Friday, July 15, 2011

Call and Answer

Title: Call and Answer
Author: Val Kovalin
Publisher: Amber Allure

ISBN: 978-1-61124-083-2
Genre: {M/M} Nostalgic Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Interracial
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Scandalous Minx
 

For Henri Broussard, life is just beginning.  He didn’t anticipate encountering a man who makes him ache for sex or who could thoroughly awaken his passionate nature.  That’s just what he finds in Gabriel.   

To most, Gabriel appears to be a handsome black musician but to those who are aware of his true nature, Gabriel is known to be a very old and powerful alligator shape-shifter.  When Gabriel shows Henri the truth, will he run away or will he embrace the important role he is to play during Gabriel’s season? 

Val Kovalin is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.  This talented writer has brought us characters with depth, beautiful settings and life lessons in this wonderfully told tale.  Henri and Gabriel’s attraction is mutual and instantaneous.  There was no doubt that they would become lovers, but there was an uncertainty of how close they would allow the other to get. 

The plot is simple but thanks to the complex characters, it doesn’t feel as if it’s a story I’ve read before.  The imagery of Gabriel’s shifting took my breath away.  I could imagine his body gliding through the bayou, and only wished I was there in person to see in myself.  With a touch of suspense, drama, and action the story is complete and entertaining.  It truly drew me in from the opening lines.

Ms. Kovalin leaves the ending open, which I hope means there will be at least one future story for the two men.  I, for one, will be the first in line to read more about this couple.  Those who enjoy paranormal tales will enjoy reading Call and Answer.

Iron Seduction

Title: Iron Seduction
Author: J.K. Coi
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 9781419934919
Genre: {M/F} Futuristic, Science Fiction
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rogue Satyr 

The deposed Chinese Empress Cixi has unleashed strange stone and clay ancient warriors upon Beijing in an attempt to regain her throne. Standing in her way is her old enemy- the British Military Consultant Lady Jane.  With Lady Jane is Jian Danzen, better known as ‘Dance’. Dance is a sexy, experienced warrior that feels indebted to Jane for saving his life and has appointed himself as Jane’s bodyguard. 

After an unbridled night of passion a few months ago, something Jane now regrets, the sexual tension between them is high. But Jane can’t let that interfere with their attempt to thwart their old foe. But as they climb to the Great Wall to fill the breach the unnatural warriors have made, will they let their passion for each other re-emerge and let the distraction allow the tyrannical Cixi destroy China? 

Iron Seduction is a well written and erotic adventure set in an alternate early 20th century China. It is witty at the right times and the chemistry between the characters were strong and steamy. The plot was strong and captivating. While I enjoyed the science fiction and mystical aspects of the story, the official blurb calls it steampunk, a definition I disagree with as the steampunk aspects were very light or even non-existent. If you are a steampunk fan, you may be disappointed.

The Peacemaker

Title: The Peacemaker
Author: Jianne Carlo
Publisher: Etopia Press
ISBN: 978-1-936751-34-1
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Bettina is the type of woman who prefers hunting for food rather than wearing feminine attire.  However, times are changing and she is forced to change with them.  If Bettina wants to successfully return her keep to more prosperous times and keep her mother safe, she has to get married.  The butterfly flutters she feels when looking at her future husband, Njal, comes as a shock to Bettina.  Sacrificing her body is one thing, but giving up her freedom could be more than Bettina can bear. 

Njal the Peacemaker isn’t looking forward to his alliance with Bettina, especially after their first meeting.  She isn’t exactly his idea of what a wife should be.  Njal quickly changes his tune on their second meeting and can barely keep his hands to himself before the nuptials are done.  Earning her trust and taming Bettina isn’t an easy task, but Njal is the perfect Viking for the challenge. 

Bettina has a fearless, passionate nature that readers will enjoy.  Her moments of bluntness made me chuckle out loud and even blush at times.  Njal’s patience is pushed to the limits several times, and it is during these times that I adore him the most. Bettina and Njal complete each other and my heart rejoiced when their union turned out better than even I expected.  The Peacemaker is the third story of the Viking Warrior series and another outstanding job by Jianne Carlo.  I admire the fact that her characters always have more depth to them than it seems at first. It’s like unwrapping a mystery gift.  If you appreciate a historical romance that transports you into the pages, then this is a story you must pick up today.

Son of a Ditch

Title: Son of a Ditch
Author: William Neale
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-392-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

At the end of an eight year tour of duty with the Air Force, along with a break up with his live in boyfriend, Colby Dawson decides to return to his hometown and fulfill his career dreams on his own terms.  However, Colby never dreamed that renewing his friendship with Kyle McCoy would lead to a loving lifetime relationship.  

Son of a Ditch is book two of the Home series.  The well written exciting plot demonstrate heartwarming emotion, political corruption, family turmoil and hidden sexuality issues.   In particular, the storyline exhibits that sexuality is not the sum total of a person, merely a part of the mind, body and soul that is mankind’s humanity.  The setting is towns in East Tennessee.  The characters are believable, as well as well matched in personality.  Colby is the youngest son in an affluent family.  He is intelligent, hardworking and compassionate.  Out of the four Dawson sons, Colby is most like their stubborn father when it comes to Colby’s future.  Colby refuses to live at home, as well as allow his parents to pay for his delayed college education.  Nevertheless, when Colby’s sexuality is revealed, his loving parents fully supported Colby’s choice in a partner.   

Kyle is a local deputy sheriff; he is expected to run for sheriff when his father retires.  Because of this public office, Kyle has kept his sexuality hidden from his father, or so he thought.  Kyle is surprised to learn that his father and the Dawson family not only accept his relationship with Colby but are proud of both of them. 

The drama scenario is an interesting twist of racism.  The governor, who is black, is jealous of Moorestown’s mayor, who is also black, in addition to being fully supported by the white residents.  In his quest to demean the mayor in the political arena, the governor unwittingly draws attention to his own history of dirty dealings.   William Neale has created a captivating and thoroughly enjoyable saga.

Rhiannon

Title: Rhiannon
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 9781419931949
Genre: {M/F} Historical; Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx 

Rhiannon, the dark haired daughter of a Welsh prince, has an uncanny mixture of shyness and wildness in her.  She loves her home in the mountains and the linage of the women in her family.  This is because the women refuse to fall in love with men - they only use them to bear a female child to carry on the line.  Rhiannon’s only fear is that Simon will try to control her, but what she doesn’t know is that his mother controls her lands too. 

Simon is the youngest son of Lord Ian and Lady Alinor of Roselynde, and he’s left a trail of women throughout the realm behind him.  He has fallen into the role of messenger for both England and Ireland.  The time comes for him to visit his overlord, Prince Llewelyn, and as he walking into the keep, he spies Rhiannon.  Knowing in his heart that she is the woman he will marry, he begins to woo her and the results are definitely more than expected.   

Rhiannon is the fifth book in The Roselynde Chronicles, and it’s just as appealing as the first four books.  I thought I would become bored while reading about the Roselynde clan and instead, I am inspired by the love, loyalty and trust among them.   Ms. Gellis continues to be a delightful writer, who expands the imagination of the reader. 

I think that Rhiannon’s behavior is typical of the women in Wales, because they are so much freer than the English women.  She had me puzzled with her denial of Simon’s affection, and then I begin to understand better as I continued to read.   

Simon truly is a tenderhearted man and I respected him more when he made it clear his involvement in the relationships he briefly formed.  His determination to love only the woman he would marry showed that his loyalty held fast and I think his upbringing had a lot to do with it. 

I am looking forward to reading the last book in The Roselynde Chronicles series, and to see what the last story will reveal.  Read and enjoy.

Honor Bound

Title: Honor Bound
Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-612-2
Genre: {M/M} Historical Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

As the chieftain of his clan, Jarl Radulfr is a warrior and is responsible for protecting and fighting for his people. When the clan is attacked without provocation, causing the death of several members, he demands compensation and finally agrees to take a bride as a peace-pledge to avoid a clan war. What he doesn’t know is that the bride…Ein… is a man and as a warrior of honor, Radulfr can’t refuse to claim Ein…since he’s made a pledge.  It doesn’t hurt that Ein is the most striking man he’s ever seen either.  They soon leave for home but there are Gods and men determined to see that they never arrive. It’s going to take all the strength of their growing bond, along with their wits and cunning, to stay alive long enough to reach their destination. 

Honor Bound is the first release in Stormy Glenn’s newest series, Viking Lore, and since Vikings are so infrequently the subject in an M/M storyline, the blurb for this one intrigued me. Then I read the story and discovered the author had woven in Gods, legends, berserkers and even ghosts and I was hooked. Take it from me, there are more than enough twists and turns within this well plotted and paced story to keep a reader’s interest until the abrupt ending, which I expect gets carried over into the next release. 

Radulfr and Ein are polar opposites…not only in size but the way they were raised, abilities, outlook…almost everything. Yet, each in their own way, is honorable, strong and protective, wanting to do the right thing. Some might say Ein was too girly but being raised in a fairly closed religious community didn’t exactly make him into a warrior. So I wasn’t surprised by his meekness but his ability to change and adapt under the duress of their trip home showed that Ein would be a good mate to Radulfr. 

Now I need to say a little about the numerous Norse words included. Most are readily obvious like the word faðir for father, but there are others such as warg that I hadn’t have a reference to, making them a little confusing initially. It might have been better to have included a short glossary for those readers in need of assistance. I look forward to the next release in this new and interesting series.

Vet Found

Title: Vet Found
Author:  Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-564-9  
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Watching Randall with his new mate, Cameron realizes that the crush he once had on the handsome sheriff has passed.  That does not stop him from wanting what his friends have, however. 

Ms. Flynn’s Hiding Hounds series is one of the funniest shifter series out there.  The author is ignoring the norms of the genre and making up her own rules as she goes along.  For one, her shifters are puppies, which caused a problem for some readers when the first book came out.  For another, instead of the usual biting, these shifters mark their mates by peeing on them, which leads to some hilarious follow-up scenes.  In Vet Found, the second book in the series, Quaid is a sexually hyper golden retriever.  As soon as he sees the vet, he can’t stop himself from peeing on him.  Things become exciting from that point on as Quaid immediately switches back to his human form, begging Cameron for sex. 

Of course, that does not mean things are going to go smoothly for the newest set of mates.  Quaid has big secrets and the abuse he’s already faced makes it hard for him to confide in Cameron.  This, as you would expect, leads to some strong misunderstandings and while Cameron does do some groveling, I think he got off way too easily for the pain he caused.  These two, however, are hot together and the unusal solution the author came up with to help Quaid with his problem gives them plenty of time to heat up the pages. 

There is still the issue of curing the puppy pack of parvo and cleaning up after the former Alpha.  While Cameron is working hard on the first problem, The Council sends re-enforcements to help with the second.  This leads to an influx of new characters into the series, opening the door for several new additions to entertain the readers.

Bound and Determined

Title:  Bound and Determined
Author:  Sierra Cartwright
Publisher:  Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-556-6
Genre:  {M/F/M}, BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Sinead is on tour and gets waylaid by Jack.  Jack has been e-mailing and calling her with a marriage proposition and Sinead won’t give him the time of day since Jack is a Quinn, the clan Sinead’s clan has been feuding with for hundreds of years. 

I enjoyed reading this book.  Bound and Determined shows just how determined Jack is about getting Sinead to marry him to bring their clans together.  I do think that this could have bordered on stalking if Sinead had really wanted to pursue this particular issue. The author also showcased how family feuds seem to get in the way of relationships, especially when the families involved hand down the stories, generation after generation.  In some ways Jack acted just like his ancestor that started the whole feud in the first place.  I did have to laugh at some of the antics Sinead pulled and loved the sayings on Sinead’s T-shirts, which seemed to annoy Jack to no end.   

Definitely keep ice on hand as the scenes between Sinead, Jack and later Logan, are very intense and hot.  Logan is Jack’s butler/slave and is usually included in some of Jack’s BDSM scenes. Sinead has always wanted a strong man that would explore her fantasies about BDSM, but had never found one.  Jack is having difficulty controlling himself, something he has not had a problem with in the past, causing him to be both patient and impatient when teaching her. Those that love BDSM stories will want to add this one to the bookshelf.

Cipher

Title: Cipher
Author: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60928-523-4
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal/Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Some might consider Kat Gabriel’s empathic ability a gift, but she learned during a vicious attack that it was an unwelcome gift that could end life. Now, over a year later, she’s still haunted by the deaths of those she killed and the loss of the long friendship she shared with Andrew Callaghan. Using her power might have saved their lives but it wasn’t in time to keep him from being turned into a werewolf.  

The attack has affected them both deeply. Andrew works to become strong so that one day he can protect her, while Kat seeks to discover what happened to her mother and to understand her family’s psychic legacy. Unfortunately Kat’s search leads them both into more danger than she and Andrew expected, threatening their control, growing love and their very lives.  

Cipher is the fourth and latest release in Moira Rogers’ Southern Arcana series and begins a few months after the last book left off.  

The author has created two interesting personalities in Kat and Andrew but due to circumstances, both are deeply troubled and wounded. Their attraction is obvious immediately; it simmers below the surface but for a great deal of the story, fear and angst is allowed to control their actions.  Their emotional pain is so intense that at times it nearly vibrates off the page but it also goes on for so long that it became exhausting. For the characters yes, but for me too…I wanted that part of the story over and for it to move on. 

When Andrew and Kat get together, it’s sweet, sexy and endearing as they try to find a safe way through the minefield of danger. But after the long periods of fear, with a little help and explanations from a few friends it was almost too easy for Kat to learn what she needed, so the quick resolution didn’t seem to fit with all the previous build up and anxiety. 

The action packed scenes are well scripted and believable, pulling characters in from previous releases, giving a good view on how everyone interacts. Here you’ll also find kidnapping, violence, death, and pain. These are the best portions of the story and they lead into an emotionally satisfying ending for Kat and Andrew.

Salad on the Side

Title: Salad on the Side
Author: Karenna Colcroft
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-355-0
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Kyle Slidell is invited to a neighborhood party, hosted by Tobias Rogan.  Openly gay, Kyle has had a crush on Tobias for months.  The party sends a signal to Kyle that Tobias is also interested.  However, things take a downward turn when a day later, Kyle must survive an attack by a werewolf and discovers Tobias is the Alpha of the North Boston pack. 

Salad on the Side is a unique, humorous romantic exploration.  The emphasis of the plot is how to be a socially correct Alpha, living in a homophobic werewolf community.  The characters are creditable.  Kyle is a computer geek who moved to Boston three months ago for a promotion.  He spends long hours at his job and has not had the opportunity to meet anyone other than a few neighbors.  Kyle is obstinate and outspoken with a take charge personality.  These traits make Kyle a perfect candidate for an Alpha’s mate.  However, Kyle’s new wolf side is not thrilled with the lack of meat in Kyle’s diet.   

Tobias is a people pleaser; he believes in fair treatment, as well as free will, which cause problems for his position as Alpha considering Tobias is younger than most of his pack members.  Tobias tries to resist claiming Kyle but his wolf side refused to wait any longer.  The intimate scenes are sensual; one scene involving dessert topping and a play on words I found particularly amusing. At first glance, Tobias appears to be weak.  However, as the story unfolds, Tobias exhibits a powerful personality that is well controlled.  The secondary characters add all the drama by constantly repeating pack law, in addition to the attempts by some to permanently remove Kyle.  Several of these characters inspired me to wish someone would bite them. Karenna Colcroft has created an impressive saga that I very much enjoyed.

A Strength of Arms

Title:  A Strength of Arms
Author:  Danica St. Como
Publisher:  Noble Romance
Publisher URL:  www.nobleromance.com
ISBN: 978-1-60592-316-1
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Ménage, Contemporary, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Lorelei is looking for a mole, in addition to getting a flash drive to a contact, in the State Department.  Someone tries to kill her but Lucian and Adam end up saving her life. 

A Strength of Arms is a very fast paced interesting story that kept my attention all the way through.  In fact, I could not put it down.  Lucian and Adam are retired Marines that have created a sanctuary for themselves.  Lorelei hits both men between the eyes, leaving them a little confused because both want her forever.  This book showcased some of the problems that people in highly classified jobs have when dealing with someone not directly involved in the same kind of work force.  The mistrust that abounds is so true.  It was fun watching how they learn to rely on each other.

The chemistry between the three is hot, so keep ice on hand.  All three learn to deal with some unfamiliar feelings.  Though some of the suspense is solved, there are some more immediate questions that need to be answered about who and why someone is selling secrets.  The author left enough of these questions open that I cannot wait for the next book in The Men of Sanctuary series.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chasin’ Eight

Title: Chasin’ Eight
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN:  978-1-60928-491-6
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Bull rider Chase McKay isn’t doing well on the PBR tour. Life get worse when he’s caught with two naked women, getting him suspended, which makes him determined to get his act together.  He calls his cousin Kane, swears off sex for a month and heads home to relearn how to ride bulls.  What he finds on arriving at Kane’s trailer is a surprise. Ava Cooper, an actress friend of Kane’s wife, is hiding out from the paparazzi.  

Agreeing sex is a complication they don’t want, Chase and Ava set off on a road trip, determined Chase gets the bull riding practice he needs. Despite strong convictions, it’s not long before love and jealousy finds them sharing a bed. When Chase’s identity is discovered, he and Ava leave the rodeo circuit and head to New York but their relationship is exposed by the press. After arguing over a misunderstanding, Chase storms out in anger, returning to the PBR tour. Can they find their way back to each other or are they destined to stay in their different worlds?.  

Chasin’ Eight is the eleventh release in Lorelei James popular Rough Riders series and it’s another keeper. While the other McKay family members don’t play huge roles in this one, enough happens, including an unexpected shocking twist (I can’t wait to see what happens with this one) near the end that I’d recommend reading them in order. 

Chase is full of personality flaws and could easily have turned into an unlikable guy, but Ms. James worked her creative magic, turning him from a man who’d reached rock bottom to one worthy of being given a second chance. The chemistry between him and Ava is blistering, and I have to say Ms. James did a wonderful job making them into friends before they became lovers. Getting acquainted with them on an emotional level…on learning their fears, aspirations and what made them tick first …made them more real to me.

The story is action packed from the beginning, is well written and plotted and is filled with old and new characters the readers can care about. The dialogue is snappy, the descriptions of the rodeo world and its dangers are vivid and the storyline is overflowing with realism and emotion. Yes on the outside Chase and Ava are as different as night and day, but Ms. James has taken what’s important to each, blended it together and made a strong relationship based on trust, understanding and love. Chasin’ Eight really has everything a romance needs to make it an entertaining and enjoyable read. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next release Cowboy Casanova.

Yakuza Pride

Title: Yakuza Pride
Author:  H.J. Brues
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-953-9
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Although Ken is an American, the young artist spent many years in Japan as a child.  It only seemed natural to return to the place he loved the most when he needed some time to himself.  Ken never expected to meet, and fall for, someone like Shigure and soon he has more to worry about than ever. 

I absolutely loved Yakuza Pride.  The reader will find themselves drawn in by both the strongly written characters and the outstanding story line.  Ken has a lot of issues to overcome.  His powerful family has more or less disowned him for being gay and his sudden interest in Shigure throws him into a subculture that still looks down on gaijins.  Shigure saw the Yakuza as a way to rise above his meager standing in life.  Now, as an underboss, he has more power than he ever thought would come his way.  Shigure’s life, however, is heavily entrenched in honor and tradition and while Japan may not frown on same sex relationships, the same can not be said for the Yakuza. 

The attraction between Ken and Shigure is intense from the beginning, yet Ken’s need to love and be loved and Shigure’s pride causes more conflict for the men than Shigure’s position within the Yakuza.  The feelings the men are dealing with, every thing from attraction and lust to fear, come across believably, especially when it comes to Shigure, who is looking at the total destruction of his belief system.  They don’t only have to come to terms with their growing feelings for each other but, also the interference of outside forces.  It soon becomes clear that someone is up to no good and while it does not take long for the reader to narrow down the field of culprits, the author keeps the guessing game up for some time without boring the reader by giving the game away.  Readers should know that, while the author does not go into graphic detail, there are some torture scenes that may be a little difficult for some to read. 

I loved the way in which the author wraps Yakuza Pride up.  The moments of humor that can be found at the end of the story is a perfect counter balance to the much heavier scenes found earlier in the book.  If you have not yet given this author a try, Yakuza Pride would be an excellent first choice.

Enforcer Seduced

Title: Enforcer Seduced
Author:  Elizabeth Lapthorne
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN:  9781419932205
Genre:   {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

A dangerous drug is on the streets and a team of Enforcers, along with police officers, are trying to find the drug ring.  Sage’s magical ability can let her blend into her surroundings.  Chase is an undercover officer that has been teamed up with Sage.  Both are surprised by their attraction. 

I loved reading Enforcer Seduced.  This third addition to the Urban Seductions series has some very light-hearted moments between Chase and Sage.  One thing the author did stress, and this is so true, when you are working undercover, you have to keep distractions to a minimum.  While Chase and Sage were blindsided by their attractions, they had to fight to keep on task because of the strength of the chemistry between them.  In addition, both questioned their attraction to a “human” and a “person with magic”.  Some of the secondary characters will be fun to find out about in the future. 

The author showcased some of the problems facing law enforcement when they are tracking down drug rings.  It is a very dangerous proposition, which can cause injury and even death.  Ms. Lapthorne kept you involved in the story as Chase and Sage uncovered the pusher and then later the leader, but left you hanging with a very interesting ending.  I can’t wait to find out how she is going to resolve this issue in future stories.

Arrington's Claim

Title: Arrington's Claim
Author:  Frances Stockton
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: www.jasminejade.com
ISBN: 9781419934339
Genre: {M/F} Shape-shifter Historical Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx  

Nicholas, Duke of Arrington is a widower and doesn’t wish to remarry but when he meets Miss Regan Saunders while visiting friends, he’s ready to change his mind. As the second oldest member of the ancient Panthera race he knows instantly she’s his destined mate. While it should be a time of great joy, due to a woman’s prior betrayal, Nicholas is reluctant to open his heart or share his secrets. It doesn’t help that Regan, an Abcynian Guard, is highly independent and determined to become a doctor, which isn’t appropriate for a female. When a killer strikes down two Guards, Nicholas knows he’ll do anything to keep his mate safe, including marriage. There’s a lot going on but these two soon open their hearts to love, but it’s not long before they learn danger isn’t always from a stranger but sometimes, it’s much closer to home. 

Arrington’s Claim is the fourth release in Frances Stockton’s Panthera series and while it would be helpful to read the others, it can be read as a standalone. 

This one’s a mix of mid-Georgian England, set in 1784, and a look into the lives of the Pantheran shifters and how they fit into the nobility class. I admit I’m not real familiar with this time period in English history but from what I do know, there seems to be some inconsistencies in behavior. I don’t know if that’s a case of literary license or if it’s a result of the characters being of the Panthera race. Whatever the case, know that it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading about the growing relationship of these dynamic people. 

Nicholas and Regan are two strong-willed individuals with unique and interesting personalities, struggling to live within society while guarding their secrets. The author did a nice job creating both their characters, easily making them into people you can care about. Nicholas is not only physically imposing but with his social status, he’s used to getting his way. Regan is a likable young woman and she’s dedicated to those she loves and what she perceives as her calling in life. What I found troubling about her was her stubbornness. Despite knowing Nicholas was her destined mate, she dragged her feet through most of the book, refusing to give up something out of her reach. It was a plot device allowing other things to occur around it but went on far too long, making her a little annoying. 

By the ending scenes the plot speeds up, an old enemy returns and violence strikes. Here is the only time during the story the reader gets a glimpse of any Panthera in their shifted form. It’s a dramatic rescue and a satisfying conclusion that ends with a long awaited happily-ever-after. Enjoy.

Montana’s Vamp

Title: Montana’s Vamp
Author: Lynn Hagen 
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-448-0 
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Montana’s hated vampires from the moment one killed his best friend.  That’s why he can’t understand why fate would give him a vampire for a mate.  However, it doesn’t take long before the big wolf starts craving his little fireball. 

Montana’s Vamp is the newest addition to the Brac Pack series and it is also the story of the last original pack member.  Montana has always worried about finding his mate so when he does meet the man, he is beyond happy, until the other shoe falls.  Gabriele is a half breed vampire who more than lives up to his nickname.  I liked that Gabby was not your usual perfect vampire.  Not only is he little, but he is also diabetic and a little on the chubby side.  That Montana soon finds him to be the perfect mate only made me like the big wolf even more.  Once the two men get the whole vampire thing out of the way, they waste no time heating up the pages.   

The Brac Pack series is not only the starting point for the author’s upcoming Zeus’s Pack series but several more as well.  In Montana’s Vamp, we meet several members of the various spin offs, and I for one can’t wait to see what the author has cooked up with all these interesting characters.

Boystown 3: Two Nick Nowak Novellas

Title: Boystown 3: Two Nick Nowak Novellas
Author: Marshall Thornton
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-236-1
Genre: {M/M} Mystery, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Little Boy Boom -  4 Nymphs
Private Investigator Nick Nowak’s personal life is in chaos.  Nick’s in-the-closet boyfriend Detective Harker has moved in uninvited while Nick is attempting to renew his relationship with his first love, Daniel.  Add to that, someone blew up Nick’s car.  Nick must examine all his former cases to determine who wants him dead.    

Little Boy Tenor -  4 Nymphs
A church choir's star tenor is killed on the doorsteps of his apartment; the prime suspect hires Nick to find the real murderer.  Meanwhile, Earl Silver, the closet boyfriend of Nick’s friend Ross suddenly dies from an unexplained disease.  Nick’s investigations bring about revelations he is not emotionally prepared to deal with.  

Boystown 3: Two Nick Nowak Novellas continues the adventures of Nick’s investigative skills intermingled with his daily routine.  The storyline illustrates that many of the gay men lead a double life because of gay bashing.  The setting is Chicago’s gay community during the 1980’s. Unprotected sex was common before the discovery of Gay Related Immune Deficiency, a deadly collection of diseases associated with the destruction of the immune system.   The characters are convincing.  Nick does not have an exclusive arrangement with his live-in boyfriend Harker so Nick feels free to indulge in any sexual encounters that are offered to him.  

Boystown 3: Two Nick Nowak Novellas highlights the heartbreaking realism of secret lives, crime, as well as the copious factors that could lead to someone’s demise. Marshall Thornton has created a striking and enjoyable saga.

Presidential Heat

Title: Presidential Heat
Author: Faith V. Smith
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publishing URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN: 1-61034-296-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Suspense Vampire Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Kira Jackson’s worked hard to achieve her goal of becoming a Vampire Government Protector and the only thing standing in her way is President Gareth Hayes. As a decorated Marine, Kira’s capable of taking care of herself but the President doesn’t want a woman risking her life for him. Kira knows the instant attraction she feels for the sexy widower isn’t appropriate but it’s not her fault the President is her soul mate. 

Gareth’s attitude changes when terrorists attack him at the White House and Kira quickly finds herself as his bodyguard on the graveyard shift. The danger never stops and the threats keep coming, until Air Force One is targeted with the President aboard. When the plane goes down, Kira shows her strength and ability, but it also reveals to the media how much they mean to each other. To save their reputations, Kira and Gareth are thrown into a fake marriage and when Kira is later attacked and her secret is exposed, Gareth has to decide if he loves her enough to spend eternity with a vampire. 

Presidential Heat is the first book in Faith V. Smith’s new series Vampire Government Protectors. The story has a unique premise, is well written and plotted, has a good flow, and has plenty of twists and turns to keep your attention from beginning to end. The characters of Kira and Gareth are memorable and play well off each other, then the author puts them into realistic, occasionally dangerous situations, intermixed with a growing personal relationship. Add in suspense, terrorists and betrayal and you have all the components needed for an enjoyable, entertaining romance. 

It’s not unusual to have a storyline about protecting the president and there are lots of vampire books on the market but combining the two is a truly unexpected pleasure. The author did a nice job world building, giving an original slant to her vampires, the rules they live by and how they function in daily life.  It’s a fresh look at the vampire race that I really appreciated and I look forward to the next release in the series.