Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Kinkmas

Title:  Merry Kinkmas
Author:  Shannon Peters
Publisher:  Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN:  978-0-85715-836-9
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Seasonal
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Phoebe is trying her hardest to get Matt to notice her.  Unfortunately, her attempts have backfired, or so she thinks. 

Merry Kinkmas was a fun story to read.  I had to laugh at some of the antics Phoebe did to try to get Matt’s attention.  The emotions and chemistry between the two are very intense.   

Phoebe gets a crash course in BDSM when the elevator gets stuck.  Several things happened that could have been bad but in this case, it was fantastic for Phoebe.  One of the security issues about elevators was covered by the author.  This is a story I am going to read again especially at this time of the year in the future.

Unshakeable Faith

Title: Unshakeable Faith
Author: Lisa Worrall
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-268-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Brody Tyler’s life takes a dramatic turn when a stranger walks into his bar. With no memory after surviving a vicious attack, he doesn’t even know his name and has to pick one from the newspaper. Nash is a risk but one Brody’s willing to take and before long, the two are deeply in love. But soon tragedy strikes again when a hit-and-run accident returns Nash’s memory. 

The real Nash is a ruthless businessman. When he wakes in a hospital bed after the hit-and-run, he doesn’t remember the last six months, so has no idea a killer is after him. Brody is desperate and accidentally ends up as Nash’s bodyguard. The two clash from the beginning and when Brody catches glimpses of his lover inside the ‘real’ Nash, he has hope. The question is whether he can keep Nash safe from a killer long enough for him to remember their love. 

Unshakeable Faith is the latest release by Lisa Worrall. It’s a well written, entertaining and heartwarming book. It’s filled with interesting characters, has a smooth flow, a unique premise and is a wonderful romance. Brody’s a great guy and the development of his personality is nicely done. He’s physically imposing and is a kind, caring and protective man, so it’s no wonder he opens his heart and home to Nash.  

The background Ms. Worrall created to explain Nash’s circumstances are heart-wrenching. Instead of dwelling heavily on his amnesia, she instead allows Nash to move on with his life, developing a committed loving relationship with Brody. And while it’s sweet and touching, it isn’t rushed. The big change comes when Nash regains his memory...he isn’t a very nice person…he’s an unmitigated jerk… and nothing like the Nash of the first half. The personality Ms. Worrall gave him is so different; it’s difficult to like him at all.  

There are plenty of secondary characters spread throughout the story, some at Brody’s bar and others at Nash’s home. I particularly like Wyatt, Brody’s childhood friend and Hannah, who’s known Nash since he was a kid. They both really added some fun and spice to their scenes. And let’s not forget the villain trying to kill Nash. By the end, his identity might not have been a big surprise but the reasons behind his actions are. 

I do have a niggle on the speed at which Brody forgave Nash. After what happed, it seems unrealistic. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the overall story. So, if you like reading a well plotted romance with two fascinating guys in a story of love and loss and love given a second chance, then give this one a try.

The Birches

Title: The Birches
Author: Xavier Axelson
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications
ISBN: 978-0-9840215-0-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Technique is everything for perfectionist chef-in-training Leo; that is until he met Dock, who taught Leo preparing food is a sensual experience to be savored and shared. 

The Birches is an intriguing plot of obtaining goals and happiness. Leo is obsessed with proving himself worthy of the faith his supporting parents had in his ability to be a great chef. Leo’s technique is the best in his class. However, Leo’s visually appealing dishes lacked taste appeal. Dock has no formal training, yet his dishes are in demand, proof by the always packed restaurant. Dock is very attracted to the uptight Leo and decides to romance him with cooking lessons. Dock teaches Leo the true technique for preparing a savory dish is the passionate blending of the ingredients creating an orgy in a bowl the same way a man would caress his lover.  

Xavier Axelson has created an impressive, as well as an especially enjoyable saga.  

Just One Bite

Title:  Just One Bite
Author:  Barbara Elsborg
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
ISBN:  9781419936876
Genre:  {M/F} Paranormal
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Liv Miller knows how to deal with a bad day, but this one was straight out of the Twilight Zone.  An indecent proposal and bad hair cut forces her into the path of a mugger.   Liv feels hopeful that things were about to improve until her mugger drops a bomb.  On top of being the most yummy man she’d encountered in a while, the poor man was apparently insane.   

Cal Masterson is a werewolf who might have infected Liv when he bit her.  She doesn’t seem to believe his story though.  There isn’t much time to convince Liv, but Cal keeps trying.  Hopefully when she learns the entire truth, Liv will forgive him. 

All it took to change Liv’s life forever was Just One Bite.  Something about Cal felt right, so Liv just couldn’t resist him.  He turns out to be the missing piece to a puzzle in Liv’s life.  This story unfolds in a most amusing and unexpected manner and I think readers will appreciate that.  There are some kooky moments that made me grin as well, like their first meeting.  Barbara Elsborg has packed a lot into this quick read, so readers should definitely pick it up.

First Christmas

Title: First Christmas
Author: Stevie Woods
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-518-9
Genre: {M/M} Holiday, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Mackenzie Wallace was really looking forward to sharing his first Christmas with his lover, Ian Grayson, and their friends. However, plans must be changed when an emergency delivery is needed to ensure the hospitals have much-needed supplies.  

First Christmas is a part of The Tomcat Line Series. This is a twelve page story illustrating how even the simplest plans can change, adjustments are made and true happiness is sharing life’s ups and downs with your loved ones. 

Thanksgiving In Sanctuary

Title:  Thanksgiving In Sanctuary
Author:  Cooper McKenzie
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-013-1
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Ménage, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Martin decides that he would like to have his brother, Robert, enter into a triad relationship with him and his wife, Anna.  Anna runs to Sanctuary, where all their kids are to think about what Martin wants. 

In the fifth book of the Welcome to Sanctuary series, Thanksgiving in Sanctuary unites the Ryans with their children and their respective spouses.  The author did a good job portraying Anna’s feelings and insecurities.  One thing that came through is how much the brothers loved Anna. 

There was a surprise within the story that I am not sure what to make of it.  Does this mean there will be another story about Winter?  In some ways this seemed out of place, though the outcome of this mini drama was great.  I also had to laugh at some of the antics.   

I like the idea of a wedding on Thanksgiving, even though it makes for a lot of work.  The fact that there is a special ceremony for the triad relationship is wonderful.  One thing the author did gloss over was some of the problems that Anna, Martin and Robert will possibly encounter since they won’t be living in Sanctuary.  I do think this book brought the series full circle and I will be reading this series again.  Readers should read the rest of the series before reading Thanksgiving in Sanctuary.

Page 93

Title: Page 93
Author:  Maggie Montgomery
Publisher: Loose Id
ISBN:  978-1-61118-664-2
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary Multicultural
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Raelynn Pierce leads a happy life in a small Georgia town with her daughter, even though her confidence as a woman has been damaged because of her ex-husband.  The whole neighborhood has been checking out the new neighbor, but it’s Raelynn who gets quality time with him after he crashes his car in her yard.  A snow storm might have forced them together, but molten desire had them making out on the couch like teenagers. 

Alec Nakamura is a widowed father who hasn’t thought about getting involved with a woman until Raelynn.   Attraction quickly leads to some of the best sex they’d ever had.  Their weekend romp could turn into something long term if Raelynn’s insecurities don’t get in the way.  Can Alec deal with that and the nosey neighbors? 

Raelynn and Alec are comfortable together.  When they decide to read a book of sexual positions together, their relationship transcends a new level.  The couple wasn’t shy, especially when it came to Page 93. Raelynn was a curious mix because on one hand, she seemed reserved but on the other hand, that woman had some brass balls.  I was shocked by her honesty more than once.  Alec had no idea what he was in for when he moved next door to Raelynn.  He was such a good sport about the neighbors.  After learning how his wife died, my heart went out to him.   

In such a short time, they truly got to know each other.  Maggie Montgomery reminded me of the pros and cons of living in a small town.  Her description of the neighbors brought me fond memories and I actually visualized some of the scenes.  My favorite scene happened when Alec and Raelynn walked to the store and had a tense moment with a neighbor, Mary Jo.  Page 93 has an adorable down home feeling that readers are sure to like.  If you love Southern charm, you will appreciate this short romance.

Collin’s Awakening

Title: Collin’s Awakening
Authors: Lynn Hagen and Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-988-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When Collin was hit by a car and died in his partner’s arms, Riojos sunk into a deep depression. For days, he stayed in a drunken stupor and was on the verge of killing himself with his own service revolver when Collin came home from the morgue. 

Waking up on a cold slab, with a toe tag in place, freaks Collin out and he bolts from the morgue in only a sheet, finding refuge in a local shelter. He doesn’t understand what happened but knows he has to get home. Collin and Riojos are thrust into a dangerous new world, while trying to make sense of the changes in Collin’s life and staying ahead of the men hunting them. Men who will stop at nothing to capture a phoenix. 

Collin’s Awakening is the first release in the new series by Lynn Hagen and Stormy Glenn, Phoenix Rising. When I read the blurb and realized Collin was a phoenix, I was intrigued. It’s a rare shifter in a paranormal story and I was anxious to see what these two talented authors would do with this special race and I wasn’t disappointed. They’ve created an enjoyable and entertaining story with two unique and interesting characters in Collin and Riojos. 

The opening with Collin waking up in the morgue wasn’t expected and his horror was nicely expressed. The same goes for Riojos and his drunken reaction to losing his lover. Physically, the men are typical of other shifters they write…smaller/ weaker versus larger/stronger but both have big personalities that they’ve convincingly brought to life with vivid personal details. But the story has more. It’s filled with passion, desire, love, fear and uncertainty as they try to stay alive.

There are numerous secondary characters scattered throughout the story and I admit I loved the inclusion of Collin’s parents and Riojos’s brother. These three really grounded the story in family…and then there’s fellow cop Tony, who we’ll see more of in the next release, Kyle's Return. And let’s not forget the bad guys out to capture Collin. They’re just part of the plot threads left dangling at the end of the story. I assume more details regarding them and the mystery surrounding the phoenix will be revealed later.

He Needs to Feed

Title: He Needs to Feed
Author: Saloni Quinby
Publisher: Changeling Press
ISBN: 978-1-60521-736-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Caleb sat on the front steps of his townhouse; he is waiting for the guy next door to get home. Before long, Devin Hill arrives, giving Caleb an opportunity to invite Devin over for dinner and to hopefully explore their mutual attraction.  

He Needs to Feed has a fascinating plot, dealing with demons. The setting is Boston. The characters are creditable. The interaction between the main and secondary characters is especially amusing, the intimacy scenes are sensual.  Caleb owns a store where he sells his custom made furniture. Caleb is an honorable man who likes to lead a well ordered life. There is no cruelty in Caleb, just a laid back considerate man.  

Devin owns Devin Hill Dance Studio and he exhibits discipline in his dancing, as well as his personal life. Devin’s relationship with Caleb encouraged him to relax his tight control enough to start enjoying the simple things in life. Their budding relationship is going well until the night Caleb rescues a woman from a serial rapist, that’s when the sex demon jumps from the dying rapist’s body into Caleb. Unable to control his sexual urges, Caleb ends the relationship with Devin. With the help of friends and family, Caleb’s true personality is restored.  

Saloni Quinby has created an impressive along with an enjoyable happily-ever-after saga ending with the possibility for a sequel.

To Command and Collar

Title:  To Command and Collar
Author:  Cherise Sinclair
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN:   978-1-61118-667-3
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Kimberly had been kidnapped and was up for sale, again, after stabbing her last Master.  Raoul had taken it upon himself to try to find her for some friends and letting the FBI monitor what he was doing. 

To Command and Collar is the latest in the Masters of the Shadowlands series and I think the author has outdone herself with this one.  The intensity of the emotions between the main characters kept you on your toes and I did not want to put this book down.  Kimberly overcomes a lot of her fears about a Dom/sub relationship under Raoul’s tender training.  Any woman that had gone through what Kimberly had would need someone like Raoul, but still may not be able to handle a lot of real day to day living.   

The author brought the very harsh conditions of the slave trade to light and there were times I wanted to kill some of the slavers.  The problems of trying to stop these types of people are very real and the author obviously did a lot of research for this book. The Masters at Shadowlands consciously go out of their way to make sure that Kimberly and the others are safe and feel safe, which is a huge thing in this lifestyle. I really liked the creative way the author gave the women safe words that would protect them, despite the situation some of them were in. 

A lot of the previous couples show up in this book as secondary characters. Even though you don’t have to read the previous books, per se, you do need to read Make Me, Sir before reading To Command and Collar. I also recommend you keep tissue on hand as some scenes are tearjerkers.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Master Sam.

Publisher's Note: This book contains situations that include fire play and violence. 

Home for the Holidays

Title: Home for the Holidays
Author: Laura Baumbach
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-552-3
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic, Holiday Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Aiden might still find living in the twenty-seventh century frustrating and confusing but being with his brawny, yet tender, warrior makes it all worthwhile. With the holidays fast approaching, nearly everyone on the space station is making preparations for Christmas. He doesn’t understand why Talos is restless when Oracans didn’t celebrate the holiday. Then Aiden realizes his mate only wants to make him feel at home, so it’s up to him to show Talos how to spend a sexy Caribbean Christmas holiday. 

Home For The Holidays is a fun and entertaining holiday themed short and takes up shortly after when Details of the Hunt left off and reading it first would be beneficial. This release…#1.5…is  a well written and quick read…a delightful piece of Christmas fluff showing Talos trying to make his pirate feel at home after plucking him 900 years out of the past. At a mere 4K, the set-up details are limited but those used give a good idea of what Aiden is feeling. And did I mention the blistering hot sex. These two guys…these bonded mates are smoking hot together. Since reading the first novel, I’ve been hoping for the sequel. What about it, Ms. Baumbach…a sequel…please???

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Love Means…Healing

Title: Love Means…Healing
Author: Andrew Grey  
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-219-0
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Western, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

It’s been six months since Len’s husband died.  Once his son hires Chris, however, the rancher wonders if it is finally time for him to get back to living. 

Love Means…Healing is the latest addition to the Farm series by author Andrew Grey.  While this story just came out, it is the story of Len and Chris, characters that fans of this series will remember from the previous stories.  The emotions these two portray run true to life.  Len feels angry and guilty by his growing feelings for the newly hired Chris, feelings that are understandable given the fact that his husband has recently died.  Chris is attracted to Len but can’t understand why the rancher hates him so much, which makes Chris wonder about sticking around.   

It was fun getting the chance to finally see the beginning of this relationship.  The connection between the men is one that had to be worked on, rather than the usual intense instant attraction that readers may be used to.  Geoff and Eli make an appearance, helping Len and Chris find their way in their changing relationship. 

Love Means…Healing is a fast paced novella that will hit the spot as you wait for the author’s next release.

The Love He Squirreled Away

Title: The Love He Squirreled Away
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-119-7
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

What’s an Alpha wolf supposed to do when he discovers his mate is a little furry prey animal…a squirrel shifter named Daniel. That’s the question plaguing Soren, forcing him to put his duty first, keeping his mate a secret while he and his beast yearn to claim him. 

Daniel has other worries. He was terribly ill as a child, making him an outcast in the squirrel community. He still harbors concerns he might carry the virus that made him sick, threatening his new family, but knows deep down Soren will never deny their bond.  

Just because Daniel is getting along with Soren’s pack doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing. Others don’t agree with their mating and an attack on the Alpha family is blamed on Daniel, causing tension within the pack. What’s going on? Who is causing problems and will Daniel have to leave to keep the peace? 

The Love He Squirreled Away is release three in Scarlet Hyacinth’s unique and imaginative Mate or Meal series.  It’s another fun and entertaining addition to the series and probably the most unlikely couple so far. I have to admit that when I initially read the blurb, I had doubts about Soren and Daniel as a mated pair but Ms. Hyacinth pulled it off, creatively and realistically getting and keeping them together.  

One of the biggest problems is that Soren’s the pack Alpha and needs cubs, but that hurdle was handled nicely and was a non-issue, bringing a wonderful female wolf into the story. It also starts a series of twists and turns leading to deceit, danger and action-packed scenes as Soren and Daniel strive to protect each other and the cubs. Here we also get reintroduced to Skylar and meet ruthless shark shifter, Byron. This series is filled with interesting personalities and I know that these two will be important in the future and can’t wait to learn more about them. But that’s not all. There are a few others in the villain category, butting into Soren and Daniel’s life, trying to destroy or bend it to his will. 

Back to Daniel and Soren. I love these guys, especially Daniel and how some of his squirrel tendencies come out while in human form, while Soren is protective, dominant and stubborn. If you like reading shifter stories with love, passion, action, danger and wolf cubs, you’ll likely appreciate and enjoy this one. Watch for The Lynx Who Claimed the Sun coming next.

Celtic Warrior & Wolf Spirit

Title: Celtic Warrior & Wolf Spirit
Author: M.D. Grimm
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-276-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Sequel
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Brian is busy preparing dinner with his entourage of pets watching his every move, hoping a morsel of food will drop on the floor. A knock on the door is answered to reveal the unpleasant sight of Brian’s psycho ex-boyfriend. Suddenly, Brian’s happy mood is put on hold while he tries to keep his wolf-shifter mate, Derek, from committing murder. 

Celtic Warrior & Wolf Spirit is the sequel to Psychic Moon. This is a fantastic short story combining a little danger, as well as humor. I suggest reading Psychic Moon first for the full history of these wonderful characters. Brian is a Veterinarian and Derek is a Humane Officer at the Pet Rescue Center. Brian is the only person who can calm Derek’s temper.   Although the whole story is entertaining, I especially enjoy Derek in his wolf form.

Grayson’s Gamble

Title: Grayson’s Gamble
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-665-9
Genre: {M/F/M} {M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

In the world of the circs, Grayson Belle is a rare man. Unlike the soldiers who’ve been genetically altered in government sponsored scientific programs, turning them into shape-shifters, he was born with the ability shift forms. And he’s telepathic too. But lately his world is coming apart with messed up missions and he’s lusting after his annoying new partner, Bas. Now Gray and Bas are being sent into the field again…to find a rogue circ, Al Ross, who turns out not to be the person either man thought. In fact, Gray’s inner beast wants to claim them as his mate. But doing so will mess up his carefully laid out plans for the future.  

As a rational man, Gray hates that his instincts are pushing aside what his head knows is true but his heart wants his mates and won’t be denied. But first he and Bas have to persuade a stubborn, independent female they all belong together. 

Grayson’s Gamble is release five in Marie Harte’s Dawn Endeavor series and it’s another fun, well written and entertaining addition to the family of books. Please be aware that the lives of the characters are highly intertwined, so the books would be best read in order. 

There’s just something about the circs and the world they live in that I find fascinating, and I can’t seem to get enough to them.  It’s filled with action from beginning to end and watching Gray and Bas fuss at and annoy each other is great fun. And you can’t forget the simmering sexual attraction or blistering hot sex either, which only gets hotter when Ali arrives on the scene. The bantering dialogue is fun and nicely done, the characters well rounded and interesting, and the plot flows smoothly from scene to scene.  

The villains and his minions are at work, which means danger, thrills and suspense while Gray, Bas and Ali try to stay alive. All this happens while integrating the romance into the story and Ms. Harte does it successfully, and still gives our trio a happily-ever-after.

Angels on Top

Title: Angels on Top
Author: N.J. Nielsen
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-549-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Holiday
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Marlowe Shelby Weldon is celebrating his twenty first birthday with a party. Guests include family, friends and Marlowe’s cousin’s new neighbor, Angelo Linford. There is an attraction between them, however Marlowe is gay looking for a boyfriend and Angelo is merely looking for a friend.  

Angels on Top is an amazing upbeat story. From the beginning, I was impressed by the hilarious banter. Yet humor is not the sum total of the plot. The storyline exhibits admirable examples of emotional turmoil, in addition to mental abuse. Angelo’s parents, especially his father, are fanatical control freaks. Angelo was not allowed to have his own opinions or make his own choices. Sadly this is a reality for many people. Being raised in a homophobic environment, Angelo has problems recognizing his feelings for Marlowe as love beyond friendship. Angelo had the painful task of retraining his mind to observe himself and others without gender labels, also to accept that love is love, no matter what their sexual characteristics are. Openly gay Marlowe desperately tries to present a smiling face to the world while hiding his unreciprocated love for Angelo. Marlowe’s fantasy is to find someone who can love him for who he is. 

N.J. Nielsen’s Angels on Top is a beautiful happily-ever-after saga. The splendid characters are thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring a warm and comfy sensation around the region of the heart.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cop Out

Title: Cop Out
Author: K. C. Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-214-5 
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When Detective Kurt O’Donnell is severely injured in a police bust, his world is turned upside down when he discovers that his slain partner was married to a man. The news shakes him, but Kurt’s determined to support the grieving Davy any way he can and soon, without him realizing it, they’ve become friends.  

Kurt’s life get’s more uncertain when his growing attraction to Davy causes him to question his sexual identity and then a brief sexual encounter between them only complicates his life further. One thing is clear, if he wants to be with Davy that means Kurt coming out of the closet, endangering his job and the relationship with his family and friends. Can he risk everything on the chance to be with a still grieving man? 

Cop Out is the first book by K.C. Burn I’ve read but it won’t be the last. “Gay for you” books can be tough to write but this author did a good job, starting Kurt and Davy off as friends and allowing their relationship to build, slowing changing it to something deeper and stronger. It’s truly a case of love born out of tragedy and instead of appearing tacky, Ms. Burn handled it with creativity and taste. 

It begins with the action packed scenes leading to injury and death that set up the entire plot. It’s not a usual start but it’s dramatic and caught my attention, pulling me into the story. The personalities of both Kurt and Davy are well developed, as are those of the other characters. I particularly enjoyed Simon (Kurt’s new partner) and his easy acceptance and friendship. And then there’s Kurt’s huge family. I loved their inclusion in the story and Kurt’s fear of losing them over his coming out of the closet is expressed well.

There’s plenty of misunderstandings and pain to work through for Kurt and Davy as they deal with their individual problems. So be prepared for lots of angst and unhappiness but never fear, it does work out in the end. I’d love to see a story featuring Kurt’s brother Ian, who also confessed that he is gay during the book.

Take Me Home

Title: Take Me Home
Author:  Sloan Parker
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-687-1
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Author Kyle Bennett is at a stalemate in his writing and his personal life. When his best friend Evan Walker moved into Kyle’s apartment six months ago, Kyle realized that his feelings for Evan are much stronger than just friendship; Kyle is in love with Evan. Add to that the delivery of Kyle’s deceased grandfather’s secret journal and Kyle soon finds his world turned into total chaos.  

Suspense is an apt description for Take Me Home. There is the trepidation of waiting for the journal to reveal its secrets, as well as the anticipation of an elevation in Kyle and Evan’s relationship. The well written plot feeds the reader a small experience at a time before the venue shifts, such as Kyle and Evan stand close enough to kiss but then the spell is broken and they move away from each other. It is edgy scenes like this that had me wishing I could bump their heads together. However, as the story unfolds, there are several breathtaking displays of exquisite lovemaking.  

Kyle and Evan are similar in many ways. They share a childhood past, both are writers though in different careers, both are secretly in love with each other and neither man wants to do anything that will jeopardize their friendship. What is different is that Kyle prefers one night stands, where as Evan wants a long term relationship. Kyle and Evan both suffer with feelings of insecurity, which is the source of their numerous outbursts of anger with each other. There are several dramatic events regarding the journal, adding more anxiety to Kyle and Evan’s already strained friendship. Discovering the journal’s secrets grasp the reader until the very end.

Sloan Parker has created a marvelous saga that I found absolutely enjoyable. Take Me Home is an emotionally engaging arousing romance blended with mystery, a touch of humor as well as a wealth of excitement.

Broken Memories

Title: Broken Memories
Authors: Diane Adams and RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN: 9781920502263
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Sam Harrison’s world is a scary, unsettled mess. He doesn’t remember anything of his life before being taken prisoner and later rescued from the warehouse where he was held. Now he’s nervous, jumpy, has nightmares and is scared of shifting into his wolf form. 

Doug McKenna is a true Alpha wolf and has little respect for those he considers weak. He doesn’t understand how Sam could have experienced something so terrible he would be as broken as he is. But he also realizes Sam is in desperate need of someone to take care of him and believes he’s the one perfect for the job…and his wolf agrees. 

Broken Memories is the second release in the trilogy In The Shadow of the Wolf. It takes up almost immediately after Shattered Secrets left off, so you should read it first.  

This is not a warm and fuzzy type trilogy/book…it’s dark, moody and somber, involving a terrible conspiracy that deepens as the story progresses into this second book. That means a good deal of world-building and I have to say the authors have done a very nice job, developing the details that bring this story alive. The plot is terribly complex and filled with information as it moves everyone involved toward the final confrontation with the bad guys in the upcoming final release. 

I like Sam. I think anyone can understand how horrible it would be to not remember anything about your life. The author’s expression of his fear, nervousness, unease and uncertainty is very nicely done. And then there’s Doug. Mr. Uber Alpha Wolf. He’s a little harder to like. The personality created for him is hard around the edges but at heart, he’s protective and caring. It just takes time to get over his attitude problems.

Add these things together with sizzling hot sex, interesting secondary characters and good dialogue and you have everything needed for an entertaining paranormal read. Look for Splintered Lies, coming in March 2012.

A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy

Title: A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy
Author: Jan Irving    
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-830-7
Genre: {M/M} Wereshifters, Series 
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Deputy Micah Danvers is intrigued by the woman weaving baskets at the craft fair; Micah is even more intrigued to learn Sasha Anderson is a male and Micah’s mate. 

A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy is book five in the Uncommon Cowboys series. In this episode, Micah is desperately trying to hide his true nature. Micah also feels guilty regarding the tragedy in his past and he is afraid that the danger of the past is still out there. For years, Micah has suppressed his wolf side by refusing to shift. However, meeting Sasha, Micah’s wolf becomes out of control. Sasha is a vegetarian and an activist for all natural things. Sasha is proud of who he is. He refuses to be any man’s dirty little secret or hide his sexual kink; Sasha likes to be spanked, especially by Micah. 

Jan Irving’s A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy adds another piece to the ongoing mystery of who is trying to kill the shifters. I enjoyed the build up of drama along with the showcasing of characters from the previous stories.  

This series is best read in sequence.

First Contact

Title: First Contact
Author: Mark Alders
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-031-0
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic Science Fiction Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

First contact with an alien civilization is always dangerous as Ely, Emerson, Braden and Kale discovered on their last mission. Now they’re going back to the same crystalline metalloid ship to try and stop it before it can call in reinforcements from its nest, which could destroy humanity.  

When they arrive at the alien ship, they immediately know something isn’t right. It’s as if the ship is alive and watching their every move…something dark and dangerous, actually changing the walls of the ship itself. Can they escape the entity holding them, with the information they need or will all hope of success rest with convincing another strange alien race to help them? They’ve made first contact but what happens next and will they survive it? 

First Contact is the second release in Mark Alders’ series Starship Cadet Missions. Mr. Alders again does a nice job with his world-building, starting on their ship, the Mandrake, and moving out to the original alien ship. There are several attention-grabbing twists and turns here but where it really gets interesting is when the guys meet up with a second alien race, the Cyatheales…a race of trees. I have to say this really surprised me and I thought the concept and details are particularly well done. It’s here that the story really took off and the vivid details of this new world made it come alive, all while our four young officers got themselves into trouble. 

I like Ely, Emerson, Braden and Kale. They’re young, sexy, in love and energetic about everything they do but at times during the story, the author allows them to act too immature and unthinking for officers on important missions. I know it fits with the plotline but it jerks me out of the story a bit and truthfully, makes me grit my teeth.

After the events on the original alien ship, the new twists that involve representatives of the Cyatheales near the end are a shock. That sets the series up for the next release, Starship Cadet: Emissary, coming in June 2012.

Field of Play

Title:  Field of Play
Author:  Frances Stockton
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN:  9781419933066
Genre:  {M/F}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Dallas agrees to pretend that Grace is his girlfriend to keep the public from finding out he is looking for his birth parents.  Once he sees Grace, Dallas rethinks the pretending part and makes her his girlfriend for real. 

Field of Play is the second book that the author has written about the Griffins football team.  The story has some angst throughout, but be aware there is a lot of football in it too.  I happen to like football and really enjoyed reading the descriptions and thought I was actually at some of the games, it was so descriptive.   

Grace is tall, like an Amazon, and had been teased a lot at school growing up.  Some of those feelings show up, especially when she finds out her main nemesis used to date Dallas.  The author showed how childhood hurts and some past relationships can have a big bearing on current ones, especially when exes are vindictive. 

Keep ice on hand as you read the scenes between Grace and Dallas because they are hot.  Some of the secondary characters are from the first book, Quarterback Blitz, though you can read each alone, but you will get much more enjoyment if you read it first.  I am looking forward to reading about some of these characters in future books, but do wish the author had tied them together as an actual series.