Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sporting Chance

Author: Alexa Milne
Publisher: Totally Bound Books
ISBN/BIN: 9781784302702
Genre: {M/M}, Sports, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Iestyn is the total opposite of a jock.  He’s a geek, a school teacher and, while not in the closet, he does not advertise his sexual orientation.  Dan is the country’s most famous rugby player.  Part of that is due to being good at what he does, but some of it is because he’s openly gay.  No one would ever think that these two would have anything in common until Iestyn fell at Dan’s feet.

Sporting Chance is a fast paced novel by author Alexa Milne.  While the book centers on a sports figure, the story is not so weighed down with the subject that it becomes overbearing.  Both main characters are easily likeable and I loved the way they first meet.  While there seems to be a spark at their initial meeting, it is only because of the pushiness of friends that the two reconnect. 

The chemistry between Iestyn and Dan is strong and I loved seeing them together; however, their relationship is not an easy one.  Although both men are out, they receive a lot of flack from others, which ends up affecting both their careers.  The problems that come their way make Iestyn’s fears regarding starting a relationship with Dan understandable.  I really felt for the men but could not help feeling that both men gave up to easily. 

Once again it is up to friends to help the men find their way.  While I loved the way the author brings them back together, as well as how the story was wrapped up, I also thought the end felt a little rushed. 

All in all, Sporting Chance was a good book and I am glad I had the chance to read it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Prince of Faith

Author: Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose-Id Publishing
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-62300-144-5
Genre: {M/M} Space Opera Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The thought of revenge against his former friend Griffin Hawke is the only thing keeping Markus Dayspring alive. Markus has been held captive for so long he has lost all sense of time. Caius has been on a mission to locate Markus for months, even with his health starting to fail him; Caius is determined to complete the mission.

Prince of Faith is the third book in the An Uncommon Whore series. The plot illustrates the emotional influence of rape. Not only is the body sullied, the mind is raped of a person’s self esteem. Shame, as well as fear of touch, becomes a major factor to a rape victim. Healing the psychological problems is a longer process than curing the physical body. The storyline has enough background narration to easily indentify the characters from the previous books.

Markus is a member of royalty. He is a cousin to king Helios Dayspring in addition to being a spy for the temple priest. Markus was instrumental in the rescue of Helios, who had been a slave with no memory of his past. False information classifying Markus as a traitor lead to his capture, forcing Markus into slavery.

With the return of most of his memories, it is Helios who assigned Caius the duty to find Markus. Caius eagerly accepted because he has secretly loved Markus for years. Successfully liberating Markus causes another problem. Though from different sources, both Caius and Markus have lethal addictions. Scarcely strong enough to navigate the space ship, Markus manages to get them to a hospital. Caius is in critical condition and Markus is barely conscious. 

Belinda McBride has created a fascinatingly enjoyable saga. I suggest reading this series in sequence. 

Blue Mountain

Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC
Publisher URL: www.cardenoc.com
ISBN/BIN: 9781942184010
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx
Release Date 11-21-2014

Omega wolf Simon Moorehead and his mother ran from his birth pack when he was a teenager. Now his mother is dead and even though being on Blue Mountain land is dangerous, Simon’s come home to bury her. When he’s found by pack members, a huge and dangerous looking alpha comes for him. Despite the fear, Simon fights the urge to submit and to his surprise, the alpha takes him home.

Aside from his twin brother, the alpha of the Blue Mountain pack, Mitch Grant doesn’t have any friends, because everyone’s afraid of him. He protects the pack but wants what his brother has—a mate—and finding Simon gives him hope. But first he has to get Simon to stop rejecting him and their mating and give them a chance.

Blue Mountain is the first release in Cardeno C’s new series, Pack Collection. I like the combination of these two men. Simon is a rare male Omega who has had a rough life and has been on the run for years. Mitch is an alpha like his twin but instead of running a pack of his own, he protects those under his care in his brother’s pack. In reality, while he and Simon are very different, they both live on the edge of their worlds. 

I enjoyed the integration of Mitch’s brother and his family, and particularly liked the few scenes where his cute little niece is included. But too much of the story takes place within the confines of Mitch’s home while he and Simon are dealing with their issues and getting to know one another. Yes, these things are vital to developing their relationship, but the rehashing got rather tedious. 

Drawing the Devil

Author: Jon Keys
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61922-461-2
Genre: {M/M} Cowboys
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx
Release date 2-3-2015

Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping in Dustin Lewis like the thrill of riding a bull. Nevertheless, there is some major risk involved in a rodeo. Luckily, for Dustin, bullfighter Shane Rees was at hand to save Dustin from a near death-by-bull ride on the most dangerous bull Diablo.

Drawing the Devil is an exciting preview into the rodeo competitions. The main theme is romance. The plot illustrates the dangers of being talented, as well as being gay, in what is socially considered a tough man’s sport. The risk of being gay is that bullies exploit homosexuality as an excuse to justify their brutal attacks on strangers they are actually envious of. The characters are creditable.

Dustin has an ADHD medical condition; he takes medicine so that he can center his attention, except bull riding makes Dustin so overexcited it takes hours to calm down. One calming solution Dustin found is the intimacy he shares with Shane.

Shane is a loner, although he is openly gay to a few people.  Shane’s scarred face, due to an encounter with a bull, has lowered his self esteem. His relationship with Dustin is the first time Shane has hopes for a future with a husband at his side. Like any budding romance, Shane and Dustin have a few verbal fights, however their relationship is build on friends first then evolving into love.

Jon Keys has created an impressive saga that I found enjoyable. The rodeo action details in addition to the intimacy scenes are fascinating.

Forged in Fire

Title:  Forged in Fire
Author:  Juliette Cross
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61922-491-9
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph
Released January 27, 2015

Genevieve’s life has changed overnight, ever since she had to be rescued from a demon on her twentieth birthday.  Jude has some things to say to Genevieve, the least of which he has to tell her is that she is a Vessel and will have to choose to serve light or dark.

Forged in Fire, the first book of The Vessel Trilogy, blends a story of angels, demons and mythology seamlessly into a fantastic story that I did not want to put down. The author does a great job of keeping readers on their toes, especially when she pulls in the Greek and Roman mythology, after dealing with demon hunters banishing demons.

Jude is quite old with some major issues and is fighting his attraction to Genevieve, since remaining pure is one weapon Genevieve has to keep her light.  As she learns more about her role as a Vessel, Genevieve must accept Jude’s, and other hunters, help to learn about her powers. There is a major surprise regarding Jude and one about the first Vessel.

Jude and Genevieve has help from Kat and George, but other characters such as Dante and other demons, including one of the princes, make life very hard for them.  Having hurtful memories dredged up doesn’t help either.  Mindy, Genevieve’s friend and roommate, helps to keep some situations humorous.

Anyone looking for a happily ever after in this book will be disappointed, as there is a lot more to come before Genevieve grows into her full power.  A prophecy keeps popping up that will have lots of influence in the last two books in this trilogy.  I am waiting for the next two books as I want to know what is going to happen next. 

Bad Behavior

Title: Bad Behavior
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing 
Publisher URL: samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61922-426-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs 
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx
Release date 12-16-2014

David Beauchamp, known to his friends as Beach, is a member of the rich and idle social class, which leaves him with too much time to get into trouble with the law. Currently David is awaiting a court date for his latest misadventure. Probation Officer Tai Fonoti has been assigned to David’s case, however, David is promptly reassigned to another officer once Tai realized David is the same man Tai had a sexual encounter with the night before.

Bad Behavior is the fifth book in the Bad in Baltimore series. The main theme is an education in BDSM with an abundance of kink scene examples. There is sufficient amount of background information for plot building. Both main characters are bi-sexual.

Beach is a trust fund baby, a mid thirties man with the personality of a spoiled child who lacks self control, direction as well as self esteem. In his mind he should be punished for the useless life he leads. Beach seeks approval for obeying his master.

Tai is a control freak in the only area he can have total control, which is during a sex scene. Tai is interracial, which could account for some of his dominant traits.  Another issue Tai has is that he refuses to relinquish contact with a former girlfriend and her child. Tai’s attitude resembles a sort of reverse discrimination towards submissive men.

Although I recognize the fundamental nature of this story, I am not a fan of BDSM. I find the theme distressing along with being exceptionally demeaning. Nevertheless I read Bad Behavior because I have read the prior books in this series which I found enjoyable. My rating is based solely on the writing structure of the storyline, not the subject matter. 

Patchwork Heaven

Author: Jaime Samms
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632164070
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Mystery, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Twins Coby and Bruce never dreamed their band, Patchwork Heaven, would take off the way it did.  Now that they have the fame, they also have the problems.  For Bruce, it’s staying away from temptation in the form of drugs.  For Coby, it’s a stalker he can’t seem to shake.  Thankfully, Gregor is there to watch over and protect Coby, and soon the attraction they try to hide from each other is blazing out of control.

Patchwork Heaven is a new book by author Jaime Samms.  This story pulled me in right from the beginning.  Coby is the lead singer in the country music band, Patchwork Heaven.  What started out as fun is starting to take its toll on Coby and he isn’t sure how much longer he can hold on.  Not only is he starting to crack under the pressure of being a star, he also has to deal with the worry he has that his twin will return to drugs as well as the fear that one day his stalker will get to him when he least expects it.  The author does a great job bringing Coby’s fears, confusion, and, of course, lust out in a realistic way.  His attraction to his bodyguard, Gregor, is strong but the older man is a true professional and keeps his feelings for the musician on an employee/employer level.

Gregor wants to make Coby his, but he’s too much of a professional to step over the line.  When things start spiraling out of control, however, the two men find themselves coming together in a way that really heats up the pages.  Coby has a lot of issues and quirks that keep him from really enjoying life.  Gregor is all control and, while he never comes out and says it, he has Dom written all over him.  This makes him a perfect match for Coby and Gregor’s strengths enables him to bring calmness to the younger man that is really needed. 

While I enjoyed the interaction between the two men, one of the things that stood out, for me, was the effect this new relationship had on Bruce, Coby’s twin.  As twins, there is a specially closeness between Coby and Bruce. The connection allows them to feel the way the other does, good or bad.   As the oldest twin, Bruce has always taken care of Coby and, while he would never want to be without his twin, the craziness that goes on in Coby’s head is sometimes too much for Bruce to handle.  When Gregor steps into the picture, Bruce is finally given a reprieve.  You can almost feel the relief that Bruce feels because of this.  I like that the author gave Bruce and the other members of the band a bit of side story in Patchwork Heaven

The mystery surrounding Coby’s stalker will keep the reader entertained, wondering just who he may be.  I was surprised by the way he was able to get to Coby and the fact that it was so easy. 

The author does a wonderful job wrapping this story up in a way that the readers will like.  This is one story I plan on reading again in the future.