Sun and Shadow by Dirk Greyson ~ Audio Review

Dirk Greyson - Sun and Shadow Audio CoverTitle: Sun & Shadow

Series: Day & Knight 02

Author: Dirk Greyson

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Contemporary, Suspense

Length: 7 hrs, 4 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (17th July 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Blurb: Dayton “Day” Ingram is recovering from an injury suffered in Mexico – and from his failed relationship with fellow Scorpion agent Knight. While researching an old government document, Day realizes he might be holding the key to finding an artistic masterpiece lost since WWII.
But the Russians are looking for it, too, and they have a team in place in Eastern Europe hunting it down. Day and Knight are brought back together when they are charged with getting to the painting first.

Knight wants to leave Mexico and everything that happened there behind and return to the life he had – except it wasn’t much of a life. When he’s partnered up with Day, keeping his distance proves to be challenging. But Day is as stubborn as Knight and isn’t willing to let him walk away.

Their assignment leads them through Germany and Austria with agents hot on their tail – agents willing to do whatever it takes to get to the masterpiece first. If Day and Knight can live long enough to find the painting, they might also discover something even more precious – each other.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Sun & Shadow is the second book in Dirk Greyson’s Day and Knight series. Since having discovered that Dirk Greyson is Andrew Grey’s pen name, I’ve been keen to get my hands on some of his books. I’m quite particular about my suspense books, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the two books in this series.

If you’ve not read the first book, Day and Knight, you have to go back and read it, it is vital as Sun and Shadow picks up where it left off. This is the continuation of Dayton’s, aka Day, and Knighton’s, aka Knight, romance, which is just as rocky as it was in the first book.

Day is still recovering from the gun shot wound he got in Mexico on his mission with Knight. Knight wants to forget about Mexico, everything including his feelings and his failed relationship with Day. The problem is a piece of art that went missing in WWII means that Scorpion, the agency the guys work for, bring the guys together again. The Russians are desperate to get their hands on the artwork. To stop a delicate international relations situation from exploding Day and Knight need to find the art work. Knight is the big tough guy with all the skills he got from this marine training, he also possesses some of the brains of the operation. While Day is a great deal of the brains and the intel of the operation. Their abilities compliment each other. Their professional life together fits together as well as their personal life. Regardless of how well they fit though, with two argumentative men it makes their professional relationship just as rocky as their personal.

This is a fun, Cold War kind of espionage story line. In fact, I have to say that I enjoyed this second installment a bit more than I enjoyed the first book. Day and Knight are two very complex characters and their character development tends to raise tensions between them rather than ease them. These guys are fighters and so it’s so easy to believe that once they get their acts together, that they really do belong to each other. Just like in the first book, the narration was totally top notch reflected the tone, emotion and suspense necessary to pull of this story.

Day & Knight by Dirk Greyson ~ Audio Review

Title: Day & Knight

Series: Day & Knight 01

Author: Dirk Greyson

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Contemporary, Action

Length: 7 hrs, 22 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12th April 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: As former NSA, Dayton “Day” Ingram has national security chops and now works as a technical analyst for Scorpion. He longs for fieldwork and scuttling an attack gives him his chance. He’s smart, multilingual, and a technological wizard. But his opportunity comes with a hitch. His partner, Knighton, “Knight”, is a real mystery. Despite countless hours of research, Day can find nothing on the agent including his first name.

A former Marine, Knight crawled into a bottle after losing his family. After drying out, he’s offered one last chance: along with Day, to stop a terrorist threat from the Yucatan. To get there without drawing suspicion, Day and Knight board a gay cruise, where the deeply closeted Day and equally closeted Knight must pose as a couple. Tensions run high as Knight communicates very little, and Day bristles at Knight’s heavy-handed need for control.

But after drinking too much, Day and Knight wake up in bed together. As they near their destination, they must infiltrate the terrorist camp and neutralize a plot aimed at America’s technological infrastructure. If they hope to have a life after the mission, one that might include each other, they must learn to trust and rely on each other.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I just recently discovered that Dirk Greyson is the pen name for Andrew Grey, and as I’ve discovered these are mostly intrigue, mystery or suspense type of books. So naturally, being that I love reading everything by Andrew Grey, I just have to give Dirk Greyson a go as well.

I do like a good suspense, but I have to admit that my only reservations for this book is the fact that it looks like an ongoing saga between the two. I’m not normally one for big epic sagas in my MM romances – I usually save that for my science-fiction and historical fantasies.

Nonetheless, this was a enjoyable book, although I feel that this is one of the types of books that I wouldn’t enjoy much reading as I did enjoy the audio narration. Andrew McFerrin is a wonderful narrator, and his tone and pace were absolutely on point for this.

The story is set in a spy agency called Scorpion, where Dayton Ingram, aka Day, wants nothing more than a chance to prove himself as a field agent. As it is he is a wicked technical analyst. Finally his chance has come and he is teamed up with Knighton, aka Knight. Knight is a true mystery, he was a former marine who subsequently became an alcoholic after the death of his family. Now that he has managed to become sober his boss has offered Knight one more chance to hold himself together in the field and get his job done. The problem is that Knight is not so good at communication, which frustrates Day to no end.

The two men are working a terrorist case in the Yucatan. They go undercover as a couple on a gay cruise. Which is all well good except for the fact they are both so deep in the closet that they are probably closer to Narnia than they are to accepting their individual sexualities.

The set up is good and the two have a complex chemistry. I’m not sure if you could call it a love hate type of thing, so I’m just going to stick to this being a complex relationship. And this is why the story is ongoing – Knight in particular has some pretty major demons to face. In fact, it’s not a stretch to begin to think that perhaps a relationship with Day is not the best thing for Knight now. However, despite falling into bed with each other, they need solve their case.

You need to be a fan of suspense or mystery to really like this story. The romance, such as it is, take more of a back seat to the constant battling of personal demons and terrorism. This isn’t a fairytale ending by any means, and I’m moving onto book 2 next to see what happens to Day and Knight. Both guys are likable, but at the same time they both need to work on their communication. The sexual chemistry and the suspense created by the terrorism plot line makes this an enjoyable read.

Ante Up by Kim Fielding ~ Audio Review

Title: Ante Up

Series: Dreamspun Beyond 06

Author: Kim Fielding

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires

Length: 5 hrs, 52 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st January 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖 3 Hearts

Blurb: Love is a high-stakes game.

A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield – and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.

An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’m going to be upfront and admit that this book gave me some mixed feelings. I really do enjoy Kim Fieldings’ writing and many of her previous works. I particularly enjoy her contemporary works. In fact, one thing that I do like about this one is that it is quite an original story and I found it enjoyable for the most part.

However, for me the pace of the story was a little too choppy. I found myself a little disappointed that it took 4 chapters for the two MCs to meet, let alone end up in bed, and a few more chapters after that before their stories merged. Within this time, we also had to hear about the vampire MC’s one night stands where he would feed. The last few chapters, on the other hand, were good – well paced, full of action and I was now much more certain in the chemistry and emotion between the two MCs.

Yet, I did love the narration by Andrew McFerrin – in fact, I think that was kept me going when I found my attention wandering from the plot line. I liked the voice and tone that he provided to all the various supernatural characters, including our MCs.

The is about vampire Ante Novak (pronounced Ahn-tay), who was human until he died two hundred years prior on a bloody Croatian battlefield. He found himself in Las Vegas where he subsists on sex and blood from random hook ups, often stealing money from the men. Unlike vampires in many stories, he has no money. He grew up as a human peasant, working his family’s land and just never cared enough to get ahead or settle down somewhere permanently. Las Vegas is run by the vampire mob, called the Shadows, of which he knows the leader. Ante doesn’t has always refused to work for them but he knows he is on borrowed time where they are concerned.

Between all this, Ante meets Peter Gerhardti, who appears to be very human but that is called into question from the outset. Ante is instantly attracted to the man who sates him in more ways than one. When the Shadows set their eyes on Peter, Ante finds a reason to fight for the first time since he was killed in battle. The mad dash the two men make is what I find to be the best part of the book.

Finding Mr Wrong by Charlie Cochet ~ Audio Review

Title: Finding Mr Wrong

Series: Dreamspun Desires 41

Author: Charlie Cochet

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 46 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd December 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: He’s nobody’s definition of Mr. Right—but that might make him perfect.
Matthew Hart is heir to the family fortune and owner of Hart & Home. When a near-death experience has him fretting over the future, he decides he needs a husband, and not just any husband—an appropriate man to protect the Hart legacy. The last thing Matthew expects is to cross paths with Jax Foster, his first love and the boy who crushed his heart when he disappeared.
Jax is unlikely to make Matthew’s list of suitable candidates. Bad boy, vagabond, deep in debt, with a father who can’t keep out of trouble, Jax has nothing to offer—except his heart and a second chance at the romance they never got to explore.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: For me, Charlie Cochet is an author I’ve heard of but I’ve never really taken a lot of notice of. So I went into this audio without any expectations except that I really do love the type of plotlines in this book. One awesome thing for me was having the privilege of listening to Andrew McFerrin, it feels like ages since I’ve heard a book narrated by him and I was not disappointed.

The story is about Matthew Hart. He run’s his father’s successful business, a bespoke furniture and décor business called Hart and Home. He’s a workaholic and happy in his life despite his cousin, Bryce, and Bryce’s wife Ariana being entitled thorns in his side. After a near death experience, Matthew enlists the help of his good friend and assistant, Adam to help him find a perfect husband. Which brings into an incredible chain of events, bringing the one person who had shattered Matthew’s heart twenty years earlier when they had been teenagers.

Jax Foster had also fallen in love with Matthew when they were teenagers after saving Matthew from the school bullies. Jax has had a hard life, mostly because of his father whose unchecked PTSD has led to a lot of debt. Jax is amazed to see Matthew again but he struggles to believe that he will ever be enough for the suave, rich Matthew. They are dynamite together but Jax and Matthew must deal with a lot more baggage than it seems possible for a man to have.

Matthew and Jax are perfect together. I love their chemistry. Their lives couldn’t be so much more different, but their individual experiences make them remarkable that I was so happy to see their HEA. The entire plot line relies of miscommunication of one form or another. The secrets that separated them when they were first falling in love as teenagers, to the forces surrounding them that wanted to separate them now that they were together once more. Also, I must admit I got a little impatient towards the end, but only because the identity of the villain was never concealed throughout the book.

McFerrin gave the two MCs and the troublesome cousin, Bryce, great voices and I feel that he nailed the tone and emotion brilliantly. I’m not a fan of miscommunication story arcs but he really gave the miscommunications great voice and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell by Audio Review

Title: Prelude to Love

Series: Dreamspun Desires 49

Author: Anne Barwell

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 35 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (18th March 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥️♥️♥️ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Music speaks directly to the heart.

Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.

Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.

With family and friends in common, dating is risky – things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude. But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: First off, I need to start with saying that I was torn with this review. I wanted to rate it 4, but knew that it really didn’t sit on par with other books I’ve rated 4, and while I also contemplated 3.5, in the end I settled on a 3/5 for this book.

The story is a sweet romance between high school music teacher, Joel, and home handyman/landscaper, Marcus. Joel has had a difficult life his family since coming out of the closet, but he has a couple of friends who became his adopted family. In fact, Marcus is brother to Joel’s best friend. They are both coming out of disastrous long-term relationships, Marcus has completely relocated to be closer to his sister, brother in law and niece. The two become friends but with a little help from their friends they discover the possibility of more between them. All this is happening around a large school concert Joel must orchestrate (pun intended) to raise funds.

Joel is a passionate musician and teacher and probably a bit stubborn, he is so easy to connect and relate too. I’m not sure I connected quite so well with Marcus, but he is also very likable. From the start, the two men together have a quiet but strong chemistry and are obviously going to find their way together.

Prelude to Love is part of the Dreamspun Desires line. It’s super sweet and has not a lot of over the top drama or angst and has a perfect little HEA for the two MCs. Written by Anne Barwell, who is a new author to me, I did enjoy the flow and writing style of the story as well. I just think the sweetness with not a lot of drama made this less exciting but perfect for the romantics out there.

