Rule Breaker by Lily Morton

Audiobook Review

Narrated by Joel Leslie

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Is it really wrong to want to murder your boss?

Dylan has worked for Gabe for two years. Two long years of sarcastic comments. Two long years of insults, and having to redo the coffee pot four times in the mornings to meet his exacting standards.

Not surprisingly he has devoted a lot of time to increasingly inventive ways to murder Gabe. From stabbing him with a cake fork, to garrotting him with his expensive tie, Dylan has thought of everything.

However, a chance encounter opens his eyes to the attraction that has always lain between them, concealed by the layers of antipathy. There are only two problems – Gabe is still a bastard, and he makes wedding planners look like hardened pessimists.

But what happens when Dylan starts to see the real Gabe? What happens when he starts to fall in love with the warm, wary man that he sees glimpses of as the days pass?

Because Gabe is still the same commitment shy, cold man that he’s always been, or is he? Has Dylan had the same effect on Gabe, and has his solid gold rule of no commitment finally been broken? With his heart taken Dylan desperately needs to know, but will he get hurt trying to find the answers?

The Review

Let’s talk about Joel Leslie and the vocal talent he has. I loved listening to his voice. For those curious to know it is a British accent. But what made Joel Leslie’s performance memorable was how he brought Dylan and his sass to life. Oh, that sass and the tones used to portray it was amazing. Then there was Gabe, who had a bit of a rasp that would sing down your spine at all the right moments. I could feel the laughter, the teasing between Dylan and Gabe, I could even hear the heartache that both of these men experienced. I’m definitely going to be looking into other narrations by Joel Leslie, because apparently there are a lot of them and some of my new favorite authors have books narrated by him.

On to the story.

Dylan has worked as Gabe’s assistant for the past two years. He’s dealt with all his annoying eccentricities, learned all the nuances to what makes Gabe happy and he’s been satisfied annoying the piss out of Gabe when the opportunity presents itself. But it only takes one chance moment in a club to transform the way Dylan sees Gabe.

Dylan gets to know the ‘real’ Gabe when he steps in to take care of Gabe while he’s extremely ill. He sets up camp in Gabe’s home to make sure he rests, eats and doesn’t overwork himself while he’s recovering. He gets to see Gabe at his most vulnerable moments and he likes being able to see the warmth inside of Gabe.

I love, love, love, love, love sequences like this in books. I’m a sucker for one fella taking care of a sick partner. There’s a tenderness that you get to see between them, and it was beyond sweet. We were able to see who Gabe is underneath all those designer suits. He’s just like the rest of us.

The chemistry between Gabe and Dylan were off the charts. At first meeting it’s obvious they’re both attracted to each other, but fighting it. Once that attraction is acknowledged it’s off the charts. They’re intense, in all the best ways, together.

Gabe and Dylan grow with each other throughout the book. Even when they face some pretty difficult circumstances, good lord it made my heart ache for the pair of them, they would eventually figure out how to handle the situation. I was glad for the changes that Dylan made in their rough patch and how that carried over to afterwards. It felt like REAL LIFE DECISIONS were being made and the consequences stuck.

This book made me laugh out loud, press a hand to my chest because I was upset, shake my phone because I was angry. I went through all the emotions and I loved every minute of it! I feel like I could go on forever, but I’ll stop. You should go read or listen to this. You’ll thank me for recommending this. I promise.

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A Temporary Situation by H.L. Day

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Personal assistant Dominic is a consummate professional. Funny then, that he harbors such unprofessional feelings toward Tristan Maxwell, the CEO of the company. No, not in that way. The man may be the walking epitome of gorgeousness dressed up in a designer suit. But, Dominic’s immune. Unlike most of the workforce, he can see through the pretty facade to the arrogant, self-entitled asshole below. It’s lucky then, that the man’s easy enough to avoid.

Disaster strikes when Dominic finds himself having to work in close proximity as Tristan’s P.A. The man is infuriatingly unflappable, infuriatingly good-humored, and infuriatingly unorthodox. In short, just infuriating. A late-night rescue leading to a drunken pass only complicates matters further, especially with the discovery that Tristan is both straight and engaged.

Hatred turns to tolerance, tolerance to friendship, and friendship to mutual passion. One thing’s for sure, if Tristan sets his sights on Dominic, there’s no way Dominic has the necessary armor or willpower to keep a force of nature like Tristan at bay for long, no matter how unprofessional a relationship with the boss might be. He may just have to revise everything he previously thought and believed in for a chance at love.

The Review

Dominic is the most professional, professional while at work, unless it concerns the CEO Tristian Maxwell. Dominic doesn’t understand why the rest of his co-workers can’t see under all of Tristian’s playfulness is a cold hearted CEO who doesn’t think well of his employees. Dominic is thankful he doesn’t have work directly with Tristian. Until he does. No matter how hard Dominic tries to keep Tristian at arms-length at all times, but Tristian won’t let him.

It’s hard not to like Tristian though. He is obsessed with food, has a sense of humor and is often times in his own little world. It’s hard to ignore Mr. Fucking Perfect. Oh my, I loved that nickname from the first time Dominic uttered it internally.

These two, they had a fair share of outlandish mishaps that had me laughing out loud. There was a botched flower order, an allergic reaction, and series of communication errors. Dominic did his very best not to fall in love with Tristian. He was his boss, a fairly unconventional boss, but still that was line that he didn’t want to cross. I liked that this wasn’t an immediate fall into the boss’s arms and let him pay for everything situation. Dominic has his own standards and he isn’t going to lower them for anyone.

I loved the text messages and scenes with the two of them together. I had to know what was going to happen next, how everything was going to turn out. It was nice seeing that Tristian didn’t give up on Dominic. Everything happened quickly and intensely, but he found a way to show Dominic that he was sincere. Even when Dominic made it near impossible.

Their chemistry together was excellent. When they ended up in the same areas together, I was waiting for that moment they would acknowledge all the flirtation that had been going on. Tristian did a lot of the chasing and convincing and I wish Dominic would have just given in, just a little, before he finally did. But other than that, I loved Tristian and Dom. They were adorable and I’m glad to see there is a Christmas Novella being released as well, A Christmas Situation. That review will be next up! I’m excited to read it.

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Worth Fighting For by Wendy Qualls

Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: In college, an “are you sure you’re gay?” experiment with his (female) best friend left Sterling Harper married with a baby on the way. Eleven years later, his life is flipped upside-down—his wife has died, his “little boy” is transitioning to her new life as a girl, Alexa, and his embittered in-laws have proven too transphobic to babysit for the summer like they’d planned. They’re fighting for custody of Alexa, though, so Sterling can’t afford to give them more ammunition. If only there were a nice, conservative, trans-preteen-friendly nanny available on short notice . . .

Jericho Johnston doesn’t do “conservative,” but Alexa takes to him immediately. He’s got a teaching job lined up for the fall, a killer smile, and loads of charisma . . . but he is not going back in the proverbial closet. It doesn’t take long for the two men to go from comrades-in-arms against their rarified community to two men in love. This kicks off the looming custody battle with Sterling’s bigoted in-laws, though, and the idea of two gay men raising a trans daughter isn’t going over well with anyone. Now, with so much to lose, Sterling and Jericho must fight harder than ever—for themselves, for Alexa, and for their future.

The Review

Sterling Harper is in a bit of bind when he decides his transphobic in-laws could no longer watch his daughter Alexa for the summer while he works. Jericho Johnston needs a job and a place to stay before going back to substitute teach for the new school year. Jericho supports Alexa one hundred percent and does whatever he can in order to make sure she’s happy and comfortable in his care.

Sterling finds himself more and more attracted to Jericho as the days go on. It’s not that he’s only physically attractive but the way he thinks and what he offers pulls Sterling in even deeper.

Sterling is inexperienced when it comes to any sexual act between two men. He never got the chance to explore that part of himself. Now, most people would be thinking, how is this possible? He’s got a ten year old daughter, his wife had passed years ago and he’s been living a celibate life for a long time. But I understood that and why he never initiated a relationship with another man once his wife had passed. Sterling made sense to me in a way that he won’t to others. But that’s why I enjoyed this book as much I as I did.

Throughout the entire story, Sterling is finding himself. He’s finding his confidence in being Alexa’s father, in his sexuality, and in becoming someone’s partner. It’s not easy and he messes up but you see his evolution. I liked being on the journey with him.

The chemistry between the two, *fans self*, boy howdy it was something spectacular. There was a little awkwardness in the first scenes, but if there wasn’t any of the awkwardness it would have been off putting. That’s who Sterling was. He wasn’t a monk, so he did some self-care but what he hadn’t any experience in Jericho helped guide him through things.

There were a few things that led me to the four star rating but it wasn’t a deal breaker as you can see. There were times I was shaking my reader saying, “Just kiss him!” and then there were times I just wanted to yell, “Stop being an idiot and just talk!” but that’s were personal grievances.

Their partnership was probably what I enjoyed most about this story. They worked together for Alexa and for each other. I’m a sucker for stories like this. I definitely have a new author to follow and read.

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