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review 2019-01-23 15:12
'Don't Let Go' had me holding on until the end and then...
Don't Let Go - Jeff Gelder,Andrew Grey

things went sideways on me and letting go just seemed like the best thing to do...

 

I really enjoyed most of this story it was hella' good...so let's talk about the good and we'll get to the sideways in a bit...

 

Avery Rivers is a star in the country music industry. He's hot and everyone wants a piece of him. The problem is he's only got so many pieces to give and he's running low. If he doesn't catch a break soon, he's pretty sure he's going to become so broken there won't be any putting him back together again. So Avery decides it's time to man up and take control of things and he does. His concert tours done and people are talking about adding dates but Avery knows what his deal is for and he say 'no' just a big fat no, takes care of business, buys himself a pick-up truck and says 'I'll see  ya all in six months.' and hits the road. Along the way he meets Hy Whitely on for him he's just plain old Zeke because Hy Whitely's a top performer on the pro rodeo circuit and if anyone knows how Avery's feeling it's Hy Whitely.

 

Zeke and Avery hook up for a night of good times and then they go their separate ways only to have their paths cross again when Avery's dad unknowingly gives the country star a job working on his ranch...the same ranch that Zeke's heading to for a much needed break.

 

Turns out that for both Avery and Zeke the ranch is just the break that they both need. Things start out good for the two as they work the ranch and get to know each other spending their days out on the range fixing fences, caring for the cattle and horses and their nights wrapped up in each other and sharing a passion that seems incendiary and feels even hotter. As the days pass each man comes to realize that sure the sex it great but they just really, genuinely like and care for the other.

 

So basically this as the gist of everything that I really liked about this book Zeke, Avery and their relationship as well there's a side story going on between Zeke and his father that's good and adds to the overall story and I enjoyed seeing Zeke and his dad work through their issues as the real world creeps back into the comfortable bubble that they've all been surrounding themselves with.

 

When word gets out as to where  country music's hottest ticket Avery Rivers has slipped away to...well sh*t gets real and Avery and Zeke have to face not only their feelings but what the demands of real life will mean to their fledgling relationship and decisions need to be made if they're going to find a way through this.

 

If you plan on reading this book than you may want to stop here because this next part is a bit spoilerish but I'm going to try and keep it as vague as possible so the decisions up to you if you want to finish reading this review...

 

Ok, so far I have to say I was loving this one...it was coming in at a very solid 4 stars and then we got the the ending and I do mean the ending as in 'the epilogue'...it was too much. Here I've been reading this lovely story about two men with successful lives falling in love and struggling to keep their relationship solid and discreet even though they not hiding in the closet, neither are they out, proud and marching in any pride parades and yet when we get to the end we get an over oh so freakin' over the top public declaration. Now I realize that for some this is cool and they really love this kind of thing and to that I say 'cool' but for me it was just a big "No...no, no, no."

 

Things just made no sense since they've been keeping things on the down low and then suddenly this? and no I'm not saying what this was. If you've read the book you'll know and if not well I really don't want to spoil things too much. So in the end my 4 stars went down to 3.5 stars and while I liked most of the story the ending turned out to be a big wet blanket for me. 

 

Jeff Gelder was the narrator for this story and while it's not my first time at the dance with this narrator and for the most part he did a solid job with the narration and certainly I had no problem in terms of understanding and when it came to the character voices things were good. However, when it came to the narration portion at times I found his voice to be a bit stilted and lacking the smooth tone that he had when voicing the characters. It wasn't an overwhelming issue and while it didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story it was a bit of a minor niggle that was enough to catch my attention. 

 

'Don't Let Go' for the most part was a 4 star listen for me with the ending being such a subjective issue. Unfortunately for me it was a detracting factor from my overall enjoyment of things but for others it could be the reason to add stars not take away...it's all about the personal preferences.

 

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An audio book of 'Don't Let Go' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-01-23 05:14
Some ingredients are harder to substitute than others...
The Missing Ingredient - Brian Lancaster,Seb Yarrick

Marcus Vine is on the cusp of success as a chef, but finds that having only investors  interested in him leaves him with time to spare and following the loss of his best friend Raine, Marcus turns to helping Raine's husband Tom as he struggles to come to grips with losing his wife and the mother of his children...Marcus's godchildren, trying to rebuild their lives to a new normal.

 

Marcus days become filled with childcare and he finds himself becoming a part of a family as little by little Tom and his godchildren begin to rely on him for the stability he brings to their lives. 

 

For Marcus what starts as simply helping his deceased best friend's husband care for his daughters and get back to being a family again puts him and Tom in close proximity to each other on a regular basis and Marcus is faced with his feelings for Tom becoming more than just that of a family friend and ultimately Tom also begins to realize that he has an attraction for Marcus that has nothing to do with friendship or gratitude but he's also not willing to step out of the safety of the closet he's been hiding in.

 

I liked the dynamics between Marcus and Tom. Marcus has an established career and he's confident about his choices. In general I liked Marcus and the fact that while he didn't push Tom nor did he just hide in the closet and hope that things would change. He kept his promises in regards to helping with the children and while he was willing to give Tom time...he wasn't willing to give forever. So while I may not have liked him quite as much as Marcus I did have a lot of empathy for Tom.

 

While I liked Marcus I wasn't quite as overly taken with Tom.  I think he was trying but sometimes pride goes before the fall and that's what happened with Tom. He was so determined to care for his children without anyone's help that he let his pride get in toe way and lost sight of what was truly important...the well being of his children, but I don't think it was because he didn't love them...I think maybe he was just a little misguided about the fact that needing help and being weak aren't the same thing.

 

One of the best parts of this story for me was that so often in a story like this one MC or the other losses themselves in the life of the other as they try to help but that wasn't the case with Marcus. He didn't lose himself and we were shown more than one side of  him as he helped take care of his godchildren, tried to be a friend to Tom and worked to pursue his own career goals.

 

I liked the story but for the most part it was just a case of like i wasn't until the last 10 or 20% that I really got enchanted by the story...especially the epilogue...it was freaking adorable and definitely added to the overall story for me...seriously cute stuff at the end.

 

'The Missing Ingredient' is only the second book that I've listened to by Seb Yarrick and once again he's done a solid job of creating an enjoyable audio book making a solid contribution to my enjoyment of this story and certainly keeping him on my radar as a narrator that I'll enjoy hearing more from in the future. 

 

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

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review 2019-01-23 03:25
It's Mary Calmes's Vampyres on audio...of course I had to hear this...
His Consort - Mary Calmes,Scott Smith

If you follow my reviews and thank you for doing that by the way, than you also know I've read this book. I'm kind of getting addicted to doing that...reading a story and then listening to the audio...I've discovered it's something that I really enjoy doing.  Although it's not often that I want to re-read a book I love listening to audio books...some of them over and over and over again. It's just a thing that I enjoy doing. So since I've already read and reviewed this story as an e-book I'm going to steal from it for some of this review, so if something seems repetitious it's probably because it is...

 

I have a small group of authors that I'll just read whatever they write and the reasons may vary but mostly it's the entertainment factor and just the fact that for whatever reason I can easily escape into the story and enjoy it without a lot of deep thoughts or intellectual rhetoric involved...what can I say, sometimes a girl just wants to read a story that's entertaining. 

 

So just to summarize there are a number of reasons that I had so much fun reading this story and they've all held true in listening to the audio book and they were...

 

I really liked both of the MCs.  Jason Thorpe was the expected 'everyone loves him' MC and I liked wandering through the first part of the book as his history and character were layered onto him and we got to see how he came to be in New Orleans and the events that slowly converged to bring him together with Varic Maedoc, Prince of the Vampires.

 

I liked the slightly different twist that the author brought to the origins of these Vampyres and the interesting collection of secondary characters that helped to flesh out this story characters such as Cooke, Leni and Ode but most of all I loved Tiago and Hadrian... whom, I probably liked even a tiny bit more than Jason and Varic...I think, I'd need to read their story to be sure (this is what we call a subtle hint at my house). 

 

Last but not least I really like how this was all laid out with an underlying theme of  Vampyr politics running throughout the story driving both the romance and the mystery/action part of the story. All of this along with the Vampyr social structure, their language combined to create a daunting task of how to share the information with the reader and keep it from being simply a large and ultimately tedious info dump. I loved that these Vampyres weren't portrayed as a hidden culture existing in modern times with ancient ways...nope, these guy knew about cell phones, computers internet websites but there were still a select few Vampyr stereotypes that popped up in this story as well and that's cool it was a good mix of the new and the familiar.

 

So all in all for me the audio book was every bit as delightful as the e-book with the addition of new to me narrator Scott Smith and let me say this poor man had some big vocal cords to follow in since out of the 54 English language audio books by this author 30+ of them have been narrated by 3 of my absolute favorite narrators so I admit I was a little nervous about this...what I wasn't was disappointed. Scott Smith's narration definitely ticked off my list of 'things I want in an audio book' and I was left having enjoyed the story and feeling comfortable that should Scott Smith's name show up on future audio books that I'm interested in...everything will sound just fine.

 

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

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review 2019-01-11 01:00
Two men on the same side of he law...
Fire and Granite - Andrew Grey,Greg Tremblay

and still that's not enough to quell the animosity between them until one man is put into danger...

 

Judge Andrew Phillips has it all under control in his courtroom...he knows the law and he's a master at maintaining order in his courtroom. But when a fugitive named Harper escapes and sets about keeping his promise of revenge on the man who sent him to prison. Judge Andrew suddenly finds himself being guarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week by Deputy Clay Brown...his control begins to slip.  As the danger escalates Andrew and Clay both begin to let down their barriers and begin to discover that they each might just be what the other man needs in his life.

 

I've been a fan of Andrew Grey's for a while now and I have to admit that recently things have been hit and miss for me but with this second installment of his 'Carlisle Deputies' series things are hitting their stride again and as with the first book I've really enjoyed this one. 

 

I like Clay and his little dog too...yes, Clay has an adorable dog named Petey, who'like my own dog is pretty sure that the whole world is around just to give him love but he's a really good little guy and I think he might be right...sorry, I love pets in stories so I felt compelled to ramble about Clay's adorable dog for a moment. 

 

While 'Fire and Granite' is a romantic thriller and really not a mystery the author has still given us a bit of a surprise ending and we get to see a bit of Red and Terry from 'Carlisle Cops' the series that spawned the 'Carlisle Deputies', so for fans of that series' there's  a bit of a treat. I haven't read this series yet but I will confess I do own the books and it's on my TBR list or maybe I'll add it to my 'TBLT' list (To Be Listened To).  While I liked Judge Andrew, i have to admit Clay was definitely my favorite. he was strong and confident but not to the extent of being arrogant or conceited and he seemed to someone who was incredibly kind...in general he was the type of person that any law enforcement agency would be lucky to have. 

 

Overall I really enjoyed this story and while I would have liked the relationship development to be a little bit stronger this was still a nice enjoyable story and Greg Tremblay as the narrator only made the story that much better. I have to admit that while I've lost track of how many audio books I've listened to with Greg Tremblay as the narrator, I have no problem remembering the number of them that I've had a problem with the narration and that would be zero...zip, zilch, nadda, none! I have a very, very short list of narrators who I don't need to worry about listening to a sample because I know I'm going to enjoy  listening to it and from the audio standpoint I won't have any issues or concerns.

 

'Fire and Granite' is a what the world of music would call 'easy listening' you get to just sit back, relax and enjoy the story effortlessly.

 

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

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review 2019-01-10 03:20
It's a bit of sci-fi...
The Englor Affair - J.L. Langley,Joseph Morton

It's been a really, really long time since I've read this series. J.L. Langley was an early days author for me when it comes to m/m and I strongly remember how much I enjoyed these stories. 

 

Sci-fi is another one of those genres that I rarely venture into. So while I'll be the first to admit I'm not expert in the world of sci-fi I am an pretty knowledgeable about what I like and I liked this series...probably even more on audio than I did the e-books. 

 

We first met Prince Payton Townsend in 'My Fair Captain' the first book in this Sci-Regency series, he's the brother of Aiden one of the MCs in that story and in this book we see him traveling to the earth colony of Englor with his brother Aiden's husband, Nate Hawkins. It's on the planet Englor that Payton meets Colonel Simon Hollister and all this would have been simpler if Simon wasn't more than just an ordinary colonel...nope, Simon's the heir to the throne of Englor. But of course life is never simple for the royal family.

 

This one's got spies, intrigue, espionage, undercover escapades and ultimately a wedding to protect someone's honor...and oh how I loved this but I'm not telling the details about the who's and whys of it because for me this was just all too precious.

 

The Englor Affair is a thoroughly fun and enjoyable romp through a regency world of an entirely different creation. On the planet Regency being gay is not only accepted, it's preferred, but on the planet Englor it's a different story...being gay is only beginning to be accepted. Simon may be a prince but he's a prince with a homophobic biotch of a mother, a father who needs a bit more spine and his whole world is about to get upended when he suddenly find that he's not the heir to the throne...he's inherited it.

 

'The Englor Affair' is sexy, entertaining and enjoyable story narrated by Joseph Morton and as much as I enjoyed reading these stories more than a couple of years ago, enjoying the story on audio narrated by this new to me narrator has definitely added a whole new level of listening pleasure to this story...one that I know I'll be revisiting again soon. 

 

This is my second audio book narrated by Joseph Morton so while he's fairly new to me after having enjoyed his narrations for the first two books of this series this narrator has impressed me both times with a very solid and enjoyable audio experience.

 

While this may not be classic literature or even classic 'sci-fi' it is an enjoyable and fun read/listen with some humorous and fun moments that leaves the listener (meaning me) smiling and adding it to my mental 'I'll be listening to this again' list.

 

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

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