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Debbie Attenborough

Nottingham UK
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  • Beneath This Mask

  • Enhanced World, Book 3
  • By: Victoria Sue
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

Gael Peterson has spent years hiding behind the enhanced abilities he wears like a mask, even though he is an important, confident member of the FBI’s exclusive H.E.R.O. team. In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on his regular new partner to have his back, especially when the abilities of a vulnerable, nonspeaking, enhanced child make that child a murder suspect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome book!

  • By Lisa Guertin on 06-27-18

Russo's narration broke me!

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my AUDIO copy of this book.

This is book three in the Enhanced Series. I wouldn't say it was necessary for you to have read books one and two, but it might give you a better reading experience. It would also give you a a better experience of these men, and just what being Enhanced means.

Gael doesn't want a regular human partner, especially not one from the task force they have all come to hate. But Jake is different, he's not got that inbuilt hatred the others seem to have. When Jake and Gael come across a non-verbal Enhanced child, who later becomes a murder suspect, Gael has to put his feelings aside, even if they threaten to be his very undoing.

Oh Gael, Gael, Gael! My heart bled for this man, it really did! He's in a whole lotta pain, and he hides it from the others in his team, who are his family too. But Jake?? Jake sees, really SEES Gael, and Gael isn't entirely sure he wants to be seen.

While there is the murders of the Enhanced as the back story, what I particularly loved about this one, was the emotions involved between Gael and Jake. With the emotions involved with turning, and the aftemath of that. Gael's history wasn't the best before that point, but it became a whole lot worse after. Jake has his own demons, and when Gael finds out what that is, he lashes out, quite LITERALLY. But he does come around, once the awful truth becomes clear.

It's not as explicit as books one and two, but it doesn't need to be. I did find it a little more graphic, though, but I think that really IS needed.

When Gael is caught by the one doing the murders ( I knew! I knew when that person first showed up, I KNEW they were no good, that something bad would happen!) his feeling for Jake, his own abilities are used against him, and Gael has to trust the guys find him in time. And after that, when Gael pulls away from Jake?? That boy pulls out all the stops to make Gael SEE Jake, he really does. That Jake wants a family with Gael, and all who come along too. And I cried then, great heart wrecking sobs, because it's such a beautiful scene!

We are introduced to Sam, AKA Angel, who pushes ALL of Vance's buttons and then some! Can't wait for their story, really can't. But I'll wait for the audio, don't wanna flip between reading and listening.

Again, Nick J Russo narrates. This above mentioned scene? When Jake makes Gael SEE Jake?? I have no doubts, none at all, that it's the way that scene was deliver by Russo, his NARRATION, that wrecked me! Reading would not have had the same impact, not for me, anyway. Russo KILLS it, he absolutely does.

His voices are clear and consistent across all three books, he has a way of getting so much emotions across, that really is beyond compare. I love his narration, so please keep them coming!

5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Who We Truly Are

  • Enhanced, Book 2
  • By: Victoria Sue
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144

Talon’s deadly abilities are spiraling out of control. Desperate to keep Finn safe, Talon struggles to protect the man he loves with all his heart and not become the greatest risk to Finn’s life. Finn has no choice but to offer himself as bait for the evil forces kidnapping enhanced children, facing danger he is untrained and unprepared for, and he will have to do it alone. Does Talon have one last fight in him?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this series

  • By Jessica on 02-03-18

wanted to punch Talon so bad!

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

Reviewed: 10-26-18

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO copy of this book.

This is book two in the Enhanced Series, and you really SHOULD read or listen to book one, Five Minutes Longer, before you start this one. It's a continuation of Talon and Finn's tale, and not all is repeated here.

Talon and Finn are partners in all ways, it's just not common knowledge. When Finn is sent undercover to try to locate the missing Enhanced children, Talon has to dig deep within himself to let Finn do his job, and then for Talon to do his, when Finn turns up missing too.

For most of this book, I wanted to punch Talon in the face so bloody hard!! He's such an idiot when it comes to Finn doing his job, he really is! I get he cares for Finn, very much so, but Finn came into Talon's world as his WORK partner, and that has to be front and centre. But no, Talon's reaction to Finn going undercover is to bury his head in the sand, and ignore Finn. So much so, Finn thinks to leave Florida and find himself some who really appreciates him.

But in Talon's defense, he is dealing with his ever increasing powers, taking on the powers of the other team members, and it does take its toll on him.

