An Ali Audiobook Review: Free Falling (Extreme Escapes, Ltd.) by S.E. Jakes and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sometimes falling in love is the most dangerous thing of all…

Blue’s a thief who lives for adrenaline and danger. When he meets Mick, a mercenary and a hitter, he feels an immediate attraction. But Mick reneges on a bet they’ve made, leaving Blue pissed and confused.

When they meet again a year later, Blue’s in terrible danger after having walked into the middle of one of Mick’s jobs. Mick saves him, and although the two men have fallen for one another, they have no idea how to handle that kind of intimacy that’s been forced on them.

But when Mick goes missing on a job, Blue’s the one to go after him, determined to save the man he loves no matter the cost.

I very rarely do re-reads and there’s a reason for that.  This book reminded me of why.   I find that over time my tastes change and things I really liked before often don’t hold the same appeal years later.  This series used to be one of my favorites though so I thought there was a good chance it would hold up.  It wasn’t a fail per se but I also wasn’t wow’d.
The two men have met in the past and now again a year later when Blue finds himself in the middle of one of Mick’s jobs.  The story is fast paced as is the love story.  It was very insta-love which was probably my biggest peeve with the story.  That didn’t used to bother me but has become a plot device I don’t care for anymore.  Also, the story is filled with sex scenes.  Too many for the length of the book in my opinion.  I felt like the story relied on their chemistry in bed more so that building an actual relationship between them.
This story was narrated by Dorian Bane.  I thought he did a good job on both MC’s.  I had never listened to a book by this narrator so it was a pleasant surprise.  I’m always looking for new narrators that I enjoy and I will be adding this one to my list.
Cover:  This book’s cover was done by CrocoDesigns.  I like the cover and think it looks really good.  It’s a really eye catching design.
Audiobook Details:
Kindle Edition, 134 pages
Published March 8th 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published December 5th 2012)
Original TitleFree Falling
ASINB00IWAI7OQ
SeriesExtreme Escapes, Ltd. settingBogotá (Bogota) (Colombia)

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….

When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.

Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.

A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?

This was a nice story.  Both of these characters had a lot of their own issues to get through for their relationship to work.  Adrian doesn’t connect the dots until it’s almost too late that he is going to go through his Turn.  Tate has made his life helping the young werewolves successfully complete their change and even if he’s hiding from himself.

Adrian has been living as a disappointment to his family ever since he didn’t go through his Turn like all those his age and I could feel his sadness and how detached he feels from his family because of this.  Tate has been running from the memory of his childhood for so long and helping others but you could see that even as he succeeds in helping most of the teens he doesn’t have a deep connection or friendship with many people.

I could see that they were both looking for somewhere to belong or someone to belong to but were afraid to voice that.  I still have to wonder at the end of story what about Adrian’s genetics caused him to go through the Turn late and it didn’t seem that anyone knew or seemed inclined to really find out.  I loved that they were both able to find somewhere to belong and be together with the support of Adrian’s family and their friends.

Dorian Bane did a great job narrating this story.  I was able to connect with the characters and feel their emotions in his reading as he used different voices for the characters.  His voice changes so much you really get to see the differences and personality of the characters.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is very nice and works well for this story.

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6 hrs 55 min
Published: January 12, 2018 (ebook first published November 1, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Beyond

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church and Narrator: Dorian Bane

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

To be loved by a dragon is to be treasured.

A hundred years ago, werewolf Alpha Montgomery took a risk driven by desperation—he borrowed money from the ancient dragon Warwick Ehecatl, putting up the pack lands as collateral. Now the debt is due, and dragons don’t forget—or forgive. Warwick demands Montgomery’s son, Avery, and three businesses as compensation. As an Omega, Avery knows he is basically useless to his pack, so he might as well agree. He soon has second thoughts, though. Warwick is fearsome, and he’s free to do as he likes with Avery.

Warwick knows his race’s reputation, and he even admits some of it is deserved. But he’d rather cut off his tail than let his innocent mate’s light go out. It won’t be easy, but buried deep, there’s something between them worth safeguarding.

I really enjoyed this story.  Though the circumstances weren’t great for getting Warwick and Avery together you never know if they would have ever really met in any other way.  Dragon’s don’t normally mate so Warwick doesn’t understand his insistence that Avery is theirs but he isn’t going to fight what he feels.

First off, Avery’s father was an idiot if he thought he would be able to get away without paying back his debt.  I loved Avery’s innocence but also that he didn’t let other preconceived notions keep him from being who he wanted and Warwick did a wonderful job showing him that he didn’t see him like those in his pack did.  It took a little for Warwick to open up but form the beginning he wanted to do what was right for Avery and treat him well.  While there were times when points were made multiple times, which usually is one of my biggest pet peeves, I really liked this story.

Dorian Bane did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I was able to connect with the characters well and feel their emotions in his reading as he used different voices for the characters.  His voice changes so much you really get to see the differences with the characters.  He also portrayed the haughty attitudes of many of the characters well.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is very nice and gives a nice visual of Warwick.

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6 hrs 54 min

Published: December 12, 2017 (ebook first published February 27, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Beyon

A Lila Audiobook Review: Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Crossing the border into love.

Snap decisions and misguided ideas bring Portuguese national Mateus Fontes and businessman Crawford Hargrave together at the Canadian border crossing.

Mateus is caught in a catch-22. With his almost-expired tourist visa, entrance to Canada is denied, but the US won’t let him back in either. Crawford thinks he’s solved things when he tells the border agent they’re engaged, and it works—except now they have to actually get married before either of them can get back into the United States. But Crawford has been burned by marriage once, and he’s determined not to make that mistake again.

Neither of them expects real feelings to bloom out of their fake marriage, but they do. And the two of them have to learn how to be honest with each other to make things work, which is especially hard when their entire marriage is based on lies.

Tall, Dark, and Deported is the perfect example of green card “fake marriages” trope stories. In that aspect, the author met all the expectations, creating an entertaining love story with three-dimensional characters and beautiful settings.

I love the premise of this story and how their first meeting went. The way they take turns taking care of each other is lovely and their relationship with their family members add to their appeal. This is a slow burn, sweet, fluffy goodness story. Perfect if you want something light and engaging without much angst.

I really like Crawford and Mateus individually. They’re nice characters with great depth, and a lot of potential, but have a hard time connecting to each other. The plans they have for their relationship and what they want from each other work, but when they try to put it together there’s no chemistry. It’s like having two good friends trying to make a relationship work. It gets resolved in the end, but it takes time.

In some parts, it reads a CliffsNotes version of a longer book–rushing to achieve an HEA–when the reader wanted the same amount of detail than before. It felt a little superficial, but it has to do more with length restrictions than lack of development. Overall, this isn’t a detrimental to the actual love story.

Dorian Bane’s narration worked for the story. All the characterizations fit well except for Mateus’s. He sounded more Hispanic than Portuguese, but overall, it was enjoyable.

The cover by Bree Archer follows the Dreamspun series and shows Mateus in front of an orchard–fitting for the story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Dorian Bane
Length: 6 hours 30 minutes
Published: June 19, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B071GV8BCT
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Two Cowboys and a Baby (Dreamspun Desires #30) by B.A. Tortuga and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

A little bundle of joy means big changes.

 

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

 

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

 

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

 

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

 

This was essentially a sweet story the biggest problem is that these two don’t know how to communicate, at all.  They have been completely oblivious to each other for years with Hoss actually thinking his best friend really hates him to being gay but still letting him live on his property and spending time together.  Huh?  That just confused me even more.

 

I could see Hoss’s confusion when it came to the baby showing up on his porch, I mean really who would expect a man with no experience with children to suddenly be willing and able to be the care giver to a baby that showed up on his porch?  He and Bradley work well together taking care are the baby and starting to show each other how they feel when they are thrown another curve ball.  And Bradley does what he did in high school, basically runs away to protect himself.  I was glad that they were able to work things out but up until the very end both of them were so unsure of their relationship I had trouble really connecting with them.

 

Dorian Bane did a nice job narrating this story.  I was able to keep track of the story and characters which is always nice.  I enjoyed the different voice he used and he portrayed their emotions and personalities well.

 

Cover art by Bree Archer is nice and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 51min
Published April 25, 2017 (ebook first published March 15, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Desires

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Sweetwater by Lisa Henry and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

sweetwater_audiobookWyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

I haven’t read many books set in this time period so I was eager to give this a try.  I felt the setting was done really well and I could totally picture this western town as if I was there.  There were a host of characters all of which were felt realistic and added to the overall world building.  The majority of the story was told by Elijah who was a really different type of character but I struggled with him a bit.  He had a hard life and was very much a victim.  It was totally realistic and believable but as a result I don’t think I ever really warmed to him.  He annoyed me each time he did not stand up for himself.  I felt sorry for him but it was hard for me to find him a believable romance partner.  I didn’t see what Grady saw in him.  Even though parts of the story were told through Grady’s point of view I still didn’t feel the connection.  Elijah felt more like a child who needed a caregiver not a man who needed a romance partner.  So, I liked it as a fiction story but not so much as a romance.  The writing was really well done and this author is generally one of my favorites.  This was just not the book for me.
The book was narrated by Dorian Bane who I had never listened to before.  I thought he did an excellent job on all of the characters.  This was a big cast and I thought he did each of them equally well.  This is an audio that I would definitely recommend.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I love the cover.  I think it fits the story perfectly.
Sales Links
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Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 8 pages, Listening Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
Published August 5th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 29th 2014)
ASIN B01JO64IAS
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Let it Ride (Pickup Men #2) by L.C. Chase and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let It Ride audiobookBridge Sullivan, pickup man and best friend of Marty Fairgrave (Pickup Men) has a secret. He’s lusting after EMT Eric Palmer and the problem is that everyone, including Eric, thinks he’s straight. But Bridge knows his mind and his heart, and he’s kept his past experience with a man secret so it shouldn’t surprise him when his flirtations with Eric aren’t taken seriously.

Bridge is a nice guy—a great friend, sweet and helpful and always there when you need him—but he’s not gay and Eric has been burned much too often in the past to take a chance on a guy who might change his mind and want to go back to dating a woman. Eric is a New York City native, complete with a realistic accent thanks to narrator Dorian Bane, but he feels unworthy of love. His parents had put him in foster care when he was thirteen and told them he was gay; most foster parents wouldn’t keep him either, and then the two men he loved in the past dumped him—one of them for a woman. It’s no wonder he’s guarding his heart. And Bridge will break it for sure. That is something he’s betting on.

Against his better judgement, Eric agrees to go out with Bridge, but only as friends with benefits. No more. So when things get hot and heavy between them, and Bridge continues to tell him he wants to date and get close to him, Eric bolts. Though he doesn’t want to lose them, he leaves the close friends he’s made in the rodeo circuit. He also leaves the man he cares about because he feels he needs to go now before the pain is too great. Of course, he then finds out that the pain is already too great. Will he man-up and go back? Will Bridge come looking for him? Or will the two “let it ride”?

I enjoyed this story, and I think it may be partly because the potential between Bridge and Eric was there and intrigued me in the previous story, and it’s partly due to the narration of Dorian Bane. I actually didn’t care for the voice he gave Bridge, but I was impressed by the vast difference in the two voices of the MCs and the variety of secondary character voices, all of which were different and distinctive. And that’s the bottom line for me—how well did the narrator handle the narration and vocalization of the story. So kudos to the narrator and kudos to LC Chase for a great story. Yes, I wanted to smack Eric upside the head quite a few times because his “poor me” litany wears a little thin, but in his case, with his history, it’s a reasonable reaction. I had to stay awake last night to finish the story because sleeping while the romance was still in doubt just wasn’t happening for me. So thanks for the HEA, Ms. Chase!

Though part of a series, Let It Ride can be read as a standalone. This is a wonderful MM story for readers who like a little NYC spice with their cowboys, GFY or men new to gay sex, virgins(!), hurt-comfort, and a delightful cast of secondary characters.

~~~~~

Cover Art by L.C. Chase features a close-up of a handsome, young cowboy, complete with large black cowboy hat. There’s a bronco rider in the background, symbolizing the rodeo in which this MC is a pickup man—a very fitting cover for this story.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon

Audiobook Details:
5 hrs 32 mins

Audible Audio, 6 pages
Published February 10th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published May 25th 2014)
Original TitleLet it Ride
ASINB01BLP6GZ0
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPickup Men #2
Literary AwardsEPIC (Eppie) Award (2015), Contemporary Romance, Bisexual Book Award Nominee (2015)