Friday, September 14, 2012

Hummus On Rye


Title: Hummus On Rye
Author: Karenna Colcroft
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-640-7
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Michael, a six-year-old human child, becomes a pawn in a sadistic werewolf’s plan for revenge against Boston North Pack's Alpha, Tobias Rogan. 

Hummus On Rye is the fourth book in the Real Werewolves Don't Eat Meat series. Each book in this series features the dark side of werewolves. However, the plot in this episode is gloomier than the previous installments. The flaws of the in-depth characters, as well as severe pack laws, are clearly demonstrated.  Kyle Slidell is very stubborn; not only does he continue to bend the rules, Kyle is still holding on to a human vow to honor a long dead lover by remaining a vegan, which shows a lack of respect for his inner wolf but also for his mate, Tobias. Kyle refuses to accept he has changed and must adjust to his life as a werewolf. Tobias is a compassionate man; unfortunately using logic is not one of his strong traits. Living in an apartment complex along side of humans Increases the pack’s chances of discovery, especially when he has the means to buy a place that could accommodate his pack as other packs have done. The true victim in this saga is the child, who is now weighed down with a life of keeping secrets in addition to having night terrors brought on by a powerful psycho werewolf still at large.

Hummus On Rye is a enjoyable story though I must say the characters can be exasperating. Yet when help is needed, all the honorable werewolves are there to lend a hand, redeeming this dark tale to a hopeful future.

Damek’s Redemption


Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-290-9
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Release Date: 10-30-12

Sonia Agostino is a university professor who writes about the myths and legends of creatures that go bump in the night. This time she’s on the trail of a vampire and her research takes her to Chicago and the club Inhibitions, owned by the reclusive, Damek.  She’s hoping he’s the vampire she’s looking for but when she arrives on his doorstep, he refuses to see her.

Damek hasn’t been interested in a woman for decades but after one look at Sonia, his libido comes roaring back to life. He can’t risk getting close to her but when vampire hunters threaten Sonia, Damek will do anything to keep her safe. Their attraction is undeniable and as the danger escalates, the reality of Damek being a vampire comes to light. With their safety at peril, Sonia will make a decision that’ll change her life forever. Can Damek save her or will the hunters kill them both?

Damek’s Redemption is the newest release in NJ Walters Legacy series. It’s possible to read this one as a standalone but I recommend the books be read in order.

Since Damek entered the series, I’ve anxiously awaited his book and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.  He’s a great character—powerful, arrogant, protective and not a guy to mess with. I like him. Sonia’s as interesting in her own right. Strong-willed, determined and very capable. Ms. Walters has done a good job, not just developing their personalities, but weaving them into a believable couple despite their vast differences. I enjoyed learning their personal histories, the descriptions are vivid, the plot fast-paced and there’s a good integration of previous characters. I’m particularly interested in Craig getting a story.

The vampire hunters in this one are more prominent that before and I was glad to learn more about them. Their actions fuel the plot forward, bringing in plenty of danger and action. That’s particularly true near the end, so watch carefully, as the pace and action moves even faster. It’s during one of these scenes that Sonia’s family arrives. They’re unique individuals with an interesting history and I hope to see a few of them—her brothers—again in the future. Enjoy.

Loving Instincts


Author: S.J. Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-7183
Genre: {M/M} Vampire Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Human Andreas Nikandros is finally ready to take the steps to bond with vampire Titus Antonius Calidus for all of eternity. The only regret Andreas has is leaving his beloved lion, Dakarai, at the zoo in addition to his human best friend and fellow zoologist Carl behind. However, fate has a way of changing things for the greater good.

Loving Instincts is the third book in the amazing Instincts series. In this episode, political change in the vampire aristocracy is featured, plus a return visit of the engaging characters first introduced in the first book Natural Instincts. The detailed plot gives a background summary of all of the characters from the first book making it easy to read as a stand alone. However, Loving Instincts is so much more enjoyable if you read the series in sequence.

Loving Instincts highlights the ritual of turning a human into a vampire, as well as the reasons for doing so. With Andreas and Titus, the ceremony mirrors a marriage, two souls becoming one bonded by love. The plot also features bonding their pets. Andreas is a zoologist specializing in cats, so it is only natural that he would have a fondness for a lion that he raised from a cub. Dak becomes very moody when Andreas is absent from the zoo for too long. His Maine Coon house cats Lynx and Hemingway also have very distinct personalities. Titus, who denies he is fond of cats, can often be found with Lynx in his arms or lap. Though the pets are bonded to their owners, they still retain their same personalities including giving an early warning when something is amiss.  The secondary characters are just as colorful as the main characters and pets. The hilarious interactions with each other illustrate the close friendship bond they share.

S.J. Frost has created an excellent installment filled with humor, characters that are so alive it is almost impossible to believe them fictional. Exceptional displays of very sensual lovemaking are breathtaking. I thoroughly enjoyed this saga.

Long Hard Ride


Author: Talia Carmichael
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-061-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Since his husband’s death, Paxton Lawson has moved to Prentiss Texas to be closer to his sons, and after years of being alone, he’s now happy breeding horses. He notices everything about his animals but when his friend Windsor indicates he’d like their relationship to become personal, he’s shocked. Knowing of Windsor’s attraction makes Paxton remember the part of him long dormant and it reawakens his physical needs. Can he give in to his desire and move on, or will he stay buried in the past with his memories?

From the moment they met, Windsor Broadhurst has wanted Paxton but he knew he’d have to settle for being friends first. It hasn’t been easy keeping his interest in Paxton hidden or so he thinks. When the time comes for Windsor to make his move, it’s obvious Paxton doesn’t have a clue but everyone else around him seems to know. Can Windsor convince Paxton to give him a chance to prove that making a future together is the perfect answer for them both?

Long Hard Ride is the second release in Talia Carmichael’s Prentiss series. Due to the returning characters, I recommend the books be read in order.

I really enjoyed Windsor and Paxton’s story. They’re a little older—more mature than many of the romances, but it’s not just their backgrounds that are well rounded. Ms. Carmichael’s also fully developed their personalities, their lives and given them lots of interesting friends and family members as secondary characters. It’s a good, solid story with smooth pacing, vivid descriptions, honest emotions and some fun old fashioned courting. I really appreciate the caring and tenderness each man expresses to the other and enjoyed the bantering dialogue. I look forward to the next release.

Unconventional at Best


Author: Anthology
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-1-78184-060-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

A New Normal by Carol Lynne - 4 Nymphs
This story is a contemporary and heartwarming second chance at romance. Charlie Foster is a musician living a lie to please his family. Jake Pierson becomes an author to heal his broken heart after Charlie marries. Life changing events, remorse along with the courage to accept who you truly are reunites Charlie and Jake in love once again.   

Convention Confusion by Amber Kell - 5 Nymphs
Faith plays a role in this humorous paranormal romance when human Billy Ferris discovers he is the chosen mate of alien Jennvian Fellows. Though Billy had doubts, with Jenn at his side, Billy decided leaving his lonely life on earth presented no hardship.

Ninja Cupcakes by T.A. Chase - 4.5 Nymphs
Compassion for the family and friends in his life inspires Ethan Gallagher’s special cupcakes. The secret all-natural ingredients Ethan blends into his cupcakes are the source of matchmaking for couples who are meant to be together, including his own long-awaited match with the man of his dreams, Callum MacLaughlin.

Operation: Get Spencer by Jambrea Jo Jones - 5 Nymphs
Sometimes love can be sneaky, taking a leisurely friendship route before manifesting into erotic dreams. This is what happened to Benjamin Saylor. Ben had always enjoyed the times he and his best friend Spencer Wilde spent together. Considered a straight man, it is up to Ben to convince Spence love is not about labels; love is sharing your life with whoever makes you happy.  

Fan-Tastic by Stephani Hecht - 4 Nymphs
Pride and talent is all Blake had left after paying the expenses necessary to, hopefully, sell his comic books. However, Blake’s former high school crush, Deke, persuades Blake to set aside his pride for a long term loving relationship.

Rough Awakening by Devon Rhodes - 4 Nymphs
Starting the dating process can be a challenge especially then you have been absent for years. Mario had always considered himself to be the captain in intimacy. However, meeting Jordan has shown Mario that there are just as many benefits in being a team player when Jordan is the captain.

Unconventional at Best is a fascinating collection of contemporary romantic short stories. All the stories exhibit engaging characters, emotional drama, a dash of humor, sensual lovemaking and happy endings.  The anthology displays the writing styles of six exceptional authors. I thoroughly enjoyed Unconventional at Best.  

Locky in Love


Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-055-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Locky’s view of the world changed the night he found a young gay man, beaten and dying, next to his car in the parking lot of a gay bar. Afterwards he quit his job as a lawyer at his father’s firm and took a job at BK House, overseeing student life. It’s fulfilling but far different than the life he came from, and fighting his attraction to one of the students, Becket Chandler, makes it more difficult.

When Becket Chandler arrives at BK House weeks early, he’s ready to let loose, have lots of sex and get ready for the upcoming semester. Becket wants Locky but isn’t having any luck getting his attention, so decides to spend time with an older friend, which gets him in trouble. When his father has a heart attack, Becket’s forced to head home and Locky goes along, giving them the chance to get better acquainted.  Can their attraction develop into a relationship or will Locky continue to stay at arm’s length?

