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review 2017-12-17 22:45
It's like reading an episode of hoarders!
Eddie: Grime Doesn't Pay: Brothers Grime, Book 2 - Audible Studios,Z.A. Maxfield,William Arden

'Eddie: Grime Doesn't Pay' is the second book in Z.A. Maxfield's series 'The Grime Brothers' and while I enjoyed it. It didn't quite match the first book for me. 


I really, really liked Eddie. Interestingly Eddie rhymes with teddy and that's what Eddie was he was just a total teddy bear and really, really good guy. I liked Eddie a lot. Eddie's one of Jack's partners at 'The Grime Brothers' and he's a really solid guy. Eddie works hard, he's a good friend and as his integrity is rock solid but he's also considerate and honest...in short Eddie's a keeper and it seems that Andrew wants to keep him.


Andrew's a school teacher and he's had Eddie on his radar since the first day Eddie brought his niece to school. I have to admit I never quite warmed up to Andrew. I found Andrew to be at times overly controlling and at times just downright obtuse....especially where his father is concerned.


I liked the way that Eddie's dyslexia was handled in this story. While Eddie's dyslexia is indicated as being one of the more serious types. While Eddie has worked hard to enable himself to be highly functional and independent he still struggles with his self esteem because he has dyslexia. Ironically it was being dyslexic that also contributed to Eddie's compassion. 


At the end of it all I just didn't feel the connection between Eddie and Andrew as strongly as I did between Jack and Ryan. 


We are once again given a series where we get a new pairing with each book but we also get to see couples from previous books since the core characters in this series are friends and so far also co-workers. It's been a while since this story was first released back in 2013 and I have to admit now that I've had the opportunity to experience these first two stories there's definitely at least one more story that I'd love to read and that's Dave and Gabe's story, because there's totally a story there. We first met both of these men in Jack's book and again here in this book and and I know for sure that the more I learn about these two...the more I want a story. I know it's been 4 years but a girl can hope, right?


One last note...'Jack' was my first time listening to Joe Arden who was the narrator for both of these books and I enjoyed the audio experience. The narration was solid. The character voices were solid and consistent, providing depth to the characters and I'm looking forward to enjoying other books narrated by this narrator in the future.

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review 2017-12-17 05:14
It's another swipe at the Tower of TBR thanks to the world of audio books...
Jack: Grime and Punishment: Brothers Grime, Book 1 - Audible Studios,Z.A. Maxfield,William Arden

I've wanted to read these books for ages now. I'm totally a fan of Z.A. Maxfield and while I haven't read all of her books I'm working on it and I've wanted to read this one for quite a while now. So while I still love to read my books like most things I have come to realize that audio books have a place in my reading routines. 


'Jack: Grime and Punishment' is the first book in the series 'The Brother's Grime'. Jack is one of the partners in a company that specializes in crime scene clean up. A company that came into being when Jack's career as a firefighter came to an abrupt end. 


Ironically when a job comes up to clean up the house of a suicide victim it's Jack's turn to move on from the past when the victim and owner of the house turns out to be Nick Foasberg...Jack's first love and the person who betrayed him in unimaginable ways. But if Nick is Jack's past then what does that make Nick's cousin Ryan Halloran...is it possible he's Jack's future?


To say the least Jack's career gave this story an unusual setting at times and there's a solid cast of interesting characters adding depth and dimension to the story. There was a fair amount of tension and misunderstanding between Jack and Ryan, which was appropriate given the history between these two and add in some interference from Jack's well meaning friends and things definitely got challenging for Jack and Ryan at times.


I've enjoyed reading Z. A. Maxfield for a few years now and now I'm enjoying her stories on audio book. I'll probably never conquer my personal Mt. TBR but between my e-books and audio books I'll certainly be giving it a valiant try...so, I'm off to the next book in 'The Brother's Grime' and then who knows where the world of audio will lead me in quest to conquer Mt. TBR.

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review 2017-12-17 03:41
All the world's a stage...
Between Loathing and Love - Andrew Grey,Tristan James

Payton Gowan long ago gave up his dreams of being an actor and turned his talents to making things happen for others, but when the reason for his careers change of course steals his treadmill at the gym Payton comes face to face with is past.


When Beckett Huntington bumps into Payton at the local gym he doesn't realize that he's not only meeting the person he blames for outing him all those years ago, the person who caused him to become interested in acting but the he's meeting the person who can help make all his dreams come true.


'Between Loathing and Love' is a quintessential 'enemies to friends' story. Payton is a nice guy he's honorable and in spite of the animosity of the past between him and Beckett he sees how talented the man is and he's totally professional in how he behaves in regard to Beckett's career. 


I wasn't so sure about Beckett at the beginning but as the story progressed he grew on me and I liked the change from the person we were given to understand him to have been as a young man in high school and the adult that he's become. 


There's definite communication challenges between Payton and Beckett which for me made sense given their background these two had a long of trust building to do and just generally needed to develop a better comfort level that allowed for open and honest communication.


There were some interesting secondary characters in this story...Beckett's neighbor Val was someone whom I'd like to see more of. He was an interesting character and I liked his open, honest nature and I'd really love to see how things turn out with him and Lars and then there was Rob and while I'm not going to say exactly where he factored into things I will say when last we saw him in this story he shared some things with Payton and Beckett that made me want to have more of a story about him. Then there was Beckett's douchebag co-worker while I don't need to see more of him, I will say he did add some interest in this one.


I really liked this story but I have to admit what really added to my enjoyment was the narrator...Tristan James. I cannot like this man is one on my top 5 list of favorites when it comes to narrators. If he's reading the story I just sink right in. I love his voice and the character voices are consistent, expressive and unique, injecting a tone that simply compels me to listen and I do so quite happily.

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review 2017-12-15 21:15
I was going to read the book...
Insight - Santino Hassell,Greg Boudreaux

but then I discovered it was released on audio and narrated by one of my absolute favorite narrators...Greg Boudreaux (also known as Greg Tremblay) and resistance went out the window. I was all grabby hands and gimme.


I think I can safely say that anyone who reads Santino Hassell would agree with me when I say this author is incredibly diverse. From ICoS to the Five Boroughs, he has created a unique collection of worlds and characters to populate them and with 'Insight' the first installment of 'The Community' his latest series or I guess I should say trilogy, Santino has only added to his repertoire of worlds and their characters.


As well as being diverse in its character and settings this one is equally as diverse in it's genre...'Insight' is a paranormal, mystery, thriller, romance. 'Insight' is a dark, intense story and in spite of it's paranormal element it has a very strong connection to some of the realities of modern society and its subcultures as well as the strong sense of displacement experienced by many of today's youth.


When Nate finds out that his estranged twin brother has died he begins to question so much of his life as it has been and this leads to questions and conflicts that ultimately drive him to leave his home in small town Texas not an easy task for an empath. Setting out to hitchhike to New York Nate is picked up by Trent, someone who he'd actually met already and someone with whom he quickly established a comfortable connection. Nate ends up making his journey to New York with Trent. As they set out on their journey Nate and Trent get to know each other and with a side trip to New Orleans a relationship develops that both men find they are reluctant to let go of. 


Upon his arrival in New York Nate quickly finds himself emerged in a world that he had no idea existed as he tries to unravel the mystery surrounding his brothers 'suicide'. Nate soon meets an interesting and unique collection of characters all having something to contribute to his quest for answers about the twin brother he soon realizes that he never really knew. Nate also quickly figures out that trust is something that's in short order and he needs to hand it out sparingly except when it comes to Trent...Nate knows he can trust Trent and thankfully he also knows that Trent's got his back and he desperately needs someone to do that.


I loved this book...LOVED IT!!! While I'm not a huge fan of paranormal and by this I mean werewolves, vampires, other world creatures...that is not this paranormal. This is the world of psychic  abilities...empaths, sypmpaths, telepaths, psyonics, precogs, etc. and this is the part of paranormal that fascinates me...hey, sue me. I'm an X-men fan, ok? as in I love the X-men. I read the comics as a child and I have seen all of the movies...once or twice or maybe a few more times. The mystery was very well done I suspected the surprise at the end but until it was confirmed it was a little maybe niggle in my brain and the romance between Nate and Trent...I loved it. It played out with the rest of the story and for me it never really got lost in the clatter of what else was happening and it was believable. These guys had good moments, they talked got to know each other, they had passion, they argued and disagreed with each other in plain speak in spite of some pretty bizarre circumstances they actually had a fairly normal relationship. 


Back all of this up with Greg Beaudreaux (Tremblay) someone who has become one of my absolute favorite narrators and I can happily say that 'Insight' is definitely one of my favorite listening experiences to date.


Now comes the hard part...I have the e-books and I could read the next story but if I'm patient I can enjoy the next book on audio and I have to admit as much as I want to know what comes next and believe me...I am more than anxious to know, but I have to say the audio experience for this one was so awesome that, well...I can't help but feel that some things are worth the wait.



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

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review 2017-12-15 18:19
Unfortunately...not the most arresting book I've read this month...
Smitty's Sheriff - Cardeno C.,Ezekiel Robison

As much as I enjoy Cardeno C. and loved McFarland's Farm when it came to Smitty's Sheriff things just kind of fizzled.


'Smitty's Sheriff' is a May/December, second chance romance and while I'm ok with May/December romances especially if they're done right when it comes to second chance stories I'm totally a fan. I just have such a soft spot for second chance stories. So when I read the blurb for this one it sounded interesting and while I haven't listened to a lot of books narrated by Ezekiel Robison...just one to be exact but I enjoyed his narration of that book so when 'Smitty's Sheriff' crossed my radar odds were good that I'd really like it. Unfortunately as sometimes happens...it was a crap shoot and what I had hoped would be and 'I loved it' audio book ended up being an 'it was ok' audio book.


Truthfully if I'd read the book this would probably have been a 2 maybe 2.5 star read, it was the narration that kept that from happening. Ezekiel Robison did a very solid job with this and I enjoyed his performance. His characters were unique, expressive and the voices suited how I imagined they would be. So truthfully when it comes to just the audio portion of this story it's a solid 3.5 maybe 4 stars from me. I'd definitely listen to this narrator again.


When it comes to the story...well, I had issues of which the main one was Sheriff Richard Davis...sorry, but this character annoyed me...at times...a lot. First off the fact that he has a relationship with a guy (being the other MC, Todd) for 3 years and then just cuts all contact with him. No explanation in any way shape or form...no phone call, not even the dreaded Dear John letter, e-mail or even a text message. Who does that? Add to this the fact that he basically kept the relationship  in the closet not because he's not out as being gay or Todd's not...no it's because of Todd's age. 


Needless to say this leaves poor Todd more than a little confused as he's still wondering 6 months later what happened, what he did wrong? 


As well as how he ended things with Todd, I was less than impressed with how he treated him. Most of the time when it came to Richard it felt like Todd was walking barefoot on glass shards. He never seemed to be sure of what he should do or whether he'd done the right thing or screwed up. Honestly if I had to live that way I'd be a nervous wreck or more than likely I'd be the one doing a Richard and walking away. Honestly I'd have a hard time living with someone seemingly wanted to control every move I made and quite truthfully there may have been nearly 20 years between them but Todd wasn't a five year old and things would have gone better for me if I hadn't felt like Richard treated Todd like a 5 year old.


However, in Richard's defense I will say that Todd's decision making skills may have been slightly lacking at times but given that he had a really strong need to please Richard all it would have taken to sort things out would have been for Richard to open his mouth and talk instead of walking away.


So at the end of it all it comes down to 2 - 2.5 stars for the story and 3.5 maybe 4 for the audio and me splitting the difference and calling it a day at 3 stars.



An audio book of 'Smitty's Sheriff' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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