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.