Friday, March 18, 2016

Johnny Two-Guns

Author: Mark Wildyr
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781634770606
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary          
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Roger and a co-worker plan to take a road trip to celebrate their divorces.  When the co-worker is called back to work, Roger decides to take the trip by himself.  While on the road, Roger makes several discoveries about himself that end up changing his whole life.

Johnny Two-Guns is set in the 90’s and tells the story of Roger Mackie, a recently divorced architect, who sets out on the road to self-discovery.  While growing up, Roger had a relationship with the older brother of his friend.  When things go badly, Roger puts the relationship out of his mind, convincing himself that he is straight.  Now, in his thirties, Roger’s life has taken a course he did not see coming.  Trying to come to terms with everything, he gets in the car and drives, eventually ending up in Montana.  While there, he meets a young Native American, Johnny Two-Guns. Roger finds himself helping the younger man and soon, the two form a friendship that becomes something more.  

Because of the time period in which the story takes place, it is easy to understand why Roger and Johnny are hesitant to make it known that they are gay.  This causes both men to live their lives as a lie.  It is only after they meet, and get to know each other that they decide to live in a way that will allow them to be happy, rather than worry about the feelings of others.

For me, the first part of Johnny Two-Guns was very good.  I found myself getting pulled into the men’s story.  I wanted them to find a way to overcome their problems so that they would be able to have their happily ever after.  Then the author threw a wrench in the whole thing.  I felt as if the time I invested in the characters was unimportant.  The couple, I spent my time getting to know, is not the one I ended up with.  Without giving anything away, the second half of the story left me feeling a little resentful and I almost did not finish the story. 

That being said, while I have an issue with this book, I liked the author’s writing style and plan on looking for other books by him. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pardon

Title:  Pardon
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0540-3
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Bryn assaults a football player she caught stripping an unconscious woman, but she’s the one that ends up in prison instead.  Because she is one of the women with the genetics the Lrrko want, she is eventually pardoned.  Surat is her familiar.

Pardon is the 30th book in the Terran Times Second Wave series and the fourth book about the Lrrko Brides within the series.  There was an incident that takes this story into an interesting twist before Bryn even gets to Lrrko.  She is ordered to undergo counseling with the Lrrko version of counselor.  While the situation was not funny, I had to laugh at the request of the Brothers to the Elders after she was done.

This story shows the differences of how Lrrko and Terran deal with Bryn’s original charges and how the Lrrko look at what happened later.  Bryn’s life story is a hard one and what happened to her sister is something that could have been ripped from the headlines.  It’s no wonder she was so angry.  I know I would be too.

Bryn and Surat make a good couple.  I had to laugh at some of the training incidents that happened when Surat was evaluating her.  There were several humorous scenes between the two and another couple on Lrrko.  

I am looking forward to the next story in this thread regarding the Lrrko.  This series has some interesting stories with the various alien life in the universe the author has created.

Masterpiece

Title:  Masterpiece
Author:  Jillian Verne
Publisher:  Loose Id
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-68252-039-0
Genre:  {M/F/M}, BDSM, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Julianne can’t believe she won the apprenticeship with Nicolai.  Her life has been so restricted by her father that she has a difficult time when she realizes that Nicolai could mean so much more to her than just being her teacher.  What happens when she realizes she can have everything she wants after Nicolai finally acknowledges he wants her as his is wondrous.

Masterpiece is the first book in the Masters of the Order series.  For readers that love a good BDSM story, this is one for the shelves.  It was wonderful to watch Julianne blossom as she discovered her own sexuality, as well as being what is known as a natural submissive.  Nicolai struggled to balance his own dark desires as he discovered what Julianne can handle. 

The Order is a group of men and women that are in the extreme upper echelon of society in France.  There is a code of honor that they follow including helping each other when one falls in love and finds ‘their one’.  Things are a little more complicated with Julianne since before she was born, her mother had been the love of the Order’s leader’s life.  As friends help Nicolai protect Julianne, Xavier is plotting.

This story has so many twists and turns that kept my interest.  I did not want to put this book down.  Readers should be aware that this book is intense.  The relationship that Nicolai and Julianne have is explosive especially when cousins, best friends and mentors sometimes are invited to participate.  I liked that this story stressed communication and expressing yourself when limits are reached.  Even though safe words were discussed, they weren’t used.  The story also stressed that the difference between abuse and consensual activities. 

Readers should be aware that this book was previously released by another publisher, but it has been revised and re-edited according to Loose Id. I have to say that after reading this book, that Jillian Verne has been added to my must read authors of BDSM based on this story.  I am looking forward to reading more in the Masters of the OrderMasterpiece is a book that should be on every BDSM lover’s bookshelf.

Song Of Souls

Author: S.J. Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02016-0518
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lark and Zain are friends, cautiously moving towards becoming lovers. Lark is a singer of songs along with beautifully playing the lute; he also helps the departed soul transition to their final destinations, a secret known only by Lark’s closest friends. Zain is an assassin with the angry spirits of his victims surrounding him. 

Song Of Souls is the third book in the Terra Series. The first book in the series is To The Other Side, where the reader is introduced Bryson, Torran, Larkin, Zain and Aleric. In each book the plot features a romantic interest, deadly enemies as well as the five men that are more like brothers than friends banding together to save the residents of Terra.

Song Of Souls is an emotionally powerful plot featuring Lark attempting to reconcile his principled mind with the love in his heart for Zain. Another dilemma is dealing with unwelcome attentions from rogues, a love struck soldier and a soul stealing necromancer. Zain’s profession keeps Lark and Zain apart until Lark is attacked and it is Zain’s assassin skills that save Lark’s life.

Lark is a calm nonviolent young man who is considerate to everyone, but Lark’s gift of guiding souls is sometimes his curse when conversing with angry spirits.  Besides his friends especially Zain’s protection, Lark has another protector who is always with him, his cat Ghost. Ghost warns Lark of spirits approaching as well as impending danger.

Zain is a realist and with his silver fox companion Kit watching his back, Zain does the job he is paid to do without too much moral deliberation, although most of Zain’s kills were justified. Zain never imagined a future beyond imprisonment or his own death until Lark confessed his love for Zain. Now the future has possibilities Zain can actually look forward to.

S.J. Frost has created an impressive work of genius. The characters are attention-grabbing, exhibiting moments of humor, thrilling magical warfare and scorching exhibitions of intimacy. I thoroughly enjoyed Song Of Souls

Darkest Judgment

Author: Candice Gilmer
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.samhainpublishing.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-61923-091-0
Genre: {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Publication Date: 4-19-2015

Sir Liam is in trouble as he has fallen in love with Leeza.  When she was a child, he helped her, then watched over her as she grew up.  He finds out she is just as interested in him as he with her, but the problem is that he is a Templar, who has lived over seven hundred years, with rules to follow.

Darkest Judgment is the third book in the Mythical Knights series.  The author lets us know a lot about how the Templars became immortal and about some of the laws they follow. It was interesting that the story also includes the older pantheon of gods and that the Templars can call on them, as well as the Devine as needed.

Keep plenty of tissues on hand as the end of the story draws near because some things that happen are tear jerkers.  There are also several twists that develop that will have a huge impact in the future.  I was surprised by what happened to the vicious vampire that has been causing a lot of the problems throughout this series.

The chemistry between Liam and Leeza is intense and it was fun watching the relationship between them develop.  Sir Liam is very conflicted, which was understandable due to what he is. Leeza’s reaction when she learned the extent of Liam’s protection was very realistic, but I loved her reactions later on. The twists at the end and the epilogue were heartwarming.  Liam’s partner’s, Sir Adrian, reaction was very realistic and understandable especially because of what happens earlier. 

The Mythical Knights series is one to be read again, and I am looking forward to how the author handles future stories, especially in light of several threads created in Darkest Judgement


This title was previously published with the title Broken Shine.

Swift's Temptation

Author: J.R. Loveless
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-944449-33-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Fagan Swift’s new job as an escort includes showing the ladies a good time. However, sexual activities are not part of the service, which is fine with Fagan since he happens to be gay. The one person that has peaked Fagan’s interest is the agency’s spiteful accountant, Xavier James, who detests Fagan on first sight or so Xavier tries to pretend.

Swift's Temptation is a rollercoaster of emotions romance. The plot illustrates two men with painful past involvements, afraid to trust starting a future relationship with anyone. The characters are believable.  

Fagan is an easy-going guy who enjoys making friends. The well-paying escort position allows him to progress towards his future artist goals. Fagan hides his compassionate nature behind a submissive personality. Part of his personality flaw is because he fears disappointing others.

Xavier uses a domineering personality as a shield against heartbreak. He is ruled by his past and leaves no room for a future. Xavier’s negative attitude has blocked any possibility of making friends or forming a lasting relationship. After heartbreaking interactions with Fagan, Xavier realized some of his domineering traits have altered into self-loathing.

J.R. Loveless has created an impressive as well as an enjoyable saga. There were moments when I wanted Fagan to punch Xavier in his insulting mouth, but I realized Fagan made the right choice for a realistic happy ending. 

You Have Me

Title:  You Have Me
Author:  Megan Slayer
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-68252-064-2
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kynan let Alexa walk away from him once, but wants her to come back to him.  He is willing to lose his life to let her make the choice.  Alexa is so ashamed for walking away and about the choices she made afterwards, that she doesn’t want to call on him.

The first book in the Battle Scarred series, You Have Me, is a new world with supernatural beings that have some set rules and roles laid out for them.  While there were some answers given about the various beings, there were more questions that need to be answered.  That being said, You Have Me was a steamy love story with life and death decisions for the various characters.

Alexa’s family is one that is human, but able to be the mates of supernaturals.  As a result, they are watched by hunters that are willing to kill them if they end up bonding with a supernatural.  I think that some things Alexa didn’t know were because she left home. Things weren’t explained to her until it was almost too late, including the fact that some members of her family had distinct roles.

Alexa gets mixed up with a hunter that is actually using her to get to Kynan.  He was extremely obsessive and caused a lot of problems and grief for everyone.  I’m glad things turned out the way they did, but it also leaves a bigger issue to be faced in the future.

Alexa’s and Kynan’s relationship is hot and definitely falls into the BDSM category.  I loved Kynan’s reaction to some of Alexa’s choices, but it also shows that these type of relationships are what and how the couples define it.  Alexa has a sense of humor that Kynan appreciated. 

I am looking forward to the next book and hope it will be about the friends that helped them.  It would also be fun to hear about Alexa’s sister and brother-in-law as well.

Trial by Fire

Title: Trial by Fire
Author: B.A. Tortuga
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781634769822
Genre:{M/M},Contemporary,Western,Dreamspun Desires          
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Lachlan has his hands full running the family’s cattle farm.  What he’s wanting, however, is to find his sister, who took off three years ago.  When the family investigator gets in touch with him, the news is not what he was hoping for.  Now he is heading for the States with plans of bringing his little niece home, where she belongs. 

Trial by Fire is a new book by author B.A. Tortuga.  Ms. Tortuga has given the readers two strong cowboys, each trying to take care of their family, and given them even more to overcome.  Lachlan is our Aussie.  He has been taking care of his family’s large holdings for some time but the thing that brings him to his knees is the death of his sister.  Holden is a Texan and, like Lachlan, is responsible for the running of his family’s ranch and rodeo business.  Also like Lachlan, Holden is mourning the death of a sibling as Lachlan’s sister was married to Holden’s brother.  That marriage brings two men together as, when their siblings died, they left behind a newborn. 

You would think that due to the death of their siblings and the care of a little baby, the two men would come together with a common goal, but in the beginning that is not the case.  Holden and his family have a negative idea of what the McCoughney’s are like.   That is probably the one thing in this story that I did not like.  While I understood why Holden and his family thought what they did, I thought Adelaide, Lachlan’s sister, did her family a disservice and should have gotten in touch with them after settling down in Texas

The author finds a way to bring Lachlan and Holden together and, watching them bond not only with each other but with baby Chloe as well, made this a great story to read.  But the author does not only bring the readers an excellent romance, she also brings the readers a mystery.  There is one part that totally shocked me and I could not believe that the author did that to Holden.  The author does wrap the story up wonderfully and handled all the relatives in a way that was believable.

Fans of the author are sure to love Trial by Fire and those who have not yet tried anything by Ms. Tortuga should give this book a chance.  

Stealing Dragon’s Heart

Author: Susan Laine
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63476-972-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Stealing was a career for Finn Grayson, but his career swiftly ended when Finn attempted to steal from Cameron Feilong, Guardian of the Earth Shard and a dragon shifter.

Stealing Dragon’s Heart is the sixth Lifting the Veil story. In this plot the main theme is keeping the five magical shards divided and scattered to different parts of the earth because bringing the five Elemental Shards together would be the end of the world. The opening setting is New Shanghai, China then moves around the world with a detailed history of the shards and guardians.

Shortly after Finn was captured by Cameron, they both realized that the plan was actually a set up. Finn was supposed to die and Cameron was supposed to be imprisoned. Even though the plan failed, the real thief still managed to escape with the earth shard. 

Finn is a human master thief for hire; Finn’s small size gives him an advantage in his line of work. But there is more to Finn than stealing; Finn is also well educated in works of art, as well as a wealth of rational thoughts for problem solving. Finn is the featured personality throughout this story.

Cameron has difficulty with trusting Finn; nevertheless Cameron agrees to allow Finn to assist with the search. Cameron’s main focus is retrieving the stolen shards before dark magic destruction happens. After all the battles Cameron and Finn survive together, Cameron acknowledges his feelings for Finn.

Susan Laine’s Stealing Dragon’s Heart is an intense and enjoyable saga. The characters as well as the action are very impressive. The intimacy scenes are volatile. 

Branded By Kesh

Title:  Branded By Kesh
Publisher:  Extasy Books
Publisher URL:  http://www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0571-7
Genre:  {M/F} Erotic, Science Fiction
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Kesh hadn’t been ready to settle down until he heard a woman’s voice asking for help.  Immediately he was drawn to her voice and knew that rescuing her was only the beginning.  The space pirate knew he had found his mate and nothing was going to stop Kesh from claiming her.

Magnolia had given up the hope of surviving before her ship exploded when she was saved by a man with beautiful markings.  Something about him had her burning with unexpected heat.  Magnolia couldn’t deny the pull she felt for Kesh, but there were things about him she couldn’t accept.  Magnolia wanted things on her terms but Kesh wasn’t giving her any option.  For him it was all or nothing.

Magnolia had strong feelings about pirates and she wasn’t sure she could easily accept Kesh’s lifestyle.  No matter how much she wanted him, Magnolia wanted an open relationship more.  The thought of one man forever scared the hell out of her and Kesh wasn’t willing to share.  Kesh thought the choice was out of Magnolia’s hands and that she would understand they were meant to be.  Kesh does his best to keep Magnolia safe but danger comes between them.  

Magnolia and Kesh are thrown together in a relationship that takes them both by surprise.  Because Kesh knows he’s found his mate, acceptance is immediate.  At times I wanted more courting from Kesh and to see him getting to know Magnolia.  I understood Magnolia’s reasons for thinking she wanted open relationships only but I was expecting a different kind of drama caused by this.  Branded By Kesh, the second installment of the Fallen Star Series, is a good mixture of danger and desire that readers will enjoy.