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Audiobook: Rule Breaker by Lily Morton Audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Rule-Breaker-Audiobook/B07QMZ1Y9Q?qid=1571523000&sr=1-24&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=H2E2R942ZY1VXR844X5T&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_4

Blurb

Is it really wrong to want to murder your boss?

Dylan has worked for Gabe for two years. Two long years of sarcastic comments. Two long years of insults, and having to redo the coffee pot four times in the mornings to meet his exacting standards.

Not surprisingly he has devoted a lot of time to increasingly inventive ways to murder Gabe. From stabbing him with a cake fork, to garrotting him with his expensive tie, Dylan has thought of everything.

However, a chance encounter opens his eyes to the attraction that has always lain between them, concealed by the layers of antipathy. There are only two problems – Gabe is still a bastard, and he makes wedding planners look like hardened pessimists.

But what happens when Dylan starts to see the real Gabe? What happens when he starts to fall in love with the warm, wary man that he sees glimpses of as the days pass?

Because Gabe is still the same commitment shy, cold man that he’s always been, or is he? Has Dylan had the same effect on Gabe, and has his solid gold rule of no commitment finally been broken? With his heart taken Dylan desperately needs to know, but will he get hurt trying to find the answers?

From the author of ‘The Summer of Us’ comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy, showing what happens between two men when rules get broken.

Review

This book was very funny, the banter between the characters witty and addicting. The attraction between Gabe and Dylan ran deep and I liked the build of it as well as the e-mail correspondence that started every chapter that really showed their humor. When I was reading this book in e-book format I had a hard time liking it about halfway through, and in the audio I liked it much better.
I think my one main issue is Gabe, even though I understand why he is the way he is its too hard for me to like him. In the end, despite the romance and sweet ending I feel like Gabe went too far and lost my affection.
Dylan on the other hand, is so likable, and caring. I really enjoyed his character and the way he evolved in the book. His family is funny, and have that ‘real’ feel of authenticity I like in books- with each member being quirky and unique.
The narration by Joel Leslie is fantastic, it’s as if Dylan was tailored to fit him, I can easily imagine him as Dylan. He does great accent work, making each character shine and ramped up the humor. He was a great choice to narrate this book and, like I said, the audio was a much better reading experience for me then the printed version.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: Falling Down by Eli Easton Narrator: Michael Stellman

audiobookreview

Audible:

https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=falling+down+easton&ref=a_typ_t1_header_search

Blurb
Josh finds himself homeless at 18, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

Review
Oh boy the emotions this book pulled out of me. I had not read falling down before listening to it so it was completely new to me. The empty sorrow Josh is feeling is so well conveyed that I felt for him. It’s a bit disconcerting starting to cry whilst listening on train. I wanted to console Josh and encourage him not to give up. This to me Illustrates the power of Eli Easton’s writing. As soon as Mark saw Josh I was keen for them to meet and get together. They both have things they have to come to terms with and the story is about how they do this together without realising that they are actually helping each other. Just working and being with each other They start to see things differently. This comes hurtling to a head towards the end when circumstances make Mark understand how much Josh means to him.
I liked Michael Stellman’s narration he connected me to the emotions of both Mark and Josh. Making them feel real. The only problem I had was with the production. There are gaps between chapters I kept checking the to see why it had stopped but it hadn’t it was the long gap. This pulled me away from the story. But on the whole I enjoyed it, despite the heartbreak.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
2.5 stars Angst Level Book College/University coming of age Contemporary Dancer Dreamspinner Established Couple Friends to lovers Gay Geek/Jock Heat Index Holiday Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Thanksgiving

Code Yellow (Heroes at Heart Book 3) By Susan Laine

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7702

 

CodeYellowLGBlurb

 

Two years have passed since that long, dark, night of despair and near death when English-lit geek Yancy Bell met dancing jock Curt Donovan. Now a couple living in New York, they appear happy and well suited to one another.

But appearances can be deceptive.

Yancy feels Curt is growing distant, and they barely see each other. At Juilliard, Curt has bonded with a new friend, Greg. Yancy fears his relationship with Curt is coming to a head. Meanwhile,Curt harbors a secret that could spell the end of Yancy’s love for him.

Yet neither man dares to confront his fears—or the other.

Will their fate be a code yellow or a golden opportunity?

Review

So this is the third installment – you’re only reading this is you know about Yancy and Curt and how they met, etcetera. Now, Curt’s in Julliard and Yancy’s finishing school and the two are not taking time out for their relationship. Instead, Yancy frets that Curt is lying about all his practice and is instead cheating with a classmate, Greg.

Instead of talking about it, Yancy stalks Greg and calls Curt’s family.

**

So… on the one hand our heroes are back to being happy by the end of the story and we get some really sweet smexy times. On the other hand – most of the book is spent with Yancy pulling his hair out while the reader wants to punch him in the face for not just SAYING SOMETHING!

When he does finally confront Curt, the two have a long discussion that shows Curt’s dark, depressive mind at work again. While I was glad the bladder thing seems to have taken a back seat – at last! – and our couple is working out some more “adult” issues – I really felt that the dialog and the set-up and the “in-laws” and even the classmate were just too “perfect”. None of it rang authentically at all.

The way the young lovers talk to each other is stilted and not at all what people their age would say. Yancy – unfortunately – comes across as extremely needy and co-dependent while Curt comes across as juvenile and insecure.

I had really, really liked these guys in book one, felt not as great by book two and now in book three (with a similar situation facing them based on the excerpt for book four) I think I might be done with this series.

I loved the idea and the unique flavors these characters brought to the table, but the execution in these last two books just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

2.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) second chance at love Teacher

The Worst Bad Thing by JE Birk

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7555

29248968Blurb

 

Iceland, Stonehenge, London, Paris….

To the casual observer, it looks like a dream trip. For Tate O’Reilly, it’s anything but. He’s a man on a mission to rectify a critical mistake, and there’s nothing to hold him back—certainly not friends or family. For Tate, it all comes down to one simple thing—he must fix what he has broken.

What he doesn’t count on is meeting Gabriel Carillo. Gabriel is kind, mysterious, and seems to be on his own mission to ensure their paths keep crossing. But Tate’s hiding an awfully big secret—one he’s certain even Gabriel can’t forgive.

Does a man’s past have to determine his future? In the middle of cities filled with history, Tate is going to find out.

Review

(Spoilers)

 

I can’t really review this without giving away something that I think is obvious but might not be so – stop here if you don’t want to know what happens.

 

 

 

 

**

 

 

 

 

This is a very hard book to read. Tate’s headspace is so dark and confused that it’s difficult to be “with him” while he’s so conflicted. This was well done by the author.

I knew what (or suspected) his end game from the beginning and as such it was so painful to watch him develop a relationship with Gabriel knowing that he planned on ending his own life.

As a result, I was not as “behind” the relationship as I could have been – it felt wrong in a way – for him to be involving himself – at whatever level – given his level of depression. I found the two parts hard to reconcile – his steadfast determination to end his life and yet his desire to be “happy” with Gabriel… it was a hard place to be.

The writing was good and the underlying messages were good – I almost wish that it hadn’t been a romance… in a way I needed Tate to decide his life was worth living without Gabriel.

I really didn’t get Gabriel’s ability to walk away knowing what Tate planned but then be willing to fly back to Paris at the drop of a hat…I’d have thought he’d have fought harder – especially considering his back ground.

So while I think this was a well-written and interesting book, I’m not sure I really bonded with either MC very well, nor did I see much hope for them long term, simply because we didn’t get enough time with them past the sudden ending at Notre Dame. So… as a piece of fiction involving a gay man, I think this is a well-written book. As a romance it didn’t quite fulfill my needs.

3 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
Angst Level Audiobook College/University coming of age Contemporary Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Smitten (SSU Book 2) Audiobook by Maris Black Narrated by Chris Patton

 

Smitten AudioBlurb

Dan Fisher is a fun-loving slacker from SSU with a passion for partying and dancing. When rich girl Avery Wakefield offers him a brand-new designer wardrobe in exchange for posing as her boyfriend, he reluctantly agrees. He hates lying, but it’s hard to turn down nice clothes and a chance to live in a historic mansion in Savannah for two weeks. What he doesn’t count on is falling hard for her mysterious, straight brother.

Julian Wakefield is as tortured as he is handsome. He keeps a secret close to his heart and everyone else at a distance. But now his sister’s new boyfriend is stirring up feelings he’s always been able to deny. Like an angel and the devil all rolled into one, he tempts him to take chances he never would have taken before. Too bad Dan belongs to his sister, whom he would never dream of betraying.

But…put two hot boys with an irresistible attraction in the same house for long enough, something is bound to happen.

Review

So we start at SSU with Dan, a friend of the wrestlers we met in book 1, but we quickly leave the state and head to North Carolina where Dan acts as the straight boyfriend to snooty Avery Wakefield for her cotillion. While there Dan meets her “straight” brother Julian and the two find themselves embroiled in a hot romance that was a bit expected when the dust settles.

It seems a simple enough plot and it was, but there is a hell of a lot of other stuff thrown in to make this simple story more (unnecessarily?) complex.

First, Julian is hiding his sexuality but it doesn’t take much for him to abandon that secret because of his obvious infatuation of Dan.

Second, there is a plot line involving a gay friend who ends up committing suicide and that impacts the group for a minute or two –but I’m not sure it was necessary or really handled all that well.

Third, Julian has a problem with alcohol and his new relationship forces him to come to grips with this in a way that was handled very poorly by Julian and mostly unbelievably by Dan.

Finally, there’s a Big Misunderstanding when Julian disappears that made me absolutely crazy in it’s ridiculousness. Avery wasn’t even freaked when her brother just disappears giving his lover his car and an expensive bracelet. Hello? Someone close to them just killed themselves, shouldn’t that act as a wake-up-call that the closeted Julian might be in danger?

So though I appreciated the attempt at making this story a bit more deep and complex than the previous two stories I have to say it didn’t work for me. I’m still a huge fan of Maris Black and am excited to move on to book 3, but this one left me feeling a little confused and unhappy.

Audio

Chris Patton rocks this narration! His southern accents are to die for and I loved listening to his interpretation of this story. It’s definitely worth a listen especially if you’ve been a fan of the series and of this narrator.

With that all being said, I give this 3 of 5 stars for the narration and the mostly good if somewhat hard to swallow story-line.

 

(Copy Purchased for Review)

Maris Black Presents

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Smitten-Audiobook/B00YT8A8KG

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay GFY/OFY Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Chase in Shadow (Johnnies #1) Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Sean Crisden

ChaseinShadowAudMEDBlurb

Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.

Nobody knows the real Chase.

Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.

Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.

Review

Wow. Okay. First, if you haven’t read an Amy Lane book and you are starting with this series – take heed and have plenty of tissues on hand!

Amy can write fantastical fantasy with crazy and sometimes funny figures, she can write humorous contemporary romance with quirky and quant characters, and she can write heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, hanky-shredding, angst-filled stories that rip your heart out and make it bleed.

This is that last kind.

But – and this is HUGE – she gives you a tremendous pay out. This is important. In her stories she will absolutely drag your heart out through your nostrils but then she mends it, patches it up, and fluffs it with so much caring and tenderness and purely sweet and luscious goodness that when it goes back into your chest (usually at the end) it feels so much better than when you started.

In this series we have Johnnie (who we hear from in his own story Black John) a director of gay pornography. He runs a respectable shop, no taking advantage of the models, clean, safe, etcetera – but it’s porn. Now it’s often called gay for pay, but the so-called straight guys… not always so straight.

That’s where Chase comes in. Chase is gay but he “can’t be”. He has had a horrible childhood – one where he sees his own mother’s suicide and lives with a father who somehow blames Chase for her death.

He turns to porn to make money, though he has a girlfriend he “loves” and wants to be with. He takes on the name Chance and finds his true home with Johnnies.

There Chance meets Tango. Tango is really Tommy, and Tango/Tommy has no problem being gay. They hook up and find an immediate love connection. But Tommy can’t take it that Chase continues to stay with the girlfriend and internalizes his own pain with a horrible eating disorder.

(I warned you – Angst. City.)

We know from early on in the story that Chase attempts suicide. The story explains the whys and the hows and then the what happens next.

Mercy, Chase’s girlfriend is not particularly vilified – although her decision at the end strikes me as not necessarily in line with the rest of her persona and is particularly harsh given the circumstances.

Chase and Tommy are a match made in heaven – both kinda screwed up but oh so passionate. It’s wonderful to watch them fall in love and it was absolutely horrible to watch each of them fall apart as a result of this love.

We also get to meet the cast of characters that fill the coming books and that, too, is fascinating.

I really loved how Amy was able to really get into Chase’s head and show us that in his mind he had NO CHOICE but to do what he did but then – at the last frickin’ moment – it all got so clear for him.

The time spent in the psych ward was hard to read and maybe drug a bit, but I think it helped to really cement the huge change in direction that occurred in Chase’s thinking.

Like I said at the beginning – Amy knows how to bring on the Angst (with a capital A) – but she also brings you back down with an incredible happy ending – one that we get to see develop in the next books even more.

I absolutely love this book, this series and the author. (FWIW this is my second favorite book in the series – Dex is my favorite – but they are all so dang good!)

Audio:

Sean Crisden is a master! I love all his narrations and this was one of the first I’d listened to. He makes a point of keeping all the various characters separate which is a huge undertaking in this series. We end up with a total of 4 couples and lots of side characters and they all are voiced somewhat differently. So giant Kudos there! He also has a way of making the emotion feel so authentic. He does “perform” the stories – not merely read them.

6 of 5 stars

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To Buy

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