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Cheri Champagne

  • 43
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 53
  • ratings
  • Breaking Point

  • Turning Point Series, Book 2
  • Written by: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 2

Book two in the Turning Point Series. A fight for what's right becomes a fight for his life. As guilt plagues him, Matthew Elliott's world begins to spiral out of control. The harder he holds on, the more it slips through his fingers, and he's helpless to stop it. Entering into the underground cage-fighting scene, he starts out fighting for what's right. The deeper he gets, the more guilt consumes him - the more pain he takes for his penance - and he's soon fighting for more than justice. He's fighting for love. He's fighting for his life.  

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • DNF

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-06-03

DNF

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-06-03

DNF. I couldn't get past the plot--and the betrayal--in this book. The whole story is centred around the fact that Matthew has to keep this big secret from Kira, and to a point, I get that, but in the first book they'd made promises to always be honest about his work, and he's now going back on that. I just can't stand it.

Also, this was getting seriously painful to read, and from what I've seen in other reviews, it's basically painful from beginning to end. That's really not what I look for in books. A little emotion is good, but I don't want books to destroy me, I'd like to enjoy them throughout, and leave feeling happy.

  • Point of No Return

  • Turning Point, Book 1
  • Written by: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 4 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Matthew Elliot is one of LA’s best detectives. He’s been labeled the golden boy of the Fab Four: a team of four detectives who’ve closed down drug-rings all over the city. He’s smart, tough and exceptionally good at his job. He’s also a closeted gay man. Enter Kira Takeo Franco, the new boxing coach at the gym. Matthew can’t deny his immediate attraction to the man his fellow cops know as Frankie. But in allowing himself to fall in love with a man known to his colleagues, Matthew risks outing them both.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too Rushed

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-06-03

Too Rushed

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-06-03

The story had the potential to be truly enjoyable, but the writing was so rushed that it took all of the fun out of it. Scene-setting was basically non-existent, and there was no time to enjoy any of our heroes' romantic or emotional moments because it was resolved too quickly. There were even times when whole weeks or a month would pass by the end of the page, and I truly wondered what had happened. Then, we're given a "run-down" of what went on in that time, before the narrative continues on. I realize that this was more of a novella than a novel, but in this case, it feels like the author tried to put the story of a novel into the word count of a novella; she just rushed through and skipped parts. It was disappointing, but I'm giving it two stars anyway, because I did still like the story, even if the writing was a let-down.

  • Murder Takes the High Road

  • Written by: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Librarian Carter Matheson is determined to enjoy himself on a Scottish bus tour for fans of mystery author Dame Vanessa Rayburn. Sure, his ex, Trevor, will also be on the trip with his new boyfriend, leaving Carter to share a room with a stranger, but he can’t pass up a chance to meet his favorite author. Carter’s roommate turns out to be John Knight, a figure as mysterious as any character from Vanessa’s books. His strange affect and nighttime wanderings make Carter suspicious. When a fellow traveler’s death sparks rumors of foul play, Carter is left wondering if there’s anyone on the tour he can trust.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-06-03

Disappointing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-06-03

This book was a bit disappointing, truth be told. I found the relationship between our heroes to be adequate (for a Josh Lanyon book--which isn't saying much), but it was the mystery that didn't quite hit the mark. Also, there were way too many characters.

  • The Haunted Heart: Winter

  • The Haunted Heart (Book 1)
  • Written by: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Lee Samuels
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Still grieving over the sudden death of his lover, antiques dealer Flynn Ambrose moves to the old, ramshackle house on Pitch Pine Lane to catalog and sell the large inventory of arcane and oddball items that once filled his late uncle's mysterious museum. But not all the items are that easy to catalog. Or get rid of... Since Alan died, Flynn isn't eating, isn't sleeping, and isn't spending a lot of time looking in mirrors. But maybe he should pay a little more attention - because something in that 18th Century mirror is looking at him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Friendship And Mystery

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-06-03

Friendship And Mystery

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-06-03

Let me start out by saying that this one barely scratches the surface of what could possibly be considered an M/M romance. The main focus with this one is the paranormal mystery. Also **TRIGGER WARNING** One of our heroes is depressed and dealing with attempted suicide and thoughts of trying again.

This one does not have an HEA for our heroes, as one has suffered a recent heartbreaking loss, and is clearly suffering, but a friendship is forming, and we can see how this bond might morph into more in future book(s)--if and when we get to see them.

The mystery is really where the story was fun for me. It's something so bizarre, and yet so straight-forward, but entirely entertaining. I found it delightful.

  • The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks

  • Written by: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Max Miller
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

His romantic weekend in ruins, shy 20-something artist Perry Foster learns that things can always get worse when he returns home from San Francisco to find a dead body in his bathtub. A dead body in a very ugly sportscoat - and matching socks. The dead man is a stranger to Perry, but that's not much of a comfort; how did a strange dead man get in a locked flat at the isolated Alton Estate in the wilds of the 'Northeast Kingdom' of Vermont? Perry turns to help from 'tall, dark and hostile' former navy SEAL Nick Reno.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good Mystery, Terrible Romance

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-04-25

Good Mystery, Terrible Romance

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-04-25

This one is definitely not a favourite, and the bar is usually set pretty low for Josh Lanyon books. With JL, I know that the romance will be basically non-existent and the sex will be disappointing, but this one had one hero that was a homophobic jerk for the first 2/3, not enough character development, and a convoluted mystery.

I have to admit, I loved Perry; his character felt well-rounded and well thought-out. Nick, on the other hand, was uptight, rude--and not just in his behaviours, but in his thoughts, as well--and as the reader, we never really get to know much about him, despite being in his head for a good portion of the book. As a result, his character was flat and not really likeable.

Additionally, I couldn't see what Perry liked in Nick, aside from the fact that he used to be a SEAL and was apparently good-looking. Their relationship was totally unbelievable.

The mystery, while convoluted, was what kept me reading. I got confused with all of the names and different characters, especially when they all felt so similar to one another, but I enjoyed it, regardless.

Overall, this book was simultaneously disappointing and entertaining. 1* for romance, 3* for the mystery.

The narration took a little bit of time to get used to. I think that the narrator suited Perry's character very well, but his voice for Nick was a tiny bit off. Overall, though, it was a pleasing listen.

  • On Point

  • Out of Uniform, Book 3
  • Written by: Annabeth Albert
  • Narrated by: J. F. Harding
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

Pushing 30, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn't smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but 10 years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can't ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever - heart and soul.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Wouldn't Recommend

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-04-24

Wouldn't Recommend

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-04-24

This book really disappointed me. The plot was so promising, and the bit in the jungle was so exciting. I just...didn't like much of the rest. There were some redeeming qualities to each character, and the sex scenes were decent (except for the flashback scenes, which I despised), but other than that, I couldn't wrap my head around the motivation behind what went on here--for Ben, in particular.

In addition to the characterization and motivation being way off for me, there was something about this writing that I just didn't like. There wasn't enough description, especially outside of the jungle, there were a lot of scenes that felt rushed or totally unnecessary, there wasn't enough of a sizzling moment when their relationship began, everything was just a bit bland, and when our heroes reconcile after the inevitable fallout, there wasn't enough raw emotion. Honestly, this book just left me feeling very blah, when it had such potential.

At this point, I'll probably give this author another try, and read a different one of her books, because there were some very specific things about this book that I didn't like that might be unique to this title. Here's to hoping. As it is, this is not a book that I would recommend.

As for the narration, his voice was pleasing enough to listen to, he just didn't put on different inflections for the heroes, so I found it difficult to differentiate between the characters' dialogue. Also, the narrator seemed to gasp at the end of each sentence. There were times that it wasn't as noticeable, but others where it was downright annoying. Overall, I'd listen to this narrator again, but I might wait a little while.

  • Red Dirt Heart 3

  • Red Dirt Heart Series
  • Written by: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Life for Charlie Sutton has never been better, or busier. With Travis now a permanent fixture of Sutton Station, a permanent fixture at Charlie's side, Charlie's convinced he couldn't do anything on his ever-growing to-do list without him. He can run a multimillion dollar cattle business, finish his degree, try and further the local beef industry, deal with staff issues, Ma's failing health, and an attention-demanding wombat. He can even deal with an unexpected visitor and some shattering news.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not My Favourite Of The Series

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-04-23

Not My Favourite Of The Series

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-04-23

First of all, I loved Nugget, and both Charlie and Travis' affinity for animals. Adorable.

I found this one very emotional, which I suppose was the point, but part of my problem was "the incident". It felt like a ploy to drag emotions from the reader and a convenient way to cause problems between Travis and Charlie.

Otherwise, this felt very much like the previous two books in the series, again, with very little world building.

Once again, Joel Leslie's narration is simply wonderful. He moves from one accent to the other seamlessly, and has a different voice for each of the characters. I've honestly never listened to a better narrator.

  • Red Dirt Heart 2

  • Written by: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun, and loneliness. Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Narration

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-04-23

Wonderful Narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-04-23

I enjoyed this one as much as the first in the series, and absolutely adore Travis and Charlie. As with the first book, my main critique would be the lack of world building.

The narration by Joel Leslie is simply amazing. He switches between accents seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly. Simply amazing.

  • Red Dirt Heart

  • Red Dirt, Book 1
  • Written by: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

Welcome to Sutton Station: one of the world's largest working farms in the middle of Australia - where if the animals and heat don't kill you first, your heart just might. Charlie Sutton runs Sutton Station the only way he knows how: the way his father did before him. Determined to keep his head down and his heart in check, Charlie swears the red dirt that surrounds him - isolates him - runs through his veins.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Book, Fantastic Narration

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-04-23

Good Book, Fantastic Narration

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-04-23

I very much enjoyed this book. It was fun, sexy, and sweet. My only critique would be the lack of world building inside the homestead. I had difficulty picturing the inside of the house. Also, in this book, Travis has "light brown" hair, but by the third/fourth book it'd switched to blond.

The narration by Joel Leslie is simply amazing. He switches between accents seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly. Simply amazing.

  • In Other Words...Murder

  • Holmes & Moriarity 4
  • Written by: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Mystery author and sometimes amateur sleuth Christopher Holmes is settling into domesticity with his sometimes rival, sometimes nemesis J.X. Moriarity when he learns a body has been discovered in the backyard of his former home. To complicate matters, Christopher's ex turns up accusing Christopher of doing away with his former personal assistant - the man for whom David dumped him.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fizzled

  • By Cheri Champagne on 2019-03-31

Fizzled

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2019-03-31

This one was doing well until the end. It felt as though the author was rushed to finish it; the mystery was anti-climactic, the frightening stuff sort of fizzled out, and it all felt like it was put on PAUSE until the next book. If there was any kind of satisfying resolution, I would have been happy, but there wasn't for me. This one was disappointing, especially since we have such a long wait until the story can resume.