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The Book Wench

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  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 26
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  • Beard Wanted

  • Rent-a-Dom, Book 4
  • By: Susi Hawke, Piper Scott
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

Christian Kelley is down on his luck - big time. After moving to Las Vegas in the hopes of becoming an entertainer, he’s been met with nothing but rejection, so when a friend suggests he sign up with Rent-a-Dom as a service provider, he’s eager to give it a shot. While more naturally submissive than dominant, Christian is sure he can pull off the act well enough...at least, until the founder of Rent-a-Dom himself contacts him with an unusual proposal, and his world turns upside down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great series

  • By save our wildlife on 06-09-19

Intense, hot, and sweet

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

Reviewed: 06-05-19

Monty Mills and Christian Kelley begin their association for business reasons and end up pursuing it for personal pleasure. The need Monty wants Christian to fill requires them to spend increasingly more time together, which opens them each to love. The story is plausible, given the kind of business Monty runs and the expectations about what omegas can/should be doing. Christian's alpha persona is softer around the edges than one might expect; he's a big teddy bear who can be dominant when he needs to be. I can honestly say I didn't want this story to end. The performance was fine, with the actor making sufficient of a distinction between characters for me to know when each one was speaking. I only had two issues...one question at the end and one other problem. The question is why didn't Monty train Christian to do some of the work he needed help with, even if it was only to be his PA, at the same time as he was training him to take his place? The other problem is the BDSM element included at the end. I wasn't a fan of the slave/leash bit or the public nakedness. To me, it diminished Christian's importance in their relationship, belittled him, and made him inferior when he clearly wasn't. That's why I don't normally read BDSM because I react VERY negatively to slave/leash/humiliation scenes. I get why the writers felt the need to make it so, but I didn't like that it made Christian into a toy and nothing else. The public kiss was not enough to salvage it, either, as far as I was concerned since he still remained very naked and very chained.

  • Beg

  • His Command, Book 2
  • By: Piper Scott
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

In a city of sin broods an alpha tired of his past. Criminal defense attorney Marcus Hayes’ bedroom is empty, but he can’t bring himself to fill it. Years of casual encounters and heated play sessions with seasoned submissives have left him numb - and the older he gets, the more the lifestyle loses its allure. The change he knows he needs isn’t easy to come by. But change is closer than he thinks. Beneath blinding strobe lights toils an omega eager for a better future.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An engaging audio

  • By Sabbath on 05-31-19

Interesting age-gap, Dom/sub story

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

Reviewed: 05-31-19

Marcus Hayes and Lucian Bracknell meet in a bar and despite the rules against staff and customers engaging with each other, the attraction between them is irresistible. Lucian's past has made him determined never to bow to an alpha again, and Marcus is bored with his love life. They can't know that Marcus's enjoyment of power play in sexual relationships can trigger Lucian's flight mode, any more than they can know how much he will give up for the right omega. And yet, that's what happens when the two fall in love. His feelings for Lucian outweigh his need to earn a seven-figure paycheck from the legal team representing the man who enslaved Lucain for four years and he refuses the case. And when a pushy omega threatens to expose their relationship, which is against the rules of the club and would lose Lucian his job, Marcus puts on his last show in the place where he has spent the last ten years enjoying his dominance kink, so the would-be blackmailer and everyone else will know that Marcus and Lucian belong to each other. The narrative makes the story come alive, though I did find myself wishing that the actor would relax a bit more. His tone sometimes sounded a bit over the top in emphasis.

  • Healing Choice

  • Choose Your Fate, Book 1
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: Drew Bacca
  • Length: 4 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Tobias is stunned to discover his human heartsong is dying. Thankfully, the way to save him is to offer him the grandest adventure of all - one that involves immortal life, fated love, and a chance at a forever family in the Fae realm. The only problem is...before he can save his life, he first has to get Caleb to fall in love with him without using majicks or tricks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Usual Shifter Story

  • By Irish on 05-17-19

Just an okay story

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

Reviewed: 05-22-19

I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but I do know it wasn't this odd story of Caleb Beardsley, the dying shifter who finds his fated mate/heart song in Tobias of the Coppersmith Clan, a member of the Fae...no, NOT a fairy, if you please! Caleb exchanges a life certain to end before he has a chance to bring the young he conceives with Tobias into the mortal world for immortality with his mate and child in the land of the Fae. Their meeting and commitment to each other are pretty swift, and over by the halfway point in the story. After that, nothing happens; the rest is anticlimactic. Caleb meets a real fairy and ends up with his own personal fairy attendant, worries about meeting his in-laws, and has various other mundane experiences, including childbirth, none of which add anything to the emotional impact of the story.

