A MelanieM Audio Review: Witchbane (Witchbane #1) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Seth Tanner and his brother Jesse’s fun evening debunking local urban legends ends with Jesse’s gruesome murder. Seth vows revenge on Jesse’s killer – too bad the murderer has been dead for a hundred years. Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual killings that feed the power of a dark warlock’s immortal witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on stopping Jackson Malone from becoming the next victim. He’s used to risking his neck. He never intended to risk his heart.

Witchbane (Witchbane #1) by Morgan Brice was a terrific paranormal romance by an author I was familiar with from his other supernatural hunter series, Badlands, which is loosely connected to this one. In fact, it was that couple and series that sent me looking to read Witchbane and check out this couple.

Starting the story in the past, with the death of Jesse, it a powerful start because you immediately love the connection with the brothers as the characterizations are so strong.  From there we flash forward to the present and the years past.  Seth, alone, family torm from him in every way possible, now living a new reality that includes fighting against murderers and criminals who aren’t human or who are using magic to commit their crimes.

The plot which is fascinating, ties his haunted, painful past to his current mission to find and save Jackson Malone from the same fate as his brother.  I thought the entire motive behind the murders was clever and it kept me thinking and so many options up in the air about people and future storylines.  It’s a storyline that potentially can keep on giving.

The many surprises here in the plot vie with the layered characterizations and I was completely invested in both the couple and the suspense filled plot!  Morgan Brice does a terrific job of incorporating just the right local spooky location, in this case places like the Victorian Gothic Pump House in the James River Park in Richmond, VA where the  book takes place.  Normall the author also uses more of the individual “Southern” spirits and monsters, having them make appearances as they often do in the Badlands series.  But here it’s mostly ghosts, some Grims, witches, warlocks, and the Ultimate baddie!  They all, of course, were more than enough here, for cause for alarm.  But I missed the local supernatural quality and hope to see it in the future stories.  That really raises the bar in the other series when you bring in the local superstitions and legends then brings them to life.

The relationship between Seth and Even (aka Sonny which threw me at first) is a complicated one and suffers because of lack of communication.  While I always wish my mcs would “adult up” here, in this case, given each man’s poor relationship history, this is almost a given.   Still frustrating but understandable. There is a lot of hot sex, a lot of action, tons of suspense, and a very realistic HFN.  These two have a lot to figure out and a new start in front of them.

Kale Williams does such a top job narrating here.  He switches characters effortlessly, giving each a unique and easily identifiable personality.  His tones are rich and made this audiobook a joy to listen to even when I was on the edge of my seat, panicking over the fate of our main characters.  In short, just a great all around experience.  I can’t wait to listen to the next one in the series.  And I’m definitely recommending this one and this narrator to all who love to listen to supernatural romances.

Cover art is wonderful and a perfect representation of the couple, Seth in front.

 

Buy Links

Audible US

Audible UK

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio
Published March 29th 2019 by Tantor Audio (first published February 19th 2018)
Original Title Witchbane
ASINB07PZZ85DP
Edition Language English
Series Witchbane #1

In the Audio Spotlight: Austin (Man Up series) by Felice Stevens and Kale Williams (Narrator) ~ excerpt

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austin tour banner

AUSTIN

MAN UP SERIES

FELICE STEVENS

M/M ROMANCE

AUDIO RELEASE DATE: 08.29.18

Austin-400x600 (1)

COVER DESIGN: REESE DANTE

NARRATOR: KALE WILLIAMS

BLURB

I can make it by myself. The only rules I follow are my own. Love? I learned that lesson the hard and painful way—it wasn’t right for me. Sure, sometimes it gets lonely, and I wish I had a man to hold. Who’d love me. Want me. Treat me with respect. Yeah, I dance in a club, but that doesn’t mean I’m easy. Or a fool. So you, sitting in the back, watching me? I know what you want. You want me. In your bed. Under you. But I say no. It doesn’t matter how many presents you give me.

I’m not falling for you. I know who you are. But you don’t know me. You don’t know Austin.

Austin Teaser 3

Austin Teaser 2

Austin Teaser 1

EXCERPT

“Stop mooning over him, Austin. He’s taken.”

I gave my boss Tyler one last look from beneath the dark curls hanging in my eyes and let out a sigh as melancholy as I felt. “Don’t I know it. Look at them. The perfect couple. And Marcus never takes his eyes off Ty. I wouldn’t either if he were my man.”

Frankie Marone, the other dance instructor and my best friend, poked me in the side. “And you know Marcus hates it when you drool over Ty. You told me that yourself. So let’s finish up here and get over to the club.”Frankie’s brown eyes sparkled. “It’s margarita night, and you know that means big tips for us. Especially you, when your Mr. Tall, Dark, and Doesn’t Ever Speak shows up.”

We gathered our bags and went to change in the locker room Tyler had built in the back of the dance studio. I ran a critical eye over myself in the mirror, poofed out my curls a bit, then slicked on a little lip gloss. “Do you think I need eyeliner?”

“Girl, you know that man likes you done up. Here, take mine.”Frankie handed me his eyeliner, and I used it around the corners of my eyes, giving them a cat’s-eye tilt at the edge. “Didn’t he send you some sexy things to wear after the last time you danced for him?”

Heat crept up my face at the memory of the silky jockstrap and scented oils the mysterious stranger had sent me backstage at Man Up, the club where Frankie and I usually danced most nights. It wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, but the money was great, and I did what I could to get by.

I gave Frankie back the eyeliner. “Here. And yeah, I dunno. He probably won’t show.”

“But you’re wearing it just in case he does, right?”

I bit my lip and nodded, then pulled down my leggings to reveal a peek of red silky material lined with crystals.

“Jesus, that’s hot. And expensive, I bet.”

“I know.”After the package had arrived, I looked up the jock online and found it at a boutique in Chelsea specializing in high-end menswear. “It’s a hundred bucks.

“Holy shit.”Frankie’s jaw dropped. “He wants you.”

It had turned chilly outside, and I tugged on my fur-topped boots. “I don’t mind a little snuggle here and there, and I’m not against saying a special thank-you with a kiss, but there’s a limit. You know what I mean.

Frankie zipped up his jacket and pulled his furry hood over his head. “If he wants to be your sugar daddy, you tell him yes. Get yourself set up good with a nice place and a bank account. I would. You don’t need to keep shaking your ass for those guys always grabbing your junk.”

“I’m not a whore, Frankie. I’m not selling myself. Right now, I love dancing and teaching the kids, but I have plans. And maybe someday, in the future, a real boyfriend.”

“And you’re a great dancer. The kids love you.”Frankie shrugged as we walked back into the studio in time to see Marcus kissing Tyler with a passion I’d never experienced. It made my heart and my dick throb. “And as for boyfriends, they’re nothing but trouble.”

Felice Stevens Logo

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/felicestevens/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8432880.Felice_Stevens

Instagram: https://instagram.com/FeliceStevens

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor?ref=hl

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back #3) by Felice Stevens and Kale Williams (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A few things should be addressed before summarizing the review of this audiobook. First, there’s no mention of the need to read other books in this series, however, I believe my enjoyment of this book would have been greatly enhanced if I had done so.  So although this is ostensibly a standalone, it really is the capstone of a three-book series and I’d recommend that people read the others first—and also read the end of this review for information on the multiple epilogues.

The second thing that bugged me and made me crazy—why would the author give the MC (with the real name of Sebastian) the nickname of Tash when one of the MCs from the previous books in this series was Ash?  And Ash was frequently present in this story.  Then to make it worse, this is an audiobook so the frequency of use of Tash and Ash became way too confusing, especially in the beginning of the story when the couples from the earlier stories frequently made an appearance and I had to figure out all the relationships because I wasn’t warned that the other books should be read first.  It seems this story is connected with others in the series by each one featuring one of three boys who grew up as brothers in poverty under the rough hand of a nasty, abusive foster father.

This book is about Brandon, a young man who ran away from home after one fight too many with that abusive foster father. Thinking he killed the old man, Brandon moved to another city and changed his name to Randy. After a year or so on the streets, he was rescued by a man named Gage who was working in a program helping homeless teens.  Brandon turned his life around and is now working as a teacher.  Hearing of a way to help teens like he was, he agrees to meet with Dr. Sebastian (Tash) Weber, a psychiatrist who is starting another program for bullied LGBTQ youth.

Tash is about fifteen years Brandon’s senior, but he’s hot and Brandon is immediately attracted. Tash isn’t interested in a relationship, however, since his former lover died a few years before and he doesn’t think he can ever love again. 

The two do eventually come together, despite objections from some friends and family members who feel the age gap is too steep and/or Brandon isn’t the right person for Tash and vice versa. Add to that the guilt Brandon carries about his past and this makes for a long story.  It’s nearly ten hours of audio and a great deal of the story is interrelated to characters from the first two books.  Ultimately, it’s discovered that the lost brothers Brandon has never been able to find are the best friends of Gage and Tash and so their lives intertwine even more. 

After a misunderstanding, Brandon travels home to face his ghosts and to make peace with his foster mother, if at all possible.  Tash and the brothers follow and eventually all is resolved.  To be honest, I felt lost so often (and was frankly sick of hearing Tash and Ash in the same sentences!) I was happy to see it end, even though I liked the author’s writing and I liked the core relationship between Brandon and Tash.  I definitely enjoyed the narration by Kale Williams, who I don’t believe I’ve ever heard before.  Even with all of those confusing character names, he managed to juggle multiple voices so I was able to pick out the MCs.  That alone is well worth mentioning. 

I must say, however, I was surprised at the end when the Epilogue chapter was announced and suddenly it’s about people named Mike and Rachel, and I had no idea who they were.  The short scene is at their wedding and all the characters are present. And then suddenly, we had a second epilogue that takes place a month later about Jordan and Luke – MCs from After the Fire — in a little vacation and engagement vignette.    A month later a third epilogue about Drew and Ash takes place — MCs from the first book, A Walk Through Fire, so it’s a little odd to me that the author put the epilogues from these other couples into this book.  But finally, taking place a week after that last one, we get the epilogue for Brandon and Tash and their very satisfying HEA. 

Do I recommend this? Yes, to those who enjoy a contemporary romance with an age gap. However, I highly recommend the first two books be read before this one, or readers will likely suffer from the same confusion I went through.  It really is a three-book series, all of which are linked closely together.

~~~~~~~~

Cover art by Reese Dante in the newest edition features a headshot of two young men in an almost-kiss, hands on each other’s face.  Very attractive, and in keeping with the theme of the others in the series, the word fire in the title is bright red. 

BUY LINK

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2yu0NiV

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/2mem4vf

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 9 hours and 42 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: felice stevens
Audible.com Release Date: October 31, 2017
Whispersync for Voice: Read

On Tour with Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back #3) by Felice Stevens and Kale Williams (Narrator) (excerpt and giveaway)

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Embrace the Fire Audio Tour

Embrace the Fire

Through Hell and Back Series, Book 3

Felice Stevens

M/M Romance

Release: 03.24.17

Audio Release: 10.31.17

Embrace the Fire Audio Cover

Narrator: Kale Williams

Listening Length: 9 hours and 42 minutes

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Cover Photo: Varian Krylov/ Strangeland Photography

 

BUY LINK

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2yu0NiV

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/2mem4vf

 

BLURB

 Brandon Gilbert has spent years in hiding, but he’s finally accomplished his dream of working as a public school teacher. When offered the chance to help bullied children, there was no way he could say no. Not to mention that meeting Dr. Tash Weber, the psychiatrist who helps them, a sad yet sexy older man, ignited a spark inside Brandon he’d never had before.

Though five years have passed since the death of his lover, Dr. Sebastian “Tash” Weber has no interest in relationships or love. But young, enigmatic Brandon awakens his heart and his desire. Despite Tash’s best efforts to push him away, Brandon unlocks the passion for life Tash thought he’d lost forever.

Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan for either Brandon or Tash, but neither family disapproval nor self-doubts can stop them from embracing the fire that burns between them. And when Brandon returns home to fight for a future he never imagined possible, he and Tash discover that the one thing worth fighting for has been with them all along.

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Embrace the Fire Teaser 3

EXCERPT

“Care to tell me what’s wrong?” Brandon zipped up his jacket.

“You don’t know? All weekend I’ve been deluding myself. We were caught up in this bubble we created, but now? Now that I have to come face-to-face with your brothers and Gage.” Tash shook his head. “I don’t know if I can do this.”

Heart beating madly, Brandon swallowed. “Can’t do what?” Don’t do this, please; don’t hide yourself away.

“Us. You, me. We’re at different places in our lives. You’re starting out, and with Ash and Luke, you have a whole new world open to you—places to explore and new people to meet.”

Tash unbuckled his seat belt and opened the car door but didn’t get out. “I’m the opposite. I’m ready to settle down. I’m not interested in nightlife and the latest scene. I can’t and won’t ask you to give it all up.” Tash climbed out of the car and slammed the door.

The hell he says. If Tash thought he’d simply state his opinions like God and proclaim what Brandon should do with the rest of his life, he was in for a fight. He wrenched open the door. “I’m not giving anything up. I was never into that.” Brandon slammed the car door behind him with a vicious thump. “Who do you think you are? You say you don’t want to be with me, yet you then get the right to lay out my life in neat little puzzle pieces so it all comes perfectly together as you see fit.”

Tash had stopped in his tracks but didn’t turn around. Hopeful that was a sign he was at least listening, Brandon continued.

“Sure we were in a bubble; it was wonderful this weekend, beautiful and amazing.” He advanced on Tash and stood before him. “Don’t think I don’t know, maybe better than anyone, how something so perfect and magical can be ripped away with no warning.” He put a hand on Tash’s shoulder, hoping Tash wouldn’t move away from him. “And now the hard stuff begins—reality and all the trouble that comes with it. But aren’t you willing to try? See where this journey takes us?”

“Brandon, you’re—”

“Don’t say it. I’ll tell you what I am. I’ve been homeless and hungry. I’ve lived on the streets with rats, not knowing where I would sleep at night. Do you think I’m looking for a man whose only interest is a twenty-dollar glass of wine and where the next party is?”

Tash said nothing, and Brandon had no more strength to argue. Besides, they were at the clinic to do a job. Last time he’d screwed up by running out, and he’d be damned if he’d do it again.

Felice Logo

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

 

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Twitter:https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

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