Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Bond of Three

Author: K.C. Wells
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-63216-683-8
Genre: {M/M/M} Fantasy 
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The setting is a fantasy world similar to middle earth or the mystical ancient world.  Teruna is the center of three kingdoms. Kandor borders Teruna on the west, with mountains that separate Kandor and Teruna, while Vancor is on the east borders of Teruna.

The well written plot features the elements of anguish, jealousy, secrecy and romantic interludes. The kingdom of Kandor is the enemy of Teruna. Rumors of Kandor’s intent to attack Teruna motivate the Teruna king to form an alliance with Vancor. The combined kingdoms of Teruna and Vancor would then be able to defeat Kandor. To accomplish the treaty, the kings decided that their sons should be united in marriage.

The main characters are Prince Tanish of Teruna, Feyar, Tanish’s lover and Prince Sorran of Vancor.

Tanish suffers from guilt because he has loved Feyar for years, but the laws of the kingdom forbid Tanish or anyone from acknowledging Feyar in public. Tanish is forced to keep his love a secret.

As required by Teruna law, Feyar was forcibly enlisted into being a sex tutor for the aristocracy. However Feyar was fortunate enough to be chosen as Tanish’s exclusive bed partner. Feyar regretted the lost of contact with his family, but could not be repentant for the love he shared with Tanish.

Sorran is extremely perceptive; he seeks equality for all the citizens in the realm. When Sorran discovers the love that already exists between Tanish and Feyar, Sorran is heartbroken. Nevertheless, Sorran has a natural magnetism that neither Feyar nor Tanish can resist.

A Bond of Three is an outstanding enjoyable saga. The engaging characters draws the readers into their world by demonstrating the realistic emotional pitfalls Tanish, Feyar and Sorran had to endure before their connection of love was firmly established. The display of compassion in each man is heartwarming; the intimacy scenes are superb.

Wildest Dreams: A Frederick Dick and Riley Silcox Mystery

Author: Sharon Maria Bidwell
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-536-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Suspense
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Frederick Dick and Riley Silcox are CID Detective Inspectors and they’re currently working together on a case trying to track down the supplier of a new drug-REM. All information is need-to-know as the drug is dangerous, causing odd behavior in all people exposed to it. After checking on a victim, Frederick and Riley head to Scotland to follows up on several leads.

It’s a tough investigation as Frederick and Riley’s personal relationship is anything but smooth. Then they make contact with a man who turns out to be the supplier and find themselves in dire straits—the newest victims. Getting less of the drug, Frederick is their only hope and he must find Riley, who is hallucinating and running feral through the woods. Can they find their way back to sanity, safety and civilization?

Wildest Dreams: A Frederick Dick and Riley Silcox Mystery is the newest release by Sharon Marie Bidwell. It’s an M/M romance set within the confines of a police drug investigation. While the finale seems open-ended, I have no idea whether there will be additional books following these two lovers.

I finished this story a few days ago and it’s taken me several more to get my thoughts together. The blurb is like a typical police drama that I read routinely, so it seemed like a good fit for me. I was disappointed. While the premise had great potential, I don’t feel any of its realized. I found the personalities of Frederick and Riley underdeveloped, and while they might make a good couple—their relationship is rushed and not given the chance to develop. I found the descriptions bland and the plot confusing at times, requiring me to reread portions. 

Honestly, I thought the story odd and disjointed at times. And I have no idea why the author felt the need to suddenly include a bit of BDSM. It didn’t really go with anything else in the plot line. The dark edge of the story, which should have been a plus, wasn’t.  Between the aforementioned niggles, the uneven pace and the strange personality of the drug supplier, who ended up having such a prominent role, I was too distracted. Ultimately, I just didn’t care about either character. 

Centerfold

Title:  Centerfold
Author:  Kris Norris
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781784303938
Genre:  {M/M/F},  Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Scarlet is trying to live down her undercover assignment, only to find out that she has to resurrect it due to several murders.  Her former partner, Roman, shows up with his partner, Aiden, to head up the investigation and act as her bodyguards. 

Centerfold is an intense suspense story, as well as a hot love story, with some twists that I did not see coming.  There were a few light hearted moments, especially when they were required to participate in sex games.  The fact that the owner of the magazine had guessed they were cops was not a surprise though they were in the story.

I thought Scarlet was justified in being upset with Roman, especially the way he left.  I would have liked him to come clean about his relationship with Aiden and the fact that both men had fallen in love with her.  There were some interesting times while they tried to get Scarlet to forgive them, especially since they kept getting interrupted and having to playact.  The author also showcased some of the issues that happen in relationships for those in law enforcement.

I was surprised by who the villain ended up being and the reason for the murders.  The way the author ended the storyline was extremely intense and interesting, as it could have gone in several directions.  She kept it right to the storyline. 

This was the first book I have read by Kris Norris and it won’t be my last.  This is one to be read again.  Readers also need to be aware that Centerfold was previously published but has been expanded and revised.

Porter's Reaper

Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784303853
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Porter Exton and Alstair Gorman are assigned to work together on a mission ordered by Hades. Also, Porter and Alstair discover an attraction for each other that cultivates into a long term relationship.

Porter's Reaper is fifth book in the A Wizard's Touch series. In this installment, the plot has an almost religious overtone. Revenge, along with mysterious deaths at the Mayell Wizard Academy, is the main elements illustrated.

As a Reaper, Alstair’s responsibility is not to judge the dead, but simply provide safe passage of newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. However, Alstair is a considerate man who has other magical powers. Before his death, Alstair had goals of using his magic to benefit mankind.

Porter is a shy restless soul searching for answers regarding his death. He cannot move on to the afterlife until his murder is resolved. When Porter is assigned to be Alstair’s assistant, it gives him the opportunity to finally discover the answers he seeks. 

Porter's Reaper is an intriguing saga. The storyline is a good balance of mystery, humor, conflicts and romance. I especially enjoyed the exhibition of their supernatural powers.  

Neutral

Title:  Neutral
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0181-8
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Ariadne was surprised the Volunteer Program wanted her since she only did calligraphy.  She was very surprised to find out that some planets and societies valued her talent.  After some severe training to add to her skills, she is chosen as the Imperial Scibe for Hredu.  What she doesn’t know is that the emperor has another reason for choosing her as well.

The latest book in the Terran Times Second Wave series, Neutral, was aptly named.  Ariadne has to be neutral in all things.  I was surprised by the restrictions that the author created for this position.  I had to laugh at some of the changes the emperor kept making after he met her.

Usorn is also a Guardian of his planet.  I loved the names for the four Guardians, named after the four seasons, and that their talents corresponded to them.  Ariadne doesn’t quite know how to take the fact that he is interested in her as a woman.  Of course things don’t quite go smoothly as there are some very tense moments at times.

I had to laugh at Ariadne’s guards, especially when she realized they were also her keepers.  The interaction between her and her maid was interesting as well, especially when Ariadne had to move.  

It will be interesting to see if the next few books in this series are about the other Guardians on Hredu. 

Naked

Title:  Naked
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0159-7
Genre:  {MF}, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Soap Opera, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Cierra had no intention of joining the Volunteer Program, but when she kept getting flyers in the mail and her car broke down in front of their offices, she knew she had to join.  Ahket kidnapped her in a normal raid, but refused to ransom her back because of his own talent.

Naked is the latest in the Terran Times Second Wave series and showcases a different alien race that is compatible with the Terrans.  Both Cierra and Ahket had talents that pulled them together. 

Ahket refuses what is basically triple the amount of ransom for Cierra and gets punished for it even though Cierra wants to stay with him.  What follows was a slight surprise for Ahket’s people.  I loved Cierra because she knew exactly what she could get away with, but created some circumstances that benefited Ahket’s people greatly. 

The planet’s Avitar was an interesting character and the description the author gives of the planet takes right there.  Ahket’s mother makes a brief appearance at the end of the story.

Most of the stories in this series can be read alone, and this is one of them.  I am looking forward to more as the different worlds Ms. Grace creates, for the most part, are very interesting.

Between Life & Death

Author: L.M. Brown
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784303624
Genre: {M/M/M} Angels and Demons, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Tristan, Alastor and Mac have reached a crossroads that will determine all of their futures. The critical question is whether they will survive together or be torn apart?

Between Life & Death is the third book in the Heavenly Sins series. The well written plot explores the religious sticky situation of human morals, along with the influences our earthly behavior has on the afterlife.

At this point in the story, Tristan is the new demon king but he is being held prisoner by the first fallen archangel Lucifer.

Alastor is still a demon, but is displaying a compassion normally associated with humans. Most of Alastor’s change in morals can be contributed to Mac; the angel is steadfastly fighting for Alastor’s and Tristan’s salvation.

The events illustrated in the storyline leads to the separation of the three lovers which will sadden the readers particularly drawn to Mac; however the rewards from heaven soon eradicate the angel’s period of remorse.

The most important element of L.M. Brown’s Between Life & Death is love, which seems to be the incentive motivating Mac, Alastor and Tristan in crucial decision making. I thoroughly enjoyed the character’s honorable traits, as well as their arousing exhibitions of intimacy. 

Sweet Fire

Title: Sweet Fire
Author: Sarah and Shannen Brady
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632163141
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Everyone loses control sometime, but Aaron knows that for him the consequences could be dire.  Ramon just wants to do his job and take care of his family.  While both men hope to one day find their happily ever after, the last person they would choose is the other. 

Sweet Fire is the latest book by this mother and daughter team.  The story is well written and I found myself pulled into the story from the first page.  The story takes place in a world much like ours.  The difference is some individuals have special powers that make the rest of the population a little nervous.  Because of this, Homeland Security is tasked with pulling these special individuals, and those associated with them, in for “questioning”.  The authors do a good job showcasing the effects this has on all involved, even though HOMSEC plays an underlining role in this story.

Where these ladies excel is bringing the relationship between Aaron and Ramon alive.  Both men are leery of starting a relationship, but for different reasons.  But the men can’t seem to stay away from each other and the chemistry between them is intense.   While the attraction between Aaron and Ramon is strong, their relationship is not an easy one which is understandable given everything going on around them. 

The authors have also woven a mystery into this well written romance that has several twists and turns that will leave you guessing about what will happen next.  While it is easy to figure out who the culprit may be, the reason why is surprising.   The authors do a great job wrapping all the loose ends together and bringing the story to a conclusion that the readers will enjoy.  

Rescue

Title: Rescue
Author: Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-855-4
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Free Demons by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga - 4.5 Nymphs
Demon prince Bel is happy to remain above ground, enjoying all the pleasures Cereus resort has to offer. Unfortunately Bel’s father is not pleased to have his son away from one of Hell’s realm. Xerxes is Bel’s former bodyguard turned lover and after eons as prince and servant, Bel and Xerxes are free to love each other or so they thought.

Rescuing Spirit by Sean Michael – 4.5 Nymphs
Spirit bear known as Lightning has given up on ever being free. He hates being caged as much as he hates the humans gawking at him everyday. However one night the voice in Lightning’s head finally arrives to recues him. It is a human named Etu who becomes Lightning’s liberator as well as his mate.

Baby-Sitting Job by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga – 4.5 Nymphs
Vampire Sandro is in need of a rescue from a master vampire determined to acquire Sandro as a trophy. Sandro calls his old friend Jonny, the vampire who owns Cereus for help. To ensure Sandro’s safe traveling, Jonny sends werewolf Devon as an escort. Sandro is a rare vampire species and Devon can morph into a dire wolf, which makes him an exceptional fighter as well as the perfect mate for Sandro.

Rescue is the fourth book in the Cereus series. The series is based on Julia Talbot’s original Bloodrose series which features a matchmaking vampire named Jonny who owns the Bloodrose club as well as Cereus. Many of the characters from Bloodrose also appear in the Cereus series.

What I find most impressive about Rescue is the detailed description of the characters and all the enjoyably amusing personalities illustrated. The resort is actually a sanctuary for paranormals, shielding them from various forms of oppression. Each couple demonstrates their monogamous bonding through scorching intimacy scenes. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Trouble Comes in Threes

Author:  M. A. Church
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632165510
Genre: {M/M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Kirk’s had a hell of a day.  In fact, after all he’s been through already; he can’t help wondering what is going to happen next.  The last thing Kirk wants is to become the owner of two stray cats, which is just what happens as his day from hell ends.  What he does not realize is that his new ‘pets’ are more than what they seem.

Trouble Comes in Threes is the first book in The Fur, Fangs, and Felines series by author M.A. Church.  This shape-shifter story is a little unusual on two points.  First, while the shifters are felines they are domestic cats, just slightly larger than what you or I might have at home.  Second, the story is written in different points of view, starting with Kirk whose story is told in the first person, while Dolf’s and Tal’s side is told in the third person.  While I have read books that alternated between character views, I don’t believe I have read one that switched between points of view, and wondered if I would like this.  The story was actually pretty easy to read and the author did such a good job moving between the viewpoints that the story flowed easily.

Kirk is not your typical hero.  He’s older, slightly pudgy, and close to losing everything he’s worked so hard for.  He is under no delusions and knows he is not anyone’s idea of a great catch.  I think that is one of the things I liked about him, as he comes across more approachable and realistic.  Dolf and Tal are what you would expect from shape-shifters.   They’re tall, gorgeous and make a beautiful couple.  Kirk can’t believe they want him sexually, let alone as a mate.  I love the chemistry that exists between these three.  The author did a good job with the relationship that these three men find themselves in.  They complete each other in a way that strengthens their relationship, allowing them to face the various issues that arise as they get to know more about each other.  One of the things I absolutely loved about this story, however, was the way the author brought Dolf’s and Tal’s cats to the forefront.  The fact that the men had a variety of cat toys lying around, and practically built their house so that it was a giant cat house had me laughing. 

There are, of course, twists and turns that pop up throughout the story.  I was surprised by the way the story played out and did not see some of the revelations that came out.  I am curious to see how this series plays out, and wonder if someone from this book will get a story of their own or if the author will be introducing us to someone new.  Trouble Comes in Threes is a great story to start with for those who have not yet read anything by M. A. Church.  It is also one that her fans are sure to love.  

Take Me With You

Author:  Sindra van Yssel
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-675-4
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Craig and Alicia are dating but, before going too much further, Alicia wants to explore BDSM because of her curiosity.  She talks to Craig about it as she wants to make sure he is on board with it in case she really likes it.  Turns out Craig learns some things too.

Take Me With You is a wonderful story about two people exploring BDSM, though one is doing it reluctantly.  Craig goes with Alicia as he really likes her enough that he is thinking about a more permanent relationship, something he hasn’t done with another woman. 

The two go to a club and Alicia is definitely attracted to some aspects she saw.  Craig is the one that has more questions and doubts.  I really liked the way the author reconciled what Craig was feeling, along with the way she resolved the relationship between Craig and Alicia.  The chemistry between the two was intense.

The author brought up a few safety issues that were really good and were woven smoothly into the story.  I liked some of the secondary characters and the way they really helped Craig and Alicia.  The author did a good job walking the main characters through everything.  I loved the ending.

This book is a good one for readers that are curious about BDSM.  It takes the reader through various steps and feelings that someone new might feel.  There was also some good advice as well.  

Swordplay

Title: Swordplay
Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632164582
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jeff, Alex, Sean, and their friends have made the move to Washington DC.  A lot of adjustments have to be made by everyone, leaving Jeff to wonder if he made the right choice.  Things really become dicey though when Jeff and his partner, Parker, take on a new case. 

Swordplay is the newest, and final, book in the Jeff Woods Mysteries series.  Readers need to keep in mind that this is a series that needs to be read in order; therefore the possibility of spoilers in this review exists for those who have not yet read the previous books.

From the first page the author, once again, pulled me back into the world in which this series exists.  I love the characters which the stories center on.  Jeff and Alex are still madly in love, with neither able to imagine a life without the other person in it, yet at the same time, they struggle with telling each other how they feel.   At times it was a little annoying, especially on Jeff’s side, it did make me laugh.  I loved the way these two men have grown, especially Jeff.   I will admit that while I loved the first book, I did not always like Jeff and wanted to smack him from time to time.  Now seeing him with Alex, and Sean as well, has made him one of my favorite characters, and I hate seeing him go. 

Jeff is not the only one who has changed over the course of this series.  Alex has become stronger, although he continues to hold on tight to his little brother, Sean.  Sean, even with his many new health issues is coming into his own, even standing up to Alex a time or two.  And secondary characters, Parker and David, have formed not only a solid relationship of their own, but have become members of Jeff’s and Alex’s family in such a way that Parker behaves a little over the top. 

Like the previous books, Swordplay has a mystery throughout it that ends up spelling disaster for all the men.  The turns and twists this story took will leave you questioning who the ‘bad’ guy is, and after reading this story, I have to agree with Jeff and his belief that he and Alex are weirdo magnets. 

Fans of this series are really going to love this new book, especially the way the author wraps everything up.   

Sunny’s Hope

Author: Nola Cross
Publisher:  Beachwalk Press, Inc.
ISBN/BIN:  9781940744551
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Interracial
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Christmas is over, but not the magic of the budding romance between Ben and Sunny.  Effortlessly, the couple and the kids have merged into the perfect family.  In such a short time, Ben had crept into Sunny’s heart and Sunny wasn’t fighting it.  Their Hallmark moment is shattered by an accident that leaves Sunny’s daughter Jasmine seriously injured. 

Ben feels responsible for Jasmine’s condition and Sunny’s ex-husband shows up to throw more drama into this stressful situation.  Family doesn’t turn out to be as supportive as Sunny or Ben expected.  Waiting to see if Jasmine would ever be the same again was all Sunny could focus on; everything else was too much to absorb.  

Life gets so good at times, it’s inevitable that something happens to shake things up.  The couple’s relationship is tested again and they almost fail.  Ben had always wanted to stand beside Sunny and shoulder burdens and Sunny just had to open herself up to letting it happen.  Sunny’s ex-husband is a horrible father and opportunist whom I would love to meet up with in a dark alley.  I was disgusted by his selfishness.  For such a short story, Sunny’s Hope covered a very serious topic.  It spoke to the “mom" in me.  Nola Cross does a great job of taking readers full circle in this follow up from Sunny’s Second Chance with some surprises that weren’t so unexpected.  Get the happy ending that will make you sigh with relief by picking up this story.

Renounced

Title: Renounced
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78430-354-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Dallas Smith’s in South America with other pack members and while waiting to embark on a trek into the rainforest, decides on a nap. He didn’t expect to be abducted out of his hammock by Tiago, a jaguar shifter who’s been following them.

Tiago wants the interlopers in his forest gone. They’re loud and destroy irreplaceable plants. He’s used to being alone and doesn’t understand his attraction to the small wolf that’s invaded his territory.

Alpha Anax Marcus Criswell and several pack members went to South American to hunt for a kidnapped guard. Keegan’s now safe but the man responsible hasn’t been caught. Now Maarten, the mate of the South American Alpha Anax is missing and then Dallas goes missing too. Can they find them before it’s too late?

Renounced is the tenth and newest release in Bailey Bradford’s Southwestern Shifters series. It’s possible to read as a standalone, but a better understanding would occur if they were kept in sequential order.

Dallas is a unique guy but as a wolf, an unexpected choice for loner, jaguar shifter, Tiago. The author did a nice job expressing the differences in their personalities and the account of Tiago’s shifter upbringing made his actions and emotions much easier to understand. Unfortunately, there’s so much going on in this short release that there’s not nearly enough time devoted to their relationship.  Yes, it works with the other parts of the story line but there isn’t any real depth on a personal level.

I’ve always been fond of Nathan and Marcus, so it’s nice seeing them playing such a prominent role in this story as the ongoing plot line came to a confrontation. There’s lots of action and danger and more that a little physical pain for several individuals. This part comes to a satisfying conclusion—it’s just abrupt. 

I don’t know where this series is going next but I’ll be looking for the next release. I hope you will too.

Inked (Box Set)

Title:  Inked (Box Set)
Author:  Kate Hill
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL:  www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  07233-02331
Genre:  {M/F, M/M, M/M/F}, Ménage, Bisexual, Paranormal
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Rough Waters - 4.5 Nymphs

Samantha finds herself on a yacht with vampires.  Geoffrey thinks she was brought there to make him break his fast on drinking blood.  What happens when they can’t keep their hands off each other?

Cactus Juice - 4 Nymphs

Eric and Adrian meet in the middle of the desert.  Eric is willing to set down roots with Adrian, but is concerned due to Adrian’s insistence that there is no paranormal world.  Until Adrian can accept that, they may not have a future.

Mountain Men - 4.5 Nymphs

Lydia laughs at the notion that someone can have a loving ménage.  That is until she is transported to a tangle involving Jay and Kaelen. 

Climax - 4 Nymphs 

Damon was cursed by his order for falling in love with Angela.  Until he finished his punishment, he couldn’t get back to her.  What he didn’t know about was what they did to Angela.

The Inked Box Set is part of the Mate Marks series by Kate Hill.  All these stories have been published before. 

Damon was a Midlord that could bring soul mates together.  Once he found his own soul mate, he discovered that he would not be allowed to leave his order.  He was tattooed and told once those tattoos brought together those destined to be soul mates, he could leave and pursue Angela.

The first three stories involve the last three tattoos Damon has.  Mountain Men is also related to the last story as that triad actually help him get Angela back.  Each story is interesting in its own way and the relationships are very intense.  

I have not read this series yet, but am looking forward to after reading these stories.  This will be one to re-read.

Stirrings

Title: Stirrings
Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-61124-716-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The strain is mounting between Pascal and London in their work, as well as their personal relationship. The case of murdered humans by what appears to be vampires is causing dangerously emotional clashes. New information reveals that the homicides are only the beginning of what is in store for the Spectrum Island.

Stirrings is the second book in the Spectrum Skies series. The theme of the storyline is a romantic mystery with a political twist. The history of the island illustrates the humans as the invaders plus the typical actions of power-hungry trespassers. The humans want to change the laws to protect themselves against the residents they intruded upon. Another focus of the plot is the discrimination generated by a small group of humans. I got the impression that jealous envy is the motivation for their hatred.  The characters are believable.

Captain London Weaver, the head of the Human Enforcers, and Captain Pascal St-Maurice, is the head of the Specs Enforcers. Humans are called breathers; the paranormal residents are called specs.

London has a dominant personality, yet he is plagued by emotional insecurity because he denies Pascal the natural vampire ritual of biting during intimacy. London desires to be Pascal’s lover not a blood slave. The main problem London has is lack of knowledge about vampires in general and Pascal in particular.

Pascal prides himself on always being in control of his body. Pascal has many admirers; he could have more than a few willing blood slaves. However it is only during an emergency that Pascal will feed from anyone. By choice Pascal drinks packaged blood, he has never asked London to feed him.

D. J. Manly has created an exciting saga that I enjoyed immensely. The engaging characters are fictional, but the poignant plot is exceptionally realistic. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

From our family to yours:


A Wedding to Die For

Author: Xavier Mayne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632164704
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Brandt and Donnelly are once again called in for a special assignment at the behest of the governor.  This time, the two officers are asked to look into the possibility that the rights of a couple of prominent individuals have been violated.  This sends the two men into the crazy world of wedding planning, where things are not always what they seem.

A Wedding to Die For is the newest story in the Brandt and Donnelly Capers series.  This story is a crazy read that will have you laughing one moment and in shock the next.  While it is possible for each story to stand on its own, it is important that you at least read the first book in the series before reading any of the others. 

Brandt and Donnelly are closer than ever and are looking forward to their upcoming wedding.  When their newest case involves the wedding planning world, the two men look at this as a chance to get some tips for themselves.  The case looks as if it’s going to be easy-going, while readers will feel the same way, so they will be very surprised when things begin to go downhill fast.  While readers will have a good idea about who the “bad guy” is early in the story, there are little twists and turns that will surprise the reader and show that everything is not as it seems.  There is one really big surprise that I did not see coming and was really shocked by.  I have to say it left me crying and a little mad at the author.

A Wedding to Die For is not all angst, however.  There are a lot of lighter moments thanks to Bryce and Nestor, a couple of secondary characters that find their way into each of the stories.  Fans of this series know, that as soon as Brandt and Donnelly ask Bryce to help with the planning of their wedding, things will get out of hand fast.  There were times that I found myself laughing out loud and wondered just how the author came up with some of the situations that the men found themselves in. 

A Wedding to Die For is a great addition for this series.  Like the previous books, this one will have you turning the pages anxious to see what will happen next.  It will also leave you dying to see what the author has planned next for our main characters and hoping the next book will be out soon.   

If you have not tried anything by this author, the Brandt and Donnelly Capers series is a great place to start.

Learning To Love Cats

Author: K. M. Mahoney
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-61124-701-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Mike is not fond of cats; nevertheless he is willing to sacrifice his disparaging cat attitude for Riley. 

Learning To Love Cats is a romantic comedy. The short story’s plot highlights the family dynamics of both men, as well as the Norwegian Forest Cat personalities.

Mike has an easy going cheerful personality; he enjoys doing the simple things in life, especially with Riley.

Riley is a little timid but with Mike but Riley discovered that he could relax. Riley also treats his cats like beloved children. His only relationship condition is that Mike had to agree to change his negative attitude towards the cats.

Mike and Riley have a whirlwind romance, after only a couple of weeks Mike knew he was in love with Riley. It took Riley a few days longer to actually admit his feelings though he suspected Mike was the one man Riley wanted a long term relationship with. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the enchanting Learning To Love Cats.  

In Too Deep

Title: In Too Deep
Author: Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632161253
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Cade and Aiden are totally opposites with nothing in common.  That’s why Aiden cannot understand what it is that draws him to the other man, but he does know that he needs to make some kind of connection.  Neither man is ready for where things are headed but once they come together, both will fight for what they found.

In Too Deep is an angst-ridden story that touches on issues that may be difficult for some readers.  That out of the way, this is a story that will grab the reader’s attention from the very beginning and keep them turning the pages.  Individually, the main characters are interesting; however, I could not see how the author even thought they would make a good pairing.  As I got deeper into the story, it was easy to see that these two balance each other out, bringing into their relationship something the other needs.

The two do not come together easily, in fact there were times when I wondered if they would even come together at all.  Once they do come together, their relationship grows strong fast, especially on Aiden’s side.  Readers may find Cade a little hard to like at times, but there is a reason for the way he behaves and it makes things easier to understand once his story comes out.  I am glad that Aiden found Cade to be someone to stick with as I really wanted this character to find his HEA.

There are several secondary characters in this story, and while the actions of some of them may be deplorable, they play an important part in the men’s story and help move things along.  I would have liked to have seen one of them get their comeuppance but just knowing what the boys’ have planned worked too.  

This is a book that I am sure will find itself on many keeper shelves and is one that I plan to re-read in the future.

A King Undone

Author: Cooper Davis
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61922-427-8
Genre: {M/M} Alternative History Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

King Arend Tollemach might live in a world where noblemen court and marry other men, but it doesn’t mean that same option is open to kings and princes. Yet after his queen dies, Arend decides he’s sacrificed enough personal happiness and he’s willing to risk a scandal. He applies to the secretive Temple Sapphor for a male concubine, who will teach him the ways of male love.

Sold to the temple ten years ago, Julian has spent the time waiting and hoping but has been passed over many times. He’s afraid he’ll spend the rest of his life within the temple walls alone, but then he greets Arend at the temple gates. The beautiful king makes his heart flutter.

Taking Julian as his concubine is easy. Keeping him is much harder when demands of the kingdom try to rip them apart. The question is whether he can find a way that they can stay together when royal duty make demands Arend might not be able to overlook.

A King Undone is the first release in the new Noble Pleasures series by Cooper Davis.
You’d think with the premise of Arend getting a concubine that the story would be filled with lots of sex but that isn’t the case. Yes, Arend and Julian are attracted from the beginning but instead of jumping into bed immediately, Arend decides to court Julian before the physical side of their relationship begins. It’s a little unexpected but not unappreciated, giving the story a typical Regency feel. It allows the author time to develop the plot line and the personalities of both men. The slow timing of their relationship also means there’s plenty of sizzling tension and it’s nicely done. 

Arend and Julian make a good couple and I’m curious as to how their story will continue, but there are several secondary characters that are wonderful additions to the story too. They really added a depth to the story and I hope to see more of them with the next book. The world building is pretty well done, as is the descriptions of Arend and Julian’s personal backgrounds. Nothing about the pace of this story is fast but it doesn’t drag either. If you enjoy the idea of Regency-like world where men can have relationships with other men, I suggest you give this new series a try.

The Vampire’s Geek

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Book
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0140-5
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Toby isn’t the sexy hero that is going to find his true mate, at least that’s what he thinks.  When he meets Tullion in the grocery store, he’s surprised by the strong connection he feels for the incredibly sexy man. 

The Vampire’s Geek is the latest addition to the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This newest book is probably my favorite to date because of the way the author changed things up some. 

Toby is a character that readers of this series have come to know.  He is one of those unassuming people and I had actually forgotten all about him.  Tullion is a vampire enforcer on the run for a crime he did not commit.  The last thing he is planning on is finding his mate.  These two waste no time coming together and, before either of them realizes what’s going on, they become mates. 

Up until this moment everything follows basically the same layout as the previous books.  Characters meet, mate pull kicks in, sex ensues, and the men live happily ever after.  But this is where The Vampire’s Geek changes things and I loved the switch up.  

Then there is the matter of the murder Tullion is framed for.  While I wish the author would have spent a little more time with this part of the story, I like the way it was wrapped up, especially as it introduces Tullion’s siblings.  I am hoping several of them will be finding their own mates soon.  

Several previous characters show up to give Tullion and Toby a hand, which leads to some funny moments at times.  Fans of this series are sure to love this new story and I am sure it will find its way on many must read lists.

And Manny Makes Seven

Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press 
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-840-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

The last three years have been tough on Adam. He’s only twenty-one and trying to stay in college while caring for his five siblings. Now the person he depends on, his academic mentor and his mother’s best friend, Helen, has died. He desperately needs help. Then he learns Helen left him her house, three million dollars, and two shi tzus in her will. He has money for a nanny.

Hutch has been a nanny since age nineteen, and has taken care of numerous children from a wide variety of families. Five kids are more than he’s used to but he’s confident that he can handle Adam’s siblings. They need him and stressed out Adam does too.

And Manny Makes Seven is the newest release in Sean Michael’s Mannies Incorporated series. There are no recurring characters, so this should be considered a standalone.

When I started this book, I was in the mood for something sweet, and that’s what I got with this fun and entertaining romance.  It’s a story of a family that’s been through some rough times and there really aren’t outside conflicts. It’s about Adam and his relationship with his younger siblings and how they deal with each other—and for the three littlest ones, he’s more of a father than a brother.

I liked that Adam continued his education despite his inheritance. Hiring a manny was his big step and the author worked it into his life seamlessly. Their personalities gelled nicely and I enjoyed the scene where they first met and it was so obvious Adam needed help. The chaos was written so realistically I could easily visualize what was going on, pulling me into the story. I really enjoyed the little kids—they were scenes stealers and the two teenagers were just that—teenagers. 

As Hutch settled into the family, the dynamics changed and so did how the various people interacted. He and Adam didn’t start their personal relationship immediately, which I liked but once they did, the sex was a little too frequent for a book with so many kids playing prominent roles. A couple of my other niggles involve some editing problems and the fact that there were so many nicknames thrown around. It was difficult to follow in the beginning and I had to go back several times to figure out who was being referred to. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy this old fashioned love story...I did…and I’ll likely read it again.