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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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review 2018-07-29 21:45
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat...
Beneath This Mask - Victoria Sue,Nick J. Russo

It's gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet...I need a hero...

 

"Beneath the Mask" is the third book in Victoria Sue's 'Enhanced' series and while we met the whole team in the first and second books this third installment takes the focus away from Talon and Finn to give us a look at enhanced team member Gael Peterson and his human partner Jake, bur that doesn't mean that readers should skip the first two books...trust me you really don't want to do that because both of these characters are introduced in the the first two books in this series along with the other members of the H.E.R.O. team.

 

Things aren't going to be easy for Gael and Jake and when they get thrown together I'm pretty sure that neither man would have anticipated they'd ever manage to be working partners much less have anything more personal between them.

 

As the team gets drawn into an investigation involving the deaths of enhanced humans and the evidence points to a child who may be an enhanced it doesn't mean he's not also vulnerable and Gael becomes determined to champion the young child...determined that he's not only innocent but in danger as well. What Gael doesn't count on is the fact that the real murderer has their sights set on Gael and the person that Gael trust the least it the person that he may need the most.

 

Gael's got a less than happy past but that hasn't kept him from becoming a compassionate and gentle soul who absolutely melted my heart. While Jake won me over with his determination and loyalty to the members of H.E.R.O. and in particular to Gael in spite of Gael's rather prickly nature towards him.

 

Jake knows that as a former member of the Police ENu (ENhanced unit) and a past that he'd rather not have people find out about, Jake's not expecting to have an easy time of things and he's both willing and determined to make things work as a regular member of the H.E.R.O. team.

 

I loved the mystery/thriller/adventure aspect of this story and while I had my suspicions as to 'who done it', it wasn't until towards the end that things were confirmed for me and the ending...wow! just wow! the ending of this story was a nail bitter and I don't bite my nails! 

 

I loved the glimpses we got of Talon, Finn and the other team members and can't wait to find out who's story is next and if it was more Gael and Jake, I can honestly say that won't upset me in the slightest. This pairing was superb. I'm not even sure when it happened but Gael and Jake ever so smoothly slid from being interesting and likable to a pairing that I want more of because for me they just worked. I think it was the fact that initially they just didn't click and it took time for them to find that connection, especially for Gael but when it happened it worked for me and I was all in.

 

The icing on the 'enhanced' cake for me was the narrator...Nick J. Russo. I adore his audiobooks and without fail his narration works. He's on of my very short list of narrators whom I don't need to check out the audio sample before getting a book I just need to decide if it's a book that I want to listen to. Although this book was pretty much a no brainer...a series that I love, a narrator who's at the top of my list...so how could I loose? I couldn't...see...no brainer and very much recommended.

 

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

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review 2018-07-26 18:40
Seems I’m on a roll here…
The Eagle and The Fox - Nya Rawlyns,Nick J. Russo

Or at least it feels like it when it comes to romantic/thriller/mystery type books. ‘The Eagle and the Fox’ is the first book in Nya Rawlyns ‘Snowy Range Mystery’ series and I absolutely loved this one. Josiah Foxglove is a veteran of the Gulf War and he’s returned to his family’s spread to help out and to let himself heal in both body and spirit.

 

After 3 years Marcus Colton is still grieving the loss of his best-friend and lover. He’s lonely and his only solace is his store but needless to say a store doesn’t do much to keep you company much less keep you warm at night.

 

When violence strikes the community of Centurion, Wy. and events bring Josiah and Marcus together to keep their community and one sweet girl safe. As frequently can happens in a small community, suspicion turns to the stranger in town…Kit Golden Eagle. But as things continue to happen Josiah and Marcus find that 2 + 2 doesn’t always equal 4.

 

As soon as I pressed the play button on this one I was hard pressed to stop. I love a story with mature MCs and Josiah and Marcus’s interactions were so sweet and adorable awkward at times. Both men wanting to take those steps towards each other while afraid to do it at the same time. But both men finding the courage from time to time to put themselves out there.

 

There were some secondary characters as well that I really liked Josiah’s sister, Becca was a wonderful, strong and loyal sister who was a rock for both Josiah and Marcus when they needed one and then there was Petaloon…or Pet as she was affectionately called by some of the community. Pet was a sweetheart. Marcus hired Pet to work at his story when her mother basically tried to ‘whore’ her out to him, telling him that if he hired Pet to work for him…she’d do ‘anything’ he wanted her to do…’anything’ and that was when Marcus hired her so that her mother wouldn’t make the same offer to someone less scrupulous. In short Marcus is a good man and he’s determined to protect Pet as much as can and Josiah’s determined to help him but what neither man realizes is that there’s someone else who’s determined to keep Pet safe and it’s not her mother…bet you’re surprised by that one…NOT!

 

I really liked the plot on this one. It’s definitely more complex than what I’m outlining here but if you want all the ins and outs and plot twist you’re going to have to do like me and read or listen to the story. There’s a definite romance developing between Marcus and Josiah, it’s a slow burn but one that’s worth taking the time to enjoy.

 

By the end of the story the romance between Marcus and Josiah was definitely solidifying and events from this story were pretty well wrapped up, it definitely didn’t feel like a cliffy and when I went to audible.com to do a little investigating what I found was 2 more audio books in this series each with a different set of MCs but happily enough the same narrator…Nick J. Russo.

 

I know that anyone who knows me…knows that this person is absolutely one of my favorite narrators and I can’t wait to listen to the next couple of books in this series now that I know who the narrator is as if having a really well told story wasn’t enough, but even if audio’s not your thing this story is solid enough to hold the interest of anyone who’s a fan of mature MCs and a solid romantic/thriller.

 

This one is definitely recommended.

 

*************************

 

An audio book of ‘The Eagle and the Fox’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-07-18 22:37
Nothing says "secure in my masculinity" like a pair of manties...
Lace-Covered Compromise - Silvia Violet,Nick J. Russo

I'm serious here. I have no issue with a guy wanting to wear a skirt, a ruffly blouse or silky, lacy panties after all women have been stealing men's fashions literally for decades. Pants originally made for men, high heels...you guessed it men and can I just add here when it comes to the  heels I would gladly let them keep them...anyways, my point is there are manties in this story and me likey the young man who wears them. He's confident and self assured and as it turns out his adversary, one Adam Kingston, discovers that he likes them as well.

 

'Lace-Covered Compromise' is a relatively short, sexy enemies to lovers story about two men doing battle for control of a company and discovering that whether it's business or pleasure everything works better when people are willing to compromise.  Things were hot between Adam and Nate...I mean seriously hot and truthfully I enjoyed the romance part of this story and the conflict between Adam and Nate added some definite tension for these two men and while I appreciated the how comes and whys of said tension at times it just felt like too much.

 

I liked Adam in all of his screwed up glory and his friend Valerie who fate had assigned the arduous task of keeping Adam from running too far off of the rails. I enjoyed Adam's moments of self actualization when he was able to see that who he was wasn't who he wanted to be and that maybe...just maybe Nate wasn't the enemy.

 

Nate was a really good match for Adam and while he wasn't a steamroller he very solidly held his own and it never felt like he was trying to railroad Adam but often times his patience showed in how he may have walked away from Adam when things got to explosive (and not in a good way) but once cooler heads could prevail, he came back and was willing to try again. In hindsight I came to realize that while there was a lot of very hot and steamy sex going one, there was also a lot of relationship development happening outside of the bedroom too.

 

I have to admit this one got rounded up because of the narrator...who was none other than Nick J. Russo an absolute favorite of mine. Once again this narrator is one who I just need to see his name on the audio book and I'm know that my only concern is going to be how much I'll like the actual story because the narration without a doubt will be awesome and once again my faith was not misplaced.

 

'Lace-Covered Compromise' is another one of those books that for me was a hot and steamy romance perfect for enjoying on a hot steamy summer's afternoon...sitting on your patio or balcony or backyard with a nice cool tropical drink in hand...hey, maybe I should have a do-over on this one.

 

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An audio book of 'Lace-Covered Compromise' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-07-09 08:10
Audio Tour w/Review - Leaning Into The Look

 
TitleLeaning Into the Look
Series: Leaning Into Stories, #6
Author: Lane Hayes
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Original Release Date: March 23, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Genre: Romance, friends to lovers, San Francisco, humor, businessmen
 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.
 
Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.
 

 

Listen to an audio excerpt & purchase at Audible
 
 

Excerpt:

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I stopped short when we reached the other side of the street and then backed him against the brick façade of a bank building and pressed my lips over his. It was a bold move and not one I’d ever tried on any man in public before. But I couldn’t help myself. It felt oddly freeing to share one of the bleaker parts of my past with him. I wanted to thank him somehow but that seemed awkward so I kissed him instead. I held his head and glided my tongue alongside his, loving the moment when he flung his arms over my shoulders and responded with fervor. When we broke for air, I rested my forehead on his and grinned.
 
“Your ass is pretty spectacular too, Mi.”
 
He chuckled good-naturedly. “Thanks.”
 
“No really. I think I’m love with it.” I lowered my hands down his back and squeezed his cheeks as I molded his pelvis to mine.
 
“That’s kind of romantic. But if you’re thinking about falling in love with me too…don’t.”
 
I backed up slightly to get a better look at him. “Okay. I won’t.”
 
“Pinky promise.” He held up his right hand and wiggled his fingers.
 
“What makes you think you’re so irresistible?” I asked, wrapping my pinky finger around his.
 
“I’m not and you’ll figure it out sooner or later. But I like you and I want you and…”
 
“And what you’re really saying is you don’t want to fall for me.” I kept my tone light, hoping a jocular vibe would steer us from turning this into an uncomfortable conversation.
 
“Maybe.”
 
“Look, Mi. I’m not—”
 
“No. Listen. Don’t make this into a big deal. It’s not. We’re going to have a grand adventure. Just me and you. We’ll do incredible things and have amazing conversations and lots of sex. And when it’s time to say good-bye, we won’t ruin it by pretending we were ever in love. What do you say?”
 
Nothing. I had nothing to say. All I could think was maybe he really was crazy because who said shit like that?
 
But when I looked past the lighthearted swagger I saw the cracks in his armor. He was scared and battered and raw on the inside. Kind of like me. And somehow I had a feeling it wasn’t an ex-lover that made him so cautious. I only knew he was right. We were a couple of oddballs who unexpectedly found ourselves inhabiting the same circle. Temporarily.
 
But love? I should have walked away. Or at the very least, laughed at his wild leap. Instead I cocked my head and squinted. “What kind of adventures?”
 
Miles grinned. A slow-moving, gorgeous upturn of the lips that morphed into something celestial. He literally took my breath away. I hoped the dizziness faded before I gave him a reason to think it was a good thing he’d issued a warning about getting too attached.
 
“All kinds! We’ll turn this town upside down being one hundred percent ridiculous.”
 
“Okay…” I gave a half laugh and pushed a stray lock of hair behind his ear. “What do you have in mind? Dancing, parties—”
 
“No. More like Trivial Pursuit marathons, Netflix binge-watching fests in our Pjs, the compare and contrast game and—”
 
“The what?”
 
“Don’t worry. We’ll have fun. You’ll see,” he assured me earnestly as he laced our fingers together and pulled me away from the wall.
 
I glanced down at our joined hands and briefly thought about joking that he should be careful about giving me mixed signals. But I knew my limits. My comedic timing was crappy and the last thing I wanted was to push him away. I might not love Miles but I liked him. A lot. And holding his hand while we wandered through town under a sea of rainbow flags on a random Sunday felt special. The way new beginnings sometimes did.
 
 
 
 

Leaning Into the Look (Leaning Into,, #6)Leaning Into the Look by Lane Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book #6 in the Leaning Into series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding, and too avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this amazing series in order.

Grant & Miles know one another through mutual friends. One night, when Grant is at a party for friends, he needs Miles help. Following that night, he realizes how much Miles really could be.

Miles has always wanted Grant for himself. When he gets his chance he goes with it like a freight train without brakes. Later, when he and Grant discover there could be more, he wonders if he should have looked at this with caution.

Nick J Russo has the narration by storm. I love his voice, it is very soothing. I also love the changes in inflection and nuances that just make it more than just reading would have been. What a great edition!

The long awaited story about Grant was not just everything I wanted. It was really just a great read. There is humor, heat, & happenings. I love how Miles is the perfect balance to Grant. I loved it so much and it fits so well with this series. I also really loved the audio narration.


***This audible version was provided for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 

Meet the Author:

 

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Meet the Narrator: 


Nick is an award winning narrator with a fan following for his work in fiction, specifically in the romance genre. His performances in two of Amy Lane's books, Beneath the Stain and Christmas Kitsch, made him the recipient of Sinfully M/M Book Review's Narrator of the Year - 2015. When he's not in the booth, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Jessica, and kids, (aka their beagle Frank and cat Stella), drumming in his cover band, exploring rural back roads with his wife on his motorcycle, or being enthralled in a tabletop role playing game with his friends.  

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