Friday, July 13, 2018

With a Kick Collection #1 by Clare London Audiobook Tour


This collection includes the charming London-based novellas of the With a Kick series – A Twist and Two Balls and Slap and Tickle. Also included are two short stories featuring the characters in these titles.

WITH A KICK: A new and enticing ice cream franchise, with a unique blend of full flavour, mischief and romance. Patrick and Lee are struggling to make a success of their alcoholic ice cream shop in the centre of tourist London. At the same time, their business partnership may take a turn towards the personal – if either of them can find the time and nerve to go for it! Meanwhile, they cater to the wild and wonderful range of customers in the area, many of whom have their own romantic agenda. Will ice cream be the final ingredient they’re all looking for?

Each story is a self-contained romance, but will follow the history of the shop throughout.

A Twist and Two Balls

Eduardo Mancini is going to be a star of the London stage. Unfortunately, his alter ego, Eddy March, hasn't gotten further than a bit part in a TV series. One ghastly day, he’s late for an audition, can’t pay his taxi fare, and is chased across Soho by the irate driver, Nuri. But maybe being caught by Nuri is exactly what Eddy needs.

Slap and Tickle

Bryan is an accountant who admires order and self-discipline. When he literally bumps into Phiz outside With a Kick, Phiz’s lifestyle and behaviour appear totally chaotic. But they each recognise something in the other that they need. Bryan needs a lover who welcomes his secret desire, and Phiz needs a firm hand - in every way. They both agree Bryan may be just the man to provide it.

Audiobook Details
Length: 8 hrs, 40 mins
Narrator: Joel Leslie

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Audiobook Buy Links

Amazon  ~  Audible US  ~  Audible UK  ~  iTunes


Ebook Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Angela☆☆☆☆☆
I absolutely adored the stories in Clare London’s With a Kick Collection #1. Listeners are treated to two novellas and two short stories, one of each for two different couples, all performed by the extremely talented Joel Leslie. With the ice cream shop, With a Kick, being the common denominator between the couples’ stories, listeners are also treated to glimpses into Patrick and Lee’s business woes and a professional relationship that seems to be getting a bit more personal.

First up are Eddy and Nuri in A Twist in Two Balls. An aspiring actor frantic to make it to a rare audition, Eddy underestimates the cab fare and overestimates just how much money is in his wallet. Realizing that he’s not close to his destination and had already exceeded his dwindling funds, he guiltily attempts to stiff the cab driver so that he can make the rest of the trip on foot and maybe make it on time as the London traffic isn’t allowing the cab to move. Unbeknownst to Eddy, he’s caught the eye of the cab driver and rather than detaining Eddy, Nuri follows him on foot as Eddy attempts to bluster his way out of the situation he’s created and still make it to his audition on time. It doesn’t work. But the day turns out so much better, even with the missed audition because Eddy now has himself a suitor. In a case of opposites attract, the high-strung Londoner, Eddy, finds his perfect match in the calm and collected Turkish cab driver, Nuri, who not only balances Eddy out in temperament, but also comes with a large and extended family – something Eddy has longed for for years as an only child of parents who travel extensively for their acting careers. While I suspect some readers and listeners will wonder how the laid back Nuri is able to put up with Eddy’s melodramatics, I’ve been Nuri before. I know that as stressful as it can be to deal with such a partner’s often unconscious need to be the center of attention, the Eddys of the world are at their best when they turn their spotlight on their partner, who is their anchor and the center of their world, and those are the moments the outside world often doesn’t see and are why we love our high-strung, drama queen partners so much. Obviously, Eddy and Nuri’s romance struck a personal chord with me, which increased my enjoyment, but I would have loved it either way, especially as Joel Leslie does such a wonderful job of capturing Eddy’s moods – of which there are many – as well as Nuri’s loving patience.

Whereas the first story was sweet, Slap and Tickle, is a lot steamier, but just as enjoyable. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I realized that the second couple were shaping up to be a May-December romance, but I certainly wasn’t expecting their blossoming relationship to have D/s component at all. But wowzer! When Bryan’s natural inclination to be a bit bossy rears its head during a casual interaction with Phiz, whose nervousness and anxiety make him appear high-strung, it becomes apparent that we’ve got another opposites-attract romance unfolding and it’s going to be a HOT one. Again, Leslie’s vocal talents come into play perfectly as he conveys Bryan’s quiet command and Phiz’s relieved acquiescence when Bryan takes charge – both in and out of the bedroom. I loved how Bryan’s need for order made him a natural match for Phiz and that the domination and submission aspect of their relationship was not a formal arrangement, but rather a personal exploration of their individual needs. Argh! I don’t think I’m explaining it right. At the beginning of the story, Bryan is ashamed of his desires, but as his needs and wants enable him to give Phiz what he needs and wants, Bryan learns to accept and embrace who he is and what he needs. And because of that personal acceptance, Bryan’s character grows a bit over the course of the novella, manifesting in a way that spells good news for With a Kick.

The bonus short stories were an absolute delight. I won’t go into either of them as I don’t want to ruin the surprise for others, but I will share that Eddy and Nuri’s is a magical Christmas tale and London brings the heat once again to Bryan and Phiz’s Valentine’s Day activities. Much like their respective novellas, the shorts for each couple are sweet (Eddy and Nuri) and steamy (Bryan and Phiz) and do a lovely job of rounding out the collection. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories that London has penned and Leslie’s performances for all four. I really hope that With a Kick Collection 2 will be available on audio soon, with Leslie at the mic again, as I cannot wait to see who’s up next to find love and ice cream.




CLARE LONDON took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter-three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her on all her social media.

Connect with Clare

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads



Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth.  A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world.

His authors have praised him as “a narrator among narrators, a man whose ability to create different characters rests on the power of his voice and his impeccable delivery,” and a “true delight…" "his professionalism, good humor, and charm make him a dream to work with,” "Anyone else would only be second best.”

Joel has consistent access to his home studio for all production needs. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

Connect with Joel

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free audiobook copy of With a Kick Collection #1 by Clare London, narrated by Joel Leslie to listen to and review for this tour.

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