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DPiazzi

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  • helpful votes
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  • The Haunting of Timber Manor

  • Memoirs of the Human Wraiths
  • By: F E Feeley Jr
  • Narrated by: Tony Stone
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly's estranged aunt turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Daniel's need for family compels him to visit. Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart. Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds and vows to protect the young man who captured his heart.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • good way to spend a day

  • By Shannon on 08-10-18

Spooky story, but poor production.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-26-18

I usually shy away from ghost/horror stories; I really don’t do scary books or movies. I couldn’t even watch more than a few episodes of Supernatural before I knew that my yellow belly couldn’t take it. 😉 Hearing others talk about the book, though, made me want to read it. I had the ebook for some time waiting to work myself up to it, and when we were offered an audio code, I decided to jump in. I will admit that I had to stop listening at times, especially in the evenings. Overall, the story wasn’t so scary that I couldn’t finish it so I count that as a win for me. The author also won, I feel, because the story definitely has significant chills and thrills.

I want to shelve this story in the Gay Fiction genre even though there is a romance blooming in this book. It has it’s sweet and sexy moments, but with the switching pov’s from Daniel to Hale to Daniel’s Aunt Carol to Francine, a spirit woman, to It, the voice of evil, there is a lot more going on and the romance is secondary. I have a little complaint about the way the chapters are announced in the book, noting who’s viewpoint it is, and assigning a number to the amount of times they have talked. If you like switching from the audio to ebook, this might be a problem. Also, the story told is the first version so if you have the newer edition it will be difficult to follow along with the audio.

This is minor, though, in comparison to the storytelling. For years, Daniel’s family has been living in fear. His dad left home and never brought his wife or Daniel back to where he grew up. A malevolent ancestor in life and death, had it out for Daniel’s dad and now that Daniel has come to visit, the darkness has reawakened. Add to that, a group of timber wolves (who the manor are named for) stand guard outside the house. Spirits cannot rest and the living are having a difficult time, too. After a few “unexplained” deaths (murders) in the house, Daniel and Hale find themselves having to fight off the evil presence with the help of Francine and some other surprise characters. If they manage to win, there is also the matter that Daniel is only visiting, so there are some decisions that he and Hale will have to make in regards to their relationship also.

I already feel like I gave too much away, but hopefully, I didn’t. The story is really best read without too much other information. As far as the story goes, I would definitely recommend it.

The narration – As for voicing the characters, I think the narrator did a great job. There isn’t a lot of difference in the “voices” for Daniel and Hale, to be honest. I had to rely on context to figure out whose part I was listening to if I didn’t pay attention to the chapter heading. The tones and accents he used for Carol, Francine, and It, were excellent, though. I definitely could see myself listening to the narrator again.

The production has some problems, though. Lines were repeated frequently. I went to the ebook to see if it was a repeated thought and not an error and that is when I realized that the audio reflected the first edition. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I keep wondering why they didn’t use the second edition to narrate the book since it shares the same cover. Chapter 52 of the audiobook is also a repeat of Chapter 41. I thought my audible app had skipped back on me or that I somehow rewound my audio. The Chapter 52 from the book is missing completely. I don’t know if this error is fixed or if it’s being fixed, but my audio copy hasn’t changed.

There were some frustrations in listening to the book, and I felt I had to mention them. However, I really did enjoy the story. I’m not sure what percentage I’d use to recommend the audiobook. If you’re willing to read the missing chapter from the book, and you happen to have the first version to find out what is actually missing, then I’d say it’s just a bit of a hiccup. If you only have the newer edition of the book then it might be better if you just read it, because I think the author is a really good storyteller.

