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review 2017-03-17 17:34
Canada + dragons = fun times!
Never Lose Your Flames - Francis Gideon

I really enjoyed revisiting this story. 'Never Lose Your Flames' is just a really fun read for me and in a way even more so this time around because just after I read this book last summer hubby and I went on vacation and we drove through the Alberta Badlands and spent an afternoon driving around Drumheller and visiting the Hoodoos  which I have since learned that Blackfoot and Cree traditions hold that these are petrified giants who come to life at night to protect the land around them by hurling stones at intruders and this is way more intriguing than how they actual came to be so I'm sticking with this story. Anyways, back to my review. Needless to say revisiting this story and having seen many of the locations that were mentioned not just the natural geographical ones like The Alberta Badlands and the Hoodoos around Drumheller but places such as Drumheller, Saskatoon and Winnipeg just added to how much I really enjoyed revisiting 'Never Lose Your Flame' so my original review really is unchanged and if you want to have a peek at it, here's the link...

Never Lose Your Flame - original review 

 

Unfortunately while it wasn't a huge detraction from the book neither did this narrators add to my enjoyment of the story this time around. I found that the voices for many of the characters seemed to be so similar that had I not already read this book I would have found it a bit confusing at times to know who was speaking and at times the continuity of how a voice sounded wasn't as consistent as I would have liked. However, as a friend of mine who listened to the sample pointed out this could very possibly be a case of 'not the right book for this narrator' because in spite of these issues I wasn't annoyed or irritated by his voice, it simply wasn't working for me. 

 

This was my first venture with an audiobook narrated by Kevin Chandler and I'm certainly open to giving another book narrated by him a try. But for this time around I'd have to say that while the book still gets 4.5 stars from me the audio portion sits between 3 - 3.5 so I'm going to call it a day at 4 stars in total and we'll see what the future brings.

 

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

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review 2017-03-03 21:19
Another audio success...
Winter Ball - Amy Lane

Once again I'm reviewing an audio book that I've already read in e-book format and once again in regards to the story I'm sticking with my original rating and review. So here's the link...Winter Ball - original review

 

Now as for the audio portion of this review. It was Nick J. Russo on the mic, so no worries there. Mr. Russo did an awesome job of narrating and kept me engaged from start to finish. I have very quickly become a fan of this narrator.

 

Venturing into audiobooks this time around has definitely been a far more positive experience for me and it is very much due to this narrator right here. He consistently gives me voices that work and are identifiable so that I'm able to effortlessly enjoy the story without have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to keep track of who's saying what.  

 

Since starting my foray into audiobooks I have so far listened to 18 different narrators on a total of 27 audiobooks of which 6 have been narrated by Nick J. Russo and I have enjoyed every one of those books so much so that I have listened to them more than once.

 

At the end of it all this was a total win for me...a really sweet story by one of my favorite authors and narrated by someone who has quickly become one of my favorite narrators. I highly recommend this one. It's a sweet story that's well narrated and I just can't imagine not enjoying it and being left smiling.

 

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

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review 2017-03-02 18:20
Excuse me while I do a little happy dance...
Hanging the Stars (Half Moon Bay Book 2) - Rhys Ford

I loved 'Fish Stick Fridays' and Rhys Ford is a favorite of mine so I think it goes without saying that I'd be reading this book...but, things got even better when I was able to request the audio book. I admit I was nervous because...kids...me and kids in audiobooks... mmmm...not doing well. I have yet to meet one that I like...wait, I meant to say I had yet to meet one that I liked because I can now say that I've met 2. Zig and Roman. We're talking an 8 year old girl and an 11 year old boy and both of these characters voices worked for me. I did not want to strangle either of them. Their voices were neither irritating or whiny nor were they irritatingly whiny!!! I was over the moon, over joyed! Seriously I want to listen to the audiobook all over again just for that experience. So I just need to say...

"Greg Tremblay....I tip my hat to you because I really despaired of this ever happening."

 

Now as for the story. 'Hanging the Stars' is the story of Lang's twin brother West. We met him in 'Fish Stick Fridays'. Initially when his character came on page I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like him but surprisingly he wasn't a total tool and I found him to be a brother who sincerely cared.

 

When West was younger he met a boy named 'Angel' they had a wonderful summer together and fell in love. Unfortunately life and Angel's con-artist father and West's overly controlling father tore them apart and now after years and miles of separation fate has brought them back together, but a lot has changed. West has his heart firmly locked down. Angel has his hands full with keeping his bakery going and taking care of his 11 year old brother Roman, who in spite of his challenges is far more enterprising than an 11 year old should be. Needless to say Roman and Zig are friends...heaven help the world because these two will be taking over soon.

 

While there was a lot more going on in this book than the first one and it did just fine. I liked that this story gave us more of Lang, Deacon and Zig. I really enjoyed how much West grew as he and Angel worked to sort out their lives together, I also liked seeing West sort out himself as he developed a relationship with Roman and came to realize how much he'd missed out on with his own brother and what he lost out on by letting his father control him.

 

In general I enjoyed 'Fish Stick Fridays' just a tiny bit more and if I'd read the e-book this probably would have sat somewhere between 4 - 4.5 stars for me but because I still love Zig, I'm saying "What the hell?", bumping it up to 5 stars and calling it a day.

 

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An Audiobook of 'Hanging the Stars' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-15 16:02
I'd almost forgotten...
David, Renewed - Diana Copland

How much I really, really enjoyed this story. Ironically it's been less than 6 months since I first read this book but when the chance to listen to the audiobook came up I was all over it because as soon as I saw the title it made me smile and that's always a sure sign that I loved the book for me. 

 

Once again I went back and took a look at my review after I'd finished listening to the audio version and I'm good with that review and once again it seems that it was another long, rambly one but there's really nothing that I would change about it so...if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Here's the link, if you want to check it out... David, Renewed

 

The only real difference this time around was that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Michael Pauley, who is another new to me narrator, but if future audiobooks prove to be as enjoyable for me as this one was it won't be the last time that I listen to this narrator.

 

I was totally into this one so much so that I was more than a little annoyed when real life intruded and I had to stop listening the first day. I loved Michael Pauley's interpretation of how these characters would sound when they spoke for example even though both David and Michael were not considered to be big, hunky macho dudes. Their voices were not what would be considered that of the make my ears bleed, over the top, squealing drama queens either and in general the voices just worked for me I was able to attache them to the physical representation that my mind had created and wasn't jarred out of the story with any 'what the hell? there's no way that person would sound like that' moments.

 

In fact I can happily say that it's looking like I might have found another narrator whose name will go on my list of 'narrators I really like'. As I've been doing this review I've been listening to samples of other audiobooks by this narrator and so far I'm liking what I'm hearing.

 

Originally I gave 'David, Renewed' 4 stars and other than the fact that this time around I did the audiobook not a lot has changed but I'm going to bump my rating up to 5 stars to reflect the fact that not only did I enjoy the story just as much this time but I also really enjoyed the audiobook and was definitely impressed with the Michael Pauley's narrating skills which enabled me to enjoy this story the second time every bit as much as I did the first...maybe even a tiny bit more. 

 

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An audiobook of "David, Renewed" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-13 20:23
Do you know the difference between a twink, a twunk and a twank?
Don't Twunk With My Heart (Loving You Book 2) - Renae Kaye

You will after you read this book ;)

 

'Don't Twunk With My Heart' is the second book in Renae Kaye's 'Loving You' series and while I have to admit I did like 'Loving Jay' a bit more this one was a cute, fun story with little to no angst and drama, so it made for a fairly pleasant read.

 

Kee's been out of circulation for a while following a bad break-up with his ex but his friends have convinced him that it's time to get back out there and happily one of his friends is Jay from the first book in this series. It's on Kee's first foray back into the social scene with his friends that he encounters Tate.

 

Kee's attention isn't normally drawn to Tate's type, but for some reason that changes as they have a little bump 'n grind competition on the dance floor to see who will get the attention of the big, burly dude that both men seem to be drawn to and as fate would have it burly dude doesn't end up with either of them because both men are happy to keep the dance partner that they started with...each other.

 

From a chance encounter on the dance floor these two men progress to dating and it's a sweet relationship that unfolds. I very much enjoyed watching as their feelings for each other grew and their relationship developed with relatively normal obstacles.

 

While each man had their own issues to deal with and to share with the other as they became closer and their role in each other's lives increased. Kee's family is a bit of a challenge as are his residual fears from his break-up with 'Matt the rat' andTate deals with a demanding job in the fashion industry and the effects that it has on his image and his self esteem.  

 

They also dealt with things as a couple and there was communication. I loved how they compromised to make things work. Tate went to the football games because Kee wanted him too. Kee let Tate dress him up and basically use him for a model at events because it made Tate happy. Compromise...it's a thing and in a relationship it's a necessary thing. 

 

As well as enjoying the interaction between Kee and Tate, I liked getting to see them interact with their friends and family. It was often times both cute and humorous while adding some realistic depth to the relationship.

 

While the story gets 4 stars from me. The narration gets 3 so I'm settling on an overall rating of 3.5 for this one. Joel Leslie was a new to me narrator with this one and some of his voices just weren't working with my internal monologue so for me the audio book wasn't as enjoyable as it might have been and I have to admit this is a very subjective thing in my opinion. Another book and maybe I would have been over the moon with this narrator but facts are it was this book and the narrator's version of some of the characters just didn't mesh with what my brain was conjuring up.

 

My recommendation if you're looking for a cute low to zero angst story that makes you feel good and smile check this one out, if you're not sure about the audio version listen to the audio sample and decide for yourself if this is a narrator you'll enjoy. 

 

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An audiobook of 'Don't Twunk With My Heart' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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