Saturday, March 17, 2012

Takeo

Title: Takeo
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-380-7
Genre: {M/M] Paranormal Fantasy Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Takeo doesn’t know what happened but when he wakes, he’s in a dark, dank cell and he’s manacled to the wall.  All he can think of is his lover, Kamiko, and when he’s threatened by his captor, Constantine, Takeo knows he has to find a way to escape before it’s too late.  

Surviving horrible personal circumstances, Kamiko has since led a quiet and secluded life. He’s been friends with Takeo for several years and kept his desire for the warrior hidden. Kamiko doesn’t know what to think when he’s suddenly whisked away from his home to the demon world for his safety, but he goes willing to be with Takeo. 

Loving Kamiko isn’t easy for Takeo. He knows what he feels but isn’t able to express it without making a mess of their relationship. Misunderstandings and miscommunication are driving them apart and if Takeo isn’t careful, Constantine will get his mate before they can work through their problems.  

Takeo is release number four in Lynn Hagen’s Demon Warriors series. Be aware that with the continuing plot line and interconnected characters, the books should be read in order.  

Kamiko is an interesting character and it’s great getting the chance to see this abuse survivor blossom and grow into the self-assured and loving man he’s meant to be. When we first see the change in his behavior it’s almost a shock but then I realized it’s because he’s comfortable in his new life and relationship. That made me smile.  Takeo, on the other hand, I found frustrating. We are told snippets of his history but I never felt I had a good handle on what in his past made him react like he did. And his emotions are all over the place, widely swinging from caring and tender, to angry and acting like a jerk.  

It was nice getting to see the other warriors but I missed the other mates in this book. The villain, Constantine, is an active presence and he moved the story forward a bit but I still don’t know where this aspect of the plotline is going. I assume we’ll learn more in the next release (which should be about Panahasi), an installment I’m looking forward to after reading the last portion of the final chapter.

The Wagered Wench

Title:  The Wagered Wench
Author:  Georgia Fox
Publisher:  Evernight Publishing
ISBN:   978-1-927368-48-0
Genre:  {M/F/M} Erotic Medieval
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Elsinora Gudderthsdottir has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders.  As the only child, who just happens to be female, Elsinora must make certain that the family lands are run properly.  But, no man will fight for lands run by a woman, and her father constantly reminds Elsinora of this.  The only solution is for Elsinora to get married.  Just when she thinks she’s convinced her father that she won’t marry,  Elsinora is thrown for a loop and finds herself married to a complete stranger. 

Dominic Coeur-du-Loup is a Norman soldier with morals, even though Elsinora considers him a monster.   He didn’t intend to really take the land or the daughter he’d won in a tavern game until he witnessed the sad state of the land and the spirit in Elsinora’s eyes.  Dominic knew that if he didn’t follow through with marrying Elsinora, she could wind up with a worse option than him.  She needed him and he was quickly growing to want Elsinora.   

Elsinora unhappily agrees to marriage and promises Dominic that he will never have a moment of peace with her.  Even though her new husband has the manners of a pig and orders her around like a child, Elsinora can’t stop the attraction she feels for Dominic.  As much as he wants to ignore the fact, Dominic is loosing his heart to Elsinora.  He is concerned about the attentions of an old suitor of Elsinora’s.  If push comes to shove, Dominic is willing to give up the family manor, but he will never give up Elsinora.   

Unfinished business between Elsinora and her old suitor causes problems with her marriage to Dominic.  The tables turn and now Elsinora is granted the power to choose her future.  She takes her sweet time in reaching a decision after making some unconventional requests along the way.  Dominic and Elsinora’s old suitor compete for her affections but in the end, Dominic is the one who wins her heart. 

