A BJ Audio Review: Tempest (Playing the Fool #3) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, Narrated by Nick J. Russo

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Rating:  3.75 stars out of 5

Tempest_AudiobookSomething wicked this way comes.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.

The finale of this three part serialized humorous romantic suspense was worth the wait. This installment was not as light as the first two, which I actually liked. Most of the banter and humor this time came towards the end. For those that love that sort of thing, it should be just what you are looking forward to as an ending. For me, I could have done without so much of that at the end. I’d hoped for Henry finally dropping all the banter and joking and letting his guard completely down with Mac but was disappointed there.

Lots of fast and furious action in the last third of that was sometimes a bit over the top. We finally have a resolution to the suspense and a romance, finally got to see the depth of Henry/Sebastian’s hurt and motivations, and Mac. Well, I just loved him through all of the stories. And also in this one we get to meet his family, and they are just as awesome! Viola and Mac young niece, Cory, rather stole the show for me at parts of this book, and I was totally on board with that. Loved them.

While there was no cliffhanger in this one, there were a few things left hanging (for me anyway). I wish there’d been more closure of Viola’s story, more than the one sentence comment that alluded to her possible fate. And something that bugged me to distraction was… what happened to Door Bell? Did they just abandon the poor dog there along with the apartment? If so, that is so sad. Certainly Henry didn’t take him and there was no mention when we see Stacy again that she did. I just really needed to know that he was okay, cuz yeah, I’m a dog household.

Nick J. Russo’s narration throughout this series was a highlight. All the voices were defined, the delivery of the humor was spot on, and the angsty bits were captivating. Overall, his narration was perhaps my favorite experience of the story.

Another simple cover design by L.C. Chase that works refreshingly well to set the tone of the book.

Sales Links:  Riptide PublishingAudible | Amazon | iTunes


Book Details:  

 Audible Audio
Published (first published March 9th 2015)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPlaying the Fool #3 settingIndiana (United States)

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review – Tempest (Playing the Fool #3) by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Tempest coverShakespeare buffs should love this series. As in the other two stories, quotes from “The Bard” abound and, in fact, the title of the story is an adaptation of The Tempest.

Henry Page, aka Sebastian Hanes, aka a hundred other aliases, is a Shakespeare buff. He and his twin sister Viola were raised by an alcoholic mother who was an actress and instilled a love of William Shakespeare in her children from a very early age. As this third story in the series opens, Henry is on the run and so is his boyfriend, FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness Mac is being framed for murder and with nowhere else to go, they head for Altona, Indiana, where the series began. Altona, not the most well-known city in the world has a population consisting of Mac’s family, some goats, a few chickens, and maybe a handful of other people. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm (hence, his singing of Old MacDonald’s Farm on the way there), but they’ve got nowhere else to go, and he believes Viola will be safe there, a fact which makes him most cooperative.

Viola suffered a brain injury while trying to pull one of their mother’s boyfriends off of Henry as he was being raped when they were teens. In this book we learn something more about this man, JJ. <spoiler> The way the authors wove Mac’s and Henry’s stories together was both complex and compelling. Interesting to me as a reviewer and as someone who has read the past books, I felt like I was slowly unwrapping a gift and each layer brought a new surprise. In hindsight, it’s obvious that the authors plotted this series out before starting the first book, yet each story is a complete story in itself. Together, they make an incredibly interesting action adventure saga. As Henry jokes, the two of them together, aka “Mac and Cheese”, had enough going on in their lives to create a TV series about them, and now they seem to have enough material to make an epic motion picture.

Watching their relationship develop, and most especially, watching Henry come to the realization that he can indeed rely on Mac, that he loves him, and that he might have finally found a home with Mac, is incredibly fulfilling and I just literally couldn’t put the story down. If this had been a movie, I certainly would have watched between my fingers, like a little kid who can’t bear to see what’s going on, yet can’t leave the room either. The last chapters were a hair-raising adventure, super scary for more than just Mac and Henry, and highly riveting. A definite nail-biter, for sure.

The authors continue to relate to the world of William Shakespeare throughout the story, and I particularly enjoyed Mac’s realization that “everyone had their assigned part, and played it. All the world was a stage, after all, and it was just bursting at the seams with eager understudies.” He went on to speculate on the people who loved you and those you loved—those are the only people who mattered. It was clearly evident that he loved Henry, and when Henry finally admitted that he loved Mac, though it was mumbled, it was just perfect for them. And speaking of perfect, the ending of the story was exactly what will allow our guys to continue on in future stories if the authors want to take them further, but would be a fine place to end if they decide to do so.

I highly recommend this series. It got better with each book, and both characters are now on my list of favorite M/M characters and definitely on my most memorable couples list.
~~~
Cover Art by L.C. Chase depicts an open black umbrella on a red background, giving the same overall feel as the covers of the other books. In this case, use of an umbrella symbolizes both Henry’s fear of storms and the use of an umbrella to thwart one of the “bad guys” in the story. Nicely done.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing       All Romance (ARe)      Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 205 pages
Expected publication: March 9th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626492233
edition languageEnglish
seriesPlaying the Fool #3

Playing the Fool Series in the order they were written and should be read:

Henry And Mac Are Back in Action in Tempest (Playing the Fool #3) by Lisa Henry & J. A. Rock (Excerpt and Contest)

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Tempest cover

 

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Lisa Henry and J. A. Rock’s series Playing the Fool is a Must Read, highly recommended series of stories here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.   Happily, we now have another book to add to this series.  It’s Tempest (Playing the Fool #3) !  The authors are here today with a special excerpt and a contest for all to enter.  Check it all out below and don’t forget to leave your email address in the body of your comment when entering the contest!  Let’s get started!

Welcome, Lisa Henry and J. A. Rock!

Tempest_TourBanner

Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of TEMPEST. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!

Today we’re sharing an excerpt from TEMPEST.  Here, Henry and Mac are on their way back to the city to get to the bottom of who’s framing Mac. Henry is as distracted, and distracting as always. Contains a bonus Skittles reference.

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

***

The next morning, Mac looked Henry up and down as he approached the truck. Refrained from shaking his head as Henry settled into the passenger seat. “I thought you’d be wearing a disguise.”

“Seriously?” Henry smoothed down his tie. “I am wearing a disguise. Look at me. I could be selling magazine subscriptions. Or Jesus. Or subscriptions to magazines that are exclusively about Jesus. White Jesus. Or maybe I’m on my way to a job interview at an accounting firm.” He flashed Mac a smile. “Yeah, I’ll bet that’s what I’m doing.”

Mac frowned at the pants. There was something both weirdly familiar and aesthetically disturbing about the houndstooth pattern.

“Are those my dad’s pants?”

“Circa 1974. Your dad wore ’em tight. This is his tie too.” “You’re really wearing a tie?”

“You like boys in ties.” Henry ran his fingers down the silk, in a gesture that would have been a hell of a lot sexier if Mac didn’t remember buying that tie for his dad one Father’s Day. “Look at you. Even in jeans something about you just screams cop.”

“I’m not a cop.”

“I know. But ‘something about you just screams authority figure who can deprive me of my freedom’ just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way, does it?”

“I guess not.” He stared at his parents’ house a little longer, then turned the ignition. The truck rumbled into life. “You ready for this?”

Henry pulled a packet of Skittles out of his pocket. “I’m always ready for a road trip.”

Of course he was.

They headed for Indianapolis.

Mac let Henry fiddle with the radio and spill candy and talk bullshit at a million miles an hour, because that was Henry. It was how he dealt with stress. If he talked fast enough, if he teased, if he didn’t stop, then he didn’t have to deal. Even a week ago Mac would have been irritated by that. Would have wanted to slap him around the back of the head for being so damn irritating. Like Energizer Bunny irritating. But not today.

Henry glanced out the window at the darkening sky. “Looks like rain.”

“Storm’s not supposed to hit until this evening.”

“Great. Let me get out my umbrella and tap shoes.” Henry changed the radio station again. Then suddenly slapped the radio knob, turning it off. “Can we stop for donuts, Mac?”

“Says the guy who just put away two omelets for breakfast.”

“Which is my protein requirement for the day. Now I need my sugar and frosting requirement for the day. Oh, and my milkshake requirement. Strawberry.” He jiggled his leg. “Definitely strawberry.”

“If we see somewhere, we’ll stop.”

Henry’s eyebrows shot up. “Are you serious? I don’t need to argue about this?”

“Nope.”

Henry slumped back down in his seat. “Well, now I know you think we’re gonna die.”

Mac glanced sideways at him. “Maybe I’m just tired of arguing with you.”

“Or maybe you want me to finish these Skittles and put something else in my mouth. Want me to taste your rainbow ?” “Not while I’m driving, I don’t.” Flirty Henry was incorrigible. He was also deflecting again. One day, Mac decided, he would surprise the fuck out of both of them and say yes to whatever crazy suggestion fell out of those candy-stained lips.

“You’re so boring, Mac.”

“Shut up, Cheese.”

STRW Author BookSynopsis

About TEMPEST:

Something wicked this way comes.

FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.

While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.

If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.
You can check out TEMPEST at Riptide.

Books in the Playing the Fool Series are -linked to Barb’s 5-star reviews:

 

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

The Giveaway: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and some comfy items picked especially for you by Henry: a pillow shaped like a donut, and a pair of donut-themed socks.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On March 20, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Prizes provided by Riptide Publishing and the authors.

Tempest_TourBanner

 

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

 

About the Authors

Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house a log-suffering partner, too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa:

Blog:  http://www.lisahenryonline.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaHenryOnline
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LisaHenry

J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock has worked as a dog groomer, knife seller, haunted house zombie, standardized patient, cashier, census taker, state fair quilt hanger, and, for one less-than-magical evening, a server—and would much rather be writing about those jobs than doing them. A lover of m/m BDSM romance, J.A. lives mostly in West Virginia, and always with a beloved dog, Professor Anne.

Website:  http://www.jarockauthor.com/
Blog:  http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jarockauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39