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Belen

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  • Hidden in Darkness

  • In Darkness Series, Book 1
  • By: Alice Winters
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

When Felix lands a job taking care of a man recovering from severe injuries, he thinks his life may have just turned around. Anything has to be better than the place he's leaving. There's something about Lane that draws Felix to him and makes him question if this place could finally become a home for him. But when someone begins stalking Felix, he is left to question who Lane is and what actually happened to him. Together, Felix and Lane will be forced to see just how far they will go to protect each other. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm going to keep this one in the Favorite pile

  • By Mo on 10-10-18

Such terrific narration!

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

I honestly don't know if I would have kept going if I'd tried only visually reading the book. The humor in this is brought out so much more (and better) in Joel Leslie's delivery of the lines than I think in the actual written word. It's all in the delivery.

The two main characters, Felix and Lane, have the sort of "I hate that I kind of like you" attitude in the beginning with one another and Leslie not only pulls off their banter beautifully, but made me believe these two snarky lovers were perfect for each other. 

Notice I don't say they're perfect. They aren't. They're a**h*les that are individually so far from perfect they couldn't find it on a map, but together they make sense. I can see those two crazy kids really making a go of it, if Felix doesn't get them both killed with his shenanigans.

I loved listening to this and will absolutely be checking out book 2, A Light in the Darkness, pronto.

Though Lane does have a POV chapter, Hidden in Darkness is mostly told from Felix's POV. There's plenty of action, humor, heat, and a HFN ending. Definitely check it out in audio for the best experience.

  • Wolf and the Holly

  • Rowan Harbor Cycle Series, Book 2
  • By: Sam Burns
  • Narrated by: Chris Chambers
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Five years ago, Jesse dropped out of college and came home to Rowan Harbor to find safety with his pack. A broken man, he's been living as though the world is ending - allergic to responsibility and spending most of his nights at the local bar. But he can't avoid growing up forever. On the night of his 30th birthday party, he finds his childhood friend Isla unconscious, attacked in the middle of their peaceful hometown. The wolf inside him wants to protect its people from the slick-haired, smooth-talking vampire who's brought trouble to town.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3.5 Stars

  • By Belen on 11-13-18

3.5 Stars

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

A little slow to get going in the beginning, it's worth it when it gets up to steam. It does leave the reader with more questions than answers and the romance takes a backseat to the mystery element in this installment, but listeners are left with a HFN ending, and it's interesting world-building (how far do Devon's powers extend...I must find out!).

I feel like Chris Chambers has grown between his performance in Blackbird in the Reeds and Wolf and the Holly. He's less stiff in his delivery, and though his pacing is still quite structured, he does infuse some emotion into the text particularly during conversation. He also does a good job of creating and using distinct character voices for each of the large cast.

Single POV, paranormal with romantic elements, some action, good world- building, and continues to build the base for this trilogy of trilogies.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed listening to the audio, the world building is interesting, and I'm looking forward to Fletcher's story next in Fox and Birch.

Story = 3.5 Stars, Narration = 3.5 Stars; Total: 3.5 Stars

Note: The Rowan Harbor Cycle is a series of 9 books - a trilogy of trilogies. The main characters (Devon and Wade, Jesse and Sean, Fletcher and Conner) will have their own book in each trilogy with a happy for now ending and later their (hopefully) happily ever afters.

  • Alpha Heat

  • Heat of Love, Book 2
  • By: Leta Blake
  • Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked, and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart - and so does he. But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful omegaverse romance! Great narrator!!

  • By Karen on 10-31-18

Hurt/Comfort Non-Shifter A/B/O Mpreg

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

Michael Ferraiuolo does a fantastic job with the narration. He brings out each character's stubbornness, desire, strength, and comfort so well and really brings each character to life. His character voices are pretty easy to follow (though I personally wish Xan and Caleb had less of a similar tone), and ultimately made my listening experience a real joy.

Alpha Heat is a non-shifter A/B/O romance told in a dual third-person POV featuring a lot of hurt/comfort, plenty of sexy scenes (no cheating), some knotting, and male pregnancy, with a hard-won happy ending all wonderfully narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo.

It's, at times, a hard read with what Xan, Urho, and Caleb go through, but the ending makes it all totally worth it.

I'm going to be honest. I thought I'd read/listened to Slow Heat but it turned out I haven't. And while I would caution against doing the same, I did manage to work through most of my questions about what was going on except for one. Seriously, though, I need to get to the first book so I can find out why everything is 'Wolf' this and that but no one shifts. Regardless, my ignorance of the initial world-building did not diminish my enjoyment.

But, maybe don't make my mistake, and start with book one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Ruins

  • Metahuman Files, Book 2
  • By: Hailey Turner
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 47

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator is the icing on an already great cake

  • By jaimilyn on 10-25-18

Recommended!

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

In the Ruins is a sequel to In the Wreckage, and you’re definitely going to want to listen to In the Wreckage before diving in to enjoying this, because these are not standalones.

This has a great story, interesting world building, plenty of action (both in and out of bed *winks*), and multiple points of view (including Kyle’s brother Alexei and a new team member!). I’m going on record right now saying I love this cast of characters. LOVE THEM.

On top of the great story we have the wonderful narration by Greg Tremblay, under his sexier Greg Boudreaux brand. Greg makes sure the listener is able to easily follow along with the large cast of characters, and their accents, and all the action without getting lost and having to repeat sections. I mean, some of the sexy bits might be something you rewind – but you don’t have to…if you know what I mean.

I can always tell how much I’m enjoying listening to an audiobook by how upset I am if I’m interrupted or forced to set the audio aside for several days, and the fact that I was so mad every time I had to pause In the Ruins means, for me, this was a terrific listen. The narration here makes a great story even better.

In the Ruins is a sci-fi, military, steamy romance with multiple POV and a HFN ending. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series, In the Shadows and seeing Alexei get his man.

  • The Remaking of Corbin Wale

  • By: Roan Parrish
  • Narrated by: Chris Chambers
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

Last month, Alex Barrow's whole life imploded - partner, home, job, all gone in 48 hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he's back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he's always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So wonderful!

  • By Belen on 11-04-18

So wonderful!

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

I loved this. From the utter acceptance Alex has of Corbin, to the way the story flows...I love that we get both Alex and Corbin's POV, and even though I still don't understand a lot of what was happening with Corbin and his Aunts, and I wish I knew what happened with Gareth, this story just moved me and Chris Chambers does such a great job with character voices and the emotion of the story. Recommended!

  • Sin and Tonic

  • Sinners Series, Book 6
  • By: Rhys Ford
  • Narrated by: Tristan James
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Miki St. John's best friend, Damien, is back from the dead, and their new band, Crossroads Gin, is soaring up the charts. Miki’s got a solid, loving partner named Kane Morgan - an inspector with the SFPD whose enormous Irish family has embraced him as one of their own - and his dog, Dude, at his side. It’s a pity someone’s trying to kill him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm sad to say goodbye

  • By Annika on 11-15-18

So hard to say goodbye!

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

Rhys Ford blends mystery, suspense, romance, and action together in Sin and Tonic the direct sequel to Absinthe of Malice.

When details from Miki St. John's past come forward it's everything the love of his life, Kane Morgan, can do to investigate and try to keep Miki safe. Miki and Kane deal with an abundance of secrets, lies, murder, attempted murder, and crises while finally answering some questions readers have had since the series beginning. But Miki and Kane weather it all together.

Tristan James always does such a fantastic job bringing these characters back to life with each installment in the audios. I’ve said it before, and I'll keep repeating it, Tristan James takes something already great and makes it even better through his narration by performing the action, introspection, and sexy times equally well. James also keeps the varied character voices easy to pick out and follow and performs this all so well – it's a treat to listen to.

While it's bittersweet to see the end of a series I've loved, I'm glad to know Miki and Kane will continue to live happily ever after and I can visit the Morgan family and Sinners crew again in print or audio whenever the mood strikes.

Sin and Tonic is not a standalone, but if you like angsty action packed mysteries with sexy times, strong men, and their even stronger love for one another, you should think about grabbing this series.

  • No Tears for Darcy

  • By: Vicki Reese
  • Narrated by: Brock Hatton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

Former forensic accountant Cameron has lost nearly everyone he’s ever loved, and now his vintage clothing shop has been broken into and trashed. When town Police Chief Will Carson asks an out-of-town cop friend of his for help, Cam takes one look at the dark-haired, blue-eyed detective and knows he’s in real trouble - and it has nothing to do with vandalism or murder. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not for me.

  • By Belen on 10-24-18

Not for me.

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

No Tears for Darcy is a mystery told from multiple third-person points of view including Cameron, Pete, and the killer. There are clues as to who the killer is pretty early on, but enough red herrings that leave the reader doubting if they're right or not. There's some romance, but the mystery and suspense are more paramount here.

I'm afraid the audio didn't work for me. There is quite a bit of ambient booth noise throughout, which through my headphones sounded even worse and never truly let me settle in to enjoy the story. Adding Brock Hatton's staccato speech pattern and a pace that never seemed to gain a good flow...it all made this a less than pleasant listening experience. 

While I liked Hatton's voice, and that he differentiates between characters with slightly different voices and accents, it couldn't make up for the things that were annoying me while listening.

This appears to be Hatton's first audiobook, so perhaps a better microphone, some sound proofing, and some more experience will hopefully help him work out these kinks in his next effort.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Still

  • By: Mary Calmes
  • Narrated by: Tristan James
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134

What happens when two men who have been together for 17 years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become - still.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • And I Love you...........Still

  • By Heather on 09-18-14

3 Stars

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

Told in Sivan's single POV <I>Still</I> is a romance about an older, settled couple who aren't connecting anymore, so they separate and then work their way back together.

There's some miscommunication leading to the separation, and some tension introduced through a stalker side plot that only serves to drive the estranged couple back together.

I'll admit Sivan's cluelessness and Walter's stubbornness made this less enjoyable than I normally find a Mary Calmes story.

And though I love Tristan James, he did not knock it out of the park this time for me. He doesn't differentiate between the different character voices well, so I was quite often confused as to who was actually speaking, and his pacing in this felt off to me as well.

Overall I enjoy the story, and have read it multiple times, but it's one of those odd occurrences where I always remember this far more fondly than I actually experience it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Crocus

  • Bonfires Series, Book 2
  • By: Amy Lane
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

High school principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he’d hit the jackpot when Deputy Sheriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow. But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I want more please

  • By Shea on 09-13-18

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

I'm usually leery of sequels featuring an established couple, mostly because I'm afraid the author will mess with the happy ending I've already enjoyed.

Add Amy Lane, who's notorious for putting characters through emotional and angst-filled trauma, and I worried for Larx and Aaron.

But I'm happy to report that even though Larx and Aaron are put through the ringer with multiple crazy and scary things happening (Larx's daughter coming home pregnant, her baby daddy showing up, different kids needing to be saved, Aaron being hurt)...Larx and Aaron never lose sight of each other and how much they mean to one another.

I love all of these characters - they're not perfect - but they communicate and support each other.

Nick J. Russo did a fantastic job with the narration. He captures all of the emotions throughout the book without ever going over the top, provides clear, distinguishable character voices, and a terrific pace.

I know I'm loving an audiobook when I get mad every time I have to pause it!

Established couple, multiple POV, contemporary romance with medium angst, sexy times, suspense, and a very happy ending.

Recommended! ❤️

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ever After

  • A Gay Fairy Tale
  • By: Christina Lee, Riley Hart
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

As next in line for the Evergreen crown, Prince Merrick Davendall’s future involves ruling, marriage, and producing an heir of his own. But he’s long been tormented by desires that are far from princely. Especially when the beautiful Cassius is promoted to be his new valet, and Merrick is struck by a longing like never before - a longing to know him far beyond royal and servant.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ever After: Adorable and Infuriating

  • By Paula on 09-21-18

3.5 Stars

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

So I started out a bit confused because the blurb on Audible clearly states: Please be sure to listen to the Dear Reader letter at the beginning of the book before you begin. The problem is there’s no “Dear Reader” letter at the beginning of the audio. So…was it important? Was it something I really needed to know? I don’t know!

Anyway, Ever After is a fantasy without the magic, a sweet fairytale, slow burn romance about the forbidden love between a prince and his valet that takes place in an interesting amalgam of traditional and modern (with formal language and some modern conveniences like cars).

Joel Leslie uses his best accents to bring the characters and the world to life. His pacing is good, his character voices distinct, and he provides emotional context to Merrick and Cassius’s plight.

I enjoyed the narration, but found myself frustrated with the story’s pace at times. Though, the last couple of hours really grabbed my attention and kept me riveted.

Recommended for those looking for an escape with great character and relationship development, a slow burn, and a very happy ending.