Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Bond of Three

Author: K.C. Wells
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-63216-683-8
Genre: {M/M/M} Fantasy 
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

The setting is a fantasy world similar to middle earth or the mystical ancient world.  Teruna is the center of three kingdoms. Kandor borders Teruna on the west, with mountains that separate Kandor and Teruna, while Vancor is on the east borders of Teruna.

The well written plot features the elements of anguish, jealousy, secrecy and romantic interludes. The kingdom of Kandor is the enemy of Teruna. Rumors of Kandor’s intent to attack Teruna motivate the Teruna king to form an alliance with Vancor. The combined kingdoms of Teruna and Vancor would then be able to defeat Kandor. To accomplish the treaty, the kings decided that their sons should be united in marriage.

The main characters are Prince Tanish of Teruna, Feyar, Tanish’s lover and Prince Sorran of Vancor.

Tanish suffers from guilt because he has loved Feyar for years, but the laws of the kingdom forbid Tanish or anyone from acknowledging Feyar in public. Tanish is forced to keep his love a secret.

As required by Teruna law, Feyar was forcibly enlisted into being a sex tutor for the aristocracy. However Feyar was fortunate enough to be chosen as Tanish’s exclusive bed partner. Feyar regretted the lost of contact with his family, but could not be repentant for the love he shared with Tanish.

Sorran is extremely perceptive; he seeks equality for all the citizens in the realm. When Sorran discovers the love that already exists between Tanish and Feyar, Sorran is heartbroken. Nevertheless, Sorran has a natural magnetism that neither Feyar nor Tanish can resist.

A Bond of Three is an outstanding enjoyable saga. The engaging characters draws the readers into their world by demonstrating the realistic emotional pitfalls Tanish, Feyar and Sorran had to endure before their connection of love was firmly established. The display of compassion in each man is heartwarming; the intimacy scenes are superb.

Wildest Dreams: A Frederick Dick and Riley Silcox Mystery

Author: Sharon Maria Bidwell
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-62300-536-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Suspense
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Frederick Dick and Riley Silcox are CID Detective Inspectors and they’re currently working together on a case trying to track down the supplier of a new drug-REM. All information is need-to-know as the drug is dangerous, causing odd behavior in all people exposed to it. After checking on a victim, Frederick and Riley head to Scotland to follows up on several leads.

It’s a tough investigation as Frederick and Riley’s personal relationship is anything but smooth. Then they make contact with a man who turns out to be the supplier and find themselves in dire straits—the newest victims. Getting less of the drug, Frederick is their only hope and he must find Riley, who is hallucinating and running feral through the woods. Can they find their way back to sanity, safety and civilization?

Wildest Dreams: A Frederick Dick and Riley Silcox Mystery is the newest release by Sharon Marie Bidwell. It’s an M/M romance set within the confines of a police drug investigation. While the finale seems open-ended, I have no idea whether there will be additional books following these two lovers.

I finished this story a few days ago and it’s taken me several more to get my thoughts together. The blurb is like a typical police drama that I read routinely, so it seemed like a good fit for me. I was disappointed. While the premise had great potential, I don’t feel any of its realized. I found the personalities of Frederick and Riley underdeveloped, and while they might make a good couple—their relationship is rushed and not given the chance to develop. I found the descriptions bland and the plot confusing at times, requiring me to reread portions. 

Honestly, I thought the story odd and disjointed at times. And I have no idea why the author felt the need to suddenly include a bit of BDSM. It didn’t really go with anything else in the plot line. The dark edge of the story, which should have been a plus, wasn’t.  Between the aforementioned niggles, the uneven pace and the strange personality of the drug supplier, who ended up having such a prominent role, I was too distracted. Ultimately, I just didn’t care about either character. 

Centerfold

Title:  Centerfold
Author:  Kris Norris
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781784303938
Genre:  {M/M/F},  Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Scarlet is trying to live down her undercover assignment, only to find out that she has to resurrect it due to several murders.  Her former partner, Roman, shows up with his partner, Aiden, to head up the investigation and act as her bodyguards. 

Centerfold is an intense suspense story, as well as a hot love story, with some twists that I did not see coming.  There were a few light hearted moments, especially when they were required to participate in sex games.  The fact that the owner of the magazine had guessed they were cops was not a surprise though they were in the story.

I thought Scarlet was justified in being upset with Roman, especially the way he left.  I would have liked him to come clean about his relationship with Aiden and the fact that both men had fallen in love with her.  There were some interesting times while they tried to get Scarlet to forgive them, especially since they kept getting interrupted and having to playact.  The author also showcased some of the issues that happen in relationships for those in law enforcement.

I was surprised by who the villain ended up being and the reason for the murders.  The way the author ended the storyline was extremely intense and interesting, as it could have gone in several directions.  She kept it right to the storyline. 

This was the first book I have read by Kris Norris and it won’t be my last.  This is one to be read again.  Readers also need to be aware that Centerfold was previously published but has been expanded and revised.

Porter's Reaper

Author: Amber Kell
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784303853
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Porter Exton and Alstair Gorman are assigned to work together on a mission ordered by Hades. Also, Porter and Alstair discover an attraction for each other that cultivates into a long term relationship.

Porter's Reaper is fifth book in the A Wizard's Touch series. In this installment, the plot has an almost religious overtone. Revenge, along with mysterious deaths at the Mayell Wizard Academy, is the main elements illustrated.

As a Reaper, Alstair’s responsibility is not to judge the dead, but simply provide safe passage of newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. However, Alstair is a considerate man who has other magical powers. Before his death, Alstair had goals of using his magic to benefit mankind.

Porter is a shy restless soul searching for answers regarding his death. He cannot move on to the afterlife until his murder is resolved. When Porter is assigned to be Alstair’s assistant, it gives him the opportunity to finally discover the answers he seeks. 

Porter's Reaper is an intriguing saga. The storyline is a good balance of mystery, humor, conflicts and romance. I especially enjoyed the exhibition of their supernatural powers.  

Neutral

Title:  Neutral
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0181-8
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Ariadne was surprised the Volunteer Program wanted her since she only did calligraphy.  She was very surprised to find out that some planets and societies valued her talent.  After some severe training to add to her skills, she is chosen as the Imperial Scibe for Hredu.  What she doesn’t know is that the emperor has another reason for choosing her as well.

The latest book in the Terran Times Second Wave series, Neutral, was aptly named.  Ariadne has to be neutral in all things.  I was surprised by the restrictions that the author created for this position.  I had to laugh at some of the changes the emperor kept making after he met her.

Usorn is also a Guardian of his planet.  I loved the names for the four Guardians, named after the four seasons, and that their talents corresponded to them.  Ariadne doesn’t quite know how to take the fact that he is interested in her as a woman.  Of course things don’t quite go smoothly as there are some very tense moments at times.

I had to laugh at Ariadne’s guards, especially when she realized they were also her keepers.  The interaction between her and her maid was interesting as well, especially when Ariadne had to move.  

It will be interesting to see if the next few books in this series are about the other Guardians on Hredu. 

Naked

Title:  Naked
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0159-7
Genre:  {MF}, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Soap Opera, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Cierra had no intention of joining the Volunteer Program, but when she kept getting flyers in the mail and her car broke down in front of their offices, she knew she had to join.  Ahket kidnapped her in a normal raid, but refused to ransom her back because of his own talent.

Naked is the latest in the Terran Times Second Wave series and showcases a different alien race that is compatible with the Terrans.  Both Cierra and Ahket had talents that pulled them together. 

Ahket refuses what is basically triple the amount of ransom for Cierra and gets punished for it even though Cierra wants to stay with him.  What follows was a slight surprise for Ahket’s people.  I loved Cierra because she knew exactly what she could get away with, but created some circumstances that benefited Ahket’s people greatly. 

The planet’s Avitar was an interesting character and the description the author gives of the planet takes right there.  Ahket’s mother makes a brief appearance at the end of the story.

Most of the stories in this series can be read alone, and this is one of them.  I am looking forward to more as the different worlds Ms. Grace creates, for the most part, are very interesting.

Between Life & Death

Author: L.M. Brown
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784303624
Genre: {M/M/M} Angels and Demons, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Tristan, Alastor and Mac have reached a crossroads that will determine all of their futures. The critical question is whether they will survive together or be torn apart?

Between Life & Death is the third book in the Heavenly Sins series. The well written plot explores the religious sticky situation of human morals, along with the influences our earthly behavior has on the afterlife.

At this point in the story, Tristan is the new demon king but he is being held prisoner by the first fallen archangel Lucifer.

Alastor is still a demon, but is displaying a compassion normally associated with humans. Most of Alastor’s change in morals can be contributed to Mac; the angel is steadfastly fighting for Alastor’s and Tristan’s salvation.

The events illustrated in the storyline leads to the separation of the three lovers which will sadden the readers particularly drawn to Mac; however the rewards from heaven soon eradicate the angel’s period of remorse.

The most important element of L.M. Brown’s Between Life & Death is love, which seems to be the incentive motivating Mac, Alastor and Tristan in crucial decision making. I thoroughly enjoyed the character’s honorable traits, as well as their arousing exhibitions of intimacy. 

Sweet Fire

Title: Sweet Fire
Author: Sarah and Shannen Brady
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632163141
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Everyone loses control sometime, but Aaron knows that for him the consequences could be dire.  Ramon just wants to do his job and take care of his family.  While both men hope to one day find their happily ever after, the last person they would choose is the other. 

Sweet Fire is the latest book by this mother and daughter team.  The story is well written and I found myself pulled into the story from the first page.  The story takes place in a world much like ours.  The difference is some individuals have special powers that make the rest of the population a little nervous.  Because of this, Homeland Security is tasked with pulling these special individuals, and those associated with them, in for “questioning”.  The authors do a good job showcasing the effects this has on all involved, even though HOMSEC plays an underlining role in this story.

Where these ladies excel is bringing the relationship between Aaron and Ramon alive.  Both men are leery of starting a relationship, but for different reasons.  But the men can’t seem to stay away from each other and the chemistry between them is intense.   While the attraction between Aaron and Ramon is strong, their relationship is not an easy one which is understandable given everything going on around them. 

The authors have also woven a mystery into this well written romance that has several twists and turns that will leave you guessing about what will happen next.  While it is easy to figure out who the culprit may be, the reason why is surprising.   The authors do a great job wrapping all the loose ends together and bringing the story to a conclusion that the readers will enjoy.  

Rescue

Title: Rescue
Author: Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-855-4
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Free Demons by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga - 4.5 Nymphs
Demon prince Bel is happy to remain above ground, enjoying all the pleasures Cereus resort has to offer. Unfortunately Bel’s father is not pleased to have his son away from one of Hell’s realm. Xerxes is Bel’s former bodyguard turned lover and after eons as prince and servant, Bel and Xerxes are free to love each other or so they thought.

Rescuing Spirit by Sean Michael – 4.5 Nymphs
Spirit bear known as Lightning has given up on ever being free. He hates being caged as much as he hates the humans gawking at him everyday. However one night the voice in Lightning’s head finally arrives to recues him. It is a human named Etu who becomes Lightning’s liberator as well as his mate.

Baby-Sitting Job by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga – 4.5 Nymphs
Vampire Sandro is in need of a rescue from a master vampire determined to acquire Sandro as a trophy. Sandro calls his old friend Jonny, the vampire who owns Cereus for help. To ensure Sandro’s safe traveling, Jonny sends werewolf Devon as an escort. Sandro is a rare vampire species and Devon can morph into a dire wolf, which makes him an exceptional fighter as well as the perfect mate for Sandro.

Rescue is the fourth book in the Cereus series. The series is based on Julia Talbot’s original Bloodrose series which features a matchmaking vampire named Jonny who owns the Bloodrose club as well as Cereus. Many of the characters from Bloodrose also appear in the Cereus series.

What I find most impressive about Rescue is the detailed description of the characters and all the enjoyably amusing personalities illustrated. The resort is actually a sanctuary for paranormals, shielding them from various forms of oppression. Each couple demonstrates their monogamous bonding through scorching intimacy scenes.