Audiobook: Hidden in Darkness by Alice Winters; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hidden-in-Darkness-Audiobook/B07HJBJND9?qid=1541961109&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=C88ZHS34SJ9AVYKBKM4Z&

Blurb: When Felix lands a job taking care of a man recovering from severe injuries, he thinks his life may have just turned around. Anything has to be better than the place he’s leaving. There’s something about Lane that draws Felix to him and makes him question if this place could finally become a home for him. But when someone begins stalking Felix, he is left to question who Lane is and what actually happened to him. Together, Felix and Lane will be forced to see just how far they will go to protect each other. Being chased by cops, kidnapping a man, and breaking into a drug operation seems to be his normal since arriving in Lane’s life. Felix may be out of his element, but one thing he is sure about is that he doesn’t want to leave, even if it costs him his life.

Review by Dee:

Book previously reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/time-to-laugh-hidden-in-darkness-by-alice-winters/

When I read the book the first (of many times), I was startled by the lack of ‘kid glove’ treatment Felix gave Lane. Don’t get me wrong, it was funny as hell, but wow!, it’s rare to read a story where the disabled MC is treated as they deserved; in this case, a bit meanly (Lane was a bit of a dick at first).
The sarcastic humour and banter is genuinely funny and the crime/suspense kept me engaged.
The audio, as performed by Joel Leslie, does not disappoint*. He continues to wow his listeners with his talent. In this case, he brought Felix to life, capturing his snark perfectly. Joel also captured Felix’s vulnerability and, at times (few), his sensitivity; especially when dealing with Lane. It goes without saying that the overall performance was great, but wow, did he nail the essence of Felix.
This will be an audiobook that I’ll re-listen to often. Loved it!

*(except that there were very slight pauses between sentences due to the ‘I said”s – an editing issue)

5.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Morgan

I agree with Dee that Joel Leslie did a wonderful job as always with his narration.  He manages to convey humor and romance as well as give us a variety of well developed characters.

His narration is definitely a 5 of 5 stars for me.

I’m not a fan of the story however.  I don’t like mysteries and I found Felix tedious rather than charming but I know others like Dee really found him hysterical.  He just grated on my nerves and detracted from my overall enjoyment.  (It could be a mood thing… but it just didn’t work for me.)

The humor here is just not my style of humor so I have to give the story a 2 of 5 stars.  Overall a 3 of 5 stars.

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

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

 

 

Time to comfort the hurts: Blind Faith (Blind Faith #1) by N.R. Walker

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17450677-blind-faith?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Starting a new job in a new town, veterinarian Carter Reece makes a house call to a very special client.

Arrogant, moody and totally gorgeous, Isaac Brannigan has been blind since he was eight. After the death of his guide dog and best friend, Rosie, his partnership with his new guide dog, Brady, isn’t going well.

Carter tries to help both man and canine through this initiation phase, but just who is leading who?

Review

This was one of my first N.R. Walker books and I’ve reread it multiple times. This is a sweet, slow burn romance between Carter and Isaac, who is blind. Carter is the new vet in town and while doing a house call he meet Isaac and his seeing eye dog Brady. Isaac is noticeably cold towards his dog which is a big issue throughout the book but eventually he discloses why he is having a hard time excepting Brady, which is just heart breaking.

The story is told from Carter’s point of view. He seems like a very optimistic person, which is probably why he puts up with Isaac’s bad attitude. Isaac is a complex man with a lot of issues that all seem to revolve around his fear of being abandoned. I really enjoyed the dialogue between the two men and I also liked that they don’t immediately jump into bed with each other. Watching their relationship slowly progress was both beautiful yet frustrating due to Isaac’s hot and cold attitude.

There are some great secondary character who provide some comedic relief. One of the reasons I love this book so much is because of Brady. Even though his owner Isaac doesn’t have any faith that Brady will be as good as his previous dog, Brady is unshakable in his loyalty towards Isaac.

4.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Time to comfort the hurts: Falling for the Omega (Hobson Hills Omegas #1) by C.W. Gray

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42396684-falling-for-the-omega?from_search=true

Blurb

Story takes place in the Omegaverse. Book One in the Hobson Hills Omegas series:

Carter Benson is a lonely, scarred mess of an alpha. Honorably discharged from the army after being injured, he is left with very little that really matters. All he has is a Trust fund he refuses to touch, burns on his face, and a brand new prosthesis. He doesn’t have his family, he isn’t near his friends, and his face makes small children cry. So, he goes to Maine, finds a tiny town, and starts a business as a plumber. It doesn’t help his loneliness, though. Until a little girl hunts him down and forces him to be her new best friend.

Elijah Wilson has lived in Hobson Hills his whole life. So what that most of the townspeople think he’s a whore because he’s a single omega and got pregnant at eighteen? So what if they think he takes advantage of his grandparents by living on their property? Elijah and his large extended family know better. They know that he hasn’t dated anyone since before Olive was born. They know he works hard in the family business and is great with investments. They know the truth, but it can be hard living in a town that doesn’t care about the truth. It can also be really lonely. Until his daughter makes a new best friend.

When the two men meet, sparks fly. Their lives change for the better, but life isn’t always easy. Narrow-minded townspeople and greedy parents can cause a lot of trouble. But there’s always hope. There’s always love.

Author’s Note: 30,000+ words. This is a m/m, non-shifter, mpreg love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There are a few potty mouths, so beware. 18+ readers only, please.

Review

This book is set in the Omegaverse. You meet Carter, an Alpha military veteran. He’s a plumber and due to an accident in the military is disabled. He’s left with a prosthetic limb and scarring. Next you meet Omega Elijah. Single dad to an adorable girl that makes you smile every scene. He works on an apple orchard for a family business. Carter and Elijah hit it off right away, with less than subtle pushes from his daughter. The progression was very fast between them. The families were so funny to read, loved the banter. Good drama from meddling individuals that involves gossip, phone threats, and some arson. You feel for Elijah by the end. A few minor grammar and incorrect names used, but not enough to be distracting. Fast paced romance, family shenanigans, adorable kid, mpreg, and an omega that giggles and dances a lot.

Number of stars out of 5

4.5

 

Purchased for review

 

 

Time to Comfort: Love Me Louder by Christina Lee

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40663475-love-me-louder?from_search=true

Blurb
Noah Dixon is damaged goods. After an accident leaves him physically scarred and emotionally vulnerable, dating isn’t in the cards, so he throws himself head-first into his retail job. When he’s obligated to attend his best friend’s engagement party on Fire Island, it dawns on him he’s about to spend yet another weekend feeling totally invisible and alone among a swarm of gorgeous men.

That’s when the idea of an escort comes in.

After Will Crossen was forced to put his theater major on hold in favor of two jobs to tackle his ailing mother’s hospital bills, he tells himself becoming an escort isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just another form of acting, right? He doesn’t expect his newest customer to be the cheery, overconfident sales associate he avoids like the plague at his day job. Talk about awkward.

But what happens on Fire Island stays on Fire Island…especially when a smoldering attraction sparks into flames. Will doesn’t feel so alone anymore, and for the first time, Noah realizes someone is seeing him behind all the scars. But between their jobs, Will’s massive familial responsibilities, and Noah’s vulnerabilities, they don’t stand a chance unless they find a way to let love speak louder than their demons.

Review
I enjoyed this story immensely!!

It had everything I want in a romance: emotional depth and a real connection between the MC’s, great chemistry and a lovely slow-burn hurt/comfort theme.
Throw in the excitement and angst that comes with falling for a fake boyfriend and I knew I was in for an allnighter because no way was I putting this book down!

Noah feels inadequate and has a very low self-image, especially with regards to his appearance. Initially, this skews his view on the world, read Will, and he has a difficult time accepting that Will might be genuinely attracted to him.

Will takes care of his mother and works two jobs to make ends meet, giving up his dream of a career in the theatre. I love his sense of responsibility and family.

Noah and Will dance around each other and their true feelings for quite some time, afraid to give too much away and get hurt, hesitant to believe that what they share between them could be real.

I love how the fake boyfriend trope was written here, with the closed-off colleague turning out to be an escort! The author didn’t take the easy way out by turning the route of insta-lust, but slowly let the feelings build, raising the emotional stakes bit by bit.

We get to reconnect with some of my all-time favorite characters as well, which was a delightful surprise!
Tate & Sebastian are such an adorable couple and I loved that Tate’s alter ego, Frieda Love, was the one to give Noah and Will that final little nudge to help them confess their true feelings to one another!

As is the case in all her books, Christina Lee surrounds her MC’s with engaging, three-dimensional secondary characters, be they family, friends or co-workers, drawing us into the wonderful fictional world she created. If only there was a portal the reader could step through to make their acquaintance!

I loved the title of this book so much!! Its message is incredibly apt and feels so true to these two amazing characters.
The extraordinary Frieda Love sums it up marvelously:

“Sometimes people need you to love them a little louder!”

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Review copy provided by Author

 

 

Time to Comfort: Love’s Tethered Heart by CL Etta


Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/loves-tethered-heart-by-cl-etta-7960-b

Blurb

Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.

Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the fragile, yet enigmatic man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.

If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.

Review
I’m in awe….This is how you write a story from different perspectives. Really amazingly done.
The buildup is stunning and the story beyond my expectations
At 30% I really broke down when Mico broke down my God it was heartbreaking.

As you can read in the blurb Mico was bashed two years earlier and left with quadriplegic, I’m not familiar with such circumstances as described in this story. But it’s all convincing and I’m very content when there is love, compassion, honesty and forgiveness involved.
And when this is done in a amazingly honest and caring way I’m sold.

Danny is interviewing Mico about what happened to him two years ago. Through these interviews we get to know the whole story. We will meet all his caretakers and we see the growing affection between Danny and Mico. I love them both <3

There are some hilarious parts (you must read them yourself)
The story was in balance and felt real and honest, despite the dark clouds you could feel the warmth of the sunshine.
There are some hideous parts where I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Some stupidities which were understandable.

It was a journey and a hard one. It touched me deep. I felt it in my burning chest.
When I have that feeling I know it’s real. Through reading every time i try to assure myself if this was holding Mico high because no way I want to read something that degenerate someone, that would bring someone down because of someones disability. In this case Mico who depends on others. Mico is not his disability he is a man with a big heart, humor, intelligent and caring….so exceptional, all his reflections felt real.

And Danny my God he is amazing, he sees a soul just how we all should. We see this story from his pov. We can see him grow and his love has no boundaries he is very dedicated.
Then there are Randy, Adrian their story will stun you. And there is Santi, Dad and other Dad and Mom
It was a circle of unconditional love.

All felt real and convincing.

You know….some sentences are so right….so straight to the heartstrings…you can only love them.
This book will make you laugh and cry and will amaze you about the strength of men kind.
It was beautiful solid written with unexpected turns.
An absolute mustread!!

5 stars out of 5


 

 

 

 

 

Copy provided for review

Time to Laugh: Hidden in Darkness by Alice Winters

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38612013-hidden-in-darkness?from_search=true

Blurb: When Felix lands a job taking care of a man recovering from severe injuries, he thinks his life may have just turned around. Anything has to be better than the place he’s leaving. There’s something about Lane that draws Felix to him and makes him question if this place could finally become a home for him. But when someone begins stalking Felix, he is left to question who Lane is and what actually happened to him. Together, Felix and Lane will be forced to see just how far they will go to protect each other. Being chased by cops, kidnapping a man, and breaking into a drug operation seems to be his normal since arriving in Lane’s life. Felix may be out of his element, but one thing he is sure about is that he doesn’t want to leave, even if it costs him his life.

Review:
I really had a lot of fun reading this 🙂 Felix is a snarky, height-challenged man who has a heart-breaking past. Lane is a recently blinded, (in the line of duty), detective. Felix is hired to to be a companion (babysit) Lane, with hilarious and adventurous results!
Be warned- Felix does not treat Lane’s blindness with kid gloves- in fact, some of the things that Felix did to Lane, (like putting the toilet seats up and getting Lane to sit), were funny, and a little mean, (but mostly funny!). I liked that Felix did not pity or patronise Lane, (hence some of the things he said/did).
Both men eventually begin to open up to each other, providing the story with a bit of tenderness and heart.
This is a story to be enjoyed as is – don’t try to analyse how feasible some of the exploits are – just enjoy the ride!

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review