Friday, December 31, 2010

Fish & Chips


Title: Fish & Chips
Author: Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-227-1
Genre: {M/M}, Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Only a few weeks have passed since Ty and Zane had their little mountain adventure. By all rights, they should be ready for some quiet time, yet these two are ready for another case. Only they never expected their next case would mean they would be going undercover as a married couple.

First things first, this is part of the ongoing Cut & Run series, a series which needs to be read in order. That being said, fans of this series will love the new book, Fish & Chips. Ty and Zane are great characters with more than their share of issues, yet they fit together perfectly and the reader can’t help but like them. Their connection is a strong one and one of the things I loved about this new addition to the series was the way the authors showcased the men’s growing feelings for each other. More than once I wanted to scream “Just tell him ‘I love you’ already”. Watching as Ty and Zane have to play a married couple, who is known to be openly gay, was great as it was, I believe, the one thing that helped move their relationship forward.

The mystery the men find themselves involved in comes with many twists and turns, all of which help hold the reader’s attention. Although the men find more danger than planned, there are also a few moments that will have you chuckling.

I strongly urge fans of M/M stories to give these authors and this series a shot. You will not be disappointed.

Christmas Angel, A Hammer Story


Title: Christmas Angel, A Hammer Story
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-121-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

It’s the Christmas season and once again, The Hammer is getting ready for its annual charity auction. This year, Oliver convinces Kein to donate two hours of time, but it’s a difficult decision for him. Two years before, his Dom and lover suddenly left, leaving Kein feeling unwanted and unlovable and he’s not certain anyone would want him enough for even a couple of hours of service.

Mac’s never attended the holiday auction before and from the moment he see’s Kein walk onto the stage, he’s drawn to the beautiful sub. After making certain his is the winning bid, Mac takes Kein and retires to a private room so they can get to know each other better. Will sparks fly between these two men and can they become the angel each is looking for this Christmas holiday season?

Christmas Angel, A Hammer Story is the latest release by Sean Michael in his Hammer series. It’s a cute, heartwarming and sexy story of one man overcoming his feelings of worthlessness with the help of a supportive Dom, who appreciates him for the wonderful, kind and loving man he is. There’s lots of healing and acceptance in this little holiday short, all due to the affection and care of Mac, all mixed in with a good plot with excellent pacing. Considering the length of the story, Mr. Michael did a great job developing Kein and Mac’s personalities and it was nice seeing a few of the characters from previous books. Read and enjoy.

A Shifter Christmas


Title: A Shifter Christmas
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-745-4
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Holiday
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

It’s Christmas and Andrew, Keegan, and Noah are hoping to find the perfect gift for their older brother, Mitchell. When a group of Ravens show up, the brothers are left to wonder whether their first Christmas as a family will even happen.

This holiday season, author Stephani Hecht has gifted her readers with A Shifter Christmas, a short story that takes a quick peek at The Lost Shifters’ first family Christmas since all Mitchell’s brothers have been found. Unfortunately, things don’t go smoothly when three of the brothers cause a little problem at the mall. Fans of The Lost Shifters series will love this book as it brings back many of the previous couples. As this story is more about the love of family than finding love, it is not loaded down with sex scenes but don’t worry, there are a couple of scenes that scorch the pages. This is the perfect holiday addition to a fun series. Hopefully, we will get more lost shifters in the New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Night Porter


Title: Night Porter
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
ISBN: 978-1-61581-694-1
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Max is a Texan who, while traveling through Europe, ended up in London and stayed. Now he has a job as a night porter at a small but classy hotel, watching as all the gorgeous men come and go through its doors. When Robert Armitage walks into the lobby, Max knows he’s in trouble. The tall, broad-shouldered man pushes all his buttons and before he knows it, Max is acting as Robert’s guide to all the most famous tourist destinations. Robert might be in town to get married but as the day progresses, so does Max and his attraction. Max knows that even if he takes Robert into his bed, in the light of day the man will leave to get on with his life and he’ll be left alone.

As part of the Bittersweet Dreams series, Night Porter shows that often feelings of love and attraction aren’t enough and that dreams and desires don’t always come true in the real world. That means that this well written novella isn’t a typical romance. The beginning has friendly banter and good fun between Max and Robert as they travel around London, but there’s also pain and confusion as their swirling emotions get out of control. I like both Max and Robert. They’re interesting and well rounded characters and they’re actually perfect for each other, but once again poor Max is left standing sad and rejected when Robert leaves. Okay, I admit it. I want another story where Robert leaves his clueless fiancée at the altar, so he can rush back to Max. Call me crazy, but the Night Porter deserves to find some happiness of his own.

Cardamom: A Taste of Home


Title: Cardamom: A Taste of Home
Author: Winnie Jerome
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-119-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Trevor Young is apprehensive about whether or not he can fit into university life in Los Angeles. At least Trevor’s almost boyfriend Carter is just a few buildings away. Plus, Trevor has a small tin filled with his mother’s special brownies to comfort him. Making friends with his dorm neighbor Julian turns out to be the highlight of Trevor’s college life.

Cardamom: A Taste of Home is a well written, amusing tale of “first time away from home”, along with young romance. The intimate scenes are scorching. The characters are convincing. Trevor is a somewhat awkward gay young man who has not achieved a self confidence level exhibited by Carter, as well as most of the other freshman students. Sensitive about his height and glasses, Trevor considers himself a dork. However, Trevor feels secure enough with Carter to desire a real relationship. Carter has a hedonistic personality. He prefers to have lots of friends with benefits, rather than a boyfriend.

Considered straight with a girlfriend, Julian is a mystery to the other dorm residents. When Trevor has a minor accident that required medical attention, it is Julian who came to Trevor’s rescue. Recognizing Julian’s kindhearted temperament, Trevor and Julian immediately became the best of friends. Winnie Jerome has created a humorous, as well as incredibly sizzling, saga that requires a cool down period, in addition to a taste for brownies.

Alpha Born


Title: Alpha Born
Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-078-7
Genre: {M/M/M} Paranormal Werewolf/Vampire
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Twenty years ago, a fight to the death between their Alpha fathers tore lovers Caleb Redding and Grayson Cane apart. Since then their clans have been bitter enemies and endured two decades of fighting and to end the bloodshed, Caleb has come up with a plan. He suggests a mate covenant and gets the Council of Elders to agree, but they’ve added their own unexpected stipulation. They make him give up his Alpha status, thus combining the clans, forcing his submission to Grayson.

Watching Caleb from afar for twenty years has given Grayson nothing but never-ending heartache, so when the mate covenant is suggested, he jumps at the chance to hold the man he loves in his arms again. Having him submit only makes it more special.

What neither Alpha expects is for the Council to send a vampire to serve as mediator and then the man disappears while in transit. Their question is what does his disappearance mean to them? And then when Grayson accidently mates with the vampire while trying to save his life, it could mean Caleb still might have to give up his dream of being with Grayson after all. Will being Alpha Born bring these three men together or drive a wedge between them forever?

Alpha Born is the second release in Stormy Glenn’s well written and plotted True Blood Mate series. I have to admit that I found the idea of three Alpha type personalities involved in a mated relationship very interesting from the first reading of the blurb. There’s just so much potential for conflict between the three men—I had to read the story and I’m glad I did.

Despite how much Caleb and Grayson care about each other, there’s still a lot of testosterone flying around in this book. As true Alpha personalities, these two men are used to giving orders and getting their own way and having anyone, including the Council of Elders, telling them what to do didn’t set well. Their first surprise – their vampire mediator – I loved. It set them and their situation up for all kinds of twists and turns that you don’t normally see in a werewolf romance and for a reader who loves both vampire and werewolf stories, putting both types of men together as mates were a big plus.

Ms. Glenn created two likable and intriguing men in Caleb and Grayson and when you add the equally Alpha vampire, Joel, you have powerful sexual tension and passion. Putting these three together is nothing short of hot…hot…hot.

There is a fair amount of talk about the mate bond and what it means to the two wolf clans but it never overshadows the relationship between Grayson and Caleb. In addition to other pieces of information regarding pack life, you get pain, betrayal, hate and a couple of near-death experiences. There are numerous supporting characters and while the returning individuals from Heart Song are few, they play a vital role to the story. I for one can’t wait to see what happens with the next release. Watch for it.

Shadows Of the Past


Title: Shadows Of the Past
Author: T. L. Lawrence
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Publisher URL: http://amberquill.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-010-8
Genre: {M/F} Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Ian Matthew Prestwick is a former Special Agent with the FBI and he’s currently trying to recover from work related panic attacks and migraines. He is now living a quiet life as a history school teacher, without the stress of always looking over his shoulder.

It has taken Matthew five years in Wilton Falls to have some peace in his life and he finally has noticed his helpful neighbor, Aileen. She took on the role of mothering Matt and loving him a little more each year. Now he sees her as someone he wants permanently in his life, but that is interrupted by a past that comes back to haunt him.

The one person Matt least thought about is now out for revenge and the villain will do whatever it takes to make him suffer. That includes kidnapping the one woman he knows Matt is involved with and it has him ready to rush in to kill the villain.

Shadows Of the Past is a fantastic book that has me reading through the whole story quickly, because the characters never disappointed me with their behavior throughout the book. The loyalty that was shown from a small town perspective is touching, and a few of the secondary characters enhanced the story being involved. The villains really thought they had things under their control and they forgot one thing that can always change; the unexpected.

This is truly a suspenseful story and my first time reading this author. Ms. Lawrence really did a great job with her storytelling of the law enforcement workings, creating a very realistic thriller and I enjoyed every moment reading her book.

Heart Song


Title: Heart Song
Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-080-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Ten years ago while out hiking in the woods, Darren Hart fell, breaking his leg and striking his head. He was alone, disoriented and didn’t know how he’d get back to civilization when he was rescued by a gorgeous man, who shared a strange tale that Darren forgot almost as soon as he returned home. Except soon afterward he started to hear a voice in his head which made him think he was going crazy.

Now Darren’s a veterinarian with a successful practice, and even after years of therapy he still hears the sexy voice. He even holds conversations with his imaginary friend, the man who’s seen him through every major stepping stone in his life. Everything changes one afternoon when Darren’s attacked outside his clinic and he’s rescued again by Asher, the man he always thought was a figment of his imagination. Now he isn’t certain he really isn’t crazy.

In short order, Darren must accept that not only is Asher Stone real but he’s the head of his werewolf clan and that Darren in his Alpha mate. Asher must convince Darren they’re meant to be together, but someone out there is determined to not just keep them apart but to take their lives.

Heart Song is the first release in the new series True Blood Mate and let me tell you upfront that it’s an entertaining read. There are two components of this story that I found particularly enjoyable—that due to problems within his pack, Asher waited a decade to claim his mate and the other being that Darren is a vet. Both are nice plot ploys that I don’t think I’ve run across before.

Asher and Darren are interesting and likable guys but of the two, Darren is my favorite. This guy’s experienced a lot of adversity since his accident and despite it, he’s come out strong, whole and able to build a good life for himself. He’s also not a push-over, which Asher discovers, but he’s also tender-hearted and kind and believes in doing what’s right—meaning that Ms. Glenn has constructed a perfect Alpha mate.

The story is action packed and fast paced from the beginning and it’s filled with interesting supporting characters and multiple plot twists, which only demands that you keep reading. It was great fun watching as these two men learned to live with each other, all while dealing with the demands of the pack and trying to survive death threats. The sex between them is intense and sizzling hot, the bantering conversation is fun and their differences of opinion, realistic.

If you’re a fan of shape-shifter romances of any kind, I encourage you to give this new series a try. You won’t be sorry you did. Watch for my review of Alpha Born, the next release in the series.

Apocalypse


Title: Apocalypse
Author: Brannan Black
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-538-9
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Daniel is scavenging in the city, hunting for supplies, when he is captured by a group of the wolfmen and their pack leader, Mace. People who survived the Werewolf Syndrome virus developed the characteristics of a wolf including claws, fangs and massive bodies. On the other hand, a few people were immune to the virus, like Daniel, who remained human, which makes him an easy target for mistreatment or the main course of a meal.

Apocalypse is the first book in the Wolfman series. The well written and, at times, humorous story has a world building plot. Imagine starting over in a world with no electricity or running water, with danger at every turn. Survival depends on combining everyone’s knowledge, as well as joining their skills. The characters are convincing. Before his capture, Daniel lived in a compound outside of the city comprised of mostly women and children. Daniel is an intelligent, proud, outspoken gay man; he refuses to bow down to the abusive wolfmen. It is Daniel’s pride that provokes some of the pack members to continuously assault Daniel in an attempt to break his spirit.

Mace is desperately trying to hold on to the honorable man he was before he was infected with the virus. Mace organized pack standards, as well as maintains peace within the pack. He is considerate of others; his goal is to restore the comforts of life before Apocalypse. Mace’s initial interest in Daniel was the possible mechanical skills Daniel may have. However, recognizing the mutual desire exhibited, rapidly leads Mace into a sizzling sexual affair with Daniel. Brannan Black has created an exceptional launch to this expressively compelling series. I look forward to the next enjoyable installment.

Under Control


Title: Under Control
Author: Qwillia Rain
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-906-5
Genre: {M/M}, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Vance is beating himself up with guilt because of what happened on his last mission. Ben doesn't know how both their lives will change once Vance walks in the door of the club, not knowing both their lives will change.

In the second book of the Diablo Blanco Club series, the emotions between Vance and Ben are so intense, I almost cried. The author draws you in, with the emotions that both men have, and keeps you there. Vance feels that when his emotions are out of control, people around him get hurt. As I was reading Under Control, I felt empathy for him, as there are times when I have felt the same way. Vance doesn't think that Ben will stay with him once he finds out why Vance feels guilty and Vance uses the whippings to gain control of himself.

I found this particular book very interesting because Vance was a Marine in the time of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Though there were rumors, Vance resigned from the Marines himself. It was not really clear whether Ben was still in the Navy or not. I found it interesting that both men tap danced around each other until after this last mission, where both men decided independently of each other that their relationship would change. Please be warned that some of the flashbacks that Vance has alludes to non-consensual sex.

