Sunday, March 9, 2014

Audiobook #REVIEWS @Dreamspinners

I reviewed two audio books from DreamspinnercPublishing this past week. It was so exciting to find them on Audible! It seems like more and more books are finding their way onto audiobook so romance book fans who don't have as much time to read might catch some favorites on audio.

So, if you're looking for a good book and enjoy m/m romance, check these out...

Plan B by S.J.D. Peterson (Author), Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)
New Adult GLBT Romance
Danny Marshal has always lived his life out loud, but his androgynous appearance is only a small part of who he is. One night at a frat party, Danny meets Lance Lenard, football jock and apparent straight guy. Lance is shocked when he's immediately attracted to Danny's feminine side. Danny is happy to be the subject of Lance's first man-on-man experiment—until Lance begins to struggle with the fact that despite his appearance, Danny is indeed a man.

Lance's whole life has been focused on his goal of playing in the NFL, and he knows those dreams will be smashed if anyone finds out about his little secret. Although Lance has come to hunger for Danny's touch, he's not willing to give Danny what he's grown to crave: a boyfriend who's proud to love him for every flamboyant and snarky cell in his body.

Life sends Danny and Lance in different directions, each of them focused on his respective Plan A. But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Danny and Lance are dynamic characters. I couldn't agree with Tyra more - see her review of the ebook here. The story itself is an absolute Ultimate Indulgence, a 5-strawberry read. It has all the elements of a great romance with the angst-filled moments a New Adult book needs. As always, Peterson dealt with issues around being gay in a forthright and objective manner. It felt authentic.

With my backed up TBR list, I elected to listen to this one on audio book. Here's where it gets tricky. I have to honestly say that its the first time the narration bothered me so much, it brought down the rating dramatically. The narrator's voice felt awkward and uncomfortable. If I hadn't agreed to review the audio book for the publisher, I would've switched to eBook. I'm a huge fan of Peterson but I might just stick with reading her books instead of listening.

3 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell (Author), KC Kelly (Narrator)
Western GLBT Romance
Three years undercover with one of the worst gangs in the country left FBI agent Joshua Chastain shattered. Battling nightmares and addiction, he leaves the concrete jungle for New Mexico horse country, hoping to start over on his uncle's ranch.

Foreman Eli Kelly spends his life rehabilitating abused animals, and Joshua is just another lost soul. But as Joshua slowly begins to put his life back together, Eli realizes that Joshua is a lot more than his newest project.

Joshua's plan seems to work - maybe a fresh start was just what he needed. Then, just when he has finally found a sense of peace, crime and hatred nearly destroy all his hard work forcing him to reevaluate what he wants out of his relationship with Eli and his own life.

This story is both heartbreaking and hopeful, a combination often difficult to balance but done well by Speedwell. There are a combustion of emotions between Eli and Josh... hurt, fear, lust, understanding, comfort, and love... and they are impossible to not be drawn into. The ranch is so vividly described, with each of it's occupants being strong secondary characters that add to the story. Tucker is a powerful influence on both men, as is Serafina who serves as a mother to them.

The narration had a good feel to it, an authentic western flavor. I was so absolutely caught up in this story at one point that I burnt dinner! I couldn't stop listening. With a huge grin, I listened to the last sentence of the epilogue and know without a doubt that I'll be watching for another book about the Tripe C Ranch.

ONE CAVEAT: The pronunciation of "Rodeo" was odd, as if saying "Rodeo Drive" in Hollywood rather than the "Rodeo" cowboys participate in. I don't know - maybe this is common dialect in this area of the country where the book is set but it did distract me a bit each time I heard it.

5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

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