  • Traitorous Toys

  • Cozy Corgi Mysteries
  • By: Mildred Abbott
  • Narrated by: Angie Hickman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Fred’s dream bookshop is becoming a reality, and Christmas is only days away. The toy store beckons Fred and her friend Katie, who dash in out of the cold during a shopping spree to discover handmade toys, cuddly stuffed animals...and a dying man on the floor. When Katie’s desperate attempts to save the man end in her being taken in for his murder, Fred once again dons her detective hat. But as quickly as clues point to one person, new discoveries shift the spotlight to another.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • enjoying this series

  • By DPiazzi on 08-29-18

enjoying this series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-18

So this is the second book in the series and I've listened to both. The narrator has become the main character Winnifred "Fred" to me. She does a great job narrating the story. This book takes place around Christmas which is a holiday I love. The idea of another murder taking place in this sleepy little town is probably far fetched but it's fiction and it doesn't matter to me. There is a little bit of a pattern so far. A truly unlikable character is killed off and the person responsible isn't someone you would expect. Still, I didn't guess at the culprit. I had no clue until the last clue was revealed and our heroine figured it out as well.

Fred is a clever character who I like a lot. I feel like I can relate to her. She loves desserts, isn't a fan of running, she loves her family and she is a good friend. I am not so much of an animal lover but can understand her love for her corgi, Watson. There is a little bit of romance brewing even though Fred isn't looking for anyone to spend her life with. The genre isn't romance, I know. Even though this series is cozy mysteries, the romantic in me still can't help but wish Fred would find love.

Can't wait for more of this quirky mystery series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Snow Falling

  • By: Davidson King
  • Narrated by: Philip Alces, Joel Leslie
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143

After running from a past destined to kill him, Snow has been hiding on the streets. Tell nobody your name. Tell nobody your secrets. Trust nobody! These are the rules of the streets. His entire life changes when he saves an eight-year-old boy from a violent end. Christopher Manos is one of the most powerful crime bosses in the country. Don't ask anyone to do something you aren't willing to do yourself. Secrets can get you killed. Trust nobody! These are the rules he lives by. When his eight-year-old nephew disappears, he never expects the boy's savior to end up being his own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You don’t want to miss out

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-06-18

great debut from a new author.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-28-18

The narrators - I have to be honest. I generally prefer one narrator over two. Both Philip Alces and Joel Leslie did such an excellent job, though, and I loved both of their narrations. In this book, the dual narration really worked for me.

The story - I didn't really know what to expect when I started listening to this book. Books about crime bosses or other members of the mob can be a hit or miss. They have to be likable enough to overlook their crimes for the reader to root for their happy ending. I thought Davidson King did a great job of that. I definitely felt for Christopher Manos. He seemed not to relish the dirtier parts of his job but it was a job he inherited and he was just what he had to do.

Snow was a very interesting character. He's homeless but very smart. It boggles the mind a little bit as to how he got there. When it was explained, I felt horrified on his behalf. He was someone who had been through a lot, but remained strong inside and more courageous than I would have been in his shoes.

This book is not exactly a short and sweet story. Both Christopher and Snow go through a lot. There is danger and intrigue. Seeing some of the violence did bother me, mostly because I saw those moments as senseless tragedy. But there are a few bright spots.  I am a fan of Christopher's nephew who brings the two of them together. He's sweet and entertaining. There are a few good supporting characters I am definitely looking forward to seeing them get their own story too. Seeing Christopher and Snow feature as side characters will be a bonus.

This was an easy listen for me despite the tougher subject matter. I was drawn into the story while listening, and time flew by. I didn't want to stop even though it was late. I was delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed the story and can't wait for more of this author's stories to release on audio.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Twisted and Tied

  • By: Mary Calmes
  • Narrated by: Tristan James
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198

Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones finally has everything he ever wanted. He's head-over-heels in love and married to the man of his dreams, his partner Ian Doyle, he's doing well at work, and all his friends are in good places as well. Things are all tied up nicely, until they're not. Change has never been easy for Miro, and when situations at work force the team he's come to depend on to break apart, and worst of all, his and Ian's individual strengths put them on two separate paths, he's pretty certain everything just went up in smoke.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect Mary Calmes and Tristan James!

