Why We Fight by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune - Why We Fight Cover 25hb53Title: Why We Fight

Series: At First Sight o4

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (341 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64405-018-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14 May 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Corey Ellis sure doesn’t. Oh, everyone around him seems to have found their happy ending, but he’s far too busy to worry about such things. He’ll have plenty of time for romance after he survives his last summer before graduation. So what if he can’t get his former professor, Jeremy Olsen, out of his head? It’s nothing more than hero worship. And that’s the way it should stay.

Except bigender Corey—aka Kori—is interning at Phoenix House for the summer, a LGBTQI youth center. A center that recently hired an interim director until someone can be found to fill the position permanently.

Because life is extraordinarily unfair, the director just so happens to be a certain former professor, now turned current boss.

Desperate to keep things professional as he and Jeremy grow closer, Corey makes a major mistake: he turns to his friends, Paul Auster and Sanford Stewart for help.

But Paul and Sandy have some ideas of their own….

Set in the summer of 2016, Why We Fight is a celebration of queer life and being true to oneself… no matter the cost.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Why We Fight is the fourth and final book in TJ Klune’s At First Sight series. But it is also so much more! I make no bones about my absolute adoration for what Klune writes, so I am going to keep my gushing to a minimum. However, this book signifies wrapping up one fantastically fun, emotional and heartfelt series (At First Sight), with direct connections with characters from another completed series (Bear, Otter and the Kid), and for the very keen, he has thrown in some Easter eggs to another recently finished series (How To Be), TJ goes above and beyond with the fan service for all Klunatics. This book does not work as a standalone book, despite the fact that we are getting the story of a character who, in the previous books, was a wonderfully sassy friend that I gotta say, I fell in love with. Also, if you haven’t read the read the rest of the series, then why not??

TJ has also been writing about various aspects of the story and his process in his blog lately, and it has been a fascinating read. Any fans of his works that haven’t checked out the blog, do so, it’s really interesting to read about how he wrote the character of Corey/Kori, as well as talking about gay conservatives and all the other little touches he’s furnished Why We Fight with.

The main characters are Corey Ellis and Jeremy Olsen.

Corey is a really interesting character in that they are a person of colour, as well as identifying as bigender, meaning that sometimes they embrace their male side and are Corey, but then at other times they embrace their female side and are Kori. TJ has written this aspect wonderfully, in previous books we knew when they were Corey and Kori because we were often told how the pitch in their voice had changed or what they were wearing. Here, because the story is told entirely from Corey/Kori’s POV, the only time we would know was when clothing was mentioned or when someone addressed them. But honestly, it didn’t matter if it was Corey or Kori on the page, they are a character that I love because they could just be and that was it. I didn’t care who they identified as, I just got immersed into their life.

Jeremy Olsen is also an interesting character, even if he doesn’t appear to shine as brightly as Corey/Kori does. He’s a college professor, which is how he had first met Corey/Kori who was his student at the time. But now life seems to be throwing them together on purpose and Corey/Kori does not know how to handle it – but they handle it wonderfully, hilariously wonderfully, and beautifully and heartfelt wonderfully. It doesn’t help that despite his concerns about their age difference that Jeremy seems to intent on making a good go of things.

Jeremy is already in Corey/Kori’s orbit when the story starts, we know this from the previous book in the series, where Jeremy turns up at the wedding of one of Corey’s friends, Vince and Paul, with Jeremy’s father, who happens to be dating the elderly gentleman, a leather daddy called Charlie. Now, though, we now add to this that when Corey/Kori takes an intern position at a LGBTQI+ home, they finds out that Jeremy has been made interim director.

The secondary characters are as wonderful and as outrageous as they have been throughout the entire series. Sandy, who is also drag queen Helena Handbasket, is as sassy and as bitchy as ever. Paul is a dramatic as ever. Darren and Vince just put up with adore their significant other. However, I particularly enjoyed the story between the two older men, Charlie and Robert. Despite Paul’s parents being the centre of the big family that is created in this series, Robert is Jeremy’s father and Charlie is best friend/father figure to Corey/Kori. Ultimately, like many of TJ books, this series shows that families are not just blood relations, these are the relationships that have been built over time and while they may fight, they are hilarious and completely zany, but they also support and love unconditionally.

Fans of TJ Klune will be in love. I know for sure that Klunatics on TJ’s Facebook fan group are so excited for this book and I assume that there are many others that are excited to. However, if you’ve just been a fan of the series, I think you will finish this one satisfied.

For those unfamiliar with the series in general, these are romantic comedies with some of the most interesting and zany characters. Explaining it to someone who doesn’t know about the books or Klune’s writing, I think in simplest terms it is like a rom-com, a very diverse rom-com with gay main characters, including a drag queen (Sandy/Helena), an overweight guy with a flair for the dramatic (Paul), a couple of homo-jocks and one is the king (Darren and Vince), a bigender person of colour (Corey/Kori), an aging leather daddy (Charlie), a no nonsense professor (Jeremy) and his very dapper father (Robert), a very liberal grandmother who I suspect might write those weird wiki-how pages (Nana) and a parrot that does nothing but swear (Johnny Depp the parrot).

A Wish Upon the Stars by T.J. Klune ~ Audio Review

Title: A Wish Upon the Stars

Series: Tales of Verania 04

Author: T.J. Klune

Narrator: Michael Lesley

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: 18 hrs, 17 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (28th November 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to fol-low the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.

The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.

But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name, led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices – and the friends he left behind.

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

Review: I absolutely adore TJ Klune. I adore just about every book he writes. I love how he can make a reader laugh and cry within the same book within pages of each other. But mostly I love how he can keep an audience entertained where I am, more often than not, laughing throughout a book, and in the case of audio books I’m often on public transport trying not to be obvious. However, that also applies for when I’m on public transport and trying not to cry.

A Wish Upon the Stars is the fourth and final book in TJ Klune’s Tales of Verania. The whole concept of wishing upon the stars is a theme that has been present throughout the series, as have the titles of the other books. However, I feel that this is the most aptly named of the series. It is essential to read this series in order because this is complex world that has been built, with some equally complex characters that are very well developed and at this point I am completely invested in.

The world is completely different in the aftermath of the previous book, The Consumption of Magic. Sam, strong willed as he is, decided that he had to fulfil the prophecy of the Great White Dragon (or as Sam calls him, GW). And so after being away almost a year, he has returned to chaos. On top of that his friends are furious with him, especially his very own knight and wizard’s cornerstone, Ryan Foxheart. They have become hardened warriors as the dark wizards take over and it is pure heartbreak. On top of that, the king is now held prisoner, but this has given the chance for Prince Justin to step up and become an absolutely amazing character. The only person he has on side at first is Kevin, who is also in the proverbial doghouse with Gary, since the dragon had followed Sam with no words to his sassy unicorn lover.

There is more heartbreak to comes as the ends of the stories are eventually woven and we find out the fate of Verania. This book brings in a lot more humour as the gang is reunited and are finally working together once again to defeat Myrin and the dark wizards he commands. There are so many funny moments, including when we get to meet Gary’s twin brother or the interpretive dance that was performed as Gary tells the story of how he lost his horn and therefore a great deal of his magic. I was so glad that that storyline was resolved and we got to see Gary return to all his glory as the pieces came together and the final battle takes place.

As with the previous instalments in this series Michael Lesley’s is an absolute joy. His delivery is heartfelt and pretty much flawless. He has carried on to the end with the same distinct voices that he gave to all the characters, which I feel has enhanced the entire experience. He wonderfully articulates the emotion in the characters as they go through their highs and lows. I don’t want to keep gushing as I know that I am repeating myself about my adoration of Lesley’s narration and Klune’s writing. Cannot recommend enough.

I am sad to see the end of this series. I was surprised that I did in fact love The Lightning Struck, which is why I continued on to the next three books, after not enjoying reading it a few years ago when it first came out. I absolutely loved the ending as the ends all tied together. I feel battered and bruised but just as Klune expertly does, he’s pulls you apart with the emotions he injects into his words and slowly builds you back up, even when the odds were completely against our heroes. Rumour has it TJ plans to do a story for Prince Justin (Sam’s best friend 5eva) and that is something I look forward to, although the man seems so busy I’m sure it’s going to be at least a few years.

The Consumption of Magic by T.J. Klune ~ Audio Review

Title: The Consumption of Magic

Series: Tales of Verania 03

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Michael Lesley

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: 18 hrs, 18 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (30th April 2018)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.

It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.
Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.

With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits – the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tig-gy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin – must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining drag-ons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.

A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

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

Review: I absolutely adore TJ Klune. I adore just about every book he writes. I love how he can make a reader laugh and cry within the same book within pages of each other. But mostly I love how he can keep an audience entertained where I am, more often than not, laughing throughout a book, and in the case of audio books I’m often on public transport trying not to be obvious. However, that also applies for when I’m on public transport and trying not to cry.

The Consumption of Magic is the third book in TJ Klune’s Tales of Verania. It is essential to read this series in order because this is complex world that has been built, with some equally complex characters that are very well developed and at this point I am completely invested in.

We pick up once again after the events of A Destiny of Dragons. The situation in Verania is going to shit quite quickly. Correction, it has gone to shit and it will only get worse before it can get better. The dark wizards are taking over, led by Myrin (I’m sorry, as a Harry Potter fan I had to think of Voldemort) and it is Sam who must prepare with help of Ryan, his mentor, parents and his friends Tiggy, Kevin and Gary to bring the prophecy full circle. This is an even rockier journey than book 2, with a cliff hanger that will leave you absolutely gutted (lucky for us the series is now completed so no need to wait for the next book to be published!). Sam has so many tough decisions to make, all he wants is to protect his dearest friends, family and his beloved Ryan. He will do anything for them and that unfortunately is his weakness. There are still moments of hilarity but the stakes are getting higher and so there is a lot more serious moments and a lot more moment where you sense the impending doom as we make our way to the end of the series.

As with the previous instalments in this series Michael Lesley’s is an absolute joy. His delivery is heartfelt and pretty much flawless. As in book 2, he also carried on the distinct voices that he gave to all the characters. He wonderfully articulates the emotion in the characters as they go through their highs and lows. I don’t want to keep gushing as I know that I am repeating myself about my adoration of Lesley’s narration and Klune’s writing. Cannot recommend enough.

A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune ~ *Audio Review*

Title: A Destiny of Dragons

Series: Tales of Verania 02

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Michael Lesley

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: 16 hrs, 41 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (17th November 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice, Sam of Wilds, got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Jus-tin they will be best friends forever. Life is good.

Until it’s not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv. Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.

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

Review: I absolutely adore TJ Klune. I adore just about every book he writes. I love how he can make a reader laugh and cry within the same book within pages of each other. But mostly I love how he can keep an audience entertained where I am, more often than not, laughing throughout a book, and in the case of audio books I’m often on public transport trying not to be obvious. However, that also applies for when I’m on public transport and trying not to cry.

That being said, there are a few of his books which I’ve not really connected with when I first read them and never went back. The Lightning Struck Heart, the first book in the Tales of Verania series, was one of them. However, I’ve seen the light, I gave it another go and absolutely fell in love (for this reason my review of book 1 is quite long, but I promise to tame reviews for the rest of the series). So here I am, at the end of book 2, A Density of Dragons, in the Tales of Verania series and ready to continue.

This series is an epic saga so it is vital to read this series from the start and not do it out of order either.

