Audiobook: Familiar Angel by Amy Lane Narrated by Gomez Pugh

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/familiar-angel-by-amy-lane-8950-b

Blurb

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.
Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.
In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I’m having a tough time reviewing this.

On the one hand, I enjoyed it – as I do nearly every Amy book I’ve ever read, and like those of hers I’ve read a million times.

Amy is very good at giving us clear, crisp writing with just the right amount of show versus tell. The back story for our boys is delivered in a bits and pieces with only small amounts of flash backs to fill in the gaps.

We’re shown the budding relationships between all 3 boys with telling glimpses rather than overt smacks to the face. Sometimes, however, the subtlety got a bit too murky.

It’s obvious that Suriel and Harry are falling/have fallen for one another, but I really missed that moment when it happened … and the reasons why they have to be apart are a little vague and I wasn’t always sure why the things that happened … did.

I loved the cat-ness in this story! The back and forth and the human manifestations of the feline persona were priceless!

The chemistry between Harry and Suriel isn’t as “warm” as some of her other couples, and – in fact – if we get to see the other brother’s stories – I’m sensing a lot more heat between them and their partners already than I did between Suriel and Harry. Instead, theirs felt more like a blanket than a fire – if you know what I mean. They wanted one another, and the passion was talked about – but I don’t know that I felt it much.

I absolutely loved the world building and the “moral of the story” with big Cass and all the “powers” and magic.

I’m really looking forward to the next books in the series!

4 of 5 stars

Audio

I Loved Gomez’ interpretation of this!  He was easy to listen to and made me love the story even more than I had when reading it.  I definitely think our mood influence our opinions of things and I must have been feeling better this time around because I loved this – full stop!  Highly recommended with no reservations!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Release Day Review: Touch by Remmy Duchene

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/touch-by-remmy-duchene-9404-

Blurb
One can’t walk the path of darkness and expect to escape unscathed.

At eighteen, Foster Erickson stepped out of the closet into a world of homelessness, prostitution, and drugs. Years later, he’s pulled it together and is ready to rebuild.

Determined not to let the demons win, Foster starts university with a plan to keep others from making the same mistakes he did. The last thing he expects is Sylvester Roberts.

After years of working with his father, Sylvester decides to step out on his own. University at his age is strange, but for him, failure isn’t an option. After flunking a few tests, Sylvester’s professor assigns him a tutor—Foster Erickson. The moment they meet, Sylvester knows Foster isn’t like other guys.

As the darkness hovers and Sylvester begins falling, he will have to decide if helping Foster fight his demons will be worth it in the end

Review
This book intrigued me. At the start I wondered where it would go with the very difficult subject of rape. Foster has had a hard life. Strict parents, betrayal by his ex, homelessness, prostitution, drug addiction. We meet Foster when he is getting his life back together and the struggles he still has. The highlighting of his rare phobia of being touched is described very well. I got a good sense of the intricacies of his condition. Sylvester seems to be his opposite in many ways. He comes from money and doesn’t seem to have to struggle for anything until now. I liked how their relationship develops, with Sylvester building Foster’s trust and confidence in himself. I enjoyed the story but I felt there was something missing. I just can’t identify what. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t any conflict, Sylvester was very patient, possibly too patient. This positive story of overcoming adversity to reach the if that should always have been for me fell flat to wards the end.

3 of stars out of 5

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Short Order (Foothills Pride #8) by Pat Henshaw

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/short-order-by-pat-henshaw-9143-b

Blurb

When recent horticulture graduate Dr. Fenton Miller arrives in Stone Acres, California, he thinks his only concern is which job offer to accept after spending the holidays working at his cousin’s plant nursery. But after he rents a room from another shorter-than-average man, sous-chef John Barton, Fen falls in lust.

While he’s attracted to Fen, John’s got bigger concerns when two men from his past arrive in town and pressure him to return to San Francisco. Although John tries to stop Fen from getting involved, Fen realizes his lover is in trouble and is determined to protect him.

As the holidays get closer and Fen makes his own enemy, the joy of the season gets lost in the ill will around them. To ensure love triumphs, Fen and John must stand tall to show that short, dark, and handsome is a recipe for love.

Review
This fell totally flat for me. I just didn’t feel the connection between John and Fen. Though I know some of that is John’s stoicism, the lack of sex and the off hand way their connection was worked into the mystery just made it seem like the romance was more afterthought than anything else.

