Tempest by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock #AudioReview

Tempest by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock #AudioReviewTempest by J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry

Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Series: #3 Playing the Fool
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide on April 4, 2016
Length: 5 hours 5 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Buy: Amazon | Publisher
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Things have been building toward a furious storm since the beginning between Mac and Henry, but sorting their personal life must come back seat to the storm swirling around them in the form of murder, set up, on the run, crazy shenanigans, and straight up bad luck.  I love this series for its light, but gritty romantic suspense, cunning use of Shakespeare, and colorful, engaging characters.

This is the final book in a trilogy that really must be read in order to get the most out of it.

This is my second time through and I appreciated it so much more in the audio version with Nick J Russo narrating.  His Mac and Henry voices were outstanding as were the other characters that back them up.  Emotion, timing, and sheer storytelling were top notch.  I have come to consider him a narrator that I will seek out books just because he narrates them.

Mac must clear his name even while dodging a determined internal affairs agent who is determined to nail him for anything from possessing cocaine to murdering a witness to him being a dirty cop.  All the while he fights the sane need to choke Henry since they are on the run together accompanied by Henry’s sister Violet.  His options are limited so he takes the pair home with him and worries that Henry will do what Henry does best- run.  Mac cares, but just how many times will he be left behind by a man who has more personas than fingers on a hand.  But regardless, he must hunt down a weak, drug-addicted man as his only witness and rely on a shady informant for leads even while the FBI internal affairs office is on the hunt for him.

Henry knows he’s not being fair to Mac and driving him up the wall, but Henry has a bad feeling about running and hiding on Mac’s parent’s property that only gets worse when he sees the normality of it all.  Being near a real ‘normal’ family has him nearly in hives and he is starting to crack trying to hold himself together when bad memories and his very identity are at stake.  Mac wants his trust and wants Henry to stop running while Henry is terrified to open up and show Mac the real person inside and be rejected, he is terrified that the person after them will find them, and he is guilt-ridden that he can barely take care of his sister.  Oh, and this all just makes him lash out in anger.  But when lives are at stake can he conquer his fears and stand by Mac?

As finales go, this was a good one.  All the elements I enjoy in this series continue to be strong and present- the humor, dialogue, character and relationship development, twisting plot, laid-back quality beside the gritty side.

Up until now, Henry has been able to con his way out of trouble including conning himself when stuff starts to get too real for him, but in this book he is forced to face things and either lose himself and all that is good or face the hard facts and trust for the first time.  Mac has promised him that he can do it- start over- and it will be alright.  At the same time, Mac isn’t sure Henry can be relied on and it’s hard for him to put it all out there and not know what Henry will do with it.  Interesting dynamics to their romance as a result, but it is also interesting because Mac and Henry’s physical relations aren’t what most people would expect.  The big, burly FBI agent likes to be on the receiving end and Henry enjoys that Mac would cede that position to him.

A side story is when Violet, Henry’s twin sister with TBI, takes over the narration.  For the first time, she gets to be around a normal family.  She is confused by Henry’s reaction because she loves Mac’s parents and Mac’s niece.  Cory is nine years old, but she’s very smart.  Violet is mentally about Cory’s age.  The two don’t understand what has the adults around them all worked up and they resent being shunted aside.  They get to play a large role in the big scene and I enjoyed what these two enterprising gals came up with.

So, for the second time, I am bummed that I must say good bye to a series of books that I anticipated and enjoyed.  Those who enjoy m/m romantic suspense with a strong emphasis on the character development along with the other elements should give the Playing the Fool series a look-see.

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

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #147 RS
Bad Boy #17
Audio #18
Books N Tunes #18 Bob Marley’s ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’

 

About Lisa Henry

Lisa Henry lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

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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.
  • I think that’s a must with audio books. If the narrator is amazing, they can make an okay book sound great. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • This is true, Lekeisha. My very first audio narrator was awesome, but then I listened to a couple of meh books. I only kept listening b/c the narrators were good. But now, I’ve figured out a few narrators that are favorites and I look for the books they narrate.

  • It’s hard to say goodbye to a series that you really liked.

    • No kidding. I really liked this trilogy. I wish there were more about Mac & Henry, but I also see that this story arc is done.

  • Sweet sorrow to say goodbye