Saturday, December 20, 2014

All That Heaven Will Allow

Author: D.W. Marchwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632161673
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jimmy’s life started out rocky but now he’s finally at a place where he is happy.  The one thing missing, however, is a forever love and Jimmy is beginning to wonder if his time has passed.  But in walks Derek, and soon Jimmy’s life could not be any more perfect.

All That Heaven Will Allow is the newest book by author D.W. Marchwell.  This is a well written story with strong characters who will grab you from the beginning.  Jimmy grew up in an abusive family environment.  It took him a while to reach the point where he is finally happy.   While he would like to find someone to spend the rest of his life with, he knows that may not happen and finds other ways to fill the empty space in his heart.  Derek is a bit of a pain in the beginning, but it is easy to understand why.  I could not believe the way Derek’s ex-wife and children behaved and thought they should have been put in their place sooner.   The first meeting between Derek and Jimmy made me smile and I loved the way Jimmy sets him straight. 

There is a strong attraction between the two men that really sets the pages on fire.  While some might find their instant connection unrealistic, it was one of the things I enjoyed the most in this story.  I wondered how the author would bring these two together since Jimmy was settled and Derek was still foot- loose. 

There are a few obstacles that Jimmy and Derek must overcome before they can find their happily ever after.  One obstacle is so big and unexpected that, I must admit, I was a little worried.  I loved the way the author wraps everything up, however, and the last few pages are sure to make you smile.

Intimate Details

Author:  Tina Donahue
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Publisher URL:  www.sirenbookstrand.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-63258-535-6
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Ménage, BDSM
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Mike and Cody end up hiring Shana after she shows up for an interview with their entire lives in a file, including some very private information, that she used her hacking skills to get.  Her goal is to work with their pro-bono cases as well as exacting justice for her past.

Intimate Details had a lot of details about some of the hacking that can be done by a good hacker.  The only thing I was a little worried about is just how much can actually be hidden by a hacker without leaving some kind of trace.  As the story progresses, readers will learn a lot about Shana and the reasons she started hacking.  I was glad the author had the men convince Shana that there were ways to go about things legally instead of risking jail time.

Mike and Cody are best friends and are instantly attracted to Shana.  Eventually the three act on their attraction, though Shana resists letting them know about her past.  The scenes are hot, and eventually Shana lets them know more about her, which makes the men do their best to help and protect her. 

I was a little disappointed with the ending, as I felt the author jumped to the epilogue a little too soon.  I would have liked to know more about how they arrived at the solutions they did.  All in all, this was a good story that kept my interest.

The Alpha King

Author: Viktor Alexander
Publisher: Rooster and Pig Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9780692325810
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Talon loves his job and his family and wouldn’t change a thing.  Okay, maybe one thing.  The fact that he is a Vermithian means he can get pregnant and, since that is one thing he wants to avoid at all cost, he limits his sexual relationships to one night stands and all the protection he can find.  When his latest job finds him crash landing light-years away from his scheduled stop, the rest of his life starts to spin out of control.

The Alpha King is the newest book by author Viktor Alexander.  This is a second edition and has been greatly expanded, so I would urge those who have already read the first edition to think about repurchasing. 

The Alpha King is the story of two young men affected by the actions of their parents. Talon, a young man who has no knowledge of his past, is grateful for the love of his adoptive parents and sister.  He is also a bit of a free spirit whose actions, as well as what comes out of his mouth, made me laugh at times.  Blaze is the king of his people and takes his role seriously, sometimes too much.  He carries around a lot of guilt when it comes to his younger brother and worries about repairing the damage he has caused. 

You would think the free spirit and responsible royal would have little in common, yet they click from the beginning.  While some might think that has a lot to do with the mate bound, it also has to do with the men themselves.  Blaze and Talon balance each other out, allowing them to grow into their roles as Alpha King and Alpha Queen.

As you would expect, the relationship between these two is the main focus of the story.  It is full of ups and downs, with twists thrown in, that readers may or may not see coming, yet there is a lot of secondary plot lines woven into this first book of the Passion’s Hero series.  I am curious as to how each of the future stories will play out and hope we do not have to long to wait before we see book two. 

The Alpha King is a good starting point for those readers who have not yet tried anything by this author and, if you are a fan already don’t forget to pick up this second edition as the expansion is worth it.  

Species of Guy and Other Party Tales

Author: J.P. Maines
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02014-0340
Genre: {M/M} Satire
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Peter London describes navigating the treacherous domains whilst searching for the perfect long term monogamous relationship candidate.

Species of Guy and Other Party Tales gives fairly amusing details of the various traits, as well as the lack of ethics of some gay men. However, these descriptions could apply to any single man or woman. The narration reminds me of a stand-up comedy act.

The rating of Graphic: meaning high level of sensuality, detailed love scenes, graphic description of anatomy and of sexual acts did not match. The storyline simply did not live up to my expectations based on the book’s rating.

Each chapter is an explanation of the titles such as The Northern Gay Cheating Rules; Thrust the Trust, The Candle Guys, The Waving Guy, The Phantom Guy, The Bullshit Guy and so on. Each episode is a lesson in ethics according to Peter. 

Species of Guy and Other Party Tales is, to some extent, enjoyable despite the fact that my interest was not fully engaged by the characters.

Velvet Diamonds

Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press Publishers
Publisher URL: www.torquerepress.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-826-4
Genre: {M/M} BDSM Anthology
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

The release of Velvet Diamonds brings together in one anthology five previously published shorts that all take place in the world of the BDSM club, the Velvet Glove. The stories cover differing needs of the participants, and the plot lines vary from tender, sweet and those that are more sexually dominant in nature. Take a look and hopefully you’ll find something that appeal to you.

