5 Stars, A.J. Thomas, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Narration Rating - 2 Stars, Reviewed by Maryann

Audio Review: Holding Out for a Fairy Tale by A.J. Thomas – Narrated by Jeff Gelder

Title: Holding Out for a Fairy Tale (Least Likely Partnership: Book Two)

Author: A.J. Thomas

Narrator:: Jeff Gelder

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours and 33 Minutes

At a Glance: I wanted the audiobook to be as exciting as the book itself, but this performance left me wanting.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business.

Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing person’s case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he’s more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello. After discovering Sophia’s disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.

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Review: Holding Out for a Fairytale is the second story in the Least Likely Partnership series by A.J. Thomas. This story picks up right after book one, A Casual Weekend Thing (a must read). A.J. Thomas continues the series, bringing us Elliott Belkamp and Raymond Delgado in another fast paced, action packed, thriller mystery filled with tension, humor, sadness and passion. I’m glad I own the series because I read it again.

Ray’s a prankster among his fellow cops: smart, into computers, sci-fi, and guns. He’s definitely a good cop and has his partners and fellow cops’ backs. He deals with some serious family issues: Alejandro Munoz, his cousin, is connected to the cartel, and, being “dead” to his Hispanic family, the only two people he still has a connection with are his sister Carmen and niece Sophia. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also sitting on the fence over his sexuality, and he doesn’t believe in a HEA. It took me a while to like Ray, until I learned more about his insecurities.

I liked Elliott from the moment he was introduced in book one. He’s a straight-laced FBI agent, gay and has no problem admitting it. He finally thinks he has a place where he can settle down and maybe find that special someone to build a life with. Though, he has a couple little quirks: his reasoning on Pop Tarts and fighting. When Elliott and Ray meet up again, Elliott has to put his hostility aside and work with Ray to solve the case involving Sophia. As they frantically work to try and stop a war between cartels, they discover they’re better together than apart.

Narration: I have to say I was disappointed in Jeff Gelder’s narration and the presentation of the characters. I wanted more energy and emotion from the two MCs and in the telling of the story, and I felt that Gelder’s vocal choice for Elliott was too high pitched and too childlike. In short, I wanted the audiobook to be as exciting as the book itself, but this performance left me wanting.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

You can buy Holding Out for a Fairy Tale here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Paranormal Romance, Poppy Dennison, Reviewed by Pia

Audio Review: Creature Feature by Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes – Narrated by Jeff Gelder

Audio Gem

Title: Creature Feature

Authors: Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Jeff Gelder

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours and 29 Minutes

At a Glance: Both Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes give us well rounded, sexy paranormal stories, and I think Jeff Gelder did a great job with the narration.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: Diagnosis: Wolf by Poppy Dennison

Thanks to his good-for-nothing brother, Andrew Hughes is up to his eyeballs in debt and needs a job fast. When a nursing position opens up in Myerson, Arizona, Andrew has no choice but to take it, despite a warning about how difficult a patient Caleb DiMartino can be. Andrew can deal with a little trouble—but Caleb’s strange family, the armed guards, and the unknown cause of Caleb’s mysterious illness may be beyond his skill set.

Landslide by Mary Calmes

For three years, paranormal courier Frank Corrigan has been working for incubus demon Cael Berith. Cael knows Frank is his mate, but Frank is pretty sure Cael doesn’t even like him, never mind want to spend the rest of his life with him, so their personal relationship is at an impasse. When Frank’s sister, Lindsey, gets bitten by a werewolf she’s sleeping with—and possibly witnesses a murder—Frank rides to her rescue. If he’s lucky, he might just save his love life too.

Dividers

Review: Diagnosis: Wolf

In Poppy Dennison’s Diagnosis Wolf we meet Andrew, a nurse who is drowning in debt and bad credit thanks to his good for nothing twin Danny, who is constantly getting himself into trouble. Unable to turn down any work that comes his way, Andrew takes a temp job with a client who has run off all other nurses sent his way.

His patient, Caleb, is a man struck down with a mystery illness, and neither Caleb’s bodyguards nor his powerful father seem willing to share any information that might help Andrew care for Caleb. Andrew, unable to turn down good money, or deny the strange pull he feels to the sick man, stays and looks after him anyway. When Andrew learns Caleb’s true nature, and his brother comes back in to his life (in trouble yet again), both men must help each other defeat the new and unexpected threat to their lives.

Poppy Dennison does a great shifter book, and I love that she has managed to give our couple a nice slow build up and didn’t jump straight into the ‘mate claiming’ like a lot of other paranormal shifter books do. It was a pleasure listening to this book.

Landslide

In Mary Calmes’s Landslide we meet Frank, a human courier for the paranormal who works for sexy incubus demon Cael. Cael believes Frank is his mate but Frank, who is a husky guy with no self confidence, doesn’t believe a word Cael says, and is determined not to give in to his feeling for fear of once again being rejected or deemed not good enough.

When Frank’s younger sister gets herself into trouble by sleeping with a werewolf and witnessing a body being dumped, Frank asks Cael to go home with him to help him figure things out. While in Frank’s small hometown, trying to deal with the situation, Cael starts chipping away at Frank’s resistance and starts proving the he wants his mate for the long haul.

Once again Mary Calmes gives us a great story with different paranormals peppered throughout, hot sex, and keeps us wanting to come back for more.

I don’t usually enjoy anthologies because more often than not I’m left wanting more, but this one was really good. Both Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes give us well rounded, sexy paranormal stories, and I think Jeff Gelder did a great job with the narration. If you’re looking for a shortish audiobook with get characters, then you should check out Creature Feature!

TNA_Signature_Pia







 

You can buy Creature Feature here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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3 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Amy, Sean Michael

Audiobook Review: Cupcakes by Sean Michael – Narrated by Jeff Gelder

Title: Cupcakes

Author: Sean Michael

Narrator: Jeff Gelder

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 4 Hours, 52 Minutes

At a Glance: Both the story and the narration of Cupcakes were disappointing.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Allen Jameson had it all—the perfect house, the perfect partner, the perfect life—until his partner, Gary, died suddenly, leaving him alone in the real world, where life isn’t so pretty and people make mistakes. Now Allen is the owner of Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Cupcake Shop, a cute boutique downtown, where he invents delicious flavors like strawberry and French meringue. Between working long hours and making special orders, Allen barely has time to think.

Then a hunky contractor walks into his shop looking for a treat. Allen and Byron Bannigan are total opposites, but they’re perfect together—salty and sweet like Allen’s signature peanut butter and chocolate ganache cupcakes. But as Allen struggles to juggle his business and his boyfriend, he learns he can only handle so much. He may have to choose between the cupcakes in his store and the cupcake in his bed.

Dividers

Review: Where to begin… I have a very special place in my heart for Sean Michael’s books. One of the very first books I read in this genre was Jarheads. The author has an amazing way of putting mass amounts of sex in a book and absolutely showing the depth of emotion through that sex. Taking all of that into consideration, I picked this book, and had extremely high expectations. What I found, though, was that it was overly sweet, with a ton of endearments and no growth in the characters throughout the story. I really did want to like Alan, the main character, and, for the most part, I did care what happened to him. Unfortunately, by the end of the story I felt that if anything, his progression as a character went backwards. His insecurities got repetitive and drawn out. The weird way the story went towards the end was strange as well. I feel that if this book had been a bit shorter, I might have liked it more. On a positive note, I am normally not a fan of insta-love, but this love between Allen and Byron worked for me. Overall, while I was disappointed in this story, I won’t stop insta-buying Sean Michael’s work, as I am a huge fan.

Narration: Jeff Gelder was the narrator of Cupcakes. Unfortunately, he was subpar as well. I felt like he was actually reading the story to himself versus narrating it for me. There were awkward pauses and sometimes, with the character POV changes, I had to stop a few times because I couldn’t tell who was talking.

TNA_Signature_Amy






You can buy Cupcakes here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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