Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sin Row

Title: Sin Row
Author: Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-569-6
Genre: {M/M/M} Futuristic, Dark Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Officer Blake Astor’s philosophy was simple when it came to arresting hookers, sex in exchange for letting them go, except when it came to Io Spencer. Blake could not resist the incredible sex with Io, nor could Blake’s patrol partner, Ronnie Kemp, resist joining into the sexual feast Io’s temping body offered.   

Sin Row is a dark fantasy set in a future world that mirrors today’s world. Optimism has been replaced by the need for survival. Criminals possess more powerful weapons than the police. Corruption, violence and other illegal activities are business as usual. Blake was mentally conditioned to his existence after men had used him, abused him and betrayed him. Ronnie’s cold-hearted emotions do not extend beyond his sex drive; he could care less about using a person, including Blake, to obtain sexual release and Blake was Ronnie’s work partner for five years. Io’s profession is the end product of growing up in foster care. 

Scarlet Blackwell’s Sin Row features the dregs of humanity trapped in the slum part of a city, along with a glimmer of romance between Blake and Io. Sin Row is an impressive, as well as enjoyable saga highlighting the tough life of a prostitute. 

The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx

Title: The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN: 1-61926-533-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Seahorse shifter Layton’s been crazy about lynx shifter Corbin since he was ten years old. Now an adult, he’s confused because of his sudden and unexpected attraction to Preston, Corbin’s brother. It’s unsettling to realize he can’t depend on the truth of his own emotions. He’s floundering in new feelings. 

Preston’s known that Layton was his mate for years and it’s been painful watching him pine after Corbin. When desire between them flares bright and hot, it changes their relationship. Weeks later when he learns that Layton is pregnant, Preston’s thrilled but they don’t know what’s behind Layton’s confused feelings. Delving into the mystery of who’s trying to keep them apart and why brings even more questions to light. Can Preston and Layton survive the danger? Can their child? What about their family and friends? 

The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx is release number eight in Scarlet Hyacinth’s Mate or Meal series.  Due to the continuing plot line and close relationship of the characters, I recommend the books be read in order.

I enjoyed this story and looked forward to it the first time I read the blurb. I wasn’t disappointed. Putting Layton and Preston together is a good pairing, even if it took work to get to what was keeping them apart. Ms. Hyacinth did a good job with the explanation of who caused it and why…eventually…and I’m happy to say it’s plausible. I’m also pleased she didn’t waste any time making them a couple. The sex between Layton and Preston is sizzling hot and results in…shock…a baby. 

As they search for the reason behind their separation, Ms Hyacinth gives us good details of what’s happening and answering some questions, while leaving others open for the future. She brings in the Sidhe and an unexpected character from a past release as one of the villains (and you’ll be surprised at the identity-spoiler alert). There’s a lot going on--not just with Preston and Layton but numerous friends and family too. Look for new addition, Sidhe Winter. The next book, The Lynx Who Purred for a Sidhe Prince, is coming soon. 

Byron

Title:  Byron
Author:  Kathi S. Barton
Publisher:  World Castle Publishing
ISBN:  9781937593476  
Genre:  {M/F} Erotic, BDSM
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Between her crappy job and being evicted from her apartment, Taylor Bennett has been having a rough time lately.  If it hadn’t been for her friend Jamie, Taylor might have ended up on the street.  Plus, she had to suffer through the embarrassment of explaining the bites on her body after falling ill at dinner with Jamie’s family.  Many people didn’t understand her lifestyle as a submissive.  Jamie’s brother Byron was the only one who understood.  But after the experience she’d had, could Taylor trust the arrogant man with her secret? 

Byron Grant is a man who knows a thing or two about secrets.  He’s more than a successful artist.  His family doesn’t know he’s a Dominant, who owns a few bondage clubs.  After meeting Taylor, Byron wants her.  She made him want things he’d never wanted from any other woman before.  Now he just has to convince the stubborn woman that there’s more than sex between them.   

When Taylor uncovers some shady events going on at work, her life is threatened.  The entire Grant family comes to Taylor’s rescue, even though Taylor swears she doesn’t need their help.  That family never takes “no” for an answer and this time was no exception. 

Byron is the fourth book of The Grant Brothers series and another sensational story by Kathi S. Barton.  The author is very skilled at bringing the characters to life and making readers fall more in love with them at the turn of each page.   Byron considers himself a bit different from his brothers because of his sexual preferences. The story of his broken arm gave me a different opinion of Byron and it called to my maternal side.  Taylor is stronger than I expected, considering she’s a submissive.  I was impressed with her strong will and her fearlessness, while amused by her talent for getting Byron stirred up.  Jamie disappointed me in this story, but I know he’ll redeem himself.  I can’t stay mad at these Grant brothers for long.  This is another story that I guarantee readers won’t be able to forget.  This series just might ruin me for all others. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brimstone Blues

Title: Brimstone Blues
Author: Tymber Dalton
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN: 1-61926-386-6
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Since finding out she’s a vampire, Taz has had it rough. She’s learning to control her powers, someone tried to kill her and she’s still coming to grips with her relationship with Matthias. It’s almost too much to deal with. Then she discovers something unsettling about Rafe’s death, making her doubt her sanity.  

Taz is crazy about Matthias and wants to spend the rest of her life with him, but her vampire life keeps getting in the way. That means traveling to London to deal with the Tribunal to get justice for Rafe from the woman who killed him. But that’s not all. There are traitors still at work tracking her every move. With Matthias at her side, Taz can do anything but she’s still hiding a secret that just might stop the wedding they’re planning. 

Brimstone Blues is the second release in Tymber Dalton’s Brimstone Vampires series. It takes up almost immediately after the first book, so they should be read in order.  

The world-building continues and we get a better understanding of some additional aspects of Taz and Matthias’s life. That means more background information on his past and the introduction of Tobias, his interesting eight hundred plus year-old grandfather, who I really enjoyed. We also see more of Tim, her ‘adopted’ dad, who’s a great character. Ms. Dalton did a real nice job bringing Rafe back into the story (remember he’s dead) and her explanation worked well and I’m curious as to how the situation will play out in the future. 

The Tribunal in London is another interesting new part of Taz’s life and something she has to become a part of. The bad guy’s determined to make his plan work and it’s in London where he makes his move. But…the villain and his henchmen are known, so there’s nothing surprising here. They even have their own point of view in the story. Also, the black moment isn’t too intense because Taz is so powerful.

Now my big niggle of the story. It’s Taz and her attitude. I understand that Taz’s life has changed but the writing is in a circle, constantly rehashing the same stuff. She’s rude, selfish and hateful to everyone, not just Matthias, and why they like her is beyond me. I know she’s stuck in a grief cycle but enough is enough.  At heart, she’s supposed to be a good person but Taz’s choices are turning her into an unlikable heroine.

In the Penalty Box

Title: In the Penalty Box
Author: Riley Shane
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-788-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

For years, Gregory Samson has been able to stay in the closet. His sexual affairs have been with men who are also in the closet and not looking for an open relationship. Gregory’s safe haven begins to crumble when Landon Quinn returns to Seattle after four years and does everything possible to avoid contact with Gregory. The more Landon ignores Gregory, the more Gregory desires a chance to correct his past with Landon. 

In the Penalty Box is the second book in the Seattle Marauders series. The realistic plot features the negatives of being a hockey star in the spotlight, as well as the impact traumatic events can have on your behavior. Nightmares of childhood abuse still haunt Gregory and are the source of his fears. Living a lie for so many years, Gregory has lost the honorable man he truly is inside. Fear has suppressed all of Gregory’s true emotions. The empathy shown by Landon allowed Gregory to slowly step out of the closet. Landon is openly gay, he is also very aware of the struggles gay men face dealing with a homophobic society.  

Riley Shane's In the Penalty Box is an impressive and enjoyable romance exhibiting the many emotional phases couples must sometimes travel to find happiness with themselves, as well as with each other.      

Promise You’ll Never Forget Me

Title: Promise You’ll Never Forget Me
Author: Leah Leonard
Publisher: Devine Destinies
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-026-6
Genre: {M/F} Sweet, Paranormal, Inspirational
Rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

When Stephanie bumps into old flame David at the coffee shop, she is pleasantly surprised. She remembers the good time with fondness, but it isn’t long before David’s faults remind her that her life has moved on. David is the same impulsive guy, asking if he can whisk her away on a romantic hiking trip. Of course she says no – David is in her past and should stay there. It doesn’t stop thoughts of him popping into her head at the strangest times though. 

A week later, Stephanie hears the tragic news that David was killed while hiking. She is devastated and can’t stop thinking about the “what if’s”. Her friends and family are trying to help, but their advice is just making her more confused. Just when she thinks she can let go of the past, David’s spirit starts appearing to her. Can Stephanie ever come to terms with what has happened? 

I was hooked by the premise of Promise You’ll Never Forget Me – a woman seemingly getting the chance to find peace after suffering the tragic loss of a past love. The characters are realistic and the author does a good job of conveying a past between Stephanie and David. The effect David has on Stephanie is quite touching and poignant in places. However, my overall feeling of this story is that depth of character was sacrificed in order to push the plot forward. The characters are nice, but I couldn’t really connect to them. Stephanie comes across as a bit self-absorbed, which is pretty realistic when it comes to bereavement, but I just wanted the story to have the substance it deserved. Perhaps I am being unfair as loss is a difficult subject to tackle, but the inspiration was lost on me personally.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Flawless

Title: Flawless
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN: 1-61926-493-5
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Lynk Braddock might want a mate but doesn’t expect to find him, or to be claimed in front of a room full of people. Kieran’s everything he’s dreamed of…protective, dominant and despite his large size, caring and kind. Lynk’s afraid that his magical powers and dangerous past could spell disaster for them. Again. 

Like any typical werewolf, all Kiernan wants is to keep his mate safe, but something isn’t right. At times, Lynk trembles in apparent fear and he has submissive needs Kiernan doesn’t understand. At other times, Lynk’s powerful, using his magic for defense and wants to be treated as equals…and it’s confusing. They and their friends are in a desperate search for Lynk’s missing brother, Thane, when their rocky relationship takes a hit. A vampire from a nearby coven claims Lynk’s his mate, forcing them before the Council. Can they prove a mate bond exists or will Lynk and Kiernan be separated forever? 

Flawless is the newest release in Gabrielle Evans’ Haven series. Due to the continuing plotline and returning characters, I recommend the books be read in order.  

Usually I’m not a big fan of prologues but this one is different. The opening scene is warm and fuzzy with cute toddler Wren, but it quickly morphs into an attention grabbing moment and the story picks up speed. From this point on, I don’t think it really slows down but barrels on to the end. I like Lynk and Kiernan. They both have an interesting history that we learn gradually as the story progresses. I guess if I’m truthful, I do like Lynk more. Don’t get me wrong. Ms. Evans has done a nice job developing both their personalities. I just feel more for Lynk. He’s a wreck and his emotional pain is often nearly palpable.  

The plot is well thought-out and follows the build-up from the previous releases, the flow is smooth and the integration of the secondary characters is seamless. Please note that there are lots of returning characters, so pay attention, or you might be confused. The connection between Lynk and Kiernan is intense and believable and their physical bond is sizzling. I liked that this book pulled in vampires again (I’m a vampire fan, did you guess) and I’m anxious to see what happens with new cast member, vampire Zasha and Thane. Watch for Speechless coming next.

The Ornament

Title: The Ornament
Author: Tianna Xander
Publisher: Devine Destinies
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-037-2
Genre: {M/F} Sweet, Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

Kylee has given up on finding a real man who can match the passion she experiences with the vampire of her dreams. Even her closest friend thinks she’s crazy, but Kylee looks forward to dreaming of Gregori. It feels so real, she swears she is communicating with him.  

During a trip to the mall, Kylee is drawn to a mysterious ornament in the window of a strange looking store. She can’t explain why, but she just has to have it. As she makes her way back home however, everything has changed 

Gregori’s existence has been torture ever since he lost his mate. However, just as he decides to take matters into his own hands, she appears to him once more. Now that he has her back, he’s going to make the most of this miracle, just so long as he can protect her from the people wanting everyone and anyone associated with his kind dead. Gregori seems convinced her place is by his side, but can Kylee leave everything behind her for this dark and dangerous world? 

The Ornament is an interesting story about a fiery woman who is pulled into a world of vampires and humans, vying for dominance. Kylee knows she is in love with Gregori, but she can’t understand why. I liked this aspect, plus the idea of it being her destiny to be by Gregori’s side. I liked that she wasn’t about to be controlled or pushed into something she didn’t want to do. She was uncertain of her feelings and what she should do for the best and this endeared me to her. 

The plot had a lot of different ideas that I feel could have been explored further. I was teased with an exciting, atmospheric world and a very intriguing character in Gregori, but ultimately wanted more from this story. I wasn’t convinced enough of the powers of the ornament and how it linked Kylee’s world to Gregori’s. I feel like the author has gazed the surface of a world that has a lot of potential, and I hope there is more to come.

The Case of the Missing Twin 5

Title: The Case of the Missing Twin 5
Author: Derek Adams
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-062-4
Genre: {M/M} Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Travelling by ship from Spain to Morocco, Miles’ sexual exchange of pleasure aboard ship turns into a side trip into the remote Atlas Mountains where Miles, Rudy and Jackson are held captive by drug smugglers.  

The Case of the Missing Twin 5 is the final chapter in this amazingly hilarious action escapade. Miles is frequently distracted by having sex with as many willing men as he can find. He is aware he owes his survival to Rudy and Jackson’s common sense. Miles would have been totally lost without his friend’s abilities to covertly navigate through all the countries. Dan Travis and Ahmed were found alive and reunited with Youssef ben Fahd. Rudy, Jackson and Miles are still in one piece. As for Miles’ client, the true plot is revealed, the case is closed with a dramatic ending from an unexpected source and everyone is taking a much-needed rest in Morocco. 

Reading The Case of the Missing Twin series from beginning to end, I was impressed by Miles’ flawed personality, which only makes him a more endearing character. Clearly Miles is not qualified to be a detective yet he expresses compassion for others. More often than not, Miles’ judgments are determined by his libido rather than his brain. However, there seems to be an underlining sense of loneliness in Miles, as if the penalty for being charismatic is to never have a lasting relationship. I absolutely enjoyed each chapter in this exciting series. 

The Adventures of Miles Diamond - The Case of the Missing Twin series is best read in sequence.

The Case of the Missing Twin 4

Title: The Case of the Missing Twin 4
Author: Derek Adams
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-023-5
Genre: {M/M} Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Still in Paris, Miles finally meets Ahmed, the nephew of Daniel’s lover, who travels with Miles and associates to Morocco. 

The Case of the Missing Twin 4 is part of The Adventures of Miles Diamond series. In this chapter, Miles and friends are drawing ever closer to rescuing Daniel Travis. Miles discovers Dan has been captured by a terrorist organization, Al Mustafa. Forced to travel by train due to an air controller’s strike, Ahmed is kidnapped. Now Miles, Rudy and Jackson have two men to rescue if they can make it to the Spanish port ahead of the bad guys. To be continued…  

The Adventures of Miles Diamond - The Case of the Missing Twin series is best read in sequence.

The Case of the Missing Twin 3

Title: The Case of the Missing Twin 3
Author: Derek Adams
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-55487-998-4
Genre: {M/M} Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Miles’ friends Jackson and Rudy help Miles off of a tent after he fell from the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral. 

The Case of the Missing Twin 3 in The Adventures of Miles Diamond series finds Miles and his crew in Paris. The rooftop drama is after Miles had been tied up, knocked out, airplane bombed and shot at by the bad guys as well as chased naked through the streets by a baker’s angry wife, wielding a rolling pin. It was pure luck that the apartment balcony he climbed onto belonged to an old college friend, who has a wealth of information regarding the case, along with opening up a new lead to a Moroccan businessman Youssef ben Fahd that has some surprising revelations. To be continued…  

The Adventures of Miles Diamond - The Case of the Missing Twin series is best read in sequence.

The Case of the Missing Twin 2

Title: The Case of the Missing Twin 2
Author: Derek Adams
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-55487-934-2
Genre: {M/M} Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Things are heating up for Miles Diamond as the investigation leads him into a world of sex trafficking, drugs and international terrorism. Rescued just in the nick of time by criminal mastermind Nelson Chin’s henchman, Jackson, information points Miles and his unemployed, as well as newly homeless, friends Rudy Vale and Jackson to Amsterdam and Paris with Chin hot on their heels.   To be continued… 

Derek Adams' The Case of the Missing Twin 2 is the second book in this fantastic action-packed cliffhanger series. Rudy and Jackson immediately becomes an intimate couple. Rudy is good at researching data; before joining Miles, Rudy had a consulting business with an office across the hall from Miles. Jackson is a former professional fighter with the skills needed to be a bodyguard. True to his voracious sexual nature, Miles finds plenty of sizzling action while collecting information, as well as attempting to escape the bad guys.  

The Adventures of Miles Diamond - The Case of the Missing Twin series is best read in sequence.

The Case of the Missing Twin

Title: The Case of the Missing Twin
Author: Derek Adams
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-55487-886-4
Genre: {M/M} Suspense, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

The name on the tiny office door says Miles Diamond, Private Detective. The name is correct; however the title is more of a wishful mission statement, not a reality. Nevertheless, finances are starting to look up for cash poor Miles when David Travis hires Miles to find twin Daniel Travis. 

The Case of the Missing Twin is the first book in The Adventures of Miles Diamond series. The plot, narrated by Miles, is hilarious, very sexy with a touch of drama. The setting is Seattle. The characters are convincing. Miles is considered by some to be a never-do-well loser. He seems to have problems finishing the education required to become a licensed private detective, or any career, for that matter. Nevertheless, Miles is following his desires for adventure, hopefully with a paycheck included. As an added bonus to investigating, the alleged suspects, as well as the client, are more than happy to indulge in scorching sexual flings with Miles. Though the sexual distractions cause Miles to forget his common sense, along with using discretion. Miles’ lapse of incorporating these key elements into his investigation greatly reduces Miles’ chances of survival.    

Derek Adams has created an outstanding saga. The charismatic main character, Miles, is extremely engaging. I enjoyed The Case of the Missing Twin immensely.   

Dark Revenge

Title:  Dark Revenge
Author:  Jennifer Leeland
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419934506
Genre:   {M/F}, BDSM, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Alex refused to leave with Tory when he was banished after a trial that found him guilty of treason after Alex's brother accused him. Tory gathered evidence that he was falsely accused, so he began making plans to make Alex his “Saria”, atonement for wrongdoing on the part of the Saria’s family, because her brother falsely accused Tory. 

Dark Revenge had a lot of twists and turns about loyalty and betrayal.  I liked the tradition and law of Saria, or single revenge.  Depending on the request, death, slavery or mate is the choice of the wronged party.  The society that Ms. Leeland created after Earth was devastated with the plague, a disease that created zombies; people that were subject to mind control and there was no cure for this disease.  I have to admit, I do not like zombie stories or movies, but I actually enjoyed this one as the author used the threat very well. 

The emotions that both Tory and Alex have for each other, and the situation they eventually become embroiled in, are very intense.  I will say that there are a couple of scenes that may bring up some strong feelings, such as the fight scene between Tory and Alex and the situation at the end with Alex’s half-brother. 

The secondary characters are very strongly written and you will fall in love with Jezar.  Tesia is an interesting character as well. There are several surprising twists in this story, some I anticipated as I read, but the one at the end blindsided me.  Several secrets were revealed that blew me away. 

Ms. Leeland is a new author for me, but I am looking forward to reading more of her books.  This is one I will be reading again.

Love and Brimstone

Title: Love and Brimstone
Author:  Tymber Dalton
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN: 1-61926-382-3
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Anastazia “Taz” Proctor had a sheltered childhood. Her parents didn’t stick around much; instead they gallivanted around the globe, leaving her in the care of a majordomo/nanny. Now she’s a high-powered lawyer, capable of fixing any problem and wealthy executive Matthias Hawthorne wants to hire her. But he wants her for more than her litigation skills. Matthias has loved and helped watch over her for years and is now ready to divulge a secret. She’s a vampire, just like he is. 

Before Taz’s powers can be trained, danger rears its head and they’re forced to flee into the safety of Yellowstone National Park. Learning of her heritage and the things that go with it are, at times, almost too much for Taz to cope with and she’s angry and afraid. Even their refuge isn’t safe and they discover a traitor among them. Can Taz survive another attempt on her life? Can Matthias protect her? 

Love and Brimstone is the first release Tymber Dalton’s Brimstone Vampires. Please note that this book’s been extensively revised and was previously released by another publisher. 

The story begins slowly…when Taz’s an infant, and shows how she’s cared for by Tim, her so-called nanny and protector. Ms. Dalton did a nice job showing the closeness and love of their relationship, before and after the death of her parents. I also like that once Taz became an adult, Tim stays an important stabilizing force in her life.  

I like Matthias. The man has the patience of a saint. I say this because once the truth of Taz’s heritage is revealed, she doesn’t handle it well. In fact, her personality changes so much in the middle, it’s like reading about a different person. Instead of the caring woman Tim raised, she acts like a brat that I didn’t like much. There are pages of circular writing dealing with her out-of-control emotions and it got old.  

The secondary characters are few but each adds an interesting piece to the story puzzle.  That is particularly true of Tim and Rafe (spoiler alert), both of whom I enjoyed. There’s also some bumps, bruises and near death experiences, from some odd otherworldly creatures out to get Taz. Where I had trouble with the plot was the vampire part and their special abilities. There just wasn’t anything new or special about it. The next book is Brimstone Blues.