Time to Comfort: Audiobook: Sin and Tonic by Rhys Ford narrated by Tristan James

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/sin-and-tonic-by-rhys-ford-9595-b

Blurb: Sinners Series: Book Six

Miki St. John believed happy endings only existed in fairy tales until his life took a few unexpected turns… and now he’s found his own.
His best friend, Damien, is back from the dead, and their new band, Crossroads Gin, is soaring up the charts. Miki’s got a solid, loving partner named Kane Morgan—an Inspector with SFPD whose enormous Irish family has embraced him as one of their own—and his dog, Dude, at his side.

It’s a pity someone’s trying to kill him.

Old loyalties and even older grudges emerge from Chinatown’s murky, mysterious past, and Miki struggles to deal with his dead mother’s abandonment, her secrets, and her brutal murder while he’s hunted by an enigmatic killer who may have ties to her.
The case lands in Kane’s lap, and he and Miki are caught in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. When Miki is forced to face his personal demons and the horrors of his childhood, only one thing is certain: the rock star and his cop are determined to fight for their future and survive the evils lurking in Miki’s past.

Review:

(Previously reviewed by Dee on this site)

Miki gets his happy ever after! I have had a fantastic time following the series. This last book is just as good, (if not better), than the first.
Miki still has ghosts from his past haunting him. When a stranger who claims to know his mum wants to meet him, he’s understandably skeptical, but curious. Well, the meeting doesn’t go as planned, as someone shoots up the meeting place and the stranger is killed, leaving Edie severely wounded. The murder investigation lands in Kane’s lap and the unraveling of Miki’s past begins.

Although this is the last of the Sinners series, it didn’t feel like a final end, you know? Instead, I felt like I was saying goodbye to my extended family, imagining that I’d see them again in another settings or gathering.
I thought I would be sad reading the last installment – and I was for a bit – but the joy I felt knowing that Miki had finally gotten his happy ending, overrode any sadness. By the end of the book we leave him continuing to heal from all the horrors he’s endured. He is more comfortable with the knowledge that he has a family to call his own, that he can rely on to be there for him. And now, he also knows where he’s from.
It was also lovely to see the others – Dude, Damie and Sionn; Quinn and Rafe; Con and Forest; and of course, Donal and Brigid.
There are a few surprises, heaps of suspense and humour sprinkled throughout the story (indeed, the entire series). But most of all, there is love – romantic and familial within the story; and the love that Rhys has poured into her work.

Absolutely recommend this book and the entire series.

6 stars out of 5

Audio

I will have to agree with Dee for my evaluation of the story. I think – for the most part – that Rhys is a wonderful writer but that you do have to want a certain type of drama to enjoy her stories. She excels at bringing us characters in pain and giving them some sort of resolution. In this series everybody has their back story filled with pain and some with anguish. We couple it with a current bout of violence and luckily the wall of Morgans are there to help keep the tide at bay. I think – though I’ve loved this series so much – that it has come to it’s natural conclusion and aside from some cute side stories – this is a needed/warranted ending.

 

As for the narration- Tristan James is amazing. He’s got this sexy as hell voice and he’s also pretty good at setting the mood for a story with his pacing and energy. For some reason, however, this time around, the voice he chose for Miki is a bit off from what he’d chosen before and it bugged me. Miki didn’t sound like himself – he sounded … softer? I don’t know – but it didn’t match previous narrations. It’s a small thing and definitely doesn’t detract from the rest of the story and all the lovely accents – but it did bug me a little.

 

In any case – fans of the series will be sad to see this one but love it at the same time. It’s not a standalone so don’t start with this one!

 

Recommended!

5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Recent Review: Lazy Sundays by K-lee Klein


Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41998052-lazy-sundays?from_search=true

Blurb
Scott Weston’s car is sensible, his suits are bland, and his job is stable but boring. Mundane routine helps keep his anxiety and obsessive tendencies under control. Socializing—especially dating—isn’t on his list of strong skills either, and, made worse with the echoes of his disapproving mother. So he’s content to stay at home with his lists and cleaning and wildlife documentaries, until a one-night stand goes unexpectedly right.

History has taught Devon DuCaine that dating can be uncomfortable, but there’s just something about Scott. He may be the opposite of Devon’s own long-haired, tattooed, free-wheeling spirit but he brings out the nurturer in Devon. Maybe it’s Scott’s surprising fascination with Devon’s motorcycle, or his shy surprise in moments of affection, but there’s more under those sensible suits than meets the eye. The most important person in Devon’s life, his mom, taught him love and compassion and that’s all he wants to share that with Scott.

Their one-night stand turns into a regular thing, but Scott doesn’t trust it to last. He’s pretty sure Devon is hiding something. He’s even more sure that once Devon gets to know him, the attraction will fade. And then there’s his mother. However many sparks fly between them, Devon will have his work cut out to convince Scott they can have their happily ever after.

Review
Originally this book consisted of two short stories, but the author re-wrote them into one book and added a lot of content. I never read the short stories, but as far as I can tell the added content serves mostly to make the story longer but not better, per se. Some scenes just felt too drawn out to me (how long can a Valentine’s day date drag on?) and the author also repeats certain points so much that it got on my nerves. I understand that Devon had a really good mother and that they were very close, however, I didn’t need to read it quite that many times. And yes, Scott has very low self-esteem, but Devon was constantly there to give him all the validation he could want, so when he continued putting himself down and doubting their relationship I felt he short-changed Devon with his negative attitude.

The story starts when the relationship has been going on for a couple of months, although they haven’t truly put a label or expectations on it yet. There’s something mysterious about Devon who is obviously hiding something, but Scott is slow to catch on. Once that particular cat is out of the bag, though, everyone they meet seems to know about Devon, so it’s a bit odd that Scott was oblivious for so long.

The best part of the book, for me, was when everything seemed to go to pieces because of the “big reveal”. Those scenes are, thankfully, very intense. Up until that time I didn’t feel very emotionally invested in this couple, maybe because everything was going almost too smoothly…uneventfully.

The scenes that deal with Scott’s anxiety and his panic attacks are well-written and feel very real. There is also a lot of playful banter between Scott and Devon, as well as good times with family and friends, which was fun to read.
As far as their relationship goes very little actually happens. I didn’t understand what they saw in each other. Not that they both weren’t likable characters, because they were, I just didn’t feel the magic between them.

So this was definitely not my cup of tea, but it might just be the perfect book for readers who like their romance easy-going, mellow and sweet. An easy read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

This is a short story about Scott and Devon. Scott is a geek with low self worth, anxiety, and OCD. Devon is a sensual Alpha male with tattoos and versatile in the bedroom. Scott likes routine in his life and is thrown off by how someone like Devon would be with him. Little things get to Scott a lot. Having a child with OCD similar to Scott, I know how affected you can be when the routine is thrown off. Devon does seem to try to work with Scott’s routines instead of ignoring or being counterproductive. There is great chemistry. Heart clenching how Scott works himself into a panic over Devon. There was a good mix of angst and cute moments. Worth reading. There are moments of panic attacks, trigger warning.

Number of stars out of 5
5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review

On the whole I did enjoy this book, although in some ways it didn’t quite work for me.

Devon is a rock star and a nice guy, I just wasn’t convinced with his rock star status. It all seemed far too convenient and not totally realistic.

Scott is an accountant with anxiety issues. Again, I liked this character, but having read other books with similar themes, it felt the author had skimmed the surface rather than truly commit to the issues. Even the storyline with his parents was not totally explained and I still felt the situation with his mother was unresolved at the end of the book.

The banter between the two main characters was fun, and the relationship very sweet. I did find myself caring about both Devon and Scott, but I just feel that everything could have of had a little more depth to it.

Number of stars out of 3.5


Purchased copy

Release Day Review: Counterpoint by Anna Zabo

release day review

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39675785-counterpoint?from_search=true

Blurb
Twisted Wishes lead guitarist Dominic “Domino” Bradley is an animal onstage. But behind his tight leather pants and skull-crusher boots lies a different man entirely, one who needs his stage persona not only to perform, but to have the anonymity he craves. A self-imposed exile makes it impossible to get close to anyone outside the band, so he’s forced to get his sexual fix through a few hot nights with a stranger.

When computer programmer Adrian Doran meets Dominic, he’s drawn to the other man’s quiet voice and shy smile. But after a few dirty, demanding nights exploring Dominic’s need to be dominated, Adrian wants more than a casual distraction. He has no idea he’s fallen for Domino Grinder—the outlandish, larger-than-life rock god.

Dominic is reluctant to trust Adrian with his true identity. But when the truth is revealed prematurely, Dominic is forced to reevaluate both his need for Adrian and everything he believes about himself.

Review
This was an amazingly tender love story, extremely well-paced and beautifully worded, crescendoing into a very intense, emotional conclusion. Very enjoyable read.

I completely fell in love with Dominic/Domino. What a wonderful idea to have a nerdy booklover, who struggles with anxiety, hide beneath the persona of a cocky, untouchable rockstar.
Dom hides in plain sight, changing his clothes and hairstyle when circumstances call for it, in true Clark Kent/Superman style.

He has a hard time reconciling these two aspects of his personality, and coming to terms with the fact that he doesn’t have to pick one over the other. Dominic is Domino and vice versa. He is still himself, regardless of how he dresses. Domino can only be strong and self-assured thanks to Dominic’s core of inner strength.
Domino Grinder is very important though, serving two purposes: he allows Dom to perform on stage without succumbing to a panic attack and he offers Dominic Bradley privacy and much-needed anonymity, enabling him to lead a “normal” life, unhindered by paparazzi or fans.

Still, Dom knows his true identity will be revealed sooner or later and then his carefully constructed house of cards will come tumbling down. When he meets and falls, hard, for Adrian Doran, that house of cards seems even more crucial to him, but also far more precariously balanced.

Adrian Doran is a great character. As soon as he meets Dominic, their connection seems inevitable in a meant-to-be, happily ever after way. They click immediately and have insanely intense chemistry together, to say nothing of how utterly sweet they are with each other.
I think Adrian has Dom from the second he shows him his magnificent library. Worked like a charm for Beauty and the Beast, and Dom is equally enchanted!
I adore Adrian for his patience and the care he takes with Dominic. He knows full well that Dom keeps secrets from him and is so respectful of his lover’s privacy, doing everything he can to show Dom that he can trust him.

I loved the camaraderie and playful yet caring dynamic between all the members of the rock band. Their friendship is so important to Dominic. Adrian, likewise, is incredibly fortunate with his friends, Jackson, and Janelle.

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to go Dark: The Making of Matt by Nicola Haken

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25882570-the-making-of-matt?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb:

Matt Carter, self-proclaimed sex-god and drummer for world renowned Souls of the Knight, didn’t have the time or inclination for planning his future, preferring to fill his days with music, women and alcohol. He didn’t want or need anything else in his life.

Until the band parted ways and he found himself no longer living the dream.
Bored and lonely, with too much time and money on his hands, Matt turns to his best friend, Alex Clark, to help devise a new direction to take his life in. Together, they embrace their newfound venture, as owner and manager of one of L.A.’s hottest gay clubs – Kaleidoscope. For the first time, Matt has a plan. He knows where life is heading.
Until a devastating phone call turns his whole world upside down, sending him straight into the comforting arms of his best friend and leading him to doubt everything he’s ever known or believed about himself.
Alex had always been content with his unrequited feelings for his rockstar friend, but as Matt starts to question if he might actually feel the same, he runs as fast as his feet will allow.

Has Matt gone too far? Has his reputation as an irresponsible womanizer who refuses to take life seriously, finally managed to push his best friend away for good?
Or is Alex hiding secrets of his own?

Review: Even though this is the 3rd in the Souls of the Knight series, it can be read on its own – but the first 2 books are good, so give them a try.
Matt was the drummer for the Knights. Now that the band has split up, he’s at a loss for what to do. The one constant in his life is Alex, his best friend. Matt is a lady’s man who has lived up to his rocker rep (brash, no filter, spoilt). However, once he and Alex go into business together, he shows a more stable, sweet side.
Slowly, Matt finds himself falling for Alex, and in his typical way, owned his feelings. Funnily enough, Alex is the one who starts to back-pedal a bit.
When a sensitive issue is revealed, it is done very well and it made their relationship even stronger.
It has all the things I like for an entertaining read – humour, heart low angst and well developed characters.

4.5 stars out of 5

Copy Purchased for Review