Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beaten


Title: Beaten
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-409-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Little Francis was severely beaten by his former Dom and while physically healed, he’s still a little emotionally wounded. He’s working at Permanent Ink and living with Treat and Killian but doesn’t think a relationship or being part of a BDSM lifestyle is possible for him again. That changes when Nick, an unattached Dom, comes into his tattoo shop to give support to a nervous twink.

Nick’s smitten the moment he lays eyes on Francis. He never imaged the sub of his dreams would come with two protective friend/Dom’s, or that he’d need to convince Francis he deserves happiness. But Nick’s biggest battle is showing him that not all Doms are abusive. Just as he’s making progress, the past comes back to haunt them, endangering Francis and their friends.

Beaten is the latest release in Sean Michael’s Hammer series. Being familiar with other books in the Hammer world would be beneficial but it can be read as a standalone.

I enjoy the variety of couples in this series. Yes, they all inhabit the BDSM world but they each have their own needs and ways of filling them. And in this case, after the abuse he’s suffered, Francis doesn’t know if he fits into the lifestyle any longer. That’s where Nick, as a good Dom, comes in—despite claiming to be a hard-core Top, he adjusts based on the trauma Francis suffered—and what he needs. Yes, I admit to being a bit disappointed that the story went in a softer direction but to be harsh when Francis couldn’t handle that would have been wrong, and put him back into a bad Dom/sub relationship. So in reality it worked perfectly as it was plotted. That’s not to say in the future their relationship couldn’t become more hard-core and maybe we’ll see that in another release. Hint. Hint.

Ms. Michael’s did a nice job with Francis’ personality development. He’s a guy who’s suffered great pain and disappointment but he’s still a sweetie. The back story of what happened in his abusive relationship is well described without being graphic. Nick’s a forceful guy but thoughtful and pairing him with the traumatized Francis doesn’t seem like a good match on the surface but works well when you learn more about them. Adding the two overprotective friends for Nick to deal with is a nice touch. I enjoyed the villainous twist that played out near the end. It added some danger and suspense but for me it seemed to be resolved too quickly for the seriousness of the situation. 

Familiar


Title: Familiar
Author:  M. L. Rhodes
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-365-9
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Emrys Andrews’s magic creates a little havoc for the object of his desire, namely David Jennings, when their eyes first met. However, David is just as enchanted as Emrys.  It takes years for the two young men to actually meet, yet that first felt enchantment was still there.

Familiar is a superb heartwarming romance blended with a touch of drama and a dash of humor. The characters are engaging. I wanted to hug Emrys, his family and David. I also had visions of slapping David’s parents. Emrys comes from a loving family of witches. Being gay has never been an issue. Emrys has a compassionate personality; he never hesitates to help people and animals. Emrys only flaw is his lack of control mastering magic, so Emrys tries very hard to keep magic within him dormant. 

Most of David’s life has been manipulated because of his parents repeated mistakes. David seems to be the only one in his family who has common sense. Always on the move, Salem was the only place David wanted to call home. Even though he was forced to hide his attraction for Emrys, David still hoped he and Emrys could be together eventually. Finally destiny, along with strong desire, stepped in to join Emrys and David in a happy ever after relationship.

M. L. Rhodes has created an intriguing as well as very enjoyable saga.   

Entranced


Title: Entranced
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-243-5
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Several years ago,Jack Keiser was on a government mission that went bad and he almost died. He’s had serious trust issues since and is even uneasy with the team of ex-agent/psychics he heads out of the Power Up gym. When his silent partner, Owen Stallbridge, asks for help in locating his missing sister, Heather, Jack can’t turn him down. He heads to Europe to search for her and ends up in the German Alps,where his unique chameleon ability helps him blend in.

Jack’s just about given up hope of finding Heather when he comes across a strange village filled with even stranger people—people who won’t let Heather leave. Just as odd is his instant attraction to her—but because of his distrust, Jack refuses to believe in love at first sight. But he needs to trust her because if he doesn’t, they won’t get away from the villagers hunting them or off the mountain alive.

Entranced is the latest release in Marie Harte’s Power Up! series. While it would be helpful to read the books in order, reading it as a standalone will work fine.

For those of you who enjoy old musicals, this new book has hints of the classic Lerner and Loewe musical, Brigadoon, where two individuals come across a village not on a map. Sound familiar? The difference is the obvious paranormal slant, along with the murderous townspeople intent on doing harm to Jack and Heather. Nothing light and fluffy going on here. No, you get a sense of danger and possible doom if they’re caught.

The attraction between Jack and Heather is immediate and the sex is passionate, but I was also disappointed at how inappropriate some of their times together were. Being chased by people intent on killing you is not the time for hot and heavy sex. The back story of Heather’s family history in the village is nicely incorporated and how it relates to “The Source” she and Jack are searching for is handled well. The villainous characters add an interesting note but because there are several, I found it difficult to keep them straight. I did enjoy the scenes going down the mountain. The danger to Heather and Jack is done well and is suspenseful, but after such a good build up, the ending seems a little abrupt.

Broken Boughs


Title: Broken Boughs
Author: Jade Buchanan
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-8036
Genre: {M/M} Holiday Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

This Christmas was going to be very special; at least that was what Neil Brogan had in mind when he planned a romantic interlude with his lover Jonah Chevalier. However, things don’t always go as planned when a curious puppy decides to investigate the gifts under the Christmas tree.

Broken Boughs is part of the Broken Trilogy. The amusing and enjoyable holiday short story features the characters from the first book Broken Rules as well as a dog named Kato, a new addition to the household. Neil and Jonah have been friends since childhood. Reunited after years of separation, Neil and Jonah became live-in lovers. The love between the two men has grown over time and they are ready to take the next step in their relationship.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lost in You


Title: Lost in You
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-285-5
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Publication Date: 03-12-13

Joe Harris is out of the army and home in Petal, Georgia. He’s determined to show his parents that he’s a good son and has left the wild days of his youth behind. Dealing with his ailing father is demanding, as is starting a new business. He doesn’t have time to date but being a single guy in town is like having a flashing ‘available’ sign over his head. When his best friend’s sexy little sister comes into his life, Joe can’t resist her.

Once Beth Murphy learns Joe’s back in town she’s ready to stake her claim. It doesn’t matter Joe doesn’t think he’s good enough or that he’s rough around the edges, Beth knows what she wants—and is crazy about Joe’s dog. They’re good together but it comes crashing down when Joe’s father has a public meltdown. The stress gets to Joe and he pushes Beth away, but if he thinks she’ll give up on him—on them—he’s got a lot to learn.

Lost in You is the latest release in Lauren Dane’s Petal, Georgia series. Please note: I recommend the books be read in order.

Well I’m happy that we’re back in Petal, Georgia. I don’t know about you but Ms. Dane has created a town I’d like to live in. The descriptions of the people, and the town itself, give a warm a fuzzy feeling I’ve come to expect from this fun and entertaining series. I have to admit I’ve been waiting for this one and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s fast paced, has great personality development and Joe and Beth’s relationship is believable—and the sex is steaming.

I like how Ms. Dane integrated Joe’s parents and his father’s mental health problems. It added tension, suspense and a realism many readers can likely understand. And then there’s Beth and how it affects her relationship with Joe—again very believable. There’s plenty of snappy dialogue for some laughs and lots of recurring family and friends to round out the cast of characters. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the author even created a wonderful dog—Buck for the pet lovers. So, as you can see, all the bases are covered. I’m happy with this one and I think you will be too. Enjoy.

Prince of Spies


Title:   Prince of Spies
Author:  Bianca D’Arc
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:   978-1-61921-397-5
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Nico is captured and ends up being tortured while trying to get information from the enemy’s camp.  After being told to heal Nico, Riki finds she is attracted to him and tries to do more than the minimum to keep him alive for the next round.  Nico realizes Riki is the missing Princess he has been searching for.

The fourth book of the Dragon Knights series, Prince of Spies, gives us more information about the network of spies that the King’s brother has.  As the stories about the Dragon Knights progress, we learn more about the dragons and the relationship they have with their knights.  We also learn more about the secret of the royal family, as well as the black dragons. 

Another group of people that we learn about are the Jinn, or who we would probably call Gypsies.  Prophecies and legends are slowly revealed and Nico becomes more involved with the Jinn and the spy network they have. 

Riki and Nico scorch the pages as their chemistry is hot.  As a member of the ruling family, Nico will not be part of a triad relationship. However, part of the Jinn marriage rites include witnesses to the consummation and possibly some participation, as well.  As things escalate, more characters make appearances that create new alliances with the Draconians.

While you don’t have to read each previous book in this series, I recommend that you do as the stories, as a whole, are so much richer.


This book is a re-issue – all the books in the series will be re-issued.

Fairy Gay Father


Author: Jambrea Jo Jones  
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing  
Publisher URL: www.ellorascave.com
ISBN: 9781419942495
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Ryan Keats’ life is in a slump, the thrill of recreational sex is gone. However, things take a surprising turn for Ryan when he meets Cordell Winston.

Fairy Gay Father is the sequel to Steamy Reunion and it is recommended that you read the first book before reading Fairy Gay Father. Ryan is a gay man, masking his fear of rejection by indulging in casual sex in the role of an escort. Being an escort is not his main profession, it is more of a diversion. But lately Ryan is starting to wish for a stable loving relationship. Cord has been on a mission for months to finally meet Ryan face to face, along with seducing Ryan into a permanent relationship with him.

Jambrea Jo Jones has created an amusing and enjoyable short story. Ryan and Cord start off as combatants, yet there is a definite attraction between the two men. Once Ryan and Cord make it to the bedroom, both men recognize a lasting relationship is indeed possible.  

Firedrake


Title:  Firedrake
Author:  Bianca D’Arc
Publisher:   Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61921-398-2
Genre:   {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:   4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Drake returns home to Draconia with some intelligence regarding the younger princes.  The dragon that wants to bond with him is still waiting, Drake runs into his childhood friend and runs into a guardsman that he attracted to. 

The latest story in the Dragon Knights series takes us on a journey that involves time manipulation, along with introducing new characters and species into the story.  Firedrake also gives some history about the wizards that seemed to be banished or extinct. 

This book is actually my favorite so far.  There were quite a few twists and turns that keep the suspense going.  Since each knight bonds with his dragon and the dragons can’t mate with each other without their knights finding their one for a triad relationship, I loved the reasons given for the bonding between Drake, Mace and Krysta. I think most of us can empathize with Drake, especially since he gets thrown a major curveball about his heritage.  There are some lighthearted moments between them, as well as some good natured ribbing that comes from longtime childhood friends. 

The author also described a wonderful training scene between Krysta and a fey warrior and their practice with fans.  The author did some research about some more exotic weapons for this one.  The fact that the kidnapped prince is now five years older within five days was an interesting concept within this story.  I would have liked a little more information about his training and some of the other characters on the Island

The war is heating up and I am waiting for the next book.  There are so many threads that can lead to different adventures.  I had not read these books before and am enjoying this series greatly. 

Dark Robe Heart


Author: Jason Edding
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60820-7374
Genre: {M/M} Sci-Fi Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The Society was founded in the year 2104 by a brilliant, but power mad genetic scientist. The objective of the Dark Robe Society is world domination. This is the world Jack Harrow seeks to escape. Jack’s clandestine journey became particularly pleasurable when he meets Edge Fland, who gleefully offers more than just conversation during their long travel to Jupiter.

Dark Robe Heart is the first book in the Dark Robe Society series. The plot is an intense mystery. From the very beginning, the reader is engaged, wondering why the society is so set on destroying Jack. As the story unfolds, it reveals some of Jack’s distinctive traits. However, Jack is not the only unique character; Edge has mysterious traits also. Jack and Edge are both on a mission; the question is is it the same mission or does one of them have a different agenda? There is an ample amount of action, as well as conspiracy illustrated to inspire the readers to continue reading until the very cliffhanger’s end. The detailed intimacy scenes are extremely passionate, certifying without a doubt Jack and Edge are lovers.  

Jason Edding has created a brilliant futuristic saga that I thoroughly enjoyed. I look forward to the next installment.

Cold, Cold Winter


Author:  Asha King
Publisher:  Phaze Books
Publisher URL:  http://www.phaze.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-60659-715-6
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Interracial
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Blogging at home was bringing in good money for Danyiah “Dani” Jackson, even though living in the small town of Stirling Falls was challenging.  As long as she had her hot cowboy by her side, nothing else mattered.  Hopefully, Dani had come up with the best humorous way to divulge some news to him. 

Adam Cooper is a hard working guy who likes to keep things simple.  As much as he loves Dani, their relationship was anything except simple.  Adam is constantly hovering between wanting her and shock at some of the things she does.  Now he’s faced with the prospect that Dani isn’t taking their relationship as seriously as he is.  All his future plans seemed to be disappearing before Adam’s eyes.

Dani and Adam have a fight that could end them forever.  Neither one of them wants to give in and compromising seems impossible.  As far as Adam is concerned, there is no middle ground.  He doesn’t believe that Dani ever intended to be with him forever and Dani doubts that Adam will totally accept her as she is.  They were as different as night and day.  Sometimes love isn’t enough, but in this case, thank God it was.  The couple got a wake up call that brought their fight to an end.  When Dani is finally honest with Adam, he shares some things of his own. 

Cold, Cold Winter is the couple’s continued story from Wild Horses.  I didn’t read their first story, so I am curious about the couple’s history.  After all Dani and Adam have been through, you’d think things would be smooth sailing, but relationships don’t work that way.  Their love has to be true blue, when I consider how different they both seem to be.  Even I had my doubts that Dani would be too much for Adam to handle.  I found myself wanting her to conform to him and I’m not sure why.  Adam is so likeable, I couldn’t help myself.  But as a woman, I understood Dani’s side of things.  Her career and goals had to be just as important as Adams and he had to understand that.  I am still trying to grasp why Dani picked that particular object to leave for Adam as a surprise in his room.  Yes, she explained it, but wow. 

I think Dani and Adam represent a lot of couples out there.  They were deeply in love but they had their differences.  Real effort had to be taken so those differences didn’t drive a wedge between them.  I think Asha King put a nice dose of reality in this story with the right amount of “happily ever after” that readers will appreciate.  Not everyone can make real life problems seem romantic.  That is a real talent.