Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Editors

Torquere Press is seeking to bring on more editors at this time. If you know of any awesome editors looking for more work, please send them to kristi@torquerepress.com




Thank You!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fight for Love

Title:  Fight for Love
Author:  Samantha Kane
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419992087
Genre:  {M/M/F} Ménage, Historical, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Thom has loved Kitty since he met her, but he knows she is involved with Devlin.  Thom’s memories of the war, when he had to make life and death choices, haunts him to the point he starts whoring and getting drunk instead of doctoring.  Things change when Devlin and Kitty ask for his help.

The latest book in the Brothers in Arms series, Fight for Love, continues stories of men adjusting to life after war and the men and women who love them.  This is a little different as Devlin survived a different type of life than going to war.  Devlin and Kitty knew each other long before they met Dr. Thom Peters, though they all have quite a few mutual friends.

Several of the ménage families know Thom and want nothing more than his happiness.  As a struggle for the London underground is brewing, things happen that put both Kitty and Thom at risk because of their association with Devlin.  Something Kitty does brings things to a head and gets Sir James involved as well.  I was surprised by the solution Sir James created.

Devlin and Thom are both under the impression Kitty would be better off with the other and their ménage is only temporary.  Ms. Kane does resolutions of these types of relationship very well.  Those familiar with the Brothers in Arms series will not be disappointed with Fight for Love either.  While each story has some of the same elements, the author creates very different and interesting combinations with the men and their woman. 

I am looking forward to the next story and hope one day we see one for Sir James.  I recommend that the series be read in order; however, it is not necessary to enjoy each story.

Summer Son

Title: Summer Son
Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627987295
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Ellis had it all, a great job, a loving husband, and a new baby.  Then one day his dream life falls apart and Ellis wonders if he’ll ever be happy again.  Zane is a struggling artist with a secret.  The last thing he should be interested in is starting something with Ellis, but Zane just can’t stay away from the handsome man or his sweet baby.

Summer Son is a well written story by author Anna Martin.  While she is a new author for me, this will not be the last of her stories I read.  From the beginning, I was pulled into Ellis’ story.  It’s easy to understand his need to show everyone he is capable of taking care of baby Harrison on his own, so readers won’t be surprised that his personal life has fallen by the wayside.  I like that his introduction to Zane goes smoothly and the instant attraction between them really heats up the pages.  Rather than pussy footing around regarding any kind of a relationship, the two men become exclusive immediately. 

While things between Ellis and Zane are running smoothly, they face a lot of interference from outside forces.  Although I was shocked by the actions of Ellis’ ex, I should not have been.  The man really is a giant prick and his actions at one point are over the top.  As for Zane, his past is just as intrusive.  I wondered how this part of the story would play out, and loved Zane’s response to the police when they ask for an alibi. 

I really loved how the author wraps this story up and would have no problems recommending Summer Son to anyone who loves the M/M genre.  I will be looking for more from this author and plan on putting her on my must read list. 

Finders Keepers

Author: Vicky Burkholder
Publisher: Liquid Silver
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62210-097-2
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal, Contemporary, Sweet
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Dean White is a private investigator who prides himself in being able to solve any case without having to resort to claims of magical powers or any of that supernatural nonsense. So it is driving him crazy that he has misplaced something as precious as his grandmother’s beloved ring. He has looked everywhere he can think of, but he just can’t figure out what has happened to it. His grandmother, being very understanding of her grandson’s sudden bout of absentmindedness, suggests he seek the guidance for Maggie Daniels, who can use her magic abilities to help find the ring…when it’s ready to be found, that is.

Dean will do anything to keep his grandmother happy, but secretly he can’t wait to show Maggie up for the fraud he thinks she is. Maggie can tell Dean is a non-believer but senses great power at work. Maggie is a “finder” and is facing her biggest challenge yet – helping Dean find the strength to accept his past and face the very real threat his stubbornness has brought to his own doorstep. 

I enjoyed Finders Keepers from the start. The story is written well and the characters immediately captured my attention. I love the knowledge and patience that Dean’s Grandmother Sarah exhibits. She seems fully aware of the importance of Maggie coming into Dean’s life but continues to support her grandson while he stubbornly refuses to believe what he sees and feels. The conflict and underlying sexual tension between Dean and Maggie is balanced just right for me. In fact the author did such a good job of building up the chemistry between the two characters that I couldn’t help but feel like the ending was a little bit anti-climactic. I thoroughly enjoyed following the characters’ journey, and while the ending is sweet, I would have liked to enjoy the destination a little more.

Loveblood

Title: Loveblood
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632162427
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Max and his mom have finally gotten up the courage to leave his abusive father.  Unlike some who have faced similar situations, they have a place to stay. Unfortunately however, that isn’t necessarily a good thing because in the shifter world, it is frowned on for them to leave the way they did.  This worries Max as he can’t help wondering what kind of reception they will receive once they make it to their new home.

Loveblood is the new release by author M.J. O’Shea.  This shape-shifter story is one that I am sure will grab the reader’s attention from the first page.  Unlike some stories in this sub-genre, the world that the author has created is, at times, more than a little violent, especially for characters so young.  However, this violence is not gratuitous and in fact plays an important part in the story. 

The characters are well written and, from the beginning, it was easy to want them to find their happily ever after.  Max comes from an abusive family so it is understandable that he his leery of going into a new pack.  Jonah is the favorite son of the pack and used to being in control.  Neither one of these young men is ready for the changes that occur once they meet.  There is an instant attraction between the two and, while Max understands what is going on, Jonah has no clue.  While the connection is strong, and the two can’t seem to stay away from each other, there are a lot of misunderstandings that may keep these two apart. 

There are a lot of twists and turns in this story that are sure to hold the reader’s attention.  The author does a great job keeping the reader guessing how everything is going to play out.  I have to say there were a few things I did not expect to happen and one that really surprised me.  There were, for me, a couple of unanswered questions, and I would love to see more of Max and Jonah in the future.  Fans of Ms. O’Shea’s are sure to love this newest story and, if you have not yet tried one of her books, this is a great one to start with.  

Recipe for Love

Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61124-596-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Life has never been particularly plain sailing for Jack, but these last few months have really taken the cake. His ex wife seems to be on his case every waking hour, and his most recent relationship has ended acrimoniously. As if Jack doesn’t have enough on his plate, he’s confronted by the sight of his teenage daughter at his door, all puffy eyed... and pregnant!

Dan runs a successful bakery and sometimes employs his nephew Billy to help out when things get busy. Dan realises it isn’t going to be a good day when Rachel – a girl Billy dated a while back – and her very cute, very angry father come into the store, demanding to see Billy. He can understand the man’s frustration, but Dan is not about to let Jack steamroll his way through this. The kids got themselves into this, and Dan’s willing to give them a chance to make it work. Jack obviously has a lot on his plate, so Dan is trying to stay patient, and much to his annoyance, reign in his immediate attraction to this hot headed man, but Jack is not making things easy. Dan can see Jack needs to seriously de-stress, and fast, but Jack is sending out mixed messages…

I enjoy reading Sean Michael’s work. The writing is realistic, easy to follow, and just has that feel good factor. Recipe for Love has drama, hot scenes and lots of baking goodness – the perfect combination. The storyline was very enjoyable, a good balance of emotion and cuteness, but I felt that it was a bit too short; as if the author had to skip over some parts that could have been explored further. The characters were very strong and had an immediate impact. I loved the chemistry between Dan and Jack, and would love to read more of their story.

Blood & Thunder

Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63216-178-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Agents Dexter J. Daley and Team Leader Sloane Brodie are running out of time along with stamina. Every spark of information uncovered to help Team Destructive Delta capture the terrorist group known as the Order of Adrasteia leads the team into a deadly trap. New York is in chaos, some secrets have been revealed, but there are more lethal mysteries yet to be discovered.

Blood & Thunder is the second book in the THIRDS series. The plot is a well paced riveting suspense. The characters are fictional; nevertheless the circumstances illustrated in the plot are incredibly realistic. I could visualize their levels of stress escalating almost to the emotional breaking point. Their tempers flaring to a combative state, their fear of failure as well as the fear of losing a love one being unbearable. These are the mental conditions the team had to tolerate.

Being a shifter, Sloane is having an especially hard time with his personal life. His human side wishes for a long term intimate relationship with Dex, yet his jaguar’s natural instincts desires to be a loner with no permanent attachments to anyone. Sloane is torn because he still has feelings for Gabe as well as equal feelings for Dex. Sloane’s internal conflict makes it difficult for him to work with Dex, he regrets the rift between them, but Sloane is at a loss as to how to mend their broken bond. Sloane also fears rejection from Dex if secrets from his past emerge. The anxiety Sloane is suffering may cause him to lose his humanity transforming him into feral jaguar.

Dex is smart, brave plus sympathetic; however Dex is finding it difficult to maintain his usual cheerful temperament. Trying to concur with the emotional rollercoaster constructed by Sloane has caused Dex to have an inferiority complex towards his job as well as their clandestine liaison. Dex recognizes he’s heading for disaster with Sloane; nevertheless Dex is powerless to stop it.
  
Charlie Cochet has again created an outstanding intense action saga intermingled with heartwarming moments as well as moments of humor. I enjoyed Blood & Thunder immensely. 

Changeling

Title: Changeling
Author: Barbara Geiger
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-813-0
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Matt will do anything to provide for his little brother Sam, and the easiest way to make the money they need to survive is selling himself. Between worrying about the money and putting food on the table, he’s exhausted and looks it. Then he meets Kevin and he has a little hope for the first time in years. But Matt’s also just agreed to ‘trade’ services for Sam’s tuition at a private school. Life is a mess, people who bother Matt are dying and the police are circling. Kevin is rich and generous and seems a little too perfect, but that might be because he’s a Fae prince. An even bigger surprise…it looks like Matt might be the missing Fae King. He just doesn’t know it.

Changeling is the first release in the new series Middle Hill by Barbara Geiger. Please be aware of the BDSM content before reading.

What do I say? I’m a fan of paranormals and the blurb for this first release caught my attention. I had high hopes. It seemed like a book I’d love but what I found instead was a confusing story that I had difficulty following.  The plot jumped all over the place, and there’s lots of missing information, leaving me to piece together a world with too many hidden motives to even begin to understand. That goes for the characters are well. The author apparently didn’t want to reveal anything important in the beginning, so there are gaping holes in the personalities and backgrounds of the main characters since it all weaves together. 

Be warned, I was still totally confused about the plot, characters, what had happened and where the story was going up to page 114… and this book is big. It’s a very long 362 pages, and I didn’t start to get a handle of what was happening and why until I’d struggled through probably 175 pages. Then it started to make sense.  At least more sense than before. By this stage I had so much time invested that I wanted to see where it was going.  Don’t get me wrong, the world building is creative but the other issues just about negated them. The only thing that saved the book for me was the last…maybe 75 pages. It’s here that things finally start to come together and we get some answers, but there are still dangling threads which I assume will be addressed in the next book. I truthfully don’t consider this a romance…and I didn’t feel the chemistry between Matt and Kevin. I did enjoy the protective them-against-the-world relationship of the brothers. 

Yakuza Courage

Author: H.J. Brues
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627988667
Genre: {M/M}, Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Brendan O’Farrihy thought his life would be the SEAL’s but when that falls through, he finds himself doing a job he doesn’t like and living a life totally different from what he wanted.  While on a case, Brendan meets and falls in love with Kinosuke.  Unfortunately, the younger man is one of the subjects of his case, which causes more than a few problems.

Yakuza Courage is the second story in The Way of the Yakuza series by author H.J. Brues.  Readers will need to have read the first book, Yakuza Pride before starting this one as the history developed in the first book is even more important now.  While Brendan and Kinosuke are the main characters of this story and their romance does on occasion come into play, the book is really story centered and there is a lot going on.

The fact that there is so much going on in this story, for me at least, makes it difficult to review.  I suppose the best way would be to break it down a little and the first part will center on the romance between Brendan and Kinosuke.   When these two actually meet in person, there is some connection between them, yet it takes some time for the men to act on those feelings.  The passion between them is really intense and once they come together, they heat up the pages.  I would have liked to have seen more attention paid to these two, but what there is works well in the scope of the story.

Next there is Ken and the Yakuza men he has made his family.  As the readers would expect, all of them are having problems adjusting to the huge changes in their lives.  Of course, given the culture the men come from, talking about their feelings is not something they do.  This leads to many misunderstandings.  Of all of them it was Kotaro I felt the most for.  Not only does he have to adjust to a new environment but he is also a teen-ager going through all the problems they face when being the new kid in school.  I must say I was a little worried at one point that things with Kotaro were going to end badly.

Next there is Brendan and the men from his SEAL team.  The unit’s last mission together did not go well and Brendan ends up taking the fall.  All the men end up suffering, some more than others.  The author does a good job making this part of the story come across realistically; in fact, this is something that could have been part of our evening news some time during the last few years. 

It is when the author brings these two groups together that the story really takes off.  It is only natural when Kinosuke finds out about being part of Brendan’s mission, that he feels betrayed.  While Kinosuke has the right to act the way he did, I liked that Brendan was not ready to give up on the two of them being together.  I also liked that Brendan, once he realizes that maybe the case he was sent to do was a lie, works towards helping the Yakuza.

There is a lot of action and a lot of twists and turns going on in Yakuza Courage that makes this book one that you really need to pay attention to.  If you are looking for a story with some meat to it then you really must pick this one up.  I am curious to see what the author hopes to bring to this series next.  I also hope we will be seeing more of Brendan’s SEAL team. 

Medics, Mayhem, and Mojitos

Author: Sara York
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02014-0269
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Liam Noble has first-hand knowledge of how much words can hurt.  Meeting potential boyfriends is always a problem for Liam until he meets Jordan McKelvey. Jordan is able to see beyond Liam’s shyness to find the strong good-natured real Liam hiding behind the blushes.

Medics, Mayhem, and Mojitos is part of Love's First Response series. In this episode, Liam is an EMT for the fire department. He loves his job and works well with his co-workers. The plot illustrates both emotional and physical healing, a promising romance along with scenes of intimacy.

The only issue that Liam has is that he is haunted by the constant verbal abuse from a former boyfriend. Although the former boyfriend is gone, his painful words still cause Liam to feel unworthy to be loved.

Jordan is a bartender with a naturally charismatic personality. He is not afraid to show his interest in Liam. A considerate man, Jordan is sincerely willing to help Liam without passing judgment on his past. 

Sara York has created another enjoyable installment to this series. I especially enjoyed the display of camaraderie amongst all the co-workers.  

Theirs to Share

Title:  Theirs to Share
Author:  Trista Ann Michaels
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-278-7
Genre:  {M/F/M} Suspense, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Cheyenne drags a friend with her to get some pictures, but both end up getting shot at after seeing an FBI agent tortured.  Grayson and Parker end up being Cheyenne’s protectors when she has to be protected as a witness.  Grayson and Parker, who are cousins, both want a long term relationship with her.

The third book in the Crime and Punishment series, Theirs to Share, is a fast paced action and love story.  The author kept the story interesting and threw in at least one surprise toward the end. I really enjoyed the backstory for Grayson and Parker.  The author threw in a few humorous tidbits that were reflected as the story progressed. The men are cousins whose mothers are twins who did something that makes them extremely close and able to connect mentally.  As FBI agents, they watch each other’s backs.

Both men are attracted to Cheyenne and she is just as attracted to them.  All three try to resist acting on that attraction, but of course they fail.  The men aren’t sure Cheyenne will be able to handle a relationship with both of them long-term but once she makes up her mind, she is worried they don’t want that with her.  Once all the misunderstandings get sorted out, the scenes between them all get even hotter.

I loved David and his relationship with Cheyenne. There is a small secondary story with Cheyenne’s friend, David, which works out.  In addition, other agents show up to help and one may end up with his own story if hints are any indication.  

The stories in this series can be read as individual stories without having to read the entire series in order.  I would recommend reading all of them though, as each are good stories for the bookshelf. I am looking forward to the next one and hope it is Josh’s story.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Falconer’s Lure

Author: A.J. Marcus
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-830-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

All his life Garret Nicholson’s taken care of and trained birds of prey at the center run by his parents. He also works at his father falconry show during the Hawkwook Renaissance Festival trying to prove he’s a dependable adult, capable of being a good falconer. His dad has trouble seeing it, but leaves him in charge for a few days while he does business off-site.

Trevor DePalma loves the birds, and watching the shows makes him happier than he’s been since his parents threw him out of the house. He volunteers at the falconry booth and ends up helping Garrett with their care. Trevor learns all he can about the birds and the two grow close, except he’s afraid to tell Garrett about his past, especially about being homeless. As the dangers of living on the streets get all too real, can Trevor depend on Garrett to be there when he needs him?

The Falconer’s Lure is the latest in A Ren Faire Romance series by AJ Marcus.  Please note the previous characters don’t play major roles, so it can be read as a standalone.

I’m a fan of watching the birds of prey shows myself, so finding falconry as the focus of the story is a plus for me. It’s obvious the author did his research about falconry and did a very nice job weaving the information into the story. I enjoyed the scenes with the birds and actually learned something too.

