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Drew

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Another lite and fluffy trip to Chester Falls

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-07-20

This is the second Chester Falls story, though you do not need to have listened to the first one “How To Catch A Prince” as the main characters in that story only make a cameo appearance.

This book focuses on Tom, a minor character from the previous tale, who has decided to move to Chester Falls and is fabulous no matter where he is. He’s working in a store in town for a lovely couple, but dreams of opening his own fashion store. He’s even got the location scoped out. All he needs is the money to make his dreams come true.

The other main character is Wren. The eldest son of the couple who own the store and one time professional football player, now after injury a school coach. Where Tom is an open book who wears his heart on his sleeve, Wren is much more reserved and keeps his cards close to his chest.

Wren comes back to town when his father has a heart attack and soon finds out that the family business isn’t doing so well. One disaster could see them go under. He has to find enough money to prop up the store.

Both Tom and Wren need money and there’s a $10,000 prize for the town’s bake off competition. They become rivals.

As with the previous book, Catch a Rival is a pleasant light hearted tale that isn’t too taxing in overly complicated plots. Definitely worth a listen.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

A lite and fluffy story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-04-20

Sometimes you crave an easy listening story without too much angst and over complicated plot lines. If you’re in that kind of mood, then this book is for you.

Basically, it’s man trips over another man, they become friends. Kris, who happens to be a prince hiding in rural America from the press while a scandal dies down, volunteers himself to be a fake date for Charlie, an artist who is currently working as a department manager and had to go back to his home town to attend a family wedding but doesn’t want any attention from his ex-boyfriend who will also be there.

The writing was good, the MC’s engaging and even a bit lovable. I enjoyed the narration, even the dodgy accent that I can only assume is generic eastern European.

The trope maybe an old one, but it’s a classic for a reason. Afterall, who doesn’t want to meet their prince charming?

All in all, don’t miss out on this delightful story.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my own request and have voluntarily left this review.

Part one will get you hooked

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-20

I found this book from the “Based on your Amazon and Kindle book purchases” and after reading the synopsis I knew I would have to give it a go, despite never hearing of the author and narrator before.

I am so glad that I did. This book was engaging from kick off till the final whistle. Or from the intro to the end of the final verse.

The District line, for those unaware of London’s underground, is a great metaphor for the two main characters. It runs from Essex to the East End, where some of London's poorest bourghs are, and heading west past some of London's landmarks it travels through some of the most affluent areas with some of the highest house prices in the world.

Jay from the East London council estates built for the dockers and factory works of yesterday. He’s a typical salt of the earth, diamond geezer, trying to make the best of his skills despite his earlier setbacks. Seb, from West London and a world apart from Jay. At first meeting him, it’s hard to see beyond his outward shell, of born with a silver spoon in his mouth, rebelling against his upper middle class wealthy upbringing.

But there is more to both them than their background and both have built up walls around themselves for their own survival in their world that may not accept them for who and what they are.

When Jay bumps into Seb, their worlds collide and the ensuing tale kept me gripped all the way through.

Piers Ryman narrates this story really well. I enjoyed the rhythm and tone of his voice as the story unfolded and his character voices were great. Although that said, his voice for Seb really grated on me for a large part of the book, he used a very nasally, snidey tone that made me not like or care about the character at first. I wonder if this was intentional though?

Whereas the voice he used for Jay was spot on.

I grew up not far from where Jay came from and know the area well, having worked in East Ham for many years. I moved to the other side of the country a few years ago and Piers’ cockney accent for Jay had me feeling homesick. It was that good.

Overall, book one was a great start to the District Line series and will make you want the next two. As they weren’t out on audio, I bought them for my kindle and have been on a District line roller coaster for the past week or so. I’ve heard that the books will be out on audio soon and I will happily listen to them as this is a story that deserves to be enjoyed more than once.

An Enjoyable Five Part Fantasy Tale

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-19

It’s a fast paced five part adventure that sees Finn’s werewolf genes activated by a car accident and then after he finds out from his father that his mother was also a werewolf he is taken to a school for (to use the non PC word) monsters.

On the whole I found the book entertaining and very well read by the narrator. There are the inevitable comparisons to Hogwarts that I’d imagine any book of this fantasy genre would have these days. The main character is new to the world of mythical creatures, trying to find his place and fit in, all while having a hero complex and a capacity to be in danger a lot of the time. Sound familiar?

Potter comparisons aside, the books do contain stories that will hook you in and characters who are engaging.

However, it was the narrator that bought this story to life for me. It was perfect casting, and his narrative skills pulled me into a world that it was fun to stay in for 31 hours.

If you like fantasy tales, werewolves, vampires and a whole load of other mythical people then do not let this gem of a book pass you by.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I happily provided this voluntary review

The Sequel to Ugly

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-02-19

I have read all of Mark Roeder’s GYC books and I have enjoyed almost all of them, this one included. It’s a direct sequel to a previous book in the series called Ugly and while you can listen to this one on it’s own, you’ll get a lot more out of it if you listen to the first one.

This story (as well as ugly) takes place before, during and after the events of The Soccer Field Is Empty, one of Mark Roeder’s best books in my opinion, but the two main characters of Ugly and Beautiful are not in Soccer Field, so while you don’t have to listen to it to have the story make sense, you will get a better feel for all the characters and the town of Verona if you do so.

Another thing that I was really happy about was that Mark used the same narrator, Joe DiNozzi, for this story as with Ugly. I like this because it gives you a good sense of continuity.

I enjoyed the story and while it wasn’t one of my favourites in the GYC I was still very happy to buy it on audio.

Different From The Film

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-02-19

When a good story is read by a good narrator it takes the joy of listening to a book to another level. I first listened to this book just before going to the cinema to see the film when it was released. Usually a film is a let down compared to the book, but this one wasn’t. But hey, that’s a whole other review.

The story was as easy to follow as it was so well written and narrated. There were plenty of laugh out loud moments, and quite a few chuckles thrown in for good measure.

I thought that the narrator Michael Crouch did a wonderful job, he had the perfect voice for the story, and that to me was the reason I gave this review five stars.

This is definately a book that you can listen to more than once. I've heard it twice and I suspect I'll be happy to hear it again at some point in the future.

Different, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-06-18

If you like your books on a level and with a basic story line of boy meets boy, then this is not the book for you.

I have to admit, that it took me a while to get into the book. Although it is well written and expertly narrated, I found it a bit difficult to like any of the main characters for the first part of the book.

The story bounces around the relationships between Mike and Paul, Mike and Hank, Mike and Rachel, Hank and I’m sorry I forgot her name. For the most part the narrative works well, but there were little inconsistencies in the story that bugged me at times.

The thing is, I actually found myself getting more into the story as it went on. I found myself wanting to see how the relationships between the characters would pan out and if we would get a sense of closure.

I think the main thing for me was the way the narrator bought the characters to life, his voices were great, especially for Hank, the awkward loner guy who we find out has Aspergers.

All in all, I may not be able to give this book a five star review, however, I did end up really enjoying it. I would reconmend this book to anyone who likes a M/M book, but doesn’t mind a bit of M/F as well.

I was given this review book for a honest appraisal

A lovely story well worth your time

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-18

So, I've been a fan of Mark A Roeder's work for quite some time now and it all started with this book. I picked it out at random following link in the Kindle store. I am so glad that I did, since reading it opened up a whole world of characters and stories that I've really enjoyed.

Cards on the table, I wasn't sure about getting this book on audio as it really has been one of my favourite reads over the years and while I have nearly all the books on audio in the series, I have not enjoyed some of them as much as I could have, as the narrator hasn't been that good.

Thankfully that has not the case with this story, Dominic Carlos has done a great job in bringing this book to life.

If you have not read or listened to any of Mark A Roeder's books then it doesn't matter too much with this story as it's only the last part of the story that brings in characters that we've met before.

I would definately recommend you give this story a go

I love a well written werewolf story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-17

If you could sum up Good Bones in three words, what would they be?

Interesting and engaging

What about Nick J. Russo’s performance did you like?

Nick j Russo is one of my favourite narrators and I came to this story while searching for his other works. He has a great story telling voice and gives the characters he's voicing very clear and differing tones to their voices.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could have done, but I generally listen to audio books on my commute to and from work, so I listened to this story over the course of a week. That said, I found myself sitting in the car park at work listening until the end of a chapter.

Any additional comments?

It was a great story and had two main characters that I grew to love. I have seen on Amazon that there are other books in this series available, I hope they come out in audio book form and that the author uses Nick to narrate again. I hate it when authors use different narrators for continuing books, because when you hear characters you've gotten to know using different voices it spoils the continuity and then overall enjoyment of the book.

1 person found this helpful

A beautiful story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The story was so endearing, There were some great laugh out loud moments and a few times I had tears of sadness or joy in my eyes

What was one of the most memorable moments of Winter Oranges?

When Ben wanted to know who shot J.R.

Have you listened to any of Nick J. Russo’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I bought the book because Nick J. Russo was the narrator. I've heard a couple of his other performances and I have to say that he is very good. A narrator can bring a book to life in so many ways, but a bad narrator can kill a story. Nick is the former. I'm sure I'd have enjoyed the story if I'd had read it in book form myself, but Nick gave his reading so much gusto I couldn't press stop on the player.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, but I don't want to give any spoilers

Any additional comments?

This was such a great story and so well narrated. As I have said, I was looking for books narrated by Nick J Russo when I found this story. I am now currently listening to Marie Sexton's Trailer Trash and I am sure that I will be checking more of her audio books out in the future.