The Playmaker by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Andrew Grey - The Playmaker Cover AudioTitle: The Playmaker

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: 6 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (23 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Professional football player Hunter Davis is learning that saying he’s gay is very different from actively being in a relationship with another man – especially in the eyes of his teammates and fans. So when Hunter needs a personal assistant to keep him organized, he asks for a woman in order to prevent tongues from wagging.

Montgomery Willis badly needs to find work before he loses everything. There’s just one position at the agency where he applies, but the problem is, he’s not a woman. And he knows nothing about football. Still, Hunter gives him a chance, but only because Monty’s desperate.

Monty soon proves his worth by saving Hunter’s bacon on an important promotional shoot, and Hunter realizes he might have someone special working for him – in more ways than one. Monty’s feelings come to the surface during an outing in the park when Hunter decides to teach Monty a bit about the game, and pictures surface of them in some questionable positions. Hunter is reminded that knowing he’s gay and seeing evidence in the papers are two very different things for the other players, and he might have to choose between two loves: football and Monty.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I absolutely adore Andrew Grey’s books. No matter the subject manner he makes interesting characters that are easy to relate to – he can make me laugh and cry in the same book. Seriously, this dude knows how to get me right in the feels. And if there is anything better than that, it is probably listening to John Solo narrate the audio book for an Andrew Grey story. John Solo is probably my favorite narrators because he just nails the emotion and tension of pretty much any character.

Enough gushing… onto the actual story.

Hunter Davis is a pro footballer – and openly gay at the peak of his career. With that comes a massive ego and a guy who would lose his head if it weren’t attached to his body. His agent has had it with Hunter’s inability to be on time or to behave and therefore forced a personal assistant to keep him in line. And because Hunter is something of a man-whore even Hunter insists if he is to have an assistant then it has to be a woman – he really couldn’t afford a scandal that could screw up his reputation.

This is where Monty comes in. Monty is a quiet, organized type of guy – he is just what Hunter needs, besides the fact he is a man. But Monty is desperate for a job and manages to get an interview after speaking to a frustrated recruiting agency and Hunter’s actual manager. Monty may be instantly attracted to Hunter, being the hot, fit footballer that he is. However, Hunter is a bit of ass and is annoyed that Monty has no clue about football or who Hunter even is.

With the scene set, the sparks flying and a steady pace I love listening to every moment of this book. Definitely a win for Andrew Grey.

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune ~ Audiobook

T.J. Klune - Wolfsong Cover AudioTitle: Wolfsong

Series:  Wolfsong 01

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Kirt Graves

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 18 hrs, 40 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th October 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Ox was 12 when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was 16 when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was 17 when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet.

Ox was 23 when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his blood red eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I think it’s safe to say that I adore anything by TJ Klune in any shape or form – or rather in any format. I love paranormal-shifter books and so when TJ Klune wrote this one, it was a must have. I mean, really, my two favorite things. What could go wrong? Reading TJ’s books is always a thrill and he is always guaranteed to make me laugh like a loon and then pull a “Wookie cry face” as I struggle to hold myself together and cry on public transport. Each and every TJ Klune book has a whole lot of a heart and Wolfsong is no exception.

With Wolfsong I originally read the epub version when it was first released. When I got the opportunity to hear the audio, I forgot basically the entire book except for knowing there was the usual TJ Klune wit, making me laugh and cry.

The story opens when we meet Ox at the age of 12. He is so sweet and once I fell in love with 12 year old Ox, I knew that I would love him as he got older. With an abusive alcoholic for a father, Ox doesn’t have an easy life but he just keeps on going, even after being abandoned at the age of 12. Ox struggles with his self esteem. Ox remains a quiet person but one day walking home from work he meets a very talkative and very energetic kid (his complete opposite), named Joe. But Joe has his own issues and Joe’s family welcomes Ox with open arms after helping Joe. As years pass Joe grows up and Ox remains to have a low self esteem. Also as the years pass we see Joe and Ox’s life and relationship become something that is nothing short of amazing. And Joe… Joe is just simply perfect for Ox.

