Tuesday, December 31, 2013

30 Days to Syn

Title:  30 Days to Syn
Author:  Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:   9781419948596
Genre:  {M/F}, Light BDSM, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Melina would never have considered answering the ad in the paper if not for her brother. After seeing Melina’s picture and finding out more about her, Syn never considered any of the other applicants to his ad and he suspects she will be the one he is looking for.

30 Days to Syn is an emotional fast paced story.  As readers find out more about both Syn and Melina, they will fall in love with both.  I know I did.  There were times when both were also very infuriating, especially when dealing with each other, but I was glad that Melina stood up for herself when necessary.

Most of the secondary characters are wonderful friends, but there were a few that were just bad.  I hated Olivia, and Jack was the worst kind of friend Syn could have, and it became very clear why toward the end of the book.  I also wanted to know what happened to Jack. As the story progresses, readers discover why Syn’s friends are as close as siblings and I admired their loyalty.

The author created a scenario that allowed feelings to develop without a lot of sex which sometimes clouds judgments. Once Syn and Melina get together, the chemistry burns the pages.  Because of the insecurities each have, I can understand how the misunderstanding happened when it did, and I am glad things finally worked out for the two.  

Even though 30 days to Syn is a stand-alone book, I want to find out what happened to Syn’s friends and more of their stories.  I hope the author is planning some in the future.

Inside Out

Title: Inside Out
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627982610
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Bull is part owner and head of security of a local night club.  He’s a firm believer in not eating where you sleep so when he is in need of sex, he hits one of the other bars in town.  All that changes when he meets Zach, a twink who easily brings Bull to his knees. 

Inside Out is by author Andrew Grey.  I am a big fan of this author and thought I knew what to expect with this story, however I was wrong.  Inside Out, in my opinion, is different from other stories by this author, yet the book is just as good and is on my favorites list.  Well written, the story pulled me in from the beginning.

Bull is a big tough former mercenary and very no-nonsense.  He likes being in control, something that the author brings across very well.  Zach, on the other hand is the opposite of Bull.  On the small side, he works at a job he doesn’t like and dreams of one day making a living as a graphic artist.  After meeting Bull, Zach makes him the hero in his graphic novel.  The two men are drawn to each other, but Bull has never felt this way about anyone before and isn’t sure how to act.  The fact that the author pairs these two different people together means there are sure to be some laughs.  I loved their first meeting and could just see Zach giggling as he is being checked by Bull at the club’s door. 

Of course, not everything goes smoothly for these two as issues from both sides pop up.  This will only keep the reader more engaged in the story as they find themselves eager to see what will happen.    

I loved Inside Out and would like to see some of the secondary characters find stories of their own.  Fans of this author are sure to love this new book and if you have yet to read one of Mr. Grey’s books, this is a great one to start with.

Removing the Gargoyle’s Mask

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-755-5
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Dragon Minx

One night Marty Beakman see’s a bearded but cloaked man at a local coffeehouse and is captivated. He returns numerous times afterwards trying to learn more besides the name of Raymond. Marty’s there so much his brother notices and confronts him about his odd behavior. Marty’s obsessed with Raymond and one night follows him from the coffeehouse and gets the shock of his life when Raymond removes his clothes and flies off. He isn’t human.

At first sight, Raymond knows Marty is his mate. That doesn’t mean he knows how to have a relationship, so starts with the internet to learn all he can about him. Raymond finally contacts Marty and they start communicating online, which leads to friends getting involved in ways he never imagined. Can two guys from vastly different worlds find a way to be happy to together?

Removing the Gargoyle’s Mask is the newest release in A Paranormal’s Love by Charlie Richards. With all the recurring characters, I strongly recommend the books be read in order.

What a fun and entertaining addition to this series. Once again Ms. Richards has created a great couple, so different on the outside but a perfect match at heart. I like these two and how their relationship develops. We learn bits and pieces about them throughout the story, which rounds out their personalities pretty well. It makes me hope for more of them in future releases, particularly since we don’t get to see Raymond in his human form at book’s ending. Maybe he’ll molt in the next one. 

I enjoyed the previous characters—and there are a lot—but they’re a good addition to the plot, not a distraction. They make me smile and give a good sense of family, loyalty and camaraderie. Now to the stalker/villain. His part of the story is important to the overall plot but his actual part of the story is resolved quickly (my niggle). The results of his actions—what happened to Marty—are believable and continue to the story ending. There are several new characters I hope to see again in future books—maybe as mates?

Apple Mead

Title: Apple Mead
Author: West Thornhill
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781781848425
Genre: {Six Male Ménage} Fantasy Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs  
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

I’m nothing special; this is how Xeno always thought of himself until the five men from Delectable Vines found Xeno again months after a night of their first love fest. Not only is Xeno special, he is necessary to complete the guardian’s circle.

Apple Mead is the first book in the Delectable Vines series. The setting is a small community outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. The plot is a succession of intimacy scenes; I assume this is the primary element of the storyline. The characters are somewhat interesting but lack depth. Five fae men are guardians for the Tuatha de Danaan treasure as well as the owners of a vineyard. Xeno is a graduate student of medieval studies. He has distinguishing tattoos that could possibly indentify his true linage as Fae. Xeno is also the essential bond that connects all the men together. 

Overall, West Thornhill’s Apple Mead is an enjoyable saga that instigates more questions than the plot answers.  I look forward to a more developed storyline in the next episode. 

Brac Pack Halloween Murder Mystery

Author: Lynn Hagen
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN: 9781627407533
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Holiday, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Maverick feels his life is in a rut and he’s ready to shake things up a bit.  To do that, he, and the three other family leaders, decided to throw a big Halloween party.  Things turn crazy from the get-go, but what would you expect when the mates are involved.

Brac Pack Halloween Murder Mystery is the thirty-second book in Ms. Hagen’s long running Brac Pack series.  This story is more of interlude, yet it was one of the best additions to the series in some time.  I thought this story took the series back to its lighter moments, before all the families had enemies and crises to battle.  Mate centered, Johnny, Nero, Keata, and Gabby find themselves in the limelight. 

During the party (wait until you find out what their costumes are), Gabby finds Cecil lying dead on the floor.  What follows will leave you laughing.  More than once I was glad I was reading this book at home so no one could see me cracking up.  The interrogations are over the top, and I loved the case notes Johnny was taking.  When the ‘case’ is solved, Johnny and his friends decide a little revenge is in order.  These four can be evil when need be and it’s a good thing their mates know just how to handle them.

There is also a bit of a side story going on that opens up the possibility of new books in the series.  I am sure fans of this series will love this little side story.  Many former characters show up, all of whom add a wealth of flavor to the book. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

At Heart

Title: At Heart
Authors: A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly
Publisher: Silver Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9781622320875
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Sam Channing has quit his bad-boy ways and is now on the side of the law, enduring a seventeen week training program with the US Marshals. He doesn’t tolerate authority well and thinks about giving up but can’t disappoint Marco. As Sam deals with another trainee who’s being aggressive, he’s worried about his lover and the danger he’s in with a crazy Canadian actor and then in a hostage situation gone bad. Then the danger escalates at his graduation ceremony and Sam gets to see Marco and other rangers in action when they’re attacked. Can Sam, Marco and the ranger friends he and Marco love find the people responsible before they can hurt anyone else?

At Heart is the newest release in the Orgasmic Texas Dawn series by AJ Llewellyn and DJ Manly. With the recurring characters and the ongoing plot line, I recommend the books be read in order.

Sam’s a great character and his old life as a gang leader adds an interesting edge to his new life as a Marshal. I can’t wait to see what the authors have in mind for him in the next book since he’s already used it to his advantage in this one. The melding of the two worlds—crime and law—is handled well, making his transition into Marshal Service believable. Good going authors.  I also find his long history with Marco intriguing and their chemistry is sizzling. Then there’s Marco himself. I’ve liked him since his introduction and his personality only gets richer with each book. Now as a full-fledged Marshal, he’s a well rounded, interesting guy. A perfect match for Sam. 

There’s plenty of action and danger in At Heart but that doesn’t mean there aren’t funny moments too. Some of my favorites are the antics with the psycho Canadian actor.  They’re good scenes—entertaining, creative, exciting and believable, despite how nutty they seem. Best of all we get to see beloved characters from previous books working as a team to solve the graduation day attack. I can’t wait to see what happens with these guys in the future. Watch for the next book.

Once Upon a Prince

Author: Jambrea Jo Jones
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0174
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Prince Ember Coruscate never thought much about freedom until his freedom is taken away by a couple of delusional wizards bent on revenge. Nevertheless, captivity is short lived when Roar Sliger, along with a few magical folk, come to Ember’s rescue.

Once Upon a Prince is the second book in the Ever After series. The plot is a romantic comedy with a dash of drama. Ember is a fun loving dragon shifter. The only thing Ember takes seriously is the discovery of his mate. Ember and Roar have been friends for years, yet Ember never really noticed Roar’s appeal before magic opened his eyes. Roar has spent years tormented by unrequited love as well as the fear of Ember’s rejection. Kissing Ember immediately altered all of Roar’s dread to optimism for their future together. 

Jambrea Jo Jones has created a wonderfully steamy and particularly enjoyable friend to lover short story. I look forward to the next episode.    

After the Rain

Author: Daisy Harris
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9781619219793
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

ARC – not due to be published until Feb. 2014

Logan thought that once he came out to his girlfriend, everything else would flow smoothly.  Only meeting someone isn’t as easy as he thought and the one guy he is interested in already has a boyfriend.  When he gets invited to go on a campout with a group of possible hook ups, he goes.  Unfortunately, that’s when he meets Henri and Logan can’t decide whether he wants to strangle the guy, or get him into the sack.

After the Rain is the second book in the Fire and Rain series by author Daisy Harris.  The characters are interesting and readers will find it easy to like Logan from the beginning.  A young firefighter, Logan is not even 21 and has already had to make one life-changing decision.  Unable to deny the fact that he is gay, he comes clean to his girlfriend.  As the reader would expect, that does not go over very well and results in some unforeseen issues for Logan.  I liked that little twist the author threw in as most would have glossed over the problems Logan had regarding sex with his ex and how that would, or could, relate to having sex with a man.  Then there is Henri.

Henri is only a year or two older than Logan, yet surpasses the firefighter when it comes to gay sex and relationships.  However, Henri’s relationship choices have not exactly been the best, so he is a little jaded.  This makes him the perfect foil for Logan’s innocence.   It was interesting seeing these two come together, especially given the circumstances Henri is currently living under.  The chemistry between them is strong, though neither is sure what to do about it.  Once they come together physically, however, they really heat up the pages. I liked the way Logan persisted with Henri, going out of his way to let the other man know that Henri’s possible health issues would not be chasing him off.   While their growing relationship causes Logan to grow more confident, it also causes Henri to grow up a little, as well. 

After the Rain is a fast-paced read with a majority of the story taking place over a weekend.  The characters are engaging and I loved the way Henri handled his final meeting with Preston.  While this story is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.

Fingerprints and Muddy Feet

Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781781848852
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Nate Gills became estranged from his family at age eighteen when they discovered he was gay. He left with hush money in hand, made a successful life for himself and even found love but has never completely gotten over the feelings of betrayal. When Nate learns his younger brother and sister-in-law have died in a plane crash, all his unresolved family emotions coming crashing around him. The biggest shock is learning he’s been named guardian of his young niece and nephew—two children he’s never met. It’s a lot to deal with…and his stuffy senator father is furious. Nate’s other concern—Rio and Ryan didn’t bargain on raising kids. Can their relationship survive adding two kids to the household?

Fingerprints and Muddy Feet is the newest release in Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley series. Due to the ongoing relationship of Nate, Rio and Ryan, I recommend you read the other books featuring them first.

I couldn’t be more surprised with the direction the lives this committed threesome takes with the release of this newest Cattle Valley book. Ms. Lynne came up with a twist with the potential to unsettle their relationship and sets them up for all kinds of changes. I couldn’t be more pleased with this turn of events. Not only does it give a good look into Nate’s past with his parents but it brought two great kids into the storyline. *Chuckle* I can’t wait to see what trouble they cause as they grow older.

Another thing I like is how the addition of the children affects Rio and Ryan and the emotions that surface. I appreciate their initial honesty of not wanting to share Nate but enjoyed how they came around to care for the kids. It’s nice seeing the ‘parent’ side to all three guys, and it’s handled realistically. 

Because I love the Cattle Valley stories so much and Nate, Rio and Ryan in particular, I always want the length to be longer. My niggle—the ending seemed abrupt.

A Happy Christmas Ending

Author: Christiane France 
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-525-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Drew has the uneasy feeling that something is terribly wrong in his relationship with Michael, but what could it be?

A Happy Christmas Ending is an exceptionally touching holiday sequel to Raindrops And Roses, the first book in the London Calling series. Drew and Michael are still in the getting-to-know-each-other phase. Drew is a Canadian transplanted to London by his job. Michael’s home has always been England. The main theme is lack of communication, which is imperative in a successful relationship. Michael, who is very independent as well as stubborn, has a stressful problem that is interrupting his life. Nevertheless, Michael refuses to reveal any of the details to Drew, who has become a little impatient with Michael’s silence. Finally discussing the disastrous proceedings in progress, Michael and Drew are able to find an agreeable solution for the future.   

Christiane France’s wonderfully enjoyable A Happy Christmas Ending is just as the title implies. 

Promises of Mercy

Author:    Vella Day 
Publisher:  Erotic Reads Publishing (sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.)
Publisher URL:  www.amazon.com
ISBN/BIN:   978-0-9899759-0-2
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Suspense, Cowboy, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Amber comes under suspicion for being an Angel of Mercy after several patients die.  Amber meets Stone after her brother is in an accident, but she had met Cade when he questioned her after the first murder.

Promises of Mercy is the first book in the Montana Promises series by Vella Day.  This is the first book by Ms. Day I’ve read and I was not disappointed.  Ms. Day wove the romance of three people into a very good suspense mystery.  The romance part of the story comes together gradually, but the reader very quickly gets caught up in the mystery.

Amber and Cade both have issues getting close to other people, but Stone comes from a very affectionate and loving family.  As the relationship between the three evolves, there are several bumps along the way including finding time for the three to be together.  The scenes between Amber, Stone and Cade are hot and the chemistry is apparent, even when it is Amber and only one of the men.

All the staff at the hospital are under suspicion until Cade is able to clear at least Amber. As things progress, the reader starts to get an inkling which one of two people is probably the guilty party.  I was surprised how the actual guilty party was disclosed.  It was totally unexpected.

Friends and family play a big part in how all three interact with each other, as well as other secondary characters.  Amber’s interaction with her weekly ‘girls night happy hour’ was funny at times.  

I am looking forward to reading the Montana Promises series and Promises of Mercy was a good start.  

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grime Doesn’t Pay

Author: AZ Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781623005863
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Eddie Vasquez is smitten. From the moment he laid eyes on his niece Lucy’s teacher, Andrew Daley, he couldn’t stop thinking about him.  He dresses up to drop Lucy off at school but gets tongue-tied when talking with Andrew. The problem as Eddie sees it—the difference in their education levels and Andrew loves all things books, while Eddie has severe dyslexia.

Finding Eddie’s favorite former teacher, confused and wandering the grade school halls brings them together. Mrs. Henderson’s mental state isn’t her only problem—there’s an odor of decomposition on her clothing. Helping her means explaining about Eddie’s crime scene clean-up business, which has run off men before. Fortunately Eddie’s job doesn’t drive Andrew. In fact, it comes in handy when Andrew’s father gets in trouble for being a hoarder and he has to clean up his property—or else. Can two vastly different men find enough common ground to build a committed, lasting relationship?

Grime Doesn’t Pay is the newest release in ZA Maxfield’s The Brothers Grime series. I love surprises and this book is full of them. I mean really—who’d think the job of crime scene clean-up would be the perfect business for the leads in a series? The talented ZA Maxfield, that’s who. She never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and sensitivity, and has done it again with the difficult problems facing Eddie and Andrew.

It’s not exactly normal getting-to-know-you date material for two guys to deal with decomposition, dyslexia and a hoarding father. Yet, this author has taken these rather dramatic topics and successfully turned them into the backbone on which she built this romance. Yes, the story is unsetting, makes you think and is even a little uncomfortable but Ms. Maxfield does it all without making you feel sorry for Eddie or the others. She helps you to understand the problems and its still makes it sexy and entertaining.

Getting to see the characters we met in the previous release is nice, as was Eddie’s sibling dropping in to help with the clean up at Andrew’s father’s home. As much as I enjoyed the scenes with Ms. Henderson, those including Andrew’s dad were some of the best in the book—strong, thought provoking and even painful at times, but giving a real insight into Andrew. Good job, Ms. Maxfield. 

Really, I could go on and on about this book and what I like about it, so instead I suggest you get Grime Doesn’t Pay and read Eddie and Andrew’s story for yourself. I think you’ll find the well written and plotted story as  compelling as I did.

Diagnosis Pleasure

Title:   Diagnosis Pleasure
Author:  Tonya Ramagos
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62740-682-6
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Light BDSM, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

April can’t forget the two men she spent one night with over a year ago.  After being in Horn Hill a month, she runs into Rick and Adam again. They pick up where they left off with a few bumps along the way, one of which is her job.

The seventh book in The Service Club series, Diagnosis Pleasure, brings April to Horn Hill after she left her job in Birmingham, because of the hostile atmosphere.  She takes her new job very seriously and doesn’t want to jeopardize her reputation.

Rick runs into April at the store, then has her follow him home.  Adam and Rick can’t believe this is the woman they haven’t been able to get out of their mind for a year.  They realize they have their work cut out for them if they want to keep her in their lives.  When they get together, the chemistry is intense between them.

April runs across a similar situation in Horn Hill like the one that forced her to leave Birmingham.  There is one major difference that gives April a lot of relief about her future.  A couple of secondary characters help with the situation, but I couldn’t believe what the one person did especially under the circumstances for the farmer. 

I recommend readers read the series in order to get the most out of it.  This is one book in the series that can be read alone, though.  I am looking forward to reading more about The Service Club and Horn Hill.

Crooked Tree Ranch

Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
IRBN/BIN: 9781781848715
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer Dragon Minx

When Jay Sullivan loses his job to downsizing, he’s determined to find another to provide for his small family. But marketing positions are difficult to find in New York City and after numerous interviews, his prospects are zero. That changes when he answers an ad for a dude ranch in need of a marketing expert and suddenly Jay and his family are moving to Montana.

Nate Todd and the other co-owners of the Crooked Tree Ranch know their ranch is in financial trouble. If it’s going to survive, they need an expert to help with marketing the business to make it profitable again. Nate’s not happy about hiring a marketing guy who doesn’t know ranching and or prepared for the changes that his arrival brings with him.

Crooked Tree Ranch is the first release in RJ Scott’s new Montana series. It’s a well written and plotted story that flows smoothly and kept my attention from beginning to end.  I like the strong family theme and how the author wove Jay’s sister and her children into the plot. They’re a nice counterpoint to the problems Nate and his family are having with the ranch. Bringing all the individuals together into a larger cohesive family takes some creative juggling from the author but works out nicely in the end. Ultimately this aspect of the story shows how Nate and Jay put family first…they’re both protective of the people they love. 

I like Nate and Jay. Ms. Scott did a great job forming their personalities and I really appreciate that she allowed their relationship to grow over time. In fact, having their initial interactions start off rather rocky is a nice change. There are issues to be dealt with by both men but that’s what makes them so interesting and real. Nothing cardboard about these guys. I look forward the next one.

Threshold

Title: Threshold
Author: Vivien Dean 
Publisher:  Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-519-6
Genre: {M/M} {M/M/M} Vampire Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Wounded and waking up in the daylight, vampire Sutter had no choice but to allow the human Max to administer care to him.

Vivien Dean’s Threshold is an especially charming budding romance. The setting is a small town in Oregon. The plot is amusing with a moment of drama. The characters are creditable. Sutter and Max found each other irresistible at first sight. Neither man had any fully formatted goals for the future. Sutter is escaping a life of slavery to the older vampires. Meeting Max is the first time anyone had shown Sutter compassion. Max is a bored caregiver who is still disturbed by the loss of lives during the Gulf War, so he is determined to save Sutter. Both men are unbendable in their pledge to protect the other, even though both men are experienced fighters.  

Threshold is an enjoyable sensual saga with a surprising finish.    

Twisted Fate

Title:  Twisted Fate
Author:  Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL:  www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  06683-02150
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lacey escapes from the mental hospital she has been confined to for murder since she was sixteen.  She ends up in Moonspell and discovers she is a dragon’s mate.  Draco runs into Lacey at the diner and is instantly attracted to her.

The third book in the Romance in Moonspell series, Twisted Fate, has intrigue, betrayal and blackmail, all of which can decide Lacey’s fate.  Readers also learn more about the paranormal community within Moonspell, including some of the provisions when certain types of paranormals get into trouble.

Draco wants to convince Lacey to stay, especially after he finds out why she is on the run.  He has a big heart and doesn’t want to startle her.  I loved when they finally got together and she ends up pregnant.  I was surprised when they get proof of Lacey’s innocence.  It was a surprise who was involved and about what and why it happened. I can understand Draco’s fear, as well.     

I loved some of the secondary characters, especially Mavis and Josie.  Both women are colorful and helped with matchmaking. Characters from the previous books show up to help and the town rallies around those that belong. The sheriff is a fatherly figure even as he enforces the law and some of the firemen are really friendly. 

Each book in this series can be read by itself.  While reading all the books will give readers an indication of the population in Moonspell, each story has been different with a few twists among the paranormal population.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hometown Secrets

Author: Dawn Flemington
Publisher: Loose Id
Publishers URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-556-6
Genre: {M/M}, Western, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Pete comes from a long line of farmers and ranchers and his family has always put God, country and family before all else.  While he loves them, he is worried about what will happen should they ever find out he is gay.  Although he never plans on them knowing, he also never planned on losing his heart.  When he meets Asher, that is exactly what happens.  Now Pete has some major decisions to make.

Hometown Secrets is my first book by author Dawn Flemington, but it will not be the last.  This is a story that is strongly written, with both the characters and plot pulling the readers in from the first page.  Both Pete and Asher are easy to like and readers will find themselves rooting for the two to find their happily ever after, however, there are also times when I found myself wanting to smack Pete.  It is easy to understand why he needs to keep his feelings for Asher a secret, however, the excuses only work for so long before the reader will start seeing things from Asher’s point of view.  As for Asher, once the readers learn more about his past, they will not be able to help but hope that Pete comes to his senses and starts treating the younger man better. 

While the connection between the two men is strong and when they come together they heat up the pages, their relationship is full of angst.  A lot of the problems the two men face are due to the strong homophobic thread that runs through the town and unfortunately, Pete’s family.  I was surprised by the way this part of the story played out.  While the actions of some of the secondary characters are predictable, others will surprise you.  I could not believe how some of these people behaved, or the lengths they went to in the name of hate.  The author does a wonderful job wrapping this story up in a way that will satisfy the readers. 

I am sure Hometown Secrets will bring the author many new fans and I can’t wait to see what she has planned next.

Velvet Song

Title: Velvet Song
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press Publishers
Publisher URL: www.torquerepress.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-618-5
Genre: {M/M} BDSM Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

After a bomb caused massive damage to the Velvet Glove, the club is being rebuilt, only better than before. With the owners living off-site, Hawk and Jester have taken over running the facility, with Efren now as the head trainer. He’s busy but also distracted—dreaming of someone calling him and then he finds Mabon, painting in a training room.

Mabon is a worker brought to the Velvet Glove to apply nano-paint to the repaired walls. Because he’s of the Setian race and sensitive to chemicals and pheromones, Mabon isn’t supposed to interact with the Glove personnel. That doesn’t stop Efren from asking him to dinner. Because of the pull Mabon feels for Efren he agrees, despite his boss’s objection, knowing their caste differences mean will be a problem. Efren doesn’t agree. Can he find a way to convince his new boy that castes don’t matter and at the Glove they can be happy?

Velvet Song is the first release in the new spin-off series, VG Resurrection, by Sean Michael. After the Velvet Glove was bombed, I assumed the world of the premiere BDSM club in the galaxy had come to an end. Imagine my surprise to learn a spin-off had just been released. As a long time reader of the original series, I didn’t know what to expect with a different cast of characters taking over the main roles, but I needn’t have been concerned. Mabon and Efren are great additions to the men living and working at the Velvet Glove. I can’t wait to see who else will follow in future releases.

I like both men but I found Mabon particularly interesting. His background and attitudes is not what I expected and I found the development of this personality very creative. I hope we get the chance to learn more about him and his race as the series progresses. The two men work nicely as a couple and Mabon’s introduction into Efren’s world is handled gently and with care. It’s just a little kinky, so for someone not familiar with BDSM books, this one would be a good first read.

Yes, there are a few typos but my big niggle is how Mabon’s aversion to meat is forgotten. Initially he doesn’t eat meat because his culture believes animals have souls and that’s fine with Efren. Then later they go to the dining hall to eat breakfast and it’s as if it was never mentioned—pork is being eaten. For something made into a character issue—it’s a big oversight.

In Plain Sight

Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-727-2
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

First it was his twin’s, Finn, turn to use his special talents on a mission.  Now Kline is being asked to contribute.  While his older brother, Tate, may be a little more understanding this time around, he is no less overbearing.  But this is the least of Kline’s worries, as the leader on his mission is none other than Zaid, the object of Kline’s lust.

Ms. Hecht’s latest release, In Plain Sight, is the eighth book in the Wayne County Wolves series.  In this story we are introduced to Kline, who like his twin, is an omega with special talents.  Where his twin had an enhanced sense of smell, Kline is able to see in the dark better than any other shifter.  This comes in handy when the mission the young shifter is sent on takes place in some old tunnels. 

We are also re-introduced to Zaid, the leader of a small rag-tag group of shifters who find themselves members of the Wayne County pack.  In this story, Zaid has to come face to face with a monster from his past.  I love shifter stories, particularly when the shifter is something other than the norm.  However, the idea of snake shifters just freaks me out, especially when the shifted animal is larger than normal.  This made it very easy for me to understand Zaid’s need for revenge while at the same time, fearing the moment when he meets up with Obsidian again. 

The story spends a large amount of time on the search for Obsidian, which gives Zaid and Kline time to get to know each other, rather than jumping right into a relationship just because they feel the mating pull.  I liked this little switch up, not only because it gives the readers time to get to learn the characters, but also because it allows Kline to become more of an individual rather than Tate’s little reclusive brother. 

Many of the secondary characters in this story are ones readers may remember from various previous books, however, there are a few new ones introduced.  This, of course, leaves open the possibility of many more stories for the Wayne County Wolves series.  

Fans of this series are sure to enjoy this newest release and, while not all the books need to be read in order, I would strongly recommend it as it allows you to have a wide understanding of both the characters and the issues they face. 

Sabin

Title: Sabin
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781781848418
Genre: {M/M} Shifters Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Freed from a drugged captivity that kept Sabin and his brother in their snow leopard form for almost two years, Sabin’s human form has discovered he has a sweet tooth. In pursuit of donuts, Sabin meets his mate Emmett. Forgetting about the shopping, Sabin and Emmett seek out the nearest motel.

Sabin is the eleventh book in the Leopard’s Spots series. The setting is Colorado Springs. The plot continues with the human trafficking theme. Shady law enforcers, along with their surprising agenda, are revealed. The balance of justified or merciless actions regarding the powerful man of unknown origins is scrutinized. Although the mystery man appears throughout the series, he has not been featured as a main character yet.

The characters are credible. Before meeting his mate, Sabin is mostly content to simply enjoy having his freedom, along with being surrounded by his family. After meeting Emmett, Sabin likes exploring the kinky side of his sexual nature. Emmett grew up in a wealthy family; he was always different from other kids at school because of his unusual eye color. Emmett has other explained traits not found in humans, such as enhanced hearing, smell and strength. He is a loner, as well as addicted to his work. Mating with Sabin not only uncovered Emmett’s true nature, but what it means to be bonded.

Bailey Bradford has created another fascinating episode highlighting corruption, deadly turmoil and intimacy. I particularly enjoy the elements of mystery.


Reader Advisory: Story includes elements of BDSM.

Texas Fandango

Author: Cynthia D’Alba
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61922-057-7
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 02-02-2014

KC Montgomery has watched and dreamed about Drake Gentry since she was eleven. As the years passed and KC saw him go through one woman after another, and even marry and divorce a good friend, her feelings didn’t change. Now that Drake’s single again, she finally has the chance she’s always wanted—Drake all to herself for two weeks of fun, sun, surf and sex.

After getting dumped by his latest girlfriend, Drake’s left with tickets for a two week island vacation and no one to share it with. He’s shocked when KC volunteers to go along and agrees to her stipulations—no strings and lots of sex. Except when they get home, Drake realizes that he wants strings and everything that goes with them. The question? How to convince KC that a man’s who has been around the bend more than a few times is ready to settle down—with her.

Texas Fandango is the new release in Cynthia D’Alba’s Texas Montgomery Mavericks series. It’s possible to read as a standalone but you’ll get a better understanding of secondary characters and ongoing relationships if read in order. 

At just barely 100 print pages, Texas Fandango is much shorter than the other two books in the series. That means there’s little time for developing a relationship between KC and Drake before their island get-away.  The description of the vacation made me want one and the sex is hot, even if there’s little build-up before they jump into bed. After all—that was the deal. The pacing is smooth, there’s opportunity to meet previous characters, there’s some fun dialogue and even with the short length, both Drake and KC get to have some personal angst time. Unfortunately, all they need to work through their problems is to talk to each other. That means a quick resolution at the end that was pretty painless.

The Case of the Sinful Santa

Authors: Amber Kell and RJ Scott
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781781848548
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

It doesn’t matter that Nick Klauson is Santa’s nephew; he’s tired of feeling like he doesn’t fit in. That’s why he’s sitting in a bar, trying to drown in a bottle of whiskey when a gorgeous stranger takes the seat next to him. There’s definitely some mutual attraction going on, so maybe he’ll get lucky.

When Zephariel, the Angel of Vengeance, walks by a bar, he feels a pull that demands he go inside. He spies Nick sitting at the bar and recognizes that he’s the one meant for him, and just as they leave together, Zeph’s whisked away. Leaving the man behind that Zeph’s certain is his mate makes him testy, until learning he’s needed to fight a zombie infestation. A bigger surprise is Nick showing up to fight zombies too. With the help of Sam, Bob and others, can Nick and Zeph stop the zombies from endangering the children at Mal’s school?

The Case of the Sinful Santa is the latest release in the End Street Detective Agency series. Please be aware that the books really should be read in order or you won’t understand the ongoing relationships.

It’s another great addition to the series and despite thoroughly enjoying the rest of the books, this one might be my new favorite. I mean how can I not get a good chuckle out of a character that’s related to Santa and has the ability to see whether you’re naughty or nice? There’s also an amusing mixture of dialogue, and references to holly, tinsel, candy canes and even Christmas magic. The story is well plotted, there’s good imagery, nice personality development and a smooth flow. I really enjoyed the integration of the previous characters—they are very important to the zombie infestation plotline but still allow Zeph and Nick’s relationship to shine through. 

As you might have guessed there are several twists—and Santa even makes an appearance. I really like both Nick and Zeph and hope to see more of them in upcoming books in this fun and entertaining series. I look forward to the next one, and hope you’ll give The Case of the Sinful Santa a try. 

Refined Instincts

Author: S.J. Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0160
Genre: {M/M} Vampire Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Home for vampire Troy Raines is not a place but a person. Broken in spirit as well as his body, returning to the place where his vampire life began is a fitting place for his life to terminate. In spite of this, Troy’s maker, Lord Renart Bellerose is able to persuade Troy that salvation comes only to the living.

Refined Instincts is the fifth book in the Instincts series. This is a series that is best read in sequence because the cameo scenes are main characters from previous episodes. The plot is a marvelously well written emotional romance blended with turmoil as well as sensual intimacy. The characters are especially realistic as well as engaging.

Renart is an elder vampire but not quite old enough to be considered an ancient. In his former life, Renart was an aristocrat skilled in the arts of fighting. As a vampire, he still maintains the deadly skills along with the manners of a highborn gentleman. Renart’s past has taught him to hide his feelings. Although he was drawn to Troy upon first meeting, later Renart regretted his show of indifference towards Troy.

Deprived of any physical affection from Renart, Troy’s desires morphed into hate. Lost without guidance in the strange new world of the vampire society, Troy relies on a combative attitude to mask his disillusionment. Troy also allows himself to be embroiled in a deadly scheme doomed from the start. Branded as a traitor, Troy expects to be put to death, yet help comes from the most unlikely of persons.

S.J. Frost has created another exhilarating installment to this series. What I enjoyed is the vampires are intelligent, powerful and deadly when necessary but choose to show compassion whenever possible.