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review 2018-10-18 19:44
Sometimes it's a fine line between love and obsession...
No Tears for Darcy - Vicki Reese,Brock Hatton

It's a fine line between love and obsession...

 

Cameron's trying to get over the loss of his loved ones but it's hard when the people you care about keep dying...first it was his parents, then his boyfriend and now his friends seem to be falling victim to this mysterious curse that's following him.

 

Pete Minchelli is recovering from an injury sustained during his job so he's come to visit his family and friends as he heals and begins to consider his growing discontent with the direction his life has been going in. When Pete's friend,Will Carson, from his academy days ask for help with a case that brings Cameron into his life. Ultimately Pete's confusion over things is only compounded.

 

Pete and Cameron are drawn to each other from the moment they meet and as the story progresses their attraction grows increasing Pete's resolve to keep Cameron safe and find a way for them to remain in each other's lives. Along with his growing attraction Cameron is trying to deal with his past and the wreckage of a relationship that

he's quickly beginning to realize is was even more less than ideal than he had ever thought it could be...as an ever increasing number of lies and deceptions are revealed. As the number of lies and deceptions his relationship was based on increases, so do the number of bodies. It begins to seem like there's one secret that someone's willing to do anything to hide...leaving everyone wondering if anyone is safe from Cameron's stalker...even Cameron himself.

 

There was a lot about this story that I really enjoyed but unfortunately for me there was one thing that really detracted from it and that was the fact that I figured out who the stalker was far to early. While this doesn't always bother me in this case the story was too dependent on the mystery aspect of things and I really needed for the story to have kept me guessing longer than it did. 

 

I liked both of the MCs and as a couple, for me, they worked. Next add in some interesting secondary characters and this should have worked better than it did. However, even though I was able to figure out the mystery part of it earlier than I would have liked and for me that did take away from my over all enjoyment of things I also think the fact that I still gave this 3.5 stars speaks to the fact that there is still a good and enjoyable story here.

 

Now at this point your probably thinking 'who the hell is Darcy?' or maybe even 'Is there a Darcy?' well I will tell you there is a 'Darcy' in this story but what I'm not going to tell you is who they are or what role they play. So if you're curious about Darcy you'll need to either read the story or listen to the audio narrated by Brock Hatton.

 

As well as my first time with this author 'No Tears for Darcy' was also my first audio experience with Brock Hatton and it appears to be this narrator's first audio narration. I have to say I was suitably impressed and look forward to seeing what future efforts will produce. I think my only real concern with this book from an audio perspective was that at times, mostly at the beginning of a chapter, it felt like the narrator was reading a little fast almost like his voice was in a race with a stop watch. This was not a really big variance and honestly some people may not even notice it, nor was it consistent which is probably why I did notice it because as the narrator progressed in the reading his voice seemed to level out into a slower more natural rhythm that combined with the individual voices and their expressiveness that I quite enjoyed. While I was definitely impressed with this first time effort, I'm also looking forward to following this narrator and seeing how he progresses and what future narrations his talents will enhance.

 

The ending for this story is more of an HFN (Happy For Now) with strong potential for an HEA (Happily Ever After) and while I would have preferred a more solid HEA I can see it happening based on where this story leaves us but I can't say I wouldn't be interested in reading a little more about Cameron and Pete and finding out just what else might happen on their way to happily ever after.

 

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An audio book for "No Tears For Darcy" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-10-06 19:37
This one’s a pretend boyfriend story with a twist…
Darcy - R.J. Scott,Meredith Russell

Darcy Bridges works as a boyfriend for hire and no in this case it’s not code talk for sex-trade worker. His life plan had been the military but as is often the case life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans so when an injury ends that plan he goes to work with his childhood friend, Rowan at Bryant & Waites, Boyfriends for hire.

 

When Adrian’s sister, Abby needs a date to attend a family wedding with her. She turns to Rowan & Waites for assistance. While Darcy and Abby become fast friends…thankfully there’s Abby’s only interest in Darcy is platonic and business…as in he’s her pretend boyfriend and maybe Abby’s a total workaholic and just doesn’t have time for relationships. Adrian thinks his sister’s idea of hiring someone to pose as her boyfriend is bad but even worse is the fact that Darcy pushes all of Adrian’s boyfriend buttons.

 

‘Darcy’ turned out to be a sweet, pretend boyfriend story with the twist that Darcy was pretending to be Abby’s boyfriend and not her brother, Adrian’s, no spoiler here it’s in the blurb. I liked that there was no emotional conflict between Abby and Adrian where Darcy was concerned.  for Abby, her relationship with Darcy was a business transaction, however, Darcy and Abby did become friends and all things considered that was nice.

There was some side drama that added to this one in regards to Abby and their cousin Charlotte and while it had the potential to be way more over the top than it was and even seemed a bit pointless in the beginning by the end of the story the how’s and why’s of this belonging to the whole pretend boyfriend situation made sense and I ended up liking this part of things because it did have a place in the overall story and wasn’t just an extra bit of drama.

 

The wedding in question is a ‘society event’ and takes place over the course of a week at a posh hotel bringing Darcy and Adrian into close contact on a daily basis and testing Darcy’s resolve to not pursue Adrian until ‘after the contract term is up’ on more than one occasion. Overall, I liked Darcy and Adrian were a good match and I liked them together and enjoyed seeing them get to know each other as both men also tired to ignore their attraction to each other on a more physical level.

 

This was a sweet, fun, low angst, slightly different pretend boyfriend story that I found to be fairly enjoyable with the biggest exception being the fact that I just didn’t understand Adrian’s whole feelings of being disloyal to his sister because of his interest in Darcy given that he knew Darcy was gay and his sister wasn’t interested in Darcy in ‘that way’. I got that he didn’t feel like he could pursue a relationship with Darcy while he was pretending to be Abby’s boyfriend but to me that felt more like it should be a ‘wait’ situation not a big ‘guilt’ situation…but maybe that’s just me…whatever, it was a niggle and definitely didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story because in the end it all came together and I had a really pleasant reading experience that made me smile.

 

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A copy of ‘Darcy’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-09-25 02:30
Loved It
The Duke of Desire - Darcy Burke

Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity. With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.

When I started this book, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not. The premise (at least the hero’s initial story), was a bit different and I wasn’t sure if it would ruin the book as I generally don’t like books where it’s repeatedly pointed out how promiscuous one of the main characters are. However, I’m glad that Ivy’s character made me want to continue reading. I loved the unraveling of both Sebastian and Ivy. Their journey made it hard for me to put down the book until it was done. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more from this author.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

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review 2018-09-06 17:09
No 4 alarm fires here, just a slow steady burn...
Set Ablaze - K.C. Burn,Darcy Stark

'Set Ablaze' is essentially a second chance romance with some mystery woven in. When Hayden's best friend, Miguel, asks  him to take in  Jez, his younger brother,  Hayden's not thrilled with he idea but it's his best friend and he gets it...Miguel lives in a small one bedroom apartment while Hayden has a two story house all to himself. So reluctantly he agrees. After all how bad can it be it's just until Jez gets his own place and it's not like he doesn't have the room.

 

For Jez seeing Hayden again brings back memories of his teenage crush, but he's sure that Hayden's straight...until he discovers that he's not. As Hayden and Jez get to know each other again both men struggle with their attraction.

 

Jez is hasn't been totally honest with either his brother or Hayden about the real reason that he's run to California. He's running from a relationship that's gone bad and left him with more than a couple of issues of his own. Plus there's his other secret an adorable, small, furry secret named Fang...Jez is sure that Hayden hates dogs and Jez needs a place to stay...at least for a little while.

 

Hayden may be out about his sexuality but that doesn't necessarily mean he's currently in or has had any relationships because even though he doesn't consciously admit it he knows that telling his fellow firefighters he's gay is one thing having them see it in the form of him in a relationship is totally another issue.  Some of the men who Hayden calls 'friends' are to say the least less than friends and more than a little homophobic and it takes Jez's determination to never again be anyone's victim and his courage to speak out to make Hayden see that his feigned indifference not only isn't what's needed but it's in fact endorsing their behavior. Being out while still in the closet isn't Hayden's only issue and Jez is going to have to be both patient and persistent if he wants to get to the heart of Hayden's compulsive tidy/cleanliness. 

 

I definitely appreciated that the author addressed this issue because too often society would rather feign indifference...don't make waves, don't cause a scene...does any of this sound familiar? I think we've all heard something like this before and while the author didn't delve into this intensely it was part of the story but not an overwhelming part of the story and that's as it should be because it's the relationship between Jez and Hayden that's the story's focus. The social issues are wrapped in with this and definitely a driving force contributing to things ending up where they did. Just as in real life neither of these men have been molded by any one particular incident in their life but they are an amalgamation of events both big and small. 

 

The relationship between Hayden and Jez was to say the least built on a lot of awkward moments, definite miscommunication or more accurately a lack of communication because that's what happens when people keep secrets...poor communication and this wasn't helped by Miguel's lack of information sharing. Sadly both of these men have experienced abusive relationships of a very different nature this is far more reflective of the real world than it should be and as is often the case real life is stranger than fiction but fiction is frequently a reflection of real life. 

 

Just like his brother and friend Miguel is also a creation of experiences and circumstances and while he initially seemed like a member of Hayden's Asshat Brigade, he turns out to be a big brother who just wants to protect his brother and his friend from them.

 

Admittedly there were some things about the story that could have been better or different but overall this for me was a sweet story about two men finding comfort and healing together allowing themselves to move on and build a life together. 

 

Darcy Stark was the narrator for this audio book and while this was only my third time listening to this narrator. It was also the third time that I've been treated a very enjoyable audio experience. I enjoyed his voices and the expressiveness of his voice. This is definitely an author & narrator combination that I'm looking forward to hearing more from in the near future...I mean I might have 'North on Drummond' cued up in audio list...I guess you'll just have to wait for the review.

 

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

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review 2018-08-10 18:37
The Duke of Seduction (The Untouchables, #10) by Darcy Burke
The Duke of Seduction - Darcy Burke

 

A reversal of roles paves the way for an intriguing opposites attract romance. The Duke of Seduction is my favorite Darcy Burke novel to date. In a world full of complications the answers can prove to be quite simple. He's a free spirit. William has a love them, then leave them reputation that hides a sensitive heart. He dreams of a forever love. A soulmate to own his heart and share his life. When his perfect woman turns out to be a cryptic puzzle. He's determined to learn more. Lavinia is a woman on a mission. She knows what she wants and will buck the odds to get it. Will her passion for science blind her to the acceptance she's always craved? The Duke of Seduction enchants because it's not just a romance. Lavinia and William are seeking their own place in a world of stereotypes. With charm and emotion, Burke uses humor and heart to deliver a powerful message about the benefits of being true to self, no matter what. Reality meets fiction.

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