Category Archives: Audiobook

Duke In Hiding by M.J. O’Shea ~ Audiobook

M.J. O'Shea - Duke In Hiding Cover AudioTitle: Duke in Hiding

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 9

Author: MJ O’Shea

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 8 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16 May 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Every gentleman has something to hide.

Meeting Heath Blackwood, a gorgeous English farmer, is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to small-town landscaper Theo Brody, who has lived in quiet Maplehurst, New Hampshire, all his life. The sexy and secretive Brit shakes the foundations of his orderly world as they are swept up in a springtime romance neither can resist.

But Heath’s secrets run deeper than Theo ever imagined. He’s actually Heathcliff Pierrepont Blackwood, Duke of Kingston, in hiding from recent death threats. Suddenly there’s more separating them than the Atlantic Ocean, and Theo doubts he’ll ever fit in with English nobility. Though Heath and Theo are opposites in almost every way, their love might bridge the gap – if they’re willing to take the risk.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me MJ O’Shea has been one of those authors who I’m always hit and miss when it comes to enjoying their books. However, I am more than happy to say that Duke In Hiding is one of those stories that I absolutely loved. The definite highlight for me was hearing the wonderful Rusty Topsfield narrate a story where you really do need to suspend your disbelief more often than hoped for. Having already read Duke in Hiding I was interested to see what happened with the audio – I find that I enjoy a lot of book more in their audio. Ultimately, though, I think my enjoyment level was about the same.

Duke In Hiding is exactly what the title and blurb says.

Heath is the moody English aristocrat who goes to small town New Hampshire in order to get away from a potentially deadly situation after an attempt is made on his life. This is where he meets Theo, a landscape gardener who also doubles as a bar tender until his summer workload picks up. Needless to say, the guys start off on the wrong foot because of a certain duke’s moody behavior. Yet from the start there are intense sparks of attraction between the guys. In the end I loved these guys. Theo was a good buffer for Heath’s gruffness.

I think my only criticism is that the ending seemed a little rushed. There was a lot for Theo to comprehend at the end and he seemed to just let it happen and accepted everything without much of a fight. I don’t really mean fight in the literal sense. I just felt that perhaps it needed to occur on a longer time frame. After all, on top of the personal issues to overcome there was the mystery of who would want Heath so completely out of the picture that his life was in danger.

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!

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!

Ace In The Hole by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

Ava Drake - Ace In The Hole Cover AudioTitle: Ace in the Hole

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 13 / Wild Cards 01

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 43 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Sept 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Surveillance, seduction, and extra-dirty politics.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis has a problem. A huge one. The US senator he works for has run away with his latest mistress on the eve of a make-or-break fundraising event, and it’s up to him to cover his boss’s irresponsible tracks.

Stone Jackson, the senator’s new bodyguard, looks enough like the senator that, with some extensive grooming, he might pass for Senator Lacey. Christian and Stone hatch a plan to fool everyone by substituting Stone for the senator, but Miami madness and the incendiary heat between them are throwing obstacles in their way. It’s a race to find the senator and pull off the con of the century before the attraction between them spins completely out of control.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I was looking forward to this book for a number of reasons: 1) I really enjoy Ava Drake’s writing style and her books in general. 2) There is a bit of political intrigue. 3) There’s the strong ex-military/ex-mercenary security force, which is the basis of the entire series, obviously.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis is a personal assistant for a major US senator who just loved to get himself in trouble. One night at a bar he meets a stranger. It’s not until they meet again, this time in a professional capacity, that Christian discovered that Stone Jackson was the new bodyguard hired for the senator. The plot itself seemed to get just a bit ridiculous, but I was more than happy to suspend my disbelief for a while. On top of a scandalous senator with his mistresses and hook-ups, there is also his wife, who is strong, abrasive driving force. Seriously, I thought she had been placed in what seems to be a normal position for women in MM books – firmly as a Cruella DeVille type Villian. Instead, by the end she became a fantastic secondary character and totally lovable. I wanted a HEA for her too! As for the main guys themselves, Stone and Christian, I really loved the attraction between the guys and of course they were very well suited. They suited well together.

All in all, this is a fun read/audio with a dash of politics and a bit of danger. Over the top characters and plot lines, with wonderful and sweet romance. John Solo is definitely one of my favorite narrators for the MM genre and his voice just totally fit perfect with the tone and the characters.

Seven-Card Stud by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

Ava Drake - Seven-Card Stud Cover AudioTitle: Seven Card Stud

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 22 / Wild Cards Inc 02

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 32 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: When Collin Callahan, British secret agent, goes up against math genius turned surfer bum Oliver Elliot, the battle is epic – and so is the attraction. They’re pitted against each other in an exclusive, ultra-secret – and ultra-illegal – poker match in Gibraltar, but when players start dying and they could be next, they find a common goal: catch the killer before it’s too late.

Evenly matched at poker and romance, they each wrestle personal demons that threaten to consume them as the stakes climb. It’s an all-or-nothing gamble with both life and love on the line as they fight to be the last seven-card studs standing.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Seven-Card Stud is book 2 in Ava Drake’s Wild Cards series, it also happens to be a part of the Dreamspun Desires series. For those that have heard (or read) book 1, Ace in the Hole, and enjoyed the over the top nature of the plot line (it was excellent over the top fun) then you’ll have to give this one a go. Of course, for those that have not read the first book, you will be happy to know that this functions as standalone novel.

Our MCs for this adventurous ride is Collin Callahan, a British spy who is just about everything you would expect from your Bond-like hero, and Oliver Elliot, who is everything you’d expect from a math genius who decided to become a surfer-bum. The situation is somewhat complicated but so simple: while involved in an illegal poker game, some of the other players begin to turn up murdered. It is impossible to know who to trust but together Oliver and Collin need to survive in order to find out who is responsible for the murders.

There’s danger from organized crime, illegal gambling havens, and a poker game to end all poker games. But let’s not forget the super-hot sex and the raw attraction between these two guys. The sexual tension just sizzles between them. Of course there is a good measure of deception in this story, but somehow their growing love is strong enough to keep the fires burning.

That ridiculous sound description is in fact quite accurate but it really does serve as the launching point for a lot of the fun and danger that happens throughout the entire story. And John Solo’s narration – OMG – absolutely fantastic and really enhanced the sexy times and the danger that the characters are battling.

The Virgin Manny by Amy Lane ~ Audiobook

Amy Lane - The Virgin Manny Cover AudioTitle: The Virgin Manny

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 25 / The Mannies 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 14 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14 Feb 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The Mannies

Growing up and falling in love….

Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver her premade Italian dinners, when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it’s the latter! But one delivery might change everything.

Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what’s best for Sammy…but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.

Tino plans to make his education count – even if that means avoiding a relationship – but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order to live his promising tomorrow?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: It’s definitely no secret that I love the Dreamspun Desires series. If you’re after sickly sweet romance, maybe a dash of insta-love and a passionate HEA, this line of books by Dreamspinner Press will, more often than not, give you just that. And in reading Dreamspun Desires I have definitely grown a massive appreciation for the work of Amy Lane – I am totally smitten with her writing.

Seriously, Dreamspun Desires are the best thing to listen to on flights. They have been my go to for when I make visits home to see the family, which started out totally for their convenient length.

The other thing that I attracted me to this book is that I can never resist a book with a manny! Hot guys and kids – everything could go wrong but I’m a sucker for this often predictable trope. Seriously: ovaries = blown.

The Virgin Manny of the title is Tino Robbins. He’s an out of this world smart kind of guy, though he never shows that part of him, more often than not he is talking up how smart his younger sister Nica is. After all, Nica is 18 and already has a successful and growing business of delivering prepackaged meals she makes herself. But Tino himself has just finished up college and ready to tackle the world of business. One night she ropes Tino into taking a delivery to one of her regular clients and it changes Tino’s life forever. At the home he delivers to he meets Channing and his nephew Sammy. Channing’s sister has recently died, leaving Channing as Sammy’s guardian. Channing needs a nanny, all he has is his sister’s spiteful bitch of a housekeeper and Tino seems to be able to communicate with Sammy. Let’s not forget that the guys have an instant attraction and let’s face it, that attraction has to be the only basis for the entire story.

Ok, so the beginning is a bit shaky when it comes to Channing recruiting Tino (I really needed to keep my mind open for that), but really and truly the one criticism I have is that there was a brief mention of Sammy’s biological father and fighting him for full parental rights. But that was it.

But the best, best part – I looked up the series and am currently doing a little happy dance (and not just because I’m watching Doctor Who) because book 2 is going to be coming out and centers on the same group of friends, just a few years in the future. Totally excited now. Actually I’m kinda giddy (but that could also be because of Doctor Who).

A Kind of Truth by Lane Hayes ~ Audiobook

Lane Hayes - A Kind of Truth Cover AudioTitle: A Kind of Truth

Series:  A Kind of Series 1

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Seth Clayton

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8 hrs 29 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3 May 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, for example that he should keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: A Kind of Truth is the first in Lane Hayes’ A Kind Of series. Interestingly enough, this is a book that I had trouble enjoying when I first read it – only rating it a 3.5/5 and I was annoyed at too much “telling”, not enough action and slow plot development. Yet with the audio I absolutely fell in love with the story and the characters and definitely deserves a 5/5. What can I say? Sometimes there are some books that read better as audios rather than off the page and for me this is a perfect example.

This is the story of rock musician, Rand, who like many before him has dreams of fame and fortune in New York. He and his band play gigs and are just doing what they need to in order to find fame – and that includes Rand having to hide the fact that he is bisexual. In need of a guitar teacher, he meets college student Will, who tutors guitar on the side to make extra money. Will’s in debt and will do whatever it takes to get rid of his student loans and whatnot. Quickly, it’s obvious that Will is keeping all kinds of secrets. It’s almost as if this book is essentially an unravelling of Will. The story is generally a very sweet romance, and starts off rather light hearted and at about the halfway point there is a major shift to a more serious frame of mind.

The story is totally from the POV of Rand – our wannabe rocker. Seth Clayton, the narrator, lends the perfect amount of desperation and determination and vulnerability to the character. Unlike when I read the story where I found it difficult to connect with Rand, I completely fell in love with him as much as I completely fell in love with Wil. Will is a positively wonderful character and one that many of us, including myself, could relate to. Will is a fantastic guy and he has so many hidden layers – him wanting to give up everything to go back into the closet for his family was both frustrating and made me upset on Rand’s behalf.

Their romance is beautiful and sweet and they work hard to be together.

A Kind of Romance by Lane Hayes ~ Audiobook

Lane Hayes - A Kind of Romance Cover AudioTitle: A Kind of Romance

Series:  A Kind Of Series 2

Author: Lane Hayes

Narrator: Seth Clayton

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 9 hrs 1 min

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 September 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is book 2 in Lane Hayes’ A Kind of Stories series. However, this can be treated as a standalone book. Other than an appearance from the couple from book 1, A Kind of Truth, there is no ongoing plot to worry about. I have to say that I find it quite remarkable that I have felt a lot more happiness, joy and romance from the audio of this series than I have from reading the ebook.

This is a totally fun book and really embraces the old saying “opposites attract” because that is exactly what Zeke (he hates being called Ezekiel) and Benny are. Zeke is a well to do Wall Street exec that is also just a tad snobbish. Which is a bit odd since his father and brothers, who run the family bakery, are the most ordinary type people that you could come across. Benny on the other hand is a blue-haired ball of energy who takes life in his stride. And with that all said, both characters do feature in book 1, sort of. One MC, Benny, appears in book 1, Zeke, was mentioned multiple times by his father in book 1.

These guys also have completely different family lives. While Benny works for Zeke’s father, George, on the side, his primary job is to work for his own family. They are Italian-Catholic and to me I saw my own family in that, we may not be New Yorkers but there is that unspoken camaraderie that comes along with coming from an Italian family that immigrated out of Italy. Benny is pretty damn lucky where his family is concerned.

However, Zeke is not quite so lucky. His father was a difficult man to live with after he came out as gay and that is seen in the still mending relationship between father and son. I think it is also interesting how his mother is referred to as “gone”, because she isn’t dead. I assume that she has some form of dementia although it was never stated, and neither was that bit of information crucial to the outcome of the story. It’s quickly evident though, he is just what Zeke needs to loosen up and to make Zeke realize that he has bloody horrible taste in men.

I absolutely adored this audio. Once again, Seth Clayton delivers an absolutely spot on performance for Benny and Zeke. Benny most especially is a very relatable character, although Zeke’s troubles with his ex is also, unfortunately, all too easy to relate to. Seth Clayton totally nails all the emotions and I just didn’t want to stop listening.

Charlie’s Hero by Nic Starr ~ Audiobook

Nic Starr - Charlie's Hero Cover AudioTitle: Charlie’s Hero

Series: Heroes Book 1

Author: Nic Starr

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Genre: Coming Out, Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Narration: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: Schoolteacher is hot for the EMT! It’s a cute matchup, but takes a while to get there. The romance has a slow simmer, which can be very refreshing, but sometimes I wanted the story to pick up the pace a bit.

The narrator, Joel Leslie did a very fine job with the character variation, the passionate scenes may have been a bit flat, but still tastefully done.

My favorite thing about Charlie’s Hero is the building of a community, friends, family and co-workers coming together to enjoy each other’s company and build a strong community of support. I love to see this and in reality it isn’t done enough.  

Most of the drama here occurs with Josh, and his fear over what his brother will do when he finds out Josh is gay. I can also feel Charlie’s frustrations with Josh, and I’m just crushed over his idiotic family’s reactions during the story. Plenty of sadness, frustration, anger and lusty moments abound in this contemporary love story. The drama builds and builds in a fun way with a definite twist at the end.

A warm fuzzy, sexy read.

Striking Sparks by Ari McKay ~ Audiobook

Ari McKay - Striking Sparks Cover AudioTitle: Striking Sparks

Series:  The Walker Boys 01 / Dreamspun Desires 24

Author: Ari McKay

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 10 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The stakes are high and the heat is on.

Beau Walker, owner of the Barbecue Shack, needs the help of Jake Parnell, his one-time rival and secret crush, in a televised barbecue competition. Beau is a proud man, but the stakes are high, and smart, sexy Jake is his only hope, even if being around Jake reawakens the attraction he’s fought for years.

Jake left his hometown, determined to build a life somewhere his sexuality wouldn’t hurt his family’s restaurant business—and far away from hunky, obstinate Beau Walker. Then his twin, Josh, is killed, and Jake returns to support his brother’s wife and children. Despite his reservations, he agrees to go head-to-head against Beau on national television. Between stress and grief, as well as pride and determination, only one thing is certain—the heat between Beau and Jake extends well beyond the kitchen.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is my first Ari McKay audio read, although I read this book at the end of last year so I sort of knew what I was getting myself into. However, in saying that, I have the worst memory and actually forgot most of the details except for the BBQ competition which is mentioned in the blurb. Regardless, this was as wonderful to listen to as it had been to read last year (especially since I also gave that a 5 heart rating too).

Beau Walker is owner of the Barbeque Shack. His rival is Jake Parnell, who now runs Parnell’s Pantry and supporting his brother’s family after the death of his twin brother, Josh. Beau had always got along with Josh, but for numerous and probably obvious reason, he and Jake never got along. The main point would be that Beau is out to their small town community while Jake is still firmly in the closet.  But now the time has come that they are going to have to work together, Beau had organized a friendly competition with Josh, which was going to be filmed for television. Now it is Jake who is going to take his brother’s place despite the tension between the guys. The money would be good for the family, the advertising for their businesses would be invaluable, as well as for tourism of their hometown.

I have to admit that I’m totally addicted to watching Food Network, so getting into this book was never a problem. Add onto that the great tension that was crafted between the MCs and then there is explosive attraction between them. I think that this is a book that will easily please many listeners.

Rusty Topsfield lends his voice to this audio and his voice perfectly fits the tone and style of the book. He also happens to be (along with John Solo) one of my favorite narrators in the MM genre. He absolutely gets both Beau and Jake and the crazy sexual tension going on between these guys.

A Walk Through Fire by Felice Stevens ~ Audiobook

Felice Stevens - A Walk Through Fire Audio CoverTitle: A Walk Through Fire

Series: Through Hell & Back 01

Author: Felice Stevens

Narrator: Kale Williams

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Length: 10 hrs 

Publisher: Felice Stevens (6th March 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Years after running away from an abusive foster family, Asher Davis still struggles with the guilt of leaving his foster brothers behind. He’s climbed to unimaginable heights as a ruthless, high-powered attorney, creating a life of power and control.

Blaming himself for the death of his parents, Dr. Drew Klein retreats into a shell of loneliness, merely going through the motions of life. After a disastrous, short-lived marriage, Drew leaves his lucrative medical practice to set up a clinic for abused young men and women. The decision has more repercussions than Drew could ever imagine when the dark and sensual Ash Davis volunteers to help. Although Drew isn’t gay, Ash is inexplicably drawn to him. He vows to simply bed him and forget him like he’s done with every other man. However, Drew’s sweet and caring nature and unexpected passion both stun and frighten Ash, who questions his right to any happiness at all. And when Ash befriends an abused young man who unwittingly draws the clinic into danger, threatening Drew’s safety and that of his beloved grandmother, Ash discovers that there is nothing he won’t sacrifice to protect the love he never thought he’d find.

©2106 Felice Stevens (P)2017 Felice Stevens

Product Link: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/A-Walk-Through-Fire-Audiobook/B06XDFRJVL

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: If you enjoy dark characters with a disturbing past full of pain, you’ll enjoy Asher. This is a story full of cycles of abuse, self harm, relationships doomed by scars from the past. A lot of the plot revolves around psychological issues, confronting, sharing, and healing wounds from the past. Learning how to face your fears and move forward is central to the plot. Will Ash find comfort and trust his heart in someone’s hands? Will Drew discover something about himself and trust his heart to a damaged man? Just a warning too, there is self harm in this story. 

The characters take a while to unveil themselves, and even though I enjoy the dark and dangerous Ash, and the seemingly naive and too trusting Drew, my favorite character is actually Drew’s wise and knowing grandmother. She sees right through everyone! 

Some of the plot is predictable, and yes a bit trite, but honest and sometimes very ugly. It’s a good read/listen, especially if you enjoy the hurt/love combo. At least it’s a story with a good plot and not just steamy smexy scenes, though there are plenty of those!   

The narrator did an excellent job giving each character defined voices, had a rich smooth tempo, and was good at both dark and brooding and wise old ladies! Definitely worth a read or listen if you’re into drama, and healing hurt souls.

Moment of Silence by Karen Stivali ~ Audiobook

Karen Stivali - Moment in Silence Cover AudioTitle: Moment of Silence

Series: Moments In Time 04

Author: Karen Stivali

Genre: Contemporary 

Narrator: Robert Neiman

Length: 8 hrs 4 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (31st August 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Heart

Narration: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Heart

Blurb: Growing up, Jason Stern led a charmed life complete with devoted sisters, a father who was one of Brooklyn’s most respected rabbis, and a mother who made the world’s best babka. He headed to NYU ready for anything – except falling for the wrong guy, coming out, and getting disowned by his once-loving family. In spite of that, Jason managed to graduate with honors. He’s got friends who treat him like family, and he’s proudly running the largest LGBTQ teen shelter in Manhattan. Life is good, but he’s still falling for the wrong men.

When charming, sexy Quinn Fitzpatrick begins work at the shelter, Jason falls hard and fast. Quinn is tall, blond, funny – damn near perfect. Only if Quinn’s gay, even he doesn’t seem to know it. If he does, he’s not telling anyone. And he’s about one ceremony away from becoming a Catholic priest.

Long hours of work turn to long nights of talking and laughter, and Jason dares to hope this time he’s falling for the right guy. But Quinn’s got a past to deal with and major decisions to make about his future. When Quinn leaves for a silent retreat, Jason knows the silence may change everything.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: Oh my god Quinn!!!! I knew Collin’s brother was going to be a fire cracker! It’s always the priests!!! Or in this case almost priests….

At the end of book 3 we see Quinn offering an olive branch to Collin, and a cracking of Quinn’s carefully constructed shell. Years of cruel psychological abuse by his mother led Quinn straight to the brotherhood, in hopes of escaping her crushing demands. His guilt over his brothers treatment, his questioning of his own identity, all lead to Quinn taking a break from the order before he makes the priesthood official. Can his desire to live out his faith combine with his desire for Jason? 

And poor Jason, once bitten twice shy knows better than to encourage a relationship with a closeted gay man. But sometimes desire outweighs common sense, the heart and the libido gets what it wants!!!

All along as their friendship grows into a sexual relationship I was so worried for Jason. To overcome what is ingrained in us from childhood is so taught, I really wondered how Quinn could walk away from something not only forced upon him, but his true passion and life’s work in the ministry. Faith and family are two huge weights… and it will take a strong man to lift him up from that. 

The sexual tension is hot! There was one line in particular from Quinn…I was thinking, gay priest…soft sensual slow sexual discovery right….no! This hot hunk of brotherhood tells Jason he not only imagines sex with him, but he imagines man handling him him down underneath him and having a hard rough fuck with Jason. Dominant, hot and heavy! 

Narration is good, nice timing, consistent with earlier books. 

Moment of Clarity by Karen Stivali ~ Audiobook

Karen Stivali - Moment of Clarity Cover AudioTitle: Moment of Clarity

Series: Moments In Time 03

Author: Karen Stivali

Genre: Contemporary

Narrator: Robert Neiman

Length: 3 hrs 53 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd August 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Spending the summer together on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, challenges confront them at every turn.

As they search for their new normal in their old environment, Collin’s brother Sean surprises them with help when they need it most. But when word about their relationship gets out, trouble erupts with friends and family. When Collin’s relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother’s custody battle and Tanner struggles with his feelings for a heartbroken Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone he cares about would be better off without him in the picture.

In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear to Collin that their love for each other is all that matters.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: Back from a roller coaster of self-discovery, trust and sexual exploration on Fire Island, Collin and Tanner come back to the reality of a town that has plenty of narrow minded people ready to tear them down and apart. 

Just when they’re ready to fall back into a routine of living together on college campus, they discover that they’ll soon be homeless for a while unless they can find a friend or in this case family to take them in for a while. I’m totally loving Collin’s brother but so distraught at what he’s forced to do. The stress of house hopping, school and work start to build up on Collin and his jealousy over Wendy doesn’t help things. He makes a bad move, and it could lead to the end of their relationship. 

Can this couple get over distance, family drama, and the burdens of daily life? The biggest relationship hurdle here is insecurity brought on by homophobia in family and community members…but the beauty is we often are pleasantly surprised by the people in our life that we least expect support from. 

The intimacy grows between Collin and Tanner and trust allows them to further explore their sexual tastes and deepen the bond. Until of course Collin believes he can push Tanner into someone else’s arms! Lots of drama!

Narration is consistent with the first two books. Sometimes characters blend, but the pace, rhythm and tone are all pleasing. This book puts Collin and Tanner through plenty of hoops, but the ending is great, and has plenty of happiness and big surprises leading to book 4!