Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Renew

Title: Renew
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-492-1
Genre: {M/M} BDSM Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Everyone has problems and sharing them with the person you love always makes the fear, pain and uncertainty you’re going through easier. When Jeremy, Jim and Montana each experience a personal crisis, they try to handle it themselves which is the worst thing they can do. When Marcus, Billy and Simon learn their partners are in trouble, they’re determined to help anyway they can. Later all three couple meet up at the Hammer and it’s all about telling what’s happening in their lives and how they’ve successfully resolved their problems.

Renew is the latest release in the Hammer series by Sean Michaels. Because of the established relationships, you should read the books related to these couples first.

I’ve been a fan of the Hammer books since they started and these three couples, in particular, are my favorites. Be aware that the ‘book’ is really a series of short stories pulled together with the common thread of totally trusting your partner. Each story is unique, has good imagery and pacing and shows how each couple cares for one another. The other section of the story is where all the couples come together at the Hammer to reconnect and share what’s been going in their lives. This feature really makes the whole piece unified but don’t expect any external conflict. If you’re a Hammer fan, you’ll enjoy this entertaining look into the lives of some of my favorite men.

Shades of Moonlight

Title:    Shades of Moonlight  
Author:   Stephanie Julian
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419946561
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Mara is attracted to Race, but knows she will have to leave because the Mal will be looking for her and her son.  Race also knows there is something special about her son, so he wants them close so he can protect them.

The sixth book in the Lucani Lovers series, Shades of Moonlight, has some interesting twists that are going to make this series much more intense.  Be aware that some of what is going on ties into Ms. Julian’s The Lost Goddesses series. 

Quite a few old characters show up to help out.  Several new characters were introduced that are going to have a profound effect on the Lucani and other races that are tied to them.  The Mal, which are the enemy of the Lucani, seem to have a few surprises up their sleeve.  I was surprised by some of the revelations that were made about them, especially as they had a direct bearing on this story.

Mara and Race, despite having communication problems, have great chemistry. Race always seems to be in control, but Mara brings out his vulnerable   side.  I had to laugh at Mara’s reaction to Race caring for her son.  I loved the scene with the bear and squirrels as well. 

While a lot of the stories can be read alone, this series should be read in order to get the most out of it, especially with the new subplot.

The Leopard Who Changed His Spots

Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-618-3
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Everyone knows that Leopards are crazy.  For Toby that’s just one more reason why he can’t have a normal life.  For some reason, Hale hasn’t gotten the message and he can’t seem to stop watching the assassin every chance he gets.  When Toby finally acknowledges him, neither man’s lives will be the same.

I was so glad to see that The Leopard Who Changed His Spots was going to be the next release in the Wayne County Wolves series.  Ever since finding out that Toby was Shane’s younger brother, I have being waiting to see what would happen.  While nowhere near as crazy as Shane, Toby is definitely the older assassin’s brother.  I loved watching these two get to know each other and their first meeting goes just as fans would expect.  The snarkiness that these two bring out in each other will have readers laughing and wait until you get to the bar scene.  I felt so bad for the poor mouse shifter. 

But this is not the story of two brothers; instead it is the tale of an assassin and a young beagle shifter.  Hale is an innocent in many ways, but he is also the perfect match for the jaded assassin.  I liked the connection between Hale and Toby.  Although it took some time for the two to come together, each man was aware of the other.  It is only after Hale sees Toby in need of some attention that they go from strangers to something much more.   These two are hot and seeing Hale step up to defend Toby to his friends was wonderful.   

There is some action in this story, especially when the assassins go up against spider assassin, Razor.  These scenes are well done.  The action comes across strongly, and I loved the way the author makes them seem so realistic.  Their battle with Razor also sets up the next story in this series. 

Fans of this author are sure to love this newest story and The Leopard Who Changed His Spots will sure to become a fan favorite. 

Changeless

Title: Changeless
Author: Cherie Noel
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0106
Genre:  {M/M} Interracial
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs 
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Sean Taliaferro Allen and Calvin Abelin shared a common bond, not just in friendship but also in life’s events. Nevertheless, through all the changes they endured, their special connection remained strong.

Changeless is part of the Mixed Tape Series Volume 4. The plot illustrates the trust and support of true friendship as well as the different cultural perceptions. The characters are credible. Sean is burdened with the double-edged sword of being black and gay. Sean’s race is not acceptable by some in the predominately white small town. Sean’s sexually is not acceptable by the general black culture, especially by his one remaining family member. Calvin’s sexually is accepted by his family, particularly his younger brother. Life changing events separate Sean and Calvin for years, yet they never completely lost touch with each other.      

Cherie Noel has created a fascinating as well as very enjoyable saga exemplifying realistic social predicaments that are still a crisis in the world today. 

Can't Let Go

Title: Can't Let Go
Author: CR Guiliano
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0105
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Living together is not enough for Kanson Durby. Tired of being Ty Hoffman’s dirty little secret, Kanson decides it’s time to move on.

Can't Let Go is part of the Mixed Tape Series Volume 4. The plot highlights rejection, the emotional rollercoaster of a relationship and the courage needed to go after what your heart truly desires.  Kanson was rejected by his homophobic parents; he was not even allowed to see his siblings. Kanson survived his parent’s rebuff, but dreaded Ty’s reaction to his news. Ty also dealt with parental rejection but for a different reason. Ty was pleased when he discovered Kanson was gay, yet Ty was not brave enough to come out of the closet himself without being forced. 

CR Guiliano has created an emotional as well as an enjoyably heartrending short story.    

Nothing's Going...

Author: Pelaam
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0104
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Words have the power to hurt or to heal. Cam had already experience the hurt with a former lover. But with Kent’s caring words, along with his affectionate physical contact, Cam could feel the healing effects of true love.

Nothing's Going to Change My Love For You is part of the Mixed Tape Series Volume 4. The plot exhibits two average working men who meet through a mutual friend. Kent is a romantic; everything he does is to show Cam how much he is loved. Cam is slowly beginning to cast off his fears of a past relationship. Living together, Kent and Cam’s relationship has developed into a wonderful reflection of trust as well as consideration for each other which is fully expressed during their intimate interludes. 

Pelaam has created a superb short story that I thoroughly enjoyed.   

Running Up That Hill

Author: Barry Brennessel
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0102
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Discovering a mutual attraction with co-worker Adam Fleuren, Jeremy Saura is encouraged by the lyrics of a song to demonstrate that his sexuality is only a part of who he is as a person.

Running Up That Hill is part of the Mixed Tape Series Volume 4. The plot focuses more on the song rather than the characters. The characters are  somewhat sedate. Both Jeremy and Adam hide their sexuality from their families, as well as their co-workers, which is understandable given the attitudes of some people. However, there is very little else known regarding the personalities of the characters illustrated.  Running Up That Hill did exhibit the incentive music can generate in the human spirit.   

Barry Brennessel has created an interesting short story devoid of convincing emotional components, yet still enjoyable.       

Subtle Innuendos

Author: Z. Allora
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0107
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Budding musicians Matt Evan and Chad Devon discovered early that the road to success is filled with many pitfalls. Sex, drugs and greedy managers were all too accessible to the young talented naive Matt and Chad

Subtle Innuendos is part of the Mixed Tape Series Volume 4. The poignant plot highlights the emotional cost of fame. The characters are appealing, as well as believable. It was their enthusiastic interest in music that first attracted Matt and Chad to each other. Matt and Chad’s friendship evolved into a mutual love that lasted a lifetime even though they spent years apart. Music, along with fond memories, re-ignited their love that had refused to die.  

Z. Allora has created an incredibly moving short story that I enjoyed immensely. 

True Colors

Title: True Colors
Author: Jambrea Jo Jones
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0101
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Psychologist Chad Simpson is a caregiver to everyone but himself. Chad has lived so deep in the closet, it takes the fear of losing his best friend and secret love Jared Knight to drag Chad into accepting his own sexuality.

True Colors is part of Mixed Tape Series Volume 4. The plot illustrates two compassionate men who are secretly in love with each other.  Chad is a thirty year old coward, he spends every waking moment stressing over pleasing everyone, clients, co-workers, parents as well as society in general. Just the thought of someone discovering he is gay sends Chad into an anxiety attack. Openly gay, Jared has waited years for Chad to vacate his self-imposed prison. Jared is more than ready to move from friendship to lovers if he can find a way to break down the wall surrounding Chad. 

Jambrea Jo Jones has created an exceptionally enjoyable short story with fascinating characters. Chad is wonderfully exasperating and Jared is a long-suffering kindhearted true friend. 

Spring Leaves

Authors:  A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781614959588
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When it’s rumored the remains of a missing woman might be buried near the bridge made famous by Bonnie and Clyde, Jubilee, Nicholas and Sean join several FBI agents on the search. The hunt for her remains isn’t what they think. When bones are found, it leads to a revelation none of them expects.

Jubilee and Kiernan are still having trouble with their adoption of Juan. Nothing they do matters—and actually things only keep getting worse.  Then suddenly Kiernan and Nicholas are sent off to Canada to join in an investigation with the RCMP, leaving heartsick loved ones behind. Jubilee has to continue his attempts to adopt his son without Kiernan, hoping his family will one day be complete. But will it?

Springs Leaves is the newest release in the Orgasmic Texas Dawn series. Due to the ongoing storyline and recurring characters, I recommend the books be read in order.

I like this installment but it has parts I found sad. The changes going on in the lives of Jubilee and Kiernan regarding Juan’s stalled adoption are heart-wrenching. It’s a desperate situation no parent should be placed in and it’s handled with care.

The authors continue to juggle all the characters well, juggling their lives and the various plot threads, weaving them all together into a cohesive whole. I enjoyed seeing a little of Nigel, and that Trace got to play a more prominent role—action and romance wise. And then there’s Marco. He’s maturing nicely and I hope to see him become a focus later in the series. 

As expected there’s action and danger in the Marshall’s investigations but for me they were resolved a little quickly to be believable. Look for Turmoil coming next.