Audiobook: The Garden (Lavender Shores book 2) by Rosalind Abel (Author), Kirt Graves (Narrator)

audiobookreview

Audible link:

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Garden-Audiobook/B07818317C?qid=1537258121&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=9ZY4F78NEJRAWW7GD50X&

 

Blurb

Beautiful Gilbert Bryant designs jewelry for the rich and famous, and he made his escape from his gossipy little hometown of Lavender Shores. However, with so many friends and family, he keeps getting pulled back. When he attends his best friend’s engagement party, Gilbert can’t help but sample one of the new men in town. It’s just some innocent—or not so innocent—fun. Nothing that will even cross his mind once he gets back to his everyday life.
Walden Thompson dreamed about living in Lavender Shores since he visited as a child. He finally gets his chance, and he embraces the opportunity to start over, to become someone new. He leaves both hurts and dangerous habits in the past, where they belong. When Gilbert crosses his path, Walden gives in to his baser instincts. He can indulge in the carnal pleasures this once and still be okay.
Their few hours together haunt Gilbert, the two-hundred-mile buffer from home no longer shutting out the past or the sexy man he left behind. Walden is just beginning to recover from the smoldering encounter with Gilbert when they are thrust together once more. This time, neither of them can walk away, no matter how hard they try. But when their pasts crash into each other as surely as the magnetism that pulls them together, walking away may be the only option.

Review

Overall: Very emotional hurt/comfort story that gives you all the feels. Even more so thanks to the wonderful narration, which really adds an extra layer of intensity to an already deeply moving romance story. Blissfully satisfying HEA.

Story:
Local manwhore meets & corrupts innocent new teacher. That’s how Gilbert, and the local busybodies, first perceive what happens between him and the cute teacher with the adorable red glasses. But of course, there’s so much more to this story…

I loved that Walden saw through Gilbert’s carefree, love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude to the wounded bird hiding beneath all that. The Gilbert we meet in the first chapter, desperate to keep his vulnerable heart safe, seems miles removed from the man that falls in love with Walden. Gilbert really is the perfect human embodiment of Walden’s secret garden, a hidden, closed-off wilderness just waiting for a loving hand to help him blossom once more. I absolutely loved that analogy.

I also adored all the references to beloved children’s classics like The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables, Disney even. It made me like Walden even more. He can no more stop himself from falling in love with his Gilbert, then Anne with an e could keep herself from loving hers.
There’s no bickering, however, between Gilbert and Walden, like there is between the happy couple in the Anne of Green Gables series. Walden and Gilbert are careful with the other’s emotions from pretty early on, and whatever hurt they feel is more due to their own painful histories and an understandable hesitance to risk heartbreak again.
They are so great together, providing the comfort and acceptance that each man so desperately needs, even when they are trying to hold back. So scared of being hurt again.

Walden has suffered a horrible betrayal, and still carries a lot of shame with him for how he dealt with his pain in the aftermath. Him opening up to Gilbert about his past made for a deeply touching scene. My heart ached for him.

We know from early on that Gilbert has been in therapy for years, so we know something awful is hiding in his past to leave such scars. But oh… when that revelation finally comes… I wanted to punch something. I hated that he took on all the responsibility for “his” wrongdoing , when in fact it was he who’d been wronged, not to mention betrayed by a person who should have looked out for him.

I felt relieved and almost giddy when they finally felt free to truly choose each other, and to choose happiness together. Not a moment too soon and very much deserved.
What an amazing couple, sigh. Talk about a book-hangover.

Narration:
Kirt Graves did an outstanding job at narrating this story, making me feel as if I stepped right into the lovely world of Lavender Shores. He has a wonderfully pleasant voice and I loved how he brought alive the characters. I think he did absolutely amazing in giving a voice to Walden and Gilbert.
Luckily no over-acting, but bringing just the right amount of emotion and tension to each scene.

Number of stars out of 5: 5

Reviewer Name: Karen M.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Recent Release: The Wilderness (Lavender Shores book 8) by Rosalind Abel

Good Reads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41500273-the-wilderness?from_search=true

Blurb
Will Epstein had it all—playboy good looks, wealth and prestige, and a gorgeous fiancé to costar with him on a reality television show. But that was years ago, before he was abandoned at the altar on national television. In the aftermath, Will’s world crumbled, leaving him humiliated and lost.
Andre Rivera married his first love and lived a dream life until tragedy stepped in. His wife’s sudden death left him devastated and struggling to build a life for his young daughter. Being a pilot offers Andre a sense of freedom from Lavender Shores, but he feels trapped and unable to move forward.
A shared sense of loss fosters a surprising friendship between Will and Andre, giving them both the salvation they need. But when feelings cross the lines of friendship and secrets are revealed, Will and Andre have to confront their own fears.
Amid the gold of a Lavender Shores autumn, Will and Andre must grasp their chance at love… before it slips away.

Review
I always love stories where both the MC’s are a bit older and have already lived and loved… and lost, before finding each other. The emotions seem more deeply felt somehow. This book took that to a whole new level.

Will and Andre have both known way too much sadness in their lives. Seeing them finally find love and happiness (again) was wonderful, but not easy. I might have shed a few tears along the way.

These two men were not meant to be friends, and they certainly weren’t meant to be lovers.
After a disastrous first meeting, they become fast friends, finding comfort and acceptance with each other. I love the strength of their friendship and how it slowly turns into far more, though only Will has caught on about that at first. Andre is blind to his true feelings quite a bit longer, because he still struggles with the guilt of moving on after his wife’s death.

Will outwardly has it all, but he’s so unsure of his own worth, constantly searching for approval from others. I love how he was able to work through all that after all, and became his own man.
Andre is a great father, and it’s always clear that he and his daughter, Katniss, are a package deal.
The author makes it a point to show that Will gets this and loves Katniss as well, which I find very important. And super endearing!

As always the subtle literary references and the beautiful descriptions and imagery used by this author make this book, like all the others in the Lavender Shores series, an absolute joy to read.

Number of stars: 6 of 5 stars!

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Time to get paranormal: Slow Heat Audiobook by Leta Blake, Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=slow+heat+leta+blake&ref=a_pd_Love-Y_t1_header_search

Blurb:

Professor Vale Aman is an unbonded omega in his mid-30s who lost the hope of contracting with an Alpha. He’s content with his career, his poetry, his cat, and his small group of friends. When Jason Sabel imprints on Vale strong emotions and a deep sexual need to be together threatens to bring both men to ruin if they do not contract legally before consummating their bonding. Jason being such a young Alpha, with a much older Omega might just tear them apart.

Contracting with Jason also means Vale has to give up his independence trusting a young inexperienced alpha, not to mention facing the physical and emotional scars of his past. While Vale is not sure if giving up his comfortable life is worth it, Jason will not give up is fated mate and the future he knows they could share together.

Review

I have always avoided Omegeverse books, and MPREG has never been my thing, I felt like it’s never explained properly in many of them. But, as a Leta Blake book and the number of good reviews and recommendations this book gets I knew I had to read it. Leta has an amazing talent to write fantastic stories, heartbreaking, beautiful and gut twisting. This book was all these and more, and I am so happy to have read it at last. First, I want to say what an incredible world Leta created, the dynamic between characters, classes and Alpha-Omega-Beta is interesting and even though this is such an over explored genre, this book feels unique. It did take me a bit to get into the story, at first I was getting my bearings, but as soon as I did I was hooked and could not put it down! This book twisted me up and was so emotional, I felt deeply for each character.

The narration was superb, done with a sensitive touch and expert emotional timing, Michael Ferraiuolo lead me through the story like a sheep after its shepherd. He put the right emphasis on every note, tone and breath and brought life to the wonder that is this book. I have listened to another book narrated by him (Annabeth Albert’s On Point) and his narration was as moving and thrilling there as it was here. He has a wonderful way of capturing you and really delivering the atmosphere of the story. Knowing this book is as good as it is I would still not skip the pleasure of listening to the audio version.

Leta created amazing relationships between all the characters, and set them into a complex situation both dangerous and exhilarating. Jason and Xander have an amazing bond that is just wonderful to read, despite and painful decisions they had to make and endure. Discovering Vale Is Jason’s Erosgape is a shocking twist of fate and they both need to learn how to live this new, unexpected turn in their future. Jason is staggering to understand and adapt to the new role he now needs to fill as an Alpha to an Erosgape’, and it’s not a smooth transition.

I admired the way Leta wrote Jason’s transitioning from careless young man to bonded Alpha. This book embodies the struggle between the instinctual, animalistic, biological side of a person and the human, civilized side. And, unlike many shifter and Omegaverse stories there is not clean black and white, before and after split. Jason has all these new overwhelming instincts and urges, but he cannot turn off the person he was up to the point he met vale. That part with Xander, moved me to tears, it was intense, and so very realistically emotional. Xander is the one character that touched me the most. He is, without a doubt, the most miserable, sweet, twisted character I had the pleasure of reading and his part in this story was one of the best in my opinion.
I also loved Jason’s parents, and his Pater in particular, his story was so heartbreaking and really emphasized the difficult reality of their lives. Vale, too is such an interesting character, struggling to be independent in a culture that does everything to deprive him of said independence.

I enjoyed the laws and proceedings Leta created in this world when dealing with a possibility of bonding, both contracted and Erosgape’. It made the world real and gave it a cruel edge that I find so engaging in Leta’s writing. In this very fantastical setting, a make-believe reality that seems so far from our own there is an unmistakable thread of humanity and real, painful struggles. This is the undeniable reason for my complete infatuation with this book, these wonderful characters, this world that is both beautiful as it is ugly.

Number of stars out of 5
6 stars

 

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

Time to get paranormal: Evolved Audiobook by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Evolved-Audiobook/1541445112?qid=1536769755&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=Y3400SMA6Q7VHD21JS8D&

Blurb

In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It’s in every household.

Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise and mess, and he’s uncomfortable with human interaction. When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, he thinks he may have been right.

SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN. Shaun is compatible to Lloyd’s every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis.

But Lloyd soon realizes Shaun’s not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts. Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe. No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he’s evolved.

Contains mature themes.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I am literally blown away by this story.

When I saw the blurb I pretty much said to myself – yeah – NO – and wanted to pass it on. I was a bit intrigued but mostly really put off by the robot in the future part of the story. That’s just not me.

Wellll…. Let me tell you. This story gripped me right from the start and I couldn’t put it down. NR Walker managed to do it AGAIN. She keeps coming out of left field with these books that are so DIFFERENT from what I’ve seen from her and she keeps hitting home runs! (See all the Spring Baseball references…. And I don’t like baseball! But they fit 😉 )

First, let’s look at this story. It has a fairly timely subject matter – we are probably on the cusp of artificial intelligence and as this story suggests we are in no way ready for it.

Despite the robot nature of Shaun, I loved his existential crisis and that whole “why am I here” thing is something all of us experience and the author was able to really capture this in simple ways that can be felt in us all.

The “Big Brother” aspect of this story is so accurate it’s frightening. We know “they” are listening – but what can you do that doesn’t involve living off grid in Montana?

And the romance. Ahhhhhh. So good. I totally cried at the end even though I knew it would be a HEA – NR doesn’t let us down. It’s a very touching ending and I was really pleased with her result.

Second, can we talk about NR Walker’s amazing brain? If you look at her title list we have things all over the map: from the outback, to Africa, to contemporary Australia, body image, butterflies, switched at birth, blindness, ménage, cops, vampires, architecture… and she’s like an expert on ALL these things! I totally want to have access to her time and resources – she must spend 50% of her time researching and the rest writing! I love it! (And am jealous of her beautiful brain 😉 ) Now we can add this futuristic techno drama to her list. Truly awe inspiring and wonderful.

So… from one non-sci-fi person to another – this is a sci-fi book you’ll want to read. It’s wonderful and touching and it will absolutely inspire all your neurotransmitters to fire!

6 of 5 stars

Audio:

What a challenge! How to sound like a robot who doesn’t sound robotic while still being non-human???? Well – Joel Leslie is up to the challenge and manages to find a way to do just that!

Shaun “evolves” in this book from a plain android to virtually a human and over the course of his narration Joel has to continually demonstrate this evolution vocally. He owns it! He does an absolutely brilliant job of making these subtle changes and helping us –the listeners – keep Shaun in that place that’s just a little unique. He also gives us the other characters in the story – android and human – distinct voices and personalities.

Well done and highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Review: Home and Away by Samantha Wayland


Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25690047-home-and-away

Blurb
You can build a team, but you have to find your home.

Rupert Smythe is fond of many things. Callum Morrison isn’t one of them.

Rupert is a quiet, thoughtful business man and, sadly, a total wimp. Maybe not the ideal candidate to run a professional hockey team, but he signed on to do it anyway. As his life has reminded him on an almost daily basis since, this isn’t the most brilliant idea he’s ever had. And that was before Callum showed up.

Being in the spotlight is just part of being a professional athlete, but Callum needs a break. He arrives in Moncton unannounced, determined to help grow the team he just bought, and under the assumption he’d be welcome. Possibly he should have tried to make a better first impression.

Callum figures he can push through the rest of the summer, never expecting two kids, a host of friends, and his growing feelings for Rupert to derail everything he has ever believed about what he wanted, and what he could have.

Review

 

(Book 2 of Mike and Alexei’s story is here:  https://openskyebookreviews.com/checking-it-twice-by-samantha-wayland/

 This was previously reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/home-and-away-by-samantha-wayland/)

Rupert is a co-owner of a hockey team, but deathly afraid of hockey players. He is forced to work with them on a daily basis and manages well enough until Callum, the brother of the other co-owner bardges his way into his life when Garrick (the brother) is called away.
Callum is an in-the-closet hockey player and gruff on a good day, insufferable on his worst.
When Rupert’s little brother goes missing and is subsequently found, Callum rushes in to help Rupert collect him and then get him set up in his new home.
Callum comes from a large family and is great with kids, Rupert is an only child and raised by nannies. Together they make a great team helping poor Oliver acclimate to his new life. While doing so, what started as enemies morphs slowly into lovers.
Callum has never had a boyfriend, only hook-ups, he can’t come out because he fears there is no room for a gay hockey player in the NHL.
Rupert knows his time with Callum is on borrowed time but can’t help falling in love one day at a time with the gentle giant.
**
This book is so rich and full of emotion. I fell in love! There are so many layers. Callum is essentially a virgin – it’s been four years since he’s been intimate with anyone (for a specific reason) and never has he had more than a hook-up in a bar.
Rupert is growing through his own painful past experiences with large men and has no experience being a father.
Oliver is a four year old who was essentially abandoned by his uncaring mother and spends the first several weeks mute.
Christian is a boy Callum and Rupert meet through a Scout service skate lesson. He’s twelve, believes he’s gay and is the only son of a very homophobic drunk.
From Samantha’s previous book, … Net (see review on this site), Alexi and … show Callum how safe it can be to be gay and a hockey player.
There are some very obvious plot holes and some things that you just have to suspend your disbelief – but the slowly building love story and the heart warming relationships that develop between Oliver, Callum, Rupert and Christian are amazing.
The dialog is witty, Samantha does an excellent job of showing and not telling and the secondary characters are just as rich and well developed as the primary characters.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, even to those of us non-hockey fans.
Though it is a standalone, I highly recommend reading Crashing the Net first because it adds a bit to the back story and it’s a really good book! (Reviewed on this site previously.)

6 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Love In Spades by Charlie Cochet narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Love-in-Spades-Audiobook/B07DVXHWYT?qid=1533496916&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TYTM725DP8RVAEG66PZY&

Blurb:

When the cards are stacked against you, the Kings will even the odds.

Ex-special forces soldier Anston “Ace” Sharpe is fighting a different battle these days – one involving the world of private security across the state of Florida. As part owner of Four Kings Security, Ace and his fellow Kings tackle everything from armed transport and investigations to cyber intelligence and executive protection. Cocky, fearless, and brash, Ace isn’t afraid to take risks.

After years of working alongside his father, Colton Connolly is ready to take the helm at Connolly Maritime, but his father’s retirement is put on hold when Colton begins receiving death threats. If that isn’t bad enough, his father signs a contract with Four Kings Security to provide Colton with round-the-clock protection, despite his adamant refusal. Colton’s life has been turned upside down, the last thing he needs is a shadow, especially in the form of infuriating, sexy-as-sin Ace Sharpe, who seems to be on a mission to drive Colton mad.

Sparks fly the moment Colton and Ace meet on a sultry night club dance floor. But getting involved with a client, even one as fiery and beautiful as Colton Connolly, is a line Ace is unwilling to cross. Colton might be attracted to Ace, but he’s been burned before. He might be willing to put his life in Ace’s hands, but not his heart.

As the Florida nights heat up, so does their passion, and Ace and Colton are faced with a difficult choice – take the plunge and risk it all, or play it safe and walk away?

If Ace can keep a deadly threat from robbing Colton of a future….

Review:

Book 1 of a new contemporary series.
It’s a good story; I definitely liked it enough to think about reading the next book in the series. But holy smokes, Greg Boudreaux made this a ‘must listen to’ audiobook! If he narrates the rest of the series – it’s going to be a ‘must get the series on audio’ deal. I see at least 3 more audiobooks in my future ☺
So, we have the 4 Kings – a group of men that served together (Special Forces) that have set up a security firm.
First, we meet Ace and King – and Greg Boudreaux does a wonderful job of introducing ‘hell bent for leather’ Ace and solid King. As we get to meet the other ‘Kings’ – Red, Lucky – Greg gives them all their unique sound and character, not mention the accents and the Spanish – Mr. Boudreaux is truly talented! He sounded authentic and spot on.
At first, I really didn’t like Colton, he read like a spoilt brat, definitely not like a mature man about to take over a multimillion dollar company. But with the narration – I felt a little more sympathy for him – Mr. Boudreaux didn’t make him sound like a petulant child, instead Colton sounded more like an adult being told what to do without his input (and who likes that?).
I highly recommend experiencing the story as an audiobook – Greg Boudreaux is one of those voice performers who can elevate any story to a masterpiece.

6 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

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

Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Sin and Tonic by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

Sequel to Absinthe of Malice
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
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


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts, Book 2) By: Charlie Cochet Narrated by: Manuel Pombo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-foxling-soldati-by-charlie-cochet-8753-b

Blurb

Sequel to The Soldati Prince – Soldati Hearts: Book Two.
Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, a Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.
Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs – in Rayner’s arms.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

Charlie should write these types of “fairytales” FOREVER!

While I’m a big fan of her THIRDS stories, I think she is truly EXCEPTIONAL when it comes to her fairy tale type stories. This, her Christmas series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/117423-north-pole-city-tales) and her Intrepid series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/103030-a-little-bite-of-love) just absolutely GLOW with her creativity!

THIRDS is funny and sexy and witty, but these series are super creative and whimsical as well as deeply romantic and touching.

First, let’s address that cover – GORGEOUS and so spot on!

Second, OMG Toka and Rayner are so sweet together! I loved how they both were willing to go to extremes for the other and their love. So romantic!!

It was great seeing Riley keep Khalon in control – heh heh. Riley is a great character and I was glad to see him so often throughout this story.

The shifting and the fact that our MCs mannerisms are so like their animal halves is fantastic! So often shifting is just something they do rather than who the character is. Right down to his human coloring, Toka is a fox!

The magic, the mystery, the romance, the action and the sacrifices and the HEA – all superlative.

I can’t recommend this enough and I hope you read book one first because it’s important and awesome.

Hopefully someone amazing will do these in audio format and SOON!

Audio

Manuel Pombo does another amazing job with this. He is absolutely worth listening to and adds to the ambiance and character of this tale. I wish I had more superlatives to describe how lovely his narration is, but it just… fits. Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

out-of-this-world-small

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Coming Soon! Evolved by NR Walker

April 23

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39680421-evolved?from_search=true

Blurb
In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It’s in every household.

Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise, mess, and he’s uncomfortable with human interaction. When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, Lloyd thinks he may have been right.

SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN.

Shaun is compatible with Lloyd’s every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis. But Lloyd soon realises Shaun’s not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts. Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe.

No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he’s evolved.

Review by Morgan

I am literally blown away by this story.

When I saw the blurb I pretty much said to myself – yeah – NO – and wanted to pass it on. I was a bit intrigued but mostly really put off by the robot in the future part of the story. That’s just not me.

Wellll…. Let me tell you. This story gripped me right from the start and I couldn’t put it down. NR Walker managed to do it AGAIN. She keeps coming out of left field with these books that are so DIFFERENT from what I’ve seen from her and she keeps hitting home runs! (See all the Spring Baseball references…. And I don’t like baseball! But they fit 😉 )

First, let’s look at this story. It has a fairly timely subject matter – we are probably on the cusp of artificial intelligence and as this story suggests we are in no way ready for it.

Despite the robot nature of Shaun, I loved his existential crisis and that whole “why am I here” thing is something all of us experience and the author was able to really capture this in simple ways that can be felt in us all.

The “Big Brother” aspect of this story is so accurate it’s frightening. We know “they” are listening – but what can you do that doesn’t involve living off grid in Montana?

And the romance. Ahhhhhh. So good. I totally cried at the end even though I knew it would be a HEA – NR doesn’t let us down. It’s a very touching ending and I was really pleased with her result.

Second, can we talk about NR Walker’s amazing brain? If you look at her title list we have things all over the map: from the outback, to Africa, to contemporary Australia, body image, butterflies, switched at birth, blindness, ménage, cops, vampires, architecture… and she’s like an expert on ALL these things! I totally want to have access to her time and resources – she must spend 50% of her time researching and the rest writing! I love it! (And am jealous of her beautiful brain 😉 ) Now we can add this futuristic techno drama to her list. Truly awe inspiring and wonderful.

So… from one non-sci-fi person to another – this is a sci-fi book you’ll want to read. It’s wonderful and touching and it will absolutely inspire all your neurotransmitters to fire!

6 of 5 stars

 

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Review by Beth
This story kept me on edge all the way through as I wondered how it would resolve itself. To the point I needed to reread it to catch the subtle dialogue that really shows us the growth Shaun makes as he learns to become a self thinking being. The actual relationship between Lloyd and Shaun is your typical get to know each other. That give and take as a couple learns each other’s likes and dislikes.

There is humor spread throughout this story, as man and android learn each other and themselves. I loved the scene where Lloyd needed to rush home and rescue Shaun after Shaun discovers the porn channels on the television.

This story gives us exploration of a relationship, suspense of what is going to happen next, an exploration of what might be the future. We also have the sub story of “big brother is watching,” and of course a HEA.

4 of 5 stars


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