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Tams (TTC Books and more)

Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.

JUSTIN, TX, United States | Member Since 2012

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 78 reviews
  • 119 ratings
  • 266 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2015
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  • Kindred Hearts

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Rowan Speedwell
    • Narrated By Paul Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (96)

    Charming rascal Tristan Northwood seems to have it all: an ancient name, a noble inheritance, and a lovely wife. Women love him, men admire him, and it seems there is nothing he can’t do, whether it’s seducing a society wife or winning a carriage race. Little does society suspect that the name means nothing to him, the fortune is in his father’s hands, and he has no interest in his wife except a very distant friendship. Society bores him, and he takes dares because he only feels alive when he’s dancing on the edge...until his wife’s brother comes home from the wars.

    Amazon Customer says: "Amazing writing and narration"
    "Well read historical gay romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Kindred Hearts to be better than the print version?

    I only have the audio version to go by, which was fantastic!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The accuracy of the history, and the details of the time.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Morey – was your favorite?

    Tristan


    Who was the most memorable character of Kindred Hearts and why?

    Tristan. He's very insecure and immature at the start, but he grows so much throughout the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Tristan Northwood is a deviant by the standards of his time. He drinks like a fish, parties like a rock star, takes any dare that is thrown his way and sleeps with any woman that blinks in his direction. It’s all just a façade that he presents as his public persona. He lost his mother and baby sister when he was just a boy, and he’s felt his father’s disdain for him every day since. Now a grown man, his father continues to control him as he is the one that holds the purse strings.

    An arranged marriage is set as the Baron no longer wants his son and only heir ramshackling his way across the countryside. Charlotte Mountjoy and Tristan are married and being their otherwise unconventional marriage as mere strangers. Over the next several years though they develop a bond that is unwavering, becoming best friends and parents to a little boy with another child on the way. But Tris is even more restless all these years later. Until Lottie’s twin brother Charles comes for a visit.

    Tris is attracted to Charles from the start, which only adds to his uncertainty as of late. He’s always had an odd attraction to the same sex, but never acted on it due to the negative and damning effects of homosexuality at the time. Charles as well hides his attraction to Tris, until he learns that the attraction is mutual. But Tristan’s self loathing and dangerous plans threaten to destroy any chance these two would have at happiness.

    I loved the history that was woven into the story. From the costumes of the period down to Napoleon and the war. The book was set in the late 1800’s, a time in which homosexuality was considered sodomy and punishable by incarceration, possibly death. It was interesting how Speedwell painted this aspect of the storyline without weighing down the overall story. I was fascinated as I listened to Tristan’s exploits and followed him as he went from insecure and immature to a strong, fierce and loyal doctor. Charles and Lottie play a huge role in his growth throughout the story. They both love him unconditionally, but it’s Charles that is IN love with him, and it’s that love that gives Tris the strength to become the man he is at the end.

    This book was narrated by Paul Morey, and Morey is a fantastic story teller. You can hear the emotions in his voice from changes in octave to slight nuances within the different characters. He expertly nails the sensuality and passion of the more intimate scenes between Charles and Tris as well. I know they say an audio book is a different experience from reading the story, but I would recommend this book regardless of the final delivery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Deliver Me

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Remmy Duchene
    • Narrated By Paul Morey
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The severe bullying he suffered as a teenager left Jack Flemming scarred both physically and emotionally. Now an adult, he has carved out a life for himself as co-owner of the Mechanic Shop. He enjoys his volunteer work with the throwaway boys, and has a supportive best friend. When the past resurfaces in a phone call from Zachariah Durban, Jack discovers that while living is easy, forgiveness is much harder.

    Tams (TTC Books and more) says: "Deliciously heartbreaking love story."
    "Deliciously heartbreaking love story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Deliver Me rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Fantastic story, definitely at the top of my list.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Deliver Me?

    Holy christ, when Zach sees Jack's scars for the first time and he breaks down, Paul Morey really captured the pain in that moment. It was painfully, yes, but beautiful at the same time.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Morey – was your favorite?

    Zach!


    Who was the most memorable character of Deliver Me and why?

    Again, Zach. He is relentless in his pursuit of Jack.


    Any additional comments?

    Prom is supposed to be one of the most amazing nights of every senior’s life. But for Jack Flemming it was a nightmare, suffering through an extreme act of bullying that crossed the line over into a hate crime, leaving him permanently scarred mentally as well as physically. Fifteen years later and Jack has found a way past the depression, he is a successful business owner and volunteers at a local boys home. He has finally carved a life out of all the pain. Until the person responsible for that pain reappears in Jack’s life.

    Zachariah Durban has spent the last fifteen years regretting not telling Jack that he loved him, regretting not stopping his friends from hurting Jack all those years ago. Determined to make Jack a part of his life again, Zach reaches out, but Jack is not about to make it that easy. He convinces Jack to come to Paris and give him a chance to explain. On the beautiful beaches of Saint Tropez France, child hood friends with a lot of baggage will get to know each other again and try to figure out if they can forgive and forget.

    This book was absolutely delicious! Two of my favorite things are Remmy Duchene and Paul Morey, so this audio book was the perfect marriage of those two things. Duchene delivers her trademark style of an interracial couple that is broken and bent and determined to mend each other, regardless. The story is both engaging and intriguing. Here you have two grown men that have never been able to forget, to move past each other. There past is shrouded by this horrible event that left Jack scarred, but even that tragedy couldn’t kill the love they have for one another.

    So Paul Morey steps in and gives these characters a voice, gives their pain a voice as well. Oh my god, to hear the literal break in Morey’s voice when Zach broke down the first time he sees the scars Jack carries, I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much emotion in another narration before, it broke my damn heart. Which is just what an excellent narrator should do, they should be able to convey an author’s words and allow the reader to have a visual picture of the mixture, words and tones.

    Of course if you are a fan of Duchene’s books or Morey’s works you have to hear this one. Fans of gritty, passionate, dark and emotional love stories will enjoy this book as well. I’ll definitely listen to this one again, it was just so good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3234)
    Performance
    (2904)
    Story
    (2907)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Creepy, dark and intriguing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Pines rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Definitely a must listen to audio. Pretty well written and narrated.


    What other book might you compare Pines to and why?

    The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn


    Which character – as performed by Paul Michael Garcia – was your favorite?

    Ethan, of course.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They are making it into a TV show! I'm so excited!!!


    Any additional comments?

    What a wild ride this story was! Ethan Burke wakes up in the picturesque town of Wayward Pines with no memory of who he is, or how he got there. As the minutes tick by he regains bits and pieces of his memory, certain that he is a Secret Service agent that was sent to the town to search for clues about the disappearance of two other agents. Straight away Ethan notices there is something amiss in the not so quant town. And the town sheriff is a mean old bugger.

    I was intrigued pretty early on, especially when the different realities inside Ethan's mind began to merge. Every time I thought I had it all figured out, the author threw me another curve ball. There were a few holes in the story, but this is the first book in a trilogy so I am confident they will be filled somewhere along the way.

    If you are a fan of the Twilight Zone and Twin Peaks then you have to read this mind bending story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Worth the Coming Home

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Lisa M. Owens
    • Narrated By John Solo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    For Josh Brooks, it's a summer of wishes come true. First he gets his dream horse from a rival trainer. Then his brother's Army Ranger buddy, Dane Keller, comes to work on the ranch and Josh meets his dream lover too. Dane is hot, competent, and fresh out of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

    Tams (TTC Books and more) says: "Loved this book, hated the narration."
    "Loved this book, hated the narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No. The narration was not very good (see full review below)


    What other book might you compare Worth the Coming Home to and why?

    L.C. Chase's pick up men series, as far as the writing and storyline goes. Both are similar with stories and topics.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Solo’s performances?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no comment


    Any additional comments?

    Tams e-book review May of 2013…

    Josh Brooks is the dedicated horse whisperer on the Ranch he’s called home for over half his life. He and his brother, Jesse, live with their aunt and uncle having lost their parents when they were children. He hides his sexuality from everyone except his best friend for fear of their reaction.

    Dane is Jesse’s best friend, the guys met while in the military serving in Afghanistan. Having separated himself from “don’t ask, don’t tell” all Dane wants is to live his life a little more open than the military allowed. He travels to Montana per invitation from Jesse and begins working with the brothers on the ranch. The attraction between Dane and Josh is electric and downright explosive. Can two closeted gay men maintain a relationship when they can’t even be honest with their friends and family about who they are? Hell, they can’t even be honest with themselves! Their only saving grace might just be the fact that they can actually be honest with each other.

    Someone is watching. Someone has targeted Josh and his precious horses. After Josh is outed very publically and painfully, he withdraws from everyone and everything. Except his horses. Owens has managed to blend several highly debated topics within an engrossing storyline and keep it in good taste. Homophobia, hatred, ignorance and PTSD coupled with love, compassion and family values. But after Josh is hurt not once, but twice, Dane leaves feeling like he’s failed and he can’t protect him. Can Josh convince the man he loves that he’s worth coming home to?

    I will warn you, if you aren’t a fan of dominant/submissive relationships, this may not be the book for you. It is in no way, shape or form a bad thing in this storyline. Dane is the alpha male, the dominant in the relationship. Josh is submissive and he loves it, he wants Dane to take control and I assure you, he’s never forced into anything. I loved the way they found common ground and their relationship became stronger. The sex is HOT and these boys like variety. They don’t care if it’s the bed, the wall, the barn, the open range or the kitchen table! If you haven’t read this one yet, you really must!!

    Update Audio review April of 2015…

    I love to grab audio copies of books I’ve already read, a lot of times, the audio can take on a new life and give you an entirely different story. Sadly, in this case, the audio hindered the overall feel of the book for me. This was my first ride with John Solo and I was not impressed. While I appreciated that he made the effort to separate the characters with different tones and inflections for various characters, I never questioned who I was listening to, his voice wasn’t very appealing. Extremely nasally and he had a bad habit of adding emphasis to words at the wrong time which gave them a different meaning than they had when I was reading them.

    One of my favorite aspects of this book was the relationship between Dane and Josh, how Dane was this powerful person always exerting his dominance that was balanced with love. The way Solo voiced him made him sound cruel and almost unfeeling at times, and that just annoyed the crap out of me.

    My suggestion, this is still a must read story but READ it, pass on the audio book.

    So, in conclusion, e-book 5 stars, audio 3 stars. The wrong narrator can ruin a good story guys.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rescuing Jack

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Caitlin Ricci
    • Narrated By Tyler Stevens
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Werewolves are real. Marius enjoys the irony that everyone calls him a dog whisperer, not just because he's a werewolf, but for his work at the local animal shelter. He has a unique talent for pairing families with their perfect pets upon first meeting them. But he's still looking for acceptance and a forever family of his own. Then Jack comes into the rescue looking for a big, mean dog. To prevent Jack from making the wrong choice, Marius convinces him to adopt a needy spaniel mix instead.

    Tams (TTC Books and more) says: "Pretty good sort of shifter story."
    "Pretty good sort of shifter story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Rescuing Jack the most enjoyable?

    The way Stevens told Jack's story, the voice he gave him was so fragile and endearing, just like the character.


    What other book might you compare Rescuing Jack to and why?

    When One Door Opens by JD Ruskin. The male leads in both stories are very similar.


    Have you listened to any of Tyler Stevens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have, several in fact. I like the youth he exudes in his voice.


    If you could rename Rescuing Jack, what would you call it?

    Why mess with perfection?


    Any additional comments?

    Marius is a werewolf in a society where shifters have come out into the open. He runs a shelter for throwaway animals, those that are older, abused or otherwise unwanted. Marius uses his talent as a shifter to partner up animals and owners and he’s pretty good at his job. Now if he could just find a partner for himself.

    Jack is in a constant downward spiral, afraid of his own shadow after he was violated in the worst possible way, in his own home, just for answering the door. He comes to the shelter looking for a BIG dog, but Marius can sense the fear and knows immediately that what Jack thinks he wants and what he actually needs, are not the same thing.

    Patience is a virtue that Marius carries in abundance. He slowly pulls back the layers that Jack hides beneath and learns the horrible truth about what happened to him. And Jack opens up a little more every day as he comes to realize just how kind and gentle Marius is. But there is still the fear that is engrained in Jack’s psyche. What if he can never be comfortable being touched again?

    I was drawn into this story from the start with the big, sexy, gentle giant shifter who refuses to be in the closet. He’s a werewolf in a society that doesn’t fully accept his kind and he’s gay, and he wears them both like a badge. And then there was young Jack, so painfully withdrawn because of what happened to him. He doesn’t speak after his screams for them to stop went unanswered. Just the thought of being touched sends him into a full blown panic attack. He retreats from the sound of crickets. So there was just a little bit of predictability as to exactly what they were going to be for each other. Still, I was completely engrossed in this story. Very well written and conveyed.

    And the narration was spot on let me say. Tyler Stevens had this confident and understanding tone to his voice when reading Marius, but then he was timid and shy when reading Jack. And when Jack was remembering what happened to him, or telling Marius his story, you could feel the pain in Steven’s voice. Marius’s brother creeped me out though, Stevens made him sound like a serial killer.

    Here is my big issue with this story, the ending. Throughout the entire book everything was slow and steady and perfectly timed out. Lots of attention to detail as the relationship between Marius and Jack developed. And then the ending was so abrupt, no details no elaboration, nothing. That was a bit of a letdown. But overall I really enjoyed this audio. Anyone that likes paranormal romance will enjoy it as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Better Than Good

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Lane Hayes
    • Narrated By Tyler Stevens
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (154)

    Matt Sullivan understands labels: law student, athlete, heterosexual. He has goals: graduate and begin his career in law. One fateful night, Matt tags along with his gay roommate to a dance club and everything changes. Matt finds himself attracted to the most beautiful man he's ever seen. All labels go flying out the window.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "Ah! May! Zing!!!!"
    "Better than good, it's fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Better Than Good in three words, what would they be?

    Romantic, Light hearted, Fun.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Aaron! He is so unapologetically gay and I just loved that about him.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The first time they had sex. The way Aaron calls him Mattie and how careful Matt is with Aaron, it was sort of beautiful, definitely sensual.


    If you could take any character from Better Than Good out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Aaron. I would have a blast with this guy, I swear.


    Any additional comments?

    Matt Sullivan is out having drinks with some friends when they decide to accompany their gay roommate to his favorite bar. Matt has no idea that his head is about to turn, and his life is about to change. He notices the flamboyant, beautiful and boisterous Aaron straight away and the two end up talking at the bar. Over the next few days the colorful guy at the bar is all Matt can think about. As luck would have it, they wind up meeting again. Aaron is standoffish at first, certain that Matt is nothing more than curious, but the chemistry, conversation and connection is magnetic. Hesitantly, the two become just friends, of a slightly flirtatious nature.

    Matt struggles throughout the story with his future, but aside from a little hesitancy early on, I never got the feeling that he really struggled with his feelings for Aaron. The more time the spent together it was clearly obvious they were falling in love, but they took their time, dinner dates, art shows and long runs in the park. It’s when Matt gets caught off guard at the appearance of his ex-girlfriend while out shopping with Aaron that things take a dark turn. Matt will pull out all the stops to prove to Aaron his feelings are sincere, but is it too little too late?

    First, I’d like to disagree with something in the synopsis and sub-genre listing for this book. Almost from the start, Matt admits to a sexual fling with another guy so to label him hetero is inaccurate, in my opinion. He is obviously bi-sexual. As well this shouldn’t be tagged as a gay for you story. Rant over.

    Better than good was, well… better than good, it was fantastic! The story just flowed steadily from start to finish. There were a few issues and struggles with Aaron’s dad and Matt’s trying to avoid ‘labeling’ his sexuality while feeling fairly certain he’s fallen in love with a man. But it was all well conveyed without too much angst or unbelievable situations that can ruin a great storyline. I loved that they both had their own lives and even when things got tough, they kept going.

    Narrated by Tyler Stevens and I think this was his best audio narration yet, that I’ve listened to at least. Matt is smart, successful and confident and you could hear that in the way he was voiced. Aaron is flamboyant, colorful and carefree and Stevens poured so much emotion into the character that I just fell in love with him, especially when he calls Matt, Mattie. There was a sensuality to the story as well and that was evident not only with Hayes writing, but with the passion that was dripping off both guys words during certain, steamier scenes.

    If you like gay for you type stories you’ll definitely like this one, though I don’t think it’s truly a GFY story. It is really well written and so romantic and fun, definitely a more light hearted read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winter Chill

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Aria Grace, J.J. Hunter
    • Narrated By Michael Pauley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Indie Walker started college with a basketball scholarship and a plan to stay focused on his studies. His roommate and best friend Daniel is one of the most popular guys on the wrestling team. When a power outage during a winter storm forces them to get closer than ever before just to survive the night, their relationship changes forever. Neither are gay but the physical chemistry they have is undeniable. Unfortunately, Daniel's issues at home might be too severe for them to overcome.

    Christina Wade says: "cute quick listen, decent narration"
    "Solid Gay for You type story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Winter Chill?

    I really enjoyed seeing the story through Indie's eyes as he navigated his newly discovered sexuality.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Daniel's quick turn around.


    What about Michael Pauley’s performance did you like?

    That slight Wisconsin drawl in his voice that seemed to fit the area the story was set in perfectly.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was just a fast, fun read.


    Any additional comments?

    Andrew ‘Indie’ Walker has never had a girlfriend, but he’s never given any thought to the possibility of being gay. When a winter storm forces him to share body heat, and a bed with his handsome roommate Daniel, Indie starts to realize that he is attracted to Daniel on a personal level. The two decide to accompany each other home for the holidays, first to Daniels home where late night walk in the park leads to their first kiss, a heated exchange up against picnic table. But Daniels destructive home life soon gets in the way and Indie flees to his own home town, fearing he’s not only lost his best friend, but lost something he can’t put a name to just yet.

    I was pleasantly surprised at just how much content this short story contained. Grace and Hunter give the reader detailed insight into both young men’s lives and emotions. My favorite aspect to this story was the inner monologue for Indie. Andrew Walker, lovingly dubbed Indie by his little sister who couldn’t pronounce his name, is a very confused young man. The story is told through his eyes as he navigates his ever growing feelings for his best friend. A virgin who has never been kissed, much less had a sexual experience with a guy or a girl, Indie slowly comes to terms with the fact that not only is he gay, he is in love with Daniel.

    My only issue with the story was how quickly Daniel went from adamantly proclaiming, I’m not gay, to I love you and can’t live without you. Perhaps it was because the focus of the narration was with Indie, but I didn’t quite get the mind change for Daniel. Regardless I was so engrossed in this story about roommates and best friends turned lovers over Winter break. Narrated by Michael Pauley who either has the accent with that slight Wisconsin drawl as an undertone, or he adapted it flawlessly for this story. The tones and inflections he chose for the characters were perfect for their part in the story.

    Short, sexy and steamy while being well written, full of content and perfectly told by Pauley. If you are a fan of Gay for you type stories, young love, and stories about discovering who you are then you’ll surely enjoy this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stay with Me

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By S. E. Harmon
    • Narrated By Michael Stellman
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (103)

    Private investigator Mackenzie Williams' newest client is everything he's looking for in a guy--charming, beautiful, intelligent, and successful. There's only one itty bitty problem: the guy's not exactly gay. In fact Jordan Channing is looking for a PI to follow his fiance. The smart thing would be to thank Jordan for his time, turn Mr. Perfect away (don't let the door hit you on the rump, thank you very much), and forget he exists.

    Riva says: "Good listen"
    "Solid Gay for You type story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would. It was a great listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jordan! I loved how he was uncertain but loyal from the start, finally figuring out exactly what he wanted and going for it without reservation.


    What does Michael Stellman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He gives the characters a voice, that is something you don't get from just the written version.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but it is SO long that was impossible.


    Any additional comments?

    Mackenzie Williams, or Mack as most people call him, is a former cop turned PI after an accident left him with a permanent injury and his then boyfriend in a wheel chair. Fresh off his latest breakup, Mack fills his lonely days with work, surfing and quick one offs with a hot surfer he’s known for years, Asher. Everything changes on his latest case when he and his best friend slash business partner Drew, spot what they assume is another investigator crowding their stakeout.

    Jordan Channing is smart, sexy, funny and oh, wait, he’s straight, and engaged. Jordan is, in fact, spying on his fiancé when Mack wanders up to his car and just makes himself at home. So of course, Jordan hires him to follow Rachel. From the start Mack notices that Jordan is a little bit more flirtatious than a self-proclaimed straight guy should be, but Jordan brushes Mack off when he asks, stating he just needs a friend. But the sexual tension continues to grow until it reaches a breaking point and Jordan is the recipient of a lovely blow job on top of Mack’s desk.

    The two begin a whirl wind affair that is absolutely wonderful, behind closed doors. Jordan struggles with his sexuality, but he is so drawn to Mack and his eccentric personality that he just can’t stay away. And as much as Mack tells himself it is all good fun, just a fling, his heart attaches itself more and more to Jordan with every touch, every kiss, and every passionate tryst. The problem is that Mack is his own worst enemy. He tells himself that he is not going to give up on Jordan, he wants to fight for what they are building, that is what his heart says. His brain doesn’t get the memo.

    I really enjoyed the odd couple pairing in this book, the opposites attract aspect. Mack goes through a lot emotionally throughout the story, and it was at times annoying the way he would deliberately set himself up to fail or walk away when he should have stood strong. But you have to hang on until the end, because he tells you exactly why he is like that in the last 10 minutes of the book. Jordon struggles as well emotionally, but he has a lot thrown at him in a short time. He learns his fiancé is cheating, meets this insane guy that grates his nerves in all the right ways, and he is insanely attracted to him, he doesn’t quite know what to do with that for a while. There is this one line in the book that was so perfect, “I’m trying to figure out if I’m bi, or if it’s just you.” So Jordan takes a little while to figure out that it’s actually both.

    The chemistry and the passion between these two is electric and white hot. I seriously thought my ipod was going to catch on fire a couple times. The one thing these two have absolutely no problems with from pretty much the word go is sex. Jordan is having a blast figuring out how his body works in relation to being with another man and Mack is loving every second of that journey. There were just a couple little hiccups for me. A couple times the story slowed and started to drag, it always picked back up, but in all honesty I think this book could have been a couple hours shorter and been just as good, if not better.

    Narrated by Michael Stellman and I will say his voice is very young and energetic but every now and then, a couple of the characters bleed together. For the most part, I knew exactly who I was with at all times, but I’d like to hear a stronger change in tone inflections between characters. Overall this was an entertaining read. If you are a fan of Mary Calmes, specifically Jory and Sam Kage, then I think you’ll see some similarities in characteristics in this book.

    A must listen for anyone that likes those different kind of love stories where that happy ever after isn’t handed to you, it’s earned.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Undersea: The Merman, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By X. Aratare
    • Narrated By Chris Patton
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Gabriel's inevitable transformation into a merman brings him both great joy and great sadness. Though he must soon leave his human family, he is eager to experience the beauty of Emralis, the Mer city, together with his water-dwelling lover, Casillus.

    kelvin phoenix says: "Heaven"
    "Short, Sexy and Steamy... sex in the sea!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Undersea again? Why?

    Oh hell yes, I plan on listening to the entire saga in order again, and again, and again! It's so intriguing, this world Aratare has created for Gabriel and Casillus.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Undersea?

    When they finally made love, deep in the ocean, surrounded by so much beauty.


    Have you listened to any of Chris Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've listebed to this entire saga and I like the youth and energy he has in his voice.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't know...


    Any additional comments?

    Gabriel Braven has finally come to terms with the fact that he is Mer, though he is still having trouble with the fact he will have to leave his best friend and his Grandmother behind on dry land to complete the transition. Having finally accepted his destiny he is also letting down his guard with Casillus and the bond between them is only growing stronger. Casillus takes Gabriel deeper into the water than they’ve ventured thus far and surprises him with a glimpse of their home and they finally, fully consummate their relationship. But there is a dark entity that attached itself to Gabriel long ago, an entity that can only be awoken by a Caller.

    Each installment of this series just gets juicier with content and storyline. I especially enjoyed the conversation Gabriel had with Cthulhu, the dark alien like entity that is supposed to be a guardian of sorts for the Mer. And that ending, whoa! I’m very excited to see how everything comes together in the end. Gabriel has shown himself to be a different kind of Mer, of course he’s a Caller and he’s mated to the Mer Prince, Casillus, but it’s more than that. I think the link he has with Cthulhu when the creature saved him as a child is going to be what saves them in the end.

    If you are looking for something short, sexy and steamy that is well written and narrated to get you through your day, you should consider the Merman saga. Start with book 1 though or you’ll have no idea what is going on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After the Sunset

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Mary Calmes
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (105)

    Two years after riding off into the sunset with ranch owner Rand Holloway, Stefan Joss has made a tentative peace with his new life, teaching at a community college. But the course of true love never does run smooth. Rand wants him home on the ranch; Stef wants an exit strategy in case Rand ever decides to throw him out. Finally, after recognizing how unfair he's being, Stef makes a commitment, and Rand is over the moon.

    Heather says: "Finally! :-)"
    "Fun, fast paced story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Hell yes! It was just so much fun, I laughed out loud more than once, and Sean Crisden did a fantastic job telling this story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Stefan! He is unapologetic and fierce and loyal and really enjoyed following his antics throughout the story.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Crisden – was your favorite?

    Rand. His cave man mentality might have been off putting were I reading the story, but Crisden gave him this gruff, domineering tone with that sexy southern drawl, and that coupled with his attitude made him a very endearing character.


    If you could rename After the Sunset, what would you call it?

    Why mess with perfection?


    Any additional comments?

    Stefan and Rand are adjusting well to their life on the ranch now that Stef has taken a job closer to home so that he can spend his nights at the ranch with Rand. But Rand’s more traditional family is still having reservations about the relationship, so when several of them show up at the ranch, with a leggy lady in tow to “temp” Rand, it doesn’t end well. Then Stef gets a call from an annual rodeo and learns that if the ranch doesn’t participate, they loose part of their land rights. Not wanting to put anything else on Rand’s plate right then, Stef rounds up some of the hands and heads off to the rodeo to try and save the day, Prada boots and all!

    While the hands at the ranch have not only accepted the relationship between their former ornery boss and his outgoing boyfriend, they welcome it, not everyone at the rodeo has the same outlook on things. Animosity and ignorance run deep, and Stef is about to get a crash course in wranglers, ropers and bull riding. The issues isn’t whether or not Stef and the guys can save the ranch. It’s whether or not Stef can keep his activities a secret from Rand, and make it home in one piece.

    I had not read or listened to the first book in this series, but I assure you, I never felt like I was missing anything. Calmes did a great job of making sure that the history I missed was still conveyed throughout this story. While this is a fun love story at heart, it is also a story about family and determination that is told with the author’s usual dry, witty sense of humour and three dimensional characters. It’s hysterically funny while still having an element of seriousness, but more than once I found myself laughing out loud at the shenanigans Stef was bound to unearth no matter where he was. Just a fun, light hearted, fast paced story.

    Narrated by Sean Crisden and let me tell you, this was probably his best performance to date, and I have listened to a lot of his narrations. There are dozens of characters in this story and Crisden made sure that every character, no matter how inconsequential they were, had their own unique voice. Rayland was gruff and stubborn… Stefan was personable, fun and light hearted while being unapologetically gay and fiercely loyal to his new family… and Rand, he has this cave man mentality that kind of makes him endearing. All he wants is for his ranch to be successful so he can take care of his family, to come home to Stef every night and wake up to him every morning. There are a couple times in the story when a question is put to Rand, a choice if you will, between Stef and the land or Stef and some other materialistic thing, and each time Rand chose Stef without hesitation. So while he is big and loud and domineering to an extent, he is unabashedly in love with Stef, and it shows.

    Fans of Calmes Matter of Time series will surely love this story, as Rand and Stef have a lot of the same characteristics of Sam and Jory, but without all the life threatening I forgot to breath for a minute seriousness of that world. Definitely a must read, and if you are looking for something that will be like juicy fruit for your ears, grab the audio!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Let Love Live: Love, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Melissa Collins
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden, Marc Bachmann
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    For 26-year-old Dylan Hopkins, the answer is easy. He's become no one. Memories of the happier times are all he has left, as he finds himself meandering numbly through his now dull life. Though he cares about his work and family dearly, he has yet to let himself find love again. Afraid of letting go of what he once had, Dylan chooses to keep his heart buried, where it belongs, having died a long time ago.

    Tams (TTC Books and more) says: "My new favorite book!"
    "My new favorite book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Let Love Live?

    The dual narration. Having two different narrators voice these characters that are completely different mind sets, it was genius.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Let Love Live?

    All of it! I really liked part 3 though, seeing the possibility of Connor and Dylan finding their happy ever after.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Crisden and Marc Bachmann ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have, and I always enjoy their abilities to tell stories and capture an authors words with their voices.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was but it took me a few days. I will say, I was so enthralled with this story that I had my head phones in every moment I had the chance.


    Any additional comments?

    Dylan Hopkins found love at an early age with his best friend Shane. But the path to happiness is far from paved for these two young lovers. Shane's father is verbally, emotionally and physically abusive and Shane carries those marks daily. Eventually they graduate and Dylan goes off to college, leaving Shane at home and under his controlling father's thumb. Though they try to find a way to be together, Shane finally reaches a breaking point and takes his own life while in the bowels of a deep depression.

    Eight years later and Dylan has reconnected with Shane's younger brother Reed, and they work together as counselors for an LGBT advocacy agency. Dylan also volunteers as a big brother of sorts for a local boy's home, teaching them how to play baseball. He's dated and had a few partners here and there, but a piece of his heart was broken the night Shane died, and Dylan has come to terms with the fact that he will never find anyone to love that much again.

    Connor Michelson has lost someone dear to him as well, his parents. An ex MMA fighter forced to leave the profession after a life threatening injury at the hands of, get this, his sisters abusive boyfriend. After he recovered, Connor packed up his sister and their lives and moved them away from all those painful memories, also fullfilling a dream to open his own gym. When Dylan and Reed wander into the gym one day, Dylan definitely notices the large, brooding, tatted up owner and soon enough there is a little innocent flirting flying around. And for the first time in a long time, Connor wants more than just a casual romance, he wants the white picket fence and the happy ever after. Dylan, however, doesn't know how to move past his love for Shane, or the fact that he blames himself for Shane's death. Can Connor show him how to let love live again?

    This book was broken up into two parts, Dylan's past with Shane and that heartbreaking situation and then Dylan's present with Connor. The narration as well is told both from Dylan and Shane's perspectives, then Dylan and Connor's perspective, and it was this aspect to the story that was most intriguing for me. You are introduced to Dylan when he's a teenager and you take the journey of self awareness with him. Discovering he is gay, realizing he is in love with his best friend, going to college and then having to loose the love of his life in such a horrific way. While Sean Crisden voicing Dylan was my favorite character and narration, I was so taken with young Shane and his broken soul. That poor boy fought tooth and nail to try and be true to himself and his love for Dylan, and his father was just a horrible kind of evil that went out of his way to break down every fiber of his own son's being, until the poor kid felt his only out was suicide. I was balling like a baby, full on snot slinging blubbering!

    Fast forward eight years and Dylan has turned his pain into something good. He and Reed found their way back to each other and are now best friends, they counsel troubled and bullied LGBT teens and try to make some kind of sense out of what happened to Shane. Sort of karmic payback for not being able to save Shane in a way. Enter Connor Michaelson, the one man that has more in common with Dylan than they realize at the start, and the one man that will not be ignored. Connor even tells Dylan the first time they kiss, it won't go any further with us unless you give me your time. That was one of the best lines taken in context I've ever read, or in this case heard.

    I could sit here all night and praise this book. I absolutely loved it! Collins made me laugh, made me cry, tore my heart into shreds then glued it back together, and I thought only Amy Lane could do that. This story is heavy, it deals with bullying, parental abuse, suicide and the darker side of being an LGBT teenager. But then there is so much passion, love, courage and strength in the story as well, I was completely immersed in this story from the first chapter. So well written and woven together with the past, present and possible future of these three guys. And it was pure genius to use two different narrators to tell the different characters stories throughout. If you like slightly angsty stories fueled by strong characters and well written descriptives that truly bring the story to life, then you have to get a copy of this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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