A BJ Audio Review: Never a Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton, Narrated by Iggy Toma

Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

NeverAHero_AudiobookEveryone deserves a hero.

Owen Meade is desperately in need of a hero. Raised by a mother who made him ashamed of his stutter, his sexual orientation, and his congenitally amputated arm, Owen lives like a hermit in his Tucker Springs apartment. But then hunky veterinarian Nick Reynolds moves in downstairs.

Nick is sexy and confident, and makes Owen comfortable with himself in a way nobody ever has. He also introduces Owen to his firecracker of a little sister, who was born with a similar congenital amputation but never let it stand in her way. When she signs the two of them up for piano lessons—and insists that they play together in a recital—Owen can’t find a way to say no. Especially since it gives him a good excuse to spend more time with Nick.

Owen knows he’s falling hard for his neighbor, but every time he gets close, Nick inexplicably pulls away. Battling his mother’s scorn and Nick’s secrets, Owen soon realizes that instead of waiting for a hero, it’s time to be one—for himself and for Nick.

Although this is book five of the series, it’s the first one that I read or listened to, and I can vouch that it works wonderfully as a standalone. It’s my third read by this author, and I enjoyed it as much as prior experiences. I really need to remember and read more from her in future.

Although there was some angst, this story wasn’t dark despite that both characters had issues to deal with. It was well-written and thoroughly enjoyable story with characters caught my interest right away and made me care.

With one exception at the very end, I adored and felt so intensely for Owen. While some may feel that Owen’s mother was too over the top negative to be real, trust me, she’s not. I have had similar people in my life, so I recognized the type immediately and wanted to hug Owen. At least he had his father, and although it would have been nice if he’d been more of a shield, I could mostly understand. Listening to the story of Owen slowly coming out of his shell and blossoming into the person he should have been was beautiful. His story spoke to me because it showed so clearly how it isn’t only abuse that can have lasting effects on our lives, but that the words said to us as a child can affect our confidences and how we perceive ourselves and our abilities for the rest of our lives. Another thing I know first hand and struggle with each day myself.

As for Nick, I loved because he’s a vet and fellow dog lover as well as how good he was for Owen. How he showed him acceptance and helped him to find out he was a worthwhile person with no reason to hide away. But being one who isn’t a fan of secrets, his keeping one did bother me, especially in how long he let it go on despite his obvious attraction to Owen. Yes, he should have shared sooner, but none of us are perfect, and so I forgave him.

The secondary characters were well done and have made me interested in reading more of this series to learn their stories. But when I realized that all of the books are narrated by Iggy Toma, who narrated this one, I’ve decided that it’s the audios format I want to experience. He definitely brought another level to the experience. His voice is extremely easy to listen to, and he did an exceptional job of creating the sense of the various characters as well as putting emotion into the words he read.

If there was one thing that kept it from being a full on five stars for me, it was the ending of the epilogue. It just seemed so out of character to me, and what I believe was supposed to be humor, fell flat for me.

Nice cover by L.C. Chase with subdued pleasant colors and enough of the story woven into it through the images while at the same time consistent to the style of the series.

Sales Links:  Riptide PublishingAudible | Amazon | iTunes

Book Details:  

Published April 29th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published May 13th 2013)
Original TitleNever a Hero
SeriesTucker Springs #5
CharactersOwen Meade, Nick Reynolds settingTucker Springs, Colorado (United States)

A Lila Review: Tiny House (Buchanan House #3) by Charley Descoteaux

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Tiny HouseWe were first introduced to Nathan and Paulie in book one, Buchanan House, together with the rest of their misfit band. Their story starts just after the ending of book #2, Pride Weekend. We get to see how Nathan’s life changes in minutes and how important his connection with Paulie it’s to both of them.

For eighteen years, they had danced around each other but have been the only ones that didn’t see how deep their connection was. They struggled with their daily life and after moving apart, they think that what they feel for each other wouldn’t have the opportunity to blossom.

During most of the story, Paulie and Nathan are just friends, struggling to overcome their circumstances without letting others help. Nathan’s abandonment issues are taking over the new life he wanted to build. Paulie’s self-image troubles made him settle for less than he deserved. It’s up to them to take a leap of faith and trust that the other would be there to catch them.

Tiny House is a lovely story. I liked Nathan in the previous books and was happy to see that his story lived up to my expectations. Even when in pain, he maintained a serenity that brought people in and made them feel special. Paulie too had that quality, but mostly, he was the only person, other than Eric, that made Nathan feel love.

Even when the main characters have had sex multiple times over the years, this story is a slow burn. Maybe too slow in some parts. I wanted them to have a little more in-page time together, but in the end, the distance made their HEA sweeter.

More characters were introduced to their eclectic bunch, and we get to see more of the family Nathan left behind. This story is more than just a romance. It’s a promise that life gets better and that a family goes beyond the one you were born into. The Buchanan House is the place where everyone can feel safe and love, and Nathan is one of its pillars.

Overall, another great story in this series. And since I’m an architectural geek, I loved seeing the Tiny House take form and the way Nathan and Paulie make it theirs. It was a cocoon for their love affair.

The cover by L.C. Chase matches the previous two books in the series, but it felt rushed and a bit generic. Perhaps an issue with the lettering.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: April 29, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634768779 (ISBN13: 9781634768771)
Edition Language: English

Series: Buchanan House
Book #1: Buchanan House
Book #2: Pride Weekend
Book #3: Tiny House

A Stella Review: Neon White Episode 5 by Wulf Francu Godgluck

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars   ★★★★★

Neon White 5To gain something substantial, you need to sacrifice something of equal worth.”

As Bla’Gar rushes to save his beloved pet, the possibility of a grim future might be waiting for him. Will he be forced to repeat the mistakes of the past…again, or will he be allowed to make another choice… Exchange one eternity for another Hell?

Jessy can’t foresee a world without Raven. In a time when enforcers like him are the very fibers that hold together the future of this new world, she will do everything in her power to help save him. But there will be a cost… There is always a cost.

As Seth struggles within his own personal Hades, the mate he always wanted, but felt he never truly deserves, comes to save him. But the darkness is vacuous and beautiful at the same time, and it might just be the end of all of them… If the Beast doesn’t get what he came for.

Raven is lost to all now, fading out of existence, yet Death may be his only salvation.

Some actions speak louder than words, and some will be immortalized forever. Some wars are never won, they are simply…forgotten.

What if you had one chance? One opportunity to change the past? What would you be willing to sacrifice for it?

I can think of one word for this season finale: unexpected. Of course I should have known better and don’t be surprised, cause the author is one of the few able to make me love stories so dark and full of twist. Stories I would have never enjoyed if he didn’t write characters who are impossible to not like.

As I already said in the reviews of  the A Tooth Claw and Horns Chronicle series, the series is not for everyone, it’s violent and often too hard to take. Plus it needs to be read in order, so if you haven’t done yet, pick the first one, it’s still free.

Back to Neon White Episode 5, I have to admit I divoured this book in a couple of hours and I had to start it again the day after, cause I was so overwhelmed by everything happened, I was a little confused and wanted to give it a second try. And it was better then the first time.

I really don’t feel to talk about the plot cause I don’t want to spoil a series so rich in characters, events and unbelievable endings. And in my opinion the book ended in the perfect way ever because it gave the series a very deserved closure, exactly where everything started, back at the origins with my loved Raven and Chetlér. I was on the edge through all the book and the ending was balm for my soul. At the same time it saddened me, knowing I won’t meet them again but the author left open so many routes to follow in a coming (soon I hope) new season. I can’t wait for more.

I want to highly recommend the whole series, if you’re looking for something different, quick and startling you want to read Neon White Episodes by Wulf Francu Godgluck. To me it was a huge success. Really well done, Wulf!

The cover art by Wulf Francu Godgluck follows the style of the whole series and it’s well done and different from the usual.

Sales Links:   ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 75 pages
Published April 22nd 2016
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Tooth Claw and Horns Chronicle #5