Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gage & Collin

Author: S.J. Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02014-0290
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

A storm is coming and although Deputy Collin Maddox is no longer in a relationship with horse farm owner Gage Chapman, Collin still cares deeply for Gage.

Gage & Collin is the first story in the MLR Press Storming Love: One Storm, Twelve Men series.  The setting is North Carolina. The theme is the emotional influence brought about by the deadly Hurricane Lauris. The characters are realistic.  

Gage is a down-to-earth openly gay professional champion rider who was fed up with the homophobic attitudes encountered during his career; so he retired from riding, bought a farm and moved his highly prized horses to North Carolina. After his failed relationship with Collin, Gage has concluded that the only continual partnership in his life is his horses.

Because of his future career goals, Collin hides his sexuality. The fact that he is in the closet causes Collin to feel guilty about his pretend casual friendship with Gage. The threat of possibly dying or losing Gage in the storm becomes a wake up call for Collin.  Collin must decide what is really important to him, as well as his future. 

S.J. Frost has created a fascinating saga. I especially enjoyed the myths about the painted horses.

Sunny’s Second Chance

Author:  Nola Cross
Publisher:  Beachwalk Press, Inc.
Publisher URL:  http://beachwalkpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781940744292
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Interracial, Holiday
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Sunny Williamson finds it hard not to compare herself to the woman who took her husband.  But, she can’t spend too much time on a pity party with her daughter Jasmine expecting Santa to bring her daddy home.  When Jasmine becomes inseparable from her new friend, Sunny has no choice but to spend time with the boy’s father.  After a while, Sunny can’t continue to use the kids as an excuse.  Spending time with Ben is something she’d come to enjoy.

Now that his son Spencer has a reason to laugh again, Ben Stillman feels like things might be alright.  He’s just barely been going through the motions since his wife’s death. Never in a million years did he expect to feel attraction to any woman right now.   But meeting Sunny has given Ben a new, unexpected outlook on life.  She fits into his life so comfortably that Ben can’t imagine the future without her. 

In the blink of an eye, Sunny and Ben bond and stop thinking of reasons not to be together.  Sunny feels desirable again while Ben starts to let go of some of the guilt he lives with.  The kids are happy and life can’t get any better.  Then their Hallmark holiday gets thrown off by Sunny’s ex-husband and Ben’s family.  Obligations almost ruin everything for Sunny and Ben but they refuse to let it. 

Sunny’s ex-husband really did a number on her self esteem, even before he left her for another woman.  Ben appreciated her in ways that she deserved and helped her get her groove back.  Like many mothers, Sunny was so focused on her daughter that she lost sight of her own needs.  And Ben was in the same boat with his son.  Death is different than divorce, so Ben doesn’t get the same kind of closure as Sunny.  He feels guilty about finding another woman in what he thinks is a short time after his wife’s death.  And just when he convinces himself it was okay to move on, Ben’s family puts doubt in his mind again.  I was happy that the story ended without a dramatic scene between them and Sunny because I was praying that wouldn’t happen.  Thumbs up to Nola Cross for concluding this story the way she did.  Relating to her characters is easy because their real life issues could easily be anyone’s issue.  Finding the romantic side of day to day life isn’t always easy, but the author did it.    Sunny’s Second Chance is a sweet, empowering story of hope and family and I enjoyed every page. 

A Tooth for a Fang

Author: Liv Olteano
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-037-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

After ending a relationship with his abusive boss/boyfriend, Rick Barton takes his first vacation in years. It’s a decision that changes his life when he meets lycan Travis Chandler on the beach. Suddenly he’s in a world he didn’t know existed, and given little choice but to join a Paranormal Bureau of Investigation unit with Travis as his alpha partner.

Leaders from various paranormal groups are being killed gruesomely. They’re learned Rick’s a tracker…the only one they have…and they need to get into the field, so he and Travis become mates. Rick’s problems—no training, barely any adjustment period to his new life, and a mate that drives him nuts. Can they find the killer while learning what it means to be a couple, or are they doomed for failure both as mates and investigators?

I admit it. The rather mysterious cover and unusual title for A Tooth for a Fang first caught my attention since I was unfamiliar with Liv Olteano, the author. Dark and brooding covers aren’t usually ones I’m drawn too but this time it worked for me.  It didn’t give me any hint of the quality of the writing but it gave me hope that it would be as interesting, and I wasn’t disappointed. I found it to be both well written, entertaining, and the vivid world building is nicely thought-out and paced.

