Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble ~ Audio Review

Elizabeth Noble - Whiskey and Moonshine Audio Cover lwe024Title: Whiskey and Moonshine

Series: Dreamspun Desires

Author: Elizabeth Noble

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 51 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (20th June 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Like a well-aged whiskey, master distiller and old-money entrepreneur Malone Kensington is elegant and refined. Unfortunately he’s also a perfectionist who is more dedicated to the suc-cess of his generations-old company than his own love life.

That company needs a public spokesman.

What Colton Hale lacks in sophistication, he more than makes up for with the charisma that’s al-lowed him to survive on the street from a young age and charm his way into the lucrative – if overwhelming – public position at the Kensington Distillery. When Mal takes Colt under his wing, hoping to polish off his rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms de-spite the differences in age and background. But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life – dead or alive?

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

Review: Whiskey and Moonshine is standalone romance set in Tennessee, obviously amongst whiskey and moonshine stills by Elizabeth Noble. This was published as part of Dreamspun Desires, which is always a plus for me. The fact that John Solo is the narrator is another plus for me.

I really haven’t heard too many books narrated by John Solo lately. However, it is always awesome to hear the man perform. He is one of those narrators that has a voice that suits so many different genres of romances and different types of characters. I love how Solo manages to convey the emotions of both Mal and Colt, the two MCs. I always enjoy his performances and this is no different. It enhanced my experience and my enjoyment of the book. Overall, an excellent narration that I cannot fault.

This is a completely charming and sweet romance. The story focuses on the Kensington Distillery which produces whiskey and moonshine, and the very sexy man who is dedicated to his family’s company and making it more accessible for the younger generations that is the focus of this story. To do this it is decided that they need to employ a young, passionate person to be the PR face of the company.

The story opens with Colton Hale, he’s twenty-four and has been living on the streets of Toledo since he was fifteen. The most recent run in with violent thugs has Colton ready to make a new start, so he gets the first bus that will get him out and his new adventure starts. The bus ride brings him to the Kensington family’s whiskey distillery. They’re a rich and hugely successful distillery in Tennessee. Colt manages to get himself a job and just six weeks later shows his ingenuity and passion for his work that leads him to another job for the company.

Mal, the head of the Kensington family company which had been previously run by his mother, sees a lot of potential in Colton. There’s the potential Colton has to help sell the whiskey brand on social media and help the company branch out, but he has to hold back his attraction for the man, even though he knows Colt’s shady past. The two men work well together and Mal decides to use the age gap between them as the excuse he needs to mentally force himself from pining for his social media face of the company.

I’ve read this story before and while I remember liking it, I forgot about the awesomeness that was multiple references to the Joss Whedon TV showed Firefly. Because I’m a nerd and a browncoat and the fact that it features so prominently in a book I enjoyed was shiny. I’m a total sucker for Firefly. Because of that I see the name Mal and I think Captain Malcolm Reynolds – though I can never say I was disappointed to realise that this Mal is short for Malone. But it is sweet and smart Colt, who hasn’t had the best 9 or so years of his life getting into Firefly into the book that got to me. I really enjoyed the imagery conjured when Colt mentions the last line in the theme song, relating it to the backdrop of the rambling Kensington distillery/estate. But the best part, when everything seems to be falling apart Colt uses a Firefly reference to get Mal to help him.

This was a really enjoyable story. The characters were relatable and felt accessible to the reader, or at least to me. Again, the Firefly fan in me was totally appeased. While this isn’t actually set in a boardroom this is still at heart a story about a powerful CEO finding love in an unexpected place. So, I suppose if you like any romance set around vineyards and in boardrooms then this is one to enjoy. There is also an interesting celebrity element, where Colt navigates the world of social media and gains fame as the face of the Kensington brand. Others may also enjoy Colt’s storyline which is very much a rags to riches tale.

Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine ~ Audio Review

Susan Laine - Femme Faux Fatale Audio Cover njwe93Title: Femme Faux Fatale

Series: Dreamspun Desires 70

Author: Susan Laine

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense

Length: 7 hrs, 39 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2nd May 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Mystery. Murder. Men in silk stockings. Hollywood nights are heating up.

Hardboiled Los Angeles PI Cain Noble is hired by wealthy and gorgeous Camille Astor to find her husband and a priceless work of art, both of which have disappeared.

At the nightclub owned by Mr. Astor, Cain encounters the mesmerizing Lily Lavender, who has the body of a goddess and the sultry voice of an angel—but is really a young man named Riley who attracts trouble like a magnet.

What’s a private dick in the vein of LA’s bygone era and a cross-dressing burlesque starlet to do when faced with the hidden decadence and lethal dangers of the Hollywood Hills? They have their work cut out for them because they haven’t even scratched the surface of an elaborate scheme more twisted than anyone could ever have imagined.

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

Review: Femme Faux Fatale is a standalone book by Susan Laine, published as part of the Dreamspun Desires line. The narration of this story was performed by John Solo.

I’ve read the story before, I already knew what I was in for the most part, and while I did have problems connecting with the MCs when I read the book, I had started the audio with the hope that Solo’s wonderful narration would add a depth to the story that I missed while reading. In fact, I had been somewhat disappointed that I didn’t enjoy reading the book more than I had because I have enjoyed almost all of Susan Laine’s books I’ve read in the past.

In the stereotypical way that seems to be the world of a PI in literature, we start with hardened and eternally tired PI Cain Noble. He’s a PI based in LA and the city serves up a constant stream of work for him. When we meet him he gets hired by Camille Astor to find her husband and a work of art. And let’s face it, when priceless art is involved you know that there is going to be some serious shit go down. Astor’s husband, Sheridan, owns a club and that is Cain’s first port of call and despite being gay, Cain finds performer Lilly Lavender strangely alluring. Only to then find out that Lily is in fact a man named Riley who seems to get in trouble at every turn, but more than anything wants to find Sheridan who he considers a friend.

As we make our way through the LA and the story, it feels like this could almost be the stereotypical 1930s-era PI tale where the hero solves the mystery and gets romanced along the way.

While I will admit that I really do think that Solo’s narration added to the book and I found myself dragged into the plot a lot more than I recall being pulled in by reading the book, I felt that I still lacked some connection to the main characters. I’m now wondering if it is also to do with the writing style, which is a little different to Laine’s usual and again I think that goes back to the whole 1930s private dick vibe. I liked Cain and Riley in terms of their personality, they were both a bit quirky, and they were certainly well developed with a definite spark between them that makes the romance natural.

I recommend this is for people that enjoy reading a dark, gritty, urban mystery where the city seems to become a wild jungle. It seems like a good metaphor for LA at any rate and makes me think of The Doors song LA Woman.

Seeking Solace by Ari McKay ~ Audio Review

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

Series: Dreamspun Desires 69, The Walker Boys 03

Author: Ari McKay

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 55 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (6th November 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series: Dreamspun Desires 72 / Beyond the Boardroom 01

Author: Angela McCallister

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 5 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (2nd May 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Anything but business as usual.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Handle With Care by Cari Z ~ Audio Review

Cari Z. - Handle with Care Audio Cover 2348knmTitle: Handle With Care

Series: Dreamspun Desires

Author: Cari Z

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 23 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (21st February 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: A fragile heart needs extra care.

Burned-out social worker Aaron McCoy is on vacation for the first time in years – boss’ orders. Road-tripping to his brother’s wedding with his best friend, Tyler, seems a fun way to spend the mandatory two-week leave, and they set out for Kansas – and a difficult homecoming.

Aaron’s mother was a drug addict, and his adorable younger brother was quickly adopted, while Aaron spent his childhood in foster care. As Aaron mends fences, Tyler hopes to show him that this time, he won’t be left behind to face his problems alone.

Aaron’s opening up to how right it feels to be with Tyler and to the possibility of taking the leap from friends to lovers. But along with the wedding celebration comes a painful reminder of the past. Aaron’s heart is still breakable. Can he put it in Tyler’s hands?

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

Review: Handle With Care is a standalone novel from author Cari Z. The only previous experience I have had with Cari Z was actually reading this book. I was attracted to the book in the first place because it was a friends to lovers story, that also had a side helping of childhood demons. If that’s your thing, then I will say now that I recommend it to you. The only thing was that while I remember liking it, I didn’t love it.

And the narrator responsible for this is John Solo. Solo is one of my top narrators and is one I’ve been looking forward to listening to since when I first started listening to audios. He and Dorian Bane are my absolute favourite MM narrators. Solo’s performance was excellent and delivered the goods for everything that I had missed when I first read the book. Most importantly I felt the chemistry and the sexual tension between the two MCs was much more obvious in the audio.

The story is about Aaron McCoy. He is a social worker because he wants to help the kids who, like Aaron, were the impossible cases taken away from their primary caregiver(s) because they are in danger. Aaron has no love for his drug-taking mother and misses the little brother, Zach, who he had felt that he had been forced to leave behind after Zach was adopted. Aaron had a lot of issues and the parents who adopted Zach could not take Aaron, and while h has some issues concerning that he understands why. However, Aaron is close to burning out and so he has been forced to take a 2-week vacation from work.

The only other person who Aaron truly spends time with is his best friend Tyler. When Aaron left his home town and his little brother it was Tyler and his family who came to the rescue. Aaron still keeps them all at arm’s length, but these are people that consider Aaron family.

Tyler is a happy go lucky sort of bloke. He is a computer geek who can do most of his work on the road or at home. Knowing what Aaron is like he has the perfect solution for the 2-week holiday – Aaron’s baby brother is getting married and Aaron had been invited. Tyler not only forces Aaron to face up to his past and his brother, but also joins him on the road trip. They become closer as Zach and his family assume that the guys are a couple and as Aaron begins to tackle demons he had been too scared to face.

After such a fantastic audio, I have to admit that I only have one issue which I had initially had with the book that wasn’t resolved with the audio. Not that narration solves everything but the emotion the narrator gives often helps to smooth over the edges. My issue being that I thought that Aaron’s demons from being in the foster system still felt a little glossed over.

This story is one of the best examples where I can enjoy reading the story and then I listen to the audio and I am absolutely blown away by how wonderful the story is. The right narrator gives the characters and story so much depth.

Two of A Kind by B.A. Tortuga Audio Review

B.A. Tortuga - Two of A Kind Audio Cover 93874ghbTitle: Two of A Kind

Series: Dreamspun Desires 65

Author: B.A. Tortuga

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Length: 6 hrs

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st February 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Working on a full house.

Once upon a time, Trey Williamson and Ap McIntosh had quite the whirlwind romance – but that was before family tragedy left them the guardians of five kids. Their lives have changed quite a bit over the last six years, but Ap is still on the rodeo circuit, doing what he does best in an at-tempt to feed all those extra mouths.

That leaves Trey back on the ranch, isolated and overworked as the kids’ sole caregiver. Some-thing has to give, and when Ap comes home, they’re reminded how hot they burned once upon a time. But is it a love that can withstand wrangling over time, money, and the future? They have to decide what kind of family they want to be…and whether what they share can stand the test of time.

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

Review: Two of A Kind is a wonderfully, sexy cowboy romance with a cast of crazy kids by BA Tortuga, for Dreamspun Desires. I love BA Tortuga’s stories, especially the cowboy ones. Because seriously, a story about a hot but flawed cowboy is just wonderful. Tortuga, for the most part, does justice to a story with at least one cute kid in addition to the cowboys. I love it!

I read the book of this when it came out and absolutely adored it from start to finish. So I was looking forward to killing some time during my commute listening to it all over again. On top of that, I was looking forward to the narration of John Solo, who did not disappoint. It feels like its been ages since I’ve heard Solo’s work. His voice lent added so much depth to the story, I loved it.

Trey Williamson and Ap MacIntosh met years ago when Trey’s sister and Ap’s brother got married and then proceeded to have five kids. They are both quite young – in their late twenties – and so six years ago when tragedy struck and Trey and Ap became the guardians to their nephews and nieces they were just at the start of their own adult lives. Trey had been saving to go to college and Ap had been on the road competing rodeos since he was approximately sixteen. While their siblings had been alive the two men had shared a couple of special moments but could never explore a serious relationship once they became the guardians to the kids. Trey stayed behind on the small ranch looking after the kids day in and day out, while Ap stayed on the rodeo circuit making money to raise the kids. In fact, Ap leaves very little money for himself, leaving it all for the kids.

However, after six years Trey is burning out. Six kids between the ages of six and sixteen takes a lot of energy and he has basically been a single parent the entire time. So Ap has to come back and be more than the uncle who rings up while on the circuit and go back to visit for special occasions. Ap learns some important home truths as he finds out just what Trey sacrificed to raise the kids and work his exhausting schedule. And so years after they had started to explore an intimate relationship, they are finally together under the same roof and no longer just passing ships in the night.

There was a lot of emotion and while I felt a bit of resentment at Ap for never trying to be more than the bread winner and the cool uncle who drops in every now and again, I really did like Ap and liked how his character matured.

Everyone who loves a good cowboy romance will be entertained by this one!

The Best Worst Honeymoon by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever Audio Cover 2398hTitle: The Best Worst Honeymoon

Series: Dreamspun Desires 60

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 49 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (15th January 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after – until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.

Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever…and con-sidering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

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

Review: The Best Worst Honeymoon is written by Andrew Grey for Dreamspun Desires.

I make it no secret that Andrew Grey is one of my all-time favorite authors and he is an automatic read for me. However, while The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever is not up there with my favorite books, it is a fun book. The story is quite simple really. The book itself is also well paced with solid character development.

Although the narration, which was completely wonderful, by John Solo really lifted the entire story and made it more enjoyable. It almost feels as though his voice added credibility to the story, he really nailed the voice of the MC’s, Tommy and Grayson, and the little boy, Petey.

The book opens with Tommy Gordon nervous for his wedding, but is bolstered by the presence of his best man and best friend, Grayson Philips, and Grayson’s incorrigible son, Petey. Then immediately Tommy’s world is crashing down around him when he is jilted by his fiancé. When Tommy plans to cancel his tropical honeymoon, Grayson convinces Tommy to go and have fun. Which leads to Grayson and Petey tagging along to the tropical island.

This is a fun and sexy story that turns friends to lovers, which has the family friendly element with the addition of the precocious Petey, who is more than happy for his dad to get with Uncle Tommy so that he can keep Uncle Tommy for real. Seriously, cute and sneaky kid. Petey also is a highlight when Tommy gathers the courage to properly face his ex that the three of can have a chance to become a family.

For fans of Andrew Grey and the Dreamspinner Press house line, Dreamspun Desire this is one to add to your list as, at least for me, it is everything that I expect from both.

A Courageous Ride by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - A Courageous Ride Audio CoverTitle: A Courageous Ride

Series: The Bullriders 03

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Length: 8 hrs, 26 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (17th July 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Blurb: Aspiring orchestra conductor Marshall is exhausted after months of auditions without a single job offer. Marshall’s friend Terry recommends a change of scenery and points Marshall in the direction of a dude ranch run by former bull rider Indigo Santana. Marshall is understandably skeptical, but his friend is convincing, and Marshall needs a break, so he agrees to go.

Indigo captures Marshall’s attention but leaves him confused. Indigo’s confidence is shot after an injury ended his rodeo career, and he walks with a slight limp. He hasn’t been anywhere near a bull since he was hurt, and he’s not the most accommodating host. After all, the only reason he keeps guests is because his family ranch is all but bankrupt.

Marshall’s attraction doesn’t go unanswered, which leaves him with a huge dilemma. He’s torn between the possibility of love, something he’s searched for all his life, and the career he’s worked toward for as long as he can remember, which is miles away. From his side of the fence, Indigo doesn’t see how the ranch could ever be enough.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: A Courageous Ride is the third book in Andrew Grey’s cowboy/western series, The Bullriders. Any fans of cowboy romances will love this book. I recommend reading books 1 and 2 if you haven’t already because there are a few well developed characters that pop up from the previous books. I love this series for the simplicity of the story, leaving plenty of room for the characters to develop and fall in love in a way that seems to be more organic than quickly falling into bed and bam, they’re in love. Although, in saying that, the men in these stories also have enough baggage that there isn’t a dull moment.

I think, though, that this book is my favorite in the series, I think because there seems to be a lot more at stake in this one than the previous books. Although the over arching theme of the series continues to be moving on and learning how to let love in. it’s really a beautiful thing.

This story takes place on a different ranch than books 1 and 2, a dude ranch that also happens to be a working ranch that is run by Indigo Santana. The Princess Bride and Santana went through my head, especially at the point where Indigo himself talks about the character Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride.

Indigo is an ex rodeo rider who has was forced to retire after he was severely injured. Now he works his guts out trying to keep his family ranch above water, which is why he has set up the dude ranch part of his business. He is your typical gruff cowboy with a heart of gold, but unlike the previous books, he is a cowboy who isn’t exactly in the closet, but he certainly doesn’t advertise himself either. However, he hides his goodness because his confidence took a real blow when he got the career ending injury, so he likes to act like a grumpy bear and he hasn’t even been near a bull since the accident. In fact, if he wants his guests to meet a bull riding champion, he invites his friend and neighbor, Dante Rivers, over (yep, that’s the guy from book one).

Marshall is a mentally and physically exhausted when we first meet him at the start of the book. He has been going to countless auditions to become an orchestral conductor. However, he is not having much luck. So of course he isn’t at his best, and it is his friend Terry that convinces Marshall to go to a new dude ranch he knows about instead of going back to his difficult parents in New York. Marshall goes to the ranch and quickly finds himself feeling better and within a short time he is starts to be able to access his career options carefully. Even though his controlling mother finds a way to disrupt him. In between all that, he finds a deep connection with Indigo, which brings in a whole lot more complications.

These guys have a long and winding road ahead of them but I particularly found it very easy to relate to Marshall. Although Indigo is a pretty damn awesome character who I only just wanted to give a warm hug!

As usual John Solo has done a fantastic narration, giving each character their own individual voice, which conveys the emotions and assaulting the ear with all the feels you could possibly want. I love to hear Solo’s narration on any book I get on audio and I am rarely disappointed.

A Daring Ride by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - A Daring Ride Audio CoverTitle: A Daring Ride

Series: The Bullriders 02

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Length: 7 hrs

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (23rd March 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: Simon “Frizz” Frizzell sneaks away to the rodeo on weekends, and it’s not until after he wins a buckle that he tells his parents about his bull-riding. He knows they won’t approve of his choice of sport, but his parents own a Christian bookstore, and he couldn’t possibly tell them the whole truth: He’s gay. And so are some of his rodeo friends, like Dante and Ryan, and Jacky – a young man he wishes could have been more than a one-night stand. When Simon sets his sights on his dreams, he finds work with Dante and Ryan, and bumps into Jacky on the job.

Jacky Douglas is a rodeo fanatic, plain and simple. He loves the ride, and he loves the cowboys. He fell hard for Frizz when they met, and theirs was a one-night stand made in heaven. When they meet again, Jacky thinks it’s a stroke of luck. Frizz takes some convincing, but once he’s on board, they begin a relationship. The fledgling romance faces a challenge when news of it travels all the way to the one place Frizz doesn’t want it to go: his parents’ bookstore.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: A Daring Ride is the second book in Andrew Grey’s cowboy/western series, The Bullriders. Any fans of cowboy romances will love this book. I recommend reading book 1 first if you haven’t already because the couple from the first book, Dante and Ryan, do feature quite heavily in this instalment. I love this series for the simplicity of the story, leaving plenty of room for the characters to develop and fall in love in a way that seems to be more organic than quickly falling into bed and bam, they’re in love. Although, in saying that, the men in these stories also have enough baggage that there isn’t a dull moment.

This second book is the story of Jacky Douglas and Simon Frizell, aka Frizz. Jacky is a rodeo fanatic and best friend to Ryan from book 1, which is mostly the reason why Ryan and Dante pop up so often. He loves the everything about the rodeo, including the hot men. Jacky is out and proud and when he meets bull rider, Frizz, he definitely likes what he sees. Jacky isn’t exactly what I would call a free spirit, but he knows what he wants and he isn’t afraid of what people think.

Frizz on the other hand, constantly worries about what people thinks. He has two major secrets in his life. One, that he is a bull rider and competes in rodeos on the weekends. Two, that he’s gay. He is terrified he will lose his family and friends if they ever find out. Yet when he meets Jacky properly, he finds himself on a journey of self-discovery. He feels he can’t have Jacky, then he feels he can on do a one-night stand, then this loops around to Jacky deserving a lot better than that. The main plot of this book is Frizz coming to terms with himself, allowing himself to fall in love and basically taking life by the horns and holding on (pun fully intended).

As usual John Solo has done a fantastic narration, giving each character their own individual voice, which conveys the emotions and assaulting the ear with all the feels you could possibly want. I love to hear Solo’s narration on any book I get on audio and I am rarely disappointed.

A Wild Ride by Andrew Grey ~ Audio Review

Andrew Grey - A Wild Ride Audio CoverTitle: A Wild Ride

Series: The Bullriders 01

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys

Length: 6 hrs, 55 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (27th February 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: Dante Rivers just lost the rodeo by two 100ths of a point; he’s frustrated as hell, needs to get laid, and he knows just where to go. That night, he meets Ryan Abbott and catches his eye – Ryan watched the rodeo and is still riding high on the rush. The chemistry between them ignites, but Dante, unable to deal with complications, leaves while Ryan’s asleep.

Ryan figures he’ll never see Dante again, but they’re fatefully reunited when Dante’s grandfather, Hy, hires Ryan to help straighten out some old investments. The attraction between Ryan and Dante still sizzles. Sex slowly turns to more, but obstacles abound: Hy’s failing health, Dante’s homophobic sponsor, an attack on Ryan, and Dante’s own struggle with his identity. Any one thing would be enough to separate them permanently…unless they both decide to hang on for the wild ride.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I love a good cowboy book and throw in the fact that it’s written by Andrew Grey and I’m sold. I love the rugged sexiness of a strong cowboy with a heart of gold as much as the next person. For those into that type of thing then you’ll probably enjoy this book.

The book begins with the high adrenaline scene of cowboy Dante Rivers doing his final ride on the back of a bucking bull in the rodeo finals. He heartbreakingly loses first place by the narrowest of margins (to someone who is a bit of dick, if you ask me, and I guess you have in a way). So to vent his pent up frustration he meets a guy in a bar for a hot and heavy one night stand.

Dante never thought that he would meet Ryan Abbott again. In fact, Ryan, who thought about Dante long after their one-night stand, never expects to get a phone call that would bring him back into Ryan’s orbit again. Ryan is an investment guru who is hired by Dante’s grandfather, Hy to help fix up some old investments. The attraction is sizzling hot but being a cowboy story, the guys have to deal with coming out of the closet and homophobia – because, you know, no cowboy can be gay, right? Dante’s grandfather is also ill, which is another stress in his life. Hy is an old rascal and such a lovable character, his character is wonderfully reflected in Dante, showing the strong link between the two after Hy had raised his grandson from a young age.

The plot line is fairly simple, but it is all heart and emotion. I don’t want to go too much into it because I feel there would be too much spoiler.

For me the narration by John Solo was the icing on the cake. I’ve always enjoyed Solo’s work. He has a fantastic grittiness to his voice that especially suits the voice of a rough and ready cowboy. I especially enjoyed the voice that he gave Dante, although Ryan’s voice was also pretty damn good.

Legal Tender by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Title: Legal Tender

Series: Art 04

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs 3 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (27th July 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Timothy left home when he was 18 to get away from his reckless mother, but he never stopped visiting his grandfather, who taught him what love was all about. Now that Grampy has passed away, Timothy finds that the old man’s legacy is everything Timothy has dreamed of – and more.

Inside the house Timothy loves so much is a cache of coins with historical value…and a mystery, because one of them isn’t supposed to exist. In memory of his grandfather, Timothy sets out to make sure that the mystery and the coins are given their due honor. In his quest to keep the government from confiscating his grandfather’s legacy, he meets Joiner, whose interest in Timothy is as clear and open as Timothy is guarded. There are things about Timothy’s life and his past he doesn’t want anyone to know, not even the kind man who is helping him with the complications of legal tender.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I love Andrew Grey’s Art series, so I was very much looking forward to the audio of this book. In fact, I think the first book in this series was one of the first Andrew Grey books I read after starting on his Love Means… series. I think I always say this, but I love how Andrew Grey takes ordinary guys – guys that are so relatable and spin a completely relatable and interesting story. There is no insta-love, the characters go through their struggles, in fact I love how we get to see the characters develop and actually get to know each other before thinking, “there might be something here”.
Legal Tender is the fourth book in Grey’s series and while you don’t need to be familiar with the three previous books, I recommend it because there is some overlap with the plot lines and there is also a pleasing appearance of some of our previous heroes. In fact, of the 3 previous books in the series, it is really books 1 and 2 which are most relevant.

Legal Tender follows shy guy Timothy and lawyer Joiner Carver. Timothy has not had the best life and upbringing. His mother is a drug addict, though she had not always been but her habit led to some major damage to Timothy’s psyche after he suffered a horrible trauma. The only love he had known in his life was from his grandfather, Tim called him Grampy, and his best friend as a child, Dieter (that’s right, that’s Dieter from book 1!). Part of Grampy’s legacy were some priceless coins, including a coin that could be confiscated by the US Government if Timothy ever reported that he possessed the object. It’s through Dieter and Dieter’s lawyer husband Gerald, that Timothy meets Joiner and Joiner is immediately on the case to help Timothy keep his grandfather’s legacy. Joiner is an ambitious lawyer, I think that has to be a given, but he is also sweet to a fault and has some fairly rigid morals.

There is an instant attraction between Joiner and Timothy, but Joiner is an honorable lawyer (shock horror, lol) and will not let anything risk his case, yet at the same time he will do anything for Timothy. I love how the plot forms and how Andrew Grey weaved together the threads to make a coherent case for Timothy’s legacy, as well as giving us a lot of sweet romance.

This story can be best described as a legal mystery story with a good dose of romance and sexy thrown in. John Solo is also one of my favorite audio narrators, so this audio was pure joy to read with the wonderful tone that Solo brings to the characters and to the story.

Artistic Pursuits by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Title: Artistic Pursuits

Series: Art 03

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 39 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (11th July 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Frank Jennings is an FBI agent looking for redemption. Leslie Carlton is an Interpol agent looking for a thief. Attraction flares from the moment they meet on a case, searching for a stolen triptych of unique Tiffany windows. But after a single night of stunning passion, Leslie is called back to London to continue his search there. When the case heats up again, Leslie returns to the States – and to Frank – but their investigation is complicated by their tumultuous feelings. Is it possible for two dedicated detectives to pursue each other while they’re tracking down stolen art and the unscrupulous man who steals it?

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I love Andrew Grey’s Art series, so I was very much looking forward to the audio of this book. In fact, I think the first book in this series was one of the first Andrew Grey books I read after starting on his Love Means… series. I think I always say this, but I love how Andrew Grey takes ordinary guys – guys that are so relatable and spin a completely relatable and interesting story.

There is no insta-love, the characters go through their struggles, in fact I love how we get to see the characters develop and actually get to know each other before thinking, “there might be something here”.

Artistic Pursuits is the third book in Grey’s series and while you don’t need to be familiar with the two previous books, I recommend it because there is some overlap with the plot lines and there is also a pleasing appearance of some of our previous heroes.

Artistic Pursuits follows FBI agent who is out to prove himself, Frank Jennings, and English Interpol agent Leslie Carlton.

This is an action, mystery type of story with a good dose of romance and sexy thrown in. John Solo is also one of my favorite audio narrators, so this audio was pure joy to read with the wonderful tone that Solo brings to the characters and to the story.

Artistic Appeal by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Title: Artistic Appeal

Series: Art Stories 02

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Arts

Length: 6 hrs, 42 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (3rd August 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Brian Watson knows close friends Gerald Young and Dieter Krumpf have an ulterior motive when they invite him to their Christmas party. Brian has taken over the case to secure the return of the famous painting called The Woman in Blue to Dieter, but they don’t want Brian to be all work and no play. They intend to set him up with a friend, but he’s not who catches Brian’s eye. Instead, it’s Nicolai, the deaf art restorer caring for the works already returned to Dieter.

But pursuing Nicolai won’t be easy. A year ago Nicolai had to fight to regain his independence after a bad break-up, and he’s reluctant to give up his freedom a second time. Plus, Brian has competition in Justin, Nicolai’s ex, who wants him back badly.

Nicolai’s reluctance isn’t the only roadblock. Brian was married to a woman for almost 10 years. Now he has to confess to his mother, his ex-wife, and his young daughter that he loves a man, all while conducting a potentially groundbreaking court case and trying to convince Nicolai that love isn’t about co-dependence, it’s about support.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I love Andrew Grey’s Art series, so I was very much looking forward to the audio of this book. In fact, I think the first book in this series was one of the first Andrew Grey books I read after starting on his Love Means… series. I think I always say this, but I love how Andrew Grey takes ordinary guys – guys that are so relatable and spin a completely relatable and interesting story. There is no insta-love, the characters go through their struggles and I’m a bit of a sucker when he adds adorable kids and making big loving families by the end of the book.

Artistic Appeal is the second book in Grey’s series and while you don’t need to be familiar with book 1, I recommend it because the two characters who are the best friends in this book are the starring characters of book 1. It was great to revisit these great guys and also see their characters evolving.
However, Artistic Appeal is all about Brian and Nicolai.

Brian is a successful lawyer, working for Gerald from book 1. He is the lawyer that Gerald and his partner Dieter look to for to help and to take over the case of regaining Dieter’s family treasures in the form of artwork by a famous painter. As I said, there is some carry over in the plot of Gerald and Dieter in book 1 but knowing all the details aren’t necessary. Brian’s life is a little complicated by with an ex-wife demanding alimony, but the light of Brian’s life is most definitely his daughter Zoe, of whom he has full custody. While he knows he is gay and a select few friends know of his sexual orientation, he isn’t =out. His harpy ex-wife doesn’t know and his mother (who does have a major harpy vibe too) definitely don’t know at the beginning of the book. Brian’s life is shaken when he meets Nicolai and while dealing with challenges on the professional front, his personal life is suddenly more complicated.

Nicolai is a super sweet art restorer. He’s done work with Gerald in the past, but this is the first time he’s encountered Brian. I think I fell in love with his character immediately. Nicolai is also deaf and I have to admit that I have a soft spot with strong characters that live with a more or less permanent disability. Nicolai has been in an abusive relationship before, which makes him wary of the possibility of a new relationship, especially with a man who isn’t completely out of the closet.

I think it is Brian’s daughter Zoe who played a part in helping Nicolai and Brian together. Zoe is completely adorable and very accepting of Nicolai, even going as far as wanting to learn sign language before her father even gets there.

This is a super sweet yet sexy book. John Solo is also one of my favorite audio narrators, so this audio was pure joy to read with the wonderful tone that Solo brings to the characters and to the story.

All In by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

Title: All In

Series: Wild Cards 03 / Dreamspun Desires 38

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 8 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC

Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Heart Rating: Explicit

Blurb: In crime, like in love, there can be no half measures….

Fashion model Zane Stryker needs money – badly. At almost 30, his glory days are behind him, and he needs capital to start over. When his luggage is switched with a bag containing contraband he’s forced to deliver, it’s either the worst thing that’s ever happened to him…or the best.

Enter Sebastian Gigoni, formerly of the British Special Forces, who has to decide just where Zane’s loyalty lies and why. Sizzling attraction erupts between them, but that doesn’t mean they can trust each other. They double down in a race for their lives – and their love – but are their purposes at odds? As they struggle to reconcile their goals, their consciences, and the needs of their hearts, one thing is clear – they must go all in or give up altogether.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: All In is the third in Ava Drake’s Wild Cards series and apart of the Dreamspun Desires imprint. The story works as a standalone book, with only a minor appearance from previous characters where you don’t need to know any back story.

The story follows Zane Stryker, a fashion model who battled addiction and got himself back together and is now trying his best to make a come back for what would be the final couple years of his modelling career. He knew he was getting too old for the job but he wanted to make sure he had enough money to see him through a while and end his career on a high note. He’s on his way from Europe to New York where he intends to revive his career when his luggage is lost and he’s pulled up by customs in New York, turning his life upside down.

This is where Sebastian Gignoni enters the scene, he’s ex-British SAS and now working for the protection agency Wild Cards Inc. He’s been sent to the US on a case and Zane and the contraband placed in his suitcase are the direct he needs to break open an international conspiracy. Sebastian is instantly attracted to Zane but he needs to know if the man is in on the crime or if he is an unwilling participant who is being dangled with a most tempting payment.

I’m still not completely sure on my thoughts on this story. Makes me sound a bit boring I suppose, but I felt that it was an effort to suspend my disbelief for this one. I think what I had the most problem with was the insta-love/attraction which meant during some really dangerous moments, the tension was killed with “oh, let’s have sex”.

I enjoyed, I liked the characters, I loved the narration but I suppose I was just not completely grabbed by the main plot line.

The Teddy Bear Club by Sean Michael ~ Audiobook

Title: The Teddy Bear Club

Series: The Teddy Bear Club 01 / Dreamspun Desires 39

Author: Sean Michael

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 9 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (10th October 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Two lonely men. One perfect family.

Aiden Lake adopted his institutionalized sister’s two daughters, and he’s a good dad. He works nights on websites and gets in his adult time twice a week at the Roasty Bean, where he meets with other single gay parents.

Devon Smithson wants to be a good dad now that his 16-year-old sister asked him to babysit her newborn…three months ago. But he’s overwhelmed with the colicky baby. An invitation to the daddy-and-kid gatherings at the café is a godsend. The pot is sweetened when his friendship with Aiden develops into more – maybe even something that can last.

But the mother who kicked Dev out for being gay wants to get her claws into the baby, and she doesn’t care if she tears Dev, Aiden, and everything they’re building apart in the process.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: The Teddy Bear Club is a totally cute and sweet romance that was everything I expected after reading the blurb and getting excited. It is narrated by John Solo (I don’t think there’s been a book he’s narrated where I didn’t dislike his narration) and so for me this was a no-brainer – I had no choice, I was going to listen to this book.

The story follows Aiden Lake and Devon Smithson. Aiden has adopted his sister’s two kids after she was institutionalized with a severe mental illness. His nieces/daughters are adorable, and they are a cute little family.

Devon’s sister dropped off her baby son three months and now Devon is making changes in his life to be a father to his nephew – which includes a much-needed name change. However, he is feeling overwhelmed and needs advice and support, which he finds at the Roasty Bean where there are a group of single gay parents who meet up to chat, drink coffee and generally hang about in the company of like minded adults.

The road to romance and HEA is not exactly smooth. Aiden and Devon are willing to take the chance and support each other. There really isn’t much more for me to say than that I loved the loving family’s and the sweet romance. I’m looking forward future books in the Teddy Bear Club series.

Manny Get Your Guy by Amy Lane ~ Audiobook

Title: Manny Get Your Guy

Series: The Mannies 02 / Dreamspun Desires 37

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 16 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (10th August 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Starting over and falling in love.

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Manny Get Your Man is the second book in Amy Lane’s series, The Mannies. I suppose that this does work as a standalone book, but I think that you really need to get acquainted with first book if you haven’t already. If nothing else you’re doing yourself an injustice by not reading an excellent book. Manny Get Your Man features a lot of characters from The Virgin Manny and is set about 10 years later, so you find out about all the characters (major and minor) we fell in love with in book 1. In fact, the first sentence of the blurb does assume that the reader has read the first book.

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

I know, it’s a tangle. I won’t stop you from getting a paper and pen out to draw the family tree.
I absolutely loved this story. John Solo’s narration of the book is wonderful to hear, but then again, I think I could listen to almost everything narrated by John Solo and be exceedingly happy. That man can narrate a book like nobody’s business.

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

Extrasensual Perception by Rayne Vause ~ Audiobook

Title: Extrasensual Perception

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 26

Author: Rayna Vause

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Length: 5 hrs, 45 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd February 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: If a stalker doesn’t kill them, the heat between them might.

Christopher Vincent is desperate enough for a job that he accepts an offer to entertain as a psychic in a friend’s nightclub. Jackson Whitman, one of the club’s co-owners, is less than thrilled by the new act. To him, psychics are ridiculous and a liability. But when they come face-to-face, attraction flares to life between them.

Someone is watching Jack and Chris from the shadows. What starts as a series of creepy encounters leads to deadly attacks.

Jack and Chris must set aside their differences and work together to survive a homicidal stalker. But can they survive their explosive connection?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause is something that is very tricky for me to review. The blurb drew me in, the plot itself I enjoyed and I really did love the two MCs. I’m totally sure if I’ve read anything by Vause in the past, but I have to say that I liked the writing style too. However, there was something about it that left me feeling flat and just a tad bit … well, meh.

The story starts out with Christopher Vincent, he’s a good guy but down on his luck – like many MCs in books – and just like many MCs in romance books he’s desperate to find a job. And just like many other romances, the second MC and love interest is the best friend’s brother, the very hot, very macho and serious businessman Jackson Whitman. Christopher gives in to his best friend’s pleas to act as psychic in her new co-owned club which gimmick is a carnival. The trouble being that Christopher, much like his mother, does actually has legit psychic ability. I don’t suppose this book really falls into the realm of Dreamspinner Press’s new line, Dreamspun Beyond, but the whole psychic thing was a little quirky and a very enjoyable side to the story.

This is where all the drama starts. With Jackson’s sister, Chris’s best friend, being the target of a stalker Chris is a race against time to understand the glimpses his gift gives him in order to save the day. The romance between Jackson and Chris gives off massive sparks from the get go, I will admit that there is good dose of insta-love, but the romance rolls along well with the rest of the plot. In short, I’m just trying to say that it all rolls up in a neat package that makes sense.

As always I found the narration by John Solo flawless. I have loved his narration of every book I’ve heard him do. He just has a knack for nailing the voices and emotions of the main characters, as well as the secondary characters. I honestly don’t know what left me feeling a little flat about the whole story. I did enjoy it and personally I think it would the perfect book to listen to when you’re trying to unwind – especially if you’ve just read an intense book that leaves you utterly shattered.

Artistic Appeal by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Title: Artistic Appeal

Series: Art Stories 02

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Arts

Length: 6 hrs, 42 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (3rd August 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Brian Watson knows close friends Gerald Young and Dieter Krumpf have an ulterior motive when they invite him to their Christmas party. Brian has taken over the case to secure the return of the famous painting called The Woman in Blue to Dieter, but they don’t want Brian to be all work and no play. They intend to set him up with a friend, but he’s not who catches Brian’s eye. Instead, it’s Nicolai, the deaf art restorer caring for the works already returned to Dieter.

But pursuing Nicolai won’t be easy. A year ago Nicolai had to fight to regain his independence after a bad break-up, and he’s reluctant to give up his freedom a second time. Plus, Brian has competition in Justin, Nicolai’s ex, who wants him back badly.

Nicolai’s reluctance isn’t the only roadblock. Brian was married to a woman for almost 10 years. Now he has to confess to his mother, his ex-wife, and his young daughter that he loves a man, all while conducting a potentially groundbreaking court case and trying to convince Nicolai that love isn’t about co-dependence, it’s about support.

Product Link: Audible USAudible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Artistic Appeal is the second installment of Andrew Grey’s Arts Stories series. If you’ve enjoyed reading the book, the audio narrated by John Solo is an absolute joy to read. Solo’s efforts to bring the characters to life had me enthralled and it made a train ride and shopping in the city fun (as well as helping me avoid people handing out leaflets).

Artistic Appeal can read/heard as a standalone book. Honestly, it’s been a while since I have read the first book in the series and don’t really remember too much of it. Yet I had no problem picking up the story and the threads of sub plot that continued from the previous story. However, in saying that I now want to go back and reacquaint myself with Gerald and Dieter’s story.

The story follows recently divorced, single dad Brian Watson. He’s friend and boss to Gerald from book 1. That means he’s a lawyer and a damn good one. After being set up by his friends, among the few people that know his true sexuality, Brian meets arts restorer, Nicolai. Nic is deaf after losing what little hearing he had by the age of ten. It is Brian and Gerald’s work on the art scene, dealing with stolen art and the like, that brings Nic into their circle.

Brian and Nic are just ordinary guys, though. Brian needs to come out of the closet to those who are closest to him and that includes his harpy of an ex-wife. At the same time he’s enjoying a massive upswing in his career while trying what could possibly be his hardest case to date. On the other hand, Nic’s career is only just building after the GFC saw a decrease in the number of clients willing to pay to have their artwork restored. Similar to Brian, he also has seen the end of the relationship in the past year and unfortunately his ex is suddenly unwilling to let go Nic. Nic has only just got used to being on his own and regained his independence rather than rely on another man for so many things because of his deafness. Needless to say, he’s a little reticent to let another man into his heart.

Grey has a knack with writing characters that feel real and are totally relatable. He also has a knack to write wonderful child characters and allows the family to form organically. This story is no different, Brian’s daughter Zoe is a wonderful character in her own right.

If you are unfamiliar with the Arts Stories series, then those familiar with Grey’s Senses series, would also enjoy these books/audios. However, if you ask me anything Grey writes is gold and he is a must-buy for every book release.

Smokey Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake ~ Audiobook

Title: Smoky Mountain Dreams

Author: Leta Blake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 14 hrs 46 mins

Publisher: Leta Blake Books (17th October 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Sometimes holding on means letting go.

After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he’s center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.

Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother, he doesn’t want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn’t want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Listening to the audio of Leta Blake’s Smokey Mountain Dreams was just audio bliss. There were so many elements of things that I love in an MM book – which I’ll get to in a second. The one thing that was new and different to me was the author and it was certainly a wonderful introduction to a new author and their writing style. Honestly, after listening to this one I am definitely open to either reading or listening to more of Blake’s work.

Now onto the elements that this book has that I love. I’ll list them off and if you got a similar list of likes to me, then this is probably the book/audio for you:

– John Solo narrating – honestly, sometimes that’s all I need,
– Good old Southern charm, manners and hospitality,
– One broken hero and one sweet hero, who in his own way is also broken,
– Sweet kids in need for someone to help keep their family together and mend their father’s heart,
– Two men that are not flawless, their characters and story completely relatable,
– A proper misunderstanding right at the end before anyone can ride off into the sunset, kissing,
– The story of Sadako and the One Thousand Paper Cranes is referenced numerous times. As a kid, I loved this story and was probably the first book that made me cry when I read it at school when I was eight or nine. Fast forward close to twenty years and reading about her story at Hiroshima A-Bomb Museum/Peace Memorial had me ugly crying even more than when I first stepped into the Museum.

The story is about Christopher Ryder. He’s a country singer who never made it in Nashville but makes a decent living in the small town (apologies name has completely escaped me) at the town’s main source of income from the tourist dollars – the theme park Smoky Mountain Dreams. The theme park itself something akin to Dolly Parton’s country and western theme park, not that I know much about it, but for people as clueless as me, that is probably what you’ll think of. Christopher doesn’t have a heck of a lot of confidence in his own abilities, but he enjoys being the step-in actor/singer for the town’s much loved but very much drunk (and debauched) son, Lash. Christopher is a total sweetie, but has had a difficult time from his family, his only real family are his beloved grandmother (as well as his brother in law, Joe, who as a secondary character I fell in love with). He is happy and content with his life, though he has not been lucky in his love life lately.

Christopher’s grandmother is the key to much of the story. She, hilarious woman that she is and another secondary character I fell in love with, is the instigator – whether meaning or not – of most of the story. As it is, her voice is also the voice of Christopher’s conscience, which is also quite amusing. His gran is the type of Gran everyone loves but few of us have had in real life. It is Christopher’s love for her which starts him on the path to the town’s jeweler, Jesse Birch.

Jesse’s life is just as complicated as Christopher’s, which is what I love about both MC’s, their lives are anything but simple but still totally relatable. Jesse is basically a widow (it’s complicated), he has two kids, he makes beautiful jewelry and he is totally in need for someone with as much sweetness as Christopher has to offer to help heal his broken heart. The kids also need some healing, but I enjoyed that Christopher’s sweetness didn’t win over the kids immediately, I liked that both guys needed to put in a lot of hard work and made many mistakes along the way.

The two events at the end of the story, which helped give the guys the final push their romance needed, was not unexpected to me. I knew that either one or both had to happen for the story to finish and I liked how that was executed.

Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake Audio Tour, Review & Giveaway!

Leta Blake - Smoky Mountain Dreams RTBanner

Hi guys! We have Leta Blake stopping by today with the tour for her audio release Smoky Mountain Dreams, we have a audio excerpt, Prime’s review and a brilliant giveaway where there’s a chance to win a backlist ebook of one of Leta’s stories, so guys check out the post and enter that giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~

Leta Blake - Smoky Mountain Dreams Cover s

Smoky Mountain Dreams

by

Leta Blake

After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he’s center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.

Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother, he doesn’t want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn’t want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

Continue reading “Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake Audio Tour, Review & Giveaway!”