Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gone Stumping


Title: Gone Stumping
Author: Braden Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-539-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Aidan Montgomery believes in perfection. He wants the life of luxury provided by the perfect man who has wealth and clout at his fingertips. He believes that Senator Philip Brenton is that man, but not everything is perfect in Philip’s world.

Rafe McCafferty is a man of substance. He sees beauty where others see imperfection. Rafe has encountered men like Aidan. He knows he should bypass the event of getting to know the prissy man but the attraction keeps Aidan in Rafe’s thoughts.

When the Senator’s secrets start to surface, will Aidan chose perfection or substance?

What a delightful tale. Braden Williams created a host of fascinating characters for this strongly plotted story. It’s a story I won’t soon forget. This is not a holiday story, but one scene has forever altered Nat King Cole’s Merry Christmas in my mind. The humor and life lessons were all brilliantly interwoven.

Aidan sees his flaws as what they are and makes no excuses. He’s a very likeable character. Rafe is the man you hope to get trapped in the woods with for an indefinite amount of time. He’s the type of character that makes me wish for a blizzard and an impassible road and plenty of “supplies”. In a word, yummy!

Those who enjoy rugged men and government officials getting their due will be happy they read Gone Stumping.

Home


Title: Home
Author: Dawn Kimberly Johnson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-590-6
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Eli and Alec are finally able to make a real go at a relationship, yet things are not going as smoothly as they both hoped.

When author Dawn Kimberly Johnson ended Broken, Eli and Alec had finally gotten back together after some serious problems were faced. Home starts just a few months later and while the men are able to move forward in their relationship, the problems haven’t disappeared completely. This is just one of the reasons this sequel is so good. The author could have very simply written a story in which everything was just roses and sunshine with maybe a few hiccups along the way, yet she chose to sprinkle the story with reality instead. Eli and Alec continue to struggle and while their need for each other is apparent, they both still have issues that need to be overcome. As fans of the first book will remember, Eli and Alec lived in a home with three other people. Those characters return, as do a few others to help move the story along. There are a few twists and turns that I did not see coming and while I was surprised by one of them, I wasn’t overly shocked as the character involved was never one of my favorites.

If you enjoyed Broken, then pick up Home today, as you will want to see just how well Eli and Alec’s story ends. For those of you who have not yet read these stories, just remember that they must be read in order.

Shadows in Time


Title: Shadows in Time
Author: Laura Baumbach
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-126-6
Genre: {M/M} Historical Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Neal Clifton’s curiosity about men loving men leads him down a path of horrors. Neal’s illicit affair with an evil man, who practices black magic, turns dangerous when Neal attempts to escape the clutches of his sadistic lover. A witness to his lover’s death, Neal soon discovers his lover has power that reaches beyond the grave. With the help of his father and a servant, Neal finds redemption in the arms of Peter Wade.

Shadows in Time is a well-paced outstanding voodoo thriller. The setting is the year 1760 in Boston. The characters are believable. Neal is a young man who secretly desires older men. The only person privy to Neal’s natural desires is his father, who supports Neal in his search to find happiness with a loving male. Neal’s demonic lover’s guise was that of a respectable man. However, within weeks Neal realized the man’s true character. Tormented by guilt, along with events he did not understand, Neal rushes to Philadelphia. Peter has a newly established business partnership with Neal’s father. When Neal arrives at Peter’s shop, the attraction between the two men is immediate. Peter and Neal is a perfect match. Each man has physical attributes that is appealing to the other. Their individualities are differing, yet blend well together. Neal is impetuous, while Peter is wary. The incredibly talented Laura Baumbach has created a superb saga, touching on the social climate of the times interwoven with a chilling black magic theme. I thoroughly enjoyed Shadows in Time.

The Rogue


Title: The Rogue
Author: Mechele Armstrong
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-855-6
Genre: {M/F} {M/M} {M/M/F} Futuristic Multicultural
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

A Commander seeking Rogue, a princess seeking help and a legend willing to put his happiness aside for the lives of his mates. McTavish is a legend among men but to the Union Alliance, he’s a Rogue who needs to be brought down. His beginnings are humble and filled with pain, but they made him the man he is today. McTavish will soon learn that Fate has a sense of humor but is never wrong.

The Rogue is the sixth installment of the Settler’s Mine series and the story I’ve been anxiously awaiting. McTavish caught my attention in The Lovers, the second story of this series, and he never let me go. It was nice to see him finally get two mates strong enough to be aligned with the big man. Arianna has a soft sweet side but a great deal of sass and determination. Decker is fierce and loyal, but doesn’t wear blinders in this story and knows when and how to pick his battles. Together, they make a dynamic union and light up the pages.

Their passionate encounters will definitely leave you seeking some relief. Mechele Armstrong has delivered yet another wonderful saga, and now I’m left hoping for a story about the prince we encounter in the story. If anyone deserves love and to find their mates, Erek does.

Action, suspense, and decadent erotica are waiting for your reading pleasure in The Rogue.

Trust Me




Title: Trust Me
Author: Jeff Erno
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-581-4
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Rating: Golden Blush
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Bobby and Shawn first met at the age of 12, they never realized that their lives would turn out the way they did; or that they would come to mean so much to each other.

Trust Me by Jeff Erno is possibly one of the best stories I have read this year. It was most definitely one of the toughest. This is an author who knows how to pull everything from his characters, giving the readers an intensely written story that will keep you reading till the final page. With Trust Me, the author brings the stories of Shawn and Bobby to life. I say stories because the book stretches over a period of several years and touches on the young men’s lives until they reach their early 20’s.

The young men face many struggles at home, with their families, with their faith and of course, with their sexuality. Both of them also suffer from abuse in one form or the other, and readers should know that there is a rape scene in the story. As the men struggle through their lives, the anger, confusion, fear, and insecurities they portray are very believable, as are the way they deal with the many issues before them.

When these two finally came together, I wanted to cheer out loud. The love that Bobby and Shawn feel for each other was, in many ways, both pure and intense. Unfortunately, their story does not end there and if you want to know what happens next you will have to get the book.

Trust Me is more than deserving of the Golden Blush award and I strongly urge fans of the m/m genre to go out and buy a copy today.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pricks and Pragmatism


Title: Pricks and Pragmatism
Author: J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-194-6
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Luke Corbin is in his last year of college and finals are fast approaching. Hoping to ace his exams, the aspiring journalist should be studying hard, but that doesn’t happen when his lover suddenly throws him out of their posh apartment. With no place to go and exams bearing down on him, Luke’s desperate for a place to stay but he can’t be choosy and is willing to trade sexual favors to put a roof over his head.

Through a series of hook-ups via friends, Luke suddenly finds himself living with a geekie chemical engineer who is far less well off than the usual men Luke lives with. But Russell is different still. He’s an honorable man unwilling to take Luke to bed, since he’s saving himself for someone special.

Initially Luke’s annoyed; he doesn’t understand and he’s irritated. As time passes Luke comes to realize he wants Russell, but he also discover that the man he wants is the one man he can’t charm. Then the truth hits home. Russell is too good for him.

Pricks and Pragmatism is the newest release by author J.L. Merrow and he’s created an interesting and likable pair in Luke and Russell. It’s a quick novella at just under 50 pages, so the story moves along at quick pace. The story is well written, the plot believable and the dialogue witty, with a good use of clever one-liners that made me grin and there are plenty of heartwarming moments too.

I like the author’s unusual selection of two ordinary guys as the main characters--each of whom is wounded and hurt in his own way. The use of Luke as the main narrative voice worked nicely but did leave me with a few questions regarding Russell. The secondary characters play an important role and even those who should have been Luke’s friends ultimately weren’t, leaving me with a sense of wanting to bat them on the head for making the man feel worthless again—so, the author’s job was done skillfully and well.

The slow-growing romance between these two is delightful and while there are few surprises along the way, it is a satisfying read that I enjoyed. I would have liked to know more about Russell, his background and what made his tick. I look forward to more from this author in the future.

Perfect Score


Title: Perfect Score
Author: Susan Roebuck
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
Publisher URL: http://awe-struck.net/
ISBN: 978-1-58749-166-5
Genre: {M/M} Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

This is quite a story of how two young boys grow into manhood while traveling on different paths that lead them into unexpected directions that will either make or break them. Alex Finch is taken in by his uncle for reasons unknown to him and is not treated very well while growing up. All Alex wants to do is use his talent as a musician/songwriter to become his own man and have Sam by his side.

After losing his mother at the tender age of twelve, Sam Barrowdale had to grow up on the streets and meets Alex by accident. Both boys know that there is some feelings towards the other but don’t see how they can find out what they are with others interfering in their lives. Sam’s biggest concerns are his inability to speak to people properly due to his dyslexia and that he can’t earn enough money to care for his sick sister.

Perfect Score turned out to be the title of a beautiful song Alex wrote for Sam. I thought that it is very touching for Alex to be impressed by someone he had only met. While reading this story, I found myself wondering of the hardship the two main characters went through. Ms. Roebuck really spun quite a believable tale of the differences of the rich verses the poor and overall, it is a very well plotted out story that kept me reading until the end.

While reading this story, I learned quite a lot about the two main characters and they really went through a lot of unnecessary drama from others in their lives. Ms. Roebuck expressed a lot of history about her characters that helped me to understand them better, but left me wondering about some of the secondary characters. The villain here really turned out to be a very nasty person and his only goal was to please himself. This is not a story with a fairytale ending, yet it did my heart glad to know that Alex and Sam were able to overcome their struggles to survive the trials set before them.

Ruthless Pursuit


Title: Ruthless Pursuit
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-55487-667-9
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-Shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

As one of the best trackers the Coalition has ever seen, Vapor always got his man. That is until Mitchell sent him out to bring back the last of his missing brothers. Once Andrew showed up, everything in Vapor’s life changed.

In Stephani Hecht’s Ruthless Pursuit, Coalition leader Mitchell is finally reunited with the last of his missing siblings. Andrew doesn’t return to the family as easily as the others did, however, and that’s the only difference between this latest addition to the Lost Shifters series and the previous books.

Ruthless Pursuit is full of the intense passion and snappy dialog fans of this author love. Readers will be able to see a connection between Vapor and Andrew from the beginning – even if the men aren’t ready to acknowledge it. As Andrew leads Vapor on a merry chase, the poor tracker is faced with one pit fall after the other, all of which will leave you laughing. The story also contains a few previous characters, as well as introduces some new ones; in fact, there is one young shifter who I would love to see get his own story. Although Mitchell’s quest for his siblings ended with this book, the author has made reference to the other missing shifters, leaving the readers with the hope of further stories.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Brothers Of Hogg's Hollow


Title: The Brothers Of Hogg's Hollow
Author: G. R. Richards
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-752-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Romantic Comedy, BDSM (Light), Interracial
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Fernando and his big brother Gerry have a lucrative deck building business. Gerry handles the paperwork and clients while Fernando handles the labor. It’s an arrangement that works until Fernando meets their latest client, Malcolm.

Malcolm is too hot to be a stuffy professor and has Fernando breaking his brother’s rule against fraternizing with clients. But what seemed to be a mutual attraction dulls quickly leaving Fernando to wonder if Malcolm has changed his mind.

When Fernando is left to handle the project, Malcolm once again turns up the heat. One hot afternoon with no one to block their interaction, the men allow their passion to overflow. With very different backgrounds, can they find a happy middle ground for their relationship to grow?

G. R. Richards’ The Brothers Of Hogg's Hollow is part of the Working Stiffs series and has become one of my favorite stories, thus far. The scene where Fernando first meets Malcolm had me doubled over from laughter. It left little doubt that not only is Malcolm a sweet man with a good heart, but that he truly wanted to get to know Fernando.

Fernando was a sport about the encounter and I’m sure the embarrassment would have made others refuse to return to the site. I loved his character because of his sincere desire to keep his family whole and happy. His ability to put everyone else’s needs above his own made him a target for his brother’s high-handedness from time to time. The family drama added spice to the story and showed just what the brothers were made of.

There is one scene where Fernando and Malcolm are watching a movie. When it was described, I could see how parallel their love was to that of the characters they were watching. At that moment I knew they were perfect for one another and there would be no turning back.

The setting moves primarily between two locations with a quick dash to a third. Each location was perfect ambience for a budding relationship. G. R. Richards describes the settings just enough to set the scene and then makes the couple the focal point once more.

If you are wondering which story of the series to start with I would recommend The Brothers Of Hogg's Hollow as one of the top three to begin with.

Wicked Bad


Title: Wicked Bad
Author: R.G. Alexander
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-190-8
Genre: [M/F/M] Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

As the Heiress to the Abbott family Magian dynasty, Harrison Jennera Abbott is considered a princess. Other members of their magical society might be respectful to her face but behind her back, they ridicule her for her looks, her family heritage and the power she welds. She’s sick of it and on the night she accidently finds her two mates, longing for time alone, she flees into the mortal world.

Pretending to be human isn’t as fun as she thought and after three months of avoiding every scrap of magic, she’s tired. Just as she’s ready to call it quits and go home, she’s attacked, saved, kidnapped…and seduced by the very men, Ric and Jacob, she ran from. Despite the pull of their destined bond, Harrison refuses to be used as a sex toy or as a rung on a social ladder so the men have their work cut out for them, convincing their fiery mate that they want her for all the right reasons. Herself.

But there’s danger threatening Harrison and when the source is discovered, they might have to let her go to keep her safe. The question is whether she’ll pick safety or take the risk and stand at their sides.

Wicked Bad is the second release in Wicked ³ by R.G. Alexander and it follows Harrison, another member of the magical Abbott family. The story has an interesting premise with lots of potential and takes up while the first release is concluding.

I found Harrison intriguing at her introduction in Wicked Sexy and was looking forward to learning more about what made her tick. She’s a strong willed woman, determined to stand on her own two feet and show her family she’s not just a showpiece for a man’s arm but a woman of power. It just didn’t end up the way she expected, and it’s here the author excelled. I found the opposing parts of Harrison’s personality fascinating—vulnerable yet strong, a little cold and calculating, yet passionate; willing to take a risk, yet yearning for her old life. From a reader’s point of view, these parts of her character made Harrison likable and understandable.

I can’t say the same for Ric and Jacob. Their initial introduction was hot, sexy and passionate, but didn’t give me much of a feel for who they were as men and that changed little after they kidnapped Harrison, bound her powers and took her back to Argentina. They were so intent on sexually overpowering her that they never bothered to get to know her as a woman, a person and their mate. Then in a short span of pages, Harrison went from a steady, angry woman at being hauled away against her will to a loving woman ready to forgive her two overbearing men for forcibly seducing her into submission.

By the end, many of the reasons behind Ric and Jacob’s actions had been explained, allowing me a more kindly feeling toward both men. I just wish the Argentina section of the story and Jacob’s family dynamics had been fleshed out more. It would have made understanding him such much easier but in the end, the author used the last section to explain what was going on and enabled the triad to work through their issues to the resolution they craved.

The Wanderer


Title: The Wanderer
Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-852-5
Genre: {M/M}, Western, Historical
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jude is a doctor in a remote western town. He knows, in order to survive, no one can find out his darkest secret. While his life is a lonely one, at least he is able to help those around him. Everything for Jude changes when a dark stranger rides into town.

I love Jan Irving’s stories and The Wanderer is no exception. Her characters very easily draw you into their world and soon, you are waiting to see what will happen next. Jude and Gabriel mesh together perfectly, both need someone to love, yet are worried about being hurt. The author does a wonderful job showcasing the men’s feelings, as well as the problems that arose in that time period. The passion between them is intense and burn up the pages. There are many interesting secondary characters; in fact at times, Mouse almost steals the scenes. There are some intense dramatic moments that will leave the reader anxiously turning the pages.

As the story grew to a close, I wondered just how the author would be able to finish the story and still stay true to the characters, especially Gabriel, but I should not have worried as she did an excellent job. The Wanderer is another great story that will leave fans of this author wanting more.

Wolf's Survival


Title: Wolf's Survival
Author: T. A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 13: 978-1-60272-753-3
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jacob Tasker is on one of his rare visits to town when he meets Oliver Wingate, a conservationist working for the Department of Interior. Oliver has come to Red Cliff, Idaho to inform the ranchers of the government’s plan to re-introduce wolves into the territory. However, most of the ranchers object to the plan. Jacob has no problem with the arrangement; in fact Jacob prefers the wolves more than the townspeople. When Jacob finds Oliver severely beaten near Jacob’s home the next night, Jacob vows to protect Oliver from all the residents of Red Cliff from that day forward.

Wolf's Survival is an exceptionally well written romance. The characters are emotionally realistic. Jacob Tasker is a lone wolf; his pack was slaughtered by the ancestors of the area ranchers. Years ago, Jacob learned to accept his solitary life; coming to town only when he needed supplies or medical treatment for his pure bred dogs. Jacob did not like the townspeople and several of them had proven to be untrustworthy over the years. Meeting Oliver changed Jacob’s outlook about people somewhat. After claiming Oliver for his mate, Jacob learned to tolerate Oliver’s co-workers who stayed on Jacob’s ranch for short periods of time.

Oliver is a shy man who could not resist Jacob. Therefore, he was ecstatic when Jacob insisted that Oliver stay at the ranch permanently. Oliver loves, as well as respects, wolves. Oliver tends to blush along with being tongue tied in Jacob’s company; however, he has no problem going to battle for the wolf’s survival.

Wolf's Survival is a superb expressively breathtaking love saga. The intimate scenes are exceedingly sensual. The amazing T. A. Chase has created an incredible story that I enjoyed immensely.

A Deadly Deception


Title: A Deadly Deception
Author: J.P. Bowie
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-145-7
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Nick Fallon is back with another mystery to solve. This time, he’s asked to investigate a murder which took place in Los Angeles. His new client, John Hammond, is a strange fellow whose actions throw the partners for a loop. Each new clue tells Nick there’s more to the case than meets the eye. Good thing Nick is up for the challenge. He wants to tear the walls down that shields the corrupt and demented criminals from being prosecuted. Will Nick find all the players or is there more to come?

A Deadly Deception is the second installment of the Nick Fallon Investigation series. It’s a twisted mystery that left me scratching my head. I was able to guess some of the culprits, but there are more layers to this story than an onion. While most of the “who done it” is revealed, there is still more to come. We should look forward to future installments that take us further down the rabbit hole.

John is a piece of work and kept the story interesting. There were a few times where I knew Nick and Jeff would need bail and a good lawyer after their latest encounter with him. He’s one of those characters that made me want to special-order a white jacket and a private room at the nearest asylum.

J.P. adds a healthy dose of professional and personal drama in this fast-paced story. Eric is back after recovering from his almost fatal injuries, while Jeff and Peter’s relationship is tested. Those who’ve enjoyed these characters from the previous story will not be disappointed. Intensely erotic scenes, suspense and action are all waiting for your reading pleasure in A Deadly Deception.

A Realistic Romance


Title: A Realistic Romance
Author: Andi Anderson
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-55487-662-4
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

At 32, Merrick is soon to be a has-been in the music world unless the new reality show his agent insists on turns things around. When he sees the picture of Sammy, his soon-to-be-roommate, Merrick knows he will have to work very hard to keep his attraction for the man under wraps.

A Realistic Romance is a sweet, fast paced romance centered around a soon-to-be-has-been musician and a geeky librarian. Both Merrick and Sammy are sure to grab the readers hearts but for totally different reasons.

Merrick is a hard broiled rock star who has always hidden his sexuality. His need to find someone to love and his fear of losing his career is understandable. When he inadvertently hurts Sammy, the anguish he feels comes across realistically. Sammy is a bookworm who loves his job at the library. He is out and does not apologize for being gay. His effervescence is the perfect foil for Merrick’s standoffishness. The chemistry between the two men is intense and it is easy to see that they have formed a strong connection in just a short time.

Although I loved this story and will be reading it again, I thought it could have stood to have a little more conflict thrown in. The men are supposed to be filming a reality show about a gay man and a straight rock star forced to spend several weeks together, 24/7. What few obstacles the men did face were too easily overcome and you would have thought that the producers would have stepped in a lot earlier than they did.

The author does a wonderful job wrapping A Realistic Romance up and although I would have liked a little more conflict in the story, I have no problem recommending it to anyone who loves the m/m genre.

A Shared Range


Title: A Shared Range
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-595-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Medical school was Dakota Holden’s dream—it had been for as long as he could remember. On his first summer home, that dream dies when his father falls from his horse and Dakota learns the truth—his dad has been hiding a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Dakota willingly gives up medical school to care for his beloved father, only leaving the ranch for yearly vacations. On his last, a cruise, he meets Phillip and strikes up a friendship that lasts past returning to shore.

When Phillips takes Dakota up on his offer to visit the ranch, he brings along his friend Wally Schumacher, an enthusiastic new veterinarian, who turns Dakota’s life upside down. There’s an instant attraction between the two men and they have a great deal in common but they have a number of hurdles to overcome as well. The most serious of which is Wally’s desire to help the wolves that could injure or kill Dakota’s cattle and it’s a serious point of contention between the lovers. The question is whether they can find common ground in this potential minefield issue or let disagreement destroy their growing love.

A Shared Range is the newest release by multi-published author Andrew Grey. It’s another enjoyable read filled with two well rounded and likable guys in Dakota and Wally, a great premise, a beautifully described mountain locale and two fun and interesting supporting characters in Phillip and Mario. Some might complain that Dakota and Wally’s relationship developed rather quickly but I say that if it’s right, it’s right. These two men are near perfect together and the author has skillfully integrated all the aspects of their lives into a cohesive and believable whole.

I really appreciated how Mr. Grey used current world issues as important plot components—in this case the conflict of wolves versus ranchers and the deteriorating health of Dakota’s father due to Multiple Sclerosis. They both added great interest to the overall plot and grounded the story in the real world. I, for one, would love to see more of Dakota and Wally in the future and poor Phillip, he needs to find his own man.

Gathering Storm


Title: Gathering Storm
Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-557-9
Genre: {M/M} BDSM/Kink
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Vinnie Bernardi’s past gave him a healthy dose of pain, a dash of regret and a strong infatuation with his incredibly hot instructor. Leaving his wealthy family behind to recreate himself and live the life of a gay submissive was an easy choice. Now if he could just find someone to master him completely before his insecurities lead him down the road of destruction.

Charleston remembers Vinnie. His punishments came in regular intervals when those around them discovered Charleston had an iron fist and could take charge of the younger man. Now that Vinnie’s of legal age, the only thing holding him back from claiming him is Charleston’s complicated past. However, Vinnie’s ability to find trouble makes even Charleston’s careful planning fruitless.

Will Vinnie and Charleston perish before they can finally act on their attraction, or can the duo triumph over those seeking blood, pain, and vengeance?

Gathering Storm explores the life of a sweetly submissive man who enjoys topping from the bottom and a top who refuses to give up control. Charleston is handsome and rugged. He’s secure in his abilities as a man, a leader and a Dominant. Vinnie’s past is filled with false promises and quick goodbyes, causing him to act irrationally. I was hoping that Charleston would finally make Vinnie his sub. Someone needed to leash him before it was too late.

A few supporting characters, RJ the owner of the bar for instance, add the perfect touch to this story. Their presence accented the story rather than deflecting the attention from Charleston and Vinnie. There were moments where I wanted to hand RJ the whip, just to see if she would finally make good on her threat.

I found Lyn Gala’s latest release a wonderful read and recommend it to those looking for an engrossing D/s story.

Mated


Title: Mated
Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-666-2
Genre: {M/M}, {M/M/M} Contemporary, Action
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Mingo and his family head to Connecticut for a wedding, only to become caught up in another mystery. Just who seems to be after the men now and will it pull them apart?

Mated is A.J. Llewellyn’s latest addition to the Mingo McCloud series. One of the things I love about this series is that, regardless of how much time passes between books, the author is able to pull you right back into Mingo’s and Francois’ world. The chemistry between the men is as strong as always and it is easy to see the love between the two, even when they are involved in a threesome with Sage.

Like the previous stories, Mated has a touch of mystery attached to it, one that involves both Mingo’s and Francois’ past. With wonderful characters and snappy dialog, the comment regarding Mingo’s mother and where her boyfriends come from had me laughing out loud. This book is sure to please. Mated, like the previous stories, was an excellent read and I can’t wait for the next installment.

When the Dead Speak


Title: When the Dead Speak
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-288-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Sheriff Laine Stenley hasn’t always believed in ghosts. At least he didn’t until recently coming into contact with the spirit of his friend’s deceased mother. Now every time he turns around, something otherworldly is happening to him—his Stetson keeps flying off his head, his sheriff’s star inexplicably pops off his shirt and he feels fingers brushing hair off his forehead, a sensation that remind him of his murdered lover. He’s pretty certain he’s losing his mind until a friend witnesses one of his strange events.

Since the death of his partner, Laine has been alone and knows that if he wants to keep his position of sheriff in the small town of McKinton, Texas, he’ll likely remain alone—possibly for years. That changes with the arrival of Severo, a small but fiery man who speaks with spirits and who has a message for Laine—there’s danger coming.

From the moment the men meet, they’re in danger of another kind—losing their hearts and whether they’re ready for it or not, the attraction simmering between them can’t be denied. Evil is coming to McKinton and if they want to survive, they have to learn to trust each other and must listen to the spirits trying to help them.

When the Dead Speak is the second release in Bailey Bradford’s new paranormal series, Southern Spirits. I really enjoyed Laine’s character in A Subtle Breeze and I have to say that when I learned he was to be the focus of this new release, I was thrilled. Laine’s a dedicated and determined lawman, a good friend and the author did a nice job bringing his personality to life. I enjoyed seeing the interaction with his friends from the previous release, Zeke and Brendon, giving the story a nice sense of continuity.

Laine’s carrying around a great deal of guilt and more than a few secrets and Ms. Bradford does a nice job expressing his depression, unhappiness and angst. But she does an equally nice job adding Severo as his new ghost whisperer love interest. On the surface, these two couldn’t be more different but through flair and creativity, she brings them together with desire, passion and caring. I loved that neither denied their attraction but allowed it to grow, enabling them to deal with Laine’s past and the danger coming after him.

The spirit of Laine’s deceased lover, Connor, plays an important role but the paranormal aspect of the story is never allowed to overpower the romance and suspense portions of the tale. That makes for a good mix—there’s romance, suspense, threats, friendship, a caring community and a couple of helpful spirits. I’m curious as to who will be the focus of the next release because at this point, I don’t have a clue.