An Alisa Audio Review: If I Ever (Hell or High Water #4) by SE Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Some ghosts refuse to stay buried . . .

Prophet and Tom have been through the wringer more times than they can count, both as partners in the field and in life. Yet despite it all, they’ve built something great together. But now they need to protect it again: Prophet’s old nemesis, John Morse, is back and threatening everything he loves.

Prophet is driven enough to take John down alone, and with a chance to do exactly that on the table, he runs with it, risking himself in the process. But trusting Tom to help him is so much more than mission critical.

It’s the final stand, and with Tom and his team behind him, Prophet’s in for the fight of his life. Then a figure from his past goes missing, and the consequence of an old mission rears its head. As complications and destruction mount all around them, getting out alive becomes the most important mission of their lives.

It’s been over three and a half years since I read the last book in this series and over five since the last book was released.  Which makes it a little hard to get into the story when I don’t remember everything that happened in earlier books and I’m not sure I would enjoy them as much as I did then if this story was any indication.

There was so much going on along with all the secrets I had trouble keeping up with what was going on.  I know I liked Prophet and Tom’s relationship in the previous books but throughout this whole book they were pushing each other away and then suddenly pulling them back and all the sex scenes seemed to be displays of dominance.  And I hate to say it but I felt no investment in them taking down all the different bad guys that kept popping up.

Mark Larchmont’s narration was nice but didn’t help me keep track of the story but I’m pretty sure it’s more of the writing and the seemingly endless jumping from place to place and character to character.  I also didn’t feel the character’s emotions through his portrayal of their voices and I know it didn’t help that there were so many people to keep track of. I will definitely give him another shot in the future to see if his narration lends better to a different author.

I like the cover art by LC Chase, though the tattoo shown is described in a different location.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 8 hrs 33 min

Published: April 12, 2019 by Riptide

Edition Language: English

Series: Hell or High Water #4

An Ali Audio Review: Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1) by L.J. Hayward and Rowan Scott (Narrator)

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Rating:4 out of 5 stars

Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.

Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.

A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.

This was a fast paced adventure story about two spies on opposite sides of a case. Maybe. Or maybe they’re on the same side but they don’t know it. All they know is they can’t stand each other. Maybe. Or maybe they actually love each other……..

The story goes back and forth, from chapter to chapter, from past to present. The author keeps you guessing about what happened then and what’s happening now. All you know for sure is that these two are great together and their sexual tension jumps off the pages.

This was a new author for me and I’m really glad I tried this book. It was super good and super entertaining. The story is filled with car chases, shoot outs, blowing up bad guys, some sexy times and the best camel a boy could ever have (Sheila!!). This would make a great movie. As it is, it made a great book. It’s different and really has a bit of everything in it. Good plot that’s not too confusing, great MC’s, some action and adventure and lot’s of feelz. I highly recommend this for those of you who like romantic suspense stories.

The audiobook was narrated by Rowan Scott who I had never listened to before.  I thought he was really good and I very much enjoyed his performance. His voice was great and I never had a problem figuring out which mc was talking. I thought he did a good job on the side characters also. I will definitely listen to this narrator again soon.
Cover art by L.C. Chase:  I love the cover for this book as well as the rest of the series.  They are striking and they really stand out. The compliment each other and are perfect for the vibe of the story.
Audio Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing |Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Audio Details:
Audiobook, 11 pages
Published April 11th 2019 (first published February 26th 2018)
Original Title Where Death Meets the Devil
ASINB07QF57V9C
Edition Language English
SeriesDeath and the Devil #1

A MelanieM Audio Review: To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen and TJ Clark (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?

Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.

Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.

Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.

As both a fan of Kelly Jensen and science fiction, I was looking forward to how well the combination of the two worked out.   After listening to the wonderful audio version of To See the Sun by Kelly Jensen as narrated by TJ Clark I had a definitive answer.  It was everything I could have hoped for.

A detailist in her contemporary romances, that same aspect of her writing is found here and used to great advantage when building her alien worlds, their cultures, and the sciences that enable them to exist.  From farming in crevasses on a hard mining world with acid rains and methane mists to beautiful city that discards its evil and its refuse in a walled off underground city beneath it, each place, location, and world, becomes fully alive here as it’s so multidimensional in every way.  From the air filtration systems such as they are, the way the underground city is lighted, methods of payment and transit.  Jensen has thought it all out, and clued our minds in, whether the description is lengthy or a brief mention.  Nothing here to make your mind stop and thing “wait, how would that work here” because she’s thought of it.

Then with her foundations in place, we get great characters. With a horrible past history, we have poignant, suffering man in the person of Gael, and his “complication”,  lonely, gentle, and competent in the person of Bran, the man who sent for a companion.  As well as other secondary characters of note on the mining world.  It’s Gael we first meet and it’s quite the impression.  It serves to connect us indelibly to him as it opens him up in all his suffering and compassion.  We see his kindness, gentleness and inability to go on and survive in the world he is living in.

The story and action moves swiftly at first, the pace of the narrative pulling us into Gael’s life and situation.  Later it will smooth out to flow with the life of a farmer/miner on the edge of the galaxy.  A element I enjoyed because it felt so natural, a slower life suited to life on a farm. And that was the pace of the development of Gael’s and Bran’s relationship as well.  It’s more of a slow burn as they get to know one another to see if this arrangement could actually work out, as fraught with pitfalls as it was.

I really don’t want to go into too many actual plot details here because it would venture into spoiler territory and that would be a shame.  There is so much here to love.  All the relationship dynamics are believable and constructed in such a way that they will grab onto your heart, but slowly, just as they are working it out between them. There is suspense, and drama, and yes, some heartbreak, however, temporary, because this is a HEA story, which I deeply love.

The narrator,TJ Clark, did a wonderful job with the story. Only his ‘girlish child’s voice’ made me stumble a bit.  Then I got used to that.  That is a hard one to do right, especially when it’s such an important role here.  But his voice made the story a captivating one and pulled me into the drama, making it hard to stop for breaks when necessary.  I will definitely be listening to more books from this narrator again.

Cover By: Garrett Leigh.  Love this cover, bright and filled with the sun, an important element.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 9 hours and 7 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Audible.com Release Date: April 4, 2019
Language: English, English
ASIN: B07Q49HTR7

A Lila Audio Review:Trick Roller (Seven of Spades #2) by Cordelia Kingsbridge and Wyatt Baker (narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

It’s the height of summer in Las Vegas. Everyone believes the serial killer Seven of Spades is dead—except Levi Abrams and Dominic Russo—and it’s back to business as usual. For Levi, that means investigating a suspicious overdose at the Mirage that looks like the work of a high-class call girl, while Dominic pursues a tough internship with a local private investigator. The one bright spot for both of them is their blossoming relationship.

But things aren’t so simple. Soon Levi is sucked into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, even as his obsession with the Seven of Spades intensifies. Dominic knows that Levi isn’t crazy. He knows the Seven of Spades is still out there, and he’ll do anything to prove it. But Dominic has his own demons to battle, and he may be fighting a losing war.

One thing is certain: the Seven of Spades holds all the cards. It won’t be long before they show their hand.

Trick Roller is one of those rare books in which the sequel is better than the first book. It’s also slower and less complicated. The reader has more time to get into the characters and be part of their growth instead of concentrating primarily on solving the mystery.

I enjoyed the amount of detail in the story. It’s not info dump, but a great characterization. The author takes time to plant small details about the characters, their past, present, and hard times. The story is an intricate web of events and personalities that move the plot forward.

Levi and Dominic aren’t perfect, which makes the book interesting. They can be anyone we know dealing with their everyday issues. Their relationship also develops in this book and I’m glad they were in sync during the story. It was them against the world. The book has an ending, but the series ends in an interesting cliffhanger.

This time around, the narration by Wyatt Baker wasn’t as bad. Yes, I still had issues recognizing the speaker but I was familiar enough with the characters.

The cover by Garrett Leigh has elements from the story and it matches the previous book in the series.

Sales Links:  Riptide | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Wyatt Baker
Length: 7 hours and 56 minutes

Published: March 19, 2019 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B07PJM5QS7
Edition Language: English

Series: Seven of Spades
Book #1: Kill Game
Book #2: Trick Roller

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