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review 2018-03-15 15:16
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah...
Under the Boardwalk - Felice Stevens,Nick J. Russo

On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be...


Alexi Kharpov works at his family’s frozen custard stand on Coney Island, but he dreams of travel and a world that he’s never seen until the day he sees a gorgeous man standing in front of his family’s stand sinding like an angel. Than his dreams start to include the beautiful man who’s captivated Alexi’s attention and his heart.


Cameron Maxwell travelled the world as an opera singer and nothing has captivated him like the beautiful young man serving custard.


When Cam starts a summer fling with the attractive young man. Neither of them is counting on their feelings lasting beyond the warmth of the summer sun but when summer ends both men realize that their feelings have gotten stronger and their lives more complicated…


Alexi has been given the chance of a lifetime to travel and live abroad. To see a world, he’s only dreamed about, but can he do this when his heart wants something different and if he doesn’t how badly will he come to regret it and even scarier is Alexi’s desire to live a life that’s true and honest…a life that could cost him his family.


Cam knows that Alexi needs to make the most of what’s been offered to him and he doesn’t want to lose him, but he’s determined not to hold him back and Cam’s got his own issue to deal with the condition that ended his opera career is back and he needs to take care of himself. It’s not going to be easy, but Alexi and Cam need to find a way to follow their dreams and protect their love.


‘Under the Boardwalk’ is one of the sweetest NA, coming out stories that I’ve read in a long time. I loved both Alexi and Cameron. These two were so perfect for each other. At not quite 4 hours of listening time this wasn’t a long story and thankfully the author kept the focus to the relationship between Alexi and Cam. There were other life issues for both Alexi and Cam as individuals and as a couple but none of it ever overwhelmed the romance and was easily woven into the story. Whether it was Alexi’s coming out to his family or Cam dealing with his health issue it was all part of Alexi and Cam’s growing relationship.


I loved the secondary characters in this story from Cam’s parents who were loving and supportive to Alexi’s family which was such a mixed bag…his cousin who at first seemed homophobic but was really more misinformed and uninformed than anything and wanted to be supportive and there for his cousin…so not perfect but none of us are and what mattered most is that he loved his cousin and was willing to change his thinking to be open to the fact that whether Alexi was gay or straight he was still his cousin and still the same cousin that he’d been the day before. Then there was Alexi’s dad…not a total write off but he’s got a ways to go before he earns forgiveness for his behavior and more importantly there’s Alexi’s mom and his babushka (grandmother) these two women were AMAZING!!! Seriously for them alone this story was worthwhile.


And last but not least we have the ending…ok, I loved the ending seriously it worked for me and was definitely what flipped this story from a 3.5, precarious 4 stars to a solid 4 stars and sorry no, I’m not giving away the ending because that would just be wrong.


One of my other favorite things about this one was that it was narrated by Nick J. Russo…yep, still a fave of mine and as always, he did not fail me. I loved his voices but especially Alexi’s and that his accent varied becoming stronger during more emotional times and less noticeable at other times while it could be disconcerting it was also a realistic reflection of what happens when someone whose native tongue isn’t English finds themselves in an environment where they’re speaking English as much or more than their native tongue. I’ve known people who were Scottish, Russian, Australian, Belgium and various other ethnicities and while it doesn’t happen to everyone many of them when we were speaking while they never fully lost their accent if they became really emotional about something whether happy or agitated their accents generally became much stronger and more noticeable so for me Alexi’s accent and how it occasionally varied seemed natural and realistic but it also kept me on my toes as a listener.


‘Under the Boardwalk’ is only my second listening experience with a Felice Stevens novel and while I definitely enjoyed this story more than the previous one, I really can’t find fault with the choice of narrator for either story and I’m looking forward to seeing what else this author has written that I can enjoy on audio and who knows I may even slide an e-book or two onto the reading pile as well.


This was a sweet story about coming out, finding love and having dreams come true…so all in all there’s a lot of good feelz here…definitely recommended.





An audio book of ‘Under the Boardwalk’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-03-06 23:01
Once again I'm late to the party on this one but even arriving late...
At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere - L.A. Witt,Sean Crisden

it was still worth showing up for.


I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The MCs were wonderful and the story was heartwarming and at times heartbreaking. 


Adrian needs someone to be reminded that human kindness and compassion are characteristics the world can't afford to loose.  Max needs to be reminded of the same thing only from the receiving end of things. It's through their mutual need for this reminder that both men discover the value of love.


I really enjoyed this one and as always Sean Crisden's narration added depth, emotion and life to the story and I have zero doubt that I'll be listening to this one again and probably again...maybe I'll take the time to do a longer review on one of those revisits.

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review 2018-03-06 20:09
And Kristoff and Raphael are back...
Bitter Bonds - Lex Valentine,Chris Chambers Goodman

Once again the angels Kristoff and Raphael are back and they've got a new DOM and sub to fix and once again Chris Chambers is providing the voices for our angelic host and their mortal co-stars.


Jake a DOM who's lost faith in his abilities to care for his sub. Finn's a sub who's afraid to care for anyone because whenever he cares for someone they walk out of his life.


It's going to take more than just Rafe and Kristoff to make these two men see that they each need to risk their hearts one last time to get it right because what they both need is standing right in front of them...they need each other.


'Bitter Bonds' was a sweet second chance story for these two men and I enjoyed the relationship that developed between them as they got to know each other. Both men showing the other small glimpses of themselves that they'd kept hidden from the rest of the world.


I loved having Nick and Micah, Keller and Haven around to help the angels play matchmaker and we met a new character by the name of Ray and yes, I do want a story for Ray but sadly I'm not sure that there are anymore stories forthcoming from this series as 'Subs for Lunch' was the last story released back in 2014 for this series but one can always hope, right? and in the meantime I can always check out 'Subs for Lunch' to see what Micah, Haven and Finn are up to.

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review 2018-03-06 19:47
Well that was unusually fun and entertaining...
Broken Bonds - Lex Valentine,Chris Chambers Goodman

What do you get when you retell the Dickens classic 'A Christmas Carol' using a DOM named Keller (in the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge) a sweet and loving sub named Haven Noel (I kid you not because seriously I can make this sh*t up, as Tiny Tim? I'm not really sure on this one) and the angels Kristoff (who was Keller's sub on the mortal plane) and Kristoff's twin brother who died at birth as the angel Rafe (Raphael) and sprinkle it all with a light coating of BDSM, well, you get Lex Valentine's 'Broken Bonds' of course.


At 2 hours and 48 minutes this is a short and entertaining story to listen to. While it's a bit on the dark side for a Christmas story if you're familiar with the Dickens classic than you'll agree that story is a bit on the dark side to begin with.  I quite enjoyed this one and if you're a looking for a classic Christmas story with an usual twist than this one's worth checking out. 


Chris Chambers is the narrator for this book and a new to me narrator in the world of audio books who proved to be a voice that I enjoyed listening to and ticked off my basic list of what I'm looking for in an audio book. He gave me consistent voices that were expressive adding depth and emotional life to the story. 


'Broken Bonds' is the first book I've listened to by this author on audio but not my first time with her books. I'm a fan of her 'Tales of the Darkworld' series...it's mix of m/m, m/f and I believe there are dragons involved...ok, I know there are dragons involved and vampires and werewolves and I think there may even be witches and warlocks or something along that line...it was also a fun and entertaining series and it's on audio and you know I'm going to go there, right?

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review 2018-03-06 18:45
Sean Crisden saved the day on this one...
Memories of the Heart - Felice Stevens,Sean Crisden

I'm getting reviewed out here and truthfully I listened to this one because I felt like it and for no other reason...thank you once again Audible.com Romance Package. So I'm going to try and keep this one short and sweet.


First off there are already some really good reviews out there for this book both for and against so to speak. Truthfully for me the story was maybe 2 or 2.5 stars with the rest of the stars that make up my 3 stars rating being for Sean Crisden and the awesome job that he did on the narration of this one.


I needed the story to be a little tighter...which translates to a bit shorter to get rid of some of what felt like repetitive thoughts/ideas/conversations. I needed Micah to just generally be different...not as whiny, with a more believable transition to being the kind, courteous person that he became.


I needed the 2 hospital administrators who were such huge dicks to just generally not exist because along with just generally being a**holes, they were TSTL!!!


And let's not even discuss Josh's ex and his sister who owned/ran the coffee shop where Josh worked because truthfully I'm not sure which one of these two idiots I liked less and then we have Micah's best friend Alex and Rafe the vet who took care of the dog that Josh found...seriously I probably liked these two characters the most and we saw them the least.


So, quick summary I loved the narration on this because Sean Crisden...he's another fave of mine, the story was good in theory and fell short in execution and book #2 'One Step Further' and #3 'The Greatest Gift' are both centered around Alex and Rafe...so bizarre as it seems because I really liked these two men, I'm probably going to at least give 'One Step Further' a chance to see how it goes and then we'll see if there's a book #3 in my future.

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