Friday, October 18, 2013

Sins of the Fathers

Author: Edward Kendrick
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com/
ISBN: 9781622320691
Genre: {M/M} Crime Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Trusting the wrong person could be fatal, especially for Mark Collins when he allows his curiosity to lead him onto a path littered with organized crime bosses.

Sins of the Fathers is a fascinating police drama with captivating characters. Set in New York, Mark is a former small town Episcopalian priest who believes what people tell him. Quite by accident, Mark becomes a magazine fashion model. Being an honest man himself, Mark does not recognize deception in others right away. Then there is Angelo and Paul; both show an interest in Mark but for very different reasons. Neither Paul nor Angelo is who they appear to be. It is only after Mark is almost fatally wounded, along with being taken into the witness protection program, that Mark begins to understand the full extent of danger to his life. 

Edward Kendrick has created an intriguing enjoyable saga blended with apprehension, action, international ties, as well as a touch of romance. I purposely did not name Mark’s love interest; I will leave that tidbit for other readers to discover.   

Ali's Intuition

Author: K-lee Klein
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0138
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The moment the stranger fell through the door, Ali knew this was not his spirit mate. The Kalo impersonator quickly realized that Ali was a powerful witch who when infuriated, turned people into barnyard animals.

Ali's Intuition is the second book in the Family of Misfits Series. The slow pace plot is, to some extent, perplexing. I got the impression the Romanian grandmother is human, yet her grandchildren were born a mixed bag of paranormals, the character’s background is vague. Ali is a male witch with very feminine behavior. Ali is called mama by the male shifters he has given refuge to. Moreover, in Kalo’s Romanian culture Ali would be considered the wife in a union. Ali gives the impression of being self-centered. He rejects Kalo before discovering any of the pertinent information regarding their future bonding.  Kalo is a kindhearted unique wolf shifter, who is also the lead singer in a rock band. 
Kalo’s mixed breed is the main reason he is rejected by Ali.

However, Ali and Kalo are destined to be mated and no matter how hard they try to resist, the predestined connection cannot be ignored by either man. 

Overall, I enjoyed the amusing elements of K-lee Klein’s Ali's Intuition.      

Adding It Up

Title: Adding It Up
Author: Chris Owen and Tory Temple
Publisher: Torquere Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-530-0
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Trey and Deuce love each other and the lives they are making together, yet that does not mean things are flowing smoothly.  Between their dogs, Trey’s daughter, and Holly, Trey’s ex-wife, the two men still have a lot to overcome.

Adding It Up is the sequel to the authors’ By the Numbers story.  This novella picks up with the men, Trey and Deuce, now living together and sharing custody of Trey’s daughter with Holly, Trey’s ex.  It is easy for the readers to see the love and chemistry that continues to exist between the two men.  You want this to go well for them, yet the authors pepper the story with a lot of real life issues.  First there is Lacey, Trey’s young daughter.  This little one is a sweetie and more times than not steals the spotlight.  I love the interaction between her and Deuce and Deuce’s uncertainty about his role in her life is realistic and understandable.  Then there is the ex.  Holly had a lot to overcome in the first story and her anger is understandable, as is Trey’s suspicions when Holly and Deuce begin to form a relationship in Adding It Up 

Adding It Up is a great follow up to the previous story.  It gives the readers a chance to catch up on characters they already know, while at the same time further the men’s story along.  The issues the men face in this newest story lend the book an air of realism.  Because this is a follow up story, it is important to read the first book, By the Numbers, before reading Adding It Up.  

Fire Within

Title: Fire Within
Author:  Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher:  Changeling Press.
Publisher URL:  www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  06584-02118
Genre:  {M/F} Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Despite being a fairy, Reika’s magic does strange things to her dates, including Jax.  What is different is that she happens to be his mate.  Jax is not only a fireman, he is a werewolf and wolves mate for life.

The second book in the Romance in Moonspell series, Fire Within, has some intrigue and a stalker.  Fire Within also happens to be a lighthearted romance even with those suspenseful elements. 

