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Tams (TTC Books and more)

Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.

JUSTIN, TX, United States | Member Since 2012

93
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 81 reviews
  • 122 ratings
  • 266 titles in library
  • 48 purchased in 2015
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4

  • Wild Magic: Triad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Poppy Dennison
    • Narrated By Robert G. Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    Joseph Anderson was heartbroken when his childhood best friend, Dominick Levent, moved away. Years later, Joseph is a successful real estate broker with good friends, an easy smile, and a stunning house. When he finds a dying mountain lion who miraculously shifts into Dominick's sister, Joseph must find Dominick and reunite him with the two young sons she left behind.

    Tams (TTC Books and more) says: "Enjoyable audio :)"
    "Enjoyable audio :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would change the title. As a fan of the first 3 books, I was expecting the continual and steady flow that wove throughout those 3 stories, and that was missing in this book. I would title this a spin off or a novella in the series, but not book 4.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I liked it. I think I hope for more stories for the new characters, but again, I'd give it a new series title.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Davis is a great narrator, no complaints there.


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    I would have liked it to have developed a little sooner, but that little twist in the top/bottom aspect was nice.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Technically Dating

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jena Wade
    • Narrated By John-Paul Barrel
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Meek and mild Bruce Collins decides to set aside his life in technical support for the evening and try a wild night on the town. Self-described nerd Bruce meets suave Westley Taylor at a club, but the night doesn't go as planned. When they run into each other the next day, Bruce is determined to get the details right and finish what they started.

    Morgan A Skye says: "Enjoyable if not great"
    "An okay storyline but horrible narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Technically Dating?

    The narration.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    A different narrator mostly, but I also don't care for stories with unbelievable miscommunication issues within the storyline.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John-Paul Barrel?

    Paul Morey, Sean Crisden, Tristan James, I could do this all day. Barrel was just not so good.


    What character would you cut from Technically Dating?

    None.


    Any additional comments?

    Bruce Collins is a computer geek that wears Wolverine ties by day, and an eyeliner wearing, sexy, seductive guy by night. He meets Westley at a hotspot gay bar and the two really hit it off. Sadly, life gets in the way and what they want to be a very fun night gets cut way too short. Then the next day Bruce sees Westley at the hotel he is staying at in town for a business conference he’s attending, working at the hotel. Can you say awkward?

    Bruce bends over backwards to get Westley’s attention and try to finish their plans from the previous night. The two start dating until miscommunication gets in the way. Bruce is sort of a geeky dork and a bit insecure, then he mishears something and winds up pushing Westley away.

    So the story itself was cute in a sugary sweet sort of way. Light hearted and a bit romantic. I did not like the miscommunication. If you’ve been dating someone for months and the relationship is progressing, has the promise of so much more, you don’t just walk away over something you overheard without asking questions. There is a happy ending, again sugary sweet, but there wasn’t nearly enough begging.

    Now, the narration… it was horrible! This was the first audio I listened to from Barrel and it will definitely be my last. He sounded like he was on a red bull high the entire time, overly excited throughout. And there really wasn’t any changes in tone or inflection from one character to another. I just wasn’t impressed and I’ll pass on his audios going forward.

    If you are looking for a short, sweet, romantic read then you just might like this one, buy the book though, skip the audio.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood on the Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By P. D. Singer
    • Narrated By Finn Sterling
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Jake Landon thinks a second ranger season in the Colorado Rockies with Kurt Carlson is close enough to heaven, and a national forest is big enough to be his closet. Pharmacy school - and the luxuries of electricity and running water - can wait, maybe forever, as long as Jake doesn't have to come out. He doesn't plan on Kurt's vision of his future being as narrow and direct as the single track roads through the trees.

    Tams (TTC Books and more) says: "Great addition to the series."
    "Great addition to the series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Blood on the Mountain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Towards the top. I love the narrator and I'm so invested in these characters.


    What other book might you compare Blood on the Mountain to and why?

    Fall Down the Mountain. Same characters, Author and Narrator with more trouble, just in the Snow!


    What about Finn Sterling’s performance did you like?

    Everything!


    If you could rename Blood on the Mountain, what would you call it?

    Why mess with perfection, the title is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    Jake and Kurt are back where it all started pulling another Ranger season in the Rockies, the two twin cots are stacked in the corner and they are still sleeping on the bed they bought and moved into the cabin. The fridge is still hanging by a rope, buried in the cold water that lies at the feet of the log they made love next to for the first time. And sadly, Jake is still hanging more than just clothes in his closet.

    When they stumble upon a field of flowers that should not be in the Rockies, all hell breaks loose and Jake winds up critically injured. It forces him to retire from the Rangers and separates him and Kurt. So Jake has to make a decision, Kurt gave him a choice… “Your fear, your future, and me… You can have two of the three, so choose wisely.”

    Let me start by saying that several times throughout this story I wanted to beat the shit out of Jake. Kurt has the patience of a saint I assure you. I was about ready to stop the audio and chalk this one up to a DNF when the proverbial shit hit the fan and suddenly, I was fully invested again. So kudos to Singer for taking me to the brink and then reeling back in again like a flopping sea bass! The circumstance surrounding Jakes injury made my head spin, I can’t say more, let’s just say spoilers, you’ll have to read for yourself, it’s great suspense and personal agony though.

    As crazy as Jake drives me sometimes, I’m so invested in these two characters. I have to continue on their crazy, sometimes deadly, and always entertaining journey with them with each and every story. The suspense in this particular installment was taken up a notch from the Ski resort fiasco, I was on the edge of my seat, literally, I almost fell! Finn Sterling continues his role as narrator for Singers words, and I am so happy this author hasn’t gone the way several authors of series have as of late, changing narrators too far into the mix. Sterling has a certain tone set for these two characters… Kurt is the protector, while Jake may be a little bit bigger than him and they are a versatile couple, Kurt always has this protective bravado circling him and Sterling delivers that in spaids.

    I got a little misty eyed at the end a couple times. In the hospital and then when Kurt stole the tanker to drive out to the college to see Jake. And let me just say, I adore Jakes mother so much after this book. You’ll see why at the very end, god love her! Anywho, just be prepared for a bit of angst and drama and undecisiveness from Jake for the first half of the book. These guys are so smexy when they get going though that you can’t help but be drawn in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black John: Johnnies, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Amy Lane
    • Narrated By Gomez Pugh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    John Carey is just out of rehab and dying inside when he gets word that Tory, the guy who loved him and broke him, has removed himself from the world in the most bitter way possible - and left John to clean up his mess.

    Morgan A Skye says: "Gomez Pugh is amazing!"
    "New narrator takes the reigns of this dark series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Black John in three words, what would they be?

    Dark, emotional, passionate.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The secondary character of addiction, and his cousin recovery. Lane did such an amazing job at staying true to the brutal reality of addiction and the hard road of recovery that never really ends, it took on a life of it's own in the story.


    Which character – as performed by Gomez Pugh – was your favorite?

    Galen. He is this southern boy through and through. He is possessive and jealous and loud, in your face honest.


    Who was the most memorable character of Black John and why?

    John. He grows exponentially throughout the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Why can't I give this book 10 stars?!?!?!

    John Carey came dangerously close to losing both his best friend and his business, snorting it up his nose. Instead, Dex stood by his side, only took a small percentage of Johnnies and shipped John off to rehab. Just when John thinks he has a handle on his addiction, he learns that the man that tore him apart, broke him down and made him the unfeeling bastard he is today is dead. And just like when he was alive, Tory has dropped his baggage at John’s feet.

    Galen Henderson was a successful lawyer who had a home, a partner and a job he loved. One mistake left him unemployed, single and forever scarred. His lover of over four years came to visit him in the hospital after the wreck just long enough to tell him he had moved him out of their home and into a shitty apartment, oh, and dumped him before Galen could even get his feet under him again. Misery loves company so of course Galen became friends with his new neighbor Tory, who was even more messed up than Galen was. When Tory’s old boyfriend John shows up after Tory’s death, Galen is determined to hate the big time porn star that dropped Tory on his ass to go off and make a name for himself. Galen wasn’t prepared for the truth, and he definitely wasn’t prepared to fall in love with John.

    The two bond over their addictions, the pain of losing Tory and a mutual attraction that leaves them both sweaty and breathless. And while you would think an addict that is fresh out of recovery would fall right into one of Galen’s pill bottles, John will surprise you. He readily admits the nagging pull he feels to that bottle, that little voice inside his head that is screaming for a fix. But he doesn’t succumb to it, for reasons beyond John’s comprehension at the start, he feels this need to try and help Galen. As well, Galen is drawn to John’s pain and inserts himself into the red heads life, helping him clean up the mess Tory has left of it.

    They try very hard not to love each other, and oddly it is the shared grief over Tory, the disgusting and painful time they spend cleaning out Tory’s apartment, watching the goodbye video he left for John, that sends them over the edge. And once they admit their feelings the hard part begins.

    It’s hard to put into words how much I loved this story. It is a cesspool of dark, dank, emotional turmoil that only Amy Lane could write and make you fall in love with these characters that are so broken by their own hand, even root for them to just shut up and love each other. While the previous books in this series have always had the secondary character of the porn world, the life the guys lead on and off camera, this story replaced that aspect with the seedy world of addiction. And let me assure you that Lane hit that nail on the head. There is a part in the story when Galen winds up in the hospital and he is being treated poorly simply because of his addiction. This really hit home for me, my sister is a recovering addict who was recently is a bad car wreck and received piss poor care in the ER simply because she was honest with the staff and told them she was recovering. That one five minute rant from John when he went off on that nurse gave this story an edge of reality that made my skin crawl. Perfection Amy, just perfection!

    Now when I first qued up this audio on my I-pod, I was disappointed that Sean Crisden wasn’t continuing his role as narrator, he has been replaced by Gomez Pugh. I didn’t want to like him. Over three books I’d gotten used to Crisden’s tones and inflections for these characters. Well, Pugh quickly wormed his way in there and took control of the story with his cocky, self assured but slightly broken tones for John. Or his completely country bumpkin portrayal of Galen that had me laughing out loud. John and Galen are probably the most volatile lovers in the series to date and Pugh truly conveyed those emotions, right down to every little moan, groan and scream. There is a scene where John is making a video for Galen while he is in rehab… God almighty Dayum, that was hot! The perfect merging of Lane’s writing and Pugh’s vocal chops really brought this story to life for me.

    I could write a book on how much I loved this book. Well written and narrated, in depth, dark, emotional, passionate, sometimes quirky and funny. Just go buy a copy so I can stop rambling, kay.

    0 of 0 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
    (3281)
    Performance
    (2947)
    Story
    (2949)

    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
    (32)
    Story
    (31)

    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
    (113)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (108)

    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

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