Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sins of Spring

Title: Sins of Spring
Author: D.J.Manly,  A.J.Llewellyn and Serena Yates
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-969-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Anthology
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Takeover by D.J.Manly - 4 Nymphs

Efficiency expert Clive Roberts has the business savvy needed to turn a profit. For this reason, Clive is an asset to the owners of Simpson and Associates. However, this opinion is not shared by the employees, who resented the power he had to terminate their jobs. Clive is good at his job because he lacks emotional ties with the living until Clive met Seth Frost. Seth, along with all of the Frost family, allowed Clive to open up his heart to love, as well as the courage to let go of his nightmarish past. 

The Kaupe by A.J.Llewellyn - 4 Nymphs

Dino Perez’s planned man-hunt vacation turns into more than he bargained for when new artist friends who love to argue about everything and nothing decided to tag along. His female friend is grumpy as well as Alek Briatore’s surprised arrival.  Dino had met Alek before but deemed the average-looking Alek to be beneath Dino’s boyfriend standards. Dino only dates handsome men. However, Dino’s opinions of beauty is changed when he encounters a handsome but evil being intent on killing Dino. Suddenly Dino can see beyond Alek’s plain face to the true beauty inside.         

Spring Discovery by Serena Yates - 4 Nymphs

Shawn Adens is on a mission to prove he is not like his once-wealthy father, who killed himself and stripped Shawn of a life of privilege. Years later, Shawn returns to Philadelphia full of resentment for his former friends who still belong to the elite society. Working for a newspaper, Shawn’s assignment is to dig up dirt on the corporate world. Shawn’s target is a former high school friend, Gerald Van Brunt. However, what Shawn discovered is that Gerald is an innocent victim of corruption and the love of Shawn’s life.    

Sins of Spring is an impressive, as well as enjoyable collection of three stories illustrating greed, pride and envy, in addition to how the power of love changes the character’s lives for the better. All the stories engage the reader’s emotions and have a happy ending.  

Silver Mine

Title: Silver Mine
Author: Vivian Arend
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-60928-878-5
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Expected release date 09-11-2012 

As a crossbred, Chase Johnson never knows whether he’ll shift into a wolf or a cougar, causing the problem of being accepted by either group. He’s chosen to live in the wilds of the Yukon and has become the leader of the outcasts. When he heads into town to pick up yearly supplies, Chase gets a huge surprise when he’s attracted to a sexy female wolf. 

Shelley Bradley’s a wolf who can’t shift. She was treated badly as a child and left the pack to make a life elsewhere. Now a veterinarian, she’s returned home to make a life near her sister. Shelley can’t deny the chemistry simmering between her and Chase but she doesn’t do relationships with shifters. When he comes to her office with an injury, she’s determined to help and ends up heading into the wilderness looking for the cure. As their attraction grows, Chase’s wound gets worse and if they can’t find the cause, he and other outcasts could die a horrible death. 

Silver Mine is the second release in Vivian Arend’s new series, Takhini Wolves. Some of the characters are recurring from the first book, so they should be read in order. 

As much as I’ve enjoyed Ms. Arend’s other books, this latest release is my new favorite. The concept of a crossbreed Alpha leading a group of outcasts is pretty original, especially when you add in Shelley and her inability to shift. It gives her and Chase all kinds of problems to contend with from the very beginning. Putting these two interesting individuals together works well, despite them not being mates. It certainly moved their relationship forward at a much slower pace, which is a nice change in a paranormal romance. 

There are lots of good things going on in this story and the author weaves it all together into a cohesive whole without leaving any thread dangling. It includes great bantering dialogue, some of which cracked me up, a continuation of the relationship of the Alpha with his human assistant - Shelly’s sister -  and an adorable kitten who thinks he rules his domain. One of the best parts of the story is the mystery illness among the outcast shifters. I’m pleased this important part of the story wasn’t forgotten, for the sake of the romance. And I can’t forget to mention the sizzling hot passion and desire between our hero and heroine either. Enjoy. I did.

