An Ali Audio Review: No Tears for Darcy by Vicki Reese and Brock Hatton (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Letting love pass them by would be a crime.

Former forensic accountant Cameron has lost nearly everyone he’s ever loved, and now his vintage clothing shop has been broken into and trashed. When town police chief Will Carson asks an out-of-town cop friend of his for help, Cam takes one look at the dark-haired, blue-eyed detective and knows he’s in real trouble—and it has nothing to do with vandalism or murder.

Pete Minchelli is on leave from his job in Philadelphia due to a gunshot wound, but he figures he can help an academy buddy with some light police work. Plus, he’ll have a chance to experience small-town life. He’s tired of the big city and all its corruption. But he quickly discovers that not all the bad stuff happens in cities. What he doesn’t expect to find is death, treachery—or love.

This was a romantic suspense with a pretty entertaining plotline.  The story is told from multiple points of view.  This is not something that always works for me but in this case I found myself enjoying see the story unfold through the various character’s eyes.
I liked both Cam and Pete and I thought their romance was lovely.  It was sweet and I really liked the two of them together.  They had what I would consider a happily for now. I would definitely like to read a short story about them down the road.
This was narrated by Brock Hatton who was a new narrator for me.  I thought he had a nice voice and did a good job on the different characters and the different points of view.
Overall I really enjoyed this and would recommend it. Both the author and narrator were new to me but I would try both of their works again.
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Audiobook Details:
Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
Audible Audio
Published September 13th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published April 3rd 2018)
Original Title No Tears for Darcy
ASIN B07GVRFNKN
Edition Language English

An Ali Audiobook Review: All the Way to Shore (Stories from the Shore #1) by CJane Elliott and Tim McKiernan (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humiliation behind. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.

Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business success, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.

Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.

This was a fun and enjoyable story.  The blurb does a good job of explaining the plot.  The romance is well done and I enjoyed both of the main characters.  They’re a bit flawed but still good guys.  They each have a quirky side character which I also thought added to the story.
The story was narrated by Tim McKeirnan and I thought he did a good job on it.  I enjoyed the way he did both of the main characters as well as the side characters.  I thought the narration added to the overall story.  I had not listened to this narrator before but will definitely try him again.
Overall this was an entertaining audiobook.  The plot was fun and sweet and had really likable characters and the narration was also good.  It’s relatively short and would make  for a great summer pool side listen.
 
The cover was done by L.C. Chase and I think it was well done.  It fits the characters and the overall plot well.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio
Published April 19th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published November 23rd 2016)
Original TitleAll the Way to Shore
ASINB07CGQG495
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStories from the Shore #1

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

Standard
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

An Ali Audiobook Review: Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin #9) by Jordan L. Hawk and Julian G. Simmons (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.

Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.

Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.

Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.

Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.
Every time I read a book in this series I wonder how the author keeps coming up with such unique plots that keep me entertained from the first page until the end.  This book was no exception.  Whyborne and Griffin are drawn in to another mystery when members of the town’s old families begin to die in mysterious ways.  They are still trying to figure out the Fideles and Whyborne is worrying about his role in things.  He is a bit overwhelmed in some ways and he misses the easier times he and Griffin had in the past. 
The plot itself is fast paced and full of adventure.  It’s also pretty creepy in places.  In addition to a constant supply of new plots, the author manages to give us a constant supply of new kinds of monsters.  The ones in this book were some of the scariest we’ve seen. There are a lot of the side characters we’ve grown to love in the course of the series such as Christine (who I want to be when I grow up) and Persephone, as well as others we may not care for so much, such as Whyborne’s father.
This audio book was narrated by Julian G. Simmons and I thought he did a very good job. I felt like he did both Whyborne and Griffin in distinctive manners that made each other them stand out.  He also did a good job on the side characters and there were quite a few for this audio.  I have not listened to this narrator before but will definitely try him again.
Overall, I really enjoyed this.  I thought it was a very fun installation in this series.  I had read all of the previous books and this was my first audio version.  I enjoyed it a lot though and may do the next on audio also.  
Cover Art by Lou Harper:  Unfortunately I really dislike the cover.  I am not at all a fan of the cover re-dos for this series.  I wish the author had left them like they were.  I was so bummed the day I turned on my Kindle to discover my old covered books had automatically turned over to these new ones. 

Sales Links

Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio
Published July 24th 2017 by Widdershins Press LLC (first published June 2nd 2017)
ASINB0743M4SWD
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWhyborne & Griffin #9 settingWiddershins, Massashusetts (United States)
Massachusetts (United States)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that’s running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart… even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
Fae are my some of my favorite paranormal creatures and I rarely find them done in the m/m genre so I’m always happy when this author does paranormal books because she does Fae well.  This was an urban fantasy story that developed from a previously done short story.  This is set in an alternative San Francisco and I thought the setting and world building was just fantastic.  Everything was described in such rich detail that I felt like I was there.  I could imagine all of the narrow, crowded streets, the different kinds of people and fae, the dragons that guarded the buildings.  It’s the type of story telling you need to read slowly so you can savor all of the words.
I really liked Roku as our main point of view.  He’s a complicated man with a tragic past, one of which unfolds over the course of the book.  I was a big fan of his from the very beginning of the book.  His partner Trent was a nice addition to the story and I ended up liking him as well.  There a host of side characters and they all are well developed in their own way.  They were also vividly done.
I thought the mystery aspect was really good.  It was fast paced and filled with action and adventure.  This book would make an excellent movie.  It was one high octane moment after another.  My only complaint was the romance aspect was insta-love.  I found this hard to by into with Roku’s horrible previous losses.  If it had been up to me I would have liked to see this be an ongoing series with a much slower developing romance.  But….since it’s not up to me, I just rolled with it.  They were sweet together and they both deserved some happiness.
This audiobook was narrated by Greg Tremblay and I felt like he did a very good job on this.  His voice has a nice cadence which I enjoy.  I felt he did an equally good job on all of the many voices and I enjoyed his narration a lot.
This cover was done by Anne Cain and I think it is a lovely cover.  I was immediately drawn to the rich purple and gold/orange colors on it.  I also think it is a great representation of the plot.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 10 pages
Published July 21st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 9th 2017)
Original TitleDim Sum Asylum
ASINB0742FWZMV
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersRoku MacCormick, Trent Leonard settingChinatown, San Francisco, California (United States)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Setting the Hook (Love’s Charter #1) by Andrew Grey and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
It could be the catch of a lifetime.

William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.

Mike started his Apalachicola charter fishing service as a way to care for his daughter and mother, putting their safety and security ahead of the needs of his own heart. Denying his attraction becomes harder with each of William’s visits.

William and Mike’s latest fishing excursion starts with a beautiful day, but a hurricane’s erratic course changes everything, stranding William. As the wind and rain rage outside, the passion the two men have been trying to resist for years crashes over them. In the storm’s wake, it leaves both men yearning to prolong what they have found. But real life pulls William back to his obligations. Can they find a way to reduce the distance between them and discover a place where their souls can meet? The journey will require rough sailing, but the bright future at the end might be worth the choppy seas.
  
I hadn’t read this author in a few years (cuz I’m easily distracted with new authors) but this blurb sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try.  I’m really glad I did as I enjoyed this very much.  The blurb summaries the base part of the plot well.  A few major events happen that lead to these two men spending time together and falling for each other. I found the plot unique and it wasn’t along the lines of anything I’d read before.  The romance was a slow burn and I thought it developed in a very natural and believable manner.  When they did get together it was a sweet and touching.
One of the best parts of the book to me was the character development.  I liked both of these MC’s for a variety of reasons.  It was nice to see characters that were a little older than most romance books and I liked the way Mike is portrayed as a father.
The two hit some rough patches so it’s not all smooth sailing but they get their much deserved happily ever after in the end.
This audiobook was narrated by Greg Tremblay and I thought he did a very good job.  He is a narrator that I’ve listened to a lot and I find his narrations consistently good.  If you enjoy audiobooks I would definitely recommend that you try this one.
This cover was designed by L.C Chase and I think it is just gorgeous.  It perfectly captures the feel of the book and I think it’s very eye catching and appealing.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Listening Time: 6 hrs 22 minutes

Audiobook
Published June 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 12th 2017)
Original TitleSetting the Hook
ASINB0731W6XFW
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLove’s Charter #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1) by K-lee Klein and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Brett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude. 

JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man. 

JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.
This was a touching, slow burn romance.  JT has his work cut out for him with Brett.  Brett is struggling so hard with Walt’s death that he hasn’t allowed himself to heal or to move on in any way.  Once he realizes he cares for JT he’s racked with guilt.
The two men become friends first and Brett is hesitant with even that.  As the story goes on Brett begins to open up with JT.  It’s a hard road though because Brett can’t let go of the past and he’s even more afraid to risk his heart again.  J.T. is more in control of his feelings but he too sways a bit when things get difficult between them. Both of them make their share of mistakes along the way.
There are some really lovely moments in this story.  There some sad ones where you see glimpse of Brett’s past with Walt that will tear your heart out.  There are also some really romantic ones between Brett and J.T. when they finally get together.
There aren’t a lot of characters in this.  Besides the main two, it’s mostly a ranch hand/mentor/friend of Brett’s and Brett’s mother, both of whom I adored.  Both of these characters really added to the plot and they were as well done as the MC’s.
This audiobook was narrated by Nick J. Russo and I thought he did a very good job.  He did a nice job on Brett’s voice by giving it an authentic Southern cadence (rather than the stereotypical ones often done).  All of the characters had unique voices and they were are equally well done.  I think hearing this story added a level of emotion that made it even better.
Overall I found this really enjoyable.  This was a touching story that had some of my favorite components; hurt/comfort, a bit of angst and a lot of romance and tender moments.  It was well narrated and that added another layer of emotion to it.  I had never read this author before and I’m eager now to read more of her works.
Cover art by Reese Dante is gorgeous, capturing the people beautifully.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon | Audible | iTunes
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook, 2nd Edition, 11 pages
Published June 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published August 25th 2013)
ASINB073BPHYLN
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesUnbreak My Heart #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: A Second Harvest (Men of Lancaster County #1) by Eli Easton and narrator Will Tulin

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
David Fisher has lived by the rules all his life. Born to a Mennonite family, he obeyed his father and took over the family farm, married, and had two children. Now with both his kids in college and his wife deceased, he runs his farm alone and without joy, counting off the days of a life half-lived.

Christie Landon, graphic designer, Manhattanite, and fierce gay party boy, needs a change. Now thirty, he figures it’s time to grow up and think about his future. When his best friend overdoses, Christie resolves to take a break from the city. He heads to a small house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to rest, recoup, and reflect.

But life in the country is boring despite glimpses of the hunky silver fox next door. When Christie’s creativity latches on to cooking, he decides to approach his widower neighbor with a plan to share meals and grocery expenses. David agrees, and soon the odd couple finds they really enjoy spending time together.

Christie challenges the boundaries of David’s closed world and brings out feelings he buried long ago. If he can break free of the past, he might find a second chance at happiness.
This was a really lovely stories about second chances and the fact that you’re never too old to reinvent yourself.  These two men, who on the surface had nothing in common, actually found they had a lot of the same hopes and dreams.  What starts as a friendship turns in to a really sweet romance.  I really liked both of their characters and I found their romance to be realistic and believable. I loved watching the two of them fall in love.
While I liked Christie a lot, David is who stole the story for me.  I could totally relate to him as I grew up in a similar environment and I know first hand how stifling and oppressing it can be.  The scenes of him with his National Geographic magazines, always dreaming of other things, made my heart hurt for him.  I was so happy for him when he made up his mind to break free and make huge changes in his life.
The writing was engaging and drew me in from the very first chapter.  As I’ve said, really enjoyed both of the MC’s and I found their romance to be super sweet and touching. I didn’t have any complaints about the book and I went through the entire audio in one day as I cleaned and did yard work.
The book was narrated by Will Tulin and I liked him a lot.  He is a new to me narrator but one I will definitely listen to again.  He get a great job on both of the MC’s as well as all of the side characters.  I think his narration really added to the overall story and I would recommend this.
Cover by Bree Archer:  The cover was done by Bree Archer and I like it a lot.  I think it is eye catching and really beautiful.  It is also a great representation of the story.
Audiobook Details:
Listening Time: 7 hrs 40 min
Audiobook
Published June 7th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published July 1st 2016)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesMen of Lancaster County #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: Power Bottom? by Rowan McAllister and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Can a pickup line from a stranger completely change the way an ordinary man sees himself?

Adrian wouldn’t have thought so, but after an ugly breakup where his self-esteem took a serious beating, he’s willing to try just about anything to repair the damage… even return to a secluded bar in rural Maryland and the intriguing stranger whose words have been on his mind since they met.

Biker, bouncer, bartender, and tattoo artist, Wyatt is a rolling stone. After fifteen years, he is tired of a life on the run, but he isn’t sure he knows how to do anything else or if he has anything besides a physical relationship to offer.

What’s supposed to be a one-off turns into another and another, and the relationship looks promising until the mob and the FBI come knocking on Adrian’s door.
 
I enjoyed this. It was sweet and sexy all rolled into one. This was an easy read w/no major drama. Just what I was in the mood for. 
 
Adrien and Wyatt meet through a fluke incident and after his life gets upended, Adrien decides to seek Wyatt out again.  The two men couldn’t be more different but they are intensely attracted to each other.  What starts off as sexual, quickly turns into friendship and then romance. 
As the blurb states they both have things going on in their lives and when they end up in the middle of a giant mess complete with mob guys and the FBI they have only each other to turn to.  This part was a bit over the top in my opinion but it was still entertaining.  I was rooting for these two the entire time and was happy to see them get their happily ever after.
This was narrated by Nick J Russo and I thought he did a very good job.  I especially enjoyed the voice he did for Wyatt.  There were a variety of side characters, including women, and they all sounded distinct and well done also.
Overall, I found this a completely enjoyable audiobook and it is one I would recommend.
 This cover is done by Angsty G.  I like this cover a lot and feel like it a great representation of the plot and the characters.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio
Published April 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published September 19th 2016)
Original TitlePower Bottom?
ASINB06ZY2QLGQ
Edition LanguageEnglish
setting Maryland (United States)

An Ali Audiobook Review: A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3) by Lane Hayes and Seth Clayton (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Music is drummer Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for him to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when a handsome stranger in a dive bar turns out to be someone he might know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to tattooed rock star Tim, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.
This was another entertaining installment to this series.  These two were very different from each other but a really great match.  Their chemistry jumped off the page at the reader.  They meet in Los Angeles while they’re both there on business.  They have a hot one night stand and never expect to see each other again.  Imagine their surprise when they see each other again in New York (where they live) and find out they have mutual friends.
Although they are attracted to each other, Tim is hesitant to get more emotionally involved.  He’s just out of a really bad relationship and he has only been seen in public with women.  He’s not sure what the media will do if he’s seen with a guy.  Also, he was burned very badly in the past by his one and only relationship with a man.  He’s scared to take another chance.
The love story is a slow build up.  They initially start seeing each other just for sex, but scene by scene, they build a friendship that turns in to a love story.  The author does a very good job showing the reader how they fall for each other.
There’s some drama towards the end with Tim’s ex and his overall refusal to admit he’s in a relationship with a man.  Carter was great in this book.  He was so patient with Tim but when he needed to put his foot down he did.  I think these two were my favorite couple in this series so far.
This book was narrated by Seth Clayton and  there is just something about the way he talks that bothers me.  His cadence seems odd to me. I only listened to about 30% of this then I switched to the ebook.  I have a friend though that just loves him so there is a good chance this is my issue alone. If you’re interested in listening to this I recommend you try a sample first to see if you like his voice.
This book is the third in the series and can be read as a standalone.  There are appearance from both couples from books 1 & 2 but there is nothing that would keep you from enjoying this even if you haven’t read those books.
This cover was done by Aaron Anderson.  I liked it a lot.  It matches the other covers in the series really well and it’s eye catching.  It’s also a good representation of the MC.
Audiobook Details:
10 hrs 10 mins
Audible Audio, 11 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 7th 2016)
Original TitleA Kind of Honesty
ASINB06ZYK6PJT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Kind of Stories #3