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review 2017-12-17 22:45
It's like reading an episode of hoarders!
Eddie: Grime Doesn't Pay: Brothers Grime, Book 2 - Audible Studios,Z.A. Maxfield,William Arden

'Eddie: Grime Doesn't Pay' is the second book in Z.A. Maxfield's series 'The Grime Brothers' and while I enjoyed it. It didn't quite match the first book for me. 

 

I really, really liked Eddie. Interestingly Eddie rhymes with teddy and that's what Eddie was he was just a total teddy bear and really, really good guy. I liked Eddie a lot. Eddie's one of Jack's partners at 'The Grime Brothers' and he's a really solid guy. Eddie works hard, he's a good friend and as his integrity is rock solid but he's also considerate and honest...in short Eddie's a keeper and it seems that Andrew wants to keep him.

 

Andrew's a school teacher and he's had Eddie on his radar since the first day Eddie brought his niece to school. I have to admit I never quite warmed up to Andrew. I found Andrew to be at times overly controlling and at times just downright obtuse....especially where his father is concerned.

 

I liked the way that Eddie's dyslexia was handled in this story. While Eddie's dyslexia is indicated as being one of the more serious types. While Eddie has worked hard to enable himself to be highly functional and independent he still struggles with his self esteem because he has dyslexia. Ironically it was being dyslexic that also contributed to Eddie's compassion. 

 

At the end of it all I just didn't feel the connection between Eddie and Andrew as strongly as I did between Jack and Ryan. 

 

We are once again given a series where we get a new pairing with each book but we also get to see couples from previous books since the core characters in this series are friends and so far also co-workers. It's been a while since this story was first released back in 2013 and I have to admit now that I've had the opportunity to experience these first two stories there's definitely at least one more story that I'd love to read and that's Dave and Gabe's story, because there's totally a story there. We first met both of these men in Jack's book and again here in this book and and I know for sure that the more I learn about these two...the more I want a story. I know it's been 4 years but a girl can hope, right?

 

One last note...'Jack' was my first time listening to Joe Arden who was the narrator for both of these books and I enjoyed the audio experience. The narration was solid. The character voices were solid and consistent, providing depth to the characters and I'm looking forward to enjoying other books narrated by this narrator in the future.

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review 2017-12-17 20:58
Sometimes, it's the things we don't expect, that turn out to be what we want...
In Case of Emergency: Gay Christmas Romance - Keira Andrews

Daniel and Cole first met 10 years ago as stepbrothers when they're parents had a passing thought to get married...the thought passed and took the marriage with it just as quickly. But Daniel's mother has reconnected with Cole, so when she learns that Cole's going to be in the same city as Daniel working on his thesis, well of course she insist that Cole use Daniel as his emergency contact and having no other friends or family Cole figures why not what's it going to hurt...after all no one every uses their emergency contact anyways, right? Well, until things happen and in Cole's case it's a trip on some stairs that lands him in the emergency room and has the university calling Daniel...his emergency contact...Daniel who's about to head out of town for a romantic holiday vacation with Justin his sorta'...kinda'...almost boyfriend.

 

So what's a man to do when he's left to care for his one time almost stepbrother who's got a broken wrist and a mild concussion and he's scheduled to go frolic in the snow with is almost boyfriend? Why take the almost stepbrother with him of course and this is where the fun begins.

 

It took a bit but I ended up liking Daniel. Initially Daniel was to say the least cold, standoffish and a bit of a jerk about Cole needing his help. While spending the holiday with Daniel is Cole's idea of a holiday in heaven he's also a really decent guy and he tries to convince Daniel to just leave him at home and he'd be fine. But once Daniel sets him mind to something he moves forward and doesn't change his mind. 

 

Once they arrive at the cabin, Daniel discovers in very short order that Justin not only isn't boyfriend material because really how wanted does one feel when the person they're planning on spending a romantic weekend with arrives at their romantic destination with with their own party...nope, Justin showed in real short order that he's someone who's just not even worth knowing. So in true Daniel fashion he makes the decision that things between him and Justin are over  before they really started...me likey this.

 

Finding themselves alone for the holidays the two men start to reconnect and Daniel soon realizes that even though Justin's gone his chance for romance and finding someone to love again is still there in the cabin with him.

 

I liked the epilogue. It was nice to get that peek ahead in time and see that what started when Daniel and Cole are reunited by an accident ended up as something real, solid and very intentional as these two men came together to make a life as a couple.

 

'In Case of Emergency' is a sweet, holiday romance with second chances a touch of hurt/comfort, sexy hot tub times, a bit of Star Wars and one of my favorite parts...no, there are no dragons, but Daniel and Cole are living and loving in CANADA!!!

 

Cole's attending Carlton University...that's my hubby's alma mater. Daniel attended Western (also known as UWO or the University of Western Ontario, it's in London a couple of hours from Toronto). Anyways, my point is that the setting for this one on a personal level just added to how much I enjoyed the story. Yeah, I'm a dork. I get a little bit excited when I read stories that are set in Canada but when it's a story with so many references that are familiar to me...well, it just makes it so easy for me to settle into the story and enjoy, which is exactly what I did.

 

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A copy of 'In Case of Emergency' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-17 05:14
It's another swipe at the Tower of TBR thanks to the world of audio books...
Jack: Grime and Punishment: Brothers Grime, Book 1 - Audible Studios,Z.A. Maxfield,William Arden

I've wanted to read these books for ages now. I'm totally a fan of Z.A. Maxfield and while I haven't read all of her books I'm working on it and I've wanted to read this one for quite a while now. So while I still love to read my books like most things I have come to realize that audio books have a place in my reading routines. 

 

'Jack: Grime and Punishment' is the first book in the series 'The Brother's Grime'. Jack is one of the partners in a company that specializes in crime scene clean up. A company that came into being when Jack's career as a firefighter came to an abrupt end. 

 

Ironically when a job comes up to clean up the house of a suicide victim it's Jack's turn to move on from the past when the victim and owner of the house turns out to be Nick Foasberg...Jack's first love and the person who betrayed him in unimaginable ways. But if Nick is Jack's past then what does that make Nick's cousin Ryan Halloran...is it possible he's Jack's future?

 

To say the least Jack's career gave this story an unusual setting at times and there's a solid cast of interesting characters adding depth and dimension to the story. There was a fair amount of tension and misunderstanding between Jack and Ryan, which was appropriate given the history between these two and add in some interference from Jack's well meaning friends and things definitely got challenging for Jack and Ryan at times.

 

I've enjoyed reading Z. A. Maxfield for a few years now and now I'm enjoying her stories on audio book. I'll probably never conquer my personal Mt. TBR but between my e-books and audio books I'll certainly be giving it a valiant try...so, I'm off to the next book in 'The Brother's Grime' and then who knows where the world of audio will lead me in quest to conquer Mt. TBR.

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review 2017-12-17 03:41
All the world's a stage...
Between Loathing and Love - Andrew Grey,Tristan James

Payton Gowan long ago gave up his dreams of being an actor and turned his talents to making things happen for others, but when the reason for his careers change of course steals his treadmill at the gym Payton comes face to face with is past.

 

When Beckett Huntington bumps into Payton at the local gym he doesn't realize that he's not only meeting the person he blames for outing him all those years ago, the person who caused him to become interested in acting but the he's meeting the person who can help make all his dreams come true.

 

'Between Loathing and Love' is a quintessential 'enemies to friends' story. Payton is a nice guy he's honorable and in spite of the animosity of the past between him and Beckett he sees how talented the man is and he's totally professional in how he behaves in regard to Beckett's career. 

 

I wasn't so sure about Beckett at the beginning but as the story progressed he grew on me and I liked the change from the person we were given to understand him to have been as a young man in high school and the adult that he's become. 

 

There's definite communication challenges between Payton and Beckett which for me made sense given their background these two had a long of trust building to do and just generally needed to develop a better comfort level that allowed for open and honest communication.

 

There were some interesting secondary characters in this story...Beckett's neighbor Val was someone whom I'd like to see more of. He was an interesting character and I liked his open, honest nature and I'd really love to see how things turn out with him and Lars and then there was Rob and while I'm not going to say exactly where he factored into things I will say when last we saw him in this story he shared some things with Payton and Beckett that made me want to have more of a story about him. Then there was Beckett's douchebag co-worker while I don't need to see more of him, I will say he did add some interest in this one.

 

I really liked this story but I have to admit what really added to my enjoyment was the narrator...Tristan James. I cannot like this man is one on my top 5 list of favorites when it comes to narrators. If he's reading the story I just sink right in. I love his voice and the character voices are consistent, expressive and unique, injecting a tone that simply compels me to listen and I do so quite happily.

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review 2017-12-17 02:42
It's what's on the inside that really counts...
On the Third Kiss - George Loveland

As Donna Tracey, Drag Queen extraordinaire Sebastian Bennett works hard and he’s looking forward to a well deserved vacation with his boyfriend and the love of his life Elliot Bolton in the Gran Canarian or at least he thought he was until he came home to find Buster his chihuahua alone with nothing but a note telling him that Elliot needed a break and was going on their vacation with someone else…which this is bad enough right? But no Elliot didn’t stop there. Needless to say, Sebastian is devastated…hell, I was devastated with him.

 

Feeling like his world is crumbling Sebastian turns to the one person he can rely on pub manager and friend, Javier Reyes-Martinez. Javier doesn’t hesitate to step-up offering Sebastian support, friendship, a shoulder to lean on…whatever he needs.

 

When Christmas day rolls around and Sebastian decides that if he’s not going to be in the Gran Canarian that he might as well go home to his family he doesn’t hesitate to take Javier with him and it’s in the midst of a broken heart and being with his family who mean the world to him that Sebastian begins to realize that maybe Javier could be more than a friend…maybe, he’s what Sebastian really needs in his life.

 

I loved how things played out between Sebastian and Javier. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that Seb was slow on the uptake but it did take his mother, his sister, his uncle with dementia…no seriously Seb’s uncle had some surprising moments of lucidness and imparted so pretty good words of wisdom and then there was Buster…that was one seriously smart chihauhau with really good taste in men and there might have been a few other people dropping hints before darling Seb finally got a clue but in his defence…douchebag boyfriend…screwed him over…so he might not have been seeing things as clearly as he should have.

 

On the flip side Javier may have known how he felt about Seb but he also cared about him enough not to push. He knew that Seb was a bit of an emotional wreck and he wanted to give him some time and space.

 

‘On the Third Kiss’ was a sweet holiday, friends to lovers story by a new to me author, whom I’m looking forward to reading more from in the future.

 

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An ARC of ‘On the Third Kiss’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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