Audiobook: Stand by Your Manny (The Mannies #3) by Amy Lane Narrated by Peter B Brooke

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/stand-by-your-manny-by-amy-lane-9516-b

Blurb
Learning to trust and falling in love.

Sammy Lowell has his hands full juggling his music, college, some pesky health problems, and making the uncles who raised him proud. He needs help fulfilling his after-school duties with his siblings. Nobody can be in two places at once—not even Sammy!

An injury puts Cooper Hoskins in a tough spot—if he can’t work, the foster sister he’s raising can’t eat. But years in the foster system have left Cooper short on trust, and opening up to accept help isn’t easy.

Luckily, family intervenes—Cooper needs a job so he can care for Felicity, and Sammy needs someone who can see past his illness to the wonderful things he has planned for his life. Each heals the damaged places in the other’s heart. But falling in love is a big responsibility for young men deep in family already. Can the two of them get past their fear of the immediate future to see forever with each other?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

I absolutely loved these guys! The hurt/comfort between these two was off the charts in the sweet factor and I fell in love with them and their little extended family/ies.

I kinda wanted their “de-virgininzing” to be hotter – but I guess that’s more the Dreamspun thing than anything else. Book 2 was a bit steamier and so this was a bit of a let down.

The glimpses of previous MCs was appreciated and I’m looking forward to the next in the series very much.

I really hope Nick Russo gets to do the narration…. Just my hopeful hint!

For fans of the author and the series this is a must, if you’re new to the series this isn’t my favorite of the bunch but it’s Amy so it’s great!

4 of 5 stars

Audio

Sigh
Disappointed.  It’s not Nick Russo.

Peter B Brooke is just did not live up to my expectations.  His accents were good, but many times his voice lacked the emotional depth that this type of story really needs. This made it really frustrating to listen to. 

While his voice overall is enjoyable at the end of it all, the frustration won out.

I’d give the narration 3 of 5 stars and overall 3.5 of 5 stars.

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: Fire and Granite by Andrew Grey

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/searchresults?q=fire+and+granite

Blurb:
A Carlisle Deputies Novel

The heat is growing from the inside, but danger is building on the outside.

Judge Andrew Phillips runs a tight ship in his courtroom. He’s tough, and when he hands down a sentence, he expects to be obeyed. So when a fugitive named Harper escapes and threatens his life, Andrew isn’t keen on twenty-four/seven protection… especially not from Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, one that could cause problems in their careers.

But with Clay assigned to Andrew and the two of them together every minute, there’s nowhere to hide from their attraction—or from the fact that there’s much more than chemistry blooming between them. As the threat intensifies, Clay knows he’ll do anything it takes to protect the people who are taking their places in his heart: Andrew and his young niece and nephew.

Review:
This is the second in the Carlisle Deputies series. I have not read the first one, though there are characters from the first book, this works as a standalone story.
Andrew Grey consistently delivers sweet, straight forward romances with little angst, lots of heartwarming themes and HEAs. This story is no different.
Clay and Andrew knew of each other and both thought that the other man was difficult, bossy and not likeable. They are forced to work together when an escaped convict (Clay’s cousin) manages to escape, but not before threatening Andrew’s life, (he was the judge in his conviction).
When Andrew ends up staying with Clay at his home, the 2 men get to know each other better and soon develop a mutual attraction. But, just as the romance is starting up, Andrew has to take care of his niece and nephew. Andrew worries that the sudden change will affect his budding relationship with Clay, but Clay is on board with the change. In the middle of all of this, they are still dealing with the stalking convict and the person pulling the convict’s strings.
I liked the story, no new trope/theme, but an enjoyable read. There is a bit of a twist in regards to the mystery, leading to interesting turn of events.

There were a couple of inconsistencies in my ARC copy which I hope will be fixed by the general release date; otherwise a good story, enough for me to follow the series.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Safe in His Heart (Safe Book 2) by Renae Kaye

release day review

 

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7684

 

29625071Blurb

 

Andrew and Paul learned about God and Jesus in different churches and realize their views of spirituality are worlds apart.