Rick’s world is turned upside-down when he meets Travis. He goes from being a human office worker to a lycan homicide detective within a manner of days. Talk about two dramatic changes.  There wasn’t much time allowed for Rick to acclimate to his new life but at least he’s given longer to get used to Travis, being his alpha and mate. I’m thrilled the author doesn’t use their mating to automatically fix their relationship and by the end of the book, they’re working to make their mating a success. I liked how it is handled. The murder investigation and secondary characters they meet are interesting and move the story along at a nice pace. I liked it and when I finished the last page, I knew I wanted to read more about their world.

As of this writing I checked the author’s blog and found that A Tooth for a Fang is listed as the first in the Leader Murders series, but not listed as such on the publishers site as of yet. Very pleased to hear. Happy reading. 

Buck Baxter, Love Detective

Author: Geoffrey Knight
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925180-39-8
Genre: {M/M} Crime Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Picture this, a coastal town where almost everything is prohibited, alcohol, drugs, sex in addition to human rights. The residents of Wilde City are divided into three social classes, the rich, the working poor and the criminals. Buck is among the poor while his future lover Holden is among the rich.

 Buck Baxter, Love Detective is the first book in The Buck Baxter Mysteries. The theme is an edgy suspense murder plot with a touch of intimacy. Also featured are the pious religious hypocrites. The characters are fascinating as well as attention-grabbing.

Buck’s motto of never make friends, never make enemies and never fall in love is a survival shield he constructed as a child. His shield served him well until he met Holden. At first sight; Buck’s shields began to crumble. Yet Buck is still haunted by his dark past, which restricts emotional involvements. Buck is hired to investigate a cheating spouse case. This is nothing unusual for Buck, or so he thought. Buck has two mysteries working at the same time, the cheating spouse as well as Holden secretly stalking Buck. As Buck digs deeper into the case, he encounters a few twists that lead him to the mob’s doorstep, not the best place to be if you value your life.

Holden is not what he appears to be, it is his methods that cause Buck to question Holden’s motives. Holden is a compassionate man with honorable intentions towards Buck. What’s more, Holden has a secret for Buck’s ears only.

Geoffrey Knight has created an outstanding riveting saga filled with intrigue, Tommy gun shoot outs, booze, prostitutes in addition to a dash of amusing dialog. I enjoyed Buck Baxter, Love Detective immensely. 


Title: Rescued
Author: Felice Stevens
Publisher: Loose Id
Publishers URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-468-2
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Ryder never figured things would go so bad after coming out to his family.  Now a year later, he still feels the effects of being abandoned, so he will do whatever it takes to spend time with his younger brother.  Jason’s relationship with his longtime girlfriend has been on the rocks for a while and no one’s more surprised than he is when he decides to break things off.  Neither of these men is looking for a relationship but when they meet, they can’t deny the attraction that exists between them.

Rescued is the first book by author Felice Stevens and it held my attention from the beginning.  Both the characters and the story are well developed and I found myself pulling for Ryder in both his relationship with Jason and in staying connected with his younger brother, Landon.  Having spent time in bad relationships, Ryder is leery of starting anything with Jason, the straight man he meets while out on a rescue call.  It is easy to understand Ryder’s hesitancy when it comes to Jason and I liked that these two finally come together and to hell with anyone else.  Of course, the fact that Jason is straight means that their coming together has some rocky moments. 

Family plays an important part in this story as both men have to deal with how coming out affects the relationships they have with their family members.  I had a hard time understanding the ugliness that Ryder has to face and was not surprised by the little twist that was revealed towards the end of the story.  As for Jason, I was surprised by his brother’s, Liam, reaction, and loved the way his mother and younger brother put Liam in his place.  

Rescued is an entertaining story that is sure to bring this new author many fans.  Between Ryder and Jason, the various secondary characters most readers will love, and the dogs, Rescued has something for everyone.  I am interested to see what this new author has planned next.

Reality Bites

Title:  Reality Bites
Author:  Gail Koger
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-6300-511-5
Genre:   {M/F}, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Bree has managed to elude the Coletti Warlords for a while and is the second in command for the Earth First resistance.  Jaylan arrives at her office, looking for the other women of the Jones family and ends up pursuing Bree as his mate.

The fourth book of the Coletti Warlords series, Reality Bites, brings the problems that the traitor created to the forefront of the war.  More information about the Coletti Warlords and what their idea of a perfect mate is, especially warlords fortunate to win a Jones woman is also revealed.  Not only are they very psychic, the women are warriors in their own right which causes all sorts of humorous situations as they learn to live together. 

In this case Bree is actually a half-breed, as her birth father was a Coletti Warlord and this causes some other issues as well.  Bree learns that there are a few additional legal issues that have to be observed because of her father, especially once Bree and Jaylan get together.  They work very well together and their chemistry is intense. 

There were a few new secondary characters introduced, but lots of old friends showed up as well.  Zarek really helps out, but be prepared for a very big twist at the end of the book which I did not see coming at all.  As a result, there should be a very interesting story in the next book in this series.  Ms. Koger has created an interesting world and I am looking forward to more.  This series is one to be read again.

Wolf on the Run

Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61922-285-4
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 10-28-2014

A childhood illness destroyed Cherise Michaels’ ability to shift. Their pack considers her an abomination and to stay alive, she and mother have been running for years. When they’re found in St. Louis, her mother is murdered and a dream sends Cherise to a town she didn’t know existed—Salvation, North Carolina. She’s barely arrived when the pursuing killers find Cherise.

Cole Blanchard is patrolling Salvation Pack land when he discovers wolves threatening a woman. He’s furious—and certain the terrified young woman is his mate. When the trespassing wolves won’t leave willingly, Cole’s is forced to kill them. Then he must convince his newly found mate to trust him. Can she learn love, desire and a sense of family? Can Cole convince Cherise she can find peace in his arms? 

Wolf on the Run is the newest release in the series, Salvation Pack, by NJ Walters. With an ongoing plotline and recurring characters, I recommend the books be read in order.

You don’t often come across a story where a werewolf can’t shift, so this unusual trait is an interesting one for Cherise to have. It certainly allows the author to turn the normal solidarity of her birth pack on its ear when they decide she’s an abomination. It’s also the one fact that controlled Cherise’s life, and is a focus throughout Wolf on the Run. 

Now to the rest. Over all, the story is well written and plotted, and has good imagery. All the previous characters are integrated nicely, as the pack members are close friends.  The personalities/histories of Cole and Cherise are pretty well developed, but I had a better sense of Cherise’s history, which is pretty depressing. Unfortunately her pained, glum emotions throughout most of the book got a little old. It also caused the middle of the book to slow. (Truthfully, I had trouble developing a connection to her.) I was pleased when the pace picked up near the end, due to the action filled scene of an expected confrontation between Cole and Cherise’s old pack. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next release, as from the epilogue, it looks like the old pack that Cole and friends grew up in and left are about to case trouble again.

Moving Mountains

Author: TN Tarrant
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627988469
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Nathan has always known he was gay but when his best friend needs him to marry her, he has no problem saying yes.  They have everything planned out, or so they thought.  When his wife falls into a coma after giving birth, Nathan realizes just how unprepared they really were.  Eight years later, Nathan’s life changes again and we has no idea what to expect now.

Moving Mountains is the latest book by author TN Tarrant.  Just let me say that I am a huge fan of this author and have yet to find a book of hers I did not like.  That being said, this probably my favorite book to date.  Nathan’s story really grabbed me and I could not wait to see how things would work out.  It really broke my heart when he lost his little boy and I was not surprised when it was revealed that the judge and Nathan’s in-laws knew each other.   I was glad that things regarding Christopher worked out, although it is not easy and there are some surprising moments.

With Nathan still married, I wondered how the author would bring Raven into Nathan and his son’s life without upsetting readers.  I think the author handled this delicate situation wonderfully.  The attraction between the two men is strong and their passion intense.  Readers will find themselves rooting for these two to find their happily ever after.

There are a couple of OMG! moments in this story, one I am sure will really surprise the readers.  Fans of this author are sure to love Moving Mountains, and for those who have not yet tried any books by this author, this one is a good place to start.

Visions of Paradise

Author:  Tianna Xander
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0026-2
Genre: {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Milla is running from a carnival owner and finds a home in Paradise. Jonas and Mel aren’t exactly friends even though they are bonded by blood ties.  Both are surprised when they help Milla and discover they are bondmates as well. 

Visions of Paradise is the latest in Tianna Xander’s Paradise series and does not disappoint.  I actually enjoyed this story a lot.  There was a twist that will be sure to show up in future stories.  Milla is a tarot reader and can read people when she touches them, which she tries to avoid.  She is running from the carnival she used to work because of the owner.

The chemistry between Jonas, Milla, and Mel is intense.  Milla is an older woman that thinks both men are too young for her.  She doesn’t want to choose between them, once she finds out they are actually much older than she is. Once she is in Paradise, she discovers that ménage relationships are the norm. 

There are quite a few secondary characters that are new and some will show up again, I’m sure.  There are revelations about some of the residents in Paradise that surprised me. I could understand Milla’s dislike of Perry when I read his description as he is nothing but a bully that takes advantage of people.  It was no surprise the men in Paradise were willing to protect some of the other carnival workers. 

I am looking forward to more stories in this series as you can almost anticipate new triads with some of the women mentioned.  Most stories in this series can be read alone, but I recommend all be read in order to get the most out of the Paradise series.

Elijah’s Ghost

Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784302009
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Wizard classes were proving to be a challenge for Elijah Trenton; however with the help of some friendly ghosts and his new wizard boyfriend Devin Stewartson, Eli discovered how potent his magic could be.

Elijah’s Ghost is the fourth book in the A Wizard's Touch series. As the younger son of a powerful wizard, Eli was tolerated by his family, but never received any love or interest from his father or older brother. Eli’s powers, which proved to be a rare form of magic, did not manifest until he went to wizard school. When Eli’s magic is revealed, everyone is in awe, including his pretentious father.

Devin, on the other hand, is fascinated by Eli’s shy appealing personality. Devin is one of the wizard triplets who are friends with the powerful wizard Jaynell Marley of Jaynell's Wolf. Although Devin is attracted to Eli, he is not sure if he wants a long term relationship with Eli. Devin’s attitude changes once he realizes there is an undeniable bond between them.

Amber Kell has created another exciting installment in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed Elijah’s Ghost. 

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Anniversary to Torquere Press!

In honor of our 11th year anniversary which is technically on September 15th we have some great things for you.  We will have a 25% discount on the entire site excluding the books we have drastically discounted for you.

We chose some amazing books to put on sale at $0.99 for one week! These are from September 15-September 20. This is a one time thing for a very limited time. So don't miss out on this opportunity!!

Julia Talbot writes about real, down to earth men in extraordinary situations. This limited time special features some of her best loved stories, from historical dandies to werewolves obsessed with bitey vampires. Hot and fun, with happy endings to spare. 

Books included are: A Gentleman of Substance, Perfect, an Itch to Scratch, Jumping into Things, and Full Moon Dating: Aiden and Ben


This limited time special features some of BA Tortuga?s most beloved heroes. Sample five full-length novels, all full of adventure and hot loving. From cowboys to rednecks to historical lords, these books showcase all the best of BA. 

Books included are Racing the Moon, Rain and Whiskey, Blind Ride, Latigo, and Hyacinth Club.


This is where it all began for Sean Michael, with the Jarheads series. This limited time special features all six novels featuring Rock, Rig and Dick in all their glory, in chronological series order. If you have a thing for hot lovin?, men in uniform, and happy horndogs, see where Sean Michael started! 

Books included are Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Personal Leave, Three Day Passes, Tempering, Out of the Closet, and On the Sand.

Again ALL of the books will be available at $0.99 which is a steal! Don't miss out!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On the Green

Title: On the Green
Author: Nicole Dennis
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78430-186-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewers: Dragon Minx

For Malcolm Bissette, life at the Southern Charm is different than the years spent on the street as a homeless teen.  Now an adult, he’s the hardworking, responsible sous chef, who’s still crushing on Reece Simpson, the local landscaper. Too bad Reece doesn’t return his feelings and looks on him as the kid he used to be. Or does he?

The Southern Charm is getting the face-life she’s needed for years and Reece is able to tackle the overgrown vegetation on the property. It puts him close proximity to his friends and lets him get better acquainted with Mal. He suddenly realizes if he puts the past behind him, he has a chance at happiness. Will it work? Can they be more than friends?

On the Green is the third release in the Southern Charm series by Nicole Dennis. With the ongoing plotline and recurring characters, I recommend the books be read in order. Be aware that there’s some timeline overlap with By the Numbers.

This is such a cute series. I love the idea of the Southern Charm, restoring the old house to her former glory and men who work and live there. It’s a setting filled with wonderful descriptions that make the story come alive and make it seem like a real place. I’d certainly like to visit it. Then there are the people. The author has created some interesting characters and in On the Green the focus is Mal and Reece. They’ve both made appearance in the past. Their personalities are pretty well rounded but their baggage makes their emotions and actions unstable at times, causing the middle to drag.

I enjoyed seeing all of the individuals that were featured in the first two books. They’re woven into the plot smoothly, giving the reader an update on their lives, while grounding the book. Now back to Mal and Reece. I like these two and they make a nice couple, but the ending left me feeling a little unsettled about their relationship. It seemed up in the air—more a happily-for-now than the happily-ever-after I expected. I hope with the next book we see a much smoother life for them. 

Now my really big niggle. There are two dangling plot threads that seem to have been forgotten since the beginning of the series. They need to be dealt with—the mugging and poisoning. They’re not mentioned and I can’t be the only one that this is bothering.

Family Connections

Author: N. J. Nielsen
Publisher: Totally Bound Books
ISBN/BIN: 9781784301668
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Series
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Neither Ray nor Viv are gay, or so they say.  When brought together by their children, the two men have a hard time denying the attraction they feel for the other.  With their crazy family right there beside them, these two men go on a crazy journey to find love.

With each new book, I find myself becoming a bigger fan of Ms. Nielsen’s and Family Connections is no different.  This is a story that will pull the reader in from the very beginning.  All the characters are well written and the story line is one that will keep you wondering what will happen next.

It was easy to fall for the characters in this story.  Ray is a young man who has everything going for him, yet he’s lonely, wishing for someone to share his life with.  Worried about what his family would do, he continues to deny the fact that he is gay.   Ray is the type of guy that goes out of his way making sure those around him are taken care of, so readers will have no problem wanting to see him find his happily ever after.  Viv is the opposite of Ray.  While Ray was born into a wealthy family, Viv has had to fight for everything he has.  Determined to make a better life for himself and his younger brother, he works hard.  Viv has no reason to believe he is gay so the sudden attraction he feels for Ray blows his mind.  His confusion comes across the pages clearly so it is easy to understand the way he behaves at times.  That does not mean, however, that there weren’t times that I wanted to smack him upside the head.  Viv’s struggle to find himself is a tough one though, and I love how the author finally allows him to see the truth. 

The bond these two men form is a tight one and they have no problems bringing those they love into their family.  These secondary characters are just as wonderful as the main ones.  Each and every one is crazy and will have you laughing out loud at times.   This is not a light hearted story as there are some dark subjects touched on that will break your heart. These moments are important to the story and the author handles the situations very well.  

This is the second edition of Family Connections, the first having been published by a now closed company.  Those that have read the first edition do not necessarily need to repurchase the book unless they would like to have the new cover.   Family Connections is also the first book in the author’s series The Connelly Chronicles.  This is a series that I am highly looking forward to.  Book two, which hopefully will be out soon, is another ensemble story, however, books three through five are coupled based and I was surprised by one of the couples and I can’t wait to see what will happen.  This is one book that those who love the m/m genre should really pick up as you will not be disappointed.

Accepting Caladon’s Scales

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books Inc
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0013-2
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Seventeen years ago, while in his boa constrictor form, Caladon O’Hara was taken captive and put in a cage. After he’s rescued, he moves onto the gargoyle manor grounds to recuperate while they help locate his son, Taolma. When he sees Taolma’s adult face for the first time, Caladon has a panic attack and Nurse Leroy Wilde comes to his aide.

Leroy helps the gargoyle clutch doctor during the daytime and when he rushes into assist with Caladon, he’s smitten. But he has a couple of problems.  Leroy’s family is extremely bigoted against African Americans and he’s scared of snakes. Despite these issues, Leroy feels the pull of the mate bond and agrees to try dating…his family isn’t happy. Then he discovers another problem. When Caladon was captured he was married, and mates or not, a wife is something that has to be dealt with.

Accepting Caladon’s Scales is the ninth release in A Paranormal’s Love series by Charlie Richards. Since there are many returning characters and Caladon makes a brief appearance in book six, I recommend you at least read, Calming a Demon’s Heart, first.

I always look forward to each new release in this fun and entertaining series and have been anticipating Leroy finding his mate for some time. Yes, putting a man who is afraid of snakes with a boa shifter is an unexpected pairing, giving them issues to work out. That goes for the problem of Caladon being married when he was taken, too. Unfortunately, that issue is resolved so quickly and smoothly that it became a non-issue in the end and didn’t really matter. 

I appreciated how the author had Leroy stand up to his bigoted family and how he worked to overcome his fear of Caladon’s snake form.  These are my two favorite parts of the story and both are nicely done, but I didn’t feel these guys as a couple—for me their connection didn’t seem real or believable.

Trusting Love

Title:  Trusting Love
Author: Mari Evans
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627989565
Genre: {M/M}, Coming of Age
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Laurie’s life is not that of a typical teenager.  Coming from an abusive family situation he now lives in a group home for boys.  Dreaming of becoming a veterinarian assistant, the young man volunteers at the local animal shelter where he meets Sam. Laurie is surprised by how much his life is about to change.

Trusting Love is my first book by author Mari Evans, but it will not be my last.  From the first page I was pulled into this coming of age story.  Laurie is the type of character that readers will find themselves falling in love with.  Even though he has had a hard childhood, the events of which may leave readers crying, there is still innocence to him.  The way he would get flustered around Sam in the beginning had me laughing.

Sam is the new vet in town, and is ten years older than Laurie, who is only 17 when the story starts.  He’s instantly attracted to the younger man but readers will understand why he hesitates to act on the attraction.  I like that the author uses this as part of the story line rather than pretending the age difference is a non-issue. 

There are a few issues in the story, some the readers may see coming and others they will not.  The secondary characters are just as well written as the main characters and each helps move the story along. 

Trusting Love really made me a fan of this author and I cannot wait to see what she will have out next.

Smoke and Mirrors

Author: Lillian T. MacGowan
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-62300-153-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The building is about to collapse but Firefighter Frank “Deck” Dekker knows there is one more person trapped inside. Risking his own life, Deck manages to save Dr. Naim Moreau. 

Smoke and Mirrors would have been an enticing plot, but the overuse of the “F” word as well as what I assume is British slang along with the numerous recaps of Naim’s background, which became tedious. I got the impression the characters were being ridiculed as if they were the scum of society rather than people performing a valuable service for the community.  

Deck is a crude speaking good natured flirty man who suffers from survivor’s guilt. Deck immediately fell in love with Naim but felt he was too uncouth for Naim to be attracted to him.

Naim is a talented surgeon of unknown origin with a sullied past. Naim suffers from a more complex case of survivor’s guilt as well as a barely controlled hostility. 

In general, I enjoyed the budding romance premise. The mystery aspect is devoid of justice for the unidentified perpetrator. 

Bride of Blackness Castle

Author:  Elaine Coffman
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN/BIN:  9781419949500
Genre:  {M/F} Historical
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Lady Anne Crofton is a woman who refuses to let fear stop her.  She’s willing to do anything necessary for her father’s life.  Confronting the beast of a man holding her father captive isn’t enough.  Anne is selfless and comes up with the perfect solution, she thinks.  Unfortunately she’s tricked into a situation that she has no control over while things grow more complicated by the minute.

Robert MacQueen is a broken man.  His life is one of isolation and pain.  The only thing keeping him alive is his determination to get revenge on the man who ruined his life in the first place.  Finally fate is on Robert’s side, and he comes face to face with the man he hates most.  Marrying the man’s daughter seemed to be the icing on the cake. 

Robert and Anne both misjudged each other.  Anne is more of an annoyance to Robert when they first meet.  He had sunken too deeply into his sorrow to recognize all that Anne offered him.  He was so focused on the past and reliving it, that Robert almost lost his chance for a future.  He said he blamed Anne’s father, but honestly Robert blamed himself.  At some points in the story I wanted to cry beside Robert because I felt the burden of his pain.  I’m amazed he could go on like that.  Once Anne learns the entire story of what happened to Robert’s family, she begins to understand him and stops seeing him as a monster.  When she finally sees him as a man, Anne accepts her feelings for him.  I was touched by the scene when Anne went through some items in his room.  It gave me more of a glimpse into Robert that I wasn’t expecting to get.  Anne was easy to understand in a comfortable, relaxed manner.  I knew who she was, right from the beginning, but Robert took some work that I was happy to do. 

Bride of Blackness Castle is a wonderful tale about second chances.  Elaine Coffman has a talent for creating male characters with serious baggage and making readers feel as if they were witnessing their struggle as a sidekick, not a reader.  Anyone who appreciates being sucked into another world would be missing out by sleeping on this story.  It’s an eye-opener.

Can’t Let You Go

Author: Sidda Lee Tate
Publisher: Beachwalk Press
Publisher URL: www.beachwalkpress.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781940744360
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Cop Ty Sellers has accepted his lot in life. He has accepted he won’t get his happy ending, not that it upsets him; he doesn’t think he deserves it after all. He can go through the motions but the things he has seen and been through in the past has caused him to slam up a wall so tall and so thick, no one is ever getting in. At least, that’s what he thought, before he met Lynette Brooks...

Lynette is a bit of a drifter, never really finding that one place to settle down and call home. She likes to travel, likes the adventure; certainly doesn’t plan on staying long in Pineville, but fate would have it that her path crosses with Ty’s. Serious and brooding, bordering on downright rude at times...but Lynette isn’t fooled. There is a kind, protective, giving heart buried deep beneath the cool facade. She is definitely attracted to the man – he takes care of his body as well as he protects his heart – and she can tell the attraction is mutual.

There is some serious chemistry at work that could result in something truly scorching, but be careful, Ty. You can only push a woman so far... 

Can’t Let You Go is book 4 of The Night series, but can be read as a standalone story. The story was well paced and easy to follow. Ty and Lynette captured my attention. I was interested in their back stories and wanted to keep reading to see if/how they could work together as a couple. The author really did a good job with the chemistry between the two. I appreciate that it must be quite difficult to write a character like Ty, to keep him likeable while he doesn’t like himself. He’s trying so hard to push others away and hide his vulnerability, which endeared him to me, but sometimes he was a bit too harsh for my liking. It’s a pretty good characterization, I just don’t know if I could have been as strong and patient as Lynette when confronted with it. I had an easier time with Lynette – I liked her and wanted her happy. I would recommend this to fans of the genre. It’s written in such a way that you meet other characters that I’m sure are the leads in the other books of the series, so if you like this, you can go explore the rest of their lives.

With This Ring, I Thee...Oh, Sh*t!

Author: Dane Waters
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-345-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Dean’s getting married. He just didn’t realize doing it in Texas would turn his level-headed fiancé into a bridezilla, complete with crazy friends and relatives. That’s especially true of his future father-in-law who’s rude, obnoxious and hates just about everyone. The only person Dean likes is Leo, his fiancé’s little brother, and he brings out all the feelings Dean thought long gone.

The night Leo was involved in a car wreck, he lost everything—his father’s love and his home at the family ranch. Now he’s been forced back for his sister’s wedding or their father will disinherit her. It’s a tricky situation filled with anger, distrust and hate. Then he meets Dean…and he likes him…too much. Helping Dean deal with his unexpected feelings for a man backfires, and suddenly Leo is in love for the first time.

Dane Waters, the author, is new to me, so her writing style was unknown when I decided to try this one. I started reading with an open mind but finished the last page with a lot of mixed feeling about With This Ring, I Thee...Oh, Sh*t! 

On reading the blurb I thought the story had promise but what I found is a well written story with a plot that didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, the story is filled with good descriptions, has a quick pace, unique characters and an interesting setting. There’s even snappy dialogue and a little action with some of Leo’s crazy family, but I have a problem with the cheating part of the plot line. It’s not that I don’t like Leo and Dean together… I do. I just didn’t like how they became a couple. Considering Leo returned to the family ranch to protect his sister’s inheritance, his actions with her fiancé is underhanded and dishonest.  It just didn’t work for me. And the Texas family is too over-the-top nuts, angry and mean, making them seem unrealistic and unbelievable. 

Crimson Mate

Title: Crimson Mate
Author: Nikki McCoy
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784301163
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Prince Quinn is distinctively unlike the vampire clan he was born into. Quinn’s scent, when mentally stimulated, could produce a sexual frenzy in all unmated vampires, as well as shifters within smelling range. Quinn discovered this when, as a young man, he barely escaped being gang raped. Now Quinn lives in fear of having a repeat of the horrible event. Shifters Ruler Manning recognized immediately that Quinn was his mate by the appealing scent, however, instead of an introduction, Quinn ran away leaving Manning desperately trying to track him.

Crimson Mate is the first book in the Of Blood and Spirit series. The plot is an exceptionally fascinating mystery romance combination. The vampire clans live in France and are ruled by a power hungry king. The shifter clans live in America. How the vampires and shifters became enemies is a secret known only by clan historians. Nevertheless, both the vampires and the shifters are compelled to surrender to the draw of the full moon or risk death.

Quinn suffered abuse at the hands of his father most of his life. He assumed his ill-treatment was due to the fact of his being gay. It was not until Quinn moved to America that the mysteries of his twofold personality began to reveal themselves. Quinn has powers that could only be manifested after he bonds with his mate.

Manning is on a mission to find his mother’s killers as well as to find a mate. Meeting Quinn, Manning recognized that their mating required fortitude on his part to gain Quinn’s trust. Manning had never been intimate with a man before Quinn, although he was not opposed to having a male mate nor was he concerned about Quinn’s species.  Manning’s love for Quinn was unwavering.    

Nikki McCoy has created a superb thoroughly enjoyable saga. Crimson Mate illustrates emotional drama such as fear, cruelty, scenes of homicide, as well as sensual intimacy. I particularly enjoyed the different shifter species in the same blood related family. 

Vexing Voss

Title:  Vexing Voss
Author:  Gail Koger
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-507-8
Genre:  {M/F}, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Series,
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Zoey is hiding while trying find her mother’s killer, as well as trying to find traitors that compromised Earth’s defenses against the Tai-Kok.  She is considered a siren and has come to the attention of Voss, the Battle Commander for the Coletti.

Vexing Voss is the third book in the Coletti Warlords series.  I love this series.  Not only is there all kinds of action, the women the Coletti end up mating have some very unique qualities.  Because of the way Zoey is, this book is aptly named as she definitely causes Voss lots of headaches.  The author has created some very strong women, as well as some unique alien races, that join forces to fight against the Tai-Kok.

I was laughing at Zoey and the way she interacts with the various people she meets, including Voss.  I know that Zoey is very realistic with her actions as I actually have a couple of friends just like her.  She not only knows how to handle herself, she is a master at getting into trouble and causing extreme frustration for Voss and the Overlord.

The relationship that Voss and Zoey have is intense.  Their reactions to each other as they try to work together with the differences in their background and culture is funny.  Zoey has a way of making friends that is interesting and adds so much to the story.

The Coletti men in this series have some of the typical vampire qualities, but with some major differences.  I love the personalities the author has created, especially Voss and Zarek.  The descriptions of some of the allies are interesting and I have to laugh at the various reactions of everyone.

While the Coletti Warlords books do not have to be read in order, it is best to do so to get the most out of the stories.  Be aware that it is difficult to get the first two books as that publisher is no longer around.  I am looking forward to reading future books in this series, and will be reading this one again.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mating Scents

Title:  Mating Scents
Author:  McKenna Jeffries
Publisher:  Totally Bound
ISBN/BIN:  9781784301569
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Multicultural
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Garrick Radley realizes too late that listening to his friend’s advice about women might not have been wise.   Garrick finally has his chance with the woman he’d been dreaming about for weeks, but his approach isn’t as suave as he planned it to be.  Bailey is everything Garrick wants, so falling head over heals for her is unavoidable.

Any woman with eyes would be salivating over Garrick and Bailey Rueben is no exception.  She wants Garrick so much, she decides to take action into her own hands.  The sinful things that man does to Bailey’s body keep her breathless just thinking about him.  Sex has never controlled her life so there’s no way Bailey intends on letting that happen now.  What she has with Garrick is just a fling and flings don’t last forever.

Bailey’s confidence and boldness are outweighed by her resistance to commitment.  Her family life is wonderful, but it’s also given Bailey a warped idea about relationships.  This causes her to hold back with Garrick and he feels it.  Bailey is Garrick’s future, so he’s not shy about letting her know that.  Bailey gets scared and this might push away a weaker man, but not Garrick.  He knows just what to do to make Bailey feel safe. 

I was shocked by the couple’s first meeting.  It left me giggling and rereading it again for a smile.  Theirs is the kind of story so off-the-wall wonderful that their grandchildren will be telling it some day.  Their drama was resolved easier than I thought and I think readers will appreciate that.  If that isn’t enough to draw you in, then all the interesting friends of Garrick and Bailey will certainly do the trick.  So far, I have a top three list of characters who deserve to come back in their own story.  McKenna Jeffries did a splendid job in making readers feel a bond with her characters.  In some I felt a sadness that I just have to see turn into a happy ending because they deserve it.  The town, the businesses, the jobs and the personalities were all unexpected and that kept me curious.  I suggest you jump on board now with Mating Scents, the first of the Rules of Attraction series so you won’t feel left out.