5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Fighting Instinct by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Tristan James

Audio Gem

Title: Fighting Instinct (L’Ange: Book Two)

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 25 Minutes

At a Glance: What can I say about Tristan James? I have heard this narrator before, and my expectations were high. As usual he didn’t disappoint me.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Only a privileged few know L’Ange’s head of security Arman de Soto is a shifter, and even fewer know he’s been systematically killing off a pack of werewolves. The reason for this vengeance is a secret Arman trusts with no one, quite the opposite of his obvious longtime pursuit of the château’s overseer, Linus Hobbes. Despite Arman’s reputation as a loner, the only thing he needs to complete his life is Linus. Predator and prey just don’t mix—but Arman won’t give him up.

Linus has lived alone for more than seven years, sheltered at L’Ange under an assumed name and hiding secrets of his own, including his terrifying attraction to the most dangerous man he’s ever met. Arman knows Linus should be afraid of the predator stalking him, but Linus is still drawn to him like a moth to a flame, no matter how much he tries to deny his instincts. It’s not until Linus’s past and Arman’s crusade exposes their secrets and opens L’Ange to attack that Arman realizes waiting any longer is a risk he just can’t take. So he’ll have to take his quest to the source of the threat in a gamble to protect L’Ange, Linus, and any future they might have together.

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Review: Mary Calmes is my favorite author in this genre, and Fighting Instinct just reaffirms this. She has a way of writing characters you fall in love with and cannot forget, and she shows us how sometimes family can be created and not born into. Mary Calmes creates an entire world of eclectic people of all shapes and sizes. These lost souls find sanctuary and create a family in a small town in Maine.

It is very hard to surprise me with a book. After reading the first book in the L’Ange series, I thought this book would be about Tucker Flynn and Arman de Soto. I think all of the readers of this series were surprised when it turned out, instead, to focus on Arman and Linus Hobbes. This was a most pleasant surprise.

I am an absolute sucker for the good/bad guy. One of the lines in this book that really resonated with me was, “You are the good guy of my story but the bad guy of another.” Calmes gives a master class in how to write a character that inspires every single emotion possible. Arman is a stone cold killer, and throughout this book he never deviates from this. He is also a kind, giving, and possessive man who takes care of those who he calls his. I adore Arman and loved listening to his interactions with Linus and his team.

Linus starts off as a somewhat aloof character. I heard Linus bloom before my ears. A somewhat skittish, broken man, Linus transforms not only in spirit but in tangible ways throughout this story, as a result of the constant love and devotion Arman shows him over a seven year period. Linus and Arman fit together wonderfully, and the journey they take is perfectly sculpted.

Narration: What can I say about Tristan James? I have heard this narrator before, and my expectations were high. As usual he didn’t disappoint me. His sexy-as-sin voice and acting ability brings Mary Calmes’s world to life. He has just the right pacing, and I am never in doubt of who is speaking. I was excited to get in my car before and after work for my commute so I could keep listening. Now, I am going through withdrawals. Now, I wait with anticipation for the next installment.

TNA_Signature_Amy






You can buy Fighting Instinct here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Kim, Rhys Ford

Audio Review: Duck Duck Ghost by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Tristan James

Audio Gem

Title: Duck Duck Ghost (Hellsinger: Book Two)

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 5 Minutes

At a Glance: Duck Duck Ghost is highly recommend to ghost story lovers!

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Paranormal investigator Wolf Kincaid knows what his foot tastes like.

Mostly because he stuck it firmly in his mouth when his lover, Tristan Pryce, accidentally drugged him with a batch of psychotropic baklava. Needing to patch things up between them, Wolf drags Tristan to San Luis Obispo, hoping Tristan’s medium ability can help evict a troublesome spirit haunting an old farmhouse.

With Wolf’s sister handling Hoxne Grange’s spectral visitors, Tristan finds himself in the unique position of being able to leave home for the first time in forever, but Wolf’s roughshod treatment is the least of his worries. Tristan’s ad-hoc portal for passing spirits seems to be getting fewer and fewer guests, and despite his concern he’s broken his home, Tristan agrees to help Wolf’s cousin, Sey, kick her poltergeist to the proverbial curb.

San Luis Obispo brings its own bushel of troubles. Tristan’s ghost whispering skill is challenged not only by a terrorizing haunting but also by Wolf’s skeptical older cousin, Cin. Bookended by a pair of aggressive Kincaids, Tristan soon finds himself in a spectral battle that threatens not only his sanity but also his relationship with Wolf, the first man he’s ever loved.

Dividers

Review: Kudos to Rhys Ford and Tristan James! What an outstanding team these two make when they combine their talents in this wonderful, delightfully spooky tale of the paranormal world. Strangely enough, I hadn’t listened to Fish & Ghosts until both it and Duck Duck Ghost were out in audio, and oh, it was so much fun to go directly from one to the next.

One cannot go wrong with this narrator. Tristan James not only has a sexy-sultry voice to die for, but his pacing and voice characterizations really stir up the imagination, visualizing and bringing to life this sexy romance and ghostly tale. I might also add that Tristan does a great ghostly moan. It sure had me sitting up in my seat, looking around, saying to myself, “What was that?”

I’m just going to cut to the chase and beg, when’s the next installment in this series? I’m completely hooked on the Hellsingers, and I’m also hoping to read and listen to Cin’s story.

The ending of Duck Duck Ghost leads me to believe Wolf and Tristan are just warming up, and I will have my finger poised over the purchase button when the next audiobook in the series becomes available. Duck Duck Ghost is highly recommend to ghost story lovers!






You can buy Duck Duck Ghost here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Tristan James

Audio Gem

Title: Old Loyalty, New Love (L’Ange: Book One)

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours

At a Glance: Old Loyalty, New Love is another winner well worth the listen.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father’s prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.

Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.

Dividers

Review: Since Jackie did another great review of the e-book version of Old Loyalty, New Love, I’m going to just give the review of the audio version.

If you love audiobooks and you love Mary Calmes, then Old Loyalty, New Love is another winner well worth the listen. I picked it up just because 1.) Mary Calmes wrote it, and 2.) Tristan James is one of my top favorites in narrators. I just loved how the story was told and BONUS!, once I saw there was another audiobook in the same series, I quickly picked that one up also and was able to segue into the next book without missing a beat.

Quade may be a tough Alpha, but he’s fast becomes a big old pushover when it comes to Roman’s charms. I’m a softie myself when it comes to stories that involve an MC who has been physically damaged and overcomes his disfigurement, and moves on with his life.

I love how Tristan narrates by giving each character their own voice, with no confusion on who’s speaking, as I’ve experience with other narrators, as well as building the tension in the more suspenseful parts of the story. And damn, Tristan has one sexy sultry voice worth listening too.

Mary Calmes, I hoping you’re working hard on the third book in the L’Ange series. I’m waiting patiently, but I’m not getting any younger!






You can buy Old Loyalty, New Love here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Still by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Tristan James

Title: Still

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 4 Hours, 19 Minutes

At a Glance: As usual, Tristan James delivers an excellent performance

Blurb: What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still.

When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.

Dividers

Review: Still frustrated me. As the story is told from Siv’s point of view, I read almost immediately that he’s a runner. Rather than confronting his problems and working them out, he comes across as a man who ignores them until he gets to the point he turns off emotionally. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that his own parents abandoned him. His mother left his father the day after they’d kicked Siv out, and his two brothers disown him as well, so there’s a history of abandonment.

Walter was also disowned and disinherited by his family as well, not because he was gay but because he’d married a Mexican woman who got pregnant while he was experimenting with his sexuality. While he’d worked his way through school and supported his family, his wife was cheating on him, which lead to their divorce. These things made something click about understanding where Walter was coming from, why he didn’t fight the divorce when Siv ask for it, and even though Siv is doing all the talking during this scene, you can sense that Walter isn’t happy with what’s coming out of Siv’s mouth.

As an outsider reading this, I immediately saw a serious lack of communication on both sides, as well as taking each other for granted. Not to mention Siv was anything but still. That man had some pretty serious resentment toward Walter. There’s a reason, real or imagined, that Siv started to build his walls to protect himself.

Yes, Walter screwed up by working too much, but there wasn’t any real warning on Siv’s part that if Walter didn’t slow down and spend time with him Siv would leave. Between the two characters, I liked Walter the best because he was the first one to work on himself to change. I liked how Walter went about transforming himself in order to win back Siv’s affections. There was one poignant moment when Walter tells Siv, “I can make you see me again.” It was kind of sad and heartfelt. And it was wonderful when Siv finally had his epiphany, when he finally “saw” Walter again. Tristan James was fantastic at delivering these tender moments between Walter and Siv.

I also had some serious smile moments when Siv and Walter’s friends, family, and even a neighbor all made their opinions known on how they felt about the situation between them.

As usual, Tristan James delivers an excellent performance. I love how he doesn’t rush through the story and gives each of his characters their own voice. As he was narrating, James managed to stir all kinds of emotions and opinions in me, some good, some bad, about what was happening between Siv and Walter. I don’t think I could have finished listening to the story if anyone but Tristan James had done the performance. I mean, the man could read names out of the phone book and his voice would have me riveted.

All in all, Still is an interesting listen. It’s the story of the way two people rediscover each other and heal the sore spots in their marriage, and though Still frustrated me, I would recommend the audiobook to those fans who can’t get enough of Mary Calmes’s stories.






You can buy Still here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014: Round Four – The Year In Reviews and a Giveaway

2014

Hi, everyone!

We are thisclose to the end of our best of the best selections for this year. In case you missed the earlier selections, Sammy’s and Tina’s can be found HERE, Jackie’s, Lana’s, and Jules’ can be found HERE, and Lynn’s and Chris’s HERE.

Since Kim and Kathie are the audio connoisseurs in our group, today’s feature are their top picks in the audiobook category, and guess what? TNA is going to give you the chance to win TWO of the listed titles. And guess what else? If you’re selected as the winner, you get to choose which titles you’d like in either audio or e-book format. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Kathie, Rhys Ford

Audio Review: Fish and Ghosts by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Tristan James

Title: Fish and Ghosts

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 16 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: When his Uncle Mortimer died and left him Hoxne Grange, the family’s Gilded Age mansion, Tristan Pryce became the second generation of Pryces to serve as a caretaker for the estate, a way station for spirits on their final steps to the afterlife. Tristan is prepared for challenges, though not necessarily from the ghosts he’s seen since childhood. Determined to establish Tristan’s insanity and gain access to his trust fund, his loving relatives hire Dr. Wolf Kincaid and his paranormal researchers, Hellsinger Investigations, to prove the Grange is not haunted. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Tristan James

Title: All Kinds of Tied Down

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 9 hours, 1 minute

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they’ve gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back… faith and something more. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, K.C. Burn, Reviewed by Kim

Sound Bite Sunday: “Cast Off” by KC Burn – Narrated By Tristan James

Title: Cast Off (Toronto Tales: Book Three)

Author: KC Burn

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 35 Minutes

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Thirty-five-year-old Rick Haviland is a well-respected speech pathologist, but while his friends are all settling into relationships, he refuses to give up his no-strings-attached club-boy sex life. For him, relationships are dangerous; he’s got a secret to hide. When he meets Ian O’Donnell, an account manager with a local tabloid, Rick figures his personal rules for relationships should be enough to keep him safe from more than a one-night stand. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Audio Book, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, K.C. Burn, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Kim

Sound Bite Sunday: Tristan James Narrates KC Burns’ “Cover Up”

Title: Cover Up (Toronto Tales: Book Two)

Author: KC Burn

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 14 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: The Sequel to Cop Out

Detective Ivan Bekker has hit rock bottom. Not only is he recovering from a bad breakup with a cheating boyfriend, he’s also involved in a drug bust gone bad. Ivan had to kill a man, and his friend was shot and is now fighting for his life. Though Ivan is under investigation for his part in the shooting, his boss sends him on an off-the-books undercover operation to close the case. The timing is critical – this could be their chance to plug a leak in the department. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, K.C. Burn, Reviewed by Kim

Kim Recommends Giving KC Burns’ “Cop Out” A Listen – Narrated by Tristan James


“No secret can remain hidden forever. Silently and patiently, it waits in the dark. It lets you build your life, carefully stacking the bricks one by one, and then it appears. It deals its blow and everything crumbles.” ― Stefanos Livos


Title: Cop Out

Author: KC Burn

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 3 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Detective Kurt O’Donnell is used to digging up other people’s secrets, but when he discovers his slain partner was married to another man, it shakes him. Determined to do the right thing, Kurt offers the mourning Davy his assistance. Helping Davy through his grief helps Kurt deal with the guilt that his partner didn’t trust him enough to tell him the truth, and somewhere along the way Davy stops being an obligation and becomes a friend, the closest friend Kurt has ever had.
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4 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes, Reviewed by Traci

Traci Recommends Giving “Parting Shot” A Listen


“Remember that you don’t owe anyone an apology. You are who you are, you have no choice, and that is beautiful.” ― Emy Storey


Title: Parting Shot (AMoT: Book 7)

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Tristan James

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 2 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn’t expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself.
Continue reading

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