Monday, September 24, 2012

Gasp!


Title: Gasp!
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-61118-981-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When Jeff Paxton finished his last tour in Afghanistan, he left the Army, not knowing what he wanted to do with his life.  It certainly wasn’t babysitting superstar Nigel Gasp while his pregnant sister went on maternity leave. Jeff has of his own problems after coming back from a war zone and he doesn’t need to deal with a spoiled, attention-seeking rocker, but his sister needs his help, so he can’t say no. Jeff just wishes he could tell the spoiled rocker no. And who knew he’d fall in love with the very man who’s driving him crazy?

Nigel has everything money can buy but he’s nearing forty and depressed. He drank and partied too much; always thinking he’d die long before reaching his current age.  At the top of his profession, he doesn’t have anything left to work for and without anyone to love doesn’t have a reason to live—he’s ready to check out. Except now he has his bossy best friend’s equally bossy brother telling him what to do—and trying to keep him alive—and surprisingly, making him fall in love.

Gasp! is the latest release by multi-published author ZA Maxfield. I like the concept of this story and how Jeff and Nigel grew together. They’re interesting men with vastly different backgrounds, personalities, life experiences and problems. The story has lots of simmering emotions, vivid descriptions, a quick pace and the bantering conversation abounds.  I wasn’t too thrilled with the way Nigel acted in the opening scenes toward Jeff but over the course of the story, he started to grow and develop into a man you could like. It was well done. I also enjoyed the game of truth or dare Nigel and Jeff played over the phone. It was nice touch.

Now my niggles:
Jeff has just returned from a war zone and has his own issues to deal with. Did his sister think he didn’t need any adjustment period—any support?
And speaking of his sister—Dee. The woman’s attitude is bad in general and the way she spoke to Jeff is atrocious. I didn’t like her at all.  Not through the entire book.
There are numerous dangling threads that bothered me.

Even though the story has some problems, don’t forget it has good moments too. One of the finest is about twenty pages from the end where Nigel’s at a concert getting ready to sing and he lays his heart bare. It’s a heart-wrenching scene I know you’ll appreciate. I did.

Blind Devotion


Author: M.D. Grimm
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-61372-683-9
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifters Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Memories of his family are all cougar shifter Travis Kuger has left. Blind and determined to follow his now deceased mother’s lessons, Travis embarks on the long journey to Haven Montana. With the help of Haven’s Sheriff, wolf shifter Jack Ulger, Travis finds a home in addition to a new family.

Blind Devotion is the third book in The Shifters series. The intriguing plot highlights discrimination among the shifter species, as well as the general hatred of the whole shifter race.  The cougar and wolf mating resembles the prejudice interracial or inter-faith couples had to endure. The wolf pack’s traditional beliefs forbid cross species mating. While the fanatical Knights deemed all shifters as evil, this ideal of hate without basis mirrors the Christian terrorist in the world today.

Blind Devotion is a fantastic saga that blends action as well as drama into an emotional and thoroughly enjoyable happy ever after romance. 

Back To Hell


Title: Back To Hell
Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-079-5
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Life as Lucifer’s son has never been easy. Luc thought things were getting better when he learns his brother Galthine has captured their father and taken over Hell, but Luc doesn’t want to get involved. He and his werewolf lover, Bran, are back together when he discovers that Nikki, his vampire soul mate, is starving to death because of their separation. It’s a situation that can’t on and he needs to make Bran understand. They don’t have a chance to talk before Galthine steps through an inter-dimensional portal and kidnaps Bran. With the help of a few weapons provided by his uncle, Archangel Michael, Luc’s ready to storm Hell and show his brother why it’s a really bad idea to make the devil’s namesake angry.

Back To Hell is the latest release in Amber Kell’s Hellbourne series. It takes up shortly after the previous release left off, so I recommend the books be read in order.

It’s a fast-paced story with an interesting, entertaining premise. I mean really. How can a story where the main character is Lucifer’s son not be interesting? His life would never be easy and that’s exactly how Ms. Kell has portrayed it. If Luc’s relationship with his men doesn’t have a problem, then there’s trouble because of his father…you remember Satan. Well, this time, Ms. Kell has thrown in plenty of twists and turns regarding both, but the one that concerns his father and brother forces Luc right back to where he doesn’t want to go. You guessed it…home…Hell! And takes both Nikki and Bran along for the ride.

It’s a pretty exciting time for all three lovers and as you can imagine, dangerous too. It also allows an unexpected change in Luc’s character. We get to see the dangerous, protective side of his personality come out. It’s well done but the sticky situation in Hell is resolved a little too quickly for my liking. What happens there to his brothers is warranted but does open the door for some pretty exciting and unwanted changes to Luc’s life after they return home. I look forward to seeing the new direction of Luc’s life with the next release.

Kyle’s Valiant Hunt


Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-266-6
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Kyle knows there are rules to staying in another pack’s territory but when he finds his mate, all that goes by the wayside.  Kyle never thought that spending time with his mate would lead to major problems for both him and Vee.

Kyle’s Valiant Hunt is the latest story added to the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.   Kyle, a member of the Stone Ridge pack, is also a trucker and knows he has to be careful while in another pack’s territory.  Vee works at the local truck stop and knows just what kind of trouble can befall a gay man who lives in a small rural town.   There is an instant attraction between the two and, when they first get together, they really heat up the pages.  I did not see the problems coming that their mating brings, however. 

The author brings several former characters back to help Kyle and Vee find their happily ever after.  That, however, isn’t as easy as it sounds when the men find themselves going up against a homophobic Alpha.  With the action that the author has infused this book with, the readers are sure to be entertained.  This book went into my favorites pile right from the beginning.  I can’t wait to see what the author will bring us next and hope that Vee’s friend, Brice, will soon get a mate of his own.

Daddio


Title: Daddio
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-621-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Lil Lampert and Grier Dilorio have been together for six months and their relationship keeps getting better. Like any new couple they have issues but Grier never imagined the problems he’d continue to have with his ex, Jillian, over their son, Luca. She’s fighting him and Lil at every turn and hates that Luca calls his lover Daddio. It makes him nuts but with Lil behind him, Grier knows he can parent Luca, pursue a career in interior design and make their relationship work.

Moving from sunny California to snowy Chicago is hard for Lil, especially when they’re stuffed into a small apartment that doesn’t have room for his home office. Then there’s learning to be an instant parent to Luca and dealing with the ever-unpleasant Jillian, who’d like Lil to disappear. To make matters worse, Lil and Grier are forced to deal with Luca being unsafe at his school when they learn he’s been bullied. To make their new family work, Lil and Grier need to come to a mutual understanding to ensure their future happiness.

Daddio is the latest release in Mickie B. Ashling’s Horizon series. It starts six months after Taste left off. It’s a fun and entertaining look into the lives of an established couple as they deal with their new relationship, all while raising a child together. Their friends from Horizons have prominent roles, so the books should be read in order.

There’s a lot going on in this book but it’s all related to relationships Lil and Grier are involved in. That means the story moves forward at a believable pace I enjoyed, but nothing truly dramatic happens. Yes, there are several interesting twist and turns, just like in real life, but that doesn’t mean anything earth shattering occurs either. One thing I want to mention that isn’t noted in the publisher’s blurb is the need for a kink warning. I wasn’t expecting so much time to be devoted solely to Jody and Clark but both they and Lil and Grier have some pretty hot, detailed and inventive fantasy scenes going on. So be aware.

Now back to Lil and Grier. They’re interesting guys, with well developed personalities and they’re great as a couple and as co-parents. There’s plenty of snappy dialogue and the fun scenes cracked me up, but there are serious issues occurring as well, such as learning to communicate, Grier controlling his temper and both men dealing with an un-pleasant Jillian. Luca is a consistent scene-stealer. The kid’s just too cute and the bullying scenes were all too real. Even with my niggles, I found the book enjoyable and hope there’s another to follow. 

Tramps


Title: Tramps
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-1-78184-075-7
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Chal is the best retrieval tramp on Beasor, which means he gets more jobs and earns more money. Chal is also intelligent; he relies on his instincts when dealing with clients. So when a less than honorable client requests the return of a stolen treasure, as well as the thief, Chal is very suspicious. Chal’s instincts were correct; the thief Palmer had been falsely accused.

Tramps is the second book in The Beasor Chronicles series. In this enjoyable episode, the plot is more of a romantic suspense. Chal and Palmer shared dreams for months before they actually met in person. It was if destiny had matched them, both men had strong magical powers and both were unique for their Beasor type. However, there is a mystery surrounding Palmer’s heritage. The story ends leaving just enough missing information to arouse the reader’s hunger for the next installment hopefully coming soon.