Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Disasterology 101

Author: Taylor V. Donavan
Publisher: MLR Press
Publishers URL:
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02013-0115
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Anyone would think that Kevin had everything going for him.  He has a loving wife, three terrific children and, at a time when work is hard to find, a steady paycheck.  But something is missing and, while the divorce was not his choice, Kevin knows it is time for a change.  Now divorced, Kevin plans to life the live he always wanted, that of a gay man.  The only problem is that he has no idea where or how to start.  Then he meets Cedric and his life takes turns he never saw coming.

Diasterology 101 is an outstanding book.  This is a story that centers on two men that normally may not have ever met, yet a chance encounter leaves an impression neither is willing to forget.  From the start, readers will see that this story is going to be something different.  How many stories can you name where the main characters meet in a sex shop back room?  Then there are the men themselves. 

Kevin has known for some time that he was gay but, not wanting to disappoint anyone, he lives a “normal” life.  Years later, after he and his wife divorce, Kevin decides he is going to go after what he’s always wanted.  To say that Kevin is nervous is an understatement.  The moments of confusion and uncertainty, as well as the fear he feels when family and friends find out that he is gay, all come across realistically.  Then there are his reactions to Cedric and the many issues that are attached to having a relationship with the young man.  

Cedric is a young wealthy architect.  While the fact that he is ten years younger than Kevin could, under normal circumstances, be an issue for some, it is his OCD that is the main problem.  As funny as this may sound, this is where Disasterology 101 really shines.  It is clear that the author has spent quite some time researching OCD, as not only does she get the little nuances surrounding the disorder correct, but the problems surrounding medications, side effects, relationships and living issues in general are all very true to form.  Because of Cedric’s OCD, the men’s relationship does not run as smoothly as either man would hope.  I liked that the author went this route rather than making the disorder something that can easily be overcome.  The way the author handles the men’s relationship makes the story believable. 

Disasterology 101 is also full of wonderfully written secondary characters.  Kevin’s kids, especially his youngest, at times steal the scenes.  I loved how understanding they were when Kevin tells them he is gay, and the way Ava reveals that her daddy is gay had me chuckling.  This is a very well-written story.  I was pulled in from the very beginning and could not put the story down.  This is one book I will be re-reading again and again.

The New Wolf

Title: The New Wolf
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher:  Extasy Books
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-77111-636-7
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Cop Connor Vincent thought Black Creek, Vermont was too quiet after working the non-stop crimes scenes in New York. Now Veterinarian Josh Nolan and his lover Connor have more to contend with than a crime scene; Connor was bitten by a rogue wolf.

The New Wolf is the first book in a three author Building the Pack series. Josh and Connor have been lovers for five years. The story illustrates the strong monogamous relationship they have. Connor did not hesitate to move to Black Creek with Josh even though it meant a big change in Connor’s career. The intriguing part of the story touches on the history of the rogue wolf shifter, yet does not elaborate on the other shifters living in the area. The questions of how the building of a pack started and by who is not clearly apparent. There is also some question as to the true identity of the rogue wolf intent on killing everyone he encounters except Josh. There were two encounters yet Josh was not bitten. On the other hand Connor was bitten with the intent to kill him.    

RJ Scott’s The New Wolf is a mystery that ends in a cliffhanger. I look forward to the next installment of this fascinating series.  

Naughty Karma

Author: Vivi Andrews
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-555-9
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Release Date: 10-08-13

Prometheus has a problem. Twenty years ago he made an agreement with a devil and to get the magical power he craved, bargained away his heart—literally.  The contract will soon end and if Prometheus doesn’t want to die, he needs to convince Karma to get it back. That’s harder than it sounds since she thinks he’s dangerous, rude and arrogant.

Helping the manipulative Prometheus is the last thing Karma wants. The warlock’s behavior drives her crazy and helping him retrieve his heart could get her into serious trouble because it’s so risky. Karma’s other problem—she keeps her power under a tight rein but her control is slipping—and it seems Prometheus is the only person who can help her. Can Karma trust him to train her abilities and with her heart?

Naughty Karma is the latest release in Vivi Andrews’ series, Karmic Consultants. It’s possible to read this as a standalone but for a better understanding of the returning characters and the world they inhabit, I recommend reading some of the others first.

Talk about opposites—Ms. Andrews has outdone herself with Prometheus and Karma’s personality development. Prometheus is so arrogant at the beginning; I can understand Karma’s irritation. The man’s was a jerk, yet there’s something about him that’s appealing at the same time. Yet it’s not long before the attraction simmering between him and Karma rises to the surface. That’s the great thing about this plot. Despite the attraction Karma feels for him, you never know if it’s going to work out. There are just too many things occurring in the storyline that could go wrong. Never fear, Ms. Andrews makes it work. 

In addition to two unique primary characters, there’s vivid imagery, and a fast but smooth pace. I love the bantering dialogue between them and its great fun to watch their one-upmanship. I’ve been waiting for a book featuring Karma since the series started and I wasn’t disappointed. This entertaining book is a definite keeper.

Velvet Valentine

Author:  VJ and Sierra Summers
Publisher:   Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:
ISBN/BIN:   9781419945151
Genre:  {M/F/M}, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Derek put aside the BDSM lifestyle once he met Elise, willing to be ‘vanilla’ as long as he was with her.  When Elise finds out, she feels he doesn’t trust her with his past.  Will what happens next break them apart?

Velvet Valentine is the first book in the Velvet Scenes series, taking place at Club Velvet Ice.  There are several levels to the club that require various types of memberships and the third floor is where the very private rooms assigned to the Doms and Dommes are.

The relationship between Elise and Derek is very intense.  Both feel hurt about the rift between them, but Derek isn’t listening to Elise when she wants him to trust her.  Elise decides to take extreme measures with the help of some of his friends.

I admired Elise for the stand she took, even though she wasn’t always sure about things that Derek wanted, which ended up becoming a test for their relationship. Elise was surprised with herself and how much she ended up liking being submissive. 

Once Derek started showing Elise this side of him, he realized how much he missed it.  He realized Elise was right about possibly resenting his life if he kept suppressing his Dom side.

I am looking forward to reading the next one in this series. 

An Unlocked Heart

Author: K.C. Wells
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62380-851-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Two years ago, Leo’s submissive lover was killed in a car accident. Since then he’s done little except work, but when he meets his business partner for their weekly dinner, he’s captivated by the restaurants shy waiter. As a Dom and co-owner of Collars and Cuffs, Leo sees the attractive young man as a challenge—and Leo doesn’t back down from something he wants.

Alex Daniels is desperate to move out of his parents house before they learn he’s gay and he’s working long hours at Severinos restaurant to save money. When he spies Leo across the room he can’t stop staring, but he’s nervous too.  Is it possible for a guy like Leo to be interested in someone like him?

A relationship with Alex is what Leo wants, but he’s uneasy about him learning of the BDSM club. That means keeping him away. Just as Alex begins to discover things about himself that gives Leo hope for a future submissive relationship, the truth of Leo and the club comes out. Can these two get past the lies and half-truths and make a lasting commitment?

An Unlocked Heart is the first release in the new BDSM trilogy, Collars and Cuffs by K.C. Wells. For those a little leery of the BDSM genre, please know that it’s not real heavy into this lifestyle. Yes, Leo and Alex eventually move toward that relationship but at heart, the book is a love story.

This BDSM book is different than others I’ve read. That’s because Leo and Alex start off as lovers, which changes the dynamic of a usual Dom/sub relationship. I guess that’s what makes it seem so real. At the core it’s a love story of two people, both a little wounded, who find the person meant to heal their hearts. And yes, Leo’s firmly into the BDSM lifestyle but for Alex, it’s a tale of self-discovery—of learning what he really wants and finding what makes him happy. And I’m happy to say I believed it all. 

I know, the second chance at love plotline isn’t a new one for a romance novel but Ms. Wells handles our two guys in love very well. I found them believable and I was hooked by the story and all its characters from the very start. The plot flow’s smooth, imagery is vivid, and the personality development’s good. I also can’t forget the sex—it’s sizzling hot. So, I guess that’s it. I hope you give this one a try. Look for the next one. I will.

Protecting His Pride

Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-78184-435-9
Genre: {M/M} Shifter Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Fighting Talan for alpha position is the last thing lion shifter Cesar has on his mind. Cesar would much rather share a tranquil home with his hawk shifter mate, Garret Halcon.

Protecting His Pride is the seventh book in the Supernatural Mates series. In this installment, the plot illustrates the true meaning of leadership. Cesar shares the same alpha traits that Talan has. Both alphas have a sense of fairness, along with a genuine concern for other’s well being. However, Cesar has no desire to be a pride leader. Talan decides to test Cesar’s sincerity by assigning Cesar a potentially dangerous mission; if Cesar succeeds then Talan will welcome him into the pride.  Garret is the head chef in his family’s restaurant. Garret has never been fond of any breed of cats until his mating bond with Cesar overruled Garrett’s cat aversion. Discovering that Cesar loves to cook as well as has some experience working in restaurants makes Garrett and Cesar a perfect match for each other. 

Amber Kell has again created another incredibly enjoyable episode to the series, which is best read in sequence. 

Finding Absolution

Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-413-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date 08-16-13

It’s time for the annual Cattle Valley Days and this time, Quade and Kai have convinced Kai’s surfing coach,  Van Duggins, to accompany them for a visit. Being in landlocked Wyoming isn’t what Van’s used to but he’s willing to give the western celebration a try, not expecting to meet the man who will change his life.

Jon Porter gave up his dream job to return home to care for his ill grandfather and manage the family farm. He works hard all year and the annual Cattle Valley Days is his chance for some fun. Unfortunately, he hooks up with the wrong man on the first day and is rescued by a gorgeous guy whose smile makes him melt. Can two men from vastly different worlds find a way to make a life together?

Finding Absolution is the newest release in Carol Lynne’s long-running Cattle Valley series. I recommend the books be read in order because of the close relationships of the many of the characters.

It’s nice getting to see Hawaiian transplant Quade and his lover Kai again. What makes the return on these two so nice, aside from the fact they’re sweet guys, is that they bring Van to Cattle Valley with them. For a story of this length Van has a pretty well developed personality and an interesting personal history I enjoyed learning about. I like this guy and that he’s so thoughtful and considerate of Jon is a big plus. Then there’s Jon himself. He’s an interesting guy—loving and caring, and I particularly like how Ms. Lynne developed the relationship with his grandfather. It was a nice touch to the story I really liked.

Jon and Van’s relationship starts with a rescue and moves forward quickly. It’s not that I don’t like these two as a couple, because I do, but they get together so fast the instant love is hard to believe. I know it happens over a short period—the Cattle Valley celebration—but there are times I had difficulty feeling their emotional attachment.  

However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the story. I did. I always like getting back to Cattle Valley and seeing the characters I’ve met throughout the series. I look forward to the next release.

Just Lion Around

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-629-9
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Valarius isn’t in Colorado for play, but for serious Pride business.  While he is not thrilled to be the one representing his Pride at a meeting concerning the government’s knowledge of shifters, he is willing to do anything to show his appreciation to his new alpha.  Deciding he needs a break from all the tension he heads to a local bar, hoping to find a quick hook up.  What he doesn’t plan on finding is his mate.

Just Lion Around is the newest story in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This tells the story of Valarius and Brice.  Fans of this series may remember Brice from a previous story and his harsh introduction to the shifter world.  Needless to say, the introduction left Brice with some issues, all of which come into play when he meets Valarius. 

Valarius is thrilled to meet his mate and only wishes it were under different circumstances.  The way in which the author brings these two together is a little harsh and may be a problem for some readers; however it works out well for this story.  I like the connection these two have and the chemistry between them is hot.  I liked that Valarius is conscientious of the problems ahead of him, due to Brice’s previous dealings with shifters.  I did expect Brice to be a little more upset when he finds out about Valarius, but liked the way he kept his head and was able to help his mate.  As you would expect, several past characters show up to give the two men a hand, which they need when members of Valarius’ former pack show up.  

The nineteenth book in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series picks up with the various shifter groups coming together in order to figure out how to deal with the knowledge that the U.S government knows about their existence.  This opens up many new possibilities for the series. I am curious to see not only how the CIA will play into the series but also how the gathering of shifters will change things up.


Title: Hitched
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-507-2
Genre: {M/M} contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When Valentine’s Day rolls around, Jim finally gets up his courage and asks Marcus, his master, to marry him. Marcus says yes and that sets Jim off in a frenzy to plan what he thinks is the perfect wedding. Except all it does is make him stressed and unhappy because he and Marcus aren’t talking about what they really want in a ceremony. These two lovers want to be together but is an elaborate wedding really worth the problems the planning is causing?

Hitched is the latest release in Sean Michael’s ongoing Hammer series. I recommend that you at least read Bent first, where Jim and Marcus get together.

A wedding. It likely brings back memories of hectic weeks of planning for many people and I loved how the author integrated this slice of life into the story. I mean who can’t relate to the stress Jim put himself through. It’s really a great centerpiece to the story watching as these two committed lovers let their relationship suffer. But it doesn’t last long because Marcus is too good a Dom for things to remain out of control. That means communicating with Jim and working through their problems—outside and inside the bedroom. And as usual, it’s sizzling hot. The overall pacing is smooth, it’s nice to see Tanny as he helps Jim with the wedding and the ending is very satisfying. 

My niggle here is that the sex overbalances the rest of the story. So, if you’re fans of the Hammer series or you’re just considering trying a BDSM book, I think this novella is for you. 

The Wicked

Title:  The Wicked
Author:  Thea Harrison
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN/BIN:   978-1-61921-966-3
Genre: {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Sebastian and Olivia are part of a team hired to pack up a magical library that has several rare books that need special handling.  Sebastian is trying to find a way to keep from going blind, as well. 

The latest installment in the Elder Races series, The Wicked, brings some closure to the ongoing saga between Carling and Julian.  The crossing to the Other land, as well as an island, was a different approach than what has been seen in the other stories.

Sebastian is an owl Wyr, slowly losing his sight due to a curse he was given on a previous security job.  Olivia is excited to be one of those packing up the library.  When Sebastian and Olivia meet, it is almost an instant attraction that only grows as they spend time together. 

I really liked most of the secondary characters.  Of course, one has to be the bad guy and I was wondering exactly what his part would be especially since he made no bones about showing his animosity about Sebastian and later Olivia.  I had to laugh at Sebastian’s team though when they realized Sebastian and Olivia were an item.  

Even though I really enjoy reading this series, I would like to see more about the various races and their interactions with each other along with the stories.  Each of these stories can be read alone, though a few have connecting threads. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cowboy Waltz

Title: Cowboy Waltz
Author: Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose Id
Publishers URL:
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-434-7
Genre: {M/M}, Western, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

It’s not easy to get a job working the rodeo when you’re a greenhorn.  Luckily for Booker, Jed’s desperate and doesn’t have a choice. 

Cowboy Waltz is an interesting new story by author Cameron Dane.  This is a story that centers around two young men; one just starting out on his own, another wise to the world around him, especially the rodeo.  The characters and story are well-written and will pull the reader in.  As the story covers a period of several years, the author does a good job building the friendship between the two men.  As the story starts, only Booker is gay.  His fear of how others, especially Jed, will react means he stays in the closet. His eagerness to learn makes him easy to like and readers will not be able to help rooting for him.

Jed, on the other hand, is a hard working cowboy who has been working the rodeo circuit for some time.  While he is not always happy with his boss, he loves the freedom and responsibility his job gives him.   He’s also straight, which makes him wonder why he keeps having fantasies about his young co-worker.  Jed is a not as easy going as Booker and, while readers are sure to like this character, he does have a lot of rough spots. 

Cowboy Waltz is divided into three parts and each covers an important part of the men’s relationship.  For me, the first two parts, at times, moved a little slow.  It was not that I did not find the story interesting; I just wished things would move a little faster.  It was the last part of this story that really shines, however.  All the angst and emotions that Booker and Jed bring out in each other comes across so strongly that sometimes I was close to tears.   I really did not see this story ending well and was ready to be upset but the author does not disappoint.  Fans of Cameron Dane really should not miss this story, as it is very well done. 

Fight or Flight

Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL:
BIN: 06470-02080
Genre: M/M Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Sometimes life’s events change who and what we are. Vampire Eric Salvatore expects to be rejected by everyone he meets, so it came as a welcome surprise when wolf shifter Daniel Hughes not only accepted Eric, Daniel also proclaimed Eric is his mate. 

Fight or Flight is fourth book in the Dark Reign series. In this episode, the plot illustrates a fight of justifiable revenge, revealed secrets and discovering a life mate. Daniel is not into casual sex, yet there is something very appealing about Eric. After the night of intimacy Daniel and Eric shared, Daniel realized that Eric was his mate. Eric is seeking emotional peace from the burdens of his haunting past; this can only be achieved by killing his enemies. Bonding with Daniel, Eric comprehended that his battles became Daniel’s battles also. Even the burden of Eric’s secret would be shared by Daniel. 

Mychael Black has created a wonderful, as well as enjoyable, installment to this series. I found Eric to be an especially impressive character.

Stockholm Syndrome

Author: Sage Marlow
Publisher: Total E-Bound Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-416-8
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Mystery
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dan knows his boss isn’t very happy with him after the way his last assignment turned out.  Knowing he’s on the shit list, Dan goes into his new job planning on keeping his nose clean and doing the best job possible.  What he doesn’t expect is to be so drawn to the Hollywood hot shot he’s assigned to protect.

Stockholm Syndrome is the newest book by author Sage Marlow.  The blurb posted on the publisher’s website really caught my attention and I was anxious to get my hands on it.  While the premise is a good one, the book was far from being a favorite. 

For me, the characters were hard to like.  Dan is a bodyguard used to guarding politicians and other high profile individuals.  That being the case, you would figure he was very good at his job, yet several times during the course of this story he came across as weak in his profession and I could not believe how side-tracked he became at times.  There is also the matter of his last assignment.  During the course of this story, Dan’s last assignment, or actually the fact that something went wrong, comes into play numerous times, yet we never find out what happened or why it was so important to the way Dan behaves.

Then there is BryanBryan is a Hollywood rising star, who is up for an Academy Award at the young age of 25.  You would expect him to be a little self-centered and, in that regard, the readers are not going to be disappointed.  Readers will also not be surprised by the fact that Bryan seems unconcerned about the letters that have his agent worried.  It is the reason why he is not worried that will surprise the readers instead.  Even with his faults, Bryan, at least in the beginning, was easy to like.  Yet there is one scene, as the story is coming to an end, which, for me, totally turned that feeling around.  I was shocked by the young man’s behavior and was surprised that his behavior, both in the past and present, did not result in tougher consequences.

One of the things I look for in a romance is the connection between the main characters. A strong connection between the love interests is what, for me, makes the story believable.  I had a hard time seeing that connection between the characters in Stockholm Syndrome.  While it was easy to see the lust, the friendship, let alone love, was harder to see.  While I really wanted to like this story, I found myself more disappointed instead.

This Is Who I Am

Title:  This Is Who I Am  
Author:  Cherise Sinclair
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-148-3 
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Sam knows he messed up with Linda when she was rescued from the slavers, but he can’t figure out how.  Linda is trying to get her life back, but realizes she is a masochist and needs Sam because she feels safe with him.

The latest in the Masters of the Shadowlands series, This Is Who I Am, takes a serious look at some of the questioning that comes from realizing you need something most people don’t like, mainly pain, and finally accepting yourself. Readers that have followed this series have been waiting for Master Sam’s story and Ms. Sinclair does not disappoint.

There is a difference between actual abuse and consensual floggings, whippings or canings.  The difference is very clear in this story, but that doesn’t change the possibility that this story may cause triggers to be tripped in some readers.  The creative way Sam used these implements was wonderful and he was very careful to make sure Linda knew it was him and that she had the power to stop him anytime.

Once Linda and Sam get together, the two burn the pages up.  Sam is so caring and shows Linda what she had been missing.  Sam is so protective that Linda starts to feel safe, and with the help of friends and therapy was able to work through a lot of what happened to her.  Ms. Sinclair also did not shy away from issues with triggers and showed how a great Dom can help a sub work through some of them, and Linda had a lot.

Most of the secondary characters were from previous books and I really liked how they all pulled together to help Linda, as well as Sam.  Even though, we know that there was still one of the bad guys around the club, we got to know him a little more.  I loved the surprising way Sam settled an issue and Mistress Anne’s additional touch.

While readers can read This Is Who I Am by itself, the subplot in this story actually started with Make Me, Sir and To Command and Collar. This Is Who I Am finishes up this particular thread.  To get the most of this series, I recommend it be read in order, and I, for one, can’t wait for future stories

Note: This book contains strong but consensual sadistic elements that may be uncomfortable for some readers.

White Bone, Red Sky

Author: Evelyn Shepherd
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-62300-395-1
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The myth of the Bogeyman becomes all too real for the children in Columbus, Ohio. Detectives Theo Bourne and Carlos Ramirez are assigned to the case moments after their return airplane touched down from a much needed vacation.

White Bone, Red Sky is the fourth book in the Theo Bourne series. The plot is a thrilling murder mystery with a touch of romance. The characters are engaging. In this episode, Theo Bourne, who is a powerful phantom, is in over his head. Theo has begun to have misgivings about his power, as well as his humanity. Theo has never encountered an unknown species like the bogeyman before. The deranged serial killer is so powerful, Theo requires more help than his lover Carlos can provide. Carlos is not only Theo’s crime fighting partner, he has the ability to calmly balance out Theo’s loss of control. Meanwhile, the child murderer is not the only psycho Theo and Carlos must contend with. Carlos has been targeted for eradication by a power hungry coyote shifter. 

Evelyn Shepherd has created an intense saga that keeps the reader hanging on the edge of their chair with non-stop action. I thoroughly enjoyed this installment to the Theo Bourne series.