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katelyn

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  • Tied up in Knots

  • Marshals, Book 3
  • By: Mary Calmes
  • Narrated by: Tristan James
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 422
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 402
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400

Miro Jones is living the life; he's got his exciting, fulfilling job as a US deputy marshal, his gorgeous Greystone in suburban Chicago, his beloved adopted family, and most importantly, the man who captured his heart, Ian Doyle. Problem is, Ian isn't just his partner at work - Ian's a soldier through and through. That commitment takes him away from Miro, unexpectedly and often, and it's casting a shadow over what could be everything Miro could ever dream of.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This series just keeps getting better!

  • By Tams (TTC Books and more) on 02-15-17

Return to greatness.

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

Reviewed: 01-19-17

This book made me like the 2nd one better. I love Mary Calmes and I love the characters she people's her world with, but my review of book 2 was tepid. THIS book though? A homerun knocked out of the park. Not only did I enjoy everything about this book ... it also actually managed to make me find peace with some of the things I hadn't liked about book 2. I finished this and immediately went back and listened to the whole series again because I wasn't ready to put it down yet.

Highly recommended. This will be enjoyed as just part of the Martial Series but it is definitely part of a series and not a stand alone. Cameos from both Rhys Ford's Sinner's series and characters from other Mary Calmes stories are a delight and will enrich the experience for long-time fans as well.

  • Tough Love

  • Special Delivery, Book 3
  • By: Heidi Cullinan
  • Narrated by: Iggy Toma
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

Crescencio "Chenco" Ortiz pulled himself up by his garter straps after his father's will yanked the financial rug from under his spank-me pumps. He doesn't need anyone, yet when Steve Vance steps into his life, the prospect of having a sexy leather daddy on tap begins to take on a certain appeal. There's a hitch when he learns Steve is friends with Mitch Tedsoe - the half-brother Chenco never knew except through his father's twisted lies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Decent Story

  • By Jeffrey on 12-16-17

Drag your heart to the finish line.

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

As with the other 2 books in this series - if you can't handle explicit kink and some pretty non-conventional relationship ties, then this book might be a pass. If, however, you enjoy or at least are not put off by those things - this whole series is a win, in my book. This third installment is a bit different tonally, but ultimately fits and is a gorgeous tie-up for the trilogy.

I am not a huge fan of Queen's in my MM fiction - okay, that isn't totally true, but it is true that Queen's in particular, in MM fiction, are an easy stereotype to camp up in an almost cartoonish way and exploit for the sake of "story-telling". They are the bitchy best friend who delivers the zinger one-liners. Not so in this book. As with many other less than conventional behaviors, Cullinan explores Chenco and his Drag Queen alter-ego Caramela in a real, honest and humane way. No cartoonish stereotyping, not easy go-to gags. Chenco comes across as a real person who has some real issue's and is struggling to find a balance with his own kinks.

The SM in BDSM features far more heavily in this book than in previous books, and it is a bit ... unsettling, squicky, ??? ... the idea that Chenco is half-brothers with Mitch, who we know intimately from previous books - and knowing that Chenco's romance and kink exploration are going on in proximity with Mitch and his sexual world - but the incest fantasy/line is never crossed and it never gets unsettling or squicky or ??? in that direction, though it always sort of stands in the corner as a disturbing possibility. I can deal with a lot of kink and non-convention, but that one is a hard limit for me - and thankfully it was never crossed.

Instead, H.C. succeeds in pushing the hot and steamy, the gooey romance and the heart-tugging family building to the extreme and leaves us feeling good about where this series has traveled and finally landed at.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Double Blind

  • Special Delivery, Book 2
  • By: Heidi Cullinan
  • Narrated by: Iggy Toma
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

Randy Jensen can't stand to just sit by and watch as a mysterious man throws money away on the roulette wheel, especially since Randy's got his own bet going as to the reason this guy is making every play like it's his last day on earth. The man's dark desperation hits Randy right in the gut. Half of him warns that getting involved is a sucker's bet, and the other half scrambles for a reason - any reason - to save the man's soul.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh for the love of Randy!!

  • By Shandara Majere on 07-15-16

Kink and Care

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

A - not sure if the technical issues with this recording have been resolved, or if I just blithely ignored them.

B - I do feel like I know way more about Poker now than I did before listening to this book - feel like I took a bit of a Randy Jansen how to course myself.

I loved this as a Randy story. I love this as an exploration of couple-ship versus polygamy, and the balancing of emotional well being with kink. This series is full of kink and generally non-conventional relationships, and I think that this book does a beautiful job of laying the emotional groundwork for the reader to view these non-conventional connections with sympathy and understanding. Somehow it is okay to sleep with the married guy, to have had sex with the older, not particularly hot guy, to feel affection and loyalty to the old-school gangster "bad guy", and even to have a Poker analogy for the game of life.

This series and this book are not for everyone - but if you enjoy H.C.'s writing, can be open to kink and sometimes sappy "feels" with some decidedly unconventional romantic ties, then this one *is* worth the time and credit, imo.

  • Special Delivery: Special Delivery, Book 1

  • By: Heidi Cullinan
  • Narrated by: Iggy Toma
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

Sam Keller knows he'll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa - not while he's busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent long-haul trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to a fling, and when Mitch offers to take him on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sexy with a swoon/sigh worthy ending!

  • By Belen on 04-09-16

Non-conventional relationships - Ho!

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

I read this story before it had been made available as an audio book and really enjoyed it. I have found that Heidi Cullinan does a really good job of exploring non-conventional kinks/relationships while still making the characters sympathetic and likable. In particular I think it could be difficult to deal with the subjugation/humiliation element - Sam's desire for it and Mitch's reservations about exploring and possibly exploiting that desire are handled well.

I love Iggy Toma as a narrator - and I love him as a narrator for this book. That said, there is *something* about this book in audio.

When reading the book I didn't like Randy at the beginning, but by the end he'd grown on me. In the audio - even by the end, I was not a huge fan of the Randy character, at least the first listen through. (I have since listened to all 3 Special Delivery books through multiple times, and have a different perspective - but as a stand alone, and on first listen I found Randy off-putting all the way through, which was not true when I actually *read* the book.)

This book is kinky, steamy, and non-conventional and may be a pass for some people because of that - but for me - it's gone on the repeated re-listen list and is imho well worth the time and credit/purchase.

  • Legacy of the Demon

  • Kara Gillian, Book 8
  • By: Diana Rowland
  • Narrated by: Liv Anderson
  • Length: 20 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426

Sidelined demon summoner Kara Gillian has her hands full when dimensional rifts allow demons to cause widespread panic and destruction on Earth. These aren't the human-tolerant summonables she's known before, but demons from the far reaches of the demon realm. Add three demonic lords with conflicting ambitions to the mix, and Kara has the perfect recipe for global disaster.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yet another winner

  • By Jayson on 10-16-16

Oh Thank Goodness! Major Kara Fix.

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

And now the waiting begins. *sigh*

I got hooked on this series right at the beginning. The worst thing about it is the wait from book to book, and in several of the books the harsh cliff-hangers. This book is so much better than book 7 though. While book 7 felt too short and like not much happened, except a *bitch* of a cliffhanger - this book felt like a lot happened. It was quite satisfying in moving the story forward and making you feel like you'd actually read a book instead of a long teaser for "tune in next time when..." It still leaves you hanging, but not in an awful way.

Liv Anderson does an excellent job narrating the series, as always.

It had been so long between books that I actually went back and re listened to the whole series before putting this one on. It was interesting in that for the first 1/3 of this book I had major deja vous, as though I had already heard it - it flowed so seamlessly from the end of book 7 into this one that it was almost uncanny. Not repetitive or boring, or even necessarily predictable, just *so* well fitted with the rest of the series that it felt like I had already been there, even though the information was new.

I will be tuning in next time to see what happens next - because I am still totally hooked on this series.

In the meantime - if you are new to Diana Rowland - don't start this series in the middle - it is way too much of a serial and definitely builds on previous volumes. But if you are a fan of the series, this book will not disappoint.

  • Absinthe of Malice

  • By: Rhys Ford
  • Narrated by: Tristan James
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188

When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There's something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tristan James perfectly captures this series

  • By Belen on 10-23-16

Finally! and Yes. *happy sigh*

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

I have loved this series, and anxiously awaited this installment - then I read the blurb and got a little afraid. I was not at all sure about a Crossroads Gin book - but then - it was just perfection. This book allows us to revisit all of the things (and people) that made the foundation of the series so amazing - brought me to tears yet again ... and just pulled the heart strings of the family ties all the tighter.

Nothing disappointing about this one at all ... well worth the wait, the time, the credit (or cash) ...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fallow

  • Whyborne & Griffin, Book 8
  • By: Jordan L. Hawk
  • Narrated by: Julian G. Simmons
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 169

When Griffin's past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves? Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help - but how can he, when Whyborne won't tell him what's wrong?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An upswing in the series.

  • By katelyn on 10-30-16

An upswing in the series.

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

This is one of those series that I wasn't sure about tackling at all, in the beginning. Historical fiction in the mm genre hasn't really been my thing, overall. These books are in fact much more fantasy than history though, and the things that I often find annoying about historical romances aren't really present in this series - I fell in love with Whyborne & Griffin from the very beginning.

Since I have read (or listened to) all of the books in the series it is difficult for me to judge if this book would work as a stand alone. I think it would be an okay stand alone - I don't think the listener would be completely lost as far as the plot of this book, though to be sure it features characters and makes mention of plots from earlier books - so would be best read as a part of the series as a whole.

I was all on board for the first handful of books in the series, but around book 5 I started to get a little nervous. Every time a new book comes out in this series I am both excited, but also anxious. Just by the nature of it being a relatively long running series, it is bound to either get repetitive or ridiculous as the jeopardy continues to inflate, by necessity, to retain the tension and reader interest. I live in dread of the volume where it finally completely jumps the shark.

Not yet. In fact, while I've only rated the story in the last couple of books with 4's (I liked them a lot, but they fell short of the first few that I totally loved), this one gets another 5 from me. It feels like it has returned a bit to the flavor of those earlier stories, and I was completely happy and satisfied at the end of this book. I will undoubtedly continue to look forward to future volumes with the same bit of trepidation - but I will also absolutely keep buying them.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Short Stay

  • Love Lessons, Book 4
  • By: Heidi Cullinan
  • Narrated by: Iggy Toma
  • Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94

Baz Acker and Elijah Prince have it all. They're engaged, and their wedding is guaranteed to be a spectacle no event will ever top. So why are they hunkered down in a quiet corner of the Acker mansion, restless and edgy while they wait out the holidays?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved catching up with the guys!

  • By Morgan A Skye on 11-02-16

Perfection. Is what I wanted Lonely Hearts to be.

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

This short could absolutely be enjoyed as a stand-alone - will be more enjoyed as book for in the Love Lessons Series, and will be most enjoyed by those who have read both the Love Lessons and Special Delivery series up to here. It revisits a number of characters from both series in a fantastic way.

I like the handling of both Elijah and Baz's issue's and that we see. I actually love that we get some insight into the struggles that all of the couples might still be facing - and the happiness and hope that are instilled by the simple knowledge that they are facing those struggles together, in all of their unique and sometimes messed up ways.

I want to be invited to Vegas for the anniversary party. I'll bring party favors and a red light. :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Aden

  • By: AC Katt
  • Narrated by: Jeff Griffin
  • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

Aden, a handsome young nurse, is destitute after his new boyfriend rumbles away in his semi with everything Aden owns in the back. He has no money, no clothes, and no car. Nothing. Maybe his boyfriend really didn't intend to take him to California to live happily ever after.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A truly wonderful story.

  • By MotherWhoLovesGayRomance on 02-14-16

Formulaic and a bit melodramatic

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

Reviewed: 10-30-16

I was okay with this book - it wasn't anything amazing or awful - it just kind of is what it is. The story-line is incredibly formulaic, the characters are pretty two-dimensional, with a clear effort by the author to keep them from being that. I have some real trouble with the wounded soul/survivor who is also so naive as to be painful nature of Aden's character, and I think that much of the dialog borders on hysterical (and not in the ha-ha I can't stop laughing way).

If you are in the mood for an old-school harlequin romance featuring two men instead of the traditional het couples of the books they churned out in the 70's and 80's then this book might fit the mood.

  • Wild Pitch

  • Homeruns, Book 1
  • By: Sloan Johnson
  • Narrated by: Christopher Rain
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 116
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 104

There's never been any question in Sean Tucker's mind that he'd do whatever it took to make it to the major leagues and be one of the best pitchers of his time. The day he acknowledged to himself that he was gay was also the day he vowed to stay in the closet in order to chase his dreams. The problem is, he never counted on Mason Atley.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Horrible narration!

  • By Gordon on 11-09-15

Decent story - Bad Narration

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

Reviewed: 01-04-16

It wasn't a terribly original story, but was sweet and well told. I liked the characters enough to give it an overall favorable review and overlook the fact that I've basically read this story before.

This narrator has potential, but didn't hit it on this book. This was not the worst narration I've ever heard and I did listen to the whole book. (I've been known to quit after a chapter with a few bad narrations.) He has a nice enough voice, *bad* female voices though. His pacing/timing was off though and yes, many many mispronunciations - for me the worst was wrought as in wrought iron. I don't know what he said but it definitely wasn't wrought. I can forgive or overlook one or two stalls in pacing or strange pronunciations but this book was SO full of them I don't know that I will be able to listen to it a second time, even though I liked the story well enough. I hope if Christopher Rain is to continue as a regular narrator that he learns as he goes. I'd give him a second chance, but probably not a third unless things improve.

Wish I'd waited for it to be on sale or available through the lending library.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful