3.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mia Kerick, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Random Acts by Mia Kerick

Title: Random Acts

Author: Mia Kerick

Narrator: Iggy Toma

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours

At a Glance:  I absolutely LOVED this book for the first 5 hours of Random Acts!

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Bradley Zelder can’t find his way in life. After struggling for nearly a decade, he has yet to complete his college degree. Working as a school custodian, living in blue-collar Landsbury, MA, his love life is as empty as the rest of his existence. But on his way home after another disastrous date, his truck breaks down in upscale Oceanside. When he thinks life can’t get any worse, a man who is the epitome of Boston elite and everything Bradley finds attractive and intimidating helps him move his truck to the side of the road. Ashamed of his lot in life, Bradley almost lets the opportunity slip away, but he comes to his senses in time and tracks Caleb down.

From a random act of kindness, romance begins to grow, filling all the dark corners of Bradley’s empty life—until a random act of violence threatens to take it all away. Bradley must step up and be the man Caleb believes him to be. Caleb rescued him from a life without hope. Can Bradley rescue him in return?

Dividers

Review:  I absolutely LOVED this book for the first five hours of Random Acts! Bradley is just enough of a cad that I hated him in the beginning but couldn’t help but root for him to be the better man I knew he could be.

Caleb, from beginning to end, was simply adorable and just enough of a sweetie that he truly brought out the best in Bradley, and I adored watching Bradley grow into this amazing man. Bradley’s family was fantastic, and all of Caleb and Brad’s interactions in this story simply blew me away. If this book had ended as a simple love story at around 60%, I’d have rated the book 5 stars. Unfortunately, though, when I looked at the time while enjoying it, I was saying, how can there still be three hours left in this story?

Then the random attack on Caleb happened, and the book took a complete nosedive for me. Character traits of Caleb’s, which were absolutely never even alluded to, were introduced, such as his severe depression and his family’s involvement in that depression. Random Acts changed from a wonderful and sweet love story toward a weird and incomplete conclusion.

Narration: Iggy Toma is a new narrator to me, and he was an absolute joy to listen to. I truly am enjoying how many wonderful narrators I am listening to. It seems more quality narrations are coming down the pipe as of late. He did a wonderful job of keeping me listening, even though this was a book I would have potentially put down. He did a great job with the accents and the female characters throughout the book. I look forward to listening to him again.

TNA_Signature_Amy

 

 

 

You can buy Random Acts here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
4.5 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Heidi Cullinan, Narration Rating - 4.5 Stars, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Audio Review: Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan – Narrated by Iggy Toma

Audio Gem

Title: Nowhere Ranch

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Narrator:: Iggy Toma

Publisher: Self-Published

Run Time: 6 Hours and 3 Minutes

At a Glance: While I feel some of the vocals could have been more distinct, Nowhere Ranch and Iggy Toma are the perfect merger of story and narrator.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Love will grow through the cracks you leave open.

Ranch hand Roe Davis absolutely never mixes business with pleasure – until he runs into his boss, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar within 200 miles.

Getting involved with the ranch owner is a bad idea, but Roe’s and Travis’s bedroom kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. As long as they’re both clear this is sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

Shut out by his family years ago, Roe survived by steadfastly refusing to settle into so much as a post office box. As his affair with Travis grows into more than just sex, Roe’s past catches up with him, threatening the thin ray of happiness he’s found, reminding him it’s well past time he went on his way.

Even a loner gets lonely, and at this point, there’s nowhere left to run. The shame and sorrow of what he’s lost will stay with Roe wherever he goes – until he’s ready to let love lead him home.

Dividers

Review: Heidi Cullinan’s Nowhere Ranch hooked me at sentence one: “My name is Monroe Davis, and this is the story of how I found home.” That fifteen word paragraph is the single most important clue that this is going to be the story of a lost soul looking for somewhere safe to land, for someone to trust, and then, of course, we discover the beautiful irony that his somewhere will happen to be Nowhere and that the someone will be called Loving.

Nowhere Ranch is Roe’s story, told in his voice. Roe paints the picture of himself in bleak strokes of the brush as he describes his leaving the only place that’d ever meant home to him. Roe is a young man who has been so let down by life and family that it’s left him the epitome of the lonesome cowboy—a loner who seems only to be biding time existing from one day to the next, drifting from one place to the next, because letting people in means they can only hurt and disappoint him. Making himself vulnerable means leaving himself open to feelings and entanglements that he neither wants nor needs. Roe is hard-edged but as his story continues, we see that he is also brittle. He takes readers along on his journey through heartache and hardships, and when he discovers that he and his boss, Travis Loving, share one essential component, we watch as they discover a reason to begin building something less than a relationship but a connection nonetheless.

Through their mutual need to dominate and submit, through Roe’s need for rough and dirty sex, and Travis’s love of giving it to him, we watch as their physical communion becomes the metaphor in Roe’s life. We watch as the disconnect of the act becomes the connection of the emotional thread between them as Travis not only begins to get under Roe’s skin but begins to work his way into Roe’s heart and his body in the most profound and trusting way possible. We watch as Roe’s family, after five long years, begins to creep back into his life and chip away at the hard-won acceptance that his “wrong” is the only way he’ll ever be. And we watch as a compassionate and tenacious friend storms Roe’s impenetrable walls and helps him to see that family is who we choose and home is the people we let in.

Nowhere Ranch is a novel of firsts for me. It’s the first book I’ve ever read by the author, and it’s the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to performed by Iggy Toma. While I feel Roe and Travis’s voices could have been a bit better delineated in tone, cadence, or perhaps even accent, Toma captures Roe to perfection—his rural patois and his youth, especially in relationship to the educated and older Travis, shine through.

I’m not sure whether Cullinan’s writing complements the narrator or the narrator complements the writing in this case. The author’s writing style is as warm and inviting as her characters are endearing and sympathetic, while the timbre of Toma’s voice is rich and so easy on the ears. Whatever the case, if you don’t mind a little kink and a lot of compassion in your reading/listening experience, I can recommend Nowhere Ranch without reservation.

TNA_Signature_Lisa







 

You can buy Nowhere Ranch here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
5 Stars, Audio Book, Genre Romance, Heidi Cullinan, Insatiable Press, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan – Narrated by Iggy Toma

Audio Gem

Title: Fever Pitch

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Narrator:: Iggy Toma

Publisher: Insatiable Press

Run Time: 11 Hours, 48 Minutes

At a Glance: Fever Pitch is a highly recommended audiobook.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.

Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.

Dividers

Review: I haven’t read a book by Heidi Cullinan in a while, mainly because I was under the impression she writes BDSM, a genre I’m really not into. Of course, there is one story of hers that stuck with me—I’ll never quite look at riding ponies the same without wishing I could do this to my significant other. But, after reading Jules’ e-book review of Fever Pitch, it kind of nudged my curiosity, so I finally decided to give it a try since it had been released on audio. Holy Moly, what an awesome story and audiobook!

Iggy Toma does a fantastic job of narrating this book. His performance not only gives each character their own voice but enhances the emotion and pacing of the story as well, making Fever Pitch a top-notch listen. There’s one part of the story, when he delivers a line at the end of a chapter, that blew my socks off! Sorry, I’d be revealing too much to tell you what it was, though. I’m so impressed with Toma’s narration of Fever Pitch that I’ve started listening to the first book, Love Lessons, and am now eagerly anticipating the third book in this series. And to think, I almost said No Thanks, because of a misunderstanding I had about the author. I’m so glad to see Heidi Cullinan branched out and showed a rare quality of writing that has moved her up to a must-read author for me.

Fever Pitch is a highly recommended audibook!

TNA_Signature_Kim






You can buy Fever Pitch here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard