Audiobook: Static by LA Witt Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Static-Audiobook/B07MG5SS4N?qid=1548287456&sr=1-47&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_3_7&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=2GJDG2GPF838QPYS7GM7&

Blurb
After two years together, Alex has been dreading the inevitable moment when Damon learns the truth: that Alex is a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population able to switch genders at will. Thanks to a forced implant, though, Alex is suddenly static—unable to shift—and male. Overnight, he’s out to a world that neither understands nor tolerates shifters . . . and to his heterosexual boyfriend.
Damon is stunned to discover his girlfriend is a shifter, and scared to death of the dangers the implant poses to Alex’s health. He refuses to abandon Alex, but what about their relationship? Damon is straight, and with the implant both costly and dangerous to remove, Alex is stuck as a man.
Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn’t see how they can get through this.
Especially if he’s static forever.

Review

Book reviewed previously

WOW!

This ranks as one of my all time favorite books in this genre.
I can’t say enough good things about this – but I’ll try!

First – it’s sort of a unique shifter book. Instead of shifting into animals, in this world that LA Witt has created, some people can change their sex at will. Not just the important pieces, but their entire bodies. So they become more masculine, larger, muscular, etcetera for male and smaller, more delicate, etcetera for female. But like fraternal twins, they still retain that look about them so you can see the resemblance.

In this case Alex (both female and male version) is dating Damon as a woman. Damon doesn’t know about the male Alex and this causes a lot of worry as to how to go about telling him. The point becomes moot when Alex’s parents decide to force her to stay permanently male, or “static” by injecting an evil chip into her spine. Of course they have no knowledge of Alex’s female love-life, only a desire to have a son and NOT to have someone who can shift genders.

There is the possibility of removing the chip but it has the potential for disaster, paralysis, death, dismemberment – ok not really – but also continuing the static state. Some people choose this treatment voluntarily but not Alex. S/he has always enjoyed the huge freedom allowed by being able to be one then the other gender. And since she thinks she may be in love with her straight boyfriend, being stuck as a man is particularly harsh.

But… the time comes when Alex must show Damon the truth of the situation. And here is where things really get to be interesting on both a plot level and a sociological level. (This is what makes this book spectacular IMHO – the bringing in so flawlessly the social construct of gender identity and the breakdown of what it means to be woman or man – especially when – in this case – it’s the same person wearing a different “skin”.)

Damon really does care for – maybe even love Alex – so he’s willing to at least try to work through this crisis and see it through. He doesn’t know what he wants. For Alex to go through with the reversal surgery? To try to be with a man when he’s only ever identified as straight? To give up and let Alex do this alone? But no, he’s an amazing person and sticks with it.

The story is so full of social questions. There’s prejudice. There’s the discussion of what if feels like to be in the “wrong body”. There’s the gay/straight/person centric version of sexual attraction. There’s – Gah! So much!

In the end the two lovers must make a decision. Should Alex attempt the surgery and is the risk worth it.

I won’t tell you the final decision but it is thought provoking – to say the least.

LA Witt won some awards for this – as she should have – and I can see why. It’s so amazing, her ability to hit you with these social question while still weaving a beautiful and touching and sometimes erotic love story. Superb!

If you have any interest in transgender and gender fluidity or gender ID this is right up your alley. It also fulfills something for those GFY fans. But it’s still, at it’s heart, a love story and a story of knowing one’s heart – so truly, any fan of romance will be entranced.

I can’t recommend it highly enough!

6 of 5 stars

 

Audio

Michael does an absolutely fantastic job with this.  He handles the women’s voices, the angst, the drama, the timing all perfecutly.  He contributed to keeping this wonderful story one of my number one books/audiobooks of all time!

Highly Recommended in this format as well!

Copy purchased for review

 

Audiobook: Duke’s Baby Deal By: Ann-Katrin Byrde; Narrated by: Nick J. Russo

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dukes-Baby-Deal-Audiobook/B07JG7CT1J?qid=1541104612&sr=sr_1_30&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_10&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=X77Y4GSGWXRWW9BP2DAG&

Blurb

All his life, Bram’s been told what he would be and what he would do. No one ever gave a thought to what Bram might think he wanted. There was only one career option for an omega – a mating, pups, and looking after the household.
But Bram wants more. He wants adventure, excitement, romance, and something different than looking after pups for the rest of his life. He flirts and teases with all the alphas, but the one he wants, he can’t figure out how to get. Until one of his more dangerous suitors goes too far and Bram finds himself in a situation that could ruin him for life.
Duke steps in with an offer of a respectable mating, and everything Bram wanted is somehow now within reach. But all gifts come with trials, and both Duke and Bram have difficult paths to tread on the way to happiness.
This audiobook can be listened to on its own, but it contains numerous references to characters and events in the first two audiobooks. It would be best listened to in order.

Review

This is a great installment in this series. It is LONG and very involved and you must read all the books in order to really appreciate the story but I bet if you skipped one or two you’d still get the basic gist – but you’d be remiss! This is a fantastic “dystopian” shifter series wherein the shifters are forced into enclaves. Usually I despise these scenarios but it works here. There is just enough joy and magic to make up for the awful way the humans act.

I love Nick J Russo and his narration is wonderful as usual. There are literally a metric ton of characters and he does a terrific job keeping them all straight.

Highly recommended!

4 of 5 for the story
5 of 5 for the narration
4.5 of 5 stars overall

Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: His Consort by Mary Calmes Narrated by Scott Smith

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/his-consort-by-mary-calmes-9995-b

Blurb
A new life in New Orleans is all Jason Thorpe had hoped: his quaint little store attracts a devoted staff and his warm, loving heart grants him a loyal circle of friends. He’s perfectly content, having left behind the chill of a confusing and danger-filled night in Washington, until he discovers something unbelievable lurking in the steamy darkness of the shadowy streets of the Vieux Carré, something that turns out to be terrifying… and utterly mesmerizing.

The prince of the vampyrs, Varic Maedoc, is visiting New Orleans when he finds out the man who once helped his counselor is there in the Quarter. He thinks to simply meet and thank Jason—until he lays eyes on him. Varic’s devoted himself to protect the honor of his race, and he’s never wanted a mate before… but he immediately knows he must have this man, and no one else will do.

Varic may want to bring Jason safely into his world, but someone who doesn’t like the human’s soothing influence on vampyrs has deadly plans that would disrupt Varic’s dreams. Now, unable to tell friend from foe, Jason finds himself wondering how to hold on to the prince’s heart when he’s fighting for his life.

Review by Karen (book reviewed here previously)

I don’t think anyone can bring the soulmate/fated mate vibe to a story as well as Mary Calmes can. There’s no doubting the all-encompassing, blissful feelings that well up between Jason and Varic. I loved that they are so drawn to each other from the first, but even more that it’s not just about chemistry or power, but true love and appreciation of the other person that makes them so strong together.

I’m impressed by the amount of detail that went into the world-building and the setting of this story, bringing into it such history and a great cast of secondary characters. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them in a follow-up story! We get to know Jason really well from the first, whereas our prince remains far more enigmatic. It takes a while for him to make an appearance “on page”. The author sure understands how to build up anticipation!

Jason is an incredibly endearing hero, strong and capable, but with a soft heart underneath. Varic, he who has it all and has had it for what seems like an eternity, needs to swiftly adjust to what it means to have a modern-day man for a mate, and how vulnerable that makes him feel. It’s not as easy as he might have expected, but his devotion to Jason never wavers.

The story is excellently paced with various vampyr political intrigues to muddy the waters for our heroes. Danger lurks in unexpected places and it’s hard to know who to trust. I didn’t see the threat coming at all! It was brilliant! Though less so for our MC’s, of course…

This was such an enjoyable read, I was totally swept away by it. It was all so intense! Loved it!

Number of stars out of 5: 5

Audiobook Review by Morgan

Well- let’s just say that I wasn’t as enthralled by the story as Karen was. I’ve been a big fan of Mary’s in the past and have really enjoyed her paranormal stories as well as some of her contemporary romances. Lately I’ve been re-visiting them and I think that while I still quite enjoy them – I maybe don’t love them like I used to.

This story kind of exemplifies the good and the bad in a Calmes story. She’s amazing at world building and not afraid to use terms and words that are unique. These can totally make the reader feel like they’re reading about something real or historical or otherworldly because it’s so complex and thorough and well-documented. However, the odd names sometimes feel bulky and as a reader I sometimes faltered over them. As a listener it was certainly made more easy but it still brought me out of the story and that isn’t a good thing.

Another Calmes trait is her clueless “aww shucks, who me?” MC that everyone adores and yet never knows his own worth. On one hand I really love that guy, on the other the repetitive nature of this guy has grown a bit tired. His counterpart – the more aggressive/kinetic/powerful MC is also a familiar face and in this case I never warmed to Varic at all. He wasn’t nearly as much of the story as Jason and I never got to see the two fall in love or really to understand why they did (unless it was a vague paranormal mate/consort thing that they couldn’t control – it was confusing.)

The secondary characters in Calme’s stories are always fun and well developed and they were here as well. I was just not that enthralled by them as I had been in some of her other books – probably because they were expected.

Just as I felt with her Change of Heart series – I think the world building was too much and the violence was OTT and the relationship rushed and non-romantic.

I’m afraid I’d give this a 2 of 3 stars and I can’t really recommend it.

As for the Audio –

Well – Scott Smith is one of those guys – I can’t say I like him but I tolerate him and he’s easy enough to listen to. He definitely tries with the accents and he tries to say all those new words well – but he’s still not great at pacing or emphasis or non-dialog passages.

I’d give him a 3 of 5 stars.

Overall 2.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Playing The Point by Ashley K. Broome

 

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36113607-playing-the-point?from_search=true

Blurb

In hockey getting traded was never easy. Henny knew his trade was coming but he wasn’t prepared to go from the Seattle Thunder to playing for what used to be his biggest rivals on ice, the Dakota Crusaders.
He planned to hide everything about himself that prompted the trade. With the preseason over and the regular season in full swing, Henny can only hope that the Crusaders will think he’s worth what they paid for him.
He wasn’t expecting the current captain of the Crusaders, Matthew Doherty to look past his former team and welcome him onto the team. The way they clicked on ice and how the entire team worked together made the trade easier. Now if he could stop starring at Doherty and focus on hockey, that would be great. He didn’t need a repeat of what happened in Seattle. He just wanted to play hockey.

Review

This is a fun hockey series. It’s got a lot of hockey feel to it with some medium steam romance and a lovely HEA.

I think this would be better as a short story – it would carry more punch – but it was an easy read and I was engaged throughout most of it.

I really hope the author gets an editor who can help them with the basic writing and some grammatical errors as there is a lot of potential there but the flow is a little ragged and there were some pretty obvious typos and other mistakes.

I’ve enjoyed reading from this new author and look forward to more from them.

3 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Tigers on the Way (Tigers and Devils #4) by Sean Kennedy

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tigers-on-the-way-by-sean-kennedy-10072-b

Blurb

Documentary producer Simon and ex-footballer Declan are taking some big steps toward a lasting life together. They’ve bought a house, and they’ll need it for the family they plan to start. Their friend, Nyssa, has made the generous offer to be their surrogate, and Declan couldn’t be more excited about the idea of a baby.

Simon knows fatherhood is a huge commitment, and though it’s daunting, he sees how much Dec wants it, and he’s sure that together, they can succeed in anything—despite the worries nagging at him.

But just as their new life is taking shape, a health scare disrupts their plans at the worst possible moment. With time running short, Simon and Dec will have to bare their fears and doubts to each other so they can face them before their world changes forever.

It might mean a literal leap of faith.

 

Review

This was a lot of fun!  I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Simon’s snarky humor and Declan’s steadfast devotion.  The secondary characters are also back and so funny, too!

There is no steam in this – and I missed that aspect – I think a little bit would have helped – we don’t need a ton but…

I really enjoyed watching the couple navigate Simon’s health scare and the decision to become fathers.  I really liked how that was handled.

I was worried, given the length of this, that I was going to be bored – I tend to find sequels like this can be tedious – but I wasn’t and I can really recommend this to all the fans from the original books.

I will say that I do think it could have been edited a bit tighter and that there are some parts of this that could have been deleted 🙂  IMHO

 

4 of 5 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Chance at the Impossible (The Men of Canter’s Handyman #2) by J.M. Dabney

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43329992-chance-at-the-impossible

Blurb
Brent Canter lived forty-seven years content with his life to have it all disappear with one life-threatening diagnosis. Cancer without hope of survival, yet he’d beat the odds. He had a successful business and a family he loved, yet he was missing something. That something was an adorable, younger man, and he didn’t know what to do.

Miller Andrews loves the silver fox, Brent Canter. The older man is everything he’d wanted in a partner. Brent was smart, caring, affectionate, and sexy. He is damn near perfect. When he needed a favor, Brent was the only person he thought to ask.

Can one pretend kiss turn into the love of a lifetime for a man who thinks he only screws up and the other who questions if he can have a second chance at love with a younger man?

Review

This is a daddy kink book and I just wasn’t into it.

There was a lot of potential – sweet older guy who is befriended by his son’s friend while recovering from cancer – but it doesn’t always feel good and sometimes feels a little too much like a real father and son – to me.

I didn’t like how delicate Miller was and the chemistry just didn’t feel right.

Normally I’m a big fan but this was a miss for me.

2.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Frostbite (The Gifted Ones #1) by J.M. Wolf

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42433191-frostbite?ac=1&from_search=true

Photo of a men body

Blurb

Cyrus Winters, an omega wolf and an ice mage is dangerous to others. After running away from his birth pack at an early age, Cyrus traveled from place to place in hopes of finding a pack that would accept him. But once they realized that he was no ordinary omega wolf, they quickly turned their backs on him. Alone and shunned as a monster, Cyrus has kept himself hidden at the top of the Wichita Mountains where nobody would reach him. That is, until he hears the song of his fated mate.

Dorian Lovell once had the family he’d always dreamed of, but after the death of his son, his whole world fell apart. When he begins having dreams about a white wolf at the top of a mountain, howling for him, Dorian realizes that he may have found his fated mate. Joining his friend Tobias’ pack in the Wichita Mountains, Dorian sets out to find the wolf from his dream; but once he meets Cyrus, he quickly realizes that mating with the frosty omega won’t be as easy as he thought it’d be.

An omega with a heart of ice, and an alpha who’s destined to thaw him out. With a threat to Cyrus’ life approaching, the two must learn to come together as one. Can Dorian’s pack accept the gifted omega, and can Cyrus trust his life and future to his new pack, and the alpha the fates paired him with?

TRIGGER WARNING:
This book contains sexual and verbal adult content, MPREG, violence, bloody gore, death, and talks of loss and heartache. No babies were harmed in the making of this book.
*** This is Book 1 in the series, but can be read as a standalone story – no cliffhangers ***

Review

This is another great new (to me) author with an exciting new series! It’s very engaging and creative and I was grabbed from the first page!

I’m a sucker for the “ugly duckling” type trope where the seemingly bad stuff in one’s life turns out to be awesome and that’s what we’ve got here. I thought this was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to this series!

What kept this from being 5 of 5 stars was that sometimes the world was a bit harsh and sometimes I wasn’t always sure about the “rules” for this world … but I’m hoping it’ll pick up steam as the series progresses.

4 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Release Day Review:Devouring Flame by E.J. Russell

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/devouring-flame-by-ej-russell-10077-b

Blurb

An Enchanted Occasions Story
Reunited and reignited.

While cutting through the Interstices—the post-creation gap between realms—Smith, half-demon tech specialist for Enchanted Occasions Event Planning, spies the person he yearns for daily but dreads seeing again: the ifrit, Hashim of the Windrider clan.

On their one literally smoldering night together, Smith, stupidly besotted, revealed his true name—a demon’s greatest vulnerability. When Hashim didn’t return the favor, then split the next morning with no word? Message received, loud and clear: Thanks but no, thanks.

Although Hashim had burned to return Smith’s trust, it was impossible. The wizard who conjured him holds his true name in secret, and unless Hashim discovers it, he’ll never be free.

When their attraction sparks once more, the two unite to search for Hashim’s hidden name—which would be a hell of a lot easier if they didn’t have to contend with a convention full of food-crazed vampires on the one day out of the century they can consume something other than blood.

But if they fail, Hashim will be doomed to eternal slavery, and their reignited love will collapse in the ashes.

Luckily Smith is the guy who gets shit done. And Hashim is never afraid to heat things up.

Review
This was very cute. I love EJ Russell’s imagination and way with character dialog.
I didn’t enjoy this as much as her other series but as this looks to expand further I’d totally read more from this series – well- pretty much anything by this author goes on my TBR list ☺
I can’t put my finger on it – but I think the thing – for me – that makes it less enjoyable is that they’d already met and we have a misunderstanding to get around first. I’m just not a fan of that trope.

I did really love the “powers” and their combined effects on one another – very romantic and wonderful. I’d definitely recommend this to fans of the author, fans of paranormal romance and fans of romance with humor.

4 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Broken by Jenny Wood

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43184114-broken?from_search=true

Blurb

Dalton Davis answers his phone, expecting it to be a prank call from a number that’s eerily similar to his. When the man pretends he knows him and has a one-sided conversation that proves his suspicion correct, he almost ends the call. The fast thinking of the stranger on the other end of the line likely saves his life, but what will Dalton find when he gets there?

Kannon Butler is an old soul. Working at an old folks home, his friends are his clients and he’s okay with that. Being attacked in broad daylight just doesn’t happen in their small town, except this day, it does. To him. Quick thinking and a prayer, he ends up on the line with Dalton Davis, who quite literally saves his life.

Healing and living are a struggle after being attacked, but Dalton can’t seem to stay away and Kannon doesn’t want him to. With an amazing family who takes him under their wing, and a gorgeous private investigator that makes it his mission to find out who hurt Kannon, what do you think happens?

Review

Jenny Wood is really good at giving us very broken men and helping them heal.

This is a really touching story of a sweetie who endures something horrible – read all the warnings for this one – lots of triggers- and with the help of a big alpha type ends up finding his happiness again.

Very sweet.

3.5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Coming Soon! Prince of Air and Darkness (The Darkest Court #1) by M.A. Grant

February 25!

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41550787-prince-of-air-and-darkness?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Blurb

Phineas Smith has been cursed with a power no one could control.

Roark Lyne is his worst enemy and his only hope.

The only human student at Mather’s School of Magick, Phineas Smith has a target on his back. Born with the rare ability to tap into unlimited magick, he finds both Faerie Courts want his allegiance—and will do anything to get it.

They don’t realize he can’t levitate a feather, much less defend the Faerie Realm as it slips into civil war.

Unseelie Prince Roark Lyne, Phineas’s roommate—and self-proclaimed arch nemesis—is beautiful and brave and a pain in the ass. Phineas can’t begin to sort through their six years of sexual tension masquerading as mutual dislike. But Roark is also the only one able to help Finn tame his magick.

Trusting Roark’s mysterious motives may be foolish; not accepting his temporary protection would be deadly.

Caught in the middle of the impending war, Phineas and Roark forge a dangerous alliance. And as the walls between them crumble, Phineas realizes that Roark isn’t the monster he’d imagined. But their growing intimacy threatens to expose a secret that could either turn the tide of the war…or destroy them both.

Review

Many people have liked this – I’m not one of them.

It just didn’t hit me right and I found myself only half-heartedly reading along. I’m not super big on fantasy to begin with and maybe this is too much for a “light” fantasy reader.

I didn’t feel the connection between Roark and Phineas like I wanted and the opposites attract/enemies to lovers thing was the only thing I liked about this.

3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review