Review: “The 17-Year-Old Itch” by MJ O’Shea

TITLE: The 17 Year Old Itch
SERIES: Coconut Cove
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 80 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 17, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book


An old conflict boils up behind the scenes of Coconut Cove.
The popular show is about to start filming its second season, and Tony Adams is happy to return to sunny Key West and his role as innocent Joey… mostly. Being back on set also means facing Casey. They had indulged in a scorching behind-the-scenes tryst during season one, but it ended in heartache for Tony. It still hurts.
When they return to Key West, nothing has changed. Casey takes his role as hot dad a little too far and can’t seem to remember that Tony isn’t the teenager he plays on TV. Tony’s tired of being Casey’s dirty little secret—he’s more than man enough for a real adult romance—and draws a line in the sand. Either Casey acknowledges him and their relationship publicly, or he’s calling it off between them.

Book four in the Coconut Cove series is the story of Tony and Casey. We’ve seen them throughout the series in various parts, and the authors have hinted at some turmoil between the two, but now we finally get their book. The book is once again set in Key West, Florida and is taking place during the filming of the second season of the television show Coconut Cove that both characters star in.

With Tony’s character, I had to go back and try to get a feel for him because this book was a little difficult to grasp in terms of who Tony actually is. I know by now he’s tired of being labeled as adorable and cute. His attitude in the book was of a scorned lover, so there wasn’t much else about his personality that I really saw.

Casey is the older man in this book. He’s told Tony that he can’t be with him but never explained why. Casey wants Tony but doesn’t want Tony. He has reasons, but it takes to the end of the book before we find out and then it was pretty anticlimactic.

The heat was good in the book during the moment. I wish I got more from the characters. I’m not sure why we needed the scenes from the show in this book. They didn’t tie anything together or really add anything to the entirety of the book. As a couple, these weren’t my favorite, but I am looking forward to reading more of the series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Alpha Unit One, New York” by Chris T.Kat

TITLE: Alpha Unit One, New York
AUTHOR: Chris T.Kat
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Cate Ashwood
GENRE: Shapeshifter; Paranrmal; Fantasy
LENGTH: 161 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jul 27, 2018
PRICE: $5.99 e-book


The cat’s out of the bag….
In a world that accepts shifters as normal and thinks nothing of human/shifter couples, baby shifters and small shifters are treated as subpar. They are not allowed into the more dangerous professions, and their mates have legal control over what they can and cannot do.
Nicholas Reed is about to challenge the established rules. At twenty-eight, Nick has just been accepted into New York’s Alpha Unit One—an elite law enforcement team, composed equally of humans and shifters, that specializes in drug crimes. It is Nick’s dream job. But if they find out what he’s hiding, his career could be destroyed.
Enter a huge complication in the form of Sam Black, an older lion shifter who is the leader of the unit… and Nick’s mate. Nick wants Sam, and he wants to keep his job, but he can’t have them both. He also can’t choose between them.

Nicholas Reese is 28 years-old. He dreams to be a cop and especially a member of the Alpha Unit One. It’s a unit where humans and shifters work together. Nicholas decides to enter this unit as human and does everything in his power to keep his secret safe, but he didn’t plan to meet his true mate in the person of Sam Black an alpha lion shifter and his boss.
They will have to decide what they really want if they want a chance of a future together.

Alpha Unit One, New York is my first book by the author Chris T Kat. I liked this book.

In a world where humans and shifters are equals and live together, the baby shifters aren’t really free to do what they want. Baby-shifters are humans who can shift into the baby’s form of their animal, no matter their ages or sizes. When they’re in this form, they act like little child, so humans and shifters (the adult ones) decided that the baby-shifters can’t have dangerous work (like being a cop) and when they mate, their mates have all power, decisions and responsibilities over them.

Nicholas is an adult, he’s 28 years old. But when he shifts, he becomes a baby snow leopard and that’s where the problem is. He’s a good cop, strong, and mature, but because of his shifted form, people think he’s a kid who needs to be protected. Mating Sam scares him because he refuses to lose his job, but he can’t resist his pull for Sam too. I adore Nick, he’s strong, mature, very smart and super cute. When he shifts he’s just so cute. His shifted form, named Tiny, is so adooooooorable I wanted to put him in my pocket and never let him go.

Sam is an older Lion shifter. He’s strong, fierce, loyal, very protective and hot, like super-hot and I want to do things to him that I can’t really write right now! Sam doesn’t freak out about Nick’s secret, but all his protective instincts kick in, and he tried to protect his baby-mate, even if he’d be hurting him in the process. I sooo love Sam.

