A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: You Are the Reason (The Tav #2) by Renae Kaye and Dave Gillies (Narrator)

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Rating 4.5 stars out of 5

Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, even though there were many moments in this 8 hour audiobook that caused me to rethink why I was listening to this. Those moments all centered around Davo and his attitudes toward effeminate gay men and his opinions on how men should act—gay or straight, real men don’t wear pink. There were times when his attitude was downright hurtful and unreal. And yet, I kept listening. Why? Because the author wove so much humor into the story, it was easy to believe that his character was somewhat of a spoof of men with that attitude.

The author also gave us the perfect MC to balance Davo’s macho act, and two great characters—Patrick and Jake from The Blinding Light—to make this a heartwarming and lighthearted story with many WTF and equally oh-so-sweet moments along the way.

What saved Davo from being a total jerk was the reveal of how he was raised. The poor guy was literally persecuted from grade school up for having any opinions that weren’t macho. In fact, the worst memory of his young life was of having to throw away his My Little Pony collection. Now, staunch in his opinion of what a real man should and should not do, he’s shocked to see the change in his best mate, Jake, who married a blind man (The Blinding Light) and now has a baby girl. Jake’s whole world now revolves around the baby, and Davo can’t figure out why his macho friend has changed so much.

At the tav, when he meets Lee, a cutie with cherry red hair, he’s freaked by how much she lights his fire. She is attractive and fun and has a good sense of humor, but it’s not until days later, when he finally finds out she’s a he who likes to dress in women’s clothing occasionally, that he feels reassured in his masculinity again.

The author takes us through Davo’s painful journey of self-discovery as he comes to learn more about his perceptions of others, his preconceived notions, and finally, his awakening to his own softer side. Accompanying him on this journey is Lee, the cross-dressing man who, at first, shook up Davo’s world and now is everything he ever wanted. It’s obvious from Davo being my focus in this review that the story is really all about him—more so than many other romances that equally balance perspectives of both characters. Maybe it’s that his attitudes and feelings are larger than life, but it resonates well in the telling of this story.

Along the way, as we share that journey to change with him, we laugh and we cry and sometimes want to kick him in the rear, or slap his face, but by the end, all I wanted to do was wrap him and Lee up in my arms and wish them the best.

Dave Gillies did a terrific job in narrating this audiobook and bringing the characters to life. And I must add kudos for his voice for Lee, which was totally different from the other males—higher-pitched, yet soft and feminine.

This was a really great, heartwarming MM romance. Not to be missed in either e-book or audiobook format.

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Cover art by Bree Archer features a back view of a male with naked torso against a light blue scenic background.  The cover is attractive but not one I would have chosen for this story. 

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published August 7th 2015)
ASINB06XC8CP86
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Tav #2
CharactersDave Pederson, Lee Brennan

An Alisa Review Cole and His Dog by Edward Kendrick

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Kicked out of his home at eighteen, Cole ends up at The Haven, a drop-in spot for homeless teens, run by Adam Franks. Unable to spend the nights there, he ends up sleeping rough, is attacked by a pair of punks — and rescued by a Bullmastiff he names Bull.

 

Cole and Bull become inseparable. Cole also meets, and is attracted to, Ky, a friend of Adam’s, who twice saves Cole from more attackers. After the second attack, things suddenly change in Cole’s life when he finds out why someone seems to be after him.

 

Will Ky be able to convince Cole he’s told him the truth, while dealing with his own attraction to Cole? And can Ky and his friends keep Cole safe from a man who claims to be Cole’s real father?

 

This was an interesting story and from the description I definitely didn’t expect it to have shifters, but that isn’t a bad thing since I love those types of stories.  Cole is trying to get his feet under him after his parents kick him out, though his situation isn’t quite as bad as many you read about.  He is quite lucky to find people that want to help him and he begins to get his life together.

 

We see most of this story through Cole’s eyes and he is genuinely grateful for the helps he receives though I’m not sure he realizes that he seems to get a lot more immediate help than those around him.  Ky is forced to tell Cole the truth about himself and help him stay safe but as the story continues Ky’s interest becomes more personal.  These two work together to solve the mystery of Cole’s parentage before they jump into a relationship together.  I had trouble connecting the shifter lifestyles in this book as it just seemed as some were extremely into their animal sides that just didn’t seem possible in the real world.  With that and Cole’s luck at getting the help he needed from the right people from the beginning it just made it seem so much more unrealistic however it was still entertaining.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and gives a good visual of the Cole and Ky.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages

Published: April 15, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634863667

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Hot Wednesday #1 – English Edition (Hot Wednesday – English Edition) by Taylor Kinney and Kevan Houser (Translator)

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

Julian’s been an escort for nearly ten years, willingly for the last five. But from the moment Gabriel walked into his life, everything changed.

 

The man lives in anticipation of those weekly encounters when he can make Gabriel his slave. All he wants is to have Gabriel all to himself, but that’s something he’ll never have the courage to expect, so he has to make do with the crumbs Gabriel tosses him.

 

Erotic M/M story with BDSM content. Not suitable for those who don’t enjoy this genre.

 

This was an interesting story.  Julian is a former escort that longs for his one day a week with Gabriel, who he has continued to hide his true feeling from.  Gabriel likes how their sessions are uncomplicated and allow him to unwind.

 

Julian has kept Gabriel completely in the dark, about his feelings and his job.  While they are still continuing their weekly sessions, one of which we got to see in this story.  And was it seriously hot.  I am very interested to see how these sessions and their will continue.

 

The cover art is simple but perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 7,000 words

Published: April 11, 2017

Edition Language: English

Series: Hot Wednesday

Release Blitz: Urgent Care (Hearts & Health #3) by DJ Jamison (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2p85yZO

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2pAdy9v



Length: 61,500 words


Hearts And Health Series


Heart Trouble (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Bedside Manner (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb

Nursing student Xavier James is shocked to run into the first man to ever break his heart while at a gay club. His ex is sexier than ever, but Xavier is not going down that road again … only, when they end up working together at an urgent-care clinic, his willpower will be tested.

Trent Cavendish made a huge mistake at age 18 when he walked away from his first love. Twelve years later, Trent is rattled when his friend suddenly dies. He takes a hard look at his life, realizing how empty it has become. Determined to re-evaluate his priorities and make amends, he returns to his hometown to win Xavier’s forgiveness and maybe even his heart.

Times have changed. Instead of the sweet but tame boyfriend he left behind, he finds a smoking hot man dressed in bits of lace and silk. Trent’s good intentions turn to lust, and love isn’t far behind. But Xavier is wary. The villain of his memories is proving to be a decent guy, but has he really changed or is Xavier just a new goal to chase?


Excerpt


Xavier wore a pair of tight white shorts that practically glowed against his skin tone and an electric blue sleeveless top that showcased his muscles. He added just a touch of make-up, nothing too over-the-top, and his hair was unrestrained for once, spilling to his shoulders and brushing bared skin.

The expressions coming his way, a mix of confused and aroused, made Xavier grin.

His soft feminine touches emphasized his natural masculinity, and people weren’t always sure what to make of him.

He stopped at the bar to order a drink. In the mirror overhead, he watched a man approach. He was tall, lean and casually sexy in jeans and a T-shirt that hugged his thighs and chest in all the right ways. He had dark hair, which had always been Xavier’s type. He kind of looked like Xavier’s roommate at first glance, which was a bit weird, but Zane was a sexy fucker. No denying that.

This is promising. I might even get 8 hours’ sleep tonight unless he’s a total beast in the sack.

Xavier looked down as the man neared, not wanting to seem too eager. He felt the warmth of another body behind him and the press of a hand against his back. Slowly, the stranger’s hand slid up his spine to the nape of his neck, sending tingles through him.

This was one presumptuous fucker, but it was hot.

A breath whispered against his ear. “You are a goddamned treasure, you know that?”

Xavier couldn’t help it. He snorted a laugh. “You lay it on thick.”

The man gripped his hair, tugging Xavier’s head back. “I just go after what I want, and I don’t apologize for it.”

The words should have been sexy. But Xavier’s head tilted back, his gaze slid over, and he saw the face of the guy manhandling him.

“You sure don’t,” he said flatly.

Trent Cavendish’s expression froze. He looked stunned, an expression Xavier hadn’t seen in more than a decade. He hadn’t seen any expression on the man’s face since he left so many years ago.

His surprise faded quickly, replaced with lust as his eyes scanned Xavier’s body.

“Fuck, baby,” Trent whispered, his voice rough.

Fuck was right. Just his luck he’d reel in his ex-boyfriend from high school. The one who’d torn out his heart and stomped on it — and insulted his family and his principles while he was at it.

This excerpt was edited for length and does not match the content of the book exactly.

Author Bio


DJ Jamison worked in newsrooms for more than 10 years, which helped tremendously when she began her series centered on The Ashe Sentinel, a fictional small-town newspaper in Kansas. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two sons and three glow-in-the-dark fish.

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