I found this one a little more explicit than book one, as Talon and Finn's physical relationship seems to be the outlet for their work situations frustration, for BOTH of them. No complaining, min, no ma'am not at all! Even though I wanted to punch Talon, he does somewhat redeem himself when they get home!

The missing children has *some* conclusion, but there are still some unanswered questions. We meet some new people, both Enhanced and regular.

When Talon finally gets his head out his ass, and *literally* explodes, it's Finn that brings him back from the brink. Finn's words said to him, that words Talon longed to hear, and indeed say, manage to clear his mind and focus in time to save them both.

Nick J Russo again narrates. I love his narration again. His voices are clear, and consistent across both books, and I have no trouble following multi person conversations. His reading voice is deep and even, making it such an easy listen!

Russo gets all of Finn's emotions when Talon almost blanks him, and I felt for Finn, I really did. Listening to a book is such a different experience to reading, and the narrator makes listening to this book such a pleasure.

Of course, a narrator can ONLY reads the words he's given and if Victoria Sue continues to write about these guys, I'm gonna be listening! (I don't like to flip between listening and reading in a series, I find I lose something if I do!)

Off to listen to book three, Beneath The Mask. I've a feeling Gael is in a world of hurt and the guys don't really know how deep it goes!

5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Five Minutes Longer

  • By: Victoria Sue
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307

Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency. Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Nick J. Russo doesn't disappoint.

  • By Belen on 10-06-17

different, very different but brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book.

Some 30 years ago, children began waking up with a mark on their faces and enhanced abilities: speed, strength, mental abilities. Talon, now given the job of setting up a human/enhanced task force within the FBI, was one of the first. He doesn't want to work with normals on his team, but this task force is his, and the other enhanced team members, last chance at becoming a useful member of society, not just a mark on his face. Finn wanted to join the FBI forever, and worked hard to get to apply, but he is not accepted. Instead he gets a cryptic phone and flies to Florida, and finds himself face to face with several huge enhanced, one of whom makes Finn want that boyfriend he never had. They have four weeks to make this team work, do or, quite possibly, die.

Oooooo-eeeee! Loved this! Different, very different and different is always good in my book!

The guys on the team really don't want Finn around, but know they gotta put up with him, at least for a little bit, but he grows on them, Talon especially but Talon fights that attraction all the bloody way, and when he finally gives up the fight?? Oh yes ma'am, that boy falls hard and he falls FAST! And when Finn gets caught in the cross fire at a bank robbery?? Talon goes all MAJOR Alpha-Male- Protect-What's-Mine!

I loved that not everything is fully revealed about the guys abilities, I think there is quite a bit more to come!

Nick J Russo narrates and he does a sterling job! He's a firm favourite of mine, and each and every time I listen to his work, it becomes my NEW favourite!

Russo's voices are clear and distinctive, even in multi person conversations. He reading voice is deep and even and I had no trouble, not at all, keeping up.

He gets cross all of Finn's emotions and his reactions to the guys, to Talon. His intense dislike of his brother and how his mum was with his dad. Russo gets across all of Talon's fighting, and that boy fights hard, his feelings for Finn, and you get just how much Finn means to him, when he thinks Finn is lost.

This is book one, there appears to be an underlying story arc running through these books, and I look forward to watching that unfold, and to watching these guys fall, like dominoes, one by one.

Off to listen to book 2, which is a continuation of Finn and Talon's story.

5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • The Blueprint

  • By: S.E. Harmon
  • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese, Sean Crisden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199

Kelly Cannon is satisfied with his life. He has friends, a wonderful family, and a great job. But his love life has reached a new level of pitiful. Why? Well, his heart decided to break all the rules. Don't fall in love with a straight guy. And definitely don't fall in love with your best friend. NFL standout Britton "Blue" Montgomery has pressure coming at him from all sides. When Kelly admits he's in love with Blue, bonds are tested, and Blue has to decide what's really important.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Every Gay Guys Dream

  • By Jerry Perdue on 07-21-18

a nice easy listen but for a few niggles

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the audio file of this book. Alexander Cendese and Sean Crisden narrate.

This is a dual narration and it's the first one I've listened to, that is dual narrated, in the male/male genre. I'm struggling to split my review into one for the book and one for the narration, like I usually do, so this is gonna all run into one!

For the most part, I enjoyed the story of Kelly, and his best friend, Blue. Kelly fell in love with Blue a long time ago, and finally admits to Blue how he really feels. Blue is then pushed to make a decision that might ruin his football career.

Had I READ this, I would have found it a nice easy read, told in the first person from both Kelly and Blue's point of view.

But this is an AUDIO review, and here's what I thought of the narration.

Cendese narrates Kelly's chapters. I haven't listened to him before and, while always willing to try new narrators, I'm also a little wary. Cendese nails his narration, though! His voice for Kelly is a little higher, but I didn't mind that (crappy hearing issues!) and his voice is clear and even and he got over all the emotions and feelings very well. I didn't have to struggle to hear what was being said.

Crisden narrates Blue's chapters. I have listened to his work before, and didn't have any trouble with those pieces but here? I found Blue's voice low, like really REALLY low and in some places it dipped way below my hearing range. Not for long, just odd sentences here and there, but enough for me to miss a few things that Blue thought about. I did manage to pick them up as the book moved along but I might not have been able to. So I struggled a bit when Blue had his voice, and it did spoil it slightly for me. I won't write Crisden off, just yet though!

Overall, an enjoyable listen, but I think I might have enjoyed it more reading, rather than listening.

4 stars for the book
4 stars for the narration (but 5 for Cendese and 3 for Crisden)

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • The Veranda

  • Lavender Shores
  • By: Rosalind Abel
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate. A decade later, after a divorce and the crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book; great narrator

  • By J Barry on 06-14-18

loving the narrationof these books from Graves!

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

Reviewed: 08-18-18

Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I was gifted my copy of this book.

When Donovan met Spencer ten years ago, it was on Spencer's engagement to Donovan's sister. All that time, they had feelings for each but they were never acted upon . But when Spencer's marriage fell apart and he finds himself at masquerade sex party, and Donovan is there too, he can't pass up this chance to have him, even if its just once, and Donovan won't know who he is. But Donovan DID know. And he wants more.

This is book three in the Lavender Shores series, but you don't need to have read the first two to follow this. It might help to read book two first though, because Donovan plays a large part I that book. Not necessary, just might help.

I'm loving this series, I really am. They are easy books to read, and that's a good thing, especially for me currently.

They are told from both men's point of view, in the first person and it flips from chapter to chapter with each change clearly headed. Ya'll know its not my favourite way for a book to be written, but I knew that after book one they would be this way, and I think that helps massively.

You get each man's reaction to that encounter at the party, each man's attempt to stay away and you get it all in glorious detail when they finally, fully and totally give in to each other.

I love how these books have no major break up in them. They are full of story, and plots and people's reactions, but seriously? Lavender Shores is the best place in the damn world to live! I loved how, while obviously hurt by what Donovan and Spencer do, Erica can see they are happy together and she doesn't keep Spencer's kids from him.

While I am loving the easy reads that these books really are, I find myself waiting.....waiting.....waiting.....for that one in the series that has a bit more bite, is a bit more heart wrenching, gut churning, emotionally devastating. One book to tip it over the edge and give it those full five stars. It will be either one alike that, or one that is far too stinking cute and warm and fuzzies all at the same time, that tips it over! But I have no doubt, there will be a five star book in this series, I just gotta bide my time.

An extremely well written, well delivered, well needed...

4 stars

AUDIO Review.

Kirt Graves continues to narrate this series, and he really is growing on me!

His voices for Donovan and Spencer were similar, but just different enough for me, with my crappy hearing, to make out the difference if I had left it off, mid chapter.

He continues to portray much more than I got through reading, and that is only a reflection on his skill, rather than the book. I love the emotion that Graves gets across, that, while reading, you might not pick up. The WORDS are all there, but HEARING them makes it much more real.

His voices for the other guys who have appeared in the series remain consistent throughout, and I love reconnecting with them, each and every time they pop up.

I hope to get the opportunity to listen to the other books, too. Some cracking books in this series, and I CANNOT wait to see how Graves gets them across.

Upgrading the book form 4 to 5 stars, simply because of Graves narration.

5 star book,
5 star narration
5 stars overall

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • The Supers

  • Dreamspun Beyond, Book 6
  • By: Sean Michael
  • Narrated by: Kenneth Obi
  • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group, the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job. Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along. Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building, an abandoned hospital, together. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon, it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • GREAT book, good narration

  • By Debbie Attenborough on 05-14-18

GREAT book, good narration

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

Reviewed: 05-14-18

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book.

Flynn joins Blaine's paranormal research group, and they visit an abandoned hospital. Things get real creepy and the guys are faced with a possession, a haunting a tragic love story and a twist I did not see coming!

Another one of those books that kinda creeps up on ya and you have no idea, not a single clue about how its all gonna go down!

While there is immediate attraction between Blaine and Flynn, it takes a while for them to act on it.

The story of Room 204 builds at an even pace and there were points where I had to rewind, and double check that Blaine had in fact, called Flynn David. The story of Room 204 (that's how I heard it, with a capital R, if that makes sense!) did not play out how I was expecting it to!

It's a little . . . fluffier. . . than other books I've read of Michael (Three Wishes) but it is a DreamSpun Beyond and they are generally so. Just enough heat and passion between Blaine and Flynn to keep the heat level high, but not scorching. Right for this book.

Kenneth Obi narrates.

Mostly, I enjoyed Obi's narration. His reading voice is clear and deep and he got over the emotions of Blaine and Flynn in all the right ways, in all the right places.

His voice for the 204 ghost comes across as really REALLY nasty in some places, though, and that is probably why I did not see that ending coming at me.I thought the ghost was going to be a bit more vengeful.

And the voices Obi gives to Blaine and Flynn are far too similar for my crappy hearing to make out the difference between them, so I struggled a bit keeping up with conversations between them

BUT!!! I will give Obi another go, as this is the first of his work I listened to.

5 stars for the book
4 stars for the narration
4.5 (rounded down to 4) overall

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Unlikely Hero

  • By: Sean Michael
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gelder
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

When his three-year-old daughter is kidnapped, Eric Wilson doesn't have many options, and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out to his ex, influential businessman Brock Vencenza, whose money and contacts might be able to save Josie. Brock never got over Eric's loss, and he's more than willing to help when Eric needs him most. Together with law enforcement and private security, they embark on a twisting investigation to find the little girl - and who wants to hurt her and destroy both men in the process.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • excellent narration of a great book.

  • By Debbie Attenborough on 05-14-18

excellent narration of a great book.

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

Reviewed: 05-14-18

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the audio version of this book.

Brock never got over Eric leaving him, but he understood why Eric needed to go. When Eric calls, 9 years later, Brock drops everything and calls upon his considerable resources to find Eric's 3 year old daughter , who has been kidnapped. But having Eric and Josie under his roof, to keep them safe, has Brock thinking about all the things he missed out on.

I loved this!!

Brock loved Eric, never stopped so of course he's gonna help him find his daughter! I loved that, right from Eric turning up at his office, Brock is calling him baby. I don;'t usually, so it surprised me here that I did love it! I think it surprised Brock too, the first time he did it!

Brock makes no apologies for his wealth and power and he pulls no punches in using both to keep Eric and Josie safe, and in finding out who is doing this.

But we don't get Eric, at all. This is told entirely from Brock's POV in the third person. And I really REALLY needed to hear from Eric at key points along the way: when Josie is first discovered gone; when he walks into Brock's office and when he finds out just who is behind it all. This is the only reason I gave the book 4 stars, because Eric is not given a voice, and he needed one.

I loved the supporting cast, especially Max and Gordon. They have a tale to tell, not least because of what goes down here!

Jeff Gelder narrates. This is the first, as far as I can see, that I have listened to of his work and I was very impressed. His reading voice is deep and even, and his voices consistent and easily identifiable in multi person conversations. Loved his voice for Josie, who sounded just like a 3 year old should, with all the funny things they say. Gelder gets over all of Brock's emotions in all the right places.

I cannot fault the narration. Gelder is firmly on my to listen list!

4 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration.
4.5 (rounded down to 4) overall.

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Garden

  • Lavender Shores, Book 2
  • By: Rosalind Abel
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54

Beautiful Gilbert Bryant designs jewelry for the rich and famous, and he made his escape from his gossipy little hometown of Lavender Shores. However, with so many friends and family, he keeps getting pulled back. When he attends his best friend’s engagement party, Gilbert can’t help but sample one of the new men in town. It’s just some innocent—or not so innocent—fun. Nothing that will even cross his mind once he gets back to his everyday life. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3.5 Stars

  • By Belen on 01-11-18

4 star book with 5 star narration!

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

Reviewed: 02-28-18

Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted both the ebook and audio file of this book.


This is book two in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. Andrew and Joel from book one take part here, and I loved that, but you don't need their story to follow this one.


Gilbert is in town for Andrew and Joel's engagement party. He fins solace in Walden, the man who catches his eye at the gym. But it will only ever be sex for Gilbert, right? He doesn't do relationships. Neither does Walden, but it creeps up on them both and neither wants to walk, or commit. But they both have a dark past. Can they overcome that??


I said in my review for book one, The Palisade, that I was looking forward to Gilbert's story, and I was not disappointed.


His past, the one he ran from town for, smacks him in the face every time he comes back to town. And he hates being in Lavender Shores for that reason. But he won't let Andrew, his best friend, down. Meeting Walden, and then discovering his profession, and then Gilbert STILL not being able to walk away, is a shock to his system. Walden's past has a darker undertone and one that could well have been a deal breaker but Gilbert is like...and??


I loved how both men fought hard against their feelings! Loved that they battled with their innermost desires and insecurities. Loved that they were able to overcome it all.


Again written in the first person, from both men. Because I KNEW this going in, I was aware and able to set my mind in the right place, cos lord knows, I say it often enough that i don't like first person books!! But because I KNEW that, I really did enjoy it. And you do get a better sense of the person in the first. Not sure I would have got it all from a third person book. huh. Check me out! Might actually be getting over it!


I've filed this on the Over 18 shelf, because there are some darker undertones, and some might find them difficult to read. Nothing is described in great detail, but you are told about them.


I have book three, The Veranda, to read shortly. That is Donovan's book, Gilbert's therapist. I loved their interaction here. I look forward to getting into Donovan's mind!


Creeping up to 4 stars


Audio Review


Kirt Graves continues to narrate this series. And he is growing on me!

He manages to get across things that I miss when reading, the depth of his emotions is powerful and comes across amazingly well. I do find, more and more, I'm enjoying LISTENING to first person books, and that can only be because of the outstanding narration of those books.


Graves voices for Gilbert and Walden are just what I heard in my head (do you do that? hear people talking in your head when you are reading?? ) when I read this book. When Joel and Andrew pop up, the voices are consistent from The Palisade. I had no trouble keeping up with multi person conversations.


When Walden tells Gilbert what he did, Graves manages to pull out all the stops and I cried at that bit! I knew it was coming, of course, but I wasn't prepared for it, actually hearing it in Walden's voice.


I cannot wait to see what Graves does with Donovan and Spencer (book3) but I'm especially keen to get my hands on Lamont and Tyler's story (book4)


4 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
4.5 stars overall


**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • The Palisade

  • Lavender Shores
  • By: Rosalind Abel
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business opportunity and a final stepping stone to the position he's been working toward his entire life. It was supposed to be just one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun. Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so that the only thing missing is someone to share it with.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Romance

  • By Theatre Misfit on 09-16-17

3 good stars, upgraded to 4!

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

Reviewed: 11-19-17

Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.


Heir to a coffee shop empire, Joel is in Lavender Shores to secure a property for their flagship store. Andrew was only supposed to be a bit of fun while in town. But then the overnight stay turns into a weekend, and Joel finds himself in far deeper with Andrew than he ever imagined could be; Joel knows when he leaves, and he HAS to leave, it won't only break Andrew's heart, Joel's will be shattered too.


First person, multi point of view is not my most favourite way for a book to be written but I quite liked it here. Didn't love it, but I liked it. It got me a little more into both man's mind.


While It's very clear that Joel is hiding something from Andrew, it's not immediately clear what that is. I liked being kept waiting.


I'm not one for declarations of love so early on, and it happens here. Put me off a little bit, to be honest.


BUT! major points for not shortened Andrew, not at all!


A really easy read, one of those you can fall into, and lose the world around you, and before you know it, you've finished the book and it did not seem like the 200 odd pages listed on Goodreads. A touch long for a usual hangover cure book, but it landed in my queue just at the right time to be classed as one. I've filed it as such.


I have book two to read shortly. I am looking forward to that because there are hints here to what happened to Gilbert, Andrew's best friend. And I want to know more. I'm thinking, from those hints, that book might have a little more bite.


3 GOOD solid stars.

Audio Review.
Kirt Graves narrates this book.

I tried to listen to another of his work and I did not like it. Not because of the narration, that was because of the other book. So I was a little wary going in, but I am so glad I gave him another chance!
I am finding, much to my surprise, I am loving listening to first person/multi point of view books! Strange because I don't usually like to READ books written like that. But I LOVED Graves' narration here!
His voices for Andrew and Joel were clearly different, and each chapter was told in the respective voice required. Graves reading voice is deep and even, and other voices are clearly defined, and I had no trouble following multi person conversations. He managed to get across all the emotions that I maybe missed reading. Because I found I enjoyed this book so much more by listening to it!
And because of that, I'm upgrading my original star rating for the book from 3 to 4 stars.
4 stars for the book,
4 stars for the narration
4 stars overall.


**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Unbreak My Heart

  • By: K-lee Klein
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158

Brett Taylor's world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he's starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it's time to move on. They're flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he's doing just fine. He doesn't want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yay!

  • By Anastacia Hess on 07-06-17

so freaking awesome, and such awesome narration!

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

Reviewed: 07-25-17

Any additional comments?

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book.

I usually write a blurby bit but for this one I'm gonna jump straight in, with an apology up front if I gush too much.

So, I went on holiday, and there I am, poolside, listening to this book. Oh, I CANNOT separate the book from the narration, I simply can't!. So, I'm poolside. I'm thinking this is good, I like this. Then I really don't like this, its making me cry! Its making me cheer, and making cry again, and its making sit straight upright, and shout, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! And its making me cry again. And people came up to me, asking if I was okay, cos let me tell ya, I was bawling my bloody eyes at this book!!

Brett's heart break at losing Walt 3 years ago jumps off the page from the very beginning. His battle with himself comes over with every letter and song he wrote after Walt's death. It comes over with every emotion as Nick J. Russo narrates them, and reads the letters and songs. Brett's fight with himself to give in to love again, to let someone else in, after so much heart ache comes at you, in random places along the way, that just breaks your own heart for him!

JT, the kid, has attraction for Brett from the beginning, and I loved that he lets Brett take the time he needs, that JT is so patient with Brett and his yoyo-ing back and forth. Loved how JT himself was so heart broken when Brett found out what JT had done.

As I said, I simply CANNOT split the narration from the story itself. I have no doubt, none at all, had I READ this book, it would still have been a 5 star read, but so much of the emotions can't be portrayed when reading. THAT can only come from a highly skilled narrator, and Russo is such a master at his craft. I have listened to his work before, and loved all of them, but this one has to be my all time favourite.

Its the way Russo reads Klein's work, because, without HER words, Russo wouldn't be able to give over such emotion and heart break, and such joy again, once Brett finally, FINALLY lets JT in.

There is, at the very end of the book, a song Brett writes for JT. I don't usually use bits from books in my reviews, but I felt the need to do it here. These words touched me, possibly more so than the rest of the book, no idea why, but they did, and they NEEDED to be included.

SO I give you...

A Song For The Kid, by K-Lee Klein

One hundred miles from Dallas
On a ranch southwest of town
An old heart battered and broken
Was somehow saved and found

They had nothing much in common
A burnt-out musician and a college boy
One from California
And the other Southern as a belle is coy

But an interfering mama
And an old cowboy with a quiet way
Saw fit to toss them together
And the rest is history as they say

Well, the musician he was stubborn,
Determined his heart would never beat again
But the kid was kind and patient
Didn’t give up on what could have been

I was lucky to find true love once
When I was barely that California boy’s age
Self-condemned to toss my heart and soul
Beside my lover in his dark, lonely grave

But now I understand the meaning
Behind it’s better to have loved and lost
Because there’s room in my heart for my beloved departed
And for the new feelings that kid has caused

So it’s with a hopeful heart and willing spirit
I’m begging for a lot more time
Because there’s nothing as important in my life
Than needing that kid to be mine.

And though I don’t believe in marital bliss
Or in ceremonies trumped up for show
If you’ll take my hand I can promise you
I’ll never let you go

I don’t have a whole lot to offer
Someone with so much potential drive
Just a bare-open, battered heart
And an old guitar with a long-ago country vibe
But I can vow to love you
With every inch of my soul
With this bandaged heart
And just one important goal

Please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night

I wanna make you feel as loved
As the warmth I have inside
I wanna hold you so close to me
Our hearts beating side by side

I promise to love and honor
And try to see things your way
I promise, Darlin’, to love you
Forever and a day

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
’Cause without you I’m cold
I’m shut down and alone
I can’t seem to function
And my heart turns to stone

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
I’ll hold back the sun
Or steal the moon from the sky
I’ll sail you round the world
And together we’ll fly

So will you be my partner?
Will you be the love at my side?
Will you be the one I turn to all day?
Will you be the one I hold at night?
I love you, kid, with all my heart
From morning to night, from dusk to dawn
All I need is a chance
For our hearts to become one
Let me show you how much love
You make me feel every day
I’m completely in love with you, Darlin’
So please—what do ya say?

And FIVE full stars for the book AND the narration. I cannot express who much i freaking loved this book!!!

** same worded review will appear elsewhere**

and now I'm blubbering again, just reading the song words!!

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