Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wolf Moon

Title: Wolf Moon
Author: Ethan Stone 
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-813-6
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jack is starting his third year of college and looking forward to every moment of it.  While hanging out with his friends at the usual college party, Jack sees Derek, who not only has Jack rethinking his whole play-the-field theory, but, also wondering what secrets lie in his family history. 

The characters in Wolf Moon are great.  Both men grab the reader’s attention and will leave you looking forward to what is to come.  The chemistry between them is instantaneous, and I loved how the author made Jack keep to his promise of no sex on the first date.  Needless to say, this promise causes a few tense moments, especially when it is some time before Jack and Derek can have a second one. 

The story is not just a romance; it is also a story of a werewolf who doesn’t know who and what he is.  That Jack is shocked to find out what lies in his family history is an understatement and, as he comes into his own, he must make some difficult decisions.  There is a lot going on in this story, which is sure to keep the reader turning the pages.  I was more than surprised by the various twists and turns the story took and shocked by the one I did not see coming.   

Wolf Moon is a very entertaining story.  I became a big fan of Mr. Stone’s while reading his In the Flesh series, and am glad to see that he had a new book out because it will be joining the rest of Mr. Stone’s books on my keeper shelve. 

Conner’s Wolf

Title: Conner’s Wolf
Author: Jory Strong
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: www.jasminejade.com
ISBN: 9781419934636
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Shape-shifter
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Homicide detective Conner Stern is hot on the trail of Khemirra Reis. He doesn’t know what the sexy reporter is running from but he’s obsessed with finding her and intends to keep tracking her until he does. 

Khemirra knows she needs to stay far away from the sexy cop who doesn’t want to have anything to do with the supernatural.  It’s just too dangerous to allow him to get close, but that’s what happens when they met and he rescues her from some attackers. It puts them together and after some passionate kisses, they give in to their carnal desires, which make her inner wolf convinced that Conner is their destined mate.  

Conner wants her and Khemirra needs him but can he pardon her two secrets…she killed a man and she’s a werewolf.  What’s a cop to do? Can he forgive her and make a future with the woman who drives him crazy? 

Conner’s Wolf is release six in Jory Strong’s Supernatural Bonds series. If you want to go back to where Conner and Khemirra met and where this storyline left off, you’ll need to read Trace’s Psychic, the first book in the series and published in December of 2004.

The opening scenes give a good indication of how much Conner is obsessing over Khemirra. He’s a forceful kind of guy and his desire for her is almost stalker-like in its intensity. Khemirra is just as intense and edgy…out of fear and from her desire for Conner and what it will mean to her and her wolf. Once Conner and Khemirra get together, the physical part of their relationship is immediate, powerful and passionate, but the sex takes over the plot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very well written sex but it seemed to go on for pages when I was looking for the real meat of the story.

Once back to who is chasing after Khemirra, the story picks up again and so does the pace. It’s here that Ms. Strong’s story really caught my attention, reminding me in this last dangerous action packed section why I liked Conner so much from the first release.

Awakenings

Title: Awakenings
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: www.silverpublishing
ISBN: 9780986981920
Genre: {M/M/M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Prince Aurus rushes to the secret place in the garden to meet his friends, twins Jaden and Chrys.  The three mermen are very fond of each other.  However, the twins are believed to be cursed and are scorned by Atlantean society; Aurus is the only one who cares about them, as well as helps Jaden and Chrys escape capture.  When Jaden is lured into the lair of powerful beast Vaar, Chrys and Aurus fear Jaden is in danger of vanishing, breaking the twins’ link forever.  

Awakenings is a marvelously written plot featuring taboo love, magic, scores of perils, in addition to a curse that could bring the wrath of the gods upon Atlantean.   The setting is the ocean city of Atlantis.  The characters are believable. Jaden is the quiet, reserved twin who sexually desires his twin, but he keeps his sinful affection well hidden.  Rather than admit his feelings, Jaden pushes Chrys away.  What Jaden did not realize is that Chrys has the same unspoken desires for Jaden.   

Chrys is the impulsive brother with a quick temper.  Chrys is torn between winning Aurus’ love and losing Jaden.  Aurus loves both Jaden and Chrys, although he wants Chrys as a lover.  It was not until Jaden is missing that Aurus admitted to himself that he wanted both twins as his lover.  Vaar lay slumbering for years at the bottom of the ocean in a region known as the forbidden zone.  The emotional tug he felt from Jaden awakens Vaar as well as prompted Vaar into rescuing the three mermen and claiming them as his mates.   Scarlet Hyacinth has created a breathtaking as well as an emotionally expressive saga that I enjoyed immensely.  

