Dog Days Audiobook by TA Moore Narrated by Derrick McClain

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/dog-days-by-ta-moore-7489-b

Blurb

The world ends not with a bang, but with a downpour. Tornadoes spin through the heart of London, New York cooks in a heat wave that melts tarmac, and Russia freezes under an ever-thickening layer of permafrost. People rally at first – organizing aid drops and evacuating populations – but the weather is only getting worse.
In Durham, mild-mannered academic Danny Fennick has battened down to sit out the storm. He grew up in the Scottish Highlands, so he’s seen harsh winters before. Besides, he has an advantage. He’s a werewolf. Or, to be precise, a were-dog. Less impressive, but still useful.
Except the other werewolves don’t believe this is any ordinary winter, and they’re coming down over the Wall to mark their new territory. Including Danny’s ex, Jack – the Crown Prince Pup of the Numitor’s pack – and the prince’s brother, who wants to kill him.
A wolf winter isn’t white. It’s red as blood.

Review

This is probably more just a case of “it’s me not you” but this was NOT for me. Though it sounded interesting and very probably well written it was not the storyline I like. I like fun, adventure, a little angst but most importantly romance.

 

I love shifters and the cover for this is awesome and the blurb sounded great… but this is very dark and way more “dystopian” than I like. I wasn’t getting any sort of strong romance vibe and it was too dark for me.

Derrick McClain was doing a fantastic job with his narration giving all sorts of yummy accents to a large variety of characters but though I tried a few times to get through this I never could.

No rating.

DNF. Not my cup of tea.

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Release Day Review: All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/all-that-glitters-by-kate-sherwood-9696-

Blurb
No matter what he tells himself, wealthy NYC architect Liam has never been able to forget his first love, Ben. But as he approaches midlife and realizes something is missing, can he forgive himself for the worst mistake he ever made—the one that left a hole no amount of career success can fill? Or will fear keep him from the full life he really wants?

Liam and Ben were childhood sweethearts, then college boyfriends. But when Liam cheated on Ben, Ben forced himself to cut ties and move on. He’s still living in the small town where they grew up, teaching, but it’s not the life he imagined for himself as a younger man. Still, when Liam returns, he can’t risk his heart again. He certainly can’t allow himself to love Liam again after fighting so hard to get over him.

Neither man wants to let go of the past and face their apprehension at starting over. They don’t want to fall in love a second time—but sometimes love happens whether it’s wanted or not

Review
Essentially this story is about Liam who in all intents and purposes is pining after Ben. It’s not really spelt out like that in the story, more my impression of it. Liam has everything rising career, money, mixes with the rich and famous but no one to share it with or any good solid friends. Liam can’t understand (or doesn’t want to try) why he is drawn back to his childhood town. Except Ben still lives there and so does his other friend Seth. When he messed up his relationship with Ben he also lost Seth‘s respect and friendship. Equally Ben is resisting his attraction and the pull towards Liam. He doesn’t want to get hurt again. This is a well written story. There was enough going on in the mild emotional turmoil and the machiavellian antics of Ben’s Uncle Calvin to keep me glued to the story. Anything less and I would’ve been shouting get on with it already. But that never happened. Liam is quite a self centred character whilst Ben is a caring soul. It has taken Liam a long time to realise all that glitters is not gold and he left to golden opportunity far behind chasing dreams and ambition. How they fare in the future I don’t know but they seem to be soulmates, so I’ll hope for the best. The epilogue feels more like a happy for now ending but they have good family and friends around them.

4 of stars out of 5


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Audiobook Month: Complete Faith by Sue Brown Narrated by Aaron Pickering

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/morning-report-series-6498-

Blurb
For Tommy Bradley, a hand working on the Lost Cow Ranch in rural Texas, admitting his sexuality is impossible, even if his bosses, Luke and Simon, are gay—Tommy has spent his entire life hiding the truth from his homophobic parents. Then Tommy meets pastor Noah Taylor in Luke’s father’s hospital room, and his difficult secret becomes that much harder to keep.

Noah is unlike any man of God—or any man—Tommy’s ever met. For one thing, his congregation is made up primarily of GLBT individuals and their families. For another, he isn’t afraid of the attraction he feels toward Tommy, and he makes his intentions very clear. But Noah won’t hide his sexuality or his love from the world, and he won’t start a relationship with Tommy while Tommy hides his, either. Faced with the choice of losing Noah or coming out to his parents, Tommy takes his first steps out of the closet.

But Tommy isn’t the only one facing challenges. Thanks to an outpouring of hatred from Pastor Jackson and a group of ranch owners, Noah must cope with the possible loss of his church and his livelihood

Review
In the first book we met a young ranch hand, Tommy, who had to hide his sexuality before of his parents homophobic attitudes and religious beliefs. We also met another Pastor, Noah. He is also Gay and welcomes everyone who wants to worship in love to his Church. His congregation increased as people moved away from the hate the other Pastor was spouting. This is where he meets Tommy. I love the world Sue Brown has built around the Lost Cow Ranch. They are a wonderful family supporting each other through their troubles. Tommy gets a lot of support. Luke’s known Tommy was gay but never betrayed his confidence. It’s only when Noah comes into the picture that Tommy decides to come out completely. Together and with the support of the Ranch and some of the Town, Noah deals with the hatred directed at him to start anew.

On this second book I was more used to Aaron Pickering’s style of narration. The characterisation for Noah worked for me and so did Tommy. Tommy came across as young and insecure to Noah’s maturity and confidence. Both styles complimenting each other. The characterisation for Luke and Simon also seems to have settled down.

4 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

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!


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Audiobook: Volley Balls (Balls to the Wall Book 1) by Tara Lain Narrated by Nick J Russo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/volley-balls-by-tara-lain-8014-b

Blurb

2nd Edition

A Balls to the Wall Romance

A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?

A “pumped up” version of the Volley Balls story, twice as long as the original.

First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2011.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

I read the original edition and though this says it’s twice as long as the original, I can’t say that I noticed a heck of a lot of difference.

I love this series and though this wasn’t my favorite of the bunch, it’s still a lot of fun!
(I’m not sure if she’s redoing the entire series, but I see that there’s at least a new cover for book two so…) In any case, FAST Balls is my favorite of the series, reviewed here https://openskyebookreviews.com/fast-balls-balls-to-the-wall-5-by-tara-lain/) and I think that, though it’s not necessary, reading them in order helps to introduce the characters in a really nice way.

David is the owner of an art gallery who’s recently left an ex who abused him. He’s not really looking to date, but open minded when opportunity comes along. Edge and Gareth are Australian Volleyball players who are in town during a tournament. Gareth knows he’s gay but he’s deeply in the closet, Edge has some secrets of his own and some self-examination in his future.

To me, you have to just accept a lot on faith with this story. Don’t try to look at it too deeply- there are a lot of plot holes and amazing insta-love moments that aren’t terribly realistic. We don’t get a lot of relationship building here, as Gareth sees David once and is pretty smitten and makes some important life decisions with only a little bit of encouragement from David to go on.

The relationship between Edge and Gareth actually makes the most sense – given their history – and I guess the triad kinda makes sense – given that David is the only one with any real relationship experience at all. (This was the hardest for me to swallow. I could buy David and Gareth, Gareth and Edge and even David and Edge, but the three of them, coming together, and agreeing that this would work for them? I had a hard time seeing this given the brevity of their time together and the situation with Edge and… Well, it was a hard sell. The other thing that bothered me was the dialog – sometimes David and Gareth spoke in ways that didn’t always feel authentic. “Shall I …” etc. I just reminded myself this is fiction and kept reading. )

The sexy times are plentiful. Gareth’s mom is awesome. The art sounds fun. Seeing Edge switch gears and share with Gareth and David – super, scorching, hot and at times sweet, too. I didn’t really buy the triad, but found the guys fun to read about anyway, and I really enjoyed the other books in the series so…

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Nick is one of my favorites. Is his Australian accent good? Not the best. Is it good enough. You bet! I still loved this even though it wasn’t my favorite by this narrator. He’s still easy to listen to and fun. He’s great with the comedic timing and the smexy times and that makes this worth the money!

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Before You Break by KC Wells and Parker Williams Narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/before-you-break-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-9384-b

Blurb

Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.

There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.

Review

Previously reviewed here.

I loved this book!
This is a spin off or continuation of the Collars and Cuffs series and we get to see many of our favorite characters. Eli and Jarrod have moved to London and bought, updated and reopened the local BDSM club. Wayne introduces Ellis to the club on opening night and from there our story develops.
Wayne is the perfect person/Dom to Ellis. I liked how he was firm but not controlling. So much of Wayne’s Dom personality was integrated into his everyday life and everyone looked to him to guide them through their work situations. When he approached Ellis about starting a dom/sub relationship, he wasn’t heavy handed, he was reassuring and low key about it.
Ellis was a mess. He just wants to keep everyone happy and it was now affecting both his personal and work life, as well as him not taking care of himself. As Wayne and Ellis continue to explore and learn each other, it is probably one of the most caring exploration into BDSM I’ve ever seen.

Audio 

Whatever training Joel had before he got into narration has only helped solidify his place as one of the outstanding narrators in this genre. His ability to do many different accents make the story realistic and his timing and inflection help build the high and low points of the story!
There is never any hesitation to purchasing a book narrated by Joel, as I always know I will get a quality product!

