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review 2019-10-02 17:27
totally surprised me, in a very good way!
Without Reservations - J.L. Langley
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. When Chay was 4 years old, he told his mother that his mate had “blonde hair and his eyes were blue” Mother wasn’t too impressed with the hair and eye colour, but she glanced over the reference to Chay’s mate being male. Years later, when Chay comes face to face with the injured wolf now on his table, Chay knows this wolf is his mate, his very MALE mate. When Keaton comes round, he knows Chay is his, but having had one in the closet relationship, he doesn’t want another. Chay, however, is very aware that there will never be another for him, and then Keaton’s past comes him, Chay and Keaton have to rely on each other to get through. I don’t read other reviews before I read a book anymore, I learnt the hard way not to do that anymore, and I read a few of the old reviews for this book. Old as in YEARS ago. I wonder, has the book had a major re-edit, tidy up?? Cos let me tell ya, I found NONE of the problems those reviewers did! I loved this book! I have no idea what I expected from this book, but my feeling is that it surprised me! And I have not a single clue as to WHAT surprised me, either! I sat down to read a few pages, as you do, before bed. Next thing, I’ve run out of book! Boom, 280 odd pages, 3 hours, and I’m semi-functioning the next day! Chay is of Native American descent, it does say which tribe, but I forget already. His mother is adamant that Chay’s mate be of some other tribe. That Chay keeps telling her his mate will be blonde and blue eyed, is beside the point. Keaton is very much NOT of Native American descent, and Chay’s mother does not like that. That Keaton is MALE isn’t really too much of an issue, though! Keaton walked away from his family when he announced he was gay, but he will always be gay and nothing will change that. Chay claiming to be hetero isn’t too much of a problem, because Chay really WANTS Keaton and once Keaton makes it clear he will NOT be in the closet, both men jump straight in to make this work. Keaton’s past though, doesn’t want it to work. That past threw me! I did not see that going down the way it did. All the tells were for one way, and then BOOM! Totally different direction! And I loved that! I loved how everyone else deferred to Keaton, but not Chay. Keaton’s power not obvious to him until it was pointed out. Both men have a say, it’s not overly emotional, but it gets the points it needs to make across. It’s not overly explicit, but it is all kinds of sexy. There are, according to some websites, 11 books in this series, and I would LOVE to read them all. Remi, Chay’s best friend, especially. His story is laid out here and it may well a better read than this one! First I’ve read of this author. I want to read more, not just this series, but in general. 5 totally unexpected but brilliant stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**


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review 2019-09-29 18:53
loved this in both formats!
In Safe Hands - Michael Pauley,Victoria Sue
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. Mav is. . . .broken, and thinks fixing things is downing a bottle of Jack. Crashing on his sister's sofa isn't doing him or her any favours. When Jamie calls him out to do something for her, Mav really has to dig deep to get out of his stupor. Meeting the new client, however, does wonders. Deacon needs some help. After a scandal last year left him penniless, he can't afford to pay for the protection he needs. someone is out to get him, and the bodies keep piling up. Mav needs to up his game, and when the threat comes to a 2 year old child, Deacon's niece, both Mav and Deacon know they would do anything to keep her safe, even if it means Mav breaks Deacon's heart. I am, personally, not in a good place. Not a BAD place, just not doing so well and my reading is suffering. I said I would read this before the poop hit the fan, and I was concerned I would not be able to give this book my full attention, or worse, not be able to finish it at all. BUT!!! I bloody LOVED this book! Mav is, by his own admission, one drink short of becoming an alcoholic. His sister takes him in, and he's drowning his sorrows every night. Losing his career, and his leg, after a helicopter was bombed while he was the pilot has soured Mav to life and he just wants to be left alone. His sister, Jamie, ain't having none of it! She ropes him into talking to a possible new client, while she attends another job for her private investigations business. Deacon, lead singer of a boy band who was spectacularly disgraced last, is the client. A reporter twisted some truths, and Deacon's life came crashing down around his ears. He lost custody of his niece. Now, no one believes him, that someone is following him. When things escalate to a break in at his flat, and said reporter turns up dead, the police start to take notice. All the while, as Deacon continues to fall, Mav holds him up, keeps him close. I loved that things crept up on Deacon and Mav, the feelings they begin to have for each other. It's not that thunderbolt and lightning thing: more a sweeping rain storm that starts off as drizzle then increases in it's intensity til neither Mav nor Deacon can deny it any longer. Loved that, after the initial shock of seeing Mav's face, Deacon is like: okay, scars make you, YOU. Mav is concerned about the other scars, the ones on his leg and residual and again, Deacon is not at all bothered. It makes Mav see that maybe, just maybe, they can make it work. I must admit, I had an inkling who might be doing what they were doing to Deacon, very early on. Something they said set off bells and it was great being able to watch it all unfold. I have no idea WHAT this person said, I really don't, but something they said went ding ding ding and when Mav puts the pieces together, oh my! That man's alpha-protect-whats0mine instinct went into massive overdrive! Loved that, when it all went down, Mav and Deacon both knew, with just a look, that they might not come out of this alive. LOVED that the baddie gets a voice! Mav and Deacon's story carries some difficult topics: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, PTSD, murder (in some detail from the baddie!) All difficult topics, but very well written, and the research shows. I was particularly impressed with the research into Mav's accident, his injuries and what he went through after losing his leg. That doesn't always come across in a way a lay person such as myself can fully comprehend, but Ms Sue nailed it here! This book may well have been the one to kick start my ability to write a coherent review, or at least I think it makes sense! 5 full and shiny stars! Michael Pauley narrates. Having READ this book previously, what I was particularly looking for was the baddie’s voice. When I read it, something they said made my brain go ding, ding, fire alarm in the head, ding and I KNEW that this person was the baddie. HERE, in audio, I wanted to see if I could pick up just WHAT they said to make all the alarms go. And I got . . . nothing. The voice gave nothing away! Pauley NAILED that, he really did! So, while I was glad I didn’t get what they said to set me off, I’m also a little miffed
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review 2019-07-15 17:17
really kinda cute!
Nothing Serious - Jay Northcote
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book. Mark finally admits to himself and his partner of 9 years, that he is gay. While Rachel is devastated, she knows things have not been right between them for a long time. Mark moving out of their home seems the best thing to do, but they will remain friends. On moving day, Jamie shows up with his brother, and Mark feels an immediate attraction to the younger man. When Jamie drops a box contains some. . .personal items, Mark is mortified but Jamie finds the blush on Mark’s face adorable, and all kinds of sexy. But neither man is looking for anything serious right now, so they can just help each other out, right? This book, right here, landed in my queue just when I needed it to, cos its far too stinking cute for its own good! It’s a wonderfully well written tale of a newly out of the closet man, finding himself and all about his sexuality, with a willing young man who wants to help. Jamie finds Mark attractive, but he doesn’t want anything serious, last time he ran away when *serious* was talked about, so helping Mark explore all the joys of sex with a man, seems a good way to get close to Mark, while keeping his distance. Mark has an immediate attraction to Jamie, and when Jamie suggests a friends with benefits type arrangement, Mark is keen to get to know Jamie. What neither man expected, or wanted, was their emotions to get involved, and when they both realise this is what was happening, Mark and Jamie struggle with ways to talk to each other about it! It’s not overly explicit, but it is all kinds of sexy! There is no real drama, save the guys finally admitting to themselves, at least, what they feel for each other. It really is one of those books you just fall into and lose a few hours. It’s only short, some 154 pages, but it packs a hefty punch of cuteness! I listened to this, it’s just over 4 hours. Michael Pauley narrates. I have, in the past, found Pauley a bit hit and miss, for me, personally. Here, however, he really nails it! Pauley’s voices for Mark and Jamie are different enough to be easily identifiable when they are talking, for all the characters, actually. His reading voice is clear and even, and I had no trouble keeping up. There were no dips in the sound to put me off, which has happened with Pauley before. It’s just where he lowers his voice, for thinking or musing, really but here, there is no dipping. I loved how Pauley gets all the things running around in Mark and Jamie’s heads across, you genuinely sort of fall in love with them, as they fall in love with each other! I’ve shelved it on my *kinda creeps up on ya* shelf, simply because, that’s what happens! Love creeps up on Mark and Jamie and it was a pleasure listening to that happen. 4 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration 4.5 stars overall. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**


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review 2019-07-15 16:35
my fav of the four!
