Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bone Idol

Title: Bone Idol
Author: Paige Turner
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-832-1
Genre: {M/M} Historical Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

It’s 1875. The Bone Wars are on and scientists obsessed with dinosaur bones are willing to go to any lengths to make a bigger and better discovery than their rivals, even if it means lying, cheating or stealing. 

Henry is ruled by logic…a man of science and a proper gentleman. When he meets the much younger and exuberant Albert, Henry’s world is thrown into chaos, bringing with it a new and dangerous desire. There’s also trouble on the horizon threatening the truth that rules his scientific mind…a lie he can’t let stand. Albert’s concerned with protecting his father’s personal and professional reputation in the competitive bone hunting world. As he and Henry join in the exciting hunt for bones and explore their growing desire, they discover some hidden secrets that could threaten their love with exposure and endanger their very lives.  

Bone Idol is the first release in Paige Turner’s new M/M historical series, Past Perfect. Generally historical books aren’t my thing but knowing it was set during the thrilling time when scientists and fortune hunters were scouring the world for dinosaur bones caught my interest. I knew I had to read it and wasn’t disappointed. The descriptions of the reserved public demeanor of the characters are spot on, as is the imagery of the weather, clothing and various means of transportation, indicating considerable research.  

Then there’s Henry and Albert, both interesting and vastly different individuals. I like them and their willingness to be together despite the possible repercussions. The dinosaur hunting and the underhanded activity associated with it is nicely handled and historically accurate…well done Ms. Turner. Here’s where the bad guy comes in…and the author has created a real nut job with this guy and after reading the epilogue, they’ll have to continue to deal with him in the next book, too.

There’s a lot going on in this short length, passion, desire, deceit, betrayal and plenty of twists and turns to keep your attention. There are also numerous interesting secondary characters involved in the hunt, some family, scientists or others out for money. My only niggle is that there’s a few spots where it feels like it jumps from one scene to another too quickly, pulling me out of the story.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winning in a Landslide

Title: Winning in a Landslide
Author: JM Cartwright
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-728-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Not everyone is happy that Sheriff Virgil Grissom has been re-elected for another four years. In fact, his opponent filed a voter’s count challenge. The hard-won campaign has made Virgil surly. Luckily Virgil’s partner, former rock star Johnny Rayne, is the remedy Virgil needs to improve his mood. 

Winning in a Landslide is the Christmas sequel to A Change of Tune. Virgil and Johnny are still in the adjustment period of being a couple with two small children. In the community of Elkins, West Virginia some of the residents have mixed feelings about gay men adopting kids while a few others are simply homophobic. However, upon reflection Virgil realizes how empty his life was before meeting Johnny. Virgil refuses to abandon his home life for the sake of his career. Johnny realizes he has the life he always wanted, a loving partner and children.  

JM Cartwright’s Winning in a Landslide is an enjoyable, as well as an especially heartwarming story.

Daddy, Daddy and Me

Title: Daddy, Daddy and Me
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerepress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-726-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When his best friend Beth asked him to donate sperm so she could be a mother, Jeff never imagined how it would change his life. When disaster strikes, leaving him the sole parent of a newborn and three year-old, his world is thrown into chaos. His lover bales, the house isn’t set up for kids and the owner of the restaurant where he’s the chef is tired of giving him time off. 

Donny is crazy about kids and has his degree in early childhood education but he hasn’t been able to find a job as a nanny. That changes when he arrives at Jeff’s to the sound of breaking glass and screaming children and his interview turns into a trial by fire. He gets the nanny job and loves it…and it’s just what Jeff and the kids needs…but with all the changes in their lives, are they ready to think of making a family together? 

Daddy, Daddy and Me is a fun, sweet and entertaining release by Sean Michael. I love the opening. After a brief introduction to Donny, the story jumps right into the craziness of Jeff’s new life with the kids…think bleeding dad, screaming infant and a toddler running around naked, covered with marker. It made me chuckle and the vivid imagery is just one example of how the author brought the story to life. The children, adorable Robbie and baby Kimberly, are great little scene stealers and I really appreciate that they stayed a vital part of the plot instead of being relegated to the background.  

Then there’s Donny and Jeff. These two are great, likeable characters. Donny is loving, cute and is nuts about kids, and then there’s Jeff, a talented chef who’s determined to take care of his babies while reeling from the defection of his lover. The two make a wonderful couple and while they might get together a little quickly, it makes sense as plotted and is handled realistically. Be aware that unlike many of Sean Michael’s books, there are a limited number of sex scenes, instead concentrating on the emotional side of their relationship, and turning the four of them into a family. 

It’s heartwarming, tender and just made me feel good. Yes, it’s sweet, and Jeff’s ex-Mitch might have been a little over the top as a bad guy but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. In fact, I’ll be reading Daddy, Daddy and Me again sometime in the future. Good going, Sean Michael.

Love Under Siege

Title:  Love Under Siege
Author:  Samantha Kane
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:   www.jasminejade.com
ISBN:  9781419956270
Genre:  {M/M/F}, Ménage, Historical, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Phillip and Jonathan have known each other since they were in school, and then purchased commissions together in the military.  Both fell in love with Maggie. Maggie married Phillip, not realizing that both Phillip and Jonathan wanted to be her husbands in a relationship.  During the time that Maggie comes to terms with what both men want, several things happen that make her question her decision about the future. 

The second installment of the Brothers In Arms series is intense and brings some of the characters from the first book, as well as some new secondary characters that add to the story.  Love Under Siege continues the threat from a man all are familiar with, due to his actions in a dual and his revenge against this group of men.  The series also encompasses a lot of men that served together under one commander during wartime.  Part of the salvation of the men was that, as pairs, they shared a woman and were also lovers.  

Some of Maggie’s angst is how she feels about the society she is a part of.  She knows that her reputation will be in shreds among the ton if she chooses to do as Phillip and Jonathan wants.  I can understand some of Maggie’s feelings as she has grown up in a very rigid society with very stringent rules of behavior.  Any deviation could ruin a reputation or family.   

I will warn you right now that the scenes between the three are so hot, they scorch the page.  Keep ice and fans on hand as you will need them while reading this book.  I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.  I will also be reading this again.

Gravity

Title: Gravity
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerepress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-725-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Finding his ex-lover in town and at the Hammer one evening wasn’t something Hunter Barrister expected. It’s been years since his painful break-up with Forrest Greune but learning he’s back to stay and wanting to join the club sets his teeth on edge. Hunter’s still upset and as a board member refuses his needed consenting vote, blocking Forrest’s membership. 

Now retired from modeling, Forrest isn’t the same man Hunter knew when they were a couple. With his membership to the Hammer rejected, Forrest is forced to go elsewhere and it ends in disaster. Beaten and near death, when he regains consciousness, Forrest is shocked to find Hunter at his bedside offering the help he needs. Is it possible to put their history behind them and move forward or will the pain and hurt of the past destroy all hopes of a future together? 

Gravity is the newest release in Sean Michael’s Hammer series and my new favorite. It’s not a fun, easy or lighthearted story but begins on a serious note as Hunter deals with the pain of his ex-lover coming back to town. The subject matter only gets more intense as the story progresses and he’s forced to deal with seeing Forrest hurt and the guilt of feeling it was his fault. In this case, it’s not just a minor beating but a severe gay bashing where Forrest almost dies and it results in life changing emotional and physical scars.  

The story is well plotted and written; the personal history between Forrest and Hunter is complicated and it’s filled with pain, fear and uncertainty as they get Forrest through rehab and deal with his permanent disability. We also get plenty of chances to see Hammer regulars Jack and Oliver, along with some of the others.  

Like I said, Gravity’s not an easy book to read but I found the story fascinating and pretty much read it straight through. The BDSM aspect is light, dealing instead with Hunter making amends and the men learning to trust each other again as Forrest heals. So if you’re expecting lots of sex, as is typical in a Hammer story, you’ll be disappointed. But if you want a story of love, patience, redemption and healing, then this Master standing by the sub he loves story will find a warm place in your heart.