5 of 5 stars


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Release day Review: Crocus by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/crocus-by-amy-lane-9524-b

Blurb

Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High school principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sheriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx’s daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart

Review
In my opinion you really do need to read or listen to book 1, Bonfires, before starting Crocus. Bonfires is the story of how Aaron and Larx meet and fall in love with all the complications of joining two families. It ends when Larx’s eldest daughter Olivia comes home from college and tells them she is pregnant. This book takes off from that point. We learn that not only is she pregnant she also has Depression. Amy Lane handles this very difficult subject very well. There is no miraculous recovery just because it suited the storyline. We go through Olivia’s struggles to move out of the dark place she is in and Larx’s struggles as a parent to help her. At the same time his rock, Aaron is injured whilst on duty, one of his students is suffering from domestic abuse and is missing in a snowstorm. In amongst this two brothers need his support. There is so much to keep you on edge desperate to know more and wanting everything to work out. I love the dose of reality and practically Amy Lane has in these stories. By the way the book ended I am certain there will be a third book, can’t wait.

5 of stars out of 5

5-stars-small


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Release Day Review: A Dom and His Artist by Xenia Melzer

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-dom-and-his-artist-by-xenia-melzer-9503-

Blurb

Sometimes the perfect man can be found in the most unexpected place….

Martin Carmichael owns a security firm and is part owner of Club Whisper. He’s a Dom in search of the right guy, and when his car breaks down on a lonely stretch of road, he thinks he might have found him.

Artist Collin Malloy is talented, easygoing, but somewhat insecure. Still, he has a big heart and is quick to offer help when he sees Martin in need. To thank him, Martin invites Collin to dinner, where the attraction between them becomes harder to resist.

But what will become of their budding relationship when Martin reveals that he likes his men bound, submissive, and in pain? Is it something Collin can accept… and possibly enjoy exploring? Even if he can, Collin has a secret of his own—a secret he doesn’t even realize he’s keeping

Review
Another winner from Xenia Melzer. I started this book on Sunday morning and finished it that evening, well I had to stop to cook lunch. I was hooked. Martin has to revise everything he had thought about being a Dom after meeting Collin. I really liked that through his guidance of Collin in BDSM and learning about submission Martin learns more about himself. He had been very strict but now it didn’t feel right. Collin is a wonderful character. A free thinker that lets ideas grab him and Martin has to adjust to his new sub. The evolving relationship is the main thrust of the story but running in the background is the betrayal of Collin’s friend and Agent. This shakes Collin’s world as he understands it and needs Martin’s support. The scenes between them are gentle and loving. Martin introduces him to different things taking it very slowly given Collin’s inexperience with sex let alone BDSM. these scenes were lovely to read so romantic and caring. We also get to meet Richard and Dean from book 1 again. It was great catching up with their lives but they are not central and this book can be read on it’s own. Another book in the series is planned and I am looking forward to it.

5 of stars out of 5

5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

o BDSM
▪ Pain
o Exploration
o Gay
o Virgin

• Themes
o artists
o protection/security

• Time Period
o Contemporary

• Trope
o Billionaire Dom
o Cinderella/Cinderfella
o Hurt/comfort
o Secret Identity

Release Day Review: Bad Attitude by KA Mitchell

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-attitude-by-ka-mitchell-9505-b

Blurb: Saving lives never used to be this complicated.

Gavin Montgomery does what’s expected of him by his wealthy and powerful family—look good in a tuxedo and don’t make waves. When a friend takes a leap off a bridge, Gavin tries to save him, only to fall in with him. At least at the bottom of the river he won’t feel like such a disappointment to his family. But he’s pulled from the water by a man with an iron grip, a sexy mouth, and a chip on his shoulder the size of the national deficit.
Jamie Donnigan likes his life the way it is—though he could have done without losing his father and giving up smoking. But at least he’s managed to avoid his own ball and chain as he’s watched all his friends pair off. When Montgomery fame turns a simple rescue into a media circus, Jamie decides if he’s being punished for his good deed, he might as well treat himself to a hot and sweaty good time. It’s not like the elegant and charming Gavin is going to lure Jamie away from his bachelor lifestyle. Nobody’s that charming. Not even a Montgomery….

Review:

Let me start by saying I really liked this book. It’s a curious mix of sweetness, humour (the banter is great), heat and some hardness; not unlike a hard-boiled sweet with a soft centre.
Gavin is a sort of trust fund kid who doesn’t have or seem to work. At first glance, he seems spoilt, self-centred and idle. Then there’s Jamie, a policeman on the marine search and rescue team. He has a ‘bad attitude’ to most people, (a prickly, don’t mess with me vibe). When Jamie saves Gavin from a watery grave they begin a curious hot/cold relationship based on lust and preconceived notions, (the latter based on Jamie’s thinking that Gavin doesn’t do anything except party). Slowly each man finds that there’s more to the other – Gavin is really a sweet young man who cares for others and is a bit lonely; Jamie is not as hard as he makes out to be, in fact he wouldn’t mind having a stable romantic relationship. Their relationship runs hot and cold but they finally get it together.
Although this is the 3rd book in the Bad series (I haven’t read the first 2), it can be read as a standalone (I’m going to get the first 2 books).
My only gripe is that the book ends rather abruptly – I would have loved to see a bit more of them as a couple.

4 stars out of 5

4-stars-small


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