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Erryn Barratt

Canada
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  • Elements of Retrofit

  • Thomas Elkin Series, Book 1
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 3 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design? A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his 40th birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finaly is on audiobooks.

  • By VHB on 04-19-19

Two sexy men and generational fun

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

Reviewed: 04-25-19

I am a huge N.R. Walker fan. I discovered her with the Red Dirt Heart series and was hooked. I’ve snapped up just about everything since. I hadn’t read her Thomas Elkin series but had heard great things from other fans so the moment the audio came up for sale, I grabbed it.

And am so glad I did.

This is one of N.R.’s older books and although the writing and story hold up, I found it missing some of the depth from her more recent books. Nothing to take away from my enjoyment, however.

The book, like Red Dirt Heart, is told entirely from one point-of-view – Thomas’. Helpfully, he is a fully-fleshed and strong character, so he’s able to carry the story. He’s rich, successful, recently out of the closet, and lonely. That loneliness called to me. We can have everything we’ve ever dreamed of – and great family to boot – but it can be lonely without someone special to share it with. Thomas is close to his son Ryan and enjoys a strong professional relationship with his secretary Jennifer, but that’s the extent of his personal involvements. He’s had a few short term relationships but hasn’t met the ‘one’.

He certainly doesn’t expect his son’s friend Cooper to be the ‘one’. He keeps reminding himself that Cooper is half his age, of a different generation, AND his son’s friend. Over and over he comes up with excuses why they can’t be together. Sometimes all the careful planning in the world doesn’t hold together when a force of nature like Cooper sweeps into your life. He’s eager, fresh, earnest, and hard-working. He’s attractive, fun, and diligent. And he systematically breaks down every one of Thomas’ barriers.

I love the interplay between the men. I am most definitively Gen X while my younger sister is a Millennial. She has never lived without an iPhone, a SMART television, and NETFLIX. She doesn’t even know how to use a rotary dial telephone. She’s also whip-smart and eager to make a mark in the world. Not all Gen Y and Millennials are lazy, and Cooper is beyond ambitious. He’s also a risk taker and, in the end, Thomas has to decide if he’s willing to risk everything to be with Cooper.

It was easy to fall in love with the two men and to watch them navigate the generational and power differentials. I also really liked all the architecture references in the book. Thomas often does projects involved in rehabilitating old buildings and finding new uses for them. In a way, his life is a metaphor for a retrofit project. He’s trying to make his way in the new world, rehabilitating himself and adjusting to the brave new world.

There are two more books in the series and I’m definitely hoping both of those will be made into audiobooks. I need to give a shout out to Nick J. Russo. He’s a solid narrator whose performances are always pitch-perfect. He handles the New Yorkers with ease, bringing forward a wonderful story and book. I hope he’ll be part of the next two books as well. As always, it’s easy to recommend this book.

  • Feast on Fat Tuesday

  • A Vampire Short Story
  • By: Roma Gray
  • Narrated by: JD Kelly
  • Length: 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12

Mardis Gras in New Orleans: the perfect hunting ground for vampires. Every year these creatures of the night descend upon the event and make this night their own. Yet, this year, something seems a little different....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The snack the smiles back! Vampires!

  • By Ray Johnson on 06-18-18

Another great short

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

Reviewed: 04-20-19

Roma Gray has an ability to bring forward a fully formed story in a very short time span. I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans, although I’d be happy to never meet a vampire there. When the vampire in this story discovers he’s special, he must think quickly on his feet. I loved this short snippet that gave me a very satisfying ending. JD Kelly is a great narrator and he performed the story really well.

  • With a Kick Collection No. 2

  • By: Clare London
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

This collection includes Clare London's second two charming London-based novellas of the With a Kick series - Pluck and Play and Double Scoop

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The With A Kick Crew are back!

  • By Erryn Barratt on 04-11-19

The With A Kick Crew are back!

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

Reviewed: 04-11-19

With A Kick is a café in London’s trendy SoHo district. They serve ice cream mixed with alcohol. In other words, dreamy treats with a kick. Each dessert has a special name and is created either by owner Patrick or server extraordinaire Lee. The names and concoctions from the first collection were cute so I was curious what would be dreamed up this time.

The first story, Pluck and Play, features Curtis and a mysterious cowboy. Curtis is a go-to guy in SoHo. He knows where you can get just about anything and he’s turned that knowledge into a business. He has a nice little concern and although he’s not wealthy, he does have a good thing going including friends and flatmates who don’t drive him bonkers. Well, perhaps Phiz does drive him a little nuts, but listeners from the first collection will remember the adorable guy whose mouth tends to run ahead of his brain. He’s as sweet as ever and his patient boyfriend Brian is also back in this story.

Curtis is out on a run when he encounters a nasty man who threatens him. Riley steps in to help him and Curtis notices immediately the man’s boots, cowboy hat, and Texas drawl. When Riley later sets up his guitar and amp in front of With A Kick, Curtis can’t help but be curious about this very attractive man. They enjoy each other’s company and even go out on a date. All very sweet.

Or it would be, but Curtis’ abusive ex-lover comes back into the picture, making his life miserable. As someone who had a nasty ex, I completely related to Curtis’ angst over dealing with someone who hurt him emotionally as well as physically. I also understood Riley’s desire to handle the situation with his fists because sometimes bullies only understand violence. In the end, a very creative solution dispatched the ex forever and the two men got their happy ending.

The second story, Double Scoop, is about Patrick the owner and Lee the loyal employee. While the first story was told entirely in Curtis’ point of view, this story was entirely from Patrick’s. He loves his shop and it has become his pride and joy. He also is quick to realize that Lee is a big part of that success. Patrick can even admit, to himself, that he cares deeply for Lee. As far as he’s concerned, though, he’s too old for the much younger man, so he watches and pines from afar.

Only a disaster involving the shop and Lee brings his feelings to the fore. Lee appears to reciprocate his feelings, but his insecurities hold him back. Only intervention from their friends forces the men to confront their feelings and put their hearts on the line.

I enjoyed this story because in the first collection Lee and Patrick had caught my eye. I’m a sucker for a good story where both men want the other but are too afraid to lose what they have. Friends to lovers, as it were. This story also brought back all my favorite characters from the previous stories so that was the cherry on the top, so to speak.

Finally, I have to mention the narrator, Joel Leslie. I’m a huge fan and he did not disappoint in this book. I loved how he had the London accent down but was able to throw in Riley’s Texas twang. Another great job and I highly recommend the collection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How Not to Break

  • LOVESTRONG, Book 4
  • By: Susan Hawke
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

Take one former SEAL with a healthy dose of regret.... Nick St. Cloud is living with shame from the one time he let his lust override his sense of honor. He’s haunted by the memory of when he made love to his best friend’s 18-year-old son. The tragic accident that happened that same night has only compounded his guilt. A decade later, he’s doing his best to be there for Charlie’s son, but anything more than that just wouldn’t be right...would it? Plus, the younger guy who he’s tried to forget.... It’s been 10 years. Ten long years.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable

  • By Anne-Marie Mogensen on 04-18-19

Favorite of the series

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

Of all the Lovestrong books, I think this was my favourite. Although there are times when I’m just looking for a bit of fluff, there are times when I’m looking for a bit of angst. Add in a good dash of snarky dialogue. With great secondary characters and cameos from the main characters in previous books, this story had everything I could’ve asked for in a good story.

There’s Shaw. He became orphaned ten years ago and that, coupled with making love to his parents’ best friend at the same time, has left him conflicted. He’d seen Nick St. Cloud as a safe bet for someone who’d take care of him while having sex for the first time, but he hadn’t bargained on the morning after regrets Nick would feel. So for ten years Nick has watched from afar, leaving Shaw unsettled and unsatisfied. He’s dated other men and even been serious with one or two of them, but the relationships never amounted to anything because the other men weren’t Nick. The other men couldn’t compare to a compassionate and frankly sexy as hell ex-Navy SEAL.

I loved Shaw. His ineptitude at certain things (cooking) mixed with his aptitude with others (running a business) leant him a sweet disposition that made me want to wrap him up and take care of him. In some ways he’s a mature twenty-eight and in others he’s still naïve in the ways of the world. I understood Nick standing by, ready to step in when things go sideways, but otherwise keeping his hands literally to himself.

The stalking elements of the story were creepy and well done. I felt Shaw’s anguish at having his whole life upended and no longer feeling safe. That Nick was there to save him felt good, but I liked that Shaw insisted on maintaining some autonomy. He was willing to accept help and protection from Nick, but he still kept some agency. I also liked the little glimpses into his life and all the good things he was quietly doing for the community around him. He understands how lucky he is and wants to give back.

I want to take a quick moment to shout out to the secondary characters. I loved how they all rallied around Shaw, especially Becca. I loved her sassy attitude and great friendship with Shaw. I also liked how it was Dana, Nick’s former sister-in-law, who was such a champion of the men getting together.

Like I said, I really enjoyed this book and hope there are still more to come. Ranger Rick deserves his own happy ending, right?

Finally, Michael Pauley. He’s narrated the entire series and has done a brilliant job. He keeps a separate voice for each character and given the sheer volume of hot men, that’s quite a feat. He also has fantastic voices for the female characters, which I always appreciate. Overall, a great listen.

  • How Not to Sin

  • Lovestrong, Book 3
  • By: Susan Hawke
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 57

One regular guy who happens to be a preacher. Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity - in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love Gabe and Seth!

  • By Bookobessed on 04-06-19

Tolerance vs Hate

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

Reviewed: 04-05-19

The synopsis does summarize the book quite accurately but I want to expand on the humor in the book. Ms. Hawke brings snarkiness to a whole new level while keeping the adorableness of the characters. I’m thinking about the scene with an elderly woman, crystal phalluses, and enough humor to have me laughing out loud in a parking lot. Fortunately it was empty although I would have willingly put up with a few side looks. I’m not a new age person, but I find it fascinating that crystals vibrate at different frequencies. See, learning something new every day.

What I am familiar with is hate and there is plenty of that in this book. An elder in Pastor Gabe’s church played a major role in Book 1 of the series and he’s back again with a vengeance. Gabe is fighting to keep the church inclusive while this man is fighting to keep it exclusive, claiming God does not approve of homosexuality. The biblical arguments went a bit over my head as for years I’ve seen the book as a weapon to be wielded. The author’s liturgical knowledge was strong and deftly handled well. Did it change my position on religion? No. But I don’t think it was meant to. I adored Pastor Gabe who is walking a tightrope between the two factions of his church. I also adored his secretary Dottie who was the largest of tigers, protecting those she sees as her own.

I loved Seth’s easy acceptance of Gabe and his life. He embraces his role as boyfriend with great enthusiasm because although he’s had other relationships, none of them compare to what he’s found with Gabe. I’m not necessarily sold on new age stuff either, but I do believe in meditation and the benefits of yoga. So although there was lots of angst surrounding the church and the religious storyline, the relationship between the two men was fun and cute.

This is another great book in the Lovestrong series and I have to give a shout-out to Michael Pauley for his brilliant narration. His portrayal of Andy’s Gam Gam and the secretary Dottie was wonderful. He carries the voices from previous books and provides a stead performance. A great listen.

  • How Not to Tuck

  • Lovestrong, Book 2
  • By: Susan Hawke
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 1 hr and 44 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45

Honey Combover slays them, honey...and hey, she can't help it if her "equipment" is too large and in charge to stay tucked away during her drag performances, right? As for Honey's "other half", Larry Perretti is a large, kind man who excels loves his job teaching music at a private high-school. The two men clash when Godric tells Larry that he can't lead the Glee Club in performing Born This Way while dressed as his drag persona. He has a point, since Honey is infamous for her wardrobe malfunctions.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Honey & Godric

  • By H. Spanarella on 04-08-19

Honey Combover and her man

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

Reviewed: 04-04-19

I want to start my review by discussing Michael Pauley’s narration. When he narrated Book 1 of the Lovestrong series, he encountered Honey Combover. I admit being surprised at how deep he chose to make Honey’s voice and although I struggled with it a bit, I did eventually get used to it. I even came to kind of care about Honey so when I heard she was getting her own book, I was thrilled. Again, Michael’s portrayal was spot on and this book is well worth the listen.

In real life, Honey is Larry Perretti, a mischievous choral director who believes in advocating for his students, especially when dealing with stick-in-the-mud principal Godric Sheppard. The men have sparred on and off for almost two years, but it’s Larry’s insistence that he direct the choir as Honey Combover that has ruffled Godric. See, Honey’s wardrobe malfunctions are legendary and there is no way Godric is exposing the students and members of the community to Honey’s cobra. Big man, big… Well, you get the picture.

Believing he can perform without having a mishap, Larry invites Godric to watch the show at Saint’s Drag Night. Well, big surprise that Honey can’t stay tucked and she exposes herself to the entire bar. Most are used to the adventures, but Godric’s response is primal. He’s ready to dedicate himself to Honey and ensuring no one ever sees the large snake again.

This is a quick down’n’dirty audio that had me laughing almost the whole time. Larry’s dedication to his students was admirable and his interest in Godric was a long in time coming. That Godric realized the larger man needed to be taken in hand wasn’t a surprise but the speed of the relationship was quick. I also liked that the men didn’t necessarily fall into all the stereotypes. I enjoyed watching them find their way into the new relationship and the epilogue left me quite hopeful.

It’s hard not to say great things about this book. It’s cute, perky, funny, and heartwarming. Between Susan’s words and Michael’s narration, this is a perfect listen. There are more books in the series, so I suspect there is more of Godric and Honey to come. Thanks goodness.

  • Ben's Rainbow

  • Rainbow Key, Book 3
  • By: Victoria Sue
  • Narrated by: Darcy Stark
  • Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 28

Benedict Keeler was one of America’s most popular models. Hot body, hot career, and super-hot boyfriend, until a devastating house fire destroyed his face and his dreams. After being told all his life that a pretty face is the measure of his worth, he can’t face another rejection and runs from his lover, eventually hiding out on Rainbow Key.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Two Damaged Souls

  • By Erryn Barratt on 04-02-19

Two Damaged Souls

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

Reviewed: 04-02-19

Ben was injured in a tragic fire four years ago and he ran. Ran from his life as a famous model. Ran from his expensive and lavish lifestyle in New York. Ran from the only man he’d ever loved.

Zach searched for Ben for more than two years before giving up and returning to his high-intensity, adrenaline-fueled job. He’s neglected everything, including his health, in a vain attempt to outrun his pain. Eventually his neglect caught up with him. His stupidity came back and it him in the ass. Life is like that sometimes. His brother the doctor orders him to Rainbow Key to recover. Rest and low stress are critical but his blood pressure spikes when he realizes Ben – his Ben – has been hiding out on the island for two years.

I have loved all the books in the Rainbow Key series and this book was no exception. Ben was a secondary character in the previous books and his insistence on being alone haunted me. A few details were sprinkled in the stories, but I never got a true sense of the man. Of course that changed in this book. His insistence of solitude is brought in stark contrast when faced with the one and only man he’s ever loved. Ben had always viewed his worth as how much money he could make with his modelling career and he worked himself to the bone, often forgoing food, in order to maintain that success. He understood he had a limited shelf life and his goal was to make as much as possible before he ceased being the ‘it’ boy. One devastating night changed all that and he had to face the reality he would never be ‘beautiful’ again.

Zach loved Ben for who he was, not his good looks. Upon hearing about the fire that left Ben badly injured, he raced back to offer his support and love. I could understand Ben not wanting to face the man he loved, partly because he felt responsible for the death of someone, and partly because he knew he would never physically be the man he was. It was also clear from the beginning that Zach wasn’t someone superficial who cared about looks. His dedication to photographing the suffering in the world should have been proof to Ben that if Zach stayed, it wouldn’t be out of pity. But Ben’s self-esteem had taken too hard of a hit for him to accept that.

The odds of them both winding up on Paradise Island and the gay-friendly resort of Rainbow Key was a little trite, but I didn’t care because I wanted Ben to get his happy ending and it was clear from the beginning that Zach was the man he loved. He was as devastated as Zach was when he heard of Zach losing his sight. And as for Zach – he’s become angry and bitter because it was his own carelessness that has caused his current predicament and he’s ready to lash out because he’s hurting and, frankly, terrified. And who wouldn’t be, facing a life of blindness?

I love books where the heroes have to go through a lot to get their happy endings and this book fit the bill perfectly. Even after all these years, there is still love there. But there are also a lot of hurt feelings and anger to be dealt with. I didn’t blame the men their feelings, but I was happy when they appeared to be moving forward toward resolving their relationship and creating a new life with each other.

But it wouldn’t be a Victoria Sue book if there weren’t a few twists thrown in and those twists worked effectively to challenge the men and their beliefs. I liked both character arcs and found it believable how the men worked through their assumptions to find a new understanding both of themselves and of the relationship.

I would recommend not only this book but the entire series. As for the narrator, I think Darcy Stark was the perfect choice. He was able to give each character a distinct voice as well as handling all the secondary characters well. I especially loved his portrayal of the beloved May-Belle. Quite a character, that one.

I believe this is the last book of the series, but I would like to beg the author to reconsider. Matt has been a solid and loyal secondary character with a painful backstory and I desperately want him to get his happy ending. So please reconsider and give me one final book. Regardless, I’ve enjoyed my visits to Rainbow Key.

  • 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 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Even imperfect people can have perfect HEA

  • By Shin Mon Thway on 01-14-19

Gay is just another word for love

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

Reviewed: 03-24-19

The former owner of Rainbow Key on Paradise Island was a man named Clive. He spent his life collecting those who had been rejected by those who should have loved them the most. “Broken things” he used to say. More like people broken by others and thrown away. Joshua was one of Clive’s rescues and when the older man died, he took on the responsibility of running the island. He found his happy ending in Book 1 and when I met Charlie, I knew I wanted his book to be his because I had fallen a little bit in love with him.

Charlie was diagnosed with tactile sensitivity as a child and was badly treated by his mother and grandfather. Horribly treated, institutionalized multiple times, and treated like an outcast. A misfit.

There’s a special place in Hell for people like his grandfather and mother. He ran away and found Joshua who brought him to the island and has kept him safe ever since. Charlie has to live things in a very proscribed way. His food has to be a certain way. He cannot tolerate certain touches and absolutely not from a stranger. He chooses clothes that feel a certain way against his skin. Basically he lives in a very established and orderly world. He avoids anything that might disrupt it.

Noah arrives at Rainbow Key minus the groom he was expecting to bring. After having been left at the altar, he bravely decided he’d rather spend a week on an island than deal with the uncoupling of what turned out to be the biggest mistake of his life. Charlie is there to greet him but the young man’s demeanor is very off-putting and Noah assumes it’s because he’s black.

Of course nothing could be farther from the truth. Charlie wants to be a good host, replacing Joshua for just a few days. Noah is no ordinary guest and the attraction is clear. Charlie wants to be ‘normal’ but his disorder prevents him from being like other people. Finally he tells Noah the truth and he expects the same rejection he’s faced his entire life.

Noah isn’t like that. It’s not so much that he sees Charlie as something that’s broken and needs to be fixed, but he sees a man who delights him and he wants to know more about the enigmatic creature.

Bad news in Charlie’s life threatens to send him careening out of control, but Noah is there to help him. Help him, not rescue him. That difference is important. He sees Charlie as an equal.

In the end, both men have to make choices about what they’re willing to risk to find happiness. Although the choices are different, the implications are profound. Keep doing what they’ve always done or take a risk to find happiness.

They took the risk and I was so happy. This is a book about finding a way in a world that doesn’t always understand you. I know that’s why I related to Charlie so deeply and why I was so invested with seeing him get his happy ending.

The narrator, Darcy Stark, performs the entire series and I think he was a great choice. There are many inhabitants of the island as well as plenty of visitors and he has a distinct voice for each of them. He’s a pleasure to listen to. I think it’s a great series and I can’t wait for Book 3.

  • IRL: In Real Life

  • After Oscar, Book 1
  • By: Lucy Lennox, Molly Maddox
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 227

Conor: It starts with a drunken text pic. The kind I would normally never send. Only, instead of it going to the flirty hotel bartender, it goes to some random stranger who actually responds. Wells: The first thing I notice about Conor Newell when he sits down in my high-rise conference room is how delightfully nervous he is. Then I see his tie. The same geeky tie that’s held hostage on my phone. The one that belongs to my anonymous late-night texter. And it changes everything.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, great narration.

  • By Leezard_Love on 02-23-19

Virtual vs Real World

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

There is a website that is the equivalent of Facebook for kinky people. For obvious reasons, many people choose not to put their faces as their avatars (there are people who don’t do this for Facebook either – I happen to like my dog wearing rainbow glasses). So on this kinky site, some people choose objects or cartoons while others select body parts. Guess what is most prevalent for men? Yep, you guessed it. Dick picks and c#ck shots abound. There have been some lively discussions in the community about the value of them. I understand the need for anonymity, but if you think a picture of your penis is going to entice me, we probably aren’t on the same page. With an object or cartoon, I get a sense of who you are, of what interests you. Other women (and men) feel that if someone is brave enough to take a picture of themselves and put it out there, then they’re worth getting to know.

Each to their own.

Now, I’ve read every Lucy Lennox book written and when she teamed up to do this series with her sister, I was thrilled. I was also thrilled at how quickly the book was released on audio so I snapped it up and was very glad I did. This book has it all – two gorgeous men, a cast of secondary characters (including three very strong women, something often missing in m/m romances), and a misunderstanding that might lead to disaster.

The misunderstanding was adorable and very fitting for this modern world we live in where relationships are often formed, maintained, and even severed in the virtual world. How many of us have done something on our machines that we’d never do in person? Making a comment, being honest, or, truthfully, sexting. Not me, but I can see the appeal of that kind of interaction, especially if you are very isolated in real life. Plus, what’s the harm?

Although I’m not quite as geeky as Conor, I felt an immediate affinity with him. He’s stuck in New York trying to get the best business deal he can, all the while feeling like a pretender. He’s doing this for his mom and his heart is in the right place, but he’s not really prepared to come up again glacial Grange – better known as Wells. The man is business all the way and there’s never a break in the façade of a tycoon and entrepreneur. Of course, all is not as it seems. Despite his nerves, Conor is capable in business and despite the veneer, Wells does have a heart. As his background is revealed, I did have some empathy for him and understood why he was the way he was. His treatment of his assistant Deb and his sister Wynne assured me he wasn’t a total asshole. The question was if he’d open enough to let Conor in.

In the end, I understood why Conor felt so hurt, Wells so guilty. I wanted them to have a happy ending but knew they’d have to work for it. Wells’ huge gesture was swoon-worthy but I was glad Conor understood the meaning behind it.

This is the first book in a planned five book series titled After Oscar. I’m intrigued to see where this is going and was thrilled to see several secondary characters already being pulled in. Here’s hoping there are more happy endings in store.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shamrock Spiced Omega

  • The Hollydale Omegas, Book 6
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: Drew Bacca
  • Length: 2 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

Greg may be an omega, but he doesn't let that define him. Aside from his almost compulsive need to clean, the most important thing to him is his job as the long-time bartender at The Big O. Greg is far from a delicate omega. In fact, he’s the same size as his best friend - an alpha who he always falls back into bed with when they’re between relationships.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • spice of the glover

  • By Kindle Customer on 04-21-19

Bromegas, Alien Peanuts, & Gold Coins

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

Reviewed: 03-01-19

For mpreg, this book was enjoyable. I’m still struggling with the whole, how does the omega man get pregnant, and, in this book, give birth? If you’re willing to forgo logic, then this is a cute little book. I want to say up front that there were way too many ‘bro’ mentions. I got it and although they were creative, they did become annoying. Also, sometimes pregnant omegas behave like stereotypical women and I wish that wasn’t so. If I wanted a whiny and insecure pregnant person, I could easily read an m/f book.

Okay, all that aside, I did enjoy the book. Braden and Greg have been friends forever, doing random hook-ups with each other when there’s nothing better going on. Since they live together, this arrangement is pretty convenient. Both see the good in the other person but while Greg is the responsible one with a regular job, Braden stays home and plays videogames. He happens to make a good living at it, but he doesn’t share that information with Greg. When each man realizes something’s missing in his life and his best friend might fill that void, he makes a move. Fortunately those feelings are mirrored and they begin a real relationship. Throw in a leprechaun, an unintended miracle pregnancy, and some gold coins and things get interesting. I liked that eventually the men did communicate and come to respect the other. Fall in love, even. And I loved their little bundle of joy.

Drew Bacca does a good job narrating the story, hitting just the right note for each man. Also, this is part of a series, so previous characters do reappear. I do appreciate, whenever possible, that the same narrator performs the entire series. I also thought the Shamrock theme was cute and that each story follows a holiday theme. As a woman with Irish heritage, I was extra thrilled to have the stereotypical Irish references. I hadn’t read the previous books but wasn’t lost so don’t worry if you’re dropping in mid-series. Overall, it was a cute and quick listen that I can recommend.