Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cry For Me My Little Raven

Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0330-0
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Fearing having to live in his car, Clarkston goes to his cousin looking for help.  But after the way he acted the last time they were together, Clarkston is unsure of his welcome.  He is surprised when his cousin not only welcomes him, but also helps him get a position in the coalition.  Months later, while out on a mission, Clarkston helps rescue a group of young men, one who ends up changing Clarkston’s life.

Cry For Me My Little Raven is the 38th book in Ms. Hecht’s, The Lost Shifters, series.  This story introduces the readers to two new characters, Clarkston and Kidd.  Clarkston may have a slight connection to the feline’s coalition, but it is a tentative one at best, or so he thinks.  Because of the way his old coalition treated him and others, it is easy to understand his fear of fitting in with Mitchell’s group.  It does not keep him from giving his best.  Kidd is a raven, one who only recently realized that he was a shifter.  Like others in this series who are taken by surprise, this unexpected change has wreaked havoc on Kidd’s life.  It is not surprising that he ends up on the streets or that he finds himself the leader of a group of raven shifters in similar circumstances.   While the situation is hard on Kidd and his group, I like that there are still groups of shifters who have no idea what they are and are struggling to cope with what they are facing.  I was curious to see how the author would bring Kidd and his group into the fold and thought this part of the story was well done. 

It is a mission that brings these two characters together and, like the previous characters, the mating pull is strong and something neither character is expecting or knows how to handle.  While the romance between these two is fun to watch play out, it is the introduction of a new enemy that made this an entertaining read.  Unlike other enemies, this new one does not work well with others, making all breeds of shifters a target.  I am curious to see what this will bring to the series and when we will see one of these new shifters become a mate. 

When Dove Cries

Title:  When Dove Cries
Author:  Beth D. Carter
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781784305550
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Multicultural, Crime and Mystery, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Draven is forced to help the FBI find the trafficking organization in Destiny.  Cade knows Draven has a problem with him due to history with Draven’s family.  Both men join forces when they find Dove after she escaped her captivity and they realize she was one of the victims.

When Dove Cries is the third book in the Red Wolves Motorcycle Club series and picks up where True North ends.  Draven didn’t want to make a run to Las Vegas for a drug dealer, but knows the Red Wolves need the money for hospital bills.  Cade knows the club hasn’t been doing anything illegal for a while, but due to an ongoing investigation into the drug dealer, this is the perfect opportunity to go undercover using the Red Wolves.  Rescuing Dove works out great as far as Cade is concerned.

I liked the way the author didn’t sugar coat the relationship between Draven and Cade, even to the point the men were jealous of each other for a while.  Draven knows a ménage relationship can work as he has friends in them, but hates the idea because of who the other man is.  An incident with Draven’s brother and what happened while Draven was there is a major issue between the men.

I was a little surprised by part of the resolution of who the bad guy was and some of the other twists.  I had to laugh at North’s reaction when Cade admitted he was an FBI agent.

There is at least one more book in this series and I am wondering how it is going to connect with the overall theme of the series, other than the Red Wolves, since it seems like those loose ends have been resolved.  I am looking forward to finding out. 

The Klockwerk Kraken

Author: Aidee Ladnier
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02015-0415
Genre: {M/M} Sci-Fi
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Bartender and owner Teo Houdin has a good location for his business, but the key to the bar’s success depends on serving the premium beverages not found in the other way station bars. Newly licensed space pilot, Jimenez is the answer to Ted’s dilemmas.

The Klockwerk Kraken is a creative plot with intriguing descriptions of high tech earth objects advanced to the next level; one example is the security cameras are mobile with other features that emulate the police. The captivating characters are engaging.

The thought of having six arms is a tiny bit creepy; however Teo’s charismatic personality overshadows the creepy aspect. Teo takes multi-tasking to a whole new level, working behind the bar or in the bedroom; Teo can perform a variety of task all at once.

Jimenez has an almost daily struggle trying to overcome his past mental conditioning. Nevertheless, Jimenez’s compassionate nature is stronger than his programmed personality.

Aidee Ladnier has created an exceptionally impressive saga that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Klockwerk Kraken is a heartwarming romance with a touch of amusement, a little drama as well as several sensuous intimacy scenes.

Driving Borscht Batty

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0417-8
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Borscht has been head of his family for some time and has watched as some of his siblings found their beloved.  He’s not jealous of what they have, but he can’t help wondering if he will ever be as lucky.  Little does he know that things are about to change.

Driving Borscht Batty is the 29th story in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This book really grabs your attention from the beginning and I wished it could have been longer.  The author did a good job with the characters in this book, especially Sekani, who is new to the series, unlike Borscht. 

Since Borscht is Tullion’s brother, readers may remember him from The Vampire’s Geek.   They may also remember that not all of Tullion’s and Borscht’s siblings were happy about the fact that Tullion’s beloved was a male.  You can only imagine how those same siblings will react when Borsch finds his mate, who is also male.  Sekani is a shifter, one that has spent most of his life in a cage.  Because of this, Sekani knows next to nothing about the outside world.  As much as I felt bad for the young bat, I loved the innocence he had about him and thought it was the perfect foil for Borscht’s seriousness. 

There is a lot of action in this story, and I was surprised to see an old enemy make a return as I thought they had been handled once already.  I also like the fact that the author has opened up the possibility of many more stories in this series with the rescue of Sekani’s friends.  In fact, I would love to see one of those rescued shifters turn out to be Aleksei’s beloved.

Although over way too fast, I found this story to be a well done addition to an ongoing series.  It is one I plan on re-reading again in the future. 

Driven by Night

Title:  Driven by Night
Author:  Aliyah Burke
Publisher:  Totally Bound
ISBN/BIN:  9781784305840
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Paranormal, Multicultural
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Calida Michaels doesn’t know why she’s being chased.  A dangerously hot stranger comes to her rescue just in time, but Calida’s not sure that going with him is the best idea.  Strange feelings overwhelm her and Calida is drawn to the man.  She feels safe in his arms but Calida is underwhelmed by his explanation of why he has to protect her.

As a Guardian, Tiarnán Malone knows that anything can happen when he’s sent on a riddled mission.  He tries to expect the unexpected, but finding his mate is a complete shock.  Fulfilling a prophecy and gaining Calida’s’s trust isn’t going as smoothly as it could.  Tiarnán is the perfect warrior but he’s horrible at expressing his feelings to Calida. 

Calida is fed up with Tiarnán and tired of taking a back seat.  He says they are meant to be together, but with Tiarnán, it’s like an obligation, not love.  Calida isn’t willing to settle so the battle between good and bad will have to wrap up without her when she decides to leave.  Tiarnán realizes his mistakes with Calida a little too late.  Putting all his cards on the table is the only way to convince Calida of his true feelings.  Saving the world won’t mean anything to Tiarnán if he doesn’t have Calida in his world.

Driven by Night, the fifth book of the Astral Guardians series, definitely left me with questions.  Aliyah Burke knows how to leave readers thinking about a story long after they finish reading it.  The story was excellent as a stand alone read, so I don’t doubt that reading the series in order would be more impacting. Tiarnán’s childhood wasn’t an easy one, and I know that becoming a Guardian saved him.   Tiarnán is not very expressive and I understand why.  He had strong bonds with very few people and Calida didn’t understand some of these bonds, although I have to put the blame on Tiarnán for causing that situation.  Men can be dense as fog sometimes, even if they are a great warrior.  If you enjoy watching the sparks fly between a couple, then this story is for you.  

Missing Soldier

Author: AKM Miles
Publisher: MLR Books
Publishers URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR1020150411
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Soldier is shocked to receive a call from an old military budding asking for help.  He only plans on being gone a few days, but when Dillion loses contact with him, he can’t help but worry.  It’s a good thing the two men have a lot of sons to lend a hand when something goes wrong.

Missing Soldier is the eighth book in Ms. Miles, Scarcity Sanctuary series.  This novella is a bit of a change from what we normally see from this series.  Rather than being about one of Soldier’s and Dillion’s sons, this book is about Soldier himself.  The author uses this story to fill in some of the gaps in Soldier’s history by allowing the readers to find out what really happened on his final tour with the military.  One of the reasons Ms. Miles is a favorite author is the way in which she handles her characters and the issues they are going through.  Whether its Soldier’s PTSD, the complete destruction that Double D goes through, or the way in which Soldier behaved towards the rest of his men while he was in the hospital, all of it comes across realistically.  

As such a focal point in this series, fans know that should anything happen to him it would affect many different lives, but it would devastate Dillion.  When Dillion realizes something is wrong, I could not help wondering how he would hold up, even as I knew the author would allow these two to continuing having their HEA.  All the boys return to help their fathers out and they do so in a big way.  It was wonderful seeing all these characters back again.  Even the youngest ones help out in their own way.  

While only 29,000 words, Missing Soldier is packed full of action.  It will hold the reader’s attention from the first page until the last.  Fans of this series are sure to love this new story which is sure to find its way to many ‘keeper’ shelves.

Buzz & Blow, Shave & Shimmer, Fade & Fluff

Author: Alex Carreras
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925313-17-8
Genre: {M/M} Vampire Anthology
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Three stories each are featuring a different vampire couple. The plot is set in Sangre, Florida. The characters share common interests, as well as common goals. Everlasting Salon is located directly across the street from Killer Kuts barbershop, which is considered to be second-rate according to the salon hairdressers. Nevertheless, the aristocratic hairdressers develop permanent relationships with the common barbers. When a psycho vampire threatens to destroy the peace of the vampire community, the hairdressers and barbers ban together to exterminate the perpetrator.    

Buzz & Blow - 4 Nymphs
Hairdresser Asher comes from a long line of stylist to the aristocrats. He misses the days of powered wigs. However, Asher cannot deny his attraction for Niko, a barber. Niko, who grew up poor, comes from Cuba. Niko is attracted to Asher but was always afraid of being rejected.

Shave & Shimmer – 4 Nymphs
Hairdresser Tory is looking for a soul mate and he believes he has found a mate with the barber Ray.  But Ray is so steeped in seeking revenge that he could not recognize the love Tory offered.

Fade & Fluff – 3.5 Nymphs
Jerrod is the owner of Everlasting Salon; he also is a social snob. Jerrod has secretly loved Kairon, the owner of Killer Kuts on and off for centuries.

Overall the stories are sweetly romantic as well as amusing. The fight scenes are interesting, but have a confusing conclusion. In the final fight scene, Jerrod attacks the psycho and then the storyline switches to an intimacy scene with no explanation of what happened to the criminal. I can only surmise that there will be another story or that readers must come up with their own finale.  

McCallan’s Secret

Author:  Theodora Lane
Publisher:  Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL:  http://www.lsbooks.com
ISBN/BIN:   978-1-62210-218-1  
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

It’s been a long time since Carrie felt butterflies over a man, but Leon was the man who made that feeling return.  But, before Carrie could become his wife, she had to come clean about something she’d been hiding. 

Leon had been alone for an eternity but he knew that Carrie was the perfect woman for him.  She said she wanted to talk, so Leon knew he couldn’t miss the opportunity to share something that he’d been keeping under wraps. 

I knew something big was waiting in the wings but I couldn’t guess exactly what it was in McCallan’s Secret, the third book of the McCallan Legacy series.  This short read is a cute coupling of two people who finally find an accepting partner.  Carrie’s family isn’t the only one with the paranormal thing going on.  There were some comical, real moments that made me smile.  Sometimes things take an unexpected turn that winds up taking us exactly where we should be and this story proves that.

Murder and Mayhem

Author:  Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781634762236
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Rook Stevens has tried to fly under the radar since the last time he was busted.  He’s turned his life around and is still making a pretty good living.  When a former colleague turns up dead on his store floor, and the police find him covered in blood, the former cat burglar finds himself right back in jail. 

Murder and Mayhem is the newest book by author Rhys Ford and if you are a fan of this author, then you are sure to like this book.  It is easy to find yourself pulled into the worlds created by Ms. Ford and this one is no different.  You will find yourself hooked from the beginning as the story opens up with Rook finding a body in his shop.  The author does such a good job describing what is going on that it is easy to see the gruesome scene that the young thief has found and when the body falls on Rook, you can imagine the way he must have freaked out.  This is the start of a murder mystery that has so many twists and turns that you will keep flipping the pages just to see what will happen next.

Rook’s newest misfortune brings Detective Dante Montoya back into his life, this time with different results.  Several years ago, when Rook was still stealing, Dante and his partner were involved in trying to bring him down.  There was a chemistry between them that neither wanted to acknowledge, especially Dante who almost lost his career over the case.  When the two are brought back together, Dante hopes he will finally be able to arrest the young thief.  The attraction between the two men is stronger than ever and readers will find themselves rooting for these two.  I liked that the author did not make their coming together an easy one, even though the readers were able to see how much they want each other.  Rook’s cockiness is the perfect foil for Dante’s seriousness and as the story plays out, it is easy to see how much the each man has learned from the other. 

There are several secondary characters in this story that play important roles in the mystery. One of those secondary characters is Rook’s grandfather.  After meeting him, readers will see just where Rook gets all his attitude from.  There is a lot of action in Murder and Mayhem, all of which will hold the reader’s attention. If you play close attention, there is a hint as to who the primary bad guy is but the why is still unknown. 

While the author already has several series going, all of them worth reading, I hope she also has plans to turn this story into one as well, as I would love to see more of these two.

Ultimatum

Title:  Ultimatum
Author:  Annmarie McKenna
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-59998-687-6
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Paige is being stalked by a man who thinks she is already his mate, but she found her mate who just happens to be her cousin’s fiancé’s brother, Derek.  How is she going to tell him she is a shifter?

The third book in the Graham Pack Mates series, Ultimatum, picks up after Checkmate.  The majority of shifter stories with human mates usually involve a male shifter and human female, making this one a little bit different as it involves a female shifter and human male.  The usual disbelief about convincing a mate there are such things as shifters doesn’t apply here either, as Derek has known about his best friend’s family since high school.  There was a very interesting moment when Derek realized he was Paige’s mate.

The chemistry between Paige and Derek is very intense and the scenes between them get steamy.  There are some funny moments, when they are around other pack mates, about not being able to keep their hands off each other. There are also some funny moments between Derek and his sister Nikki, who is marrying Derek’s best friend and Paige’s cousin, Eli, regarding shifters and the intensity of mating.

Things are also getting stressful for Paige at work, due to some personality issues with her team.  What is going on has direct bearing on what happens later.  One of Paige’s pack mates inadvertently muddies the water regarding the threat to Paige.  One thing for sure, Nikki’s wedding will be unforgettable.

I have read several books by Ms. McKenna, and I have not been disappointed in the Graham Pack Mates series.  Ultimatum is just as suspenseful as the first two books and I hope there are more in the future.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bachelors Party

Author: Xavier Mayne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781623806545
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Brandt’s and Donnelly’s wedding is creeping ever closer, which means the next big thing to happen is the bachelor party.  When Brandt’s older brother decides to take charge, neither man is sure what to expect, especially after they put him in touch with Bryce.  On top of everything else, the men find themselves searching for a missing bartender, something that tosses them in to the limelight once again.

Oliver is studying to be a doctor and, while the small town in which he lives has paid for his schooling inorder to have a new doctor when Oliver graduates, he still has to have money to live on.  When a friend tells him about a job at a bar where he is sure to get great tips, he’s ready to jump at it.  Then he finds out the job is at a gay bar and now he’s not sure that it’s his cup of tea.  It’s not that he is homophobic, just that he isn’t comfortable pretending to be something he’s not. 

James is a politician with big plans, or at least those around him have big plans for him.  In order to become recognizable to the rest of the state, those in James’ life decide he needs to be involved in a scandal, but one that will push his career forward to bigger things.  This brings James and Oliver together and soon nothing is the same. 

Bachelors Party is the fifth story in the A Brandt and Donnelly Caper series.  Not only does each book in this series brings the readers closer to Brandt and Donnelly’s wedding, but it also throws the two men into another crazy case.  In this newest book, the men find themselves looking for their bartender. 

The story surrounding James and Oliver takes center stage in this new book and I could not believe how everything plays out.  Although Oliver is straight, it is easy to see that will not last long, especially after he meets James.  There is a connection between the men from the beginning and I could not help wondering how the author would handle this since James was married.  When the truth surrounding James comes out, not only was I surprised, but I could not believe how stupid these people were.  When more comes out that not even James is aware of, I was surprised and thought James went too easy on the guilty party. 

When not concentrating on the craziness that Oliver and James find themselves in, Bachelors Party brings the readers more on Brandt and Donnelly.  What should be a party that is over the top turns out to be one that is causing Brandt a lot of stress.  While deeply in love with Donnelly, Brandt still does not consider himself gay.  In fact, he is not sure what he is other than in love.  I am glad the author has chosen to handle this situation with Brandt in this way, as in most “gay for you” stories, the characters usually come to terms with the changes in their lives with no side issues.   I also like that Donnelly is so understanding and willing to help his partner in any way he can. 

Between the issues surrounding Oliver and James, as well as the confusion that Brandt is feeling, readers would expect this to be an angst driven story. However, there are plenty of light hearted moments in this book that will have you laughing out loud.  In fact, I suggest you not be drinking when Brandt is telling his brother about the time him, Donnelly, Bryce, and Nestor watched Brokeback Mountain.   I could not stop laughing and was thankful I was at home by myself. 

A Brandt and Donnelly Caper series is a fun read that will leave you wanting more.  I can’t wait to see what the author has planned next for these two and hope that the series will not end with the honeymoon.  

Spell Bound

Title: Spell Bound
Author: Jacob Z. Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63476-124-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Mason Blackmoor’s magic doesn’t measure up to his father and two brothers. He should wield strong black magic but instead whenever he casts a spell, it backfires, creating chaos. And despite his age, his full magical power hasn’t manifested, so he doesn’t know what it might be.

On the day Mason meets Drake Carpenter, everything changes. Not only does Drake annoy Mason with his friendly, self-confident ways but he feels strangely attracted too. Mason doesn’t understand what’s going on but after a couple of altercations it’s pretty certain Drake doesn’t like him either. Then later that day they find a dead body on his high school football field and no one in the magical community knows what’s going on.

Since nothing strange happened before Drake arrived in town, could he be to blame, or is it a coincidence. But Drake does act odd and why does he run all over town? And why is Mason drawn to him? What’s going on? Why does he feel so spell bound? Is his feeling toward Drake real or is something else going on?

Spell Bound is the first release in the new paranormal trilogy The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge by Jacob Z. Flores. This was a first time read of this author for me and I’m glad to report I found it well written, fun and entertaining. New authors are always an uncertainty but the premise of this new trilogy caught my attention and I had to give it a try—and I’m glad I did. Truthfully, I can’t wait for the next one.

I enjoyed the world building; it’s filled with vivid details and background information to make the story come alive. Some of the details on warlocks and witches isn’t new, but the author added some interesting twists to make it seem fresh and creative. There’s a lot going on in the story. Not just with the budding relationship between Mason and Drake, but with the unknown evil invading the town of Havenbridge, Massachusetts, where the Blackmoor family guards a powerful Gate. It’s a balancing act to get it right, and I haven’t even mentioned the secondary characters that play important roles, the various types of magic, and the death and danger scattered throughout the plot. 

Don’t think its all action and death, because it’s not. There’s still time for romance and some fun and laughs between the characters. And the bantering dialogue between Mason and his brothers is funny and realistic, even if the topic isn’t. Yes, there are dangling threads and unanswered questions at the end but it’s obvious the books are linked so I didn’t get unset. Know that there’s a wrap-up of some things and Mason and Drake as a couple is resolved.

Little Wolf

Title: Little Wolf
Author: R. Cooper
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632169761
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Mystery, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Tim has been on the run for a while and one of the first things he learned is that it is never too smart to stay in one place for too long.  That’s why he can’t understand what he is still doing in Wolf’s Paw.  Then there is the sheriff.  Nathaniel is an alpha who could give Tim’s uncle a run for his money, but for some reason Tim can’t help but watch for the man, or mouth off when he sees him. 

Little Wolf is the fourth book in the Being(s) in Love series.  This book centers on Tim and Nathaniel and I am glad the author decides to tackle them next rather than making us wait. It did not take long for this story to become my favorite of the series so far.  I was curious about Tim after meeting him in A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate and think the author did a great job bringing him to life in Little Wolf.  Tim knows next to nothing about wolf culture or how to behave around other shifters.  This seems a little odd since he comes from one of the oldest shifter families still in existence but, as the reader learns more about the young man they will understand why.  

Nathaniel is the sheriff and alpha of Wolf’s Paw.  He also happens to be Tim’s mate but, because of the rules that exist in Wolf’s Paw, he cannot just claim the younger man like he would like to.  Although there is some strong chemistry between Tim and Nathaniel, the fact that Nathaniel has to wait for Tim to make the first move and with Tim having no clue what is going on, means there are a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings.  At times the misunderstandings did drive me crazy, not because they were unbelievable but because it was so obvious that Tim needed help understanding wolf shifter culture, but no one seemed to step forward to give him a hand. 

