Tag Archives: John Solo – Narrator

First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony ~ Audiobook

Title: First Comes Marriage

Series: Dreamspun Desires 02

Author: Shira Anthony

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 Hours and 20 Minutes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (February 9, 2016)

Narrator: John Solo

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Lisa

Blurb: When struggling novelist Chris Valentine meets Jesse Donovan, he’s interested in a book contract, or possibly a date. The last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal from New York City’s most eligible bachelor!

Jesse’s in a pinch. To keep control of his company, he has to marry. So he has valid reasons for offering Chris this business deal: in exchange for living in a gorgeous mansion for a year, playing the doting husband, Chris gets all the writing time he wants and walks away with a million-dollar payoff. Surely Chris can handle that. He can handle living with the most handsome and endearing man he’s ever met, a man he immediately knows he wants in the worst way and can’t have. Or can he?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Review: John Solo has become one of my favorite narrators and I was so glad to have to gotten to hear him tell this story. The way he can give each character a distinctive voice is what makes it even better. I love the way he paces everything and makes the book more enjoyable.

The way that these two meet was quite delicious. Chris is a novelist who has a chance at giving some great stories. He just needs to be given a chance. He is writing on the side as he works as a barista in New York, which let’s just say it, it is one expensive place to be. He knew there was someone in the crowd from the publishing company but he had not expected Jesse.

Jesse is a billionaire who had just lost his father. His father had this quirky idea to see Jesse happy so one of the clauses in his will was for Jesse to marry. Find one that he loves and makes a happy marriage. However Jesse just chooses Chris and decides that is fine. He just had not expected to slowly start falling in love. Now he just needs to convince Chris. The problem is Chris doesn’t want marriage.

Shira has given a completely new look at being Cinderella that is for sure. I enjoyed this story and look forward to seeing what other stories she has out there. She gave us a very believable story with a touch of magic in it. I loved the little twist that was included and I hate to say it I absolutely loved the stepmother. The secrets could have been done different but other than that it rocked. I loved it and would definitely recommend it.

A Matchless Man by Ariel Tachna ~ Audiobook

Title: A Matchless Man

Series: Dreamspun Desires 19

Author: Ariel Tachna

Genre: Contemporary

Narrator: John Solo

Length: 5 hrs 22 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (6th October 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Blurb: Lexington Lovers – None of the matches caught his eye as much as the matchmaker himself.

Growing up poorer than poor didn’t leave Navashen Bhattathiri many options for life outside of school. All of his concentration was on keeping his scholarships. Sixteen years later, he’s fulfilled his dream and become a doctor. Now he’s returning home to Lexington and is ready to prove himself to the world. In doing so, he reconnects with Brent Carpenter – high school classmate, real estate agent, all-around great guy, and closet matchmaker.

Brent makes it his mission to help Navashen develop a social life and meet available, interesting men. Unfortunately Navashen’s schedule is unpredictable, and few of those available, interesting men value his dedication like Brent does. Brent’s unfailing friendship and support convince Navashen he’s the one, but can he capture Brent’s heart when the matchmaker is focused on finding Navashen another man?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: Slow and sweet! Filled with moments that stress how very important family, career and friendship is. A Matchless Man takes a nice slow stroll with Navashen through the transition from wrapping up a long medical education to relocating back home to the family and community of his youth to settle into his career, rejoin his family, help his brother bloom, and hopefully start lasting relationship of his own.

There is a lengthy bit about what it’s like to buy a house, and the whole real estate bit gets long even though Navi has his eye on Brent, his realtor, long-time friend, match-maker and crush. Maybe I’m alone in this, but there is nothing sexy about moving and finding a house, it’s actually very stressful, but Brent makes the move as smooth as possible. 

There is a significant amount of time spent on family, what it’s like to be the son of immigrant parents, and what it’s like to raise and live with a brother with disabilities. IT’s very heart-warming and sweet, a kind, mellow read.

A long slow burn from realtor, to friend, to matchmaker and finally can romance blossom here???? If a spark does unite can it last? You’ll have to listen and find out!

The narrator does a good job making the story flow smoothly, though he makes Brent sound a lot like a slick salesman…it’s odd. 

Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores ~ Audiobook

Jacob Z. Flores - Suddenly Yours Cover AudioTitle: Suddenly Yours

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 20 / One Fine Day 02

Author: Jacob Z Flores

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 33 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (7 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a Senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him…and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts…and an attraction neither man can fight.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I’ve not read or heard a lot of Jacob Z Flores, but what I have checked out of his work I have enjoyed immensely and Suddenly Yours is no exception. Of course this audio book is made a lot more awesome for me because of John Solo’s narration. Seriously, the dude knows how to nail every emotion of basically every type of character imaginable. 

Suddenly Yours is the second in Flores’ series One Fine Day. The first book, Undercover Boyfriend, was a great story as well and an enjoyable audio but has no connection to the story in Suddenly Yours. Completely different characters, completely different setting, completely different feel.

Cody Hayes has saved up for his best friend’s wedding in Vegas. It was his one big splurge. He works his butt off as a waiter while he struggles to write his first novel. He has visions of writing a best seller. After a big night at his friend’s bachelor party, he wakes up to a big surprise – the cute and almost unapproachable guy his friends had dared him to pick up is now his husband!

Julian Canales has carefully and meticulously plotted out every detail of his life since entering college. Everything was done to get him to where he was today – as a senator. He may be out as a gay man but he never, ever planned to marry a guy, let alone have a drunken Vegas wedding.

Their first thought had been to get an annulment and get it over with ASAP. However, the media found out and Julian and Cody become headline news.

Julian’s spin team – and Julian – know that there is only one thing to do. Make the marriage look real, for at least a year or something so not to damage Julian’s reputation. For the guys, when they had been drunk it had all made sense at the time. They wanted the same things out of life when it came to love. Or at least they thought they did and what was meant to be an easy arrangement becomes a difficult journey, especially for Cody.

I loved, loved, loved every moment of this possibly farfetched, high drama but very sweet story!

Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Andrew Grey - Poppy's Secret Cover AudioTitle: Poppy’s Secret

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 28

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (24 March 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: A second chance born of love.

Pat Corrigan and Edgerton “Edge” Winters were ready to start a family – or so Pat thought. At the last minute, Edge got cold feet and fled. Pat didn’t bother telling him the conception had already gone through and little Emma was on her way. He didn’t want a relationship based on obligation. He’d rather raise his daughter on his own.

Nine years later, Emma and her Poppy are doing fine. Edge isn’t. He realizes what he threw away by leaving, and he’s back to turn his life around and reclaim his family. It’ll take a lot to prove to Pat that he’s a new man, and even if Edge succeeds, the secret Pat has hidden for years might shatter their dreams all over again.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I absolutely adore Poppy’s Secret. It is part of Dreamspun Desires, which are contemporary stories with sweet romances and hot but flawed heroes. It is safe to say that I devour each and every addition to the series, regardless of the author. For me Andrew Grey is always a go to on my list of authors I must read. He has a way with emotion and getting the reader (or at least me) to connect to his characters’ emotions with his magical use of words. Add to the audio with narration by John Solo and I’m set because this is an audio artist who can nail the voice and emotion of the characters in the story.

I have to admit, as much as I love Poppy’s Secret, I figured out the titular secret in no time at all. However, that did not take away from me loving the story and crying for probably half of the book. Because ultimately this story is about mistakes, second chances and true love. *sigh*.

This is a wonderful story of everlasting love, strength and reunion. Andrew Grey fans will not be disappointed, this one reminds me in part of some of the installments from his Senses series, which I adore. I also love how Andrew Grey weaves in themes of love and family – often with a child character who is being raised by a strong single father until the love interest enters the picture.

As for the story itself, it’s quite predictable in the way that you can just see exactly what is going to happen or at least figure out the facts/secrets between the two MCs. It’s the how and the why of the story which makes this book a ride worth taking. Nine years ago Pat and Edge had been head over heels in love and planning for a surrogate to start a family. But Edge got cold feet and left their small town home for Boston and never looked back. Yet in the present, he is back in Harrisburg and one thing on his list is definitely trying to make up for the mistake he had made when he had left Pat. Edge has a lot of groveling in his future, trying to make his way into Pat’s, and Pat’s daughter Emma’s life.