Andrew was raised Catholic and was told his homosexuality was a sin. For his entire life, he hid the truth. He married and had children to present a façade to the world—that of a straight man. It’s not until he has an affair with Paul, who shows him a different side of Jesus, that Andrew realizes he can be gay and still believe in God. Paul’s Jesus is one of acceptance and love, and in Paul’s church, being gay is not a problem.

For Paul and Andrew, falling in love is the easy part of their journey. They must make it through the fires of cheating, being discovered, Andrew’s wife leaving, the necessities of childcare and family life, the demands of their jobs, and working on their commitment to each other. Only then can they be safe in each other’s heart.

Review

Paul is Lon’s BFF whom we met in Safe in His Arms. We knew something hinky was going on with Paul by the way he was reluctant to share who his new love interest was and then we found out he’s a married man. Oh. Man.

So that gives us an instant set of judgments about both men – right? Cheating makes a lot of us squirm and makes us feel uncomfortable. Casey – Lon’s beau, is up front about it. He tells Paul it’ll all end in misery so he should end it now. In fact, most of the people in Paul’s life give him similar advice. Lon – not so wordy our Lon – tells him to be careful, but doesn’t tell him to stop seeing the guy.

Paul – himself – know it’s a bad idea, but he just can’t stop himself. Andrew – the cheating husband – is just so needy and hits Paul’s buttons just right.

Andrew – for his part – is a confused soul. He wants to please his family, is worried about his soul, and his job but most importantly he worries about his kids. He loves gay sex but he doesn’t love being gay. He’s had a crush on Paul for months before Paul finally caves in to an affair. Once they begin they soon realize this is more than a hook-up, but what can ever happen between them?

So –I don’t think this is a spoiler when I tell you up front – Andrew’s marriage is a sham. He and his wife are really just friends and roommates – it’s all explained in the first few chapters – but even given that information – the idea of them getting a divorce and Andrew being out and proud is a still a pretty dim prospect.

Of course, as the story moves on, things change – but for most of the first-half of the story, Andrew is stuck between a rock and a hard place – warring between what he wants and what he wants to want.

**

First let me say that I love and adore Renae Kaye and have loved each and every book she’s written and listened/read them over and over. They’re just that awesome! Safe in His Arms is soooo good and I was really psyched to see this book in the pipeline.

I had my reservations when I saw the blurb – cheating, married, religion… – uh-oh. These are all things I usually avoid like the plague. I won’t lie. They didn’t strike my fancy one bit. But – It’s Renae – it’s gonna be good right?

Well… mostly.

Though it truly pains me to do so – I can’t say that I loved this. I liked it and was definitely pleasantly surprised that I was able to get over the religion/cheating/marriage thing pretty easily. Those weren’t my issues with this story – not really.

What I didn’t love was the relationship itself between Andrew and Paul. God, it felt so lop-sided. Andrew is mostly a jerk through most of the book and doesn’t quite redeem himself by the end.

Paul – for his part – just gives and gives and gives – and – I’m not sure what he got for all his troubles.

The part that was missing for me is the relationship stuff apart from the sex. Sure – I see how compatible these guys are in bed. I can also see how “helping” is something that a nurse like Paul would be really attractive in a relationship. But Andrew – aside from the sex and getting a new “mother” for his kids – doesn’t seem to really like Paul. He doesn’t treat him with respect and the two don’t spend much time together not in bed. So I had some serious doubts about them as a long term couple.  I’m not even sure Andrew would have had to balls to be “gay” if it weren’t for Kristy’s actions – and that being the case – Paul would have had to move on because Andrew was definitely stuck and really showed no impetus toward being honest with himself.

The other thing I couldn’t reconcile was Andrew’s wife, Kristy’s behavior and her treatment of the children.  There just wasn’t enough there to explain how she was acting and why – so I was left confused and a bit frustrated by that.  Andrew seemed to just let her get away with A LOT and it was never clear why.

As for the religion – well – that’s tough.  I don’t share the same beliefs as the author and I respect all paths – so I just chalk it up as to each his own.  But I will warn readers that there are a lot of hot buttons in this book that may make people uncomfortable.  I think she tried to be diplomatic but it’s hard when so much passion is wrapped up in a subject and she doesn’t shy away from some tough topics, so… be warned.

I thought Erica was THE BEST and I loved Paul’s family and the glimpses of Ash and Devon, Case and Lon we see again. (Hope Ash and Devon get their own book next!)