A Bird in the Hand - 3 Nymphs 

I like Kestrel and Jim and always enjoy seeing them as secondary characters in one of the ‘Glove books, but I have missed how they got together. That’s why I’m pleased their story is included in this release. While Kestrel’s mannerisms are a little over-the-top, he’s a nice guy and Jim is too. The story is sweet and the pacing is even but the descriptions lack the details to tell the reader where the story is taking place. It could be happening anywhere in the world, instead of the one the ‘Glove’ series is set in. That’s the biggest problem with this short—it’s not grounded in its setting.

A Peace Within the Quiet - 4.5 Nymphs

Gloucester and Katashi are new characters to me and the telling of their meeting and the gentle developing of the relationship is lovely. The background of each is placed nicely and the vivid details and ceremonial mannerisms of Katashi pulled me into the story. The pacing flows evenly, and while there are plenty of emotions expressed, they’re calm and controlled. I like these guys and would enjoy seeing them again.

Love and the Farmer - 3.5 Nymphs

This is a quick look at hard-to-control sub, Love, and visiting Farmer, Freddie. There’s lots of anger and emotions in the beginning coming from Love. It ultimately gets him disciplined and taken to Freddie where they have a vividly described BDSM scene. The read is quick and pacing smooth, but the ending is very abrupt.

Three to Heal - 4 Nymphs

Jean was severely burned in a bombing, leaving him terribly scarred. People stare at him, which makes him uncomfortable. Being introduced to Richard and Noel changes his life. This short is different than many of the other ‘Glove’ releases because of Jean’s injury history and its aftermath. This is a lovely example of how people are more than what you see on the outside…you have to look deeper than the skin and scars, and that’s exactly what Richard and Noel did. It’s tender but sexy; shows fear but hope and has a storyline and characters that pulled me in immediately.

Raw Need - 3.5 Nymphs

Issak is a high-powered businessman but he’s also a sub with needs of being totally dominated. This trip to the Velvet Glove, his Top is Car and the new experiences shake Issak to his core. This addition to the anthology is all about giving a sub what he needs; so while there’s a portion of set-up where Issak and Car met and come to terms, the remainder in all a BDSM scene. The pace is even, there are brief flashes of previous characters and there are good descriptions but I feel no attachment to either character. 

Naughty Nights (Box Set)

Author:  Kate Hill
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL:  www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  07173-02311
Genre:  {M/M/F}, {M/F/M}, Ménage, Bisexual, Paranormal, Sci-Fi
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Enslaved - 4 Nymphs

Darkrock and Strongsea have been forced into a marriage to merge their two sectors, as they are constantly at war.  As a gift, Radiance is given to them as a slave after she crashes on their planet.  She later ends up married to the two men.

Commanded - 4 Nymphs

Finesse has been hired by Radiance’s family to make sure Radiance is okay.  What happens instead is that she ends up in Blackstare’s and Rocksurf’s custody as their sector is at war.  Once she fulfills her mission to Radiance family, Finesse ends up staying and marrying the two men.

Devoured -  4 Nymphs

In an unusual move, Passion is allowed to become an ambassador to Shandra, even though she must be in the company of male co-workers to actually travel to the planet.  Timber and Red rescue her after she is kidnapped by thieves and ends up paying what is known as the Sacred Debt.

I really enjoyed the Naughty Nights (Box Set) by Kate Hill.  Ms. Hill happens to be one of my must read authors, though this is the first time I have read these particular stories.  She has created an interesting world on Shandra with ideas and customs regarding women that will drive independent women crazy.  Because of the lack of women on Shandra, one woman marries two men.  Some of these male couples could also be lovers, or in the case of Passion, she marries two brothers.

The contrast between the three stories regarding the circumstances of the marriages is interesting. One common theme is that all the men think Earth women are wild.  The women end up making some strides within the sectors, regarding the rights of women. 

Each story has a conflict that must be overcome, which allows all to give voice to their feelings.  The chemistry between each triad is intense.  Each of these stories were previously published as separate novellas.

The Goat Farmer’s Guardian

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books Inc
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0121-4
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

After the death of his wife, Zander Wheeler tried to put his life back together but instead things got worse. Zander discovered he’d been seduced by a married man and was unable to escape his clutches. Desperate for help, he called his friend Logan and discovered that the paranormal world existed and that a vampire has been using him as a blood supply.

The situation brought him into contact with Geoffrey, a gargoyle who claims to be his mate. Zander isn’t comfortable with the idea of a ‘mate’, which leaves Geoffrey on the edges of his life and living in the woods to guard him. When an overly aggressive Billy goat attacks Zander, Geoffrey comes to his rescue, giving them the chance to talk. Can they learn to trust each other and build a relationship?

The Goat Farmer’s Guardian is the latest release in A Paranormal’s Love by Charlie Richards.  Be aware that some of the characters are recurring and I suggest you read Restitution From His Mate where Zander is introduced.

I’ve been thinking about this review for several days and truthfully I had trouble starting it. I think my problem is that the plot had a great potential that fell flat. With Zander being so mistrustful of paranormals because of his previous bad vampire experience, his mating with Geoffrey is a seesaw of emotions. One minute he’s making accusations of being manipulated and then the next, he invites Geoffrey inside his home. Then BAM, he decides to move forward with their relationship as if he never had any doubts. 

Another peeve is the lack of information given to Zander about the world he’s entering as Geoffrey’s mate. I guess I’m frustrated with the number of things that are glossed over—roosting, molting, claiming and even the move to the gargoyle compound. And the conflict of the story seems to end in a flash. I wanted to see Zander and Geoffrey learn about each other and grown into their relationship. I’ve read the rest of the books in this series and had hoped to enjoy The Goat Farmer’s Guardian but instead, I was just disappointed.