"Diagnosis: Wolf by Poppy Dennison"
Thanks to his good-for-nothing brother, Andrew Hughes is up to his eyeballs in debt and needs a job fast. When a nursing position opens up in Myerson, Arizona, Andrew has no choice but to take it, despite a warning about how difficult a patient Caleb DiMartino can be. Andrew can deal with a little trouble-but Caleb's strange family, the armed guards, and the unknown cause of Caleb's mysterious illness may be beyond his skill set.
"Landslide by Mary Calmes"
For three years, paranormal courier Frank Corrigan has been working for incubus demon Cael Berith. Cael knows Frank is his mate, but Frank is pretty sure Cael doesn't even like him, never mind want to spend the rest of his life with him, so their personal relationship is at an impasse. When Frank's sister, Lindsey, gets bitten by a werewolf she's sleeping with-and possibly witnesses a murder-Frank rides to her rescue. If he's lucky, he might just save his love life too.
©2013 Mary Calmes and Poppy Dennison (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
I really enjoy the world of books! Narration just add layers to that world... don't u think? :)
DO NOT LET THE BOOK'S COVER FOOL YOU!
This book has two awesome m/m romance paranormal stories hidden under that crazy looking cover....
Story 1: Dennison write some of the best mm shifter books.... this story was so cute about a nurse who becomes the mate of a sickly wolf shifter....he is only stick b/c he was poisoned by silver....but the story is fast paced, funny, and sweet with...oh yeah... nice sexy time!
Story 2: It's a Calmes story....enough said! Great paranormal incubus story, with crazy family drama and awesome secondary character in an awesome world with demons, vamps, shifters and such... it was so enjoyable...
Both stories are well worth a credit, sale or buy...
Narration was good... no complaints here!
Normally i dont by short stories or books with more than one story since i mostly find that the stories are to short to get a feel for the charaters and - probably like everybody else - i have a tendency to skip books where i dont like the cover - and i really dont like this one. BUT since the stories are by Mary Calmes and Poppy Dennison, i thought i would try it anyway.
The best story is - in my oppinion - PDs, which is the first in the book, but the story by MC is also worth a listen. And i love Jeff Gelder - very good narrator. And its a pleasure to hear one of PDs stories told as it should be, since her other books have an mediocre narrator.
The first is Diagnosis Wolf by Poppy Dennison.
Andrew, a male nurse with an almost constant inner monologue that often escapes into an outer monologue is an appealing character and his role as a nurse makes for a sympathetic insta-relationship with Caleb, the seriously ill scion of a powerful and wealthy shifter family.
Andrew's early naming of Scowly and Scowlier was quite fun as are a good number of his musings. Though it does seem odd that an established and wealthy family of shifters wouldn't have a doctor on-call... or a shaman/medicine woman, or maybe a vet!
This tale doesn't expand upon or use much shifter lore, and its attempt at the thriller aspects of the story were only tepid and the romance parts weren't particularly well motivated.
Dennison's tale felt a bit perfunctory, like a rounding the bases after an out of the park home run. Sure it touches all the bases but doesn't feel very in-depth or exciting. No new insights, no characters that we identify with and/or really grow to care about, but a satisfactory way to spend some time.
In this tale Jeff Gelder's narration felt like it could have been practiced more. His voice was appealing enough, and for the most part, his narration was good if not great, but at several spots throughout the story I felt myself pulled out of the tale by thoughts like "I'd have read that differently."
Landslide by Mary Calmes is the second piece.
Landslide is in some ways the opposite of its companion piece. The tale is chock full of lore related to demons like Cael, the protagonist's employer. It's also refreshing to see a protagonist that's not a perfect physical specimen. Though this one's told in first person with ex-marine Frank as the protagonist/narrator, its really Cael, the incubus demon that I identified with most strongly. Both Frank and the demon do get a bit more character development than in the first tale and I connected more strongly with the romance as a result.
In Landslide, Gelder's narration felt more natural. The first person perspective and the more plentiful dialogue may have helped. There were still instances of odd emphasis and timing but it seemed less jarring than in the first piece. Of course it may just have been familiarity.
Co-incidentally, both stories are set in Arizona. Who knew that that state was such a hotbed of paranormal characters?
Andrew is a nurse sent to the house of a shifter (not a werewolf) who has been possibly poisoned by enemies of their family. Caleb (the shifter) finds Andrew to be very attractive and it’s his protective instincts of Andrew that help him to start the recovery process. Andrew’s brother has gotten into deep water and is hoping to use Andrew’s connection to the rich DiMartino family to get out of debt. When push comes to shove, Caleb and his family manage to solve the medical mystery and defeat the bad guys (with Andrew’s help, of course.)
Frank is a special human, immune to most effects of paranormal power and as such acts as a liaison between the various “species”. On one mission he meets Cael, a demon of great power, who claims to be his mate. Frank doesn’t believe him and makes the poor demon wait 3 years before finally succumbing to seduction and finding true love. In the meantime they defeat some bad guys and mostly make you giggle.
This is the first time I’d read anything by Poppy Dennison and it was wonderful. It is a full story, richly detailed, and though it lacks the “fated mate” scenario in some shifter stories, it has enough of those elements to keep my sappy heart happy. The love was sweet and the sex was hot and the action exciting.
And then there’s Mary’s story… how can you NOT love a Mary story. Frank is hysterical. Ever the doubting Thomas, he thinks Cael (like the vegetable Kale) is “repulsed” because he’s not a twink and therefore not Cael’s type. Of course, Cael is ridiculously patient and let’s the misunderstanding go on for three years… three years! (Mary must have a thing for three years… remember Sam and Jory?!? ) But when they do get together it is sweet and sexy and very, very satisfying.
Jeff does a nice job with both narrations. The recording takes a minute to get used to, there is a vague tinny sound to it, but it kind of lends itself to the creepy nature of the stories and it blends into the background after awhile.
He didn’t do any over the top voices or any serious “acting” but he doesn’t distract from the stories themselves either and it was a nice listening experience.
I give the book a 5 of 5 stars, the audio a 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
Diagnosis Wolf by Poppy Dennison- 2 stars
This was pretty disappointing for me, mainly because the story really made no sense. The whole plot sort of fell apart at the end... like completely. I also didn't really buy the shifter world and how easily Andrew adapted. I also didn't really warm to him much, and I felt sort of "meh" about his relationship with Caleb overall.
However, what might have been a decent story in ebook form was made much worse by the narration by Jeff Gelder. He read in a strange silted manner, and paused at weird moments. It broke up the sentences in a strange way, and it felt jarring to listen to. Also, he didn't have much differentiation between the voices of the all characters, which is a pet peeve of mine. I'm not saying he is the worst narrator I've heard, and his voice has a pleasant sound, but his reading style irked me. Also, the recording is a little off quality-wise with some slight echoing in the background.
Landslide by Mary Calmes- 3 stars
Very classic Mary Calmes. VERY.
I also wasn't completely wowed by this one, but it was charming to have the guy who everyone wants be a husky bear versus a classically good-looking stud. Imagine a Mary Calmes book with an incubus... yup, you got the whole story. The side plot with Frank's sister, Lindsey, was a bit distracting for me, and I wasn't sure how or why Frank ignored Cael's insistence that he was attracted to him for so long, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story overall. Just easy listening.
In terms of the narration, I think Jeff Gelder did a much better job with this one. He still sounded choppy to me, but more animated and into the story. He did a wider range of voices here, and I enjoyed his narration more than I had before.
A pleasant way to pass the time.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
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