Review: “Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out” by Joe Cosentino

TITLE: Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out
AUTHOR: Joe Cosentino
SERIES: Cozzi Cove
PUBLISHER: Ninestar Press Ltd
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 130 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 23, 2017
PRICE: $4.98 -e-book / $12.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

It’s time for another summer of sun, sand, suntan lotion, sandals, and Speedos on Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey Shore. Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are once again open for love.
This summer, sexy Cal welcomes back his brother and sister, who are confronted with people from their pasts. Connor, the maid packed with muscle and mayhem, becomes the subject of a handsome young psychologist’s study on human sexuality. Tommy, the strapping, bald and tattooed local bartender, is captivated with guest Cory Magnum, a police officer with a secret. Another guest, Bill, a disbelieving pastor, is inspired by a vision of two sexy male angels on the cove. And Cal and Michael reach a plateau in their relationship.
What secrets, humor, tragedies, mysteries, and passions lie waiting to unfold in this magical place called Cozzi Cove?


jologooptimummCozzi Cove works its romantic magic again, in this, the third book in the series. The summer season is kicking off at the gay-friendly resort of Cozzi Cove. There’s the same awesome balance of humour and emotion in this book that I found so engaging in the first two.

Owner Cal Cozzi is ‘happily’ settled with his younger boyfriend, Michael, but Michael wants more. Cal’s half brother George is again staying in bungalow seven while their sister, Taylor, is recovering from a mild heart attack and staying in the main bungalow with Cal. Can Taylor’s oldest and dearest friend Carla persuade her to admit her feelings and come back to Cozzi Cove for good?

Taylor’s cardiologist, Aaron, is in bungalow one and he just happens to be George’s ex. Did Taylor hatch a plan to get them in the same place at the same time? There’s pain and hurt to be worked out between them but can George forgive and forget? Connor the ‘maid’ is still working at the Cove and a new guest, in bungalow three, Dr. Nastas Flowingstream, a psychology professor, has rubbed him up the wrong way right from the start. Connor grudgingly agrees to analysis sessions to help Nastas write a paper on nymphomania, but things take an unexpected twist!

There’s a strange ‘woman’, Blue Magnum, in bungalow four who seems to know all the locals but no one can quite place her. She even makes gay bar owner, Tommy, question his sexuality. Her harrowing story involves all of the local residents in some way. Pastor Bill is having a crisis of faith in bungalow two following a string of bad events in his life, that is, until he meets three ‘angels’ staying in bungalows five and six, Gabriel, Raphael and their leader, Kamael. Kamael opens Bill’s eyes to a new way of showing his faith, but will Bill give up being a minister?

Will siblings Cal, George and Taylor get over their fears of commitment? The stories of Cal and Michael, George and Aaron, and Taylor and Carla are brilliant and are cleverly described alongside those of the guests.

I loved this book, and the wonderful feel good factor it evoked. For me, it’s the best of the series so far. The characters are, again, perfect for the stories that unwind slowly and are then wound up again into ideal conclusions. The ending ties up all the residents and guests stories but leaves enough open for more. Cozzi Cove, where dreams really do come true.

 4.5 OptimuMM's

***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***

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Review: “Calvin” by Catherine Lievens

TITLE: Calvin
AUTHOR: Catherine Lievens
SERIES: Gillham Pack series
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST:Latrisha Waters
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 121 pages
RELEASE DATE: January 13, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Sometimes you have to let the fear go to welcome happiness.
Calvin was assaulted when he arrived in Gillham two months ago, after living on the streets for two years, but it wasn’t enough to dissuade him to leave the town and his new life. He never expected to be assaulted again, though, especially not by the same man.
Alex has been envious ever since both his brothers found their mates, but at only twenty-one, he never expected to find his own. He especially didn’t expect the man he rescues from a beating to be it.
Calvin and Alex have to learn to navigate their new relationship. Calvin is shy and hesitant, and Alex does his best to give him enough time to get used to his presence. They move in together—as housemates—but their fragile relationship is threatened by the appearance of a teenage brother Calvin didn’t know he had. What will this mean for Calvin and Alex’s relationship? Will Calvin finally believe Alex is in it for life, or will he let his insecurity win?


levilogooptimummAlthough this was the first book from the series I’ve read, I had no problems following the plot.
Apparently, shifters came out to the world. There’s a quite big pack in Gillham, and it’s growing. That’s where Calvin is living now after he was on the streets for two years.

Calvin’s experiences growing up in the system make him skittish, introverted and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Two months ago, he was found beaten up in an alley by a pack member, and ever since then he’s been staying with two pack members. Calvin seems to try to find his place in the pack, without any success. The only thing he knows is that he wants be stronger, to protect himself. He’s only nineteen, and he feels all alone. Then, one day, walking the Main Street of Gillham, Calvin finds himself face to face with the guys who attacked him previously. Although he was training with the pack enforcers, he gets beaten up…again.

Alex is a bat shifter. He has two older brothers and two loving parents. He’s the baby of the family, being the smallest of the brothers. He didn’t expect to find his mate yet, him being just twenty-one, but he can’t deny that he feels a little jealous of his brothers, whom now live happily with their mates. Walking with his two friends one day, they hear some “skin hitting skin” sounds, and they rush to see what’s going on. They find a boy on the ground, curled up and seemingly unconscious. After they had chased away the attackers, they approach the unconscious boy, and Alex is overwhelmed…the boy is his mate.

The story is about Calvin and Alex coming to know each other. Although Alex is full of confidence, he finds himself hesitant regarding Calvin. Alex doesn’t want to scare away his mate.

The book has only 85 pages, it’s an easy read…if you want to have a few hours to yourself and read about two youngsters mating this is definitely for you… it was for me for sure!

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

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Review: “Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward” by Joe Cosentino

TITLE: Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward
AUTHOR: Joe Cosentino
SERIES: Cozzi Cove
PUBLISHER: Ninestar Press Ltd
COVER ARTIST: Aria Tan
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 213 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2016
PRICE: $5.49 -e-book / $12.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey Shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are once again open for summer and love. The vacationers include Rodney Maxwell and Dennis O’Halloran, a Tony Award winning actor and his estranged producer/husband with their two hired studs, Jarek and Zeus. Computer analyst Sam enlists his best friend Chase in a scheme to attract hunky Raul. Middle aged Gil Van Truren wants to end it all—until he sees a vision of his first love. Cal also has his hands full with college student Michael—his new young lover—Michael’s study buddy Carlo, man of mystery George Valis, and Connor, the houseboy packed with muscles and a wondering sponge. All the while Hunter, a female gay romance novel enthusiast, experiences gay life off the page. What secrets, humor, tragedy, mysteries, and passions lie in the magical place called Cozzi Cove?


jologooptimummAnother great book from Joe Cosentino. This series is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. A year on from book one of the Cozzi Cove series, book two begins with the start of another summer season at Cal Cozzi’s gay-friendly bungalows. A new group of guests, with their troubles and secrets, arrive for the Cove to work its magic on.

The first guest to arrive is George, bungalow seven, who was born in Cozzi Cove. He’s newly single, returning in search of answers and with a big secret. Cal feels oddly at ease and attracted to George but not in a sexual way. Why is that and why does Cal feel the need to drag his sister, Taylor, back to the Cove as a result? Cal’s young boyfriend Michael has a new study partner, Carlos, and Cal’s jealous, but Michael is also jealous of the obvious attraction and friendship between Cal and George.

The next guests are Sam and Chase and their ‘straight’ friend Raul, bungalow five, but are Sam and Chase really together? Sam has a crush on Raul and is convinced he’s gay, but he also has a plan for him. Next is a straight woman, Hunter, bungalow six, who forms an instant bond with the ‘maid’, Connor when she tells him she’s an avid reader of gay romance and wants to meet, and be friends with, gay men like those in the books she loves to read. Then she meets Raul on the beach and assumes he’s gay. Will Raul and Hunter be honest with each other? Next, comes Jarek and his older boyfriend, actor Rodney, who are in bungalow one but they’re followed closely by Rodney’s ex Dennis, also his producer, and Zeus, an escort, who Dennis ‘met online’. They’re in bungalow two. But why are they here at the same resort? Arriving late is Gil, bungalow four, acting strangely. Gil has a tragic past and sees no future for himself, but his life is turned around by the couple staying in bungalow three and some memories from his past.

As with book one, book two contains an interwoven set of awesome, emotional and often funny tales about the guests and residents of Cozzi Cove. All the characters need the magic that Cozzi Cove weaves around people’s lives and its healing touch, but will they all get what they need? By the time the guests are ready to check out at the end of the week, everything will have changed for them and for some of the residents too. As with book one, I became deeply immersed in these stories and didn’t want the book to end so thank goodness there’s a book three!

 4.5 OptimuMM's

***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***

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Review: “Midnight Black and Blue” by H. Beryl

TITLE: Midnight Black and Blue
AUTHOR: H. Beryl
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Angela Water
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 40 pages
RELEASE DATE: Auguts 16, 2016
PRICE: $2.37 -e-book
  

BLURB:

Ned needed extra money to pay his way through the dance school he had fought so long to get accepted into because the scholarship only paid for the school itself. He found good money dancing at night in a club, introducing the crowd to someone who could really perform.
It was all fine until he met a bouncer who drove a big Harley. Sex was mind blowing, but Ned’s life didn’t have time for love or quick sex and anger was his protection as he danced.on as he danced.


Quaint and fun short read.
Aaron Black was helping a friend out as a bouncer at a club, and he had thought he had seen dirty dancing until a kid trained as a classical dancer took the stage.
Ned needed extra money to pay his way through the dance school he had fought so long to get accepted into because the scholarship only paid for the school itself. He found good money dancing at night in a club, introducing the crowd to someone who could really perform. It was all fine until he met a bouncer who drove a big Harley. Sex was mind blowing, but Ned’s life didn’t have time for love, or quick sex and anger was his protection as he danced.

This short story was quite the read. It brought you into the real world of how people sometimes have to sacrifice a bit of themselves in order to make their dreams come true. Blue did this but stuck to his guns on how this sacrifice would be under his control until a certain Mr. Black walks into to picture as a security guard. Mr. Black was not even his type but being ignored by this big, leather wearing and sexy man was unacceptable. Blue wanted him and would have him. Neither one knew what would happen once they had each other, but at least Blue knew he wanted more.

***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***

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Review: “Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back” by Joe Cosentino

TITLE: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back
AUTHOR: Joe Cosentino
SERIES: Cozzi Cove
PUBLISHER: Ninestar Press Ltd
COVER ARTIST: Aria Tan
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 213 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2016
PRICE: $4.98 -e-book / $12.99 –paperback
  

BLURB:

On Cozzi Cove at the New Jersey shore, handsome Cal Cozzi’s seven bungalows are open for summer and love.
Mario and Harold are brothers and college students who happen to look alike, but couldn’t be more different: Mario is searching for love, and Harold is searching for lust. Josh and Greg, a wealthy older couple, are matchmakers for their son, Christopher.
When it comes to Connor, the maid, packed with muscles and a roving sponge, anything can happen. Opposites attract as wild Tim with the secret past meets shy Mark, and porn star Chuck Caliber connects with Sean, a virgin romance novelist.
And what will happen when computer-game designer Arthur has a midnight sea rendezvous with a merman? Even married Cal faces an emotional upheaval when a gay bashing turns into something quite unexpected.
What secrets and passions lie in magical Cozzi Cove?


jologooptimummCozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, by Joe Cosentino entices the reader into a myriad of stories woven around seven holiday bungalows, owned by Cal Cozzi. This book tells the stories of the guests staying at the resort for the week. Cozzi Cove turns out to be the best gay friendly place to spend a quiet week!

There’s a lot going on in this book, both characters and action, and at times it can be hard to keep up with where each story is, but trust me it’s well worth it. This book is extremely well written and all the stories are equally compelling and cleverly crafted. There are moments when, just as you think you know what’s going on, the truth emerges and turns out to be something quite different. Each resident, including Cal and his friends, has their story told and new relationships are forged from old fears and past troubles.
Cal’s guests are an amusing and heart wrenching mixed bag of people, all of whom I found irresistible in their own way. They include a discouraged porn star who falls for a virgin author, twenty years his senior, and who suffers from OCD. That particular partnership leads to a hilarious gym scene!
There are the identical twins who have issues with each other, particularly when twin Mario meets Chris who’s holidaying with his gay dads. There is the heartbreaking story of a dying man, Mark, who finds comfort with Tim, who himself has a tragic past he can’t let go of. Then there is Arthur who has a condition which means he can only go out at night. In the darkness of the cove, he meets a ‘merman’ who is not all he seems and who shares a similar affliction among other things.
Even the ‘maid’ Connor has his story as he tries to bed anyone who’ll have him, in particular Mario’s twin, Harold. Cal himself is struggling to let go of the memory of his late husband, Lance, despite the obvious affection of local barkeeper and old school friend Tommy. As his story unfolds Cal helps a young man, Michael, to get back on his feet. Michael’s brother has just committed suicide because he thinks being gay is wrong and Cal finds out Michael is also struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.
We are also introduced briefly to Cal’s, often absent, sister who has a past with the local cafe owner Carla. So many wonderful, poignant and often funny stories are told here.

There is tragedy and emotion in this book, and at times I wanted to cry or shout, but there is also a whole lot of love and plenty of humor. It’s a real roller coaster of a ride that’s finished off perfectly as the guests spend their last day at Cozzi Cove then check out to move on with their lives.

To quote Cal, “Cozzi Cove has always been a place of love and rejuvenation…” I’m hoping that ethos is continued in book two Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward!

 4.5 OptimuMM's

***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***

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