A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review :The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Chef Marcus Vine is a busy man, running his own popular restaurant in the UK and opening another with an investment partner in New York. But he finds time to step in and help out when he realizes his former best friend’s family needs him. Raine died a year ago and her husband, Tom, is struggling to be everything to his two daughters. 

With Marcus’s help and support, their lives take a turn for the better. And along the way, Marcus’s feelings for Tom—unrequited love—take on a renewed life. And then one day, Tom confesses his attraction to Marcus. He’s not gay, of course. That’s reiterated a number of times. So much so, that this reviewer found it distasteful when they went from that declaration to a simple kiss to penetrative sex. If one isn’t gay, why not try frottage or fellatio first? It just felt wrong and rushed. 

And then, of course, when Tom realizes Marcus has feelings for him, he backs off, and Marcus finds out he’s seeing a woman. So we have the heartbreak action, and the crisis comes when one of the girls needs medical attention and Marcus saves the day. But is Tom grateful? Nope. Now we have the period of breaking off, cooling down, and then the finale with the grand sweeping gesture. And the ending was… There’s not really a way to describe it. Granted, I was listening to an audiobook, but it seemed really bizarre to me—definitely from the pages of an old-fashioned dime novel romance.

Granted all these stories are based on old tropes. And granted, audiobooks pass quickly and there’s no chance to reread sections for clarity, so I could be wrong in my assessment. However, I will say that Seb Yarrick did a nice job on the narration. With a very British accent, he brought authenticity to the feel of the story. But I’m not a fan of gay for you when the character refuses to identify as anything but straight, even after sex, so I can’t rate this higher than 3 stars. As it is, the 3 stars were mostly earned by the narrator.

The cover by Aaron Anderson is a typical Dreamspun cover, with the circle in the center that, in this case, features a handsome man in chef’s coat in front and a man in a bathtub in the background. That is definitely not a scene from the story, but at least the colors are bright and the guy is attractive.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | AmazonAudible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5 pages
Published November 8th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 7th 2018)
Edition Language English

Thoughts on Trends and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Thoughts on Trends in 2019…

 

Going into 2019 my mind is full of trends I’m seeing in books these days.  Some good, some imo not so great, some it’s hard to tell yet because it’s too early to see where certain paths will take us.  On certain things we’re stumbling about looking for footing, on others striding confidently forward.  The bookworld can be such a strange place at times for all…readers, writers, publishers, and cover artists alike.  Even narrators.  What is trending going into 2019?  Hmmm.  There’s the rub.  Might be hard to figure out.

But let’s try some polls:

 

That should give us a start.  I know where I’m going with all this, believe me.  And I have some people I want to send interview questions out to.  Hopefully this will be a fun and illuminating month or two.  I never know!  lol.

Meanwhile we are expecting snow.  It’s been a while since we’ve had any significant accumulation.  I wonder what the dogs will think of this?  It will be perfect reading and listening weather.  I hope everyone is finding their way into January and 2019 safely and happily.

Happy Reading and Listening!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 13:

  • Thoughts on Trends and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – Awakenings and French Songs

Monday, January 14:

  • PROMO Tia Fielding
  • BLITZ Valor by Karrie Roman
  • Release Day Blitz Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform #7) by Annabeth
  • A VVivacious Review: Stay by KM Neuhold
  • A Lucy Review : Perfect Match by AG Meiers
  • A Barb the  Zany Old Lady Review : Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform #7) by Annabeth Albert

Tuesday, January 15:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Perfect Match by AG Meiers
  • How Not to Blend by Susan Hawke Release Blitz and Giveaway
  • Cover Reveal for I Wished For You by Colette Davison
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Ten (Love by Numbers) by Tia Fielding
  • A MelanieM: Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review :The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster and Seb Yarrick (Narrator)

Wednesday, January 16:

  • BLITZ Stalker/s by L.J. Hasbrouck
  • Boost Release Blitz & Review Tour – V.L. Locey – One-On-One
  • Release Blitz for Pisces Floors Taurus by Anyta Sunday
  • An Alisa Review You. Forever. Always. (The Underdogs #3) by KA Merikan
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: The Spirit Key (Lock and Key #1) by Parker Williams
  • A MelanieM Review: Chasing Forever (This Time Forever #3) by Kelly Jensen

Thursday, January 17:

  • New Release Tour for Sins of the Son by Christian Baines
  • PROMO Parker William
  • Cover Reveal for In Case You Missed It by S. M. James
  • A MelanieM Review:  Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform #7) by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review: Away in a Manger by JC Owens

Friday, January 18:

  • Review Tour – Is It Over Yet – LA Witt
  • Out in the Offense by Lane Hayes Blog Tour
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Place Setting by Claudia Mayrant
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Is It Over Yet? by L.A. Witt
  • A MelanieM Review: You Forever Always by KA Merikan

Saturday, January 19:

  • Release Blitz – The Summoner’s Path (D’Vaire #10) by Jessamyn Kingley

 

 

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: The Alpha Heir (Kingdom of Askara #2) by Victoria Sue and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

I enjoyed this sequel to The Alpha King almost as much as I enjoyed the original. But I didn’t feel the pull and the love between the MCs as much in this one, mostly because of their life circumstances and the way the story was written—they were enemies for quite some time. Toward the end, when they finally acknowledge and share their love, it was well worth the wait. And speaking of the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the cameo appearance of Luca in his role as the Alpha King. It’s evident he wears the cloak of responsibility regally.

In the early stages of this story, we meet both Caleb and Taegan, in different scenarios and with totally opposite life circumstances. Taegan is the leader of the human rebel forces in a different pack area of the kingdom of Askara from where The Alpha King took place. These rebels have much to lose since the wolves are snatching their children to use not only for dangerous work but now for unknown purposes. As an aside here I just have to say that Joel Leslie’s childrens’ voices were too precious for words! Loved, loved, loved them!

Teagan’s mother is still with him and he has the protection, counsel and support of Silas, a 200-year-old lone wolf. We learn late in the story about why Silas has made himself available to watch over Teagan, a human, but throughout the book he’s extremely helpful in helping Teagan solve the puzzle of the missing children, the dastardly plans of the reigning alpha, and the very puzzling circumstances of why Caleb, though a wolf, would be bound in chains, starved, beaten, and tortured.

To be honest, I don’t recall every little detail of the story—mostly because I was swept along in my enjoyment of the narration and in understanding the complexity of events as they unfolded. Given the fact that I generally start and stop an audiobook frequently over the course of several days, I have to admit that my total recall is lacking. However, what I can say is that Caleb is sweetly endearing, and as he begins to heal and get stronger, it’s evident that he does indeed  have the stuff an Alpha Heir is made of. Will he get the opportunity to present himself as the heir? Well, that’s why readers should pick up this book, preferably in audio form so Joel Leslie can bring the huge cast of characters to life and tell you the tale.

Over the course of the second half of the book, even though it seems impossible, the human and the wolf realize they are lifemates, but if Caleb is to claim his rightful place as Alpha, he’ll need to have an Omega wolf at his side, according to the laws that govern them. Add to that, Teagan’s natural tendency to put others ahead of himself, and Caleb’s low self-worth—beaten into him over the course of his six-year persecution, and we have an interesting quandary. By all means, if you like shifter stories and a little fantasy added into your paranormal, this series is the one to choose. Highly recommend

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

7 hours and 34 minutes

Audible Audio, Unabridged, 8 pages
Published December 19th 2017 by Victoria Sue (first published September 4th 2017)
ASIN B078BGHCJF
Edition Language English
Series Kingdom of Askara #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts #1) by Charlie Cochet and Manuel Pombo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was a fairly short audiobook but it was long on enjoyment.  A different take on shifters, Charlie Cochet brings us tiger shifters (of course—big cats are her favorites!), but they are from a different world—a world of magical creatures and warriors who defend humanity from the darkness. 

Riley Murrough is just a regular guy and as he’s going about his work one day he’s suddenly in a life or death struggle with demons. Who knew?  When the battle is over and he realizes he’s been helped by a group of tigers who shift to human form, he’s sure he’s dreaming.  But the tattoo that has appeared on his arm matches that of the king of these creatures—the Soldati King, and Riley is his Prince, his lifemate. 

No insta-love here, however, as Khalon, the king, denies his connection to Riley.  He has his reasons and though Riley finally faces facts and realizes he needs to accept the rejection, the magical realm has different plans for them. 

This was a lively adventure, a bit too short to get into a lot of detail, but certainly enough detail to whet my appetite for more.  I’ve already moved the next book in this series to my TBR.   

The narration was good, though it could have been better. Manuel Pombo had a very pleasing voice but his narration was quite fast—almost as if he was rushing to finish by a short deadline.  And the differentiation between the two MCs was sometimes noticeable, and other times not. I think over time, I will come to like this narrator, especially if the narrative is slowed down a bit.

The story itself was interesting and the characters engaging, including the secondary characters, two of whom will be featured in book two.  They were both very positive, upbeat and often humorous throughout this story so theirs is one I must read.  Overall, this was a nice treat and I recommend it to lovers of paranormal and fantasy romance. 

Cover art: L.C. Chase.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 2nd Edition
Published January 10th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published August 25th 2015)
Original Title The Soldati Prince
ASINB078TLPLJ1
Edition Language English
Series Soldati Hearts #1

Final Lists of 2018 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Happy 2019! Here Are Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Final Best of 2018 Lists!

Here are the  last of our lists for 2018, in many categories and divided out as each reviewer saw fit.  So many books read and listened too.  It’s been an amazing year.  It was tough to narrow down lists as always.  Gone from mine was the cozies.  I love my cozy mysteries and that category will probably come back next year.

Many of the books that came out went to other reviewers here, speeding past me and they have now landed on my huge TBR list.  I see many on our reviewers Best of 2018 that I also haven’t gotten to yet, having my own huge set of stories to read this year.

Isn’t it lovely to have these stories to look forward to?

And new one to come in 2019!

So one last look all the book that rose above the many we read and loved this year to end up on our Best of 2018 this year, along with the covers, Best of Audiobooks as well.  Check them all out below:

 

From Stella:

Here are my Best of 2018

 
Tomte by Jamie Fessenden
 
 
BEST SERIES
 
Go On Your Own Way by Zane Riley

Sawyer’s Ferry by Cate Ashwood

North Star Trilogy by Posy Roberts
Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza 

From Lucy

I am the first to admit I am so stingy with my five star reviews.  I like many books, I love quite a few but for me the five stars are the ones that I want to read over and over, that stick with me long after I’ve finished them and the ones that make me sad I’m finished because I don’t want to leave them.  For 2018, some of the ones I loved weren’t released in 2018 (or just the audio was released this year) but I read them this year.  So in random order, my five star reads for this year…

From the Ashes by CM Valencourt – While my list is in no particular order, this is the exception.  This was my absolute favorite book of 2018 and may end up being one of my favorite books of all times.  I gave it five stars, rare enough for me, but I would have given it more if possible.  Justin is the most amazing character and I cried, laughed, cried more and just had so much respect and love for that selfless man. 

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss – A sweet children’s book about embracing your differences and not being a stink bug.  I have this one on audio as well and John Lithgow and Jim Parsons make it absolutely perfect.  I thought it was funny that I bought the book and then had four different people give me copies as gifts!

My Crunchy Life Mia Kerick I am a fan of Mia Kerick’s young adult books and this one was amazing. The ending of this was so perfect, sweet and YA and lovely. This coming of age story isn’t incredibly angsty, despite some very serious themes, but it’s a story of growth and I thought it was just right.  It was so spot on with the confusion and angst that can be the teen years.

Exorcising the Exes Jill Wexler  Loved it. I can’t even do justice to how amazing Tanner is, and once he meets Dan things just get so much better.  It makes me smile every time I read it.  The insane goose posse, the taco binge, the hashtags, the everything!

Bump Matthew Metzger I read a couple by Matthew Metzger this year and I was hard pressed to decide if I liked Bump or Erik the Pink more, but ultimately went with Bump.  As a trans man who just want to be seen as a man, this was such a struggle for David and it was perfectly encapsulated in this book. David’s gender dysphoria was handled realistically and the emotions are so strong.  Even more interesting for me was that David didn’t give birth and immediately become super parent.  I loved that because it is a fact that not everyone has that Hallelujah, bonding and perfection moment immediately. 

Promises by Ruby Moone  Ruby Moone is a favorite of mine for historicals. I loved this one even more than usual because our characters, Sebastian and Charles, are realistic and likeable but also because the secret that Sebastian is hiding from everyone is not only being attracted to men, shameful and dangerous in that time period, but something else that isn’t understood.  I ust loved it.

Suicide Watch Kelley York  So bittersweet, it was sad and hopeful. Best of all, it was true to the feelings of Vincent, Casper and Adam.  This definitely wasn’t a sweet and fluffy read (my usual) but these characters were so real and made me smile and cry.

Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children – Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch  The book was written by Michelle and Phoenix Finch, a real life seven year old transgender girl who was assigned male at birth. At the end of the book there are comprehension questions and some open-ended critical thinking questions that as a teacher I appreciated. Possibly even better, there is an informational section at the end for grownups. 
I loved the story of Phoenix going to school but more importantly, I hope that transgendered and gender diverse children will read this and know they are not alone, they are perfect just the way they are.

AUDIO FAVORITES

Tell Me It’s Real and Until You by TJ Klune  – These are my go-to re-reads when I’m having a lousy week.  I know I’m late to the party, as I just read them this year when I bought the audio.  I can’t believe it took me so long.  If I were to get to be any character I’ve read, I’d be Paul Auster!

Audio: A Family for Christmas Another one that was introduced to me via audio.  The car ride to work is so much improved with these books.  I loved Rudy and my heart went out to Zac. This is a sweet story of a man afraid to let anyone in and a family who refuses to keep anyone out. 

Favorite cover because it perfectly captured the feel of the book: 

 

From Lila:

As of today, I have read 234 books of my goal of 144. Just like last year, I don’t have one favorite book for the year. Some have been great, others not so much, but I can’t say one was the best of them all. Therefore, I’m using the same format as last year to tell you more about the books I enjoyed. I’m really looking forward to that perfect book though. I hope to share it with you all next year.

Looking back on my shelves,

The Best of 2018 (according to me) are:

·         Best Cover – Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux. Cover by L.C. Chase

·         January – Felix and the Prince (Forever Wilde #2) by Lucy Lennox

·         February – Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z. [Audiobook]

·         March – Fake Out (Fake Boyfriend #1) by Eden Finley

·         April – Beneath This Mask (Enhanced #3) by Victoria Sue [Audiobook]

·         May – Object of Desire by Dal Maclean

·         June – Logan’s Need (The Escort #3) by Sloane Kennedy

·         July – Unexpected (The Protectors #10) by Sloane Kennedy

·         August – Creature (Bureau #3) by Kim Fielding [Audiobook]: John is now my favorite MM character of all time.

·         September – A Gentleman’s Position (Society of Gentlemen #3) by K.J. Charles [Audiobook]

·         October – Dirty Desire (Dread and Terrible #1) by Avril Ashton

·         November – Bond (Forbidden Desires #2) by Piper Scott & Virginia Kelly

·         December – Home in Austin (Lone Star Brothers #4) by Susi Hawke

 

Free Dreamer’s Best of 2018

2018 was a great reading year. I read 80 books, just like planned, which is 14 books and about 2000 pages more than in 2017. I have finally decided that normal literature just isn’t for me, especially if it’s supposed to be Meaningful and make you Think. Maybe I’m just too immature. But I’ve also discovered that there are some very interesting non-fiction books out there. None of them quite made it to my list, but it’s definitely a genre I’ll keep pursuing.

While I only review LGBT+ fiction for Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, my reading habits are far more varied and my “Best of” list just wouldn’t be complete without them. Those books mostly contain little to no romance, since I’m not much of a romance reader anyway.

An honorable mention should go to the “Taking Shield” series by Anna Butler. I read the first three books in quick succession and really enjoyed them. But they just didn’t quite make it to “Best of”.

I hope 2019 will be another good reading year, for me and all the other readers out there. Happy New Year!

LGBT+:

  • Showers, Flowers and Fangs” by Aiden Wayne (adorable YA fantasy)
  • Salt Magic, Skin Magic” by Lee Welch (fascinating historical fantasy)
  • Bones and Bourbon” by Dorian Graves (what a wild ride; brilliant fantasy)
  • Amberlough” and “Armistice” by Lara Elena Donnelly (very surprising espionage thrillers set in an AU 1940s)
  • The Seeds of Dissolution” by William C. Tracey (very unique magic system)
  • Another Day” by David Levithan (loved part one and finally read the great sequel)

Non-LGBT:

  • Arcanum Unbounded” by Brandon Sanderson (collection of novellas and short stories set in the Cosmere, Sanderson’s main universe; great for hardcore fans like me)
  • Empire of Sand” by Tasha Suri (Fantasy set in a desert world, inspired by the Indian/Arabian culture)
  • Snapshot” by Brandon Sanderson (Novella; Mind fuck like woah)
  • Verwunschen” by Mara Lang (New Adult Fantasy set in a modern fairy tale world, dark as hell; Sadly only available in German)
  • Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima (super adorable picture book)“The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse” by Nicholas Gannon (children’s fiction with gorgeous illustrations, reminded me of classical adventure stories)

 

MelanieM Best of 2018

Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and  Paranormal/Supernatural for 2018

The Calling by MD Neu

Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves

Stone the Crows (Wolf Winter #2)by T.A. Moore

Green Death by Madeleine Ribbon

Sweet Clematis (Being(s) in Love #9) by R. Cooper

The Rising Tide (Liminal Skies #2) by J.Scott Coatsworth

And God Belched by Rob Rosen

Apocalypse Alley (Blue Unicorn #2)by Don Allmon

Lander (The Oberon Cycle, #2 by J. Scott Coatsworth

Best Historical Novels of 2018

I will admit this category is owned almost entirely this year by Marshall Thornton

and two series of his:  Pinx Video Mystery and Boystown (all of the novels were reviewed this years and were 5 stars)

Hidden Treasures (A Pinx Video Mystery #2) by Marshall Thornton

Late Fees by Marshall Thornton

The Stars May Rise and Fall by Estella Mirai (recent historical retelling of the Phantom of the Opera)

Best of 2018 ~ Contemporary Novel

Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan

Stand By Your Manny (The Mannies #3) by Amy Lane

The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase

Mammoth! (Repeating History #3) by Dakota Chas

The Evolution of Jeremy Warsh by Jess Moore (coming out, coming of age)

Wait For Me by Kris Jacen

Learn with Me (With Me #3) by Kris Jacen

Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen

Homebird by Amy Lane

One Thousand Cranes (The Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada

The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada

Best Series of 2018

Blue Unicorn Trilogy by Don Allmon

Offbeat Crimes Series by Angel Martinez

The Yakuza Path by Amy Tasukada

Liminal Sky Series by J. Scott Coatsworth

Boystown series by Marshall Thornton

This Time Forever Series by Kelly Jensen

Faith, Love & Devotion by Tere Michaels (series finale 2018)

 

Best Audiobook of 2018

Crocus (Bonfires #2) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso and Michael Mola (Narrator)

Spun! by JL Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)

The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton and Scott Richard Ehredt (Narrator)

Best Covers of 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada, artist Natasha Snow

Blue Unicorn #2 and #3 by Don Allmon, artist Simone’

Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen, Cover art: Written Ink Design

Homebird by Amy Lane, Artist: Reese Dante

The Rising Tide by J. Scott Coatsworth

Wish Upon The Stars by T.J. Klune, Artist Paul Richmond

Special Mention for 2018

 

It would have to go to Ethan Day who left us all too soon and his wonderful series, Summit City,  who had a new release in 2018 that gave his beloved characters the wedding and his readers a ending we had long wanted.  That would be the third and now last story Life In Union.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 6:

  • Final Lists of 2018 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 7:

  • BLITZ Tea by Matthew J. Metzger
  • PROMO Marguerite Labbe
  • E.J. Russell on Devouring Flame
  • A Lucy Review The Replacement Husband by Eliot Grayson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review:The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts #1) by Charlie Cochet and Manuel Pombo (Narrator)

Tuesday, January 8:

  • PROMO Robert P. Rowe
  • BLITZ My Fake Canadian Wife by M. Hollis
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Unfamiliar Waters by Andrew Grey
  • A Caryn Release Day Review: Devouring Flame by EJ Russell
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Something Like Forever (Something Like #10) by Jay Bell

Wednesday, January 9:

  • Release Blitz – The Choice (The Faction, book 2) by Addison Albright
  • Release Blitz Is It Over Yet – LA Witt
  • BLITZ There’s Something about Flying by Schuyler L’Roux
  • A MelanieM Review: Valhalla by L.A. Ashton
  • Review: The Choice (The Faction, book 2) by Addison Albright

Thursday, January 10:

  • PROMO Elizabeth Noble
  • Tour for Out in the Offense by Lane Hayes
  • An Alisa Review: Ta Weezo’s Blues by Layla Dorine
  • A MelanieM Review:  You Forever Always by KA Merikan

Friday, January 11:

  • PROMO Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton
  • An Ashez Review: Elias by  Erin E Keller
  • A Melanie Release Day Review:  Don’t Fear the (Not Really) Grim Reaper by Carole Cummings
  • A LIla Review: Not on My Bucket List by Tom Munroe
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review:The Alpha Heir (Kingdom of Askara #2) by Victoria Sue and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

Saturday, January 12:

A MelanieM Review: Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Jack of Thorns (Inheritance #1) by Amelia Faulkner and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was an interesting, fast-paced fantasy about Laurence Riley, a young man who operates a florist shop with his psychically gifted mom and pretty much coasts along through life knowing he needs to get his act together but struggling to figure out how.  He is also psychically gifted—with visions of future events that tend to come to reality. 

Desperate for a positive change, Laurence invokes his magic abilities and calls for help from a fertility god.  What he gets is Jack—green-eyed, self-possessed, egotistical Jack, who promises Laurence all will be well and he’ll meet his dream man if he has sex as often as possible so Jack can feed on the energy.

But Laurence has broken up with his boyfriend Dan, and isn’t really interested in anyone else, so Jack’s request may be a tall order.  And then he meets meets Brambury, who turns out to be Lord Brambury, actual name Quentin, and his life takes a bizarre turn.  Attracted to one another, it seems each time sex or the potential for sex arises, Quentin causes hurricane-like winds that destroy pretty much everything around him.  It’s Laurence who figures out that Quentin is afraid of sex and that his powers of telekinesis may be much stronger than he initially suspected.   Laurence can barely see the humor in the fact that he can’t very well keep Jack supplied with offerings of sex if the object of his affections is afraid of it.

Angry with Laurence about the situation, and having been the object of Quentin’s dangerous lack of control, Jack gives him one last chance.  Laurence has to grow a plant from a special seed.  And then the nightmare situation Laurence finds himself in gets worse.  As the plant grows out of control, he finds out that it’s powers are addictive and Jack will be feeding on the life energy of the people who use it.  Laurence knows about addiction.  After all, he fights his addiction and craving for heroin every day and he can’t imagine leading others to face a similar fate. Nor can he imagine giving more power to the already powerful and evil Jack. 

His nightmares and psychic predictions are getting worse and that, coupled with the irritating push-pull of his relationship with Quentin—one in which each man is attracted to the other but Quentin can’t bring himself to follow through on—is enough to make Laurence finally reach for the drug that will solve all his worries.  Thankfully, life and Quentin intervene and a very bizarre, yet exciting, confrontation occurs that ultimately leads our guys to a place where they can at least find their HFN. 

One strong word of caution here: the prologue contains graphic depictions of drug use and overdose.  And though cravings are described in multiple locations in this story, the most graphic are in that prologue.  Those in recovery from addiction may find this a trigger.

That being said, this is an enjoyable story.  It’s quite long, over twelve hours, but full of interesting events, twists and turns, and of course, a romance.  Both characters are interesting, but I must say that Quentin wins the prize for my favorite character in quite some time.  First, because Joel Leslie’s delivery is divine, and second because the author created such an endearing and humorous character. Though upper class Brit, complete with his often voiced perceptions of American ways and 21st century culture, he’s also a sweetheart wrapped in a very emotionally damaged package. 

Joel Leslie, as usual, delivers a flawless performance, providing a host of voices for the main and secondary characters, including the women.  I truly enjoy listening to an audiobook in which I can identify characters by their voice.  It makes me feel as if I’m actually “watching” the story and brings it to life.  So kudos to my favorite narrator and to the author for an interesting, creative story. 

If you enjoy fantasy and are looking for a very entertaining way to spend your time, I highly recommend trying this one—preferably in audio so you can enjoy the terrific narration.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Amelia Faulkner
Audible.com Release Date: January 9, 2018
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B078TL42K6

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review : Ravensong (Green Creek #2) by T.J. Klune and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

TJ Klune has the most incredible imagination of any author I know.  I’m at a loss for words to describe just how phenomenal this story was.  No wait… Let’s call this a saga, not a story, because that’s truly what it is and we are only midway through this unique experience. The author recently announced that he has plans for two more books in the series and the epilogue gives us a clue as to what the next one will be.  OMG!  I can’t wait! 

Gordo Livingstone is a witch.  In fact, he’s the witch for the Bennett Clan and he’s the soulmate of Mark Bennett, uncle of Joe, the current alpha.  We met these two star-crossed lovers in book one, Wolfsong. This is their story.

Through intermittent flashbacks, the author cleverly lets us see how Gordo’s life was shaped—his evil father who killed his mother when she killed his father’s tether, a woman with whom he was having an affair.  His mother always taught him that wolves can’t be trusted. They need you and use you but don’t really love you.  Though he might scoff at that lesson intellectually, she managed to ingrain the lesson emotionally. 

Gordo thought he was done with the pack when they all moved away and left him behind. Their departure cemented his mother’s lessons deep in his heart.  Now they are back and Gordo tries to ignore Mark Bennett with every breath he takes. It’s not easy.  In fact, the song between his raven and Mark’s wolf is crying to be heard.  When outside forces intervene in the quiet town of Green Creek and hope is at its lowest, the Bennett pack, assisted by their witch and the humans who support them, gather their reserve strength to fight a battle that must be won. 

I am not going to include any spoilers for this book in my review.  I will say that the plot is complex, with multiple layers of deceit, intrigue, and evil that goes back many years.  There are characters here I love to hate and those I hate to love.  Mark and Gordo seem to be ill-fated and much of the book left me feeling as if my stomach were in knots. But I kept moving forward. Avidly. There’s no way I could turn off this audiobook, even to eat, never mind sleep.  And the ending was worth the wait.

Kirt Graves is as outstanding in his performance of this audio as he was in Wolfsong. The cast of hundreds each has a distinctive voice.  I totally forgot that a man narrated the book when a woman spoke, and I loved the pitch, tone, and accent he assigned to Gordo.  As much as I highly recommend the story itself, I recommend listening to this audio.   It’s beyond description.  A must buy, for sure. 

The cover by Reese Dante is similar to Wolfsong’s cover and features red lettering against a dark gray background with a paw print on the lower corner—a paw print that seems to be clawing the ground as it leaves a trail of gouges in the dirt. 

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audio Details:

Audible Audio, 21 pages
Published December 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 31st 2018)
Original Title Ravensong
ASINB07L4T61RZ
Edition Language English
Series Green Creek #2

Love to Listen to Your Stories? Check out A Dance For Two by Colette Davison and Neil MacFarlane (Narrator)

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: A Dance For Two

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Colette Davison/Independently published

Narrator: Neil MacFarlane

Release Date: December 6, 2018

Genre/s: Romance, LGBT

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length:  5 hours 33 minutes

The story stands-alone, but has a loosely linked sequel. An audiobook is in production for that.

Add on Goodreads

 

A Dance For Two is a stepbrother romance with ‘plenty of angst, love, attraction, lust and finally a HEA ending.’

 

 

Blurb

Adam and Luc used to be close. At least they were before Luc distanced himself from Adam at fourteen, then eventually left home. Adam never got over the sting of betrayal, or the loss of his one-time best friend.

When Luc is invited back home to help get his parents’ failing dance school back on track, Adam isn’t sure he can cope with having his stepbrother back in his life. Especially when he discovers Luc’s decade old secret.

Luc left home because he was sure no one would understand that he had fallen in love with his stepbrother.

Convinced that the years of distance he has put between them will have erased his desire, Luc doesn’t hesitate to return home to help the business that means everything to his parents. Confronted by Adam once more, Luc’s past feelings re-awaken. But will revealing his true feelings to Adam heal the rift between them, or drive them even further apart?

***This novel contains explicit language and sex scenes between step-brothers***

 

Buy Links

Audible US (bounty link) 

Audible UK (bounty link)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Audible US

Audible UK

 

Listen to a sample on any of the above links or here on Soundcloud

 

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

Author Links

Audible Profile

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Facebook Group

Mailing list

 

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Best of 2018 Lists Abound and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Best of 2018 Lists Abound at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Here we are, it’s almost 2019 and it’s Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words penultimate weekend of Best of 2018.  We are winding out with another reviewer heard from, our very own Chaos Moondrawn, who has some of my Best of  on her list.  So many terrific books and series this year in every category.  A surplus of riches for readers no matter what genre you love to read in.  Are you checking your lists against ours?  How are they looking?

From Chaos Moondrawn:

Best Books of 2018

Over And Over Again by Cole McCade

Rule of Thirds by Aidan Wayne
The Bones Beneath My Skin by T.J. Klune
Building Forever by Kelly Jensen
Point of Contact by Melanie Hansen
Beyond Meridian by C.C. Bridges
Rogue In The Making and Blood For The Spilling by T.J. Nichols (Studies In Demonology series)
A Wolf At The Door by Charlie Adhara

Best Series

Criminal Intentions by Cole McCade

Best Covers

Stone The Crows cover by Bree Archer
Once Upon A Wolf cover by Reece Notley
Blyd And Pierce cover by Tiferet Design
Two Man Station cover by Natasha Snow
The Wolf At The Door cover by Carina Press
Where Death Meets The Devil cover by L.C. Chase

So final lists next weekend.  A final goodbye to 2018 and a fresh start in 2019.

Speaking of which some of my bests of 2018 will actually have their reviews rolling over into 2019 but I read them in 2018 and that’s where they will go on my lists.  That includes the series finale by Tere Michael to Faith, Love and Devotion, a time time favorite of mine.  Lucky and Bo from my favorite Diversion series pop up again in Eden Winters’ Suspicion. Waiting to hear from the author if this is a series finale or not.    Sean Kennedy’s Tigers and Devils latest release just slipped into the new year by a nose.  That will have to wait until next year’s list.

So almost done.

I’m getting ready for the New Year Eve celebration and hoping that everyone has a safe, wonderful, and happy glide into the New Year!  Happy Reading, Happy Listening, and of course, Happy New Year from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to all of you!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 30:

  • A Barb Advent Calendar Review:Miracle on Three Kings’ Day by Beth Laycock
  • A Lila Review  Yule Planet by Angel Martinez
  • Best of 2018 Lists Abound at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve)  🎉:

  • On Tour with Valhalla by L.A. Ashton
  • Release Blitz for KA Merikan – You Forever Always
  • PROMO Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review : Midnight Angel by Kevin Klehr
  • A MelanieM Review: Finders Keepers by Rob Rosen
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Exit Through the Gift Shop by Kim Fielding

Tuesday, January 1 ~ New Year’s Day!

  • Charley Descoteaux on her new release Always Forward! Never Straight
  • AUDIOBOOK TOUR – A Dance For Two by Colette Davison and Neil Macfarlane (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tigers on the Way (Tigers and Devils #4) by Sean Kennedy
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Whole Latte Sass (Geek Life #2) by Marguerite Labbe

Wednesday, January 2:

  • Shadowing the Light by Miranda Turner Blog Tour 
  • An Alisa Review: Shadowing the Light by Miranda Turner
  • A MelanieM Review: Always Forward! Never Straight by Charley Descoteaux
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady audio review – Ravensong (Green Creek #2) by T.J. Klune and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Thursday, January 3:

  • RELEASE BLITZ – Whiteout Conditions (Black Ops Heroes #10) by Dara J. Nelson  and Kendel Duncan
  • Cover Reveal for The Summoner’s Path (D’Vaire #10) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • An Alisa Review: Best Christmas Ever by Terry O’Reilly
  • A MelanieM Review: Forever & Ever: A Collection of Stories (Faith, Love & Devotion #7) by Tere Michaels
  • An Alisa Review : Kink Aware  (Kiss of Leather #9)  by Morticia Knight

Friday, January 4:

  • PROMO Julia Talbot
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: Gabriel and the Devil Robert P. Rowe
  • A MelanieM Review: Suspicion (Diversion Book 7) by Eden Winters
  • A Caryn Review: Trysts and Burning Embers By Freddy MacKay & Angel Martinez
  • A MelanieM Review: Drama Castle (Nicky and Noah Mystery #7) by Joe Cosentino

Saturday, January 5:

  • Release Blitz – Erin E Keller’s Elias
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review:  Jack of Thorns (Inheritance #1) by Amelia Faulkner and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

An Alisa Audio Review : Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker by Bru Baker and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.

Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.

Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of his private practice patients threatens Drew’s life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?

 

This was a nice continuation in the series, though there are a lot of assumptions going on which make it hard for these two to be together.  Nick and Drew are both starting new jobs and when they spend a night together have no idea that they will be working together.

 

Nick has seen so many horror stories about dating and marriages come to life that he fears getting seriously involved with a human, even one as in depth as Drew.  Drew wants someone to love him but isn’t willing to back down from what he wants to get it.

 

Both of these guys have issues from their past causing hurt but also have to learn to trust someone else.  I could see both of their pain and how much it hurt Nick when he thought his chances with Drew were gone and how Drew’s assumption that Nick didn’t want him hurt him too.  It just seemed to me as they finally are talking things out it all goes back to assumptions again which was like taking two steps back.

Dorian Bane did a great job narrating this story.  I was easily able to connect with the characters and feel their emotions in his reading.  His voice changes so much you really get to see the differences and personality of the characters.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is great and works well for this story.

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6 hrs 40 min

Published: October 26, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

Edition Language: English

Series: Camp H.O.W.L. #2, Dreamspun Beyond