The Wagered Wench is the fifth book of The Conquerors series, but readers don’t need to read the series in order to easily grasp and enjoy this story.  Elsinora is a spunky girl and that is what I liked about her most.  She accepted her fate and married Dominic after putting up quite a fight.  Their fights were equally as stimulating as their love scenes, and I know readers will be shocked by some of them.  There were a few scenes with sexual activity that caught me off guard and left me feeling confused. I’m also left with questions about Elsinora’s old suitor.  All in all, this story has a happy ending that gave me closure and made me curious about the other books in the series.  If you have never read Georgia Fox story, this one would be great as a start.

Hostile Takeover

Title:  Hostile Takeover
Author:  Joey W. Hill
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN:  9781419936449
Genre:  {M/F} BDSM, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Ben is feeling like the odd man out because his fellow K&A team members have found their perfect submissive.  Marcie knows she is the one for Ben, but she will have to work to make him see it. 

The fifth and last book of the Knight of the Boardroom series is very emotional and, in some ways, disturbing.  Hostile Takeover is about a hardcore Dominant that prefers to take things to the extreme, though Ben makes sure that the submissive he is mastering is the kind that can take what he dishes out.  That being said, those that have not been around the BDSM lifestyle will find this book emotionally disturbing because some scenes seem very harsh. 

The emotional turmoil that Ben goes through after one particular incident makes Ben very human and you really want things to turn out right; you get the impression it may not.  Ms. Hill definitely did a lot of research to make sure the scenes and lifestyle issues were correct.  I have to give her kudos for this entire series.  All the couples show up in this book and of course, there is the trademark scene at the end with all the partners.  There is also one scene with all the female characters that is beautifully written. 

Marcie is a very strong woman that knows what she wants, though she does show a vulnerability that I found endearing.  The author shows the emotional turmoil that someone might expect of a woman just coming into her own as she tries to win her man.  Be aware that some scenes in this book can trigger very strong emotions, especially for those that might have been abused, but they are realistic in their creation within this type of lifestyle. 

I will be reading this series again and think that the Knights of the Boardroom series should be on every BDSM lovers bookshelf. Yes, this series must be read in order, though readers should be aware that a couple of the stories are only in print.

Reader Advisory: Marcie's sexual journey contains a group scene of female/female sexual exploration as well as being shared by all the Masters in a brief group scene.

Gravitational Attraction

Title: Gravitational Attraction
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN: 9781920502492
Genre: {M/M} Science Fiction
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Trained as a fighter pilot, Isaac Ozawa is the only Hermes crew member forcibly discharged from the military. A flawed implant operation has rendered Isaac too unstable to pilot a space ship. But as the communication officer for the Hermes, a non-military cargo ship, Isaac is a benefit. Especially in the search and rescue of Turk, a Corzin warrior who has been surgically enhanced by the military. 

Gravitational Attraction is a hang-on-to-your-seat powerful action space adventure with a little romance on the side. The tough-as-nails characters are exceedingly convincing. The creative settings are partly in space and part on Turk’s home planet. From the moment Turk was rescued, Isaac felt an unexplained connection with the man and felt compelled to stay close. Turk also was feeling the invisible connection with Isaac. However, Turk recognizes that Isaac is his soul mate. Isaac and Turk’s hearts beat as one. They find peace and comfort only in each other’s arms.  The whole plot is fascinating; I particularly enjoyed the characters’ good-natured verbal interactions, the illustration of honor, as well as the total acceptance of worthy people into the Corzin family units. Of course there must be a villain; in this plot it is a psychotic, sinister menace to everyone.

Angel Martinez has created a magnificent saga blending intense conflict, humor, poetic sensuality along with compassion. Gravitational Attraction is absolutely a must read for all M/M science fiction fans.

Hair of the Dog

Title: Hair of the Dog
Authors:  Ashlyn Kane, Morgan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-347-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Shape-Shifter Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When Ezra Jones decides to walk home from his father’s wake, he’s drunk. The next morning, he wakes up covered in blood and has a nasty wound on his shoulder. He’s also hung over and can’t remember what happened. A dog, maybe? Ezra’s morning gets odder when two huge men arrive at his front door with an unbelievable story that he was bitten by a werewolf. It’s a crazy idea but the only one that explains the ugly bite that’s already healing. 

Following the rules of Alpha Callum Dawson isn’t easy. Ezra’s used to making his own decisions and having the hunky man telling him what to do…and wanting to obey is disconcerting. At least he can fill the time until his first shift by helping to research what or who is behind the strange and deadly outbreak within the Lycan community. As Ezra and Callum grow closer, the danger escalates.  If they’re not careful, Ezra could wind up dead. 

The cover for Hair of the Dog (which I love) is what first caught my attention. Ezra, not knowing what had happened, and his confusion pulled me into the story from the start. I like this guy. He’s out of his element, dealing with his new life, and his reactions are often funny enough to make me chuckle. And he’s cute and a little endearing. Then there’s Callum…Mr. Control Freak who works at denying his attraction to Ezra. He’s a likeable guy too but needs to work on his communication skills.

The story is well-written, has an even pace, interesting characters and some good world-building, with unusual details on werewolves and their social structure. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense part of the plot and didn’t figure out who the villain was until the end (the character’s personality is a little two dimensional). The investigation is nicely developed, using Ezra’ computer skills as Callum’s assistant. Their relationship grows slowly but realistically and when it turns physical, it’s sizzling hot.  

My niggles: What about Ezra’s father’s house and his stuff. It was never mentioned again. Wouldn’t his cousin and family be worried when he disappeared? There were several inconsistencies involving the villain and the timeline of his life. 

Despite my above-mentioned issues, as a werewolf story lover, I did enjoy the book. I don’t know if there are plans to turn this into a series but I think it would be a great idea. If not, then maybe at least a sequel. Hint. Hint.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Captive Heart

Title: Captive Heart
Author:  Phoebe Conn
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN:  978-1-60928-980-5
Genre:  {M/F} Retro Historical
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Celiese d’Loganville was snatched from her home and family during a Viking raid and now serves as a slave.  Her mistress, Olgrethe, is the pampered and spoiled daughter of the man who abducted her.  Celiese has done her best to fade into the background and go unnoticed by the horrible man Raktor until now.   

Olgrethe is being forced to marry a man to end a family feud that has gone on for centuries. Not a soul has laid eyes on this mysterious man in two years, and it’s rumored that he’s physically mutilated.  Wanting no part of this marriage, Olgrethe comes up with a plan to send Celiese in her place as the bride.  Celiese agrees so she can use this opportunity to gain her freedom. 

Mylan Vandahl didn’t want a wife who would look upon his body with disgust.  He tries to persuade Celiese that marriage between them wouldn’t work, but he’s drawn to the stunning beauty with the trusting heart.  Soon after their wedding, Mylan learns of Celiese’s true identity and he becomes outraged.   

Trust is broken between the couple and Mylan can’t forgive Celiese.  Now instead of treating her as a wife, he treats her as a slave.  Celiese tries to make him understand her reasons, but Mylan refuses to listen.  That man was too stubborn for his own good most of the time.  If only he’d done more thinking with his heart, and not his head, Mylan and Celiese might not have wasted so much time.  Just when I thought he would soften towards Celiese, something else would happen to prevent it.  I admit there were times I enjoyed watching Mylan get frustrated with Celiese, and then frustrated with himself for not being able to stay away from her.  Even when her life was endangered, I knew Mylan couldn’t turn his back on Celiese forever.   

Captive Heart is a moving historical romance that brings together two people who truly needed each other to be complete.  Mylan and Celiese were both damaged in their own ways, but they were able to open their hearts to love.  Even after all the things she lived through, Celiese kept an innocence about her that made me like her.  Readers will be drawn to this story from beginning to end.

A Melody in Paradise

Title:  A Melody in Paradise
Author:  Tianna Xander
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
ISBN:  978-1-77111-103-4
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Melody is worried, due to the threatening letters she has been receiving after winning the position of first violin chair of the orchestra she plays with.  Mitch and Wyatt attend a concert to watch their niece play but instead, find their mate. 

The eleventh book of the Paradise series, A Melody in Paradise, continues the saga of the shape-shifters returning to Paradise when scattering after their society was turned upside down, due to a takeover.  This story was slightly different, as it was about tiger-shifters, and these men had moved to watch over their niece when she went to Julliard,  once they realize the only way to protect their mate is to return for good.   

I had to laugh at some of the antics that Melody pulled to show she wasn’t going to do as the men wanted just because they ordered her to.  I also had to laugh at Carmen and her reaction when she found out Melody was her uncles’ mate.   

The author continues to write strong characters for each pairing.  The secondary characters are colorful, though the actual villain in this one was a complete surprise, as was a revelation about another character.  I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hunting for Clay

Title: Hunting for Clay
Author: N.J. Nielsen
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-602-5
Genre: {M/M} BDSM, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Hunter Weldon is determined to make his lover Clay Montgomery’s birthday -Valentine’s Day - special. Recruiting family and friends, Hunter presents Clay with a day they will remember for a lifetime.   

Hunting for Clay is the follow-up to Angels on Top. The characters from the first book are featured in this episode, with the addition of Clay’s younger brother Jayden, Angelo’s younger brother, Dimmy, as well as Hunter’s co-workers. Clay is a high maintenance personality demanding all of Hunter’s off-work attention. Clay is also into kink, which Hunter is happy to provide. The main feature illustrated in Hunter and Clay’s personalities is the compassion they exhibit for young gay men who have been alienated from family. Hunter’s house is sort of a safe house for gay men needing shelter, along with friendship for a time.   

N.J. Nielsen’s Hunting for Clay intimacy scenes mainly consisted of BDSM, which I am not a fan of that particular theme. BDSM was not noted in the blurb. However, the overall plot is a heartwarming saga.  The amusing interaction between the characters I found to be enjoyable.

Bring Him Gold

Title: Bring Him Gold
Author: T. A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-247-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Sequel Holiday
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Ronnie and Lucius might have known each other since childhood but they’ve only been together as a couple for a year. A lot has happened during that time. The one thing Lucius is certain of is he wants to spend the rest of his life with Ronnie and wishes to call him husband. The only problem is figuring out the best time and place to pop the question. That means he needs the help of some friends to pull together the perfect Valentine’s Day surprise for the man he loves. The question is whether he has the nerve to drop down on bended knee in front of an audience. 

Bring Him Gold is the latest release by multi-published author T. A. Chase. It’s the sequel to last year’s Embrace My Reflection and they should be read in order. It’s an entertaining follow-up story with committed lovers Lucius and Ronnie, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  

The details of how Ronnie dresses and the club are just as vivid as before, making the scenes come alive. These two men were cute together in the first book and they’re only more so in this 13K short. It’s sweet when Lucius tries to come up with the best way to propose to Ronnie. And adding their family and friends just makes it endearing. We do get a glimpse of possible future books with Dante and Mikey or maybe Tomas and Andy, so I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Finding Balance

Title: Finding Balance
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-074-7
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Detective Lyle Sullivan is taken hostage by a group of scientists and experimented on.  After escaping, he finds himself in the hospital, being cared for by a shape-shifter doctor and Todd, another shifter who claims to be Lyle’s mate.  While Lyle may know about shifters, after all his partner on the force is one, he’s not ready to be one himself. 

Finding Balance is a great addition to the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  Both characters are ones we have met in previous books. Although it is not necessary to read the previous stories, it would be a good idea.  Todd is a wolf who spent three weeks being tortured by the same scientist that held Lyle.  In fact, it is while Todd was being rescued that he first scented his mate.  There is a lot that goes on from the time Todd is rescued till the time that he and Lyle come together as mates.  While I liked the way in which the author spread this period over the course of a few books, I did begin to wonder if we would ever see Todd and Lyle get together.  

Although Lyle already knows about the Stone Ridge pack and shifters in general, he has a hard time adjusting to what that now means to him, especially when his animal is revealed.  I will not tell you what he becomes, but I will say that the author’s knack for introducing more than the usual shifter animals into this series is just one of the reasons why I love it so much.   

Finding Balance is a fun story to read.  The characters are well developed and the passion between them is intense.   The ongoing conflict with the scientist will keep the readers glued to the book, while the wonderful secondary characters leave you wishing for even more stories.

Immortal Valentine

Title: Immortal Valentine
Author: Ellis Carrington
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-246-1
Genre: {M/M} Vampire
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Caleb is counting the days until he can move to Florida and start a new, hopefully happier, chapter in his life. Lost in his bittersweet memories, Caleb is not aware of the stranger until they collide on the sidewalk. Vampire Angelo is on his annual hunt for a blood host. Being a gentleman, Angelo’s traditional itinerary is to treat a human to a fine dinner, retire to one of the hotel’s exquisite suites and feed his hunger for blood while indulging in sensual sex with the chosen partner. 

Caleb is the venue chosen for Angelo’s one night entertainment. However, as the well written plot unfolds, each character reveals their history, as well as how the succession after their first meeting advances into a bonded relationship between Caleb and Angelo.   

Ellis Carrington has created an impressive saga with characters who display a touch of sadness, along with yearnings to simply be loved for who and what they are.  Immortal Valentine is heartwarming as well as exceptionally enjoyable. 

Light of Day

Title: Light of Day
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-352-4 
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When Robert walked away from Max to get married, Max was devastated with the loss. A year later, Max’s still heartbroken. He’s moved back home and found another hotel management job, but dreams of reuniting with the man he lost. Robert, being a famous upcoming actor, makes it easy for Max to keep tabs on him in the media. When Robert’s new marriage falls apart months later, Max hopes Robert will come looking for him. 

He waits and then waits some more, until one day Robert shows up in Max’s parents backyard. As much as he wants to be with Robert, Max doesn’t want to be a secret boyfriend, either. What are they going to do? 

Light of Day is release number two in Sue Brown’s Night Porter series. It takes up about one year after the first book left off and they should be read in order or you’ll be lost.   

After the non-HEA ending of Night Porter, I was surprised with this sequel, but knew I had to read it. I wasn’t certain what to expect. I hoped Max would get the happiness he deserved but the author had to win me over with Robert. He wasn’t my favorite person because of the previous ending but Ms. Brown skillfully wove his reasoning and personal circumstances into the story, making me understand his feelings better.  

The plot is smooth, flows well and despite having flawed personalities, both Max and Robert deal with believable issues.  That’s one of the things I really appreciated about this novella. These two guys have real world problems influencing their life. It’s the adage that a gay man can’t be a great leading man that still goes on in Hollywood today, causing actors to hide their true selves. Robert asks Max to hide their relationship…I understood why he wouldn’t…and Ms. Brown handled this nicely. There are other issues they face as they struggle to make their relationship work, producing an intense and enjoyable read. I don’t know what the plans are for this couple but I look forward to learning more.

Goading the Enforcer

Title: Goading the Enforcer
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-101-0
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Jared may have fallen into his occupation by accident but that doesn’t mean he’s not one hell of an assassin.  His job keeps him from visiting family but when his sister gets married, he has no choice but to appear.  Carson is the enforcer for the Stone Ridge wolf pack.  As such, he has had to protect the pack in any way that he could.  But Carson’s not prepared when fate hands him a mate who kills for a living. 

Goading the Enforcer is the latest story in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  I’ve loved all the stories in the series but the characters in this one were just great.  Jared is an assassin but there is a bit of a carefree attitude about him.   Carson is the pack enforcer, which means he sometimes has to do things he doesn’t like to get the job done.  You would think that the two men would have a lot in common, due to their occupations, but Carson has a moral compass that is stricter than Jared’s so there are moments that the two clash.  For Carson, the problems grow as soon as he realizes that Jared is his mate.  The men are continually thrown together, however, which gives them time to learn about each other and there is a lot to learn.  The connection between these two is great; I love the way they play off each other, bringing the characters alive for the reader.   

Once again the pack has issues with the scientist and finds themselves on a rescue mission.  New characters are introduced and I can’t wait for the little bunny to get his story.   This is a series that fans of both the M/M and shape-shifter genres are sure to love, and, while each story can stand on its own, I would strongly recommend that they be read in order.

Kissing Joan Collins

Title: Kissing Joan Collins
Author: Lex Valentine
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-604-9
Genre: {M/M} Valentine
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Chase Courtland is on a mission - to finally reveal his true feelings and seduce his best friend, Logan Moore. Chase has quietly watched Logan move from one failed relationship to another. For twelve years, Chase has loved as well as been Logan’s shoulder to cry on. Being away in Vegas for a year has been pure misery for Chase. A day before Chase is to move back to San Diego, he discovers that Logan confessed to loving Chase but was afraid to inform Chase for fear of rejection. Armed with this joyous news, Chase is more determined than ever to claim Logan’s heart. 

Kissing Joan Collins is a well-written beautiful friends-to-lovers romance. The engaging characters are realistically mature, endowed with common sense. Logan is searching for a acceptable long term relationship. Secretly loving Chase, who has never expressed any feelings beyond friendship towards him, Logan attempts to find happiness with someone else. Chase never had a long-term relationship with any man because the only man he wanted that way was Logan. Chase and Logan are dealing with a double-edged sword. If either man tries for a relationship and fails, he is left broken-hearted, along with the loss of his best friend. Fortunately, both men are emotionally on the same page allowing happiness to overrule their insecurities.  

Lex Valentine has created a spectacular saga blended with exquisite love scenes that lovingly melts your heart as well as other parts of the anatomy.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sage’s Mystery

Title: Sage’s Mystery
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-271-1
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Sage never imagines telling his father he’s gay will get him thrown out of the pack but it does. Luckily, he’s already bought a small, deserted town called Mystery five hundred miles away. The price was cheap and when he lays eyes on the disrepair, he knows why but is determined to stay. 

William’s been on his own for years and been hiding in Mystery for months, struggling to survive. He’s a nervous kind of guy and when Sage shows up, he’s ready to bolt. The new owner is big, a little scary and surprisingly enough kind and when he asks William to stay and help fix up the town, he agrees. It doesn’t hurt that he thinks Sage is sexy either. 

Mystery’s past is filled with violence and one night, they hear strange howls coming from the main part of town. Sage is determined to find out what’s going on and when his five friends arrive, they start investigating. What he learns makes him determined to protect William at all costs but it still isn’t enough to keep William from getting bitten. 

Sage’s Mystery is the first release in Lynn Hagen’s Shifters of Mystery. It’s an engaging beginning to the new paranormal series and the story pulled me in from the first page. The character development is fleshed out (I love Sage and William together), it has a smooth pace, is well-plotted and the world-building nicely detailed. Ms. Lynn has come up with some interesting differences in her werewolves from the typical shifter story that I really enjoyed. There are plenty of serious moments but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of lighthearted and fun moments too.  

Sage and William have nothing in common but the author makes them into a believable couple with ease. And I liked how both their personal histories are effortlessly integrated into the plot.  The care and tenderness between Sage and William is handled nicely, as is the sizzling hot sex. Secondary characters are few but interesting…the friends that follow Sage to Mystery…they give the plot a sense of family and pack continuity. I can’t wait for the next release, Santana's Discovery.

Strip: Tease and Search

Title: Strip: Tease and Search
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren -Bookstrand
Publisher’s URL: http://www.bookstrand.com
ISBN: 1619263238
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Mystery, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Kellen Ross may only know police procedure from watching TV, but even he knows that the cops don’t seem too interested in what he has to say about the murder he witnessed.  When one of the officers pulls him aside, giving him the name of former detective Michael Hunter, Kellen has no idea how much his life is about to change. 

Strip: Tease and Search follows Ms. Evan’s Lipstick and Handcuffs. While some time has past since the end of the first story, Strip: Tease and Search, the second story in the Lawful Disorder series, still involves the Claw and Dagger group from the first book.  Kellen witnesses the murder of Kenny, whom readers may remember from the first story.  Called to the scene are Ryder and Michael.   Michael’s slightly confused when he finds himself feeling more than a little protective of the witness.  The two detectives barely get started when they find themselves removed from the case and after walking away from the force, Michael does not think he will ever see the younger man again.    Once they are forced together, however, the connection between them is hard to miss.  It’s easy to understand Michael’s confusion where Kellen is concerned.  The detective has never felt any attraction towards another man; in fact, Kellen is the only one that seems to do it for him.   Michael’s reaction to the situation he finds himself in is brought across realistically by the author.  

Kellen has his own issues.  Not only does he have someone trying to make sure he keeps his mouth shut about what he saw, but he also finds himself deeply attracted to the obviously straight cop.  Kellen has also learned to expect the worst from others so the young dancer knows that eventually, the other shoe is sure to fall if he decides to follow up on that attraction.  Kellen is a character that I found myself liking right away.  He’s caught a lot of bad breaks in his life, but there is a spunkiness about him that you can’t help but like.  The two men must work through a few misunderstandings before their relationship can really come together but that does not keep them from heating up the pages. 

The author has also woven a murder mystery throughout the course of Strip: Tease and Search and brings past characters back to help the two men out.  While it is easy to figure out who the bad guys are, the mystery will still hold the readers interest until the end.  Fans of Ms. Evan’s should pick up this story as it is a very entertaining story and a perfect follow up to the first book.

No Greater Love

Title: No Greater Love
Author: Andi Anderson
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN: 9781920501631
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

What started as a disastrous fortieth birthday ended up being  the beginning of a  happy life for Keith Seeley. Sitting in a dark corner of the bar his friends insisted on visiting, Keith is drawn to the attractive man surrounded by admirers. However, Keith is surprised when the attractive man comes over to Keith’s table and introducing himself as Eros.  

No Greater Love is the first book in the Sons of Aphrodite series. Eros, also known as Cupid, has spent centuries dispersing his magic of love to lonely couples, only to have never experienced true love himself. Eros knew Keith was his soul mate when he could read Keith’s thoughts. Eros is further convinced when he and Keith began to mind speak. Being the smallest male in the family, Eros has two very protective brothers. The immortal characters are amusing with good interaction between them. Keith is a mere mortal, awe-struck to discover Eros truly loves him.  

Andi Anderson’s No Greater Love is an impressive romantic plot that borders on being labeled sweet. I was reminded of the genteel era when hand-kissing was a socially correct form of greeting. Nevertheless, towards the end of the storyline the intimacy progressed beyond the petting stage into a fully physical expression of love. No Greater Love is a humorous and especially enjoyable saga.     

Stripes and Twin Horns

Title: Stripes and Twin Horns
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-504-4
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary Fantasy Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

The elders of the paranormal world have called a gathering. Blake and Drake, ancient twin unicorn shifters, are two of the individuals attending the UPAC Conference and they only have a few hours to find and claim a mate. As soon as the announcement is over, the room erupts in chaos as violent claimings go on around them. Through the crowd, they see a cute little twink that no one else wants, but that’s perfect for them.  

Blake and Drake have been alone for nearly two thousand years and having a mate to love and care for takes some getting used to. Gilbert’s led a rough life, suffering abuse at the hands of others in his shifter ‘kit’, making him unsettled and jumpy. He needs help in understanding how to deal with two large, dominant mates, making life uneasy for the newly mated trio. Will their mating turn into the blessing they hope for or will Gilbert’s dark past destroy any chance they have of a happy future? 

Stripes and Twin Horns is the newest release in the Midnight Matings series, this one by Joyee Flynn. There have been some strange pairings in this series but putting twin unicorns and a raccoon together in this one might be the oddest one yet.  

Due to their age, Drake and Blake are set in their ways and dealing with a young raccoon shifter who’s suffered years of abuse is difficult. He needs lots of emotional support and while the book could have been depressing, Ms. Flynn handled it with care, keeping it from getting too heavy. That means she interjected plenty of lighthearted and fun moments as the trio got acquainted. And I can’t forget the blistering hot sex either. But there are parts that seem a little stiff and unrealistic…and where I caught myself rolling my eyes.  

Gilbert’s mom is a nice secondary character. She adds a good sense of family and warmth and makes appearances throughout the story. Then there’s the villain. He shows up, adding fear and danger to the storyline…and someone to hate. If you like stories where characters grow, overcome adversity and the pain of their past, then you’ll enjoy this one.

Ty’s Obsession

Title: Ty’s Obsession
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-354-8
Genre: {M/M}, Series, BDSM
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

When Lorcan left Quinn behind, Quinn found solace in the world of BDSM with the help of Ty, a sub he met at a nearby club.  When Lorcan returned, Quinn and Lorcan found their way back together again, and Ty found himself on the sidelines.  The anger building in the young man was heading towards a dangerous level when Blake enters the picture. 

Ty’s Obsession is the third story in the Whispering Pines Ranch series.  It is also one of those books that I can’t decide whether I liked or not.  First, a majority of the story seemed to center more on Quinn and Lorcan rather than Ty.  I’m not complaining, because I was glad to see more of these two. However, I was expecting a story about Ty, who almost comes across as a secondary character.  When we do get to see Ty, he does not come across as very likeable.  Does he have a right to be angry?  You bet,  in my opinion Quinn could have handled things a little better, but Ty skates real close to the edge, almost crossing the line into a psychotic break.  

Blake, Quinn’s neighbor who appeared in the last book, is paired with Ty, but has very little face time in this story, making it hard to form any kind of a connection to him.  As a Dom, he sees where Ty is heading and intervenes in order to help the younger man out.  Like Ty, Blake also has issues, which are centered around his lost lover and the BDSM world.  Readers should be made aware that when the truth about Eli comes out, it maybe a little difficult for some to read.  What time Ty and Blake do spent together is only as a Dom and sub, so do not expect to see a happily ever after.  There is a fourth book to be released soon, and I hope it will pick up where this one leaves off, as I really would like to see Ty and Blake come together in a loving relationship. 

This is one series that must be read in order and no way should the books be considered standalones.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Atonement

Title: Atonement
Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Changeling Press
BIN: 05542-01775
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Vampire Jordan Silva is fed up with following the orders of the psycho vampire Dalton Gray, so when he is ordered to kill a fragile shifter child, Jordan’s passive attitude snapped. Determined to save the child even if it means his death at the hands of the wolves, Jordan delivers his precious bundle to Alpha Marcus Deleon. However, instead of killing Jordan, Marcus claimed his vampire mate Jordan. 

Atonement is the third book in the Dark Reign series. In this episode, Marcus immediately realizes that Jordan is his mate, though he is determined to delay personal issues in favor of completing the primary mission of bringing down vampire leader Dalton Gray. However, Marcus’ wolf decides claiming Jordan should be the main goal. The wolf side of Marcus wins the internal battle in an exceptionally pleasurable display of intimacy. Jordan is burdened with his regrettable past. Mating with Marcus resolves those issues and allows him some self-esteem, missing from most of his vampire life. 

Mychael Black has created another superb installment to this series. Atonement is an exceedingly enjoyable illustration of dramatic moments, heartwarming characters as well as a happily-ever-after climax.