Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux, Narrated by Brock Thompson #Review #AudioReview

Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux, Narrated by Brock Thompson #Review #AudioReviewShock & Awe by Abigail Roux

Series: #1 Sidewinder
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide on November 18, 2015
Length: 3 hours 59 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars      four-flames

Explanation:

A while back, I had a conversation with Anna @ Herding Cats Burning Soup blog. It started out with a discussion about how many of our older reads were getting hazy in our minds and that we didn’t even have notes or reviews on them to help jog the memory. From that was born the idea of doing an occasional (and by that I mean quarterly at most) re-read to catch up with some of those oldies, but goodies. So watch for the occasional Oldies review at our respective blogs and feel free to join in. I cheated a bit on this one b/c I do in fact have review notes on these stories, but I soooo wanted to hear them read that they became my re-read choice. J

This is my second opportunity to enjoy this first of the Sidewinder spin-off series with Nick and Kelly taking the lead roles. It has been a couple years since I read this one so I was excited to take the opportunity to grab the audio version for my re-read. Audio adds nuance to a story and a good narrator, like Brock Thompson, makes an already good story even better.

I read through my older review out of curiosity to see if my impressions had changed. I pretty much felt the same way about this novella and the second follow-up one, but I also found that I was influenced by the fact that I’ve finished the Cut & Run series since then and it has affected my impression of the characters. I enjoyed going back to the relatively simpler and easier times of the beginnings of Nick and Kelly’s romance with this story.

This pair are entertaining, engaging, and one hot couple.

 

“I’m not under the influence anymore. Much. Even if I was, I’ve done things way worse than you that I’ve never regretted.”

Nick barked out a laugh and they both began to chuckle. Suddenly the tension was gone again and it was just the Devil Doc across from him once more.

Shock & Awe Quote by Kelly to Nick

Though this is the beginning of a new series, I can’t recommend reading it in isolation. It should be read following Touch & Geaux in the Cut & Run series because it takes up right after that one ended with the focus shifting to a couple of the secondary characters of which one has been a recurring character through several of the Cut & Run series books. This story focuses on Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott.

Nick helps get Kelly home and helps him with his aftercare from the healing bullet wound Kelly received trying to protect Nick’s life in the last mission. They are really close and tight after years of serving together and know each other better than anyone else knows them. But after Nick’s big confessions in the last book, Kelly starts to see things with Nick in a whole new light and Nick isn’t far behind him in noticing that things between them have altered.

Things turn into a sexual game of cat and mouse as Kelly tries to convince Nick that he’s healthy enough for a romp between the sheets and then Kelly really rolls the dice when he tries to pin the commit-o-phobe Nick into letting what is happening between them stand a chance. Nick is hesitant because the friendship with Kelly is important to him and he is worried that Kelly isn’t really gay or bi and will eventually back off and essentially destroying their close friendship. Reality comes knocking even to their Colorado mountain cabin and may end the fragile beginning between them before it even gets started.

A secondary short follow up story called Bait & Switch added more to the above story and gave a peek in with the Ty & Zane situation.

This one got right down to it with Kelly & Nick. They know each other well and as a recurring of the series they are not unknown to the reader so it is easy to dive right in with them. Kelly wants to explore things with Nick and he is honest and communicates what he wants openly. Nick, on the other hand, wants Kelly just as bad, but he shies away from going all in and doesn’t communicate well with words- man of action type.

There is tension from this and it was good stuff. There is also sweltering heat generated between these two guys and it simmers for most of the story. Nick is one rough and tough, but passionate, caring and tender alpha. Kelly is right there with him and gives Nick the feeling of trust and safety that he has never had with anyone else.

And if you’re like me and go all sniffly at those ‘good-bye at the airport don’t know if I’ll see you again’ scenes then keep a tissue handy.

Brock Thompson’s narration was engaging as I mentioned before. His pacing, voices, and storytelling ability was good whether it was a playful, flirty scene or a smoldering hot bedroom moment. His narration was good storytelling and I was never once distracted from the story itself.

Though this was a shorty, it developed a strong story, characters, and relationship beginning. I definitely recommend it for all the Cut & Run series fans, but I strongly encourage those who enjoy strong, humorous, gritty and spicy m/m Romantic Suspense to get busy and read these.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #404 LGBT

Audio #18

Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux, Narrated by Brock Thompson #Review #AudioReviewCross & Crown by Abigail Roux

Series: #2 Sidewinder
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide on November 15, 2015
Length: 6 hours 50 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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four-stars      three-half-flames

Nick and Kelly on a murder case and hunting down a Colonial Era treasure in Boston. I had an absolute good old time traipsing along with them. Of course, their style of doing things involves a mysterious man with amnesia who may or may not be what he claims, the Irish Mob, other treasure seekers and the enigmatic Julian Cross. Oh yes, fasten your safety belts, people, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

This second book in the Sidewinder series is part of the Cut & Run universe and chronologically falls after Ball & Chain. I really don’t recommend reading this one without having read that one since this one assumes the reader knows some of the situations that carried over from that story, but I suppose it’s possible to manage it right after the first book in this Sidewinder series.

The story opens with Nick O’Flaherty coming back off of desk duty after his surgery to be confronted by a double homicide and an amnesiac as his only witness to the crime. It’s no ordinary robbery gone wrong, but he sets it aside for the weekend to welcome his lover, Kelly Abbott to town for a two week visit. Nick hasn’t seen Kelly in some time.

