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Rise

Men of Hidden Creek Season 4, Book 5
Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins

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Publisher's Summary

“You’re the sweetest thing at the fair.” 

After leaving the military, Todd Hudson has avoided putting down roots, living with his best friends in Hidden Creek. Entering the summer fair baking contest sounds like a sweet time. The cute guy he takes home the night before the competition runs away, but he hasn’t seen the last of him.

Charlie Deacon never puts himself first - in bed, at work, or in life. His rescue dog, Geri, is his only company at home. Pressured to enter the baking contest, he doesn’t expect to find the hunk he regrets ditching. The competition forbids fraternizing, but their bubbling feelings are rising to the surface.

Charlie and Todd couldn’t be more opposite, and they fit together like chocolate and caramel...but they only have a week together. When Charlie’s bullying father and Todd’s career call, can they make it work when the Fair packs up for the year?

Welcome to Hidden Creek, Texas, where the heart knows what it wants, and where true love lives happily ever after. Every Men of Hidden Creek novel can be listened to on its own, but keep an eye out for familiar faces around town! This book contains a naughty half-Daschund, a giant fairground prize teddy bear, and kisses hotter than fresh-baked cupcakes.

©2019 J Hayden Bailey (P)2019 J Hayden Bailey

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  • kp
  • 20-09-2019

Enjoyed!

ise has all the ingredients needed to make a sweet, sexy, fun romance. Todd and Charlie's love story develops over the week of Hidden Creek's Summer Gair baking competition, where they both enter as contestants. The chemistry between them is wonderful. I loved their connection. Nick J Russo breathes life into these guys and gives such a wonderful performance!

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  • Irish
  • 18-09-2019

Another Winner for Hidden Creek

After leaving the military, Todd has avoided making a home in one place. Working as a military consultant for TV/Film, he travels for his work constantly. When he's not working, he crashes with his military friend in Hidden Creek and takes over his kitchen baking. Charlie has a lot of insecurities, and it doesn't help when he gets "stood up" by a hook-up in the bathroom at a club, or when his boss at the Hidden Creek grocery store, JJ's walks all over him. One thing he excels at though is baking. And when Todd and Charlie both enter the Hidden Creek Baking Contest, despite the rule of "no fraternization" the two grow closer. But can these two true opposites over come their pasts to find a happy ending?
Opposites attract are not always my favorite types of books and this one at times was a little rough, but overall was a good book, fitting well in with the Hidden Creek Series. My biggest problem with the book was Charlie's insecurities were a little strong sometimes. But Todd helped balance out the book leaving you with some sweet moments.
It is not a "slow burn" book - with the romance happening pretty quickly, but the two men are so wonderfully sweet together! And when Charlie had his moment when he was able to stand up for the other people around him - it was a great moment in the book!
Nick J Russo continues to do an outstanding job with the narration! The voices are unique and easy to follow! I absolutely love the inflection he brings into these books! It truly brings Hidden Creek to life!
Overall, it was a great addition to the Hidden Creek Series, and isn't one to skip!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sharonica
  • 16-09-2019

Chivalry, Confections, and Chemical Connections!

💗🍞💗🍰💗🎂💗

Title: Rise: Men of Hidden Creek S.4 #5
Author: J. Hayden Bailey
Narrator: Nick Russo
Publisher: J.Hayden Bailey
Format: e-book (ARC)/ Audio book (purchase)
Release Date: 9/13/2019 - 9/05/2019🎧
Genre/ Trope(s): MM Romance;
Page Count: 260p.
Listening Length: 8hrs. 30min.
SteaMMy Swordplay: 4 out of 5⚔
Sharonica-Stars: 5 out of 5✨
GoodReads AVG: 4.16🌟


Rise was the perfect combination of charming and sweet. I fell in love with MC Todd right away. I struggled with Charlie in the beginning, but only because I worried about him putting himself in harmful situations. After one phone call he received however, it made perfect sense why his reactions to certain people and situations were the way they were.

Hidden Creek came even more alive to me in this book, and now I want to go back and start where it all began in season one. Each story is unique, but the authors have done a fantastic job keeping with the overall theme and even weaving past characters seamlessly in their own stories.

Yes, you can pick any book in Season four and read it without being lost. I have enjoyed each one so much! This has been my favorite though. It just struck some chords in my soul. This was also my first read by J. Hayden Bailey, but most definitely not my last.

Of course Nick Russo did an excellent job bringing the characters to life, as always. Nothing but Love love love!😍

If you are a fan of chivalry, confections, and chemical connections, you'll love Rise! 🎂💗🍰💗🍞

The Story: 5✨
The Narration: 5✨
5 sweeter-than-cup-cake-stars ✨✨✨✨✨

I received an ARC of the e-book from LesCourt in exchange for an honest review.💋








1 person found this helpful

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  • SarahH
  • 16-09-2019

Such a lovely story!

This is such a lovely story featuring two gorgeous MCs and a whole lot of scrummy baking! Charlie is an absolute sweetheart - he is giving and caring but he lacks self-confidence. He’s had a lifetime of being put down and being belittled to the point where he can no longer see just how amazing he is and how much he has to offer the world. Todd is a gentle giant and sees Charlie for who he truly is underneath the lack of confidence. I loved how gentle and persistent he was with Charlie in trying to get him to see the good in himself. He really was incredibly patient and loving. The two fall in love during the town’s baking contest and their love is such a sweet slow burn. These two are lovely together and I really recommend this audiobook.

Nick J Russo did an an incredible job as narrator and brought these two to life perfectly.

I received an arc of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review

1 person found this helpful

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  • Crystal
  • 15-09-2019

Super Sweet Story

Rise is a super sweet story about two men who at first don't seem likely to make a good pair. I haven't read much from this author but they did a great job of showing how a common interest can bring two people together. Charlie and Todd are wonderful together whether they are baking or just hanging out. I absolutely loved the whole teddy bear idea and how it became such an important item in their relationship. The baking contest scenes will definitely leave you wanting the recipes for their dishes without overwhelming the story with unnecessary details which is a bonus for me. Sometimes in books the story line gets bogged down in details that don't really move the story forward but that wasn't the case with this. The narration was well done with distinctive voices making the story flow wonderfully.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Clau
  • 14-09-2019

Not my favourite in this series, but a decent read

My main issue here was that I never got invested in the characters' romance. And neither in Charlie, particularly, whose insecurity was truly grating. I usually don't have problems with insecure characters, but something about him make me cringe any time he failed to stand by himself and apologize for... living? The fact that Todd found him attractive was baffling, to say the least.

I liked a lot of the secondary characters, and I loved the idea of setting the story in a baking contest. All that food! I finished the book really hungry. Seriously, I wouldn't have minded an Appendix with all the recipes :P

Nick J. Russo did, as always, a great job narrating.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kathryn M
  • 11-09-2019

Sweet and fun story

Rise by J Hayden Bailey is the fifth book in the fourth season release of the multi-author series Men of Hidden Creek. This sweet story is a contemporary m/m romance that is sweet and fun. Charlie and Todd are great characters. I adore how sweet their connection is but they definitely can get sexy too. Their story fits perfectly in the Hidden Creek universe.

Nick J Russo narrates the story and does a fantastic job. The characters have their own voices and their personalities pop out through the voice work and clear, smooth recording.

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  • Shannon Holland
  • 23-12-2019

Very disappointed

The series has been great until this book. Charlie acted like a child the entire book. I had to stop listening at times because it was so bad. What a waste of money. The only good part was the narrator. Even he couldn’t redeem it though.

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  • The Book Wench
  • 10-10-2019

Just okay


Charlie Deacon and Todd Hudson meet serendipitously and their immediate attraction morphs into insta-love over the course of a week during a baking competition at the Summer Fair. However, I found there was too large a side of high-schoolish drama in the story. Between the homophobic judge, the bullying from Charlie's dad and their opponent in the competition, and Charlie's own fears and insecurities, I found myself rolling my eyes a lot.

Todd comes off as a bit too wishy-washy for my tastes. Not that he had to be the stereotypical tough-as-nails alpha male, but he could have stood to be much less tentative than he was.. I was also not a fan of Charlie's hot-and-cold behavior. The narrator did a good job but he had no control over how the characters were written.

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  • Diane
  • 30-09-2019

Love this series

I received an ARC of this audio for my honest review. This is the story of Todd and Charlie. It is like a friends to lovers story. It really held your attention all throughout the story. Even though this is part of a long series you can read the books as a stand alone.

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  • Emma Burbidge
  • 08-10-2019

Ready, steady, bake!

I was fortunate to get promo codes for the entire season 4 of Hidden Creek and Nick J Russo has done an excellent job of giving the guys a voice. The story comes to life as the guys compete in the local fair baking competition for a week of eliminations. Can they make it to the final without breaking the rules or imploding their burgeoning relationship? I highly recommend that you listen for yourself. If you love baking shows like GBBO and contemporary MM romance, then this is the book for you.

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  • Fortuna
  • 26-09-2019

All the ingredients for a perfect Rise....

So, I’m loving this series so much I think I’ll start looking for a property in Hidden Creek!

I’ve said before, I love the fact that I’m meeting new Authors with this series, J Hayden Bailey being one of them. All these books are set in the same fictional town but I think can be read in any order. The wonderful Nick Russo just gets better and better, his different character voices are so good and I feel the emotions when he’s reading.

This book was sweet, fun and slightly frustrating in parts - mainly due to Charlie’s ongoing apologies! Charlie grew so much in this book and it was great to see him grow in confidence. Todd and Charlie are like chalk and cheese but baking brings them together, it’s a great escape for Todd from his own issues.

I really enjoyed this book, it made me grin! Of course, I was starving for most of the book with a huge urge to run out and bake (or at least visit the Bakery in Marks...) 😂

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  • Gwen
  • 26-09-2019

You had me at Baking...

Todd and Charlie’s romance is as sweet as their baking. Charlie was a bit of a doormat and I like how he found his strength. Todd is a great character, ex military with a sweet “hobby” which is a escape from his memories. The men of hidden creek is a great series with diverse couples. This one happens to be a favorite. Good narration by Nick Russo as always.

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  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 25-09-2019

Loved it

This was a very entertaining audiobook.
I really enjoyed this story.
Todd and Charlie are great characters and I loved listening to their story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsty Mc
  • 24-09-2019

Baking contest results in love

Over all I really enjoyed Rise. The premise of the baking competition, the couple of baddies, and the sweet relationship between Charlie and Todd. I loved the development of Charlie’s character as he went from a man with little self-esteem and who was willing to be used and put others needs first because he hoped that doing this meant people would see him and moved on. My only bad point was his constant apologising; but I think this only irritated me as I am a person who constantly apologises for things that aren’t my fault - so it struck home and made me realise what an annoying trait it can be for others! I loved Todd, and how after his time in the military, baking was his way of relaxing and escaping. Rise had my craving fresh baked bread, and chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes - but satisfied my craving for a sweet read, with Hidden Creek’s very own Great British Bake Off!
Another great narration by Nick J Russo - a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa Hughes
  • 23-09-2019

This book was so uplifting (pun intended)

I've enjoyed all of this series of Men of Hidden Creek and this book was no exception. I found myself smiling at regular intervals and feeling warm all over. It was sweet but not sugary, with just enough spice to keep the recipe fresh. The main characters were totally adorable, and the friends around them were great fun too. At the end when the man told me that audible hoped I enjoyed my book, I thanked him out loud and said that I really, really did :)
Nick J Russo keeps amazing me with how I can listen to a whole series of books and the characters don't all sound the same - great job!
I received an ARC, but I loved it so much that I'm going to buy the paperback for my shelf.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Headinabook
  • 23-09-2019

Baking and Men.

We are back in Hidden Creek a gem of a Texan town that is so inclusive it makes you want to live there. This is the fourth season of this wonderful multi-author series.

This book has two of my favourite things hot, sweet men and baking. Some of the recipe sounds delicious, I wish I could get them for real. This is my second book by this author and it is again full of sweet goodness about two lonely men Todd and Charlie who meet on the eve of the baking contest, we the readers get to watch the love bloom over the rounds of baking in this really enjoyable book.

Charlie and Todd had insecurities which the other helped them with and it was nice to read Charlie put a certain judge in his place.

A good addition to this years season from Hidden Creek.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 20-09-2019

A matched baked in heaven!! 

🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.25 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 3.5
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 5

A matched baked in heaven!! 

Frustratingly fun! There was so much back and forth and second-guessing throughout this whole story that I just wanted to scream "talk to each other!" "say what you really feel!!!" and I know it's easy for me to say and hard to do in real life but OMG the frustration LOL. I've got to hand it to J Hayden though, that if it wasn't so well written and crafted I wouldn't have been as invested in the characters and wouldn't be as frustrated as I had become.

While Charlie and Todd are opposites they are also so similar and want the same things in life with the same love and care everyone wants. I enjoyed their journey and the lust that seemed to be either sparking or simmering between the two. I feel they matched each other well and once they could finally communicate properly they could finally move forward how they were meant too!

I loved this story and now I need all the recipes!!! So good, deliciously sweet and wonderfully written. Another winner for Hidden Creek!!!

Thanks for reading!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzanne Christie
  • 18-09-2019

Love and cup cakes

A tale of love and baking, what's not to like?
Todd is out of the military and looking for his purpose, bored with his current job he's just looking for somewhere to settle down. To relax he bakes so when the baking competition comes up at the Hidden Creek summer fayre he's all over it.
Charlie is everyone's doormat, a lifetime of put downs by his father he's come to expect people take advantage of him and does nothing to stick up for himself.
When Todd and Charlie meet the ovens are turned up to hot hot hot, Todd has to work hard to convince Charlie he really is a good guy and worth taking a chance on.
This is a fab read with little angst and a sweet happy ever after, but be warned you're going to want to eat cake whilst listening this!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • choccygrl
  • 16-09-2019

Sweeter than a vegan cupcake

This was a really sweet story that ties in with the rest of the books in the series as they all seem to involve the fair in some way or another. The fair was a major factor in this one with the baking competition playing a large part and aspects of it adding the external conflict of the relationship. The main conflict was internal, with Charlie's self-esteem issues causing most of the issues between them. Charlie and Todd were very sweet together and I enjoyed this gentle drama. My only complaint is that everything seemed to happen far too fast at the end. I'd have believed it all more if the epilogue had been six months later rather than two, not just relationship but business wise too.