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Fantastic and fun!

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

Reviewed: 15-10-2020

Rain is enjoying living with Danny but the ghosts that visit are not respecting any boundaries, in fact they’re getting kind of pushy! So, while tackling a number of murders and disappearances, Rain seeks help to learn some principles of Spookology with varying degrees of success. This was thoroughly enjoyable, slightly creepy, and loads of fun. SE Harmon has a knack of giving her irascible main characters a nice balance of snarky humour and big hearts. The multiple murder plot was engrossing and substantial with a few main suspects to keep us guessing. Can’t wait for book 3 in the series! 🎧 I actually liked the narrator of the first book a lot so I was surprised by the switch but I’ve always enjoyed Kirt Graves’ performances and he does a great job here.

Be warned: abrupt cliffhanger ending!

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

Reviewed: 12-10-2020

Popular news anchor, Xander, has a problem stalker and enlists old family friend and police detective, Sean, to act as a bodyguard. This is classic gay-for-you / fake boyfriend territory and is as plausible as any of them ever are. I liked: Sean’s alpha-male character, the bickering between the MCs, the element of danger, and the extremely slow burn. I didn’t like Xander’s petulance and fear, the amount of talking about the growing relationship, and the HUGE unforgivable cliffhanger - be warned: this ends very abruptly! I buy books in a series to spend time with beloved characters, not to find out what happens. Given the things I didn’t like, I probably won’t chase up further books in this series. 🎧 I grew to like Charlie David’s narration, his deep voice suited Sean. It was hard to know which MC was speaking at times - I didn’t spot any obvious difference in the way the MCs were voiced.

Compelling, thought-provoking, important!

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

Reviewed: 06-10-2020

Such a timely and fascinating topic: the impact of public shaming through old and new media. Using case studies and interviews, Jon explores the savagery with which people are attacked online and how lives have been completely derailed after social media pile-ons. John also interviews people who seem immune to shame or have managed to come through unscathed. Compelling writing, thought-provoking, important! 🎧 Jon narrates his own books which adds extra emotional emphasis and comic timing to his excellent words.

Funny and important - a perfect book!

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

Reviewed: 06-10-2020

If N.R. Walker never wrote another book, this one would be enough - it’s for anyone who has ever struggled with their weight and associated self-esteem, and it’s a book to be very proud of. Not only is it funny and entertaining, but it tackles being overweight with insight and sensitivity. Henry’s long-term partner leaves him after pointing out Henry has gained a lot of weight and is not in shape. Struggling to master his weight and eating, he enrols for personal training under the supervision of the gorgeously fit and supportive Reed. I laughed when an exhausted Henry thought he’d completed his first workout, only to be told he’d just completed the warmup! I liked the messages about self-acceptance, about not needing to be physically perfect, and about valuing other’s personality traits over their physical attributes. Body shaming is a huge issue in the gay community and it’s great to see a book that questions the ridiculous standards. 🎧 Except for “I know, right?”, which must be an Australian-only phrase, Joel Leslie narrated in a near perfect Australian accent. As usual, his pacing, comic timing, and his range of character voices and emotion were excellent.

Short, cute Chester Falls prequel!

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

Reviewed: 02-10-2020

A short prequel to the Chester Falls series, a small town with a big heart. Ben meets Tristan a week after Tristan has broken up with his cheating boyfriend and sparks fly. All these books are cute and good-natured and this is no exception. I always prefer longer books over shorter ones, so I would have loved a full novel - it gives me time to really sit with the characters, see their personalities at work, and learn their backstories. This story was the definition of short but sweet. 🎧 Nick Hudson is one of those voice actors who can make his words smile with warmth, it’s always fun and pleasant to hear him narrate.

Good to get Ian’s backstory!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-2020

The Unbreakable Bonds boys are back, finally focussing on Ian, chef extraordinaire, and his shy admirer and cop, Hollis. The overarching story arc over this series has involved revenge and danger and this book ties up the first four books. Ian’s child sexual abuse backstory is the most challenging of the four, but is handled without prurience. While there’s less to smile about in this book, there’s plenty of romance and action. 🎧 Kenneth Obi narrated well, opting to give Ian the gentlest of voices, one that suits his character and contrasts with the many alpha characters.

Even better than the last book!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-2020

Silas has been so beaten down and brainwashed by his vampire sire, he will need all of Jared’s love and care to heal. This third book in the Thicker Than Water series was excellent - strong backstory, deep hurt / comfort themes, and no easy fixes. Each book is even better than the last and this one dig deep to knock it out of the park. The story arc over the series has been intriguing and compelling. 🎧 John Solo narrates these books extremely well and does a great job of painting the emotional landscape here.

Outstanding story!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-2020

After his best friend sacrificed himself to save him, Luke wrestles with guilt and sorrow until he meets a vampire known as Crimson. This second book in the Thicker Than Water series is a strong and emotional story with hurt / comfort, MPREG, and memory loss themes. The intriguing story arc follows straight from the first book and kept me engrossed and left me wanting more. The backstory was excellent. 🎧 John Solo does a great job on these books. My only gripe is that he voiced Luke in an immature, sometimes petulant tone - it grates but suited the character.

Great start to a new m/m vampire series!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-2020

Collin is oblivious to the world of magical creatures until a vampire, Talon, saves him. This first book in the series introduces us to Collin’s family and each book focuses on a different member of the family. The authors have a history of writing about minority rights and MPREG in their Oceanport Omega series and they touch on the similar themes here. There is violence and bloodshed in this world but like a cozy mystery, this happens “offscreen”. I listened to the first three audiobooks in this series in a row and It’s an intriguing world with some great characters and a strong overarching story arc - each book gets better and better. 🎧 John Solo narrates many of these authors’ books, and as always he provides a good range of voices, a nice sense of drama, and great comedic timing.

Perfect characters and loads of fun!

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

Reviewed: 25-09-2020

S.E. Harmon delivers another hilarious and fun romance. PI Mackenzie Williams finds it easy to fall in love but runs from commitment. He seems to deliberately pick guys who won’t last the distance, so when he falls for a very straight Jordan, it looks like history will repeat itself again. I find most of S.E. Harmon’s characters utterly charming and great fun and Mac is both of these things. I liked that narrative resides inside Mac’s head so we are privy to his wonderful insecurities, quirks, and humour and we only know the ever-patient and saintly Jordan from Mac’s POV. This keeps us guessing about Jordan’s journey and I enjoyed sitting on tenterhooks with Mac worrying about whether Jordan would walk away or not. 🎧 Michael Stellman was just right for this book, he used a wry, world-weary voice for Mac that matched his character perfectly.