The writing and editing is excellent – no faults there. I just didn’t gel with the couple as well this time.

I applaud Renae for her willingness to tackle both these big subjects in a way that is believable and authentic and I think she achieved those goals. The couple just needed some time to themselves – on page – to convince me they had what it took to make it long term.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Checking it Twice by Samantha Wayland

checking twiceBlurb

Mike & Alexei are back, and they’re hotter than ever.

After four years with Alexei, there are a few things Mike knows with absolute certainty: he loves Alexei, Alexei loves him, and Alexei gives the very best gifts. This Christmas is no exception, though Mike is having a hell of a time figuring out what, exactly, Alexei’s gift is.

Alexei knows his gift this year is going to blow Mike’s mind, but in the meantime, it’s pretty hilarious watching Mike try to figure out what it is. Granted, Alexei does have a lot of surprises in store for Mike this week, and it sure as hell isn’t frankincense and myrrh.

Review

We met Mike and Alexi in Crashing the Net (reviewed here http://kimichanexperience.com/crashing-the-net-by-samantha-wayland/). Mike is a bit younger than Alexi and submissive. They’re both in the closet and playing professional hockey. We met their neighbors and the teams manager in Home and Away (reviewed here http://kimichanexperience.com/home-and-away-by-samantha-wayland/) . This is an epilogue for both those stories.

Mike and Alexi get a Christmas they won’t forget as do Rupert and Callum.

**

I just love both these couples. They’re so different but share a lot of the same qualities. The smexy times are seriously off the charts in this one and the feels are huge, too.

I highly recommend this to fans of the series – you won’t want to miss this one!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Amazon Link

http://www.amazon.com/Checking-It-Twice-Crashing-Book-ebook/dp/B019DEXNT8/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51rjlB0DadL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR100%2C160_&refRID=1YMWSSG9EYQPXDBASF1Q

Again by Mary Calmes

againBlurb

Six years ago, Noah Wheeler went to meet his boyfriend, Dante Cerreto, at the airport, and his world ended. Dante was kissing someone else and claimed to be in love. So Noah took his heartbreak-and the sonogram pictures of their surrogate child-and closed the door on the big picture of what he thought his life would be, focusing instead on the piece of the dream he got to keep, being a father.
Now on vacation in Las Vegas, Noah accidentally runs into the Cerreto family, and then the man himself, and learns that not only was he deceived, but Dante was as well. Now Dante wants to make up for lost time, six years’ worth, and to do that he needs Noah, the only man he’s ever loved, and Grace, the daughter he didn’t know he had, to give him a chance at happiness. Dante’s going to have to take a crash course in communication and seduction, though. Noah’s not going to fall in love just to be broken again.

Review

Noah went to the airport to surprise his boyfriend Dante with a sonogram of his child only to find Dante in a clench with his work partner. When confronted Dante tells Noah he wants out of the relationship and that he’s fallen in love with someone else.

Though Noah is crushed he does what he can to share with Dante their child, but to no avail. It isn’t until 6 years have passed that they cross paths only to find out that things aren’t what everyone originally thought.

**

This is a short story, only 96 pages, so much of it happens in a re-telling and the only “real time” is a matter of hours.

As usual I loved the characters. Noah is the perfect guy who did everything “right” but with all the wrong information.

Dante, you think is all bad, isn’t at all… but he still screwed up, and how! But… he’s the alpha guy who makes your eyeballs melt and nobody can just let that get away.

Dante’s family is also perfect and helps to smooth everything over. Noah’s current “boyfriend” is perfectly stupid and manages to do just the right thing so that nobody feels bad about what happens to him.

Most of this is typical Mary wonderfulness and I loved it. What I didn’t love was the brevity and what it did to the story. Instead of having our MCs work out something realistic (Mary does like to split her guys up – for years!) they end up making up in less than 48 hours and it felt really forced. I just hadn’t gotten to the point where I was able to buy into them getting back because Dante hadn’t done enough to earn his right to be back in Noah’s life.

It was close… but I couldn’t quite feel good about it.

So though it pains me to do so, I must give this a 3 of 5 stars. Great for Mary fans, but those less forgiving might not like this title as much.

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(Copy Purchased for Review)

 

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2411