Saturday, October 20, 2012

To Catch A Fox


Author: Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day
Publisher: The Empire Press
Publisher URL: www.smashwords.com
ISBN: 9780987328762
Genre: {M/M} Mystery Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Profile of Jonathon Fox: a New Orleans private detective and comes from a wealthy family. But Jon chose not to join the ranks as head of the Fox Corporations. Jon appears to be your average working man, casually dressed, driving an old car and living in the family’s plantation manor in need of some serious renovations. He has issues that stems from the loss of his father. Becoming a private detective is part of Jon’s self-appointed makeover. Jon’s motto is to help people without getting emotionally involved with anyone on a long term basis. However, Jon has a network of business contacts who accept casual sex as the preferred payment.

Profile of Tucker Wilder: a screen play writer whose first attempt at movie-making did not sell as he hoped, so he returned to his home in New Orleans, working in his aunt’s café while researching material for what he hoped would be the next blockbuster.

The case: Betty Black hires Jon to assist her in locating an acquaintance from fifty years ago. As it turns out, the name given to Jon by Betty is also the name of the man Tucker is researching. Tucker becomes a person of interest in Jon’s investigation. When Tucker witnessed a murder that Jon also happen to stumble upon, then Tucker is now a target in need of Jon’s protection and things just spiral downward from there for Jon, as well as Tucker.

To Catch A Fox is the first book in the Knight and Day Fox Mystery series. This is a gripping saga full of heart-stopping incidents. The complex plot has many twists and turns, an exciting murder and mayhem, emphasis on mayhem thriller with a dash of humor. Nevertheless, Jon and Tucker manage to squeeze in a few moments of scorching intimacy.

I absolutely enjoyed To Catch A Fox and look forward to the upcoming book A Fox in the Hole. My favorite quote “on this episode of Lifestyles of Sick and Demented we travel to the backwoods of Deliverance-ville, Louisiana, to meet a deadbeat daddy and his back door whore.” You will need to read the book to understand that quote.

Texas Heat


Title: Texas Heat
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781614957270
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Life is good for Riley and Jack and it’s not just because their personal relationship is stronger than ever. Professionally they’re both at all time highs—Jack’s quarter horse training facility is taking off and Riley’s ethical oil company is ready to start drilling, which means both mean are busy. There’s an addition to the ranch when Jack hires Robbie to help with training the horses and then Riley’s old friend Eli, a photographer shows up. It gives him and Riley a chance to catch up but then Eli gets the idea that the ranch would make a great backdrop for a male underwear photo shoot.

Between family problems, male models, Eli and Robbie getting into a relationship and unexpected problems with the oil company, Jack and Riley have a hot Texas summer packed with fun, love, family and turmoil. It’s just another crazy period in the lives of two men whose love only gets stronger and who can face anything together.

Texas Heat is the latest release in RJ Scott’s The Heart of Texas series. Since the story follows the same couple and has other recurring characters, the books should be read in order.

What to say about this newest release. Well, I guess first off it would be that once again RJ Scott has done it again with this third look into the lives of sexy Texans Riley and Jack. The plot makes sense and flow smoothly; it’s nice seeing further developments in Riley and Jack’s relationship, there are vivid descriptions, good placement of secondary characters and enough twists to keep you guessing. Actually I was surprised how many little subplots the author managed to work in—gasp—just like in real life. Well done, Ms. Scott.

I really enjoyed the new guys Robbie and Eli. They’re different from Jack and Riley in many ways and added a pop of interest to the story. Additionally they supplied a nicely done secondary romance I wanted to work out. And with the Eli plot, the idea of a male underwear shoot at the ranch gave me more than a few chuckles too.

Now back to Jack and Riley. These guys had problems before, but they’ve grown as a couple over the course of this series and I like them more with each book. I love how they’ve come to rely on each other and the way Ms. Scott has improved their ability to communicate with each other is handled well. So I guess it boils down to this. I found Texas Heat entertaining, I like the main characters and am looking forward to the next book in the series, whenever that might be.  I’ll be looking for it and hope you will be too.

Crimson Mate


Title: Crimson Mate
Author: Nikki McCoy
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com/
ISBN: 9781614955634
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Vampire Prince Quinn is distinctively different from the other vampires - when Quinn has amorous thoughts, his scent can create a sexual frenzy in unmated vampires, as well as shifters. Quinn discovered this when, as a young man, he barely escaped being gang raped. Now Quinn lives in fear of having a repeat of the horrible event. Shifter’s Ruler Manning realized immediately that Quinn was his mate by the appealing scent, however, instead of an introduction, Quinn ran away leaving Manning desperately trying to track him.

Crimson Mate has an extremely intriguing well-written plot. The history of the two clans and how they became enemies is almost a retelling of a spiritual creation of the world. The vampire clans chose to focus on having power in the modernized world while the shifter clans tolerated technology; they preferred to preserve the natural order of the earth as much as possible. Quinn and Manning is the key to save both clans from a destruction that would annihilate all vampires and shifters. However, neither Quinn nor Manning is aware of their history or the essential part they play in the fate of the two clans’ survival.

Nikki McCoy has created an excellent thoroughly enjoyable saga. Crimson Mate illustrates action, emotionally intense drama such as fear, past abuse, scenes of slaughter, as well as sensual intimacy and a dash of amusing dialog supplied by the secondary characters. I particularly enjoyed the variety of shifters all living together in one community, as well as their shifted forms. 

Dragon’s Bane


Author: Emily Carrington
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher’s URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61118-899-8
Genre: {M/M}, Fantasy, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When an ancient genie is accidentally released, he sets into motion a series of events that could quite possibly bring about the end to Mark and Luke’s relationship.  The two men have a lot to fight for, however, and soon the hard work begins.

Dragon’s Bane is the third story in the Dragon in Training series.  The men, Luke and Mark, have been together for three years now and they have not been easy years either.  The author weaves the events of the last three years smoothly throughout the story, showing the connection between past events and the current situation the men seem to find themselves in.   The relationship between Mark and Luke continues as it has in the past stories.  This was really the only point of the book I had any real issue with.  As much as I like both Mark and Luke, I was ready for Mark to accept all aspects of being a dragon and for Luke to finally get want he needs from his partner. 

To keep the reader’s attention, the author threw more trouble into the men’s path by bringing back Dan and Reece, as well as introducing a genie with a mission.  There were a lot of twists and turns involving Reece and Dan, and their connection with Mark and Luke.  Although I felt bad for Dan, I liked the way the author handled the whole problem.  Readers should know, however, that the subject of rape and abuse is behind some of the problems Mark and Luke face.

This is a series that needs to be read in order and if you’re a fan of the fantasy/paranormal genre, then I would strongly suggest you give Dragon’s Bane and the rest of the series a shot.

Reverence


Title: Reverence
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-094-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When Harley takes home a guy for a one-night stand, he finds himself kidnapped, abused and used as leverage in a war between wolf shifters. Later he’s rescued by another group of shifters and taken to a safe house but he feels anything but secure. Eventually he’s freed but he can’t get past the fear and anger, causing him to make a series of poor decisions.

Being a guard for Alpha Anax Criswell was all Val Whitley ever wanted. After he’s severely injured, everything changes because he’s left with unprecedented shifter physical disabilities and doesn’t know if he’ll continue to be of use to his pack. When his alpha gives him the task of guarding Harley, Val initially believes he’s being banished, but soon discovers it’s the gift of a lifetime because Harley’s his mate.

Reverence is the latest release in Bailey Bradford’s Southwestern Shifters series. It’s part of an ongoing story line with recurring characters, so the books should be read in order.

Ms. Bradford has a winner with this newest book and I can honestly say Reverence is now my series favorite. It’s well-written, the personalities of Harley and Val are nicely developed, the descriptions are vivid and the plot flows smoothly.  Both Harley and Val are emotionally damaged and have serious baggage. I love the characters and how they learn to deal with their problems and each other and that Val treats Harley with so much care. The author has certainly given them enough problems to overcome—meaning there are plenty of twists and turns woven into the storyline to keep me guessing and the pages turning.

There are lots of returning secondary characters and a few new ones. Ryder—Harley’s older brother is a particularly interesting guy and I’d like to learn more about him in a future book. I look forward to the next release.

Reader Advisory: This book makes reference to assault, physical and threatened sexual in the past.

Cereus: Opening


Author: Sean Michael, Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-373-3
Genre: {M/M} Anthology, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Pack Rules by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga - 5 Nymphs
Mixed mating can be difficult for a couple, which is the case of werewolf Donovan and vampire Mik. After being unhappy and apart for five years, Donovan decided it was time to throw out the traditional pack rules in favor of reuniting with his true mate Mik.   

Downward Dog by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga - 5 Nymphs
Werewolf Rian is an excellent yoga instructor, however he is not so good with being a wolf. But there is hope for Rian when he meets his mate, werewolf Gilead, who is a superb teacher in the arts of werewolf courtship and love.

The Bear Facts by Sean Michael - 4.5 Nymphs   
Polar bear Nuk was not in search of a mate when he arrived at the resort for a month long vacation, nevertheless, shortly after meeting sorcerer-in-training Al, Nuk soon realized they were truly bear mates.

Jonny’s Epilogue by Julia Talbot - 4.5 Nymphs
Vampire and owner Jonny is brought up to date on the Cereus Resort staff and opening by werewolf Duke, who is the manager. Jonny is so pleased with this project, he is now thinking of expanding.     

Opening is the second book in the Cereus Series.  Each segment features a different couple and is a continuation of the overall story beginning with the first book Cereus: Building. The plot is exceedingly amusing, highlighting the characters at play in their animal forms. The theme is all about romancing your mate including scorching displays of intimacy. The Bear Facts is the only segment with BDSM. Otherwise, I found Opening thoroughly enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Game of Schemes


Author: T.C. Blue
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-095-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Suspense Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Sully's been working for the grey-ops organization, the Farmingdale Gentleman's Club, for five years. He’s tired and ready to go on a psychiatrically ordered R and R when he’s pulled into what supposed to be a simple retrieval job. On arriving at his destination, it’s immediately clear nothing about the operation is as expected. He finds people from his past, lots of new enemies and a situation that isn’t what it appears. How will the game play out?

Castor hasn’t liked the actions of his older brother Ajax for several years and he’s been pretending to be a drunk to make him angry. Suddenly Sully, a boy from his past, now grown into a man, reappears and Castor doesn’t know what to think. It’s Sully but Castor finds the man’s frequent personality switches just as confusing as his feelings. He’s upset and unwilling to share his secrets with Sully, a man he thinks he can’t trust—a man he won’t see once they part company. Will they see each other again or not?

A Game of Schemes is the latest release in TC Blue’s The Farmingdale Gentleman’s Club series. To understand the organization and the recurring characters, I recommend reading the books in order.

There’s always a lot going on in the books in this series and A Game of Schemes is no different.  It has a complicated but smooth flowing plot, vivid descriptions, good personality development, lots of emotions, suspense and plenty of twists and turns. I enjoyed learning about Sully’s and Castor’s history and what happened to separate them as kids. It’s done in snippets of info and integrated nicely into the plot. Secondary characters abound, Ajax being one of the most important—he’ a complete jerk—but he’s well done and meets the needs of his role in the story. And I can’t forget new character Steve, who I’m certain we’ll be seeing again in the future.

Now to Castor and Sully. Both these guys are intriguing as individuals but together they make a winning combination. I like them, their personalities and how they interact inside and outside the bedroom. Yes the sex is sizzling but the physical part of the story never overwhelms the game Sully is playing for the FGC. I appreciate the balance. The author really kept me guessing with their relationship and whether it would work out up until the end. I look forward to the next release.

Tame 2: Savage


Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-324-6
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf Sequel
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

LAPD cop Cavan Carmichael is finding out that there is more to his live-in werewolf boyfriend Ludo than he realized. It is not just the mood swings every month, there is an underlining power to Ludo that Cavan is about to witness first hand.

Savage is the sequel to Tame. Ludo has been keeping secrets from Cavan. However, as the plot unfolds, the secrets are revealed including the motive behind who is stalking Cavan and why, what the stone wolves really mean and what actions are necessary to defeat the enemy. The true villains in the story are greed, as well as jealousy. The jealousy of Cavan and Ludo’s loving relationship, coupled with the fact both are honorable men inspires a sinister plan to remove the decency imbedded within them along with turning Ludo into a killer. The lure of money swiftly changes Cavan’s so-called friends into enemies. Trapped, badly injured with not hope in sight, Cavan is finally rescued by an unlikely hero.

Savage is an exceedingly enjoyable intriguing mystery with plenty of action as well as breathtaking intimacy scenes. 

Taking Inventory


Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: None listed
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

In preparation for an upcoming leather convention, Marcus is taking inventory of his specialty handcrafted leather items and Jim’s helping him. It’s a good reason for the two committed lovers to spend time together surrounded by things that bring them pleasure. It’s an afternoon of opportunity and if Jim gets lucky, Marcus will push his boundaries and give him exactly what he needs.

Taking Inventory is the latest release in Sean Michael’s Hammer series. It features Marcus and Jim, who were introduced in Bent, so I recommend you read it first.   This 3.5 K short is a fun and entertaining look into the lives of an established couple doing what would normally be a boring chore but instead it’s turned into an afternoon of sizzling loving. The pacing is good and the descriptions are short but concise, leaving me with memorable impressions of leather and how much Marcus and Jim enjoy using it. 

Conner’s Courage


Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61372-668-6
Genre: {M/M}, Western, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

For thirty-seven years, John and Conner has been a fixture of the Whispering Pines Ranch.  During that time, the two men had many obstacles to overcome, but none as life-threatening as what they face now. 

Those who have been reading SJD Peterson’s Whispering Pines Ranch series know that Conner and John play an important role in the stories.  Conner’s Courage takes the readers on a journey back in time as Conner recalls the start of his relationship with John.  In 1974 the world was a different place with homophobia and gay bashing more predominate than they are now.  The characters and the storyline reflect that.  While Conner is comfortable in his own skin, John is not.  John fears what those around him would do should he come out, which causes more than a few problems in the beginning of the men’s relationship.

Even though he started out as a secondary character in Lorcan’s Desire, Conner was one of those guys that really grabbed your attention.  From the beginning, I liked his interaction with Lorcan and Quinn and wanted to see how his story came about.  The author did a wonderful job pulling me in from the first page of Conner’s Courage and had me close to tears more than once.  John is definitely one tough cookie.  His strength, which Conner craves, comes across perfectly.   While the men have many struggles to overcome, their attraction to each other is easy to see and once the author brings them together, they really heat up the pages.    This story also gives the readers a glimpse of what Quinn’s parents were like and why Conner, John and Quinn will eventually have such a close relationship.

The author does not spend a lot of time in the present but what time we do spend there is gripping.  I have to say that I was hoping for a miracle.  While slightly different from the other books in this series, Conner’s Courage is a great read and a perfect addition to the Whispering Pines Ranch series.

Leather Work and Lonely Cowboys


Author: BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: none listed
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literacy Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

It’s been months since Sam’s horrible head injury. He’s still recovering and frustrated that he continues to have trouble talking. He spends hours in his leather-working shop and now that Beau’s retired from bull riding, his lover is lonely. Can Beau make Sam understand he needs to hear his voice, even if it makes him uncomfortable? That together they can overcome anything?

Leather Work and Lonely Cowboys is the latest release in BA Tortuga’s Roughstock series. Sam and Beau were introduced in Roughstock: File Gumbo, so I recommend it is read first.

It’s a quick, but nicely written, look at how an established couple copes with the after effects of a serious head injury. The way Ms. Tortuga deals with Sam’s speech problem and his feelings of being stupid because of it is handled tastefully.  The two lovers manage to communicate despite Sam’s problem but that doesn’t mean Beau isn’t frustrated and it’s expressed well.  But once the guys get on the road on the mini-vacation, Sam opens up and starts to speak more, even if it’s in short sentences. Still it’s obvious these two are as crazy about each other as ever, and the short but sizzling scene at the end proves it. 

Pride and Prejudice


Author:  Amy Armstrong
Publisher:  Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL:  www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-78184-077-1
Genre:  {M/F}, Historical
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Darcy and Elizabeth seem to be attracted to each other, despite being at odds because of their personalities.  Though societal mores would prevent them from getting together, they manage to find a way, though later incidents would seem to keep them apart.

Pride and Prejudice is very true to the classical version we are familiar with.  Ms. Armstrong adds a little heat between Darcy and Elizabeth that show the chemistry between them is strong.  The addition of Elizabeth’s constant thoughts about Darcy and his about Elizabeth were added smoothly into the story.  I had hoped the heat factor would be a little higher, though.

I did feel that the scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth were sort of “slam, bam, thank you, ma’am” type of scenes.  Though the chemistry is apparent, the scenes were disappointing to me, considering how smoothly Ms. Armstrong added the twists to this classic story.  The addition of the heat and interaction between them though made the angst of the story even more intense, even though we are already aware of the ending.

I happen to read the classic every year, as it is a family tradition.  This version will more than likely be alternately read as nothing is lost in the translation and in some parts, actually enhance the story.