Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Hippie Whisperer

Author: J.D. Walker
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61124-671-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary / The Arts 
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

On the surface, Carl Neilson seems very happy with his life. He enjoys his role as counsellor at the local community college and has done a fantastic job raising his son Chester. No one can question his dedication, but those close to him are starting to realise that there is one person Carl has definitely been neglecting all these years…himself!

Carl has been able to ignore the gentle jibes of his friends, but now even Chester is joining in, criticising everything from Carl’s dress sense to his understandably cautious way of life. It’s not that Carl doesn’t know how to have fun; it’s just that Chester has been his priority for so long now that Carl has simply forgotten how to live for himself.

He is struggling to come to terms with the fact that Chester is old enough to take care of himself now. With his son’s tactless interfering and a not-so-chance meeting with shoot-from-the-hip artist Ben Brooker, Carl is given the perfect opportunity to open his eyes – and his heart – to the world again

I like Carl and I can respect his choices in life so it bugged me at first when those close to him seemed to be picking him apart. I certainly felt his frustration at Ben’s frank assessment of his life. In the end, I’m glad that Carl didn’t lose his sense of self, even after accepting that those around him may have a point about change being needed. He acted with more dignity than I would have done if people were picking at my clothes and being argumentative. He realised he wanted to change, regardless of what others were saying, and that made it okay. I struggled slightly to connect with Ben, as his character was a bit of an enigma, but he and Carl make a very cute couple and it was a pleasure to read their story. The Hippie Whisperer was fun, sweet and left me wanting more.

Forgiving Thayne

Author: J.R. Loveless
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63216-213-7
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Wolf shifter Thayne Whitedove lives by his own set of rules, which includes never bonding with his mate. However, Thayne’s attitude regarding mates changes when he meets his true mate Nicholas Cartwright.

Forgiving Thayne is the second A True Mates Novel. Thayne is the younger brother of Kasey and Nick is the best friend of Seth who was introduced in Chasing Seth. The storyline features an expressive derogatory relationship between men from two culturally different wolf packs. Thayne’s pack is Native Americans. Their legends proclaim them as the only true born werewolves. Nick’s pack is non-native Americans but they too are born werewolves, thus dispelling the myth Thayne believed to be factual. Also featured is an unnatural deadly creature stalking pack territories. The characters are creditable.

Thayne is a self-absorbed stubborn man. He has no career goals, but will work odd jobs long enough to support his nomadic lifestyle. Thayne’s solution to every emotional predicament is to run away. He was aware that Nick was his mate; nevertheless Thayne refused to bond with Nick until another crisis arose six months later, forcing Thayne and Nick to mate as the only remedy available to save innocent lives.

Nick is a loveable hardworking businessman who has always dreamed of having a mate; however when Thayne rejected him, Nick’s pride motivated him to carry on with his lonely life, knowing he would always be without a mate in the future. 

J.R. Loveless has created an outstanding saga that I enjoyed immensely. In the beginning I was fully prepared to condemn Thayne as a loser, but as I continued to read, I could see that Thayne is an honorable man with a touch of low self-esteem. By the end of the story Thayne is redeemed, his exhibited love for Nick is heartwarming. Forgiving Thayne is beyond doubt a compassionate romance.   

Snap

Title:  Snap
Author:  Katie Porter
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781619218819
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Men in Uniform, Suspense, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lawrence (Laurie) Madigan is rescued by his team from Command Force Alpha, but feels like he is still in prison while they try to evaluate him. Gemma is the team’s resident shrink, but feels like he is blocking her regardless of their past relationship. What happens when Laurie escapes, taking Gemma hostage?

The second book in the Command Force Alpha series, Snap, deals with a man that has undergone extensive torture, both physical and mental.  He is out for revenge, since he identified who sold him out to a new terrorist organization that was under the Command Force Alpha’s radar and who identified him as a British SAS member.

Gemma and Laurie have always been attracted to each other since they first met, but never acted on it as Gemma was engaged at the time.  Even after that ended, they maintained a best friend type of friendship, though both secretly wanted more.  Once Laurie returns from his captivity, things change between them, but trust is a hard thing to give once betrayed.  The chemistry between them is intense, but both have to come to terms with the people they are now.

