Friday, January 9, 2015

Trouble Comes in Threes

Author:  M. A. Church
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632165510
Genre: {M/M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Kirk’s had a hell of a day.  In fact, after all he’s been through already; he can’t help wondering what is going to happen next.  The last thing Kirk wants is to become the owner of two stray cats, which is just what happens as his day from hell ends.  What he does not realize is that his new ‘pets’ are more than what they seem.

Trouble Comes in Threes is the first book in The Fur, Fangs, and Felines series by author M.A. Church.  This shape-shifter story is a little unusual on two points.  First, while the shifters are felines they are domestic cats, just slightly larger than what you or I might have at home.  Second, the story is written in different points of view, starting with Kirk whose story is told in the first person, while Dolf’s and Tal’s side is told in the third person.  While I have read books that alternated between character views, I don’t believe I have read one that switched between points of view, and wondered if I would like this.  The story was actually pretty easy to read and the author did such a good job moving between the viewpoints that the story flowed easily.

Kirk is not your typical hero.  He’s older, slightly pudgy, and close to losing everything he’s worked so hard for.  He is under no delusions and knows he is not anyone’s idea of a great catch.  I think that is one of the things I liked about him, as he comes across more approachable and realistic.  Dolf and Tal are what you would expect from shape-shifters.   They’re tall, gorgeous and make a beautiful couple.  Kirk can’t believe they want him sexually, let alone as a mate.  I love the chemistry that exists between these three.  The author did a good job with the relationship that these three men find themselves in.  They complete each other in a way that strengthens their relationship, allowing them to face the various issues that arise as they get to know more about each other.  One of the things I absolutely loved about this story, however, was the way the author brought Dolf’s and Tal’s cats to the forefront.  The fact that the men had a variety of cat toys lying around, and practically built their house so that it was a giant cat house had me laughing. 

There are, of course, twists and turns that pop up throughout the story.  I was surprised by the way the story played out and did not see some of the revelations that came out.  I am curious to see how this series plays out, and wonder if someone from this book will get a story of their own or if the author will be introducing us to someone new.  Trouble Comes in Threes is a great story to start with for those who have not yet read anything by M. A. Church.  It is also one that her fans are sure to love.  

Take Me With You

Author:  Sindra van Yssel
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-675-4
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Craig and Alicia are dating but, before going too much further, Alicia wants to explore BDSM because of her curiosity.  She talks to Craig about it as she wants to make sure he is on board with it in case she really likes it.  Turns out Craig learns some things too.

Take Me With You is a wonderful story about two people exploring BDSM, though one is doing it reluctantly.  Craig goes with Alicia as he really likes her enough that he is thinking about a more permanent relationship, something he hasn’t done with another woman. 

The two go to a club and Alicia is definitely attracted to some aspects she saw.  Craig is the one that has more questions and doubts.  I really liked the way the author reconciled what Craig was feeling, along with the way she resolved the relationship between Craig and Alicia.  The chemistry between the two was intense.

The author brought up a few safety issues that were really good and were woven smoothly into the story.  I liked some of the secondary characters and the way they really helped Craig and Alicia.  The author did a good job walking the main characters through everything.  I loved the ending.

This book is a good one for readers that are curious about BDSM.  It takes the reader through various steps and feelings that someone new might feel.  There was also some good advice as well.  

Swordplay

Title: Swordplay
Author: Chris T. Kat
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632164582
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jeff, Alex, Sean, and their friends have made the move to Washington DC.  A lot of adjustments have to be made by everyone, leaving Jeff to wonder if he made the right choice.  Things really become dicey though when Jeff and his partner, Parker, take on a new case. 

Swordplay is the newest, and final, book in the Jeff Woods Mysteries series.  Readers need to keep in mind that this is a series that needs to be read in order; therefore the possibility of spoilers in this review exists for those who have not yet read the previous books.

From the first page the author, once again, pulled me back into the world in which this series exists.  I love the characters which the stories center on.  Jeff and Alex are still madly in love, with neither able to imagine a life without the other person in it, yet at the same time, they struggle with telling each other how they feel.   At times it was a little annoying, especially on Jeff’s side, it did make me laugh.  I loved the way these two men have grown, especially Jeff.   I will admit that while I loved the first book, I did not always like Jeff and wanted to smack him from time to time.  Now seeing him with Alex, and Sean as well, has made him one of my favorite characters, and I hate seeing him go. 

Jeff is not the only one who has changed over the course of this series.  Alex has become stronger, although he continues to hold on tight to his little brother, Sean.  Sean, even with his many new health issues is coming into his own, even standing up to Alex a time or two.  And secondary characters, Parker and David, have formed not only a solid relationship of their own, but have become members of Jeff’s and Alex’s family in such a way that Parker behaves a little over the top. 

Like the previous books, Swordplay has a mystery throughout it that ends up spelling disaster for all the men.  The turns and twists this story took will leave you questioning who the ‘bad’ guy is, and after reading this story, I have to agree with Jeff and his belief that he and Alex are weirdo magnets. 

Fans of this series are really going to love this new book, especially the way the author wraps everything up.   

Sunny’s Hope

Author: Nola Cross
Publisher:  Beachwalk Press, Inc.
ISBN/BIN:  9781940744551
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Interracial
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Christmas is over, but not the magic of the budding romance between Ben and Sunny.  Effortlessly, the couple and the kids have merged into the perfect family.  In such a short time, Ben had crept into Sunny’s heart and Sunny wasn’t fighting it.  Their Hallmark moment is shattered by an accident that leaves Sunny’s daughter Jasmine seriously injured. 

Ben feels responsible for Jasmine’s condition and Sunny’s ex-husband shows up to throw more drama into this stressful situation.  Family doesn’t turn out to be as supportive as Sunny or Ben expected.  Waiting to see if Jasmine would ever be the same again was all Sunny could focus on; everything else was too much to absorb.  

Life gets so good at times, it’s inevitable that something happens to shake things up.  The couple’s relationship is tested again and they almost fail.  Ben had always wanted to stand beside Sunny and shoulder burdens and Sunny just had to open herself up to letting it happen.  Sunny’s ex-husband is a horrible father and opportunist whom I would love to meet up with in a dark alley.  I was disgusted by his selfishness.  For such a short story, Sunny’s Hope covered a very serious topic.  It spoke to the “mom" in me.  Nola Cross does a great job of taking readers full circle in this follow up from Sunny’s Second Chance with some surprises that weren’t so unexpected.  Get the happy ending that will make you sigh with relief by picking up this story.

Renounced

Title: Renounced
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-78430-354-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Dallas Smith’s in South America with other pack members and while waiting to embark on a trek into the rainforest, decides on a nap. He didn’t expect to be abducted out of his hammock by Tiago, a jaguar shifter who’s been following them.

Tiago wants the interlopers in his forest gone. They’re loud and destroy irreplaceable plants. He’s used to being alone and doesn’t understand his attraction to the small wolf that’s invaded his territory.

Alpha Anax Marcus Criswell and several pack members went to South American to hunt for a kidnapped guard. Keegan’s now safe but the man responsible hasn’t been caught. Now Maarten, the mate of the South American Alpha Anax is missing and then Dallas goes missing too. Can they find them before it’s too late?

Renounced is the tenth and newest release in Bailey Bradford’s Southwestern Shifters series. It’s possible to read as a standalone, but a better understanding would occur if they were kept in sequential order.

Dallas is a unique guy but as a wolf, an unexpected choice for loner, jaguar shifter, Tiago. The author did a nice job expressing the differences in their personalities and the account of Tiago’s shifter upbringing made his actions and emotions much easier to understand. Unfortunately, there’s so much going on in this short release that there’s not nearly enough time devoted to their relationship.  Yes, it works with the other parts of the story line but there isn’t any real depth on a personal level.

I’ve always been fond of Nathan and Marcus, so it’s nice seeing them playing such a prominent role in this story as the ongoing plot line came to a confrontation. There’s lots of action and danger and more that a little physical pain for several individuals. This part comes to a satisfying conclusion—it’s just abrupt. 

I don’t know where this series is going next but I’ll be looking for the next release. I hope you will too.

Inked (Box Set)

Title:  Inked (Box Set)
Author:  Kate Hill
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL:  www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  07233-02331
Genre:  {M/F, M/M, M/M/F}, Ménage, Bisexual, Paranormal
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Rough Waters - 4.5 Nymphs

Samantha finds herself on a yacht with vampires.  Geoffrey thinks she was brought there to make him break his fast on drinking blood.  What happens when they can’t keep their hands off each other?

Cactus Juice - 4 Nymphs

Eric and Adrian meet in the middle of the desert.  Eric is willing to set down roots with Adrian, but is concerned due to Adrian’s insistence that there is no paranormal world.  Until Adrian can accept that, they may not have a future.

Mountain Men - 4.5 Nymphs

Lydia laughs at the notion that someone can have a loving ménage.  That is until she is transported to a tangle involving Jay and Kaelen. 

Climax - 4 Nymphs 

Damon was cursed by his order for falling in love with Angela.  Until he finished his punishment, he couldn’t get back to her.  What he didn’t know about was what they did to Angela.

The Inked Box Set is part of the Mate Marks series by Kate Hill.  All these stories have been published before. 

Damon was a Midlord that could bring soul mates together.  Once he found his own soul mate, he discovered that he would not be allowed to leave his order.  He was tattooed and told once those tattoos brought together those destined to be soul mates, he could leave and pursue Angela.

The first three stories involve the last three tattoos Damon has.  Mountain Men is also related to the last story as that triad actually help him get Angela back.  Each story is interesting in its own way and the relationships are very intense.  

I have not read this series yet, but am looking forward to after reading these stories.  This will be one to re-read.

Stirrings

Title: Stirrings
Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-61124-716-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The strain is mounting between Pascal and London in their work, as well as their personal relationship. The case of murdered humans by what appears to be vampires is causing dangerously emotional clashes. New information reveals that the homicides are only the beginning of what is in store for the Spectrum Island.

Stirrings is the second book in the Spectrum Skies series. The theme of the storyline is a romantic mystery with a political twist. The history of the island illustrates the humans as the invaders plus the typical actions of power-hungry trespassers. The humans want to change the laws to protect themselves against the residents they intruded upon. Another focus of the plot is the discrimination generated by a small group of humans. I got the impression that jealous envy is the motivation for their hatred.  The characters are believable.

Captain London Weaver, the head of the Human Enforcers, and Captain Pascal St-Maurice, is the head of the Specs Enforcers. Humans are called breathers; the paranormal residents are called specs.

London has a dominant personality, yet he is plagued by emotional insecurity because he denies Pascal the natural vampire ritual of biting during intimacy. London desires to be Pascal’s lover not a blood slave. The main problem London has is lack of knowledge about vampires in general and Pascal in particular.

Pascal prides himself on always being in control of his body. Pascal has many admirers; he could have more than a few willing blood slaves. However it is only during an emergency that Pascal will feed from anyone. By choice Pascal drinks packaged blood, he has never asked London to feed him.

D. J. Manly has created an exciting saga that I enjoyed immensely. The engaging characters are fictional, but the poignant plot is exceptionally realistic.