Throwback review: Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price audiobook version – SO GOOD!

Secrets (PsyCop, #4)Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price
My old rating: 4 of 5 stars
My new rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

As long as Gomez Pugh reads the Psycop series I will listen to them. After each one I beg for more so I’ll continue the same trend – please do the whole series! This has definitely become one of my favorite audiobook series up there with Harry Potter, Iron Druid, Adrian English, Mercy Thompson, and Jane Yellowrock series. So so good. I keep raving about the narrator but it’s not that often you come across a truly spectacular narrator that elevates the book themselves. Just like the other narrators, I’ll read anything Pugh narrates.

But enough about Pugh, if there can ever be enough good things said. Secrets is a fun book with a nicely plotted mystery and good relationship development. Lisa is back, yay!, to team up with Vic and help solve a rape case Jacob and Carolyn are working on. The mystery this time allows all four characters to be present for the majority of the book in a nicely paced way that keeps the book focused and interesting. Additionally Jacob and Vic’s relationship has some good developments and the heat is definitely turned up when Jacob’s considerable focus centers on Vic. I found the story delightful and fun to read. I’m appreciating how the books get longer as the series progresses. I’m pretty impatient to get the entire series so I can listen to it often. Secrets has the strong writing, witty dialogue, and hot sex scenes that showoff JCP’s excellent writing and timing. It’s as good as the first book and definitely has the series hitting its stride. Read it!

Old review…still relevant.
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Review: Pup by S.J.D. Peterson … “Its only fiction” is no excuse.

Pup (Guards of Folsom, #1)Pup by S.J.D. Peterson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was looking for a BDSM centric book and this one was on a list somewhere so I gave it a shot. Nebulous lists with no added information are never a good place for solid recommendations but that doesn’t stop anyone so why should it stop me. Pup did indeed scratch that bdsm itch I had for a book but it left me vaguely irritated and annoyed with the book as well. I think the concept is ok but the execution just couldn’t pull it off. Instead it can only succeed if a reader wants fantasy-based bdsm that has no resemblance to reality or responsible, healthy, mature BDSM relationships. As soon as I have to start forgiving a book with the tired cliché of “it’s only fiction” then it’s lost me as a reader. Instead a book should engage me to the point that I don’t need to make excuses for poor choices. Continue reading

Throwback Review: Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy audio – Liked but didn’t love it like last time

Tigers and Devils (Tigers and Devils #1)Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy

My old rating: 5 of 5 stars
My new rating would be: 3.5-4 out of 5 stars

DSP is a black hole for audiobooks. I just can’t seem to stop listening to them. It’s a nice way to revisit old favorites and I’m taking full advantage. On that quest when I saw Sean Kennedy’s fantastic T&D on audio I wasted no time getting it. It’s interesting that in the 5 years or so since I had read it my tastes have somewhat changed. Not entirely and SK is a great author but I found myself less forgiving of the main narrator this time around. You can read my full review below but here are some updated thoughts about the audiobook and re-read.

The narrator should have been Australian. Since Australia is basically a main character of the book I was disappointed the narrator was so generic. He does a good job but he makes Australia sound like some alien world he has no connection to, which is kind of unfortunate. Beyond that the story is just as engaging though it hit some of my dislike buttons hard. This time around I found Simon really annoying. He’s so insecure, petulant, and off putting that I kept asking myself why Declan put up with him. I still appreciated that the book showed 2 years of a relationship with both the highs and lows but I had a hard time getting them as a couple. I didn’t understand what Declan saw in Simon, especially since the narrator (Simon) kept asking the same question. Simon is so prickly, needy, and truthfully a wanker that it was hard to sympathize with him on occasion. I also struggled with Rodger and Fran’s alienation during the fight between Simon and Rodger as I was firmly on Simon’s side, but friendships do have ups and downs as well.

I almost quit listening a couple of times when Simon’s behavior made me want to drop kick him into the river never to be found. He’s so melodramatic and over the top that I wanted someone to tell him to calm down. He’d be an incredibly difficult person to live with and be in a relationship with, yet, I also felt as if he got shafted near the end with the big miscommunication. It seemed out of character for both men and frankly I was wondering how much rejection Simon was supposed to take from Declan and still keep trying. They do make up of course but the story shows very little of this before ending and I’d have liked to see them solidly happy again.

Overall it’s a good book, still an entertaining and engaging story but I didn’t “omg love” it like I did on first read. This is why I’m so hesitant to re-read favorites but that said, I’d still recommend it even now.

Old review but still valid!

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Review: Social Skills by Sara Alva – I’m probably the only reader that likes Jared more than Connor.

Social SkillsSocial Skills by Sara Alva

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok – Jared is not the ass everyone seems to think he is.
I picked this one up randomly on audiobook and found it very readable, or listenable (?). The story is decent with some expected turns and I liked seeing young adults act in immature but age appropriate ways. I thought the narrator, Andrew Eiden, was really incredible. He managed to capture Connor’s painful shyness very well with just the right breaks in his voice and hesitation. He also gave the other characters enough differentiation in the voices and inflection that I never got confused between dialogue and internal musings, which can happen with a lot of audiobooks. Mostly I was pleasantly surprised with this one and although it’s not necessarily a story I’d want to read/listen to again, I’m glad I read it. Continue reading

Review: A Dangerous Thing by Josh Lanyon – still loving this series (surprising to me)

A Dangerous Thing (Adrien English Mystery, #2)A Dangerous Thing by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m going back and listening to the audiobook versions of this series and finally writing reviews for the individual books. I can’t believe I never wrote them the first time but suffice it to say my enjoyment has probably only increased since the first time I read this series. The narrator, Chris Patton, is really good and I’m often surprised by the nuance he manages to interject into the character’s voices. No question that audiobooks hinge greatly on the use of great narrators and Patton is a great choice. I find the books so engrossing that I literally can’t seem to stop listening. The stories themselves are solid but the narration makes them extremely difficult to put down. I’m nearly speed listening through this series. Continue reading

Review: His Client #1 & 2 by Ava March … Meh, more of the same

His Client (His Client, #1)His Client by Ava March

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ava March’s regency mm books are always easy and enjoyable to read. His Client takes a familiar and classic framework and gives it a happy ending with a small taste of kink along the way. Jasper is a hooker in love with his client, Nate. Nate visits Jasper as a way to have sex but also lament his long standing infatuation with his straight best friend. When said best friend gets married Jasper is beyond exasperated by Nate’s despondency. Despite efforts to get Nate to see that Jasper is in love with him, Nate refuses to see the truth. Thus Jasper leaves the whoring life, forcing Nate to follow and see the truth.

The story is fun, quick, and enjoyable. It’s clear Nate and Jasper are well suited with a small bit of kink and role playing thrown in for some extra spice. It’s not much and I doubt anyone will be bothered by the inclusion since the main thrust of the story is all about the two men’s inability to recognize each other’s feelings. They of course work things out well in the end with a satisfying resolution. For such a fast read this novella was delightful and another solid March book. Easily recommended for both fans of the author and those new to her work.

His Request (His Client, #2)His Request by Ava March

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a free follow-up to His Client and it includes a roleplaying sex scene – doctor and patient hehe – and some nice progression in the main couple’s romantic relationship. It’s as well written as any of March’s books and the fact that it’s free is a surprising but nice bonus. It shows the couple very happy and well equipped to have a happy ending while communicating about their various needs. It’s one of the few follow ups that makes me feel as though the couple really could live HEA.

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Review: Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala .. tail sex continues to be hot while humans generally are not

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities (Claimings #2)Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities by Lyn Gala

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities returns to the alien world of Ondry and human Liam as they have settled into their relationship. The second book in the series by Lyn Gala entertains just as much as the previous book, but in a different way. The first book was more about personal relationships and relied on Ondry and Liam, two different species, figuring out their wants and needs without common language and mannerisms. Now the two are together and doing well but face a threat from a human officer with a hidden agenda. Continue reading