Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Editors

Torquere Press is seeking to bring on more editors at this time. If you know of any awesome editors looking for more work, please send them to kristi@torquerepress.com




Thank You!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fight for Love

Title:  Fight for Love
Author:  Samantha Kane
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL:  www.jasminejade.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781419992087
Genre:  {M/M/F} Ménage, Historical, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Thom has loved Kitty since he met her, but he knows she is involved with Devlin.  Thom’s memories of the war, when he had to make life and death choices, haunts him to the point he starts whoring and getting drunk instead of doctoring.  Things change when Devlin and Kitty ask for his help.

The latest book in the Brothers in Arms series, Fight for Love, continues stories of men adjusting to life after war and the men and women who love them.  This is a little different as Devlin survived a different type of life than going to war.  Devlin and Kitty knew each other long before they met Dr. Thom Peters, though they all have quite a few mutual friends.

Several of the ménage families know Thom and want nothing more than his happiness.  As a struggle for the London underground is brewing, things happen that put both Kitty and Thom at risk because of their association with Devlin.  Something Kitty does brings things to a head and gets Sir James involved as well.  I was surprised by the solution Sir James created.

Devlin and Thom are both under the impression Kitty would be better off with the other and their ménage is only temporary.  Ms. Kane does resolutions of these types of relationship very well.  Those familiar with the Brothers in Arms series will not be disappointed with Fight for Love either.  While each story has some of the same elements, the author creates very different and interesting combinations with the men and their woman. 

I am looking forward to the next story and hope one day we see one for Sir James.  I recommend that the series be read in order; however, it is not necessary to enjoy each story.

Summer Son

Title: Summer Son
Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627987295
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Ellis had it all, a great job, a loving husband, and a new baby.  Then one day his dream life falls apart and Ellis wonders if he’ll ever be happy again.  Zane is a struggling artist with a secret.  The last thing he should be interested in is starting something with Ellis, but Zane just can’t stay away from the handsome man or his sweet baby.

Summer Son is a well written story by author Anna Martin.  While she is a new author for me, this will not be the last of her stories I read.  From the beginning, I was pulled into Ellis’ story.  It’s easy to understand his need to show everyone he is capable of taking care of baby Harrison on his own, so readers won’t be surprised that his personal life has fallen by the wayside.  I like that his introduction to Zane goes smoothly and the instant attraction between them really heats up the pages.  Rather than pussy footing around regarding any kind of a relationship, the two men become exclusive immediately. 

While things between Ellis and Zane are running smoothly, they face a lot of interference from outside forces.  Although I was shocked by the actions of Ellis’ ex, I should not have been.  The man really is a giant prick and his actions at one point are over the top.  As for Zane, his past is just as intrusive.  I wondered how this part of the story would play out, and loved Zane’s response to the police when they ask for an alibi. 

I really loved how the author wraps this story up and would have no problems recommending Summer Son to anyone who loves the M/M genre.  I will be looking for more from this author and plan on putting her on my must read list. 

Finders Keepers

Author: Vicky Burkholder
Publisher: Liquid Silver
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62210-097-2
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal, Contemporary, Sweet
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Dean White is a private investigator who prides himself in being able to solve any case without having to resort to claims of magical powers or any of that supernatural nonsense. So it is driving him crazy that he has misplaced something as precious as his grandmother’s beloved ring. He has looked everywhere he can think of, but he just can’t figure out what has happened to it. His grandmother, being very understanding of her grandson’s sudden bout of absentmindedness, suggests he seek the guidance for Maggie Daniels, who can use her magic abilities to help find the ring…when it’s ready to be found, that is.

Dean will do anything to keep his grandmother happy, but secretly he can’t wait to show Maggie up for the fraud he thinks she is. Maggie can tell Dean is a non-believer but senses great power at work. Maggie is a “finder” and is facing her biggest challenge yet – helping Dean find the strength to accept his past and face the very real threat his stubbornness has brought to his own doorstep. 

I enjoyed Finders Keepers from the start. The story is written well and the characters immediately captured my attention. I love the knowledge and patience that Dean’s Grandmother Sarah exhibits. She seems fully aware of the importance of Maggie coming into Dean’s life but continues to support her grandson while he stubbornly refuses to believe what he sees and feels. The conflict and underlying sexual tension between Dean and Maggie is balanced just right for me. In fact the author did such a good job of building up the chemistry between the two characters that I couldn’t help but feel like the ending was a little bit anti-climactic. I thoroughly enjoyed following the characters’ journey, and while the ending is sweet, I would have liked to enjoy the destination a little more.

Loveblood

Title: Loveblood
Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632162427
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Young Adult
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Max and his mom have finally gotten up the courage to leave his abusive father.  Unlike some who have faced similar situations, they have a place to stay. Unfortunately however, that isn’t necessarily a good thing because in the shifter world, it is frowned on for them to leave the way they did.  This worries Max as he can’t help wondering what kind of reception they will receive once they make it to their new home.

Loveblood is the new release by author M.J. O’Shea.  This shape-shifter story is one that I am sure will grab the reader’s attention from the first page.  Unlike some stories in this sub-genre, the world that the author has created is, at times, more than a little violent, especially for characters so young.  However, this violence is not gratuitous and in fact plays an important part in the story. 

The characters are well written and, from the beginning, it was easy to want them to find their happily ever after.  Max comes from an abusive family so it is understandable that he his leery of going into a new pack.  Jonah is the favorite son of the pack and used to being in control.  Neither one of these young men is ready for the changes that occur once they meet.  There is an instant attraction between the two and, while Max understands what is going on, Jonah has no clue.  While the connection is strong, and the two can’t seem to stay away from each other, there are a lot of misunderstandings that may keep these two apart. 

There are a lot of twists and turns in this story that are sure to hold the reader’s attention.  The author does a great job keeping the reader guessing how everything is going to play out.  I have to say there were a few things I did not expect to happen and one that really surprised me.  There were, for me, a couple of unanswered questions, and I would love to see more of Max and Jonah in the future.  Fans of Ms. O’Shea’s are sure to love this newest story and, if you have not yet tried one of her books, this is a great one to start with.  

Recipe for Love

Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61124-596-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Life has never been particularly plain sailing for Jack, but these last few months have really taken the cake. His ex wife seems to be on his case every waking hour, and his most recent relationship has ended acrimoniously. As if Jack doesn’t have enough on his plate, he’s confronted by the sight of his teenage daughter at his door, all puffy eyed... and pregnant!

Dan runs a successful bakery and sometimes employs his nephew Billy to help out when things get busy. Dan realises it isn’t going to be a good day when Rachel – a girl Billy dated a while back – and her very cute, very angry father come into the store, demanding to see Billy. He can understand the man’s frustration, but Dan is not about to let Jack steamroll his way through this. The kids got themselves into this, and Dan’s willing to give them a chance to make it work. Jack obviously has a lot on his plate, so Dan is trying to stay patient, and much to his annoyance, reign in his immediate attraction to this hot headed man, but Jack is not making things easy. Dan can see Jack needs to seriously de-stress, and fast, but Jack is sending out mixed messages…

I enjoy reading Sean Michael’s work. The writing is realistic, easy to follow, and just has that feel good factor. Recipe for Love has drama, hot scenes and lots of baking goodness – the perfect combination. The storyline was very enjoyable, a good balance of emotion and cuteness, but I felt that it was a bit too short; as if the author had to skip over some parts that could have been explored further. The characters were very strong and had an immediate impact. I loved the chemistry between Dan and Jack, and would love to read more of their story.

Blood & Thunder

Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63216-178-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Agents Dexter J. Daley and Team Leader Sloane Brodie are running out of time along with stamina. Every spark of information uncovered to help Team Destructive Delta capture the terrorist group known as the Order of Adrasteia leads the team into a deadly trap. New York is in chaos, some secrets have been revealed, but there are more lethal mysteries yet to be discovered.

Blood & Thunder is the second book in the THIRDS series. The plot is a well paced riveting suspense. The characters are fictional; nevertheless the circumstances illustrated in the plot are incredibly realistic. I could visualize their levels of stress escalating almost to the emotional breaking point. Their tempers flaring to a combative state, their fear of failure as well as the fear of losing a love one being unbearable. These are the mental conditions the team had to tolerate.

Being a shifter, Sloane is having an especially hard time with his personal life. His human side wishes for a long term intimate relationship with Dex, yet his jaguar’s natural instincts desires to be a loner with no permanent attachments to anyone. Sloane is torn because he still has feelings for Gabe as well as equal feelings for Dex. Sloane’s internal conflict makes it difficult for him to work with Dex, he regrets the rift between them, but Sloane is at a loss as to how to mend their broken bond. Sloane also fears rejection from Dex if secrets from his past emerge. The anxiety Sloane is suffering may cause him to lose his humanity transforming him into feral jaguar.

Dex is smart, brave plus sympathetic; however Dex is finding it difficult to maintain his usual cheerful temperament. Trying to concur with the emotional rollercoaster constructed by Sloane has caused Dex to have an inferiority complex towards his job as well as their clandestine liaison. Dex recognizes he’s heading for disaster with Sloane; nevertheless Dex is powerless to stop it.
  
Charlie Cochet has again created an outstanding intense action saga intermingled with heartwarming moments as well as moments of humor. I enjoyed Blood & Thunder immensely. 

Changeling

Title: Changeling
Author: Barbara Geiger
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-813-0
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Matt will do anything to provide for his little brother Sam, and the easiest way to make the money they need to survive is selling himself. Between worrying about the money and putting food on the table, he’s exhausted and looks it. Then he meets Kevin and he has a little hope for the first time in years. But Matt’s also just agreed to ‘trade’ services for Sam’s tuition at a private school. Life is a mess, people who bother Matt are dying and the police are circling. Kevin is rich and generous and seems a little too perfect, but that might be because he’s a Fae prince. An even bigger surprise…it looks like Matt might be the missing Fae King. He just doesn’t know it.

Changeling is the first release in the new series Middle Hill by Barbara Geiger. Please be aware of the BDSM content before reading.

What do I say? I’m a fan of paranormals and the blurb for this first release caught my attention. I had high hopes. It seemed like a book I’d love but what I found instead was a confusing story that I had difficulty following.  The plot jumped all over the place, and there’s lots of missing information, leaving me to piece together a world with too many hidden motives to even begin to understand. That goes for the characters are well. The author apparently didn’t want to reveal anything important in the beginning, so there are gaping holes in the personalities and backgrounds of the main characters since it all weaves together. 

Be warned, I was still totally confused about the plot, characters, what had happened and where the story was going up to page 114… and this book is big. It’s a very long 362 pages, and I didn’t start to get a handle of what was happening and why until I’d struggled through probably 175 pages. Then it started to make sense.  At least more sense than before. By this stage I had so much time invested that I wanted to see where it was going.  Don’t get me wrong, the world building is creative but the other issues just about negated them. The only thing that saved the book for me was the last…maybe 75 pages. It’s here that things finally start to come together and we get some answers, but there are still dangling threads which I assume will be addressed in the next book. I truthfully don’t consider this a romance…and I didn’t feel the chemistry between Matt and Kevin. I did enjoy the protective them-against-the-world relationship of the brothers. 

Yakuza Courage

Author: H.J. Brues
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627988667
Genre: {M/M}, Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Brendan O’Farrihy thought his life would be the SEAL’s but when that falls through, he finds himself doing a job he doesn’t like and living a life totally different from what he wanted.  While on a case, Brendan meets and falls in love with Kinosuke.  Unfortunately, the younger man is one of the subjects of his case, which causes more than a few problems.

Yakuza Courage is the second story in The Way of the Yakuza series by author H.J. Brues.  Readers will need to have read the first book, Yakuza Pride before starting this one as the history developed in the first book is even more important now.  While Brendan and Kinosuke are the main characters of this story and their romance does on occasion come into play, the book is really story centered and there is a lot going on.

The fact that there is so much going on in this story, for me at least, makes it difficult to review.  I suppose the best way would be to break it down a little and the first part will center on the romance between Brendan and Kinosuke.   When these two actually meet in person, there is some connection between them, yet it takes some time for the men to act on those feelings.  The passion between them is really intense and once they come together, they heat up the pages.  I would have liked to have seen more attention paid to these two, but what there is works well in the scope of the story.

Next there is Ken and the Yakuza men he has made his family.  As the readers would expect, all of them are having problems adjusting to the huge changes in their lives.  Of course, given the culture the men come from, talking about their feelings is not something they do.  This leads to many misunderstandings.  Of all of them it was Kotaro I felt the most for.  Not only does he have to adjust to a new environment but he is also a teen-ager going through all the problems they face when being the new kid in school.  I must say I was a little worried at one point that things with Kotaro were going to end badly.

Next there is Brendan and the men from his SEAL team.  The unit’s last mission together did not go well and Brendan ends up taking the fall.  All the men end up suffering, some more than others.  The author does a good job making this part of the story come across realistically; in fact, this is something that could have been part of our evening news some time during the last few years. 

It is when the author brings these two groups together that the story really takes off.  It is only natural when Kinosuke finds out about being part of Brendan’s mission, that he feels betrayed.  While Kinosuke has the right to act the way he did, I liked that Brendan was not ready to give up on the two of them being together.  I also liked that Brendan, once he realizes that maybe the case he was sent to do was a lie, works towards helping the Yakuza.

There is a lot of action and a lot of twists and turns going on in Yakuza Courage that makes this book one that you really need to pay attention to.  If you are looking for a story with some meat to it then you really must pick this one up.  I am curious to see what the author hopes to bring to this series next.  I also hope we will be seeing more of Brendan’s SEAL team. 

Medics, Mayhem, and Mojitos

Author: Sara York
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02014-0269
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Liam Noble has first-hand knowledge of how much words can hurt.  Meeting potential boyfriends is always a problem for Liam until he meets Jordan McKelvey. Jordan is able to see beyond Liam’s shyness to find the strong good-natured real Liam hiding behind the blushes.

Medics, Mayhem, and Mojitos is part of Love's First Response series. In this episode, Liam is an EMT for the fire department. He loves his job and works well with his co-workers. The plot illustrates both emotional and physical healing, a promising romance along with scenes of intimacy.

The only issue that Liam has is that he is haunted by the constant verbal abuse from a former boyfriend. Although the former boyfriend is gone, his painful words still cause Liam to feel unworthy to be loved.

Jordan is a bartender with a naturally charismatic personality. He is not afraid to show his interest in Liam. A considerate man, Jordan is sincerely willing to help Liam without passing judgment on his past. 

Sara York has created another enjoyable installment to this series. I especially enjoyed the display of camaraderie amongst all the co-workers.  

Theirs to Share

Title:  Theirs to Share
Author:  Trista Ann Michaels
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-278-7
Genre:  {M/F/M} Suspense, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Cheyenne drags a friend with her to get some pictures, but both end up getting shot at after seeing an FBI agent tortured.  Grayson and Parker end up being Cheyenne’s protectors when she has to be protected as a witness.  Grayson and Parker, who are cousins, both want a long term relationship with her.

The third book in the Crime and Punishment series, Theirs to Share, is a fast paced action and love story.  The author kept the story interesting and threw in at least one surprise toward the end. I really enjoyed the backstory for Grayson and Parker.  The author threw in a few humorous tidbits that were reflected as the story progressed. The men are cousins whose mothers are twins who did something that makes them extremely close and able to connect mentally.  As FBI agents, they watch each other’s backs.

Both men are attracted to Cheyenne and she is just as attracted to them.  All three try to resist acting on that attraction, but of course they fail.  The men aren’t sure Cheyenne will be able to handle a relationship with both of them long-term but once she makes up her mind, she is worried they don’t want that with her.  Once all the misunderstandings get sorted out, the scenes between them all get even hotter.

I loved David and his relationship with Cheyenne. There is a small secondary story with Cheyenne’s friend, David, which works out.  In addition, other agents show up to help and one may end up with his own story if hints are any indication.  

The stories in this series can be read as individual stories without having to read the entire series in order.  I would recommend reading all of them though, as each are good stories for the bookshelf. I am looking forward to the next one and hope it is Josh’s story.