Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.

One last time with Sam and Jory...

But For You - Mary Calmes, Finn Sterling

Ok so this is the last book in the series with Sam and Jory as the MCs and we have yet another new narrator. This time it's Finn Sterling and once again the narration was good but the voices just weren't working for me and while I liked the story because I wasn't over the moon with the narrators voices for Sam and Jory things were ok but not awesome.


And again if I have a chance I'll give this one a real review in the near further but really this series has been around for quite a while so I'm not sure that there's much more to say that hasn't already been said, but for now I'm done and on to the next book.

And yet more fun with Sam and Jory...

Bulletproof - Jeff Gelder, Mary Calmes

Ok so real quick here this time it's Jeff Gelder who's giving us the voices of Sam and Jory and unfortunately while the narration was ok, but I was once again not quite feeling a connection between the voices and the characters. So all in all an enjoyable listening experience but not quite hitting the 'oh-wow-this-is-awesome' zone. But it was Mary Calmes, Sam and Jory how could I resist? and again if time permits I'll revisit this and hopefully do a better job of creating a real review.

More fun with Sam and Jory...

A Matter of Time, Vol. 2 - Mary Calmes

So here we are at Vol 2 which is comprised of books 3 and 4 in Mary Calmes's series 'A Matter of Time' and again the narrator is Paul Morey and again this was an enjoyable listening experience...not great but no really issues. I like Paul Morey but for me he just didn't quite capture the character and voices of Sam and Jory...close but not quite.


Ok, so I'm outta' here for now to may RL things are demanding my attention so hopefully I'll revisit this and do a real review one day soon and if not I'll just have to re-listen to these audiobooks and then do a review. For now I'm outta' here.

It's time to visit Sam and Jory again...

A Matter of Time, Vol. 1 - Paul Morey, Mary Calmes

So I finally caved and listened to the audio books for this series and I have to admit this all came down a notch for me...partially because the narrators were ok but I wasn't enchanted with them and partially because while I enjoy this series please don't hate me when I say that this is not my favorite series by Mary Calmes...I'm sorry...not, I love the Marshals...true facts! And with any luck one day I'll do a more thorough review otherwise we'll just call it a day with this.


So Mary Calmes always a win for me narrated by Paul Morey and it was still good...not as great for me as other narrators but still I enjoyed myself.

Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah...

Under the Boardwalk - Felice Stevens, Nick J. Russo

On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be...


Alexi Kharpov works at his family’s frozen custard stand on Coney Island, but he dreams of travel and a world that he’s never seen until the day he sees a gorgeous man standing in front of his family’s stand sinding like an angel. Than his dreams start to include the beautiful man who’s captivated Alexi’s attention and his heart.


Cameron Maxwell travelled the world as an opera singer and nothing has captivated him like the beautiful young man serving custard.


When Cam starts a summer fling with the attractive young man. Neither of them is counting on their feelings lasting beyond the warmth of the summer sun but when summer ends both men realize that their feelings have gotten stronger and their lives more complicated…


Alexi has been given the chance of a lifetime to travel and live abroad. To see a world, he’s only dreamed about, but can he do this when his heart wants something different and if he doesn’t how badly will he come to regret it and even scarier is Alexi’s desire to live a life that’s true and honest…a life that could cost him his family.


Cam knows that Alexi needs to make the most of what’s been offered to him and he doesn’t want to lose him, but he’s determined not to hold him back and Cam’s got his own issue to deal with the condition that ended his opera career is back and he needs to take care of himself. It’s not going to be easy, but Alexi and Cam need to find a way to follow their dreams and protect their love.


‘Under the Boardwalk’ is one of the sweetest NA, coming out stories that I’ve read in a long time. I loved both Alexi and Cameron. These two were so perfect for each other. At not quite 4 hours of listening time this wasn’t a long story and thankfully the author kept the focus to the relationship between Alexi and Cam. There were other life issues for both Alexi and Cam as individuals and as a couple but none of it ever overwhelmed the romance and was easily woven into the story. Whether it was Alexi’s coming out to his family or Cam dealing with his health issue it was all part of Alexi and Cam’s growing relationship.


