Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tempeh For Two

Author: Karenna Colcroft
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02014-0231
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs 
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Tobias Rogan and his mate Kyle Slidell have come full circle. The path chosen for Tobias by destiny has been accomplished. 

Tempeh For Two is the finale episode in the Real Werewolves Don't Eat Meat Series. The series began with Salad on the Side. The setting is Boston and Kyle and Tobias were neighbors. The two men share a mutual interest, but Tobias is the Alpha of a small werewolf pack. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle in the neighborhood garden one night, Kyle learns the truth in a hurry. Now he is a werewolf too. Life became even more complicated for Kyle since he's vegan, he refuses to eat meat.

Tobias moved up the werewolf hierarchy because of his unwavering integrity. He refused to allow injustice to reign supreme over the welfare of werewolves as well as the few humans that worked for them. Each promotion in rank was gained only after Tobias was persuasively manipulated into a fight to the death by one of several power hungry homophobic werewolves.

Kyle was a stimulus for disgust among some of the wolves because he continued to maintain his vegan habits. Tobias feared the lack of meat would compromise the health of Kyle’s wolf. 

Like all of the books in this series, Karenna Colcroft’s Tempeh For Two is full of deadly action and mystery, moments of intimacy as well as expressions of true friendship. I greatly enjoyed Tempeh For Two

Wolf in Gucci Loafers

Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62798-451-5
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Being half-human and half-werewolf has left socialite Lindsey Vanessen on the fringe of both.  Wolves don’t like that he’s gay and his wolf instincts make him too aggressive for human men, so he has little chance of finding love in either world. Being a success at business is Lindsey’s focus until friends who are members of other wealthy families are kidnapped. During the investigation he meets Seth Zakowsy, a hunky cop who pushes all his buttons. His problem—keeping his wolf half a secret.

Flamboyant men usually get little more than a glance from Seth but the attraction he feels for Lindsey is something he can’t deny. Having him involved in his investigation is a distraction, but allows Seth access into the wealthy world of the victims. Then he discovers Lindsey’s aggressive passion, which is a good match for his own dominant needs.  Can two men from vastly different worlds make a relationship work, when secrets and lies are standing between them?   

Wolf in Gucci Loafers is the second release in Tara Lain’s Tales of the Harker Pack. It’s possible to read this book as a standalone but there’d be greater understanding of Lindsey’s world if they are read in order.

I fell in love with Lindsey in Pack or the Panther and my feelings for him haven’t changed. It’s just now I understand him better because I know his story—what makes him tick and his personality is more developed. I thought his struggle to deal with his human and wolf halves was handled nicely. I like Seth, too. He’s focused, dedicated, and did I mention sexy?

The kidnapping premise is interesting and there’s a lot about the story I found pleasing. The pacing is good, the descriptions are vivid, I liked the differences between Lindsey and Seth and there is always something happening. I mean I never got bored—although I did roll my eyes. Yes, there are parts that made me grin and some that made me chuckle, but still others made me grit my teeth in frustration. It’s because what’s happening in the scene is so cheesy or ridiculous I could hardly stand it. That’s why I had so much trouble deciding on my rating. Parts of the story I really enjoyed—they were fun and entertaining, while others made me cringe. *Spoiler alert* Lindsey taking on the role of a vigilante character? Really? Totally didn’t work for me. 

I also liked seeing the previous characters. They added grounding in pack for Lindsey and allowed the author to provide the needed back story. So, despite my niggles, I enjoyed Lindsey’s tale of finding love and hope Ms. Lain writes another. 

Touching Tate

Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-913-9
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Tate has a massive case of empty nest syndrome.  With both his brothers now living with their mates, he is starting to feel at loose ends, that is, until he becomes reacquainted with Walsh.  Walsh never thought he would be close to normal again, yet after spending months in rehab, he’s back with his ‘family’ and ready to make things right with the pack. 

The eleventh book in the Wayne County Wolves series, Touching Tate, brings together two characters I have been waiting to see in a book of their own.  Tate is the older brother of Finn and Kline, both of whom have recently found their mates and have become soldiers for their pack.  Although a tough warrior himself, Tate needs someone to take care of.  Walsh is a ferret shifter who has had a rough time of it lately.  Hooked on the shifter equivalent of meth, Walsh is saved from certain death by his ‘brother’ Zaid.  Now he’s back and ready to be a productive member of society. This brings the two men into contact again and the chemistry between them is instantaneous.

I loved this pairing as each man brings into the relationship something the other needs to feel complete.  For Tate, it is having someone in his life that he can take care of, while for Walsh, it is someone who makes him feel as if he is a worthy member of the pack.  The author does a great job with these two and their story.  Fans of this series are sure to love this newest addition to the Wayne County Wolves series.  Readers should know that while some of the stories can be read as stand-alone, this is not one of them.  If you do not feel like reading the whole series, which I would suggest you not miss, then you need to at least read The Omega and the Assassin and In Plain Sight.

Lost in Paradise

Author:  Tianna Xander
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-920-7
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Stacia goes camping for the first time in years.  After hearing bears attacking her camp, she escapes to the river and is rescued by Ronan and Noah.  All end up in Paradise after Ronan is attacked by one of the bears.

The latest book in the Paradise series, Lost in Paradise, is about jaguar/panther shifters this time.  Ronan and Noah are talking about leaving Paradise to find their mate, when they stumble upon Stacia after the attack on her camp.  An additional attack puts Ronan in the hospital in Paradise, where both men discover Stacia is their mate.

The chemistry between the three is intense, whether Stacia is with either individually or with both men. I love the relationships that the shifters have with their mates in the town of Paradise.  While outsiders initially think the men are insane, all work out in the end, once their mates accept there are such things as shifters.

As with previous stories, members of the town try to help the men by touting their strengths and personalities.  There was a new tidbit in this story that I did not pick up in previous ones.  I did have to laugh at Stacia’s reaction until she learned the truth. 

I am looking forward to reading more in this series.  This book can be read as a stand-alone story.

Count on Me

 Title: Count on Me
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61921-991-5
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Series
Rating: Recommended Read
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Sixteen years ago, Caroline Mendoza’s mother was murdered and her father imprisoned for the crime. Believing in her father’s innocence created a rift with her grandparents that drove her across country to her father’s family. Now an attorney, Caroline’s back in Petal to start a new life. She lands a job with a local law firm, and intends to mend her family split and investigate her mother’s death. Her big surprise—meeting Royal Watson and their intense attraction. Delving into the past is causing problems. Not only is her family angry but someone wants her investigation to stop and is willing to kill her to do it. Can Caroline and Royal make a relationship work while catching a killer and keeping Caroline alive?

Count on Me is the newest release in Lauren Dane’s Petal, Georgia series. While reading the books in order would be preferable, it can be read as a standalone.

This is going to be a short and sweet review. So my first remark is that I’ve enjoyed the other books in this series but this newest one is definitely my favorite. My second is that you should read it immediately. It’s an emotional read—full of love, pain, and family angst—I couldn’t stop reading.

The author’s done a wonderful job in creating Caroline and Royal. The details of their personal histories—particularly Caroline’s is well done. Count on Me is fast-paced, the imagery vivid, the sexual chemistry sizzling and it even has plenty of action and danger. This complicated story is realistic, well written, and entertaining and I encourage you to give it a try.

Loving Jay

Title: Loving Jay
Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN:  9781627986304
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Since a car accident left him with a limp when he was sixteen, Liam has had to make adjustments to his life.  Unbeknownst to the young man, his biggest challenge is just around the corner; admitting to him, and others, that he is gay.  Attracted to Liam, Jay stages a meeting that soon leads these two from friendship to lovers.

Loving Jay is my first book by author Renae Kaye and I have to say it won’t be my last.  The author pulled me in right from the beginning.  I loved the characters and really felt for Liam as he struggled with his attraction to men.  It is easy to see why he is leery of accepting who he really is because of his fear about losing his family.  I have to say, though, that the way the author has Liam’s family voice their initial support for the young man, even before he comes out, lets the reader know that for the most part everything with his family would work out. 

Jay is the total opposite of Liam, which makes him the perfect match for the other man.  I love Jay’s quirkiness, especially when he has bouts of verbal diarrhea.  And when he shares a scene with his whole family, watch out because the craziness really shows up. When Jay and Liam finally come together as a couple they really heat up the pages, especially at the bachelor party.

While the relationship between the two men is important, the author covers some tense issues that help make the story, and Liam’s journey, come across realistically.  The secondary characters are just as well done as the main characters and I loved the way the two families reacted to the men’s relationship. 

Loving Jay is a great story and one I plan on re-reading again.  This is one author I will be keeping an eye on and can’t wait to see what she has planned next. 

Ask the Oracle

Author: JJ Black
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9780857156914
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Being the honorable man that he is, Grayson Muir made a commitment to himself to always help save lives. Grey also vowed to never do business with demons. Nevertheless, when Lord Andreo Demos pops into Gray’s office, Grey is forced to work with the demon before the underworld chaos extended to Earth’s humanity.

Ask the Oracle is the first book in the Revelations series. The captivating plot is well paced. The characters are creditable.

Gray’s personal history is particularly interesting. He considers himself merely as a gifted human. Orphaned as a baby, Gray has no clue as to whom or what species his parents were. It was only when Dreo informed him that there has never been a full blooded human Oracle. At the moment, Gray decided his future mission will be to discover his heritage. Gray also discovered Dreo is his fated mate, which explained why he found Dreo so utterly irresistible.

Dreo is principled as well as a very considerate man. He immediately recognized that Gray was his mate but he sought to resolve the issues plaguing the underworld before pursuing Gray intimately. However, Dreo and Gray did share brief intimacy during quiet periods of the hunt for the murderer. 

JJ Black has created a thrilling saga packed with magic, action as well as intrigue. The interaction between the characters is amusing, the intimacy is exceptional. I thoroughly enjoyed Ask the Oracle.  

Twins’ Slave

Title:   Twins’ Slave
Author:  M. Garnet
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-77111-914-6
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lorelei is a cop who gets involved in a shoot-out with aliens and manages to elude them for a while.  Once captured, she is taken to Bleak’s quarters as his slave.  Once there, Bleak realizes she is more than just his and his brother’s slave.

Twins’ Slave is a fast-paced book that I hope will have a sequel, or become a series, to answer some questions that went unanswered in this book.  The ending leaves a few issues unresolved.  Ms. Garnet creates a world that has a special resource that others want, but has kept hands off for a while because the Twinned Dessnue has not yet found their catalyst, or their woman.  That changes when Lorelei is introduced into the mix. 

I loved the fact that Lorelei didn’t accept the way they wanted to keep her.  She shows that her law enforcement background is an asset to the two men and those she comes to care about.  Lorelei becomes Bleak’s and Leant’s Concubine and foils a plot against the men’s surrogate father.

The chemistry between the three is what sets a new rule on Bleak’s and Leant’s planet of GigasVnee.  As their relationship grows, they learn they are intertwined and can feel each other, though the twins have always been able to communicate and feel what the other does. 

The secondary characters are a mix of good and bad.  The prologue does introduce one character that is mentioned, but doesn’t actually show up.  There were a few situations with the Guards that were funny, but life threatening in others. 

Despite not having answers to several questions that become very evident toward the end, this is one book I will read again as it was a good suspense as well as love story.

The Wolf’s Healing Touch

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books  
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-77111-890-3
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

After everything his sister went through, Byron has plenty of reason to hate scientists.  When he is one of those appointed to turn Sampson Marlow over to representatives of the CIA, he did not realize he would be meeting his mate, Edwin.  What is worse is the fact that his mate is a scientist, one who admits to doing experiments. 

The Wolf’s Healing Touch is the 22nd story in Ms. Richards long running Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This story is one in which the main characters pull you straight into their story and keep you there until the last page.  Having been a fan of this series, and knowing some of the things Marlow and his cronies have done to shifters, it was easy to understand why Byron acted the way he did after finding out what Edwin did for a living.  What surprised me is Edwin’s prior knowledge of shifters, and how he found out.  As for the two men, readers know the author is not one to let misunderstandings linger for long and the two waste no time coming together. 

There are a couple of twists in The Wolf’s Healing Touch that lend some tension to the book.  I have to say I was a little surprised by Toby, Edwin’s assistant, as I kept waiting for him to be the bad guy.  

Readers of this series are sure to love this newest addition and I am curious where the author will be taking it next.