When Jefferson Lee Davis leaves his life in the big city to return to the small Southern town of Holly Creek, his natural charm soon has the residents eating out of his hand. Jefferson Lee steps up to help with Holly Creek's biggest festival, Dogwood Days, which puts him directly in the path of the town's hunky sheriff, Zane Yarbrough. Quirky neighbors, meddling family, and a sassy best friend make Jefferson Lee's life a full-time adventure, and he warms to the idea of making a home in Holly Creek - a life that might include Zane.
I do love it when I get surprised by a book. I’ve only read a few books by Poppy Dennison books before—namely her Triad series. They were well-written but paranormal is regularly my thing so I haven’t paid too much attention to her other books. When this audio book collection came available for review I decided to take a chance and I am very glad I did.
These were sweet and hilarious stories. In her review of Spring Fever Brandilyn said they are almost sickeningly sweet. I disagree. I think they are just the perfect amount of sweetness. These are southern men after all and I think their personalities were spot on.
Both stories reminded me of the show Hart of Dixie. Sweet, likable, but, yes, somewhat over the top characters who are too good to be true. But that’s why I liked them so much. These are gentlemen who do gentlemanly things with malice or bad attitudes.
All the characters in these stories are likable none more so than Jefferson Lee (Can you get a more southern name than that?) and Sheriff Zane. I love that neither one was in the closet allowing us to skip past the is he gay or not? plot and get into the romance.
The supporting characters are equally enjoyable with more larger-than-life men and women than you can shake a stick at. The town of Holly Creek is so well-drawn it almost became a character itself.
Both stories are highly enjoyable in several different aspects. Great writing, great characters, great plot.
Matt Armstrong did a perfect job with the varying degrees of southern accent here. I don’t know if he has that accent in real life, but judging by the narration here I’d be surprised if he didn’t. His voice worked perfectly for the angst-free tone of the stories.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Paul's been called many things - graduate student, humanities tutor, jock-hater, even broke - but "forgiving" isn't one of them. When the new women's softball coach at Calapooya College specifically requests Paul to tutor his athletes, Paul's forced to put aside his strict "no athletes" policy for the sake of his paycheck. Enter Trevor Gardiner, former Major League Baseball player and Paul's high school boyfriend. Yeah, that one - the guy who sacrificed Paul for the safety of his closet and his future career.
I haven’t many books by Anne Tenino before and after listening to this one I have to ask myself why? I’d heard good things about her books but I just never got around to checking them out. I will be correcting that in the future.
Love, Hypothetically is part of the Theta Alpha Gamma series but can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series and had no trouble enjoying the plot.
Enjoying is an understatement. I was totally wrapped up in the story from the get-go. Part of it was Nick Russo’s excellent narration but Tenino’s top-notch writing had even more to do with it. Tenino crafted some truly memorable characters here.
Paul and Trevor sparkled from their first appearance. The two guys are exes with unresolved feelings—and that is a major understatement. One thing I loved about Paul is that he is far from perfect. In fact, he can be kind of an ass. But that makes him realistic. Yeah, I hated him a bit when he said mean things to Trevor who’s just trying to be open, but Paul’s emotions are somewhat understandable once you know about the past.
This was a great new adult, second chance at love tale. There is a lot of humor in the story and not a lot of angst, which made it right up my alley.
I loved Nick Russo’s voice throughout the story. He has a calm and soothing timbre that drew me into the story. He did great for all the characters both main and supporting. I haven’t listened to books narrated by Russo before but I will definitely check him out in the future.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Stopping to offer help one sultry summer night, Mason James is unprepared for the change that this simple act of kindness will bring. After giving an old man a ride home, Mason discovers a new, magical, and even dangerous world he cannot hope to understand. But he also finds Luc Toussaint and is intoxicated at first sight, and even the secret Luc protects won't be enough to keep Mason away from the truth of his heritage and their love.
I usually avoid paranormal stories but I love most everything written by Mary Calmes and should’ve known she would knock it out of the park.
This was an engaging read with more of Calmes’ usual fantastic characters. Luc and Mason have chemistry right from the start thanks to Calmes’ splendid writing. There is a bit of insta-love but it fit with the paranormal setting. Though at times I wondered why Mason would put up with Luc’s possessive behavior so soon after having met. But the love and romance and the sex (Omg, the sex!) made me forget about my little niggles. Luc and Mason are definitely meant for each other.
Calmes does some splendid world building here even if some it comes across as an info dump.
Overall, a must read.
More praise for Greg Tremblay. It’s all been said about him before. He’s a top notch narrator. In this story he nailed Mason’s inner voice as well as the voices of Luc and all the supporting characters.
Outside Collin Fitzpatrick's dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he's straight, as does his Catholic family who'd disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he's safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D'Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality.
Brandilyn reviewed this book last year.
As Brandilyn said:
Moment of Impact is a powerful look at the fear associated with being gay among blatantly homophobic family and friends. At its core, it is a friends-to-lovers tale of coming to terms with one’s self and coming out to one’s friends and family.
I absolutely loved Collin and Tanner from the first word on the page (or word in my ear.)
The beginning of the story is a fairly cliché scene—a college guy watches his roomie jackoff—but Stivali makes it seem totally original with the use of these unique characters and their emotions. These are realistic young men not adults in kid’s bodies like some New Adult novels.
The issues the young men face concerning coming out to their families were realistically written and not overly dramatic. The side characters here were also vividly created.
Definitely worth the read or listen.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood's duty and honor demand he save the man, but he's taken aback to find the man is Robin Harris, a young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus's father. Robin devotes his life to easing others' pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations. Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can - and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.
I’m not usually a fan of steampunk but I chose this audiobook to review because Rhys Ford is such a talented author that I knew she would do well with the subject.
Plus, Greg Tremblay. I’d listen to him narrate the dictionary.
Beverly reviewed the ebook a while back and you can check it out HERE.
I absolutely LOVED this story. I was so swept up in the sweet tale of Marcus and Robin. Ford did such a great job with these guy’s personalities. Marcus is one of the upper crust but he’s not spoiled. Robin has been through a lot but he didn’t give up helping others and has the biggest heart, despite his pain.
There are a couple things that I’d like to echo from Beverly’s review.
This is a beautifully written steam punk novella and one of the few I’ve read where the dystopian vision did not overpower the story line. Steam punk and Dystopian Fantasy and Sci-Fi, are usually amazingly constructed and visualised but often very depressing. This story however, is not and there is an HEA and a bright ending.
There was great world-building here but thankfully it didn’t overshadow the amazing characters and their love story.
Like Beverly, I also loved the 19th century era of language. It added authenticity to the setting.
I have to give a shout-out to Marcus’s grandmother. She was absolutely heavenly and hilarious. A true unforgettable character.
What can I say about Greg Tremblay that hasn’t already been said by me or other reviewers? He is consistently one of the absolute best narrators in the business. Here, he nailed the accents and language of all the characters. Thanks to his sultry voice I was totally hooked on this book from beginning to end.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves 32-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms. Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O'Dair.
Garrett Leigh is one of those authors that is hit or miss for me. She is extremely talented, there’s no doubt about that, but sometimes I just don’t connect with her characters. However, when I do connect, I absolutely love them. Only Love is one of the latter—a story that hooked me from the beginning.
Jed Cooper is a damaged man when he returns to his hometown, despite not really wanting too. He moves in with his brother, who he doesn’t have the best relationship with. They have issues stemming from when Nick outed Jed to their father when they were younger.
Soon Jed moves in with his sister-in-law’s brother, Max O’Dair and their relationship was incredibly well written. I loved both men and Leigh nailed their personalities perfectly. Each man has medical issues but Jed keeps his secret, while Max’s epilepsy couldn’t be hidden.
I loved how the relationship progressed slowly. Moving quicker wouldn’t have been realistic at all. Neither men are the jump into bed type so that wouldn’t have been true to the characters. When they did get together the result was scorching sex. The chemistry between the men was off the charts.
There was a lot of conflict and angst here, but it never seemed too much. All the issues were dealt with realistically and I never felt the need to suspend my disbelief.
I absolutely loved Jed’s relationship with his young nieces and the fact that Max loved them as well bonded the two men.
The ending was perfect, not glossing over the issues, but allowing the men to grow. The fact that Jed and Nick’s relationship wasn’t instantly fixed was a nice touch and accurate.
If you enjoy the author’s work this is another awesome story. If you haven’t read her before I would highly recommend it.
Michael Stellman did a fine job with the narration. He nailed the inner voices of each men. Max has an accent and Stellman did a good job with it, without making it stereotypical or grating.
Sam is gay, lonely, and depressed and lives next door to closed-book Steve, a practical, godlike motorcycle mechanic. Sam harbors a dream of a happy ever after that is so far removed from reality, it is painful. Things take a decided turn for the worst when Steve announces that he is emigrating to Canada. The separation, loneliness, and depression are just about enough to finish poor Sam off.
Short stories are often the hardest things to write, as well as to review. The author only has a short time to accomplish what they want to accomplish. Usually either the plot or the character gets sacrificed for the other. With All or Nothing I’m not really sure what the main point was.
Sam is a lonely man with a crush on his neighbor, Steve, and says nothing about it for a very, very long time. The only thing that really happens in the story is Sam pining after his neighbor, as well as jack off thinking about Steve.
Then, after so much time of hiding his feelings, Sam visits Steve in Canada, both men admit their feelings and they get their HEA. It was a tad Insta-love-ish for me and I would’ve like to have seen more of them together before they confess their love.
Regardless of what I thought about the plot and Sam’s wishy washy attitude, I did like the character. He was realistic and a genuinely nice person. Since it was written in Sam’s POV, Steve is seen very little and is somewhat of an enigma. I never really got why Sam liked him, other than from a physical stand point.
The writing is strong here and I will have to check out other stuff by the author.
Stewart Campbell nailed Steve’s voice here. However, there were so few other characters it was hard to see what kind of talent the narrator possessed. I echo my statement about the author and will look for more books narrated by Campbell.
Jeff Irwin is short, timid, and studious. A bit of a social outcast, he lives quietly in the shadows of the popular kids at his school, his life ruled by his ever-present fear of rejection or failure. Enter high school football hero Brett Willson and the chance for Jeff to embark upon the challenge of educating the world's dumbest jock. But what develops between Brett and Jeff proves far more challenging than any tutoring session.
I was a little torn about this book not because it wasn’t written well, because it was, but because there were times when I didn’t particularly like one of the main characters. However, at the same time I rooted for them to work things out regardless.
The main characters here are Jeff Irwin and Brett Wilson, teenagers who live in different social stratospheres in school. Jeff is the stereotypical nerd and Brett the quintessential jock and they have very little in common, or so they believe.
Jeff and Brett meet and become friends when Jeff is basically blackmailed by the coach into tutoring Jeff in English. Jeff knows he’s gay but doesn’t tell anyone and he develops a major crush on Brett. He doesn’t think Brett could ever feel the same way, despite how close they become.
Jeff is thrilled when Brett admits he has feelings for Jeff and has messed around with guys before, despite posing as the straight jock at school. They begin a sexual and romantic relationship and this is where I had some issues with the story.
Brett doesn’t treat Jeff all that great in the big scheme of things. Several times, Jeff performs oral sex on Brett and there isn’t a reciprocation. It felt more like Brett was using Jeff for sexual gratification and there were times I wondered exactly if Brett was just using him.
The use of the pup as Brett’s nickname for Jeff was shown as a cute appellation, but I didn’t see it that way. Following a guy around like a puppy dog, doing whatever he asks, and going along with whatever he says is not a good thing and certainly isn’t true love. Yes, these are teenagers who tend to do this sort of things and that’s why I didn’t focus on it too much.
By the time Brett bails on Jeff despite promising a romantic night alone I was convinced there was no way they could be an HEA, which would’ve been realistic. However, the author does give the characters their HEA and while I loved Brett’s public proclamation of live, I wasn’t 100 % convinced they could make it long term.
There’s an epilogue that shows the boys years later that I believe could’ve been left out, though some readers might enjoy that sort of things. The chances of a 14 year old boy finding the love of his life AND staying with him forever is extremely slim.
Despite my reservations, I enjoyed Dumb Jock a great deal. Not only did the author create two fresh characters in Brett and Jeff, he also portrayed several interesting supporting characters, including Jeff’s friends and family.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to this book to anyone looking for a fresh, sweet young adult tale.
Tommy O’Brien did a great job with Jeff, from whose perspective the book is written. Jeff’s inner voice felt like that of an actual teenager and never once did he feel older than 14 years old.
O’Brien did very well with Brett, as well as all the supporting characters, of which there are many. With many male narrators I cringe when they do female voices because they rely on attempting higher voices and it comes off as fake. That was not the case here. O’Brien is a talented narrator and I won’t hesitate listening books performed by him in the future.
A night of drunken confusion at 19 resulted in Patrick Connelly fathering a child. Determined to be there for his son, Patrick walked away from a sport he loved and forever hid his sexuality. After Patrick's brutal divorce and a vicious hate crime, his son, Jay, has become obsessed with graffiti. Patrick moves Jay to Seattle. Within two weeks, Jay is arrested again. Thinking things can't get any worse, he's confronted by the sexiest man he's ever seen - his son's new probation officer, Ken Atkins.
The Way Things Are grabbed me from the very minute I started listening and didn’t let me go until the harrowing, action-filled ending. A combination of the perfect narrator and a talented author made for a truly enjoyable story.
This is a romantic suspense and A.J. Thomas did a superb job balancing both aspects of the story. Both parts were equally engaging as well as fresh and original.
Patrick Connelly is a single father dealing with Jay, his troubled teen son and Ken Atkins is Jay’s probation officer. Both men are gay and find an immediate attraction, which could be trouble consider their professional relationship. It doesn’t stop them from having a sexy hook-up at a bar Patrick works on his days off from working cranes at Port of Seattle.
The mystery that Patrick finds himself entangled in isn’t one I’ve seen often and I enjoyed the revelations along the way. Even the identity of the bad guy surprised me and I’m usually able to figures things out ahead of time.
Patrick’s job operating cranes added a freshness to the novel as well as contributed to one of the absolute hottest sex scenes I’ve ever read. It took place on the crane and was marvelously, incredibly scorching. I wished Ken had taken Pat up on the offer to be fucked against the safety glass because that would’ve been even hotter.
I loved how the conflict between the two was mainly external, despite Patrick never having had a real relationship with a man. They both wanted to be together but Ken’s job and the mystery Patrick finds himself in created problems. There was such amazing juxtaposition between the romance and the mystery here and I commend the author for doing it perfectly. Just as the men were taking a step forward and Patrick invites Ken to stay at his place, Patrick’s apartment is broken into and he’s concerned for his son’s safety.
That’s another amazing part of the novel—Jay and his relationship to the main characters. Yes, Jay is constantly getting in trouble, but he’s not a malicious kid or not stereotypical at all. He has a sassiness with his father that’s not negative, it’s how they interact. He’s a teen dealing with shit from his past the only way he knows how.
Jay and Patrick have a loving father-son relationship that seemed truly realistic. Patrick knows what Jay is dealing with and is doing his best to help him and steer him the right way, even knowing Jay will get in trouble again. There’s no yelling or screaming or useless threats. This is the way all fathers and sons should get along.
Ken and Jay’s relationship was just as sweet. First as his probation officer then as his friend and father’s boyfriend, Ken was always calm and easy going, helping Jay to open up when needed.
And Patrick and Ken’s relationship? Perfectly portrayed as well. Like I said before, the sex between them is hot, but we see them bond in other ways as well. Their mutual relationships with Jay is one aspect, but there’s more as well. The story follows a rather short timeline but by the time Patrick and Ken say ‘I love you’ to each other there’s no doubt they mean it. This is not an insta-love story here, despite them only being together a short time.
To recap; great sex, fresh and realistic characters, unique mystery and hotter sex. The best combinations I can think of.
Ron Herczig did an amazing job with the narration. His deep voice grabbed my attention from the get go. Even though the differences between Patrick and Ken’s voice was only slightly different it was enough. I never once questioned whose head we were in when the Point of View switched.
Absolutely perfect. He is now one of my favorite narrators.
Skin to skin contact is illegal. Sex? A felony. Insulated suits and gloves keep people from even the most platonic touches. Citizens line up in droves at simhouses for their rationed, prescribed orgasms in virtual reality machines. Keith Borden has worked in a simhouse for years, and he's never been tempted to break the strict no-contact laws...until Aiden Maxwell comes along.
I love Witt's stories but this isn't the best one. I think the futuristic angle is a little out of her wheelhouse.
I'm not crazy about Herczig's narration here though I have enjoyed him in other audio books.