Monday, November 28, 2011

Nothing To Do With Pride

Title: Nothing To Do With Pride
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-816-1
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifters, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

KC Fields loves assisting the sheriff and was happy to use his investigative computer skills to help find Dennis Will’s sister. Meeting for the first time, the sparks literally fly when KC and Dennis shake hands. Instantly, they knew they had found their mate. 

Nothing To Do With Pride is book four in the Supernatural Mates series. In this episode, the plot illustrates a little drama, humor and sensual mating. KC is a red fox shifter who was homeless when he met the sheriff. Lou chose to become a guardian, as well as a protector, to his friend KC. Not only is KC smart, he is very loveable. Dennis is a coyote that has been beat down by life.  Between betraying his friend Payce, losing his sister and being the natural enemy of Adrian, the lion pride’s Alpha mate, Dennis feels unworthy to live among the other shifters. Mating with KC now gives Dennis a positive outlook for the future.  

Amber Kell has created an impressive, as well as, enjoyable saga. I especially like the image of KC in fox form.     

 Reader Advisory: This book is best enjoyed in sequence as part of a series.

Tank’s Tweak

Title: Tank’s Tweak
Authors: Lynn Hagen and Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-898-2
Genre: {M/M} Science Fiction Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Tank knows Zachary’s his mate but doesn’t understand why he won’t allow himself to be claimed. It’s a difficult situation and Tank’s trying to be patient but the pressure of waiting…the denial of their mating bond is getting increasingly hard to handle. With the Elite Force hot on their trail, the Lady Blue is thrust through a wormhole, crash landing on old Earth and suddenly, keeping Zachary safe is more important than claiming him. Things just keep getting worse. The ship needs repairs, danger surrounds them and Tank learns they have to get back to their own time period and perform a sacred ritual of Zachary’s people before they can be joined. What more can go wrong? Don’t ask. 

Tank’s Tweak is release five in Lynn Hagen and Stormy Glenn’s series Lady Blue Crew and they should be read in order.  

It’s another entertaining book to add to the series and having the Lady Blue fly through a wormhole and end up on Earth is a fun added bonus, giving the crew a new intensity of need to work through. It’s also a nice ploy for Tank and Zachary to worry about since their mating can never take place without the proper ceremony. Talk about an incentive to find a way home…as fast a possible.  The authors outdid themselves in the frustration levels Tank and Zachary have to work through…such teases…to get the guys ready for their final mating. The build-up to the mating is intense and when it finally happens, it’s forceful and passionate. 

As with the other books, there’s plenty of action. You didn’t think getting off old Earth would be easy, did you? Meaning all the crew gets to play important returning roles and during this portion of the story, we’re introduced to Monty, aka Mo, a computer analyst, who joins the crew, leaving his old life and time behind.

There are a few plot threads still dangling. I suppose those will be dealt with in the next or future releases. We certainly haven’t gotten a good handle on the Elite Force and how to stop them from hunting the Lady Blue, so I’m wondering how long the series in planned to continued and how many more crew members will be picked up along with way. Watch for the next book, Crank’s Craving, which is available now.

Midsummer's Dreaming

Title: Midsummer's Dreaming
Author: Simone Anderson
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60735-434-5
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, is a day Hayle St. James will always remember.  What started out as a day of heartache, rejection as well as pain for Hayle, ends in a night of love, magic and a promise of marriage from Hayle’s beloved Leife O’Neill.  

Midsummer's Dreaming is a whimsical plot that also illustrates a palpable description of homophobia and its effects. Leife is Fae and in his realm, Faeries don’t have the restrictions on emotions, gender classification or sex that most humans seem to have, so Leife’s family is pleased to welcome Hayle into the family. The well developed characters exhibit anger, jealousy, the consequences resulting from misuse of magic, in addition to Leife and Hayle’s wonderful displays of love and lovemaking. 

Simone Anderson’s  Midsummer's Dreaming entices the readers to sit back and envision the happy feelings of first love, as well as the magic of warm summer moonlit nights. I thoroughly enjoyed this marvelous saga plus I hope to see more of these enchanting characters in the future.  

Publisher's Note: Midsummer's Dreaming by Simone Anderson is part of The As We Like It anthology.

Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?

Title: Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?
Author: Lea Kinkade
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-110-3
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary, Western, Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

When a fire devastates her New York apartment, Jordan finally takes best friend Jessie up on her offer to stay with her in Dry Creek, Texas. As Jordan arrives at the Chisholm family ranch however, her life is turned upside down once again, courtesy of Jessie’s brother Xander. Jordan has been waiting her entire life for a man whose touch could ignite the flames of passion within her. One look at Xander has her sure that he could elicit that and much more, if only he would give Jordan a sign that the feelings were mutual. 

Xander Chisholm is captivated the moment he sees Jordan, but he is quick to hide the flicker of interest in his eyes. Gone are the days he would let a woman into his heart. But his bed? That’s a whole other story. He’s playing with fire, sneaking around behind his family’s backs with his sister’s BFF, but Xander just can’t risk history repeating itself… 

…Too late. As hard as they both try to fight it, Jordan and Xander are in deep. Their affair is a whirlwind of stolen moments and knowing stares across the dinner table that are bound to come out eventually. Nothing was ever going to be straight forward for this gorgeous couple, but will their complicated pasts be too much for their fragile relationship to endure? 

Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? is book one in the new series The Chisholms of Texas. I loved the romantic response that Jordan evoked in me as she moved from the big city to a small town. There was a connection as I put myself in her shoes as she left her old life behind. Jordan is a strong, fiercely independent woman whose need to make her own way in the world without having to rely on anyone is very endearing. Xander however, was not the easiest person to like.  

Knowing what happened to him in the past, I can understand his behavior but I just wish he could have risen above it and not let the experience bring him down. He never realizes how badly he has been treating women and instead, his recent “conquests” are seen as annoying and pathetic and are discretely disposed of when they have served their plot purpose, which I personally had a problem with. His family pointing out how bad he’s been treating Jordan by sneaking around created some amusing scenes however. It’s just a shame that Xander’s questionable character traits spoilt the chemistry between him and Jordan in my eyes. 

One thing that was obvious to me however was just how much the author has invested in creating such a vivid, detailed setting. That alone will make me check out the next installment of the series.

Divide and Conquer

Title: Divide & Conquer
Author: Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61581-716-0
Genre: {M/M}, Suspense, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Between bombings and bank robberies, Zane and Ty have their hands full.  When the powers that be decide the various law enforcement agencies need to come up with a way to bolster public opinion, the men get roped into softball games and information workshops.  With everything going on around them, the two must fight for every spare minute they can find. 

Divide & Conquer is the newest addition to the Cut and Run series.  Like the previous books, this story is fast paced and will keep your attention till the end.  I had no problem falling right back into Zane’s and Ty’s world, in fact I did not realize how much I missed them until this new story came out.  Their relationship is a very complex one and even though each story has me hoping that they will finally get their happily ever after, I like the way the authors are not rushing the two through their various issues, which there are a lot of.   

Although the readers know upfront who the bad guys are in this story, the suspense portion of the plot is still exciting.  Zane and Ty find their way into the usual amount of trouble which, along with a visit from Ty’s old unit, causes some problems in the men’s relationship.  At one point I was a little worried about what Ty would do regarding his friends and was surprised more than once by both Ty and Zane. 

Divide & Conquer is a great story to curl up with on a cold night.  Between the passion that exists between the main characters and the suspense that the authors have skillfully woven throughout the story, readers will be more than satisfied with this new addition to an outstanding series.

Slave Master's Choice

Title: Slave Master's Choice
Author: Kimberly Gardner
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-656-7
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Alejandro awakens in pure agony. He fought to open his eyes but the struggle proved far too great. Alejandro is the only survivor amongst a group of six Loralean soldiers attacked while on a spy mission in the hostile kingdom of Inemor. After days spent recovering with the aid of a healer, Alejandro attempts to journey home when he is captured and delivered to the palace to be trained as a pleasure slave for the King. The sensual touches he receives from slave master Kedmund has Alejandro rapidly falling in love with his trainer. 

Kimberly Gardner's Slave Master's Choice has an engaging action, suspenseful plot with an intriguing historical setting. The plot implies sex is the main theme, however, there are very few actual sex scenes illustrated. Inemor is an open-minded kingdom, which maintains a harem of male pleasure slaves in the palace. The characters are especially creditable. Holding a position of authority over the slave quarters, Kedmund is very much a surprise. He is an exceptionally compassionate man, who does not take advantage of the slaves or servants. However, Kedmund’s position is the source of jealousy, as well as prejudice in others. Alejandro is an honorable man trapped in a nightmare. Alejandro does not object to having sex with men; in fact he prefers male intimacy. It is the loss of freedom and the weapons to defend himself that plagues Alejandro.  

Though the story has, to some extent, a cliffhanger happy-for-the-moment ending, I thoroughly enjoyed Slave Master's Choice.

A Bit of Me

Title: A Bit of Me
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-805-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Xavier Talbot thought his life was going along pretty well until he discovered that his brother was a sadistic abuser who hated him. Add to that the boy he’s raised is giving him a feeling of what it means to experience empty nest syndrome and the club he’s spent years building is not the classy joint he originally envisioned. Then he meets a man who gives him hope in a world that’s quickly falling apart. 

Chase Murphy has lost everything but the only thing he wants is to find his missing best friend, James Stratton. Still recovering from a terrible beating, he meets Xavier and can’t stop thinking about him. Chase doesn’t realize it’s happening, but the town, its people and Xavier closely seduce him into opening his heart and into considering a long-term relationship.  Hanging around Xavier scares him but it’s not until they find James that Chase learns what it means to really love. 

A Bit of Me is release six in Bailey Bradford’s series, Love in Xxchange. The storyline follows closely from one book to the next, so they should be read in order. 

This story is filled with great characters and Ms. Bradford has done a fine job creating their unique and interesting personalities. I like these two men. They’re very dissimilar on the outside, but one the inside…where it counts, they gel perfectly. The flow of the story is smooth from the opening pages; the expression of Xavier’s emotional pain over his brother is nicely portrayed, as is Chase’s feelings of insecurity. Then there’s Billy. This young man is important to Xavier…almost like a son, and adds a great deal of bubbling energy and a good sense of family to the story. Add let’s not forget the other secondary players that round out the plot…some old and others new…that make this book so enjoyable. 

But one of things I enjoyed most was the care and patience Xavier exercised when dealing with Chase for a good portion of the story. Despite his own feelings, he didn’t push or rush the younger man into anything he wasn’t ready for, but allowed their relationship to grow slowly. When it does happen, the sex between these lovers is red hot and their emotional connection intense.  It’s not all smooth sailing at the end because they still have to deal with finding James and that involves enough danger, mystery and suspense to keep things interesting. I really want to see a story with James and Agent Shearing in the future, but from the excerpt as the end of this one, watch for A Bit of You coming next, featuring Billy.

Mate of the Tsatrya

Title: Mate of the Tsatrya
Author: Ann T. Ryan
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN: 9781920501402
Genre: {M/M} Science Fiction
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Joseph Archer of Asysion and Mykael of Lithonur experience a strong sensory connection to each other from across the room. Acting upon their sensation, Joseph and Mykael indulge in a night of overpowering lovemaking, which convinces them they are true mates.  

Mate of the Tsatrya begins with an interesting plot, listing the history of how the Tsatrya race came into existence. The new world setting mirrors today’s Earth, with the exception of a name change for the continents, along with medical care similar to the age before test tube technology   The characters are creditable as a male/male relationship through most of the storyline until the latter part, where the characteristics switched to mimic more of a male/female genre. The interaction between all of the characters is amusing and held my attention. Joseph has a good deal of common sense with a touch of a snarky attitude. Mykael is wise as well as a compassionate man. The secondary characters add humor. Affection for each other is illustrated by all of the characters.  

Overall, Ann T. Ryan’s Mate of the Tsatrya is an entertaining and charming saga.     

Ink Master

Title:  Ink Master
Author:    Frances Stockton 
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN:  9781419937071
Genre:   {M/F}, BDSM 
Rating:  Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Cassie finally gets together with Phalen.  She knows she is submissive and knows Phalen will push her limits, but she is willing to learn because she loves him. 

Ink Master is one hot book that slowly introduces Cassie to the world of BDSM.  Most women would love to have the type of Master that Phalen is because of his patience and knowledge.  After reading this story, I think that Ms. Stockton could give another of my favorite BDSM authors a run for her money when it comes to telling a fantastic story with a heavy BDSM theme.  

Some of the secondary characters are from two previous books - Quarterback Blitz and Field of Play - and while they are not considered part of a series, they should be read before Ink Master.  That being said, the suspense in this story will keep you on your toes until the end.  The information about stalking the author gives is great and I liked the way she handled some of the documentation issues.   

Family dynamics and prejudices about BDSM abound in this story.  Family loyalty shows up quite a bit as well.  The relationships described are definitely true to life about friendships on behalf of both the main and secondary characters.  I did have to laugh at some of the antics that siblings and friends pulled sometimes.  

Cassie and Phalen’s relationship will scorch the pages and the author also gives some very sound advice about one situation between the two.  My heart melted during the scene where Phalen proposes.  This is one book that should be on every BDSM lover’s bookshelf.