Category: Mystery/Suspense

Review: “Good Boys” by Keelan Ellis

TITLE: Good Boys
AUTHOR: Keelan Ellis
SERIES: The Solomon Mysteries
PUBLISHER: NineStar Press
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE: Mystery / Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 196 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 4, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book

BLURB:

Having risen through the ranks of the Baltimore City Police Department to the elite Homicide unit as an out gay man, Paul Solomon has always prided himself on his integrity and self-reliance. As the last vestiges of his failed eight-year-long relationship fall away, Paul finds himself adrift, forced to rely on others to help him find his footing again.
When Paul and his partner, Tim Cullen, are called to the scene of a double murder of two high school students on the city’s west side, Paul finds the lives and deaths of the two boys hitting closer to home than he’d expected. With his personal life in upheaval, he struggles with the perspective needed to untangle the web of secrets and lies that led to their demise.
While working his way through the complicated case, Paul starts getting his life back together. After a date with an enigmatic young man takes a dark turn, he reaches out to an old flame who brings some much-needed lightness to his life. But Paul finds that relationships, like murder investigations, are never as simple as he’d like.


Paul Solomon is a detective at the homicide unit of the Baltimore City Police Department. He’s called to the scene of a double murder of two teenagers, and with his partner Tim Cullen, they’ll have to start the investigation of a complicated case.
Between the investigation and his personal life that goes adrift, Paul will have to rely on others while trying to find his footing again.
Good Boys is the first book of The Solomon Mysteries series. It’s my first book by the author Keelan Ellis.

I liked this book; it was a good mystery novel.

Paul is a 38 year-old cop, gay and out. He’s a very good detective and very passionate at his job, but he’s not good with human relationships or interaction. I found Paul very selfish, self-centered and sometimes a real Asshole, but it was consistant with his situation. His life went adrift, he lost his boyfriend of 8 years, has to move out and crash on the couch of his partner and then mets a beautiful young man who is completely fucked up while he’s dating an ex-lover Owen…. Of course the guy was selfish, self-centered and a real asshole, he’s just human after all.

The book is written from Paul’s view. It’s a good mystery novel, but it’s not a romance and don’t expect it. There’re no real feelings in this book, even between Paul and his lovers or friends, and when there’s some feelings, it wasn’t well described. But it didn’t bother me; I didn’t expect to read a romance. The plot is divided between the investigation and Paul’s life. The investigation was interesting and captivating with a good twist at the end that I didn’t see coming.

The secondary characters are good, I loved Tim. And I’m dying to know more about David, he’s the one who touch me the most and I hope that I’ll read more about him in the next books.

If you want a good mystery novel, Good Boys is for you. I enjoyed this book and I’ll read the next one in the series.

***The ARC was provided by NineStar Press. My review is an honest opinion of the boo ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Words” by John Inman

TITLE: Words
AUTHOR: John Inman
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Mystery / Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 210 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 12, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback

BLURB:

The world of writers, readers, and reviewers is a close-knit family of friends, fans, and fiction fanatics. That’s the world Milo Cook and Logan Hunter reside in—thriving on the give and take of creativity, the sharing of stories and ideas, and forever glorying in their boundless love of books and the words that make them breathe.
But sometimes words can cut too deep. And when they do, there is inevitably a price to pay.
What begins for Milo and Logan as a time of new love and gentle romantic discoveries, becomes before it’s over a race for their lives and for the lives of everyone they know.
Who would ever suspect that an entity as beautiful as the written word could become a catalyst for revenge? And ultimately—murder?


The world of writers, readers and reviewers is a close world. They all know each other. That’s how Milo Cook a writer and Logan Hunter a reviewer meet and start a relationship. While they discover each other romantically, murders are committed in the reviewer’s community, and everyone has the same question in mind. Is it their words that sealed their fate?

It’s the first book I’ve read by the author John Inman, and it won’t be the last. Milo and Logan are just adorable together.
Milo is a talented writer, funny and smart. He doesn’t believe in long-term relationships after the disaster with his ex’s infidelity, but Logan makes him believe that it’s possible. Logan is a professional reviewer who moves from NY to San Diego to start over. Logan doesn’t believe in a second chance at love until he meets Milo who shows him that it’s possible. I loved them; they were adorable, funny and sweet.
The book was very well written with a good plot and subplot. In my opinion, the main plot was Milo and Logan’s love story and in background or subplot was the serial killer and his victims. But at some point in the story, the two plots collided and merged together. It was very well done.

The author has a good style; his writing is full of descriptions and details. Sometimes it was a little bit too long but honestly, it was nothing. Most of the time I was hooked, and it gave me the feeling of being in the book. The serial killer’s scenes were like that, and they gave me the feeling of being the killer myself.

Speaking of the killer, I dare you to find out who the murderer is! The entire book, I had an idea, and the more I read, the more I had this little smirk on my lips (you know the one that you’ve got when you know something that others don’t). Then the big revelation came, and my smirk fell, and I made a beautiful “O” with my mouth, and I had the vision of the author with a smug smile on his lips and asking me “you know what??”
It was very good, and the twist at the end was great with a good rhythm and dynamic.

I recommend this book, it was a good Romance/Suspense book, and you’ll enjoy your time with Milo and Logan.

Its 4 OptimuMMs for the writer and his reviewer!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A King and a Pawn” by Liv Olteano

TITLE: A King and a Pawn
AUTHOR: Liv Olteano
SERIES: Leader Murders
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal; Shapeshifters
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 234 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 17, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback

BLURB:

Bert Cooper’s life used to be great, until his sister turned out to be a traitor. Now Bert feels the whole pack looks on him with doubt and suspicion. To prove his loyalty, he volunteers to be the first ambassador at Fey Court, gathering information to finally solve the Leader Murders and punish those plotting against the Council and community. At least, that was the plan….
When Bert meets Sir William Matthew Sims, Court Interrogator, and one hell of a sexy man, life becomes a balancing act. And when the Fey King is assassinated, things become really messy.
Pack politics, fey politics, treason, suspicions of treason…. Bert has to choose between being ruled by his fears or standing up for what—and who—he believes in. And it might just break his heart.


We at OptimuMM, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, decided that we will review some previously published books. Our first choice was Liv Olteano’s Leader Murders series.

This is the third installment of the series. I come to like this series so much, and I would be thrilled if this series will continue.
My resentment from the first book it’s totally gone by now. I love the characters, the setting, and this universe of Liv’s. The alphas are still assholes, but as we learned from the second book, maybe their behavior comes from their insecurities.

This book is the story of Bert, Weiss’ beta. We learn little about him in the previous books, but I was eager to get to know him.
Well, this book was a wonderful read.

Bert feels guilty for his sister’s behavior. He feels that not knowing Tricia’s plan all along, makes him not suitable for his role as a beta. These feelings push him to accept the role of the first ambassador in the Fey Court.

He knows that arriving there he could be killed on sight. But the need to prove himself to Weiss is even higher. Going into fey territory is his last chance to prove himself. Or is this what he thinks.

Will Sims is the Interrogator of the Fey Court. That means there is no one with stronger magical power than him. Except the combination of magic of the High Council. Will is present as Bert’s driver then later on, he arranges for Bert to be close to him, as close as possible.
Bert is cautious. His life is in danger, but he can’t really ignore the chemistry between him and Will. Will being the most powerful magic user, he can do anything, but Bert fears his heart. And when he learns about Will’s ulterior motives, the doubt takes root in his mind. A mind that is so confused about everything at that moment in his life.

I loved it! All of it! I couldn’t put it down. I loved Bert. His dedication to his emotions and everything about him. Will is a sweetheart, a strong man who knows what he wants. And he wants Bert. But will he be able to pass through Bert’s defense mechanisms and earn his trust and love? Khmm khmmm … of course not *wink-wink.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A Counselor Among Wolves” by Liv Olteano

TITLE: A Counselor Among Wolves
AUTHOR: Liv Olteano
SERIES: Leader Murders
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal; Shapeshifters
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2015
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback

BLURB:

Five dead leaders, their bodies arranged in a pentagram. Treason, lies, and backstabbing. A make-believe affair that turns into a real mating.
Timothy Sands is a PBI counselor, half-fey, half-elf, with a secret crush on Herman Weiss, PBI director. As a new chapter is added to the Leader Murders, it is Weiss’s responsibility to investigate what seems an impossible-to-solve case. The other problem? Weiss is suffering from rages, and his only salvation lies in Tim’s emotional-grid-balancing skills. They only have to pretend to be a couple for Tim to use his talents, and he owes Weiss a big favor. Piece of cake, right?
The fey might be involved in the Leader Murders. Someone on the Council might be their ally, and another prominent PBI figure looks more and more suspicious as they investigate. The stakes are upped when Timothy’s father, the Fey King, threatens to leave the Council destitute if they don’t hand Timothy over to him. Weiss’s brilliant solution? Mating Timothy and forcing the Council into protecting him.
There’s only one small hitch in that plan: instead of protecting one, the Council might decide to get rid of two


We at OptimuMM, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, decided that we will review some previously published books. Our first choice was Liv Olteano’s Leader Murders series.

This is the second installment of the series, and I must say I’m hooked! This is way better than the first book, probably because I started to get into this universe of Liv’s. The alphas are assholes, they are domineering, and they give no choice to anyone. The Council shares the same policy about mating. That is until Amanda, the director of PBI, Weiss’ mate started her mission that we learn about in the previous sequel of the series.

Now, Amanda is facing the death penalty. But she has supporters, including Rick the previous book’s MC. Rick pushes the agenda to the council, and they are inclined to accept that mating in an abusive relationship must be determined if the abused one requests it.
Well, that’s not going well with what Weiss believes. Weiss is on a raging rampage, so he seeks out Tim, the PBI counselor for help. Weiss convinces Tim to not report his behavior to the council because then they will put him down without a blink of an eye thanks to Amanda’s action.

Tim has a 5-year-old crush on Weiss. Also, he owns Weiss when the werewolf saved his life 5 years ago. The deal that Weiss offers is to pretend to be a couple and in this way Tim, being half-fey and half-elf, could control Weiss’ emotions. Tim fears that accepting the deal that he will be hurt in more than one way. If Weiss losses his temper, he could easily kill Tim, but for Tim, that’s the least of the damage Weiss can do to him.

Tim knows Weiss’ MO. He gets, he uses, he drops. Tim is afraid that once he gets a taste of Weiss, and when the deal is over, he’ll suffer more than he ever did.

This book is more angsty. There are traitors, old family issues, and the risk of heart break. We learn more about the politics in the council, the ruthlessness of the leaders and a shoe chewing alpha wannabe.

Well get going love, read the book already!

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A Tooth For a Fang” by Liv Olteano

TITLE: A Tooth For a Fang
AUTHOR: Liv Olteano
SERIES: Leader Murders
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Liv Olteano
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal; Shapeshifters
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 216 pages
RELEASE DATE: Sep 3, 2014
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.
The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated – less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.
Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.


We at OptimuMM, with the approval of Dreamspinner Press, decided that we will review some previously published books. Our first choice was Liv Olteano’s Leader Murders series. I came up with this title with some recommendations, and after reading the blurb, I said I have to read this!

Well, I had a different kind of expectations from this book, though I’m not disappointed!

Lycans! I’ve never read lycan shifter books before, and honestly, I would have loved to read more about this species. We get some glimpses but not as detailed as I would like too.

The story starts with Rick spotting a real nice guy on the beach. After the first eye contact, things develop really fast. Like really, really fast, so I had a hard time catching up to the story. I had a feeling I was missing something. Liv’s writing style is a get- use-to type, but once you get into that reader-space, you’re good to go. When the summer god offers his hand, Rick takes it and follows him into the sea. Well, that’s ok, but then he received a hand job followed by a bite. And bang! In 24 hours he’s a lycan, to be more precise, a tracker.

And there’s where my problem with this story is. The non-con part. Rick wasn’t asked to become a shifter. Rick wasn’t told what comes with that bite, and he was left totally alone, that in my opinion is a bs move.

Travis aka summer god aka Rick’s alpha is a total douchebag! But turns out, that in Liv’s universe, all alphas are douchbags. Not only does he bring an untrained civilian into a paranormal secret law enforcement agency, but he also doesn’t give Rick an opportunity to adjust and get trained. When Rick wakes up in the hospital, he’s bitten again, making him Travis’ mate.

As the blurb says, there’s a mass murderer going around, but you’ll learn that’s not necessarily a bad thing, well for me at least. The motive behind those murders, in my opinion, was legit and I wonder why they didn’t happen much, much sooner.
If I were Rick, I would cut off Travis’ most tender parts. But then…and actually you see it coming, but because you’re angry with these alphas, you don’t wanna really see it.

The book is from Rick’s POV, who in his last relationship, was abused regularly. There are some scenes when Travis forces Rick with his alpha voice, in some situations that goes against all of Rick’s instincts. But fear nothing, all goes well.

I said this already to too many authors, and I’ll say it to our sweet Liv too.

Dear Liv,

We know that characters take life in your mind, and you cherish them, developing a very intimate relationship with them (as we do too reading your stories), knowing every feeling, every emotion, and every thought of theirs.

But we have a little problem here you see. All this is happening in your mind! We’re not in it!

So a little bit of advice, as a humble reader (well…) when the characters are changing their behavior, legitely, please write a build up to it. Don’t make sudden changes, be kind to us, prepare us (use much, much more lube please) and do the changes gradually.

Thank You
With love, Levi (on behalf of the readers).

Guys it’s a must read!!! (finishing the review with one hand, and the other is already opening book two).

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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