Truth Will Out by K.C. Wells ~ Audio Review

K.C. Wells - Truth Will Out Audio Cover ru74cTitle: Truth Will Out

Author: K.C. Wells

Narrator: Seb Yarrick

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 58 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (11th April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory – if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.

They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, espe-cially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Truth Will Out is a standalone novel written by KC Wells – an author I am not familiar with and happy to read or listen to their work without barely reading the blurb. I connect with the writing style and for me that’s about all I need from an author – I am a tart when it comes to books. The audio of this book was performed by Seb Yarrick, a narrator that took me a bit to warm up to but now look forward to, especially when he gives a performance requiring some sort of British or European accent. In short, I looked forward to this book a lot. The fact that it involved the English country side and a Lord of the Manor type of thing and I was all set to be sucked into the story.

Overall, this was a really cool story and I think was greatly enhanced by listening to the audio. I feel that this is a book that I’ve got more out of it by listening to the audio – and the fabulous performances that brought the characters to life – than I would have reading the book.

There is a definite “British Mystery” feel to it, as in that there’s a murder in the small village but surely “it was nothing but an accident, I’m sure”. I probably have watched too many of said British Mysteries on television, and I’m not ashamed to say that Hot Fuzz is one of my favourite comedy movies. And not to mention that I figured out the plot of the story, mostly because I was thinking, “this reminds of the Doctor Who episode The Unicorn and the Wasp”. Yeah, I’m a nerd and I barely had to think to remember the name of the episode, whatever.

The story starts with Jonathon de Mountford. He goes to visit his uncle, the present Lord de Mountford at the family’s country seat/property. He has a lot of guilt for not seeing his uncle, whom he had been so close to as a kid. But the years and his career as a famous photographer sent him on a whirlwind journey that he has loved. Of course, his father, who heads the family law firm, is disappointed in Jonathon not only because he’s gay but also because he didn’t go into law and sees photography as nothing but a hobby. So clearly the guy has baggage and his life is about to get a whole lot more complicated, first when he meets local bar owner Mike Tattersall, and then goes to find his uncle and ends up finding him dead in his study.

Mike Tattersall moved to the quiet village of Merrychurch in the English countryside after losing his foot ended his career as a police officer in London. Now he owns the village pub (and oh my god! This just makes me think of watching Heartbeat with my mum when I was home sick from school). He moved to be closer to his recently divorced sister and has made something of a life for himself, even if he is lonely. Mike isn’t in the closet, though he doesn’t advertise his sexuality. He was also very much out when he was a policeman, and got his own set of baggage from that as well as dealing with his sister.

Jonathon and Mike have an instant connection. Their chemistry has been written perfectly. The sparks start to fly instantly, but they have a lot of learning to do together before anything can get too serious. On top of that, Jonathon and Mike can’t resist getting involved in the local to mystery, trying to piece together all the clues to solve what happened to Jonathon’s uncle.

I recommend this to anyone that wants a light-hearted romance with a good dose of adventure and mystery.

The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters ~ Audio Review

Louisa Masters - The Athlete and the Aristocrat Audio Cover yh3n38Title: The Athlete and the Aristocrat

Series: Dreamspun Desires 73

Author: Louisa Masters

Narrator: Seb Yarrick

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 38 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (4th April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Sometimes love takes balls.

Newly retired championship footballer Simon Wood is taking on his next challenge. His plan for a charity to provide funding for underprivileged children to pursue football as a career has passed its first hurdle: he has backers and an executive consultant. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling.

Lucien Morel, heir to the multibillion-euro Morel Corporation, is shocked—and thrilled—to learn his father has volunteered him as consultant to a fledgling football charity. Better yet, the brains behind it all is heartthrob Simon Wood, his teenage idol and crush.

Although Simon and Lucien get off on the wrong foot, it’s not long before they’re getting along like a house on fire—sparks included. But with the charity under public scrutiny, can their romance thrive?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters is the author’s most recent contribution to the Dreamspun Desires line by Dreamspinner Press. This is a book that I really enjoyed reading and so loved being able to relax, listening to the audio narration of this book.

Master’s writing is really appealing to me because it is the writing style just takes me in and I feel an instant connection to the characters. Although this book is not part of a series by Masters, we are brought back into the world of European elegance and riches which we first encountered in The Bunny and the Billionaire and even get to check in with three of the characters from that book. For me that was a bit of a thrill.

As for the narration, I really enjoyed it. The narration was performed by Seb Yarrick. To be perfectly honest it’s taken me a few books to fully get on board with Yarrick’s performance, although I wonder if it is just a case of perhaps me not being sold on Yarrick’s suitability for the ones that I didn’t really like. Regardless, I have absolutely no complaints about the narration. I enjoyed the voice he gave to both MCs and I really felt the emotion between the two men come through in the voice and tone.

The story itself is quite simple. A hot, rich, powerful, smart aristocrat and an equally hot, rich, powerful and smart athlete are thrown together when the titular athlete wants to set up a new foundation for children in need who do not have the access to equipment or their parents don’t have the time or money to allow kids to follow their dreams. It’s all noble intentions and I’m a complete sucker for it.

The Athlete and the Aristocrat introduces us to retired professional footballer Simon Wood and billionaire of the highly influential Morel family and their corporation, Lucien Morel. The little bit of cuteness in their background is that Lucien secretly had a crush on Simon while Simon was playing soccer and in fact convinced his father that Simon’s proposal for a charity had just as much merit as a charity for education and food for kids from struggling families. However, these guys have a bumpy road to their HEA, which is what kept me intrigued with this story. There is no doubting the attraction between Simon and Lucien, however, they did need to take time to get to know each other before taking the risk of mixing business with pleasure.

I think this story has a series of popular themes which will satisfy anyone who is attracted to these types of romances that include the whole fairy-tale ending for the brooding rich guy and the kind-hearted guy that steps into his life.

The Blueprint by S.E. Harmon ~ Audio Review

S.E. Harmon - The Blueprint Audio Cover 73484hrjTitle: The Blueprint

Series: Rules of Possession 01

Author: S.E. Harmon

Narrator: Sean Crisden, Alexander Cendese

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: 8 hrs, 24 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (30th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Kelly Cannon is satisfied with his life. He has friends, a wonderful family, and a great job. But his love life has reached a new level of pitiful. Why? Well, his heart decided to break all the rules. Don’t fall in love with a straight guy. And definitely don’t fall in love with your best friend.

NFL standout Britton “Blue” Montgomery has pressure coming at him from all sides: from his father, who’s only interested in Blue’s football career; from his coaches, who just want him to play without getting injured again; from the fans; from his agent; and from his mother, who has popped up on the radar after leaving his family years before. And now his relationship with Kelly is on shaky ground, and that frightens Blue more than anything.

When Kelly admits he’s in love with Blue, bonds are tested, and Blue has to decide what’s really important. He doesn’t want to lose the number-one person in his life, but the cost to keep Kelly close might be more than he’s willing to pay. It’s a good thing his nickname is the Blueprint – it’s time to draft a new set of plans.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The Blueprint is the first book in SE Harmon’s series, Rules of Possession. I am sort of familiar with Harmon’s work but right at this moment, other than knowing that Harmon’s work doesn’t stick out in my mind as an author whose work I haven’t enjoyed in the past that was it. For me I was attracted to the fact that this was a professional sport MM romance, which I’m a sucker for.

The story starts with Kelly Cannon. He is happy with his life, except when it comes to his romantic life, because things are just not going right for him there. He can’t keep a relationship going and he knows exactly why, as do his exes. He has a boyfriend and while they are good together, he doesn’t see the man as his happily ever after, he already knows that the man tries to control him and doesn’t listen to him either. Things come to a head when Kelly is proposed to for the whole world to see and Kelly feels that he can only say yes, only to have the difficult conversation on their way home. And so, once again facing life as a single man and after an argument with the man who had so briefly been his finance, Kelly once more has to face the fact that he is in love with his best friend, a very straight NFL player. Kelly knows he needs to change his life because he knew that he would end up lonely and miserable if he keeps pining for a man that could never want him, ever. However, when he tries to make distance between himself and Blue, something in Blue snaps and he too makes some decisions about his life and Kelly’s place in it.

Blue, real name Britton Montgomery, is nicknamed Blue because his college football coach called him “The Blueprint” of the team. He is an amazing football player and even though he is getting older, he still has some years ahead of him. He is, in short, living the dream. But that changes when one night when he sees that Kelly’s boyfriend proposes to him very publicly and instead of congratulating his friend, he is left very worried about the man. Pushing himself back into Kelly’s lift starts a roller coaster that could end up very rewarding for both men, or it could the undoing of the men, professionally and/or personally.

