Happy Valentine’s Day !

The team of OptimuMM, wishes to all it’s followers  Happy Valentine’s Day !

 

About Valentine’s Day :

Roman Roots

The history of Valentine’s Day is obscure, and further clouded by various fanciful legends. The holiday’s roots are in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.”

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Valentines Galore

Which St. Valentine this early pope intended to honor remains a mystery: according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by that name. One was a priest in Rome, another a bishop in Terni, and of a third St. Valentine almost nothing is known except that he met his end in Africa. Rather astonishingly, all three Valentines were said to have been martyred on Feb. 14.

Most scholars believe that the St. Valentine of the holiday was a priest who attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. At this stage, the factual ends and the mythic begins. According to one legend, Claudius II had prohibited marriage for young men, claiming that bachelors made better soldiers. Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies but was eventually apprehended by the Romans and put to death. Another legend has it that Valentine, imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed “from your Valentine.” Probably the most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is one not focused on Eros (passionate love) but on agape (Christian love): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion.

In 1969, the Catholic Church revised its liturgical calendar, removing the feast days of saints whose historical origins were questionable. St. Valentine was one of the casualties.

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Tradition of Valentine’s Cards

Over the centuries, the holiday evolved, and by the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine’s Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons, and featuring cupids and hearts eventually spread to the American colonies. The tradition of Valentine’s cards did not become widespread in the United States, however, until the 1850s, when Esther A. Howland, a Mount Holyoke graduate and native of Worcester, Mass., began mass-producing them. Today, of course, the holiday has become a booming commercial success. According to the Greeting Card Association, 25% of all cards sent each year are valentines.”

 

 

*Source : https://www.infoplease.com/valentines-day-history

Review: “Skythane” by J. Scott Coatsworth

TITLE: Skythane
AUTHOR: J. Scott Coatsworth
SERIES: The Oberon Cycle
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Anne Cain
GENRE: Sci Fi; Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 244 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 17, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.
Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.
Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.


As many men, I’m also a big fan of Sci-fi genre. So when I read the blurb of this book I was thrilled to get my hands on it…although the story is great it didn’t quite reach my expectations.
When we talk about Sci-Fi, we don’t really have ground rules, so you can’t really compare one book to another. But you may still have some expectations, so that’s why it’s really hard to rate Sci-Fi, because no matter what, you will never satisfy everyone.

Skythane is a multiple point of view story. Probably that’s why I couldn’t enjoy it too much. I was genuinely curious of the past and culture of Oberon, it habitants, but when I was thinking that here comes some details about Oberon, the point of view changed and never got back to the previous line of thought. I’m not saying that there is no information about Oberon, I’m saying I would have liked to read more about it. It that planet fascinated me!

Skythane can’t fit in your typical Romance category. For starters, there is no sex scenes in it, well I know not all romance has sex scenes but Jameson being heterosexual, or he likes to thinks he is, again, I would have enjoyed a little bit of intimacy description between him and Xander.

I really enjoyed the plot, and the book contains some angst, but again the multiple point of view didn’t really let me enjoy that too. I loved the parallel universe, the half planet, the wings, and the pith. We don’t really learn about pith either…is it a drug? Is it aphrodisiac? Is it harmless? So there are few a questions remaining without answers.

There were a few things that just felt off, but as I told you at the beginning of my review, you can’t really rate a Sci-Fi so, and this is just my opinion, I would say it’s a 3.5 rating.
I hope you will enjoy more than I did!

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

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Review: “Tried & True” by Charlie Cochet

TITLE: Tried & True
AUTHOR: Charlie Cochet
SERIES: THIRDS
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 254 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 24, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $16.99 -paperback

BLURB:

When THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley met Team Leader Sloane Brodie, he couldn’t have imagined how slamming into his new partner—literally—would shake both their worlds. Now four years later, they’ve faced dangers, fought battles both personal and professional… and fallen deeply in love. Now their big moment is finally in sight, and they’re ready to stand up together and make it official. Unfortunately, as the countdown to their big day begins, an enemy declares war on the THIRDS….
With their family in danger, Dex and Sloane are put to the test on how far into darkness they’ll walk to save those they love. As secrets are unearthed, a deadly betrayal is revealed, and Dex and Sloane must call on their Destructive Delta family for one last hurrah to put an end to the secret organization responsible for so much devastation.
Dex and Sloane will have plenty of bullets to dodge on the way to the altar, but with happiness within their grasp, they are determined to get there come hell or high water…


We are saying good bye to Dex and Sloan’s interesting journey…
This is the last book of the THIRDS series where Dex and Sloan finally have their happy ending.

