...Bookfanatic

 

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

Take one adorable geek accountant add in one douchebag boyfriend...

Power Bottom? - Rowan McAllister

and you get one crappy relationship...but on the upside...it didn't last long.

 

Adrian's a nice guy. He's got a good job, he's responsible, dependable, faithful and he just wants a relationship with someone he can love and spend time with and who maybe feels the same about him...sadly...he got Martin.

 

Martin is a jerk, he's a user and a player. He's every decent person's nightmare. Ok, in case you're wondering. I didn't like Martin...not even a little bit. Seriously in what world do you tell someone they're a good boyfriend but they're boring, cheap and lousy in bed? Really, WTF! and then he has the nerve to act like he was doing Adrian a favor because he hadn't cheated on him yet? Apparently bj's don't count as cheating...in Martin's world. Thankfully Adrian kicked his sorry backside to the curb and that was basically the end of Martin. Now we get to move on to the good part...

 

Adrian and Wyatt. Wyatt's hot, seriously magazine cover hot and if he had a boyfriend like Adrian there's no way he'd let them walk into a leather bar by themselves...how do we know this well, Wyatt told Adrian that when he went into said leather bar to use the phone to call for a tow truck when his car broke down. Of course Wyatt told Adrian this right after he tried to pick Adrian up at said leather bar and Adrian politely turned him down because 'he has a boyfriend.' Please, Adrian that wasn't a boyfriend that was an Albatross and thank heavens you got rid of him. Now off you go back to that bar in search of Wyatt...that's a good boy.

 

And that is how things started between Adrian and Wyatt. One simple comment between strangers and a few weeks later those strangers are meeting in a hotel room and yes there's sex...hot, steamy, sex but there's also talking and getting to know one another...until there isn't. Wyatt has things in his past that he's not willing to share and unfortunately he begins to thing that his past is still chasing him and he needs to move on to keep the people he cares about from getting hurt. Sadly Adrian's life is starting to go sideways as well and pretty soon no one really knows who's after who, but Wyatt starts to realize that he's not ready to walk away from the first person he's found in years that he wants to be with, who seems to care about him as much as he cares about them.

 

Wyatt and Adrian's relationship plays out against a background of mystery and mobsters, FBI agents and embezzlement and a lot of general confusion about who's really after who. 

 

I loved Wyatt and Adrian together. Wyatt was kind and good hearted. Everything that Adrian deserved and Adrian well he was the same. He was everything that Wyatt deserved and if the local FBI could just get their act together these two men might live long enough to do the same as soon as they face up to the fact that what started out as a weekend fling is turning into feelings that lasted all week long.

 

While I enjoyed this story from start to finish especially the romance and I'm normally a fan of good strong mysteries. However, in this case I was totally good with the mystery part of this story really just being a back drop to Wyatt and Adrian's romance. What I really, really loved was the ending. It was all that and a bag of potato chips...so there take that Martin.

 

Nick J. Russo was the narrator for this audio book and I'm not sure what more I can say about him but as always he delivered. I love listening to audio books narrated by Mr. Russo and honestly I don't even bother listening to the the sample I know I'm going to enjoy it if he's the narrator. Now I just check and make sure that I'm going to like the author's story and in the case of 'Power Bottom' it was already on my TBR list, so this was a done deal in my world. 

 

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An audiobook of 'Power Bottom' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Rhys Ford does Unban Fantasy and there be...

Dim Sum Asylum - Rhys Ford

DRAGONS!!!! I lurve dragons...but I'm sure you already knew that or at least you should I mention it often enough. Granted the dragons are more background dressing than an actual part of the story...well except in the very beginning they do play a rather important role in the books opening scene. But I admit just having dragons in the story in some capacity never fails to make me happy.

 

Roku MacCormick is a senior inspector for Chinatowns Arcane Crimes Division otherwise known as Dim Sum Asylum...admit it you love the nickname. I do it makes me smile. Roku's more than a bit cynical and he works really hard to keep the world at arms length...he doesn't do attachment or relationships, not any more not since he lost his mother and his family...the man he loved and their two little girls. There's only so much pain that a heart can take add to it the fact that every time a someone dies on one of his cases whether it's a victim or an innocent bystander he feels responsible for their death as well and the fact that his family gives dysfunctional a whole new meaning...one that could get your killed and truthfully I can't say I blame him for keeping the world at arms length which is easier said than done once Roku gets a look at his new partner, Trent Leonard.

 

Trent Leonard is Roku's new partner and it's a good thing that he doesn't scare easily because partnering with Roku is like being on the world's craziest roller coaster without a seat belt or safety bars and if that's not enough Trent's got more than a little of his own batsh*t crazy baggage to deal with.  He's worked hard for the chance to join Chinatown's Arcane Crimes Division and specifically for the chance to be Roku's partner, so he'll be damned if he's going to let a little thing like the rumors and the fact that Roku's family is one of the most powerful Yakuza's in the city. He's Roku's partner and he's got his back end of story as far as Trent's concerned...well, except for the tiny fact that he also wants Roku on his back or anyway way he can get him.

 

'Dim Sum Asylum' does not take place in the San Francisco of our world. This San Francisco is filled with humans, fae, dragons and a whole plethora of otherkin or mystical creatures, there are dragons guarding the gates to the city, magic is everywhere and for those who know how to use it...it can be a dangerous weapon.

 

This one's a fast paced story filled with twist, turns and surprises. The relationship development between Roku and Trent is slow but given everything that's going on if it had been any other way I'm not sure it would have worked as well. These two not only have a personal relationship to build but a professional one to establish as well and while neither man really seems to be big on talking, both men realize that talking is exactly what needs to happen if they're going to learn to trust each other both on and off the clock. 

 

'Dim Sum Asylum' was originally a story in the anthology 'Charmed and Dangerous' so if you enjoyed the original story I can't imagine that this expanded to book version won't be as good or better. Basically I loved everything about this story I loved that it was fast paced and the last time that I enjoyed urban fantasy this much it was Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, not to say that there's a similarity between the two because there isn't other than how much I enjoyed them, I loved the characters in this story both the MCs and a number of the secondary characters, Ms Ford did an amazing job of showing me San Francisco, but not the one that is...no this was the San Francisco of Roku's world and we were shown a San Francisco that while comfortable and familiar, it was also very different from the one that exist today. 

 

I'm sure I could go on and on about this book much I loved it but then I'd probably start telling you the story and really the best way for that to happen is if you read the book...so, read the book...come on there are dragons and a there's a cat. Her names Bob...it's short for Kate...don't ask that's what Roku said and I'm not sure that his logic isn't flawed...but you'll like Bob, she's really special...ok, let's just say Bob's a little surprising and leave it at that ;)

 

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An ARC of 'Dim Sum Asylum was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I may not like whiskey but I loved 'Whiskey Business'...

Whiskey Business - Avon Gale

'Whiskey Business' is Dreamspinner's first book in their 'States of Love' series and my first Avon Gale book...I need to remedy this soon. Especially since I have some of her titles patiently waiting for me to read.

 

'Whiskey Business' was a wonderful blend of story, sexy times and humor. As Ryder Waites tries to keep his hometown on the map by selling his families whiskey business to larger interest but retaining the actual production of it in his hometown and getting them on the Borbon Trail. Ryder's feeling pretty good about things until the buyer sends a representative to town to assess his manufacturing plant...things go from bad to worse when Adam Keller arrives not only is he serious about his job but one look at him tells Ryder this man is gay and seriously hot...like 'I want you hot'. 

 

I loved the banter between these two and the word play so much fun and at the heart of it was 'Gallow's Grove' a town that is notoriously playing on it's name with businesses using macabre-themed names like 'Hanged Man Whiskey', the Last Meal Diner, the Ever After Funeral Home or The Perfect Grime...it's the local laundromat. So many fun names. I was so entertained by this...loved it and then there was the whole UK sports fanaticism...I got that truly I did I live a place that calls itself 'The Rider Nation' after it's local football team and it's in Canada...hockey anyone?

 

Add in to this the fact that I just really liked Ryder and Adam together. They worked. They had fun together but they also had disagreements, they spent time getting to know one another. This story so pushed all my buttons and it was just what I needed. No big complicated plots or schemes. Just a fun, sexy story about two men doing what they needed to and falling in love along the way. 

 

'Whiskey Business' was my first audio book narrated by Kirt Graves and happily it was a good experience. I liked the voices, they ticked that basic checklist of mine and while I actually went into this with no real preconceived notions about how the characters would sound the voices that were used worked. The narrators voices for both Ryder and Adam seamlessly lined up with the voices that I felt would be theirs as the story progressed. 

 

'Whiskey Business' was a wonderful introduction for Dreamspinner's 'States of Love' series as well as a new author and narrator for me...it all went down like an nice smooth Kentucky bourbon. 

 

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An audiobook of 'Whiskey Business' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

More dragons...one can never have too many dragons!

McShayne's Dragon - Nicole Dennis

I have to admit I was little nervous going into this one. I've only read one other story by this author and it didn't go so well for me and truthfully if I'm going to write a review I want to write the fun stuff. I want to write the 'ohmygod! This book is so good you need to read it' or at the very least I want to write 'I really enjoyed this book it was well written. I liked the characters the world building was good'...ok, so I'm sure you get my point by now.

 

Anways, 'Ohmygod!!!! This was so good and not just because of the dragons but yeah, DRAGONS!!! I love dragons...just in case you've missed that little piece of news. I really, REALLY! enjoyed this one. It was a nice fantasy with just the right amounts of romance and conflict to keep me happy.

 

I liked both of the MCs. Morric is an elemental wizard and for generations his family has kept the balance between man and nature for both the crops that the local villagers grow and the forest outside their village. Morric is also the last of his line. He lives a quiet life and keeps to himself so needless to say he's a little surprised when he regains consciousness during a storm to find himself tied to a post overlooking the ocean...a post normally used by the villagers eve of the equinox to sacrifice virgins to the dragon...the dragon that Morric doesn't really believe in or at least he didn't until recently.

 

Xavier is the guardian of the dragon's keep or so he says. But when tempers flare and things heat up between Morric and Xavier things begin to unravel and Morric and Xavier realize that working together is the only way that they're going to resolve their issues and enable everyone to get what they want.

 

While there was only approximately 60ish pages in this story the author made use of every word to create a story that was bold, emotional, colorful and fast paced. There was a lot going on in this story but it was neither excessive nor angst ridden. The action kept the story moving and kept me reading. I really enjoyed 'McShayne's Dragon' and look forward to finding out what's next for Morric and Xavier.

 

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A copy of 'McShayne's Dragon' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I need more...please?

Triad Soul - Nathan Burgoine

If you read my review for 'Triad Blood' than you'll remember that I freakin' loved that book, it was awesome and I pretty much devoured it. Well I'm happy to say 'Triad Soul' book #2 in this series is every bit as good. 

 

While the first book focused on the Triad that Anders, Curtis and Luc had formed as well as saw them face their first challenge as they battled Renard the Duc of the Ottawa vampires (it's the title they give to the local head vamp) resulting in this position passing on to Luc, even though it wasn't Luc who actually defeated Renard...well not directly our boys are keeping that a secret so that Luc can assume the title of Duc...that's right he's now Duc Luc or Ducky as Anders calls him...I love Anders, he's pretty awesome in my eyes.

 

Anyways, Anders, Curtis and Luc are working out as a Triad sure they're still finding their way in this new relationship and sometimes Anders and Luc tend to be a little overly protective of Curtis, there's still a definite bond of friendship and trust forming and maybe something a little stronger and all this is great until...yeah, dead bodies start turning up which wouldn't  be as troublesome as it is, if the bodies weren't dying under less than normal circumstances and maybe not quite so grisly would be nice too. 

 

It's when the heads of the families (the local witche's covens) step in and ask for their help that their investigation really kicks into high gear and as the body count grows the evidence seems to get more and more confusing.

 

It's going to take everything they've got as a Triad for them to solve this one and a bit of help from some friends and even some who are less than friends.

 

I loved the mystery in this one it. I was kept guessing right up until the end just about the time I thought I had things all figured out the author would throw me just enough of a curve to get me second guessing things and it wasn't until the very end that things were revealed and while I came close I didn't quite get the it all figured out.

 

I have to admit part of the charm of this series for me it definitely the setting...see those pretty buildings on the cover...those are the parliament buildings in Ottawa the nations capital and on a personal level it makes me happy to not only read a book that is set in such a beautiful Canadian city but to see a piece of Canada's heritage featured so beautifully on the cover...what can I say 'I'm a dork' about stuff like this.

 

While the sex and steam is still fairly low key in this story, it's definitely there and it's growing. While Curtis may be all in on this Anders and Luc are a little slower in stepping up but I have faith in this group and I'm more than ready to see what the author has in store for them. 

 

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An ARC of 'Triad Soul' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is not the Peter Pan of my childhood...

Peter Darling - Austin Chant

I have to admit I'm not sure quite what I was expecting when I went into this but after sniffing and poking at the book I finally decided I just needed to put on my big girl pants and find out.

 

So what I was expecting...well, I'm still not sure. What I got was a retelling of a childhood story that to be quite honest was never really a favorite of mine. As a child I just never connected with Peter...I'm don't really know why...it could be as simple as he was a boy and I'm a girl...who knows. Needless to say this also contributed to making 'Peter Darling' a bit of a hard sell with me. But I was still curious after reading the blurb and then I started seeing all these awesome reviews being posted by my friends so I figured it was time to find out.

 

What I found was a story about a child who essentially came from a good home, but not the right home. Not a home where he was loved for who he was and allowed to be that person. Feeling frustrated, angry and alone Peter runs away to Neverland a place where he can be himself, where he has friends and goes on adventures...fighting Pirates and accomplishing brave and heroic deeds. But as with most children, Peter also begins to miss his family. Remembering not just the bad things but the good...his brothers, Michael and John, his parents and how much he misses everyone. Ultimately Peter realizes that it's time to go home.

 

Ten years have passed since Pan has left Neverland and they haven't turned out to be ten good years for either. No longer able to deal with the real world...Pan returns to Neverland...to his friends,Tinkerbell and the lost boys and to continue his battle with his nemesis...Hook. Only Peter's grown up and things aren't quite the same in Neverland. Peter begins to wonder if returning was the right choice but he knows staying with his family wasn't an option either.

 

Peter Darling in many ways felt more like a continuation of the original story than a retelling...more like 'What if Peter Pan returned to Neverland when he was grown up?' While the author did put a bit of a spin on the original story, he also held true to a lot of it as well creating a smooth and seamless version of the story that is with the story that will be.

