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review 2017-08-19 17:01
So maybe I should have just read the book...
Legal Tender - Andrew Grey

I'm really torn on this one because in all honesty I wanted to really love this story. The blurb sounded so good that I couldn't really imagine not loving the story...and although I didn't love this quite as much as I'd anticipated there was a lot about the story that worked for me and I truly enjoyed.

 

While the story worked for me overall my biggest distraction came from the audio side of things and this is where I'm really torn...you see, I like John Solo. I sort of have a soft spot for him because it was his narration of Marie Sexton's 'Trailer Trash' that made me decide to start listening to and reviewing audio books. However, with this one the narration just didn't work for me and in all honesty I have to say I think this was a little bit me as well, but we'll come back to this later.

 

'Legal Tender' is the fourth book in Andrew Grey's 'Art Series' and while the blurb for the story intrigued me and sounded really good. In the end it turned out to be just 'ok'. Timothy has returned to his Grampy's home after finding out that his grandfather had left everything to him and not his drug addicted mother. Timothy left home at an early age after his mother betrayed him in the worst way possible. He's cut her out of his life and I say good for him on that one. She didn't deserve to be anyone's mother let alone someone as sweet as Timothy.

 

Coming back to Grampy's house has also reunited Timothy with his childhood friend, Dieter (one of the MCs from the first book in this series). Timothy also discovers that his Grampy's stories from his childhood were clues to a heritage that he'd been unaware of. Discovering a cache of old coins brings Timothy to Dieter's door in need of help from Dieter's partner, Gerald and introducing him to Joiner, whom Gerald task with finding out how they can enable Timothy to keep a rare coin that the American Government claims belongs to them as it was never monetized or so they claim.

 

As Joiner works to find a way for Timothy to keep his grandfather's coin the two men get to know each other and their initial attraction to each other becomes more, but the real question is will what they have be enough to keep them together when Timothy finally opens up about why he refuses to have anything to do with his mother. 

 

I loved all the different aspects of this story and how things played out slowly revealing the connections. 

 

Ok now for the audio portion of this review. As I said before I have a bit of a soft spot for John Solo so this pains me a little to say but for me the biggest problem was the audio. Overall the voices just weren't clicking for me. Gerald's voice was stilted and just seemed to have an arrogant tone to it and while I like confident...arrogant just doesn't do it for me and I found myself not liking Gerald a whole lot and then there was Timothy.  I wanted Timothy's voice to reflect my image of a man in his twenties who was sweet and while confident at times held a hint of insecurity especially when confronted with his past. I wanted to hear all the emotion in his voice when he spoke about his grampy, his mother, the things that happened to him as a child. What I felt like I was getting was a pre-pubescent boy. I liked Timothy and his voice just wasn't what I was envisioning it to be. So truthfully this wasn't a right or wrong thing it was just a case of it didn't work for me. However, on the upside Joiner's voice was ok for me, but still the over all narration just didn't work for me. 

 

It's usually at this point that I really know whether or not an audio book truly worked for me because if it worked for me the audio book gets an overall rating but in this case while the book would have gotten 4 stars from me. In all honesty the audio sits somewhere around 2.5 - 3 stars. So I'm calling it a day at 3.5 stars and having faith that my next John Solo audio book will be a better experience.

 

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

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review 2017-08-18 22:01
Well that was interesting...yeah, let's go with interesting...
Dim Sum Asylum - Rhys Ford

I read 'Dim Sum Asylum' back in June when the e-book was first release...what can I say it's Rhys Ford so I'm all over that stuff. Plus...hello? Dragons. Needless to say I was not disappointed and I loved it 5 dragon stars worth. So when the audio book became available and it was narrated by Greg Tremblay...who was I to turn the opportunity down...my momma didn't raise no fools...ok, maybe one or two of them but trust me I'm not on that list.

 

So not to re-invent the wheel or anything but here's the link to my first review...

Dim Sum Asylum Book Review

 

Now that we've got that out of the way lets talk about the audio book. As I said it's narrated by Greg Tremblay so what makes this interesting is that this is the first time I've listened to an audio book from this narrator that hasn't quite worked for me and honestly that's not even how I want to phrase this because overall he did an awesome job and I loved his character voices...all except one and that was Roku. Don't get me wrong here, the voice that Greg Tremblay used for Roku wasn't a bad or annoying voice by any means. It just didn't quite work for me and by didn't quite work...I mean it changed my rating from 5 dragon stars to 4.5 dragon stars.

