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.

The Bear Naked Truth by Stormy Glenn

Stormy Glenn - The Bear Naked Truth Cover g3t53Title: The Bear Naked Truth

Series: Bear Essentials 03

Author: Stormy Glenn

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Siren Publishing (30th May,2019)

Length: Short Story (68 Pages)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Heart

Blurb: Harvey Colton was Dwayne’s mate and they both knew it. He’d always known it. It was just too bad that Harvey decided to go off and play soldier instead of claiming him or even talking to him about it. By the time he remembered Dwayne existed and came back, Dwayne wanted nothing to do with the man. Life just didn’t ask him what he wanted. Duty and bonds of friendship had him following his best friend as they left their old clan and went in search of a new one. Unfortunately, Harvey decided to come along, as well, and he was making Dwayne’s life miserable, insisting that they were mates. Harvey Colton never denied his mate, and that was the one part Dwayne didn’t seem to understand. He simply couldn’t claim him when he had a duty to the military. When his brother is banished, Harvey feels compelled to tag along, especially when he learns Dwayne is going to. Now, if he can just get his mate to agree to talk to him.

ISBN: 978-1-64243-873-4

Product Link: Siren-BookStrand | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Harvey and Dwayne were mates but due to an commitment with the military, Harvey left. Dwayne was not only hurt but he was angry and he was definitely showing it. Now they were all looking for a new home after Harvey’s brother was banned from their home due to becoming an alpha. It seems sitting in a long car ride might just be the thing for them.

It is a cute story that was just to short to truly get into. I had trouble remembering the previous stories to catch who was who. Which basically means a night of reading them over for me. I love bear shifters and their love of honey. It always makes me laugh when it is mentioned. I understood Harvey a lot more than I did Dwayne, however good reason he had to be mad, just didn’t really do him. He came off as more whiny then shifter. However I still got a kick out of them.

I can honestly say that these are stories that will be read many times over. I had a blast reading it and can’t wait to see what the next story has going on.

Magic Triumphed by Andi Van

Andi Van - Magic Triumphed Cover 847ghTitle: Magic Triumphed

Series: The Mage’s Guild Trilogy 03

Author: Andi Van

Genre: High Fantasy, Teen Fiction

Length: Novel (214pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 5, 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: Zaree Muna’s loyalty to her brother Tasis has taken her to some strange places, but she never could’ve predicted ending up where she now finds herself. The victims of a spell, Tasis and his familiar are unable to wake, leaving Zaree and her allies to face the mad king of Archai on their own. Their quest brings them face-to-face with the Maker herself, and she offers a dire prophecy: they’ll suffer three deaths as they fight for the fate of their world. They’ll lose two people close to them before the final death threatens their chance of victory.

But Zaree isn’t planning to give up—not on Tasis’s dream and not on their future. If that means staring down death, she’s ready. A thousand years is too long to let their struggles end in anything but triumph.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-989-5

Product Link: Harmony Ink | Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: A lot happens in this conclusion to the series. Zaree takes up the reigns as Tasis is unable to. This book takes on a life of it’s own with a slew of characters that really add depth to the book. The journey itself is filled with danger and help from friends and allies.

I really enjoyed this addition. I was not expecting some of the twists and turns that happened so that was a pleasant surprise. I liked that unanswered questions from previous books were answered. Characters that were barely mentioned got their just dues in this exciting conclusion to the series.

Great read.

Hitting Black Ice by Heloise West (2nd Edition)

Heloise West - Hitting Black Ice Cover s rht638Title: Hitting Black Ice

Series: Heart and Haven 01

Author: Heloise West

Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller

Length: Novel (263pgs)

ISBN: 978-1-951057-14-5

Publisher: NineStar Press (19th August 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 ½ Hearts

Blurb: Shawn is on the run from the law and love, to protect himself and anyone else involved. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for the temp front desk clerk. He keeps his distance from relationships for a good reason but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passions explode in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings both their hearts back to life. But as they explore their relationship, the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, and when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Will Shawn sacrifice himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder?.

Purchase Link: NineStar | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Pixie

Review: Hunter is a physician’s assistant at a hospital in the rough part of the city, he has avoided entanglement with men for the past several months for a very good reason but the front desk clerk, Shawn, has managed to crack Hunter’s shell and draw his interest. Shawn is on the run, he’s hiding from the law to protect himself and those he loves he can’t get involved with anyone but Hunter appeals to him in a way no one has before. Their attraction to each other explodes after a tense hostage situation, and no longer able to deny his passion Shawn can no longer rebuff Hunter. Just as things are looking up Shawn’s past explodes into the present, and Shawn has a choice to make: continue to run or protect his lover from the man who framed him for murder.

Hmmm this is a great suspense/thriller with a good dose of passion and a dash of romance. Hunter has had a hard year, his last relationship ended in violence and his guilty feelings are eating away at him. He’s avoided having his heart engaged by sticking to one night stands and booty calls but it hasn’t stopped him from becoming enthralled with the front desk clerk at the hospital where he works.

Shawn has avoided getting close to anyone while he has been on the run, getting involved with Hunter is not an option but the fear and adrenalin after being held hostage has the passion between them exploding. One encounter is not enough and Shawn keeps going back for more until his past catches up with him and the eyes of a killer are drawn to Hunter.

I have to admit that as I started reading this story that I wasn’t sure what to expect, we are initially led to believe that Shawn is already in a relationship so I was wary of continuing but I am glad that I stuck with it as what we initially learn is later disabused with the truth. Hunter is a great character whose caring heart has him wanting to help even when things look dour, Shawn is a great man who has fallen foul of some unscrupulous men, he’s running for his life and he may be under the radar but he sticks to legit means to do it.

Their passion is explosive and even as Shawn tries to back away he just can’t. Their relationship is very quick to start after a lot of dancing around each other, and you can tell that they both want more than just a series of one night stands. Their relationship is only just beginning even as the story ends so we just might get another story out of this great couple.

The actual storyline is pretty gripping as we are very slowly fed Shawn’s story with tidbits of information, and we discover it all in the shape of a letter written to Hunter explaining everything. As you can guess the story is from Hunter’s view point but you can fully imagine by Shawn’s actions the pure fear and hopelessness of his situation. There’s plenty of action littered throughout the book and I’m not even gonna comment on the bad guys except to say that a fiery pit in hell is too good for them. This really is a great suspense/thriller, it’s well written and while there’s a romance it isn’t a sweet building one, it’s one that is built during fraught times so don’t expect it to follow normal guidelines of relationships, it starts with sex and secrets and we have no clue which way it will go as we are led down a well-crafted story.  

I have to recommend this to those who love thrillers and suspense, who love relationships being embarked on during difficult times, who love action and danger, who love gripping stories of men done wrong and love man who will do anything for the men they are coming to love.

Mr. November by Bailey Bradford

Bailey Bradford - Mr November Cover 94g4hTitle: Mr. November

Series: Calendar Men 11

Author: Bailey Bradford

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novella (125pgs)

Publisher: Pride Publishing (6th November 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: Andy’s planning a feast but it has nothing to do with a holiday and everything to do with the sexy shifter whose heart he’s determined to win.

Andy Cunningham wasn’t thrilled with his month in the charity calendar event—he kind of thought November was a bit undignified. But when he meets Kerry, a sexy buck shifter at the calendar release party, he forgets all about posing during Turkey month and starts planning ways to catch Kerry’s attention—and his heart.

ISBN: 978-1-78651-676-3

Product Link: Pride Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: Andy and Kerry meet up after the shoot for some hot fun. Afterwards they both realize it’s more than sex for them. Hot and sexy yet sweet and tender is the way I would describe these two men together.

I loved everything about this story. Sweet and sexy.

Fantastic read.

Uncovering the Dark by April Kelley

April Kelley - Uncovering the Dark Cover 5t4hy6Title: Uncovering the Dark

Series: Saint Lakes 08

Author: April Kelley

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: April Kelley (July 5, 2019)

Length: Novel (232 Pages)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Heart

Blurb: To find his family, Damian’s forced to take a journey through his past and drag his mate long with him.

Working for one tyrant after another made Damian lose sight of what’s important. That is until he has a vision of his long lost siblings getting killed. To find them in time, Damian must do things he’s never done before, like rely on others and put his mate, Owen, into dangerous situations. He also must go back to the one tyrant he never wanted to face again. His father.

ISBN: B07SFYVWGB

Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Damian followed his mom’s advice. He gave himself over to his father, after he killed many of his father’s people, to save his little brothers. He learned to kill but in doing so he lost the hope of ever trusting anyone, except for his mate. Then he got a vision of his father finding his brothers and them dying. He needed to find them and keep them safe. The alpha of Saint Lakes decided Damian needed his mate to go with him.

Owen was a sweet eagle shifter and was falling in love with his mate. Even if his mate was a cranky vampire shifter who loved to kill. He has some major problem getting over that but he knows in his heart that Damian will be ok. They needed to save Damian’s little brothers but he also knows it will take the pack to do it.

It has been a very long time since I have read one of these stories so it got a bit confusing trying to figure out who was who. So the first thing I would stress on is to read the books in order. The characters were quite enjoyable, however Owen will be my favorite of all the characters in this story, although Damian’s brothers are adorable. The worlds that this author creates are always unique and fresh. The story will catch your attention until the end, well for me this is how it was.

I felt that the story dragged out a bit more than it was needed however fun as it was. I didn’t much care for the jumping from different characters as it did though. That was the only part that drove me nuts. It did have a darker tone then the previous books but was still good. Other than that it was an enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend.

Second Hand by Marie Sexton & Heidi Cullinan (2nd Edition)

Marie Sexton & Heidi Cullinan - Second Hand Cover i38u4Title: Second Hand

Series: Tucker Springs 02

Author: Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton

Genre:  Contemporary

Length: Novel (200pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner (8th January 2019)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-901-7

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: Paul Hannon flunked out of vet school. His fiancée left him. He can barely afford his rent, and he hates his house. About the only things he has left are a pantry full of his ex’s kitchen gadgets and a lot of emotional baggage. He could really use a win—and that’s when he meets El.

Pawnbroker El Rozal is a cynic. His own family’s dysfunction has taught him that love and relationships lead to misery. Despite that belief, he keeps making up excuses to see Paul again. Paul, who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s talented and kind and worthy. Paul, who’s not over his ex-fiancée and is probably straight anyway. Paul, who’s so blind to El’s growing attraction, even asking him out on dates doesn’t seem to tip him off.

El may not do relationships, but something has to give. If he wants to keep Paul, he’ll have to convince him he’s worthy of love—and he’ll have to admit that attachment might not be so bad after all.

Product Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 Reviewer: Cat

Review: Paul moved to Tucker Springs for his girlfriend so she could sell her sculptures. When she found out he failed his vet school and got a job as a receptionist, she found someone else. Someone she felt could help her make it in the art world.  Down on his luck, Paul kept trying to win Stacy over. For her birthday, he went to the Tucker Springs Pawn to find a gift for her.

El was immediately taken by the cute, innocent young man. Straight man.

All Paul really wants is love and acceptance. To be able to make out in public, hold hands in public.

This was such a fun, romantic story. I loved how Paul was so clueless that El was taking thing just to see him, especially when he took the dog left on the vet’s steps for Paul. I loved the way El’s friend chided him about Paul and the fun banter between El, his friend, and his family.

If you are looking for fun, humorous romance, like bisexual men, Gay for you stories, cute dogs, gardening and an all over great romance, this is the book for you. It’s perfect for an afternoon of relaxing.

Save the Date by V.L. Locey and R.J. Scott

R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey - Save The Date Cover s 0345h5gTitle: Save the Date

Series: Harrisburg Railers 09

Author: R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: Novella (27K words)

ASIN: B07T3FKPW6

Publisher: Love Lane Books (30 June 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Ever since he first set foot in Harrisburg, Tennant’s life has been a rollercoaster. Ups and downs too numerous to mention, hard knocks and championship rings. Through all of those monumental moments, one thing has been a constant for him, Jared Madsen. Now that their wedding day is drawing nearer, Ten is seriously considering eloping. He would, if not for his mother, his father, his brothers, the wedding planner, the guests, the cake, the press, and the team. Oh, and then there’s his best friend, who is vying for the job of ringmaster of the wedding circus. Would sneaking off during the night with Jared and skipping to the hon-eymoon part of the festivities really be all that bad?

When Jared proposed to Ten, he imagined a quiet wedding, on a beach somewhere, with family, and maybe the team. But life gets complicated with Ten’s warring brothers, a Rus-sian goalie with a love of sequins, and a bachelor party organized by Adler. When Trent sends them a wedding planner, every spare hour is filled with choosing invitations, cake tasting, and finding a rose in the perfect shade of green. Add in Layton organizing a press conference, and suddenly their private wedding is destined to become a media sensation. Is it wrong to think seriously about kidnapping Ten and spiriting him away to a small deserted island?

Adler organizing the bachelor party, Trent supplying the wedding planner, and Stan writing a speech. What can possibly go wrong?

Purchase Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | B&N | Smashwords | iTunes

Review: Save the Date is a novella and the ninth book in the Harrisburg Railers series by RJ Scott and VL Locey. It is also the end of the series, a really heartwarming and happy ending which I have been looking forward to for some time.

You can’t read this book without having read all the books in the series. This novella is the culmination of all the preceding books in the series, in particular, the last 3 books. I adore this series and I adore the writing of both authors. In the course of 6 novels and 3 novellas they have created a world of gay friendly professional ice hockey that is fun and characters that I am deeply invested in.

Mads and Ten have been through a hell of a lot since their story started the whole journey that encompassed the whole Harrisburg Railers team. But now they are coming up to their wedding (their engagement happened in a previous book) and the guys are feeling the stress when it comes to planning their nuptials. The whole quirky cast of the Railers line up are ready to help their friends plan their big day, and of course Mads’ son Ryker (Ryker’s story is a whole other thing and leads to not just one but two spin off series).

The blurb really says it all. The premise is all about getting Mads and Ten to the altar. However, it is the fun and the people that love them that make this novella fun. Stan, the big Russian goalie who is obsessed with Elvis, has three kids, multiple pets and has his husband Erik to keep him in check – he wants nothing but the biggest celebration for his best friend, Ten. Another teammate Adler is ready to make the biggest for his friends, and his partner Layton isn’t much better. With the stress piling on, another friend, Trent, insists on the couple using a wedding planner. It’s all good intentions for what is the wedding of the season.

This is a fun novella. It is all about fan service for the fans of the Railers series and is a wonderful way to tie up the last of the major storylines in the series before Scott and Locey send to the world of Owatonna U and the Raptors, the two spin off series that come from the world of the Railers.

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).

A Menacing Tempest by Shea Balik

Shea Balik - A Menacing Tempest Cover 56tg4Title: A Menacing Tempest

Series: Druid’s Curse 03

Author: Shea Balik

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Length: Novella (176pgs)

Publisher: Shea Balik (June 14, 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: When it came to defense, or offense when needed, Cullen McIntyre thought he was prepared. It wasn’t until he watched as monsters he’d never knew existed walked out of thin air to kill members of his family, twice, that Cullen realized how wrong he’d been. By the third time he’d come face to face with those determined to kill him and the rest of his family for doing their duty, Cullen knew he needed help, and lots of it.

The moment Ulf laid eyes on Cullen, he’d been enthralled by the man’s resolve to protect what was left of his family. Being shot and left for dead by Cullen should have cooled his desire for the fiery man, but it only made him want him more. By the time he caught up to Cullen, Ulf knew, without a doubt, the druid was destined to be his. Now he just needed to convince Cullen of that.

As Cullen and Ulf join their friends to fight the monsters from the realm of the Fae, they find there is a new threat waiting to get through the Veil. A threat they might not be able to defeat. Will Ulf & Cullen get their chance at happily ever after, or will the Fae finally succeed in their quest to destroy the veil?

ISBN: B07SRF98TT

Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: I loved this story. Cullen is fierce and knows how to fight. He booby traps the property for protection against the monsters sent to kill him and his family. Ulf arrives to help but ends up injured by one of the traps.

The two meet again when they arrive at Ulf’s home separately.

I loved these two together. Ulf and Cullen both are determined and protective of those they love. The series is intriguing and keeps your attention from start to finish.

I am looking forward to reading more about the cursed men and the situations that happen when each find their mates as well as the fae.

Fantastic read. Highly recommended.

Boy Shattered by Eli Easton (2nd Edition)

Eli Easton - Boy Shattered Cover 6gb309Title: Boy Shattered

Author: Eli Easton

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Length: Novel (264 pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink / Dreamspinner (13th August 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: Popular athlete Brian had everything until a school shooter nearly killed him. He survived the massacre with the help of a hero—his classmate Landon, who faced death to help others… and who is openly gay. Brian might be alive, but he can’t face his fears or move on, especially since the shooters were never caught. He’s falling apart, and he can only reach for Landon and hope Landon will take his hand a second time.

