Monday, June 18, 2012

Love the Sinner

Title: Love the Sinner
Author: Avril Ashton
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher’s URL: http://www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419939686
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Gabe Ashby has always been straight, yet for some reason the leader of one of New York’s worse gangs is setting off all his bells and whistles.  When circumstances keep throwing the two together neither, Gabe or Angelo can help but fall in love. 

Avril Ashton is a new author to me, but after reading Love the Sinner, I will be looking for more from this author.  Love the Sinner is an excellent story, and while I was nervous about reading a new author, the blurb really grabbed my attention and I had to see how the story would end.  The characters are wonderfully written and pulled me right into their story.  From the beginning, the attraction between Gabe and Angelo is strong and I was curious how the author would be able to bring the men together since Gabe is a detective and Angelo a major gang leader, one who makes no excuses for what he has to do.  The passion between the two is intense and the men really heat up the pages. 

It is not only the men’s relationship that will hold your interest, but also the situations they find themselves in.  The author does an excellent job making this world believable.  The conflict Gabe faces as he struggles, with not only his feelings for Angelo but also Angelo’s ‘occupation’, is very realistic.   As for Angelo, it is not hard to see him as the tough gang banger and the author doesn’t skimp on the violence. There are some tense moments in the story and I have to say I wondered when everything would blow up in the men’s faces and, truthfully, I could see no way the author could give these two a happily ever after.   

I don’t want to give too much away so I will just say that the author does a great job wrapping this story up and more than once, I found myself close to tears.  Love the Sinner is a great story and one I will be reading more than once. 

Passion Awakened

Title:  Passion Awakened
Author: Jessica Lee 
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
ISBN/BIN:  9781419940279
Genre:  {M/F} Time Travel
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

The time away from her daughter, in the family cabin, was supposed to be good for Shayla Murphy’s muse.  All had gone well until two men materialized out of thin air on her doorstep and had a tussle.  The blue-eyed, hot stranger had saved her life, but that didn’t mean Shayla felt safe about letting him in or that she believed his story about being from the future.  Calling the police wasn’t an option since they’d only think she was crazy.  Shayla’s heart went out to the stranger, especially when she noticed he seemed to be getting sick. 

Creed Donovan’s sickness was going to take him into unchartered territory and unless he can get home quickly, there’s no cure for his ailment.  Creed is a drug enforcer for the Federation of Americans and he’s chasing a rebel.  With his supply of sexual suppressing drugs stolen, Creed is experiencing some serious knee-buckling arousal.  Being stranded with Shayla is only making it worse.  For the first time in his life, Creed begins having doubts about his duties. 

In Creed’s time, the government has decided to create a safer society by using drugs to suppress people’s sexual desires.  Creed accepted this and did his job without question until he met Shayla.  She opened his eyes and he realized all the things he was missing in his world.  Maybe there was less chaos, but there was also a lot less happiness.  After being exposed to that much pleasure and emotion, there was no way Creed was going to go back to living without it again.  Now that Shayla and Creed have discovered each other, they are in danger of being torn apart.  Shayla and Creed have an unexpected connection that winds up being their saving grace in the end.  Shayla needed a man like Creed in her life.  I think he restored her faith in men and I know that Shayla changed Creed’s ideas about humanity.  Passion Awakened is the best description ever for this rousing story of two people who found what they didn’t know they were missing.  Losing control of a situation can often times be the best thing ever and I know that readers will agree with me after reading this story. 

Beneath the Skin

Title: Beneath the Skin
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-052-3
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

When Gibson de La Vega meets cats illegally entering their territory, he doesn’t like their hostile attitude. He also doesn’t expect to be ambushed and shot with silver bullets a few hours later, either. Lucky for him he meets Mia and she saves his life by digging the slugs from his body.  She’s everything he finds appealing in a woman. Too bad his brain says she’s part of the Porter family. His heart and cat don’t care. 

Mia survived her military service, only to be attacked with silver once back on US soil. It’s left her physically damaged…weakened and unable to do all the things she wants. She needs to decide what to do with her life and having a sexy alpha cat in her life just complicates things. But their attraction only deeps and if they’re going to survive the ever worsening danger, they’ll need to work together to find a killer. 

Beneath the Skin is the latest release in Lauren Dane’s de La Vega Cats. Due to the continuing storyline and recurring characters, I recommend the books be read in order. 

Mia is much different from the females in the first two books in this series. She’s all cat, all military and knows exactly how to deal with an alpha male. She’s honorable, loyal and determined and I like her. Ms. Dane did a nice job of weaving her personality in with Gibson’s kick-ass protective alpha cat and then adds in blistering sexual attraction, humor and bantering conversation. It’s well-written, fast-paced, fun, entertaining and deals nicely with numerous characters from the previous books. I really enjoyed the back story placed throughout the story. Not just about the history of what happened with Mia’s family but also some interesting twists and turns in Gibson’s family, leading to some suspense filled moments . I look forward to the next book in the series.

Huntress at Large

Title:  Huntress at Large
Author:  Ali Atwood
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-189-8
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Lex is paired with Blane to save a child from being sold at auction after being abducted from her adoptive parents.  Lex is still smarting from Blane’s rejection six years ago while he was guarding her. 

Huntress at Large is the second book in the Huntress Chronicles series, where this book picks up six years after Huntress for Hire.  This was an interesting suspense story that also shows how misunderstandings can color the way people see others.  One thing that did surprise me was how the author got Lex and Blane together once they reached their destination. I thought it was a bit unusual.   

Lex and Blane have chemistry, though both have a lot of misconceptions about each other.  What happens at the Glory Dome brings up a lot of feelings for both and has Lex wondering how she is going to make it without Blane in the future.   

The story also gives a hint about what might happen in the next book of this series and I, for one, am looking forward to reading it.  I recommend that this series be read in order for maximum enjoyment, but a reader can enjoy each book by itself.

Busted

Title: Busted
Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-280-5
Genre: {M/M} Detective
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Mark Honeywell is living the highlife of a spoiled rich college student with all the boy toys he desires. That is until he meets his new bodyguard, bad boy Dorian Ruiz, who just happens to be an undercover detective sent to take down Mark’s mob boss grandfather. 

Busted features the risks, along with the chaos, involved in undercover crime fighting. The biggest risk for Dorian is falling in love with Mark. He is torn between protecting Mark and doing his job.  There are some tense moments for Dorian, such as fearing discovery as well as rejection from Mark. However, Dorian loves his job and personal conflicts are sidelined until Mark has had time to deal with the revelation of his family’s true lifestyle. Mark has lived his life in denial, he simply chose to accept the lies his grandfather told him. Falling in love with Dorian has given Mark a new perspective, as well as the courage needed to face the future with Dorian. 

D. J. Manly has created an exciting very enjoyable saga blending steamy intimate scenes, a touch of action and emotional turmoil.

The Heart of the Jungle

Title: The Heart of the Jungle
Author: Jeremy Pack
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-462-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Life hasn’t been easy for Chris James. His parents died in a car crash when he was young and now seven years later, the relationship with his partner is falling apart.  He doesn’t know how bad life can get until he arrives home to find Michael and their child missing and their house bathed in blood. 

Nearly a year later, Chris is devastated when the police close the investigation for lack of leads. He’s ready to end his life when FBI agent turned PI, Jason Kingsley turns up with some of the answers Chris has been looking for. It takes the two men on a path of deceit, leading them further into danger and teaching Chris the true meaning of fear and betrayal. As Jason and Chris race to save his daughter and discover why she was taken, their lives are threatened… and if they don’t discover the truth, they could both wind up dead. 

The Heart of the Jungle is the first release by new author Jeremy Pack and it’s a winner. Please do be aware that the backbone of the story is a complicated, action-filled murder mystery. If you’re expecting lots of romance and sex, this book isn’t for you. As for me, the story has so much intrigue and danger, and so many twists and turns—it didn’t matter. 

Chris. His life makes you want to cry. Emotionally he’s a wreck and Mr. Pack has done a great job developing and expressing his character. From the opening pages, you can tell that his life is ready to fall apart again and then it only gets worse, pulling you into the story and demanding you turn the next page. Then he meets Jason, who I wasn’t certain I was going to like but over time, I came to understand what made him tick. And he was a good guy—a protective, if flawed honorable man. Putting these two together is many things—unsettling, painful and filled with anger, sorrow and hope. 

The story is well-plotted. Mr. Pack skillfully weaves in the known bad guys but manages to keep me guessing as to the identity of the ultimate villain until almost the end. And let me tell you the personalities of these guys are nasty. All of the various threads work for me, with the exception of the one moment Chris became reckless, endangering his life. It might have pushed the plot forward but it’s not only foolhardy but totally out of character for him. Anyway. The ending is filled with excitement as Chris tries to save his child and Jason tries to save them both and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Watch for Mr. Pack’s next release, To Touch the Stars, coming in October.

Freed

Title:  Freed
Author:  Berengaria Brown
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61926-576-9
Genre:  {M/F/M}, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Niall, Mas and Aurelia have become a threesome after her rescue from the call center where she had been held.  The three continue to work with law enforcement to find the other call centers, like the one she had been rescued from. 

Freed is the second book in the Freedom be Damned series and continues the story about the scam in the first book.  In addition, Aurelia is still trying to find a job and I had to laugh at one of the scenes about a game she played with herself that had her two men thinking about how she could turn it into a paycheck.   

The relationship between the three is hot and I liked the way the author showed how the two men came to realize that the other was going to part of the ‘package’ if they wanted to keep a relationship with Aurelia.  I did have to laugh at how they seemed to read each other when it came to certain things. 

Another thing the author did that I liked was the way she showed how a few things that you might do could be used to create a career or business.  The evolution Aurelia went through was fascinating to watch.  I enjoyed the way she finally discovered her niche.