An Ali Audiobook Review: Everything Changes (Resilient Love #1) by Melanie Hansen and Robert Nieman (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
everything-changes-audioWhat happens when friendship catches fire? 

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery. 

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD. 

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.
I really liked this. It had a bunch of my favorite things….friends to lovers, hurt/comfort and some fantastic dirty talking.  The story mostly takes places in the present but there are some flashbacks to their time in Afghanistan.  When the story begins they’ve been through a lot and have not visited each other in awhile although they talk on the phone frequently.  What is supposed to be an average visit turns in to them becoming physical with each other.  While Jase has known for a long time that he loves Carey, Carey identifies as straight and has never thought about crossing from friends to lovers.
As the story goes on Carey admits that he cares deeply for Jase but he really struggles with what it would mean for his life should he begin to identify as bisexual or gay.  I think this part of the story was really well done and I felt it was a very realistic situation.  They have a great foundation of friendship and they’re the rocks in each other’s lives.  It makes sense that it would turn into a physical one.
I especially liked how well these two communicated with each other. There were some bumps in the road but they were open and honest about it. I wish we’d see that more in stories.  I can’t imagine you could make such big changes in your life without having some things to think through and I loved how they talked about this every step of the way.
This book was narrated by Robert Nieman and I thought he did a great job.  He did a good job on both of the MC’s as well as the side characters. He happens to be one of my favorite narrators in this genre so I was pleased to see he was doing this book.  
This was my first time reading this author and I’m looking forward to reading more by her.  I plan to move on to the other books in this series as soon as possible.  I also loved the narration and if you enjoy audiobooks then I definitely recommend this media.
Cover art by Natasha Snow Designs works perfectly for the story and characters.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook
Published January 12th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 13th 2015)
ASINB01N20ODJP
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesResilient Love #1

A MelanieM Review: Seth and Casey (Storming Love: Blizzard #3) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

STorming Love- Blizzard coverSeth Wild is a fire fighter who has lost everything when a building collapsed on him during a rescue, a rescue that went wrong.  Seth’s inability to handle his PTSD, his injuries and his refusal of help from anyone, including his partner Casey, cost him their relationship and their home together.

Casey, a school teacher, is on a field trip that his partner promised to help him conduct and chaperone…until a fire and Seth’s injury caused everything to fall apart.  Casey had hoped to try and reach Seth once more while out in the woods with the kids but Seth is a no show.

Then a freak storm puts Casey and Seth on a collision with each other and their future when Casey and the children are stranded in the blizzard and Seth is their only hope.  Seth is the last fire fighter left in town with his bum leg but when Casey calls for help he doesn’t hesitate. Seth always promised he would be Casey’s hero, but will he ever again be Casey’s love?

Seth and Casey is a wonderful story that easily could be enlarged to encompass Seth and Casey’s back history and romance.  As it is, RJ Scott moves the reader easily into the present day with an embittered Seth living alone in the house he shared with Casey and still refusing to accept any help with his recuperation or PTSD.  Most of the story unfolds from Seth’s point of view as the storm moves into the area and the flakes start to fall.

I loved how Scott shows us how out of touch Seth is with everyone around him.  The station house has been emptied because of accidents caused by the historic storm and the only person left behind is a scared rookie.  But Seth appears oblivious to the storm’s approach or the magnitude of the blizzard, something everyone else knows of because of news reports and being a part of the community.   Slowly Seth is jolted back to awareness as first he notices the number of missed phone calls from Casey he has gotten and then the trouble he is having navigating sidewalks and roads on his way to the fire station.  His bad leg is making his journey slow and awkward but that’s nothing to what he will face once Seth enters the firehouse.

Scott builds the suspense and drama with all the pace of a fast approaching snowstorm.  First just some flakes appear, then more and finally whiteout conditions, both in Seth’s emotions and the situation that Casey and the children find themselves in. And the scarier the storm gets the deeper and more gripping does the precarious situation become.  If Seth is to win out, he must navigate the obstacles around him, from the physical to the barriers he has raised in his own heart.  I loved Seth and Casey, rooting for them and their relationship every hard won step of the way.

This was the first story I read in the Storming Love: Blizzard collection and  if the others are like it, I can wait to grab them all up.  Pick up RJ Scott’s Seth and Casey as they make their way back to HEA!  I am on my way to Kimo and Mike!  Meet you there!  A highly recommended read!

Cover Artist Kris Jacen

Sales Links:  MLR Press          All Romance (ARe)     Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 6th 2015 by MLR
Buy All the Rest at MLR Books
seriesStorming Love: Blizzard #3

Books in the Storming Love: Blizzard series are:

  • Jens & Elliot (Storming Love: Blizzard #1)
  • Kimo & Mike (Storming Love: Blizzard #2)
  • Seth and Casey (Storming Love, Blizzard #3)
  • Layne, River & Damion (Storming Love: Blizzard #4)  by Vicktor Alexander (release date: 2/13/15)
  • Gavin & Morgan (Storming Love: Blizzard #5) by Nicole Dennis (release date: 2/20/15)
  • Stokes & Ford (Storming Love: Blizzard #6) by Jackie Nacht (release date: 2/27/15)

In Our Book Spotlight: When in Bloom by Nicole Dennis (Book tour and contest)

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When in Bloom (Southern Charm #4) by Nicole Dennis
magnifying glass and bookRelease Date: February 20, 2015
Goodreads Link

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Nicole Dennis Answers a few questions…

Q. How do you deal with interruptions from family and friends – how do you find the balance and mark the space you need?

I only have a Fat Cat at home, so life is fairly quiet.

Q.  What inspired you to write in the first place?

I never thought about doing anything else. From the moment I read, I wanted to create my own stories for my dolls. Then different characters started talking. It helped me get away from reality and a rough time in school.

Q. What’s the hardest step for you as a writer? Planning? Writing? Editing? Something else?

Planning. Plotting. Editing – yuck, I have a tendency to repeat the same word dozens of times (sometimes on the SAME Page!)

Author Nicole Dennis Bio:

Ever the quiet one growing up, Nicole Dennis often slid away from reality and curled up with a book to slip into the worlds of her favorite authors. Over the years, she’s created a personal library full of novels filled with dragons, fairies, vampires, shapeshifters of all kinds and romance. Always she returned to romance. Still, there were these characters in her head, worlds wanting to be built on paper, and stories wanting to be told and she began writing them down whether during or after class. She continues to this day. Only recently has it begun to become fruitful, spreading out to let others read and enter her worlds, meet her characters, and see what she sees. No matter what she writes, her stories of romance with their twists of paranormal, fantasy and erotica will always have their Happily Ever Afters.

She currently works in a quiet office in Central Florida, where she also makes her home, and enjoys the down time to slip into her characters and worlds to escape reality from time to time. At home, she becomes human slave to a semi-demonic tortie calico.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleDennis.Author
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nicoledennis.author/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nicoledennisaut/books-n-promo/
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/nicoledennisauthor

Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Sales Links:  Totally Bound

More About When In Bloomwheninbloom_800

Will the personal challenges of a former Army doctor and a brilliant florist get in the way of a chance at life and love?

Fighting type one diabetes since childhood, Jude Sebastian runs to prove he can live a normal life, until epileptic seizures begin to change his life. Even with Dawson, his medical alert Golden Labrador, at his side, Jude finds daily life difficult. He owns the floral shop Flowers in the Breeze, and designs everything from simple bouquets to elaborate themes for weddings and celebrations.

At the Shore Breeze Clinic, Jude comes across a man clearly suffering with a PTSD episode. A new arrival in the small town, Doctor Elliott Sheffield, a retired Army Ranger doctor, is looking for a second chance after what he saw in the Middle Eastern deserts.

Wanting a normal relationship, Jude tries to deny his disorder, but something is happening. He can’t regulate his sugars and his disorder worsens. When he returns to the clinic, Dawson alerts Jude to an oncoming seizure.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes referencing PTSD, seizures and diabetes.
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

When In Bloom Excerpt

Cursing under his breath as the sky turned orange with another incoming sandstorm, Dr. Elliott Sheffield hated the situation. Though they’d tried to tie down the damn tent, the ferocious wind tugged the straps, causing openings everywhere to expose the critical care unit to the elements. Why had he ever agreed to come to this desert hell in the Middle East?

After struggling through several storms like this one, he knew the clouds could turn the sky black for at least seven hours. Pushing out the noises of men calling out in pain and fearing for their lives, he concentrated to save the man on the operating table. His hands and forearms were covered in blood as he searched for the damned bleeder in the man’s belly.

“Come on… Come on… Where the fuck are you?”

As the winds howled, Elliott felt the grit of the fine layer of sand digging underneath the scrubs and within any openings of his uniform. Along with the sweat dripping down his nape, the sand mixed with the moisture and aggravated him. Damn stuff could get through any crack and crevice of tent, Humvee or building. This place sucked when it came to performing delicate surgery, but he didn’t have a choice. The soldiers were here. He needed to be nearby to care for them.

“Shit… Got it,” Elliott said and made the necessary stitches to close the nasty bleeder. He scrambled to put the soldier’s innards back in place, flushed everything with saline to cleanse, and stapled the exterior wound.

“Cover him up tight. We’ll come back and make it nicer.” He stepped back to let the other physician and nurse finish. He peeled off and tossed the gloves. Removing the sweat-soaked mask, he left the curtained-off operating theater and went back to the main infirmary.

When the blasted Taliban insurgents had overrun the garrison stationed at the American base, Elliott had transferred with most of the surgical team to the Canadian–British combat hospital at the Kandahar airfield.

It wasn’t any better here.

Elliott shoved a weary hand through his hair. He scratched at the heavy bearded growth. Since his boots had hit the sand, he’d adapted to the crazy, never-ending situations, difficult in the best of conditions, but aggravated in the worse. He’d figured out ways to suture and clean some of the most devastating wounds he’d ever seen in his career. He could never get around the constant issue of infection from the damn sand.

“Fucking sand…”

The thump-thump-thump of helicopter blades surrounded them. Everyone within the base knew the meaning behind those blades. It was never good.

“We have incoming patients,” someone called out.

“They’re not friendlies! Take cover!” another soldier shouted as bullets flew through the sand and darkness
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Crouching, riveted as soldiers rushed around, Elliott thought about the patients. He knew their lives were at the most risk, unable to defend themselves. When dark figures invaded the tent, Elliott covered a nearby patient.

Several loud blasts blew through the base as bombs went off in rapid succession. He called out when searing heat scored through his shoulder.

Blood and gore rose in front of his mind. Within seconds, all the time it had taken to save these patients was destroyed.

“Doctor…”

“Doctor…”

Elliott blinked. He tasted the fine grit of the sand.

“Doctor…”

“Dr. Sheffield? Are you okay?”

When fingers touched his wounded shoulder, Elliott screamed and pushed back until he hit something hard then plopped his ass on the ground. The intensity knocked Elliott out of the intrusive flashback from his five years spent in Kandahar. He was home in the States. Having left Afghanistan and his ten year military career, he had now lived and worked in Florida for the last nine months.

He lowered himself until his scrub-covered ass hit the floor. He pressed his hands flat on the cool tile of the emergency room to ground himself in reality. He looked around, goggled as other staff fought to save a patient with a vicious belly wound. Two others moved toward him. He held up a hand and hyper focused on the blood-covered blue latex.

“Are you with us, Elliott? Can you rise?” another doctor said in a calming tone.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m here.”

“Where were you?”

“Kandahar.”

“Do you know what set you off?”

“Insurgents overran the base and hit the clinic and caused so much destruction among the patients and created more. It was the appearance of the wound. I took care of so many of them. Most were ruined by the fucking sand.” Elliott knocked his head against the wall.

“Easy. Can you stand? I’ll get you back to the lounge.”

“I’m okay, Harry, take care of the patient.” Elliott pushed himself to his feet and stripped the gloves from his hand. He wobbled out of the room and down the hall.

“Dr. Sheffield?” a nurse called.

He held up a hand. “Taking ten.”

“But…”

Something toppled with a harsh clatter. The broken glass caused Elliott to crouch again in a protective corner and cover his head.

“Dr. Sheffield!”

Lost again in the sand, heat and blood, Elliott stayed put in his cover position. What the hell was he doing here in civilian life? He couldn’t avoid the truth of how he suffered from PTSD.

“Dr. Sheffield… Major…”

He lifted his head at the sound of his Army title. Another doctor crouched in front of him. Through the haze of blood and sand within his memory, he almost didn’t recognize the fellow soldier. James was a friend, a psychiatrist and military officer with the Air Force.

“Major, are you with us?”

“Not an attack…” Elliott knew his gaze would be dead and haunted since he saw it so many times in the mirror after one of the dreams woke him.

“No, Major, a tray filled with containers crashed,” James said. “Major, I need you to stand and come with me. We’ll have a chat.”

“Yeah, guess I need to do that,” Elliott said as he looked beyond James. “I kinda lost it there.”

“Wouldn’t be the first time a soldier covered his ass,” James said as he rose.

Elliott followed James, who chose to find someplace quiet and separated from the chaos of the ER.

Pages or Words: 52,000 words

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Tour Dates: February 20, 2015

Tour Stops:

Parker Williams, Inked Rainbow Reads, Amanda C. Stone, Divine Magazine, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Fallen Angel Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Andrew Q. Gordon, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Hearts on Fire, The Hat Party

 

Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: ‘E-copy of When In Bloom’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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