Bear Protection

She met his gaze and found herself trapped there unable to look away.

Marlie Monroe
Bear Protection

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
She ran from the man who hurt her. Can she trust the one who wants to claim her forever?

A safe refuge.

Sophie has moved across the state to escape her abusive ex. Deep in the heart of shifter territory, the last thing she’s looking for is a new relationship. But after she bumps into a sexy stranger at the grocery store, she can’t get him out of her mind.

A deep instinct.

Grizzly shifter Rick doesn’t let many people close – especially humans – but it’s impossible to resist the pull of his mate. The need to care for her and protect her pulses with every beat of his heart. How can he tell a woman who’s learned not to trust that she belongs to him?

A deadly game.

When Sophie’s ex tracks her down, he’ll stop at nothing to take his revenge. She’s determined to fight him, but without Rick’s help, her chance at a new life – any life – could be gone forever. Can the shifter keep his mate safe long enough for them to have their happy ending?

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
At less than 3 hours this was a cute, fairly low angst, shifter novella. I also like that while “fated mates” it was more like something that drew them together – not a force that violated their will.

The majority of the angst came from Sophie’s ex stalking her and Rick trying to protect her. Rick and Sophie’s relationship was a mix of sexy & sweet. While a short book, Monroe still gave enough world building to have a nice sense without taking from the character part of the story.

Narration:
I enjoyed David Quimby’s narration. His voice worked well with the low-angst and sweet style of the writing and story.

My Favorite Quotes

She met his gaze and found herself trapped there unable to look away. – Bear Protection by #MarlieMonroe #Audiobook narrated by #DavidQuimby #PleasantValleyShifters #Shifter #FatedMates #Novella #LowAngst

After a lifetime of looking for love in all the wrong places, she had finally found someone she could count on. – Bear Protection by #MarlieMonroe #Audiobook narrated by #DavidQuimby #PleasantValleyShifters #Shifter #FatedMates #Novella #LowAngst

It Might Be You

Thank goodness for pushy grandparents.

Tara September
It Might Be You

Format:
Audible.

Note: This short story originally appeared in the anthology From Florida with Love: Moonlight & Steamy Nights.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Serina Spring is trading in her blossoming real estate career in Manhattan and an ex-boyfriend to start anew in Naples, Florida. But playing cards with her matchmaking grandmother was not exactly the exciting new life she had in mind.

So, when Serina spies a handsome stranger at an open house, she thinks her luck just might be changing. Then again? Maybe not.

Fortunately, while on the white sandy beaches of Southwest Florida, Serina discovers that all is not what it seems if you just open yourself up to fate.

Point of view:
3rd Person. Entirely from Serina’s perspective.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Being a fan of Tara September’s other work, I was thrilled to snag this new release during Audible’s big sale last month. At just under an hour this was a quick low-angst listen. Entirely from Serina’s perspective, it’s an enjoyable “how they got together” closed door romance. (the spicy factor is a few internal musings and a single kiss toward the end) While this short story is not exactly a “meet cute” it had a lot of the traits I love about those.

Narration:
This was my first time listening to Elizabeth Klett and I thought she was the perfect fit for the story.

About the author:
Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from NYU. For over a decade, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

An avid romance reader, she has been daydreaming about being an author since high school. Dozens of bad dates and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a New York City subway. They now live in sunny Southwest Florida with identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

You can connect with Tara September here:

About the narrator:
Reading books out loud has long been a passion for Elizabeth. She has been a professional audiobook narrator since 2011, with over 250 titles available at Libro.fmAudible and elsewhere. She is currently on the roster at ACXAudiobook EmpireBee AudioFindaway VoicesPink Flamingo ProductionsSpoken Realms, and Tantor Audio. She recorded free audiobooks for LibriVox from 2007-2015, and has also volunteered for the non-profit group Learning Ally. She can be heard voicing various characters in audio dramas at The Online Stage, and reading poetry at Rhapsodize Audio.

You can connect with Elizabeth Klett here:

My Favorite Quotes

Thank goodness for pushy grandparents. – It Might Be You by @TaraSeptember #Audiobook narrated by @elizabethaudio #Romance #ShortStory #ClosedDoor

Valor: The Complete Duology

When I’m with you, I don’t have to hide.

Keira Andrews
Valor: THe Complete Duology

Format:
Audiobook

This is a box set combining Valor on the Move and Test of Valor.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Valor on the Move: Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. But once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef.

It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself.

Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission. But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?

Test of Valor: With his father no longer president, Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia.

Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady. Rafa’s parents certainly don’t approve of his romance with 40-year-old Shane, and they’re determined to make him see reason. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together – but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating character POV by chapter.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I was super excited to see these in a box set not only as a fantastic deal but because I just adore all things Keira Andrews. I listened to Valor on the Move and Test of Valor last Summer and thoroughly enjoyed the emotionally gripping mix of romance, mystery/suspense, & thriller components. On their own these are fully developed stories – together they are 18 hours of awesomeness.

Valor on the Move:
Rafa, code name Valor, is the President’s youngest son and deeply in the closet (mostly due to his parent’s political affiliations). Shane is one of his Secret Service agents. I liked that Andrews took the time, and oooh-boy was this a slow burn, for Shane and Rafa to spend a lot of time getting to know each other.

There are a few sex scenes, but nothing that drowns out the relationship or harrowing circumstances the MCs are thrust into.

Test of Valor:
I loved this one even more than the first – maybe because the first was an HFN and this was Shane & Rafa’s HEA. There’s a lot of relationship building, a little bit of personal drama, a little bit of family drama, and smidge of suspense. Fairly low angst, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Definitely one I’ll listen to many times.

Narration:
Iggy Toma does a fantastic job of narrating. He definitely gives Shane a mature sound and Rafa a younger one – while Rafa doesn’t sound like a child. Toma does a great job of giving everyone a distinct voice/sound – which says a lot given how many characters there are and how many of them are men. This is full of so many emotions and Toma brings them to life in a way I never could reading them myself. He’s terrific.

About the author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

You can connect with Keira Andrews here:

My Favorite Quotes

When I’m with you, I don’t have to hide. – Valor Complete Duology @keiraandrews #Audiobook narrated by #IggyToma #MM #AgeGap #RomanticSuspense

Remember that with some waves…you can’t catch them. Better to dive through and wait for another one. There’s always another one. – Valor Complete Duology @keiraandrews #Audiobook narrated by #IggyToma #MM #AgeGap #RomanticSuspense

You can tell us more about Australia. We were there what, five years ago, Ramon? We held a koala. I think it was as stoned as a hippie. – Valor Complete Duology @keiraandrews #Audiobook narrated by #IggyToma #MM #AgeGap #RomanticSuspense

Baby brother, it is high time you got drunk at the White House. We’ll show you how it’s done. We’ve got your back. – Valor Complete Duology @keiraandrews #Audiobook narrated by #IggyToma #MM #AgeGap #RomanticSuspense

We’ll do it our way, and my parents can deal.” “Well, that is our unofficial motto. – Valor Complete Duology @keiraandrews #Audiobook narrated by #IggyToma #MM #AgeGap #RomanticSuspense

The air felt jagged, all sharp edges in the space separating them. – Valor Complete Duology @keiraandrews #Audiobook narrated by #IggyToma #MM #AgeGap #RomanticSuspense

Ready for breakfast? I was thinking bacon. Because…well, bacon. – Valor Complete Duology @keiraandrews #Audiobook narrated by #IggyToma #MM #AgeGap #RomanticSuspense

The Highlander’s Stolen Bride

Eva didn’t want to be anyone’s weakness, especially not his.

Eliza Knight
The Highlander’s Stolen Bride

Format:
Audiobook

At the time of this review, the audio is included in Audible Plus.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
From the best-selling author of the Stolen Bride series comes a brand-new and exciting family saga! For fans of Scottish historical romance, the Sutherland Legacy propels you into the Highlands with tales of daring adventure, irresistible heroes, and passion!

Magnus “Strath” Sutherland, laird of Dornoch, refuses to marry after being betrayed by his betrothed’s father. Needing to distance himself from the Highlands, he accepts a commission at the Scottish border by the king, where he must squelch an English lord’s plans to lay siege. What he finds is the Scots’ enemy about to wed a most alluring English lass. What better way to torment his enemy than by defeating his army and stealing his beautiful bride?

Eva de Clare, youngest daughter of the earl of Northwyck, is about to be pledged in matrimony to a cruel lord who has blackmailed her family when a terrifying Highlander interrupts the ceremony. The horror stories she’s heard about the warriors of the North must be true, but none seem to compare when she is literally plucked from where she stands and whisked across the Scottish border.

At first, Strath intends to toss the Sassenach lass into a dark cell and forget about her, but there is something about the way she defies him that he finds captivating, not to mention how very much he’d like to kiss her. Eva isn’t about to be made into a prisoner of war, and she’s definitely not going to be sent back to England to marry her enemy. Though at first the Highlander frightened her, she sees kindness beneath his hard exterior. 

Perhaps the key to her survival will be convincing this warrior to take her for himself. And perhaps Strath just might have found the only woman who could warm his hardened heart.

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating POVs by chapter.

Rellim’s Thoughts
The Highlander’s Stolen Bride is the 2nd book in Eliza Knight’s Sutherland Legacy series. Like the first book, The Highlander’s Gift, this was a lot of fun to listen to. You could listen to this all on it’s own, but Strath is the brother of Bella and there are mentions of a few events from book 1 – so they’re best listened to in order.

I was a bit hesitant because of the word “stolen” in the title – but Eva kind of wanted to be stolen so there isn’t anything dark, forced, or coerced about their relationship. I liked Strath and Eva as individuals and within the romance Knight crafted for them. The relationship aspect is again fairly low angst with most of the conflict arising from external sources and protagonists. I also appreciate that Knight gives us a few chapters plus an epilogue to really enjoy Strath and Eva as a couple.

I continue to enjoy Knight’s writing and characters and am looking forward to the third book, The Highlander’s Hellion.

Narration:
I loved Antony Ferguson’s narration again. He again gives all the characters unique voices, accents, and mannerisms. His inflections and emotions really bring the story to life and make for an enjoyable audio.

About the author:
Eliza Knight is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of sizzling historical romance. Under the name E. Knight, she pens riveting historical fiction. She runs the award-winning blog, History Undressed. When not reading, writing and researching, she likes to cuddle up in front of a warm fire with her own knight in shining armor.

You can connect with Eliza Knight here:

About the narrator:
AudioFile Earphones Award winner Antony Ferguson is a native of London, England. He is a classically trained actor and has appeared in numerous productions in London, Off-Broadway, and regional theater. As a voice actor, he has over fifty audiobooks to his credit and was recommended by the “All About Romance” Web site as one of the best male narrators at performing female characters. He lives in Los Angeles.

You can connect with Antony Ferguson here:

My Favorite Quotes

Contracts can be broken. – The Highlander’s Stolen Bride by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #AudiblePlus

Be afraid, Belfinch, be verra afraid. – The Highlander’s Stolen Bride by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #AudiblePlus

Then again, having grown up with three meddling sisters, he was well aware of how to negotiate with a woman. Perhaps such a tactic would work on this one. – The Highlander’s Stolen Bride by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #AudiblePlus

Never before had a man elicited that kind of a response from her. And she found she liked it. – The Highlander’s Stolen Bride by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #AudiblePlus

Eva didn’t want to be anyone’s weakness, especially not his. – The Highlander’s Stolen Bride by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #AudiblePlus

Scratched Off

Spotting a lottery ticket over on one of his work benches, he picked up the scalpel, perched on a stool, and gently scratched the surface with the dull side of the blade.

Julie C. Gilbert
Scratched Off

Format:
Audiobook, also borrowed the ebook via in Kindle Unlimited.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Failure means more people die.   

“The Big One” could make Sam’s career or…break him. 

FBI Special Agent Samuel Kerman has been tasked to catch a wildly erratic serial killer dropping bodies in Pennsylvania state parks. The victims differ, and the manner of murder changes every time. Amid the mountains of physical evidence, only a mysterious gray dust and declarations of guilt or innocence link the crimes.  

It’s not much to work with, and the case drags on for months. Then, things go from bad to worse when the killer makes it personal. Family, friends, strangers…everybody’s in danger of being scratched off.

Point of view:
3rd person. Multiple perspectives, including that of the killer.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Scratched Off is a stand alone psychological thriller by Julie C. Gilbert. I’ll be honest, when Chapter 1 clearly stated who the serial killer was, by name, I was really worried that this wouldn’t be a mystery or very suspenseful. I was wrong. So, so, wrong.

Instead – regularly hearing Andrew’s thoughts and plans juxtaposed with the victims’ and other character’s in the story created an almost constant tension while listening. The closed door romance between Andrew’s sister, Melissa and FBI Agent Sam Kerman added another level of depth to the story – but in very unpredictable ways.

Like most good mystery/thriller books – it’s hard to share what I enjoyed about it without giving anything away. The most descriptive praise I can give is that it was full of surprises and I truly enjoyed listening from beginning to end. I’m looking forward to checking out more of Gilbert’s work.

Content Note: While the romance is closed door and there is no explicit language, this is a book about a serial killer and some of his killings and their aftermath are described in detail.

