Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Golden


Title: Golden
Author: Sean Michael  
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher’s URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61040-438-9
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Sports
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Having won gold at the Summer Olympics, Justin knows what it’s like to be on the top of the world.  Justin never knew life without swimming could go so wrong however, or that his coach would leave him stranded without any help.  Now four years later he’s wondering if it’s a feeling he’ll ever have again.  

I am a big fan of Mr. Michael so I was glad to see that he had a new book out, especially one centered around the sports world.  Readers should know that while this story does touch on the Olympics, both past and future, Golden is not part of the author’s Going for the Gold series.

The characters and story line in Golden are well done.  I was drawn into the story from the first page and must say I was a little worried about Justin at the start.  I was also a little miffed at Chris and could not believe he thought walking away from Justin after the Olympics and basically letting the young man go cold turkey from the world he once knew, was the way to go.  I did like that after talking and seeing Justin again, Chris saw the error of his ways and set out to correct the problem.  I loved that the author does not drag issues like this out and instead fixes them as soon as possible.

Readers can tell from the moment the men meet up again that there is a strong connection between them; one that they were unable to act on before due to their working relationship at the time.  It is also easy to see that Justin is a natural submissive, something that causes the young man more than a few problems in the beginning.  The passion that exists between the two is intense and really heats up the pages.  Chris and Justin do move into their relationship at a fast pace, but it feels right within the context of this story.

Golden is a great story and one that would make a good starter point if you are just trying this author for the first time.  While this author already has many different series going, I hope he has plans to bring these two men back for at least one more story.

The Case of the Cupid Curse


Authors: Amber Kell and RJ Scott
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-258-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When his uncle dies, Sam Enderson inherits everything--including the building where his uncle housed his detective agency. Sam doesn’t particularly like paranormal creatures, so after a correspondence course and a gun permit, Sam takes over the agency with the intent of ‘human only’ for clients. Except it doesn’t work out as planned. To supplement his income, Sam soon finds he’s rented an apartment upstairs to a sexy vampire and he’s been cursed by an angry witch. Suddenly his life is spiraling out of control with two missing persons’ cases and a ghost and gargoyle in his house. And he can’t go anywhere without Bob, his own personal vampire bodyguard as protection. The changes in his life could drive him crazy but with Bob at his side, Sam’s certain to stay alive and learn more about the paranormal world than he ever expected.

The Case Of The Cupid Curse is the first release in Amber Kell and RJ Scott’s new series, End Street Detective Agency.

What a good beginning to a new series. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book. It’s fun and entertaining, has fully developed characters, a smooth pace set within a well thought out plot and enough twists to keep things interesting and the pages turning. The mixture of paranormal creatures found in the plot is unusual. I particularly liked that the authors included sirens, which are rarely seen in the genre. Sam’s odd response to these creatures is interesting. I hope some of the answers to this will be revealed later, since it seems to be a mystery to Sam, as well.

Bob’s protectiveness is cute and he and Sam make a good couple. There are lots of secondary characters packed into the story. Some are a little oddball and will make you chuckle, while others are more serious. It certainly makes for a story that’s never boring. The writing duo of Kell and Scott did a great job combining their writing styles. They flow seamlessly together, making for an enjoyable smooth read.

My one real niggle is the abrupt ending. I just wasn’t expecting the book to be handled like a serial, instead of each one being complete unto itself.

Community Service


Author: Vaughn R. Demont
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61921-448-4
Genre: {M/M} Urban Fantasy Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Release date May 7, 2013

James Black is a young man fleeing an abusive lover, is recued from death and decreed by fate to be the next sorcerer. His old life is erased from existence and his new life is indebted to the powerful god of the underworld. Spencer Crain is a coyote trickster, along with being James’s friend. James is given an assignment to find an escaped evil spirit, as well as return him to Hades.

Community Service is the third book in the Broken Mirrors series. James was sentenced by Hades to two hundred hours of community service for breaking into a secure facility and ending the world; this is James’s first assignment. Spencer and other friends fail at pulling off a con involving a rich vampire, leaving Spencer completely broke, forcing him to seek food and shelter from James. The plot meanders between chapters by characters, which made it somewhat difficult to follow. The mention of the game Dungeons & Dragons is perhaps the key to the storyline, however, I am not familiar with the game and failed to comprehend the story’s entire concept.

Overall, Community Service is an illustration of the character’s depressing existence intermittent with periods of bittersweet memories. Nevertheless some readers may find this story enjoyable. 

With a Vengeance


Author: Jacqui Jacoby
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-575-7
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Release Date: 04-09-2013

With her family heavily involved in the CIA, Jaime Walsh had little chance of doing anything else as a career. Now she’s a highly trained agent herself and doesn’t doubt her place in the agency until a case in Buenos Aires goes horribly wrong.  Jaime’s left emotionally and physically drained and when it’s over, heads to Hawaii for two weeks of sun and surf to decide what to do with her life. When Stephen, her long-time partner, answers an invitation to join her, their established relationship takes a dramatic change.

Stephen’s been attracted to Jaime for years but never acted on his feelings. Instead he’s guarded her back and acted like a friend but this tropical vacation is his chance to see if they can be something more. But they soon learn someone from their past is hunting them and if they can’t stop them, Jaime and Stephen will both end up dead.

With a Vengeance is the first book by this author I’ve read.  It’s well written, has lots of vivid descriptions set in varied locales, has a fast but even pace and is filled with action and suspense from beginning to end. And I can’t forget the danger. It seems from the very beginning, Jaime and Stephen are in peril and barely able to get out of it by the skin of their teeth. Ms. Jacoby did a good job expressing the near death experiences they’re in and made me believe them.

I can’t believe the number of twists and turns contained in this story and each one seems to get Jaime and Stephen in trouble but no matter how bad the situation, Ms. Jacoby creatively extracts them in one piece. Barely at times, but alive. That’s where the villain comes in since he’s at the root of their problem. When his identity’s revealed, it’s unexpected and it takes a big portion of the book to get him his just desserts, but the ending is very satisfying.

Now my personal niggle: For some strange reason that I can’t put my finger one I couldn’t make an attachment to the characters. Yes Jaime is a kick-ass heroine and Stephen a studly man determined to protect him woman but I just didn’t bond with them. The last half of the book is my favorite and that portion I did find the most emotionally satisfying.

Pride and Were


Author: Joyee Flynn
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Publisher’s URL: http://www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62241-919-7
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Cody loves sex in any way, shape, or form.  Working at Anything Goes: The Leather Edition allows him to fulfill his needs without worrying about getting hurt.  Cody also doesn’t make friends or ties of any kind.  Staying on the run keeps him, and those around him, safe.  But then he meets Belz and finds things are changing, but are they for the better?

Pride and Were is the fourth book in the Anything Goes series and I really liked the main characters in this story.  Cody is a rare shifter who has gotten used to being on his own.  It’s easy to see that underneath the shifter’s tough skin hides someone who wants to be loved for himself and not for what he is.  This makes him the perfect counterpoint for Belz, a pride demon, who is used to being taken for what he can give others. Cody and Belz are hot together so watch for the pages to really heat up on occasion.  The author likes to keep things hopping, however, so just because they go well together does not make their relationship a smooth sailing one. A major misunderstanding in the beginning, and Cody’s insecurities, cause the two men to have a rocky start. 

The author brings many of the previous characters back to help the two men along the way and when Cody’s past catches up to him, they find that they really need the help.  The author also hints at a future story with Nolan and I can’t wait to see what she has planned, especially since his significant other is someone we may already know.

Unlike some series that can be considered stand-alone, this series is one that needs to be read in order so that you will have a better understanding of the various paranormal beings and their mythology.  Something that newcomers should know up front is that this series revolves around the demons, shape-shifters and other paranormal beings in Las Vegas.  As a rule they are open about sex until, and sometimes even after, they meet their mates, which some readers may have a hard time with.

Enforcer Ensnared


Author:  Elizabeth Lapthorne
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:   9781419942754
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

When the Enforcers and police were paired, Flame and Blade became partners, then lovers, while they worked to find the gang responsible for killing kids with their new drug.  Surprises abound once the group is told they are shut down.

The fourth installment of the Urban Seductions series is both hot and action-packed.  Enforcer Ensnared answers some of the questions from the previous books, but creates more questions about some of the people the crew is tracking.  I liked that the author had some creative ideas after they were told to ‘cease and desist’ their investigation.

Blade and Flame worked with different partners before the mixed group was organized, to see if the magic Enforcers and the humans could work together.  Once they crossed the line to lovers, the chemistry between the two is intense and they have to make an effort sometimes to ensure they keep their minds on their task.

The author introduces some new characters, one of whom I fell in love with immediately.  I did have to laugh at one scene when two cases merged and what happened with two sets of Enforcers before they realized they were working for the same goal.  Of course, the issues with technology and the Enforcers keep showing up, and I had to laugh at Jarred and how he wanted to handle the data he got.

I enjoyed this story of the series the best so far.  Readers do need to read the series in order to make sure they get the background and story.  I’m looking forward to the next one as I want to see who gets paired with whom, whether it is someone new or one of the members of the crew.

Killer Thoughts


Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61118-893-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Owen Stallbridge spends most of his time running his multi-million dollar financial empire and is only a silent partner in the Power Up gym. He’s got his eye on Ian Ryder, a sexy forger who works with Jack and the other psychics at the gym. What no one knows is that Owen is a power psychic, who occasionally does assassination work for the government.

Getting Ian permanently into his life and bed is a high priority for Owen but first he has to deal with a threat from his past. Tracking down his enemy is much easier with Ian’s help but getting Ian to trust him personally is a battle he might not win. With danger at every turn, if Ian can’t put away the hurt of the past and trust his heart, both he and the man’s he’s beginning to love could end up dead.

Killer Thoughts is the final book in Marie Harte’s Power Up! series and while it’s possible to read it as a standalone, I recommend the books be read in order.

I can’t believe this action-packed series has come to an end with the release of Owen and Ian’s story. I thoroughly enjoyed this entertaining romance. It has a smooth flow, great personality development and lots of snappy dialogue. But that’s not all. There’s also plenty of danger and suspense, steamy sex and I learned things about Ian and Owen I didn’t expect. I’ve wondered about Owen’s power for some time and his carefully guarded secret came as a big surprise. Yet it’s only one of the many twists contained within its pages.

The danger in this story and the villain behind it will keep you turning the pages as you rush to the end. Ms. Hart has done a very good job with this final release and I think I can safely say it’s my new series favorite. If you enjoy M/M paranormal romances, I suggest you give this series a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 

Hunter's Moon


Title: Hunter's Moon
Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62380-363-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Kidnapped! This is the first thing werewolf Gabriel King realized when he became cognizant of his surroundings. The next revelation Gabriel had is that the human mercenary Kieran Knight is Gabriel’s mate. 

Hunter's Moon is the third book in the Lifting the Veil series. The plot illustrates greed as the main theme. The Great Unveiling revealed the presence of supernatural beings living on Earth. It is part of human nature to want to own new, as well as beneficial objects. Sadly, corrupt people endowed with wealth frequently do not have integrity. They believe money can buy everything, including another being’s freedom. Gabriel is the peacemaker in his pack. Although he is capable of violence, the only time Gabriel fights is when his mate is in danger. Kieran fights for a paycheck, not for a cause. Kieran is totally bewildered by his undeniable need to be with Gabriel, especially since Kieran has never desired a man before meeting Gabriel. 

The emotional connection between Gabriel and Kieran is not entirely convincing; nevertheless I found Hunter's Moon particularly enjoyable. The impressive saga illustrates honorable main characters, betrayal, delusional characters along with deadly conflicts.

This series is best read in sequence.