Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Predator and Prey

Author: M.D. Grimm
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-862-7
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Digger Sullivan prefers the peaceful life, exploring the sea, rather than dealing with a scornful society on land. Shark shifter Reef is craving a break from his guard duties. Reef’s boredom quickly ends when Digger finds one of the scrolls Reef and his shark shifter clan are protecting.

Predator and Prey is the ninth book in The Shifters series. This series is written in two parts. The first part features shifters finding their mates while the second part features the guardians of the magical scrolls. The second part of the series starts with Hunted Guardian, book seven, which gives a little history of the scrolls. However, The Serpent and the Angel provides a little more insight into the shifter’s enemy, as well as why the scrolls are so important to him.

Four dark magic scrolls joined together in a unique ritual could obliterate shifters across the world. It must be noted that there are master shifters who are immortal, as well as protectors of the shifters. The question is, if the enemy has all four scrolls, will he succeed in destroying the immortal master shifters along with the mortals or will good finally achieve victory over evil? 

M.D. Grimm has created another remarkable addition to this enjoyable series. I am looking forward to reading the eventful closing stages this series is heading towards.

Stronger, Better, Faster, More

Author: Katey Hawthorne & Carlin Grant
Publisher: Loose Id
Publishers URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-68252-057-4
Genre: {M/M}, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Beau is working hard to make a good life for himself.  He’s got more to overcome than most, since Beau hasn’t always been known as Beau.  He’s also picked up a few new traits and he’s not sure what is going on.  While he’s out one night he gets a surprise, in the form of Vel, his high school crush.

Stronger, Better, Faster, More is the new book by co-authors Katey Hawthorne and Carlin Grant.  This story is one that fans of superheroes are sure to like.  The main characters, and even a few secondary ones, suddenly find themselves with a few unique characteristics that they didn’t have before.  While the way they received their ‘superpowers’ are similar, the powers themselves vary.  For Vel it is speed, while Beau’s is super-endurance. Both men have been using their new gifts to help others and it is during one of those moments that the two run into each other.

Beau and Vel know each other from high school soccer, however, at the time Beau was on the girl’s league.  When they meet up again, the crush Beau had on the other man comes back full force yet, because of all the obvious changes in his life, he’s afraid to tell Vel.   The connection between the two men grows as Vel moves in with Beau and they start looking into why they suddenly have superpowers. 

It is fun to watch the romance grow between these two young men and once they come together, they really heat up the pages.  But the story isn’t just about the two coming together, it also looks into why Beau and Vel have developed superpowers.  This part of the story is going to surprise some of the readers, especially the part when Beau and Vel meet the main bad guy.  Without giving too much away, the bad guy is a bit of a creep and I am surprised that he was able to get away with what and how he did it.  

I was not sure how I would like this story, but the blurb really grabbed me and I needed to see how the story would go.  Once I started to read Stronger, Better, Faster, More I was pulled into the world created by these authors and could not put the book down until the end.  Fans of the authors are sure to like this new story and I, for one, will be checking out their backlist.

The Spindrift Gifts

Author: Aidee Ladnier
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02015-0488
Genre: {M/M} Sci-Fi 
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Painful slave programming implanted during his infancy is now intruding on Jimenez’s health and happiness.

The Spindrift Gifts is the sequel to The Klockwerk Kraken. In this installment, Teo and Jimenez have returned to Teo’s home planet Celos, a planet renowned for their advanced medical treatments. However, Jimenez’s treatments are not progressing well until he discovers a Celos tradition designed to preserve memories.

The background of Teo and Jimenez are featured in The Klockwerk KrakenA former way station bar owner, Teo Houdin distills rare quality alcoholic beverages, has six arms, and a charismatic personality.

Jimenez is currently a licensed space pilot with a compassionate nature. The tattoos from his past are actually implanted arousal sensors. 

Aidee Ladnier has created a poignant as well as an enjoyable love saga.  The true message of The Spindrift Gifts is that memories are precious along with the link that holds families together.   

War Chest

Title:  War Chest
Author:  Lynne Connolly
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  9781619230798
Genre:  {M/F} Historical
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Ruth Simpson’s primary goal was to make sure her nephews were in good hands.  Securing a position as a governess with their care giver was the perfect solution.  Since her sister’s disgrace Ruth’s parents treated her worse than ever, so she knew she was risking be disowned.  Ruth was willing to take that chance for a better life.  Never in a million years did she expect to be attracted to the handsome duke who seduced her sister.

Being the god of war has perks that Marcus, the Duke of Lyndhurst, enjoys.   But, it also brought problems that haunted him daily.  Marcus knew the tall, elegant lady who showed up seeking a job wasn’t being truthful, but he was curious.  He needed a distraction right now, and Ruth would do nicely.  Spending time with her was the only thing Marcus looked forward to.  If circumstances were different, Marcus would choose to have Ruth with him forever.

Marcus and Ruth’s romance is threatened by secrets and the interference of others.  Ruth has no idea that Marcus is a god or of the obligations he has, while Marcus is clueless about Ruth’s true identity.  Falling in love with her nephews has Ruth confused.  Part of her wants to stay, while another part knows that staying is impossible.  A life or death situation puts things in perspective when the couple is nearly robbed of their chance to choose.  I was mesmerized by the drama that unfolded towards the end of the story.  Of course one hopes things work out for the best, but there were moments I was afraid for Ruth and Marcus.  My favorite scene was when Marcus found Ruth after she tried leaving him.  If your heart doesn’t melt after reading that, I swear it’s made of stone.  

War Chest, the fifth installment of the Even Gods Fall In Love series, reminded me of the appeal of an immortal gentleman.  Even with all his powers, at the end of the day, Marcus needed what all men need, a good woman by his side.  His willingness to give it all up for Ruth was touching and selfless and I know readers will eat this up like a late night snack.

Vegas Sin

Title: Vegas Sin
Author: Jambrea Jo Jones
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publisher URL: www.pride-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-78430-952-7
Genre: {M/M} Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Harrison Boone, head of security at the Totally Five Star Hotel, is the perfect stress relief for Detective Owen Carpenter. Unfortunately, before Harrison and Owen could do more than exchange names, a woman was reported missing from a wedding shower in progress at the hotel.

Vegas Sin is Part of the Totally Five Star imprint. The plot is a well-paced thriller featuring a budding romance between Harrison and Owen. The secondary characters add a touch of humor to the story.  But the main character is the psychotic kidnapper who is realistically terrifying.

Owen is a compassionate man dedicated to taking care of his ailing mother, his sister and his sister’s young daughter. Having a career in law enforcement is a family tradition for Owen.

Harrison is an honorable man formerly in the armed forces, who does his job with highly efficient accuracy. Since Harrison has no family living in Vegas, he thinks of the employees’ as part of his extended family. Harrison takes personal pride in the superbly prepared sociable elegance the hotel offers their guest.

The person responsible for the kidnappings is the worst kind of person imaginable. He is the very definition of a functioning sociopath, a meticulous planner; who lacks empathy or remorse.  He is a predator aroused by the thrill of killing. The perpetrator is so withdrawn from reality that he believes himself invincible. The driving force of his psychosis is his delusions of grandeur. 

Jambrea Jo Jones has created an exceptionally impressive as well as enjoyable suspense saga. Suspense is the main theme of this story; however there are a few sizzling intimacy scenes illustrated as Owen and Harrison’s association cultivates into a relationship. 

The Millionaire Upstairs

Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press  
ISBN/BIN: 9781634767941
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires           
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

A job at Harrison Kingsley was a dream Sasha thought would never come true.  When an interview turns right into a job offer, he is thrilled.  His day is made when he gets the chance to meet the king himself, Harrison Kingsley, until he realized the man was a bit of an ass. 

Dreamspinner Press has started a new subscription line, Dreamspun Desires, similar to the Harlequin Romance books many readers are familiar with.  The line, which started this month, will put out two books each month.  The Millionaire Upstairs is one of January’s books and is written by author M.J. O’Shea.  This story brings the readers two characters that pulled me into the story right away and, let me warn you, Harrison Kingsley is not always a likeable man.

