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review 2017-07-23 22:31
Things are looking up!
Artistic Appeal - Andrew Grey

I really had to think long and hard on whether I was going to give this one a chance. Mostly because book 1 in this series was barely ok for me and I'm a bit of an Andrew Grey fan so, truthfully this made me a bit sad, I'm also a firm believer in second chances so ultimately I figured I should put my money where my mouth is so to speak and that's how I came to be here writing a review for the audio book 'Artistic Appeal' book #2 in Andrew Grey's 'Art' series.

 

While the MCs in 'Artistic Appeal' are a different pairing a lot of the events from 'Legal Artistry' the first book in this series carry forward to this story resulting in the fact that while I may not have enjoyed the first book as much as this one, I am glad that I took the time to listen to 'Artistic Appeal' because it definitely was to my benefit when I got to this story.

 

Brian Watson is good friend of Dieter and Gerald the MCs from 'Artistic Appeal' as well as Gerald's colleague and the lawyer who takes over Dieter's case that started in 'Artistic Appeal' and resolves with this story. 

 

When Gerald and Dieter invite Brian to a dinner party with the hopes of playing matchmaker with one of Dieter's friends things don't work out quite the way they're anticipating.  It's Nicolai who captures Brian's attention. Nicolai is an art restorer who has been taking care of the artworks that have recently been returned to Dieter and he's fast becoming a dear friend to Dieter as well. 

 

I really liked the character of Nicolai. He's deaf but he's portrayed as an independent, capable and very functional person. Like anyone who has a sensory impairment he's learned to adjust and compensate for his hearing loss. 

 

Brian's recently divorced and has custody of his daughter, Zoe. Being single and gay is new for him and he's doing his best to keep his life balanced between work, parenting and just being a newly out gay man. 

 

Both Brian and Nicolai had their share of added drama. Brian with his ex-wife, who to say the least is a real piece of work and his mother who, thankfully got her act together. For Nicolai it was his ex-boyfriend/turned stalker who randomly decides he wants Nicolai back after a year of separation. 

 

Once again John Solo was the narrator for this story and overall I enjoyed his narration. He has a pleasant voice and adds variety and expression to the voices of the different characters ensuring that everyone doesn't sound the same...a definite plus in this listener's opinion.  Admittedly my niggle was Zoe's voice and maybe I'm just too damned fussy, I'll own that. When it comes to children's voices I admit it, I'm a tough sell. 

 

'Artistic Appeal' is an easy and sweet romance with a bit extra for added interest. I definitely enjoyed this more than the first book and plan on checking out what's going to happen next in this series. 

 

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

An audio book of 'Artistic Appeal' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-23 20:11
Ok, I admit it...I'mma paisley kinda' girl myself...
Plaid versus Paisley - K.C. Burns

"Plaid Versus Paisley' is the second book in K.C. Burn's series 'Fabric Hearts' and while book #1 'Tartan Hearts' and I didn't do overly well 'Plaid Versus Paisley' turned out to be a far more enjoyable experience for me.

 

Two years ago Will Dawson lost his job forcing him to relocate from Conneticut to Florida where he landed a job working at Idyll Fling...yes, this is the same gay porn studio that gave us Raven (one of the MCs from 'Tartan Candy' and coincidentally Will's best friend) Will's happy working in the tech department of Idyll Fling. Unfortunately because of the circumstances surrounding why he left his last job Will's got a few issues when it comes to delegating job duties and it's starting to show things are piling up in his department and he's starting to show signs of stress and burnout so while it's not surprising that his boss would bring on some help for Will since the business is growing. The last thing Will expects is for said help to come in the form of Dallas Green...the man who as far as Will's concerned cost him both his job and his boyfriend. 

 

Will's not sure what's up but he keeps quiet about knowing Dallas and exactly what their relationship was from his perspective, but he's not the only one keeping quiet about things. Dallas isn't telling his brother that he's got a history with Will but he's also not telling Will that his brother is the owner of Idyll Fling. 

