Tag Archives: university

My Hero Audiobook by Max Vox Narrated by Jared Bradford

Max Vos Presents:  http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/My-Hero-Audiobook/B0147LP8RC

my heroBlurb

This is a gay male romance with explicit sexual situations between men.
When he was 16 years old, Rich Miller saved a young man from drowning at his local pool. Little did he know that years later, as a senior in college and Olympic diving hopeful, Rich would meet up once again with Johnny Milloway, now a big football player – and when Rich says big, he really means “bear”. The shy jock remembers his saviour, and the two men become friends.
Johnny isn’t put off by the fact that Rich is gay. In fact, the more time he spends with Rich, the more curious he becomes. Johnny wants to know all kinds of things – what it’s like to kiss a guy, for instance. Only it doesn’t stop there…
Rich finds it difficult to believe that this relationship can go anywhere. Johnny is straight, and Rich isn’t prepared to deal with the heartache he knows will come his way in the future. He has enough on his plate as it is – the worlds are just around the corner. His father would rather watch a football game than spend time watching his son dive. What he doesn’t count on is Johnny, who can be very determined. And having Johnny in his life proves to be a catalyst for some pretty earth-shattering changes.

Review

Rich, out and proud diver, rescued Johnny, straight football hero, once when they were kids – hence the name, My Hero. They meet again later in life, at college and become friends.

Johnny has a heart of gold and makes sure that everyone in his life treats Rich with respect. He doesn’t care that he’s gay and makes no bones about it with his friends. (This is especially important in the South, where the story takes place. Where football reins supreme.)

Over time, their friendship develops into something more sexual. Little forays into physicality that eventually lead to the them dating seriously.

Johnny, as you’d expect, has a bit of a hard time accepting that he might be gay (or bisexual) and the couple almost splits for good. But… with some fairly big leaps… Johnny repairs his relationship with Rich AND Rich repairs his relationship with his dad AND Rich ends up going to Worlds for a diving championship AND there is very little fall out surrounding the big gay reveal.

**

In general, you do have to take this story with a grain of salt. It’s a romance, first and foremost, and some things that happen are a little to “easy” to be believed, but touching nonetheless.

I loved the chemistry between Johnny and Rich, because though Johnny is the bigger guy, Rich has all the experience, so it’s a nice twist.

The boys are downright raunchy at times and very age-appropriate (ie sex on the brain all the time, food sex, marathon sex, sex on the dive platform… you get the idea!) but it’s all really fun.

The angst and drama aside, the bulk of this story is a fairly light-hearted, GFY/OFY sort of exploration of the self and though we get a very good HFN/possible HEA, you do have to use your imagination and hope to see them as a long term couple.

Audio

Jared Bradford is a new narrator for me. He does a fair job of trying to give everyone a unique voice and his attempts to make a southern girl voice are admirable if not entirely believable. I think that the audiobook was a good addition to the overall experience and if it wasn’t my favorite narration experience, it was definitely worth the listen.

4 of 5 hearts

4

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Fever Pitch (Love Lessons #2) Audiobook by Heidi Cullinan narrated by Iggy Toma

Samhain Publishing Presents: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Fever-Pitch-Audiobook/B00UTU656E/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1427734190&sr=1-2

Fever Pitch audiobookBlurb

Book Two of the Love Lessons Series

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella

Review

(Book review from previous site)

Finally!

That’s what I said when I found out Love Lesson’s was to finally have it’s sequel!

I knew it had been planned for a long time and was super excited to finally read it! Let me tell you that I was NOT disappointed!

This is another long book of the new adult variety, in keeping with the Love Lesson’s theme. Fever Pitch takes place at another university in the mid-west, small and liberal arts oriented – but no gay swans, mores the pity.

Aaron and Giles actually attended high school together their senior year. It is in their last days there that Aaron begins to give in to his cravings for male romance and Giles is happy to help him explore this side of his personality. Unfortunately, both boys are really quite scarred from past experiences and the relationship is over before it really begins, leaving Aaron tentatively in lust/love and Giles really pissed off.

Aaron follow Giles to St Timothy’s University, mostly in stalker fashion, and over the course of many months they eventually forge a friendship through their mutual love for music.

During this bonding process we get to see our friends Walter and Kelly again – woot! Walter ends up helping Aaron deal with his new feelings and helps him to “get his man”.

Once the boys get together the drama doesn’t stop. There are other crazy parents involved and other sad gay boys to be saved. We see parents who can help save lives and those who set out to ruin them. There is lots and lots of music being played, composed and sung. And finally there is a wedding. Sigh. Walter and Kelly get married in what has to be my all time favorite gay wedding to date.

I just loved these two books so much! This second book is even stronger than the first. The side issues are more serious and the tragedies more tragic. If I’m being honest… the sex is hotter too, but don’t tell that to Walter or Kelly.

I loved how the book furthers the lives of people we met in book one, but if you didn’t read the first book, no worries, this stands on its own quite nicely.

Again Heidi has given us a love story interwoven with some serious, coming of age issues and the result is a rich tale, full of well developed characters and satisfying story lines.

Audio
Iggy Toma does another amazing job with this sequel to Love Lessons. Again he gives us so much emotion and does such a nice job with the voicing that you can’t help but be captivated. I really appreciated his ability to just become fully engaged in the story and let the raw feelings ooze through his voice so that the listener feels like she is right there with Giles and Aaron, feeling their joy and pain.

5 of 5 hearts

5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Love Lessons Audiobook by Heidi Cullinan Narrated by Iggy Toma

Samhain Publishing Presents: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Love-Lessons-Audiobook/B00TYQO89K/ref=a_search_c4_1_7_srTtl?qid=1427733944&sr=1-7

love lessons audioBlurb

Love doesn’t come with a syllabus.

Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.

Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.

Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.

As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.

Warning: This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds

Review
(Book Reviewed on Previous Site)

Kelly is a small town guy with Disney –HEA – visions in his head. He just KNOWS life gets better in college and he won’t let anybody tell him otherwise.
Walter is the jaded, older student and now roommate who, at first, wants to break Kelly of his romantic ideal nonsense, then feels it’s his duty to protect those dreams and finally to make them come true.

This is a long book, so we cover a lot of ground and in a lot of detail.
We get a good, hard look at what makes Walter so cynical and a good look at what makes Kelly so idealistic.

We get to watch the relationship, in its early seedling stage nearly die before finally taking root to grow into a full-fledged, Disney-level-happiness, rock solid, Red-wood of a relationship.

This is a new adult novel. Not quite YA – too much drinking, drugs, and sex for that. But the story is more closely that of a YA than some of the other, far more raunchy, Heidi Cullinan “adult” books. It is very well written and very involved, like the rest of Heidi’s books, and hits all the right buttons for me.

I just love the characters. They are all very well developed, three-dimensional, interesting and unique. There are several secondary characters that add complexity to the story and help to give this book it’s authentic flavors.

Kelly is an amazing guy. Heidi has managed to give us a freshman boy, who loves Disney movies, is a die-hard romantic, a virgin and yet he is still very much a boy. I love him! I love that he idolizes Tangled and has dreams of how his first date, first sex and wedding should all be. I loved the juxtaposition of his money poor, love rich household with Walter’s money rich, love poor life. Walter, the playboy, the cynic, the last guy to imagine Happy Ever After is the PERFECT choice for Kelly.

Their story is told slowly, organically growing and unfolding tenderly in such a way that we can easily see how the switches can be flipped and how our jaded Walter can come around to being Kelly’s Prince by the end of the book.

I could really relate to Kelly’s vision of what love “should and should not” be, I think many of us remember that time in our lives – whether it was high school, college, or later in life – and how hard it was to mesh that vision in our head with what life hands us. What I admired was how Kelly held on to his vision of Disney-Princess-Happiness without shame or wavering even in the face of disillusionment and that, in the end, his enduring faith brought everyone around and actualized his feelings rather than crushing his spirit.

The length of the book is both its strength and weakness. It takes a little dedication – there are times the story drags and it takes a little perseverance. However, the pay out is definitely worth it. Because she doesn’t compromise on length, the story feels very natural and real, and because life is more than just romance, the added side stories Heidi guides us through help us to see how our MCs are growing and changing in a way that feels authentic.
By the end I think everyone will have at least some tears in their eyes if they are not out-right bawling. It is an amazingly tender, sweet and satisfying book on many levels.

You will fall in love with Kelly and Walter and – now that I have read the sequel – I can tell you that you will be excited to know we get to see even more of them real soon and it only makes this book that much more sweet.

Audio

Iggy Toma is a new narrator to me and he did a fantastic job with this series. He adds so much real emotion that the listener is truly immersed in the story right along with the characters. He did some subtle variations on the voices, enough to differentiate the speakers, but did not go over the top with them. I really, really enjoyed listening to this and will probably find myself listening to it again and again – all 10 hours!

The listening experience contributes so much to the enjoyment to bump this to a 5 of 5 hearts! I loved it!

5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n