Black Gold

Title: Black Gold
Author: Vivian Arend
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-60928-525-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Shaun Stevens work hard but he plays even harder and with most of him friends getting mated, he’s starting to feel a little lonely. He’s itching for a change in his life but never expects it to come from a sexy female wolf who’s come north to do caribou research. A woman guaranteed to drive him out of his mind. 

Rich and sheltered Gemmita Jacobs is tired of being coddled and protected. She needs her independence and the last thing she wants is anything interfering with her work. Then she catches an intriguing scent—one that arouses her mating instinct. It’s obvious that, despite their bond, she and Shaun have problems to work through if their mating is going to work. That is if they can survive her research project.  

Black Gold is the first release in the Takhini Wolves series by Vivian Arend. It’s a spin-off of her Granite Lake Wolves series and while it would be helpful to have read those books first, it’s not mandatory. 

I was thrilled to learn of this new series, not only because I love the vividly-described wolfie world this author created, but this one is a full length novel, making me one happy reader/reviewer. In this book, Shaun’s back and just as amusing, fun and irreverent as ever. Gemmita is just the opposite—strict, rigid and afraid to enjoy herself—at least on the surface. Putting these two together is a wonderful idea, although initially I didn’t think it would work even with their mate bond. They’re just too different. But never fear, the author skillfully progresses their relationship while backpacking through the wild by teaching them compromise. They have some great action and danger filled moments during this period where they learn to work together to survive. *Plot twist alert* 

The personalities of Shaun and Gemmita are unique and well-rounded, giving the reader plenty of back story, but there’s also a romantic subplot involving Alpha Evan and Caroline, his human assistant. Watching this sassy human bully the female wolves is a great twist to the story and I can’t wait to see what happens with them further down the plot line.  

There’s a lot of positive going for Black Gold: unique characters, breathtaking scenery, a fast pace, a smooth plot flow and good writing. Did I forget to mention the sizzling hot sex? I, for one, can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Silver Mine.

Seth’s Chance

Title: Seth’s Chance
Author: Lynn Hagen  
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Publisher’s URL: http://www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781619268500
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

After taking over the responsibility of raising his nephew, Oscar, Seth decides moving to Brac Village is the perfect place to raise the little boy.  Seth never realized just how much the move would affect his life. 

Seth’s Chance is the latest addition to the Brac Pack series and while I have enjoyed each of the stories in the series, in some ways, I think this one is the best.  Like many of the previous couples, there is an instant connection between Seth and Chance, yet unlike some of the shifters who are paired with humans, Chance is having a hard time with Seth.   While Seth is willing to have Chance as a friend, he is unwilling for it to become more.   

While the story is a work of fiction and readers can only expect so much realism in stories like this, it is the process the author puts the men through as they go from friends to lovers, especially with all the outside issues they face, that lend this story an air of believability.  Seth’s reaction to what is going on around him is realistic and I could not help wondering why he was the only human mate to act that way.  Seth’s reactions play heavily into the story line, causing more than a few problems for Chance.   

It’s not only the differences in the men’s relationship that’s refreshing, but the author also threw in some interesting twists and turns in the sub plot.  Seth’s Chance is sure to be a fan favorite and I hope the following stories will be just as good.

Devil’s Gate

Title:  Devil’s Gate
Author:  Thea Harrison
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-222-0
Genre:  {M/F}, Shape-shifters, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Seremela has to take time off from her new job to fetch her wayward niece.  Duncan decides to accompany her to Devil’s Gate because he knows exactly how bad it is.  They are both attracted to each other, but it isn’t until they are there that they talk about their feelings. 

Devil’s Gate is part of the Elder Races series.  Ms. Harrison has created a wonderful world that fits within human society, openly side by side.  I had to laugh at some of the antics that Seremela’s hair pulled.  The medusas that the author created are a delight, in addition she explains how the snakes become poisonous to people and that there are races that are immune to their bite.  

Duncan is a Vampyre and lawyer where Seremela works.  His background makes him the perfect candidate to help Seremela.  It was interesting how the author wove, not only Duncan’s history, but some of the other races they encountered into the story.  Ms. Harrison also brought out the very complex political situations between different factions within the Elder races and humans. 

