Review: “Rocky Mountain Refuge” by Nicky James

TITLE: Rocky Mountain Refuge
AUTHOR: Nicky James
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Self
COVER ARTIST: Nicky James
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 220 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 e-book

BLURB:

Run! Hide! We are watching you, Huxley!
Huxley Dempsy suffers from a paranoid personality disorder. After a horrific tragedy five years ago, Huxley is convinced people are out to get him. Taking refuge in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, he is a prisoner to his own mind. If he can think it up, it must be true, and there is no convincing him otherwise.
Wildlife biologist, Aspen Taylor, is on his way north again to close up the final year of the Grizzly Bear Research Project. Studying wildlife in their natural habitat is what sings to his soul. However, who he finds in the mountains is almost as beastly as the bears he studies.
An underlying sense of familiarity draws Aspen to learn more about this Wildman, and a strong sense of attraction binds them together almost instantly. But can Aspen break through the barriers of Huxley’s mind and convince him to go home?


When it comes to mental illnesses, I can’t say I’m an expert. I like books with main characters who suffer some form of that condition. But there was something in this book that it didn’t convince me, and here is why…

Huxley witnessed the terrible death of his husband, Nathaniel. From a very young age Huxley suffers from a paranoia disorder. His mind works fast, transforming the words as his brain pleases, and that more often than not, finds him in difficult, compromising situations.
He is completely able to care for himself, just the thoughts … After witnessing his husband murder, Huxley disappears. Taking all his money, and no one knows where he could be. He’s considered a missing person.

Aspen is a wildlife biologist. He likes the outdoors more than staying inside of his office. When he’s needed to be a leader of his research project of the Grizzly Bear Research Project, he happily (or not), puts his dissertation on hold, and joins a young team at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.
Little does he know that fate has put Huxley in his way. Aspen knows Huxley, or more like knows of him, and he seems to think he’s seen the tall, handsome man somewhere.

Needless to say, being a romance novel, things heat up pretty quick. Well too quick of my liking. You remember at the beginning of my review what I said? That this book didn’t convinced me …

That’s because Huxley seems to have a sexually dominant side. Well, that would be not a problem if not for his shy, introvert, fearsome behavior. These contradictions didn’t match well in my head. Being a Dom means you have no room for fear. None!

Huxley transforms from a trembling rabbit to a dominating predator in bed just didn’t bode well. But as I told you at the beginning, I’m not an expert on paranoid behavior, so I might be wrong.

Other than that, the book is an easy read. Enjoy!

***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: “Forgiveness” by Grace R. Duncan

TITLE: Forgiveness
AUTHOR: Grace R. Duncan
SERIES: Forbes Mates
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 224 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback

BLURB:

Ben’s love can help Eric find the forgiveness he needs… if Eric can accept it.
Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.
Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves—and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.
When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it. Where Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?


It’s a very very hard 3 OptimuMM for me…

When it comes to werewolf MM, I’m a goner. I love it when the main character can’t control his desires, and he just must act upon his instinct. Well, unfortunately, this is not of that type of werewolf shifter book.

This book was all syrup. My eyes are hurting for all those eye rolls. It was an uncharacteristically slow read because nothing was really going on.

The book, in general, had a good narration but the dialog was superficial, boring, and sorry, but repetitive.
Eric, after his chosen mate Kim broke their bond, he went wolf for 9 years. He was hurting. But then Goddess Diana guides him back to his human form, telling him is time to go back. He’s hesitant, and he doesn’t really think that he has anything waiting for him.
But it just so happens, that not only his best friend Tanner is the new alpha of the pack, but the next day his destined mate turns up around the corner, so to speak. Eric was hiding his bisexuality from everyone because he knew his family (aka McDush) would never accept him.

Ben aka Jesus as his mother calls him, decided to move into this new pack to get away from her strict Catholic doctrines. She sees his wolf as a demon. (BTW mom is a destined mate to the father, ikr?!). But he fears that the new pack will not accept him because of his Mexican heritage. The insta-attraction is there, fangs, claws and bonners.

One would think they get right at it and seal the deal. Well, this book is not about that. You will have to read 70% of the book to finally get the chance to read Eric claiming his mate. The dancing around is annoying. You would think you’re back with Victorians… holding hands, forehead kisses, caresses. And trust me, I’m a big fan of all of that, but not on this scale.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “A Wish Upon the Stars” by TJ Klune

TITLE: A Wish Upon the Stars
AUTHOR: TJ Klune
SERIES: Tales From Verania
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Paul Richmond
GENRE: High Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 450 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 e-book / $17.99 -paperback

BLURB:

Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.
The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.
But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind.


As everything, the story of Sam of Wilds must come to an end … and now here we are saying goodbye to Sam and his gang (or not …?).

I remember when I discovered TJ Klune. It was with his Wolfsong, the best book I’ve ever read. I was awestricken, speechless of that book. I hunted down all his books, and I consumed them one after another. Then I started the Tales From Verania series. I was captured from the very first sentence of the story!

Sam of Wilds has his own Destiny (it’s capitalized so you know it’s true!), and we all know he is not happy about it. After numerous adventures, he had his cornerstone Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart aka Knight Commander Delicious Face. But the story has evolved, more adventure more betrayal more people in Sam’s life.

But he is not alone in his journey. He has the most amazing hornless unicorn known to mankind, Garry (and if you don’t agree with me you are brave, because you know Garry will bring the pain) and the sweetest half-giant Tiggy (He smash! He smash Hard!). Then he has Morgan of Shadows, his mentor, his friend…who we all know was taken from him. Well that’s what led Sam to leave everybody behind and follow the Great White in the Dark Forest , to fulfill his Destiny.

After almost a year, Sam is back with Kevin, fearing the reaction of those who he left behind. The world he’s coming back to is not the same.

Verania is under Myrin’s dark hands. He captured the King, and he is keeping him in the City of Lockes using him as a pawn to control the people of Verania. But there is Resistance, a group of rebels who retreated to Camp HaveHeart.

Finally, when he reached the camp (all badass and bellowing) he finds people there that he wasn’t expecting, and the reaction he gets, how they whisper his name…

The final (?!) sequel of this series will not disappoint us. Garry is as sassy as ever, if not, even more so, Tiggy is sweet as he ever been, Ryan is angry, Justin is grown up (ish) and Sam, Sam is changed, he is not Sam of Wilds, he becomes Sam of …

I wish I could say more, but you know spoilers (for those reviewers who think to spoil a book in reviews is cool, lemme tell you this dude, it’s not!) but there is laughter and tears … TJ brings his magic as always!

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

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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