Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Murder House(PsyCop, Book 10) By: Jordan Castillo Price Narrated by: Gomez Pugh

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Murder-House-Audiobook/B07TLX82LS?qid=1562453355&sr=1-14&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=SZX5KHVR32TFNWZV854N&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_14

Blurb

Victor Bayne has survived demons, ghosts, and repeaters. But can he survive a murder house?
Few people would willingly spend the night in a murder house, but Victor Bayne is up for the challenge. He’ll do whatever it takes to get a look at his permanent record, including going undercover in a townhouse where a recent death took place. Why not? There was no foul play involved, and as a psychic medium, he’d know if a ghost was creeping up on him. The whole “murder house” claim is just a product of a kid’s overactive imagination, and he’s confident he has the situation under control.
Until he gets a load of the smell.
Turns out, undercover work is a lot tougher than it looks. Vic misses Jacob something fierce. The subject of his assignment is a real piece of work. His partner has definitely got something to hide…and then the investigation takes a truly bizarre turn.
What happens if the murder house reveals itself to be more than just a schoolyard rumor?
PsyCop is an ongoing series filled with supernatural action and delightfully awkward humor – with a steady undercurrent of gay romance. It’s best listened to in order, so if you’re new to the series, start with PsyCop, Book 1, Among the Living…and prepare for a hauntingly good listen.

Review

I didn’t do it consciously, but I am so, so, so glad I waited til this came out in audio. I had a total blast revisiting Vic’s world of crazy!

I am NOT a mystery fan but I was totally swept up in trying to figure out what the hell was going on! I loved the “douche” persona and how Vic would try to figure out what the “douche” would do in a given situation.

I also totally loved the interludes with Jacob- totally hot!

I am so grateful that Jordan is continuing to give us more from this series. It’s so captivating, and fresh and yet the characters are familiar and comforting because of our history with them.

It’s a win all the way around!

Add to it Gomez’ stellar narration and you have a 6 of 5 star audiobook!

Highly recommended – but it must be read as part of the amazing series!

Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Enemies to Lovers: Hostile Ground by LA Witt and Aleksandr Voinov narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hostile-Ground-Audiobook/B07PJWLDBN?pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=QF3XHHK2W1HP2PT00E1K&ref=a_library_c4_libItem_B07PJWLDBN

Blurb

After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave. To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires-including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop-and before they both grow too close to betray one another.

As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.

Review

LA Witt is one of my must-read authors, but I had not read anything by Aleksandr Voinov before. Let me tell you, the two of them together are FANTASTIC! I will definitely be updating my TBR list with them in mind.

Hostile Ground is a full-length novel that reads like a novella because it is so fast-paced and page-turning.

What I loved about this book:

– The two MCs are both very alpha but realistic and not over the top. They are both in law enforcement, so you have that certain “cop” element/ego, but both have a nurturing side that they are not afraid to show.
– Kinza, Mahir’s nephew. He added a wonderful element of family and continuity to the story and I am really, really hoping we will see him in a future book!
– The action/mystery part of the story. Usually this part of the book is filler for me. I really like the emotions/relationship part of a romance and the rest is just a vehicle for that. In this book the mystery part of the story (catching the bad guys) was really exciting and kept my interest.
– The relationship/Sex. Super sweet relationship with very hot sex. Enough said.
– Nontraditional characters. I really enjoyed the fact that Mahir is Muslim and not a stereo-type but a full-fledged, unique character who gives us insight into a culture not typically seen in most romances.

What I didn’t love:
– That it ended!
– That I haven’t seen the sequel yet!

This is a fantastic book by a fantastic writing duo and I highly recommend it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Audio

Nick is – yet again – wowing me with his talent! I loved the subtle way he chose to portray Mahir. He does a great job with the LOADS of characters in this story including the young characters and the female.

This absolutely is the best way to enjoy this story – highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars!


