4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Brandon Witt, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Jules

Audio Review: Then the Stars Fall by Brandon Witt – Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

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Title: Then the Stars Fall

Author: Brandon Witt

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Run Time: 12 Hours and 21 Minutes

At a Glance: Definitely check this one out, guys!

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: The death of his wife four years earlier left Travis Bennett a shell of the man he used to be. With his dog by his side, Travis raises his three children, manages his business, and works as a ranch hand. But every day, every minute, is an aching emptiness.

Wesley Ryan has fond memories of the small Ozark town of El Dorado Springs. Seeing it as a safe place to put his failed relationships behind him, Wesley moves into his grandparents’ old home and takes over the local veterinary clinic. An early morning visit from Travis and his dog stirs feelings that Wesley seeks to push away – the last thing he needs is to fall for a man with baggage and three kids as part of the package.

Life, it seems, has other plans.

Dividers

Review: Then the Stars Fall is a gorgeous piece of writing by Brandon Witt. It was the first of his stories I’ve read – or, listened to, as the case may be – and it certainly will not be the last. It’s a big story. Very heavy at times, though there is also a good amount of levity to help balance it out. The story is beautiful, and complex; as such, it needed a certain kind of intensity brought to the narration, and I have to say that Andrew McFerrin does a superb job with the performance.

Wesley is trying to settle into his new life in El Dorado – the home of his beloved grandparents, who left him their house – and definitely is not looking for love. In fact, the plan was to swear off men entirely, for the time being anyway, after his recent, painful breakup. The plan was not to fall for a local, widowed father of three. Wesley never even saw Travis Bennett coming. Of course, the same can definitely be said of Travis…He absolutely did not see Wesley coming.

This book covers a lot of ground…family, loss, friendship, small town small-mindedness, homophobia, and ultimately, romance, love, and second chances…and has a variety of fabulous characters for you to love or hate (mostly love). Witt created a villain in John Wallace, whom McFerrin voiced with such venom that I actually cringed a few times when hearing him come into a scene. Without question, this is a book that will make you feel. Here are some of my actual notes from the audio about my feelings while listening!

Chapter 6 – I don’t like that he is downplaying the attack from John Wallace. I think he was right to feel threatened – there was a VERY aggressive advance, if not a full out sexual assault.

Chapter 8 – Wendy is hilarious, saying ‘to make your brown eyes pop and look a little sinister.’ Win win. – about the red glitter eyeliner.

Chapter 10 – I do love this narration. I looove his Wesley voice.

Chapter 10 – the end. So good. (The talk in the barn before the kiss. And, the kiss.) “They kissed. Animals slept. They kissed. The barn continued to stand. They kissed. Maybe a few stars fell.” Sigh.

Chapter 11 – Wesley talking about how hot Travis is…So funny.

Chapter 15 – God I love Wesley – berating himself for not being able to stay away from Travis.

Chapter 21 – Iris Linley – such a fabulous busy body… “You’re both nice men. And, those Bennett children need a mother.” *diez*

I actually ended up listening to it twice. The narration got better and better the more I listened. Good, good stuff. Definitely check this one out, guys!

TNA_Signature_Jules

 

 

 

 

You can buy Then the Stars Fall here:

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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:

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4.5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating, Narration Rating - 4.5 Stars, Reviewed by Maryann

Audio Review: A Chaotic Range by Andrew Grey – Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

Title: A Chaotic Range (Stories From the Range: Book Seven)

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator:: Andrew McFerrin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 5 Hours, 25 Minutes

At a Glance: I really enjoyed Andrew McFerrin’s narration of the story.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Most of the time ranchhand David rescues stray cattle, but this time he and his fellow cowboys Wally and Haven save a stranded motorist. David is surprised to find his former high school classmate nearly frozen in his car. After learning that Brian Applewright’s boss fired him from his ranch for being gay, they invite him back to theirs to take a job.

David and Brian moved in different social circles at school, but working together brings them closer. However, David has a rocky history on the ranch. The foreman is his ex, and he only recently returned after a heartbreakingly unsuccessful attempt to find greener pastures. He can’t risk his heart getting close to anyone.

But on a ranch, nature has a way of forcing an issue. When a snowstorm threatens, David and Brian head out to mend a fence and round up some stray cattle. David gets injured, and they must survive in the snow, cold, and wind. It might be the start of a relationship… or the end of their lives.

Dividers

Review: Brian Applewright has left the Flying C Ranch, looking for another job. He was suddenly let go after three years for being a bad worker and problematic troublemaker. He’s lonely and feeling lost and is not sure if he can trust anyone. He spins out in a snow storm and has no options but to stay in his car and keep warm. Brian is not sure how much time has passed, but he’s getting colder and starts to think this is the end for him.

Brian is rescued by Haven, Phillip, and David—a man Brian realizes he knows from high school. They take Brian back to their ranch and call Dakota, who is a doctor, to come have a look at Brian. After Dakota leaves, Phillip finds out more of Brian’s story. Brian needs a job badly, and tells Phillip what jobs he can do and asks if they need help on the ranch. Phillip tells Brian that Haven and Dakota do the hiring, so he needs to talk with them. Haven gives Brian a chance and hires him.

David Newsome came back to the ranch after leaving because of a bad breakup, and David has trust issues and jumps to conclusions. As he and Brian reminisce about high school and get closer, David lets gossip get in the way of their budding relationship.

Andrew Grey developed a really great story in A Chaotic Range. This novel brings back most of the guys from the start of the Range series, and it gives some history about how both ranches came to be and how everyone got together. I really enjoyed Andrew McFerrin’s narration of the story. I’ve listened the first couple of audios in this series, and the voices didn’t seem to fit the characters. This time, for me, they all fit. He made a clear distinction between Dakota, Wally, Haven, Phillip, Gus, Mario, and Gordon, as well as the other characters.

TNA_Signature_Maryann






You can buy A Chaotic Range here:

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5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: The Fight for Identity by Andrew Grey – Narrated by Andrew McFarrin

Title: The Fight for Identity

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator:: Andrew McFerrin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours, 8 Minutes

At a Glance: In my humble opinion, this is the best series Andrew Grey has written so far.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Will Martin’s racist father, Kevin, hates Native Americans and wants to keep them off his property, never mind that part of the ranch land is sacred ground for the Sioux. When they request access for prayer, Kevin refuses – but Will doesn’t share his father’s views. Ever since he first saw Takoda Red Bird during one of the Sioux sacred ceremonies, Will has been fascinated. He grants the tribe access.

Takoda defies Kevin on a regular basis. He often sneaks to the sacred site on the rancher’s land for prayer and knows Will has seen him there. When, out of spite, Kevin places the land up for auction, Takoda knows it is time for action and bands together with Will to stop the sale.

In the fight that follows, Will gets more than he expected. He starts out helping the tribe preserve their identity… and ends up finding his own.

Dividers

Review: In my humble opinion, this is the best series Andrew Grey has written so far. It’s nice when one narrator performs a whole series. By the third book, Andrew McFerrin’s voice seems more at ease with the characters; he put more “acting” into this audiobook. The Grandfather sounded old, the young Martin sounded young in the prologue. The characters matured in their voices as Andrew told the story, and I really appreciated that a lot, as it drew me into the story.

The Fight for Identity brings up some good questions: Is tourism worth the cost of losing sacred grounds, how long can you hold a grudge, and is it worth it to lose your family over?

The series started with the publishing of The Good Fight, followed by The Fight Within, and now ends with this book. These audiobooks had a lot to live up to, the narration had to be as good as the stories are, and as I said in the opening paragraph, Andrew McFerrin just got better and better.

Bringing in the characters from the first two books was appreciated. When I get attached to characters, I always like knowing they are happy and living a good life. I know, I know, they aren’t real people, but just listen to this series and try not to get attached to Jerry, Akecheta, Paytah, and Bryce. And the kids, all the kids on the reservation. I just wish them peace in knowing who they are and to be proud of their heritage.






You can buy The Fight for Identity here:

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5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: The Fight Within by Andrew Grey – Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

Title: The Fight Within

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator:: Andrew McFerrin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 7 Minutes

At a Glance: Andrew Grey writes the stories and Andrew McFerrin bring them to life

Blurb: Bryce Morton needs a change of scenery. Since his partner’s death a year ago, he’s become withdrawn and quiet, so his friends, Jerry Lincoln and Akecheta (John) Black Raven, convince him to go camping with them on a Sioux reservation. Though he’s not immediately sure he’s done the right thing, Bryce becomes more interested when he meets Paytah, the man who owns the reservation’s trading post.

Paytah Stillwater’s life is filled with hurt, and sometimes the only thing he has left is pride. After being abused as a child and disbelieved when he spoke up, he has withdrawn into himself-but he can never truly put his past behind him, because the source of his pain still lives on the reservation. Paytah is proud of his heritage and careful with his heart, but when Bryce commits a selfless act of kindness for one of the reservation’s children, the walls around Paytah’s heart begin to melt.

