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

 

 

 

 

Release Day Review: Strays by A.J. Thomas

release day review

 

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/strays-by-aj-thomas-9875-b

Blurb

Orphaned at a young age and raised in the foster system, Jory Smith has no idea he’s half incubus. He only knows he has the power to heal people, making himself sick in the process. Exploited by a crooked faith healer who sells his abilities and his life to the highest bidder and then left for dead, Jory flees, falling into a job at a small-town café where he can put his lifelong obsession with baking to good use.

But the minister who exploited him wants him back.

Exiled hellhound-turned–bounty hunter Malpheus Pelle has no idea why his human client wants him to track down an incubus. Jory is traumatized and afraid to touch anyone, an emotional handicap that could prove fatal for a demon who requires physical contact. Needing answers, Mal concocts a disastrous plan: pretend to date Jory to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, his plan never included dealing with an ancient demon assassin, Jory’s orgasmic pumpkin cookies, or losing his heart to the incubus he’s supposed to be hunting….

 

Review by Karen

 
This was a really fun paranormal romance, set in a well-drawn imaginary world.

Mal and Jory are a match made in heaven, or hell rather, since both of them are demons, though only one of them actually knows that. I was quite intrigued by the mystery surrounding Jory ‘s powers and identity and had a hard time stopping myself from skipping to the end to find that out sooner than the author intended.

I adore Mal for the way he cares for Louise and for how suddenly and completely he loses his heart to Jory. Even believing it’ll mean forfeiting his own life, he’s still all in and wants to protect Jory…no matter what. If only Mal could also find a way to be completely honest with Jory about who they both are without losing him. Decisions, decisions…

Jory’s a dear as well, a genuinely kind and caring person. He doesn’t start off squeaky clean though, helping a corrupt reverend to deceive his gullible congregation, but we can forgive him because he truly does help people and in a way he sticks to the only (manipulative and ungrateful) family he’s ever known. And almost gets himself killed in the process. Poor guy.

I really liked the hierarchy in the demon-world, and the way it mirrors human society in a way, though on a darker and more dangerous scale because, hey…demons. There’s a lot of strife and one-upmanship, both close-knit and dysfunctional families, and last but not least, discrimination between the different species.
I loved the amount of detail that went into the world-building and the original take on the incubus-mythology. The secondary characters were lovely and I hope to see more of them in future books, especially Keygan and Neal. Neal is great as a demon turned guardian angel, booze and all.

I very much hope this will turn into a series!

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 
Review by Neta
I was very interested in this book and love the plot going in, I do have to say as I got into it I was constantly confused and felt like details were too vague. I mainly feel like the world was not build clearly enough, for example some names of creatures were not explained and I found myself trying to make sense of them or having to wait for another tidbit of information to understand the meaning of authors intent. When you have a fantasy setting such as this and you invent names for things there needs to be some consistency and clarity. I was too focused on understanding these small things to enjoy the story itself at times. I also feel like Jory himself was not clearly defined as a character, and at times he was unaware of his Incubi bloodline and the fact demons and Hell exist. Other times he was very cool about magical, supernatural things and his un-human-ness and I found that a bit strange. There is a bit of mystery involved in this story, and it was done fairly well and was interesting and unexpected at times but the Supernatural elements being so undefined really got in the way for me.
Mal and Jory are cute together, sweet and fun, I loved his companion Louise was a character I really liked, there was something about her connection to Mal and the story behind her name that touched my heart. Neal was a mysterious one, and I don’t feel I fully get what his deal is and his connection to all the other supernatural things going on in this book but he was funny and I liked him as well.
I wish this book had better structure, and a bit more cohesiveness, because the plot was interesting with lots of potencial.

Number of stars out of 5
3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

There is much about this that I liked. The world building is unique and definitely interesting and kept me reading. I wasn’t ever quite sure what Jory’s deal was and how he went from healer to powerful incubus and even what all the rules governing his status was – and that made this a frustrating read.

Mal also confused the hell outta me in that at times he seemed eager to give up his life and then he would reverse and be sort of stand offish – all without really even knowing Jory that well.

I sort of understood the others who were there defending Jory but all in all I feel like this was a story with parts missing.

The romance itself was ok, but again, there was SO MUCH going on that it was hard to really focus on the romance at all and in fact it didn’t really fell like a focus, more like a side interest.

By the end our guys have a tentative HFN but it wasn’t super satisfying to me.

I was captivated by the magic and world building but underwhelmed by the final execution of the story itself, especially the romance.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Nudging Fate by E.J. Russell

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/nudging-fate-by-ej-russell-9553-b

Blurb

An Enchanted Occasions Story
Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.
Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?
Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.
When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.

Review

This is a wonderful case of two hidden identities and the not-as-predictable outcome as you might think! I thought this was fun, sweet, a bit sexy and very enjoyable.

The trope is a combo Cinderella/Cyrano and it really worked! I didn’t love the chemistry between these guys as much as some of Russell’s others characters, but they still had some sizzle.

Where the author excels is her world building and her characterizations – I didn’t see big plot holes and I thought the secondary characters really added (without overshadowing the MCs) to the story.

If you like fantasy, fairy tales and secret plot twists – this is for you!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39711956-robby-riverton?from_search=true

Blurb

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run–all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn’t ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his “intended”, Robby’s only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is — and can’t resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.

Review

First, let me tell you how psyched I was for this. So psyched! Because Eli is one of my favs, this looks hysterical and one of my fav f/m tropes is the “mail order bride/forced marriage” scenarios.

Second, this surpassed my expectations by also being ridiculously touching – more on this in a bit.

I was wondering how the heck Eli could pull this off. Who would be fooled for long enough for this to work out and what would the long term game be. Well – she came up with a great plot and it totally made sense and kept me rooting for Robby. (If I have any complaints is that there is maybe too much lead in to the story and not enough post time with our couple as a couple… however that is a lot on taste.)

Trace is also another perfect MC for his role and plays it well. His family and their “secret” kept me laughing out loud! I don’t think it’s a spoiler to tell you that Robby likes to control things and has no problem brining Pa to hand – and it was one of my favorite parts of this story!

(All in all this was a wonderful “period” story from the old west that felt authentic and plausible in what should have been totally implausible. While I am eternally grateful for not living during those times, I believe she portrayed them accurately.)

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Time to Laugh: Shawn’s Law Audiobook by Renae Kaye Narrated by Casey Hunter

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Shawns-Law-Audiobook/B010TUDVP6?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_3&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=C3FAVFC5KAEHVHS26Y2G&

Blurb
Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books

Review
The slapstick comedy never stops in this story. Shawn should come with a health warning. The majority is Shawn attracting bad luck, but there were a few when I thought come on Shawn where’s your common sense. It was funny though. Being such a frequent visitor he knows paramedics and emergency room nurses by name! Hippie Hotpants aka Harley doesn’t think Shawn’s Law is real, he soon learns. However his doubts do cause a few bumps in his relationship with Shawn. Shawn is one in a million. I was impressed with the way Renae Kaye portrayed Eileen’s dementia, very sensitively done in the context of the humour in the book.
I feel quite mean saying the narration was good enough. Casey Hunter has a pleasant voice to listen to but didn’t take the time to verify the pronunciation of Australian animals or other typical Australian words. It was on these occasions that the narration fell flat for me. There was not a great deal of characterisation but it was clear enough which character was speaking.

3 of stars out of 5

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Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Time to Laugh: How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24843427-how-to-howl-at-the-moon?from_search=true

Blurb

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of ‘quickened’—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.

Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.

Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.

Review

This is a book I think everyone will love, or at least all of the dog lovers out there. When a dog is loved and bonded to a human, they can develop the “spark” and become a quickened. What they call the ability to become human.

Eli Easton has taken a great idea and woven a love story, some laughter, and some suspense together to create a story that keeps you turning the pages to see what happens. Characters have their dog personalities, so happy friendly dogs are happy friendly people. Working dogs are intense and somewhat controlling people, etc. And Mothers are nosey and try to be controlling.

The suspense hinges on keeping the town obscure, while pot growers are trying to set up new locations. The new guy in town has rented a cabin just outside of town and stops at the diner to eat before heading there and of course he smells like pot. It just gets more complicatedly funny from there…..

Overall a happy and sweet story that gives you a “come cuddle with me” feeling.

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Time to Laugh: Muscling Through by J.L. Merrow

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11045338-muscling-through?from_search=true

Blurb:

The bigger they come, the harder they fall… in love.

Cambridge art professor Larry Morton takes one, alcohol-glazed look at the huge, tattooed man looming in a dark alley, and assumes he’s done for. Moments later he finds himself disarmed—literally and figuratively. And, the next morning, he can’t rest until he offers an apology to the man who turned out to be more gentle than giant.

 

Larry’s intrigued to find there’s more to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored technique. Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing, scarred, undeniably sexy exterior. Least of all Larry’s class-conscious family, who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair.

Is it physical? Oh, yes, it’s deliciously physical, and so much more—which makes Larry’s next task so daunting. Not just convincing his colleagues, friends and family that their relationship is more than skin deep. It’s convincing Al.

Contains comic misunderstandings, misuse of art materials, and unexpected poignancy.

Review

This is one of my all time favorite m/m books ever. I re – read it several times a year. I love it’s simple honesty and love and the fact that it makes me laugh as well as touches me makes it golden.

JL Merrow’s dry British humor crackles throughout the book and I love the dialect and the slang: Al talking with Larry-

“Are you a poof?” I asked. I didn’t think he’d mind. And even if he did, there wasn’t nothing a little bloke like him could do to me, so that was all right.

Though there are a few “hurdles” most of the book is Larry and Al falling in love and it is so, so sweet.   But, since it’s told through Al’s eyes, it’s rough around the edges.

“I never met anyone who made me feel like Larry does. I don’t mean just the fucking. He makes me feel special, like I’m not just a set of muscles and a big cock.”

It has a great message. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Al is way more than just a big, hunk of a man, he’s also a fantastic artist with an artist’s soul. I love that Larry sees that part of him and helps him to develop it.

I can’t recommend this book enough and I give it 6 out of 5 stars! I hope it eventually comes out in audio!

 (I’ve tried and tried to reach the author to do an interview… but alas it isn’t to happen… one can only hope!)

6 of 5 stars

 

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Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: Baby Love by Harper Logan

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825117-baby-love?from_search=true

Blurb
When Rafe arrives in Rosebridge, he has three goals: escape from the darkness of his past, make a stable home for his two-year-old daughter, and maybe explore his longstanding – and nerve-wracking – attraction to men. The 911 operator decides to check out the local gay bar to see how the whole thing works.

Marshall wants Rafe the moment he spots him at the bar. That is, he wants to set him up with a friend. He’s taking a year-long break from dating due to his habit of falling head-over-heels, and plans to play matchmaker instead – but Rafe pushes him to the brink of his willpower. And then the sexy stranger enrolls his daughter in the preschool where Marshall teaches.

Despite their growing friendship, Marshall’s determined to keep his vow not to date. Can he really set his crush up with someone else? Or will Rafe convince him they belong together?

(Baby Love is a is a 55,000-word steamy M/M friends-to-lovers romance with low angst, no cliffhangers, no cheating, and a guaranteed happily ever after!)

Review
The start of this book is a hoot! The scene where Marshall and Charly meet Rafe in the local bar had me laughing out loud. Follow that up with the next morning at the preschool and Harper Logan sets the tone for most of the story. The story moves on from there and Rafe shows that he is kind and mature and respectful of someone’s choices. Then all of the sudden, after an eye opening situation, he does a 180 and it’s all downhill from there.

Marshall is a character that has decided he is going to improve himself for himself, not anyone else. I love that although he starts this to put himself in a better place to find the right man and keep him, by the end of the story it truly is to make himself happy.

A few things in the story don’t sit right for me as a reader, or at least I wish there had been more said about it, but overall a sweet story.

4 of 5 stars

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Purchased for review

 

Audiobook: Flight or Fight by Dirk Greyson Narrated by Mark Westfield

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/flight-or-fight-by-dirk-greyson-9316-b

Blurb

Life in the big city wasn’t what Mackenzie “Mack” Redford expected, and now he’s come home to Hartwick County, South Dakota, to serve as sheriff.
Brantley Calderone is looking for a new life. After leaving New York and buying a ranch, he’s settling in and getting used to living at a different pace—until he finds a dead woman on his porch and himself the prime suspect in her murder.
Mack and Brantley quickly realize several things: someone is trying to frame Brantley; he is no longer safe alone on his ranch; and there’s a definite attraction developing between them, one that only increases when Mack offers to let Brantley stay in his home. But as their romance escalates, so does the killer. They’ll have to stay one step ahead and figure out who wants Brantley dead before it’s too late. Only then can they start the life they’re both seeking—together.

Review

A love story and a mystery all rolled up into one story! 

Let’s start your new life with a murdered woman on your front porch. Brantley just wanted a fresh start.  Mack doesn’t know this new guy in town, but everything points to Brantley at first.

The two men start looking for clues and then after Brantley needs a place to stay he ends up at Sheriff Mack’s house. The attraction between the two men builds to where of course they end up in bed. So between trying to solve the mystery and realizing that the attraction between then is past the mild heat stage we are lead through carefully placed clues. Just don’t assume you know all the answers right away.

 

I really liked Mack’s dad! Throughout the story his soft humor and acceptance moved the story along nicely. 

Story 3.5 of 5 stars
Narration 

Mark Westfield 

I wasn’t impressed with Mark’s narration. It seemed to me to be more monotonous than anything. I always keep going enough to get immersed into the story so that I can ignore what I don’t like about a narrator. So even though I enjoyed the story, Mark didn’t put it over the top for me.

Narration 2.5 of 5 stars

Overall 3 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