Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Published March 14th 2017 (first published August 2nd 2011)
CharactersRyan “Angel” Morgan, Dante James, Jordan Steele
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Eric doesn’t know where else to turn when his daughter is kidnapped, so he calls on his powerful ex-lover, Brock. Brock never expected to hear from Eric again, but he never got over the man, either. When Eric comes to him to help find the three-year-old Josie, there’s no way Brock can turn him down. He has the money and the contacts Eric needs, and he can’t let Eric walk out of his life again. Not after all these years.
Brock has no idea what he’s letting himself in for. Together, Eric and Josie turn Brock’s world upside down while they work with police and private security to find the people who took Josie, and to keep Eric and Josie safe while they do. Even as they get to know each other again, Brock has to fight the feelings he still has for Eric, at least for time being, which just makes it all that much harder. Can Eric and Brock find out who wants to hurt them before it’s too late, or will Brock fall off his pedestal as Eric’s hero?
I had read Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael when it first came out and thoroughly enjoyed the story then so I was curious to revisit it in audiobook format.
It had been some time so the audiobook made the story fresh again. I love tales with ex lovers getting that second chance at love and Unlikely Hero certainly has that with Eric turning to Brock for help after nine years because his daughter has been kidnapped. We get an extremely emotional setup that eventually leads to their breakup details later as they work on getting Josie back.
Brock is all big, strong, hugely rich, and gorgeous man…he all but has the word hero written on his chest. Eric is the more vulnerable high school teacher who broke it off years ago because he wanted a “normal life”, read that one outside that of a multi-millionaire, with a house in the burbs with kids. He now has that child who has been kidnapped for no reason anyone can understand.
The rest of the novel seeks to unravel the mystery behind Josie’s kidnapped and watching Brock, and Eric reconnect, and try to figure out how to move forward as a couple, and then as a family with Josie. Josie, a three year old, is a major character here. I found her far more successful in the novel than here in the audiobook. That’s due primarily to the narrator.
Narrating the voices of children accurately is incredibly tough. You either nail it or you don’t. And imo, Jeff Gelder just can’t get a child’s voice right. Josie comes off sounding more like a elderly woman than a three-year old, which is very disconcerting. Not only does she sound “older” than she is., but it comes dangerously close to being portrayed like a comedy routine because of the disconnect between the voice and the character. That’s too bad because Gelder’s other voices are just fine for the men he’s playing.
Other factors that seem highlightered here that perhaps I didn’t notice in the other format? The length of time it took for the police to put all the clues and details together to catch the perpetrator seemed odd and too long. I can’t remember. Maybe the book was written back in 2009, so forensics was less advanced than now and that’s hard to remember when the audiobook comes out in 2018. But when you start to focus on things that annoy you like a badly done child’s voice, then other elements start to pop up as well. Funny how that happens.
Still, Unlikely Hero is a sweet contemporary romance with a child firmly at the center. Love that element? Then you are sure to love this story. You might want to read it, however, instead of listening to it. Jeff Gelder’s “Daddy B, Daddy B” after a while was downright irritating instead of endearing as it was in the story. What a sham
Cover art: LC Chase is just adorable and perfect for the story.
Audible Audio, Second Edition
Published March 2nd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published September 2009)
Original TitleUnlikely Hero
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
How do I put what this book meant to me into words? I can’t find terms to describe this outstanding work. Phenomenal, Heartbreaking, Touching, Realistic, Emotional, Hopeful? All of these, yet none can do the job on its own.
The book is in two segments: before and after. Before Trevor’s son, Riley, is killed in action in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and After as Trevor starts the painful process of trying to survive without his reason to live. I’m still reeling as I write this. That section was so emotional for me that tears are still leaking, and those who know me know that I don’t let those suckers loose easily.
My son was in a similar situation, IRL, the year before Riley shipped out. My parent trigger was pulled over and over again throughout this realistically told story. The rare calls that only came during the night, which was their daytime. Going off grid on patrol somewhere top secret. The IEDs and constant danger from snipers and suicide bombers. All that and more. It was a very painfully emotional year for me and as I read Riley’s story and Trevor’s reactions, I was right there with them as my heart beat too fast, or I felt lightheaded, frightened, and finally, sobbing. Honestly, I don’t know how a parent can survive the loss of a child, but if there are words to describe the hell that is having your child in a situation like Riley was in, Ms. Hansen surely found them. Kudos for such an outstanding and sensitive portrayal of that time period.
And the after? Trevor was so broken it didn’t seem likely he could put one foot in front of the other. The stages of grief are clearly portrayed. The breakup with Carl, the slowly developing friendship with Jesse, Riley’s BFF and battle buddy, and their long and very slow burn that develops into so much more—all inevitable as readers could tell by the time it happened. The beauty is in the journey we take with Trevor and Jesse along the way as they revisit their memories of Riley: the child, the friend, the soldier. And, as with the main characters, the secondary characters are well-developed and have their own issues and impact from their time in Afghanistan, most notably PTSD. The author doesn’t gloss over any of it. Each issue is addressed, some more in-depth than others, all of it making for an emotional read.
Riley isn’t a fleeting character either. Though he dies in this story, his memory is kept alive throughout the book, in part during Trevor’s stages of grief, but in part through his annual visits to Arlington National Cemetery, where Riley is buried alongside other soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a romance in here. Honest there is, but the couple’s story is wrapped up in so much other emotion that needs to be addressed, the romance is almost secondary. Jesse and Trevor together were beautiful, though they didn’t come together as a couple until the latter part of the book. And when they did, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. There is so much emotional depth to this story that I’m back to saying what I did at the beginning of this review: there are no words that can do it justice.
Topping my Best of 2018 list, this book deserves to be read. Grab the tissue box, find a quiet place where your sobbing will not bother others, and just read. Read until your heart breaks and heals itself, because it will heal, and by the end of the story, joy is in store for all those who finish. Joy and a sense of peace and accomplishment and the knowledge that you’ve just read something very special. Needless to say, I very highly recommend this story to all lovers of MM romance, angst, age gap, hurt-comfort, and deep feels on all stages of life’s spectrum.
The somewhat bland-colored cover features a rear view of two men gazing into one another’s eyes. Neither appears to be younger than the other so it doesn’t quite represent the characters and isn’t appealing.
ebook, 451 pages
Expected publication: March 26th 2018 by Carina Press
For the last twelve years, Ryan “Angel” Morgan and Dante James have been partners in every sense of the word. They’re lovers, they run a successful photography business together, and couldn’t be happier. The only problem? They’re both dominants who crave submission. Solution? Bring in submissives for sizzling hot threeway action.
When Jordan Steele hires the photographers from his sister’s wedding to shoot some promo pictures of his stallions, the sparks fly. There’s something about them, something that’s anything but vanilla, and he wants a taste of it. He’s inexperienced, but curious, and Angel and Dante are more than happy to show him the ropes.
Jordan is exactly what they need and they’re exactly what he needs, but when emotions come into play, he may be more than they bargained for. After all, the one thing Angel and Dante can’t give each other is submission. If one of them can get love and submission from Jordan, will the other be pushed out of the picture?
I slid my hand onto Angel’s knee under the table. As he often did, he’d been tapping his foot against the chair leg, but he stilled beneath my hand.
“You get a look at the brother of the bride?” I asked.
He whistled, sliding his hand over mine. “Oh God, yes. I got several looks at him.”
“You and me both.” I shook my head. “That man is liquid distraction.”
“No shit.” He ran his thumb back and forth along my wrist. “Imagine how I felt, trying to focus on the bride when I had that standing there being all gorgeous and entirely too dressed.”
“Too dressed?” I glanced in Jordan’s direction, then turned back to Angel. “He’s in a tux.”
“I know.” He shrugged. “He should be naked in our bed.”
I chuckled. “Pity he’s already got someone.”
“Seriously?” Angel released a sharp huff of breath. “The good ones always do, don’t they? It’s a crime, I’m telling you.” He clicked his tongue. “And his other half probably doesn’t share, either.”
“I don’t know; I didn’t ask. He was pissed enough that I interrupted their little lover’s quarrel.”
He blinked. “You did?”
“Well, I didn’t have much choice.” I turned my hand over under his. “I needed Jordan’s help with something.”
“Yeah,” he said, lacing our fingers together, “I’ll just bet you did.”
“Okay, so I didn’t.” I shrugged. “But things were getting a little heated between them, so…”
“Eh, I’d have done the same.”
That much was true. We had our subtle ways of separating people when tensions got too close to a breaking point. Situations like that, particularly with the way alcohol and grudges made frequent appearances at weddings, could too easily erupt into a screaming match or a fistfight. So, we’d long ago devised ways to casually intervene. Moderately intrusive? Yeah, probably. But if it kept a wedding from turning into a brawl—and that had been known to happen—then it was worth a little social faux pas.
The bride and groom were making the rounds, saying hello to guests while Troy’s and Phoebe’s cameras flashed. Normally I wouldn’t leave assistants to cover anything without at least one of us shooting as well, but these two kids were damned good. They were going to be some serious competition for us when they were out on their own. Assuming Troy ever got a decent pair of shoes, anyway.
So, we didn’t worry about them while they trailed the newlyweds and we took a break. Ah, it was good to be the boss.
As dinner wound down, the cake cutting and such were coming up. Almost time to get back to work. While I did a quick battery check and changed out my memory card, fabric rustled behind me.
“Enjoying yourselves?” Jennifer asked.
“Absolutely.” I started to turn around. “This food is—” The words stopped in my throat. That wasn’t the groom standing next to her.
She gestured at him, as if I hadn’t noticed his presence. “This is my brother, Jordan.”
I smiled. “Oh yes, we’ve met.”
“We haven’t.” Angel stood and extended his hand. “Ryan Morgan.”
Jordan shook his hand. “I—it’s…” He paused, moistening his lips as a hint of pink appeared on his cheeks. “It’s nice to meet you.”
To her brother, Jennifer said, “I need to go pretend to like my in-laws, so I’ll leave you alone with them.”
