Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grime Doesn’t Pay

Author: AZ Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781623005863
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Eddie Vasquez is smitten. From the moment he laid eyes on his niece Lucy’s teacher, Andrew Daley, he couldn’t stop thinking about him.  He dresses up to drop Lucy off at school but gets tongue-tied when talking with Andrew. The problem as Eddie sees it—the difference in their education levels and Andrew loves all things books, while Eddie has severe dyslexia.

Finding Eddie’s favorite former teacher, confused and wandering the grade school halls brings them together. Mrs. Henderson’s mental state isn’t her only problem—there’s an odor of decomposition on her clothing. Helping her means explaining about Eddie’s crime scene clean-up business, which has run off men before. Fortunately Eddie’s job doesn’t drive Andrew. In fact, it comes in handy when Andrew’s father gets in trouble for being a hoarder and he has to clean up his property—or else. Can two vastly different men find enough common ground to build a committed, lasting relationship?

Grime Doesn’t Pay is the newest release in ZA Maxfield’s The Brothers Grime series. I love surprises and this book is full of them. I mean really—who’d think the job of crime scene clean-up would be the perfect business for the leads in a series? The talented ZA Maxfield, that’s who. She never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and sensitivity, and has done it again with the difficult problems facing Eddie and Andrew.

It’s not exactly normal getting-to-know-you date material for two guys to deal with decomposition, dyslexia and a hoarding father. Yet, this author has taken these rather dramatic topics and successfully turned them into the backbone on which she built this romance. Yes, the story is unsetting, makes you think and is even a little uncomfortable but Ms. Maxfield does it all without making you feel sorry for Eddie or the others. She helps you to understand the problems and its still makes it sexy and entertaining.

Getting to see the characters we met in the previous release is nice, as was Eddie’s sibling dropping in to help with the clean up at Andrew’s father’s home. As much as I enjoyed the scenes with Ms. Henderson, those including Andrew’s dad were some of the best in the book—strong, thought provoking and even painful at times, but giving a real insight into Andrew. Good job, Ms. Maxfield. 

Really, I could go on and on about this book and what I like about it, so instead I suggest you get Grime Doesn’t Pay and read Eddie and Andrew’s story for yourself. I think you’ll find the well written and plotted story as  compelling as I did.

Diagnosis Pleasure

Title:   Diagnosis Pleasure
Author:  Tonya Ramagos
Publisher:  Siren Bookstrand
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62740-682-6
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Light BDSM, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

April can’t forget the two men she spent one night with over a year ago.  After being in Horn Hill a month, she runs into Rick and Adam again. They pick up where they left off with a few bumps along the way, one of which is her job.

The seventh book in The Service Club series, Diagnosis Pleasure, brings April to Horn Hill after she left her job in Birmingham, because of the hostile atmosphere.  She takes her new job very seriously and doesn’t want to jeopardize her reputation.

Rick runs into April at the store, then has her follow him home.  Adam and Rick can’t believe this is the woman they haven’t been able to get out of their mind for a year.  They realize they have their work cut out for them if they want to keep her in their lives.  When they get together, the chemistry is intense between them.

April runs across a similar situation in Horn Hill like the one that forced her to leave Birmingham.  There is one major difference that gives April a lot of relief about her future.  A couple of secondary characters help with the situation, but I couldn’t believe what the one person did especially under the circumstances for the farmer. 

I recommend readers read the series in order to get the most out of it.  This is one book in the series that can be read alone, though.  I am looking forward to reading more about The Service Club and Horn Hill.

Crooked Tree Ranch

Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
IRBN/BIN: 9781781848715
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Western Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer Dragon Minx

When Jay Sullivan loses his job to downsizing, he’s determined to find another to provide for his small family. But marketing positions are difficult to find in New York City and after numerous interviews, his prospects are zero. That changes when he answers an ad for a dude ranch in need of a marketing expert and suddenly Jay and his family are moving to Montana.

Nate Todd and the other co-owners of the Crooked Tree Ranch know their ranch is in financial trouble. If it’s going to survive, they need an expert to help with marketing the business to make it profitable again. Nate’s not happy about hiring a marketing guy who doesn’t know ranching and or prepared for the changes that his arrival brings with him.

Crooked Tree Ranch is the first release in RJ Scott’s new Montana series. It’s a well written and plotted story that flows smoothly and kept my attention from beginning to end.  I like the strong family theme and how the author wove Jay’s sister and her children into the plot. They’re a nice counterpoint to the problems Nate and his family are having with the ranch. Bringing all the individuals together into a larger cohesive family takes some creative juggling from the author but works out nicely in the end. Ultimately this aspect of the story shows how Nate and Jay put family first…they’re both protective of the people they love. 

I like Nate and Jay. Ms. Scott did a great job forming their personalities and I really appreciate that she allowed their relationship to grow over time. In fact, having their initial interactions start off rather rocky is a nice change. There are issues to be dealt with by both men but that’s what makes them so interesting and real. Nothing cardboard about these guys. I look forward the next one.

Threshold

Title: Threshold
Author: Vivien Dean 
Publisher:  Amber Allure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-519-6
Genre: {M/M} {M/M/M} Vampire Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Wounded and waking up in the daylight, vampire Sutter had no choice but to allow the human Max to administer care to him.

Vivien Dean’s Threshold is an especially charming budding romance. The setting is a small town in Oregon. The plot is amusing with a moment of drama. The characters are creditable. Sutter and Max found each other irresistible at first sight. Neither man had any fully formatted goals for the future. Sutter is escaping a life of slavery to the older vampires. Meeting Max is the first time anyone had shown Sutter compassion. Max is a bored caregiver who is still disturbed by the loss of lives during the Gulf War, so he is determined to save Sutter. Both men are unbendable in their pledge to protect the other, even though both men are experienced fighters.  

Threshold is an enjoyable sensual saga with a surprising finish.    

Twisted Fate

Title:  Twisted Fate
Author:  Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL:  www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  06683-02150
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lacey escapes from the mental hospital she has been confined to for murder since she was sixteen.  She ends up in Moonspell and discovers she is a dragon’s mate.  Draco runs into Lacey at the diner and is instantly attracted to her.

The third book in the Romance in Moonspell series, Twisted Fate, has intrigue, betrayal and blackmail, all of which can decide Lacey’s fate.  Readers also learn more about the paranormal community within Moonspell, including some of the provisions when certain types of paranormals get into trouble.

Draco wants to convince Lacey to stay, especially after he finds out why she is on the run.  He has a big heart and doesn’t want to startle her.  I loved when they finally got together and she ends up pregnant.  I was surprised when they get proof of Lacey’s innocence.  It was a surprise who was involved and about what and why it happened. I can understand Draco’s fear, as well.     

I loved some of the secondary characters, especially Mavis and Josie.  Both women are colorful and helped with matchmaking. Characters from the previous books show up to help and the town rallies around those that belong. The sheriff is a fatherly figure even as he enforces the law and some of the firemen are really friendly. 

Each book in this series can be read by itself.  While reading all the books will give readers an indication of the population in Moonspell, each story has been different with a few twists among the paranormal population.