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REVIEW: “X Marks the Spot” by M.J. O’Shea



Jack Hunter is always on a quest for lost art, ancient manuscripts, and anything else that’ll romance the millions of viewers who watch his show each week. He hasn’t always hit pay dirt in his searches though, and a string of empty global treasure hunts has left his show on the brink of cancellation. Jack needs a white whale, a holy grail, nothing less than a miracle to revive his career.

Aloysius “Alo” Green likes his ivory towers. He’s content to study from the comfort of a university library and publish papers nobody other than academics will ever read. But coded letters pointing to hidden Nazi treasure fall into his hands, and while colleagues warn him to keep them to himself, Alo can’t stop obsessing. He makes a huge mistake and publishes a paper on his find, ignoring the danger doing so will bring.

Jack is sure he’s struck gold when his assistant brings Alo’s paper to him. Alo wants nothing to do with Jack or his televised treasure hunt. But after Alo is threatened, it appears Jack is his best bet to silence those who seek to use him to find the vast wealth first.

By trusting Jack, Alo might’ve saved himself… or made his worst decision yet.

Title: X Marks the Spot

Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 205
Release Date: November 2, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon, Dreamspinner


I’ve always been a treasure hunting lover. Adventurous travels, long-lost treasures and dangerous recon missions…some of my all time favorite movies involve all of the above. I’m also drawn to most of O’Shea’s stories…I typically jive with her. Regrettably, we didn’t this time around.

Alo is a young brainiac busting his butt in college. He lives with his head in his books at home with his parents. It’s not that he is failing to launch per say, but he has no interest in giving up the comforts his mother and father provide him. He has no time to socialize and honestly, no desire. Though he’s in his early twenties, he’s never had a boyfriend. *virgin alert*

I liked Alo. He is innocent and nerdy and super cute. When his grandfather moves into a senior living complex his belongings are distributed within the family and Alo inherits a stack of letters. These letters contain clues to hidden treasure his great-grandfather collected with his slippery fingers decades earlier. No one was able to decipher the mysterious breadcrumbs the letters contain. However, one should never underestimate a clever nerd when it comes to puzzles. In a moment of stupidly, Alo publishes a paper stating his findings. He quickly becomes a very popular young man.

Jack is a Hollywood “treasure hunter” looking at the final take on his television career. He needs something big to save his show and lucky for him, a naïve college boy sends out a neon sign presenting him with the break he’s desperate for. For some reason I didn’t click with Jack. I was wary of him for the majority of this quest and then grew to dislike him by the end. Jack was a jerk. Alo deserves someone…non-Jack.

Together Alo, Jack and his small crew sneak into Europe and follow Alo’s confident *fingers and toes crossed* map to find the priceless treasures. This was fun and exciting. The adrenaline is rushing and the European dash and stash was awesome. I would have enjoyed this significantly more if romance was nonexistent or extremely different.

If I’m brutally honest, I was disappointed with the loose editing. I think it could have been tighter and cleaner.

The treasure hunting was fun but when I consider my aversion to Jack and the romantic arc of the story…I will admit that I was let down. Here’s hoping you have more success than I did!

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This entry was posted on November 24, 2015 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Sheri and tagged , , , , , .

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