There is a lot going on in this book other than the relationship between the sheriff and Tim.  Some of the twists will surprise the readers and I loved how they played out in this story.  There are several wonderful secondary characters, all of whom help move the story along in one manner or the other.  

I think fans of this genre will love this new addition to R. Cooper’s series. While some of the stories have taken place in Wolf’s Paw, not all of them do.  I am curious if more will take place here, or if the author plans on taking the reader elsewhere for the next book.

True North

Title:  True North
Author:  Beth D. Carter
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781784304850
Genre: {M/F/M}, Multicultural, Mystery, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

North and Givon are spending time fishing, when they hear a shot fired close by. As they race to the location, they see Allison lying on the ground bleeding.  As North tries to stop the bleeding, Givon, as sheriff, goes after the man.  Allison knows she is lucky to be alive.

The second book in the Red Wolves Motorcycle Club series, True North, has two lifelong friends facing a life-changing incident.  Givon is the sheriff in Destiny and North is the president of the Red Wolves.  Even though they took different paths, they still rely on each other to protect their backs. Readers learn a lot about both Givon and North, including how clubs are like families to members.

There were several surprises and two distinct threads revolving around Allison, one which dominated and put North and Gavon in danger.  Givon’s decision about North and Allison wasn’t too much of a surprise.  Both men were surprised that they didn’t feel jealous about sharing Allison but realized they had a resource to talk to with their friends, Braden, Leo and Merrie.

I loved the way Givon and North never let their lives ruin their friendship, though they were very careful to walk a thin line.  There are several clashes with lots of secondary characters and one decision that will be sure to haunt the Red Wolves in the future.  The author did a good job with the resolution of the major thread involving Allison, though I was surprised by who handled it at the end. 

The Red Wolves Motorcycle Club series is best read in order to get the full impact of the stories.  I am looking forward to the next story.

Shotgun

Title: Shotgun
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63476-129-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Dominic Jacobsen realized he was gay after he meets Lamar Franklin when he was in town visiting family. It’s only one night and then Lamar returned to Tucson, but it convinced Dom that he’s met and lost the man of his dreams.

After ending a bad relationship, Lamar gives up his job and heads back to Coda, a town he hasn’t seen in fifteen years. Luckily the high school has an open position and a family member has a house he can live in. He’s upset, depressed and getting crank phone calls---then his car is vandalized.

Having his car taken to the auto repair shop changes everything when it brings Dominic and Lamar face to face. Seeing Lamar has been Dominic’s dream for years but now he has much to fear as well—losing his teenage daughter and his large family if they learn his true feelings for a man. That means being friends only with Lamar—which is harder than Dominic ever imagined. The question is can he do it when Lamar wants more?

Shotgun is release 7 in Marie Sexton’s Coda series. I enjoyed seeing the previous characters included in the plot but feel its okay to read the book as a standalone. These previous individuals added physical and emotional support and grounded the story in the Coda world since Lamar and Dominic are new additions.

I enjoyed the opening scenes where Lamar and Dominic met in high school. The emotions and actions of teenagers are well done and I got a good feel for what was going on with them on that night. The reason behind Lamar’s return to Coda is believable and so is his upset and depression, but for a romance book his emotional angst goes on for too long in my opinion. So much so that I didn’t find it realistic when he suddenly met Dominic again and they started seeing each other and he’s enthralled. Then you move into the other issue…Dominic’s emotional baggage…his daughter and family. So there’s angst and baggage galore to wade through as these two try to figure out how they feel. I enjoyed getting to know Dominic’s daughter and some of the other characters but for me the story started to drag in the middle and I wanted it to speed up. 

Then there’s the vandalism plot line and other things too. There’s just a lot going on and I’m not certain they make good leads for a romance novel. You’ll have to judge for yourself. Give it a try.

Family Jewels

Title: Family Jewels
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781634760744
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Luke is an Interpol agent living in England.  One night just as he is getting ready to settle down after an exhausting day at work, he is called back out on a case.  That night is the start of a series of events that will change Luke’s life.

Family Jewels is the newest book by Ms. O’Shea.  This story is one that, for me, is hard to review.  There are parts of the story that I really loved.  The premise is excellent and one that easily pulled me in.  I loved the idea of a cat burglar and Interpol agent falling in love.  I could not wait to see how the author planned to play this out.  Then there were the characters.

The main characters are very engaging.  Luke is everything that you would expect an Interpol agent to be.  This strong handsome man is open about who he is and does not make any excuses for anything.  The only thing missing is someone steady in his life.  Corbin is following in the family business, and while he has made a name for himself, he no longer has the same feelings as when he started.  Deciding to spice things up a little, he borrows a couple of tricks from his father.  These two men are each seeking something and end up at the same bar.  The attraction between them is instant and, from the beginning, both men ignore their personal rules.  Even though you know that the author is planning to put these two together, I could not help thinking that there were so many ways this could go wrong. 

Another aspect of the story I loved was the mystery, not only that of the Nightwatchman, but also the murder that occurs.  This part of the story has many twists and turns, and I could not believe who the bad guy turns out to be.  I never saw it coming and I am sure others will be just as surprised. 

Now for the part of the story that makes this review hard, the ending.  Without giving anything away, I will just say this book in no way ended the way I was expecting.  I hope the author plans to bring these two men back for more, as there are some questions that still need to be answered.

Crazy Joe

Title: Crazy Joe
Author: A. J. Llewellyn / D. J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-68175-027-9
Genre: {M/M} Romantic Comedy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Montana Delray is on the fast track to success until a small indiscretion temporarily derailed him to New Orleans 77th Precinct. The only detective even remotely considered normal at the 77th is Joe Hunter. Working together, Montana realized Joe is not so crazy after all.

Crazy Joe is an amusing story of a collection of detectives who each have personality quirks considered a bit strange. The plot features several nuisance crimes like the cross dresser who stole his outfits or the public park flasher. There is also a bizarre case involving out of the ordinary toys.

Before Montana arrived, Joe was the only one without a truly weird idiosyncrasy, being an intuitive person is a gift. Joe’s problem is that he blurts out whatever insights he picks up which makes it hard to sustain a long term relationship.

Montana, on the other hand, seems to have a problem asking the basic preliminary questions before having sexual activities with cute gay guys. 

I enjoyed Crazy Joe immensely, especially the incredibly unconventional crime cases. 

Twisted Roses

Author:  Skye Dragen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-279-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

After being abandoned by his parents, Payne has serious trust issues. So when his father shows at his job telling him his grandfather is dying and he needs to come to the family estate to learn about his inheritance. Payne’s reluctant to go and he’s was right to be concerned—it’s nothing like he ever imagined.

While walking the paths through the forest, Payne’s Fae nature comes alive for the first time and his grandfather confesses that his family is the caretaker of a Sidhe, Fae and other magical creature—and he’s to be the next guardian. It’s dangerous learning to navigate through the many political courts of the magical creatures and a wrong move while teaching him how to deal with the other inhabitants of the preserve could has lasting repercussions. Most importantly he and his dragon mentor, Aden, have to learn how to trust in each other when times of crisis arise.

Twisted Roses is the first book in Skye Dragen’s new Unseen trilogy. I admit it. I’m always careful when selecting a book from a new author but I’m happy to report I found this release well written and entertaining, with interesting, fully developed characters. Best of all the world building is well done, pulling the reader into the story with vivid descriptions and a complicated plot line that flows smoothly. Her take on the various fae courts and their differences is woven perfectly into the plot. I have to give her a two thumbs-up on a great job of balancing all the various story components. 

The story really has a little bit of everything. Family angst, political intrigue, illness, action, and two main characters I really enjoyed. That one of them is a cranky but sexy dragon is a big plus.  I loved the differences in the personalities of these guys. Payne is young, childish, impatient and loud. Aden is reserved, mature, and patient. Not two individuals you’d expect to make a successful couple but they do. They’re actually very sweet together. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Watch for the next release.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Door Keeper

Author: Hurri Cosmo
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-68175-028-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota, to say lead detective Nick is not from here would be an understatement. But if Nick revealed where he is really from, it would shock the locals to their human core.

The Door Keeper is an intense action murder mystery plus romance plot with an aliens-among-us theme. Nick is from another realm in the universe, although his duties are the same, policing the area to keep out the criminals. Nick’s team of police men and women are individuals with distinctive talents. They work in secret cleaning up the paranormal messes before the human community becomes aware of the chaos surrounding them.

The main characters are Nick, Arrain and the sinister vampire. Each of these characters has secrets.

Coming to the human realm was not an accident.  Nick chose this realm as a hiding place because on the grand scale of the universe, the human realm does not merit even a small notice by the powers that be. Nick’s presence went undetected until the vampire decided to make this realm his hunting ground.

Arrain came to rescue Nick as well as reveal a few secrets regarding Nick’s past. Arrain also came to mate with Nick, joining their powers to form a stronger crime fighting unit.

As for the vampire’s secrets, he got away without a trace, leaving Nick and Arrain to question how the vampire can be caught, as well as destroyed if they can ever find him again. 

The Door Keeper is an extremely enjoyable saga that leaves the door open for a sequel. 

Along Came Merrie

Author:  Beth D. Carter
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781784303426
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Multicultural, Western, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Merrie is looking to change her life but ends up on the run after seeing something she shouldn’t after she stopped to use a pay phone.  After escaping, she ends up on a ranch where both Braden and Leo live.

Along Came Merrie is the first book in the Red Wolves Motorcycle Club and gives readers a glimpse into the world of outlaw motorcycle gangs.  While the Demon Devils’ are the group Merrie is running from, she meets the leader of the Red Wolves later in the story.  The author did a good job showing how one incident can color a person’s actions when something triggers memories later.

As Merrie heals, she tries to sort out her feelings, she is safe and grateful but is her attraction to Braden and Leo real or because they are her rescuers.  The conflict she has, along with realizing she could have a poly relationship, is very real.  In addition, Braden has some issues that have to be dealt with, especially as it causes a few issues between him and Merrie. An incident makes both men realize they can’t live without Merrie and want her to stay.  The three have some hot chemistry.

Several of the secondary characters are interesting, and there are several surprises. The leader of the Red Wolves and the sheriff turn out to be best friends, though they try to keep that fact hidden.  The suspense will grab you as it keeps building.  The author created an interesting solution to the entire problem. 

Along Came Merrie is the first book about outlaw motorcycle clubs that I have read and it did not disappoint me. In fact, I’m looking forward to reading more about this series as the author had an interesting epilogue to this story.

Time Waits

Title: Time Waits
Author: C.B. Lewis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632168535
Genre: {M/M}, Time Travel, Science Fiction          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Janos is running for his life.  Wounded and close to death, the Hungarian soldier stumbles through a door that leads him a hundred years into the future.  When the first person he sees is a young German male with a purple streak through his hair, Janos can’t help wondering if he’s gone from the frying pan into the fire.

Time Waits by author C.B. Lewis is a well written time travel romance that is sure to remind many readers of the movie Time Cop.  As readers would expect, there are a lot of rules that govern the issue of time travel, and of course more than one is sure to be ignored.  When the story starts out, Dieter, a historian/linguist for the Temporal Research Institute, is waiting for the latest team to come back from their mission. It is during that time when the institute experiences a problem they have never had to deal with before.  While one of the main rules that everyone at the institute is forced to follow deals with not interfering with anyone or anything in the time period they are visiting, nothing has ever been said about what to do if someone comes over to the future.  When this problem becomes reality, Dieter is forced into a role he has no idea how to handle. 

Janos is a soldier in the Hungarian army trying to survive WWII.  It was not his plan to join the army, but when the Nazis rolled into town and family and friends started to “disappear”, Janos thought the best place to hide was in plain sight.  When one of his fellow soldiers realizes that Janos is gay and plans to expose the other man, Janos does the only thing he can to survive.  Unfortunately, he gets seriously injured in the process.  It is while running through the forest looking for a place to hide that he crosses over into the future.  As the reader would expect, Janos is confused by what he sees and distrusts those that he meets. 

This is what made the story so interesting for me.  Rather than having Janos come to terms with everything within a few pages, the author really plays this part of the story up.  Everything that both men, Janos with his fears of where he is, and Dieter with the severe case of PTSD that he is suffering with after having a gun stuck to his head, comes across very realistically.  The author also does a wonderful job making the rest of this science fiction story seem believable, which is sure to help keep the readers turning the pages.  Even the relationship between the main characters builds in a way that is easy to believe, especially given the way in which they first met.  Once Janos and Dieter come together, they really heat up the pages and the feelings between them grows fast. 

There are a few twists in this story that readers will not see coming.  In fact, at one point, I had to go back to re-read a portion because I thought I missed something and I am sure others will be just as surprised as I was.  Time Waits is sure to be a fan favorite and find its way to keeper shelves.