 

So really not a huge impact...I still loved this book and I still think Greg Tremblay is fantastic when it comes to narrating. I think this is more a case of subjective opinions and mine was a little bit different. Was Mr. Tremblay wrong...no, was I wrong...again no. We just viewed the character's voice differently. 

 

Once I settled in to the narrator's interpretation of Roku's voice I also settled in to enjoying this story all over again. I don't tend to do a lot of re-reads because honestly...I get bored but that doesn't mean I don't like to enjoy a story more than once so what I've discovered is that for me audio books are a wonderful solution to being able to enjoy a well liked story and it also allows me to enjoy other past times such as my quilting, cross-stitch, unpacking boxes...because this is a thing in my live right now and whether it's something I want to do or something I have to do, enjoying an audio book really makes it a much more enjoyable experience. for me, especially if it's a book by a favorite author being read by a favorite narrator.

 

If you enjoyed reading 'Dim Sum Asylum' than check out the audio book it's so worth going back to Chinatown to be able to spend time with Roku and Trent. 

 

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

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review 2017-08-17 00:06
I admit it...this was not the Ethan Day that I was expecting...
Northern Star - Ethan Day,Jason Frazier

Before I start this review I would like to offer sincere apologies to the author for having taken so long to get this review done. Unfortunately sometimes real life refuses to co-operate. I started listening to this story back around mid-July and then there was a move...so when I was finally able to resume the story in fairness to the author, the book and the narrator I felt I needed to start all over again so I did and I'm glad I made that choice because it allowed me to take the time to enjoy this one from start to finish allowing me to make a much fairer assessment of both the story and the narrator.

 

'Northern Star' is not my first book by this author. I've read his 'Summit City' series and some of his standalones and 'To Catch a Fox', the first book in the 'Fox Mysteries' that he co-wrote with Geoffrey Knight is definitely one that I'm be happy to read more of. But I will be the first to admit none of them prepared me for this one.

 

I guess I've come to expect a solid dose of humor in Ethan Day's stories and while there were some humorous moments in this story...honestly that bar-b-que conversation between Steve and his friends got more than one laugh out of me. So yes, there was a touch of humor in this story but 'Northern Story' was definitely darker and more introspective than what I've normally come to anticipate from Ethan Day.

 

In the life lottery, Deacon Miller did not get the winning ticket...hell, he didn't even win a consolation prize. Thankfully what he did get even though he doesn't realize it is a backbone of steel. Born to a homophobic, alcoholic mother whose luck with men rivals that of a passenger on the Titanic. Deacon has survived a life that would have very possibly crushed others...not unscathed, but he has continued to dust himself off and get back up each time life has tried to knock him down.

 

Making a hasty retreat from the the family holiday from hell only to get dumped by his boyfriend and dragged back home by his little sister when their mother ends up in the hospital and then jail after causing an accident and being charged with a DUI infraction for the third time, but not before sharing an incredible interlude with the much older and incredibly sexy Steven Steele. 

 

Neither man can forget their time together nor does either man make the first move to contact the other. It's up to fate to bring these two men together and she does. Both men are trying to leave behind a past filled with mistakes and heartache and the comfort and passion that they shared in that one interlude stays with each of them despite the passage of time.

 

Deacon's around 27ish and Steve's around 44ish so approximately 17 years...there's a definite age gap here and it seems to be a theme with my reading these days. Surprisingly in a lot of ways this age gap doesn't seem so glaringly huge because while Deacon's only 27, his life experience has definitely aged him beyond his years and broken him in ways that no 27 year old should be broken. He's sad, there's really not another word for it and Steve wants to fill some of the empty spaces in his heart with love and maybe even a bit of happiness.  Deacon thinks Steve is amazing and that he's just not good enough for someone as wonderful as Steve...this is not a helpful idea and one that Steve would like to change Deacon's mind about.

 

'Northern Star' was my first audio experience narrated by Jason Frazier and I have to say, for me, he definitely delivered. I enjoyed his voices , they were distinctive, consistent and expressive...at times seriously expressive...just saying fanning myself may have been involved during certain scenes.  

 

This wasn't an insta-love, magical peen fixes all kind of story. It was more like insta-lust to attraction, to friendship to love...it was believable and felt like it could be a real life relationship. 