The Playmaker by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

Andrew Grey - The Playmaker Cover AudioTitle: The Playmaker

Author: Andrew Grey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: 6 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (23 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Professional football player Hunter Davis is learning that saying he’s gay is very different from actively being in a relationship with another man – especially in the eyes of his teammates and fans. So when Hunter needs a personal assistant to keep him organized, he asks for a woman in order to prevent tongues from wagging.

Montgomery Willis badly needs to find work before he loses everything. There’s just one position at the agency where he applies, but the problem is, he’s not a woman. And he knows nothing about football. Still, Hunter gives him a chance, but only because Monty’s desperate.

Monty soon proves his worth by saving Hunter’s bacon on an important promotional shoot, and Hunter realizes he might have someone special working for him – in more ways than one. Monty’s feelings come to the surface during an outing in the park when Hunter decides to teach Monty a bit about the game, and pictures surface of them in some questionable positions. Hunter is reminded that knowing he’s gay and seeing evidence in the papers are two very different things for the other players, and he might have to choose between two loves: football and Monty.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I absolutely adore Andrew Grey’s books. No matter the subject manner he makes interesting characters that are easy to relate to – he can make me laugh and cry in the same book. Seriously, this dude knows how to get me right in the feels. And if there is anything better than that, it is probably listening to John Solo narrate the audio book for an Andrew Grey story. John Solo is probably my favorite narrators because he just nails the emotion and tension of pretty much any character.

Enough gushing… onto the actual story.

Hunter Davis is a pro footballer – and openly gay at the peak of his career. With that comes a massive ego and a guy who would lose his head if it weren’t attached to his body. His agent has had it with Hunter’s inability to be on time or to behave and therefore forced a personal assistant to keep him in line. And because Hunter is something of a man-whore even Hunter insists if he is to have an assistant then it has to be a woman – he really couldn’t afford a scandal that could screw up his reputation.

This is where Monty comes in. Monty is a quiet, organized type of guy – he is just what Hunter needs, besides the fact he is a man. But Monty is desperate for a job and manages to get an interview after speaking to a frustrated recruiting agency and Hunter’s actual manager. Monty may be instantly attracted to Hunter, being the hot, fit footballer that he is. However, Hunter is a bit of ass and is annoyed that Monty has no clue about football or who Hunter even is.

With the scene set, the sparks flying and a steady pace I love listening to every moment of this book. Definitely a win for Andrew Grey.

Catching Heir by Julia Talbot ~ Audiobook

Julia Talbot - Catching Heir Cover AudioTitle: Catching Heir

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 23

Author: Julia Talbot

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 39 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (19 Jan 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?

Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.

Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.

Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I was curious about Catching Heir in it’s audio form. In the past I have found Julia Talbot’s romances both sweet and enjoyable, but Catching Heir – as much I enjoyed it – was not something I remember as a brilliant story. In fact, I remember expecting more out of it.

The story itself hits all the right buttons for me. I love to read sport orientated books – especially when you have the famous bad-boy type of competitor (though Cullen is not a bad boy). I also love when one or both of the MCs are thrown into a situation completely unexpected to what they were expecting for their careers. I am so happy to report that this is a book I found so much more enjoyable as an audio – John Solo’s narration gave enough emotion and oomph that I was missing when I initially read the book. His narration in turn made me, not literally, sit up and appreciate the story a whole lot more. Reflecting on my previous review, I think that I was finally able to hear and feel the attraction between the two MCs, which of course is vital in a romance.

The story is about Cullen Patrick; he’s famous on the snowboarding circuit and is one of the best in the country. However, he gets a call from a lawyer one day. He has inherited the bed and breakfast owned by the grandfather he had never known. There are conditions to the will, though, specifically that hotel manager Matt Nathanson is to be consulted on any major changes and essentially cannot be fired. Matt is the devoted manager of Treeline Estates. He has a lot of ideas to improve, even with a tight budget and still ensure that the building maintains its historical façade. Matt is close to inheriting Treeline too, except that Cullen finally turns up to claim his inheritance.

Ace In The Hole by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

Ava Drake - Ace In The Hole Cover AudioTitle: Ace in the Hole

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 13 / Wild Cards 01

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs 43 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Sept 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Surveillance, seduction, and extra-dirty politics.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis has a problem. A huge one. The US senator he works for has run away with his latest mistress on the eve of a make-or-break fundraising event, and it’s up to him to cover his boss’s irresponsible tracks.

Stone Jackson, the senator’s new bodyguard, looks enough like the senator that, with some extensive grooming, he might pass for Senator Lacey. Christian and Stone hatch a plan to fool everyone by substituting Stone for the senator, but Miami madness and the incendiary heat between them are throwing obstacles in their way. It’s a race to find the senator and pull off the con of the century before the attraction between them spins completely out of control.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: I was looking forward to this book for a number of reasons: 1) I really enjoy Ava Drake’s writing style and her books in general. 2) There is a bit of political intrigue. 3) There’s the strong ex-military/ex-mercenary security force, which is the basis of the entire series, obviously.

Christian Chatsworth-Brandeis is a personal assistant for a major US senator who just loved to get himself in trouble. One night at a bar he meets a stranger. It’s not until they meet again, this time in a professional capacity, that Christian discovered that Stone Jackson was the new bodyguard hired for the senator. The plot itself seemed to get just a bit ridiculous, but I was more than happy to suspend my disbelief for a while. On top of a scandalous senator with his mistresses and hook-ups, there is also his wife, who is strong, abrasive driving force. Seriously, I thought she had been placed in what seems to be a normal position for women in MM books – firmly as a Cruella DeVille type Villian. Instead, by the end she became a fantastic secondary character and totally lovable. I wanted a HEA for her too! As for the main guys themselves, Stone and Christian, I really loved the attraction between the guys and of course they were very well suited. They suited well together.

All in all, this is a fun read/audio with a dash of politics and a bit of danger. Over the top characters and plot lines, with wonderful and sweet romance. John Solo is definitely one of my favorite narrators for the MM genre and his voice just totally fit perfect with the tone and the characters.

Seven-Card Stud by Ava Drake ~ Audiobook

Ava Drake - Seven-Card Stud Cover AudioTitle: Seven Card Stud

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 22 / Wild Cards Inc 02

Author: Ava Drake

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 32 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (12 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: When Collin Callahan, British secret agent, goes up against math genius turned surfer bum Oliver Elliot, the battle is epic – and so is the attraction. They’re pitted against each other in an exclusive, ultra-secret – and ultra-illegal – poker match in Gibraltar, but when players start dying and they could be next, they find a common goal: catch the killer before it’s too late.

Evenly matched at poker and romance, they each wrestle personal demons that threaten to consume them as the stakes climb. It’s an all-or-nothing gamble with both life and love on the line as they fight to be the last seven-card studs standing.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Seven-Card Stud is book 2 in Ava Drake’s Wild Cards series, it also happens to be a part of the Dreamspun Desires series. For those that have heard (or read) book 1, Ace in the Hole, and enjoyed the over the top nature of the plot line (it was excellent over the top fun) then you’ll have to give this one a go. Of course, for those that have not read the first book, you will be happy to know that this functions as standalone novel.

Our MCs for this adventurous ride is Collin Callahan, a British spy who is just about everything you would expect from your Bond-like hero, and Oliver Elliot, who is everything you’d expect from a math genius who decided to become a surfer-bum. The situation is somewhat complicated but so simple: while involved in an illegal poker game, some of the other players begin to turn up murdered. It is impossible to know who to trust but together Oliver and Collin need to survive in order to find out who is responsible for the murders.

There’s danger from organized crime, illegal gambling havens, and a poker game to end all poker games. But let’s not forget the super-hot sex and the raw attraction between these two guys. The sexual tension just sizzles between them. Of course there is a good measure of deception in this story, but somehow their growing love is strong enough to keep the fires burning.

That ridiculous sound description is in fact quite accurate but it really does serve as the launching point for a lot of the fun and danger that happens throughout the entire story. And John Solo’s narration – OMG – absolutely fantastic and really enhanced the sexy times and the danger that the characters are battling.

