Time to Get Paranormal: Duck! Audiobook by: Kim Dare Narrated by: Rod M. Maskew

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Duck-Audiobook/B01NCLJWJ9?qid=1535303252&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=JEEM5XB5ZEQJSXBW1DRC&

Blurb

Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck – and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

Review
I have loved this retake of the ugly duckling fairytale for a long time. The essence of the original fairy tale is still the structure of the story which makes it familiar whilst bringing it into the realm of shifters. We meet Ori living a life of drudgery being bullied by other bird shifters. The Avian nest has a hierarchical structure and Ori being a duckling is low down the pecking order, so to speak. The author has selected birds that suit the nature of the characters being portrayed. This gave me wonderful imagery. The superior Hawks and other birds of Pray being at the top and the pigeons scurrying about in service roles.
Reynard, a Hawk, is disgusted with the way Ori is being treated and offers him a role as a servant in his home. This is where the Master/slave story starts. If BDSM is not your cup of tea this might not the story for you. The core is Dominance and Submission but it doesn’t have a lot of kinky scenes, so it might be worth taking a chance. Reynard, being a Hawk, is a strong character and with the societal hierarchy consent seems to be taken for granted. His drive is to protect and care for Ori. Ori looks up to Reynard and equally wants to take care of Reynard by serving him. From this the love grows and blossoms. The huge bump in their relationship comes from when Ori has his final shift and becomes a Swan. I don’t think I’m giving much away given that it’s based on the Ugly Duckling fairytale. How they deal with this dramatic change though is what makes the story. Can their love overcome such an obstacle? I’ll leave you to discover that for yourselves.

Regarding the narration, I am a fan of Rod M. Maskew’s narration. He excelled at portraying the nature of each bird’s character through the tone and voices he chose. The Hawks were superior upper class English men and the crows were noisy ruffians. Ori was gentle and meek but also gracious. Apart from the second book, magpie, I don’t think he has narrated anything else, which is such a shame.

5 of stars out of 5 for both

Purchased by reviewer

Audiobook Month: Prosperity by Alexis Hall Narrated by Nicholas Boulton

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Prosperity-Audiobook/B01G98DNDW/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1501109008&sr=1-4

Blurb

 
M’lady’s name is Shadowless, cos she’s the fastest ship in the sky. And she ain’t no everyday airship, she’s an aethership, meaning she don’t need engines nor turbines nor nowt but an aethermancer and the stars t’ guide her.
When luckless Dil falls half-dead onto the deck of the skyship Shadowless, he joins an outlaw crew haunted by visions of maelstrom. Driven by a ruthless captain, guided by a pilot with madness in her eyes, they hunt the power that holds up the clouds. Until it turns – to hunt them

 

Review:

Prosperity was my first introduction to Steam Punk and I haven’t found any other I like as much as this story. The world building by Alexis Hall is superb. The mastery of it is that the story uses slang and dialects, easily understood because the context makes it easy to deduce the intended meaning. I do recognise some of them but they are so old I doubt many people use them nowadays (at least not where I live).

The story is set in a kind of frontier mining town where characters are as large as life such as gapped tooth Alice, M’lord and the hero Piccadilly (Dill). My heart is with Piccadilly. He is a bit of an Artful Dodger character, looking for a place to belong. They are on a grand adventure going into danger to mine phlogiston from the sky but are unaware that M’lord got the sky claim in an underhanded way. There is danger from Pirates and they must beware of the Kraken, tentacled monsters of the sky. The pace and exciting battles made me stop just to listen soaking it all in. This is not a romance more an adventure with relationships included.

Nicolas Boulton’s narration is excellent. The accents he uses and feeling he puts into the story make it stand out. Terrific narration turns a good story great and a great story excellent. It enables you to drift into their world and escape for awhile.
Piccadilly describes Ruben’s voice as “like velvet and kisses” and this sums up how I feel about Nicholas Boulton’s narration.

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities) by K.J. Charles

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Attraction-Sins-Cities-ebook/dp/B01G0GD0E0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492019668&sr=8-1&keywords=an+unseen+attraction
Blurb
Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship. . . .

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding . . . it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.
Review

This is my first K.J. Charles book and I’m kicking myself for waiting this long to read this author’s work!
The story held my interest from the beginning. I loved how the relationship between Clem and Rowley (love his name) blossomed – slow, a little unsure at first, but more confident and affectionate as they got to know each other better. The murder/mystery background was very well woven into the romance.
I’m a great fan of historical stories and loved the authentic feel of the time (no jarring modernisms as far as I could tell). Highly recommend this.
Now I have to go get the Magpie series!

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley For Honest Review

 

Clockwork Tangerine Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreviewBlurb61f+gHWGB8L._SL300_

The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London – a very dark and dangerous battle.
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.
Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can – and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.

Review

Westwood (Aka Marcus Stenhill) finds a man being beaten nearly to death in an alley one night and saves him. Little does he know he’s rescued the notorious “toy maker”, a scientist punished for blending science and magic, a man whose creation, in fact, killed Westwood’s own father.

Robin (aka the “toy maker”) is constantly fighting against a society that doesn’t understand him or his work. He’s punished for being a “sodomite” and for his work, but he won’t stop because people are helped by his inventions.

After saving Robin and learning more about him, Westwood can’t help but fall in love…but how in the world would that work in this society and will Robin return the feelings?

**

So I’m not a fan of Steam Punk but I’m a huge fan of Rhys and Greg so I had to take this opportunity to check out this audiobook, even though I was a bit worried.

I shouldn’t have worried.

Rhys fills this short story full of magic, poetry, humor and love. Poor Robin is so misunderstood, a man ahead of his time, and it’s obvious that once someone learns what his true heart is, they can’t help but love him. Westwood wastes no time holding a grudge and we move quickly from the point of the story where he might hate Robin to a point where he really understands him instead.

Though this is a very short story we get a lot of world building, a fair bit of crazy contraptions and magic, some humor, a few heart string pulling feels, a bit of passion and, all in all, a delightful little romance.

I loved the grandmother and felt the believability of these two having a relationship in this time period was really well explained.

Greg, as always, does a wonderful job with the narration – giving us an unobtrusive British accent – more a hint than full blown- and he absolutely added to my overall enjoyment of this story.

For fans of the genre I think you’ll love this, for people out there like me – maybe a bit scared to try it – don’t be. It was really sweet and wonderful and worth the exploration.

For both the story and the narration 4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review