I loved the secondary characters in this story from Cam’s parents who were loving and supportive to Alexi’s family which was such a mixed bag…his cousin who at first seemed homophobic but was really more misinformed and uninformed than anything and wanted to be supportive and there for his cousin…so not perfect but none of us are and what mattered most is that he loved his cousin and was willing to change his thinking to be open to the fact that whether Alexi was gay or straight he was still his cousin and still the same cousin that he’d been the day before. Then there was Alexi’s dad…not a total write off but he’s got a ways to go before he earns forgiveness for his behavior and more importantly there’s Alexi’s mom and his babushka (grandmother) these two women were AMAZING!!! Seriously for them alone this story was worthwhile.


And last but not least we have the ending…ok, I loved the ending seriously it worked for me and was definitely what flipped this story from a 3.5, precarious 4 stars to a solid 4 stars and sorry no, I’m not giving away the ending because that would just be wrong.


One of my other favorite things about this one was that it was narrated by Nick J. Russo…yep, still a fave of mine and as always, he did not fail me. I loved his voices but especially Alexi’s and that his accent varied becoming stronger during more emotional times and less noticeable at other times while it could be disconcerting it was also a realistic reflection of what happens when someone whose native tongue isn’t English finds themselves in an environment where they’re speaking English as much or more than their native tongue. I’ve known people who were Scottish, Russian, Australian, Belgium and various other ethnicities and while it doesn’t happen to everyone many of them when we were speaking while they never fully lost their accent if they became really emotional about something whether happy or agitated their accents generally became much stronger and more noticeable so for me Alexi’s accent and how it occasionally varied seemed natural and realistic but it also kept me on my toes as a listener.


‘Under the Boardwalk’ is only my second listening experience with a Felice Stevens novel and while I definitely enjoyed this story more than the previous one, I really can’t find fault with the choice of narrator for either story and I’m looking forward to seeing what else this author has written that I can enjoy on audio and who knows I may even slide an e-book or two onto the reading pile as well.


This was a sweet story about coming out, finding love and having dreams come true…so all in all there’s a lot of good feelz here…definitely recommended.





An audio book of ‘Under the Boardwalk’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Once again I'm late to the party on this one but even arriving late...

At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere - L.A. Witt, Sean Crisden

it was still worth showing up for.


I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The MCs were wonderful and the story was heartwarming and at times heartbreaking. 


Adrian needs someone to be reminded that human kindness and compassion are characteristics the world can't afford to loose.  Max needs to be reminded of the same thing only from the receiving end of things. It's through their mutual need for this reminder that both men discover the value of love.


I really enjoyed this one and as always Sean Crisden's narration added depth, emotion and life to the story and I have zero doubt that I'll be listening to this one again and probably again...maybe I'll take the time to do a longer review on one of those revisits.

And Kristoff and Raphael are back...

Bitter Bonds - Lex Valentine, Chris Chambers Goodman

Once again the angels Kristoff and Raphael are back and they've got a new DOM and sub to fix and once again Chris Chambers is providing the voices for our angelic host and their mortal co-stars.


Jake a DOM who's lost faith in his abilities to care for his sub. Finn's a sub who's afraid to care for anyone because whenever he cares for someone they walk out of his life.


It's going to take more than just Rafe and Kristoff to make these two men see that they each need to risk their hearts one last time to get it right because what they both need is standing right in front of them...they need each other.


'Bitter Bonds' was a sweet second chance story for these two men and I enjoyed the relationship that developed between them as they got to know each other. Both men showing the other small glimpses of themselves that they'd kept hidden from the rest of the world.


I loved having Nick and Micah, Keller and Haven around to help the angels play matchmaker and we met a new character by the name of Ray and yes, I do want a story for Ray but sadly I'm not sure that there are anymore stories forthcoming from this series as 'Subs for Lunch' was the last story released back in 2014 for this series but one can always hope, right? and in the meantime I can always check out 'Subs for Lunch' to see what Micah, Haven and Finn are up to.

Well that was unusually fun and entertaining...

Broken Bonds - Lex Valentine, Chris Chambers Goodman

What do you get when you retell the Dickens classic 'A Christmas Carol' using a DOM named Keller (in the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge) a sweet and loving sub named Haven Noel (I kid you not because seriously I can make this sh*t up, as Tiny Tim? I'm not really sure on this one) and the angels Kristoff (who was Keller's sub on the mortal plane) and Kristoff's twin brother who died at birth as the angel Rafe (Raphael) and sprinkle it all with a light coating of BDSM, well, you get Lex Valentine's 'Broken Bonds' of course.


At 2 hours and 48 minutes this is a short and entertaining story to listen to. While it's a bit on the dark side for a Christmas story if you're familiar with the Dickens classic than you'll agree that story is a bit on the dark side to begin with.  I quite enjoyed this one and if you're a looking for a classic Christmas story with an usual twist than this one's worth checking out. 


Chris Chambers is the narrator for this book and a new to me narrator in the world of audio books who proved to be a voice that I enjoyed listening to and ticked off my basic list of what I'm looking for in an audio book. He gave me consistent voices that were expressive adding depth and emotional life to the story. 


'Broken Bonds' is the first book I've listened to by this author on audio but not my first time with her books. I'm a fan of her 'Tales of the Darkworld' series...it's mix of m/m, m/f and I believe there are dragons involved...ok, I know there are dragons involved and vampires and werewolves and I think there may even be witches and warlocks or something along that line...it was also a fun and entertaining series and it's on audio and you know I'm going to go there, right?

Sean Crisden saved the day on this one...

Memories of the Heart - Felice Stevens, Sean Crisden

I'm getting reviewed out here and truthfully I listened to this one because I felt like it and for no other reason...thank you once again Audible.com Romance Package. So I'm going to try and keep this one short and sweet.


First off there are already some really good reviews out there for this book both for and against so to speak. Truthfully for me the story was maybe 2 or 2.5 stars with the rest of the stars that make up my 3 stars rating being for Sean Crisden and the awesome job that he did on the narration of this one.


I needed the story to be a little tighter...which translates to a bit shorter to get rid of some of what felt like repetitive thoughts/ideas/conversations. I needed Micah to just generally be different...not as whiny, with a more believable transition to being the kind, courteous person that he became.


I needed the 2 hospital administrators who were such huge dicks to just generally not exist because along with just generally being a**holes, they were TSTL!!!


And let's not even discuss Josh's ex and his sister who owned/ran the coffee shop where Josh worked because truthfully I'm not sure which one of these two idiots I liked less and then we have Micah's best friend Alex and Rafe the vet who took care of the dog that Josh found...seriously I probably liked these two characters the most and we saw them the least.


So, quick summary I loved the narration on this because Sean Crisden...he's another fave of mine, the story was good in theory and fell short in execution and book #2 'One Step Further' and #3 'The Greatest Gift' are both centered around Alex and Rafe...so bizarre as it seems because I really liked these two men, I'm probably going to at least give 'One Step Further' a chance to see how it goes and then we'll see if there's a book #3 in my future.

And here we have another new to me author...

Promise Me We'll Be Okay - Nell Iris

'Promise Me We'll Be Okay' intrigued me. It's a second chance story but it's honestly the kind of second chance story that I tend to avoid because we come into this story smack dab in the middle so to speak and a lot of time with stories like this I just don't get a feel for the couple and I tend not to feel invested in the  story but surprise that didn't happen this time. 


I really liked Jude and Vee (Vincent). Jude's musically gifted and loves his job as a high school music teacher almost as much as he loves Vee. Vee's ambitious and driven to succeed but Jude's his touchstone and he loves him completely and yet it's been about 2 years since Vee ended things between them and Jude's spent that time trying to move on, to get past loving Vee with all his heart and losing the dream that was suppose to be their HEA. 


Jude never really understood what happened or why what he thought was his perfect life with Vee suddenly came to an end, but he's trying really, really hard to move on from all of this until a knock on his door one evening brings him face to face with the past that he can't quite move on from. So needless to say I wasn't going to be a fan of Vee...nope, he's an idiot douche-bag and all those other rotten things, right? Nope, wrong...dammit, I liked Vee. It turned out that he was honestly a really nice guy who made a really big mistake and when he finally realized it he didn't try and blame anyone but himself. 


Truthfully I loved that Jude didn't play games when he finally talked to Vee and they began to work things out and I totally admit if I had been in Jude's shoes I think my reactions would have been the same. I really got where Jude was coming from and part of it was the why of Vee ending things. I'm not saying it wouldn't have hurt but it could have been so much harder. I loved that whatever the problem was between these two it didn't involve cheating and that's all I'm saying about that.


And yet, ironically, what really niggled at me was the reason why Vee ended things between him and Jude...as reasons go it was weak and somehow I couldn't quite reconcile it as something that the Vee we saw in the story would do, but while I was waffling over this, I realized that there are probably things that we can all say we've done that have struck people who know us as being outside of our character. So while it may not have struck me as being something that Vee would do I also realized that didn't make it something he wouldn't do.


Now what really worked for me was Jude and Vincent...it's through their conversations and Jude's memories as he and Vee begin to find their way back to each other that I began to see and feel the connection they shared. I loved these two men together. They worked I felt their connection and it was good. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters in this story from Jude's brother and his wife to his friend Benji and Benji's 3 dads. 


'Promise Me We'll Be Okay' is essentially a short, sweet second chance story that's touched with humor and low on angst and overall an enjoyable feel good story.



An ARC of 'Promise Me We'll Be Okay' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It's mystery time...

Bone to Pick - Alan Moore, Michael Fell

"Bone To Pick' is my first time with a story by author T.A. Moore and seriously you can just color me impressed. I have to admit that being new to this author I had no idea what to expect so while I like the familiar as much as the next person...which, I did get that because hey, Nick J. Russo narrated this one and as a lot of my friends already know he's a fav of mine when it comes to audio book narrators and never fails to deliver me a solid, well narrated story.


But as much as I like the familiar I also welcome the chance to discover something new and what I found here was an author that can deliver a solid mystery/thriller story with a touch of romance? mmm...maybe, not so much romance but definitely a relationship going on here between a couple of the MCs.


Cloister Witte works for the San Diego County Sheriff's Departments K-9 Unit. He's a man who's past haunts him...dad's a deadbeat, stepdad's a criminal and his brother disappeared and was never found and this is the demon that drives Cloister to do for others what no one did for his brother. Cloister and his K-9 partner, Bourneville bring the missing home.


When Drew Hartley goes missing Cloister and Bourneville are brought in to aid in the search and as much as he wants to help being brought in to help F.B.I. agent Javi Merlo is not high on Cloister's list of things he wants to do...but with a child missing both men try to put aside their animosity towards each other...notice I said try...yeah, some things are harder to do than others. While it's readily apparent that the animosity between Cloister and Javi is fueled as much by their attraction as it is by their past encounter.  For me the relationship here is far more physical attraction than any kind of emotional connection. I'm not saying that it doesn't have to potential to become more...just that throughout the course of this story while the physical attraction was definitely there if readers are looking for some kind of grand romance than they're going to be disappointed.


It's definitely the mystery/thriller part of this story that has prominence and takes center stage for most of this story. While I liked Cloister from the word go and of course I liked Bourneville...I mean really how can anyone not like a service dog. These dogs are the heroes of the dog world. Don't get me wrong they're not the only heroes when it comes to our canine companions but you have to admit service dogs are pretty damned amazing and this is also part of the reason why I just couldn't warm up to Javi with his less than informed attitude towards service dogs and what they are capable of...yeah, Javi was often times a self-righteous, condescending, jerk and truthfully my feelings towards him didn't really change but that didn't really seem to impact how much I enjoyed this story. 


Like many others I loved Bourne. For the most part I really liked Cloister. He was awesome with Bourne and fairly good with people in general...was he perfect...no, but really who is and for me this just added to making Cloister feel like a real person someone that I could actually meet one day. 


As for Javi...well sad to say I can imagine meeting him one day too...oh, wait I think I've already met him a time or two at least and I think this is part of why even though I wasn't a fan of Javi, he didn't spoil the story for me. Along with the good and the bad that was Javi and Cloister there were secondary characters who helped to fill out this story adding to the tension and realism of events. 


I admit it I loved this story not because of the 'romance' but more in spite of it. The mystery for me was enjoyable, the character interaction intriguing and the potential for more solid and I'm definitely on board to check out more by this author and last but not least...the narrator...Nick J. Russo.


I'm not sure what more there is that I can say here about Nick J. Russo...I can add a whole lot of flowery, gushy words and go on and on about the fact that he's definitely in my top 5 list when it comes to audio book narrators and when I'm looking for an audio book to listen to if he's the narrator it's not even a consideration that I'll enjoy the audio...so, like I said I'm not sure what more I can so except maybe if you enjoy audio books and you haven't listened to anything by Nick Russo...what the hell? How have you managed that and you need to fix it ASAP! and this is as good a book as any to start with if you enjoy a good mystery.



An audio book of 'Bone to Pick' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Soooo...I'm not really a big fan of shifter books but...

Once Upon a Wolf - Rhys Ford

I am a big fan of Rhys Ford which meant that this was a must read for me. I was a little slower to get into this story but there was still a lot about this one that I came to really like.


First off let's chat a bit about the main characters and their relationship...I liked the way  Gibson and Zach's relationship developed as a slow burn against the backdrop of event's that while not connected to Zach and Gibson held a loose tie to Gibson and Ellis's family history on the mountain . Ellis grabbed my curiosity fairly quickly and I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed that there's a story coming for him soon.


I really enjoyed the banter between Zach and Gibson and with Ellis as well...

“You’re really going to attempt to make pancakes?” The mock horror in Zach’s grimace was a clear indication he’d picked up more than his share of sardonic expressions from the brothers. “Aren’t you happy with trying to kill me just at dinnertime? Now you’ve moved on to breakfast?”

While this story isn't really about Ellis even though he was an integral figure in it...this was Zach and Gibson's story.  Gibson is Ellis's younger brother and he's very protective of Ellis who seems to be stuck in his wolf form since coming home from the war. His days are quiet and simple for Gibson and Ellis as they hide out in their cabin in the woods awaiting the time when Ellis is ready to take human form again.


Zach has bought the local B&B in the hopes of starting over and finding some peace and quiet for himself getting chased into a nearby lakes that's freezing cold was not a part of his plan but then neither was the big black wolf who chased him there. 


The last thing Gibson expected to find floating in the lake near the cabin he shared with Ellis was a man who pushed all of his bell and whistles and would come to quickly steal his heart. While Gibson and Zach quickly realize that they are drawn to each other their relationship is a slow burn and takes time to develop as unexpected events force Gibson and Ellis to place things between them on the back burner for a while.


With less than 100 pages to this story there's a lot happening and lot of groundwork is being laid out for not just this story but I suspect some of it will become more relevant as the series unfolds. As well as Ellis who I'm hoping that we'll see more of some of the secondary characters like Ruth and Martha, the two women who are looking after Zach's B&B, then there's Pat Brown the son of the former sheriff and currently working for the sheriff's department himself and there's some interesting history between the Kellers and the Browns to be sure.


I'm hoping that as things progress in this series we'll learn a little more a bout Zach's life before he came to own the B&B. We've gotten some glimpses of his life, enough to know that Zach was in a accident, that his family relations are strained to say the least. 


While this one has gotten off to a bit of a slow start for me. I have faith in Ms Ford's ability to draw me into her stories and make me not only glad I'm reading them but want more and more...and yes, more and so far I definitely want some more of Gibson and Zach but I'd also like to find out more about Ellis and while he really didn't seem to be a nice guy much less a good one. I have the feeling that there's possibly more to Pat Brown than we know and I'm sure that it could make for an interesting story as well. I think at the end of it all for me I'm on board with this series not because of where Ms Ford has taken us but because I'm curious to see where we have yet to go.



An ARC of 'Once Upon a Wolf' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

See those two stars...

I Heart Boston Terriers - Rick R. Reed

They're for Mavis...yeah, Mavis was the only redemptive part of this story for me, so I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this one but as briefly as possible...I didn't like anyone...except Mavis and really sweet little dog what's not to love?


As far as Aaron and Christian go...I got nothin' folks I just didn't care one way or the other with these two. I didn't feel the connection and truthfully just didn't care of one was made. Now as for Aaron's sister...ironically I had feelz where she was concerned and none of them were good...first of b*tch, if you're going to own $1200 Jimmy Choo's than treat them like they're worth something and put store them properly otherwise you deserve to have a dog chew on them or even have your cat use them for a potty and if you can't do that than don't  badger your brother into buying a dog he neither needs nor really wanted but you badgered him into it and then he fell in love with sweet little Mavis so...suck it up buttercup and next time be careful what you wish for...see me...see me rage at Becca the biotch.


Ok, last but not least we have the narration...again, it just didn't work. Tom Askin is a new to me narrator and unfortunately I found the narration at times to be stilted as if the narrator was concentrating to much on pronouncing every word clearly and concisely at the sacrifice of the narrator's voice sounding smooth and fluid...like he was comfortable reading the story.


So at the end of it all...I liked Mavis and hopefully she got a good home...otherwise...it matters not.



An audio book of 'I Heart Boston Terriers' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Anytime's a good time for a feel good story...

New York Christmas - R.J. Scott, Sean Crisden

Chris and Daniel first met in college where Chris was Daniel's tutor. With a parting shot of 'I'll see you in a few years' Daniel went on his way and so did Chris. But years later Daniel's got his life together he's working as one of NYs finest and in all the years since college he's never forgotten Chris. 


Chris thought he had his life together and he did until he didn't. A scandal at the private school sees him without his boyfriend, no job and no prospects so he's staying with a friend and working in her coffee shop as he tries to get  his life together. 


When Daniel re-enters Chris's life, Chris is more than a little skeptical about why this man who seems so out of his league would want to be in his life. It's going to take Daniel a bit of work to make Chris see himself in the same light that Daniel does.


I've been wanting to read this story for quite a while now and when I say it on audible.com as part of their Romance Package well...I was all grabby, grabby, gimme, gimme and here I am saying that I loved it.


New York Christmas is a sweet, warm, second chance, finding love, feel good, leave you smiling story and I loved it.


Sean Crisden was the awesome narrator for this one and once again RJ Scott has left me smiling and given me a story that I can see becoming one of my holiday treasures...it'll be right there on the shelf with 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'A Muppet's Christmas Carol' and 'Die Hard'...hey, don't judge me...it's an awesome blow sh*t up movie and everyone knows it takes place at Christmas time. But back to this story...while it took me a while to get around to this story...this may have been my first time enjoying 'New York Christmas', I know it won't be my last.

This was just to hear as it was to read...

The Christmas Throwaway - Sean Crisden, R.J. Scott

I really enjoyed this story the first time I read it and I've enjoyed revisiting it on audio narrated by the awesome Sean Crisden just as much the second time.

So here's my review for this series...

Numbers Game - Tibby Armstrong, Noah Michael Levine

I decided to listen to this series on a whim. I've seen reviews for the different books from time to time and when I noticed that it was part of audible.com's Romance package, I decided it was as good a time as any to check it out.


So before I get into the specific books let's start with my overall thoughts and I'll start with the narration all 5 of these books were narrated by Noah Michael Levine and as far as the narration went I definitely have no complaints. The narrator did a solid job on this one and added some depth and personality to the characters. If I was giving a rating for just the audio portion of this series I'd probably go with something in the area of 4 stars. The narrator very neatly ticked off my basic list of 'what I look for in an audio book' the voices were unique, expressive, consistent, conveyed emotion and definitely enriched my listening experience. Ok so that's my take on the audio now moving on to the series.


Overall there was a lot of good stuff going for this series the writing was good and for the most part I enjoyed it but there were some things that niggled at me and I'll touch on them on when I'm talking about the books individually. My one overall issue was that no matter what story I was reading or who the characters were I kept getting this underlying sense of frustration and anger from the characters. From beginning to end this series the characters just seemed to radiate just a bit too much negativity for me. I think the best example I can give of this is that one of the MCs in the first book is a screenwriter and when his character wins an academy award you'd think he be happy about this right? I mean seriously anyone who's ever wanted to be a screenwriter/producer/director/actor/whatever raise your hand if you never ever want the recognition of winning an academy award...ok, I'm looking but nope, not seeing any raised hands...I wonder why that is? Alright, I've made my point so lets move on to my other overall niggle about the series because in the interest of honesty I have to add this one...I'm not a fan of stories with MCs who are Hollywood types...it's just a me thing and while I'm as I said not a fan it doesn't make this a never, ever thing so I while there is that I think it also points to the fact that my 3 star rating is probably a stronger testament to the author's skill as writer than it would appear at first glance...just puttin' that out there...


Now, I'm going to try and just give a quick rundown on my thoughts for each book from here. I promise I'll try and keep it brief and to the point, ok?


  Book 1 introduces us to Aaron Blake and Greg Falkner, the first of our two couples featured in this series and probably for me the most confusing of the stories as we are given Aaron and Greg's background mostly through scenes from the movie entitled 'No Apologies' which was written by Greg, who's the screenwriter and we get to see all this at the movie's premier. Needless to say we also meet Kit Harris and Jeremy Ash, the other couple featured in this series but more about them later. In a nutshell 'No Apologies' is Greg Falkner's fictionalized account of his relationship with Aaron. While the movie is suppose to be fiction it's done through character names, setting, some events are slightly altered but overall it's reflective of the emotional journey and the actual events in Aaron and Greg's past...the confusing part was that there were times when I lost track of whether we were in a movie scene or a character's actual memory ...so maybe that was just me?


While 'No Apologies' starts in the present, the bulk of the story is spent in the past either through the movie scenes or actual character memories but things do wrap up in the present and we're given a glimpse at a couple who although they've been together for a number of years at this point they still seem to be finding their way with each other and I was ok with that because these men are strong willed individuals and for as much as they want each other they are also both struggling with their own personal issues. So at the end of this one...3 stars from me because it was good just not great.


  In 'Acting Out' the 2nd book in Tibby Armstrong's 'Hollywood' series we meet Kit Harris former child start working on making a comeback and Jeremy Ash up and coming actor and these men have been cast to play the leading roles in...you guessed it...'No Apologies'. Kit's straight...of course, and while Jeremy may not quite qualify as 'out and proud' he doesn't hide his sexuality either.


'Acting Out' was a pretty typical GFY with a bitchy girlfriend thrown in...like seriously bitchy I would have been more than happy to play slap-a-bitch with her. This one also started in the present of the premier of 'No Apologies' and we're treated to flashbacks to events that happened during the filming of the movie between Kit and Jeremy. So while there was a different couple and the time setting wasn't as far in the past I found this one to be fairly reminiscent of the first book. So again at the end of it 3 stars for a story that was ok, but really didn't rock my world.


  Book #3 'Full Disclosure' brings us back to the lives of Aaron and Greg. Not only are these two men still together but they're planning their wedding and Greg's going to be the celebrity MC at their school reunion. Things are good between these two men. They've still got some kinks to work out but neither man questions that for them this is it. There's no one else they want to be with, so marriage is for them the inevitable conclusion until an act of hatred brings a violence into their lives that rocks the foundations of who they are. 


While I enjoyed this story a bit more than the previous ones I have to admit I was a little disappointed in the lack of faith that Aaron exhibited in Greg at one point in the story but it was really just a bit of a blip in things and I liked that in many ways this couple came out of things stronger for having gone through what happened to them and their HEA was good...so at the end of this one 3.5 stars.


  'Outtakes' is the 4th book in this series and takes us back to Kit and Jeremy. These boys are struggling. Kit's role in 'No Apologies' seemed to have done more harm than good to his career...the parts aren't coming and honestly Kit doesn't really seem to care and Jeremy's career has taken off and as much as he loves Kit, his life is busy crazy and he's at a loss as to what to do for Kit because he loves Kit and can feel him slipping away but Jeremy's not willing to let him go without a fight...now if he could just figure out how to not only fight but win what he wants to keep...Jeremy's heart.


I enjoyed this one a bit more because both of these characters were given a more depth and emotional range as they struggled not only with trying to save their relationship but looking at themselves and how they have failed each other and ultimately themselves. I would have liked a bit more time with Kit and Jeremy as they rebuilt themselves and maybe we could have skipped Kit's family drama. While it was used as a vehicle to move things forward between Kit and Jeremy, for me this just didn't work. But still overall this was 3.5 stars for me.


  and here we are at the 5th and final book in this series that brings us back into the lives of Aaron and Greg. Throughout these stories Aaron and Greg have shared a relationship that while they've never discussed it has skirted around the idea of being a BDSM relationship, but here in the final story Aaron has given in to his desires to be in control and found a professional Dom to teach him what he needs to know to allow him to move things with Greg closer to a D/s relationship one that will truly fulfill both of their needs.


While Aaron and Greg's relationship moving to a more defined BDSM relationship didn't surprise me there was something about how this all came together in this book that was just a bit to vague for me. It's hard to explain and rather than going into any big convoluted overly detailed explanation that probably doesn't really explain things any better than if I were to just say...it didn't work for me. So let's just leave it at that...this one just didn't work for me and add in the fact that...well...my inner 12 year old was running amuck throughout this one there was something about whipped cream and fire hoses and then there were body parts that were harder than a drill shaft...yeah, I'm not even going to try and explain how bad of a descriptive this one was because drill shaft? Not really a thing ok and we're not having an english lesson today so that's the end of that...at the end of it all and by all I mean the series and my review of it...'Numbers Game' was the weakest of the stories for me, although my inner 12 year old did have a good time. 


So it's 2.5 stars for this one and 3 stars for the series overall. Not an overwhelming success but neither was it a fail. I got to check out a new to me author and narrator so for this lover of all things bookish that a win and this is a wrap and if you've actually made it this far and are still reading...thanks I appreciate you taking a few minutes to wade through my ramblings. Have an awesome day and here's hoping your next read is 5 stars.

Currently reading

Room for Recovery (Hearts and Health #4) by D.J. Jamison
Naamah's Blessing by Jacqueline Carey