Lincoln’s Park by Parker Williams ~ Audio Review

Parker Williams - Lincoln's Park Audio Cover 64v3mnTitle: Lincoln’s Park

Series: Links in the Chain 01

Author: Parker Williams

Narrator: Tristan James

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8 hrs, 42 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (4th April 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might nev-er have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupt-ing the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.

Lincoln found – then lost – love.

Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.

Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?

What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in or-der to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?

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

Review: Lincoln’s Park is the first book in Parker Williams Links in the Chain series.

I’m not overly familiar with Parker Williams and I have to say the mention of BDSM often concerns me in books. For me BDSM is fine as long as its written well between consenting adults instead of being used as a way to disguise literary porn as a romance, and let’s not go down the Fifty Shades path either. But I’m so happy to report that: 1) Parker Williams had such a wonderful way with words in this book that I can’t wait to get onto the rest of the series. 2) BDSM is only a background plot device and I had nothing to worry about at all.

The story starts with Lincoln Merriweather. He had been a ruthless businessman who had played as hard as he worked. He was raised a spoilt, rich brat until the day he met someone who changed everything about the way he saw the world. There was love but there was never going to be a future together. And so when he found himself on his own, he opened the Park View Diner and decided that he would help as many people as he could.

The Park View Diner has been his life for the past ten years now. Noel walks in off the street, quite clearly homeless and desperate for a job that no one would give him due to his appearance. Noel is young, only in his early twenties, but he’s been on the streets since his parents discovered that he was gay. Lincoln is a dream come true and gives Noel so much opportunity to help him to get out of the hole he had found himself in.

Lincoln and Noel both fight the feelings which are developing as they try to figure out what is happening between them. The one thing that is clear is that they belong together, and they need each other to feel complete. Added to that Lincoln’s past in the form of his rich family come to threaten all that he has built. Noel is there to lend Lincoln strength, but the stress and the situation could threaten what is shaping up to be a beautiful romance.

The narration of this story was performed by Tristan James, who was an unknown narrator to me until I finished this book. James does justice to the story and characters. He captures the vortex of emotions mixed with the strength of Lincoln, while he conveys the strength, vulnerability and determination of Noel.

This is a sweet story full of heart. It’s an intense emotional roller coaster, too, which just makes me so happy that I can’t find words for how much I loved this plot and the characters. I recommend this to people that want a sweet romance with a lot of hope. I can’t wait for the next book, which features Lincoln’s brother and look forward to a story of redemption.

Close To You by Skylar M. Cates ~ Audiobook

Skylar M. Cates - Close to You Cover AudioTitle: Close to You

Series:  Sunshine and Happiness 03

Author: Skylar M Cates

Narrator: Tristan James

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 10 hrs, 12 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (8 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Close to You is the third book in Skylar M Cates’ series, Sunshine and Happiness. You don’t necessarily have to read or heard the two previous books to get this, I honestly haven’t read the first book, but I enjoyed the audio of the second book immensely. In fact, it was some of what had happened and shown about the characters of the third book that made me want to get my hands (or ears) into this story. The series is set around a group of guys living in a shared house and are still dealing with the fallout of the death of one of their best friends.

Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have both lived difficult lives. They have been friends for years, since high school. There has been the potential for more between them for years, since day one in fact. But Marc is damaged after a childhood of abuse and neglect and Tomas, who was damaged from losing his father as a child, is devoted to the little family he has left. Marc is certain that he is not capable of love, getting his only real feelings from being Tomas’s friend and from his passion of cooking. Back in book 2, something that is explained to us anyway, Marc made a deal with a friend that he would go to a therapist as a sort of buddy system for the friend. Between the therapy, Tomas moving away to be with his mother and grandparents, and an approaching hurricane, Marc begins to learn that maybe he isn’t quite so damaged any more. And maybe he has a chance to actually know what love is like and reciprocate the love from his best friend.

I loved the story, I loved the angst and I loved the narration. I think the only criticism that I have is the pacing. I didn’t really get into the flashbacks. For me they were too disruptive to what was happening in the here and now. However, in saying that, I generally don’t like excessive flashbacks and for me this was excessive, almost every second chapter was a flashback. I know that Mark and Tomas’s relationship/friendship as kids was vital to the story but I just wasn’t into the flashbacks.

Between Loathing and Love by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Andrew Grey - Between Loathing and Love Cover AudioTitle: Between Loathing and Love

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: Tristan James

Genre: Contemporary, Arts

Length: 5 hrs, 58 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (19 Sept 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Theatrical agent Payton Gowan meets with former classmate – and prospective client – Beckett Huntington, with every intention of brushing him off. Beckett not only made high school a living hell for Payton, but he was also responsible for dashing Payton’s dreams of becoming a Broadway star.

Aspiring actor Beckett Huntington arrives in New York City on a wing and a prayer, struggling to land his first gig. He knows scoring Payton Gowan as an agent would be a great way to get his foot in the door, but with their history, getting the chance is going to be a tough sell.

Against Payton’s better judgment, he agrees to give Beckett a chance, only to discover – to his amazement – that Beckett actually does have talent.

Payton signs Beckett but can’t trust him – until Payton’s best friend, Val, is attacked. When Beckett is there for him, Payton begins to see another side to his former bully. Amidst attempts by a jealous agent to sabotage Beckett’s career and tear apart their blossoming love, Payton and Beckett must learn to let go of the past if they have any chance at playing out a future together.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I love enemies in high school to lovers as adults’ type of book – I love that sometimes there was a reason for being “enemies” or like in the case of Between Loathing and Love, the two MCs were enemies through a misunderstanding and teenaged lack of communication. For me Andrew Grey is an automatic read/audio. I know that automatically I will have something that I will enjoy, though rating will be between 3 and 5.

Between Loathing and Love features Payton Gowan, a theatrical agent in New York after he quickly realized as a younger man that he was not good enough to make it as an actor. One day while at the gym with his best friend, Payton bumps into the man that made high school hell for him, Beckett Huntington. Then, because this is a book and this is what usually happens, Payton meets Beckett again, this time as a potential client at the agency where he works.

The story itself is simple. The guys need to get over their past. Payton needs to be able to juggle his career, his job at the agency, with the new budding relationship he has with Beckett. Throw in an awesome best friend, a voice of reason from another experienced agent and another agent who is jealous of Payton’s success and you have a recipe for an enjoyable book.

I have to also give a special shout out to the narration by Tristan James. Tristan James is a new narrator to me (I’m pretty sure he is anyway), but it was wonderful to hear his voice. He nailed Payton and Beckett, as well as doing a great job on the minor characters, especially Val. He deals really well with the emotion from Val after he is attacked and Payton steps in, along with Beckett.

Fit to Be Tied by Mary Calmes ~ Audiobook

FitToBeTiedAUDLGTitle: Fit to Be Tied
Series: Marshals, #2
Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator: Tristan James
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Law Enforcement
Length: 7 hours and 43 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12-06-2015)
Heat Level: Moderate to Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Deputy US Marshals Miro Jones and Ian Doyle are now partners on and off the job: Miro’s calm professionalism provides an ideal balance to Ian’s passion and quick temper. In a job where one misstep can be the difference between life and death, trust means everything. But every relationship has growing pains, and sometimes Miro stews about where he stands with his fiery lover. Could the heartstrings that so recently tied them together be in danger of unraveling?

Those new bonds are constantly challenged by family intrusions, well-intentioned friends, their personal insecurities, and their dangerous careers—including a trial by fire when an old case of Miro’s comes back to haunt them.

It might just be enough to make Ian rethink his decision to let himself be tied down, and Miro can only hope the links they’ve forged will be strong enough to hold.

Product Link(s):

Reviewer: Tams

Review: US Marshalls Ian Doyle and Miro Jones have transitioned to partners, both on and off the job, fairly easily. The problem they face isn’t hiding their relationship, their boss Sam Kage is fully aware as are most of their other co-workers. The bump in the road is their divided views on marriage.

Miro wants to put a ring on it, he wants people to see that band on Ian’s finger and know that is spoken for, that he belongs to someone already. He wants the house, the 2 car garage, maybe even kids. Ian, however, does not. He feels that they are already committed and promised to each other, why do they need rings and a piece of paper.

Unfortunately for them, the bad guys don’t seem to want to take a day off. They are stuck on cases, stakeouts, teaming up with other law enforcement to catch a few of said bad guys and then Ian gets deployed. At this point in the story, there is some serious comic relief when Miro takes Chickie to the vet (for those unfamiliar Chickie is Ian’s BIG dog that people often mistake for a wolf) and gets held up at gun-point when leaving the clinic.

Hilarity ensues, and I now know that was just to give us a breather for what was coming. A case Miro worked when he was still a detective that left him with permanent scars, both inside and out, resurfaces. And the killer is coming back for the one that got away.

This book was emotional, hysterical, intense and passionate. Ian and Miro may not agree on the whole getting married thing, but the one thing that is never in question is their love and commitment to one another. They argue and debate the pros and cons of marriage like two grown men that would discuss an issue, but there is absolutely zero angst, thank god! The banter back and forth between them is hysterical, definitely some comic relief going on throughout.

Even when Miro is in the clutches of Mr. Crazy, he still comes up with dry, witty comebacks. There was so much growth in this story from both sides. Their relationship has always been a series of give and take, very supportive of each other regardless. Ian comes to realize that all the reasons he had for not getting married aren’t as important as he thought they were. While Miro has to learn that even if he can’t be Ian’s partner at work, Ian will still want to come home to him, to lean on him.

Narrated by Tristan James, lord I love this man’s voice. There were a lot of characters in this story and James made sure that every character had their own voice. Doyle’s New Yorker accent is amazing and cracks me up. Miro is the usually level-headed tone that occasionally loses that well maintained control.

What I find most intriguing is Sam Kage. I have to wonder if James didn’t listen to the Matter of Time series that was narrated by another great voice over artist, Paul Morey. Because the voice he uses for Sam Kage is almost identical to the way Morey’s voices the character. The marriage of Mary Calmes and Tristan James is perfectly flawless, in my opinion.

If you are a fan of cop stories, intense and emotional reads, men that fight hard and stop at nothing to get their GD happy ever after… you really should consider this series. If you haven’t either read or listened to the first book, you have to start there, this is a continuation. Definitely worth a listen.

Side note: I adore Chickie! I want one!!!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through *