An Alisa Audio Review: Once Burned (Anchor Point #6) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Captain Mark Thomas’s world has been tossed on its head: A long overdue but still unexpected divorce. A promotion out of left field. Last-second orders to a ship where careers go to die. As the dust settles in his new home, he barely recognizes his life, but he sure recognizes the loneliness creeping in.

Diego Ramírez wants nothing to do with the military or its men. Not after the Navy burned him both literally and figuratively, costing him his career, his health, and ultimately his green card. Now working illegally in an Anchor Point bar, he keeps the military and its personnel at arm’s length.

But after a single moment of eye contact across the bar, Mark and Diego can’t resist each other. As a one-night stand quickly turns into more, Diego knows he’s playing with fire. Now he can stick around and let things with Mark inevitably fall apart, or he can run like hell and wonder what might have been. One way or another, Diego knows he’s about to get burned. Again.

I love this series so much and it keeps being great.  Mark is settling into his new home and just looking to get rid of the loneliness brings him so much more.  Diego is just trying to survive without letting the military hurt him anymore.

Both of these guys have had problems in the past and had to work through them to give their relationship more traction.  I hated that Mark had felt he needed to have sex to keep loneliness at bay for so long but now that he and his ex-wife are on good terms he is able to start seeing where they both went wrong.  Diego just keeps getting kicked while he’s down and I was so glad that even though there was some hurt done that Mark was able to help him get his life back on track and find the happiness he was missing.

 

It was so great to listen to Nick Russo narrating this story as he is one of my favorite narrators and haven’t had many stories by him in a while.  He does a great job portraying the characters’ emotions and it makes it easy to connect with them.  The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on and get an idea of the characters personality some more.

I like the cover art by LC Chase and it continues follow the pattern for the series.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7 hrs 44 min
Published: January 6, 2019 by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Anchor Point #6

A Lila Audio Review: Running Blind (Havoc #2) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

An ATF agent who lives for danger finds what he craves from an outlaw biker.

It’s impossible for a one-percenter motorcycle club member to simply walk away—and no one knows that better than undercover agent Bram, who’s almost killed for trying. His cover isn’t blown—yet—but it’s only a matter of time. The Heathens won’t be satisfied until he’s dead, so he decides to lay low and heal.

But when his younger brother’s disappearance throws a wrench into his plan, Bram ends up in Shades Run, a town ruled by the notorious Havoc MC. In less than twenty-four hours, Bram finds himself at the mercy of Sweet, Havoc’s president, as he throws himself into the undercover role of a lifetime: himself. A man who’s never belonged anywhere, and who will do anything to protect his younger brother.

When finding Linc seems impossible, Bram is torn between Sweet, Linc, and revealing his true identities . . . and there appears to be no way out. Once again, he risks it all trying to save it all. Only this time he’s got no backup to save him if he falls.

Running Blind is better than Running Wild, which is not an easy feat for the second book in a series. This has the author’s signature grit, those characters that are lovely, but a bit damage. It has a perfect mix of sweet (no pun intended) and dirty. It shows the reader how good is between the characters, all of them.

The plot is complex but doesn’t take away from the romance between Sweet and Bram. They are electric since their first encounter and do not cut corners to establish their relationship. The end is a little rush but by them, the reader is ready to get to the resolution and the happily ever after.

There’s a slight connection between the books, and we get to see Rush and Ryke again. They aren’t an integral part of the plot, but they help it move forward.

Overall, this is definitely a must listen for this year.

It took me a minute to get used to the characterizations by Mark Larchmont. He did a nice job creating memorable characters. At some points though, some of the voices seem similar. Especially between Sweet and Bram.

The cover by L.C. Chase matches the crossroads in the story. It also matches the first installment.

Sales Links:  Riptide | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Mark Larchmont
Length: 6 hours and 11 minutes

Published:  February 4, 2019 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B07N8GYLN7
Edition Language: English

Series: Havoc
Book #1: Running Wild
Book #2: Running Blind

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

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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:

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

An Alisa Audio Review: Going Overboard (Anchor Point #5) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

It turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.

 

Second-class petty officers Dalton Taylor and Chris Ingram have been best friends since coxswain’s school. Now they’re stationed together in the Harbor Patrol Unit of NAS Adams. They’re content as friends, but secretly, they both ache for more. Neither makes a move, though; while Dalton is out and proud, Chris is closeted—even from his best friend.

 

Then another coxswain’s negligence nearly drowns Dalton. After a taste of how easily they could lose each other, neither man can keep his feelings hidden anymore, and it turns out love and sex come easy when you’re falling for your best friend.

 

Things aren’t just heating up between the friends-turned-lovers, though. The Navy is investigating the accident, and the Harbor Patrol chief isn’t going to let his star coxswain go down for dereliction of duty, even if saving him means throwing Dalton under the bus.

 

As the threats and gaslighting pile up, Chris and Dalton need each other more than ever—as shipmates, friends, and lovers. But if their chief prevails, the only way they can save their careers is to let each other go.

 

This was another nice story in this series.  Dalton is struggling to keep his feelings for his best friend hidden but when he is injured Chris steps up to help him.  Chris has kept his preferences to himself for so long but when the very real possibility of losing Dalton comes up he jumps in with both feet.

 

I really liked both of these guys and how easily they took to a relationship, but that is what can happen when you have been best friends for so long.  I could see their frustration and worry with how the accident was being handled and how the chief was treating Dalton.  I felt for Dalton when he was feeling down about his feelings for Chris and then his frustration when he had trouble getting back to normal after the accident.  I loved Chris’s endless support for Dalton and how all he wants is for him to be happy and alive.

 

It was so nice to listen to Nick Russo narrating this story as it’s been quite a while since I have had one of his stories and he did a wonderful job.  He continues to portray the characters’ emotions and it makes it easy to connect with them.  The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on and get an idea of the characters personality some more.

 

I like the cover art by LC Chase and it continues follow the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7 hrs 30 min
Published: November 8, 2018 by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Anchor Point #5

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An Ali Audio Review: Romantic Behavior (Bad Behavior #4) by L.A. Witt and Cari Z/ Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Detective Andreas Ruffner is no fool—he’s found a man who loves him, puts up with him, and has stuck with him through hell and back, and it’s time to put a ring on it. Darren Corliss is the love of his life, and he wants the whole world to know it.

Now the fun part—the wedding!

Well, after the not-so-fun part of planning the wedding in between dealing with overbearing and impossible-to-please family members. With future mothers-in-law driving them both up a wall, the guest list growing out of control, and the wedding getting ever more complicated, Darren and Andreas have to wonder if they’re in over their heads.

But they’re going to make it to the altar if it kills them . . . and at this rate, it just might.

This was a really lovely story.  The previous three books have been action packed and have revolved around the crimes they’re trying to solve. This one was all about Andreas and Darren and their upcoming wedding. No shoot outs, no drama, no sadness. Just these two being in love and being happy. It was filled with “Awww” moments and I really enjoyed it.

The book was narrated by Michael Ferriauolo who did a very good job. He has narrated the entire series and they have all be solid performances.  I think the narration really added to the emotional aspect of the book which was lovely since it was a long road for these two MC’s and the readers.

This book should not be read as a standalone. You would need to read the previous books in the series first. Great ending to these two guy’s story.

The cover was done by Garrett Leigh.  I liked it and felt it matched the others in the series really well.  I thought it was a nice touch that this was the same style as the first three but was a different color than they were.  It was a nice representation that the MC’s are finally happy and have found their hea.
Audiobook Details:
Length: 3 hrs and 2 mins
Audible Audio, 3 pages
Published July 27th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published January 13th 2018)
Original TitleRomantic Behavior
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBad Behavior #4
CharactersDarren Corliss, Andreas Ruffner

An Ali Audiobook Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by L.A. Witt and Cari Z. with Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Detective Darren Corliss is hanging by a thread. In between recovering from a near-fatal wound and returning to work at a hostile precinct, he’s struggling to help care for his ailing brother. His partner and boyfriend, Detective Andreas Ruffner, wants to help, but doesn’t know how. And with his own family crises brewing, Andreas is spread almost as thin as Darren.

For cops, though, life takes a backseat to the job. When a stack of unsolved homicides drops into their laps, Andreas and Darren think they’re unrelated cold cases. But when a connection surfaces, they find themselves on the tail of a prolific serial killer who’s about to strike again.

Except they’ve got nothing. No leads. No suspects. Just a pile of circumstantial evidence and a whole lot of hunches. Time is running out to stop the next murder—and to pull themselves back from their breaking points.

I enjoyed this one. In this installment we find Darren and Andreas a few months down the road. Darren is still recovering from his injuries from book one so the guys are working on cold cases. They come across some cases that they realize show the pattern of a serial killer.

This had an interesting case and I thought that aspect was entertaining and well done.  I like how they took the cold case and turned it into an exciting and action packed case.

My favorite part of this book though was the development between the two MC’s. Their relationship was still tentative by the end of the first book but I really started feeling their connection in this one. They have some great scenes together. They’re both complex characters with some pretty serious family issues.  The scenes between Darren and his brother Archer are just heartbreaking.
This audiobook was narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo and I thought he did a really good job.  His performance really added to the vibe and feeling of the story.  It made the emotional scenes between the two main characters even more impacting.  I enjoyed both of the main character’s voices as well as all of the side characters.
Overall this was a really good read/listen.  This is the second book in the series and I do not recommend it as a standalone.  If you’ve read book one I think you will enjoy this.  If you haven’t and you’re looking for a new series to start this would be a good one
Cover Artist: will be updated once the  RT site is back up.
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing’s link is unavailable atm | Amazon | Audible
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published July 2nd 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published August 19th 2017)
Original TitleSuspicious Behavior
ASINB07F2MDKXT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBad Behavior #2

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn/Kirt Graves (Narrator

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire – if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the sociology department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least, not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk his heart when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

Any hockey romance is an autoread or listen for me.  I just can’t help myself, especially so one by author Avon Gale.  So I was really looking forward to listening to the new audiobook, Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn as narrated by Kirt Graves.

The first in a new series, I’m hoping it follows others in the Atlanta Venom team because several come across just as layered and interested as Tristan.  Tristan actually is my favorite character here, thoughtful, big hearted, intelligent, and sexy.  What’s not to love?  In comparison, professor Sebastian, who is older, comes off as judgmental, temperamental, and not as easy to connect with.  Oh, yes, and he’s a bit of a Dom.  Not that he’s not believable, Sebastian is, its just that he’s not so easy to like at first.

It’s lust at first sight, the liking comes later.  For both the characters and the reader.  At least for me.

As always, the hockey element is amazing.  From the interplay on ice to the team dynamics, the  game comes live and the love for all aspects of hockey is something that you can just feel as an active ingredient in this wonderful story.  It’s the foundation, framework, and spice that adds energy to everything that happens here.

The characters are so solid that even the supporting secondary cast feel just as noteworthy as Tristan and Sebastian.  You want to know more about each and every person you come in contact with and hope that new stories that arrive happen to bring these people further under the microscope.

I loved the romance, as stressful and argumentative as it got at times.  The authors made it, well, if not easy, then each characters perspective accessible.  Together the men are hot and sexy, the D/s was something they were exploring together as Tristan was new to the idea of a submissive role.  The heat factor here?  Off the charts.

Kirt Graves handled all of the roles and voices beautifully, no matter the gender.  It was easy to differentiate each character, and he made the story flow quickly.  I will definitely seek out more stories narrated by him.

Now I can’t wait for the next in the series.  Doesn’t matter whether it is the eBook or audiobook version.  I may want both.

In the meantime, I highly recommend this audiobook version for all lovers of contemporary romance with a hockey base.

 

Cover art is perfect.  Love the bench and the player with his skates.

Sales Links:    Audible

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 7 hours and 53 minutes

Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published October 30th 2017)
ASINB07D2JH1XZ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHat Trick #1
CharactersTristan Holt, Sebastian Cruz, Ryu Mori, Trevor Morley, Daniel Bellamy settingAtlanta, Georgia (United States)

A Lila Audionook Review: Kill Game (Seven of Spades #1) by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Homicide detective Levi Abrams is barely holding his life together. He’s reeling from the fallout of a fatal shooting, and his relationship with his boyfriend is crumbling. The last thing he’s prepared for is a serial killer stalking the streets of Las Vegas. Or how he keeps getting thrown into the path of annoyingly charming bounty hunter Dominic Russo.

Dominic likes his life free of complications. That means no tangling with cops—especially prickly, uptight detectives. But when he stumbles across one of the Seven of Spades’s horrifying crime scenes, he can’t let go, despite Levi’s warnings to stay away.

The Seven of Spades is ruthless and always two moves ahead. Worst of all, they’ve taken a dangerously personal interest in Levi and Dominic. Forced to trust each other, the two men race to discover the killer’s identity, revealing hidden truths along the way and sparking a bond neither man expected. But that may not be enough to protect them.

This killer likes to play games, and the deck is not stacked in Levi and Dominic’s favor.

Kill Game is an interesting police procedural with a good amount of comedic relief & romance.  It’s not totally dark, but it has enough grim to make the reader guess the outcome. The book has a fulfilling ending, but as a series ends in a cliffhanger. Not enough to disappoint, but enough to want to listen to the next installment immediately.

I really enjoyed the main characters’ imperfections. Neither of them is a demi-god, superhero combo with perfect bodies or lives. They are down-to-earth men, truthful to their jobs and lovely with their friends and families. They wanted to do better for others even when their lives were less than perfect.

Their relationship is more than slow. By the end of the book they are finally coming to terms with their attraction, but even then, they took the time to get to know each other, providing the space they needed to be better before moving forward. I hope the next couple of books show us more of their relationship.

All the secondary characters were fleshed out and the victims interesting enough to carry the suspense angle. I like the Seven of Spades and the way it plays the game with Levi and Dom. Showing how much they learned from each other.

This is my first audiobook by Wyatt Baker and it didn’t work for me. I’m glad the story was solid and kept my interest. I had trouble following who was talking. At least, thanks to the author, I had enough clues to figure it out. Definitely, not looking forward to another of his narrations.

The cover by Garrett Leigh shows the main clue in the story and goes with the dark theme.

Sales Links:  Riptide | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Wyatt Baker
Length: 7 hours and 56 minutes

Published: April 20, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B07CG9XC8Y
Edition Language: English

Series: Seven of Spades
Book #1: Kill Game

 

An Ali Audiobook Review: An Ali Audiobook Review: Dirty Deeds (Dirty Deeds, #1) by SE Jakes and Adam North (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Two seasoned operatives finally meet their match: each other.

Cillian works for the mysterious Special Branch 20: an organization that runs black ops commissioned by the British government. His specialty is deep undercover assignments with virtually no support. He’s been alone for so long that he no longer knows anything else.

Mal’s also used to being alone. Wanted in several states and even more countries, he’s not allowed in the vicinity of any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. And his current assignment is to track Cillian in order to discover the spook’s endgame. Except he’s no longer sure which one of them is getting played.

Cillian isn’t about to let the mission that’s consumed him for the past several years crumble because an outsider is poking around where he doesn’t belong. But Mal forces his way through Cillian’s defenses—and into his heart—exposing a devastating betrayal that could destroy them both.

I have enjoyed SE Jakes series that are connected to this one, Hell or High Water and EE, Ltd and I liked this just as much.  But it’s a cliff hanger and no real date in sight of the next book….

Cillian and Mal have both been seen in other books but this is the first focused on them.  These two both have deep pasts that are only partially delved into in this book and I hope we learn more about them.  They are connected far more than they ever though until the end of this book and we can see the connection.  Both of these men have been damaged and I couldn’t help but feel for them and there is no disguising that their jobs aren’t the easiest either.

Dorian Bane did a wonderful job narrating this story as always.  I loved the voices he used for the characters and how easily it helped to understand them.  I could feel their emotions and connect with them easily.

I really like the cover art by LC Chase and I like how it’s just similar enough to the other connected books but different at the same time.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 2 hrs 30 min
Published: April 12, 2018 by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Dirty Deeds #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: Free Falling (Extreme Escapes, Ltd.) by S.E. Jakes and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sometimes falling in love is the most dangerous thing of all…

Blue’s a thief who lives for adrenaline and danger. When he meets Mick, a mercenary and a hitter, he feels an immediate attraction. But Mick reneges on a bet they’ve made, leaving Blue pissed and confused.

When they meet again a year later, Blue’s in terrible danger after having walked into the middle of one of Mick’s jobs. Mick saves him, and although the two men have fallen for one another, they have no idea how to handle that kind of intimacy that’s been forced on them.

But when Mick goes missing on a job, Blue’s the one to go after him, determined to save the man he loves no matter the cost.

I very rarely do re-reads and there’s a reason for that.  This book reminded me of why.   I find that over time my tastes change and things I really liked before often don’t hold the same appeal years later.  This series used to be one of my favorites though so I thought there was a good chance it would hold up.  It wasn’t a fail per se but I also wasn’t wow’d.
The two men have met in the past and now again a year later when Blue finds himself in the middle of one of Mick’s jobs.  The story is fast paced as is the love story.  It was very insta-love which was probably my biggest peeve with the story.  That didn’t used to bother me but has become a plot device I don’t care for anymore.  Also, the story is filled with sex scenes.  Too many for the length of the book in my opinion.  I felt like the story relied on their chemistry in bed more so that building an actual relationship between them.
This story was narrated by Dorian Bane.  I thought he did a good job on both MC’s.  I had never listened to a book by this narrator so it was a pleasant surprise.  I’m always looking for new narrators that I enjoy and I will be adding this one to my list.
Cover:  This book’s cover was done by CrocoDesigns.  I like the cover and think it looks really good.  It’s a really eye catching design.
Audiobook Details:
Kindle Edition, 134 pages
Published March 8th 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published December 5th 2012)
Original TitleFree Falling
ASINB00IWAI7OQ
SeriesExtreme Escapes, Ltd. settingBogotá (Bogota) (Colombia)