Wolfsong was also my first experience Kirt Graves narrating and he is totally wonderful. When TJ said that the guy nailed the audition, he also nailed the book absolutely perfectly. He provided a brilliant voice to our main characters and just gave me all sorts of feels.

This is one beautiful, heartfelt ride into the lives of a wolf shape-shifter pack. There is so much packed into this. We got a guy who has been abused and trying to make a life for himself – and manages to surround himself with wonderful people in the process introducing love and family into his life. Ox is just so damn sweet and lovable that I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and cuddle him close. The sequel is out in 2018 and I can’t wait!

Power Play by A.J. Marcus

A.J. Marcus - Power Play CoverTitle: Power Play

Series: Dragon Elite 01

Author: AJ Marcus

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (84 pages)

Publisher: eXtasy Books (17 March 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Can an average man end up landing one of the hottest dragons in Denver?

Naga Industries wasn’t Calvin’s first choice of a place to intern. It wasn’t even his tenth. But when every other internship spot is taken, he finds himself at the mercy of Draeke Lindwurm and he’s way over his head. 

Draeke doesn’t want an intern, but his go-to man is threatening to revolt if he doesn’t get them both some help. Calvin is everything Draeke doesn’t like in men. He’s too young, too average, never on time, doesn’t dress well, and worst of all Calvin is human which makes things complicated between them when he becomes a pawn in a power play with the world’s dragon elite.

ISBN: 978-1-4874-1036-0

Product Link:

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me, AJ Marcus is a very enjoyable story teller. I’m not sure exactly why, but the simple fact is that I connect with and enjoy the writing. And hey, that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

The story stars one very surly dragon called Draeke. He is the head of Naga Enterprises – which essentially is a massive company run by shifters that has so many umbrella companies and interests they might as well be ruling the world with their obscene amount of money. Drake is tall, dark, sexy and surly – everything that your typical dragon hero should be. He grabbed me from the get go and held on for the whole story.

Then there is Calvin. He’s very human and doesn’t know about the paranormal world. In fact, he doesn’t know much about Naga Enterprises besides knowing that he landed an internship and this lends to showing us the wide-eyed naiveté that I have no doubt he was meant to portray. However, in no time at all, he is going in deep with his boss – he flies off to Shanghai after the murder of one of Naga’s most senior dragon employees and then finds out about the existence of shifters.

This is a totally fun and very hot story. For everyone that can’t go past a dragon shifter tale, you will definitely enjoy this one. I think the only reason I’ve rated this 3.5/5 is because this was a tad bit predictable despite the fact I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Winter Ball by Amy Lane ~ Audiobook

Amy Lane - Winter Ball Cover AudioTitle: Winter Ball

Series:  Winter Ball 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: Nick J Russo

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: 5 hrs, 35 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (23 Feb 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Through a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work – and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a post-practice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected – nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games – and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie – but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Amy Lane is one of my favorite authors. I’ve enjoyed a number of heartwarming one of my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story and the writing – for me it nothing in particular about the characters really grabbed me and I felt that sometimes the pacing dragged a little.

Winter Ball is your usual kind of gay-for-you, friends-to-lovers story set from the end of spring to around the Christmas Holidays (if the title didn’t give it away I don’t know what would).

Skipper is a lonely guy – he’s never had real close friends or family. He lives for – at least socially – the soccer team he plays on. For now it is the team that satisfies his need for a family of some sort. Then there is Richie – he’s got just as much baggage as Skip. Richie comes from a screwed up family and the way they treated him was abusive. So Richie “skipped” town as a teen (sorry for the pun) and tried to start over again. He’s on the same soccer team as Skipper and when the book opens, Richie and Skip are already acting on their mutual attraction, although they are extremely cautious about their budding relationship let alone jump out the closet screaming.

There was plenty of angst and emotion, which certainly helped me stay with the story. I think though what didn’t grab me was that there was no lead up to the guys getting together, but we had to go through the motions and angst that comes with the guys staying together. However, Nick J Russo’s ability to convey the message of story and the lives of the characters was another definite plus for the story.

Canary for the Dragon by Angelique Voisen

Angelique Voisen - Canary for the Dragon CoverTitle: Canary for the Dragon

Author: Angelique Voisen

Genre: Paranormal

Length:  Short (61 pages)

Publisher: Evernight Publishing (22 April 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Sky’s a canary prince that’s been kept in a gilded cage all his life. As a breeder for his dying people, it’s his job to find a suitable mate and continue the bloodline. All he wants to experience is a one-night-stand with a stranger he’s attracted to, before someone puts a permanent lock on his cage. 

Rex’s a century-old Alpha dragon shifter trying to make it past each day. Losing his mate tore his soul in half. As a result, his dragon’s broken beyond repair. When Rex meets Sky, he realizes he’s been given a second chance at love. But things are never that simple. 

Sky’s powerful avian family wants their breeder back and Sky’s terrified for Rex. Little does Sky know who the real threat is. When a dragon finds his mate, the hunt never ends until the Alpha claims his mate. 

ISBN: 978-1-77339-264-6

Product Link:

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me Angelique Voisen is an author on my radar but not really an author that I immediately want to read. I’m not really sure if I’ve read any of her previous works but I know I’ve read the blurb for a number of stories (and clearly never got further than that). Maybe one day that will change. For now I’m reviewing this fairly enjoyable and very short story.

Sky is a sweet canary shifter who has been mistreated by predatory birds, in particular the cruel eagle shifter who Sky has been forced to mate. He spends time perched in his canary form singing a mournful song, feeling trapped, which connects with lonely centuries old dragon shape shifter, Rex. Rex lost his human mate twenty years ago and because of that struggles to maintain control of his dragon. But the moment Rex sees Sky (and saves him) in his human form it seems to be fate that they are together.

For the most part this was an enjoyable story. I wished there was more of Sky and Rex – if that were the case I would hope that the introduction to Sky especially would give the same details in the blurb. I find it a little disappointing that I got more info about Sky from the blurb than I felt I did from the book. But Sky and Re are made for each other – as I said, it would have been cool to have more of them.

Manny Get Your Guy by Amy Lane

bspja8s0346b515zgTitle: Manny Get Your Guy

Series: The Mannies 02 / Dreamspun Desires 37

Author: Amy Lane

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (236 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 July 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Starting over and falling in love.

Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.

After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.

Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?

Turns out, Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-647-4

Product Link:

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’ve been excited for reading Manny Get Your Man as soon as I finished reading the first book in Amy Lane’s Mannies series, The Virgin Manny. Happily, I can say that I was not disappointed by this one. I’ve definitely enjoyed Amy Lane’s writing in the past but The Mannies series has been one of those books that I instantly fell in love with. The writing style is easy to follow and the pace is excellent.

Since this is the second book in a series, as much as I would say it does work as a standalone novel, I think. But I think that you really need to read the first book before this one, if nothing else you’re doing yourself an injustice by not reading an excellent book. Manny Get Your Man features a lot of characters from The Virgin Manny and is set about 10 years later, so you find out about all the characters (major and minor) we fell in love with in book 1. In fact, the first sentence of the blurb does assume that the reader has read the first book.

I really loved Manny Get Your Man. Taylor and Brandon’s story was just… awesome. We met Taylor back in book 1 – he was the obnoxious, brash best friend of hero Tino’s (The Virgin Manny of the title) sister Nica, who hit on Tino while Tino was busy getting his HEA with Channing. But 10 years later and after a stint in the military, Taylor has grown up – A LOT – and starts his journey of redemption (at least for the reader). Taylor is returning home after recuperating from injuries and his job is to be the manny for his best friend Nica, who is about to have her 5th kid with her brother’s best friend, Jake. It is here that Taylor meets Brandon, who lives in the garage apartment of his cousin, Jake.

I know, it’s a tangle. I won’t stop you from getting a paper and pen out to draw the family tree. 

I absolutely loved this story. If there was one criticism it is that unlike book 1 where Sammy (Tino’s charge) was a major character of the book, Nica and Jake’s kids are not really characters, only occasionally getting the spotlight with their manny. Though I must say, this would have been tricky to work though with that many kids… seriously, five kids before 30! But with my belief suspended, I fell in love with both Brandon and Taylor. Their story is beautiful and it was just awesome to be able to revisit old friends. The guys just clicked with their chemistry and were super relatable.