Review of: Drama Castle by Joe Cosentino

TITLE: Drama Castle
AUTHOR: Joe Cosentino
SERIES: Nicky and Noah Mystery
GENRE: Mystery / Suspense
RELEASE DATE: Feb 1, 2019


Theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing a historical film at a castle in Scotland, co-starring his spouse, theatre professor Noah Oliver, and their son Taavi. When historical accuracy disappears along with hunky men in kilts, Nicky and Noah will once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is pitching residents of Conall Castle off the drawbridge and into the moat, before Nicky and Noah land in the dungeon. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining seventh novel in this delightful series. Take your seats. The curtain is going up on steep cliffs, ancient turrets, stormy seas, misty moors, manly men, malfunctioning kilts, and murder!

Nicky, Noah, and their son, Taavi, are back for a new adventure in Scotland.
Nicky is hired by Barclay Conall, owner of Conall Castle, to realize the movie adaptation of his book. While shooting the movie, Nicky and Noah are caught in the middle of a family drama full of jealousy, dark secrets, and resentment.
When the cast starts to get murdered, Nicky and Noah have no choice but to finish the film and find out who is the murderer.
It’s not a secret that I adore Joe Cosentino’s books and writing. I was more than happy to read a new adventure of my favorite Sherlock and Holmes.

Nicky and Noah are, like usual, a fabulous team as parents, teachers, and directors. In every aspect of their life together, Nicky and Noah complete each other perfectly. When they decide to come to Scotland with their son, Taavi, their friends Martin and Ruben, and Noah’s parents, Bonnie and Scott, they expect to realize a movie and enjoy a family vacation. But because we’re talking about Nicky and Noah, secrets, jealousy, and murder will happen on and out of the stage.

I love how they jump in the investigation to find out who the murderer is. I love how the author reveals some family secret, and not a little one, I didn’t see it coming if you want the truth. I love how dynamic and funny the story was. It was a big roller coaster. If you start it, you’re in it for the whole ride.

The writing was good, fresh, dynamic, full of fun, pun and politic’s references that only Joe Cosentino can do.
I gladly recommend this book. It’s a fun read full of sarcasm and love.

4 OptimuMM’s for my favorite family. Bravo!

***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 CEO’s Christmas Manny” by Angela McAllister

TITLE: The CEO’s Christmas Manny
AUTHOR: Angela McAllister
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 222 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 18, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book / $9.99 -paperback


Anything but business as usual.
Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors—including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father—the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish… and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.
Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun—that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.
Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily ever after he’s always dreamed of?

Nicholas Price is the CEO of the family enterprise. He lives for his job, he lives to meet his parents’ expectations, and he doesn’t have time for his nephew and niece that he raised since his sister’s death four years ago. Nic needs a nanny to take care of the children while he kills himself at work.

Sasha Lindsey is a passionate Math teacher who lost his job, home and boyfriend at the same time. He accepted the position as the manny for the Price’s family thinking it will help him to find a new job and stability in his life.
Nic and Sasha are meant to be together, but while one can gain everything, the other can lose everything. Does that mean they can’t find an equilibrium and be happy? That’s what they will have to figure out.

The CEO’s Christmas Manny by Angela McAllister is my first book from the author, and I liked it.
Nic is the perfect archetype of the billionaire CEO, cold, hard, and a workaholic. Four years ago, he became the guardian of his nephew and niece after his sister’s death, but Nic struggles hard with the kids. He’s completely lost, and through the years, he’s become a perfect stranger to them.

Sasha Lindsey is passionate about his job teaching Math, but because of his disastrous break up with his ex-boyfriend, Sasha lost everything including his job and home—except his truck. He accepted the position as the Manny because it was a perfect way for him to find his balance again. He didn’t expect to meet a broken family, sad and hurt kids and an iceman as an uncle. Sasha will work hard to put this family back together, help the kids and their uncle to become a family again.

I love Sasha more than Nic. I liked Nic, but he was a big A**** with Sasha and the kids. He was so mean and cruel that I want to beat him to death, but Nic had a lot of fears and trauma from his childhood and his parents, and thank god when he realized how wrong he was, he did everything to make it up to the people he loves. Sasha got me from the beginning, he’s so beautiful, generous and kind with everyone but himself. He’s a natural caretaker, he’s used to taking care of others, but no one did it for him. I really loved Sasha.

The book was good and the plot easy to follow. The only thing that bothered me was that the feelings weren’t well developed, the feelings between Sasha and Nic as well as the connection between Sasha and the kids. How Sasha bonded with them for example, or how Nic and Sasha realized they were falling for each other, all of this was a bit messy. We follow how hot they were hot for each other, but not much more actually, just like all the scenes with Sasha and the kids are with Nic with them (except for two).

The book was good, don’t get me wrong, but I missed a deeper connection between the characters that’s all. Anyway, I will read the next one in this series for sure, especially if it’s about Percy.

