Time to Comfort: Audiobook: Sin and Tonic by Rhys Ford narrated by Tristan James

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/sin-and-tonic-by-rhys-ford-9595-b

Blurb: Sinners Series: Book Six

Miki St. John believed happy endings only existed in fairy tales until his life took a few unexpected turns… and now he’s found his own.
His best friend, Damien, is back from the dead, and their new band, Crossroads Gin, is soaring up the charts. Miki’s got a solid, loving partner named Kane Morgan—an Inspector with SFPD whose enormous Irish family has embraced him as one of their own—and his dog, Dude, at his side.

It’s a pity someone’s trying to kill him.

Old loyalties and even older grudges emerge from Chinatown’s murky, mysterious past, and Miki struggles to deal with his dead mother’s abandonment, her secrets, and her brutal murder while he’s hunted by an enigmatic killer who may have ties to her.
The case lands in Kane’s lap, and he and Miki are caught in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. When Miki is forced to face his personal demons and the horrors of his childhood, only one thing is certain: the rock star and his cop are determined to fight for their future and survive the evils lurking in Miki’s past.

Review:

(Previously reviewed by Dee on this site)

Miki gets his happy ever after! I have had a fantastic time following the series. This last book is just as good, (if not better), than the first.
Miki still has ghosts from his past haunting him. When a stranger who claims to know his mum wants to meet him, he’s understandably skeptical, but curious. Well, the meeting doesn’t go as planned, as someone shoots up the meeting place and the stranger is killed, leaving Edie severely wounded. The murder investigation lands in Kane’s lap and the unraveling of Miki’s past begins.

Although this is the last of the Sinners series, it didn’t feel like a final end, you know? Instead, I felt like I was saying goodbye to my extended family, imagining that I’d see them again in another settings or gathering.
I thought I would be sad reading the last installment – and I was for a bit – but the joy I felt knowing that Miki had finally gotten his happy ending, overrode any sadness. By the end of the book we leave him continuing to heal from all the horrors he’s endured. He is more comfortable with the knowledge that he has a family to call his own, that he can rely on to be there for him. And now, he also knows where he’s from.
It was also lovely to see the others – Dude, Damie and Sionn; Quinn and Rafe; Con and Forest; and of course, Donal and Brigid.
There are a few surprises, heaps of suspense and humour sprinkled throughout the story (indeed, the entire series). But most of all, there is love – romantic and familial within the story; and the love that Rhys has poured into her work.

Absolutely recommend this book and the entire series.

6 stars out of 5

Audio

I will have to agree with Dee for my evaluation of the story. I think – for the most part – that Rhys is a wonderful writer but that you do have to want a certain type of drama to enjoy her stories. She excels at bringing us characters in pain and giving them some sort of resolution. In this series everybody has their back story filled with pain and some with anguish. We couple it with a current bout of violence and luckily the wall of Morgans are there to help keep the tide at bay. I think – though I’ve loved this series so much – that it has come to it’s natural conclusion and aside from some cute side stories – this is a needed/warranted ending.

 

As for the narration- Tristan James is amazing. He’s got this sexy as hell voice and he’s also pretty good at setting the mood for a story with his pacing and energy. For some reason, however, this time around, the voice he chose for Miki is a bit off from what he’d chosen before and it bugged me. Miki didn’t sound like himself – he sounded … softer? I don’t know – but it didn’t match previous narrations. It’s a small thing and definitely doesn’t detract from the rest of the story and all the lovely accents – but it did bug me a little.

 

In any case – fans of the series will be sad to see this one but love it at the same time. It’s not a standalone so don’t start with this one!

 

Recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook: Coming Back (Belladonna Arms Book 3) by John Inman Narrated by:

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6751

Blurb

A Belladonna Arms Novel

Barney Teegarden knows what it’s like to be alone. He knows what it’s like to have a romantic heart, yet no love in his life to unleash the romance on. With the help of a friend, he acquires a lease in a seedy apartment building perched high on a hill in downtown San Diego. The Belladonna Arms is not only filled with the quirkiest cast of characters imaginable, it is also famous for sprinkling love dust on even the loneliest of the lovelorn.

At the Arms, Barney finds friendship, acceptance, and an adopted family that lightens his lonely life. Hell, he even finds a cat. But still true love eludes him.

When his drag queen landlord, Arthur, takes it into his head to rescue a homeless former tenant, he enlists Barney’s help. It is Barney who shows this lost soul how to trust again—and in return Barney discovers love for the first time in his life.

It’s funny how even the hardest battles can be fought and won with laughter, hugs, friends, plus a little faith in the goodness of others. All it takes to begin the healing is the simple act of coming back.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

God I love this series!

We met Ramon in earlier books. He was the lover of the misbegotten ChiChi and since ChiChi’s death, he’s been living on the streets. When Barney, Pete’s friend, moves into the Arms, Arthur knows just who to recruit to bring Ramon back to the family, back to Belladonna Arms.

Barney falls in love easily, but know one loves him back the way he needs. Ramon thinks he can never love again, not after what happened with ChiChi. Will the Love Pollen work it’s magic or will Ramon and Barney be the first to fail?

**

This series is so damn cute! It’s fun, sweet, a little bit sexy and wonderful!

It’s great seeing the entire gang and though this might be okay as a standalone, I don’t recommend it, because you really benefit by reading the others in order.

John Inman is a master of making wonderful characters who are absolutely imperfect but so easy to love. He doesn’t shy away from giving them “difficulties” or making them less than perfect physically or even mentally.

Barney is so shy and sweet and it was wonderful to watch him come in to his own while being “strong” for Ramon.

Ramon started out so broken, but with the daily doses of love coming from Arthur, Barney and the rest of the crew, he finally began to heal.

I love Sylvia and Pete so much! I was so happy for them!

I can’t say enough about this series and I highly recommend it!

6 of 5 stars

Previous Reviews :

Book 1 http://kimichanexperience.com/serenading-stanley-audiobook-john-inman-narrated-tyler-stevens/

Book 2 http://kimichanexperience.com/work-in-progress-audiobook-belladonna-arms-2-by-john-inman-narrated-by-caleb-dickinson/

Audio

How delightful! We’ve got a new (to me) narrator here who seems wonderful! I really enjoyed his take on the Beladonna Arms. He handled all the drama, sexiness and humor equally well. He manages to give everyone unique voices and not go OTT.

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to get Scared: Once upon a haunted moor audiobook by Harper Fox Narrated by Tim Gilbert

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Once-Upon-a-Haunted-Moor-Audiobook/B0778YB9NM?qid=1539888889&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=JVYEK7HRAS7XFPK03EE7&

Blurb

Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.

But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.

Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart.

Review
Once upon a haunted moor is a relatively short audiobook book but it certainly packs a spooky punch. Gideon is at his wits end trying to find a missing girl. What he certainly doesn’t need is the locals stirring up the legend of the Beast of Bodmin moor or some charlatan mystic upstaging him. But is there more to it? What scares Gideon on the moor so much and terrifies his dog? And how does Lee know so much. So much depth in this short story and I think it’s the better for it. The pace of the story is enough to keep the listeners hooked but not so fast that vital information is lost. The mystery element kept me guessing right until the end but even listening to the story many times over the build up and suspense leading up to the conclusion is still vibrant.
Gideon and Lee do not wait around there is no time for a slow build up. They are pulled together and just fit.
Tim Gilbert conjures up just the right atmosphere for this tale. I could feel the atmosphere of a Cornish village with all the superstition and the tension. The accents he gives both Gideon and Lee suits them and the overall tone works for me.
If this book appeals to you I would recommend continuing with the rest of the series.

4 of stars out of 5 for both story and narration

Purchased by reviewer

 

Time to get Scared: Blood from a Stoner by LA Witt; narrated by Nick J Russo

Audible Link

 https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=blood+from+a+stoner&ref=a_pd_B07HJB_t1_header_search

Blurb: Greg Dawson’s not sure which he regrets more – becoming a vampire or becoming a software engineer. Immortality? Not all it’s cracked up to be. The job?
Way more headache than it’s worth, especially on those increasingly frequent nights when he’s overworked and hangry.

With a deadline looming and his hunger growing, he’s nearing the end of his tether. Then relief comes from an unexpected source – Zane Webber, the hot programmer Greg’s been fantasizing about for two years.
Disregarding company policy, Zane lets him feed, but kind of forgets to mention he’s got some weed in his system. The next thing Greg knows, he’s high as a kite…and he likes it. He wants more.

Except how much of that high is secondhand weed, and how much is the electric and undeniable chemistry between him and Zane? That chemistry draws them back to each other again and again, and suddenly their downtime is full of sex, smoke, feeding…and emotions.
The only problem is Zane’s a mortal. If they’re in this for the long haul, then Greg has to either turn Zane or accept a future of watching him wither and die. Greg doesn’t want to lose Zane, but he also can’t stomach condemning him to this “life.” And if they can’t find some middle ground, they’ll have no choice but to let their love go up in smoke.

Review: This short story has a lot of deadpan (pun intended) humour, good world-building, a lot of heat and heart. And it’s low angst … my kind of story. Greg and Zane are fun, well fleshed out characters. I was really happy with the story and the realistic way it progressed and ended. The relationship between the 2 MCs is a different take vamp/non vamp dynamic – there was no apex predator vibe at all, for a start. It’s a well written story perfectly accompanied by narration.

OMG! Nick J Russo nailed the bored tone of Greg and the stoner tone for Zane (and Greg, the one time he was under the influence)! The voices were just right, not over or under done for either man. Sometimes it’s hard for a narrator to convey subtle nuances of dialogue or non-dialogue, especially if the character is internally monologuing – (blame TJ Klune for that last word …) – but Nick J Russo does it well here. I could tell when Greg was using his inner voice just by a slight change in inflection.
Best 3 hours spent, I loved it!

5 stars out of 5

 

Copy purchased for honest review

 

Audiobook: No Tears for Darcy by Vicki Reese Narrated by Brock Hatton

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/no-tears-for-darcy-by-vicki-reese-9489-b

Blurb
Letting love pass them by would be a crime.
Former forensic accountant Cameron has lost nearly everyone he’s ever loved, and now his vintage clothing shop has been broken into and trashed. When town Police Chief Will Carson asks an out-of-town cop friend of his for help, Cam takes one look at the dark-haired, blue-eyed detective and knows he’s in real trouble – and it has nothing to do with vandalism or murder.
Pete Minchelli is on leave from his job in Philadelphia due to a gunshot wound, but he figures he can help an academy buddy with some light police work. Plus, he’ll have a chance to experience small-town life. He’s tired of the big city and all its corruption. But he quickly discovers that not all the bad stuff happens in cities. What he doesn’t expect to find is death, treachery – or love.

Review

What a great story from Vicki Reese. This is my first experience of her and I’ll be going back to look for others.
I really enjoyed the story line and the mystery that was included. I was constantly going over it to try and work out who the assailant was, going back and forth because of how well it was written, details were leaked very slowly, just keeping you engaged and needing more all throughout the book.
The characters were great to read, relationships were built up over time. Our MC’s, Cameron and Pete, are given the chance to show themselves as real people with vulnerabilities and pain but also the hope for the future. I really felt for everything that Cam goes through along the story, especially with how hard the past year has been for him but then Pete comes into his life and without knowing it, the two draw closer sharing the experiences whilst trying to solve the case of who is actually committing all of these crimes.
Vicki has done an amazing job at building the world in which the story is set. The locations that we visit are all well described, easily imaginable and full of tension with everything going on.
My only question is the name of the book……Darcy is a character but a secondary one and it doesn’t make that much sense to me as being the title. She is important to the story but not necessarily title worthy…..
I definitely recommend this story and author. It’s a contemporary mystery romance with a wounded/healing cop looking to keep our vintage clothing shop owner safe.
The narration from Brock Hatton is really enjoyable! He really grabs your attention and keeps you enthralled with the story. Emotion is conveyed well and all of the characters are engaging. The only thing that I thought could have been improved was the variation of each characters voices. As we hear from Pete’s, Cameron’s and the bad guy’s POV, it would have been helpful if there was even a different tone or inflection perhaps as sometimes we switch mid paragraph.
Brock brought the story to life and I needed to keep listening to find out what was going to happen next! I recommend him as a narrator and look forward to listening to more of his work in the future.
Over, this is a great book. Both the writing and the narration worked really well together! I was constantly trying to guess who the cops were searching for and cheering on Cameron and Pete’s blossoming relationship. I think this is a book a lot of people would enjoy and I recommend it to them.

Number of stars out of 5
4 for the story
4 for the narration
4 overall


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores book 4) by Rosalind Abel Narrated by Kirt Graves

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Shipwreck-Audiobook/B07GDR5Q3M?qid=1538290512&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=0DGRQKG4V15Q1YXP41MF&

Blurb

Lamont Price’s romance novels have been a hit for the past few years. With his gorgeous looks, kind heart, and tender disposition, Lamont is the darling of Lavender Shores. He’s the guy everyone wants to be his or her best friend, the guy everyone wants to protect. But even with his success and the love of his family, Lamont feels hidden from those around him. Maybe the first step is attending a writing conference and revealing the man behind his pen name….

Tyler Dixon survives off his beauty and charm. From cover model to runway fashion to weekend arm candy, Tyler’s prices aren’t cheap. While his appearance is taking him places, his life as an artist has little more than flatlined. When an author hires him to appear as the face of her brand, Tyler thinks it’s just one more job. Little does he know another writer is going to steal all of his attention.

Escaping the conference to find some breathing room, Lamont runs into Tyler at a bar. Casual conversation leads to Lamont revealing his family’s obsession with helping him find love. It’s not a big deal to Tyler, who has played the role of boyfriend for other people in the past. Before either of them can rethink the situation, Tyler is in Lavender Shores meeting Lamont’s family. Though they’re only pretending to be in a relationship, the chemistry that ignites between them is anything but imaginary…

Review
Story:
Every story in the Lavender Shores series is a jewel in its own right and draws me further into that wonderful fictional world. With every book in this amazing series my expectations become higher and yet every new book keeps surpassing them.

I love love love the vulnerability in each of the MC’s, however outwardly strong or self-assured they might seem at first glance.

Lamont Price, aka Ginger Peach, stole my heart with his gentle nature and open-mindedness. He worries so much for others and is so careful not to offend or hurt anyone. I felt sad for him, because he’s so insecure, painfully so, but it’s also what makes him human and very easy to empathize with. Body positivity is a great thing to aspire to, but easier said than done, and having your own mother leave you when you’re just a little kid would do a number on anyone.

Lamont and Tyler have both been disappointed in love, but they dealt with it very differently. Lamont closed himself off and spent years alone, whereas Tyler jumped into the physical side of things with abandon and refused to open himself up to anything that even resembled an actual relationship.
When they meet, both men start to bend their rules and tentatively take a chance on each other.

Tyler is very playful and direct, though not as open as perhaps he should be. Which will come back to bite him in the ass… poor guy. It’s a trainwreck that you can see coming a mile away, and it was as painful and emotional as I feared.
I do wish they could have been spared this dramatic reveal and the ensuing heartbreak. It serves its purpose in the road these two must travel, of course, and makes the HEA so much sweeter when it does come. Masterfully written!!Though I might have hated the author for a very little while. Poor Tyler and Lamont.

The shipwreck, and all it symbolizes, makes for an important theme in the book. I especially loved the scene where Lamont first shows the shipwreck to Tyler. It’s such a sweet and tender moment and it really brings them closer together.

Robert and Debbra are awesome in this story. Both protective and supportive of their eldest in the sweetest way. The ice cream scene made me tear up. Go Debbra!

I also loved all the little romantic moments in this story, the candles, the love letter, and the way Tyler’s and Lamont’s love for each other shines through in their art. Swoon…

This was an amazing read. Can’t wait to get started on the next book in this series!

Narration:
Kirt Graves is now one of my all-time favorite narrators. He’s so great at bringing emotion to a story. I love that he doesn’t just focus on the MC’s voices, but also makes sure that each secondary character comes across very clearly and recognizably.

Number of stars out of 5: 5

audiobookreview


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Acceptance (Forbes Mates Book 3) by Grace R Duncan Narrated by Christopher Boucher

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/acceptance-by-grace-r-duncan-7103-b

Blurb

Dr. Miles Grant acknowledges that his destined mate could be either gender even though his bisexuality cost him his family and his pack. Luckily he found the Forbes Pack, who happily accepts him just as he is. What he never counted on was finding his mate in Pittsburgh or for his mate to be another species entirely—a cat!

Quincy Archer isn’t just any jaguar shifter. He is the heir to the leadership of his pride. Destined mates are nothing but legend to the nearly extinct and generally solitary jaguars, and Quincy certainly never expected to find one for himself, much less a male… or a wolf.

However, finding each other and coming to terms with their species is the least of their worries. Quincy is expected to select a proper female mate, father a cub, and take his place as heir to the pride. Except Quincy refuses, having no interest in women or leadership and knowing he isn’t right for it. But his father will stop at nothing—not even attempting to kill Miles—to get his way. Quincy and Miles must overcome many obstacles to stay together as the destined mates they’re meant to be.

Review

This is book three in a series and it must be read in order for it to be truly appreciated. I think you – might- be able to understand it if you read this as a standalone but you’d lose SO MUCH!

We met Quincy as Miles’ mate in book two. Shockingly, the wolves never knew there were other shifters out there – and Quincy is a jaguar shifter. Jaguars don’t have mates and Miles feared that he’d never be able to claim and live with his reclusive jaguar mate.

Quincy is not only a reclusive jaguar shifter, but the heir to the leadership of his group. He’s estranged from his father, though, and has no desire to take over leadership. He just wants to do his own thing – art and information brokering – and be left alone. In addition, he doesn’t want a mate (first because he’s not sure he believes in fate or destined mates – and second because his father is doing everything he can to bring him into the fold and he fears any “mate” of his would be in danger.)

We meet up with Miles – an ER doctor – and Quincy after Quincy has been badly beaten by some jaguar goons Quincy believes were hired by his father. At last, Quincy can’t deny the pull and he agrees to try to be with Miles, but only after he settles things with his father.

What proceeds is a very dramatic and involved game of cat and mouse (or wolf and cat!) wherein the goons chase after Quincy, then Miles, then Chad and Jamie after they’re roped in to helping.

**

I adore this series! The characters are multi-faceted and real, but still have their “animal” qualities close at hand. Just EXACTLY what a shifter story should have.

It was so great seeing so much of Chad and Jamie after Chad had been converted to his wolf. He was so adorable! I loved seeing how he evolved his control of his senses.

The mystery in this story connects the previous book through the Alpha Prime but has it’s own evolution by including Quincy’s father. The jaguar culture is just as fascinating as learning about the wolf culture we did in book two.

If I have any complaints, it’s the romance between Quincy and Miles. It goes from zero to sixty then stalls out for chapters then ramps up to a climactic finish and it was not nearly as satisfying as the romance from the previous two books. (Which is unfair to compare, but I loved the romance in books one and two, so this was just a bit of a let down.)

In any case, I couldn’t put this story down and I loved, loved LOVED the epilogue! GAH I hope it doesn’t mean the end of the series!!!!!! ☹

I can’t recommend this series or this book any higher – it’s truly wonderful. Any fans of shifter romances should consider this a MUST READ.

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I am really loving this new(ish) narrator! He does such a lovely job with the growly and the accents and the pacing. I felt like the accent for Quincy was sometimes a bit OTT – I have no idea what an Egyptian accent would be – but this did sometimes feel a bit too cartoonish – but… I still loved it for the most part. I appreciate the effort to make everyone distinct and to really feel the story.

I super recommend this!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Redeeming the Stepbrother by Andrew Grey, narrated by Jack Wesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/redeeming-the-stepbrother-by-andrew-grey-9507-b

 

Blurb

A Tale from St. Giles

Family can be a blessing and a curse, but for artist Florian, it’s a nightmare he longs to escape.

As chief designer for Bartholomew Artist Porcelain, Florian specializes in painting birds. He also watches them in the wild to distract himself from his short-tempered mother, at least temporarily. Florian’s heart is too soft to leave his stepsister, Ella, to suffer alone. Still, he can’t help dreaming about one day finding happiness and love.

When Count Dieter von Hollenbach arrives in town to visit a friend and present an award, he isn’t looking for romance. Then again, he doesn’t expect someone as perfect as Florian to come into his life. To make sure Florian is all he seems and that their connection is genuine, Dieter keeps his title to himself.

But he isn’t the only one with a secret.

At a masquerade ball to celebrate the award, some of the masks fall away, but those that remain in place could destroy the love beginning to grow between them.

Review

Story:
This was a sweet and mellow modern take on Cinderella, refreshingly focusing on one of the stepsiblings rather than the Cinderella character.

Florian, the stepbrother in need of redeeming, is not such a blackguard as the title or knowledge of the original fairytale might lead you to suppose. He is quite a pleasant young man, no bully or anything like that, but he keeps to himself and basically looks the other way for years any time his mom goes all evil stepmother on his younger stepsister, Isabella, and therein lies the rub.

Ella is a wonderful young girl, very loving and forgiving, and she really blossoms once Florian decides to help her and starts sticking up for her at home. I love that this particular Cinderella gets a magic night at the ball, but then goes off on an adventure and gets herself an education rather than focusing on getting a boyfriend. She’s only eighteen, after all.

We only have Florian’s point of view throughout the story, which I thought a bit of a pity. Dieter’s perspective from time to time would have been helpful. As it is, he remains very much the enigmatic Count. He appears to be the more interesting of the two men, but we know next to nothing of what he feels or thinks. We also get very little German endearments or quotes, though that could have really livened things up. Verdammt! Das ist wirklich schade.

Florian and Dieter gravitate towards each other very easily, but it all happens so mildly, almost tepidly, that I can’t say that I was very engrossed by their story.
It takes them a long time to realize and speak of their feelings for each other and when they finally do so, Florian seems resigned to an unhappy outcome, thinking that it’ll be over almost instantly, because Dieter is set to return to Germany soon. Florian, with all his insecurities, can be rather passive, and a bit of a damsel in distress at times. It doesn’t even seem to occur to him that he can fight to keep Dieter in his life, one way or another.

Of course, this is a romance and a fairytale, so Florian and Dieter are assured of their HEA. However, there is still a spot of bother to overcome, remember the evil stepmother and the other, even more evil, stepbrother?
This part of the plot ups the stakes for all involved and brings with it an element of danger and emotional distress that pushes the characters to evolve and grow. Nice twist!

This is the second book in the Tales from St. Giles series, but it can be read perfectly as a standalone.

Narration: The narrator had a warm and pleasant voice, but I felt a bit too much like he was just reading the story out loud instead of really bringing the characters to life. He made Florian’s mom sound really shrill, which was a bit unpleasant to listen to, but perfectly in keeping with her personality.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Love You so Madly by Tara Lain Narrated by Ry Forest

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-madly-by-tara-lain-9634-b

Blurb
A Love You So story.
Ben Shane has it all…and he’d like to give some of it back. While he loves his job heading a foundation that funds worthy causes around the world, his engagement to one of America’s wealthiest men leaves him feeling more like a trophy wife than a valued partner. The first warning that his relationship might not be designed to last is his irresistible lust for Dusty Kincaid, the golden-haired, bright-eyed handyman for his company.
Though Dusty is odd for a 23-year-old – no liquor, no sugar, and he can’t even drive – the more Ben gets to know Dusty, the more he admires him. But is Ben going to give up a guy who drives a Ferrari for one who takes the bus?
He must be mad. Dusty knows he and Ben can never work. After all, Ben’s perfect…and Dusty isn’t. But Ben might surprise everyone with proof that he’s only mad in love.

Review

Story-Love You So Madly is the second book in the Love You So Stories but can easily be read as a standalone. This is a pretty short read/listen about a guy, Ben who works hard for a charitable foundation. He seems to have the perfect life. Rich, attentive fiancée Alan, who wants to give him the world. A job, that even though it requires long hours, he gets to help people, which he loves. But underneath the surface Ben isn’t as happy as he seems. He doesn’t want to be a trophy husband to his rich boyfriend, he wants to make a difference in the world. Ben has noticed the office handyman, the stunningly attractive Dusty for a while but has hardly ever talked to him. Eventually that all changed and Dusty starts to help Ben out with some renovation problems he’s been having. Ben starts to notice some weird quirks about Dusty as the two get to know each other. As the two men grow closer to each other Ben struggles with his attraction to Dusty and his failing relationship Alan. After Dusty has a health scare Ben finally realizes what he wants and goes about making the changes in his life.

I found this to be a very light, fast paced book. The two main characters were sweet and funny. I did at some points find Dusty’s mother to be a bit over bearing but after finding out about past issues I could kind of get why she was like that. The one thing I didn’t like was towards the end, when Dusty and Ben finally get together, they had sex after their “first” date. I don’t think it needed to be in the story. It felt rather rushed and out of place. I would have been just as happy not to have it there. Other than that I found this to be a delightful book and series so far.

Story-4 stars

Narration-Ry Forest seems to be a fairly new narrator. I have only listened to one other book he has narrated, and I have the same issue with both books. Ry has a very attractive voice that kept me enthralled. He puts a lot of enthusiasm in his narrations but at times this can be very over the top (like when he “voices” a moan or laugh). He keeps the story going and I didn’t have any other issues, except the moaning/laughing parts, but I will most like still pick up an audio narrated by him in the future.

Narration-4 stars

Overall 4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook: The Veranda (Lavender Shores book 3) by Rosalind Abel Narrated by Kirt Graves

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Veranda-Audiobook/B07DF63QG3?qid=1538205381&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=PF0JDWDYB4VN30TVVP2C&

Blurb
Donovan Carlisle helps countless people in Lavender Shores with his skills as a therapist. It seems, however, that his ability to enable others to live their happiest life only works outside of himself. Donovan truly loves his life, but isn’t able to find a relationship that satisfies his heart’s craving. Maybe the problem is that the only man he wants is off-limits.
Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then, he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate.
A decade later, after a divorce and the crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is, those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. The fire and heat between the two men only grows as secrets are uncovered and they must determine if the cost of their passion is too high…

Review

Story:
Donovan and Spencer are both at a point in their lives where I think they’ve stopped hoping for a grand romance or happily-ever-after.
They know who their heart belongs to, but they do not believe their feelings are reciprocated or that a relationship is even possible. One of the drawbacks of falling for your (ex-)brother-in-law.

They are both such caring and kind men. It’s such sweet relief when they finally find some much-deserved happiness with each other. The yearning and love they feel for each other is off the charts.

There’s a little bit of angst when they first cross that line from “mere” brothers-in-law into something more personal, with Spencer being somewhat sneaky in how he goes about it.
But it does the trick in getting the ball rolling. Donovan’s reaction when he finds out that Spencer knew full well what he was doing and with who at the masquerade party was great! Surprising, and wonderful. I would have hated recriminations or emotional drama at that point.
Donovan the therapist sometimes hinders Donovan the man with the doom and gloom of everything he has seen and heard in his years of counseling others. On the other hand, it also helps him to understand Spencer better and be there for him the way he needs.

Spencer was brought up to believe being gay was wrong and sinful, and that a “cure” was possible if he only tried hard enough. My heart ached for all he went through because of that, and the far-reaching impact it had on him, even at a time when you think he’s finally reached a happy and safe place in his life.
I hate that his parents didn’t react better or more feelingly, not at any point in the story. As a mother, I can’t fathom how anyone could treat their children so. How horrible and sad that such things are not confined to the world of fiction.

Donovan and Spencer aren’t in their twenties anymore and they are fully aware that no man is an island. There is Erica to consider, Donovan’s sister and Spencer’s ex-wife, and more importantly still, Spencer’s and Erica’s children, Emma and Ethan.

The scene where Erica finds out that her brother and ex-husband are together is very intense and emotional. This is the scene that made me cry. Her anger is understandable, though how she goes about expressing it is less so, but her sincere remorse at how she lashed out and Spencer’s reaction to everything, make this into a very powerful moment. Very raw. Very real.

One of the many things I adored about this story, is that the three adults always keep in mind what is best for the children and that the children never have any reason to doubt how loved they are. Erica’s occasional mean-spiritedness never touches her children, and when the moment comes to explain to Emma and Ethan that daddy and uncle Donovan are in love, Donovan especially rises to the occasion. Though all three of the adults handle the revelation with care and sensitivity.

I was completely blown away by this story.

Narration:
Kirt Graves again did an excellent job! He has a warm and soothing voice that made listening to this story an absolute pleasure. Donovan and Spencer come across very distinctly and I really liked the timbre he choose for each of their voices, which I felt matched their personality very well.

Number of stars: 6


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review