The Strength of His Heart - Victoria Sue
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO version of this book. This is book 4 in the Enhanced series, and it’s not necessary to have read/listened to the other three books, but it might help give you a better picture of what it means to be Enhanced, and what this team means to Vance. All Vance wanted to do, as a child, was follow in his father’s footsteps and join the police force. Waking up with the mark on his face put pays to that, but he was one of the lucky ones. His family did not treat him any differently, and they love Vance, period. Sam’s upbringing is very different, never knowing his father, and his mother dying when was he was a small child. Joining the DEA as an undercover agent helped him get over that, but now he wants out. Meeting Vance and the members of HERO is a dream come true, and Vance himself is a wet dream come true for Sam. But Sam won’t be drawn into anything with the much bigger man, he suffered before and will not again. But when Sam is kidnapped and Vance’s undercover gig is blown, they have to trust each other’s heart will be strong enough to get them out of this. Vance is a sweetheart! Oh, I loved him here, once we get into his head. He really just wants to look after people, even though his gift was size and strength, he doesn’t want to use it. And Sam? Sam pushes all of Vance’s buttons and then some, he really does. Vance is smitten, right from when we met Sam in book three, and being partnered with Sam here? Vance is in heaven. At least till Sam and Vance have an encounter that ends all kinds of wrong for all kinds of reasons and neither man will talk to the other. Sam’s past comes back to kidnap him here, and when it’s discovered WHO? I did NOT see that one coming, let me tell ya! But what they are doing with Enhanced adults and indeed some children, is awful, and it’s difficult reading, it really is. This is far less explicit than the other three books, but I think it didn’t need to be. There is enough of Vance and Sam’s emotions to keep you going! We meet Vance’s brother here. And while I had him pegged as the partner of a certain nurse, it turns out I am wrong and one of the team is strangely affected by Daniel. Their story, I *think* is next and I cannot wait to read it! Or listen, rather, cos I don’t like to flip between listening and reading in a series! Nick J. Russo again narrates. I am loving the combination of Ms Sue and Mr Russo, I really am! Russo’s voices are clear and consistent across all four books, and his reading voice is deep and even. I have no trouble keeping up with multiple person conversations. It’s the EMOTIONS I find, that Russo gets across. You can’t always pick that up when you read a book, no matter how well it’s written (and these books are VERY well written!) but hearing someone’s voice, telling you about their rotten childhood and what they had to do to survive, it gets you, right in the heart. I had to stop what I was doing many times, just to LISTEN, you know?? I had to concentrate on what was being said, cos it got to me so much. I hope that Russo will continue to narrate the books that Victoria Sue continues to write! Cos you know, everyone needs to be happy, and they ain’t right now! 5 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration 5 stars overall **same worded review will appear elsewhere**


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review 2019-04-24 16:14
awesome follow up!
An Unlocked Mind - Parker Williams,K.C. Wells
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the audio file of this book. Rob is TRYING to be better person than the one who nearly ruined his brother’s life, he really is. But it’s hard when no one will help you. A visit to the opening night of Secrets is just what he needs. Til a demonstration has him running. But he returns the next week, and runs straight into Vic, along with giving Vic attitude. Rescuing the obnoxious little git wasn’t in Vic’s game plan for the evening, but he can’t leave Rob walking in the pouring rain. After depositing Rob at the train station, he never expects to see him again. Although, something about Rob calls to him, it really does. When Rob starts turning up every weekend, Vic begins to look forward to his visits. Then Life throws Rob under a bus and Vic knows this is his chance to get into Rob’s head, and for Rob to get out of it. This is book 2 in the Secrets series, but you don’t NEED to have read/listened to book one first, but I think you should. It’s bloody good! As is this one! Vic isn’t what I would call a Dom Dom, his speciality is getting a sub out of his head, rather than floggers and whips. And he KNOWS something is eating away at Rob’s mind, he just needs to unlock it. But to do THAT, Vic needs to get to know Rob, on his weekly visits to London. When Rob loses his job in Manchester, Vic offers him a lifeline, under strict terms that Vic lays down. And Rob, desperate for help and starved of any real human interaction, jumps at the chance. Rob did some things as a younger man, that come back to haunt him, that STILL haunt him. A conversation with his mother turns his brother against him, and Rob is suffering that guilt so bad, it’s a dead weight on his shoulders. Meeting Vic, though, lets something free in his soul, something he had been so afraid to admit before. Something his mother would not approve of. Something he so badly needs, it brings him to the brink of his limits and budgets and his money runs out faster than it should. But Vic? Vic gives him a chance, so long as he sticks with the rules, and those RULES are what Rob needs, He needs to find himself again, deep within himself, before he can forgive himself and to make amends with his brother, should his brother want to. What I particularly loved about this one, was the lack of the physical BDSM stuff that usually comes with these books, I mean I LOVED the lack of it. Oh don’t get me wrong, this is a sexy book, and it has a crazy amount of heat but there is a distinct lack of floggers and paddles. This was very much a MENTAL book, as in Rob needed to get out of his head so bad, and Vic knew just how to do that. Rob is, quite simply, a wreck at the start of this book, and it’s a long while before Vic can get him to admit what’s eating him the most. That is: what he did to his brother. But when the FULL picture comes clear, I cried for Rob, I really did. He felt so bad for something he did not do, it messed his head. Vic, being the most laid back Dom I have quite possibly EVER come across, is just the man for Rob, just the Dom to get to the bottom of his pain and release it. Rob calls to his soul, he really does. But not immediately. It takes a little time for Rob to worm his way in, but once he does, Vic is all in. I NEED to listen Rob’s story now though! I need to know what a little shit Rob was, and how Rob was affected by what happened, I really do. So, books one and two of Collars and Cuffs are nicely lined up for when I’ve got time. Joel Leslie narrates this one, as he does book one. I cannot, CANNOT fault the narration of these books, this one especially. Leslie pours so MUCH into Rob, and to Vic to, but to a lesser extent. The emotion pouring out of Rob when he finally breaks down and tells Vic all made me cry, great wrecking sobs that I have no doubt might NOT have come had I been reading. Leslie is, quite simply a Master at his craft, and coupled with the work of Wells and Williams, I can only give this book. . . . 5 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration 5 stars overall. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**


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