A Lila Audiobook Review: Personal Secrets (Personal #3) by K.C. Wells and Narrator: Cornell Collins

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Blake Davis and husband Will are delighted when Ed Fellows turns up at the hospital the night their daughter is born—even if he is covered in mud from playing rugby and drunk out of his skull. Team-mate Colin is the Good Samaritan who drives him there, and when Colin takes Ed home, Colin finds himself on the receiving end of a blow-job. He has no problem with that whatsoever. He’s been in lust with Ed since Ed joined the rugby team some fourteen months ago. Only thing is, Colin’s assumed up ’til now that Ed is straight. Except the man sucking him off certainly didn’t seem straight….

Talk about the morning after the night before…. Ed awakens to find a nearly-naked Colin asleep on his sofa. The problem is that for some reason, he can’t get Colin out of his mind. Okay, so it wasn’t the first blow-job Ed’s ever gotten from a guy—or given, for that matter—but that was a long time ago, right? And why does Ed now want more?

With friends Rick, Angelo, Blake and Will to advise him, Ed finds himself on a completely unfamiliar road, as he struggles to accept that maybe the line he is walking isn’t as straight as he’d first imagined….

Personal Secrets is a lovely romance about two men whose friendship transformed into a blossoming relationship. It wasn’t easy but Colin was more than patience with Ed. Their love was simple and their everyday interactions let the reader see how they fall for each and how Ed changed the more time they spent together.

I enjoyed how naturally Ed’s sexuality evolves during the story and how his friends are there when he has questions. There’s no internalized homophobia or traumatic experience. He acknowledges his attraction for Colin and flows with it. There are some misunderstandings between them, but in the end, they were always willing to talk it through.

The story has many sweet and spicy moments and in occasion, I wanted to skip some of the sex scenes to learn more about the plot, but in the end, it worked considering Ed’s new found interest in men and not so straight sexuality.

Plus, we get several updates on Blake’s and Will’s relationship and Rick’s and Angelo’s. They are part of Colin’s and Ed’s story too, not just a figure in the background. The rest of the cast is excellent and we even get a small villain cameo. Overall, a nice addition to the series.

Cornell Collins did an excellent job with the narration. One of my complaints about book #1 was trying to read Ed’s dialogues. The audiobook definitely added to the appeal and highlighted Ed’s personality and attitude.

The cover by Meredith Russell is different than the e-book version, but it has a similar air. It’s easy to identify Colin and Ed, plus, it adds their love for rugby.

Sales Links:  Amazon | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Cornell Collins
Length: 6 hours 37 minutes
Published: June 12, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Island Tales Press
ASIN: B071ZSX7D4
Edition Language: English

Series: Personal
Book #1: Making It Personal
Book #2: Personal Changes
Book #2.5: More Than Personal
Book #3: Personal Secrets

A Lila Audiobook Review: Marriage of Inconvenience by M.J. O’Shea and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

marriage-of-inconvenience-audiobookLights, Camera, Lies.

Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.

The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love—with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.

The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?

Marriage of Inconvenience was an okay story. I like the idea behind the couple getting together as part of their jobs. They seem perfect for each other from the very beginning, but the delivery felt flat. Their connection didn’t fully develop, and their mood swings were ever present.

Just like other books in the series, this installment brings two men from different backgrounds into a relationship of convenience. The author did an excellent job describing the main characters and making their differences evident without being stereotypical. They both have a sound support system, which is refreshing in an era when gay men are seen as castaways.

The initial attraction between Jericho and Kerry seems force, and the misunderstandings were there for drama purposes only. I wanted to see more of the times between the MCs as friends and more interaction with the world in general. They were a bit shelter when considering they needed to change the public’s perspective of Jericho. Most of what we read was related to planning for those events.

Overall, this is a good story for fans of sweet and fluffy with a serving of smexy on the side.

As always, John Solo did a good job creating the characters for this story. I prefer Jericho’s voice more than Kerry’s, but in general, all the transitions were impeccable.

The cover for the audiobook is another adaptation from the e-book cover designed by Bree Archer. The model is definitely Jericho and the background let us know the story takes place in California.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: John Solo
Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes

Published:  September 12, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01LTDEEAI
Edition Language: English

 

A Lila Audiobook Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale and Derrick McClain (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

let-the-wrong-light-in-audiobookAvery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.

Let the Wrong Light In is a hard story to rate. This is my first Avon Gale book and I enjoyed it. The writing is good, well-paced, and the narration helps the feel of the story. The way the office works, the interactions between the characters, and how they work on the projects seems too convenient for the sake of the story.

It was hard to pinpoint Avery’s age and his real status within the company. Architecture is one of those professions, like medicine, in which practitioners tend to be older than average. For me, Avery read more as a young intern. He had too many layers protecting his heart, and there wasn’t enough time for them to be peel back. We get an idea of how good he can be when in a committed relationship, but not enough time to get invested in him/them.

Malin screams Christian Grey–a broken man with a hidden golden heart; only reachable by a young, sweet, and rebellious young man. He has the perfect apartment, house, cars, life, etc. but nothing makes sense to him anymore. He even needed Avery to reconnect with his family and smile again.

The BDSM aspect was something else that didn’t work for me. Unless the story is label Erotica with dub-con or non-con, I prefer to stay away. I like my relationships to be SSC or RACK. And in this case, it was none. Yes, we get to see the concern from Avery’s friends because of this, and Avery’s internal thoughts about it, but Malin having a hard time dealing with people isn’t a valid reason to ignore simple basic standards.

The last part of the story, when we get away from the wild kink and the walls between the main characters, was sweet and gave the story the little boost it needed. I think we needed a little more of Malin’s story early on to wrap it up even better. And Avery’s friends were great too.

I enjoyed Derrick McClain’s narration. He did a good job giving each character a distinctive voice. From all the characters, I think Malin was my favorite. His personality went well with the performance.

The cover by Aaron Anderson shows Avery through glass panels, which plays an important part in the story. The top part has a city line sketch.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Derrick McClain
Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes

Published: August 25, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01KZNJCU0
Edition Language: English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Running Wild by SE Jakes and Narrated by Dorian Bane

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

runningwild_audiobookSean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That’s why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars… and why he can’t stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can’t seem to stay away from Sean—he’s spent the last eight months breaking into Sean’s apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.

Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he’s ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.

Then one of Sean’s thefts goes bad, and Ryker’s protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean’s past threatens the safety of Havoc—and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker’s hiding secrets of his own. Soon it’s obvious that the adrenaline rush can’t keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.

Running Wild is another good book by this author. It isn’t as detailed as others in her series, but it’s interesting enough to carry a new series. The concept was good, but the delivery fell short. It became predictable and cliché at parts.

I love Ryker, but Sean needed to grow up. Their relationship started strong, but then it turned more into an MF motorcycle book. Some of the scenes and the way Sean acted were easy to gender swap. I wanted Ryker and Sean to actually sit down and talk. Not pretend they were listening to each other, and not putting the club before their relationship.

One of my favorite parts was during the MCs’ separation. Perhaps because we saw another side of Sean—a more mature man trying to put his life back together and taking control. For me, the friendship between the rival motorcycle club president and Ryker stole the show. I wanted to know more about them. Maybe with Sean in the mix.

Overall, an entertaining story with likable enough characters. It lacks the emotional connection from other books from this author, but it’s a good one to start a somehow related story.

Narrator: The narration was pleasant but not remarkable. Dorian Bane did a good job getting the characters’ voices to differentiate from each other. For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about MSNBC reporter Craig Melvin. I felt as if he was narrating the story, and I didn’t mind. 🙂

The cover for the audiobook is an adaptation of the e-book version created by L.C. Chase. It’s interesting, and let the reader see the road from the rider’s perspective.

Sales Links:  Riptide | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 7 hours and 15 minutes

Published:  September 26, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B01LXXFCMM
Edition Language: English

Series: Havoc

Book #1: Running Wild

 

A Lila Audiobook Review: Duke in Hiding by M.J. O’Shea and Rusty Topsfield (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Duke In HidingEvery gentleman has something to hide.

Meeting Heath Blackwood, a gorgeous English farmer, is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to small-town landscaper Theo Brody, who has lived in quiet Maplehurst, New Hampshire, all his life. The sexy and secretive Brit shakes the foundations of his orderly world as they are swept up in a springtime romance neither can resist.

But Heath’s secrets run deeper than Theo ever imagined. He’s actually Heathcliff Pierrepont Blackwood, Duke of Kingston, in hiding from recent death threats. Suddenly there’s more separating them than the Atlantic Ocean, and Theo doubts he’ll ever fit in with English nobility. Though Heath and Theo are opposites in almost every way, their love might bridge the gap—if they’re willing to take the risk.

Duke in Hiding is a lovely friends-to-lovers story with a fairy tale twist. It’s a slow burn account of two men from two different worlds coming together to enjoy the simplicity of life in a small American town.

Heath comes to Maplehurst, NH to hide after receiving death threats. He’s the Duke of Kingston but is assuming the identity of a British farmer to avoid recognition. There isn’t much to do in town but his luck changes when he meets Theo Brody, a landscaper moonlighting as a bartender.

The night a brooding Brit entered the bar he worked part-time, Theo found him infuriating, but the more time they spent together, the more they learned how much they had in common. Through their daily meetings and following dates, we get to see how their relationship developed into true love. They had great chemistry, and their friendship was the base of their relationship.

There’s a lot happening in this story and more characters than necessary. Even when I enjoyed the story, I think it has a pacing problem. Some parts are too slow, and others are taken care with a line or two. We get unnecessary details through the story. And areas, where the reader might want to know more, were ignored.

Perhaps a little less time learning about plants and more getting to see more of the story resolution would have given this book a higher rating.

Rusty Topsfield did an excellent job making both main characters realistic. The author did create two distinct men, rooted in their countries’ characteristics and the narration helped the overall enjoyment of Heath’s and Theo’s relationship. All the secondary voices were spot on and gave the story a deepness that only reading couldn’t accomplish.

Paul Richmond’s cover matches the rest of the Dreamspun Desires series and the cover model fits Heath’s description.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield
Length: 5 hours and 8 minutes

Published: May 16, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN:  B01FMPWXZC
Edition Language: English

A Lila Audiobook Review: The President’s Husband by Michael Murphy and Randy Fuller (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

the-presidents-husband audioWhen an assassin’s bullet strikes his predecessor, Grayson Alexander becomes the first openly gay President of the United States and his husband, David Hammond, becomes the first openly gay First Husband. With their world turned upside down, David relies on his career as a medical school professor and ER doctor to keep him grounded. But his decision to keep working ruffles feathers from day one.

Gray throws himself into learning everything he needs to know to be President, especially a liberal president surrounded by a conservative cabinet and staff. Even though he puts in outrageous hours working and traveling seven days a week month after month, he’s happy. But David has trouble coping with Gray’s new job requirements. He can’t help but feel abandoned by his husband of ten years.

When Gray asks for his help with a public-health crisis, David obliges, but he is furious about what happens once the emergency passes. When they learn that the President’s staff has manipulated them both, they wonder if their relationship can survive the White House.

The President’s Husband is a remarkable read. If you’re looking for a political thriller, a steamy romance, or a drama, this is not it. This story is solely about the relationship between the newly appointed President of the United States and his husband of ten years.

We get to meet David and Gray during the Presidential Inauguration. The author gave us a hint of their relationship and how comfortable they are with each other. After ten years of marriage, they knew each other well and respected their individual careers and their dedication to them.

David and Gray have a great chemistry that it’s easy to feel during the entire story, even when they weren’t together. They have an active sex life, which the reader gets to hear more about than actually be witness to, but it works with the focus on their marriage. The on-page sex isn’t there to arouse the reader but to complement the couple’s relationship.

The political discussions are minimal since we only get David’s POV. There’s enough to set the stage for the book, but mostly, everything seems separate from the main plot. Yes, politics kept them apart, but the policies and procedures aren’t the main reason for it.

I think they are more medical references and information in the story than politics. The medical crisis David helps Gray with is the main point of content between them. There are a lot of details about what happens during this time, and some parts may be a little monotonous.

There’s a lot of drama involve in this novel, and David takes the center stage. We pass a significant amount of time in his head, making it difficult to get to know Gray. In reality, David is the main character and Gray is just his husband. We don’t get to see the antagonist doing his bidding, just mentions of him. It isn’t until the climax that we get to see the extent of his involvement.

