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Christina Wade

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  • 61
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  • Leaning into Forever

  • Leaning into Series, Book 7
  • By: Lane Hayes
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Geordie De La Rosa is a legend among wine lovers in Napa Valley. His ultra-fabulous style paired with a penchant for leading impromptu sing-a-longs has made him a star attraction at Conrad Winery. Co-owning a well-respected winery was never Geordie’s aspiration but he likes the niche he’s made for himself. He won’t deny that his job and his friends have helped ease his heartache and grief after the death of his longtime partner. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Moving On is never Easy

  • By Nadine Bookaholic on 09-08-18

Hands down, my favorite of the series

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

Reviewed: 09-05-18

The vocal performance is good. Mr. Russo also performed Nick and Wes' book and I found it interesting that I was able to recognize their voices in this book...I love the consistency with the characters' voices.

I feel like we’ve been waiting forever for Geordie’s story and honestly it was worth the wait. This story is damn near perfect.

Ms. Hayes could not have written a more authentically flawless match for Geordie than Levi. He is sweet, patient and kind. He doesn’t try to change Geordie or ‘tone down’ Geordie’s fabulous. He is over the top silly and entertaining. I absolutely loved how quickly Levi’s able to tune into and read Geordie and be exactly what he needs to start living again.

Geordie absolutely broke my heart…over and over again. His grief is a living, breathing thing…almost a separate character in the book and my heart physically ached for him. His history was sad at times but I loved learning about him moving to LA and everything that lead him to where he is now.

Levi and Geordie have off the chart sexual chemistry but the emotional chemistry is not to be discounted. Their banter is entertaining and their sweet moments are swoon worthy. Simply put, they are perfect together.

We get appearances from Wes and Nick of course, as well as Ryan and Danny. There is also a quick mention of the rest of the crew. We meet a couple of new characters we may see again.

This is probably my favorite series by Ms. Hayes and I’d venture to say this is my favorite of the series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • On Davis Row

  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible. Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4.5 Stars

  • By Belen on 08-26-18

This duo is absolute perfection.

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

I read this ebook back in November when it was released and loved it. This is my review of the story from November as I wouldn't change a thing. My review of the vocal performance is added at the end.

So…full disclosure: I’m a HUGE fan of Ms. Walker’s and am a bit gushy at times. While this book was very different from what she normally writes, I’d say it’s one of my favorites. The only thing that came to my mind when I read ‘The End’ (after sitting quietly for a few minutes) was ‘oh my God, oh my God Nic, what have you done to me?’ This book is heavy, at times hard to read, sweet, sometimes funny and honestly everything I love in a story. I felt EVERYTHING the characters felt right along with them.

I am a SUCKER for flawed (‘broken’) characters that have been shattered by their circumstances or the people in their life. I love the healing and redemption and watching that character FINALLY get what is deserved. And…just…Clinton. He ripped me to shreds. He has been knocked down - hard; kicked while he was down; crucified solely because of his lineage; and in case that wasn’t enough, spit on by life.

Normally, the ‘broken’ (I don’t like that term but can’t think of anything else to write) character is my favorite. And I loved Clinton but OH.MY.GOD. Noah. He is everything we all wish we could be. He is going to make a difference in the world; make it a better place to live. And he is absolutely perfect for Clinton and everything Clinton needs. I love them together. Their chemistry – both emotional and sexual – is palpable.

The supporting cast is great. Pops and Mr. Barese are amazing. I loved Gallen…and Terrell. Even the class instructor was pretty awesome for the 5 seconds we see him.

One of my favorite things about Ms. Walker’s writing is that at 90% of her books I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I know it’s coming but I usually can’t predict what’s going to happen. She doesn’t follow the ‘formula’ that so many other authors follow. It’s at 94% when it finally drops in this book. But everything that followed was GOLD and PERFECTION.

I didn't think this book could get any better but Joel Leslie proved me wrong. Again. Listening to his performance of this story just makes it so much better. This was such an emotional read for me and his performance amplified those feelings, so much so that I'm not sure when I'll be able to start another book. His performance is, as always, perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Starting Point

  • Turning Point Series, Book 3
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52

Matthew Elliott is a recovering man. As an ex-cop and ex-fighter, his new job teaching kids at the local community gym about drug awareness and self-defense, is a little bit of both. His new focus on helping street kids is helping him heal, and with Kira by his side, he's making strides. Brother and sister, Rueben and Claudia, are homeless kids and they're very much alone. As they strike a chord with Matt, he does everything in his power to help them. But when Ruby and Claude need more help than he bargained for, it stops being about work, and starts being about home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Don't want the series to end...

