Monday, January 20, 2014

Deeper

Title: Deeper
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-628-4
Genre: {M/M} BDSM Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Johnny diMarco has caused nothing but trouble since coming to the Hammer. He’s loud, rude, obnoxious and a total brat. Nobody wants to have anything to do with him and even Master Oliver has called it quits dealing with him. When Dom Dolph Waters learns of the problems with Johnny, he volunteers to take the sub in hand.

On meeting, its obvious Johnny has lots of emotional baggage and needs more attention than most subs. The more Dolph gets acquainted with Johnny, the more he likes him and it’s not long before he’s falling for the troubled sub. Can Dolph convince Johnny that they belong together and that the BDSM lifestyle is what he’s looking for to be content and happy?

Deeper is the newest release in Sean Michael’s Hammer series. While reading other books in the series would give a familiarity with the club and its members, Deeper can be read as a standalone.

Because of Johnny’s emotional needs, this isn’t a typical BDSM novel. That means Dolph needs to take things slow and build a relationship. I really like this aspect of the story—that Dolph is showing him that a BDSM lifestyle isn’t based solely on the physical but an intense personal connection too.  That doesn’t mean that getting past Johnny’s bad behavior is easy—it isn’t, but I’m impressed with Dolph’s patience and the way the author shows Dolph dealing with the young sub. It’s a creative slant to a BDSM book and I appreciated that the topic is tackled at all. 

There’s lots of sex once Johnny gets settled and their relationship starts to build and there’s an opportunity to see some of the previous characters, which I enjoyed. The plot flow is smooth and I liked that not all of Johnny problems were magically fixed easily. Oh, and I can’t forget the finely crafted villains of this new Hammer book—Johnny’s family—two manipulative jerks you can easily hate. I did. Enjoy.

Peanut Butter and Jelly For Two

Author: Jackie Nacht
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0177
Genre: {M/M} Shifters
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Chipmunk shifter Phillip Fieldstone is experiencing a variety of first times. Phillip is starting a new job with the Paranormal Dentistry for the Fanged and Friendly, his first after earning his degree. Phillip’s new apartment is his first time living alone and dating wolf shifter Dr. Gunner Samuels is the first time Phillip has been in love.  

Peanut Butter and Jelly For Two is a pleasant short story. However, the shifter premise is misleading. While all the characters have congenial human personalities, the animal distinctiveness is absent. It was only the labels that identified each character as a shifter. The storyline illustrates them as human males, embarking on a relationship.   

Overall, Jackie Nacht’s Peanut Butter and Jelly For Two is amusing. I enjoyed the companionable interaction between Phillip and Gunner.   

Wayne County Holidays

Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-749-4
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Holiday, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

It’s the Christmas season and Cassie, alpha-mate of the Wayne County Pack, wants the house done up right for the holiday.  Hale isn’t thrilled that he was given the job, but isn’t brave enough to go against a pregnant Cassie either.  With the help of others in the pack, the place is soon brimming with Christmas cheer until their enemy shows up without warning.

Wayne County Holidays is the ninth book in the Wayne County Wolves series.  This holiday short story gives the readers a glimpse at some of the previous couples, introduces a set of twins, and brings a twist into the series that is sure to show up again in the future.  The book is well done and allows the readers to catch up with a few of the Wayne County Pack members.  I love that the author choose Hale and Troy to lead this story, as Troy is almost as crazy as his brother Shane, which always make for a fun read.  I also enjoyed the re-appearance of some previous characters, who show up to give Hale a hand with the decorations. 

Unfortunately, the decorations don’t last long when Rand and his people show up.  I felt bad for Hale and his friends after spending all that time decorating just to have it destroyed the way it was, but liked that he soon realizes that the holiday is not about the decorations.  There is also a glimpse of the next possible hook up and I hope that story will come out soon.

Lastly, there is the birth of the twins.  Everyone has been waiting for the arrival of Cassie’s and Chris’ twins, but this brings about a change in the dynamics of the pack as some members are shifted around to protect the new babies.  I did expect a little more hyperness from some of Cassie’s family members, however the touch with Jacyn did make me chuckle. 

Wayne County Holidays is a fun little read that gives the readers a look at some of the past characters while advancing the series plot.  Unlike other books in this series, Wayne County Holidays can be read as a stand-alone.  However I would recommend reading all the books in order.

Jurassic Heart

Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-227-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Paleontologist Nick Eisenberg has long dreamed of finding Velociraptor bones in North America. When he learns of a possible find, he leaves London and quickly catches a plane to the site in Alberta. Nothing at the dig goes smoothly and he’s in conflict with the dig leader and Hunter Joseph, an eco-conservationist whose purpose is to cause trouble between the paleontologists and the locals. That means Nick and Hunter are at cross purposes. With danger and threats at the site, these two vastly different men have to learn to get along—and do they ever!

Jurassic Heart is the latest release by Anna Martin. I admit that I enjoy watching all the dinosaur shows on TV, so discovering this unique paleontology premise made it a must read for me. It gives a good look at life at a dig, is full of really interesting dinosaur facts and shows the rivalry between colleagues. There are numerous interesting characters, the personality development is pretty good and the descriptions are vivid.  The mystery of who is trying to wreck the site exploration is done nicely. The twist of who’s behind the danger and destruction took me by surprise. 

My big niggle and the thing I have trouble getting past is Nick and Hunter as a couple. I just don’t feel the chemistry between these two guys, particularly when Nick started the book with a friends-with-benefit relationship with Boner. So, I guess you could say the romance part of the story just didn’t work for me, but the rest of the story I enjoyed.

Tough To Love

Title:  Tough To Love
Author:  Marie Rochelle
Publisher:  Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-60659-767-5
Genre:  {M/F} Interracial, Contemporary
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Sage Nicole is a confident woman who works hard to get the things she wants from life.  Life threw her for some major changes as a child but in the end, she was stronger for it all.  Only one person could shake Sage up and have her acting like a love struck teenager.  Rally is the only man Sage has ever wanted.  No matter how hard she tries to move on and open her heart to a new romantic interest, Sage can’t give up hope that Rally will see her as something more than a burden on his family.

When it comes to Sage, Rally Teveare feels a sense of duty and a lot of guilt.  Each passing day makes it more difficult to keep from acting on the infatuation he tries to mask.  An aloof attitude is one thing, but now Rally realizes he might have gone too far and pushed Sage away forever.  Now that he’s ready to explore a real relationship with Sage, he might have pushed her into the arms of another man.

Sage and Rally have a strained relationship because of the sexual tension between them.  Rally does everything he can think of to distance himself from Sage, even dating.  His girlfriend is good company most times, but she isn’t the woman he wants.  He thinks she’s the type of woman he should be with, but he has no idea how wrong he is.  There are moments when Rally is unnecessarily cruel to Sage because of his girlfriend and I got so angry with him.  I wanted him to treat Sage with a bit more tact than he did.  Sage took a lot because she was so in love, but when she’d had enough, she let him know. I was happy when Sage stood up for herself.  Thank God for her best friend and Rally’s brother.  I was thankful for them in Sage’s life and how they always looked out for her.  

Marie Rochelle gives you the happily-ever-after ending you hope for with Sage and Rally in Tough To Love.  With the kind of history these two have, it would be unnatural if they didn’t wind up together.  The heart wants what it wants and in the end, nothing else matters.  It made all the turmoil worth it and left me hopeful for some of the other characters.  If you enjoy a good read that makes you feel personally involved and wanting more, then here you go.

Joy

Title: Joy
Author: A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781622320998
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

The holidays are coming and with the due date of Trace and Pauline’s baby getting close, Kieran, Jubilee and Juan head to Texas for some family time. They don’t realize a winter vacation away from Vancouver will change their lives. Kieran and Jubilee get caught up in a strange Marshal case that Marco, Sam, Sean and Nicholas are working that brings them into contact with dangerous criminals they’ve faced before.

It isn’t all work. Marco and Sam’s relationship is moving forward and taking that next step—a house.  And love of family grows strong and expands with the birth of a new baby. It’s also a time of professional possibilities when an offer is made that could change their lives. But it’s also an occasion of joy as good friends and family spend a special holiday together.

The newest release in the Orgasmic Texas Dawn series is entitled Joy. The characters in these books are tightly intertwined, so I recommend the books be read in order.

I’ve enjoyed the other books in this series. They’ve been fun and entertaining, and Joy isn’t any different. It’s filled with great characters that have progressed in both their relationships and personalities. It’s been nice to see them change as they’ve matured and moved forward with their lives. The authors have done a great job with the ongoing relationships of these couples and bringing them all together for the holidays in Joy is a treat for long time readers of the series. 

There’s a lot going on in this fast-paced book. The authors juggle multiple plot lines with lots of twists as the guys battle their foes. Yet there’s still opportunity for each couple to have time set aside for them, but it’s integrated smoothly into the overall story. *Well done authors.* I have to admit that as much as I love all the couples, some of the best scenes revolved around Pauline, her delivery and how the guys react to the new baby. This book, while it has danger and suspense, is still a feel good read because everyone is together again.  Watch for Reunited—I believe it’s the last in the series.

Unwrapping the Alpha’s Mate

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Book
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-776-0
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Richard follows his younger brother to the Tamang Pack, never realizing that, like his brother, he would find his mate.  But Richard’s mate turns out to be the new alpha and, with the pack already at odds, Richard feels it would be best to stay away from his mate for the time being. 

Unwrapping the Alpha’s Mate is the newest addition to the Kontra’s Menagerie series.  This story is a little different than some of the previous ones.  For starters, both men are shifters from the same pack, although one is a recent addition.  While you would think this would make their mating an easy one, due to the current circumstances in the pack, the men are unable to mate until the inner circle has been established. 

This little twist makes Unwrapping the Alpha’s Mate a refreshing change.  The connection between these two men is intense and the fact that Richard kept the fact that he and Abbott are mates a secret, means when the time came for them to come together, Abbott was out for a little revenge.  But while their mating may now be on track, that does not mean everything within the pack is going okay.  With more than one member looking to cause trouble, Abbott and Richard will have to keep their eyes open.

Although Kontra and his men, who were staying with the Tamang pack, are planning to once again hit the road and taking Abbott’s father with them, I hope that the author will return to the Tamang pack so that readers are given the chance to see how things there play out.  Unwrapping the Alpha’s Mate was a good story, and one I plan to re-read in the future.  Like the rest of the books in this series it could be read as a stand-alone but I highly suggest reading the books in order. 

Sparks & Drops

Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62380-073-4
Genre: {M/M} Mystery Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Private Investigator Niall Valentine is accustomed to working alone. However, pagan shopkeeper Gus Goodwin proves to be extremely knowledgeable regarding Wiccan beliefs and rituals. Discovering Gus could be a benefit, Niall appointed Gus as his new investigative partner.

Sparks & Drops is the first book in The Wheel Mysteries series. The fascinating plot highlights religions throughout history. What is especially interesting is that there is very little difference other than titles. Each religion follows worship rituals, days considered sacred and supreme beings or spirits. The only exception is the neo-pagans practice free will to choose faith, rather than being manipulated into it by other people. Nevertheless, there are fakes in every religious culture preying on the unwary.

The characters are creditable. Gus is remarkably outspoken concerning human rights and moral injustice, yet he is a flirty easy-going man the majority of the time. Niall enjoys being a PI; he likes the freedom to choose the clients as well as working on his own schedule. Both Niall and Gus are intelligent, logical men with a natural curiosity. Working together, Gus and Niall solve the mystery of the missing witch but not without some injuries along with sorrow.   

Susan Laine has created an impressive mildly suspenseful saga that I thoroughly enjoyed. Niall and Gus have a working partnership that evolves into a promising friendship.