 

Being together isn't something that comes easily for Deacon and Steve but then anything worth having never comes easy does it?  I have to admit at the beginning I wasn't quite sure if this was going to work for me, but the more I listened the more it drew me in and the more I wanted to hear in the end I really enjoyed this one...I think that's the sign of a good story...isn't it? 

 

'Northern Star' isn't quite the usual Ethan Day fare, but still it was an emotional and touching story that I enjoyed every bit as much as his other stories and while it didn't leave me in fits of giggles, it did touch my heart and let me believe that happiness is there for anyone who's willing to fight for it. 

 

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An audio book of 'Northern Stars' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-08-10 02:50
So far 'Personal Secrets' is my personal favorite...
Personal Secrets - K.C. Wells,Cornell Collins

‘Personal Secrets’ is book #3 in K. C. Wells series ‘Personal’ and while we get to see Blake and Will become parents to an adorable baby girl and Rick and Angelo are around and doing well. This is Ed’s story. Ed works at Trinity Publishing for Blake and we met him back in book #1 Making It Personal.

 

Ed’s a down to earth guy who speaks his mind, he enjoys his job and playing rugby. He likes spending time with his teammate Colin…as a matter of fact he likes spending time with Colin so much that he wants them to be friends with benefits…or at least that’s what he starts out wanting but as Ed and Colin spend time together Ed begins to realize that what he feels and wants from Colin goes beyond friends with benefits, but the question is ‘what does Colin want?’

 

Colin’s wanted Ed for a long time. He just never thought his straight friend would ever want something more from him but when opportunity knocks…Colin’s not only willing to open the door he’ll happily prop it open if it means having a chance at the man who monopolizes his dreams.

 

In spite of office & family drama and unexpected ex’s and thankfully with the help of some good friends, Colin and Ed manage to work through Ed’s coming to terms with his sexuality and a bit of insecurity on the part of both men.

 

I loved the honesty between these to men, not that they didn’t have their misunderstandings, but they both worked hard to try and be honest with each other. Colin was sweet, patient and supportive of Ed. While Ed may have hesitated at times, ultimately, he always faced up to how he felt about things and at times he may have even a little help from his friends but in the end Ed knew what he wanted and was willing to persist in his efforts to be the kind of man Colin wanted and would be proud of.

 

Cornell Collins is once again the narrator for this book and I’ve enjoyed having the continuity of the same voices for these characters from story to story. The voice that was Ed in the first book was the same one that I heard in this book and I enjoyed this a lot. After listening to all 3 of these audio books back to back by the time I got to the final one it felt like listening to friends sharing their stories with me.

 

I’ve developed a sincere appreciation for listening to audio books like this that are from a series and have the same MCs or as was the case with this series the same core set of characters.

 

With the first book, Making It Personal, we had Blake and Will as the MCs but Ed, Rick, Karen and few other secondary characters were in this book and carried through to the second book, Personal Changes, where Rick became one of the MCs as we watched his story with Angelo unfold and in book 3 again we are given the same cast of characters, with the addition of Angelo, as Ed and Colin’s story unfolds and I’ve really enjoyed having the same person narrate each book giving me the continuity of having the characters voices remain the same from story to story.

 

I’ve enjoyed hearing these stories on audio and with my fingers crossed that Cornell Collins will continue as the narrator I look forward to hearing more and spending a few more hours with the familiar voices of this group of co-workers and friends.

 

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A audio book copy of ‘Personal Secrets’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-08-01 01:44
And now we're at the end of the line...
Forging the Future - Mary Calmes

'Forging the Future' is the fifth and final book in this series and as much as I loved 'Crucible of Fate' in a lot of ways this one has turned out to be my favorite.

 

In 'Forging the Future' we're given the answers to any lingering questions and more than a couple of werepanthers get their just desserts and a few others get their very richly deserved 'happily ever after'. This one left me feeling good about a whole lot of things and most of all happy for Jin and Logan as well as the people who have come to be their family.

 

Sean Crisden was once again the narrator for this final installment to the 'Change of Heart' series and as well as being my favorite book in the series it was also my favorite one of his narrations for this series as well.

 

Ok, that's it. I'm outta here. Movers are coming in the morning and I plan on getting a little sleep tonight so peace out everyone and Happy Monday!

 

Psst...here's the link to my original review, apparently this was the only one that I wrote a review for when I read the e-books...Forging the Future

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