Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Moon

Title: The Moon
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-61124-750-3
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Hammond Argyle is not feeling like his usual self; the bite wound on his neck must be infected. Danny McMann knows what ails Hammond. On the full moon, Hammond will morph into a werewolf for the first time.

The Moon is a delightful short story that details the process of changing from human to wolf, the thrill of hunting in wolf form as well as finding a mate to share your life. The characters are entertaining.

Hammond has always had a self awareness personality that is very much like an alpha. Danny has a calming personality, he is a beta in his pack; his job is to counsel other wolves.

I enjoyed Sean Michael’s The Moon immensely.    

Illusions

Title: Illusions
Author: S. A. Ozment
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632164896
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

While Skylar fell into acting when he was younger, he loves want he does and works hard to get ahead.  To get the prime roles, he has to keep his private life a secret, which isn’t too hard since he isn’t seeing anyone important.  Now that things have changed, Skylar isn’t sure he will be able to keep his career and the man he loves.

Illusions, by author S.A. Ozment, is a story that will grab your attention from the beginning.  Skylar is a young actor with an ego large enough for ten people.  In the beginning, there were times that his actions and behavior made him unlikeable.  It’s only as the story progresses that the readers see there is more to him than what he lets everyone see. 

The other main character in this book is Aiden.  Aiden is a firefighter who, in order to afford to live where he does, works a second job as a waiter for a catering company.  While Aiden is more mature than Skylar in many ways, there is an innocence about him that had me slightly worried about the men’s relationship. 

There is a strong attraction between the two men, and I liked the way Aiden has no real idea who Skylar is when they first meet.  The men’s relationship has a rocky start, and unfortunately the upheaval continues due to the actions of many secondary characters.

While the ‘bad guy’ is easy to figure out, the reason for his actions is surprising.  I was also shocked by the actions of some of the other secondary characters and loved that one of them gets his in the end. 

Illusions was a good read and I loved the way the author wrapped the story up.  I will be sure to keep my eyes open for more from this author.

Hearts and Minds

Author: M.D. Grimm
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-63216-534-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Xavier and Josh are so busy with their new venture that they completely forgot about Valentine Day. Since the two have only been mated for six months, both men are at a loss as to how they should celebrate the special holiday for lovers.

Hearts and Minds is the sequel to Healing Minds, the fifth book in The Shifters series. Xavier is a wolf shifter who had been tortured by the Knights, an organization whose goal it is to destroy all shifters. Josh works for the Agency, the Agency’s goal is to save all shifters.  Together Xavier and Josh have the needed experience to operate a clinic for the mentally troubled shifters. The clinic will be a first for the small shifter community called Haven.

Because this is the first time Xavier or Josh have been in a romantic relationship, they decided the best way to express their love for each other is to have a marathon day of intimacy. 

M.D. Grimm has created another impressive addition to this enjoyable series. The storyline gives enough background information to be fully engaged in the plot and the characters.  

A New Man

Title: A New Man
Author: P. D. Singer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632166449
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

What should be a wonderful time for Chad is anything but.  Instead of enjoying his senior year of college, and making plans for the future, Chad has to deal with headaches and sexual dysfunction.    But then the relationship between Chad and his roommate, Warren, changes and things become clearer.

A New Man is an interesting story by author P.D. Singer.  The story is about two young men, one straight and one gay, who have recently become roommates.  Warren is a grad student, while Chad is an undergrad struggling to finish his final year.   Warren has been crushing on Chad since the younger man moved in, but the fact that Chad is straight keeps him from making any kind of move on him.   Eventually the author finds a way to bring these two together and I loved the chemistry between them. 

The author did a wonderful job having Warren show that there is more than one way to be intimate in a relationship.  The way he sets out to help Chad overcome his sexual issues heats up the pages.  Of course, Chad’s sexual issues and orientation are not the only problems the men face.  Chad suffers from headaches that seem to be getting worse.  The way the reason for them comes out is unusual.   This is when the story really gets started. 

From the moment the men find out what is wrong with Chad, things begin to move fast.  Soon they are facing some major changes in their lives.  It is only natural that these changes, some good and some bad, have an effect on their new relationship.  It is easy to understand the men’s actions during this time, and their behavior lends a realistic air to the story.  

I liked the little twists and turns in this story and could not wait to see how everything would play out.  While I liked the story, I really loved how the author wrapped it up. The epilogue closes the angst ridden story wonderfully, giving the readers an ending they will enjoy.

Wolfe and His Bunny

Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Siren-BookStrand
Publisher URL: www.sirenpublishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-63258-745-9
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifters
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Alpha werewolf Max Wolfe and rabbit shifter Peter Bennett is an unlikely match, but destiny decided the two are mates.

Wolfe and His Bunny is a delightfully amusing story of natural enemies learning to love as well as build a future together. Peter’s first instinct was to run when he first met Wolfe, but on closer inspection Peter discovers that they have a lot in common. For example, both men are caregivers. Peter works at an animal shelter taking care of all sorts of abandoned animals. Wolfe is the alpha to a pack of men and women who were made into werewolves rather than born wolf shifters. 

Susan Laine has created an impressively appealing, sizzling romantic saga that I enjoyed immensely.  

We Found Love

Author: Kade Boehme & Allison Cassatta
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781632166777
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary        
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

A psychiatric facility is the last place anyone would think they could find love, yet that’s just what happens when Riley and Hunter meet.  The men’s problems may have brought them together but will they keep them apart in the end?

We Found Love by authors Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta is an angst-driven story that touches on topics that may be difficult for some readers.  The story grabs you from the beginning with its intense main characters, and will hold your interest until the last page. 

Riley is a young man whose life was turned upside down when he was just a young boy, and never righted itself.  His story is one that could be taken from the evening news.  The authors did a good job making this character and his actions appear realistic.  I wanted him to find his HEA, yet, really did not see the possibility of him ever leaving Hartfield.

Hunter is slightly older than Riley and is having a hard time getting over the death of his boyfriend.  Hunter’s way of coping is one that many others have followed.  It’s not unrealistic to believe, like his siblings did, that Hunter was trying to kill himself no matter how hard he tried to claim otherwise. 

While I liked the connection that these two formed, I could not help waiting for the other shoe to fall.  When it does, be prepared for some tough scenes to follow.  My heart went out to Riley and Hunter and I am glad the authors found a way to bring their relationship together in a realistic fashion.  They also did a good job wrapping the story up in a way readers will like. 

We Found Love will take the readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride.  This is a book that has found its way to my keeper shelf, and I will be reading it again in the future.

Semper Fidelis

Author: Anthology
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: totallybound.com
ISBN: 9781784304300
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

The main theme of the anthology is gay men in the military after the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rule had been rescinded. Even though the laws have changed, the attitudes of homophobic people remains. Because of the closed minded society, some of these men in uniform are still in the closet.  

Anomaly by S.A. McAuley - 4 Nymphs
On loan to a government testing facility, Marine Galen Welc discovers an IED is not the only combustible he will encounter when Galen meets the aerospace engineer who designs military drones.
     
Always Ready by T.A. Chase - 4 Nymphs  
Eighteen years ago, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Dean Jacobson’s mother rejected him because he was gay, but the parents of his long term boyfriend Phil Rhodes, welcomes Dean into their family with open arms.

A Ring and a Vow by Devon Rhodes - 4 Nymphs
Marine and Navy have been officially joined together, at least in the case of Owen and Cary who celebrated their military wedding after five long years of separation, due to the war in Iraq.

My Marine by LE Franks and Sara York - 4.5 Nymphs
Not everything is what it seems to be for Marine Intelligence unit Captain Sean Kelley and Afghani Translator Akim Bijan, but deception is part of war.

Soul Sick by Kendall McKenna - 4.5 Nymphs
Marine Captain Jamie realized that not all wounds are physical; war takes a psychological toll that could be deadly for his lover Tucker.

Safe Shores by Morticia Knight - 4 Nymphs
A Coast Guard rescue becomes personal for Shane when the son of his lover Kirk is in jeopardy of drowning at sea during a storm. 

Semper Fidelis is an impressive collection of enjoyable stories illustrating that, regardless of a person’s sexuality, honor, bravery and a strong sense of duty are the only activities that should be measured by the public.

Bayden

Title:  Bayden
Author:  S.K. Yule
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-816-1
Genre: {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

After a meteor hit Earth, Ellie, along with a young girl she knows, are trying to survive.  They are trying to reach a shelter when they run into Bayden and his fellow Reapers.  Ellie and Molly go with them to Ryon.

The first book in the Warriors of Ryon series, Bayden, gives readers a look into a new world with a lot of pitfalls.  Bayden is a former Enforcer that started the Reapers to oppose the King and protect the innocent as much as possible.  The Reapers are a group of men from the various planets that make up Ryon.

Ellie falls for Bayden, but isn’t sure about their relationship, especially in light of her own discovery and what she has been reading.  Bayden is very attracted to Ellie and knows he is not good for her.  The chemistry between them is great, once they get together.

Of course things don’t go smoothly, from his fellow Reapers warning Baydon about Ellie to betrayal.  Some things within the story were a little predictable, but others were a refreshing surprise.  Each of the Reapers have a very distinct personality. 

I enjoyed this first book of the Warriors of Ryon and am looking forward to see where the author takes it.  I am trying to guess which Reaper will be next to fall in love.

Rise & Fall

Title: Rise & Fall
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-63216-769-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Destructive Delta is out for revenge after two of their strongest team members are badly injured.  The Coalition’s leader, Beck Hogan, has vowed to go down fighting and taking out the Thirds team members with him.

Rise & Fall is the fourth book in the THIRDS series. The theme of this installment is choices or more importantly, letting go of the past to have a better future. Several of the team must choose between hanging on to their emotional baggage and losing the love of their life or acknowledge their fears. Beck Hogan has a twofold problem. He wants vengeance for his family, slaughtered by humans, as well as retribution for the Therians eliminated by Destructive Delta. 

Yet again Charlie Cochet has created an incredibly impressive saga. The action is powerful, the characters are hilariously fascinating. I enjoyed Rise & Fall immensely. 

Bloody but Unbowed

Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Torquere Press Publishers
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-61040-864-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Daryl Greer works for Hercules Security and instead of being a bodyguard, like most of the other front-line employees, he’s an extraction specialist. He enjoys the danger of his job, but Daryl’s older brother ridicules him for playing soldier, so they don’t get along. His newest mission is to rescue scientist, Dr. Emerson Winfield from the terrorist group holding him. Daryl doesn’t expect to be attracted to the smart-mouthed man…a rich guy his brother says wouldn’t give him the time-of-day.

Emerson was raised to see the person beneath what shows on the surface, and the only thing that matters to him is his attraction to Daryl.  Once they’re out of danger, Emerson’s priority is proving they can make a relationship work…that they belong together. Despite the circumstance of their meeting, with Daryl’s dangerous job, Emerson’s scared for his safety…and Daryl is defensive. If they don’t talk and come to an agreement, they don’t have a chance of their relationship surviving.

Bloody but Unbowed is the newest release in Ari McKay’s Herc’s Mercs series. While reading the books in order would be an advantage, this novella can be read as a standalone. It’s another fun addition to the series and provides an enjoyable afternoon of reading.

I liked the change of the main character from bodyguard to extraction specialist. It gave the plot a different focus and manner in which Daryl and Emerson met. The first part of the story—the rescue—is nicely plotted, and has a fast but believable pace. The personalities of these men are like oil and water—they shouldn’t mix but do and I enjoyed the smart-mouthed, snappy bantering between them. And yes, Daryl has a chip on his shoulder the size of a large boulder but you know Emerson’s going to chip away at it. 

The backgrounds and personalities of these men are pretty well developed for a story of this length, the descriptions are nicely done and their attraction is sizzling. There’s a good amount of angst, misunderstanding, poor communication and just plain stubbornness, but in the end the author works it out in a satisfying manner. I look forward to the next book in the series.