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review 2017-05-24 19:18
The Boyfriend Makeover by River Jaymes (audio version)
The Boyfriend Makeover - River Jaymes

The Boyfriend Makeover is a sexed up book. If you’re listening on audio you might want to make sure you’re wearing headphones or at least close your car windows otherwise you risk scandalizing yourself to the nosy Parker’s at the stop light. There’s one section that is 30 minutes or so of straight up sexy time. I listened on the drive home from an appointment (with my windows closed and the volume turned waaay down just in case someone thought me a perv), when I got home I put in my headphones, cleaned the kitchen mess everyone had left for me (yes, I know you all want my glamorous life) and played with the dogs ‘til they were huffing and puffing and the couple were still going at it.

But it is about other things too . . .

Noah donates his time to charity events and lives off of a trust fund. He’s a charmer and a smart dresser and gets talked into making over a doctor for the “Bachelor Bid” at his upcoming event. Ky is a workaholic who prefers his cowboy boots, flannel and giant belt buckle to most anything else but he also loves his sisters and agrees to auction himself off after they talk him into it. He thinks the whole thing ridiculous and he’s very uncomfortable but he’s also a very good big brother. Awwww, Ky.

Noah, naturally flamboyant and a shameless flirt can barely contain himself when gorgeous Ky is around. Is he gay? Noah is determined to find out and find out he does . . .

This is a fun book. Noah’s dialogue is ridiculously funny and Ky balances him out. And their chemistry is something else! There’s some angst and some drama as Ky keeps his sexuality to himself for reasons. Reasons that I am not going to spill. Noah drinks too much and his humor masks some deep pain. He has some serious work to do on himself before the two will ever live out a HEA and I like that this book addresses it and doesn’t gloss over it. And then there’s sex. Whew, if you want a steamy read this one’s calling your name!

This is book #3 in a series and I’m sure I would’ve gotten more out of the appearance of the myriad number of friends who pop in and out of the story had I read their stories. It stood alone pretty good though so you’ll get none of my typical mid-series complaints here. Now I want to read the other books just to see what I’m missing.

Narration Notes: I have to say, as much as I loved the story and the characters and all their angst and sexy ways, I wasn’t too crazy about the narrator, Marc Bachmann. He sounded like a newscaster when not doing a character voice and something about his voice just didn’t seem to fit any of the characters. He’s professional and polished but maybe a wee bit too dramatic for this story, eh I don’t know. Instead of falling into the story his voice kept pulling me out.

I received a copy of this book directly from Tantor. Thanks Tantor!

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review 2017-05-10 19:35
Rescuing Finley by Dan Walsh (audio)
Rescuing Finley (A Forever Home Novel Book 1) - Dan Walsh

Rescuing Finley is a beautiful story about healing, second chances and the unconditional love of dogs. The best part for me was that Finley the dog was given his own point of view and he had a lot of thoughts that made me teary. I wish more writers would do that. I’d rather see the world from the dogs POV than through the eyes of some obnoxious human character.

Finley is a sweet but rowdy young golden retriever mix whose owner joins the military and leaves Finley with his mom who is not a dog person. Sad things happen and Finley ends up in a shelter, confused and depressed. His anguish is soooo hard to read but the author doesn’t linger there for long. Finley is chosen to join a prison program where female inmates train homeless dogs to become companions for soldiers with PTSD. He is paired with Amy, a young lady who messed up her life with a meth habit and poor choices. They both thrive in this program but will Amy be able to part with Finley when it’s graduation day?

The book is written pretty simply and cleanly (I later discovered Dan Walsh is a Christian author). There’s no fancy prose, humorous dialogue or action sequences that’ll make you hold onto your undies or whatnot but it worked for me. Sometimes simple is just right. When I say simple I don’t mean boring. If it were boring I’d tell you. But if you are not interested in dogs, dog training or the healing powers of love and dogs, this one might not be for you. There’s a lot of dog time here, probably why I loved it so much, as well as time spent going over training protocols, the prison dog training program and humane society intake rules, etc. Here and there I found the author repeating himself. This might’ve been more apparent to me because I was listening on audio and listening with my full attention for once!

Somehow this book manages to tackle difficult situations but it never gets too dark. There is a deep dive into the life of a soldier once he’s returned home from war and seen atrocities that follow and haunt but instead of dwelling in that dark space, this story is about how one man pulls himself out of it and decides to live his life again. The end wraps everything up in a nifty little bow which might’ve just gone a wee bit over the edge for me but you may or may not think so depending on your outlook on life.



Anyway, it’s a lovely read and the narration by Hillary Huber is excellent and very professionally done. She hits all the right notes with her performance and I have no complaints there.

*I received this book from Tantor Media. I hope they don’t regret it!