A Destiny of Dragons picks up where we left off at the end of book one. Sam and Ryan (aka Knight Delicious Face, which I say in my head in the voice lent to Tiggy by Michael Lesley) are finally together, but Sam still has the tendency to get into trouble. His friends are as whacky as ever and part of Sam’s antics is to become Prince Justin’s “best friend 5eva” and help him find love. This is sort of changed when Sam’s estranged gypsy grandmother, Vadoma, makes an appearance and reveals that Sam’s fate and his importance to Verania is something prophesised and essential to the survival of the people. I mean, this just shows that Sam is always getting into trouble for a reason. This book is the start of what I can already see is going to be a long, winding and very hard road for our hero, which is uplifted by continual moments of hilarity. Once again, Gary, Kevin and Tiggy are wonderful highlights of the book as they help Sam, and by extension Ryan too, start to unravel the extent of what is about to shake the foundations of their world.

As with the first book, and I suspect with the next two books of the series, Michael Lesley’s is an absolute joy. For me, I call a book which is laying in a lot of groundwork for the complex storylines to follow a “filler book”. As a very general rule, I find the even numbered books in these complex type series good not as good as the odd numbered books. Mostly because these books feel like they have a less meaty plot but are absolutely necessary. I’m saying this because Lesley’s narration kept me hooked and I never once got tempted to skip through scenes or chapters.

Lesley’s delivery of the story itself was just as brilliant as the first book. He carried on the distinct voices that he gave to all the characters in that instalment. He wonderfully articulates the emotion in the characters as they go through their highs and lows. Seriously, this is audio bliss.

The Lightning Struck Heart by T.J. Klune ~ Audio Review

Title: The Lightning Struck Heart

Series: Tales of Verania 01

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Michael Lesley

Genre: Fantasy

Length: 19 hrs, 49 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (10th December 2015)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the king’s wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam’s 14, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At 15, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle – Knight Ryan Fox-heart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the king sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or, so he thinks.

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

Review: So this is going to be an interesting review for me. I absolutely adore TJ Klune. I adore just about every book he writes. I love how he can make a reader laugh and cry within the same book within pages of each other. But mostly I love how he can keep an audience entertained where I am, more often than not, laughing throughout a book, and in the case of audio books I’m often on public transport trying not to be obvious. However, that also applies for when I’m on public transport and trying not to cry.

That being said, there are a few of his books which I’ve not really connected with when I first read them and never went back. The Lightning Struck Heart was one of them. I remember struggling when it first came out, although it had all the hallmarks of something that I would love. I love the book series Temeraire and Eragon, which has some similar themes and feels – mostly dragons, but I also love The Princess Bride which this audio had me thinking as I listened. I’ve also read a review of someone referring to Monty Python too, and to be honest I suppose the line “Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony”. So think that can be a valid comparison too, although I had initially scoffed because I love Monty Python and at that point I was still sceptical of trying this book again.

But being that I am a Klunatic I would see many “Gary and Kevin” references and “Sam and Ryan” references on the group Facebook page – cartoons, lots of unicorns and dragons. Out of respect to TJ, who is in the group, and to all those that love the book, I simply let it be and never said anything because this was just my opinion. However, I eventually decided that I need to give this another try. I just hoped that perhaps when I read it, I simply was not in the right frame of mind – the amount of stress that I was under at that time in terms of health and education I figured that was reason enough to finally give it another go.

I am so happy that I did because quite suddenly I adore this book too and everything about it.

The Lightning Struck Heart is the first book in the saga that is The Tales of Verania, where we meet Sam of the Wilds. Sam has the potential to be an extremely powerful wizard and for some years now he has been the apprentice wizard to the king’s wizard in the City of Lockes. He is a bit of disaster but has the aspiration to become the youngest wizard to have ever passed his trails to graduate from apprentice wizard to full wizard. He never made a good impression on his mentor’s own mentor, and that is a hilarious story that I can’t spoil. For years Sam has been in love with dreamiest of knights in the kingdom, Ryan Foxheart, who is about to be promoted to the leader of the king’s knights. The problem being that Ryan is engaged to Prince Justin. Justin and Sam do not get along but one day Justin will be king and Sam will be his wizard. Sam is also never far from his best friends, a half giant called Tiggy (love Tiggy!) and a sassy talking unicorn who lost his horn, Gary. Honestly, Gary is a total star.

This book is just laying the foundations for the rest of the series, so we are introduced to Sam and all these other characters. Although Sam and Ryan are the main characters, they aren’t the only prominent ones. Tiggy, Gary and Justin take over as well, and towards the end of the book we also meet the charmingly sexually perverse dragon, Kevin, who is also a bit of a wild ride to get to know (pun intended).

Michael Lesley’s is an absolute joy to listen. I really don’t know what I loved more, the story itself or how it was delivered. He gives distinct voices to all the characters, including Sam’s parents, the king and the rest of the gang that I’ve mentioned. He wonderfully articulates the emotion in the characters as they go through their highs and lows. And in the midst of ridiculous hilarity as Sam gets kidnapped and despairs of villains who monologue has sounding absolutely serious down to an art. This is the start of an epic journey and I can’t wait to hear Lesley’s narration as the series goes on.

How to Be A Movie Star by T.J. Klune

Title: How to Be A Movie Star

Series: How to Be 02

Author: TJ Klune

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (342 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-64080-782-2

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12th February 2019)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.

Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.

From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.

Purchase Link: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Putting it out there: I love first book in this series, How to Be A Normal Person, is my favourite book that I’ve read in past couple years. I also adore just about everything that TJ writes, or to be more honest, I have different degrees of love for the various titles. I love his quirky characters, all their flaws and eccentricities, as well as the style of writing which makes these characters so damn lovable and accessible to the reader.

While this is the second book in the How To Be series, it is not vital to have read How To Be A Normal Person first. It would give readers new to the world or to TJ’s writing an introduction to all the vital and quirky secondary characters in this book, like Lottie, The We Three Queens, Xander and Serge, and of course the stars of book one who are also there, Casey and Gus. My love for Gustavo Tiberius, aka Gus or Grumpy Gus, is massive and probably because I identify strongly with some of his quirks. I also love Casey, Gus’s asexual hipster best-selling author boyfriend, but not-so-secretly, my heart belongs to Gus. We also met Josiah for the first time in book one when he made the trip from LA to Abby, Oregon to visit Casey while Gus and Casey were becoming the beautiful (and often hilarious) couple that they are.

Annnnnnnd I got way off track. Sorry, not sorry.

How to Be A Movie Star is the story of Josiah Erickson (Josy), he moved from small town Ohio to the bright lights of LA to, you guessed, become a movie star. More accurate would be to say that Josy loves the stage and transforming to become someone else for the entertainment of others. He loves his craft and while fame and stardom would be great, he is happy and puts all his passion into every role he gets or auditions for. Josy is all sweetness and innocence, with perhaps a little bit of naivety and enjoys the high he gets from marijuana (I’m only saying this because this leads to some pretty hilarious scenes). He identifies as demisexual and so he finds himself quite confused in that he can’t always read romantic situations properly because he needs that strong emotional connection before forming that romantic/sexual bond with a perspective partner. He is a sweetheart and within the first few chapters I fell in love with his curiosity and positivity. One of my favourite things about Josy is that he just decides that someone must be his best friend (as someone who is both shy and introverted I kind of envy this ability at times though can’t imagine anything more horrid at the same time – this is where I identify with Gus). Josy did this with his friends Casey, Xander and Serge, and then he did so with Gus. And gruff, grumpy Gus may act like he hates, but he really loves it, especially when Josy goes to Gus because he needs help with some important decision.

It is one of these times where Gus “needs” to help Josy with a decision, not really but Josy tends to over think things and possibly have a penchant for drama from time to time, that leads us into Josy’s story. Josy loves radio competitions and often rings and wins things (alright, that is something that Josy and I have in common). One such competition was a poetry slam, or so Josy thinks, and he needs one of his friends to go along with him. However, Josy is shocked when he finds out that it wasn’t a poetry slam he won tickets to (maybe read the fine print before entering!).
This is where Josy meets quiet author who goes by the name of Q-Bert.

But life as Q-Bert is a small part of Quincy Moore. He is also an aspiring screen writer and with the help of his grandfather, who is basically Hollywood Royalty, Quincy is making the terrifying step to have his directorial debut. Quincy also deals with sometimes crippling depression and anxiety, but he also uses this to be a voice of hope for many that live with the sinister thoughts by writing a blog that is popular among his readers. Quincy is showing that it is alright to be different and that life may be hard but it is worth the fight. This is a theme that is central to many of TJ Klune’s stories, but it is the most important theme in both books of this series.

Josy being awkward and naïve and unable to read signals, bungles his first attempt at getting to know Quincy. But Josy needs to make right on that because he knows that he has to be friends with Quincy because he feels that is right. And so when the opportunity arises, Josy is swept into his first major film acting role, and is ready to give Quincy and his movie his all to become friends, hopefully more, and maybe at the end he could even become a movie star. His connections that bring him back to Abby, Oregon means that he has a whole host of friends that want to help Josy make his dreams come true. Quincy is in for a ride but he soon finds out, as he gets to know those closest to Josy, that this wild ride is probably one of the most important things in his life.

I had high expectations for this story, and I was not let down. This was the sequel that so many Klunatics wanted but were told by TJ that we wouldn’t get. But then his awesome brain gave him no choice but to write Josy’s story. I’m saying that because I really do hope we get to hear more about the people in Abby, Oregon – even if it was just for a novella to catch up, instead of a full length novel for Xander or Serge. I have my dreams, but you know what? I really don’t care what happens because as it is I love Normal Person and Movie Star, and just like Normal Person, I know that I will be rereading Movie Star multiple times.

The Long and Winding Road by T.J. Klune ~ Audio Review

Title: The Long and Winding Road

Series: Bear, Otter and the Kid Chronicles 04

Author: T.J. Klune

Narrator: Sean Crisden

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 10 hrs, 23 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19th December 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole – those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

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

Reviewer: Prime

Review: OK, so two things: First off, TJ Klune is amazingly awesome and I love and adore anything he does, no matter how much the man makes me cry, like ugly cry so bad and I never learn my lesson and this almost always happens either on a train or a plane. The second thing is that I absolutely adore this series, Bear, Otter and the Kid was the first TJ Klune book and I have enjoyed (and laughed and cried) as I followed all the books to this one, book four which is the final book in the series.

If you’ve not read the previous books in the series, you need to read them before getting onto this book. If you’ve not been read the previous books and picked up this one, what rock have you been living under? Or I am just so obsessed (official Klunatic here) that I’m living under my own rock.

Sean Crisden has leant his voice to this series and has done an amazing job. In fact, the only book in this series he didn’t narrate was book 2. He has nailed each character, with all their quirkiness and fun intact, and essentially matches with my mental “audio images” I had imagined as I had read the actual books. I love the tone he has brought to the story and also added personality he injected into the story with just his voice. Honestly, in short, Crisden provided a solid narration.

This series is a story about life, because a lot of unpredictable shit happens – especially to poor old Bear. It celebrates the family that you create with the people that you surround yourself with. It is about finding happiness, finding a way to be able to breathe again and moving on from the horrible shit to embrace what could become great happiness.
The Long and Winding Road leaves off where the Art of Breathing finished. But it also picks up from books 1 and 2. Look, it’s kinda complicated. Books 1 and 2 are about Bear and Otter. Then in book 3, The Art of Breathing, its about The Kid (Ty). Now in book 4, we are back to Bear and Otter being the central characters. With the exception the epilogues, which is written from Otter’s POV, the three books following Bear and Otter, are told from Bear’s POV.

Bear McKenna has survived the years raising his little brother after his mother split when Ty was 6 and after some initial dramas (starting in book 1) he has fallen in love with his best friend’s older brother, Otter. The pair have navigated life together, not only having the ups and downs of their own relationship, but the issues that come with raising a mentally damaged child prodigy (who happens to be a vegan terrorist). Now that Ty has grown up, Bear knows that despite expecting something bad to happen that will take away his happiness, he will do anything to make Otter happy. And part of that is having kids of their own via a surrogate. Except Bear’s mother who abandoned him and Ty has now died, and now Bear has a twelve year old sister who needs him just as Tyson had once needed him. Bear sees the parallels between his two younger siblings, and it is heartbreaking at times. However, Bear never questions what he has to do and Otter is there to support him 100%.

Bear and Ty are both mentally damaged because of their mother’s abandonment. They need a lot of help and support and the nature of this kind of things means that there are a lot of times where things aren’t easy for the brothers.

This story ties up all that has been happening and brings up to conclude probably about twenty years of a full life lived. There is a lot of flashback to things from Bear’s POV that were covered in The Art of Breathing, as well as flashbacks to other times in the first two books. There is particularly a lot said about perhaps the most important scene in this whole series, when Bear remembers the letter that his mother left when she abandoned both boys, two days before Bear graduated high school and changed his life (and plans) forever. Yes, there was a lot of heartache, especially as Bear has his flashbacks. There is a wonderful and zany cast of characters – Otter’s and Bear’s family – who we’ve known from the start. Creed – Bear’s best friend and Otter’s brother – has a hilarious dislike for hipsters (a great Easter egg for those that love How to Be A Normal Person by Klune). Creed’s wife, Anna, is Bear’s ex, who he was with before Otter came back on the scene and she is a total fire cracker, a pretty amazing lady. Tyson, the Kid, has gotten himself back on track, finished college and has found his man and has learnt to breathe. Another great Easter egg is fans of Klune’s At First Sight series (starting with Tell Me It’s Real) is the appearance of Kori/Corey as one of Ty’s best friends. Kori/Corey is also a friend of Paul and Vince in At First Sight and they will have their own story next year, I believe. We are teased with the beginning of that story and the moment fans of both series no doubt wanted to see – Bear meeting Vince, if only on Skype and only to see the two most neurotic characters come together in a clash of fabulousness and craziness.

I feel I can’t bring justice to this book in my words. It is so much more complicated because we are talking about the lives of Bear and Otter, but also that of at least five other people, plus the people that were lost along the way. I loved the book, from start to finish and I made so much Wookie cry face as I tried to hold back the tears, only to full on ugly cry. This was a wonderfully satisfying ending to this series. As much as I hate the idea of no more adventures from Bear and Otter, all good things must come to an end and this was absolutely perfect.

Olive Juice by T.J. Klune ~ Audio Review

You Must Give This Book A Listen!

Title: Olive Juice

Author: TJ Klune

Genre: Contemporary, Drama

Length: 5 hrs 11 minutes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (30th August 2017)

Narrator: Derrick McClain

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Blurb: It begins with a message that David cannot ignore: I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

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

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: You will be in awe of the Klune’s ability to capture and communicate the human condition.

This is not your traditional romance, and if you’re looking for erotica, look elsewhere. There are sexual scenes described of a highly intimate and loving nature, but that is not what this book is about. This book is about the struggles and devastation that a loving relationship comes crashing up against. Olive Juice is about pain, loss, and love. You will be moved, you will maybe cry, you will be in awe and you will stand and applaud. Don’t read spoilers, don’t ask for a bigger explanation, just dive right in. I wish I could write more but I want each reader to walk into this masterpiece blind.

The narration is perfect and powerful, Derrick McClain impresses me so much I find myself browsing his project list and grabbing books just because he’s narrated them.  

How To Be A Normal Person by T.J. Klune

Title: How to be a Normal Person

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (290 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (16 Oct 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. He reads encyclopedias every night before bed. He has a pet ferret called Harry S. Truman. He owns a video rental store that no one goes to. His closest friends are a lady named Lottie with drag queen hair and a trio of elderly Vespa riders known as the We Three Queens.

Gus is not normal. And he’s fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone.

Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.

But Gus isn’t normal and Casey deserves someone who can be. Suddenly wanting to be that someone, Gus steps out of his comfort zone and plans to become the most normal person ever.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

ISBN: 9781634765794

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I am going to be totally frank from the outset: I am ever so slightly a massive fan of TJ Klune’s novels. I have now decided that I have a personal definitive rating of TJ’s books and this one falls second, behind Bear, Otter and the Kid (series). For the sake of all our sanities, I am not going to gush further about how awesome all of TJ Klune’s books are.

Like other books by the author, this is full of hilarious descriptions of other characters/situations, a lot of laugh out loud conversations and enough feelings to send the reader on an emotional roller coaster.

So… How to be a Normal Person… Like all of TJ Klune’s books this is a quirky but thoroughly relatable look at how two guys who are poles apart in personality can get together and fall in love. The story is mostly told from the POV of Gustavo Tiberius – aka Gus. Gus struggles with his social skills and before the death of his father; his father was also one of his only friends and his link to the rest of the world. In the small town he calls home, Gus has a very settled life with a set routine. He also has some interesting acquaintances, including a cafe owner obessed with alliteration and three lesbians who may or may not be sisters that are the sole members of the town’s vespa gang. Then there is Casey – the asexual stoner hipster who turns up in town to work for his aunt, the owner of Gus’s local cafe. It doesn’t take Casey long to realise that Gus is a bit of an oddball (which we learn more about through some of Casey’s POV sections). He’s a scruffy looking surfer dude that sounds very yummy and very sexy!

