3.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 4 Stars, Reviewed by Karen

Audio Review: Waiting for Rain by Susan Mac Nicol – Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Title: Waiting for Rain

Author: Susan Mac Nicol

Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 10 hours and 17 minutes

At a Glance: The narration had me more invested in the story than I had been when I originally read it, and I am happy I gave it a chance.

Reviewed By: Karen

Blurb: The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate-box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.

Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled tough-guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.

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Review: Just recently I have gotten more and more into audiobooks. Previously when choosing an audiobook to listen to, it was only books that I had already read and absolutely loved, those books that you can read over and over, and still find something new and amazing in them. Since audios were new to me, I was concerned that if I didn’t already love the story I would have a hard time staying interested and following along with the narration. Reviewing has changed this slightly. I still only get audios of books that I have already read, but now, as long as I at least liked the book, and have listened to the sample of the audio, and the narrator seems all right, I’ll give it a shot.

There have now been a couple books that weren’t my favorite, but the audiobooks made the story just that much better. Waiting for Rain is one of those books. I have really enjoyed all of Susan Mac Nicol’s books, and when I read Waiting for Rain, I enjoyed it. It just wasn’t a favorite. But Matthew Lloyd Davies’ narration, especially his voices for Toby and Rain, pulled me in and had me feeling more involved in the story and the love that developed between these guys.

Toby and Rain are super hot together, which, of course, I loved, but the story jumped around, I thought quite randomly at times, so it was the narration that had me more invested in this story than I had been when I originally read it. I’m happy I gave Waiting for Rain and Matthew Lloyd Davies a chance.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Waiting for Rain here:

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Jay Northcote, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed By Carrie

Audio Review: Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote – Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Audio Gem

Title: Nothing Ventured

Author: Jay Northcote

Narrator:: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 4 Hours and 39 Minutes

At a Glance: This was a great audiobook and I really enjoyed listening to it.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.

Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.

Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.

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Review: Aiden is in trouble. Too much tequila and all of a sudden he is committed to creating a team and running the Mad Mucker race with his friends. Fitness for Aiden has taken a backseat in recent months, as his life has reached a turning point and running the race is the last thing he truly wants to participate in. To add insult to injury, he further backs himself into a corner and has to agree to training with Matt – another member of the team and a fitness guru. Yea, him! Aiden doesn’t do relationships, but the more he tries to fight his attraction to Matt, the harder he falls.

Matt has just moved back to England from Australia and is trying to start a new life. Fitness is his life, and he really enjoys a good fifteen-mile run. Maybe if he runs fast enough, he can outrun his attraction to his new training partner. Maybe.

This is another addition to the Nothing series from Jay Northcote, and it is a worthy addition. The story is a light, easy read, and is even better when it is read to you. There is not a lot of angst in this book, just two guys with an incredible attraction to one another, and how they work toward a HEA. I love the way Jay Northcote writes her characters; you see them, they are real men with real feelings and problems, and come alive on the page. By the end of one of her books, you’ve become intimate enough with her characters you would know them on the street or would love to have a pint with them.

Matthew Lloyd Davies does a great job with the narration of this book. I was never confused which character was talking, and his accent really put me in a positive frame of mind to listen to a story. Mr. Davies’ narration flowed, it was not stilted or awkward, and that, along with a good story, made it an incredibly wonderful experience for a quiet afternoon.

TNA_Signature_Carrie







 

You can buy Nothing Ventured here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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3 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Jay Northcote, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: The Little Things by Jay Northcote – Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Title: The Little Things

Author: Jay Northcote

Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours and 31 Minutes

At a Glance: Davies narration was INCREDIBLE.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.

Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.

Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

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Review: The Little Things was my first novel by Jay Northcote, so I didn’t know what to expect. I am absolutely torn by this novel. I adore the author’s ability to write and develop characters. I fell in love with Evie and Joel (although he frustrated me). I enjoyed Dan, but Liam is the saving grace of this entire book. He was charismatic and loving without being over the top. The downside of this book was that it could have been at least 10,000 words shorter. To get to the point of progression, or in this case, Evie’s mother’s death, took too long. It was filled with a lot of mundane every life things that in small doses really make me love a book, but the story gets lost in them. Once the book got started, it was excellent.

Narration: There’ve been a lot of first time narrator’s for me lately, and Matthew Lloyd Davies was new to me as well. This is the first time I liked the narrator more than the overall story. Davies narration was INCREDIBLE. By far my favorite British narrator to date. He transformed the story into a true experience. Because of this I gave the overall rating of a 4.

TNA_Signature_Amy

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Little Things here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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3 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Jay Northcote, Narration Rating - 4 Stars, Reviewed by Sadonna

Audio Review: Not Just Friends by Jay Northcote – Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Title: Not Just Friends

Author: Jaye Northcote

Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 6 Hours and 47 Minutes

At a Glance: A coming of age story that doesn’t break any new ground but is an enjoyable story of self-discovery.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis is not prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max—given that Lewis had always assumed he was straight. Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction.

When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. But after a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends. Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents, and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends

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Review: This is the second audiobook that I actually enjoyed listening to. Matthew Lloyd Davies made the story engaging, and he has a lovely accent. :)

Lewis has gone off to university, and he’s sharing a flat with a bunch of other guys. He is a bit wary to be out on his own, and since he is an only child, living with a bunch of other young people is also a new experience for him. The other guys in his flat seem to be fine, but then he meets Max – the last to arrive – and he is intrigued. Max is out and proud, and Lewis is a little bit stunned by this. He’s not homophobic, but he’s not totally comfortable either.

Lewis’s friendship with Max takes on a different flavor when he realizes he has a bit of a crush on Max. It forces Lewis to take a look at his past relationships – including his high school girlfriend and his best friend. But once classes start, Lewis meets some other people, including a nice girl from his course. He is friendly with her but realizes that this is not where his true interest lies.

Max is dating someone that Lewis doesn’t really care for, and he’s definitely realizing that his sexual orientation is not exactly straight. But this other guy doesn’t treat Max right, and after a weird break up/dumping, Max and Lewis spend a pretty steamy night together. Despite Lewis’s feelings becoming stronger, Max decides he doesn’t want another relationship and they should only be friends. The upside is that Lewis finally gets that he is definitely gay.

There is some angst around a developing family situation, but luckily it doesn’t have to do with Lewis’s self-discovery revelation. Lewis’s mother is a star in this story. I hope she finds happiness. :)

Lewis decides he really needs to move on to try to get over Max. He goes to the LGBT Society meeting and meets a new guy. They begin seeing each other casually, but Lewis can’t help still thinking of Max. He really still has strong feelings for Max that he wants to get over, because frankly, it hurts to see Max with other people, and he feels like he keeps getting a punch to the gut when he realizes Max doesn’t want him the same way.

As usually happens in these stories, there is a moment of clarity for Max, but the question is if Lewis is willing to risk his heart again. Luckily these guys have good and supportive friends, and, eventually, they figure out their issues. They are very cute trying to get it together, as two young guys who don’t really know what they are doing but are trying to determine that they want to try to do it together.

I really liked the narrator, and his characterizations and accent were perfect. Love British narrators for British stories. :) I would definitely listen to another book narrated by Mr. Lloyd Davies.







 

You can buy Not Just Friends here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4 Stars, Audio Book, Genre Romance, Jay Northcote, Narration Rating - 4 Stars, Reviewed by Jules, Self-Published

Audio Review: The Dating Game by Jay Northcote – Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Title: The Dating Game

Author: Jay Northcote

Narrator:: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Publisher: Jaybird Press

Run Time: 3 Hours and 6 Minutes

At a Glance: A sweet, zero-angst, simple little story about two guys figuring out that getting to know someone before hopping in the sack is all it’s cracked up to be.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Five sex-free dates. How hard can it be?
When they were at uni, Owen always had a bit of a crush on Nathan. But Nathan was apparently straight, and Owen was too busy with other guys to take his crush seriously.

When Nathan moves back to Bristol after a year away, Owen hears that Nathan has come out of the closet, and he propositions him. Nathan doesn’t want to be just another notch on Owen’s bedpost, though, so he challenges Owen to prove he can be serious: five dates before they have sex.

Owen doesn’t think that sounds too difficult. He’s expecting Nathan to find his charms irresistible anyway. But as they grow closer, Owen begins to care more about proving himself to Nathan than he does about getting him into bed.

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Review: When Owen’s old college mate Nathan moves back to town, Owen is all ready to charm his way into his pants. But, Nathan has another idea…to make Owen work for it. And, thus begins The Dating Game. Nathan is really just having a bit of a go at Owen when he challenges him to the five sexless dates; and Owen thinks that Nathan will cave well before the fifth date, so he readily accepts. Neither one expects to end up genuinely enjoying the little experiment – and, they certainly don’t expect to fall so hard for each other.

I love the British humor – which I suppose the British would simply call humor ;) – and Matthew Lloyd Davies gives listeners a wonderful narration of this lighthearted, fun story. I also have to tell you, listening to the sexy bits coming out of my car speakers in that proper British accent tickled me so much… I don’t know why the word ‘cock’ is so funny when heard in a posh accent, but my inner twelve-year-old shined through, and I couldn’t help but giggle. Silly hang-ups aside, though, there really were some great, funny scenes: In particular, the first phone sex attempt was adorable and awkward, and there was a rock-climbing date that had me smiling and chuckling at its fun sweetness.

The Dating Game is a sweet, zero-angst, simple little story about two guys figuring out that getting to know someone before hopping in the sack is all it’s cracked up to be, and that good things really do come to those who wait. The story was certainly predictable – I mean, it was no secret that they were going to go on the dates and fall in love – but, that didn’t necessarily take away from the reading/listening experience. I definitely enjoyed the audio, and would look for more titles narrated by Mr. Davies.

TNA_Signature_Jules






You can buy The Dating Game here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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