Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quinn’s Quest

Title: Quinn’s Quest
Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60928-720-7
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Publication Date: 2/21/12 

After being kidnapped, Bethany gets away from the crazy doctor doing experiments on her because one of her fellow prisoners, Chrissten, creates a diversion by changing into a werewolf. Knowing she can’t go to the authorities without being labeled insane, Bethany’s only hope of getting help is to find Chrissten’s twin brother. 

After months without results, Quinn’s search for his sister is at a dead end until Bethany calls saying Chris is alive. When they meet, their attraction is searing hot, calling out to Quinn one word…Mate. But with so much blood on his hands he doesn’t think they have any hope of a future together.  

Bethany only wants Quinn, so agrees to his no strings attached offer to help her through her heat cycle. She can only hope that, as they hunt for Chris, they can discover a way to work through their problems and find a chance at happiness. 

Quinn’s Quest is release four in the Legacy series by N. J. Walters and I recommend the books be read in order.  

It’s a well written and plotted tale that begins with a prologue from Bethany’s viewpoint. I have to tell you that I’m not usually a big fan of these but it gets the story off to a fast paced, action filled start and truthfully seems more like a chapter to me. But anyway. Ms. Walters has created a great female lead in Bethany. On one hand she’s a little shy, uncertain and beat up but underneath has a core of solid steel, which is needed to deal with all the dramatic changes in her life. Then there’s Quinn. His personality is equally well developed and I still want to know more about him. The author did a nice job expressing his and Bethany’s passion and desire, while at the same time dealing with their uncertainly and frustration, as they work through their problems. 

There are plenty of secondary characters…some previously introduced and others new. Our villains are some of the new and the twist of one being a rich doctor/scientist was unexpected. This and Chrissten being found are just two threads left hanging for the future release. There are also a few hints of other possibilities along the way too. And I still want to know more about Quinn’s brother, Craig and the vampire, Damek…he’s a real mystery. Watch for Finding Chrissten, coming later in 2012.

Playing For Keeps

Title: Playing For Keeps  
Author:  Carolyn Rosewood
Publisher:  Evernight Publishing
ISBN:  978-1-927368-04-6
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Teresa thinks she is being hunted because she betrayed another demon.  She seeks refuge with Damien, unaware he used to be a Nephilim.  Damien tries to resist her because of a past experience with another demon he thought he loved. 

In the third book of the Seduced by a Demon series, Playing For Keeps brings up unresolved feelings for both the main and secondary characters.  The author takes a look at Teresa’s past and makes the point that people can change if they truly want to, though sometimes it comes about under duress.  Damien has to come to terms with his feelings of resentment at his situation with Teresa. 

The chemistry between the two is explosive, but I thought some of the storyline in the beginning was a little slow in revealing some of the issues with Teresa.  The author did throw in a little twist that I did not see coming at the end, but it did resolves some issues that ran through the series.  While you can read this book alone and get the gist of what happened in previous books, you will enjoy it much more if you read the books in order.

Romero and Julian

Title: Romero and Julian
Author: Brynn Paulin
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60735-438-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

The only thing Wesley Romero intended to do is to ask the Julian’s to turn down the loud music. Crossing the street to make that request ignites a fight with the father and oldest son. After the mini battle is settled by the police, Micah Julian is civilized enough to offer apologies for his dysfunctional family. Later that night, Wes and Micah realized their arm-to-arm embraces were more pleasurable than feuding.  

Brynn Paulin’s Romero and Julian is part of the As We Like It Anthology. The impressive plot highlights a number of remarkable events. Wes is a former Marine who suffers with flashbacks. Micah is an in–the-closet gay man, still living at home with his narrow-minded manipulative family. Also featured in the story is how extreme homophobia camouflages the true symptoms of the warped mentalities in Micah’s family. Wes and Micah struggle to find balance with family, as well as each other. The one thing Wes and Micah are sure of is that they belong together, especially after a dramatic life and death incident involving the both of them. Unlike Shakespeare, Romero and Julian is a heartwarming enjoyable saga with sensual lovemaking, as well as a happy-ever-after finale.

To Die For

Title:  To Die For
Author:  Trista Ann Michaels
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-573-7
Genre:  {M/F}, Vampire, Sequel
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Amy realizes she still has a copy of her research and notes from samples she had given Kaelen.  She is determined to continue but Kaelen realizes she has backups she did not turn over.  Kaelen is confused, as well, because he can’t get this human off his mind. 

To Die For continues some of the theme from Deadly Crimson about vampire blood and a power struggle within the paranormal community and it’s Counsel.  Confusion over feelings and perceived prejudices is the norm for one of the main characters.   

Attacks that seem to come from nowhere and intrigue are the order of the day while Kaelen comes to terms with his feelings for Amy.  The chemistry between the two is hot, but they are constantly interrupted while they come to terms with their emotions toward each other.   

To Die For had a twist toward the end that you might get a hint of earlier in the book, but I was still a little surprised by it.  While you can read this book alone, you will get much more enjoyment out of these books if you read them in order.  I will be reading these again.

Love’s Baggage

Title: Love’s Baggage
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-189-1
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

With all the chaos surrounding the preternatural world lately, it was only a matter of time before Bandit would be pulled further into the excitement.  Forced on a mission by his mother, who is also his Alpha, Bandit figures the only good to come out of it will be the extra time he gets to spend with Allen.  But what should have been a simple mission goes to hell real fast. 

Love’s Baggage is the next story in the Preternaturals series.  This is a series that will need to be read in order to understand the significance of what is going on.  The story picks up with Allen and his brother needing to return to their pack for a brief period of time.  Needing a protector, the Alpha of the Canis pack sends Bandit with the brothers.  It’s not long before the connection between Bandit and Allen shows itself.  These two work well together as their strengths and weaknesses balance each other out.  The love between them is easy to see and I liked that the relationship flows so smoothly. 

Love’s Baggage is not only about the men’s relationship.  This story reveals the reason behind Grimm’s madness.  It also discloses the whereabouts of Jess, as well as the future problems facing the Canis pack and others.  This novella holds many key points that are important to the plot woven through this series and should not be missed.

Cowboy Casanova

Title: Cowboy Casanova
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60928-849-5
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary BDSM Western Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Ben is one of the many McKays living in Sundance, Wyoming. The one place he stands out is at the Rawhide Club where, on the weekends, he’s Bennett, an imposing Dom, popular with the female subs. When he spies a curvy brunette, he’s certain she isn’t the experienced Domme she claims and immediately sets out to prove he’s right. 

After spending an exciting, eye opening weekend with Bennett, Ainsley Hamilton is shocked to meet Ben in real life, as new town bank president versus his rancher. There’s something about him…his eyes and his voice that makes her want to give up control to him. Now she has to decide if she wants to explore her submissive side outside the club. The question is if Ainsley will let Ben help her understand her sexual needs, while building a relationship on what others think is dark and deviant desires. 

Cowboy Casanova by Lorelei James is release twelve in her Rough Rider series. It’s feasible to read this as a standalone but it would be easier to understand the complex McKay relationships by reading the books in order. 

This has been one of my favorite series since the release of Long Hard Ride and I’ve looked forward to Ben’s story for some time. I’ve always found him appealing and then to learn the author had given him the twist of being involved in the BDSM lifestyle was an unexpected shocker. I certainly didn’t see that one coming, but it fit in perfectly with the dominant but warm and caring personality that she developed for him. Way to go, Ms. James.  

Okay, I admit it. There’s just something about the sprawling McKay family that I find enthralling. The huge number is amazing and the way the family members interact with each other is fascinating. Then add in how different each one is and the interesting women they get involved with and you can’t help but enjoy each and every book. Anisley is a perfect example. She’s independent, dynamic and totally professional on the outside but on the inside, she fits into the life of a western rancher perfectly. Ms. James has taken these two vastly different individuals, wrapped them in a well written, paced and plotted story and come up with a tale of passion, desire, love, acceptance and the importance of family. Enjoy.

Sully

Title: Sully
Author: Lynn Hagen  
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1610349929
Genre: {M/M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Sully can’t believe he finally found his mates.  Like others in his pack, it appears he has two and like the others, his come with a boat load of issues.  When his mates come under attack, Sully hopes they haven’t lost their chance at a happy ending. 

Sully is the latest release in the Zeus’s Pack series.  Like the other stories, this book has a group of main characters that pull you right into their world.  Sully is one of Zeus’s soldiers; he’s strong and tough, except when it comes to his mates.  Austin is human and has no idea about the paranormal world that surrounds him.  He is also a gentle soul, who tries very hard to protect himself with a hard exterior.  Julien is something special but past history has taught him to keep to himself, even when others are trying to help him.  The connection these three have comes through right away, but Sully has his work cut out for him.  Once they get together, watch out as the passion these three have for each other is hot.   

One of the things I enjoy about Ms. Hagen’s ongoing series is the fact that each has its own subplot, while at the same time continues to further the connecting plot that each series has.  With the aide of wonderful secondary characters, some crossing over from the multitude of series the author has going, each new book continues to feel fresh and holds the readers attention until the last page.  While the previous stories in the Zeus’s Pack series can be considered stand alones, the information that each story contains would help the reader better understand the history of each new book.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Forever in One Second

Title: Forever in One Second
Author: Finn Marlowe
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60928-757-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Publication Date: 01-10-2012  

Paramedic Courtenay Woods volunteered to help with search and rescue of the tornado’s victims. Court found Dane Harper buried under a pile of rubble, unmoving and lifeless. Having the power to cheat death, Court places his hands on Dane’s chest manipulating that one second of fate to save Dane’s life. 

Forever in One Second is a profound plot dealing with the many psychological side effects triggered by traumatic events. Symptoms of nightmares, chronic despair, perpetual fear of public places, borderline panic attacks and becoming a religious fanatic are featured. Nevertheless, the characters are incredibly witty, enriching the morose theme to an appealing and enjoyable position. The storyline illustrates the special gifts that are an element in some personalities. Court can heal injuries but not disease. He feels guilty because of his limitations. Court has survived a traumatic experience in the Middle East; however Court was left mentally broken in a number of ways. Now Court considers himself as a freak, unworthy of love. By saving Dane’s life, Court also saves his own. Dane is like an unstoppable force of nature, the eternal optimist who refuses to allow Court to flounder in misery. Dane has the ability to instigate laughter from anyone in his company. Between Dane’s exceptional lovemaking skills and his sparkling personality, Court’s tortured mind began to heal.  

Finn Marlowe has created an outstanding saga exhibited in an upbeat scenario. The realistic main characters display an absolutely superb interaction as well as an amazing chemistry inside and out of the bedroom.   

Crank’s Craving

Title: Crank’s Craving
Authors: Stormy Glenn and Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61034-900-8
Genre: {M/M} Science Fiction Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx  

Kidnapping Anok seemed like a good idea, since Crank was just trying to keep him safe, but he’s so angry, Crank’s not so sure. With Anok refusing to be mated, Crank’s mating heat is almost out of control and he’ll go feral within days and need to be put down. For the safety of everyone on the Lady Blue, the only answer is for Crank to be sedated until they can decide what to do with him.  

Since he’s never wanted a mate, his feelings for Crank confuse and unsettle Anok and he doesn’t know what to do. Then he learns Crank’s been sedated and everyone on board ship blames him and he doesn’t understand why. There’s only one person who can explain what being mated to the cougar shifter will mean and he’s unconscious in sick bay. Is Anok brave enough to have Crank awakened? And what will it mean for his life? 

The latest release in the Lady Blue Crew series is Crank’s Craving and because the plot and characters continue from one book to the next, they should, in my opinion, be read in order. 

Despite it being a fun read, it still has its fair share of angst and pain as Crank tries to deal with a mate who doesn’t understand or want him. Most of his problems stem from not talking to Anok and explaining what’s going on. Truthfully I have trouble with basing a book premise on two characters not talking. It’s a weak ploy that could easily resolve their problem with one conversation.  

Still I like both Crank and Anok. They’re interesting guys individually and once they get their act together, make a great couple, but it takes a good half of the book for that to happen. During this time emotions between them run high with lots of pain, unease and distress.  The authors did a nice expressing all of these feelings and making Anok understand what being Crank’s mate means. The initial claiming scene where Crank is mentally mostly cougar is handled nicely.  

From this point the story shifts from being relationship to action driven as the Lady Blue and her crew try to escape from the Elite Force creeps chasing them. This portion not only brings in the other couples but also new crew members Mo and Mykel, who we’ll see as the couple featured in the next release, What Once Was Lost.

Tater’s Bear

Title: Tater’s Bear
Author: Lynn Hagen  
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1610349466
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Tater has only had one place that made him feel safe and, after watching it burn to the ground, he feels like he is losing a little more of himself every day.  Olsen is Tater’s mate and will do anything to make the man’s life better.  The problem is that Tater doesn’t know what Olsen really is and at the moment, the human isn’t up to any more changes in his life.  Unfortunately for Tater, he really does not have a choice. 

Tater’s Bear is the 22nd release in the long running Brac Pack series.  Fans of this series will remember Tater from a previous story and will therefore understand his reluctance to get involved with Olsen.  Unfortunately, Olsen has many obstacles to overcome before he can claim his mate but once he does, their passion will burn up the pages.  Even though I knew these two would eventually end up together; more than once, I thought that Tater’s issues would cause Olsen to walk away. 

The continuing problem of Liquid Wrath, of course, causes problems for the many characters in the book and, as a result, new information is revealed that will surprise the readers.  New characters are also introduced during the course of the story, many of whom I hope will get stories of their own soon.  Tater’s Bear is a great addition to Ms. Hagen’s series and should not be missed.

Quarterback Blitz

Title:  Quarterback Blitz
Author:  Frances Stockton
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN: 9781419930416
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Cougar
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Kyran walked into the locker room while Anna was trying to get out of her costume for the Griffins football team.  Kyran has been trying to get Anna to take him seriously when he asks her out, but Anna can’t believe he wants her since she is ten years older than him. 

Quarterback Blitz will keep you on the edge of your seat.  The suspense the author created around both Kyran and Anna is intense and, at times, will surprise you.  Anna is self-conscious of her body and her age.  Kyran couldn’t care less.  I loved the way Kyran let Anna know he was serious.   

Both characters, as well as the secondary ones, are strong and I definitely want to know more about some of them.  The author showed the steps to take when you have a serious stalker that seems to find you, no matter what.  Some of the stalking and incidents could have been taken out of the headlines.   

The relationship between Anna and Kyran is intense.  Keep ice on hand for some of their sex scenes.  I liked that the author showed how some problems could come up with a professional football team when they were on the road, and some behind-the-scenes when there is a mascot involved. 

This is one book I will be reading again and can’t wait to read about some of the other characters in the future.

Midnight Seduction: Manlove Edition

Title: Midnight Seduction: Manlove Edition
Author: Anthology
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-926950-95-2
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

More Bad Things by Luxie Ryder - 4 Nymphs
After all this time apart and with so many bad feelings between them, Finn Kennedy could not believe his ex-boyfriend, Byron Daly, would invite him to a True Blood themed Halloween party at Byron’s manor house. However, Finn soon discovered the vampires at the party were real and Byron was now one of them.  

Dulce by Avril Ashton - 5 Nymphs
The moment werewolf Griffin Royale steps into his brother’s night club, he is assaulted by the sweet scent of his mate. The problem is Dulce O’Brien is from a rival pack and not inclined to mate with the enemy. Fortunately love proves to be stronger than pack loyalty for Dulce and Griffin.   

Sexy Beast by Anna Keraleigh - 5 Nymphs
Declan is a Glatisant, several different animal species blended together to form a mythical beast. Declan was being chased by two hunters when Erik came upon the scene and chased the hunters away before they could capture Declan. With their first kiss, Declan knew Erik was his mate. 

Claret by Miho Li - 4 Nymphs
A student destined to be a Shinto priest, Toshi embodies that something special in his blood that vampires crave. After becoming acquainted with Aki, Toshi wonders if Aki is protecting him or merely hoarding Toshi as Aki’s next meal. 

Dream Weaver by Kastil Eavenshade - 4 Nymphs
Colin did not believe in fairy tales, yet his lonely life along with the convincing old lady at Rosie’s Charmed Antiques persuaded Colin to purchase the enchanted music box. Colin’s friend Justin Weaver is also searching for love. With the help of the magical music box, Colin and Justin find true love with each other. 

Midnight Seduction: Manlove Edition is a fantastic paranormal collection. Each story has unique characters, a dash of humor, a touch of mystery and sizzling intimacy scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed this impressively entertaining anthology.

Forgotten Sins

Title: Forgotten Sins
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-092-1
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx  

Making a bargain with a witch was the worst mistake Jonas Tracer ever made. Now Nicholas believes another man is his mate and he’s forgotten nearly two hundred years of history with Jonas. He doesn’t know what to do except to return Nicholas to places they both know in order to try and jog his memory and force him to accept their bond. 

Once the curse is broken, Nicholas remembers everything and realizes he should walk away. He’s loved Jonas for almost two centuries and knows that claiming him will likely mean his mate’s death. But a foe from his past has returned for revenge and Nicholas is forced to turn to their new friends for help to protect the man he loves. Can he tell Jonas the truth or will death come to visit before he confesses the sins of his past? 

Forgotten Sins is release three in Gabrielle Evans’ Haven series, and reading them in order would be best. 

It begins with an attention grabbing remark that immediately pulled me into the story, showing the frustration and desperation Jonas is experiencing with Nicholas. Initially, it’s all directed at the witch…who I didn’t expect to see in the opening pages. It’s a nice twist and gives a good sense of what Jonas is up against. Ms. Evans takes the unease of Jonas and Nicholas and uses it to propel the plotline forward. It’s here you get a good feel for the personality of both men and she continues to build on that, adding new layers as their situations changes throughout the story. 

The flow is smooth and the plotting is good; pulling in characters from other releases. I especially enjoyed seeing more of Torren who was first mentioned in Faith, Trust, and Stardust, and who I expect to see more of in the future. There’s lots going on in Forgotten Sins, and oftentimes, there are numerous characters present in one scene to keep track of, so be on your toes. With Nicholas unable to remember his bond to Jonas, I had trouble seeing them as a couple, and it wasn’t until his memory came back and missing tidbits of information got filled it that I finally got it. But things aren’t smooth sailing even then. They still have plenty of danger, betrayal and deceit to work through from an unexpected quarter and if it doesn’t work out, one of them could wind up dead. Enjoy. Watch for the next book, Back Roads, just released.

Vessel

Title: Vessel
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-173-5
Genre: {M/M}, BDSM, Sequel
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Sloan and Cole have been together for five years and, until recently, Sloan thought everything was wonderful.  When Cole’s father starts making noise about wanting a grandson, and Cole starts acting secretive, Sloan begins to wonder just how wonderful everything really is. 

Vessel is the sequel to author Mickie B. Ashling’s Cutting Cords.  Anyone who has read the first story knows just how angst ridden it was, and Vessel is no different.  After reading the blurb for this new book, I knew that the men would not have an easy time of it, but I was shocked by what they ended up going through. 

The author makes a statement on her website that this is a book that readers will either love or hate, and she is not joking.  I loved the first book.  Sloan and Cole, for all their flaws, made me root for them the whole time.  I was thrilled when they finally worked everything out and came together as a couple.  When I saw that a sequel was coming out, I could not wait to see what the two had been up to.  As in Cutting Cords, Cole and Sloan pull you right back into their world and it’s not long before the reader discovers things have not been going well.  The situation the men find themselves in will keep you reading until the last page, yet not everyone will be happy when they get there.  By the last page of Vessel, I could not help but feel cheated, not only by the way the story ended, but also because it ultimately ruined the first story for me as well.