The Easy Way – Written by May Archer, Narrated by Michael Dean

Audiobook Review

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary:

Camden Seaver had it easy – a loving family, plenty of money, and the freedom to follow his dreams while his older brother, Sebastian, took charge of the family business. But when a tragic plane crash killed his parents, all the responsibilities he never wanted landed firmly on his shoulders. Now saddled with his crazy, grief-stricken brother and his dad’s multimillion dollar company, Cam doesn’t trust in dreams anymore. He’s forgotten what “easy” feels like.

FBI Agent Kendrick “Cort” Cortland learned the hard way that he couldn’t depend on anyone but himself. Before joining the FBI, the one constant in his life was his foster brother, Damon – and then Damon disappeared. Now, Cort is determined to find his brother and to bring down the man responsible for ruining Damon’s life, Sebastian Seaver. He’s got nothing left to lose.

When Cort’s investigation leads him to Seaver Tech…and Camden Seaver…what started as a quest for revenge and a one-night deception quickly turns into far more than either man bargained for. But how can either man trust in something that seems so easy? As long-held secrets are revealed, the attraction between Cam and Cort becomes combustible – an undeniable love that will either make or destroy them. Will Cam and Cort let their conflicting loyalties drive them apart? Or will they decide that sometimes love is the easy way?

Review:

Michael Dean has a voice that hits in all the right spots. There were moments his voice dripped along my spine and kept me mesmerized with Cort and Cam’s story. Out of everything, my favorite parts of narration were how he portrayed their text conversations. He captured the different tones and inflections for Cam and Cort’s responses, it felt like he knew them. He had a very alpha like quality to his voice.

Cortland is determined to find a way locate and clear his foster brother, Damon, of any wrongdoing in the Seaver plane crash. He didn’t expect to find Camden Seaver, very much the antithesis of what he was expecting to find. Geeky, self-conscious, and desperate to be anywhere but where he was. He wasn’t expecting to be so drawn to someone he was supposed to hate.

The attraction between Cortland and Cam, burned in all the best ways. When the first met, they challenged each other, teased each other, and found something completely unexpected in each other.

Cortland’s desire to be as many of Cam’s firsts, well, *fans self* it was just so good. The heat factor on this one is up there. He pulled Cam out of his shell, taught him how to experience life again after a devastating loss. Cam grounded Cort. He let Cort know that there were more people in life that he could depend on than himself.

The epilogue made me so happy. I needed to know what things would be between Cort and Cam after everything. And I got more of their text conversations. I probably smiled way too much at my desk at work listening to them banter back and forth.

This was definitely a book I was able to get lost in and loved listening to.

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Geeked by Declan Rhodes

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Three out of Five Stars

The Summary:

From the outside, self-described computer programming geek Blake Moss is a straight, happy-go-lucky partner in the rising gay matchmaking company, Match Made. On the inside, the facade he’s built since a traumatic breakup nearly a decade ago is starting to crack.

Hunter Schultz, former football jock, is still licking his wounds only months after walking out on his incompatible boyfriend, Robert. Devotion to his job as head of the city’s LGBTQ+ youth center helps him make it through the rough patches.

The CinderFella charity auction sponsored by Match Made and benefiting the youth center brings Blake and Hunter together in an unexpected way. After a last-minute confession from Blake, his boss, Daniel, buys him a date with Hunter.

Blake is terrified, and Hunter is intrigued by the quirky man who’s fascinated by old dance music and science fiction TV. Against all expectations, the future looks like it might be bright until Robert’s jealousy intervenes, and Blake’s anxiety flares.

The Review

I found the concept of Geeked to be pretty enticing. A match-maker with trouble finding his match and a charity auction raffling off dates? Who could resist that? Not me. (And I had an issue with the cover, it just made it look like either Blake or Hunter were going to be slimy – THEY WEREN’T!)

Blake does all the coding behind Match Made. He can see all the success stories, figure out what everyone else’s perfect match is, but he can’t seem to get his own success story. His boss bids on a fella that caught Blake’s eye and wins Hunter. The chemistry was instantaneous.

What I liked about Geeked was how well I could relate to Blake. A terrible break up resulted in a lack of self-esteem and fear of being out. It caused a lot of anxiety for him, which made my heart break. Hunter was beyond sweet, but at times I was left staring at my Kindle, scratching my head saying, “Really?” Even though he was finished with his ex, Robert kept showing up.

This was a quick and easy read like most of Rhodes’s books, but it didn’t enjoy it as much as I felt like I should have. I didn’t really connect with Hunter and without that connection there was a bit of an empty feeling after I finished reading the story. I was left wanting more. Give it a try though, you might find you liked it better than I did!

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Gotta Catch Her by Kelly Haworth

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Three out of Five Stars

The Summary: Who says phone games are only for kids? Sometimes they give just the respite you need from a hectic life. At least, that’s the way Ann feels about Ani-min Move, an AR mobile game full of cartoon animals caught with nets. Legendary raids have just launched, and Ann arrives at a nearby park to find it full of people of all ages playing the game, including Rachael, a kind, attractive single mom. And sweet! Rachael is more than willing to teach Ann the proper way to spin her nets to snag the raid boss.

Back in reality, Ann has a lot on her plate: a full workload as a project manager, finding the energy to walk her dog, Franny, and now trying to figure out if Rachael is queer. And how does Ann converse with Rachael about her six-year-old son when she doesn’t know a thing about parenting?

Ann is lost as to how to proceed until Rachael takes the guesswork out of the equation by proclaiming she’s bi—right when Ann gets a massive work assignment that consumes way too much of her time. Life/work balance was never Ann’s forte, but between caring for her sweetheart dog and figuring out how to navigate a relationship with a single parent, Ann’s determined to make it work, especially before Rachael gets cold feet and leaves Ann playing by herself.

The Review

Gotta Catch Her is a novella featuring two women who meet by chance playing a phone game call, “Ani-Min Move”. The game serves as a break from the reality that our ladies are going through in their every day lives. Ann is a project manager undertaking a massive audit at work, while Rachel is a single-mother running after he young son in the park. I was stoked to see a story featuring a premise like this one. Two characters meeting due to a video game.

The pair meet up with each other during raids a few times before Ann decides to ask Rachel out for coffee. Due to commitments at work and commitments at home, several of their dates get canceled, cut short, or interrupted. It’s how life truly is, but it got frustrating because the point of a romance is for there to be romance! Right?

I feel like if this had been longer, there would have been more interaction between Ann and Rachel this would have been a real treat. Almost all of the scenes revolve around Ani-Min Move and even their first ‘date’ included them playing throughout. Call me old fashioned, but if my date is on their phone its probably because they aren’t interested in me.

Ann and Rachel were just starting to get to know each other and then book ended. There was a romance scene that felt out of place for me, but that’s totally probably a just me thing. It would have read just as well if that scene hadn’t been included.

Did I enjoy it? Yeah, it was a good, quick read. It just left me wanting more for Ann and Rachel.

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