This year I have embraced audiobooks. I had tried them in the past and I just couldn’t get excited about them. I found out that I 1) prefer to listen to books that I have already read. and 2) that audiobooks are great for traveling and working around the house or yard. And 3) the narrator can make or break the way I feel about an audiobook – even if I adore the written word.
So far I have not had too many experiences that have turned me away from an audiobook, but there have been a few. Those tend to be books that I have a definite voice in my mind for the characters in the book.
I found some wonderful audiobooks in February. The first being:
Narrated by Tristan James.
Listening Length: 7 hours and 57 minutes
Note: When I read the book, I had just finished her Cole McGinnis series and was in love with Cole and Jae and the other wonderful cast of characters in that series. I was not immediately enamored with Micky and Kane. As the series progressed I fell in love with these characters too.
Blurb: There’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.
After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears death isn’t done with him yet.
Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved – provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.
Review: (Of the ebook (February 22, 2013 – see above note) I enjoyed this book. I was not as enamored of the characters or story as I am of the Cole McGinnis series. I will read the next one to find out the story behind the last chapter. It is not a cliffhanger per se, more a set up for the next book. Sinner’s Gin is gritty and deals with some pretty tough issues. It also has moments of humor, tenderness and steamy sex.
Audiobook review: February 2015
OK. In my original review, I guess I was lukewarm. As the series continued, I came to love these guys. Having just finished the audiobook, I can say that once again, listening to the story was a different experience. I enjoyed Micky even more this time and of course Dude is awesome. The Irish accents for all of the Morgan’s could get a bit confusing, but not enough to take away from the enjoyment of listening to the story.
About that ending – loved hearing the voice of the person brought in at the end and I was so much more excited this time around knowing where we would end up.
Next up is one of my favorite romances.
Narrated by K.C. Kelly
Listening Length: 11 hours and 14 minutes
Blurb: Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.
Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths – dreams that come true.
As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own.
Review – Ebook then audiobook:
A friend of mine highly recommended this book and for some reason it kept being pushed down my tbr list. Finally I had a chance to sit and enjoy this gem.
It is a fantasy told in vivid and sometimes, raw, heartbreaking detail. It is also beautiful and filled with wonderful moments that made me pause and savor the moment. Brute has suffered so much for being different, a giant of a man, feared and mistreated but his heart is even bigger and he does what he feels is right even when the consequences may not be in his best interest.
One such heroic deed changes his life in ways he never imagined and leads him to meet the love he never dreamed he could have.
I admit I kept having visions of Andre the Giant while reading this story, especially his role in The Princess Bride. Andre was always my favorite.
Wonderful story. (December 28, 2014)
Audiobook review February 24, 2015
I can not say enough good things about this book. It is one of my favorite romances. I loved the narration. Most of the characters fit with my own voice for them except for Lord Maudit, but it was not an issue as far as listening pleasure. I especially loved the voice for Kashta.
As with my ebook review, I love Aeric. His character speaks to my heart. He is lovely.
What I have found with audiobooks, is that if I love the story and the narrator fits with the story, the listening experience is just another level of the heaven I felt when I was reading the book.
This narrator fit this story and it was wonderful. Recommended
Sean Crisden – Narrator
Listening Length: 9 hours and 39 minutes
Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.
Nobody knows the real Chase.
Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.
Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.
Book read July 19, 2012. I am not sure why I did not write a review at the time. It may have been too much, too raw. Chase in Shadow is a heart wrenching experience. It is so well written. Chase is a complex character filled with so much sorrow and anger and hurt. He is this little boy inside this beautiful man that is trying to please everyone but himself.
I have read the entire Johnnie’s series by this point. Of all Amy Lane’s characters in this series, I think Chase is her most broken, the one that pulled me to the dark places with him. There is a point in the story that is devastating but a pivotal moment. Ms Lane wrote it with such feeling, and Chase and I had been working towards this moment, even though it is something that is feared and yet Ms Lane brings humor into the situation, not to be funny, it felt real and like something that this character and his friends would say. Even though my heart broke, it was freeing for the character as well as for me as the reader. I knew we would be ok.
AND this is why I love Amy Lane’s writing. It is gripping and wonderful and tragic and humorous and makes me feel her characters.
Now for the audiobook review:
Not all narrators capture the character’s voice or the feel of the story. At least that has been my experience and I think it is a very personal decision on what a person thinks the characters should sound like.
Sean Crisden managed to take this already wonderful story and bring it to life for me as a listener. I can not imagine reading this and giving voice to some of the scenes in the book. I actually had to giggle after some because I was imagining this voice actor making these intense, emotional sounds and thinking, wow, that sounds way better than it did in my head when I read it.
Sex sounds aside, it is well done, and I was able to relive the characters and have a new experience of a story I was already familiar with.books that I have already read. It is just something that I prefer.
Loved this book and loved the audiobook too.
Note: These books need to be read in order. If you have not read the series. Stop here. Go to your favorite book or audiobook store and buy Chase in Shadow. When you have finished reading it, come back and let’s talk about it. 🙂
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Listening Length: 10 hours and 28 minutes
Ten years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies.
Dex’s life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex’s coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay. Kane may be a hyperactive muscle-bound psycho, but he’s also a really nice guy. What could be the harm?
Except nothing is simple—not sex, not love, and not the goofy kid with the big dick and bigger heart who moves his life into Dex’s guest room. When they start negotiating fractured pasts and broken friends, Dex wonders if Kane’s honest nature can untangle the sadness that stalled his once-promising future. With Kane by his side, Dex just might be able to reclaim the boy he once was—and if he can do that, he can give Kane the home and the family he deserves.
Book Review: I love the way this book took my expectations and tossed them out the window, then proceeded to exceed them in ways I had not imagined. I loved Dex from Chase in Shadow. I wanted him to have his his story told and get his happy ending. I just did not know what the journey would be like. It was better than I hoped for. I enjoyed seeing the characters from Johnnies again and a glimpse of what they were/are doing. Amy Lane is one of my favorite authors. Her books are a sensual experience. I can’t wait to see where she takes us next. (October 09, 2012)
Audiobook review: 02/24/2015
Once again, I am blown away with the audiobook. Love the narrator and listening to the story allowed me to pick up on things that I had forgotten from when I read the book. It gave a slightly different nuance to the characters. This is especially true for Kane and Dex’s brother Travis.
I had forgotten Kane’s childlike quality to embrace the little things, love life, be thoughtful, caring and forgiving. He may come across as simple but he is much more, he just doesn’t like complicated. He is passionate and I got a kick out of his love for bugs and reptiles. (Gotta Love Tomas)
Dex’s need to take care of everyone shines in this book and the story that his brother Travis tells, really grabbed my heart and I found myself saying – Yes, that’s Dex/David, exactly.
It had been a while since I had read this book and I had forgotten the specifics about a couple of characters and well, it provoked less than kind thoughts about those characters.
I already loved this book and the audiobook only helped to reinforce that feeling.
Ethan in Gold by Amy Lane
Narrated by Sean Crisden
Listening Length: 10 hrs 46 min
Blurb: Evan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies, he gets exactly what he wants – comradeship and physical contact on trade -and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He’s sure of it.
Jonah Stevens has spent most of his adult life helping to care for his sister and trying to keep his beleaguered family from fraying at the edges. He’s had very little time to work on his confidence or his body for that matter. When Jonah meets Ethan, he doesn’t see the hurt child or the shamelessly slutty porn star. He sees a funny, sexy, confident man who-against the odds-seems to like Jonah in spite of his very ordinary, but difficult, life.
Sensing a kindred spirit and a common interest, Ethan thinks a platonic friendship with Jonah won’t violate his fair trade rules of sex and touch, but Jonah has different ideas. Ethan’s pretty sure his choice of jobs has stripped away all hope of a real relationship, but Jonah wants the whole package-the sexy man, the vulnerable boy, the charming companion who works so hard to make other people happy. Jonah wants to prove that underneath the damage Ethan has lived with all his life, he’s still gold with promise and the ability to love.
Audiobook Review: Loved the audiobook as much as the ebook. Ethan is still my favorite character. There is something about him that I connect with.
Listening to the series has allowed me to reconnect with the other characters as well and I have found that I had forgotten some details or it may be just the experience of listening to it rather than reading it brought a new appreciation for the story.
The narrator does a wonderful job with the characters and I love the voice he uses for Ethan. I had encouraged my friend to listen to the Johnnies series after she got me hooked on audiobooks, when she got to Ethan’s book this was what she said about the narrators voice for him: “His Ethan sends shivers down my spine and melts my cold, cold heart into a puddle of warm gooey…um goo?” I think that says it perfectly.
Each book in the Johnnies series builds on the previous books. There is an overlap of the timelines and I think they really need read or listened to in order.
I originally reviewed the book for Live your Life Buy the Book. If you want to know more about what I thought of the story click the link below: