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ButtonsMom2003

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  • The Gentleman and the Lamplighter: A Short Story

  • By: Summer Devon
  • Narrated by: Mark James
  • Length: 2 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Destroyed by the death of his former schoolmate yet unable to show it publicly, Giles Fullerton has taken to walking the streets of London in the middle of the night, the only time he can safely mourn the only person he's ever loved - until one chance meeting with a lamplighter changes everything.... Widower John Banks knows a thing or two about grief, and immediately recognizes a kindred spirit when he finally meets the gentleman he's admired from afar. And in fact, the two men discover shared passions and the possibility of a forever love - if they can overcome social taboos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lovely historical novella.

  • By Vania on 01-12-19

Great story, fantastic narration!

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

The Gentleman and the Lamplighter is a wonderful short story about two young men from very different classes finding each other. Both of them have lost someone close to them. The blurb is fantastic so give it a read. This is the first book I've read by Summer Devon but I have several others in both my ebook and audiobook libraries. I need to move them up higher on my TBR list. 😊

I could feel the emotions in the writing and in the fantastic narration by Mark James. After listening to this I tried very hard to find other audiobooks performed by him and was unable to find any. If this is indeed his first audiobook, what a fantastic way to begin.

I can be pretty critical of narrators. I've listened to a number of them, both male and female, where the phrasing and vocal inflections for the text being read were off, and therefore distracting to me as a listener. There was none of that in this book. I could see myself listening to this one again when I need something short and soothing to listen to.

Listening to The Gentleman and the Lamplighter was absolutely a great way to spend a couple of hours.

A review copy of this audiobook was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Charlie's Rainbow

  • Rainbow Key, Book 2
  • By: Victoria Sue
  • Narrated by: Darcy Stark
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Eventually being diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder as a child, "difficult" didn’t even begin to describe the nightmare of Charlie’s life. Escaping the drug-induced limbo he existed in and running from his alcoholic mother and despotic grandfather, he finally finds some peace and a home on Rainbow Key. Noah is also running, even if he doesn’t realize it, and the guilt he feels over his brother’s suicide chases him no matter where he goes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great audiobook from Victoria Sue & Darcy Stark

  • By ButtonsMom2003 on 01-07-19

A great audiobook from Victoria Sue & Darcy Stark

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

I read and reviewed Charlie's Rainbow when it was first released in April 2018 and now I've had the opportunity to listen to it, the second story in the Rainbow Key series; once again performed by Darcy Stark. The right narrator/performer can make such a difference in my enjoyment of an audiobook and Darcy Stark has nailed this one just like he did Joshua's Rainbow. Everything about his voice was perfect for this story. He truly brought the characters back to life for me.

I'm not a re-reader of books as there are just too many great books in my TBR list for me to take time to re-read something – even if I loved it. However, listening to a book I've already read is a different story. I'm always eager to see how the narrator interprets the different characters. I thought by listening to a book I'd already read that I would be able to listen with half and ear – and that is the case with some books, but not with this one. Darcy's voice was so compelling I found myself just as engrossed in the story as I was when I first read it.

What follows is my original review of the book when it was first published:

Charlie's Rainbow is the second book in the Rainbow Key series. It can be read as a standalone, but I believe you will enjoy it much more if you read book one, Joshua's Rainbow, first. Characters from that book appear in this one and I think knowing their backstory will really enhance your enjoyment of Charlie's Rainbow.

My heart hurt for Charlie. He had a terrible childhood and the problems he still has don't make life easy. But – Charlie is a survivor! He's been living on Rainbow Key for two years; it's his home and the other residents of the island are his family.

After Noah's fiancé, Michael, left him standing at the alter with a church full of Michael's friends, Noah decides to go on with the honeymoon he planned on Rainbow Key. He is puzzled by Charlie's reaction to him – he won't shake his hand and backs away if they get too close to each other. He suspects that Charlie is homophobic, and/or prejudiced against people of color, but neither of these things is true.

Both of these characters have secrets they are keeping from each other but Charlie's is a doozy and he's sure that it will turn Noah away. Charlie's Rainbow touched my heart on so many levels. Charlie's reactive attachment disorder has made his life difficult and he doesn't think he'll ever find a man that can love him the way he is. While it was hard to read parts of this story (made me very emotional) it was so rewarding to know that these two guys finally get their HEA. I hope we see more bits of them in future stories.

A review copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Dance for Two

  • By: Colette Davison
  • Narrated by: Neil Macfarlane
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Adam and Luc used to be close. At least they were before Luc distanced himself from Adam at 14, then eventually left home. Adam never got over the sting of betrayal, or the loss of his one-time best friend. When Luc is invited back home to help get his parents' failing dance school back on track, Adam isn't sure he can cope with having his stepbrother back in his life. Especially when he discovers Luc's decade-old secret. Luc left home because he was sure no one would understand that he had fallen in love with his stepbrother.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narration definitely made the story better

  • By R Keebler on 12-19-18

A good story but…

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

This is the first book I've read by Colette Davison and the first audiobook by narrator Neil Macfarlane. I did enjoy this story but I had a couple of issues with it.

I knew that this was a "stepbrother" story when I agreed to listen to and review it. I have no problem with pseudo-incest stories – the two MC's do not share a blood relationship – but what does bother me is when the relationship is beat to death during the story.

Luc has been in love with his stepbrother since they were teens and left home because he didn't want the constant temptation of being around someone he couldn't have in the way that he wanted. Adam was crushed when Luc started ignoring him and hanging out with a crowd that ridiculed him for being a dancer. He is shocked to finally find out the real reason that Luc left home.

Here's why I was bothered and what diminished my enjoyment of an otherwise good story… After Adam gets on board and decides he retuns Luc's feelings I hated how they still kept referring to each other as brothers and/or stepbrothers while at the same time insisting that there was nothing wrong with their relationship. Pseudo-incest stories can be really hot and fun reads but I really don't like it when the "taboo" relationship is beat to death.

Now that I've gotten all of that out of the way I want to say that I did still enjoy listening to this audiobook. Neil Macfarlane has a pleasant voice and I think he did a good job voicing the different characters in this story. His performance helped to make up for how I felt about the characters repeatedly calling themselves brothers after they began an intimate relationship.

An advanced copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  • Upending Tad Bundle: Volumes 1, 2, 3

  • Upending Tad: A Journey of Erotic Discovery
  • By: Kora Knight
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

Volumes one, two, and three of the Upending Tad series. In Loser Takes All, Tad's weekend starts out like any other; hitting a college frat party with a handful of buddies. But just as the evening hits its peak, things get up-ended fast. Ditched by his drunken, trolling friends, Tad winds up getting hustled by three jocks playing poker. Now, he's forced to pay his dues in the most outlandish of ways by spending an hour with his victors' favorite flogger, Scott.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • hot as hell

  • By Rebecca Azizov on 05-06-18

This maybe the hottest book I've ever listened to!

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

Reviewed: 12-31-18

I will read just about any kind of romance – from sweet to smut and everything in between – and I've read a lot of hot-as-fire books, but I don't think I've ever listened to an audio book that was as hot as Up-Ending Tad. Michael Pauley was the perfect voice performer for this series.

I received a complimentary code for this audiobook from the author with the expectation that I would review it. What I didn't expect was that as soon as I finished this first bundle, I immediately purchased the second without waiting to see if a complimentary copy was available – that's how much I loved this story.

Please read the synopsis for the book shown above; it explains the story way better than I can. Up-Ending Tad is is classified as erotica on Amazon but it looks like they don't have an erotic romance category under the LGBT section. While this story is very erotic in content, I also see the developing relationship between Tad and Scott as pretty romantic. This first bundle of books doesn't exactly end on a cliffhanger – no huge event that leaves you dangling – but you will definitely want to read more about Tad and Scott's journey.

Tad has always considered himself straight so he is perplexed and somewhat dismayed by his feelings for Scott. He got turned on so hard (pun not really intended 😊) during their first encounter and it really confused him. I think maybe Scott was a little surprised by his feelings for Tad as well.

The two of them begin to develop a friendship of sorts but neither can resist the sexual pull that exists between them. Tad stays away from Scott not sure how to handle the feelings he's having. But then Scott seeks him out and he can't say no to hanging out. That night turns into the hottest experience of Tad's life when Scott's roommate, a Dom named Max, invites them to watch a session he is having with one of his subs.

While I've started listening to the second bundle of stories, life intervened and I haven't finished it yet. What I have listened to so far is every bit as hot as the first bundle and I can't wait to finish listening to it.

A review copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  • Go Your Own Way

  • The Parker Sisters, Book 5
  • By: Lorhainne Eckhart
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Conlon
  • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

Dealing with the fallout of a costly mistake that has divided the Parker family, Scarlett sets her mind to going her own way, with big plans for her life that don’t include living the same one as her sisters or having anything to do with her father’s ranch. That is until one day, she meets a man who is everything she is not. A man who belongs to no one and turns the tables on Scarlett. She is suddenly the one who is forced to face her hidden fears and the one being tamed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scarlett has finally grown up.

  • By ButtonsMom2003 on 12-31-18

Scarlett has finally grown up.

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

Reviewed: 12-31-18

The Parker Sisters has been a fantastic series and Go Your Own Way is one of my favorites. The stories in the series could probably stand alone but I think you will enjoy them much more if you read them in order.

About the narration: This is my third audiobook performed by Mary Jane Conlon; I really love her voice. She doesn't just read the story, she performs it. Her different voices are great and the inflections she gives to the text are right on point. I tend to be hard on female narrators as I usually find their voices just not as pleasing to my ear as a male voice. Mary Jane Conlon is one of the three or four exceptions for me so far.

About the story: Scarlett has done a lot of things to alienate her sisters and give her parents cause to worry about her (you learn about these in the earlier books). In Go Your Own Way she finally realizes the mistakes she's made and we learn more about what her motivations were and how remorseful she is.

She's determined to finally get her driver's license after failing the test more than a couple of times. Her new instructor, Emmett, turns out to be a really hot professional race car driver who purchased the driving school as an investment at a bargain price. The office of the driving school is a mess and Emmett hires Scarlett to bring order to things.

Go Your Own Way is a story with a lot of depth to it. Scarlett needs to repair the damage done to her relationship with her family. Emmett has some personal things happening that cause a rift in their budding relationship. These are just a couple of the things that kept this story interesting.

One of my favorite things about this series is that the books are quick reads/listens; just perfect for an evening's entertainment. Ms. Eckhart does a great job with this length of book and I look forward to reading or listening to more of her work.

A free copy of this audiobook was provided to me by the author but my review is voluntary and not influenced by the author.

  • Welcome to My Arms

  • The Friessens, Book 17 (The Friessen Legacy)
  • By: Lorhainne Eckhart
  • Narrated by: Lili Dubuque
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

Everyone in Columbia Falls, Montana, believes Chelsea Friessen is a spoiled princess who is more trouble than she’s worth. They’d be wrong though, considering that tale was spun by a scorned high school crush and two years later is still the first impression everyone has of her. But then she meets a man whose personality is as arrogant as he is drop-dead gorgeous; if Chelsea was in her right mind, she should have been running away from him. The only problem is that this badass stranger walked into her life knowing he saved her from humiliation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So romantic, such an alpha male hero.

  • By ButtonsMom2003 on 12-30-18

So romantic, such an alpha male hero.

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

If you love a good strong, alpha male hero with a good HEA you should love Welcome to My Arms, the latest audiobook from Lorhainne Eckhart, performed by Lili Dubuque.

Chelsea Friessen is being harassed by an ex-boyfriend. When he tries to humiliate her a knight in shining armor steps up and saves the day by taking her in his arms and kissing the stuffing out of her and then immediately addressing her as his fiancé. This is just the beginning of the alpha male tendencies shown by Alaric (Ric) Taft.

It's a whirlwind romance that Chelsea's parents aren't happy about but as they learn more about what happened with the ex-boyfriend and how Ric helped Chelsea they almost begin to soften. Chelsea sees in Ric the same things she sees in her father; she just never thought she'd ever find anyone like him to love her.

There's really quite a lot going on in the story. Ric's father has ties to the mafia which does anything but endear him to Chelsea's parents. Chelsea is also keeping a secret from everyone about what really happened between her and her ex-boyfriend. When that secret finally comes out her father goes ballistic.

Reader's who don't care for insta-love type stories may not like this one but I know real-life couples who fell in love in less than a week and remained married until one of them passed away so this kind of story doesn't bother me at all.

This is the second book I've listened to performed by Lili Dubuque and I really loved listening to her voice. Her smooth, lilting tones were very soothing and calming and helped make the time I had to spend doing chores must less tedious.

All of the books in The Friessens series are great romantic stories and Welcome to My Arms is no exception. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

I received a free Audible code from the author but this review was voluntary and not influenced by the free gift.

  • His Best Man

  • Accidental Roots, Book 7
  • By: Elle Keaton
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Santasier
  • Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Rod Beton and Travis Walker have known each other almost all their lives; since the third grade, when Rod was the new kid in town and Travis befriended him with Pokémon trading cards and a fruit snack. Apparently Rod’s easy. Since that day, they've had each other's backs. Along the way, Rod fell in love with Travis. He's been hoping for some kind of signal from Travis that he returns Rod's feelings. When Travis announces his surprise engagement over Thanksgiving dinner, Rod decides he's done waiting for the impossible. He packs his belongings and heads for Skagit and a new life. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I'm conflicted.

  • By HockeyfanT on 12-30-18

Best friends to lovers - one of my favorite tropes

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

Reviewed: 12-26-18

I've read most of the books in the Accidental Roots series and I loved all of them. His Best Man is book 7 and the first audiobook that the author has released in this series. It totally stands alone with no problem so don't be afraid to jump right in and listen to or read it.

Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes; another is second chance. His Best Man definitely is a friends-to-lovers story and it also kind of fits as a second chance story.

Rod has been in love with his best friend for a long time but never told him. I guess I can kind of understand this; fear of rejection is a big thing for most people I know. Travis doesn't admit to the feelings he has for Rod until Rod has left town and then he is jolted into admitting his feelings. A case of you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone.

Travis is expected to take over his family's business but he's afraid to tell his parents that he doesn't want to. Travis's mom is a total witch and doesn't like Rod because he's gay and this is partly why Travis hasn't come out to them as bi. When something unexpected happens, Travis goes to Rod and they finally get to begin their journey to their HEA.

The story really captured my attention and I also enjoyed the narrator's performance. It's the first audiobook I've listened to by Nicholas Santasier and I think he did a pretty good job. His voice is fairly crisp and pleasant to listen to.

His Best Man is another great addition to the Accidental Roots series.

A complimentary copy of this audio book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  • What We Can't Have

  • The Parker Sisters, Book 4
  • By: Lorhainne Eckhart
  • Narrated by: Teri Clark Linden
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

Seventeen-year-old Mason Parker has been keeping a secret from her family about the boy next door. And after a chance encounter, the timing all wrong, Mason and Justin are faced with a dilemma, considering being together could end up dividing two families.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great book in the Parker Sisters series.

  • By ButtonsMom2003 on 12-25-18

Another great book in the Parker Sisters series.

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

Reviewed: 12-25-18

What We Can't Have is the fourth book in the Parker Sisters series. You could probably read this without reading the others first, but I think you'll enjoy them more if you read the series in order.

Once again, Teri Clark Linden has given another fantastic performance. She really does a wonderful job and made listening to this story captivating. I'm really picky about female narrators and she is one of the good ones.

This story is about Mason, the youngest Parker sister. She's the smart one and has enough credits to finish high school early; a fact that she's kept from her family. Her sister Scarlett has been horrible to her lately, especially after a man Scarlett was interested in shows an interest in seventeen-year-old Mason.

Justin rides broncs in the rodeo and when he sees Mason and Scarlett together watching him ride, he only has eyes for Mason. Mason and Justin soon find out that they are neighbors and that there is bad blood between their families; Justin's dad wants to buy the land that Mason's family owns.

I don't want to give too much of the story away but there is a lot of hostility in this one as differences between Mason, Scarlett and the rest of the Parkers escalate. Justin is firmly in Mason's corner but the way he and Mason handle things definitely didn't help keep harmony in the family.

This story has a HFN (happy for now) but I hope we hear more from Mason and Justin in the remaining books in this series.

A copy of this audiobook was provided to me at no cost but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

  • It Was Always You: The Friessens

  • The Friessen Legacy, Book 15
  • By: Lorhainne Eckhart
  • Narrated by: Lili Dubuque
  • Length: 4 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Katy and Steven were the loves of each other’s lives until a tragedy and the fallout of Steven’s injuries drove the couple apart. They share a son, but Katy and Steven have moved on with their lives, dating other people, and neither has seen the other in five long years. But when Steven comes knocking on Katy’s parents’ door after learning she’s back in town, Katy is forced to face her estranged husband and the love that broke her heart, and his intentions regarding their all-but-over marriage are soon made very clear.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

  • By Peni A on 12-02-18

A great addition to the series, more Katy & Steven

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

Reviewed: 12-17-18

It Was Always You is another story in The Friessens saga that focuses on Katy and Steven. Their story began in First Love, on of the first books I read by Ms. Eckhart. They are also the main couple in Family First and Leave the Light On. You don't really need to have read those books to enjoy It Was Always You but I would recommend it if you like reading series in order.

Steven and Katy were so young and in love in First Love but then things got difficult for them after Steven was severely injured. They've been apart for sometime now and need to finally settle things between them.

Steven wants Katy to sign the divorce papers he's had for more than a year. Katy wants to take their son (who has been staying with her parents) back to live with her where she's started a new career. Needless to say, things don't go too well.

This story is a bit longer than some of the others I've read in this series and it has a lot of depth to it. Once I started listening to it, I couldn't stop and finished it in one day.

This is the first book I've listened to by Lili Dubuque and I really enjoyed her voice. One small thing kept me from giving her 5 stars (I'm pretty picky about audiobooks). There were several places where the inflection in her voice was off for the text that was being read. It's hard to explain in this review and it wasn't enough of a problem to keep me from loving this story. I wouldn't mind listening to additional books narrated by her.

I am really looking forward to more audiobooks in this series.

I received a free Audible code from the author but this review was voluntary and not influenced by the free gift.

  • Chez Stinky

  • An Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy, Book 1
  • By: Susan C. Daffron
  • Narrated by: Pam Dougherty
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

Kat Stevens is a slightly insecure, mostly bored technical writer who likes her cat a lot more than her boss. She hasn't laid eyes on her great aunt Abigail since she was eight, so she's stumped when she inherits Abigail's house in the small hamlet of Alpine Grove. Kat's uncomplicated life gets decidedly less so when she discovers the inheritance comes with some hairy conditions: four dogs and five cats that her aunt wanted her to love as her own. Of course, the house smells like a barn - with a touch of antique skunk - and, naturally, has serious roof issues.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Lylian on 12-30-18

This was a fun book to listen to.

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

Chez Stinky is the first book I've read by Susan C. Daffron and I've had the Kindle version in my library for quite some time. I have to admit that the main reason I requested an Audible review copy was because I love Pam Dougherty's audio performances. I've listened to three other audiobooks she's done and absolutely loved all of them. Her voice is so easy and pleasant to listen to and the various inflections and tones she uses really enhance my listening experience.

As for the story, it was really cute and funny. I liked the characters and I love books with rescue animals (these critters weren't exactly rescues but I loved them just the same). This is a very clean romance with only fade-to-black/behind closed doors sex, very few damns/hells and not one f-word.

The only somewhat negative comment I have is that I felt the book ended too abruptly. There is a nice epilogue but that still didn't really make up for how abruptly things ended in the last chapter. The story had a lot of build up for various things happening and the one major thing kind of just ended. Chez Stinky is part of a series, although reads as a standalone, so perhaps Kat and Joel will show up again in another book.

I would read more from this author and I will definitely listen to more books performed by Pam Dougherty.

An audio review copy was provided to me at my request but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.