Categories
adult - 18+

Soul to Keep Author: Garrett Leigh Narrator: Dan Calley

audiobookreview

Publisher and link to book (i.e. Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36291180-soul-to-keep

 

Blurb
Stand-alone second book in the LAMBDA nominated Rented Heart series.

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place – he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.

Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can’t quit, but when Jamie – so wild and beautiful – bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn’t as compelling as it used to be.

Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie’s fragile facade. He’s winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet.

Review
This book worked as a stand-alone for me. I have never read of listened to Rented Heart and whilst characters do cross over a little I did not feel like I was missing something. This story is all about Jamie and Marc. I absolutely loved their meeting, it was like fate was giving them a push knowing they would be just what each other needed. As Jamie fights to control his addiction his OCD comes more to the front as a way to take control of his life. Such a powerful battle he is going through. Marc is there for him, really they are there for each other. There’s a lot in this story without it feeling overwhelming. I love the realism in Garrett Leigh’s writing. There’s aren’t any cinderfella moments. Everyone has to work hard to get what they want or to be with, without a too heavy load of angst.
Dan Cally’s narration adds a perfect amount of grit with his gravelly voice. He is able to convey Marc’s tired determination of an NHS Doctor and the frenetic worry that drives Jamie. Perfect for me.

Number of stars 4 out of 5 for story
Number of stars 5 out of 5 for narration


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Dare to Hope (All Coks #4) by T.M. Smith

audiobookreview

Audible

https://www.audible.com/pd/Dare-to-Hope-Audiobook/B06XRZWV6V?qid=1559575491&sr=1-8&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_8&pf_rd_p=849b576c-9f69-40b2-8d4a-6288ddffc02f&pf_rd_r=A5YMBGXEFDKSS3PFC66B

Blurb
Tristan is the second oldest of the Brennan brothers and the odd man out. Most of the Brennan men have careers in law enforcement, but as a psychiatrist, Tristan chooses to help people in a different way. Quiet and restrained, he is content to hover in the background of his more gregarious brothers. Then he meets two men, each broken and damaged from losses beyond their control.

Gabriel Simenson is mourning his lover’s death. The random act of violence that took Gio’s life has left everyone at All Cocks reeling. The only thing keeping Gabe from drowning in misery is the friendship he’s forged with Micah, the newest model at All Cocks. He continues to struggle, and at the urging of his All Cocks family Gabe agrees to counseling with Tristan under one condition: Micah must go with him.

Micah Solo can relate to unbearable loss, having lost his leg and so much more in Iraq. The past two years he has been alone, adrift and vulnerable — the memories of war haunting his dreams, spilling over into his daily life. At All Cocks, Micah has found the acceptance he craves and the family he lost, but still he yearns for happiness and peace within.

The friendship between the three is instant, the mutual attraction evident. They circle each other, wanting more, yet unsure if it is truly possible. Is life the mundane reality they’ve each come to accept for themselves or do they dare to hope?

The All Cocks Stories is a series set within the world of online gay porn.

Review

Story:
This was a very convincing, heartwarming m/m/m romance with enough love to go around for all three MC’s. I really liked that it built very slowly from friendship to love and that none of the MC’s issues, Micah’s PTSD and Gabe’s mourning of his partner Gio, were quickly swept under the rug but instead were handled with care and sensitivity, laying the groundwork for an enduring, loving relationship.

Throughout the story, we get a good feel for who Tristan, Micah and Gabe are and how they fit together. There’s some angst and insecurities to overcome and the potential of their bond dawns on all of them at different speeds, which to me made everything seem even more realistic. I loved that Gabe got to have a moment of closure, of sorts, with Gio, and that it helped him move forward with Micah and Tristan.

I always love books with a strong supporting cast and this book definitely has that, thanks to all the friends from All Cocks and Tristan’s family.

Narration:
Joel Leslie’s narration was amazing as always. He truly is incredible with accents and I loved his interpretation of the voices of all three MC’s. The emotion he brings to his performance is pure and so convincing, really bringing these three men to life. I was especially moved by his performance of Micah and Gabe’s anguish at certain points in the story, when dealing with the tragic events in their past.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Dare to Hope (All Cocks Stories, Book 4) by T.M. Smith; narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/author/TM-Smith/B00D8N818E

Blurb:
Tristan is the second oldest of the Brennan brothers and the odd man out. Most of the Brennan men have careers in law enforcement, but as a psychiatrist, Tristan chooses to help people in a different way. Quiet and restrained, he is content to hover in the background of his more gregarious brothers. Then he meets two men, each broken and damaged from losses beyond their control.
Gabriel Simenson is mourning his lover’s death. The random act of violence that took Gio’s life has left everyone at All Cocks reeling. The only thing keeping Gabe from drowning in misery is the friendship he’s forged with Micah, the newest model at All Cocks. He continues to struggle, and at the urging of his All Cocks family Gabe agrees to counseling with Tristan under one condition: Micah must go with him.

Micah Solo can relate to unbearable loss, having lost his leg and so much more in Iraq. The past two years he has been alone, adrift and vulnerable – the memories of war haunting his dreams, spilling over into his daily life. At All Cocks, Micah has found the acceptance he craves and the family he lost, but still he yearns for happiness and peace within.
The friendship between the three is instant, the mutual attraction evident. They circle each other, wanting more, yet unsure if it is truly possible. Is life the mundane reality they’ve each come to accept for themselves or do they dare to hope?

Review: This is another book in the All Cock series and it features a ‘throuple’ in the making.
This story could be read as a standalone, but this one that is best read after book 3.
The blurb describes the story really well and is well crafted – not too angsty, despite the tragedy of losing a loved one, dealing with PTSD and the uncertainty of making a threesome work.
As always, Joel Leslie’s narration is top notch, he has been great with (and for) the series. Suffice it to say that the addition to the series is worth getting as Joel Leslie does an excellent job with this book. Highly recommend.

Story: 4 stars
Narration: 5 stars

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible link

https://www.audible.com/pd/First-Season-Audiobook/B07QYBM3GC?qid=1556388993&sr=1-2&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=JJV5HF5ZYJNWAR02CD01

Blurb

Layton Foxx works hard for what he’s achieved. The condo, the career, the chance to make his mark…it’s all down to the sacrifices he’s made. With tragedy in his past, he doesn’t want or need love. Then he meets Adler Lockhart, the extroverted, sexy winger for the Harrisburg Railers, and abruptly he can’t avoid love even if he wanted to.

Adler Lockhart has had everything handed to him his whole life. Cars, villas, cash, college tuition at the finest Ivy League schools. The only thing he doesn’t have is parents who care, or the love of a good man. Then Layton walks into his privileged life and shows him what real love can be like.

Layton wants success, Adler wants a family…how can love make both these things possible?

Review

This was hysterical! I loved Adler so much! I think this was even better than book 1 and I can’t wait for book 3!

If you love those quirky characters who can’t seem to filter their thoughts – this is totally for you. We get humor, hockey and smexy times! Perfect!

Audio

Sean Crisden does it again! He gives Adler just the right amount of goofiness and Fox the right amount of angsty hero! I love listening to his voice and found his narration boosted this right up to a perfect 5 of 5 stars!

Highly Recommended!

5 of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
Uncategorized

Recent Release: Rebound (Seattle Steelheads #1) by L.A. Witt

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44291916-rebound

Blurb

A forty-something single dad, a twenty-something hockey star, and a whole lot of baggage. No, this couldn’t possibly blow up in their faces.

Officer Geoff Logan has his plate full. His cop’s salary and Marine retirement aren’t enough to make ends meet. He’s got war wounds and demons that are in it for the long haul. His teenagers are, well, teenagers, plus they’re pissed that he left the boyfriend they loved. Can’t a guy catch a break?

Seattle Steelheads center Asher Crowe has it all. A seven figure salary. A literal house on a hill. A stable, loving relationship with an amazing boyfriend. At least, that’s what the world sees. Behind closed doors, he’s been living in a private hell, and when he finally works up the courage to end things, his boyfriend refuses to go quietly.

One call to the cops, and suddenly Geoff and Asher’s paths cross. But is the connection between them simple chemistry? Kindred spirits? Or just a pair of lonely hearts looking for a hot distraction?

And even if it’s more than physical, is there really a future for two men from such vastly different worlds? Especially when the past comes knocking?

This novel is approximately 89,000 words long.
TW: abuse, combat PTSD

Review

There was a LOT that I loved about this. From a hot, steamy romance persepective this was – on fire! The two MCs are open with each other. Share similar backgrounds (in terms of abuse) and really spark one another.

Beyond that there were a lot of problems – for me.

The hockey just wasn’t there enough to make me feel that was part of the story. Beyond some occasional practices and games he could have been in any profession and I think that’s just not applicable. His coming out, his game, his personality, his physicality, and his ego should have played more of a part and it wasn’t that believable.

The kids bothered the crap out of me. I wanted to shake them and their dad for not coming clean. I didn’t get why the ex wanted to manipulate the dad through the kids and that bothered me the entire story.

So… while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it and I’d recommend it with a grain of salt.

3.5 stars of 5 


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: A Body in the Bathhouse by Brad Shreve

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43719899-a-body-in-a-bathhouse?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb: On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall. After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break. A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.
As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

Review: This is more of a mystery with a dash of romance thrown in – I liked it! The story was entertaining, with bits of humour (sometimes dark ☺), a good mystery with interesting, and good, but flawed characters (Mitch especially).
Mitch is trying to keep his business from going bankrupt when he lands a job that could get him more clients. During his investigation of the murder, he meets Trent, the man whose innocence he needs to prove. Their interactions were definitely not romantic; Mitch was sometimes abrupt, bordering on rude, while Trent seemed a bit of a nitwit. What I really enjoyed was the mystery – the misdirection, the possible choices for the murderer and the way I had to follow the whodunit story through Trent’s POV.
As for the romance, or lack thereof, I do hope that in future books both MC’s interact more.

3.75 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Coming soon! Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2) by R.J. Scott and VL Locey

March 27

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42108159-scott

Blurb
What happens when you try to fix the past and end up threatening your future?

Scott is struggling. Grieving the loss of his brother, carrying the weight of his father’s expectations, and getting his ass kicked in the rink, he’s in a downward spiral. He needs a solution and fast, but when his steroid use is exposed, he’s close to losing his place at Owatonna and more importantly, on the Eagles Hockey team. Thrown out of his house, with nowhere to go and no future in sight, he only has one choice; agree to mandatory counseling, random drug tests, and get his act together. Only then will he have a chance at normal. Meeting Hayne, a senior connected to the world through his art, is a shock to the system. Moving in with him is his only option, but falling for the shy artist leaves Scott in an impossible situation, and one he can’t escape.

Hayne has always been that quiet, creative kid who sat in the back of class drawing instead of listening to the teacher. A talented artist, the shy and sensitive young man is struggling with the loss of his childhood friend. Seeing his sadness reflected in his usually colorful paintings, he decides to attend grief counseling and meets Scott, a lost soul in desperate need of light and color in his life. Taking in a homeless hockey player certainly was never part of his carefully orchestrated ten-year plan. But now that Scott is in his life, he’s discovering the joy of this man’s loving smile and tender touch is one of the most beautiful palettes on earth.

Review

Ugh.

Sigh.

Sorry.

I loved book one SO MUCH! I love this spin off as a concept. I love the adjustment to YA/NA as far as theme and topics and steam. I love all of it.

Except … this mostly didn’t work for me.

I’m a fan. I’m following the stories including the supplementals and sometimes I was confused about what happened. I think a bit more surrounding the steroid crisis itself would have helped. Then I really wanted to see more of Scott’s recovery rather than hearing about it off page. I also didn’t buy the family turn around – it didn’t feel authentic and though I can totally get behind shiny happy HEAs – it didn’t resonate. These authors aren’t shy about giving us angst and drama – so own it! Let his family continue to be as they are – maybe give us some glimmers of hope? But it felt too cleanly tied up given the amount of fuckery they’d engaged in for the last 4 or so years.

I super loved Hayne’s family and I somehow wanted to know more about them at the beginning. I was having a hell of a time picturing him until the family came to town and gave me a more solid picture.

The evil roommates. I think we needed to either make this more of the story’s central theme or get rid of them. They were a distraction and OTT. (I hope they were OTT – sheesh!) I really wanted Craig to get a lot more smack down then he got as it is. What a Douche Bag!

Finally – I don’t know where these boys are going. I love that Ten et al are able to help them out – but I kinda wanted them to have a more concrete plan of their own.

As it stands we have this sort of mix of “reality” like situation meets total fairy land and it was conflicted and hard to follow at times.

I’m not sure how much of this comes from the 2 authors collaborative efforts or just because the story itself lacked cohesion but I felt it here more than in their other works together.

I’m still a fan and I still can’t wait for Benoit but I was disappointed.

2.75 rounded to 3 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Love You So Special (Love You So Stories #3) by Tara Lain Narrated by Ry Forest

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-special-by-tara-lain-9894-b

Blurb

Can a man’s secret yearnings be revealed in a tank full of fish?

Artie Haynes knows he’s nothing special, with just-your-regular-brown hair, a solid plumber’s job, not much education, and a family that can barely get off the couch. But Artie has quirks—like his love of tropical fish, a landlord who’s a professor of existentialism, a passion for the amazing piano music he hears at a concert hall while he’s fixing the bathrooms—and the fact that he’s never come out as gay and probably never will. But when he’s hired to build a guesthouse for the pianist whose music enchanted him, Artie is swept up into an unimaginable world.

Francois Desmarais may be famous, rich, and revered as one of the world’s great classical composers and pianists, but he’s soothed and challenged by the inquisitive, stalwart, protective man in his back yard. When Francois’s terrible fear of crowds turns into a dangerous plot, Artie can stay in the closet or prove just how special he is.

Review

This was so awesome! The story is very sweet and very touching. I’m not always crazy about Tara’s dialog – her characters sometimes feel really old fashioned in their speech – but it didn’t bother me much with this one. She is really good at giving us the Blue collar meets white collar guy and this one reminded me a lot of her “Knight of Ocean Avenue” – which is one of my favorites!

I loved the music and color imagery as well as the surprising way everyone acted and turned out. It was a bit sugary sweet at the end with Artie’s family – but you know what? I loved it!

The narrator for this is new to me and I wasn’t super impressed. He did ok but his accent wasn’t great and 50% of the dialog is supposed to be French accent.

The non French parts were good – so I’d give him another chance in the future.

It wasn’t a hardship to listen to but I don’t know that he added a lot.

I’d give the story 4.5 stars
Narrator 3 stars

And overall 4 stars – recommended!


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: In His Sights by L.A. Bryce

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43680948-in-his-sights?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Meet two men who need each other’s help but don’t realize it until it’s almost too late.

Noah is gay and terrified someone might find out. So much so that when he was blackmailed with pictures of himself with another man, instead of coming clean, he left his SEAL team without a word.

The other man is openly gay Mason, a former Marine and now part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task force. It takes eight years after their first meeting in the desert for a chance event bring the two men together again. Now Noah must decide if he’s ready to accept who he is or if it’s easier to cut and run. Can they navigate the obstacles in their path to build a relationship? And why does the thought of that scare them more than investigating a group of terrorists?

Review

This book involves Mason, FBI and Noah, a former SEAL. There is an instant attraction. The way Noah struggles with his sexuality is something that some readers can relate to. It was a shame he was blackmailed. His “hot and cold” with Mason was frustrating, but understandable. Mason lives with guilt for not being able to catch the people responsible for terrorist attacks that affects him personally. The two meet in a bar, had seen each other briefly years ago, and grew close. The book has humor, mystery, action, and some steamy mm scenes. Both go through a lot in the book. It’s not a cutesy and sweet romance, there’s many aspects to the book. Some surprises packed in the book also. Highly enjoyed reading.

Number of stars out of 5

4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Is It Over Yet? by L.A. Witt

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43184087-is-it-over-yet?from_search=true

Blurb

Rhys Powell and Derek Scott are divorcing. Mistakes have been made, lines have been crossed, and there’s no going back. Both men are exhausted and ready to move on.

But their daughter is getting married soon. In the name of not putting a damper on her wedding, Derek and Rhys agree to keep the divorce on the down-low and show up as the happy couple everyone still believes they are.

And between a roller coaster of a road trip and the love and joy surrounding the wedding… Derek and Rhys just might remember why they fell for each other in the first place.

Are they only kidding themselves? Or can a rekindled spark really light the way to forgiveness?

Review

This was a difficult book to get through. Not because it was bad, because it wasn’t. It is actually a very good story but the anguish the two men, Rhys and Derek are going through just ripped through me. The couple have decided to end their marriage after one of the men cheated, but when their daughter’s wedding approaches they decided to try to pretend that everything between them is ok. The forced proximity of the drive to the wedding and the wedding itself really brings things into focus for both men.

The cheating occurs before the book starts and is only mentioned in conversations. The character who cheated, didn’t try to hide what he did but came clean right away. He doesn’t excuse what he did and readily accepts all the anger that is flung his way. It’s obvious to the reader that Rhys and Derek still love each other but there is so much anger still lingering between the two. The real question through the whole book is “is love enough”?

5 Stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review