A MelanieM Review: Midlife Crisis by Rob Rosen

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

midlife-crisisJack is thirty-five and single once again. He is not, as he as quick to point out, going through a midlife crisis. Still, it would be nice to have a partner. And so he sets out on an adventure to find the one-time love of his life, Bing, a man he hasn’t set eyes on in more than fifteen years, a man who has seemingly vanished off the face of the planet. With the help of his family and friends—plus the family dog and, of all people, his high school bully—he goes searching for Bing, only to unearth an ages-old mystery that puts them all in grave danger. In this hysterically funny tale of romance and self-discovery, the question remains right on up to the surprise ending: can we return to our past in order to better our future?

I often forget Rob Rosen’s ability to crack me up until I pick up another book of his, then the memory snaps back into place, along with the laughter as I read his characters hilarious wry, snarky and often wildly funny thoughts and dialog that flows out of their mouths and stories.

Midlife Crisis is another Rob Rosen gem.   Jack, a college professor has just had his last long relationship (6 months) breakup.  And his emotions are a jumbled mess about it. On one hand, he wasn’t in love with the boyfriend, in lust with the sex, ok.  But not with the man.  So time to say goodbye.  But another failed relationship?  That’s that  one that hurts and Jack is trying to see where he’s gone wrong with all the past relationships in his life because none have worked.  And hey!  Jack’s hitting 35, the gay midlife crisis number (according to Jack).  No long a cute  twink, his best cruising dayz behind him, he’s reaching gay old age (in his head).  Listening to Jack’s thoughts rambling on, leaping from one snarky peak to the next without ever hitting a valley of connectivity, is hilarious.

I love how Rosen lay’s out Jack’s life and his thoughts about how its played out.  It helps off course to have  Jack’s best friend weigh in on the matter with his own funny judgements.  Soon Jack has made the fateful decision that the love of his life, Bing O’Malley, must be found.  That the former teen love might hold the answers to the problems of his current relationship woes seems both silly and familiar and all too real.  Yep, its off to his hometown, his folks (who I couldn’t get enough of ) and a gassy Bassett Hound named Chompers.

Let the hilarity ensue.  How it does.

Also some very hot sex.  Many wild goings on, a murder mystery, the Shriners, the mob, even the FBI, as Jack pursues the boy who he loved and who left him, the new hot guy helping him, and  a slew of crazy clues all swirling about Jack’s past.  Plus there’s tons of laughter thrown in.

The writing’s fast paced to keep up with the action ~ in and out of the bed.  I was finished before I knew it or I was ready for the story to be over.  I loved Jack, his parents, Chompers…everything about Midlife Crisis.  And yes, Jack found the answers he was looking for.  Ready for some love and laughter? A murder mystery and hot sex too?  Pick up Midlife Crisis by Rob Rosen, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Cover art works for the character and story.

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Book Details:

ebook, Smashwords edition, 182 pages
Published August 20th 2016 by Fierce Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Paul B Audiobook Review: Black Balled (Black Balled #1) by Andrea Smith and Narrator Eva LeNoir

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Rating Overall:  3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Rating for Story 3 out of 5
  • Rating for Narration:  4 out of 5

black-balled-audiobookLarson Blackburn is an author who is published by an independent publisher.  He has been trying to get his life back together after the death of his father, caring for his mother, and the disappearance of his sister Kennedy.  He believes that his newest novel will help move his life forward.  When influential online reviewer Babu savages not only his book but himself personally, he does the only thing he can think of doing.  Start an online war with the critic, a term he uses loosely.

Tony Babalonia, Babu to the hundreds of fans of his online reviews, is known as a savage critic, and that suits him just fine.  The Simon Cowell of the literary world, he does not hesitate to call a book garbage if he thinks it the term fits.  However, what he views as candor has sent many an author out of the business.  What he did not expect happened two years previously when one of those authors met him in a crowded elevator and stabbed him in the chest, causing his lung to deflate.  This caused Tony to become both a recluse and avoid elevators at all costs.  He cannot believe the audacity of one author, an L Blackburn, to challenge him and the critique he gave his book. 

The two continue their online war via Babu’s review site and personal emails, detailing their own sexual conquests with women.  Then Larson’s ex-wife comes to Babu and hands him information that suggests Larson plagiarized the novel from another book.  Things come to a head (literally) when the two meet at a literary convention.  The two, along with a woman that Larson was taking to his room, become trapped in an elevator at the hotel the convention was being held.  As they were attending a Halloween masquerade ball, neither man knew the identity of the other when sexual hijinks take place.  Will this lead to hurt feelings being eased or ramp them up to greater levels?

When I received the blurb for this audiobook, it said that it was a tale of two dominant alpha males.  I found the two MCs to be more like assholes the first two thirds of the book.  I could really gather neither sympathy nor empathy for either character.  Both characters try to one-up the other in either tales of what one will do to the other or what they have done to women, complete with video to prove it.  The ex-wife, who should be the main antagonist, comes of flat.  When the two men take the revenge on Noelle, it borders on cruel and sadistic.  I must say the sex scenes, especially between the two MCs were hot and well done. 

Narrating a novel from two MC’s points of view can be difficult but Joel Leslie does ad admirable job of doing so.  If I had to stop listening, when I returned, I could tell which of our MCs was currently speaking.  I am not sure if his narration made the MCs seem more distasteful that what was written but he seemed to bring out the true nature of the characters to me. 

Cover art is eye catching and draws you to pickup the story just as it should.

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Book Details

Audiobook, 9 hours 28 minutes, 55 chapters
Published:  June 8, 2016 by Andrea Smith

Audible Audio
Published June 8th 2016 (first published April 27th 2015)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBlack Balled #1

A Stella Review: Resonance (Village Love 0.5) by Lillian Francis

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

resonance-by-lillian-francisResonance: The quality in a sound. The power to evoke enduring emotions. Sometimes one can result in the other.

Rick Brandt would never have said he was claustrophobic; after all he’s been in plenty of enclosed spaces in his job as the village’s only handyman cum gardener. He even squeezed into a disused coal chute to rescue a trapped dog for an elderly resident. So why did opening his eyes in the MRI scanner induce a breath stealing freak-out that has him jabbing at the panic button.

Luckily, Mal, the radiographer running his scan has a pleasant voice and an excellent bedside manner that soothes Rick’s frayed nerves and rabbity heartbeat. Soon the resonance of his tone has gone beyond calming and Rick is lost in a fantasy of the man behind the voice. But things aren’t always what they seem and when Rick’s shocked surprise at the reality causes offence, the likelihood of him getting to experience Mal’s true bedside manner appears to be slipping away.

Resonance is the first story I read by Lillian Francis. It’s a short, just forty pages, but I soon liked the author style. I found myself captured and curious about Rick and the guy behind the voice who is helping Rick with a panic attack during a MRI scan on his shoulder.

The short was a beautifully surprise especially cause it is very detailed in the writing, an almost unique trait. Characters well delined, medical procedures well explained and an intrigued atmosphere. I truly felt myself in that room with Mal and Rick. It’s very rare to me to find good shorts around, Resonance was a winner.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh is different and I like it.

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BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 43 pages
Published October 25th 2015 by Finally Love Press
ASIN B0176I231W
Edition Language English

Village Love series

  • Resonance #0,5
  • Resistance #1