Review: “My Fair Captain” by J.L. Langley

TITLE: My Fair Captain
AUTHOR: J.L. Langley
SERIES: Sci-Regency
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Tiferet Design
LENGTH: 244 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback


When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.
A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.
As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.
First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., June 2007

I have to start by telling you that this is one of my favorite series. This was the second time I had the pleasure to read this first installment of the series.

My first time was not so long after I discovered MM. Still fighting to accept myself, these books helped me more in the process. I always loved Regency romances, me being a hopeless (full) romantic by heart. So this combined with the Sci-Fi genre—that’s another genre I like so much—was a win-win-win situation.

In this world, Regelence is a Regency society where the virtue of the young lords is protected. (Back when I was reading MF only, never even imagined the existence of MM, I always wondered why men’s virtue was value as less. Why only young girls, even now, virtue is so precious while young boys are “forced” to engage in those activities when they lose their purity at a fragile age. (Ok, ok, I may be a bit of conservative here … but just bear with me). Loving these two genera combination, I was very easily lost in the first book.

Nate is the captain of Lady Anna, a war battle spaceship, and he’s instructed to go to Regelence to investigate some missing armory. His admiral asked him to use his title as the heir of Earl, a title he resigned from years back when after a duel he was forced to leave his planet and his family behind joining IN. Now he’s a guest of King Steven, his Consort, and their five sons. Nate brings his adopted fifteen-year-old son with him, Trouble. You have to love this brat!

Aiden is an artist. He’s rarely aware of his surroundings when he’s lost in his art. Being a prince and having responsibilities was never a pleasure of his or his brothers. They always try to find a way to get some free time from the countless balls, the endless string of young men courting them, and the ever-present chaperone. Aidan’s virgin, but the idea that one day he will have to have a consort, a consort who will rule his life, let’s just say is not a thing he desires. Until he meets Nate. His body starts to behave in unbelievable manners, manners that are not fitted to a young prince.

I must say I love this series!!!! I already know the outcome because I’d read it before, but I can’t wait for book two! I’m itching to take book two and read it, but I promised myself to not do that until Dreamspinner Press publishes the sequel to this series.

I highly, very highly recommend to all of you!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Roughnecks and Butterflies” by Meraki P. Lyhne

TITLE: Roughnecks and Butterflies
AUTHOR: Meraki P. Lyhne
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
LENGTH: 185 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 18, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book


Straight out of college, Ethan scored a coveted job on the mining planet Ore 5. So how the hell did he ended up working in a strip club?
What should have been the start of a life with lots of money, a prestigious job, and adventures in space, quickly turned sour as the promised job got downsized while Ethan was in route to Ore 5. Now there, he doesn’t even have enough money for the return ticket to Earth.
Stuck in the outskirts of the housing for the miners, he quickly finds that his usual standards are impossible to uphold. A new coworker opens up a new world to him, and in this world, the center of gravity is a big tattooed strip club owner named Ryder.
On the outside, Ryder is a player—promiscuous and superficial. And he has no problem throwing a punch if patrons get too frisky with his dancers. But he has hidden a side of himself since he came to Ore 5.
Both Ethan and Ryder see themselves differently from what others see. One is a body-conscious, chubby accountant—the other is a sex-symbol who has become the center of attention of every gay man on the planet—even a few straight ones who want to prove they are man enough to win the challenge.
They have one thing in common, but will their differences keep them too far apart?

This is an exciting new space opera series of Meraki P. Lyhne.
The story starts with Ethan waking up after two years of traveling in deep space in cyro-sleep, and he finds out that the company that had contracted him for a top accountant position had downsizing six months before his arrival. So now he finds himself on Ore5, a mining planet, with no job. Worse of all, the apartment that was promised to him was changed to an outskirt-area, one-room apartment with a communal shower.

Ethan is insecure about his looks because he’s a little chubby. His past experiences with his father and his ex-boyfriend leave him vulnerable and very introverted. He also realizes that he doesn’t have enough money to get back to Earth with all his belongings, so he needs to stay and find a job.

Ryder is the owner of a very famous club in the North part of the Ore5. The neighborhood is infamous and it’s where all the miners aka Worms come to have a good time. Ryder is a dancer, but he rarely performs. His outer facade is contrary how he feels inside. When unfortunate-fortunate events bring Ethan to his club, the club that’s in need of a good accountant, fate seems to have brought more than Ryder was hoping for.

Ethan is mesmerized by Ryder’s smoldering looks while Ryder’s watching another dancer, and he wishes to be the focus of such attention. But he’s smarter than to get his hopes up, so silently, and from afar, he allows himself to admire Ryder.
Both Ethan and Ryder live in their own cocoon…but will they be strong enough to come out and fly?

I really enjoyed this read, and I’m hoping to have my hands on the next installment of the series as soon as possible!

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Rule of Thirds” by Aidan Wayne

TITLE: Rule of Thirds
AUTHOR: Aidan Wayne
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Jennifer Vance
GENRE: Sci-fi; MMM
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 17, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback


A traumatic past doesn’t have to mean not having a future.
When Jason Diovardi, military elite, is removed from active duty after failing too many psych evals, he has only one goal in mind: get back into the field. It’s all he knows and all he thinks he’s good for, which is why he grudgingly accepts two live-in AI Companions to help him begin to recover from his severe PTSD. Chase and Shade are a matched pair, and Jason hopes they’ll keep each other distracted enough to leave him alone so he can go through the motions and be cleared for fieldwork.
Jason doesn’t expect to actually get better, and the progress he makes with his patient and caring Companions sneaks up on him—and so do unexpected feelings between the three of them. Now Jason might even be able to admit to being happy. But has he healed enough to allow himself to accept what Chase and Shade are offering?
Hope. Love. A reason to live.

I loved Rule of Thirds by Aidan Wayne. This is the first time I have read a book by Aidan Wayne, but it won’t be the last. The author sucked me in with the blurb and the yummy cover, and the story didn’t disappoint. I was hooked from the first line and read the story straight through into the wee hours of the morning. The story is about Jason Diovardi who is a military elite that has been removed from active duty after failing too many psych evaluations. He has PTSD and part of his recovery is being assigned a live-in AI Companion. The only thing on Jason’s mind is to go through the motions and be cleared for fieldwork.

In this futuristic world, Artificial Intelligence has evolved into independent sentient beings, and a lot of them have been trained as live-in caregivers or special-needs assistance companions for people who have PTSD. For Jason, this means somebody that will help him with his touch aversion and lashing out at people and hurting them when he’s startled or having a flashback and also making him meals and making sure that he eats and goes to his appointments. During his appointment with the Delegate for the companions, Jason finds out that there is a bonded pair which matches his needs. Jason hopes that if he takes the matched pair that they’ll keep each other distracted enough to leave him alone so he can go through the motions and be cleared for fieldwork.

Chase and Shade are a bonded pair of Companions. However, during one of his companion assignments, Shade had gotten reprogrammed into thinking and acting like a loyal dog. Chase was his savior, and they ended up bonding over the incident and recovery. Shade will never be like he was before the tampering with his programming but Chase loves him for who he is now not who he used to be. With Shade’s enhanced abilities like hearing, sense of smell, and empathy, he is able to read Jason’s body language and feelings that he keeps hidden. Which really helps with his recovery. As they help Jason with his recovery and he starts to open up and work through his issues, Chase and Shade end up falling in love with Jason, and they want to propose a permanent human-android bond.

But as Jason gets better, he’s given more duties from his work like training recruits and getting them ready for fieldwork. Which puts him closer to his goal, going back into active duty. But now that he has two people that he cares about, he isn’t sure if risking his life again in active duty is what he wants to do anymore. Will he choose active duty or the loves of his life?
This story was a great look into the mind of a man who has PTSD. I liked getting to see how he sees himself and why he does some of the things that he does. I also loved Chase and Shade and how they didn’t pressure Jason to do anything but just became a part of Jason’s life and snuck into his heart. I hope that the author writes more books like this one. I would love for this to become a series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Exodus” by CC Bridges

TITLE: Exodus
AUTHOR: CC Bridges
SERIES: Heaven Corp
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 27, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback


The truth could lead to war.
Henry “Hank” Abraham enjoys being one of the most sought-after personalities in Heaven. Life is good in the floating city for someone born to one of the wealthy and influential Founding Families. Hank parties with the privileged and beds someone different every night, flouting the morality laws that control the lives of the common people on the city’s lower levels. Then someone tries to kill him—repeatedly. Terrorists have Hank in their crosshairs, and his long disinterest in politics has come home to roost.
Ian Caldwell has been a security guard for the Abraham family for years. He survives the hypocrisy by sneaking away to the BDSM clubs on Earth to feed his baser desires. When he’s assigned to protect Hank, Ian pushes his attraction for his client aside. That kind of thing could get him reprogrammed. But he doesn’t count on actually falling for a man who isn’t as shallow and self-absorbed as he seems. Neither of them is prepared for the truth behind the attacks. Their journey will take them from Heaven to hell and beyond… and it might bring the tension between the classes to a violent head at last.
Second Edition
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, March 2014.

If you’ve read the first book in this series, then you’ll already be familiar with Ian and Hank. However, you don’t have to read the first book to be able to read this one as it’s written as a complete stand-alone. Although we do get to meet some of the characters from book one, this story is about how Ian and Hank first met and how their relationship began, so when we come across the other characters, it’s like meeting them for the first time.

Hank Abraham is a privileged socialite who lives with his family in Heaven. Hank is a rule breaker and likes to see how far he can push boundaries. He’s known for being a bit of a playboy, and whether it’s a man or woman in his bed, it’s all the same to him. As he’s the youngest child and not the heir to the family’s business, whatever he does, no matter how wrong, is usually ignored by everyone around him, even those in power. When Hank wakes up after a one-night stand with a woman he met in a club the night before, he tries to do his usual, which is sneak out before the other person notices. But as he goes to leave, his family security guard, Ian, is waiting outside the window in a vehicle for him. Again, Ian is the only member of security to successfully track down Hank when he was trying not to be found. As they pull away from the building, there’s a large explosion in the room Hank has just left from, which leaves him shaken up and confused. Ian is then assigned as Hank’s personal security by Hank’s mother, as he’s the only person that Hank seems to listen to. When another couple of incidents occur, Hank realises that it’s not just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that someone is actually trying to kill him. With the help and expertise of Ian, they just need to try and figure out who and why?

Ian Caldwell grew up in Heaven, although in the lower levels of the 360’s. So although his life has been hard at times, it’s definitely not been as bad as the people from down below. Ian has always known that he was attracted to men, and in Heaven, this goes against all of their morality laws. The fact that Ian is also into BDSM and a Dom means that no one around him can ever find out about his personal life or he’d be taken to get his memories wiped and reprogrammed by the angels. Ian has worked for the Abraham family for many years, and although the youngest, Hank, can be hard to deal with, Ian always seems to be able to outsmart him, it’s an added bonus that Ian also finds him to be very attractive. And more often than not, his thoughts when around Hank turn to how he would like to have him over his knee, punishing him for flouting the rules. When Ian and Hank are forced to be together for an extended period of time due to attempts on Hank’s life, Ian finds himself becoming more and more attracted to Hank and the person he is behind his public persona. When Ian is unwittingly followed by Hank to the Downside and his BDSM club, and is then framed for something he didn’t do, he realises that to save both their lives and reputations, he’s going to have to make deals with the enemy and give up his valued privacy.

I really liked this book, even though I found it to be a little slow to start. I enjoyed getting to know the back-story of Hank and Ian, as I really liked them in book one. But it was quite strange to almost go backward from the first book instead of forwards. And from where they’re at as a couple at the end of this book and where we see them in book one, it still seems like there’s a lot missing. Even so, it was a very well written and entertaining story, that kept my full attention the whole way through. At the end of the book, there’s a little sneak peak of book three in the series, and I’m going to fully admit, I didn’t read it. I prefer the experience of finding out the storyline/plot of a book when I pick it up for the first time.

Personally, I don’t want to see the first few pages or chapter of the next book at the end of the one I’m reading, to me, it spoils it a little. But I will definitely be reading book three when it becomes available because this series has been so much better than I could have ever imagined. Also, if like me, you’ve recently watched and enjoyed Altered Carbon on Netflix, then this book will be right up your street.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Lander” by J. Scott Coatsworth

TITLE: Lander
AUTHOR: J. Scott Coatsworth
SERIES: The Oberon Cycle
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Sci-fi
LENGTH: 294 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2018
PRICE: $6.99– e-book/ $16.99 – paperback


Sometimes the world needs saving twice.

In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.

Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander’s kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.

In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?.

We, at OptimuMM,  decide to host time to time a guest reviewer.
So please welcome KristyAnne Norton and her amazing review of Lander by J. Scott Coatsworth:

I have only read a hand full of Sci-Fi books. I tend to lean more toward the paranormal genre. So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Skythane. I took a chance and requested an ARC copy. I was completely hooked. I had some questions at the end of the book and was glad that I had the next one to follow it up with.

In the first book, we meet Quince. I love her strength and tenacity. It thrills me beyond belief when authors write strong female characters. That woman has a plan and the brass to accomplish it. She brings two men together against all the odds and fights to keep them on the path to save the two halves of a world.

Xander is a stubborn man who’s had a nasty past and is trying to survive with his head and heart intact. He does not trust easily and getting him to open his heart is an almost painful thing to watch. Jameson is fighting to find his true self and find his strength amongst his own people. He knows he has to give up everything that made him Jameson in order to be the king he’s destined to be.

There are a few characters that surfaced at the end of Skythane that you will meet in Lander. The Queens strength will be tested as she and Quince are reunited. Alix will have to put aside his feelings for Xander and help Jameson save his people. The story does have multiple points of view, and some readers do have a problem with that, but it honestly did not bother me. The book flowed, and with a book that has so many pieces moving and characters facing their own challenges, it was necessary.

I did have a problem with so many side characters coming and going as the book moved along. I would forget who was who and how they came to be. But I think that had more to do with me being so engrossed in the plot that if a character wasn’t screaming for attention, I would overlook them. The ending of Lander leaves us with another cliffhanger, and I do wish I had more answers than questions when leaving a book.

I highly recommend this book to any Sci-Fi lover and to anyone who wants to be swept away into a fantastical world of flying angels and those willing to help them bring peace and beauty to a world worth fighting for.

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

Review edited by :  Laura McNellis