Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Darker Cravings

Title:  Darker Cravings
Author:  Candice Gilmer
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61923-080-4
Genre:  {M/F/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

ARC 1-19-2016

Nicole is getting ready to transfer to a new job, when she meets Joseph and James.  Her life is about to take a major turn when she enters into a relationship with both men.

Darker Cravings is the second book in the Mythical Knights series by Candice Gilmer.  The Templars continue to make an appearance, though this story is about a vampire triad.

James and Joseph have an interesting past which makes them very cautious when they think Nicole might be their third. Things come to a head after an accident when James, Joseph and Nicole are together one night that accelerates Nicole turning.  Because of this situation, the Templars get involved when Nicole requests a favor from one of the Knights.  Several characters from the previous book show up and the bad guy is finally named, though catching him is far from resolved.

James’ and Joseph’s past come back to haunt them and results in a cliffhanger that I hope is resolved in a future story. The relationship between James, Joseph and Nicole finally settles and the chemistry is hot between them.

I recommend readers read the series in order to get the most out of it, especially regarding the thread that continues in each book.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.  

Readers should be aware this book was originally released by Lyrical Press under the title A Darker Trinity.

Assassins are People Too

Author: S.C. Wynne
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-68252-028-4
Genre: {M/M} Mystery & Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Emotions are not part of the equation for paid assassin Marc Francis. Nevertheless, Marc’s head could not overrule his heart’s strong attraction to his apartment neighbor, Dillon Carter.

Assassins are People Too is an energetic action plot of two men who become unlikely lovers with little to no future of a normal relationship. Marc and Dillon’s stolen moments of intimacy are marred by murder attempts from Marc’s enemies.

Marc is a shadow man who has lost his humanity. He is trapped in an unsupported service where being killed is a more probable future than retirement. Unfortunately, Marc’s desire for Dillon jeopardizes Dillon’s life, as well.

Before meeting Marc, Dillon lived a quiet almost boring life. Dillon is a kindhearted man who rescues discarded plants and looks for the goodness in everyone, even though some people are beyond redemption. 

S.C. Wynne has created an intriguing as well as enjoyable saga that ends with two possibilities, a cliffhanger with a future sequel or Marc and Dillon living in the moment leaving the readers to decide their conclusion.         

Eyes Only For Me

Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781634766876
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary        
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Clay and Ronnie are nothing alike, yet have been friends for years.  When Clay needs Ronnie the most, the other man is there to lend a hand.  So what are these two to do, when a night of passion reveals more than either may be ready to handle. 

Eyes Only For Me is the newest book by Andrew Grey and is a well done gay for you story.  The main characters are easy to like and are older than we usually see, which works really well in this story.  Clay is gay and has been in love with Ronnie for a while. Since Ronnie is straight and a bit of a player and Clay doesn’t want to lose his friend, he says nothing. When Clay’s father ends up in the hospital, Ronnie steps up.  I like that the author uses this moment to show what kind of man Ronnie really is.  I also like that the author shows how strong the men’s current relationship is, as it is sure to take a few hits once the nature of that relationship changes. 

Needless to say that with everything Clay is going through concerning his dad; he is floored by Ronnie’s actions.  He is also worried how their night of passion will change their friendship and gives Ronnie an out.  Of course, things do not go smoothly for either man, once they return to “normal” life.  It is easy to understand what both men are going through with Ronnie having to come to terms with the fact that he is falling in love with a man, and Clay with the possibility that one night with the man he loves has cost him everything. 

Like all of Mr. Grey’s stories I found myself pulled into the world he built.  I wanted the two men to find their happily ever after, but worried that they would be kept from doing so.  Fans of this author may want to know that this story is a little more angst-ridden than what we normally see from him, yet everything is believable which makes the story more realistic.  Eyes Only For Me is sure to find its way to many keeper shelves, and is one story I will be reading again.  

Panacea

Title:  Panacea
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0529-8
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lynni had trouble while she was in the tank getting the enhancements that would allow her to live on her new planet.  She is actually very prized by the Lrrko and her familiar is in for a surprise since he thinks she is the quiet one in her family.

Panacea is the 28th book in the Terran Times Second Wave series.  This book picks up where Perfect left off and reunites the two sisters.  This book also elaborates on the contract that was being negotiated regarding the women on Lrrko. 

Lynni is funny and very smart.  She figures things out quickly, including the fact that Leko is using the robot while he is away from Lrrko.  Once she gets there, she makes quite an impression on the Elders. 

The chemistry is great between Lynni and Leko.  I found some of the interactions between the sisters’ familiars funny, especially since they are so realistic in their expressions. 

Panacea is a quick fun read.  I am looking forward to more in this series.  I do wonder if there will be more about the Lrrko in the future or if the author will be taking us to a new world.

Vaqueros and Vigilance

Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Pride Publishing
ISBN/BIN: 9781784308865
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Western, Series          
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Joaquin is trying to recuperate from a gunshot wound, as well as cope with the fact that his father disowned him after he is outed at his mother’s funeral.  He is not sure how he is going to survive, or why he is so drawn to a young man he meets at a bar. 

Vaqueros and Vigilance is the eighth book in the Mossy Glenn Ranch series.  This story picks up shortly after the end of book seven and centers on Joaquin, another ranch hand at the Mossy Glenn.  Because this series is one that must be read in order, it allows the readers to get to know all the characters that show up, so when the readers start this book they are already invested in Joaquin and hoping things will turn out well for him. 

Seb is the young man that Joaquin and the other Mossy Glenn men saved in the last book.  Worried about being captured again by his “Master”, Seb takes off, but not before checking in on Joaquin.  Those few moments he spent with the barely conscious man makes an impression on Seb, who makes it his mission to protect the cowboy that saved his life.  Of course these two end up meeting again and, when they do, the passion between them explodes.  Theirs is not an easy relationship as both have things to overcome.  The author plays things out in a way that is believable and, of course, Will and his men are there to help. 

Vaqueros and Vigilance is a little different than the previous stories as it takes place within a few days’ time.  It also does not have a major crisis to overcome; instead focusing on the relationship between Joaquin and Seb. 

While I try to overlook typing/editing issues, there is one problem in this story that played a big part on the rating.  There is a continuity issue in regard to the names in the beginning of the book that throws the story off.  More than once, I had to go back and reread a section to make sure I wasn’t getting confused.  Thankfully, this is worked out by the middle of the story and the rest of the book flowed smoothly.  I loved the way the author wrapped up the story and wonder if more will follow.  

The Sea Between Us

Author: Neil Plakcy
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-68252-025-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Party planner Adam Beller and building contractor Javier Marisco first met at the Miami Beach Publix grocery; their attraction was immediate as well as irresistible.  Adam and Javier’s attraction developed into a monogamous liaison together, at the present time they are ready to take the relationship to the next level, though there are a few obstacles standing between Adam and Javier’s pathway to matrimony.
    
The Sea Between Us is the sequel to Mi Amor. The sequel highlights Adam returning to an east coast college to earn a MBA in marketing and real estate. The separation puts a strain on the relationship, causing Adam to have doubts regarding Javier’s feelings. However, the real issues stems from Javier’s Cuban culture. Some in the Cuban community still believe homosexuality is a choice. This way of thinking is especially true with Javier’s parents, who refuse to accept that their son is gay. 

Neil Plakcy has created a wonderfully compassionate happily ever after romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Sea Between Us illustrates the transformation of Adam from a free spirit party boy to a mature responsible man.  

Branding An Icy Heart

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0552-6
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Aleksei found out that two of his brothers took male mates, he took off unable to accept what they had.  Now months later, Aleksei hopes that his family is willing to take him back into the fold.  And then he meets Remy, who is not only human, but also Aleksei’s beloved.

Branding An Icy Heart is the 32nd book in Ms. Richards Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This story has at its center Aleksei, another Kuznetsov brother from Russia, who readers may remember from previous books.  In the previous books, Aleksei made known his absolute dislike of the fact that two of his brothers had taken male mates.  Because of the way he acted, I could not wait for him to get his own story.  The fact that the author chose to not only make that beloved a male but also human, made this a fun story to read. 

Remy is openly gay and recovering from a bad experience, one that has left him scarred in more ways than one.  The first time he meets Aleksei he is drawn to the man, even after he realizes that Aleksei freaked out to be talking to a gay man.  Later when the two once again run into each other, the attraction is even stronger, but Remy cannot understand why the big Russian is acting the way he is. 

There are some funny moments when these two meet again and I had to laugh more than once at the actions of Aleksei’s brothers.  I was surprised that only one of the brothers was able to figure out what was going on.  Needless to say, while the attraction between Remy and Aleksei is strong, they do not have an easy time getting together.  Not only does Aleksei have to overcome some of his attitudes, there is also the fact that Remy does not know anything about the paranormal world that he finds himself a part of.  I think the author handled Aleksei’s coming out in a way that is believable and the relationship between the two men helps make Aleksei a more likeable character. 

Branding An Icy Heart is a well-done addition to this long running series.  While some of the stories may need to be read in order, it is possible to read this book without reading all the others first.  I do suggest you find The Vampire’s Geek and Driving Borscht Batty, however, as both these books deal with the first two Kuznetsov brothers.

Driven Snow

Title: Driven Snow
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-267-0
Genre: {M/M} Fairy Tale Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

NorCal University is proud of the positive media attention two of their senior students produce. Snowden “Snow” Reynaldi is a chess grandmaster and Riley Prince is a championship quarterback. However, when greed, attempted murder as well as incriminating lies began to circulate, it takes a little bit of help from a few  enchanting individuals to rescue Snow and Riley.

Driven Snow is part of A Pennymaker Tale series. The theme is a classical fairy tale with an intriguing modern twist. The plot illustrates a few intense methods of failed homicides, in addition to an episode of heartbreak. The characters are endearing.

Snow is openly gay; his sexually is not an issue for the school because Snow’s genius intelligent at chess is profitable for NorCal. As for the homophobic students, Snow learned to avoid them most of the time. Besides being a chess champion, the other thing people notice about Snow is that he is pretty and often mistaken for a girl rather than a young man.

From his first day at NorCal, Riley has been keeping secrets. His goal is to be a football coach, so Riley did everything expected of his position as a team member including dating girls.

Tara Lain’s Driven Snow is an impressive saga. I particularly enjoyed the engaging characters even though I momentarily doubted Riley. 

Soldier Boys

Title: Soldier Boys
Author: AKM Miles
Publisher: MLR Press
Publishers URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02015-0467
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Holiday, Series          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

It’s Halloween at Scarcity Sanctuary and everyone has been waiting to see what the kids have chosen to dress up as this year.  While Dillon knows everyone’s secret, even he is shocked to see what happens on Halloween.

Soldier Boys is the ninth book in the Scarcity Sanctuary series.  This series started with the story of two men, each scarred in some way, who take in several young boys who have problems of their own to overcome.  Each of the following stories have been about one of those little boys, now men, finding the love of their lives.  In between the novels, the author has given the fans of this series little glimpses of the Scarcity family’s lives.  In this newest book, the author lets us see what Halloween is like in the Dillon/Soldier household. 

In a large household, even with most of the kids living on their own, there is a lot going on.  So it is not usual for something to get by Dillon, and that is just what happens in this story.  Be prepared to laugh, and maybe even be brought to tears, as the twins show Soldier just how much they love him. 

Soldier Boys also sets up the next story in the series and I can’t wait to see how the author plans to handle the situation with Bart.  I love these interludes the author gives us and will hate to see this series come to an end.

Dark Within

Title:  Dark Within
Author:  Candice Gilmer
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:   www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN9781619226647
Genre:  {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Marissa is attacked on her way home one night by her ex-boyfriend and is saved by Neil in his wolf form.  When she is found later by the Knights Templar, things get a little strange.  What happens when you find out monsters are real?

Dark Within is the first book in the Mythical Knights series by an author I haven’t read before. The werewolves in this story always change during the full moon, which goes back to the older archetypes from the past.  They are also caged on that night so they don’t roam, so it was interesting that Neil’s sister-in-law opened his cage to let him run. The Templars are actually the “police force” for the supernatural beings in this series.  While there were some glimpses of their lives, I hope more is learned in the future about these men. 

Marissa has some major issues around Halloween, especially since that was the night her parents and brother died.  She has two friends that stage interventions to try to get her to start living a full life instead of going through the motions.  As a result, Neil gets the brunt of some of her insecurities, though he ends up saving her a second time from her ex, who is now a vampire. One of the Templars tried to squash Marissa’s memories of that night, though later unblocked those memories when everyone realized she and Neil were mates.

The chemistry between Marissa and Neil is scorching, though the sex scenes in this story don’t get too explicit.  Enough is given that readers get the picture though.  This is also where Marissa finds out about Neil and freaks out, then some of her friends help her figure things out later.

Needless to say, this was a tale with lots of twists and one of the threads is going to be showing up throughout the books and is something the Templars will be investigating as questions still need to be answered regarding the ex-boyfriend. 

I am looking forward to learning about the Mythical Knights in future stories.  I do want to know how Kelsey and David got together as they were already a couple in Dark Within.  Readers need to be aware that Dark Within was originally published as Unholy Night, according to the publisher.