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review 2017-07-24 10:01
awesome narration of an awesome book!
Wrapped Up in Chains - Cindy Sutherland
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book. Devon finds Chase, tied to a St Andrews Cross, in his club, being badly whipped and Devon sees red. After taking Chase down and looking after him, Devon gets some of why Chase was being punished so harshly, and again sees red. Because the man who has held Chase as nothing more than a slave and prisoner for 7 years, is the same man who beat Devon to a pulp when he was just starting out in the lifestyle. What started as a case of after care, quickly becomes something much more, for both men, but Devon knows, to keep Chase safe, he is going to have to let him go. Don't you just LOVE it when a book totally surprises in ways you didn't see coming!! I knew this was going to be a painful listen, both physically and emotionally, but i didn't fully understand just how painful it was going to be. Written from both Devon and Chase's point of view, we get it all. We get deep into the emotional scars Chase from his 7 years at the hands of Kingston. We get deep into Devon's psyche as a Dom and a Master, but equally, as just a man, who finds himself letting go of the one man who could make him whole, just to keep Chase safe. I was shocked how it all went down with Kingston, but given the level of madness that man possessed, I don't think either Chase or Devon would have been really safe had it gone down any other way. And I love loved LOVED that it was CHASE who pushed Devon to come get him! Loved that Chase corned Devon, come get me, or I'm moving on. And THAT was what Devon needed to hear, to make him see that that he needed Chase in his life, his bed and his heart. First I've read/listened of Ms Sutherland's work, hope it's not the last! AUDIO REVIEW John Anthony Davis narrates. This is, as far as I can see, the first of Davis' work I've listened to. Other than a tendency to pause in random places, in the middle of sentences, I loved the way he performed this book. His reading voice is deep and clear, and I had no trouble catching everything he said. His voices are distinctive and easily definable, making it easy to know who was talking without being told. And it seemed to me, while very VERY young sounding at the beginning, Chase's voice became older in the time he was with Devon. Like he grew up really quickly. I liked that, might just be me though! Davis pulls off the intense emotions in this book incredibly well. It was painful listening, I can only imagine how painful reading it would be. I will certainly look for more of Davis' work to listen to. 5 stars for the book 4.5 stars for the narration, but only because of the random pausing rounded up to five stars overall. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-24 09:13
great first book, second not so much.
Road Trip Vol. 1 - BA Tortuga Road Trip Vol. 1 - BA Tortuga
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is a two book set, Racing The Moon, and Steam And Sunshine, and I read them back to back, so my review will be for both books, as a single listing. I enjoyed reading about Sonny and MJ, in Racing The Moon. They come together in an unusual way, Sonny running his Moonshine and MJ blowing up Sonny's escape route! There is immediate chemistry between these guys, I mean, they are trying to kill each other but it quickly turns into sexual chemistry. And THAT is way off the charts! Once these guys get with the programme, they are at it like bunnies and I LIKED that ....in the first book. But in Steam and Sunshine?? not so much. Every little thing sets them off, like EVERYTHING!!! And its on every bloody page, almost. Oh, I'm not against high levels of sexual activity, not at all, but it has to be in keeping with the book, and it took me an inordinate amount of time to read the 330 pages its billed on Goodreads as. I had to keep putting it down, and coming back to it, just to give myself a break from it all! In the first book, its pretty much just Sonny and MJ, with side characters, but in book 2, Neil and Paddy are introduced, hog tied and kidnapped! And these guys are great, weird, as are Sonny and MJ, but great. I liked them. It's very well written, from Sonny, MJ, Neil and Paddy's point of view. All four of them are very different, and it does take a little time to get into each character's way of thinking. Quite hard, at first, but I found it quicker to get with Neil and Paddy, than Sonny and MJ, possibly because I read them back to back. And these guys are BADASS! All of them are, but Sonny and MJ more so. They make no apologies for who and what they are, and I did love that, even badass as they are, Sonny and MJ managed to find those three little words. Kinda cute, but don't tell them that! There is a bigger picture across the stories, and I'm not seeing it yet. I have inklings, but I can't see that picture, and BECAUSE I can't see it, I would love to be able to read books 3 and 4 in this series. Had I just read book one, I would have rated that 5 stars, but this is for volume one, and is for two books and I had some issues with book two, so.... 4 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-04 13:35
post apocalyptic writing at its very best!
Lying In Ruins - Jami Gray
Charity is a Hound, she uses her skill to find things, people, information. When her task means she crosses paths with Fate's Vultures, a band of highly skilled people known for delivering a ruthless hand, Ruin sets off all sorts of alarm bells. Charity sets Ruin's alarms off too. When Ruin's enemy turns out to be Charity's, they have to work together. I've read everything by Jami Gray, and this one holds its own against those other books. But this is a far bloodier book that what came before. And I loved it for that!! Charity and Ruin makes no apologies for who and what they are, and if killing someone as slowly as possible gets them their answers, they will do that. But they don't just dish it, they take their beatings too,and the way Gray describes it, makes you feel with every single punch thrown and delivered! Set in a post apocalyptic world, some things remain the same, some things don't. I loved how Gray used buildings for things that was not their intended purpose, but she describes these places, you know exactly what they were. I loved the world building, or destroying as it were. You don't get it all in one go, and for me, that's the best way to deliver information, little bits at a time. I'm left with questions. Lots and lots of questions!! Who is behind it all? When did Ruin and Charity meet before, because that was hinted at and never explained. Is there another book?? How many books?? I want to know what's going on between Simon and Vex, because clearly there IS something. So many questions!! But that's a good thing, a really good thing as it kept me engaged and excited and interested from from to back. So, if you like your characters with a bit more bite, with secrets, with hidden agendas,and all those sorts of things, and your worlds a far more deadlier place, then this is for you. I've filed it on the darker/grittier and the over 18 shelf, because of the long and detailed violence. I can't give it any other word, I'm afraid! 5 full stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-03 11:05
much better read than book one.
Luca - Sarah Castille
This is book two in Ruin and Revenge series, but you don't need to have read book one, Nico, before this. While this book follows that one, and reading this before that would be spoilers, it doesn't really matter. I gave book one 4 stars. I enjoyed this one a little more. It's still quite dark, with the Mafia being Luca's family and I think it's a little more violent, because Luca does like to get his hands dirty, but it gripped me a little more, I think. It kinda grabbed by the throat and didn't wanna let go, not til all had been revealed! And let me tell ya, I did not see that one coming!! Nope, not even after that bombshell exploded, did I put the pieces together fast enough and I was like, say WHAT!!! I was somewhat shocked there. I loved that Luca battles with himself over Gabrielle. Knowing she is a Detective and him not being able to walk away could cost him his life, but still, he cannot hold back the dam of protectiveness she unleashed in him. Loved that Gabrielle didn't put her clues together fast enough about Luca. Loved that even though Luca is who he is, and who he belongs to, she can't walk away from the man she loves. Can't watch him lose his life! Oh I LOVED that, when Gabrielle does what she does!! Glad that the bad guy gets his comeuppance, but not saying who or how. There is, as in book one, a third person who has a say. I was worried for this person for a while, but loved how Castille worked him into the plot, and how, small and insignificant he is for most of the book, it's he who gives Luca and Gabrielle the in they need to get the job done. Like I said, a darker, bloodier, read, mainly because Luca does like to lead by example but also because of what Luca suffers at the hands of the previously mentioned bad guy. Not nice reading that. But!! Because it grabbed and didn't let go . . . . 5 full stars. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-03 10:42
she saved the best for last!!
Renewal - Helena Stone
This is book three in the Dublin Virtues series. I think you should at least read book one, Patience, before this, to give you the full effect of Shane and what he did. Jumping straight in here, because I'm left with one word to tell you how I feel about this book. WOW!!!! I said Patience was cute, and Equality was nice. Good, positive words for two very good books that didn't quite blow me away. But this one?? I cried a lot!! I cheered a lot. I cried some more. I was warned, but warnings never quite hit you til you read a book, and this one hits you, fair and square in the heart!! OH!!! We met Shane in Patience, he was the one who left Troy high and dry and who had his way with Xander and was done. He has a not so good reputation and I was worried about how Stone could write a story for him without that nastiness coming through. I need not have worried because the Shane here is NOT the man who went to America. He comes home to help his sister, who is close to death, his 5 year old nephew and his mum. He is, I think, quite broken, by what's happened. Anyone would be, but Shane more so, since he basically flips his personality on it's head. He freely says, in the course of this book, he was a barsteward (yes, I know that's not a proper word, but I can't swear in a review, Mr Amazon doesn't like it!! ) for what he did to Troy and Xander, his apologies are given. But it's Chris who has the most effect on him, I think. From the time Chris sees Shane, looking so lost, in the pub, something pulls at him. He doesn't know at the point that it's THE Shane, but he finds out. But Chris is keen to point out to Troy and Xander that HIS Shane isn't the same Shane they are talking about, he is a totally different soul, and Chris is old enough to make his own mind up. If the old Shane shows his face, Chris will walk away. I loved that neither man could fight the pull, that neither man could explain it. It's quite beautiful, watching Chris and Shane come together, after that first rushed time in the pub. Quite early, I think, there is love between the two of them, but neither can see it. And I loved watching it all come together. I've tagged it darker/grittier because of what Shane is dealing with at home. It may carry some triggers for some readers. Me included. Made me remember going through all that, made for a tearful read. Bravo, Ms Stone, for saving the best for last. I read this in one sitting, and this was the longest of the three. 5 full stars. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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