Kelly arrives to visit Nick just in time to get roped into helping him with his investigation that gets even more dangerous and unusual when Julian Cross pops up claiming to have info about the case and JD the witness seems to be in danger. Kelly and Nick manage some loving, but it is clear that they have to figure out the case before they’ll get any time to themselves.

The story is no shorty, but my goodness did it feel like it went by fast. The pacing on these books is so different and matches with Nick and Kelly’s personalities somewhat. I enjoy them both as narrators and I really enjoy them as a team both as lovers and as two guys working a case. I was delighted with the guest appearance of Julian. He was there helping and had his reasons. There are also Ty & Zane cameos. There is still that heavy tension going on between Nick and Ty coming off the last Cut & Run book.

The treasure hunt is the exciting part, but I loved the build of suspense in that scene with the Irish Mob. Nick’s got some depth to his backstory and that was very fascinating stuff there. As to the romance, Nick and Kelly are a firmly established couple and in the open, but it is a new thing so adjustments need to be made as well as some doubts and suspicions dealt with. Nick is presented with a temptation to stray and and then there is how they can blend their two separate lives.

I was introduced to the narrator, Brock Thompson, in the last Sidewinder book and really liked his work. This one, I still liked his portrayal of Nick and Kelly and the way he can tell a story with pacing, voice inflection, and timing. I felt he had a little struggle with the more complicated character accents in this one. There are Irish, Boston Irish, Tidewater Virginia, and plain Boston and there were many characters. This was a mild issue and in no way prevented me from enjoying the listening experience.

All in all, I enjoyed this sequel in the Sidewinders series or more like a side story in the Cut & Run series. I will definitely continue on. M/M Romantic Suspense lovers would enjoy this one.

My thanks to Riptide publishing for the opportunity to listen to this one in exchange for my honest thoughts.

About Abigail Roux

Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year. Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of ‘Call of Duty’ throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • I will try to remember the previous series so that I can read it. It seems that theses are some great books and I’m glad you loved this first start to another of her series. Awesome review!

    • Thanks, Lekeisha! Yes, it’s a good idea to start with the Cut & Run series and then read them both in chronological order to get the best out of them.

  • I completely agree. You can’t start with this series. You must start with the Cut & Run series. Plus then you get Ty & Zane, swoon, so it is really a no brainer. While I’ve read the first two books in this spinoff series, I’ve not tried the audios yet. This is the first review I’ve seen of the audios. Good to know that the narrator is good. Maybe I’ll pick up Part & Parcel on audio instead of eBook. Great review.

    • Woohoo! Another fan! I have been so addicted from the beginning and even read the connected books. I was one who looked forward to the spin-off series and I’m so glad that it stays pretty connected. I read Part & Parcel, but it would be fun to get some more of Brock’s narration. Hope you like it, Melanie.

      • Yep, I’ve been a fan for two years. Armed & Dangerous I think was my favorite. I loved Julian’s addition to the story.

        • That was a good one. Have you read Warrior’s Cross? I loved getting that story of how he came to be with Cameron.

          And her Gravedigger’s Brawl is the story of the bartender mentioned in passing in Touch & Geaux that Ty was friends with while working at the bar in New Orleans.

          • I have read Warrior’s Cross. I thought it was okay. Not as good without Ty and Zane. It didn’t have the humor I’m used to in her books. I haven’t tried Gravedigger’s Brawl. I’ll add it to TBR. Thanks. 🙂

            • I agree about WC lacking that special something, but I did enjoy getting the story of Julian and Cameron.

              You like horror so I think you’ll like the atmospheric ghost stuff of Gravedigger’s Brawl. It’s not humorous either, but it is strong in other ways.

  • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    I read these two. I enjoyed them but not as much as Ty & Zane but still worth the read. I haven’t decide if I’ll read the next one or try it out on audio.

    • I read them when they first came out, but I was thrilled when Riptide offered me the audios. You can probably listen to a sampling of Brock Thompson doing these to see if you want to switch up or stay with the books.

  • Oh, more books? DId not know

  • There are some oldies I really want to re-read and review eventually. Luckily once I started reading more and more I also started reviewing most of them, so from the last few years I’ve reviewed most of the books I’ve read.
    These book sounds good and the narration sounds realy well done. Good to know this is a spinn-off and it works best to read the first series before this one. I might have to check out the Cut & Run series. Great reviews!

    • I started reviewing in 2012 and never went back and reviewed any I read before that. I don’t have the time or desire to do it in large blocks of time, but once every few months to re-read a book and review it is very doable for me.

      Oh, and yes, if you decide to do it, read the Cut & Run series first, but then after Touch & Geaux do every other book with this Sidewinder series. That’s the best way. These are exciting and can get stormy because these guys are not mild people. 🙂

  • That’s a great idea. Rereading older books. I might have to try that too.

    • Yes, I think this will be a nice way to slowly catch up on books that are fading from my mind and get some review notes on them. Would love to see your thoughts on some of your older reads, Mary!

  • I haven’t read these and I am not sure if I have even heard of them. They do sound pretty good though. Re-reads can be fun, I do it occasionally and actually just bought a book I read probably 25 years ago on my Kindle last week. It was a favorite, so why not? Great reviews!

    • I was never one who reread stuff mostly because there is so much that is new to grab, but lately, I’ve enjoyed a few re-reads after years away and its fun. Enjoy your oldie, Lorna!

  • oh this seems interesting!! I definitely like having romantic suspense mixed with m/m themes. So I will have to add it to my wishlist.

    • Yes, this is definitely a good series for that. Start with Cut & Run series, though, then read it until you get to Touch & Geaux, and then read these every other with those so you get it all in order.