Audiobook Month: The Bone Orchard by Abigail Roux, narrated by Nick J Russo

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Bone-Orchard-Audiobook/B076HCC2S9?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_13&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=5DJ273RTFPQ44P0Q23A7&

Blurb: After leaving a trail of terror and death in his wake, the notorious “Missouri” Boone Jennings finally meets his match in San Francisco when US marshal Ambrose Shaw catches up to him. The story of his capture, and the marshal’s bravery, has already become legend back east by the time Pinkerton inspector Ezra Johns gets off the train from New York City to testify in the murderer’s trial.

When Ambrose is unable to give witness to the evils he’s seen, Ezra becomes their lone hope for putting Jennings in a noose. But if Ezra thinks that’s his biggest problem, he’s got plenty to learn about life – and the afterlife – in the spirited West.

Fortunately, Ambrose is there to assist, and more than happy to oblige Ezra – in the courtroom or the bedroom. He spent his life bringing justice to the Wild West, and if he has a say in it, that’s how he’ll be spending his death too.

Review: A romantic ghost story with a bit of a twist; very well narrated by Nick Russo.
I enjoyed listening to Nick Russo’s characterisation of Ambrose as a gruff, older lawman and Ezra, as the younger inspector. Mr. Russo has a way of making an ordinary person or scene seem larger than life – I really forgot that I was not actually watching a western on the telly. He brought the characters to life, making a short story very enjoyable.
The story itself is engaging and the link to the present day, with some members of the Sidewinder team, was a treat.

4 out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Recent Release: Seducing His Brother’s Receptionist By Charlie Richards

Extasy Presents

http://www.extasybooks.com/charlie-richards/978-1-4874-1954-7-seducing-his-brothers-receptionist/

Blurb

Out of the Cage: When a weekend fling gets a man into hot water, he discovers a knight in shining armor in the most unlikely of places.
Wendell Burgeon just wanted a hot night in town. Instead, he picks up a stalker…a dangerous one. When his make-up doesn’t hide the bruising, a friend at the office jumps to conclusions and tries to cheer him up. Cecil Rochette convinces his brother Teague to give Wendell a ride in his classic car…the one Wendell has been drooling over for years. To Wendell’s shock, Teague’s behavior belies his brawny jock image. He’s kind and sweet and seems interested in him, asking Wendell on a date when the car ride is over. He even comes to his rescue when his stalker shows up. Can Wendell’s knight in shining armor truly be as wonderful as he seems? When Wendell discovers that Teague has secrets of his own, he must make a decision. Who’s the more dangerous…his stalker or his knight?

Review

I thought this was sweet. I loved the GFY aspect and the really sweet MC – Wendell. Like all of Charlie’s books, the shifting was fun and I LOVED seeing Jared again!

Very enjoyable. Best as part of the series but fine on it’s own.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Volley Balls (Balls to the Wall Book 1) by Tara Lain Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/volley-balls-by-tara-lain-8014-b

Blurb

2nd Edition

A Balls to the Wall Romance

A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?

A “pumped up” version of the Volley Balls story, twice as long as the original.

First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2011.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

I read the original edition and though this says it’s twice as long as the original, I can’t say that I noticed a heck of a lot of difference.

I love this series and though this wasn’t my favorite of the bunch, it’s still a lot of fun!
(I’m not sure if she’s redoing the entire series, but I see that there’s at least a new cover for book two so…) In any case, FAST Balls is my favorite of the series, reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/fast-balls-balls-to-the-wall-5-by-tara-lain/) and I think that, though it’s not necessary, reading them in order helps to introduce the characters in a really nice way.

David is the owner of an art gallery who’s recently left an ex who abused him. He’s not really looking to date, but open minded when opportunity comes along. Edge and Gareth are Australian Volleyball players who are in town during a tournament. Gareth knows he’s gay but he’s deeply in the closet, Edge has some secrets of his own and some self-examination in his future.

To me, you have to just accept a lot on faith with this story. Don’t try to look at it too deeply- there are a lot of plot holes and amazing insta-love moments that aren’t terribly realistic. We don’t get a lot of relationship building here, as Gareth sees David once and is pretty smitten and makes some important life decisions with only a little bit of encouragement from David to go on.

The relationship between Edge and Gareth actually makes the most sense – given their history – and I guess the triad kinda makes sense – given that David is the only one with any real relationship experience at all. (This was the hardest for me to swallow. I could buy David and Gareth, Gareth and Edge and even David and Edge, but the three of them, coming together, and agreeing that this would work for them? I had a hard time seeing this given the brevity of their time together and the situation with Edge and… Well, it was a hard sell. The other thing that bothered me was the dialog – sometimes David and Gareth spoke in ways that didn’t always feel authentic. “Shall I …” etc. I just reminded myself this is fiction and kept reading. )

The sexy times are plentiful. Gareth’s mom is awesome. The art sounds fun. Seeing Edge switch gears and share with Gareth and David – super, scorching, hot and at times sweet, too. I didn’t really buy the triad, but found the guys fun to read about anyway, and I really enjoyed the other books in the series so…

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Nick is one of my favorites. Is his Australian accent good? Not the best. Is it good enough. You bet! I still loved this even though it wasn’t my favorite by this narrator. He’s still easy to listen to and fun. He’s great with the comedic timing and the smexy times and that makes this worth the money!

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Laugh: The One that Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeline Urban

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-one-that-got-away-by-rhianne-aile-and-madeleine-urban-5285-b

Blurb: When David Carmichael suffers a migraine and then a broken shoulder, Trace Jackson, his best friend, simply moves in to take care of him. Their easy camaraderie continues with no problems until David discovers an undercurrent of heat and tension flowing between them. Despite knowing his best friend is straight, David is slowly falling in love. What he doesn’t know is that Trace is struggling with a similar discovery.
Trace has never desired another man before. He’s a ladies’ man with quite the reputation, considered a top prize around town. But his close, treasured friendship with David makes the emotion and arousal growing between them irresistible. Soothing David’s doubts, Trace makes it clear that he wants to know if they can make it work. Because Trace is sure he wouldn’t love another man — that’s not the issue. He just loves David.

Review: This is one of my favourite re-reads- there is no angst, no misunderstandings, just a humourous, sweet romance.
Trace and David have been friends for a while. David injures himself (during a migraine episode) and Trace stays to look after him. David is gay and during his recuperation time, he is slowly falling for his straight friend. Trace, for his part, is beginning to see David in another (more sexually attractive) light. The men slowly realise that they could be more than friends and go for it. There are some funny scenes, especially with Mabel, Trace’s cat and the poker game ☺
This is not a deep book, just entertaining, so just enjoy it for the feel good read it is.

3.75 stars out of 5

 

Copy purchased for review

 

Time to Laugh: Stay with Me (The PI Guys, #1) by S.E. Harmon

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stay-with-me-by-se-harmon-2808-b

Blurb:

The PI Guys: Book One
Private investigator Mackenzie Williams’s newest client is everything he’s looking for in a guy—charming, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. There’s only one itty bitty problem—the guy’s not exactly gay. In fact, Jordan Channing is looking for a PI to follow his fiancée. The smart thing would be to thank Jordan for his time, turn Mr. Perfect away (don’t let the door hit you on the rump, thank you very much), and forget he exists.
Of course, Mackenzie has never been accused of doing the smart thing. Being a smart aleck is more his MO. Relationships aren’t up his alley, never have been. So why’s he so inexplicably drawn to his new client?

Jordan has always been the high achiever, a man who lives in a focused, controlled, and carefully constructed manner. But for the first time in his life, he has to admit the impossible—another man is getting his engine running on all cylinders. Despite Jordan’s denial, it’s not long before he can no longer resist the strong undercurrents pulling them together. Now Jordan must decide if he can go against everything he’s ever known to have the only love he’s ever wanted.

Review:

I loved the overall story – GFY done right, but I didn’t like Mac much until half way in. He just seemed a bit childish … but I did like his snark. Mac eventually grew on me, (I ended up really liking him when he popped up in ‘So into You’).
Mac is a PI who is still hurting from being dumped from a long-term relationship. To make matters worse, his ex decided to be with a woman AND the he took the dog. (This creates a funny secondary storyline as Mac schemes to get the dog back.)
Jordan hires Mac to watch his girlfriend for signs of cheating. Mac is immediately attracted to the straight man but knows nothing can come of it. Yet, as they spend time together, Jordan becomes attracted to Mac (and conflicted about his feelings for another man). Mac doesn’t make it easy either and is not without faults – he tends to push people away, he doesn’t believe love is for him and he hides behind his sarcasm. However, they manage to start a relationship but it’s not plain sailing. They have a big fight (both men are to blame), but in the end, they get it together and work it out.
It’s a really good story, once it gets going and by the end, I had a good sized smile on my face ☺

4 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for Review

 

Release Day Review: Bad Attitude by KA Mitchell

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell-9505-b

Blurb: Saving lives never used to be this complicated.

Gavin Montgomery does what’s expected of him by his wealthy and powerful family—look good in a tuxedo and don’t make waves. When a friend takes a leap off a bridge, Gavin tries to save him, only to fall in with him. At least at the bottom of the river he won’t feel like such a disappointment to his family. But he’s pulled from the water by a man with an iron grip, a sexy mouth, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the national deficit.
Jamie Donnigan likes his life the way it is—though he could have done without losing his father and giving up smoking. But at least he’s managed to avoid his own ball and chain as he’s watched all his friends pair off. When Montgomery fame turns a simple rescue into a media circus, Jamie decides if he’s being punished for his good deed, he might as well treat himself to a hot and sweaty good time. It’s not like the elegant and charming Gavin is going to lure Jamie away from his bachelor lifestyle. Nobody’s that charming. Not even a Montgomery….

Review:

Let me start by saying I really liked this book. It’s a curious mix of sweetness, humour (the banter is great), heat and some hardness; not unlike a hard-boiled sweet with a soft centre.
Gavin is a sort of trust fund kid who doesn’t have or seem to work. At first glance, he seems spoilt, self-centred and idle. Then there’s Jamie, a policeman on the marine search and rescue team. He has a ‘bad attitude’ to most people, (a prickly, don’t mess with me vibe). When Jamie saves Gavin from a watery grave they begin a curious hot/cold relationship based on lust and preconceived notions, (the latter based on Jamie’s thinking that Gavin doesn’t do anything except party). Slowly each man finds that there’s more to the other – Gavin is really a sweet young man who cares for others and is a bit lonely; Jamie is not as hard as he makes out to be, in fact he wouldn’t mind having a stable romantic relationship. Their relationship runs hot and cold but they finally get it together.
Although this is the 3rd book in the Bad series (I haven’t read the first 2), it can be read as a standalone (I’m going to get the first 2 books).
My only gripe is that the book ends rather abruptly – I would have loved to see a bit more of them as a couple.

4 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review