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  • Ravensong

  • Green Creek, Book 2
  • By: TJ Klune
  • Narrated by: Kurt Graves
  • Length: 20 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 173
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 169
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 168

Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them. But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within. Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As good as it gets

  • By N Florida on 12-07-18

Sing for me!

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

Reviewed: 01-21-19

Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken. This book is filled with broken bonds, broken promises and broken hearts. I feel for Gordo and everything he lost during his life, the people and the relationships. There was never really and truly someone there for him to put him first. Before the pack, before the alpha, just before. Sure circumstances were what they were, but still Gordo seemed to always end up on the losing side.

Ravensong is not a book that stands on its own in any way, the story started with Wolfsong and is far from over when the book ends and to be able to enjoy it fully you really should start from the beginning. In this book we follow Gordo’s journey from the very start, coming to his powers, becoming part of the Bennett pack, falling in love with Mark and all the losses he had over the years. We follow him, Joe, Carter and Kelly during the three years they were hunting for the man responsible for killing their father and alpha. Mostly it deals with events happening after they’d returned home again.

I think I might have mentioned this a time or two in prior reviews, but I’m a fan of Kirt Grave’s narrations. They just do it for me. He has what I’m always searching for in my audiobooks; the performance. Living in the book, being the characters and feel what they feel. His range of voices is another plus from me. Though some might be a bit similar, but come on this book has so many male characters to fill… you know what, I don’t have a great analogy, but you know what you mean. They are many and they are prominent, so narrating this book all by his lonesome has got to be a challenge and a half and one Graves did admirably at that.

There is a lot of hurt and pain in this book, especially dealing with the past, the beginning, but also dealing with the omegas and everything surrounding them. Kirt Graves dealt with it just perfectly, it came through so clearly in every word. You truly felt the heartbreak Gordo felt throughout his life. The longing for Mark, the conflicted feelings he had towards werewolves and Pack and Alpha. Then intertwined with the hurt were moments with humor that lightened things up a bit. Graves is an awesome choice of narrator for these books.

As I mentioned before, this book has some serious angst and hurt in it. But not to the point where I was sobbing my heart out, it didn't leave me a raw heap of emotion (thank you very much Klune for leaving me my sanity - what little there is of it). It just made me feel. And I felt a lot, a whole range of emotions and I couldn't be happier about it.

This book was 20 some hours of pure awesome and I just can't wait to listen to more from this series, it's truly an epic one.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • Dead to Me

  • Cold Case Psychic, Book 5
  • By: Pandora Pine
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 51

Psychic Tennyson Grimm was kicked out of his house and disowned by his religious parents when he came out to them as gay and psychic. The last thing Tennyson’s father said before the teenager boarded a Greyhound bus to Boston was that his son was dead to him. Flash forward 13 years later: Tennyson couldn’t have been more surprised when he woke to find the newly dead spirit of his father sitting on the end of his bed. David Grimm had one request of his estranged son: Go to Kansas and reunite with his mother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great continuation of this series

  • By Diane on 12-28-18

So many emotions!

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

My poor heart. Or rather poor Tennyson, I can only imagine the pain he's gone through. The opening of this book was pure heartbreak.

"Mom, dad, I'm gay and psychic" Few sentences are as scary to say to your deeply religious parents as this one. As you might have guessed, this book takes us back to when Ten was seventeen, sitting in church and deciding to tell his parent the truth about him, what's he's been hiding for the past few years. To say that they were less than happy is putting it mildly - at least he'd be able to stay until finishing high school, then he was on his own - bus ticket in hand and a ride to the station was all he got. That and the words that he was dead to them. It makes me soo mad that I lack words for it! Isn't a parent’s love supposed to be unconditional?

Fast forward thirteen years to Ten and Ronan as a happy couple, a new puppy to shower them with love, loving friends and a wedding to plan. But that all needs to be put on hold when a spirit comes knocking in the middle of the night. And not just any spirit either - but the one of Ten's recently deceased father. A spirit asking Ten to go back home and help his mother plan the funeral and plan for the future. A mother who's less than thrilled to see Ten and Ronan on her doorstep.

I hated to listen to how Kaye treated her son. That she hadn't mellowed even a little bit over the past decade. You'd think she missed her only child, but the way she verbally attacked him and Ronan and set up rules for them when they were there to help her out really furiated me. Something that I did love though was how Ten and Ronan stood tall through it all. They never faltered, they were strong and together. I just loved to see how far they've gotten in their relationship. The loyalty, trust and love, it was there in their interactions and I think they balance each other really well.

And being the two guys that they are, they also get roped into investigating a cold case - the only unsolved case in town as a matter of fact. A ten year old murder. While this doesn’t have as much room as the investigations usually have in this series, I do feel that it was a good "break" from all the hostility and homophobia. It served as a bit of a breather. It was an obvious crime to solve, but I liked it all the same. Or well, the investigation part of it, not the crime or culprit, because that was truly messed up. Not surprising, but messed up all the same.

Michael Pauley is perfect for this series. I love his voice and his performance of the books. He captures the feelings just right. Something that he nailed was Greeley's eagerness to investigate - it made me smile, I could see him before me and hear his enthusiasm. He's just such a wonderful secondary character and I love that he gets more of a role in the series. And as always I loved him for both Ronan and Ten. A hit all around.

There was a lot of heart break in this story. But there was also forgiveness, a new beginning and moving forward. But more than that I have to say that this book had the perfect ending/epilogue - the wedding between our two guys. Another new beginning, promise for the future and affirmation of the love they share and the journey they've travelled to get to that point. But more importantly, the promise of tomorrow.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • The Truth Within

  • Pelican Bay Series, Book 3
  • By: Sloane Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 73

I'm not a fighter. I never was. So how do I make the one man who might just be worth fighting for see that? At 25 years old, Ford Cornell should have his whole life ahead of him but instead, the would-be artist is drowning in denial and just trying to get through each day. And the boy who once believed life was about following impossible dreams has finally come to accept that it's really only about surviving a living nightmare...one of his own making. But the bruises are becoming harder to hide. So is the truth...

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I am not sure...

  • By TNI on 01-01-19

I'm in love with this series!

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

I'm a huge fan of the Pelican Bay series and can't listen to the books fast enough.

I love stories with flawed or scarred character. Few things annoy me more than picture perfect people shallower than a puddle on a sunny day. In The Truth Within we have two wonderfully genuine characters to fall for - or well, there are plenty more but let’s focus on our two main characters. Sherriff Camden, Cam, Wells has been badly burned by his ex in the past. To the point he needed to re-locate to Pelican Bay and a new job. So to say that he's less than thrilled when his new interest shares similarities with his old one - deeply closeted - is putting it mildly. Yet there is something that draws him to Ford and he can't seem to be able to let the man go.

Ford Cornell... well, he's had it rough, is still having it rough to be honest. Constantly being used as a punching bag and personal atm by his older brother. A deeply religious family that controls every aspect of his life. And I haven't even gotten around to the homophobia. He's so deeply closeted that he's having trouble admitting he's gay even to himself, being desperately afraid of his family's reactions were they to ever find out. This time, they might just skip the conversion therapy and just kill him outright.

Cam and Ford are in vastly different places in life - at least in terms of their sexuality. While one is out, not shouting it from the roof tops mind you, but not hiding it either; the other is hiding himself every step he can, trying to make himself invisible. Yet they were still drawn to each other. And for some reason they make sense together, they each are what the other needs.

There are some back and forth between Cam and Ford, but what there is of it is fitting with the characters and story, to me it never feels like too much or when you get that "just get over it already" feeling. You feel the struggles they both go through, you feel for them and with them. Because ultimately, one of them needs to go against everything if they want to be together.

I can't think of a single thing that I would change with the narration. Michael Pauley was as usual fantastic. He captured the moments, the feelings and the characters just right. He made the book come alive and brought you to Pelican Bay for those hours that you spent listening.

The Truth Within was another great instalment in this series, and I just want to know more, there are at least a few more characters that I want to see finding their happily ever after. So I'm hoping the wait won't be too long.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • Christmas Homecoming

  • The Christmas Angel, Book 4
  • By: L.A. Witt
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 2 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

August 1939. Roger Miller and Jack O’Brien have been close since childhood. By the time they realize there’s more between them than friendship, Jack is leaving their sleepy Iowa town for college. But they console themselves knowing he’ll be home for Christmas. Right? It is Christmas before they see each other again, but that Christmas comes six years and a world war later. Aged, beaten, and shaken by combat, they’re not the boys they were back then, but their feelings for each other are stronger than ever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magical

  • By Annika on 01-12-19

Magical

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

Once upon a time there were two young men living in a small town in Iowa. They were the best of friends. One August day in 1939 they realise there was something more between them than friendship and they share the sweetest of kisses. Then WWII happens and half a decade of separation without any contact. Fast forward to Christmas in 1945; they are both back in home. Both a bit scarred and tired from war. Old feelings bubble to the surface and this time they decide not to run from them, but embrace what started so long ago.

Part of this story had this bittersweet feel to it. It was heart-breaking to listen to how they struggled with society. How they loved each other, but knew that they couldn't be together. The expectations to marry girls from nice families. Having no hope of a future. Yet at the same time, the love they shared was so magical that they just couldn't walk away, and that sometimes love does conquer all.

Nick J. Russo captured the essence of this book perfectly. The longing, the anticipation and apprehension, but more importantly the love. It was all there in his voice, his narration. He made time fly and before I knew it the book ended, the boys got their happily ever after and I had a smile on my face.

Christmas Homecoming was a sweet addition to the series, and while each book is a standalone, I can't help but wonder what the angel has been up to since Summerfield's Angel. I hope more of this series will be released into audio so that I can experience more of the angel's magic.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes

  • Summerfield's Angel

  • Christmas Angel, Book 2
  • By: Kim Fielding
  • Narrated by: K.C. Kelly
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

After the hard winter of 1888 ended Alby Boyle’s work as a Nebraska ranch hand, he returned to New York City in search of his long-lost family. His mother and brothers are nowhere to be found, however, and after Alby’s years of absence, Five Corners no longer feels like home. His prospects seem as dim as the nighttime alleys. When Alby pauses to admire an angel ornament in a department store window’s Christmas display, he meets Xeno Varnham-Summerfield. Wealthy, handsome, and enthusiastic, Xeno brings Alby some temporary cheer. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sweet Christmas story

  • By Annika on 01-12-19

Sweet Christmas story

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

This was my first book in the Christmas Angel series, and it won't be my last. Each book in the series can be read/listened to as a standalone as they are complete and separate stories.

Summerfield's Angel is set in New Yok in 1888, Where Alby Boyle has arrived from Nebraska a in search of his family. So much has changed since he was forced to leave. He spies a Christmas Anel in a window store, and while mesmerised by the ornament he's almost run over by a trolley - but is saved at the last moment by the handsome and charming young Xeno Varnham.

On the outside they seem to have nothing in common, Xeno comes from wealth with all the privilege that entails while Alby is a ranch hand from Nebraska with a simple outlook in life; food in his belly and a warm place to stay. Despite their differences they keep running into each other and as things usually goes, one thing leads to another...

I wasn't totally sold on K.C. Kelly's narration of this book, mainly because it felt flat and uninspiring. From the beginning I found myself spacing out and forgetting to listen, On the other hand, I loved that he had such distinct voices for Alby and Xeno, there was never any question who was speaking and that part was easy to follow along.

In do think I'd have enjoyed this story much more, had I read it instead of listening to it. Because as it was I never connected to it or felt invested in the characters. Which is a shame, because all things considered, this is a story that I should have loved.

Summerfield's Angel was sweet holiday story where Christmas miracles do happen and love really can conquer all.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • Building Forever

  • The Rebuilding Year, Book 3
  • By: Kaje Harper
  • Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
  • Length: 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

Four years ago, Ryan and John decided they'd wait to get married until it came with full legal equality. Now, thanks to the Supreme Court, that historic moment has finally arrived. But 300 miles separate Ryan's hectic residency from John's busy campus job. With a son in college, a daughter choosing her future, and a rambunctious Irish Setter needing attention, planning a wedding isn't simple. Of course, even the most perfect ceremony can't solve all their problems. What does it take to build forever?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • it was good

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-19-19

I'm so happy right now!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-19

Welcome to your happily ever after - well almost. It's been four years since we left the guys in Life, Some Assembly Required. Ryan is off doing his residency two hundred miles away from John and his family - his heart and soul. Their time consists of stolen moments in hotels in the middle, lots of Skype sessions and phone calls and even more longing.

As mentioned, it's been four years and the Supreme Court has finally made a ruling on same sex marriage. Which means it's finally time for Ryan and John to tie the knot. Since Ryan is away it's up to John and Torey to plan the small shindig.

Something that I love about this book, or series really, is that nothing goes according to plan or as expected - life always happens. Everything from accidents messing up schedules, late flights, cars that break down and a dog deathly afraid of thunderstorms. It's Murphy's law all around and I loved it.

In the end though the whole family are gathered to see them get married and celebrate their happiness. It's the ending we've been waiting for, a snippet in time showing us that years down the line Ryan and John are still as much in love as they were in the beginning.

Gomez Pugh did a wonderful job narrating this book. He drew you into it from the very start. All the feelings of the characters shone through so clearly; the love, longing, frustration and everything else that they felt during these few hours. He brought them all to life in a very nice way.

Building Forever is an mix between "Where are they now" and an epilogue. We get to follow our guys in the weeks leading up to the wedding, but when it's all good and done you don't get that The End feeling. Don't get me wrong, the series or their story is in no way incomplete or lacking, and I honestly believe that this should be the end of the series. That doesn't mean that Ryan and John's lives are ending - they are just off to live life. And that's where we leave them - living life, figuring out where to go next.

A copy of this book was generously provided by author the in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • Life, Some Assembly Required

  • The Rebuilding Year, Book 2
  • By: Kaje Harper
  • Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

 

After spending the first part of his life chasing pretty girls, love has finally come to Ryan in the form of John, a tall, lanky, red-headed landscape architect with wide shoulders and a five-o’clock shadow. For the first time in Ryan's life, love feels easy. Hell, he even ran into a burning building for John and his son, and he’d do it again if he had to. But telling his father and brothers and classmates “I’m gay. I’ve met a man”? That’s going to take nerve of a different kind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • yay!

  • By B on 01-22-19

What a wonderful life!

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

This book picks up just after The Rebuilding Year ends. With Mark and Ryan and John dealing with nightmares from the fire. Dealing with the aftermath of it all. It's really a continuation on everything that started in the first book, and they need to be read/listened to in order. Otherwise you'll probably be lost. And you will definitely miss out on a great love story - at least the beginning of it.

This book is all about family in every possible way. The new one Ryan and John is creating with Mark and Torey. But also coming out to parents and siblings, dealing with homophobic relatives. Coming out to friends and colleagues. And not the least dealing with John's ex-wife unexpectedly showing up on their doorstep announcing she's moving back to town... Add in some teenage angst and drama and this book is packed to the brim. Though, without having the feeling of too much to it.

Ryan and John are solid together, their relationship is solid. Not perfect but not that work in progress either. They know where they stand - at least with each other. The rest of the world needs some working up to. And telling your family about your bisexuality, a recently discovered one at that is far from easy. I have to say that they handled it in a great way.

As mentioned above, their relationship is so tangible, so credible that you can't help but believe in them. They are flawed, insecure, sometimes jealous and irrational, in short, they are wonderfully human and loving them is easy. I also have to mention the love between Ryan and John... you could almost see the connection between them. It was solid and strong and almost had this fairy tale "conquer all" feel to it. I loved how their relationship wasn't perfect or always easy. It made it felt real and their struggles felt real.

