An Ali Audiobook Review: Horny by Anne Tenino and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Ryan Caulfield is a devout avoider of risk, so it comes as a surprise when he agrees to help a group of supernatural law enforcers catch Zeus (the god voted Least Likely to Keep It in His Pants). But how could he say no? He’s nothing if not law-abiding, even if it’s a legal code from another plane of existence. Besides, it all seems harmless enough . . . at least until the half-naked and all-hot immortal with wings and horns shows up.

In his century as an investigator for the Olympic pantheon, Leander of the eroté has solved a lot of cases and slept with a lot of humans. But on this investigation, it looks like he won’t be doing either. His assigned task is bogus, and the most alluring mortal he’s ever met is determined to avoid hooking up.

But the pull Leander feels toward Ryan the bartender won’t let him turn his attention away for long. Soon, he finds himself interested in much more than his usual dalliances with mortals. Now if only he can convince Ryan he’s worth the risk.
Sometimes I forget how funny this author’s books can be.  This was a cheeky good time.  The story got off to a bit of a slow start for me and I wasn’t too sure about it.  It picked up about 30% and took off from there for me.  I loved the two main characters together despite it being insta-love.  (I hate insta-love in contemporary stories but I give it a lot of slack in paranormal).  I also forgot how well this author can write a steamy scene.  This two were smoking hot together. 
The plot of this was pretty creative and there was a decent amount of world building especially since this is a shorter book.  I liked a bunch of the side characters and to be honest I was bummed when I looked for more books in this world and found this was a standalone story.  I would love to read more stories about these characters.
This audiobook was narrated by Nick J. Russo and I thought he did a really good job.  I’ve listened to a lot books done by this narrator and I’ve enjoyed them all.  I like the fact that he’s consistently good.
This cover was done by Simone and I think it is well done.  It is very eye catching and I think it fits the plot well.  Between the character and the color it gives it a definite underworld feeling.
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published September 20th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published August 10th 2014)
Original TitleHorny
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Played! (The Shamwell Tales #2) by J.L. Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

All the world’s a stage…but real-life lessons are hidden in the heart.

Tristan’s in Shamwell for one last summer of freedom before he joins the family firm in New York—no more farting around on stage, as his father puts it. But the classically trained actor can’t resist when members of the local amateur dramatics society beg him to take a role in their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Especially as he’ll also be giving private acting lessons to gorgeous local handyman, Con, who’s been curiously resistant to Tristan’s advances. Tristan’s determined to get Con in his bed—not only is the man delicious, there’s fifty pounds riding on Tristan’s success after a bet made with his drama school chum Amanda.

Con’s never dared to act before. A late-diagnosed dyslexic who had a hard time at school, he’s always been convinced he’d never be able to learn his lines—but with Tristan helping him, he might just be in with a chance. Trouble is, the last time Con fell for a guy, he ended up getting his heart broken, and with Tristan due to leave the country in a matter of months, Con’s determined not to give in and start anything that’s bound to finish badly.

Just as Tristan thinks he’s finally won Con’s heart—and given his own in return—disaster strikes. And the curtain may have fallen forever on their chance of happiness.

Warning: contains a surfeit of Bottoms and asses, together with enough mangled quotations to have the Bard of Avon gyrating in his grave.

I’m a fan of both JL Merrow and her Shamwell Tales, the series that follows the lives and romances of this small English village and it’s little group of thespians.  Not familiar you say?  Well, Played! in audiobook format is a splendid way to make its acquaintance because a terrific story is further enhanced by the outstanding narration by Mark Steadman.

I easily sunk into the drama and every day lives of Tristan and Con with Mark Steadman’s voice casting a spell over the tale.  The narrator rose quickly to being the “voice’ of  everyone in the large cast of players as well as acting the various roles the characters/actors were playing (play inside a play) from Bottom to Puck, and giving them life as well.  I never had a difficulty distinguishing between characters, and indeed, often forgot I was listening to only one person narrating the story, Mark Steadman is that good.

And with Mark Steadman narrating, you can concentrate on the story of Tris and Con and their rocky path towards romance and love. Ah, Tris with his rich imperious father and full load of familial expectations, none of which seem particularly desirable to Tristan.  The death of his Gram, a house, and a cat lead Tris to Shamwell, the Shamwell Players and Con.  All of which starts to erode the strict goals his family has laid out for him,. Under the influence of Con and the people he’s meeting,  Tristan becomes the person he’s meant to be.

Con, a handyman, ends up with a remarkable amount of revelations for himself as well.  A learning disability has Con convinced he could never act until Tristan starts coaching him. The why’s behind that action I’ll leave up to the story.  There’s is mystery in Con’s background and an investigation to launch in the village.  Really, Played! has a cornucopia of elements and it makes for a lively, hopping plot!

Merrow’s characters have depth and a believability about them that makes it a delight to care for them and the outcome of their romance. Especially, when you want to give them a shake or two as you will Tristan!  The story just flows and the listening goes quickly.  You’ll find the book is over and your visit in Shamwell done before you are ready to leave.  At least I felt that way.  Luckily there are more Shamwell tales out there.  I hope they all end up as audiobooks with Mark Steadman as the narrator.  I can’t wait to listen.

I highly recommend this audiobook and all the Shamwell stories, ebook and otherwise.

Cover by: Natasha Snow is  perfect for Tristan.  Love the cover.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon |  Audible |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Listening Time: 6 hrs., 58 min.

Audiobook
Published September 15th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published June 30th 2015)
Original TitlePlayed!
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Shamwell Tales #2
setting England (United Kingdom

 

 

 

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Afraid to Fly by LA Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

 

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

 

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

 

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

 

This was a great story of two broken men finding love and acceptance with one another.  Clint has had a hard battle to bring his life around and still has to face his ex’s scrutiny and his own doubts.  Travis has worked hard to keep relationships from getting too involved as they always leave but will Clint be the exception?

 

Both of these characters’ stories are heartbreaking.  After Clint’s drone catastrophe he doesn’t have anywhere or anyone to turn to and his life just implodes and he’s finally on an even keel but still incredibly lonely without any family around or anyone to lean on.  Travis knows that no one will ever want to deal with his back pain, heck he doesn’t want to deal with it and when thoughts from his past start to come back to haunt him he wants to run in fear.  I loved how Clint wasn’t willing to just let go and was willing to work for them to figure it all out.

 

Nick Russo did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I could just feel the characters’ emotions right along with them while listening.  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 love the cover art by LC Chase and it follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 9 hrs 22 min
Published: August 31, 2017 (ebook first published January 16, 2017) by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Anchor Point #2

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Can’t Hide From Me by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.

 

For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.

 

As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.

 

But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.

 

This was one of those stories that sounded interesting but I wasn’t too sure what to expect and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  This book was very well written with an in depth story and background that made for an enjoyable book.  Charles lives his life based on a bunch of rules that he has made for himself and many of the quickly get thrown out the window when Ángel comes back into his life.  Ángel has lived a lie for the last two years with minimal connection to the real world and just as he is hoping to and adjusting to real life again a stalker is turning his life upside down again.

 

Charles and Ángel are very much alpha males who don’t seem to know how to talk to each other about what is important.  Both of them are hurt from when they were together years ago but don’t focus on that since they want to find the stalker.  I loved that both of these characters had a vulnerability with each other that you didn’t see around anyone else.  The stalker tried to put a wedge between them but their strong connection doesn’t really allow for them to be pushed apart so easily.  I didn’t love the twist of who the stalker was and I know it never came to my mind.

 

Nick J Russo did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I was able to keep track of the story and characters which is always nice.  He did a great job separating the characters but also the differences in their ethnicities and accents that would be expected for the characters backgrounds.

 

Cover art by GD Leigh is absolutely perfect for the story.

 

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 9hrs 8min
Published August, 2017 (ebook first published October 3, 2016) by Riptide Publishing
Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Friendly Fire by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed the narration of this audiobook by Nick J. Russo.  I say that up front because listening to the story unfold is always a different experience from reading the book, and in the hands of a talented and experienced narrator, an average or above average story can be even more enjoyable. That’s the case here as I set out to listen to what I thought would be an interesting story but turned out to be so much better than I expected. 

Elliot McKenzie is the CEO of a highly popular social media corporation, Charmed Life.  Ostensibly, it’s for those who want to learn from past mistakes and make their lives as good as their potential.  Against all odds, he’s succeeded, and on the surface one would think he’d be pretty full of himself, but Elliot is not like that.  He’s quite down to earth and he certainly relies heavily on his staff, including his assistant, Serena.  So when she finds out he’s been getting threats, she’s on him to call the cops—something he won’t do because his sister is running for DA for the second time around and she lost the first race because of his arrest on the eve of the last election.  He won’t let bad publicity affect her this time—under any circumstances—so Serena convinces him to hire her sister’s ex-husband, a former Army Ranger who now works for a security firm.

Lennox West suffers from severe PTSD, so much so, that he’s afraid to spend too much time with his teen daughter, leading to an even further estrangement with his ex and with his daughter.  He’s trying though—going to therapy and making an effort to hold a steady job and to spend brief periods of time with the young girl.  When he meets Elliot McKenzie, life as he knew it changes drastically.  Elliot is not what he seems to be on the outside and he captures Lennox’s attention and holds it. That the sparks are mutual leads to some pretty hot sex for the two and lays the foundation for a closeness that Lennox is certainly not used to.

When accidents and threats and outright attempts on Elliot’s life keep throwing the men together and the mystery gets heavier as it appears that more than one culprit is involved, the men risk losing their independence as they see they need each other.  Does it help that Elliot’s presence in his life seems to increase the time Lennox gets to spend with his daughter? Definitely. 

The story is highly enjoyable as told by Nick J. Russo who uses a deep, rough, slightly Southern accent for Lennox and a well-paced, business-like, professional tone for Elliot’s voice.  The women in the story don’t sound the least bit fake, and in fact, at times I forgot a man was doing their voices.  My enjoyment only increased as the mystery got more complex, the men got closer, Lennox got to spend more time with his daughter, and the threats and danger to Elliot escalated out of control.  My only downside was that the couple didn’t commit to a solid future together.  Possibly the author has plans to bring them back in a sequel, and that’s something I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing.  So though the guys are together at the end, I’d call it more of a HFN rather than a HEA—still good—just not where I wanted them. 

