Category Archives: Humour

Candy Man Audiobook by Amy Lane Narrated by Philip Alces

Dreamspinner Presents:
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Candy-Man-Audiobook/B014WARB1O

candy audioBlurb

Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and he missed a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he’s taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that’s to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers? Need not apply.

Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he’s applying to Candy Heaven and decides he’s much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny—and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning—Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.

But Finn is tenacious, and Adam’s new boss, Darrin, doesn’t take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder—letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple, and the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.

Review

(From previously on site)

Adam is having a rough life. His mother and grandmother treated him like pond scum growing up, so he joined the military to prove he was “worthy”. He fell in love with one of his fellow soldiers, only to be left high and dry when his lover didn’t want to come out of the closet. He returned to the states to go back to school, but lost his grant when his car died and he could no longer attend classes. With his last gasp, he heads up to his cousin’s apartment for 6 months of free rent to try to get his life in order.

With what feels like divine intervention, Adam stumbles into Candy Heaven following the Help Wanted sign and is immediately set to work. His boss also plays the role of his fairy godfather and matchmaker by hooking him up with Finn, the sandwich delivery guy.

Finn is young, idealistic, freshly single, and unstoppable. He sees the darkness in Adam and knows he can bring in the light. By pairing his cheery disposition with offerings of free food, he slowly breaks through the walls surrounding Adam’s heart.

Adam, who fully believes he isn’t worthy of someone like Finn, does what he can to stave off the romance, but when he really needs help, Finn is there and it’s Finn who helps him see that he does have value and most importantly – hope.

**
This is one of Amy’s relatively “low angst” stories. Of course she will make you cry (for me it was at least twice) but most of the story is full of “awwww”. I was reminded of her story Christmas Kitsch in that Oliver – little Oliver – was the force of nature – blowing in and taking charge. In The Candy Man – that’s Finn. He won’t take no for an answer and he’s fearless.

I also really enjoyed the secondary characters and I really hope Joni gets her girl one day and that we get to read more about Rico’s romance. (Fingers crossed!). The vaguely paranormal part of the story left me with a new respect for Pixie Stix, as well!

Amy can describe a scene so thoroughly that I could picture Adam’s drawings, Finn’s hair, Gonzo’s fight against the medicine – everything. Adam’s sketch book journal was a particularly wonderful vehicle for showing both us and Finn the inside workings of his brain and past and I thought it was a tremendously clever tool.

I am thankful for this sweet story with little angst she has given us to brighten up our holiday season.

Audio

Philip Alces is growing on me I admit. I really enjoyed listening to this and thought he did a great job with Finn and Adam – especially the emotional times. I think he’s growing more comfortable with that aspect of his narration and it shows.

5 of 5 hearts

5

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Family and Reflection (The Sleepless City: Book Three) by Anne Barwell

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6464

FamilyandreflectionBlurb

For as long as Lucas Coate can remember, werewolves have been taught to mistrust vampires. Lucas is an exception—he has close friends who are vampires. The werewolf pack in Flint—and their leader, Jacob Coate—have made it clear that Lucas’s association with vampires is barely tolerated, and another transgression will be his last. When Lucas finds out about the plague of werewolf deaths in the area, he wants to help even though his own life may already be in danger.

Declan has been away from Flint for ten years, but he isn’t surprised to learn that the internal politics of the Supernatural Council haven’t changed for the better. When a series of burglaries hit close to home soon after he arrives, Declan—a vampire and professional thief—is their prime suspect, although for once, he isn’t responsible. With the council keeping secrets, no one is safe. Time is running out, and for Lucas and Declan, everything is about to change.

Review

This is book three in the series and can be read alone, but really should be read in order in the series.

We’ve met Declan before – Forge’s longtime vampire lover. He’s a very old vampire, a thief, and a man of mystery.

Then there’s Lucas, the werewolf that doesn’t quite fit in with his pack but who has formed his own pack with his friends, the vampires – even though werewolves and vampires don’t mix!

Declan has been out of town for these last 10 years and when he returns he finds himself immediately drawn to Lucas. Lucas is equally attracted and both think the other might be “the one” but neither thinks the other feels anything but friendship.

When they finally admit they have feelings for one another their chemistry is explosive. They realize they are mates, despite the astronomical odds of such a pairing.

In the meantime – of course – there is another mystery to be solved (this time Declan is the accused) and a werewolf plague as well and a trickster is involved.

We get to see a bit of Blair and Forge, Simon and Ben and meet a new human PhD student, Ange.

**

Just as with books one and two the mystery and the life in Flint plays an important (central, really) role. Lucas and Declan’s romance is almost too easy and though it is interesting, there isn’t a lot of angst in their relationship.

Most of the drama is surrounding the mystery to be solved.

