Friday, August 5, 2011

Quick to the Hunt

Title: Quick to the Hunt
Author: Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-60737-996-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Western, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

After losing friends on tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hunter Tennison comes home from the Army, emotionally and physically wounded. He can’t let anyone get close to him and uses the pain from self-inflicted injuries to keep his chaotic, raw emotions from overwhelming him.   

Businessman Alexander Quick is always practical and rational until the first time he looks into Hunter’s haunted eyes. He tells himself not to get involved, but knowing he can’t control the outcome doesn’t lessen how much he wants the emotionally damaged ex-soldier. When Alex’s best friend/mentor dies, he realizes how empty his life is and Alex’s determined to do whatever’s necessary to help Hunter overcome his demons. The question is whether Hunter can heal enough that they can share a life together. 

Quick to the Hunt is release seven in Cameron Dane’s Hawkins Ranch series. It’s a well-written story with a deeply disturbing plot that left me emotionally exhausted at the end. The premise of Hunter’s disorder was not only original but unexpected in a returning soldier. It’s not often that you find an author willing to tackle such a tough PTSD topic but Ms. Dane did and she did it with creative flair, sensitivity and grit. It’s also pretty clear from the details that the author did a great deal of research before beginning. Good job Ms. Dane. 

Despite being horribly damaged, Hunter’s an intriguing character and watching him try to hold his life together when it could easily shatter into a million pieces was painful. His attitudes and reactions affected all those around him, often detrimentally…and then there’s the sex. With his mental status Hunter doesn’t know how to do anything with tenderness and his coupling with Alex, while consensual, is aggressive and violent. Add these things together and there are parts of the story that are difficult to read. I admit it. While both men are compelling, it took me days to get through the pages of Quick to the Hunt. The ending is just as tough as Hunter finally agrees to go through the counseling he needs, enabling him and Alex to have a happily-ever-after that works for them. 

Then there are the many well loved characters from numerous previous releases. It was nice seeing them and learning what was happening in their lives. There are also a few new people in town that I bet we’re going to be seeing more of in the future. I for one can never get enough of the people of Quinten and I can’t wait for the next release. 

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, self-injury, spanking.

Spin Out

Title: Spin Out
Author: James Buchanan
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-393-2
Genre: {M/M} Suspense, Sequel
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Deputy Joe Peterson has three major dilemmas to contend with at the same time. He is in a relationship with ex-con Kabe Varghese.  He is in the middle of searching for the killer of a local boy and he is in jeopardy of losing his job. 

Spin Out is the sequel to Hard Fall.  The setting is a small town in Utah; most of the residents are Latter Day Saints. The plot illustrates the influence prejudice has on the character’s psychological state.  When the community discovered Joe is gay, he was excommunicated from the church.  Some of the people refuse to even acknowledge Joe when they see him in public.  The plot has an element of mystery, with Joe conducting a murder investigation of a young man first reported missing.  Joe and Kabe found the victim while they were out deer hunting.  The plot details crime solving procedures including building a profile of the victim and highlighting the personalities of others involved in the case.  More suspense is added with a formal hearing by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council to address the issue of Joe engaged in a sexual relationship with Kabe and did so knowing that Kabe was on probation at the time.  Although under the guise of standard legal procedures, the hearing clearly exhibits a homophobic overtone. 

The detailed characters are believable.  Living in a small town ruled by religious bigotry it is easy to understand why Joe chose to hide his sexuality.  At the time Kabe came into his life, Joe was lonely, as well as at the end of his emotional rope.  Being in a relationship with Kabe helped Joe find purpose in his life again.  Kabe has a chip on his shoulder, as a result of making poor choices in the past that landed him in jail for two years. Kabe’s relationship with Joe has had a positive influence on his personality as well as his outlook for the future.  In Kabe’s mind, Joe is the best thing that ever happened to him.  

James Buchanan has created an excellent saga I found extremely captivating. I particularly enjoyed the focus on the legitimate points of discrimination the state’s legal system so conveniently disregarded.

Mummy Dearest

Title: Mummy Dearest
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60928-536-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Professor Drew Lawson is running out of time. He’s expected at a party hosted by his lover’s mother, meaning he only has twenty-four hours to authenticate the remains of Princess Merneith, a mummy kept in a small town museum. If Drew doesn’t make it home on time, he can kiss his rocky relationship good-bye. The problem is he has an assertive but good-looking documentary TV host, Fraser Fortune, getting in his way.  

They strike a deal and Drew agrees to allow Fraser to tape him as he examines the mummy, trying to decipher her secrets. And what about the supposed curse? With no time to waste, Drew gets to work, but being close to Fraser has Drew’s libido on overdrive, making him realize his unstable relationship is in more trouble than he thought. Soon he and Fraser are jumping into bed with each other, and later chasing a guy dressed up in a mummy outfit. Its Halloween…what’s going on and who’s behind it? 

Mummy Dearest is the first release in the new series XOXO Files that’s virtually guaranteed to become another keeper. I admit it. Josh Lanyon’s a favorite of mine and then when you add a plotline that contains a mummy, I’m all over wanting to read it.  

People have been fascinated by mummies, their ancient civilizations and curses for generations, so using them as a backbone for this story is a great idea. The premise is placed within a well written, fast paced plot that’s filled with interesting characters in Drew and Fraser, a unique museum locale, some strange goings-on, a supposed curse and plenty of fun, snappy dialogue. Add in some undeniable attraction and sizzling passion and you’ve got everything needed for a release that keeps a reader’s attention from beginning to end. Mr. Lanyon even threw in a jerk ex-lover of Drew’s to fill a little of a villain role and there’s someone shifty running around at the museum too, for some suspense and mystery. Put it all together and you’ve got an entertaining read that I’ll be enjoying again in the future.

Sybelle

Title: Sybelle
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 9781419931987
Genre: {M/F} Historical, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx 

Here we have Sybelle, the granddaughter of Lady Alinor.  She is an amber-eyed, tempterous beauty, who has been trained from birth to shoulder the responsibilities of the Roselynde family inheritance.   

While the Roselynde clan is making an effort to stay out of the war being instigated by the King of England, Sybelle is bombarded with suitors for her hand in marriage.  That is until she meets Walter de Clare, a man who feels she would make a perfect wife for him.  Sybelle is not sure that her feelings for Walter are love, although she is willing to spend more time with him to find out. 

Walter de Clare, a knight who rebels against King Henry III for listening to ministers who only have their best interest ahead of the people.  He finds himself caught up in the middle of a war that should not have happened and spends more time trying to keep his family crest from being seen by the enemy.  While avoiding the King, he’s decided on spending as much time courting Sybelle as possible.   

Sybelle is the sixth book in the Roselynde Chronicles and I very much enjoyed it, as much as the first five books.  There is two marriages performed within these pages and I tell you, just getting to the place that held the services seemed difficult for all parties concerned.  From time to time, I expected an all out fight among the family members because a disagreements over one or two things, but Lady Alinor proved to be the good matriarch that she is and reigned peace over all the discontented.   

This story proved very interesting for the two main characters, Walter and Sybelle, who manage to overcome all the obstacles put in their path.  I just knew Walter would reject Sybelle when he found out the arrangements, regarding Roselynde’s inheritance.  At first, he refused to accept them but as time went on, Walter and Sybelle began to know each other better, he realized that his love was more important than owning property.  

Sybelle is the heroine in this story who always thought of others first instead of herself.  She proved to be quite a young woman, who learned fast and used her knowledge to make life better for all concerned.  Thank you Ms. Gellis for a wonderful series called the Roselynde Chronicles.  Read and enjoy each story in sequence or separately.

Drawn

Title: Drawn
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerepress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-277-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, BDSM, Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Giles’ life revolves around his art studio and the creative process. The result is he doesn’t take care of himself or relate well to others, making many, including some family members, to think he’s crazy.  It’s while escaping a stressful gallery show set-up, a freaked out Giles slams into Harrison, who’s immediately captivated. Harrison’s certain he’s the one to provide the calm Giles needs and to show him life is more than hours spent alone in the studio.  

Convincing Giles is another matter. He likes Harrison and the sex is great but he doesn’t understand that the BDSM lifestyle his lover talks about is anything more than a game. And what about his art? Isn’t the time he’s spending with Harrison interfering with his creativity? Can these two dissimilar men find a way to make a life together or will Giles’ art drive them apart forever? 

Drawn is release eleven in Sean Michael’s Hammer series. It’s a typical ‘protective Dom finding a sub that doesn’t have a clue of what he needs’ story. In this one, it’s art-obsessed Giles who has self-destructive issues and ever-patient Harrison, determined to show his new lover what he needs to find a calm center. Both men are interesting, especially Giles and his never-ending need to create…to put paint on canvas. I enjoyed the art world backbone and seeing glimpses into Giles’ creative fixation and the gallery, since it’s a rather uncommon plot setting.  

I liked Harrison’s flexibility in showing his lover the BDSM lifestyle and his willingness to accommodate Giles’ need to be creative. It showed great caring, tenderness and understanding, since Giles had trouble believing BDSM was anything other than a game they were playing. This was a nice unexpected twist. Giles’ mind couldn’t accept the truth of what he felt or saw at the Hammer as real, his mind working in circles, always coming back to the same answer. I expected it to drive me crazy, but surprisingly it didn’t. Instead it left me realizing the depth of Giles’ damage. 

As with all Sean Michael books, there’s sex…and plenty of it. Yes it’s hot and frequent, but in this case, Harrison uses it to focus Giles’ emotions away from self-destruction, trying to emphasize a positive instead of a negative. I wish I’d gotten a feeling of emotional connection on Giles’ part earlier in the story. I’d almost given up hope he was capable of loving someone, other than his sister. 

And speaking of his sister. His twin Marisa is a great secondary character, adding love, caring and support. One disappointment is the other sister, Kath, the doctor. She’s mentioned as someone who Giles fears and is estranged from and I kept expecting her to show up but the plot thread was left dangling, which disappointed me.

Loving Luki Vasquez

Title: Loving Luki Vasquez
Author:  Lou Sylvre
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-914-0
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Mystery
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Sonny is an artist whose medium just happens to be dye and silk threads.  He’s used to being on his own with just the occasional appearance by his nephew, who comes and goes as he sees fit.  When he sees Luki, he is instantly drawn to the dangerous looking man.  Luki has many secrets and, while he is not sure he is ready to share, something about the younger man calls to him. 

Loving Luki Vasquez is a very intense, and sometimes dark, romance/mystery.  The characters are strongly written and, while I found Sonny just as much a mystery in the end as he was in the beginning, I still could not help but be drawn to him.  There is a strong connection between Luki and Sonny but their pasts make getting together difficult.   

The mystery woven into Loving Luki Vasquez is just as compelling as the romance.  There are a lot of twists and turns throughout the story, many I did not see coming, which is something I like when reading mysteries.   

Lou Sylvre is a new author for me. However, after reading Loving Luki Vasquez, I am sure this will not be the last story by this author that I read.

The Catbird Seat

Title: The Catbird Seat
Author: Neil Plakcy
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-404-5
Genre: {M/M} Erotica
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Rashid Washington is doing daily maintenance on the boat he is paid to take care of at Miami Beach Marina, when he notices Bjorn Dahlquist walking his way.  Bjorn is the owner of the recently docked catamaran with its furled yellow sail a few steps away from where Rashid is working.  Minutes after meeting, the two men are indulging in a steamy, get acquainted interlude. 

The Catbird Seat is a quick read that comes from the same world as the novel GayLife.com.  Rashid comes from an affluent black family in Boston.  He hopes to do sailboat racing, much to his family’s dismay.    

Bjorn was a trader on Wall Street until he struck it rich and decided to sail around the islands.  Sharing his secrets with Rashid inspires Bjorn to offer Rashid the opportunity to gain more experience sailing, plus have the added bonus of fringe benefits for them both.  Neil Plakcy has created a fantastic fast read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Captured by the SS

Title:  Captured by the SS
Author:  Gail Starbright
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN:  9781419934926
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Isabel is caught behind enemy lines as she was making her way past the last checkpoint in Germany.  A SS officer is waiting for her and she realizes she has been betrayed. 

In Captured by the SS, America is the only country not under the German Nazi control.  The author did a wonderful job creating her particular society with some very rigid rules.  There were a few surprises as I read the book and she kept up the intensity of the story throughout.  I do not usually like to read books in the first person, but I was riveted by this story. 

A lot of things are so true to life; the interrogation of spies using any means necessary, including drugs in this case, that makes you realize what some of the concentration camps were used for in perfecting drugs.  The fact that the SS Officer claimed her as a war prize/slave for himself reminds me of the some countries now or back in the “Old West”, when prisoners became slaves. 

Taking the fact that Isabel is a prisoner aside, the journey she embarks on is a subtle training of someone that has never been around BDSM, learning about becoming a submissive.  The Officer is so patient with her that you almost forget she is a prisoner.  Keep ice on hand as you read this one as the chemistry between them burns the pages.  This is a book that needs to be on every BDSM lover’s bookshelf and one I will be reading again.

Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost

Title: Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost
Author:  Z.A Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
ISBN: 978-1-61118-412-9
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Fitz has the next year to himself, more or less.  With his mother out of the country, Fitz can just be a normal boy, hopefully one who can soon find a boyfriend.  When Garrett starts paying him some attention, Fitz soaks it up, but then things go wrong and Fitz is left wondering if being normal is even worth it.   

Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost is Z. A. Maxfield’s latest release and, while a fun read, it also drove me a little crazy.  For me, the only solid main character was Fitz.  Fitz has an overbearing mother who goes through husbands like some people go through shoes.  With his mother out of the country for the next year, Fitz is hoping to really find himself and, for the most part, his forms of expression are typical teenager.  Even his reactions to Garrett are normal for someone who is just now experiencing sexual feelings for someone else.  Where I started to become frustrated was when Ari is introduced into the story.   

Ari was, at one time, Fitz’s step-brother.  Now that Ari is a successful forensic accountant, the two have grown apart.  It was easy to see from the beginning that the chemistry between these two was strong.  While it is understandable that they would have reservations about the attraction they felt for each other, I think it dragged on too long.  Fitz spent so much time with Garrett that his relationship with Ari doesn’t really come into play until almost the end of the book. 

This does not necessarily mean that I did not enjoy the story.  The characters are great.  I loved the secondary characters, Julian and Serge, just as much as I did Fitz and Ari.  The ghosts’ story is just heart-wrenching and I hope they plan on sticking around Fitz for some time.  There are also some great scenes in the book and I am sure the lunch time scene with Fitz, Ari, and some of Ari’s co-workers will result in a lot of chuckles.  Fans of this author are sure to love Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost and they should. 

Imposition

Title: Imposition
Author: Juniper Gray
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-262-0
Genre: {M/M} Science Fiction
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Navy Lieutenants Therse Bodan and Genham Drisjic are the only two on the transport cruise ship heading for an uprising on a distant planet.  The trip would be ideal if not for the guilty secrets Therse is suppressing.  Near the end of their journey and with the help of Meitou, a member of the military's secretive elite branch, Therse and Genham are forced to face up to, as well as end, the four year emotional conflict between them.   

Imposition is a friends to lovers story set in a futuristic world.  The interesting plot features a space ship with an artificial intelligence protesting its downgrade in naval status, a love-hate relationship and sensual intimate scenes.  The characters are creditable.  Therse is in-the-closet gay and exceptionally intelligent.  Therse’s dream has always been a position in Navy Command, yet the thought of never seeing Gen again is heartbreaking.  He did not want to be defined or hurt by his sexuality so by hiding it, Therse has created distance between himself and everyone else, particularly Gen, whose rejection would make Therse’s life unbearable. 

Gen is a chronic under-achiever with charisma, self-assurance and stern conviction that would inspire men to follow him anywhere.  Gen employs pranks for the sole purpose of gaining Therse’s attention.  Not only does Gen admire Therse, he is secretly in love with him.  Juniper Gray has created a enjoyable saga although I was a little perplexed regarding the spaceship’s grievance, along with planned agenda.  The storyline seems to stop in a bittersweet limbo rather than end, leaving a opening for more episodes in the future.

Siren Song

Title: Siren Song
Author: Stephanie Draven
Publisher: Mills & Boon
ISBN: 1426880162
Genre: {M/F} Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

Chloe Karras has always known the power of her voice. Nothing beats the feeling of standing on that stage and seeing every single person in the audience, transfixed on her. So to see one man in a sea of adoring fans seemingly unaffected by her rock star charms, Chloe is intrigued. 

Alex Shore knows exactly who, and what, Chloe is. She may think she’s going home with the handsome naval officer tonight, but Alex has firsthand experience with the havoc a siren can wreak. He’s not interested in hearing her story, he just wants her gone so that the people he vowed to protect are safe from her powers and he can finally shake the seductive lure that she wrings out of him every time she sings. 

I really enjoyed reading Siren Song. The chemistry between Chloe and Alex was electric and there was a deliciously unpredictable tension going on throughout their story. Alex’s past is tragic and explains his attitude towards Chloe but all is not what it seems with the rock star. Chloe’s good heart and hidden pain made me very protective of her. I wanted them to find comfort in each other but must admit to wanting Alex to suffer a little for jumping to awful conclusions about her. I was completely drawn into the fantastical world of sirens and the power they have over men and would recommend Siren Song to all.

Jasper

Title: Jasper
Author:  Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-291-X
Genre: {M/M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Jasper has finally left his pack to join up with his new mate, Zeus.  He knows the transition will be hard but didn’t think it would be this bad.  To top it off, his wolf seems to think the sexy human working at the local deli belongs to him. 

Jasper is the first story in the Brac Pack spin-off, Zeus’s Pack.  Jasper was one of those characters I liked from the beginning.  He comes across a little over the top at times, yet, watch out because when need be, he’s just as tough as the next warrior.  When he moves to Pride Pack Valley, he doesn’t expect to have such a rough time, especially since he will finally be with his mate.  Zeus, however, is nothing like Jasper’s old Alpha and, just because his mate has finally shown up, doesn’t mean the big man is going to change.  There is such a vast difference between these two, it is understandable that they would find a hard time meshing in the beginning.  Not only are their personalities different, but the fact that their wolves are two different species with their own set of rules means both men have even more compromises to make.  Then the author throws in a third mate that sends both wolves spinning. 

Toby is not only human but also knows nothing of the paranormal world that surrounds him.  I’m glad that the author chose to settle things between Zeus and Jasper before introducing Toby into the relationship because Toby comes with serious trouble on his tail, meaning Jasper and Zeus will have their hands full.   

Jasper was a great start for this series and I can’t wait to be introduced to the rest of Zeus’s Pack over the next few weeks.

Again

Title: Again
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-055-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Six years ago, all of Noah Wheeler’s hopes and dreams were destroyed when he went to the airport to meet his boyfriend, Dante and found him kissing a woman and professing his love. Ending their long-term relationship was hard but Noah still had the birth of his and Dante’s surrogate child and being a father to look forward to. At least he got to keep one dream. 

Noah’s life takes a turn when on vacation in Las Vegas, he runs into Dante and his family. It doesn’t take long to discover that, not only was he deceived all those years ago, but Dante was, as well. Now that Dante knows the truth of what happened and has learned that he’s Gracie’s father, he’s determined to make up for lost time. He still loves Noah and wants him back in his life but it’s going to take some fancy talking to convince him they belong together…as a family, just like they always planned. 

Again is the newest release by author Mary Calmes. It’s a sweet, funny and fast paced story of messed up love and the engaging manner in which it’s written drew me in on the opening page. Yes, Noah and Dante get back together quickly, which some readers may find problematic, but with only 90 pages to work with, I feel the author did a good job. The story’s well written with lots of emotion, it’s filled with intriguing characters, including the scene stealing cutie-pie Gracie, and while some scenes are serious, others are downright chuckle-worthy. It even has a little conflict in unfaithful Keith…the jerk…who wants Noah for himself. But he can’t have him since Dante and Noah are perfectly crafted to be together, whether inside the bedroom or out. Read and enjoy. I know I did.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Straight Cowboy

Title: Straight Cowboy
Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-596-2
Genre: {M/M} Cowboy, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Cowboy Joshua Ryan is a Western Trail Rides tourist guide for guest Matt James.  Matt is hearing impaired.  However, this is not a problem for Josh, who is skilled in sign language.  The real problem is Josh made a gay porn movie and he cannot stop thinking about it.  Josh is not gay so why does he desire repeating his gay performance with Matt?  

Straight Cowboy is the first book in the Uncommon Cowboys Series.  The well written heartwarming plot illustrates Josh’s struggle with his sexuality.  The characters are believable.  Matt is openly gay, intelligent and somewhat of a loner with a sexually wild side hidden inside.  He is attracted to Josh; nevertheless Matt refuses to be a substitute for Josh’s female lovers.  By the time Matt and Josh reached their destination, along with the intimacy they shared, Matt realized he had fallen in love with Josh.   

Josh never felt like he fit in anywhere.  His time spent out on the wildness trails is Josh’s comfort zone.  He is confused by his embarrassing thoughts, regarding Matt which makes him surly.  However, the attraction another guest displays towards Matt, forces Josh to admit his desire to stay Matt’s lover.   Jan Irving has created an impressively steamy, as well as heartwarming, short story that I enjoyed greatly.

Jump First

Title: Jump First
Author: Charles Edward
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-992-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

Heath loves to read the latest Marguerite May romance novels but he’s too shy to admit to anyone else that he likes nothing better than a good book with some hot man-on-man action. Heath just happens to be a senior in the same class as Ryan, his favorite author’s son, so when Ryan offers him the opportunity to join Marguerite’s writing group, Heath is surprised, but doesn’t think twice. And if that opportunity just so happens to allow him plenty of “Ryan” time, then all the better for Heath. Now if only he could find the courage to be himself in front of Ryan.  

I enjoyed reading Jump First as Heath and Ryan are good characters – likable but real, with imperfections. The supporting characters were a little vague however; I didn’t really know whether to like them or not for much of the time. One thing I do know, I really started to dislike Marguerite May, which surprised me because at the start I would never have guessed she would turn out to be that kind of character. I really liked the idea of a story set around the world of writing but some members of the writing group just came across as too pretentious for my liking.  

The style of writing is nice and humorous, with a down to earth narrative from Heath. The plot kept my interest, and I liked the twists with who was helping who with their writing. I just thought it was a shame that Marguerite May was so unlikable. I almost feel like she was sacrificed to move Heath and Ryan’s story on. I would even describe her as an archetype villain. At times, the relationship between Marguerite, Ryan and Heath played out like a soap opera, with lots of yelling and saying whatever came to mind, without caring about consequences. This certainly created a lot of drama and let the story live up to its title perfectly.

I’ll Be Your Man

Title: I’ll Be Your Man
Author:  Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid
Publisher: Loose Id
ISBN: 978-1-61118-436-5
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, May/December
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Richard is a fifty-something divorced man, who is just now realizing it is time to move on with his life.  While he would have thought that would be with some beautiful young woman, his eye keeps wondering to Kyle, his son’s best friend and roommate. 

If you love May/December romances then you will really want to read I’ll Be Your Man.  This was a fantastic story and I really loved the characters.  Richard is a hard working man that always put family first.  Even when his marriage ended, Richard made sure his ex-wife and son never went without.  Kyle is a young man in his early twenties who has lived a hard life, thanks to his rocker dad.  Wanting a stable relationship, he is automatically drawn to Richard.  The chemistry between the men is present from the beginning and I loved the dancing around they did, trying to figure out what the other was feeling.  Once they get together, they really make up for lost time, burning up the pages as they did. 

From the ex-wife who thinks she has the right to suddenly butt into Richard’s life again and the son who acts more like a twelve year old boy instead of a twenty-four year old man, the secondary characters will really leave you wanting to smack them.  I’ll Be Your Man is a fast read that will leave you wanting more and is sure to make you a fan of the authors.

Mates in Life and Death

Title: Mates in Life and Death
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-651-3
Genre: {M/M/M} Werewolf Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Daniel Lawson is a human, or so he thought until memories of a past life as the spirit wolf Caesar began coming to the surface. It’s confusing and painful, reminding him of his mate, Linden that he lost over two hundred year before. Things get stranger when he goes to a home where his friend Drew is rendering medical care and he senses his mate. But the real shock occurs when he comes face to face with another mate…Ash. 

As a feral hunter, Ash spends his time alone and doesn’t expect to find a mate...ever, so he’s shocked to discover the intended target of a feral is his very human mate, LInden. Learning his brother Trent is mated to a human gives Ash hope he and Linden might have a future but it’s taken away when Dan arrives and Ash learns Linden and Dan have a history. The new relationship is strained but when danger threatens, Dan and Ash must work together to keep Linden safe. It’s their only chance and if it doesn’t work, death will again separate them. 

Mates in Life and Death is the second release in the series, Spirit Wolves, and since it so closely follows the storyline of the first one, I recommend they be read in order. There are questions left dangling at the close of A Mate Beyond Their Reach and while you get some of them answered here, a few more riddles pop up. Generally that leaves me feeling frustrated but in this case, I’m okay with it, because I know I’ll get more information in the next book. It’s like opening a present and only seeing a small portion of the whole.

I haven’t read much with a reincarnation storyline so Dan turning into Caesar, with a past life two hundred years ago, was a treat. It added another layer, giving more depth to the spirit wolves that other werewolves series don’t have. There are also more paranormal aspects to this one, which is a twist I won’t get into but which I enjoyed, so look for it near the end. The tri-relationship of Ash, Trent and Linden is the backbone of the story and it’s nicely balanced with the other parts of the plot. These three guys have a lot to overcome and they do it with caring, compassion, tenderness, love and more than a little passion.  Add everything together and you have another enjoyable read. Look for the next release, Two Mates for a Magistrate, featuring more of new character, Magistrate Wolfram Rozenstadt, coming soon.

The Captain's Beloved

Title: The Captain's Beloved
Author: Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-586-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, BDSM, Sequel
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Josh Addison arrives home from work to find Captain Kane Kessler waiting on his doorstep.  It has been four months since Josh had last seen Kane.  Josh’s reunion with the man of his dreams has come true, but for how long will Kane be a part of Josh’s life?  

The Captain's Beloved is the sequel to The Captain's Man.  The setting is Alaska.  The well written plot features a budding relationship, together with an abundance of lovemaking.  The characters are believable.  Josh suffers from an inferiority complex; he has a tendency to overanalyze every situation, usually drawing the wrong conclusions.  Josh hides his sexuality at work and has limited his interaction with his co-workers.  Josh has a fiery temper, which is only directed at Kane or Josh’s ex-lover Drew.  However, the source of Josh’s anger is his emotional insecurities.  

On the surface, Kane gives the impression of being a cold-hearted man, only interested in a sexual good time.  Nevertheless, his behavior toward Josh is that of a romantic caring man.  Kane’s insensitive words constantly send mixed signals, keeping Josh off balance when it comes to thinking about ever having an exclusive relationship together.  Kane is in denial regarding his true feelings for Josh, only the thought of permanent separation forces Kane to admit he loves Josh too much to leave him.  Josh and Kane are both extremely passionate men, exhibiting no holes barred intimacy.  They are well matched in their kinky lovemaking desires.  The storyline contains scenes of ménage and multiple partners in a public setting.  Scarlet Blackwell has created an impressive happy for now saga that is unquestionably entertaining, as well as heartwarming.

Surrounded by Woods

Title:  Surrounded by Woods
Author:  Mandy Harbin
Publisher:  Amira Press
Publisher URL:  www.amirapress.com
ISBN:  978-1-937394-00-4
Genre:  {M/F}, Shape-shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Mikaela caught her fiancé, Joel, with his secretary, but did not let her boss know she had broken off the engagement.  Bill sent her, in his place, to his client’s property to work on changes to his will since one of Thomas’ sons is dead. The oldest son, Josh, thinks she’s taken, but it does not stop him from wanting her. 

The concept in Surrounded by Woods, that no single women can come on this particular property, was interesting and not something I have read before.  The whole process that happens once all the sons know Mikaela is available was a realistic scenario although the way it was handled was a little strange though.  I liked the fact that Mikaela did not panic and followed instructions, though the fact she was scared to death came through very well after all the sons shifted in front of her. 

Josh and Mikaela’s relationship had a lot of chemistry so keep the fans going.  I think there are going to be more books about this family, based on some hints toward the end of the book. I ended up reading this book non-stop and will be reading it again.    

Shake, Rattle and Roll

Title: Shake, Rattle and Roll
Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-711-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Mickey might have been forced into prostitution to survive but that doesn’t mean he isn’t tired of sleeping with countless strange men. He’d like to quit and after getting beat up by his boyfriend, he’s had enough. Mickey decides to retire and leave town, so he packs up his belongings and money and says goodbye to his adopted grandmother, Ms. Dixie, just as a huge earthquake strikes San Francisco. He finds her trapped under the rubble of their apartment building and flags down a group of passing bikers, leaving the city before the post-quake chaos hits. Mickey will do anything to save Ms. Dixie, including trading his body for help and with the sexy Vinnie, he might even enjoy it. 

Shake, Rattle and Roll is the newest release by Stormy Glenn. It’s a standalone contemporary, so if you haven’t tried any of her others, this post quake story would be a good one to try.  

Mickey is a sweet guy. One of those typical characters who’ve had a hard life but managed to survive despite it all and still came out minimally scathed on the other side. You have to like him…there just isn’t any way not to. Vinnie is obviously the leader of his group and his friends trust him. He’s big, strong and protective of those he considers his and when he first meets Mickey…well let’s just say the situation is iffy and Vinnie doesn’t want to help a stranger. But Ms. Glenn quickly saves the day and their soon-to-be relationship by the creative and unexpected use of a secondary character.  

In fact, she uses the secondary characters effectively all the way through the story, integrating them seamlessly.  And did I mention Ms. Dixie is a hoot? Then there’s the villain who appears periodically as they escape from the city. In this guy, Ms. Glenn has crafted a real creep who I could hardly wait to get his just dessert in the end. Add in Mickey and Vinnie, whose sizzling attraction turns to blistering passion as they flee their quake-ravaged city and you’ve got all the things needed for an enjoyable read. Yes, their relationship turns physical quickly, but their current circumstances are anything but normal, so it’s not surprising they get to know each other faster than usual. Read and enjoy.

A Prideless Man

Title: A Prideless Man
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-593-1
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Pain ripped through James Everett’s body like burning branding irons.  His rheumatoid arthritis made waking every morning a new definition of agony.  Deciding to take a break from working at his computer, James slowly walks to the coffee shop where he is greeted by Sheriff Louis Arktos, a bear shifter and the superstar of James’ sexy daydreams.  James is not the only one having fantasies either; the scent of James drives Lou wild.  Lou can barely wait to claim James as his own.  

A Prideless Man is the third book in the Supernatural Mates series, best read in sequence.  This well written plot delivers an impressive realistic description of living with pain, revelations of heritage, a dash of humor, in addition to the intimate claiming of a mate.  The characters are creditable.  James has suffered with joint pain since childhood and although the medicine prepared by his scientist father helps take the edge off enough for James to work as an online college teacher, nothing eliminates the pain completely.  It was not until James had a bad reaction to the drugs that his heritage was discovered at the shifter’s hospital.  James has unknowingly been living under a cloud of secrets regarding his illness, lies that were created by his father.  Strongly attracted to Lou, James hesitates to act on his desires because of health issues.

Lou is aware that something is different about James so he decides to investigate James’ background.  Lou also realized that beneath the scent of medicine was the sweet scent of his mate.  In a town full of shifters, James and Lou’s attraction to each other is obvious, as well as a source of good humored teasing from the residents.  As the storyline unfolds, a culprit to shifter kidnappings and the dilemma surrounding James is revealed.  Amber Kell has created a superb heartwarming saga that I enjoyed immensely.