Audiobook: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster, narrated by Seb Yarrick

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-missing-ingredient-by-brian-lancaster-9738-b

Blurb: It can take losing everything to realize what you had all along.
Up-and-coming London chef Marcus Vine is poised on the edge of success, but the only men courting him are investors. That leaves Marcus with some free time—which is fortunate, because his godchildren need him.

A year ago, a horrible accident killed Marcus’s best friend, Raine, leaving her children without a mother and her husband, Tom, without a partner. Consumed by grief, Tom has been going it alone, refusing help, but when Marcus sees him out with the children, it’s obvious that Tom and his two daughters need someone. His persistent caring finally wears Tom down, allowing him to accept the comfort Marcus offers. Soon Marcus is up to his elbows in homework, home-cooked meals, and after-school activities. Over time he helps them rebuild their world, until soon their lives are approaching normal.
Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.

Review:

Story 4 out of 5: Marcus, a successful chef is still reeling from the death of his best friend, Raine.
Raine left behind, Tom and their 2 children; all of whom are trying their best to cope with life without her when Marcus reconnects with the family. Marcus starts to help Tom with the day to day running of Tom’s house and his old attraction (to Tom) begins to grow again. Tom for his part, is beginning to see Marcus as more than a godfather/friend helping out; he’s beginning to feel an attraction as well.
This is the first time that Tom has non-platonic experienced feelings for any man and at first, he seems OK with it. Then he starts to second guess himself, he wonders what others will think, so he pushes Marcus away. The latter is understandably hurt, but he lets Tom figure it out and eventually, they do get their HEA.
The story is well written, with memorable characters – I really enjoyed the story, and hope to read more by this author.

Narration 4 out of 5: I quite enjoyed Seb Yarrick’s narration. He had a down to earth tone and he was good with the accents (I was pleased at how made Marcus’s Nigerian-born assistant sound ☺).
His pacing was good, giving a solid performance. I would definitely look for more of his narrations.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: A Fool and his Manny by Amy Lane Narrated by Kenneth Obi

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-fool-and-his-manny-by-amy-lane-9714-b

Blurb

Seeing the truth and falling in love.
Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan’s friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.
At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he’s never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”

Review

I adored this couple! I loved the idea of the younger guy who falls for his “nanny” but ends up getting him! He was just the right amount of contrite and then bossy to really flip all my switches and he felt authentic to me.

The romance moved at a very low angst, steady pace and I loved seeing all the familiar faces. While this is definitely a good standalone, it’s better if you’ve read the others before it.

Watching Dusty move from kid through to adult was just right, too. Enough of the kid stuff for him to feel “real” but not so much that it was weird seeing him as an adult.

If you’re a fan of the author, the series or “mannies” this is for you! If you’re in the mood for a sweet “coming of age” book – I think this is wonderful for that purpose, too.

As for the upcoming audio: I don’t want this to sound like John Solo isn’t good – he is! – but I sure do wish we could have Nick Russo or Gomez for this series as well – I’d love that so much!

5 of 5 stars

Audio

I guess Dreamspinner must have a contract for this series because Amy’s usual taste in audiobook narrators doesn’t seem to be able to continue here.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Kenneth Obi does a perfectly fine job – I just love her choices for her other books a lot more.

In the end, he was easy to listen to and does a nice job with timing, characters and emphasis.

3.5 of 5 for the audio

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Haunted Seas (San Capistrano Series 5.5) By Angelique Jurd

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42427557-haunted-seas?from_search=true

Blurb
Life in the San Capistrano beach house is good. Ben and Alex’s family is settled and happy as they navigate day to day life. As they prepare for Halloween they get some news that may finally offer Alex the closure on his past he so desperately needs.

Review
I fell in love with Alex Davis in book one of this series and haven’t fallen out of love yet. He is such a beautiful gentle man who deserves everything good that comes his was.
In this short story, we drop back in on the world of Alex, his husband Ben and their three children, just to take a wee peak at how life is treating them.
In this quick visit we get a chance to see that life is pretty good for the family. The girls are growing, Lucy has found her two-year-old teeth and temper, Ally’s determined character seems to be back on track and Jamie is tentatively exploring his sexuality.
But once again, an explosive piece of news rocks the calm-ish waters of Alex’s life, leaving him a little lost on how he should feel, but as always, this beautiful tight-knit family rally around to love and support.

