Thursday, January 13, 2011

Love Means ... No Fear


Title: Love Means ... No Fear
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-710-8
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Raine becomes a victim of a hate crime, his only choice is to return home with Geoff, once he leaves the hospital. He knows he’ll be safe with his friends around and when Eli’s brother shows up, Raine has even more to look forward too.

Andrew Grey brings the readers another great story with Love Means ... No Fear, the newest addition to the Farm series. Raine, one of the main characters is someone readers may remember from the first story. As Geoff’s best friend, Raine was there for his friend when he needed him. Now that Raine is in need, Geoff is there to help. Jonah is one of Eli’s younger brothers who, after being given the chance to experience rumspringa, shows up on Eli’s doorstep. He is drawn to Raine from the beginning, something that causes him more than a few rough moments. Readers may see this as just another retelling of the first story and, in some ways, there are a lot of similarities. The struggles both Eli and Jonah go through as they come to terms with the conflict between their faith and their sexuality is the same. However, Jonah has a better support system than Eli did and that makes all the difference. The connection between Raine and Jonah is tested more than once and the ending is a bit different than the previous stories; yet, this is an excellent addition to the series and the author stayed true to Raine’s character.

The previous couples show up many times throughout this story and the final dinner scene was my favorite. A few new characters were introduced as well, leaving the possibility of more books open. The author also brings some mystery to the story, which will keep the readers turning the pages to see who is after Raine and why. This series was my introduction to Andrew Grey and has made me a big fan. I jump at the chance to read his stories and can’t wait to see what he will bring to this series next.

From Pack to Pride


Title: From Pack to Pride
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-377-7
Genre: {M/M} Shifters
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Wolf shifter Adrian has an enemy, waiting for the chance to kill him. Adrian’s big brother wishes to send him to live with the lion pride for his own well-being. Talan, the pride Alpha already knows Adrian is his fated mate, just from looking at Adrian’s picture, and cannot wait to claim him.

From Pack to Pride is the first book in the Supernatural Mates series. The plot is well written, as well as well paced. The characters are believable, in addition to being particularly amusing. Adrian is a highly intelligent, feisty man. He is also smaller than most of the wolf pack, as well as the lions. However, Adrian is skillful in combat plus he is fast on his feet. Upon arrival into the pride lands, Adrian makes inquiries regarding the lion etiquette for mating. Adrian is immediately captivated with Talan and did not want to generate any gaffes between them.

Adrian is Talan’s dream come to life. Talan could barely contain his desire to mark Adrian as his own. Nevertheless, both men soon discovered pack law is different from pride regulations. After a small number of slip-ups, Adrian and Talan learn to compromise for their future happiness. Amber Kell has created an impressive, very enjoyable story. I look forward to the next episode in the Supernatural Mates series.

My Yakuza


Title: My Yakuza
Author: A.J. Llewellyn and John Simpson
Publisher: Total E Bound Books
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-372-2
Genre: {M/M}, Suspense, Action
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Shiro’s life has always been slightly unusual. He’s never known his father, his mother has no problem sleeping with men for money and his grandmother has an unusual herb garden. His one constant has always been his love for Hawaii. But his hopes of a degree in Hawaiian studies is temporarily derailed when Shiro has to find his missing mother, whose lover just so happens to be a the head of a Yakuza clan in Japan.

My Yakuza is the first collaboration of authors A.J. Llewellyn and John Simpson. Separately they are very good writers; together they are outstanding. I loved the characters Shiro and Kono. The connection between these two men is intense from the beginning, even though Kono is not sure whether or not he can trust the younger man. Watching Shiro trying to be good had me chuckling more than once. There is also a lot of action in this story as Shiro and Kono try to save themselves and Shiro’s mother and friend. Between the intense heat of the two men and the constant action, there is plenty to hold the reader’s attention. There are a few wonderful secondary characters, some are not always what they seem, that help move the story along. Without giving too much away, there is one point in the story when I could not believe who one of the ‘bad’ guys was.

My Yakuza is an excellent story and I hope these two authors have plans to write more stories together.

A Dillon Sandwich


Title: A Dillon Sandwich
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL: http://sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN: n/a
Genre: {M/M/M} Vampires
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Warrior Dillon Dragos is sent to Ireland by the North American East Coast Council to investigate vampires disappearing without a trace. Dillon suspected a demon nest were the culprits. Upon arrival at the O’Hagan farm, Dillon is ecstatic to discover he has twins as his mates. Shane and Sean O'Hagan are also stunned by the knowledge that the gorgeous warrior Dillon is their destined mate. Life, as they knew it, has taken a wonderful turn for all three men.

A Dillon Sandwich is the first book in The O'Hagan Way series. The plot concept is out of the ordinary that quickly changes from one spotlight to another. The repetitive dialog is, to some extent, a distraction to the story’s flow. Other than fangs, there is little to distinguish vampire characteristics. However, the story is amusing as well as having plenty of sexual scenes.

Dillon has been trained since childhood to be a warrior. His mission is to eliminate demons that prey on vampires. Dillon’s life has been lonely until he meets his chosen mates Shane and Sean. Although Dillon never thought about the sex of his future mate, he was aware that his abusive father is homophobic. Mated to men, Dillon must decide how to protect Shane and Sean from his father’s rage. Shane is quiet, in addition to being emotional. Shane is also extremely savvy when it comes to computers. Sean is rational thinking with organizational skills. The individual traits of each man blends well in the relationship. Joyee Flynn has created an interesting saga that fans of spanking will find enjoyable.

Lust & Vamp


Title: Lust & Vamp
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 978-1-920484-50-7
Genre: {M/M}, {M/M/M/M}, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

After finding out that the halfers are holding several humans, all of whom ‘feed’ the lust demons of Anything Goes at one time, Temp and the rest of the demons head out on a rescue mission. The last thing Temp expects to happen is ending up mated but when he carries out the wounded Reid, that’s just what happens.

Lust & Vamp is the second book in the Anything Goes series. Readers of this story will love it, just as much as the first book. The characters are great and pull you in from the beginning. While neither man is expecting the mating to occur, the connection between them is very strong and the author has done a wonderful job writing their sex scenes. Even the ménage that takes place is well done and does not have the feel of gratuitous sex to it. The story is not just a bit of light fluff, however. Reid has gone through a rough time at the hands of his captors and, as a result, suffers from PTSD. Ms. Flynn has done a great job showcasing the problems Reid is going through, as well as how he reacts to various situations, all of which come across realistically. Temp is the perfect mate for the young vampire as his determination to love and keep Reid helps him realize his true worth. Lust & Vamp brings back many of the characters we meet in the first book and introduces some new ones. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for the remaining owners of the Anything Goes Night Club and will be patiently waiting for the next installment to come out.

Although I enjoyed this book, there were several typos that throw the rhythm of the story off on occasion. While this is not something that should keep you away from the book, it is something that readers should be aware of.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Deep Within My Heart


Title: Deep Within My Heart
Author: Rie McGaha
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 978-1-920468-34-7
Genre: {M/F} Historical, Action-Adventure
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Mary-Michael Murray is grieving after the death of her mother, and she is now alone at the age of sixteen. She still has her nurse to keep her company while she travels to America to her guardian. Her Aunt Margaret, who is her only living relative, will be caring for her. Because her aunt has nothing left for her in the city she’s lived in, the three of them head for New Orleans and a warmer climate.

Now that the long rough journey from one city to another is over, Mary-Michael, Aunt Margaret and Mary-Michael’s nurse, Emma gets settled their new home. What her aunt is now contemplating is an arranged marriage for her but the one thing her aunt doesn’t know is Mary-Michael has no intention to being any man’s wife. She is more interested in is going to school to learn law, which she’s been told is a profession suited only for men. While out at a social function, Mary-Michael is approached by Caleb Jordan and she is never the same afterwards, because she falls in love with him.

Caleb Jordan is a pirate, who had a hard life growing up and swears off marriage to any woman. When he invites himself to a function in town and sees Mary-Michael while he is standing at the top of the stairs, he’s smitten. He knows that he has to find out who she is and after dancing with her, takes her into the garden, where they both realize the attraction they have for the other. After leaving her for the second time, Caleb is shaken badly by what they both feel for each other and swears never to see her again. Then he finds out she is to be married soon and he sails back to New Orleans to stop the marriage.

Deep Within My Heart is truly an adventurous story of pirates, deceit and finding out what the real world is like after living a sheltered life. I felt like I was on board the ship sailing and hearing the cannons roar, living the fantasy life of a pirate. I was totally engrossed with this story, and enjoyed reading every page.

Mary-Michael proved to be a resourceful young lady to have lead, such a very sheltered life and her courage to be independent. When she put her trust in Caleb’s hands and willingly followed him, I thought she would rebel after a while. Caleb turned out to be quite a strong willed man, who learned to let go of his past and to have happiness in his life.

Ms. McGaha is quite a talented writer, whose storytelling ability can captivate her readers and leave them wanting to read more of her books. This is not my first time reading one her great stories and I’m adding this one to my list of keepers.

Xavier’s Way


Title: Xavier’s Way
Author: Diana DeRicci
Publisher: Etopia Press
Publisher URL: http://www.etopia-press.net/
ISBN: 978-1-936751-04-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Stratler Homes, the construction company owned by Xavier De Los Santos, is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. He’s having problems with his vendors and it looks like his ex-fiancé embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars before disappearing out of his life. To keep his business solvent, he’s desperate to recover as much of his missing money as possible and to do that, he hires the services of Belten and Belten, the prestigious law and accounting firm.

Jordan Belten is the accounting half of the company and he’s nearly struck speechless with desire on seeing their gorgeous new client. Xavier might be straight but that doesn’t mean Jordan can’t enjoy looking at the man everyday as he works to audit his records and discover whether his financial woes is the work of his ex-fiancé. What Jordan doesn’t know is the Xavier isn’t straight. The attraction simmers hot and intense between the men -- the question is what will they do about it?

Xavier’s Way is the newest release by author Diana DeRicci. The blurb for this one caught my attention immediately, and I knew I had to read it. It has all the components needed for an enjoyable read – two hot men, suspense, betrayal, theft and a voyage of discovery. As you can tell, there’s a lot going on in this story but at its center is Xavier, and his sudden realization that he’s attracted to men and how he goes about dealing with it. I liked how the author allowed Xavier the time he needed to get comfortable with his new feelings – how he and Jordan started off as friends before moving their relationship into that of lovers.

Overall, I liked the development of Xavier’s personality, although I must admit, there are times when dealing with his feelings for Jordan that he seems a little immature for someone of his age and responsibilities. Even so, he and Jordan are well suited and as the story closes they have a great potential for a happily-ever-after. If there’s one thing I could wish for, it would be that the ending be just a little longer, as it seemed a bit abrupt.

Over The Mountain of the Moon




Title: Over The Mountain of the Moon
Author: Reiko Morgan
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-257-7
Genre: {M/M} Samurai
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Tetsuya Matsuyama, a male courtesan, is doing his marketing when he becomes embroiled in a confrontation with an abusive drunk. Observing that Tetsuya is unarmed, samurai Jin comes to Tetsuya’s rescue. It is a meeting that binds Tetsuya and Jin’s destiny together for a lifetime.

Over The Mountain of the Moon is an extraordinary action-packed love story. The plot is well written with a swift pace, displaying deadly sword combat along with sinister plots of greed. The setting is feudal Japan. The love scenes illustrate the incredibly sensual ambience that enhances the period. The main characters are exceptionally convincing, demonstrating an absolute love for each other. Jin is a highly skilled admirable warrior on an honorable quest for justice. He is also a considerate man with uninhibited passion for Tetsuya. When making love to Tetsuya, Jin speaks in lyrical expressions, coupled with lavish touches providing the ultimate pleasure to Tetsuya’s erogenous zones. Jin feels guilty for exposing Tetsuya to danger, yet cannot bear to be separated from Tetsuya, who is his soulmate.

Tetsuya is an intelligent young man with a quiet calming demeanor and well aware of his lowly status. Tetsuya is skilled in the arts of giving sexual pleasure; for years he performs the duties necessary for his survival with dignity. He accepts that he is not equal to Jin in class status. However, Tetsuya chose to follow Jin as well as stay with him as long as Jin desires it, discarding his own happiness.

Over The Mountain of the Moon is packed with vibrant emotional essentials that transport the characters into existence for the readers. Reiko Morgan has created a magnificent saga that I thoroughly enjoyed. I recommend this impressive, heartwarming romance to all male/male fans.

Walking to the Stars


Title: Walking to the Stars
Author: Laney Cairo
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-131-9
Genre: {M/M}, Futuristic, Sci-fi
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Sam was injured on his way to Australia but luckily for him, he gets to recuperate with Dr. Nick. Once he’s fit to travel, Sam, along with his new lover, Nick and future featherman, Talgerit, hit the road, hoping to complete his secret mission.

Walking to the Stars is the third installment of the Australis Liminus series. The story introduces several new characters, each of whom is interesting in their own right. When you put them together, you get a story that is, at times, funny and heartwarming. The connection between Sam and Nick is one that starts out slowly as friends but soon turns into a love neither was expecting. While there are a couple of love scenes in the story, they are not the primary focus of Walking to the Stars. The adventures these men face as they set out to finish Sam’s mission for the World Government’s new space program have the readers turning the pages waiting to see what will happen next.

Although I found Walking to the Stars an interesting book, I wondered many times if I had missed a story in the series. While there are some similarities between this story and the previous two, what was there was not enough to show a connection, at least for me, to the series. The book almost had the feel of a spin off or stand alone book, in fact, the main characters from the previous stories don’t even make an appearance till the end of this book. This is still a fun and entertaining story, however, and fans of this series shouldn’t miss it.

Rite of First Claim


Title: Rite of First Claim
Author: Qwillia Rain
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-889-1
Genre: {M/F}. BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Lyssa thinks that Mike doesn’t want her since he canceled a date with her to take photographs. Mike is starting to realize his job as an undercover agent for the CIA is making a big problem for him, as far as Lyssa is concerned.

In the third book of the Diablo Blanco Club series, Rite of First Claim takes you on an emotional journey that made me cry at times. Mike is frustrated because he has fallen in love with an older woman that feels she is not lovable because of the abuse she endured growing up. The author did a good job showing some of the problems when an undercover agent for a government agency is trying to woo the person they love.

Lyssa wants a child and uses an invitation Mike sent her to attend a Masquerade Ball at the club. A friend of Mike’s let him know Lyssa is there and Mike invokes his claim on her. What follows is a very realistic view of someone who has trouble believing that people will stay around and support her and while the chemistry between the two is scorching, Lyssa fights her submissive nature. The author threw in some twists that created more problems between Mike and Lyssa, but were resolved realistically. The cast of secondary characters from the first two books show up, but while I recommend you read them first, you can enjoy this book by itself. I am looking forward to reading more from Qwillia Rain.

Home for the Holidays


Title: Home for the Holidays
Author: Lori Toland
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-706-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Holiday
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Working and touring in the rock and roll world doesn’t leave much “alone time” for lovers Blaze Shinozuka and Jason Stockton, so they’re looking forward to spending a quiet and relaxing holiday together. The passion and desire swirling between them is still hot and intense and in their happiness, have decided to move in together. Unfortunately, their private vacation time is suddenly cut short with the unexpected arrival of Jason’s family for a surprise holiday get-together, which results in an unpleasant fight with his brother. The strain between them is made worse during an impromptu visit to Blaze’s family in Hawaii where it’s made clear that Blaze’s family, especially his grandmother, isn’t accepting of his sexuality or thrilled with his involvement with Jason. These two are crazy about each other, but it’s possible that the stress of the holidays mixed with their families is just too much for lovers who don’t know each other as well as they thought.

Home for the Holidays is a sequel to The Replacement Guitarist. It’s a sweet and charming holiday read following two guys in the beginnings of their relationship. Ms. Toland did a very nice job expanding their personalities, as well as showing how they interact with both immediate families. It’s a stressful time for both men and it’s expressed nicely, showing the tension and hurt both are experiencing during this difficult time.

The passion and desire between Blaze and Jason is just as intense as before, but spending more time together is giving them the chance to really get to know each other and with that comes some uncertainty and misunderstanding. The family dynamics is well done as is the anger expressed by Jason’s brother and Blaze’s grandmother. I liked seeing how easily Jason’s parents accepted Blaze and some of those scenes had me chuckling out loud. I don’t know if the author has more stories planned for these two interesting men, but I certainly hope so.

A Change of Tune


Title: A Change of Tune
Author: JM Cartwright
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-102-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, light BDSM
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

After ten years of touring and recording studios, lead singer Johnny Rayne says goodbye to the rock music industry. Buying a farm in West Virginia, Johnny is hoping for anonymity. Making his rounds, Sheriff Virgil Grissom notices the big moving van at the previously vacant farm house. The moment Johnny said hello, Virgil was in lust.

A Change of Tune is a well written story, with a little kinky sex interwoven. The characters are mostly believable. As a rock star, Johnny was accustomed to a staff of people catering to his every whim. He is in denial regarding his sexuality until he is forced to acknowledge his attraction to Virgil. Johnny’s behavior images an idealistic, pampered adolescent when it comes to making life changing decisions; he relies on others to tell him what to do.

Virgil’s persona intimidates people, which is an advantage for his profession. However, he has difficulty demonstrating any sentiment other than lust in a relationship. I did not get the impression of love between Johnny and Virgil, more like friends with benefits. JM Cartwright has created an interesting saga intermingled with humor and mild emotional turmoil, as well as a touch of BDSM.