3.5 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mickie B. Ashling, Narration Rating - 3.5 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Cutting Cords by Mickie B. Ashling – Narrated by John Solo

Title: Cutting Cords

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Narrator: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 hours 44 minutes

At a Glance:  I enjoyed this for its narration more than for its core story.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: When Sloan Driscoll and Cole Fujiwara become reluctant roommates, neither man is willing to share too much. Sloan is instantly attracted to Cole but knows it’s a hopeless cause; Cole has a steady girlfriend. But one night they share a joint, and Cole opens a window neither anticipated.

A relationship may be impossible—both men are living with heart-breaking secrets. While Sloan is smart, sassy, and a brilliant graphic artist, he’s also a pothead with severe body image problems. Cole, a former major league pitcher, has his own personal crisis: he’s going blind. Sloan and Cole are suffering on so many levels, they might not realize that the ultimate salvation could be within each other’s arms.

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Review:  There was truly a love/hate relationship for me with this story and its main characters. Sloan Driscoll was a loveable and damaged man you couldn’t help but want to wrap up and take care of, but I didn’t necessary like Cole Fujiwara that much… I sympathized with his plight but didn’t quite understand his insistence to not share his blindness. Mickie B. Ashling did a great job of making me understand, and in general I really enjoyed her writing, but what I didn’t enjoy was simple: the love story never progressed. Sloan and Cole had sex, and then they argued. Then Cole was almost abusive. Then this pattern cycled over and over, and you never actually witness the two characters falling in love.

I didn’t hate this book, really, I just wish there was more relationship development. The other thing that threw me off was that BDSM was introduced almost as an afterthought, and there was no lead up or anything. Sloan hooks up with a photographer, and suddenly, he is in this world and I felt it had no relationship to the story.

Narration: John Solo is a new narrator to me. He had kind of a weird rasp to his voice that I could take or leave. He did a wonderful job with the narration, though. His voice is just not my cuppa. He did make an average read better, though, and I would listen to his narration again.

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You can buy Cutting Cords here:

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4 Stars, Audio Book, Ethan Stone, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Narration Rating - 3.5 Stars, Reviewed by Maryann, Self-Published

Audio Review: Bartender, P.I. by Ethan Stone – Narrated by John Solo

Title: Bartender, P.I.

Author: Ethan Stone

Narrator:: John Solo

Publisher: Self-Published

Run Time: 2 Hours and 32 Minutes

At a Glance: What great P.I.s Linc and Brady made in solving the big mystery! Just be prepared to snicker!

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: When hockey star Linc Carpenter is banned from playing his beloved sport, he starts over, slinging drinks in Tampa. He’s inept as a bartender, so when the opportunity arises to train as a private investigator he takes it. He’s not very good at that either, but he still manages to get hired to follow fashion mogul Quentin Faulkner.

Linc’s incompetence is a hindrance, but Brady Williams, Faulkner’s studly bodyguard, may prove to be his undoing. Brady is drawn to Linc despite his bungling, and Linc’s stupidity may be just what’s needed to solve the case and save their lives.

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Review: Bartender, P.I. is a little different from the novels I have read by Ethan Stone. He created that difference with comedy and some mystery melded together. He also gave the two MCs a soft side, but nothing overly dramatic or serious.

Linc and Brady’s relationships with their fathers were different. Linc is more carefree with his lifestyle, and Brady more conservative, but they make a cute couple. It was nice to see Linc willing to change some of his preferences. And, what great P.I.s they made in solving the big mystery! Just be prepared to snicker!

Narration: I have heard other audios by John Solo. He did a fairly good job performing, and gave each character their own voice and personality. His portrayal of Linc as the comedic character was really good, though I did have a mental block with Linc’s voice. Because I’ve listened to this narrator before, I noticed Linc’s voice was very similar to a character from another story, which I struggled to get past because the other character was a businessman, smart, and didn’t lead a carefree life like Linc.

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You can buy Bartender, P.I. here:

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 3.5 Stars, Reviewed by Maryann

Audio Review: Backward by Andrew Grey – Narrated by John Solo

Title: Backward (Bronco’s Boys: Book Three)

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator:: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours and 42 Minutes

At a Glance: In spite of some issues I had with the narrator’s vocal performance, Backward is worth a listen.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Club owner Harry Klinger has had his eye on Tristan Martin for months, but never had the nerve to approach him. He’s watched as Tristan dated Eddie and then reluctantly sat on the sidelines during the emotional breakup when Tristan discovered Eddie was dealing drugs. Now that Tristan seems to be healing, Harry hopes to get his chance.

When Eddie sends his men into Harry’s club to harass Tristan, Harry steps in to help. Tristan is reluctant at first since he admittedly has terrible taste in men, but Harry seems genuine, and Tristan can’t help but think Harry’s sexy as well and begins to hope for happiness for both of them.

Unfortunately, Eddie isn’t behaving rationally, sampling too much of his own product. With his determination to take Tristan back, it’ll take more than Harry’s help to keep Tristan safe as Eddie ratchets up his attempts to get what he wants.

Dividers

Review: Harry Klinger is part owner of Bronco’s and takes care of the finances for the club. He and Bull run a clean club, no drugs or dealers allowed. Harry was in a relationship until it went sour, then he was into hook-ups, but even that’s no longer an interest for him. Now Harry is alone and has no life outside of his work at the club. But Harry’s had his eye on one particular guy for months, and that guy is Tristan.

Tristan Martin is in trouble, he was dating Eddie Menendez, a drug dealer, but finally left him. Eddie had been arrested, though missing evidence and an expensive lawyer got him off, and now, Tristan’s ex is going to any lengths to get him back. Including sending a dealer named Carlos to the club to make trouble for Tristan. After a confrontation that gets Carlos and his partners kicked out, Tristan feels bad about what happened, so he confesses that he knew Carlos through Eddie. Tristan decides to leave, but is stopped and told he didn’t do anything wrong. As the night goes on, Harry gets a text from Bull that Carlos and a couple of his fellow thugs are back in the club again. As Bull and the security team go into action, Tristan is heading for the door, and Carlos is heading for Tristan, and Harry heads for Tristan to protect him from the melee. Bull and the security team get things secured, and Harry calls the police. When Bull approaches Harry and Tristan, he tells them that Eddie had sent Carlos after Tristan, and because of the danger to Tristan, he shouldn’t go back to his apartment. So the guys come up with options, and Harry offers a room at his home for Tristan to stay in.

But, that’s not the end of the trouble Andrew Grey throws into this story. After a somewhat restless night, Harry takes Tristan home to change clothes for work and drops him off at the Green Door Café, where Tristan’s first customer happens to be Eddie, and he’s there to make trouble. When Tristan gets away from Eddie, he calls Harry, at which point Harry and Bull show up at the café, and things start to brew between Harry and Tristan. Harry doesn’t want Tristan to be alone, he wants to keep Tristan safe, so they start spending time together, and they learn about each other’s lives. Tristan is still unsure about himself and doesn’t believe anyone wants him. But things go from bad to worse when Tristan is kidnapped, and Harry feels the guilt and blame since he had promised to keep Tristan safe.

John Solo has such a good reading voice. He does a good job with the different vocalizations and emotions, but I did feel Tristan was portrayed a bit too nasally. And while Harry had a gravelly voice most of the time, sometimes Solo’s voice would pitch a little high. Having said that, though, Backward was still worth listening to, as these issues didn’t take anything away from the story Andrew Grey created.

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You can buy Backward here:

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Andrew Grey, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating, Narration Rating - 4 Stars, Reviewed by Maryann

Audio Review: Upside Down by Andrew Grey – Narrated by John Solo

Title: Upside Down (Bronco’s Boys: Book Two)

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator:: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours and 47 Minutes

At a Glance: Another exciting book in the Bronco’s Boys series, and John Solo does a really good job on the narration.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Lowell Cartwright’s life as a mercenary problem solver has taken its toll, and after one more difficult job, he wants out. For help, he turns to Bull, a soldier of fortune turned club owner—not exactly a friend, but the best chance Lowell has. He visits Bull’s club to scope it out and meets Jeremy Hodgson. The twink captures his attention in a big way. Bull tells Lowell to stay away from the club until he decides whether he can help, so Lowell stays in town. When he spots Jeremy passed out on the floor of a convenience store, he goes to Jeremy’s aid.

Lowell piques Jeremy’s interest immediately, pushing all the right buttons. Then, when Jeremy needs help, Lowell’s kindness turns interest into something more.

But trouble comes knocking when Jeremy’s place is bugged. Maybe Lowell’s past is catching up to him, or maybe the danger centers on Jeremy’s roommate Tristan’s mysterious boyfriend. Whatever the source of the problem, the future Lowell and Jeremy hope for doesn’t stand a chance unless they can find a way to protect themselves.

Dividers

Review: Lowell “Spook” Cartwright is a mercenary and a master at creating different identities. He’s a gun for hire but is getting tired of the dangerous business he’s in, and he wants out. He has just returned from an assignment that didn’t go so smooth, and now he has to go on the run when his location is compromised. What he needs is advice and a vacation.

Jeremy Hodgson works as a software developer and his hobby is collecting comic books, but he has hopes to be a game designer one day. He’s feeling down because he sees his friends with boyfriends, and he hasn’t even had a date in six months. To try and let his worries go, he and his friend Tristan head for the dance floor at Bull’s, where Jeremy ends up dancing with a mysterious stranger. When Bull overhears Jeremy saying the guy was like an illusion, Bull comes up with an idea how to find out who the guy is. As it turns out, Spook is a man from Bull’s past, the man who’d tried to take Bull’s life, and when Bull confronts him, Spook explains that all he needs is help getting out of the mercenary business. When Jeremy overhears what Spook has said, he doesn’t know what to think, which leads to all sorts of questions to be answered, not the least of which is, will Jeremy still want Spook if he discover the truth about Spook’s job.

Andrew Grey’s Upside Down is another exciting book in the Bronco’s Boys series, and John Solo does a really good job on this narration, offering just the right amount of emotion to the story, with each of the characters having distinct voices. I really like the idea of Zach, Jeremy, Tristan and Kevin’s friendship, and how supportive they are with each other, and you can’t forget Bull—he’s just a big teddy bear. They all remain energetic, fun, and always caring characters.

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You can buy Upside Down here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Kathie, Rick R. Reed

Audio Review: Chaser by Rick R. Reed – Narrated by John Solo

Title: Chaser

Author: Rick R. Reed

Narrator:: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 8 Minutes

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare, even if he does make an ass of himself. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond with a dick that’s just right. (They met in the bathroom – of course he looked!) But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance. Continue reading

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

John Solo Narrates Andrew Grey’s “Inside Out”

Title: Inside Out

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator:: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours, 35 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Former mercenary Bull Krebbs now heads up security at his nightclub in Harrisburg, PA. Working the door night after night, he’s seen it all. Though tough on the outside, he’s a little hurt that people find him unapproachable. Then he pulls a cute twink out of line to perform a random search, and he’s surprised when the guy giggles and squirms. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Traci, T.A. Webb

John Solo Gives Voice To T.A. Webb’s “Second Chances”


Title: Second Chances

Author: T.A. Webb

Narrator:: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Mark Jennings is at a crossroads. His finance job in the Atlanta nonprofit scene stresses him out, his mother is dying, and his relationship with Brian Jacobs has crashed and burned. He needs a distraction, some way to relax, and a massage seems like just the thing. He never expected his massage therapist, Antonio Roberto, to become his best friend.
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4 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Lisa M. Owens, Reviewed by Kim

Kim Reviews Lisa M. Owens’ “Worth the Coming Home” – Narration by John Solo


“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” ― Stephanie Perkins


Title: Worth the Coming Home (Love’s Value: Book One)

Author: Lisa M. Owens

Narrator:: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 31 Minutes

Rating: 4 Star

Blurb: For Josh Brooks, it’s a summer of wishes come true. First he gets his dream horse from a rival trainer. Then his brother’s Army Ranger buddy, Dane Keller, comes to work on the ranch and Josh meets his dream lover too. Dane is hot, competent, and fresh out of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Everything would be perfect-except nobody knows Josh and Dane are gay.
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