Throwback Review: The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon .. the series is still a favorite.

The Hell You Say (Adrien English Mystery, #3)The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think the mystery in THYS was stronger than the previous book but still kind of convoluted, as that seems to be a running theme in this series. It allows for a pretty lengthy investigation to occur before the resolution and thus plenty of time for Jake and Adrien to have their relationship drama. Except this time there wasn’t much to these two. The scenes they did have were dramatic and stunning, which kind of made me want to cry that there weren’t more. Jake breaks up with Adrien late in the book but the writing is on the wall almost from the start. It’s clear these two are not “together” in the strictest sense and it’s not surprising when the final confrontation happens. Thus we meet a new love interest for Adrien, which is nice, and his new overwhelmingly blonde and perky sisters in law in between him running around trying to solve a satan-worshipping case. It’s a good book and the personal relationships Adrien has steal the show with a mildly interesting, if convoluted, mystery as the backdrop. Once again the narrator is really the shinning star with both Adrien as a great character and Patton being an excellent narrator. Continue reading

Review: Tigerland by Sean Kennedy – great narrator and good sequel!

Tigerland (Tigers and Devils, #2)Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I struggled with T&D on the re-read (or re-listen on audiobook?), I really liked Tigerland. I had to get over a few niggles (channeling Jenre with that word) but I actually liked it more than T&D this time around. This definitely was helped by the change in narrator. This time around the narrator was Aussie and helped add that quintessential flavor to the story. Plus he got Simon’s melodramatic voice so spot on. There were even tiny quavers and hiccups. I can’t really praise this narrator enough, he did a fantastic job with Tigerland. That said, I also felt as if I could envision Simon and Declan’s relationship much better. I saw more of their banter and how they reacted to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I could finally appreciate what Declan saw in Simon that was worth putting up with his very difficult and overwrought personality. Continue reading

Review: Noble by Jet Mykles – finally all the rocker stories are done. Ended well but it’s definitely tapped out.

Noble (Indigo Knights, #4)Noble by Jet Mykles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was kind of surprised by this book. I liked the previous books in the series but it hasn’t lived up to the greatness that is the Heaven Sent series. I was hoping for a mildly bland book to round out the Indigo Knights without anything really objectionable. I definitely got that with Noble but I also found the book more entertaining and interesting than the two previous books. It was an easy couple to end on with no real drama and only a half hearted attempt to throw some tension in so the story didn’t end halfway through. Ultimately though I liked the story and couple and was glad to have the series end on a relatively high note. I actually read this entire story extremely quickly and found it engaging enough to want to finish fast. That rarely happens anymore. For fans of the series and Mykles, they won’t want to miss this one but it’s probably not the best one to start out with. Although it can be read as a stand alone, tons of names are thrown around from the previous books that will be confusing unless readers have a flow chart about each character, their band position, and relationship. Continue reading

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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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: 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: Pressure Head by JL Merrow – Talky villains never win

Pressure Head (The Plumber's Mate #1)Pressure Head by J.L. Merrow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not surprising I’m late to the party in reading this series by JL Merrow but I’m here now! I liked this opener and found it enjoyable to read with entertaining characters and a decent whodunit. My only issues were that I never got a good feel for the character of Phil and the villain confesses in a nonsensical scene at the end. Neither issue bothered me enough to dislike the book and I think most readers won’t be bothered either. Merrow is a good writer with subtle humor and good pacing making her stories a joy to read with distinct British flair. Easy to recommend. Continue reading