Friday, July 27, 2012

Foreign Range

Title: Foreign Range
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-550-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Willie Meadows is a country music star but a cowboy he isn’t. He’s tired of the LA lifestyle and the idea of leaving California to start a new life sounds perfect. So Willie sells his houses and buys a ranch in Wyoming, in hopes of adding some realism to his songs. His life turns upside down when Steve Peterson arrives; a young man promised a job training horses by the ranch’s previous owner.  

Steve’s scared, hungry and on the run from his cult-leader father. When he gets to the ranch, he doesn’t even have gas to get back to town. He doesn’t know what to do and is thankful Willie hires him to take care of the property. Being attracted to the boss isn’t something Steve expects but when he realizes his feelings aren’t one-sided, he’s thrilled. But what to do? His father’s men are still after him. And what happens if someone discovers the truth about Willie? Can his career survive being outed? Can they? 

Foreign Range is the latest release in Andrew Grey’s Range series. While it’s possible to read this book as a standalone, I’d recommend it be read in order to get a better feel for the series and the recurring characters.  

I always look forward to new releases in this series and Foreign Range fits perfectly in its family of books. It’s a bit different from the others, with Willie’s background being so far removed from Steve’s, but Mr. Grey works his creative magic weaving these dissimilar men into a believable couple. The characters have nicely developed personalities, interesting backgrounds, intriguing problems and realistic life situations to deal with. I enjoyed the descriptions of the ranch at the beginning. They’re so vivid, it pulled me into the story immediately…and the emotional dialogue between Willie and his manager really sets the tone for the scene and their uneasy relationship throughout the story.  

As much as I like Willie, I like Steve even more. He’s had a rough life and carries with some heavy emotional scars, but he has hidden strengths I really appreciate. I wanted him to have a happily-ever-after. I enjoyed the addition of Willie's housekeeper and her cute little daughter to the cast of characters--it added a real sense of family to the story. I also enjoyed the scenes at Wally and Dakota's ranch at their party. Getting to see what was going on with their life was nice and it was a good way to pull the characters from the previous books into the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining look into the lives of Willie and Steve and I can’t wait for the next one. Happy reading.

Beauty

Title:  Beauty
Author:  Sophie Oak
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61926-954-5
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Ménage, Series
Rating:   4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph 

Bronwyn almost died the night her uncle killed her family in order to rule the Seelie kingdom.  She is saved by her bond mates, Lach and Shim, but has to go into hiding with their sister.   

The third story in the A Faery Story series continues the fight against the usurper that wants to eventually rule over all the various planes.  Beauty resolves one big issue, but leaves questions regarding some of the other triad relationships that are starting to form, which seems to be the norm when other planes become involved.  I enjoyed the interesting twist that the author created about the ruling classes of the various Fae. 

The idea of someone dreaming about their one(s) is not new, but the author added a few twists in this relationship.  The intrigue was interesting as well and kept my interest throughout the book.  Yes, a reader needs to read all three in order, especially as there should be another book that will continue, in part, where this one left off.  A reader gets a glimpse of an interesting relationship toward the end. 

The chemistry between Bronwyn, Lach and Shim is hot and there is a hint of BDSM within the relationship or will be in the future.  Some of the concepts that the author included about the vampires and Unseelie indicate this is a normal part of growing up in their society.  A reader will either love or hate some of the secondary characters, but all have characteristics that we run into in our lives at some point and the author did a good job of giving you a very clear picture of them. 

I will be reading this series again and am looking forward to the next book.

Full Circle

Title: Full Circle
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781614956358
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Suspense Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Manny Sullivan is Sanctuary’s computer expert. He lives and breathes computer programs and he’s ever vigilant in protecting the members of Sanctuary and the people they guard. Josh Headley is supposed to be in a safe house and when Manny spies him climbing over a wall, he’s furious their carefully laid-out case might be destroyed. He doesn’t have a choice. Manny has to go after him.

Because his father’s going to testify against the Bullens, Josh is in witness protection. He isn’t happy and then he finds out his boyfriend was using him. The last months have been difficult but when Manny offers him the chance to help in the final phase of the investigation, Josh jumps at it. Being close offers up some surprises. Manny pushes all his buttons and the thought of him getting injured drives Josh nuts.  After being hurt once before, can Josh open his heart again?

Full Circle is the latest release in RJ Scott’s Sanctuary series. Due to the continuing storyline and recurring characters, the books should be read in order.

It seems that with Manny and Josh’s book, we’re finally at the end of the arc involving the Bullen murder case. It’s been an interesting ride, getting the criminal investigation to the end. Here the storyline took a big twist, making the suspense part of the plot a lot longer and tenser then the previous books. I really enjoyed how it played out. Ms. Scott also gave us another big twist in Manny’s personal history. That one came out of left field but certainly added some interesting spice to the story and was used to good effect.

The development of Josh and Manny’s personalities is well done, the plot flows smoothly and the continuing investigation is believable. It’s nice seeing Nik and Morgan again and Josh, with his scary-smart computer skills, fit into the story perfectly. And I can’t forget the spark between Josh and Manny...it’s sizzling hot. These two guys are great together. You’ll find some surprises along the way as they work to conclude the investigation and the pace keeps speeding along as the story races to the end. There are some dangling threads regarding Sean but I assume those will be addressed in the future. Look for Jake’s untitled story coming next.

Saddling Brenda

Title: Saddling Brenda
Author: Trixie Stilletto
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN/BIN: 9781419936395
Genre: {M/F} Western, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph 

Brenda Morelli is trying to get away from her past and move on with her life, but things do not get off to a good start when she finds herself stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere. She’s about to admit defeat when a handsome cowboy intervenes to try and get her back on track. 

Denny Poyter is intrigued when he spies a damsel in distress on the side of the road. It’s been a while, but this mysterious southern belle with curves in all the right places has Denny thinking it’s time to get back in the saddle. It doesn’t take long for Denny to make his intentions clear, but he can see she’s struggling to find her feet. Can he convince Brenda that he’s worth sticking around for? 

As soon as I began reading Saddling Brenda, I knew I was going to like this book. Set on a ranch with the Montana scenery beautifully portrayed as the backdrop, I was able to lose myself in Brenda and Denny’s story of discovery.  I felt Brenda was the strongest character and was very realistically portrayed. I felt a kinship with her as her eyes were opened to what she’d been missing out on and the enormity of how wrong she had gotten things in the past began to sink in. Denny was an interesting character and the perfect personality to help Brenda find her way. With Denny around, tension and temperatures were surely set to rise and I would have loved to have delved deeper into his character. I really liked that Brenda kept her sense of identity and it wasn’t just left to Denny’s character to lead the way. There’s heartache, but also happiness, as Brenda is able to be true to herself for the first time. The author did really well in finding the right balance between the conflicting emotions to keep me hooked.

Forked

Title: Forked
Author: Declan Sands
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: changelingpress.com/ 
ISBN/ BIN: 05763-01847
Genre: {M/M} Action Suspense Sci-Fi
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Cliff Blood is on an unscheduled visit to Earth, which will get him in big trouble with the powers on his home planet Eninac. But that is okay with Cliff because now he knows his brother Matt is safe and well. However, there are other issues that require Cliff’s attention; the answers to who is attempting to frame his new boss and why Cliff is so attracted to the Deputy US Marshal Falen Scott. 

Forked is the second book in the Blood-Hound series. The exceptionally enjoyable short story plot is packed with plenty of action, a mystery and some very interesting characters. Cliff is on the trail of the strange creatures, who are attempting to murder his snake shifter boss. After destroying the creatures with the help of Falen, Cliff is still in the dark surrounding this Intergalactic mystery. Falen may be veiled in secrets but his sexual skills are most enjoyable experiences for Cliff. Falen and Cliff’s shared intimacies along with their investigative skills make them an invincible team.    

Where There’s a Will

Title: Where There’s a Will 
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-010-8
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Carlos drove to Texas in order to tell Nick, his former boss, that his mother has almost destroyed the family ranch.  He’s tired, the GPS isn’t working right and he can’t find the road to Nick’s house. He’s ready to howl in frustration when a cute guy driving past blows him a kiss. It wakes up his libido, making him feel things he’d thought long dead. After all,who would want an unemployed, middle-aged cowboy with nothing to offer?  

Yet he has hope when he walks into The Xxchange looking for directions and gets invited to play with the hunky bartender and the flirty cutie from the car. How can he say no? He can’t. Can being in a threesome with Troy and Will work when they each have wants, needs and desires to be fulfilled? Is being together enough with outside forces working against them? Can they make it work? 

Where There’s a Will is the latest release in Bailey Bradford’s Love in Xxchange series.  With so many returning characters and established relationship, you should read the books in order to avoid confusion. 

Introducing Will first is a good idea. Knowing how he's linked with James immediately pulls the characters from the previous book, In My Arms Tonight, into the storyline.  It also quickly gives us an idea of his fun, quirky personality, and his unfortunate family history without it being overdone. Then we meet cowboy Carlos, who’s frustrated with his GPS—who can’t relate to that?  And there’s Troy, the hunky bartender who’s lonely and envious he doesn’t have a partner of his own. On the surface, these three are a disaster until you get to know their wants and desires—their hearts. That’s when putting them together makes sense. Yes, there’s a lot of sex as they develop their relationship but its part of the process as they challenge each other and learn to trust. 

It’s nice seeing so many of the interesting characters I’ve come to enjoy returning. And Annabelle finally had the babies. We also meet Will’s domineering father and sister. Besides the copious amount of sex, there are a lot of life decisions going on and the author manages to help all of the characters navigate through their problems in a believable and orderly manner. There are several threads left dangling that I hope will be addressed in a future book. I really want to know more about what happens to their relationship.

Destined for the Dom

Author:  Jan Bowles
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher URL:  http://sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61926-837-1
Genre:   {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Zoe can’t believe Hunter has re-entered her life, as he was supposed to come back for her once she turned 18.  Hunter can’t stop thinking about Zoe, but thinks she is happy and doesn’t need him back in her life.

Destined for the Dom, the second book in the Masters of Submission series, gives us a look at two people, whose lives took very different turns after leaving the childrens home they grew up in.  The author did some research regarding PTSD and the effects on Marines and soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  The effects of PTSD hit Hunter hard, which shows in his relationship with Zoe.

The chemistry and relationship between Zoe and Hunter is hot and some of the scenes between them are fantastic.  Hunter is a Dom and he slowly introduces Zoe into the BDSM lifestyle, which brings some stability into her life.  I am glad the author made a point of showing that not all BDSM relationships require giving up one’s individuality. 

Some of the secondary characters were introduced in the first book and I’m sure we will be seeing them in future books.  There are a few of them I am looking forward to reading about.

Temptation in Tartan

Title:  Temptation in Tartan
Author:  Suz Demello
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  http://www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419937958
Genre:  {M/F}  Historical
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph 

Lydia Swann-Williston is a widow in a sticky situation.  She’s being forced to marry a man who could have possibly killed her husband in battle.  But her biggest concern is the fact that the wild Scotsman is said to be a monster.  He and his entire clan are ferocious blood-drinking warriors.  As a general’s daughter, Lydia knows it’s her duty to go through with this marriage.  Plus, it might be the only way she will ever gain a chance to have children someday. 

Kieran, Laird Kilborn, does not want to marry an outsider.  Certain things within his clan should be kept secret.  Kieran is plagued by a dark thirst that consumes him at times and a temper that evokes the fear of many.  Hopefully, this marriage would bring not only money and safety, but a chance to dilute his bloodline.  And if Lydia should desire him and bring him pleasure, that would be an added bonus. 

Lydia is confused and aroused by her new husband.  Kieran is so gentle and passionate with her, it makes her knees buckle.  Witnessing his dark side and seeing him drink the blood of his enemy was a shock, even though she’d heard rumors.  Kieran himself is surprised by some of the acts he commits and does his best to hide as much as possible from Lydia.  Lydia however, is determined to know the truth about the family that she’d married into.   Kieran comes from a line of berserkers and vampires and Lydia is concerned how it will affect their lives, especially future children.  Kieran is a good man and doesn’t let the darkness take control of him.  His loyalty to the clan and his care for Lydia is quite moving. 

Temptation in Tartan is a well-woven historical with a paranormal twist.  Kieran and Lydia have so much passion between them that it practically leaps off the pages.  I especially liked their first meeting.   Some of their love scenes will make your eyes pop.  This lusty couple couldn’t seem to keep their hands to themselves.  Even though Lydia was previously married, she had an unexpected innocence about her.  Despite this innocence, Lydia is a strong woman and I loved her fearlessness.  There is a good amount of twists and suspense that will draw readers in and keep them curious until the very end. 

The Wolfing Way

Title: The Wolfing Way
Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-508-5
Genre: {M/M} Werewolves
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx   

Human Kris Ellis’ main concern regarding mating with a werewolf is that he would become a slave to lust. However, werewolf Rafael King is able to convince Kris their relationship would involve the love Kris and Rafe so desperately craved. 

Susan Laine’s The Wolfing Way is the first book in the Lifting the Veil series. The mild plot imitates the regency period in historical stories yet with a current setting. The matchmaking procedure is almost the same as applying for a marriage license except the match is made before the parties meet.  The characters are interesting. Kris views the mating as merely an interruption in plans to earn his college degree; though being the mate of a werewolf is a danger from the outside world. I surmise it is a sense of accomplishment that drives Kris’s desire to gain an education that will be of no benefit after he is mated. Rafe is a compassionate man seeking a spiritual bonding as well as a physical mating. 

The main focus of this enjoyable saga is the emotional conflict Kris and Rafe are faced with, finally coming to terms that are agreeable to both of them. There is a minute of drama, a mating scene as well as one display of wolf characteristics.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Call for Submissions - AUTHORS

Halloween Sip Extravaganza!

It's hard to think of Halloween with all this deep summer heat going on, but it'll be here before we know it! And we're going to have a Halloween Sip Extravaganza on October 31st.

The theme of Halloween is extremely wide open -- it can be paranormal or fantasy/urban fantasy, it can be contemporary focused on October 31, call it Halloween or Samhain. As long as there is some element to tie your story to the general theme of Halloween it fits. Humans, demons, angels, vampires, elves, werewolves, shifters of all kinds, fairies, whatever otherworldly creature you can think of -- they're all welcome here.

Word count is 3000 to 8000 words. Deadline for submissions is September 20, 2012. Please send all submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with Halloween Sip in the subject line. For formatting questions or other content questions, please refer to our general guidelines, here: