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review 2020-05-03 00:10
Here I go again to...'The Edge of the World'...
The Edge of the World - Roy Calley,Garrett Leigh

I knew when I read this book back in January of this year that if there was an audio release, I'd be revisiting Shay and Ollie as they tour around the United Kingdom. That I would be doing it at a time such as this...well, who knew certainly not I. 

 

'The Edge of the World' is  a story that truly highlights the connection between past, present and future as we follow Shay and Ollie. As Shay's band tours the country showcasing their talents. Ollie joins them to take Shay on a journey through time to show him a past he never knew he had, all the while Ollie tries to ignore a past that rules his present and won't let go of him.

 

For as much as I loved reading the book and believe me...I loved this book. The audio book grabbed on to me even more than I'd thought possible. Partially because this was a story that simply resonated with me and partially because Dan Calley took a wonderful story and made it even better. He created the vocal imagery that the characters were lacking when I first read this one. Sometimes I can give them voices in my mind when I'm reading a story but sometimes even my imagination needs some help.

 

Other than the fact that I enjoyed the audiobook immensely, nothings really changed from how I felt when I wrote my original review so I'm going to borrow some words from the past (code talk for 'from my original review) to explain how I feel about Shay and Ollie...

Amidst the chaos and pandemonium that is the life of a band whose star is on the rise as they begin a tour that’s intended to push them over the top, Shay and Ollie struggle to get to know each other as their feelings deepen and if they could both just be in the same place a the same time things might be a little easier…but, we don’t always get what we want sometimes we just have to work with what we’re given.

I was smitten with both of these men from the very beginning. In spite of his quickly rising star Shay’s character held such a laid back, down to earth almost humble feeling that not liking him really just wasn’t an option. While Ollie seemed to be a little more reserved and shall we say crusty around the edges it wasn’t enough to cover the genuine concern and kindness that he had for others.

I loved the interaction between them as they got to know each other the balance of kindness and caring was equally challenged with moments of conflict and angst that held my interest solidly from beginning to end and while the secondary characters and background filled out the story nicely it was always Shay and Ollie who held my interest.

So here I am like millions of others in a self-imposed isolation and travelling not only all over this world but to other worlds, to the past, the present and sometimes even the future without ever leaving my home. Whether it's audio books, ebooks or paper books they tell wonderful stories and take us to amazing places and I plan on going to "The Edge of the World" again one day...it's a trip worth taking.

 

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An audio book of 'The Edge of the World' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2020-05-02 20:11
Mmmm...shifters...I believe they are growing on me...
Fated Hearts - Garrett Leigh,Dan Calley

Ok, so I actually checked on my bookshelves and sure enough this is only my third shifter story this year, so I think I'm still fairly safe saying 'shifters not so much a big deal for me' but Garrett Leigh..yeah,that's a big deal for me. So when I was asked 'would you like to review a couple of audio books by Garrett Leigh...you bet I was all over that..although I have to admit I did hesitate for a nanosecond over the whole shifter genre...but, then I said 

"It's Garrett Leigh, how can I possibly go wrong with this?" and I was right I couldn't.

 

'Fated Hearts' isn't a 'love at first sight' story but there was definitely some 'lust at first sight' and really given the whole premise of 2 souls being destined for each other...well, it's all got to start somewhere doesn't it?

 

When Devan's alpha ask him to not only become the resident healer for a wolf pack, but to become part of the pack with the assurance that if he truly wants to come home he will be brought back to the clan. It's with very little hesitation that he says yes. There's a war going on and it's vital that Zio's pack survive and without a healer things aren't looking good.

 

Zio's a warrior and he's mourning the loss of his best friend and his pack's healer when Devan arrives...so needless to say while the logical part of him knows they need a new healer the part of him that's loyal to his friends memory is less than happy.

 

This is a world where humans have full knowledge of the existence of shifters and while there may be a tentative peace between humans and shifts that's not necessarily the case between the wolf shifter packs. 

 

Unlike my previous shifter stories this year 'Fated Hearts' was not a story laced with humor and fun times and I while I do enjoy a story that can bring some humor into my day, sometimes it's good to read/listen to something that's not necessarily light and fluffy.

 

While Zio and Devan were very different in some ways...Zio's a warrior and right now he's pretty much consumed with thoughts of vengeance and he's one angry wolf. He's close to his pack mates and more than a little resistant to newcomers. While Devan's a healer who's whole demeanor is pretty chill...except for where Zio's concerned these two both feel a very undeniable attraction to each other but in their own way they're each determined to ignore it because nothing comes before pack and it seems that everyone is in agreement that a matebond between Zio and Devon  probably not a good idea...it would seem that Devan's 'NOT A WOLF!!!' and the only other thing I'll say to that is Devan is my favorite kind of shifter...I was such a happy little soul when his shifter form was revealed...yep, happy, happy, happy and no he's not a dragon...because damn, that would have been epic and awesome.

 

I was definitely intrigued with the shifter war and the world that's being created here. There's still a lot that I want to know but I have to admit for me the other main attracion was ...the relationship of course.

 

I loved Devan and Zio as a couple. For me they worked. Their connection was there and it wasn't that they were trying to deny it so much as resist it because for both of them it came back to what was best for the pack and with most shifter stories...especially wolf shifters pack is everything. It was the little moments that filtered into the story that gave Zio and Devan's connection that added touch of intensity that given the reality of their world helped to make things fall into place for me.

 

'Fated Hearts' is the first book in the 'Shadow Bound' series and while it laid out a fair bit of the ground work for this series in terms of setting, characters and world building there are still some gaps to be filled but I'm confident that those pieces will get added as the series progresses.

 

Now the final and rather important part of what made this such an enjoyable audio book was Dan Calley...this is only my second audiobook by this narrator and coincidentally my first one was also a Garrett Leigh story and just like that first audio book I was once again left with character voices that felt right to me and suited the individual characters giving them each their own unique voice.

 

While Zio and Devan's story felt complete for me it also felt like this world had so much more to share with me and I'm hoping that I'll be able to discover more of it soon...maybe even more about the 'Shadow Clan'...please!!! I mean no offense to Zio's pack or anything but I'd really like to see Shadow Clan get a lot more attention.

 

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A copy of the audio book 'Fated Hearts' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-03-08 18:19
I've been looking forward to this one...
Reserved (Tales of Bryant #4) - V.L. Locey

"Reserved" is the fourth book in Ms. Locey's series 'Tales of Bryant' and while I've been looking forward to it for a while now because it's Adrian's story and I've come to really like this character and bizarrely enough even though I didn't feel like I loved this book quite as much as the previous ones. I think I actually like Adrian as much or maybe even a little bit more than I did before reading it.

 

We've met Adrian in previous stories he's an up and coming event planner. He planned Isamu and Brian's wedding among other events. He's larger than life. Adrian is flamboyant and he's living his own truth. There's just so much about him that I adore...like his hats. Ok, I know this may seem strange but I love hats unfortunately because I come from a family with larger than average head sizes, wearing hats for me is simply cost prohibitive. So, when I encounter a character in a book who can indulge in something that for me isn't a practical reality because at the heart of things I am a boringly practical person, I live vicariously through them...therefore, Adrian + hats = happy me.

 

Adrian is in many ways a larger than life character but he's also very genuine and endearing. He's a successful event planner and needless to say he's got a very busy career that allows little time for a 'personal life'. So, the fact that he meets the man who makes his heart go pitter, patter while he's working really comes as no surprise. That said man is also a police officer was maybe not surprising but definitely interesting. 

 

Galen Ellison is one of New York's finest. He's out, proud and the perfect match for Adrian. He's strong, confident, handsome and not only was he not bothered or intimidated by Adrian's over the top, flamboyant ways, but, it was very much a part of what attracted Galen to him in the first place. 

 

For me 'Reserved' felt like a bit of a modern day fairy tale and for the most part I really enjoyed it. I loved getting to see more of Adrian, I adored that Galen loved Adrian for who and how he was never trying to change him...simply treasuring Adrian in all his awesomeness.

 

While it's always fun to meet new characters such as Galen or Tracy, Adrian's new assistant, it's having little moments here and there with characters from previous stories that's always one of my favorite things.  

 

I've pondered this story for a couple of days now and for the life of me, I haven't been able to figure out what it was that caused it not to work quite as well as the previous stories for me, but I do know that I still really like Adrian and while a bit more angst laden than some of the previous stories, I did enjoy it and I definitely liked the pairing of Adrian and Galen...so, I'm going with it was simply my state of mind when I read it.

 

I sincerely feel that if I were to re-read this, say in a couple of months or whenever, I can very easily imagine that my rating would be different than the 3.5 stars that I've given it here, but for now it is what it is and truthfully 3.5 stars is by no means a bad thing and when the next story is out for this series I'll be there with my grabby little hands ready to jump in and find out what's happening and to whom.

 

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An ARC of "Reserved" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-03-08 17:13
Another one of my favs on audio...
Kiss Me Again - Roy Calley,Garrett Leigh

I think 'Kiss Me Again' has become one of my favorite Garrett Leigh stories. I loved the hell out of this story the first time I read it and now listening to it on audio...well, I think I came to love it even more. I would have added more stars to my rating, if that were possible but sadly it is not.

 

Dan Calley was the narrator for this audio book and he's a new to me narrator that I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from. For me the voices he created to fill out the image of these characters was very much in sync with what I'd created in my mind when I originally read this story so listening to the audio book was even more enjoyable for me.

 

At this point I'm going to borrow a couple of paragraphs from my original review of this story because honestly I could write and write and write and not express why I enjoyed this book as much as I did better than I did in my original review (I know this because I just tried and failed) so, if it ain't broke, why try to fix it...

 

I love stories with characters that aren't perfect...they have weaknesses, flaws, medical conditions... whatever...they're real. They're not outrageously attractive and dynamic with amazingly successful careers or simply loaded with money, etc. etc. in a word they're not perfect, they're just ordinary, everyday people...because that's the kind of characters that I can relate to the best...mostly because..."Hello, ordinary, everyday person right here."

 

In 'Kiss Me Again' we meet Tree Surgeon Aidan Drummond. Aidan's a loner he doesn't want his life complicated by things and people...until an accident lands him in the hospital in a bed directly across from the bed occupied by Ludo Giordano, the most beautiful young man that Aidan's ever seen. Ludo's in the hospital following surgery and to get his meds regulated. Ludo's Bipolar and that means he's not going to get better, his condition isn't going away at the best of times things will be managed.

I had more than a little appreciation for Aidan's struggles and determination to understand what being bipolar meant for Ludo and how it could impact his life...as someone who spent 15+ years working in community healthcare I found this to be dealt with in both an effective and compassionate manner.

 

From the first time they lay eyes on each other Aidan and Ludo connect. The connection that they share isn't a 'love-at-first-sight' connection. This is about two people who get each other they understand how the other's brain works, what makes them tick, what soothes them, what irritates them...they just get each other it's a bit of an inexplicable thing that just happens. It's like meeting someone for the first time but feeling like you've known them for years. That's how things start for Aidan and Ludo and during their hospital stay the bond that they felt when the first saw each other begins to strengthen.

 

'Kiss Me Again' is a story about a friendship that found it's way to love. What captured my heart the most about these two men was how they fit, how each of them wanted to care for the other not by changing them but by being able to give them strength when they were weak, by quietly filling their moments of need with strength.

From start to finish I was enchanted with the quiet and simplistic beauty that was Ludo and Aidan's relationship. 'Kiss Me Again' is about the magic of love in an ordinary world between ordinary people to create something extraordinary in their lives.

 

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An audio book of 'Kiss Me Again' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2020-02-15 20:24
Reading progress update: I've read 63%.
A Bad Day for Sunshine - Darynda Jones

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