Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What

Title: What
Author: Missy Welsh
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-272-0
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifter
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

The day is full of first times for Sam, first time straight men actually fought to seduce him, first time Jeremy kissed him and first time Sam became aware that he is a panther shifter. 

What is an amusing short story. The plot illustrates Jeremy claiming Sam with delightful details of the ritual. The story gives the impression that perhaps at one point in another story there was more insight into these characters such as in depth details of their backgrounds and personalities which establishes an emotional connection with the readers. However, that information was not illustrated in this plot.  What begins at the tattoo shop and stops with the characters playing in the alpha’s woods. The minuscule narrative is enjoyable exhibiting Sam and Jeremy’s mating bliss as well as a happy at the moment conclusion.

The Retreat

Title: The Retreat
Author: BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: none
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

It’s time for the annual bullfighters retreat and this year Coke gets to invite his lover Dillon. It’s a chance for the men to rest, relax, drink, eat too much barbecue, get into trouble with their friends and spend some quality time with the ones they love naked.  

The Retreat is the newest release in BA Torturga’s Roughstock series. It’s a quick look into the world of the bullfighters, and their friends, as they have fun during their annual three day weekend.  

At only 3.4K in length, there isn’t any time to explain the background between Coke and Dillon, so if you’re unfamiliar with these two men, you’ll likely have trouble connecting with them. The guys get to their destination early for some private time…taking along their dogs. There’s some cute and fun bantering sprinkled throughout but mostly what you’ll find is a short story with a sex scene in the middle. Don’t get me wrong…it’s well done and it’s obvious how much the men love each other but we don’t learn anything new about them or their relationship in this short.

Lust & Lies

Title: Lust & Lies
Author: Jayden Knight
Publisher: Siren-BookStrand
Publisher URL: sirenbookstrand.com/
ISBN: 1-61926-586-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Kevin “Pipe” Daniels was sick of babysitting people and this new assignment had all the markings of babysitting Skye Peterson until Skye’s boat blew up, tossing Kevin and Skye into the water five miles from shore.  

Lust & Lies is the fourth exciting book in the Dark Horse Series.  With the death of Dixon, the agency has undergone several changes. Burns is now in charge, along with new callers in residence. As the strongest water caller, it is Kevin’s job to teach the new callers control. Everyone who knows Kevin is of the opinion that he is constantly snarky, yet only Skye has been able to worm his way into Kevin’s heart to see the real caring Kevin hidden beneath the surface. Skye is a very principled genetic engineer who dreams of saving the world. Few people actually know Skye is gay. The forces of nature commanded by the callers are able to solve Skye’s mystery, as well as eliminate the culprit for a happy-ever-after romance. 

Lust & Lies is an impressive and enjoyable romantic suspense that is best read in sequence.   

A Measured Risk

Title:  A Measured Risk
Author:  Natasha Blackthorne
Publisher:  Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL:  www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-0-85715-936-6
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Historical, Rubenesque, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Anne has remained terrified of horses and carriage rides after her husband died.  Due to the way she was raised, she is shy and not very confident about herself.  Meeting Jon will change all that.  Jon will help her overcome her fear if she agrees to be his mistress and willing submissive for one month. 

A Measured Risk is the first book in the Regency Risks series and kept my interest throughout.  This book also combines an interesting case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with a journey into the BDSM lifestyle of a Dom and submissive.  I think the author tread a very fine line and did it beautifully. 

Anne is a stronger woman than she ever realized, but she has never had anyone she could trust except herself.  Jon shows her that being submissive and letting someone else have control can allow her to learn about herself.  There were times that I felt Jon could have been more understanding, but as the story unfolded, there were very good reasons for what he did.  I actually was wanting more, even as I enjoyed the way their relationship was resolved.   

Ms. Blackthorne did a good job with the period background, while giving a peak into the scandalous part of the Regency time period.  The secondary characters that appeared in the story were interesting, though one made me want to slap her silly.  I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

Colby and the Little Wolf

Title: Colby and the Little Wolf
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781771111751     
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Colby and Tobias have a lot in common.  If their older brothers have their way, however, the two young shifters are never going to get the chance to see what might come of the attraction that simmers between them. 

Colby and the Little Wolf is the latest addition to The Lost Shifters series.   This story tells the tale of Colby and Tobias, two young shifters who made brief appearances in the past.  I really enjoyed this newest addition.  Colby and Tobias are a wonderful switch from what we normally see in shifter stories.  Both men are the ‘runts’ of their litters and, as such, have older brothers that are going overboard in protecting them.  To Russell’s and Thomas’ credit, they have legitimate reasons to feel the way they do.  I liked that the author paired these two together rather than finding alphas to put them with.  I thought Colby and Tobias made a wonderful pair and liked the way the author allowed them to come into their own.   Although I could understand where Russell and Thomas were coming from, I did have a bit of an issue with their attitudes, knowing how strongly shifters feel about finding their mates.  

Colby and the Little Wolf is a fun, fast-paced read.  The author throws in a lot of intense passion, as well as action.   The coalition, of course, continues to battle not only the Ravens, but also humans as more and more find out about the shifter society that exists around them.  The snarky dialogue that was present in the first story continues to flow from each new story and this one is no different.  More than once, Tobias had me laughing out loud. 

While it is not really necessary to read the stories in this series in order, I would highly recommend it so that you get the full flavor of the characters.

The Lynx Who Purred for a Sidhe Prince

Title: The Lynx Who Purred for a Sidhe Prince
Author: Scarlet Hyacinth
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL: www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN: 1-61926-674-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When he was a small child, Winter’s parents were murdered and his uncle took the throne. Winter’s a healer and he’s spent months living in the shifter world, gaining friends and an attraction to lynx shifter Corbin. When a problem arises with his uncle, the Sidhe king, the only thing that will solve it is a royal wedding and Winter suddenly finds himself preparing to marry Corbin. As much as he loves Corbin, Winter’s afraid. What if something happens to his new mate just like his parents? There’s so much going on that Winter doesn’t understand and he doesn’t trust his uncle. The future is uncertain and its possible Winter could end up dead. Will he survive? 

The Lynx Who Purred for a Sidhe Prince is the newest release in Scarlet Hyacinth’s Mate or Meal series. There’s a continuing storyline and returning characters in this series, so I recommend the books be read in order. 

I’m enjoying the complexity of this series and how the characters from the previous books and series are seamlessly integrated into the books. The ongoing storyline is progressing nicely, adding some interesting twists and turns as it goes along. With this book, we get the addition of the Sidhe court and even an Oracle. Who knows what other new Fae additions will come later. I can’t wait to find out.  

Corbin and Winter are a good pairing. With it we get some great details of Winter’s family history and the Sidhe court. And the vivid description of the royal wedding is very nicely done. But life isn’t smooth and Winter and Corbin must deal with an old problem that comes back to haunt them, as well as a new one to handle too, so look for those twists. The Half-Breed Who Found His Other Half is coming next. Watch for it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chasing Shadows

Title: Chasing Shadows
Author: Jez Morrow
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61040-681-9
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Mystery
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

John Hamdon is having the day from hell.  While rushing to his girlfriend’s with hopes of preventing her from committing suicide, the detective runs over a wolf and is then rear-ended.  When John gets out to check on the wolf, he is surprised to find a gorgeous naked man under his car, and even more shocked when the man turns back into a wolf. 

Chasing Shadows by Jez Morrow puts a new spin on the usual shape-shifter tale.  Unfortunately I did not like the first half of the story.   For me, the first half came across in small snippets, making it hard for me to form a connection to the characters.   At times, I even wondered if I had missed something and found myself going back to check on what I had already read.  I also had a hard time feeling any connection between the characters themselves.  It was not until the second half of the book that I started to enjoy it.   

In the second half of the story, the author goes into more detail regarding shape-shifters and I liked the way the author switched up the classic werewolf story and gave them a whole new reason for being.  Like John, I too had begun to wonder just what Bast’s story was.  The mystery of the shadows and how they play into the story line was very interesting as well, and I was surprised by more than one twist the author threw in.   I thought the author did a neat job of wrapping up the story line and only wished the whole book could have been as good as the second half.

Catlin’s Appaloosa

Title: Catlin’s Appaloosa
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781771111775            
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

When Catlin is called in to investigate the beating of a young man now lying unconscious in the hospital, he never expected to want to protect and care for the man, or to later see Gallo turn into a horse.  Gallo can’t remember who he is, but he knows that Catlin is important to him in some way.   

Catlin’s Appaloosa is the second book in the Kontra’s Menagerie series.   The main characters are easy to care about and the connection between Catlin and Gallo is evident from the time Gallo opens his eyes.  I liked the way Catlin was with the young shifter, staying strong through everything that was revealed.  The chemistry between them is intense and the author did a great job bringing this across from the first sexual scene in the book.   

The author also uses Catlin’s Appalosa to introduce new characters, as well as new problems, into the series.  When Catlin, his partner Brock, Contra, and the rest of the bikers start to figure out who and what went after Gallo, more than a few of the guys are surprised to find out about the existence of vampires.  I like this new twist and the way it opens up the series to go in a different direction than the Wolves of Stone Ridge.    Both series are wonderfully written and, if you have not yet tried either one, I suggest you give them a shot.

Water and Steel

Title: Water and Steel
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: none
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

A simple shower turns sexy when lovers Marcus and Jim get together. All they need is some water, shaving cream and a sharp razor to turn the afternoon steamy and bare it all for the sake of love. 

Water and Steel is part of the The Hammer series by Sean Michael. It was originally published in the Toy Box anthology Shaving 

This 3.5K short is a glimpse into the life of Marcus and Jim as they relax and spend time together in the shower. It’s all about a lover’s touch and how baring skin under the rasp of a sharp blade is sensual and sexy. It’s obvious that these two men are still in love and trust each other without hesitation. And that’s what this story really is; a fine play of emotions between two committed partners. It’s caring, tender, passionate and filled with love.