What I thought would be a sweet and different story for me just turned out to be a train wreck. I thought the concept for this one sounded different and interesting but when I got to it...for me this just didn't work. I really couldn't buy into the whole concept of why Mr. Stanhope was doing what he did...even suspending my disbelief my brain still said..."Nope, not a chance...this is so bogus." I just couldn't get my brain around it and then there was the ghost...I've read a few books with ghost in them and I knew there was one in this book but damned if I could buy into all the stuff that this ghost could do and quite honestly I really didn't care for him...nor did really care for most of the characters in this story...so in a nutshell, this one just wasn't working for me on a whole lot of levels.
What it comes down to for me is that sometimes a story can be hit or miss and this time around it was definitely a miss but on the upside I got to listen to a new narrator and....
Truthfully for me the best part of this book and probably the reason I finished it was that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by new to me narrator Eziekiel Robison who did an awesome job with the narration on this one and I honestly enjoyed listening to him as he read this book. I liked his voices and the fact that he kept them unique, clear, expressive and consistent all combined to give me an enjoyable listening experience and even thought the story didn't work well for me...the narrator did just fine and I look forward to enjoying future books narrated by Mr. Robison.
An audio book of 'Love Wanted' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The first four books have garnered anything between 2 and even 5 stars as a rating from me.
'Fool of Main Beach' just had too many things that appealed to me, so when the chance came along to check out the audio book and the narrator was an 'almost' new to me narrator...K. C. Kelly, whom I've only heard narrate one other audio book. I decided I needed to go for it...so we're heading for Laguna Beach and the men who live there.
So let's start with what I love...
First off this is one of those series where we get a different couple for each book but we also get to re-visit the men from the previous books so the new and the familiar...one of my favorite things.
Dogs...lots and lots of dogs...come on we all know dogs make everything better and this one has dogs in spades.
Totally unlikely MCs...I love it when an author takes 2 characters who on paper are just never going to happen...they have nothing in common, their connection defies the obvious.
Diverse and interesting secondary characters...this one has those in spades from the collection of acting industry people to Merle's family to Tom's family and let's not forget the men from the previous stories.
Most of all I quickly discovered that what I loved the most about this book was Merle and Tom...but especially Tom. I'm not even sure how to explain Tom and all the feelz I have for him. Truly we would all be better people for having a Tom in our lives. Tom is sweet and honest....so guileless and absolutely so much more than he appeared to be. Tom would be the kind of friend that anyone with a brain would treasure and that any parent worthy of the name would cherish and be humbled for having played a part in gifting the world with.
Ok, let's move on to Merle because honestly I could probably wax poetic about Tom and why I love him all day but I think I've made my point Tom is awesome but in his own way so was Merle.
Merle is the star of a television show and he aspires to star in movies but more importantly Merle is at his heart an sweet and gentle soul looking for the right person to love him. It just takes him a bit of time to realize that finding the right person to love him means looking not at the package but at what lies inside...although it might not hurt that Tom is also very nicely packaged...he's big...as in tall with all kinds of lovely ripped muscles and the face of an angel and he thinks that Merle is so beautiful and talented.
I loved that no matter where things were at between these two men if one of them needed help the other one dropped everything to get to them as soon as possible. I loved how Merle saw and never lost site of Tom...not the superficial that people saw at first glance but the man who saw the world just a little differently from others and whose honesty is both guileless and refreshing.
Merle and Tom are in many ways as unlikely a pairing as a person could imagine and their story from when they are brought together when Tom first rescues Merle from an act of bigotry and hatred. As they become friends then friends with benefits continuing to rescue each other, Tom and Merle find their lives becoming increasingly entangled and yet in spite of the fact that both claim a relationship between them would never work, neither of them is willing to truly give up the other.
I really enjoyed listening to this story on audio. K.C. Kelly's narration was well done and really added to my enjoyment of the characters and the story in general and easily ticked off those boxes in my 'things I look for from an audio book' list.
'Fool of Main Beach' is a sweet, feel good, hurt/comfort romance that at times had me laughing and there may have been a tear or two as well and without a doubt this is one of my favorites from this series.
An audio book of 'Thief of Main Street' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
...while I can't honestly say that I have...I can say that it was hella' good fun finding out.
The last thing alpha werewolf expected to find when he returned home was 5 dead pack members and the rest of the pack missing. In need of help to find his missing pack Eli heads to the pack in Asheville and the supernatural community located there. When the supernatural council turns down Eli's plea for help...all except for one person...half-elf, Arden Gilmarin.
As soon as they shake hands Eli knows he's met his mate...something he neither wants nor believes he needs. As Arden and his friends, the vampire Julian and a wizard named Whimsey work with Eli to figure out what's happened to Eli's pack, Eli begins to find it harder and harder to ignore his inner wolf's demands to be with it's mate.
While Arden knows that he wants Eli as soon as they meet what he doesn't realize is that they're mates.
I really enjoyed this story. It held my interest from start to finish. Both the storyline and the characters. The pace was fast but not excessively and the mystery and romance were woven together seamlessly. But even more than the story I loved these characters. Arden with his sweet caregiver ways, Eli with his gruff, alpha behavior and determination to keep Arden at arms length, Julian the mysterious vampire who keeps his past a secret and while he's not as open about his feelings as Arden or Whimsy it's still abundantly clear how much he cares about his two friends and the wizard, Whimsy. Whimsy is absolutely adorable and totally a spitfire...seriously don't mess with his friends because he will curse your sorry behind.
This was only my second time listening to an audio book narrated by Andrew McFerrin. I have to admit I was to say the least impressed by this narrator and the challenge he had narrating this story seriously there were a lot of speaking parts in this with a lot of different characters and Mr. McFerrin did a pretty impressive job giving them all their own unique voice and just keeping it straight as to which voice belonged to who and in how wonderfully expressive they were and this all combined to make one of the funnest audio books I've listened to in a while. I can definitely see me listening to this one again.
Best of all 'Out of the Ashes' as well as being one of the books in Dreamspinner's 'Dreamspun Beyond' series, this is the first book in Ari McKay's 'Asheville Aracana' series and I'm definitely looking forward to whatever comes next whether it's Julian or Whimsy or even someone new, I'm on board for what comes next from 'Asheville'.
An audio book of 'Out of the Ashes' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.