Narration:
This was also my first experience listening to Rick Struve. He did a fantastic job with a variety of voices, personalities, and emotions. I felt completely drawn into Gilbert’s writing and truly enjoyed his performance.

Disclaimer note: I know we’re supposed to mention if we received an audiobook for free. For whatever reason, I didn’t make a note about where/why I picked this book (I’m getting better, but have been inconsistent in the past). I *think* it may have been a giveaway in a FB group. So… like everything else, this is my honest review whether or not I received it for free. I did borrow the ebook version via KU to make it easier to take notes.

About the author:
Julie is a high school chemistry teacher who writes in several genres. She enjoys warm weather, hot tea, sweet coffee, reading, writing, teaching, and audiobooks.

You can connect with Julie C. Gilbert here:

My Favorite Quotes

Spotting a lottery ticket over on one of his work benches, he picked up the scalpel, perched on a stool, and gently scratched the surface with the dull side of the blade. – Scratched Off by @authorgilbert #Audiobook narrated by #RickStruve #PsychologicalThriller #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #RomanticSuspsense #ClosedDoor #SerialKiller

I’m all for a high-tech plan, but when there’s a low-tech solution to a problem, I go with it. – Scratched Off by @authorgilbert #Audiobook narrated by #RickStruve #PsychologicalThriller #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #RomanticSuspsense #ClosedDoor #SerialKiller

I know we just met, but I need you to do something that might be slightly illegal. – Scratched Off by @authorgilbert #Audiobook narrated by #RickStruve #PsychologicalThriller #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #RomanticSuspsense #ClosedDoor #SerialKiller

In the Ruins

The long game was never as satisfying as a bullet finding its target with brutal immediacy.

Hailey Turner
In The Ruins

Format:
audiobook

Note: At the time of this post, it looks like all of Hailey Turner’s audios are included in Audible’s big sale.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Truth and lies.

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.

Dirty little secret.

Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.

Play the game to win.

Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
In the Ruins is the second book of Hailey Turner’s Metahuman Files series. Events in this book build on those from the first and while a complete story, there are ongoing story arcs so you’ll definitely want to listen to them all & in order. As such, there may be spoilers to book 1 in my review.

Again, Turner has a fantastic mix of action, suspense, political, thriller, and romance. She does a wonderful job of balancing all the characters’ back stories while still moving forward with an engaging and exciting story. Jamie & Kyle are on solid ground, both in their careers and in their, albeit somewhat secret, relationship. An undercover assignment gives them a chance to be out in the open – but with pretending to be other people it’s not a freeing as it seems.

We get to know individual team members even better and we’re introduced to some new characters as well. There’s more writing from other’s perspectives and it’s great insight. Jamie’s family plays a bigger role in this story and I enjoyed how Turner explored that dynamic.

While I liked that the first two books have centered Jamie & Kyle’s relationship – I’m definitely looking forward to the fact that book 3, In the Shadows, will feature Alexi & Sean.

Narration:
Greg Boudreaux continues to be a great narrator for this series. Characters are consistent from book to book – and he has the added difficulty of accents and mannerisms for when the group is undercover.

About the author:
Hailey Turner is big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.

You can connect with Hailey Turner here:

About the narrator:
Trained in vocal and stage performance, Greg Tremblay brings a passion for storytelling to every aspect of his life and work. Critically-recognized and listener-beloved, Greg’s work has been praised by Audiofile Magazine’s “Earphone” award, numerous blogs, and is the recipient of the GoodReads Reader’s Choice award for Best Narrator – 2016 in M/M Romance. Greg also maintains a curated collection of uniquely and delightfully spicy boudoir treats branded under the “Greg Boudreaux” narration name. (Rellim’s note: As a rule, I don’t post pseudonyms, but this bio is copied directly from Tremblay’s website.)

You can connect with Greg Boudreaux here:

My Favorite Quotes

He trusted Jamie with his life, so it wasn’t any surprise he’d started trusting Jamie with his heart. – In the Ruins by #HaileyTurner #Audiobook narrated by GTremblayVoice #MetahumanFiles #MM #RomanticSuspense #Thriller #SciFi #Supernatural #Paranormal #MilitaryRomance #KU #Audible

I won’t give up what I’ve fought so hard for just to give my father another pillar to stand on. – In the Ruins by #HaileyTurner #Audiobook narrated by GTremblayVoice #MetahumanFiles #MM #RomanticSuspense #Thriller #SciFi #Supernatural #Paranormal #MilitaryRomance #KU #Audible

For once, I want to be able to touch him in public and not worry it’ll fuck up everything else. If I need a cover in order to do that, at least I’ll finally know what it’s like. – In the Ruins by #HaileyTurner #Audiobook narrated by GTremblayVoice #MetahumanFiles #MM #RomanticSuspense #Thriller #SciFi #Supernatural #Paranormal #MilitaryRomance #KU #Audible

The long game was never as satisfying as a bullet finding its target with brutal immediacy. – In the Ruins by #HaileyTurner #Audiobook narrated by GTremblayVoice #MetahumanFiles #MM #RomanticSuspense #Thriller #SciFi #Supernatural #Paranormal #MilitaryRomance #KU #Audible

The Highlander’s Gift

Bella was amiable, friendly, loving, but she was also a schemer and a fighter, he knew that firsthand.

Eliza Knight
The Highlander’s Gift

Format:
Audiobook

At the time of this review, the audio is included in Audible Plus.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Sir Niall Oliphant was betrothed to the Bruce’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, until she declares that his wound in battle has incapacitated him as a man. Because he does not wish to marry the spoiled royal, he is glad to pass her off to his brother Sir Walter. He’s more than content to fade into the background with his injuries and remain a bachelor forever. Until he is presented with an offer from the Earl of Sutherland to marry his only daughter, a lass more beautiful than any other, who makes him want to stand up and fight again. 

Bella Sutherland, daughter of one of the most powerful earls and Highland chieftains in Scotland, can marry anyone she wants – but she wants no one. When she spies the injured warrior at the Yule festival who has been shunned by the Bruce’s own daughter, she makes her choice. What is better than no husband? A husband who cannot truly be husband at all. But she won’t be satisfied with letting him languish. If there’s one thing she’s learned, its not to give up. With them both satisfied that they are gaining a marriage in name only, imagine their surprise when love blossoms and passion ignites?

Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating POVs by chapter.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I’m sitting here with a goofy smile on my face – because this was such a fun listen. The Highlander’s Gift by Eliza Knight is the first book in the Sutherland Legacy series featuring the next generation from her Stolen Bride series. While I haven’t listened to that, I had no problems enjoying this.

I love that Knight gives us the Grumpy/Sunshine trope without making the hero, Niall, a jerk. He’s really just frustrated by his injury and his inability to live a life he thought he would. Bella is dealing with her own perceived shortcomings by living life her way and won’t be dragged into marriage for the sake of traditions. These two together compliment each other beautifully. I adored that Bella is Niall’s cheerleader in every way and that he encourages her unique personality. This is very low angst relationship-wise as most of the suspense/conflict comes from external sources. Bringing this couple even closer.

The end, while perhaps being slightly predictable is adorable and I can see myself listening to this again soon. Though… I have Strath & Eva’s book – The Highlander’s Stolen Bride – queued up for listening to next week.

Narration:
I loved Antony Ferguson’s narration. Ferguson’s accents, voices, and inflections were perfect. He also has a fantastic voice for women & children. It really was an enjoyable listen.

About the author:
Eliza Knight is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of sizzling historical romance. Under the name E. Knight, she pens riveting historical fiction. She runs the award-winning blog, History Undressed. When not reading, writing and researching, she likes to cuddle up in front of a warm fire with her own knight in shining armor.

You can connect with Eliza Knight here:

About the narrator:
AudioFile Earphones Award winner Antony Ferguson is a native of London, England. He is a classically trained actor and has appeared in numerous productions in London, Off-Broadway, and regional theater. As a voice actor, he has over fifty audiobooks to his credit and was recommended by the “All About Romance” Web site as one of the best male narrators at performing female characters. He lives in Los Angeles.

You can connect with Antony Ferguson here:

My Favorite Quotes

If the good king decided to marry his daughter to another, Niall would drop to his knees and praise the Lord above for answering his prayers. – The Highlander’s Gift by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #GrumpySunshine #AudiblePlus

When a man is perceived to be less than he is, that is when he is in fact most valuable. – The Highlander’s Gift by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #GrumpySunshine #AudiblePlus

I bet if we tied his other arm behind his back, he’d still be able to kick their arses. – The Highlander’s Gift by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #GrumpySunshine #AudiblePlus

Bella was amiable, friendly, loving, but she was also a schemer and a fighter, he knew that firsthand. – The Highlander’s Gift by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #GrumpySunshine #AudiblePlus

This man, this true Niall right here in front of her, she loved him. Truly and deeply. – The Highlander’s Gift by @ElizaKnight #Audiobook narrated by Antony Ferguson #SutherlandLegacy #ScottishRomance #HistoricalRomance #GrumpySunshine #AudiblePlus

Sons of Valor

The downside risk was almost always bigger than the upside payoff in Special Operations. And that was doubly true in the Tier One.

Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson
Sons of Valor

Format:
Audible

Publisher’s Synopsis:
SONS OF VALOR…

Navy SEAL Keith ”Chunk” Redman has been one of the military’s top doorkickers since the day he pinned on his trident: loyal, single-minded, lethal. Tasked to lead a new, covert team of Tier One SEALs—the most elite special operators in the world—Chunk needs help to stay a step ahead of its adversaries.

Brilliant at spotting patterns in the data that others miss, ex-CIA analyst Whitney Watts sees evidence of a troubling link between illicit Chinese arms sales and an attack on a US military convoy in Afghanistan. If she’s right, it would portend not only massive casualties, but a devastating threat to global stability.

SONS OF WAR…

From the ashes of a never-ending war, a new generation of terrorists has arisen: sophisticated, tech-savvy, and hiding in plain sight among America’s allies. Battered by the Taliban and by the West, they call themselves al Qadr—Power and Destiny—and they’re determined to wrest back control of their homeland. Armed with a powerful combat drone, they can strike with deadly precision at US forces in the region—but their ambitions reach far, far beyond that.

A NEW LEGACY…

The new Tier One’s first mission will require them to not only prove themselves, but to stop an enemy who’s using military tactics against them. Chunk and his team aren’t just the tip of the spear; they’re America’s first, last, and best counterterrorism defense. And they couldn’t have arrived at a more urgent—and perilous—time.

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Oh my gosh! I loved this! OK, backing up – if you don’t know, this is a spinoff from Andrews & Wilson’s Tier One series. Chunk participates in several ops in several of those books, but you could absolutely start here and not be lost. You could also go back & listen to those after this – though there is one major event that happens in book 1, Tier One that might lose it’s surprise/shock value, I still think you could enjoy that after this if you decide to go back. (pssstttt… if you enjoy this – you will love the Tier One series!)

Sons of Valor kicks off the Tier One Shared-World series with a bang! While it’s almost all new characters and they are completely unique – this contains all that I have come to love about Andrews & Wilson’s writing. Excellent pacing, engaging ops, characters – even antagonists – that I really feel connected to, competent but not perfect operators, smart & capable women, and a story that keeps me listening practically non-stop from beginning to end. (At just over 12 hours – I haven’t quite figured out how to listen in only one day, but I definitely feel frustrated any time I have to push pause.)

While SEAL Keith “Chunk” Redmond is the main character, I really enjoy that Whitney Watts get nearly as much focus. They make an excellent team and balance each other out in personality and talent. Secondary & tertiary characters are equally developed and losses from all sides are deeply felt. This is a full and complete story – but there is definitely an ongoing series arc established that has me eagerly anticipating what happens next.

Narration:
Get the audio!!!!! I enjoy Andrews & Wilson’s writing, but Ray Porter continues to be phenomenal as a narrator elevating the experience even more. He seamlessly switches between accents, personalized voices, genders, etc. immersing the listener into what feels like a pristine full cast production. I can’t say enough about how much I love listening to his work.

Also… Ray Porter singing Baby Shark. Epic!

About the authors:
Brian Andrews is a US Navy veteran, Park Leadership Fellow, and former submarine officer with a psychology degree from Vanderbilt and a masters in business from Cornell University. He is the author of three critically acclaimed high-tech thrillers: Reset, The Infiltration Game, and The Calypso Directive.

Jeffrey Wilson has worked as an actor, firefighter, paramedic, jet pilot, and diving instructor, as well as a vascular and trauma surgeon. He served in the US Navy for fourteen years and made multiple deployments as a combat surgeon with an East Coast–based SEAL Team. The author of three award-winning supernatural thrillers, The Traiteur’s Ring, The Donors, and Fade to Black, and the acclaimed faith-based thriller War Torn. He and his wife, Wendy, live in Southwest Florida with their four children.

You can connect with Andrews & Wilson here:

Narrator:
You can connect with Ray Porter here:

My Favorite Quotes

Proof again that in the teams there are no secrets. – Sons of Valor @LexicalForge @JWilsonWarTorn @bAndrewsJWilson #Audiobook narrated by @Ray_Porter #TierOne #Military #SEALs #Thriller #Suspense #Action

Why don’t they just wear dark blue windbreakers with ‘Spooks’ stenciled on the back in bright yellow letters? – Sons of Valor @LexicalForge @JWilsonWarTorn @bAndrewsJWilson #Audiobook narrated by @Ray_Porter #TierOne #Military #SEALs #Thriller #Suspense #Action

No plan survives first contact with the enemy. – Sons of Valor @LexicalForge @JWilsonWarTorn @bAndrewsJWilson #Audiobook narrated by @Ray_Porter #TierOne #Military #SEALs #Thriller #Suspense #Action

But I’m not a SEAL and I have no aspirations of trying to become one. – Sons of Valor @LexicalForge @JWilsonWarTorn @bAndrewsJWilson #Audiobook narrated by @Ray_Porter #TierOne #Military #SEALs #Thriller #Suspense #Action

And just like that, with one cosmic flip of the coin, everything went to shit. – Sons of Valor @LexicalForge @JWilsonWarTorn @bAndrewsJWilson #Audiobook narrated by @Ray_Porter #TierOne #Military #SEALs #Thriller #Suspense #Action

The downside risk was almost always bigger than the upside payoff in Special Operations. And that was doubly true in the Tier One. – Sons of Valor @LexicalForge @JWilsonWarTorn @bAndrewsJWilson #Audiobook narrated by @Ray_Porter #TierOne #Military #SEALs #Thriller #Suspense #Action

The Spy Devils

Mistakes were in the air – Bridger could feel them.

Joe Goldberg
The Spy Devils

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
A deadly case. An international operative. When a mission turns personal, who will make it out alive?

Trowbridge “Bridger” Hall was raised to be a spy. Leading a highly trained team of covert agents, he’s loyal to his squad and his country. But when his infamous CIA controller and mother assigns his crew an unusual off-books operation, his finely tuned senses scream danger. 

Hunting a stolen briefcase across the world, his instincts proven lethally correct when one of his men ends up dead. And with potentially ruthless maternal betrayal and treacherous enemies closing in, it’s play or be played in a vicious game of death…. 

Can he crack the conspiracy before it costs his life? 

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I swore I was not going to start another new series until I was caught up on all the others I have going… but I also follow a lot of authors on social media and jumped at the chance to win a copy of The Spy Devils. Especially because the folks at Best Thriller Books have been raving about it.

Joe Goldberg is a new author to me and this is his second book. The Spy Devils launches a new series by the same name. Goldberg has created a fantastic cast of characters with distinct personalities and mannerisms, but still working together seamlessly. This is a great mix of action, adventure, espionage, political & corporate themes as well a humor. My favorite books always have a little snark, banter between characters, or dry wit to break up the tension created by all the high octane action – but this was absolutely hilarious. The only reason it took me so long to finish was a number of appointments plus family (finally! Yay!) visiting. Otherwise this absolutely would have been a two-day listen fest.

I am looking forward to hearing where Goldberg takes Bridger and The Spy Devils next when Rebellious Son is released.

Narration:
PJ Ochlan is also new to me. He was absolutely the perfect match for Goldberg’s writing and these characters. Ochlan has an amazing range of voices which really helped me keep all of these characters straight. He delivers the humorous lines with skill and definitely evokes all the emotions.

I won a free copy of this audiobook from a contest on Joe Goldberg’s Twitter and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

About the author:
Joe Goldberg has been a CIA covert action officer, corporate intelligence director, international political consultant, and currently is a college instructor and writer.

His work at the CIA garnered three Exceptional Performance Awards. In the private sector, as leader of Corporate Intelligence at Motorola, Joe received the Meritorious Award recognizing a single individual who has made significant contributions to the intelligence profession. He holds degrees in Political Science and Communications from the University of Iowa.

You can connect with Joe Goldberg here:

About the narrator:
A multiple Audie Award winner, Odyssey Award winner, multiple Earphones Award winner, and multiple Voice Arts Award winner, P.J. Ochlan’s work behind the microphone began in 1987 as a young voice actor with many commercials and promos. Since then he has lent his diverse talents to virtually every voiceover genre. Most notably, he is a widely acclaimed and record-setting audiobook narrator with hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles to his credit.

P.J.’s voice work is enhanced by his mastery of accents, distinctive characters and versatility, as well as his proficiency with English, French, Italian, German and Mandarin. He is also the founder of Dr. Dialect and co-founder of the Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry.

You can connect with P.J. Ochlan here:

My Favorite Quotes

Bridger had the kind of looks that allowed him to morph into invisibility. – The Spy Devils by @JoeGoldbergBook #Audiobook narrated by @pjochlan #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #TheSpyDevils #Espionage #Assassin #KU

Some Newtonian force of nature he did not understand had bound Milton and Beatrice together. The thought of the combination—the beauty and the nerd—made Bridger smile. – The Spy Devils by @JoeGoldbergBook #Audiobook narrated by @pjochlan #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #TheSpyDevils #Espionage #Assassin #KU

There is just nothing like the sweet sound of criminals admitting to their crimes. – The Spy Devils by @JoeGoldbergBook #Audiobook narrated by @pjochlan #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #TheSpyDevils #Espionage #Assassin #KU

Mistakes were in the air—Bridger could feel them. – The Spy Devils by @JoeGoldbergBook #Audiobook narrated by @pjochlan #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #TheSpyDevils #Espionage #Assassin #KU

Mistakes were in the air—Bridger could feel them. – The Spy Devils by @JoeGoldbergBook #Audiobook narrated by @pjochlan #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #TheSpyDevils #Espionage #Assassin #KU

“You look like a bad night in Tijuana,” Snake said. “I’ve had worse,” Bridger gasped. – The Spy Devils by @JoeGoldbergBook #Audiobook narrated by @pjochlan #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #TheSpyDevils #Espionage #Assassin #KU

Jed Had to Die

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
The happiest day of Payton Lambert’s life was the day she graduated high school and watched Bald Knob, Kentucky get smaller and smaller in her rearview mirror. She wanted more for her life than a tiny town where everyone knows your business and you can’t find a decent cup of coffee for at least forty miles. Twelve years later, an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night has her packing up her life in Chicago and racing back home to the one person she ever regretted leaving behind.

Upon her return, she sees that Leo Hudson, the scrawny boy who followed Payton around like a puppy and could recite cow insemination facts in his sleep, is long gone. Leo is still hot on her heels, but now he’s wearing a sheriff badge and dead set on solving a murder that may or may not involve Payton…along with half the town. In a place where the biggest crime happened the day someone kicked a few of his cows, people are pointing fingers, rumors are spreading like wildfire, and Payton swears she’s only making out with the sweet-talking, studly sheriff to distract him from the secrets she’s keeping.

When you’ve been tased, peed on by a yippy dog named Bo Jangles, and can’t stop picturing what Sheriff Hudson looks like naked, it will be a tough job making everyone agree that…Jed had to die.

Point of view:
1st person from Payton’s perspective. With every other chapter being a police interview transcript featuring various characters.

Rellim’s Thoughts:

DNF @ 40%

While I love Amy McFadden & she’s the whole reason I purchased this… Well, OK, it’s was 80% McFadden, 15% because I enjoy OTT funny, & 5% it was on sale on Kobo…

I guess I’m in the minority here, but this just isn’t working for me. This might be spoilery – I don’t think so, but stop here if you want to be absolutely certain not to encounter them. 🛑

I don’t enjoy future/past back & forth. Every other chapter is a time jump. Sometimes it works for me – but it just didn’t here. This is definitely a personal preference and not a knock to the author.

I have a hard time reconciling the serious subject of domestic violence with OTT humor. Especially when it’s witnessed by law enforcement and they do nothing about it … because reasons?

I get funny elements or convos in dark books – that’s not what this was though.

Payton was not a likeable character for me. At all. She’s rude, judgmental, self-centered, destructive, etc and it’s supposed to be funny because she hasn’t had enough coffee. Or because she was drunk when she did it. She basically vacillates between the two for the entire story up to the point I quit.

She’s 30 (best I can tell from the math of “she left right after graduation and she hasn’t been home in 12 years). Outside of owning a supposedly wildly popular because-it’s-not-a-chain coffee shop (that’s… becoming a chain?) in Chicago – she hasn’t matured since 18yo.

Her best friend was just beaten so bad she was hospitalized and all Payton can talk about is a “hot guy” she saw for like a minute. It’s joke after joke after joke about the “hot guy”.

RomCom? It’s more like a Murder mystery with one sided attraction to a person she barely used to know 12 years ago. Then remembering all the ways he was a “nerd”. I want to want the MCs to get together. I just didn’t.

(Psst: Leo. Run. Run now. The crush your 20yo self had was entirely misguided.)

I almost kept going because I was actually more interested in whether something would blossom between Deputy Lloyd & Emma Jo. But I was too annoyed by Payton.

Narration:
McFadden’s narration was wonderful. It’s likely she’s why I managed to get as far as I did.