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review 2017-05-09 18:55
Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk
Threshold - Jordan L. Hawk


I listened to this book on audio and the narrator is not my favorite. I wasn’t thrilled with his performance in “Widdershins” and it was pretty much the same deal here. He simply has no oomph to his voice, there is very little to no emotion behind any of the words and I’m a reader who needs the oomph. I don’t enjoy having a story “read” to me. I need a performance. And it’s all about me, right? Anyway, this story is good enough for me to mostly ignore the sometimes awkward/sometimes stilted delivery and the lack of tone change in most of the character voices. Christine is done right though so that’s awesome.

This time lovebirds Griffin and Whyborne and their colleague Christine are investigating strange goings-on at a coal mine. There’s some humor, dastardly humans, some spicy love making, ancient monsters with pincers and surgical skills (yes! Gross but, yes, I loved it!). What more could I want in a story? Nothing, I tell you. Ok, maybe a little angst but that’s here too as the pair have their first real fight, face some insecurities and kiss and make up.

If you don’t like horror you will need to skim and think of this during the scary bits.


This is book #2 in the series and I most definitely recommend reading them in order so you can watch the main couple fall in love and solve their first really weird case in Widdershins. I don’t follow many series because I’m too lazy to keep track of them but this is one that calls to me. I may read the rest in paper format though unless I hear that the narration gets a whole hell of a lot better . . .

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review 2017-04-21 17:40
Home Tears by Tijan (Audiobook)
Home Tears - Tijan

This book was a messy stew of family secrets, sibling in-fighting, jilted lovers, epic storms and terrible tragedies and was filled to the very brim with flawed characters. I’m afraid there was just too much going on for my pea brain to handle because this book tired me out and not in that cathartic “cry your heart out” kind of way. Were it not an excellently narrated audio, I likely wouldn’t have finished it.

Dani left her hometown and all of its bad memories a decade ago, after her best friend and the love of her life decided to fall in love with her younger sister. Yeah, you read that right. She didn’t look back, even when she learned that the man-stealing sister had died, and I really didn’t blame her. Seriously, there are some things you just don’t do and stealing your sister’s man is one of them. Now, after a traumatizing event, she’s run away from a perfectly nice man and has decided to return to her hometown, for some bizarre reason that is never sufficiently explained, and is forced to face the people she ran away from and, while she’s at it, she also decides to ferret out all of the family secrets and find herself a new man. See what I mean about a lot of stuff being jammed in here?

This story just wasn’t meant for me. I was attracted to the blurb because it promised secrets. I’m nosy and I love secrets. But these secrets just weren’t juicy in their execution. There was such a waste of juicy potential and angst and I LOVE angst almost as much as I love secrets but these reveals left me feeling nothing. No shock, no thrill, just “meh, that’s it?” The main problem I had with this book, besides the unending subplots, was the fact that characters didn’t engage me emotionally. I never felt any anguish because they didn’t seem to.

Honestly, I think Dani would’ve been better off if she’d never returned to this town infested with liars and cheaters and secret keepers.

Narration Notes: Narrator Sarah Mollo-Christensen does a great job with all of the characters and there are a lot of them. She gives them each distinctive voices suited to their character traits. Even the guys sound real and I don’t think that’s an easy task for any woman to pull off (and vice versa). If you love the way this author writes (and many do) and aren’t as crabby as me, I’d highly recommend listening to this audio version.

I received a copy of this audiobook from Tantor Media.

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review 2017-04-19 18:21
The Woodsman by Belle Scarlett
The Woodsman - Belle Scarlett

This audio is like mixing up a big box of Kraft’s “cheesiest” macaroni when you are starving and too lazy to cook a real meal. You know it’s not good for you but it’s just so cheesy you can’t stop! Before you know it, you’ve downed the entire thing. Same goes for this audio.

 

Lily is on her way to meet her future husband who is some old coot with a lot of money who will keep her well. Never mind him though because she is way-laid (yep, I see what I did there) before that nightmare can happen. Her carriage has troubles and she meets a very large wolf/man who leads her back to a cottage where some sexy stuff happens but the lovefest is cut short due to a curse, or something, something that has to do with virginity. Lily was having fun and gets all sassy, even stomping her foot but Marrick (the wolf-man) stays strong. For a short while anyway and then things happen.

 

 

There is nothing unique about this story, it’s overly wordy and pretty corny. It’s not even super, sexy, hot. More like lukewarm and vanilla. Still, I found myself enjoying the audio production. It even has sound effects for ambiance! Usually these things bother me but it works well here because the levels are right. The crickets chirping in the background were especially soothing. There are two narrators and Honey Scarlett does such a fun job with Lily’s character that I couldn’t stop listening. Her accent was hilarious and spot on and I just loved listening to her. Leeroy Will’s delivery of Marrick suffers in comparison. His delivery wasn’t as good, the cadence was slightly off and at times his accent sounded a little like Shrek. Sorry, that’s my take.

 

Anyway, if you’re looking for an amusing, non-brain taxing way to spend two hours and 39 minutes you could do much worse than this!

 

I received a copy of this audiobook courtesy of the publisher and Audiobookboom. I hope they don't regret it!

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