I appreciated the quirkiness of the characters and the personal growth of all 3 men but I didn’t think this warmed my heart in a romantic sense.

The writing was fine so I’m giving this 2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars.

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Reservations by Kindle Alexander

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Reservations-Kindle-Alexander-ebook/dp/B076WVDBTK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1510348727&sr=1-1&keywords=reservations+kindle+alexander

Free on KU!

 

Blurb

Wildly successful entrepreneur, Thane Walker is stubbornly set in his ways and adamantly resists the shackles of commitment. He’s seen enough unhappy endings to learn the best way to play is by keeping his men on the payroll.

Levi Silva’s dream of graduating from one of the country’s top medical schools is in his grasp, until news from home changes everything. Now, he’s raising his two teenage brothers and trying to keep everyone’s head above water, emotionally and financially.

When Levi’s new job puts him in Thane’s path, their chemistry explodes, but their fear of being involved in relationships keeps them apart. Unfortunately, despite the intense desire drawing them together, neither man can move forward until they get past their own…Reservations.

Review

I am a big Kindle Alexander fan, this writing duo grabs my heart strings and keeps me coming back for more.  I read and re-read these author’s stories so it hurts when I don’t connect well with a story.

In this case, I felt that Thane was hard to love and I also got frustrated by Levi’s stance and inflexibility.  There was some amazing tension in the beginning and then the story got a bit “choppy”.

While I still liked this story, I didn’t love it and I still recommend it to fans of the author but it wasn’t my favorite.

3.25 of 5 stars

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Kink Month: The Cattery by KA Merikan

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Cattery-contemporary-sweet-kinky-romance-ebook/dp/B01DOAN0A4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503445789&sr=1-1&keywords=cattery+merikan

Free on KU!

Blurb: 
— Role-playing a cat for six months? You said you’re paying how much? —

Goran’s mouth has no filter, and it’s losing him job after job. Desperate and a week away from being homeless, he finds an offer online that sounds too good to be true. Spending six months in a mansion by the beach in return for a hundred thousand dollars as long as he sticks to the house rules.

This might be the one job where his unruly mouth doesn’t get in the way. After all, saying the wrong thing is impossible… when you’re role-playing a cat.

Meeting all the other guys at the cattery seems to be the icing on the cake, but the inconvenient truth he dishes out turns out to be too much. Goran makes everyone his enemy, but worst of all, Ollie, the prettiest cat of the bunch, the one who’s been in the cattery the longest, and the one who makes Goran’s heart skip a beat.

Ollie’s big blue eyes hold secrets Goran is intent on cracking, but to do so, he will need to learn to bite his tongue and listen. Too bad the pretty blond ice prince is set on getting Goran kicked out of the cattery for good.

Review

This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. The concept intrigues me but at the same time I was wary. I’ve read puppy play and pony play but cats by their very nature are fickle animals so unlike cuddly puppies or pretty ponies. This is a more fluffy pet play story than the other types and I seriously wonder why I was so wary. There is a cuteness about five men being cats with all their personalities matched to fit their cat persona.

Luis is a socially shy billionaire who likes the company of cats, human cats rather than people. He has built them their own luxury Cattery with everything they can desire, a chef, pool, games, etc. There are rules to follow but after six months a hundred thousand dollars. Easy money so Goren thinks. There are four cats already in the Cattery. Ollie (Oliver) was the original cat and has been with Luis for two years, Stoic Clove, easy going Bounce and nasty joker Cinnamon. Goren’s cat name is Smokey. From the start Goren’s straight talking upsets the others and he is given the cold shoulder. Six months is a long time with no other interactions if you don’t get along. The fun of the story is the interactions between characters. There is rivalry, bitching, sympathy, fun with a human size cat tree/gym, sex, blow jobs and cat fights real and play. Luis just wants to have fun with his kitties when he visits but since Goren arrived there have been tension. I’m not sure I like Luis as a character. He just wants the play kitties but doesn’t seem to be invested in the welfare of the men themselves. The emotions of the five men go through are described in depth and I love the way they give themselves over with abandon to their roles when called.

I was grateful for the epilogue giving a happy ever after but I was left wondering about Luis. This is sup to be the start of a series so there is hope of finding out what happened to the others.

All in all I quite enjoyed this kinky erotic fluffy romance.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

 

Collars and Cuffs Volume 2 by Parker Williams and KC Wells

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/collars-cuffs-vol-2-by-parker-williams-and-kc-wells-8575-b

Blurb
The Collars & Cuffs club has room for all types of men to find healing and love. In Damian’s Discipline, Dom Damian Barnett welcomes damaged Jeff into his home after Leo and Thomas save him from the streets. Jeff may not be a submissive, but Damian may be able to offer him the structure he needs to rebuild his life. In Make Me Soar, self-proclaimed “pain slut” Dorian Forrester is chasing the ultimate high into dangerous places. When he goes missing, Alan Marchant is determined to show Dorian that there are better way to fly.
In Dom of Ages, Eli has found his perfect submissive in Jarod, but their age gap has Jarod waiting for the other shoe to drop. A visit to Collars & Cuffs gives the struggling couple hope that their relationship just might stand a chance. And in Endings and Beginnings, barman JJ Taylor didn’t expect to find himself drawn to wannabe Dom Darren Fielding, but as the members of Collars & Cuffs face an event that will make them stronger or break them, JJ finds his life going in a direction he could have never guessed.

See excerpt for individual blurbs.

 

Review

I have read several of the Collars and Cuffs stories over the years, but not in order, and not all of them. This bundle gave me the chance to follow the storyline as the authors intended. As each story progresses you are shown an overall forming of family and support by many of the main characters of the club. All of the Collars and Cuff stories show us that beyond the typical BDSM lifestyle these are very ordinary people.

In Damian’s Discipline, a new story for me we get to see that not all BDSM is the same. Yet there is definitely a need for Jeff to follow rules and live with the consequences of not. Great look into something a little different than a typical BDSM lifestyle.

Make Me Soar, actually shows you what can go wrong in a BDSM setting, or any setting where you walk in with your eyes closed and common sense turned off. I love how Alan was able to see that it wasn’t pain that Dorian needed but simple touch. I also loved how Alan took a very painful memory and turned it into something erotic for Dorian.

Dom of Ages really made me sit back and think about many things. I loved how age never came up between Eli and Jarrod until about half way through the story. As well as the overall acceptance of the established members of Collars and Cuffs.

Endings and Beginnings is JJ’s and Darren’s story. They are both new to the lifestyle and eager to learn and jump right in. Seriously I expected more problems arising with them both being new to the lifestyle but the authors actually told the story well.

Endings and Beginnings is also a tie up of all the continuing stories we have enjoyed throughout the series. With the door left open to continue in another club. It’s such a well written series it’s nice to know we should hear more from the authors as they move to their next storyline.

5 of 5 stars

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Author Spotlight Cardeno C: Not a Game Audiobook narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Not-a-Game-Audiobook/B01M751MWE/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1494452484&sr=1-1

Blurb

An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.

A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.

A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.

An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.

 

Review by Dee

Another sweet, funny story from Cardeno C and nicely narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo. I liked that Oliver was realistic about his chances of changing his appearance overnight – he wanted to be a better lover, not miraculously turn into a beefcake. What I didn’t like about him is how he harped on his insecurities. – I get that his ex said he was no good in bed, but he had an ex (that’s more than some people get).

I loved Jaime – he was patient and caring; how he put up with Oliver’s whinging about his looks I’ll never know.

Other than my annoyance with Oliver, this is a low-angst story ably narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo. He brought the characters to life so well – I had no trouble differentiating between the characters – Oliver sounded shy, self-deprecating; Jaime sounded self-assured, put together. Overall, I would recommend listening to this.

 

4 of 5 stars

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Review by Morgan

(Reviewed here previously)

Oh my goodness this is SO effin’ SWEET!

The blurb tells the basics: Oliver, an overweight game designer, has moved to Seattle and has decided to do a make-over with his life.. He hires an escort to teach him how to be a better lover since he was told by an ex that he lacked skill. When Jaime, a very attractive older man, comes over and notices the book he’d brought in to signal the escort, Oliver assumes Jaime is the escort.

Jaime is just a man who’s finally realized his passion leans toward bigger men and he’s finally embracing it and he approaches Oliver out of real interest, not professional, but he realizes that Oliver needs the “paying for it” to overcome his shyness.

Just as can be predicted from the beginning – the deception can only go so far before someone gets hurt.

But… it’s so much more than that. There are layers, and a sad ex and growth and laughter.

**

Unlike SO MANY books with overweight characters – this is NOT A MAKEOVER STORY! Thank GOD! Oliver is PERFECT as he is and Jaime shows him that he can be loved exactly as he is.

Even disguised as “just getting healthy”, books that show the MC changing their bodies and finding love are really telling everyone that only the physically perfect can find love. Even if the author tries to show differently. Cardeno C doesn’t do that and it’s so beautiful!

Another GORGEOUS part of this story is that there is no BIG MISUNDERSTANDING! Instead of drama and angst, we have two grown-ups having conversations about their concerns. Despite the way they met. It was so refreshing!

The writing is excellent as always. I couldn’t put this down and in fact started reading it again as soon as I’d finished.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet, somewhat unique, low-angst romance. It’s funny, terribly sweet and somewhat thought provoking.

Highly Recommended

Audio

Michael Ferraiuolo does an excellent job with this. He gives both Jaime and Oliver very calm, serene voices and nobody has any over the top accents to add drama to this lovely story. He’s excellent with pacing, is easy to listen to and adds just the right touch to bring this story to life. Highly recommended.

6 of 5 stars

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Review by Dee

 

Copy Purchased For Review

 

Blue by B G Thomas

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/blue-by-bg-thomas-8466-b
Blurb

Blue McCoy has lived on the streets for a long time, surviving by his wits and doing what he must, and he’s not above using his youthful appearance and air of innocence to his advantage. It’s not an easy life, but he’s happy. He has everything he really needs: the clothes on his back, a house to squat in, a sweet dog. Everything except that special someone to love him.
Six months ago, John Williams’s wife left him because she was bored. “Even your *name* is boring” were her last words to him before she walked out. Now he’s by himself in a big house, trying to figure out what direction his life should take. He’s never been so alone.
A chance encounter sets John on a new path, a path that becomes clearer when loneliness sends him to a local animal shelter to get a dog—and he finds an angel instead. An angel named Blue. A crisis brings them together, but it is something else that keeps them there. Could it be love? A love that can forever end two men’s deep loneliness and bring them the support and sense of belonging they’ve searched for all their lives?

Review
This was one book I just could not put down. So I sat up past my bedtime to finish it. I loved both of the MC’s. It had many of the themes I look for in stories: May/December, Hurt/Comfort and GFY. So yes I loved how this story was told!
Blue has been on his own since he ran away from home for 5 years, but he isn’t afraid of work. He has become a jack of all trades to be able to feed and clothe himself. He also has a big, but lonely heart. He adopts a stray dog and his life is not quite as lonely. He still trades sex for food and shelter but draws the line at hustling for money.
John, too, is a lonely man, but for reasons he hasn’t realized at the start of the story. We discover he has been lying to himself for his whole life saying he is Bisexual, when in fact he has never had sex with a man because he knows he will like it too much and never go back.
The author tells the story back and forth from both MC’s point of view. Leading us through John’s self discovery, his complete attachment to Blue despite the age difference, and finally his steady logic on dealing with coming out in slow degrees to all the people in his life. We see Blue learn to trust, and believe in a future with not only with John, but the other people who have come into his life.
This is a sweet and tender story of self discovery, hope and trust.

5 of 5 stars!
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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review

Hot Wednesday by Taylor Kinney

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZR5M4P/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492016922&sr=8-2&keywords=hot+wednesday+taylor+kinney

Free on KU!

Blurb
Julian’s been an escort for nearly ten years, willingly for the last five. But from the moment Gabriel walked into his life, everything changed.
The man lives in anticipation of those weekly encounters when he can make Gabriel his slave. All he wants is to have Gabriel all to himself, but that’s something he’ll never have the courage to expect, so he has to make do with the crumbs Gabriel tosses him.
Erotic M/M story with BDSM content. Not suitable for those who don’t enjoy this genre.

Review

Phew! That was a hot little number!
A short slice of life novella, depicting one Wednesday in the life of Julian – a pay by the hour Dom – and his slave (and client) Gabriel. The story is told by Julian in a first person narrative, which works well, it is primarily one long scene between master and slave, but we do get some interesting tidbits, both at the beginning and end of the book about their shared relationship. The ending is left open, in an enticing and teasing way that really make me want book 2 translated into english right now!

4 out of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review