  • By ReadingMad100 on 10-08-18

Love this series

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

As is the case with most NR Walker series, I couldn’t stop this series once I started so I listened to all 3 of these right in a row (and I was really mad when folks interrupted my listening).

Thankfully, Mr. Crisden is back for the vocal performance. As much as I love Ms. Walker’s writing and storytelling, I honestly can say this series wouldn’t be the same without his performance. He absolutely brings these characters and this story to life.

This book picks up where book 2 left off and therefore isn’t a standalone. There is (thankfully) some much needing healing for these guys in this book and while there is some sadness and a little bit of drama, this story is much easier and happier to read.

This is absolutely another must read/listen to series from Ms. Walker.

  • Breaking Point

  • Turning Point Series, Book 2
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

Book two in the Turning Point Series. A fight for what's right becomes a fight for his life. As guilt plagues him, Matthew Elliott's world begins to spiral out of control. The harder he holds on, the more it slips through his fingers, and he's helpless to stop it. Entering into the underground cage-fighting scene, he starts out fighting for what's right. The deeper he gets, the more guilt consumes him - the more pain he takes for his penance - and he's soon fighting for more than justice. He's fighting for love. He's fighting for his life.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not perfect, but darned great!

  • By ReadingMad100 on 10-01-18

Wow...this one hurt, a lot.

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

As I stated in my review of book 1…I’m late to this series and I have no idea why. It’s VERY different from anything I’ve read by Ms. Walker but so damn good. I did not read the synopsis of any of the books before I listened to this series…I really had no idea what the series was about or what to expect from it. I didn’t read any reviews (I never do) because I don’t want my opinion skewed in any way going into a story. I almost wish I had at least read something so I was better prepared because this book HURT. A lot. I also wish I had read this book before listening to it because then I might have maybe a little bit (but probably not) been prepared to have my heart wrenched out of my body by Mr. Crisden’s performance. God, his performance was perfect. (Did I say that in my first review? Is that too repetitive if it’s true? Maybe I should use flawless or impeccable…) All the voices, all the EMOTION…I just…

After what happened to Kira in book one Matt is just…broken. I normally hate to use that description, leaning more toward bent or something similar but those words just aren’t strong enough to describe how far gone Matt has fallen. And it takes him hitting absolute rock bottom to stop the cycle. And what’s worse is he takes Kira down with him. And this is going to sound kind of crazy but I love that they aren’t 100% fixed at the end of the book…they’re on their way to healing but there isn’t a ‘OMG the book is about to be wrapped up so I need to fix everything and everyone even if it doesn’t make sense’ rush at the end.

There were a couple of nice little surprises in this one as well as some great new characters and I love where Matt ends up.
And here I go straight on to book 3!

  • The Master Will Appear

  • By: L.A. Witt
  • Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56

Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins. Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees. What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narration peeve

  • By SassiKassi on 08-01-18

Surprisingly good story and vocal performance.

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

I must admit, this story surprised me. The characters were so different not only because of their age difference but because of their backgrounds and their personalities…but they honestly just worked together. There were a couple of times Ryan’s age was obvious due to immaturity but overall, he wasn’t as bratty as I expected, and Misha was very patient with him which may be why we never saw much immaturity. They absolutely have serious sexual chemistry and their D/s relationship really worked for me. The angst of the story wasn’t unexpected and it was emotional but didn’t last long in comparison to the rest of the story.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a story about fencing. The author either did her research, has participated in the sport or is a fan of the sport because there is a lot of detail about it in this book…maybe a little more than necessary but not so much that it bothered me.

The vocal performance is good. This is the first time I’ve heard one of his performances and was impressed with his Russian accent. He had distinct voices for each character and performed the emotions beautifully. My only minor issue was him losing the Russian accent when in Misha’s head. That was a bit odd and confusing…Misha’s accent wouldn’t be lost when his dialog is internal so I’m not sure why it was performed that way.

I would definitely recommend this story and can honestly say I would pick listening to it over reading it which is usually not the case for me.

  • Point of No Return

  • Turning Point, Book 1
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

Matthew Elliot is one of LA’s best detectives. He’s been labeled the golden boy of the Fab Four: a team of four detectives who’ve closed down drug-rings all over the city. He’s smart, tough and exceptionally good at his job. He’s also a closeted gay man. Enter Kira Takeo Franco, the new boxing coach at the gym. Matthew can’t deny his immediate attraction to the man his fellow cops know as Frankie. But in allowing himself to fall in love with a man known to his colleagues, Matthew risks outing them both.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved Sean's Performance!

  • By Belen on 02-02-18

Wow...why did i wait so long to listen to this?

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

The vocal performance was in a word, perfect. As I listened to this performance I thought I’d found another new one-click vocal performer…I didn’t realize I’d heard Sean Crisden perform other books. I didn’t remember him being this damn good. As big an NR Walker fan as I am I don’t know why I hadn’t read this series but I hadn’t and I’m kind of glad my first time through them was in audio format thanks to Mr. Crisden. The voices for each of the characters are so impressive and he absolutely makes the story come to life.

This book/series is such a departure from the books I’ve read by Ms. Walker I was surprised it’s as good as it is. I have started to stray away from stories with closeted characters but it’s NR Walker so….

I like Matt and Kira so much. Kira is patient and sweet with Matt. They have immediate and explosive chemistry…chemistry is hard to hide. The resolution of the suspense plot was emotional and hard to listen to for everyone involved.

I can’t wait to move on to book 2!

  • Tight Quarters

  • Out of Uniform Series, Book 6
  • By: Annabeth Albert
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94

Petty Officer Bacon, a Navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: babysitting a silver fox journalist, who is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story and narration!

  • By Nadine Bookaholic on 07-13-18

Another great book in this series!

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

I kind of feel like I cheated with this book. I listened to book 5 and discovered vocal performer Greg Boudreaux. And because of that, I decided to listen to this book instead of reading it (and that is a RARE thing for me, trust me). I honestly think that gives me a whole different perspective on the story because Mr. Boudreaux is a game changer. His performance…man, he brings these characters to life. I honestly think he made Spencer more…likeable? I don’t know that I would have liked Spencer nearly as much if I had read the book as I did listening. I hated what Spencer did…what he chose. When Del told him how much he hurt him…man he just broke my heart and you FELT that with the performance.

Spencer…confused me. He took such loving care of Del (Bacon) when he had time off and they spent time together; spoiled him; helped put him back together after missions or hard training sessions. But then to make the decision he did, with such a simple solution available really made me wonder if he just didn’t, or couldn’t, be in a relationship where someone had to come before his career. And God bless Del for making him work for his forgiveness. I hate when characters just forget all the hurt but Del sure didn’t. All in all, I liked them together when they worked out their issues. They’re sexual chemistry is off the charts. Their banter is cute. Thankfully, they figure it out.

There is quite a bit of action in this book. And Curly stands up and shuts down the BS comments we continuously hear which was awesome. I love that in this series each story is so different from the rest…each with a unique plot and characters and can be read as a standalone. We get a hint for a future story which I can’t wait for. This is absolutely another must read in a fantastic series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Squared Away

  • Out of Uniform, Book 5
  • By: Annabeth Albert
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134

In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else - someone Mark remembers as a too-young, too-hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book will touch your soul and heart

  • By Neta_BER on 04-26-18

Be ready for heavy emotions

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

I am a self-proclaimed audiobook listening snob…and VERY hard to please when it comes to vocal performances. This is the first time I’ve heard a performance by Mr. Boudreaux and I have to say I’m damn impressed. So impressed that I’ve opted to listen to the next book in the series instead of reading it which has happened with only one other performer. He truly brought this story to life. He expressed the emotions of the characters perfectly. I loved listening to his voice which is a rarity with me. I can now say I’ve expanded the list of vocal performers I’ll one-click to two (yes, you read that correctly).

It took me a while to finish this book. I actually started it back in April. And let me assure you that there are few authors I trust more than Ms. Albert with my emotions, but this book scared me when I started it. She’s not kidding when she uses the word ‘tragedy’ in the synopsis. That tragedy is compounded with a dozen family issues. Throw in an unrequited crush that doesn’t go away for years, a closeted seal that not only discovered his sexuality late in life but carries around guilt and has a complex about it and that doesn’t make for an easy read.

There is a lot packed into this story and I couldn’t touch on all of it in my review without basically restating and ruining the entire book. Mark comes to terms with his sexuality (which after the opening scene surprised me and made perfect sense for him). He faces what his sister did. He deals with the grief of his parents’ death again. He learns that sharing the burden and giving up control is sometimes necessary and doesn’t make you weak but stronger. He learns the meaning of unconditional love. Isaiah discovers he wants more out of relationships – every type of them – than he’s been getting. He learns to stand up for himself and what’s important to him. He realizes that needing and asking for help and sharing the burden doesn’t make you weak but stronger. He finally understands that doing what’s necessary isn’t always enjoyable but usually rewarding in ways that mean the most. He finds his prince charming.

As with the rest of this series, I highly recommend this book. I think it could definitely be read as a standalone (although I highly recommend reading the rest of the series as well) even though there is mention of a few previous characters.

  • The Spencer Cohen Series, Book Three

  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 68

Learning to be in a committed relationship has been easy for Spencer. In fact, too easy. Andrew has fit into his life seamlessly. Spencer's let go of his insecurities and hang-ups, and he and Andrew are enjoying where things are headed. For the first time in years, Spencer's life is unbelievably perfect.
Andrew overthinks everything. So when Spencer gets a phone call from Australia, he's certain Spencer will push him away. But instead of driving them apart, maybe it will solidify what they already have.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4.5 Stars

  • By Belen on 05-12-18

Oh, Andrew...

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

Reviewed: 06-08-18

I read this book in February 2016. I just listened to it (and the previous 2 books) in May 2018. You wanna know the best part about listening to it after reading it? The vocal performance reminded me just how much I loved these characters. I hadn't forgotten, per se...but God Joel Leslie is SO GOOD at bringing these stories to life. I honestly want to shut everything and everyone else out and sit and listen.

If you cried at the end of book 1 with Spencer, you’ll need tissues again. But this book is absolutely perfect and I found myself with a goofy grin on my face throughout most of it. And no matter how slowly I read Ms. Walker's books so I can savor them, they never last long enough. I never want them to end.

Spencer had a bit of a rough go in this book but also had some amazing times. His healing continued, his confidence grew and he really showed us how amazing he is. His job, which was an area of contention for me was handled perfectly. He is adorably entertaining again…his banter with not only Andrew but all his friends, really made me full-on smile.

And Spencer isn’t the only amazing man in this book…Andrew is damn near perfect in this book. His rambling rants are absolutely adorable. His bossy, take over personality is as appealing as it is hot. He still lacked a bit of self-confidence in this story which is baffling when bossy Andrew also takes over at times. He is Spencer’s healer, caregiver, soulmate and his love. AND HE WILL MELT YOUR HEART AT THE END OF THE STORY (if he hadn't already)!

These two are simply perfect.

The supporting cast was awesome again. I don’t want this series to be over and I’ll have to listen to it over and over again to keep it alive.

Needless to say (but I will anyway), this is an absolute must listen book and series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Spencer Cohen Series, Book Two

  • Spencer Cohen Series #2
  • By: N. R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

Finally going from fake boyfriends to the real thing, Spencer Cohen and Andrew Landon are trying to take things slow. They know what they have could be something special, and despite the flammable sexual tension, they don't want to crash and burn. Spencer is learning to open up and share the secrets of his past with Andrew. Afraid to put his heart on the line but unable to stop himself, Spencer knows he's falling in love. Andrew is petrified of leaping in blindly, yet the slower they go, the faster they fall.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Super Sexy

  • By Belen on 04-19-18

Sigh...

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

Reviewed: 06-08-18

I don't know what else I can say about Mr. Leslie and Ms. Walker that I haven't already said. His performance - and yes, it is a performance, not a narration - is perfect as always. I just FEEL the book so much more than I ever do when I'm reading which is saying A LOT considering how much Ms. Walker makes me feel with her books.

I love the banter between the characters. I love how sweet and sexy these men are together. I love how I’ve read almost a dozen of her books and none of them are the same but are all fantastic. I love how I really just sit with a big goofy smile on my face the whole time I’m reading/listening to them.

The best part of this book? It’s about 65% in…where we don’t get the miscommunication…where it’s nipped in the bud right away. I cannot tell you how much I hate it when the angst of a story is built solely on a miscommunication that could have simply been resolved if the main characters had a conversation instead of just walking away silently from each other. I loved that they didn’t let a misunderstanding and a lack of a communication come between them, in fact it strengthened their relationship.

We learn more about both Spencer and Andrew in this one – even meeting Andrew’s parents, who are amazing. They work through a couple of minor issues and start having a real relationship, which is perfect for them.

Without a doubt Ms. Walker should be on your auto-buy list and if you haven’t already, you should listen this series (and really all her books) now.