A Fool and His Manny by Amy Lane ~ Audio Review

Amy Lane - A Fool and His Manny Audio Cover 2938ygTitle: A Fool and His Manny

Series: The Mannies 04 / Dreamspun Desires 62

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 18 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (6th December 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Seeing the truth and falling in love.

Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan’s friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.

At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he’s never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”

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

Review: A Fool and his Manny is the fourth book in Amy Lane’s, The Mannies. I have adored every book in this series, so much so that I’ve both read the books and listened to the audio. It is just so super sweet, there is so much love and a crazy, whacky family supporting all the MCs.

It is also the last book in the series, so it’s kind of a butter sweet ending with all the happy couples and seeing the Robbins family and their associated branches grow over about twenty years. This is the second book in the series that goes onto the next generation of the people that are somehow apart of the Robbins family.

This is the story of the oldest Robbins-Grayson, Dustin. His father knocked up his mother, in book one (the hero’s, Tino, best friend and sister) and way before his parents had a bajillion kids. Now Dustin is all grown up and attracted to Quinlan Gregory, the man we met in book 3, a trumpet player and friend of Sammy (Dustin’s cousin) who was taken in and hired by Dustin’s parents to be a manny for their herd of kids. Dustin was a teen by book 3, he isn’t that much younger than Quinlan, so I assure you, it really isn’t as weird as it sounds. This is a relatively low angst book, my favorite kind, and Dustin and Quinlan make a totally cute couple.

I really enjoyed seeing this side of Dustin. He was always a brat when we’ve seen him previously. Now he has grown up and matured into a young man. Quinlan was an ordinary college student and gifted musician when we first met him but there has always been an element of loneliness to him from the start. He is one of those characters that I felt strongly and looked forward to having his own HEA. It makes me ridiculously happy to say that. I love how Lane has developed all the characters over the four books. On a side note, I loved the conversation on the band bus involving Harry Potter and how the kids grew up from cute kids to good looking (yes, we’re talking about Neville Longbottom!).

Kenneth Obi is the narrator and does a wonderful job. Obi did not narrate the previous books in the series (John Solo was the narrator for books 1 and 2, and Peter B Brooke was the narrator of 3), I’m not sure if this was on purpose in terms of what the narrator could bring to the characters, or if it was just a matter of availability. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed many of Obi’s performances and this was no exception. He added a depth to the characters with his tone that meant I could feel when the high emotional times popped up.

This is a must read for anyone who has been following the series. I’ve tried to be concise with my description but as you can probably tell, there is a lot of background, hence my recommendation. For those that haven’t read the series, I recommend reading it in order because this is a proper family saga that spans approximately 22 years. If you love a sweet story with a HEA and low angst this is the book for you, especially if you’re a sucker hot guys working with kids.

A Full Plate by Kim Fielding ~ Audio Review

Kim Fielding - Full Plate Audio Cover 3482b2xpTitle: A Full Plate

Series: Dreamspun Desires 56

Author: Kim Fielding

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 19 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th June 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Opposites come together for a spicy surprise.

Bradford “Tully” Tolliver has everything—money, a great car, a beautiful condo, and a promising career as one of Portland’s hottest young lawyers. Sure, he puts in long hours and has no social life to speak of, but who needs romance when corporations pay top dollar for his expertise? He hesitates when a colleague asks if her cousin can live with him, but the arrangement will last less than a year, and then the cousin—Sage Filling—will return to his tiny hometown.

But Sage is handsome and intriguing, and his cooking makes Tully swoon. Sage has obligations back home, though, and Tully has offers he might not refuse from a persistent—and very wealthy—ex. Since Tully and Sage each have a full plate, can they make room for a side of love?

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

Review: A Full Plate is a novel by Kim Fielding from the Dreamspun Desires line. I’ve read this book in the past and have enjoyed it, I love the ease of the audio format for my commute and so enjoy listening to books that I’ve read and liked in the past.

I’m also always curious because sometimes narration can help me enjoy the story more. This story was excellently narrated by Kenneth Obi, a narrator I’ve become more familiar with in the past 6 or so months and I’ve never had an issue with his narration. I really enjoyed the he gave to the characters and the tone used throughout the book. It worked well. I think the only reason why his narration didn’t allow me to enjoy the story so much more than when I read it is probably because I felt that the story was a tad slow in the middle leading up to when the characters get their butts into action. Not to say that this was a bad story, because obviously, I don’t think that at all.

The story is about high-power lawyer Bradford Tolliver, better known as Tully to his friends, and Sage Filling, the cousin of one of Tully’s friends. At first it seems like these guys are complete opposites. Tully is a well-educated city boy, whereas Sage is a country boy who had spent so much time and energy running his family’s diner in his home town. Sage needs to make money and he can’t do it at the old diner anymore, so he’s in the city where he is a line cook at a greasy burger joint. Sage also happens to be a cooking prodigy; his only problem is that he doesn’t have the fancy education to be much more than a line cook anywhere. Tully takes Sage in as a roommate, in exchange for his room and board, Sage does all the cooking.

These guys don’t come together easily. Their road to each other is a little bumpy to say the least, mostly because Sage doesn’t want to start a relationship when he is only going to be in Portland for less than a year. Tully will take anything he can with Sage, even if he knows it will end in heartache. Regardless, these guys are clearly made for each other and their subtle romance is something that I cheered on. The most telling part was when their lives meshed together so easily and both men displayed some misplaced jealousy.

If you’re into a sweet romance between a country and a city boy this is the story for you. I enjoyed the lack of ego and these guys just being average guys trying to make their lives work.

His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane ~ Audio Review

Ashlyn Kane - His Leading Man Audio Cover 8h4vr4Title: His Leading Man

Series: Dreamspun Desires 59

Author: Ashlyn Kane

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 22 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16th August 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.

Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now, one of Hollywood’s hot-test properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing – and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable – on and offscreen.

Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherish-es.
Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset?

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

Review: His Leading Man by Ashlynn Kane is from the Dreamspun Desires line, so the blurb (and the story) was exactly what I expected, a really light, sweet romance. This is a fairytale Hollywood romance between one of the most popular, in demand actors, and the indie screenwriter/script doctor he cons into playing his leading man. I’m pretty sure I know the author, Ashlynn Kane, from Dreamspun Desire stories – I really don’t know – but the story was enough to draw me since I have read this before and enjoyed it. I was just super keen to hear the audio.

The narration is done by Kenneth Obi. I know his work mostly from listening to Dreamspun Desire and Dreamspun Beyond audios and I haven’t come across a performance that I didn’t like. Not so long ago Obi was a new narrator to me, but I have now come to look forward to listening to his work. He’s really good at injecting the necessary emotion, the highs and the lows and keep me engrossed.
The story surrounds Drew Beaumont, a Hollywood superstar and Steve, a script doctor and script writer who wants to make his own way in the world without depending on the popularity of his family.

Drew Beaumont has been cast as all the usual hero and romantic roles before. He wants to get his teeth into something different, something that will challenge him as an actor. He finds that when he reads the script of an unknown screenwriter. It’s something of a buddy comedy that ends with a gay romance. Drew wants to star in this movie and make it happen at any cost. The only problem is that he can’t find an actor that fits the role of his best friend/love interest. And so that is when he manages to get his agent (and a good friend to Steve) to convince the writer, Steve Sopol, to add acting to his repertoire.

Steve isn’t an international man of mystery, or someone with stars in their eyes or a shady past. There are a couple of surprising revelations about Steve, but other than that, he is a nice, down to earth sort of guy. He does live with his mother, who is always flitting around, but that does not make him a mama’s boy in the least.

Steve and Drew have a wonderful instant chemistry but thankfully they foster it and don’t rush into romance or any I-love-yous. If you don’t like insta-love, this book will still appeal. They need to navigate their way through Hollywood to become that fairytale couple that it was obvious they would become. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Hollywood style romance.

The Supers by Sean Michael ~ Audio Review

Title: The Supers

Series: Dreamspun Beyond 06 / The Supers 01

Author: Sean Michael

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 6 hrs, 18 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (2nd March 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4.5 Hearts

Blurb: Hunting ghosts and finding more than they bargained for.

Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job.

Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along.

Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building, an abandoned hospital, together. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

Hitchhiking ghosts, a tragic love story forgotten by time, and the mystery of room 204 round out a romance where the things that go bump in the night are real.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I don’t think I have a concrete impression of author Sean Michael. I love the writing style, but it all comes down to the plot line itself and substance of the story as to if I finish and enjoy a book. In general, I find his books enjoyable, but I can’t say that I love every one of them.

The Supers is about a group of ghost busters, looking to make their big break. It’s a pretty cool concept that was executed great in both writing and in Kenneth Obi’s narration. In fact, Obi is becoming of one my favorite MM narrators lately. I like his tone and the subtle nuances Obi brings, particularly to a MM paranormal book which doesn’t have a set “alpha”. The characters are ordinary guys and as such Obi gives these guys the right voice and tone. In short, everything just works.

The book follows Blaine loves being a part of the group. Hard times on the family farm means that he had to put on hold his plans of moving away to help his parents. His parents are overly impressed by his second job, but they don’t make a fuss. It is basically Blaine’s unwinding time. He just happens to chase after ghosts and trying to capture them on audio or camera. After losing their usual tech person who monitors cameras, recordings, etc. their group manager hires Flynn, who is a newly graduated sound technician. Flynn fits in, as the blurb says, but he especially hits it off with Blaine.

These guys are very sweet and great chemistry together. An underlying story, as hinted in the blurb about the mystery of room 204, really adds to their budding relationship. In my opinion, the mystery of room 204 is THE highlight of this story.

This book is great for anyone who loves watching those ghost hunter type of shows. I love the underlying story which emerges at the end; it really added a certain spice that was both sad and perfect. Like when I read the book, I’m super excited to find out what the rest of the series has in store.

Teaching Ben by Shea Connor ~ Audio Review

Title: Teaching Ben

Series: Dreamspun Desires 52

Author: Shea Connor

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 40 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (10th April 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Learning to love means a study in patience.

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing. As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Teaching Ben is a cutesy story… it’s best way to describe this sugary sweet romance between two college students in their mid-twenties. This is very much what I expect from the author, Shea Connor, and I was quite please with this addition to the Dreamspun Desires line. The narration for this audio was by Kenneth Obi, a new narrator for me but recently I’ve heard a few audios narrated by Obi. Overall, I find that I am now always happy to hear Obi’s narration. He nails the characters and the tone for the most part and I like his ability to all primary and secondary characters a unique voice.

Teaching Ben is the story of Ben Cooper and his college tutor David Powell. Ben is twenty-four and recently out of the air force. After growing up with a controlling father who was also in the military which led into his career in the navy. Now he can have a life for himself and for Ben that is going to college and studying communications and documentary making. On his first days in one of his introductory subjects he feels an instant spark of attraction to third year student and his tutor for the class, David Powell.

David is also twenty-four. He’s got a past as a member of a rich family and growing up getting everything he wanted. A life altering situation some years ago meant that David had learnt his lesson and had since been working hard to finish college. Meeting Ben, David can’t deny the attraction, however David also knows that he start a relationship with a student he was teaching for the semester.

This is a sweet, well-paced book with very little angst. These are just ordinary guys living life, meeting their challenges head on, going to college and that ultimately is what makes this charming.

Game Point by M.J. O’Shea ~ Audiobook

Title: Game Point

Series: Dreamspun Desires 45

Author: MJ O’Shea

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 4 hrs, 31 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19th December 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3,5 Hearts

Blurb: Game, set… match made in heaven.
Spoiled socialite Quinn Valenzuela has no interest in sports or his family’s huge sporting goods empire, Sparta Athletics. So when Quinn learns his grandfather has died and he’s in control of the corporation, no one is more surprised than Quinn himself.

Dedicated COO Porter Davis has little time and less patience for brats like Quinn who have never done a day’s work, but circumstances leave him with little choice. Quinn claims he’s ready to leave partying behind and grow up, but it’ll take more than words to earn Porter’s respect. As it turns out, they can work – and play – together after all. A friends-with-benefits arrangement makes sense for the two busy men, but are they too different for it to ever develop into more? Not if Quinn can convince Porter he has his head in the game.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I have fast become a fan of MJ O’Shea, mostly acquainted with the author’s works through Dreamspun Desires. While Game Point is not my favorite story by the author, it was no less an enjoyable read. The story itself is a great mis of sweet and sexy, which is something that O’Shea does well in my opinion. For me what elevated the actual content of the story was the narration by Kenneth Obi, this is the third audio I’ve heard his narration on and it was a very pleasant experience. The premise is an enemies to lovers story. Or more accurately, enemies to friends with benefits to true love and a HEA.

The enemies in question are Porter Davis, an ex-tennis player turned business, and Quinn Valenzuela, a relatively carefree playboy that has a lot of growing up to do. The story opens with the death of Porter’s friend, mentor and boss, who just happens to be Quinn’s grandfather and the father of Porter’s best friend (Quinn’s mum). Porter is the COO for Valenzuela’s Sparta Athletics and cares deeply for the family that run it, expect for his mentor’s grandson who flits around Europe carefree. Porter is shocked and more than a little miffed that Quinn is given a controlling interest in the company on the proviso that he is involved in the day to day running of Sparta. Meaning that Quinn is going to be in his face all day long.

When Quinn got the call about his grandfather’s death and seeming like the spoiled brat Porter thinks he is, Quinn is picked up from Spain with the family’s private plane and returned home to his see his mother and attend the funeral. He doesn’t expect the conditions in his grandfather’s will and at first is ready to hand over his controlling share of the company to his mother. However, the death of his grandfather leads Quinn towards an epiphany to get back on the right track and finally grow up into the man he is meant to be.

Porter and Quinn are true enemies at first, but when they force each other to face some harsh truths, their relationship takes a turn towards the hot. All that energy they spent hating each other has now become some tense sexual chemistry that I wanted them to hurry up and initiate. And, probably of most immediate importance, they can also actually find a way to work together professionally before they even make it to a bed.

To be perfectly honest, it took me a few chapters to warm up to Porter. He wasn’t the nicest character at first and in my opinion was a bigger brat than Quinn. Thankfully both characters undergo some major development and mature in a lot of ways throughout the story. It’s a very light and carefree read which is low on unnecessary drama.

Finder’s Keepers by Shira Anthony ~ Audiobook

Title: Finder’s Keepers

Series: Dreamspun Beyond 04 / Hearts Gate 01

Author: Shira Anthony

Narrator: Kenneth Obi

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 5 hrs, 39 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (22nd December 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 2.5 Hearts

Blurb: The truth might ruin his dreams – or make them come true.

When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker – Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a 200-year-old half-human, half-red-fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds – a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.

Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice – fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This audiobook has me feeling quite torn and I promise to try and explain it the best I can here. I just wanted to put it out there before I got stuck into the nitty gritty.

The story is about Zane and Kit. Zane has moved city to the home he has inherited from his estranged uncle, not knowing that there is an important family secret that he’s never been told and his role in the big scheme of things as a Keeper to the gate to the other world. I don’t think it was ever fully explained why Zane and his twin sister did not live with their uncle after being orphaned, but I suppose it just a plot device to get us to the point. He’s a cheerful, upbeat sort of guy who has big dreams to travel the world and generally live life to the fullest.

The old Gothic home has a caretaker, of sorts, Kit who is a half human, half fox (kitsune) spirit. His job is the guardian of the keeper and the gate. He has been guardian for eight keepers in his two hundred years of life. However, for the first time, Kit feels something more for his keeper and he doesn’t know what to do with it. He wants to fulfill his job, something that is draining him without the presence of a keeper. But his attraction to Zane is strong and he wants Zane to live a full life, not be restricted and trapped in the life of being the guardian of the gate.

Author, Shira Anthony, is not unheard of to me, I’ve not gotten into a lot of books, although I’ve previously enjoyed a book published as part of the Dreamspun Desires series. I really enjoyed the premise of Finder’s Keepers, the first in the Heart’s Gate Story, but I wasn’t sold on the execution of the plot. Perhaps how it was written? Perhaps the author’s writing style is not for me?

Regardless, I was not a fan of the unnecessary drama caused by Kit’s continual internal monologue about pining for Zane but wanting him to have a full life. This was where I really liked Lore, the odd entity was good for getting the plot to go forward while Zane was lost in his angst. Kit seems a bit like a drama queen, especially when Zane becomes so accepting of his new role in life. Since I didn’t have the best experience with this book I struggle to know who to recommend this for. I mean, I love a bit of drama as much as the next person and love to watch a good soap opera once in a while. The problem being I deem most of the drama unnecessary to the romance plot and there wasn’t a whole heap of action in the story either.

On the other hand, Kenneth Obi, the narrator of this book, is a new narrator for me and I have to say he was absolutely fantastic. For me it was his narration that pulled me through the length of the book. I loved his ability to give the different characters their own tone and voice. I particularly loved his voice given to the demon/entity Lore, who is basically the voice of reason amongst the angst. I also enjoyed the voice given to both MC’s, Zane and Kit.

I think I’m going to have to think twice before going on with this series, but one thing is for certain I would love to hear more narration by the very fine Kenneth Obi (he has lent his voice to quite a number of titles).

From Ashes by K.M. Neuhold Audio Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

K.M. Neuhold - From Ashes Audio Banner

Hi guys! We have K.M. Neuhold stopping by today with tour for her audio release From Ashes, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~ 

From Ashes

(Heathens Ink 01)
by

K.M. Neuhold

“When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, asked for a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate.”~ Adam

It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn’t want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he’d taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him?

I’ve been living a lie for 16 long years and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I’ll never be able to turn him away.

“When I was so far down I couldn’t even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me”~ Nox

I didn’t have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn’t save? Am I even worthy of his love?

**From Ashes is the third book in the Heathens Ink series, each book in the series CAN be read as a standalone.

CAUTION: this book contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence and drug use that may be disturbing to some readers.

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