Saturday, June 2, 2012

Master of Submission

Title:  Master of Submission
Author:  Jan Bowles
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL:   http://sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  1-61926-696-2
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Emma arrives to her friend’s empty apartment and realizes she is missing.  Emma goes to Club Submission to try to get a lead and meets Zane.  Zane is extremely attracted to her, even as he realizes she is a natural submissive. 

The first book in the Masters of Submission series, Master of Submission, is a wonderful introduction to BDSM that has a mystery as a subplot.  The author did a good job showing Emma’s emotional journey into the BDSM lifestyle.  I felt that they were very realistic and the author also shows how some negotiations can go.  The author also showcases how some authority figures can show subtle prejudices about BDSM. 

Zane and Emma burn up the pages as the chemistry between them is intense.  I liked that Emma did not just jump at the offer that Zane made and that she is very independent.   The secondary characters were interesting as well and I am looking forward to the brothers’ stories in the future. 

This is a book I recommend for every BDSM lover’s bookshelf.  This author will give a few of my favorite BDSM authors a run for their money and Ms. Bowles will be added to my must-read list.

Changing Worlds


Author: Cari Z
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Publisher URL: stormmoonpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-937058-31-2
Genre: {M/M} Science Fiction
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

There is so much for Jason Kim to learn when he signs an agreement to live on the planet Perelan. However, Jason is willing to try anything to keep his new husband Ferran at his side.  

Changing Worlds includes the short story prequel Opening Worlds. The story has an intriguing plot highlighting the discrimination of an interspecies marriage. Perelan is a planet of empaths, ruled by a biased council of females steeped in tradition. Males are considered only as breeders and family servants, they have no civil rights. Because of their marriage, Ferran and Jason have become social trendsetters. Ferran is the first Perel to marry a human, plus Jason is the first human to live within the city’s borders. The storyline mainly features the challenges Jason is faced with learning the language, as well as the code of behavior. There is a touch of drama created by the opponents for change along with a few intimacy scenes. 

Overall, Cari Z’s Changing Worlds is an interesting political statement reflecting events in history of today’s world.       

Mind Magic

Title: Mind Magic
Author: Poppy Dennison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-456-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Shape-shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Apprentice Mage Simon Osborne is well aware of the regulations that govern his life. Mages don’t mix with other magical creatures and vice versa. Ever. He also knows he can’t ignore the cries of children in pain either. He has to do something. Rescuing the werecubs from a demon trying to kill them gets him into all kinds of trouble from the other mages, but earns him the gratitude of the High Moon Pack. 

Having a mage in his pack makes Alpha Gray Townsend a little uncomfortable but what’s he going to do? The man saved his son and four other children from certain death. Gray also can’t explain his attraction that demands he keep the man close instead of pushing him away. His desire isn’t the only problem. Simon’s apprenticeship is threatened and the demon’s still out there. If he and Simon can’t find him, Garon and the other children could still wind up dead. 

Mind Magic is the new release by Poppy Dennison. As you may have noticed from other reviews, I’m very fond of paranormal books and the concept of this one, the three components of magic …mind (mages), body (shifters) and soul (vampires/demons) is a nice twist. The author took these ideas and interconnected them well throughout the story. And yes, according to the author, the next book, coming out in the fall, will be Body Magic 

Simon is the heart of the story and the way he went about rescuing the cubs pulled me into the story immediately. You have to like this guy. He’s determined to do the right thing, despite the consequences to himself. Descriptions are vivid throughout the story, giving the reader a good feel for what’s going on. The same goes for personality development. They are well-rounded, giving me a nice idea of who they are as individuals. Of the secondary characters, that’s particularly true of the children. They’re all sweet and endearing and really opened their hearts to Simon, feeling protective of him.  

I enjoyed Gray, even with all his Alpha tendencies and I loved the interaction with his son, Garon…Ms. Dennison nailed it. Then there’s Cormac, another unique individual and he’s a nice twist to the plot, and has an interesting connection to Simon (spoiler alert). Body Magic is a fast-paced read that grabbed my attention at the beginning and kept it while I raced to the end. I like Simon and Gray as individuals and how they relate to each other as they become a couple and mates. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

Travis Rhodes

Title: Travis Rhodes
Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN:  1619267772
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

While Travis loves being a warrior, he’s lonely and can’t wait till he meets his mate.  He’s surprised when the doorbell rings and his mate is standing there looking for someone else.  Emmett can’t stay with his pimp any longer and hopes Damian is still willing to help him.  When he gets to the address he was given, he’s surprised to find out that not only is Damian not there, but the sexist man he’s ever seen is standing before him. 

Travis Rhodes is the fourth book in the Beyond the Marius Brothers series and tells the story of two characters that have shown up before.   I liked this pairing and the way that Travis was able to overlook Emmett’s occupation.  There is the instant connection between the men that fans of Ms. Flynn have come to expect in her books.  The chemistry between them is strong and the way that Emmett reveals that he knows about vampires really sets things off.  While the men may have hit it off from the beginning, they have a lot to overcome.   The obstacles the author throws in the men’s way are intense with many surprising turns.   The difficulties they face don’t always bring out the good in Travis and Emmett and, while I could understand their actions at times, I wanted to smack both of them, especially Travis.   

I really liked this story and enjoyed the way the author has brought various Marius’ into this series as secondary characters.  Since both series share a plot line, I would strongly suggest that you read both the Marius Brothers and Beyond the Marius Brothers in order to keep from getting lost.

Good Bones

Title: Good Bones
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-486-6
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Dylan Warner’s life is nothing like he ever imagined, at least until Dylan meets his next door neighbor, Chris Nock. Renovating the old farmhouse with Chris’ help, Dylan is beginning to see a glimmer of hope to having a real relationship. 

Good Bones is an intriguing story of budding romance interwoven with the emotional turmoil of keeping secrets. The plot features interior décor details, family interaction, a few episodes of intimacy and chaos from former sex partners. The characters are creditable. Dylan is an architect who suppresses his creative energy in favor of safe standard home designs. His designs mirror his safe and lonely life. Forced into being a werewolf destroyed Dylan’s dream of ever having a long-term partner. After several close calls, living in the city had become a risk Dylan was no longer willing to take. Buying the farm allowed Dylan the freedom his wolf needed without the fear of harming people. Chris is a talented, considerate man. However, Chris suffers from low self-esteem. Being somewhat of a hillbilly, Chris does not feel he is worthy of being loved yet he is a very lovable man.  

Kim Fielding’s Good Bones is an impressive and enjoyable saga. The story has a happy for now finale with the possibility for a future sequel.

Casey’s Love Bite

Title: Casey’s Love Bite
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781771111928
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Casey owes the Stone Ridge pack more than he can ever repay them; not only did they save him from the scientists, but they continue to watch over him, considering him a member of their pack.  When he meets Caspian, a member of the Vampire Council, he’s shocked to find out that his mate is a vampire, but Casey’s ‘guardians’ are just a tad overprotective, making it hard for the two to get together.

Casey’s Love Bite is the ninth addition to the Wolves of Stone Ridge series and I was glad to see Casey’s story come out so soon.   I really loved this character when he showed up and could not wait to see the little bunny get his own mate and story.  I was surprised to see him paired with a vampire, but thought Caspian made the perfect mate for the little man.  The chemistry between the two is strong from the beginning; the first time they meet is intense and turns serious fast.   The author made the connection between the men seem realistic and the way in which Caspian helps Casey handle the trauma from being a captive of the scientists was done well. 

There are many secondary characters in Casey’s Love Bite, some old and some new.  The secondary characters not only help Caspian and Casey, but further the storyline that runs throughout this series.  The author has recently started a spin-off series and while it is not necessary to read both series, I would suggest that you do, as there is some interaction between characters and the storyline, as well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Timothy

Title: Timothy
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-965-6
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifters Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Tim Trujillo finds the anti-gay culture of Mongolia a totally different world from his home in Colorado. However, Tim’s true reason for the trip was to study the snow leopards and hopefully learn about his shifter family’s heritage. Not only did Tim gain knowledge, he also gained his mate, snow leopard shifter Otto Marquat. 

Timothy is the third book in the Leopard's Spots series. Tim is one of only two blonds in his shifter family. Quiet, smart with very little sense of humor, Tim always considered himself to be bland. Otto is a serious-minded Mongolian on a mission to stop the poaching of snow leopards. When Tim met Otto, Tim’s bland life is fast-forwarded into dangerous action, as well as very sensual mating. The interactions with the secondary characters consisting of Tim’s best friend and Otto’s family are very amusing.   

Bailey Bradford creates a superb blend of action, suspense and romance in this especially enjoyable installment to the Leopard’s Spots series. 

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

Far From The Usual

Title:  Far From The Usual
Author:  Avril  Ashton
Publisher:  Evernight Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-927368-71-8
Genre:  {M/F} Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

She’s tired of trying to please a father who sees her as an embarrassment and staying with a man who cheats.  Things should be clear, now that Arden Windham has ended things with her cheating ex-boyfriend, but she’s more confused than ever.  Her ex’s brother has always left Arden feeling unsettled because he treats her as if she killed his dog or something.  Arden can’t stand the man, yet she also can’t stop lusting after him. 

Cameron Mercer is grumpy and anti-social.  He’s alienated from the entire town and has a strained family relationship because of his time in jail.  In his eyes, Arden is a spoiled little rich girl, but that doesn’t stop him from staking a claim on her.  He’s wanted Arden the entire time she was with his brother and now is his chance to have her.   

Cameron refuses to stay away from Arden, regardless of how much Arden avoids him.  They come together and things are more intense than either of them anticipated.   Arden learns the truth behind Cameron’s bad-boy image and Cameron digs deeper into the broken relationship Arden has with his brother.  Several people express their unhappiness about them being together but in the end, Cameron and Arden follow their hearts.

Far From The Usual perfectly describes Arden and Cameron’s relationship.  They seemed like extreme opposites but as I got to know their characters, I discovered they were so much alike.  Both of them had spent way too long doing what was expected of them by their family.  Arden’s father and Cameron’s brother are on my hit list.  The entire town made assumptions about them that weren’t true.  Arden was far from the pampered princess that Cameron saw her as and Cameron’s feelings extended to more than wanting marathon sex.  He was a good man and I was surprised by how humble he really was.  He had reasons for his gruff behavior, so I was able to forgive him.  Cameron came to Arden’s defense when she needed him.  Though at times, I admit I wanted to slap him myself.  But when he poured all that emotion into his love for Arden, that made it all worth it.  That is the kind of man Arden deserved and this is the kind of story that readers will remember after finishing it.

In My Arms Tonight

Title: In My Arms Tonight
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 9780857159502
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

As a lawyer, James Stratton is a rarity. He’s willing to risk everything to stand up for his principles and trying to bring a murderer to justice gets him kidnapped, severely beaten and abused. Even after being rescued, his disapproving parents keep him captive and medicated in a medical facility. He’s angry, afraid and feeling hopeless until he’s rescued again…this time by his friend Chase and FBI agent, Glenn Shearing. 

Glenn Shearing risked his career rescuing James and eventually, he’s forced to leave the FBI. After years of hiding, coming out of the closet and leaving behind the job he loves is worth it - James is free. Now if he can only get the emotionally wounded man, a man he barely knows, to give him a chance. But that won’t be easy. James is a mess, afraid of physical contact…of intimacy. Can James learn to trust so he can take back his life or will he stay buried in fear and push Glenn away forever? 

In My Arms Tonight is the latest release in Bailey Bradford’s Love in Xxchange series. Due to the continuing story line and returning characters, I recommend the books be read in order. 

Ever since James was introduced, I’ve been waiting for his book and let me tell you, this well-written story really pulls at the heartstrings. There’s no doubt that this tale is a romance between James and Glenn but it’s so much more. Ms. Bradford has effectively mixed in their growing relationship with James’ recovery from his emotional and physical abuse. His volatile emotions are vividly described and handled well, making the reader understand his fear, pain and uncertainty. That means he needed time to develop a believable relationship with Glenn and the author allowed him that. By mid-book, I was beginning to think he’d pushed Glenn away forever and then a spark happened and he took that first step forward. It was a great moment and nicely handled. 

There are some great secondary characters with well-developed and believable personalities, vivid descriptions and good plot flow. One of the things I liked the most was Glenn’s patience. The man is a saint. He feels so much for James but can’t express it for much of the book. It makes him miserable. I felt so sorry for the guy. Anyway, Ms. Bradford outdid herself juggling all the intense emotions but by the end, she’s wrapped up the threads and has gotten James on the path to healing all with the help of the people he loves. I can’t deny that this one’s filled with lots of angst but it left me feeling good at the end. Watch for Where There's a Will, coming next.

Complete Faith

Title: Complete Faith
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN:  9781613724767
Genre: {M/M}, Western, Contemporary, Sequel
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Although his bosses are a committed gay couple, and one of the churches in the small community Tommy lives in is gay-friendly, the young cowboy doesn’t think he will ever be comfortable coming out.  After meeting Noah, however, Tommy can’t stop craving the pastor of St. Mark’s Church.  When he realizes his feelings are returned, both Tommy and Noah will end up having to make some tough decisions. 

Complete Faith is the sequel to Ms. Brown’s story Morning Report.   Both Tommy and Noah are characters that we have met in the previous story, so readers may remember the instant attraction that sprang up between the two men when they first meet.  In Complete Faith, we get to watch as the two men come together as a couple.   I thought this was a great follow-up book; I liked the gentleness and understanding Noah shows Tommy as the young cowboy comes to terms with his sexuality and how it will affect his life.  While these two men are not as ‘hands on’ as Luke and Simon, the passion that exists between them does heat up the pages at times.  While the men, especially Tommy, try to get a handle on their new relationship, they also continue to battle the homophobic undercurrents that exist in the town in which they live. 

The story is full of wonderful secondary characters, most of whom we met in the first story.  There are a few twists and turns that readers may find predictable but they in no way detract from the story.  I liked the way in which the author wrapped up the story, and can’t help wondering if more follow ups will be in the future.  While it is not necessary to read the books in order, I would highly recommend it.

The Virgin’s Revenge

Title:  The Virgin’s Revenge
Author:  Dee Tenorio
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-60928-866-2
Genre:  {M/F}, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Amanda overhears her oldest brother talking to the man she has had a crush on for years about Cole dating and then marrying her.  She is mad, hurt and bent on revenge.  Cole decides to buy time, but realizes he has loved Amanda for years and fears he has made a mess of things after he overhears Amanda and a friend talking. 

The Virgin’s Revenge is the latest installment of the Rancho del Cielo series, where the stories can be read as stand-alone books.  I had to laugh at some of the antics that Amanda’s brothers pulled as they reminded me of some things my brothers did.  The reasons that Locke had when he did what he did were done out of love, but it can be so frustrating when someone is making the effort to do things on their own.  The secrets that both Amanda and Cole kept about knowing what each knew made for some interesting give and take as each tried to feel their way, especially since they both really loved each other. 

The author slowly reveals Cole’s background and why it is the basis for some of what happens.  Family dynamics play a big role in this book, but it was fun to watch six men trying to make sure Amanda was protected. The author did a good job showing a true-life relationship with the misunderstandings that can happen when there is a lack of communication.  Once Amanda and Cole opened up, there were still some very big hurdles to overcome.  Amanda and Cole burned up the pages once they finally got together. 

I am looking forward to reading about Amanda’s brothers in future stories in this series.