This is not a stand-alone book and you will need to have read the rest of the series to understand the story. I highly recommend reading them all. This also looks to be a gateway into book six Safe Haven, that will hopefully be with us in December 2018

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Get Paranormal:The Alpha’s Widower Audiobook by Susi Hawke Narrated by: Drew Bacca

 

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Alphas-Widower-Audiobook/B07F216KGY?qid=1535304112&sr=sr_1_1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=03DB94DQSBSYGC0C7QPZ&

Blurb
Series: MacIntosh Meadows, Book 1

What’s a guy to do when his straight best friend proposes a fake marriage? Just say…yes!
Laurie Adams looked like he had it all, but his marriage was a sham, a Mr. Wrong chosen for all the wrong reasons. When his husband dies, Laurie has no time to mourn the cheating bastard, and his in-laws have decided Laurie isn’t fit to raise his children, and they’ll do anything to take them from him. He’s lost his husband and his faith in people, but he won’t lose his children, too. So he runs back home to the small farm town he’d left behind a decade ago.
Dean MacIntosh should be the perfect alpha for anyone, but all around town he’s known as Mr. Not-Quite-Right, the last man a woman dates before she finds her real Prince Charming. It should bother him, but it doesn’t. So when his childhood best friend comes running home for protection, Dean has no problem stepping in.
Except when Dean offered to fake marry Laurie, he never expected the wedding kiss to feel so sweet, and he begins to question the sexuality he once took for granted. From an awkward wedding night to an even more awkward honeymoon, Dean and Laurie find their affection runs deeper than either of them ever guessed. And maybe now is Dean’s chance to be somebody’s Mr. Right.
This audiobook contains mpreg, adults adulting in fun and sexy ways, and probably more potty-mouth language than should be used in an audiobook with kids underfoot. Eighteen-plus listeners only please.

Review: This is an enjoyable ‘friends to fake marriage to real marriage’ story! Laurie and Dean were such sweethearts and the supporting characters were great, especially Kade, whose story is now on my list to read.
Laurie goes back to his childhood home to get away from the memory of his unfaithful husband and horrid in-laws. He falls back into the friendship he shared with Dean, even though he’s always had a crush on Dean. Dean, for his part, has always considered himself straight, but when issues arise where Laurie’s kids could be taken away, Dean steps in to marry him. The way the 2 men explore their feelings for each other is sweet and funny, with the right amount of mild misunderstanding. There’s even a bit of a mystery which adds to the story.

The narration is very good – Drew Bacca is new to me. I liked his work so much that I got the next audiobook in the series (also very good).
He had different voices for the characters, had good pacing and projected the humour, sweetness and other emotions of the characters well. I was entertained!
I’m still a newbie to this trope, (mpreg, non shifting shifters), but I really like it so far.
This is another one of those stories that the audiobook is a really great way to experience the story. I loved it!

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy provided for review

 

 

 

Release Day Review: To Love Again by Andria Large

release day review

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/to-love-again-by-andria-large-9853-b

Blurb:
Jack
Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He would have killed me if I stayed, though. I couldn’t have done it without Warwick’s help. Not only did he give me the out I needed, but also a safe place to live. With my ex looming around every corner, looking for the chance to get his hands on me, I received the best gift ever—a month in England—and I took it!

Warwick
England was supposed to help Jack get away from his ex and find himself again. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him there. Especially when I knew he might stay… indefinitely. With my busy schedule as an ER doctor, an ocean between us, and the trust issues his abusive ex inflicted, the chance of a successful long-distance relationship is close to zero. Loving Jack may be the one thing I can’t fix.

Review:

Wow! For a short story, it packed quite a bit in.
Jack has been taken to the ER by his boyfriend, (read abuser), after sustaining injuries from a “fall”. It is not hard to guess what really happened as Warwick, the ER doctor, correctly assesses.
Warwick is a UK transplant working as an ER doctor in Baltimore. When meets Jack, he is immediately drawn to him, first as a healer and then something more. He tries to help Jack get away from the abusive situation, but as is so often the case, the victim is too afraid to leave. Despite that, he gives Jack a way to contact him if he should ever need help. Sadly, Jack does need the help and he finds the courage to get away to safety, to Warwick.
The subject of domestic abuse is not light, but it was portrayed in such a way that it didn’t make the story depressing. Instead, it focused more on how Jack dealt with the aftermath of abuse – adjusting to not having to cower, not having to ask permission to do things, or having to ask what to watch on the box or what to eat.
The attraction between the 2 men developed naturally. Some may wonder why Jack would be attracted to anyone after just coming out of an abusive relationship, but that relationship had soured several months ago, so it made sense.
Diandra, Warwick’s and Jack’s family round out the characters and made a good support group for Jack.
I really liked the story – some parts were a little rushed, (the MCs overall relationship and the end), but it’s really a bright (vs dour) read given the subject matter.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Steamy Romance: Curious by R.G. Alexander

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25030645-curious?from_search=true

Blurb: Are you Curious?

 

Jeremy Porter is. Though the bisexual comic book artist has known Owen Finn for most of his life—long enough to know that he is terminally straight—he can’t help but imagine what things would be like if he weren’t.

