Tag Archives: author: m.j. o’shea

Catch My Breath by M.J. O’Shea

Catch My Breath

Catch My Breath by M.J. O’Shea

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on June 20, 2013
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Danny Bright dreams of a career as a singer. And he sees the open auditions at Blue Horizon Records as his ticket to the big time. He knows if they see what he can bring, he stands a good chance of being signed. He’s surprised at the decision to keep four of the guys and try to sell them as a group, but a recording contract is a recording contract. Provided the producers can find them a fifth member.

Elliot Price never even considered the idea of becoming an entertainer. He plans to finish high school and head off to college. But when a last-minute decision to perform at a talent search night puts him on the radar of a big-time record producer, he might just have to change his plans. It turns out Elliot could be the fifth member and round out a new singing group.

Once they’re all assembled, there’s no denying the boys of Static have a star quality. And they have no trouble lining up the fans. They also bond quickly, becoming closer than they might have imagined. And for Danny and Elliot, that closeness means something else entirely. They’re drawn to each other in unexpected ways. Which could mean trouble for the group, especially when it comes to marketing them to their teenage girl fanbase. They know they’ll have to make some decisions, and those decision may not be easy…

I enjoy a book that shows the development of a relationship in an authentic way. To see these two go from strangers, to friends, to realizing there might be something more, to… Yes. Very good. And it helps when the characters are so relatable and developed. We, as readers, get to see them deal with all of the realizations, the excitement, and the fear that comes along with it.

I also have to say there were parts of this book that frustrated me. It had nothing to do with the writing–well, to be more accurate, it’s the fact that the writing is so good that I was frustrated. The studio executives who take an incredibly narrow view of what fans look for is certainly infuriating. And the idea that making money is more important that the happiness of your artists? Not an attractive quality at all. But such is show business?

There are a few parts that do move a little more quickly than I would have liked. But the overall pacing and story are well done. And this is an enjoyable read.

Duke in Hiding by M.J. O’Shea

Duke in Hiding

Duke in Hiding by M.J. O’Shea

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on May 1, 2016
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Theo Brody is a landscaper and bartender who has lived in Maplehurst, New Hampshire, all his life. He doesn’t lead a life of extravagance, but he has what he needs. And his business is reaching the point where he might be able to quick tending bar altogether. But things get interesting when Heath Blackwood walks into his bar. The mysterious, salty Brit rubs Theo the wrong way. But once they get to know each other, Theo learns there’s a lot more beneath the farmer’s gruff exterior.

Heathcliff Blackwood never expected to find himself in some small American town with nothing to do. But death threats against a duke are always taken seriously. (That’s right…he’s not exactly a farmer…) Though he’s stuck in Maplehurst, he finds an opportunity to make the best of it with Theo. Theo represents exactly what Heath wants in a man, though he never really had the opportunity to find it at home. Shedding the noble persona has allowed him to find exactly what he wants and needs.

But Heath will need to go home eventually. And if he even stands a chance of keeping things going with Theo, he still needs to find a way to tell him he’s a duke. And Theo needs to figure out if he can manage such a long distance relationship. So they’ll just live in the here and now and figure out everything else later…until it all catches up with them unexpectedly.

Falling in love with a secret duke and having him love you back? Why not? And I understand that sounds completely cliche. But this story is tastefully written and presented–so it comes together in an engaging and interesting way. And it’s always something special when a writer can take something that seems like a trope or a cliche and make it appear fresh and new. Definitely an enjoyable read.

Corkscrewed by M.J. O’Shea

Corkscrewed

Corkscrewed by M.J. O’Shea

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on December 1, 2014
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Isaac Shelley, grandson of the quite wealthy Marigold Shelley, went missing several years ago. And his mysterious reappearance couldn’t make Marigold happier. She’s welcomed him in with open arms and is all set to arrange for him to inherit her estate. But Isaac isn’t who he seems. He only arrived in Marigold’s life as a con set up by his mentor, Roman.

But Isaac’s con isn’t the only one at play. Cary Talbot, inspector for Ms. Shelley’s insurance company, is on site to inventory the estate’s wine collection. Except Cary doesn’t work for an insurance company. He plans to convince the owner that one of her expensive wines is a fake. Then he can buy it off her at a fraction of the price and profit. His only problem is that no one can sniff out a con man like another con man.

So even though there’s a mutual attraction, it’s not long before Isaac and Cary figure out each other’s games. And while they agree not to turn each other in, it’s not as simple as that. There’s another player in this game–the infamous Black Mamba. Despite everything, the two will need to work together if they want to keep the Mamba at bay and get out of the situation unscathed.

There was something about this story that resonated with me. It’s not a complex plot, but it contains enough intrigue and mystery to keep the reader engaged. And the reader will want to stay engaged, let me tell you.

This isn’t a particularly steamy romance. And the relationship faces some obvious complications. But even though these two aren’t necessary “good guys,” I found myself rooting for them both. Maybe not so much to get away with their crimes–but in the relationship department for sure.

The Millionaire Upstairs by M.J. O’Shea

Millionaire Upstairs

Book Info

Title: The Millionaire Upstairs
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Published: January 1, 2016
Pages: 198
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Sasha Sobieski has landed a job of his dreams: he’ll be working for Harrison Kingsley, one of the hottest fashion houses on the scene. And even meeting Harrison–rude, condescending Harrison–on his way out of the interview can’t bring him down from his high. After all, he’ll never have to work directly for the man, right? When Sasha’s boss (and Harrison’s sister), Joanne, goes on maternity leave, Sasha is sent out to spend the summer working directly for Harrison. He quickly finds his initial assessment of Harrison to be true, even though there are moments when he feels like he can see past the wall that Harrison has built around himself. Sasha finds himself drawn to Harrison, even though he knows better. Can he be the one to bring Harrison around? Or is he just setting himself up for extreme disappointment?

This is the first book in the Dreamspun Desires line, Dreamspinner’s new two-books-a-month subscription service. It isn’t the strongest way to kick off the line, but I still found it entertaining and a relatively quick read. As far as romances go, this one is up there on the list of defining slow burn. And there are many points in the book where I found myself going “really??” Harrison is a straight-up ass, whatever his reasons may be, and it became very difficult for me to understand and believe Sasha’s choices at several points in the book. And the ending didn’t exactly satisfy me that anything was changing.

That said, this one barely squeaks out a three star review and recommendation from me, simply because I did find it enjoyable overall and there’s enough conflict here to keep a reader interested for days.

One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea

13186809Title: One Small Thing (One Thing, Book 1)
Author: Piper Vaughn & M.J. O’Shea
Published: May 3, 2012
Pages: 214
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

Rue Murray is in for a real surprise when the woman he slept with on a whim to see if he really could turns up pregnant. Even more surprising is the fact that she doesn’t want to keep the baby. Though he never expected to be a father, Rue can’t just abandon the child and agrees to take her, even though he knows it will be challenging on top of going to school during the day and working in a club at night.

Eric Van Nuys is definitely not a “people person”. A struggling sci-fi author who suffers from social anxiety, he’s not one for children either. But his books just aren’t selling like they used to and his agent doesn’t seem hopeful that will turn around unless Eric decides to make a major change to what he writes. When Rue approaches him looking for someone to take care of his new daughter Alice during the day, he is resistant at first, but eventually agrees.

Neither Eric nor Rue know what to expect–this is all new to both of them. But as they both share a fondness for Alice, they begin to realize they might share another fondness if they can each admit to themselves what they want and what they’re willing to do to get it.

This was an incredibly cute and adorable story. There are moments where I really just wanted to reach through the pages and shake both Eric and Rue, but they’re a total delight. It’s an engaging and easy read, and definitely worth spending the time to get to know these two…

Bridges by M.J. O’Shea

11989858Title: Bridges (Bridges, Book 1)
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Published: July 4, 2011
Pages: 27
Publisher: Goodreads M/M Romance Group
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:
You know that cliche about the kid on the playground that is mortal enemies with the other kid he’s secretly crushing on? Dallas and Brooklyn are exactly that personified in Bridges by M.J. O’Shea. With a rough start in childhood, they never did get along and actively antagonized each other before eventually just completely losing sight of each other until they find themselves stuck working together in the summer after high school. And it’s then that they both learn that maybe they weren’t destined to be enemies after all. This one is short, sweet, and cute. I enjoyed it and recommend it as a quick and fun read (it’s only ~27 pages).