I really liked this book. I was afraid when I read the blurb that the book would be a copy of the “Thirds” series by Charlie Cochet, but it wasn’t at all. Yes, it’s a world where shifters and humans live together, and yes, it’s about a unit where shifters and humans are partners, but it ends there. The plot, the characters, the particularities of this universe, are different from the other series, and it was original and pretty good in Alpha Unit One, New York.

I don’t know if it’s the beginning of a series, so I’m torn, let me explain. If it’s the beginning of a series, this book put just all the ingredients for a good series. The main characters, the plot and subplot, and the background are all introduced in the book but not thoroughly, and it’s okay for me because it mean I will learn more about Sam and Nick, their dynamics, their world in the next books. If it’s just a standalone, well, it was good but too superficial for me.

Anyway, if you like a good universe with shifters and humans, I recommend this book, it’s a pleasurable read. And I do hope to have another one (me? greedy? … Naan)

3.5 Stars for The King Lion and his baby prince!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Meet Me in Shanghai” by Luca Domani

TITLE: Meet Me in Shanghai
AUTHOR: Luca Domani
SERIES: World of Love
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 62 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2018
PRICE: $ 3.99– e-book


What are the odds of meeting your perfect match in a city of twenty-four million people—halfway around the world?
Software engineer Jeff has never set foot outside North America when his company sends him to Shanghai. It’s daunting to say the least, and Jeff is soon lost. He’s rescued by Chinese American banker Greg—a man who immediately sparks Jeff’s desire. But in a city so large and chaotic, what are the chances that they’ll bump into each other again?
When they do, a vigorous friendship forms despite Greg’s devotion to his high-powered—and high-stress—career. Both men want more, but Greg never takes things further, and Jeff’s time in China is running out. Soon he has only one night left. Will it be a last night together as friends… or the beginning of something that can last despite the distance between them?

This book is part of Dreamspinner Press’s World of Love series. It’s a short Contemporary romance that takes place in Shanghai, China. It is written from one character’s point of view. I’ve never read any books from this series, so I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t very moved by it. The storyline was good. I really did love all the descriptions as the characters explored the city. The problem I had most with the story was the characters.

Jeff is heading to Shanghai, China for his job. He’s never left the US before, and his coworker that was set to accompany him backed out at the last minute. When he arrives in Shanghai, he’s definitely way out of his depth. He has a crazy taxi ride on his way to the hotel that I could definitely relate too. His first day heading to his temporary office, he gets turned around. Luckily, he’s saved by a fellow American, and businessman Greg. Jeff is a very complicated character. I really liked him until he met Greg. Jeff is only in Shanghai for two weeks, and as soon as he meets Greg, he becomes a love-struck teenager. He was extremely difficult to read at times.

Greg is a businessman from California who has been living in Shanghai for the past ten years. He knows he works too much, and relationships are pretty nonexistent. His parents have put a lot of pressure on him to settle down and have a family. He hasn’t come out to them in fear of their reaction. He runs into a fellow American when the man seems lost. He sets the man on the right course. There wasn’t much depth to Greg as a character. He was more like a secondary character instead of a main character.

This book was a short, so I understand that there’s only so much depth an author to dive into. However, this book focused more on the descriptions and the life happening around the main characters than what was actually going on with the characters as a whole.

I would really like to read some of this author’s more extensive work.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings” by Joe Cosentino

TITLE: Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings
AUTHOR: Joe Cosentino
SERIES: Cozzi Cove
PUBLISHER: Joe Cosentino
COVER ARTIST: Fred Wolinsky
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 225 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book $4.99 / $14.99 -paperback


It’s summertime, the perfect season for another trip to Cozzi Cove: the magical place where nothing is what it seems, and romance is always in the sea air.
Welcome back to hunky Cal Cozzi’s seven guest bungalows on the New Jersey Shore. This summer Cal is visited by Kevin Donovan, a handsome man from his past who makes Cal a tempting offer to buy Cozzi Cove and provide financial security to Cal and Michael’s baby. Cal’s Wall Street sister, Taylor, has hopped aboard Kevin’s green wagon. However, Cal’s husband, Michael, and Taylor’s wife, Carla, sense something much deeper in Kevin’s offer than meets the roving eye. Cal’s exhibitionist new houseboy, Carlos, is smitten with Cal’s sweet-faced nanny, Alfred, who carries a shocking secret in his magic Mormon underwear. Middle-aged Matchmaker Gilead has matched guests Marine Master Sergeant Matt Pummel and much younger businessman Keone Paoa to the chagrin of cute young lawyer Luis Lui. As skeletons come out of their closets, the bears and cubs search for their true honey. Woodsy guest Nyx Oberon meets a sexy werewolf at the cove and they share a howling moonlit night. Nyx believes his newfound lover could be part of a much larger plan that would change his life and the world forever.
Will Cal, his family, and his guests have happy endings? It’s Cozzi Cove after all.

This book takes place in Cozzi Cove on the New Jersey shore. It has quite a few different characters that all have their time in the spotlight. With so many different characters it’s hard to keep up with them all at times. The chapters are also told from different character’s POVs. There’s a little bit of everything in this book, and normally I wouldn’t find this to be a problem, but with this book, it’s a little overwhelming.

The story takes place at Cal Cozzi and his husband Michael Rodgers’ vacation bungalows on the Jersey Shore. Cal and Michael are the main characters of the series, and even though I’ve not read any of the other books in this series, I do find this couple delightful. Together they have a one-year-old son, C.J. I enjoyed the flirting back and forth and how they engaged with their son. When the summer starts, they bring in a nanny to assist with the toddler while Cal runs the retreat. They also have a “houseboy” who is something else. When the guests start arriving that’s where things get a bit overwhelming.

Before we get into the guests, I’d like to tackle a couple of things first. I have a few issues with the descriptions of the characters. The descriptions are very basic and more about esthetics than who the person actually is. It’s important to describe how a person looks, but it is also important to go beyond that. I didn’t feel as though I knew the characters beyond the vague outside appearance and a description of their jobs, and where they’re from like a dating site checklist.

Like I mentioned above, quite a few characters are contending for the spotlight in this book. There are a few who are coming together in hopes of finding their match from this self-imposed love guru. He swears by his methods, but things become awkward rather quickly. Along with the looking for love cast, there are a couple guests thrown together by fate for lack of a better term. A few more characters are thrown in for good measure, and they all have a part to play in this fantasy soap opera.

I did enjoy this book. The author has some great storylines and characters, but I just found this to be a little overwhelming. Too many things going on and it didn’t quite come full circle for me. I ended it with more questions than answers. I found a few of the characters endearing. I do recommend that you read the other books in the series before tackling this one. I definitely plan on it in the future. If you like a dysfunctional cast of misfits and a little paranormal mystery thrown in, then you will definitely appreciate this story.

***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: “The Scorpion and his Prey” by Charlie Richards

TITLE: The Scorpion and his Prey
AUTHOR: Charlie Richards
SERIES: Kontra’s Menagerie
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Angela Waters
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
LENGTH: 77 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 1, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 e-book


Rusty Peruke works as a mechanic and is close with his family. His wheelchair bound brother, Korvyn, lives with him, and he sends extra cash home to his parents on a regular basis. When he meets Acheron while the man is at the shop buying a set of fast wheels, Rusty is both excited and concerned—and it’s not because he’s never been with a guy. Acheron is a loner scorpion shifter who hasn’t stayed in one place since he left his family home over eight decades before. Rusty has no intention of running out on his family. To him, their needs come first. Can two polar opposites find enough common ground to build a future? Or will assumptions and miscommunications create a wall between them that’s impossible to scale?

Rusty is a mechanic who works hard to help his family and takes care of his brother Korvyn who’s in a wheelchair. Rusty is also a werecat who doesn’t have a pride, but family is important for him.

Archeron is an emperor scorpion who hasn’t had any contact with his family for the last century. He’s a loner and used to traveling a lot.
Rusty and Archeron are fated mates, and concession will have to be made.

The Scorpion and his Prey is book 24 of the Kontra’s Menagerie series by Charlie Richards.

This book can be read as a standalone. I hadn’t read the previous 23 books, but I didn’t have any difficulty following the story.
Archeron is an emperor Scorpion, so he’s smaller than his mate Rusty and looks like a twink, but Archeron is a very powerful and dominant shifter. I liked Archeron. He’s confident, dominant, sexy and very protective of Rusty.

Rusty is a quiet serval cat, and his family is very important to him. Rusty is also shy and less dominant than his mate. I liked him, and I found him very sweet.
I liked the difference between them, how Archeron, who looks like a little twink with a smaller animal, is in fact, more dangerous and dominant than Rusty.

It was a short-read but pleasurable, and I enjoyed it.
It’s a sweet snack-book like I call it. Meaning, you can read it while waiting for your appointment at the dentist for example, or while boarding for your plane, it will make the wait more pleasant.

3.5 OptimuMM’s for The Scorpion and his Kitty!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis