A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Sorting Out (Fitting In #2) by Silvia Violet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Sorting Out AudioI enjoyed this sequel to Fitting In much more than the first book. In this one, Jack, Gray, and Mason are living together and have a great dynamic, but they haven’t come out to others yet, and Jack and Gray are very afraid that coming out will affect their jobs as cops. And to top that off, Gray is up for a promotion to detective, so they all decide to just wait until they feel the time is right.

But Gray takes the detective exam without first consulting Jack, and he’s furious not only with that but with the fact that Gray told Mason in advance—just not him. And of course, Gray aces it and is promoted, but meanwhile Jack is questioning whether he even wants to be a cop anymore, especially now that Gray isn’t his partner. Everything comes to a head when Jack interferes in a police investigation and nearly loses his life. His recuperation is tough, not only physically, but because he falls into a funk about his job and even starts to think his men don’t love him as much as he loves them.

I think part of the reason I enjoyed this story more than the previous one is that the writing seemed more polished this time. The addition of a few secondary characters like Bryce, the fireman bartender, added to my enjoyment as well. Add to that the outstanding narration of Greg Boudreaux, who made all the sexy times in this story so much hotter than they would be if I was only reading an e-book, and I would definitely recommend this one in audio format. I also think the previous story should be read first since the trio has a dynamic that they built during the first book and the story wouldn’t be as clear if read as a standalone.

The very sexy cover art depicts the threesome in bed. That’s totally perfect for this story since they spent much of their time there… and in the hall… and in the kitchen… and in the bathroom. Get the picture? This one has a high heat rating and the cover reflects that well.

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Audiobook Details:

Published July 6th 2016 by Silvia Violet (first published December 26th 2013)

A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: What He Left Behind by L.A. Witt


Rating: 5 stars out of 5:

Can you ever have a second first time?

What He Left Behind coverOver lunch one day with his best friend, Michael, Josh finds out that the reason Michael is still not dating, five years after he broke up with his abusive ex, is because he’s scared to death to even touch someone, never mind possibly have sex again. Josh is shocked by the confession. Though he knew Steve had been both physically and emotionally abusive to Michael, he just didn’t realize that so many of the things he takes for granted with his husband, Ian, are denied to Michael by fear of intimacy.

Josh and Michael have been friends ever since their early teens, and it was Michael with whom Josh first had sex when he came out in his senior year of high school. In fact, they were lovers off and on all through college while remaining best friends. And it was Michael who helped get Josh and Ian back together when they broke up early in their relationship. The trio has been friends ever since, and it killed Josh and Ian to see how very abusive Steve was to Michael, but they were there to love and support him when he was finally able to break away.

Over the past few years, Josh and Michael have seen each other at lunchtime, and the trio gets together every Sunday night to talk and drink wine in Josh and Ian’s hot tub. And it’s because of this close friendship that Ian suggests that Josh help Michael get over his fear of intimacy by having sex with him. After all, they’ve done it before and were each other’s firsts, so why not help him get back to where he can be intimate with a man again. Shocked by Ian’s idea, Josh nonetheless follows through and, though it takes time to break down many of Michael’s barriers, it eventually works. Then one Sunday night in the hot tub, Michael tells Josh that he’s ready to do it with someone else, and the two decide to approach Ian.

Ian’s involvement with Michael then leads to all three having sex and eventually Josh and Ian realize that they need to take time for themselves or they will lose what they have together. But when Michael starts to date again, a whole new world of hurt opens up for Josh, and he doesn’t know whether his marriage to Ian will survive the turmoil created by his obviously engaged heart.

Content advisory: Get your personal fans out before you read this story! The sex is sizzling hot, the characters endearing, the relationships—all of them, from the pairs of Josh and Ian and Josh with Michael and Michael with Ian to all three together—are amazingly well-developed and realistic. As a reader, I could feel the deep bond of friendship and love that existed between Josh and Michael, as well as the oneness of the Josh-Ian marriage relationship. In fact, although I can’t tolerate cheating, I didn’t feel that there was any hint of that in this story. There was emotional support for each other every step of the way. Everything that happened made sense as the men slowly bonded, and all of the relationship dynamics developed.

This was the best example of ménage I’ve read in a long time. In fact, it may be the best ever because it made so much sense for the three to be together that it was like watching all the pieces of a puzzle click into place. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. If you like M/M/M, this is a must buy.

Cover Art by Angela Waters depicts three men representing the MCs—One is wearing glasses and a suit (Ian), one is wearing jeans and is shirtless (Josh) and one is depicted off in the distance (Michael). This is a clear representation of the story with the one character being somewhat distant from the married couple at the start of the book.

Preorder it July 19th at Samhain Publishing,  read it on August 18!

All Sales Links Coming In September

Book Details:

Expected publication: September 2015 by Samhain Publishing
(first published August 18th 2015)
edition languageEnglish

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton~ audiobook narrated by Matthew Shaw


Rating: 5 stars out of 5audiobook clipart bw

How To Howl At the Moon Audio CoverAn absolutely wonderful audiobook, this one kept me riveted to my iPhone until I finished. The story, the humor, the angst, the voice of the narrator—all combined to make this one A+ in my book.

Sheriff Lance Beaufort is the principal law enforcement officer in the small town of Mad Creek, California, a sleepy little town that also happens to be predominately populated by dog shifters. These “quickened” dogs have gained the ability to become human, some in this generation, but others are born that way, the children and grandchildren of dogs who’ve been quickened. Descended from quickened Border collies on both sides of his family line, Lance is the best guardian the town could have as he takes his job very seriously and never lets personal issues interfere with his mission.

So it’s no surprise that he’s suspicious when a young man shows up who seems to be without resources and smelling of marijuana. Tim Weston is there to grow a new hybrid rose for a woman who owns a property on the edge of town. In exchange for Tim’s skills as a horticulturist, Tim can live there rent-free for six months. While he’s trying to get the hybrid roses to grow, he’s also planting a variety of vegetables that he plans to sell at farmer’s markets in the summer, an endeavor which he hopes will generate enough money to support himself and to begin to pay rent on the property when the six months is up.

But Sheriff Lance doesn’t take his word for the fact that he’s renting the property. Suspicious should be his middle name, so he shifts into his Border collie persona and goes to check out the grounds for himself. Unfortunately, as he’s leaving, Tim’s pickup truck hits him, and he’s forced to go along with the charade of being a dog under Tim’s care for a while. He then finds that Tim isn’t quite what he thought he was. He’s not a pot-smoking loser trying to get rich by planting marijuana in the fields, instead, he’s a sweet young man, who is only trying to make ends meet, and he seems to be very much in need of someone to snuggle. Lance decides he’ll be that man—um, dog—at least until he can get to the bottom of things.

Tim thought he was getting away from all his troubles when he came to Mad Creek. His former boss had taken out patents on the vegetable and flower hybrids that Tim generated, keeping everything in his own name and pocketing all the profits. And as if that’s not bad enough, his father was physically abusive when he was a child so Tim has no home at all. Of course he welcomes the dog into his life, a dog he names Chance.

Naturally, nothing goes according to plan for either man. When Tim’s greenhouse is destroyed by someone who thinks he’s in competition with their own pot-growing operation, and the true story of Lance’s deception comes out, Tim feels totally abandoned and betrayed all over again. Will Lance be able to overcome his foolish mistakes to make Tim believe that they are mates and that Lance loves him with all his heart? Or will the troublemakers lurking in Tim’s past revisit his life and cause even more havoc than before?

Ack! I loved this story! I have been a devout fan of Eli Easton ever since I first read The Lion and the Crow, a story she created for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group in 2012. There is nothing that she’s written that I don’t like, but this one really touched my heart. The canine element, with their big blue soulful eyes, and the humor throughout the story sold me on this one. There were times I laughed out loud as I was listening to the audiobook. Narrator Matthew Shaw did an outstanding job. His narration was fast-paced, and the timing of the humorous parts of the story was spot-on, yet the narrative for the sadder, lonelier times was equally compelling. When he emulated the hopeless, soulful howl which Lance let out when he thought he had lost Tim for good, it brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t recommend this story highly enough, and I’m excited beyond measure to find out that this is the beginning of a series. The next story is a must buy for me. Bring it on, Eli Easton—I want more of these quickened dogs and their human sides, as soon as possible, please. If you like shifter stories and sweet romance, this is the book for you. And don’t hesitate to pick up the audiobook version. It’s bound to add more to the story than you would get from reading it alone.

The bright and cheerful cover art depicts a beautiful black border collie, leashed, and sitting next to his master as they pause to pose. It’s exactly as I’d imagine Chance would look, and though Tim’s face isn’t shown in the picture, it’s evident by his posture that the dog is sitting next to his owner.

Sales Links:  Audible |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 6 pages
Published March 19th 2015 by Pinkerton Road (first published February 28th 2015)
original titleHowl at the Moon
edition languageEnglish
seriesHowl at the Moon #1
charactersLance Beaufort, Tim West

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Helping Hand by Jay Northcote


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.

Helping Hand_FINALJez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

A double whammy GFY story, this is the story of Jez and Mac, two flatmates struggling through their second year of uni together and giving each other a helping hand in more than just homework.

Jez Fielding overextended himself monetarily in his first year of school and not only found himself flat broke, but also with a huge mountain of debt. His wealthy parents refuse to bail him out; instead, helping him set up a budget so that he can get his schoolwork done, work part time, and start to climb out of debt. He’s very serious about proving himself to them so he makes a commitment to stay home unless there’s a special occasion like a birthday to celebrate.

Joining him in staying home is his buddy, and fellow flatmate, James MacKenzie, aka Mac. Mac nearly failed out of school his first year, and since his father hadn’t wanted him to go college but wanted him to work in his business, Mac has to pull his grades up this year or he won’t have the financial assistance to continue. Mac is only too happy to stay home with Jez while their friends party, and the bonus is that Jez shows him some helpful shortcuts for preparing his essays and helps him study for tests and exams.

The guys always get their work done, but one weekend, they decide to watch porn together then one thing leads to another, and they find themselves jerking off in front of each other. Neither will admit it, but their eyes stray to the other’s groin frequently and both seem to like what they see.

When the opportunity comes up (no pun intended) for Jez to give Mac a blowjob, Mac doesn’t resist, and the guys move to a new stage. Further stages occur as they discover mutual hand jobs, kissing, frottage, and finally full penetration. But the thing is that it’s not casual for Jez anymore. He’s in way over his head because his feelings are involved, and he’s unsure of Mac. And that’s exactly when they are discovered, and everything begins to fall apart.

Will they get back together? Can they ever be a forever couple or will Mac want Jez to be his “dirty little secret” for life? It’s well worth reading this wonderful GFY to find out.

I really enjoyed this story. It had just the right amount of sweetness and angst, stirred together with some great, hot, sexy times. I recommend it to those who enjoy GFY and double GFY.

Cover art by Garrett Leigh is a black-and-white photo showing the bare upper torso of a reclining, dark-haired man with the right amount of five o’clock shadow and looking ready for anything or anyone who comes along.

Sales Links:  Amazon UK | Amazon US | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published June 26th 2015 by Jaybird Press (first published June 24th 2015)
original titleHelping Hand
edition languageEnglish