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Upside Down Audiobook by N.R Walker, Narrated by Glen Lloyd.

audiobookreview

 

Blurb
Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But when he realizes adding the label ‘asexual’ might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared, but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

Review
This was my second time reading this story, in audio this time. I admit I didn’t like this narrator in another book, he was not bad, just had a sort of flat emotional range in my opinion. Yet, here I slowly grew to love him, he had a great comedic sense, and I felt like he enjoyed narrating this book. I loved hoe he interpreted the characters, he got Jordan’s wacky, quirky humor just right, and added this layer of softness to the relationship between he and Hennessy.
This book was incredibly sweet, with the humor I liked so much in Walker’s ‘The Weight of it All’ and dealing with the subject of Asexuality in a wonderful eye-opening way. Walker showed the struggle Asexuals face in our overly sexualized culture.
I think the thing that makes this story so good it how much you don’t really need sex to feel the romance, longing and passion Jordan and Hennessy feel for each other. Jordan is one of the funniest characters I’ve read in a long time, and he had me laughing more times than I can count. Angus and Merry were some of the most amazing side characters I have ever read and I wish we could get their story someday.
This book makes you feel so good, while still having emotional depth and dealing with serious themes. The ending leaves you smiling and a gooey happy pile of emotions. Just a wonderful read through and through.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Next to Me by: Veronica Cochrane

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/next-to-me-by-veronica-cochrane-11803-b

Blurb
Can an awkward student and a closeted rock star make beautiful music together?

Music composition student Chase Collins has always worn his heart on his sleeve. That’s why it was so quick to break in high school when Chase lost Carter West, his best friend and first love, to an ill-fated kiss.

Imagine Chase’s surprise five years later when Carter, now a rising rock star, admits to the world that Chase inspired his band’s award-winning song—and that Carter was in love with him all along.

Frontman Carter West has been closeted his whole life. Now that he’s out in the most public way possible, he can finally indulge in the romantic impulses he’s always had to keep stifled. Reconnecting with Chase gives him the opportunity to explore a whole new side of himself.

But the next tour draws inevitably closer, and Chase is wary. Carter left Chase once before. Can two gifted musicians write themselves a love song that will last a lifetime?

Review
I found this to be a sweet second chance, friends to lovers romance. What I liked most was there wasn’t a lot of miscommunication and drama in this story. The time gap was only five years but in that time both Chase and Carter have had to do a lot of growing up. The fame angle was handled well without anyone becoming starstruck. I enjoyed the story. It was nice and light with a little friction to keep life interesting. When the story switched POV between the characters it took me a little while to settle into which character was speaking, nothing to detract from the story.

Number of stars 3 out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Pieces of You audiobook by N.R. Walker, narrated by Glen Lloyd

audiobookreview

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53351569-pieces-of-you?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=xyeXC1Pzm9&rank=1

Blurb
Dallas Muller has everything he never expected he’d have. He owns a successful motorbike mechanic shop in Newcastle, and he’s madly in love with his boyfriend of four years, Justin Keith.

Justin has always struggled to find where he fit in, never realising his true worth or what it means to be loved—until he met Dallas. Living and working together might be too much for some, but Dallas and Justin wouldn’t have it any other way.

When a terrible accident tears their world apart, Justin’s left with no memory of Dallas or their relationship. Trying to put the pieces back together is almost impossible when some pieces are blank and some are missing altogether. Dallas has to let Justin find his own way back to him and just hope that their love will light the way.

Review
The narration was an issue for me, I think the narrator had a weird cadence when the characters were not talking, and it threw me off. When characters were speaking, he had a great range of emotions, distinct voices and I liked the narration a lot. It was still hard for me to ignore all the other parts when he had his normal speaking voice. It was not bad. I just didn’t click with it and it was bothering me all the time.
Listening to the story a second time (after reading the e-book) I still felt like the ending was a bit too cut off. Even though it was a soft cliffhanger type of ending, I felt like I was missing pages and looked to make sure I had read through.
What I loved: The way the amnesia and hospital stay were described. It felt much more realistic them any book I read with a similar plot, and it punches you in the gut that much harder because of it. The plot revolves around a few characters, and it feels small yet significant in its focus on them. The story flowed so well, and I adored how Dallas made sure to keep the boundaries so Justin could feel safe to recover and feel what ever he felt without pressure to remember the years he lost.
I did feel like towards the end it became a bit rushed to have a sort of HFN ending. And to me the Slow Burn, and the wonderful, gentle pace of the story were lost. I look forward to the next piece of the story to see how Dallas and Justin face the new challenges that will surely come their way.

Number of stars out of 3 of 5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Paint by Number by Andrew Grey

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/paint-by-number-by-andrew-grey-11718-b

Blurb

When New York painter Devon Starr gives up his vices, his muses depart along with them. Devon needs a change, but when his father’s stroke brings him home to Alaska, the small town where he grew up isn’t what he remembers. Enrique Salazar remembers Devon well, and he makes it his personal mission to open Devon’s eyes to the rugged beauty and possibilities all around them. The two men grow closer, and just as Devon begins to see what’s always been there for him, they’re called to stand against a mining company that threatens the very pristine nature that’s helping them fall in love. The fight only strengthens their bond, but as the desire to pick up a paintbrush returns, Devon also feels the pull of the city. A man trapped between two worlds, Devon can only follow where his heart leads him.

Review
Paint by Number was another great story by Andrew Grey. This story, like most of Andrew’s books is sweet and full of feelings. I really enjoyed the two main characters, Devon and Enrique. I like that these two have a long history between them. Friends to Lovers is one of my comfort tropes. I thought that I might have a hard time with this book since Devon is a recovering alcoholic and that subject tends to be a touchy one for me, but Andrew handled the subject well. I also like the fact this this story took places in Alaska. Unlike the last few books I read from Andrew, this one really sucked me in. It’s written very well (not surprising), has compelling characters and beautifully described settings.
If you’ve never read a book from Andrew Grey and even if you have, I highly recommend this one.

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Fire and Diamond By Andrew Grey

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54471813-fire-and-diamond?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=jkIVHzXXH9&rank=2

Blurb
A Carlisle Deputies Novel

When Deputy Nick Senaster chastises a bunch of college kids at a bar, he doesn’t think anything of it, even if their leader is gorgeous. The guy is too young and way too cocky, and soon Nick has an emergency foster placement to focus on. His first job is ensuring ten-year-old Ethan knows someone cares for him. But Nick doesn’t realize Ethan is a package deal.

When Alexander finds out his abusive stepfather, Dieter, has lost custody of his half brother, he’s torn between relief and dread. Alexander can’t get custody until he can provide a home for his tiny family. In the meantime, at least Ethan’s foster father will let Alexander visit.

So of course the man turns out to be the cute but dour cop who gave Alexander a hard time.

Soon Nick and Alexander discover they misjudged each other. Nick is more than an authoritarian automaton, and Alexander has a drive and a maturity that belie their first meeting. But between a campaign of intimidation from Dieter, their own insecurities, and the logistics of dating with Ethan’s fragile sense of stability hanging in the balance, they have their work cut out for them if they want to build a future.

Review
So far I have enjoyed all the books in the Carlisle Deputies series and this one did not disappoint. Like all of Andrew’s books, the characters very well written. The story itself deals with issues of child abuse so that may be triggering to some.
Nick and Alexander are the main couple of this story. Nick is dealing with his boyfriend leaving him and also the new foster child he took in. Alexander has his own family issues as well.
This is a typical Andrew Grey story, a little action, some suspense, a touch of heat and a whole lot of romantic feelings.

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Shortbread and Shadows Author: Amy Lane

 Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/shortbread-and-shadows-by-amy-lane-11686-b

Blurb
Hedge Witches Lonely Hearts Club: Book One

When a coven of hedge witches casts a spell for their hearts’ desires, the world turns upside down.

Bartholomew Baker is afraid to hope for his heart’s true desire—the gregarious woodworker who sells his wares next to Bartholomew at the local craft fairs—so he writes the spell for his baking business to thrive and allow him to quit his office job. He’d rather pour his energy into emotionally gratifying pastry! But the magic won’t allow him to lie, even to himself, and the spellcasting has unexpected consequences.

For two years Lachlan has been flirting with Bartholomew, but the shy baker with the beautiful gray eyes runs away whenever their conversation turns personal. He’s about to give up hope… and then Bartholomew rushes into a convention in the midst of a spellcasting disaster of epic proportions.

Suddenly everybody wants a taste of Bartholomew’s baked goods—and Bartholomew himself. Lachlan gladly jumps on for the ride, enduring rioting crowds and supernatural birds for a chance with Bartholomew. Can Bartholomew overcome the shyness that has kept him from giving his heart to Lachlan?

Review
I don’t always know what I’m going to get with a book written by Amy
Lane but I know I am going to enjoy it. With this book Amy has given us love and magic, what a potent combination. I fell in love with timid, shy, naive Bartholomew who turns out to be a hero in this story. Lachlan is determined that Bartholomew will pay attention to him and realise how much he is attracted to Bartholomew. Here’s where love and magic get sticky because you can’t fool magic. Magic knows Bartholomew’s true hearts desire is Lachlan. Now the fun begins in the book. Such a wonderful comedy of errors occurs as
Bartholomew, his coven and Lachlan try to appease magic and put things right. True love blossoms in amongst the mayhem and Bartholomew realises he can rely on Lachlan to back him up and support him.
Whilst Bartholomew and Lachlan’s story comes to a wonderful happy for now ending there was a tiny cliffhanger. I do hope the next story is out soon this coven grabbed my heart with their spell and I don’t want to break free from them just yet.
Number of stars out 5 of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Ride the Lightning (Sinister in Savannah Book 1) By Aimee Nicole Walker

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54226440-ride-the-lightning?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=T0n02eFgxF&rank=3

Blurb

Truth seeker. Promise keeper. Guarded heart.

By day, Jonah St. John is a criminal analyst for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. By night, he produces Sinister in Savannah, an investigative podcast, with his two best friends. Jonah’s life revolves around three principles: a man’s word is his oath, friendships are priceless gifts, and love is for other people.

When the Sinister in Savannah team delves into the thirty-eight-year-old murder of a drag queen, they quickly discover that the story doesn’t end with the alleged killer’s confession in 1995. Continuing the investigation could have fatal consequences for Jonah and everyone he holds dear, including his irresistible intern.

To love is to lose: a lesson Jonah has learned the hard way. For a decade, he has embraced solitude as his penance for a past mistake. Then came Avery Bradford, a man whose warmth and sunshine infuses Jonah’s battered soul and challenges his resistance. Over the past eight months, Jonah has soared closer and closer to Avery’s flame until the thing he’s feared the most becomes the one he can’t live without.

The chill of danger merges with the heat of desire, forming a deadly superstorm. Will Jonah seek shelter or ride the lightning?

Sinister in Savannah series is a fictional podcast exploring the city’s most nefarious crimes with Southern-fried snark. The books explore friendship, love, loss, and the irrepressible human spirit. Ride the Lightning is book one of three. While each book is written about a different couple, the series should be read in order. Sinister in Savannah is an LGBT romantic suspense series with mature language and sexual content intended for adults eighteen and older.

Review

From start to finish this book had me enthralled. The suspense, the romance, the hurt, all the feelings. I loved getting to see Jonah on a more personal side. His devotion to Marla was unexpected. I enjoyed how his relationship with Avery unfolded. I was very shocked as the “bad guy” was reveled.
Great story! Can’t wait for the next book.

5 of 5 stars

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent release: Love me Daddy by: Elouise East

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53845736-love-me-dadd

Blurb
Will their pasts stop them from striving for a future?

Being homeless makes finding a safe Daddy experience difficult, which is confirmed when Nathan is almost knocked out after calling out the word during a liaison. When Loren steps in to aid him, Nathan is ready to let the strong man take charge. But he won’t ask for what he really needs, not when the reaction could be so extreme.

With many failed relationships in his past, Loren yearns for the perfect boy to cherish, but it’s a fantasy in more ways than one as far as he can tell. Nathan’s vulnerability calls to his protective instincts, but he refuses to cross the line. And then he finds Nathan’s need of him is very real.
When Loren assumes control, it centres them both but as they explore their way through this new dynamic, Nathan needs to learn if he’s going to be Daddy’s good boy or Daddy’s little brat

Review
It was a nice surprise reading a uk based Daddy/boy story. The other aspect that I liked was that Nathan’s little side was about 6 or 7, I would guess. It made a nice change from ABDL. Although I was sceptical about their start. Loren was a Good Samaritan who helped Nathan when he was injured. The part I was sceptical about was leaving a stranger alone in his home. But that could say something about me rather than the story. It is a very sweet story where in essence soul mates meet. The difficult topics of homelessness and what is needed to be done to survive are handled lightly, possibly glossed over. This story has a very light feel good touch. Both Loren and Nathan had given up on meeting someone who would match their kinks. But a chance encounter made all their dreams come true. A chance for a fairy tale happy ever after.

Number of stars 3 out of 5

Reviewer Name: MaryD


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Poker Face by Cindy Dees

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/poker-face-by-cindy-dees-11661-

Blurb
Surveillance, seduction, and extra-dirty politics.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis has a problem. A huge one. The US senator he works for has run away with his latest mistress on the eve of a make-or-break fund-raising event, and it’s up to him to cover his boss’s irresponsible tracks.

Stone Jackson, the senator’s new bodyguard, looks enough like the senator that, with some extensive grooming, he might pass for Senator Lacey. Christian and Stone hatch a plan to fool everyone by substituting Stone for the senator, but Miami madness and the incendiary heat between them are throwing obstacles in their way. It’s a race to find the senator and pull off the con of the century before the attraction between them spins completely out of control

Second Edition
First Edition previously published by Dreamspinner Press as Ace in the Hole by Ava Drake, July 2016

Review
I found Poker Face to be a delightful story. I loved the way the hard disciplined body guard caves in to Christian to take on the persona of Senator Lacey. This story could easily have become slapstick comedy but the author controlled the events brilliantly. It was easy to see the events unfolding, wondering where it was going. I was hoping the Senator gets his just deserts after skipping of with his current mistress. I didn’t see the ending coming, wonderful.
The characters are well crafted and totally lovable, even Jack Lacey is the kind of character I love to hate. Throughly enjoyable story.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Pieces of You by N.R. Walker

Blurb
Dallas Muller has everything he never expected he’d have. He owns a successful motorbike mechanic shop in Newcastle, and he’s madly in love with his boyfriend of four years, Justin Keith.

Justin has always struggled to find where he fit in, never realising his true worth or what it means to be loved—until he met Dallas. Living and working together might be too much for some, but Dallas and Justin wouldn’t have it any other way.

When a terrible accident tears their world apart, Justin’s left with no memory of Dallas or their relationship. Trying to put the pieces back together is almost impossible when some pieces are blank and some are missing altogether. Dallas has to let Justin find his own way back to him and just hope that their love will light the way.

Review
I really enjoyed the story about 85% through, but felt the ending was a bit too cut off. Even though it was a soft cliffhanger type of ending, I felt like I was missing pages and looked to make sure I had read through.
What I loved: The way the amnesia and hospital stay were described. It felt much mor realistic them any book I read with a similar plot, and it punches you in the gut that much harder because of it. The plot revolves around a few characters, and it feel small yet significant in its focus on them. The story flowed so well, and I adored how Dallas made sure to keep the boundaries so Justin could feel safe to recover and feel what ever he felt without pressure to remember the years he lost.
I did feel like towards the end it became a bit rushed to have a sort of HFN ending. And to me the Slow Burn, and the wonderful, gentle pace of the story were lost. I look forward to the next piece of the story to see how Dallas and Justin face the new challenges that will surely come their way.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review