A few characters from Own show up to help Laurie find the person he’s looking for, but a situation with his tormentor changes Laurie’s priorities.  I loved how strong Gemma really is, and how both she and Laurie find a solution to break through that last barrier he has so he comes fully back to the team. 

The Command Force Alpha series is an extremely intense suspense series that will keep your interest throughout.  The author has done a good job keeping the covert ops situations realistic, and some of the descriptions of the torture in Snap may be disturbing.  I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series and I will be reading the stories again.

The Half of Us

Author: Cardeno C. 
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-386-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Jason Garcia always wanted a close-knit family but thought the dream was shattered when his actions caused his wife to file for divorce. Now the arrogant thoracic surgeon spends his evenings and weekends hooking up with guys he’ll never see again. His world changes the night he meets a sweet guy at a bar and even after their night together ends—Jason can’t forget him.

One-night stands aren’t normal for Abe Green but meeting a sexy man while out with friends makes him decide a night filled with sex would make a perfect birthday gift. Abe’s doesn’t expect to see the guy again but their chemistry is sizzling and when their time together turns into two nights and then more, he begins to think they have a chance at a relationship. Their problem—Jason’s past and trouble trusting. Can they make a life together or will their relationship stop before it even gets started?

The Half of Us is the latest release by Cardeno C in the Family series. As with the others, this is a standalone.

I wasn’t certain how I felt about Jason at the start of the book. He’s rude, arrogant and doesn’t seem to care about the feelings of others. Jason really is clueless about so many things. Then you get to know him and realize how much of his attitude is in reaction to the uncertainty he feels. Abe is his opposite—and so sweet, likable and understanding it almost makes your teeth ache. I like these men together and while the sex overbalances the story at times, I enjoyed watching their relationship develop.

There aren’t any real conflicts between Jason and Abe, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any excitement either. With Jason’s two teenagers in the plot, there’s plenty of angst and drama that these two new lovers have to deal with. That also means the addition of Jason’s ex-wife, and don’t expect a shrew. This woman is pleasant and the author did a nice job developing her personality and relationship with Jason. 

I enjoyed The Half of Us. It made me smile and laugh. It’s well written, has a good flow, sizzling chemistry, nicely crafted relationships and great secondary characters. It’s an entertaining read and I hope you like it as much as I did.

Creature Feature 2

Author: Rhys Ford and Poppy Dennison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63216-384-4
Genre: {M/M} Anthology
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Rise of the Revenants by Poppy Dennison - 4.5 Nymphs 
A Detroit home renovation has released the vampyres trapped in the basement for centuries and the creatures are hungry for blood. Paranormal hunter Taz Cohen is called in to eliminate the blood thirsty mindless killers, but Taz’s specialty is werewolves. Taz gets the help he needs from one of the renovators Darren Foster. Together, Taz and Darren not only make a good team as hunters; they also make a great team in a romantic relationship.

Legacy of Blood and Death by Rhys Ford - 4.5 Nymphs 
Hunter Javi Navarro is no stranger to hunting vampyres. Nevertheless, destroying a dozen dark magic vampyres before they kill more of Detroit citizens requires the assistance of the mage creator’s ancestor Ciarnan Mac Gerailt.  Ciarnan is a blood mage who deserted the dark arts after almost losing his own life. The immediate attraction between Ciarnan and Javi as well as a night of intimacy finally convinced Ciarnan to cast one last dark magic spell to save the city’s inhabitants. Ciarnan had walked away from the Evil practiced by his family; nowadays Ciarnan is a shunned mage targeted for death.

Creature Feature 2 is a thrilling as well as very enjoyable saga. The combined good versus evil stories exhibit almost non-stop intense lethal attack scenes with all kinds of mystical creatures. The moments of intimacy displayed between the couples are especially tender.  

Mandate

Title:  Mandate
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0059-0
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

After Wren’s latest client dies, she enters the Volunteer Project to be altered to become a Guardian caretaker on a new world.  Drovin knew what he wanted, and when the opportunity came, Wren was also altered to become his mate.

The latest story in the Terran Times Second Wave series, Mandate, is a humorous look at some of the Guardians and one the other Guardians’ pregnant mate.  I loved the way the author showcased some of the hormonal ups and downs of someone pregnant and how she reacts.  Part of her actions is a direct reason Wren was assigned to that particular planet.

I liked Drovin and the way he was with Wren.  Drovin and Wren have chemistry together and it was nice the way Wren accepted some of the reactions he has while they go through their bonding process. 

The other Guardians have some mixed reactions, though Drovin’s brother is happy for him.  They are also very grateful to Wren for keeping Toyo’s mate’s hormones on an even keel.  A situation also showcases Wren talents as they deal with some bad guys. 

I am enjoying this series and am going to enjoy reading it again.  With the eclectic mix of planets, aliens and stories, I am looking forward to see what Ms. Grace will come up with next.

No Fae is An Island

Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: ManLoveRomance Books
Publishers URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02014-0291
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Diego’s banishment is just about up. While he’s learned a lot, he’s worried how that will translate back in the human world.  Diego has no idea what he’ll do when he returns but as long as Finn is by his side, he knows everything will be okay.

No Fae is An Island is the newest book in the Endangered Fae series and I have to tell you, I was really looking forward to this book.  When book three ended, Diego had been banished to the Otherworld for three years and three days.  As his mate, Finn goes with him and the two learn more about themselves as well as those that populate the Otherworld.   While both men are excited about returning to the human world, they are also nervous, which is understandable since they have no idea what they are returning to.  The author does a great job bringing this uncertainty across realistically.

However, it is not only Diego and Finn who are unsure how to proceed.  Zack has gotten used to being the Fae’s representative, although the job drives him crazy at times.  As much as he wants to give the job back to Diego, he also hates giving it up. Then there is Theo. 

Theo has just as many reasons to be concerned as anyone, which is totally understandable.  I was curious how he and Diego would react around each other and their behavior plays true.  If anything, I think their reactions to each other was a little tame.  It is Theo that the romantic portion of this story centers on and I love the character that the author has paired him with.  Limpet is a selkie and, as the baby of his pack, has been protected to the point that he feels smothered.   Deciding to do something about it, he runs away and crosses the veil with Diego and Finn, unbeknownst to them.   This is when he meets Theo and I loved their first meeting.  Limpet has no knowledge of the human world or even some of the other paranormals.  This leads to some laughable moments as Limpet finds himself in one situation after another.  As for his relationship with Theo, the two are hot together.  Theirs is a relationship that brings both men a measure of peace, as Theo learns to forgive himself for his past actions, and Limpet learns to stand up for himself.  

No Fae is An Island is a great addition to this series.  Each book must be read in order or you will not get the full impact of what is going on.  I am waiting to see what the author has planned next and hope the author has plans for future stories. 

The Cub Club

 Title: The Cub Club
Author:  Serena Pettus
Publisher:  Resplendence Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-60735-782-7
Genre:  {M/F}   Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Adam looks worse than Eva, even though she is the one in labor.  Adam is amazed at the strength of his wife and shocked by the pain of giving birth.  But, with the support of their family, the couple brings their bundle of joy into the world.  Soon it would be Adam’s turn to stand on the sidelines because Erik, his brother, is next in line for fatherhood.

Since Sarah isn’t human and she’s carrying twins, her labor has different complications that worry Erik.  Without the luxury of a hospital, the couple do their best to remain calm when Sarah’s labor starts.  The midwife finally arrives, but it seems she’s too late to fix the somber situation.  Or is she?

Because of their bond, Adam and Erik are sharing the physical pain of labor with their mates.  I doubt the men see this as a bonus, but it definitely gives them each a new appreciation for their women.   These Wolfe brothers know how to take care of the people they love.  Sure, they never miss an opportunity for a good ribbing in any situation, but that shows how close they are.  Eva and Sarah are adored by their husbands and I cold feel that affection leap off the pages.

The Cub Club is the fifth book in the Wolfe Brothers Series, but my introduction into the Wolfe family.  I think it can be read as a stand alone, but it would be better if the previous books were read first.  I felt comfortable with the characters, like a favorite pair of broken in shoes.  It warmed my heart seeing how close the entire family was and it made me curious about their individual stories.  The author definitely hit the nail on the head by allowing the males to feel what their mates felt.  All women who have given birth have no doubt fantasized about what it would be like to share their pregnancies like this.  This short read is packed with a lot of story that will leave readers interested in the Wolfe clan if they just discovered them or hungry for more if they have been following the series all along. 

Own

Title:   Own
Author:  Katie Porter
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1619218826
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Men in Uniform, Contemporary, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Katsu, Colonel Stafford’s daughter, ends up staying with the man that broke her heart when he went to work for her father.  Now that she has to be protected, Evan knows things are going to get complicated.

Own is the first book in the Command Force Alpha series.  Command Force Alpha is a Black Ops group with members of elite forces from around the world fighting terrorists and criminal organizations.  The author also showcases the journey of two people finding their way together after a lot of baggage and learning what they need from each other.

Evan and Katsu have some intense chemistry as well as history.  For those that like BDSM stories, this is more about the mindset of a relationship than about bondage itself.  Though Katsu is independent in her own right, she craves the order of not having to choose in certain situations. 

Evan knows Katsu needs order in her life, yet she has let it become chaotic.  One thing that I liked was that the author showed that a BDSM relationship is what the people involved want it to be.  I liked that Katsu was willing to state exactly what she wanted and needed, such as the remark that she doesn’t like pain, but was willing to be spanked because that made Evan happy, but that was as far as it was going to go regarding pain.  Evan knew what he liked, but had never really thought of it in terms of domination and submission.  I loved his solution to help Katsu cope when he had to be gone on missions. 

As the story progresses, several surprises wait for the team with regards to their last mission and what it entails for the future.  One thing that is inferred about Katsu’s father is that he had the same type of relationship with her mother, even though remarks he makes seem to go over Katsu’s head regarding it. The relationships between the various team members are great, but also volatile at times.  I think this is because they are at the top of their game in covert ops and it is a way to relieve the stress.  The men and woman of Command Force Alpha contributed in their own way to the story and I am looking forward to their stories in the future.

Wooing His Wolf

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0043-9
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Logan has a lot to make up for so he doesn’t have the time for a mate.  When he realizes that not only has he found his mate but that said mate is a man, Logan freaks.  While Logan plans to stay away from Tyson, he doesn’t take into account his feelings of possessiveness, especially when he sees Tyson head off with another man. 

Wooing His Wolf is the newest addition to the series Kontra’s Menagerie.  I was curious how the author would handle this story since I found Logan to be an ass the first time we met him.  Of course, the author does a good job wooing the reader over to his side and it’s not long before I found myself feeling for him.  As for Tyson, I couldn’t help but like this young man.  It was easy to understand his feelings for Logan, as well as his confusion when Logan denies him. 

As fans of this series would expect, the chemistry between the two men is intense and the mating pull only intensifies things.  Some issues do pop up, which hold the reader’s attention, but they are easily overcome.   Some previous characters do show up to help the two men, which gives the readers a chance to catch up with them.  

Although both Logan and Tyson were introduced in previous books, Wooing His Wolf is one of the books in this series that can stand on its own.  Readers will enjoy this fast read and it will be one I will re-read again. 

Home

Title: Home
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784302634
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Solomon and his siblings have been welcomed into the Texas wolf pack, but Solomon is still wary. It is not until Solomon meets his destined mate Azil that he begins to understand the true meaning of family.

Home is the third book in the Spotless series. The Spotless series is a spinoff of the Leopard’s Spots series. Home features kidnapping, dark magic, sensual mating scenes and family unity. In this episode, Solomon, like the rest of his siblings, was fathered by a snow leopard that bred with a variety of other cat breeds. Solomon, along with his brother Steven, who is mated to two wolves decided to move the family to wolf alpha Bobby Baker’s San Antonio pack. Although the wolves accepted having the mixed breed cats as a part of the pack, Solomon tried to isolate his family.

Solomon feared that one day his siblings would want to move out and live independently. By his own choice, Solomon did not have any friends; he never expected to ever have a mate, so loneliness is a big concern for Solomon.

Azil, like the rest of the males, is a slave ruled by the females in the jaguar clan; his only purpose in life is to provide offspring as well as perform hard labor. Azil’s bulky size granted him a guard duty position, but his services were more related to those of a pack mule. Azil was not allowed to think for himself. 

