Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Craftsman

Title:  The Craftsman
Author:  Georgia Fox
Publisher:  Evernight Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-926950-88-4
Genre:  {M/F/M} Erotic Medieval
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Fifteen years ago he was Raedwulf, a disappointment to his noble father.  Now that he’s newly released from prison, Wulf is a carpenter who likes being left alone.  He’s happy with his life.  That happiness ends when Wulf is told he has to marry a total stranger.  Though he has no choice in the marriage, Wulf decides he will simply ignore his new wife.   

Emma is a widow who never expected to get married again.  Now that she was being forced into marriage, Emma tried to be hopeful about going to a secure home.  That would be enough for her.  She’d loved a man once and didn’t expect to do so again.  When she meets the quiet man who’s rough around the edges, Emma decides to make the best of her situation. 

Emma tingles when she imagines Wulf using his rough hands on her.  She’d never experienced this kind of excitement with her husband.  Wulf reconsiders his virgin status when lustful thoughts continue to flood his mind when Emma is near.  The couple enter a sexual relationship that’s better than either could imagine. They were definitely not shy when it came to making love.   It was hard to believe that Wulf had been a virgin up until this point because he definitely had skills in the bedroom.  Once he started having sex, it seems as if he was making up for lost time.   

The couple’s happiness is interrupted by another woman, who could possibly give Wulf things that Emma can’t.  Emma leaves Wulf to give him the chance at a life she thinks he deserves.  It hurts Emma, because she’s fallen in love with her husband.  Wulf doesn’t seem to return her feelings because he lets her leave.  I was disappointed with Wulf at this moment because I thought he was a better man.  I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t more visibly upset, and I was afraid Emma’s situation might be the reason.  I loved the scene when Wulf goes to fetch Emma.  I especially enjoyed seeing him take a stand and being passionate about something other than sex.  No woman can resist a man who’ll fight for her.  Sometimes we think a quiet, passive man would not make a good Alpha, but in this case that is wrong.  Wulf was quiet with others, but he is certainly no push over.

The Craftsman is book three in The Conquerors series, and can be read as a stand-alone story with no problem.  Emma and Wulf’s story is a very sexual one, and they pretty much cover all the bases.  For a widow and a virgin, they both seemed very open to exploring.  The couple even went so far as to have another man join in on their romps.  I saw more growth in Wulf, and I think he needed it more.  Their happy ending was pleasing and hopeful, while leaving an opening for a story of another character I think.  Readers will enjoy this story about unexpected love, just as I did.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Gage’s Awakening

Title: Gage’s Awakening
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-093-8
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Gage knew the lion shifter was his mate the moment he saw him.  The problem is that Branson doesn’t seem to want him and there are only so many times Gage can handle being rejected. 

The newest book in The Lost Shifters series was a fun book to read.  From the first page, it is easy to get pulled in by Gage.  The author brings out Gage’s vulnerability and the pain caused by Branson’s rejection in such a way that it becomes believable for the reader.   Branson will tug at the readers, just as much as Gage.  The fact that he is blind, except when in his animal form, causes him a lot of emotional pain.  Add in the fact that he still has not gotten over what the hawks have done to the other shifters and that his mate is a hawk, it is easy to see why the big lion behaves the way he does.   Of course, the author has no plans to keep the men apart for long and with the help of Branson’s brother, the two come together wonderfully.   

The author, as always, continues to weave the main characters’ romance around the ongoing issues faced by the coalition and this time is no different.   With some twists thrown in along the way to hold the reader’s attention, the series subplot surrounding the ravens, human, and various others continues to grow, keeping the series from becoming stale.  Gage’s Awakening is a sure to become a reader favorite.

Shadow Soldier

Title: Shadow Soldier
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-0-85715-900-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Being the head of a secret government agency is getting old for Deacon McConnell. He’s lost his partner and he’s lonely, but his cover as a furniture maker allows him a sense of normalcy. It also brings him into contact with Aaron, a man dishonorably discharged from the Army and who still struggles to deal with what happened to him while in the Middle East. Getting to know Aaron makes Deacon determined to help him any way he can. He just never expects to fall in love.  

Aaron is miserable and each day’s a trial. The first time he sees an elegantly carved headboard in Deacon’s store window, Aaron knows he has to buy it. Then the day comes and he walks inside…and feels an instant attraction to Deacon he can’t deny. Being with Deacon gives Aaron hope and makes him feel safe and comfortable for the first time in months. Can these two men, separated by age and military service, find a path to happiness or will their differences and Deacon’s agency work drive a wedge between them forever? 

Shadow Soldier is the latest release in Carol Lynn’s popular Cattle Valley series. Like all the stories in this series, the characters overlap, so reading the books in order would be best. This one could be read as a standalone, if desired. 

The length of this one is 88 pages, and Ms. Lynn packs in a lot of story and handles a tough topic while doing it…PTSD…and does it well. She’s created an interesting man in Aaron and shows how affected he is by what happened to him during his military service. He lives in silence, keeping himself cut off from people except during his work hours. Realizing how difficult life is for these individuals…in this case Aaron…made my heart hurt. Deacon could relate to Aaron and his care and tenderness…his slow approach… is just what was needed to help his lover come out of his self-imposed isolation. 

Deacon’s an interesting character, too. He’s dedicated, loyal, protective…and just the type of man Aaron needs in his life. There’s twenty years difference in their ages and while touched on, I’m glad a big deal wasn’t made of it. Instead, Ms. Lynn dealt with the important part of their relationship…the emotional support and encouragement Aaron needs. It’s not all just Deacon helping Aaron heal. They have a good time together too. So there’s fun, bantering conversation, sizzling sex and even some action and danger. Watch for the next one in this series, coming in May.

Love is a Whirlwind

Title: Love is a Whirlwind
Author: M.D. Grimm
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-375-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Bull shifter Ryan is a show-off. Ryan likes nothing better than to toss a bull rider then strut around the arena with his head held high. Ryan’s victory strut is also a source of pride for his human lover, Caleb O’Connell, who loves the bull Whirlwind and the man known as Ryan. 

Love Is a Whirlwind is the second book in The Shifters series. The setting is the Las Vegas rodeo circuit. The fantastic plot is a romantic suspense blending humor, very sensual love scenes and drama. The characters are believable. Ryan spent most of his time in bull form until he was rescued by Caleb’s mother. Ryan knew how to shift into human form but knew little of the human world until he reveals his shifter nature to Caleb. It was Caleb who taught Ryan the ways of a human. Caleb had loved Whirlwind long before he discovered the bull was a shifter. Tormented for being gay, Whirlwind was Caleb’s only friend. Overtime, friendship developed into love with Ryan and Caleb becoming equal partners during intimacy. When Ryan is kidnapped, it is by a religious fanatic connected to a group of extremists. Coming to Ryan’s rescue is members of the shifter’s secret police organization known only as The Agency.

Ryan and Caleb as M.D. Grimm’s main characters are impressive. However, my favorite character is “tough guy” agent Poe who makes Love Is a Whirlwind an outstanding saga that is thoroughly enjoyable.   

A Very Shaney Valentine’s Day

Title: A Very Shaney Valentine’s Day
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-104-1
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series, Holiday
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

It’s Valentine’s Day and Shane wants to get the perfect gift for his mate.  The only problem is that Shane has no idea what the perfect, normal gift would be.  Shane couldn’t be more surprised when the perfect gift falls in his lap during the course of a coalition mission. 

A Very Shaney Valentine’s Day is a fast-paced holiday read set within The Lost Shifters series.  I never thought about how Valentine’s Day would be so difficult for someone like Shane.  Yet, having learned much about the young assassin since he joined the series, it is easy to understand his need to get something wonderful for his mate that did not involve blood and guts.  I think readers, in some way, will be surprised by his gift, yet at the same time, not be surprised at all. Although this is a short story, the author has filled it with so much that it ends up having the feel of a much longer book.   I loved A Very Shaney Valentine’s Day, partly because it stars Shane and Trevor, who have become some of my favorite characters, but also because the author introduced new characters who I hope get their own stories soon.    

While it is not necessary to read the whole series before reading this book, I do recommend that you at least read Shane and Trevor’s stories so that you will have a clear understanding of the character’s complex natures.

Between Heaven & Hell

Title: Between Heaven & Hell
Author: L.M. Brown
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9781920502546
Genre: {M/M/M} Fantasy, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Tristan Garrett leads a lonely life with only his friend-with-benefits Lawrence to keep him company. That is until Tristan glimpses demon Alastor standing across the room. Hoping to attract Alastor’s attention, Tristan moves to the dance floor but instead of Alastor, Tristan is joined by angel Machidiel. One night in the arms of Mac plus a year later in the arms of Alastor and Tristan is in love with two men each with mutual feelings for Tristan. 

Between Heaven & Hell is the first book in the Heavenly Sins series. My first impression was that this well-written plot is a sexy romantic comedy because of the amusing banner between Alastor and Mac, who are both vying for the attention of Tristan. Alastor is a demon capable of love, making him a rare breed in the underworld. Mac is constantly on a mission to save everyone, especially Alastor. Tristan is a good guy searching for a long term relationship. Secretly Alastor and Mac love each other; though being an angel, Mac is reluctant to break any heavenly rules. The demon and the angel soon discover there is something special about the human Tristan. Not only is Tristan capable of loving two men at the same time, he proves to be Alastor and Mac’s equal as illustrated in the intimacy scenes.  At this point, the comedy becomes a drama. Tristan is ensnared in a dilemma that could turn deadly, leaving Alastor and Mac scrambling to rescue Tristan before souls are lost.

L.M. Brown’s Between Heaven & Hell is primarily a good-humored, enjoyable saga with a heartbreaking resigned-for-now conclusion.

Any Price

Title:  Any Price
Author:  Gail Faulkner
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419920288
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Kenna is fulfilling the last wish of her grandmother by traveling to Covia and Kesonov.  Unbeknownst to her, she has latent powers that come to life because of Lore, King of Covia. 

Any Price is an intense look at a hidden culture within our society.  Because of an incident in Covia and Kesonov’s past, the race of Keepers have lost their powers until the uniting of the First Daughter, which Kenna turns out to be, and the One, Lore. What follows is an intriguing relationship as the Keepers evolve. 

This book is not like any of Ms. Faulkner’s I have read in the past, but I am not disappointed in the least as the characters she created, along with the relationships among the people, are realistic.  The fact that the Keeper evolve into something we might think of as myth is something I have often wondered about and the way the author did it makes this a real possibility. 

The suspense is intense and a reader will be hard pressed to put this book down.  I suspect that there will be more stories, making this a series or at least a sequel, to resolve how the Keepers are going to defeat the evil that stalks them.  There were quite a few twists and turns within the story that gives the reader a new outlook about the mystery within the story.  I am looking forward to reading more about the Keepers in the future.

Legacy

Title: Legacy
Author: Pat Cunningham
Publisher: Siren -Bookstrand
Publisher’s URL:  http://www.sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN/BIN: 1-61926-314-9
Genre: {M/M/F}, Paranormal, Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Colleen needs a man but the attraction she feels for one of her student’s uncles can come to nothing after she finds out he’s already married, to a man.  When it turns out that someone, or something, is out to get Colleen, Jeremy and Wallace are there to rescue her.  However, Colleen’s not sure how to handle it when she finds out the men’s secret. 

Legacy is the sequel to Ms. Cunningham’s Belonging.  I was unsure how I would like this story as I did not want anyone coming between Jeremy and Wallace. The way the author weaves the story though canceled my concerns.  The attraction between Colleen and Jeremy is strong from their first meeting; in fact, they are literally drawn to each other.  I was curious how Wallace would handle the obvious attraction between the two.  Not only does the big vampire not have a problem with Colleen joining their flock, but he wouldn’t mind having some time with her himself.  The author did a wonderful job bringing these three together.  The passion that flares between them, regardless of how unwanted in the beginning, is beyond hot.  The story is not only about their relationship, however.   

Colleen is being stalked and they don’t know why.  As the story unfolds, there are many twists and turns, one of which I did not see coming.  As Colleen’s past comes to light, it is easy to see why it was something she wished to hide from.  The way the author chose to end the story made me smile and left me wondering if there was going to be yet another book set in this world. 

Readers should know that it is very necessary to read the first book, Belonging, before starting this one.

And The Cat Came Back

Title: And The Cat Came Back
Author: Christiane France
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61124-232-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Renovators Seth Lawley and his business partner bought the ancient six-bedroom fixer-upper Sweet Briar as an investment. However, Seth is not the only one who saw the potential of the old captain’s house built near Lake Ontario. After meeting Seth, Chef Grant Kenyon began to envision turning the house into a restaurant and Grant’s cat Foo envisioned turning Seth into a permanent roommate for Grant.  

 And The Cat Came Back is a wonderfully amusing romance with a dash of mystery. The star of this story is the cat. The human characters are merely the supporting cast. Foo is a world-class manipulator, easily directing humans to do his biding or suffer the consequences. Seth is attracted to Grant but waits for Grant to make the first move. Foo provides the opportunity for Seth to visit Grant and Grant does not hesitate to express his interest in Seth. Both men have an easy going personality, as well as being well-matched in their desires to have a long-term relationship. 

Christiane France has created a thoroughly enjoyable saga. I especially liked the interactions between the expressive cat, Foo, and his humans.   

Invincible

Title: Invincible
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN: 1-61926-371-8
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Aslan’s life has always been one of confusion. Everyone thinks he’s a bit crazy and unreliable, not understanding that it’s the voices in his head causing him problems. He wants to be normal. He wants the voices to go away. He wants the pain to stop. 

Being a Council elder is much harder than Torren Braddock ever imagined and the problems he’s facing are daunting.  Adding Aslan as a new mate, while a blessing, is still another issue Torren has to deal with…and someone he has to keep safe from harm. And in Aslan’s case that also includes protecting him from the voices in his head that are getting louder and more insistent that he do their bidding. 

Invincible is the latest release in Gabrielle Evans’ Haven series. Due to the continuing plot line and returning characters, I recommend the books be read in order. 

Ms. Evans has really outdone herself with the creation of Aslan’s unique and interesting personality. He might be my favorite character in the series so far.  Not only is he a sweet and caring guy but he comes with an almost crippling problem he’s dealt with for years. It makes him fascinating beneath the surface. Torren’s a totally different kind of man; in control, possessive, dynamic and an untrusting loner. He could easily have become unlikable but instead the author showed his insecurity and fear, turning it around. Well done, Ms. Evans. 

Getting Aslan and Torren together took some doing but once they finally get past their problems, watch out for the sparks. There are also plenty of opportunities to get reacquainted with characters introduced in the previous books and also the chance to meet a few new ones. You’ll find power, magic, danger, betrayal and friendship, making this another nice addition to this series of entertaining books. Look for Flawless coming next.

Warlord’s Prize

Title:  Warlord’s Prize
Author:  Zenina Masters
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-086-0
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Enari is taken as part of the tribute to the Asku, but only after she resists.  Because of her courage and injuries, she is chosen by the Overlord’s wife for her son. 

The first book of the Darkest Star Saga is beautiful look at a society that has adapted to survive.  Warlord’s Prize is about a courageous woman that becomes the bond mate of the Warlord. 

Ms. Masters created a beautiful world with very rich customs.  Even though the Asku get wives through tribute, the custom creating the bond is beautiful.  I found it interesting that one is chosen as a representative for all the women of a particular planet and she is the one that the others from her planet will look to. 

The Warlord’s mother is a very strong character and one we will be seeing in the future.  The other secondary characters are interesting and contribute to the history of the Asku.  Enari and Drion have a wonderful chemistry and set the tone for the series.  I am looking forward to the next book.

Famine

Title: Famine
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN/BIN: 978-0-85715-892-5
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Kibwe was sacrificed by his village shaman, not because the Gods demanded it to break the drought plaguing the village as the shaman proclaimed to the people, but by the manipulations of a jealous old man. The shaman wanted to be worshipped by the villagers and believed Kibwe, who had a stronger connection with the spirit world, kept the shaman from reaching his goal. However, Kibwe did not go to the expected afterlife; he became the Black Horseman Famine. 

Famine is the third book in the Four Horsemen series.  Famine spends most his time in Africa, spreading drought and starvation. His only solace from his unwanted duties is the brief visits to Victoria Falls, which always gives Famine a sense of peace.  At twenty-eight, Ekundayo had been mining since he was ten. Hunger was a natural state for miners, working for the diamond companies. There never seemed to be enough water or food to go around. Because of malnutrition and the punishing work, his body was slowly breaking down. Ekundayo thought stealing the diamond was his only salvation. 

Ekundayo and Famine share a common background. Both men are the victims of greedy men who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Ekundayo and Famine believe in the religion practiced in Africa before the arrival of European Christianity. Neither man had ever experienced love before. 

T.A. Chase’s extremely enjoyable Famine illustrates a realistic view of world turmoil while contrasting the stark realities with a blend of humor provided by the bossy characters Death and Lam. Also exhibited are superb displays of the power of love.  

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Only Easy Day

Title: The Only Easy Day
Author: R. J. Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN: 9781614954125
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

After returning home from his latest SEAL mission, Joseph Kinnon, learns that his step-sister, Elisabeth, was killed. The news of her death is devastating and he’s determined to learn all he can about what happened and why. 

Dale MacIntyre and others working for Sanctuary are trying to find proof that the rich, powerful and politically connected Bullen family was involved in Elisabeth Costain’s murder. He’s trying to guide an informant through the process of gathering information to help their case, without getting caught.  He doesn’t want or need the interference of a gun-doting brother bent on revenge. What Dale doesn’t expect is a man who pushes all of his buttons or an attraction he can’t deny. 

The Only Easy Day is the second release in the Sanctuary series by R.J. Scott. It starts shortly after Guarding Morgan left off and because of the continuing storyline, the books should be read in order. 

I like Joseph. He’s an interesting guy, who’s strong-willed, dynamic, protective and more than a little dangerous. I can relate to why he feels the need to find out what happened to his step-sister. It’s a natural reaction and nicely expressed.  What I don’t understand is the opening of the story. There are pages dealing with Joseph’s last mission that don’t have anything to do with the plot, aside from mentioning a few of his team mates. Yes, there is lots of action and danger but it made the beginning drag, and I kept asking myself what it had to do with the blurb (what I was expecting to read).  

Dale’s a hard guy to like and it’s because of his snarky attitude…it’s annoying. He’s skilled and does his job well but I don’t get why Joseph is attracted to him. Truthfully, I don’t see their relationship. There’s only a little physical contact between them…and yes, it’s hot…but for these two, as written, I don’t see undying love and commitment. 

The portion of the story dealing with Elisabeth’s murder is nicely fleshed out and fast-paced. Here you’ll find well-written and vivid details, more action, danger and the reasons behind her death. It actually takes up the vast majority of the novella length, so there’s not a lot of wordage left for the development of new relationships. Seeing returning characters Nik and Morgan is a nice touch. Watch for Face Value coming next.

A Cold Winter’s Day

Title: A Cold Winter’s Day
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren -Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN: 161926384X
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Malcolm has been watching his sons meet their mates one by one.  Although his family keeps growing, Malcolm finds himself feeling lonelier.  Returning home after doing a favor for Maverick, Malcolm is surprised to find a young man and little baby nearly frozen in the back of his truck.  He’s even more surprised to find out the young elf is his mate. 

A Cold Winter’s Day is the 25th book in Ms. Hagen’s long running series Brac Pack.  Several stories back, Ms. Hagen introduced a family of bear shifters into the series.  As several of the sons found mates, I could not help wondering if there was a chance that their father, Malcolm, would get a story of his own.  I never really expected to see his story so I am glad I was wrong.  This was a great book and I loved Malcolm and Luke together.   There is the instant connection between the two that readers of this series know to expect.  Watching as Malcolm tries to navigate the waters with his new mate was interesting, especially as Malcolm has never really had a relationship with another man.  It was fun to watch the Lakeland boys’ reaction to their father’s new mate, as well as the addition of a new baby brother.  I almost fell off the chair laughing when several of them had to change little Cody’s diaper. 

The Lakeland family has more than a few problems to overcome however.  Not only is Maverick upset over D’s actions, which puts the Lakeland’s in a tough position, but the leader of the Wood Elves wants Cody and will do anything to get him.  I was surprised with the reason why Shanta wanted the baby and wonder if it will come up in further stories. 

As usual, Ms. Hagen has produced another entertaining read and fun addition to the Brac Pack series.

A Game of Hearts

Title: A Game of Hearts
Author: T. C. Blue
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-837-6
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary Suspense Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Being an agent for the Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club makes for a life filled with excitement and stress for Morgan and Simon. Even so, they’ve found happiness together. So how do they explain their sudden attraction to their team mate River?  

River plays around but he doesn’t mess with men in committed relationships, so what does he do about his attraction to Morgan and Simon? One day they offer to bring him into their bed and it’s better than he hoped. Things soon turn serious and River can’t imagine his life without them in it. Then an overseas assignment goes bad, putting everyone in danger and bringing the emotions of all three men to the surface.  

A Game of Hearts is the latest release in the suspense-filled spy series, Farmingdale Gentleman's Club.  Due to the interconnecting characters, the books should be read in order. 

I like River. He’s a unique individual with an interesting past and a great guy to involve with Morgan and Simon. In fact, as individuals these guys are all fascinating, but put them all together and you have a trio that can’t be beat. They’re sexy, dynamic, protective and can seriously kick ass. What’s not to like? And did I mention how hot they are once they get into bed? Get out the ice water and fan. Here’s my niggle…and call me crazy, but there’s really too much sex. I mean pages and pages on occasion. So much so, that I actually had to stop myself from skimming a few times. 

It was great seeing characters introduced from the first two books and the author integrated them into the plot seamlessly. There’s also a new person on the horizon, Sky, River’s brother. I can’t wait to see what happens with him in a future release. 

The book is well-written, has a smooth flow, good character development and vivid descriptions. The overseas operation portion of the book is the most exciting and is filled with danger, involving all three men. There’s a lot going on as they work together, not just to fulfill their mission but to find a happily-ever-after… and the author will keep you guessing.

Lustful Vengeance

Title: Lustful Vengeance
Author: Jayden Knight
Publisher: Siren-BookStrand
Publisher URL: sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN/BIN: 1-61926-162-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Dark Horse Agent Jake “Burns” Reynolds was haunted by his past before joining the agency. Jake regrets turning his back on his one chance for happiness in favor of doing a job he hates. So instead of getting better acquainted with the target Lee Spencer, Jake steals the package as he was ordered to do by his unscrupulous boss. However, one year later along with Jake’s change of job, the past has a way of returning, such is the case with Jake and Lee. 

Lustful Vengeance is book two in the Dark Horse series. In this episode, the plot features intrigue, emotional turmoil and a battle using elemental powers. Jake is a fire caller with a hot temper to match his gift. Jake fears losing control and harming Lee. However, Lee welcomes Jake’s heat as well as trusts Jake to stay in control. To ensure Lee’s safety, Jake and Lee make love in the rain since water defuses Jake’s fire. The scoundrel in this saga is a power-hungry nasty piece of work uncaring of anyone’s life but his own.  

What I found most enjoyable in Jayden Knight’s Lustful Vengeance is the illustrations of family loyality among the Dark Horse Agents, plus the emotional displays between Jake and Lee. I look forward to the next installment of this happy-ever-after series.   

Fortune’s Favor

Title: Fortune’s Favor
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-740-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When he left the Psychic Warfare Program, Nathan Kraft didn’t expect his life to be filled with mundane days, working in the gym helping clients keep in shape. At least he finally has an assignment that gets him out of town. Too bad it involves painful secrets from his past that sends him spiraling into a deep well of despair.  

Avery Holton’s been partnered with the over-the-top Nathan for nearly a year. The two men are polar opposites in temperament and personality but as much as Nathan annoys him, Avery can’t deny his attraction. Being on a mission together forces Avery and Nathan to trust each other but it changes their personal relationship too, turning them into lovers instead of adversaries.  Completing their assignment isn’t easy even with their impressive physical training and psychic skills. The villain they’re after is a stone-cold killer with his own ability and he’s determined to put an end to Nathan…if they don’t stop him first..

Fortune’s Favor is the newest release in Marie Harte’s Power Up series. Due to the close association of characters and plot line, I recommend the books be read in order.  

Avery’s an interesting guy and his background information only peaked my interest for more. That’s particularly true since so much emphasis is placed on Nathan and his family’s past. Back to Avery. He’s a strong-willed, dominant and protective guy, just the type of man Nathan needs in his life. Not only for love but for direction and a steadying influence and Ms. Harte expressed these attributes of his character nicely. Nathan took some time to grow on me. Yes, I realize he was dealing with a lot but he wasn’t doing it well. Certainly not like a highly trained military man…it got annoying. 

The change in status of Nathan’s family was perplexing with the constant flipping of how they were referred to. With the confusion of what was going on in the plot, I don’t know that it could have been avoided but it was a muddle of identities for me at times. Now the villain. This guy’s well-described, adds a great deal of depth, danger and anger to the story and definitely makes a huge impact on the story. 

I enjoyed the development of Nathan and Avery’s personal relationship. It’s a little jerky in the beginning but once they got going, it moved along at a good pace and in a realistic manner. Did I mention they’re hot together? There’s also plenty of action and danger as they try to stay ahead of the villain and to keep alive. Yes, there are some niggles for me but it is still an entertaining read in a series I’ve enjoyed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Screw Me Once

Title: Screw Me Once
Author:  Maggie Montgomery
Publisher:  Loose Id
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61118-776-2 
Genre:  {M/F} Erotic Contemporary
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Belle hated him.  That’s what she’d been telling herself for years.  Brian had been her first love and the first person to rip out her heart.  Belle has practiced exactly what she’d say if she got the chance to tell him off.  When a wedding puts her face to face with the man who changed her life forever, Belle is forced to deal with the unwanted attraction she still has.   

Brian McKenna isn’t proud of the way he handled things with Belle.  He didn’t intentionally set out to hurt her, but being young and working through life issues had been too much to cope with at the time.  After all these years, maybe Belle would be able to forgive him.  Would she believe that he loved her then, just as he loved her now? 

Much is still unsettled between Belle and Brian when they meet again, but that doesn’t keep them from making out like teenagers the first chance they got.  Even though Belle accepts Brian’s apology, she refuses to completely open up to him.  She is still haunted by events from the past and oddly enough, so is Brian.   The one thing that ought to bring the couple closer is the same thing that threatens their chance at a future.  One minute I wanted to blame Belle, the next minute I blamed Brian.  Their misunderstanding could have been resolved long ago if they had both been more open with their feelings.  I think their relationship is a good reminder that love takes work and real life can get in the way of that love, if you let it.   

Belle and Brian certainly kept things steamy with their love scenes.  Even after all the time that passed, they were both still hot for each other.  The locations for their lovemaking were not the norm, but I have to say one particular accessory shocked me the most.  I will never view that object the same again.   

After finishing the story, it hit me how clever the title Screw Me Once actually is.  Maggie Montgomery interjects some southern charm that makes readers feel close to the characters.  There’s also plenty of humor.  Regardless if I agreed or disagreed with their choices, I could see myself in Belle and Brian.  If you love second chances, then you need to pick up this story.

Levi

Title: Levi
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-896-3
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

After a huge family reunion, Levi needs a little alone time and what better way than a run in his animal form.  The last thing Levi expects to do is run into another shifter, especially one that’s not a member of his own family.  When he sees the cougar shifter, Levi does not know what surprises him more; the fact that there are other shifters out there or the way this one makes him feel. 

I’m a fan of Ms. Bradford’s, owning several of her books, many I have re-read numerous times over.  I was excited to see that she had a new shape-shifter series, one involving big cats, coming out and anxiously awaited the first book.  Levi introduces several characters, as well as some shifter culture.  I say some because in this book, the main characters, at this time at least, know very little about their own culture.  It was interesting watching as Levi, a leopard shifter with a huge, close-knit family, meets up and is drawn to, Lyndon, a cougar shifter who’s been on his own for some time and is trying to stay one step ahead of his stalker.  The chemistry between them is intense and the passion that flares up from the first moment they lay eyes on each other is over the top on the hot scale.  While they do have issues in the beginning and spend some time apart, it does not take much to bring them together.  I loved the way Lyndon interacts with various members of Levi’s family, especially his grandmother.   

All is not cheery in the men’s world as Lyndon’s stalker soon raises his ugly head.  In some ways, I was surprised when the stalker’s identity is revealed, yet in others, I was not.  Many questions are raised during the course of Levi, book one of the Leopard’s Spots series, that remain unanswered and I can’t wait to see how the author plans on answering each one. 

On a personal note, I would have liked to have given this story a higher rating; however, I came across several instances when words were repeated, or continuity problems involving characters occurred, throwing the story off more than once and had to put the book down because I was becoming annoyed.  The fact that I liked both the plot and the characters was the only reason I kept reading and gave the story the rating I did, but also felt the error issues should be mentioned as well.

Stimulust Package

Title: Stimulust Package
Author: Jayden Knight
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL: sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN: 1-61926-155-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Evan Stewart’s agent code name is Flood for a reason; Evan has the ability to call water. When Evan is upset, he can actually cause a flood. Evan has spent his life concealing his gift, as well as the fact that he is gay. Meeting billionaire Bobby Duke unravels all of Evan’s secrets. However, Bobby has a secret of his own that could prove publicly embarrassing for both men. 

Stimulust Package is the first book in the Dark Horse Series. The Dark Horse is an agency of men and women that can control the elements. The headquarters is located on a large farm outside of Seattle. The plot is exceptionally amusing. The characters are creditable. Evan was rejected by his parents as a teenager and lived on the streets until he was rescued by the agency owner. Evan has great fashion sense, along with people skills, which makes him perfect for his position as a buyer in a high end department store. Bobby is doing a job he never wanted but obtained when his father died. He exhibits the public image of a rich playboy; nevertheless, Bobby is gay. Evan and Bobby both have a take-charge personality with a touch of snarky attitude at times. However, they are well matched in their love for each other. 

Jayden Knight has created an impressive saga blending humor, caring emotions, a touch of drama and sensual lovemaking into an enjoyable happy ever after romance.