Thursday, March 19, 2015

Heart Shot

Title:  Heart Shot
Author:  Elizabeth Lapthorne
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781784304683
Genre:  {M/F}, Suspense, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Emily is attacked doing research for an assignment and ends up realizing something is wrong.  Fin has been assigned as a temporary bodyguard for Emily’s target, but ends up trying to protect her.

The ninth book in The Agency series, Heart Shot, is aptly named because of a scene toward the end.  Emily insists on checking out every assignment she is given and has actually turned some down even as her boss begins to pressure her to do more.

Fin’s partner has been hospitalized, so his boss wants him out of the office.  Fin has always been a player, so when he realizes he has intense feelings for Emily, he acts out of character.  I liked that he did not judge Emily for what she did and actually gave her acceptance.

The story focused on the relationship Emily and Fin had, as well as trying to stay alive and was a fast paced story that the author kept flowing pretty well. The main three secondary characters played minor roles to the story itself, which were situations involving both bosses and target. 

I look forward to reading the next story to see how the situation with Emily’s boss is resolved.

Fortuity

Title: Fortuity
Author: Darcy Abriel
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-61124-751-0
Genre: {M/M/M} Futuristic Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

In the minds of the general society, Pandemonia is the more humane solution to dealing with social misfits. However, there are a few people like Dr. Swane Fox and political prisoner August who believes not all prisoners trapped on old earth are beyond redemption.

Fortuity is the first book in the Pandemonia series. The premise of the plot showcases Earth after an intergalactic war, as well as the political corruption in power. Those who conformed to the laws and the powerful people were transported to other planets to establish a new life. The people deemed as social misfits became lab experiments for scientific researchers. The purpose of the scientist doing human experiments is not clear.

The characters lack dimension, the activities exhibited was not convincing, the rather mundane terminology did not engage my interest. 

I found the brief history description to be interesting, though I got the impression that the primary intent of the story was not completely revealed enough to read again.      

Deserves To Be Adored

Author: T. A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-61124-748-0
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Power means everything to a witch. Nevertheless, Raleigh Patterson has spent most of his adult life steering clear of witches. Raleigh prefers to work as an escort for the Santiago mob family. Raleigh also has recently discovered a mutual attraction with the mob boss’s son, Joey Santiago.

Deserves To Be Adored is an amusing romance story, infused with a little magical drama. The setting is New Jersey and Louisiana. The characters are wonderfully enchanting.

Raleigh‘s family lives in the Louisiana bayou, but you would think they were royalty based on the counterfeit image Raleigh’s mother attempts to exemplify. However, Raleigh is nothing like his family, he is an intelligent well-mannered, honest man. Being a male escort is just a stepping stone for his future career.

Joey is a considerate bisexual man with a live-and-let-live attitude. He is very protective of all of the employees, especially Raleigh. Joey may not have a college education, but he does have a strong sense of respect for everyone.

My favorite secondary characters are Joey’s mama and his aunt, neither lady would I want to be on the bad side of. Both women are a force to be reckoned with.  I do not advocate violence, but Raleigh’s mama needed a firm slap across her Botox face. 

T. A. Chase’s Deserves To Be Adored is an impressive heartwarmingly sensual and superbly entertaining saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Rodeo Riders

Title:  Rodeo Riders
Author:  Vonna Harper
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  9781619228870
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Western
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

It’s taken everything in her to get back in the saddle, literally and figuratively.  Jordan Shore’s leg was repaired after being charged by a bull, but the incident left her with mental scars that hadn’t gone away.  Jordan’s love for the rodeo was rivaled by her attraction to the one man who’d been in her heart for years.

Cougar Lighthorse has known Jordan since they were kids and probably wanted her just as long.  Things were complicated from the beginning, since Cougar’s father worked for Jordan’s father.  His guilt over Jordan’s accident weighs heavily on Cougar.  If he can help Jordan come to terms with her fears, they both might be able to move on. 

The ups and downs of rodeo life changes Cougar and Jordan from the people they used to be.  This turns out to be a blessing in disguise, because they finally act on the feelings they have for each other.  Sometimes the road to happiness is far from smooth, with pot holes along the way.  That just makes the journey more memorable.  If you appreciate a story showcasing a couple with a passion for life, and each other, then pick up Rodeo Riders. 

Aloha Man

Title:  Aloha Man
Author:  Danica St. Como
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-759-1
Genre:  {M/M}, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kamaka is modeling jewelry for a friend when he runs into his ex, Randoph, and makes it clear he wants nothing to do with him.  After returning home, he meets Zachariah, a very good jewelry maker and artist, and is immediately attracted to him.  Zachariah has the same reaction, but is very conflicted about it due to his past.

The fifth book of the Men of Sanctuary series, Aloha Man, is a very interesting story.  Two very different men become friends due to training and mutual friends at Sanctuary.  Kamaka realizes that something happened to Zachariah that makes it hard for him to become intimate, though both men realize they are falling in love.

Along with the men’s relationship problems, a young foster child steals their hearts.  Jeremiah is a smart seven year old with a talent for getting into scrapes, due to his curiosity.  Things happen that end up bringing Randolph back into the picture in a very bad way.

I loved the previous characters of Sanctuary who help the story along.  The friendships, both old and new, really help the two men, as well as Jeremiah.  I loved the interactions they all had, and Lorelei was awesome as she made sure that the men and Jeremiah got back on track. 

Ms. St. Como has created a great group of characters in the Men of Sanctuary series and each story has wonderful suspense and romance in them.  While it is best to read each story in order, each story could be read alone.  I am looking forward to reading future stories in this series.  Readers should to be aware that the previous books were by another publisher but will be re-issued by Loose Id.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When in Bloom

Author: Nicole Dennis
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78430-424-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Jude Sebastian has battled diabetes since he was a child and recently, his disease has caused him to start experiencing seizures. Even with Dawson, his Medical Alert Golden Labrador at his side, some days running his flower shop, Flowers in the Breeze, is difficult. 

One day while at the clinic, Jude meets a man who rushes inside during a thunderstorm. He’s soaked to the skin and in the middle of a PTSD episode. The stranger is Dr. Elliott Sheffield, a retired army surgeon, recently moved to town and in need of a less hectic pace. Elliott and Jude quickly start seeing each other but his blood sugars are out of control and his health is deteriorating further. Can Jude get his illness under control? Will he and Elliott make a relationship work?

When in Bloom is the newest and fourth release by Nicole Dennis in her Southern Charm series. Due to the recurring characters and their relationships, I recommend the books be read in order.

I really appreciate it when an author writes about characters that aren’t perfect because that’s the reality of the world. In this newest M/M romance Ms. Dennis has created two sweet guys with true problems and she handled them with dignity. I will admit I was a bit disappointed in how little page time Elliot’s PTSD received after moving, but at least it was referred to as he helped Jude deal with his life threatening diabetes. They worked as a team, and Ms. Dennis did a nice job writing about his various health scares…she’d obviously done her research.

As I said before, I liked these guys and I found that their personalities are pretty well developed for a book of this length. I really enjoyed how Dawson, the service dog is woven into the plot, making him a true secondary character. The plot is steady and has good descriptions. It’s also firmly grounded in the book’s locale and some of the previous characters put in an appearance. When in Bloom isn’t a long book and can easily be read in an afternoon, so take a chance and give it a try.

Ever the Same

Author: B.A. Tortuga
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632168313
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Western        
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Audie has his hands full with everything on the ranch that the last thing he needs is his son to be fighting in school.  He’s surprised to find that the person his son was fighting with was a little red headed girl.  Even more surprising for Audie was the attraction he felt for the little girl’s blind father.

Ever the Same is another well done story by author B.A. Tortuga.  The book is about two young single fathers struggling to cope with the challenges in their lives.  Audie is, for all intents and purpose, in the closet.  While he really hasn’t hidden the fact that he is gay from his family, the fact that he fathered a little boy helps them ignore that fact.  Audie would do anything for his little boy, even putting up with his family’s attitude. 

Dixon too is struggling, only unlike Audie; Dixon is out of the closet and, until recently, in a happy loving relationship that included his daughter.  The accident that took his partner also caused Dixon to lose his eyesight, so not only is he grieving, but he also has to figure out how to be a single parent who can’t see. 

Both of these characters will pull you into their stories and have you rooting for them.  It is easy to see that both Dixon and Audie have problems and are not really in the position to start a relationship.  I loved the way the author brings them together, through their children, as first friends and then later as lovers. 

As readers would expect, Dixon and Audie’s relationship is not an easy going one.  I was surprised that they had so much opposition from family members, especially Dixon’s.  I was also surprised that Dixon’s family did not do more to help their son/brother adjust to being blind.  One of the best parts about this story, however, is the kids.

I loved Grainger and Randi.  From the beginning, these two almost steal the show.  I loved that they play such important parts in Ever the Same and are not just ‘invisible’ secondary characters that readers hear about but don’t see.  

Fans of this author are sure to love her newest book and, those who have not yet tried anything by Ms. Tortuga, should give this story a try.

Death by Dragon

Author: Madeleine Ribbon
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-62300-749-2
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Visions can be a terrible thing, especially when they foretell how you will meet your death. For Fell Harwick, half-incubus and witch, this is his inheritance. Fell’s future executioner arrives sooner than he expects when wounded shifters litter Fell’s garden; among them is hybrid dragon shifter, Jett Lasko.

Death by Dragon is a well paced action packed paranormal mafia fantasy set in Des Moines. The vampires want complete control of the city and everyone in it -  those who oppose will be eliminated. Fortunately there is a governing group known as the Keepers of Silence, who police the paranormal community. The Keepers’ goal is to keep humans oblivious to the real creatures associated with folklore.

The characters are fascinating; especially Fell, who is amusingly animated in his interactions with others. Jett is a stern equal rights fighter but he hates killing. Although Jett has no problem with Fell being half a witch, he fears Fell’s incubus side. The main personality trait Fell and Jett share besides their attraction to each other is that they are both extremely compassionate men.

Madeleine Ribbon has created an exceedingly impressive saga that I enjoyed immensely. The main focus of the storyline is on the detailed vicious conflicts between factions, but there are also moments of incredibly sensual intimacy illustrated.

Winter’s Wolf

Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-544-2
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Winter Thane grew up in Canada with his father, who drummed two rules into his head—humans must never know you’re a werewolf and werewolves aren’t gay. His Dad’s rules go out the window when he takes Winter back to his home pack in the United States. He wants Winter to find a female mate but it’s a lie. Years ago his father had a fling with a human female and he’s obsessed with her. Then Winter’s introduced to the members of the Harker and Marketo packs and he learns there are gay werewolves.

One look at FBI agent Matt Partridge and Winter’s hooked. The men have an attraction but with a big drug case distracting him, Matt’s hot/cold attitude is driving Winter nuts. When Winter gets involved in hunting down clues, it looks like a chance to spend time together, but instead they wind up chained in a basement by the head drug dealer. Can they escape? Can they find a way to make a relationship work and will the packs let them?

Winter’s Wolf is the third release in Tara Lain’s Tales of the Harker Pack series. There’s a great deal of connection between characters and plot of the previous books, so I recommend they be read in order.

When I started reading about Winter and his father, Damon, I wasn’t certain what to expect. Living in the wilds of Canada is a different beginning. Damon wanting to go home and him dragging Winter with him is where the fun begins because really both men are clueless. Damon doesn’t realize how much pack life has changed and Winter knows nothing of group dynamics or pack politics. 

The author did a nice job developing the characters personalities, making them seem even more real with believable backgrounds. The pacing is fast and smooth, the imagery is vivid and I liked how the previous individuals are woven into the plot. I’m a big Lindsey fan, so having him turn out to be related to Winter is a great twist. The drug investigation is integrated into the plot well and it’s balanced nicely against Winter and Matt’s romance. Oh and expect some surprises here too. Overall it’s a thoroughly enjoyable plot and gave me an entertaining afternoon of reading. I don’t have a clue who might be the focus of the next book, but I look forward to it.

His Soldier

Title: His Soldier
Author: Anna Lee
Publisher: Totally Bound Books
ISBN/BIN: 9781784304379
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Men in Uniform          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dean has never loved another person as much as he did his brother.  When his brother, who is in the military, dies Dean has a hard time adjusting.  To honor his brother, Dean decides to become the pen pal of another soldier overseas, never realizing that he has changed his life once again.

His Soldier by Anna Lee is a very good story that had me in tears almost from the beginning.  Dean is a teacher at the local school.  His life has been hard; the only thing that made it bearable was the love of his foster brother Dax and Dax’s mother Beth.   I had a hard time not crying, as I read about Dean’s home life and later Dax’s death.  Both these things play an important role in the story, be forewarned they really pull at the heart strings.

Ryder is in the Army.  He takes his job and the protection of his men seriously.  When the opportunity of pen pals is presented, he puts his name in the hat to help motivate his men.  It is easy to like Ryder and the way he and Dean interact through their letters is fun to see.  Because of the book’s blurb on the publisher’s site, readers know to expect tragedy to befall Ryder.  Once it does, the young soldier acts realistically by pushing Dean away due to fears of no longer being a ‘whole man’.   While Dean’s demands to be with Ryder are to be expected, I would have liked to have seen Ryder resist a little more.

There are some unexpected road obstacles in the men’s relationship, which are easy to see coming.  I actually could not believe the extent to which one of the secondary characters went to but liked the way Dean handled everything.  

His Soldier is a perfect read for a lazy day.  I will also be keeping my eyes open for more by this author.  

Noble

Title:  Noble
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0218-1
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Myra discovers that she is the last known member of the Day clan and is told she must be returned to the planet of her ancestors.  She realizes there is a reason that six specific men are sent to guard her on her trip.  Arbor is one of them.

Noble is the 21st story in the Terran Times Second Wave series by Viola Grace.  This story was different in that the heroine does not really want to volunteer, but is coerced by her grandparents.  Once her DNA is confirmed as part alien, and what she really is, Myra’s life seems to spiral out of her control.

The way Myra has to pick a consort was interesting and I loved that Arbor was the only one that pictured her.  Myra also has to learn why she is so important and gets ‘on the job training’ from the planet’s avatar and Arbor.

Even though she was forced to return, there are some that don’t want her there.  Between the attempts on her life, visiting the women on the planet and changing some sociality mores, Myra finds herself as she researches the history of the planet and its people. 

I am looking forward to future books in this series, as most have a unique outlook on distant worlds.

Journey to Lobster Cove

Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78430-445-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Cattle Valley is bursting at the seams and there isn’t any room for expansion, so Asa Montgomery starts looking for ways to fix their problem. When his partner Mario finds a picturesque but down-on-its-luck fishing village for sale in Maine, it seems like the answer. The problems---it’s far away from Wyoming and getting the town ready could take months—taking him away from his lover and their home.

Cullen’s isn’t sure what to think about the move but his attention gets diverted when he tries to renew his relationship with youth shelter manager Joseph Allenbrand and he’s rejected—again.  He doesn’t think Joseph believes he’s good enough and Cullen takes a job with Asa supervising the new town renovation. That’s when Joseph realizes his mistake and heads to Maine after him. Can these two find a way to make a relationship work while trying to make a new life for themselves and others?

Journey to Lobster Cove is the newest release by Carol Lynne and its book thirty-two in her long running Cattle Valley series. I recommend you read a few of the previous books to get familiar with the town, recurring characters and relationships.

With the purchase of the new town in Maine, the Cattle Valley series takes an unexpected turn. It’s a twist that could open up countless new possibilities. It certainly left me with questions I hope to see answered soon. Is the Cattle Valley series completed? Is Journey to Lobster Cove the first in a new spin-off series?  I can’t wait to see what Carol Lynne has in store for future releases—it should be interesting.

The relationship between Cullen and Joseph has been in the background for some time, so it’s nice that it’s finally been resolved. I like Cullen. He’s overcome a great deal in his life. Unfortunately he has the whole unrequited love thing going on with Joseph for years. Truthfully, Joseph annoyed me at how his rejection negatively affected Cullen. All he could think about was himself and how his actions looked to others. I spent half the book thinking Cullen should dump him, but finally—and I mean finally, we got the explanation of why Joseph’s been acting like an idiot and it made some sense. 

I’ve always been fond of Asa and Mario so it’s nice they are the second couple in this book. It even seems like they might be moving to Maine. Yeah. The overall pacing is steady, there are plenty of emotions, some action and the change of locale brings in some interesting new characters. Were some of the problems resolved a little quickly? Yes, but that’s okay. I still found Journey to Lobster Cove entertaining, and hoping for a new series gives me something to look forward to. Enjoy.

Loving an Absentminded Astrophysicist

Author: TN Tarrant
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632164773
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary        
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Liam is a renowned astrophysicist.  His extreme intelligence, as well as some issues left over from an abusive childhood, make it hard for him to click with those around him.  It also causes a lot of low self-esteem.  Jareth is a tough ex-military man who is trying to get over the loss of his husband.  The two men have nothing in common, yet neither can stay away from the other.

Loving an Absentminded Astrophysicist is a fun read that pulls the reader in from the first page.  Liam is your typical geek.  He’s mind is focused on his work to the point that he is known to walk into walls.  He is a lovable character and one that readers will fall in love with.  Jareth is the new head of security for the facility where Liam works.  From the beginning, he is drawn to the younger man.   These two meet as a result of some tense moments and pretty much stay together from that point on.  Their relationship isn’t without problems however. 

The author brings in all sorts of twists and turns that keep the story hopping.  There are also many secondary characters that help move Loving an Absentminded Astrophysicist along.  There is also a twist in the way the book is put together.  The first half of this story centers on introducing the men to each other as well as the readers.  This is followed up with a small interlude centered on Empress and her daughter, the couple’s cats.  It finishes with more on Liam and Jareth.

Several years have passed since the beginning of the book and the men are now married and trying to adopt.  But their past and present collide, making things harder than what they hoped.  This second part of the men’s story is just as entertaining as the first half.  There are several little twists that make you wonder if their dreams of having a family will ever come true.  There are also moments that will have the readers near tears, so you may want to have the Kleenex handy.

This book has been published before and, other than a change in publisher, there is no noticeable change in the story.

Hot-Blooded Alligator

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books Inc
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0216-7
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

As a man sharing his body with an alligator spirit, Tristan was never very sociable and it’s gotten worse after being held captive for years in his animal form in a traveling show. Now that he’s free, he spends lots of his time in his shifted form swimming in a pond on the gargoyle estate. The high point of his day is interrogating Bud Wallice, the man who kept him captive.

The problem is that Bud’s wife has reported him missing and gotten the police involved, which brings Detective Collin DeSoto to the estate. Tristan is shocked…the detective is his mate. Keeping Bud captive is a problem between them but so is the fact Collin isn’t out and his large family doesn’t have a clue he’s gay. Can these two find a way to get past their issue and find a way to make a relationship work?

Hot-Blooded Alligator is release eleven in Charlie Richards A Paranormal’s Love series. Due to the recurring characters and story line, it would be beneficial to read the books in order. 

I’ve had a hard time deciding what to write for this review…and it’s taken me several days to actually sit down and start. I just didn’t know what to say. On one hand I’m pleased the plot line regarding Bud and the captive animal angle seems to have been at least partially resolved. It provides a way for Tristan and Collin to get together because they wouldn’t have met otherwise. My niggle is that they have real problems…serious ones that are resolved far too quickly. There isn’t a chance to develop a relationship—they just have one. The sex while well written…since I hadn’t formed a connection with either of them, I got bored. Yet, I was pleased with the closeness between Collin and his sister and on seeing several of the previous characters.

Staying Invisible

Title:  Staying Invisible  
Author:  Ann Scott
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Publisher URL:    http://sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63258-621-6
Genre:  {M/F}, Suspense
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

After Sam’s first love, Mitch, dies in a car crash, Sam hides herself away in Kentucky working.  She is housesitting for a friend when Luc sort of abducts her after he is shot.  Both realize they are attracted to each other.

Staying Invisible is a fast paced read that is full of suspense and intrigue.  Luc works for his father, but also works for Homeland Security in a special unit.  Luc has his own problems with keeping his agency work secret. When Luc forces Sam to help him, she uses her friend’s name instead of her own, which results in some future misunderstandings.  I understood Sam’s reasons but couldn’t quite understand Luc’s reaction about lies considering one of his jobs.

I loved Luc’s friend Coop.  If you want a best friend, he is one to have.  The bad guy has some tricks up his sleeve that make you realize, before Luc does, that there are traitors in the ranks.  The way the author ended the book, actually made me want more.

This is the first book that I have read by this author and I look forward to reading more.  Staying Invisible is one for the bookshelves to be read again.

The Gilded Scarab

Author: Anna Butler
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-773-6
Genre: {M/M} Steampunk
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Captain Rafe Lancaster suffers a permanent eye injury after crashing his aerofighter, and it ends his military career.  Wearing glasses to correct his vision, Rafe returns to Londinium in late 1899...the first time in almost a decade. He’s avoided the city for many reasons, mostly because of the powerful society Houses of which he’s a disowned member.

Now he’s home and being forced to find a new focus in life. After several weeks, Rafe settles on purchasing a coffeehouse near the Britannic Imperium Museum, putting him in close contact with several Aegyptologists. He also comes into the line of fire of powerful men with assassins on their payroll and Rafe’s forgotten how much he hates House politics. Making matters worse, an ex-lover is hovering in the background. Rafe has to handle these problems and deal with a kidnapping attempt all while trying to make the relationship with the man he loves work.   

In the past I’ve not been a big fan of the steampunk genre but Anna Butler has changed my mind with her new release The Gilded Scarab. It’s well written, has interesting characters with thoroughly developed personalities and the world building is top-notch. The vivid details of the time period, costumes and people make it a creative blend of Victorian England, science fiction and fantasy. The author created a world filled with danger, intrigue and society “Houses” that pulled me along with her gripping, complicated and fast paced plot. I liked it…no I really enjoyed it, and found it vastly entertaining. I could hardly put it down and think I read it in one day. Oh, and for those of you put-off by the steampunk verbiage…never fear, Ms. Butler has placed a glossary at the back.  I hope Ms. Butler intends to write a sequel in the near future.

Spirit Fall

Title:  Spirit Fall
Author:  Tessa McFionn
Publisher:  Etopia Press
Publisher URL:  www.etopiapress.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-941692-38-7
Genre: {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kai has been around for over seven hundred years and is starting to get bored.  He sees Voni on a bridge and starts talking with her.  Kai is surprised to find that Voni is his spiritmate.

Spirit Fall is the first book in The Guardians series by Tessa McFionn.  This is the first book I have read by her and I really enjoyed the fresh take on the battle of good and evil in the world she has created.  There was also an interesting twist regarding two of the secondary characters at the end that is sure to be a recurring theme in future stories.

Voni has been depressed since her fiancé, James, died.  This has a direct bearing on what has been going on and the reasons why.  The author did a good job with the subject and what can happen when negative thoughts keep going through a person’s head. I loved that Voni found her voice and stood up for herself in the end.

Kai and Voni have lots of chemistry.  Kai keeps telling Voni he will always keep his promise to protect her, and is surprised that she accepts the fact that he is a guardian.  There were some humorous moments between them.

Eaman is a fellow guardian that helps out and is a good friend to Kai.  Some of the things he pulls are funny, but he is one person that is great to have watching your back.  I loved the switch that the author had with the character Konstantin, who is one of the worst of the Rogue Warriors.  It was interesting to see how Guardians and Rogue Warriors are created. The only issue I had with this story is that Kai’s replacement wasn’t named, as I am sure he will be showing up in the future.

Not only am I looking forward to reading future stories in this series, but I am going to be looking for other books by this author.  Based on this story, this series will need to read in order. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Moon

Title: The Moon
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-61124-750-3
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Hammond Argyle is not feeling like his usual self; the bite wound on his neck must be infected. Danny McMann knows what ails Hammond. On the full moon, Hammond will morph into a werewolf for the first time.

The Moon is a delightful short story that details the process of changing from human to wolf, the thrill of hunting in wolf form as well as finding a mate to share your life. The characters are entertaining.

Hammond has always had a self awareness personality that is very much like an alpha. Danny has a calming personality, he is a beta in his pack; his job is to counsel other wolves.

I enjoyed Sean Michael’s The Moon immensely.    

Illusions

Title: Illusions
Author: S. A. Ozment
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632164896
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

While Skylar fell into acting when he was younger, he loves want he does and works hard to get ahead.  To get the prime roles, he has to keep his private life a secret, which isn’t too hard since he isn’t seeing anyone important.  Now that things have changed, Skylar isn’t sure he will be able to keep his career and the man he loves.

Illusions, by author S.A. Ozment, is a story that will grab your attention from the beginning.  Skylar is a young actor with an ego large enough for ten people.  In the beginning, there were times that his actions and behavior made him unlikeable.  It’s only as the story progresses that the readers see there is more to him than what he lets everyone see. 

The other main character in this book is Aiden.  Aiden is a firefighter who, in order to afford to live where he does, works a second job as a waiter for a catering company.  While Aiden is more mature than Skylar in many ways, there is an innocence about him that had me slightly worried about the men’s relationship. 

There is a strong attraction between the two men, and I liked the way Aiden has no real idea who Skylar is when they first meet.  The men’s relationship has a rocky start, and unfortunately the upheaval continues due to the actions of many secondary characters.

While the ‘bad guy’ is easy to figure out, the reason for his actions is surprising.  I was also shocked by the actions of some of the other secondary characters and loved that one of them gets his in the end. 

Illusions was a good read and I loved the way the author wrapped the story up.  I will be sure to keep my eyes open for more from this author.

Hearts and Minds

Author: M.D. Grimm
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-63216-534-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Xavier and Josh are so busy with their new venture that they completely forgot about Valentine Day. Since the two have only been mated for six months, both men are at a loss as to how they should celebrate the special holiday for lovers.

Hearts and Minds is the sequel to Healing Minds, the fifth book in The Shifters series. Xavier is a wolf shifter who had been tortured by the Knights, an organization whose goal it is to destroy all shifters. Josh works for the Agency, the Agency’s goal is to save all shifters.  Together Xavier and Josh have the needed experience to operate a clinic for the mentally troubled shifters. The clinic will be a first for the small shifter community called Haven.

Because this is the first time Xavier or Josh have been in a romantic relationship, they decided the best way to express their love for each other is to have a marathon day of intimacy. 

M.D. Grimm has created another impressive addition to this enjoyable series. The storyline gives enough background information to be fully engaged in the plot and the characters.  

A New Man

Title: A New Man
Author: P. D. Singer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632166449
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

What should be a wonderful time for Chad is anything but.  Instead of enjoying his senior year of college, and making plans for the future, Chad has to deal with headaches and sexual dysfunction.    But then the relationship between Chad and his roommate, Warren, changes and things become clearer.

A New Man is an interesting story by author P.D. Singer.  The story is about two young men, one straight and one gay, who have recently become roommates.  Warren is a grad student, while Chad is an undergrad struggling to finish his final year.   Warren has been crushing on Chad since the younger man moved in, but the fact that Chad is straight keeps him from making any kind of move on him.   Eventually the author finds a way to bring these two together and I loved the chemistry between them. 

The author did a wonderful job having Warren show that there is more than one way to be intimate in a relationship.  The way he sets out to help Chad overcome his sexual issues heats up the pages.  Of course, Chad’s sexual issues and orientation are not the only problems the men face.  Chad suffers from headaches that seem to be getting worse.  The way the reason for them comes out is unusual.   This is when the story really gets started. 

From the moment the men find out what is wrong with Chad, things begin to move fast.  Soon they are facing some major changes in their lives.  It is only natural that these changes, some good and some bad, have an effect on their new relationship.  It is easy to understand the men’s actions during this time, and their behavior lends a realistic air to the story.  

I liked the little twists and turns in this story and could not wait to see how everything would play out.  While I liked the story, I really loved how the author wrapped it up. The epilogue closes the angst ridden story wonderfully, giving the readers an ending they will enjoy.

Wolfe and His Bunny

Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Siren-BookStrand
Publisher URL: www.sirenpublishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-63258-745-9
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifters
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Alpha werewolf Max Wolfe and rabbit shifter Peter Bennett is an unlikely match, but destiny decided the two are mates.

Wolfe and His Bunny is a delightfully amusing story of natural enemies learning to love as well as build a future together. Peter’s first instinct was to run when he first met Wolfe, but on closer inspection Peter discovers that they have a lot in common. For example, both men are caregivers. Peter works at an animal shelter taking care of all sorts of abandoned animals. Wolfe is the alpha to a pack of men and women who were made into werewolves rather than born wolf shifters. 

Susan Laine has created an impressively appealing, sizzling romantic saga that I enjoyed immensely.  

We Found Love

Author: Kade Boehme & Allison Cassatta
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632166777
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary        
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

A psychiatric facility is the last place anyone would think they could find love, yet that’s just what happens when Riley and Hunter meet.  The men’s problems may have brought them together but will they keep them apart in the end?

We Found Love by authors Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta is an angst-driven story that touches on topics that may be difficult for some readers.  The story grabs you from the beginning with its intense main characters, and will hold your interest until the last page. 

Riley is a young man whose life was turned upside down when he was just a young boy, and never righted itself.  His story is one that could be taken from the evening news.  The authors did a good job making this character and his actions appear realistic.  I wanted him to find his HEA, yet, really did not see the possibility of him ever leaving Hartfield.

Hunter is slightly older than Riley and is having a hard time getting over the death of his boyfriend.  Hunter’s way of coping is one that many others have followed.  It’s not unrealistic to believe, like his siblings did, that Hunter was trying to kill himself no matter how hard he tried to claim otherwise. 

While I liked the connection that these two formed, I could not help waiting for the other shoe to fall.  When it does, be prepared for some tough scenes to follow.  My heart went out to Riley and Hunter and I am glad the authors found a way to bring their relationship together in a realistic fashion.  They also did a good job wrapping the story up in a way readers will like. 

We Found Love will take the readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride.  This is a book that has found its way to my keeper shelf, and I will be reading it again in the future.