Monday, December 5, 2011

Loving Someone Extraordinary

Title: Loving Someone Extraordinary
Author: K. M. Mahoney
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-210-2
Genre: {M/M} Superheroes
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Kevin Bergson and Alex Hofland were one of the best teams employed by Superhuman Task Force, a contract organization working with local and state law enforcement agencies. Kevin is the techno geek and Alex is the muscle man with special powers. Both men have been secretly lusting for each other almost from the moment they met. Finally, fate lends a hand in revealing to Kevin and Alex they are partners in more than just catching criminals.   

Loving Someone Extraordinary, the title says it all in this fantastic hang-on-to-your-seats action packed plot, blended with humorous interaction between the characters. Kevin has a genius IQ, very creative with weaponry, likes things neat and tidy. His every thought revolves around keeping Alex safe. Because of STF’s policy against teammates becoming romantically involved, Kevin hides the fact that he is gay from Alex.  

Alex is somewhat of a loveable slob. He employs teasing as a defense mechanism to ward off the temptation Kevin unconsciously presents. The storyline exhibits the special bond between Kevin and Alex however; actual intimacy is not displayed until the latter part of the story.

K. M. Mahoney has created an exhilarating saga that I was sad to see end. I hope there will be more of these superb characters in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed Loving Someone Extraordinary.

Convincing Landon

Title: Convincing Landon
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-813-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Afraid of what being openly gay would mean to his life and job, Landon Tully stayed in the closet and rejected Kendall after a brief but intense affair. Several years later, his father dies and he returns to Riverside. His brother talks him into staying so when a job opens up, he jumps at it. Days later he meets Kendall again, who’s working for a competitor interested in the same land he’s trying to obtain for a homeless shelter.  

Losing Landon left a hole in Kendall’s heart but hard work helped fill the gap. When they accidentally run into each other, he realizes how much he still cares about Landon and it opens his eyes to things he needs to fix in his life. Can he convince Landon to give them another chance?  Will he be able to continue working for his money-grubbing boss or does he need to move on? 

Convincing Landon is the latest release in Serena Yates’ Men of Riverside series.  Due to the close association of characters, I recommend they be read in order.  

I liked Landon from the beginning. Ms. Yates gave him a personality that showed his concern and feeling of responsibility for his younger brother, putting his own desires on hold. He is a worthy type of guy, which explains the social worker he became later. Then she gives him a big twist when he dumped Kendall ruthlessly. It added unhappiness and angst to the story, but the cold manner in which it is done didn’t win him any points with me because sweet Kendall deserved better. There is a good show of Kendall’s anger, disappointment and frustration at being unceremoniously discarded. I am surprised at how easily, years later, Kendall forgives Landon. It seems unrealistic that they instantly resume a relationship. I would have liked to see Landon work for it a little more.

It is nice seeing many of the men from the previous releases. They add a good sense of continuity… of family and friendship that both Landon and Kendall need. These two men go through a lot of emotions…pain, anger, desire, passion and fear…before they reach the happiness they’ve been looking for.  When they find it, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction.  Watch for the next release Helping Harry, coming in January.

Quinn’s Need

Title: Quinn’s Need
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-198-8
Genre: {M/M}, Western, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

After being away for a year, Lorcan and Jess are heading back to Pegasus.  When the news reaches Quinn, he’s not sure if he’s ready for the return of Lorcan, the one man he can never forget. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Quinn’s Need, the second story in the A Whispering Pines Ranch series.  The first story was so full of angst that I was unsure if I was ready to go there again.  Yet I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  The author was able to carry over the same intensity from the first story, while making the characters more likeable at the same time.  This does not mean that Lorcan and Quinn no longer have their dark sides; in fact Lorcan seems to have mellowed while Quinn has become more intense.   

Feeling as if part of his life was spiraling out of control, Quinn turns to the world of BDSM, where he is on the path of becoming the type of Dom that gives those in the BDSM world a bad name.  The feelings Quinn went through after Lorcan left are understandable, yet his treatment of the subs he uses at The Push almost borders on abuse and, in the beginning, it was hard for me to like him.  It is only after he meets Ty that Quinn begins to understand that being a Dom means more that dealing out pain. 

For Lorcan, the time away has given him time to mature, and while his relationship with Jess is still going strong, Lorcan knows he will never love anyone other than Quinn.  With the deep feelings Lorcan has for Quinn, I thought it was crazy for Lorcan and Jess to return to Pegasus. I could not help wondering how the author planned on moving the story along, especially as it seemed as if Quinn was starting to move forward by starting a relationship with Ty.  I must say I was surprised by the steps that the author took but can’t wait to see what will now happen in future books. 

I enjoyed Quinn’s Need and loved the way it moved the series along.  Readers will need to read Lorcan’s Desire first, however, as this is one series that needs to be read in order.

Texas Winter

Title: Texas Winter
Author: R.J. Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN: 9781920502645
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Jack’s recovered from his gunshot wound but between the responsibilities of running the ranch and Hayes Oil, he and Riley haven’t been able to get away. They need to spend quality time alone and head off to the Caribbean for a delayed honeymoon, but their trip gets cut short with a single phone call. Riley has an eight year-old daughter he didn’t know existed. 

The turmoil continues with the discovery that Riley’s dead brother and the company was involved in more criminal activities than previously thought and the FBI is investigating. Riley knows Jack loves him but can he expect his husband to stand by him when so much in their life together is changing? 

I love Jack and Riley and getting to know more about their lives in Texas Winter is a treat, but make sure you read The Heart of Texas first or you’re going to be hopelessly lost. 

Getting together wasn’t easy for these two and the next phase of their life isn’t much smoother. Ms. Scott’s thrown in twists and turns guaranteed to keep your attention and the pages turning as you read on to see if Jack and Riley have gone nuts or been driven apart. That means the emotional drama is through the roof as they deal with shady business dealing, the FBI, a new found daughter and returning family members. There are also plenty of secrets, conflicts and unrest mixed in with their love, passion and desire.

The information about Riley’s ex-girlfriend and why she didn’t tell him about Hayley is very well developed and realistic. The same goes for Hayley. She’s a little cutie and steals every scene she’s in. The story is sweet and entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only complaint revolves around the FBI portion of the story and the swiftness that Riley’s problems with them are worked out. It seems a bit rushed to me…almost like an afterthought.

Love Me Twice

Title:  Love Me Twice
Author:  Roz Lee
Publisher:  Red Sage Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.eredsage.com
ISBN:  9781603106733
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Ménage, Series 
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Sean and Drew both loved Celeste when they worked together five years ago.  Celeste left when Sean gave her an ultimatum, but now she’s aboard the Lothario working on a case.  Celeste knows that nothing has been resolved and she will have to make a choice this time. 

Love Me Twice is the third book in the Lothario series, and while it gives a little information about the boat, it is more about the relationship that Sean and Drew have with Celeste.  The emotions that come out in this book are very intense.  The author shows how jealousy and friendship can affect relationships among friends and partners. The author threw in a monkey wrench with Celeste’s partner, Bree. 

One lesson the author brought out very well was that you really can’t run away from your problems, they tend to come back.  Things had come to a head when the three had been captured and made a decision that backfired when they were rescued instead of dying.  All the characters are very strong, and I hope we learn a lot about Bree in the future. 

The plot that carries throughout the series has reared its ugly head in this one with a little surprise.  This make you realize that there has to be much more going on and I am looking forward to its resolution in the future.  I will be reading this series again.

Vamplet

Title: Vamplet
Author: Dakota Rebel
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60735-437-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Prince Hamlet is distressed by the marriage of his mother to his uncle, only weeks after his father’s death. Hamlet’s only comfort throughout this ordeal is his friend and lover, Felix. However, Felix’s life is in jeopardy owed to being the son of a merciless father.  

Vamplet is a dark fantasy of secrets, as well as desolation. Vamplet is part of the As We Like It Anthology. The setting is The Castle Elsinore, home to the royal family of Denmark.  The story weaves a complex Shakespearian mystery into a tale of deliverance with a vampire in the role of a savior banishing the enemies of Hamlet and Felix to everlasting doom. 

Dakota Rebel has created an incredible happy ever after romance illustrating characters that are heartwarming, as well as superbly expressive lovers. I enjoyed Vamplet immensely.

Confessions

Title: Confessions
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-818-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Mercenary James “Priest” Evans is back in town after his last government sponsored mission went very bad. For the first instance in his career, the people he killed are weighing on his mind. He needs the time in Cattle Valley to consider his options; he just never figured they’d include falling in love. 

Luke Hatcher’s never had much luck with the men he’s dated and after his last horrible break-up has sworn off love, instead enjoying hook-ups for quick bouts of hot sex. Getting together with Priest seems like the perfect answer, until their steamy affair turns serious and they find themselves on the run. Being together means getting closer and when Priest blurts out a confession, it changes everything. Can Luke deal with the truth or will he run? 

Confessions is release twenty-five in Carol Lynne’s popular Cattle Valley series and it would be best to read them in order, but at least read Shooting Star first. After meeting Priest in the previous book, I knew that learning more about him would lead to some interesting tidbits about his mysterious past and Ms. Lynne didn’t disappoint. This part of the story is pretty well developed but the personal side of Priest is still a little thin on details. There is a good feel for his job frustration/danger and how unsettled his feels with his new emotions attachment for Luke. And the same goes for Luke. He likes Priest. He wants Priest but doesn’t know it he can trust the man to stick around.  

The beginning and middle of the story is pretty well plotted and it moves forward at a steady pace as the relationship between Luke and Priest builds. But…from here the action speeds up and the remaining story seems rushed. Yes, this section has danger, emotional pain and drama but there’s still a quick resolution, getting Luke and Priest to their happily-ever-after.

Four of Hearts

Title:  Four of Hearts
Author:  Roz Lee
Publisher:  Red Sage Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.eredsage.com
ISBN:  9781603107341
Genre:  {M/F/M/F}, {F/F}, Ménage a quatre, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Candace decides she wants to be tied up for her and Ryan’s anniversary, but knows that Richard along with his wife, Fallon, will have to teach him.  What follows starts a chain of events that both men have to learn to like. 

Four of Hearts is a story about friends slowly gravitating toward a polyamorous relationship.  In the fourth installment of the Lothario series, the reader takes an interesting and intense journey as Fallon, Candace, Ryan and Richard learn to let go and explore their feelings for each other.  The angst that the four go through as they struggle to finally define their relationship is so true.  I loved the ceremony at the end of the book so much that I actually started to cry. The description by the author made you think you were actually there watching. 

There is a subplot that is carried throughout each book, but still isn’t quite resolved by the end of this one.  I’m hoping that the next book will be about Drew and Bree, as well as resolving the mystery of who is trying to ruin Ryan and Richard.  We know who wants to buy the Lothario, but it is very unclear if he is actually behind everything, which keeps the reader on their toes. I still like the concept that the author created with the ship’s theme.  This comes through very well in each story.  Each book adds to your knowledge of what is on the ship that is available to passengers and crew alike.

I recommend that you read the entire series if you want to get the full effect of Ryan and Candace’s relationship as well as Richard and Fallon’s relationship.