Bailey Bradford has created another fascinating as well as enjoyable installment to the series. The cast of characters are a wonderful blend of two series. I suggest reading Leopard's Spots series first. Bobby’s story can be found in Sullivan

Kiplin’s Coming Out

Author: Stephanie Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-989-4
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Brody is running away from home.  While doing his pack’s books, Brody comes across information that could destroy them.  Not sure what to do, he heads to his cousin, hoping the feline coalition will give him sanctuary.  He’s surprised when he meets Kiplin and feels such a strong connection to the other man.

Kiplin’s Coming Out is the latest book in The Lost Shifters series.  This story brings two young men, both relatives of previous characters, together.  Brody is North’s cousin.  He has information his pack would kill for and hopes his cousin will help.  Kiplin is a “lost shifter”.  His only experience with family has been negative, so when he finds out he has a brother, he does not know how to act.  Both men have a lot on their plates so aren’t looking for a relationship.  Yet the chemistry between them can’t be ignored and soon the two are spending a lot of time together. 

While the chemistry between the men is intense, I found the relationship between them to be a little lacking.  I am used to the author showing the progression of the main characters’ relationship, yet in this book it seems as if we only get a few highlights, so I felt as if I did not really get the chance to know them.  

Then there is the matter concerning Brody’s family.  What Brody finds out is important to the coalition, as well as the shifter’s relationship with humans yet, it seemed as if it was a second thought in the book and only touched on a time or two.  I hope Kiplin’s Coming Out was just used as an introduction and more of this will come out in future stories.   

Swallowing His Pride

Author:  Serena Pettus
Publisher:  Resplendence Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-60735-806-0
Genre:  {M/F}   Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Change is blowing in the wind for newly divorced Samantha Cooke.  With a new job and new house, she has good reasons to celebrate.   Vegas is the perfect place for Samantha to let her hair down and have some fun.  When she encounters a good old, gorgeous country boy, Samantha’s hormones start raging. 

Being the Prime doesn’t allow much leisure time for Dylan North.  Even though he’s in Vegas for pride business, he hopes to have some fun with his brother.  The moment he lays eyes on a petite, strawberry haired cutie, Dylan’s lion goes into a frenzy.  A night of mind-blowing sex ends with Dylan biting Samantha before telling her that he’s a lion. 

Samantha returns to her life after what she thinks is a one night stand, unaware of how changed her life is.  Dylan shows up and explains his behavior to a stunned Samantha.  It’s a lot to absorb, but they are enjoying getting to know each other.  Dylan is concerned for Samantha’s safety when word spreads about his human mate. 

Dylan and Samantha’s story is the first in the Southern Pride series, and what a great start it is.  Serena Pettus laid quite a foundation with characters who mesh so well together and have such depth.  Samantha has gone through some difficult times and so has her best friend.  Their friendship makes sense and I know readers will have a strong reaction to her friend’s past.  Both women are strong and successful, but at the same time a bit broken.  The doses of reality were perfect, especially the way the author withheld information until the right moment.  It definitely wasn’t predictable.   I also love Dylan and his brother and the way they protected the women.  Swallowing His Pride has characters with layers and I look forward to uncovering them all.   Once you read this story, you’ll be committed to the series.

Broncs and Bullies

Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Totally Bound Books
ISBN/BIN: 9781784301699
Genre: {M/M}, Western, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Frankie isn’t looking for a partner; all he wants is a good time.  Duke can’t help falling for the younger man but is too afraid to say anything.  Then everything changes for both of them.

Broncs and Bullies is the sixth book in author Bailey Bradford’s Mossy Glenn Ranch series.  This story brings together two characters that the readers have already come to know, as both have shown up before.  Frankie is one that readers may have a little trouble liking in the beginning, but the author does a good job turning him around.  When the readers find out why the young man is the way he is, they will be shocked.  Duke is older than Frankie and therefore knows what he wants, which just happens to be Frankie.  But things don’t go easily for these two and at times, the angst seems to overpower them.  Yet, their friends are there to help them out in more ways than one.

Out of all the books in the series so far, this is probably my favorite.  The characters get a hold of you from the beginning and you can’t help but want everything to work out for them.  I love the way Duke goes about showing Frankie it’s possible to have what he really wants from life.  I was also shocked by the actions of Frankie’s family and found myself close to tears more than once.  Unfortunately, this is not the only issue the two have to overcome.  There are health problems for Duke and a stalker for Frankie, yet through all of that there is a strong love between the two men that is hard to hide once they acknowledge what they have. 

This is a series that must be read in order but is one series that should not be missed.  

A Faire in Paradise

Author:  Tianna Xander
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-968-7
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Alexa decides to stay in Paradise when she finds out her friend is there.  What she has a problem with is that both Wade and Ryker say she is their mate and they want her.

The latest book in the Paradise series, A Faire in Paradise, picks up the story from the last book with another one of the carnival women deciding to leave. All the people associated with the carnival have a gift that it seems Perry is exploiting.

Alexa actually knows she doesn’t have a gift, so Perry won’t be interested in her, but Alexa has a gift that surprises everyone, including herself.  It was funny reading about what it was and how it affected the men, especially when they finally convinced Alexa she was theirs.  I was laughing out loud about the breakfast situation and the reason for it once they mated.  Evidently this was a common occurrence for some guests.

Other members of Paradise are helping try to neutralize Perry, especially to protect those trying to leave the carnival.  I was a little surprised by the solution as I didn’t realize that was part of the power that one current member of Paradise had. 

I’m looking forward to the next book, as I hope it gives a permanent solution to the Perry problem.  I want to see how the next woman reacts to her mates and the revelations that abound in Paradise.

Matters of Courtship

Author: C.M. Jackson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-049-2
Genre: {M/M} Alternative History
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

As the Crown Prince of the United Kingdom of America, William Samuel Davis is used to being followed by the media. What he doesn’t expect is for them to discover his preference for men and to “out” him to the entire world. What follows is a quickly arranged marriage to Lucas O'Malley-Hamilton, cousin to the current crown prince of the British Empire.  William isn’t happy and intends to make Lucas miserable enough to leave.

Things get complicated as William spends time with Lucas and grows fond of him but that doesn’t mean he wants to get married. Then the anti-monarchy people stir things up, putting the royal family in danger. As the tension rises and threats increase, William must come to grips with his changing feelings for Lucas. Will their royal marriage be accepted? Will they be happy together?

When I read the blurb for Matters of Courtship I thought it had potential. Since this is the first release for C.M. Jackson I decided to give it a try, and I’m sorry to say I was disappointed. Truthfully little of the plot worked for me. I found using an actual, living prince of England’s name as that of the main character’s a poor choice. That brings up William. He’s totally obnoxious and annoying and considering he’s twenty-six, he acts like a bratty teenager. I do like Lucas, but neither character had their personalities developed to their full potential. And don’t get me started on the ridiculous decisions William makes on a routine basis.

There are many opportunities for some great world building but it never happens and changed historical facts make little sense. For example—after fighting the Revolutionary War to get away from the British monarchy, Washington wouldn’t start a monarchy in America.

What I did like. As I mentioned above, I enjoyed Lucas and getting to know him a little as the plot progresses. William put up roadblocks to the marriage, so their relationship moves slowly before turning into a romance. I liked seeing a few tender moments when the antimonarchy crowd puts the royal family in danger, and Will caring for Lucas. I was actually shocked to see that side of him.

If you think the blurb sounds appealing, give it a try, you might find this version of history just what you’re looking for. It might just be your cup of tea.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Working Man

Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925180-49-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Matthew Hawke’s libido seems to have changed directions; being with a female is not working for him anymore. Matthew is sure the answer to his dilemma can be found in the arms of Drakon Mavros. 

A Working Man is the fourth installment in the Men of Manhattan series. The heartwarming plot is a budding romance interlaced with a lie intended to prevent heartbreak. However, truth has a way of revealing itself at the most inconvenient times. The characters are believable.

Matthew is an enterprising proactive business owner. He is extremely personable; Matthew’s employees are his friends, the company’s success is a combined effort of everyone’s hard work. Although Matthew had never dated a man before meeting Drakon, Matthew is attracted to a person’s personality rather than their gender.

Drakon suffers from low self esteem. Drakon is a talented artist, but he is afraid his drawings are not worthy of notice. Drakon and Matthew have a lot in common. They both enjoy the simple things in life like walks in the park, spending time with friends and home cooked meals. 

Sandrine Gasq-Dion has created another impressive installment to this fantastic romantic comedy series. Matthew and Drakon are both such down to earth compassionate men that I fell in love with both of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the humorous interactions between the characters, especially Drakon’s father as well as the naming of the toys; you must read the story to understand the toy reference. I suggest reading the series in sequence, starting with A Betting Man.

Ice Dragon Tales

Author: Hurri Cosmo
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61124-663-6
Genre: {M/M} Historical Fantasy/BDSM
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Prince Joron of Blade Rain spends his days trying to help his people and that isn’t an easy task when his father, the king, cares for little except his own pleasures. To get food and supplies out the castle, Joron dresses as a servant. It’s on one of these missions that he’s seen by King Aric, the leader of the neighboring kingdom, who’s smitten with him.

Months later his father dies mysteriously, putting Joran in danger from the new king, his older brother and his evil step-mother. It’s at the funeral that Aric rescues Joran while he’s hiding, dressed as a maiden. Thinking it’s their sister, Liarta, Aric offers for her hand in marriage. The problem, she’s already engaged. Joron learns that Aric wants him, so Joron makes a bargain. Himself, instead of his sister, putting him in the middle of a two royal courts filled with deceit, danger, political intrigue and lies. Can Joron be happy with Aric and find a place in his heart?

Ice Dragon Tales is the first book by Hurri Cosmo that I’ve read. There are things about the book that I like and others that I don’t , so I’ll divide the review into two sections to define them.

What I like. The premise isn’t new but it has potential, with the likable Joron a stand out. His personality is pretty well developed and you can feel how much he cares about his people—that he’s willing to sacrifice for them. The way the author disguises him to go on missions outside the castle is nicely done as are those where he’s dresses as a woman. There are numerous interesting secondary characters woven throughout the plot. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with him and Aric’s adorable small son.

The unique names and descriptions work for me, and there lots of action, danger, and political intrigue, with all the twists you’d expect in a royal court.

What I didn’t like. Too many men are attracted to Joron and want to have sex with him. In the plot it’s taken to the extreme with several near rapes and forced seductions—and the book only comes with a light BDSM warning. For some readers this would be a problem, and I find the omission annoying. Even Aric, the other male lead, is rather dubious in the honor department. It definitely took some time for him to grow on me.

There are TOO many points of view. Some actually muddied the plot, adding unneeded information and slowing the pace.  My last niggle is the over abundance of wicked individuals—and their extreme behavior. If a couple of the characters hadn’t redeemed themselves by the end, I would have banged my head on the desk.

Content Warning: Numerous near rape/forced seduction scenes

Crossing Over

Author: Christopher Riley
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02014-0287
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal 
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Vampire Roman Stafford has spent centuries running from his vampire antagonist Titus. Roman is searching for that elusive human emotion called love, while Titus seeks retribution for Roman’s rebuff.

Crossing Over is an extensive tutorial of Roman’s past life along with his decision to liberate Cole from his addiction. The plot begins with Roman rescuing his human potential lover, Cole Ryan, who was on the brink of death from a drug overdose. Roman’s detoxification technique involved keeping Cole chained to a closet wall against Cole’s will. It was during Cole’s detention that Roman revealed his vampire status, as well as his full history to Cole.

Though I found some of the ancient world chronological events interesting in the same way I would when reading a biblical timeline guidebook, the characters are deficient in animated personality. The one emotion expressed by Roman is cowardice, Titus seems to only act out of boredom and Cole has a death wish for no apparent reason. The exchanges between the characters are less than persuasive. The dramatic events did not fully employ my focus. 

Overall, Crossing Over is enjoyable from an informational point of view, but the emphasis of a romantic premise was not totally demonstrated. 

Duck Duck Ghost

Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-219-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Wolf Kincaid’s a great paranormal investigator. He isn’t good at relationships, which is apparent when he accuses his new boyfriend, Tristan, of drugging him with psychotropic baklava. A few days later he realizes he’s an idiot, afraid of commitment, and needs to beg for forgiveness. Needing to spend time together, Wolf convinces Tristan to accompany him to San Luis Obispo where his sister’s farmhouse is haunted.

Tristan’s medium skills are in trouble when he and the farmhouse are terrorized by the powerful spirit of a long dead child, determined to kill them all. The danger is real and he and Wolf don’t know how to deal with the situation threatening them. The only option—call Wolf’s cousin, Cin for help. Between the Hellsingers of the Kincaid family and Tristan, can they win the spectral battle and while doing it, mend their wounded relationship?

I’ve been waiting for the second book to the Hellsinger series and Duck Duck Ghost is a great follow up.  It starts just days after Fish and Ghosts left off, so you really need to read it first to understand Wolf and Tristan’s relationship and the strange world they live in.

Tristan and Wolf are great together, so I’m happy Ms. Ford continues to focus on them instead of shifting to another couple. I enjoyed getting to know more about them and yes, Wolf groveling a bit for his hurtful actions, did my heart good. After all he was a jerk but Ms. Ford did a good job redeeming him and made me chuckle doing it. You just can’t stay mad at this guy and neither could Tristan.

Now back to their romantic road trip—NOT! While taking Tristan to a haunted house seems like a good idea, it turns into a fight against a powerful ghost. It turns creepy with the addition of hundreds of porcelain doll heads. Ms. Ford does a wonderful job of describing these scenes and if the vision of doll body parts crawling across the floors trying to attack…well you get the idea. Very well done—and gave me the shivers. As you can tell there’s a lot going on at the farmhouse because of the ghost, so be ready for lots of action and danger. You also get acquainted with several of Wolf’s family, and I expect to see more of them in upcoming releases.

So overall—Duck Duck Ghost is well written, has vivid descriptions, a creepy location and lots of danger and action. It’s also fun, entertaining and has a smooth, fast pace. I love Tristan and Wolf, and new characters Cin and Sey, round out the cast. Ms. Ford did an inventive job in creating the ghost and the history of what happened to make it so murderously angry. I know that this one was just released, but I’m looking forward to the next one.

Guardian Angel

Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60735-760-5
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Country singer Daniel “Dusty” Young is in high spirits by the cheering audience until one fan runs on stage with a gun, intent on shooting him. Lucky for Daniel, the security guards were actually government agents. Assigned as Daniel’s bodyguard, agent Rafe is well equipped for the task, including the intimacy Daniel and Rafe both hungered for.

Guardian Angel is a romance mixed together with criminal activist, family betrayal and agency leaks.  The plot consists of a group of rebels with a blackmail scheme as their agenda. The characters are creditable.

Daniel is a rising singing star, however he still considers himself to be an average guy. He hides his sexually from the public, fearing a negative reaction, but he is immediately open with Rafe, sensing they had something in common. Daniel is very resourceful at defending himself from his attackers. Though he shies away from killing, Daniel is not averse to inflicting a painful injury.

Protecting Daniel is Rafe’s first field assignment. When things go terribly wrong, Rafe fears he will be fired or at the very least returned to another desk job. Nevertheless, Rafe is compassionate about keeping Daniel safe as well as building a permanent relationship with Daniel, even if it means Rafe leaving the agency.

Sean Michael has created an impressive saga. There is plenty of sizzling intimacy between the gun battle scenes. I enjoyed Guardian Angel

Lover’s Knot of Four

Author:  M. Garnet
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0036-1
Genre:  {M/F/M/M/M}, Paranormal, Contemporary
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Carry and her friend are kidnapped by Badar and his brothers, Cet, Cim, and Cad.  Badar says that they have something in common that makes her uniquely theirs.  After several adventures together, Carry decides she can love the four.  But will her friend and outside influences keep them from being happy?

Lover’s Knot of Four was interesting as there was lots of intrigue and suspense.  One thing the author did was pull in some of the headlines about the NSA that brought chills as some things could really happen.  The author did a good job showing some situations that create scenarios about Stockholm Syndrome.  I did have some questions that weren’t answered about where the men might have come from, or how they came to do what they could do.  Very little though is not out of the realm of possibility. 

I wasn’t too happy with the men’s attitude at first, nor did I really learn to like Badar.  Some things that happened could trigger unpleasant memories for some readers.  The chemistry between the men and Carry was intense, though it seemed like Carry was overwhelmed at times.  I liked that Carry did not fall for them too quickly, but it was interesting to see how she contributed to the team once she did, including suggesting the wedding.

The security company had some interesting characters including a lawyer.  I loved when the bad guy got put in his place.  The suspense at the end, right until the last sentence, was intense, and I wish there had been just a little bit more after that. 

This is the first book by this author that I have read, and it won’t be my last.  I will be reading this one again.