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    AUDIO REVIEW: Today by R.J. Scott

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    Single Dads: Today – R.J. Scott

    When the world labels a man and judges them blindly, is it possible to ever find love?

    Firefighter Eric is on the front line, battling the threat of nature’s destruction in the California grasslands alongside his CalFire team. Focused and calm, even in the direst of situations, he has a strong affection for his fire truck, loves his career, and has best friends he can rely on. All he needs now is love, but that seems to be impossible to find. At his friend’s wedding. Eric falls in lust at first sight with the shy, slim and sexy Brady, even if Brady isn’t the type of guy he usually goes for. What Eric longs for is an equal in his bed, not a smaller guy who might want Eric to role-play big strong firefighter every time they have sex. He wants to find someone he can be vulnerable with, someone who will love him for his soft heart and quiet ways.

    Brady’s life plans grind to a halt when his niece and nephew lose their parents in a tragic accident, and he becomes a dad overnight. His Developmental Coordination Disorder rules his life, but he fights both DCD and the fears that chase him every day, to give Maddie and Lucas a home. Agreeing to go to a friend’s wedding is a decision he regrets long before he even gets there. But, he refuses to give in to his fear, even if he might do something that makes him a target for people’s comments and laughter. Meeting Eric, a huge man with a gentle voice and a flair for chivalry, he falls hard. Now, if only he can let himself get past his panic that Eric would never want someone like him, then maybe he could fall in love for real.

    Today started with a wedding and ended with a proposal. In between were kiddie tantrums, forest fires and daytime shenanigans.

    Eric is a first responder. He is an only child from a prominent family. He has a calm, steady presence which is a huge advantage in his line of work (a.k.a. he’s a teddy bear). Brady is an artist who adopted his niece and nephew after his late sister passed away. He has Developmental Coordination Disorder and social anxiety which made him come across as awkward and standoffish at first glance. Which is what happened when he first met Eric. He was kinda rude to the firefighter. Then, he threw himself at him and kissed him hard. Eric, far from being offended, was immediately smitten.

    Even if both men fell hard and fast, everything clicked into place almost naturally. Contrary to what people expected of him being this huge, hulking firefighter, Eric loved it when somebody took charge and Brady was a take-charge kind guy. Theirs was a sweet, low-angst romance. I loved how they took time to talk things through and made it work.

    I am normally not that enthused with books about parenting but Today was able to showcase the kids without them taking too much of the story. It did a good job portraying Brady’s struggles and triumphs as a single dad. It was also able to talk about DCD in a way that made it easier to understand and empathize with Brady.

    There were some backstories provided but I felt like they could have been developed more. I wouldn’t mind if the book had a couple more chapters to give more depth to the characters and their relationships.

    This is the second book of the Single Dads series. I have not read the first book but it was nice getting to know Ash and Sean, as well as Eric’s other friend, Leo and Leo’s potential LI who was introduced later on.

    Sean Crisden did an awesome job with his voice acting. He was able to create varied and convincing voices for the characters. Like with his other audiobook that I reviewed before, Home for Christmas, also by R.J. Scott, I still find his pacing a little too fast but it’s not really something that significantly affected my experience of the book.

    Overall, Today is a highly enjoyable, feel-good romance with characters you can root for. If you are looking for something light and easy, where people fall in an instant and stay forever, you might want to check this out.


    Thank you to Signal Boost Promotions and Audible for providing a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

    R.J. Scott books here

    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Forever Came Today
    Artist: The Supremes
    Album: Reflections

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    AUDIO REVIEW: Home for Christmas by R.J. Scott

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    Texas: Home for Christmas – R.J. Scott

    Can Connor show River a real family Christmas?

    When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn’t know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.

    River doesn’t have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he’s happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents’ ranch in Texas, and it’s wearing River down. He didn’t ask to be kidnapped. He didn’t want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.

    From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor’s year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.

    Home for Christmas is Connor and River’s story of friendship-turned-love. The two young men couldn’t be more different. Connor came from money. He had a sunny disposition, a glass half-full kind of person, a do-gooder who loves to fix things. River is a talented gymnast and diver. He had bounced from foster home to foster home and struggles with his black moods, his epilepsy and anxieties. He doesn’t want to be ‘fixed’.

    The story showed Connor and River spending the holidays at the ranch and how their feelings for each evolved. It started with Connor finding River on the roof, drunk and attempting to balance on his hands. Afraid that of what River might do to himself, Connor very persistently did not leave him alone and all but forced him to come with him to his family ranch for Christmas. Right off the bat, Connor’s tendency to help and fix things were obvious. Said tendencies also misfired at the latter point, a mistake that almost cost him River.

    River’s conflict and loneliness tugged at the heart. He was envious of a perfect family, wished he was part of it and also did not want the Campbell-Hayes to see his ugly side. The book tackled, among many things, mental issues like fear of abandonment. I liked how it was handled. There were no miracle cures. Instead, there were people, like Connor, who were willing to be a constant in River’s life.

    We meet different members of the sprawling Campbell-Hayes family, starting with Jack and Riley all the way to the aunts and cousins and by extension, the Legacy family. As a person who don’t do the holiday socializing thing, I sympathized with River and Jack, Connor’s Pappa. I liked that the author understood that anxious feeling of being in a crowd and gave the introverts their own quiet moments.

    This is my first Texas book and my first time meeting the Campbell-Hayes family. Like River, I was both overwhelmed and delighted by this warm, loving, larger-than-life family. Now I have to read book one just to see how everything started. Even though I started at book 9, it can be read as a standalone. There were enough backgrounders via improbable family stories to help you sort through the dynamics of the clan.

    I am a bit torn with the narration. Sean Crisden did a stellar job portraying the different characters and all the emotions really came through, especially River’s and Connor’s. However, I found his reading a little too fast. There were some moments where I thought a slightly longer pause would have been needed. I almost missed some parts where the characters did something because the sentences ran together. Slowing down the audiobook to 0.5X made it sound weird. I’m not sure if the reading speed is how Crisden typically narrates. I have listened to two of his audiobooks by Megan Derr and Riley Hart and I enjoyed how he read them.

    Still, Home for Christmas is a great holiday novella. It’s full of love and family with characters you couldn’t help but be drawn to. It’s a well-done hurt/comfort story with just the right balance of angst and sweetness. Recommended if you are in the mood for a Christmas story about opening your heart to love, hope and future possibilities.


    Thank you to Signal Boost Promotions and Audible for providing a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Driving Under Stars
    Artist: Marika Hackman
    Album: Wonderland

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    The Audiobook Tag + Favorite Narrators

    I found this tag on Kristin Kraves Books. I love audiobooks for when my eyes are tired, which is often, or when I’m just being lazy, which is sometimes. This post is a big shout-out to all my favorite narrators.