Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Try the Tofu

Title: Try the Tofu
Author: Karenna Colcroft
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0123
Genre: {M/M} Werewolves Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Hierarchy and protocol is serious business among werewolf packs, especially when they are attending the regional Alpha conference. For this reason Alpha Tobias Rogan is inclined to leave his outspoken mate, Kyle Slidell, at home. However, trouble is brewing and Tobias knows he needs the added support Kyle can provide him.

Try the Tofu is part of the Real Werewolves Don't Eat Meat series. The series’ various installments meander between gay and heterosexual genre but with enough background information to understand the events that occurred in the previous book. Excluding holiday additions, Try the Tofu is the fourth M/M book in the series. In this episode, there is a change in the leadership hierarchy. The plot features werewolf battles that were foretold by the gifted members in Tobias’ pack.

Tobias and Kyle are struggling to make their relationship work. The only time Kyle and Tobias seem to be compatible is during intimacy. Both men claim to love each other. However; disagreement on most subjects is common with them, so I was not convinced of a loving relationship between them. The true source of disturbances within all of the regional packs is an unexpected culprit. 

In spite of the recurring dialog, as well as a gloomy storyline, Karenna Colcroft has created an interesting saga. I did enjoy the unsolved mystery premise. 

Northman’s Pleasure

Author:  Kate Hill
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
ISBN/BIN:  9781419947216
Genre:  {M/F} Historical
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Being the daughter of a king hadn’t protected Asgerd from the nightmare she’s stuck in.  She’d been taken by a most disgusting oaf who treated her no better than a slave.  Her body had been ravished but her spirit wasn’t completely broken.  Asgerd still had a longing for the most handsome and fiercest warriors alive that no amount of suffering could kill.  Grim never seemed interested in her before, so there could be no way he’d want her now that she was damaged goods.

Grim Hammerhand has the looks of a god and stamina of a shape-shifter.  He’s been on the battlefield since the age of thirteen.  Men and women kept their distance from Grim, and that’s why the king knew Grim was the only choice for getting Asgerd back alive.  Grim cared only for his reputation as a warrior, not for what people thought of him.  Only one person mattered to him and that was Asgerd.

The king had offered Asgerd to Grim but he refused.  Grim had never wanted to marry but Asgerd was in his heart so he couldn’t resist his chance to finally be with her.  Asgerd agrees to marriage but she’s unhappy with how Grim treats her.  Asgerd doesn’t understand why Grim doesn’t have more trust in her and Grim doesn’t understand why Asgerd won’t accept that she has to earn his trust.  Up until this point he has given her more of himself than he ever has to another woman.  As far as Grim is concerned, that should be enough.  Asgerd is quick to let him know that she won’t stand to be treated like a servant in her own home and this causes some very heated moments between the couple.

Asgerd and Grim have both had secret crushes on each other for the longest time.  Grim was afraid of getting close to any woman because he didn’t trust them.  He never wanted to let a woman control him with sex or because he was heads over heels in love.  Asgerd was the only person who snuck into his heart and he didn’t like the feeling of not being in control.  This can all be blamed on Grim’s mother.  After learning about the upbringing Grim had, I’m amazed he turned out as well has he did.  Grim will most likely always find it difficult to let himself care for others and to let others care for him.  Asgerd is angered because she thinks that Grim only married her out of pity.  He’d done nothing but laid down the law telling her how things were going to be.  All she wanted was for him to accept her as her wife.  He had no problems sharing with her in the bedroom, but when it came to matters of the heart, Grim was selfish.  

Northman’s Pleasure is another reminder of how skilled Kate Hill is at creating characters with such meaningful history that you can’t help but love them. Everyone has flaws, but their flaws made me feel closer to them.  Grim and Asgerd do not disappoint, because they both brought heat to the pages.   As much as I loved Grim and Asgerd, I think Grim’s cousin Thorkel was my absolute favorite and I would love to read more about this clumsy warrior and what makes him the way he is.  If you haven’t read a Kate Hill story before, you are missing out.  This book will draw you into her world and you won’t want to leave.

Feel the Heat

Title:  Feel the Heat
Author:  Desiree Holt
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419945229
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lauren has a stalker, but tries to keep out of the media spotlight.  In addition to her web design business, Lauren is a psychic healer.  Troy is visiting one of his partners in Phoenix and is asked to check out Lauren’s place to make sure she is safe. 