I definitely recommend this to those who like a murder mystery—in this case attempted murder—in a contemporary MM romance with well-rounded, interesting characters.  It’s likely obvious by now, but if I must say so outright, I highly recommend the audiobook version. 

~~~~~

Cover art by LC Chase depicts the rear view of a man holding a gun down at his side. Done in black on gray and with a smudged look—somewhat like a watercolor effect—the only part of the cover that stands out from a distance is the bright “fire” red title of the book.  I don’t think the cover adds any appeal at all and would not induce me to purchase it.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 8 hours and 5 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Audible.com Release Date: August 10, 2017
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B074N5PZCH

An Ali Audiobook Review: The Interborough (A Five Boroughs Story) by Santino Hassell and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.
 
I know I’m in the minority here, but Ray and David were my least favorite couple in this series.  I really didn’t have much interest in reading more about them but the author promised more Nunzio so I was here in a hot minute.  I have to say this turned out to be a really enjoyable story and I’m super glad I read it.
 
These two have been together over a year at the time this takes place and they are really struggling.  Ray is working himself ragged with two jobs and school and David’s struggling with insecurities due to a number of things.  The book starts with them in a bad place and things only go down hill.  I probably say this in every review of this author’s work but I think his number one strength is his ability to make his characters feel so real.  He writes every day, average people who are flawed and who you can relate to in different ways.  There’s a saying in marriage therapy that there is “your side, their side and the truth”.  This was the case here.  Ray and David are both trying but they see everything differently and they were both wrong.  But they were also both right.  Anyone who’s been in a long term relationship knows how hard it can be sometimes.  There’s even a discussion at one point about how love is not always enough to make a relationship work and I think a lot of us know how true that can be.  So, there’s some angst here. There’s a bit of heartache for both of the MC’s.  But, there’s also some beauty in the rawness of their emotions.  These two work for their hea but that just makes seeing them get it so much more beautiful.
Hands down though, my favorite part of the book was the epilogue.  That was everything!  Maybe my favorite thing this author has ever written.  I enjoyed this entire book but even if I hadn’t have, it would have all been worth it just for the epilogue.  
I had originally read this book when it first came out but wanted to try it on audio, mostly for the epilogue part.  This was narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo and I have to say it was a fantastic narration.  He took this book to another level and his narration made Ray and David come to life. Every bit of humor, romance, sadness, anger, it was all here and it was packed with emotion.  I bought into these two and their romance way more in hearing it than I did in reading it. The audio took me from liking this story to loving this story.
This is the fourth book in this series and should not be read as a standalone.  It is basically a continuation of the book Sunset Park.  You would definitely need to read at least that one before you read this.  If you’re a fan of this series I definitely recommend this audio.  It was just wonderful.
The cover was done by Mel Seser and I think it was nicely done.  The same model was used for all the books in the series about the Rodriguez brothers and I think that was a great move.  It ties them all together nicely and is a good representation of the characters.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 1 page
Published May 15th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published October 24th 2016)
Original TitleInterborough
ASINB071VP1NQ4
SeriesFive Boroughs #4

An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay #8) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

 

Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great-uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.

 

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

 

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.

 

This is a great story showing that if you find the right person in the end everything can work out.  Cal has been holding on by a thread for the last six years but knows keeping his family together is what keeps him going.  Avery has continued to take the abuse of his family and boyfriend and finally has enough when the opportunity to change his life comes up.

 

Both of the characters are so unhappy and stressed with their lives they grab hold of the happiness they are able to give each other.  We see the story through both of these characters’ eyes and are able to see how the actions of those around them are slowly hurting them more and more.  I loved to see how these two were able to brighten each others’ worlds even after Cal’s whole world is ripped away from him.

 

Nick J Russo did a great job narrating this story.  I feel the characters emotions through the voices and the way his portrayed them.  I loved hearing his interpretation of the characters personalities and could just picture them even more than reading it would have done.

 

Cover art by LC Chase is great showing the car and boat that are quite important in the story and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links:  Riptide | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 8 hrs 12 min
Published: May 3, 2017 (ebook first published June 13, 2015)
Edition Language: English

Series: A Bluewater Bay Story

An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Fire (Panopolis #2) by Cari Z. and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Making a name for myself as a Villain in Panopolis is hard work. Six months ago, my boyfriend broke me out of jail. Now he’s spending most of his time defending our turf against other Villains he accidentally freed along with me. And my new psychic powers are not only impossible to control, but they’re also giving me migraines.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. My skills are improving every day, and Raul—aka the Mad Bombardier—and I have never been happier. That is, until my first solo job is interrupted by a mysterious woman who tells me that Raul has been kidnapped by a ruthless new Villain. The only way to free him is to do a job for Maggot, a man with scary ideas and an even scarier superpower.

I can’t go to the cops or a Hero for help. Odds are they wouldn’t listen to me anyway. If I fail, Raul will be killed. If I succeed, we’ll both be bound to a man who’ll stop at nothing to put Panopolis on the path to civil war.

It looks like the only way to win is to take out the competition.
This entertaining story picks up six months after the last one ended. Edward is trying to get a handle on his new powers and he and Raul are living a quiet life. Edward is having some bad side effects to his power that he’s struggling with and he’s exploring how to make a name for himself as a villain. His first bank robbery goes awry and Raul is kidnapped by the worst villain they’ve encountered yet. His love for Raul forces Edward to step into the role he doesn’t think he’s ready for yet.

This was another really good read by this author. I think this series is so unique and creative. I love the world the author has made and I personally haven’t read anything like it before. The plot races along and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next. In addition to the action you also get a sweet love story with a bit of sexy times thrown in. I highly recommend this fun series and I can’t wait for the next episode in Edward and Raul’s lives.
 
This book was narrated by Nick J. Russo.  I felt like he did a great job with all of the voices.  I’ve listened to many books narrated by him over the years and he’s consistently good.
Cover by LC Chase:  I love the cover of this book, as well as the others in the series.  They are striking and they have a sort of comic book/graphic novel vibe to them, as do the plots of the books.
Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published April 18th 2017 (first published July 12th 2015)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPanopolis #2

An Ali Audiobook Review: Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay #7) by Anne Tenino and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.

The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.

When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.
I forgot how much I enjoyed this author.  This was a great example of her story telling style. This was funny, sweet and steamy.  It starts as a bit of an enemies to lovers story due to a fall out between the two MC’s back when they were in high school.
I also liked the fact that the story felt realistic.  It was believable that these two could come together like they did.
I liked both Lucas & Gabriel as characters and they went well together.   I also enjoyed the side characters.  They all added to the story and I was so interested in one of them, Seth, that I had to look to see if he had gotten his own book.  (I’m glad to report he has & I’m off to read it as well).
This is a long series that is done by a collaboration of authors.  Since each of the books is written by a different author they can be read as a standalone with no problems.
This audiobook was narrated by Nick J Russo & I felt like he did a very good job on all of the characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and I would definitely recommend it.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I like the cover and feel it is a good representation of the MC’s and the storyline.
Audiobook Details:
8 hrs 14 mins
Audible Audio, 9 pages
Published April 13th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published April 11th 2015)
Finalist: Best Gay Romantic Comedy in the 2015 Rainbow Awards!
Original TitleWedding Favors
ASINB06Y3MWY3S
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBluewater Bay #7
CharactersLucas Wilder, Gabriel Savage settingBluewater Bay, Washington (United States)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Between Ghosts by Garrett Leigh and Narrated by Craig Beck

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
betweenghosts_audiobook2400In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul.

Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.

Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.

But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.
I first read this around this time last year.  I was excited to get the opportunity to try this on audio because I had loved the story so much when I read it.  I’m happy to say that it was just as good on audio.  Connor is a journalist who has been an anti-war protester in the past. After his soldier brother dies Connor feels that he never really knew James and he fears James didn’t know how much he loved and respected him. Trying to find some peace in regards to his feelings about his brother Connor finds himself on a mission to Iraq with a SAS team. He’s going to do a series of articles showcasing what it is that the soldiers do and how they feel about their jobs.

Nat is the leader of that team and he’s been in war zones for years. He’s lost a lot of friends, as well as big pieces of his heart. He’s not happy about being stuck with a journalist but he quickly finds himself drawn to Connor and he’s challenged to start opening up the emotional parts of himself that he thought were long gone. Nat’s lost men in his command before that he feels responsible for and he’s consumed with fear that something might happen to Connor on his watch and that’s something he can’t live with.

The story is mostly set in Iraq so there is fighting and bloodshed. I didn’t find especially violent though and I do not think it will be an issue for most. There are some social and political issues raised but nothing that makes it preachy in either pro or con views. The war as a back drop to a budding romance just served to highlight the beauty of these two men’s relationship.

The highlight of this book are the relationships. Not just between Connor and Nat but between each of them and the other men in the group. Also important are the “ghosts” in their pasts. The brother that Connor lost and the best friend who’s death Nat feels responsible for. I loved both Connor and Nat and found them to be great MC’s. I empathized with what both of them were going through in the course of the story.
This is narrated by Craig Beck and I thought he did an excellent job.  There are a number of voices in this story and it was never difficult to tell them apart.  Also, there are a lot of emotions in this story and I think he did a great good making them all come through.  It added an extra level to what was already a poignant story.
This is an audio that I would highly recommend.  Everything about it is good.  It’s a unique story with an emotional plot and great characters and it is extremely well narrated.
The cover by Garrett Leigh:  I think this is a great cover and it fits the story very well.
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