An Ali Audio Review Audio Review: Falling Down by Eli Easton and Michael Stellman (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

I wasn’t too sure about this book when I requested it. I really like this author’s work but I don’t generally read stories about MC’s younger than college age. I’m glad I ended up trying it though because I really enjoyed this.
The blurb does a good job explaining the gist of the plot and I think it’s important to note that Josh has suicidal ideation at various places in the book in case that is an issue for you.
I found the story to be melancholy at first but it quickly gives way to hopefulness.  Both of the MC’s find fresh starts with each other and they blossom with each other’s support.
I thought the writing was very good and I found myself drawn in from the very first page. I loved both of the main characters as well as the side characters.
This story was narrated by Michael Stellman who was a new narrator for me. I thought he did an excellent job and his narration really added to the emotion of the story. He is definitely on my radar now and I will be looking for his work to listen to again.
 
Overall I felt this was a very good audiobook. Both the plot of the story and the narration were excellent.  
Cover art: Tiferet Designs.  Gorgeous new cover just pulls your eye to it and the lone figure speaks to the story.  Wonderful job.
 
Audio Details:
Length: 7hrs 33mins
Audiobook, 8 pages
Published April 17th 2019 by Pinkerton Road LLC (first published November 9th 2016)
Original Title Falling Down
ASINB 07QMTYK5Z
setting New Hampshire (United States)

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: Rank & File (Anchor Point #4) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

This story starts off with a bang.  Will and Brent meet in regards to a domestic violence call on their military base.  They never expect to see each other again but fate has a different idea.  They meet up again under different circumstances and neither can deny the chemistry between them is off the charts.  They decide to begin a friends with benefits type relationship.  While DADT is a thing of the past, the no fraternization of officers and enlisted men is still very much in affect.  Both men know that they are risking a lot by seeing each other.  They could both lose their jobs and be forced out of the service.  Despite the dangers of being together the men can’t seem to stay away from each other.  What starts as lust soon turns to love and they find themselves in a  complicated situation.  It seems they’re going to have to pick between their careers and their love for each other.
I thought this book was an enjoyable installment to this series. It has the age gap and military issues that many of this author’s books do. Somhow she’s able to take the same general formula and make each one seem unique.  This was just the right combo of plot and smexy times. These two were great together and I was really glad to see how things worked out for them at the end.  This book is the fourth one in the Anchor Point series but it is fine as a standalone.
The narration of the audiobook was done by Nick J. Russo and I thought he did a very good job on both Will and Brent’s voices as well as the side characters.  This narrator is one I find to be consistently good and I also enjoy his work.
Cover:  The cover is done by L.C. Chase and I think it’s fantastic.  I love all of the covers for this series.  They stand out and you know immediately upon seeing them that they are part of this series.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 7 pages
Published March 9th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 25th 2017)
Original TitleRank & File (Anchor Point, #4)
ASINB07BB1QTCT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAnchor Point #4

An Ali Audiobook Review: The Palisade (Lavender Shores #1) by Rosalind Abel and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business opportunity and a final stepping stone to the position he’s been working toward his entire life. It was supposed to be just one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun.

Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day.
Both Andrew’s and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure get extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t have been a big deal. You can’t fall in love in that amount of time. That isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, fate may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.
 
 
I think this book is the kind people will love or hate.  It’s either your cup of tea or not.  The story is insta-love and full of sugary sweetness.  I tend to gravitate towards more gritty stories but this was a nice change of pace for me.  The small town the story takes place in is charming as are the characters.  I really enjoyed both of the the main characters and I loved seeing them get together.  
 
 I generally don’t care for insta-love story but something about this one was fun and made me happy.  There was something really romantic about many of the scenes.  It was also a very sexy read.  That’s not something that I necessarily look for in a book but I have to admit that some of these scenes were smoking hot.
 
As I noted from other reviewers, this author is a pen name for author Brandon Witt.  I haven’t read anything by him yet but I understand that this is different than his usual work.
 
This audiobook was narrated by Kirt Graves and I thought he did a very good job.  I thought both MC’s were well done and they were distinctive enough that I never had a hard time telling who was talking.  The narrator also did a good job on the many side characters.  I think the narration added to the romance of the story.
 
If you’re looking for a no angst, sweet, romantic story you should check out this book.  This is apparently going to be a multiple book series and I think you will all enjoy your time in Lavender Shores.
 
Cover:  I like the cover a lot.  I feel it’s visually appealing and I think the colors and flowers set the romantic tone of the story.
Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published September 13th 2017 by Wings of Ink Publications, LLC (first published June 20th 2017)
ASIN B075JPLHKQ
Edition Language English
setting California (United States) 

An Ali Audiobook Review: Close to You (Sunshine and Happiness #3) by Skylar M. Cates and Tristan James (Narrator)

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 Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
close-to-you-audioIt’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.
When I started this I was under the impression I could read this as a standalone since it’s about a different couple than the previous books.  Once I started it though I felt like I was missing something so I went back and read the previous books.  I’m glad I did that because these two are side characters with important roles in those stories and it helped me transition into this book.
The story is told from dual points of view and it’s told in the past (when they were teens) and the present.  Tomas comes from a loving home but Marc grew up in a very abusive home.  Child abuse is shown and while I didn’t find it super graphic, be aware if this is an issue for you.  As this story goes along Marc has to start working through his issues to be happy with himself and to be able to have a relationship with Tomas.  Marc has a lot of intimacy issues and fear based on his childhood and these two’s journey is painful and angst filled.
While there is a lot of angst and heartache is this story it ends with a beautiful happily ever after and I loved the journey the author took the characters and the readers on.  This was my first time reading this author and I will definitely be looking to read more of her work.
Cover Artist: AngstyG:  I like the cover.  I’m not typically a fan of the color brown in a monochromatic form but this still stood out and it really fit the mood of the story.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published December 8th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 28th 2016)
Original TitleClose to You
ASINB01N9ENUL1
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSunshine and Happiness #3

An Ali Audiobook Review: A Fortunate Blizzard by L.C. Chase and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
a-fortunate-blizzard-audiobookThere are worse things than being stranded in a blizzard.

Artist Trevor Morrison has always appreciated the little things in life, treating each day as a gift. And with good reason: he’s been on the transplant-recipient list for too long now. When he learns just how numbered his days truly are, he resolves not to take them for granted. But he won’t be unrealistic, either—which means romantic commitments are off the table.

Marcus Roberts seems to have it all. He’s handsome, financially sound, and on the fast track to partnership at a prestigious law firm. In reality, though, his drive for success has meant no time for friends or relationships. Add in the fact that his family discarded him long ago, and he’s facing yet another holiday season alone.

When the biggest snowstorm to hit Colorado in decades leaves Marc and Trevor stranded at the same hotel, a chance encounter and a night of passion leads to more than either of them expected. Finding comfort in each other is a welcome surprise, but time is not on their side. Either they find a way to beat the odds, or they lose each other forever.
I really enjoyed this wonderful holiday tale.  Trevor and Marcus get caught in a blizzard and are both stranded at a hotel.  They are immediately attracted to each other and spend a magical few days getting to know each other.  Marcus wants it to be more but Trevor refuses due to his health problems.  But after going so long without anyone to care about or having someone care about him Marcus isn’t about to accept defeat and since this is a Christmas story, miracles happen.
I thought both MC’s were well done and I really felt for both of them.  I thought Trevor’s concerns were realistically done and my heart went out, not to just him, but to his family and Marcus as well.  You could feel everyone’s grief at the impending loss.  The ending was very touching and I may have gotten tears in my eyes at one point.  I think this is one of the best holiday stories I’ve read over the last few years and I really recommend it.
This was narrated by Nick J. Russo and I thought he did a very good job.  Both of his voices for the two main characters were good and I never had a hard time figuring out who was speaking.  All of the side characters were also well done, including Trevor’s mother.  I find some male narrators do don’t female voices in a way I enjoy but that was not the case here.  I enjoyed this audio alot and would really recommend this medium if you’re planning to read this story.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I like the cover but I don’t love it.  It doesn’t stand out to me and the models on the front don’t match that well to the descriptions of the MC’s in the book.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Listening Length: 4 hours and 15 minutes
Audible Audio, 5 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published August 2nd 2011)
ASINB01MQDPLN3
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersTrevor Morrison, Marc Roberts settingColorado (United States)Literary AwardsINDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards (2015)

An Ali Audiobook Review: A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories #2) by Lane Hayes and Seth Clayton (Narrator)

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 Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
 a-kind-of-romance-audiobookZeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.
This story was a mixed bag for me.  I really adored Benny’s character as well as all of the side characters.  Zeke on the other hand was difficult for me to like until about 70% in to the book.  He was rude and judgmental and often harsh.  I really couldn’t see what Benny saw in him.  Some of that may be personal tastes but I think some of it was due to the fact that we didn’t see a lot of the couple’s good moments on page.  The story focused more on the difficulties they had and the sex scenes.  I will say though that when Zeke stopped being a jerk and made some grand gestures he did those really well.  They were very touching and romantic.  By the end of the story I was on board with these two being a couple and I was happy with the hea.
This book was narrated by Seth Clayton and I really enjoyed his voices.  I thought he did a great job with both of the main characters as well as all of the side characters.  I always knew who was talking.  I did have a pretty big problem with the audio as a whole though but it was not the narrator’s fault.  The two MC’s “chuckled” 58x in this.  I  know this because it was bothering me so much that I pulled up the ebook and counted.  Because of this the narrator was constantly “chuckling” through pretty much every scene the MC’s were in together.  Even things that should have been serious sounded like smirking.  I can’t blame the narrator because he was only doing what the story told him to but it really influenced my enjoyment (or lack thereof) of this audio.
Overall I enjoyed this and I would recommend the story.  Even with the issues I had with it, I am still glad I read it and I will definitely be reading the next in this series. (Although this was book two in this series this can be read as a standalone.)
Cover art by Aaron Anderson is well done, works in design and color tone to capture a mood and pull you in.
Sales Links
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Audiobook Details:

9 hrs 1 min

Audible Audio, 10 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press, LLC (first published June 6th 2016)
Original TitleA Kind of Romance
ASINB01M0VBU9Y
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Kind of Stories #2 settingNew York City, New York (United States)