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☊☊☊☊☊ End of the Beginning & Raise Your Glass by John Goode ☊☊☊☊☊

Audio book review of Tales from Foster High (books #1-3)

Author: John Goode

Narrator: Michael Spellman

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The Tales from Foster High series:

  • Maybe With A Chance Of Certainty (book #1) – click here for review
  • End Of The Beginning (book #2) – in this review
  • Raise Your Glass (book #3) – in this review
  • End Of The Innocence (book #4)

Note: See the review of the first book where I focus a little more on the narration. I cannot speak more highly of Michael Stellman. He did a wonderful job of narrating Tales from Foster High and I believe his voice is perfectly suited to the telling of a YA story.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

End of the Beginning (Tales from Foster High, #2)End of the Beginning by John Goode

The Blurb…

Not too long ago, Brad Greymark outed himself to his high school and the rest of the town of Foster, Texas, with a fairly obvious public display of affection. Now what? Brad had thought being Foster’s favorite son wasn’t that important, but when it comes time to choose between high school fame and Kyle, the boy he might just be falling for? It’s not an easy decision, knowing his heart may break either way.

So what did I think?

This is the second book in the series and part of the Tales From Foster High audio book so I listened to rather than read this book. As with the first book, I LOVED this is it’s audio form. The narrator’s voice was just brilliant, catching the teenage voice of Brad.

Here we have Brad’s point of view as he agonises over the events of the past couple of days. Coming out in front of the whole school was a spur of the moment decision and Brad wonders if he made the right choice. It was sad to watch him go from the top of the school social ladder to pretty much the bottom but his strength lay in how he handled himself.

It’s such an interesting look at the real person behind the facade. Brad may have had the looks, the status, his sporting prowess, a big home and a nice car but this didn’t make him happy in his heart. I loved the character development in this story.

Raise Your Glass (Tales from Foster High, #3)Raise Your Glass by John Goode

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Tales of Foster High – Sequel to The End of the Beginning Kyle Stilleno used to be the invisible student. Brad Graymark used to be the baseball star. Then they fell in love and Brad outed them both with a spectacular public display of affection, and now everything is different. After spending a few days lying low, Kyle and Brad are going back to school. It’s time to face the music and see how Foster High deals with their growing romance. But the school’s reaction-and the staff’s hostility-are not what they expected. Everyone they know seems to be allied against them. Isn’t there anyone they can count on to defend their happiness?

So what did I think?

When times get tough, you really find out what people are made of and in this book Brad and Kyle totally shine, particularly Kyle who is no longer a wall flower and very much the centre of attention.

The experiences the boys go through as they return to school are heartbreaking. As to be expected, the reaction from the other students is not positive and Brad and Kyle are tormented for their sexuality. But it is the reaction of the adults – the teachers and authority figures – that is the most shameful. This is tough look at what life can be like for young people who don’t conform to what other people deem as being acceptable – bullying and lack of support. But there is a positive ending as support comes from some unexpected places.

I liked the message from the author at the end of the book, an anti-bullying message, to remind people they are never alone and remind us, the reader, that although this story is a work of fiction, bullying is an all too common occurrence that can have tragic consequences.

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To find out more about John Goode check out the Tales from Foster High Facebook page.

Buy Maybe With A Chance Of Certainty from Amazon.

Buy the audio book, Tales from Foster High (books 1-3) from Audible.

Tales From Foster High

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☊☊☊☊☊ Audio book review: Who We Are by T.J. Klune ☊☊☊☊☊

A highly recommended audio book! And at the time of writing this review on special from Audible for only $3.49 so get shopping!

  • Bear, Otter, and the Kid  – book #1
  • Who We Are – book #2 – the audio book is reviewed in this post
  • The Art of Breathing – book #3 – release date unknown

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Who We Are

Who We Are

Author: T.J. Klune

Narrator: Charlie David

Length: 12 hours 42 minutes

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The blurb…

Sequel to Bear, Otter, and the Kid

Bear, Otter, and the Kid survived last summer with their hearts and souls intact. They’ve moved into the Green Monstrosity, and Bear is finally able to admit his love for the man who saved him from himself.