There was almost no conflict, to begin with...how could there be when the choice to stay and die was clearly outweighed by the choice to cross over and live? I was rather bored after the halfway point but kept listening in hopes something would happen. And I was disappointed when nothing did. And how does Heather, Caleb's witch friend and 'handler' when he goes on these cancer-sniffing excursions at the beginning of the story, NOT recognize that she's being magically manipulated by Tobias? That was a rather big oversight as far as I'm concerned. I didn't buy her ignorance, and she was clearly not shocked when she discovered he was Fae, though I guess being a witch herself with a shifter for a friend, she would be more inclined to accept who he was. The narration was okay, given the actor's ability to switch between an American and a British accent, as well as between male and female speakers.

  • Northern Pines Den Alphas Books 4-6

  • Northern Pines Den Bundle, Book 2
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: John Solo
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

The Northern Pines Den series is an mpreg shifter series about found families, finding joy after pain, and the yummy scents of fated mates! The Northern Pines Den of bears found a solid ally in the newly formed Northern Lodge wolf pack - and together they face a foe as fierce as she is evil: the den Alpha’s estranged sister.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Final books on the series

  • By Gwen on 05-14-19

Not as eventful as the first trilogy...

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

Reviewed: 05-21-19

...and more interested in the personal than the political. We meet two new couples and lots and lots of children and new couples in the final story of their year-end celebration. The first two stories see an end to the main conflict...the attempts to assassinate the Alpha of the Northern Pines Den and to bring down the entire community. That they manage to capture and LOSE the leader of the bad guys, Mikael's sister Yvonne, seems like a way to force the fifth book, especially since she was captured using charmed restraints that should have kept her contained. That she's freed by the man whom they had given a second chance, who turns out to be her mate (unless I misheard that part) is a mixed bag in terms of plot.

The first story, about Liam and Frankie, turns the expected alpha/omega roles on their heads, which is a nice change, especially since nothing else much happens other than them scenting each other and claiming each other. The second story, between Hector and Drew, is not particularly exciting, aside from the brief description of the fight scene when Yvonne is finally defeated. Nothing is made of Mikael's feelings, though given what we know of him, it must be painful for him to have done what he needed to do to keep his people safe. The third story, a series of vignettes between various couples, their mates and children, is held rather loosely together by the plot device of the Solstice Festival.

As usual, the performance is fine, with the actor being able, for the most part, to evoke different characters by his use of accents and tones of voice.

  • In the Shadows

  • Metahuman Files, Book 3
  • By: Hailey Turner
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Staff Sergeant Alexei Dvorkin doesn’t trust easily, and he most certainly doesn’t trust spies. He’ll work with them if ordered to, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it. Except Agent Sean Delaney is proving to be the exception to the rule...When they’re assigned together for a mission, Alexei vows to keep Sean safe all while trying to coax the hot agent into his bed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loves these characters

  • By songbird on 05-23-19

Action-packed!

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

Reviewed: 05-09-19

Agent Sean Delaney and Staff Sargeant Alexei Dvorkin come together in this fast-paced HFN thriller where they fight against domestic enemies intent on causing havoc by creating a metahuman capable of defeating the MDF forces working to keep peace in the US and, when so tasked, in the world. Sean and Alexei are working undercover on a case when their cover is blown and the resultant investigation into how it happened leads to the discovery of a connection between a top CIA leader and the Sons of Adam, the homegrown terrorist group that the MDF has been fighting against since its inception. They must race to protect Sean's family, and then deploy to infiltrate and contain the trouble brewing as a result of their discovery of the new threat. And in between it all, they must find a place of trust, which they do, until their chemistry ignites into powerfully satisfying lovemaking. I can't give this story five stars because I found the development of their relationship to be quite stodgy, stilted, jerky, not smooth or organic. I couldn't believe it the first time they made love in Alexei's apartment. I kept going back to try and figure out where they had crossed the line from colleagues to friends to get to this point. And the other two times in between the action, when they got together, the switch from action and drama to steamy sex scene was awkward at best. And finally, the narrator's performance was fine, except that too often he missed making the right emphasis on a word that was pivotal to the meaning of the sentence he was reading and thus to the significance of the moment in the scene. He gets four stars for his great work on accents as well as his ability to distinguish between male and female tones. So, overall, four stars.

  • Northern Pines Den Alphas Books 1-3

  • Northern Pines Den Bundle, Book 1
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: John Solo
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

This three audiobook bundle contains the first three books in the best-selling Northern Pines Den series and is guaranteed to give a serious case of the feels. When the wolf pack and the bear den initiate an exchange program to help shifters find their fated mates, adventurous omega Taylor is the first to volunteer, drawing the attention of the den’s lonely alpha, Mikael. Mikael knows the tiny, colorful omega will either breathe new life into their stilted bear community or cause an outrage. Either way, it won't be boring to have him around.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Totally Worth The Credit.

  • By Loyia T. Lopez on 04-25-19

A cute threesome

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

Reviewed: 04-06-19

Altogether, these first stories in the series are pretty cute together. These are the stories of Mikael the Alpha bear of the Northern Pines Den, and Taylor, his omega from the Northern Lodge wolf pack; of Jules the former soldier and alpha jaguar (oddly pronounced 'jagwire' throughout the second two stories) shifter and his two mates, alpha wolf shifter Sean (Taylor's older brother) and omega bear shifter Colin; and of Alpha heir Stefan (Mikael's cousin) and his omega jaguar shifter Diego (Jules's cousin). I like the way the three stories are connected...Taylor and Mikael meet as a result of an agreement between their two communities to exchange visits in an effort to strengthen the alliance as well as to find fated mates for the single omegas. After Taylor and Mikael meet and bond, the subplot is introduced, and THAT story -- of Mikael's shunned sister Yvonne and her band of rogue shifters intent on killing the true Alpha and usurping his position in the Northern Pines Den -- is what brings the other two sets of lovers together in their own stories. The usual inevitable connection once the fated mate is scented is followed almost immediately by a mating which unerringly ends with pregnancy and the birth of young.

What differentiates these stories from each other is the omega, first of all. Each shifter has a unique personality; none of them is meek or submissive, and all are engaging. Taylor is sassy, flamboyant, and unapologetic in the face of intolerance. Colin is large and in charge of his life in the face of a sudden, devastating loss. Diego is decisive and courageous in the face of danger. In the case of the second story, the fact that it's a triad is an added difference between the stories. I applaud the narrator for his handling of what had to be a pretty challenging performance since he had to voice all the parts. I detected what sounded like a Southern accent (Taylor, and Sean to a lesser extent), a Russian one (not particularly convincingly done for Mikael) and a Spanish one (for Jules and Diego).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rescued

  • Alphabits, Book 1
  • By: Susi Hawke, Crista Crown
  • Narrated by: John Solo
  • Length: 4 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55

Lost. Stolen. Forgotten...until the Alphabits step in. Sam Remington, former leader of Team Beta, has a new dream: to lead a team whose sole purpose is to protect those most vulnerable - shifter pups.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great spin off

  • By Aerielle on 03-12-19

Sweet premiere!

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

Reviewed: 03-22-19

I love this low key, hopeful, sweetheart of a story. After the harsh and often cruel world of the Alpha Team, the Alphabits team needs to set itself up as equally as qualified but with a softer, gentler side, as befitting the targets of its services. The love between Dean and Sam is a pleasure to watch, and their protective instincts concerning John are a delight. It was great to watch Sam lead his team to organize and begin the work of this new team, and the writers manage to entertain us with the antics of the team members, particularly the twins. The warmth and reality of the characters are further established by Cyrus's bumbling but ultimately helpful persona and Sam's unexpected meltdown when Dean goes into labor, in contrast to his expected behavior as the alpha and the leader of his team. And then there's John, the sweet little boy who becomes the first 'case' that the Alphabits team solves satisfactorily. The performance was quite good, especially because the narrator was so successful in presenting ewach character at a different level of the voice range. His reading was clear and with very few misreadings. Overall, a successful piece!

  • Marshmallow Spiced Omega

  • The Hollydale Omegas, Book 7
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: Drew Bacca
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

Luke is a YouTuber known for his popular "Omega Manny Diary" videos. After a brief yet secret fling with his boss Ian’s best friend, he finds himself left with an even larger secret: Grazer’s baby. Grazer had a lot of fun with Luke, but he’d been up-front with him from the beginning. He’d always preferred to chase silver foxes - not young, fertile pups.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bunny Hope

  • By Katy Beth on 06-19-19

Uneven narrative

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

Reviewed: 03-16-19

Although overall this story is fine, I didn't like it as well as I did some of the others. I appreciated that it was low-angst, which is why the two arguments that Luke and Grayson get into feel so forced, so artificial to me. I also didn't quite feel the love they profess, especially since in the beginning it seemed, based on Luke's words, that all they had had before Grayson left, was a physical connection. Also, while the case of mistaken identity from which Grayson suffers in the beginning when he doesn't know who Sam is is amusing, the fact that it takes Luke so long after he reappears to speak the truth, and only after Grayson figures out the secret, is irritating. Luke doesn't endear himself to me as much as Grayson does. His behavior is often far too juvenile for a person who supposedly not only is rearing a child on his own in the beginning but who also runs a business. He seems rather quick to become defensive and is needlessly thoughtless where Grayson is concerned. Too, although Grayson is supposedly forty years old, being ten years older than Luke's thirty, and that might explain how laid back and mostly even-tempered he is, he still feels younger than that in the way he is presented. And there are unanswered questions at the end of this story. First, does Luke see the error of his ways and remove the baby from his YouTube channel, or do he and Grayson continue to be at odds over that? Second, what does Grayson do for a living? Mention is made of his being in the security business, but there's no mention of him working once he shows up in the story. Is he independently wealthy? Why do I have to guess? Luke doesn't seem to be the kind of man who would entertain someone without a job as his partner, nor would he be quiet about Grayson's employment status if he were actually jobless, The narrator enlivened the telling of the story, however, with the ease with which he changed voices as characters came and went.

  • Struck: An MM Mpreg Romance

  • Team A.L.P.H.A. Series, Book 3
  • By: Susi Hawke, Crista Crown
  • Narrated by: Colin Darcy
  • Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

David Dempsey, the younger omega brother of Team ALPHA’s crazy twin duo, has gone missing after a camping trip with some human friends. He'd only planned to celebrate his upcoming college graduation - but somehow ended up taken captive by a sketchy group after catching them in a criminal act when he wandered too far away from his group. Simon "Boomer" Chiarelli is a laid-back alpha with a love for things of an incendiary nature - but nothing has ever been as explosive as the connection he feels when he catches the scent of his mate.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Family

  • By Violet Marshall on 03-09-19

Good story, but also somewhat frustrating

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

Simon "Boomer" Chiarelli and David Dempsey are too cute together. I really like the way they grow together, despite the whole fated mate thing. But before I get into the story itself, I have to address the performance because I found it to be quite disconcerting. The surname Chiarelli is Italian, as David mentions. And since that's the case, WHY does the narrator have Boomer sounding like an African American man? The tone and accent of Boomer's character are not that of a white person, and yes, I can hear the differences. It kept knocking me off balance, especially as it's clear that the narrator has the ability to switch accents and tones as he does for the other characters, including females. That mistake spoils the performance for me...why make one of the MCs sound different from what his surname suggests he is? Unless Boomer and his family are interracial?

As to the story, I'll begin with the things I don't like...or rather the characters. And they would be Zeke and Ezra, David's older twin brothers. A worse set of rude and aggressive jerks (and I really have a far worse name in mind for them!) I have yet to meet. They're supposed to be among the good guys, but the way they treat, or rather MIStreat, Boomer, Zeke even more so than Ezra, is deplorable and inexcusable. That whole big brother posturing is ridiculous and leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. I find myself disliking them quite a bit, which detracts from my enjoyment of the story. And quite frankly, if they're to be given stories of their own, I'm not interested in reading them. Neither of them deserves any kind of happiness after the mess they try to make of their little brother's life, and the quite unfriendly acts they perpetrate against their supposed friend. They can go to H--E-2-hockey sticks for all I care!

David and Boomer are a lovely pair and though they ARE fated mates, it's nice to see them wanting to be more, and working to make a relationship based on more than hormones. Their families are also quite colorful, which makes for some funny scenes. I also like that though this is a novel of romantic suspense, the romance was not overshadowed by the suspense. In fact, for a change, the writers made the suspense the part that was left sort of hanging in the air, while completing the romance to our satisfaction. I appreciate that a lot.

  • 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 33
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 32

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
  • I love Ben so hard!!!

  • By Claudia AP on 05-26-19

Beautiful together, scars and all

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

A sweet story of love renewed, hearts reconnected, hope restored. Ben and Zach belong together, and the journey they make, over seven years, is painful and wonderful for them. Each has suffered tragedy, each has witnessed trauma, each has borne loss. How they find each other after their lives are horribly impacted by illness and an accident, and how they find their way to full trust makes this a lovely story. They must overcome their insecurities if they are to move forward, and they must learn to accept not only each other in their new realities but also themselves. They must face their fear of rejection, both by the other, and by society at large, and integrate all the sides of their lives together. Ben has a harder time with all this because his was the more visible change, and his acceptance of the way his life has changed must take into account the fact that he no longer has the beauty he once enjoyed to fall back on. He must see himself as beautiful so that he can accept that Zach does too and will not leave him when his eyesight returns. And Zach must accept that he may never be able to return to photography, but that his life's purpose can still be realized since it is his need to show the world those who are most in need of help that had won him accolades when he was fully sighted. Zach has to learn that perfect vision needs more than healthy eyes, and Ben has to learn that beauty is more than skin deep. The performance was fine...the narrator did a good job of differentiating between characters for the most part.