Tag: 4.5 OptimuMM’s

Review: “A King and a Pawn” by Liv Olteano

TITLE: A King and a Pawn
AUTHOR: Liv Olteano
SERIES: Leader Murders
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal; Shapeshifters
LENGTH: 234 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 17, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback


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
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal; Shapeshifters
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2015
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback


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: “Bones Bundle” by Kim Fielding

TITLE: Bones Bundle
AUTHOR: Kim Fielding
SERIES: The Bones Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Paranormal
LENGTH: 573 pages
RELEASE DATE: Jun 10, 2016
PRICE: $9.99 -e-book


Skinny, quiet hipster Dylan Warner just wants to live a normal life—despite being a werewolf—but when he buys an isolated farmhouse, it comes with more adventure than he anticipated! In Good Bones, Dylan’s sexy neighbor Chris Nock helps Dylan renovate the house, but how can Dylan reveal his furry secret? In Buried Bones, a brand-new relationship is hard enough to handle, but the appearance of a ghost and Chris’s dad threaten to bring Dylan and Chris’s relationship toppling. In The Gig, a chance encounter introduces Dylan and Chris to Drew Clifton and Travis Miller of Speechless. In Bone Dry, artist Ery Phillips is house-sitting for Dylan and Chris when a strange—and beautiful—man appears by the pond and inspires his muse.

This my first official review of a bundle. When it comes to rating a bundle, there are so many things that the reviewer must keep in mind, and can be tricky more often than not. In my honest opinion, you can’t make an average value because that will not do right for some of the books of a bundle.

So, in this case, I’m going to rate the emotions that this bundle gave to me.

The first two books is about Dylan and Chris.

Wow guys, I really enjoyed this read mostly the first book.
A couple of years ago, Dylan was bitten by Andy, a former lover of his, and now at every full moon, Dylan turns into a very aggressive werewolf. He is an architect, so he’s secured his home as much as he could to keep himself trapped during his transformations. The hunger he’s experiencing is madding, and after every shift, he finds his place turned apart.
Then when he barely makes to home in one of the full moon evenings, with the help of his brother’s nudging, he decides to move somewhere out of the city but not so far for him that commuting would be a problem.
Dylan doesn’t know that his new house will come with a redneck neighbor, who is not only the nephew of the former owner, but also a handyman.
Things go pretty well at first. Dylan hires Chris and sparks fly. But Dylan’s past seemed to find him even in this remote part of the world.
Chris is thee opposite of what Dylan is. He’s not dumb, but his manners are raw, and he freely shares his opinion as he sees it. I love Chris’ no bs attitude.
Dylan finds the strength to fight his insecurites from Chris’ confidence when Chris hands all of himself to Dylan intimately.
Now I have to open a parenthesis to let you in on my opinion when it comes to power plays. It’s not very often I read a well-balanced book like this! I was washed away by the smooth change of power between these two. Dylan’s aggressiveness/insecurities and Chris’s confidence/strength/the ability to let go. The reading was so smooth that you don’t struggle with sudden changes in character behavior.

While in the first book we see these two become one, in the second book the past of both shows its head perturbing Dylan and Chris’s life together. We go more into the paranormal world, learning about new species in Kim’s world. The second book is followed by a short story, a story told not by our MC’s point of view.

And here comes the hard part. While I enjoyed the first three books of the series, this book was a struggle. A nix, a water spirit… guys it’s not my thing, so I don’t want to write much about it because I really can’t. For me, it’s a shallow read, like a very shallow read. So my rating doesn’t contain this book actually. And if it would be a separate read bought by me, it would be probably a DNF.

But that said guys, you need to read Dylan and Chris and even Ery’s and Karl’s story.

Have fun!

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

Review edited by :

Review: “Love in Spades” by Charlie Cochet

TITLE: Love in Spades
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet
SERIES: Four Kings Security
GENRE: Contemporary Romance; Mystery/Suspense
LENGTH: 300 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2018
PRICE: $ -e-book / $ -paperback


Ex-Special Forces soldier Anston “Ace” Sharpe is fighting a different battle these days—one involving the world of private security across the state of Florida. As part owner of Four Kings Security, Ace and his fellow Kings tackle everything from armed transport and investigations to cyber intelligence and executive protection. Cocky, fearless, and brash, Ace isn’t afraid to take risks.
After years of working alongside his father, Colton Connolly is ready to take the helm at Connolly Maritime, but his father’s retirement is put on hold when Colton begins receiving death threats. If that isn’t bad enough, his father signs a contract with Four Kings Security to provide Colton with round-the-clock protection, despite his adamant refusal. Colton’s life has been turned upside down, the last thing he needs is a shadow, especially in the form of infuriating, sexy-as-sin Ace Sharpe, who seems to be on a mission to drive Colton mad.
Sparks fly the moment Colton and Ace meet on a sultry night club dance floor. But getting involved with a client, even one as fiery and beautiful as Colton Connolly, is a line Ace is unwilling to cross. Colton might be attracted to Ace, but he’d been burned before. He might be willing to put his life in Ace’s hands, but not his heart.
As the Florida nights heat up, so does their passion, and Ace and Colton are faced with a difficult choice—take the plunge and risk it all, or play it safe and walk away?
If Ace can keep a deadly threat from robbing Colton of a future….

Here we go! A new journey promised by Charlie Cochet with her Kings…Four Kings Security, the company owned by King, Ace, Red, and Lucky but the team has more members than this four. They are all brothers-in-arms, ex-marines and after a tragic event, they decided to stick together and make their own way to success.

Now Four Kings Security is one of the most prestigious security company in states. Their clientele is high elites, multibillionaire clients, VIPs, actors, models etc. Everybody wants them for their professional, high tech equipment and sense of moral and duty toward their customers.

When Colton Connolly’s father approaches Four Kings Security, he is in need of protection for his only son, the heir of his Maritime company. Colton is out and proud, and his father couldn’t be more proud and supportive of his son. The homophobic treats he’s getting, worries his father to a no end.
Colton has a different opinion about this. He’s is not happy that his father went behind his back and signed a contract with the Kings, a contract that only his father could end.
Colton likes to be in control of his life, for reasons you will find out reading this book.

Anston Sharpe aka Ace, is an outgoing, cheerful guy, who takes his job seriously and also his style that drives King crazy. His non-conventional methods are famous, but despite all of that, he seems to be one of the most efficient on his team.
He’s assigned to this case, after a major “run down” with some thugs who tried to steal from their clients. All Miami Vice style.
He’s warned by Colton’s father that his son can be a bit strong-headed when it comes to his freedom. Ace is confident he could manage Colton, him also being strong-headed (read: real asshole).

Their first encounter is epic, leaving both men breathless.
Ace never felt like this before, he knows he needs to keep as much emotional and physical distance as he can from Colton. That seems a futile effort on his part. Colton is acting out, hates that his life is in the hands of Ace, who irritates him and turns him on at the same time.

We already know Charlie’s men, funny strong and also a bit “girlish”. I enjoyed reading this book as much as I did THIRDS (well, when we talk about Charlie Cochet it’s inevitable mentioning the guys now, isn’t it?). We also already know the MC’s of the next book, but I’m not spoiling!

Guys I recommend this book, if you liked THIRDS you would enjoy this series just as much!

***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: “Summer Ride” by Susan Laine

TITLE: Summer Ride
AUTHOR: Susan Laine
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Tiferet Design
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 112 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 30, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book


High school best friends Toby Billings and Jim Maverick went their separate ways after graduation. Five years later, they meet by chance. Toby needs a ride, and Jim offers to give him one.
During a journey across several states, with stops at roadside diners, state parks, and cheap motels, small talk turns to serious discussions of lives that didn’t turn out the way either of them dreamed. Their choices are catching up to them, and neither is on an innocent summer vacation. Renewing their friendship will mean painful admissions and secrets coming to light. Yet they discover they have more in common now than they ever guessed, and going their separate ways at the trip’s end won’t be easy.
After aimlessly wandering the country, all roads lead back home. But first they must decide what home means.

Summer Ride was a cute little friends to lovers story that had me laughing out loud at times, but also needing a cold shower at others. It’s a story that definitely kept me entertained and stimulated throughout.

Toby and Jim were best friends in high school, but since graduation, they haven’t seen or spoken to each other at all. Now aged twenty-three, they meet out-of-the-blue at a bus station where Toby was waiting and that Jim just happened to stop at while passing in his car. When the two men connect again and discuss what they’ve been doing with their lives and where they’re heading, Jim offers Toby the chance to join him on his journey, even though neither of them has a plan as to where they’re actually going. Along the journey, they discuss their memories and fall into the comfortable and easy relationship they once had. But there’s one big difference between now and when they were teenagers. Both of them are now out and proud gay men, even though they don’t know/realise it about each other. When they talk about their reasons for escaping their lives for however long they’ll be staying on the road, they discover that their lives aren’t as perfect as everyone would believe. And if they have any chance of being happy in the future, then they’re going to have to head back home and face up to their problems. But as the attraction and lust grow, and feelings of more than friendship develop between them, parting again isn’t going to be as simple or painless as they thought.

I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and had a good pace and flow. The characters were very likeable, and I couldn’t help forming an attachment to them. Toby and Jim also made a great couple. There was a lot of chemistry between them which I think was mainly due to their close friendship. An extra bonus was that it meant the sex between them was pretty damn hot too. All I’ll say is be prepared for chapter twenty and the dirty talk; you may need a few minutes to get yourself together before continuing. *wink*

My only criticism of the story is that some of the vocabulary used didn’t feel like it fit with the characters. Toby and Jim didn’t come across as being only twenty-three. Even though I knew that was their age, I couldn’t help but think of them being a lot more mature. I would put them more at late twenties to early thirties. So when they called each other “bruh” it just seemed awkward and out of place. But it really is only a small issue and may not bother you as much.

This book is perfect for when you’re having a lazy day and want a good story, but not something that’s heavy with emotion or angst. I would definitely recommend it because there’s a pretty high chance I’ll be reading it again myself.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

%d bloggers like this: