Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin Book 1) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by Julian G Simmons

widdershinsBlurb

Some things should stay buried.
Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.
So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult that murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.
As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?
Review

Percival Whyborne “Ival” is the master of 13 plus languages, he’s a shy, retiring, gay, virgin who is asked to translate some important documents for Griffin, an ex Pinkerton agent on the case of a murder.

The story unfolds with bits of the paranormal being involved in the case: curses, the occult, monsters and more. The mystery is absolutely the biggest part of this story, but it is closely entwined with the blossoming romance between Griffin and Ival.

In the end, the mystery wraps up and we have a HEA for our heroes, but the series continues undoubtedly putting our lovers into hot water, once again.

**

So, I read this to challenge myself and because it has gotten so many rave reviews. I will tell you this: it is an amazing story, rich with characters, world building, romance and even some horror/monster elements. There is no doubt that Jordan L Hawk is a master writer and story creator.

As for me… it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I got distracted by the language. Griffin calls Whyborne “my dear” all the time and it caught me out of the story each time. I am not one who cares for mysteries much and the mystery definitely occupies a lot of the story.

I didn’t mind the historical aspect – per se- but it’s not my favorite setting and so I kept being distracted by the “truths” of that time period and wondering just how this would all really play out… which is silly because it’s clearly fantasy… but that’s just how my brain works.

I liked the audiobook version though the narrator wouldn’t be my favorite. He doesn’t do a lot to make each voice unique though he tries hard to infuse some emotion and “acting” in with the story telling and certainly doesn’t detract from the overall experience.

I guess, for me, I won’t be reading more (or listening) to this series, not because of the characters – they were amazing and the love story they shared was really touching and sweet and at times very, very hot! – but because the historical parts and the mystery parts are just not my preference.

I have to give it excellent marks for writing and creativity and overall entertainment 4 of 5 stars.

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(Copy purchased for review)

Jordan L Hawk Presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Widdershins-Audiobook/B00CYRDVS0/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl_s?qid=1441568963&sr=1-1

Burning up the Ice (International Men of Sports Book 5) by TA Chase and Devon Rhodes

burning up the iceBlurb

Book Five in the International Men of Sports

Two men, two very different sports and one rink—sharing ice has never been so hot.

Olivier ‘Big Bang’ St Pierre is back in his hometown while he recovers from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hockey’s a contact sport—still, he didn’t count on the locker room being dangerous. As a professional hockey player, he also didn’t count on it being hard to find ice time. But when a rink shuts down unexpectedly in a winter-sport-crazy town, even being a big name won’t help as people scramble for whatever they can get.

The first time Ethan Campbell hears from the local hockey legend he knew as a kid, Olivier manages to insult both his family’s rink and his new sport—curling. So he’s not exactly receptive when Olivier shows up in person to plead his case. He makes a sarcastic offer…and is shocked when Olivier takes him up on it. Ethan’s bad experience with hockey had left him cold. But soon he and Olivier are burning up the ice.

Ethan is tied to his town, job and family, while Olivier will be going back to Chicago to rejoin his team as soon as he’s able. It can’t possibly last…can it?

Review

Olivier is “out” but not necessarily vocal about it as he’s a professional hockey player. He gets injured and returns home to heal. When the normal rink has problems he turns to a smaller, family owned rink to practice. He finds Ethan there, a guy he knew as a kid, and a wall of resentment.

Ethan is too small to play pro hockey, but he’s got mad skills. He turns to curling for an outlet, but is often ridiculed by the hockey players he envies. When Olivier does the same, he hits him with attitude.

But over time the two come to find that they actually have something special to share if they let the other in.

**

So… Olivier is quite cute and Ethan is sad about not being able to play hockey and they have great sex but where is the relationship and where is it going? I never really felt the connection between these two beyond the physical. I just didn’t “see” their connection.

I thought the Zamboni sex was hot, but it felt awkward that they couple didn’t ever go on dates or even have sex on a bed til the end.

Olivier was a super neat character – an astrophysisist hockey player and I wished we’d had more interactions with him and Ethan as a couple – taking advantage of that uniqueness that seemed to be just something to say rather than a real aspect of his personality.

I didn’t know anything about curling and got to learn something new, so that was nice, but again it felt like everything was just kinda put out there to “be unique” and not something integral to the characters.

The writing and editing were fine but I didn’t really get a great feeling about these guys as a couple and didn’t even understand where they ended up by the end of the book. Are they moving in together? Doing the long distance thing? They just sort of hinted at things in the future which was very unsatisfying.

I’ve enjoyed TA Chase in the past and I’ll definitely given Devon Rhodes another shot, but I was underwhelmed by this effort.

2.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

http://www.amazon.com/Burning-Ice-International-Sports-Book-ebook/dp/B00IUNB5X0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441911971&sr=8-1&keywords=burning+up+the+ice

Where You Lead by Mary Calmes

WhereYouLeadBlurb
ATF agent Peter Lomax isn’t a hearts and flowers kind of guy, but he can be possessive, and it caused problems until Carver Fleming. Carver may be part of the art world, but he gets Peter, loves belonging to the man, and Peter treasures the way Carver understands them together.

Carver loves Peter, but he’s fully aware that six months doth not a commitment make. Carver wants to make the relationship last forever, but he’ll have to leave their life in Chicago to take care of the family he loves. He wants to do it with Peter by his side, but going from the city of Chicago to tiny Colt, Kentucky is a big change.

Carver has only one Christmas wish: Please, oh please, let Peter fall enough in love with Carver’s family to follow Carver home.

Review

This is a super cute novella – almost part of the Matter of Time series but not quite. We get to see quite a lot of familiar names but the bulk of this story is about Peter and Carver. These guys are two completely different guys who really love one another.

They’ve already fallen in love, but now they have to get on with LIFE. LIFE brings them to Carver’s family’s house and the idea that soon Carver wants them to relocate from Chicago to this small town in Kentucky.

Through a bunch of cute little stories, Carver’s family shows Peter how he’ll fit in and how wonderful it can be.

It’s a very sweet, zero-angst, warm and fuzzy story for the holidays – a must for any fan of the series and Mary Calmes.

5 of 5 stars

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Purchased for Review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4470

Ben’s Wolf Surprise (Second Pack of Cameron) by Bronwyn Heeley

25955521Blurb

There’s something unsettling in having to tell a one-night stand that you’re pregnant with his child. When you yourself are a man, it gets…let’s call it complicated.

Review

So… Ben and Shad end up finding each other one night in a bar and hooking up. Shad is Ben’s mate but he screws up – a lot!

Ben ends up pregnant (yay mpreg!) and alone and Shad ends up miserable and unable to get it together enough to find his mate.

When they do finally find each other there is hell to pay but in the end it looks like it’s going to work out!

**

So I love mpreg. Love it. That’s why I’m able to give this so many stars. If I didn’t…

There were times that were fantastic. I loved Shad’s misery and Ben’s vomiting – call me cruel, go ahead! But it was fun and funny and a little bit sad and sweet.

The writing was unique if a bit uneven at times, but I enjoyed the overall story very much.

I wish we’d spent more time with the couple. I felt like it was just a tasty morsel of a story rather than a full fledged meal (or even a snack!).

I will definitely look for more from this author and I hope to see longer works in the future.

3.5 of 5 stars

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(Copy purchased for review)

Extasy books presents

http://www.extasybooks.com/Ben-‘-s-Wolf-Surprise/

Hot Head Audiobook by Damon Suede Narrated by Charlie David (Review)

hotheadaudBlurb

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.

Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?

Review

Griff is a big Irish firefighter in NYC in the days after 9/11. He’s always been best friends with fellow firefighter Dante, but what nobody else knows is that he’s also been in love with him, for years.

Griff doesn’t act on his sexuality, finding ways to either be with women or be alone, but every day he sees and yearns for Dante.

Dante, meanwhile, seems to have no problem finding a new woman every night, slowly killing Griff with jealousy.

One day Dante – whose known for his crazy schemes – comes to Griff with a money making proposition.   Gay for pay porn. There’s this list of activities – from kissing to jerking off to blow jobs – each with a dollar value. Dante needs the money for the house he’s bought that is sucking up all his money in repairs. Griff knows it’s a special form of torture to get involved with this, knowing how much he wishes it were real, but he can’t say no to his best friend.

What they find out is they have some serious chemistry together. They are HOT! Griff finds himself wondering just where the lines have gone, they seem so blurry now. He feels tremendous guilt at deriving such pleasure from the activities that he just knows Dante is only doing for the cash.

After the shooting is done, the guys find their relationship at a cross-roads: in one direction denial and friendship at the other something amazing and more and very, very scary.

**

There are not enough words for me to tell you how exceedingly hot this story is. The sex in this is OFF THE CHARTS! Griff and Dante are scorching! But they are also tremendously sweet, tender and hysterical all at the same time. Dante is a hoot! There is nothing he won’t say or do and the stoic Griff is the perfect counterbalance to his hot-blooded craziness.

There isn’t just one part that was amazing because all of it was fantastic. From the original jerk off scene, to the gay bashing of their friend, to the way the families handled their relationship to the lesbian photographer. It’s such a rich and deep story. So carefully crafted and sensuous. It just feels so real with the language and the emotion and the way they talked with one another.

The Audiobook is done by Charlie David and to me his voice will always be Griff and Dante. He gives them subtle accents and scorching hot sex scenes, sweet emotional discussions and all in all is an amazing listening experience.

I can’t recommend this enough to you. It was one of my first m/m reads and the first m/m audiobook I purchased. It’s simply fantastic and a story I’ve read and listened to numerous times and will do so again.

6 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3294

Not my Boyfriend by Monica L Anderson

not boyfriendBlurb

If “I love you” is a lie, why does it feel so much like the truth?
Stuck at a co-workers retirement party, Max prepares himself for a long, boring night—until a guy across the bar with an intense brown gaze and a dangerous smirk offers some mutual gratification in the bathroom. Max had been looking for a forever love, but Karson’s so hot, forever can wait.
Ever since his cheating ex broke his heart, Karson’s had rules. Only pleasure. Never more than once. Never stay the night. Yet long after their romp in the bar bathroom, Karson still wants Max—maybe enough to break his own rules.
As Max and Karson struggle to sort out their complicated non-relationship, Karson’s ex resurfaces in full win-him-back mode. One white lie later, Max attends Karson’s tenth annual high-school reunion as his “boyfriend” to keep his ex away. But pretending is hard, when all Max wants is for the lie to be the truth.
Warning: Contains a slew of misunderstandings, one cheating, jealous ex, and steamy sex scenes between two guys who fall accidentally in love.

Review

Gah! I wanted to love this but I couldn’t…

Max is celibate for the last six months because he’s “saving himself” for someone he hopes will become a forever boyfriend. Karson got dumped YEARS ago and is hopelessly jaded against relationships as a result.

So Max doesn’t do one night stands and that’s all Karson does… except Max sees Karson at a bar one night and agrees to be a one night stand – well bathroom fuck if we’re being specific. Karson is clear from the start that there is NO future with him. Max falls for him anyway…

Karson is terribly attracted to Max, the sex is hot and he essentially keeps leading Max on. He’s hot, he’s cold, he’s mean, he’s sweet… Max sucks it all up and keeps coming back for more.

I don’t really know much about either MC – we don’t spend a lot of time with them unless they are having sex or lamenting about their (non)relationship.

Though I liked the writing style and admired the MCs development (what we got) I got so FRUSTRATED by the back and forth ridiculousness.

Max was nothing but a door mat. Completely. Karson is a dick over and over and tells him there is no future but please keep coming back to have sex with me… and Max DOES!

When the ex comes into the picture and Karson reacts like they broke up yesterday instead of years ago I wanted to scream! Then Karson has the gall to ask Max to be his fake boyfriend after shaming him and Max AGREES! Ugh!!! Why? I just couldn’t stomach it – Max had no reason to believe in Karson AT ALL and he keeps coming back.

The two have a very dysfunctional relationship and though we get our ILYs at the end I couldn’t trust them. No way is that relationship working out.

Lydia is the BFF and she only sometimes makes sense, but she makes the most sense of the group. When she tells Max to enjoy the “fake boyfriend night” because it’s what he always wanted even though its totally fake and she knows how horribly Karson treats Max, I had to discount her advice as well.

So… though I wanted to buy in, I couldn’t and as a result… 2.5 of 5 hearts – mostly for the sex scenes and the cute cover.

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To Buy

http://www.amazon.com/Not-My-Boyfriend-Monica-Anderson-ebook/dp/B00YE20316/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439576733&sr=8-1&keywords=not+my+boyfriend

 

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