Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Catching a Bit of Irish


Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher’s URL: http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-331-1
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Reb takes his pack duties seriously. When he goes to Ireland with the pack’s alpha and the alpha’s mate, he expects to be kept busy guarding them against harm.  What he doesn’t expect is to find his mate, or that his mate will be a human with a boyfriend.

Catching a Bit of Irish is the thirteenth story in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  The author takes us out of the U.S. for this story and drops us in Ireland.  Right away the reader is given a refreshing look into an ongoing series.  The main characters, Reb and Daithi, mesh well together and, from the moment Reb introduces himself to Daithi, the readers will be able to see the chemistry between them.  Although both men feel the pull of the mating bond, their decision to try to get to know each other first made the story more believable. I found it interesting that Daithi knew about shifters and how he found out was unique, although I did no quite understand how that applied to Daithi’s boyfriend, who is also human. 

There is some conflict in the story, which introduces a new paranormal being to the series. The background players in the conflict the men find themselves in are a little predictable and I wish we could have seen more of a conclusion concerning Daithi’s family. 

The characters, both main and secondary, are interesting and play important roles in the story.  The introduction of new characters into the series not only helps move the stories along, but also ensures the reader that more stories are to follow.  I, for one, am hoping that Reb’s brother will be getting his own story soon.

Meredith’s Pride


Author:  Missy Martine
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62241-821-3
Genre:  {M/M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  5 nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Meredith wants a home and love.  He can’t work as a teacher because he happens to be gay.  Delsin and Etu send for him, thinking he is a woman, but realize at once Meredith is their mate.

The third story in the Galactic Nuptials series, Meredith’s Pride, is about lion shifters whose pride was wiped out, except for some cubs and a few warriors.  I loved the surprises the author had throughout the book, and that a lot of stereotypes were shattered.

I did want to slap Delsin and Etu at times, because I felt they hid their true agenda from Meredith.  I was so glad that Athaw got her come-uppance at the end, though I’m not so sure I would have been as nice about it.  I was also glad that, even though the other leader didn’t fight fair, things worked out well for Delsin’s pride.  There was also a small surprise for all regarding several members.

I don’t read a lot of male/male stories, but this is one hot story.  Once you get away from the agenda that Delsin had, you get some very strong chemistry and hot scenes between the three men.  It was very easy to see they all had strong feelings for each other, even as Delsin and Etu were trying to avoid them.

Several references are made about Space Bride, but it is more for background purposes.  I recommend readers read the whole series in order, but it is not absolutely necessary.  Meredith’s Pride can be read alone.  I am looking forward to more in this series.

Book of Secrets


Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9781614958215
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Alex is determined to fulfill his promise to return the items he stole to their original owners. With Griff and Christopher helping, Alex’s plan at the Ashmolean Museum has a good chance of succeeding but it’s nerve-wracking without his Oracle powers. Then he runs into a snag. He’s approached by another thief, and former rival, who subtly threatens his lover, Luke. The situation at the museum deteriorates and he’s nearly caught. Things get worse when Luke’s kidnapped and Alex is forced to steal a priceless Da Vinci manuscript from Windsor Castle. There’s alchemy, a cypher and the possibility of uncovering the secret to eternal life at risk and if Alex and Luke don’t cooperate with the kidnappers, they could end up dead.

Book of Secrets is the second release in RJ Scott’s Oracle series and because of the continuing story line and returning characters, the books should be read in order.

It’s wonderful seeing Alex and Luke again. They’re a great couple and the Oracle aspect of Alex’s history and its mystical part of the story makes for a great storyline. This new plan of Alex’s is vastly different than what he did with his life before and the twist of him losing his powers is unexpected.  But pulling Luke into the danger by having him kidnapped is even more surprising. Good going, Ms. Scott. I really enjoyed Griff and Christopher returning and while they didn’t play a huge role, it gave a feeling of family to the story.

Then there’s the theft at Windsor Castle. It’s pretty obvious Ms. Scott did a great deal of research about its history and layout and the same goes for DaVinci’s works. It’s all nicely integrated into the plot and adds a nice sense of realism. With this manuscript theft comes new characters, some ultimately good and others bad. As you might guess, Alex’s powers don’t stay gone forever but come back gradually and without explanation. It’s handled well but there are still questions about his powers that have been left unanswered. I can only hope that at some point in the future Ms. Scott will work those into a plot.

So, if you enjoy an action packed, danger filled story with a smooth plot and a great paranormal component then I suggest that you give this new release a try.

Longfellow’s Lovers


Author:  Sierra and VJ Summers
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419941375
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

While Ariana is sunbathing, she finds an unconscious man, or so she thinks.  Turns out Mermen actually exist.  Ky and Jaxon know she is theirs, but can’t believe their luck because she is a Longfellow and they have always avoided them.

Longfellow’s Lovers is part of the Longfellow series.  The family is known throughout the paranormal community and Ariana happens to be a Historian.  The Mer race has kept their existence secret, even from the Longfellows, and knows this does not bode well for them.

I did have to laugh at some of the arguments they had after the men told Ariana she was expected to live in the ocean with them.  I really liked the soft side of Poseidon when he realized she actually loved his sons, so he made up a compromise. The chemistry between the three is hot and I was surprised by one scene, as I had never heard of that happening.  The relationship did happen a little fast as Ky thought Ariana had actually harmed Jaxon when he first saw her. 

I haven’t read a lot of stories about Mermen/Mermaids, and this was an interesting look at this race.  I wonder if there may be more pairings within the Mer and Longfellows in the future. I am looking forward to more stories about the Longfellows, as they some very interesting men and women.

Miami Sizzle


Title: Miami Sizzle
Author: Sara York
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-78184-147-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Since moving to Miami, Chuck Pinkerton’s life has been one mishap after another; that is until fireman Garner Miller rescues Chuck from a burning apartment building, as well as saving Chuck’s life in more ways than one.

Miami Sizzle is an amusing and enjoyable romantic comedy. The characters are believable. Chuck is an independent hard-working man with realistic goals. A series of events has convinced Chuck he is cursed. However, his center of attention is on his disappointment with his job, as well as his personal life causing him to be a bit self-conscious as well as ungainly. Garner is a compassionate man who loves his job.  Garner will do everything he can to help people, although Garner never thought of Chuck as a charity case. There is an immediate special attraction between Chuck and Garner. By working together through the qualms, Chuck and Garner finally have the relationship they both desire.     

My Chameleon Loves


Author:  Missy Martine
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62241-654-7
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Jeni hid some money from her employer after she discovered that her best friend disappeared. She knows they are behind it. as they are doing some illegal things.  Zin and Kernz realized she is their mate, but have to figure out how to save her from going to prison.

The second book in the Galactic Nuptials, My Chameleon Loves, takes a look at a justice system that doesn’t quite work.  Jeni doesn’t know that Zin is actually the Crown Prince of his world and he has made her part of the conditions for the trade agreement Earth wants.  There were several places where I started laughing because Jeni doesn’t do what is expected of her.

I loved Zin and Kernz.  Not only do they do everything they can to protect her; they go out of their way to make sure she knows she is their choice.  I liked that Jeni didn’t take what they offered lightly because she was concerned that they might think she only chose them instead of going to prison.

There were a few spots that were predictable, but Ms. Martine threw in several twists that I did not see coming and kept the suspense up throughout the story.  I can see why Zin’s race keeps some of the secrets that were revealed to Jeni.

The chemistry between the three is hot.  I liked that the author did let the reader know about some of the things needed so they could have children if they wanted to.  While readers don’t need to read the first book, it will give readers some background for this story.  I am looking forward to more in this series.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Once Upon a King


Author: Jambrea Jones
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-8128
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Dragon shape-shifter Flair Coruscate is not pleased with the court protocol, the mode of his required attire or the other court customs. As the newly crowned king, Flair is at his wits end. That is until a royal ball resulted into Flair finding his true mate. Saber is everything Flair desires and more.

Once Upon a King is actually the second installment in the Once Upon series. The first installment, Once Upon a Dragon is offered as a free read on the author’s website. In Once Upon a King Flair understands the demands of being king and he is considerate of all the residents of his kingdom. However, the laws are woefully outdated plus immediate changes are desperately needed. Flair wishes for a mate who will not be intimidated by his royal status, especially in the bedroom. Destiny satisfied all of Flair’s dreams; Saber is the perfect mate for Flair. Saber never imagined that his journey to seek the king’s aid would end with him being the king’s mate. Before meeting Flair, Saber’s only aspiration as a human, living in the magical kingdom, was to continue being a good farmer.

Jambrea Jones has created an exceptional, as well as enjoyable, romantic comedy. I was particularly impressed with the hilarious interactions between the main and secondary characters along with the double insinuation dialogue. 

Longing


Title: Longing
Author: A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9781614957263
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Drug trafficking is alive and well in Lone Trail but this time Jubilee and Kieran have to deal with a dangerous drug cartel. As the new Sheriff, for Kiernan to learn his long estranged father’s heavily involved in the area drug problems is terrible news.  Even worse is the knowledge the rot goes deep and Jubilee and Kiernan have few people they can trust. When the good guys turn out to be working for the bad guys, it’s the worst kind of betrayal—the kind that can get them killed.

The hits keep coming for Kiernan. Professionally he trusts Jubilee with his life but Kiernan can’t trust Jubilee with his heart. He has to make a decision—probably the most important one of his life. What will it be? Pine after the man he loves or leave Lone Trail?

Longing is the second release in AJ Llewellyn and DJ Manly’s Orgasmic Texas Dawn series. Because of the ongoing plotline and returning characters, you should read the books in order.

What fun, we get another alligator dissection on the first page. How often does that happen? Never. I guess you can tell Jubilee and Kiernan are back with an attention-grabbing opening and there’s even a twist for Jubilee that has him gritting his teeth. Nothing seems to go right for these two. That’s means lots of suspense, action, betrayal and danger as the situation with the drug cartel gets worse. During these times, there is lots of unrest and emotion as Kieran and Jubilee struggle to stay ahead of the bad guys—I thought it was all handled nicely and believably written.

While they combat crime and struggle with personal problems, there’s a great cast of secondary characters moving in and out of nearly every scene. Some are old, others are new and all add great flavor and interest to the story; whether playing the part of a good guy or a villain. Personalities are unique, descriptions are vivid and the tang of the south can almost be heard in the ‘air’. I continue to enjoy the bantering between Jubilee and Kieran, whether inside the bedroom or out. These two are sizzling hot together and despite their passion, it is nice to see tender moments too.

So, if you enjoy suspense, drug cartels run amok and love between two hot men in law enforcement, think about giving this series a try. Look for Slow Dance coming next.

Play Dead


Title:  Play Dead
Author:  Mathilde Watson
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com/
ISBN: 9781614954095
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Former Sergeant Dave Avery is starting his life over as a college security guard when he meets student Arliss Hemming. Over time, a mutual attraction develops and the two men become lovers. However, there is an unknown enemy as well as plans to capture Arliss for their own secret agenda.

 Play Dead is the first book in the Barking Orders Series. The plot is slow moving with an irregular flow in somewhat confusing details. The metaphor is not fully developed enough to grasp the theme. The shallow characters are not completely convincing. Arliss is a misfit in the wolf pack because he is mixed with dog in addition to being gay. Arliss loves to cook, he dreams of opening his own restaurant after college. Dave joined the army after being kicked out of his home for being gay. He had no ambitions for his future before or after his discharge. At the very least Play Dead poses an interesting puzzle yet to be solved. 

Taber


Title:  Taber
Author:  Taige Crenshaw/Aliyah Burke
Publisher:  Total-E-Bound Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-78184-126-6
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Paranormal, Multicultural
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Lainey Mercer is excited about starting a new chapter in her life.  With the help of her best friend, Lainey lands what she thinks could turn out to be the perfect job.  Finding a new home for the last displaced animal is a relief to Lainey.  Feelings of relief quickly turn to confusion when she meets her new boss.  First impressions leave her feeling aroused and annoyed at the same time.  Sure, she’s a sucker for his untamed demeanor, but not so much for his arrogance. 

Taber Ellis was impressed with Lainey on paper, but in person she was so much more.  Her sharp tongue didn’t hide the fact that she was drawn to him and Taber welcomes the challenge.    After all this time, Taber never expected to find a mate, but now that he has, nothing was going to keep him from her.  Up until this point, animals have been the most important things in his life.  Gaining Lainey’s acceptance as a man is proving to be difficult, so how will she react when he tells her he’s a God? 

Lainey feels betrayed when she finds out the truth about Taber and doesn’t want to hear his excuses.  Painful memories from her past make it hard for Lainey to forgive Taber easily.  I have to admit that I sided with Taber on this.  The hurt that Lainey was holding onto was completely different from Taber not telling her he was a God.  I think she made a bigger deal out of the entire thing than she should have.  Taber tries to make Lainey see his side in this situation, but he has little success.  In the end, it’s their love of animals that finally bring Taber and Lainey together.  It’s funny how tragedy sometimes brings on the happy ending you hope for. 

Taber is the fifth book in the Kemet Uncovered series, and it’s left me wondering what I missed in the first four books.  The passions and problems of Gods always seem more intense, especially when dealing with women who aren’t afraid to drive them to the edge.  I love the fact they at the end of the day, Taber is still just a man who messed up and needs to get back in his woman’s good graces.   Aliyah Burke and Taige Crenshaw are skilled at showing all the sides of a character, so readers understand them.  This is another gripping story that will draw you in and keep you hoping to see the characters reappear in another story.

Designated Target


Author: Laura Baumbach
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-7916
Genre: {M/M} Military
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs  
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Sometimes keeping a promise can be difficult, but doing the right thing can often lead to unexpected rewards.

Designated Target is part of the Hostage anthology. It is an enjoyable heartwarming short story of grief, loneliness and hope for a better future. The main feature is the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. China is an in-the-closet gay soldier. The plot illustrates that sexuality has no relevance regarding a person’s honor nor does sexuality have any influence concerning anyone’s ability to protect and serve.   Carson is struggling to live as normally as possible, considering he only recently lost his older brother Jim. However, Carson is not the only one suffering from the loss. China was Jim’s friend and as part of the Ranger team, he also feeling remorse. Sharing a brotherly love for Jim, as well as having an immediate mutual attraction upon meeting face to face, Carson and China forms a budding relationship. 

Monkey Wrench


Author: Xara X. Xanakas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61372-757-7
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Aaron Thorne’s a spider monkey. He’s also a police officer and because of the way he looks, he’s involved in an investigation of a new drug that forces were’s to shift. It puts Aaron in some bad situations but in reality, the real danger comes from an unexpected source. Aaron’s attacked at home—by a person he trusts—making him doubt his abilities and judgment.

Good friends are supportive during the aftermath of Aaron’s assault, including Gerry, a sexy silver fox whose friendship he hopes might become something more. It’s hard maintaining his independence when his friends want to protect him. Then his ego takes a beating when the other cops either pity or belittle him. Aaron has a lot to prove and he’s determined to help finish the investigation and he has to do it while balancing a new love interest. Aaron meets Iggy—a sexy bartender who sets his blood on fire. Will life ever settle down for this little spider monkey?

Monkey Wrench is the second release in Xara X. Xanakas’s series Were Menagerie. It follows shortly after Snakeskin ended, and while it’s possible to read it as a standalone, I recommend they be read in order.

As a paranormal book there’s a lot about this one that’s follows a usual pattern but what is unique is the variety of shifters Ms. Xanakas uses as characters. I don’t know about you but I’ve never read a book with a were-spider-monkey. It certainly caught my attention. And this spider monkey just happens to be a police officer involved in an undercover drug investigation. These scenes are interesting and written well and they definitely kept my attention.

Aaron’s sweet, a bit confused about his feelings and very hyper. Ms. Xanakas did a nice job in developing his personality. The scenes of Aaron’s assault and those afterwards are heart wrenching as he deals with what happened. And he has his friends to help him—Brad and Jeff from the first release. Seeing these two is nice and adding in new characters Gerry and Iggy round out the plot nicely, especially when Aaron realizes Iggy’s his mate. Strangely enough they don’t come together until near the end so we don’t see that much of them as a couple. That doesn’t mean they don’t a have sizzling chemistry. Oh and there isn’t any sex in this book, which is just the opposite of Snakeskin.