I was so excited for this audiobook. I've been looking forward to it ever since finishing The Rebuilding Year. I loved Gomez Pugh in that book, he was truly phenomenal. So I had some pretty serious high hopes going into this book. And maybe that's on me; it's the danger with expectations and all that. In any case; the narration lacked some of the shine, the magic from the first book and I can't say I was as ecstatic this time around. That being said Pugh’s efforts with this book were really good, probably even great, it's just those darn expectations that mess with my head.

I loved that there is no unnecessary drama or things blown way out of proportion in this book. It was, just like the title says; Life. And a great and wonderful one at that. Now to top it off, I’m going straight to the happily ever after and Building Forever

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • Collusion

  • Diversion, Book 2
  • By: Eden Winters
  • Narrated by: Darcy Stark
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter “died” in the line of duty while working off a 10-year sentence in service to the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, only to be reborn as Simon “Lucky” Harrison. The newbie he trained, former marine Bo Schollenberger, is now his partner on (and maybe off) the job. It’s hard to tell when Lucky doesn’t understand relationships or have a clue what any sane human is doing in his bed. Bo’s nice to have around, sure, but there’s none of that picking-out-china-together crap for Lucky.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Steamy enough, has a real plot!

  • By BrotherBob on 12-12-18

Loved everything about it!

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

Reviewed: 01-01-19

I've read these books before, last year if I remember correctly and I wasn't all that impressed by the first few books. "A work in progress" I think I called them. But I still stuck with the series. It had something that I just couldn't let go of, and I'm so glad I didn't, because it's a great one. And listening to the audio adds another dimension to the book, and not only due to Stark's amusingly smooth voice.

When we left Lucky in the last book, he was kind of....dead. Or well, his old identity is, the person is still very much alive. Just with a new name and a well-earned freedom going with it. He's still (voluntarily this time) working for the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau with Bo as a partner, both on and off the clock.

There is a national shortage of prescription drugs. Everything from morphine to cancer drugs is on the short list. Doctors and hospitals are getting desperate, turning to the grey and black markets to get hold of drugs. Only problem is, there is no guarantee that the drugs they get are safe for use, or even contain what they are supposed to do. Lucky and Bo are sent to a hospital to investigate and shut down illegal activity.

Lucky, Lucky.... oblivious is the name of the day... I have to say it's kind of fun watching him muddle through his relationship with Bo. A relationship he doesn't even realise he's in... to the point where he had to actually contact his sister to ask for "the early signs of a relationship". Hilarious! Though to be fair, I do feel for Bo and all the shit he has to muddle through. I truly admire his patience and perseverance not to have left the man. Or at the very least strangled him. Patience like a saint.

You know what the scary part of this book is? The credibility of it. I mean, imagine that there really was a shortage of drugs. Drugs that are necessary to stay alive, to manage pain, to cure, to treat. Everything can happen and you will quickly have desperate people. People willing yo try and do anything, even getting drugs that might not be safe - in some cases they have nothing to lose. Imagine then unscrupulous people taking advantage and supplying drugs that are harmful. Drugs that haven't been produced properly or mixed with additives that are toxic. This has happened in the past. And to me that makes this story scary. Just think what if.

Darcy Stark was a hit for this book. He truly captured Bo and Lucky. I loved how Lucky's incredulity, frustration, and total obliviousness were so clear. It came through perfectly, as did Bo's personality. Usually the calm and rational one, but also the frayed and stressed Bo. The feelings were all there, they were perfect. I loved to listen to Stark's voice, some voices just speak to you, and his sure speaks to me.

I know that Lucky and Bo will get into more trouble in the books to come and I can't wait to listen to them.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • Blame It on the Mistletoe

  • By: Eli Easton
  • Narrated by: Jason Frazier
  • Length: 2 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 346

When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they're both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends. It's all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the “best kisser on campus”.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If Jason read school textbooks,grades would go up!

  • By Ruth on 11-15-14

The perfect Christmas story

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

Reviewed: 12-25-18

I'm a huge Eli Easton fan. She's written some of my absolute favourite stories. I read this story a few years ago and adored it, so it being almost Christmas, I figured, what story's better to listen to than this one.

It all started with a cheerleader and a rumour going around campus. And no it's not what you might think, just about the opposite actually. Fielding and Mick, best friends and roommates are out having a cup of coffee when a cheerleader comes up to them asking Mick out because she wants to find out if the rumour was true - the rumor that Mick was the best kisser at campus. This gets the sweet and nerdy Fielding thinking. Having never been kissed before he wants to learn from the expert and asks Mick to teach him. Only Mick is far from sold on the idea - neither of them are gay.

Jason Frazier absolutely nailed this book - he was this book and these characters! He brought you to campus, to that coffee shop, to the apartment, he truly made it all come alive and made you a part of it. I had a wonderful time listening to his narration of this sweet and happy story, and it's one I know I'll re-listen to every Christmas to come.

I have a huge weak spot for nerds, especially the genius ones, the ones truly oblivious to human behavior, logical to a fault. They get me every time. So I would have loved to have more Fielding, and also getting to know and see things from his perspective. I believe his mind would have been an interesting place to spend time in.

Blame it on the Mistletoe is all about exploring and self discovery, friendships and love. Mick and Fielding are as different as two can be, but they still become fast friends and then something more. It's heartwarming, quirky and fun. It's Christmas and pure happiness in a book.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

  • The Christmas Throwaway

  • By: RJ Scott
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 3 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191

Thrown out of his home for being gay, he is left without money or, it seems, anywhere to go. Until a stranger shows him that some people do give a lot more than a damn. Ben Hamilton is a rookie cop in his small home town. He finds a young throwaway, fresh from the city, sleeping on a bench in the churchyard on a snowy Christmas Eve. Can he be the one to give Zachary his own Christmas miracle?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Sweet Turn of Events...

  • By Donald on 12-22-14

Great narration, didn't enjoy the story as much

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

Reviewed: 12-23-18

Weeks before Zach's 18th birthday he was thrown out in the cold with only the clothes on his back and some loose change to his name. Now, just days before Christmas he's seeking solace on a bench in a graveyard. Ben Hamilton, a rookie cop finds a cold shaking young man sleeping on a bench. Instead of bringing him in and reporting him, Ben brings Zach home to his family. A family filled with Christmas spirit and warmth in every sense of the word. And Just what lonely and abused Zach needed.

This might just be me, but I found Ben annoying. He was just too perfect and perky for my tastes and thought he could and would change everything that was wrong in the world. But when Zach didn't do or immediately follow everything he said he turned kind of mean and judgmental. It also felt like Ben forced the Christmas spirit on Zach - enjoy it or else. I understand why he forced family and celebration on him, but it was just too much and too soon and it rubbed me wrong. I'm not a fan of manipulations.

Then there was the relationship between Zach and Ben. It just felt off. There wasn't any connection, it was shallow. There was no attraction, no build-up, no UST - nothing. Yet Scott still tried to make us believe in a relationship between the guys. Sure it wasn’t insta-love by any standard, but should in theory be a slow-burn romance – but for me the romance was never present.

I truly believe that the book would have been better it had been solely focused on Zach’s struggles for a new beginning, a new life and leave the relationship part out of it. That would have been a great story, starting over, new friends and family. But sadly that’s not what we got, but I’m still going to pretend.

So for the last week or so I've picked up three Christmas stories, and each and every one of them has been narrated by Sean Crisden. Maybe it’s coincidence or maybe Crisden really likes narrating Christmas stories, either way I feel like I’m running out of ways to describe his great performances in a new way. I love the feelings he brings, make you feel, and while this might not have been the greatest of stories, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the narration.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.