The chemistry between Duncan and Seremela is hot and comes through the pages, though the scenes themselves are tame.  The acceptance both have for their differences, as well as their commonalities, made the relationship very realistic.   

None of the stories are numbered and most don’t have to be read in order.  There are a few incidences where reading the previous books might be helpful, but the reader can follow the story without doing so.  I am looking forward to reading more about the Elder Races.

Ervin’s Dilemma

Title: Ervin’s Dilemma
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-205-5
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Ervin’s at loose ends, now that his old pack as merged with another one, and wonders if the new changes will be good for him.  When he goes out for coffee with his friend, he’s surprised to find his mate and that his mate wants nothing to do with him. 

Ervin’s Dilemma is the first book in Ms. Hecht new series, The Wayne County Wolves, which is a spin-off of her current The Lost Shifters series.  This story was a great start for the new series.  Ervin is a character we have met before and I liked watching him deal with getting a mate, especially after the way he acted when we first met him.  This tough warrior is having a rough time of it as he tries to cope with the changes facing his pack.  Used to being a bad ass in a pack that skirts the fine line of the law, Ervin has no idea how to cope in a straight, upright law-abiding pack.  He runs into even more problems when he meets Miles, his mate.  Miles is considered a rogue wolf, through no fault of his own.  Things become tougher after the death of his parents and, with no help from other packs, it soon looks like Miles and his siblings will become the latest victims of the Ravens.   

Ervin’s Dilemma is a fast-paced story that packs a lot of action into just a few pages.  While the men have their bad times, the connection between them is intense and I liked the way Miles trusts Ervin with his family.  I also liked the way the author reintroduced various members of the Wayne County pack so the reader has the chance to learn more about them.  Like the previous series, the shifters in this series are battling the Ravens and the human threat that was recently introduced into the plot line of The Lost Shifters series.   I can’t wait to see what else the author plans to introduce in this new series and look forward to the next story.

Operation Mustang

Title:  Operation Mustang
Author:  Tonya Ramagos
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61926-815-9
Genre:  {M/F/M/M}, BDSM, Ménage a Quarte, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

The Rylon brothers are tired of waiting for Mustang.  Mustang is afraid of losing her ranch to them, even though she loves the three of them.  Mustang also has to get over feeling that she is wrong to love them all. 

The third installment of The Service Club series, Operation Mustang, had me laughing at the interaction of the brothers and Mustang.  Diek and Gunner are SEALs, while Lucky is the ranch’s vet.  The author also continues the threat from Melissa’s Rights into this story.  The reaction of the men was priceless once they realized someone had gotten past them and that someone was after Mustang. I was a little surprised at the ending though, as I thought this thread would continue for a little longer. 

I liked that the author took pains to show that men can respect a strong woman that knows herself and that they weren’t afraid of women that stood their ground.  The chemistry between the four will scorch the pages.   

The Service Club is made up of men that make their living in public service of some type.  I was surprised by the relationships that all the members seem to have.  All of them are extremely protective of the women each group of men end up claiming. 

This series should be read in order to get a better understanding of some of the dynamics between the members.  I will be reading this series again, and I am waiting to read more about some of the members that appeared in this book.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Switch

Title: Switch
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-418-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Being apart isn’t easy and Miles returns home from a business trip, just in time for Zeke’s latest big gallery opening. The theme of Bondage is everywhere, tickling and arousing the senses and the men don’t stay long, deciding instead to spend time with each other. More importantly for Miles is the realization that he’s ready to take a different step in their sexual life—at least for tonight—and he can’t wait any longer.  

Switch in the latest in a trio of short stories released by Clare London following Zeke and Miles, who were introduced in True Colors. While reading it would be helpful, it’s not imperative but I do recommend you read the other shorts, Ambush and Payback first.  

Of the shorts, Switch is definitely my favorite, showing the depth and progression of Miles and Zeke’s love and the strength of their committed relationship. Seeing the switch in who’s the dominant in the bedroom, if only for one night, changes their established balance. It’s nice to see Miles able to let down his guard and show Zeke a needy side for a change. 

Overall, the story is well-written, with vivid descriptions and a tight focus that pulled me into the story on the first page. The emotions are high and while there’s still an intense bedroom scene, this one is more about feelings—and ultimately trust. I really like these guys together and the author’s done a great job showing how much they care for each other. It’s a real keeper. Enjoy.

Hope for a Buffalo

Title: Hope for a Buffalo
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-203-1
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Caleb’s drawn to the newspaper story about a white buffalo being shown at the nearby zoo.  He does not know why he can’t get the picture of the animal out of his mind but with the help of his alpha and friends, he’s going to find out. 

Hope for a Buffalo is the newest release in the authors Kontra’s Menagerie series.  The concept behind this story is an interesting one and the author brought Emmett’s and Caleb’s introduction across very well.  I loved the nose rubs the two gave each other when they first met, especially given the different types of animals they are.  The connection between the men is, of course, evident from the beginning and their mating burns up the pages.   

The author brings trouble into the men’s lives and with the help of their friends, they are able to swiftly bring things to a close.  While many of the secondary characters are members of the biker gang, there are some new ones introduced.  Each story in this series is well-written and leaves the reader waiting for more.   

Hope for a Buffalo should not be missed, and for those who have not yet tried this author, this is a great series to start with.

Tristan’s Temptation

Title:  Tristan’s Temptation
Author:  Sabrina York
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419938795
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Sequel
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Tristan and Shannon have had the hots for each other since they met.  However, Tristan has a rule about dating anyone from the company.  A switch of laptops by mistake and a peek at a program shows both they want the same thing. 

Tristan’s Temptation, sequel to Adam’s Obsession’s, is a very hot read.  The author gave both Tristan and Shannon very active imaginations when it comes to creating scenes about each other within a virtual program created by one of the company’s partners.  Both are very strong characters that like BDSM.   

Several characters from Adam’s Obsession make strong appearances that help some of the misunderstandings that come along.  The author did a good job weaving some very true situations into the story that we all see in our everyday lives.   

I did laugh at some of the situations that Tristan and Shannon found themselves in, along with those they created within their virtual world.  At other times, I wanted to slap Tristan because of the way he sometimes treated their relationship.  I didn’t blame Shannon one bit for her later resentment.  I will say that the chemistry between them is explosive and the scenes between them burn up the pages.   

I will be reading these stories again.

Fool's Gold

Title: Fool's Gold
Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-321-4
Genre: {M/M} Historical
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Pirate captain Ian Bowers is not sure what to believe when Silas Christian, claiming to be the son of Ian's former captain, rescues Ian from prison. Yet there is something in Silas’ eyes that convinces Ian Silas is telling the truth. 

Fool's Gold is a short story, originally published in Galleons and Gangplanks anthology. The plot illustrates the developing affection between Ian and Silas. There is a touch of drama, with moments of emotional reflections of the past. Ian and Silas are honorable rogues with similar backgrounds. Both men were abandoned by wealthy families and left to make their own way in the world. However, Silas was not a pirate; his only agenda was to find his father’s hidden treasure so that he could live a quiet comfortable life. After spending so many years at sea, Ian did not have any goals for the future. Even with Silas at his side and the love they shared, Ian still could not resist the lure of the sea.  

Mychael Black is proficient in creating steamy and enjoyable intimacy scenes displayed in Fool’s Gold. Nevertheless, a little more action outside the bedroom would have been enjoyable also.

The Devil Makes Three

Title: The Devil Makes Three
Author: Gabrielle Evans
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL: www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61926-830-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Power and position mean everything to Sheriff Luke Rivera. When a strange man suddenly appears in his home, he initially thinks he’s lost his mind. When he’s dumped in a strange house and told to change his greedy ways—or else, he’s certain of it, especially when he discovers his new roomie’s a vampire.  

Tucker Ford might be a vampire but he hasn’t killed anyone. He never planned on making a God angry or being confined with a short-tempered man, who just happens to be his mate either. They have thirty days to change their behavior, get to know each other and become better men. If they don’t learn enough to repay their debt and convince the God of Chaos that they’ve been redeemed, they could be separated forever. 

The Devil Makes Three is the latest release in Gabrielle Evans’ series Gods of Chaos. It’s possible to read this as a standalone but the series premise and ongoing characters will be better understood if read in order. 

I enjoyed the unexpected plot change that makes this book different than all the others. Instead of only Luke having to redeem himself, this time Ms. Evans has added another character in the same situation—Tucker. I liked that she used his problems with the Gods to add a paranormal species to the series. It’s an unexpected twist I really appreciated. The way Luke initially reacts to his discovery that Tucker’s a vampire is perfect—with just the right amount of freaking out. Their chemistry is also handled well and the way Luke fights against the desire swirling between them is believable and when they give in—the sex is sizzling. On another note, it’s nice to see Levi and Archer from Dance With the Devil 

My niggles - Luke isn’t a likable guy for most of the book. There were times I thought I’d never like him. Tucker, on the other hand, even with his issues, is much nicer from the beginning. Also, the middle the story dragged a little. Other than that, I found the story enjoyable and I look forward to the next release.

Cheek to Cheek

Title: Cheek to Cheek
Author:  Paige Bennett
Publisher:  Phaze Books
Publisher URL:  http://www.phaze.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-60659-660-9
Genre:  {M/F}  Contemporary, Interracial
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Ever since the eight grade, Diandra Davis has been in love with ballroom dancing.  Teaching is about the only exciting thing she has going on right now.  After a few mediocre relationships and a horrible incident with a student, Diandra is apprehensive about getting involved again.   

Jared Whitman is the ultimate big brother so there was no way he could refuse the ballroom lessons his sister signed him up for.  He just hoped he didn’t embarrass himself too badly with his two left feet.   Nervousness quickly turns to desire when he spots his beautiful dance instructor.  

The attraction between Diandra and Jared is too strong to be ignored.  Jared tries not to rush things, but he’s determined to make Diandra his.  Diandra wants Jared in the worst way and after a debate with herself, she gives in.  When they come together, it’s like the Fourth of July.  But the afterglow is ruined by assumptions and we all know what “they” say about assuming things.   

Honesty really is the best policy and in Jared and Diandra’s case, it would have spared them both lots of pain and confusion.  I saw their issue coming but I didn’t think it would snowball into an avalanche.  Diandra’s guilt was normal, but I wasn’t expecting anger from Jared.  Cheek to Cheek is a simple and sweet story between two people who get a shot at the kind of relationship that knocks your socks off.  They deserved to feel passion for someone, not just something, like their job.  Watching Jared and Diandra find what they were missing in each other felt comfortable.  I liked the image of an average guy like Jared getting the girl.  Romance and reality make a great combination that readers won’t be able to resist.

Undone Dom

Title:  Undone Dom
Author:  Lila Dubois
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419936104
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Alton couldn’t forget Lulu after he met her when he ended up without a model for his third of a book on BDSM.  Lulu isn’t sure about learning about the lifestyle, but she is attracted to Alton.  As she learns more, she finds herself falling in love with him. 

The second book in the Undone Lovers series, Undone Dom, shows a Master that lives the BDSM lifestyle pretty much 24/7 and undergoes a slight change in his attitude once he falls for Lulu.  I like that both characters are strong.  Both also slowly change some of their expectations about each other within the lifestyle. 

I had to laugh at Alton, though, because he was so surprised about his reaction to Lulu and how to handle it.  While some was the standard ‘Dom/sub’ relationship, there were times he stepped out of that role and became just Alton.  My heart melted when he took charge when Lulu got sick.  It was so out of his comfort zone. 

The author has a good grasp of BDSM and some of the nuances within the lifestyle.  She does a good job trying to explain the different levels and that a lot depends on the people involved within a scene, or a relationship, and the dynamics that can come into play.  The chemistry between Alton and Lulu is scorching. 

While Undone Dom can be read as a standalone book, I recommend readers read this series in order as you gain a lot of background from reading Undone Rebel.  I am looking forward to reading about Emory in the future.

Reader Advisory: Contains very light female/female sensuality and a brief ménage encounter.