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.