A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall and Adam R Watson (Narrator)


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed this story. An unusual shifter tale, in this one Veier (rhymes with bear) has been chained to a king’s throne and kept in his bear shifter form for five years. He’s freed when the kingdom is overthrown, but the new king wants him executed and it’s his brother, Elrid, who saves Veier’s life. Elrid is a powerful mage and he rightly points out that the chain indicates Veier was not necessarily loyal to the previous rulers.

But it takes patience and trial and error before Veier is trusted enough to be let outside the room where Elrid works and sleeps with him as the two begin to build trust. He has brief moments of freedom but always seems to be in the wrong place when trouble occurs. He and Elrid become close as he slowly starts to trust that this human may really not wish him harm.

When Elrid is severely injured in an attack by the previous king’s followers, it’s Veier who risks not only his freedom, but his life, to go to Elrid and use his own life force to help Elrid recover and regain his strength. 

I liked the way the author created Veier’s character as a very rough, gruff, hard to get to know man, yet one who we definitely want to get to know and cheer for as he slowly grows from the bear who reacts before thinking to the man who feels all levels of emotion.  Elrid was the strong, silent type—the kind of man with enough patience to wait out Veier’s slow buildup of trust. 

The narrator did a good job with unique vocalizations for each man. If I had one peeve it would be that the MC’s name, Veier, rhymed with bear and he’s a bear shifter. Perhaps the narrator mispronounced it. Or perhaps the author never read the book out loud.  In either event, it caused confusion on several occasions when I was listening as I wasn’t quite sure which word was being used. And at some points in the story, when it was important to know Veier was in bear or in human form, it was frustrating.

Other than that, this is a definite recommendation to my fellow MM romance readers.  Most definitely not insta-love, this is a slow burn, enemies to friends to lovers story with a unique shifter slant. 

The cover by Shayne Leighton features a close-up of a bearded man, hand under chin, and a bear paw print with the title of the story superimposed over it. Very nicely done.

Sales LInks:  Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audio Book Details:

Published October 24th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published April 9th 2018)
Original Title Magic Runs Deep
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders #3) by Andrew Grey and John Solo (Narrator)


Rating 4 stars out of 5

Aspiring orchestra conductor Marshall is exhausted after months of auditions without a single job offer. When a friend recommends a change of scenery in the form of a dude ranch run by former bull rider Indigo Santana, Marshall heads there for a break.

Indigo and Marshall are immediately attracted, but Indigo’s confidence is shot after an injury ended his rodeo career, and he walks with a slight limp. He hasn’t been anywhere near a bull since he was hurt, and his personality makes for a pretty gruff host for a dude ranch. He’d really rather be bull riding, and the only reason he keeps guests is because his family ranch is all but bankrupt.

Though mismatched on the outside, the hearts of these two men know a kindred spirit and romance is in the air during the short time they spend together. Marshall is so relaxed, in fact, that music comes to him and he composes an orchestra movement that brings his love of both the ranch and Indigo together.

Unfortunately, he’s offered a position in New York, and with encouragement from Indigo, he decides to take it, breaking up the couple before they have a chance to get solid. Naturally, Andrew Grey finds a way to get them to see what they are missing and to come together for an HEA that underlines the importance of love and family.

John Solo does a great job narrating this story with a wide variety of vocalizations, both male and female. He swept me along with this tale of the West, and I definitely recommend it to others to enjoy in the audio format.


The cover by LC Chase depicts the upper body of a young man in dress shirt and vest with a dreamy look on his face and there’s a handsome cowboy standing behind the young man. A small photo of a bull rider in the bottom left pane completes the view. The cover is perfect for this story and it gives readers an idea of how Marshall and Indigo look.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Release Date Jul 17, 2018
Type Novels
Length 8:26

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Bone to Pick by T.A. Moore and Michael Fell (Narrator)


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is a highly enjoyable, very-difficult-to-solve mystery adventure. Both MCs have issues with relationships so though they don’t want romance, they do have sexual chemistry and they act on it.  Plus, there’s a dog—a police dog named Bo—who stole the show, as far as I’m concerned. 

Children have gone missing over the past ten years, not often enough or apparently connected enough for anyone to link them until the recent disappearance of a ten-year-old boy.  FBI agent Javi Merlo is assigned to the case and he’s not particularly happy about working with a dog and his cop handler.  But that’s too bad because not only does Cloister Witte have plenty of experience with his dog, he also has personal experience with the disappearance of his own brother many years ago—a brother who was never found.  But he’s dedicated and committed to his task and won’t stop until he finds the boy—dead or alive.

Javi doesn’t trust Cloister, though, and continually pushes him away from the case, but Cloister plods along following his own leads and his two-plus-two investigation style eventually leads to four. This isn’t a typical romance, and in fact, it ends with the case solved and with the men in bed, but not in love, so it’s a HFN at best.  But it honestly doesn’t matter because the mystery itself is so good. It’s exciting and fast-paced with just the right amount of snarky ’tude from both MCs.  And, of course, the dog is the hero at the end of the story so the dog lover in me was quite happy. 

The narrator was new to me and he did a very good job with the voices, which were definitely different and easy to pick out.  On the other hand, I hated the voice he gave to the mother of the missing boy—I wanted to smack her so bad. She was entitled and bitchy and nasty and the voice he gave her fit her personality like a glove.  So yes, he did a good job—enough to evoke a lot of emotion from me, so that’s a win in my book. 

I highly recommend this audiobook version to those who enjoy an interesting whodunit topped off with two sexy law enforcement MCs and a dog named Bo.   

Cover art:  Anne Cain.  Love the cover. Interesting and it pulls your eye into the character and details.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Length: 9 hrs 

Audible Audio
Published February 22nd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published August 14th 2017)
Original TitleBone to PicksettingSan Diego, California (United States)
California (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Champagne Kisses by Lynda Aicher and Audiobook narrated by Tobias Silversmith


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

champagnekisses_audiobookIt’s easy to summarize this story—short, sweet, sexy! And the bonus to listening to the audiobook is that Tobias Silversmith narrated it beautifully.

This audiobook is only two hours long, but nearly every minute is packed full of character building, drama, romance, and hot, hot sex. It’s much better than receiving a Christmas stocking full of chocolates. Positively yummy and delicious!

Evan Cleary is a struggling wedding planner who’s spent the last four weeks putting together the perfect wedding for Nate Patterson and his soon-to-be-husband. Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, their wedding day, Nate finds out his fiancé has been very naughty—banging one of the hotel staff. Major drama ensues, including Nate hurling a vase across the banquet room, leaving his fiancé bleeding with a head wound and on the way to the hospital for stitches. He doesn’t really care though, storming out of the room and promising never to return.

Evan is stunned, but he’d sunk everything he had into making this perfect so the wealthy Mrs Patterson would recommend him to friends and fellow socialites. He needs that business so sets about turning the former reception into a gala Christmas party. Watching from the wings while all this is going on is Nate’s brother, Richard Patterson. Though out and proud, few people know it, and certainly not Evan, but Richard is determined to make good use of Evan’s time later that night, convincing him that the day isn’t a total waste, and neither is the night.

There’s some major steamy hot sex in this story, and of course, it involves champagne and lots of kisses—in all sorts of places. But will the couple move beyond one night? Richard’s made it known he doesn’t do femme and there are few less femme than Evan around. This one is worth picking up to hear what happens. Stick it in your stocking. Stick it in a friend’s stocking and listen to your heart’s content. Is it original? Not so much. It’s holiday trope, but it’s very well done and left me feeling happy, so what more could I ask for? Certainly not chocolates.

Cover art by L.C. Chase shows two hot men, one taking his shirt off, the other loosening his tie. Both ready for a round of Champagne Kisses. 

Sales Links

Riptide Publishing

Audible, Amazon, iTunes

Audiobook Details:


A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Love on Location by Lucy Felthouse and Joel Leslie (Narrator)


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

love-on-location-audiobookShort and sweet, this story is narrated by the very talented Joel Leslie, thereby increasing my enjoyment exponentially.

Theo Samuels is an actor, filming on location in the village of Stoneydale. There he meets Eddie Henderson, who’s working the set in a minor job, but Theo can’t seem to keep his eyes off Eddie and it appears the attraction is mutual.  That’s actually the last thing Theo wants because he’s deeply closeted and worried that coming out would affect his career.  But the two can’t deny their attraction and when they are caught in the rain one day while out sightseeing, they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Bemoaning the fact that Theo lives in London and Eddie lives in Stoneydale where he’s hoping to find a better job, they decide that they’ll just stay together temporarily and deal with their separation the next time Theo takes off to do another role. Knowing they’ll find it difficult to part, now or in the future, they take a chance and Eddie heads to London with Theo.

Without revealing any more of the fairly short plot, I can say that they do get their HEA. This story is low level angst, with two sweet MCs and an outstanding narrator. Thinking of picking up the audiobook? Don’t hesitate.

The bright, attractive cover depicts two handsome men, well representing the story.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Published September 30th 2016
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/love-on-location/

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Being True by Jacob Z. Flores and Mark Westfield (Narrator)


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Being True audiobookWhat a delightful story, well-written and refreshingly narrated by Mark Westfield. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if I’d like a young adult story, or if I’d like this narrator, since it’s my first for him, but what a knockout combo Jacob and Mark turned out to be!

Truman Cobbler has had to transfer high schools yet again in his senior year. The victim of bullying in every school he’s attended, he lives with his widowed mother who is more than willing to move to accommodate her son’s safety. Tru is short of stature with hair that has an unfortunate tendency to misbehave, ears that stick out, and teeth self-described as horse teeth. He’s also very smart and apparently exudes a gay vibe. Not that it’s untrue, as he is gay, but it seems he has some magnetic field that attracts jocks and trouble—usually together.

There is one jock, however, who is not like the others. Javier Castillo is popular and friendly and the star pitcher for the baseball team, and for some reason, he befriends Tru from the moment they meet. Tru certainly needs befriending. Other than Javi, his only friend is Claudia, the classmate who is head of the yearbook and the high school newsletter committees. Since Tru loves writing and photography, and Claudia does not follow the popular kids in bullying Tru, their friendship seems made in heaven.

When it becomes known that Javi has befriended Tru, many of the “in crowd” decide to befriend Tru as well, at least on the surface. But later in the year, when one of the jocks picks on Tru and Javi comes to defend him, Javi is given an ultimatum—Tru or the friendship of the jocks. By this time, Javi has realized his feelings for Tru are more than friendship, and the two decide to reveal their relationship to both sets of parents and then come out at school.

I love the way the author handled this situation—the strength and character of their parents was remarkable, and the boys’ reaction, though not happy, was honest obedience to the principles their parents set out. It was refreshing to see authority figures act with integrity—from parents to school administrators.

Javi and Tru face both expected and unexpected hurdles, and just as their friendship grew at first, their love for each other grows after they know each other better. Tru becomes much tougher and more confident as he faces life challenges and tragedy with determination and a strength of character quite amazing for a young man.

Oh, and did I mention sex? No? Well, once the boys are eighteen, they get their chance to explore and the combination of Jacob Flores’s writing and Mark Westfield’s narration makes for some smoking hot moments.

I recommend this one to all lovers of young adult/new adult MM romance. And the audio version is outstanding, so if you haven’t tried an audiobook, this one would be a great place to start.


Cover by Paul Richmond depicts a close-up of both young men lying side by side with a view of Javi snuggling Tru over his shoulder. Very sweet, just like the story.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

8 hours and 40 minutes

Audible Audio, 9 pages
Published June 9th 2015 (first published September 15th 2014)