Saturday, November 26, 2011

Under His Spell

Title:  Under His Spell
Author:  Liz Davis
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
ISBN:  1-61034-866-4
Genre:  {M/F} Erotic, Interracial, Paranormal, Werewolves
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

When she spots a stranger with long black hair in a coffeehouse, Lynn Calloway can’t stop staring.  She’s not the kind of woman to engage in conversation with a total stranger and flirt, but something about the man is hard to resist.  Fate brings the man to Lynn’s house and they spend an amazing night in bed together.  Lynn’s happiness is quickly squashed upon discovering that her American Indian lover left without even saying goodbye. 

Takoda Chasing didn’t mean to bring another woman into his life, but he had no choice.  Lynn was his and he couldn’t deny his feelings for her. Takoda doesn’t know how to tell her he’s a wolf and handles the situation all wrong.  If Lynn is able to accept him, will she be able to handle the tragedy from his past?   

Lynn forgives Takoda for his unexplained absence and after some convincing, she accepts the fact that he’s a shifter.  The couple’s happiness is quickly interrupted by demons from their past and interference from Lynn’s co-worker.  Takoda fears he won’t be able to keep Lynn safe from harm but when it counts, he is always there for her.  There are some very intense moments that seem like all hope is lost.  Lynn’s co-worker definitely gave me the creeps and I would have liked to see a different outcome for him. I also enjoyed the sinister feeling when Lynn gets stranded and meets Dex.  His part in the story left me with questions. Takoda is a good man, and I was glad to see him let go of some of his guilt and sadness when he met Lynn.  He deserved a second chance at happiness and I’m thrilled it was with Lynn.  I was shocked by the unknown danger that surrounded Lynn.  It was a wonderful addition to this love story that helped cement the couple’s love.   

Under His Spell is a delightful love story of two people meant to be together.  I know readers will be pleased if they pick up a copy because Liz Davis has given them a story that stands out.

Devil’s Playground

Title: Devil’s Playground
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-004-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Butting heads with Appraxia, one of the Gods of Chaos, costs Silas Ritchie everything and he’s been living on the streets or in shelters for the past two years, trying to survive. When Dante offers him a job and Rayne negotiates him another chance with Appraxia, Silas is willing to do whatever it takes to reclaim his life. 

When told to watch over Silas, Bryn expects to be working with a drunken hobo, but even with his badly shaking hands and ragged clothes, its obvious Silas isn’t a bum. Bryn is instantly enthralled by the small man but convincing Silas to let him help isn’t easy. Can Silas find love, redemption and reclaim his life and ability to paint, or will he spend the rest of his life on the streets alone? 

Devil’s Playground is book three in Gabrielle Evan’s Gods of Chaos series and because of the returning characters from Devil Did Grin, I recommend they be read in order. Past his month of redemption, Silas is still a proud, kindhearted man…one Rayne and Dante want to help. Since these two are sprinkled prominently throughout the story, it’s important to read their book first.  

You have to like Silas. Ms. Evan has given him a warm and charming personality and a well developed background. Then there’s hunky Bryn. You’d never imagine this hardworking and tenderhearted man would have so many unexpected secrets in his life (watch out for the plot twists). The emotional connection between Silas and Bryn is intense from the start and it only grows stronger the longer they’re together. And let’s not forget the sex. When they finally allow their relationship to turn physical, these two are sizzling hot together. But Silas and Bryn also enjoy each other company, so you’ve also got some fun, bantering dialogue, mixed into this smooth flowing, well plotted story.  

There are several other secondary characters to watch for. Aiden, Bryn’s brother who pops in and out, as well as a villain, and even one or more of the troublemaking chaos gods who make intermittent appearances. Look for Devil’s Auction coming next.

Moon-Touched

Title: Moon-Touched
Author: Vivien Dean
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-190-7
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Andre Nezat is on the move yet again when he stops for gas in the tiny town of Mellowbush, Michigan.  With the help of the local pastor, Andre finds a job and a place to stay, assisting a lady in the early stages of Alzheimer. After meeting the patient’s son, Thomas Durling, moving on is not an option for Andre. Thomas is Andre’s mate. 

Moon-Touched is an extremely heartwarming story with quite a number of issues the characters must deal with.  Thomas is a lonely and bitter man. Growing up in homophobic Mellowbush, the town’s people drove Thomas away as soon as he was old enough to leave. Living in a large city was more acceptable for Thomas; however he was not immune to falling for boyfriends with deceptive motives.  

Andre has the challenge of working to live while hiding from his enemy at the same time. Being a wolf, mute and on the run, Andre’s only choices are to keep moving from one small town to the next. Thomas and Andre shared their dramatic past, as well as fears, only with each other, creating a bond between them. Thomas was the first person to embrace both the human side, as well as the wolf side of Andre. Andre taught Thomas that the heart doesn’t pick who it wants. It just wants. 

Vivien Dean’s Moon-Touched is an exceedingly touching and enjoyable saga.

The Wolf Who Hatched An Egg

Title: The Wolf Who Hatched An Egg
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-964-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When wolf shifter Liam meets Shiloh, he’s not thinking of the gorgeous swan shifter as prey.  The feisty man is everything Liam’s ever wanted and his soul yearns for the man his wolf wants as a mate. But convincing Shiloh of his honest intentions is difficult when most wolves would consider him a snack. 

Shiloh’s wanted a mate for years and even moved far away from the valley of the swans in search of him. During that time, he’s made some bad choices and is reluctant to trust that his perfect match is a wolf. 

As they work to strengthen their growing relationship, their world is thrown upside down on discovering an abandoned swan egg at their front door. Shiloh and Liam must work together to protect the new addition to their family, but the question is whether taking care of the egg will bring them closer or destroy them. 

The Wolf Who Hatched An Egg is release two in Scarlet Hyacinth’s series Mate or Meal and the series should be read in order. It’s another interesting pairing I didn’t expect, but then that’s what makes this series so enjoyable. It’s mostly made up of shifter races I’ve never seen before and the books, so far, are quick to read, cute and entertaining. 

I’m not a fan of prologues but in this instance it worked, showing the reason Shiloh left the valley of the swans and setting up the rest of the story. It also gives an idea of his strength and determination to find the mate fate meant for him, instead of settling for creepy Charles. Yes, Shiloh made poor choices later and has a temper but I still like this guy. Initially he makes mistakes with Liam but they’re resolved in a timely manner. And I love Liam…he’s a great guy…protective, warm and caring. 

The story has a good flow and I didn’t notice any jerky spots. Unlike the first book, there’s no conflict from the wolf elder or pack …in this case the conflict comes from other sources. There’s a nice integration of Carson and Brody from the first release.  

A few little niggles to think about:

  1. Shiloh not wanting to report finding the egg and the possibility of a kidnapping charge. Too obvious a plot thread.
  2. When there’s gunfire in front of their house, why didn’t anyone call the police?
  3. Why go to England instead of calling to get a statement?
  4. Shiloh forgave his parent far too easily. What they did was horrible. It wasn’t a hangnail.

Fangs in Frosting

Title:  Fangs in Frosting
Author:  Cynthia Sax
Publisher: Changeling Press
ISBN:  978-1-60521-659-1
Genre:  {M/F} Paranormal, Humor & Satire
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Charlotte loves her job running a cupcake shop and the perks that come with it.  When she meets a steamy seducer named Viktor, Charlotte can’t get enough of him.   

After two centuries, Viktor found the woman he wants to spend eternity with.  Charlotte made him feel things Viktor thought he could no longer feel. Could he be selfish and have her? 

Things don’t go as planned for Charlotte or Viktor but in the end, all is as it should be.  Charlotte comes to grips with her new life, while Viktor helps her adapt.  Viktor enjoys the brightness Charlotte brings to his life and I welcomed their union.  When an ancient vampire experiences love, it’s a powerful thing.  Seeing the humanity in Viktor made him one hot vampire in my eyes.  I loved how he broke the rules to please Charlotte. 

Fangs in Frosting is a heartwarming fun read that was a great start to the Fangs In series.  Whatever happens next, I look forward to it.