Thursday, April 28, 2016

Perfect Strangers

Author: Edward Kendrick
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publisher URL: www.pride-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-78651-413-4
Genre: {M/M} Crime and Mystery
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Raphael Koenig needs a vacation plus if he is lucky, a sexual fling. New Orleans is the vacation location and Alden Durant provides the fling.

Perfect Strangers is a detailed dark crime story with surprising twist and turns including a touch of romance. The plot is well written and well paced. The realistic characters are justified in their actions or not, depending on the reader’s point of view.

Raphael Koenig is an assassin working for an underground vigilante network.
When Raphael is not correcting a miscarriage in the justice system, he works as a construction laborer. He self medicates with whiskey to ward off the nightmares of his dark childhood, but Raphael considers his kills as righteous because he only assassinates bad people.

Alden is an intriguing character; Alden reveals nothing about himself to Raphael. It is only by accident that Alden and Raphael discover each other’s profession. The intimacy Raphael and Alden shared evolved into love, though they both believed they would never meet again. However, fate has a way of bringing star crossed lovers back together along with revealing the truth. 

Edward Kendrick has created a very impressive saga that I thoroughly enjoyed.  

You Complete Me

Title:  You Complete Me
Author:  Megan Slayer
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-68252-076-5
Genre: {M/F}, Paranormal, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Hagan isn’t dead, though being left in the sun when he tried to help a friend doesn’t help.  He hides when he realizes there are hunters in the woods and is surprised when Emily rescues him instead of finishing him off.  Both are very surprised when they realize they are mates.

You Complete Me is the fourth book in the Battle Scarred series.  Emily knows that something is wrong among the Hunters. Because they are supposed to keep the balance among the Supers, to Emily, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for hunting most of the Supers she and her partner are ordered to hunt. 

While You Complete Me picks up Hagan’s story and his part in the war, the previous book was about Ava, who he helped escape.  Things come to a head in the war, though there are a few surprises especially at the end. All the previous characters have parts to play, and Ky helps Hagan realize something he already knew.

This story is different as it is slower paced than the previous ones.  There are a few areas where things pick up, but Hagan’s and Emily’s relationship is one of two high points of the story. The interaction with the Source was also sort of anticlimactic. You Complete Me does resolve some major issues though. 

Be aware the Battle Scarred series was previously published by another publisher with the pen name Wendi Zwaduk.

For the Love of A Wolf

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0693-6
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Stake has a major problem.  He has no filter between his brain and his mouth and while he does not mean to hurt anyone with what he says, he has.  Things have gotten so bad that he is close to losing his job.  Sent by his boss, as punishment for his last comments, to help clear trailheads, Stake meets Cecil, who can’t wait to get his hands on Stake.

For the Love of a Wolf is the 34th book in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  I liked this newest addition to the series as the characters, especially Stake, are entertaining and leave you wanting to know what is going to happen.  Stake isn’t the first character we have met that has trouble with his mouth running away from him, however, usually this is done by a character that’s young, maybe slightly flighty, not someone mature and with a solid career.  This switch was an interesting change and I felt a little for Stake as he struggled to watch what he said. 

Cecil, on the other hand, is one of the Rochette brothers.  After watching his younger brother find his mate, Cecil is ready to find his own.  When Cecil meets Stake, he is surprised by the other man.  He also can’t believe that the person he sees is the same one everyone has such negative comments about.  I like Cecil’s determination not only getting to know Stake, but also in showing the other man that there is nothing wrong with him. 

The connection between the two men is intense, but since they are mates, readers would expect nothing less.  Seeing Cecil show Stake what he can expect from a male lover, especially one who wants to please him, really heats up the pages of this story. 

Many previous characters show up to give these two a hand.  Needless to say, Stake’s mouth causes a bit of a problems but not ones that can’t be overcome.  Fans of this series are sure to like For the Love of a Wolf and those who have not yet tried the books in this series really should. 

Missing, Presumed Dead

Author: Christiane France
Publisher: Chris Grover
ISBN: e000000002287
Genre: {M/M} Mystery Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Private investigator Greg Stewartson gets a late night visit from his brother Vance and Tim Fensham. Vance is a Hollywood star maker and it seems one of his clients has gone missing.

Missing, Presumed Dead is the first book in the Amethyst Cove Mysteries series. Tim Fensham is the brother of an up and coming movie star who has gone missing. She was last seen in Amethyst Cove, a California coastal town.

The central question of the plot is whether the starlet chose to disappear or was she the victim of a murder?

Former cop Greg Stewartson, now co-owner of the Amethyst Cove Security & Investigations, takes the reader through all the possible scenarios and Greg’s investigative procedures.

When not working the case, Greg and Tim are trying to resist their attraction for each other. Although Greg would like to have a relationship, he has a rule about mixing business with pleasure. Tim is also interested in a relationship but he lives in San Francisco, too far away to be a permanent boyfriend. 

Christiane France has created an impressive saga that I enjoyed immensely.    

A Cold Wind

Title: A Cold Wind
Author: Neil Plakcy
Publisher: Loose Id
Publishers URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-68252-095-6
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Aidan and Liam have finally found the home they want to call their own; the only problem is that the house has all the ear marks of being a money pit.  In order to inject some much needed cash into their bank account, the two men take a job protecting a Russian business man.  Almost right away, their work and personal lives collides.

A Cold Wind is the eighth book in the Have Body Will Guard series.  Readers should note that this is a series that needs to be read in order, so if you have not read the previous seven books, you may want to wait on this review.

Aidan’s and Liam’s lives have been going along as normal with the only big change being the purchase of a new home.  While Aidan is excited, Liam is a little more leery.  When more of the house needs to be repaired than what they thought, and their handy man is deported, the two men begin to wonder if they have bitten off more than what they expected.  Thankfully a job request comes in that adds money to their dwindling coffers, giving the two a chance to step away from home repairs and get back to what they know.

I am always happy to see a new story added to this series.  While Liam is not always one of my favorite characters as I think he’s too short with Aidan at times; these two are one of my favorite couples.  I like the way Aidan has of mellowing Liam out on occasion, just as I like the way Liam reinforces Aidan’s abilities when the other man is feeling incapable.  I also like the way the author weaves the various mysteries through each of the books in this series. 

In A Cold Wind, the two men are assigned the job of watching a retired Russian business man who believes someone is after him.  Slava’s a Russian rags to riches story.  As part of that story, he found a woman he thought he could love and had two children.  The whole time he kept his personal preferences to himself as much as possible.  When the Russian government starts making noise about taking some of Slava’s business, the Russian begins preparing for the future.  Unfortunately he did not realize one of his enemies would go as far as he does and everything Slava has kept secret comes out. 

Thierry is Liam’s and Aidan’s new neighbor.  He’s also a widower having a hard time getting over the death of his spouse.  He’s drawn into the story when a storm takes out a window at Liam’s and Aidan’s new house and they are forced to return, bringing Slava with them.  You can see the chemistry develop between the two older gentlemen, but with Thierry’s grief and Slava’s safety issues, it is easy to see that things will not play out smoothly. 

There is a lot going on in A Cold Wind and while it seems obvious who the bad guy may be, I can’t help thinking that there is more going on.  I like that the author keeps the readers wondering what will happen next by throwing in a variety of twists and turns. There is also a big change in store for our main characters and I cannot wait to see where this takes them. 

Fans of M/M stories that are about more than just the sex should really give this series a shot.  The world created by the author, and the cases Liam and Aidan find themselves working, will make you a fan of Mr. Plakcy and will have you looking for more stories by this author. 

Godsend

Title:  Godsend
Author:  Jillian Verne
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-68252-041-3
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Alessandra, who is known as Alex, is an attorney on the wrong side as far as Sabin is concerned.  He realizes she doesn’t know what she has gotten herself into as he battles an oil company that has sued him.  Sabin finds he can’t get Alex out of his mind, especially when he realizes she is a sub.

Godsend is the third book in the Masters of the Order series.  Sabin’s friends never thought he would fall for someone and are amazed when they realize he has fallen for Alex.  Once Alex figures out what her boss and clients are hiding, she gets fired and ends up working for Sabin and his partners. 

Sabin and Alex have some very intense chemistry.  Things in Alex’s past caused Sabin to trigger her fear and they have to work through that.  In addition, Alex has a stalker.  In true fashion, members of The Order come through to help Sabin make sure Alex gets to have her dreams.

While it is easy to see who some of the bad guys are, the stalker was a complete surprise.  The description and way the author weaved in everything that was happening made it was easy to think it was someone else.  The intensity of the mystery in this story kept my interest to the point I stayed up all night reading to finish it.

Hockey and football fans will appreciate the humor when Alex and Sabin make a bet, then later when Sabin meets Alex’s father.  I loved it, especially since I happen to be a fan of both teams mentioned.  I especially liked the remark about hockey, men and their character. 

I am looking forward to the next story.  Each one centers on one of the Masters of the Order, but each happens to bring the previous couples into the story to help with the relationship featured.

Amended Soul

Title: Amended Soul
Author: Kate Steele
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-68252-106-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Jamie Hardin is starting life over; he got divorced then bought a house in another state. Jamie wanted to be close to his eldest son, Rio. However, Rio is not the only one Jamie wanted to be close to; Jamie discovered he has an instant attraction to werewolf Jed Matranga.

Amended Soul is the sequel to Altered Heart. The characters are charismatic with a touch of humor. The plot reveals the reason why Rio ran away from home, as well as the actions Jamie took to insure his adopted son, Jack, would never have to deal with the same horrors Rio endured.

Reuniting with Rio generates several new dilemmas for Jamie. Although Jamie’s son is now a werewolf, Jamie knows very little about werewolf culture. Jamie is perplexed by Rio’s reaction when Jamie and Jed happen to be in the same room together. It is as if Rio is jealous of Jamie’s attention directed towards someone else. Rio reverts into an angry protective wolf.

Jamie has never been attracted to another man before so he is puzzled by his sexual feelings for Jed. Because Jamie is human, Jed refuses to enlighten Jamie on the real meaning of interspecies mating, which causes a number of misunderstandings between the two men. Jed wanted Jamie to recognize his true feelings devoid of pressure from others. 

Kate Steele has created a splendidly moving and exceptionally enjoyable heartwarming saga.    

Boss

Title:  Boss
Author:  Sierra Cartwright
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-78430-657-1
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Kelsey walks into her office to find out the company she works for has been taken over by the Donovan family.  Kelsey must make a decision to continue working for Nathan Donovan, especially when she finds out he also wants her for his sub.

Boss is the third book in The Donovan Dynasty series.  Nathan is the youngest Donovan brother and in charge researching companies they might want to either take over or invest in.  Due to circumstances beyond the old owner’s control, Nathan is now the new CEO of Kelsey’s company.

Kelsey stays away from dominant men in her personal life yet is interested in at least checking out the new BDSM club, not realizing that one of Nathan’s older brother is part owner.  Nathan decides to take her under his wing for the week and takes her to the club.

The chemistry between Kelsey and Nathan is off the charts. Kelsey tries everything Nathan wants her to, while Nathan fights losing control.  The author does a good job showing how someone can embrace a BDSM lifestyle with the right person helping them.  Nathan, as a Dom, is patient, though insistent that Kelsey follow his orders.  He keeps checking to make sure she is aware she can always use her safe word and can discuss some things.

There are some humorous moments with Kelsey’s girlfriend, the coffee shop owner, and one of Kelsey’s neighbors.  The situation with the hamster is very funny.  All of these moments had me laughing out loud.  Nathan and his family have some interesting dynamics and the situation with Nathan’s wristwatch and the heart is hilarious. 

I’m looking forward to the next book in this series as there are still a few Donovans running around.  Each book can be read by themselves, but the reading the books in order will give some interesting insights to the various siblings.

Violet & Her Alien Matchmaker

Author:  Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher:  Coastal Escape Publishing
ISBN/BIN:  n/a
Genre:  {M/F} Sci-Fi
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

With no money and a mouth to feed, Violet Wilcox has her back against the wall.  Being jobless and having no family to help her leaves Violet with very few options.  The alien dating agency is her last hope.  Surely there was a male looking for a family somewhere.  Or at least that’s what Violet thought until the agency asked her to leave and refused her help.

Tiraz wasn’t going to stand by and watch the woman and boy be brushed off like trash, so he takes them home.  It would be hard, but not impossible to find a mate for Violet.  Until that time, Tiraz showers mother and son with some of the things missing in their lives.  Tiraz keeps his promise of helping Violet search for a mate, but realizes his mistake as the attraction between them grows.  Will Tiraz be able to walk away from Violet and Simon without looking back?

In such a short time, the three of them become a family.  Tiraz says he isn’t ready to settle down but his actions show otherwise.  Violet wants a father for her son, but more than that, she wants Tiraz in her heart forever.  Neither of them is ready for the feelings that come in like a storm.  Something happens to Simon that forces the couple to face reality and make a decision.  Tiraz upsets Violet by taking actions into his own hands before discussing it with her.  In the end, Violet accepts Tiraz’s reasons and forgives him and they work towards their happy ending. 

Violet & Her Alien Matchmaker is the first installment in the Interstellar Love Agency series.   Jessica Coulter Smith have given readers a story that will make their hearts beat faster from all the touching family scenes.  Part of me felt Violet’s struggle as a single mother.  No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t get ahead.  It made me sad when I discovered some of the most basic things she and Simon had been doing without.  Tiraz was so generous with his affection and his resources.  He was obviously meant to be a father, whether he thought he was ready or not.  Because Violet had been exposed to so little, everything Tiraz does for her seems even grander.  If you want to be introduced to a man who knows how to make a girl feel special, then you need to read about Tiraz.

Dying For a Thrill

Author: Mark Zubro
Publisher: MLR Press
Publishers URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02016-0533
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Police Procedural, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Everyone is used to their lives going to hell when a blizzard hits.  For Mike King, things go from bad to worst and he’s not sure who to trust other than his team.

Dying For a Thrill is action-packed from the very beginning.  With its vast cast of characters, however, it is also confusing at times, but don’t feel bad because main character Mike King is just as confused. 

Mike is a private detective.  He and his team have just finished a case and are planning on heading home, hopefully before the worst of the blizzard hits.  A young man comes into the office and passes out, but not before claiming someone is out to kill him. I had to laugh and shake my head at the reaction of Mike and his crew when Jamie passes out.  Not only do none of them seem overly concerned, but the information that comes out regarding Mike’s past relationships is crazy. 

The information that Jamie reveals is something you would expect to see on the big screen and more than once, I had to go back and re-read a passage because the young man’s tale is a little over the top.  Before long Mike, and the readers, will see that not everything is what it is supposed to be.

There are many twists and turns in Dying For a Thrill that the reader will be left guessing who to believe and what is really going on.  I liked that in this story.  I liked having a mystery that isn’t easy to figure out, while at the same time going a little crazy trying to decide just who the bad guys are, and trust me, there are several to choose from.  

Dying For a Thrill is a story in which the main focus is the mystery that Mike and his crew find themselves involved in, instead of the romantic interest of its main character.  While this story may not be for everyone, I strongly suggest those readers who enjoy a good mystery give this book a chance.  As the first story in the A Mike King Mystery series, there are more stories to look forward to, and I am curious to see what the author has planned for Mike next.