Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bottoms Out

Title: Bottoms Out
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-401-0
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Chris and Mickey have finally settled down when out of the blue, Chris gets a call from the past.  Neither man expected to become a parent, yet when Chris is tasked with raising a brother he knew nothing about, both men step up to the plate.  But things aren’t easy and Chris can’t help wondering how much of his past has been revisited on his brother.

Bottoms Out is the second installment in the About a Bottoms series and starts where the first book left off, so it is necessary to read this series in order.  Once again the reader will find themselves pulled into Chris and Mickey’s world.  The two men find themselves heading to Arkansas, the one place Chris always swore he would never return to.  What they find there is surprising to both men and I could understand why Chris never wanted to go back. 

Ted is a sweetie.  I loved this little boy and, like the main characters, readers will soon feel as if there is more going on in his life than what is first seen.  I was shocked by what is learned and some readers may have difficulty with this topic.  With that being said, I liked that the author chose not to sugar coat the problems Ted had and might possibly face.  I also liked that the author had the men speak up for the little boy, regardless of the cost. 

Bottoms Out also addresses Chris’ medical problems.  When given the opportunity to try a new medical treatment, the young man grabs the chance to change his life.  As the story ends with Chris’ return from the hospital, I am curious to find out how everything turns out.

Once again, many previous characters show up to lend the new family a hand.  These secondary characters help move the story along and the closeness that has developed between all the men is easy to see. 

I can’t wait to see what will happen next in this series and hope the third book will be out soon.

Bottoms Up

Title: Bottoms Up
Author: Etienne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-235-1
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Chris loves his life in the Navy.  Not only does his job as a RN First Assistant mean he is able to help people, but being in the Navy also gives him his pick of one night stands.  When the Navy sends Chris to Jacksonville, Florida, he isn’t happy but plans to make the most of it.  One good thing about the move is that it allows him to reconnect with Mickey, his best friend, and all the benefits that friendship entails.  When Chris gets some unexpected news, it’s Mickey he turns to and soon, things are never the same.

Bottoms Up, the first book in the About a Bottom series, is also part of the Avondale Stories world.  If you are looking for a story heavy in romance, this is not it.  While there is a romantic element to the book, it is more of a background effect.  Instead, Bottoms Up lets you hang out with Chris as he sows his wild oats, faces a serious medical issue and professes his love for his best friend Mickey. 

Like the author’s other books, Bottoms Up is a fast paced story that covers an extended period of time, yet the author has a way of writing that keeps you from feeling as if the story is dragging.  The author is also very detail oriented so when the topic of Chris’ illness and related treatment comes up, the reader will have a clear understanding of what will happen.  I liked that the author ended this book with an afterword acknowledging when and where he took liberties with reality.

While Chris’ illness is an important part of this first book, it is not the only thing the story is about.  Many previous characters show up and I love the way an instant friendship seems to develop between all of them and Chris and Mickey. 

Of course there are some hardships.  I cannot believe the surgeon that worked on Chris, or how his superiors handled the matter afterwards. For such a young man, Chris has, and continues to face, some difficult challenges.   Then there is the way in which this story ended.  

Bottoms Up is another well written novel by this author, one I am sure his fans are sure to love.  If you have not yet read anything by this author, then this is a great book to start with.

Protector of Dragons

Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-77111-875-0
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Curses, Jiang understands them all too well after spending centuries locked in stone. Now that he is free, Jiang’s search for his dragon brothers leads him to his mate instead. But is pigeon shifter Kurtis truly his mate? Jiang cannot be sure until the sorcerer’s curse has been removed and Kurtis is returned to human.

Protector of Dragons is the first book in the Dragons of Seattle series, which is a spinoff from the Banded Brothers series. The plot opens with the history of Chinese dragons, sorcerers along with greedy royal’s conflicts. Jiang and his brethren are water dragons. Aden Gale, now a retired mercenary, mated to sorcerer Gallen from the Banded Brothers plays a pivotal role in the mystery regarding the dragon’s freedom. It was Jiang who helped Aden destroy Gallen’s evil sorcerer father. 

Amber Kell’s exceptionally enjoyable Protector of Dragons poses a variety of intriguing questions, in addition to some surprising revelations. Also featured are the mating scenes of Jiang and Kurtis, drama involving Chinese phoenix on a burning rampage plus displays of magic. I suggest reading Banded Brothers series before reading Protector of Dragons.      

Blessed with a Curse

Author: N.J. Nielsen
Publisher: MLR Press
Publishers URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR 0102130189
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

In the world of the Fey, being different could be deadly.  Storm, Heath and Heath’s siblings have banded together in order to stay safe.  While Storm cares for his ‘little family’, he loves Heath, whom Storm knows is his mate.  Just when he is getting ready to tell the other man, however, Storm is set up, separating Storm and Heath forever.

Blessed with a Curse is the first book in N.J. Nielsen’s new series The Experimentals.  This is a great read and fans of this sub-genre are sure to love it.  Sometimes one character will grab you more than another.  In this book it is easy to assume, because of what he is going through, that character would be Heath.  However, for me it was Storm. 

Storm is so in love with Heath that, even after a thirty year separation, he will do whatever is necessary to keep the other man alive.  He has gone on with his life as much as possible, always feeling the loss of his mate.  It is easy to understand the anger he feels at Heath and the others, just as it is easy to understand his feelings of being used once the group asks for a meeting.  In the beginning, Heath and his siblings made me want to smack them.  It was only as the story progressed and we learn more about what is going on that Heath’s actions become, at least, understandable if not always acceptable. 

I do like the way the author finally brings these two together, allowing the lingering feelings of anger and distrust to pepper the beginning of their new relationship.  The two men are hot together however, so expect some burning pages. 

There are a variety of interesting secondary characters in this story, some of whom it would be great to see in follow up stories.  There are some interesting twists in Blessed with a Curse, not all of which are cleared up, as this story sets up the ground work for the series.  

I am curious to see how the rest of this series will play out and can’t wait for the next book to show up.  If you love this sub-genre, you should really give this book a try.

Reunited

Title: Reunited
Author: A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: spsilverpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781622321179
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Time and miles separate the couples of this series but that doesn’t mean they and their families haven’t remained close. When Trace’s adult daughter, Harley, is kidnapped, the men rally together and they race to Indiana to participate in her search and rescue attempt. The rescue in the wilderness is harder and more dangerous than any of the men anticipate, but Kieran, Jubilee, Nicholas, Sean, Sam and Marco are determined to bring Harley home unharmed.  After Harley is rescued the strong bonds between the men have only deepened and yet another couple moves to Canada to start the next phase of their life.

Reunited in the newest release in the Texas Orgasmic Dawn series and it’s also the last. You need to have read a few of the other books or I’m afraid the close relationships will confuse you.

A few weeks ago when I realized Reunited would be the last book in the series, I wondered how the authors would end it. I couldn't imagine how they could convincingly pull the couples together when they were living in two different countries. Using the kidnapping of Trace’s daughter, a young woman they all considered family, is the perfect answer. A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly nailed it and grabbed me with a plot I could care about.

The authors caught me by surprise in the beginning because it’s a scene of everyday life. It’s so normal. You have no idea that the bottom is about to drop out of their lives with Harley’s kidnapping, sending them scrambling back to the US to help their friends. It’s just one of many twists that bonds the couples closer together and propels the story forward as the danger mounts.

Kieran, Jubilee, Nicholas, Sean, Sam and Marco are all great, as usual, and we even get to learn a few new tidbits about them. So even here at the series end, their personalities and relationships are still growing and changing. The premise is believable, the imagery well defined and the villain a real nut-job. And even if the rescue is a bit abrupt, it still works. 

At the end, Harley’s safe, as we knew she would be. I can’t think of a single dangling thread and everyone is happy with their lives. Yes, you’ll find a few other surprises but that would be telling (and my lips are sealed), so read this entertaining series ending book for yourself. I hope you enjoy it. I bid this series a fond farewell.