Friday, November 24, 2017

Review & Blog Tour: Smoky Mountain Dreams by Leta Blake (Giveaway)

Narrated By: John Solo

Length: 14hrs 46mins


After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he's center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.

Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children's mother, he doesn't want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn't want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

SMD Sample from Leta Blake on Vimeo.

I read Smoky Mountain Dreams for the first time three years ago and I fell in love with it and has remained one of my favorite books ever since, so of course, I was going to jump at the chance of listening to it.

Let me tell you, if I loved it the first time around, finding it "a fantastic, emotional rollercoaster read!", I absolutely adored it this time around, too.

I cried, I laughed, I drooled over the fabulous sex scenes (especially the one in Jesse's workshop office, damn I'm never going to look at pearls the same way again!), but above all, I fell in love with Jesse and Christopher, with Brigid and Will, with Jackie and Joe and their children, with Christopher's gran and even with Gareth! They were all such well-rounded, tridimensional characters, with good and bad things and everything in between, making them so much more realistic to me.

Christopher was definitely my favorite character. He was so loyal and loving, only wanting someone to really see him and love him because of who he was, always willing to forgive, and be second-choice, which broke my heart several times. I'm so happy Jesse could give him what he needed in every sense, to be part of a family.

"Life's too short to waste it arguing about whether or not you're sorry enough for something I damn well know you're sorry for." That has to be one of my favorite quotes from the book and I think it shows a lot of Christopher's character. Even when Jesse messed up (several times, I might add), he was always willing to listen and forgive, perhaps not quite forget, but he tried to understand Jesse's motives.

I loved Jesse, even if he could be selfish and I wanted to throat punch him at one time, at least he actually realized he'd messed up (with some help from Amanda and Gareth) and made up for it, putting Christopher first when he needed him the most.

The chemistry between Jesse and Christopher and the progression of their relationship as they fall in love, was natural and organic and their love transcended the pages.

John Solo did a fantastic job with the narration, perhaps the kids' voices could have been a bit better, but it was still very enjoyable. He has a lovely tone of voice and he managed to inject it with the appropriate amount of emotion during all the scenes to translate Leta Blake's words to audio. One thing, though, if you're listening to the last, say, 4 or 5 chapters while driving, you might start crying so beware. Other than that, it was as perfect as the book. Highly recommendable!

Story: 5+ Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars

November 13 - Gay Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews
November 14 - Alpha Book Club
November 15 - V's Reads
November 16 - Diverse Reader
November 17 - Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Blog
November 20 - Gay Book Reviews, Reading In Sarah's Corner, Valerie Ullmer, OMG Reads
November 22 - Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
November 24 - Bayou Book Junkie, Gay Media Reviews, Making It Happen

Author Bio

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.


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