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review 2018-12-16 00:27
Read the book, listened to the audio and cried ugly tears throughout them both...
Beneath the Stain - Nick J. Russo,Amy Lane

I read this back in 2015 and the story was put out in 7 separate installments and I'm not sure how things went amiss but my review is on Booklikes but not here so I'm just going to copy and paste each post to one review here and then I'll add my update re: the audio book...

Part 1 - rating: 4 stars 
I got through part 1 and yes, I'm hooked and loving it so far. These guys are just a bundle of sad events and so far no tears but I'm seeing them in my future. On to part 2 and a full review at the end. Wish me luck.
Part 2 - ratting: 4 stars 
So far this is turning out to be everything my friends have promised and more. So it's on to part 3.
Part 3 - rating: 5 stars 
I have no words so I'm just going to read book 4.
Part 4 - rating: 5 stars 
Just one thing to say here before I go sliding into book 5...way to make a girl cry Amy Lane. I think you broke some more of me with Tony.
Part 5 - rating: 5 stars 
And that's all I'm going to say for now because I'm done so I'm going to be doing my reviews of the full story soon.
Part 6 - rating: 5 stars 
This story does not let go once you start it snags your heart and holds on tight from start to finish and I am actually finished. So on to #7 and my actual review.
Part 7 - rating: 5 stars 
Words...I have none...yep, I've been sitting here for the past 30 minutes staring at a blank screen hoping for some magical words but I have none. I think Ms. Lane used all the magical words when she wrote this story because there just don't seem to be any floating around in the air right now so I'm pretty much at a loss for what to do here. How to explain what an amazing journey I just took with the most incredible collection of people. I know it's probably going to be a long time before my heart stops aching and I feel like I've got some equilibrium back in my brain.

Right now the only thing that I can even think of to say is if you haven't read Beneath the Stain you need to seriously think about it. I'm not going to go into the details of the story because that's what the blurbs are for and quite frankly that's what the book is for to tell you a story and this is one hell of an incredible story...seriously, think about, look at it...read it. Yeah, it'll probably leave you feeling battered and broken and shedding more than a few tears but in the end Ms. Lane fixes that which she breaks so like the rest of us who have read 'Beneath the Stain' you'll be ok.

I'm going to add a brief blurb here about the audio which I just finished listening to this morning and now that I'm done with my wookie tears and have my glasses cleared I can do this. Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this audio book and in keep this short and sweet and in the words of Mackey...he was f*cking awesome!!! As much as this book made me cry and damn did it make me cry. I loved listening to every minute of it...from start to finish and I it's definitely going on to my 'I need to listen to this again and again' shelf...I should probably go make one of those...maybe, in the new year. Anyways, 'Beneath the Stain' was every bit as emotional, heartbreaking and wonderful as I remember it being. Interestingly for me this time around even more than what Mackey went through and believe me Mackey broke my heart more than once this time around it was Grant who left me a totally weeping, sobbing mess and I think he did the first time as well but I maybe didn't realize how strongly I felt about him. But at the end of it all this time around I think I saw more clearly not the things that Grant did wrong but all that he did right and how much Mackey and his brothers meant to him...Grant was in his own way both a villain and a hero in this one and at the end of it all Grant's story was the most tragic of all.

If you've never listened to or read this book maybe, it's time to think about changing that and if you're like me and you have a lovely friend who's been kind enough to send you an early Christmas present make sure you thank them...Simone, thank you for sending me this treasure on audio and allowing me the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite Amy Lane stories...heartbreaking...yes, but so very much worth it.

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review 2018-10-31 02:03
Lights, Cameras...Action!
Action - Quinn Anderson,Nick J. Russo

'Action' is the second book in Quinn Anderson's series 'Murmur Inc.' and while 'Hotline' dealt with the phone sex side of Murmur Inc. there's more to this company than a few ringing phones...there're lights, cameras and more than a little action that takes place on film.

 

Pete Griflow is quiet and gawky. At times he's more than a little awkward when it comes to talking to men...so not happening at least not until he steps in front of a camera and becomes power-bottom...Jaden Prime.

 

Pete got into porn as a way to help pay for his education and help his mom. He's a college student, a porn star and a coffee barista...Pete's a busy guy so when he's offered the chance at a regular role in a new project...a chance for some extra money...he's tempted but when he gets a look at his possible co-star, Pete finds that he's tempted by more than a chance to earn some extra money...he's tempted by a man that's sex on legs and not only pushes all his buttons...but sets off all his bells and whistle like a 5 alarm fire. 

 

Kyle's the very opposite of everything that Pete is. He's confident, daring, sexy and the sex industry is where he want's to make his home...professionally speaking. Kyle has no problem with being a porn star and when he makes his move to acting in 'gay porn' turns out he's one hot commodity that's making Pete weak in the knees.

 

I liked Pete and Kyle together their personalities played well off of each other and while Pete was by far the less confident of the pair he had fleeting moments of confidence and adversely we got to see Kyle struggle with moments of insecurity.

 

While I'd have to say there was probably a bit more sex in this story than was maybe necessary, I'd also have to say that given what the MCs did for a living I would have found it to be rather unusual if there'd been little to no sex in this story as well.

 

Regardless of the 'too much sex' this story was really saved for me by Pete and Kyle I liked them and as a couple I found them to be really sweet as a couple in spite of what they both did for a living I loved that for each of them sex wasn't just sex when they were the parties engaged it meant something because it was more than the physical there were feelings and their hearts were involved.

 

'Hotline' was a good start to this story but for me 'Action' was just a tiny bit better and gave me the push I needed to keep this one on my radar...of course I'll be waiting for the next book when it's released on audio and without a doubt I'll have my fingers crossed that the narrator's the same because really...Nick J. Russo...need I say more? maybe not but I'm going to...

 

Once again Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this story and once again 3.5 stars became a little more...a little better so at the end of it all 3.5 stars becomes 4.

 

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

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review 2018-10-31 01:14
Welcome to...the sex trade...
Hotline - Quinn Anderson,Nick J. Russo

Zack is a PSO (Phone Sex Operator) for Murmur Inc. It's not a permanent thing just a temporary stop to pay some bills until he gets himself back on track. But somehow he's been around longer than he'd planed he's fallen into a bit of a rut or at least he was until the day that 'John' calls. 

 

What starts out as a simple phone sex call...just another day on the job for Zack begins to evolve into something more as the calls continues and with each call...each new role play that the men begin, each one of them begins to slip bits of the real them into the story.

 

For Zack life is getting better...at least on the work front it is. Zack's landed a whale and he's finally good earning money and he's doing it talking to a man who seems to push all the right buttons for him. Needless to say for the first time since who knows when Zack doesn't find work to be a hardship.

 

John's educated, cultured, lead a life of privilege. In Zack's eyes he's everything that Zack's not or at least that's how he sounds and that's ok because it's just phone sex and they're never going to meet...or at least they're not suppose to but Destiny...she'd be Karma's sister and sometimes she's also a biotch...anyways, Destiny has other plans for Zack and John and when Zack finds himself face to face with John he does what any sane young PSO would do...he runs.

 

It's going to take more than a few phone calls for these two men to work things out. I have to say these two have a rather unusual path to follow if they're going to get things sorted out. Zack may make a living talking dirty and John may plan on becoming a lawyer but these two mean are going to need to learn how to have some pretty open and honest conversations if they're going to take things from the phone to the same room.

 

Surprisingly while the sex was good when it happened for me the phone sex was the smoking hot stuff and maybe that was because of the fact that these men didn't know each other and it was obvious from that start that they were going to so there was definitely a layer of anticipation involved that wasn't there when they finally met.

 

'Hotline' was definitely unique in the overall premise of the story. It's the first story that I've ever read where one of the MCs is a PSO.  'Hotline' was a light fun read, laced ironically a bit of miscommunication and a touch of humor...all of which combines to make an enjoyable little romance story.

 

Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this story and as always his narration made what would have probably only been a 3 star read for me into something just a little bit better. I could go on about this narrator and expand on all the reasons that I enjoy listening to audio books that Mr. Russo has narrated but I think the simplest thing I can say is in the world of audio book narrators Nick Russo is on my auto buy list. 

 

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review 2018-10-26 11:15
Russo's narration broke me!
Beneath This Mask - Victoria Sue,Nick J. Russo
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my AUDIO copy of this book. This is book three in the Enhanced Series. I wouldn't say it was necessary for you to have read books one and two, but it might give you a better reading experience. It would also give you a a better experience of these men, and just what being Enhanced means. Gael doesn't want a regular human partner, especially not one from the task force they have all come to hate. But Jake is different, he's not got that inbuilt hatred the others seem to have. When Jake and Gael come across a non-verbal Enhanced child, who later becomes a murder suspect, Gael has to put his feelings aside, even if they threaten to be his very undoing. Oh Gael, Gael, Gael! My heart bled for this man, it really did! He's in a whole lotta pain, and he hides it from the others in his team, who are his family too. But Jake?? Jake sees, really SEES Gael, and Gael isn't entirely sure he wants to be seen. While there is the murders of the Enhanced as the back story, what I particularly loved about this one, was the emotions involved between Gael and Jake. With the emotions involved with turning, and the aftemath of that. Gael's history wasn't the best before that point, but it became a whole lot worse after. Jake has his own demons, and when Gael finds out what that is, he lashes out, quite LITERALLY. But he does come around, once the awful truth becomes clear. It's not as explicit as books one and two, but it doesn't need to be. I did find it a little more graphic, though, but I think that really IS needed. When Gael is caught by the one doing the murders ( I knew! I knew when that person first showed up, I KNEW they were no good, that something bad would happen!) his feeling for Jake, his own abilities are used against him, and Gael has to trust the guys find him in time. And after that, when Gael pulls away from Jake?? That boy pulls out all the stops to make Gael SEE Jake, he really does. That Jake wants a family with Gael, and all who come along too. And I cried then, great heart wrecking sobs, because it's such a beautiful scene! We are introduced to Sam, AKA Angel, who pushes ALL of Vance's buttons and then some! Can't wait for their story, really can't. But I'll wait for the audio, don't wanna flip between reading and listening. Again, Nick J Russo narrates. This above mentioned scene? When Jake makes Gael SEE Jake?? I have no doubts, none at all, that it's the way that scene was deliver by Russo, his NARRATION, that wrecked me! Reading would not have had the same impact, not for me, anyway. Russo KILLS it, he absolutely does. His voices are clear and consistent across all three books, he has a way of getting so much emotions across, that really is beyond compare. I love his narration, so please keep them coming! 5 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration 5 stars overall **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2018-09-18 20:52
Ok ladies and gents I'm gonna pimp the hell outta' this audio book...
Crocus - Amy Lane,Nick J. Russo

So that we're perfectly clear I love this freakin' book...I love this series and no it's not because I got the book or the audio for review...nope, nope, nope...it's because this is one hella' good story.

 

'Bonfires' was the first book in the series and we got to meet Deputy Sheriff Aaron George and high school principal Larx and there kids and there are a few of those Larx has 2 daughters and Aaron has 2 daughters and a son but like all good homes both men have room in their heart for more. 

 

I love this series it's about two men...mature men who have both had to deal with life's challenges before finding what many of us hope for...that person who completes us and whom we want to go through life with...good or bad. 

 

Now in 'Crocus' we get to see their relationship weather yet more of life's challenges. We get to see these men grow and their bond strengthens as they yet again show the strength of their bond as together they work to save a young man and his much loved and damaged brother, to help Larx's daughter deal with her own crisis while somewhere out in the cold, snowy winter night is yet another child who desperately needs to be rescued...It's going to take Aaron, Larx, the children that they've gathered in their home and their hearts along with an interesting collection of friends to juggle everything being thrown their way and make sure that nothing important gets dropped and still have time for them.

 

There is just so much that I love about this series...obviously I love Aaron and Larx, their amazing collection of kids...seriously they're damned near as amazing as my own...ok, I'm biased but still they're all amazing. Then there's Yoshi!!!! No not the cute green dino from the Mario game...I'm talking about Larx's VP and best friend. Aaron's boss is also pretty damned awesome. Don't get me wrong this isn't a story about perfect people it's a story about people who are trying to be the best person they can be and give back to their community...something that we all need to strive for if we're going to make the world a nicer and better place to live and best of all there's a lot of humor in these stories because sometimes you've either gotta' laugh or you're going to cry so you may as well laugh about it, put on your big boy or girl pants and get on with life, which is what Larx and Aaron do. Making them a very relatable couple.

 

The icing on the cake for me with this is that it's all wrapped up once again with the narrations of Nick J. Russo. I'm not sure why but lately I've been trying to check out some new narrators so I've kind of been missing Mr. Russo and this was the perfect opportunity for me to get a Nick fix and of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to revisit 'Bonfires' before emerging myself in 'Crocus'. I've said it before and for me it's worth repeating 'I love having the same narrator for a series especially when the characters are the same from story to story. I'm not sure who's up for the next book but when it comes to the audio book if I see Nick J. Russo listed as the narrator it won't break my heart not even a little bit but then if the next book give us more Aaron and Larx that's not going to make me sad either...I just know for sure that whatever book three is I'll read it, I'll listen to it and I'll enjoy it.

 

Seriously if you need a happy place in your life...than you need these men and their family in your life...they are epic and awesome.

 

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

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