I’ve left the narration to the end of the review on purpose. I really liked the production and the performances of this audiobook. Alexander Cendese, who I am not familiar with, narrated chapters from Kelly’s POV, while Sean Crisden, who I adore, narrated Kelly’s chapters. Both narrators did a fantastic job. Their voice and tones were matched perfectly to their characters and I happily listened to their performance all day at work. Cendese captured Kelly’s warring emotions as he tries to get himself together before things with Kelly start to change. Crisden then did an equally excellent job with the chopping emotions of Blue as he reassess himself as he comes to certain realisation regarding Kelly and how much he knows he did not want to lose Kelly from his life.

Overall, I really loved the book. It was fun, it was sexy and loved the chemistry between Blue and Kelly. I really felt the emotion and particularly felt connected to Kelly as he tries to navigate his way through love and facing the fact that he is in love with his straight best friend, before that changes once more. Yet I also felt Blue’s emotion as he is forced to reassess his personal beliefs about himself as a person. This wasn’t particularly intense or angsty, but I love how the characters have to traverse a somewhat rocky path before their happy for now ending. I look forward to the continuation of these two characters in the second book of the series.

This isn’t a gay for you book, per se, however, if you like a friends to lovers type of story, as well as the professional sports setting, this would be a great series to start.

Fire and Rain by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - Fire and Rain Audio Cover wmek99Title: Fire and Rain

Series: Carlisle Cops 03

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: Randy Fuller

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 19 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (24th February 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Since the death of their mother, Josten Applewhite has done what he’s had to do to take care of his little brother and keep their small family together. But in an instant, a stroke of bad luck tears down what little home he’s managed to build, and Jos and Isaac end up on the streets.

That’s where Officer Kip Rogers finds them, and even though he knows he should let the prop-er authorities handle things, he cannot find it in his heart to turn them away, going so far as to invite them to stay in his home until they get back on their feet. With the help of Kip and his friends, Jos starts to rebuild his life. But experience has taught him nothing comes for free, and the generosity seems too good to be true – just like everything about Kip.

Kip’s falling hard for Jos, and he likes the way Jos and Isaac make his big house feel like a home. But their arrangement can’t be permanent, not with Jos set on making his own way. Then a distant relative emerges, determined to destroy Jos’s family, and Kip knows Jos needs him – even if he’s not ready to admit it.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Fire and Rain is the third book in Andrew Grey’s Carlisle Cops series. You don’t need to have read the previous book in the series. I’ve read and listened to the two series Carlisle Cops and Carlisle Deputies completely out of order. And while the characters from previous books pop up and you know that they are together, there is nothing vital mentioned that I found difficult to put together on my own. But that being said, it’s such a great series, it probably would be easier to start from the beginning and work your way through. I completely arsed it up, but no reason why anyone has to do that. I honestly think I was just too excited about the book itself I didn’t care and am familiar enough with Grey’s writing to know I can usually read (or in this case listen to) his series out of order.

That leads into the fact that I am a massive fan of Andrew Grey’s writing and I’m not ashamed to admit it. He has a great knack for mixing romance with kids. I connect to his writing style and the great way that he manages to includes kids in many of his books, they are not there for decoration and are a very important character along with the two romantic leads. Much like the previous book in the series, Fire and Rain is a great book for anyone that loves a good romance mixed up with a cop drama and includes a heart wrenching story with kids.

The narration of this book was by Randy Fuller. I am not unfamiliar with Fuller’s work. Fuller has performed the narration for Carlisle Cops and Carlisle Deputies, so I have quickly become accustomed to him being “the voice” of the series. His voice has a gravelly timbre that really suits the dangerous and raw emotion aspects of the plot line. In addition, he has a very reasonable, well-paced tone in his voice when it comes to portraying level-headed characters. (It is actually the latter trait that makes Fuller’s narration of The President’s Husband one of my favourite books to re-listen to, but that is not the point of this review).

Since I listened to this book and then went back to book 2, I did note that there is some similarities in the overall themes of the book. However, Grey uses this to his advantage in how the main cop character interacts with his colleagues and gets advice. But that isn’t me saying that it is identical, because it isn’t.

Officer Kip Rogers is on patrol and takes a call about a homeless person loitering near a shop which is the best place for protection out of the rain. That man is Josten Applewhite and Kip is horrified to see that Josten has his little brother Isaac, who is barely a toddler. With the local shelters already full, in part because of the terrible weather Kip’s protective instincts kick in and he wants to help the handsome young man with his adorable brother. However, Josten, aka Jos, isn’t trusting. After the death of his mother and losing his job and then being evicted out his apartment, Jos is understandably suspicious of anyone who wants to help him and Isaac without getting anything in return.

Now that he has met Kip, though, it seems that the two men are fated to be thrown together. Kip is also mindful that he doesn’t want to take advantage of Jos’s situation and for a start just wants to keep the man and the little boy safe. Kip is kind and gentle, as well as being strong, he is everything that Jos needs before we even get to the romance. As they begin to fall in love and Jos begins to get back on his feet, a threat comes in the form of an estranged aunt with ulterior motive. The whole story with the aunt, admittedly, wasn’t hard to work out before it fully played out but it was still a well-executed aspect of the story.

As I said earlier, I really love this series and hope that there will be more in future. At any rate, I know I will happily re-listen to this audio.

Seeking Solace by Ari McKay ~ Audio Review

Ari McKay - Seeking Solace Audio Cover 234ierjkTitle: Seeking Solace

Series: Dreamspun Desires 69, The Walker Boys 03

Author: Ari McKay

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 55 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (6th November 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: All hands on deck for a shipboard romance—with a secret.

Like his cousins, Devin Walker aspires to be a chef, but he wants to indulge his wanderlust while feeding his customers, and working a cruise ship seems like the solution. Since he can’t find an opening in the kitchen, he’s happy to start out in a position behind the bar.

While onboard Poseidon’s Pearl, Devin is assigned to shepherd a visiting executive. Paul Bailey is quiet and unassuming, and a car accident that cost him his leg also shattered his confidence. He doesn’t think he’s attractive to other men anymore, and Devin is eager to show him just how wrong he is. Paul has a surprising secret that might sink their passionate affair before it even leaves port.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Seeking Solace is the third book in Ari McKay’s series The Walker Boys. It isn’t essential that you read the previous books, though it would probably make life easier when one of the MCs, Devin Walker, talks about his family back home in Buffalo Lick, Texas. Much like the previous two books, Seeking Solace is a sweet and simple romance at heart. Of course, there is a good dose of drama, mostly fuelled by miscommunication and running away from one’s problems, but it is a fun and adorable story.

I really enjoyed this story when I read it and looked forward to the audio. When I grabbed the audio from Audible, I was even more excited to see that the narration of this book was done by John Solo. I absolutely love Solo’s narration, he has the magic touch – the magic tonsils? – when it comes to bringing emotional depth into the characters with just the tone of his voice. Some of Solo’s performances are also so good that a book that I didn’t like when I read it, or pick it up to read after listening to audio, are far more enjoyable than just reading the written text. That is the sign of a good narrator, in my opinion. Seeking Solace is no exception in terms of performance, I loved it and connected to Devin and Paul so quickly, especially when the drama of the story comes into play.

The story is about Devin Walker, one of the famous Walker boys from Buffalo Lick, Texas. Unlike his many cousins, he had it a little tougher time growing up when people out of town hurled racial abuse at him. Like many others in Walker clan, he has the cooking bug. He wants to be a chef but before he can get there, Devin is working as a bar tender on a cruise ship, where he meets Paul Bailey.

However, Paul Bailey is Paul Mercer. He is on the cruise ship undercover, as he is in fact the heir of the cruise line company. He just wants to be seen as another exec who has to spend time on ship before settling into a job at head office. Devin becomes Paul’s staff liaison and the two quickly develop a friendship that becomes something a lot more meaningful.

The problem being, is that when Devin discovers Paul’s true surname, he feels betrayed and goes back to the only place he knows to recover. Paul is confused why he didn’t see Devin and again and when he discovers what has happened he is determined and sweet enough to take the biggest risk.

These guys are well suited. Their chemistry is strong but there is something deeper to it than their physical attraction, which does bring in something of an instalove aspect to the book. This is the perfect escape book for a relatable and relatively uncomplicated romance. Fans of the previous books in the series or fans of Ari McKay or people that simply love the romance and sappiness that comes from many Dreamspun Desire books, you won’t be disappointed. For anyone else, if you’re into simple and sweet romances then this is the book for you.

The Strength of His Heart by Victoria Sue ~ Audio Review

Victoria Sue - The Strength of His Heart Audio Cover nasjnh89Title: The Strength of His Heart

Series: Enhanced 04

Author: Victoria Sue

Narrator: Nick J Russo

Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Length: 7 hrs, 22 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (8th April 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: All Vance Connelly ever wanted to do was continue his family’s tradition and join the Tampa Po-lice Department, but his dreams were crushed the day he woke with the enhanced mark on his face. After years of struggling to adjust to life as an enhanced human, by a stroke of luck, he met Talon Valdez and became a proud member of the FBI’s Human Enhanced Rescue Organi-zation.

Samuel “Angel” Piper is eager to leave his DEA undercover work behind as he joins the HERO team as Vance’s regular human partner. But Sam’s painful past is ever present, just below the surface of the life he has built for himself as an ambitious young agent. When the team investi-gates rumors of a new drug using enhanced blood, the case’s mysterious connection to Sam threatens not just his life but Vance’s.

Trust doesn’t come easy for Sam, but Vance is willing to fight to convince his partner that the strength of his heart might be the salvation they both need.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Strength of His Heart is book 4 of Victoria Sue’s series, Enhanced.

Before I started this audio, I hadn’t realised that I hadn’t realised it was a series, but a couple chapters in when it finally clicked to me, I was too invested to stop and get to the other three stories. I was able to follow the plot without any problem, although I am sure that I missed some points when it came to some of the background characters, they were well developed and fleshed out by this point in the series, but again, nothing that I couldn’t piece together in my head.

This book is the first book I’ve read/listened to by the author, so I had no idea what to expect in terms of the writing and the depth of the world that had been created. However, I am very familiar with the work of Nick J Russo, the narrator. Normally, I have heard him perform contemporary books and I have found that he is well suited. But this book is best described as an urban fantasy. I was totally blown away by how well he narrated the story and conveyed the complex emotions of the MCs. Both MCs are tough, alpha type of males, however, one is a gentle giant and the other is a scrappy guy.

The series is called Enhanced after a group of people in the world who have been ridiculed and discriminated against because the men (because it’s only men) that are “Enhanced”, known for the scar on their face after transformation, develop powers which the rest of humanity can’t understand. I suppose it’s a kind of parallel to the LGBTQI community. I’m not explaining the enhanced very well, but basically think of Marvel’s X-Men but it’s only men. Some enhanced can mind speak, some have super strength, some have healing – you get the point.

Vance and Sam are partners in a special FBI taskforce. It aims to team up human and enhanced partners in order to show the world that the enhanced aren’t monsters to be scared of.

Sam is ex-DEA (and has a past which is revealed through the story) but soon after partnering with Vance on the FBI team is back helping the DEA for another mission. Sam was good at his job in the DEA but he wanted so much more. He wanted to be in the FBI and didn’t want to be dragged back into the DEA. He has been used of protecting himself and being pushed around by people bigger than him, so when he is teamed up with Vance, despite sexual attraction, Sam isn’t going to let Vance take control.

Vance has always wanted to be a cop – it’s in his family to serve in the Tampa PD, his father is now the lieutenant, one of his brothers is also a cop, while another is also with the FBI. But Vance always wanted to be a cop, a choice that was taken away from him when he woke up as a teen, enhanced and with the scar to prove. While his parents and siblings have always been supportive of Vance, there are many opportunities and people in the world that do not think of him as human because of his abilities. The man has such a big heart and all he wants to do is help people.

Vance is a very sweet man and extremely vulnerable under his tough exterior, while Sam is tough and knows only how to keep up shields to keep himself safe from any kind of affection. There is an attraction between the two men, but with the danger of their ongoing case which involves drugs and added is the mystery of how enhanced have been dragged into the situation, things are often left on hold. As the danger increases the feelings also increase and Sam can’t help but keep putting his foot in his mouth to protect himself. Which, honestly, had me a tad emotional for poor Vance who wears his heart on his sleeve.

I absolutely adored this book. The chemistry between Sam and Vance is on point, their emotions are complex but relatable. The secondary character, some of whom have already had their own book in the series, are equally as deep and complex as Sam and Vance, even the two guys who have been set up to be the next couple of the series. The world that Sue has created is an adventure from start to finish. Now, I need to go back to the start of this series and find out about the other guys!

Fire and Ice by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - Fire and Ice Audio Cover sjdi8Title: Fire and Ice

Series: Carlisle Cops 02

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: Randy Fuller

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 14 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14th July 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.

Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at be-cause he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his bet-ter judgment,Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care avail-able. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.

Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart – secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Fire and Ice is the second book in Andrew Grey’s Carlisle Cops series. You don’t need to have read the previous book in the series. I’ve read and listened to Carlisle Cops and Carlisle Deputies completely out of order. And while the characters from previous books pop up and you know that they are together, there is nothing vital mentioned that I found difficult to put together on my own. But that being said, it’s such a great series, it probably would be easier to start from the beginning and work your way through.

This is a great book for anyone that loves a good romance mixed up with a cop drama and includes a heart wrenching story with kids. For me Andrew Grey is an instant read. I connect to his writing style and the great way that he manages to includes kids in many of his books, they are not there for decoration and are a very important character along with the two romantic leads. In fact, I’ve read the book before, loved it and so was super keen to get into the audio book.

The narration of this book was by Randy Fuller. I am not unfamiliar with Fuller’s work. Fuller has performed the narration for Carlisle Cops and Carlisle Deputies, so I have quickly become accustomed to him being “the voice” of the series. His voice has a gravelly timbre that really suits the dangerous and raw emotion aspects of the plot line. I particularly enjoyed his portrayal of emotionally closed-off social worker, Donald Ickle. In addition, he has a very reasonable, well-paced tone in his voice when it comes to portraying level-headed characters, in this book that being Carter Schunk. (It is actually the latter trait that makes Fuller’s narration of The President’s Husband one of my favourite books to re-listen to, but that is not the point of this review).

Carter Schunk loves his work and is dedicated to his job helping the people of Carlisle. He got the reputation of being a whiz with computers and so for the longest time spent most of his time behind the desk, being the man behind the screen and a great asset to the cops on the team. But now he has been able to move behind the desk and hit the streets. One of his first calls is to a domestic violence dispute which ended in the death of a woman. Instinct meant that Carter found scared, dirty and abused little boy call Alex. Carter has an instant connection with the kid and when child services struggles to help the boy due to lack of resources, Carter manages to goad Donald Ickle to help Alex himself.

Donald Ickle has earned the name Ice or Ice-Ickle, and for very good reason. Donald became a social worker so that he could help kids that needed it, much like he had needed help when he had been a child. Taken away from his mother and with no known family, he had lived his life in the system. He’s psychologically scarred and his defence is to push away anyone that wants to get close to him. He and Carter have already had a thing and Carter has already had his feelings hurt, but there is so much going on beneath the surface.

Carter doesn’t give up, not on Alex and definitely not on Donald. It is dangerous that the two men grow close to the little boy, and it is the little boy that brings them together. But this is just a deep and heartfelt plot that sees all three characters undergo a lot of changes throughout the book. These are really well developed characters and the feelings I got from them were intense. For this reason I adored Fire and Ice. Although, add in great chemistry and totally relatable characters and a slow burn romance, I was a very happy person by the end of it. That’s not to say I shed quite a few tears throughout the book.

The CEO’s Christmas Manny by Angela McCallister ~ Audio Review

Angela McCallister - The CEO's Christmas Manny Audio Cover gehy65Title: The CEO’s Christmas Manny

Series: Dreamspun Desires 72 / Beyond the Boardroom 01

Author: Angela McCallister

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 5 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (2nd May 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Anything but business as usual.

Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors—including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father—the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish… and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.

Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun—that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.

Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily ever after he’s always dreamed of?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: The CEO’s Christmas Manny by Angela McAllister is from the Dreamspun Desires line. To be perfectly honest, I’ve read and loved the book before and so had to get to the audio. What had initially attracted me to this story when I read it was good romance with hot boss and his manny, maybe even especially at Christmas (sort of).

Nic Price is the stereotypical CEO/billionaire in so many romance novels. He is a ruthless business man and is great at his job, that’s why he’s a billionaire. However, he has to cope with the stress of the board of his family company, including his father who is never satisfied with anything that Nic does, despite increasing the company profit’s over the last few years. On top of that he also the guardian of his orphaned niece and nephew. Since he’s had them for a few years and has been so distracted by business he has now lost his connection with but doesn’t take the time to care that this has happened because ultimately this all loops around to the fact that his father is forever down his throat and issuing threats about the family company (yes, another stereotype but totally works). The kids have gone through another nanny and so another is hired.

This is where we meet young, idealistic and enthusiastic teacher, Sasha Lindsey (and of course everyone expects him to be a female). Sasha lost his job as a casual teacher at a school in favour of someone who is tenured. His new job, across the country, as a live in manny is a godsend, especially at Christmastime with teaching positions being few and far between. Both when I read and listened to this book, the vibe that Sasha gave me was one like Mr Keating in The Dead Poet’s Society. He wants to engage his students, not just tell them what they need to know, he wants them to enjoy learning and to have fun.

Nic finds it hard to open his heart to the kids and to Sasha, especially now that he has been threatened with losing his position if he can’t increase profits further. But Sasha is sweetness and happiness and love which Nic has never known from his family and eventually, despite a bit of drama, these guys are inevitable.

The narration for this was performed by John Solo. I absolutely adore Solo’s work and he is very well suited to these type of contemporary romances. I’m at a bit of a loss for words about what to say in this review, I’m not for fluffy descriptions, I just like what I like. To me I love the full package of voice, tone, emotion and pace done by Solo in not only this book, but many of the books he narrates.

I really loved this book. It fulfilled every soppy romantic fantasy I have, despite being a tad too predictable and the story kind of reminding me of The Sound of Music (minus running away from the Nazis). The chemistry between Nic and Sasha is off the charts and it was easy to relate to both of them, even if Nic was a grouch that needed Sasha’s love to heal is heart and show him how to really live life and to be happy.

Pins and Needles by A.J. Thomas ~ Audio Review

A.J. Thomas - Pins and Needles Audio Cover 45hy4Title: Pins and Needles

Author: A.J. Thomas

Narrator: Jason Riley

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8 hrs, 57 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (12th January 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….

After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most law-yers take one look at his tattoo-covered father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.

As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove – to his father, the world, and himself. Sean in-trigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report – including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to pro-tect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, be-comes a lot more dangerous.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Pins and Needles is a standalone novel by AJ Thomas. I’m not really all that familiar with Thomas’s writing, although I think I might have read some books but I know I don’t have anything by the author in my Audible library. The narration for the audio was performed by Jason Riley, a completely new narrator for me. Therefore, it’s safe to say I went into this book not knowing what to expect from both the story and the narration and only knowing that I liked the look of the blurb.

The narration was great. I will definitely be interested in any more books which are narrated by Jason Riley. His voice and tonal differences between the MCs suited the characters well. Overall, a pretty awesome performance and by the end of it I would go as far as to call it a flawless performance too.

The story centres around Sean Wilkinson and Nate Delaney. Sean has had a tough upbringing, but he was lucky that there was someone there to support him (not just financially) as a kid, through college and now to the third day on his job shortly after graduation. Coming from an unconventional background (his stepdad runs a tattoo parlour), Sean is super smart and has become a petroleum engineer, so smart that during his internship he invented a machine to use on the oil platforms. However, on the third on the job, there was an accident that ended in his losing his leg. This is the start of a lot of legal and medical issues which Sean has to navigate, with the help of his kind, tough teddy-bear like stepfather. And that is how Nate Delaney comes into his life.

Nate has worked his butt off to become a lawyer, like his father, and after college and passing the bar has been working for his father’s law firm. He loves being a lawyer but he doesn’t love his job. He is treated a lot tougher than any other intern or lawyer at his level because his father is adamant that there will be no special treatment. Which is understandable, however, it has been taken too far and his father does not see the hours of thankless tasks he does, proving him more than competent. Sean doesn’t want to be his father or his father’s firm, and is ready to make it on his own. Circumstance leads him to Sean’s stepfather and then to Sean.

While there is an instant attraction between Sean and Nate there is also a lot of trouble. Nate is trying to make it on his own, while his father’s firm could ruin his reputation after leaving so sensationally. Not to mention the conflict of interest issue brewing as he gets closer to Sean and starts to fall in love. Sean has gone through a major trauma, has a tonne of personal baggage connected to his old job, and he needs to heal both mentally and physically. The loss of his leg has changed his life, but his drawing and gift when it comes to tattoos is something that helps him through the tough times.

Things aren’t simple with Sean’s accident. When Nate begins to dig, he finds a lot more happening that what appears on the surface. At first he wants to ensure that Sean gets enough money to pay for medical bills as well as to keep Sean afloat with his chosen career now lost to him. This aspect of the plot is an adventure with twists and turns. Nate’s astute observations brings the story forward, while Sean’s fears throw in the occasional roadblock. But together this gives us an interesting and engaging plot.

Pins and Needles is one of those awesome discoveries, where I was so happy that I took the chance when I read the blurb and decided to get the audio book version. Firstly, I instantly connected to the characters thanks to a very relaxed writing style that made the emotions of the characters accessible to me as the reader. I also felt the chemistry between the characters, which was woven well into the greater plot, which involves some intrigue, mystery and danger. It also helps that there is a lot of depth to these characters and they change so much throughout the book as individuals and it’s a development that goes hand in hand with the developing relationship.

I recommend this for anyone that likes a bit of a mystery, characters who are more than meets the eye and sprinkling of danger.

Fire Balls by Tara Lain ~ Audio Review

Tara Lain - Fire Balls Audio Cover 575hyTitle: Fire Balls

Series: Balls to the Wall 02

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: Nick J Russo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 3 hrs, 27 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (8th October 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands 5-foot-6, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate – and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe – humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!

Hunter lives a dream life – his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Fire Balls is the second book in Tara Lain’s series Balls to the Wall. I decided to go back into this series, despite not liking book 1 much (I will admit, I had a lot of issues). However, there are plenty of other books/series by Lain that I adore. Typically, I really like Lain’s writing and the characters.

And let’s be honest, although I enjoyed this story more than I did the first book, I can’t say that it was the best thing ever. I know why I didn’t connect with the story, it’s pretty simple really. I feel that the characters suffered with the length of the book. There was not enough room for development and so there were a lot of sudden changes in attitude and some questionable personality traits that weren’t explained. This is true of the first book in the series as well.

The story is about artist Rodney Mansfield and firefighter Hunter Fallon. This is very much an instalove type of situation, however, the roadblocks that prevent these guys getting together include bigoted views from Hunter’s friends who also happen to be firefighters (I got really annoyed that he didn’t stand up for himself because these guys didn’t seem like real friends, and his brother was an arse). The issue being that Rod is out and proud, he’s not a manly man although he isn’t femme either. He is just himself and has no apologies. Meanwhile, Hunter is “straight gay” and insecure especially when he encounters someone like Rod, who he sees as weak, and the man is in fact stronger than Hunter.

Yet in saying that, this story is all about tackling these horrible and bigoted misconceptions and this is what I liked most about the book. Unfortunately, I felt that it needed to be taken a step further.

The narration for the story did lift my overall enjoyment of the book. It was excellent. I think that Nick J Russo is an excellent narrator and done a hell of a lot to lift the original material. Russo is one of my favourite narrators and it was a joy to listen to him despite my feelings for the story itself.

Fire and Agate by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - Fire & Agate Audio Cover 45yy5Title: Fire and Agate

Series: Carlisle Deputies 03

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 9 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (18th April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: When Chris Anducci is moved off jail duty and into the sheriff’s office, he doesn’t expect his first assignment to be protecting a witness against a human-trafficking ring. Knowing the new sheriff doesn’t abide screwups, Chris reluctantly agrees to work the case.

Pavle Kasun has spent the last four years of his life at the mercy of others. When an opportunity presented itself, he took it, resulting in his rescue. Now, the safe houses he’s placed in are be-ing threatened, and he needs protection if he is to have any sort of chance at a life.

Chris opens his home to Pavle, but he doesn’t expect Pavle and his story to get under his skin…and stay there. Soon, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought. Slowly, Pavle comes out of his shell, and Chris finds someone who touches his heart. But as the men looking for Pavle close in, they will stop at nothing to get him out of the way. Even if Chris can keep him safe, he might not be able to protect his heart if Pavle moves back home.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Review: Fire and Agate is the third book in Andrew Grey’s Carlisle Deputies series. You don’t need to have read the previous book in the series. I’ve read and listened to the two series Carlisle Cops and Carlisle Deputies completely out of order. And while the characters from previous books pop up and you know that they are together, there is nothing vital mentioned that I found difficult to put together on my own. That being said, it probably would be easier to start from the beginning and work your way through.

I really looked forward to the audio of this book. I am a massive fan of Andrew Grey’s writing. I connect to his writing style and I love the complex storylines which he weaves together, delivering well developed characters, relatable romances and of course a HEA.

The narration of this book was performed by Greg Tremblay. It seems like it’s been ages since I’ve heard an audio narrated by Tremblay. He is a very skilled narrated, giving the two MCs distinctive voices, in particular tackling the accent and broken English of Pavle. In fact, while I connected to his narration enjoyed how he conveyed the emotions of both Pavle and Chris, I adored Tremblay’s portrayal of Pavle who has gone through so much trauma in the space of four years.

Chris is one of the deputies for the Carlisle area. The sheriff’s office is going through a period of tension after one of their own was given the position of interim sheriff before being replaced with a man that was chosen on political grounds. Chris has recently been taken off of duty at the jail, something that he is more than happy about, with his first major assignment being far from simple. He needs to protect a witness to a human trafficking ring. Pavle, who ingeniously was able to get help which had the Carlisle cops release him from the hell he has lived since being trafficked from Serbia to the US, is now in danger from the traffickers. Pavle can identify the people involved in the trafficking ring, although the fact that his English is not too good is a barrier for the investigation.

The story tackles a very complicated issue. I feel that my explanation doesn’t do the book justice, but it is excellent. The story seems to have a simple premise, but this is an adventure that is fraught with danger and mystery. The cops are the good guys who need to save the day and capture the bad guys. But there is something really sweet about the relationship that develops between Chris and Pavle. Despite how life has panned out so far for Pavle, he is a strong and intelligent man. Love doesn’t always come into one’s life at the best of times, but Pavle knows what he wants and isn’t about to let Chris go because Chris has nothing but good intentions.

I loved how much these characters grow throughout the course of the book. They also have great chemistry and a gentle love story that happens in between the danger. Pavle is an amazing and strong character, despite being a victim, he is far from being the damsel in distress. Chris is also an awesome character, I just love Pavle more (haha).

Embracing His Syn by A.E. Via ~ Audio Review

A.E. Via - Embracing His Syn Audio Cover s 84g2cxTitle: Embracing His Syn

Series: Nothing Special 02

Author: A.E. Via

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Genre: Contemporary, Action, Thriller

Length: 11 hrs, 14 mins

Publisher: A.E. Via (4th June 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Sergeant Corbin “Syn” Sydney had dedicated his life to becoming the best detective. So when he heard there was an opening on the notorious Atlanta Narcotics Task Force, he jumped at the chance. But, what he wasn’t ready for was realizing just how lonely he’d made himself, when he observed the loving and dedicated relationship between the two men he served under: Lieuten-ant Cashel “God” Godfrey and Lieutenant Leonidis Day.

Syn prepared himself to accept his lonely fate until he walked into a small pub and met the long-haired, tattooed bartender, Furious Barkley. Before Syn can even understand why, he’s over-come with feelings he barely recognizes: passion, yearning, craving. And if the dark, lustful gazes are anything to go by, Furious might be feeling the same things for him.

Just two thing needs to happen before Syn and Furi can give each other what’s been missing from their lives for so long…Syn needs to find the evidence that proves Furi’s innocence of murder, as well as protect him from a past that refuses to let go.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Embracing His Syn is the second book in AE Via’s Nothing Special series. Although I’m not particularly familiar with Via’s work, I absolutely loved, loved, loved (it feel I need to emphasise how amazing that book was) Nothing Special and was keen to get into Embracing His Syn as soon as I could. Being that I had just left the world of Day and God and their team on the narcotics squad I honestly had no doubt that I would love this book and therefore had some high expectations, from both Via and the narrator, Aiden Snow.

I feel that this is going to be a very short review because I loved every moment of Embracing His Syn. However, I should say that I strongly recommend reading or listening to book 1 first because it sets the scene and many of the characters are back in the sequel, continuing from where they had left off in Nothing Special. I suppose you could get away with not having knowledge of book 1, but I feel that there is stuff going on under the surface that is easier to understand if you are already familiar (or assumes the reader is already familiar) with the Nothing Special world.

Quite simply, it was exactly what I expected it to be and so much more. The story overall itself is quite simple, but the characters are complex with so much depth that it is obvious that there is a lot of smaller moving cogs that carry the plot forward. The sex scenes are also very, very steamy and well written. If you’re like me who doesn’t like a lot of sex scenes or pointless sex scenes to pad out a book, there is nothing pointless about any sex scene in this story. Each sex scene deals with the concerns of the two MCs as they navigate their fledgling relationship.

The narration is also brilliantly performed. Much like the author, I’m not too familiar with the work of Aiden Snow from other audio books. However, he had done an amazing effort bringing to life the guys of the Nothing Special series, from the main characters to the equally complex secondary characters. His tone and deep voice is absolutely perfect for the characters that Via has concocted because it brings in the edge and danger that is associated with the plot of the book. But Snow also has a gentleness that not only makes the sex scenes so amazingly real even with the overwhelming strength of the characters, but his voice helped me feel the raw emotions of the characters. An amazing performance and one that I would love to relisten to in the future.

The story starts with Sergeant Corbin Sydney, aka Syn. He’s transferred to Atlanta PD’s most revered and successful teams, the narcotics squad, which is now headed by Lieutenants Day and God. The book picks up a couple years after Day and God’s story and the two are going as strong as ever, and they are both as awesome and as dangerous as ever. Syn is set through his paces, because Day and God only want the best on their team, but Syn is up for anything. He will never compromise his morals and beliefs for anyone. Shortly after being accepted on the team, there begins a string of murders which involve men being drugged, which is what brings Syn and his new team into the case.

Syn meets the man called Furious Barkley at his local pub, where Fury works while trying to finish school so that he and his best friend can open their mechanic workshop. It’s Fury’s dream, but he had left it on hold while he had been with his abusive ex-husband. After running away from the man, Fury gets a job with his ungrateful uncle at the pub and supplements his income doing solo porn videos so that he can finish school and get moving with his plans. However, things change when some of the male performers are killed which not only brings Fury into contact with Syn at the police station, but also brings him back on the radar of his ex-husband.

Fury has a lot of baggage because of his previous relationship. Syn has a protective streak a mile long and was instantly attracted to Fury. Syn, though, isn’t just a sexy cop, he has some hidden depths that seem completely opposite to his character at first, but in the end shows just how wonderful he is as a character. I think people will also appeal to Syn’s and Fury’s relationship plays out in bed and out of bed, because of how Via wrote this, it feels like a relationship that is on equal footing. The guys have to work together to not only deal with the imminent danger, but to also deal with the mental baggage so that they can make a proper go at their relationship.

Much like the first book, I recommend this one to people that love hot cops, a story with a touch of danger, a lot of love and a heck of a lot of sex.

A Casual Thing by Annabelle Jacobs ~ Audio Review

Annabelle Jacobs - A Casual Thing Audio Cover t64y4hTitle: A Casual Thing

Series: Will and Patrick, 01

Author: Annabelle Jacobs

Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 4 hrs, 43 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (6th April 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Patrick Mason travels to Bristol to spend the summer with his brother, Ben. He’s cat sitting for the first two weeks while Ben goes on holiday. But Ben neglected to tell him he wouldn’t be do-ing it alone. Will Adams – Ben’s mate and Patrick’s long-time crush – is staying in Ben’s guest room while he waits to move into his new house after a breakup.

Against his better judgment, Patrick convinces Will that a little no-strings fun is just what they need. Patrick doesn’t want to get involved with a guy on the rebound, and Will isn’t interested in starting something serious with a student. But Patrick’s never been good at separating sex from feelings, and this time is no exception. As their weeks together draw to a close, they need to decide if they have something worth pursuing or if it’s really just a casual thing.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: A Casual Thing is the first book in Annabelle Jacob’s series called Will and Patrick. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I saw this book, other than that I liked the look of the blurb. The whole hot friend of the older brother trope was what really sold me, though. I’m familiar with Annabelle Jacobs, but isn’t really an author that I have formed an opinion on. But ultimately, I am really happy that I did decide to get this audio, it was such a cute and sweet story and I really am looking forward to the next book in the series.

The narration of this story was performed by Matthew Lloyd Davies. A completely new narrator to me, I really enjoyed the over all performance. I particularly liked the voice and tone that he gave Patrick. I’m definitely keen to listen to more audios narrated by Davies because I found his voice and animations very pleasant to listen to.

Set in England, which I do love as well, Patrick Mason drives up to Bristol on his uni break, where he intends to crash in his big brother’s spare room and cat sit while said big brother goes off for a trip over the ditch in Europe. The only problem is, when Patrick arrives, he finds out that his brother’s best friend is crashing in the spare room after a rough break up. However, Will Adams is Patrick’s crush, back when Will had been with his ex. Because of the breakup and having to get the new house, Will can’t join his friends on the long-awaited trip. Patrick is annoyed and is torn because he doesn’t know how he will be able to navigate being with the man that he has crushed on for so long.

In a lot of ways the story is predictable. Two guys – one crushing on the other and the other is in a bad place post-breakup. Things are a bit bumpy at first but agreeing to a no-strings friends with benefits type of arrangement changes things, even if both men don’t quite want to face up to it. After all, they are only going to be occupying the same house for two weeks before Will moves into his new place. And while Will’s relationship with Patrick initially starts as a rebound, he also doesn’t want to start anything serious with a uni student – twenty-year olds being flighty and all that kind of stuff. However, Patrick has a soft heart and despite saying that this was only going to be sex and nothing else, he can’t help it when his feelings do become involved.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s super cute and very sweet. There isn’t a lot of angst, and so in saying that this is a really nice and relaxing story to listen to. Will and Patrick have great chemistry and their different opinions on starting a relationship make them interesting characters.

Familiar Angel by Amy Lane ~ Audio Review

Amy Lane - Familiar Angel Audio Cover 64gt40Title: Familiar Angel

Series: Familiar Love 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: Gomez Pugh

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 6 hrs, 50 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (5th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family – and shape-shifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking – but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel, the angel, has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.

In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk.

Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his familiar angel for nearly a century and a half?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Familiar Angel is the first book in Amy Lane’s Familiar Love series. While I love to read and listen to Amy Lane’s audio works, I wasn’t sure what to expect as this is the first book of Lane’s that I’ve read that is a paranormal. Typically, I love the writing style of Lane’s contemporary works and was pleased to see that this translated over into the paranormal story.

Narration for this book was performed by Gomez Pugh. According to my Audible library I’ve got another book narrated by Pugh, also written by Lane, but to be honest (although my review says I liked his work) I have zero recollection of the book. So I kinda went into this one blind. For Familiar Angel, Pugh has done a fantastic job. There are a number of characters, all requiring their own voices, with six secondary characters who are just as important as the two main characters of this story. Pugh made it easy to follow the various conversations and to follow when the book goes to a flashback.

Ugh. Sorry, this leads me onto a bit of a rant and the only reason why I didn’t give this a full 5/5.

I personally can’t stand a book that has a lot of flashbacks. And there were a number of long flashbacks here. I’m a simple person who wants near-instant gratification, particularly when there are flashbacks occurring at pivotal moments and disrupting my flow. The way I see it, especially for long drawn out scene that span a chapter or more, just tell me the important point in the present because I want to get to the guts of the story. While I did find it a bit tedious, both Lane’s writing and Pugh’s animated narration managed to pull off a really enjoyable story that I think I would find near impossible to read myself.

The story starts out when we are introduced to Harry, Edward and Francis in early 1800s California. They’ve lived a rough life and that wouldn’t get any easier, in fact, they would be lucky if they lasted another couple of years. But when Harry and Edward try to escape their predicament, they stumble upon a witch trying to help a beloved demon with the help of another demon and one of God’s angels. It is here that the boys turn from humans to become a witch’s familiar with a significantly longer life span.

More than a century later, the family use their powers to help those without hope – they will do anything to stop human trafficking. Harry has struggles through the decades, the biggest issue for him being his unrequited love for the angel that helped their family, Suriel. However, for Harry his past still haunts him, the fear of what had happened in his human life has followed over into immortality and he needs the help of his family and Suriel to help him defeat it (and as a bonus the family can save the day).

Suriel is a strong being, but he has his doubts and concerns when it comes to Harry. Harry is reckless and his family need Suriel to help save Harry. He knows that Harry is worth falling for, but there is so much uncertainty that Suriel is waiting until the absolute last possible days to figure it all out, when he had been visiting the family for almost a century and a half. However, to be with Harry permanently Suriel has to make drastic changes to his life and his being, going through a horrific trial of his own, as soon as he helps Harry and the family with breaking a massive human trafficking ring.

I can’t wait for the rest of the series. Book 2 is already out (I can’t wait for Edward and Mullin’s story) and there is to be a book 3 for Francis. I think those 2 will go a lot smoother since Familiar Angel has built a very complex world and given backstory for over six characters who are central to this story.

I recommend this to anyone that loves to read paranormal, although there are no shape shifters per se (the boys are familiars and there are no established packs, alphas, etc.), the battle between good and evil with witches, cats, angels and demons is a fun roller coaster.

Lincoln’s Park by Parker Williams ~ Audio Review

Parker Williams - Lincoln's Park Audio Cover 64v3mnTitle: Lincoln’s Park

Series: Links in the Chain 01

Author: Parker Williams

Narrator: Tristan James

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8 hrs, 42 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (4th April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might nev-er have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupt-ing the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.

Lincoln found – then lost – love.

Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.

Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?

What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in or-der to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Lincoln’s Park is the first book in Parker Williams Links in the Chain series.

I’m not overly familiar with Parker Williams and I have to say the mention of BDSM often concerns me in books. For me BDSM is fine as long as its written well between consenting adults instead of being used as a way to disguise literary porn as a romance, and let’s not go down the Fifty Shades path either. But I’m so happy to report that: 1) Parker Williams had such a wonderful way with words in this book that I can’t wait to get onto the rest of the series. 2) BDSM is only a background plot device and I had nothing to worry about at all.

The story starts with Lincoln Merriweather. He had been a ruthless businessman who had played as hard as he worked. He was raised a spoilt, rich brat until the day he met someone who changed everything about the way he saw the world. There was love but there was never going to be a future together. And so when he found himself on his own, he opened the Park View Diner and decided that he would help as many people as he could.

The Park View Diner has been his life for the past ten years now. Noel walks in off the street, quite clearly homeless and desperate for a job that no one would give him due to his appearance. Noel is young, only in his early twenties, but he’s been on the streets since his parents discovered that he was gay. Lincoln is a dream come true and gives Noel so much opportunity to help him to get out of the hole he had found himself in.

Lincoln and Noel both fight the feelings which are developing as they try to figure out what is happening between them. The one thing that is clear is that they belong together, and they need each other to feel complete. Added to that Lincoln’s past in the form of his rich family come to threaten all that he has built. Noel is there to lend Lincoln strength, but the stress and the situation could threaten what is shaping up to be a beautiful romance.

The narration of this story was performed by Tristan James, who was an unknown narrator to me until I finished this book. James does justice to the story and characters. He captures the vortex of emotions mixed with the strength of Lincoln, while he conveys the strength, vulnerability and determination of Noel.

This is a sweet story full of heart. It’s an intense emotional roller coaster, too, which just makes me so happy that I can’t find words for how much I loved this plot and the characters. I recommend this to people that want a sweet romance with a lot of hope. I can’t wait for the next book, which features Lincoln’s brother and look forward to a story of redemption.

Volley Balls by Tara Lain ~ Audio Review

Tara Lain - Volley Balls Audio Cover 46v3gkTitle: Volley Balls

Series: Balls to the Wall 01

Author: Tara Lain

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 4 hrs, 1 min

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (10th April 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 2.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A “pumped up” version of the Volley Balls story, twice as long as the original.

A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation – and his attraction – from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male – or two?

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Volley Balls is the first book in Tara Lain’s Balls to the Wall series, set in idyllic Laguna Beach (much like her series Love in Laguna, and I think the Love You So series, too). The way I understand it, this is a revised and expanded edition of the story, although I’ve had no prior knowledge of it before listening to the audio. I was interested, however, because I have enjoyed a number of other books and series of Lain (like those already mentioned). I’ve found it very easy to connect to Lain’s characters and get so easily invested into their storylines. So I thought that this would be a no-brainer – a cool, short story to get into to pass some time. As always when I see something involving Australia or Australian characters, that was just the icing on the cake for me to get into the story.

But – there is a big but… I struggled with this story. I struggled with the characters – connecting to them, empathising with them, wanting them to have their HEA. I struggled with how the plot went too and how the characters story arcs panned out. I got annoyed when Australians were brushed with the homophobic brush, but I pushed that aside because while it’s not all Australians, naturally there are a lot of homophobic a*holes here as there is anywhere else. I struggled so much that I have left it almost 2 weeks to write the review because I just don’t know what to say.

Before I break this down further, let me get into the plot of this story.

An Australian volleyball team is in Laguna, two of the guys are Gareth and Edge. Gareth and Edge have been friends for years. But Gareth has stayed closeted for fear of what his teammates and his best friend would say if they found out he is gay. His actions appear justified when his team and Edge are homophobic a*holes, not holding back calling men names such as fairy.

But Gareth has caught the attention of David Underwood, and vice versa. David is a sweet, down to earth guy and has major concerns about what it would mean to get involved with a closeted volley ball player whose friends who are horrible, homophobic and even seem to border on psychotic (though I am sure that was just a way to get the story moving forward).

Then there is Edge. Gareth’s best friend and the man that could prevent David and Gareth from being together, completely in love. Edge is jealous and doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions when it comes to Gareth, who has been his best friend and so much more for so many years. To me, Edge is the most difficult character, because his actions are so full of venom and at times manipulative it is then hard for me as the reader to understand his about face which leads Gareth and David opening their minds to a different kind of relationship.

As you can now probably guess, my biggest issue in this book is Edge. While I liked David and Gareth together and felt the connection and potential between the characters, I felt that the addition of Edge into the relationship was tacked onto the end. Although, to be honest, I don’t feel that there was a lot of character development to fully understand the motivations of each of the guys, especially Edge. I normally love MM menage romances but I found it difficult to believe Edge’s connection and chemistry when he was so full of hate and venom. I’m not sure, part of me kind of thinks that if the book was longer and that if there was significantly more character development this book would be better, and Edge could be more relatable.

My feelings for this book are so intense that I’m not just getting to the narration and tacking that onto the end of the book. To be honest, it was the narration by Nick J Russo that kept me going. I’ve heard Russo’s work in the past and so I didn’t have any concerns there. He does a great job with the characters, even does a fairly good Aussie accent for Gareth and Edge. For me, while his performance couldn’t fully redeem the book in my eyes (because there are some books that I just can’t read but totally love the same book when I listen to the audio), his performance was great.

Despite my issues with the book, I am certain there are many people that would love this – I mean, I’ve read other reviews that show just that. I recommend this to people that want a very sexy book, with tonnes of steamy sex scenes, menage/poly romances and a relationship that is best described as instalove.

Tart and Sweet by Amy Lane ~ Audio Review

Amy Lane - Tart and Sweet Audio Cover 87vxaTitle: Tart and Sweet

Series: Candy Man 04

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: Philip Alces

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 47 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (1st August 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: In the Army, Robbie Chambers turned on his lover out of fear — and he hasn’t been able to live with himself since. Now he’s out of the Army but still trapped in the closet that brought on his most cowardly moment, and he starts to think he’ll never be able to fight his way free.

Until he sees Cy McVeigh. Beautiful and uninhibited, Cy is dancing on the boardwalk at Old Sac for no other reason than the moment called for it. Robbie not only joins in the dance but is smit-ten from the very beginning.

However, Robbie still has old business to clear up, and when he helps out a kid in need and comes face-to-face with the man he betrayed, he’s forced to come clean with himself. He can’t redeem his mistake if he’s still locked into his old patterns, and he won’t ever be worthy of Cy if he can’t earn Adam’s forgiveness. He’s going to need all the help he can get from the people at Candy Heaven in order to make things right with his past so he can have a future with Cy.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Tart and Sweet is the fourth and final book in Amy Lane’s Candy Man series. It continues with the themes of friendship, healing and romance. While it probably works as a standalone, I recommend reading or getting your hands on the audio of the previous books as there is a lot of interaction with a whole cast of fully developed secondary characters.

I’ve have come to enjoy some of Lane’s books and this book is no exception. I find the writing style is really accessible, in that it is well written and very expressive without too much complicated language, so it’s easy to relax and read or listen to the book. The narration was performed by Philip Alces, who narrates the full series. Alces has a soft and gentle voice that matches the sweetness of the plot and conveys the variety of emotions that tumble through the MCs. It was a wonderful performance and completely on point.

Candy Man has a really cute premise. It’s about this almost hippy-like guy, Darren, who runs a boutique candy store in Old Sacramento and just so happens to have psychic visions about the people that he needs to help, i.e. people that are down on their luck and may not be looking for love but are gonna get it anyway. Really cool.

The characters that have brought together this entire world was Adam, Darren (the psychic Candy Man), Clopper the Dog and Jacob the Cat. It’s also nice that there is the background plot where Ezra has developed the gift to help Darren bringing together people, so Ezra who had his story in the previous book is also quite important in this one.

Robbie Chambers has left the army. He feels a lot of shame for how things had ended there and he was sure that he had lost the man that could have been the love of his life. Life in Old Sacramento after the army is difficult. He picked up the first girl he met at a bar in an attempt to be straight for her very conservative parents. But all that changes when he sees a beautiful man dancing on the boardwalk, attracted to him to no one he had been attracted to in his life. That man is Cy and on top of their sexuality, Robbie knows that his parents would also disapprove of the fact that Cy is black.

But as soon as they meet, Robbie is side tracked by saving a handsome man from being hit by a car – helping the man, Finn, to where Finn’s boyfriend works, he discovers Finn’s boyfriend is his ex, Adam. Adam who had not stood up for in the army and made the end of Adam’s army career hell and breaking Adam’s heart after planning happily ever after together. But Adam has moved on now and the magic of Candy Heaven is throwing Cy and Robbie together, they are now inevitable.

Robbie’s need for healing is the main theme in this plot, he has a lot of mental baggage to deal with and Cy is the man with the patience and strength to befriend and then help Robbie heal with love. They have a great attraction which starts as a friendship of necessity and a strong mutual attraction, before developing into love. An awesome ending to what has to be one of the sweetest, pun fully intended, series I’ve read or listened to.

Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael ~ Audio Review

Sean Michael - Unlikely Hero Audio Cover 85hbmTitle: Unlikely Hero

Author: Sean Michael

Narrator: Jeff Gelder

Genre: Contemporary, Thriller

Length: 7 hrs, 30 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2nd March 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: When his three-year-old daughter is kidnapped, Eric Wilson doesn’t have many options, and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out to his ex, influential businessman Brock Vencenza, whose money and contacts might be able to save Josie.

Brock never got over Eric’s loss, and he’s more than willing to help when Eric needs him most. Together with law enforcement and private security, they embark on a twisting investigation to find the little girl – and who wants to hurt her and destroy both men in the process. Under the circumstances, confessing he still has feelings for Eric would be inappropriate, but Brock can’t deny what’s in his heart. He doesn’t know if their love can be rekindled or if he can even protect Eric and Josie. But one thing is certain: Brock’s determined to be the hero in reality that he is in Eric’s eyes.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Unlikely Hero is a really well written story of second chances, the family you make with a rush of danger. Written by Sean Michael, I really looked forward to listening to this audio, mostly because I don’t think I’ve come across a book by Michael that I didn’t at least like. I also love how Michael has a knack for weaving wonderful child characters into stories as well, which is where many of his characters form their own families.

Jeff Gelder did the narration for the audio, which I thought was a perfect choice. I’ve heard Gelder perform a number of different books before, but I think he just really nailed this one. Specifically, I think his voice and tone was flawless for the main character, Eric. He also does a pretty good voice for Eric’s little girl Josie.

Eric and Brock are interesting characters, especially since we get into the story where these guys have a very well developed and described past. They had been together and in love when Eric broke up with Brock ten years earlier and they never lost their love for each other in the intervening years. There is no animosity between them, in fact it’s like that one friend you have where you don’t talk to them for years but you get back in touch and it’s like none of those years or months have passed, you just fall back into the old rhythm. However, in this case it’s more of a case they had Mr Right, they were simply in the right place at the wrong time. More than anything else, though, Eric had feared Brock drifting away because Brock was a rich businessman and Brock a high school teacher.

Time has been kind to them for the most part, Eric has adopted a little three year old called Josie (she is totally adorable) and he is mostly estranged from his family. For Brock while there had been a few men in his bed, he admits that he had hardly changed at all (probably a good plot device so that we can focus on the danger and allow the romance to just happen). I think if I have any real problem with this book, it’s that they were apart for so long before coming back together.

When Eric’s little girl is kidnapped, he cannot think of anyone he can trust more to help him than his ex, the rich and handsome Brock. Brock has never stopped loving Eric and when he finds out what has happened he will do anything to help. It’s not a smooth and clean ending to the ordeal though, and Brock becomes very protective of Eric and Josie. Brock had never wanted a family, another part of the reason why Eric broke up with him, but being in Eric and Josie’s life brings him the discovery that maybe life could really be a compromise of what he and Eric want most and they might just find their HEA.

While it’s not insta-love, there is a definite feel of things just falling into place between the men automatically. For that reason, despite their past, I do wonder if people that don’t like insta-love will have the same reaction to this relationship, especially with a ten year gap.

As for me, I absolutely loved the book. The dynamic and connection between Brock and Eric, as well as the kidnapping and psycho storyline was enough for me to forget some of the little things that should annoy me, as well as the fact that I figured out who was behind the kidnapping well before the end. The two men had fantastic chemistry and very definitely belong together!

Nothing Special by A.E. Via ~ Audio Review

A.E. Via - Nothing Special Audio Cover 73gv4Title: Nothing Special

Series: Nothing Special 01

Author: A.E. Via

Narrator: Aiden Snow

Genre: Contemporary, Action, Thriller

Length: 9 hrs, 47 mins

Publisher: A.E. Via (14th May 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Detective Cashel “Cash” Godfrey is big, tattooed, and angry so people typically keep their dis-tance. He’s fresh out of the police academy, however, no one is looking to partner with the six-foot-four beast with a huge chip on his shoulder and an inability to trust. When Cash scans the orientation room he wasn’t expecting to find sexy hazel eyes locked onto him. Eyes of the handsome Detective Leonidis “Leo” Day.

Leo is charming, witty, hilariously sarcastic and the only one that can make Cash smile. He’s proud, out, and one bad-ass detective.

Together, Cash and Leo become the most revered and successful narcotics detectives Atlanta’s ever seen. Able to communicate and understand each other, without even having to voice it, they quickly climb up the promotional ranks.

When Cash saves Leo’s life in a raid that turns deadly, Leo begins to see something in the big man that no one else does…something special. But Leo fears he’ll never break through the im-penetrable wall that protects Cash’s heart.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Nothing Special is the first book in AE Via’s series of the same name. Being that I’ve not read much of Via’s work in the past, I had no idea what to expect, but the blurb seemed interesting, especially if you’re in hot cops and gritty action.

And wow! This was amazing. I loved this book from start to finish.

There were so many hot sex scenes, but they didn’t feel superfluous, in fact I was impressed because I normally hate too many sex scenes in books, especially because many of them don’t feel that they belong in the story and have just been slapped in for a sexy break between high points.

The story starts with Leonidis Day, or just Day. His first day on the force as a detective he is paired up with Cashel Godfrey, or God as he is better known. Day gets trouble from a fellow officer on his first day for being gay, but Day is a fighter and doesn’t stand down. He is also immediately aware of just how sexy his hulking, tattooed partner is. Four years later Day and God have become an unbeatable force in the drug squad. They’re known for their cowboy antics but no one can argue with their results. They are not only partners, they are also best friends.

But things change as their feelings have evolved from day one to the present and they are faced with having to admit to a few things. God and Day aren’t scared and Day is not about to lose his best friend when he knows that they are meant to be so much more. A couple life threatening instances create tension that neither can deny. Through all this, the sexual tension, their jobs and illness, we also get to know so much more about God and Day, more about their family and how this ties into their motivations as characters.

The plot and premise is actually quite simple, but there are so many moving parts that are so well executed, I was hooked from the start and was sad to see the end.

The characters are wonderful. As well as Day and God, there are also a number of secondary characters who are just as vital to the story as the MCs. Each of them are very well developed, we are given their backstory, we see them grow. Nothing Special is one of those books where I am just so happy because the characters are so well fleshed out, the character arcs makes sense as the story goes along so there aren’t any wild card scenes that don’t make as much sense as the rest of the book. The chemistry between Day and God is electric. It’s so easy to understand why they are such good partners and why it is so natural that their relationship evolved into something a lot more. I think I just have to leave it at that I love each everyone of Via’s characters.

The narration was as amazing as the book itself. I don’t think that I am familiar with the work of Aiden Snow. However, he has a tone and timbre that matches the gritty, dangerous feel of the book and the cops that put themselves in the line of fire to do their duty. His voices for Day and God are great and it was just a joy to listen to. I especially loved how he was able to convey the snarkiness and the caffeine junky that is so central to Day’s character. Day and God are both very strong men, and this is heard in the narration. Overall, a wonderful performance that I cannot fault.

I recommend this one to people that love hot cops, a story with a touch of danger, a lot of love and a heck of a lot of sex.

From A Jack to A King by Scotty Cade ~ Audio Review

Scotty Cade - From A Jack To A King Audio Cover 34h23kTitle: From A Jack to A King

Author: Scotty Cade

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 34 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (7th December 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity – at least on the surface. In public, he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and intro-verted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice – gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.

Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: From A Jack to A King is a standalone contemporary romance by Scotty Cade, with narration for the audio performed by Kenneth Obi.

While Scotty Cade is a writer that I’ve read and enjoyed immensely in the past, I can’t say that he appears on my list of must-read authors. It’s more that I see interesting blurbs that spark my interest and I give it a go. Thinking about it, that seems odd to me because I love Cade’s writing style and his penchant for sweet and happy endings for his characters and that is totally my scene for a romance book. Perhaps I just need to read more from him? Maybe that list of authors is just way too long for me to really keep more than handful on my radar at once. I don’t know. Not the point.

Moving onto the narration, I was pleased after what seems to be months to have heard something from the wonderful Kenneth Obi. I’ve become familiar with Obi’s work particularly through the Dreamspun Desires audios, and these contemporary books are definitely where he shines as a narrator. He has a good tone and pace which is really pleasant to just listen to. I love that the two MCs have distinct voices despite them being so different, and in addition to that the secondary characters are also easily distinguished from his tone. Overall, a great narration, where the emotions of the characters and their complexities is captured wonderfully.

From A Jack to A King is a really interesting book. I can best describe the premise as quirky. In Vegas, New York Times best selling novelist Bay Whitman (who is something of a Robert Ludlum or Dan Brown), wins escort and popular gay porn star, King Slater, in a high-risk poker game where his opponent puts his appointment with an escort up as collateral. I really liked this initial set up, though it took me a few minutes to get on board with Bay getting his rush from playing high stakes poker but in the end didn’t come across as a gambling addict. Bay has a number of emotional and psychological scars which leaves him happiest on his own, being forced to go on book tours and make appearances often requires time as he puts on his public mask to get him through the ordeal. Because of this, Bay has never explored his sexuality at all, despite being in his thirties. He’s never allowed himself to get close enough to anyone, man or woman, to discover what it is that he wants. In fact, until he met King, love and romance had never been on his radar.

King Slater has his own demons to fight but meeting Bay intrigues him. He has no idea who Bay is and is surprised that Bay doesn’t recognise him. However, King is convinced that the man has to be bisexual if not gay and while developing some sort of odd friendship, he wants to push Bay’s buttons. The problem being that King isn’t really up to playing such a game, especially when it seems that his own feelings are becoming involved.

During their time at Vegas and beyond, the two men get to know each other and they begin to explore the possibilities of their relationship. The plot itself is really simple, and I’ve gone into a lot of detail here, but I’ve left out what happens in the last half, mostly because this is where the real deep character development happens. This is where King’s struggles also come into their own and that is something that I think Cade has done wonderfully, especially for “thing” that many of us would not understand. The guys are extremely complex, between their respective careers and their demons, there is a lot going on. However, by the end of it I felt like I knew them, could relate to their struggles despite having no personal knowledge of their issues. On top of that, their romance was a slow burn, although their attraction was immediate. I really enjoyed getting to know Bay and King and I was really happy with the ending that Cade gave his characters.

This is a story of two men working through and learning to live with their demons while establishing a deep and loving connection with each other. I recommend this for people that like a bit of celebrity with their romance, looking for characters on a journey of self-discovery and like slow burn romances.