This story takes place within the fashion world and throws Sasha, a young man from a small town, up against Harrison, the reigning fashion leader and all around ass.  Their first introduction to each other is a bit of a classical maneuver with Sasha celebrating his new job and Harrison being a jerk.  Move ahead a couple of years and Sasha is excelling at his job while making sure he avoids Harrison as much as possible.  When these two are thrown together, there is a connection that exists neither man knows how to handle.  As I mentioned earlier, Harrison is not very likeable in the beginning and I wanted to tell Sasha to move on and forget about the attraction he feels for the older man.  Once readers learn more about the fashion guru, it is easier to understand why he acts the way he does. 

The Millionaire Upstairs has all the look and feel of the old Harlequin books.  It is fast-paced and while the sex scenes exist, they are not over the top.  The secondary characters are as entertaining as the main characters, which helps move the story along. Fans of Ms. O’Shea are sure to love this story and, for those who have not yet tried any books by this author, The Millionaire Upstairs is a great place to start. 

I will be interested in seeing what the publisher has planned for this line. 

Redona's Wrath

Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com
ISBN: 978-1-68175-128-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Protecting the citizens of Spectrum Skies, as well as maintaining a companionable relationship, is taking a toll on vampire prince Pascal and his human lover London.

Redona's Wrath is the fifth book in the Spectrum Skies series. Redona is the demon queen of Hell. She and her followers survive on the souls of wicked humans. However, Redona has become greedy; she wants the right of entry to the humans above ground. One of Redona’s dark powers is deception, which she uses to create havoc, especially between Pascal and London. 

D. J. Manly has created another impressive addition to the Spectrum Skies series. It appears that Pascal has put a stop to Redona, but has Pascal finally succeeded in permanently sealing the doorway to Hell? 

Illicit (Box Set)

Title:  Illicit (Box Set)
Author:  Marteeka Karland
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL:  www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  07596-02449
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Action, Futuristic, Anthology
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Illicit Mating - 4 Nymphs

Gabrielle, along with a friend, apply to become brides for Cluath.  Worr sees them and decides they will become his and his brother’s.  The problem is there is a plot afoot to take over all the stations in space, including Earth.  Gabrielle must work alongside Worr to save both populations.

Illicit Sex - 4 Nymphs

Kil can’t believe what his brother did.  Lyra wants nothing to do with him because he thinks women should be protected and obey.  What Kil gets is a woman willing to fight for what she believes in.  Lyra is taken by enemies, and Kil finds he can’t live without her.

Illicit Craving - 4 Nymphs

Bacia arrives just in time to help her brother save his mate.  She is taking over security on the station and goes undercover.  Jaxon is an undercover agent for Earth and ends up saving Bacia from mercs working for the enemy.  As they learn to trust each other, both realize they are working to save both their worlds.

Illicit Love - 4 Nymphs

Drac is the Supreme General for the Cluath and is extremely upset about the attempts on his children’s lives.  Drac gets an unexpected visitor, Celestine, who was sent by the mercs as a gift to make him leave the Colony.  Celestine realizes Drac isn’t as bad as she had been told and ends up helping him try to end the plot against both Earth and the Cluath.

Illicit is an interesting look at a dying alien culture that has to look to other planets and races to repopulate their world.  Humans are the closest to the Cluath.  Cluath is building colonies on other planets for Earth’s population in order to survive.  Several factions on both planets want something else.

Drac and his family are fighting to make sure the populations for both planets to survive and not just the wealthy.  They end up fighting, along with their mates, to make it happen.  I really liked reading this book as the women turned out to be very strong and showed they were worthy of standing with their men, even with some of the things that happened to them.  I really liked Bacia’s story because she showed Jaxon that a woman can be a warrior too.  The four couples had some great chemistry.  The only downside in the story about Kil and Lyra was the drug and its one major side effect.  I liked that Kil did his best to remain honorable under the circumstances.

I would love to read more stories about the Cluath and Earth in the future.  While it seemed as if things were wrapped up, I felt the ending wasn’t quite what it should have been if things were completely tied up.  I enjoyed reading Illicit, as I also thought that this could be a possibility in the future if there are other planets with life.

I will be reading Illicit again.

Publisher's Note: Illicit (Box Set) contains the previously published novellas Illicit Mating, Illicit Sex, Illicit Craving, and Illicit Love. 

Winter Ball

Title: Winter Ball
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781623808983
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Holiday          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Skip coaches and plays for one of the many local rec soccer teams.  The team isn’t very good, but it gives Skip the chance to form ties with others.  Along the way, he becomes close with Richie and his feelings grow into something more than what he ever thought he would find.

Winter Ball is another well done story by author Amy Lane.  Ms. Lane brings the readers two characters that they are sure to like right from the get go.  Skipper Keith is an IT expert for a local company.  In his spare time, he plays in a recreational soccer league. He likes the group of guys he plays with but has no plans of telling any of them that he is gay.  Richie is also a member of the soccer team and Skip’s best friend.  It’s not unusual for the two of them to spend time together, but both of them are shocked when their relationship goes from friends to lovers. 

I loved the way the author brings these two together.  Their first time is unexpected and shocks both of them, but that first time forms a bond between the two men that is so strong that it can only go forward.  I liked that rather than run scared, Richie and Skip work hard to spend more time with each other to see what it is that they feel for each other.  While the relationship between the two men goes smoothly, it is outside forces that try to cause problems. 

There are many secondary characters in Winter Ball that play important roles in the story.  There is Carpenter, a co-worker of Skip’s, who becomes a good friend as well as a great addition to the soccer team.  I loved the Thanksgiving that Skip spent with Carpenter’s family.  There are the members on the rec team.  Most of them turn out to be good friends, however, there are a couple that leave a lot to be desire.  Then there is Richie’s family.  Let’s just say that there is a reason why Richie denied a side of himself for so long.

Like all of Ms. Lane’s books, Winter Ball was a story I could not put down.  I loved the way the author pulled me into the world she created and could not wait to see how the story would play out.  I will be re-reading this book again many times. 

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

Author:  CJ England
Publisher:  Changeling Press
ISBN/BIN:  07577-02443
Genre:  {M/F} Paranormal, Christmas
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

The last thing Eadlin Knight wants is being set up with a man like her father.  Bankers bore her.   Eadlin wants love at first sight and eternal love.  Ever since learning how her kin was swept off her feet by a handsome stranger, Eadlin has been hoping to have a similar experience. 

Drayce Drakehaven was sorry he’d agreed to this dare.  Now he was stuck having to socialize with dull humans.   An episode a week prior left Drayce in a strange mood, so he thought party crashing might add some levity.  The last thing he expected was to find his mate at this Christmas party.

Eadlin and Drayce have an instant and familiar connection that is shaken when Drayce comes on too strong.  Total honesty is the method Drayce uses to persuade Eadlin how much she means to him.  Will she accept the future that could be or is it too much for her to absorb? 

Snip! Snap! Dragon! (Reindeer Games) is what happens when history repeats itself and a couple finds their happiness.  Eadlin gets more than she hoped for in her dragon lover, Drayce.  All things considered, Eadlin kept an open mind, even when she thought she was dreaming.  This short whirlwind romance packs a passionate punch that readers will enjoy.

Catching Dragos

Title:  Catching Dragos
Author:  Gail Koger
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-68252-051-2
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Mariah is a judge for the supernatural world.  She is hired to find something taken by a man who she thinks is a con man and thief.  What she doesn’t know, until it is too late, is that Fabian is the top demon hunter from a rival clan.

Catching Dragos is technically the second book in the The Dragos Clan series; however, readers should be aware that book one is not available as the publisher for that book is out of business.  Catching Dragos can be read by itself.  Not only is this book funny, it is an interesting look at the world that Mariah and Fabian come from where fighting demons and vengeful gods are a normal way of life.

I was laughing at the Mariah’s antics in the beginning, then later after Fabian and Mariah got together.  What makes the story really funny is what happens when the grandmothers get involved.  The grandmothers hate each other, but end up working together to help Mariah and Fabian. 

The rest of the cast of characters is interesting.  Of course the villain just keeps coming as one would expect with demons involved.  I loved the familiar Mariah and Fabian picked up on one of their trips. 

Catching Dragos was a book I could not put down.  It is one I will also be reading again and looking forward to reading more about The Dragos Clan in the future.