Catching Heir by Julia Talbot ~ Audiobook

Julia Talbot - Catching Heir Cover AudioTitle: Catching Heir

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 23

Author: Julia Talbot

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 39 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?

Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.

Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.

Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I was curious about Catching Heir in it’s audio form. In the past I have found Julia Talbot’s romances both sweet and enjoyable, but Catching Heir – as much I enjoyed it – was not something I remember as a brilliant story. In fact, I remember expecting more out of it.

The story itself hits all the right buttons for me. I love to read sport orientated books – especially when you have the famous bad-boy type of competitor (though Cullen is not a bad boy). I also love when one or both of the MCs are thrown into a situation completely unexpected to what they were expecting for their careers. I am so happy to report that this is a book I found so much more enjoyable as an audio – John Solo’s narration gave enough emotion and oomph that I was missing when I initially read the book. His narration in turn made me, not literally, sit up and appreciate the story a whole lot more. Reflecting on my previous review, I think that I was finally able to hear and feel the attraction between the two MCs, which of course is vital in a romance.

The story is about Cullen Patrick; he’s famous on the snowboarding circuit and is one of the best in the country. However, he gets a call from a lawyer one day. He has inherited the bed and breakfast owned by the grandfather he had never known. There are conditions to the will, though, specifically that hotel manager Matt Nathanson is to be consulted on any major changes and essentially cannot be fired. Matt is the devoted manager of Treeline Estates. He has a lot of ideas to improve, even with a tight budget and still ensure that the building maintains its historical façade. Matt is close to inheriting Treeline too, except that Cullen finally turns up to claim his inheritance.

Ace by Jack Bryne ~ Audiobook

Jack Bryne - ACE Cover AudioTitle: Ace

Author: Jack Byrne

Narrator: Jonathan David

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 37 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (31 March 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Jake Tanner is a gay asexual man who finds peace on his small Australian farm and is content to lead a quiet life taking care of his animals. Then a random act of kindness on his part sets in motion a complex series of events that results in him playing the piano in a local pub and meeting Damien Jamieson, a sexy gay biker with a penchant for leather. Damien finds Jake instantly irresistible, but that could be the worst thing for their budding relationship, as Damien is determined to bed the reluctant Jake. However, Jake has no intention of going along with his plan. If there’s a chance for anything between them, Damien will have to figure out how to turn Jake on without scaring him off.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I don’t know what to say about this book. I really do have mixed feelings about it. I’ve heard of Jack Byrne before but never actually read or listened to the audio of one of his books until now.

Set somewhere is country New South Wales or Queensland in Australia (not entirely sure which state), we first meet Jake, he is both gay and asexual where he works his farm. He meets a stranger who comes to town one day, sexy gay biker Damien Jamieson – who ends up being not so much a stranger Jake’s best friend makes their chance encounter perhaps a little more. Jake and Damien get to know each other more when Jake becomes something of a part time musician down at the local pub. That’s “the bare bones” of the story, as they say.

The story itself I have no problems with – the premise is interesting and totally hot for those that love a cowboy/jackaroo/country boy, as is the attraction between the characters. However, one thing that I found really difficult to get past was how the author handled the fact that his main character, Jake, is asexual. At times it felt like the usual trope along the lines of “he just hasn’t met the right guy yet”, which is comparable to a gay person being treated as that they “haven’t met the right girl yet”. I’m going to leave it at that but take that as you like – or maybe just ignore me, it all depends on your tastes after all.

As for the narration, again I didn’t have any outright objections to the narration. Jonathan David has a wonderful voice and helped me connect with Jake a little more than I would have if I had read the book. However, I am Australian, and we tend to go to the shortest, some may say laxiest, pronunciation if possible. While the narration has no real accent present there were a few glaring mispronunciations that had me wanting me skip over sections. For example an Australia pronounces “Melbourne” is “Mel-ben”, “Brisbane” is “Bris-bin” and chooks (slang for chicken) is pronounced the same as in “hooks”. These were the three mispronunciations, the very American “Mel-born”, “Bris-bane” and “chooks” as in “choo-ks”, which really grated on my nerves. There were a couple others but I won’t further bore you with details.

I think this is one of the take it or leave it – love it or hate it – type of stories. For me, while I didn’t hate it – hate is too strong a word – I am definitely going to leave it.

Rescued by Felice Stevens ~ Audiobook

Felice Stevens - Rescued Cover AudioTitle: Rescued

Series: Rescued Hearts 01

Author: Felice Stevens

Genre: Contemporary

Narrator: Charlie David

Length: 9 hrs 1 min

Publisher: Felice Stevens (14th March 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Ryder Daniels is all too familiar with rejection. His parents cut off contact because he’s gay and his boyfriend left him, choosing drugs over love. Aside from his rescued pit bull, his only joy is hanging out with his younger brother. Then his mother does the unthinkable and forbids them from seeing each other, leaving Ryder devastated and alone. His friends urge him to date, but Ryder would rather throw himself into working at the dog rescue and figuring out a way to see his brother again.

When Jason Mallory’s girlfriend gives him an ultimatum to get married, he shocks everyone by breaking up with her instead. He believes he’s too busy for a relationship now that the construction company he started with his brother is taking off. When he discovers a group of abandoned pit bulls and calls the local dog rescue group to pick them up, an uncomfortable encounter with Ryder causes Jason to question feelings he’s hidden deep inside for years.

Jason and Ryder build a friendship – until an unexpected kiss sparks the attraction they’ve been fighting. Jason gives Ryder unconditional love and helps him reconnect with his brother, while Ryder shows Jason the passion he’s always missed in relationships. Together, they must battle through their family differences and ugly prejudices. Only then can they prove that once you find the right person to love, there’s no turning back.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: A warm and fuzzy love story with very hot sexual content! Two great Characters, Ryder, who has paid the price for who he is, though afraid to put himself out there socially and romantically, his heart is wrapped around his animal rescue. Jason, afraid to step out of the closet, but bold and brash in every other aspect of his life, has met his match in Ryder. These two have great chemistry, the question is, can Ryder risk his heart for someone who doesn’t quite understand all he’s lost? I love Jason’s devious plan to find a way for Ryder to see more of his brother, the mother is a total bitch, and the other characters just add to the fun though sometimes unrealistic balance of the plot.  

Plenty of interesting parallels here, Ryder is very much like an abused stray dog wary of humans who are there only to rescue it. Like the stray, Ryder’s heart has been abused, he’s been neglected and left behind by his family, and he’s very wary of trusting the love and relationship Jason is offering. 

Charlie David always does a great job with narration, though some of the male voices get a little too close and create a teeny amount of confusion. 

This story is excellent for animal lovers, those looking for a super sweet love story and HEA, with heaps of steamy topping!

Gryffon Hall by Alexis Duran

Alexis Duran - Gryffon Hall CoverTitle: Gryffon Hall

Author: Alexis Duran

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Historical

Publisher: Loose ID (August 30, 2016)

Length: Novella (150 Pages)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father’s castle. A wealthy merchant’s son seems to hold the key to Wryler’s safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler’s betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land. 

Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband’s shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.

ISBN: 978-1-68252-188-5

Product Link: http://www.loose-id.com/gryffon-hall.html

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: At first I was not too sure if I wanted to read this story.  I am not a fan of anything historical and the cover is a bit off.  However I do love a good paranormal especially when the characters are two sexy men.  This is the first book by this author I have read and I must say she does have a talent.  

Wryler is a young lad who loves a good book.  He has no real standing in his family but that all changes when he is traded off to marry Lord Aeric.  This story is a bit like a prince and princess book with a monster vibe to it; a fairy tale of beauty and the beast, with Aeric being the beast. Aeric is in fact human and gryffon.  And Wryler’s family has just basically sold him to this man.  Talk about a rush.  Wryler is in fact part fae, so he does have some magic of his own.  But that fear he had at first soon turns to love.  

Aeric does look a lot like a pirate rather than a barbarian but he is in fact gentle and very caring.  He just didn’t let Wryler know that it wasn’t a curse but a blessing to be able to turn into the gryffon.  Might have come back to bite him in the ass at some point, but hey read the story.

I will also admit that the beginning of the book was a bit dull for me, so I skidded through it as fast as I could.  I actually liked the rest of the story a bit more than the beginning.  Although I still don’t like the historical part of it, which might have been the reason I didn’t like the story as much as I should have.  

The heat between the two men was off the charts.  I actually found that I did like Wryler quite a bit more than the others.  That might come from the fact that he was a geek when it came to books.  It is a fun little story that you might like though I can’t see myself reading it more than once.  It does have a humor to it that makes it pretty good and if your into historical, paranormal and fantasy type stories with humor and a bit of danger, then this will be for you.

Love series Bundle by Scotty Cade

Scotty Cade - Love Series Bundle CoverTitle: Love Series

Series: Dreamspinner Press Bundle

Author: Scotty Cade

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 7, 2017)

Length: Novel

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Love can bloom in the most unusual places…. 

In Wings of Love, Dr. Bradford Mitchell flees to Alaska to escape the devastating memories of his deceased partner, but can he let go of the past soon enough to embrace a future with pilot and friend Mac Cleary? In Treasure of Love, dive master and charter boat captain Jackson Cameron finds himself questioning his sexuality when openly gay treasure hunter Dax Powers hires him, but if they want to keep their new-found treasure, they’ll have to fight to keep the crew safe. 

In Bounty of Love, Zander Walsh wakes up from coma only to find his fiancé and parents dead in an apparent robbery gone wrong. FBI Agent Jake Elliot is doing his best to find the murderer, but as the months pass—and unexpected feelings grow between them—it becomes clear that someone is doing their best to keep them from finding the truth. 

Finally, in Foundation of Love, co-written with Z.B. Marshall, Wes Stanhope has spent years running from his father’s controlling ways, but when his mother dies, leaving behind one last wish, he finds himself back under his thumb. His attraction to architect Ty Williams—and Ty’s refusal to hide in the closet—just might be enough to make him fight back. 

ISBN: 978-1-63533-563-7

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-series-by-scotty-cade-8350-b

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I have never been a fan of anthologies or stories combined into one long novel.  They are always time consuming and drive me nuts.  I like a normal story to read and then put down, but with stories like these it just makes it feel to long with one book.  Now this one is a bit different as the stories are not short stories per say, but normal length.  It still felt like it would never end but was pretty sweet.  

The second thing I always noticed is that focus around one person or one place, now at first one would think Alaska but then I realized it was Mac bringing them all together, well sort of.  

Wings of Love

Scotty Cade - Wings of Love CoverBrad’s husband died of cancer and it has torn our sexy doctor apart.  He doesn’t want to live with the memories of their times that will be apart.  Two men so deeply in love.  So he heads to the one place they both loved, Alaska, where they both met Mac, a dear friend and pilot.

Mac had lost his wife to cancer three years ago and it had left him alone with his daughter and brother in law.  They had been together for some time but he had promised her to share his love with another.  Don’t think she was thinking another guy though.  Things sure do heat up with these two.  

There is just a bit of pain, loss, excitement and danger in this little story.  It is a cute story of love found in the strangest places.  Now I want to give Mac’s brother-in-law a smack upside the head but I got a feeling his time is coming.  It was a joy to read.

Treasure of Love

Scotty Cade - Treasure of Love CoverAs I said Jack’s time will come, and it will come in this story.  Some time has passed since he made an ass of himself with Mac and Brad.  He realized what he has always known; the he himself was attracted to another man.  In this case a treasure hunter who wants to rent his boat.  

Dax is very open and out, but he can be a total jerk sometimes though. Dax and his sister are looking for a sunken boat that was said to have large amount of gold from the gold rush in Alaska.  It makes me think of the old song “North to Alaska”, or John Wayne.  These two just seem to heat the sheets and boy pay backs are going to be good.

There is adventure, excitement, danger, and those pay backs in this story.  It was fun to read and I enjoyed the guys quite a bit.  There was even a nice little twist to this story that was a fun add I must say.

Bounty of Love

Scotty Cade - Bounty of Love CoverNow in book one you meet Zander and Jake, the owners of the lodge where Brad was heading.  Well this is their story, and I have to say that with this book being book 3, it made the rest of the stories seem out of order.  Zander and his fiancé, plus his parents were enjoying the final touches right before their wedding.   That is until the next thing Zander knows is waking up in the hospital and his world crashing around him.  His parents and his boyfriend were killed, and FBI Agent Jake wants to find out who was behind it.

Now there are some wicked twists to this story that I had not expected but was a great add.  Those behind the murders and their reasons were a big shock.  I loved these guys and was glad they got their story.  Although this should have been book two.  This is also when you meet Mac and his wife.  

Foundation of Love

Scotty Cade - Foundation of Love CoverNow I was wondering how this book fell in with the other three, then I realized that Wes was friends with Brad and in turn you see Mac again.  Those two are still going strong.  Any way Wes’s mother has passed on and a legacy is left behind.  She wanted to have a hospital built and set up, with father and son running it.  Too bad old daddy dearest is a racist and a homophobic asshat.  It puts Wes up against his father one more time.  The architect turns out to be Ty, and damn is the man isn’t hot.  However two things are against him, one he is gay and two he is black, something Wes doesn’t care about.  However daddy will not like it.  I would say time to kick daddy to the curb.

Now this one was pretty good but just a bit boring when considering the other three books.  The only danger came from Wes father, but not physical danger.  However it still rocked the story.

Overall

The stories all were pretty good, but they also felt a bit off.  I think that it was the danger added to each story that did this, especially if you’re going to combine them into one large novel.  If they were to stay separate books then it would not feel this way I suppose.  Other than my issues it still made for one hot and sexy read.  I enjoyed them and would definitely recommend this book.

Sweetwater by Lisa Henry ~ Audiobook

Lisa Henry - Sweetwater Cover AudioTitle: Sweetwater

Author: Lisa Henry

Genre: Historical Old West

Narrator: Dorian Bane

Length: 7 hrs 35 min

Publisher: Riptide (5th August 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is – and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life…or truly begin it for the very first time.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: Sweetwater is anything but sweet, ending with a gut wrenching violent streak, sexual abuse, questionable consent, and a happy for now ending. If you like your reading gritty, a true harsh reality and your lovers dark and brooding, here you go! Lots of BDSM content, and did I mention violence. Sweetwater made even me a bit squeamish. 

Sweetwater is probably a pretty accurate description of the life of an orphaned kid who parents died of disease on the wagon train out, taken in by the Doctor who saved his life, raised by a cruel community who believed him to be simple, Elijah is actually a very complicated individual who is trying to figure himself and his sexuality out. 

Elijah takes what he can get when it comes to his sexual attraction ad developing kinks. Violence and criminal activity push him into the hands of the kingpin in town, that is until a mysterious cowboy comes to town as part of the cattle rusting ring the town is aiding. 

I do really enjoy a little kink, some heavy handedness, and aggressive dominant sexual scenes, there’s plenty of that. But there is so much violence and truly questionable rape scenarios that are not balanced out enough with a protected/loved place for Eli for me. Too violent, too sad, and too unstable. Maybe I need more warm and fuzzy at the end of a violent sad journey. 

The narration is very good, the writing is actually excellent, and if you like dark and dirty, this is the book for you!