He chuckled. “Okay, thanks.” She picked up her skirt and headed back toward some of the other tables. After she’d gone, Jordan said, “I, uh, my sister said you guys do pretty much any kind of photography?”
I’m dreaming. I’m totally dreaming. Oh God, please tell me he wants—
I cleared my throat. “What did you have in mind?”
“I breed and train horses,” he said. “And I’m campaigning a couple of stallions this year. I need a few more up-to-date photos for my website and some ads.” He raised his eyebrows. “Is that something you guys would be interested in doing?”
“Well, we’re always happy to help someone flaunt a stud,” Angel deadpanned.
Jordan blushed even more, dropping his gaze as he muffled a cough of laughter. “Right. Well. I haven’t had great luck with my last couple of photographers, so I’m very much in the market for someone new.” He paused, the color in his cheeks deepening slightly. “A new photographer, I mean.”
“Can you handle two?” Angel asked.
If the poor man’s cheeks got any redder…
“I’m sure we can help.” I shot Angel a glare, and he widened his eyes as if to say “What?” I rolled mine and looked at Jordan again. “We haven’t done any equestrian work in a few years, but show us some examples of what you have in mind and we should be able to give you what you want.”
A shy smile played at his lips. “Good. Then—”
His teeth snapped together as his significant other materialized and put a hand on his shoulder. Jordan’s hackles went up, his eyes narrowed, and judging by the way his cheek rippled, he must have been tightly clenching his jaw. The two men exchanged the coldest glare I’d seen at a wedding since the last time we put divorced parents into one picture, and the hand on his shoulder lifted away.
Then Jordan shook himself back to life and made a sharp gesture his companion. “Sorry, I’m being rude. This is Eli. My—”
“Just Eli is fine.” He didn’t offer a handshake or any other greeting, and neither of us made any attempt to do so either. Awkward silence descended, and I had a feeling Jordan was once again seconds away from lashing out at his…just Eli.
“Anyway, you were saying?” I asked Jordan. “About your photos?”
“Right.” Jordan cleared his throat. “Anyway, I’d like to sit down and discuss what I’m pricing, scheduling, all of that.”
“When would be a good time?” I asked. “If you’d like, you can come by the studio, and we’ll sort out the specifics.”
He nodded. “I can do that. During the week would be best. My weekends are usually shot.”
Angel pointed at his camera. “So are ours.”
Jordan laughed. “Yeah, I guess they would be.”
“Would Monday be good for you?” I turned to Angel. “We’re there all day this Monday, aren’t we?”
He nodded. “All in-studio shoots that day. Last one’s at four thirty, and we’re usually there until six or seven.”
“Why don’t I swing in around five, then?” Jordan asked.
“Five works,” I said.
Angel pulled out his wallet and took out a card. “That’s the address. Just give us a call if anything changes.” Jordan took the card, but jumped like Angel had shocked him. Knowing Angel, he’d made sure their fingers brushed, and Jordan’s blood pressure was probably all over the place now.
Jordan recovered quickly though, sliding the card in his back pocket as he said, “Will do.”
Eli shifted beside him. “Good, now why don’t we go grab a couple of drinks?”
“Okay, okay.” Jordan exhaled and added a muttered, “Like you need another fucking drink.”
“Hmm?” Eli asked.
“Nothing.” Jordan looked at us. “I’ll see you guys on Monday. Thanks.”
“Not a problem,” I said. “See you then.”
We watched the happy couple wander toward the bar with a good arm’s length of frosty distance between them.
“You know,” Angel said, “I take back what I said earlier about it being a crime that a man like that is taken.”
“Yeah.” He turned back toward the table and picked up his glass. “It’s a crime a man like that is taken by a douche bag like that.”
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…
Kim Fielding is about to release book three in her “Bureau” series, and we have the over reveal for you here! The book comes out on May 7th, and can be read as a stand alone. You can preorder it now!
Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who—or what—he is.
Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.
When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream—to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs—all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him. Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man—and what a monster truly wants.
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
Author Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com
Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/KFieldingWrites/
Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/KFieldingWrites
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4105707.Kim_Fielding
Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/kim-fielding/
Zac Cinder is on the verge of making his dream come true. His punk rock band, Inferno, might have a shot at an audition for a record deal. Fame and fortune would mean he could finally help his parents. They’d raised eight kids in a loving household while barely scraping by, so Zac is determined to give back in any way he can.
Keeping Inferno together, though, means keeping his biggest secret. His bigoted bandmates would drop him in an instant if they found out Zac was gay.
Then he meets Adrian Frost, and Zac can’t resist the shy man. Adrian gives up everything to be with Zac, but Zac can’t bring himself to do the same. He doesn’t want to lose Adrian, but he can’t give up Inferno, either. Not when he’s so close to realizing his dream.
When one cruel decision rips Adrian from his life, Zac will have to decide if ambition is worth the price of the greatest happiness he’s ever known.
(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)
WARNING: Contains scenes of self-harm that may be disturbing for some readers.
While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.
Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.
|Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions|
For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.
Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.
But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.
It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…
On the Ice is an m/m contemporary romance featuring a flirty college hockey player who meets his match in a demisexual NHL player.
Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin
|Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions|