A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review:Summer Lessons (Winter Ball #2) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator

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Rating 5 stars out of 5

I finished this several days ago, and I still remember every moment of the story. I loved the story itself, especially the author’s description of this young boy growing up in a loving, supportive family, where Mom has to lace the Kool-Aid to survive Mason’s fascination with his penis once he discovers all the wonderful things it can do. Honestly, only a mother with a rich sense of humor—and perhaps maybe a similar life experience—can so humorously describe that life with a young boy. Kudos, Ms. Lane! And to make this story even better—a feat that hardly seemed possible since it was already so great—add in the narration by Nick J. Russo and Mason’s story comes to life with fantastic vocalizations.

Sadly, as Mason grows older, he fails to lose his awkward tendency to shoot from the mouth before his brain engages. That’s cost him many potential boyfriends and now in his thirties, he’s far from finding a life partner. All he wants is kindness and love and someone who enjoys sex as much as he does. After all—penis! What’s not to like? He’s an exec now at the firm where Skip, the MC from Winter Ball, is working. To get him out of his shell and out to the playing field where he might meet a nice guy, Skip and Mason’s brother Dane drag him out to learn how to play soccer with their team.

There he meets a cute guy named Terry. Terry is much younger and still lives with his mother—a woman who gives nasty mothers a run for the money as top contender. She’s thrown all her responsibilities his way all his life. After all, she’s on welfare due to being burdened with a baby when she was just a kid. How could she get out of that slump? She’s put the burden of the household on his shoulders all his life so he finds it pretty hard to get out. But aside from that and the guilt he carries about carving out time to have his own time for fun, he manages to play on this soccer team and he finds Mason pretty hot. Awkward and clumsy, but hot, and though Terry doesn’t like to admit he’s gay, he is, and Mason realizes he may have found the man of his heart. Now, if only he can find the patience to let Terry come to that same conclusion and to let Terry make the moves he needs to get away from his mother.

In the meantime, Mason is dealing with Dane’s lifelong battle with manic depression—the reason Mason chose to live with Dane while Dane finishes college in a town far from their family. Mason assures that Dane stays on track with his meds, but when he goes off and his behaviors change, it comes at the worst time as Terry is finally making a move away from his mother but not cementing his relationship with Mason. The man finds the patience of a saint to continue to work with his brother and to allow Terry to spread his wings and fly. He can only hope and pray that he’ll find his way back to Mason.

Mason is one of my favorite characters, ever. I love the voice given to him by the narrator and the emotions imparted by the author. If anyone ever deserved love, it’s this smart, humble man with a sense of humor, a tendency to awkward conversations, and a heart as big as the great outdoors. Terry is the perfect companion to him and I love the way he developed as a character throughout the story. The deep voice given by Nick Russo was so individual and so right for the character as well. I’m very impressed with this audiobook version and I would highly recommend it. Though it’s book two, and the characters from book one play a minor role in this, it can definitely be read as a standalone.

The cover by Anne Cain is a simple design, yet manages to capture the three activities that dominate the outdoor summer fun experienced in the book: soccer, golf, and swimming. Simple, colorful and appropriate.

4.5 stars for the story plus an extra boost due to the outstanding narration = 5 stars for this one!

Sales Links

Dreamspinner Press |

Audiobook Details:

8 hrs 25 mins

Audible Audio

Published March 31st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 25th 2016)
Original TitleSummer Lessons
ASINB06XXMQ6N7
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWinter Ball #2

Release Audiobook Blitz for Isobel Starling ‘s As You Wish, Narrated by Gary Furlong

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Ebook Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Narrator: Gary Furlong
 
Length: 4hrs 9mins
 
Blurb
 

Declan Ramsay’s brother Oliver was marrying Annabelle Aiken at a fairytale castle on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland. The bride and groom decided that Annabelle’s gay younger brother would share the best man duties with Declan. Declan had never met the kid who was to be his joint best man. Sam Aiken was abroad, working as an interpreter and finishing his studies. He wouldn’t meet Declan until a few days before the wedding, so the best men communicated and planned their speech by email for more than a year.


But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to realize the kid isn’t a kid at all, but a tall, blond, and athletic young man. Declan is sure he’s straight, so he’s alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.


But, is Samuel Aiken all that he appears to be?

Author Bio
 

Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland. She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.


The ‘Shatterproof Bond’ series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller. Isobel has just completed her eleventh book and signed French and German and Italian, translation and publishing rights deals for the whole Shatterproof Bond series. The ‘As You Wish’ translation “Comme Vous Voudrez” is a best seller on Amazon France. It was released in German in March 2017, and as an audiobook in May 2017.


Isobel’s greatest love is writing M/M relationships, and she hopes one day to actually finish the fantasy novel that she put ‘to rest’ three years ago.

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An Alisa Audiobook Review: In Your Eyes​ (Mates #3) by Cardeno C and Charlie David (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.

 

Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he’s supposed to lead.

 

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

 

When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.

 

This is another great story by Cardeno C.  Samuel has worked his entire life to become the alpha of his pack but he has never been able to connect with his pack mates and is continuing to have problems with shifting back from his wolf.  He has been drawn to Korban since first meeting him but since he has no frame of reference he is sure that it’s to hurt him or show him up.

 

This story is told from Samuel’s point of view so we know what he is thinking but I still had a hard time connecting with him, however I think that was more because of his standoffishness that needed to be counteracted by Korban’s happiness.  Samuel tries so hard to be what he is supposed to be but can never seem to get farther.  Korban is so understanding and sweet; he has been waiting years for Samuel to realize that they are fated mates.  When Korban is brought in place of his father Samuel loses control for the first time in his life and claims him and seeing Samuel struggle to come to terms with his actions and feelings is heartbreaking; when he makes Korban’s safety as a priority he finally gives them a chance to talk and figure everything out.

 

Charlie David did a great job narrating this story.  I could connect with the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  I loved that he kept Korban’s voice quieter to show how calming and understanding he was.

 

Cover art is wonderful and gives a great visual of these two characters together.

 

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5 hrs 59 min
Published: October 26, 2016 (ebook, 2nd edition, published July, 15 2015)
Edition Language: English

Series: Mates Collection

May Flowers and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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May Flowers

After my blog last week, May flowers are taking up all my time this Sunday.  Yesterday was garden time prep and today is planting.  So its short and sweet today.  Thanks to all the comments, its been certainly dreary enough for lots of reading, crocheting and other indoor pastimes!  Hopefully now I can catchup outdoors too!

Melanie’s Soppy Garden Contest

The winner of my giveaway is Ami!  Congratulations, Ami, Stella will be in touch about your gift card!

Now onto this week’s schedule!  More next week I promise!  Is that June I see peering around the corner?  Oh my!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 21:

  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz Lace by KC Wells

Monday, May 22:

  • Blog Tour The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on Golden
  • Release Day Blitz Drama Queens and Adult Themes by Kevin Klehr
  • Surrender the Dark Blog Tour (M/M Contemporary Romance)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Surrender the Dark  (M/M Contemporary Romance)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: In Your Eyes​ by Cardeno C and Charlie David (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Farlough by Xavier Mayne
  • A MelanieM Review: How We Operate By A.R. Moler
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Lochlann by Andrea Speed

Tuesday, May 23:

  • Blog Tour Frozen Heart by Heidi Cullinan
  • DSP GUEST POST Laura Bailo on The Sun Still Rises
  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone
  • Release Blitz for Isobel Starling ‘s As You Wish
  • A MelanieM  Review: Frozen Heart (Love Lessons #1.5) by Heidi Cullinan
  • A VVivacious Review: Reckless Seduction & Reckless Behavior by Amanda Young
  • An Alisa Review: Truth or Lie by Lynn Lorenz
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review:Summer Lessons (Winter Ball #2) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator

Wednesday, May 24:

  • Release Blitz Tour Request – RJ Scott – Back Home
  • Release Blitz Equality (Dublin Virtues #2) by Helena Stone
  • Review Tour – Laurent and the Beast – KA Merikan
  • A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Gone by the Board by August Li
  • An Ali Review: The Well by Marie Sexton
  • An Alisa Review:  Laurent and the Beast by KA Merikan

Thursday, May 25:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: The Wrong Woman by Cass Lennox
  • Release Blitz Keira Andrews – Road To The Sun
  • DSP GUEST POST Andrea Speed on Lochlann
  • DSP GUEST POST Diana Copland
  • A Caryn Review: A Good Neighbor by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Seidman by James Erich
  • A VVivacious Review: Performance Review by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Review: Cutting Cords by Morticia Knight

Friday, May 26:

  • DSP GUEST POST Mario Kai Lipinski
  • Review Tour – By The Numbers by RJ Scott
  • Review Tour The Devils Pride MC Series by Jessie G
  • A MelanieM Review: By the Numbers by RJ Scott
  • An Alisa Review: The Devils Pride MC series by Jessie G
    (Tricking Chase (The Devils Pride MC #1) Talk Dirty to Me (The Devils Pride MC #2)
    Tys that Bind (The Devils Pride MC #2.5)

Saturday, May 27:

  • Release Blitz Before You Break (Secrets #1)  by KC Wells
  • Release Blitz Josephine Myles – Junk (Bristol Collection #1)
  • A MelanieM Review: Wallaçonia by David Pratt

An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Fire (Panopolis #2) by Cari Z. and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Making a name for myself as a Villain in Panopolis is hard work. Six months ago, my boyfriend broke me out of jail. Now he’s spending most of his time defending our turf against other Villains he accidentally freed along with me. And my new psychic powers are not only impossible to control, but they’re also giving me migraines.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. My skills are improving every day, and Raul—aka the Mad Bombardier—and I have never been happier. That is, until my first solo job is interrupted by a mysterious woman who tells me that Raul has been kidnapped by a ruthless new Villain. The only way to free him is to do a job for Maggot, a man with scary ideas and an even scarier superpower.

I can’t go to the cops or a Hero for help. Odds are they wouldn’t listen to me anyway. If I fail, Raul will be killed. If I succeed, we’ll both be bound to a man who’ll stop at nothing to put Panopolis on the path to civil war.

It looks like the only way to win is to take out the competition.
This entertaining story picks up six months after the last one ended. Edward is trying to get a handle on his new powers and he and Raul are living a quiet life. Edward is having some bad side effects to his power that he’s struggling with and he’s exploring how to make a name for himself as a villain. His first bank robbery goes awry and Raul is kidnapped by the worst villain they’ve encountered yet. His love for Raul forces Edward to step into the role he doesn’t think he’s ready for yet.

This was another really good read by this author. I think this series is so unique and creative. I love the world the author has made and I personally haven’t read anything like it before. The plot races along and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next. In addition to the action you also get a sweet love story with a bit of sexy times thrown in. I highly recommend this fun series and I can’t wait for the next episode in Edward and Raul’s lives.
 
This book was narrated by Nick J. Russo.  I felt like he did a great job with all of the voices.  I’ve listened to many books narrated by him over the years and he’s consistently good.
Cover by LC Chase:  I love the cover of this book, as well as the others in the series.  They are striking and they have a sort of comic book/graphic novel vibe to them, as do the plots of the books.
Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published April 18th 2017 (first published July 12th 2015)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPanopolis #2

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Until Forever Comes​ by Cardeno C and Charlie David (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.

 

Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate – a vampire named Miguel.

 

Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being together comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.

 

Ethan has always been an outsider to his pack and in his family.  When he is drawn to Miguel he realizes that he does have a true mate, the one thing he never thought he would have.  Miguel takes a little more convincing but Ethan can be more than stubborn enough.

 

This story is told from Ethan’s point of view so you can feel just how broken he feels with his family and how determined he is to make his home with Miguel.  He packs up everything he can carry so that he can leave his parent’s home to make a life with Miguel knowing that his mating will never be accepted by his pack.  Ethan is such a sweet heart and I felt connected to him throughout the story.  Miguel doesn’t quite understand Ethan’s connection to him but it’s the first time in a long time that he isn’t so hungry that he doesn’t need to drink more than enough for multiple vampires.  Ethan’s illness allows him to feed Miguel despite that shifter blood is usually poisonous to vampires.

 

Charlie David did a good job narrating this story.  I could connect with the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  However, he didn’t seem to stay consistent with Ethan’s voice in the story, I always knew who was talking but his accent fluctuated and changed throughout the story.

 

Cover art is absolutely beautiful and gives a wonderful visual of these two characters together.

 

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5 hrs 54 min
Published: September 22, 2015 (ebook, 2nd edition, published July, 15 2015)
Edition Language: English

Series: Mates Collection

An Ali Audiobook Review: Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay #7) by Anne Tenino and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.

The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.

When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.
I forgot how much I enjoyed this author.  This was a great example of her story telling style. This was funny, sweet and steamy.  It starts as a bit of an enemies to lovers story due to a fall out between the two MC’s back when they were in high school.
I also liked the fact that the story felt realistic.  It was believable that these two could come together like they did.
I liked both Lucas & Gabriel as characters and they went well together.   I also enjoyed the side characters.  They all added to the story and I was so interested in one of them, Seth, that I had to look to see if he had gotten his own book.  (I’m glad to report he has & I’m off to read it as well).
This is a long series that is done by a collaboration of authors.  Since each of the books is written by a different author they can be read as a standalone with no problems.
This audiobook was narrated by Nick J Russo & I felt like he did a very good job on all of the characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and I would definitely recommend it.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I like the cover and feel it is a good representation of the MC’s and the storyline.
Audiobook Details:
8 hrs 14 mins
Audible Audio, 9 pages
Published April 13th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published April 11th 2015)
Finalist: Best Gay Romantic Comedy in the 2015 Rainbow Awards!
Original TitleWedding Favors
ASINB06Y3MWY3S
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBluewater Bay #7
CharactersLucas Wilder, Gabriel Savage settingBluewater Bay, Washington (United States)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Everyday History by Alice Archer and Daan Stone (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert to a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.

Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben with details from their weekend together and trigger feelings too strong to avoid. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.
I just read this book about a month ago and loved it. 

When I had the chance to review the audiobook I jumped at it and I’m really glad I did. First off, the narrator, Daan Stone, was super good. I had never listened to him before but he’s now on my radar because his narration was flawless. It was a 5+ stars.

As I’ve already said, I loved this book on the first read. The writing style is very unique. It’s lyrical and poetic and something about it just drew me in and held me from the beginning till the end of the story. This time I was able to go through the story more slowly (I’m a fast reader). The narration made me pace myself and I found there were things I had not caught the first time through. I also found the narration to make the story more emotional and I found my eyes filling with tears more than once (which I did not do when I read it).

The plot of the story is one we’ve seen before, an age gap between teacher and student. This was done differently though. It seems all of the age gap books I’ve read before have had the older person worried about the age difference and the younger one adamant that they know what they want and they have no concerns about it. In this, Ruben, the younger of the two, falters. He knows he cares for Henry and he knows he wants to see him and have sex, but he also knows he’s a kid. He wants to go to college and party and sleep around and do fun things that most of us do/did during this time of our lives. So while this story is definitely a love story, it’s also a coming of age. Ruben has a lot of lessons to learn and unfortunately he hurts others and himself along the way.
The story is told in a quiet way. A lot of it is based on conversations. A lot of it is told through stories that the characters tell each other. Some of it is told through newspaper columns and post cards. Everything that happens in this story matters. You need to pay attention because everything will circle back at some point and you’ll have these “ah-ha” moments. (You probably won’t ever be able to eat apple pie again without feeling a bit emotional.)

While there is a feeling of melancholy as you read this, I wouldn’t say it’s particularly angsty. It’s more a quiet study of how we come to learn what’s important in our lives and how we learn to put aside our fears to reach for what we want. It looks at the people in our lives and the roles they play and it looks at the importance in the things we hold on to and how they tell the story of who we are.

I am a giant sucker for the “grand gesture” in romance stories and this one tops the chart. There is also a lovely HEA and an epilogue that is just beautiful. I really can’t fan girl enough about this. The writing style is so distinctive that I realize it won’t be for everyone. I personally loved it though and I think both the ebook and the audio were hits out of the ballpark so I recommend either or both.
 
Cover by Bree Archer:  I love the cover.  I always really like black and white cover with a splash of color.  This one in particular I really like because it is a signifies a very important part of the story.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
9 hrs 53 mins
Audible Audio, 10 pages
Published March 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 29th 2016)
Original TitleEveryday History
ASINB06XSMXH4R
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Pat Corrigan loves his daughter, Poppy, with all his heart. It’s too bad he has to raise her alone. Nine years ago, just as she was conceived with his partner’s sperm, his partner, Edge Winters, walked out on him and hasn’t looked back—until he just now showed up on Pat’s doorstep. The thing is that Pat never told Edge that the surrogate was pregnant already when he left. Pat had just found out and was unable to tell Edge before he came home one day to find Edge packed and ready to relocate for a new job—without Pat.

So now he’s in a quandary—tell him or not. The thing is that Pat is starting to fall for Edge again, and his little girl seems to be in love with “Mr. Edge” as well. Add to his troubles and worries about this, the fact that his mother is diagnosed with cancer and Pat doesn’t know which way to turn.

This is a sweet story, along the lines of the old-time romances being retold as Dreamspun Desires books. Add to that, Andrew Grey’s inherent goodness and sweetness and you get the picture. Yes, there’s trauma, and yes there was a cover-up, but it’s highly likely all will work out by the end. The warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I read or listen to a story like this is exactly what I need for a pick-me-up when I’m a little down. John Solo did a great job narrating, and the story is only five hours long so pick this one up for a car trip or trail hike. I hope it makes everyone feel as good as it made me feel. And, yes—there’s a very definite and sweet HEA.

~~~

Cover by Bree Archer is a great picture of a little girl with her arms flung around the neck of her (handsome) daddy’s shoulders. Colorful and cute, it’s attention-getting.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio
Published March 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 15th 2017)
Original TitlePoppy’s Secret
ASINB06XRVLQL2
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

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.

~~~~~

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