Owen is far from vanilla—as a dominant in the local fetish community, he sees as much action as Jeremy does. Lately even more.
Since Jeremy isn’t into collars and Owen isn’t into men, it seems like his fantasies will remain just that forever…until one night when Owen gets curious.

Review: This is one is one of my favourite ‘friends to lovers’ story. Both men are somewhat strong willed, alpha types who have been best friends since childhood. Owen is straight and in the D/S lifestyle while Jeremy is bi and crushing on his friend.
After witnessing a threesome involving Jeremy, Owen decides to explore his curiosity about what it’s like to be with a man. He and Jeremy explore together – Owen shows Jeremy the ropes, so to speak (smile), and Jeremy shows him that loving a man is beautiful.
The steamy scenes between the 2 men are really hot!
There is a large, supportive family (Owen’s), who have always welcomed Jeremy – they round out a really good story and start to a really good series.

4 stars out of 5

Copy purchased for review

 

 

 

 

Release Day Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon by Andrew Grey

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-best-worst-honeymoon-ever-by-andrew-grey-9640-b

Blurb: How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after—until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.
Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever… and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

Review: Another simple, sweet Andrew Grey story.
This is an ideal “at the beach” read. Tommy and Grayson have been friends for a long time. When Tommy is jilted on his wedding day, Grayson is the shoulder he leans on through the ordeal, (along with a supportive family).
The story doesn’t break new ground in the ‘jilted at the altar’ and ‘best friend to lover’ tropes, but the story flows nicely. Even though I knew that ‘the ex shows up with regrets for breaking it off’ portion of the story was coming up, I wanted to see how it would play out. The 2 MCs had their own (real life) issues, but they worked them out drama-free.
Overall, this is a sweet, uncomplicated romance, best enjoyed with a nice glass of *whatever you like to drink* ☺

3.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Release Day Review: A Little Side of Geek by Marguerite Labbe

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-little-side-of-geek-by-marguerite-labbe-9611-b

Blurb

When opposite worlds collide, it’s anyone’s game.
Proud geek and comic book artist Morris Proctor wants nothing more than to live in semi-seclusion with his devil cat and gamer friends. Despite what his well-meaning family thinks, he’s perfectly content with his status quo. The last thing he needs is to date another non-geek hell-bent on changing him.
Then he meets his adorkable new neighbor, Theo Boarman, who doesn’t know Star Trek from Star Wars, but who tempts him like no other.
Theo has spent the last year recovering from the loss of his parents and trying to play both roles for his teenage brother, while working to keep the family restaurant afloat. Dating is the last thing on the menu, especially with a man who thinks the height of dining is shoving a packaged meal into the microwave.
But if Morris gives him one more shy smile or flaunts that kilt he wears so well, Theo will be forced to convince him that a hot summer fling is just the recipe to let off a little steam.
When that fling gets serious fast, Morris has to decide if he’s willing to give his heart to Theo on the chance that they’re a perfect mix.

Review by Beth
This is a story that slowly sucks you in. It is both a story of falling in love and healing from tragdy. A story about family both blood and found.

Marguerite does a wonderful job laying out the story to tease us into all of what life can throw at us and how we work our way through it. This is not a hot and heavy, all sexy times book. This is how life really does happen. An ebb and flow of side stories and romance as it happens over a summer. The author shows us that it’s not all fireworks and spotlights. I think she did a fabulous job.

The MC’s are well thought out and multidimensional, but I really liked the character of Lincoln. This is Theo’s younger brother and he really does carry a third of the story. Teenage angst, insecurities and dealing with loss at an early age, Lincoln is as well developed as Morris and Theo.

I liked this story, I liked how comfortable it felt, how realistic it was and I quietly got to root for things to work out between Morris and Theo.

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Dee

I absolutely loved this story for its simplicity. That is not to say that there was no depth to the romance, no, just the opposite. All the characters were well developed, even the secondary ones. The story is also funny and heartwarming.

Morris, a simple soul who loves his geekiness, has been through relationships where the boyfriend has tried to ‘improve’ him. Needless to say, he’s a bit gun-shy about relationships. Theo, his new neighbour, has recently lost his parents, co-owns a restaurant (with his sister) and is the legal guardian of his younger brother. With all that’s going on, Theo is not in the market for a romance.

They decide to embark on a ‘fling’, but before they know it, they’ve wormed their way into each other’s lives and hearts.

What I really like about the story is that there was a realistic look at friendships, family, dealing with tragedy and finding what makes one happy. There was no real drama, no prolonged misunderstandings.

I honestly loved how the relationship between the 2 men just flowed and grew, with the addition of their families blending into the mix.

Highly recommend. This will definitely go on my re-read list!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review