Likewise, the narration by Andrew McFerrin was also quite good, although I cannot say it is the best that I’ve heard from McFerrin in the past. I think partly this is to do with the lack of proper drama in the book, but it still works. I particularly liked McFerrin’s ability to give each character, there are quite a few, their own unique voices. The only criticism I have about the narration was sometimes the accent would drift from New Zealand to Australian to South African and it did annoy me a bit.

However, being Aussie, I just have to accept the fact that many narrators will oscillate between these three accents quite often in audios.

The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke ~ Audio Review

Title: The Gryphon King’s Consort

Series: Dreamspun Beyond

Author: Jenn Burke

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Paranormal, Shape shifters

Length: 5 hrs, 51 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th March 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Love takes flight.

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.
Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: The Gryphon King’s Consort for me is one of those books for me that was simply amazing.
The author, Jenn Burke, is completely unknown to me. Andrew McFerrin’s narration is generally good, but not always hitting the right marks in previous audio books I’ve listened to. And finally, while I was certainly interested in the plot after reading the blurb. After all, I love shape shifters and like many people I’m enchanted by a royal arranged marriage that becomes a love match. And yet, I was a little skeptical that it was truly going to be my type of book because the blurb didn’t really capture my imagination all that well.

However, once I started listening to the audio I was amazed and enchanted and totally in love with both MCs. First off, I really enjoyed the narration, other than the two MCs there are a few important minor characters and I really liked how each one of them got their unique voice. McFerrin’s narration really added spice to the amazing world which Burke has created, as any good narrator should. It only had me captivated of this supernatural kingdom nestled in Canada.

The story starts after the death of the Gryphon King, the ruler of supernatural world. He died under mysterious circumstances, but his heir is determined to make sure that his people do not suffer from the transition from the old king to new king. Crown Prince Luca, however, is not only being coronated as the king, he also has an arranged marriage that he needs to go through. This is entirely political alliance, even if his fiancé is an ordinary guy (gryphon), Eirian has been involved in governance at the local level and hopes that his experience will help him in his new life after being chosen by the King’s counsel as the new king’s consort.

Luca is a stoic traditionalist who wants to honor the memory of his mentor, the former king. Yet, Luca is also a loner, a personal betrayal means that he finds it near on impossible to let anyone in. Really, deep down he’s just a grumpy old gryphon with a heart of gold.

Eirian on the other hand is younger and more brash than his new husband. Eirian is part of the group known as modernists, who want to encourage good will between the supernatural and the humans. He is an idealist at heart and finds it difficult when he has to make compromises between his own ideals/conscience and with forming a united front with his new husband.

Luca and Eirian are brilliant characters – there are a lot of depth to these guys that had me so invested in them from the start. I found myself sympathizing with the POV of both men and I fell even more in love at the end with Luca, faced with the possibility of losing Eirian, has an epiphany.

If you’re into the whole shape shifter thing and love a good royal romance, I heartily recommend this book.

Two for Trust by Elle Brownlee ~ Audiobook

Title: Two for Trust

Series: Dreamspun Desires 34

Author: Elle Brownlee

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 40 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (14th September 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: A fairy-tale vacation—if he can get the ending right.

American nurse Finch Mason steps beyond the comfort of his orderly life and takes a dream trip to England, complete with a National Trust Pass so he can visit numerous historical sites. At the first one on his list, he’s warmly welcomed—and told he bought a pass good for two.

Finch doesn’t hesitate to offer the pass to Benedict, a handsome Brit also there on an outing. They spend a magical week touring the countryside, and while it’s too soon to get attached, Finch wishes their time together would never end.

Then Finch finds himself stuck abroad with no money, and he has no one to turn to but Benedict. Benedict is happy to help, but he also owes Finch some answers—such as who he really is and why he was at the estate where they first met.

Product Link: Audible AU | Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Two For Trust is by Elle Brownlee and published under the Dreamspun Desires imprint. I have already read this book and so unlike when I read the book (going into the book completely open minded since I wasn’t sure if I’d read anything by the author in the past, still not sure by the way), I knew what to expect when I listened to this one.

I was looking forward to the OTT drama and romance. I was looking forward to the whole “Lord of the Manor” type of thing, bordering on a Mr Darcy like personality that is totally attractive, especially if you’re into take-charge, strong aristocrats. I used to be addicted to ready regency romances with rakish Marquises and devilish dukes, so I was more than happy to pass time on my flight to visit family and friends with this audio.

The story is about American nurse, Finch, and the charming Englishman, Benedict. (Yes, I’m sure some of you are thinking Benedict Cumberbatch and sniggering, I know I did that a bit).

Sweet guy with a tragic past, Finch, is on his dream holiday of a life time in England. A mix up in ticketing leaves him with a double pass for one week instead of one pass for two weeks. Handsome Englishman, Benedict, happens to be at the National Trust Site Finch is visiting when he finds out this information and Finch happily invites Benedict to take on the second pass. However, this being a romance fiction, it is all too obvious that there is more to Benedict than meets the eye. After the week finishes Finch feels he is ready to part ways, though there is a definite spark between the guys. But when all his belongings are stolen, Finch has no one but Benedict to turn to – which is where he learns the truth.

OK, I really did enjoy reading this book, I truly did, but I didn’t fully connect with the characters. However, I think that Andrew McFerrin’s narration injected enough emotion that I liked this book far more in audio than I did when I read the eBook. There isn’t a lot of hot and heavy romance (in fact there was no sex), which I would expect from a love at first sight sort of trope, but it was nice to see the guys get to know each other for a week before getting all angsty.

If you’re into sweet, old fashioned and very English types of stories, this might be your type thing. For those that hate insta-love (and I know there are lots of you), you’d probably do best to stay away from this one, particularly since there is no actual sex going on as well (I personally find insta-love tolerable in even the worst cases if there is hot sex).

Out of the Ashes by Ari McKay ~ Audiobook

Title: Out of the Ashes

Series: Asheville Arcana 01

Author: Ari McKay

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Genre: Paranormal, Shape shifters

Length: 5 hrs 47 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (25th October 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: In their differences, they’ll find strength – and love.
Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise – five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.

Except for one man.

As they work together, Eli is stunned – and not especially thrilled – to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body – and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.

Product Link: Audible AU | Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is yet another book which I’ve read but couldn’t resist the audio, in fact, I was looking forward to the audio. It certainly helped that I am quickly becoming a fan of the narrator, Andrew McFerrin. He’s definitely in my top three of narrators, I loved the tone he gave the characters and the emotion he added to the plot line just using his excellent voice.

Out of the Ashes is the first book in McKay’s Asheville Arcana series and the first book of the Dreamspun Beyond imprint, which is contemporary romance with a paranormal twist.
From start to finish, this was an engaging and sexy romance, with a hot shape shifter wolf alpha. I’m a sucker for soul mates/fated mates and the hard road to their HEA.

Eli Hammond is a strong and sexy alpha wolf, who comes home from a brief getaway to find his pack in disarray. He needs help and it seems that no one is willing to help. That is all except half-elf Arden Gilmarin. As soon as they meet its fate – these guys are meant to be. Well, for Eli anyway, Arden can’t recognize that Eli is his mate but is determined to help the wolf shifter all the same. However, he struggles to come to terms with having a mate and actually being able to accept his mate while helping Eli find his kidnapped pack members.

Eli and Arden have wonderful chemistry together. I love that Eli is a growling, grumpy alpha wolf that needs love in his life, especially after the kidnapping of his pack members. Arden is a total sweetheart, he is totally caring and loving once he comes to terms with his mating. He is a totally positive sort of person that Eli needs in his life. Arden is yin to Eli’s yang.

I am so glad that this is the first book in the Asheville Arcana series, because I absolutely fell in love with Arden’s best friends and confidants, Julian and Whimsy. In a lot of ways Julian and Whimsy are the heroes to this story and I want to hear their stories and hope they find their respective mates and get a sweet and sexy HEA! Too much to ask for? I hope not.