in RJ Scott’s ‘Lancaster Falls’ series is of course the small town of Lancaster Falls and as is often the case with small towns it is rife with interesting characters each one having their own secrets leaving the reader to wonder who are you? How much do you really know? And how are you involved? Small towns you’ve gotta’ love ‘em!
When Sawyer Wiseman left Lancaster Falls to become a police officer in the big city of Chicago returning home broken and battered wasn’t a part of the plan but we all know life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans and that’s what happened to Sawyer. So now he finds himself back in the town he grew up in working for the Sheriff’s Department with a boss whose actions are often questionable at best telling him to go out to the Dwyer cabin and check on the person who’s taken up residence in it.
Sawyer expects to find an elderly recluse not Chris Lassiter a hot young author of horror stories whos struggling with writer’s block who’s more than a little bit interested in the sexy, small town deputy sheriff standing on his doorstep. Now all Chris needs to do is convince Sawyer that what he thinks is a bad idea could actually turn out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to either one of them.
Even when Sawyer begins to acknowledge that he’s interested in seeing where things can go between them it becomes a bigger challenge than either man has anticipated with the demands of Sawyer’s job rapidly increasing, as well the pressure on Chris to produce the next bestselling book in his popular horror series is increasing as his time to meet this deadline runs out.
Sawyer and Chris both quickly realize that in spite of the fact, that circumstances should be pulling them apart they seem to be turning to each other with increasing frequency.
I was absolutely crazy for this story when I read the e-book…even if I did get left looking over the edge of a cliff. Still when the opportunity was presented to listen to the story on audio I jumped on it especially when I learned that Sean Crisden was the narrator. Mr. Crisden is one of my absolute favorite narrators. I know when I get a book narrated by him that even if I’m not totally enchanted with the story I’m not going to have an issue with the narration no, in fact I can rest assured that even the worst of stories will become tolerable and as was the case here a story that I already knew I loved just became a whole lot better and more enjoyable.
While I have by no means read every book written by this author, I can honestly say it’s not from lack of desire or willing to do so…sadly, sometimes real life just doesn’t always let us do things as quickly as we’d like to, but for me this one has a bit more of a darker undertone to it than what we usually see from Ms Scott, but I can also say that for as much as I’ve loved her other books that I’ve read, this is definitely one of my favorites and I honestly can’t wait to continue with this series and learn what’s going to happen next.
An audiobook of “What Lies Beneath” was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This is code talk for I've been listening to audio books narrated by some of my favorites and at the top of that list are RJ Scott books narrated by Sean Crisden.
I've really enjoyed reading Ms. Scott's latest series "Single Dads" but I honestly find that I've enjoying the audio books as much or maybe just a teensy bit more. I'm a fan of having the continuity of the same narrator throughout a series but I do have to admit that while it's not as much of a sticking point for me when the MCs change from story to story. I was glad to see that this didn't happen with this book. I'm a total fan of Sean Crisden and truth be told judging by the number of books he's narrated for this author, I have a sneaking suspicion that maybe she's also a fan. Whatever, the cause of this I am most definitely in favor or it continuing.
"Today" is the second book in the "Single Dads" series and it essentially picks up where "Single" left off with Sean and Ash's wedding. It's our first on page glimpse of Brady and we get more of Eric the sweet and very hunky firefighter who was Sean's roommate and indirectly the reason that Sean and Ash met or at least the reason for how they met but that's another story from another book so back to the Brady and Eric story...
Ok so if you're not familiar with a condition known as DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) do yourself a favor and take a minute to google and get a basic sense of what it is. It's a real thing folks and if you're like me, in spite of spending over 15 years working in healthcare it wasn't something that I was familiar with and the few minutes that I spent googling this as well as being informative gave me a better insight and helped me to be more compassionate towards Brady's character than I think I might have otherwise been allowing me to also enjoy the story more.
Otherwise I can easily imagine finding myself getting frustrated with Brady and probably not enjoying the story as much as I wanted to. Having at least a basic understanding of Brady's condition and how it could affect him allowed me to see Brady with a better appreciation for the understated strength of character that he had. I admit at times I can be a klutz but what Brady deals with in terms of his DCD and dyslexia takes his challenges well beyond that and understanding this allowed me to see more clearly how this would also impact his social skills and his self esteem...so for me, Brady became someone who was far more courageous than his character appeared to be at first glance and I was able to truly appreciate the understated strength that he had...not to mention if being a single parent to a newborn baby of your own is a challenge than I'm not sure what category having Brady's challenges and parenting two children while trying to deal with their grief and your own puts a person into and honestly I have a very solid appreciation for the fact that it's unlikely I'll ever have to find out.
Eric's got his dream job of being a firefighter and while he's not to hard on the eyes, he also knows that in spite of that fact and thanks to his size he's someone who either inspires intimidation or the desire to call him 'Daddy' and be controlled in most of the men that he dates...especially those who are on the smaller side, Creating an added challenge when it comes to looking for a partner and at the heart of things Eric's a lonely guy and he's tired of Mr. RightNow and he's hoping to find his own Mr. Right especially after seeing one of his best friends find theirs.
While this one was a little slow to draw me in at the beginning in the end it definitely got there and once again I found myself enjoying a sweet, low angst romance that left me with a lot of warm fuzzies and definitely looking forward to the next story.
I can so easily see myself listening to these stories over and over again because once again RJ Scott + Sean Crisden = audio bliss!!!
An audio book of "Today" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
"Home For Christmas" is really more of a 'Texas the next generation' story. While Jack and Riley are present and accounted for they really aren't the focus of this story. This one is about their son Connor and this boy's not only all grown up he falling and he's falling hard for one River Samson.
Connor and River are like night and day when it comes to their family background. Connor knows he's been blessed. He's a part of a loving, supportive and very in your face family...after all he's a Campbell-Hayes. River doesn't have a family...he doesn't even really know who or where they are it there is any and he's got a few other issues besides...he was addicted to drugs before he was even born...gee, thanks mom! But he's also got a lot more going for him than even he realizes...he's incredibly smart and artistically talented and while he does have some health issues to deal with if he takes his meds and looks after himself he does ok...ok enough to be a member of the dive team and according to Connor he's not hard on the eyes...and now comes the part where I borrow from my original review and really I could spin my gears here trying to be verbally creative but really why? My review of the e-book said what I wanted it to and as well as my thoughts and feelings not having changed I truly don't think I could express myself any better...
Texas #9 is as always about the ‘Campbell-Hayes’ family but it’s the next generation of the ‘Campbell-Hayes’ clan. At 22 years of age Connor and his friend River are both finishing their studies and getting ready to go out into he world. River knows what he wants to do…he’s going to spend a year working as a volunteer in Kenya helping to assist with protecting their resources and assisting with fair distribution before returning to the states and settling into a job. Connor on the other hands has a life mapped out that he’s come to realize isn’t quite what he wants… he’s going to work at CH with his dad, Riley and his sister Hayley…now if he could just work up the courage to tell his dad’s that this isn’t what he wants for the rest of his life.
As River and Connor maneuver their way through the holidays with the loud, gregarious and loving Campbell-Hayes family. They also have to work their way through changing and growing emotions as their friendship becomes something more.
Just like with Riley and Jack, I really can’t decide who I liked better in this story I went back and forth between these two men for varying reasons. I loved Connor and his big generous heart and even though like River there were times that I probably would have wanted to punch him. I loved that Connor wasn’t the type to just give up and walk away. He was willing to get in River’s face with his worries and concerns and when River tried to walk away Connor followed, letting River know that he wasn’t alone and there was someone who really and truly cared. I loved River’s strength no matter what life threw at him he kept going, kept trying and working to have something better for himself.
People are so much more than the sum of their past and River truly personifies this…it’s not our past that defines us but where we go and how we get there that shows the world the measure of who we are. River was strong and resilient. He may not have always done the right thing, but he never gave up and he didn’t let himself be defined by a past that for him only held pain and disappointment.
Now for the rest of the new stuff...let's talk audio...so far Ms Scott's 'Texas' series is up to 9 books all of which are out on audio and all of which are narrated by Sean Crisden. So this is the point at which I can fan girl a bit because not only am I an avid fan of the author I am an avid fan of this narrator.
I own somewhere around 30 audio books narrated by Sean Crisden...now, I can't say that I've listened to close to 30 because some of these books have been listened to multiple times and not just because I like the stories although that does help...no, I also enjoy listening to Mr. Crisden's narration of said stories.
I admit it, I have several audio books that I've only listened to once even though I really, really enjoyed the story. Unfortunately, what fell short for me was the narration so chances are I may one day listen to them again...maybe, but unlike Sean Crisden and a select group of other narrators I probably won't be listening to them so many times that I can practically recite the book with them....it can be the best story you've ever heard but it takes the right narrator to draw you in over and over and over again and for me the combination of RJ Scott and Sean Crisden guarantees this happening.
An audio book of "Home For Christmas" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
at least it was a win for me...for the Cougars, the minor league team that Victor Kalinski, all-star forward or more accurately...former all-star forward of the Boston Barracudas finds himself shipped back to...maybe, not so much.
Before I say much about the story I'm going to chatter a bit about Victor Kalinski because man when it comes to how I felt about him...well, it's complicate. I want to say I couldn't stand him. and in some ways for the most part I couldn't. He's brash, rude, arrogant, self-centered and just generally full of himself beyond belief and if that was all there was to him I'd be golden when it comes to disliking him but it's not. Victor is also insecure and while he tries to keep it hidden he's got definite self esteem issues. Not where his hockey skills are concerned but when it comes to thinking he's worthy of friendship and love, of being treated decently yeah, he's totally lacking in self-esteem. He's got the mother from hell and as for his father well, I don't think there's a definitive answer to that question. Victor's childhood memories aren't the kind that any child should ever have and he hides it all behind a wall of anger, aggression and in general some really jerktastic behavior.
The Cougars alternate captain Daniel Arou sees in Victor what others have missed and he may be little but he's fearless and determined to break down Victor's barriers and he might also be Canadian. While Victor's a love/hate relationship for me. I loved Daniel from the word go and no it wasn't because he's Canadian...although this did get him bonus points. In the hockey world Daniel may be little but he's also fierce. He not only saw through Victor's BS, he called him on it and in the battle for Victor's heart Daniel gave no quarter.
But when Daniel's chance comes and he gets called up to the majors...by not just any team, no it's the Boston Barracudas who want him and it's Victor who steps up and insist that he go even if it means the end of them.
I have to admit at the beginning of this I was more than a little put off by Victor's character but as the story progressed and we got to see more of what made Victor into Victor as well as Daniel's determination to break down his barriers I was more than a little eager to see them make it as a couple.
Sean Crisden was the narrator for the first story in the "Point Shot" series and at 2 hour and 59 minutes 'Two Man Advantage' is an enjoyable way to pass the afternoon. I've enjoyed more than a few audio books narrated by Mr. Crisden...a quick count says it's 35+ so I'd say that when it comes to narrators that I enjoy this is definitely one of them and of all the characters that I've enjoyed hearing his interpretation of I have to say that this is for me one of his best. I truly feel that had i been reading the book or had someone else been providing the narration I don't think that Victor's personality would have come through as strongly as it did.
I'll definitely be wanting the rest of Victor and Daniel's story...on audio would be good but if not I know I've got the books tucked away on my TBR shelf.
An audio book of 'Two Man Advantage' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.