Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Fight for Identity

Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62380-612-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

For some reason, Will Martin’s father hates all Native Americans.  Since the death of Will’s grandfather when his father gained control of the family ranch, he’s refused the local Sioux access to the land they consider sacred. When Will returns home from college, he goes against his father and grants the tribe admittance for their ceremony because it’s the right thing to do. 

Takoda Red Bird is upset at being kept from the tribe’s sacred ground and when Will offers, he jumps at the chance to use it again. Except it doesn’t go as expected and Will’s father is so furious, he puts the property up for sale. The only way to keep the land out of developer’s hands is to buy it themselves.  It’s a fight that brings Will and Takoda closer, but in the process Will learns more about his family than he ever imagined—secrets that change everything.

The Fight for Identity is the third release in Andrew Grey’s The Good Fight series and it’s another entertaining addition to the family of books. While reading them in order would be beneficial, it can be read as a standalone.

I like this book for a number of reasons. It has a well constructed plot that moves forward at a steady pace, has characters with nicely developed personalities, a wonderful locale and plenty of twists and turns that kept my interest. Another thing I enjoyed is the vivid descriptions into the Sioux beliefs and cultures. It really brought this aspect of the story to the forefront and helped me to understand a way of life far removed from my own. Thank you, Mr. Grey, for your wonderful research. And I can’t forget the racism issue either. It’s a difficult one to deal with but the author handles it tastefully.

Now to Will and Takoda. I like these two guys. They both have unique backgrounds and their own share of emotional unrest to handle. That makes for some interesting moments of angst as they learn to deal with their own issues, what’s going on around them and each other. Their physical attraction is strong, the sex is steamy and their desires to be together outweigh the problems of being apart.   

My only real niggle is the quick change in attitude of Will’s father. I would have found it more believable if it had taken more time for him to come around after so many years of acting like a jerk. Still, the ending is wrapped up in a manner I found satisfying. I can’t wait for the next one.

Seductive Tracks

Author:  Elizabeth Lapthorne
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419942846
Genre: {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kelly steals things for the thrill of it, taking care to only steal from those that can afford it.   The Enforcers and police have not been able to track her, but that is about to change.  Matt is intrigued because Kelly can mask herself among others, making it almost impossible for him to track unless he uses other means. 

The fifth book in the Urban Seductions series continues to follow the dangerous street drug, Jolt, though Seductive Tracks brings a new twist to the case.  One thing the task force wants is someone with some extremely special skills to help, and the “Shadow” fits the bill nicely. 

The chemistry between Kelly and Matt is instant and intense.  I did have to laugh at some of the tiptoeing they attempted to do about different subjects, especially when they were around others.  Very rarely does this happen in real life, though it does happen.  I did like that they both respected each other’s talents, taking advantage of using them without the arguments that sometimes happen between two strong characters.

Two of the main secondary characters were just as entertaining. The subject the investigation was about is very true to life.  I love Will, the captain of the task force, as I know a few people just like him. 

Each story needs to be read in order as each build on the previous story and what is going on.  I’m not quite sure how the author is going to resolve the situation, but it is fun reading each step and trying, unsuccessfully, to guess how it ends.

One Bad Day

Title: One Bad Day
Author: Evelyn Shepherd
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-62300-357-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Carlos is not happy with these turn of events. Instead of spending the day in bed with his live in lover Theo, Carlos is alone and feeling down in the dumps.

One Bad Day is a short story in the Theo Bourne Series. Theo Bourne and Carlos Ramirez are detectives for the Columbus Police Department’s Preternatural Task Force. Theo is a powerful phantom; Carlos is an Alpha coyote shifter. Theo and Carlos balance each other in personality as well as their work assignments. Left to his own devices for the day, Carlos turns into a klutz. With every small mishap Carlos incurs, he mentally plots a sexual revenge scenario for Theo. The boring day suddenly evolves into a deadly tragedy when Carlos encounters a rogue vampire. Nevertheless, the day ended in an incredibility blissful way.    

Evelyn Shepherd has created a wonderful blend of humor, action and a touch intimacy.  One Bad Day is an especially enjoyable snippet.

Soul Magic

Title: Soul Magic
Author: Poppy Dennison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62380-580-7
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Since the High Moon Pack was attacked, Cormac’s need for blood has almost been out of control. Worried he’s become a danger to his loved ones, he’s chosen to stay away from his family to keep them safe. When Cormac’s bloodlust endangers an innocent bystander, Liam, the pack beta, volunteers to feed him. It sates Cormac’s need and brings him and Liam together in unexpected ways.

The High Moon Pack remains under assault and Simon and Gray don’t know why. A person with three kinds of magic is out to destroy them and to fight such power, they need help—even if it’s from the Council of Mages and Weres. Cormac’s struggling with the knowledge that his past is hurting his family. It causes Simon to be thrust into trying to defeat their enemy using the power of the triad and if he’s unsuccessful, he could end up dead.

Soul Magic is the last release in Poppy Dennison’s Triad series and because of the ongoing storyline, the books must be read in order.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for this book since I finished Body Magic but when I got my hands on it, I was sad that this amazing trilogy had come to a close. So, before I go any farther, let me just say that I enjoyed not only Soul Magic but the entire series for a variety of reasons. The world building is complex with vivid details, there’s great personality development, couple relationships are strong and the storyline just got better from one book to the next. I can’t forget the wonderful secondary characters either. They play important roles throughout and in this release Liam and Cormac move forward into the primary romance position. 

I like Liam and Cormac and they make a good couple but with everything going on while trying to defeat the bad guy, their romance doesn’t take center stage, which is a shame. It’s my only real complaint, but there’s enough time allowed to understand how they feel for each other—it still works, even if their relationship isn’t fully developed. There are plenty of twists and danger to keep you surprised as the story races to the end. And best of all Ms. Dennison manages to nicely wrap up all the plot threads. Take it from me, read this entertaining series. You won’t be sorry. 

Tracking Desire

Title:  Tracking Desire
Author:  Elizabeth Lapthorne
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:   9781419942921
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

As part of her job, Liv retrieves items when they are stolen.  Julian fell for Liv the minute he saw her while they were looking for Shadow.  Despite being human, Julian knows she is just as attracted to him as he is to her.  Looking for the antidote for the drug killing kids brings them together as partners as well.

Tracking Desire is the latest in the Urban Seductions series and brings a lot of suspense with a decidedly unusual twist at the end.  I did not see that one coming at all.  The author does resolve the mystery that this series had, with one exception.

Readers learn more about the talents the witches have and how some of those talents work.  As with anything, there are side-effects that can cause harm to those that use them, but I love that Julian is so protective of Liv, as well as accepting of her talents.  Both have created a partnership, as well as a scorching personal relationship. 

Almost all the characters from the previous books show up, but Kelly, Matt and Will are the main secondary characters.  I had to laugh at Will, when Julian and Liv decided to act on their attraction.  I hope this was not the last book because I want to know more about Will.

Deuce Of Diamonds

Author: KC Kendricks 
Publisher: Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-423-6
Genre: {M/M} Detective Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

FBI agent Rick Mohr made a mistake when he walked away from Ian three months ago. However, when Ian is listed as a person of interest on Rick’s assigned case, Rick views this as hopefully a second chance to win Ian back.   Private investigator Ian Coulter’s instincts are telling him something is not quite straightforward concerning the weekly packages he is delivering to actor Saylor Blackwood. Yet Ian can find no evidence of anything illegal. It is lucky for Ian that Rick has returned to Amethyst Cove to investigate this mystery.  

Deuce Of Diamonds is the second book in the Amethyst Cove Series. The plot features the emotional turmoil of developing a committed connection. Ian has abstained from having casual flings, once he admitted to himself that he wanted a monogamous relationship with Rick. However, Ian fears his dreams of their future may be too late since Rick returned to his former lover. Ian’s current main focus is building his business, Amethyst Cove Security and Investigations by increasing his clientele.
Rick regrets leaving Ian, but Rick suffers from trust issues because of past relationships. Solving the case was only part of Rick’s agenda; clearing Ian of any wrongdoing, as well as getting back together with Ian was also prominent in Rick plans. 

KC Kendricks has created a splendid as well as an exceptionally enjoyable follow-up to Double Deuce.

Pitch Perfect

Author: Sierra Dean
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-658-7
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 08-06-13

When Emmy Kasper’s hired as the head athletic trainer for the San Francisco Felons, she’s thrilled. It does means leaving her father in Chicago and making a new life for herself across the country. It didn’t mean almost running her bicycle over two of the team’s players on opening day and one is star pitcher, Tucker Lloyd. It’s an accident that could end her new career before it even begins.

Tucker’s just coming back after an injury and at thirty-six, he’s worried he’s nearing the end of his career. Getting knocked to the ground before training even starts isn’t how he expected to begin his day. When he learns the identity of the woman responsible, Tucker knows he’s in for trouble. How will he ever keep his mind on saving his career when all he can do is think about Emmy?

Pitch Perfect is the first release in Sierra Dean’s new series, Boys of Summer. It’s a fun and entertaining look into the world of professional baseball. Yes, I know the premise isn’t exactly original but that doesn’t stop it from being the perfect read for a hot summer day either. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you’ll find yourself pulled into the story of how Tucker and Emmy get together.

It’s pretty obvious that Ms. Dean’s either a fan herself, has done a lot of research or both. For me, the vivid details really helped the game and the world they inhabit come alive. That goes for the information regarding Tucker’s continued rehab too—I was able to understand him more easily. Please be aware that the book takes place almost entirely inside the baseball sphere and scenes rarely occur outside them, besides a bedroom. I admit I would have liked a little more variety once their relationship got off the ground. And did I mention Tucker and Emmy are smoking hot?

Secondary characters are numerous. I particularly like Tucker’s friend Alex and hope to see him featured in the future. But then several of the other players would be interesting to learn more about too. I look forward seeing what happens in the next book. 

Time Weaver

Title:  Time Weaver
Author:  Kate Donovan
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61921-005-9
Genre:  {M/F} Retro Romance, Time Travel
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

For months Alexander BlackKnife’s search for a missing woman had lead him to nothing but dead ends.  As an attorney, Alexander would investigate every avenue, even if it might implicate his people, the Susquehannock tribe.  Alexander decides to follow up with the missing blonde’s cousin as a last resort and his entire world changes in the blink of an eye.

Cassandra Stone is a creative beauty who refuses to accept the notion that her cousin could be dead.  Even though the world might think her cousin had lost touch with reality, Cassie thought anything was possible.  If her cousin had traveled to the past, Cassie was determined to find out what happened to her.  Alexander’s disbelief wasn’t going to stop Cassie from following her cousin into the past to make sure she was okay. 

After waking up in the seventeenth century, Cassie is overjoyed to meet her cousin.  Her joy quickly turns to fear when she realizes that Alexander followed her and is in serious trouble.  In the present day, Cassie and Alexander didn’t get a chance to explore their attraction, because of Alexander.  Being in the past together gave them the perfect opportunity to be together, if they could survive long enough to return home. 

Alexander’s fate brings him face to face with his idol.  He gets to spend time with his mentor, learning the old ways and also share his modern knowledge.  Before coming to the past, Alexander questioned his ability to change things for the tribe and if he was the right man for the job.  He’d even convinced himself why a relationship with Cassie was off limits. 

Cassie comes to the conclusion that fate didn’t want her to be with Alexander.   At first she thought the trip to the past was about her.  However, after seeing all the positive changes Alexander makes, Cassie changes her mind.  As much as it hurt, Cassie puts aside her feelings and leaves Alexander, which almost turns out to be a fatal disaster.  Alexander intervenes just in time and the couple gets the ending they deserve. 

Dream Weaver unites a couple who mean a lot to the lives of those around them.  Alexander has obligations to his people, and he’s not certain if he’s strong enough to endure everything.  What he does know is that he wants Cassie and she wants him.  Alexander had doubts, but I never doubted for a minute.  I always saw the strength in him and so did everyone around him.   I like Cassie’s character because she is so quirky.  She certainly knows how to improvise and that quality saved her numerous times.  The story has a lot going on, but I know readers will enjoy the twist and turns the author makes.  Every character left me with a lasting impression and readers will agree.

Scent of Salvation

Author: Annie Nicholas
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-748-5
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 07-30-13

When the military tries to take over her research, Dr. Susan Barlow attempts to stop them. She ends up stranded in another dimension. It’s similar to Earth, but without any of the advantages of civilization we take for granted. The biggest shock is the world is filled with all manner of nasty paranormal creatures and there’s not one single human.

Susan’s found by Sorin, the alpha of his pack, and he needs helping fighting the illness killing his people. He takes Susan falling through a blue light in the sky as a sign from the Goddess. He’s convinced she can save his pack but there are others who want her, too. Sorin must fight to keep her at his side but Susan isn’t certain how she can survive on a world alone—as the only human.

Scent of Salvation is the first release in Annie Nicholas’s new paranormal series, Chronicles of Eorthe.

Well, I’m happy to report I’ve found a new author with a great creative flair. She’s taken what could have been a typical werewolf/vampire story and instead turned it on its ear by using an alternate dimension premise. It’s a nice change from what you usually see in the genre and I really enjoyed it. The way she mixed 2lst century scientist Susan into Sorin’s dimension is very well done. Their worlds are very different on the surface but as you’ll see as the story progresses, there’s a common thread with ‘old’ Earth. It’s a well thought-out way to tie the two Earth’s together and I appreciated the author’s use of history to do it. 

But that’s not the only reason I enjoyed this unique story. It’s filled with vivid imagery, has fully developed personalities in Susan and Sorin, there’s plenty of interesting secondary characters and it has a fast pace from start to finish. It’s pretty serious most of the time but it still manages to have a few funny moments that made me smile. I’m anxious to see what happens in the next one. Watch for it.

A Little Bite of Magic

Author: M.J. O'Shea
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-62300-289-3
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Born a witch, Frankie Vallerand has chosen the non-magical career of a chef. Frankie’s skills in the kitchen have gained a number of returning customers. Even the snarky food critic, Addison Allbright, is impressed with the food, as well as with the chef.

A Little Bite of Magic is an introduction to romance story with an insipid plot as well as a somewhat deficient backdrop.  The setting is San Francisco. The storyline is filled with various tempting daily menus. The unrealistic characters are more reminiscent of inquisitive teenagers rather than mature men. Everything involving Frankie’s magic is an accident, including his relationship with Addison.

Addison’s personality is monotonous. Descriptions of what should have been significant events such as discovering Addison’s engagement and interferences from their mothers were not emotionally convincing. The only emotional factor exhibited throughout the story was a small portion of amusement.


Although Frankie and Addison did not engage my interest completely, I did enjoy the list of cuisine options mentioned, along with the tidbits of humor.