Time to Laugh: The Trouble With Tony (Sex in Seattle #1) Audiobook by Eli Easton Narrated by Tommy O’Brien

Dreamspinner Presents:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6109

Blurb

As part of the investigation into the murder of a young woman, Seattle P.I. Tony DeMarco poses as a patient of Dr. Jack Halloran, the therapist who treated the victim at a Seattle sex clinic. This isn’t the first time Tony has gone undercover, but it’s the first time he’s wanted to go under covers with one of his suspects. He can’t help it –Jack Halloran is just the kind of steely eyed hero Tony likes. But he’ll have to prove Halloran’s innocence and keep the doctor from finding out about his ruse before he can play Romeo.
Dr. Halloran has his own issues, including a damaged right arm sustained in the line of duty as a combat surgeon in Iraq and the PTSD that followed. He’s confused to find himself attracted to a new patient, the big, funny Italian with the puppy-dog eyes, and Tony’s humor slips right past Jack’s defenses, making him feel things he thought long buried. But can the doctor and the P.I. find a path to romance despite the secrets between them?

Review

Jack is a Doctor and a war hero who had to re-train from surgeon to sex therapist due to debilitating injuries.

Tony is an ex-cop, PI on the case of a murder of one of Jack’s former patients. Tony “pretends” to have a sex addiction and comes to Jack for “help” so that he can assess Jack as a suspect. Jack sees through the ruse and calls Tony’s bluff. Tony admits, finally, to having “a picky dick”. Meaning, that he has trouble getting erections except with a very small pool of men who manage to stimulate his “picky dick”.

Jack agrees to take Tony on as a patient, though he is concerned because he is not sure Tony is still being honest and Jack is already too attracted to Tony for professional purposes.

Together Jack and Tony research possibilities for Tony’s “problem” and at the same time build a smoldering sexual tension.

Tony essentially rules Jack out fairly early as a suspect, but still must investigate the clinic and it’s employees as well as following other leads.

Finally, when Tony thinks he knows whodunit, he now faces the task of convincing Jack to give their relationship a try.

**

I love Eli Easton! I am a huge fan. This was one of the first books I read of hers after falling in love with Blame it on the Mistletoe. There are several things I loved about this book (especially listening to it again after having read it several times). I love the characters. They seem so real and down to earth. I love that I get to learn something about sex therapy and yet it was still a bit kinky at times too. Totally professional and not at all demeaning to the profession, but still acknowledging the sexual edge that is involved in such an intimate form of therapy.

I also loved the gradual exploration of the feelings between Tony and Jack. It felt real and natural. My only complaint was that after Jack and Tony got together we didn’t get to see much of them as a couple. There was definitely enough to believe in a HEA (and we see them in future novels as an established couple) but I wanted to see more of them here.

Audio:

I had listened to Tommy O’Brien narrate before and thought he did a fine job. I was so disappointed with this. There was little emotion and the very slight difference between Tony and Jack’s voices was not satisfactory. Tony is this great East Coast Italian guy and it would have been so fun to hear that come out in Tommy’s narration. There is some inflection and in fact Tony’s voice is the only emotion I felt in the story.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Promises Part 4 (Bounty Hunters #4) by A.E. Via

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39058693-promises-part-4?from_search=true

Blurb

Men found him attractive, interesting even. He was like a fascinating experiment gone wrong that men liked to investigate. He’d get a date – or two, if he was lucky – but it wasn’t long before Brian’s darkness showed, and the men were running from him.

Brian King was honorably discharged from the United States Navy five years ago. He’d left with the highest honors a man can receive in his country, but he’d paid the ultimate price to earn them. He was considered one of the best; an Intelligence Officer in a Joint Special Operations Delta team that’d been a twelve-man wrecking crew. They’d thought they were invincible… until they weren’t. Brian was the only member that survived the ambush. He survived ten months of pain, of torture, only to emerge on the other side a warrior. A POW survivor. He’d returned home with all his limbs, his right mind, and with his only brother Ford, at his side. But, one thing had been lost, maybe for good… his voice.

Now, being a bounty hunter is Brian’s only means to satisfy his need to calculate, track, and capture. His only outlet to the stress caused by his silence. He was good at what he did. But, all work and no play for a forty-four year old man was taking its toll. Brian wasn’t a faulty experiment. He missed companionship, he missed communicating. So, when he met Sway Hamilton – in the most unconventional means – he’d been surprised at his special way of understanding Brian’s every look… and touch.

Sway grew up in the rough part of ATL, trailing behind his twin brother Stanton and his best friend, Dana. He and his brother had a bond only twins could understand. So when Stanton’s life was taken during their sophomore year in college, Sway didn’t think he’d ever recover. He finally finished school, got his masters in nursing, worked hard, and focused on taking care of his mother. However, Sway knew there was more to life than heartache, and caring for others. There had to be. But he didn’t know what any of those things were until he met a dark hunter that blew his mind… and the intense man had never uttered a single word.

Brian and Sway can feel the powerful connection between them. It was there from the start—but both of them have battled with loss and anguish for so long, neither understand that love can ease all of it. Do they have the courage to battle through it together? Sway has to learn to trust in love, and Brian has to believe that Sway will always understand him even if he never speaks again.

Sway held him tight around his neck, “I don’t need you to talk Brian. I can hear you just fine,” Sway whispered softly, kissing his throat.

This novel is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone.No cliffhangers.
Trigger Warning: This story contains acts of bond recovery agent violence. Mention of war zones and descriptions of war prisoners. This story DOES NOT contain overly-described acts of torture.

Review

 

I think this is fine as a standalone, but only just. It’s really much better as part of the series. We know all these guys and their contributions make more of an impact as a result, when you’ve read the previous books.

On it’s own it’s a lovely DA/hurt/comfort romance with alpha males all over the place falling in love and being sappy and sweet and sentimental. Not to mention having awesome sex!

AE Via is really wonderful at giving us warm, caring, alpha males who find just the right partner – but boy does she make them work for it. She’s not afraid of pain and angst and there’s no shortage of that in her stories.

These guys had it fairly easy (as compared to some in this series) but their story was no less touching.

Highly recommended to fans of the author and the series or to fans of hurt/comfort/alpha romance.

4.25 of 5 stars

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Time to Laugh: How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24843427-how-to-howl-at-the-moon?from_search=true

Blurb

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of ‘quickened’—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.

Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.

Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.

Review

This is a book I think everyone will love, or at least all of the dog lovers out there. When a dog is loved and bonded to a human, they can develop the “spark” and become a quickened. What they call the ability to become human.

Eli Easton has taken a great idea and woven a love story, some laughter, and some suspense together to create a story that keeps you turning the pages to see what happens. Characters have their dog personalities, so happy friendly dogs are happy friendly people. Working dogs are intense and somewhat controlling people, etc. And Mothers are nosey and try to be controlling.

The suspense hinges on keeping the town obscure, while pot growers are trying to set up new locations. The new guy in town has rented a cabin just outside of town and stops at the diner to eat before heading there and of course he smells like pot. It just gets more complicatedly funny from there…..

Overall a happy and sweet story that gives you a “come cuddle with me” feeling.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Time to Laugh: Somebody Killed His Editor Audiobook by Josh Lanyon Narrated by Kevin R. Free

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Somebody-Killed-His-Editor-Audiobook/B00B29YVJ4?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_11&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TP4H6VXN8VT08ZQ7M5QD&

Blurb
For sixteen years reclusive mystery writer Christopher (Kit) Holmes enjoyed a very successful career, thanks to the popularity of elderly spinster sleuth, Miss Butterwith, and her ingenious cat, Mr. Pinkerton. But sales are down in everything but chick lit, and Christopher’s new editor doesn’t like geriatric gumshoes. It’s a pink, pink world for Mr. Holmes.

At the urging of his agent, Christopher reluctantly agrees to attend a mystery writers’ conference at a remote Northern California winery. But no sooner does he arrive than he discovers the pajama-clad body of a woman in the woods. If nearly two decades of mystery-writing are anything to go by, the woman doesn’t appear to have died a natural death.

With a storm in full force and a washed-out bridge making it impossible for law enforcement to come to the rescue, it’s practically like all those classic murder mysteries in isolated country manors that Christopher has been penning for sixteen years! If only Miss Butterwith was on hand. Or even Mr. Pinkerton

Review

There is a lot of situational humour in this story. We first meet Christopher stuck in a storm getting soaked in his new designer clothes to improve his image, on his way to meet an editor and stumbles across a body. For the length of the book, told from Christopher’s point of view, he is stuck on a literary retreat with a number of other crime/mystery writers. To make matters worse he doesn’t want to be there. The irony of his situation is very amusing. Not to mention Christopher’s droll sense of humour. I liked how his prickly relationship with J.X, they go so hot and cold and the miscommunications between them had me longing for some frank discussions but that would’ve spoiled the tension.
I liked Kevin R. Free’s narration. He gave me a great sense of sarcastic Christopher and exasperated but amused JX. The large cast of secondary characters were also handled really well. Each with their own unique characteristics coming through. I liked it so much I downloaded the second two books straight away.

5 of stars out of 5

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Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Red Fish, Dead Fish (Fish Out of Water #2) by Amy Lane Narrated by Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/red-fish-dead-fish-by-amy-lane-8738-b

Blurb

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

Review
(Book Reviewed here Previously)

Now this is what I’m talkin’ about!

This is the story I was missing when I read book one, Fish Out of Water. The characters were there and the action was there, but I was really missing the feels and the romance.

Amy gives us these things here. We finally get to really plumb the depths of Jackson and Ellery’s feelings for one another and get some of the ooey gooey romance that I crave so much!

There is certainly still a lot of mystery and action going on, and I was so pleased by the romantic elements, too!

If you’ve read book one you’ll want to read this – even if book one wasn’t your favorite – I think this does a lot to make book one come together.

Highly recommended! (Not as a standalone!)

5 of 5 stars

Audio

Woot!  So Greg Tremblay is AWESOME and in addition to doing all the awesome he did for book 1, we get the bonus chapters Amy published in her blog and performed those too!  While he won’t replace Nick for me as far as Ace and Sonny – I did appreciate his version 😉

This was wonderful and definitely the best way to experience this story! (The ficlets are maybe the best part…;)

 

6 of 5 stars
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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Laugh!: Shattered Glass Audiobook by Dani Alexander Narrated by Joseph Northton

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Shattered-Glass-Audiobook/B00JG4BXAM?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=EX0MZDF1ETN7PX53Y05M&

Blurb

A male prostitute, a mangy cat, a murder, and an obsession that threatens his career, his impending marriage and his life…nothing is going as planned for Austin Glass.

Austin Glass seems to have it all: a loving fiancée, a future with the FBI, and a healthy-sized trust fund. At least on the surface. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to the world hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember, and his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled – until he meets a redhead in a pair of bunny slippers.

As events unfold in the biggest case of his life, Austin’s carefully planned future unravels, and he finds himself pushed into making quick, life-changing decisions. But can he trust himself or anything he feels, when each event seems to be just a series of volatile reactions?

Review
To be honest I didn’t know where I was going with this book. I enjoyed the sarky humour and the larger than life characters (Peter Cotton who wears bunny slippers) but I was kind of swept along. It seems like a love story based on antagonising the person of your affection (Austin & Peter) with a massive side helping of crime/mystery drama. The story is told from Austin’s point of view. Two things didn’t site right with me. The first was the way Austin went after Peter whilst engaged to Angelica. The second was that he seemed to throw away his career with no thought, also for Peter. Don’t get me wrong this is a gripping story and at times I didn’t want to stop listening. But it’s the first time I’ve not liked either of the main characters. I’m not sure if that really matters if the story itself grips me. There is so much in this story that I’ll need to listen to it more than once. I’m sure there are angles that I will understand better if I do. The crime angle seems to grow and has so many twists that new information pops up all the time. Many times I thought ‘I didn’t see that coming’, and that is the kind of book I like when it comes to crime or mystery, keep me on my toes and brain ticking over.
Joseph Northton has done a sterling job with the narration. He’s got the sarky Austin and Peter down perfectly, each with their own twists on humour. He has a good range of voices across all the characters and brings out the emotions extremely well.

4.5 of stars out of 5

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Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Laugh: Warrior’s Cross by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6782412-warrior-s-cross?from_search=true

Blurb

Cameron Jacobs is an open book. He considers himself a common waiter with normal friends, boring hobbies, harmless dogs, and nothing even resembling a secret… except a crush on a tall, dark, devastatingly handsome man who dines alone at his restaurant on Tuesday nights. All it takes is one passionate night with Julian Cross to turn Cameron’s world on its head.
Julian’s love and devotion are all Cameron could have hoped for and more. But when his ordinary life meets and clashes with Julian’s extraordinary lifestyle, Cameron discovers that trust and fear can go hand in hand, and love is just a step away from danger.

 

Review: Although this book is a standalone, it connects to Armed and Dangerous (part of the Cut and Run series by Abigail Roux) through Julian and Cameron.
This is the story of how Cameron and Julian meet.
Cameron works at a restaurant and waits on the same man, Julian once a week. This goes on for months before Julian decides to talk to Cameron (each man is crushing on the other). They start seeing each other – Cameron is unassuming, unremarkable, lives alone with 4 dogs, whereas Julian is a dark, mysterious, dangerous man – but together they make an interesting couple.

The story is a combination of mystery, (we never confirm what Julian is, hitman for what agency?), action and romance. The story kept me interested, especially when Julian’s past threatened his future with Cam. The only time I was less than engaged was when Cam decided to separate from Julian.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading their story and was thrilled to see them again in the Cut and Run series.

4.5 stars out of 5

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Purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Bad Seed by Gareth Vaughn

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38901778-bad-seed?from_search=true

Blurb
Dane’s a Decrypter down on his luck — after accidentally dispatching the wrong creature, he’s sent to a small town where the cryptids he hunts are sparse. Crypt Coffee becomes his business front, but instead of a thrilling new mission on the side, he’s stuck sending ghosts back to where they came from. Dane can annoy customers, at least, and tries to scare off Professor Sean Sanderson when he starts poking around too much. But Sean isn’t about to stay away. Not when he hears about the murder of a former student, and definitely not if young, exciting Dane has information about it. But the more he allows himself to get dragged into this supernatural world of monsters and ghosts, the more the danger escalates. And if Sean and Dane aren’t careful, tracking down a murderer who can use magic might just get them killed

Review
I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this book. I love the idea of a kind of supernatural enforcer keeping rogue elements in line. But this book just didn’t settle with me. Both Dane and Sean start with an antagonist type relationship and it pretty much stays that way. Dane is very prickly, bitchy and short tempered. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to be in bleu falls (he was sent there as a Decrypter) or he is always that way. Sean keeps coming back. If this is a start of a series featuring them that might explain it, they’ll have time to grow. There were also a few loose ends. Sean was initially looking into a student death by what he thought was a werewolf. This is never mentioned again. The investigation diverted on to another who it turns out was poisoned. Another is the all powerful Order Dane works for. We are left wondering if they do come to wipe Sean’s mind because he’s seen to much or not. Is this the start of an investigative/ supernatural peacekeeping partnership? I don’t know but this book hasn’t gripped me enough to want to know.

2.5 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Bone to Pick by TA Moore narrated by Michael Fell

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Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bone-to-pick-by-ta-moore-9486-b

Blurb:
Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days, he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother – find the missing and bring them home.

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.
This time, the missing person is a 10-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI Agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks less and less likely that Drew will be found alive.

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/bone-to-pick-by-ta-moore/

:
TA Moore has crafted a great suspense story with enough simmering sexual tension to keep me very interested indeed. To quote Cloister Witte’s opinion of Javi Merlo he’s a prick. Nothing really endearing about Javi whereas Cloister is a driven soul. How these two can meld together was as much a suspense to me as finding missing Drew Hartley. The investigation into missing Drew is quite good, kept me guessing. The storyline in that respect is somewhat complex but I didn’t find it to hard to follow. The main focus is the investigation with the relationship as a side element. I loved the K9 part of the story, Bourneville stole the show.

 

If ever a book would benefit from a sequel it would be this one. Not from the crime drama viewpoint that is resolved but the relationship between Javi and Cloister needs to be explored further. It is the classic case of the two of them disliking each other but also being unable to keep their hands off each other. Made good reading but I would like to know how their non relationship develops, if it does. They are left in a sort of happy for now status.

 

If you like crime stories I would recommend this one.

 

Audio:

Michael Fell is the second new (to me) narrator that I’ve listened to in 2 weeks. In both cases, the narration has complemented the story.
This is a really good story, unfortunately I kept getting interrupted while trying to read it, so I had to put it aside. I was thrilled to be able to listen to the audio version, crossing my fingers that the narrator would not muck it up. I am happy to report that Michael Fell did not ‘muck it up’, in fact his narration made the suspense of finding the missing kid feel real. His narration was well paced, and the characterisations of Cloister and Javi, were distinct and very well done.

Between the story and the narration, I found myself very disappointed when the story ended – not because of the HFN – that was perfect for both men. No, I was disappointed because I wanted more – more story (that’s a hint TA Moore) and more Michael Fell!
Definitely recommend!

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Release Day Review: The Little Library by Kim Fielding

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-little-library

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

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. L

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!

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review