Category: Paranormal

Review: “Under a Blue Moon” by Bru Baker

TITLE: Under a Blue Moon
AUTHOR: Bru Baker
SERIES: Camp H.O.W. L.
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Shapeshifters; Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 228 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.
Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.
Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of his private practice patients threatens Drew’s life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?


I really liked Under a Blue Moon by Bru Baker. It’s the second book in the Camp H.O.W.L. series and the twenty-second book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. This book is well written and nicely edited. The characters were developed, and I loved the Catch Me If You Can part of the book. That part and the part where Nick and Drew have to take the classes that the camp offers and they turn it into a competition of who can do it better, the human raised by werewolves or the werewolf. I loved how it helped show Nick that just because Drew is human that having been raised by werewolves and having werewolf stepbrothers has taught him how to use what he’s got to survive and thrive around werewolves and that he would be worthy of being in a relationship. I did like the little detail about them having their one-night stand while under a blue moon and that Drew’s mom and stepdad met and fell in love under a blue moon also and that they were proof that a human/werewolf relationship could last and flourish.

Poor Nick Perry is a psychologist and is tired of helping people with their marriages. So when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. Nick has seen too many relationships ruined by secrets, and this is just between people of the same species since he primarily sees humans. So he’s a big believer that an interspecies relationship doesn’t stand a chance of working and has a firm no dating humans rule. They are perfectly fine for one-night stands but absolutely not for dating. I can understand where he is coming from with that rule since they aren’t supposed to be telling humans what they are to protect the community, so yes dating a human that doesn’t know that you’re a werewolf would be hard on the relationship especially with how they wolf out on the full moon. But he is so stubborn about his attraction to the new camp doctor who, although human, was raised with werewolves so not quite the same scenario as dating a human that doesn’t know about the paranormal community.

I admit to wanting to hit Nick upside the head on more than one occasion for being so stubborn and forcing Drew to constantly prove that he’s just as good as a werewolf and more than a match for Nick. But he was still a loveable character, and the chemistry between him and Drew is hot.

Drew is a human and a doctor, but he’s been part of the Were community all of his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp as their new doctor. Except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them and his ridiculous stance on dating humans and forcing him to constantly prove that he’s just as good as a Were. And he’s just as good because his stepbrothers have seen to that.

I really liked how happy-go-lucky Drew is and how he wants to help the patients that he sees in his little private practice in town. It doesn’t matter to him whether they are human or paranormal. When he gets a case that he’s sure is an ongoing domestic abuse case, he asks Nick for his advice and to see if the woman will talk to him and try to get her some help. When the boyfriend shows up, it all goes to hell.

But will the close call be enough to help Nick see that a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of? You’re just going to have to read the book to find out. I’m not going to tell you. But it was definitely worth reading. And I can’t wait until the next book in the series.

***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

Review: “Night of the Living Manny ” by Julia Talbot

TITLE: Night of the Living Manny
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal; Mystery / Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 210 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 5, 2018
PRICE: $4.999 e-book / $9.99 paperback

BLURB:

Something besides love is growing….
Manny Brenden Torrance is good at his job. He’s dealt with all sorts of children and parents, but he’s never met anyone as intriguing as Liam Whitehouse. Liam is a scientist with three kids, whose job is keeping him away from home more and more. That’s where Brenden steps in to help.
Liam has secrets, though. He’s working on a project for a pharmaceutical lab that could change disease management. Or destroy it. While he and Brenden start a romance they both want to continue, things at Liam’s job come to a head, and suddenly the whole family of Dad, manny, three kids, and a big drooly dog is on the run from the one thing that might keep Brenden and Liam apart. And infect the world.


Brenden Torrance is an experienced manny. He loves his job and the kids. When his agency sends him to help a single dad with three kids, Brenden couldn’t help but being attracted by the sexy Liam.

Liam is a brilliant scientist overwhelmed by his job and his kids, so he needs Brenden’s help.
These two men will fall for each other, but when a mortal virus is released, Liam and Brenden will have to find a way to keep their family and humanity safe before finding their way to each other.

I adored this book.

Brenden is smart, adorable, patient and kind. He loves his job, he loves taking care of a family, and he’s a good care-taker. He didn’t plan to fall for Liam, but it happens, and Brenden doesn’t back up, even when the worst happens, he stays and fights.
Liam is brilliant, very smart, funny and a really good father. He’s lost between his job and his three kids, so he tries his best, but can’t be everywhere. He welcomes Brenden into his family and heart happily. But when problems come, and the life of his children and humanity are at risk, Liam becomes a super survivalist/scientist.

This book was great. I was totally hooked from the beginning. I didn’t expect this actually.

I love manny books. It’s something that comforts me and puts a smile on my lips all day. It’s an easy read for me since I know what I’m going to read: A single dad lost, a super-hot manny coming to help, a beautiful love story with a happy ending. So that was what I expected with this book … Imagine my surprise when I understood that wasn’t that kind of manny books … it was better!
The plot starts like that, hot daddy meeting hot manny, and then … the zombies come. Yes, zombies! And the guys are on the run with three kids and a dog, and they have to find a cure. I ADORED THIS!

Besides the writing was good and dynamic, so there were no boring moments. I was hooked on the story and couldn’t stop my reading until I finished the book.

It was like reading the Von Trapp Family in “The Sound of Music” (minus the music parts) meeting the Madison Clark’s family in “Fear The Walking Dead” (minus the super gory parts), you mixe everything and you end up with Night of a Living Manny.

I highly and happily recommend this book.

5 OptimuMMs for my Von-Clark family

***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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