Conscious Decisions of the Heart

Nikolas watched him with great amusement.  It would be a sad day when he couldn’t annoy and confuse Benjamin Rider.

John Wiltshire
Love is a Stranger

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Ben Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen learn that danger comes in all shapes and sizes and often in places you least expect it. Nikolas’ dark past calls to him, inexorably dragging him back into its seductive embrace. 

While he goes on an errand of mercy to Russia, Ben travels to Denmark to learn Nikolas’s language. Convinced Russia’s vastness will swallow Nikolas, Ben doesn’t see the enemy much closer to home. Thinking he has lost Nikolas, Ben then makes a terrible decision that threatens to destroy everything they have together. 

Focused on this very personal horror, bound by a new level of commitment, they have no idea that a greater threat is coming. And when it arrives, it changes everything – even the definition of commitment. 

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives, not by chapter, but defined.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Conscious Decisions of the Heart is the second book in Wiltshire’s More Heat Than the Sun series. These books follow the same couple and each book builds off some events from previous ones. While this is a complete story and could be enjoyed on it’s own, I’d definitely recommend starting with Love is a Stranger. It’s possible this review contains spoilers to the first book.

This story is still heavy on the personal relationship between Ben and Nikolas, but I appreciated that it had significantly more action in it. I also liked that we get Nikolas’ perspective as well. I felt like I understood him better and appreciated learning his motivations. There are several distinct sections to the book, each bringing a greater understanding and depth to the relationship but in sometimes devastating ways.

Again I struggle to share what I enjoyed so much about the book without spoiling it for other readers. Wiltshire has this way of keeping the reader on an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows, victories and losses, laughter and tears – because that’s what she puts her characters through and I felt deeply invested in them.

While the steamy scenes were definitely hot, I struggled a little with kinky that sometimes bordered on dysfunctional. However, in the end it felt like Nikolas and Ben were trying to work through becoming better individuals as well as a team. So that “missing the mark” wasn’t for the sake of dragging things out, but the path they traveled to get to where they needed to be.

And of course, the humor. There were so many laugh out loud moments. Not only from our main couple – but Squeezy and Kate as well. Who I hope will continue to be in future books because I just adore them as secondary characters. Squeezy’s names for ops & their participants is particularly hilarious.

I’m looking forward to starting The Bridge of Silver Wings later this week.

Note: I would encourage listeners to check out content/trigger warnings for the book. There are a few in here that are fairly descriptive.

Narration:
Gary Furlong. I feel like my comments on him are repetitive. The fact is he is an amazingly talented narrator who does such a good job of immersing the listener in the story and characters that it’s hard to push pause. His delivery, accents, emotions, and transitions are so smooth and flawless that it’s hard to remember that it’s a single person.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Decent Fellows Press and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

About the author:
John Wiltshire is the pen name.  The author was born in England.  She spent twenty-two years in the British Army, perfecting the art of looking busy whilst secretly writing.  She retired at the rank of Major, and finally settled in New Zealand. 

Although she has no plans to return to the army, she can occasionally be caught polishing her medals.

You can connect with John Wiltshire here:

About the narrator:
Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee, but made the leap to voiceover in 2015. Gary has narrated over 120 books spanning various genres.

You can connect with Gary Furlong here:

My Favorite Quotes

I’m poking at this bullet hole until you shut up.  Nothing else seems to work. – Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire @DecentFellows #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #MM #Romance #MoreHeatThanTheSun #RomanticSuspense #Thriller

All his new girlfriends in the library seemed to think he wasn’t eating enough. – Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire @DecentFellows #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #MM #Romance #MoreHeatThanTheSun #RomanticSuspense #Thriller

He went out to chop some wood, which was a cure for almost any amount of angst. – Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire @DecentFellows #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #MM #Romance #MoreHeatThanTheSun #RomanticSuspense #Thriller

Dubious news should always be accompanied by tea. – Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire @DecentFellows #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #MM #Romance #MoreHeatThanTheSun #RomanticSuspense #Thriller

Daddybark was in very good hands. – Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire @DecentFellows #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #MM #Romance #MoreHeatThanTheSun #RomanticSuspense #Thriller

Nikolas watched him with great amusement.  It would be a sad day when he couldn’t annoy and confuse Benjamin Rider. – Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire @DecentFellows #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #MM #Romance #MoreHeatThanTheSun #RomanticSuspense #Thriller

They were a matched pair of flawed individuals. – Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire @DecentFellows #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #MM #Romance #MoreHeatThanTheSun #RomanticSuspense #Thriller

Published by rellimreads

Avid reader/listener who has finally decided to turn it all into a blog...

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