Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Hither, Page by Cat Sebastian; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hither-Page-Audiobook/B084GNPV8X?qid=1582647931&sr=1-1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=P882H6ARJ66YZ3J3P4TY&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1

Blurb:
A jaded spy and a shell shocked country doctor team up to solve a murder in postwar England.

James Sommers returned from the war with his nerves in tatters. All he wants is to retreat to the quiet village of his childhood and enjoy the boring, predictable life of a country doctor. The last thing in the world he needs is a handsome stranger who seems to be mixed up with the first violent death the village has seen in years. It certainly doesn’t help that this stranger is the first person James has wanted to touch since before the war.
The war may be over for the rest of the world, but Leo Page is still busy doing the dirty work for one of the more disreputable branches of the intelligence service. When his boss orders him to cover up a murder, Leo isn’t expecting to be sent to a sleepy village. After a week of helping old ladies wind balls of yarn and flirting with a handsome doctor, Leo is in danger of forgetting what he really is and why he’s there. He’s in danger of feeling things he has no business feeling. A person who burns his identity after every job can’t set down roots.

As he starts to untangle the mess of secrets and lies that lurk behind the lace curtains of even the most peaceful-seeming of villages, Leo realizes that the truths he’s about to uncover will affect his future and those of the man he’s growing to care about.

Review:
Story
A cozy mystery that kept me guessing to the end!
Cat Sebastian is a fantastic historical romance writer in her own right, so I mean no disrespect when I say that she channeled Agatha Christie with this story – in a good way 
I loved the different characters and the setting of a quiet little village with an undercurrent of secrets, crime and murder.
The MCs – James, a doctor who served during WWII and Leo, a spy who has so many secrets – are perfectly suited. Each man a little broken, needing someone to belong to and to trust in. Really looking forward to the next book.
Definitely recommend!

Narration
Joel Leslie brings the atmosphere of this cozy mystery. I felt like I was watching a Ms. Marple mystery alà Masterpiece Theatre. This is a narration that showcases Joel Leslie’s skill with English accents as well as his skill in creating distinct character voices. He’s an excellent choice for English historical romances 
This is an excellent way to enjoy this book!

Great story (4 stars) with excellent narration (5 stars)!

 

Overall 4.5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Back in Blacks by Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/back-in-black-by-rhys-ford-11514-b

Blurb: McGinnis Investigations: Book One

There are eight million stories in the City of Angels but only one man can stumble upon the body of a former client while being chased by a pair of Dobermans and a deranged psycho dressed as a sheep.

That man is Cole McGinnis.
Since his last life-threatening case years ago, McGinnis has married the love of his life, Jae-Min Kim, consulted for the LAPD, and investigated cases as a private detective for hire. Yet nothing could have prepared him for the shocking discovery of a dead, grandmotherly woman at his feet and the cascade of murders that follows, even if he should have been used to it by now.

Now he’s back in the dark world of murder and intrigue where every bullet appears to have his name on it and every answer he digs up seems to only create more questions. Hired by the dead woman’s husband, McGinnis has to figure out who is behind the crime spree. As if the twisted case of a murdered grandmother isn’t complicated enough, Death is knocking on his door, and each time it opens, Death is wearing a new face, leaving McGinnis to wonder who he can actually trust.

Review: Cole’s back!!! And with him is the rest of the gang – Jae-Min, Bobby, Claudia, literally everyone. So happy to see a new story featuring one of my favourite PIs.
The story is vintage Rhys – lush descriptions of the area, lots of banter, sleuthing and dodging bullets – but also heralds a new look at Cole’s life, both personally and professionally.
I loved the murder/mystery aspect of Back in Black, especially as it kept me guessing, also was happy to know of the mentioned characters from another book (Murder and Mayhem series; not that you have to read said books).
So glad Cole is back; actually, he never left since I periodically reread and relisten to the first set of books.

I can safely say I’m going to enjoy this second ride with Cole and the Gang  (no 70’s band were harmed with that pun!).

5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: I’ve Got This by Louisa Masters

Dreamspinner

Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ive-got-this-by-louisa-masters-10788-b

Blurb:
A Joy Universe Novel

Derek Bryer loves his life. His job as an assistant director at Joy Universe, the second-largest theme park complex on the planet, makes him indirectly responsible for bringing joy (pun intended) to millions of people. So what if none of his relationships are that close? Everyone he meets loves him.
Except Trav Jones. For some reason, the visiting Broadway performer would rather Derek just go away. He appreciates Derek’s work ethic, though, and after Trav steps up when Derek desperately needs someone to fill in for his sick staff, Derek seizes the chance to convince Trav he’s not such a bad guy.

Falling in love while distracted by a murder at the park, food poisoning, and colleagues placing bets on their relationship won’t be easy, but between the two of them and with the magic of Joy Universe, they’ve got this.

Review: I loved Derek and his running commentary on things going on in his life and around him. He had a slyly snarky tone which made the overall story fun to read. The story is also told from Trav’s POV, so we get to understand why he’s the way he is.
Derek is somewhat of a workaholic, driven to excel at his job. He’s well-liked by all, so he’s pretty shocked when he meets one person who doesn’t (like him). On top of that, there’s a murder to solve and half the entertainment at the resort have fallen ill.
Trav is not impressed by Derek –at all ☺ But when Derek needs help, he offers his services and helps Derek out of a bind. As both men work together, they get to know each other – Derek loosens up about being work-driven and Trav learns to trust Derek.

This is a really good story with nicely developed characters, the humour (Derek ‘talks’ to the reader, breaking the 4th or 5th wall (I forget!)) and some description of the inner workings of a theme park. I would have like a bit more about the murder as an ongoing thread through the story, but as a romance, this was a really good story! I hope Dimi, (the PA), gets a story – I liked him ☺

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Truth Will Out by KC Wells; narrated by Seb Yarrick

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/truth-will-out-by-kc-wells-9933-b

Blurb:
Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.

They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.
In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull….

Review:

Story:

This was a good story. The murder/mystery held my attention – so many potential murderers to choose from ☺; then there’s Mike, ex DI-turned-pub owner and the younger Jonathon – a world renowned photojournalist. Their romance unfolds over the course of the story, but is not the main focus; the melding of the mystery and romance made it an interesting story.

Narration:

Seb Yarrick is really good here – he has a good range for English accents – from Mike’s slight country burr to the more polished accent for Jonathon (and all the others in between). He has distinct voices for the characters, so I always knew who was talking.
He definitely made this an easy, enjoyable listen, one I would listen to again.

Story: 4 stars
Narration: 4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Release Day Review: Ramen Assassin by Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ramen-assassin-by-rhys-ford-10582-b

Blurb:
When life gives Kuro Jenkins lemons, he wants to make ponzu to serve at his Los Angeles ramen shop.
Instead he’s dodging bullets and wondering how the hell he ended up back in the Black Ops lifestyle he left behind him. After rescuing former child star Trey Bishop from a pair of thugs in the middle of the night, he knows it’s time to pick up his gun again. But it seems trouble isn’t done with Trey, and Kuro can’t quite let go… of either the gun or Trey Bishop.

Trey Bishop never denied his life’s downward spiral was his own fault. After a few stints in rehab, he’s finally shaken off his Hollywood bad-boy lifestyle but not his reputation. The destruction of his acting career and his relationships goes deep, and no one trusts anything he says, including the LAPD. When two men dragging a dead body spot him on a late-night run and try to murder him, Trey is grateful for the tall, dark, and deadly ramen shop owner he lusts over—not just for rescuing him, but also for believing him.
Now caught in a web of murders and lies, Trey knows someone wants him dead, and the only one on his side is a man with deep, dark secrets. Trey hopes Kuro Jenkins will stick around to see what the future holds for them once the dust settles, but from the looks of things, neither of them may survive to find out.

Review: I really enjoy the way Ms. Ford weaves the character of a city, a piece of furniture or other everyday things like birds, smells, tastes into the story. This latest story is no exception. The city of LA, even the seagulls were featured characters ☺
Trey is a washed up child actor. He’s gone through rehab a few times and this time aims to keep on the straight and narrow. However, fate has other plans for him.
Kuro is ex-covert ops (not assassin). Forced to ‘retire’, he’s opened a ramen shop. When he rescues Trey from a violent situation, Kuro finds himself falling back into his old way of life.
Overall, I enjoyed the story but it didn’t feel as tight or as well put together as some of Ms. Ford’s other stories (rushed maybe?). A few things didn’t work for me – the continued hostility of Trey’s family, esp. Kimber; the arc of Kuro’s former mentor coming out of retirement, (possibly continued in the next book?). I felt that the feelings between Kuro and Trey developed a little too quickly – yes they had been eyeing each other prior to them actually meeting – but I really didn’t buy their chemistry. Since this is the first of the series, I hope to see their relationship get more attention and really feel their connection. And I’d like to see Trey’s family situation improve, at least a little.

Story: 4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review