Both these guys are relatable and the attraction is both sweet and sexy. Yes, with Casey being asexual there is not a lot of physical love in the book. However, there is a very gentle and passionate romance coming to life within the pages that is not dependent on the characters having sex with each other. It is very clear that both of the guys bring something that the other needs in his life.

My heart ached for poor Gus. I really connected with him. I suppose that is because, partially, I can recognise some of his anti-social behaviours and also because we get a couple very important lessons here. The lessons being that you can pretend to be someone else but it is not necessarily going to make you happy or feel good within yourself. I hate that Gus needed to “be a normal person” so that he could be with his asexual stoner hipster, Casey. Seriously, I want to give Gus hug even though I think I know his character well enough to imagine the reaction!

If you have followed the author’s blog, you may know that this is a somewhat personal book and he is ready to explain what it is to be asexual for those of us who do not understand. In this situation, I have to say that I love Casey. He is just a lovable ball of energy and happiness. Although he doesn’t get pleasure from sex, he is ready with a hug to brighten the day of everyone around him. Isn’t that just the most awesome type of person?

As a bit of a teaser, while some of Gus’s flash backs to conversations with his father are both sweet and at some points very sad, they were also quite funny. Then there are the “recorded phone calls” with his internet provider – OMG, so funny, I loved the book for those few bits of dialogue alone.

Ravensong by T.J. Klune

Title: Ravensong

Series: Green Creek 02

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: Paranormal

Length: Novel (400pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 31, 2018)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves.

It should have been enough.

And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack… and won.

Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them.

But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within.

Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken.

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-206-3

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: Gordo is a bitter man feeling betrayed by all but those closest to him. I loved seeing the different things that happened through the years and how he reacted to Mark each time he saw him again. I thought at times he was a little more unforgiving than he should have been but I understood.

When push came to shove and several old and new enemies rear their ugly heads Gordo protects his pack, family and friends with everything in him. The omegas were scary creatures. But at the same time I felt bad for them as they were created by someone with absolutely no conscious at all.

The battle scenes were awesome. I loved the glimpses into the past and they way everything came to a nail biting cliffhanger. I am so excited to read the next book to see what else happens in this exciting series. Especially after the twist at the end.

Fantastic read and highly recommended.

A Wish Upon the Stars by T.J. Klune

Title: A Wish Upon the Stars

Series: Tales From Verania 04

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel (450 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press(March 27, 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.

The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.

But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name, led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind..

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-081-6

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: The final book in an epic series is always sad to read knowing it is the last. But, The prince’ story will be told in the future so that is major plus. I have loved this series from the start. Sam has grown with each story. The epic adventures and battles throughout were amazing. This story is no exception.

Sam has been gone for a year with the white dragon learning everything he needs to know to defeat Myrin. When he comes back he learns everything has changed. The king has been imprisoned everyone he knew is in hiding and battling the Darks. The reunion between Sam, Tiggy, Gary, The Prince and Ryan is bittersweet and not without a lot of different emotions.

The time has come to put a stop to Myrin and his evil deeds for good. With the help of Sam’s merry band and dragons he will face a battle to the death and in doing so may lose himself to the dark side. I only have one word to describe this story Epic! Intense, humorous and dramatic this story had it all. I loved everything about it. The only thing I didn’t like was that it was the last in the series.

Fantastic ending to an epic series.

Highly recommended.

The Consumption of Magic by T.J. Klune

Title: The Consumption of Magic

Series: Tales From Verania 03

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel (450 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 20, 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.

It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.

Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.

With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.

A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-559-0

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: I wish I could give this book more than five stars as it deserve it. Sam of the Wilds is back in this addition with his merry band of friends. But what they face is a darkness so dark that if they can not defeat it terrible things will happen. Among the tasks are finding the Great White dragon. He is not easy to find and even harder still to convince him to help.

The prophecies of many come to a head in this exciting yet heartbreaking story of love, finding ones self and sacrifice. Learning a lesson is not always easy especially when it deals with the possibility of losing someone you love. That could not be truer in this story. I balled my eyes out when the unthinkable happened.

I love this series so much. I love the seriousness, the adventures, antics and the humor that culminate to make an extraordinary series. This story took me by surprise at the end of it. It was a loss and hope I felt keenly. I am on pins and needles awaiting the next book to see what else happens.

Awesome story that I highly recommend.

The Long and Winding Road by T.J. Klune

Title: The Long and Winding Road

Series: BOaTK 04

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (346 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 11, 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-681-8

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-long-and-winding-road-by-tj-klune-8748-b

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: A retelling of the beginning of the series then an ease into the lives of Otter, Bear and Ty as they grow up into their lives now. Bear finally realizing life does not revolve around him and coming to terms with his life in the here and now.

I loved these characters. They were genuine in their feelings and honest with one another. i enjoyed the way they were with one another throughout the story. I loved the addition of children into the mix as they all strive to make a happy home.

Humorous yet also serious this story takes you on a journey of three men and shows you how they struggle, live and love one another while at the same time come into their own.

Fantastic read and highly recommended.

Murmuration by T.J. Klune ~ Audiobook

T.J. Klune - Murmuration Cover AudioTitle: Murmuration

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Kirt Graves

Genre: Historical, Mystery

Length: 12 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (16th January 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.

The people here know certain things as fact:

Amorea is the best little town there is.

The only good commie is a dead commie.

The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.

And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.

Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.

But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.

Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: It’s no secret. I absolutely love and will devour each and every TJ Klune book. Whether that book is in written or audio form, I will love it either way. He makes me laugh and he makes me cry, sometimes at the same time. I tell you, the man is evil, because his writing touches the soul speaks to every fiber of my being. Sounds a bit melodramatic, right? I know but seriously, I am having problems conjuring the words to describe why I love his writing and the stories he weaves with the most wonderful characters. However, Murmuration is a bit different in that despite having some light hearted moments it was more intense and full of mystery than anything else.

I heard Murmuration off the back of listening to TJ’s book Wolfsong. Both audios have the same narrator – Kirt Graves – who absolutely get the characters and the emotions on point.

Right I’m trying to keep this short because I think every time I write a TJ Klune review I go on and on and just gush about how much I love his writing and the book in question. I don’t want to give too much away either, so I really need to keep it brief.

This is a slow burn story between Mike and Sean in the very familiar theme of friends becoming lovers. In Murmuration we’re going back to 1950s small town America, an idyllic time for kids playing out on the road, people keeping their doors unlocked and generally tight communities where everyone knows each other and takes care of one another. I felt a bit of trepidation, though, because of the historical setting and what this could mean for a gay relationship. However, as you read and get hooked on the plot, it had me wondering if you can call it a historical as indicated by the blurb. It certainly gave us a setting and a starting point but there is so much more going on than the time/year that the book is set in. There is definitely a sense of mystery as odd things occur in the quiet small town.

Klune weaves together a complex story with many layers and I’m convinced he does it just to fuck with our minds. Because seriously that ending, was not expecting, seriously massive mind fuck. I can’t even say what book it immediately made me think of because for fans of Klune [and have followed his blog and Facebook] you will probably know what book I’m talking about! It’s one of those endings that have stuck with me and makes me keep on thinking. But ultimately I am happy because it was a HEA.

If you’re looking for a pure romance, I’m not sure what to say about it. It is a very romantic and very sweet story woven in between the darkness and intrigue of the surrounding world. This about a guy trying to find himself in a world that seems dark and scary, but it is the romance that gives us the sense of hope and light.

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune ~ Audiobook

T.J. Klune - Wolfsong Cover AudioTitle: Wolfsong

Series:  Wolfsong 01

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Kirt Graves

Genre: Paranormal

Length: 18 hrs, 40 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th October 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Ox was 12 when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was 16 when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was 17 when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet.

Ox was 23 when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his blood red eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I think it’s safe to say that I adore anything by TJ Klune in any shape or form – or rather in any format. I love paranormal-shifter books and so when TJ Klune wrote this one, it was a must have. I mean, really, my two favorite things. What could go wrong? Reading TJ’s books is always a thrill and he is always guaranteed to make me laugh like a loon and then pull a “Wookie cry face” as I struggle to hold myself together and cry on public transport. Each and every TJ Klune book has a whole lot of a heart and Wolfsong is no exception.

With Wolfsong I originally read the epub version when it was first released. When I got the opportunity to hear the audio, I forgot basically the entire book except for knowing there was the usual TJ Klune wit, making me laugh and cry.

The story opens when we meet Ox at the age of 12. He is so sweet and once I fell in love with 12 year old Ox, I knew that I would love him as he got older. With an abusive alcoholic for a father, Ox doesn’t have an easy life but he just keeps on going, even after being abandoned at the age of 12. Ox struggles with his self esteem. Ox remains a quiet person but one day walking home from work he meets a very talkative and very energetic kid (his complete opposite), named Joe. But Joe has his own issues and Joe’s family welcomes Ox with open arms after helping Joe. As years pass Joe grows up and Ox remains to have a low self esteem. Also as the years pass we see Joe and Ox’s life and relationship become something that is nothing short of amazing. And Joe… Joe is just simply perfect for Ox.

Wolfsong was also my first experience Kirt Graves narrating and he is totally wonderful. When TJ said that the guy nailed the audition, he also nailed the book absolutely perfectly. He provided a brilliant voice to our main characters and just gave me all sorts of feels.

This is one beautiful, heartfelt ride into the lives of a wolf shape-shifter pack. There is so much packed into this. We got a guy who has been abused and trying to make a life for himself – and manages to surround himself with wonderful people in the process introducing love and family into his life. Ox is just so damn sweet and lovable that I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and cuddle him close. The sequel is out in 2018 and I can’t wait!

A Destiny of Dragons by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune - A Destiny of Dragons CoverTitle: A Destiny of Dragons 

Series:  Tales From Verania 02

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel (400 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 30, 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.

Life is good.

Until it’s not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.

Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-557-6

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-destiny-of-dragons-by-tj-klune-8626-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: In this exciting sequel we find Sam is not happy about a grandmother he never knew trying to manipulate him to do a quest. A quest that will have dire consequences if not done. Sam finds himself in the middle of a destiny that has been in the making for thousands of years.

The sarcastic group, as always, heeds the call with some resistance on Sam’s part. A lot is riding on Sam. It shocked me to discover who the villain is in this book. My heart broke for both Morgan and Randall upon discovering who it is and why it came to pass.

Zero, the newest dragon is a lonely teen wanting to fit in. Sam is patient with him after the initial terrifying meeting. Kevin and Gary are having relationship problems as well as new cornerstone Ruv in the picture.

This a great story that had me enthralled from start to finish. The journey was dangerous but not without its funny moments. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen. I love this series and am on pins and needles to see what happens to the merry bunch next.

Fantastic read and highly recommended.

Olive Juice by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune - Olive Juice CoverTitle: Olive Juice

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (121 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 26, 2017)

Heat Level: Nil

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

ISBN-13:  978-1-63533-502-6

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/olive-juice-by-tj-klune-8409-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: I have read a few T.J. Klune books but none of them shattered me emotionally as this one has done. I refuse to give any spoilers so with that in mind I will say it’s dark and about two men, David and Phillip, struggling with ways to cope with what was, has been and could have been among other things. 

As I said my emotions are shattered. When reading you think you know where the story is headed and you could not be more wrong. I was impressed with the writing and story line. 

Fantastic read.

The Queen and the Homo Jock King by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune - The Queen and the Homo Jock King Cover AudioTitle: The Queen and the Homo Jock King

Series:  Tell Me Its Real 02

Author: TJ Klune

Narrator: Michael Lesley

Genre: Contemporary, Comedy

Length: 17 hrs, 5 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (1st August 2016)

Heat Level: High

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Sanford Stewart sure doesn’t. In fact, he pretty much believes in the exact opposite, thanks to the Homo Jock King. It seems Darren Mayne lives for nothing more than to create chaos in Sandy’s perfectly ordered life, just for the hell of it. Sandy despises him, and nothing will ever change his mind.

Or so he tells himself.

It’s not until the owner of Jack It – the club where Sandy performs as drag queen Helena Handbasket – comes to him with a desperate proposition that Sandy realizes he might have to put his feelings about Darren aside. Because Jack It will close unless someone can convince Andrew Taylor, the mayor of Tucson, to keep it open.

Someone like Darren, the mayor’s illegitimate son.

The foolproof plan is this: seduce Darren, and push him to convince his father to renew Jack It’s contract with the city.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: If there is something better than reading a TJ Klune novel, it would have to be listening to a TJ Klune audiobook. The Queen and the Homo Jock King is the sequel (and if you follow TJ on Facebook you will know that there are another 2 stories to go with this series). For fans of TJ Klune, I don’t need to gush about how awesome and uproariously hilarious this is (and no trademark Wookie cry face) – that is for those who have not read the book before.

The Queen and the Homo Jock Queen shifts to the story of a different couple from Tell Me It’s Real (the name of book 1 and the series), although Paul and Vince feature heavily throughout the plot as this centres on the romance between Vince’s half-brother, Darren, and Paul’s best friend, Sandy, a.k.a. the drag queen Helena Handbasket.  Sandy and Darren are about as crazy and just as hilarious as their friend/brother. Their attraction is palpable through the audio. Their story is a series of misunderstandings and well meaning friends, which means that this seems anything but normal.

I have to say, that Michael Lesley did an absolutely wonderful job narrating the book. He captured Helena’s and Sandy’s persona wonderfully, along with the other characters – I personally love his voice for Vince, Darren, Charlie and Paul. Also, another Easter egg for TJ’s fans – when Paul starts babbling about sending Sandy away, he mentions that Sandy should use the name Gustavo Tiberius. Paul also says that anyone called Gustavo Tiberius would be totally kick ass. For fans of How to be a Normal Person, we all know that why Gustavo is a totally kickass person it definitely is not in the same way that Paul had been thinking.

Murmuration by T.J. Klune

t-j-klune-murmuration-coverTitle: Murmuration 

Author: T.J. Klune

Genre: Historical Americas / Science Fiction

Length: Novel (324 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 28, 2016)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.

The people here know certain things as fact:

Amorea is the best little town there is.

The only good Commie is a dead Commie.

The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.

And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.

Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.

But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.

Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.

ISBN: 978-1-63477-455-0

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/murmuration-by-tj-klune-7660-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: Wow, just wow. What a story. It is 1954 in a small town called Amorea. Everyone is nice. There are no cars or children and everyone knows everyone. Mike is smitten with Sean and has been courting him for years trying to get up the nerve to ask him out.

But things are not what they appear. Right from the beginning of the book I got the feeling that something was not quite right. This feeling became stronger the further I read. People disappearing, fuzzy memories, feeling a sense of dé·jà vu at times and strange dreams lead the reader on psychological mystery unlike any I’ve read before. 

I went through all the emotions and still cannot settle on just one. Brilliantly written with the right amount of unsurety, drama, and a feeling of helplessness left me a wreck afterwards. But despite all that I loved this book.

The slow burn between the two MC’s fit perfectly with everything else going on in the story. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year. I’m sure it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but you won’t know until you try it.

Highly recommended.

Crisped + Sere by T.J. Klune

T.J. Klune - Crisped +Sere CoverTitle: Crisped + Sere

Series:  Immemorial Year # 2

Author: TJ Klune

Genre: Science Fiction

Length: Novel (340 pages)

Publisher: DSP Publications (August 23, 2016)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Twenty-one days.

In a world ravaged by fire and descending into madness, Cavalo has been given an ultimatum by the dark man known as Patrick: return Lucas to him and the cannibalistic Dead Rabbits, or the town of Cottonwood and its inhabitants will be destroyed.

But Lucas has a secret embedded into his skin that promises to forever alter the shape of things to come—a secret that Cavalo must decide if it’s worth dying over, even as he wrestles with his own growing attraction to the muted psychopath.

Twenty-one days.

Cavalo has twenty-one days to prepare for war. Twenty-one days to hold what is left of his shredded sanity together. Twenty-one days to convince the people of Cottonwood to rise up and fight back. Twenty-one days to unravel the meaning behind the marks that cover Lucas.

A meaning that leads to a single word and a place of unimaginable power: Dworshak.

ISBN: 978-1-63477-068-2

Product Link: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/crisped-sere-by-tj-klune-286-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: This is the second book in the Immemorial Year series and continues where the first book left off.

In this story Cavalo attempts to convince the people of Cottonwood to rise up and fight Patrick and his deadly rabbits. The townspeople are scared and frightened, yet they are tired of it as well.

Lucas and Cavalo grow closer as the story progresses. There are some intense fight scenes as well as some scenes that caused me to shed tears at the waste of human life. I hated Patrick with a passion and felt he was totally insane with the atrocities he committed. 

The most heart-breaking scenes were when we learn of what happened to Lucas, and Sirs decision near the end. Both made me cry. I felt that what Lucas went through was unimaginable and could not believe someone who was supposed to love him did that. 

I loved all the details and the planning the group did to prepare for vicious battles. Though not all went according to plan it was still effective to a point.

This story will have you on the edge of your seat all throughout. Fantastic book and I highly recommend it.