But that’s not the end of their story. How could it be?

The boys find that life doesn’t stop just because they got their happily ever after. There’s still the custody battle for the Kid. The return of Otter’s parents. A first trip to a gay bar. The Kid goes to therapy, and Mrs. Paquinn decides that Bigfoot is real. Anna and Creed do… well, whatever it is Anna and Creed do. There are newfound jealousies, the return of old enemies, bad poetry, and misanthropic seagulls. And through it all, Bear struggles to understand his mother’s abandonment of him and his brother, only to delve deeper into their shared past. What he finds there will alter their lives forever and help him realize what it’ll take to become who they’re supposed to be.

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

So what did I think?

I read Bear, Otter, and the Kid in 2012 and absolutely loved the beautiful story of family and love. I’m not sure why it took so long for me to get to Who We Are but when I was looking for a new audio book to listen to, it seemed a great time to continue the story.

This is a story of Bear and Otter, wrapped in each other’s love, facing the next steps in their future.

“….I came back for you, and I promised myself that I was never going to let you go again.” He sighs. “All I want is to grow old with you and know that one day, it’ll just be you and me, that we’ll be able to look back and be proud of what we’ve done with our lives. I want to know that you belong to me and I belong to you. I love you with everything I have and I can promise you what I’ll never ever stop. I couldn’t, even if I wanted to. It won’t be perfect, Bear, nothing ever really is. There will be days when we are angry with each other, and days where it seems the world is a fucking messed up place, but it won’t matter. Because I’ll have you and the Kid and you’ll both have me…..”

The blurb provides a really good indication of the journey this book takes – it’s full of love and family, happiness and sadness, heartache and jealously, death and new life – hilarious one minute to warm and sweet the next to shedding tears – definitely an emotional journey!

As far as being a tearjerker, there was a section of this book that had tears streaming down my face as some of the book seemed so relevant to recent events in the author’s life. Those of you who know or follow T J Klune will know exactly what I am referring to…

Spoiler Alert!

I have no idea how to add a spoiler in WordPress (I need to do some research!) so be warned that what follows is a big spoiler. Stop reading here if you don’t want to find out about one of the events in the book. If you want to read the review with spoilers hidden, check out the review on Goodreads.

It was so heartbreaking to read the scenes of Bear sitting by Otter’s hospital bed, holding his hand while he is unconscious and not knowing what the future will hold. What if Otter didn’t wake up? What if he was different? What would it mean for their lives?

“I brought up my free hand to wipe at my face, and the ring on my finger glinted in the low light, a flash that was brilliant and heartbreaking. I dropped my left hand on top of his. “You’ll see,” I said. “You’ll see. You and me? We aren’t done yet. Not by a long shot. I promise you that. I don’t care what it takes. I don’t care how you come back to me. But you come back, you hear me? You come back and everything will be fine. I don’t care if you can’t walk right, or if you can’t think right, or if you can never remember my name. It won’t matter to me, just as long as you come back. You’ll see. You’ll see how great it can be.”

The audio book is narrated by Charlie David and I loved the way he voiced this book. It is obvious that the narration is by an actor. Charlie David really captures the emotion in the moment, not just reading the words from the pages. His pace is quite fast which I really, really like. It is not a slow, dragged out kind of reading, rather a vibrant and engaging telling of the story. I think he perfectly captures the characters and is wonderfully suited to the craziness of thoughts in Bear’s head! The sex scenes are fabulous with the voice capturing passion and love. He could be soft and loving, funny and sarcastic, quite, thoughtful…….If you haven’t checked out any audio books narrated by Charlie David, do give them a try!

And speaking of other books, there is good news! As we speak TJ Klune is working on the third book in the series. There is no release date as of yet but if the epilogue of this book is any indication, pretty soon we will be hearing more of the Kid!

5 Stars

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To find out more about T.J. Klune and his books visit his website.

Buy Who We Are from Amazon.

Buy Who We Are from Audible.

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If you would like to support T.J. Klune and Eric Arvin, please do so at the following site or by buying their books!

EricArvinSupportFund

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☊☊☊ The Adrien English series – books 2, 3 and 4 – on audio ☊☊☊

A brilliant series and audio book – highly recommended!

The Adrien English series:

  • Fatal Shadows (book #1) – click here for review
  • A Dangerous Thing (book #2) – in this review
  • The Hell You Say (book #3) – in this review
  • Death of  a Pirate King (book #4) – in this review
  • The Dark Tide (book #5)

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A Dangerous Thing 

A Dangerous Thing by Josh Lanyon and Narrated by Chris Patton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Adrien English Mystery Series #2 Suffering from writer’s block and frustrated with his tentative relationship with hot but closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Jake Riordan, gay bookseller and mystery writer Adrien English travels to northern California where he finds a body in his front drive. By the time the sheriffs arrive, the body has disappeared, and Adrien once again finds himself playing amateur sleuth. But when the game turns deadly, Adrien turns to Jake. Jake may be confused about some things, but keeping his lover alive is not one of them–no matter what the cost.

So what did I think?

“Aren’t you the guy who told me a cop’s gut instinct is one of his best tools?”
“You’re not a cop, baby. You’re a bookseller. You don’t have a gut instinct. You have knack for nearly getting yourself killed.”

I love the blend of quick wit and humour with the intrigue of the murder mystery. But as good as the mystery is, of course I’m really only reading to see to the evolution of the relationship between Adrien and Jake.

I adore Adrien! He’s the sort of guy I would love to have as a friend and as a friend, I want him to be happy. His admission (to himself) of love for Jake is painful because we know loving Jake won’t be easy. Oh, but the first kiss with Jake – just beautiful!

I have been continuing to ‘read’ this series by listening to the audio version……Chris Patton does a stellar job of narrating this series. I loved the way he voiced Adrien – his inflection, his tone, the quality of his voice – and the sexy, gruffness of Jake is perfect!

 

The Hell You Say


The Hell You Say
by Josh Lanyon and Narrated by Chris Patton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

After bookstore clerk Angus flees following terrifying death threats, owner Adrien must contend with a mysterious Satanic cult, a hot and handsome university professor, and his on-again/off-again relationship with closeted LAPD Homicide Detective Jake Riordan.

So what did I think?

As usual, this series continues to impress!

Definitely a good book in the series, made so because of the character of Adrien English. There is lots and lots of humour and witty comments – Adrien is the king of the fast comeback!

It’s a thriller mystery although with a little less action than previous books and Adrien doesn’t seem to be getting himself into so much direct trouble. There is lots of sleuthing as he tries to help his bookshop assistant who is part of a cult and accused of a crime Adrien doesn’t think he committed.

At first I wondered why Adrien was so passionate about getting involved but I think his nature didn’t give him any choice! As a writer of mysteries he doesn’t have it in him just to sit back and not follow the clues.

Jake only makes a minimal appearance in this book. I would have like there to be more on-page Jake although he was an asshole!

All in all – a great book, a mystery not a romance. The ending was a little bit fast and sudden but luckily there was another book for me to launch straight into!

The narration captures the essence of Adrien. The other characters are voiced well too – Guy, with his slight British accent and Lisa.

Death of a Pirate King


Death of a Pirate King
by Josh Lanyon and Narrated by Chris Patton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Gay bookseller and reluctant amateur sleuth Adrien English’s writing career is suddenly taking off. His first novel, Murder Will Out, has been optioned by notorious Hollywood actor Paul Kane.

But when murder makes an appearance at a dinner party, who should be called in but Adrien’s former lover, handsome closeted detective Jake Riordan, now a Lieutenant with LAPD — which may just drive Adrien’s new boyfriend, sexy UCLA professor Guy Snowden, to commit a murder of his own.

So what did I think?

Of course I was going to love this book because I love the series!

As with the other books it is a perfect blend of intriguing plot,lots of witty humour and wonderful characters.

The mystery was interesting as Adrien starts to mix with some Hollywood types and celebrities. The mystery takes up more page time than the relationship between Adrien and Jake but the relationship somehow still seems integral to the book.

The author wonderfully conveys so much about Jake and Adrien without necessarily using words. Every look nad action tells so much about their feelings. The relationship between Jake and Adrien just seems so honest and real, despite the secrets and all the thing unsaid. It seems so natural for them to be together despite the other people in their lives.

One more book to go! Please, please, please give me the perfect ending for Adrien and Jake!

Once again, as with earlier books in the series, I listened to this one via audio book and can’t speak highly enough of the narrator – brilliant!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Josh Lanyon and his books visit his website.

Buy the series from Amazon.

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☊☊☊ Gulliver Takes Manhattan by Justin Luke Zirilli ☊☊☊

Gulliver Takes ManhattanGulliver Takes Manhattan by Justin Luke Zirilli

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When twenty-something Gulliver Leverenz abandons sunny L.A. for a fresh start in New York, he’s leaving behind his family, his friends-and one bastard ex-boyfriend who can’t take a hint. With no money, job, or direction, Gully gratefully accepts an invitation to crash with his former fraternity brother Todd. As luck would have it, Todd lives in Hell’s Kitchen, New York’s hottest “gayborhood,” and is a rising star in the gay nightlife scene, complete with a crew of incredibly hot friends. Not long after, Gully snags a job with a talent agent and even finds himself a new boyfriend. There’s just one catch: Gulliver knows this budding relationship could get him in a lot of trouble. And inevitably, it does just that. Gulliver’s streak of good fortune soon takes a turn for the miserable as his choices unleash an onslaught of catastrophes that leaves him in a tragic and seemingly hopeless situation beneath the skyscrapers.. But Gully’s tougher than he realizes and is determined to prove, for once and for all, that he has what it takes to make it in New York. By turns exciting, sad, and hysterically funny, Gulliver Takes Manhattan is a refreshingly candid tale of one man’s quest to stake a place for himself in the greatest city in the world.

So what did I think?

Gulliver Takes Manhattan was super entertaining and one of those stories that just seems to be enhanced by the narrator (in this case Cole Ferguson).

I listened to this audio book over a week during my daily commute and actually looked forward to getting in my car each morning so that I could listen to the next installment of Gulliver’s adventures.

Gulliver is running away from his life in LA,escaping the city where his two-timing, now ex-boyfriend lives. He moves to the other side of the country to share an apartment in New York with his college friend Todd. Todd is a party organiser in the gay nightclub scene with all the right connections and his friendship ensures that Gulliver has access to all the best parties and lots of free drinks!

The story follows Gulliver’s party life, his flings, his relationships with Todd’s group of friends. There is time spent with Gulliver and his new job and the complexities that result from him falling for one of his clients. There are weekends away, one night stands and fights. Gulliver goes from on top of the world one minutes, to desperately sad and alone the next. He moves from coffee shop employee, to talent scout to a very surprising new occupation! It’s certainly not short on action!

According to his bio, Justin Luke Zirilli is Head Promoter of a New York-Based gay nightlife events company, so he must know his stuff and this certainly comes through in the story!

I highly recommend this audio book – great story, wonderful characters and good pace. It ends with a happy-for-now but there is a sequel that I am looking forward to reading.

4.5 stars

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To find out more about Justin Luke Zirilli and his books visit his website.

Buy Gulliver Takes Manhattan from Amazon

 

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☊☊☊☊☊ Hot Head by Damon Suede ☊☊☊☊☊

A highly recommended audio book!

  • Hot Head (book #1) – in this review
  • Hard Head (book #2) – release date is unknown

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Hot Head (Head, #1)Hot Head by Damon Suede

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. . .

Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181: Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately Dante is strictly a ladies’ man and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For 10 years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.

Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until Dante is nearly bankrupt and proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay-porn website where uniformed hunks get down-n-dirty… Now Dante wants them to appear there— together.

Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?

So what did I think?

I read this book and loved it but then bought the audio version because I heard rave things about Charlie David’s narration and I wanted to check it out!

I still love the story – two tough and gorgeous firefighters and Griff’s secret love for his best friend Dante. It has it all – heroics, heartache, hot porn, passion, Griff in a kilt and sexy Dante!

And Charlie David’s narration definitely does complement the telling of the story beautifully. At first I was worried that the story would be somehow diminished if the narration did not live up the expectations set by my own reading, but I was not disappointed at all. I loved the sexiness of Charlie’s voice, his accents, tone and pace, all of which captured the character and spirit of the book perfectly.

If you are looking for a good book to read, particularly if you are after an audio book, then Hot Head is highly recommended!

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To find out more about Damon Suede and his books visit his website.

Buy Hot Head from Amazon.

Buy Hot Head from Dreamspinner Press.

or visit Audible where the audio book is on sale for only $3.49! Brilliant value!

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☊☊☊ Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk ☊☊☊

The Whyborne and Griffin series:

  • Widdershins (book #1) – in this review
  • Threshold (book#2)
  • Stormhaven (book #3) – expected release 3rd December

Widdershins

Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

Narrated by Julian G. Simmons

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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The Blurb…

Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

So what did I think?

This is another book that I listened to via the Audible version. I have not read this book previously so the narration was my first experience of the story.

I’m going to make a claim without really being able to back this up – the audio version was brilliant and really enhanced my enjoyment of this story! Okay, I don’t really know if I would have enjoyed it any less if I had read it but I totally adored the narration of this book.

The characters were totally wonderful and I fell in love with both Whyborne and Griffin. Outwardly Whyborne was so unsure of himself, shy and unassertive, totally lacking self confidence but in reality he was a wonderfully strong man – standing on his own, following his own path in life and supporting himself rather than relying on his well-to-do father. Griffin appears strong and confident but has his own demons and inner torment. Together they are fabulous.

I am not a huge fan of historical romances and only read a smattering in the paranormal genre so was surprised by how much I liked this book. The style of writing, the speech and the behaviour of all the characters seemed to capture the era perfectly. I particularly liked the formality of interactions between work colleagues and the totally fabulous Christine!

The story was full of mystery, intrigue and horror as Whyborne and Griffin team up to stop the resurrection of wonderfully descriptive evil monsters. They follow clues, deal with Whyborne’s colleagues at the museum, fight off half-human-half-animal creatures, all while their attraction for each other grows.

Julian G Simmons captured the essence of Whyborne perfectly. The soft spoken quality of his voice, his tone and inflections matched the character of Whyborne and was totally in keeping with the period of the story.

I can highly recommended the audio version!

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

To find out more about Jordan L. Hawk and her books visit her website.

Buy Widdershins from Amazon

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☊☊☊ Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Vol. 1 by Cecilia Tan ☊☊☊

Daron's

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Author: Cecilia Tan

Narrator: Teddy Hamilton

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Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Volume 1 is the first in a series of stories about the life of Daron, a young nineteen year old musician growing up in the 1980’s in the world of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. Check out the author, Cecilia Tan’s video which tells a little about how this series of books came into being.

I actually listened so the audio version of this book and quite enjoyed the narration by Teddy Hamilton. His voice and inflections really seemed to suit the story and the character of Daron. The story itself is part of a larger journey, and this book only covers a small part of Daron’s life. In this first book, we are introduced to Daron and his struggles to find his path in life. With dysfunctional parents who he no longer really sees or talks to, he is out making it on his own. He is trying to get his band up and running while earning enough money to fund his college course. He is also struggling with his sexuality and everything that goes along with discovering who he really is and what he wants.

A large part of the story is taken up with Daron accepting a roadie gig with the band of a friend of his father’s. As he travels the country he meets some interesting people and has some interesting encounters – from a couple of sexual exploits with men to being actively pursued by a girl also on the tour. This is not a romance, this is a character driven tale that introduces Daron – he is sweet and insecure and a bit confused – and tempts the reader into the next book of the series where Daron’s journey continues.

This is a relatively short book, at least I think it is. I have the Kindle version but listened to the Audio version which is just over 4 hours long (the audio versions always take much longer for me as my reading speed is heaps faster than the narration). But as usual it was a great way to spend my commute to work over a couple of days!

To find out more about Cecilia Tan and her books visit her website.

Buy Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Volume 1 from Amazon – it’s FREE!

The audio version is only $1.99 from Audible.

4 Stars

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☊☊☊☊☊ Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon ☊☊☊☊☊

A brilliant audio book – highly recommended!

The Fatal Shadows series:

  • Fatal Shadows (book #1) – in this review
  • A Dangerous Thing (book #2)
  • The Hell You Say (book #3)
  • Death of  a Pirate King (book #4)
  • The Dark Tide (book #5)

Fatal Shadows

Fatal Shadows

Written by Josh Lanyon

Narrated by Chris Patton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Someone’s out to get Los Angeles bookseller Adrien English. His best friend has been viciously murdered, now he’s getting weird phone calls and sinister gifts from a mysterious “admirer”. The cops think he’s trying to divert suspicion from himself—with the exception of sexy and homophobic homicide detective Jake Riordan.

Is Riordan really such a great detective—or does he have a few secrets of his own? Is his offer to help Adrien on the level or is he out to nail his favorite suspect—to the wall?

So what did I think?

It took me a while but I finally ‘read’ my first Adrien English mystery! I’m not sure why I waited so long particularly with all the rave reviews about the series. And really, being Josh Lanyon, it was always going to be a hit!

I say I ‘read’ the book because I actually listened to the audio version from Audible. I do own the Kindle version but when I saw that Audible had the first three books for only $1.99 each I could not resist. It was one of the best decisions I have made – I was totally prepared to Whispersync back to the written version but found I LOVED the audio version.

The story is narrated by Chris Patton who did an absolutely fabulous job. Yes, he had a wonderful, quality story to work with but he so totally did justice to the book! His voice and style seemed to match the story and he lent a perfect voice to Adrien. His strength is his ability to perfectly capture the emotion of the story and I loved the way his inflections and tone replicated what was happening. For example, if he narrated the words “he grumbled” then the dialogue was actually grumbled. Dectective Riordan had a deeper, sexy voice and even the women were well done – Lisa, Adrien’s mother being voiced fabulously!

I really enjoyed the whole story and the mystery. I liked the descriptive style of the story and loved Adrien. Maybe a touch more romance wouldn’t have gone astray but with another four books to go in the series, I am sure it will get there!

4 Stars

To find out more about Josh Lanyon and his books visit his website.

Buy Fatal Shadows from Amazon.

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☊☊☊ Moving in Rhythm by Dev Bentham ☊☊☊

Moving in Rythmn

Moving in Rhythm by Dev Bentham

This is a review of the audio version narrated by Charlie Belmont.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Mark Apolostolos should be able to have any man he wants. Handsome and smart, he’s also cripplingly shy, especially around attractive men. Tired of waking up alone, he’s desperate to conquer his insecurities and have a real, meaningful relationship.

He gets his first opportunity when he tags along to his sister-in-law’s dance class and lays eyes on the sexy instructor. Seth Miller has a way of moving that takes his breath away. It isn’t long before sparks fly and they share a steamy kiss, but Seth wants much more than just a casual encounter.

If Mark wants a real relationship with Seth he’ll have to come to terms with his sexuality—but will it be enough to break through the walls he’s built up around his heart?

So what did I think?

I found this book a little bit challenging to review, struggling to separate the story from the narration because I actually listened to the audio book (narrated by Charlie Belmont) rather than reading the story.

The reason I found it challenging was because I found the story a little slow moving and it was hard to determine if this was mainly driven by the story itself or from the speed of the narration. I have a feeling that if I had been reading this myself and at my own fairly rapid pace, it may not have felt quite so drawn out. I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt and say the slowness was mainly due to the narration speed (from past experience I usually find the pace of audio books a little bit slow for my liking).

The story follows Mark, incredibly shy with a diagnosed condition that has prevented him forming relationships, who moves in with his sister-in-law to support her through the last months of her pregnancy while his brother is deployed overseas. Mark meets Seth and they are attracted but his condition means Mark needs to overcome some hurdles if they are to be together.

I liked that Mark had finally found a man worth trying to break through his own barriers for. I liked that Seth took things slowly and was prepared to handle a unique relationship that didn’t consist of a lot of face-to-face time. It was quite interesting to see Seth relate to his rescue greyhound and encourage the dog to trust and venture into the world and see the same occur with Mark.

I wanted to love Mark but for some reason, although understanding the difficulties he faced in life, I found him slightly annoying. There was a repetitiveness to his thoughts and actions that irritated me slightly (plus all the references to ‘he blinked’, ‘Mark blinked at him’…)

The other characters were engaging – Seth, sister-in-law Lisa, friend Claire and brother Pete. Plus the dogs were cute!

So all in all, quite a nice and sweet story with some lovely lines…
“Besides you’re not a greyhound Mark. You’re a bulldog. Tough and wary, loyal as all get-out, not easy to get close to and you know, that intrigued me but once inside what do I find but this huge heart. I’d be the crazy one to walk away from you.” He grinned. “And by the way, you should hope it’s an extension of my dog thing. I make long term commitments to my greyhounds.” Sorry if the punctuation is wrong but I am listening to it being said, not reading it!

To find out more about Dev Bentham and books visit their Goodreads author profile.

Buy Moving in Rhythm from Amazon.

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☊☊ The Go-Between by A.B. Gayle ☊☊

This is a review of the Audible audio book narrated by Jim Bowie.

The Go Between The Go Between by A.B. Gayle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Jake and Sam share an apartment. Highly intelligent but socially awkward, Jake keeps to his room and concentrates on his studies. Sam is the strong and silent type, very much in awe of the younger man’s brain and attracted by his beauty. When Sam’s Aussie friend, Zack, arrives to stay for the Christmas holiday break, can he break the stalemate between them?

So what did I think?

Mixed thoughts on this one, partly because I ‘read’ by listening to the audio version (narrated by Jim Bowie).

As far as the story goes, it is short. Sam and Jake are flatmates who secretly desire each other but have never moved their relationship forward. Jake is a brainiac and a bit shy, keeping pretty much to himself. Sam is strong and doesn’t say much. Unfortunately he doesn’t say much in this story either and I would have loved to hear more from him!

Zack is Sam’s Aussie guest who brings them together by initiating a quick three-way. The romantic in me says ‘not ideal’ as the interaction with Zach is purely physical and I just wanted to see Sam and Jake together. However Zack’s actions worked a treat, he was happy being the third wheel and Sam and Jake were totally focused on each other so all good.

I listened to the audio version. It was about 30 minutes in total so I listened during one commute trip. I actually discovered that I prefer shorter audio books like this one. I think it’s because I only like listening to them in the car and then reading in between so the longer ones get broken up too much with other books in between (unless I whispersync). Anyway, my thoughts on the narration with this one were that I liked the pace but wasn’t overly fond of the narrator. I felt his voice sounded too ‘old’ or mature for the story and I wasn’t overly keen on the Australian accent. In some instances it sounds ok but in others not so good.

I would probably recommend reading over listening in this case.

3 Stars

Do make sure you check out the Opposites Attract series by this author – it’s fabulous!

To find out more about A.B. Gayle and her books, visit her website.