Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux, narrated by Brock Thompson

Shock and Awe audioWhy I read it:  I was provided with a review copy via the publisher.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him.

Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address.

Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  When Dreamspinner Press first started publishing their m/m romances at Audible I got very excited. I bought a few and tried them and they are the only books I’ve ever returned because they were TERRIBLE. It made me reluctant to try m/m on audio since then but when I was approached by Riptide, I decided to try again. Riptide have a reputation for quality and I had the opportunity to speak to someone there early on in the piece about what was wrong with the DSP narrations and the kinds of things listeners were looking for in an audiobook. I don’t know how much, if any, influence my little contribution had but I was interested to see if Riptide could manage what DSP could not. The short answer (and admittedly based only on this very small sample) is: yes they can.

July Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Whisper FallsWhisper Falls by Toni Blake – C I borrowed this book from the library after a recent DBSA podcast which mentioned that the heroine has Crohn’s Disease.  Tessa Sheridan moved home to Destiny, Ohio some years earlier because she needed help due to her illness.  Her mother lives close by and she has a part time job in a friend’s bookshop which allows her to work when she feels well but is very flexible if she’s unwell.  She was an interior designer with a big Cincinnati firm but couldn’t keep up with the demands of her job.  She has her own interior design business in Destiny but there’s little demand and she’s had no actual customers.  Lucky Romo moves back home to Destiny after he took over at age 18. He didn’t plan to come back but he recently found out he has a son – the result of a one night stand some ten years earlier when he’d been (very briefly) in the area.  There is little angst about the son and actually that was kind of refreshing.  The big deal about Lucky is that he’s had a rough past. He was in an outlaw motorcycle gang for four years shortly after he left town and did some bad things. Part of the reason he stayed away was the potential for risk to his family.

It has all the ingredients of a cracking story but it was just okay for me. I admit I was kind of bored and I skimmed a lot of it. Tessa’s love for The Ellen Show was over the top and kind of nauseating.  I liked a lot of the interaction between Lucky and Tessa and those were the bits where I read more closely.  I did like that the book didn’t shy away from making the things Lucky did very bad things (they could still have been worse) and I liked that he had to work some things out with his family rather than being completely embraced as the prodigal son (though there was a bit of that).  Crohn’s Disease wasn’t a huge focus in the story.  Tessa has basically learned to manage it.  She doesn’t want to be a burden and she doesn’t want people to define her by her disease so she prefers not to think about it. I liked how Lucky was happy to take care of her when she was ill and he had to push a bit to get her to allow that.  I felt like she had a bit more balance by the end but I also think she had a relatively mild form of the disease.  Some of the things which would have possibly changed my impression in that regard were glossed over – for instance, she had a limited diet but the story never disclosed what that actually looked like day to day.

All Fired Up by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy

allfiredupWhy I read it:  I enjoy books by both authors and the premise sounded fun, so I bought it.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  He’s ready to lead the way

Parker Wilson never thought he’d go from battle-hardened soldier to romance expert, but after his stint in the Rangers, that’s exactly what happened. As the owner of DreamMakers Inc., he helps other men win in the love department, using every resource available to plan the perfect date. When a routine recon turns into an unexpected night of passion, Parker’s mission becomes more personal—and he won’t give up until Lynn Davidson is all his.

She’s more than willing to follow

Lynn is a goner from the moment she lays eyes on the delectable Parker. She’s just ditched her boring almost-boyfriend and is tired of sticking to the straight and narrow. It’s time to walk on the wild side, and what better way than in the arms of the most irresistible man she’s ever met? But when their red-hot affair is threatened, it’ll take a team effort to make their dreams come true.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I’d read a couple of heavy-ish books immediately before this one and both had been less than successful for me, albeit for different reasons.  I wanted something light and frothy.  Something fun where I didn’t have to think too much, to be a kind of palate cleanser.

All Fired Up was actually just what I was looking for.  The premise is a little over the top – three ex-Army Rangers open a business “DreamMakers” which organises dream dates for the clueless (largely male) in the San Francisco area.  They’re not a dating agency or a matchmaking service – but if a dude forgets his anniversary and needs to make it up to his upset wife, DreamMakers is the go to place to get help.  Exactly why Parker, Jack and Dean chose this particular business was never very clear to me.  That there was a need didn’t quite cut it.  However, what I was really wanting to read about was the romance between Parker and Lynn and the book was a lot of fun when this was the focus.

Pia Saves the Day by Thea Harrison

Pia Saves The DayWhy I read it:  I was provided with a review copy by the author via NetGalley

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Pia and Dragos’s magical young son Liam (the Peanut), is growing at an unprecedented rate, and if that isn’t enough, he is also exhibiting new, and unpredictable, magical gifts. To protect him, the concerned parents decide to move to upstate New York.

Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.

Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.

It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this…

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I like revisiting favourite heroes and heroines and seeing how their happy ever after is progressing but what is even more special is when we get to see them fall in love all over again.  I don’t think it’s too spoilery to say that’s what happens after Dragos loses his memory in an accident.  Pia has to fight for him first though – he is hurt and confused and he doesn’t remember anything about their life together and who they are to each other (and it is a joy to see the heroine doing the rescuing too I must say).

Vote for me!!!!

So there’s this competition thing for Australia’s Best Blogs and there’s a People’s Choice part of the competition which closes on May 5, 2014. And, this blog right here is in it.  Click on the badge in this post (or on the sidebar) to vote for me!!!!  (if you want to).

There are nearly 900 blogs listed on the survey and you can vote for as many as you like but you can only vote once.  The blogs are listed in alphabetical order – mine is on page 2 but you have to go to the end of the survey to get to add your name/address/email and the “vote” button.

Happy April everyone! 😀


This ends the shameless self-promotion portion of the programme. Regular blogging will resume tomorrow.


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