Saturday, June 25, 2011

Earth and Sky

Title: Earth and Sky
Author: Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-835-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Western, Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Even with the help of his family, Hunter Krause knows running a ranch is hard work, especially when good wranglers are hard to find. When horses start disappearing, they need another hired hand and Hunter isn’t happy when his best friend, and foreman, hires Grant Jarreau, a man he thinks abandoned an injured lover. Despite Hunter’s strong misgivings, he gets aroused every time he and Grant get close to each other. He’s upset, unsettled and frustrated and doesn’t know what to do, but after sharing one kiss, Hunter realizes what his life’s been missing. As the men move into a committed relationship, all kinds of things keep getting in their way…the family is in crisis, horses keep disappearing and worst of all, Grant is hiding something. Will these two be able to survive the turmoil surrounding them or will it be too much to bear, destroying their new and fragile bond? 

Earth and Sky is the newest release by Zahra Owens. It’s the sequel to Clouds and Rain and as such, I recommend it be read first. 

I liked Hunter and Grant’s story from the first page. The author did a nice job slowly altering their strained, almost adversarial relationship to that of friends and lovers. Yes, it might have started off as lust but the change was handled believably, making me root for these two intriguing men. That’s particularly true because Hunter lived the life of a straight man and Ms. Owens convincingly shows his apprehension and fear at the idea of being gay. 

Hunter’s numerous family members are another strong plus for the story. They definitely give depth, interest and multiple opportunities for interaction with Hunter and Grant, both enriching and helping to move the plot along. These people are likeable and while much of what is going on sounds like a soap opera; life is a soap opera and often filled with drama.  There are other secondary characters too. You see Gable and Flynn, and we meet a few other really interesting individuals important to Grant. 

I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the horses missing from Hunter’s ranch, but wasn’t terribly surprised when the villain was revealed in the end. But that’s okay. It was still a nice plot device that got all the characters involved and working together to solve their problem. Happy reading.

What a Goddess Wants

Title:  What a Goddess Wants
Author:  Stephanie Julian
Publisher:  Source Books
ISBN: 9781402251474
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Note:  Link is for pre-order
Publication Date:  July 2011
This is only a print book. 

Caligo has been burned by goddesses before and wants nothing to do with them.  He turns Tessa away after she is sent to him for help, but changes his mind when she is attacked on his property.   

What a Goddess Wants is an interesting story involving several pantheons from the ancient world set in modern society.  As the Etruscan Gods are displaced by the Roman Gods, the power the Etruscan’s used to weld is waning.  I thought the author had fun with the rivalry between the two pantheons and was surprised by the wariness the Roman Gods had for Tessa.   

Ms. Julian has tied the first book of the Forgotten Goddesses series to some of her others by mentioning the various races that worshiped them, though this will definitely not be part of them nor can it be considered a spin-off.  This will keep you on your toes as you read about the trouble both Tessa and Caligo get into as he tries to keep her safe from Charun. The twist at the end did not quite surprise me though. 

The author does a credible job of giving you enough information about the main and secondary characters that you want to know what happens and how things will turn out.  She also gives you enough information about Tessa and her original role within the Etruscan pantheon.  I liked the way Ms. Julian wove today’s society with some of the ancient ways still practiced by the Lucani, Fata, Enu, and the Strega. I am looking forward to the next few books in this series.

Shy Cowboy

Title: Shy Cowboy
Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-568-9
Genre: {M/M} Cowboys/ Were-shifter, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Tall with a thickly muscled body that weighed more than most, Cass Drake goes on a diet, hoping to attract the new ranch hand, Tom Black.  However, Cass is not the only who wants Tom.  Life suddenly becomes dangerous for Tom and Cass after Tom is attacked by a stranger.  

Shy Cowboy is book three in the Uncommon Cowboys series.  The plot features danger, secrets as well as revelations, and sensual lovemaking.  The setting is the Yellow Trail Ranch in Montana.  The loveable characters are convincing. Cass is self-conscious about his size and strength, he is always afraid of hurting someone with his large hands.  Cass is also a compassionate man, who cares about the environment, as well as people.  Cass lacks experience with dating, so he is slow to be aware of Tom’s flirting with him.  After Tom is injured, Cass finally notices there is more than friendship between him and Tom.   

Tom is a wolf shifter.  He moves from place to place to keep a low profile.  However, his wolf wanted to claim Cass, licking his neck along with biting to mark Cass as his mate.  Tom thought Cass was beautiful just the way he is and he took every opportunity to show Cass how desirable he is to Tom.  Jan Irving has created a splendid saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Softly Spoken Lies

Title: Softly Spoken Lies
Author:  Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-542-8
Genre: {M/M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Blaise has been a Hunter for The Council for some time now and enjoys the freedom his job gives him.  All that comes to a crashing halt when the shape-shifter finds himself with not one, but two, mates and a new pack to lead. 

Softly Spoken Lies, the fourth book in the Moonlight Breed series, was a great story to read.  It picks up shortly after the end of book three, so while the books might be considered stand alones, you really should think of at least reading Whispers in the Night before picking this one up. 

From the beginning, we are drawn back into the world created by Ms. Evans.  As the story starts, Blaise is struggling to come to terms with his new position as pack Alpha, as well as the two males to whom he seems to be mated.  All the confusion and uncertainty, as well as the anger that Blaise is going through comes across very realistically, especially when you take into account that the shifter is straight and has never been attracted to another man before.  The confusion and fear felt by his mates, Colin and Willow, are no less real as they worry about what will happen to them, should Blaise deny the pull to mate.  That the author is able to bring across the problems and doubts that all three men are trying to deal with in a realistic manner makes their story even more believable.  Once the men get things straightened out, however, watch out because things get hot as Blaise tries to make up for lost time. 

Unfortunately, their relationship problems are not the only thing the men are dealing with as the author throws in some more angst in the form of evil siblings and a crazy mother.  There is also a small twist surrounding Willow's background and the mystery regarding the Moonlight Breeds.  With the return of previous characters, some of whom have not yet found mates, there are sure to be several more additions to this very interesting series.

Miles to Go

Title: Miles to Go
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-574-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Western, Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Max Jenkins didn’t begrudge the partnership between his bosses, Chance and Rory, but he does envy them their closeness…their touches and shared kisses. Until meeting Bo a few months before, he’d never given a thought of having someone to share his life with. Now despite his painful past and rigid family upbringing, it’s something he desperately wants…more than Max ever thought possible. He doesn’t know what to do about it but when Bo is attacked and left for dead, Max realizes he has to make some decisions. Fear has kept him isolated for years but for the emotionally and physically wounded Bo, Max will do whatever it takes to show the man he loves how much he cares. That means convincing the insecure Bo that they belong together. It will be hard work but Bo is worth it. He’s Max’s everything. 

Miles To Go is the second release in Bailey Bradford’s new series, Love in Xxchange. By the end of reading Rory’s Last Chance, I was hoping to see a story featuring Max and Bo, so I was pleased to see this one available.  

There’s just something about these two guys. Even though their relationship wasn’t sexual in the previous release, you could tell something was simmering under the surface, and now we get to see what that is and watch it grow. While doing that, we get the opportunity to get acquainted with two sweet and caring men, both terribly wounded by life’s circumstances. Ms. Bradford handled Bo’s beating and his recovery with Max taking care of him, well. The move to a sexual relationship was timed realistically, and I really appreciated/chuckled that Bo had to make the first move after he healed.  

The story pacing is smooth, the dialogue believable and the plot line revolving around Bo’s beating could have come out of any newspaper. The problem I have is in the way Rory and Chance both treated Max like an adolescent, during a certain portion of the story. They asked embarrassing personal questions; demanded answers and pretty much stuck their noses in where they didn’t belong, which seemed demeaning for a forty-three year-old responsible man capable of making his own decisions. Still, don’t let this little niggle dissuade you from reading Miles To Go, as I found it entertaining and enjoyable, and I look forward to the next release in the series.

Please Remember Me

Title:  Please Remember Me
Author:  Wendi Zwaduk
Publisher:  Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-533-5
Genre:  Contemporary
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Jade is trying to clean up her act, though some people don’t want her to change, and moves to Ohio to see Marlon.  As much as Marlon likes Jade, he has to be very careful if he wants to keep his job as a deputy. 

While Please Remember Me is a good story, it started off slow for me. However, it picks up later in both tempo and interest.  Jade reminds me of a few young ladies that have been in the news lately, though she is very sincere about changing her life for the better.  She wants nothing to do with her father and his magazine, but he doesn’t seem to want to let go.  Jade made some very bad choices in the past and she has to work double time to convince the people she cares for that she has turned her life around. 

Due to things that happened with his late wife before she died, Marlon has a very difficult time trusting. Only by the skin of his teeth did he keep his job then, but the situation with Jade could be the end of his life, as he knows it.  Both Jade and Marlon have a lot of mistrust issues to work out.  Between the plot twists that show up, and the scheming by those around them, it was very easy to see why.  I thought the last twist in the scene between Jade and her father was a wonderful one that I did not see coming.  I also enjoyed the way the author resolved one theme that showed up in the book. 

Were the Hell?

Title: Were the Hell?
Author:  Berengaria Brown
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-232-3
Genre: {M/M} Werewolves
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Septimus is on a mission to discover the cause of a shortage of females born into his pack.  Being one of the younger wolves, Septimus is delegated to do the jobs his brothers don’t want, like travelling to the Forest Hill pack.  Research shows this pack produce equal numbers of females and males.  As an added bonus to the new information garnered, Septimus finds his mate, werewolf Dai. 

Were the Hell? is a heartwarming upbeat short story.  The charming characters are believable, as well as exceedingly sensual.  Septimus’ job is to monitor health blogs and werewolf complaints.  The low female birth rate is an ongoing concern in his pack, generating environmental research as a possible source. 

Dai is an accountant for the Forest Hill pack.  Neither Septimus nor Dai expected to find a mate since male/male pairings are rare. They are well matched in personality.  Both are easy going, considerate men who are overjoyed with their bonded status.  Two packs working together, sharing the memories of the elders reveals the starting place of the mystery along with a remarkable cure.   Berengaria Brown has created a fantastic happy saga that I thoroughly enjoyed.  

Were the Hell

Title: Were the Hell
Author:  Berengaria Brown
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-232-3
Genre: {M/M} Werewolves
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Septimus is on a mission to discover the cause of a shortage of females born into his pack.  Being one of the younger wolves, Septimus is delegated to do the jobs his brothers don’t want, like travelling to the Forest Hill pack.  Research shows this pack produce equal numbers of females and males.  As an added bonus to the new information garnered, Septimus finds his mate, werewolf Dai. 

Were the Hell is a heartwarming upbeat short story.  The charming characters are believable, as well as exceedingly sensual.  Septimus’ job is to monitor health blogs and werewolf complaints.  The low female birth rate is an ongoing concern in his pack, generating environmental research as a possible source. 

Dai is an accountant for the Forest Hill pack.  Neither Septimus nor Dai expected to find a mate since male/male pairings are rare. They are well matched in personality.  Both are easy going, considerate men who are overjoyed with their bonded status.  Two packs working together, sharing the memories of the elders reveals the starting place of the mystery along with a remarkable cure.   Berengaria Brown has created a fantastic happy saga that I thoroughly enjoyed.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Between Sinners and Saints

Title: Between Sinners and Saints
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-121-1
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating:  Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Levi would be hard pressed to say which he loved more, surfing or sex.  Living and working in Florida gives him plenty of opportunity to enjoy both.  When an injury sends him to Jaime, Levi begins to wonder if there might be something more waiting for him. 

I loved Ms. Sexton’s Between Sinners and Saints.  Coming in at around 372 pages, this novel is anything but a light read. However, it will hold your attention till the very last page.  Because of the book's length, the reader never experiences the feeling of being rushed through the men’s relationship.  The reader is given the time to learn about the characters as they learn about each other, as well as themselves.  Levi is a player in every sense of the word and sometimes, his actions rubbed me the wrong way.  It soon becomes clear, though, that Levi’s actions are the result of his ongoing conflict with his family.  Jaime is a massage therapist who, after many years, is still recovering from his tragic past, and sometimes does not always succeed.  Readers will find Jaime the easiest of the two men to be drawn to.  The way he tries to cope with his problems made me want to hug him. 

The men’s’ transition, from acquaintances to friends and finally lovers, occurs in a realistic, but not always smooth, manner.  Their problems stem from the issues in their lives that they have no control over.  For Levi, those problems center around the religious beliefs he was raised with and the fact that his being gay makes him  a sinner in the eyes of his family and church.  The author does a good job passing along the Mormon philosophy without becoming extremely preachy.  Ms. Sexton also keeps the realistic vibe flowing when she has Levi and his family reconciling.  Jaime’s problems are worse than Levi’s in many ways, something that the young surfer comes to understand.  Sexually abused by a family member, Jaime learned to trust no one.  The many different emotional and psychological levels that Jaime goes through are very realistic and the author keeps this in mind while sending the men on the road to finding their happily ever after. 

Needless to say, the road Levi and Jaime follow is not an easy one, and more than once, one or the other has a setback.  Yet, this only makes the story more compelling and, by the time it ends, the reader will be more than satisfied.  I would strongly recommend Between Sinners and Saints to any fan of the M/M genre and will be reading this story again in the future.

Sinnerman

Title: Sinnerman
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-921-8
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Nothing is more devastating to Jackson Tybalt than finding his Hearth - the man he loves - in the arms of another. Feeling betrayed and not caring what happens, in the months that follow, he acts rashly, putting himself in one dangerous situation after another.  He’s not interested in romance or a relationship but that’s exactly what the Kyrie Raphael has in mind for him when he realizes his chance with Jackson has finally come. Tenderness from Raphael might be what Jackson needs but it’s the one thing he won’t accept. What he needs, first, is to change his attitude and realize that he’s a good friend, a responsible Warder and worthy of love. 

Sinnerman is the fourth release in Mary Calmes ongoing Warder series and while I enjoyed Heart in Hand, the last release, this one is my new favorite. Be aware that due to the overlapping of characters from one book to another, it would be best to read them in order. 

Jackson is the most flawed…the most damaged of the Warders and his emotional pain from the betrayal of his Hearth is so intense, it’s almost palpable. Ms. Calmes takes us along on his dark journey of anger and self-hate, showing just how close to the razor’s edge of destruction he’s gotten. Jackson’s interactions with his ex-Hearth, Frank, are heart-wrenching, making it easy to wish horrible, painful things to happen to Frank. Then there’s Raphael, the Kyrie, who’s not exactly a demon but who isn’t a human either. This guy is intriguing and pairing him with Jackson wasn’t expected but works perfectly. Good going, Ms. Calmes. Yet their relationship starts off as dark and gloomy as Jackson is feeling because rough and painful is all he’ll accept. It’s only the power of Raphael’s faith that finally shows Jackson he’s worthy of the very thing he fears…love.

We see plenty of the Warders and Hearths from the previous releases and seeing how much they care about Jackson and what happens to him…the danger he’s putting himself in are wonderful friendship moments, which I really enjoyed. Okay, I admit it. Jackson and what goes on in this story tugs at my heartstrings and while at times it didn’t look like it would happen, I’m glad Jackson and Raphael got their happily-ever-after in the end. Look for the last release in the series, coming soon.

Murphy’s Madness

Title: Murphy’s Madness
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-393-X         
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Murphy has had to pack up and leave in the dead of the night once before and now it looks like he has no choice but to do it again. 

Murphy’s Madness is the fifteenth book in the Brac Pack series, and like the last story, revolves around two characters the readers have met previously.  The first is Murphy, owner of the mates' favorite bookstore.  In this novella, we learn that Murphy is also a writer, who happens to have a stalker.  The stalker aspect plays heavily in the story and causes Murphy more than a few headaches.  The second character is Ludo, one of Maverick’s sentries, whom readers’ may remember was falsely accused of inappropriate behavior towards another’s mate.  Even with the misunderstanding cleared up, this incident still affects Ludo’s life. 

The author gives the men more than their fair share of problems as Murphy has many issues to overcome.  There is no denying that the men have a strong chemistry between them. However, the stalker subplot, or I should say the wolves’ reaction to the stalker, caused some issues for me.  Throughout the series, one of the main underlying aspects has always been each wolf’s desire to do anything for his mate.  Their number one priority, once they found their mate, becomes the happiness, well being and safety of their mate.  For me, that seemed to fall by the wayside in this story.  Does Ludo love Murphy and want to do anything to make sure his mate is well cared for?  Yes, but the sentry jumps straight to the conclusion that Murphy’s stalker is a figment of his imagination and starts thinking of medical ways to cure him.  Maverick and the other wolves are no different and, if not for the quick work of the mates, there is no telling what could have happened to the newest addition to the pack.  Some may say that Murphy, at times, began to question his sanity as no one else seemed to see Maribel, but that, for me, was a non-issue as Ludo should have done a better job stepping up to the plate.  I did like the fact that Murphy did not automatically forgive Ludo. In fact, Murphy had to work towards finding the forgiveness his wolf so badly wanted before their relationship could start over. 

While I did have some issues with the wolves’ behavior, and I understand these things may not bother anyone else, I still found this to be an entertaining read and can’t wait to see what comes next.

Fire and Ash

Title: Fire and Ash
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
ISBN: 1-61034-538-X
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Tired of the fighting among the younger members of the paranormal community, the elders come up with a plan to stop it. At a toast during a meeting of the UPAC Conference, a spiked drink ensures everyone seeks out a mate, but they must be from another species and the mating must be registered within twenty-four hours or else. 

Zaiden isn’t happy with the elders plan and is trying to escape from the chaos when he meets Asher, who’s trying to do the same thing. When they get to the building’s main entrance, they get turned away and before they know it, they’re mated. Asher might not be thrilled but he’s willing to commit to a life with Zaiden, which means moving to Tennessee. Originally, Asher isn’t in love with Zaiden but he definitely likes him. The problem is that someone else likes his mate too, and is willing to do just about anything to get rid of the competition. Asher. 

Fire and Ash is the third release in the Midnight Matings series, this one by Gabrielle Evans and it can be read as a standalone. 

I liked Ms. Evan’s creative pairing of Zaiden and Asher and how cute is it that Ash – Asher - is a phoenix shifter…it’s a great play on words. I don’t know why but a phoenix shape-shifter is rare in paranormal fiction, at least what I’ve come across, so I was thrilled when I discovered his race. The background information on him is well placed within the story, as are the facts surroundings Zaiden’s painful past. The personalities of both men are unique and well developed, their reactions to the elders expected and the struggles they have to overcome to become a couple realistically portrayed.  The mystery of who is stalking Zaiden is a great addition to the story and while I had some idea of who the villain’ was, the revelation of the true identity at the fast-paced ending was a surprise. Enjoy.

Carnal Learning

Title: Carnal Learning
Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-55487-894-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Oliver Jenkins is standing outside of the Montreal church, checking his e-mails yet again, hoping for a response from his boyfriend in Toronto.  Oliver’s mother pleaded with him to move in with her and her soon-to-be-husband.  Now Oliver fears his decision to make his mother happy will also break up his relationship.  Meeting the groom’s son, Andre Demers, at the wedding soon has Oliver forgetting all about Toronto. 

Carnal Learning is a well written story of sexual discovery, interwoven with a touch of emotional turmoil and a dash of humor.  The intimacy scenes are sensual.  The characters are believable.  Oliver is a shy computer geek.  His desire to always please everyone causes his cheating ex-boyfriend to take him for granted, expecting Oliver to overlook his bad behavior.  He has limited experience with boyfriends, which distorts his emotional judgment.  Oliver believes he is in love with the boyfriend, only to realize they were merely friends with benefits.  Nights spent in Andre’s bed taught Oliver what is possible in a true committed relationship. 

Andre has had many casual affairs, while traveling around Canada. However, his main focus is to find a career that will make him happy.  Falling in love with Oliver is an unexpected surprise for Andre.  Oliver and Andre are similar in their beliefs of love and keeping promises.   D. J. Manly has created a tantalizing happy ever after saga that I greatly enjoyed.

Summer

Title: Summer
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-560-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Serial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Moving to Chicago hasn’t been easy for Nash but he’s finally made friends with the guys at the garage where he works. It’s meant going back into the closet but with Sidney working long hours overseeing the construction of his new building, it doesn’t make sense to reveal their relationship to his co-workers. Sidney is having his own problems at the job site and the strain of their mutual unhappiness causes hurt and misunderstandings. When Sidney is offered a job opportunity that could make his career, will he decide to uproot Nash from the life they’re building together, or will he sacrifice his job with the prestigious architectural firm for the man he loves? 

Summer is the second release in Carol Lynne’s four-part serial Seasons of Love and due to the continuing storyline, the books should be read in order.  

It was nice seeing how Ms. Lynne developed Nash and Sidney’s relationship, growing it stronger as they matured, despite their misunderstandings and conflicts. I’m glad to see they had real human, every day problems that everyone can relate to…jobs, friends and how personal choices can affect your significant other. All these things made the personalities of these interesting men come alive for me, making me want to know more about what’s going to happen to them in the future.

While Sidney is a sweetheart, there’s just something about Nash and his unselfishness that really appeals to me. He’s so steadfast, calm and loving…you just have to like him. Add in a couple of intriguing secondary characters, Luke and Butch (who I’d like to see a story about later on), and there’s all the components needed for a story that I’ll be reading again in the future. Look for the next release, Fall, at Halloween. Read and enjoy.

Nicholas’s Wolf

Title: Nicholas’s Wolf
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-391-3         
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Even at thirty, Nicholas is still living under his father’s thumb.  It’s reached the point where he can no longer continue so when he meets Jason, he’s bound and determined to keep the man and start living the life he has always wanted. 

Readers may remember Nicholas from his first introduction to the pack a few stories back.  In Nicholas’s Wolf, the author pairs him up with Jason, a recent transfer to the Brac Pack.  The manner in which she reintroduces the doctor to the pack is sure to cause a few laughs, as the wolves reaction to Melonee’s chicken pox is hilarious.  The moment when Jason meets the doctor, and the following scenes between the two, will hold the readers attention with the intensity that the author brings across.

The men’s relationship, with all its chemistry and conflict, is entertaining and fun to read, yet I also loved the ongoing secondary plots that are woven throughout the Brac Pack series.  In the last story, we found out who the rogues were after.  In this one we learn, at least in part, why.  As this, the fourteenth addition, came to a close, I could not help wondering just what else the author still plans to throw at the pack of wolves.

Bear Like Me

Title: Bear Like Me
Author: Jonathan Cohen
Publisher: Bear Bones Books
ISBN: 978-1-59021-196-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Peter Mallory, a journalist for Phag, a gay magazine, has to find a way to make a living after being fired. When his best friend suggests writing a book about the bear community, Peter goes undercover as a bear. 

Bear Like Me is a wonderful, as well as amusing, romantic comedy, illustrating the multiple levels of the gay community and Peter’s journey to finding a bear-style true love with Ben.   Bears are considered outcasts in the mainstream gay community because of their weight, body hair or general misfit nature.  However, in the bear community, these men would be revered for the physical attributes that most of society rejected.  The characters are believable.  Before Peter can go undercover, he must undergo a few changes in appearance, as well as an attitude adjustment.  He experiences prejudice first hand, simply by gaining a few pounds, along with changing his attire to emulate lumber jacks or construction workers.  Peter is confronted with the same discrimination exhibited by the general public towards anyone not fitting into their politically correct image.  Peter also discovered the secretive bear culture had code words to expose bear imitators.  Ben is a big gentle guy, who courts Peter with love notes and flowers.  Ben openly expresses his love for Peter, standing by Peter’s side when the bear society discards Peter for his deception.  It is Ben, along with a few friends who encourage Peter to write his book.  Jonathan Cohen has created an impressive story that I found exceptionally informative and enjoyable.