I loved Jax and there was a small difference with the author’s werewolf knowing someone was their mate.  Despite Reika’s mishaps, Jax doesn’t seem to care, which endeared him to me immediately.  Some of the situations they found themselves in were funny and I really liked their reaction when they tried to end the mishaps she had.

Some of the secondary characters were so true to life and the reaction that Jax and Reika had respectively was true as well. The interactions with the firemen were funny, especially when Jax basically told one of them to back off.  I loved the firemen’s reaction when Reika’s best friend showed up with her one time. 

This series does not need to be read in order.  In fact, this book was quite different from the first one and I look forward to seeing how this series progresses.

Wild Magic

Title: Wild Magic
Author: Poppy Dennison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-177-4
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Joseph Anderson has a good life and a job he enjoys. What he doesn’t expect is to get sucked into the world of his boyhood friend, Dominick Levent, a man who disappeared from his life years ago.  But when he finds a dying cougar in the forest who changes into Dom’s sister, his world is turned on its ear. Now he has to locate Dom before the person responsible for his sister’s death can find her two kids.

Dominick’s shocked to get a call from Joseph and devastated by the news of his sister’s death.  He immediately catches a plane for home to be with his nephews, but taking care of them is almost overwhelming. He needs Joseph but not just to care for the boys. Being together opens up feelings he’s kept hidden for years but it means revealing his most carefully hidden secret—he’s a mountain lion shifter.

Wild Magic is the latest release in Poppy Dennison’s Triad series. Since individuals from the other books appear in the later portion of the story, I recommend they be read in order. 

Firstly, if you enjoy shifter books, I recommend you read the previous books in this series. Now, to Wild Magic. I enjoyed it and its well written plot. Even after so many years apart, Joseph and Dom fit together nicely, I just wish there had been a little more time for them to develop their couple relationship. It would have been more realistic. I loved the boys; they are really cute, even if they acted a little older than their stated ages. Character development is nicely done, imagery is good, overall pacing is smooth and the fear-factor believable. I admit the resolution at the end is a little quick but the author manages to wrap all the loose ends up. And she even brings in Gray, Simon and the wolf pack from the other three books.  I liked how Joseph and Dom always consider the welfare of the boys, and I appreciate the details of how they are tied to Riley of Gray and Simon’s pack. I don’t know if more books are planned for this series but I’d like to see more of their world and the people that inhabit it.

Breaking Point

Title:  Breaking Point
Author:   Susan Hayes
Publisher:  Siren BookStrand
Publisher URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62740-538-6
Genre:  {M/F/M|, Suspense, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lexa returns to Sunset Point determined to sell everything, due to her mother’s medical bills.  She feels the whole island abandoned her, not just her father, otherwise why didn’t anyone try to find her?  Beau and Diego remember Lexa from just before she left, but they have always loved her.  When she returns, they are going to make sure she never leaves.

Breaking Point is part the Sunset Point series.  There is intrigue that is carried over from the book Cross Point, part of both the Sunset Point and IAD Agency series. 

Lexa can’t believe the lies her mother told her, especially after she starts remembering her life before leaving Sunset Point.  She also remembers both Beau and Diego and is just as attracted to them now that they have grown to be such handsome men.  Once the three get together, the pages start burning.

Several of the secondary characters are funny, and some will make you uncomfortable.  As the story progressed, I thought the author did a good job tying things together while keeping the bad guy under wraps until almost the end.  The way it ended, wrapping up this story line was fitting, though it was a surprise for me. 

While the Sunset Point series is written by several different authors, I actually want to read the series.  The two books I have read involving Sunset Point are good and I am looking forward to reading more about the island.

The Mountain Man’s Mate

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-662-6
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Jason can’t handle things at home anymore, he heads to his uncle’s for help.  Only Raul isn’t where Jason thought he would be and when Jason does find him, he is not sure how happy Raul will be to see him.  Then there is the big mountain of a man that Jason can’t help but be attracted to.  When secrets come to light, Jason wonders where that leaves him.

With each new book that Ms. Richard’s introduces to the Wolves of Stone Ridge series, the author brings more new characters and situations that keep the readers coming back.  The Mountain Man’s Mate is no exception.  Both main characters are new to the reader.  Jason is Raul’s nephew who shows up in need of help.  I love that the author makes these characters so believable; you can feel Jason’s anxiety as he shows up unexpectedly on his uncle’s doorstep. When you find out why Jason has left home, it is easy to understand why many of the secondary characters become upset. 

Michel is over three hundred years old and came to the States with the original pack alpha.  Currently in hiding, something shifters have to do from time to time, he is used to being alone but it is not something he likes.  Michel is a big man and I love the gentleness he shows Jason as he tries to woe the younger man.  There is a strong connection between the two, and the author brings that out with some intensely passionate scenes. 

The Mountain Man’s Mate, like some of the previous books in the series, centers on a pair, where one of the men is human that does not know about the shifter world that exists around them.  In this story, that person is Jason and the author does a good job keeping the telling fresh.  The way that Jason finds out about shifters is different from what we have seen before and the twist it throws into the sub-plot is sure to cause some important changes.  

In The Mountain Man’s Mate, Ms. Richards clears up one of the long running sub-plots that have existed in this series.  It did leave me wondering just what she has planned for the future books.  At first, I have to admit, I was glad to see the way things played out with the scientists, yet at the same time could not help feeling that the other shoe had yet to fall.  

I find this series a fun read with many wonderful and quirky characters.  While some of the stories have some angst, it is not heavy handed or dark.  There is some crossover between this series and the author’s Kontra’s Menagerie series. While it is not necessary to read them in order, it is strongly recommended.

Moon and Stars

Author: Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-174-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Cooper Nelson was a promising attorney until he was caught in an affair with a married DA. The scandal of his lover’s suicide resulted in Cooper’s disbarment and now he leads a quiet life as a ranch hand. He keeps to himself and on a rare visit to town, bumps into a man from his past--Kelly Freed, who he attended law school with. Kelly’s now running for sheriff and is married to another college friend, who’s dying. There’s little chance of renewing their relationship but Cooper can’t deny his feelings either.

Cooper and Kelly aren’t the only ones with problems.  Calley’s pregnant, has breast cancer, and needs Gable and Flynn to care for her kids. Then there’s Calley’s ex-husband, he might have a legal claim to her kids, but he’s not their father. Kelly’s running for sheriff, so getting involved with him isn’t a good idea, but Cooper can’t stay away either. What will their future hold? Or do they even one?

Moon and Stars is the newest release in Zahra Owens series, Clouds and Rain. I recommend reading the books in order, if you don’t, I’m afraid the relationships might be confusing.

Even though they were involved in law school, fifteen years is a long time for Cooper and Kelly to be apart and still have feelings for each other. Yet, Ms. Owens makes it all seem plausible, despite their conflicted emotions and life circumstances. Truthfully once the all pieces of their back stories are revealed, it’s even more believable. Good job, Ms. Owens. 

The story is well written with a plot that flow smoothly. I really enjoyed Cooper, Kelly, their personality development and getting to know them and the lives they lead. I certainly didn’t expect ranch hand Cooper to be a disbarred attorney. It’s just the first surprise. But don’t expect a lot of action packed twists and turns in this angst filled story—it doesn’t happen. Instead you’ll find a relationship driven tale with lots of people, and plenty of love, pain, fear, uncertainty and hope for the future. Enjoy.

The Omega and the Assassin

Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-666-4
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

The baby spiders are still in the woods leaving Chris and other shifters worried about what will happen should they run into humans.  Sending out his best tracker is the only choice the alpha has, so he sends the omega off with one of his new assassins.  Little does he know what he has set in motion for these two strong men. 

The Omega and the Assassin is the seventh book in the Wayne County Wolves series by author Stephani Hecht.  This story picks up after the episode with Razor and the wolf pack is still cleaning up the mess.  To get the job done, Chris, the pack alpha, sends two of his men out with a team to track down the missing spiders.  Finn and Simon are different in many ways but that only makes their attraction to each other that much stronger.  Finn is an omega, yet he is unlike any other omega, with the acceptation of his twin.  Not only does Finn have a strong sense of smell, but he can fight as well as any warrior out there. Simon is tough and intimidating, just what you would expect of a tiger shifter and assassin.  They play off each other perfectly, as both have a bit of a snarky attitude.  This of course means there will be some great one liners tossed out by both of them. 

Once these two get past the introductionary period, the chemistry between them is easy to see.   Like the other stories in this series, as well as its sister series, The Lost Shifters, the mate pull is strong between Simon and Finn.  The passion that exists between them really heats up the pages.  While everything should be wonderful, they do run into conflict.  

When Finn’s older brother speaks out against the men’s relationship, it is easy to understand his action.  It is the secondary characters and side issues that help make this series believeable.  While some of these stories can be read on their own, the continuing story line, and even the strong crossover with The Lost Shifters, makes it a strong recommendation for reading the stories in order.

Cross Point

Title:  Cross Point
Author:  Laurie Roma
Publisher:  Siren BookStrand
Publisher URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62740-535-5
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Suspense, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Trinity thinks she is retired from IAD, but she keeps getting dragged back by doing favors for her friends and family.  Jackson and Maxwell both fall for her and Trinity finds she can’t choose between them. 

Cross Point, the latest addition in the IAD Agency series, is also part of the Sunset Point series and is an interesting blend and concept of having an island home that caters to luxury and alternate relationships.  Not only are there the usual relationship problems but the suspense, once Trinity gets to Sunset Point, keeps your interest.

I loved Trinity.  She is the typical female agent in IAD with her looks making her very deceptive to people.  She is brash, confident and has a slight venerability that someone has to be very perceptive to see as most people don’t look past the surface.  Both Jackson and Maxwell notice, but the men sometimes forget, then have to apologize for doing so, because it has caused their lady pain.

The three of them have some great chemistry and burn the pages up.  There are some glitches as both men have a problem sharing, but Trinity doesn’t let them get away with trying to one up each other. 

I did have to laugh at some of Trinity’s friends, especially when they show up.  As readers of the IAD Agency series know, every time an agent falls in love, some show up to make sure everything is okay and to help out with any situation they have gotten embroiled in.  I do have to laugh at some of the aftermath with local law enforcement when they find out they are dealing with IAD.  The Chief of Police’s reaction was priceless. 

While readers don’t need to read this series in order, I recommend that it be read in order.  Some references have some direct bearings on some of the stories, but not enough to get a reader lost.  I am looking forward to reading the next one.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bonded Broken

Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78184-477-9
Genre: {M\M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Friln has been with his Thresl mate, Nelrin, for ten years. It’s been a life filled with love and happiness but as Captain of the King’s Guard, they have to deal with danger and intrigue on a daily basis. When a group of diplomats are granted an audience with the King, Friln jumps in front of an assassin and is shot. In the short time that his heart is stopped, the mate-bond with Nelrin is broken. With the loss of his connection to Friln, Nelrin is shattered and he shifts back into this cat form and races away. Out in the forest alone, Nelrin is captured by rogue scientists determined to change the course of the Thresl race. What will Friln do when he recovers and can’t find his missing mate?

Bonded Broken is the new release in Amber Kell’s series The Thresl Chronicles. Due to recurring characters and that it starts shortly after the last book left off, I recommend they be read in order.

I really enjoyed Friln and Nelrin’s story and it’s a nice addition to the series. I liked that they started off as an established couple, only to have circumstances throw a wrench in their relationship. It is a nicely done creative twist in the plot I appreciated. It’s also part of a new direction in the storyline and I can’t wait to see what happens, so I’m anxious for the next book, Duke Betrayed, featuring Duke Hellbur. 

Focusing on a broken mating is a creative way to explain the connection between a human and his thresl mate and how dependent they are on each other. The emotions, whether physical or mental, are nicely expressed. The pacing is smooth, the imagery vivid and I loved the twists and unexpected details that popped up. I admit the last book dragged a bit for me but this one is back on track and racing forward. It’s part of a truly unique and inventive series. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Strength of the Wolf

Author: Kendall McKenna
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0136
Genre: {M/M} Military Shifter Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

True Alpha in the making, Jeremy Wagner is out of control with raging hormones when he meets Marine Major Tim Madison. Thankfully military true alpha Noah is on hand and understands what Jeremy is going through. With Noah’s help, Jeremy learns to control his internal chaos. However, bonding with a mate is a lesson Jeremy and Tim must become skilled at together.

Strength of the Wolf is the second book in the Tameness of the Wolf series. The setting mainly takes place in San Diego, California.  The plot covers a wide range of issues. The characters are credible. Tim is appointed commanding officer of Marine Corps Werewolf Training. Tim’s mission, along with Noah and Lucas, is to fully educate the human marines about werewolf hierarchy, as well as the werewolves’ vulnerabilities to severe injuries. Tim is also dealing with an emotional separation from his younger brother Adam. Tim and his team are required to travel back and forth to combat zones which strain his relationship with Jeremy.
 
Jeremy, who is an architectural intern, was cast out of his pack before he came into his full alpha powers. But, challenging the current alpha is Jeremy’s fate.  Because Tim is in the military, Jeremy’s decision about the future becomes even more difficult. Nevertheless, Jeremy has completed his transition and must fulfill his destiny. 

Kendall McKenna has created another impressive addition to this series that I found intriguing as well as enjoyable. There are scenes of combat action, military jargon plus ample scenes of intimacy between Tim and Jeremy.

Texas Tango

Title: Texas Tango
Author: Cynthia D’Alba
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-888-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date: 11-05-13

Caroline Graham’s spent her professional life as a traveling doctor, never staying more than a few months in one place. When she takes an assignment in the town where her Great-Uncle Angus lives, Caroline breaks her own rule by staying much longer. For the first time in her adult life, she becomes part of the community and makes friends—gets emotionally involved. Then her uncle dies and her beloved grandmother’s poor health gets worse and to make her happy, Caroline tells a huge lie. She engaged.

After his wife died from cancer, Travis Montgomery devoted his life to expanding his ranch and the acreage he needs belongs to Caroline Graham. She can’t sell it to him because of her uncle’s will but if he agrees to a fake wedding, the land he needs will be his. The only problem—his heart gets involved.

Texas Tango is the newest release in Cynthia D’Alba’s Texas Montgomery Mavericks series.  Reading the books in order would give a better understanding of the Montgomery family, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the story. It can be read as a standalone.

What an entertaining read! I admit the fake wedding premise isn’t exactly original but because of the creative details, I didn’t care. I know it’s a crazy thing to do, but in the case of Caroline trying to make her grandmother happy, I could see it happening. Please be aware that it’s not an action packed story. It’s a smooth flowing romance with vivid imagery, good personality development, an interesting locale and plenty of angst. Caroline and Travis have had lots of emotional hurt in their past and both are filled with uncertainty. Ms. D’Alba did a nice job expressing their feelings and making them and their reactions believable. 

There are plenty of secondary characters, but I really enjoyed the addition of Noah, Caroline’s little brother. He really rocked the boat in a few spots and I can’t imagine the second half of the book without him. For those of you interested in the physical side of Travis and Caroline’s relationship—never fear, it’s smoking hot. So, if you like well plotted and written romances with lots of emotions and family, then I suggest you give Texas Tango a try. I look forward to the next release. 

Learning To Live

Author: Diana DeRicci
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0140
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Avery Storey discovered good neighbors go a long way to make you feel welcome. Particularly since one of the good neighbors happens to be handyman AJ Fischer.

Learning To Live is the first book in the Arbor Heights Series. The plot is an emotional story of new beginnings. The characters are realistic, as well as engaging. Avery and AJ have a bank teller/customer association with underlining lover desirability between them. When Avery bought his first house, he did not realize AJ lived across the street. However, it was opportune for Avery that AJ lived close and was available to repair a kitchen disaster. Avery is an intelligent young man who does extremely well in his job, but he has trouble in non-work social settings. Being in a crowd of people causes Avery to have panic attacks. AJ has difficulties with too much of an age difference in a relationship. The budding romance between Avery and AJ was progressing towards a relationship until AJ had an age bracket panic attack causing heartbreak, jealousy, feelings of remorse along with feelings of rejection. 

Diana DeRicci has created a fantastic saga that I enjoyed immensely. The characters reminded me of real people I once knew. I look forward to the next installment to this series. 

In MIB Custody

Title:  In MIB Custody
Author:  Tonya Ramagos
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62740-049-7
Genre:  {M/F/M}, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lowell had arrested Danica’s father and she resented him for it for years.  Lately she has been having conversations with Zane and suddenly having dreams of the two men.  What is she going to do when she finds out Lowell and Zane are partners with the FBI?

In MIB Custody, the sixth book in The Service Club series, was an intense emotional journey for Danica and the two men.  I loved the title and thought it was funny when Danica used the ‘Men In Black’ statement when she dubs Lowell and Zane that. 

Danica has used her friendship with members of The Service Club for research material for her books. Several men tell Lowell and Zane that some of them were quite uncomfortable, but all of them have read her books and acknowledge she has quite the imagination.

Once Danica gets over the fact that she has been set up after Lowell and Zane arrive at a party she was invited to, things really heat up, especially when a truce is called between Danica and Lowell.  I was a little troubled by the safe word chosen, and the fact that Danica felt she had no choice but to submit to the men under the circumstances.  I felt their issues should have been settled first as communication is one of the important things within a BDSM relationship.

Most of the conflict in the story is between the three.  Based on past history, it was understandable that Danica felt they would be leaving and she did not want to force them to leave the FBI.  I did like the fact that she figured out what she wanted and then went after it.

The possibilities with this series are endless and I am looking forward to the next book.  I recommend readers read the series in order.

Brownies

Title: Brownies
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: none listed
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

With their masters out for the day, Tanny and Jim decide that baking several kinds of brownies is the perfect way to spend their time. Except they didn’t count on making such a mess because when Marcus and Billy return, there’s chocolate everywhere and the kitchen’s a disaster. What will Tanny and Jim’s punishment be and how much will they like it?

Brownies is part of the Hammer world and was originally published in the Pour Some Sugar On It anthology. Knowing the relationships of these two couples isn’t necessary, so it can be considered a standalone.

How can two subs getting into trouble with brownies and a chocolate mess not make you smile? That’s exactly what happens with this short featuring Tanny, Jim and too much experimental baking. It’s a good day between two friends and they even have a laugh filled food-fight in the midst of all the baking. It’s a creative and unexpected window into their lives and made for a pleasant read. 

A good portion of the short focuses on the brownies and it’s fun and lighthearted before turning hot and sizzling. And yes there chocolate here too. But never fear it has a smooth pace, good imagery and Tanny and Billy provide a good soundtrack in the background. Brownies made me remember why I like these two couples so much. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Bear Hugs

Title:  Bear Hugs
Author:  Margaret L Carter
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419946684
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Rubenesque
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Beorn is under a spell and wants to use Terri to break it.  Terri has had rotten luck in the past with men and isn’t sure that this is the same, especially since Beorn did not get in touch with her after the last Renaissance Faire.

Bear Hugs reminds me very much of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  While there is a very distinct twist to this one, I could not help comparing this story to that one.  And for Harry Potter fans, there is something for them as well.

One of the twists the author had was the reason that Beorn was under a spell.  I can understand some of the punishment, but in this case there is also a time limit that must be met.  Things do no go smoothly for our couple, especially since there seems to be some additional undercurrents at play.

I can understand Terri’s feelings when Beorn did not contact her after they met at the previous Faire.  I like Terri’s character.  She is a strong woman that is true to herself, even though her feelings are hurt by some of her family’s and past dates’ attitude.  She also makes it clear that she is not a push-over when she reunites with Beorn.  She was surprised when she could not go back home after spending the night at Beorn’s.    

This is a fast-paced story that is an entertaining adult twist on a familiar tale. 

Cast Off

Title: Cast Off
Author: KC Burn
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-130-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Rick Haviland doesn’t do relationships. Ever.  He has close friends, but his painful past keeps him from letting any guy become more than a casual hook-up. Then he meets Ian O’Donnell and all his rules go flying right out the window.

Ian’s hidden the secret of his sexual orientation from his Catholic family since he was a teenager and he’s tired of it. He wants someone special of his own and when he meets Rick, their attraction is sizzling. It doesn’t take long and Ian’s out of the closet, Rick is breaking his own rules and they’re in a relationship, of sorts. Someone isn’t happy about it and that person is waiting, watching and willing to expose secrets to keep them apart. Will it work or not?

Cast Off is the newest release in KC Burn’s series, Toronto Tales. It’s possible to read as a standalone but due to the recurring characters, I suggest reading in order of publication.

Where to start? I guess at the beginning I can honestly say I wasn’t too fond of either Rick or Ian. Rick came across as a user and it wasn’t until much later, when his past is explained in great detail that I understood what drove him to act as he did. And Ian—he seemed rather whiney. It took me some time to warm up to them. Yes, they had rather well-developed personalities but neither was one I’d want as a friend.   

There’s also lots of angst. I mean a lot from both of them and it’s repetitive, but at least there’s some laughs in there too. That’s not all. There’s also a bit of a mystery that deserved to be taken more seriously. Rick’s not an idiot but to brush aside slashed tires and dead squirrels is just nuts, especially when his friend’s honey is a cop. Despite my niggles, I did enjoy it. The pacing’s smooth, the imagery vivid, and the plot threads are wrapped up by the end. Oh and I can’t forget the sex—it’s sizzling and frequent. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Justice

Title: Justice
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-1-78184-469-4
Genre: {M/M} Were-shifters Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Paul Hardy needs help to turn his life around. Being rescued from slavery did not stop the mental breakdown Paul is currently suffering. However, with the aid of a therapist and meeting his mate, snow leopard shifter Justice Chalmers, Paul now has an excellent incentive to work towards an emotional revitalization.

Justice is the tenth book in the Leopard's Spots series. In this episode, the plot features the painful aftereffects of trauma, as well as the mysterious lone wolf shifter with spiritualist powers. Nobody knows the man’s history or if his actions are for good or evil. Paul is the twin brother to Preston, featured in Nischal. Being held in captivity, along with being sexually abused by wolf shifters, Paul hated all shifters until he met Justice. The mate bond allowed Paul to crave intimacy again, but only with Justice. Aware of Paul’s traumatic past, Justice is willing to delay the full mating because their main focus is dealing with stopping Paul’s former conquers.   

Bailey Bradford has created another impressive addition to this series which is best read in sequence. I especially enjoyed the mystery regarding the powerful wolf shifter.  

Commando Cowboys Entice Their Beauty

Author:  Paige Cameron
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
Publisher URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62241-495-6
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Jewel hides herself since she does not know how the tribes, especially the third tribe, are going to react to her being a shape-shifter female.  Not all males of the third tribe are shifters, but Raoul and Aleron are.  Both men know Jewel is theirs, but if she can’t trust them, they know they really don’t have a chance.

Jewel does not want anything to do with Raoul and Aleron, even though she is very attracted to them.  Jewel doesn’t trust anyone with her secret.  Once she is confronted by her Priestess about it, she realizes she must trust Raoul and Aleron with it because she thinks she can help.  Of course, both men object to her in a dangerous situation.

The sixth book in the Wyoming Warriors series, Commando Cowboys Entice Their Beauty, heats up the war the three tribes are having with another faction they recently learned about.  Not only are there lots of discoveries going on, but an unseen betrayal is going to rock them all.

The author threw in more surprises about the tribes that really kept my interest.  My heart started speeding up as I learned about the female shifters and why they were considered nonexistent within the third tribe.  I liked the way the other tribes were told about the third tribes abilities and how that could affect them. 

I was very surprised by who it was that ended up being part of the enemy camp.  I would never have guessed that particular scenario.  As a reader learning more about the tribes, I am surprised by the societies that the author revealed and their interactions together.  

I encourage readers to read the series in order as things are getting real interesting.  I am looking forward to the next book.

Commando Cowboys Find Their Desire

Author:  Paige Cameron
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
Publisher URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62242-203-6
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Payton and Cody discovered Averil when they were on guard duty for a friend.  They know she is theirs, but Averil doesn’t want another relationship.  Averil is a good sniper and just wants to serve her family and her tribe.

Averil ends up accidentally injuring Payton when he and Cody just won’t leave her alone.  She thought she had made it very clear she wants nothing to do with them.  The three have lots to overcome when Cody blames her when Payton has to have emergency surgery.  All is forgotten when Averil’s life and others are threatened.

The latest story in the Wyoming Warriors series, Commando Cowboys Find Their Desire, continues the war storyline from Commando Cowboys Entice Their Beauty.  The author is getting real good at throwing in some very interesting twists and keeping the suspense at a high level.

In addition to the characters of previous books showing up, there are some new characters, with some new talents, showing up and helping the tribes battle the enemy.  Of course, the enemy has a few tricks up their sleeve as well. 

I was a little surprised by some of the solutions that are presented, even though I know some of the things talked about are feasible.  I was completely surprised by others.  The author’s descriptions take you right into the hospital and labs, so beware if you are bothered by needles. 

This series seems to be getting better as each story progresses, and I know I am looking forward to reading about Averil’s sister.

Commando Cowboys Desire Their Queen

Author:  Paige Cameron
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
Publisher URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62242-384-2
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kira finally comes home when her sister’s life is threatened.  She finds herself attracted to both Lonato and Hakan, but she isn’t looking for men.  Lonato and Hakan are both doctors for the tribes and know Kira is theirs, despite her resistance.

The best and last book in the Wyoming Warriors series, Commando Cowboys Desire Their Queen, brings a close to the war the tribes have been battling.  Lots of history has been added that actually enhances this story.  There is also a lesson that anyone can learn about closing themselves off from those around them.

Kira is a rare bird that has only been mentioned in the scrolls detailing some of the history of the tribes.  The Flaming Beauty only happens in royal bloodlines, so neither man is sure they are worthy of being Kira’s husbands.  As Kira, Lonato, and Hakan try to find a way to save the people of the tribes, personality issues create some big conflicts that have to be resolved.

As the battle to rule the tribes ensues, some harsh truths are uncovered that could affect the three’s relationship.  I was surprised at Lonato’s mother, though the actions of both parents are explained later.  I was also surprised at the number of secondary characters that actually turned out to be the enemy, though a few of the recurring ones from the series actually had a few surprises as well. 

I recommend this series for anyone liking paranormal stories and encourage readers to read it in order.  I am sorry to see this series end, but will be looking for more stories from this author in the future.

The Alpha's Only

Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-665-7
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

On the hunt for the demented killer plaguing his pack, alpha Tiberius encounters a new wolf shifter. However, Keir is more than a stray shifter passing through Black Creek, he’s Tiber’s mate.

The Alpha's Only is the third book in the three author Building the Pack series. The pack is slowly building with new wolf shifters who have been rejected by their old packs, making their way to Black Creek. The word has spread among the shifters that Tiber is a strong fair minded alpha, which makes Tiber a desirable leader, as well as a target. Keir is running away from a homophobic alpha intent on murdering him. But before Keir meets Tiber, Keir is attacked by the Black Creek psycho. Once met, Tiber and Keir knew they were fated mates. Nevertheless Keir wanted to break from the pack tradition of sharing the alpha with females to increase the pack members. Keir insists upon an exclusive mating. Tiber is overjoyed with having found his mate. Tiber feared his loneliness would continue the rest of his life. Although, Keir is larger with alpha qualities of his own, Keir is content to follow Tiber’s lead as a beta.   

Amber Kell has created a superb finale to this very enjoyable trilogy.