The first part of the book is a slow read, very romantic, very mundane letting us into Dex and Sloan’s “everyday”. They are on vacation, preparing for their wedding with rehearsals, flower picking and cake tasting. Sloan let’s Dex to choose as he wishes because for Sloan it’s more important to be with Dex than anything else.
Dex is busy with everything, but he finds time for him and Sloan to relax. The secret he keeps from his father, that they joined TIN eats his at his conscious, but he only does it to protect Tony.

Honestly, I’m not used to this “slow burn” from our guys, so for me it was a bit difficult the first part of the book, but then things changed…

The second part of the book is filled with action as we are so familiar. I can’t really say what’s happening because I would spoil it for you guys but “it” hits the fan pretty bad.
There is danger lurking in the shadows, as always, but now it hits to close to home. The extremist group of Therians wants their revenge and there is nothing those villains wouldn’t do to achieve that. The Destructive Delta need to reach out and find allies to save their family, allies like Wolf, Hudson’s brother and they must also involve TIN agents. To trust them, Dex and Sloan are out of their comfort zone, mostly Sloane when he has to face Wolf.

There is blood, revenge, anger and fury, physical and emotional hurt. Well, the emotional hurt reaches us, readers too, leaving a bad taste in our mouth when we have to say good bye to Dex and Sloan.

I would like to congratulate and thank Charlie for this amazing journey!

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

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Review: “Straight Up” by JS Finley

TITLE: Straight Up
AUTHOR: JS Finley
SERIES: Only You
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Sara York
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 195 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2017
PRICE: $2.99 – e-book/ $5.50 – paperback

BLURB:

Sometimes you need the truth Straight Up

Jake:
Brent is HOT but hot doesn’t matter when you can’t have what you want.
After the Marines, they went their separate ways, but he can’t forget…never forget and never leave a man behind, but that’s what he did when he ran from Brent.
Maybe it wasn’t the best reaction, but he couldn’t face the truth. Now he has a second chance and he doesn’t want to blow it, instead, he wants to blow Brent.

Brent:
Maybe there’s something between he and Jake, but Brent can’t ask, and Jake won’t tell because in the Marines being gay is bad for business.
Time heals all wounds, and that’s what Brent is gambling on when they meet in the hills of Tennessee. Brent is hoping for friendship…but if there is more, he’ll take it.
When Brent meets his straight friend again in Tennessee will they remain friends or will they become more?
.


This is a great story guys! Hand’s down 5 OptimuMMs

It never was a secret that from all the MM subgenres the GFY – Gay For You is my favorite. I can’t exactly tell why, probably the taboo or probably “love knows no boundaries” …

The story is about two former marines, Jake and Brent.
Brent always felt attracted to Jake, but he couldn’t act upon his desire when he was in the military. Now that he’s left the marines, and the following reunion makes him hope that maybe there is more between them than just friendship, if not he is ok with it, he just wants Jake back in his life.

The story goes back and forth between letters that were written but never sent and the present. Those letters made me tear up, so much untold things that finally got to be written down. I think those letters are the reason for my 5 OptimuMM rating.

Reading from Jake’s point of you is the charm of the book. Jake is a straight guy who has some very – and not so very – confused feelings for Brent. He knows he wants more than friendship with Brent, but he doesn’t know if he is ready to move upon his desires and let the world know that he might be gay.

When they finally become an item, Jake discovers a new life he didn’t know before. The sex is amazing, and the scenes are hot.

Well done J.S. Finley!

***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: “The Consumption of Magic” by TJ Klune

TITLE: The Consumption of Magic
AUTHOR: TJ Klune
SERIES: Tales From Verania
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 450 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.
It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.
Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.
With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.
A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

 


I don’t want to repeat myself when I say that TJ Klune is one of the most talented contemporary authors. He wields his words with magic, touches your emotions and brings it to the surface. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not.

This is the third part of the Tales from Verania, and as we are used to by now, the pages are full with hilarious banter and some…

Sam still hates that he has his own destiny, that he must pay for others’ mistakes. He is afraid of what might happen to his cornerstone Ryan Foxheart. He promised himself that he will never, ever let someone or something take Ryan from him.

Sam must learn. If he’s to face Myrin, he needs to find all the Dragons of Verania. He already has two, and now he’s on his way to find the mated Dragons before he stands in front of the Great White. But before that, Randall takes it upon himself to educate Sam …let me tell you, you want to get to that part as soon as possible…

My hand is itching to share more with you, but I don’t want to spoil your fun guys. But one thing is for sure, you will be not be disappointed, well you will but not because TJ lost his talent…

Generally, my reviews of TJ’s books are more fun, but I still have tears in my eyes and my heart is full of loss…I need to tell you something, TJ Klune is a bastard and has too much time to think he can do as he pleases…well he can, but you will get me as soon as you finished the book.

P.S.
I still love you TJ … kinda… not at this moment, but I will come around …eventually … if you’re lucky!

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

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