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review 2019-01-15 23:28
Fuoco e acqua - Andrew Grey

Finalmente sono riuscita a leggere questo libro! Era da secoli nella mia Tbr, mi ispirava un sacco tanto da averlo pure recuperato su Amazon in inglese durante una promozione lampo eppure per mille motivi non l'ho mai iniziato. Essendo uscito in italiano... potevo lasciarmelo scappare? Ovviamente NO!

La storia mi ha preso fin da subito, l'ho trovata originale e abbastanza verosimile, una storia d'amore che mixa alla perfezione smut, fluff e un po' di angst nei momenti giusti. Fin da subito ho adorato i protagonisti, Terry con la sua fragilità e paura di soffrire dopo la brutta esperienza con l'ex stronzo e Red, un poliziotto dal cuore buono che soffre per il suo passato, per quel terribile incidente che gli ha portato via i genitori lasciandolo ricco di cicatrici e dolore, un uomo che farebbe di tutto per salvare il mondo e soprattutto il compagno ma che vive nel terrore di non essere abbastanza, di non poter essere degno di Terry e della sua bellezza. Ho trovato adorabile il loro rapporto, come i due uomini riescono in poco tempo a conoscersi e soprattutto ad aiutarsi a vicenda curando uno le ferite dell'altro. Una coppietta adorabile e dolcissima. Andrew Grey è riuscito a trasmettere le emozioni e i sentimenti dei due giovani e ho desiderato per tutto il romanzo abbracciarli e consolarli... soprattutto Terry che dopo essermi inizialmente apparso come uno stronzo odioso e privo di tatto si è rivelato in realtà una brava persona, che riesce all'occorrenza a mettere da parte la sua superficialità focalizzandosi non solo sulla bellezza esteriore ma anche su quella interiore, riuscendo a dare a Red l'occasione di conoscerlo, senza preoccuparsi delle cicatrici o del suo passato ma semplicemente amandolo senza pregiudizi. I protagonisti sono caratterizzati alla perfezione e anche la storia che accompagna la nascita del loro amore è curata molto bene, essendo Red un poliziotto infatti l'autore ha deciso di rendere il romanzo non solo un romance ma anche un vero e proprio giallo, il nostro dolce poliziotto infatti si ritrova non solo a dover fare i conti con i suoi sentimenti per il bel bagnino ma anche tentare di difendere l'innamorato dal suo ex stalker e scoprire chi sta causando problemi in città spacciando una droga letale e che sta uccidendo moltissime persone. Oltre a questi elementi l'autore non si è dimenticato di caratterizzare i personaggi secondari e amici della coppietta regalandoci ad esempio la zia più dolce e simpatica dell'universo! Zia Margie è il mondo, la zia dolce come il miele, buffa e un po' maniaca che tutti vorremmo avere, una donna forte che ha cresciuto il nipote con amore, proteggendolo e spingendolo a seguire il suo cuore, una dolce vecchietta che per prima riesce a notare il feeling tra il nipote e il bagnino e che coglie la palla al balzo per fare da Cupido alla prima occasione, spingendo Red ad aiutare e proteggere Terry. Andrew Grey è riuscito in neanche 200 pagine a raccontarci la storia di Red e Terry ma anche quella dei loro amici e dei poliziotti Carlisle e della loro lotta al crimine riuscendo a regalarci un racconto dolce, tenero, coinvolgente e piccantello. Ovviamente ci sono dei difetti... primo fra tutti proprio la scelta di scrivere il tutto in neanche 200 pagine, nonostante Andrew Grey sia stato abilissimo a non lasciare troppi buchi di trama continuo a pensare che anche solo 50 pagine in più avrebbero giovato soprattutto per la relazione tra Terry e Red. Troviamo infatti all'inizio un Terry stronzetto, il classico adone che pensa di essere il più bello dell'universo, un ragazzetto piuttosto insensibile tanto da non preoccuparsi di commentare l'aspetto di Red con l'amica senza neanche sforzarsi di notare la presenza dell'uomo accanto a lui e lasciandosi andare a frasi come "Io al suo posto morirei!!" e che si offende a morte quando viene ripagato con la sua stessa moneta, soffrendo come un cane in autostrada per essere stato definito (giustamente) un superficiale da due sconosciuti. Un personaggio che nel giro di due paginette diventa un santone, buono e gentile, un uomo che non si fa alcun problema ad avvicinarsi a Red dopo averlo trattato di merda, che dispensa frasi ad effetto su come il poliziotto sia bello dentro e bla bla bla. Ho trovato questo cambiamento fin troppo rapido e un po' forzato, ho capito il bisogno di farlo cambiare e l'importanza di sottolineare come lui sia superficiale solo a metà, come abbia iniziato già a cambiare quando ha lasciato James, allontanandosi dalla sua falsità e meschinità e preferendo una vita umili piuttosto che una circondata da cose belle ma false però... visto l'inizio "burrascoso" ci sono rimasta un po' male. Idem per la scelta di sbatterci in faccia fin da subito l'incidente di Red.... l'ho trovata una scelta un po' troppo forzata e una sorta di molla per spingere Terry tra le braccia dell'agente con la scusa del "Sei bello dentro perchè sei un sopravvissuto" la verità è che avrei preferito che l'incidente fosse raccontato a Terry solo DOPO essersi messi insieme, magari durante un litigio? O un momento importante tra i due oppure... avrei preferito che Red non fosse proprio un sopravvissuto ma magari un tizio a caso che come tanti ha fatto il coglionazzo sfregiandosi la faccia senza per forza essere il teenager che è sopravvissuto. Avrei preferito un agente di polizia meno complessato e traumatizzato dal mondo. Avrei voluto uno slow burn, concentrandosi magari nella prima parte sul giallo della droga e dell'ex di Terry e solo nella seconda sulla loro relazione... lasciando che fossero i vari eventi a spingerli uno tra le braccia dell'altro dopo essersi capiti e conosciuti senza un "Sei bravo e bello dentro e buono, mi sono sbagliato e sono stato superficiale... ma.... si scopiamo" "Ah... ok. Sei bello e buono anche tu e ti perdono per aver detto alla tua amica che avresti preferito morire piuttosto che essere come me <3" e dichiararsi amore eterno dopo 3 giorni appena di conoscenza e scopate selvagge. (view spoiler) ... elementi che mi hanno fatto un po' storcere il naso ma che non mi hanno comunque impedito di apprezzare il libro che rimane a mio avviso consigliato. Essendo breve ovviamente non aspettatevi chissà che giallo poliziesco, diciamo che la storia è più un'escamotage per mostrarci la nascita della love story tra Terry e Red quindi se siete amanti dei polizieschi ben fatti potrete rimanere delusi e non amarlo quanto me, se invece cercate un romance dolcetto ed erotico che non si basa solo sul sesso ma che cerca di dare un messaggio positivo raccontandoci anche qualcosa di più sui protagonisti e sulla loro vita... leggetelo senza problemi che non ne rimarrete delusi!

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review 2019-01-11 01:00
Two men on the same side of he law...
Fire and Granite - Andrew Grey,Greg Tremblay

and still that's not enough to quell the animosity between them until one man is put into danger...

 

Judge Andrew Phillips has it all under control in his courtroom...he knows the law and he's a master at maintaining order in his courtroom. But when a fugitive named Harper escapes and sets about keeping his promise of revenge on the man who sent him to prison. Judge Andrew suddenly finds himself being guarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week by Deputy Clay Brown...his control begins to slip.  As the danger escalates Andrew and Clay both begin to let down their barriers and begin to discover that they each might just be what the other man needs in his life.

 

I've been a fan of Andrew Grey's for a while now and I have to admit that recently things have been hit and miss for me but with this second installment of his 'Carlisle Deputies' series things are hitting their stride again and as with the first book I've really enjoyed this one. 

 

I like Clay and his little dog too...yes, Clay has an adorable dog named Petey, who'like my own dog is pretty sure that the whole world is around just to give him love but he's a really good little guy and I think he might be right...sorry, I love pets in stories so I felt compelled to ramble about Clay's adorable dog for a moment. 

 

While 'Fire and Granite' is a romantic thriller and really not a mystery the author has still given us a bit of a surprise ending and we get to see a bit of Red and Terry from 'Carlisle Cops' the series that spawned the 'Carlisle Deputies', so for fans of that series' there's  a bit of a treat. I haven't read this series yet but I will confess I do own the books and it's on my TBR list or maybe I'll add it to my 'TBLT' list (To Be Listened To).  While I liked Judge Andrew, i have to admit Clay was definitely my favorite. he was strong and confident but not to the extent of being arrogant or conceited and he seemed to someone who was incredibly kind...in general he was the type of person that any law enforcement agency would be lucky to have. 

 

Overall I really enjoyed this story and while I would have liked the relationship development to be a little bit stronger this was still a nice enjoyable story and Greg Tremblay as the narrator only made the story that much better. I have to admit that while I've lost track of how many audio books I've listened to with Greg Tremblay as the narrator, I have no problem remembering the number of them that I've had a problem with the narration and that would be zero...zip, zilch, nadda, none! I have a very, very short list of narrators who I don't need to worry about listening to a sample because I know I'm going to enjoy  listening to it and from the audio standpoint I won't have any issues or concerns.

 

'Fire and Granite' is a what the world of music would call 'easy listening' you get to just sit back, relax and enjoy the story effortlessly.

 

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

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

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review 2018-08-17 19:42
Some times you have to walk away from what you don't want, in order to walk towards what you do want...
Running to You - Andrew Grey,Jack Richmond

 

After witnessing Billy Joe an act of cruelty and prejudice that has Billy fearing for his life, he realizes that home is not the place where he and his young son would be safe...no, he needed to run...to run far and fast if he was going to keep himself and his little boy safe. So that's what he does. In the middle of the night Billy Joe packs up their lives, takes his boy and quietly gets the hell out of Dodge or in this case Mississippi.

 

Billy Joe gets as far as Pennsylvania when his luck seems to run out...or in fact his car dies during a snowstorm, but maybe his luck is just beginning when a passer-by stops to offer help...a passer by in the form of Carlos.  Carlos shows Billy that there is kindness and good in the world when he goes out of his way to help him without any ulterior motives...just the honest desire of a good and decent person to help someone in need.

 

There was a lot that I liked about this story first off I liked both of the MCs and I really loved them together as friends and as a couple, I loved how their relationship progressed and seriously we're not talking about insta-love here...did their attraction to each other happen fairly quickly...yes, but it was attraction not love and I think we can all think of at least once in our life that we felt attraction to someone as soon as we saw them...whether, or not that attraction deepens and becomes more and how long it takes is what determines  whether it's insta-love or just lust at first sight and whats fast or too fast or slow can be such a subjective issue.

 

For me the relationship between Billy Joe and Carlos didn't feel like it was developing at an overly fast pace but I think a lot of that was due to their circumstances. Billy Joe didn't know anyone else and Carlos initially seemed like he was just trying to be a genuinely good person and help them out, which brought these two into close proximity a lot faster and more often than probably would have been the case under other conditions...so given the circumstances for me it worked and while the relationship may not have progressed at a slower pace at times the overall flow of the story was honestly a little slower than I would have liked but in the end I liked it, I guess sometimes it is slow and steady that wins the race or in this case it was the slow and steady that allowed me to truly enjoy the story.

 

Ok, this is where I'm going to share the biggy the one thing that took away from this being a 5 star read for me and that one little thing was...Tyler...yep, the kid. I love kids truly I do but this one just didn't work for me and I'm going to try and explain without going into excessive amounts of detail why...and yes this is my third try at this, so sorry to say or maybe not so sorry, you got spared the first two rants because I'm trying to keep this somewhat reasonable...so here goes again...in quick summary...

 

I just wasn't able to buy into Tyler his behavior and development was too erratic. Honestly I had initially thought he was a baby and then it seemed like 'oh, I guess he's maybe 4 or 5 years old and then I just kind of threw my arms in the air and said 'what the hell ever, he's Billy Joe's kid and I care not how old he is.' I know his age was clearly defined as 2 going on 3 at one point but I just wasn't feeling it and by this point I no longer cared, so I basically sidelined Tyler and focused on everything else in the story. I cannot lie Tyler is essentially the full reason that this story got 4 stars and not 4.5 or even 5 from me...sorry, Tyler but as a 2 year old...you were fail for me.

 

Ok, let's move on from poor little Tyler because now I'm feeling like a bully and maybe I need to send Tyler a teddy bear to say sorry...I'll ponder this.

 

As for our MCs...there was so much about Carlos that I really liked. How he was basically able to keep such a positive outlook on things in spite of his family and yes, it was very much a case of 'in spite of' and not 'because of', I loved how supportive both he and Billy Joe were of each other which I think was due, at least in part, to the fact that they understood each other in a very basic way...both men had crap families. Sure maybe the circumstances and dynamics weren't identical but at the heart of it both men were failed by their families and they recognized this in each other...reasons and events may be different but at the core it's the same kind of hurt.

 

While it may have taken Billy Joe time to get there...this guy had strength. From taking Tyler and leaving behind everything that he knew to his determined efforts to make sure that Tyler had a better life, to acknowledging who he was and finally doing what he knew was the only thing he could do to ensure his and his son's safety...Billy Joe had strength. If it took him time to get where he was going I can totally deal with that he had to make the hard choices just as Carlos did in dealing with his family and these two both met the challenge. Sure it wasn't without pain, heartache and a few mistakes but who among us can say differently. We may make different choices and our mistakes aren't always the same but at the end of the day we're all human and we all follow our own path. 

 

Last but not least I want to talk about the narrator...Jack Richmond. I liked his character voices especially for the MCs they were both distinct making it easy to distinguish who was speaking and while I had an issue with Tyler's character in terms of age development unfortunately Tyler's voice didn't really help with this because for me, Tyler's voice was more reflective of that 4 or 5 year old that I thought he was a one point than that of a two year old, but on the upside it was a child's voice that didn't feel like nails on a chalk board which many of my friends will tell you with me that's a definite win.

 

I loved the ending of this one, especially when it came to Carlos and Billy Joe's families and how things worked out with them and while I'm not sure I'd call this an HEA it's definitely a strong HFN that's heading towards HEA and I'm good with that.

 

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

An audio book of 'Running to You' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-07-18 15:46
What happens when the person who should be on the right side of the law turns out...
Fire and Flint - Andrew Grey,Greg Tremblay

to be the one who's breaking it.

 

When Pierre Ravelle is assigned to keep an eye on Judge Crawford because he's been receiving threats in the mail he quickly discovers that he'd much rather keep an eye on the judges clerk, Jordan Erichsohn. 

 

Jordan just wants to stay under the radar. Nothing's more important to Jordan than finalizing his adoption of his young son, Jeremiah and while he doesn't want to sit by while his boss gets away with who knows what but he's pretty sure whatever's going on isn't legal. But he the one thing he knows for sure is that his boss has the power to keep this from happening. 

 

As Pierre and Jordan work together to unravel the facts and find crucial evidence to prove what Judge Crawford is doing Pierre's feelings for Jordan and the young Jeremiah grow and as well as finding evidence against the judge, Pierre becomes determined to make sure that Jordan and Jeremiah not only stay together but that they see him as a part of his family too...one day.

 

I really enjoyed this story. I loved both Pierre and Jordan. Pierre was solid and reliable both things that Jordan needed in his life. Pierre was a calming force for Jordan. He may have worried about Jordan's situation but he also thought things through and was calm, rational and planned a course of action that not only got the job done but helped to protect the two people who he'd come to care so much about. 

 

And then we have Jordan and he was this awesome, sweet guy that had this amazing heart and ultimately he stepped up and did what needed to be done despite the risk to himself and Jeremiah. I have to admit this really endeared this character to me. As a parent I understand that dilemma that can come from having to decide between doing what's right and what's going to keep your child safe...nothing's more important to me than the well being of my kids and I think most parents will tell you this, but sometimes in the long run what will keep our children safe and make the world a better place for others has a risk attached to it and choices aren't always as clear cut as we'd like them to be.

 

While the part of this story pertaining to the judge's illegal activities really wasn't very detailed or complex truthfully, I was ok with this. For the most part crimes of this nature are proven and tried based very largely on evidence and gathering this kind of evidence quite honestly can be a long, arduous and boring task...so truthfully I was glad to be spared the details on this.

 

'Fire and Flint' is a sweet, uncomplicated romance and I think for me it was just what I needed at the time. While Andrew Grey's stories don't tend to be long, complicated or convoluted stories and although stories like that can have their own merits, sometimes what's nice to read or in this case listen to is the type of story that's just sweet and simple and as a reader I can follow along without having to create a flow chart to keep track of who's who and what's what and just find myself lost in an enjoyable romance with a touch of mystery or intrigue to keep to add a little excitement. 

 

I have to admit the icing on the cake for me with this one was that it was narrated by someone who is without a doubt one of my favorite audio narrators...Greg Tremblay. I'm not sure if I've got any glowing descriptives left unused when it comes to this narrator. Honestly he's one of maybe 3 or 4 narrators whose audio books I'll buy or ask for to review without having to listen to the audio sample. I have zero doubt as to the quality of what I'll be hearing when I see that Greg Tremblay's the narrator and for me that pretty much says it all as to how much I like and respect him as a narrator.

 

'Fire and Flint' is for me a perfect example of what I would call a 'summer read' it's interesting, with very likable characters an solid but not overly complicated plot and a very sweet and happy ending...summer reads, they're a good thing.

 

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

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review 2018-06-19 23:58
Release Day ARC Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey
The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever - Andrew Grey

I've never been to Bonaire, but after reading this book, I want to go. There are quite a few sections inside that read like an advertisement for the place, and I want to go. If you pop over to my blog, you'll see a couple of images of the reefs as well, taken by none other than the author.

Here's a link.

Tommy Gordon is getting ready for his wedding, straightening his tie just moments before the ceremony is supposed to start, when his groom-to-be tells him the wedding is off. Xavier (remember the name of the rancid jerkface) has cold feet/second thoughts, and it's goodbye, Tommy. 

Heartbroken, Tommy wants nothing more than to hide, but there's the honeymoon trip, already planned and paid for, and what shall he do with that, amirite? Who wants to go alone on what's supposed to have been the honeymoon?

Tommy's best friend Grayson, who made the suggestion that Tommy take the trip anyway, finds himself and his young son Petey invited to join Tommy in paradise for a bit of snorkeling, relaxation, and enjoying the scenery.

Grayson's had a crush on Tommy for a long while, but he hasn't been a position or brave enough to change the status quo and ask for more.

And off they are, because when you have money, last minute ticket changes are not a hindrance, and thus the romance begins.

Slowly, of course, because Tommy is still mourning what might have been, and kicking his own rear end because he's just so pathetic and worthless that not even a gold digger like Xavier would want him. 

Grayson is no gold digger, just a dude with a heart of gold, and while he has his son to think of, he is all on board with wooing Tommy, with Petey's encouragement. 

I really, really want to go to Bonaire. The descriptions in the book are vivid and enticing, and the author did a fine job transporting this reader into paradise with his words alone. 

Obviously, there's a bit of angst, what with Tommy's self-doubts and Grayson's fears of losing his friend, but they overcome all that. They overcome Xavier showing up at the resort uninvited (the nerve of that guy) and threatening Tommy (the NERVE of that guy), and Grayson making the unwilling acquaintance of a Man O' War (ouchie) and a bit of drama at the end just before all is well and they live happily ever after.

So yeah, this is fluffy fluff, with a wee bit of angst, and beautiful scenery, and would someone please invite me to go to Bonaire? 

It's the perfect beach vacation read, so get this book and enjoy it on a day in the sun.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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