Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hawaiian Gothic

Title: Hawaiian Gothic
Author: Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher’s URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN/BIN:  9781611188592
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Multicultural
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Running from his feelings for his best friend, Ori leaves Hawaii, never realizing how much his decision will affect both him and Kalani.   When Kalani is attacked, the men’s lives change once again.  Returning to Hawaii brings Ori more questions than answers and once again leaves things up in the air. 

Hawaiian Gothic is an interesting story and I get the feeling it is going to be one of those that readers either really like or really hate.  This story is more than just about the two main characters. In fact, it centers around the relationship of several of the secondary characters as well and these relationships play a big part in the story.  In order to get all the background in, the authors jump back and forth in time, which became annoying at times for me, although I understood why they did it.  While I found all the characters interesting, I wish the authors would have spent more time on Ori and Kalani and I felt slightly cheated on that front.   

As for the metaphysical portion of the story, the authors did an outstanding job.  I was pulled in almost from the beginning and could not figure out how the authors planned to wrap all the individual plot lines up.  There were many twists and turns, a couple of which I did not see coming, but thought they helped make the story.   

Hawaiian Gothic was my introduction to these two authors and I am interested to see what else they plan to bring the readers.

The Wizard & The Werewolf

Title: The Wizard & The Werewolf
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com/
ISBN: 9781614956181
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Werewolf alpha Peter Moore’s pack is in for a shake-up when wizard Justine is allowed to visit. Only the visit turns into Justine becoming a permanent resident when Peter realizes Justine is his mate. 

The Wizard & The Werewolf is an intriguing action story with a variety of paranormal creatures woven into the plot.  Justine has a special connection with the werewolves, though generally the two species are not on good terms. Justine is a powerful wizard of high standards; he believes magic should be used for protecting; not as a weapon to destroy. It is this belief that leads to Justine becoming the target of a psychotic wizard as well as forcing Justine to go into hiding.  Peter is a fair, open-minded leader who is loved and respected by his pack. Peter understands the possible conflicts having a wizard among the pack, however Peter’s wolf is more interested in claiming his mate. 

Amber Kell’s incredibly enjoyable The Wizard & The Werewolf saga ends on a cliffhanger although there is no indication on the author’s website there will be more episodes.  

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a reedited, rerelease title.

A is for Andy

Title: A is for Andy
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: None
Genre: M/M Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

His latest investigation is finally over and police officer A is ready for an evening of relaxation at the Hammer. He’s having a beer when he spies a long tall drink of water on a nearby barstool. The bearded stranger intrigues him and after a quick introduction A’s happy to find their interest is mutual. Andy’s a veterinarian and A quickly agrees to accompany him home for some fun. Can they find what’s they’re looking for together or after a one-night stand will they go their separate ways?   

A is for Andy is the latest release in Sean Michael’s Hammer series and it can be read as a standalone without a problem.  

This is a quick look into how two guys meet and hook-up one evening at the Hammer. There’s some lighthearted bantering conversation as they get to know each other over dinner and dancing that’s fun to watch. We get some very basic info about A, our cop, but Andy is much more developed. I can honestly say I like him more but the piece is so short—only 5300 words—that it’s hard to build any depth to either the individual or a possible relationship in that length.   

With Andy being a vet, I enjoyed the inclusion of the animals that were important in his life. There wasn’t a lot of space devoted to them but it really rounded out that part of his personality. Now to Andy being a sub. He and A definitely discussed a safe word and while the shower scene is sexy, it’s pure vanilla. And lastly—there’s no idea of a final outcome for this couple, which left me feeling dissatisfied.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blonde and Owner

Title:  Blonde and Owner
Author:  Sindra van Yssel
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61118-691-8
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Sequel
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Susan is blindsided by her date when he wants her to whip him after taking her to a BDSM club.  When she is asked to leave for refusing, Vincent steps in and gives her a lesson she doesn’t forget. 

I enjoyed Blonde and Owner, the sequel to Dom and Domme.  Ms. van Yssel is very knowledgeable, which adds to the storyline.  She does a very good job introducing some of the basics to readers as the story progresses.  The author is also very careful about making sure safe words are going to be used and the importance of reading the club rules and communication. 

Both Susan and Vincent are strong characters and Susan is no pushover, which I liked a lot.  The chemistry between the two is hot.  Some of the secondary characters were great, while there was one that was obviously going to be trouble.  The author also showed that privacy issues within the BDSM community are strictly enforced when one character tried to take pictures because this is a no-no within the community. 

I actually liked reading Blonde and Owner a little more than the first book.  I really liked the way the relationship progresses in this one better.  This book can be read alone and I will be reading it again.

More Than Pride

Title: More Than Pride
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-1-78184-001-6
Genre: {M/M/M} Wereshifters
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx  

Lion shifter Dillon has always been fond of owls. However, Dillon was not too pleased when half-starved owl shifter Evin swoops down and grabs tabby cat shifter Chester before Dillon could reach him. Thinking fast, Dillon interrupts the owl’s getaway with a rock. Dillon soon discovered that the owl and the pussycat were his mates. 

More Than Pride is the sixth book in the Supernatural Mates series. The three men are on the same mission to stop the humans from destroying shifters. Yet each man has a additional reason to put an end to the sinister group known as the People Against Werekin. After being tortured and injected with poison, Chester finally agrees to spy for the humans. Chester’s mission fails when he finds his mates. Evin accomplishes his warning mission and joins with the lions. Dillon is not only fighting for the pride and wolf pack; he is on a mission to save his kitty mate’s life. 

Amber Kell’s exceptional and enjoyable Supernatural Mates Series is best read in sequence.  

Forbidden Fruit

Title: Forbidden Fruit
Author: Edward Kendrick
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  9781614954026
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph 

Sam Young is a PI whose life is about to change, due to a couple of interesting cases and a young waiter running from an ex.  The problem is that Sam’s not sure if he’s ready for all the changes. 

Forbidden Fruit is a crime story by Edward Kendrick and fans of this genre are sure to enjoy it.  While the story is a contemporary one, taking place in current day New Orleans, Sam almost has a Sam Spade type feel to him.  I love the way this character is written and that the author wrote the story from Sam’s point of view, which allows the reader to get the full impact of his attitude.  Jamie is the perfect counterpart for Sam.  While the young man has had a rough few years, there is a gentleness about him that balances out Sam’s roughness.  I also liked the way Jamie was able to help Sam and it was easy to see where the author was taking them.  It is easy to imagine this story as the first of a series and I hope the author plans on bring these two back again.   

This is my first story by this author and Forbidden Fruit has left me wanting more.  If you are looking for a new author to try then I suggest giving this story a chance.

Claiming Shayla

Title:  Claiming Shayla  
Author:  Zena Wynn
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61118-809-7
Genre:  {M/F}, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Shayla leaves to go back to her home, unaware that Rory has marked her as his mate.  Rory is not going to let his mate go and hires her to get her back to Refuge.  Can Shayla take her place as the alpha-fem of Rory’s pack? 

The fourth book in the True Mates series was a fitting addition to this series.  Claiming Shayla takes you on a journey that will have the reader outraged at times and laughing the next. The author of this series has a very different way that humans become shifters.  The process is part of the mating heat and involves lots of steamy sex, so a reader might want to keep ice on hand. 

The prejudices and scheming that some pack members do are so true to life.  The author did a good job weaving these twists throughout the story.  All the characters are strong and the women definitely know what they want.  Shayla is no different and keeps Rory very balanced.  Some interactions with the various characters remind me of some of my friends and family as well. 

The author has created a beautiful shifter world that throws in a lot of surprising differences from other shifters.  I really like Ms. Wynn’s world.  Be aware there are actually six stories as two books were published by a different publisher.  While you don’t have to read all the books to understand what is going on, I recommend the reader read them in order, if possible, as some stories overlap in telling about some of the shifters and their problems.  I will definitely be reading this series again.

I would have given this a higher rating; however, some of the typos really jarred me out of the story while reading it.  Claiming Shayla will keep your interest and I really did not want to put it down.

SUBMISSION CALL FOR AUTHORS

Call for Submissions: He Loves Me for My Brainsss

Zombie stories are hot right now... and here at Torquere Press we think they
could be even hotter! Get your delicious brains churning, and give us your
unique, zombie-themed love stories! Is your hero a zombie-slayer -- or is he
in love with one? Maybe your hero is desperately searching for a cure to
save an infected loved one. Maybe he's the one making the zombies in the
first place. Maybe he's even a zombie himself!

These are the stories we want to showcase in "He Loves Me for My Brainsss",
a new anthology of sexy, romantic m/m stories about men finding love in the
face of a zombie crisis. All settings and heat ratings are welcome, but
we're looking for strong characters in fully realized, happy-ending stories
with a little more zing to them than the "survivors meet and fall in love"
stock standard. Note: While it is true that the undead can be sexy, and it
is also true that part of the fun of zombies is their gross-out factor, we
ask that you avoid combining these two elements directly, in order to appeal
to the widest possible audience.

Any word count from 5000 words and up is welcome, no stories shorter than
the minimum please. Stories should be sent to submission@torquerepress.com
with Brainsss Anthology in the subject line. Deadline for submission is
October 1, 2012 for a projected January 2013 publication. Stories will be
contracted for first time print and electronic rights, and payment will be
$50.00 US plus contributor copies. Please see our general submission
guidelines for how to format your submission.