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review 2017-04-22 23:41
Looking for a happy place, I think I have one for you...
Practice Makes Perfect - Jay Northcote

Dev's just moved out of his residence at Uni because things weren't working out for him there and as luck would have it a friend of his has helped him move into a house with a few other students and a really hot neighbor, named Ewan. 

 

Ewan's Scottish and he's a ginger. He's also a psychology student having trouble with one of his classes...a class that involves numbers. Dev's good with numbers and Dev likes to make list...list of things he wants to do. One of those things on his list involves getting some experience...experience of a personal and intimate nature. So it only seems natural that Dev who's good with numbers and Ewan who's more than happy to help Dev get intimate with him strike a bargain...a gentleman's agreement if you will.

 

Things get a bit more complicated when both men realize that their feelings have gone well beyond the boundaries of their gentleman's agreement and neither of them wants things to end but they're not sure where they stand with each other or how to find out without risking their hearts.

 

'Practice Makes Perfect' is the third book in Jay Northcote's series 'Housemates' and while each book can be read as a standalone, I never felt like I was missing anything from this story in spite of the fact that characters from the first two books made appearances in Dev and Ewan's story, as soon as time permits I plan on going back to the beginning to read those first two stories not because I need to but because I enjoyed this book that much and this is a way to get more.

 

'Practice Makes Perfect' was awesome, I truly don't remember the last time I was so wonderfully enchanted by a story. Dev is so sweet and naive and just totally adorkable and while Ewan may be more worldly and experienced than Dev, he's also a very sweet and kind person and even before there's an emotional connection between these two men, he cares about Dev on a basic decent human being level.

 

Humor can be a wonderful thing in a story, but it doesn't always work for each person for a number of reasons. Sometimes we can feel like maybe the author is trying to hard or we just don't get it, maybe it feels like the humor's coming at someone's expense, whatever there's a myriad of reasons but for me the humorous moments in this story were spot on and this story quickly became a happy place for me. I laughed and smiled and yes, I may have found myself talking to the characters from time to time...hey, don't judge me, if guys can yell at the television when their hockey/baseball/football/whatever team screws-up, I can talk to my audio books from time to time.

 

While this wasn't really what I would call a comedy, there was definitely a sweet and serious side to things, the humorous moments planted throughout the story were ones that I could so easily imagine happening in real life.  

 

Add to what was just an overall well written story with characters who captured my heart a narrator whose voices were engaging and expressive...just perfect and what more could I really ask for.

 

'Practice Makes Perfect' is my second audiobook narrated by Mark Steadman and like the last one for me he did an awesome job. While the story was good and the narration was good the last time around for whatever reason I just didn't quite connect with things. This time it all worked wonderfully well. So well that I have zero doubt in my mind that I will be listening to this one more than once because just like anything that we like...why settle for once when you can enjoy it to your hearts content.

 

If you're looking for a sweet, uncomplicated story about young love that's guaranteed to make you smile and laugh in the best ways possible I highly recommend 'Practice Makes Perfect'.

 

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An audiobook of 'Practice Makes Perfect' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2017-04-19 16:25
The book was good...the audio was even better? Who knew?
Wedding Favors - Anne Tenino

'Wedding Favors' is the seventh book in 'The Bluewater Bay' series and while I have fallen a bit behind with this series. I still keep buying the books because one day I will get back to them and get caught up and listening to this audio book simply confirmed that I need to do this.

 

As I frequently do with audio books that I've previously read here's the link to my original review...

Bluewater Bay #7 Wedding Favors - E-book Review

You might notice that I originally gave this one 4 stars, I really enjoyed it. It's a cute, fun second chance story by Anne Tenino but I have to admit add in narration by Nick J. Russo and that was all that was needed to push this up to a five star experience for me. Seriously I was laughing out loud and talking to the characters...good thing I was home alone or someone might have ordered me a new jacket in white with really long sleeves. This one went from enjoyable to a whole lot of hella' good fun for me and the sexy times...oh, lordie! Mr. Russo nailed those...there might have been a bit of replay going on...honestly Lucas and Gabe...damn, just damn! Sooooo HOT!

 

Best of all though was the scene where Lucas and Audrey are tasting wine...seriously laugh out loud stuff there folks and if you've read the book you know what I'm talking about.

 

Like any good piece of art, you need to start with good material but even then if you don't know what you're doing things can go wrong...horribly, horribly wrong. I'm very happy to say Nick Russo knows what he's doing. Even if you don't want to start a new series the wonderful thing about the 'Bluewater Bay' series is each book truly stands on it's own you can read one and thoroughly enjoy it without benefit of having read the rest of them and if you're looking to check out a well done audio book and possibly a new to you narrator (if you've never heard Mr. Russo before) I highly recommend 'Wedding Favors'. 

 

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An audiobook of 'Wedding Favors' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-16 21:43
3 stars for what had the potential to be so much more....
The Winter Dark - J.S. Cook

but...I needed more for that to happen.

 

Ok before I get into the actual story I'm going to deal with the audio. K. C. Kelly was the narrator for this book and he's a new to me narrator and one that I'm definitely going to keep an eye on. I really enjoyed his narration on this book but I've also taken the time to listen to some samples of other books he's narrated and I have to say I want to listen to a few of them. I like his voices they're filled with personality and life adding both depth and emotion to the story. So the audio portion gets 4 stars from me.

 

I love a good romantic thriller and this one had all the hallmarks of being just that. Sadly that didn't happen. In short order this story was too short. It almost felt like a detailed story outline rather than a complete story. It felt to me like there were a few opportunities for this story to be fleshed out and turned into a far more detailed novel or novella at the very least.

 

The setting is small town Mississippi and our MCs are the sheriff  Eli Gallagher and his deputy, Stan Leach. I liked these characters and I very much enjoyed the story that was there. The book starts with both Eli and Stan involved with other people. We quickly find out that Eli's current interest is...to put it bluntly a bag of dicks. Seriously this guy is so full of himself it's pitiful and laughable so I did...laugh that is. This was also what made me like Gallagher. Gallagher basically showed himself to be a class act...while Gilbert, Eli's love interest, (or BoD...Bag 'o' Dicks as I lovingly came to think of him...add copious amounts of sarcasm here please) proved himself to be a totally pompous, pretentious, self-absorbed BoD.

 

Seems good old Gilbert wants to get married to a woman because 'it's time to settle down'...no spoiler here it's in the blurb. Seriously this part of the story left me trying to get my jaw off the floor with how astoundingly oblivious and full of himself our man Gil proved himself to be. I was very entertained with how the author wrote this part of the story...loved it.

 

Meanwhile Stan suddenly finds his hands full with Harvey Faber until they're not...this would be one of those chances to fill out the story...oh well opportunity knocked and no one answered the door. This was another part of the story that I really enjoyed I liked how Stan was with Harvey. It was sweet and kind. 

 

So at the end of it all my biggest problem with this story wasn't that I didn't like it. It was that I did. I liked it enough that I really wanted the author to give me more story. More background on both of these men and definitely more relationship time between Eli and Stan because yeah, I liked these two as a couple and I would have loved to have had more time with them both while they're getting together and after they become a couple. By the way everyone did I mention...AGE GAP!!! That's right there's about 15 years between these two and I didn't care...I think I'm cured.

 

Simply put at the end of it all I wanted more. I needed more to take this from 3 "It's ok, I liked it" stars to possibly 5 "HOLY Crap! This was great stars. I definitely feel the need to check out more of this author's books and K.C. Kelly is a yes on my audio narrator list. So while the book wasn't as good as it could have been I'd say this one was a win and if there's ever second release that gets notably revised I think I'm on board for a re-read...eeeerrr...re-listen on this on.

 

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An audiobook of 'The Winter Dark' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-04-13 23:11
It's Mary Calmes, it's Mary Calmes...I love Mary Calmes!!!
Chosen Pride (L'Ange Book 3) - Mary Calmes

Yeah, I'm back with more Mary Calmes and this times it's on audio. I enjoyed this book the first time around when I read it...I truly did. But I've made a discovery as much as I enjoyed reading the e-book the audio book was just hella' good fun.

 

Here's the link to my review of the e-book...Chosen Pride - original review

 

So...lets see...I think we've established I love Mary Calmes, I've read this book and really liked it but the audiobook was even funner (yes, that's a word of course it is...ok, I just made it one)

 

Tristan James did an awesome job on this one for me especially with the voices of the MCs. First off he met my initial requirements of giving me voices that were consistent and conveyed emotion keeping me engaged in the story. But beyond that he gave me voices that gave life to the characters and we're not just talking people here these are shifters and I needed the voices to give me that something more that make me feel like I was being emerged in the world of the paranormal and I was.

 

John Slade is a lion shifter who for me is just beyond amusing. John's a lion shifter so of course this means he's a predator and pretty much at the top of the food chain. Nothing truly makes him feel threatened so at times he's pretty oblivious to things in his world like Sebastian the shifter who's wanted him practically since they met and John is so secure in his knowledge of his place of in the food chain that he doesn't even realize Sebastian is a shifter for the longest time. John's also stunningly gorgeous and given that he's a lion shifter...this makes sense. I mean really think about it lions are one nature's noblest beast and they are truly beautiful so logic for me says that a lion shifter's going to be beautiful no matter what his form...human or beast. I love that there are things about his world that John just takes for granted and it comes through in his voice and it's almost bland tone of confidence that some things are the way the are and that he knows it without being told. I was more than a little pleased and impressed with how well Tristan James conveyed the personality contained by this character and really helped bring him to life for me. 

 

I was also totally enamored with Kelvin MacCurdy's voice. His thick Scottish brogue was beautiful and totally curled my toes. While not as complex of a character as John. Kelvin is a man who is strong and controlled physically, emotionally and mentally. He knows his world and understands his place in it until John Slade comes along and makes him want more. I loved the emotion and depth that were brought to this character for me by Mr. James.

 

While I absolutely enjoyed the e-book the audio book gave this story a level of fun and enjoyment that was a wonderfully pleasant surprise and has me thinking that maybe I need to get the audio books for the first two stories in this series.

 

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

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review 2017-04-11 20:37
Another re-read....eeeerrrmmmm...listen...
You Are the Reason - Renae Kaye

I originally read this book back in 2015 and for the most part my original review is still an accurate representation of my thoughts on this story.

'You're the Reason' original review

With the exception that listening to the audiobook really brought home to me the fact that this story also represents what happens when love is right. Throughout the story we see Davo struggle to continuously redefine himself in terms of his perceptions of the world and what he's believed and while many of his perceptions are misguided at best and in ironically homophobic at their worst, we are also shown a man who slowly realizes that the world as he's perceives it, is  a world that is at times ugly and hurtful to him and those he cares about. Little by little we this man begin to revise what he believes and come to the realization that as well as being wrong and hurtful to others including those he loves, his beliefs have in fact kept him from being the person that in his heart he wants to be and more importantly it's now keeping him from having the love and happiness that he wants. It's this very same love that motivates him to want to be a better person, to look at himself with at times an extremely critical eye.

 

Listening to the voice of David Gillies as he read this story was like being given a new perspective and I felt like I was seeing Davo's world more from his viewpoint giving me a stronger appreciation of the growth that his character made throughout the book.

 

"You Are the Reason' was my first book narrated by David Gillies and while I had one or two minor hitches with things overall I found his narration to be solid and likable and look forward to hearing future audiobooks by this narrator.

 

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An audiobook of "You Are The Reason"  was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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