Friday, July 13, 2018

Audio Book Review: Old Loyalty, New Love (L'Ange book 1) by Mary Calmes

Release Date: September 22, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Format: Audio
Length: 8 hours 3 minutes
Narrator: Tristan James
Genre: Romance/Supernatural
Buy: Audible | Kindle 

Synopsis: 

When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father's prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.

Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.

Review:

This was a good story but I felt a little lost in places.  The author didn't seem to really change his voice for the characters so when you have two male lead characters when "he"is talking it takes a moment to figure out who "he" is.  I think I may try the next book in this series on kindle instead of Audio.

There are several great themes through this book but the biggest is acceptance.  Acceptance for who you are and what you look like.  Roman was scarred in a horrific accident and despite Quade wanting to find a match for him Roman knows that his looks prevent most people from actually seeing him. Quade and the pack however don't even seem to notice the scars and only see the man that he is. Quade was kicked out of his pack by his father, the Alpha, because he was gay, when his sister shows up he is surprised but happy to see her, while she is scared he will reject her for not standing up for him despite the fact she was only a child at the time.  Both of these situations were handled really well and I applaud Calmes for her insight.

Well done shifter book that has potential to be a pretty good series.



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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Audio Book Review: Garrett, Brent, Grant & Bryce (Bound and Controlled Books 1-4) by Shaw Montgomery

Publisher: Shaw Montgomery
Format: Audio
Narrator: Kenneth Obi
Genre: Romance
Buy: Kindle 

Synopsis: 

Garrett: 
Garrett was at his breaking point.
There were only so many times in a week you should have to see someone you were...attracted to...infatuated with...but certainly didn’t have a crush on. Doms didn’t have those. Especially on a customer who probably wasn’t even gay, much less a sub. Business 101 - do not flirt with a client.
Wyatt was losing his mind.
Hiding his obsession was getting harder and harder. All he wanted to do was kneel in front of Garrett and call him Master. But the sexy insurance agent never seemed to see him. He only noticed the nervous, awkward insured who came in way too often.
When the two men are missing what’s right in front of their faces, it might take family stepping in to point out the obvious. That they were meant for each other.
Brent: 
Brent had fallen for the one Dom he couldn't have.
Brent's legendary bad luck when it came to men was undeniable. If there was a wanna-be Dom in a hundred miles, he found them. But even he couldn't have predicted what would happen next. Mixed signals and too much time off won't make it any better, or will it? 
Calen had fallen for the one sub he couldn't have.
Calen knew most considered him the seen-them-and-leave-them type of Dom, but how could he stay when he knew they wouldn't understand? When you're a Dom who doesn't match up to stereotypes, can you ever find the right submissive?
Grant:
Grant had found his perfect man...wrapped in silk and lace.
Grant had always loved more feminine men. A sexy guy in lingerie just did it for him. But when you looked more like a bouncer than an insurance agent, the pretty guys ran for the hills. Carter seemed different, though. When he looked at Grant, he saw the real man underneath the tattoos and muscles. Could Grant make him understand that he liked Carter just the way he was, or would Carter's doubts keep them apart?
Carter had found his perfect man...sweet, sexy, and built like a tank.
Grant didn't seem to mind Carter's more feminine look, but was he too good to be true? One bad date after another had left Carter gun-shy. Now, he had Mr. Right standing at his doorway. Did he have the courage to be himself and let Grant in, or would his fears keep them apart?
Bryce:
He'd watched them for so long it probably counted as stalking. 
Bryce was confident when it came to work and his family, but hesitant when it involved relationships. He'd found subs that he pulled to him and Doms that could make his knees weak for a scene or two, but no one that tugged at his heart or who could understand what it was like to be both a Dom and a sub - until he'd seen Troy and Oliver. 
They'd watched him for so long they decided to keep him. 
Bryce hovered around them like a moth drawn to a flame. He circled and watched but never came closer, never approached them. Troy and Oliver were tired of waiting. They knew they needed a third to make them complete, and they knew they needed Bryce. But was he ready? They didn't want a one-night stand or a casual fling. They wanted everything with the confused switch who'd caught their eye and possibly their hearts. 

Review:

Figured it was easier to put these books all in one review.  These four brothers are all into BDSM as were their parents so they are all very open and accepting of the lifestyle.  One by one the brothers find their soul mates and their mother who is off traveling tries to keep tabs on her boys until her curiosity gets the better of her and the Domme returns.

She has taught her boys to respect their subs and requires a collar before one decides to live with one. This is a fun well done series...each brother with quirks of their own navigating their sex life and their personal life along with their insurance business which seems to employ only people accepting of their unique lives.




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Monday, July 9, 2018

Audio Book Review: Ripper by Isabel Allende

Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Harper Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 14 hours 32 minutes
Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime
Buy: Audible | Kindle | Paperback

Synopsis: 

The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Though their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda's father, she's reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her - Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco's elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.

While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature - as is her father, the SFPD's deputy chief of homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior Amanda is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and to Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.

When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, probing hints and deductions that elude the police department. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother's disappearance have something to do with the series of deaths? Now, with her mother's life on the line, Amanda must solve the most complex mystery she's ever faced before it's too late.

Review:

I love Allende's books.  This was her first foray into mystery.  I was a little lost in the beginning just due to there being so many characters. I did eventually catch on but I think that this would be better read than listened to.

 Amanda is a precocious young woman who is obsessed with crime.  She forms a group called Ripper who investigate crimes and talk about different serial killers. Her grandfather is a part of the group and helps his granddaughter with her strange obsession. Amanda's father is a police officer giving her and her grandfather access to a lot of the police files. When people start dying Amanda and her team try to solve the murders.  While the victims seems random is there a connection?

This is well written with Amanda drawing you in and helping you get caught up in the investigation. You get pulled along and then Indiana, Amanda's mother goes missing and solving the case becomes so much more important. As they get closer and closer the book picks up speed. The killer was actually a surprise and the ending well done. I would recommend reading this instead of getting it as an audio book



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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

ARC Book Review: Erasing Memory (a MacNeice Mystery) by Scott Thornley

Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Spiderline
Format: ebook
Pages: 332 pages
Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

Synopsis: 

Detective Superintendent MacNeice is returning from a pilgrimage to his wife’s grave when he’s called to a crime scene of singular and disturbing beauty. A young woman in evening dress lies gracefully posed on the floor of a pristine summer cottage so that the finger of one hand regularly interrupts the needle arm of a phonograph playing Schubert’s Piano Trio. The only visible mark on her is the bruise under her chin, which MacNeice recognizes: it is the mark that distinguishes dedicated violinists, the same mark that once graced his wife. The murder is both ingenious and horrific, and soon entangles MacNeice and his team in Eastern Europe’s ancient grievances.

Review:

This is a really good police procedural set in Canada. MacNeice leads an interesting team of detectives all with their own quirks.  This is a smart book and MacNeice is a complex man of many talents, he recently lost his wife and seems to be grieving but you see hints of him starting to move on.

The characters are well developed and you really start to get a feel for them before the end of the book. The mystery is disturbing but not too graphic or gory and most of the action centers around the actual police work in trying to solve the case. There is a big emphasis on team work and not just one great cop getting all the glory. Each one has their moment to shine.

I believe this is the first of a new series and can't wait to see where the author takes this.






Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

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