 

I found myself being drawn into the story of 'Peter Darling' far more easily and readily than I was ever drawn into the original story of Peter Pan. I was fascinated with both the characters and this version of Neverland. While Hook has always been my least favorite character in this fairy tale, this time around not only did I like him, but for me, he was the most captivating character in the book.

 

The Hook we meet in 'Peter Darling' displays far more depth than what I've come to expect from this character in previous versions of the story. While he can be cruel, ruthless and greedy there were also moments of depth that tempered that side of him...we were shown intelligence and understanding, emotions such as compassion, grief, sorrow, regret, caring and yes, even love.

 

'Peter Darling' was not a happy go light tale. It was at times a bit sad with a touch of a dark side to it, that in truth, I always felt was also contained within the original story. For me 'Peter Darling' was also a beautifully told story by a 'new to me author' whose talent for crafting words into images left me more than a little impressed.  While "Peter Darling" isn't the only thing written by this author, it does appear to be their first novel...which leaves me to wonder if their first novel is this good...what's coming next?

 

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An ARC of 'Peter Darling' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We're off to see the wizard...the wonderful wizard of Oz?

Dumped in Oz - Andrew  Grey

'Dumped In Oz' is the first book in Andrew Grey's series 'Tales From Kansas' and I liked the story well enough, but nothing about it really put me over the moon. 

 

When Lyle Powers is given the opportunity to transfer to his employers warehouse in central Kansas...he's not thrilled about it, but as his friends point out to him it may just be the change he needs to get himself out of the rut he's let his life slide into and it's only for a year. After giving it some consideration Lyle realizes that while he's not thrilled to be leaving his home, this just might be his opportunity he needs to give both his personal and professional life a re-boot. 

 

When Lyle arrives in small town, somewhere Kansas in spite of his reservations he's surprised to find how much he likes what he sees and while he's resigned to his fate, he's also determined that he's going to make the most of his year in 'Oz'.  He's determined to do his best at work and to get out there and meet people, maybe even make a few friends rather than hiding at home with his television. 

 

It's on one of his trips out to meet people that Lyle meets Roger Kypers. Roger's a local, he's lived in this town all his life, he's also an alcoholic who's fighting hard to stay sober for the sake of his teenage daughter and the restaurant that he's poured his heart and soul into getting off the ground all this from the closet he's hiding in the one that possibly connects Oz to Narnia. 

 

At the heart of this story is a sweet tale of friendship and love. While Lyle and Roger share a mutual attraction I was also left with a very strong feeling of friendship between these two as Lyle tried to be Roger's friend and help him navigate his fears over coming out and living life as a gay man. It's not so much living life as a gay man that Roger fears, but what he might lose if he does. Roger knows that his ex-wife...(let's just think 'wicked witch of the west' here), is determined to keep their daughter from him, if he doesn't 'act normally' (insert stay in his closet here). 

 

It's not only the love and support of his awesome daughter and his newfound friend and lover Lyle but a band of strong and supportive munchkins (think community here)

that Roger soon begins to realize that maybe...just maybe, his life can be more than just his restaurant and the occasional visit with his daughter...maybe, he can have a family...a real family that he loves and that loves him back.

 

As Roger finally begins to feel like life is on track where is daughter is concerned, he also realizes that there's still one unanswered question that keeps his happiness hanging in the balance...'can he be enough to keep Lyle traveling down the yellow brick road with him?'

 

I really liked the premise of this story and I like Roger and Lyle. Lyle was a genuinely nice guy and while he didn't always agree with Roger and felt that Roger was being a bit to timid about things he wasn't a bully in his actions and efforts to get Roger to see that standing up for himself wasn't the wrong thing to do it was the necessary thing, not just for himself but for his daughter's sake as well.

 

Roger's insecurities to me were very largely connected to his concerns over losing his daughter, whom he so clearly loved and adored. Roger's love for his daughter and the author's ability to make me as a reader feel the strength of if was one of my favorite things about Roger.  

 

I also really liked the ending for this story. I was very much left feeling like these two men were standing together on their yellow brick road and heading in the same direction towards a much deserved happily ever after.

 

The narrator for this audio book was Rusty Topsfield and while it's not my first audio book by this narrator I have to admit to being a little uncertain about how I feel. In terms of my basic 'things I look for in an audio book' he ticks the items on the list but somehow the voices he gives me don't quite match up to what's in my head. So just like when I listened to the audio book of Santino Hassell's 'Sutphin Boulevard' it wasn't a matter of bad or good...more a case of I just didn't connect with this narrators voices.

 

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An audiobook of 'Dropped in Oz' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes things just don't go how you expect them to...

Legal Artistry - Andrew  Grey

 

It seems that what started out as being good in premise...failed for me in the execution...

 

I've been wanting to read this one for a while. I liked the blurb, it definitely intrigued me and I like Andrew Grey, so quite honestly I thought things were golden with this one. 

 

'Legal Artistry' had all the making of an awesome romantic/mystery/thriller story. I mean come on stolen Nazi treasure, a lawyer who falls in love with his client, brothers on opposing sides of a court case that had international ramifications...potential so much potential...and then fail.

 

In summary this story is about one man's struggle to recover stolen artwork that is his families heritage.  When Dieter's grandmother dies and leaves everything to him. He discovers that he should own several pieces of artwork that were stolen from his family by the Nazi's and in turn became the property of the Austrian government. Turning to a family friend for legal help brings Gerald Young into Dieter's life and together they begin to unravel the mystery of how Dieter's heritage came to be in a museum in Austria. Sounds good right?

 

So why the fail? Where did it happen? Let's start with the court case because truthfully in some ways it was my favorite part of the story but I was left feeling more than a little disappointed and skeptical about things because of the fact that part way through I had the thought that 'if I was a lawyer this would be my dream case not only because yes, it would make a lawyer's career but mostly because I'm pretty sure every lawyer who has ever passed the bar would agree that they could only hope and pray for the evidence they need to win their case to fall into their laps with the ease that it did in this story. I mean it bordered on magical how easily things came together for this case.  

 

Add on to that, the fact that while Gerald Young is totally on top of this case and knows the case inside out, he is facing his brother, Angus, as opposing counsel...his brother, who is suppose to be the star of the family law firm but really only came off as being a bully. Who does't really bother to prepare for court, he just figures he can steamroller his way over anything...so this totally resolved the mystery of why Gerald didn't work for the family law firm for me and toss in every lawyers dream judge, fair, impartial...see what I mean? Sometimes...things are just too good to be true.

 

However, what really did me in on this one was Dieter or more accurately Dieter along with his and Gerald's relationship. I'm usually ok...even good at times with MCs who are kind and sweet and basically seem to still have their rose colored glasses on...I don't mind a bit of naivete in my characters because hey there are people like this n the world so, it's nice to have them appear in a story from time to time. But Dieter...well his level of naivete was just too much. I just couldn't buy it. Him and his delicate, tender feelings...nope, sorry one can still retain some innocence and naivete and be a grown up and for me that just wasn't him, nope, Dieter felt more like someone who was silly and immature and at times simply clueless than he did a sweet young man who'a a bit naive.

 

Oh and the sex, let's not forget about the sex...because there was sooooo much of it and at times if felt more like it was impeding that story the enhancing it...It just didn't work. My least favorite thing here was Dieter and his whole "I'm the client and if I want to kiss my lawyer, I will." are you f*ing kidding me? Wrong on so many levels this was wrong.

 

Ok, last thing on the list of what went wrong...the narration. Again I thought I was safe. John Solo was the narrator on this and for me usually does an ok job as long as there aren't any children involved...oh, lordie my ship has sunk. The first part of the story takes place in Dieter's childhood...need I say more? But hey, it's only a few minutes and then we move to the adult years so it'll be ok from here...right? No, so many of these voices were much closer in how they sounded than what I've come to expect from this narrator and they all seemed to have a superior, pretentious quality to them that just...I'm sorry but they irritated the hell out of me and maybe this was just me, so let's leave this part on my shoulders. 

 

Whether it was me or not at the end of it all this one did not work well for me. I want to give the second book a shot and hopefully things will be better...but maybe I'll just read the book and skip the audio, whatever...the one thing I know for sure is what I got with this one ended up not being what I was expecting it just didn't work for me so I'm moving on to the next one.

 

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An audiobook of 'Legal Artistry' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A incubus and a vampire walk into a bar...

Three - Nathan Burgoine

No seriously that's how this one starts and the bar is in Ottawa!!!! and the wizard...well, he's already waiting in the bar, lol!!! I'mma goin' back...back to Ottawa...Canada's capital.

 

'Three' is Nathan Burgoine's short story that takes us back to the beginning of how Luc, Ander and Curtis came to be a triad. There's not a complex plot here or any kind of convoluted story, it is however an enjoyable and fun read. 

 

I quite enjoyed this short read and introduction to the paranormal world in my nation's capital. I became a huge fan of this series when I read 'Traid Blood' so much so that I went on an internet hunt for this story and was literally bouncing in my chair when I finally found it and with the release of 'Triad Soul' this was for me the perfect warm up for the next book in this series. 

 

If you liked 'Triad Blood' or you're considering this series 'Three' is a good place to start because after the incubus and the vampire walk into the bar things get interesting...and hot!

 

E-book or audio, I love this book...

There's This Guy - Rhys Ford

I had the good fortune to review this back in March of this year when the e-book was released and when the opportunity to review the audiobook narrated by Greg Tremblay became available I was all over that baby. I love this book...the story simply melts my heart. 

 

Whether it's a song or a favorite sweater, the car we drive, or the person we snuggle up to in bed a night we love who and what we love and there just doesn't have to be a rhyme or reason for it and I love this book.

 

And as is the case more often than not with a book that I loved my review was long and as far as I'm concerned my feelings about this one haven't changed so, if it's not broke let's not fix it...

Original Review: There's This Guy by Rhys Ford

 

Now about the audio portion of this review...as I said it's narrated by Greg Tremblay and quite honestly he's awesome and while I've listened to a few books narrated by Mr. Tremblay, I think this one might very well be my favorite. I love the voices that he gave to the characters especially Dallas and Jake. Dallas had a bit of a slow southern drawl in his tone with a an underlying silky smoothness to it that at times just had me sighing in contentment, I loved Dallas's voice. 

 

Let's see if I can explain Jake's voice. Interestingly enough Jake's voice was my favorite and for a big convoluted reason that I'm not going to bore you with...we're going to suffice it to say I am Canadian I've spent time in most of our provinces and while I found Jake's accent to be more reminiscent of someone from the Maritmes than Quebec...I care not. I loved the sound of Jake's voice and I love how expressive it was because that far more indicative of the french Canadian language no matter what part of Canada it's found in. So did I feel like Jake's accent was reflective of someone who spent time growing up in Montreal...maybe not so much, did I like it...hell yeah! because it still felt Canadian but most of all it felt right for the character. 'There's This Guy' started with 5 stars and for me the audiobook finished with 5 'I love it even more' stars.

 

and for my buddy read besties who haven't read this one yet and you know who you are. I found a song for this one, I guess I'd have to say it's Dallas's song for Jake...

I Knew I Loved You by Savage Garden

If you want to know why this song you'll need to read the book, lol!!!

 

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An audiobook of 'There's This Guy' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Well that was a bust...

How We Operate - A.R. Moler

"How We Operate" is my first A.R. Molar book and sadly things didn't go as well as I'd hoped.  But before we get into that let's just give a little nod to the new cover, I have to admit I found it visually appealing...ok, back to the story...

 

I found myself unconsciously playing that game that I told you all about a while ago. Where my friend and I use to take turns describing different things with one word...and for this one my word was 'BORING'. 

 

Now I have to admit in a way I was...well, surprised that a book that had as much going on as this one did could possibly be boring. But that's what it was for me. I don't know... maybe, I'm a fan of purple prose or maybe I'm lacking in imagination but I at least need enough that if the MCs are having hot monkey sex...I want to feel like their having 'hot monkey sex'...call me picky but I want to feel like I'm reading a story and not a laundry list of events. 

 

For whatever the reason this story just didn't work for me but that doesn't mean it's not for everyone. Some of my friends on GR have read this one and they really liked it so maybe it's me, maybe it's not. I guess it all depends on the individual.

 

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A copy of 'How We Operate' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Might I suggest, if you haven't read this book...

Complementary Colors - Adrienne Wilder

before you begin you might want to consider stocking up on tissues, chocolate or other preferred comfort foods, a very cuddly teddy will be helpful and possibly copious amounts of alcohol...just sayin' it never hurts to be prepared...oh, and most important of all grab a couple of friends because this one really is best not read alone.

 

So first thing I did grabbed Josy, who in turn grabbed Simone. We're good that way, we try and drag as many people as possible down the rabbit hole with us when we go there.

 

Next I grabbed Jackson, he's just the cutest cream colored bear in the world and he lives in my office where I do all my buddy reads. Right now he's trying to get his fur dry...it's almost there...honest. Then I checked the tissue supply...8 boxes...I should be able to manage with that, finally it's off to the story to lay in my supply of comfort food...ok, now I'm ready...

 

Ok, forget that I only thought I was ready because really I wasn't...I'm not sure anyone could ever be ready for this book.

 

'Complimentary Colors' is a romance, a love story, a murder mystery/thriller, it's stark and cold in it's portrayal of how easily wrong outward appearances can be because once you look beyond the surface what appeared to be a charmed life...is in fact a cursed life.

 

Paris is an artist, he's famous, he makes obscene amounts of money, he's beautiful and everybody wants him. He sees the world through colors...colors that he puts onto canvas for the world to see. Except no one ever sees what he's truly put onto canvas...no one that is until Roy. 

 

Roy is all those things that we often take for granted. He's solid, dependable, constant, honest, loyal, patient and kind. Basically he's all the good things that Paris hasn't had in his life wrapped up in one nice sexy package and this made me happy because Paris...well his story broke me and I needed for him to have someone like Roy. I needed to believe that after all he'd gone through there would be some happiness for him...some color for his life...beautiful vibrant colors...the colors of love.

 

Let's talk about Paris's jailer next and yes that's what she was. For years his sister Julia kept Paris trapped in his own living hell. I hated Julia...no, seriously H-A-T-E-D with a passion, a strong and burning passion...a part of me spent hours plotting her demise and is honestly still working on it. Ok, my rage is building let's move on to Paris's sister Alice, my thoughts on here a little more ambiguous and I'd have to go into far too much detail to clarify that for anyone who hasn't already read the book. So Alice = ambiguous, for more detail you'll need to read the book...sorry...not.

 

I was more than a little impressed by the wonderful secondary characters Adrienne Wilder created...whether it's someone as vile and horrid as Julia or as warm and wonderful as Louise or Dr. Carmichael. The depth and life that they add to the story is incredible and does so much to enhance the detail and bring this story to life.

 

I could probably go on and on about this book. It was a heartbreaking story. Probably one of the hardest I've ever read. For me it was on a level with 'A Little Life', 'Listening to Dust' or 'Blood Memories' (ok, this is the biggie for me folks because very, very few books every get put on the same shelf as this one in my world). Anyways, I could go on but I'm not going to because I think the best that I can say now it...if you want more reviews there are some truly amazing ones on GR so here's the link to the book page...

Complimentary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

follow the link scroll down and there they are a plethora of awesome reviews for you and the other thing read the book, I know it's a hard read but it's also a worthwhile read (see the instructions about this at the top of this review) 

 

Now, last of all Josy and Simone...thank you so much for holding my hands on this one and as promised here are the songs...

I couldn't decide on one so there's 3, I hope you find them as fitting as I did. The first one is Paris's song for Roy...

Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls

this one is Roy's song for Paris...

I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz

and this one...well it just seems to belong to the book...

How to Save a Life by The Fray

 

Can't wait until our next buddy read ladies, I'm sure Jackson will be dried out by then if needed or maybe we could find something a little lighter next time just to give ourselves a break...either way just let me know and I'll be there.

 

A Kind of Honesty was definitely more than....

A Kind of Honesty: - Lane Hayes, Seth Clayton

...kind of good.

 

I'm pretty sure that I've already mentioned this but just to refresh things. Rock star stories really are not at the top of my list to read. I don't know why they just never seem to appeal to me...however, as we all know one should 'never say never' because there are exceptions to every rule and the 'A Kind of stories' by Lane Hayes are among those exceptions for me.

 

Not only are the stories contained in this series beyond good but for me Seth Clayton is the perfect narrator for them.

 

Tim is the drummer for the rock band Spiral, which this series centers around. While he's been in each book we've really learned very little about him until now. We know he's the drummer and we know he's bisexual and  really that's about all we've learned until now. But 'A Kind of Honesty' changes all that we learn all Tim's secrets with this story and there are a few. 

 

Carter Hamilton-Temple is a successful financial consultant and a very rich man in his own right. He's also Zeke Gulden's best friend. We met Zeke in previous stories and learned all about Zeke in 'A Kind of Romance'. Carter may have money and the smarts to make money for his clients but what he doesn't seem to have is much luck when it comes to men.  He's had his heart and his trust broken more than once and as luck would have it the men who have done this turned out to be bi, so needless to say when Carter and Tim get together, Tim's already got one strike against him.

 

When Tim finally ends his relationship with his super-model from hell girlfriend. He decides it's time to explore the other side of his bisexuality and takes himself to a less than glamours gay bar with the intentions of getting laid and as fortune would have it, just about the time he's decided he picked the wrong place to put his plan into action in walks one of the hottest men Tim's set eyes on in a while. Luckily for him that man likes what the sees when he sets eyes on Tim. Mission accomplished after a couple of drinks they head out to a dive hotel and get their groove on. These two men are seriously hot together. They like their sex down and dirty...maybe not quite as dirty as their present surroundings though...

 

The real surprise comes for both of these men when they are once again brought face to face at a birthday party for a mutual friend. But it's no surprise when both men decide that they want to continue what started in that seedy L.A. hotel room...more down and dirty sex without the strings and hopefully cleaner surroundings.

 

As they explore their mutual attraction those strings just seem to add themselves. Both Tim and Carter start to find their happiness getting tied to one another and things become complicated pushing each man to his limits, until things explode and Tim is left alone with the realization that if he wants to keep what he's found with Carter, he needs to make some changes sooner than he thinks he's ready to.

 

I would have to say that when it comes to 'rock star' books this series is definitely at the top of my favorites list. Quite often if I read books that involve the music industry the MCs tend to be country & western performers, which is pretty ironic considering that I'm not really a C&W fan. I've read a couple other rock star series and one or two standalones that I enjoyed but honestly along with the 'Sinners' series by Rhys Ford, this is definitely my other top choice.  

 

My point being simply put Lane Hayes has done what only a very few authors have accomplished and that's to get me to not only read but thoroughly enjoy and look forward to a rock star series. In the scheme of things not really a big deal to anyone other than me. But from my perspective ...well, quite honestly I'm more than a little impressed.

 

Add to this the fact that somebody somewhere had the wisdom or just plain good luck to utilize the talents of Seth Clayton for the audio books and  this series for me has been a huge success. 

 

Listening to Seth Clayton narrate an audio book is a bit of a different experience than  I've come to expect from most narrators. I'm not sure that he really ticks my 'basic audio book' checklist. Although I have no problem in terms of knowing who's speaking and his voices are definitely expressive and consistent...ok, let's just say he hits the mark on these things for me and move on to what really appeals to me...which seems to be his voice in general. There's a comfortable tone to it no matter what character he's portraying. It feels like I'm curled up with a cup of coffee and a good friend who's telling me their story...it's comfortable and inviting.  I just really like his voice and no, it's not in that 'ohmygod, he sounds so hot' way although he does the sexy thing just fine as well.

 

One of my biggest issues with audiobooks was the fear that my inner 12 year old would run amuck during those intimate moments in a story and spoil things for me and while it has happened on occasion not once during any of these books did that little brat make an appearance and if it was going to happen this would have been the story...because hello!...dirty talk here, in abundance. But if it's done right it's howt!!! hella', hella' hot!!! and if not well...it's just a giggle fest waiting to happen...trust me there were no giggles to be found here, at least not from me. I was too busy fanning myself.

 

If you're like me and rock star stories aren't really your thing all I can say is check this series out, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and if you like rock star stories you seriously need these books. These guys are all awesome and hot or maybe they're just awesomely hot...whatever, it works.

 

Sadly for now I'm 'kind of' out of audio books from this series but book 4 is coming soon and with any luck the audio book will follow without too much delay and Seth Clayton will still be the narrator...sorry, I don't want much...I just want it all. 

 

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An audiobook for 'A Kind of Honesty' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This one made me happy...

A Kind of Romance - Lane Hayes

Zeke is a wallstreet success. He's living the good life, he works hard, he's earned his corner office and SoHo loft and of course he doesn't have time for love...but tell that to Zeke's dad. His dad, George runs a successful chain of bagel deli's. Everyone loves George except maybe Zeke. It's a family thing and while Zeke loves his dad, he just doesn't like who his dad was. Zeke wants to spend as little time as possible with his dad and maybe get a little payback on a certain ex-boyfriend. 

 

Benny is Will's friend...think book one. Benny is beyond fabulous, he wants to make it big as a costume designer in theater but more importantly Benny understands the importance of family and forgiveness, of getting over things and moving on.

 

I love Zeke and Benny. I'm pretty sure they're going to be my favorite couple from this series.  Zeke melted me with how he came to see Benny and just how fabulous he truly is and Benny and how he wasn't afraid to call Zeke on his b.s. when he got to full of himself but he also saw the good in Zeke. The ending of this story was heartbreakingly sweet as Zeke was forced to confront the parts of his life that fueled his anger and kept him from truly moving forward and having the life with Benny that he knew he wanted.

 

Once again the narrator for this book was Seth Clayton and once again I loved listening to the story that he had to share with me.  'A Kind of Romance' held all of the warmth and humor that I found in the first book both in the story and through the narration. I'm totally looking forward to 'A Kind of Honesty' which is once again narrated by Seth Clayton...so I'm off to grab a cup of coffee, curl up and listen to Seth as he shares yet another wonderful story with me.

Mmmm...rock stars...

A Kind of Truth - Seth Clayton, Dreamspinner Press LLC, Lane Hayes

'A Kind of Truth' is the story of wanna' be rock star Rand O'Malley and geeky music student with a kink and the hidden heart of a rock star Will Sanders.  Rand's all about the music and the band so needless to say when he turns to Will for guitar lessons...love was the last thing on his mind.

 

I have to admit in spite of the fact that there are a lot of really good reviews out there I was a little nervous going into this because rock stars can be dicey for me at times. What can I say just not my thing. So when hubby decided audiobooks were the thing for me on Mother's Day, I went shopping and while I was listening to the audio samples I stumbled across this series and listened to the samples...I liked them...I wanted to hear more...buying the books seemed like the wise thing to do, turned out it was.

 

Seth Clayton is the narrator and I'm really, really enjoying these audio books. Listening to Seth is like sitting down with a friend while he tells you a story. In general his voice has a warm and friendly tone that just draws you in and invites you to listen to the story he wants to share with you. His voices are consistent and he adds a wonderfully laid back, self deprecating tone that easily slips into something warm, sultry and sexy at times with a wonderfully warm and inviting laugh thrown in when needed.

 

'A Kind of Truth' is the start of what promises to be a really enjoyable series narrated by what I think may be another favorite narrator for me.

And then there was this one...

Fighting Instinct - Mary Calmes, Tristan James Mabry

'Fighting Instinct' is the second book in the 'L'Ange series' and was also narrated by Tristan James and as with the 'Old Loyalty, New Love' and 'Chosen Pride' I was completely enchanted with the arrogant, confident and slightly cocky voices of the alpha men in this series. 

 

So once again a 3 star read that Mr. James's narration made just a little bit more enjoyable and 3 stars became 4 and here's my link to my original review...

Original Review: Fighting Instinct

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