Hearts in Ireland by J.C. Long

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: When the future is shrouded and it’s hard to find direction, maybe it’s time to let the heart lead the way….

Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.

The Review

 

Ronan has lost his mother and is finding it hard to move forward with his life without her by his side. His mother was born and raised in Ireland before marrying Ronan’s father and moving to Atlanta, Georgia. She’s always dazzled him with stories of Ireland and the life she lived while there. He goes to see what his mother loved and perhaps to be close to what he has left of his mother’s memories.

His family in Ireland were welcoming, caring and supportive. They encourage him to explore Ireland, to see the places and people that were important to his mother. At his Aunt’s bookshop, Ronan meets Fergal. He and Fergal end up seeing a lot of each other and they find companionship with each other.

Fergal shows him the heart of Ireland and I loved being able to go on that journey with Ronan. Their attraction was slow, sweet and had me wondering, will they? It wasn’t all roses for Ronan and Fergal. Ronan doesn’t know how long he’ll be in Ireland and because of that he pushes Fergal away. I loved the resolution of this. When I finished listening to this, it was like a happy little sigh. It made me want to save up to go to Ireland and find my own romance that might keep me there.

This is a fade to black romance. Which for this story, it was perfect. I didn’t need anything erotic because it wasn’t needed here. This was Ronan finding himself, happiness and his family once again. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need and it was the perfect escape while I sat at a standstill on the interstate trying to get home.

I’ve listened to a couple of books narrated by John Steinkamp and he’s got a voice that you may have to get used to. At first it distracted me but after the first few chapters, his voice fit the story. It was clear, concise and helped the story along.

Buy it here!

Catch a Falling Star by Matt Burlingame

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: A therapist once told Martin Stevens that being gay was the only thing that saved him from being the most boring man alive. He spends his daytime working a dead-end job and his nights still pining after the ex-fiance who left him five years ago. When his older brother, Daniel, takes him to see a touring musical, a mishap sends superstar performer Alec Jameson flying off the stage right into Martin’s lap. It’s love at first sight. But can that love withstand the scrutiny of the press, a shock-jock radio personality bent on causing trouble, and the return of Martin’s overbearing ex-fiance?

 

The Review

This is my first M/M audio book experience and I’m glad that it was. I enjoyed listening to the narrator, John Steinkamp. He had a voice that I didn’t mind listening to, and he kept me interested in the story. (I listened to a horrible narration of a Steven King novel and it kind of turned me off of audio books for a while.) There were only a few things that weren’t my favorite, like the way his voice lilted for certain characters. It felt very stereotypical. But over all, four out of five stars for the narration. It was excellent and I’ll probably seek out more books narrated by John Steinkamp.

Now to the fun part, the actual story.

I felt a kinship to Martin. Nothing exciting happens in his life and he’s just going through the motions. He doesn’t try for more. At least he hasn’t since his fiance left him years ago. He wakes up, goes to work, comes home to his fish and repeats it all the next day. Martin doesn’t know how to put himself out there, how to see his own worth and it surprises him that someone like Alec Jameson could actually be attracted to him.

There was a lot of repetition in the beginning about how boring Martin’s life was. His brother poked and prodded at him, which I find annoying but that’s family for you. I’m sure one of my sisters are dying to do exactly what Daniel did for Martin. Take me out of my birthday and let the love of my life fall into my lap. Please. I’ll be okay with the wardrobe make over as well.

It was interesting to see Martin slowly blossom into who he was meant to be. He is attractive, funny, and a great partner to have.

The romance was light and fluffy. I smiled throughout the book and wished I had someone to cuddle up to while listening to it. That would have made the experience better.  Instead I was at work, handling bankruptcy accounts and thinking about going home to my cats. (I told you, me and Martin are bros)

I liked that there weren’t hardcore, graphic sex scenes or make out sessions. Those scenes wouldn’t have fit in this book. It was short and sweet and in the end you got to see Martin’s backbone and it left me cheering for him.

If you’re looking for a quick escape, this is definitely one you should check out. I’m adding Matt Burlingame to my list of author’s to keep an eye on and you should too.

Purchase the audio book: Here

Purchase the book: Here