Barb, a Zany Old Lady Review: Wholehearted by Cate Ashwood – Audiobook narrated by John Orr

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5audiobook clipart bw

Wholehearted coverWhen police officer Declan Grant goes to investigate the report of someone sleeping at the end of the town dock, he’s shocked to find a bruised, bloody, and unconscious man. And he’s even more shocked by his reaction to the man— under all the blood is a handsome young man who grabs Declan’s heart and won’t let go. Though he’s not happy with the hostile reaction he gets from the man when he finally wakes in the hospital, he finds himself offering a home and friendship to Lucas Hale and the offer comes from a deep and warm place in his heart.

Against his better judgment, Lucas accepts the offer of this stranger, a man who he feels safe with, and, we later learn, finds very cute and hot. The two grow closer together over the time that Lucas is recuperating and slowly Lucas begins to trust Declan until he finally tells him the full story of the homophobic attack that occurred while working on a lobster boat. He makes Declan swear to keep it confidential, and Declan, even though he’s a police officer, agrees to do that. But Declan didn’t agree not to investigate on his own, and he manages to gather information on all the men involved in case Lucas changes his mind someday.

Over time, Declan and Lucas grow stronger together and eventually declare their love and hope for a future together. But when Mack finds the file Declan had hidden, and arranges for arrest warrants, Declan is the one who has to tell Lucas of his betrayal. And that’s exactly how Lucas sees it. Broken-hearted over the break in his trust, Lucas leaves, telling Declan that he never wants to see him again.

The next few months are hell for Declan, but bring a happy surprise to Mack and Oliver, MC’s in the first book in the series, “Brokenhearted” in the form of a new addition to their family. Eventually Declan and Lucas get to see each other again while preparing for the trial, and after a long and heartfelt talk they begin to work their way toward their HEA. A large part of the story revolves around the separation period as we see it’s a difficult journey for Declan, one for which he has to travel alone for a while, and begin to see what he most wants in this world and what he’s willing to do to get it.

I loved the story and the narration was superb. John Orr’s narrator voice was different from the inflections he gave to Declan and Lucas and they were different from Mack, Oliver and Hayden who all return for a cameo appearance. He also brought reality to each scene— from panting to, crying, laughing, and sighing— all were done to perfection. I would normally give this story 4 stars but his narration is so good it moves the rating up to 4.5 overall.

I recommend this book and this series to all lovers of M/M romance, especially to those who love angst and hurt/comfort stories. The audiobook is outstanding so I recommend this format for not only this book but the entire series. Since I’ve listened to the other two books in the series, I can honestly say that they all have outstanding narration by John Orr.

Cover Art depicting a fishing boat with a blood stain on the side is by Aaron Anderson. I found that the art was a perfect depiction of the boat on which Lucas was hurt and the blood symbolic of the injuries he suffered there.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner audio book  iTunes   Audible   amazon

Book Details:

Cover Artist Aaron Anderson
Narrator John Orr
Length 6 hours and 18 minutes
Categories
AudiobooksCate AshwoodHope Cove Series by Cate Ashwood
Book Type Audiobook
Other Formats eBookPaperback

Barb, the Zany Old Lady, Review: Wolf in Gucci Loafers by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

WolfinGucciLoafersLGSequel to “The Pack and the Panther”, this is Lindsey’s story. Lindsey—flamboyant, wealthy, half-human/half-wolf, destined to live his life without a partner because wolves don’t tolerate gay men or humans, and gay human men? Never. And forget having a human mate! Wolf code forbids him from ever revealing the existence of werewolves to humans. He would be put to death, and what they would do to the human would be beyond unthinkable.

When he smells a delicious and intoxicating human scent one night and follows its trail to the sexiest human he’s ever laid eyes on, he knows immediately that his wolf would want to dominate this man and that he can never allow that to happen. When he finally meets the guy, he finds out Seth Zabrowsky is a cop helping the FBI with the recent string of kidnappings of wealthy children, and he knows that he can’t ever have his heart’s desire. A cop would be so very, very bad.

When the governor’s daughter is kidnapped, Lindsey rushes to his friend’s aide. Lindsey Vanessen and his wealthy family have supported the governor financially, and Lindsey and the man have become friends. It was the governor who actually helped Lindsey and his best friend Cole get Cole’s husband back when he was kidnapped in “The Pack and the Panther”. What Lindsey doesn’t tell Seth and the FBI is that he recognizes the warehouse where the little girl is being held, and he takes it upon himself to rescue her, but he does it in his street vigilante, little-old-lady costume. Yes, Lindsey is known on the streets as the Granny, a woman who has thwarted rapists and unofficially helped the cops cut back on late night crime.

After the kidnapping, Seth seeks out Lindsey’s help to mingle with the wealthy set in the hopes that he can spot something that will lead him to the ringleader of the kidnappers. It’s during this time that he and Lindsey can no longer deny their attraction, and they seek a rough and tumble alpha fight for dominance in their sex. And, not too amazingly, they are both very happy with the fact that their very dominant natures have found a complementary partner. Of course, true love never runs smoothly and Seth finds out about Granny, insulting Lindsey and breaking it off with him before it goes any further. There’s more intrigue and angst along the way in this book, with the men getting together and breaking up a few times before a crazy kidnap and rescue scene that reveals Lindsey’s true form to Seth.

There’s a concurrent subplot about a young orphan who Lindsey immediately warms to and feels a bond with. The young boy is unaware that he’s a wolf about to undergo his first change, but thanks to Lindsey’s intervention, he’s accepted into Lindsey’s family and his pack in time to make a difference.

I really liked the push/pull of the guys’ relationship in this story, and both characters were well-developed and likeable. In fact, I really liked Lindsey in the first book and loved him even more in this one. There were some major holes in the mystery, principally surrounding a double kidnapping where one victim was rescued and failed to inquire about the other victim until the next day. Since they were on a date together when the kidnapping occurred, my expectation was that there would be some mention of the other man by the victim, the cops or someone. I can’t go into greater detail because it would be a major spoiler but that made this section seem off, and if the author’s intent was to direct our attention to the possible kidnapper through that awkward situation, it was overkill. It was already easy to figure out long before that.

Since the MCs do get their HEA, and a very nice one indeed, and I loved the MCs, the basic storyline, and the pace of the story, I’m happy to recommend this one to my m/m friends who are looking for a light mystery with some very hot characters who spend some very hot time between the sheets.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson.  it was hot and colorful and fit the story perfectly with it’s depiction of Jeremy in his flamboyant clothing as well as his wolf persona. 

Sales links:  Dreamspinner Press ebook  Audio Book    All Romance eBooks   Amazon ebook  Wolf in Gucci Loafers

Book Details:

book, 235 pages
Published April 16th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published April 15th 2014)
ISBN 1627984518 (ISBN13: 9781627984515)
edition languageEnglish
seriesTales of the Harker Pack #2

Series:  Tales of the Harker Pack:

The Pack or the Panther (Tales of the Harker Pack, #1
Wolf in Gucci Loafers (Tales of the Harker Pack #2)