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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Audiobook Month: Spencer Cohen Series Book Three by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Spencer-Cohen-Series-Book-Three-Audiobook/B07CP1375S?ref=a_a_library_c4_libItem_10_B07CP1375S&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=J79DSYK5Z8Y0T8ZNZCMT&

Blurb

Learning to be in a committed relationship has been easy for Spencer. In fact, too easy. Andrew has fit into his life seamlessly. Spencer’s let go of his insecurities and hang-ups, and he and Andrew are enjoying where things are headed. For the first time in years, Spencer’s life is unbelievably perfect.
Andrew overthinks everything. So when Spencer gets a phone call from Australia, he’s certain Spencer will push him away. But instead of driving them apart, maybe it will solidify what they already have. Maybe Spencer will depend on Andrew more than ever. Maybe the Spencer Cohen story will come full circle, and maybe, just maybe, Spencer will have the happily ever after he never thought possible. Contains mature themes.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

Oh man. It’s always so sad to see a great series end isn’t it?

In this we see the culmination of the love between Spencer and Andrew. There is some very heavy family drama on Spencer’s end – more than I can share without spoiling things – but it’s enough to make you cry.

Andrew is his most wonderful self and it was great seeing him in the support role.

I loved the melding of family and friends in this book. It showed just how important the family you create can be.

Peter and Yannis were super cute and I was glad to see that chapter closed for them both.

This is another amazing addition to the series and I recommend it highly!

Audio

Joel, as always, is amazing and makes this book/series come alive. He’s solid gold when it comes to performing and drawing a listener into the world he creates so magically with his voice.

He and NR are the dream team and I can’t wait to see more from them in the future!

5 of 5 stars

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Audioboook Month: Breaking Point (Turning Point Series, Book 2) by N.R. Walker Narrated by Sean Crisden

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Breaking-Point-Audiobook/B07CMKBM25?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=FC1HTDMZ5BCRNNTMXB40&

Blurb

Book two in the Turning Point Series.
A fight for what’s right becomes a fight for his life.
As guilt plagues him, Matthew Elliott’s world begins to spiral out of control. The harder he holds on, the more it slips through his fingers, and he’s helpless to stop it.
Entering into the underground cage-fighting scene, he starts out fighting for what’s right. The deeper he gets, the more guilt consumes him – the more pain he takes for his penance – and he’s soon fighting for more than justice.
He’s fighting for love.
He’s fighting for his life.
The third edition has a new cover and has been re-edited, though no new content has been added.

Review

 

I had forgotten the emotional toll this book takes. This is not a standalone, and takes place right where book 1 leaves off.

 

NR Walker is great at giving us these complex and somewhat broken but not completely broken characters. Matt is losing it but can’t tell Kira and it’s killing them both.

 

Luckily – we find out that love can conquer all – but… and here’s where NR Walker does something amazing – Kira and Matt agree that their relationship needs WORK and that it’s not just enough to say “I love you” and everything is sunshine and roses.

 

I really appreciated that nod to reality with this story.

 

The sexual chemistry is still there, but it is tempered by the emotions and does not preclude real discussions.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Audio

 

As usual Sean Crisden manages to continue to impress the hell out of me with his ability to show emotions and keep all the myriad characters separate and the action from dragging and …. Well everything! He absolutely adds to the overall experience and this is highly recommended!

 

5 of 5 stars

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Audiobook Month: Morning Report by Sue Brown Narrated by Aaron Pickering

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

Blurb
A decade on from their first kiss, Luke Murray is more in love with Simon every day. Running the Lost Cow ranch for Luke’s parents, they keep their heads down and get along with the locals, even if Luke is known for being a hothead. Then one day they discover the local store owners refuse to serve them. They’re bewildered until Luke’s mom tells them the new pastor has targeted the couple in his sermons. Suddenly Luke and Simon find themselves alienated from people they called friends, and their ranch comes under a series of attacks. As the town’s hatred and homophobia turns on them, Luke and Simon will face a critical choice: give in to the town’s demands and disappear, or stand and fight for themselves and their love

Review
This is one couple I enjoy revisiting. After being together for a decade they are still deeply in love and hot and heavy. All the ranch hands know that when Luke and Simon are meeting for the Morning Report it’s a euphemism for sex. So perfect. Their life is disrupted when a new Pastor and his wife come to Town. I was surprised how quick a Town turns against them, not just some people it seems like everyone. Homophobia was lying just beneath the surface all the time. Sue Brown deals with this issue and family problems in an absorbing way.
I must admit it took me awhile to get used to Aaron Pickering’s narration. There was some characterisation but it seemed hit and miss. This brought my review down from 5 to 4 stars.

4 of stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

 

 

 

 

Time to go Dark: Vice Enforcer by S.A.Stovall

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37796640-vice-enforcer?from_search=true

Blurb

Holding on to a life worth living can be hard when the nightmares of the past come knocking.
Eight months ago, Nicholas Pierce, ex-mob enforcer, faked his death and assumed a new identity to escape sadistic mob boss Jeremy Vice. With no contacts outside the underworld, Pierce finds work with a washed-up PI. It’s an easy enough gig—until investigating a human trafficking ring drags him back to his old stomping grounds.

Miles Devonport, Pierce’s partner, is top of his class at the police academy while single-handedly holding his family together. But when one lieutenant questions Pierce’s past and his involvement in the investigation, Miles must put his future on the line to keep Pierce’s secrets.

The situation becomes dire when it’s discovered the traffickers have connections to the Vice family. The lives of everyone Pierce cares about are in danger—not least of all his own, if Jeremy Vice learns he’s back from the dead. Pierce and Miles face a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels—one that will gladly destroy them to keep operating. As Pierce uses every dirty trick he learned from organized crime to protect the new life he’s building, he realizes that no matter how hard he tries, he might never escape his past.

But he’s not going down without a fight

Review

This book is about 8months on from the end of book 1 (Vice City) it probably could be read as a stand-alone. There are occasional references to incidents in book 1 but not anything you could not work out or detract from understanding this story. Pierce and Miles are now settling into domesticity. Well Pierce is trying Miles has succeeded. Pierce is training to be a PI and Miles is in the Police Academy. I was surprised at this considering Pierce’s background the last thing they would need is to be around cops, or is it clever having someone on the inside? It kept me wondering how this story was going to turn out. Through out book 1 I couldn’t decide if I liked Pierce, he certainly seemed like a good person caught up in the mob surviving the only way he could (being the Enforcer). Or maybe he was just realising he was getting too old for that life and needed to get out. Or maybe loving Miles gave him the push to change. Whatever it was Pierce is now trying to adapt, gardening with no success and getting use to Miles brother and sister being around. This all goes to nothing when the PI he works with gets him involved in his former life. The story heats up from here. I liked that this not a now they live happily ever after kind of story. There are so many ups and downs to their relationship. Mainly from Pierce (it is told mainly from his point of view) Miles is steadfast in his belief and devotion to Pierce. So much so that he risks his future career to support him.
I liked that there is not a cliffhanger ending. This story is wrapped up perfectly with a thread linking into a future story. If you like the idea of a bad (but not cruel) man turns good but with a touch of realism these could be the books for a you.

4 of stars out of 5

Purchased by reviewer

 

Time to go Dark: Rare audiobook by Garrett Leigh Narrator: Michael Lesley

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rare-by-garrett-leigh-4459-

Blurb
Paramedic Pete Adams lived through the year from hell watching his lover, Ash, fall apart, and the precarious balance between work and home is becoming more strained. His heart is always home, with Ash, but the dark side to his job is weighing him down.

Tattoo artist Ash Fagin is recovering from a nervous breakdown triggered by revelations about his traumatic childhood. His battle with mental illness is far from over, but with Pete by his side, he’s feeling good again, so good he doesn’t notice something missing until it walks right into his living room.

Ash believes he’s had enough coincidence in his life, but when a voice from the past comes looking for him, it takes the devastating injuries of the one he loves most to convince him to let a ghost become the family he never knew he wanted

Review
Rare continues where Slide finishes. We learn more about Ash’s recovery from his breakdown and how he deals with his mental health. Pete is right there with him. But the road is never smooth for these two and boy it makes a compelling story to listen to. The dynamic between them works so well. There is more from Pete in this story. He is put through the wringer. But the changes and coincidences keep happening to Ash. He has to use the strength he has to get them through.
Michael Lesley’s narration is still excellent. He has breathed life into this series. It’s one I will listen to several times and probably get something new out of it each time. The only thing I found irritating, and this is more the dialogue, is the amount of sighing. Michael Lesley would say ‘Pete sighed’ and then he would actually sigh….so it was twice each time. Maybe because I was noticing it more but there was a lot of sighing going on in this book!

4 of stars out of 5

 

Audiobook: The Spencer Cohen Series Book 2 by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Spencer-Cohen-Series-Book-Two-Audiobook/B07BQDJL1Q?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=E72JXFKVFQGFPZN93SX1&

Blurb

Finally going from fake-boyfriends to the real thing, Spencer Cohen and Andrew Landon are trying to take things slow. They know what they have could be something special and despite the flammable sexual tension, they don’t want to crash and burn.

Spencer is learning to open up, sharing the secrets of his past with Andrew. Afraid to put his heart on the line, yet seemingly unable to stop it, Spencer knows he’s falling in love with him. Andrew is petrified of leaping in blindly, yet it seems the slower they go, the faster they fall.

As they navigate their new relationship, Spencer worries Andrew will freak out when he takes on a new client. But it’s not a normal case and Spencer soon realises things are not what they seem. When things take a downward turn and they work together to help the client, Spencer and Andrew need to decide if they’re ready for the next step.

Review

This picks up literally where book one stops. Spencer has just confessed his true feelings for Andrew and is recovering from the bender he took thinking he’d lost Andrew forever.

The two agree to “date for real” and thus begins their dance around intimacy and relationship protocols and sex.

Luckily, NR Walker is an amazing writer and what should have felt ridiculously long and drawn out – doesn’t! It’s fun to watch these guys navigate their relationship and all the sudden Andrew has the upper hand, simply because he’s been in a relationship before, where Spencer hasn’t.

There is a side drama with a new client of Spencer’s and some red flags get raised that threaten everyone’s happiness – but even that seems to resolve in a way that will either end happily in book three or lend itself to it’s own new series.

I’m really enjoying this series and loving these guys as a couple and I can’t wait for their big happy moment in book three to arrive!

Audio

Joel does another amazing job. He just gets better and better! I loved the voices he chose for all the secondary characters and I can’t wait to get my hands on book 3( releasing on May8) !

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Laugh: Overtime Audiobook (ficlet) by Avon Gale narrated by Scott Smith

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31218096-overtime?from_search=true

Blurb

This short story (approximately 4000 words) takes place after the events of Power Play and before Empty Net. It features Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie Isaac Drake — as well as a few other familiar faces — and is available as a bonus for Avon’s newsletter subscribers.

 

 

 

 

 

Review

I can’t do a month about laughing and NOT include Avon Gale.  She cracks me up!  This is a little ficlet she has available for free on her blog – including the audio!

I don’t love Scott Smith but he has become the voices for the characters in this series to me and so by extension I now love him.

This is an adorable look at Misha and Max and the goalie before he meets Saint.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Audiobook: Red Dirt Heart 4 by NR Walker Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Red-Dirt-Heart-4-Audiobook/B07B5G5PRT?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=QM848VD7ZYBJ22S9Y83C&

Blurb

Moving from a Texas ranch to an Australian Outback station was a life changing decision for Travis Craig. Though it wasn’t really a decision at all. Something in his bones told him to go, though he had no clue as to why.

Until he met Sutton Station’s owner, Charlie.

Loving Charlie shouldn’t have been easy. The man was stubborn, and riddled with crippling self-doubt. No, it shouldn’t have been easy at all. Yet somehow, falling in love with Charlie was the easiest thing in the world.

Loving him was easy. Living with him, teaching him how to love in return and, more importantly, how to love himself, was not.

But Travis knew all along it’d be worth it. He knew the man with the red dirt heart was destined to be his. Just like he knew the red dirt that surrounded him was where he was supposed to be.

In the final installment of the Red Dirt Series, we see Charlie through Travis’ eyes. We see how much he’s grown and how much he loves. We go back to Texas with them, and we see Charlie get everything he truly thought he never deserved.

Red Dirt Heart 4 is Travis’ story.

And this is the story of not just one red dirt heart, but two.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously:  http://kimichanexperience.com/red-dirt-heart-4-nr-walker/)

OMG! If you are following this series this entire book is just one big glorious epilogue to make your heart sing!

Told from Travis’ point of view, we see how our neurotic friend Charlie looks through the eyes of the man who loves him dearly. Charlie has come so very far… he is finally accepting the engagement… he dances in public with Travis… he will do the quiet PDA… he loves his extended family unconditionally and wants to spread that love to other kids (in the neighborhood and throughout)… he finally admits he is worthy of the love he receives and is willing to bank on it.

I won’t tell you the epilogue of this epilogue book but it’s so worth the wait!

This is an amazing end to an amazing series and I just loved it to pieces – 6 of 5 stars.

 

Audio

Joel is just magnificent. He moved me more than once from tears to laughter and back again.  He was such a fantastic choice for narrator and I’m so glad these two amazing artists (Joel and NR have joined forces.)  Perfection!

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Audiobook: Life is Awesome: Mnevermind Book 3 by Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by Seth Clayton

audiobookreview

Jordan Castillo Price Presents
http://jcpbooks.com/ebook/life.html

Blurb

Daniel Schroeder wants nothing more than to repair his father’s broken memories, but it’s been a long time since he’s thought of himself as a memorysmith. Even though convincing Big Dan of their current reality is the most painful task Daniel faces every morning, somehow life manages to prevent him from finding a cure. He needs to keep their family business running. And he needs to moonlight at a competitor’s shop to keep all his employees paid. Or maybe he’s just trying to keep himself from exacerbating the situation.
A year ago, Daniel would have presumed he was clever enough to memorysmith his way out of their predicament, but nowadays he’s not so cavalier. Playing with people’s memories shouldn’t be taken lightly, and things can always get worse. Even with the help of some of the best minds in the business, Daniel still isn’t sure how to navigate his way out of the persistent false memory that’s crippled his life. Is new programming the answer? Better gear? More money? Or is time the only thing that can heal Big Dan’s memories…if they can even be fixed at all.
What Daniel needs most is some breathing room, and Elijah Crowe is eager to provide it. Since he’s smitten with Daniel, Elijah is determined to prove himself—and he’s more than qualified to clear Daniel’s schedule by taking over some duties at Adventuretech. With the support of his new boyfriend, possibilities begin to open up for Daniel, hints of things he hasn’t even realized he’d stopped hoping for: the contentment of a harmonious family, the fulfillment of his creative expression, and a chance for a relationship with a man he loves.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

It’s hard to write a review for this because it was so complex. On the one hand, we do see a sort-of HEA for both Daniel, Big Dan and Elijah – but – ironically – it’s not AWESOME – but it is very, very happy – and that’s just the point of it all.

Just as the previous two installments, neither the situation with Big Dan, nor the relationship with Elijah are “fixed” in some perfect way. Things are still achingly “real” and our very imperfect characters find a very imperfect solution? – if you can call it that – to their issues. Or maybe – I should say – a work in progress.

That’s one of the really beautiful things about this book and this series – Jordan Castillo Price isn’t afraid to let things be imperfect. Messy. Awkward. Less than shiny. While Daniel and Elijah do seem to have made good strides towards figuring out the physical side of their relationship – it’s not the fairy tale solution you might expect – and that’s so awesome! – that it’s allowed to be what it is – because that’s life – and it’s still a beautiful thing.

Dan and Big Dan will still have their struggles – but the “twist” that gets thrown in – or should I say wrench?- does manage to highlight one of my beliefs about life in general. That is the fact that sometimes things which – on the surface – look to be all bad – can really end up being the best thing in the world. And this wrench does force them all to re-evaluate their priorities and I think they all ended up in a much better place. Happy!

So – I’m sad to see the series end, but am excited to re-visit it as the audiobooks continue to come out – and happy to have read it.

Highly Recommended! 4.5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

As always, Seth Clayton is absolutely spot on with his portrayal of Dan, BD, Elijah and – my new fav – Larry and Grace! He is so engaging and easy to listen to, and clearly has a great understanding for the material. He deserves an award for having to say ver·i·si·mil·i·tude so many times!

Highly, highly recommended!

 

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Copy Purchased For Review