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review 2017-10-17 20:17
There's a party going on here...
Gummy Bears & Grenades - Charlie Cochet

'Gummy Bears & Grenades' is a brief interlude from the danger that is the life of the members of THIRDS...or it's suppose to be.

 

It's time for Dex's bachelor party and what a party it's going to be. I'm totally a THIRDS addict so of course reading this one was a no brainer. I dove into this one without hesitation and I loved if from start to finish. It was fun and funny and just so Dex. 

 

As Dex and Sloane's big day draws closer the inevitable pre-wedding events are happening and this one is all about 'the bachelor party'...specifically Dex's, which explains why Sloane is being left behind or even worse being left to have an evening of bonding with his soon to be father-in-law, Tony and doesn't that end up being it's own adventure. Seriously, when someone tells you 'don't play air hockey with the man' it's probably wise to heed their advice...but after one stop to give his fiancee a very steamy surprise and a few drinks...like enough for even a Therian to get a good buzz, Sloane decides that a game or 12 of air hockey couldn't possibly be all that bad of an idea...lol!!! foolish man.

 

Meanwhile Dex is out with Ash, Cael, Hudson, Seb, Calvin & Hobbs and the rest of the gang dancing, eating booze soaked gummy bears and wearing gummy bear suits, having encounters with Wolf, avoiding hired thugs and just generally having a good time. 

 

I enjoyed everything about this story and basically smiled and laughed from start to finish. It was Dex and the members of THIRDS at their rowdy, raucous best and I loved seeing them all cut loose and yet, the still managed to save the day.

 

While the blurb says that you don't need to read this before reading the next book in the THIRDS series, I would definitely advise having read the THIRDS series before reading this one. This story's way more fun when you understand all the dynamics of the relationships and events that have led this this occasion.

 

'Gummy Bears & Grenades' is a wonderful warm up for whats coming next and soon...next month, in the lives of the members of THIRDS as they transition to the next phase of their story.

 

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An ARC of 'Gummy Bears & Grenades' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-10-17 18:47
Fantasy on audio, seems to work really well for me...
The High King's Golden Tongue - Herrmann Michael Stellman,Megan Derr

I first read this book 2 years ago and I loved it wrote it an absolutely rave 5 star review about which I would change nothing and since it was a long one...the word 'rave' usually equals long in my world so here's the link if you're curious...

Original Review: The High King's Golden Tongue

 

I'm just going to keep it short and sweet here and chat a bit about how much I enjoyed listening to this story on audio narrated by Michael Stellman. I loved listening to this book on audio and Michael Stellman definitely did it justice and listening to him retell this story as the visuals played out in my mind was definitely a delight. 

 

Since reading this first book I've gone on to read 'The Pirate of Fathoms Deep' and 'The Heart of the Lost Star' books 2 and 3 of this series and I've loved them all and truly can't wait to listen to them on audio...please, oh please let them be released on audio. 

 

In the 3 or 4 years since I first sampled the audio pool, I've gone from 'no thanks not for me' to 'oh hell yeah, it's on audio!' and one of the things I've discovered is that I especially enjoy listening to audio books from the fantasy genre and Megan Derr's 'Tales of the High Court' series has definitely established it self as a favorite with me. 

 

'The High King's Golden Tongue' was a wonderful start for the series when it was an e-book and continues to do the same for the audio release.  If you're a lover of the fantasy genre this is a series well worth checking out...highly recommended.

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review 2017-10-15 21:15
No dragons here but there was a pretty awesome unicorn!
The Last Grand Master - Andrew Q. Gordon,Joel Leslie

And some pretty amazing peregrines! 'The Last Grandmaster' is the first book in Andrew Q. Gordon's series 'Champion of the Gods' and for me if it's not Urban Fantasy when it comes to fantasy this is my crack. I loved it wizards and noble warriors, magic, unicorns, peregrines, dark magic, good vs evil at its best!

 

Farrell is both a Grand Master and the crowned Prince of Haven a hidden sanctuary for refugees. He's the linchpin in the war against Meglar the wizard king of Zargon and a user of dark magic.  It's during a battle against Meglar that Farrell meets Miceral an immortal warrior chosen by the Six to be Farrell's mate. 

 

Along with Farrell and Miceral the author introduces us to Nerti, Queen of the unicorns and a large cast of secondary characters who all have a role to play in the battle against Meglar. 

 

Overall I really enjoyed this story. It's been quite a while since I've listened to or read a fantasy novel on this epic of a scale and to be honest I'd forgotten the amount of world building that it takes to make a story like this work. Fortunately for me the author chose to incorporate most of his world building into the  story which for me works a whole lot better than info dumps. While there were occasionally times that my interest waned they were far and few between. 

 

'The Last Grandmaster' is as story that has a lot going on...not only is Farrell's personal life in a bit of upheaval but he's working hard to save his world and defeat the evil known as Meglar and of course like any good story our hero has secrets...secrets that dog him at every turn and may even prove to be his undoing.

 

I have to admit I've been poking around this series for a while now and couldn't quite make up my mind but when the opportunity to listen to this on audio book came up, I sat down and took a serious look at things. I know I've said on more than one occasion that fantasy is one of my absolute favorite genres, so needless to say this had 'The Last Grandmaster' ticking yes in more than a few boxes for me. My dilemma came when I got to the narrator. Joel Leslie is the narrator for this book and this created a bit of a dilemma for me, I haven't had the best of luck with this narrator. It's not a case of good or bad, it's truly just personal preference and for me this narrator's voice tends to be more miss than hit...so what to do, what to do?

 

Well I went back and took a look at the audio books that I've listened to by Joel Leslie and came to the realization that while some didn't work and some were just ok. Out of them all while the audio was for me only 3 stars...I would have to say that 'Lord Mouse' is probably the one I liked the best and while that book bares no resemblance to this one in terms of the storyline or plot there is a similarity to the overall feel of them...sorry, I wish I had better words to explain this with but hopefully you get my drift here...anyways, bottom line after pondering this aspect of things I decided this was worth taking a chance on and happily for me I was right. Joel Leslie's narration for 'The Last Grandmaster' worked just fine for me and I genuinely enjoyed the audio experience. So much so that I'm truly hoping that the remainder of this series will be produced on audio book and I certainly won't have any reservations about listening if it's the same narrator for those books.

 

Although 'The Last Grandmaster' is the first book in this series the author hasn't left us standing at the edge of any cliffs wondering about the well being of our heroes, it would appear that each book in this series is for the most part a self-contained adventure that is part of a larger journey...a quest if you will, that our heroes are on in their battle against evil. There are currently four books in this series with a fifth book slated for release in 2018. For me the question isn't whether or not I'll continue the journey it's more a case of e-book or wait for it on audio? What to do? What to do?

 

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An audio book of 'The Last Grandmaster' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-10-12 23:02
Second chances can be such a good idea...
So Into You - S.E. Harmon,Herrmann Michael Stellman

'Stay With Me' was the first book in S. E. Harmon's 'PI Guys' series and I admit I considered taking a pass on this one...at least for now, but my little book OCD voice said "No you can't do that, you need to finish what you started...yadda, yadda, yadda..." that book OCD biotch is annoying as all get out when she gets started...so in an effort to shut her up I agreed to do this. Turns out she maybe a biotch but sometimes she has good ideas. Psst, don't tell her she's egotistical enough  as it is, ok?

 

So after giving in to my Book OCD...which yes, does include audio books. I clicked on 'So Into You' and pressed the play button and yeah, I really got into this one. I liked...I mean really liked both Drew and Noah. I liked their banter and their snark and...uuuhhhmmm...the sex...*fans herself*...well, lets just say it was 'hella hot'. 

 

I loved that both of these men were relationship phobic and yet, both of them fell into one like kids in a candy store. They just couldn't get enough and when it came to willpower 'they had none'.

 

Michael Stellman was the narrator for this book and while he was definitely the shining star for 'Stay With Me' if it's possible I think I liked him even better this time around.

 

Between Drew's ex-con father, his recalcitrant brother and a mother with less than stellar taste in men and a PI partner who possibly needs his own keeper...thank heavens for Jordan and the fact that Noah's life is on the other side of the country and his family is not even close to what could be called conventional. Watching these two men maneuver themselves into a relationship was more than a little entertaining to say the least.

 

While 'Stay With Me' overall just didn't work for me...'So Into You' was the polar opposite and I really enjoyed it, so much more than the first book and I can easily see more S. E. Harmon stories in my future.

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review 2017-10-08 19:52
I'm sorry, I tried...I really, really tried...
Stay With Me - S.E. Harmon, Michael Stellman

Well this was surprise...I had zero doubt...zero I tell you that I was going to like this...well, I guess this was my reminder to 'never say never'. 

 

What I like was the narration. Michael Stellman was the narrator on this one and for me he did an awesome job. If I was just rating the narrator this one would have gotten at least 3 stars probably 4 from me.

 

I liked the humor there was some really funny stuff and I found myself chuckling out loud on more than one occasion and this is pretty much where this list ends with the exception of the occasional moments where I started to like Mackenzie, one of the MCs.

 

What I didn't like...well there's a laundry list for you. For the most part I didn't like the MCs a lot of the time I just wanted to give one or both of them a shake and tell them to get their heads out of their behinds, stop thinking with their little heads and try using the big one...you know the one that actually has a brain in it. I wanted to send Mackenzie for counselling to get back some of his self esteem and then there was Jordan...seriously? WTF? This guy was more confusing than trying to do a Rubik's cube in the dark. He's not gay and doesn't want to be but damned if he can stay away from Mackenzie and holy hell does he know his way around in the bedroom when he gets him there and that's just the tip of the iceberg with him. I found myself raging at Jordan more often than not and there really wasn't a point at which I even remotely liked him. I might have liked some of the secondary characters if someone anyone had bothered to treat Mackenzie with even a fraction of something that indicated they thought he had feelings worth considering. 

 

I get that he was maybe his own worst enemy and the source of a majority of his problems but damn, if I treated my friends the way that everyone treated Mackenzie... well, I think I could pretty well expect that I'd be told where to go and how to get there in short order. 

 

I've read the reviews and I get that this one worked for more people than not, I just happen to be one of the 'nots', but I'm also a bit of a die hard and since this is my first time with an S. E. Harmon story, I can't help but wonder if it's just this particular story or  if maybe it's a case of this author just isn't for me so you guessed it I'm giving it one more try with 'So Into You' book #2 in 'The PI Guys'...cross your fingers for me, ok?

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