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Coming Soon: String Boys by Amy Lane

May 28

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/string-boys-by-amy-lane-10521-

Blurb

Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.

Review

From the moment I started this book I knew it’s going to be an Amy Lane classic. Full of feels and emotional highs and lows. I felt like I was privileged to be an onlooker on Seth and Kelly’s life. The turbulence that the Cruz family goes through broke my heart. The story pulledon my heart strings. Growing up along sideSeth, Kelly and Mattie being with them as they struggled through life and learned what loving that special person is all about.In this story we get the whole journey of friends to lovers, the hate and family rife as well as unconditional love. Seth has a unique talent for the violin and Kelly wants that to grow. There are a lot of times when school and other circumstances mean Seth and Kelly can’t be together but friends and family are there to get them through and hold on tight. I cried and cheered within moments of each other many times when reading this book and probably will again when I reread it. If you like angsty stories that also fill your heart with joy I can’t recommend this book high enough. If you are still unsure about this book I would suggest that if you are a fan of Amy Lane’s Bonfires and Crocus books then this one would suit you as well.

 

6 of stars out of 5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

This was – has for me to review. I love Amy so much but this did not inspire me.

I was prepared for angst central and there was a bit – but I honestly was never attached to the characters in such a way that I felt it.

Perhaps it was just my frame of mind when I was reading it, but I just didn’t see these guys in the same light as some of her other couples.

First, they spend a ton of time away from one another but still visit so it was kinda – meh – on that front.

The family is both hard to love and so full of pain that I didn’t really get roped in to their drama.

The romance ends on a very bland note and I didn’t get the sense of relief that I usually do with her angsty stories.

It was good and interesting but not my favorite.

3.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: A Wish Upon the Stars By TJ Klune Narrated by: Michael Lesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-wish-upon-the-stars-by-tj-klune-10278-b

Blurb

Sequel to The Consumption of Magic
Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.
The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.
But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name, led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind.

Review:
This has got to be one of the best series in all fiction, period!
I was going to compose my thoughts and write a somewhat regular (staid) review about how much I enjoyed it, how good the final installment was, etc. But screw that! I am going to say exactly how I felt about the story and narration.
It was absolutely, brilliant ☺ TJ Klune wrote a fitting series finale – with all the humour, all the suspense and all the feels! Small disclosure – I have not read any of the books in the Verania series – I have all as ebooks – but never got past the first chapter of The Lightning Struck Heart. And that is due to TJ’s ‘CORNERSTONE’ Michael Lesley (and yes, it’s captalised so it’s true!). He channeled the magic of TJ Klune’s book and made the audiobook a masterpiece of its own.
Michael Lesley makes it impossible for me to read the books. In the finale that is AWUTS, he holds nothing back. It’s a glorious performance with our favourite characters – Sam, Justin, Tiggy, Gary, Kevin, Randall; some bittersweet times as Morgan is remembered and suspenseful as Myrin and Sam square off at the end. The liberal use of sound effects serves to make the performance pretty much perfect ☺
I won’t go into the story, except to say that while Sam has grown, he is still the same and the end is spectacular, with events that I didn’t see coming.
I will happily listen to this book again and again – the 18+ hours fly by with this excellent performance.
Honestly, this is one of best books and performances out there – entirely due the magical combination of TJ Klune and Michael Lesley.

6 out of 5– Out of this world!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

First off, I have to say FINALLY!!!!!! I was stalking audible relentlessly for most of November waiting for this release and I devoured it in less than 2 work shifts!!

Story wise, A Wish Upon the Stars goes back to light-heartedness that The Lighting Struck Heart had. It is ridiculously funny, while being sweet, sexy and surprising. Sam, while he is now a full-fledged wizard, is still as immature as ever. His on-going feud with Lady Tina is hilarious. One my favorite things about this series is Sam’s ever-growing bond with the dragons, especially Kevin. While 99% of what Kevin says is gross and over the top, he has these moments of pure brilliance. There is so much that goes on in this story but the message is one of love, friendship and sacrifice.

Michael Lesley’s narration of these stories is beyond amazing. Normally I’m not a fan of special effects and sounds used in audiobooks but listening to this series has changed my mind. The range of voices Michael has is outstanding. There has to be 80 billion characters in this book alone and I don’t think he reused a single voice. If you aren’t normally an audio listener, do yourself a favor and get these books, you will not regret it!!

P.S.
Do yourself a favor and don’t skip Michael’s sound effect credits, there are some hilarious moment there as well.
6 stars!!


Copy Purchased for Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Time for the Holidays: Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane (re-release)

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/christmas-kitsch-by-amy-lane-10019-b

Blurb: Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Review: Rusty is a “nice boy”. Tries hard, plays football, dates girls… but he’s not the “quickest”. He can eventually figure things out – given enough time- but he takes awhile to get there.
Good manners and a fascination for the new kid – chocolate to Rusty’s vanilla – prompts Rusty to befriend snarky, openly gay, Hispanic and funny Oliver. Oliver can hold his own with Rusty’s “friends” but it’s Rusty who becomes Oliver’s best friend in the last year of high school.
When it comes time for Rusty to go to Berkley, where he just knows he’s going to fail, Oliver does all he can to assure him that he’ll be there for him and that he knows Rusty won’t get lost in the shuffle. And… he kisses Rusty – telling him to just “think about it”.
Rusty is left at Berkley- lost, scared, trapped with a crazy but warm-hearted-hyper-sexual-roommate (Rex), and the memory of Oliver’s kiss to make him question…everything.
When it becomes apparent that Rusty is in fact not ready for Berkley – though he tries damn hard – he is ready for Oliver and knows that Oliver is more than just his best friend. Rusty goes home for Thanksgiving and is greeted by Oliver and kisses. His family witnesses this and kicks Rusty out of the house.
Luckily, Oliver’s family is there to help Rusty pick up the pieces and get him set up. What follows, is Rusty’s jump into the deep end of adulthood and his navigation of his first real relationship that also happens to be his first gay relationship.
Oliver’s impatience and love both help and hinder him in this process, but the underlying support he and his dad offer Rusty give him the strength to grow into the man he needs to become.
**
After Gambling Men, this is my favorite Amy Lane book. It is sweet, funny, tender, lightly sexy and really wonderful.
Rusty’s character is so open and honest as is Oliver. I love that the two have constant communication about their feelings, but even so, still manage to run into trouble because relationships are hard! Oliver just can’t understand Rusty’s reluctance to have him move in and Rusty just can’t be pressured in to giving Oliver anything but a wonderful home.
Oliver is just smart and snarky enough to ease the saccharine sweetness of Rusty’s goodness and make them a real, fun, and sexy couple.
I loved the interactions with the secondary characters. The role model of Oliver’s dad. The hilarity of the cousins. The hero-worship of Rusty’s sister. And the eventual grace of Rusty’s parents.
I read this book when I need a warm hug on a rainy afternoon and it always makes me feel better.
I can’t recommend it enough.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
There is a special place in my heart for Amy Lane and her books. It was through Amy’s Little Goddess series, I followed her carefully laid out book crumbs which led me to the world of MM romance. She was also the first ‘real live author’ I wrote to after reading her work and I was so excited when she wrote back.

Knowing how Amy writes, I was expecting to shed a few tears over this book, and I wasn’t wrong.
Rusty is an absolute sweetheart. With his upbringing, he could have been a really arrogant bully, but he isn’t. He knows he isn’t that smart, but he still tries his hardest. He doesn’t want to go to college as he knows it will be too hard for him, but he goes anyway to please his parents.
His one rebellion is to fall in love with Oliver Campbell. And he gets kicked out of home for it.

I adored Rusty right from the beginning. Reading the book from his point of view, he may not quite have rose tinted glasses, but there is an innocence to the way he sees the world that can’t help but charm the reader. Oliver may be the smaller of the two boys, but he is smarter and does everything he can to fiercely protect Rusty.

This book is what Amy Lane does best. Great characters and a story that will rip out your heart and stomp on it before carefully putting it back inside you to beat another day.

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: A Light in the Darkness by Alice Winters; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Link:
https://www.audible.com/pd/A-Light-in-the-Darkness-Audiobook/154144759X?qid=1543000021&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=SJ717YXMZSWR7R1K4JYX&

Blurb: Felix and Lane are trying out their new normal. Normal means no more car chases, no more drug lords, and definitely no more kidnapping bad guys. All of that is a thing of the past in this new, normal(ish) life style filled with family get-togethers, torturous jogs through the park, and the occasional romp in the parking lot. Felix is done stealing (all but for the cat). He is actually enjoying the boring side of life, especially with Lane by his side doing what he does best: looking handsome. But when Felix’s brother wants to repair their relationship, he brings with him a secret that could cost all of them their lives.
Lane isn’t complaining because the thrills of life-threatening situations are right up his alley. They may think they have a handle on the situation, but what they do not know is that someone has been working them from the shadows. Forcing them to do exactly what he wants as he drives them closer to his sick game of life and death.

Review:
Hands down, this is one of the best sequels I have ever had the pleasure of reading and listening to!
Lane and Felix are still very much in love and are settling into the new home that *they’ve just bought, (*well, Felix did contribute $5, lol!), when Felix’s past rears up. It starts with his long lost brother, Darian and soon escalates into a convoluted mind game that tests both Lane’s and Felix’s sleuthing skills. Through it all, the banter, the sass and shenanigans kept me highly entertained.
But, the narration ….
Joel Leslie owned the story, lock, stock and barrel!; especially Felix. You will understand exactly what I mean when you listen to the opening wail “Lane!….”. I don’t know what else I can say about Joel that is not already known – brilliant narrator, versatile performer, excellent for knowing what a character needs and how to portray said character. Joel was born to do this series ☺
What made this a truly an excellent performance is how he minimized the impact of the repetitive “he said”, “I said” that peppered the story. The author may not have realised the impact of this for people listening to the audio. I hope that, (if there is a continuation of the In Darkness series), Joel will be able to give his considerable wealth of knowledge and advice on the editing of the audio.
I absolutely loved the narration and story!

6 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Fantasy Gay Magic Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Witches/Warlocks/Wizards

Audiobook: Consumption of Magic by TJ Klune, narrated by Michael Lesley

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-consumption-of-magic-by-tj-klune-9026-b

Blurb:
Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse. It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be. Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania. With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future. A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

Review:
Book previously reviewed
https://openskyebookreviews.com/consumption-of-magic-by-tj-klune/

I cannot imagine this series without Michael Lesley. Period.
And just when I wondered how he could top his performance of The Lightning-Struck Heart and Destiny of Dragons, he blows me away with Consumption of Magic! There are a handful of narrators that produce stellar performances all the time, Mr. Lesley is one of them. Most of the time I forgot I was listening to one person! He transitions from one character to the other so seamlessly, it’s hard to remember that Sam, Gary, Justin, Tiggy and Knight Delicious Face (Ryan) are being voiced by one person and not by an ensemble cast of narrators.
TJ Klune has written a fantastic tale, but Michael Lesley, much like Dr. Frankenstein, has brought this body (of work) to life.
Listening to Mr. Lesley perform is the absolute best way to experience this book and the entire Tales of Verania saga.

PS: It was a real treat to hear one of my favourite lines:
“How much will we get for Sam’s dowry?” Kevin asked Gary. “I’ve never had to sell off one of my children before.” “I don’t know,” Gary said through his tears. “He’s a little defective, so we should probably be up-front that all sales are final.”

6 out of 5– Out of this world!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review