I guess what I liked the most is that the author chose to use a young homeless man as one of his leads. He took a situation where Trevor and his friends had hit bottom but put it in the fantasy setting of the renaissance festival and turned it into a positive experience after months of uncertainty. Weaving the bad with the good, the pain with the joy and the rejection of the parents with the acceptance of Garrett, made for nice juxtapositions throughout the story. Having Garrett show Trevor compassion as they developed a friendship first was a nice way to begin their relationship.

Overall—I enjoyed the story, it’s well written and entertaining. I admit the opening started a little slow for me, but after a few pages it picked up and remained steady throughout the remainder of the book. The descriptions are vivid and I really liked Garrett and Trevor, and the author did a nice job developing their personalities. 

Trusting His Rat

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-983-2
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Paolo is thankful for the refuge that the Stone Ridge pack has given him.  However, being there brings the rat shifter one surprise he never expected – a mate.  Jamie has been protected by the members of the Stone Ridge pack from the moment he became a member.  When he meets his mate however, the young shifter does the one thing he has always done, run to his friends for help.

Trusting His Rat is the twenty-fourth book in author Charlie Richards’ long running Wolves of Stone Ridge series.   While I have enjoyed all the books in this series, Trusting His Rat is one of my favorites.  The characters are well done and have a strong chemistry that they do not try to hide.  Paolo has Dom written all over him, and he is thrilled to find out that Jamie, his mate, is a natural submissive.  With the mate pull and their natural leanings, you would think that these two would have an easy time of getting together.  But that is not the way things go and when a misunderstanding occurs after their first time together, Jamie does what comes naturally for him, he runs. 

When the readers learn more about Jamie’s past, they will understand why he acted as he did.  Both Jamie’s friends and Paolo himself help Jamie understand and overcome his fears.  The author could have chosen to draw this matter out; however, she did not, which kept the story moving smoothly.

There are many appearances by former characters and there are a couple of tense moments, due to the actions of some of those characters.  Thankfully Jamie and Paolo are surrounded by pack members and friends who help the two men when they needed it the most. 

Some of the books in this series need to be read in order however, this particular one can be read as a stand-alone if you wish, although I would highly recommend you read all the stories in order.  

Not Quite Broken

Author: Diana DeRicci
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02014-0270
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Dex is desperately trying to find the will to live but each day becomes harder. Dex’s only salvation is his friend Brian.

Not Quite Broken is part of the Arbor Heights Series. This is an especially emotional plot dealing with an ordeal not usually associated with men by the heterosexual society. The storyline takes the reader through the pain, lost of trust and feelings of being utterly helpless. Plus the emotional shame of being unwanted by family.

Dex is a young gay man just starting to implement his independence. He had a job and an apartment, but he wanted to meet new friends. Unfortunately Dex is horribly violated by a deranged man at a dance club. The emotional part of the violence almost destroyed Dex. Dex became so mentally withdrawn only Brian could pull him back to a few normal activities.

Brian is an extremely empathetic man; at first his single desire was to help Dex in any way he could. However, the more time Brian spent with Dex, the more he desired Dex as other than a friend. Nevertheless, Brian is an honorable man; he declined to act on his yearning for intimacy with Dex until Dex approached the topic first.

Diana DeRicci’s Not Quite Broken is a realistic as well as enjoyable saga that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I mourned for Dex’s lost of wellness, but I rejoiced for the peace Dex found in friends. 

Semper Fae

Title: Semper Fae
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: ManLoveRomance Books
Publishers URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02014-0268
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Zach has gone from being a Marine medic to head of security for Luge, the sidhe prince.  When he fell into his new position, he never realized he’d end up falling for anyone so far out of his league.  Luge isn’t known for being monogamous and Zach has no plans to be anyone’s one night stand.  But fate has more in store for both men and neither will be able to change a thing.

Semper Fae is the third book in the Endangered Fae series by author Angel Martinez.  While I loved the first two books, this one is really story driven and held my attention more than the others.  Zach and Luge are characters we met in the last story, but while they were minor characters in Diego, they take front and center stage in Semper Fae. In many ways these two make an unlikely match but they are perfect for each other.  Although the two men have strong chemistry, neither man can see just how much the other cares for them.  Of course, the author does bring them together, however, it is not in a way that anyone would see coming.  Unfortunately, it causes more than the usual problems later. 

