Review: “Outcast” by J.S Frankel

TITLE: Outcast
AUTHOR: J.S Frankel
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Devine Destinies
COVER ARTIST: Martine Jardin
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 217 pages
RELEASE DATE: Feb 16, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book

BLURB:

Mitch Kessler, teenage high school dropout, jobless and mostly friendless, lives a life of solitude, but not by choice. Endowed with the ability to bring wings out of his body as well as claws, and transform himself into a fierce creature of the night, he’s picked up a nickname from the general public that he hates: gargoyle.
However, that’s the least of his worries. His girlfriend, Callie, can’t keep her genders straight, his best friend is a spinning top, and his other acquaintance is made of rock. It’s obviously a government plot, but Mitch doesn’t know who’s behind it or why. Worse, various and sundry creations have now appeared out of the woodwork and are out to kill him.
Aided by his friends, the four outcasts attempt to find out who’s running the show. They’re out to stop the forces of evil before they can do more damage. That is, if they survive.


Mitch is different. He can change into a creature that looks like a gargoyle. Since he had his first change, Mitch was outcast by everyone, except his mother.
But he’s not alone, his best friend Joe is a spinning top, his girlfriend Callie can’t keep his/her gender and switches from male to female, and Neil is made of rock.
They try to be normal, to have a normal life, but people don’t trust them, they fear them and want to chase them out of their town, and worse, some weird creatures/monsters, try to kill them.
How do you live like an average teenager when you’re not? That’s what Mitch and his friends will have to figure out, if they survive.

I liked this book.

Mitch lives with his mother, spent all his free time with his best friend Joe and wants to be the new quarterback of his football team. But suddenly, he changes into a creature of the night with claws and wings, and his face changes into a kind of monster face with red eyes, and his life changes forever.
Joe is Mitch’s best friend; he also changes with him. He’s a human spinning top, he has a fast metabolism too, and he’s a great support for Mitch when they don’t argue.
Callie is born Cal. She’s born male, but she’s always felt like a girl. At sixteen, Cal changes and becomes Callie… without any treatment or surgery. Like Mitch can fly, Callie can change her gender. Great! You’d think she can finally be who she truly is, but nope, because Callie can’t keep her gender straight and can’t control her change.
Neil is the rock man. He has a human face with a rock body. Yep, rocks, stones, he eats them too.
I had a good moment with these four outcasts. I liked it a lot.

The author doesn’t write a story with super-mutants against super-villain with a lot of explosions and epic battles. In this book, we follow them, especially Mitch who tries to have a normal life. How he’s judged, excluded, and mistreated by people. How those kids are cast out. The plot is focused on Mitch and his team, and the government’s conspiracy against them in the background. I love the way the author, with this story, treated the difficult subject of the exclusion. How people can judge you, how they can hurt you because you’re different. Callie’s character express what transgender people must be feeling every day. I really like all the messages that the author put in his book.

I recommend this book for you but also for your young ones.

4 OptimuMM’s for this band of misfits.

***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: “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: “Behind the Lights” by TL Travis

TITLE: Behind the Lights
AUTHOR: TL Travis
SERIES: Social Sinners
PUBLISHER: Encompass Ink
COVER ARTIST: Rue Volley
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: –
RELEASE DATE: June 9, 2018
PRICE: $2.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Joey Hayes, Ricky “Stoli” Branson, Mickey Payne and Ethan “Diamond” Taylor are the members of the metal band Social Sinners. They’re a tight knit group. They fight like brothers, they love like brothers, they even share like brothers. When one of them hurts, they all hurt even when it comes to matters of the heart.


Behind the Lights is the first book in the Social Sinners series by TL Travis. I liked Behind the Lights. The series is going to have five books in it, but the author has stated that the first book is the only stand-alone book. I just wish that the author gave us a hint as to who the second book is going to be about. I wanted to know if the next book In the Shadows continues with the relationship that develops in the first book since the relationship doesn’t develop until the end of the book.

I liked how the story is told through Joey Hayes POV only. I did miss being inside of Ricky “Stoli” Branson’s head, but the author did a great job of showing through his actions and dialog how he was feeling, and so I don’t feel like I missed a lot of what he was feeling. Just the normal angst over having a crush on your childhood best friend and now bandmate.

I also liked how the story starts out at the end and then goes back to the beginning so that we can see how Joey and Ricky became friends and how they came out and how Joey was like an adopted son at Ricky’s house after Joey’s mom left when he was a little kid.
I liked how attending their first concert as teens set them on the path to becoming musicians and that shortly after the concert, the pair joined band class where they meet Ethan and Mick and the foursome formed the metal band, Social Sinners.

I also like the chemistry in the begging between Joey and Lucas Holt and how that lead to Joey coming out at home and to his best friend, who he found out had come out to his mom the month before but hadn’t told him yet. And like with high school love, Joey couldn’t see any of Lucas’ faults that the other people in his life could see.

I liked that Joey was oblivious to his best friend’s crush on him, even after the song that Ricky wrote about moving on. He was just a little bit clueless, but he was a loveable clueless. I’m glad that Lucas got what he deserved and that Joey was able to pull himself out of his funk before he ruined his life and that he got the man that he’d fallen in love with at the age of five but didn’t realize it until it was almost too late.

This was a great story about the journey of friendship, family dramas, coming-of-age firsts, and the rise to fame in an industry that can leave musicians tattered and torn. If you like books about heavy metal music and coming of age stories than this book is for you.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series when it comes out.

***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: “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

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