Friday, July 31, 2015

Unconventional in San Diego

Author: Anthology
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publisher URL: www.pride-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-78430-687-8
Genre: {M/M} {M/M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Unconventional is the name of a drinking establishment where the paranormal and some of the more adventurous humans get together.
   
 Fate’s Bridge by Carol Lynne – 5 Nymphs
The plot is an especially sensual vampire ménage. The characters are Bodi, a laid back amiable human turned vampire after a deadly attack. Bodi is the link that unites Roman, a centuries old vampire searching for the return of his first love’s human soul and Alexi, a vampire who secretly loves Roman.

My impression, together the three have achieved their forever love destiny.

Coming in Third by Amber Kell - 5 Nymphs
The plot is an amusing mixed species ménage. The main characters are Niall, a member of the fae royalty who is cursed with an abusive controlling mother. Jovan and Luka, cat shifters who are convinced after one night together that Niall is their mate and determined to claim him.

My impression, I was hoping someone would magically zap Niall’s mother or at the very least, the cats would bite her.   

The Unicorn Said Yes by T.A. Chase - 4.5 Nymphs
The plot is a dark fantasy. The main characters are actually the innocent victims of a sinister plan to restore a perverted family’s long ago depraved notoriety. Carney is an outcast in his family, which makes Carney the perfect lure to entrap Ivan, the unicorn king.

My impression, honor triumphs over betrayal and trust can lead to love.
    
Blood on the Moon by Jambrea Jo Jones - 4.5 Nymphs
The plot is a mystery. The main characters are Kishar, an incubus ruled by his moral values rather than his deadly hunger. This makes Kishar a disgrace to his cold hearted mother, but a perfect mate for the fashion conscious righteous witch, Montague.

My impression, for every evil action, karma delivers a more powerful reaction as Kishar’s mother can attest to as she undergoes licentious detoxification.

A Sliver of Sunset by Devon Rhodes - 4.5 Nymphs
The plot is a poignant love story. The main characters are Angelo, an ocean shifter facing a battle with leukemia and Dominic, a human and a nurse in the cancer hospital.

My impression, fate brought them together at a time when Angelo desperately needed a loving mate the most. 

Wounded Hearts

Author: Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781634762908
Genre: {M/M}, Western        
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Zane wakes up, he knows the career he once had as a detective was over.  Now he has to figure out what to do with himself, so when his best friend strongly suggests Zane takes some time to recuperate on a ranch he knows of, Zane goes.  Only things don’t go the way Zane thought they would.

Book titles are a funny thing.  Sometimes after reading a book I find myself wondering just how the connection between the story and title is made as it was hard to see. However, with Wounded Hearts the authors throw the connection right out from the beginning. 

Zane is an NYPD detective.  While following a lead on a case, Zane receives a career ending injury.  For someone who has already faced tough times, this newest challenge may be more than what the young cop can handle.  While not really wallowing in self-pity, he is devastated and at loose ends.  He does have a strong support system, but does not want to become a burden to his family and friends.  When Renford, his best friend, recommends some time away and sends him to Montana, Zane is unsure what he will find.  It is easy to see how this strong man would feel going from an able bodied cop to someone having to face a few challenges. 

Cyrus is the ranch owner and the total opposite of Zane.  Older, rude, and foul mouthed, he could care less about what anyone thinks about him.  He wants to be left alone and would be happy finding a way to make his ranch pay for itself.  After losing his husband and spending time in prison, the only connections he wants with other people are limited.  Cyrus would be an easy character to dislike if it wasn’t for the fact that the reader is given insight to him early on.  While we are not given the whole story, we are given just enough to ensure we continue to turn the pages to find out more.  As with Zane, it is easy to see the pain that Cyrus is in.  It is also easy to understand why he tries to keep everyone at a distance.  It kind of makes you wonder what in the world Renford was thinking sending Zane to stay at the ranch. 

With the men at odds from the beginning, the attraction that exists between them is not easy to see.  I almost felt bad for Cyrus because it seemed as if he had no real idea how to talk to someone without being over the top or offending.  The journey these two take is not an easy one, and there are more than a few pitfalls.  When Cyrus’ secret comes out, I was not surprised by Zane’s reaction.  Although it was clear to see that these two men loved each other, I worried if they would end up happy.  The authors do wrap up the story between these two in a very satisfying way, which I was glad to see.

Wounded Hearts also has a variety of secondary characters that help move this story along.  Two of those characters, Renford and Brian, were fun to watch; hopefully they will be getting books of their own soon.  

An Expert in Domination

Author:  Sindra van Yssel
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-947-2
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Contemporary, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Sophia is more of a nature person and goes to Bondage Ranch with a friend to at least have a relaxing time.  The friend she went with volunteers her for an impact demonstration being done by Colby.  Sophia is not one to back out, despite the circumstances.

The seventh book in the Bondage Ranch series, An Expert in Domination, showcases a divorced mother learning about herself.  Colby doesn’t do relationships because of his own background with divorce.  He also had to change professions as a result. 

Sophia lives on the East Coast and Colby is an attorney living in Los Angeles.  Due to the demonstration, the two connect in more ways than one, with Colby asking Sophia to let him teach her what is means to be submissive.  I liked that Colby made sure she understood what was going on, asked her lots of questions, and made sure she had a safe word.  I did have to laugh at some of Sophia’s attitude because she made sure that Colby knew where she stood.

Once the two get together, the chemistry is very intense. Neither was looking for a relationships, especially since it would be a long distance one.  Because of Colby’s job, he takes a vacation where Sophia is and ends up with a job that could keep him there.  

Ms. Van Yssel does it again with An Expert in Domination.  The story kept my interest and is one that would be a good starter for someone just starting to read about BDSM romances.  One great thing about the stories in the Bondage Ranch series is that each story takes someone with experience and a novice on a journey that also has lots of romance.  I am looking forward to more in this series. 

Betwixt and Between

Author: Alexis Duran
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-62300-939-7
Genre: {M/M} Urban Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Ian Evers grew up surrounded by magic and secrets until Ezekiel Stormshadow, a dark elf, reveals the truth about Ian’s family.

Betwixt and Between is the first book in the Edge of Night series. The setting is Seattle, Washington. The plot centers on the dark and light realms of Earth. The dark realm practices magic for stealing the light from the soul because evil cannot nourish a soul, it can only destroy the soul as well as the person.

Ian believes in magical creatures.  This is the main reason he works for a tabloid newspaper that feature unbelievable stories. His job is to search out the mythical creatures hiding among humans and take a picture of them. Ian is protected from evil by wearing a moonstone infused with a magical spell.

Ezekiel is a slave to the dark queen; his job is to lure people underground to feed the evil queen and her minions, but it is getting harder to find light sources strong enough to strengthen the entire dark realm.   

Betwixt and Between is an impressive as well as enjoyable saga. The battle of love against evil along with the revelations of the character’s histories is fascinating.  

Met Her Match

Title:  Met Her Match
Author:  Sierra Cartwright
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-932-8
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Mira is partnered with Torin in the security field, but she wants him to dominate her sexually as well.  Events change their relationship after Torin originally refuses her.

Met Her Match was originally one of the stories in the Doms of Dark Haven anthology, which is no longer available.  The novellas are currently being published as separate stories with no revisions.  Met Her Match is part of the Hawkeye series.

The relationship between Mira and Torin is very intense, both as agents for a security company and their BDSM relationship.  Mira has always wanted someone to dominate her sexually but also wants someone to respect her abilities as a highly trained agent.  Mira was attracted to Torin when she first trained with him, but now that she is partnered with him, she wants more.

Torin hasn’t stopped thinking about Mira since she came to him.  When he goes to Dark Haven and sees someone else dominating her, he causes a scene.  The scene between the two is hot, and starts their relationship.  The chemistry between the two is sizzling.

Torin is definitely Mira’s match.  Even though he wants to protect her, he knows she is good at her job.  I love Mira because she is so strong, good at her job, but knows what she needs in a personal relationship and isn’t afraid to go after it.  The author did a good job blending the job the two had to do and their personal relationship.

Those that are fans of Dark Haven will enjoy reading Met Her Match again. New readers will get a glimpse of Dark Haven’s world and should look for the other stories.  I will be reading this again.

Victoria and the Alien Doctor

Author:  Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher:  Changeling Press
ISBN/BIN:  07407-02389  
Genre:  {M/F} Sci-Fi Futuristic
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Watching her daughter slowly dying is pushing Victoria Mathers to drastic actions.  The doctors of Earth can’t cure her child no matter what they try, and the doctors of Terran are forbidden from treating humans.  Begging isn’t working so Victoria considers the last option left, mating with a Terran. 

Xonos hadn’t seriously considered having a mate, but he had to do something to help the single mother and her child.  Perhaps Xonos could come to an understanding with Victoria and they could both benefit from a union. 

Neither Victoria nor Xonos expected to bond so quickly as a family.  Physical attraction was there from the beginning, but the emotions took them both by surprise.  A future with Xonos was something Victoria could envision and she wondered if he felt the same.  There was not doubt he’d fallen in love with her daughter and would do anything for her, but how did he feel about Victoria?

Life hadn’t been kind to Victoria before she met Xonos.  Victoria’s parents failed her as a child and then pregnancy brought more problems.  I was thrown for a loop by the shocking circumstances and how she told Xonos about it.  A weaker woman would have given up and not sacrificed herself.  I was also impressed with Xonos’ compassion and how easily he accepted having a wife and child.  He was meant to be a father; there is no doubt in my mind.  I was touched by the way Xonos pampered the little girl and I felt her excitement with her new daddy.  Tragedy brought this couple together, but fortunately it isn’t what will keep them together. 

Terran men know how to make a woman feel special, that is evident in Victoria and the Alien Doctor, the second installment of the Intergalactic Brides series.  A sexy go-to guy is hard to resist, so I know readers will embrace Xonos.  This story can be read as a stand alone with no problem, but because it’s so captivating, you’ll want to read the series from the beginning. 

Remy’s Painter

Author: AC Katt
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02015-0421
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Ian Sullivan’s in trouble. His older brother got into debt to a loan shark and when their father reported the repayment threats to the police, they were both killed in a suspicious car accident. Now that same loan shark is demanding Ian pay-off the loan, and Ian needs five thousand dollars immediately. If he doesn’t, he could wind up as mobster Sal Ferrara’s boy toy. 

His only hope of getting out the mess his brother caused is a painting contract his father hadn’t completed before his death. If Ian can win the contract for the seventy five hundred square foot house, he’ll have the money he needs. What Ian doesn’t know is that the house is owned by Remy Clavier, the beta of the North American Council of Werewolves, who is his mate. Remy is willing to be anything to protect and care for Ian.  He just has to figure out how to deal with Sal Ferrara without killing him, and to convince Ian they belong together. Nothing too difficult—right?

Remy’s Painters in the second release in AC Katt’s M/M paranormal series, The Werewolves of Manhattan. Be aware that the characters are connected and the books should be read in order. 

I admit it. I enjoyed this book more than the first. I like Remy and Ian and enjoyed the development of their relationship and getting to know them. The book is a nice length, so the author had time to develop their personalities, and have them realistically connect as a couple. Ian’s years of family problems are nicely integrated, giving the reader a good understanding of his emotional state and relationship baggage. The story also has vivid descriptions, a fast pace, angst, danger, action and plenty of sexual tension. I enjoyed the interaction of the secondary characters and the fun, bantering dialogue.  I look forward to the next release in the series. 

Vice

Title:  Vice
Author:  Rosanna Leo
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61922-719-4   
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Life in Las Vegas has ups and downs and Kate Callender has experienced them both to the extreme.  Her complicated childhood is what made Kate start the support group that gives her life purpose.  Change has to start someplace and being in between jobs left Kate with spare time. The man responsible for the destruction of numerous families was about to become Kate’s new project.

When it comes to making a successful casino, Liam Doyle’s name is on the top of the list.  He is a self-made man who has everything money can buy.  Even though wealth hasn’t made him happy, Liam doesn’t take kindly to the ginger hellion trying to ruin his business. 

The chemistry is strong between Kate and Liam, but so is the anger.  Kate is determined to close down Liam’s casino and Liam is equally determined to get rid of Kate.  Spending more time together has changed their opinions about each other.  Kate and Liam are both broken and struggling with issues from childhood.  Kate’s life is threatened and Liam comes to her rescue.   Kate’s loyalty is questioned when her friends discover she’s sleeping with the enemy, Liam.  After hitting rock bottom individually, Kate and Liam are able to make it as a couple. 

Kate wasn’t practicing what she was preaching in her support group and that made me angry.  Her father destroyed everything with his gambling, yet Kate couldn’t cut him off.   And thinking about Kate’s poor mother nearly brought tears to my eyes.  I understood Kate’s reasons, still I was disappointed.  She convinced Liam that he needed to stop his custody battle, but I see nothing wrong with what he was doing. Liam’s heart was in the right place, and I know he would have made a great father.  He was so damaged as a teenager, I’m amazed Liam could admit his feelings so easily.  My heart broke for him, especially after learning that he didn’t want to share everything with Kate.   Liam’s road to recovery was going to take a while but with Kate at his side, I know he’d get there.  Vice brings together a couple who finally come to terms with the past.  It shows their human side and draws readers in.  This one is a must read.

Kick at the Darkness

Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: Self Published
Publisher URL: www.smashwords.com
ISBN: 9780994092410
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

College freshman Parker Osborne realized maintaining his grade point average was the least of his worries when the majority of Earth’s inhabitants have been infected from a biological terrorist attack. As it happens, Parker also realizes that his perceived academic arch enemy Adam Hawkins is not an enemy, but Parker’s savior.  

Kick at the Darkness is an amusing thriller combined with a touch of romance. The setting is a motorcycle road trip from California to Cape Cod. There are a number of creeper attack scenes in addition to a few fights with virus free human predators. Envision traveling across the country in a world thrown into total chaos with very little food, no phone service and no electric power. Finding a safe place to sleep and shower was a luxury for Parker and Adam.

The characters are creditable. Parker comes from a privileged family; he is book smart but lacks the logical thinking needed in emergency situations. Parker has an irritating personality of debating almost every decision Adam makes regarding their safety. Nevertheless, Parker is strongly attracted to Adam.

Adam is a werewolf in hiding with the natural survival instincts of an alpha wolf. Because he was already secretly attracted to Parker, their chance meeting in the mist of chaos allowed Adam to do everything he could to protect Parker, as well as take him to Parker’s family home in Cape Cod.

Kick at the Darkness is an impressive as well as an enjoyable saga. Most of the storyline is heart pounding skirmishes; however there are a few scenes of incredibly sensual intimacy.  

Perception

Title:  Perception
Author:  Edie Jo Gibson
Publisher:  Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL:  www.lsbooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781622102327
Genre:  {M/F}, Contemporary, Suspense, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Based on chatter, Elizabeth is being investigated for possible terrorist activity.  Jay has been assigned to keep an eye on her, get into her lab and search her computers.  When the first kidnap attempt fails, things get complicated between the two of them.

The second book in the Retribution series, Perception, brings headlines to life when a scientist ends up being a target because of work she and other team members did when they were at a university. The book also showcases what can happen when greed gets the better of people and the lengths some people will go to get money and power.

Both Jay and Elizabeth make the most of their opportunities once they get kidnapped right under the nose of Jay’s team.  The author did a good job showing the resilience people have in the most adverse situations.  Readers should be aware there are a few scenarios that could cause some heart pounding moments, especially at the end.  Of course, things will turn out okay, but the author has some very interesting and scary twists as the book progresses.

The security team from the first book makes an appearance, as does Ethan’s wife, Frankie.  There are a few interesting characters, one who may show up in future books, but the bad guy definitely has a mean streak. 

Perception kept my attention throughout and I finished the book in one day because I could not put it down.  While the story can be read alone, I recommend this series be read in order to get the most of this series.

Takes the Cake

Title:  Takes the Cake
Author:  Lynn Chantale
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-944-1    
Genre:  {M/F} Multicultural, Contemporary
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

When it comes to catering, Liz Arnold is the best of the best.  That’s why she landed the job doing this grand wedding.  Accommodating late changes on a whim of the bride is a challenge Liz takes on with ease.  However, butting heads with a man from her past is making her job difficult and dredging up old feelings.  Liz is so conflicted.

Superstition or not, nobody was going to doom his sister’s wedding.  Everything has to be perfect and Keegan Murphy intends to make that happen.  But, that’s not all.  Keegan is determined to make Liz his, even though she’s giving him the cold shoulder.

Shock from several unpredictable events literally had me thinking that this one Takes the Cake.  I laughed, I gasped, and I blushed through them all.  There is so much going on, leading up to the actual wedding, I kept making bets with myself what the final outcome would be.  Lynn Chantale certainly knows how to keep you guessing and I enjoyed that.  Liz and Keegan have a history that makes things tense while preparing for the wedding and most of the tension is sexual.  Regret is something Keegan has been dealing with since he lost Liz, so letting her freeze him out is not an option.  Liz is strong but her wall crumbles like a house of cards when she remembers the good times she had with Keegan.  I loved their fights and definitely their make up scenes.  If you appreciate a healthy dose of drama and desire, you have to read this delightful story.


Making Men

Title: Making Men
Author: Sam Standish
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925180-96-1
Genre: {M/M} Erotica
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

The setting is a college dorm where students Tony and Kevin seek to help an unnamed young man transition from a virgin and emerge into a sexually active self-aware man. The plot exhibits biological sex as a conformation of student solidarity without any romantic commitments involved. Some readers may find the explicit sex kink segments depicted as distasteful.

Tony and Kevin’s goal is to teach the younger man the psychological complexity of intimacy, commitment and compassion. The young man must learn to open his mind completely to experience the ambiance of lust without feeling the obligation of commitment. The journey the three men travel now will dictate the path for their future.

Making Men is a story that illustrates a plausible depiction of human sexuality.  Overall, the remarkable character qualities of unbiased humanity demonstrated inspired my enjoyment of Making Men.   


Advisory: This work of fiction includes an incestuous sexual relationship between consenting adults.

Just Desserts

Title:  Just Desserts
Author:  Gail Koger
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-62300-928-1
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kaylee is kidnapped during a friend’s bonding ceremony.  Kaylee is very pregnant and very hormonal, which is a big problem for the kidnappers.  Kaylee’s mate, Talree, will do almost anything to go through those that took her.

The fifth book in the Coletti Warlords series, Just Desserts, picks up where Reality Bites ended.  Just Desserts is a humorous look at a very hormonal pregnant woman who is a warrior in her own right and wreaks havoc among her mate’s enemies.  One thing longtime fans of this series need to know, since the first two books are not available right now, is that the story does have a few flashbacks from Just My Luck regarding Kaylee’s and Talree’s relationship, along with how they met some of their allies.  This has a big bearing on some of the scenarios is this book.

I love Kaylee.  She is a former cop from Earth and a spitfire that happens to be a trouble magnet.  Her family is constantly pulling their hair out due to her antics.  She has the same effect on Talree and his family, though her father-in-law Zarek can curb some of it.  The enemies that ended up kidnapping Kaylee made a major mistake doing so. 

The allies that Kaylee’s family made help try to find Kaylee, as well as destroy those that took her.  One thing that also made this a fun suspense story is that various enemies kept taking her from each other.  Those that have read the stories available know how the women in the Jones family are, so what happens should be no surprise, with the exception of how things unfold.

There are a lot of interesting characters showing up, both friend and foe in the story and series.  The author has created a very interesting world, along with the various life forms in the stories that continue to surprise me. 

I hope there will be more stories about the Coletti Warlords in the future.  I recommend that the available stories be read in order to get the best picture of the Coletti world, and Just Desserts answers questions that readers may have had about Kaylee and Talree.