has a lovely reading voice and he seemed to have a fairly good “grasp of his subject”- meaning he had good timing, infused the appropriate emotion in the dialog and was very easy to listen to.  He didn’t do a lot for the characters, though I really, really loved his version of Tommy.  Just the right mix of innocence, Southern Charm and youth.  He didn’t do Mike as I’d imagined him – but maybe that’s because the model on the cover is a “real person” and I pictured his voice in my head. (Can you picture a voice in your head? LOL)  Anyhow… it was an easy listen and definitely a good way to enjoy this sweet story.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars.

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review