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

Friends to Lovers: Summer Ride By Susan Laine

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/summer-ride-by-susan-laine-9480-b

Blurb

High school best friends Toby Billings and Jim Maverick went their separate ways after graduation. Five years later, they meet by chance. Toby needs a ride, and Jim offers to give him one.
During a journey across several states, with stops at roadside diners, state parks, and cheap motels, small talk turns to serious discussions of lives that didn’t turn out the way either of them dreamed. Their choices are catching up to them, and neither is on an innocent summer vacation. Renewing their friendship will mean painful admissions and secrets coming to light. Yet they discover they have more in common now than they ever guessed, and going their separate ways at the trip’s end won’t be easy.
After aimlessly wandering the country, all roads lead back home. But first they must decide what home means.

Review

 This is the story about two young men who reconnect with each other on a road trip; they discover more about each other (and themselves) than they bargained for.
Toby and Jim had been best friends, but lost contact, (for unclear reasons), after high school. Toby meets Jim again at a bus terminal and agrees to go on a road trip with Jim. During the journey they find out that both of them a.) seem to be running away from their current problems, b.) they are both gay and c.) they are still attracted to each other (they had secretly crushed on each other in school).
As their trip progresses, both men have to make decisions that will ultimately affect their future, including their HFN/HEA.
While YA stories are not my favourite theme, I liked the story. It was nicely written and held my interest, especially since there were no other character interactions in the book.

3 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Friends to Lovers: Step by Step Audiobook by KC Wells narrated by Connor Goff

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Step-by-Step-Audiobook/B074Z3JZCH?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_8&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=797B0C8X1J0PC9WTH9W3&

Blurb:

Jamie’s life is one big financial mess, and it really isn’t his fault. However, the last thing he expected to find in the library was a Good Samaritan. He might have been suspicious of Guy’s motives at first, but it soon becomes apparent that his savior is a good man who has been lucky in life and is looking to pay it forward. Guy being gay is not a problem. Jamie’s not interested…or so he thinks.

Guy is happy to help Jamie, and the two men get along fine. But when Jamie’s curiosity leads him from one thing to another, Guy finds himself looking at the young man with new eyes. What started out as a hand up is now something completely different….

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/step-by-step-by-k-c-wells/

I enjoyed the story and the narration.
Conner Goff is a new narrator to me. He has a ‘comfortable’ voice, cadence. His narration was well paced, and the characterisations of the older Guy and younger Jamie, nuanced. The narration is not dramatic, (the story is mostly drama free), just even keeled. It was right for the story – warm, fluid, and fun.
Overall, I liked the story a bit more – because Conner added warmth to a sweet, May/December romance.

3.75 stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Audiobook: The Ghost Slept Over by M. Thornton narrated by Jason Frazier

audiobookreview

Audible Link: https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Ghost-Slept-Over-Audiobook/B079H35TVJ?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=M4AEX5HFFF1CJP6D62DM&

Blurb:
When failed actor Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his famous and estranged ex-partner, he discovers something he wasn’t expecting – the ghost of his ex! And, worse, his ex invites Cal to join him for all eternity. Now.

As Cal attempts to rid himself of the ghost by any means, he begins to fall for the attractive attorney representing the estate. Will Cal be able to begin a new relationship, or will he be seduced into the ever after?

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/spooky-the-ghost-slept-over-by-marshall-thornton/

I had really enjoyed the story, so I jumped at the chance to listen to the audiobook. I really liked the narration.
Jason Frazier did a good job, especially with the range of voices from Cal, Dewey and the females in the story. He made an already humourous story very entertaining. I’ll be looking for more of his narrations.

4 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Release Day Review: Heart of Glass by Ari McKay

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/heart-of-glass-by-ari-mckay-9422-b

Blurb: Lawyers In Love

Fear of being like his unfaithful father has put high walls around senior litigator Asher Caldwell’s heart. Can former district attorney Zach Richardson knock them down to reveal the passionate man beneath the commitment-phobic workaholic, or will Zach’s own jealousy destroy what they’re trying to build?

A new life and a new love—that’s what Zach’s hoping for when he leaves the DA’s office and lets his friends give him a makeover. But the jury’s still out on whether the experiment was a success. His new look gets the attention of his boss and secret crush, Asher Caldwell, and leads to a seduction. Unfortunately, to Zach’s horror he learns that Asher assumed he was a paid escort. Asher is equally mortified to discover he had sex with an employee. Even so, the encounter meant a lot to both men, and they want to give dating a shot. Their romance born out of mistaken identity might work if Zack can trust Asher to be satisfied with the love of only one man… and if Asher can trust himself.

Review: What a sweet story, just what I needed after a horrid week!
The romance between Asher and Zach is straightforward, sweet but peppered with a little self-doubt (Zach) and ‘closed-offness’ (Asher).
The blurb says it all, but the gem of the story is the simplicity of their romance, it just is (a romance with dates, meeting the family, etc.). In fact, the story is more than 75% of the way in before ‘the misunderstanding’ occurs, and even then the separation is not protracted, (although Zach should have known better…).
I loved the gift exchange at the end ☺

This story gave me a warm fuzzy feeling, definitely enjoyed it!

3.5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook: Pins and Needles by A.J. Thomas Narrated by Jason Riley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/pins-and-needles-by-aj-thomas-8786-b

Blurb

The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….

After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered foster father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.

As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This reminded me of a gay, romantic, John Grisham novel – I loved it!

We get a little bit of everything. Some corporate intrigue and danger, some hurt/comfort, a little bit of client/lawyer romance, an interesting/heart-warming bit with Sean’s father, and some tattooing!

The romance between Sean and Nate sometimes frustrated me because it felt like a conversation about clients and lawyers and relationships would have fixed a lot of the angst – but once that gets settled it was good.

The action might have overshadowed the relationship stuff a bit, but all of it really blended well.

All in all I enjoyed this and would recommend it to fans of legal drama and hurt/comfort romance.

4 of 5 stars

Audio

I wasn’t that impressed with this narrator. Jason Riley is a new to me narrator, he’s easy enough to understand, but he speaks pretty quickly, which normally wouldn’t bother me, but sometimes I was waiting for him to breathe! He has a nice voice quality, but didn’t do much in terms of accents or differentiating the characters. The sound quality was good, but there wasn’t a lot of depth to his “performance”. I wouldn’t avoid him in the future, but I wouldn’t seek him out either.

3 of 5 stars

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Enemies to Lovers: Rough Edges by Cardeno C.


Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33411971-rough-edges?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Kyle has an unwelcome crush on his nemesis Brent. Brent has a welcome crush on his friend Kyle. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong family, Kyle Potter has spent his life clawing his way toward a better future. When he gets the perfect job at the perfect firm in perfect Los Angeles, Kyle is sure there are only blue skies ahead. And then he meets perfect Brent Haralson.

Born with a silver spoon to a well-established family, Brent Haralson has never been interested in leveraging his connections. Friends, success, and dates come easily to Brent and rejection isn’t something he has to deal with in life. And then he meets perfect Kyle Potter.

Kyle despises his unwelcome crush on his lazy, arrogant nemesis. Brent welcomes his feelings for his stubborn, brilliant friend. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

Review

I really liked this story. It follows the old adage of “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Kyle knows what he wants out of life and is willing to work hard to get it. Brent doesn’t have a job and doesn’t need one because he grew up with money and then inherited more than enough to live on. All Kyle can see is someone spoiled and entitled.

The author takes us on the journey of the 2 getting to know each other after Brent opens his home to a homeless Kyle. Misconceptions are corrected and the real people are discovered and it all leads to a HEA ending. One of the things I loved most about this story was Brent knew exactly what Kyle thought of him, yet he never changed, or bragged or boasted of who he was or what he did with his time to correct it. He just kept being himself and let Kyle see him for who he was.

Rating 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: Waking Oisin by Grace Kilian Delaney

release day review

Releases Tomorrow: February 26, 2018

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38235138-waking-oisin?from_search=true

Blurb

Oisin Harrison blames his fiancée’s distrust for ruining their relationship. He blames his father for pushing him into law school. But more than all that, he blames himself for letting other people’s expectations stop him from going after his dream. But dressing in drag with his best friend is the one thing Oisin refuses to compromise.

As Sin, he meets handsome Trenton Fisher, a man who appreciates Oisin’s cross-dressing. Trent upends his world by doing things to his body no one ever has, making him want more than just one night together. That is, until Oisin discovers his hot hookup works at his father’s law firm and is angling for a promotion.

To complicate things, Trent doesn’t seem to recognize Oisin out of drag. Or does he?

Will Oisin and Trent’s magnetic attraction grow to something deeper, or will it threaten to jeopardize their careers and futures?

Waking Oisin contains characters from Seven Minutes but can be read as a standalone.

Review

I am not a fan of BDSM or other forms of power/control and though it is not a huge factor in this story it absolutely influenced my enjoyment of this.

I was thinking this would be about coming out of the closet and getting out from an oppressive family – and it sort of was – but it was also a bit disjointed and kind of all over the place.  Oisin is sometimes matures, sometimes a brat, his dad is sometimes supportive, sometimes a jerk, and Trenton is sometimes supportive and sometimes a user.

Oisin isn’t what his dad wants him to be and he rebels and ends up meeting one of his father’s lawyers. When it comes time for them to work together, Trenton is just kind of “blah” about it all and Oisin isn’t as freaked out as I’d have thought he’d be. He’s a bit whiny and petulant and that made the whole power dynamic even more distasteful to me.

I ended up skimming the rest of this because it just wasn’t my thing and had the blurb been more specific I’d have probably skipped it. This is one of those cases of personal preference so I won’t rate it.

Though it can be a standalone, I think it’s better having read book 1, first.

No rating.

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Tied to You (Wild Side Book 2) by Riley Hart

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34739893-tied-to-you?from_search=true

Blurb

Miles Sorenson prides himself on his brutal honesty. Facts and logic are a hell of a lot easier to deal with than emotions. He’s got his career and a small, close-knit group of friends, and he doesn’t need nor want anything else. The total opposite of Quinn Barker, who doesn’t take life too seriously and thinks a good laugh can cure anything.
When Quinn takes Miles home, it’s supposed to be a one-time deal. Except they really click in the sack and end up spending the weekend together, enjoying each other’s bodies as much as their company…to Miles’s dismay. Matters get even more muddled when, months later, they run into each other at the popular West Hollywood bar, Wild Side, and pick up right where they left off.

On the surface, Quinn and Miles are like oil and water, but the draw between them is undeniable. As their lives further entwine, they realize there’s more to their connection than the way they singe the sheets together.
But demons from the past have a way of catching up, and no matter how strong the link is tying Miles and Quinn together, the pressure may be enough to make it snap.

Review

Although the 2 book of a series, it can be read as a standalone.
This is one of my favourite tropes: when a hookup becomes more. It is funny, hot and heart-warming.
Miles and Quinn were supposed to hookup for just one night – which turned into a weekend, then into several more ‘hookups’; until the encounters are no longer hookups…
Miles is a ‘by the rules I set’ kind of guy, but he finds himself breaking said rules for Quinn. On the surface, both guys couldn’t be more opposite- Miles, a sort closed off lawyer who is only closes to 3 friends and his parents while Quinn is a seemingly friendly and nice to all, life of the party sort of guy. But both men have more in common than meets the eye.
I loved how Miles and Quinn danced around their attraction with humour, banter and heat. They were really good together – in and out of bed (they had a touch of a Dom/Sub relationship in bed – very light – for those who are not into BDSM, like me).
I’ve re-read this book a few times and it never fails to entertain me.

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy purchased for my enjoyment

 

Enemies to Lovers: Swann’s Revenge by Shira Anthony

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/swanns-revenge-by-shira-anthony-9268-b

Blurb

Can a swan make peace with his ugly duckling past?
Chubby geek Jimmy Zebulon’s heart broke the day his high school crush, Danny Parker, looked on as his teammates tormented Jimmy. Fifteen years later, Jimmy is long gone, and from his ashes has risen Graham Swann, a movie-star-handsome law firm owner. Graham thinks Jimmy and his past are long forgotten—until attorney Dan Parker shows up for his first day of work.
Getting injured playing college ball was the best thing that ever happened to Dan. It turned his future in a better direction and allowed him to emerge from the closet that trapped him.
Graham wants to believe his childhood dream can come true, but he can’t bring himself to tell Dan who he really is—and their pasts might ruin any chance for a happily ever after….

Review

We have a big case of “if these two guys would talk to each other all their problems could be fixed”. This is one of my huge pet peeves as a writing tool and it made me kinda crazy here.

I loved the components – geeky guy goes chic, boss/employee dynamics, fighting for the underdogs in the real world, single fatherhood, sizzling chemistry… but the main drive for the story was a Big Misunderstanding and those aren’t my favorite. At all.

Shira Anthony is a great writer, so her characters are well-developed, the style is fluid and easily engaging and the sexy times are really hot. But… why wouldn’t the two just talk?!

So… if you don’t mind that hurdle, you’ll love this!

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review