Audiobook: Joshua’s Rainbow by Victoria Sue narrated by Darcy Stark

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Joshuas-Rainbow-Audiobook/B07GVMKHF5?qid=1537472886&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=P9FDQWVVZTG2G5AXYXK5&

Blurb

Rainbow Key – an idyllic island retreat off the west coast of Florida. Think wedding destination, white sandy beaches, lurve… except at the moment Joshua is struggling to pay the electricity bill, they’ve no paying customers, and even if they did they can’t afford the repairs from the devastating hurricane that struck three years ago – and to top it off they have to take in Daniel, a grumpy businessman who has been ordered by his doctor to take some time off before he has a heart attack from too much stress.

Funnily enough, Daniel owns a very expensive hotel chain that has been trying to buy the island for the past two years. Not that Joshua knows that yet, and boy are sparks gonna fly when he thinks he’s been set up.

Of course, sparks of a different kind are also soon flying between them.
Then there’s Matt who just got let out of prison, Charlie who ran away from home, and Ben, a famous model until a devastating house fire destroyed his face.
Welcome to Rainbow Key – held together by love, family, and sticky tape

Review

This is a gentle feel good book, perfect for when you want a little boost. Who doesn’t love the idea of beautiful beaches, an island to escape to and falling in love. This is the first book in a series and focuses on Joshua but also introduces two other intriguing characters, Charlie, Ben and Matt. All of them have sought a new start at Rainbow key. Daniel however goes there to rest and recover from a busy schedule. He never expected to meet the love of his life. I loved that neither Joshua or Daniel were looking for love and it swept both of them up. There are bumps along the way, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Each of them have secrets they just don’t want to get out, which of course they do.
I haven’t listened to a book narrated by Darcy Stark before but I will lookout for them. He has a good style and is able to bring out the personality of each character. They all have their own distinct voices and I was impressed with the voices he gave the female characters.

5 of stars out of 5 for the story
4 of stars out of 5 for the narration

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Boy Next Store by HJ Welch

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37531804-boy-next-store?from_search=true

Blurb

The only thing that’s got Jamie through working retail this holiday season has been staring at the gorgeous guy running the gingerbread stall across from his store at the mall. He’s never worked up the courage to talk to him though, so little does he know that Max has been eyeing him up too.

When a chance encounter with a stray puppy brings Jamie and Max together on Christmas Eve, the two of them have more in common than they thought, and the sparks fly immediately. Could it be that these three lost souls have each found a home just in time for Christmas?

Boy Next Store is a short, steamy standalone gay romance with a guaranteed HEA and absolutely no cliffhanger.

Review

This is a cute, short holiday story!
Jamie and Max meet when they rescue an abandoned puppy. Each man has had a crush on the other but were too shy to do anything about it.
When they finally get to talk and bond over the puppy, their crush blossoms into a sweet bedroom scene.
As a short holiday book, it is well a done and pretty much compact story, complete with an epilogue and HEA. It’s a story that can be read again, and not just during the holidays 🙂

3.5 stars out of 5

3.5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook: The Bunny and the Billionaire By: Louisa Masters Narrated by: Peter B. Brooke

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-bunny-and-the-billionaire-by-louisa-masters-8824-b

Blurb

Spending their fortunes and losing their hearts.
Hardworking Australian nurse Ben Adams inherits a substantial sum and decides to tour Europe. In Monaco, the home of glamour and the idle rich, he meets French billionaire playboy Léo Artois. After getting off on the wrong foot – as happens when one accuses a stranger of being part of the Albanian mafia – their attraction blazes. Léo, born to the top tier of society, has never known limits, and Ben, used to budgeting every cent, finds it difficult to adjust to not only Léo’s world, but also the changes wealth brings to his own life.
As they make allowances for each other’s foibles, Ben gradually appreciates the finer things, and Léo widens his perspective. They both know one thing: this is not a typical holiday romance and they’re not ready to say goodbye.

Review
I was distracted by the narration so much that it’s hard for me to really evaluate this book on it’s own merits.

I think it’s a fairly sweet, a little funny, and somewhat adorable “troptastic” romance that throws two very different men at one another. We have a hard working, frugal man who ends up super rich thrown together with a billionaire who maybe doesn’t appreciate life like he could.

There’s not much angst or romantic tension and I missed that. The couple is cute together and Ben is pretty funny. (I wasn’t sure about the whole Bunny thing but… to each his own.)

With this series you expect the clichéd and accept some idealized futures. While I can appreciate that these guys were enjoying the heck out of experiencing one another’s life styles, I wasn’t convinced on their chemistry/cohesiveness for the long term. I have a hard time seeing them day to day for the long haul. However… if that sort of thing doesn’t bug you then you’ll likely enjoy the extravagance of Leo’s life and find the mix of Cinderella and Pygmalion delightful.

Unfortunately, I was so dismayed by the narration that it was hard for me to become immersed in the story.
I’ve really enjoyed Peter Brooke’s narrations in the past and I was so surprised that this wasn’t as good as his others. (See Shira Anthony’s Blue Note Series https://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_hp_tseft?advsearchKeywords=shira%20anthony%20blue&filterby=field-keywords – which was fantastic!) In fact, I chose this to review because I’d had such a lovely time listening to his other narrations.
His French accent is good but what was Ben’s accent??? It moved and at times I thought he was mid-west American, Cockney or from Brooklyn. It was ever changing and very distracting.

I think reading this would be a fun, light, low-angst few hours, but I’d listen to the sample before buying the audiobook.

Overall 3 of 5 stars
3-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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

5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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!

5-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Holidays: Candy Canes and Cappuccinos (Advent 2017) by Elizabeth Coldwell

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

Kyle is struggling to run his coffee shop on his own after his partner walked out on him. He has his eye on Steven, who comes into the shop each day, but hasn’t worked up the nerve to express his interest. When Steven asks Kyle to help out with Christmas lunch at the homeless shelter where he works, Kyle is too exhausted to agree. He donates his tips but still feels he’s blown his chances with Steven and made himself look like a selfish jerk.
On Christmas Day, Kyle sees a way to make amends—to both Steven and the needy people depending on his kindness. It’s the right thing to do, and Kyle hopes he can clear up the misunderstanding and show Steven the type of man he really is. Maybe then they can consider some dessert when the lunch at the shelter is over….

Review

Another short, nice holiday story. This one centers around recently dumped Kyle, a coffee shop owner and Steven, who helps run a shelter. I’m a little torn – on one hand I knew it would be a short story, but I was surprised how quickly it wrapped up. When the 2 men get together for dinner, they still didn’t know much about each other. From there it progressed really fast to bed. To be honest, I didn’t feel a strong connection between them. Still, it’s an OK addition to the holiday-themed anthology.

2.75 stars round to 3 out of 5

3-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Holidays: A Gift of Family (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Tami Veldura

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

Scott Burke has always desired a big family, but as a divorced single dad, all he has is his young daughter, Lexi. He pours himself into raising her, half-convinced he’ll never find what he’s looking for. When Brennan Price strolls into Scott’s life, he’d better have enough patience for both Lexi and Scott if he intends to stick around.

Brennan has a huge family and a successful career, but no one to call his own. Wooing Scott and his daughter is right up his alley, though, and he steps up to the challenge to prove he’s enough for both of them. His attraction to Scott is immediate, but he recognizes a family man when he sees one and hatches a plan to win Lexi over. Her handsome father is sure to follow….

Review

This was a nice, sweet, short holiday story about finding love. It didn’t do much to inspire me, but the writing was fine and the overall warm feelings were good.

2.75 of 5 stars

3-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Holidays: The Holly Groweth Green (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Amy Rae Durreson

 

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

When wounded doctor Laurence Payne is stranded in the snowy English countryside on Christmas Eve, 1946, he is surprised to stumble upon Mistle Cottage and its mysterious inhabitant. Avery claims to be an Elizabethan wizard, and Laurence struggles to explain away the atmosphere of the cottage as mere coincidence and trickery. He spends a magical twelve days of Christmas celebrating with Avery, but then wakes to find his lover has vanished and the cottage has fallen to ruin overnight.

Laurence’s investigations lead him to the story of an ancient fairy curse—Avery is doomed to spend only Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night in human form until he finds true love. Laurence sets out to give Avery the greatest gift of all—his heart and with it the chance to live for more than the fleeting winter weeks he’s been sentenced to.

Review

This is a very well written, well developed, mix between an historical and fantasy romance. Quite unique! It’s very British as well, and the secondary characters are great!

I really felt immersed in the time period as well as the country.

I’d have given this 5 stars if there’d been a bit more chemistry between our MCs – they felt more thrown together out of necessity rather than combustible desire – but it fit the times.

I loved how pragmatic they were about Laurence’s injury and how they problem solved to work around it!

Thoroughly enjoyable!

4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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

 

3-stars-small

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Roger by SJD Peterson

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/roger-by-sjd-peterson-9167-b

Blurb: Texas native Colt Burrow isn’t happy about his third cold, lonely Christmas in frozen Michigan. But when fate sends him a gift in the form of an abandoned puppy, he can’t keep his heart from melting. With the puppy’s companionship, he doesn’t feel so isolated anymore, and the holidays don’t seem as bleak. He even finds enough Christmas spirit to take Roger tree shopping. But just when Colt’s starting to hope Roger’s owner doesn’t show up… he does, and Colt doesn’t want to say goodbye.

Will Roger end up being Colt’s Christmas heartbreak… or his Christmas miracle?

 

Review: Short, sweet story about a guy who finds a dog and ends up finding love as well. Colt finds Roger, a stray pup in his backyard. He takes Roger in, gets attached only for Killian (his owner) to turn up to claim him. The 2 men hit it off and the rest is romantic history. Cute holiday story.

3.75 stars out of 5

4-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review