Content advisory: This book includes twincest.

Craving Lady Starr

Title: Craving Lady Starr
Author:
Ruth D. Kerce
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN:  9781419932588
Genre:  {M/F} Historical, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Lite
rary Nymph Reviewer: Scandalous Minx
 
Lord Aleron Toussaint has an agenda.  Patience has led him to this moment and the time has come to claim his prize.  The agonizing moments, where he has craved Lady Starr, have been worth it for once she’s in his bed, there will be no other.

The attraction Starr feels for Aleron consumes her to distraction.  She knows he’s a man who expects those around him to obey and refuses to cower to him.  A venerable moment is all the enemy needs to trap the two lovers.  While it might not be the ideal setting, it’s all that Aleron needs to claim Lady Starr.

Craving Lady Starr is book two of the Infernal Night series.  Aleron and Starr complement each other perfectly.  Her sass and spice, paired with his dominance and raw sex appeal, made for interesting reading.  Ms. Kerce adds action, suspense and a touch of drama to this short story and kept me enthralled until the end.  The setting was rustic and the hint of danger unleashed the couple’s desire to finally give in to their mutual attraction.

There were a few characters introduced that I am anxious to read more about.  I’m hoping that two furry little characters in particular will find lover.  Those who enjoyed Viper are in for a treat.

Nutter Nero

Title: Nutter Nero
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-390-5
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Nero’s called to the Brac Pack mansion to save Cecil from a fate worse than death - the loss of a gaming system and a television.  While there, he meets the rather large Gunnar.  It’s a good thing he doesn’t like touching; otherwise, his hands would be all over the large man. 

Nutter Nero is the twelfth release in the long running Brac Pack series.  Once again, the mate is a smaller, more submissive man and I must confess that this does not bother me as I find it hilarious watching as the smaller men wrap the wolves around their little fingers.  Like the previous mates, Nero has his issues to overcome and in some ways, I think his are the worse to date.  There are some light hearted moments, such as when Gunnar introduced Nero to sex, that will leave you laughing and keep the story from becoming overrun with angst.  Keep an eye out for Nero checking Gunnar’s wolf for fleas and ticks, as this scene and the one with Maverick and the other wolves is just priceless.  The author also introduces a possible reason behind the rogue attacks that will leave the reader wondering how the issue will be resolved.  

Once again, Ms. Hagen has given the reader another entertaining story full of action, fun loving characters and hot sex, so pick up your copy today.

Skylar’s Devotion

Title: Skylar’s Devotion
Author: Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: www.liquidsilverbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-59578-830-6
Genre: {M/F} Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Out shopping while in her home town visiting her parents, famous fashion model Braelyn spies a muscular man, astride a motorcycle, sitting at a stop light. As she crosses the street in front of him, he flips up the visor on his helmet and she’s mesmerized by his light blue eyes. Braelyn just stands in the middle of the street and stares and it’s only the blare of a horn that breaks her concentration, sending her scurrying away.
When Skylar decided to go for a ride on his motorcycle, he never expected to find his mate but when he stops at a red-light and sees a beautiful blond, he knows he’d found her. Unwilling to let her get away; he follows her into a lingerie store. She’s mortal, he’s an immortal werewolf warrior and the differences could cause problems for them but the biggest one is a stalker, who his stubborn mate has kept secret.
Skylar’s Devotion is the fourth release in Marisa Chenery’s Roxie’s Protectors series and my new favorite. Since the story follows an ongoing storyline, I recommend the books be read in sequential order.
It starts off with some nice descriptions of San Francisco and what Braelyn and Skylar feel on meeting, giving the reader a good sense of both the city and the new couple as they spend their first hours together. The story is well written and plotted and there’s a good non-rushed progression of their relationship, which you sometimes don’t see in paranormal/claim your mate romances. The emotional connection between Braelyn and Skylar is intense and once their relationship becomes physical, their passion is blistering hot.
It is nice seeing so many familiar characters from previous releases. This is particularly true of pregnant Roxie, such an integral personality to the ongoing storyline. Then there are a few new ones, in the form of Braelyn’s mother and father, that helped to round out the plot and add balance on the human side of the story. What I wasn’t expecting was that the danger in the story to come from a human stalker instead of the usual villain, Miles. It is a nice twist that took the story in a direction I didn’t predict. And there’s a pregnancy plot twist here too. I look forward to the next release in the series.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

RetroCog

Title: RetroCog
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-403-7
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When funding for the Defense Department-sponsored Psychic Warfare Program is scrapped, a few of its members transfer to other agencies, while others leave the government behind. Knowing they need to keep a low profile, Noah First and several of his fellow agents settle into life as civilians working at a gym while they do investigative work on the side. Noah gets assigned the job of tracking down a stolen painting and ends up in the middle of a murder case. His power of seeing into the past lands him in an historical mining town-turned-tourist-destination that’s filled with ghosts, who have an agenda all their own. 

Almost every step Noah takes brings him face to face with the past, including the room he’s renting in the old bordello turned bed and breakfast. And the inn’s manager, Lara, a woman he’s increasingly drawn too, bears a striking resemblance to the sexy woman in the stolen painting.  The question is are his feelings real or are they only an echo of the past and the feelings of a man long dead? Can he find the painting and what about the murderer who seems intent on killing anyone who stands in his way of getting to Lara? 

RetroCog is release two in Marie Harte’s new Power Up series and while I’ve enjoyed the two previous series, this one is definitely my new favorite. There’s just something about the different psychic abilities that each member of the team possess that I find appealing, and the retrocognition that Noah deals with is especially unique and interesting. Ms. Harte did a wonderful job with the multiple episodes where Noah found himself pulled into the past and the descriptions of the costumes, sounds and sights made it all seem very real.  

Noah’s a bit gruff, a rough around the edges kind of guy who doesn’t relate well to others, yet he and Lara have a special chemistry…a spark from the first moment they meet. It seems natural and not forced, making the beginning of this unusual new relationship easy to believe. Lara’s another interesting personality. She’s likable, a little unsure of herself and uncomfortable with having a spirit constantly talking to her. These two are perfect for each other and the desire and passion swirling between them is hot.  

The murderer/killing aspect of this story is well handled. He’s a vile, angry person and the scenes where the killings take place are chillingly creepy. It’s also nicely integrated into the overall plot, making for a nice balance with the growing relationship of Noah and Lara. Look for the next book in the series, Whispered Words, in the coming months.

Red Ribbon

Title:  Red Ribbon
Author:  Lila Dubois
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN: 9781419932335
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Liz is disappointed with the Doms at the mixer she attends after taking a class at the local BDSM club.  She leaves and runs into a college friend in the parking lot.  Mark has been looking for a submissive, but wants someone who will give him a challenge. 

Red Ribbon is a wonderful story about discovery of self.  Both Mark and Liz have been disappointed in the past, due to some of the wants they have.  The author did a wonderful job showcasing some of the steps both doms and subs should go through to make sure they are not only compatible, but can play safely regardless of the kink.  Both have to overcome self-doubt, especially Liz.  Keep ice on hand as the scenes between the two are scorching hot.   

The characters are very well written and definitely scratch below the surface. There were a couple of typos that sort of jarred in a couple of places, but do not detract from the overall story.  Anyone that wants a good “coming of age” story will need to add this to their bookshelf to be read again.

I love you, Asshole!

Title: I love you, Asshole!
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-966-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal,
Rating: 1 Nymph
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Marcus Desarno remembers dying in a car accident.  When he awakens, he's a vampire and a new resident of Green's Hill, the northern California refuge for the fey, shape-shifters, and the undead.  Ten years later, while Marcus and his girlfriend are on a skiing trip they meet Phillip.  During a snow slide, Marcus rescues Phillip by turning him into a vampire.  

 I Love You, Asshole! Is a monotonous plot with the main focus on the sexual routine of the refuge’s populace.  The main characters are not convincing. Marcus is a mild mannered former history teacher. For the first ten years as a vampire, he has girlfriends exclusively.  When he meets Phillip, Marcus immediately develops a crush that last for twenty years. During those years, Marcus continues to have girlfriends as well as engaging in male/female/male ménages with Phillip.   

Phillip is an egotistical former stockbroker with an out of control libido.  Phillip engages in sex with females, sometimes female/female/male ménages.  The only time Phillip and Marcus are together sexually is when Phillip is between girlfriends, which seldom happen.  The storyline illustrates a relationship of barely friends with benefits  between Phillip and Marcus.  The story actually exhibits bi-sexuality, which does not match the genre published by Dreamspinner Press, Publishers of Quality M/M Romance Novels, Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies. Nor did I find the true genre displayed on the excerpt.  I am extremely dissatisfied by the deception.     

Edge of Daybreak

Title: Edge of Daybreak
Author: Jannifer Hoffman
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60735-286-0
Genre: {M/F} Suspense, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Maggie Carpelli is in a bad situation, not of her own doing.  She’s all alone and needing to make a quick escape is at the top of her list of things to do to survive.  When she finds a clerical error among some papers at work one day and makes an attempt to bring it to light to her father-in-law/boss, he fires her on the spot.  So now she is recovering from a hit and run and decides to listen to her deceased husband’s advice; disappear without leaving a trail for anyone to follow her. 

Logan has had only one thing on his mind the whole two and a half years he was in prison, and that is to find out who framed him.   He is always writing notes in his little tablet to keep track of things, and revenge might not be as sweet as he imagined when he gets back to his home town Duluth, Minnesota.   What he didn’t count on was having to get help from a mousy woman, who is in need of his help.  

Edge of Daybreak is a thrilling suspense story that had me wondering what would happen next.  I had to make myself focus on Logan and Maggie’s travels instead of trying to think about when the villains would catch up to them.   Believe me, I was not disappointed doing that!    

This is a new author for me and Ms. Hoffman’s creativity kept my attention through the whole book and making it eventful story you will want to read to know what is going to happen to the characters.  The way she presented the personalities of Logan and Maggie are truly believable and I was cheering them on all the way to their destination.   They were able to accomplish their goals, both together and separately to some degree, and they never stopped trusting each other.

Logan may have started out as a tough guy, but quickly developed into the strong manly person his grandmother taught him to be.   Maggie did surprise me because I thought she would never grow a backbone but once she did, she never let go of it.  I applaud Logan and Maggie for their determination to stick together and solve their problems for each other.   Add in loyalty, steaming hot sexual attraction and love only made reading this story better for me. 

I really enjoyed reading Ms. Hoffman’s Edge of Daybreak that told of beautiful scenic areas and will add this one to my keeper list.
Title: Saving Zeke
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-544-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Despite countless dates, Ben Dealy still isn’t any closer to finding a woman who can give him the kind of loving relationship his parents share. That’s because he isn’t willing to admit that the only person he’s emotionally connected to is his friend, Zeke. Confessing he’s gay could ruin his career with the police department but when he discovers Zeke’s in trouble, Ben doesn’t think of the consequences; he just rushes to his side.
Zeke’s been attracted to Ben since college but never acted on it. Instead, he dated and finally got engaged, except he isn’t happy. When he learns his fiancé is only interested in him for his trust fund, Zeke decides he’s had enough and that he can’t run from the truth or the man he loves any longer. The question is whether the truth will bring them together or destroy their friendship forever.
Saving Zeke is release four in Serena Yates ongoing series, Men of Riverside. This one doesn’t follow characters from the previous releases as closely so it can easily be read as a standalone but it wouldn’t hurt to read the others first.
It’s a “pleasant friends changing into lovers” kind of story and it sucks you into Ben and Zeke’s world from the opening pages. The plot isn’t a rollercoaster of action but it’s well paced and smooth, giving the reader enough background between our guys to understand what their lives has been like during the years they’ve grown apart…Ben with his job and Zeke with his obnoxious fiancé. 
The author has done a nice job describing their relationship and how afraid both are to mess it up. It’s easy to see what they mean to each other but at times, their discomfort to make a move…to change their relationship into something new is almost palpable, but when they finally do, it’s filled with passion and desire.
There aren’t a lot of secondary characters but the one that really sticks out is Zeke’s crazy, money-hungry fiancée, Claudia. The creation of her personality is inspired and she definitely makes a great villain for the plot. The others that made a brief but important appearance are Ben’s parents. Watch for the next release in this fun series, Forgiving Jason.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Loving

Title: Summer Loving
Author: Cooper McKenzie
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL: http://www.sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN: 1-61034-512-6
Genre: {M/F/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Summer is waiting for her brother to pick her up at the airport but sees these gorgeous twins that keep watching her. Once she realizes they are there to pick her up, she must decide if she wants to scratch her itch.
Summer Loving is about the third sibling in the Ryan family that turns out to be the mate to another set of Sullivan twins. Cole and Dawson are surprised that Summer knows about shape-shifters when she identifies them before they tell her. In Summer’s travels throughout the world, she has run across of the shifter species before. This is the third story in the Welcome to Sanctuary series and the chemistry between the three main characters is just as intense as the other relationships in previous stories. Despite some typos, this is a fast-paced story, but doesn’t go into a lot of background, so you do need to read the previous books. I am looking forward to reading about the last Ryan in the next story.