  • By Buscatlady on 07-19-18

Love the book, hate that it's the ending.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-18

So many changes in this book for Miro and Ian. I loved every moment of this book. I felt like the author wrapped things up in a way that the reader can see that there is only a happy ever after in store for them. There were so many cameos and mentions of characters from the author's other books, and references to other authors series. I am glad that the author is creating other books in the Marshalls series because you don't just fall in love with the main characters but so many of the secondary ones as well. I will miss hearing Miro's pov because he is such a cool character. He's mellow but fun and sweet. I love Ian's boldness, and his craving to submit to Miro from time to time. He is the perfect protector. The two make a great pair. I almost feel like crying though I'm sure they will be secondary characters in the next books. A wonderful series that I will probably reread and relisten to again and again.

  • The Last Sun

  • By: K. D. Edwards
  • Narrated by: Josh Hurley
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

Rune Saint John, the last child of the fallen Sun Court, is hired to search for Lady Judgment's missing son, Addam, on New Atlantis, the island city where the Atlanteans moved after ordinary humans destroyed their original home. With his companion and bodyguard, Brand, he questions Addam's relatives and business contacts through the highest ranks of the nobles of New Atlantis. But as they investigate, they uncover more than a missing man: a legendary creature connected to the secret of the massacre of Rune's Court.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This was such an amazing surprise!

  • By Kindle Customer on 07-06-18

Love the narration and world building

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-18

I actually picked up this audio book because of the narrator. I am a fan. I do enjoy when a fantasy story mixes with a bit of contemporary. The world of magicians and faeries has bled into regular modern day Earth. A creature has been summoned that no one thought existed and current events are ringing of a horrible memory for Rune. I liked Rune and his sarcasm. He worked for the common good, but he could be formidable. He has deep connections with his companion Brand and with Addam the man he searched for, and I'm greedy enough to want it to work for all three of them, but not sure what will be. Definitely do want to read or listen to book 2 when it comes out. Addam is found, but I think the mystery is far from over.

  • Made Marian Shorts

  • By: Lucy Lennox
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 4 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100

The Marians aren’t the only ones finding their happy ever after! In this collection of four short stories, some of our beloved secondary characters from the Made Marian series steal the show and find a love of their own. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Secondary characters find their match!

  • By DPiazzi on 08-07-18

Secondary characters find their match!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-18

I can’t say that I necessarily thought about the characters featured in this anthology after briefly meeting them in previous Maid Marian novels, but I sure am glad I listened to this audiobook. Each story offers a funny moment or surprise that makes reading or listening to them worth it. In a short story, there is no time for the characters to get to know each other well before developing feelings. I am one of those who finds quickly developed feelings between characters pretty believable. I think I just want to believe that anything is possible when it comes to love. So suspend your disbelief and enjoy the romance is my advice.

Brad is the guy (fake) dating Blue’s ex in Borrowing Blue.He forges a friendship with Blue’s Aunt Tilly and Tristan’s lesbian grandmothers in this short. I only wish I had seen him more involved with the Marian family because of it. Of course, with those three ladies around, this was definitely a humorous story. When Tilly tries matchmaking and nearly gets Brad arrested, he meets Miles, a Vegas homicide detective. It’s a sweet short story with plenty of craziness added in from the older ladies.

Beck is in Jude’s band. I don’t really remember him in the story but he is letting loose in his own short story. He meets Quinn dancing at an exclusive club. This story takes place in one night and is sexy as hell. There is a big surprise at the end when they let the other know why they wanted each other and who they are. I am still a little a little dumbstruck.

Keller works with Tristan at the Vineyard and meets Eli when he strips down for Aunt Tilly and the grannies painting class at the Vineyard. Both are attracted to each other, but miscommunications, overheard denials of attraction seem to hold them back from insta-love. And one case of mistaken identity nearly kills their possible relationship for good. I liked this story. Again with the crazy octogenarians in the picture there is a good amount of silliness.

I think the author saved the best for last. I didn’t remember Josh, who worked in Alaska with Jamie Marian. His crush on Jamie went unrequited, but I don’t think Josh really wanted Jamie anyway. A love that ended eight years prior has haunted him forever. When Cyrus’s grandmother dies and the duty that took him away from Josh is over, he rushes to the man he cruelly ended things with. Unfortunately, Josh is dating someone named Hayworth. Even though I don’t really know the characters of Josh or Cyrus, and even though they haven’t seen each other in eight years, their love for each other was very palpable. I was overjoyed as soon as they crashed into each others arms. I am a total sucker for same couple second chance stories. Hayworth kindly stepped out of the way, too, if that makes it anymore obvious about how meant to be Cyrus and Josh are. And now, I do want a story about Hayworth because he really seemed kind, and looking for a love of his own.

