...Bookfanatic

 

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

It's a dragon thing...

Falkrag - Jaye McKenna

It's taken my dragon read buddy Josy and I since last August to get to this story but anything worth having is worth the wait or at least it was this time around...

 

'Falkrag' is the fifth book in Jaye McKenna's 'Wytch Kings series and while I have thoroughly enjoyed the first 4 books this one definitely moved things up a notch. In Falkrag the war with the Wytch's Council is heating up and Prince Shaine, who's only recently been freed from their control is desperate to show his loyalty to his family and friends...to those who would see the Wytch Council's Reign brought to an end. It's this need to prove himself that pushes Shaine to head out looking for a weapon to give his brother and their allies an advantage.

 

When Shaine gets attacked by a wild Rhyx (think wolf version 2.0) and succumbs to his injuries it's up to Vorri, a Rhyx shifter to save him but Vorri has his own mission to find his brother, sister and the other missing hunters from his pack. But it's not in Vorri to just ignore someone in need of help...someone who's life hangs in the balance. 

 

As Shaine begins to heal he and Vorri get to know each other and a bargain is struck to help each other...a bargain that could mean the success or failure of both their goals. 

 

This one was just so, so good. I loved Shaine and Vorri they were an excellent pairing and I loved how they worked together. From saving lives to trying to find weapons to win a war they worked as a team caring for and helping each other no matter what the cost. 

 

As Vorri and Shaine find success in their separate missions it also becomes clear that their task are woven together and that success for one for one of them will bring success to them both.

 

'Falkrag' is a pivotal point  for the war against the Wytch Kings and while there's a lot happening that's crucial to the war each story has contained a solid and strong and very enjoyable story about finding love and it's all woven together to create an excellent adventure filled with DRAGONS!!! Sorry but dragons!!! They're like my kryptonite!!! and these dragons are some of the best that I've found in a while.  There's a new alliance forming with a common goal to see the fall of the Wytch Council.

 

If you love fantasy and enjoy dragons you'll want to check this series our if you haven't already but start at the beginning because you won't want to miss any of this it's all to connected and just way too good.

 

Hey Josy, thanks for sharing yet another dragon adventure with me. I can't wait until the next one by the way and we hopefully get to see what happens when the dragons and rhyx go to war against the Wytch's Council..

 

 

My first buddy read for 2019...

Suspicion - Eden Winters

It's always good to start the year of right and that's what me and my buddy read group did. We started our buddy read adventures for this year with Lucky and Bo.

 

'Suspicion' is the seventh book in Eden Winters 'Diversion' series and it is every bit if not even better than the first book. I've been reading this series since it first came out back in 2012 and I have every intention of being there until the end...which hopefully won't be any time soon. 

 

I love Lucky and Bo, they are absolutely one of my favorite book couples and like good wine they've only improved with time. I love their banter and snark. I love how they know each other and how things work between them and that's only gotten better with each story.

 

There was a lot going on in this one as is usually the case with these men and I really can't stress that if you haven't read the first 6 books in this series I strongly encourage doing that before getting into this one.

 

So now here's where I get lazy because I see that some of my buddy read friends have already done all the hard work and written awesome reviews for this one so I'm just going to say that I really, really loved it and reading it with my besties who also loved this series only made it that much better so here the links to some already written awesome reviews by my friends...Christelle, Josy and Simone...

Christelle's Review

Josy's Review

Simone's Review

 

My recommendation:  Read the books all the books!

'Don't Let Go' had me holding on until the end and then...

Don't Let Go - Jeff Gelder, Andrew  Grey

things went sideways on me and letting go just seemed like the best thing to do...

 

I really enjoyed most of this story it was hella' good...so let's talk about the good and we'll get to the sideways in a bit...

 

Avery Rivers is a star in the country music industry. He's hot and everyone wants a piece of him. The problem is he's only got so many pieces to give and he's running low. If he doesn't catch a break soon, he's pretty sure he's going to become so broken there won't be any putting him back together again. So Avery decides it's time to man up and take control of things and he does. His concert tours done and people are talking about adding dates but Avery knows what his deal is for and he say 'no' just a big fat no, takes care of business, buys himself a pick-up truck and says 'I'll see  ya all in six months.' and hits the road. Along the way he meets Hy Whitely on for him he's just plain old Zeke because Hy Whitely's a top performer on the pro rodeo circuit and if anyone knows how Avery's feeling it's Hy Whitely.

 

Zeke and Avery hook up for a night of good times and then they go their separate ways only to have their paths cross again when Avery's dad unknowingly gives the country star a job working on his ranch...the same ranch that Zeke's heading to for a much needed break.

 

Turns out that for both Avery and Zeke the ranch is just the break that they both need. Things start out good for the two as they work the ranch and get to know each other spending their days out on the range fixing fences, caring for the cattle and horses and their nights wrapped up in each other and sharing a passion that seems incendiary and feels even hotter. As the days pass each man comes to realize that sure the sex it great but they just really, genuinely like and care for the other.

 

So basically this as the gist of everything that I really liked about this book Zeke, Avery and their relationship as well there's a side story going on between Zeke and his father that's good and adds to the overall story and I enjoyed seeing Zeke and his dad work through their issues as the real world creeps back into the comfortable bubble that they've all been surrounding themselves with.

 

When word gets out as to where  country music's hottest ticket Avery Rivers has slipped away to...well sh*t gets real and Avery and Zeke have to face not only their feelings but what the demands of real life will mean to their fledgling relationship and decisions need to be made if they're going to find a way through this.

 

If you plan on reading this book than you may want to stop here because this next part is a bit spoilerish but I'm going to try and keep it as vague as possible so the decisions up to you if you want to finish reading this review...

 

Ok, so far I have to say I was loving this one...it was coming in at a very solid 4 stars and then we got the the ending and I do mean the ending as in 'the epilogue'...it was too much. Here I've been reading this lovely story about two men with successful lives falling in love and struggling to keep their relationship solid and discreet even though they not hiding in the closet, neither are they out, proud and marching in any pride parades and yet when we get to the end we get an over oh so freakin' over the top public declaration. Now I realize that for some this is cool and they really love this kind of thing and to that I say 'cool' but for me it was just a big "No...no, no, no."

 

Things just made no sense since they've been keeping things on the down low and then suddenly this? and no I'm not saying what this was. If you've read the book you'll know and if not well I really don't want to spoil things too much. So in the end my 4 stars went down to 3.5 stars and while I liked most of the story the ending turned out to be a big wet blanket for me. 

 

Jeff Gelder was the narrator for this story and while it's not my first time at the dance with this narrator and for the most part he did a solid job with the narration and certainly I had no problem in terms of understanding and when it came to the character voices things were good. However, when it came to the narration portion at times I found his voice to be a bit stilted and lacking the smooth tone that he had when voicing the characters. It wasn't an overwhelming issue and while it didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story it was a bit of a minor niggle that was enough to catch my attention. 

 

'Don't Let Go' for the most part was a 4 star listen for me with the ending being such a subjective issue. Unfortunately for me it was a detracting factor from my overall enjoyment of things but for others it could be the reason to add stars not take away...it's all about the personal preferences.

 

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An audio book of 'Don't Let Go' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Some ingredients are harder to substitute than others...

The Missing Ingredient - Brian Lancaster, Seb Yarrick

Marcus Vine is on the cusp of success as a chef, but finds that having only investors  interested in him leaves him with time to spare and following the loss of his best friend Raine, Marcus turns to helping Raine's husband Tom as he struggles to come to grips with losing his wife and the mother of his children...Marcus's godchildren, trying to rebuild their lives to a new normal.

 

Marcus days become filled with childcare and he finds himself becoming a part of a family as little by little Tom and his godchildren begin to rely on him for the stability he brings to their lives. 

 

For Marcus what starts as simply helping his deceased best friend's husband care for his daughters and get back to being a family again puts him and Tom in close proximity to each other on a regular basis and Marcus is faced with his feelings for Tom becoming more than just that of a family friend and ultimately Tom also begins to realize that he has an attraction for Marcus that has nothing to do with friendship or gratitude but he's also not willing to step out of the safety of the closet he's been hiding in.

 

I liked the dynamics between Marcus and Tom. Marcus has an established career and he's confident about his choices. In general I liked Marcus and the fact that while he didn't push Tom nor did he just hide in the closet and hope that things would change. He kept his promises in regards to helping with the children and while he was willing to give Tom time...he wasn't willing to give forever. So while I may not have liked him quite as much as Marcus I did have a lot of empathy for Tom.

 

While I liked Marcus I wasn't quite as overly taken with Tom.  I think he was trying but sometimes pride goes before the fall and that's what happened with Tom. He was so determined to care for his children without anyone's help that he let his pride get in toe way and lost sight of what was truly important...the well being of his children, but I don't think it was because he didn't love them...I think maybe he was just a little misguided about the fact that needing help and being weak aren't the same thing.

 

One of the best parts of this story for me was that so often in a story like this one MC or the other losses themselves in the life of the other as they try to help but that wasn't the case with Marcus. He didn't lose himself and we were shown more than one side of  him as he helped take care of his godchildren, tried to be a friend to Tom and worked to pursue his own career goals.

 

I liked the story but for the most part it was just a case of like i wasn't until the last 10 or 20% that I really got enchanted by the story...especially the epilogue...it was freaking adorable and definitely added to the overall story for me...seriously cute stuff at the end.

 

'The Missing Ingredient' is only the second book that I've listened to by Seb Yarrick and once again he's done a solid job of creating an enjoyable audio book making a solid contribution to my enjoyment of this story and certainly keeping him on my radar as a narrator that I'll enjoy hearing more from in the future. 

 

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An audio book of 'The Missing Ingredient' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes revisiting the past isn't the best of ideas...

Seven Days - Andrew  Grey

I can say with a certainty that it's been well over 4 years since I read the book and when I saw it on Audible with Sean Crisden as the narrator well I was all in on this one. It sounded like such a good idea and while I did enjoy the audio book I didn't love it the way I had when I read the book originally. 

 

I can say with a certainty that the narration was well done and I thoroughly enjoyed that part of the experience. I don't feel like it was any one thing that kept me from connecting with this story as strongly as I did the first time...it was more a case of a lot of little disconnects that just kept things from working quite as well as they had originally...things that either didn't bother me the first time or that I just didn't pick-up on the first time around. 

 

I have to admit I was really looking forward to enjoying this one on audio and to say the least I was more than a little disappointed at the end of it all when I realized that while I liked the audio book I didn't love the story the way that I had originally and sometimes that's what happens. I know there have been other books that I've re-read/listen to that I originally read years ago and my thoughts and feelings haven't changed or I've maybe even liked them a little more than the first time around but every once in a while things don't workout that way and sadly this was one of them.

It's Mary Calmes's Vampyres on audio...of course I had to hear this...

His Consort - Mary Calmes, Scott Smith

If you follow my reviews and thank you for doing that by the way, than you also know I've read this book. I'm kind of getting addicted to doing that...reading a story and then listening to the audio...I've discovered it's something that I really enjoy doing.  Although it's not often that I want to re-read a book I love listening to audio books...some of them over and over and over again. It's just a thing that I enjoy doing. So since I've already read and reviewed this story as an e-book I'm going to steal from it for some of this review, so if something seems repetitious it's probably because it is...

 

I have a small group of authors that I'll just read whatever they write and the reasons may vary but mostly it's the entertainment factor and just the fact that for whatever reason I can easily escape into the story and enjoy it without a lot of deep thoughts or intellectual rhetoric involved...what can I say, sometimes a girl just wants to read a story that's entertaining. 

 

So just to summarize there are a number of reasons that I had so much fun reading this story and they've all held true in listening to the audio book and they were...

 

I really liked both of the MCs.  Jason Thorpe was the expected 'everyone loves him' MC and I liked wandering through the first part of the book as his history and character were layered onto him and we got to see how he came to be in New Orleans and the events that slowly converged to bring him together with Varic Maedoc, Prince of the Vampires.

 

I liked the slightly different twist that the author brought to the origins of these Vampyres and the interesting collection of secondary characters that helped to flesh out this story characters such as Cooke, Leni and Ode but most of all I loved Tiago and Hadrian... whom, I probably liked even a tiny bit more than Jason and Varic...I think, I'd need to read their story to be sure (this is what we call a subtle hint at my house). 

 

Last but not least I really like how this was all laid out with an underlying theme of  Vampyr politics running throughout the story driving both the romance and the mystery/action part of the story. All of this along with the Vampyr social structure, their language combined to create a daunting task of how to share the information with the reader and keep it from being simply a large and ultimately tedious info dump. I loved that these Vampyres weren't portrayed as a hidden culture existing in modern times with ancient ways...nope, these guy knew about cell phones, computers internet websites but there were still a select few Vampyr stereotypes that popped up in this story as well and that's cool it was a good mix of the new and the familiar.

 

So all in all for me the audio book was every bit as delightful as the e-book with the addition of new to me narrator Scott Smith and let me say this poor man had some big vocal cords to follow in since out of the 54 English language audio books by this author 30+ of them have been narrated by 3 of my absolute favorite narrators so I admit I was a little nervous about this...what I wasn't was disappointed. Scott Smith's narration definitely ticked off my list of 'things I want in an audio book' and I was left having enjoyed the story and feeling comfortable that should Scott Smith's name show up on future audio books that I'm interested in...everything will sound just fine.

 

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An audio book of 'His Consort' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This review is brought to you by the puddle of goo that use to be me...

Criminal Intentions: Cult of Personality - Cole McCade

This one melted me...I use to be a real person but now I'm just a puddle of goo in my office chair.

 

To start with we have yet another crime for our intrepid couple to solve and this one is every bit as disturbing as previous cases. While we have the similarity of a father and son being involved that's where it all ends and the only clue that Mal and Seong-Jae have to help them solve their case is "he pushed me." not a lot to go on. As Mal and Seong-Jae begin their investigation a suspected suicide starts to look a bit suspicious as it looks more and more like their victim might have had a helping hand. Without fail I have been enthralled by each and every case that we've been presented with.

 

And as always in between the demands of their jobs and life in general there has been Seong-Jae and Mal exploring their relationship as both men admit to their feelings and their willingness to see where things can go. But of course this isn't going to happen without the usual banter and snark that flows between these two men as easily as breathing. I was honestly worried about how things would change once they became more involved and while it has changed especially with Malcolm it works...it works so wonderfully well. I think it's as much of a surprise for Seong-Jae as it was for me to discover that his 'old wolf' is  a cuddler and maybe a bit on the sappy side but it all seems to be such a part of him. If I was enamored of these two before they actually started being a couple it's only gotten better with this episode.

 

I know I've indicated in previous reviews that there's also a bigger picture story being woven throughout this series from episode to episode and it's still there and with each episode it's moving more and more to the foreground and in very surprising ways it's also becoming entangled with each episode's storyline as it draws the reader into a spiderweb that's threatening to trap everything that it touches. So far there have been hints of where this threat has originated from but the real mystery isn't where it's come from, but where it's going and how it's all going to end.

 

Ok, so I'm trying not to gush too much here but seriously I'm not sure how to refrain from this or how to explain just how incredibly hot these two men are...honestly, I've read entire stories that haven't been nearly as incendiary as one simple moment between these two men and I'm talking about moments that did not involve anyone getting naked...there have been simple moments of a hand straightening a tie, a kiss, a look that promises steam and heat and passion and then there are the promises...promises that speak of knowing each other of caring of never letting the other fall.

 

Criminal Intentions is by no means a conventional love story but these MCs are to say the least by no means a conventional pairing and at the end of the day it all works and just like a favorite television show I look forward to each new episode and finding out what unexpected surprises it's going to hold for me. 

 

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An ARC of 'Criminal Intentions: Cult of Personality' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Other Book is also a different book...

The Other Book - Roe Horvat

I'm fairly new to the writings of Roe Horvat...as in this is my second book by this author and honestly what I'm left wondering at this point is "damn, girl what the hell have you been waiting for?". 

 

'The Other Book' is one of the few books that I've read that while it has a fair amount of sex in it there are two things that I found to be very different from most other books that can make this claim...one...the sex is not gratuitous, it is an integral part of the story and two...it never felt excessive or unnecessary at any given time and I almost forgot there's a very solid story that it supports...not the other way around.

 

Tyler and Joel are two incredibly different men. Tyler's comfortable in his own skin he knows who he is and he's more than good with it. He's been raised by a mother who's both loving and supportive and I suspect a bit of a free spirit...she was a delightful addition to this story.

 

Joel is like a spring that's been wound too tight and one touch and it's going to fly out of it's casing and go in a million different directions. Joel's been raised by his father who to say the least is the polar opposite of Tyler's mother.

 

Tyler's convinced that Joel hates him and frustrated by his inability to figure out why he finally confronts the Joel only to discover that Joel feelings are driven more by desire than derision leading to the beginning of a relationship that at the beginning is entirely sexual and about Joel ceding total control of things to Tyler allowing him to let go and just feel without the responsibility of making the decisions. 

 

As time passes Tyler begins to realize that Joel isn't entirely what he seems to be and that he's a man in need of someone to love him and Tyler also begins to realize that he's the man that Joel needs.

 

I loved the journey that took Tyler and Joel from essentially being enemies to lovers. I loved that while there was a lot of sex in this one because of the nature of their relationship quite honestly it was a very sexual relationship and a story about two men involved in a relationship that starts out as purely sexual and then not to have any sex or at times a lot of sex would have seemed a little strange and while it's a fine line between a lot of sex and too much sex that like was walked perfectly this time around.

 

I'm looking forward to delving into more of this authors works in the near future. I've become enchanted with the authors writing, with the locations and the wonderful characters who inhabit them and last but not least with how the author brings it all together to create a story that captures me mind, heart and soul.

 

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An ARC of 'The Other Book' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There was sweet and there was feelz...so many feelz, but...

Awakenings & French Songs - Nell Iris

I really wanted more. This is only my second read by this author and while I only gave this one 3 stars if I was giving stars for potential there would have been at least 4 stars on this one.  I loved the story and was over the moon about the potential it held. I just needed more actual story to get me there.

 

When we first meet Iggy, he's at a crossroads in his life. There's a lot about his life that he likes but as he gets closer to his birthday he also begins to reflect on what it is that he has and what it is that he wants.  He's a party boy...Iggy never says no or so the story goes until...Iggy says no because he's starting to realize that the life he has, isn't the life he wants. It's during a late night visit with his neighbour...Ronan, his very hot, off limits, single father neighbor that Iggy begins to question his life, where it's at vs where he wants to be and comes to the realization that it's time for a change.

 

My biggest problem with this story was that I really and truly wanted more...more Iggy and Ronan. Ronan's not off limits because he's straight...nope, for Iggy he's off limits because Ronan's straight or because he's not looking for a quicky or even a friends with benefits relationship.  Ronan wants the full package. He's looking for someone who wants someone who's in it for the long haul...someone who's going to love his kid as much as him because they're a package deal. 

 

I was ok with the fact that the story picks up part way through their friendship but once they agreed to see if there was more...well, i really liked these two men and I wanted to be there for more of the more as well. I'm not just talking about the sexy times here given the brevity of this story quite honestly the amount of sex that was here actually seemed appropriate but I wanted more of the dating/getting to know each other moments.There's a time jump between the end of the story and the epilogue of a year and I admit it I'm greedy and I wanted at least some of that year because Ronan and Iggy going from friends to lovers from what I read left me wanting the whole story.

 

So this isn't a case of 3 stars because I didn't like what I read it's a case of 3 stars because it was so good that I really, really wanted more.

 

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An ARC of 'Awakenings & French Songs' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

I'mma' gonna' have a tiny rant here...

Something About Jace - Rinda Elliott, Jocelynn Drake

Ok let's start with what was good here...because sadly that list is short. This was a buddy read...because some things need to be endured...eeerrrrr...I mean shared. While there were some good moments at the beginning of this one...not great or amazing...but they were ok and truthfully for the first half  I probably could have comfortably gone with 3 stars but sadly the last 30ish percent tanked for me and it tanked hard. 

 

I could probably go on a bit rant here about all the things that went wrong for me but truthfully I'd rather spend my time writing a more positive review for one of the other books that I've listened to or read more recently so I'm just going to say one of the biggest obstacles on this one was 'the sex' and seriously there was sex...so much sex. I know I wasn't the only one skimming and rolling their eyes along with some ridiculously over the top moments and a side plot that was suppose to add some suspense, interest, drama? all of the above things escalated and I suddenly found myself in the middle of a...

 

 

and maybe this seems a bit harsh but in comparison to the 'Unbreakable Bonds' series.or even 'Ward Security' ...'Something About Jace' was a very solid disappointment. If you asked me 'Should you read this book?' my reply would be "read Unbreakable Bonds'...but that's just my take on things... 

 

I just need to do one more thing to wrap this one up...a great big thank you to my buddy read gang (in alphabetical order)...Anne, Christelle, Josy, Shile & Simone. You are alo awesome and good or bad or anything in between any buddy read with all of you is always 5 stars!

Two men on the same side of he law...

Fire and Granite - Andrew  Grey, Greg Tremblay

and still that's not enough to quell the animosity between them until one man is put into danger...

 

Judge Andrew Phillips has it all under control in his courtroom...he knows the law and he's a master at maintaining order in his courtroom. But when a fugitive named Harper escapes and sets about keeping his promise of revenge on the man who sent him to prison. Judge Andrew suddenly finds himself being guarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week by Deputy Clay Brown...his control begins to slip.  As the danger escalates Andrew and Clay both begin to let down their barriers and begin to discover that they each might just be what the other man needs in his life.

 

I've been a fan of Andrew Grey's for a while now and I have to admit that recently things have been hit and miss for me but with this second installment of his 'Carlisle Deputies' series things are hitting their stride again and as with the first book I've really enjoyed this one. 

 

I like Clay and his little dog too...yes, Clay has an adorable dog named Petey, who'like my own dog is pretty sure that the whole world is around just to give him love but he's a really good little guy and I think he might be right...sorry, I love pets in stories so I felt compelled to ramble about Clay's adorable dog for a moment. 

 

While 'Fire and Granite' is a romantic thriller and really not a mystery the author has still given us a bit of a surprise ending and we get to see a bit of Red and Terry from 'Carlisle Cops' the series that spawned the 'Carlisle Deputies', so for fans of that series' there's  a bit of a treat. I haven't read this series yet but I will confess I do own the books and it's on my TBR list or maybe I'll add it to my 'TBLT' list (To Be Listened To).  While I liked Judge Andrew, i have to admit Clay was definitely my favorite. he was strong and confident but not to the extent of being arrogant or conceited and he seemed to someone who was incredibly kind...in general he was the type of person that any law enforcement agency would be lucky to have. 

 

Overall I really enjoyed this story and while I would have liked the relationship development to be a little bit stronger this was still a nice enjoyable story and Greg Tremblay as the narrator only made the story that much better. I have to admit that while I've lost track of how many audio books I've listened to with Greg Tremblay as the narrator, I have no problem remembering the number of them that I've had a problem with the narration and that would be zero...zip, zilch, nadda, none! I have a very, very short list of narrators who I don't need to worry about listening to a sample because I know I'm going to enjoy  listening to it and from the audio standpoint I won't have any issues or concerns.

 

'Fire and Granite' is a what the world of music would call 'easy listening' you get to just sit back, relax and enjoy the story effortlessly.

 

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An audio book of 'Fire and Granite' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Just doing a bit of revisiting....

Fish Stick Fridays - Rhys Ford, Spencer Goss

I'm totally a fan of anything this author writes and since I hadn't listened to the audio book for this one I decided that I needed to rectify that situation and this one was awesome from start to finish. I enjoyed the audio book every bit as much as I enjoyed reading it and once again Greg Tremblay's narration simply added depth to the story and brought Ms Ford's characters to life for me.

So here's the deal...

Mad Lizard Mambo - Rhys Ford, Greg Tremblay

Rhys Ford, Greg Tremblay, action, snark, enemies to lovers...well, ok not quite there yet and dragons...DRAGONS!!! People there be dragons here...

 

But mostly Rhys Ford...she writes it, I'll read it.

It's a bit of sci-fi...

The Englor Affair - J.L. Langley, Joseph Morton

It's been a really, really long time since I've read this series. J.L. Langley was an early days author for me when it comes to m/m and I strongly remember how much I enjoyed these stories. 

 

Sci-fi is another one of those genres that I rarely venture into. So while I'll be the first to admit I'm not expert in the world of sci-fi I am an pretty knowledgeable about what I like and I liked this series...probably even more on audio than I did the e-books. 

 

We first met Prince Payton Townsend in 'My Fair Captain' the first book in this Sci-Regency series, he's the brother of Aiden one of the MCs in that story and in this book we see him traveling to the earth colony of Englor with his brother Aiden's husband, Nate Hawkins. It's on the planet Englor that Payton meets Colonel Simon Hollister and all this would have been simpler if Simon wasn't more than just an ordinary colonel...nope, Simon's the heir to the throne of Englor. But of course life is never simple for the royal family.

 

This one's got spies, intrigue, espionage, undercover escapades and ultimately a wedding to protect someone's honor...and oh how I loved this but I'm not telling the details about the who's and whys of it because for me this was just all too precious.

 

The Englor Affair is a thoroughly fun and enjoyable romp through a regency world of an entirely different creation. On the planet Regency being gay is not only accepted, it's preferred, but on the planet Englor it's a different story...being gay is only beginning to be accepted. Simon may be a prince but he's a prince with a homophobic biotch of a mother, a father who needs a bit more spine and his whole world is about to get upended when he suddenly find that he's not the heir to the throne...he's inherited it.

 

'The Englor Affair' is sexy, entertaining and enjoyable story narrated by Joseph Morton and as much as I enjoyed reading these stories more than a couple of years ago, enjoying the story on audio narrated by this new to me narrator has definitely added a whole new level of listening pleasure to this story...one that I know I'll be revisiting again soon. 

 

This is my second audio book narrated by Joseph Morton so while he's fairly new to me after having enjoyed his narrations for the first two books of this series this narrator has impressed me both times with a very solid and enjoyable audio experience.

 

While this may not be classic literature or even classic 'sci-fi' it is an enjoyable and fun read/listen with some humorous and fun moments that leaves the listener (meaning me) smiling and adding it to my mental 'I'll be listening to this again' list.

 

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An audio book of 'The Englor Affair' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This one poses an interesting moral dilemma…

A Dance for Two - Colette Davison, S. Neil MacFarlane

What makes someone your brother?

 

Adam and Luc grew up together. When Luc’s mom marries Adam’s dad the two also decide to adopt each other’s child making them all legally family. This was all well and good until the boys are older and Luc realizes that his feelings for Adam are much more than brotherly or even best friends. Luc’s solution is to put distance between them first by how he treats Adam…no longer are they friends, Luc begins to treat Adam horribly pushing him away until the day that Luc goes off to college never returning to his family home…even for a visit.

 

When Luc’s mother calls him years later to help save their failing dance studio. Luc convinces himself that his feelings for Adam are under control but regardless of whether they are or not, his mom needs his help and even he’s not a big enough jerk to ignore a plea for help from the mother he loves.

 

As soon as Luc is faced with Adam he knows the truth of things…he’s not over Luc…he’ll probably never be over Luc.

 

I’ve often said that I enjoy a story that makes me examine my own ideals and values and this one certainly did that. While the premise of the story was more than a little intriguing to me. I found the execution of the premise was ok but there were a couple of things that kept it from being more enjoyable…

 

At times for me Luc was just too aggressive in his pursuit of Adam…aggressive to the point that I felt uncomfortable for Luc.

 

I would have liked for both men to have come to terms with their feelings for each other before becoming involved in a romantic relationship with each other. I’m not a fan of incest stories and at times that’s what this one felt like because both Adam and Luc kept thinking of each other as ‘brothers’ rather than ‘lovers’. (I’ll ramble about this more shortly)

 

My last issue regarding this story and it was probably the smallest of them all was the emphasis on the sexual aspect of their relationship…especially from Luc’s perspective. Don’t misunderstand I think a strong and passionate relationship is important to any relationship and from that perspective this worked, but for me it felt like there was just a bit too much emphasis being put on the physical relationship and I needed the emotional connection to feel like it was as strong as part of their connection as the sex, but for me it just didn’t quite get there.

 

I’m going to go back to my point about ‘brothers’ vs ‘lovers’. For me this was more of a moral or idealistic question and something that we all need to decide for ourselves. I know what my decision was at the end of it all, but in the end it’s a decision that each reader needs to make for themselves.

 

Neil Macfarlane was the narrator for this audio book and it appears to be his first audio book which was part of the reason I wanted to listen to this story…it’s always good to have another narrator you enjoy and while the audio sample went well enough to interest me.  I have to admit I’m still undecided about the book in its entirety. Mr. Macfarlane’s narration was good in that this story is set in England and he has the accent which really helps to maintain the story’s setting. Where things fell a bit short for me was how expressive he was or at times more accurately wasn’t. So here we are back to the sex…so, I’m going to be direct here…if I’m reading a story where two people are as hot for each other as these two supposedly are than when a sex scene happens I need the narrator to convince me that they’re genuinely passionate for each other…I realize this is a fine line that needs to be walked here because…to much expressiveness and it becomes eyeroll inducing at the least and simply laughable at the worst but here it was closer to ‘well…I guess we should have sex now’…sorry but it just didn’t convince me that this was a love affair for the ages. Still aside from this little quirk I did feel that this is a narrator with strong potential and I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for future audio releases…one story does not determine things for me with either an author or a narrator.

 

‘A Dance for Two’ was my first waltz with this author and the narrator and while it didn’t work out quite as well as I would have liked. It was still strong enough to get my attention and make me interested in seeing what the future brings from Colette Davison as an author and from Neil Macfarlane as a narrator.

 

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An audio book of ‘A Dance for Two’ was graciously provided by the author through ‘Gay Book Promotions’ in exchange for an honest review.

Just one more kick at the Christmas can...

A Case of Christmas - Josh Lanyon, Derrick McClain

This one was probably closer to 3.5 stars rounded down. I love Josh Lanyon stories and while I maybe didn't love this one quite as much as I've loved some others it was still an enjoyable story narrated by Derrick McClain who does a rather enjoyable job of adding depth and emotion to this story and overall making it just a touch more enjoyable for the listener.

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