Audiobook Month: Starting Point (Turning Point Series, Book 3) by N.R. Walker Narrated by: Sean Crisden

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Starting-Point-Audiobook/B07D9TGHBZ?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4ZVWYH8B91JR5M3NV69Y&

Blurb

Book Three in the Turning Point Series

After going past the point of no return and finally reaching breaking point, the only thing Matthew Elliott can do now is start over.
Matthew Elliott is a recovering man. As an ex-cop and ex-fighter, his new job teaching kids at the local community gym about drug awareness and self-defense, is a little bit of both. His new focus on helping street kids is helping him heal, and with Kira by his side, he’s making strides.
Brother and sister, Rueben and Claudia, are homeless kids and they’re very much alone. As they strike a chord with Matt, he does everything in his power to help them. But when Ruby and Claude need more help than he bargained for, it stops being about work, and starts being about home.
The day he met Kira, Matt’s life changed direction, and it’s only now he realizes that everything he’s been through was a lead up to this. It was never about endings. His life, his purpose, was just beginning.

Review

 

This book is all about the feelz. This is the third in the series and it absolutely cements the growth of Matt as a person and Kira and Matt as a couple/family.

 

Like all good books/series it’s hard to see it end, but NR Walker did a wonderful job with this and this, like the others is fabulous.

 

Sean Crisden absolutely ROCKS this and delivers on all the poignant emotion that reverberates throughout.

 

Highly recommended.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook Month: The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield, narrated by J.F Harding

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Long-Way-Home-Audiobook/B01MQGGZ71?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4GVDMJXBB991JR8MT96Z&

Blurb:
Ever since the accident that cost him his job on the Seattle police force, Kevin Quinn has been living with psychic abilities he refers to as the ‘gift that keeps on taking’. His attempts to use his talents to help the police have been met with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys start going missing from the beach cities of Southern California, Kevin gets on a plane.
Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He’s still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing 10 years earlier. Everything he aspires to is a direct result of that tragedy, even the acquisition of his detective shield. The irony of having to babysit Kevin Quinn is not lost on him.
These two suspicious men must develop trust and respect for one another to solve the case and, on the way, maybe fall in love.

Review:
A good story with great narration.
Kevin is a reluctant psychic (the ‘gift’ manifests after an accident). He’s asked to work on a missing persons case where he meets Connor. Connor is assigned to assist Kevin in the investigation; at first they don’t get along, but very quickly they develop a rapport which leads to a mutual attraction. As they grow closer, the mystery of the disappearances unfolds. There is quite a bit of wit and humour in the story that kept me engaged throughout.

Story: 4

Audio:

JF Harding was really good! This was my first time listening to him after which I bought a couple more books that he’s narrated. His pacing, inflections and timing was spot on for the characters. The subtle humour and wit of the prose was nicely voiced and he portrayed the dynamics and chemistry of the 2 MC’s very well.
Definitely a story I will listen to again.

5 stars out of 5

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy purchased for review

 

Audiobook Month: Finley by Ella Frank, narrated by J.F Harding

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Long-Way-Home-Audiobook/B01MQGGZ71?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_4&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4GVDMJXBB991JR8MT96Z&

Blurb:

It’s time to come home, Finn.

It’s been seven years since Daniel Finley left his hometown in Florida for the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s city life.
Since then, he’s worked hard for his position at the prestigious law firm Leighton & Associates, even when it’s caused distance and isolation from his family and friends. But that’s all about to change.

On his 30th birthday, he receives the one thing he never dared hope for. Something that was promised to him years earlier – a note. One simple sentence from the man he’s never been able to forget.

Six words will forever change the course of their lives.

Brantley Hayes has it all. Or so he thinks. When he first made the decision to take a job down in Florida, his family thought he was crazy. But, after years of living in the quiet beach town, he finally feels a sense of community. He’s surrounded himself with friends who are like family, has a job he loves, and owns a spectacular beachfront property that is his sanctuary.
Yet he still feels unfulfilled, as if a piece of the puzzle is missing, and he knows exactly which piece it is. On an impulse, he follows through with a promise he made years earlier. A promise to call home the one he sent away.

Nothing is as simple as it seems.

After years of separation, the former lovers are reunited, but Brantley wasn’t expecting to encounter the high walls now guarding Daniel’s heart.
Daniel may not be the same person he was when he left, but he knows that the first step to healing is the note in his hand..

Review:

I loved the story and its link to the Temptation series (one of my all-time faves to listen to).
Daniel Finley (Fin) is the cocky lawyer who helps Tate get a big settlement after an accident case. But before he became a cocky lawyer, he was a cocky law student who had his eye of one of his professors – Brantley Hayes. The story goes back and forth between the past and present, starting with Daniel coming home to face the man who sent him away. It was fun to see how the relationship between Fin and Brantley developed and grew over time while he (Fin) was still a student.
Note: The teacher/student aspect is quite well done – I didn’t once think that the relationship may not have been appropriate.
When Brantley decides that Fin would be better off finishing his degree at a better university, Fin doesn’t take the advice well, but leaves anyway. Fast forward to the present – he’s grown up and is prepared to ‘love’ Brantley and leave him. Happily their past chemistry makes it hard for them to walk away from each other. Like I said, I loved the story.

5 of 5 stars

Audio 
Charlie David narrates and while he is quite good, I wasn’t overly fond of his performance here. One of my issues is that there was very little distinction between the 2 MCs. There was slightly more of a difference with the 2 secondary characters- Derek and Jordan. Overall, it wasn’t a bad performance, just not one of my favourites, (it didn’t stop me from buying the audio for Derek and Jordan’s story).

Narration 3.75 of 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

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

 

 

Audiobook Month: Brandon Mills vs the V-card (Prescott College book 2) by Lisa Henry and JA Rock Narrated by Joel Leslie

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Brandon-Mills-versus-the-V-Card-Audiobook/B07DR66PNT?qid=1529726847&sr=sr_1_22&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ACM179XN7HZ446WFQ544&

Blurb

Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.

Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.

When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition–and their relationship–heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.

Review

Brandon Mills (best friend of Mark who we met in book one) is a shy, nerd, who loves dinosaurs, has an eidetic memory and a really, really crappy childhood.

Alex Kekoa is a giant nerd who also loves dinosaurs, has had a sunny childhood, is totally infatuated with Brandon, and is also a virgin (thus the title).

Alex joins Brandon’s frat just to be near him (and because it suits his style and brain). When he – in a fit of passion- kisses Brandon, it sets loose all sorts of thoughts and feelings in Brandon he didn’t know he had and definitely doesn’t know how to process.

First there’s the whole “gay” thing – which he doesn’t really identify as, but isn’t the biggest thing. The biggest thing is the touching. Brandon doesn’t touch anyone. Not even himself.

Most of the book takes place in Brandon’s head. Figuring things out. Trying to remember to forget. Trying to learn how to be new. Using the hair-brained but wonderful advice of his kooky and sometimes high friend, Mark.

Alex is the most gentle and unassuming soul you could meet, exactly what someone with Brandon’s history needs.

Add into the mix Blake and his contributions to the LGBTQ association as well as Mark and Deacon’s continued coupledom and you have a delightful mix of the quirky and funny with the sentimental, tender and sometimes painful.

**

I couldn’t put this book down! I only skimmed book one. And only after I read this. Book one has some elements that I am uncomfortable with… so I just got the highlights. But… I do love Mark and Deacon as a couple and I enjoyed reading about them before they were a couple.

Brandon is so heart-breaking in this story. Gah! He tries so hard and does everything right but sometimes that still isn’t enough, is it? Alex is a wonderful boyfriend and together, the two of them exploring their feelings – it was so sickly sweet and funny and most of the time it felt really REAL.

I guess that reality is what makes me knock this down from a perfect 5 star book to a 4.5. I wanted and really hoped for Brandon and Alex to remain a couple – FOREVER and we get hints that they might… but no guarantees. In fact, I could honestly say that I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t… just by the way their relationship to this point was handled. (When they do finally make it to boyfriend status, I never quite got the feeling from Brandon that he was as invested as Alex… but that could just be me.)

Anyhow – I loved how the first-time-sex scene was handled and thought it felt really authentic. Messy, imperfect and wonderful. I loved how Brandon grew, but not in a “fairy tale it all goes away” way. Again, that felt very authentic.

Blake is my absolute hero. I lurves him so much! He was so genuine and wonderful and such a tremendous ALLY! What a great way to view the world and what a nice way to open that discussion – gays in sports.

All in all this was a fun (sometimes), heartbreaking (sometimes), full of feels (all the times) and very well written book.

This writing duo makes for awesome character development and I can’t wait to see what they come up with for book three (which Lisa Henry has said is currently in the works!)

So… I highly recommend this to lovers of the v-card, college boy fans, anyone who loves a hard-childhood story and lovers of dinosaurs everywhere!

Audio

Joel Leslie is Frickin’ awesome! I’m so glad the authors chose him since he can do such a wide array of characters! There are so many unique voices and accents and Joel does them all – so wonderfully!

I adored this and his narration and … him!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook Month: The Little Library by Kim Fielding Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Little-Library-Audiobook/B07D3DC174?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=T8CNTED6R79SJE96E1JZ&

Blurb

Elliott Thompson was once a historian with a promising academic future, but his involvement in a scandal meant a lost job, public shame, and a ruined love life. He took shelter in his rural California hometown, where he teaches online classes, hoards books, and despairs of his future.

Simon Odisho has lost a job as well—to a bullet that sidelined his career in law enforcement. While his shattered knee recovers, he rethinks his job prospects and searches for the courage to come out to his close-knit but conservative extended family.

In an attempt to manage his overflowing book collection, Elliott builds a miniature neighborhood library in his front yard. The project puts him in touch with his neighbors—for better and worse—and introduces him to handsome, charming Simon. While romance blooms quickly between them, Elliott’s not willing to live in the closet, and his best career prospects might take him far away. His books have plenty to tell him about history, but they give him no clues about a future with Simon.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Kim Fielding is a terrific writer, you can trust that any of her stories are always going to be an amazing journey with well-developed characters and a well-planned plot. This is a very gentle love story about two men who’ve had some struggles in their romantic pasts but are still willing to try.

I love the imagery of the little town bonding over books and the idea of book sharing as a community. (I wish things like that would happen!) While e-books are fantastic that is one major down side to the technology – fewer paper books to share. ☹

There wasn’t anything earth shaking in this, but the love between these guys and their personal growth was sweet and easily captivating.

This is the perfect book for people in the mood for something light, sweet and easy.

Highly recommended!

4 of 5 stars

Audio

 

Andrew McFerrin does a FANTASTIC job with this! He gives everyone a unique and appropriate voice and is wonderful on the non-dialog emotional scenes as well. He absolutely added to the overall experience and was a joy to listen to!

 

5 of 5 stars

 

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook Month: Leaning into the Fall by Lane Hayes Narrated by Nick J Russo

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Leaning-into-the-Fall-Audiobook/B079RM5MQJ?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=XQW1YNJPWTQ8CQM34PP8&

Blurb
Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He’s made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.

Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.

Review
This was the story I enjoyed the most. This can be a stand-alone whereas the previous two books follow on from each other. Nick intrigued me in books 1&2. He didn’t know what he wanted and came across as a selfish person. This of course is the portrayal of the Nick Eric knows. Here we get to know Nick better, as he sees himself. Such was his behaviour that early on I began to wonder if he had an undiagnosed syndrome. This is never confirmed one or the other although there is some speculation on Wes’s part. There is a slight power dynamic between Nick and Wes, which made a very interesting angle to the story. Nick certainly seems to need a strong person by his side. This is an excellent story of personal growth. Not only for Nick but also for Wes. Both of them had to face up to aspects of themselves and their past to be able to build a future together. By far my favourite.
Nick J Russo’s narration is excellent. All the characters have their own distinct voices and their personalities come through. This is especially important in this story. Wes needed the strength Nick J Russo’s interpretation gave him to do justice to the character. Equally his interpretation of Nick Jorgensen gave him a compelling mix of desperation and strength. Definitely one I’ll be listening to again.

5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

Audiobook Month: Prophesy (The King & Alpha #1) Audiobook by A.E. Via Narrated by Nathaniel Black

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Prophesy-Audiobook/B07DHRYQBZ?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=9RZC4B2GBMVBK6GPNEZT&

Blurb

Justice Volkov is the youngest Alpha Zenith to ever lead the wolf shifters. Following in his father’s large paw prints was a responsibility he met head on. Now at age thirty-three, he is alpha of the alphas. As a direct descendant of the original Siberian pack, his wolf is bigger and stronger than Justice, himself is sometimes able to control.

His wolf howled long and hard but Justice kept it inside. It felt like a bass drum beating against his rib cage. The harsh breaths, angry snarls and the determined pacing inside him was overtaking him.

Justice takes his role of leadership and his legacy very seriously. He has little time for romance, not to mention a true mate. His packs are his priority. With a human government trying to regulate them, an uprising of rogue shifters, and a violent team of scientists trying to experiment on them, Justice has his hands way too full.

Chadwick ‘Wick’ Bentley is not enthusiastic when the captain of his escort tells him he has to leave his comfortable London home and go back to the States. As the Vampire King, he has no choice but to get his species back in line before they cause anymore chaos. At over one-hundred years old, Wick is no one to trifle with, but his smooth, charismatic manner makes him quite unique, despite the negative reputation vampires have. Wick has had nothing but time up to this point. He doesn’t feel the need to make issues pressing. Nothing is urgent in his life. Until he meets Justice. His beloved.

“Natural enemies can’t be mates.” Or so Justice thought. He knows his skepticism and rejection is hurting his mate, so while he fights their connection, Wick gets help from a source very close to Justice to help him win his beloved’s heart. Wick is a force all on his own, but when he’s blessed with a special gift from the Mother herself, not even Justice’s powerful wolf can prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.

This story DOES NOT contain/mention MPREG.
No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. It ends with a very HFN.

 

Review

I LOVED this! I am so psyched to see AE Via come to audio! I really hope she finds the ability to do more of her books in audio. This ROCKED. Nathaniel Black OWNED this! He is able to do ALL the accents as well as carry the drama in between the dialog with panache.  The story itself is wonderful, too.

 

We have two enemies, both alphas in their own worlds, who have no expectation of mating and yet find themselves not only drawn to one another but absolutely NEEDING the other. It was GLORIOUS! I love that uncontrollable passion and the feelings that come with it. Via is also gifted at giving us a good amount of action and adventure but not enough to detract from the base of the story which is our MCs falling in love.

 

There’s a good bit of humor, lots of hot mate sex, and LOADS of shifting and biting!

 

Absolute perfection, read by a true performer!

 

I cannot rate this highly enough!

 

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook Month: Papa’s Boy by Sue Brown Narrated by Aaron Pickering

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

Blurb

When Ray Sloane tires of the men in his usual club, he finds himself in the Pink Palm, an inauspiciously named spit-and-sawdust dive, not the sort of place an elementary school teacher and pastor’s assistant should be seen in. On the other hand, Ray needs a fresh face. But what he gets is a closeted, desperately unhappy divorcé named Zeke.

Losing his teaching job and his kids has left Zeke bitter and in denial about his sexuality, but Ray is determined to get under his skin. Just as Zeke starts to relax, life interferes with Ray’s plans: Lee, the teenage organist from St. Mark’s, tells his parents that he was abused as a teenager by a prominent congregation member from his old church, and Ray becomes the target of bullies at school and has to worry about his own job. With the specter of what happened to Zeke hanging over him, Ray must protect Lee and his own reputation, all while trying to convince Zeke that he doesn’t need to run away when their relationship grows more intense.

Review
The third book in the Morning Report series centres around Ray who was on the periphery of the story in the last book as Noah’s assist. Ray is a teacher rather than a Ranch hand, moving the story away slightly. Feeling frustrated with life Ray tries a new bar and there meets Zeke. Zeke is a character that has been beaten down by life, so desperate at one point he tried to take his own life. Ray is drawn to him before he knows all this. Sue Brown has certainly held nothing back with this story. The hatred in the Town, well from a couple of influential sources, is building and from this we start to learn the route of it. I do like the way this theme has been developed over the last three books. A much more realistic timeframe than those where the hatred is over with quickly. Over the course of extreme situations where a young man is left fighting for his life after standing up for himself the Town starts to wake up to what is really happening. The two different strands, Zeke’s story and developing relationship with Ray and Ray’s support for Lee eager to find out what happens next.

Either by now I was used to Aaron Pickering’s narration or he has got into his stride with these stories. Much better and overall my preferred one narrated. Although Luke and Simon are still my favourite characters. There is a lot of emotions that Aaron’s narration does justice to. Zeke and Ray’s characters are portrayed very well.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Audiobook Month : Leaning into Love by Lane Hayes Narrated by Seth Clayton

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Leaning-into-Love-Audiobook/B074SVHHMH?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QWBECWC9QJKP4ETXVAS8&

Blurb
Eric Schuster is a successful guy. He’s part owner of a highly successful tech firm, he has a supportive family and a great group of close friends. But something is missing. Or maybe he’s reacting to his business partner and ex’s wedding news. He knows his former lover is making a big mistake but he also knows it’s time to move on. And hopefully avoid falling for another friend.

Zane Richards is an avid sailor and surfer with a laid-back approach to life. He firmly believes there’s a time and place for everything if you’re willing to take a chance. Like letting his best friend know he’s interested in being much more than friends. Eric has always been half in love with Zane but going from friends to lovers isn’t an easy sell for someone protecting his heart. Eric will have to decide if he’s willing to risk it all by leaning into love.

Review
This first novella and the next one, Leaning into Always, are about the same couple, Eric and Zane. I love a good friends to lovers story especially when they’ve known each other along time. It’s that moment of realisation that their friendship is much more than that. This moment comes for Eric and Zane when Zane is helping Eric sort out his feelings for former lover and current business partner Nick. Eric is wary at first he doesn’t want to risk their friendship but Zane convinces him otherwise. Zane is perfect for Eric, so laid back and calming. Nick is one frustrating character in this story he just doesn’t know what he wants and his actions just cause more problems. The story is told from Eric’s point of view but there is a bonus chapter from Zane’s POV which made me smile. I was so glad the next book continues their story.
I must confess I didn’t take to Seth Clayton’s narration. There was nothing wrong with it per se I just wasn’t gripped by it. I ended up starting the story over again because I realised I hadn’t been listening to it. There just wasn’t a spark which kept my interest. It might be because Eric and Zane sounded very similar to me. It didn’t spoil the actual content of the story just my connection to it.

3 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer