Monday, February 3, 2014

A Family of His Own

Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-627-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Will’s a widower, still greiving the loss of his husband. He has three small children and when his mother-in-law and her boyfriend decide to leave the country on an extended trip, he knows he can’t cope without help. Will needs to find a nanny for his kids—fast.

Benji loves being a nanny but has lost his last position and money is tight. He’s looking for a new job without much luck. He signs with Mannies Incorporated and is thrilled when he’s called to interview with a family with three kids—and two are small twins!  It’s obvious the kids need him and their father does too. Will’s working too hard, doesn’t take care of himself and his diabetes is out of control. Can Benji help the family and the man he’s come to care for? Could this be the family he’s always longed for?

A Family of His Own is the second release in Sean Michael’s Mannies Incorporated series, which can be read as a standalone.

It’s another entertaining and well written book that fits well into the gay nanny theme of this new series. With Will being a widower and having difficulty coping, it’s darker and definitely has more angst than the first book. That’s true for a variety of reasons. All of which add interest and depth to the story. The author did a nice job integrating these problems into the story and making them believable, as well as giving Benji realistic and caring reactions. I like both Benji and Will and their chemistry is good. I have to admit that I was glad Will was okay with starting a new relationship, as one more angst ridden issue would have overwhelmed the story.

The kids are adorable and Benji is great as their nanny. I really enjoyed his interaction with them. This portion of the storyline is fun loving and lighthearted—real warm and fuzzy moments. The descriptions are good, the personalities are pretty well developed with Will being the better of the two and the sex is sizzling. I’m enjoying the series and look forward to the next release. Watch for it.

Grabbed by Vicious

Author: Lolita Lopez
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419944277
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Hallie is going to use the Grab to win her freedom, to get off the planet and get to the colonies.  Unfortunately for her, Vicious spots her and decides she will be his.  Hallie almost makes it to the safe zone, but is caught and whisked away to her new home aboard a spaceship after being collared.

Grabbed by Vicious, the first book in the Grabbed series, has a slight twist on the space warrior gets mate theme.  The Harcos warriors are considered the most vicious men in their part of space.  Part of the cost of protecting some of the various planets is having a Grab, or roundup of women to become brides of these men. 

The marriage ceremony is basically collaring the woman the warrior has captured, signing some documents, and then having 30 days to bond.  Some of the customs are interesting, but I loved the fact that Vicious was willing to learn some of Hallie’s customs and willing to go through an actual marriage ceremony for her.

The chemistry between Vicious and Hallie is hot and I loved how patient Vicious was with Hallie.  After the first scene when he got her on ship, he realized he needed to change his plans and ease her into the BDSM lifestyle the Harcos practiced.  Hallie was willing to try and as they learned about each other, truly fell in love with each other.

There is the bad guy, as well as misunderstandings, to make their road to happiness rocky.  Some of Vicious’ friends are funny, but others had the power to hurt his military career.  The closeness, despite the ruthlessness of the military men, came across very well. 

Hints are tossed out about some of the other men participating in a future Grab.  I am looking forward to reading about Terror’s Grab in the future.  Those that like some sci-fi with light BDSM will like this one.

Cupcakes

Title: Cupcakes
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-482-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Allen Jameson’s perfect life came to an end with the sudden death of his partner and months later he still feels alone and isolated. He’s always loved to bake, so he opens a little cupcake shop developing unique recipes and baking for long hours to fill his shop shelves with tasty morsels. When hunky contractor Byron Bannigan walks into the shop looking for a party purchase, Allen is shocked by his attraction. It’s not long before the two are involved but their schedules and outside conflicts make life difficult. Can these lovers find a way to work through their problems to make a life together?

Cupcakes is the newest standalone release by Sean Michael. It’s a sweet read—fun and entertaining, and not filled with a strife filled relationship. Instead, the conflict in this story comes from outside, allowing Allen and Byron’s to grow and become stronger as a couple. I thought Cupcakes is nicely done without being too syrupy. The story has a smooth flow and good descriptions and I’m glad the reader has an opportunity to see the business sides of both men. It helps to round out Byron’s personality when the main focus is Allen and the cupcake shop.

My niggles: Referring to Byron by three different names is annoying. I didn’t find Allen’s best friend or any of his so-called friends very friendly. I wish Allen had been able to stand up to his new business partner better. He needed more backbone to survive in business.

Still, for those who enjoy sweet romance with plenty of great physical chemistry…yes, I mean sex; I suggest you give this one a try.

Coy and Denver

Author: Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL:  www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-636-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Werewolf Coy Martindale was not looking for a forever relationship when he agreed to fly to Colorado to meet vampire Denver Allen, but the mating chemistry between Coy and Denver was just too strong for them to resist.

Full Moon Dating: Coy and Denver is the publisher’s title listing, so it is possible this will evolve into a future series. Full Moon Dating is a paranormal matchmaking service. All of the characters are exceptionally amusing. Coy has a dominant self-sufficient personality, so he chose to be a lone wolf rather than a pack member. Nevertheless, Coy is willing to compromise for mutual happiness. Denver lived an isolated life in a gated mansion close to the mountains. Denver had never fed from a wolf shifter before biting Coy; he immediately became addicted to the rich flavor. Coy and Denver are both strong predators, yet Denver realized neither of them had an issue with their status. Denver also discovered he enjoyed running through the woods with Coy’s wolf. 

Julia Talbot has created an incredible very enjoyable saga. The storyline incorporates some wonderfully surprising twist and turns, humor as well as plenty of intimacy.    

Captured Innocence

Author:    Kennedy Layne
Publisher:  Kennedy Layne Publishing (Barnes & Noble)
Publisher URL:  www.kennedylayne.com
ISBN/BIN:  2940148851226
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

The Crest Security Agency (CSA) starts investigating the murder of the owner’s half-brother’s wife.  Conner goes undercover with a friend in the two BDSM clubs in the area.  Lauren does custom embellishments of various toys used within the lifestyle. 

Captured Innocence is the first book in the Crest Security Agency series.  Part of the premise is military men turned private investigators and security personnel. There are little twists throughout the story that makes this one interesting.  I really enjoyed some of the by-play among the main and secondary characters.  The author did a great job keeping my interest; in fact, I could not put this one down.

Connor has a deep distrust of women sticking in a relationship, as his experience has led him to believe they leave for something or someone better.  Lauren does not fit that mold and Connor doesn’t know how to handle it.  Even though Lauren is a confident independent business woman, she has a deep seated interest in BDSM and submitting, but refuses to indulge because of a couple of past experiences.

The chemistry between them is explosive and I loved the way Connor was so patient with Lauren.  I was happy to see the resolution between the two, especially as the two really needed each other.  I did have to laugh at a couple of Lauren’s reactions to Connor, especially when he had to work undercover.

The ending was a little bit of a surprise.  I was totally blindsided by some of the situations as well.  The author definitely kept me guessing. 

I am looking forward to reading the next story in this series as some hints were dropped at the end of this one.

Mannies Incorporated

Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL:  www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-410-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Slayde loves being a nanny and has cared for the three children of widowed Army nurse, Mindy, since the oldest was born. Now she’s being deployed for a few months and it’s going to be rough but Uncle Slayde can cope. That is until Drake, Mindy’s older brother, suddenly appears, a man the kids barely know. Almost immediately Slayde’s carefully arranged schedule is a mess because Drake doesn’t know anything about routines or taking care of kids—at least in the beginning. It doesn’t take long before the two men at working together, but having the straight ex-cop around is difficult until the night Slayde learns Drake’s not so straight after all. Can these two build a relationship or will it come to an end when Mindy’s deployment is over?

Mannies Incorporated is the first release in Sean Michael’s new series by the same name.  The story premise isn’t complicated and its backbone of a nanny falling for someone in the home isn’t something I haven’t read before, but that didn’t stop it from being a fun and entertaining story I enjoyed. 

I like Slayde and Drake and there’s good development of their personalities, and while you expect there to be lots of angst—it doesn’t arise. Don’t get me wrong, initially conflicts happen but the men quickly learn how to work together without yelling or trying to kill each other. They deal with everything from fire ants to a gluten allergy like adults, not immature melodramatic teenagers. So that means the author has plenty of time to turn two strangers into lovers and make it believable. I love the three kids. They’re so cute and are real scene stealers, and I’m so happy the author accurately wrote them as children…not little adults. Good going Mr. Michael. The flow’s smooth, the descriptions vivid and I loved the Skyping to keep the kids in contact with their mom in Afghanistan, it adds such a realistic touch. So, if you enjoy well written stories with cute kids I suggest you give this heartwarming release a try. A Family of His Own is the next release in the series—look for it.

Learning to Breathe

Author: Diana DeRicci
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02013-0185
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Remy and Ben learned that making assumptions is never a good thing, especially when a shared magnetism is part of the equation.

Learning to Breathe is the sequel to Learning To Live and part of the Arbor Heights series.  Due to circumstances beyond his control, Remy has moved in with his best friend Avery. Living across the street is Avery’s boyfriend AJ, who is Ben’s ex-boyfriend. All the emotional drama of Avery and AJ featured in Learning To Live has been settled along with new friendships established.

Ben Sanchez is a big, brawny construction foreman. He earned his position through years of hard work, as well as getting along with his co-workers. Nevertheless, one of Ben’s homophobic co-workers is on a mission to cause trouble. Ben’s attempts to restore peace resulted in his injury. Interestingly, Ben sought out the help of new, barely friends Remy.

Remy is a small man, snarky with enough backbone to back up his insults. Ben is exactly the full-size type of man Remy is attracted to, but he knows the size difference would be an issue between them, so Remy is reconciled to being just a helpful friend. The close contact of patient and caregiver leads to discovering a budding romance as well as the exceptional kind of intimacy both men craved.    

Diana DeRicci has created an impressive follow up saga. I particularly enjoyed Remy’s amusing attitude in addition to his fighting skills.