I have not read very many male/male books, but I highly recommend this book and I will be reading this one again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Frenzied


Title: Frenzied
Author: A. J. Llewellyn & D. J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-030-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

The quiet little town of Fawnskin changed forever when Knox fell asleep, while corpse-watching at the local funeral home and Harold’s soul escaped, turning into a malevolent spirit. Since then, many things have changed in the town, all while the relationship of Rallus and Knox has blossomed and grown into a love both wanted but never expected to have. Unfortunately, an evil man from Knox’s past threatens to rip him away from the man he loves. There are multiple unexplained deaths in the community, spirits walking the streets and con artists trying to extort money from the innocent.

This small town is falling apart and most of the citizens have no idea what’s going on and the police are baffled. Will Rallus and Knox find the answers they’re seeking to prevent more harm from befalling the fair citizens or will the evil circulating destroy their friends and everything in town?

Frenzied is the sequel to Fawnskin and it takes up a few weeks after the first book left off with Knox and Rallus returning home from L.A. after Rallus’s recovery from brain surgery. There’s a nice prologue that explains a little of what happened in the first book, bringing old and new readers up to speed on its events.

This fast paced, action packed release is full of intertwined storylines making for an intense, suspenseful and complicated plot that packs a real emotional punch from beginning to end. The thing about this book is that it’s hard to describe. That’s because it doesn’t easily fit into any one genre since it has components of so many, making the book full of twists and turns guaranteed to keep your interest. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the blistering hot sex between lovers Rallus and Knox.

The authors do a very nice job tying up the loose plot points by the end of the book, or at least that’s what you’re led to believe, because just when you think everything might turn out all right, another piece of the past drops into Fawnskin to cause trouble. I can’t wait to see what happens in the crazy town next.

Lust & Fae


Title: Lust & Fae
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 978-1-920484-08-8
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Cal, who has been bringing couples together for hundreds of years, never expected to find a love of his own. When the tempting young Gabe stumbles into his nightclub, Cal at first plans to send him away but soon, things change for both men.

Joyee Flynn has started a new series centered on the Anything Goes nightclub and the men who own it. However, these aren’t your normal men, but lust demons that use the patrons of their club to feed from. The first book in the Anything Goes series, Lust & Fae, lays the ground work. The various owners of the club, as well as their enemies, are introduced so readers will want to make sure they read the stories in order.

The heroes of this story are Cal and Gabe. Cal is a lust demon, who is becoming jaded after several hundred years. He is also a gentle soul who struggles to come to terms with the abuse one of his “meals” suffered at the hands of the halfers. The emotions Cal was going through at this time come across so believably that I came close to crying more than once. Gabe is Cal’s mate; he is also a virgin Fae. Unfortunately for Gabe, this means he’s a prime target for the halfers. When he and Cal come together, they steam up the pages. I loved the scenes between these two as their connection was so strong, it pulled you right into their story.

Fans of Joyee Flynn’s are really going to love this book and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the lust demons will be up to next.

A Sangrille Christmas


Title: A Sangrille Christmas
Author: Mark Alders
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-744-7
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Werewolf Leroy Sangrille has been waiting for the right moment to break some bad news to his human boyfriend, Jordan Williams. Finally, Leroy informs Jordan that they have been invited to Leroy’s parents’ place for Christmas. Since Leroy had spent the holidays with Jordan’s family in prior years, Jordan was excited to meet the werewolf clan. Little did Leroy or Jordan know they were in for quite a few surprises.

A Sangrille Christmas is a fascinating romance with an out-of-the-ordinary plot. The setting is Melbourne, Australia. The characters are unique. Leroy ran away from home two years ago, because he was powerless to deal with his father's cruelty. Jordan had given Leroy a home, as well as nursed Leroy back to health, resulting in a sexually energetic relationship between them. Leroy knew the invitation from his Alpha mother was a command, which he dare not disregard. Although the card read, “Leroy Sangrille and partner are cordially invited to this year’s Christmas Day howling at the Sangrille estate”, Jordan is shocked by the hostility directed at Leroy upon their arrival. Leroy and Jordan are expected to join in the hunt, which is a problem for Jordan since he is human. As the plot unfolds, Leroy discovers the real reason why his father was so abusive. Leroy and Jordan discover the secrets of Leroy’s past, in addition to Mother Sangrille’s plans. Jordan also realizes that the main course of the feast does not agree with his delicate sensibilities or his palate. Mark Alders has created a remarkable, as well as enjoyable, saga with a few disguised and intriguing shockers incorporated.

Christmas with Danny Fit


Title: Christmas with Danny Fit
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-752-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Kit Allen is an overweight thirty year-old accountant who still lives with his mother and despite being gay, still a virgin. His life changes with the arrival of his gorgeous new office assistant, Jesse, who’s everything he ever wanted in a man. Feeling unworthy and unattractive but desperate to get a life, Kit purchases a series of self-help DVD’s featuring fitness guru Danny Fit and starts on a rigorous exercise routine.

Jesse’s a sweet, kind and loving man whose life has been far from perfect but when he begins working for Kit, he starts to hope for a little happiness for the first time in years. While Kit is trying to get in shape for Jesse, Jesse’s working his own campaign on his clueless boss, the kind and funny man he wants to hold in his arms. All he has to do is convince the man he loves they are meant to be together and his world will be perfect.

Christmas with Danny Fit is a sweet and fun novelette with a likable couple and a quirky, original premise that drew me into the story immediately. I love Kit. He’s such a true-to-life character and one that’s too often overlooked in romance novels.

The story is well written, the plot smooth flowing, the characters interesting and unique, and the dialogue often witty and humorous. And when the men finally have sex, it’s hot…hot…hot. There aren’t many supporting characters but those present add their own distinctive slant to the plot. I will admit that there aren’t a lot of twists and turns to this story. It’s a cute afternoon read, without a lot of angst, but that’s okay because it’s so easy to identify with Kit and Jesse. Read and enjoy this little Christmas gem.

Mine!


Title: Mine!
Author: Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-571-6
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Larissa was certain her boss was going to drive her crazy, one way or another. If the last minute overtime didn’t drive her over the edge, then the vivid sexual fantasies Larissa endured constantly was sure to do it. The delicious man had never been anything other than professional with her, yet Larissa couldn’t help wanting him.

For months, Damien has watched and wanted Larissa from afar. From the moment he laid eyes on her, there was no doubt that Larissa was everything he wanted in a woman. Finally, the time was right for Damien to make his move.

I think I literally saw sparks fly when Larissa and Damien finally gave up the pretense that their relationship was only a working one. There’s always something wicked about lusting after your boss but when that boss is an irresistible vampire, the heat level increases. Damien knew how to get under Larissa’s ski, and those are the moments that I liked him the most. Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod are wonderful authors individually but together, they have created a story that will leave readers wanting more. They gave me some vampire facts that left me curious and some steamy dialogue that made me blush. If you enjoy an office romance with a paranormal twist, then Mine! is definitely for you. Pick up a copy and enjoy!

Jaguar Mate


Title: Jaguar Mate
Author: SA Welsh
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.silverpublishing/
ISBN: 978-1-920468-91-0
Genre: {M/M} Shape-Shifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jayden, a human, has always suspected there was something different about Pack Valley. However, it was not until Jay was dragged to the woods by the local bullies that revealed the reality. Jay’s antagonist shifted into a bear, ripping Jay’s back to shreds. Thinking his life was at an end, Jay is rescued by a black jaguar who leads Jay to safety, where more revelations are exposed.

Jaguar Mate is the first story in the Pack Valley series. The plot is well paced. The intimate scenes are steamy. The characters are amusing along with being compassionate. Years before, Jay’s mother was killed by a grizzly bear. Shortly after her death, Jay’s stepfather became abusive, hitting Jay’s body in places that would not allow others see the bruises. Jay has had a crush on his best friend Kyle since childhood. Jay did not deem himself worthy of Kyle even before he learned the truth. Kyle’s family is the leadership in Pack Valley. Paying attention to the narration given by Kyle regarding bonding, Jay still cannot believe he could be Kyle's mate. Kyle had always known Jay was his mate; Kyle was simply waiting for the right time to reveal his dual nature. Kyle feared refusal from Jay. However, the affectionate looks expressed for each other shattered some of Jay and Kyle’s mating uncertainties. SA Welsh’s Jaguar Mate is an impressive, as well as enjoyable, beginning to the Pack Valley series. I look forward to the next installment.

For Love of War


Title: For Love of War
Author: Kiernan Kelly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-691-0
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Times have changed, much to the despair of Ares, the Greek God of War. Modern technology has replaced the skills needed to wield a sword. Hanging out in rough biker bars is Ares’ only source of entertainment until Zeus, King of the Gods, needs Dion, a fledgling God dead. Dion is not aware of his Olympian roots until he wakes up to find Ares there to kill him. However, instead of war, Ares and Dion make steamy love. The next morning, Ares soon realizes he is trapped in a web of lies that only the Fates will be able to sort out.

For Love of War is an amusing well written story. The storyline illustrates the remorse suffered by the abandoned Gods. The characters are the Gods found in Greek mythology. An honorable man, Ares chose to spend most of his time on Earth, rather than dwell in Olympus after being disillusioned by the Goddesses, as well as hopefully finding a way to regain his Earthly past glory. Ares had never experienced love before Dion; his sexual activity had always been an immediate release void of emotional ties. Making love to Dion inspired a sense of contentment and trust within Ares. Discovering Zeus’ deceit, Ares is determined to protect Dion from the murderous plots.

Dion was raised on Earth; he is polite with a good deal of common sense. Dion always considered himself as an ordinary man with an unexplained peculiarity. Even after his ancestry is revealed, Dion still retains his Earthly qualities, which endear him to the fates in addition to most of the gods. Kiernan Kelly’s For Love of War is a marvelous romance that I enjoyed enormously.

Shades Of Dreams


Title: Shades Of Dreams
Author: T. A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-031-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Stephan Colby’s life is perfect. He’s the lead singer of a hot rock band founded by his best friend Rocky, their records are at the top of the charts and he’s found the love of his life. His world changes in a heartbeat when he learns his lover, Jeremy, was killed in a drunk-driving accident. In his grief, he turns to the one man he’s always depended on, his childhood friend Rocky.

Despite Stephen being clueless, Rocky Sanicily’s been in love with his best friend for years but fearing rejection, he’s kept quiet. He’s desperate to help Stephen through his grief, hoping that eventually he’ll be able to admit his feelings. The question is whether the truth will bring them closer together or drive them apart forever.

Shades Of Dreams is the latest release by multi-published author T. A. Chase. It’s a smooth flowing best-friends-become-lovers story with an unexpected but nicely integrated paranormal twist. Stephen’s grief is, at least for a time, debilitating and the author did a nice job expressing his deep emotional paralysis and an equally good job with Rocky’s reaction to his old friend’s pain. Some people might feel that Stephen got over his grief quickly but everyone deals with grief and loss in their own way and moves forward with their lives at different paces. There might be a little plot niggle here but it’s a small one.

There’s never any doubt that Stephen and Rocky care for one another and they have a many-years-long history together but I would have liked to feel it more. I just never got a good handle on their background together, even though I know it existed. I just didn’t feel much of a connection…at least until closer to the end when a little more of what happened to bring them together as kids came out in the story. Those revelations made it easier to understand what pulled and kept them together for so many years. Still, I never felt I really knew either character…what made them tick, and I wish their personalities were more deeply developed and the overall plot stronger.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dying Assassin


Title: Dying Assassin
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 978-1-920484-24-8
Genre: {M/M/M/M/M} Gay Ménage and more, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Spencer, Ryder, Luc and Dean have settled down in South Dakota where they hope to build their new lives but someone is out to get Spencer, which makes for a bunch of unhappy werewolves.

Dying Assassin starts off from Ryder’s viewpoint, which is a change, as the previous two stories have been strictly told from Spencer’s viewpoint. The story also starts with a bang, quite literally, as someone comes after Spencer. Each new book is like peeling back another layer in the men’s make-up. Spencer works hard to make all his men feel loved, from getting horses for Luc to helping Ryder realize his worth. Ryder’s reaction to Spencer’s request for help in picking charities had me laughing. Although we learned a lot about Dean in the last book, he still seems a bit of a mystery and I can’t wait till we learn more about him.

Not only do the men have to wonder who may be after Spencer, but they also have some decisions to make about Ethan, the young man who showed up on their doorstep with a gun and orders to kill Spencer. The readers will find themselves just as drawn to this new character as Spencer.

While Dying Assassin ends with the men finding out who was after Spencer and why, it also brought some new problems to their door. As Wolf Harem will not be for every one’s taste, this is a wonderful series with some great characters. Although I am not sure how many more men can be added to the harem without losing some connection, this is a series that I hope will have many more stories to it. Readers who love ménage stories should give it a try, however, this is an open-ended series and the books must be read in order.

Life in Fusion


Title: Life in Fusion
Author: Ethan Day
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-237-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Boone Daniels returns to his New Mexico home after a vacation romance with Wade Walker. The attraction between the two men was instant, quickly followed by the initiation of a love affair. However, now that Boone is home, he is overwhelmed by doubts. Wade is afraid Boone is pulling away. Both men are suffering from separation anxiety.

Life in Fusion is the hilarious well written sequel to Sno Ho. The elaborate plot gives a detailed description of all the characters, along with their reaction to Wade and Boone’s proposed live-together relationship. Also within the plot is a partial sci-fi story written by Boone. The main characters are credible. The secondary characters are comical. Boone is an independent intelligent would-be author. He constantly thinks up snarky comments to conceal his emotionally vulnerable personality. Boone desires a long term relationship, yet he worries he is not worthy of such a commitment.

Wade is a considerate man who accepts Boone’s quirky traits. The strong love they share with each other is the motivator that induces Boone and Wade to endure the idiosyncratic friends and family. Boone and Wade's personalities are complete opposites on several levels. Boone is addicted to coffee, likes junk food, while Wade is all about healthy eating plus staying fit.

Life in Fusion illustrates how finding the middle ground blends their personalities into a feasible permanent liaison. The amazing Ethan Day has produced a marvelously entertaining saga that I enjoyed tremendously.

Burn


Title: Burn
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-113-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Even though they grew up in the same neighborhood, Dave and Marshall, like most friends, drifted apart after graduating from high school. Now, they and a few other friends get together once a year to catch up over beer and football. This year when veteran firefighter Marshall arrives, Dave can tell by his stressed body language that something really bad happened that day. When he suggests driving Marshall home, the weary man jumps at the offer and later when he jumps at Dave, things heat up.

Despite having lots in common, things don’t go smoothly for the new lovers. Dave is into the BSDM lifestyle and is a member of The Hammer Club and thinks he can help Marshall relieve the stress and guilt he’s carrying around. While Marshall enjoys the things he and Dave do together, he believes needing them is sick, so he’s convinced there’s something wrong with him.

Can Dave figure out a way to convince the man he loves that the kink he needs and enjoys isn’t a perversion at all, but the stress-reliever he needs to remain sane in his dangerous job? If he can’t, the relationship he’s wanted his entire life might just crash and burn.

Burn is the latest release in The Hammer family of books and I loved the selection of a business owner and a stoic firefighter as the story’s main characters. These guys might have known each other for years but both were only on the fringe of each other’s lives. That was just one thing that made the initial stages of their relationship so interesting.

Dave, our Dom so obviously crazy about Marshall, knows what the stressed-out firefighter needs to relax but is afraid that showing him will send the man running in the opposite direction. So begins the slightly reluctant Marshall’s slow-paced introduction into Dave’s BDSM world. That means, as usual with a Hammer Club related book, that there’s plenty of blistering hot sex but it fits with what’s going on with the story and the growth of the trust between Dave and Marshall. There are bits and pieces of both men’s personal lives interspersed throughout, giving the reader a fairly good idea of their personality, background and what drives them.

These two guys are both likable and Dave is definitely sensitive to both what Marshall needs and how he goes about giving it to him so his lover doesn’t freak out. Marshall is the typical stoic hero who carries the weight of the world on his broad shoulders and seeing him find the one person he can relax and let go of his stress with was nicely plotted. Kudos to Mr. Michael for a job well done.

Spencer’s Secret


Title: Spencer’s Secret
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://silverpublishing.info
ISBN: 978-1-920468-76-7
Genre: {M/M/M/M} gay ménage and more, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Spencer, Ryder and Luc have been given an ultimatum by the council. Will it bring an end to their relationship or strengthen their bond? Plus, what will happen when Spencer’s men find out he has been keeping secrets?

Spencer’s Secret is the second book in the Wolf Harem series and it is terrific. The guys are back and have a lot of decisions to make, right from the start, so the reader is pulled back into their story from the first page. What I loved about this story is that it is not so much about them being werewolves, but about them being three men in a relationship and trying to make it work. Issues within their relationship soon arise as Luc begins to feel left out and he makes some good points. With the connection between Ryder and Spencer being so tight, it is easy for the reader to understand why Luc feels the way he does.

Just when it seems the men have figured things out the author throws in Dean, a young hitchhiker the men pick up on their way to South Dakota. The emotions Spencer goes through when he realizes the feelings Ryder has for Dean are gut-wrenching and I wanted to shake Ryder for the pain he was causing. Spencer’s fears of being left by his men, and not being loved for himself, become understandable as more of the story unravels. I was a little worried about Dean and how he would affect the men’s relationship, yet, in no time this new character wormed his way in. He is a strong addition to the harem as well as the story line. As for the ending, the cliff hanger is a humdinger and I could not wait to get book three.

Second Chance Bite


Title: Second Chance Bite
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 978-1-920468-56-9
Genre: {M/M}, {M/M/M}, Shape-shifters
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Spencer never expected his whole way of life could change in a single night. After being attacked by a werewolf, Spencer makes some long-awaited changes to his life. One of those changes is going after Ryder, the young whore he can’t seem to get out of his mind.

Joyee Flynn throws her hat into the werewolf ring with Second Chance Bite, the first book in her Wolf Harem series. To keep the story from becoming a stale retelling of other stories, the author has thrown a twist into the making of her wolves. Now instead of just a bite, which is poisonous, the human must receive the semen of the werewolf, or die.

As for the characters, you can’t help but be drawn to them. Spencer’s turning may be a little difficult for some readers, as it is almost more of a rape than a turning. While we don’t get to see the difficulties this causes in Spencer’s life, the story picks up several years after the bite. We do find out that Spencer has made some important changes. I especially found Ryder intriguing. From the moment he came out to his parents, Ryder’s life has been hell. As a meth-addicted whore, the connection he feels with Spencer is different from anything he’s felt before, and those feelings come across clearly for the reader. The sex between these two is intense, making for some very hot scenes, so beware. While I felt Ryder’s detox went more smoothly than in reality, I did find those to be some of the best moments in the story, as it showcased the developing feelings of the two men.

This is an ongoing series and the author has left the story with a bit of a cliff hanger. After adding to their family by changing another young man in need, Spencer, Ryder and Luc find out there is a Wolf Council and they have broken more than a few rules. If you want a story with some bite to it (no pun intended) then pick up Second Chance Bite by Joyee Flynn.

All Snug


Title: All Snug
Author: B. G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-745-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Elliott and Shawn want to buy a special gift for the man in their life for the upcoming Christmas holiday and each have decided on a beautiful antique four-poster bed in a local store. Unfortunately for the confused and uncomfortable business owner, they’ve both decided on the same bed and arrive at the shop at virtually the same time. Unable to make a decision between his customers, the proprietor leaves Elliott and Shawn to decide the bed’s fate.

The men settle on a competition that involves selling charity raffle tickets, mucking out horse stalls, collecting photos, and even talking a girdle off a drag queen, all while their mutual attraction grows. The question is, who deserves the bed more; Elliott who can easily afford the expensive gift or Shawn, the newly out-of-the-closet man barely able to make his rent.

All Snug is the first story by B. G. Thomas that I’ve read and despite being easy to figure out where the story was going, it was an enjoyable holiday story from beginning to end. It’s written entirely in Elliott’s viewpoint, so he’s the much better developed character but we learn enough about Shawn as the story progresses to get a good insight into the struggles he’s gone through in his life. Yes, there are some heavy moments but overall the story is rather lighthearted and fun as the two men race around town trying to outdo each other in their crazy, self-imposed competition.

My only niggle is the issue of not using a condom. In fact, it’s not even mentioned and while there’s a lot to be said for literary license, I found the omission a little glaring and out of character for Elliot since he’s been out for so many years. That being said, the sex scene was hot, intense and well written.

Reindeer Games


Title: Reindeer Games
Author: Jet Mykles
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-901-0
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lon is one of the reindeer handlers. He has a major crush on Rom, who is Dasher, the leader of Santa’s shape-shifting team of reindeer. Also in the picture is Wod, who is Dancer, Rom’s second-in-command and Rom’s best friend. Lon is focused on gaining Rom’s attention and fails to notice that Wod is very interested in him.

Reindeer Games is an enchanting story of Santa’s Christmas Village. Lon is very shy; he has been waiting six months for Rom to notice him. Rom is very popular; all the elves compete for his attention. Rom enjoys the sexual freedom in Santa’s Village. Lon craves a real relationship. Understanding Lon’s plight, Wod offers to help Lon have a private talk with Rom. Lon soon becomes aware of Wod’s attraction. Suddenly bewildered by his emotions, Lon must make a choice. Jet Mykles has created an impressively sensual holiday saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Something Shattered


Title: Something Shattered
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-921-8
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jesse’s a cop in a small New Mexico town. He knows the best thing for him is to never let anyone know his secret. Then Caden moves in across the street and Jesse can’t help but wonder what his story is. As Jesse gets pulled in by the mystery that is Caden, keeping his secret no longer seems to be possible.

Fans of Bailey Bradford know that, regardless of what her books are about, they will get a great read. Something Shattered will not disappoint. To start with, both heroes, especially Caden, grab the reader from the start. Both characters have issues that they are struggling with; however, Caden’s just overpower the reader. The reasons behind Caden’s fears are understandable and his actions so realistic that the reader won’t have any problems believing what he is going through. While Caden will make the reader want to protect him, Jesse will have them falling in love by the way he patiently works with Caden, never letting the other man’s fears become a reason to walk away. There are a few secondary characters, some the readers will like and others they won’t, but the one that almost steals the story is Loopy, Caden’s dog. This little one knows just what his owner needs and has no problem making sure he gets it, leading to a few moments that will have the reader laughing.

Something Shattered had me close to tears more than once but that will not keep me from re-reading this great story.

Island Heat


Title: Island Heat
Author: A. J. Llewellyn & D. J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-012-2
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When the opportunity arises for Roman and Philippe, two of Hollywood’s hottest wedding planners to spend ten glorious days in beautiful Tahiti, they jump at it. The French government recently changed its laws and now allows certain foreign nationals to marry on its exotic island shores. With Roman only newly in remission from a near-fatal bout of cancer, the all-expense-paid trip couldn’t have come at a better time for the couple.

It’s like the honeymoon they never had with one potentially big problem; Philippe’s former lover, Tane, is still living in Tahiti and intends to get him back. Roman’s illness has made him feel insecure and watching Tane, the golden Tahitian god, make a play for his lover only makes his self-doubt worse.

Philippe loves Roman deeply but can’t deny that some small part of him wants to experience sex with Tane again. He would never betray Roman, but can his beloved welcome Tane into their bed or will the proposal of a threesome destroy their relationship forever?

Island Heat is the latest release by writing duo A. J. Llewellyn and D .J. Manly. First of all, let me say that I loved that the authors chose a male breast cancer survivor as one of the two main characters. The second unexpected plot choice was the tropical location. As far as I can remember, this is the first book I’ve read set on this exotic island. The descriptions of the various small islands that make up Tahiti are breathtaking and I loved all the little tidbits of customs and culture interspersed among the pages. It really made the island life and its people come to life, making me want to go out and buy a plane ticket. Now!

Roman and Philippe are both intriguing and likable men and both were affected in their own way by Roman’s near-fatal brush with cancer. Despite the horrible health scare, the attraction and passion swirling between these two men hasn’t lessened but only grown stronger and this island trip is just the time away they need after months of painful medical treatments. Putting their trip on an island where Philippe’s ex-lover still lived provided a wonderful point of conflict, allowing all kinds of contention to churn through their normally smooth-flowing relationship. This is a perfect example of the creative talent and flair of this established writing team.

I have to admit that I wasn’t thrilled with Tane on his first introduction but by the end of the book, I couldn’t help myself. He might be sexy and a hot stud in bed but I felt sorry for the guy. The supporting characters, especially those on the trip with Philippe and Roman, were an interesting and varied group. Some were funny, others annoying, and some loud and boisterous flirts. The conversations are at times fun and bantering and at other times serious but through it all, the plot and people flow smoothly and believably from one scene to the next.

Ultimately, this story is an emotional rollercoaster and for lovers of writers, A. J. Llewellyn & D. J. Manly, and male romances in general, I’m certain you’ll be pleased. Enjoy!

Cum and Go


Title: Cum and Go
Author: Zenina Masters
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-718-8
Genre: {M/F/M/M}, Ménage, Sci-Fi
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Because the planet Normia and Halariel are from would not let a clone be in the spotlight, Normia has been the behind the scenes singer and body double for Halariel. Nash, Lero, and Gar are Normia’s mates, though she has been careful to avoid the three together until she was ready.

Cum and Go is the best book in the For Ever More series so far. Normia is like any young woman that wants to see the world before settling down. Normia has been very careful to isolate each one of her clone mates, sleeping with them separately, and not letting them know she is their fourth. Because of threats, Nash, Lero, and Gar are hired as bodyguards for Halariel.

The agent didn’t realize that, once he hired them, Normia would no longer be able to double for her friend. The hunt to find Normia after she is kidnapped had an interesting twist that could have come out of the headlines about new technology and how it is being used. I thought the author did a beautiful job showing several functions of this technology.

I hope the author will follow up with other sets within the various clone series as she has definitely captured my interest in the For Ever More series. Each book can be read by itself, but you will get the most enjoyment reading them in order.

Trust Me


Title: Trust Me
Author: Sydney Somers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-249-3
Genre: {M/F} Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Detective Maxine Walker is on the run from the law for a murder she didn’t commit and needs to make a decision on her next move. She’s helping out a friend in her gift shop, hoping no one will figure out who she is, and who should walk in but Lucas, who knows her real identity and easily sees through her disguise. While she’s thinking about his offer to have a beer, some of the people looking for her come into the show, and the firefight starts.

Lucas McAllister is out to find who killed his partner and Maxine is at the top of his list of suspects. Now that he’s caught up with her, his doubts in her taking his partner’s life increases and he decides that he wants to help her clear her name instead. When he ends up on the run with Maxine from the villains looking for her, the sparks fly between them, and they both try to resist their attraction.

Trust Me is the first book in The Lassiter Group series and is action-packed from the beginning until the end. I was drawn in from the start and loved every moment of the banter between Lucas and Maxine, because they are perfect for each other. The villain really turned out to be more than one person, and it took me by surprise when I found out who it was.

Now as for Max, she is a cocky, independent pistol packing babe who depends on no one if she can avoid it, and I applaud her courage to finish whatever she started. She did spend a little too much time worrying about situations beyond her control, which didn’t help her in some decisions she made.

Lucas, working for the Lassiter Group after serving in the military, really needed to get a life away from work and the stress he was experiencing from it. Then Maxine came into his life and has him on a ride he never wanted to get off. He won me over with his protective tendencies toward her and that gave him big points in my opinion.

Ms. Somers has many books published but this is my first time reading one of them and I am fascinated by her in-depth detailed research into the police force. I will be adding this book to my list of rereads and encourage others to give this story a try.

This book has been previously published and has been revised and expanded from its original release.

You Can't Choose Your Family


Title: You Can't Choose Your Family
Author: Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-775-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Fran and Jay have been in love since college and been partners for twenty years, but that doesn’t mean their relationship is openly accepted by both sides of their extended families. While Jay’s family openly welcomed Fran and loves him like one of their own, the same can’t be said for Fran’s bigoted homophobic relatives. In fact, his father, a hellfire-and-brimstone-preaching evangelical minister has never accepted his youngest son’s sexual orientation. It’s not that Fran doesn’t want them to know he loves Jay; it’s more that they don’t want to hear it, since it doesn’t fit with their narrow view of the world.

When his father dies at the pulpit during a particularly fiery sermon, Fran hopes the time’s come for the rest of his family to be more accepting, but speaking to his older brother at the funeral nips that hope in the bud. Things change when a series of events gives Fran a chance to build a relationship with his sister and later his mother, when they all met at Jay’s parents for Christmas. Will being with Jay’s family at the holidays allow them to rebuild their relationship, or will seeing him happy with the love of his life be too much for his straight-laced mother, driving a wedge between them forever?

You Can’t Choose Your Family is the latest release by the talented Zahra Owens and it’s a real holiday treat. Jay and Fran are interesting and likable guys, the story is well written and smooth flowing, and the relationship between Fran and his estranged family realistically but painfully portrayed. Ms. Owens did a particularly nice job showing how much Fran and Jay cared for each other. The love and tenderness practically oozed off the page—and the passion they still have after two decades is sizzling hot.

This isn’t a typical Christmas story since it does start off with the death of Fran’s father. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room in the story for all those things that warms the heart during the holiday season – caring, tenderness, love, compassion, hope for the future and redemption. This little novella is packed with it all and I enjoyed every word, from the first page to the last. The supporting characters coming from the two families are vastly different, rounding out the story, giving it a huge emotional kick. Read and enjoy.

Shift Happens


Title: Shift Happens
Author: Storm Grant
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-029-0
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Anthropologist Adrian Thornapple finally gets a chance to apply hands on studies in his chosen profession when he is offered a trip to the Amazon rain forest. Also traveling to the rain forest is Captain Thomas Ferrell, an agent for paranormal investigators Borderless Observers Org. However, Tom is on a mission to terminate a drug operation.

Shift Happens is an action packed adventure. The plot is well written, as well as fast-paced. The characters are convincing. Adrian worked in a mundane office job after graduation. His former mentor invites him on a rainforest expedition, but Adrian declines at first. The events that swiftly follows the expedition offer has Adrian changing his mind. Adrian’s neighbor dies in the hallway in front of his apartment door; the police suspect Adrian is involved in her death. Adrian’s employer is downsizing the work force; his job is on the chopping block. Adrian first meets Tom on the airplane; where they indulge in speedy bathroom sex. This is not the customary actions of either man. Adrian is a quiet respectful observer of details in addition to having a keen mind for solving riddles. These talents come in handy when Tom accidently shifts into a jaguar. By way of shared magical dreams, Adrian decodes the clues to restore Tom’s humanity as well as develops a love for Tom. Even in jaguar form, Tom is an honorable man. Tom never forgets his ingrained duty to protect, especially Adrian, whom Tom has fallen in love with.

Shift Happens is a nail biting action thriller blended with enchantment, hilarity and sensual dreams. Storm Grant has created an excellent escapade that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Sagittarius: Mr. November


Title: Sagittarius: Mr. November
Author: Pepper Espinoza
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-026-9
Genre: {M/M}, Sports
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Patton Cooper is a great quarterback, but he’s also coming to the end of his career. When betrayal leads to a trade, Patton does not know if he can ever recover. Then he meets DeShawn Jones and Patton soon finds more on his mind than his career.

I loved this new story by Pepper Espinoza. The characters in Sagittarius: Mr. November come to life and pull you into their story. Poor Patton has no ground to stand on when DeShawn decides the older quarterback is the man for him. While the chemistry and connection between these two is strong, I liked the fact that the author was able to bring other emotions to the forefront, making the men more realistic. When Patton starts having his “breakdown”, or steps away from DeShawn, the emotions and reasoning behind his actions are believable. While I loved how the author wrapped up the story, I would have loved to have seen Patton’s ex meet up with DeShawn.

Readers who love a little sports action thrown into their stories will love Sagittarius: Mr. November. The author blends a mixture of romance and sports so well that at times it was like watching ESPN. Those readers who do not like a lot of sports in their stories should not worry as the romance between the men is just as well done.

Hopes and Fears


Title: Hopes and Fears
Author: Rowan Speedwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-762-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Brian McCarthy hates everything about Christmas – the happy music, excessive shopping and food and the over-the-top decorations – everything. He’s the ultimate cynic who doesn’t keep in touch with his family and only believes in quick hookups. The only relationship he’s ever had was with the subject of his award winning book, ‘Caged’, and it was one-sided. His.

When Brian goes in for physical therapy on his injured knee, the last thing he expects is to develop an emotional attachment for this therapist, Jerry. While Brian might be commitment-phobic, the opposite is true of Jerry – hookups aren’t for him, so initially he does everything possible to avoid a personal involvement with Brian. Everything changes with a chance meeting at a dance club and despite his feelings, Brian isn’t certain he can face his past mistakes and move on to a happy future.

Hopes and Fears is the latest release by author Rowan Speedwell and it’s a spin-off of the deeply moving story Finding Zach. Unlike its predecessor, this story is far more lighthearted, at least in the beginning, and its first few words caught my attention, reeled me right into the story and pulled me along. With an opening line of, “I HATE Christmas. I really do”, how could it not? He’s like a warped, sexy, modern day Scrooge.

I liked Brian when he was introduced in the previous release and was thrilled to learn he was getting his own story. He’s an interesting character and even though Hopes and Fears is a novella-length release, Ms. Speedwell did a nice job fleshing out his personality and background – making this man come to life. Jerry was equally intriguing, and the revelation about his background (which will remain hidden here) that I didn’t see coming. These two men are opposite in so many ways but in reality, Jerry is exactly what Brian needs.

The plot is smooth flowing and at times the bantering conversation had me chuckling. Parts of the story are filled with angst but by the final pages the storyline had lightened again, bringing a satisfied smile to my face. As far as I’m concerned this Christmas season release is a keeper. Read and enjoy.

Bear With Me


Title: Bear With Me
Author: Jade Buchanan
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 987-1-60521-572-3
Genre: {M/M/M} Shape-shifters
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Theodore Kisoun is traveling to Inuvik, his childhood home, to visit family. Also traveling to the same area is Christopher Walls and his partner, Robin McKenzie. With a nice whiff of the men seated across from him, Theo suddenly knew Chris and Rob were bears; this is Theo’s lucky day.

Bear With Me is an enchanting forty page snippet with developed characters. The setting is northern Canada. Theo is a very tall, quiet, unmated polar bear. Chris and Rob are mixed breed bears. Chris is shy and loves to read. Rob is very sociable, as well as playful. All three men acknowledged a connection between them. The bond became stronger after a night of lovemaking. Jade Buchanan has created a wonderfully amusing sexy teaser that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Written in Stone


Title: Written in Stone
Author: Rie McGaha
Publisher: Sliver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 978-1-920468-53-8
Genre: {M/F} Historical, Vampires
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Gavin Stone is one of the most eligible bachelors around. Not only is he wealthy and handsome, but he’s also a well-read man of dignity. Gaining the attention of the opposite sex has always been effortless for Gavin, up until now. For the first time in his life, Gavin is rejected when he asks a beautiful widow to dance.

An accident has left Angela Elliott broken, physically and mentally. Now she is a shell of her former self. Of course she is attracted to Gavin, but Angela doesn’t understand why Gavin would want her. What man would want to be shackled to her when she was just going through the motions of living?

Gavin and Angela are brought together by a humorous circumstance, which aids them in getting to know each other better. As they spend more time together, Gavin knows that Angela is the woman he wants by his side forever. First, he intends to make her fall in love with him before telling Angela that he is a vampire. Angela is also dealing with a demon of her own, surrounding her accident. A wedge comes between the couple because of secrets and nearly destroys their chances of happiness together.

Angela keeps up her facade by attending social gatherings and making idle chit chat mostly to keep those around her happy. However, when she is alone, Angela is consumed by the depression over the loss of her family and her paralysis. There are moments when her guilt and sorrow drip from the pages like raindrops from a cloudy sky. But, deep inside Angela, a fighter lives and I was so thankful that she hadn’t completely given up. Every night Angela exercises her body in hopes of building up her physical strength. I felt her determination and found myself praying for a miracle.

If Gavin lived in the current time, he would definitely be a superhero. He uses his vampire abilities to help the innocent. The more I learned about him, the more I fell in love with him. It was hard to be angry with Gavin, even when it seemed as if he might be cheating on Angela. If there is such a thing as a perfect gentleman, then Gavin is it.

Rie McGaha takes a romantic approach in explaining the existence of vampires, instead of making it sound like a curse, and I thought it was very clever. Also, readers get a bonus story about Gavin’s family that will leave them begging for more.

Written in Stone is a fantastic dual love story that has made me a fan of Rie McGaha. If the passionate love doesn’t grab you, then the memorable characters, drama, and surprises will.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tooth & Nail


Title: Tooth & Nail
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-692-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Dylan Shaw is a hardworking nineteen year-old student and he doesn’t have any business inside a dance club in the Castro district. He’s a beautiful young man, literally dressed like an angel and despite being drunk, Dylan turns down a couple of overzealous guys, which results in him being attacked in the club’s restroom. Malic rescues the younger man and despite his interest, because of his age, Malic refuses to sleep with him. Dylan is everything Malic ever dreamed of for his ‘hearth’ but he’s afraid of hurting or burdening him with the dangerous life he leads.

The reality of Malic’s world won’t be denied and soon Dylan finds himself pulled into a paranormal life he never knew existed. To keep Dylan safe, Malic fights tooth and nail to push him away, in spite of the younger man holding the keys to his safety and most importantly, his heart.

Tooth and Nail is the second release in the Warder series by multi published author Mary Calmes. First off I have to say that I love the book’s title. Initially, I assumed that tooth and nail referred to how hard Malic would be forced to fight demons as a Warder – when instead that’s how hard he fights not to get involved with or hurt Dylan. It’s a cute and effective twist I didn’t expect but appreciated.

I found the dynamic between the gruff, big and burly Malic and the young, sweet and determined Dylan very entertaining. Talk about two vastly different personalities. Yet, Ms. Calmes uses her creative flair, added in fun bantering dialogue between the noble Malic and the persistent Dylan, threw in great secondary characters, a little fast-paced action and some danger and you have all that you need for an entertaining afternoon read.

Steamy Reunion


Title: Steamy Reunion
Author: Jambrea Jo Jones
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419930782
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Ambrose Firth was a geek in high school. Now, fifteen years later, Ambrose’s only inducement to go to a reunion is his yearning to see Noah Winters. Noah is still the star in all of Ambrose’s fantasies. Needing support in presenting his successful man image, as well as being momentarily single, Ambrose hires an escort to play the role of his boyfriend. Noah is everything Ambrose remembered with the exception of now; Noah can’t keep his hands off Ambrose.

Steamy Reunion is just what the title says; a well-written, humorous quick read that will definitely brighten a work break. The setting is Chicago. The characters are believable. Ambrose secretly had a crush on Noah. Ambrose was openly gay in high school. However, Noah was in the closet until college. When the two men meet at the reunion, Noah did not waste any time demonstrating his wishes to be up close and intimately personal with Ambrose on a consistent basis. Ambrose is in full agreement with this plan that perfectly matches his own. Jambrea Jo Jones has created an entertaining, sizzling tidbit that I enjoyed immensely.

An Earlier Heaven


Title: An Earlier Heaven
Author: D.W. Marchwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-640-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jerry McKenzie never imagined becoming a husband and father. A year after he adopted his nephew and married the man of his dreams, Jerry still cannot believe how lucky he is. David Loewenberger feels the same intense happiness towards Jerry and William. The three have created an ideal family situation that filled a void in their lives. And while William is the perfect son, he has his fathers worried. Jerry and David want their son happy and to make new friends to share his time with. William isn’t a boy who wants quantity; he prefers quality, which is evident when he encounters a high school student named Cory. Cory has his own issues to sort out, but he’s got a heart of gold that is soon recognized by the tiny family. Is there room in the family for one more child?

An Earlier Heaven is the sequel to D.W. Marchwell’s wonderful story Good to Know. William has definitely grown since the first story. While he’s still young and reacts as only an innocent child could to some situations, his raw emotions brought out my protective mother spirit while reading this story. Jerry and David still have that passionate and explosive chemistry that reminded me of how good a relationship could be with the right mate. Cory was an added bonus to the drama. His pain and desire to have someone care about his was so real, I couldn’t help but root for him and hope that he would find the love and shelter he deserved with the family.

There were a few surprises along the way that kept the story moving along at a nice rate. Marchwell has done yet another fantastic job with creating a story designed to draw the reader in and keep you compelled until the final sentence. Those who enjoyed the first story don’t want to miss this superb sequel.

Shifting Perspectives


Title: Shifting Perspectives: Oliver & Angus
Author: Nerine Petros
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-063-3
Genre: {M/M} Shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Oliver is the only gay man as well as the only butcher a remote, rural community in Australia. ­The farmers keep Oliver stocked with first-rate meat straight off the farm, and Oliver in turn kept them stocked in the freshest, highest quality cuts you could find within a two days’ drive. The butcher is the first to meet the new family of five male shifters who moved into an abandoned ranch nearby, Oliver is intrigued, especially when the strangers place a standing order for a cow per week.

Shifting Perspectives: Oliver & Angus is an impressive launch to this series. The short story is well paced. The characters are creditable. The love scenes are sizzling. Oliver is human, but related to the town’s alpha. Oliver is immediately drawn to Angus who is alpha of the new resident pack. However, Oliver is not familiar with Angus’ breed or the breed’s mating ritual. Angus knew with the first sniff that Oliver was his mate and wasted no time claiming him. Nerine Petros has created a fantastic as well as an amusing first story that I enjoyed immensely. I look forward to the next addition.