Saturday, December 24, 2011

Love Means…Healing

Title: Love Means…Healing
Author: Andrew Grey  
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-219-0
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Western, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

It’s been six months since Len’s husband died.  Once his son hires Chris, however, the rancher wonders if it is finally time for him to get back to living. 

Love Means…Healing is the latest addition to the Farm series by author Andrew Grey.  While this story just came out, it is the story of Len and Chris, characters that fans of this series will remember from the previous stories.  The emotions these two portray run true to life.  Len feels angry and guilty by his growing feelings for the newly hired Chris, feelings that are understandable given the fact that his husband has recently died.  Chris is attracted to Len but can’t understand why the rancher hates him so much, which makes Chris wonder about sticking around.   

It was fun getting the chance to finally see the beginning of this relationship.  The connection between the men is one that had to be worked on, rather than the usual intense instant attraction that readers may be used to.  Geoff and Eli make an appearance, helping Len and Chris find their way in their changing relationship. 

Love Means…Healing is a fast paced novella that will hit the spot as you wait for the author’s next release.

The Love He Squirreled Away

Title: The Love He Squirreled Away
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-119-7
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

What’s an Alpha wolf supposed to do when he discovers his mate is a little furry prey animal…a squirrel shifter named Daniel. That’s the question plaguing Soren, forcing him to put his duty first, keeping his mate a secret while he and his beast yearn to claim him. 

Daniel has other worries. He was terribly ill as a child, making him an outcast in the squirrel community. He still harbors concerns he might carry the virus that made him sick, threatening his new family, but knows deep down Soren will never deny their bond.  

Just because Daniel is getting along with Soren’s pack doesn’t mean that everything is smooth sailing. Others don’t agree with their mating and an attack on the Alpha family is blamed on Daniel, causing tension within the pack. What’s going on? Who is causing problems and will Daniel have to leave to keep the peace? 

The Love He Squirreled Away is release three in Scarlet Hyacinth’s unique and imaginative Mate or Meal series.  It’s another fun and entertaining addition to the series and probably the most unlikely couple so far. I have to admit that when I initially read the blurb, I had doubts about Soren and Daniel as a mated pair but Ms. Hyacinth pulled it off, creatively and realistically getting and keeping them together.  

One of the biggest problems is that Soren’s the pack Alpha and needs cubs, but that hurdle was handled nicely and was a non-issue, bringing a wonderful female wolf into the story. It also starts a series of twists and turns leading to deceit, danger and action-packed scenes as Soren and Daniel strive to protect each other and the cubs. Here we also get reintroduced to Skylar and meet ruthless shark shifter, Byron. This series is filled with interesting personalities and I know that these two will be important in the future and can’t wait to learn more about them. But that’s not all. There are a few others in the villain category, butting into Soren and Daniel’s life, trying to destroy or bend it to his will. 

Back to Daniel and Soren. I love these guys, especially Daniel and how some of his squirrel tendencies come out while in human form, while Soren is protective, dominant and stubborn. If you like reading shifter stories with love, passion, action, danger and wolf cubs, you’ll likely appreciate and enjoy this one. Watch for The Lynx Who Claimed the Sun coming next.

Celtic Warrior & Wolf Spirit

Title: Celtic Warrior & Wolf Spirit
Author: M.D. Grimm
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-276-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Sequel
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Brian is busy preparing dinner with his entourage of pets watching his every move, hoping a morsel of food will drop on the floor. A knock on the door is answered to reveal the unpleasant sight of Brian’s psycho ex-boyfriend. Suddenly, Brian’s happy mood is put on hold while he tries to keep his wolf-shifter mate, Derek, from committing murder. 

Celtic Warrior & Wolf Spirit is the sequel to Psychic Moon. This is a fantastic short story combining a little danger, as well as humor. I suggest reading Psychic Moon first for the full history of these wonderful characters. Brian is a Veterinarian and Derek is a Humane Officer at the Pet Rescue Center. Brian is the only person who can calm Derek’s temper.   Although the whole story is entertaining, I especially enjoy Derek in his wolf form.

Grayson’s Gamble

Title: Grayson’s Gamble
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-665-9
Genre: {M/F/M} {M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

In the world of the circs, Grayson Belle is a rare man. Unlike the soldiers who’ve been genetically altered in government sponsored scientific programs, turning them into shape-shifters, he was born with the ability shift forms. And he’s telepathic too. But lately his world is coming apart with messed up missions and he’s lusting after his annoying new partner, Bas. Now Gray and Bas are being sent into the field again…to find a rogue circ, Al Ross, who turns out not to be the person either man thought. In fact, Gray’s inner beast wants to claim them as his mate. But doing so will mess up his carefully laid out plans for the future.  

As a rational man, Gray hates that his instincts are pushing aside what his head knows is true but his heart wants his mates and won’t be denied. But first he and Bas have to persuade a stubborn, independent female they all belong together. 

Grayson’s Gamble is release five in Marie Harte’s Dawn Endeavor series and it’s another fun, well written and entertaining addition to the family of books. Please be aware that the lives of the characters are highly intertwined, so the books would be best read in order. 

There’s just something about the circs and the world they live in that I find fascinating, and I can’t seem to get enough to them.  It’s filled with action from beginning to end and watching Gray and Bas fuss at and annoy each other is great fun. And you can’t forget the simmering sexual attraction or blistering hot sex either, which only gets hotter when Ali arrives on the scene. The bantering dialogue is fun and nicely done, the characters well rounded and interesting, and the plot flows smoothly from scene to scene.  

The villains and his minions are at work, which means danger, thrills and suspense while Gray, Bas and Ali try to stay alive. All this happens while integrating the romance into the story and Ms. Harte does it successfully, and still gives our trio a happily-ever-after.

Angels on Top

Title: Angels on Top
Author: N.J. Nielsen
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-549-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Holiday
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Marlowe Shelby Weldon is celebrating his twenty first birthday with a party. Guests include family, friends and Marlowe’s cousin’s new neighbor, Angelo Linford. There is an attraction between them, however Marlowe is gay looking for a boyfriend and Angelo is merely looking for a friend.  

Angels on Top is an amazing upbeat story. From the beginning, I was impressed by the hilarious banter. Yet humor is not the sum total of the plot. The storyline exhibits admirable examples of emotional turmoil, in addition to mental abuse. Angelo’s parents, especially his father, are fanatical control freaks. Angelo was not allowed to have his own opinions or make his own choices. Sadly this is a reality for many people. Being raised in a homophobic environment, Angelo has problems recognizing his feelings for Marlowe as love beyond friendship. Angelo had the painful task of retraining his mind to observe himself and others without gender labels, also to accept that love is love, no matter what their sexual characteristics are. Openly gay Marlowe desperately tries to present a smiling face to the world while hiding his unreciprocated love for Angelo. Marlowe’s fantasy is to find someone who can love him for who he is. 

N.J. Nielsen’s Angels on Top is a beautiful happily-ever-after saga. The splendid characters are thoroughly enjoyable, inspiring a warm and comfy sensation around the region of the heart.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cop Out

Title: Cop Out
Author: K. C. Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-214-5 
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When Detective Kurt O’Donnell is severely injured in a police bust, his world is turned upside down when he discovers that his slain partner was married to a man. The news shakes him, but Kurt’s determined to support the grieving Davy any way he can and soon, without him realizing it, they’ve become friends.  

Kurt’s life get’s more uncertain when his growing attraction to Davy causes him to question his sexual identity and then a brief sexual encounter between them only complicates his life further. One thing is clear, if he wants to be with Davy that means Kurt coming out of the closet, endangering his job and the relationship with his family and friends. Can he risk everything on the chance to be with a still grieving man? 

Cop Out is the first book by K.C. Burn I’ve read but it won’t be the last. “Gay for you” books can be tough to write but this author did a good job, starting Kurt and Davy off as friends and allowing their relationship to build, slowing changing it to something deeper and stronger. It’s truly a case of love born out of tragedy and instead of appearing tacky, Ms. Burn handled it with creativity and taste. 

It begins with the action packed scenes leading to injury and death that set up the entire plot. It’s not a usual start but it’s dramatic and caught my attention, pulling me into the story. The personalities of both Kurt and Davy are well developed, as are those of the other characters. I particularly enjoyed Simon (Kurt’s new partner) and his easy acceptance and friendship. And then there’s Kurt’s huge family. I loved their inclusion in the story and Kurt’s fear of losing them over his coming out of the closet is expressed well.

There’s plenty of misunderstandings and pain to work through for Kurt and Davy as they deal with their individual problems. So be prepared for lots of angst and unhappiness but never fear, it does work out in the end. I’d love to see a story featuring Kurt’s brother Ian, who also confessed that he is gay during the book.

Take Me Home

Title: Take Me Home
Author:  Sloan Parker
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-687-1
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Author Kyle Bennett is at a stalemate in his writing and his personal life. When his best friend Evan Walker moved into Kyle’s apartment six months ago, Kyle realized that his feelings for Evan are much stronger than just friendship; Kyle is in love with Evan. Add to that the delivery of Kyle’s deceased grandfather’s secret journal and Kyle soon finds his world turned into total chaos.  

Suspense is an apt description for Take Me Home. There is the trepidation of waiting for the journal to reveal its secrets, as well as the anticipation of an elevation in Kyle and Evan’s relationship. The well written plot feeds the reader a small experience at a time before the venue shifts, such as Kyle and Evan stand close enough to kiss but then the spell is broken and they move away from each other. It is edgy scenes like this that had me wishing I could bump their heads together. However, as the story unfolds, there are several breathtaking displays of exquisite lovemaking.  

Kyle and Evan are similar in many ways. They share a childhood past, both are writers though in different careers, both are secretly in love with each other and neither man wants to do anything that will jeopardize their friendship. What is different is that Kyle prefers one night stands, where as Evan wants a long term relationship. Kyle and Evan both suffer with feelings of insecurity, which is the source of their numerous outbursts of anger with each other. There are several dramatic events regarding the journal, adding more anxiety to Kyle and Evan’s already strained friendship. Discovering the journal’s secrets grasp the reader until the very end.

Sloan Parker has created a marvelous saga that I found absolutely enjoyable. Take Me Home is an emotionally engaging arousing romance blended with mystery, a touch of humor as well as a wealth of excitement.

Broken Memories

Title: Broken Memories
Authors: Diane Adams and RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN: 9781920502263
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Sam Harrison’s world is a scary, unsettled mess. He doesn’t remember anything of his life before being taken prisoner and later rescued from the warehouse where he was held. Now he’s nervous, jumpy, has nightmares and is scared of shifting into his wolf form. 

Doug McKenna is a true Alpha wolf and has little respect for those he considers weak. He doesn’t understand how Sam could have experienced something so terrible he would be as broken as he is. But he also realizes Sam is in desperate need of someone to take care of him and believes he’s the one perfect for the job…and his wolf agrees. 

Broken Memories is the second release in the trilogy In The Shadow of the Wolf. It takes up almost immediately after Shattered Secrets left off, so you should read it first.  

This is not a warm and fuzzy type trilogy/book…it’s dark, moody and somber, involving a terrible conspiracy that deepens as the story progresses into this second book. That means a good deal of world-building and I have to say the authors have done a very nice job, developing the details that bring this story alive. The plot is terribly complex and filled with information as it moves everyone involved toward the final confrontation with the bad guys in the upcoming final release. 

I like Sam. I think anyone can understand how horrible it would be to not remember anything about your life. The author’s expression of his fear, nervousness, unease and uncertainty is very nicely done. And then there’s Doug. Mr. Uber Alpha Wolf. He’s a little harder to like. The personality created for him is hard around the edges but at heart, he’s protective and caring. It just takes time to get over his attitude problems.

Add these things together with sizzling hot sex, interesting secondary characters and good dialogue and you have everything needed for an entertaining paranormal read. Look for Splintered Lies, coming in March 2012.

A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy

Title: A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy
Author: Jan Irving    
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-830-7
Genre: {M/M} Wereshifters, Series 
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Deputy Micah Danvers is intrigued by the woman weaving baskets at the craft fair; Micah is even more intrigued to learn Sasha Anderson is a male and Micah’s mate. 

A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy is book five in the Uncommon Cowboys series. In this episode, Micah is desperately trying to hide his true nature. Micah also feels guilty regarding the tragedy in his past and he is afraid that the danger of the past is still out there. For years, Micah has suppressed his wolf side by refusing to shift. However, meeting Sasha, Micah’s wolf becomes out of control. Sasha is a vegetarian and an activist for all natural things. Sasha is proud of who he is. He refuses to be any man’s dirty little secret or hide his sexual kink; Sasha likes to be spanked, especially by Micah. 

Jan Irving’s A Plain, Ordinary Cowboy adds another piece to the ongoing mystery of who is trying to kill the shifters. I enjoyed the build up of drama along with the showcasing of characters from the previous stories.  

This series is best read in sequence.

First Contact

Title: First Contact
Author: Mark Alders
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-031-0
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic Science Fiction Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

First contact with an alien civilization is always dangerous as Ely, Emerson, Braden and Kale discovered on their last mission. Now they’re going back to the same crystalline metalloid ship to try and stop it before it can call in reinforcements from its nest, which could destroy humanity.  

When they arrive at the alien ship, they immediately know something isn’t right. It’s as if the ship is alive and watching their every move…something dark and dangerous, actually changing the walls of the ship itself. Can they escape the entity holding them, with the information they need or will all hope of success rest with convincing another strange alien race to help them? They’ve made first contact but what happens next and will they survive it? 

First Contact is the second release in Mark Alders’ series Starship Cadet Missions. Mr. Alders again does a nice job with his world-building, starting on their ship, the Mandrake, and moving out to the original alien ship. There are several attention-grabbing twists and turns here but where it really gets interesting is when the guys meet up with a second alien race, the Cyatheales…a race of trees. I have to say this really surprised me and I thought the concept and details are particularly well done. It’s here that the story really took off and the vivid details of this new world made it come alive, all while our four young officers got themselves into trouble. 

I like Ely, Emerson, Braden and Kale. They’re young, sexy, in love and energetic about everything they do but at times during the story, the author allows them to act too immature and unthinking for officers on important missions. I know it fits with the plotline but it jerks me out of the story a bit and truthfully, makes me grit my teeth.

After the events on the original alien ship, the new twists that involve representatives of the Cyatheales near the end are a shock. That sets the series up for the next release, Starship Cadet: Emissary, coming in June 2012.

Field of Play

Title:  Field of Play
Author:  Frances Stockton
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN:  9781419933066
Genre:  {M/F}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Dallas agrees to pretend that Grace is his girlfriend to keep the public from finding out he is looking for his birth parents.  Once he sees Grace, Dallas rethinks the pretending part and makes her his girlfriend for real. 

Field of Play is the second book that the author has written about the Griffins football team.  The story has some angst throughout, but be aware there is a lot of football in it too.  I happen to like football and really enjoyed reading the descriptions and thought I was actually at some of the games, it was so descriptive.   

Grace is tall, like an Amazon, and had been teased a lot at school growing up.  Some of those feelings show up, especially when she finds out her main nemesis used to date Dallas.  The author showed how childhood hurts and some past relationships can have a big bearing on current ones, especially when exes are vindictive. 

Keep ice on hand as you read the scenes between Grace and Dallas because they are hot.  Some of the secondary characters are from the first book, Quarterback Blitz, though you can read each alone, but you will get much more enjoyment if you read it first.  I am looking forward to reading about some of these characters in future books, but do wish the author had tied them together as an actual series.

By Chance Met

Title: By Chance Met
Author: Eresse
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN: 978-1-59578-867-2
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy, Series  
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Fief Lord of Ilmaren, Reijir Arthanna comes to the rescue of Naeth Orosse, the same youth who had aided Reijir in an earlier tavern brawl. Discovering the badly beaten Naeth is an orphan, as well as realizing their mutual attraction, Reijir becomes Naeth’s guardian. During the years spent living in the same household, the attraction between Reijir and Naeth blossoms into true love. 

By Chance Met is the third book in the outstanding Chronicles of Ylandre. The particularly intricate plot blends emotional chaos, brawls plus exceptionally sensual lovemaking scenes into a distinctively engaging world. The setting is the fantasy planet of Aisen, populated by a race of hermaphrodites. The theme’s focus is the social structure along with the reasoning for maintaining the original mating arrangement. Naere is the origin of the hermaphroditic race. Through colonizing, Naere bred with the native Gelra. True Bloods are the ruling class whose ancestors kept their breeding with the Gelra to a minimum and retained much of the physical strength, endurance and most of the psychic gifts of the Naere. Half Blood’s ancestors bred indiscriminately with the Gelra, which resulted in the diminishment or disappearance of many of the characteristics of the Naere in present day generations. The storyline highlights how Reijir, a cousin to Ylandre’s Monarch Rohyr Essendri, and Naeth, a Half Blood, liberated themselves from the oppressing division of social rank to obtain a true bonding of their souls. 

Eresse has created an absolutely amazing, thoroughly enjoyable romance. The incredible dual-gendered characters in By Chance Met are enormously heartwarming. I look forward to the next installment of this superb series.


This series is best read in sequence.

Splash and Elegance

Title: Splash and Elegance
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-177-4
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Whitley Turner is so socially awkward and forgettable that he’s practically invisible to everyone around him. Learning of the elders' plans to force a mate on everyone doesn’t upset him, but instead gives him a glimmer of hope that someone might want him. So when he ends up mated to an orca shifter he’s not certain what to think. 

Jude Chambers has been trying to get close to the shy swan shifter for months. With a little manipulation added to the elders' plans, he has Whitley exactly where he needs him…as his new mate. Except now Jude feels guilty because Whitley isn’t the arrogant creep he thought. His plans are ready to be put into action but it doesn’t take long for Whitley to realize he’s being used. When the truth comes out, can he forgive Jude or will the lies drive them apart forever? 

Splash and Elegance by Gabrielle Evans is release thirteen in the Midnight Matings series. It’s well written, with an interesting, suspense filled plot but not my favorite of the group. Yes there’s almost instant sex and mating between Jude and Whitley but that doesn’t mean love and trust come easy for them. For a big portion of the story, it focuses on the secrets they’re both dealing with…especially Jude, and his arrogant attitude and disregard for Whitley feelings, taking away some of my enjoyment.  

Eventually we discover the reason behind Jude’s actions and it kind of redeems him but only to a point, since he could have accomplished his task by another method. But by then I couldn’t find an emotional attachment to him, knowing how badly he’d treated his mate. That’s not the case with Whitley, who Ms. Evan gave a much more winning personality. He’s a real sweetie who deserved a better life and I enjoy how he managed to learn to stand up for himself in the end. He wasn’t a doormat any longer. 

If you like suspense, drama, lots of sizzling sex, and plenty of misunderstandings all in a paranormal story, then give this one a try. Look for Monsters and Mayhem, coming next.

Surrounded by Pleasure

Title:  Surrounded by Pleasure
Author:  Mandy Harbin
Publisher:  Amira Press
Publisher URL:  www.amirapress.com
ISBN: 978-1-937394-11-1
Genre:  {M/F}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Toby doesn’t think he will ever find a mate, especially since he stays on his family’s farm.  Krista arrives to help Mikaela for a month, unaware that Mikaela is matchmaking for her brothers-in-law. 

Surrounded by Pleasure picks up after the first book, Surrounded by Woods, ended in the Woods Family series.  Because of the situation with the Woods family, Mikaela decides to become a matchmaker.   

There are a lot of insecurities on everyone’s part as relationships progress, especially when Toby tries to resist being with Krista.  I am not sure that I approve of the “that person’s taken but go ahead and have a sexual relationship with someone else” mentality. I understand why the author is going that route, but it takes me out of my comfort zone.  That being said, the story is an interesting and emotional one. Be aware the author threw a monkey wrench in the mix in the epilogue. 

Both stories can be read alone, but please read the series in order.  Things make much better sense as you read, though explanations are in both books.  Even though some information is a repeat, the author gives it a fresh feel in Surrounded by Pleasure.  I can’t wait to see how things are going to be resolved in the next book.  I will be reading this series again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cat’s Pride

Title: Cat’s Pride
Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-014-X
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary Shape-shifter
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx  

Benji never fit into his lion pride and after learning he was the mate of the new Alpha, he ran away. It wasn’t because he didn’t want Stellan but the Alpha didn’t want him and brought a woman in as his fiancée. Now he’s in trouble and needs help and if he doesn’t get it, he could wind up dead. 

Stellan wanted Benji from the moment they met but when he didn’t have a mating scent, he agreed to mate with someone else. When he learns Benji’s in trouble, he can’t ignore it and sends enforcer Kody to check things out. What Kody learns is that Benji’s life is a mess and that he’s the mate of both him and the Alpha. If Benji is to survive the men intent on killing him, it will take both Kody and Stellan to keep him safe. 

Cat’s Pride is the newest release by Stormy Glenn. I enjoy shifter books and while nothing about the premise is new, it still resonated with me. It’s an entertaining look into the lives of three men with enough problems to sink any relationship. Sweet Benji has had a rough existence and later been rejected by his bullheaded alpha mate, add in a second mate and you have story that sucked me right in.  With him, Ms. Glenn created a man who suffered a type of abuse all his life, so it’s not surprising he didn’t seek help from the men beating him. I think she did a nice job showing the signs of his downtrodden personality without allowing the story to become maudlin. 

Then Kody enters the picture. With him, Ms. Glenn shows two sides of his personality... big, dominant and unwilling to bend for anyone, versus his willingness to do anything for Benji. It was cute to see and nicely done, as was his hostility toward Alpha Stellan. The Alpha has a tough time mending fences with both his men but Ms. Glenn got him there, despite not deserving it.  

The story is pretty straightforward. It’s about Benji and his fight to survive in a world that didn’t want him. Meaning there’s lots of pain, fear and feelings of rejection. But with Kody’s arrival, all of that changes and suddenly he feels hope, desire and passion. That doesn't mean that in order to get the happily-ever-after they want, the guys don't have to deal with the villains in a well scripted, action packed scene at the end. Yes, there are a few plot threads left dangling and some inconsistencies but that don’t mean it’s not enjoyable.

He Ain't Heavy

Title: He Ain't Heavy
Author: J.P. Bowie
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-541-7
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Brad and Duncan McKinley had gone to visit their parents, to tell their father both of them are gay, but their confessions would never be spoken to their bigoted father, given that Brad and Duncan found their parents brutally murdered inside their Pasadena home. 

He Ain't Heavy is a gripping tale profiling the mind of a deranged killer, the image of a conservative persona disguising the perverted minds of men obsessed with money, dirty cops as well as a miscarriage of justice by the penal system. In the pursuit of more wealth, out of control greed promotes the actions of fraud, embezzlement, bribery as well as being accomplices to murder. In the warped mentality of corrupted men, anyone obstructing their goals will be eliminated without consideration or remorse. With their parents’ death, life long family secrets kept from Duncan and Brad are revealed.  

Brad and Duncan become innocent prey to those seeking access to the ill-gotten gains of their father. Although they were raised in a wealthy household, Brad and Duncan are not tainted by the influence of money. They established a publishing company in San Diego, independent of their father’s investments. Brad and Duncan have a special bond of love, respect as well as being emotionally caring by suppressing their true feelings from each other. Both are considerate men with an abundance of integrity.

Reading J.P. Bowie’s exceptionally clever excerpt, my first impression is that this is a sinister tale and it is with heart stopping action, psycho killers and mayhem. However, interwoven into this nail biting thriller are extraordinary intimate scenes in glorious detail.  He Ain't Heavy is a thoroughly enjoyable happy ever after murder mystery romance.

Back Roads

Title: Back Roads
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-095-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

It doesn’t matter how attracted Galen is to Bannon…he doesn’t believe in fated mates and every time Bannon says they’re mates, he gets angry. He was hurt by a shifter lover claiming the same thing in the past and he’s unwilling to trust the sexy Irishman that drives him nuts. 

After months of patiently wooing his reluctant mate, Bannon doesn’t know what to do. Galen won’t accept the truth and continues to claim he’s nothing more than an ordinary human. But no matter what, Bannon refuses to give up on Galen without a fight. And when the Council wants Galen on his next assignment, Bannon decides to use the time to win him over. Unfortunately, keeping Galen safe isn’t any easier than convincing him of what has been in front on him the entire time. 

The new release in the Haven series is Back Roads. It’s a fun and entertaining book with some interesting dynamics between these two vastly dissimilar men. Bannon is a typical Alpha type male…big, dominant and protective and it drive him nuts that his mate won’t believe in their bond. Then there’s the much smaller and uncertain Galen. Ms. Evans did a nice job developing both their personalities and expressing why, after the terrible life he’s lead, Galen couldn’t accept his mate bond with Bannon. There’s also a nice sense of family with all the returning characters met in the previous releases. 

The search Bannon and Galen go on is pretty intense and involves some interesting dream walking type scenes that I really enjoyed. There’s plenty of action and I liked that Galen got the chance to come to the rescue, which was a big surprise. At the end, there are a few threads left dangling and I still have a few questions that I assume will be answered in a future release. Watch for Invincible coming next.

Transference

Title: Transference
Author: Christelle Mirin
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-037-9
Genre: {M/F} {M/F/M} Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

Ever since she was struck by lightning while trying to rescue her cat from a storm, Crystalline hasn’t been feeling herself. It’s safe to say that the urges she’s experiencing when she’s around hospital worker Joe and neighbor Jack are completely new to her. Deep down, she knows something must be wrong for her to have these wanton reactions, but she is desperate to keep the strange blue dreams that have been haunting her ever since the lightning strike at bay. Hot, hard and frequent sex with two gorgeous, more than willing men seems to do the trick. Joe and Jack are willing to see where things will lead with their little minx, but can they accept all that Crystalline has to offer? 

The characters in Transference are all genuine and likable, and interact very well together. The author’s style of writing suits this genre, making for an enjoyable read. It was refreshing to follow a plot that was a little out of the ordinary. It seemed to dare me to just let go and imagine how good it would be to give in to my more basic desires. The sex scenes were very animalistic and satisfying, but the overall storyline did seem a bit anti-climactic and lacked substance. However, the author did a good job of showing Crystalline’s inner turmoil as she tried to figure out what the changes she was going through would mean for her future and the way the world would view her behavior. Joe and Jack were nice enough guys, treating Crystalline very well, but I would have liked to see a bit more character development for them.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Title: Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-826-0
Genre: {M/M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Nothing could get matchmaker Dane Sanders to back down on his vow to not accept vampires as clients. However, Dane could not resist his attraction to the sexy vampires, Zephen and Theron. 

Matchmaker, Matchmaker is a hilarious short story. Dane is human with the magical ability to see a client’s aura. Unfortunately, Dane cannot see his own aura. After agreeing to help the vampires, Dane decided to indulge in a little sexual reprise with Zephen. But before Dane and Zephen could become fully involved, Dane met tri-mate Theron and knew immediately that Theron was Zephen’s mate but what Dane did not realize is that he is the third.

I have described only a small segment of this superb, thoroughly enjoyable, extremely creative storyline found in Amber Kell’s Matchmaker, Matchmaker.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Devin

Title:  Devin
Author:  Kathi S. Barton
Publisher:  World Castle Publishing
ISBN:  978-1937085-43-8
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Series 
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Devin Grant wasn’t usually a first class jerk but today had been the day from hell.  He hadn’t intended to be mean to the tall waitress who made his blood pressure soar, but he’d treated her horribly.  If she didn’t spit in his food, it would be a miracle.  And the cherry on top was that she thought Devin was gay. 

The gun toting waitress Ronnie Fey had way too much going on to be distracted by the good looking man with the bad attitude.  Finding a new internship, paying for law school, and studying for exams were keeping her more than busy.  If Devin thought he could negate his bad behavior by making her his charity case, then he had another think coming. 

Ronnie doesn’t understand why Devin wants her, especially after she tells him the awful truth about her family.  Ronnie never thought she’d want any man, because the thought of being touched made her physically ill but Devin made her feel things she never expected.  And Devon fell in love with Ronnie almost from the moment they met.  Their happy ending is disrupted by Ronnie’s dysfunctional family as danger grows for Ronnie and Devin. 

Devin may be the second story of The Grant Brothers series, but by no means does this story take a back seat to the first installment.  Kathy S. Barton has made me fall in love with everyone in the Grant clan all over again.  Devin Grant is a great lawyer and an honorable man.  However, when he took his frustrations out on Ronnie, I wanted to kick him.  I was so happy when Ronnie stood up to him, because Devin needed that.  I love it when the woman makes the man work for her affections.  Ronnie certainly did that.  Ronnie is a hard working woman who overcame more than any one person should have to deal with.  After learning some specific details about Ronnie’s childhood, I felt her shame and disgust as if it were my own.  Picturing her as a little girl thinking about death as an escape truly upset me.  I suggest keeping a tissue close by, because you just might need it.   Sometimes, the worst situations produce the strongest people.  I know that was the case for Ronnie.  Her surrogate fathers were adorable and they added some levity that Ronnie needed.  I was jealous of the love they showered Ronnie with. The dark twist and turns, I never saw coming, left me wondering if Devin will have emotional scars down the road.  If you’re looking for a story to warm your heart, Devin is for you.

The Model

Title: The Model
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN: 9781920502294
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

How is famous model, Alessandro, supposed to find someone to love when no guy ever looks past his perfect body? Off camera he’s Fabio Bonardi and he’s tired of being alone. He’s enjoyed his modeling career but knows that with the appearance of his first facial wrinkle that it’s time to plan for the next stage of his life. That means starting a business and he hires shy consultant Edwin Zachary to help him. He didn’t expect to find someone to love and as the two men get closer, they learn that a stalker isn’t happy with them being together. Will Fabio and Edwin be driven apart or can they build the lasting and committed relationship they desire? 

The Model is the newest release in Serena Yates series Workplace Encounters and it’s another fun and entertaining read to add to the family of books. It’s well written, has a good flow, nicely developed characters that seem like real people and an emotionally satisfying ending. I like these men. Fabio is especially interesting. Instead of being a stuck up snob, he’s down to earth…a nice guy that wants a lover who appreciates him for something other than his looks. Yes, his and Edwin’s relationship get off to a rocky start but so do lots of relationships and the author shows their uncertain feelings nicely. But I like Edwin too and he has serious trust issues to work through. 

Even when their relationship gets on solid ground, there’s outside forces at work to break them up…a stalker, which mean fear, danger, intrigue and betrayal. Yes, I know a stalker isn’t a surprise with a celebrity character but it does work and make sense with Fabio’s fame. My only real problem with the stalker portion of the story is near the end when Fabio, his limo and driver go missing. It all fits into the plot but the way the police work his missing persons case…after all he’s rich and famous…didn’t seem realistic. Also the stalker is resolved abruptly. But despite these niggles, I still enjoyed the story and look forward to the next release The Cellar Hand coming soon.