David and Gray interact with a high amount of characters, but we only get to learn the names of a handful. David’s experiences are more important than how he gets them. Gray’s not a strong character, but he’s likable enough. I like David and how he took life by the horns, but he was a bit whiny in certain areas.

In order to enjoy this story, you need to be in the right frame of mind. You have to forget about everything you know about the President and how his family is handled. There aren’t meddling family members or best friends. David takes all his decisions using logic and tries to retain the status quo instead of rocking the boat. And this cost them both deeply.

Overall, this is a story about marriage and how communication is essential in a relationship. They could have solved a lot of problems with a simple conversation, but the rest of the drama is just an added bonus. I’m surprised by the lower rating in this story, but I think is more of a case of expecting a different story.

Personally, I’d had them get a divorce and become friends instead, but that’s just me. I enjoyed their courting and how they fought to be back together. I think Gray’s POV was needed. Plus, I think they were too young for their level of accomplishments.

This is my first story narrated by Randy Fuller. He did an excellent job, not only with the characters’ voices but with the feelings behind their exchanges. Also, I love how mature his voice is. It made it easier to visualize the main characters as older men with established careers instead of young men trying to figure out life. He also incorporated the omniscient narrator and gave it its own tone.

The cover by L.C. Chase goes with the story, but it’s hard to see the two men like David and Gray. There weren’t enough details in the story to have a clear picture of what they look like.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Randy Fuller
Length: 7 hours and 26 minutes

Published: May 24, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN:  B01G2IUW38
Edition Language: English

 

A Lila Audiobook Review: Love Hypothetically by Anne Tenino ~ Narrated by Nick J. Russo

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

LoveHypothetically_AudiobookPaul’s been called many things—graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke—but “forgiving” isn’t one of them. When the new women’s softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul’s forced to put aside his strict “no athletes” policy for the sake of his paycheck.

Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul’s high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one—the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career. But Trevor’s come out and retired from baseball, and now he’s looking for forgiveness and a second chance.

There’s no earthly reason Paul should give him one, but he keeps letting the man state his case. And touch him. And take him sailing. The waters are far from smooth, though, and Paul says awful things to Trevor he isn’t sure he means. Now Paul has to decide: apologize and forgive Trevor for everything, or chalk it up as revenge and move on.

Love, Hypothetically is a sweet second chance novella. I read Frat Boy and Toppy about four years ago, but it was easy to remember Paul and his larger than life attitude. As a series, the two stories have a great sense of place and age group. The author did an excellent job bringing the previous characters into this installment.

I’m not a fan of YA or NA, but this book was a good example of the genre done right. The characters acted their age; first as high school students, and then, as young adults. Their story is believable and doesn’t go over the top to get the characters separated or back together. The chain of events that brought them back into each other’s life seems possible.

Both main characters have very defined personalities that stayed true through the story and varied depending on their interaction with other characters. I wanted them to get another chance to happiness from the very beginning, and the pacing of their reconciliation worked for the short format.

Perhaps I wanted a little more, but that happens with every novella. I wished we got more time for Trevor to beg for forgiveness and to see how their future turns out. But since this is only book #2 in the series, I guess we will have a chance to learn a little bit more about them in the next installments.

The hypothetical conversation Paul has is perfect for the story. I can see anyone having that type of exchange with a friend. It was well-written and quirky enough to keep the reader entertain. Plus, his friend attitude added to the color of the story. We get to see how much Trevor means to Paul and how he used this hypothetical situation to open up and think about a solution to his troubles.

Overall, a story that has found a way to stay relevant several years after publication. The plot is universal, and the ‘love conquers all’ theme closes the deal. A sweet summer read.

Nick J. Russo is one of my favorite MM narrators. His voice went accordingly with the characters ages and the rest of the characters’ voices were well-represented. It was easy to be into the story the further it got. The difference between the main characters worked nicely.

L.C. Chase did an excellent job creating a cover that felt young as the characters were when their love story started. At the same time, it includes one of their dates during their rediscovery.

Sales Links: Riptide | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Length: 3 hours and 2 minutes

Published:  June 13, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN:  B01GW5WW3E
Edition Language: English

Series:  Theta Alpha Gamma
Book #1: Frat Boy and Toppy
Book #2: Love, Hypothetically

A Lila Audiobook Review: Lollipop (Candy Man #3) by Amy Lane and Narrator Philip Alces

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

LollipopEzra Kellerman flew across country to see if he had another chance with the man he let slip through his fingers. He didn’t. Rico has moved on, but he doesn’t just leave his ex high and dry. Instead, Rico entrusts his family and friends with Ezra’s care. Ezra, confused, hurt, and lost, clings to Rico’s cousin and his boyfriend as the lifelines they are—but their friend Miguel is another story.

Miguel Rodriguez had great plans and ambition—but a hearty dose of real life crushed those flat. When Miguel finds himself partially in charge of the befuddled, dreamy, healing Ezra, he’s pretty resentful at first. But Ezra’s placid nature and sincere wonder at the simple life Miguel has taken for granted begin to soften Miguel’s hardened shell. Miguel starts to notice that Ezra isn’t just amazingly sweet—he’s achingly beautiful as well. Suddenly Miguel is fending off every single man on the planet to give Ezra room to get over Rico—while fighting a burning suspicion that the best thing to help Ezra get over his broken heart is Miguel.

Lollipop is a sweet make-believe contemporary story. It’s hard to believe someone can live the MCs’ lives, but at the same time, the boardwalk/Sacramento settings grounds the story into reality. Even so, the small glances of fantasy/paranormal abilities don’t retract from the overall story.

From the moment Miguel sets eyes on Ezra, he’s drawn to him. His confusion to his reaction had him trying to put Ezra down, but when he realizes the polished man’s already broken. Miguel wants to protect Ezra and bring him back to life. Seeing Ezra being dismissed by Rico shows Miguel that they weren’t as different as he first thought– they were both invisible.

When Ezra arrives at Rico’s apartment, he realizes his mistake. He hadn’t been strong enough to stand up to his father, and now, it was too late to get Rico back. Having this knowledge does nothing to comfort Ezra’s broken heart. Fortunately, he finds an insta-family ready to help him get over Rico and all the years of hurt he endured living under his father’s thumb.

The story had some slow and awkward moments that take away from the main characters’ relationship. The dialogue and the banter worked with the rest of the series, and it was nice to see how the relationships on the previous books have evolved.

So far, this installment is my favorite in the series. The connection between Miguel and Ezra was a slow-burn, based on a friendship and how much they care for each other. Together, they discovered their place in the grand scheme of things and learned to be there for each other.

Overall, this story is about finding your place, love, friendship, and family. Ezra and Miguel found much more than love; they found acceptance and a future they could work together for. Plus, we get some clues into the next book in the series.

As with the previous two books, Philip Alces did an excellent job with the characters’ voices. He kept them consistent through all the Candy Man stories. He did a good job with the Spanish bits and the female voices, too.

The cover by Paul Richmond matches the previous two books and it’s an adaptation from the ebook one. It has Ezra’s lollipops and Clopper & Jake on it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Philip Alces
Length:  9 hours and 13 minutes

Published:  March 21, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN:  B01D5DDUAA
Edition Language: English

Series:  Candy Man
Book #1: Candy Man
Book #2: Bitter Taffy
Book #3: Lollipop

A Lila Audiobook Review: Fish Stick Fridays (Half Moon Bay #1) by Rhys Ford and Spencer Goss (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Fish Stick Fridays audiobookDeacon Reid was born bad to the bone with no intention of changing. A lifetime of law-bending and living on the edge suited him just fine—until his baby sister died and he found himself raising her little girl.

Staring down a family history of bad decisions and reaped consequences, Deacon cashes in everything he owns, purchases an auto shop in Half Moon Bay, and takes his niece, Zig, far away from the drug dens and murderous streets they grew up on. Zig deserves a better life than what he had, and Deacon is determined to give it to her.

Lang Harris is stunned when Zig, a little girl in combat boots and a purple tutu blows into his bookstore, and then he’s left speechless when her uncle, Deacon Reid walks in, hot on her heels. Lang always played it safe but Deacon tempts him to step over the line… just a little bit.

More than a little bit. And Lang is willing to be tempted.

Unfortunately, Zig isn’t the only bit of chaos dropped into Half Moon Bay. Violence and death strikes leaving Deacon scrambling to fight off a killer before he loses not only Zig but Lang too.

Fish Stick Fridays is more of an unbelievable tale than a mystery, but the author managed to rail it back into a lovely story. There’s a lot of action and open plot lines happening at the same time, trying to distract the reader from the main mystery. By the time all the clues lined up, it was time to wrap-up the book.

The main characters’ love story is more of a slow burn based on some insta-love. Attraction is there since the very beginning, but Deacon and Lang had to work on themselves before they were able to keep their relationship afloat. Add Zig into the mix, and you get the starts of a family. All three of them worked great together, and they give a little more humanity to each other.

The amount of secondary characters is only rivaled by the number of scenes and twists & turns in the story. The author keeps the reader trying to figure out how everything is connected to the very end. Some things worked for me, and other felt completely out of place for the characters.

The book was well-written, and the pacing follows the quickness of the events and the relationships. The amount of detail can be overwhelming at times and the villains a bit cliché, but nothing too over the top. It was entertaining enough but forgettable. And the title makes me think of Fridays during Lent.

This was my first story by Spencer Goss, and he did an excellent job creating a distinct group of characters. The transitions were smooth, and the female voices worked as well.

The cover by Reece Notley is perfect for this story. Perhaps it just needed a colorful tutu.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Spencer Goss
Length:  6 hours 58 minutes

Published:  March 24, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01DCIJHIW
Edition Language: English

Series:  Half Moon Bay
Book #1: Fish Stick Fridays

A Lila Audiobook Review: The Servant by Mary Calmes and Narrator Greg Tremblay

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Servant audiobookAfter saving his younger brother’s child, Daemon Shar is cursed by a witch and runs far from home, a stray who will seemingly never be anything more. But destiny is hard to outrun, even for a man who is now more cat than man beneath his robes and cowl. A chance battlefield meeting between he and Ehron, a foreign lord, gives him purpose amidst the darkness of his accursed life. Soon Daemon finds that his true nature cannot be corrupted no matter the form he inhabits.

As Ehron’s consul, Daemon plots and plans to shape his new lord’s future so that he may leave it blessed when he runs away yet again. But he never counted on his soul hungering for Ehron’s brother Gareth or for his past to catch him by the tail at last.

The Servant is an excellent interpretation of an old fairytale. The world-build was extensive for such a short story. But at the same time, it allowed the reader to see the battles, the characters, and the extended periods of time in context. The story has a medieval feeling even when it’s a strong fantasy environment.

The opening scene was difficult to follow at times, especially the audio version. It took time to get used to all the characters and their voices. Plus, the story arc starts with Daemon using his real name and the servant taking part of the battle with him isn’t the one the book is named after. There are several POV changes during the story, and it was overwhelming in certain areas, and others lacked importance, but overall, every narrator added to the story.

Daemon’s and Gareth’s relationship can be considered insta-love.  Gareth falls for Daemon’s qualities since he couldn’t see his true form under the robes and cowl. In Daemon’s case, he’s attracted to Gareth’s kind heart and his devotion to his brother & their family.

The story moves slow, and it’s very detailed. Everything from Daemon’s clothing to Ehron’s future is important to the romance and suspense plotlines. Like most fairytales, the ending happened quickly, and the resolution felt rush. We get a lot of information that solves all the open questions within a scene, and on the next one, we get a HEA. I wanted a little more time for Daemon’s identity to be revealed and for him to enjoy Gareth. Even so, it was a lovely tale of family and devotion.

As always, Greg Tremblay delivered an outstanding listening experience. The fluidity of the voices and the details he added to each character simply added to an already good story. He’s one of the best narrators in the MM genre.

The DWS Photography cover is a variation from the ebook version which was produced in 2011. It worked at that moment, but now, it makes the book look outdated. More than a re-invented fairytale, the picture in the cover makes it look like an old children book.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Length:  5 hours and 8 minutes

Published:  March 18, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01D3T777I
Edition Language: English