Audiobook: How To Save A Life (Howl at the Moon #4) by Eli Easton Narrated by Matthew Shaw

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Audible Link:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/How-to-Save-a-Life-Audiobook/B078YYY65B?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=9YGS6DP3MZDA7CK96H4H&

Blurb:
Rav Miller looked into the terrified, intelligent eyes of the chocolate Labrador on death row, and knew he’d do anything to save him. When the dog, Sammy, escapes and heads to Mad Creek, Rav follows. Mad Creek. The town had become legendary in Rav’s mind after he’d met that bizarre group last year. Rav dismissed his crazy suspicions back then, but when he arrives in Mad Creek, he knows it’s true. Dog shifters exist, and apparently they all live in the California mountains. It’s enough to blow a bad boy’s mind.

Sammy has something in common with Rav—neither one of them trusts people. After Sammy’s abuse as a dog, he particularly dislikes tough-looking men like Rav. But when Sammy gets a chance to work with rescued dogs at the new Mad Creek shelter, his deep compulsion to help others overcomes his fear. Rav and Sammy bond over saving strays. If they can each find the courage to let someone else in, they might find their way to love.

Sheriff Lance Beaufort doesn’t like humans moving into Mad Creek, especially not the tattooed and defiant Rav. When Rav starts a rescue shelter, the town thinks he’s wonderful! But Lance isn’t fooled. He doesn’t buy Rav’s innocent act for one second. How much does Rav know about the quickened? What is his game? And why did he have to show up now, when Lance and the other town leaders are overwhelmed by all the new quickened pouring in?

Rav knows how to save a life. But can he save an entire town? Can he rescue Mad Creek?

Review 

(Book reviewed here previously)

This is one of my all time favorite series out there! Eli Easton has a gift for blending humor, science fiction and romance all into one package! Her love of dogs is evidenced with every word “Praise to Dog”! You can absolutely see the wagging butts and cocked heads as her characters leap off the page and into your heart. I absolutely bawled when I read Sammy’s story. Talk about hitting you right in the feels! Though we know stories like Sammy’s are a dime a dozen, and we become inured to it over time, it’s always great to have a reminder of how much work we have left.
(Spoiler bit – I was glad to see that although it was sad, Eli didn’t back away from the message that it’s important to spay and neuter – no matter how you look at it, these are tough issues, and I was glad to see she handled it masterfully.)

In any case, this story takes us back to Mad Creek and we get to see all our friends! I thought it was great that Lance gets some help – poor guy! – and that Rav is here to help him with all the new Quickened coming to town. Rav and Sammy’s love story is so, so sweet and like the lab he is, Sammy was easy to love and so earnest!

In addition to giving us a really sweet romance, I love that the author also gave us a “viable” solution to the town’s problems. I really hope we get to see Simon’s story soon – he’s been so patient- ha!

Highly Recommended!
6 of 5 stars

Audio

I’m really glad the narrator has stayed the same for all of the Howl at the Moon books. Matthew Shaw does really nice job handling all the different voices and giving all of the quickend that sort of vaguely clueless voice without making them sound dumb. He’s also got the sheriff really nailed. And I like his version of Rav.

This is a super great series with the super great narrator and highly recommended!

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La Famiglia By Deanna Wadsworth

release day review

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/la-famiglia-by-deanna-wadsworth-9293-b

Blurb

Forrester Giordano comes from a huge, nosy Italian family, and with their homophobic jokes and slurs, he’s decided to stay in the closet. He finds respite in his bookstore in the quaint village of Gilead—where he has a huge crush on one of his customers, Kyle Benson.

Kyle is determined to live his dreams, and though life isn’t easy being deaf, one by one he’s making them come true. He’s scored a great job practicing law, bought a cute bungalow where he can finally have a big flower garden, and he has a dog he loves, Jasper. Now he just needs one thing to complete his happiness: a family of his own to make up for the one he never had.

Forrester and Kyle’s relationship starts off hot and heavy, and neither man can deny the depth of their connection. When Forrester’s little brother gets mixed up with their heroin-dealing cousin and his mother falls ill, Forrester has a decision to make—maybe the hardest of his life. For the first time, he’s found a man worth coming out for.

Unfortunately nothing ever goes according to plan with la famiglia.

Review

I have to say there is a lot going on in this story before you get the end. And it all really works without being overwhelming.

We first meet Forrester, also known as Frankie by his family. A closeted gay man from a big, loud Italian Family. He owns a book store one town over from where his family all lives. It’s his escape, as well as his passion. Forrester is open to his friends but not to his family.

We then meet Kyle as a customer of the bookstore. Kyle is new in town, a lawyer as well as deaf. Sparks fly between the two and the story takes off.

The love story between Forrester and Kyle is sweet and caring and really really hot! The chemistry between the 2 is off the charts. They work so well together that you can’t wait to see what happens next.

As the love story progresses we meet all of Forrester’s family. This story has so many interesting characters. You get drawn into the big Italian family. Forrester’s mama, Maria, his 3 brothers, his grandmother, one of his brother’s wife. It all plays well together. And through all of this is Forrester trying to figure out how to tell them all he is gay, because he has finally found someone he cares about.

Deanna Wadsworth has taken a story and made it very real. What happens as time goes on and one person hides who he is because he is afraid of how everyone will react. And then she shows how other members of the family reacts and perceives those actions. A very warm and moving story. It was so well written that I stayed up well past my bedtime to finish.

5 of 5 stars!

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Holidays: A Holiday Crush (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by CJane Elliott

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb

San Francisco lawyer Brad Halberstam is in a rut. At forty-one, he’s successful but alone. Even his holidays are predictable—he spends every Christmas golfing in Napa with his ex-boyfriend. Then attractive but oh-so-young filmmaker Michael Blair invites him out. Brad joins Michael and his housemates in their holiday celebrations and learns that life can be joyful. He hesitates to saddle Michael with a much-older boyfriend but as their attraction ignites, Brad’s tempted to let Michael sweep him into a bright new future.

Michael lives in a group house in Berkeley. He loves making life into a celebration, especially during the holidays. Michael longs for a partner, and he hopes serious but sweet Brad Halberstam is the one. Michael’s infatuation grows over caroling and cookies, but his housemate reminds him that Michael always latches on to someone during the holidays, so he won’t be alone. After a misunderstanding, Michael loses heart, no longer sure if his relationship with Brad is real or just another Christmas crush.

Review

This definitely stands out as one of my favorites in this bunch! I loved it!!! It was sweet, sentimental, and really hit all the right notes – even though it was short.

The (very mild) political statement is well-received and I appreciated how little angst was spent on Brad’s career change.

All in all highly recommended – if only it were a full length story!

5 of 5 stars

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Holidays: Homemade from the Heart (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Bru Baker

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb

Craft store owner Grant has always been a sucker for a pretty face, and that goes double for a pretty face with an adorable sidekick. When seven-year-old Aubrey has her heart set on taking Grant’s already-full holiday craft series, he caves and gives up his one day off a week so she (and her hot guardian, Josh) can take private lessons. Their flirting ramps up week after week, and even though Josh isn’t with Aubrey’s mother, Grant can’t be sure the man isn’t straight. Maybe he’s just being friendly. And Josh, who most definitely is not straight, is afraid of being the creepy guy hitting on the teacher.

Frustrated by their stubbornness and cluelessness, Aubrey takes matters into her own hands. She decides the best gift to give Josh is something homemade and from the heart—a boyfriend they’ll both love.

Review

Fun, funny, sweet, low heat, sweet and “crafty” kid – what’s not to love?!

Ok, I would have liked a little heat but… it was really sweet and I LOVED the crafts – gonna have to do some of those myself! (I maybe thought the kid might not be able to do all those crafts so easily but HEY it’s fiction right?)

I really wanted to see these guys after the big confession of feelings but it’s a short story so … maybe we can see them again in some future story – with the roommate?

In any case, this was really fun and highly recommended!

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Holidays: The Last Gift (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Chrissy Munder

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb

College student Nick Reed works late shift at a convenience store and dreams of graduation, a job he can be proud of, and finding the man of his dreams.

But the man of his dreams is about to find him.

A change in his lab hours forces Nick to swap shifts with a coworker. But no one prepared Nick for Mr. 5:25—Aaron Hampton—a beefy blond who’s Nick’s perfect guy, but professionally and socially out of Nick’s reach. Soon Aaron becomes the highlight of Nick’s workday, and when the overly focused lawyer needs Nick’s help with holiday gifts, Nick is eager to spend time with Aaron.

They become friends, share book recommendations, and are surprised to find themselves at the same charity run. But is that all? When Aaron learns Nick is heading back to his old shift, will he find the courage to ask for one last, very special gift?

 

Review

This is hard for me to evaluate. On one hand, I loved the internal monologue and found Nick to be a really fun character. On the other hand, I wasn’t really sure why the story ended like it did as I felt our MCs didn’t get a lot of quality time together to really establish anything.

 

If you accept this as an HFN and maybe just the start of a relationship and a partially completed story – it’s a good start. However, it didn’t have that solid feel of completion to me.

 

3 of 5 stars

 

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Audiobook: Ebb and Flow (Love’s Charter #2) by Andrew Grey Narrated by Greg Tremblay

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Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ebb-and-flow-by-andrew-grey-8779-b

Blurb

To achieve happiness, they’ll have to find the courage to be their own men.

As first mate on a charter fishing boat, Billy Ray meets a lot of people, but not one of them has made him as uncomfortable as Skippy—because he’s drawn to Skippy as surely as the moon pulls the tides, and he’s almost as powerless to resist. Billy Ray has spent his life denying who he is to avoid the wrath of his religious father, and he can’t allow anyone to see through his carefully built façade.

Skippy is only in town on business and will have to return to Boston once he’s through. After all, his father has certain expectations, and him staying in Florida is not one of them. But he doesn’t count on Billy Ray capturing his attention and touching his heart.

Billy Ray doesn’t realize just how much he and Skippy have in common, though. They’re both living to please their fathers instead of following their own dreams—a fact that becomes painfully obvious when they get to know each other and realize how much joy they’ve denied themselves. While they can’t change the past, they can begin a future together and make up for lost time—as long as they’re willing to face the consequences of charting their own course.

Review

Book Reviewed here Previously

I picked this up because I’d enjoyed the world building in book one and I thought it’d be great to see what was happening with our friend Billy Ray.

This story is pretty similar to Setting The Hook in that we have a “good ol Southern boy” meeting a “city slicker” and the two finding ways to mesh worlds once they fall in love.

There is a bit more drama and angst in this and I wasn’t as invested in these guys as a couple as I was in book one, but that could be due to reading this rather than listening.

It was enjoyable if not amazing and I’d recommend it to fans of the series and the author.

3.5 of 5 stars

 

Audio

Greg Tremblay astounds me with his voice capabilities. He managed to find just the right accent for the families as well as each of the main characters. There are some subtle traces of old Europe mixed in with the Southern gentility and it all works fabulously! He’s always great with the emotion, pacing and tone quality and when you add that to this very sweet story of finding one’s self and love you get the perfect mix! Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Overall
4 of 5 stars

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Spooky! The Ghost Slept Over by Marshall Thornton

 MLR Press
https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Slept-Over-Marshall-Thornton-ebook/dp/B00QRI60CG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508108910&sr=8-1&keywords=the+ghost+slept+over

Blurb

 A ghostly romantic triangle!
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

I had a lot of fun reading this! The story centres on a struggling actor (Cal), his dead ex (McCormack), who refuses to stay dead and the lawyer dealing with the McCormack’s estate, (Dewitt).
Cal and McCormack had been lovers years before, but had broken up (McCormack’s decision). When McCormack dies, he wills his estate to Cal who moves into his dead lover’s house while dealing with the inheritance. Cal finds himself dealing with the estate lawyer, the local theatre group and with his ex-lover – who wants Cal to ‘join him on the other side! This is not a scary read, but it is a bit unnerving to have a ghost dogging your every step, especially if you’re trying to ‘get it on’ with your new love interest ☺
The local play group come with their own agenda and Cal begins to think that selling everything and leaving may be the best way to go. Between himself and Dewitt, things get sorted out to the satisfaction of all involved – all without Cal having to die ☺
The plot is clever, almost reminiscent of old comedies of the 40’s and 50’s, (think The Ghost and Mrs. Muir).
Funny, romantic comedy; definitely recommend!

4 stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Tate (Temptation Series Book 5) by Ella Frank

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Tate-Temptation-Book-Ella-Frank-ebook/dp/B075GXW951/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505320748&sr=8-2&keywords=tate+ella

Blurb:

William Tate Morrison – The man who came into my life and turned my entire world—and me—on its ass.

Logan Mitchell has always been a man with a plan.
One for work. One for his relationship. And one for his life. Which is exactly the way he liked it—until recently.
Now with words like marriage and weddings floating around his head, Logan’s plans have suddenly changed course, and where they want him to go has him feeling somewhat distracted.

Tate Morrison knows Logan better than anybody else—or so he thinks. So when his lawyer is finding it hard to sleep at night, he chalks it up to the craziness that has recently descended on their lives.
Never in a million years would he guess what’s really on Logan’s mind.

Tate is the fifth book in the Temptation Series, and the next chapter in the lives of the two men we have all come to know and love..!

Review

Another brilliant continuation the Temptation series! This is one of the best series out there (I don’t say this lightly– I can count on 2 hands the number of series’ I follow – as I lose interest if the storyline is too protracted).
After more than 4 years together, Logan and Tate are living in domestic bliss. They’ve just bought a house together, Logan has brought on a new partner … at work … (Tate is more than enough at home☺) and Tate’s Popped Cherry … the bar 😉 is doing well. You’d expect their lives to be boringly settled, well you would be wrong! The sex is still hot between them, Logan still has an ego and Tate is still a tease.
Add to that, Priest (introduced in Tease) and Robbie – they have an ‘I hate you’ relationship – for now (I smell a story there)! Friends and family, Tate’s family reconciliation, a bit of a heartache, (temporary, but I had to put the book down for a bit), a birthday surprise and a sweet, ‘keep-you-hanging-‘til next-year ending’ and you have a brilliant story.
I loved this book and can’t wait for the audio.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Pins and Needles by A.J. Thomas

release day review
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 by Mary

Pins and Needles is about two people meeting at a point where their lives are dramatically changed. They are completely opposite in many ways yet both have the drive to push on. There are a lot of threads to this story. The romance between Sean and Nate is slow burning and fits so well. Many times I have been frustrated by slow building romance in the past because the reasons for not getting together seemed shallow but that is not the case for Pins and Needles. The factors for hesitation are valid and this adds to the suspense. There is also a suspense angle to the compensation case Nate is representing for Sean. I love a mystery and there are so many aspects of Sean’s compensation claim that only become clear at the end of the book. So many suspense mystery stories reveal themselves quickly but this one kept me guessing. n aspect is Sean’s determined recovery. It is noticeable that there has been a lot of research into Sean’s recovery and disability which made it so much more realistic. And finally there is Nate’s ambition to prove himself and prove his father wrong.

Nate and Sean come from opposite sides, Sean making his own luck and working hard to get his degree and a well paying job whilst Nate had all the comforts while studying. On the other side Sean’s foster father and co-opted family supported him all the way although he never quite looses the feeling of being abandoned. Nate on the other hand has a the monetary support but feels he has to fight for his father to be proud of him.

The attention to detail is impressive, pulling all the different aspects together giving depth to the story. I will admit in the beginning I thought the story was a tad slow but by the end I thought the pace fit beautifully. Any faster and the magic of the slow burn romance coupled with the building case wouldn’t have worked. This is a book I would read again and love to hear as an audiobook.

The epilogue rounds the story off nicely giving Sean and Nate their happy ever after.

4.5 of 5 stars
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Review by Morgan

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

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Audiobook: Legal Tender (Art Series book 4) by Andrew Grey Narrated by John Solo

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/legal-tender-by-andrew-grey-8857-b

Blurb

Timothy left home when he was eighteen to get away from his reckless mother, but he never stopped visiting his grandfather, who taught him what love was all about. Now that Grampy has passed away, Timothy finds that the old man’s legacy is everything Timothy has dreamed of—and more.

Inside the house Timothy loves so much is a cache of coins with historical value… and a mystery, because one of them isn’t supposed to exist. In memory of his grandfather, Timothy sets out to make sure that the mystery and the coins are given their due honor. In his quest to keep the government from confiscating his grandfather’s legacy, he meets Joiner, whose interest in Timothy is as clear and open as Timothy is guarded. There are things about Timothy’s life and his past he doesn’t want anyone to know, not even the kind man who is helping him with the complications of legal tender

Review

With Andrew Grey you know you are getting romance with a capital R. This story brings back characters from Bottle up series and two of the earlier Art Series books. Dieter and Gerald from Legal Artistry play a big part in this story. Dieter and Timothy (Timmy) were friends and they were younger but they lost touch when he left home. They meet again when he goes back to the house his grandfather left him. Joiner meets Timmy through Dieter and Gerald. Although Timmy has had a hard life he is proud that he has put himself through college and kept in contact with his grandfather. Because of his past he is hesitant about getting in a relationship. Joiner is also looking more for a relationship than anything else, his career is important to him. The legal case in this story is more about the research and the focus is on the building relationship between Joiner and Timmy. The romance between them is lovely and sweet. Joiner is patient taking everything slowly at Timmy’s pace and by the end they have their happy ever after.

As usual John Solo does a great job with the narration. He brings out Timmy’s hesitation, his reserved nature. Which contrasts nicely with Joiner’s confidence. Along with his portrayal of the secondary characters make this a very entertaining book.

4 of 5 stars

 

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