The Nothingness of Ben Audiobook by Brad Boney Narrated by Charlie David

Dreamspinner Presents:



Ben Walsh is well on his way to becoming one of Manhattan’s top litigators, with a gorgeous boyfriend and friends on the A-list. His life is perfect until he gets a phone call that brings it all crashing down: a car accident takes his parents, and now he must return to Austin to raise three teenage brothers he barely knows.

During the funeral, Ben meets Travis Atwood, the redneck neighbor with a huge heart. Their relationship initially runs hot and cold, from contentious to flirtatious, but when the weight of responsibility starts wearing on Ben, he turns to Travis, and the pressure shapes their friendship into something that feels a lot like love. Ben thinks he’s found a way to have his old life, his new life, and Travis too, but love isn’t always easy. Will he learn to recognize that sometimes the worst thing imaginable can lead him to the place he was meant to be?

My Review

Ben lives in New York at the start of the story, he’s friends with the influential and looking to rise quickly in the world of lawyers. His parents die suddenly and leave him his younger brothers to raise – back in Texas. He’s sure the thing to do is move everyone back to NYC , there isn’t anything keeping him in Texas and many reasons to leave the dust behind. Until…

Travis has been friends with the Walshes for a while now and is especially close to their sons. He plays an influential role in helping Ben reconnect with his brothers and somehow, along the way, finds himself being attracted to a man (Ben) for the first time in his life.

The attraction is mutual, though the path to love is far from easy. First there are the brothers – they don’t trust Ben and don’t know how he’s going to fit in their lives again. Then there’s the fact that Travis has some pretty hefty hurdles to overcome concerning his own sexuality. Finally, once Ben and Travis are together and the boys have come around, there is the problem of location. Namely, Ben can’t see himself in Texas and no one else can see themselves in NYC – especially not Travis, who really is a good ol’ boy at heart.

After some much needed time apart, the advice from friends and some unexpected visits from beyond the grave, Travis and Ben re-prioritize and we get our HEA.

I have to admit, I didn’t like this book nearly as much when I first read it as I do now that I have read the subsequent sequels. Without giving away too much, just let me say that Travis and Ben have much more to their relationship than we see here and the payoff is really, really worth it.

This is essentially a GFY story for Travis and a sort of coming of age story for Ben in that he has a lot of growing up to do, despite his years. The book is heavy on dialog and the romance, the sex is subtle, slow building, but very sweet. Again, with a re-read after knowing more about the characters from the next books, the subtleties are really showcased as quiet clues to a much bigger, more amazing story that you will want to re-read this book just to catch them.

I highly recommend this book and the subsequent books that follow.

I give it 4.5 of 5 hearts


Charlie David is one of my favorite m/m narrators. He does a really fantastic job with the southern drawls and is very easy to listen to. The sound quality is excellent and I think that I enjoyed listening to the audiobook even more than reading it, due to the quality of the narration.

I give it 4.5 of 5 hearts.

Overall, 4.5 of 5 hearts.

The Eskimo Slugger by Brad Boney









Dreamspinner Presents:


It’s the summer of 1983, and Trent Days is Major League Baseball’s rookie sensation. Born in Alaska to an Inupiat mother, the press have dubbed him the Eskimo Slugger, but a midseason collision at home plate temporarily halts his meteoric rise to the top.

Sent back to Austin to recuperate, Trent visits his favorite record store, Inner Sanctum, where he meets amiable law student Brendan Baxter. A skip in the vinyl of New Order’s “Blue Monday” drives Trent back to Brendan, and their romance takes them into uncharted territory.

As Trent’s feelings move from casual to serious, he’s faced with an impossible dilemma. Does he abandon any hope of a future with Brendan and return to the shadows and secrets of professional sports? Or does he embrace the possibility of real love and leave baseball behind him forever? As he struggles with his decision, Trent embarks on a journey of self-discovery—to figure out who he really is and what matters most.

My review

Trent is a baseball player from Alaska, thus the name Eskimo Slugger. He’s at the top of his game when he gets injured and ends up spending two weeks in Austin, TX. There he meets Brendan, a law student/record store clerk. They start as friends but once Brendan tentatively asks Trent “Is this a date?” the two acknowledge the deeper aspect of their blossoming relationship. The two immediately set sparks off one another, though neither has ever had a gay relationship before.

With some pretty funny forays into gay sex, the two explore each other and a relatively unexplored aspect to their personalities. For Brendan, being gay is something he’s pondered but been afraid of, but with the right incentive he embraces the idea and eventually decides to incorporate into his life fully and without secrecy.

For Trent, being gay means possibly (probably) the end of his career, certainly the end of his life as it stands currently, and though he’s always known he was gay, he has never let himself entertain the idea that he could actually live as a gay man.

Brendan enlists the help of Stanton and Hutch (from The Return) as “gay mentors” and together, with Bill Walsh (from The Nothingness of Ben) the group bonds, smoke a lot of weed and begin to form relationships that even death won’t end.

Ultimately, Trent has to make the biggest decision of his life: Choose baseball or choose Brendan. Perhaps the two can be together, but probably it’s one or the other.


By now you should have read the first two books (The Nothingness of Ben and The Return). If you haven’t – go! What are you waiting for? Technically this could be a standalone, I guess, but it won’t make a heck of a lot of sense and will leave you very unsatisfied.

If you have read the other books you know that the end of this book is really the beginning of TNOB. That, Brad Boney, is an amazing feat! Mr. Boney has managed to create this beautiful circular set of books that literally bleeds one into the other so that (as a reader) you want to just keep going round and round the merry-go-round.

I found myself referencing both of the earlier books time and again with the “treasures” that were revealed throughout this book. Without completely giving away all the secrets just know that the MCs of all three books are inter-related in various ways and little bits of their stories, past and present are slipped in throughout the story.

In The Return it was all about music – fast paced facts and quips, with Slugger it’s baseball. For me, the music was more interesting, but if you are a baseball fan this will really hit home. (See what I did there?)

I didn’t like the love story as much in Slugger as in The Return or TNOB, probably because it happens so quickly. I just never felt the emotion – especially from Brendan. Trent was invested, you get that feeling so strongly. Brendan was too standoffish for me and it made me a little sad. But… since I know what I know about how things end… he’s forgiven ☺.

I really, really enjoyed these books and was sad to see it end. I can’t say for sure, but I think that if I were to recommend a reading order I would say start with The Return, then Slugger then finish with TNOB. There may be something “missing” with that order, but I think, ultimately, it will be so much more satisfying. Or… do as the author may have intended and read it : TNOB, Return, Slugger, TNOB… and so on and so on…

Just a fantastic book all around, 5 of 5 hearts and for the series 6 of 5!


Bones (Gothika #2) by Eli Easton, Jamie Fessenden, Kim Fielding and BJ Thomas

Dreamspinner presents:



Vodou. Obeah. Santeria. These religions seem mysterious and dark to the uninitiated, but the truth is often very different. Still, while they hold the potential for great power, they can be dangerous to those who don’t take appropriate precautions. Interfering with the spirits is best left to those who know what they’re doing, for when the proper respect isn’t shown, trouble can follow. In these four novellas, steamy nights of possession and exotic ritual will trigger forbidden passion and love. You cannot hide your desires from the loa, or from the maddening spell of the drums. Four acclaimed m/m authors imagine homoerotic love under the spell of Voodoo.

The Dance by Kim Fielding
After being surrounded by deaths and near-deaths, introverted chemist Bram Tillman wishes he could undo the past year. Then beautiful Daniel Royer shows up with a warning about more danger ahead—and a promise to use vodou to help Bram discover what’s trying to kill him. But while Bram’s attraction to Daniel grows, vodou spirits change Bram in unexpected ways.




Bram has lost his lover in the last year and with him, much of his joy in life. In addition to that, he’s the victim of a random attack that puts him in the hospital. Next come a series of near death experiences no one can explain… except for Daniel, the brother of the man that put Bram in the hospital.

Daniel’s answer: voodoo. Bram, a man of science is not swayed by this argument but he is entranced by Daniel.

When things continue to get strange he turns to Daniel for help, and together they put an end to the strangeness and find love.


This is the best of the bunch. Very sensual, you can almost hear the French, smell the rum, and taste the sweat. It’s a great short story in that it absolutely fulfills it’s obligations of the five elements of a story: great characters, an interesting setting, a fully developed plot with tense conflict and a very satisfying resolution.

5 / 5 hearts



“The Bird” by Eli Easton
Colin Hastings is sent to Jamaica in 1870 to save his father’s sugar cane plantation. If he succeeds, he can marry his fiancée back in London and take his place in proper English society. But Colin finds more than he bargained for on the island. His curiosity about Obeah, the native folk magic, leads him to agree to a dangerous ritual where he is offered his heart’s most secret desire—one he’s kept deeply buried all his life. What happens when a proper English gentleman has his true sensual nature revealed and freed by the Obeah spirits?



Colin doesn’t know it, but he’s in love with his best friend. In 1870, you don’t admit that to just anyone, even yourself. It takes a voodoo ceremony for him to make this realization and then he has to convince his friend to take a risk, if that weren’t enough.

Following a close second as best of the bunch, this was another great short story that fulfilled its obligations in a few pages. Very well crafted. It’s historical and educational without being pedantic. The writing is very dark and evocative and quite unlike the previous books/stories I’ve read by Eli Easton.

She always produces an amazing story and this is no different.

4.5/5 hearts



Uninvited by B.G. Thomas
When a hot tip leads Kansas City reporter Taylor Dunton to a series of grisly murders, his investigation points to Myles Parry and his vodou shop. Myles wants nothing more than to practice his religion in peace, and he hopes Taylor can help him show the community they have nothing to fear. The problem is all the clues point to Myles as the suspect and only Taylor can help him prove his innocence. However, this case has also caught the attention of the vodou spirits of the Lwa… and they’ve taken an interest in Taylor as well.


Taylor wants to move up in the journalism world. He gets a hot tip from a friend on the force that leads him to a voodoo shop for answers. There he meets a practitioner (of voodoo) who teaches him the truth behind the myth and together they solve the mystery and fall in love.

This was an interesting story, not unlike The Dance, filled with information and a unique look at what religion is. Though I didn’t feel the love as much as I did in the first two stories (it was insta love without a lot to back it up) I enjoyed the writing and ending was excellent.

4/5 hearts



“The Book of St. Cyprian” by Jamie Fessenden
When Alejandro Valera finds a book of black magic in New Orleans, he ships it to his friend Matthew in New Hampshire so he can read it when he gets home. Unfortunately, Matthew’s dog, Spartacus, gets to the package first, and Alejandro returns to find Matthew locked out of his apartment by the suddenly vicious pit bull. The boys call on all the magic they know to free Spartacus from the evil spirit, but they might need to accept that they’re in over their heads.


Alejandro finds an old book on magic and sends it home to his childhood best friend, Matthew, for safekeeping. Something escapes from the book and possesses Matthew’s dog.

Together Alejandro and Matthew must use the magic they learned from Alejandro’s Abuela to rid the dog of the spirit. Oh, and along the way they admit that they have always loved one another in a more-than-friends way.

This was the weakest of the lot. The love story took a decided back seat to the voodoo and felt a little out of place. Perhaps if this had been longer the romance could have been developed and given a proper resolution, but the ending was a big disappointment and left me unsatisfied.

2.5/5 hearts


The Art of Breathing Audiobook by TJ Klune Narrated by Sean Crisden


Dreamspinner Presents:

Tyson Thompson graduated high school at sixteen and left the town of Seafare, Oregon, bound for what he assumed would be bigger and better things. He soon found out the real world has teeth, and he returns to the coast with four years of failure, addiction, and a diagnosis of panic disorder trailing behind him. His brother, Bear, and his brother’s husband, Otter, believe coming home is exactly what Tyson needs to find himself again. Surrounded by family in the Green Monstrosity, Tyson attempts to put the pieces of his broken life back together.

But shortly after he arrives home, Tyson comes face to face with inevitability in the form of his childhood friend and first love, Dominic Miller, who he hasn’t seen since the day he left Seafare. As their paths cross, old wounds reopen, new secrets are revealed, and Tyson discovers there is more to his own story than he was told all those years ago.

In a sea of familiar faces, new friends, and the memories of a mother’s devastating choice, Tyson will learn that in order to have any hope for a future, he must fight the ghosts of his past.

My Review


Here’s a brief run-down of the story:

Ty has fallen for Dom, Dom ends up getting married and having a baby. Ty gets freaked the eff out and runs away to school where he gets addicted to anti-anxiety drugs. Ty makes a friend/boyfriend but it’s not “all that”. Ty gets off drugs. Ty goes on a trip to the Southwest. Ty reconnects with Dom. Crazy stuff happens in the last few pages showing us what will likely show up in the next installment.

It took me forever to write this review – so long in fact, the audiobook came out! So…I decided to combine the two, save everyone some time.

I think the main reason it took so long to write this is my ambivalence towards the book.

Things that I loved: It was great seeing everyone again. I love these characters. They make me laugh and cry and howl. They are so very entertaining. I had longed to see Ty and Dom together and was so satisfied when they finally do hook up. TJ is a hysterical writer and I am always entertained by his writing. The forward movement of the story looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see Bear and Otter as parents again! Hopefully we will get to see more of Ty and Dom as an established couple in the next book.

What I didn’t love: So much of the story was NOT about Ty and Dom together. The story felt fractured into these widely divergent pieces. There was the “remember when”, “the reunion”, “the trip to meet Sandy”, “lots of lots of Ty angst” and only a teeny tiny smidge of “Ty and Dom the couple”. I wanted that, the couple part. I yearned for it. And they were almost never together on page.

What I both loved and hated:
Bear’s ramblings: He’s funny and I love where his mind goes, but sometimes he took the light away from Ty and Dom.

Dom: He changed. I really felt like the sweet, never going to leave Ty-guy, did. He left Ty. That was really hard to swallow. And I don’t know that I felt like that change was ever really fully justified. On the other hand, new-Dom was a more complex character and I really appreciated that he actually seems like a grown-up with grown-up concerns and priorities in a land of perpetual “Young Adults” like Bear and Creed.

The Cross Over: I both loved and hated the cross over with “Tell Me It’s Real”. It felt superfluous. Sure, I LOVED that book and thought all the interactions between the characters were funny. But necessary? No. Not really.

Kori/Core: As the best friend cum boyfriend s/he did fulfill an important roll, but again, sometimes I felt like this was more about Ty and Kori than Dom. Kori got more pages (it felt) than Dom.

I think that, at this point, some of the ramblings and meanderings that have become sort of the hallmark to TJ’s writing could really use a more forceful editing. He clearly has talent, creativity and an amazing sense of humor, but I wish that this book could have been more focused and more tightly drawn to show Dom and Ty more and the others, less. (Even though they’re funny, they took away from the story. IMHO)

So, though I hate to do it, I’d give this a 3 of 5 hearts. I liked it (at times I loved it) but when I look back at what I wish the story was and what I got, I’m disappointed. It won’t stop me from being a fan and from devouring the next book, but I am hopeful there will be some positive changes.


I love Sean Crisden. I think he does a terrific job and I really liked his Dom voice. He also did great work with Sandy and though I wouldn’t have thought of Vince as a kind of stoner, it worked. Ty was appropriately whiny and Otter rumbly. I think I enjoyed listening to this more than reading it because Sean gives the characters even more color and charm. Of course it’s hella long, 15 hours, so pace yourself, but it’s worth it! 4.5 of 5 hearts.


Overall 4 of 5 hearts.


Tequila Mockingbird Audiobook by Rhys Ford Narrated by Tristan James

Dreamspinner presents:



Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.

No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.

Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.

Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart

Moragn’s Review

Connor is the oldest Morgan, he’s a tough cop and he’s straight. Right?

Forest is another tortured artist, a drummer, who ends up falling for this straight cop, despite his best intentions. And people are out to kill him. Don’t forget that part.

Connor has to come to grips with his feelings and goes to his dad – the best dad that was ever invented (IMHO) – and finds out that love is love and he should go out and get his man. And take care of the bad guys – don’t forget that part.

Forest finds out that Connor has feelings for him and not only that, gets him access to the newly forming band made up of super-stars Damien and Miki from Sinner’s Gin. And he has to stay alive – don’t forget that part.

This is a fantastic addition to the Sinner’s Gin series. I love how the new band keeps growing and the Morgans keep getting more deeply involved with each new member introduced. I love how the Morgan patriarchs help to heal these “boys” and give them the family they so richly deserve.

I can’t wait for the audio version of this to come out! Connor’s voice on the previous two audio books was super-sexy and I’m betting an entire book of him will be drool-worthy.

I also just loved the time Forest spent with Damien and Miki. I really feel like the formation of the band is almost more of the story than the individual love stories, it’s so heart wrenching and powerful. It almost steals the show, but not quite. Why? Super-hot sex scenes. Damn. Rhys Ford can sure write sex scenes. I just love the sensuality she infuses into each one. So deliciously hot.

I am excited for the next installment – I just know Quinn is going to be a riot!

I highly recommend this book, the entire series, the audio versions and anything Rhys Ford has written.

Ok – I’m a fan, so shoot me!

6 out of 5 hearts



Tristan James does the Sinners series and his Irish Cop Voice is to-die-for. Somehow he makes Donal different from Kane different from Connor and let me tell you, Bridg – the mom – is THE BEST! She is absolutely hysterical when she tells Forest she’ll take out his mom with a knife if he wants.

Though you it’s hard to do much better than a Rhys Ford book, listening to the series with Tristan James does just that. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – I just love his voice and he makes listening to the story even more interesting by infusing emotion, character development and timing.

I highly recommend this book on audio and give it 6 of 5 hearts.