Bryce and Paytah each fight the pain within them. When Paytah’s abuser sets his sights on one of the reservation youngsters, Bryce and Paytah must set their individual fights aside. Finding a way to stop the abuser unites them to fight their way forward-together.

Dividers

Review: What a great partnership, Andrew Grey writes the stories and Andrew McFerrin bring them to life.

Why did I buy this book? Because it’s a male/male romance written by one of the best authors in the genre. Why did I buy the audio? It was a no brainer. As a matter of fact, when I saw the audio was available I did a little happy dance. I am really not the type to do happy dances, so you know it must be good.

Andrew McFerrin again does a great job narrating this story. His gift is that he has the ability to develop each characters’ personality with his voice. Paytah’s life has been filled with disappointments; you can hear it in his voice, not just his words. Bryce has also withdrawn from the world, trying to cope with the loss of his partner. Bryce’s voice grows stronger as he learns to trust and fall in love again. The sadness is there in the beginning, and the happiness is there in the end. And let’s not forget Mr. Grantham. You can hear the sneer in his voice, the snake in the grass whine. Oh, I wanted to stomp on that man’s foot.

Andrew Grey writes romance, and does a great job, but sometimes he plants a seed in his books, a seed of awareness. The message I personally got from this audio is: I celebrate the Native American culture by buying the trinkets, being a tourist, and going to their casinos. These are all good intentions, but how about the next time I travel, instead of buying the trinkets made in China, I buy a basket made in South Dakota or a bracelet made by one of the craftsman who have rented a booth at Crazy Horse Monument. Who will benefit from this purchase? Me, of course, and maybe a small child named Wamblee.






You can buy The Fight Within here:

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5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: The Good Fight by Andrew Grey – Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

Title: The Good Fight

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours, 13 Minutes

At a Glance: One of the best stories based on an ongoing problem I’ve ever read

Blurb: Jerry Lincoln has a problem: his Sioux Falls IT consulting business has more work than one man can handle. Luckily, that means he can hire some help. Jerry just hopes his new employee, John Black Raven, ends up being more helpful than distracting – but John’s deep eyes and long hair are very distracting.
John came to town for an education and a chance at a life he couldn’t have on the reservation, but what’s important to him now is getting a job and keeping it. Six months ago, his sister died, and now her children are in foster care. Despite having the law on his side, John can’t get custody – can’t even see his niece and nephew.

As Jerry and John grow closer, John discovers he doesn’t have to struggle alone. Jerry helps him win visitation rights and provides much-needed support. Yet their victories aren’t without setbacks. Child Services is tangled up with money, politics, and red tape, and Native American children are their bread and butter. But John and Jerry are determined to fight the good fight and to win – in more ways than one.

Dividers

Review: Andrew Grey’s The Good Fight, the audiobook as well as the print book, is a very emotional ride. It’s the story of a broken foster care system in South Dakota, intertwined in a love story starring Akecheta Black Raven, his niece Ichante, and nephew Mato. Jerry Lincoln, the IT programmer who was lucky enough to hire John to work for him, falls in love with him and helps—no, not helps—stands beside Akecheta as he gains custody of his niece and nephew. The love story is perfect, built on respect and trust. If anything could have been added, it would have been to fill out the supporting characters—Paul and Leonard’s relationship with each other, and “old Man Hooper,” something happened to make that man so cranky. Oh, and Steven Dobbs from South Dakota child services, I would love to have read more about him. But, Andrew does this to me every time. He builds such great characters I just want them to be real and help them fight for their causes.

Andrew McFerrin does an outstanding job with his narration. Akecheta Black Raven, aka John, is perfect, deliberate, spoken slowly and with great character. Jerry, the web programmer, is also spot on. A hurried voice, full of energy and confusion as he tries to come to terms with his attraction to John, and trying to understand the culture of the Lakota People. All the supporting character have distinct voices, which I really appreciate when I am listening to an audiobook.

I can’t state it loud enough, The Good Fight is one of the best stories based on an ongoing problem I’ve ever read. To this day, the Lakota People of South Dakota are facing it. I am also a South Dakota girl and have witnessed firsthand some of the problems that Native Americans of South Dakota have experienced. Andrew Grey’s writing is so diverse, each story being unique and well written. Thank you, Andrew, you did you research and it shows.






You can buy The Good Fight here:

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