Audiobook: Color of You By: C.S. Poe Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/color-of-you-by-cs-poe-9815-b

Blurb

Bowen Merlin – yes, that’s his real name – accepts a position in the quaint town of Lancaster, New Hampshire, as the high school band director. He leaves New York City for the snowy countryside of New England just in time for the holidays. With class, homework, after-school activities, and a surprise Christmas concert to plan and rehearse, Bowen is plenty busy. And since he’s never had much luck with romance, factoring in time to find Mr. Right isn’t a priority….
Until he meets the proprietor of Snowy Ridge Apple Orchard, Felix Hansen. Suddenly, true love seems like a possibility for the first time in Bowen’s life. The two are a perfect match and fill the skipped beats of each other’s hearts. But as wonderful as Felix seems, he’s harboring scars that could end their budding relationship when someone in town goes to great lengths to sabotage their careers.
If Bowen is to survive the holidays, he’ll need to lean on old friends and new, convince Felix he’s worth any hardship, and prove they can come out of the catastrophe stronger if they do so together.

Review

I’m going to be in the minority here. It took me awhile to figure it out and I had to really think on what about this story didn’t work for me. There’s so much about it to like/love. The music is what attracted me originally, the hurt/comfort aspect and the scarring, the big city meets country – all of these things really worked for me. I also loved the synesthesia –that was not only cool but really interesting, too. At first, I thought maybe it was the insta-love – and I think that wasn’t my favorite aspect, but it didn’t bother me that much EXCEPT…

I never liked Bowen. Ugh. I said it. I wanted to like him, but I never warmed to him. He was bossy and though he said he wanted an equal in his relationships, he was just too bossy/toppy and as I’ve said before I really shy away from anything even remotely BDSM and his relationship with Felix really bordered on D/s in the sense that he was so dominant.

Many people really enjoyed this and if you’re not as sensitive to that particular power dynamic it might not bother you either – but – for me – each time they were intimate and Bowen began to talk it just pushed all the wrong buttons for me and that influenced my feelings for the rest of the story.

In general, it was really sweet – with an OTT subplot about homophobia that sort of matched the super quick love story and large personalities of all the secondary characters.

I think people who are looking for something really sweet, holiday themed, super quick love story with some interesting/quirky characters will find this right up their alley.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Greg B (Tremblay) does his typically wonderful job with this and it was his narration that attracted me to this story in the first place. I knew I could trust that he would be easy on the ears and really let me sink into the story. He did not disappoint!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Audiobook Bromantically Yours by KC Wells Narrated by Daniel Henning

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bromantically-yours-by-kc-wells-9344-b

Blurb

K.C. Wells
A friends-to-lovers novella that came from Out of the Shadows, because Nate and Dylan needed a story….
Nate and Dylan have been pals for a long time. So what if their friends think they’ve got a little bromance going? Doesn’t mean there’s anything more to it than that, right? And even if there is, Nate and Dylan are totally oblivious….
Until the night they share a drunken kiss—and everything changes.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This was adorable! I don’t remember these guys at all from Out of the Shadows – but that’s ok.

I loved how cute they were together and the “discovery” smexy times were hot, hot, hot!

There is pretty much no angst and just a sweet and sexy deepening of feelings.

Highly Recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

 

Daniel Henning is new to me and he did not impress me this time around. While he did a nice job with pronunciation and was easy to understand and I felt like his voice quality/intonation was nice – his voices felt like caricatures and didn’t feel authentic. He was a bit OTT at times and that is a drag.

 

I did not feel drawn into the story and I was a bit disappointed. I wouldn’t avoid him – he is new – but this wasn’t a great start.

 

3 of 5 stars

 

 

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 

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Steamy Romance: Quid Pro Quo by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28811723-quid-pro-quo?from_search=true

Blurb
For the past six months, Jared’s been selling sex at Market Garden, a London club that caters to the better-off. But business is slow in the run-up to Christmas, when businessmen and bankers are too busy bickering over bonuses to rent themselves a little high-class action.

Though Jared’s wallet finds the downtime unnerving, the rest of him rather enjoys the opportunity it gives him to admire Tristan, an old hand in the club whose reputation usually sees him well-booked. Jared has been crushing on Tristan for months – he’s no more immune to Tristan’s cockiness and confidence than the johns, and those are just Tristan’s inner qualities.

Just as Jared’s about to chat Tristan up, a businessman asks for something a little different: he wants to book them both. They agree – and Jared finds himself going from crush to mind-bending lust as he’s made the pawn in a sexual power game. Tristan shows him how a pro handles a john while delivering the top-shelf sex for which the Market Garden is so rightly renowned.

Review
Short steamy and hot. This short story captures a moment in time for two high class rent boys. Jared and Tristan who work in the exclusive Market Garden Club. Men with money to burn and little time pay to be satisfied. I liked the way Jared was a little in awe of Tristan’s confidence and jumps at the chance to ‘work’ with him when the John requests it. Tristan, builds the level of sexual tension for both Jared and the John. Making the John pay for every new aspect. The writing is excellent. So atmospheric, it’s like you are there watching all three of them.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook Month: Luke’s Present by Sue Brown Narrated by Aaron Pickering

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/morning-report-series-6498-

Blurb
Lost Cow Ranch foreman Simon Bryan is worried about Luke, his boss and possessive partner of twelve years. Reeling from the flood that took his horse, Luke has postponed surgery on his knee, and his nightmares have been escalating. Worse, he is pulling away from Simon emotionally. Desperate to help his lover cope, Simon plans a special Christmas gift, but it is Luke’s present that changes their relationship foreve
.

Review
Luke’s Present is a lovely short catch up with Luke and Simon. It’s about two years after the events in Morning Report, not much after the ending of Papa’s Boy. The story provides answers to loose ends such as wether Luke has the operation on his knee (injured in book two) as well as small parts for Noah & Tommy, Ray & Zeke. I love the strength of Luke and Simon’s relationship in this book. Simon knows there’s a problem and sees through the defensive behaviour Luke puts up to find the truth. Luke’s reaction is beautiful and provides the perfect wrap up for the contemporary part of the series.
I liked Aaron Pickering’s narration in this book. He has settled into the characters and i found him easy to listen to. This might also be that I am used to his style now. Although I can’t find any other books still available narrated by him.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Time to Laugh: Behind the Curtain Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Hugh Bradley

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/behind-the-curtain-by-amy-lane-6070-b

Blurb

Dawson Barnes recognizes his world is very small and very charmed. Running his community college theater like a petty god, he and his best friend, Benji know they’ll succeed as stage techs after graduation. His father adores him, Benji would die for him, and Dawson never doubted the safety net of his family, even when life hit him below the belt.

But nothing prepared him for falling on Jared Emory’s head.

Aloof dance superstar Jared is a sweet, vulnerable man and Dawson’s life suits him like a fitted ballet slipper. They forge a long-distance romance from their love of the theater and the magic of Denny’s. At first it’s perfect: Dawson gets periodic visits and nookie from a gorgeous man who “gets” him—and Jared gets respite from the ultra-competitive world of dancing that almost consumed him.

That is until Jared shows up sick and desperate and Dawson finally sees the distance between them concealed painful things Jared kept inside. If he doesn’t grow up—and fast—his “superstar” might not survive his own weaknesses. That would be a shame, because the real, fragile Jared that Dawson sees behind the curtain is the person he can see spending his life with.

Review:

This is a sweet story of two people, seemingly in opposite phases of life, coming together and finding love.  Dawson is totally adorkable and Jared is too cool for school.  They are utterly perfect for each other!

Amy is so good at giving us these bony limbed-kersplang-awkward characters that you can’t help but absolutely adore and then pairing them with a masterful, solid, yet somehow broken-needing-to-be-fixed character.  Dawson says all these ridiculous things and it just works.  Just when you think Dawson is the one who needs to grow up, you realize that, no, he is the rock in this relationship and poor Jared is the one who needs to be rescued.

Amy also excels at “friends” and Dawson’s friends (and family) are so wonderful and though they may try to steal the story, they only add to its richness and texture, by giving it greater depth.

