Review of: The Hanged Man’s Hero by Summer Devon – Audio

TITLE: The Hanged Man’s Hero – Audio
AUTHOR: Summer Devon
PUBLISHER: M.K. Rothwell
GENRE: Historical
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2019


Listening Length: 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Condemned for murder, Dez Moore awaits the hangman’s noose. Though he killed to defend a woman, the court shows no mercy, and, resigned, he attempts to make amends with his estranged sister. His letter bidding his sister good-bye falls into the wrong hands, and suddenly, he is facing another future – one that may exist, thanks to a man he doesn’t know.
Once a poor mudlark, Carl Reis is a powerful businessman with an erratic impulse to save desperate people. When Dez’s letter comes to him, he takes an interest in the prisoner. But the charming and disruptive Dez Moore proves to be more attractive than any of his other rescues. He stirs urges Carl has long suppressed, and makes him yearn for a future even he could not foresee. One with the lively Mr. Moore by his side and in his bed.
Long used to doing for others – some might say controlling them – while maintaining his solitary existence, Carl struggles to keep Dez from breaching his walls. But the tenacious Dez will do all it takes to capture his rescuer’s heart.
This is an expanded version of The Scent of Hope, a Goodreads free read.

Narration: Mark James has an amazing voice, and I found myself pulled right in. There was a good flow to the reading, and the recording was high quality.

Story: I’m not normally a fan of historical romance, but I thought I’d give this a try. I’m glad I did. It was originally a short for Goodreads, but the author decided to expand it a bit. It’s still short, and the audio only took 3 hours, but it was a good listen. I liked the characters and how they evolved as the story progressed.

When you meet Dez, he’s in prison for murder and about to be hung for his crime. That’s all you really know at first. But a visit from a Chaplin brings Carl Reis into the story. He asked Dez to write a letter to a loved one.

The reader gets the intention that Carl, although likable, is a type of grifter/mob-type character, and he’s a self-made businessman. That hasn’t stopped him from wanting to help people as projects. The letter makes its way to Carl instead of Dez’s sister. After he reads it, Carl becomes a bit obsessed with helping Dez.

From the title, you get the idea that he does help, and the story continues in a well-written love story.

I’ll be looking forward to more from both the narrator and the author.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of litening this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: The Captain’s Mate by C.W. Gray – Audio

TITLE: The Captain’s Mate – Audio
SERIES: Blue Solace # 6
RELEASE DATE: October 30, 2019


Welcome back to Charybdis Station and the crew of the Blue Solace: (Sixth Book in the series)
Draif Ando started life as a slave on Vextonar. When he was fifteen, he met his best friend, Leti Ando, and life got a lot better. Now he’s a Charybdis Station captain and works closely with the Lord Admiral of the Station. He is a free man, finally has a purpose of his own, and has the the best lieutenant in the galaxy by his side. If he’s so content, why does he yearn for more, and why is he suddenly picturing children with his eyes and Lucas’ ears and tail?
Lucas Meluth knew that Draif was his life mate from the moment they met. He also knew that Draif was demisexual and wasn’t attracted to Lucas. Not at first. Now, Lucas notices the way Draif’s eyes follow him and the way Draif’s innocent touches are suddenly not so innocent. Has the time come for their friendship to turn into more?
Draif and Lucas may finally be figuring their relationship out, but their enemies are approaching and it’s time to protect Charybdis Station and rid the galaxy of Humans First, once and for all.
Author’s Note: 55,000 words. This is a sci-fi/fantasy, m/m love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There is lots of action, a little sex, mpreg, and a few potty mouths involved in the story. 18+ readers only, please. It is also the sixth book in a series that is best read in order. Read “The Mercenary’s Mate,” “The General’s Mate,” “The Soldier’s Mate,” “The Lieutenant’s Mate,” and “The Engineer’s Mate” first!

Narration: This was the first book narrated by Connor Brown I’ve listened to. There are parts that he read a bit fast in some places, and I’d wanted to ask him to slow down. Other places it was perfect, and I fell right into the story again. He has a nice deep voice where needed but can lighten it when the character calls for it.

Story: I love this series as a reader. I love the characters and the storyline that runs through the series. It’s a twisted tale that works to pull the reader in. It has some head-hopping that, as an editor, I can get past because I love the story that much. But also as an editor, that was my only catch while reading these. The story is just what the author promises—MM love with little relationship angst and action…oh and potty mouths!

In this installment, we get Draif and Lucas’ story….FINALLY! LOL I love these guys. I’ve been cheering for a HEA for Draif since book 1, and we met him and Leti.
Draif was born a slave, and at the age of thirteen, he was sent for sex-slave training. I won’t go into too much because of spoilers. Leti’s dad had bought him after he was disfigured at age 15, and they became brothers. He’s also a genius in almost anything he attempts. He’s asexual, so there isn’t a lot of sex in this one, but it’s not really missing because it’s not called for.

Lucas is just amazingly patient with Draif. He’s laid back when needed and a supportive Lieutenant for Draif. He lets Draif just be Draif. He was orphaned as a child, but he’s found his family on Charybdis Station. I was so happy to see him recover and get his HEA.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Cookies by Teodora Kostova – Audio

TITLE: Cookies – Audio
AUTHOR: Teodora Kostova
SERIES: Cookies Series
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2016


8 hrs 26 mins

I went to war, running away from myself. I came back in pieces to find out who I really was….
It took me nearly 10 years, two tours in Afghanistan, and losing a leg to come to terms with who I really am. Two years after coming back from war, I can say that I’m finally content. I’m as fit as ever, my prosthetic leg allowing me the freedom of moving and exercising as if nothing has changed. I own a small bakery in the center of Cambridge, and I have a loyal circle of friends that I can always count on.
And yet….
Yet, there’s something missing. A part of me craves the intimacy, the deep connection to another human being. But another – bigger – part of me is terrified of letting anyone in.
My internal conflict didn’t stand a chance when I met Jay. He stormed through my defense walls like a hurricane, wrapping around me with gentle force until I had no choice but to surrender.
Surrendering has never felt so good.
Will Jay want to stay when he sees the real me? When he sees the nightmares and insecurities clawing at my soul?
My name is Amir Gopal and this is my story.

3.5 stars for narration and 5 stars for the story.

Narration: Alexander Doddy narrated for Teodora for Cookies. I had read the story back in 2016 and rated it a 5, so when the audio version came up, I jumped on it. I liked most of the cadence in the reading, but there were some strange pauses in there that nearly pulled me out of the story. Then in Chapter 15 (16 in audible), there’s a nasally wheezing sound that was difficult to get past, but I loved the story enough to push through. Overall, his voice was lovely and relaxing.

Story: There’s one thing I want to say first because I’m kind of a cover snob…story was great, but the cover did not fit the story at all. I would have loved to see Amir’s darker skin on the cover.

I was pulled into the story right from the start. Amir hit me right in the feels, and reading everything he did every day just to keep busy was tiring just reading it! And yeah, I was craving cookies! The character was well-written with detailed depth and a tragic backstory.

Jay is just a sweetheart. He just moves forward with his relationship with Amir, and he’s comfortable in his part. He doesn’t look at Amir as anything but whole, even with his missing limb. He’s loyal to his friends, even when they may just be an ass…

This was just a love story, as plain and simple as that is, it was a joy to read years ago and listen to this time around.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of listening this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of:  Paint the Sky by Lily G. Blunt – Audio

TITLE: Paint the Sky – Audible
AUTHOR: Lily G. Blunt
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: September 3, 2015


A love of art…
A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.
Starry, starry night…
Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.
But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.
Hold tight to your dreams…
Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.

Listening Length: 6 hours and 4 minutes

Narration: Joel Leslie narrated this MM Contemporary Romance. I like his voice, and I thought it fit the story. There was a good cadence to his reading, and the sound was great. I listen to audiobooks at my day job, and this was easy for me to follow as I moved around. The story was based in Cambridge, and I thought the accent he used was good, but it could have been better. I’m warming up to Joel as a narrator.

Story: The story was a bit slow at first. I actually stopped it and started another because it just wasn’t hitting what I wanted. After that second book, I thought I’d give this one another try, and I’m glad I did. Once I was a little more invested, I really enjoyed the story.

I found myself looking forward to the characters and what happened to them. I loved how the time in the story moved forward so that this wasn’t a love-at-first-sight. Paint the Sky was written in Ben’s point of view, and we learn at the start that he’d been watching Vinnie for more than a year. In the beginning, he was kind of a slut as well. He’s ready to give all that up for Vinnie, though. He wants to be a writer, but his dad wants him to help in the family business because his brother incompetent.

Vinnie is the typical lone artist going to College with Ben. His backstory is tragic, but he seems to have overcome that. His brothers are amazing, and I liked reading about them. There’s a great dynamic there.

When I read the blurb and parts of the story, I think the author was going for more of a jealousy-caused-problems relationship, and she wrote Ben’s side well for that. However, I felt more for him by that point than Vinnie. Either way, I was cheering for them until the end.

I’ll be looking for more from this author, and I hope she’ll have more audiobooks out soon!

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of listening this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Audiobook Review: “Rekindled Flame ” by Andrew Grey

TITLE: Rekindled Flame
AUTHOR: Andrew Grey
SERIES: Rekindled Flame
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
NARRATOR: Michael Pauley
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 6:02
RELEASE DATE: July 03, 2017
PRICE: $19.95 -audiobook


Firefighter Morgan has worked hard to build a home for himself after a nomadic childhood. When Morgan is called to a fire, he finds the family out front, but their tenant still inside. He rescues Richard Smalley, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in years and the one person he regretted leaving behind.

Richard has had a hard life. He served in the military, where he lost the use of his legs, and has been struggling to make his way since coming home. Now that he no longer has a place to live, Morgan takes him in, but when someone attempts to set fire to Morgan’s house, they both become suspicious and wonder what’s going on.

Years ago Morgan was gutted when he moved away, leaving Richard behind, so he’s happy to pick things up where they left off. But now that Richard seems to be the target of an arsonist, he may not be the safest person to be around.

Full disclosure, I’m not a big Andrew Grey fan, but I decided to give this book a try because I absolutely love the narrator Michael Pauley.

The story centers around firefighter Morgan and his childhood friend and former marine Richard separated at age thirteen who are then reunited through tragedy. Richard, who is now wheelchair bound, is trapped in a house fire and is rescued by Morgan. Recognizing who they are to each other, the pair then begins the process of forging a future together with Morgan being the more determined of the two to rekindle what they had lost through years of separation.

I found this book to be quite enjoyable, emotional and very sweet. Morgan found a way to constantly lend strength and comfort to Richard who is in a dark place throughout the book. This was indeed emotionally draining, and it isn’t until the very end, where he finds his own strength in fighting off an aggressor that I gave his character any credence.
One of the things I really liked about the book is the author’s willingness to place a disabled character front and center as we are so often bombarded with characters who are nothing short of perfection.

The story bordered on predictable and was slow at times, even the danger that the main character faced didn’t quite have me on the edge of my seat, however the narration was exceptional. His pace followed the story beautifully. The voices were distinct and easy to recognize, surprising the listener even with a quite believable Scottish brogue.

If you’re looking for a slow paced, emotional read with a sprinkle of mystery and a happily ever after romance, then I would highly recommend this book.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***