The Virgin Manny by Amy Lane ~ Audiobook

Amy Lane - The Virgin Manny Cover AudioTitle: The Virgin Manny

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 25 / The Mannies 01

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs 14 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (14 Feb 2017)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: The Mannies

Growing up and falling in love….

Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver her premade Italian dinners, when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it’s the latter! But one delivery might change everything.

Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what’s best for Sammy…but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.

Tino plans to make his education count – even if that means avoiding a relationship – but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order to live his promising tomorrow?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime

Review: It’s definitely no secret that I love the Dreamspun Desires series. If you’re after sickly sweet romance, maybe a dash of insta-love and a passionate HEA, this line of books by Dreamspinner Press will, more often than not, give you just that. And in reading Dreamspun Desires I have definitely grown a massive appreciation for the work of Amy Lane – I am totally smitten with her writing.

Seriously, Dreamspun Desires are the best thing to listen to on flights. They have been my go to for when I make visits home to see the family, which started out totally for their convenient length.

The other thing that I attracted me to this book is that I can never resist a book with a manny! Hot guys and kids – everything could go wrong but I’m a sucker for this often predictable trope. Seriously: ovaries = blown.

The Virgin Manny of the title is Tino Robbins. He’s an out of this world smart kind of guy, though he never shows that part of him, more often than not he is talking up how smart his younger sister Nica is. After all, Nica is 18 and already has a successful and growing business of delivering prepackaged meals she makes herself. But Tino himself has just finished up college and ready to tackle the world of business. One night she ropes Tino into taking a delivery to one of her regular clients and it changes Tino’s life forever. At the home he delivers to he meets Channing and his nephew Sammy. Channing’s sister has recently died, leaving Channing as Sammy’s guardian. Channing needs a nanny, all he has is his sister’s spiteful bitch of a housekeeper and Tino seems to be able to communicate with Sammy. Let’s not forget that the guys have an instant attraction and let’s face it, that attraction has to be the only basis for the entire story.

Ok, so the beginning is a bit shaky when it comes to Channing recruiting Tino (I really needed to keep my mind open for that), but really and truly the one criticism I have is that there was a brief mention of Sammy’s biological father and fighting him for full parental rights. But that was it.

But the best, best part – I looked up the series and am currently doing a little happy dance (and not just because I’m watching Doctor Who) because book 2 is going to be coming out and centers on the same group of friends, just a few years in the future. Totally excited now. Actually I’m kinda giddy (but that could also be because of Doctor Who).

Finding Family by Connie Bailey ~ Audiobook

Connie Bailey - Finding Family Cover AudioTitle: Finding Family

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 11

Author: Connie Bailey

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 5 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (4 Aug 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: When you find your family, you’ll do anything to keep it.

When Charles Macquarrie inherits a fortune and an international clothing company, he also inherits three young cousins he desperately needs help raising. By a stroke of luck, he discovers and hires Jonathan Lamb, who spent his life in a children’s home due to chronic illness, to be his nanny.

If Jon thought a budding romance with his wealthy boss complicated his life, he has no idea of the hardships awaiting him when he’s charged with embezzlement and kidnapping. But even when threatened by accounting discrepancies and mob connections, Jon and Charles won’t let go of the family they’ve built together without a fight.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK  

Reviewer: Prime                              

Review: I’ve read about half of the Dreamspun Desires series, and now I get to hear them to! Finding Family is actually one of the books that I just haven’t got around to reading yet. For me these relatively short novellas cover a guilty desire of sweet romance – to me I liken Dreamspun Desires to the MM version of Harlequin romances. I suppose, in that sense, I can say many of the books have a predictable plot but for me that in no way takes away from the story.

I love Connie Bailey – her writing is so easy to follow and everything, in the end, comes together for a wonderful ending. As I said of the Dreamspun Desires series in general, the ending of Finding Family culminates to an incredibly sweet ending, even if it’s predictable. Okay, so there is a bit of adventure and a pretty serious corporate trouble – but between all that is two strong male leads and three great kids bursting with personality.

On top of all this enjoyment for is that fact that John Solo narrates this particular story. Seriously, I’m in love with his voice. (It’s kind of like the episode of the TV show The IT Crowd where the female lead is in love with the voice of a radio announcer. So not the point, I’m moving on.) I think I’m going to be saying this every time I review a book he narrates – John Solo absolutely nails the characters feelings and in particular for the leads, he really injects a lot of life and personality into the words he is reading off the page.

As for the story itself, everything is there in the blurb. Jonathan Lamb, aka Jon, grew up in a children’s home and raised by nuns (how Sound of Music is that?). He’s twenty and after being constantly sick as a child and then working at the children’s home, it’s time for him to get out on his own. To that end he becomes the manny for Charles Macquarrie. Charles is from a multi-millionaire family, but with a very tragic past. At twenty five he has lost his parents, runs the family corporation (despite events he does it well too) and now guardian to three much younger cousins after the death of his uncle and aunty. As I keep saying, it’s a recipe for sweetness, bordering on a diabetic coma.

There are what I feel to be a few call backs to The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, aside from the obviously stated ones. It tends to give Jon an around perfect feel, while it is Charles who is flawed, even though he is a young, rich and hot businessman/millionaire. I think it’s a bit of a change from the usual trope. If I must pick at anything, I feel that a lot more could have been made of Charles’ drinking, Jon’s reaction and the implications that alcohol seems to be a genetic problem in the Macquarrie family.

Dissonance by Shira Anthony ~ Audiobook

Shira Anthony - Dissonance Cover AudioTitle: Dissonance

Series: Blue Notes 07

Author: Shira Anthony

Genre: Contemporary

Narrator: John Solo

Length: 9 hrs 24 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (4th November 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: British noble Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his fault for pushing Aiden away. As if that’s not enough, someone is trying to take away his family business, and the US authorities are pursuing him on charges of money laundering. Fearing for his safety and unable to return to London, Cam runs, but he’s too broke to find a place to stay, and his fugitive’s life doesn’t even remotely resemble a Hollywood thriller.

Desperate and betrayed by the people he thought cared about him, Cam takes refuge in the subway station where Galen Rusk plays his trumpet for tips. Though Cam hears the beauty in Galen’s music, it’s Galen’s firm hand on his shoulder that stops him from throwing everything away. Their unusual relationship takes a turn that surprises them both, and neither man is sure he wants the complication. Galen is fighting the ghosts of his past, and Cam has his own nightmares to face. When Cam’s troubles threaten to tear them apart, Cam figures he had it coming – that it’s all penance due for a life lived without honesty or love. But he never considered the possibility that he might not survive it.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: I’ve always enjoyed this series for its depth of character, development of plot, and ability to pluck at my heart strings, and Dissonance delivers the same quality. At first I had a hard time warming up to Cam, as the author very well intends, and I couldn’t put together the mystery of Galen’s persona for the longest time. That actually thrilled me that I couldn’t truly predict every move, and there was not cookie cutter though the premise is familiar. 

There are many instances of suicidal thoughts, attempts, and self hurt in this story as well as sexual abuse, so be warned. IT’s not for the light hearted. 

There were plenty of moments where the author ripped my heart out, but left it carefully mended and hopeful for the future. The sexual content was disturbing in many places, but between Galen and Cam it was beautiful, sensual and slowly simmering. Don’t despair; you’ll get your HEA. 

The narrator did a wonderful job, the characters were defined, the story flowed well, and my imagination combined with his voice put me right in the action, as any good audiobook should. I recommend Dissonance as well as the other top quality well written books in this series!

Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna ~ Audiobook

Ariel Tachna - Unstable Stud Cover AudioTitle: Unstable Stud

Series: Dreamspun Desires 08 / Lexington Lovers 01 

Author: Ariel Tachna

Genre: Candy Sweet Contemporary Bromance 

Narrator: John Solo

Length: 4 hrs 48 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th April 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Narration: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Horses were his passion, until he laid eyes on his boss.

Eighteen months ago, tragedy struck Bywater Farm when a riding accident killed Clay Hunter’s lover and traumatized his prize horse, King of Hearts. Clay and King lingered in limbo, surviving but not really living, until a breath of fresh air in the form of Luke Davis, a new groom in the stud barn, revives them both.

When a fall from King’s back sends Luke to the emergency room, Clay watches the shaky foundation of their budding relationship tumble down. Can Clay really love a jockey again, or will his fear of losing another man he loves keep them apart for good?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Gigi

Review: I always enjoy big hot studs and their trainers too. This book is full of cotton candy sweet romance. It’s fun to see Luke’s adventure into learning to gain a broken horses trust, and handle what other’s had deemed a dangerous horse to the point of riding him. Learning to handle his owner could be just as trying.

There is a smidge of angst here, dealing with a lost love, a dead mother, and two souls daring to love, but it’s mild. As far as the steamy scenes, it’s very slow, and very timid, and oh so sweet. I actually think, though I feel SO very wrong for saying it, that the hottest scene was actually near the beginning, where Luke’s imagination gets away with him when King is performing his stud service, and his new boss Clay is nearby. It’s totally weird, strange, but oddly hot. Not quite sure why, but that scene stuck with me. I imagined Lay riding Luke in the arena after that, but alas, this is not a kinky story. 

This is a slow build to a sweet romance, of the untried virgin variety, but knowing that, if you’re looking for a sweet love story then that’s what Tachna delivers, beautifully narrated, with plenty of interesting characters. 

Marriage of Inconvenience by M.J. O’Shea ~ Audiobook

M.J. O'Shea - Marriage of Inconvenience Cover AudioTitle: Marriage of Inconvenience

Series:  Dreamspun Desires 16

Author: MJ O’Shea

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 5 hrs, 35 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (16th September 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Lights, camera, lies.

Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.

The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love – with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.

The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Let me start off by saying that while I was not wowed by this book, I did enjoy listening to it and was quite happy to suspend my disbelief as we entered the world of Hollywood with all its not so glamorous business. Part of me had higher expectations – mostly because I enjoy many stories by MJ O’Shea, in addition to the narration by John Solo, who is by far one of my favorite narrators. He has a definite way with words and being able to convey the perfect emotions with his tone.

The story follows publicist to the stars, Kerry Pickering. Kerry is the consummate professional and has been career driven for a long time. He has learnt a lot in his time in Hollywood and despite the fact that he can only dream of the luxury his clients live in, he is happy in his job and his rundown apartment that he shares with his younger brother. Seriously, Kerry is the kind of guy everyone would love.

But then we meet one particular pain the ass client, Jericho. He’s up himself and for the most part not very likeable – and that is definitely what took away from my enjoyment of the book. He’s not just brash and snobbish; it’s hard to really see what is in his heart. I spent most of the story annoyed with the guy. The saving grace to this though is that Kerry isn’t about to bow down to Jericho’s overbearing and generally horrible attitude and for that, I love him. Jericho also manages to redeem himself as well, which is always a bonus.

The Senator’s Secret by K.C. Wells ~ Audiobook

K.C. Wells - The Senator's Secret Cover AudioTitle: The Senator’s Secret

Series:  Dreamspun Desires

Author: K.C. Wells

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 6 hrs, 11 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (19th Seotember 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Politics, puppy dogs, and passion, oh my!

When his Republican opponent outs him with a photo in a Facebook post, Senator Samuel Dalton doesn’t have many options open to him. It doesn’t matter that the photo is totally innocent. He has no choice but to come clean…until his staff suggest putting a spin on it that leaves Sam reeling.

Sure, he’ll end up with a lot of sympathy, not to mention the possibility of more voters from the LGBT community, but it still seems a pretty drastic solution.

Now all they have to do is persuade Gary, the other man in the photo, to play along. It sounds so easy: convince the constituents of North Carolina that he and Sam are engaged.

No big deal, except for the fact that they’ve only just met….

Product Link: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Senators-Secret-Audiobook/B01M1EFKSZ | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Although I was not entirely familiar with the work of KC Wells before this book, I would say that The Senator’s Secret is a rather cute and fluffy introduction to the author. I love the Dreamspun Desires titles, I love the sloppy romance and the often absurdity of it all. The narration by John Solo was excellent. He is one of my favorite narrators. John Solo brings a lot of heart and emotion to the characters on the page.

This is one of those typical tropes where a relationship is contrived in order to soften the PR blow of a scandal. The scandal itself, is a photo of Senator Samuel Dalton looking intimate (though it was perfectly innocent) with one of his staff members. I’ll be honest, the set up is a tad bit tenuous but if you can get over that you’re in for an enjoyable ride.

The senator in question, Samuel, is a nice guy and totally relatable, for a politician. Likewise, Gary is also a great guy who has a big heart and is really easy to fall in love with as we get to know him through the course of the story. It is quite easy to see why Samuel is quickly finding it hard to remember that their charade as an happily in love engaged couple is just that, a charade.

Alaska Hunt by Shelter Somerset ~ Audiobook

Shelter Somerset - Alaska Hunt Audio CoverTitle: Alaska Hunt

Author: Shelter Somerset

Narrator: John Solo

Genre: Contemporary, Thriller

Length: 9 hrs, 21 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (15th August 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: For Alaska Wildlife Trooper Zanebono Fusca, it’s just another summer in Anchorage until a slew of inexplicable fatal bear attacks sets the city reeling. As far as Zane is concerned, the timing couldn’t be worse. He’s besieged with his own demons, coping with personal loss and an identity crisis that clutches him worse than a grizzly’s pickaxe-sized fangs. Ten years before, he hoped Alaska would bring him a sense of his manhood. Now the “last frontier” could put him in an early grave.

Zane’s role to protect Alaska’s teeming wildlife gets even more tangled when handsome 25-year-old Joshua Gaffner arrives seeking the details of his uncle’s gruesome death. But Alaskan officials have few answers. Against his better judgment, Zane takes Joshua deep into Anchorage’s far-flung back country – populated with eccentric recluses and ego-driven ecologists – in search of the truth. As the bizarre attacks increase, Zane and Josh continue to push for clues to crack the mystery. Finally Zane unravels a shocking discovery that makes the pieces fall into place. The trouble is Josh stands in the perfect position to become the next victim.

Product Link: Audible AU | Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Alaska Hunt is one of those books that gives me mixed feelings.

This is the first time I’ve heard or read anything from the author Shelter Somerset and I have to say, I am certainly going to be more inclined into looking into other titles when I come across them. This is a well written book and the plot together weaves together brilliantly. Also, I happen to love narration by John Solo – he has a real knack for giving each character a definite character and make you feel their emotions so easily.

For people looking for a strictly romance type-of-book this probably isn’t going to be top of your list. The romance plays subtly in the background though there were times that I thought that the pace of the romance subplot really needed to pick up. Instead this book is mostly a thriller/mystery, which I did find rather enjoyable. At first it had me thinking about like the book series/tv series by James Patterson. The big question was why bears seemed to suddenly attack people who were known in Alaska as bear experts/academics? This scenario works out really well in the plot, I liked it a lot though there was one aspect about it that turned me off (I will explain later).

The plot follows Alaska Wildlife Trooper Zanebono Fusca (aka Zane). He has an adventurous spirit, which led him to move with his now ex-wife and child in Alaska. But tragedy struck and an accident left his ex paralyzed and their son in the custody of the ex’s parents. People will probably question why both Zane and his ex let things go the way they did, at times it pissed me off, but in the end suspended my disbelief, especially since there was more resolution to that part of the story in the epilogue.

On top of all that, Zane also happens to bisexual and after meeting the hot nephew of the first bear attack victim, Zane feels his life spiraling out of control. Josh presses buttons that he never expected – he doesn’t seem to expect to ever of had a long term relationship with another man. Zane and Josh work well together in a sort of tug of war between finding the truth and doing what is right for Zane’s investigation. The sexual tension between them is even more brilliant.

However, there is one big “thing” that made me feel a bit turned off from the book itself. That is because there are two POVs used in this book – not uncommon but what annoyed me was that it was the POV of the attacking bears. I just didn’t feel like it fit because to me this is something that signals a shifter-paranormal book, not a contemporary-thriller.