5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Audiobook Review: The Specialist by Melanie Moreland 🎧

Egan Vulpe

Trained explosives expert. Gun for hire. Loner.
Until the day he falls in love.
He leaves the dangerous world he knows behind. He paints, owns a gym, and co-runs Elite Security.
In the past, he has worked with his friends at Hidden Justice, always staying behind the scenes.
But not far enough behind.
When the woman he loves is taken, his only recourse is to step back into a world of crime—this time on the wrong side of the law.
He knows he has only one choice.
Save her.
Or die trying.

Title:The Specialist
Author:Melanie Moreland
Narrator(s):Maxine Mitchell
John Lane
Series:Men of Hidden Justice (Book 5)
Pages / Length:287 / 6hrs 46m
Trope(s):Friends to Lovers
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Toronto, Canada
Release Date:18th January, 2023
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonUK.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonUS.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonOz.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AmazonCanada.jpg

Romanian John Lane is everything!

5 stars

So we’ve come to the end of the Men of Hidden Justice series and somehow Ms Moreland still manages to make this last book just as entertaining and gripping as the first. We finally get our Romanian Romeo Egan’s story with the woman of his dreams – independent, stubborn Doctor, Sofia. We first learnt about Egan’s infatuation with Sofia in the last book in the series (The Watcher) – while Sofia has been in the series almost from the start. Do you have to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy and understand this one? Probably not, but I really would suggest you read at least The Watcher before this one to fully appreciate the underlying story. Hell, just go ahead and read the whole series – you won’t be disappointed.

From the first I was giddy clapping at this pairing. Egan is, what Ms Moreland calls, an alpha-mellow also known as an alpha-roll. Basically a mixture between an alpha hero and a cinnamon roll hero. He’s super sweet, kind, loving, warm and supportive – while also being 100% alpha caveman and gone for his woman. And that is exactly what we get with Romanian born Egan. He’s been patiently waiting for Sofia to realise they’re perfect for each other and when it’s on – it’s on! Le sigh.

I’m not sure I could cope, at this stage, if anyone other than John Lane narrated a Melanie Moreland book. I do admit to being slightly apprehensive with how an accent would come across – Egan being Romanian although living in Canada for now the majority of his life. I needn’t have worried and if you’ve swooned over John Lane’s normal voice – wait until you here him with an accented lilt. Egan has always been described as someone with just a touch of an accent and that’s exactly what we get. It’s there – but it’s not full-on, cringe at the parody type of thing. And extra clapping for his seamless swapping between accent and none when Egan is talking to a native speaker.

“…if you’ve swooned over John Lane’s normal voice – wait until you here him with an accented lilt.”

Sofia is the perfect partner for Egan – and it’s not just because Egan says she is. She’s the type of strong woman character that I love to read about in that she’s quietly fierce and independent rather than being off-puttingly ballsy. She’s got high walls – understandably so – and I really understood and resonated with her. Much like with John Lane, Maxine Mitchell is the only person I want narrating a Melanie Moreland heroine. She’s got a smokey tone to her voice that’s equal parts vulnerable and fierce. She, too, did a great job of her own character, Sofia, as well as when she had to deepen her timbre and add an accent when Egan was speaking. Perfection as always.

Together, Sofia and Egan are adorable. But also hotter than Hades. They connect as friends and soulmates – and as lovers, too. This is a Melanie Moreland book so of course we’re getting the fun and frisky shenanigans between our couple. And due to their established relationship from the start of the book, we get there nice and early. I have noticed that Ms Moreland is adding more and more bum stuff in her novels of late. Not full-on but I’m not a fan. Great if you’re into it but there’s plenty without it so I’m not too grumpy.

This is an Hidden Justice (HJ) book so of course we’ve got an element of suspense interwoven with our romance. Our baddie is sinister and threatening but not so scary that it freaked out a wimp like me. But there was enough tension to make the story interesting and give us the peril we need before the payoff of our lovely HEA. And an epilogue. Yay! And a further epilogue for all the couples from the Men of HJ series. Quintuple yays!

I have really enjoyed the Men of Hidden Justice series and while I’m sorry to see it come to an end, I’d rather it end on this lovely high than keep going and lose some of its magic. Melanie Moreland masterfully manages to weave romance and intrigue in a way that never fails to capture my attention and tug at my heart strings. And our wonderful narraters bring the story to life with emotion and excitement you can only get from an audiobook. There’s a reason why Ms Moreland is one of my favourite authors and this book shows it to perfection. Definitely 5 stars.

5 stars

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat, Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys traveling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie loves stories, especially paired with a good wine, and enjoys skydiving (free falling over a fleck of dust) extreme snowboarding (falling down stairs) and piloting her own helicopter (tripping over her own feet.) She’s learned happily ever afters, even bumpy ones, are all in how you tell the story.

https://www.mayahughes.com TikTok Logo

Men of Hidden Justice

No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.