The dialog in this book is funny, sweet, touching and wonderful, just like Jared and Dawson’s love for each other. I really enjoyed these guys and I hope we get to see them in future books, I didn’t want this one to end! 

Audio:

The narrator, Hugh Bradley, is new to me, but I will definitely look for him in the future. He did an amazing job, really brining the characters to life with his voices and inflection. He seemed to really “get” Dawson and Jared and their story. Sometimes a narrator can mess up a story for you, if you have already read it and already have a feel for the characters in your head. But Hugh seemed to be reading the same story as me, and I really enjoyed listening to his version. I highly recommend this audible as a companion to the book or all on its own.

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: The Calling by M.D. Neu

Nine star Press
https://www.amazon.com/Calling-M-D-Neu-ebook/dp/B078HGXBX7/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519394410&sr=1-1&keywords=M.D.+Ne

Blurb
Being a nobody isn’t Duncan Alexander’s life goal, but it’s worked for him. He has a nondescript job, a few good friends, and overall he’s content. That’s until one fateful trip to San Jose, California, where he is “Called” to meet the mysterious Juliet de Exter. Juliet is a beautiful, wealthy, powerful Immortal who is undertaking The Calling—a search for a human to join her world of Immortals. Inexplicably, Duncan’s calling is more dangerous than any of the Immortals, even Juliet, ever thought it would be.

There is more to this nobody, this only child of long-deceased parents, than anyone thought. When Duncan experiences uncontrollable dreams of people he doesn’t know and places he hasn’t been, Juliet and the other Immortals worry. Soon, his visions point to a coven of long-dead witches. The dreams also lead Duncan to his one true love. How will Duncan navigate a forbidden romance with an outcast Immortal? How will he and the others keep the balance between the Light and Dark, survive vicious attacks, and keep the humans from learning who they truly are? More importantly, who is this implacable foe Duncan keeps seeing in his dreams?

Review
My first thoughts when I started reading this book was where is this going. The reader is left to ponder the mysterious circumstances of Duncan feeling the pull to come to San Jose. When I did get more into the story I was equally intrigued and impatient to know what happens next. So much happens, changes and becomes revealed I couldn’t stop until I found out more. The Author provides a lot of details which helps the flow of the story. To be honest after reading the blurb I was expecting a paranormal a story but not necessarily vampires. It was a good surprise especially as I found this story to be an interesting new take on it. The whole hierarchy and customs are well developed making it a credible scenario. I especially liked that although we understand a lot has to happen for Duncan and Kirtus to be together, it’s kept off page. The romance between them is written very well and feels a natural development. The conclusion ties up a lot of lose ends nicely but frustratingly opens the door to more books.I only say frustratingly because I hate the carrot of the next story dangled in front of me if I can’t read it yet!

5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine Review: Together Tied (Marshals #3.5) by Mary Calmes

GoodReads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38560762-together-tied?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, you’re all invited to spend some time with my marshals. I put a short novella on Instafreebie of Miro and Ian having dinner with their boss Sam Kage and his husband, Jory Harcourt. What could possibly go wrong?

I hope you all enjoy it and I hope you all have a wonderful, shmoopy, candy and flower filled day.

 

 

 

Review

This is a super fun, super sweet, GIANT TEASER of a story that makes you CRAVE the next installment of the Marshalls series.

We get to see some really familiar faces and our guy Miro sees Sam in a new light.  If you’re not following All the stories – The Marshalls – Acrobat – A matter of time – this won’t make sense as a lot of people show up in this short story.

You MUST read this before book 4 so… 

I wish this had been a little bit more about Ian and Miro being in love and less about moving the plot forward for book 4 but it was still adorable and free on InstaFreebie!

3.75 of 5 stars

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Valentine’s Read: Don’t I Know You: An Arrangement Short Story (Soulmates #3) by Felice Stevens

Good Reads Link

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38215100-don-t-i-know-you?from_search=true

Blurb

It’s been a year full of love and learning for Carter and Reed. But marriage and caring for Jacks means less time for the two of them to be together. With Carter away on a business trip during Valentine’s Day, Reed returns to help out at the bar where he and Carter first met, so he wouldn’t be alone. Unbeknownst to Reed, Carter has a surprise planned for the two of them. One that will let his husband know exactly how much he is loved.
This is a 6,700 word short story in the Soulmates series about finding the one person who completes you and never letting them forget how much they are loved. It has not been published previously.

 

Review

 

I really enjoyed The Arrangement which was the book where these characters meet.  This  is them over Valentine’s.  They’ve been married a year or so but they are still dealing with a lot of issues: anxiety, work, and being a first-time parent. Though it is cliche-  it is super cute what happens and how Carter decides to surprise Reed on Valentine’s Day!  So very sexy! Highly recommended to fans of book one – ( it would not make any sense if you have not read that).

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Valentine’s Read: Bromantically Yours by KC Wells

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bromantically-yours-by-kc-wells-9344-b

Blurb

A friends-to-lovers novella that came from Out of the Shadows, because Nate and Dylan needed a story….
Nate and Dylan have been pals for a long time. So what if their friends think they’ve got a little bromance going? Doesn’t mean there’s anything more to it than that, right? And even if there is, Nate and Dylan are totally oblivious….
Until the night they share a drunken kiss—and everything changes.

 

 

Review by Morgan

This was adorable! I don’t remember these guys at all from Out of the Shadows – but that’s ok.

I loved how cute they were together and the “discovery” smexy times were hot, hot, hot!

There is pretty much no angst and just a sweet and sexy deepening of feelings.

Highly Recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Review by Mary

 

KC Wells has given Nate and Dylan (from out of the Shadows, a Dreamspun Desire story) such a sweet and heartwarming story. I loved the way the way the relationship develops is both tentative and bold. They already know each other very well having been friends for so long but knowing each other intimately is another matter. From their friends reactions they’ve been expecting it for a long time and are supportive. I wouldn’t say this book set my world on fire, there is nothing special in it, but KC Wells is excellent at crafting stories. This story does exactly what it says on the tin, no angst, no will they won’t they, just two friends finding their way to each other bromantically. A perfect Valentine’s feel good read.

 

3 of stars out of 5

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Valentine’s Day Review: Audiobook- The Devil’s Brew by Rhys Ford Narrated by Tristan James

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-devils-brew-by-rhys-ford-2741-b

Blurb:
Miki St. John’s life has been turned upside down, but it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
His best friend, Damien Mitchell, is back from the dead. He has a dog named Dude. And more importantly, he and his lover SFPD Inspector Kane Morgan now share Miki’s converted warehouse.
For the first time ever, Miki’s living a happy and normal-ish life, but when Valentine’s Day rolls around, Miki realizes he knows next to nothing about being domestic or domesticated. Nothing about the traditional lover’s holiday makes sense to him, but Miki wants to give Kane a Valentine’s Day the man will never forget.
Can he pull off a day of wine and roses? Or will his screwed-up childhood come back and bite Miki in the ass?
Again.

Review:

If you have not read the Sinner’s Gin series ries and especially if you have not listened to it you should! It is an amazing series read by one of the most dreamy narrators in the genre. It involves a bunch a very broken people who find happiness with one another, all the while making amazing music.

Devils brew is a novella that takes place over Valentine’s Day when Miki, who has never had any “normal” relationships, tries to navigate through this made up holiday with his boyfriend for the first time ever. It’s funny, sweet and tender all at the same time.

I love Miki’s relationship with the Morgans and am always touched by Donal’s contributions to Miki’s healing process.
Without giving anything away, I did a happy dance when Miki gave Sionn his second gift… yippee!!

Tristan James’ narration is the icing on this delicious cake – his Irish accents are swoonworthy! He is the vocal equivalent of crack for me. I have every one of his narrations (luckily they are great stories, too) simply because I adore his voice. His cadence is superb and his intonation is like butter. I love his accents (even when they wobble a bit) and the bit of “acting” he does as he reads the emotional parts is just right.
I can’t say enough positive things about this narration, highly recommended to fans of the series and again a plug to start from the beginning if you haven’t already.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/103855-sinners

5 of 5 stars

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