Audiobook Review: P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon Narrated by Noah Michael Levin

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/ps-i-spook-you-by-se-harmon-8565-b

Blurb
SSA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency’s golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one slight, tiny, itty-bitty paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden he’s the agency’s embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself—go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him.

Cold-case detective Daniel McKenna’s latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Five years earlier, high school student Amy Greene went missing after leaving her part-time job and was never seen again. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help that his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex.

It doesn’t help that Rain is pretty sure he’s falling in love with Danny all over again—if he ever stopped. Add to that the frustration of seeing ghosts at every turn while he works a case that’s stalled in its tracks, and Rain is starting to wonder if second chances and happy endings are just for fairy tales

Review
I reviewed the book when it came out and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad that I didn’t remember the story at all. Good in the sense that I was able to come to it fresh, but bad that it obviously was not memorable in the least. Having said all that I completely enjoyed this story which was mixture of ghost and reluctant medium with a good dose of second chance romance. Paranormal stories have always intrigued me. This one was about Rain both coming home and coming to terms with his powers. The ghosts, particularly one called Ethan, are hounding him to help them find peace and cross over. However returning home means meeting with his ex Danny. Rain never got over Danny despite being the one to break up with him. Rain and Danny do get their happy ever after but for me it felt like the medium side of his story was just beginning. I would love a second book, or even a short story about how they are getting on. Especially as Rain’s family are wonderfully quirky characters and would certainly make the story very interesting. But at this stage I doubt a sequel will be forthcoming. I mustn’t forget the mystery side of the story which turns out to be a murder. This kept me guessing until near the end when it all fell into place.
I’ve not listened to anything by Noah Michael Levine before. He has a smooth voice very easy to listen to and absorb into the story. He acts out the story line well ensuring all the characters stand out with their own voices and personalities. Overall a good listen but I’m not sure if it’s going to stick in my mind.

Number of stars out of 5
4 out of 5 for both the story and narration


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Audiobook: Bad to the Bone by Nicki Bennett Narrated by Colin Darcy

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bad-to-the-bone-by-nicki-bennett-9442-b

Blurb

A second chance at first love—if he has the courage to take it.
Alex can’t think of himself as anything but a failure. In high school, he was on the fast track to a career in pro football when he forged an unlikely friendship with a half-Comanche boy from the wrong part of town, Ricky Lee Jennings. Their shared love of books could have grown into more—but a homophobic teammate attacked Ricky Lee, and Alex wouldn’t risk his scholarship to defend him. Ricky Lee was kicked out of school, and Alex never heard from him again.
Now Alex’s glory days are nothing but a memory. An injury ended his football aspirations, his marriage fell apart, and his dreams of making a difference as an environmental lobbyist are as dead as his fantasies of sports stardom.
But all that could change in one magical night, when Ricky Lee shows up at their high-school reunion.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

While I don’t usually like “second chance” books, I really enjoyed this one.

This was very heart-felt, with a real-ish type setting but enough “fantasy” elements to make it feel a bit like Cinderella.

I loved the added touches of making Ricky Native American, as well as rich. The “bad guys” were super bad and I definitely felt like I was reading an old timey romance – with a gay twist!

I thought Alex and Ricky Lee had great chemistry and their story was mostly sweet and little hot. I loved Sam – especially the end scene!

Overall this was exactly what you’d expect for the genre, well-written and a quick sweet read.

 

Audiobook

I found the narrator, Colin Darcy, to be good but not great.  He definitely makes the attempt to give everyone a unique voice and does his best to “act” out the emotions.  However, there are times when his narration is rather sing-song and while I appreciate his attempts, he doesn’t always give a good match in terms of tone or tenor to the emotions that he is reading.

Those are definitely “icing of the cake” type issues and the main body of his narration is good and solid and easily a perfectly fine way to enjoy this story.

Overall 3.75 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to get Paranormal: Chasing Destiny (Silver Tip Pack book 2) By Megan Erickson

 

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33795022-chasing-destiny?from_search=true

Blurb
Bay has had his fair share of hardships, as brother to the Alpha of the Silver Tip Pack. He almost died when a usurper took the opportunity the alpha was away on a rescue mission to try and take over. Upon his brother’s return he discovers the one person he cannot forget, his best friend Nash, was still alive all these years after he disappeared when they were boys. The news is as unsettling as the fact Nash has been lost again, with no hope of returning, sacrificing his life to buy Dare and his team time to get back to safety when the Noweres attacked.

Now Bay is restless, choosing to go outside the safety of their compound for Reese’s long though dead tribe. New intel says there are possible survivors there and Dare. As alpha, must see if they can be allied with, for the sake of his mate. Bay expects to find some lost wolves barely hanging on and not the small, yet strong, community who is more that capable to defend itself. And he was not expecting to find Nash again, after mourning him twice and giving up any shred of hope, the one person he has always loved. But the years Nash was away have damaged his body and soul, and unlocking the secrets of his past might lead to an enemy much worse than the Undead Noweres and their single minded need to kill.

Review
This was a book I was anxiously anticipating after book one, and Nash and Bay’s story was as thrilling and emotional as it was hot. I loved the expansion of the world Megan created with the addition of Reese’s tribe and their leader Pace. I also adored how intricately she wrote Nash’s back story, it’s raw and sad but also adds a whole new dimension and a ruthless enemy for our group of heroes. We also get a look as how they live in this dystopian future after all the humans died in the virus and the Noweres appeared.
Bay and Nash share an unbreakable bond, one that time and pain could not erode, and the Friends-to-Lovers theme is strong in this book. The added bonus of the shifter dynamics, the pack bond between them makes their love almost visceral. Nash has been found and is slowly getting his strength back, but the past scars he carries are deep and he keeps pushing Bay away. Bay, the fun loving optimist that he is, doesn’t let him get too far despite his attempts of running away. They are fun to read about with an air of longing in every touch and moment between them, and they are smoldering hot together.
When Nash’s fate in those lost years is revealed Dare has to reevaluate the world he lives in and what he thought to be facts. Nash is not the only one holding secrets, Pace has some of his own and in order to survive they have to work together and trust each other, not an easy feat when testosterone and egos are at play. I loved them so much, especially when the horrors of Nash’s live are discovered. You just feel so much for him, for all of them really- thrust in a cruel violent future fighting against bloodthirsty monsters and evil beyond human comprehension.
This book is almost like a detective story, were you gather tidbits of information and try to put the puzzle pieces together. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, an MMF according to Megan’s FB group post and more of this world.

Number of stars out of 5
4.5 stars

 

Purchased for review

 

Time to get Paranormal: Home is Where You Are by Alex Jane

 

Good Reads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30348934-home-is-where-you-are?from_search=tru

Blurb
By the winter of 1870, Caleb Fletcher has carved out a sheltered existence for himself in a simple cabin, outside a small town in the backwaters of Nebraska, resigned to living out his days as a solitary wolf. But his quiet life is interrupted when another werewolf lands on his doorstep on the eve of a snowstorm, brutalized almost beyond repair, with nowhere else to turn.

When Caleb reluctantly welcomes Jacob into his cabin, and eventually his bed, it forces him to face up to the traumas he’s been running from; the shame that made him leave his pack behind, and the horrors of war he endured.

As the weeks pass, it seems that Jacob’s arrival might not be the coincidence it first appeared. Jacob has an agenda. One that involves Caleb. And if Caleb agrees to it – if he can let go of his past and his prejudices – it will change Caleb’s whole world. Maybe even for the better.

Without a mate – a family, a pack – a wolf has no home.
But what if home finds you

Review
Home is where you are is one of the shifter books that I will come back to over again. It’s different. It’s the kind of story that has a realism about it, if Shifters existed that is. First it’s set in 1870’s not long after the Civil War. I love this world Alex Jane has built. The werewolves are mistrusted by humans but they are willing to use the werewolves abilities when it suits them. The werewolves have their own communities and businesses, so there is an element of segregation. We meet Caleb after he has returned from war serving in a specific werewolf battalion. He feels the need to isolate himself from his pack, not just because of what we now recognise as PTSD but also shame he feels over being attracted to other male werewolves. The narrative evokes a picture of a lonely soul cutting himself off from the world. That is until Jacob comes into his life in quite a dramatic way. I love the way the story is about the culture in the old west, finding family, his home and giving himself absolution for his mistaken beliefs. If you think you’ll enjoy this book I encourage you to look at the rest of the series, following this family through many major events in their life.

5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

 

Recent Release: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

 

Good Reads Link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41733251-any-given-lifetime?from_search=true

 

Blurb

Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.
As an adult, Neil finds there’s more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua’s long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.
When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can’t believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?

 

Review by Karen

One of the most original love stories I’ve ever read! A great twist on the popular May/December trope and an incredibly unique second chance at love story. It nearly broke my heart, but luckily the author stitched it back together!

 

Leta Blake has an incredible gift with words and shows true excellence in weaving together Neil and Joshua’s almost epic tale. The emotions in this story soar to great heights, but there is also a lot of sadness and loss to overcome. And it’s all written in such a beautiful and moving way, as if she’s writing on our hearts instead of on the pages of the book.

I don’t think anyone could read this story and not feel touched by it.  

I love the way she uses dreams and their symbolism to help the characters deal with everything that happens, and also gives them a way to connect with each other when that doesn’t seem possible in real life.

Neil is a strange and complex character, in both his lifetimes. He doesn’t make friends easily, so I was glad to see him form a friendship with Derek. Neil’s so intense and focused, so dedicated to his research, and to Joshua’s happiness. Absolutely amazing guy. I was so impatient for him to grow up so he could finally reconnect with Joshua. But the author knew better than to rush that, and she builds up the tension and emotion very skillfully.

Joshua has built a life for himself, though he never really stopped loving Neil or grieving for him.

I loved how the author gave him a way to be (mostly) happy during the years it takes Neil to grow up, again. A bittersweet interlude, that afterwards connects with Neil in the most wonderful way. Can’t say more about that, but absolutely loved it.

Alice, Neil’s “second” mother, is amazing. She loves her little boy with all her heart, knowing and accepting who he truly is, however far-fetched it must have seemed. She struck me as really special and precious, and I was glad to be given a glimpse of her HEA as well. I simply adored that we got scenes from her perspective too.

This is a truly extraordinary love story.

Number of stars out of 5: 5

 

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review by Neta

I was ready for some heart ache reading when I started this book, but like any other Leta Novel I read to date I was grossly unprepared for the emotional weight of it.
Neil and Joshua’s story is a heart wrenching tale of humanity and love, and I was overcome with emotions about life in general while reading.
First, you start out with Joshua in pain after losing Neil, missing out so many things they never did together because of fear. And the way he slowly built his life, picked himself up and met Lee a few years after that was awe-inspiring. I loved how Leta wrote his emotions, his love for both men, how their lives were interwoven and connected through Neil and because of his death, or should I say his life. This book really got me thinking ABOUT life and what the near future might hold for me and my loved ones, because it dealt with all that in Joshua’s life. Also, through the advancement of the nanite technology in the years 2019-2032 (the future of our present-day the book takes place in) Leta also talks about how technology evolved in our lives. Some of it is amazing and saves lives, other parts of it are too rushed and end up doing more bad then good, or changing how we live irrevocably. It is a very relevant topic in our time today, I think, and I liked that this book, despite it being a Romance, managed to enfold so many real emotions and feeling/fears readers face now or might face in the future.

The non-linear timelines are interesting, and really emphasized the convoluted nature of their lives, of Neil’s very existence. They show glimpses into the past and expose the nature of the characters, not just details from their past.

Second, the reincarnation theme has been written about, and the concept of finding yourself stuck in a too-young body is often referred in a humoristic way in books and film. Not here, Leta brought the truest- most painful depiction of a reincarnated reality in Neil. Having been born with the full knowledge and most of his memories he is in a constant state of loss and longing for the Joshua. And his mother, god bless her soul, is such a wonderful character, a true image of motherhood and limitless love. Neither one asked to be in this situation, her expecting her dead boyfriend’s baby, and Neil to simply die and not be stuck in a child’s body, desperate to grow and meet Joshua again. It was such a twisted way to live, and you can’t help but want them to be together while liking Lee and Joshua as a couple too. And they are also surrounded by mazing friends, Derek and Chris who are accepting and supporting through thick and thin.

When Neil, now aged 20 again, and Joshua meet for the first time in this lifetime, it is an explosive, erotic expression of love and longing. They ARE meant to be together, and the strength of their love is incredible. Especially as Joshua keeps talking about Neil’s faults when he remembers him, Neil is not an ideal, a sweetened memory made better by time. He is as much alive in Joshua’s heart as he is in the future Neil’s soul.

This book is about life, in all its forms, and love, of the purest kind. It deals with humanity, is about setting up your goals in life, about the journey as much as the ending. About taking chances, knowing what you need and want, and I found myself grateful for friends and family, thinking about the years to come while reading. Only Leta can take you through such a journey while you read about two men in love longing to be together. I kinda wanted to re-read it straight away, but my heart needs some room to expand before I can do that again. An amazing book by an author I admire, go read it if you like May/December, Second Chance and are just plain looking for a book unlike any other. You won’t be disappointed.

 

5 magnificent stars.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to get Paranormal: Noel (Council Assassins Book 2) by Catherine Lievens

eXtasy Books Inc
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40123295-noel?from_search=true

Blurb
Noel has spent the past seventeen years focusing first on his studies, then on his job as a lawyer, but the man he had a one-night stand with never left his mind—or his heart. He doesn’t know what it was about Roark, but he’s never been able to forget him, and he’s stopped trying. Instead, he works with the council to help shifters who can’t afford a lawyer. When he receives threats that have to do with the murder case he accepted, he calls Kameron Rhett from the council, who then calls the council’s best-hidden secret—the assassins.

Roark has been a council assassin since he was freed from the lab he spent years in. It’s the only place he fits in, with the other assassins, the people who share a trait with him—all of them have been genetically modified. Roark hates his ability to manipulate minds, and when he realizes the man he’s supposed to protect is the mate he thought long lost, he tries to get out of it.

But Noel is stubborn and headstrong, and he won’t take no for an answer. Between him and Roark’s bear, Roark doesn’t have a choice, and the more time he spends with Noel, the more he falls for him. Will he be able to save his mate from the man after him? And if he does, will he manage to allow himself the happiness he’s been longing for?

Review
I discovered Catherine Lievens’ Whitedell Pride and Gillham Pack series’ about a year ago and binge read the first 40 books or so!! I love the multitude of shifter and paranormal characters she writes about. Noel is a human lawyer who is getting death threats due to his representation of shifter wrongly accused of murdering a human female. In comes Roark to protect him. Roark sees himself as a monster due to what was done to him by human scientists, in reality he is another tortured soul. The chemistry between Roark and Noel is off the charts. This is their second chance at love. I have to say I didn’t see twist ending. I think this could be read as a stand alone but do yourself a favor and read them all!!
4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Time to Get Paranormal: Seen: An Omegaverse Story (Breaking Free Book 2) by A.M. Arthur

 

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36281352-seen

Blurb

Hell is a six-by-six jail cell and no hope for the future.
Kell Iverson has never raised his hand against another person in his entire life—and yet somehow he’s been arrested and charged with the murder of his alpha mate Krause. Sure, Krause brutalized him on a daily basis, and Kell hated his mate, but he never wanted the man dead. Not fighting the charge and accepting his fate is the easiest path—except Kell doesn’t think he’ll survive a week in prison, and he doesn’t want to disappoint his younger brother Braun by giving up. He also doesn’t expect to recognize the lawyer who shows up to defend him.
Ronin Cross was barely eighteen when he felt the mating bond with then-fourteen-year-old Kell, but his family moved away before Ronin could decide what to do. For the last ten years, he hasn’t forgotten teenage Kell, hasn’t mated, and now he’s in Sansbury Province to defend adult Kell from a capital murder charge. The mating bond is still there, but now isn’t the time to pursue anything with his fragile, battered, emotionally-damaged client.
For Kell, the term “kind alpha” is a contradiction, because he’s never known one. He went from abusive father to abusive mate, and for twenty-four years, he’s simply done what he’s told. But Ronin asks Kell what he wants. What he likes. Ronin sees him, and it’s both confusing and delightful. But Kell is facing prison time at best, execution at worst, and as his trial date looms, he can’t indulge in a fantasy that will never come true…or can he?
NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Review
Kell is a beaten down omega, in jail for allegedly killing his alpha. He seems almost hopeless but in walks the first alpha who was ever kind to him. Ronin felt the mating pull toward Kell when he was 18 but Kell was only 14 at the time. His family moved away to another province shortly after but he never forgot about Kell. An old friend contact Ronin to help with a defense case and once he found out that it was Kell he dropped everything thing to go to him. Kell of course is leery of any alpha but gradually he accepts that Ronin will never hurt him.
I think reads definitely need to read Saved before Seen in order to fully understand what all is going on in this story. A lot of abuse is in this story, mostly what was done to Kell in the past but In the end this story is about strength and love, it will break your heart but also lift you up!

5 stars

Purchased for Review

Release Day Review: All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/all-that-glitters-by-kate-sherwood-9696-

Blurb
No matter what he tells himself, wealthy NYC architect Liam has never been able to forget his first love, Ben. But as he approaches midlife and realizes something is missing, can he forgive himself for the worst mistake he ever made—the one that left a hole no amount of career success can fill? Or will fear keep him from the full life he really wants?

Liam and Ben were childhood sweethearts, then college boyfriends. But when Liam cheated on Ben, Ben forced himself to cut ties and move on. He’s still living in the small town where they grew up, teaching, but it’s not the life he imagined for himself as a younger man. Still, when Liam returns, he can’t risk his heart again. He certainly can’t allow himself to love Liam again after fighting so hard to get over him.

Neither man wants to let go of the past and face their apprehension at starting over. They don’t want to fall in love a second time—but sometimes love happens whether it’s wanted or not

Review
Essentially this story is about Liam who in all intents and purposes is pining after Ben. It’s not really spelt out like that in the story, more my impression of it. Liam has everything rising career, money, mixes with the rich and famous but no one to share it with or any good solid friends. Liam can’t understand (or doesn’t want to try) why he is drawn back to his childhood town. Except Ben still lives there and so does his other friend Seth. When he messed up his relationship with Ben he also lost Seth‘s respect and friendship. Equally Ben is resisting his attraction and the pull towards Liam. He doesn’t want to get hurt again. This is a well written story. There was enough going on in the mild emotional turmoil and the machiavellian antics of Ben’s Uncle Calvin to keep me glued to the story. Anything less and I would’ve been shouting get on with it already. But that never happened. Liam is quite a self centred character whilst Ben is a caring soul. It has taken Liam a long time to realise all that glitters is not gold and he left to golden opportunity far behind chasing dreams and ambition. How they fare in the future I don’t know but they seem to be soulmates, so I’ll hope for the best. The epilogue feels more like a happy for now ending but they have good family and friends around them.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Hell and Back by Dirk Greyson
Narrated by Dorian Bane

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/hell-and-back-by-dirk-greyson-8979-

Blurb

Seventeen years ago, Forge Reynolds fell in love… and had his heart broken. When Staff Sergeant Gage Livingston was brought into Forge’s Army field hospital, temporarily paralyzed, Forge sat with him, read his letters, answered his mail, and formed a connection he thought would last. But Gage was sent home, Forge transferred to a new post, and his letters to Gage went unanswered.

Now in the middle of a bitter divorce, Forge is sick and tired of his husband’s manipulation. He’s almost ready to make any sacrifice to get closure—then he finds Granger murdered execution-style in their home. Forge had no idea about Granger’s illicit activities, but the killers don’t believe that. They think Forge has something they want, and they’re coming after him.

When Forge’s lawyer arranges for professional protection, the last face Forge expects to see is Gage’s. Can he even contemplate a second chance for them after almost two decades, or will hoping only lead to more heartache? Before they can explore the possibilities, they must figure out what information Granger had—that others are willing to kill for—or that possible heartache could become a certainty

Review
Dirk Greyson always provides a well paced story and this mystery was no different. I loved the reconnection between Forge and Granger. It didn’t feel contrived and developed as naturally as it could considering the circumstances under which they meet again. The mystery of what Gage was involved in that led to his murder kept me guessing. I had my suspicions but I liked how the story led to so many possibilities. That along with the romance made it for a very enjoyable story.
Wow Dorian Bane has given Forge such a ruff smokey voice that felt a bit too harsh for me at times. I have listened to a few books narrated by Dorian before but the voice he has given to Forge sounded quite harsh on his vocal cords. Granger’s voice was more mellow and the tone I’ve heard in his other work. There we good characterisations of the other characters, particularly Harvey. One measure I use for Male narrators is how well they portray females. In this case it was extremely well done with both female characters having their own distinct voices.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review