Landon did what anyone would do when he found Brian dying on the cafeteria floor. He doesn’t think of himself as a hero, but he’s ready to take a stand against the gun violence tearing apart the lives of young people—people like Brian, who returned to school a shadow of the happy, outgoing quarterback Landon used to admire. Brian still needs him, and as their friendship grows and deepens, wounds might begin to heal. The bond they share could lead a new start for them both.

Only the terror that visited Jefferson Waller High School isn’t over yet.

ASIN: B07JB2CB84

Product Link: Harmony Ink | Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton is nothing short of amazing. To be honest from reading the blurb I didn’t know what to expect, but Easton is one of my favorite authors and I was therefore more than willing to give it a go.

When I started this young adult tale of a teenager who survives a mass shooting at his high school, I thought to read only half of it and finish the rest the next night. Instead, I stayed up all night and cried from start to finish, Seriously, get those tissues ready, it’s impossible not to feel the depths or horror and despair and hope in this book.

The story is written from the POV of two teenage boys, one is a high school senior and the other is a couple years off of finishing. Landon, the senior, is out and proud to the rest of the school and not at all popular. Meanwhile Brian is a jock. He’s the quarterback on the football team, he’s friends with other jocks and to hide his sexuality he has even dated cheerleaders. Two of his friends seem to show some homophobic tendencies, while his best friend is more down to earth. Landon and Brian have both noticed each other but due to the social circles they occupy, nothing ever happens between them, or even any sort of acknowledgement of each other’s existence.

Everything changes for the boys when two gunmen open fire at the school, changing their worlds forever. Caught in the hallway, Landon does his best to find his brother and finds Brian bleeding out in the cafeteria. Brian hadn’t meant to be in the cafeteria, but when the bullets started he tried his best to hide and take cover. Brian wasn’t so lucky and as he bleeds out, Landon did his best to put pressure on the wound and keep Brian conscious.

Landon saved Brian’s life that day, but Brian has a long road to recovery. He and Landon grow close, although it is easy to see that what may have started as a dependency caused by Brian’s PTSD has turned into something more meaningful. Brian’s brush with death leaves him with a lot of fears but it also makes him want to step out of the shadows and be who he is, albeit very slowly. Landon also changes, he was already a smart and sensible guy, but he takes his passion for wanting to help others, especially since he sees the varying effects of a shooting first hand at himself and everyone at school. Landon has a great head and mind. He is one of the most inspiring characters I’ve come across, not only in young adult fiction, but any fiction.

This is a wonderful young adult novel, yet I think that it would be valuable and enjoyable for many adults as well. It is so easy to relate to the kid’s thoughts and feelings because despite the horrible circumstances it is easy to place yourself back in the mind of being a teenager once more.

The subject matter is confronting. The romance in the book is merely incidental to the actual guts of the book. However, it was the perfect mix of emotion. As many Australians, it’s difficult to understand the lack of urgency for gun reform in the US and this book highlights it all the more.

And that is the only personal view on a current affair I will put into the book review, understand that reading the book is very thought provoking and had me thinking about this. It also had me thinking, how many kids fear going to school because they know people from their school, or from other schools, who have been touched by this horror.

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.

Picture Perfect Lies by Stormy Glenn

Stormy Glenn - Picture-Perfect Lies Cover 453gthTitle: Picture Perfect Lies

Series: Cade Creek 20

Author: Stormy Glenn

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Siren Publishing (June 28,2019)

Length: Novella (82pgs)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Heart

Blurb: Senator Wilson Khor II came to Cade Creek to meet the son he never knew he had. He didn’t expect to meet the man of his dreams. When someone starts digging up secrets from his past, keeping his political career may be the least of his problems. It could cost him the man he’s falling in love with.

Jayden Grant had one job. Dig up dirt on Senator Wilson Khor II. Finding out why he was in Cade Creek was just part of the deal. Falling for the senator was not. Yet, Jayden found himself pretending to be someone else just to spend more time with the handsome man. But lies have a way of catching up to people and Jayden is no different. He just has to hope Wilson will still want him when the dust settles.

ISBN: 978-1-64243-909-0

Product Link: Siren-BookStrand | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Each book in the Cade Creek collection features a new romantic couple. To enjoy the overall story arc and crossover characters, I would recommend reading the series in sequential order.

Wilson’s father is quite an ass, or should I say he was. He left his son a letter and video of all the evil he had done. He let Wilson go through life not knowing he had a son or that his son’s mother had died when he was young. He wanted to get to know his son but was afraid the fact that he was a state senator would bring the press in. He had not expected to meet Jayden.

Jayden was a b-rated reporter who loved to take pictures. His boss was an idiot and he knew the moment he mentioned he saw the senator, he screwed up. Especially after the one night of hot sexy times they had. Now he had to find a way to fix it all.

I fell in one with this series in the beginning, although I have to say that Happy is still my favorite. In this story these guys just seemed to work together although Jayden’s reaction was funny as hell. With such a serious topic this story has quite a bit of humor mixed in which makes it stand out even more with me. Seeing the guys from previous books were a hit, especially Happy. I love when the town stands up to the bad guy and shows their feelings right from the start.

I wished it had been longer but I can honestly say that this is one of those stories that will be read many times over. I had a blast reading this and can’t wait to get my hands on the next story.

SIO by C.A. Blocke

C.A. Blocke - SIO Cover 8439h4bTitle: SIO

Author: C.A. Blocke

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy

Length: Novel (223pgs)

Publisher: NineStar Press (April 22, 2019)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: Set in a near-future environment, mega-corporations have taken over the most habitable of planets, creating domed utopias for their devoted employees. Everyone else has been shunted off to a multitude of mostly habitable planets and moons where they scrape by as farmers and tradesfolk, miners and merchants, bounty hunters and scavengers.

James Marks and his crew of scav trash operate their ship, SIO, on a mission to obtain a mysterious piece of new tech. It changes everything and leaves him stranded somewhere he doesn’t recognize with a cute, if not a bit annoying, tech scientist. James doesn’t know, when he first meets Michael, but his life is about to change in a very surprising way.

ISBN: 978-1-950412-48-8

Product Link: NineStar | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: James and his crew are on a mission for a new piece of technology. James meets Michael wh0 works for Peach and has what he seeks. While obtaining the tech things do not go as planned and the two end up transported away from Peach.

It was a likeable story with a lot of characters, though we do not get an in depth feel for the rest of James’ crew. Michael, being free from Peach finally comes into his own self and learns who he is as a person.

I enjoyed the story and felt the two main characters were great together. James eye and leg are mechanical which I felt helped when he defended Michael from attacks. Overall the story was good but felt it would have better with a little more details about the crew.

Great read.

Mischief Maker by Andi Lee

Andi Lee - Mischief Maker Cover 847gvTitle: Mischief Maker

Series: Animal Lark 01

Author: Andi Lee

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC. (August 13,2019)

Length: Novel (200 Pages)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

Blurb: What to expect when your pet rat is expecting, or how to fall in love at a pet show.

Jamie Hewett rescues and breeds prize-winning fancy rats. While he’s surrounded by supportive, animal-loving friends, his ex-boyfriend has never been one of them. One embarrassing breakup later, he definitely isn’t looking for love again, but perhaps a rebound relationship might ease his broken heart.

Liam Donnelly’s quirky dating life is the subject of a popular vlog, and his viewers have interesting ideas on where he might find romance. When they suggest he take Mabel, his new rat, to a pet show, he’s up for the adventure.

Although they can’t deny their growing interest in each other, neither Jamie nor Liam believes in love at first sight. They’ve both had bad luck with men, and Jamie isn’t pleased that Liam makes a living as a serial dater. On top of that, others are conspiring to keep them apart, and Jamie is left holding the baby—or twenty-plus babies—when their fur children have no trouble making a connection. Will a YouTube ukulele serenade convince Liam that Jamie’s love for him—and their unborn rat children—is for real?

ISBN: 9178-1-64405-422-2

Product Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Liam is a serial dater and has no regrets about it. However his crazy family won’t let him bring a date to a wedding unless he is serious. So he sets out to find someone to take. On the side he is a pretty good Vlogger and has fun with it. They suggest where he goes to meet dates and he actually listens every once in awhile.

Jamie has an idiot for a boyfriend but not for long. Here is a man that loves rats, all kinds of rats. He breeds them and even rescues them. After his ex breaks up with him he is not sure he wants to try again. So when he meets Liam things might just heat up, but is it real or just rebound, we will soon see.

This story was very long with quite a bit of information that was not really needed. It felt drawn out and just a bit dry. The topic was very interesting and I did like part of the story. However it was so drawn out that I pretty much skipped parts of the story just to get to the interesting parts. There were a few minor problems in editing but not enough to really take away from the story itself.

The beginning of the story caught my attention which was a plus but didn’t keep it which was not a plus. Overall the story was pretty good and showed great potential. I didn’t really connect with the guys like I would have liked to but it was a good start to a new to me author.

Mr. October by Bailey Bradford

Bailey Bradford - Mr. October Cover 746gbTitle: Mr. October

Series: Calendar Men 10

Author: Bailey Bradford

Genre: Humour, Contemporary, Paranormal

Length: Novella (143pgs)

Publisher: Pride Publishing (9th October 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: It’s not just the ghosties and the ghouls that you’ve got to watch out for on Halloween!

Jerome is an artist—in his opinion, anyway. Not everyone would agree that what he does is art, but he’d beg to differ. He has a niche following and his business picks up around Halloween. When a handsome stranger walks into his gallery, the attraction that crackles to life between them is instantaneous, and scarier than anything Jerome has ever created.

He’s quirky and possibly downright weird, but for some reason, the sexy doctor seems to be into him. Jerome isn’t sure he can trust the feelings developing between them, and when someone decides Jerome’s studio needs to go, he fears he’ll never have the chance to see what kind of life he could have with Kaito.

Kaito Yoshida is a successful pediatric oncologist, and a complicated man. As serious as any doctor in his position while working, he’s missed out on a lot of things in his personal life. An encounter that, at first, is mortifying, leads to Kaito daring to take a step he’s never bothered to take before.

He doesn’t expect to fall for Jerome Johnson, or for Jerome to fall for him.

And neither of them expect the obstacles they will encounter on the way to love.

Reader Advisory: Please note that this books contains scenes of violence and references to domestic abuse and the death of children.

ISBN: 978-1-78651-675-6

Product Link: Pride Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: I loved this story about Jerome and Kato. Both are lonely yet Kato was with someone who was soon dumped after Kato meets Jerome. These two men are perfect each other in every way.

As usual the story is not without it’s suspense in the form of the things these men must face. But they face them and persevered to achieve the happy ever after.

Fantastic read.

Assassin’s Soul by Shea Balik

Shea Balik - Assassin’s Soul Cover t64h6Title: Assassin’s Soul

Series: Paranormal Wars: Amur 02

Author: Shea Balik

Genre: Paranormal

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc. (June 20,2019)

Length: Novella (134pgs)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Heart

Blurb: Divine Death had been on a mission since the day he understood the torture others were willing to inflict on him and his kind—to kill them all. As an Amur Leopard shifter, his ability to sneak up on anyone made him one of the best assassins in the world, but it came at cost, the loss of his soul.

Pacey Chapman was someone who liked to hide from…well, everything. Having been hurt in the past by too many people to count, including his own family. As a bunny shifter, he was considered weak—prey—both descriptions fit him far too well, especially when he was afraid of his own shadow.

The moment Divine and Pacey met, their worlds tilted. But how does a hardened assassin and a terrified bunny find a way to coexist? Fortunately, Fate has a plan that allows Pacey to discover being brave isn’t about not being afraid, while Death discovers it’s possible to have the one thing he thought impossible—a soul.

ISBN: 978-1-64243-859-8

Product Link: Siren-BookStrand | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Pacey and several of this siblings were kicked out when they were teenagers just because their parents couldn’t afford to feed them. Pacey was the only one that had no place to go. He has been hurt by not only his family but by many others. So he feared anything and any one. He is a cute bunny shifter that lived through a horrible time and many thought he was prey. So imagine this cute bunny shifter meeting Death.

Death has spent most of his life in a lab being tortured and experimented on. He didn’t feel anything for anyone. He killed because he was good at it. He is also a leopard shifter who is mated to a bunny shifter.

It has been some time since I read the first book for this series and the books from the one that is connected to it. So I was not as in tuned with it as I would have been had I read all the books at once. The characters are pretty cool to read about and their stories will have you in tears. Two different lives living in horrible situations came out of it with two different reactions and this author managed to hit it on the nail. What each went through was different they still manage to heal the other. This world that they live in was pretty unique and I liked hearing about it, in a way. I felt bad for Koda though, but your going to have to read to figure out that statement.

I can honestly say that Pacey will be my favorite in this story. I do admit that I think the story came off a bit rushed especially Pacey’s part. One moment he is so fearful but then he is basically jumping Death. It also felt just a bit jumbled and didn’t flow as well as it should have for me. Other wise it was a great story.

I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading the next book.

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.