Not to fear, the author indicated that there will be more shorts. I think this audiobook of shorts could be listened to without having read the novels in the series. However, I think it is more enjoyable if you are familiar with the family. I definitely recommend this book for any fan of sweet love stories. P.S. Michael Pauley’s narrations are really great. He is an autobuy narrator for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Yanni's Story

  • Spencer Cohen Series, Book 4
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

When Yanni Tomaras is kicked out of his family home, his parents' final words are religious insults and an order to never return. Homeless and desperate, he's lured in by Lance - charming on the outside, an evil predator underneath - who abuses Yanni until he finds the courage to leave. Yanni should feel free. But by the time Spencer Cohen finds him, he's resigned to being handed back to Lance and once again being caged by fear.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • one of the best books I've read

  • By Brigitmom on 06-06-18

Inspiring story of overcoming abuse and prejudice

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-09-18

Trying to decide how to describe this book, the most appropriate phrase that came to mind is “slow and steady wins the race.” I use that to describe the pacing of the book, and for the main character, Yanni’s, life. After coming out to his parents, Yanni found himself first homeless, and then in an abusive relationship. He had lost all self worth before Spencer found him due to some suspicious circumstances. (Yes, you should read the previous books in the series to see how this came about.) This book doesn’t have frenzied passionate moments, no big highs. Fortunately, the lowest points of Yanni’s life are in the rear view. So this is the story of Yanni taking back his life and pasting the broken pieces back together.

To be clear, slow and steady doesn’t mean boring or uneventful. Yanni’s story overlaps some of the Spencer Cohen books, and it is told all at once instead of being broken up into three books. So it is significantly longer than the previous books, individually. It’s an inspiring story with likable characters and I really enjoyed reading it.

Yanni starts this book being brought to Andrew’s (Spencer’s boyfriend) parents. It is kismet. Helen and Allan Landon are in the acting business, which Yanni was studying. He enjoys their impromptu readings and found he has a lot more in common with Helen than just the love of acting. The Landons even have a foundation that helps abused and homeless LGBT+ youth restart their lives with housing and scholarship programs. That is only the beginning for Yanni, but it is the step up he desperately needed. He went from living in fear on the streets to living a semi normal life. He found a new and loving family in Andrew’s family and Spencer. But still there was some fear, because of the lover in his past who destroyed his value and fear of not being able to overcome it and find real love.

It is slow and steady. It is friends to lovers. Meeting Peter was unconventional and unexpected. Peter is older and was just dumped by his younger lover. He is a great guy but neither he nor Yanni are ready for more. As much as Peter’s friendship and companionship means to Yanni’s recovery this is mainly Yanni’s story because it is on him to move past his old habits and worries and grasp at what might be something wonderful. I felt very drawn into Yanni’s transformation. He not only tackles his demons but helps others at the group home he lives in. He helps a stranger who went through the very same thing Yanni did. He works with Helen for her foundation and he finds a reason to share his story to make the world better for others.

It is honestly inspiring. I have to applaud the authors who tell these fictional tales of LGBTQIA people comfortable or becoming comfortable with who they are, and finding love. The stories might be fictional but they are based on truths of gay, bi, lesbian, and trans people everywhere. For those who do identify as one of those, these stories might show them that it can get better and that they are worthy of love. For those who might be closed minded or prejudiced, they might learn to open their eyes, minds, and hearts.

And of course, this is a love story by an author who wants her characters to be happy so it is a great ending. There is a little bit of kink, but to me very mild. I stand by my slow and steady comment, but might add sweet and sexy, too. The narration is done by the very versatile and emotive Joel Leslie and his performance only adds to the listening experience. I highly recommend listening or reading to this book as well as the whole series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Switched

  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120

Israel Ingham's life has never been easy. He grew up in a house devoid of love and warmth. Nothing he ever did was good enough. The fact that Israel is gay just added to the long list of his father's disappointments. Then a letter from Eastport Children's Hospital changes everything. A discovery is made, one of gross human error. Twenty-six years ago, two baby boys were switched at birth and sent home with the wrong families.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Tearjerker from the Land of Oz

  • By Alex on 10-27-17

A story to fall in love with.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-15-18

It took me a while to pick up this book by N.R. Walker. For the life of me, I don't know why. I love the author's writing and always fall in love with her characters. I'm a fan of the switched at birth trope, not that there are a lot of books featuring that. I also love the narrator, Joel Leslie. He is great at creating voices. So despite owning the ebook and having Switched on my audio wishlist, I didn't pick it up until I was offered a copy to review.

There is something subtly amazing about the author's writing. It probably sounds strange but every time I read a book by this author I find myself surprised at how much I love it. Like I never expect them to be as good as they are. Maybe because there isn't really a lot of other things going on outside of the characters relationship and their semi-normal lives. For the most part, there aren't secondary plots with action or danger. Her books are just very sweet romances with so much heart that you can't help but be drawn in and fall in love with the characters.

Israel has a close knit set of friends. I have to mention that I love their nickname for him because his initials, I.I. sound like aye, aye. He is called captain. It is brought up so often in the book and I thought it was cute, especially their singing of the Spongebob theme song. His good-natured acceptance of it doesn't make the joke get old as the story goes on. Israel's very best friend is Sam. And while he plays a big part in Israel's life this book is mostly about Israel.

Israel has never quite felt like he fit in his life. Raised by distant parents and nannies he hasn't felt welcome in his family especially after he came out as gay. It feels real easy to dislike his parents throughout most of this book. There is so much lack of communication between them, that it takes learning about a mistake the hospital made in switching babies for them to ever really talk. Even then, they skirt around real feelings until Israel can't take it anymore and forces the issues of how they treated him his whole life. Family secrets are revealed and hearts are opened but there is much healing for them. Oh, the feelings!

Isreael's friendship with Sam is tested throughout this book, also. He wants so much to lean on his friend but worries about becoming a nuisance. And has fears of rejection or losing his friendship. The truth is that he has had more than friend feelings. So does Sam. I usually feel frustrated when two friends keep pushing back their feelings instead of admitting things to each other. I do understand the worry about wrecking the friendship but still I am usually frustrated. Usually. I wasn't in this book at all. There was so much that Israel needed to go through and work out, I felt, before he could really be ready for it. And when they finally do get together, my heart sighed and sang. The author is really good at bringing out the emotions of the characters and allowing the reader to feel them.

I mentioned that the story is really about Israel and a lot about his parents treatment of him. I do need to mention how great the other characters are. First, Sam. He is a great character. He was raised with wealth but he is humble. He is a very likable guy whose family just happens to have money. Sam's family is just like him and are more like a family to Israel than his own in the beginning. Israel's birth mom and the (now) man he was switched with are great. Donna is the reason that Israel explored the feelings he had for Sam and Nick becomes a brother figure. There are other brothers and sisters from that family too that become Israel's family.

The end of this story was great with all these important people really coming together around Israel and Sam. There is a lot of healing for Sam and for the parents that raised him, the family he lost, and the family he made. My heart was extremely warmed by all the different types of love. I must remind myself in the future not to hold off on reading or listening to this author's books. I love being surprised over and over again by the depth of emotion in her writing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Cruel Candy

  • Cozy Corgi Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Mildred Abbott
  • Narrated by: Angie Hickman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the Reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small-town life, tourists, and living close to her lovable mother, Phyllis, and hippie stepfather, Barry. When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dust bunnies and spiders...not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nice story

  • By stlblue1 on 07-11-18

Cute mystery

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-12-18

I have only become a mystery fan in the last three years but I am a fan of this author's books under a different name. So I definitely wanted to check out Mildred's cozy mysteries. This is the first time I've listened to this narrator and I thought she did very well. She is good at providing different voices for the characters and has a pleasant voice.

I really like the character of Fred. First I love her name, I always thought girls with boys names (shortened from Winifred) were cool. She is your average woman. She has been through some tough times as well as good. She doesn't bemoan her life though. She just chalks it up to experience and moves on. Her description makes her sound like she's not particularly skinny while not being really overweight. She seems comfortable in her own skin and I like that. She is definitely someone I felt like I could relate to.

The secondary characters are great and well written too. Fred just moved to the town that her mother and stepfather live in. They are a little eccentric and absent minded but are supportive and loving, too. I thought they were likable as well as her two gay uncles who own a shop in town, too. There is a baker who seems like she might become friends with Fred, a police officer that hates her and another that seems a little interested in her. It is an interesting little town for sure.

Fred's dog, Watson, is also an important character in the series. The bookshop is going to be called The Cozy Corgi and the book series has the same name. I have never had a pet so I'm not a real big animal person. (I feel like I should be embarrassed about that.) I don't always think to mention pets in book reviews but in this series Watson is relevant. Fred talks to him and probably considers him a partner of sorts. Most people can't help but love the dog and if you have a treat in your hand, he might just like you back. I think as the story goes on he will remain pivotal.

The mystery in this book was interesting. After just about a day in her new home and business, Fred finds her shop neighbor murdered in the upper level of her own store. Immediately I had my suspicions of who did it, even though I had just met these characters, myself. Fred's late dad was a detective and with her stepfather being a suspect, she begins to investigate. There was a time or two where my original suspicion faltered and I wondered about what was happening especially when another murder takes place in a nearby town. And though, my original guess of whodunnit was correct, I liked seeing Fred work through the investigating and finding out the motive/reason for the murder. There seems to be a few persons of interest in terms of Fred's love life and I look forward to seeing her caring and quirky family again. It was an enjoyable story and a great beginning to the series. I can't wait to read or listen to more of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sweet Thing

  • Pretty Boy
  • By: Isobel Starling
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

French male model Simeon Duchamp has a lot of explaining to do. Two years after a breakdown, Simeon is off drugs and booze and wants to stay that way. On his road to reclaiming his life and modeling career, Sim first needs to apologize to the man he hurt the most - his ex-best friend and object of his unrequited affection Pieter Bayer. Pieter now has a long-term partner, artist Emily Raven, with whom he shares a baby son. Sim is amazed when Pieter accepts his apology, and invites him into his family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great narration really adds to the story.

  • By DPiazzi on 05-02-18

Great narration really adds to the story.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-02-18

The narration: If you haven't listened to this narrator yet, you definitely should. He performs so many accents in a way that seems flawless to me. I am always impressed by his variation and his ability to emote. Listening to a book narrated by him only enhances the enjoyment of the story.

The story:  Sweet Thing is book 2 of a series and can definitely be read as a standalone. The first book is an m/f book, some of Simeon's backstory seems to take place in it. The author catches us up enough that it doesn't have to be read first, but I did find myself adding it to my to-read list.

Simeon is kind of a broken character. He is on the mend after rehab and counseling for drug and alcohol addictions. His addictive personality disorder isn't something that will go away so it's a constant struggle to stay away from his former vices. And not to form new ones. He finds himself having to apologize to his very best friend Pieter, who he hurt in book one. There is such a history that is glossed over in this book, but you can feel their bond. Hence my wanting to read book one. Through Pieter and his wife, Simeon meets Bastien.

Bastien is broken also. Pieter and Emily encourage the relationship between Simeon and Bastien, thinking that two broken men can help each other. It's debatable if that is a good idea, but their intentions are good. Bastien's problems are with intimacy and while Simeon is able to help, Bastien is also dealing with loss and a lack of closure from his last relationship. He cares for Simeon, no doubt, but he has a lot of issues that don't allow him to put Simeon first, and things between them hit some rough spots.

There is some angst in this book, but it's not overly emotional. I felt disappointed at times in both characters. Which means they aren't too perfect to be real. It's a love story between broken and flawed men. I enjoyed the story and really liked Pieter and Emily's place in the book. I'd say they are the most prominent secondary characters and they add to the story. Overall, I would definitely recommend the book, especially the audio version.

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