 

'Plaid Versus Paisley' was from start to finish a story about miscommunication. There was so much that Will and Dallas didn't know about each other from back in Connecticut. It really was a case of only having half the story and for both of them that half story didn't look good to the other person. One of the things that neither man realizes was how much they were attracted to each other. 

 

Admittedly I'm not a fan of miscommunication when it's thrown in as something extra and it seems to just muddy the waters, sometimes over whelming the real story but in the case of this story it was the main issue between Will and Dallas so it worked.

 

The part that I was a bit disappointed with was the resolution it seemed to happen just a bit too easily for me.  Things went from I don't believe/trust to I understand/it's all ok just a little too quickly and this to my way of thinking is a more of a personal preference issue than anything else. 

 

I did like the interaction between these two and Dallas's efforts to fix things between them were both cute and entertaining. I loved the 'world's best boss' mug and other little things that he tried to show Will that he wanted them to be able to work together. In general I liked that the things he did were little thoughtful gestures and not over the top grand actions that seemed more like something meant to impress than something meant to convey real emotion.

 

David Ross was once again the narrator for this audio book I really enjoyed his performance the voices were good, consistent and expressive leaving me with nothing to do but enjoy the story. 

 

So far there's one more story to go in this series and I admit I'm looking forward to it because it's Jamie's story and while we first met him in 'Tartan Candy', he's Caleb's cousin and best friend. We got to see more of him in this story as well and he's turning out to be one of my favorites. I'm not sure if I want to jump in and read the book (because yes, I do have it so this is an option) or do I want to wait for the audio version. Either way, I'm definitely looking forward to more from the men of the 'Fabric Hearts' series.

 

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An audio book of 'Plaid Versus Paisley' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-23 18:44
This one's not 'Hell on Wheels' but...
All Wheel Drive - Z.A. Maxfield

it did take a toll on my heart...

 

'All Wheel Drive' is book number 18 in the 'Bluewater Bay' series and like the third book, 'Hell on Wheels' it's written by Z. A. Maxfield, an author that I'm kind of  partial to. So of course I was all grabby hands for this one because 'Hell on Wheels' is one of my favorite books in this series so far. 

 

If this is a series that you're reading than you'll remember that 'Hell on Wheels' was about Nash Holly and in this book, we get a closer look at Healey Holly, Nash's twin brother and seriously can we talk about that name? Healey, really? I have to admit it just wasn't working for me, but, aside from the name, I really liked Healey. While Nash and Healey may look alike on the outside it's inside where the differences really begin, although both of these men are good and decent people who love their family and are loyal to the extreme with those they care about. Healey is crazy smart and has spent most of his adult life in the world of academia unlike his brother Nash.

 

The last thing that Healey expects when he knocks on the door of his childhood home broken, battered and bruised on the outside and just wanting to rent the apartment over the garage so that he can let his shattered heart and body heal is to be greeted by a man in a wheelchair who recognizes the look of helpless anxiety that he sees in Healey's eyes after all Diego's seen that same look often enough in the mirror in the days following the accident that put him in a wheelchair and again after losing his mother it's become a familiar sight as he tries to piece his own life back together.

 

For me 'All Wheel Drive' was as much a book about learning to live with a new reality and forgiving yourself as it was about finding someone to love. Both Healey and Diego have issues…lots and lots of issues.

 

Healey’s come back to his childhood home in Bluewater Bay more as an emotional reflex reaction to his recent experiences than any kind of practical or even logical decision. He’s hurting physically and emotionally following a car accident and the end of his long-time relationship with ‘Ford’ the man he loved and the man who nearly cost Healey his life.

 

‘All Wheel Drive’ was for want of a better word at times a bit convoluted. Especially the part that dealt with Healey and the circumstances surrounding his relationship with Ford and why he returned to Bluewater Bay and while I’m not often a fan of stories that twist and turn the way Healey’s does, in this instance I don’t honestly think that there was a direct path to take with his story. His relationship with Ford was complicated to say the least because of Ford’s circumstances and his family.  The dynamics between Healey and Ford were…well let’s just say ‘it was complicated’ and truthfully from the information we were given it never really seemed that they were meant to be, but we don’t always get to pick who we love and when that love ends sometimes it takes a while for the heart to understand what the head already knows and this seemed to be part of what Healey had to deal with in letting go of his relationship with Ford.

 

As well Healey and Diego definitely had issues when it came to communication but given how emotionally fragile both men were…especially Healey. I’m not sure I would have believed anything different. I certainly would have found it a bit of a fairy tale if the author had given us an ‘insta-love, all-my-problems-are-solved-now-that-you’re-in-my-life’ kind of story. Healey didn’t even trust himself anymore much less trust someone else and Diego because of his accident believed that there were things in his life that were lost to him forever…especially the physical aspects of an intimate relationship and both men were trying to protect themselves from further heartache…so communication at best between these two was guarded and putting everything out there when neither of them had fully pieced themselves back together was a scary concept and often times done in a very roundabout fashion.

 

‘All Wheel Drive’ is by no means a typical romance story, it was complicated and as I said at the beginning it was often ‘convoluted’, but for me it was also the epitome of second chance stories and finding love when and where you least expect it. There was definitely some sexy times between these two, that on more than one occasion turned out to be funny and messy and so very fragile as both men tried to guard their heart and still be what the other man needed.

 

Just like real life ‘All Wheel Drive’ was complicated, messy, frustrating, funny, awkward, sexy, full of love and kindness and in the end worth the effort.

 

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An ARC of 'All Wheel Drive' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-22 23:47
The Devil in the Junior League
The Devil in the Junior League - Linda Francis Lee

The Devil in the Junior League 

 

Starring...

 

Miss Piggy

 

Snooki 

 

And that weird, snooty girl in glasses you went to high school with...

 

Also starring:

 

And the entire cast of

 

I deducted half a star despite how much I loved this ridiculous book because it was riddled with grammatical errors. But wow, this was so bad/good I couldn't help but enjoy it. If you enjoy some high Texan society drama you should pick this up. So funny.

 

 

 

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review 2017-07-22 22:46
Fiducia cieca (Italian Edition) - N. R. Walker

Ho iniziato la lettura di questo M/M su suggerimento di un'amica, ero alla ricerca di un titolo dolce e un po' diverso rispetto al solito, con un significato profondo e personaggi ben caratterizzati, che potessero emozionarmi e rimanere nel mio cuore e... non sono rimasta delusa! Posso dire con estrema gioia che questo consiglio è arrivato proprio al momento giusto e ho potuto così dedicarmi alla 24 su 48 leggendo un bel titolo che mi ha intrattenuta, emozionata e commossa per qualche ora allietando questo caldo pomeriggio estivo.
Questo libro... è adorabile, con una trama semplice ma ben sviluppata, troviamo Carter, un giovane veterinario alle prese con Isaac, un ragazzo cieco dall'età di 8 anni, un po' scorbutico, brontolone e con la battuta sempre pronta che si ritrova ad avere alcune difficoltà a relazionarsi con il suo nuovo cane-guida, Brady. La storia è ben scritta e in poco tempo mi sono affezionata ai due simpatici protagonisti. Carter è un ragazzo adorabile, che ha sofferto per un tradimento che lo ha portato ad avere difficoltà a lasciarsi andare in un rapporto per la paura di ritrovarsi nuovamente con il cuore spezzato, nonostante questo timore però è coraggioso e desideroso di amare di nuovo e non esita ad avvicinarsi, nonostante i timori, ad Isaac, Carter è un veterinario, amante degli animali e con il suo animo gentile e generoso riesce a portare luce e gioia nella vita di Isaac, quest'ultimo ha fin da bambino avuto una vita molto travagliata, alla giovane età di appena 8 anni ha perso in un terribile incidente stradale l'amata madre e la vista, fin da giovane ha dovuto lottare contro l'oscurità che così tanto lo terrorizzava da bambino, dovendo adattarsi a un mondo ormai divenuto ostile, si è così riparato con una dura corazza, dietro un'aria strafottente, un po' arrogante, dietro battutine sarcastiche create ad arte per mettere a disagio la gente ma... non Carter che riesce a guardare oltre l'apparenza, oltre la cecità, a vedere il cuore dell'uomo che ha davanti. Isaac è un personaggio meraviglioso e caratterizzato alla perfezione, in ogni pagina si può sentire i suoi sentimenti, le sue paure e anche la sua voglia di lottare, Isaac è terrorizzato dall'idea di ritrovarsi nuovamente solo, dopo la morte della madre, del padre avvenuta qualche anno dopo e dovuta alla disperazione per la perdita della moglie e dell'amato cane-guida Rosie, divenuto nel tempo il migliore amico e confidente delle sue angosce, ha il terrore di affezionarsi a Brady, per paura di rivivere quel lutto e di tradire la memoria dell'amico a quattro zampe, ha il terrore anche di avvicinarsi troppo a Carter che sembra essere l'unica persona, oltre l'amata sorella tutto pepe Hannah, a capirlo come nessuno ha mai fatto e ad apprezzarlo non trattandolo come un disabile ma come una PERSONA. Mi sono commossa a vedere l'evoluzione della storia d'amore tra due ragazzi, vedere i loro litigi a volte nati per fatti banali e il loro modo di risolverli, rimediare ai propri errori, di ritrovare la pace e serenità che solo il vero amore può dare! Ho amato ogni singolo momento dolce tra i due e ho potuto apprezzare le scenette un po' hot che ci vengono donate generosamente tra un momento fluff e uno un po' più "angst"
Oltre ai due protagonisti potremo inoltre apprezzare altri simpatici personaggi, importantissimi per la trama e studiati ad arte. Come non citare infatti Mark, l'amico che tutti vorremmo avere il "cazzaro" sempre pronto a sparare battute di dubbio gusto e che è disposto a guidare km pur di stare al nostro fianco nei momenti duri oppure Hannah, la sorella un po' buffa e goffa che con il suo amore incondizionato fa un po' da mamma chioccia allo scorbutico fratellino e perchè no... la simpatica novantaduenne gattara che nonostante l'età vede oltre le apparenze e i pregiudizi arrivando a spendere parole gentili verso la tenera coppietta o... OVVIAMENTE le due guest star! Milly e Brady amici pelosi dal cuore d'oro che amano i loro padroni senza riserve, Brady soprattutto mi ha colpito nella sua lealtà, quella lealtà che solo un cane possiede, per tutto il romanzo non abbandonerà mai il suo amico umano, anche se questo è freddo e distante a tal punto da non riuscire neanche ad accarezzarlo, e nel momento del pericolo e del bisogno riuscirà a ricucire la ferita sul cuore di Isaac facendosi finalmente amare e accettare.
Fiducia cieca è un romanzo dolce e tenero che ci porta, con una delicatezza infinita, a comprendere meglio il mondo di Isaac e dei giovani che come lui hanno la sfortuna di non poter più guardare il mondo che li circonda, lo fa mostrandoci come anche un cieco può condurre una vita normale, con forza e coraggio. Isaac è un personaggio che nonostante la fragilità sa essere molto forte e indipendente non piegandosi al suo destino, utilizzando ad esempio la sua nuova condizione per aiutare gli altri insegnando a leggere in braille a bambini e ragazzi nelle sue stesse condizioni. Rappresenta quindi la forza che gli esseri umani possono avere, una forza che ci spinge a vivere fino in fondo sfidando paure, pregiudizi e dolore. Se siete alla ricerca di qualcosa di dolce, divertente, romantico, un po' piccante e con un bel messaggio di amore e speranza potete buttarvi su questa lettura ad occhi chiusi! Non ne rimarrete in alcun modo delusi!

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