3 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed by Sadonna

Audio Review: Love Means… Patience by Andrew Grey – Narrated by Andrew McFarrin

Title: Love Means… Patience

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 5 Hours and 52 Minutes

At a Glance: Another in Andrew Grey’s beloved Love Means series, which introduces us to new former military characters and a new set of obstacles to overcome.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Years after his discharge from the Marines under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Cody Culver lives in a PTSD-induced world all his own. On a mission, under misconceptions that Geoff and Eli are the enemy, Cody breaks into their farmhouse but is quickly brought back to his senses by a frying pan to the head. After receiving much needed help in the hospital, Cody has nowhere to go. Luckily, kindhearted Eli knows just where to turn.

When Eli asks former Marine Brick Hunter to help, Brick isn’t sure he wants to get involved. But Brick has worked through his own PTSD, and like it or not, he owes Eli a favor. With Cody struggling to rejoin the real world and Brick agreeing to take him in, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought possible.

Though Cody tries to stay in the here and now, he sometimes flashes to unexplainable traumatic events—events that don’t fit his usual war zone delusions. As the “delusions” grow more frequent, it becomes apparent they might not be delusions at all. Cody may have actually witnessed a murder.

Dividers

Review: Note: This is book seven of a series, and while it’s not absolutely necessary to have read the previous books, it’s helpful for context of the setting and characters.

I have been addicted to this series since I discovered it over four years ago now. I read the first four books back to back, and have read each subsequent release. I love Geoff and Eli, and I’m always interested to see who will join the crew next.

Cody is a former Marine who has been discharged under DADT. He’s also suffering from a severe case of PTSD. He thinks Eli and Geoff are the enemy, and he’s on a mission. He’s cold and hungry and goes into the house to try to find food and defend against the enemy – but instead, he gets a frying pan to the head.

When he comes to, it’s obvious that he desperately needs both medical and psychological assistance, but as a homeless and rejected vet, he doesn’t have any resources. Eli, however, has a plan. He thinks Brick, a former military man himself, who has successfully dealt with his PTSD, may be able to help.

While Cody doesn’t have any real farm experience, Brick can certainly use help around his family farm, which he’s been able to keep running on his own – but just barely. Cody still has trouble discerning when he might be slipping out of reality, but Brick’s experience comes in handy. What Brick doesn’t tell Cody right away, though, is that he is also interested in guys. Brick is attracted to Cody but doesn’t want to take advantage of him in his current condition. He does want to help him get stronger, and if something else develops… well, that would be okay too.

Cody also keeps having flashbacks of something happening in an empty house that he’d bunked in sometime during the past winter, but with his PTSD and his inability to confirm a timeline, he’s uncertain if what he remembers is real or imagined. When it turns out to be real and there is danger for Cody, Brick, and their friends, it’s all hands on deck to the rescue.

I especially like the little details in this story that include a puppy, fun with Jakey, and nice cameos from the rest of the regulars in this series. This is a solid addition to the Love Means… series that fans should enjoy.

This is the first audiobook of this series that I’ve listened too, and I had previously read this book – although, it was over a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised by how the narrator brought out details that I had forgotten from when I’d read it. I especially liked his characterization of Brick. I wasn’t sure about his characterization of Geoff – he seemed a little bit too “Southern” to me, but truthfully, I don’t know too many people from that area, so he may be spot on and it’s just me.

 

 

 

You can buy Love Means… Patience here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
5 Stars, Audio Book, Cardeno C., Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed by Amy, Self-Published

Audio Review: Strange Bedfellows by Cardeno C. – Narrated by Ron Herczig

Title: Strange Bedfellows

Author: Cardeno C.

Narrator: Ron Herczig

Publisher: Self-Published

Run Time: 6 hours and 48 minutes

At a GlanceI have not met a book by Cardeno C. that I haven’t loved.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Can the billionaire son of a Democratic president build a family with the congressman son of a Republican senator? Forget politics, love makes strange bedfellows.

As the sole offspring of the Democratic United States president and his political operative wife, Trevor Moga was raised in an environment driven by the election cycle. During childhood, he fantasized about living in a made-for-television family, and as an adult, he rejected all things politics and built a highly successful career as far from his parents as possible.

Newly elected congressman Ford Hollingsworth is Republican royalty. The grandson of a revered governor and son of a respected senator, he was bred to value faith, family, and the goal of seeing a Hollingsworth in the White House.

When Trevor and Ford meet, sparks fly and a strong friendship is formed. But can the billionaire son of a Democratic president build a family with the congressman son of a Republican senator? Forget politics, love makes strange bedfellows.

Dividers

Review: I am starting to place Cardeno C. on my auto-buy list, as I have not met a book by this author that I haven’t loved. What I think Cardeno C. is so amazing at is exceptional character development, and developing such a natural flow to the story—within and outside of the romance aspect. I really wasn’t excited to read a book about politics. Especially with the climate as of late. All I can say is, make sure you don’t let that stop you. Cardeno C. had me in love with Trevor from the start. I am typically not a fan of an introductory sex scene, but it worked in this case. I loved the dynamic of Trevor’s family life.

In stark contrast, I just wanted to shake, hug, love, and forgive Ford for who he is. Ford has amazing character, and truly wouldn’t make it in today’s climate of politics, as he is honorable. His family made me mad, but ultimately, the love between these two characters was the star. Wonderfully developed, I cannot recommend this book any more.

Narration: Ron Herczig was a new-to-me narrator. He did a good job with the story, and I really like him—with one exception—his cadence is entirely too slow. I mean, it is actually frustrating. If he spoke about two paces faster, I would have fallen all over him; however, the slow narration did lend itself well to the sex scenes. I wouldn’t look at an audio and see his name and say, “I MUST have that.” But he was sufficient.

TNA_Signature_Amy

 

 

 

You can buy Strange Bedfellows here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Kate McMurray, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: The Silence of the Stars by Kate McMurray – Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

Title: The Silence of the Stars

Author: Kate McMurray

Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours

At a glance: I really enjoyed this book, but the narrator didn’t make much of an impression.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Sandy Sullivan has gotten so good at covering up his emotions, he’s waiting for someone to hand him an Oscar. On the outside, he’s a cheerful, funny guy, but his good humor is the only thing keeping awful memories from his army tours in Afghanistan at bay. Worse, Sandy is now adrift after breaking up with the only man who ever understood him, but who also wanted to fix him the way Sandy’s been fixing up his new house in Brooklyn.

Everett Blake seems to have everything: good looks, money, and talent to spare. He parlayed a successful career as a violinist into a teaching job at Manhattan’s elite Olcott School and until four months ago, he even had the perfect boyfriend. Now he’s on his own, trying to give his new apartment some personality, even if it is unkempt compared to the perfect home he shared with his ex. When hiring a contractor to renovate his kitchen sends Sandy barreling into his life, Everett is only too happy to accept the chaos… until he realizes he’s in over his head.

Dividers

Review: I really enjoyed this book. It seemed real to me to have men of two completely different backgrounds get together and not have everything simply fall into place. Their lives are messy, and it takes some time to get things figured out.

Everett is from a more upper-class background with all that comes with that. Sandy has his own demons that haunt him. This story definitely worked, but at times it kind of got a bit predictable. I love that Sandy starts going to a therapist for his issues, but I felt that Everett’s inner monologue regarding whether he could be with someone like Sandy got a bit old. It never honestly seemed to come to a head between the two of them, but it was a bit repetitive.

I am born and raised in New York and love that Kate set this is NY. I really enjoyed that the city was somewhat of a character in the book. Overall a well written novel. I would definitely visit this world again.

Narration: Another first time narrator for me in Michael Ferraiuolo, it is weird that I didn’t have much of a reaction to his performance. I didn’t love him, I didn’t hate him. He was a means to an end. I guess that in itself isn’t good. I feel he did an adequate job but didn’t leave much of an impression.

TNA_Signature_Amy

 

 

 

You can buy The Silence of the Stars here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
4 Stars, Audio Book, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Perie Wolford, Reviewed by Maryann, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Audio Review: Encounter by Perie Wolford – Narrated by William Turbett

Title: Encounter (Encounters: Book One)

Author: Perie Wolford

Narrator:: William Turbett

Publisher: Self-Published

Run Time: 3 Hours and 3 Minutes

At a Glance: Encounter is a unique sci-fi story for Young Adults. Perie Wolford created a mystery with tension and excitement.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: It’s time to face the unknown.

In an attempt to prove to the world that crop circles are man-made and aliens don’t really exist, Ricky and his team of young enthusiasts (including one particular enthusiast, Josh, who is hopelessly in love with Ricky) start falsifying the phenomenon by creating their own crop circles. Their endeavors prove pretty much successful, but only until the day when Ricky sees his unique circle design replicated throughout the country by forces unknown.

Dividers

Review: Ricky McAllister and Josh Cullen, with friends Ann and Mike, set out to prove that crop circles are not made by aliens but are manmade. Ricky has established a vlog where they post a lot of information and videos, and he is also the mastermind behind creating some intricate crop circles, while Josh is the expert at the videotaping. Ricky also invites Emily Bridget into the fold, an intern from Washington DC doing research on the crop circles, who tends to cause a lot of tension between Josh and Ricky.

When the first crop circle doesn’t create the results Ricky is looking for, and he finds out Emily is leaving, he feels he needs to do more. Ricky creates a bigger circle, which leads the team into a dangerous situation. When Ricky’s crop circle makes the news, and others begin to show up with his design, he heads to California to see the biggest one, with Emily and Josh in tow. The action reaches its peak when Josh discovers Emily is not who she says she is, sending him and Ricky on the run from government agents. It’s not until Josh and Ricky are locked inside a military truck that they realize the kind of friendship they really have.

Encounter is a unique sci-fi story for Young Adults. Perie Wolford created a mystery with tension and excitement. The ending is very much a surprise and left me wanting to find out what happened to Ricky and Josh, and if there is a future for them. I don’t read many Young Adult books, and while I found Josh to be somewhat immature in handling his feelings towards Ricky, and that Ricky handled the situation much better, I will definitely be watching for book two.

I found the narration of the story by William Turbett to be fair. I would have liked a stronger distinction between characters tones, and pauses where the story went into different timeframes, but I really liked the eerie music at the end, during the credits, which fit the theme of this story.

TNA_Signature_Maryann







 

You can buy Encounter here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Drama, DSP Publications, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed by Maryann, Rick R. Reed

Audio Review: Third Eye by Rick R. Reed – Narrated by Chad Tindale

Title: Third Eye

Author: Rick R. Reed

Narrator:: Chad Tindale

Publisher: DSP Publications

Run Time: 8 Hours and 57 Minutes

At a Glance: A multifaceted story that could have benefitted from more emotion in the narration.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and a lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed – he isn’t sure which – with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl.

When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls’ parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the “third eye”.

Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple – dark and murderous – are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.

Dividers

Review: “Fawcettville Pennsylvania a town where nothing ever happens”.

Cayce D’Amico is a single dad to his seven year old son Luke. He’s just an ordinary guy, doesn’t make a lot of money, works at the Elite Diner, lives in an old house, but he gives his all to provide for and love Luke. Cayce was no stranger to abandonment; his ex-wife Joyce had decided, four years earlier, that she no longer wanted the burden of Luke and Cayce, and left them both. Marc, Cayce’s ex, also abandon him and their dog Oreo. And on top of all that, Cayce’s mother doesn’t think her son is responsible enough to take care of Luke.

While Luke is playing in the backyard, Cayce is inside, cooking and trying to keep an eye out for Luke. Then Cayce starts to get strange feelings and realizes a storm is coming. He takes Oreo with him to bring Luke inside, but quickly realizes the boy is no longer in the backyard. When Cayce’s search turns to panic, a neighbor points him in the direction of the dead-end at the woods. As the storm worsens, Oreo spooks and runs for home, leaving Cayce to head into the woods by himself, at which point a tree branch is hit by lightning and hits him on the head.

Luke makes it home and finds his father is not there. Worried, he calls his grandparents. When his grandmother answers the call, her first thoughts are how irresponsible her son is. Luke’s grandfather runs to check on his grandson, sensing something is terribly wrong. He tries to encourage Luke, and they head out into the storm in search of Cayce.

When Cayce awakens in the hospital, after suffering a series of nightmares about his son, he starts having thoughts about different people and can’t figure out why, but still, his main concern is Luke. Dr. Carlos Soto comes to attend Cayce and tells him his parents had brought Luke in the night before. Cayce tells Dr. Soto that he doesn’t remember anything about the accident, but the doctor assures him he will recover just fine. Cayce asks to see his son, and also wants to see the newspaper since he’s heard he’s become somewhat of a celebrity. To Cayce’s surprise the paper isn’t delivered by hospital staff but by Dave Newton, the journalist who wrote the article about Cayce’s accident. As Cayce checks out the article, he notices another about a missing girl, Lucy Plant. Then the nightmares really start!

When Cayce begins experiencing images of some gruesome and frightening things, he has to make a decision about whom to tell. His choices aren’t that great, and he could be facing serious trouble no matter who he chooses, so he settles on Dave, but when he doesn’t hear back from the reporter, he takes matters into his own hands. When Dave does meet up with Cayce again, it’s under less than ideal circumstances, but a special bond forms that night between the two men, and Dave has to make a choice between being a friend or reporter. While Cayce is still haunted by images and feelings, he suffers the worst fright of all when Luke is kidnapped.

Rick R. Reed’s Third Eye is a novel layered with deceit, naïveté, abuse, rape, and murder, and may not be for everyone, but the plot flows well and moves along at a good pace. Reed has created a story that shows how vulnerable young people can be if there is neglect involved, which is sad, because situations like this do exist in society today. It is scary in the fact that fiction can become a reality.

Chad Tindale does a passable reading of Third Eye. It was a somber performance, but I don’t know if this type of story could have been read any differently. He did a good job of distinguishing characters’ voices, but I felt there could have been more emotion reflected in parts of the reading.

TNA_Signature_Maryann







 

You can buy Third Eye here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
4 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, K.C. Wells, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed By JJ

Audio Review: Trusting Thomas by K.C. Wells – Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Title: Trusting Thomas

Author: K.C. Wells

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 9 Hours and 58 Minutes

At a Glance: I was initially irritated by the dialect switching, especially when British words were read in an American accent, but by the end, Trusting Thomas was very moving and made me cry.

Reviewed By: Johanis

Blurb: Christmas is a time for goodwill to all, but Collars and Cuffs co-owner Thomas Williams receives an unexpected gift that chills him to the bone. A Dom from another Manchester club asks Thomas for his help rescuing an abused submissive, Peter Nicholson. Thomas takes in the young man as a favor to a friend, offering space and time to heal, but he makes it clear he’s never had a sub and doesn’t want one.

Peter finds Thomas’s home calm and peaceful, but his past has left him unwilling to trust another Dom. When Thomas doesn’t behave as Peter expects, Peter’s nightmares begin to fade, and he decides he’d like to learn more about D/s life. A well-known trainer of submissives, Thomas begins to teach Peter, but as the new submissive opens up to him, Thomas finds he cares more for Peter than he should. Just as he decides it’s time to find a permanent Dom for Peter, they discover Peter’s tormentor is still very much a threat. With their lives in danger, Thomas can’t deny his feelings for Peter any longer. The question now becomes, can Peter make it out of the lions’ den alive, so that Thomas can tell his boy that he loves him?

Dividers

Review: Trusting Thomas is a sweet romance between a younger guy and an older gentleman, set in England. Although the backdrop for the story is a BDSM club, there is not much in the way of BDSM in the book. The story focuses more on healing from abuse and finding love when love seems impossible.

Peter, a twenty-six year old submissive with an abusive Dom, is rescued from his abusive master and taken to Thomas, who is the owner of a BDSM club. Thomas agrees to look after the boy and later, agrees to train him as a submissive. Since Peter has been abused so badly, his training begins with menial tasks and progresses slowly in order to give him time to heal from the psychological trauma inflicted on him by his previous master. Though Thomas is just his trainer, both grow to have feelings for one another. Due to the thirty year gap in their ages, Thomas denies his feelings for the boy, and by the time he realizes he’s in love, Peter’s past comes back to haunt them.

Although this book was not what I expected, I strongly recommend it to those who love sweet romances with a happily ever after and a little bit of kink sprinkled in. There was not a lot of sex, but some pretty hot scenes with sex toys and romantic love making. I was at first uncomfortable with sex between such a young guy and an older man, but this was because Peter was so broken and submissive due to being the victim of violent rape and abuse, that it made him seemed much younger than he was. However, by the end of the story, I really thought Peter needed a loving, caring father-figure like Thomas who would never dare hurt him. The romance element builds slowly and starts to appear half way through the book, but by the end, it was very moving and made me cry.

Audio Review: The reader for this audiobook, Nick J. Russo, is very talented; however, he read the book using American English for the narration and British English for dialogue. I was initially irritated by the dialect switching, especially when British words were read in an American accent. I would have preferred to listen to the entire book in a British accent since the book was written in British English. After completing thirty percent of the book, though, I was able to listen without being drawn away from the story by the dialect switching.

TNA_Signature_Johanis






You can buy Trusting Thomas here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
4 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Jena Wade, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Technically Dating by Jena Wade – Narrated by John-Paul Barrel

Title: Technically Dating

Author: Jena Wade

Narrator:: John-Paul Barrel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 Hours, 18 Minutes

At a Glance: I really enjoyed the brief world Jena Wade weaves, but the narration definitely left me wanting more.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Meek and mild Bruce Collins decides to set aside his life in technical support for the evening and try a wild night on the town. Self-described nerd Bruce meets suave Westley Taylor at a club, but the night doesn’t go as planned. When they run into each other the next day, Bruce is determined to get the details right and finish what they started. Westley is impressed and invites Bruce on date after date. Bruce figures they’re technically dating and might even be in a relationship, until he accidentally overhears a phone message intended for Westley. Every aspect of their time together comes into question. Now, it’s time for Westley to set the facts straight.

Dividers

Review: This is my first book by Jena Wade, and let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Who doesn’t love the geek and the cutie? This book starts out with Bruce meeting Wes in a club for a brief encounter.Their encounter is cut short by a phone call, and Wes thinks he will never see the sexy man again. The next day at Wes’s job as a concierge, he encounters a man who resembles the sexy, leather clad man from the night before, with the exception of his geeky appearance. After realizing Bruce is the same man from the previous night, Wes is intrigued, and they start a romance. Jena Wade builds a very sweet but awkward relationship that somewhat resembles her main character, Bruce.

From the adorkable Bruce to the sweet and friendly Wes, Wade writes depth hard to find in short stories. The reason I would give Technically Dating a 4 star rating and not a 5 was simple. The couple’s first few dates after Bruce leaves the hotel, the author uses a large time jump in the story. This normally wouldn’t bother me, but the story goes from a budding relationship between Wes and Bruce, to what seems like a relationship with patterns that are implied not shown. With that exception, I truly enjoyed this story and am definitely going to seek this author out again.

Narration: One of the main things a narrator of an audiobook needs to be able to do is define each character with a different version of his voice. I had an extremely hard time telling the characters apart, and had to rewind several times to understand who was saying what. The narrator also pronounced things phonetically. This is wonderful when reciting Shakespeare; unfortunately, it isn’t wonderful when you are hearing a sex scene. I really enjoyed the brief world Jena Wade weaves, but the narration definitely left me wanting more.

TNA_Signature_Amy






You can buy Technically Dating here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, M.J. O'Shea, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Newton’s Laws of Attraction by M.J. O’Shea – Narrated by George Somerset

Title: Newton’s Laws of Attraction

Author: M.J. O’Shea

Narrator:: George Somerset

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 4 Hours, 57 Minutes

At a Glance: Only because of M.J. O’Shea’s brilliant writing was I able to get through this Audiobook.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Rory was Ben’s oldest and best friend until senior year of high school, when they confessed they’d harbored feelings for each other all along. They enjoyed only a few months of happiness until Ben chose closeted popularity over true love… and he’s regretted it ever since.

Eight years later, Ben is out and proud and teaching art at the same high school he graduated from. When he learns the chemistry teacher is retiring, he’s excited to meet her replacement until he finds out the brand new teacher is none other than Rory Newton—the first love he’s never quite gotten over. Despite a painfully awkward start, it doesn’t take Ben long to realize he’ll do whatever it takes to win Rory back. But it’s starting to look like even his best might not be enough.

Dividers

Review: M.J. O’Shea’s writing is so incredible. This story is simple and sweet, and starts out by showing childhood friends Ben and Rory going through puberty; then realizing they have fallen in love. The tentative touches and unsure nature of their sexual relationship is kept sweet and innocent, just like them. What you also saw was how young Rory and Ben were. You saw how peer pressure can simply destroy something beautiful. At a young age, we are not as equipped to handle confrontation and do the right thing. We think we would do the right thing, or at least hope we would, but we all know that happily-ever-after doesn’t always start at sixteen. Looking back, Ben sees how trivial being liked by his new teammates was, but at sixteen…it was overwhelming, and he destroyed that young love.

Eight years later, you again meet Ben, the better version of Ben. He is out and working at the same school he grew up in. You encounter Ben the day the new Chem teacher, and his old love, Rory, strolls back into Ben’s life. Again what M.J. O’Shea succeeds in is making Ben and the audience relive Ben’s mistakes by seeing throughout the second part of this story the hurt that lives in Rory. O’Shea proceeds to have these two characters dance slowly around their continued attraction.

I adore everything about this book.

Narrator: Unfortunately, however, George Somerset was NOT the right choice for Newton’s Laws of Attraction. Only because of the author’s brilliant writing was I able to get through this book. Somerset’s voice put me to sleep. He was monotone and whispered half the time. It actually grated on my nerves. I stayed with it only because I hadn’t read the book and really loved the story, and I wanted to know what happened to these characters.






You can buy Newton’s Laws of Attraction here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard