A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Sun and Shadow (Day and Knight #2) by Dirk Greyson and Andrew McFerrin ( Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Dayton “Day” Ingram is recovering from an injury suffered in Mexico—and from his failed relationship with fellow Scorpion agent, Knight. While researching an old government document, Day realizes he might be holding the key to finding an artistic masterpiece lost since WWII.

But the Russians are looking for it too, and have a team in place in Eastern Europe hunting it down. Day and Knight are brought back together when they are charged with getting to the painting first.

Knight wants to leave Mexico and everything that happened there behind, and return to the life he had—except it wasn’t much of a life. When he’s partnered up with Day, keeping his distance proves to be challenging. But Day is as stubborn as Knight and isn’t willing to let him walk away.

Their assignment leads them through Germany and Austria with agents hot on their tail—agents willing to do whatever it takes to get to the masterpiece first. If Day and Knight can live long enough to find the painting, they might also discover something even more precious—each other.

As once again exquisitely narrated by Andrew McFerrin, Sun and Shadow by Dirk Greyson picks up the story of the partnership of Scorpion agents Dayton “Day” Ingram and Knighton “Knight” after their first meeting and mission in Mexico.  For me, it’s here that the series and chemistry really starts to gell between Day and Knight (the name of the series as well).

I enjoyed the framework of a case that Grayson employs here far more than I did the one in the first story.  It’s a sort of Monuments Men caper of stolen/missing artwork from WWII and it leads our couple on a merry  chase through Europe that’s both taut with suspense and full of excitement.  It also allows Day and Knight plenty of time to address their increasing attraction to each other and Knight’s inability to let go of his guilt over the deaths of his wife and  child.  Plus Day has a few issues of his own to work out.  All while chasing an artwork that may or maynot exist and eluding the bad guys hot on their trail.  It all works together just as you hope a hot action thriller would.

I was happy to see some forward movement here with Knight on his guilt issues. That mobius loop of his is a refrain that gets tiresome as even Day admits after a while.  Even the verbiage coming out of his mouth is almost exactly the same.  I’m not sure why it’s so hard to empathize with Knight here but somehow the author has almost made Knight’s guilt ridden rants so predictable that instead of feeling sorry for him you start to turn it off. Just the opposite I know of what Greyson what going for.  It was even trying Day’s patience there…a wonder, as he could only suggest the same things to move the man on over and over.

Anyway.

Aside from that.  I thoroughly enjoyed this action packed, swift moving tale.  The relationship between Knight and Day is progressing nicely. The sex is hot, the emotional quotient heating up as each is starting to acknowledge what they mean to each other.  Ah, those slow burn romances! It helps with your partner being shot at, the stimuli of danger, death, and intensity is a great combination.

f course, Day remains a favorite with his high intelligence, snark, sexiness, and general overall appeal.  He pulled Knight right into it for me because Knight has really grown into a wonderful character that I’m rooting for as he works through his many issues and starts to realize what his present may hold for his future.

Making this story really jump to life is that marvel of a narrator Andrew McFerrin whose talents I can’t go on about enough.  McFerrin inhabits each character so thoroughly that you believe that there is more than one narrator, and slides the story along with his enthusiasm and excitement.  I hope he narrates the entire series.  And now I’m on the lookout for more stories that he has voiced.  Honestly, it’s a joy listening in and you can’t believe how fast the pace when under the thrall of an excellent narration.

So, onto Dusk and Dawn which unfortunately isn’t out in audio yet so I’ll be picking it up in eBook and yes, audio as well once its out.    I will be interested in comparing the two formats.  I will let you know what I find.  Until then?

Grab up Sun and Shadow (Day and Knight #2) by Dirk Greyson and Andrew McFerrin ( Narrator).  It’s an excellent action packed hot action thriller with a slow burn romance that’s heating up beautifully.  Really, this series is getting better and better with each story.  I’m definitely recommending it.

Cover Art: L.C. Chase works perfectly to brand the series, the couple and the story. Love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon  |  Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 7 hours and 4 minutes

Audible Audio, Audiobook
Published July 7th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published November 9th 2015)
ASINB07FMCHLLS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDay and Knight #2

Day and Knight

Sun and Shadow

Dawn and Dusk

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Day and Knight (Day and Knight #1) by Dirk Greyson and Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

 

As former NSA, Dayton “Day” Ingram has national security chops and now works as a technical analyst for Scorpion. He longs for fieldwork and scuttling an attack gives him his chance. He’s smart, multilingual, and a technological wizard. But his opportunity comes with a hitch. His partner, Knighton, “Knight”, is a real mystery. Despite countless hours of research, Day can find nothing on the agent including his first name.

A former Marine, Knight crawled into a bottle after losing his family. After drying out, he’s offered one last chance: along with Day, to stop a terrorist threat from the Yucatan. To get there without drawing suspicion, Day and Knight board a gay cruise, where the deeply closeted Day and equally closeted Knight must pose as a couple. Tensions run high as Knight communicates very little, and Day bristles at Knight’s heavy-handed need for control.

But after drinking too much, Day and Knight wake up in bed together. As they near their destination, they must infiltrate the terrorist camp and neutralize a plot aimed at America’s technological infrastructure. If they hope to have a life after the mission, one that might include each other, they must learn to trust and rely on each other.

Day and Knight by Dirk Greyson was an enjoyable action adventure story, the first in a new series by this author.  As I write this review, I am well into the third story, so I can happily report that the series and stories gets better with each novel.  I jumped into the series with the audiobook and I’m delighted that I did.  It’s an excellent version because Andrew McFerrin does such an incredible job with the narration that he became an automatic buy based on his superb voicing of the story and characters here.

This is the start of a partnership both on and perhaps off the job for two wounded men,Dayton “Day” Ingram and Knighton “Knight:”.  At some point we will learn his full name but for most of the stories he is referred to as Knighton or Knight.  It’s a cute concept and works well, except that  nobody ever makes a crack about their names.  Which seems exceedingly odd to me.  I think the puns and wise remarks would be flying all over the place but nope, not at all.

Knight has just climbed out of the bottle after losing his wife and child to an assassin, the result of a job he did for the Agency. Day lost his parents when he was young and was raised by his older brother, a fact that left deep marks on him. Both men are marred by loss and grief, neither has moved on completely from their pasts when they are paired together, Day for his first time as a field agent for Scorpion.

Day is here and remains throughout the stories my favorite character.  Knight feels the most “hidebound”, least disciplined, and so bogged down that I found it hard to believe that he was the Marine the author said he was.  It took a while for the whole Day/Knight combination to win me over.  The strength was in the working together on board to piece together the case that helped cement their partnership for me (and them).

The use of a gay cruise both highlighted the strong and weak points of this story.  I thought the idea of traveling undercover using a gay cruise great.  It was done perfectly by Ty and Zane on Fish & Chips (Cut & Run #3)
by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban.  Day and Knight don’t quite live up to that here.  For one,  Knight is on a loop of guilt about his wife and son.  And for every step forward he makes, he takes 20 back, which gets extremely tiresome here.  We are supposed to empathize with him but after a while it just gets old.

Day is a delight of enthusiasm, smarts, and sexiness.  He’s loving being in the field and eventually wins over his partner in multiple ways.

While the cruise works for many reasons (constant proximity to each other, launching pad to romance, gay identity), the idea of side trips to the ruins and the rest has a great deal of holes.  I hate to say more because of spoilers but all that action taking  place so close to the ship and within Mexican heritage sites?  Well, I think more of the story went towards fast paced action thriller there towards the end and perhaps less on the well pulled together geographical, researched side.  On the high side again?  Lots of fast paced high action adventure!  And another mystery to solve at the end.

This is going to be one of those slow, slow, slow burn romances.  Sex is not equating with love here because of tons of guilt and lost family.  Remember I said all those steps back, right?  And both men are firmly in the closet with their families and at work and intend to stay that way.  So Knight and Day aren’t so different after all.  It will be a long haul for them both.

Which brings me to….

An element I want to address that bothers me. Not just in this story but appears in the second one as well (yes, I’ve listened to that one too).  That’s the consistent use of outdated phrases that are, for the lack of any other term, sexist and  demeaning to the women/the female gender. I know that they are/were overused stereotyping phrases heard growing up but to hear them here? Its disappointing and a little shocking.  Listening to them  come out of the mouth of an excellent narrator made it all the worse because I haven’t heard them in a while. All those “scream like a teenage girl, run like a girl, act like a….” Today if  actually said in a crowd would get you stares and maybe an actual “asshole” or two.  So what are they doing here in an LGBT series?  Is the writer so out of step culturally or so insensitive that he can’t understand why such phrases should not only be left out but decried?  Maybe I’m being overly sensitive here but I don’t think so.  If you can’t go up to a little girl or teenage girl and say something like this to their face (and I don’t think you can), then it doesn’t belong here.  In this book, spoken by LGBT characters who know what its like to be mocked.  Maybe in a book, I could have glossed over it, but the narration highlighted it.  Here Andrew McFerrin did too great a job.

And yes, that brought my total enjoyment of the story down each time a phrase popped up and I cringed in disbelief.

I don’t remember such  glaring sexism in Dirk Greyson’s/Andrew Grey’s other works so I’m at a loss as to why they appear here.  It turns out that Dirk Greyson is another name that Andrew Grey writes under, something that was recently brought to my attention.  It did surprise me because I know he does research his stories and travels extensively, both of which aren’t really reflected here.

So without those elements, this story would have gotten a much higher rating. I really was into it and then kicked right out again.  I liked it enough to head over to the next in the series and the one after that.  It gets better.  Enough to recommend the first in the series.  I definitely recommend you seek out Andrew McFerrin’s other audio narrations.  What an outstanding job.  I will be doing the same.

Cover art: L.C. Chase. The models work well for the two characters and sets the tone and branding for the story and series.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 7 hours and 22 minutes

Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published April 12th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 4th 2015)
Original TitleDay and Knight
ASINB07C3CCLCR
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Day and Knight :

Day and Knight

Sun and Shadow

Dawn and Dusk

A Lila Audiobook Review: The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke and Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Love takes flight.

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.

Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

The Gryphon King’s Consort has an interesting concept but too much backstory for such a short book. The world build is excellent but it takes away from the romance and the connection between Eirian and Luca. I love the arranged marriage setup but it wasn’t enough to carry the whole story.

My main dislike about the characters was how easy it seems for them to change their minds or trust more on someone else. They keep each other at an arm’s length even when they internally fight about it. It’s hard to believe in the future of their relationship when they are indifferent to it.

The fantasy/paranormal aspects make the reader want more. I enjoyed how the author integrates humans and “others” in a world that feels feasible. All the secondary characters and the settings added to the overall magic of a story that could be happening somewhere.

In reality, this is a good story just not an all-consuming romance. If you enjoy this Dreamspun line, this book will work for you.

Andrew McFerrin gave the story a regal air. He did a good job creating the voices and introducing the listener to the different characters in the story.

The cover by Aaron Anderson is an adaptation of the ebook but it’s not really appealing. It shows the King and the Gryphon but it doesn’t seem cohesive.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Length: 5 hours and 51 minutes

Published: March 5, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07B65WFWM
Edition Language: English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Finding Mr. Wrong by Charlie Cochet and Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

He’s nobody’s definition of Mr. Right—but that might make him perfect.

Matthew Hart is heir to the family fortune and owner of Hart & Home. When a near-death experience has him fretting over the future, he decides he needs a husband, and not just any husband—an appropriate man to protect the Hart legacy. The last thing Matthew expects is to cross paths with Jax Foster, his first love and the boy who crushed his heart when he disappeared.

Jax is unlikely to make Matthew’s list of suitable candidates. Bad boy, vagabond, deep in debt, with a father who can’t keep out of trouble, Jax has nothing to offer—except his heart and a second chance at the romance they never got to explore.

Finding Mr. Wrong is a sweet second chance story. It has two unlikely cupids and a list of qualities a good husband should have. In the end, Matt will find all those in the less likely place and with the last person he would have expected.

The author did a great job letting the reader know how important Jax and Matt were to each other since the moment they met. By the time they see each other again, the reader is ready for them to have their happily ever after. It’s easy to cheer for them.

Even when the plot and the bases of the story are somewhat traditional, the main characters’ jobs and backgrounds bring them to the front, having those aspects carry the story. They are well written and interesting to get the reader wanting more with each page.

Andrew McFerrin did a nice job bringing all the characters to life. I especially enjoyed Jax’s characterization and the differentiation between the rest of the clan.

The cover by Bree Archer is an adaptation of the e-book cover and follows the traditional Dreamspun series style. I only wish the model looks were a bit more realistic.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Length: 5 hours 46 minutes
Published: December 22, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B078JVWSHT
Edition Language: English

 

A Lila Audiobook Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony and Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

It’s dangerous diving for secrets.

When a mega company threatens to take over his family-owned business, programming prodigy Adam Preston escapes the stress with a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic. There he meets attractive, intelligent, insightful Jonah James, a scuba dive instructor, and what starts as a holiday fling soon blossoms into much more.

But Jonah has a secret: ten years ago he woke up on an island beach with no idea how he got there… or even who he is. Their paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. When Jonah’s memories come crashing back like waves on the sand, will it be Adam clinging to the proverbial life raft, or will the two men find a safe harbor to ride out the storm?

Forgotten Paradise is a quick summer read with a delightful love story. Perfect for a relaxing afternoon in the company of great characters and an easy going, but interesting plot.  The traditional troupes of this series let the reader’s imagination free and into a travel adventure.

Adam and Jonah are both “bigger than life characters.” They live in that imaginary bubble with all want to believe in. The spin on the amnesia plot brought the two parts of the story together–the vacation and their real lives.  I enjoyed the time the author took making each part unique.

There are a lot of descriptions about the settings, the diving trips, and Adam’s vacation. It was a bit overwhelming at times, but it added to the color of the story. The romance itself is the central part, but the small twists and turns framed the story well.

One thing I appreciated about the story was the path Adam and Jonah followed. They both grew as individuals and businessmen. And their HEA work well with the rest of the story.

Andrew McFerrin did a remarkable job with the narration. My only complaint comes from the accents of the Dominican characters. They really didn’t sound the part, but overall, it was an enjoyable work.

The cover by Bree Archer matches the series and Jonah’s description. A bit generic, but it follows the format.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Length: 5 hours 49 minutes
Published: June 1, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B071LTJB8J
Edition Language: English