Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Asexual Bi-Sexual Book coming of age Contemporary Cop/Crime Established Couple Exploration Fan Art Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Karrie Jax m/m Medical Military Mystery NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Reconcilliation Riptide Publishing Scorching/high heat second chance at love

Part & Parcel (A Sidewinder Story) by Abigail Roux

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/part-and-parcel

Part&Parcel_500x750Blurb

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott had their happy ending in sight when a friend’s call for help almost ended with them losing it to the blade of a knife. Now, in the aftermath of near-disaster, both men are trying to heal and move on.
Moving on together, though, is harder than either of them realized it would be. Kelly struggles with simply being a lover instead of the Doc, while Nick is mired in his recovery. The distance between them inches along in stilted silence.
Desperately seeking solace, Nick finally gathers the courage to sort through the possessions his dear friend and fellow Sidewinder teammate Elias Sanchez left him when he died. Instead of comforting memories, Nick and Kelly find a stack of letters and strict instructions from Eli that prompt them to send out a call for assistance. With Eli’s letters in hand, Sidewinder sets out on one last mission together, seeking peace and absolution from beyond the grave—and from each other.
Review

So the Sidewinder series is definitely something that “could be read alone” but I don’t really believe it 😉

These books are all best read in order and Part & Parcel falls in the timeline after Crash & Burn, the last of the Cut & Run series books. I think that Nick and Kelly’s story is far too woven in to really appreciate without reading the entire series.

Kelly & Nick have been best friends for years and only recently been lovers. In Shock & Awe the two cross from friends to lover and in Cross & Crown they “cement” their relationship more, but as you find out in Part & Parcel they are definitely not as fully entrenched in the relationship as you’d think. In Crash & Burn, Nick almost dies and we are left at the end of that book with Kelly and Nick post-stabbing.

Kelly is helping Nick to recover and this is something he’s done for his team forever, but now that Nick is his lover, things have changed. But it’s way more than just that. Nick held a lot back from Kelly over the last year or more and Kelly has to decide if he can forgive Nick for that. So, in addition to changing their relationship from friend, to nurse, to lover – they also have to navigate both Kelly’s feelings and Nick’s regarding the lies.

But that isn’t all… Nick has even more “truths” in store for Kelly – and vice versa, Kelly has some stuff he’s keeping from Nick. The two don’t know how to breach the chasm that seems to have formed between them. They know they love one another but there’s all this – stuff – between them. Using a letter and scavenger hunt left by their buddy Eli Sanchez, Nick, Kelly and the rest of the Sidewinder team end up going on a days long road trip together down memory lane. It’s an amazingly healing and painful trip and along the way – we hope – these guys finally begin to find some peace.

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This was such an unexpected book! All of the other books in this series have had some mystery or crime or puzzle to solve and a lot of violence. I guess Eli’s game is a little puzzling – but it is in no way similar to the crimes and blood-shed, fires, weaponry, etcetera that we’ve seen in the other books in the series. Instead, a lot of really deep and sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes awkward backstory is told about the members of the team.

Nick is a surprisingly multi-faceted guy and we learn so much about him and Kelly (as well as the other guys on the team) that I’m really excited about the direction the series is headed.

Abigail Roux gave us Ty and Zane who are very deep and complex characters and up until now, I really didn’t see Nick and Kelly as very “deep”. They seemed like lunatics who loved sex and had wild fun times together, but who are not nearly as complicated as Ty and Zane (as far as character development).

So, for me at least, this book really got me re-reading the other books looking at Nick and Kelly with different eyes and with a different appreciation.

I loved that Abi took so much time with the emotions in this book. I loved that she made Digger’s character unique – and Kelly’s too – in a final confessional near the end. It gives the entire gang more solidity to them and makes their stories that much more intriguing. We get a break from the explosions to really look at the underpinnings of the team and it was really, really well done.

I know that fans of the series will love this and if you aren’t a fan of the series – you should really skip this 😉

Highly recommended. 5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for and Honest Review

Categories
Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book College/University coming of age Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Established Couple Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Reconcilliation second chance at love

Finding Zach Audiobook by Rowan Speedwell Narrated by Paul Morey

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2833

 

FindingZachAudLGBlurb

 

For five years, Zach Tyler, son of one of the world’s richest software moguls, was held hostage, tortured, and abused. When he is rescued at last from the Venezuelan jungle, he is physically and psychologically shattered, but he slowly begins to rebuild the life he should have had before an innocent kiss sent him into hell.

His childhood best friend David has lived those years with overwhelming guilt and grief. Every relationship David has tried has fallen apart because of his feelings for a boy he thought dead. When Zach is rescued, David is overjoyed—and then crushed when Zach shuts him out.

Two years later, David returns home, and he and Zach must come to terms with the rift between them, what they feel for each other, and what their future could hold. But Zach has secrets, and one of them might well destroy their fragile love.

Review

This is another one of those books that I think most people have read or at least heard of. So I’m not going to do a lot of “recapping” the blurb tells the bulk of this story.

The story is amazingly well written. Somehow the horror and the atrocities are dealt with in a way that really feels authentic. At some point Zach has to move on right? So how he does that is the what this story is about.

The romance in this book, while definitely not secondary, is (IMHO) overshadowed by the importance of Zach’s healing process. David can only do so much and – yes – they love one another but the fact that they can even contemplate a relationship when so much of Zach’s pain is tied up with David is extraordinary.

This is a book you’ll have to prepare for – Kleenex, liquor, loved ones… it can take a lot out of you – but it’s worth it. I put it in the same category as Aaron by JP Barnaby. Another amazing story that deals with the worst possible pain.

Paul Morey does the narration for the audiobook and he does a great job. I think his calm, familiar voice makes it a little more bearable to listen to. But… this is not for the faint of heart. I had to read most of it and only listen to some because somehow the “hearing” of this story is harder (for me) than the listening.

So… I highly recommend this book and audiobook – but you’ve been warned!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Established Couple Gay Heat Index lawyer m/m Mid level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Older MCs Purchased Reconcilliation Scorching/high heat

Still Audiobook by Mary Calmes

StillAUDLgBlurb

What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still.

When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.

Review

In this somewhat unique story, the two MCs have been together for 17 years and are now facing a crossroads that looks like divorce is on the horizon.

The kids are gone, and the glue that kept these two together seems to be gone. All the fighting and lack of communication has accumulated and the only thing that makes sense is to complete the separation formally.

The problem is that both men still love one another deeply. Walter, who ironically is a lawyer and unable to express himself verbally, can’t find the words to tell Siv just how important he is. Siv, can’t see that Walter’s actions are his declarations of love.

Over the course of nine months of separation Walter and Siv find their way back into each other’s arms and lives.

Audio

I have to admit that when I read the book originally, my general feeling was that this was a nice book – Mary only writes good and amazing books ☺ – but that the separation of the MCs and the fact that they were an established couple left me a bit cold. I’m not as big a fan of reconciliation as I am of the first blush of new romance.

But… the audio done by Tristan James absolutely upped my enjoyment factor immensely. I loved the characters: Siv with his cluelessness and devotion to family, Walter with his Alpha domination and the fact that they’re both older and that they have the kids which gives a sense of normalcy and family that is a really nice change of pace.

Tristan’s voice is like chocolate and I always enjoy his narrations. He added just enough zest to help me get more involved in the story than I had before and bring the story to life.

I recommend this book to fans of second chance love stories, alpha males and snarky, older MCs.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5583