A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined #3) by Tempeste O’Riley and Jeff Gelder (Narrator)

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Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

temptations-of-desire audioThis story overlaps the action that took place in Desire’s Guardian, the previous one in the series so I would highly recommend reading that before starting this one. Dal Sayer, cop and brother of Rhys Sayer (Desire’s Guardian) meets a gorgeous young man at the local LGBTQ center. The man, Alexander James Noble, introduces himself as Alex and tells Dal he’s the chef who volunteers there to prepare meals on Saturdays.

A personal chef for a businessman, Alex, who Dal nicknames Lexi, is gender fluid, switching back and forth to his female persona as the mood strikes him. However, Dal is unaware of that until one night he surprises Lexi when he drops by to see him. Lexi opens the door in his female wardrobe, and with the shock of seeing Dal there, he runs into his bedroom, locking the door behind him. It takes a while, but eventually Dal gets the story of heartbreak, pain and abandonment at the hands of his family who rejected him when they found out he liked to dress in his sister’s clothing. Dal slowly but surely wins Lexi’s trust as he remains supportive and faithful to him and assures him he accepts Lexi completely.

Throughout most of this story, the author weaves in the events that occurred concurrently in Desire’s Guardian, so much of what we learn is repetitive. However, one fresh piece of information is the arrival of Lexi’s twin sister, Lyric, and her family, including her husband who used to spout hatred toward Lexi when they were in high school. Apparently Ly is moving away from their hometown due to her husband’s job, so she arrives to share her good news with Lexi. What I found odd is it appeared that these twins had not kept in touch after he was dumped in front of a hospital by his father years before, and yet when she shows up, she’s fully supportive of his life and embraces both his male and female personas and her husband is as well!

The overused trope that disturbed me the most was the pressure Dal’s parents put on him to find a female, marry, and reproduce in order to give his father grandchildren so he’d want to survive his cancer and be happy. This issue was present in the previous story, but there was more time spent on those conversations in this one. And to be honest, I found the whole situation quite bizarre and sickening. Dal is not a teen—he’s a professional man in his thirties, and having to listen to the whole ridiculous argument from both of his parents was distasteful.

During the last twenty minutes of the story, we finally get fresh information as this is the point where Dal had been injured by helping Rhys rescue his lover. And though what happens with the couple is sweet and worthy of several sighs and “Ahh” moments, it doesn’t save the rest of the book. Topping all this was the ever-speedy narration by Jeff Gelder, who gave both Lexi and Lyric the same voice and narrated the book as if he was reading it for the first time. The narration did not add to the story at all, so I can’t honestly recommend it in audiobook format.

If it didn’t seem as if the whole story was just a rehash of the second book, I believe I would have liked it much more. I love cross-dressing men, and there were a few glimpses of “manties” so there was some redeeming value there. And I really liked Dal, until his way of dealing with his demeaning parents left me feeling ill. Lexi was a sweetheart through and through, and by the end I wasn’t so sure Dal deserved him. I’d recommend the e-book to those who want to complete the series, but as I said previously, it’s not a standalone.

The cover by Reese Dante is done in the same soft watercolors as the others in the series and features a set of scarves and multicolor bracelets—both symbolic of Lexi and very beautifully done.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published June 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published September 22nd 2014)
ASINB01H2JDU0S
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesDesires Entwined #3

A Mika Review: Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5) by Tempeste O’Riley

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5:

Truth in Lace coverWhen Alexander James Noble looks in the mirror, he sees a freak looking back at him. Despite his high grades and plans for culinary arts school after graduation, his parents would hate him if they really knew him.

Forced on a shopping trip with his twin sister, Lyric, and her friends, Alex eyes the girls jealously, longing to be able to dress like them—to be them. The constant struggle of being “gender fluid,” wrestling with an identity that seems to change daily, begins to wear on Alex. But all those questions and fears seem more manageable when his sister gives him his first skirt and lace panties.

When I say this was a shortie, this was a shortie. I didn’t know how to rate this because it’s literally under 25 pages. Its 24 pages to be exact. I liked it, because it was when Alex first understood  what being gender fluid meant. I didn’t understand the author only producing this short novella as I felt like it could have been more with this subject. What did Alex do, following this coming of age sort of moment? More of his story would have been great. I liked him and Lyric. I liked Lyric supporting him, it was a rarity at their age to understand and accept Alex with no qualms, or restrictions. It was a nice short story and with a nice prologue.

Reese Dante created this cover, and like the previous covers it had symbolism written all over it I liked this cover the best, I really went in with happiness because I thought it would be thoroughly talked about.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook (free)    All Romance (ARe) (free)    amazon      buy it here for $1.99
Book Details: 

ebook, 24 pages
Published November 5th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632165213
edition languageEnglish
seriesDesires Entwined #3.5

Books in the Desires Entwined series in the order they were written and should be read:

Designs of Desire (Desires Entwined, #1)
Bound by Desire (Desires Entwined #1.75)
Desires’ Guardian (Desires Entwined, #2)
Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3)
Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5)

A Mika Review: Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3) by Tempeste O’Riley

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 :

Temptations of Desire coverAlexander James Noble is a gender fluid gay man who gave up on finding Mister Right a long time ago. He’s not asking for much, though. He just wants a guy who loves all of him and appreciates his feminine form too.

At the local LGBTQ center where Alex regularly volunteers, he meets Dal Sayer, an officer of the Milwaukee PD. Because he’s been rejected one too many times, Alex doesn’t trust the huge cop and the interest he shows in him, but once Dal sets his mind on something, he goes all out. Pushing aside his preconceived notions, Alex opens up just a little and soon caves.

From their first date—while dealing with his father’s failing health and his parents’ demands for him to settle down and have children—Dal never takes his eyes off his goal of making Alex his. But proving to Alex he isn’t like all the men who couldn’t see him for who he truly was and only wanted to hide him away is harder than he thought.

Temptations of Desire is book 3 in the series,Desires Entwined, and I have finally fallen in love with one of the couples. I adore Dal and Alex. They both were a breath of fresh air. One of the biggest themes in the book was gender fluidity, something I love reading about in books. I honestly don’t think we get enough characters like it. This book coincides with things from the previous book we get to see certain things from Dal’s perspective.

Of course both guys had their issues with being in a relationship, but the thing that got me was they “TALKED” like grown people do. When one, had an issue he didn’t over react, he waited so he could talk it out. Sure no relationship is perfect. Dal has a great relationship with his brother Rhys, but they are totally different. He was such a sweetheart, gentle and completely calm whenever he approached Alex. I thought Alex was skittish at times, but it made sense seeing as he was victim of abuse before on multiple accounts. One thing I loved about his was his determination, and strength. Alex was amazingly strong, he didn’t waver on his feelings sure he was unsure about how Dal was going to react to him being gender fluid.

I wish this book was much longer, and I appreciated the epilogue but I wanted more of them. I want to know how their little family is going to be. I want to know their feelings of living in Chicago and with each other. I’m very happy with the outcome of this book. Hopefully book 4 is based on Kai; he is one character who I really wanted more time of all. I wouldn’t read these out of order, but this book was much better. I really enjoyed the writing and the relationship.

The cover artist Reese Dante. Like the previous covers it had symbolism written all over it. I can appreciate the cover based on the feelings both mc had when the scarf was presented in the book. I liked the simplicity and acceptance of it as well.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback   All Romance (ARe)    amazon           buy it here

 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781627989305
seriesDesires Entwined #3

Books in the Desires Entwined series in the order they were written and should be read:

Designs of Desire (Desires Entwined, #1)
Bound by Desire (Desires Entwined #1.75)
Desires’ Guardian (Desires Entwined, #2)
Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3)
Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5)

A Mika Review: Desires’ Guardian (Desires Entwined #2) by Tempeste O’Riley

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Desires Guardian coverMost people see Chase Manning as the party-boy twink he seems on the surface. Only James, Chase’s BFF, knows the depth of his loyalty and the extent of the wounds Chase carries inside. When Chase meets Rhys Sayer things don’t go well, but he can’t shake his attraction to the huge, sexy man.

 Rhys is a man of contradictions and fear—a strange combination for a PI and bodyguard. He’s in a bad place emotionally when he sets eyes on Chase for the first time. When Chase puts the moves on him, Rhys insults him, thwarting any possibility of a relationship. Rhys doesn’t see himself as a complicated man, but he dreads the very kind of connection he desires.

 Just as they’re trying to overcome their uncertainties, Chase is put in harm’s way. Luckily Rhys and their friends have all the right talents to help Rhys save the man of his dreams.

While this was a big step up from Designs of Desire (Desires Entwined, #1), it still left me unsure of some things about the characters and their relationship. I liked Rhys and Chase from Designs of Desire. I honestly felt like this was one big role reversal in this book. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not basing it on both of their physical appearances either. I felt like Chase’s character in the first story was so approachable and happy all the times. I understand people aren’t always happy and he was a secondary character. It wasn’t alot for me to base much on Rhy’s character because he just seemed like a body guard.

I liked the story a lot. However it felt like the mystery was just thrown in there for aesthetics purposes only. I understand Rhys needing a reason for Chase being in his life because of his work, but I felt like there were other ways it could have happened.

My biggest issue with the story was the lack of communication. Come on, you want me to believe that you two weren’t able to talk about why you weren’t talking to each other after 1 night of coming together. I didn’t feel like these two would have that issue. They just seemed to fix their issues magically. What did Rhys exactly do, because based on few terms he used I felt like the “issue” didn’t get rectified.

I did like how protective Chase friends were, oh my goodness. It was like the Twink Gang, they were all over threatening Rhys about treating their friend right. I appreciated it a ton, I loved how both guys had supportive families on both sides. Rhys parents were amazing, and sure his dad giving Dal an ultimatum hurt but we’ll see where that leads in Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3) . With the intensity of these two, I was happy with the ending. They both wanted to pace their relationship and just get to know each other well.

I recommend this for people reading the series; we do get to see some of Seth and James from Designs of Desire (Desire Entwined #1). I definitely noticed the author’s growth as far as the writing went.

Reese Dante created this cover, and like both previous covers it had symbolism written all over it. The cuff meant something, I would have liked bikes instead but I could appreciate the cuff based on the “mystery thriller” aspect of the book.

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback         All Romance (ARe)         amazon          buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published June 6th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 5th 2014)
ISBN 1627989277 (ISBN13: 9781627989275)
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store
seriesDesires Entwined #2
setting Milwaukee, Wisconsin (United State

Books in the Desires Entwined series in the order they were written and should be read:

Designs of Desire (Desires Entwined, #1)
Bound by Desire (Desires Entwined #1.75)
Desires’ Guardian (Desires Entwined, #2)
Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3)
Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5)

 

A Mika Review: Bound by Desire (Desires Entwined #1.75) by Tempeste O’Riley

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5:

Bound by Desire coverDespite his past abuse, James has come to terms with his relationship with his Dom and lover Seth. Seth treats James with all the trust and love his sub desires. There is only one thing left to do to make it all complete: Seth needs to put a collar on James.

I honestly liked the novella much better. I felt like James knows and has agreed to the relationship and situation he’s in. That aspect is something I felt was missing in the first story. It was so nice to see James  confident and loved by Seth.  Seth’s character too showed an improvement from Designs of Desire, the first novel. Seth felt far less exasperating. I think both characters made great progress in this one. I’ll continue on with these two.  I want to see how their relationship develops further.

I definitely recommend this story.  Just be aware of the bdsm components to this story and series.  Now on to the next  installment in Desires Entwined series by Tempeste O’Riley.

The cover artist Reese Dante. I think the cover was fitting based on the last book big announcement at the end. It was nicely done, and I really liked it.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press (free download)       All Romance (ARe)– free    not available at amazon

Book Details:

free ebook, 5000 words
Published May 30th 2014 by Dreamspinnerpress (first published May 1st 2014)
ISBN139781632160393
edition languageEnglish
seriesDesires Entwined #1

Books in the Desires Entwined series in the order they were written and should be read:

Designs of Desire (Desires Entwined, #1)
Bound by Desire (Desires Entwined #1.75)
Desires’ Guardian (Desires Entwined, #2)
Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3)
Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5)