I think that this series is very well written. Both authors have given us terrifically well rounded MCs, well designed and clever mysteries and world building that is very thorough and interesting.

If you like a lot of mystery with your romance, some interesting twists on the werewolf/vampire mythos, and a little bit a dry humor – this is the series for you.

I have enjoyed this series so far and look forward to the audio version as they have all been excellent.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Waiting for the Rain Audiobook by Susan Mac Nicol Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6639

WaitingForRainAUDMEDBlurb

The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.

Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled, tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.

Review

Toby is the manager of a hotel. He’s just booted his last boyfriend for smacking him around, he’s not necessarily looking to get involved with anyone right now.

Rain – not his real name – is working at Toby’s hotel in construction – he’s newly single and definitely not looking for any relationship. But… Rain is super hot for Toby, from the first moment they meet and vice versa.

Toby and Rain start a furtive relationship of handjobs and BJs – they aren’t even really sure they like one another. But… as time passes Toby wants more. He asks for and gets a date.

The “date” shows them both there is more to their ‘relationship’ than just quick getting-off.

Rain has a past – where he’s been hurt, so he’s guarded. Toby doesn’t trust easily and has a confusing relationship with his current boss that muddies the waters.
Then there’s the sheep…

In the end these guys make their way to a HEA and there’s stripping!

**

I have to tell you that this story just didn’t do it for me. I kept starting and stopping and putting it away, hoping for inspiration at another time.

Finally, I just pushed through and though there are some moments that are funny, some hot sex scenes and some tender declarations, I was never “moved”.

For me there just wasn’t that “hook” where you get invested in the characters or the story and just “have to keep reading/listening” to find out what happens next.

I just didn’t really care all that much. The writing was fine and the narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies did a fine job – in fact he did a great job – but I was just never that caught up in the story. Matthew gives everyone a different voice and that really added to the overall enjoyment.

I think the other thing that made this story hard for me was it’s length. There is a lot of side-story going on: the exes, the boss, the sheep, the fathers, the town drought… it got distracting.

So… I would definitely look to this author again – I can see that she has definite talent, but this story just didn’t flip any of my switches.

I give it 3 of 5 hearts for the narration because he did such a great job and the story wasn’t bad, just not terrific.

3

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Tigers on the Run (Book 3) by Sean Kennedy

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6631

TigersontheRunBlurb

Young Australian Micah Johnson is the first AFL player to be out at the beginning of his career. Retired professional football player Declan Tyler mentors Micah, but he finds it difficult, as Micah is prone to making poor life choices that land him in trouble. Nothing Dec can’t handle. He’s been there, done that, more times than he’d like to admit. Being Simon Murray’s partner all these years has Dec quite experienced in long-suffering and mishaps.

As usual, Simon thinks everything is going along just fine until his assistant, Coby, tells him a secret involving an old nemesis. Simon and Dec’s problems mash together, and to solve them, they must undertake a thousand-kilometer round trip in which issues will have to be sorted out, apologies are finally given, and a runaway kid is retrieved and returned to his worried parents.

Review

We saw Simon and Declan move from cautious lovers to full on partners in books 1 and 2. We saw lots of drama in between. Without sounding too glib, book three is yet more drama – but, really – isn’t that just life?
What makes books like these fun is the jumping back into the lives of the characters that you fell in love with originally. Simon’s sarcastic self, Declan’s reserve. Then there are Fran and Roger and Lisa and Abe – catching up with them in their lives as well.

Unfortunately there is also Jasper – and he takes up a fair bit of the book with his shenanigans, too. But things are changing with Jasper, he makes a new “friend” in Coby, Simon’s assistant.

So, if you are a fan of the series you’ll want to check in on the guys and see what they’re up to. Maybe in the next book we might find ourselves invited to a wedding so that we can see Simon and Dec “destroy the sanctity of marriage”? ☺

Though I wish there’d been some more “romance” in this “romance” it was fun catching up with the gang. (There is next to nothing in the smexy department, much to my dismay!) But lots of affection and true love.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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Dumb Jock #1 Audiobook by Jeff Erno Narrated by Tommy O’Brien

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6748

Bjocklurb

Dumb Jock: Book One

Jeff Irwin is short, timid, and studious. A bit of a social outcast, he lives quietly in the shadows of the popular kids at his school, his life ruled by his ever-present fear of rejection or failure.

Enter high school football hero Brett Willson and the chance for Jeff to embark upon the challenge of educating the world’s dumbest jock.

But what develops between Brett and Jeff proves far more challenging than any tutoring session. In 1983, rural Michigan isn’t ready to embrace love between two men, never mind two teenage boys. If they’re going to make a go of it, Jeff will have to come out of his shell—and Brett will have to prove he’s more than just a dumb jock.

Review

This is a YA book – so you can expect that this has a fairly predictable message – but it’s a sweet and good one. Nerd loves jock. Jock surprises nerd and loves him back. Everyone has to grow up and be brave.

To me this felt like there was a bit of “fantasy” type stuff in here – meaning – the people didn’t necessarily act like I think they would in real life. But… that being said – they could act that way… especially since this shows us only one perspective- Jeff’s and from his adult viewpoint looking back.

I appreciated the lengths the author went to really get inside Jeff’s head and let this story out as one of hope for all those bullied along in high school.  The ending was super, super sweet.  A nice touch after all the heart-wrenching angst.

There are some interesting components to this as a YA book. 1) Off page sex – both are underage and it fits, but it’s there. 2) a bit of a Dom/sub thing – not overworked or “inappropriate” per se – interesting setting for it, though.

Audio

Tommy O’Brien is not my favorite narrator but he did a nice job with the narration, neither really adding nor detracting from the overall experience.

I think my overall impression was one of “good”. It was good. It didn’t “wow” me or make me think “how awful”. It was good. Certainly enough to make me consider more from the series when I’m in a YA mood.

3 of 5 hearts

3

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The Lightning Struck Heart by TJ Klune

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6663

LightningStruckHeart[The]Blurb

Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or so he thinks.

Review

Sam is going to be a powerful wizard one day. One day. For now he’s stuck serving a jerk named Justin who is engaged to marry Ryan – the guy Sam has had a crush on since forever.

When Justin gets kidnapped by a dragon Sam and Ryan go to save him.

What happens next – for nearly four hundred pages – is lots of banter (as only TJ Klune knows how to create) amid hysterical adventures with bizarre (and sometimes kinky and over-sexed) creatures.

We have Gary the snarky, sometimes bitchy, always vain, hornless, gay unicorn.

Then there’s Tiggy a half-giant who won’t win genius of the year but who is fiercely loyal and true.

Finally – our two MCs connect and we get a happy ending.

**

Ok – so I’m gonna tell you that I DNF’d this for now. One day I might finish it, but I got OVERWHELMED by the banter and the non-discussing of the issues and the never ending puns and stuff. I wanted some ROMANCE and though there is some in this book – there isn’t nearly enough to satisfy my sappy heart.

I did sneak a peek at the end and I was grateful that Sam and Ryan get their HEA but I was so bummed because I also found out that the end (300 some pages into it) is when they first get “together”.

So – for now – I’m setting this aside and when I want a MOSTLY funny and a little romantic fantasy – I’ll pull this one back out. I do appreciate TJ’s humor but I gotta tell you I really think he needs a good, strong editor. Someone to rein in the monologues and get the story back on track.

My friend had this to say about her experience reading the book:

I stayed up forever finishing The Lightning-Struck Heart. F**k! I’m so mad! It was exactly like I’d thought it would be. Now, I’m not saying it was a bad book, because it wasn’t. TJ’s books are always funny and entertaining but… the MCs are in love with each other YEARS before the book starts and they don’t get together until 95% [of the way through the book]…95 f**king %!!!!!! I have rage!!!!! I was like…. This book could have been 1/3 of the length if the characters would just shut the f**k up with the banter once in awhile. Ugh! The banter is fun but there is WAY too much of it!! And [really] no one can be clueless for 412 pages for f**k’s sake!!
…If you’re selling your books as romance, [m]aybe have the people be together for more than 5% of the book.

That is essentially what I was feeling – only without putting the effort of getting through the 421 pages myself.

One day I will. I’m sure. Because I’m sure it’s hilarious. But… I want a LOT of romance in my books and this just doesn’t qualify.

So…. If you are looking for a funny, fantasy, gay story with a bit of romance this is for you.

For what it’s worth my friend gave this a 4 of 5 hearts despite the rant. ☺

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Sixty-Five Hours by NR Walker

NR Walker Presents http://www.amazon.com/Sixty-Five-Hours-N-R-Walker-ebook/dp/B012UQUQXC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438882874&sr=8-1&keywords=sixty+five+hours

sixty fiveBlurb

Cameron Fletcher and Lucas Hensley are advertising executives who have Sixty Five Hours to pull together the campaign of their careers.

Sixty Five Hours to get along. Sixty Five Hours to not kill each other. Sixty Five Hours to fall in love.

** First published in 2012. No additional content has been added.

Review

This is a wonderful short story about two rivals who have to work together for sixty five hours to make an ad campaign for condoms and lube.

Lucas is out and proud and Cameron is exceedingly jealous of that fact. Lucas manages to pull Cameron out of his shell and in the meantime discover that he really, really likes that guy.

The sexy-times in this story are HOT and I absolutely loved all the sock and feet imagery. I can totally picture the ad campaign and thought it was brilliant! (Especially the health and safety part.)

I was glad to buy this from amazon- though it’s free again!- but I gotta say, that I loved the first cover better. Sorry! But the socks are the story and it was a really cute cover!

Half naked businessman on white

Half naked businessman on white

So – if you haven’t read this delightful story do yourself a favor and go get it!

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

 

 

 

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Red Dirt Heart 2 by N. R. Walker

NR Walker Presents http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dirt-Heart-ebook/dp/B00MT7VJZM/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408388771&sr=1-3&keywords=red+dirt+heart

red dirt heart 2Blurb

Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun and loneliness.

Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll.

Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what’s on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he’s pushing Travis away – yet seems helpless to stop it.

When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won’t be theirs to make.

Review
(From Previous Site)

Travis and Charlie have been living and working together for 6 months now and things are mostly on an even keel. The two stubborn boys clash now and again, but mostly, they love one another.

They have some minor/major-ish squabbles over Travis wanting to raise a baby Kangaroo and Charlie worrying incessantly that Travis isn’t happy out in the boonies. But then … real trouble hits when immigration pulls Travis’ visa and Travis faces exportation.

Wow oh wow this was a great book! I had wondered what trouble the boys would get into since the last book ended fairly happily settled and boy do they have trouble.

Charlie really fretted this book. Like constantly. He just can’t get his brain wrapped around Travis being happy out there. The two fight and fight about it and almost split up as a result. But then Charlie digs deep and does some really, really amazing growing and – pull out the tissues – the end result is so sweet, it makes your teeth ache. (The scene at the Cattleman’s meeting and Immigration are the places where the Kleenex will come most in handy!)

I love Charlie and Travis as a couple and was so pleased to see them dealing with real life issues but still retaining the fairy tale romance.

I highly recommend this book and the series. 5 of 5 hearts.

5

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Murder and Mayhem Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Dreamspinner Presents  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6817

murder mayhem audioBlurb

Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

Review

(From previously)

This another amazing work by Rhys Ford! Rook is a thief, trying to get clean, but stuck in the middle of family drama “that keeps pulling him in”!

Dante is the cop on the case – at first determined to put Rook behind bars, but later determined to keep the man in his bed.

It’s a wonderful story of enemies to lovers with that special, emotionally charged twist that Rhys infuses into all her work. Rook is such a great character – warm hearted, giving, loyal, and totally unaware of how awesome he is.

Dante is the tough, alpha figure who knows a gem when he sees it. He won’t let Rook slip through his fingers and he’s lucky enough to get Rook’s crazy family, too.

The sex scenes were amazing, the love story so sweet and the action/mystery compelling.

I enjoyed the pop-culture references and laughed out loud many times. It was great seeing Alex again and catching up with him a bit. I also LOVED the pet names they had for each other… so adorable!

I can’t wait for this to be an audiobook – it’s going to go up with my Cole McGinnis stories as those books you just read/listen to again and again.

 

Audio

Greg Tremblay is so amazingly talented! Gah! He gives each character, secondary or main, the full spectrum of his talent, each an individual identity and flavor. I ADORED his Dante… just the right amount of accent to sizzle and Rook was delightfully sweet and vulnerable.

He absolutely adds to the overall enjoyment of this story and makes a great book even more wonderful.

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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Piece of Cake (Matter of Time #8) by Mary Calmes

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6727

PieceofCakeBlurb

After years of domestic partnership, Jory Harcourt and Sam Kage are finally going to make it official in their home state of Illinois. It’s been a long and rocky road, and nothing—not disasters at work, not the weather, not a possible stalker, not even getting beat up and having to attend the ceremony looking like he just got mugged—will make Jory wait one more day to make an honest man of the love of his life.

Should be a piece of cake, right?

 

 

Review

It’s with a sad, and joyous heart I get to review this – the last in the series of Jory and Sam. This is one of Mary Calmes’ best series, Sam and Jory have gone through so much together. Jory- always into trouble. Sam – always the growly protective Alpha Male.

In this – way too short IMHO – story we see Sam and Jory marrying (again) legally in Illinois. There are short glimpses of many of Mary’s other MCs – Miro and Ian; Aaron and Duncan – which add nostalgia and humor to an already bitter-sweet story. (My absolutely most favorite part of the story had to be the telephone conversation between Miro/Ian and Sam – so hysterical!)

Jory has inadvertently pissed off some woman and she hires a hit man and of course Sam has to save the day – which he does with the same exasperation he always shows in these situations.

Jory and Sam have an explosive chemistry and its shown again and again both emotionally and physically.

I really loved seeing the kids growing up to mimic their dads and of course seeing how well the relationship between Sam and Jory has been maintained.

So, with tears in my eyes, I say good-bye to this wonderful series – and I will just have to start the whole thing over again to experience the wonderful times we shared with these guys.

5 of 5 hearts

5

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