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review 2018-02-05 02:01
Definitely not my favorite by this author but it was ok...
Eyes Only for Me - Andrew Grey,Tristan James

This one turned out to be a mixed bag of I like this but this isn't working so well for me. First off I liked that it was older MCs. Ronnie and Clay are both 40 years old. So not only older but no May/December romance going on and I'm not opposed to those by any means but I'm not a fan of a a steady diet of anything when it comes to my books. I like variety and diversity and  ironically same age older MCs is a change of pace for me. 

 

Ronnie's straight, he's got OCD and lets just say he gets around. He's gregarious sort of guy who's outgoing and people just seem to be drawn to him and I have to admit I'm not sure why because honestly Ronnie just quite often struck me as being a bit of an...well, I'm going to say jerk, but at other times he showed an incredibly kind, thoughtful and caring demeanor that I would have liked to have seen more of. Interestingly enough I can also see why Ronnie wasn't so willing to show this side of his personality. At times things seemed to hint at the fact that Ronnie's had more than one person try to use him in his life fortunately for Ronnie he may had OCD but that doesn't mean he has S-T-U-P-I-D, so the users end up getting kicked to the curb. Unfortunately for me, Ronnie vacillated between douchey jerk and thoughtful, sweet friend to much for me to really get a sense of him as a person and just about the time I started thinking that he was a nice guy and I liked him, he'd switch and I'd be thinking 'Wow, what a jerk!' so Ronnie was ok but I just couldn't really warm up to him. 

 

The other MC was Clay and thankfully in terms of personality he was a bit more stable. I liked Clay and for most of the book I honestly felt like he was a better friend to Ronnie than Ronnie was to him...except, when Clay's father suddenly became ill, Ronnie was right there he stepped in and was totally there for Clay. In short he was an awesome friend. 

 

I really enjoyed the relationship between Clay and his father. So often in stories we seen parent/child relations portrayed as really amazing or totally horrid and this one wasn't either of those things. Clay loved his dad and they'd had their problems but there was a definite willingness between them to work things out...especially on Clay's side and wonder of wonders the problems between Clay and his dad weren't about the fact that Clay was gay...I KID YOU NOT!!! Not every problem between a parent and their child is about the child's sexuality and while I love that books address this issue sometimes it's nice to read a story where the relationship dynamics have gotten changed up a bit.

 

Speaking of relationships...let's talk about Ronnie and Clay's because for me it came down to being a big miscommunication clusterf*ck!!! Seriously I just wanted to sit them both down and tell them to hear what's being said and not what they 'think' is being said because that was a big, big part of their problem and honestly it was more on Clay's side than Ronnie. Clay kept assuming that he knew what Ronnie wanted or needed but he wasn't always hearing what Ronnie was telling him so...disagreements were inevitable. 

 

While there were things that I liked and enjoyed about this story there just wasn't enough to totally pull me into it but the biggest saving grace for me was the narrator, Tristan James. This is one of my favorite narrators and I thoroughly enjoy listening to him no matter what book he's reading. But just like all the other audio books I've listened to him narrate, listening this one was no hardship either. 

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review 2017-12-17 03:41
All the world's a stage...
Between Loathing and Love - Andrew Grey,Tristan James

Payton Gowan long ago gave up his dreams of being an actor and turned his talents to making things happen for others, but when the reason for his careers change of course steals his treadmill at the gym Payton comes face to face with is past.

 

When Beckett Huntington bumps into Payton at the local gym he doesn't realize that he's not only meeting the person he blames for outing him all those years ago, the person who caused him to become interested in acting but the he's meeting the person who can help make all his dreams come true.

 

'Between Loathing and Love' is a quintessential 'enemies to friends' story. Payton is a nice guy he's honorable and in spite of the animosity of the past between him and Beckett he sees how talented the man is and he's totally professional in how he behaves in regard to Beckett's career. 

 

I wasn't so sure about Beckett at the beginning but as the story progressed he grew on me and I liked the change from the person we were given to understand him to have been as a young man in high school and the adult that he's become. 

 

There's definite communication challenges between Payton and Beckett which for me made sense given their background these two had a long of trust building to do and just generally needed to develop a better comfort level that allowed for open and honest communication.

 

There were some interesting secondary characters in this story...Beckett's neighbor Val was someone whom I'd like to see more of. He was an interesting character and I liked his open, honest nature and I'd really love to see how things turn out with him and Lars and then there was Rob and while I'm not going to say exactly where he factored into things I will say when last we saw him in this story he shared some things with Payton and Beckett that made me want to have more of a story about him. Then there was Beckett's douchebag co-worker while I don't need to see more of him, I will say he did add some interest in this one.

 

I really liked this story but I have to admit what really added to my enjoyment was the narrator...Tristan James. I cannot like this man is one on my top 5 list of favorites when it comes to narrators. If he's reading the story I just sink right in. I love his voice and the character voices are consistent, expressive and unique, injecting a tone that simply compels me to listen and I do so quite happily.

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text 2017-11-26 14:24
Reading progress update: I've read 53%.
Turning the Page - Andrew Grey

So, the guy's name is Hans Erickson (with ck and o), he grew up in a place where apparently everyone was skiing and he even tried ski jumping. Surely that must be Denmark, right? Yeah, no.
This could probably work just fine with a search&replace throughout the book where Denmark is replaced with Sweden.
Seriously? That kind of research is not hard.  I mean, ski jumping in Denmark? I can't even....

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text 2017-11-26 12:31
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
Turning the Page - Andrew Grey

She stabbed the catalog. "When a man has been an ass, he shall send flowers. It's like the twelfth commandment. The eleventh is 'don't be an ass.'"

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review 2017-11-10 01:55
Let's go fishing...
Ebb and Flow - Andrew Grey,Greg Tremblay

One man worships at the temple of the almighty dollar the other man worships in the house of god...both men were given sons...kind and gentle souls to nurture and guide in a world that can be less than kind...both men failed.

 

Neither man truly understands the value of what they have. Billy Ray is the son of a Baptist Minister...man who has raised him to believe that he is less than he is. He loves working on the water as a part of the crew of one of Mike Jensen's Apalachickola Fishing Tour boats (we met Mike in Setting the Hook, book 1 in this series) and he has hopes of captaining his own tour boat one day. But growing up in a home where he's been made to feel like he's not good enough, smart enough...just never quite enough hasn't done a lot for his confidence and he knows that having his parents...especially his father find out who he truly is...that he's gay, is something that can never happen if he doesn't want to lose their love.

 

Skippy was born in Boston. The son of a successful lawyer. He's spent his whole life trying to get his parents approval. Sent away to private schools at the age of 8. He's worked hard to get his father's attention...earning a law degree from Harvard he then joins his dad's law firm and becomes one of their top producing lawyers, all in an effort to get his father to notice him...to just tell him that he's proud of him. Dad knows he's gay but like everything else about his son he doesn't acknowledge it and he keeps his son busy too busy to have a life. 

 

Billy Ray and Skippy (and yes this is  a nickname) meet when Skippy is sent to Apalachickola, Florida to provide legal representation to a client. Skippy takes some time for vacation and hauls the rest of his 'gay family' back to the house that they rented on their last trip there (it's all in the first book). When Skippy and his friends go out on a fishing tour with Bubba and Billy Ray as their guides they once again invite their Florida friends back to enjoy the bounty of their day giving the two men a chance to get to know each other.

 

Billy Ray and Skippy may come from different worlds but as they get to better acquainted what they discover is that their lives really aren't worlds apart.

 

I loved Skippy and Billy Ray, in their own way each man was very different but at the heart of each of them was a kind and gentle soul that had never been shown the love it deserved. That each of them became someone who was capable of showing such kindness to other people in spite of the poisoned environments that they grew up in only showed that we are each the makers of our own destiny.  They could have chosen to be bitter, negative people emulating what they were raised with but they didn't. They chose to be their own person...someone who was good and kind and gave back to the world rather than taking from it. Exemplifying that you get back from this world what you give to it. 

 

We first met William and Mike, the owner's of Apalachickola Fishing Tours along with Bubba, Skippy's gay family in 'Setting the Hook' and I loved the strong secondary role that all played in this book. Series like this where I get new MCs in each book and they become secondary characters in subsequent stories so that we don't really have to say good-bye to anyone are like catnip for me...they leaving me purring and content by giving me something new and shiny that's been surrounded by a touch of the old and familiar. 

 

I first started this series on audio and quite honestly I was so enchanted with both the story and the narration that I decided to continue it this way. Once again Greg Tremblay has added depth to the emotions of the characters brought them to life as he shares their story with the listener. 

 

I wish I could say that I had some insider knowledge on this and that I knew for a certainty whose story we will get next in this series...sadly, I do not, but I do know that I am hopeful that we will see Alex, Skippy's assistant, as one of the MCs in the next story and dare we hope that he will find some happiness with one of Skippy's friends? I guess only time will tell.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Ebb and Flow' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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