Locky in Love is book number 15 in the Campus Cravings series by Carol Lynne. Despite there being some recurring characters, it’s possible to read this book as a standalone but for a greater feel for the most current plot line, read books thirteen and fourteen first.

It’s another entertaining read set in the college world inhabited by the characters of Campus Cravings, but this time the subject matter is far more serious than usual. Here you should take note of the Reader Advisory: This story deals with the sensitive subject matter of rape. However, it is not in any graphic detail. Be assured the difficult topic is dealt with tastefully, if glossed over a bit. It’s just one of two serious issues handled during the course of the story, both of which are woven into the plot seamlessly. It also allows the introduction of several interesting secondary characters I’m certain we’ll see again in the future. One for sure—Eric will return in the next release—The Injustice of Being. I can’t wait for the continuation of his story. I’m anxious to learn more about him.

Now back to Locky and Becket. Their relationship is a bit love/hate at the beginning, since neither knows what the other is feeling—can you say no communication? Yet in a short time their barriers start to break down, emotions come through, and gasp—they begin to talk. Ms. Lynne has done a nice job getting these two together during some difficult circumstances and did it realistically. The pacing is smooth, the personalities are well-developed and the sex sizzling hot. My only complaint is the abrupt ending with the secondary plot line involving Eric. I wanted to know the outcome of the court case and was disappointed it was left dangling until The Injustice of Being.

Gilbert


Title: Gilbert
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-1-78184-078-8
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Chained to the wall, Amur leopard Jihu Warren can barely hear the fight taking place in the next room. However, the battle allowed Jihu to escape when his door is suddenly broken open. After making his way to the home of Bae, Jihu meets snow leopard Gilbert Trujillo, who just happens to be Jihu’s mate.

Gilbert is the fifth book in the Leopard’s Spots series. The thrilling plot is very enjoyable. Jihu was not raised in the Colorado lepe with his father and half brothers. He was brought to Colorado for the sole purpose of breeding the few fertile Amur females who had proven to be successful in delivering healthy babies. Since Jihu is gay, refusal to participate resulted in his imprisonment. During his captivity, Jihu is kept drugged, which prevented his ability to shift and distorted his senses. Jihu could not scent Gilbert was his mate. Also, Jihu feared rejection from Bae, yet Bae as well as all of Gilbert’s family welcomed Jihu with open arms. Jihu is the mate Gilbert has always dreamed of having, a small man he could cuddle and protect. Gilbert is shy around humans, he was always afraid of accidently revealing his shifter nature. Gilbert’s remedy for this problem was to work at home as a computer administrator, thus limiting human contact.

When it became necessary to raid Chung-Hee’s lepe, all of Gilbert’s available family agreed to help; their goal was to rescue Warren family members as well as to destroy the psycho Chung-Hee. In Chung-Hee’s quest to build a dynasty of pure race Amur shifters, Chung-Hee’s breeding program actually increased the possibilities of extinction instead of preventing it. Plus any males who oppose him, Chun-Hee attempted to exterminate, even his own sons and grandsons.

During the skirmish against Chung-Hee’s lepe, two shifters went missing, Gilbert’s cousin Esau and Jihu’s brother Ye-sun. I am looking forward to their upcoming story.

This amazing series is best read in sequence. 

Spin the Bottle


Author:  Rhian Cahill
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61921-049-3
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Modeling opened the door for Lillian McDermott to a life that most people dream of.  After years of portraying an image and lifestyle that she didn’t enjoy, Lillian finally has the chance to start a new chapter in her life.  However, the same old feelings keep resurfacing for the one man who she can’t avoid, no matter how hard she tries.

Lillian is his best friend’s sister, so that meant she was off-limits.  In theory it made sense.   But in reality, wanting her was making Mackenzie Harris crazy.  He’d had a moment of weakness and ever since, Lillian has been avoiding him like the plague.  As much as he hated the over-the-top party that Lillian decided to throw, it was the perfect arena to make her listen to him. 

Lillian and Mackenzie’s history made them almost like siblings, as far as Mackenzie was concerned.  For years, he had been repressing his feelings for her.  He’d hurt Lillian by rejecting her and now their relationship was strained.  It turns out that Mackenzie was wrong about a few things where Lillian was concerned.  When Lillian finally sets the record straight and Mackenzie’s control snaps, the heat turns into an inferno.

There’s something very appealing about a romantic relationship between two people who grow up together, because it’s so comfortable.  I felt that with these characters.  At the same time, I also felt the excitement of the unexpected because Lillian and Mackenzie were still in the “getting to know you” stage of their relationship.  Lillian’s party would have tempted a monk, I think.  That soiree had some pretty explicit things going on.  There was one particular game between Lillian’s brother and friend that left me wanting more.  I definitely need to know more about their story.

Spin the Bottle is the fourth book of the series Party Games, but appeared to be a great stand-alone storyReaders will enjoy the plot and feel connected to the characters, just like I did.  If you enjoy seeing what happens after two people have been fighting the inevitable and give in, you’d better read this story.

The Square Peg


Authors:  Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781611189582
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Benedict’s life is in turmoil. His boyfriend’s just dumped him for being a boring accountant and he’s inherited half-ownership in a gay bar from his father, a man he hasn’t seen in years.  The bar gives him a chance to do something different with his life but his new British partner, Shane, hates change. Then Ben learns the bar is bleeding money and has little chance to survive.

Having a new partner and making changes to the bar doesn’t make Shane happy, but he doesn’t have a choice if he wants to stay open. He and Ben can’t agree on anything and argue constantly.  When one disagreement leads to a night of blistering hot sex, it changes their relationship permanently. It pushes each man into a place they’ve never been before—Shane submitting and Ben dominating. As the renovations move forward and they grow closer as a couple, an act of violence nearly destroys everything they’ve built together.

The Square Peg is the latest release by writing duo Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow. I’ve read these authors before and enjoy how they make their characters come alive. Ben and Shane are interesting guys and I like how opposite they are—accountant verses bar owner. It’s fun to watch them argue (about everything) and work through their many differences. The one thing they can agree on is their attraction and it’s simmering in the background from the beginning.

The authors did a good job with their descriptions of the bar when Ben first went inside (ghastly) and the renovations that needed to be done. That continues as the repairs get underway. The bar staff make wonderful secondary characters. That’s particularly true of Vin. He’s a likable guy and I can’t wait for his book.  The pacing in the first and last 1/3 moves along steadily but I thought the middle dragged a bit.  Shane’s persona isn’t as well developed as Ben’s but that didn’t stop me from liking him. Despite their differences, these two guys make a solid couple, especially after they learn their boundaries —how to make their relationship work.

My niggles:
  1. The swiftness of getting Ben and Shane together when they didn’t like each other initially.
  2. Ben turning from vanilla to a Dom without warning. He second-guessed himself with Shane frequently but never talked of getting proper Dom training. He could have unintentionally hurt Shane. Yet, I’m also willing to give him the benefit of the doubt since a Dom/sub relationship is new to him.

River Walk


Title: River Walk
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-302-4
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

There is a pattern to everything; you only have to find the key. When Detective Fallon Roxbury searched a cold case, he discovered the secrets being held by his shape-shifting lover Sundown, as well as his work partner Juny, were the keys to solving the old case in addition to leading to their latest dilemma.

River Walk is the third book in the Sundown series. In this romantic suspense episode, the plot centers on revealing secrets. Sundown is a member of a clan of aliens who sought a safe haven on Earth. However, shape-shifting children in public was bound to get the attention of obsessive humans seeking fame. Researching the cold case, Fallon discovers a connection to a murder case he and his work partner Juny had solved or so they thought. Also revealed is Fallon’s first manipulated meeting with Sundown, as well as the special relationship they share now. One of my favorite parts of this story is the humorous antics Sundown executes while in animal form.

This fascinating and very enjoyable detective series is best read in sequence.  

A Summer in Paradise


Author:  Tianna Xander
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-259-8
Genre:  {M/F/M}, BDSM, Shape-shifter, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Pearl fled Paradise when things got bad for any female in Paradise.  Pearl returns to Paradise to visit her sister and take a break at the cabin she used to go to when she was a child.    Duncan and Jarrod know Pearl is their mate and are taking the weekend to fish before trying to find her.

The latest installment of the Paradise series gives a reader a little bit more about the history of Paradise and the rebellion that took place.  A Summer in Paradise brings more shifters into the story looking for people that left Paradise.  There is the realization that a lot of those that left are mates to those that either returned or never left Paradise.

The author is very true to the abuse that women were subjected to before the rebellion returned Paradise to the town it should have been.  The characterization of the personalities and feelings of jealousy that shifters experience once they find their mates can get very intense.  Pearl is not sure about accepting her own feelings because she feels she has bad judgment in men, given the man she just fled from. 

I did have to laugh at Pearl, Duncan and Jarrod and the game they used to play.  Pearl thought she spied on the two men and they knew she did and intentionally played on that. The chemistry is intense between the three. 

I was a little surprised by Pearl’s ex.  He shows up earlier, but the author throws in a twist toward the end that I did not see coming. I loved the resolution though. 

This series can be read as stand-alone books, though a reader will get more out of it reading all of them.  The author is slowly giving the reader a look at a thriving community that has overcome a lot of diversity.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Take My Hand


Title: Take My Hand
Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Publisher’s URL: http://www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61926-959-0
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Darcy has been taking care of his younger brother for so long, it’s almost like raising a son.  When they find themselves homeless, Darcy moves them from one place to another, hoping each new start will be the last.  When the men find themselves in Brac Village, Darcy starts to wonder if everything isn’t just a little too prefect.

Take My Hand is another addition to the Brac Pack series and tells the story of Raven, Dudley’s older brother, and Darcy, a young human trying to take care of himself and his brother, Sterling.  Once fans of this series see that Raven’s mate is both male and human, they know the vampire is in for a tough time.  While Raven does adjust fast, there are some obstacles that send him running for advice.  With Darcy being human, he is more than a little surprised to find out about the unusual residents of the village he is hoping to make his home.  The way he is introduced to the paranormal residents is over the top and goes a long way to explain his discomfort. 

The attraction between the two main characters is present from the beginning.  While Raven may be a virgin as far as having sex with men is concerned, you have a hard time seeing it once he gets Darcy in bed.  Raven works hard to help his new mate adjust and thanks to the help of many familiar secondary characters, the men find their happily ever after.

The author also uses Take My Hand to introduce a variety of new shifters seeking asylum, and it’s not too long before the troubles chasing them show up to cause Maverick and the others some problems.  I like the way the author continues to add new dimensions to this series to keep it from becoming stale.  Each new story leaves you wanting more and I cannot wait to see what else the author will bring her fans.

Miles’s Redemption


Author: Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-59578-960-0
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

The idea of using an online dating service to find his mate doesn’t appeal to Miles but because Jaden insists it’ll work, he gives in, fills out the forms and waits to see what’ll happen. When his date doesn’t show up at the restaurant, he’s annoyed and ready to leave when his nose catches a tantalizing scent. His mate is one of four women who’ve just walked in the door.

After dating the same man for seven years, Kareena expected to marry her fiancé, not get dumped. It’s destroyed her self-confidence and despite her attraction to the hunky guy at the nearby table, she doesn’t have the nerve to approach him. But a little liquid courage changes that. Being with Miles is wonderful and thrusts her into a world she never knew existed. When the truth about Jaden and the foretold one, is revealed it’s up to Kareena to keep Miles walking the path of redemption and away from the dark.

Miles’s Redemption is release seven in Marisa Chenery’s Roxie’s Protectors series. All of the relationships of characters of this series are interconnected, and the books should be read in order. It’s another short and quick look into the lives of this interesting group of werewolves.

Now that all the protectors guarding Roxie have found their mates, the only character left to finish out the series is the long-standing villain Miles. Okay, so he’s changed his attitude and altered his actions since he was told his daughter was the chosen one. My problem is that, even though Miles seems pretty benign now, I remember he spent centuries on the dark side. And I can’t forget he kidnapped and beat Leif, his daughter’s mate. Nothing was too horrible to get what he wanted. No matter how well written and how much it makes sense in the context of the plotline, call me silly, but I’m having trouble getting my head around his past actions with how Miles is acting now.

Moving on. Kareena is a great character. I really enjoyed the opening scene with her girlfriends but my absolute favorite comes near the end. Jaden’s gone into labor and Miles gets to see that his mate won’t tolerate his bad behavior and says, “Pull your head out of your ass…” She’s strong, determined and willing to take on Miles even after she learns of his history from several of the previous characters. So, despite the issues of Miles past and residual bad feelings, Ms. Chenery turned around Miles’ life, wrapped up the loose ends and gave everyone the happy endings they wanted. 

The Wolf Biker’s Mate


Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-237-6
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Kade never realized that a simple favor for his sister would lead to finding his mate.  The problem is not only is his mate human with no idea of the paranormal world, but he’s also so far in the closet that Kade isn’t sure the man will ever come out.

Charlie Richards’ latest addition to the Wolves of Stone Ridge series, The Wolf Biker’s Mate, is a fast read that will keep the reader entertained.  The main characters, Kade and Tom, are interesting, to say the least.  Kade is a former military wolf shifter who owns a motorcycle repair shop.  To say that he is a tough dude is an understatement.  This strong personality, however, is just what he needs when he meets his mate.  Tom is a human working for his family’s sporting goods store. His father would never understand Tom being gay, so the young man stays deep in the closet.    There is an intense connection between these two when they meet and it’s not long before they are burning up the pages of this story.  

Before Kade can tell Tom about the shifter world, the young man is pulled into the ongoing conflict between the scientists and the Stone Ridge pack.  The action that follows brings many of the previous secondary characters into the story.  These men help move the story along, and keep the readers turning the pages.

While many of the stories in this series can be read as stand alones, there is some cross-over so I would recommend reading the stories in order.

The Bacchi


Title: The Bacchi
Author: Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61118-934-6
Genre: {M/F} Bisexual Sci-Fi
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Afton Teris is a Valoran hermaphrodite who has been the object of The Bacchi Lefi Dhrahn’s attraction for almost a year. When Afton is requested to investigate a slavery operation on a brothel spaceship docked close to L17 planet, Afton recruits the aid of high ranking prostitute Lefi.   

The Bacchi is part of An Uncommon Whore series. The theme is futuristic with descriptions of the various species on the planet, along with the planet’s ties with Earth. The plot is a lackluster action rescue mission with elements of male/female sexual scenes illustrated. The characters did not fully engage my interest, plus there is too much repetition of the characters traits throughout the story. The storyline is labeled as primarily a male/male love story; I did not find that to be the case, my impression is that this is male/female attraction based on the character interactions demonstrated. Afton was pressured to be male by his father. However, Afton displays and seems to prefer the feminine sexual stimulation during intimacy with Lefi. As a sex therapist, Lefi services males and females, though the only Illustrations are with females.

My rating is based on theme, plot building and character depth. The other worlds concept as well as the unique creatures found in The Bacchi is enjoyable. Nevertheless, male/female or a mixture of genre is not my reading preference. 

Cleave


Title: Cleave
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN:  9781613725153
Genre: {M/M}, BDSM, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Sloan has moved forward in his relationship with Trent, but still he wants more.  When his ex, Cole, calls, is the connection he has with Trent strong enough to last or will he finding himself going back to Cole?

Mickie B. Aishling’s series Cutting Cords started with the first book by the same name.  The book introduced the readers to main characters, Sloan and Cole.  Both men had issues that leant a lot of angst to the story, yet I could not help being drawn to them and when the story ended was glad to see them find some happiness.  The second story in this series, Vessel, was even more angst-ridden and, to be honest, made me feel as if I had wasted my time reading the first story.  When I saw that the author had added another story to this series, I was not sure if I wanted to be drawn back into this world.

I started Cleave with mixed feelings, unsure if I wanted Sloan to return to Cole, or stay with Trent, who I couldn’t decide if I liked or not.  When this story starts, Cole and Sloan have been separated for nine months and, while Cole is preparing for the death of his father and the birth of his twin sons, Sloan has moved on with his life as a famous model and sub to Trent.  Like the first two stories, Cleave is full of angst almost from the beginning.  Cole is thrown into turmoil by the death of his father and birth of his sons.  Cole hopes the upheaval in his life will bring Sloan back to him, and I was surprised by the way Cole seems to think Sloan will come running back, overlooking his own mistakes in the destruction of their relationship. 

As for Sloan, it is easy to see that, of the two men, he has grown the most, finally coming to terms with what he needs to be happy.  His relationship with Trent has evolved from the last book, yet that does not mean things always move smoothly for them, especially when Cole returns to Sloan’s life.  I was amazed by the way Sloan was there for Cole, given the way the other man treated their relationship.  As the book progressed, I began to like Trent more and more.  The way he treated Sloan, showing the young man what it is like to come first in a relationship, had me realizing that he was the one for Sloan.

While, at times, this series made me more than a little angry, I am glad that I stuck with it and believe fans of this author are sure to love this latest addition to the Cutting Cords series. 

Three-Part Harmony



Title:   Three-Part Harmony
Author:  Angel Payne
Publisher:  Loose-Id
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61118-814-1
Genre:  {M/F/M}, BDSM, 
Rating:  Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Dasha has waited years for David to notice her and decides to make a play for him now that he is between ladies. David lets Dasha know that he is a Dom with sadistic tendencies and didn't want to lose her friendship. Dasha decides she wants to try to be what he wants. After several threats, Dasha ends up being protected by an FBI agent that later becomes her Dom as well.

Three-Part Harmony is a wonderfully intense emotional journey where Dasha realizes she was missing something.  There are some very hard-core BDSM scenes between David and Dasha, and later with David, Dasha and Kress.  Those in the lifestyle will find their hearts beating as you read various scenes.  I did have a little issue with David, as I felt he didn’t let Dasha have a choice because he did not do full disclosure. 

This story will transplant you into it as you read.  I could not put it down as I wanted to see what would happen as the suspense built with the threat to Dasha.  I also wanted to see the intensity of the scenes as the book progressed.  The author has a good grasp of these types of dominant personalities. It was also interesting to see Dasha come out of her shell and realize she mattered as well.

As the threat escalates, you are left wondering who the culprit might be until almost to the end, where it becomes very obvious.  This does nothing to detract from the story, however.

I have to say this is the first book I have read by Ms. Payne and I can honestly say I will be looking for more.  I will also be reading this one again and recommend it be added to any BDSM lover’s bookshelf.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chained Hearts


Author: Elizabeth Noble
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61372-542-9
Genre: {M/M}, Science Fiction, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Nick and Todd are still on the run, hoping to find a place to settle down before winter starts.  When Todd becomes sick and Nick’s injury from the kelbit becomes worse, the two men settle down in Elk Ridge.  The men fear being recognized but with Nick finally happy again, Todd is willing to take their chances.

Before going any further, I would like to take this time to say that it is necessary to read this series in order.  If you have not yet read the previous books then I would wait to read this review as it will contain spoilers.  

Chained Hearts is the third story in the Sentries series by Elizabeth Noble and takes place not too long after the end of book two.  The men are still on the run, with bounties on their heads, for the death of Chancellor Shaffer.  As the story moves north to Yellowknife territory and the little community of Elk Ridge, it starts to have an old western feel to it.  While the men’s relationship is still strong, Todd knows that because of his and Nick’s involvement with the kelbit there may be some trust issues on Nick’s part.  Knowing the history of the men’s relationship, it is easy to understand why Todd is worried about Nick.  The passion that exists between the men continues to be intense and I like the flirtyness that comes out of Nick on occasion.  The men’s time in Elk Ridge is unfortunately just the calm before the storm. 

While the first part of this story moves smoothly and is very entertaining, it is the second half that is full of action.  The men’s past comes back to haunt them when bounty hunters take Nick back to New Colorado and Todd needs the help of many past secondary characters in order to get him back.  Some of these secondary characters are friendlies, while others are not.  There are also many twists and turns, some of which I did not see coming. 

Chained Hearts was one of those stories I could not put down.  The main characters are easy to care about and the secondary ones help move the story along nicely.  The action is entertaining and holds the reader’s attention till the end.  This story had a bit of an open ending to it and I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

Shadow of the Wolf


Author:  Dana Marie Bell
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61921-095-0
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Alannah’s car stalls on the road returning from a party for one of her friends.  This happens about a month after Christopher casts his spell for his mate to come to him.  Both are very surprised by each other’s magical persuasion.

The first story in the Heart’s Desire series was both humorous and a good suspense story.  Shadow of the Wolf follows two families that are on opposite sides of the magical power spectrum.  Christopher is a wizard and Alannah is a witch.  Christopher’s brothers and Alannah’s grandmother find a lot of humor in the situation, even though it causes some problems for both when Cole tries to harm them.

I was laughing at the relationship between the brothers, as most of us with siblings will find this very familiar.  I loved Alannah’s grandmother and the way she was.  The author threw in a few interesting quirks about both families. One problem I had was that it took a little too long to tell us about Cole and why he was so bad.  I would have liked a little more information about Cole’s family and hope as this series progresses, we learn more as they seem to be a constant thorn in the Beckett family’s side.  We are all familiar with family feuds and how bad they can be because of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s.

I was a little surprised by the author’s knowledge and stressed some core beliefs of witches, especially the ‘three-fold law’.  It was also interesting how she showcased the differences between witches, wizards and warlocks within the story.

Ms. Bell is a new author for me and I am looking forward to more about the Beckett family in the future, especially how things are going to affect Zach.  

Armed & Dangerous


Author: Abigail Roux
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61372-513-9
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Ty and Zane have just come off another explosive case and were hoping for a little downtime.  When Ty takes off, Zane returns to work, where he’s soon called in for one of Burns’ special assignments.   Zane is surprised when he’s met by Ty and the two men soon find they have a lot to talk about.

The latest addition to the Cut and Run series is Ms. Roux’s first solo endeavor and I wondered if I would be able to tell the difference between Armed & Dangerous and the previous books in this series.  While the story did have a different feel about it, the story is no less enjoyable.  In fact, I liked the way Ty and Zane open up with each other in this story. Ms. Roux did a wonderful job allowing these two to express themselves the way they did. 

The author also carries the mystery/suspense aspect of this series very well and I loved the way in which she crossed this story over with another mystery/suspense story of hers.  Seeing Cameron and Julian again was fun and watching Julian clash with Ty and Zane had me laughing out loud more than once.   The action was non-stop, with many twists and turns that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat.  There were also many surprising twists that I did not see coming and I am sure they will surprise other readers as well.

Ty and Zane are complex characters, which makes it important for the readers to read this series in order.  With Julian and Cameron showing up as important secondary characters, I would also strongly recommend that you read Warrior’s Cross as well.  Fans of the Cut and Run series should know that there is another book due out soon, but Stars and Stripes will be released by a different publishing company so you may want to stop by the author’s website for that link.

A Younger Man


Author: Cameron Dane
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-59578-952-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

After years of marriage and two kids, Noah Maitland came out of the closet. Now he’s trying to make a new life. One that still revolves around his two sons, while allowing him to date…the dating isn’t going well. Noah can’t find anyone in his small town he’s interested in that’s appropriate for his age.

Zane Halliday’s cared for his young siblings for five years. Paying the bills is often difficult and when he gets behind, things turn desperate. When Zane meets Noah, he and the kids have just been evicted from their apartment and have nowhere to go.  When Noah offers them a place to stay, Zane doesn’t know what to think. It’s not long before Zane starts having fantasies about Noah and is jealous of the men he’s dating…and Zane always thought he was straight. But is he? Can he convince Noah to forget about their age difference? Can they make a life together? And what about Noah’s kids?

A Younger Man is the newest release in Cameron Dane’s Cabin Fever series. Sirus and Grey, last seen in 2009’s Grey’s Awakening make appearances in minor roles, but if you haven’t read the others books, this one can be read as a standalone.

What to say. I guess the first thing would be that this one took me longer than usual to read. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it but I think it’s because there’s so much emotion swirling around Zane and Noah. Their growing relationship is complicated and then to add in Noah’s ex, his kids, Zane’s two siblings, his financial difficulties and family trouble and there’s enough strife to drive two sane men crazy. But it’s in these fine nuances of relationships and feelings that’s Ms. Dane excels. She makes the lives and personalities of her characters come alive.

I enjoyed Noah and Zane and like that they start off as friends before becoming lovers. The description of Zane’s family history is well done and I enjoyed the scenes with his siblings. Noah’s kids are also integrated nicely into the plot, as is his parents. Then there’s the sex. It’s sizzling hot, but their being together is also sweet, tender and caring. Ms. Dane has definitely written them as a well-rounded and believable couple.

There are problems to face and Ms. Dane handles them well. Coming out, dealing with disapproving parents, handling your growing kids when you’re out of the closet, bigotry and hate. It’s not that you’re beat over the head with any one issue but they are present, so overall Ms. Dane has done her job. She’s given us a good story and made us think.

Masks Off!


Title: Masks Off!
Author: Anthology
Publisher: Torquere Press 
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-349-8
Genre: {M/M} Shape-Shifters
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Different Masks by BA Tortuga - 5 Nymphs
It was bad enough Lyons had to track down the young wolves and haul them back to the pack, but Lyons is beyond angry when he has to track down his mate, Kipp, to learn the real reason Kipp ran away. Lyons’ façade was that he is a dutiful wolf obedient to the pack and he was until it came down to choosing duty versus love for his mate. Kipp camouflaged his magical gifts, as well as his fears.   

Foxtrot by Missouri Dalton - 3 Nymphs
Saxophone musician Remy has a busy night as the entertainment for two uneventful Masquerades. The story premise simply catalogs Remy’s evening as well as a description of parties. The confusing characters have alternate identity names for the various species, such as vulpes which I assume are foxes. The plot is shallow, lacking exhibits of any sort of emotional depth.

Believe Me, Beloved by Charlie Cochet - 5 Nymphs
Human Robert Bradley discovered the fancy mask covers more than faces; the color of the mask marked the selected humans as prey for the shifter's midnight hunt. However, Robert as well as cat shifter Gabriel Chase are wearing more than one mask. Each man is hiding a secret love for the other. Rather than stand by and watch his future love die, Gabriel attacks his opponents as well as reveals his true nature to Robert.

As You Wish by Rob Rosen - 5 Nymphs
Newly hired servant James must past the test of trust Charles requires. Immediately attracted to Charles, James is determined to supply whatever his employer desires including being bitten by the werewolf Charles becomes on the nights of full moon.

Alpha Prime by Katherine Halle - 5 Nymphs
As Wolfsbane15 and DocWolf24 in a werewolf chat room the masks are off, perceived impressions are erased and true friendship can blossom. By the time Stephen and Christian finally meet face to face, they also discovered they were fated life mates.

What You Are by Elizabeth Brooks - 4.5 Nymphs
Cory wished he could act on his attraction to Leon, but Cory fears rejection if his secrets were revealed. Cory is in the closet, gay and a wolf shifter. However, Cory finds out quite by accident that he is just the type of man Leon is looking for. Spending just one night together in the moonlight, Cory and Leon become liberated shifter friends with sensual benefits.

Annual Full Moon Werewolf Ball by Sean Michael - 4 Nymphs
Grammercy wanted answers and there was only one man who could provide them. For almost a year Gramm has been searching for the unnamed man who bit him, changed him into a werewolf then disappeared, leaving Gramm to deal with what he had become on his own. But the surprise is on Gramm when he finally scents Damien at the ball. Gramm learns Damien is his mate, as well as there are mysteries about Gramm’s past yet to be discovered.

Masks Off is an intriguing collection of erotic romance. Overall, the enjoyable stories illustrate a variety of background settings, time periods in addition to wonderful character interaction. I especially enjoyed the characters in their shifted forms.