Monday, March 14, 2011

By the Light of the Moon


Title: By the Light of the Moon
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-302-6
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Logan has been drifting from one relationship to another, searching for his mate. Once he realizes his current squeeze is not the one for him, it’s off to the next candidate. His way of doing things has never been a problem before and once he realizes that Braxton’s sexy little friend is his mate, he doesn’t see any problems. Unfortunately, his current girlfriend has other ideas that mean trouble for the whole pack.

By the Light of the Moon is the second addition to The Moonlight Breed series. The story has just the right combination of romance and action, making it a sure hit with readers. Like the first book, the reader won’t be able to help but be drawn in. The characters are so engaging that you will want to see what will happen next, especially when a demon is introduced into the story. When Keeton and Logan meet for the first time, the connection is instantaneous and I wondered just what Logan was planning on doing with the date he already had with him. The chemistry between them is intense and, at times, a little on the kinky side.

To keep the reader’s attention, the author throws in some ex-girlfriend trouble that’s different from the norm. With the help of their family, all secondary characters we have met before, as well as the introduction of Keeton’s cousin, the men come up with a way to solve their problem. The author also uses this time to continue to flesh out the background story surrounding the curse, the pack and the mates. There are still a few pack members left and hopefully a few more stories.

If you’re a fan of shape-shifter stories, I urge you to try this series - you won’t be disappointed.

GhosTV




Title: GhosTV
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: JCP Books
Publisher URL: jcpbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-935540-21-2
Genre: {M/M} Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: Golden Blush
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

For more than a decade, psycop detective, Victor Bayne, has used his psychic ability to interrogate the witnesses only he can see – the ghost witnesses. This time, his investigation has turned personal. His best friend, Lisa, has gone missing from the facility in California where she’d been training. No one understands how she could have disappeared in a school filled with psychics but once they arrive, it doesn’t take long for Victor and Jacob to discover that more woman than just Lisa has vanished. Is one of the fanatical religious groups responsible or is it someone else?

There are no ghosts available to talk with, so Victor needs all the help he can get, even if it comes from a source he’d rather avoid. But he doesn’t have a choice and enters into an association that could come back to haunt him later, ensnaring him in a tangled web of danger and deceit he might never get out of.

GhosTV is the sixth and newest release in Jordan Castillo Price’s ongoing series Psycop. Please be aware that it’s told in Vic’s point of view and due to continuing character relationships, I recommend the books be read in order.

As much as I’ve enjoyed the other books in this keeper series, it’s safe to say that this one is my new favorite, for a variety of reasons. It’s the longest and most vividly detailed but even more importantly, it’s filled with an unexpected premise, has great supporting characters, many of whom are new, and has enough twists and turns to keep everyone happy. And her world-building just keeps getting better and better.

For long-time readers of this series, you’ll be happy to know that Victor and Jacob are working together almost from the beginning, their relationship is rock solid, and the sex is still hot. Victor is mostly unchanged. He’s just as lovable and neurotic as never, cynical, filled with low self-esteem and using a variety of psychoactive drugs. Jacob is dynamic and protective and still desperately in love with Victor, but this time we get to see a little of his insecure side too, which is a nice change. It makes him little more human.

Truthfully there really isn’t anything about this well written and plotted book that I didn’t like. It has great story-telling, interesting characters, action, suspense, humor, snappy dialogue and well constructed scenes with good pacing. The final twist involving Jacob caught me by surprise, since it opens up so many possibilities for future books in the series. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one -- #7.

Write fast, Ms. Price.

Into The Woods


Title: Into The Woods
Author: M. L. Rhodes
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-000-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Shaun McCarry arrives in Dreamspell, Virginia just in time for his father’s interment after receiving a strange letter from him. Shaun is too late to ask his father what the cryptic message means. However, another man is standing a few yards away that seem to be watching Shaun. Later, Shaun discovers the man is Rannon James and they must join forces in order to survive the danger surrounding them both.

Into The Woods a well-written action thriller with an extremely detailed plot that begins with a century’s old binding curse. The characters are convincing. Shaun is a free lance writer who travels the world. Shaun immediately found Rannon’s presence to be oddly arousing, as well as soothing although Shaun could not remember meeting Rannon before. As the story unfolds, Shaun’s repressed memory of the past is revealed, giving Shaun some insight on the changes currently happening to his body, as well as memories of two childhood friends who now share a destiny.

According to his upbringing, Rannon should be Shaun’s enemy yet Rannon chose to protect Shaun. Because Shaun and Rannon fell in love, both of their lives are at risk. Both men are very sensual as well as being considerate and honorable.

M. L. Rhodes’ Into The Woods is an invigorating suspense, in addition to being an exceptionally enjoyable saga that kept me on edge to the last page.

Breaking Logan’s Laws


Title: Breaking Logan’s Laws
Author: Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-953-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Upon retiring from the Chicago police department, ex-detective Logan Jeffries takes a job with Quinn Security, heading their investigation division. He’s a highly regimented man who lives by a series of five laws that control his life, which shouldn’t be broken. The first and most important is your personal life never interferes with work, and being partnered with Nate does just that.

Nate wants Logan and knows working with him every day has disaster written all over it. They quickly jump into the case of a missing girl, working exhausting hours to discover what happened to the young socialite. Still, Nate can’t deny his attraction to Logan, who is having an increasingly hard time keeping his mind on work. As the two men wade through a family filled with lies and discover several missing girls, their attraction only gets stronger. Can Nate break through Logan’s mask of rigid control to the loving man beneath or will Logan’s laws leave Nate heartbroken?

Breaking Logan’s Laws is the fourth release in Cameron Dane’s Quinn Security series. I admit it. I’ve been waiting for this one since I finished Saying I Do. Please be aware that the characters carry-over from one book to the next. So while it’s possible to read this one as a standalone; I recommend they be read in order for the greatest understanding of the important interpersonal relationships.

There’s a lot going on in this story from the beginning, which starts as a nicely done prologue reminding the reader how Nate and Logan met in The Ultimate Kink. The story quickly moves into the present, showing how they’ve avoided each other for three years because of their attraction – neither realizing the other is gay. Ms. Dane has created two male characters that are likable for different reasons. Nate is a lovable, intelligent, hardworking, sweet guy that’s learned to overcome just about every adversity. Logan is the Alpha, the protector who doesn’t believe in letting emotions rule his life -- they are opposites in many ways, but still perfect together.

There are times the sizzling passion zinging between Logan and Nate can almost take your breath away, it’s so intense. Yet, the almost overwhelming sex is balanced with a good suspense story filled with secrets, lies, missing girls, drama, fear, anger, hatred and betrayal. What makes this story a winner is the well plotted balance--neither aspect of the story overpowering the other. The buildup of tension to the final scenes is well done and while I figured out the identity of one villain, the other was a total surprise.

I love that Ms. Dane always brings in new characters with each book, interjecting them into the plot. This time it is Riley and I can’t wait to see what happens with him in an upcoming release. Get to writing, Ms. Dane!

The Ice Prince


Title: The Ice Prince
Author: Jessica Freely
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-903-4
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

When is the right time to discover family secrets? Well, this Christmas David will learn truths that will bring out his inner The Ice Prince persona. He has come to open up more since Seth entered his life but still has a habit of keeping things close to the vest. Will his actions cause Seth to walk away?

Seth isn’t the shadow of a man he used to be. David’s love and support are key reasons he overcame his abusive past. There is something going on with his lover and Seth doesn’t know how to reach him. Can they melt away the final piece of ice surrounding David? Will this be their last Christmas as a couple?

The Ice Prince answered a few questions I had about David’s past, as well as brought me up to date on Seth’s progress. It was nice to see that he has come so far after his experience in The Pit. Seth has a loving and giving spirit that never faded. His ability to see the need in others and focus on helping makes him the friend ever person would hope to have in their corner. David’s past wasn’t a complete surprise, but the family secrets were a shocker. The hurt and rejection from his past colored his view and allowed his insecurities to take over. Even if it was a normal reaction, I couldn’t help but wanting to shake David.

The story hints at two budding friendships that could possibly turn into more. While I’m not sure if Ms. Freely plans on revisiting Seth and David again, I am hoping there is more to come about this lovely group of characters. Those who plan to purchase The Ice Prince should start by reading the two previous stories, Hero and Rusty Belt, to get the full impact of how far David and Seth have truly come.

Maverick’s Mate


Title: Maverick’s Mate
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren – Bookstrand, Inc.
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-319-0
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Maverick feels the start of a migraine coming, he decides to head into town for some Chai tea, not knowing that he’ll be meeting his mate at the same time.

Maverick’s Mate is the first story in Lynn Hagen’s Brac Pack series and as the first story, carries a lot of responsibility since it must set up the future stories, as well as introduce the main characters. This is a big job for a novella to accomplish and while it did an excellent job in some ways, in other ways, for me at least, it fell short.

As the first book, in a 19 book series, the author did a wonderful job introducing the secondary characters and setting up the pack dynamics that will easily carry over to future stories. Maverick is the first to realize that Cecil is his mate and some readers may not look kindly on the men’s first act of intimacy. While the connection between these two soon become very strong, the men have many problems to overcome and these issues will hold the reader’s attention until the end.

However, so much is going on in Maverick’s Mate that I feel the reader does not get a real chance to see the relationship form between the men. While I loved the story and can’t wait for the rest of the series, I would have preferred not to feel as if the storyline was being rushed in order to get all the points in that the author was trying to get across.

To Die For


Title: To Die For
Author: Caitlyn Willows
Publisher: Amber Heat
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat
ISBN: 978-1-61124-054-2
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Zoe is the dispatcher that ends up talking to a cop killer, trying to save one of the two officers’ life by distracting the killer. After some threats, she realizes it is her ex-boyfriend, whom she helped put in prison when she finally had enough of his abuse. Frank has lusted after Zoe since he first met her but decided to take it slow until she saved the officer’s life.

To Die For is a showcase of things that can happen to women in an abusive relationship. The author wrote a very realistic story about starting over, only to have the past come crashing back into Zoe’s life. The struggle that Zoe has over guilt, when people she knows are hurt, makes you want to cry at times.

Frank tries to help without taking over, though you can see him struggle with himself. Frank is a very realistic character, portraying a man struggling to help the woman he loves, while coming to grip with his own feelings. Kudos to Ms. Willows for tackling this subject in a very interesting way, while getting key points across about recovery and taking control of your life.

The relationship that Frank and Zoe have is explosive, once some misunderstandings are resolved. Both try to experiment with different scenarios so that old hurts are not triggered. As the story unfolds, the suspense will also keep you interested and involved. I will be reading this again and recommend this book, even though the subject matter can be very emotional.

Alinor


Title: Alinor
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419931642
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Alinor is numb and in mourning after Simon’s death. In the meanwhile, she is moving on with her life of raising her children and she doesn’t know yet of the attention she will soon get from the King. Alinor has always been devious in her planning of what needs to be done on her lands, and protecting those that are closest to her. When Ian de Vipont arrives, she is happy to see him, and knows that he is there to support her in her time of sorrow.

Ian de Vipont, now a lord and former squire of Sir Simon, has loved Alinor from the first time he laid eyes on her. He has been told, in confidence by one of his friends, of the King’s plan to marry her off to one of his despicable henchmen. Ian is granted leave from the war in France and he’s determined to protect her from John’s revengeful plot, by taking her as his wife.

Alinor is the second book of six in The Roselynde Chronicles and I have thoroughly enjoying reading about this feisty woman, who can hold her own among men. I am impressed with the loyalty shown Alinor from her vassals and other people she cares for. As for the villain, I so hoped he would die of some horrid disease or something, with his meddling of others.

After reading Alinor, I must say that I am happy I don’t live in that time period. I am a little disgusted as to how much the King’s involvement with some of the subject’s lives, plotting and trying to do away with some of them for his own benefit. There is such deceit, hatred and murder done to gain lands not earned by the people and woe to the ones without any wealth.

So many times, Ian reminded me of Simon, especially when he was yelling at Alinor and I noticed it’s because of the love they had for each other. Their arguments are very colorful and intense at times, but Ian and Alinor truly belonged together. There are a few books I have read by Ms. Gellis and I look forward to adding more to my list. Read and enjoy.