While the romance plays a big part of the story, there is another part that is just as enthralling.  When Diego unexpectedly opened the veil between humans and the otherworld, no one knew what the consequences would be.   A year later they’re starting to find out just what is in store for both societies and it’s not all good either.  There are some twists and turns that are sure to surprise more than a few readers. More than once I was shocked by what was going on and worried how the author would be wrapping the story up.  I could not help crying at the end and am anxiously waiting for the next book to come out.

Endangered Fae is a series that needs to be read in order so if you have not read the previous books, you will need to do so before starting Semper Fae

In Fine Form

Title: In Fine Form
Author: Eresse
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: liquidsilverbooks.com
ISBN: 9781622101177
Genre: {M/M} Hermaphrodite Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Yandro Vaidon is the very essence of proper diplomacy at all times, much to the dismay of his employer Ambassador Jareth Hadrana. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable attraction between Yandro and Jareth. The attraction will take years to come into full bloom, but Yandro and Jareth consider their future together was well worth the wait.

In Fine Form is the sixth book in the Chronicles of Ylandre. The setting is Aisen, a planet resembling the European Regency time period. True Bloods formed the ruling class of every realm in Aisen, their ancestors kept their breeding with the planet’s natives to the barest minimum, retaining much of the physical strength, endurance and most of their gifts of mind control. The ancestors of the Half Bloods bred indiscriminately, which resulted in the diminishment or disappearance of many of the True Blood characteristics. The plot illustrates social prejudices, rumors of war, greed as well as schemes of corruption.

Jareth Hadrana is a member of the ruling class while Yandro Vaidon is a member of the lowest class of commoner. The class difference is the main source of Yandro’s despair. He allows the bullies to torment him without protest. Yandro even has the demeanor of a man deserving of such ill-treatment. Yet he is one of the most ethical of men amongst Jareth’s staff. Jareth is a man of compassion, regardless of what society deems as proper. Jareth also is not above using his mental powers to gain information. Jareth’s main flaw is his lack of trust in anyone who is not a family member.

Eresse has created another impressive as well as an exceptionally enjoyable addition to this series. I suggest reading the series in sequence beginning with Book One: Sacred Fate.  

The Blinding Light

Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-813-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Jake Manning’s been caretaker of his siblings for years; he watches over their alcoholic mother and is now paying off her debts. He can’t hold a job, either because of his sense of rightness or inability to keep his mouth shut. When he applies for a position as a housekeeper he’s desperate for money, even if his new boss, Patrick Stanford, has already run off several other housekeepers. 

Blind since birth, Patrick is very particular about his home and can be rude if he doesn’t get his way. He drives Jake crazy but there’s an attraction simmering just under the surface that Jake can’t deny. As the months progress, so does their relationship and during that time his family is getting their act together—and then the bottom drop out again. Jake’s mother has another crisis and needs him. Will Jake let Patrick help or will he pull away and handle his family problems alone?

The Blinding Light is the first book by Renae Kaye that I’ve read. It’s a fun and entertaining look at two wounded men who are struggling with life and who find that it can be much better together.

I really like these guys and am happy their romance built slowly. In fact, Jake and Patrick didn’t meet for several chapters. Instead, they communicated via computer generated notes, which is still rather old-fashioned, even if they used a modern method. It’s a twist I didn’t expect and I haven’t seen before.  The personalities of Jake and Patrick are well developed and give the reader a good feeling for their background and emotions.  Put them together and you wind up with a cute, feel good story with lots of grins and a few chuckles. I loved how Patrick didn’t let his blindness hold him back and Jake didn’t care about it either. It didn’t define who Patrick was. There’s a steady pace throughout, good descriptions, a solid plot and no dangling threads that I remember. 

I also enjoyed the secondary characters that were mostly Jake’s family. They really rounded out the story, even if they are also my niggle. Jake sacrificed everything for his family and they constantly took advantage of his love for them. He needed to stand up for himself more. 

Bride of the Black Scot

Author:  Elaine Coffman
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN/BIN:  9781419949227
Genre:  {M/F} Historical
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Juliette Pemberton has accepted her arranged marriage to the infamous Black Scot.  She didn’t think the bad rumors could be true about the man.  After meeting a black-haired devil who unlocked feelings Juliette never knew existed, she becomes torn between duty and desire.

Stephen Gordon’s life hasn’t been an easy one, and it’s left him distrustful of women.  When he arrives to claim Juliette, Stephen tries very hard not to fall victim to her charms.  She drives him crazy, in more ways than one.  Because he’s been withholding information about The Black Scot, Stephen hurts Juliette.  

The simple budding relationship between Stephen and Juliette was made unnecessarily complicated by Stephen.  I understood his reasons for keeping his mouth closed, but after a point he should have come clean.  The only reason I didn’t lose respect for him was because he did at least try to reveal all to Juliette before he slept with her.  I have to give him credit for that.  I love a man of honor. 

The Black Scot has some unexpected humor centered around Juliette’s constant talking.  I laughed out loud many times.  If you enjoy verbal sparring as foreplay as much as I do, this story is a must read.

Taming the Mistress

Author:  Sindra van Yssel
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781623006082
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Sue is feeling out of sorts as she realizes she is getting bored.  She became a Domme after she had a relationship end.  Dane is watching Sue, but knows there is more to her.  Will Dane let Sue return to who she really is?

Taming the Mistress is the sixth book in the Bondage Ranch series.  This is a little bit different because a woman, who is not a natural switch, has been known as a Domme at the Ranch for years.  The author did a good job showing the difference between someone who is a natural switch and those that make choices due to circumstances that color their lives.  Regardless, judgments should not be made because of someones ideas about what a Dom, Domme or Submissive is.

Though Sue and Dane clashed, it became apparent that Sue could become Dane’s submissive and leave her Domme behind.  The chemistry between them is hot, but it takes the help of friends to help them get together as there are a lot of misunderstandings.

Most of the secondary characters are those we have met before and several have some good advice for Sue.  I liked that the author did not minimize past relationships and showed feelings such as jealousy realistically. 

I am looking forward to more in the Bondage Ranch series.  The author is good at showing various aspects of BDSM and what some of the characters struggles are to get to their journey.  Taming the Mistress is just another book in a great series that should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fading Light

Title: Fading Light
Author: Angela Dennis
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61922-456-8
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 09-23-2014

Conflicts are growing on the Earthly plane between human and supernatural creatures. Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin and her partner, Gray Warlow decide to return in an attempt to prevent a devastating war. Their attraction is intense but hurts from the past linger for Brenna, sabotaging their attempts at reconciliation and frustrating Gray. Trying to build a relationship when humans are inexplicably turning to ash is almost impossible. Without any clues and the death count rising, Brenna and Gray are desperate to find the cause. Is it a powerful magical foe and have they been betrayed as they fear? Can they and their friends find a way to defeat their enemy and prevent a war? While trying to stay alive can they forget the past, so they can make a future?

Fading Light is the second release in the Shadow Born series by Angela Dennis. It begins shortly after Shadows of Fate ended, so the books should be read in order.

There’s a lot going on in this book—friendships, love, compassion, demons, death, destruction, betrayal and lots of angst. Most of the angst comes from Brenna who was hurt badly in the past and can’t let it go, which only hurts and frustrates Gray. I’m afraid that as much as I liked her in the first book, her personality here seems pretty stagnant. The author didn’t allow her to grow, at least in the beginning, and even though her pain wasn’t Gray’s fault, she’s still punishing him. Truthfully, I got tired of the whining. I was happy the author let her move on as the book progressed. Gray I adore. He’s a little too protective but he’s trying to do the right thing. By the end of the book, I could see them as a successful couple. I can’t wait to see what happens with them in the next book. I’ll be reading it; I hope you will be too.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters. They are so varied in nature and have such different personalities. The author did an excellent job of interweaving them into the plot, whether as a friend or a fight. And talking about fighting—the imagery is very well done, pulling you into the scene and making you a part of the action. Good job, Ms. Dennis. There are plenty of surprises in this fast paced, complicated story line, so pay attention; you don’t want to miss something exciting.

An Unconventional Chicago

Author: Five Author Anthology
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: totallybound.com/
ISBN: 9781784301453
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

An Unconventional Chicago is one enjoyable story divided into five segments written by five very talented authors. The main theme features brutal greedy mobsters controlling the entire city including a cesspool of dirty politicians. Chicago is divided into territories with a different mob family in charge. However, there is an underground movement working to take back the city with the help of mob defectors seeking revenge. The secondary theme highlights the clandestine romantic relationships.    

No Bravery by T.A. Chase - 4.5 Nymphs
One power hungry brother will do anything and everything to control the family’s territory, including sending his older brother Farris away to be tortured for years. But Farris finds an ally in his driver Darien. Together, Farris and Darien set the wheels of revenge as well as justice into motion.  

Love Don’t Die by Jambrea Jo Jones - 4.5 Nymphs
One of the dangers associated with living in Chicago is that a relationship between the privileged gang members and a lower class man is forbidden. Former gangster Dutch joined the rebellion to stay close to his lover Moran; their only hope for survival is to get out of town, which is an almost unattainable prospect.  

Passion Under Fire by Stephani Hecht - 4.5 Nymphs   
The revolution is heating up, moving ever closer to taking down the mob. Fed up with his gangster brothers, Georgio becomes allies with the underground along with his lover Tito. But after a shootout with the mob, Georgio and Tito are now on the run.

Ganging Up on Love by Amber Kell - 4.5 Nymphs
Dirk completes his mission for the rebels when he delivers the evidence to resistance leader Leon. The good news is there is an immediate attraction between Dirk and Leon; the bad news is the rebels are plagued with mob spies and betrayal. 

Bonfire Heart by Devon Rhodes - 4.5 Nymphs
The chokehold on Chicago has finally been broken, thanks to deputy mayor Thierry and his lover Eduardo who were instrumental in breaking the mob’s domination.  

Texas Twist

Title: Texas Twist
Author: Cynthia D’Alba
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61922-388-2
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 09-02-2014

After her parents die in a car crash Paige Ryan decides to move to Whispering Springs, Texas to be closer to her half-brother, Leo. It gives her a chance to use her education working at the medical clinic while trying to decide what to do with her life. She doesn’t expect to see the one man guaranteed to distract her…Cash Montgomery.

After being severely injured during a bull ride, Cash is drinking heavily and wallowing in self-pity. After sobering up some, he’s offered the use of his sister-in-law’s empty ranch house, unaware it’s already occupied by Paige. With nothing to do, Cash starts remodeling the house and soon the sparks are flying between him and his gorgeous housemate. Can they make a go of it, or will demons from the past drive them apart?

Texas Twist is the newest release in Cynthia D’Alba’s Texas Montgomery Mavericks series. The previous characters are closely interwoven so I recommend the books be read in order.

Prologues aren’t usually my favorite thing but in this instance it proves useful. It provides the details of the horrible bull riding injury Cash suffered, thus setting up his emotional state for chapter one. As a fan of the PBR, I’ve seen lots of riders get bucked off bulls, but nothing compared to the imagery of what happened to Cash in the opening of this book. The description is short but still conjures images that made me cringe. It’s quite an introduction and is just an example of Ms. D’Alba’s ability.

Needless to say, Cash has serious issues as a result of his injuries. He drinks too much, has an attitude problem, even with his family, and truthfully I didn’t like him much in the beginning. The author had to work at molding his personality for me to change my opinion, but it worked. I did like him eventually. Then there’s Paige—a much nicer person, who I liked immediately. Ms. D’Alba took these two people with such different life experiences, turned their present circumstances on their ears and put them together into a well plotted and paced story of pain and uncertainty that really worked. There are a few twists and several explosions of temper, so watch out for the fun as Cash and Paige try to figure out their lives.

Laser

Title: Laser
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-971-9
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lukar knows he will never have a mate because he is a throwback among his people.  His brother ends up in charge of saving a young woman that would have died if not for her father, and in the process makes Lee Lukar’s mate and Guardian partner.

Laser is the latest book in Terran Times Second Wave series.  Readers learn more about the cybernetic program that the Nyal Imperium have and we get a good look when Lee’s life hangs in the balance.  Ms. Grace has created a wonderful world that is very believable.  The descriptions of the various aliens, as well as the humans, will let you picture them as you read. The ships that the Guardians have are ones I would like to have.

I loved Lukar’s brother, Dr. Icky.  While serious, he also has a wicked sense of humor the both Lee and Lukar experience.  The description of the wedding and the bride was interesting.  I really liked the symbolism as it was explained.

The chemistry between Lee and Lukar is hot.  I think both were a little surprised by their attraction, but Lukar realized what his brother did.  I liked that they discussed some of their differences in culture and that mindset about sex in their societies. 

While I haven’t read the entire series yet, I am really enjoying the books I have read and am looking forward to future stories, and these books can be read alone.