The fifth book in the Phoenix Agency series, Feel the Heat, is about the last partner in the Agency and is just as intense as the first four stories.  There is a lot of interaction with the partners and a couple of other people that keep showing up, helping with missions.

Troy and Lauren seem to have instant chemistry, but Lauren doesn’t trust easily due to the reaction of both her family, and the men she dates about her gift of healing.  She is surprised by Troy’s acceptance, but learns that the other partners have wives with their own gifts.  She feels accepted for once in her life.  I loved how the two of them interacted with each other.  I loved the scene with the bath after she did the healing for Carl.  The romantic gesture was fantastic. 

I did not like some of the secondary characters and could not believe how manipulative Kurt Olberman was.  I was surprised at one of the decisions regarding him made by Phoenix, but I understand why it was made. 

I hope that Ms. Holt will have a least two more stories about a couple of characters that help Phoenix when needed.  I recommend that the Phoenix Agency series be read in order, though the stories can be read alone.  

A Marrying Man

Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925031-25-6
Genre: {M/M} Comedy Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs 
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Everyone can see the mutual attraction between Blaine McKlintock and Spencer Cassidy, except Blaine and Spencer.  However, Blaine is not the only one who can conjure up a wager. Requested to work together as wedding planners, Blaine and Spencer discover that payback can be most rewarding.

A Marrying Man is the sequel to A Betting Man. The key feature of the plot is sexual labels is not a concern, love is love regardless of the sexual pairings. Kent and Terry are ready to take the marriage plunge, so it is only natural to ask their best friends to stand with them as best men. Blaine is Kent’s best friend as well as Spencer is Terry’s best friend. The problem for Blaine and Spencer is not the planning of a wedding, but whether they can work together without conflict between them. Blaine feels guilty for causing a rift between Kent and Terry, while Spencer is still holding a tiny feeling of resentment regarding Blaine’s part in the rift. Blaine has secretly desired Spencer for years; what Blaine did not realize is that Spencer was also attracted to Blaine during their long ago chance meeting. The storyline reflects the misconceptions along with the revelations each man has about the other.

Sandrine Gasq-Dion has created a superbly uplifting entertaining saga. The secondary characters contribute a down-to-earth quality to A Marrying Man. Each character has minuscule flaws that I found humorous as well as endearing. I particularly enjoyed Blaine’s mother.  

Rogue Of The Isles

Author:  Cynthia Breeding
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61921-545-0
Genre:  {M/F} Historical
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Marissa Barclay has been looking forward to her season to be introduced into society. This was her only chance to find a husband who was a true gentleman.  Mari didn’t want to go through the horror that her sister had in her first marriage.  With her sister being pregnant, Mari’s plans were being ruined.   Now she was being saddled with the most irritating chaperone alive, her brother-in-law.

Jamie MacLeod was suppose to be watching his brother’s estates and keeping an eye on Mari, as well.  Any other female would appreciate his protection and swoon at his feet, but not Mari.  She is more stubborn than a mule and disobeys Jamie every chance she gets.  But Mari’s anger doesn’t mask her attraction to him and Jamie loves pointing this out. 

Mari and Jamie share some heated arguments and embraces.  When a past enemy resurfaces, it becomes a matter of life and death.  Jamie comes to Mari’s rescue just in time, and Mari is faced with a truth she can’t deny.  She wants Jamie.

Rogue of the Isles is the second book in the Rogue series, but it doesn’t take a backseat.  I was glad that Cynthia Breeding brought this couple together because I love a couple that argues.  Jamie is a man who knows his appeal to women and he can’t seem to understand why Mari isn’t panting after him.  Mari is secretly panting after Jamie, but I love the fact that she’s smart enough to not let him know.  She is the kind of woman who has her own mind and isn’t afraid to use it.  My favorite scene involved Jamie throwing Mari over his shoulder.  She’d pushed him too far and he meant to let her know.  The fallout from that scene really hurt Mari and even though Jamie didn’t think it was a big deal, he went the extra mile to correct the situation just so Mari could be happy. I was so touched I actually sighed.  If you love a highlander with heart, I beg of you, pick up this story and enjoy.