Categories
adult - 18+ New Adult

Audiobook: Valor on the Move by Keira Andrews Narrated by Iggy Toma

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Valor-on-the-Move-Audiobook/1977348661?qid=1564954678&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=8QZBSEQYH702E6VXTSBX&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb

He’d give his life to protect the president’s son. But he never expected to risk his heart.

Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. Codenamed “Valor” by the Secret Service, Rafa feels anything but brave as he hides in the closet and tries to stay below the radar in his last year of college. His father’s presidency is almost over, and he just needs to stick to his carefully crafted plan. Once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef.

It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself. Besides, it’s not like Shane Kendrick would even look at him twice if it wasn’t his job.

Shane’s worked his way up through the Secret Service ranks, and while protecting the president’s shy, boring son isn’t his dream White House assignment, it’s an easy enough task since no one pays Rafa much attention. He discovers there’s a vibrant young man beneath the timid public shell, and while he knows Rafa has a crush on him, he assures himself it’s harmless. Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission.

But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?

Review

You know that feeling when you finish a book and want to turn around and start it all over again? Well, this book will give you that feeling – and how!

Rafa is the last kid at home, in the last year of a two-term presidency, son of the President of the U.S. He’s 21, in his last year at UVA, and desperate for the freedom January will bring when he can finally leave the White House.

He’s painfully shy and socially awkward, knows he’s gay but has never been able to act upon this with his Republican parents and living life in the spot-light. He has a girlfriend who is a lesbian and together they protect one another’s secrets until the time is right for them to come out of the closet together. In addition to hiding the secret about his sexuality, he also struggles with the expectation to follow his father into politics when all he wants to do is become a chef and learn to surf.

Shane is a secret-service agent who is excited to be moving up the ranks to the “Big Show” of presidential protection. He’s a loner: only child, no parents, few friends, no attachments romantically. He gets his needs met with f*ck buddies and the occasional hook-up and he has no desire to change that. He tells his friend that he’ll know it’s time for something more when he actually cares to wake up to the same person everyday.

Rafa falls into instant lust with his new secret service agent but knows it can’t ever be anything real. But… he can’t help but dream. When Shane shows a bit of kindness to him and allows himself to be a guinea pig for some of Rafa’s recipes, he can’t but help hope for something more.

Shane knows he can’t be distracted by the young man in his charge. It wouldn’t be right on so many levels. But he sees the open heart and obvious crush and can’t help but be caught up with the lonely man he’s protecting.

A stolen kiss, a kidnap attempt, and a night in a cave change the course of their relationship forever.

There’s drama surrounding the kidnap, Rafa’s family finds out he’s gay and Shane’s friend in the service has both professional and family struggles that will both tug at your heart string and make you super mad at the same time.
In the end, everyone involved has to do some serious re-considering of their life choices and has to decide just what is most important in life.

**

Oh. My. God. I LOVED this book so hard! Rafa had me in his hands right from the start. He was so, so lonely. Such a good guy who had practically nobody to turn to. He was overshadowed by his celebrity family and left to his own devices to hide who he really was from both family and the public.

Shane was a genuinely nice guy with only a bit of angst in his past, but still a strong person who was willing to see the best thing for him in a situation that looked impossible.

I know that there are a lot of “impossible things” that happened in this story, but it was believable enough that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I cried so many times – the sick kids, Rafa’s high school career, Shane’s parents, the kidnapping and the ending… God! Such an emotional roller-coaster.

I loved the chemistry between Shane and Rafa and thought it was a brilliant move to make Rafa just a bit kinky when his other self was so reserved. The May/December aspect was handled well and made to seem as the least of their problems.

I thought the kidnapping part of the story was brilliant. I won’t give anything away, but I was totally on the fence between complete anger and total understanding. Brilliantly done!

My only wish was that we could have seen Shane and Rafa as a couple once the whole White House thing was over. I would have loved to see them together in Australia!

I can’t recommend this book enough. Keira is an amazing author who continually wows me with the width and breadth of the subjects she is able to master, from and Amish love affair to Zombies, she handles them all so effortlessly!

If I could give it more stars I would!

Audio

I enjoyed this so much! I think Iggy Toma did a great job with both the younger and older voices – and carried the emotional intensity very well.

He’s so easy to listen to and I think it made a great way to experience this amazing story.

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

 

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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

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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
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+

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


 

Categories
Uncategorized

Clarity of Lines by N.R. Walker; narrated by Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26081236-clarity-of-lines?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=P1MpNcHpUF&rank=1

Blurb:
When some lines blur, others become crystal clear.

Absolutely smitten, Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones have decided they’re prepared to give a relationship a try.
What they’re not prepared for is the reaction from their families, who try to force them apart. Both men are about to learn that there are lines that define us. Sometimes the lines blur, sometimes the lines become crystal clear.

Review:
Story: The May-Dec romance between Tom and Cooper continues to strengthen; good thing to because now they have to deal with family trying to pull them apart.
I loved how they weathered the family maelstrom – disapproving ex-wife, shocked and disappointed parents – without having any drama between them. They dealt with the family issues using humour, love hot/steamy times (with each other ) and patience. Lovely story!

Narration: Nick J. Russo is a really good narrator and he really shines with this series! His voice for Cooper is spot on, especially capturing his youth and almost perpetual horniness, lol! His voices for the other characters, especially Tom are just as good. This is really a great way to enjoy the series!

Story: 4.5 stars
Narration: 4.5 stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

There Goes Sunday School By: Alexander C. Eberhart Narrated by: Joel Leslie

audiobookreview
https://www.audible.com/pd/There-Goes-Sunday-School-Audiobook/1705249442?qid=1601593441&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TM9R2TGEP01XNQPQFSS3

Blurb
In 16-year-old Mike Hernandez’s life, only one thing is clear: Gay is not okay. His family’s life revolves around the church, a church run by the vocally intolerant Pastor Myers, so Mike has resolved to spend his life in the closet. His only escape – besides the occasional, anonymous gay make-out session – is his art. He pours his complicated emotions into risque drawings he keeps in a secret sketchbook. A sketchbook he carries everywhere.
When his sketchbook goes missing in the middle of Sunday school, Mike is sure his life is over. He’s going to be outed, ostracized by their community, condemned by the pastor, maybe even homeless. What’s worse, the pastor’s son, Chris, suddenly seems hell-bent on adopting Mike and his friends, and he has no idea why.
When an awkward confrontation with Chris leads to an unexpected kiss instead of a much-expected punch, Mike’s world is turned upside down. As their friendship grows and faith is questioned, Mike may be forced to choose between the comfortable life he’s always lived and a chance at the love he never thought he deserved.
Review
There Goes Sunday School was a funny, yet heartbreaking coming out story.

We have Mike, who seem like the all-American teenage kid. He has his two best friends, Tanner and Jackie. They hang out, smoke a little pot and just act like normal teenagers. Although Mike is hiding a secret. He’s gay. He is afraid of coming out. His family are heavily involved in Church, Mike even goes to a Christian high school. He crosses paths with his pastor’s son Chris and the two have a tenuous friendship. Eventually, Chris reveals that he is gay as well and their friendship becomes quite rocky as Mike’s fears take hold.

My heart really broke for Mike and Chris. These were just two young guys who wanted to be loved and to belong. They had to grow up in a toxic church environment. There is a line in the story were Mike says that there are no happy endings for him, because he is an abomination, and abominations don’t get happy endings. This broke me. It reminded of my own issues with the Christian church.
This is actually a pretty funny book; despite the heavy issues it deals with. Mike’s friends, Tanner and Jackie are hilarious. I love the bickering between these too. I also like the interaction between Mike and his sister Rosie, even though there are too many scenes between the two of them. I was a tad bit disappointed with the ending. Even though this is a book dealing with high schoolers, I wanted a big happily ever after, which I know is unrealistic but that’s me and my big mushy heart.

Narration by Joel Leslie was fantastic, as always. He did a great job, bringing these characters to life. I was really impressed with his ability to have these kids sound like kids.

I strongly recommend this audiobook!!!

5 of 5 stars


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Categories
adult - 18+

Pieces of You audiobook by N.R. Walker, narrated by Glen Lloyd

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Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53351569-pieces-of-you?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=xyeXC1Pzm9&rank=1

Blurb
Dallas Muller has everything he never expected he’d have. He owns a successful motorbike mechanic shop in Newcastle, and he’s madly in love with his boyfriend of four years, Justin Keith.

Justin has always struggled to find where he fit in, never realising his true worth or what it means to be loved—until he met Dallas. Living and working together might be too much for some, but Dallas and Justin wouldn’t have it any other way.

When a terrible accident tears their world apart, Justin’s left with no memory of Dallas or their relationship. Trying to put the pieces back together is almost impossible when some pieces are blank and some are missing altogether. Dallas has to let Justin find his own way back to him and just hope that their love will light the way.

Review
The narration was an issue for me, I think the narrator had a weird cadence when the characters were not talking, and it threw me off. When characters were speaking, he had a great range of emotions, distinct voices and I liked the narration a lot. It was still hard for me to ignore all the other parts when he had his normal speaking voice. It was not bad. I just didn’t click with it and it was bothering me all the time.
Listening to the story a second time (after reading the e-book) I still felt like the ending was a bit too cut off. Even though it was a soft cliffhanger type of ending, I felt like I was missing pages and looked to make sure I had read through.
What I loved: The way the amnesia and hospital stay were described. It felt much more realistic them any book I read with a similar plot, and it punches you in the gut that much harder because of it. The plot revolves around a few characters, and it feels small yet significant in its focus on them. The story flowed so well, and I adored how Dallas made sure to keep the boundaries so Justin could feel safe to recover and feel what ever he felt without pressure to remember the years he lost.
I did feel like towards the end it became a bit rushed to have a sort of HFN ending. And to me the Slow Burn, and the wonderful, gentle pace of the story were lost. I look forward to the next piece of the story to see how Dallas and Justin face the new challenges that will surely come their way.

Number of stars out of 3 of 5



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Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Devil’s Hour (Zero Hour #2) by Aimee Nicole Walker Narrated by Tristan James

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Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49198964-devil-s-hour

Blurb

Devil’s hour, noun: the hour when the demon or devil who leads hell is at its strongest.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks, Royce Locke is no stranger to scrapping and fighting for the things he wants. What he desires most is Sawyer Key—his partner on the force and the man he’s falling in love with. After asking Sawyer to take a chance on him, Royce will need to back up his pretty words with fearless action instead of being his own worst enemy.

Someone is harassing the mayor of Savannah, and Locke and Key are tasked with finding out who. The investigation quickly takes a twisted turn, leading them to an enemy who thinks purification by fire is the only way to save the city. Scarier than The Purists’ elusiveness is their ability to turn public opinion in their favor, creating unrest and threatening anarchy by fanning flames and fear. When you play with fire, someone is bound to get burned.

When menace becomes murder, the two detectives will race the clock against the devil to save their beloved city from becoming a raging inferno. Royce will need to draw on his grit now more than ever if he hopes to realize the dreams that are finally within reach. The rag is lit, the Molotov cocktail is tossed, and the zero hour is upon them. Challenge received and accepted.

Devil’s Hour is the second book in the Zero Hour series, which follows Locke and Key’s investigations and evolving relationship. This is a series that must be read in order. Devil’s Hour has a happy-for-now ending with no cliffhanger. It contains mature language and sexual content intended for adults 18 and older.

Trigger warning: Part of the storyline involves coming to terms with a friend’s suicide, which may be difficult for some people to read.

Review

I absolutely loved Devil’s Hour!!!! We finally get inside Royce’s head. I couldn’t really get a handle on his character throughout the first book. He is full of guilt over his friend’s suicide, he has a very rocky relationship with his family and is full of internal struggle and doubts.
The relationship development between Royce and Sawyer really hits the peak in this book. Royce jumps right into being out and open with Sawyer.
This book is full of funny and heartfelt moments. Its fast paced and has a good mystery weaved throughout it.

Number of stars out of 5

 

 

Audio

I agree with Aerielle about the story itself, this was a great sequel!

I really love Tristan James as a narrator and thought he did another really great job with the myriad accents and characters.

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook:How To Run With Wolves (Howl At The Moon #5) audiobook by Eli Easton, narrated by Matthew Shaw

audiobookreview

 

Blurb

Zeus loves his job on the new Mad Creek Search & Rescue team, and his inner Saint Bernard is finally being used to his full potential. When he sees a mysterious and wild-looking quickened—a dog shifter—at an earthquake site in Alaska, Zeus is compelled to investigate. Zeus falls hard for the primal beauty of Timo and of Alaska itself. Both call to his deep canine soul. But the Quimmiq pack’s laws are as harsh as the Alaskan winters, and Timo is out of his reach.

Timo’s pack of dog shifters left their Inuit village generations ago and have lived wild ever since. Not trusting the “one-skinned,” and with their numbers dwindling, the Quimmiq are on the verge of extinction. Timo is shocked to discover a whole group of “two-skinned” working as a rescue team, and he is particularly fascinated by Zeus, a gentle giant. He senses what Zeus feels for him… but it’s forbidden.

Can Mad Creek save this lost quickened clan? Perhaps—if they can learn how to run with the wolves.

Review

Narration: Matthew Shaw has narrated many of Easton’s books, and I always admire how into the characters he is, the versatility of his voice and emotion. He just made everything come to life, and he had all the side characters to juggle, the doggy personality to capture AND a forien accent of the Alaska Tribe to figure out. He makes it seem effortless, and brings a richness I enjoyed so much while listening.

Plot:
The world of dog shifters is growing!
I adored how this book expanded on the world Eli created in the past 4 books in the series. She takes great care into making the world believable, and the new tribe in Alaska is just that. While this is fantasy, it is still very real and raw, and makes sense! Shifters are such a chewed out genre that it is very hard to bring something new to it, yet Eli succeeded.
I liked that this story had a sort of slow burn vibe going on, and that the Quimmig tribe’s troubles felt logical and their cultural difference made sense too.
Timo and Zeus make a great couple, and though they struggle to understand each other at first they soon bridge the gap and form an unbreakable bond.

This book series is unique and I cannot wait for more!

Number of stars out of 5

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review