Sunday, October 21, 2018

Audiobook Review: AUSTIN by Felice Stevens (Man Up #1)

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Austin-400x600 (1)


I can make it by myself. The only rules I follow are my own. Love? I learned that lesson the hard and painful way—it wasn’t right for me. Sure, sometimes it gets lonely, and I wish I had a man to hold. Who’d love me. Want me. Treat me with respect. Yeah, I dance in a club, but that doesn’t mean I’m easy. Or a fool. So you, sitting in the back, watching me? I know what you want. You want me. In your bed. Under you. But I say no. It doesn’t matter how many presents you give me.

I’m not falling for you. I know who you are. But you don’t know me. You don’t know Austin.

Austin Teaser 3


“Stop mooning over him, Austin. He’s taken.”

I gave my boss Tyler one last look from beneath the dark curls hanging in my eyes and let out a sigh as melancholy as I felt. “Don’t I know it. Look at them. The perfect couple. And Marcus never takes his eyes off Ty. I wouldn’t either if he were my man.”

Frankie Marone, the other dance instructor and my best friend, poked me in the side. “And you know Marcus hates it when you drool over Ty. You told me that yourself. So let’s finish up here and get over to the club.”Frankie’s brown eyes sparkled. “It’s margarita night, and you know that means big tips for us. Especially you, when your Mr. Tall, Dark, and Doesn’t Ever Speak shows up.”

We gathered our bags and went to change in the locker room Tyler had built in the back of the dance studio. I ran a critical eye over myself in the mirror, poofed out my curls a bit, then slicked on a little lip gloss. “Do you think I need eyeliner?”

“Girl, you know that man likes you done up. Here, take mine.”Frankie handed me his eyeliner, and I used it around the corners of my eyes, giving them a cat’s-eye tilt at the edge. “Didn’t he send you some sexy things to wear after the last time you danced for him?”

Heat crept up my face at the memory of the silky jockstrap and scented oils the mysterious stranger had sent me backstage at Man Up, the club where Frankie and I usually danced most nights. It wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, but the money was great, and I did what I could to get by.

I gave Frankie back the eyeliner. “Here. And yeah, I dunno. He probably won’t show.”

“But you’re wearing it just in case he does, right?”

I bit my lip and nodded, then pulled down my leggings to reveal a peek of red silky material lined with crystals.

“Jesus, that’s hot. And expensive, I bet.”

“I know.”After the package had arrived, I looked up the jock online and found it at a boutique in Chelsea specializing in high-end menswear. “It’s a hundred bucks.

“Holy sh*t.”Frankie’s jaw dropped. “He wants you.”

It had turned chilly outside, and I tugged on my fur-topped boots. “I don’t mind a little snuggle here and there, and I’m not against saying a special thank-you with a kiss, but there’s a limit. You know what I mean.

Frankie zipped up his jacket and pulled his furry hood over his head. “If he wants to be your sugar daddy, you tell him yes. Get yourself set up good with a nice place and a bank account. I would. You don’t need to keep shaking your ass for those guys always grabbing your junk.”

“I’m not a whore, Frankie. I’m not selling myself. Right now, I love dancing and teaching the kids, but I have plans. And maybe someday, in the future, a real boyfriend.”

“And you’re a great dancer. The kids love you.”Frankie shrugged as we walked back into the studio in time to see Marcus kissing Tyler with a passion I’d never experienced. It made my heart and my d*ck throb. “And as for boyfriends, they’re nothing but trouble.”

Austin Teaser 2

Carra's Review

First, before you start this book—be aware that this a very short story, and is only a prequel to the next book.  There is a cliffhanger at the end, kind of a “what will he do next” ending…and this is meant to thoroughly pique your interest for the next story and the series.  

Several characters are introduced.  The two main ones who will be the focus of the next book, Austin and Rhoades, who are dancing around each other both figuratively and literally (for Austin) and stirring up the interest of anyone who reads this, are the center of attention.  Even with this being such a short length, the heat, chemistry, and attraction between them are palpable.  Also introduced are the other dancers at Man Up, the club for which the series is named, as well as the club’s owner.

Since the story is quite short (I read in in less than a half hour), there’s not much more I can say without giving away too much.  Just know that it will definitely grab your attention, make you want more, and also probably have you screaming “YOU TEASE!” at the author…kind of like I’m doing right now.

I’m giving Austin 4.5 stars for the intriguing start, and I cannot wait for Rhoades—Undeniable to come out so I can get more of these two guys.  

The narration: If reading Austin in ebook form piqued my interest for the next book, listening to Kale Williams’s narration helped cement that interest even more.  Austin’s character comes across as sweet but wary, and as for Rhoades I really liked the touch of accent Williams gave to his voice.  The narration was smooth and evenly paced, and left me excited to get started on the next audiobook of Rhoades.  5 stars for the narration!

Austin Teaser 1

About the Author

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Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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