Categories
Uncategorized

Upside Down Audiobook by N.R Walker, Narrated by Glen Lloyd.

audiobookreview

 

Blurb
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But when he realizes adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

Review
This was my second time reading this story, in audio this time. I admit I didn’t like this narrator in another book, he was not bad, just had a sort of flat emotional range in my opinion. Yet, here I slowly grew to love him, he had a great comedic sense, and I felt like he enjoyed narrating this book. I loved hoe he interpreted the characters, he got Jordan’s wacky, quirky humor just right, and added this layer of softness to the relationship between he and Hennessy.
This book was incredibly sweet, with the humor I liked so much in Walker’s ‘The Weight of it All’ and dealing with the subject of Asexuality in a wonderful eye-opening way. Walker showed the struggle Asexuals face in our overly sexualized culture.
I think the thing that makes this story so good it how much you don’t really need sex to feel the romance, longing and passion Jordan and Hennessy feel for each other. Jordan is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time, and he had me laughing more times than I can count. Angus and Merry were some of the most amazing side characters I have ever read and I wish we could get their story someday.
This book makes you feel so good, while still having emotional depth and dealing with serious themes. The ending leaves you smiling and a gooey happy pile of emotions. Just a wonderful read through and through.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
Uncategorized

The Dichotomy of Angels by N.R. Walker; narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49921241-the-dichotomy-of-angels?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=UGkNks73xm&rank=2

Blurb: Nathaniel and Chasan are no ordinary angels.

Destiny chose them to be twin flames, fated mates. But Nathaniel has avoided Chasan for nearly a thousand years.
When sent to Earth on a mission to live and work together, Nathaniel comes face-to-face with his destiny. Short-tempered, petulant, and grumpy, he hates the idea of being fated to anyone and has chosen an existence of isolation rather than spending time with the calm, kind, and serene Chasan. But now he has no choice.
One is fire, the other is air; a true dichotomy of angels. Together they will be ignited, or they will be extinguished. This assignment will seal their fate either way.

Review:
Story: This is such a fun story! Two angels – one grumpy (Nathan) and the other one, a ray of sunshine (Chasan) have been assigned to work together on a mission to save a child.
Both angels have to assume human identities – including being married to each other – and teach nursery school children. Oh, and they’re fated mates! Nathan has been avoiding his fate (heh!) for centuries, so he’s not pleased with this development – at all.
I really enjoyed seeing how they navigated through our world, especially Nathan. I especially enjoyed how both MCs navigate their emotions and the relationship that develops. There is a lot to love about the story, I recommend that you discover what you love about it too 

Narration: Nick J. Russo made this an excellent experience! He gave a great performance with the varying voices/accents for all characters. He also captured and conveyed the various emotions of the characters so well that I abandoned reading and just listened. Excellent way to enjoy the book!

Story: 4.5 stars
Narration: 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Elements of Retrofit by N.R. Walker, narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45187628-elements-of-retrofit

Blurb

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?

A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his 40th birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.

Cooper Jones, 22 years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.

Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.

Review

A captivating May/December romance with well-rounded MC’s. I loved the funny back-and-forth between Thomas and Cooper. Cooper is not intimidated by ‘Tom’ at all, even though he greatly admires his talent. I liked the mutual respect between the MC’s and how they are equals in their relationship, even though Thomas is Cooper’s boss (at least for some of the story) and is quite a bit older. There is some relationship drama, with Tom being a little presumptuous and not as communicative as he should be and Cooper showing his youth when they hit a certain bump in the road, but it serves the purpose of the story and heightens the emotional stakes in a good way.

Narration: Nick J. Russo was the perfect choice for this story. I loved his take on Thomas and Cooper, the way he captured both Tom’s more reserved nature and Cooper’s teasing banter. Loved it!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Sixty Five Hours by N.R. Walker, narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54870010-sixty-five-hours

Blurb

Cameron Fletcher and Lucas Hensley are advertising executives who have Sixty Five Hours to pull together the campaign of their careers.

Sixty Five Hours to get along. Sixty Five Hours to not kill each other. Sixty Five Hours to fall in love.

Review

Sixty Five Hours was one of the first m/m books I ever read, and returning to it with this audio version was utterly wonderful. The story effortlessly withstands the test of time in my eyes, and forced proximity has never been quite this sexy or this much fun! Cameron and Lucas’s romance is on a tight schedule, the same way they are for working out their new marketing proposal. As a reader, I was completely sold by how their relationship developed, the same way the Lurex CEO was. Things moved so quickly, but both MC’s are amazingly three-dimensional, and their connection progresses in a genuine, heartfelt way. Nothing feels rushed or cliché, a testament to N.R. Walker’s writing talent.

Narration: Nick J. Russo did a brilliant job with this engaging enemies-to-lovers romance, enhancing the story in a way I hadn’t expected. I was ridiculously charmed by his sexy drawl for Lucas and the more proper voice he gave Cameron, fitting their personalities to a T, and I was utterly captivated by the emotions and intensity he brought to his performance. Definitely worth another listen!

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

His Fairy Share: (Starfig Investigation Book 3) by Meghan Maslow; narrated by Greg Boudreaux

audiobookreview

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49585381-his-fairy-share?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=cViVriGBpL&rank=2

Blurb:
“Why does this always happen to us?” –Quinn Broomsparkle, wizard extraordinaire

Six months have passed since wizard Quinn Broomsparkle left behind his indentured servant shackles. He’s in love with his half-dragon/half-fairy familiar, Twig Starfig. He’s got a home. Friends. A job. And a father-in-law he could do without. A pretty close to perfect life. But as Quinn has learned the hard way, things rarely stay peaceful for long. Especially when a Starfig’s involved.

Summoned to his home realm and a past he’d thought left behind, Quinn and Twig find themselves in the middle of evil machinations . . . with no clear enemy. When Quinn’s younger brother, Zak, goes missing, it’s Starfig Investigations on the case.

Being the first wizard in a thousand years isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. On top of a missing brother, a broken-hearted red fury, an archivist with a secret, and a ghost pirate-parrot who’s determined to return to his captain, Quinn and Twig’s relationship is sorely tested when questions—and unhappy answers—about their mating dilemma are pushed to the fore.

All Quinn wants is his fairy share of happiness. Is that so much to ask?

Story: This is such a great series overall and book 3 is definitely a brilliant addition.
This time the story is from Quinn’s view and I loved it – we get to understand his fears about mating, (potentially losing his magic), his exasperation with Twig always trying to protect him, and the heartache and damage done by Quinn’s horrid family. There are new characters to love (Zak), some to hate, (especially Quinn’s family), and some surprises. While there is still a lot of humour, the plot in this installment is a bit more serious – political intrigues, treacherous friends and dealing with councils in the Hominus and Lighthelm. Overall, the world-building continues to be, well world class… 🙂 with great characters and great dialogue!
Definitely one of my favourite series and author.
Highly recommend!

Narration: It’s Greg Boudreaux – what more do I have to say?
Listening to Quinn’s POV alà Greg was just as good as when the story was told from Twig’s. He has made the series a fantastic must-listen. Excellent narration!

Story: 4.5 stars
Narration: 5 stars

 

Categories
adult - 18+

The Captain’s Snowbound Christmas by Catherine Curzon, Eleanor Harkstead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55761537-the-captain-s-snowbound-christmas

Blurb

Will Reuben be unwrapping a captain this Christmas?

Reuben’s a makeup artist who’s much in demand in the business, from making the beautiful even more gorgeous to creating an alluring love-scene glow. All of his Christmas wishes come true at once when he’s hired to work on the set of his favourite TV show. And not only that but on the swoony Christopher Manners.

Bunny is lusted after by millions as the brooding hero of television’s Captain Firth adventures. His manly swash and handsome buckle have earned him a legion of fans, and when he strides onto the screen and commands, “Draw your sword, sir,” it’s time to get down to business.

When Reuben and Bunny’s first date turns into a disaster, it looks as though the show’s over before it’s begun, but a blizzard, a mysterious bearded man in a red coat and a hot winter night combine to give them a second chance.

Pubisher’s Note: This book is linked to the Captivating Captains series.

Review
I absolutely adored this book. Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead really know how to write books that are sweet and a bit corny but full of that dry English humor that I just love. I really liked the two main character’s, Reuben, who is a makeup artist and actor Christopher Manners aka Bunny. Their ensuing story is fast paced and full of laugh out loud moments.

While this is a part of the Captivating Captains series, each book is a standalone. The only connection between series is that one of the main characters is some sort of “captain”.

4 Stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Secret Santa by Jay Northcote, narrated by Hamish Long

audiobookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56332312-secret-santa

https://www.audible.com/pd/Secret-Santa-Audiobook/B08QM5PVF5?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=85df3330-9dc4-4a45-ae69-93cc2fc25ca4&pf_rd_r=JC0N6CW947WKQVNCNC5C

Blurb
Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship.
Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son, there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly, and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days, and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.
Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon, and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognize Luke, and Luke realizes he’s not the only one with a secret.
Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches, their secrets pile up like colorful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all – each other.
Review
What a lovely holiday romance! Sweet and cute, giving you all the feels, but never crossing the line and becoming too mushy or overly sentimental. Perfect for finding some holiday cheer!

What truly made this story stand out for me is that it’s about two real, genuine people searching for and finding love in a realistic way while dealing with the hustle and bustle of everyday life and worries. No over the top drama or angst here!

I especially loved Archie, Theo’s little boy. He is an integral part of the story and incredibly adorable! Theo is a wonderful parent, putting his child first, and I found it really easy to relate to him because of that. I like that he has such a great relationship with Caroline and that there is no evil ex in the story.

I thought the references to Top Gear and The Great British Bake Off were a very nice touch in making the characters seem even more real and relatable. Luke, I’m with you, btw!
Narration: Utter bliss. Hamish Long is such a talented narrator! I always enjoy listening to his warm voice and was awestruck, once again, by his knack for capturing the characters’ personalities and emotions. I loved his performance of Secret Santa! He brought Theo and Luke to life in the best way.

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Demon’s Wish by Xenia Melzer

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56144105-demon-s-wish

Blurb: Finding love is hard—especially when you’re a demon and your potential mate is your sacrifice…

Sammy is content with running his bookshop and leading a book club consisting solely of paranormal creatures. Despite the persistence of his friends, he has resolved himself to a life without romance, since he doesn’t think anybody could find him and his tendency to spill useless knowledge whenever he gets nervous attractive.

Dresalantion is a demon prince and slightly—make that majorly—annoyed when somebody persistently tries to summon him. He finally decides to show up and put the fear of Dresalantion into his summoners but finds himself rescuing their sacrifice instead.

Sammy intrigues him from the get-go, and when Dre realizes that Sammy can get him the manga he’s been hunting for months—not to mention that he refuses a wish he offered him—the sexy demon decides to get to know this fascinating man better. Much better.

Review: I loved this story! Dre, a demon prince has been summoned, (via a potential human sacrifice), to do the bidding of some misguided kids – he soon sets them straight! The sacrifice, Sammy, is quick to realise that he’s in a bit of a predicament, what with facing off with a demon. However, Dre surprises both Sammy and himself by wanting to get to know Sammy better.
Sammy is a nerdy delight – he’s smart, unconsciously funny, full of trivia, which happens to be Dre’s favourite thing. I loved everything about the story – the banter, the friendship/dating thing both men had going on and some of the secondary characters, like the members of Sammy’s book club. I started to highlight some of my favourite lines, but I would have ended up highlighting the entire book!
Definitely one of my new favourite books!

5 stars out of 5

Copy generously provided by author

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Half a Cowboy by Andrew Grey

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/half-a-cowboy-by-andrew-grey-11801-b

Blurb

Ever since his discharge from the military, injured veteran Ashton Covert has been running his family ranch—and running himself into the ground to prove he still can. Ben Malton knows about running too. When he takes refuge in Ashton’s barn after an accident in a Wyoming blizzard, he’s thinking only of survival and escaping his abusive criminal ex, Dallas. Ashton has never met a responsibility he wouldn’t try to shoulder. When he finds Ben half-frozen, he takes it upon himself to help. But deadly trouble follows Ben wherever he goes. He needs to continue on, except it may already be too late. Something about Ben makes Ashton feel whole again. But before they can ride into the sunset together, they need to put an end to Dallas’s threats. Ben can make a stand, with Ashton’s help—only it turns out the real danger could be much closer to home.

Review

The story starts out promising with the strong cowboy with a protective streak who is immediately touched by the misfortune of a mysterious city boy on the run from his dangerous ex. Ashton is there to help Ben and is willing to keep him safe from the first, even when that means bringing danger upon himself and his friends. This felt a bit rushed for me. I’d have liked them to have had more time to form a connection to justify Ashton jumping in so quickly as Ben’s selfless hero. As they prepare to face Dallas, Ben’s crime boss ex, they grow closer and start to fall for each other. Ben’s background story was left too vague, and I never felt truly convinced of his dire situation over the years nor his supposed gullibility. And so I couldn’t really get behind the romantic plot between Ben and Ashton. They both also could have been drawn with a little more nuance and depth. These MC’s that have known pain and disappointment, which affords the author plenty of opportunity for character growth, but Ben and Ashton still seem too much like formulaic stereotypes, and their struggles sometimes veered dangerously close to self-absorbed ‘whiny’ territory. There are several secondary characters in the story to help create a world around our two MC’s, both to give that sense of finding family and to increase the suspense and dangerous vibes through Dallas and his goons. The first worked out well, but the latter fell a little flat, mostly because Dallas is a bit of a letdown as a villain. The author did have some surprises up his sleeve as the criminal aspect of the plot thickened, which was a nice plus.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

A Boyfriend for Christmas by Jay Northcote; narrated by Hamish Long

audiobookreview

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48915871-a-boyfriend-for-christmas?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=ENtLZcj25b&rank=1

Blurb:
Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl – how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent, and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organized by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.
With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the “nice girl” they’ve been hoping for?
Contains: a closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Review:
Story: I love Jay Northcotes’s stories – he takes regular characters, immerses one in their lives and keeps the reader wholly invested in what happens with the MCs, even when the story ends 
Archie comes from a well to do family. He longs to break out from under his parents influence and be more true to himself, including coming out of the closet, but hasn’t found the courage …. yet. He meets Cal, a biker, who is quite far out of Archie’s realm of experience – older, working class, tattooed. Despite their differences, they strike up a conversation, develop a mutual attraction and fool themselves into thinking theirs is going to be a casual relationship, lol!
The story is sweet, funny, steamy with so many memorable moments. Loved it!
Story: 4.5 stars

Narration: Hamish Long did a fantastic job with the narration! He switched from posh lad, to posh parents (and other posh types) to working class accents so seamlessly it was a joy to listen to. He did an equally awesome job of conveying the characters emotions. His performance was so good that I was genuinely pained that the story didn’t go on for several hours more!
Highly recommend the audio as a great way to enjoy the story!
Narration: 5 stars