Friday, July 31, 2015

Unconventional in San Diego

Author: Anthology
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publisher URL: www.pride-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-78430-687-8
Genre: {M/M} {M/M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Unconventional is the name of a drinking establishment where the paranormal and some of the more adventurous humans get together.
   
 Fate’s Bridge by Carol Lynne – 5 Nymphs
The plot is an especially sensual vampire ménage. The characters are Bodi, a laid back amiable human turned vampire after a deadly attack. Bodi is the link that unites Roman, a centuries old vampire searching for the return of his first love’s human soul and Alexi, a vampire who secretly loves Roman.

My impression, together the three have achieved their forever love destiny.

Coming in Third by Amber Kell - 5 Nymphs
The plot is an amusing mixed species ménage. The main characters are Niall, a member of the fae royalty who is cursed with an abusive controlling mother. Jovan and Luka, cat shifters who are convinced after one night together that Niall is their mate and determined to claim him.

My impression, I was hoping someone would magically zap Niall’s mother or at the very least, the cats would bite her.   

The Unicorn Said Yes by T.A. Chase - 4.5 Nymphs
The plot is a dark fantasy. The main characters are actually the innocent victims of a sinister plan to restore a perverted family’s long ago depraved notoriety. Carney is an outcast in his family, which makes Carney the perfect lure to entrap Ivan, the unicorn king.

My impression, honor triumphs over betrayal and trust can lead to love.
    
Blood on the Moon by Jambrea Jo Jones - 4.5 Nymphs
The plot is a mystery. The main characters are Kishar, an incubus ruled by his moral values rather than his deadly hunger. This makes Kishar a disgrace to his cold hearted mother, but a perfect mate for the fashion conscious righteous witch, Montague.

My impression, for every evil action, karma delivers a more powerful reaction as Kishar’s mother can attest to as she undergoes licentious detoxification.

A Sliver of Sunset by Devon Rhodes - 4.5 Nymphs
The plot is a poignant love story. The main characters are Angelo, an ocean shifter facing a battle with leukemia and Dominic, a human and a nurse in the cancer hospital.

My impression, fate brought them together at a time when Angelo desperately needed a loving mate the most. 

Wounded Hearts

Author: Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781634762908
Genre: {M/M}, Western        
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Zane wakes up, he knows the career he once had as a detective was over.  Now he has to figure out what to do with himself, so when his best friend strongly suggests Zane takes some time to recuperate on a ranch he knows of, Zane goes.  Only things don’t go the way Zane thought they would.

Book titles are a funny thing.  Sometimes after reading a book I find myself wondering just how the connection between the story and title is made as it was hard to see. However, with Wounded Hearts the authors throw the connection right out from the beginning. 

Zane is an NYPD detective.  While following a lead on a case, Zane receives a career ending injury.  For someone who has already faced tough times, this newest challenge may be more than what the young cop can handle.  While not really wallowing in self-pity, he is devastated and at loose ends.  He does have a strong support system, but does not want to become a burden to his family and friends.  When Renford, his best friend, recommends some time away and sends him to Montana, Zane is unsure what he will find.  It is easy to see how this strong man would feel going from an able bodied cop to someone having to face a few challenges. 

Cyrus is the ranch owner and the total opposite of Zane.  Older, rude, and foul mouthed, he could care less about what anyone thinks about him.  He wants to be left alone and would be happy finding a way to make his ranch pay for itself.  After losing his husband and spending time in prison, the only connections he wants with other people are limited.  Cyrus would be an easy character to dislike if it wasn’t for the fact that the reader is given insight to him early on.  While we are not given the whole story, we are given just enough to ensure we continue to turn the pages to find out more.  As with Zane, it is easy to see the pain that Cyrus is in.  It is also easy to understand why he tries to keep everyone at a distance.  It kind of makes you wonder what in the world Renford was thinking sending Zane to stay at the ranch. 

With the men at odds from the beginning, the attraction that exists between them is not easy to see.  I almost felt bad for Cyrus because it seemed as if he had no real idea how to talk to someone without being over the top or offending.  The journey these two take is not an easy one, and there are more than a few pitfalls.  When Cyrus’ secret comes out, I was not surprised by Zane’s reaction.  Although it was clear to see that these two men loved each other, I worried if they would end up happy.  The authors do wrap up the story between these two in a very satisfying way, which I was glad to see.

Wounded Hearts also has a variety of secondary characters that help move this story along.  Two of those characters, Renford and Brian, were fun to watch; hopefully they will be getting books of their own soon.  

An Expert in Domination

Author:  Sindra van Yssel
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-947-2
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Contemporary, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Sophia is more of a nature person and goes to Bondage Ranch with a friend to at least have a relaxing time.  The friend she went with volunteers her for an impact demonstration being done by Colby.  Sophia is not one to back out, despite the circumstances.

The seventh book in the Bondage Ranch series, An Expert in Domination, showcases a divorced mother learning about herself.  Colby doesn’t do relationships because of his own background with divorce.  He also had to change professions as a result. 

Sophia lives on the East Coast and Colby is an attorney living in Los Angeles.  Due to the demonstration, the two connect in more ways than one, with Colby asking Sophia to let him teach her what is means to be submissive.  I liked that Colby made sure she understood what was going on, asked her lots of questions, and made sure she had a safe word.  I did have to laugh at some of Sophia’s attitude because she made sure that Colby knew where she stood.

Once the two get together, the chemistry is very intense. Neither was looking for a relationships, especially since it would be a long distance one.  Because of Colby’s job, he takes a vacation where Sophia is and ends up with a job that could keep him there.  

Ms. Van Yssel does it again with An Expert in Domination.  The story kept my interest and is one that would be a good starter for someone just starting to read about BDSM romances.  One great thing about the stories in the Bondage Ranch series is that each story takes someone with experience and a novice on a journey that also has lots of romance.  I am looking forward to more in this series. 

Betwixt and Between

Author: Alexis Duran
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-62300-939-7
Genre: {M/M} Urban Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Ian Evers grew up surrounded by magic and secrets until Ezekiel Stormshadow, a dark elf, reveals the truth about Ian’s family.

Betwixt and Between is the first book in the Edge of Night series. The setting is Seattle, Washington. The plot centers on the dark and light realms of Earth. The dark realm practices magic for stealing the light from the soul because evil cannot nourish a soul, it can only destroy the soul as well as the person.

Ian believes in magical creatures.  This is the main reason he works for a tabloid newspaper that feature unbelievable stories. His job is to search out the mythical creatures hiding among humans and take a picture of them. Ian is protected from evil by wearing a moonstone infused with a magical spell.

Ezekiel is a slave to the dark queen; his job is to lure people underground to feed the evil queen and her minions, but it is getting harder to find light sources strong enough to strengthen the entire dark realm.   

Betwixt and Between is an impressive as well as enjoyable saga. The battle of love against evil along with the revelations of the character’s histories is fascinating.  

Met Her Match

Title:  Met Her Match
Author:  Sierra Cartwright
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-932-8
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Mira is partnered with Torin in the security field, but she wants him to dominate her sexually as well.  Events change their relationship after Torin originally refuses her.

Met Her Match was originally one of the stories in the Doms of Dark Haven anthology, which is no longer available.  The novellas are currently being published as separate stories with no revisions.  Met Her Match is part of the Hawkeye series.

The relationship between Mira and Torin is very intense, both as agents for a security company and their BDSM relationship.  Mira has always wanted someone to dominate her sexually but also wants someone to respect her abilities as a highly trained agent.  Mira was attracted to Torin when she first trained with him, but now that she is partnered with him, she wants more.

Torin hasn’t stopped thinking about Mira since she came to him.  When he goes to Dark Haven and sees someone else dominating her, he causes a scene.  The scene between the two is hot, and starts their relationship.  The chemistry between the two is sizzling.

Torin is definitely Mira’s match.  Even though he wants to protect her, he knows she is good at her job.  I love Mira because she is so strong, good at her job, but knows what she needs in a personal relationship and isn’t afraid to go after it.  The author did a good job blending the job the two had to do and their personal relationship.

Those that are fans of Dark Haven will enjoy reading Met Her Match again. New readers will get a glimpse of Dark Haven’s world and should look for the other stories.  I will be reading this again.

Victoria and the Alien Doctor

Author:  Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher:  Changeling Press
ISBN/BIN:  07407-02389  
Genre:  {M/F} Sci-Fi Futuristic
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Watching her daughter slowly dying is pushing Victoria Mathers to drastic actions.  The doctors of Earth can’t cure her child no matter what they try, and the doctors of Terran are forbidden from treating humans.  Begging isn’t working so Victoria considers the last option left, mating with a Terran. 

Xonos hadn’t seriously considered having a mate, but he had to do something to help the single mother and her child.  Perhaps Xonos could come to an understanding with Victoria and they could both benefit from a union. 

Neither Victoria nor Xonos expected to bond so quickly as a family.  Physical attraction was there from the beginning, but the emotions took them both by surprise.  A future with Xonos was something Victoria could envision and she wondered if he felt the same.  There was not doubt he’d fallen in love with her daughter and would do anything for her, but how did he feel about Victoria?

Life hadn’t been kind to Victoria before she met Xonos.  Victoria’s parents failed her as a child and then pregnancy brought more problems.  I was thrown for a loop by the shocking circumstances and how she told Xonos about it.  A weaker woman would have given up and not sacrificed herself.  I was also impressed with Xonos’ compassion and how easily he accepted having a wife and child.  He was meant to be a father; there is no doubt in my mind.  I was touched by the way Xonos pampered the little girl and I felt her excitement with her new daddy.  Tragedy brought this couple together, but fortunately it isn’t what will keep them together. 

Terran men know how to make a woman feel special, that is evident in Victoria and the Alien Doctor, the second installment of the Intergalactic Brides series.  A sexy go-to guy is hard to resist, so I know readers will embrace Xonos.  This story can be read as a stand alone with no problem, but because it’s so captivating, you’ll want to read the series from the beginning. 

Remy’s Painter

Author: AC Katt
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02015-0421
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Ian Sullivan’s in trouble. His older brother got into debt to a loan shark and when their father reported the repayment threats to the police, they were both killed in a suspicious car accident. Now that same loan shark is demanding Ian pay-off the loan, and Ian needs five thousand dollars immediately. If he doesn’t, he could wind up as mobster Sal Ferrara’s boy toy. 

His only hope of getting out the mess his brother caused is a painting contract his father hadn’t completed before his death. If Ian can win the contract for the seventy five hundred square foot house, he’ll have the money he needs. What Ian doesn’t know is that the house is owned by Remy Clavier, the beta of the North American Council of Werewolves, who is his mate. Remy is willing to be anything to protect and care for Ian.  He just has to figure out how to deal with Sal Ferrara without killing him, and to convince Ian they belong together. Nothing too difficult—right?

Remy’s Painters in the second release in AC Katt’s M/M paranormal series, The Werewolves of Manhattan. Be aware that the characters are connected and the books should be read in order. 

I admit it. I enjoyed this book more than the first. I like Remy and Ian and enjoyed the development of their relationship and getting to know them. The book is a nice length, so the author had time to develop their personalities, and have them realistically connect as a couple. Ian’s years of family problems are nicely integrated, giving the reader a good understanding of his emotional state and relationship baggage. The story also has vivid descriptions, a fast pace, angst, danger, action and plenty of sexual tension. I enjoyed the interaction of the secondary characters and the fun, bantering dialogue.  I look forward to the next release in the series. 

Vice

Title:  Vice
Author:  Rosanna Leo
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61922-719-4   
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Life in Las Vegas has ups and downs and Kate Callender has experienced them both to the extreme.  Her complicated childhood is what made Kate start the support group that gives her life purpose.  Change has to start someplace and being in between jobs left Kate with spare time. The man responsible for the destruction of numerous families was about to become Kate’s new project.

When it comes to making a successful casino, Liam Doyle’s name is on the top of the list.  He is a self-made man who has everything money can buy.  Even though wealth hasn’t made him happy, Liam doesn’t take kindly to the ginger hellion trying to ruin his business. 

The chemistry is strong between Kate and Liam, but so is the anger.  Kate is determined to close down Liam’s casino and Liam is equally determined to get rid of Kate.  Spending more time together has changed their opinions about each other.  Kate and Liam are both broken and struggling with issues from childhood.  Kate’s life is threatened and Liam comes to her rescue.   Kate’s loyalty is questioned when her friends discover she’s sleeping with the enemy, Liam.  After hitting rock bottom individually, Kate and Liam are able to make it as a couple. 

Kate wasn’t practicing what she was preaching in her support group and that made me angry.  Her father destroyed everything with his gambling, yet Kate couldn’t cut him off.   And thinking about Kate’s poor mother nearly brought tears to my eyes.  I understood Kate’s reasons, still I was disappointed.  She convinced Liam that he needed to stop his custody battle, but I see nothing wrong with what he was doing. Liam’s heart was in the right place, and I know he would have made a great father.  He was so damaged as a teenager, I’m amazed Liam could admit his feelings so easily.  My heart broke for him, especially after learning that he didn’t want to share everything with Kate.   Liam’s road to recovery was going to take a while but with Kate at his side, I know he’d get there.  Vice brings together a couple who finally come to terms with the past.  It shows their human side and draws readers in.  This one is a must read.

Kick at the Darkness

Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: Self Published
Publisher URL: www.smashwords.com
ISBN: 9780994092410
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

College freshman Parker Osborne realized maintaining his grade point average was the least of his worries when the majority of Earth’s inhabitants have been infected from a biological terrorist attack. As it happens, Parker also realizes that his perceived academic arch enemy Adam Hawkins is not an enemy, but Parker’s savior.  

Kick at the Darkness is an amusing thriller combined with a touch of romance. The setting is a motorcycle road trip from California to Cape Cod. There are a number of creeper attack scenes in addition to a few fights with virus free human predators. Envision traveling across the country in a world thrown into total chaos with very little food, no phone service and no electric power. Finding a safe place to sleep and shower was a luxury for Parker and Adam.

The characters are creditable. Parker comes from a privileged family; he is book smart but lacks the logical thinking needed in emergency situations. Parker has an irritating personality of debating almost every decision Adam makes regarding their safety. Nevertheless, Parker is strongly attracted to Adam.

Adam is a werewolf in hiding with the natural survival instincts of an alpha wolf. Because he was already secretly attracted to Parker, their chance meeting in the mist of chaos allowed Adam to do everything he could to protect Parker, as well as take him to Parker’s family home in Cape Cod.

Kick at the Darkness is an impressive as well as an enjoyable saga. Most of the storyline is heart pounding skirmishes; however there are a few scenes of incredibly sensual intimacy.  

Perception

Title:  Perception
Author:  Edie Jo Gibson
Publisher:  Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL:  www.lsbooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781622102327
Genre:  {M/F}, Contemporary, Suspense, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Based on chatter, Elizabeth is being investigated for possible terrorist activity.  Jay has been assigned to keep an eye on her, get into her lab and search her computers.  When the first kidnap attempt fails, things get complicated between the two of them.

The second book in the Retribution series, Perception, brings headlines to life when a scientist ends up being a target because of work she and other team members did when they were at a university. The book also showcases what can happen when greed gets the better of people and the lengths some people will go to get money and power.

Both Jay and Elizabeth make the most of their opportunities once they get kidnapped right under the nose of Jay’s team.  The author did a good job showing the resilience people have in the most adverse situations.  Readers should be aware there are a few scenarios that could cause some heart pounding moments, especially at the end.  Of course, things will turn out okay, but the author has some very interesting and scary twists as the book progresses.

The security team from the first book makes an appearance, as does Ethan’s wife, Frankie.  There are a few interesting characters, one who may show up in future books, but the bad guy definitely has a mean streak. 

Perception kept my attention throughout and I finished the book in one day because I could not put it down.  While the story can be read alone, I recommend this series be read in order to get the most of this series.

Takes the Cake

Title:  Takes the Cake
Author:  Lynn Chantale
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-944-1    
Genre:  {M/F} Multicultural, Contemporary
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

When it comes to catering, Liz Arnold is the best of the best.  That’s why she landed the job doing this grand wedding.  Accommodating late changes on a whim of the bride is a challenge Liz takes on with ease.  However, butting heads with a man from her past is making her job difficult and dredging up old feelings.  Liz is so conflicted.

Superstition or not, nobody was going to doom his sister’s wedding.  Everything has to be perfect and Keegan Murphy intends to make that happen.  But, that’s not all.  Keegan is determined to make Liz his, even though she’s giving him the cold shoulder.

Shock from several unpredictable events literally had me thinking that this one Takes the Cake.  I laughed, I gasped, and I blushed through them all.  There is so much going on, leading up to the actual wedding, I kept making bets with myself what the final outcome would be.  Lynn Chantale certainly knows how to keep you guessing and I enjoyed that.  Liz and Keegan have a history that makes things tense while preparing for the wedding and most of the tension is sexual.  Regret is something Keegan has been dealing with since he lost Liz, so letting her freeze him out is not an option.  Liz is strong but her wall crumbles like a house of cards when she remembers the good times she had with Keegan.  I loved their fights and definitely their make up scenes.  If you appreciate a healthy dose of drama and desire, you have to read this delightful story.


Making Men

Title: Making Men
Author: Sam Standish
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925180-96-1
Genre: {M/M} Erotica
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

The setting is a college dorm where students Tony and Kevin seek to help an unnamed young man transition from a virgin and emerge into a sexually active self-aware man. The plot exhibits biological sex as a conformation of student solidarity without any romantic commitments involved. Some readers may find the explicit sex kink segments depicted as distasteful.

Tony and Kevin’s goal is to teach the younger man the psychological complexity of intimacy, commitment and compassion. The young man must learn to open his mind completely to experience the ambiance of lust without feeling the obligation of commitment. The journey the three men travel now will dictate the path for their future.

Making Men is a story that illustrates a plausible depiction of human sexuality.  Overall, the remarkable character qualities of unbiased humanity demonstrated inspired my enjoyment of Making Men.   


Advisory: This work of fiction includes an incestuous sexual relationship between consenting adults.

Just Desserts

Title:  Just Desserts
Author:  Gail Koger
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-928-1
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kaylee is kidnapped during a friend’s bonding ceremony.  Kaylee is very pregnant and very hormonal, which is a big problem for the kidnappers.  Kaylee’s mate, Talree, will do almost anything to go through those that took her.

The fifth book in the Coletti Warlords series, Just Desserts, picks up where Reality Bites ended.  Just Desserts is a humorous look at a very hormonal pregnant woman who is a warrior in her own right and wreaks havoc among her mate’s enemies.  One thing longtime fans of this series need to know, since the first two books are not available right now, is that the story does have a few flashbacks from Just My Luck regarding Kaylee’s and Talree’s relationship, along with how they met some of their allies.  This has a big bearing on some of the scenarios is this book.

I love Kaylee.  She is a former cop from Earth and a spitfire that happens to be a trouble magnet.  Her family is constantly pulling their hair out due to her antics.  She has the same effect on Talree and his family, though her father-in-law Zarek can curb some of it.  The enemies that ended up kidnapping Kaylee made a major mistake doing so. 

The allies that Kaylee’s family made help try to find Kaylee, as well as destroy those that took her.  One thing that also made this a fun suspense story is that various enemies kept taking her from each other.  Those that have read the stories available know how the women in the Jones family are, so what happens should be no surprise, with the exception of how things unfold.

There are a lot of interesting characters showing up, both friend and foe in the story and series.  The author has created a very interesting world, along with the various life forms in the stories that continue to surprise me. 

I hope there will be more stories about the Coletti Warlords in the future.  I recommend that the available stories be read in order to get the best picture of the Coletti world, and Just Desserts answers questions that readers may have had about Kaylee and Talree.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dragon's Surprise

Author: Jenn Dease
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02015-0419
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Patrolling in the Pacific Ocean, Naval Captain Franklin Drake-Michaels and his dragon mate Marine Major Dane Drake is always on the alert for the ever present danger initiated by the Russo-Chinese terrorist group known as the Voladi.

Dragon's Surprise is the second book in the Dragon Marines series. The plot features the political climate of a futuristic earth. Franklin’s imprisoned family members, their dramatic rescues and the exposure of spies operating within the government. The character interactions are heartwarming.

Being in the military is a hardship for Franklin and Dane because they are often assigned to different ships. However, for this tour of duty Franklin and Dane are both on the USS Requiem.

Dane rescues a young dragon who just happens to be Franklin’s niece. The half human half dragon child is an example of harmony between the two species. Spending time with the child also strengthens the bond between Franklin’s and Dane’s family members as well as softens some of the prejudice attitudes of society in general.

Dragon's Surprise is a captivating saga. I especially enjoyed the exciting military maneuvers exhibited by the dragons. I suggest reading Captain's Mate first to get the full history of Voladi.   

Wolf Bound

Title:  Wolf Bound
Second Edition
Author:  Sierra Dafoe
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL:   http://www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  01935-00606
Genre:  {M/F} Paranormal, Werewolves
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

A mountain getaway to the Canadian Rockies doesn’t go the way Jenna expects.  Her third novel making the list of bestsellers was the reason Klaus planned this celebratory trip for Jenna.  When they get separated on the slopes, Jenna gets lost in the snow and saved from freezing.

Eventually Jenna realizes she isn’t hallucinating when the wolf who brought her to shelter transforms into the most perfect looking man she ever saw.  Finally Jenna gets to act out some of the steamy love scenes she only writes about.  Language was a problem for the two of them, but they found other ways to communicate where words weren’t needed.  Returning to her life without Wolf would crush Jenna, but she knew Wolf couldn’t adapt to her world either.  Jenna can’t decide, but fate had no problem deciding for her. 

Wolf Bound reminds me of a paranormal Tarzan and Jane and I enjoyed the endless possibilities that the couple faced.  It seemed like a relationship set up for failure but by the end, I changed my mind.  When everything is stripped down to the bottom line, love really is all that matters.  Money can’t buy everything and definitely can’t warm your bed at night.  Wolf and Jenna have obstacles to face but somehow I feel that they will beat them all and that’s always a memorable way to wrap up a story.

Raisonne Curse

Title:  Raisonne Curse
Author:  Rinda Elliott
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61922-893-1
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Elita’s family has been cursed.  Things get out of hand with all kinds of accidents.  She approaches the Bernaux brothers for help, but ends up fighting for love and the chance to live a full life with Pryor.

Raisonne Curse is the first book in The Brothers Bernaux series.  The basic premise is that the brothers will remove the Raisoone Curse from the three cousins.  One thing about this book is the unique way the author has the brothers paying a very steep price to use the magic they have.  There are also a few other rules they follow as well.

Elita and Pryor are immediately attracted to each other, but Pryor knows he should stay away from her.  Both have issues regarding the future. There are a lot of hints about what happens to the brothers, but it is not quite what you would expect. 

The author created an interesting world within the Cajun culture.  I have read other stories set in Louisiana, but this one has some unique twists within the swamp.  Some of the descriptions of the various characters made me laugh as I could actually picture them in my head. 

The Brothers Bernaux is going to be interesting with lots of twists in the future.  I can’t wait to see what happens with Elita’s cousin that just showed up.

A Diamond in the Dark

Author:  Sassie Lewis
Publisher:  Beachwalk Press
ISBN/BIN:   9781940744834
Genre:  {M/F} Erotic Contemporary BBW
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Before he did something stupid, Axton had to get laid.  Erotic dreams about the woman he’d known since she was 2 years old was driving him bananas.  Axton practically felt like a pervert, but he just couldn’t help it.  Maybe a weekend away would give him a chance to get Tia out of his head.  Well, it might have worked if Axton didn’t wake up to find the delectable woman straddling him.

Tia has been in love with Axton for as long as she can remember.  Her first orgasm as a teenager happened when watching him skinny dip in the lake.  The more she did to gain his attention, the more annoyed he seemed to become.  Tia was tired of watching from the sideline while Axton took off with another trashy woman.  She had to try a new tactic to get Axton to see her as more than family. 

The dynamics of Tia and Axton’s relationship is complicated in A Diamond in the Dark.  The strikes they have working against them might not necessarily be issues, the age difference and the family.  Tia has no doubt that they should be together but Axton tries his best to fight the losing battle.  He’s torn and people around him are starting to notice that something is wrong.   Eventually Tia and Axton take their relationship to the next level but decide to keep it a secret for a while.  Secrets seem to always come out at the worse times, and this one was no different.  What could have torn the family apart actually brought everyone closer together.  Axton was a bit too noble for his own good sometimes and Tia seemed like a puppy on his heels.  That led to some sexually charged scenes that readers will appreciate.  I loved the history between the couple and found them both easy to relate to.  Their family made me jealous and left me feeling comforted at the end of the story.

Deception

Title:  Deception
Author:  Edie Jo Gibson
Publisher:  Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL:  www.lsbooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781622101191
Genre:  {M/F}, Contemporary, Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Frankie has a network of friends in the community that band together to put bad guys away.  When an operation kills his brother, Ethan spends his time trying to find the man responsible.  While doing surveillance on someone in the community who might lead him to that man, he runs across Frankie.  What happens when they team up?

Deception is the first book in the Retribution series.  This was an interesting blend of former military with a security firm, working with what is effectively a neighborhood watch organization, taken one step further along the way.  Both groups are effective about putting the bad guy away.

Both groups did a few things that bordered on being illegal, especially when it came to surveillance.  There were a few humorous moments, such as using the rats to gain entrance to a building and the interaction with Ethan.  There are some interesting and quirky characters in both groups.

Frankie and Ethan are attracted to each other, but have to work on trusting each.  Frankie also is at war with herself because she doesn’t want to be constantly waiting for Ethan to return from wherever he may go, not knowing he is looking to stay put and grow his firm.  The chemistry between them is hot enough that both get distracted at times from their goal of catching Briggs.

Retribution is the name of the bar Frankie owns and it is fitting because of the work they do trying to help people in the community. There are several twists that were complete surprises, especially when things are revealed at the end.  The way the author handled a few of those toward the end will cause hearts to pound. 

I found this a fresh take on the suspense genre with the characters the author created in both groups of organizations.  Benny, Pearl, Greta and Brenda Sue are the type of friends everyone should have.  Ethan’s team were funny when they weren’t totally in military mode. 

I am looking forward to reading more in this series.  This is an author I have not read before, but will be looking for more from her.

Still Life

Title: Still Life
Author: DB Kennison
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61923-005-7
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Suspense Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 08-11-2015

Divorced from her cheating husband, Randi Lassiter doesn’t date. Between the time spent in her real estate office during the day and the hours spent photographing philandering husbands at night, she’s too busy. Then she falls over a mutilated body in an alley and almost winds up as a suspect.

When Detective Jon Bricksen left Milwaukee, he thought he’d seen his last murder victim but his small town has a brutal killing, the first in forty years, and he’s been put in charge. He’s not thrilled at being named lead investigator and is worried Randi will mess up his case with her interference. But Randi knows the town better than Jon does and can find out information he can’t and suddenly, they’re in a partnership he never expected. As their attraction grows can they find a serial killer before becoming victims themselves?

Still Life is the debut novel by DB Kennison in her new Randi Lassiter series. The premise caught my attention immediately, but discovering it’s a first time publication for the author left me a little apprehensive. I needn’t have worried. I found it well written, highly entertaining and difficult to put down.

I like Randi and Jon and found their personalities well developed. The plot is even and fast paced, there’s plenty of action, the secondary characters are integrated smoothly within the storyline and I particularly enjoyed Randi’s friend CJ. The details of the murder and police investigation—including Randi’s part, are believable and balanced nicely against the other things going.

Then there’s Randi and Jon’s relationship. They definitely start off rocky but it doesn’t take long for their attraction to surface. Life is complicated and problems arise that have to be worked out—and they have a killer to caught, so watch out for trouble in the department and some interesting twists. If you enjoy romantic suspense novels, I think you’ll enjoy this one. I know I did.

Above the Law

Title:  Above the Law
Author:  Danica St. Como
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-758-4
Genre:  {M/M/F}, LGBT, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Abigail and Glennon have been seeing each on and off.  Joe is Abigail’s best friend, he also happens to be attracted to Glennon.  After a night of dinner and partying, the three get together, but Abigail realizes the two men are attracted to each other.

Above the Law is the fourth book in the Men of Sanctuary series.  All three of the main characters are either law enforcement or military and are friends with the owners of Sanctuary.  All three have appeared in previous stories.  I liked that the author showed that both men had previous relationships with a male and in Joe’s case, he hasn’t had any real relationship since.

The author did a good job showing the awkwardness that sometimes comes when people try to start a new relationship when they themselves aren’t sure about how they really feel.  The evolution of the relationship between Abigail and Glennon, then later Glennon and Joe is so real, I was rooting for them all. However, Abigail makes a decision that confuses both men, but it turns out to be the best one for her.

Of course, the character that causes all sorts of trouble for them was a little bit of a surprise.  At the beginning you got a sense that there might be something wrong at the crime scene, but I did not expect just how devious the bad guy was. 

I am looking forward to Abigail’s story in the future, along with the various antics that the characters involved with Sanctuary get involved in.  Men of Sanctuary is a series to be read again.

Short Fuse

Title: Short Fuse
Author: Rebecca Crowley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61922-991-4
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 07-28-2015

Nicola Holt loves her job as head of social and corporate responsibility for Garraway Gold and travels the world, helping local people wherever her company has mining facilities.  Every trip has problems and a country trying to recover from civil unrest needs special attention. That’s why Garraway’s board sends in a security specialist, who turns out to be her seat mate. Not only is the man gorgeous but he’s good at his job. When two fellow passengers act unruly, he trusses them up using their own clothing.

Warren Copley isn’t thrilled with taking a contract with the gold industry but after being suspended from South Africa’s elite tactical police division, he doesn’t have a choice. The job doesn’t sound like a problem but the distracting woman sitting next to him might be. On arriving at their destination of Hambani, Warren’s opinion of the situation changes—the area is a powder keg waiting to explode. Can they deal with their growing attraction and the increasing danger? Can they get out of the area alive?

Short Fuse is the second release in Rebecca Crowley’s contemporary romantic suspense series, Elite Operators. Despite being part of a series, this can be read as a standalone.

I really appreciate that the male leads in the series have so far been part of the South African special police. It’s a nice change from other books of the genre and thus sets the location in a part of the world that isn’t generally featured in romance novels. It’s a great idea. And Warren in Short Fuse being an explosive expert is certainly unique too. 

The personalities of Warren and Nicola are nicely developed, the pace is fast and there’s plenty of action and danger throughout the plot. I like the mine, with its growing unrest, as the setting for the story. The details of running the mine, its workers, the brewing military uprising and the danger are vividly covered, making the story come alive.  The author did a great job balancing the growing relationship between Warren and Nicola with all the other things going on around them.  Yes, they have strong personalities and opinions, so they disagree and clash from the beginning but their attraction is sizzling. I look forward to the next book in this well written and entertaining series.

Love Will Always Find You

Author: Claire Matthews
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9781619230255
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary; Suspense
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Evie Malone is stuck in a rut. She’s an aspiring author but she’s having writer’s block. Her day job as a dog trainer makes her happy and pays the bills, but her love life is a mess. She’s unhappy in her relationship with Brad, so decides once and for all that she is going to end it. When she arrives at his place to let him down gently however, she walks straight in to a crime scene. Brad is dead and Evie is suspect number one.

Luke Kovacs is a great cop, but knows nothing about taking care of a dog. When he inherits one from his aunt, he calls Evie for help. There is an immediate attraction, but there’s hardly a chance to acknowledge it before Evie is embroiled in a murder investigation. Luke is dedicated to his job and trusts his instinct that Evie is innocent, but someone is trying to frame her. Can Luke keep his cool when the woman he has come to care about the most is put in danger?

I enjoyed reading Love Will Always Find You. The story captured my imagination; I was curious to unravel the mystery of Brad’s death. The supporting characters were strong and give a real “whodunit?” feel to the book. I did like Luke, although I felt his character was held back a bit from his true potential. My thoughts on Evie are a bit more complex. Certain ways she behaved rubbed me up the wrong way at times.

There is a lot of humor in the book - it’s a nice character trait for both Evie and her cousin Jesse, who also put in a strong performance. I just struggled to find the humor and the seriousness of Brad’s murder compatible. Evie’s thoughts about her relationship with Brad were not particularly flattering, but I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Reading about how her thoughts would switch between compassion at the horrible situation and attraction to Luke seemed a bit inappropriate. That being said, I did enjoy the story – I just felt my personality clashed with Evie’s at times.