It’s 3.5 stars for the CEO and his Manny

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The Strength of his Heart” by Victoria Sue

TITLE: The Strength of his Heart
AUTHOR: Victoria Sue
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: Paranormal
LENGTH: 214 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 11, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99 paperback


To protect and serve…. All Vance Connelly ever wanted to do was continue his family’s tradition and join the Tampa Police Department, but his dreams were crushed the day he woke with the enhanced mark on his face. After years of struggling to adjust to life as an enhanced human, by a stroke of luck, he met Talon Valdez and became a proud member of the FBI’s Human Enhanced Rescue Organization.
Samuel “Angel” Piper is eager to leave his DEA undercover work behind as he joins the HERO team as Vance’s regular human partner. But Sam’s painful past is ever present, just below the surface of the life he has built for himself as an ambitious young agent. When the team investigates rumors of a new drug using enhanced blood, the case’s mysterious connection to Sam threatens not just his life but Vance’s.
Trust doesn’t come easy for Sam, but Vance is willing to fight to convince his partner that the strength of his heart might be the salvation they both need.

Vance Connelly had one big dream in his life…being like his dad. A cop, a husband, a father. Everything crashed when at thirteen he woke up with the mark, the mark that showed the world that Vance is enhanced. Growing up in a loving family, being the baby of 5 kids, Vance was loved and had been supported, not only from his family but also with the TPD, but something was missing, and Vance always knew that he couldn’t have what he dreamed of for his all life. Until he joins the FBI, becomes a member of the H.E.R.O Team and was partnered with Sam “Angel” Piper…

Sam is a former DEA agent who joins the FBI and the H.E.R.O team after meeting them during their last investigation (Beneath this Mask, book 3). He has a troubled past, traumatic memories and the last thing that he wants is to start a romantic relationship with his partner…his giant partner.

Vance’s book is finally here, and I devoured his story with Sam in one night, sleep is overrated when it comes to Victoria Sue’s books.
Since book 1, we perceived Vance as the sweet guy. The sheltered baby of his family. We didn’t suspect that Vance has, like everyone in the team, his own fears. Because he has this wonderful family behind him, we didn’t think that Vance suffers by being Enhanced. During my read, I discovered another side of Vance. He broke my heart; I was outraged on his behalf. I loved the fact he kept this little part of childhood sometimes, just like I loved when he stood up for himself. I wanted to protect him when really he doesn’t need it. From the beginning of the series, Vance was one of my favorites in the team, and this book just confirmed my crush…

Sam “Angel” Piper is an ex-DEA agent, who passed so much time undercover that he asked to join the H.E.R.O Team just to get away from his former partner Ramirez. The Sam we met during the previous book (Beneath this Mask) has nothing to do with the one we met here. I wanted to slap him. Yes, I admit it, I wanted to slap him. He pissed me off a lot of the time, but I understood where he comes from so I kind of excuse him. Sam has a darker past than any of the other members of the team…without counting Eli, I think. He wore the stigmata of his fears and traumatic childhood on him, and if it saved his life more than once, it could also cut him from his real chance of happiness…until Vance barged into his life.

The story and the plot were super good. It was divided between the main investigation about two dead enhanced men and the relationship between Sam and Vance. I was hooked. The story was told from both Sam and Vance’s point of views, and it has a lot of different feelings: Angst, Fears, Frustration, Love, Hope. I felt all of them.

This book is probably the one in this series with the most angst I think, but with those two Mcs, it was necessary. Vance and Sam may look different, but they’re exactly similar with the same fears, like in a mirror effect. I liked to say that they’re similar in the exact opposite way.

We also learn more about the next couple in the series, about Eli and…

Read the book and you’ll find out.

I highly recommend this book, and the series if you didn’t read it yet.

5 OptimuMM’s for Vance and Sam!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Christmas Kitsch” by Amy Lane

TITLE: Christmas Kitsch
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 7, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $14.99-paperback


Sometimes the best Christmas gift is knowing what you really want.
Rusty Baker is a rich, entitled, oblivious jock, and he might have stayed that way if he hadn’t become friends with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. When Oliver kisses him goodbye before Rusty leaves for college, Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.
But nothing can help Rusty survive a semester at Stanford, and he returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. But with Oliver’s love and the help of Oliver’s amazing family, Rusty realizes that failing college doesn’t mean he can’t pass real life with flying rainbow colors.
Second Edition — First Edition published by Riptide Publishing, December 2013. (less)

Rusty Baker is 18 years old, a freshman at Stanford and in love with Oliver Campbell. But Rusty hates Stanford, hates to live with his parents’ expectations and dreams, and wanted just to be himself and love Oliver. When he comes back for Thanksgiving, he didn’t expect to end up homeless, jobless and alone, except he wasn’t alone, and Oliver and his family take Rusty in their life and love.

Christmas Kitsch by Amy lane was a sweet Christmas story about love, family and acceptance but something was off while reading it.
Rusty is the archetype of the white, blond, American boy coming from a good family and money. He’s the archetype of the football player not dumb but not smart either who hangs out with a bunch of bullies even if he disapproved but didn’t really act against them. He’s just an average guy who wants to work with his hands rather than his head. He thinks of himself as dumb or slow, and actually, the author made sure that the reader thinks that Rusty is a dumb, white, rich guy who hangs out with racist, homophobic bullies. Rusty changed his view of his friends and family when he meets Oliver.

Oliver is poor (in comparison to Rusty’s family), he’s American-Venezuelan, he has brown skin, with brown eyes, brown hair. He’s brown. Not my word, the author’s word. Actually, the whole “brown person” is a thing in this book. It’s how Rusty presented Oliver and his family to the reader, how Oliver can sometimes talk about himself, how the author made sure that the reader perfectly understood that Oliver is “brown” and despite it, he’s a good person, better than Rusty and his family.

It doesn’t sit well with me. I won’t talk about racism because I don’t want to throw out the accusation in the air. So I will talk about a poor choice of wording and vocabulary. I will talk about the lack of creativity and vocabulary from the author, the writer. I will talk about the inability of the author to write a book about a mixed-race couple and not being able to do it properly. I will talk about maladroitness of an author who tried to give a message of love and acceptance and failed. It’s not my first book about a mixed-race couple. I’m kind of fond of these books actually because the world is full of diversity and I liked to have it in my books. However, it’s the first time I’ve read a book where the skin color of a MC was so often referred to. For example when Rusty thinks about how lonely he would be if Oliver wasn’t in his life … “…. How alone I would be if it wasn’t for the little brown person sitting in my living room….”

It was a weird read for me because I loved those characters, they are adorable, beautiful inside and outside, I read between the lines and could see how beautiful and smart Rusty was. How this lost kid found his path with Oliver’s love. This book could have been wonderful, but all these weird vibes about skin color ruined it for me.

It could have been a 5 stars, but it’s just a 2.5 stars.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Romancing the Undercover Millionaire” by Clare London

TITLE: Romancing the Undercover Millionaire
AUTHOR: Clare London
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Alexandria Corza
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
LENGTH: 254 pages
RELEASE DATE: Dec 4, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book / $9.99 paperback


Can poverty and privilege find a loving compromise?
Alexandre Bonfils, a rich and spoiled second son, is tired of being ignored and decides to help when the family’s exclusive wine business is in trouble. Going undercover in the warehouse, he loves the adventure—and the chance to be close to the sassy and sexy manager, Tate Somerton.
Tate is hardworking and financially struggling, bringing up his siblings on his own. A suspected saboteur at work is his latest challenge, but now he also has a clueless, though very attractive, new intern. There’s an immediate spark between the ill-matched couple, until a shocking accident cuts short Alex’s amateur sleuthing.
While recovering in the generous care of Tate and his family, will Alex realize what belonging really means? Passion and pride come together to fight for the company they’re both committed to preserving, but can a personal bond remain when the dust settles?

Alexandre Bonfils is one of the heirs of Bonfils Bibendum, a prestige Wine family business. Alex isn’t as imbedded in the family business as his older brother, Henry, and his father, Charles, and both had decided to fire him (kind of) until Alex finds his own path. When Alex hears there’s some problem in one of the warehouses, he has the crazy idea to go undercover there and investigate the sabotaging.

Tate Somerton is the manager of the warehouse. He struggles between his job and his three little brothers and sisters and his grandma. He doesn’t have time to find love in his crazy life and surely not now with all the problems he has at the warehouse.
Alex expects to come to Bristol to find who is the saboteur and to go back to London like the prodigal son. He doesn’t expect Tate and his family, and he doesn’t expect to completely melt for the sexy manager and his circus family.

Can they have a happy ending despite their differences?
Romancing the Undercover Millionaire by Clare London was a sweet, adorable and fun read.
Alexandre is a diva; he was sheltered all his life. Born in a wealthy family, he never has to think about money or even find a job. He’s an heir of Charles Bonfils after all, but when his father kind of fired him, Alex realized he has to prove himself to his family. That’s why he had the crazy idea to investigate the sabotaging at their warehouse in Bristol and to go there undercover.

Tate Somerton is the manager of Bonfils & Bibendum’s warehouse at Bristol, and he’s the legal guardian of his three brothers and sisters. Even with his Gran and his BFF Louise help, Tate doesn’t have time for himself. Until he meets Alex.

I completely melted for those two guys. Alex is my favorite, a real diva, funny, sassy with a big heart. He’s disconnected from Tate’s reality (some situations are hilarious), but he adapted himself really fast and took the family as his own. Tate is more temperate and quieter, being the parent of 3 kids forced him to grow up and to take on maturity sooner than others. I loved how one is the balance of the other. How together they find the perfect equilibrium in their life and temper, and mostly I loved how, despite the appearances, they are more in tune and similar than what we think at first.

Clare London wrote a sweet and funny love story with a captivating plot. Indeed, between Alex and Tate’s love story, there’s also all the investigation parts about the sabotaging that give a good dynamic to the book.

I gladly recommend this book. It’s a beautiful, sweet and funny read that you can consume near a fire with a hot cocoa.

4 OptimuMM’s for the H’s, Amy and Freddie.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis