Audiobook Review: A Witch’s Journey

Author: Tena Stetler

Narrators: Kate Tyler

Series: Lobster Cove, Book 1

Length: 9 hours 47 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: Oct. 19, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

Lathen Quartz, a former Navy SEAL turned handyman maintains the enchanted McKay property for the McKay estate. But someone is trying to steal the McKay magic. Lathen offers to help Pepper achieve her life-long dream of building a wildlife center. During the long hours spent together on the project, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. But each harbors a deep, dark secret. Will they overcome their demons and give love a chance?

 

Best-selling author, Tena Stetler, has an over-active imagination and writes award-winning paranormal romance novels. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle.

Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out the tales. Travel and adventure flourish in her novels. Any summer evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a glass of raspberry iced tea and a bowl of popcorn.

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Narrator Bio

Kate Tyler is an audiobook narrator and producer with several published audiobooks available on Audible, iTunes and Amazon. A background in drama and a successful career in voiceover, Kate lives with her family in San Diego and enjoys swimming, running, cycling and stand up paddleboard.

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Give me a story about witches, put some love inside and top it all with a dose of mystery and I am hooked. That’s a success recipe for me (I can think of a few other “ingredients” but don’t apply for this story at the moment).

“Lobster Cove” series starts pretty good. We have a witch trying to settle into her new home, plan for future and fall in love. But who would have thought that she and her new partner would both harbor secrets. The relationship between Pepper and Lathen is intense and their connection is very well captured. The hero in him starts acting once Pepper’s legacy is in danger. Let’s see if they manage to combine their abilities and solve the conflict J

Normally, I would be more than happy to brag about the magic and all that. However, I feel that in case of “A Witch’s Journey” the accent was more on the romance than on the actual magic. Yes, the plot is around that, but I would have wanted more action and more danger. There are many elements thrown in there, but not linked well enough and angles that could have been better explored.

The narration was excellent. Kate Tyler’s talent at disguising her voice and put feelings in all the lines made me enjoy the book even more. I liked her voice and, most importantly, I liked the fact that I could know, from the tone of her voice, who was talking. He is a great narrator indeed!

All in all, I’m giving the story 3.5 stars, rounded to 4, for a great narration. The book is great for fans of love and witches, but from action point of view, there is a potential that is yet to be explored. Looking forward for the next books. Enjoy J

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kate Tyler. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

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Book Review: Crossing in Time

Author: D.L. Orton

Narrators: Noah Michael Levine and Erin deWard

Length: 10 hours 17 minutes

Publisher: Rocky Mountain Press⎮2015

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

Series: Between Two Evils, Books 1

Release date: Oct. 7, 2015

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?

When offered a one-way trip to the past, Isabel sacrifices everything for a chance to change the rapidly deteriorating present – and see her murdered lover one last time. When she arrives 20 years in the past, buck naked and mortally wounded, she has 24 hours to convince a stunned but enraptured 19-year-old to change their future. Definitely easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that’s a heart breaker, save the world or not.

This offbeat tale is about falling madly in love when one is too cynical for such things, letting go of pessimism when it’s the last life jacket on a sinking ship, and racing against the clock when one doesn’t have the proper footwear. It’s a coming-of-age story for old fogeys, a how-to-make-love guide for diehard celibates, and a laugh-out-loud tragedy with a hopeful twist.

 

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR D. L. ORTON lives in the Rocky Mountains where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops.

In her spare time, she’s building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

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Narrator Bio

Noah Michael Levine and Erin deWard are Audie Award-winning narrators who have recorded over 40 titles together. They are passionate about acting and, in particular, the medium of audiobooks. The two love working together and have a ridiculous amount of fun playing off each other in the recording booth. Erin is deeply involved in the Audio Description community, translating visual images in media into aural pictures for people with low or no vision. She also performs Shakespearean text with The Strange Bedfellow actors troupe. Noah is a recovering 80s rock musician and an ardent home chef. Both Erin and Noah hail from the beautiful Hudson Valley Village of Nyack—and both are proud members of the Stage Actors Guild.

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Here are so many exceptional thing s about this story that it’s hard to capture all of them in a short review. So I’m going to lay down just some of the aspects that I believe are interesting and that can capture your attention.

“Crossing in Time” is a combination of many elements. We have love that can withstand time and while that, the world is collapsing. Yup, collapsing. Too many things happen in the same time – bombs, invasions, Ebola and with all these, two people find a way to love each other over and over again. In the beginning I was not very convinced about their relationship, since Isabel and Diego did not have the best start ever as a couple. Over time, they become close again even if the world has other plans.

Do you thing the combination between love, time travel and world destruction is too much? Well, it can be, sometimes. I felt a little overwhelmed of the many things happening and at some point it was hard to consider it as one story.  I was experiencing two different things. On one hand, we have the specialist analyzing facts and trying to understand what’s happening, and on the other hand we have a couple who’s just trying to enjoy their life together.

Since I had the privilege to enjoy the book in audio format, the narration was fabulous. Noah Michael Levine and Erin deWard bring characters to life. They share the joy and the pain in such a vivid way. They are perfect when narrating books together. I’ve heard them before and now I was even more impressed since one character has a Spanish accent and there is another one which sounds British. They are so, so incredible!

All in all, this is a great book, with perfect narrators and it is a story for everyone. It has mystery, romance, conspiracy and twists. 4 stars from my end! Happy Reading!

 

I received these audiobooks as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by D.L. Orton. The gifting of these audiobooks did not affect my opinion of them.

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Book review: When a Duke Pursues a Lady

An innocent woman.
A loyal agent to the Crown.
A path of deception that tests the bonds of love.
WHEN A DUKE PURSUES A LADY
Tabetha Waite
When a Duke Pursues a Lady
Series: Ways of Love Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publication Date: January 10, 2018
After three years trapped in an abusive and loveless marriage, Lyra Coventry has been arrested for the murder of her husband, the Earl of Weston. Although she’s innocent of the crime, she has no one to turn to for help, until Alister Ayles, the Duke of Albright, comes forward to offer his aid. The handsome duke takes her into his custody, saving her from a jail cell. But Lyra doesn’t suspect Alister’s ulterior motive—to prove her guilty of treason—as she slowly loses her heart to a man who is far more than he seems…
Alister Ayles leads a secret life. To the ton, he is a dullard, the subject of ridicule. But as a highly respected agent for the Crown, he’s discovered a higher purpose by protecting his country. Now he’s faced with his toughest investigation to date, uncovering a plot against the Crown…and discovering whether or not Lyra, the woman he let slip through his fingers years ago, is a traitor. Nothing is as it seems, and as the plot unravels, the dangers to them increase. He struggles to keep his feelings for her contained, but when it comes down to a test of loyalty, will he stand strong, or fall prey to his desires?

My Review

“When a Duke Pursues a Lady” is a story full of twists and complications. The direction always changes (intentionally) and the reader is taken from following one path to the next. The action is simple, yet complex at the same time, so feeling bored and tired while reading is out of the question.

Lyra is a victim of 19th century perception of women. She has had to submit to a husband she never had feelings for, a horrible person whose death cannot cause anything else but relief. However, when accused of murder, she begins fighting for her innocence, all the while discovering the many layers her husband had. Alister’s conflictive feelings for his only love begin tormenting him as soon as he is charged with the task of finding out her involvement with an organization planning to overthrow the current leaders. Question is: will they be able to stick to their mission or will their feelings shift their objectives?

Now, I was mentioning the many layers of this book in the beginning of this review. We have treason inside a treason plan. We have characters that are not what they seem and what’s more, we have a murder that may not have happened as everybody tries to imply. I was reading until the end to find out who the killer was and my suspicions shifted many times throughout the book.

As much as I liked it, I decided to decrease one star from my rating because I would have liked more emphasis on Lyra’s development. She has had a very unhappy marriage that has left scares on her heart. I would have wanted to see more of how this has affected her.

All in all, I had a great experience reading  Tabetha Waite’s book. Her writing is beautiful and her story is very complex. If you are a fan of Historical Romance, this book is definitely for you. The mystery aspect is well integrated in the plot and this gives an additional plus. Happy reading !

About Tabetha Waite

Tabetha Waite

Tabetha grew up in a small town in Missouri with big dreams of being a published author after her fourth grade teacher said she liked reading her stories. She began her journey by putting pen to paper writing anything from fantasy to mystery. It wasn’t until she started high school that her grandmother introduced her to the classic, Gothic novels. As her love of romance grew to encompass Harlequins, it wasn’t until she read “Midnight Bride” by Kathleen Drymon did she develop a fascination for historical England. After discovering the allure of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, she was hooked!
It wasn’t until 30 years and 63 rejections later that her debut novel, “Why the Earl is After the Girl,” the first book in her Ways of Love series was picked up for publication in July 2016 to critical acclaim, winning the 2017 Best Indie Book Award in Romance and Second Place in the Feathered Quill Book Award in Romance for 2018. It was initially released as an ebook and later in paperback in February of 2017. Her second book, “Where the Viscount Met His Match,” released on ebook in June 2017 and in paperback in April of 2018. Her third novel, “When a Duke Pursues a Lady,” released on ebook in January 2018.
When she’s not writing, Tabetha is reading as true bookworms do, checking out any flea market, antique mall, or doll show she comes across, and working as a lunch attendant at the local community college. She is a certified PAN member of the RWA and is a proud supporter of Passionflix.
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Book Review: Pete & Daisy

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Pete & Daisypeteanddaisy.jpg

by Tani Hanes

Genre: NA Romance

Release date: May 14th 2018

Summary:

He needs a place to live, she needs a baby daddy.

Pietro Santangelo and Marguerite White are students at prestigious Columbia University in New York City. She is a fun-loving, free spirit who finds herself in a bit of a familial bind, he is an exchange student with a chronic case of poverty. They concoct a plan that they think will work, not realizing how much changes with two simple words.

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My Review

Pete and Daisy are such a sweet couple! I loved them from the very start. They both have a need that needs to me bet – either for a father for a child or a place to live. These needs tie them together.  Who could have imagined it could lead somewhere new?  Well, they sure did not!

Their story is so much fun and the writing is so easy and beautiful. The book is perfect for a relaxing evening, with a coup of something good, after a long long day at work (or at least a stressful day). Which is why I enjoyed it so much. The atmosphere the author has created with these characters and their life together made me feel all sorts of good things inside. So I cannot but appreciate it!

Our main characters are far from your normal protagonists in love stories. They are far from perfect, far from rich and far from a perfect family. But they respect their commitment and try to do the best they can in a less than perfect situation. I loved Daisy’s determination to be there for her child, as reckless as her life may be. I loved Pete’s commitment to her and her baby.

I would have given the story all my 5 stars if it were not for the small confusions here and there with the characters and some conflict situations (if I can call them like that) felt a bit artificial. I wanted more complicated stuff (yup, I wanted more complicated… than not having a home and not being in a true relationship, I’m difficult, I know! )

All in all, this is a perfect book for a relaxing evening. Believe me, it really helped relieve some of my stress and some of that tension after a loaded week! This is my first book by Tani Hanes, but I have a feeling it will not be my last J Happy reading!

 

About the AuthorSAMSUNG CSC

My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. I’m from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I’m punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I’m very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn’t spell “acoustic” for 40 years. I’ve wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don’t wait as long as I did, it’s pointless, and very frustrating!

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Audiobook Review: Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City

Author: Christine Evelyn Volker

Narrator: Gabrielle de Cuir

Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

Publisher: Christine Evelyn Volker

Released: Mar. 27, 2018

Genre: Mystery

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, 40-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend – but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears?

A captivating tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth – before it’s too late.

“A riveting whodunit that makes full use of its dramatic setting.” (Kirkus Reviews)

 

Christine Evelyn Volker became intrigued by foreign cultures at an early age, which propelled her to study Spanish, German, and Italian. After securing a BA in Spanish and an MLS at University at Albany – SUNY, followed by an MBA at UC Berkeley, she was drawn to international banking and became a senior vice president at a global financial institution. Her career brought her to Italy, where she immersed herself in the language and made frequent visits to Venice. Venetian Blood marks a return to her roots in the humanities, and just won the Sarton Women’s Book Award for contemporary fiction.

She is currently at work on her second international mystery, this one set in the rainforest of Peru.

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Narrator Bio

Gabrielle has narrated over 400 hundred titles specializing in fantasy, humor, and titles requiring extensive foreign language and accent skills. Her “velvet touch” as an actors’ director has earned her a special place in the audiobook world as the foremost choice for best-selling authors and celebrities. Short list of those directed: Anne Hathaway, Emilio Estevez, Wil Wheaton, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, Elijah Wood, Deepak Chopra, Eric Idle, Nancy Cartwright, Michael York, Ed Herrmann, and Joe Mantegna. She is the writer and director of the Award winning short film THE DELIVERY, which deals with an Alice-in-Wonderland version of audio books. She spent her childhood in Rome growing up with her wildly artistic and cinematic father, John de Cuir, four-time Academy Award winning Production Designer, an upbringing that her to be fluent in Romance languages and to have an unusual appetite for visual delights.)

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Ok, let me jump right into my thoughts about this story. First and most important thing to mention is that the writing was fantastic, as well as the narration. No, the narration was more than I could have ever expected for a book with this plot.

Let’s detail a little on some aspects. As the blurb says, the action happens in Venice, a crowded city, full of mysteries and tragedies, as well as art and history. The descriptions are very vivid and the amount of historical info we are shared during the pages is interesting to know. Characters are very particular. They have different personalities and it’s visible the amount of detail the author has put in depicting their traits.

Anna’s efforts to clear her name put her in contact with these different people, form different social categories. In the same time, she is facing her past, she is facing a broken marriage and an uncertain future. The plot is well built and it took me quite a while to identify who did it (actually, it was a wild guess…) and that kept me so focused and curious to see what’s next.

The narration was absolutely perfect! The narrator not only changed her voice to differentiate between the characters, but her accents, the variety of those accents is incredible. She is fantastic and I can only be so happy to have discovered her work with this book.

All in all, I loved the story, the writing and the narration. However, I find myself decreasing one star as it was difficult for me to focus on the events with the many descriptions and changes in accents. This is not a reflection on the quality of the book (I fully believe it deserves more than 5 stars!!!), but just a reflection of my experience while listening to it. So 4 stars and my appreciation to all the work that was put into “Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City”

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Christine Evelyn Volker. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

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Book Review: Tie Me Down

Find out what happens after the happily ever after in TIE ME DOWN by Michelle Hazen, the follow up to Danny and Kate’s story. A wild-spirited tour manager & an inked-up bassist found love on a tour bus, but now their jet-setting jobs are tearing them apart. This sexy, heart-wrenching novella is perfect for fans craving a happy ending that feels like it could happen in real life.

Title:  Tie Me Down4 Tie Me Down_ebook_Final

Author: Michelle Hazen

Release Date: May 7, 2018

Publisher: Self-published

Series: Sex, Love, and Rock & Roll #2.5

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 148

 

Synopsis:

 

What happens after the Happily Ever After?

Once upon a time, a tour manager and a rock star fell in love on a tour bus.

Many months and miles later, Kate and Danny are trying to build a life together in between two jet-setting jobs in the music industry. But despite their bondage-friendly lifestyle, Kate is rope-shy once the bedroom door opens.

Secretly, she craves something more than professional satisfaction, even though she swore she’d never swap her backstage pass for a picket fence. But it’s going to take more than words for this Dom to help his self-reliant submissive realize she’s never been more free than when she’s tied down.

**This is a sequel to Playing the Pauses, not a standalone. However, you don’t have to read the rest of the series to understand these two.**

 

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My Review

As usual, I started with the second book in the story. I have not finished “Playing her Pauses” yet, but I did read “Tie Me down” completely. It took some time to understand the background, but at some point I focused only on the current story. The first thing I noticed was the friendly tone the author has used in the conversations. Even from the start, from the first scene, I got the impression my best friends were talking about things that happened to them. And this made me easily fall into the plot.

Kate and Danny are now into a relationship, with all things considered. They have an intense intimate life, they have feelings for each other, but now they have to face an enemy which is dangerous and hard to accept sometimes: distance. Being always on the road, they have little time to spend together physically, but more time to talk, to discover parts of the other that they did not know. But most importantly, they have time to understand what they want, what they need from the partner.

The characters are mature and more about their story is included in “Playing Her Pauses”, but from what I could figure out, he is into the strong stuff, when it comes to intimate relations and she is still figuring it all out. However, the way they talk to each other, the way they behave when apart and together, lets us know how deep their feelings are. They face new roadblocks and challenges, let’s see if they make it out all right.

I liked it, I liked the writing and the feeling of comfort it gave me while reading it. However, I must admit I wanted a bit more complicated, a bit more drama. Probably because of the short length and more because I have not finished yet “Playing Her Pauses”, I craved for something more. I can’t wait to go through the other books in the series and I’m happy to have discovered another great author J

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About Michelle Hazen:MichelleAuthorPhotoRetouch_Full-Resolution copy

Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.

 

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