Return to Zero

He ran and prayed to whichever God would listen that his partner was alive.

Isobel Starling
Return to Zero

Format:
Audiobook

Note: Books 1-3 have been combined into a box set: audio & ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Pulled into a world of secrets and lies for the man he loves, Declan Ramsay’s life has changed immeasurably in the eight months since meeting, and falling for his boss’s son, Sam Aiken. Declan journey of personal discovery is about to take a darker turn, and for Sam, the world becomes more treacherous than he could ever have imagined.
Two agents are missing — presumed dead, while on a reconnaissance mission at an outdoor adventure center in the Scottish Highlands. Sir James Aiken sends his son and Declan to follow the trail, and discover the fate of the agents.

As the mission offers his first chance to use the skills he learned on the MI6 training course in Morocco, Declan is keen to get started. However, Sir James sees to it that the seeds of doubt and discord have been sewn between the couple, as they begin their mission.

The journey to their Highland location, and the discoveries they make when they reach the G’wan Adventures center, prove that Sir James Aiken has been less than honest with his son. Events in the Highlands force Sam and Declan to face their greatest fears, and understand what they both really want from life — and from each other.

Point of view:
3rd person. Multiple perspectives, mostly Sam & Declan.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
It just gets better and better… at almost 7 hours this is the longest book so far and Starling packs it with an impossible to put down story. All these books build off events from previous books, so you’ll want to listen to them all and in order.

Declan gets more training but still struggles with feeling like he’s years behind Sam. They get a mission where Declan’s experience is invaluable and this seems to put the pair on equal footing. They’re working as a solid team until James and others make the couple hesitate to trust one another. Combine all this with uncovering a company that is quickly becoming not what it appears.

An old nemesis appears and the lovers are separated. The rescue is harrowing and heart wrenching. Gah! I loved it and while it’s a complete story – even more questions are uncovered and I’m looking forward to Counterblow.

Narration:
Gary Furlong continues a fabulous narration of the series. He’s consistent with all the accents and personalities and switches between characters effortlessly. While I enjoy Starling’s writing immensely, I cannot imagine experiencing this without Furlong’s performance.

About the author:
Isobel loves writing M/M thrillers, mysteries, and historical books.

You can connect with Isobel Starling 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 always thought that home was about a place, but it’s not, it’s the people you share with that make a home, the rest is just… decoration.  – Return to Zero by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

The love they shared was the beginning and the end of everything, and together, they were unbreakable.  – Return to Zero by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

He ran and prayed to whichever God would listen that his partner was alive.  – Return to Zero by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

His lungs stopped working, and the pain was excruciating — like he was being stabbed inside by a million jagged shards of his broken heart.  – Return to Zero by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

Illuminate the Shadows

The only real thing Declan had ever wanted, he now possessed… but for how long? 

Isobel Starling
Illuminate the Shadows

Format:
Audiobook

Note: Books 1-3 have been combined into a box set: audio & ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
After the most amazing week of his life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan Ramsay’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.

However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.

Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.

The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam’s love.

Point of view:
3rd person. Multiple perspectives, mostly Sam & Declan.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
After As You Wish, I was ready for the super-secret-spy action and Starling definitely delivers. This is one of those books where it’s really hard to share all the things that you love about it without spoiling it for others. Declan is initiated into Sam’s world in a way that neither of them expect, but James is in for some surprises as well. There’s a few scenes with Declan where Furlong’s performance combined with Starling’s pacing makes for an unnerving listen. It gave me chills. Amazing.

They also get their first assignment which is a lot of fun for Sam & Declan as well as the listener. And, of course, there are numerous steamy scenes as the guys are finally able to spend some uninterrupted time living together.

I’m immediately starting Return to Zero.

Narration:
Gary Furlong continues a fabulous narration of the series. He’s consistent with all the accents and personalities and switches between characters effortlessly.

About the author:
Isobel loves writing M/M thrillers, mysteries, and historical books.

You can connect with Isobel Starling 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

The only real thing Declan had ever wanted, he now possessed… but for how long?  – Illuminate the Shadows by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

Declan sat, breathing heavily, waiting for whatever was supposed to happen, to hurry-the-fuck-up and happen.  – Illuminate the Shadows by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

Oh my God!  My boyfriend’s a total geek!  – Illuminate the Shadows by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

He was lucky to still be alive, and it seemed his life really was one disaster after another.  – Illuminate the Shadows by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

The only reason I’d kick ye outta bed is te fuck ye on the floor!  – Illuminate the Shadows by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #Spy #Espionage

As You Wish

The air in the room seemed to crackle with electricity.

Isobel Starling
As You Wish

Format:
Audiobook

Note: Books 1-3 have been combined into a box set: audio & ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!

Declan Ramsay was set to be the best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing the best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam. Sam was abroad finishing his studies so the best men communicated by email for more than a year and wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding

But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with gorgeous green eyes and a wicked sense of humor. Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.

But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

Point of view:
3rd person. Multiple perspectives, mostly Sam & Declan. Not always clearly defined.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Note: This has been sitting in my pending since before snowpocalypse waiting for me to polish it up & create the graphics for posting. Needless to say, all hell-frozen-over broke loose and honestly, the last thing on my mind was my blog. Then Zoey Castille asked on Twitter about the hottest sex scene we’ve ever read and I immediately thought of… see below. Anyway, boom – reminder that I have reviews to put in the hopper – so for the next few days you get the awesomeness that is Shatterproof Bond!

If, like me, you grabbed this series by Isobel Starling because you enjoy romantic suspense – you might be a little disappointed with the first book, As You Wish. Because this is fairly short (4 hours), firmly in the “establishing the relationship” category, and only remotely hints at any suspense or danger to come in the epilogue.

That said, I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. Grumpy Declan Ramsay is the polar opposite to relaxed and funny Sam Aiken in all ways – including being straight. Or so he thinks. While in some respects this feels a little like “insta love” due to the fact that the bulk of the story occurs over a few days at their siblings’ wedding – Declan & Sam have been emailing for a year. They have cultivated a fairly solid friendship leading up to a wild week in Edinburgh.

It was a lot of fun to experience Sam bring Declan out of his shell and his funk. Declan’s wonder, yet quick acceptance that he was not only attracted to but falling in love with a man. This man. Also, it must be mentioned that one of the hottest scenes in the book is when they are getting dressed in kilts for the wedding. I have no idea how Starling could make putting on clothes steamier than removing them – but she did. I digress. There’s a delightful banter between the men quoting lines from The Princess Bride that is also weaved into the story a few times. Fans will enjoy the references.

The epilogue brings more questions than answers (in the best of ways) and I’m diving right into Illuminate the Shadows.

Narration:
Gary Furlong was terrific. I love the voices, accents, and personalities he gave to Starling’s characters. I think he really helped to differentiate the perspectives in a way that I wouldn’t have if I’d merely read the story. I’m not only looking forward to him in the rest of the series, but will be seeking out more narrations by him.

About the author:
Isobel loves writing M/M thrillers, mysteries, and historical books.

You can connect with Isobel Starling 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

Declan had no idea what to do about it – this sudden realization – he was attracted to a man. – As You Wish by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #GFY

The air in the room seemed to crackle with electricity. – As You Wish by @isobel_starling #Audiobook narrated by @GaryFurlongVo #ShatterproofBond #MM #Romance #GFY

The Killer

He was already dead, but in Victor’s opinion there was no such thing as overkill.

Tom Wood
The Killer

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
His name is a cover
He has no home
And he kills for a living

Victor is a hitman, a man with no past and no surname. His world is one of paranoia and obsessive attention to detail; his morality lies either dead or dying. No one knows what truly motivates the hunter. No one gets close enough to ask. 

When a Paris job goes spectacularly wrong, Victor finds himself running for his life across four continents, pursued by a kill squad and investigated by secret services from more than one country. With meticulous style, Victor plans his escape . . . and takes the fight to his would-be killers. 

Note: This title has also been published as The Hunter.

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I have been wanting to sink into another suspense/thriller series that already had a hefty number of published books. (I’ve started several and am waiting for new releases!) So, I took to twitter and asked the awesome folks at Best Thriller Books what they would recommend. While I now have a huge Thriller TBR/L – I immediately jumped on the Victor the Assassin series by Tom Wood to start because it’s narrated by Rob Shapiro.

Through multiple points of view Wood introduces a somewhat likeable antihero in Victor, a variety of CIA directors and agents with questionable motives, potential allies, definite adversaries, and shifting allegiances. I was kept constantly guessing and completely engaged. Also a little angry – I wasn’t always happy about who lived and who didn’t, but that’s generally the case with a good thriller, so it’s a compliment.

At 15 hours, this is a LOT of book and super heavy on the details. I enjoyed Wood’s thoroughness though found myself a little creeped out by it. I’m now going to be paranoid that every ignorably normal person near me is a hit man.  I’m also feeling confident I could add retro safe cracker to my resume as well. It was fascinating and helped bring a level of believability to Victor’s life and world.

*Dear squiggly red line – I know “ignorably” isn’t a word. I don’t care. I’m using it.

Anyway – Not only is this a full and complete story, it actually felt like an entire season’s worth of TV given the number of missions and encounters weaved together. I’m glad I added this to my personal library as it’s the type of audiobook I could listen to multiple times. Wood left things somewhat open-ended by teasing a whole new world of possibilities for Victor and I’m looking forward to more. Next up in the series is a novella, Bad Luck in Berlin (#1.5) and then back to audiobook for The Enemy.

Narration:
As I expected, Rob Shapiro was fantastic. Wood has created a HUGE number of characters and I felt Shapiro did a wonderful job of giving them unique voices and amplifying their personalities. I appreciate his ability to use accents when necessary and pronounce locations with ease as the characters traveled to a variety of countries.

About the author:
You can connect with Tom Wood here:

About the narrator:
Rob Shapiro is a voice actor, narrator, songwriter and performer living in Los Angeles, but he’s really everywhere.

You can connect with Rob Shapiro here:

My Favorite Quotes

At times like this there was no such thing as too many guns. – The Killer by @TheTomWood #Audiobook narrated by @RobuLuxe #VictorTheAssassin #Thriller #Suspense #CIA TY for the rec @BestThrillBooks & @kashif1307

The face that stared back at him in the mirror was no longer his. Altered so many times he couldn’t remember what he truly looked liked. Sometimes he was glad for that. – The Killer by @TheTomWood #Audiobook narrated by @RobuLuxe #VictorTheAssassin #Thriller #Suspense #CIA TY for the rec @BestThrillBooks & @kashif1307

I am the bad guy. – The Killer by @TheTomWood #Audiobook narrated by @RobuLuxe #VictorTheAssassin #Thriller #Suspense #CIA TY for the rec @BestThrillBooks & @kashif1307

He was already dead, but in Victor’s opinion there was no such thing as overkill. – The Killer by @TheTomWood #Audiobook narrated by @RobuLuxe #VictorTheAssassin #Thriller #Suspense #CIA TY for the rec @BestThrillBooks & @kashif1307

Extra Time

They were now the perfect team.
Jay’s team.
Team Ruttman.

C. F. White
Extra Time

Format:
Audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
When it’s time, it’s time.

Jay Ruttman and Sebastian Saunders are back.

Used to the press, used to the public interest, and used to being just the two of them, they’ve forged a life juggling their high-profile careers with their low-key relationship. And it’s working. Mostly.

There’s only two things left hanging that could elevate their contentment to perfection—marriage and a child.

Six years since bridge-gate, and Jay’s spectacular proposal on the Millennium Bridge, the bill has now passed for legal same-sex marriage. It looks like they might be able to finally tie the knot, and the pitter patter of tiny feet isn’t as far flung an idea as it might have first seemed.

Until Jay has his first call up to play for the national team and must, once again, decide what’s more important—family or football.

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
This is a bonus “epilogue” novella for the District Line trilogy and while it’s a complete story on its own – you definitely need to read/listen to the other books, starting with Kick Off. Also, this is labeled as a novella – but it must fall just under some word count because it felt like a full length book and in no way was it lacking.

Oh CF White! I didn’t think I was capable of loving Jay & Seb any more than I did at the end of Come Back and she proved me wrong. The hardest part of reviewing this book is sharing how much I love it without spoiling any of the amazing surprises she has in store for Ruttman & Saunders fans. It is absolutely an emotional ride with highs, lows, disappointments, and celebrations mixed with laughs and family both by blood and those found in friendship. It is the absolute perfect ending to a wonderful series.

Narration:
Piers Ryman is fantastic. I admit that my first time listening, he struck me as sounding kind of older than I would imagine for guys in their early 20s. However, after listening through the whole series, and then listening AGAIN in prep for this book – I honestly can’t imagine anyone else being Seb & Jay. White brings some pretty emotional scenes into this book and Ryman’s delivery had me laughing out loud and also wiping away tears. Kudos! and I will be seeking out more of his work.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

About the author:
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail–leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

Eventually she moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and it brought pen back to and paper after having written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White can’t stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride

You can connect with CF White here:

My Favorite Quotes

Is this your way of askin’ if we can go to New York and do a PR phota with a family of gay penguins? – Extra Time by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #SportsRomance #RockStar #OppositesAttract #BestEpilogueEver

They were now the perfect team. Jay’s team. Team Ruttman. – Extra Time by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #SportsRomance #RockStar #OppositesAttract #BestEpilogueEver

Assignment: Sydney

Format:
ebook

Update: ebooks 4-6 of the series have been combined into a single set, Assignment: Danger.

Publisher’s Synopsis:
A tiny device causes big trouble in Assignment: Sydney, the fourth installment in the SpyCo Novella Series.

When an Australian scientist develops technology capable of revolutionizing nuclear missile warfare, North Korea’s rogue government will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Straight from a harrowing mission in Istanbul, top SpyCo agent James Burke is dispatched to head off disaster. Little does he know he will face one of the most difficult decisions of his career.

Point of view:
3rd person

Rellim’s Thoughts:
I’m DNFing this one. I’m OK with irreverent humor, but this is too frequent and seems to cross the line more than I’m comfortable with. Burke’s repeated comments about other women, especially when supposedly in a relationship, were particularly cringeworthy. Also, despite being warned by Dot that Park has probably been in his room and planted bugs on his clothing Burke just ignores this and continues to travel without checking any of his belongings. Then is surprised when a tracker is found. I don’t expect protagonists to be perfect – but this seems really, really dense on Burke’s part. It kind of killed it for me and I found I lost the minimal interest I had in the plot…

I enjoyed the first 3 and they only seem to be loosely connected, so I’m still inclined to check out the next one, Assignment: Alaska.

About the authors:
The authors have a website for their joint ventures at: E2Books

Craig A. Hart is the stay-at-home father of twin boys, an author, and audiobook narrator. He has served as editor-in-chief for The Rusty Nail literary magazine, manager for Sweatshoppe Media, and publisher for Northern Lake Publishing. He was also director for Northern Illinois Radio Information Service, a broadcast outreach that brought daily news and information to the visually impaired. Craig was the host of the interview program The Games & Writers Show, and is now the host of the Good Sentences podcast, along with author S. J. Varengo. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Craig lives in Iowa City, Iowa with his wife, sons, and anti-social cat.

You can connect with Craig A. Hart here:

Scott James (S.J.) Varengo was born in 1960, (fifty years to the day after the passing of Mark Twain – take from that what you will), in a city called New York. Two years later he formed a band called The Beatles [citation needed]. He returned to New York City to attend Fordham University (having been told it was a basketball powerhouse) before transferring to the State University of New York at Potsdam (having been told it was located in the tropics), from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in Art History. (Aside from the handsomely framed diploma and his ability to run art categories on Jeopardy, it hasn’t really paid off).

You can connect with S.J. Varengo here:

Burn for You

He was strong and capable, and right here, right now, it felt like he could actually protect her from all the slings and arrows people might hurl at her, be her shelter from the storm.

Kait Nolan
Burn for You

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Delaney Newell knows what it means to be powerless. Against the family who wouldn’t support her. Against the man she loved who betrayed her. Against the gossips who won’t let her forget it. But after years of struggling, she’s finally getting her life together.

Sean Murphy has spent years fighting forest fires. The former hotshot turned forester knows the growth that can sprout from unfathomable destruction. That’s what he sees in Delaney—someone who got leveled by life but didn’t stop growing. He’s spent the past several months watching the shy red-head blossom, and he really likes what he sees.

When Delaney is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, everyone is willing to believe the worst of her. Everyone except Sean. The woman he knows couldn’t possibly be behind the rash of fires that are keeping the volunteer fire department hopping. Someone is deliberately framing her. Will Delaney trust him enough to help her find the real culprit?

*Please note, this book was originally published as CAN’T STAND THE RAIN.

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Note: Kait Nolan’s Wishful and Wishing For A Hero series intertwine. Nolan has this nifty spreadsheet on her website showing the chronological order if you’re obsessive like me. While I think Nolan does enough explaining that this could stand on its own – there are a mentions of events & characters from the first 3 books as well as other Wishful folks. At a minimum, I’d recommend Can’t Take My Eyes Off You as Delaney is a heavily featured secondary character.

Did I spend all week in Kait Nolan’s Wishing For A Hero series? Yes, I did. And I loved it!

I totally admit that when I’m immersed in a romance/romantic suspense series – it’s usually the men that have me diving into the next story. Not this time. I felt so sorry for Delaney and wished I could wrap her up in a big ol’ hug. Never fear – Nolan sends in firefighter Sean Murphy to remind Delaney how strong she is and to prove that he has her back. It’s a hard fought battle in this friends-to-lovers story as it’s obvious the townsfolk aren’t all willing to forgive past transgressions and a new threat appears to be targeting her.

Again, there’s a nice mix of steamy romance in with a continuous and escalating thriller/suspense element. So steamy – I was pretty sure Sean and Delaney’s dip in the water was going to bring Hope Springs to a boil! Whew!

Sean gets to be the hero more than once and Delaney basks in his unwavering commitment to her. I loved the unique ending that Nolan gave this precious couple. While it wasn’t what I expected, it was definitely perfect for their lives, goals, and relationship.

About the author:
Kait Nolan is a RITA® Award-winning Mississippi author who calls everyone sugar, honey, or darlin’, and can wield a ‘Bless your heart’ like a Snuggie or a saber, depending on requirements. She believes in love, laughter, and that tacos are the world’s most perfect food. When she’s not writing, reading, working the evil day job, or wrangling family (both the two-legged and the four-), you can find her obsessively watching The Great British Bake Off.

You can connect with Kait Nolan here:

My Favorite Quotes

She’d survived worse. She’d survive this. Somehow. – Burn for You by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Firefighter

He was strong and capable, and right here, right now, it felt like he could actually protect her from all the slings and arrows people might hurl at her, be her shelter from the storm. – Burn for You by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Firefighter

in a dozen small ways, he was constantly proving that he paid attention and he cared about her. – Burn for You by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Firefighter

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

He angled his head, taking the kiss past a well-intentioned thank you and into does this door have a lock? territory.

Kait Nolan
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Exhausted by the futility of her efforts against the city’s endemic problems and the revolving door of violence in her Chicago emergency room, Dr. Miranda Campbell came home to Wishful, where she knew she could make a real difference in people’s lives. Between her clinic, a rotation in the hospital’s ER, volunteer work at the new women’s shelter, and time spent with family and friends, her life is full. But it’s not too full to notice a sexy lawman when she sees one.

Former US Marshal Ethan Greer is still settling into the job as Wishful’s new Chief of Police, but he’s starting to realize it may be years before he’ll ever be considered one of the locals. Fair enough. He’s the first to admit that making the shift to small town policing is a big adjustment. After losing his marriage and almost his life in line of duty, the slow pace of Wishful is a change he’s happy to make.

While Miranda’s and Ethan interest in each other is mutual, he’s not sure about taking on a serious relationship. That’s just fine with her. But when Miranda is targeted in an escalating chain of threatening events, Ethan’s Marshal instincts go on overdrive. Miranda’s rose-colored view of Wishful is putting her in danger. She’s become more than a casual fling or a job responsibility. With Ethan’s training screaming at him to put her in protective custody, can he find out who’s behind the threats before he pushes Miranda away? 

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Note: Kait Nolan’s Wishful and Wishing For A Hero series intertwine. Nolan has this nifty spreadsheet on her website showing the chronological order if you’re obsessive like me. While I think Nolan does enough explaining that this could stand on its own – there are a mentions of events & characters from book 1 & 2 as well as Wishful citizens from other books that I think it would be better enjoyed by those fully immersed in the Wishful “universe”.

Ah! I’ve been waiting for Ethan’s story since Make You Feel My Love and Kait Nolan did NOT disappoint. (It also helps to bring up the image of Timothy Olyphant from Justified – swoon!) While this relationship proceeds at break-neck speeds, Nolan made it work in this full-length novel by giving Ethan and Miranda somewhat similar backstories. In their mid-30s and kindred spirits it was sweet to experience them coming together in a town full of meddling neighbors and relatives. As their romance progresses, there’s a steadily building mystery/suspense/stalker plot that kept me on edge and guessing until the villain is finally revealed.

I adore that Nolan’s heroines are not only intelligent and capable, but they would never fall in the “too stupid to live” category – which is a huge pet peeve of mine in romantic suspense. While Ethan does ultimately save the day, Miranda is no shrinking violet and stands her own when confronted with a harrowing situation.

The ending and epilogue are a nice wrap up to a sexy & thrilling story. Poor maligned Delaney gets her own book next in Burn for You.

About the author:
Kait Nolan is a RITA® Award-winning Mississippi author who calls everyone sugar, honey, or darlin’, and can wield a ‘Bless your heart’ like a Snuggie or a saber, depending on requirements. She believes in love, laughter, and that tacos are the world’s most perfect food. When she’s not writing, reading, working the evil day job, or wrangling family (both the two-legged and the four-), you can find her obsessively watching The Great British Bake Off.

You can connect with Kait Nolan here:

My Favorite Quotes

He angled his head, taking the kiss past a well-intentioned thank you and into does this door have a lock? territory. – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

My sister’s got claws, and she fights dirty. You hurt her, she’ll take care of you herself. I’ll just be there to help hide the body. – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

“The police chief, on the front porch, in a towel!” Clay crowed it as if he’d just won a game of Clue when he answered the door. – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

He needed to be calm, cold, and collected—a hunter of men. – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

Watch Over Me

I don’t know who I am if I’m not a cop. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to be.

Kait Nolan
Watch Over Me

Format:
ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
The only thing Rowan Beale ever wanted was to be a cop. But in the wake of her partner’s death, she still hasn’t been cleared to return to duty. Amid rumors of PTSD and struggling under the weight of survivor’s guilt, she’s starting to believe she never will be. Already at loose ends, when her Uncle Robert has a heart attack, she doesn’t hesitate to go to Wishful to take care of him. 

Reserve officer Nash Brewer is a born care-taker, so of course he pitches in after his neighbor and mentor has heart surgery. But it’s not just the former Wishful Police Chief who needs his help. Robert’s strong, gutsy niece is hurting and haunted—and someone’s been targeting her. Nash can’t help but fall as he and Rowan investigate, while keeping the secret from her fragile, but sharp-eyed uncle. 

When evidence points to Rowan herself as the perpetrator, the former Navy pilot knows in his gut there’s something more going on. But how can he ignore the facts of the case? And how can Rowan stand for one more person to believe she’s unstable, especially the man she wants to trust with her heart?

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
While this is a novella it is a complete and enjoyable story. Nolan manages to pack a punch in terms of giving a nice mix of romance, suspense, and small town feel. I love that she has crafted Rowan as a strong, intelligent, & competent woman who does not need to be rescued but is complimented by the equally qualified Nash.

This was a fun adventure I read in an afternoon and I’m looking forward to jumping right in to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

Note: Kait Nolan’s Wishful and Wishing For A Hero series intertwine. Nolan has this nifty spreadsheet on her website showing the chronological order if you’re obsessive like me. While there are a few mentions of events & characters from book 1, Make You Feel My Love and a few of the Wishful citizens from other books – this absolutely stands well on its own.

About the author:
Kait Nolan is a RITA® Award-winning Mississippi author who calls everyone sugar, honey, or darlin’, and can wield a ‘Bless your heart’ like a Snuggie or a saber, depending on requirements. She believes in love, laughter, and that tacos are the world’s most perfect food. When she’s not writing, reading, working the evil day job, or wrangling family (both the two-legged and the four-), you can find her obsessively watching The Great British Bake Off.

You can connect with Kait Nolan here:

My Favorite Quotes

Rowan would rather have bamboo shoved under her fingernails than continue to have this woman explore her psyche. – Watch Over Me by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #Novella #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

The very last thing Rowan had expected to be doing tonight was making out with Nash Brewer in the monster recliner. – Watch Over Me by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #Novella #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

I don’t know who I am if I’m not a cop. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to be. – Watch Over Me by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #Novella #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

I wish for Nash to never stop looking at me like he’s looking right now. – Watch Over Me by @kaitnolan #SmallTown #RomanticSuspense #Novella #WishingForAHero #Mystery #Police

Bring to Light

Nothing existed except Fletcher.
And him.
Together.

C. F. White
Bring to Light

Format:
Audio or ebook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Jackson Young and Fletcher Doherty are back in London and on a mission—to bring to light the murky underbelly of the Charles Payne media empire and, in doing so, get justice for the murder of Tallulah Payne.

It’s not a simple task though. They need proof. They need people to speak up. And they need to keep their hands off each other long enough to track down the other manipulated Lotus Flowers, convince them to come forward and find a way to bring it all to the public. Not so easy when they’re up against the most powerful men in London who are determined to separate and silence them by any means possible.

It’s a race against time, with a deadline not only on their story or their growing relationship but on their entire lives.

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

Rellim’s Thoughts:
This is the final book in C.F. White’s London Lies trilogy. You’ll want to listen to Fade to Blank and Hide to Seek first. As such, this review may contain spoilers to the first two books.

Things absolutely come to a head during this book. Jackson & Fletcher uncover even more in their mission to discover who murdered Tallulah and Chris. The deeper they dig, the more they realize this involves a greater conspiracy than they ever could have imagined. White sets a perfect pace that keeps you wanting to listen without interruption – this is a fantastic mix of thriller, mystery, and suspense with steamy romance.

It’s hard to believe that the entire series only covers mere weeks because she packs so much in. While it is a short time period, because we get to know Fletcher and Jackson so well as individuals and as a couple – the HEA is completely believable. I also adored the epilogue and the future White unfolds for this unlikely pairing.

Of note: Because it had been a few months – I relistened to the first two books again right before and this is the kind of trilogy you can listen to more than once and discover new things. Truly enjoyable.

Narration:
Piers Ryman wraps up this series with another fantastic narration. His performance is so consistent from the previous books, you could easily binge this and not tell he ever took a break in between books. I continue to be impressed with his effortless switch between voices and accents.

I purchased the ebook, however I did receive a free copy of the audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

About the author:
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail–leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

Eventually she moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and it brought pen back to and paper after having written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White can’t stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride

You can connect with CF White here:

My Favorite Quotes

It was as though there was an invisible thread holding them together and not allowing for the professional distance they’d once had. – Bring to Light by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #RomanticSuspense #Mystery #LondonLies #Trilogy

Nothing existed except Fletcher. And him. Together. – Bring to Light by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #RomanticSuspense #Mystery #LondonLies #Trilogy

I’m game for whatever you want. I’m yours. Wherever you want to take me. – Bring to Light by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #RomanticSuspense #Mystery #LondonLies #Trilogy

Fecking eejit – Bring to Light by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #RomanticSuspense #Mystery #LondonLies #Trilogy