Thursday, September 15, 2016

Untrained Fascination

Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0874-9
Genre:  {M/F}, Science Fiction, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Lianne ends up being unique on the planet where the Rrassic take her. She ends up placed as a Breeder that has a job.  Sorrok does everything in his power to protect her even as he tries to court her for his mate.

Untrained Fascination is the first book in Viola Grace’s news series, Brace for Humanity.  Ms. Grace has done it again with this new world she created.  In this one, humans were kidnapped by the thousands, threatened to keep them in line and are actually under the protection of the Rrassic without their knowledge.  The various species of Rrassic that were introduced were interesting, as the species also determines their job.

Sorrok was actually one tasked to find humans, and had selected Lianne as his mate.  He has to woo her but there are others that want her for theirs.  Lianne is attracted to Sorrok but tries to keep things slow.  Circumstances change that after a few days.

I loved some of Lianne’s friends and the loyalty they showed to her.  There are several funny scenes involving the women, especially when there is an impromptu meeting with the other Breeders.  Several rogue Rrassic make life difficult for both Sorrok and Lianne.  There were some twists that Sorrok and some higher ups did not anticipate which create some intense moments.

Untrained Fascination is a fast paced read that I did not want to stop reading until I finished it.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the Brace for Humanity series as the author has indicated she will be exploring the various species of the Rrassic.

Swaying the Marine’s Loyalty

Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-4874-0836-7
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series          
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Zakhar has found his beloved, yet it is a matter of the wrong time and the wrong place.  Left with little option, he kidnaps Armand and can only hope for the best.  What happens when Armand wakes up and realizes the things of horror movies are real?

Swaying the Marine’s Loyalty picks up where Needing a Vampire’s Aggression left off.  While the vampires were able to snatch General Parker, a few glitches occurred that ended up with one more Kuznetsov brother finding his beloved.  Right from the beginning, readers see that this book is going to be a little different.  Zakhar is nervous about Armand’s reaction when he wakes up and, if I were the vampire, I do not know that I would have left Armand’s bedside until things were resolved.  Of course, that is not possible and the results of Armand waking on his own have a lasting effect. 

I liked that the author had Armand wake up confused and ready to escape rather than seeing Zakhar right off and falling in love.  The problems that arise from this keep the whole Kuznetsov family busy.  I did feel bad for Zakhar because his ‘first’ meeting with Armand does not play out the way he had hoped, but the author handles things in a way that is believable. 

The relationship between Armand and Zakhar is not the only focus of Swaying the Marine’s Loyalty.  The Kuznetsov coven needs to figure out the best way to handle General Parker and, when readers learn just how bad this guy is, they will not feel the least upset over how the vampires deal with him.  There are a couple of surprises toward the end of this story and I wonder how the fact that the Kuznetsov sister finds her beloved will affect the family. 

Swaying the Marine’s Loyalty is the 36th book in Ms. Richards long running Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  I am curious to see how much farther the author is planning on taking this series and who will be next to find their mate or beloved.


Locke & Blade

Title: Locke & Blade
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02016-0593
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Social class matters at least to Jonathan Blade. Respectability is what matters to Christopher Locke. Nevertheless, in spite of their differences, Jonathan and Christopher become secret lovers in a world that sneers at man love.

Locke & Blade is the first book in the Locke & Blade of Waterford Patrol series. The setting is a magical world purposely separated from the world of non-magical people and violent creatures. However, somehow creatures from the old world have found the portal and are killing people. Locke is the only inspector at Waterford who knows how to fight using old world weapons as well as the magical wands his fellow patrollers use to subdue lawbreakers. The characters are creditable.

Jonathan has known of his true sexuality since he was a young man, but he has never acted upon his desires. He chose to focus only on his career instead.

Shameful sexual rumors precede Christopher’s arrival, but rather than confirm or deny the gossip, he chooses to remain silent.

It is only the strong mutual attraction, as well as the slowly building of trust, that breaks down the barriers between Jonathan and Christopher.

Lynn Lorenz has created an impressive opening for this series. I was intrigued by the innocence of a world so unaware of the dangers beyond their realm. I also enjoyed the elves that could transport not only themselves but other people as well. I am looking forward to the next addition of this series. 

Dog Days

Title: Dog Days
Author: TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63477-577-9
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Science Fiction          
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Danny ran away to Durham, he did so hopping he would be able to start over.  For a while it looked like he was going to get his wish, but then the weather changed.  Next his ex, Jack, showed up, followed shortly by Jack’s evil twin.  Then people started dying and Danny knew he had no choice but to accept who and what he was.

Dog Days is an interesting shifter story that is a little different from the norm.  The mythology that the author used to create the world in which the story is based gives the story a refreshing feel.  There is also the fact that in this book it is possible for shifters and humans to mate and their offspring to shift, those offspring do not shift into wolves but into dogs.  This part of the world building plays an important part in the story as one of the main characters is a dog.

Danny is a dog.  He was raised in the Scottish Highlands by his mother.  This is not unusual, but the pack they lived in would have sent humans running for the hills.  Dogs are just about the lowest rank in the pack so Danny’s life was hell growing up.  It did not help that he was gay and in love with one of the alpha’s sons.  As soon as he got the chance, Danny left the pack to start over someplace no one would know him.

Jack is one of the alpha’s sons, and has a twin brother, Gregor.  In a pack where strength is everything, the relationship between the brothers was contentious, to say the least.  The fact that their mother went to her grave without revealing who was born first does not help either.  When the weather goes from bad to worse, the shifters see this as a sign that their world is about to change and for Jack’s father that means choosing his heir.  Unfortunately for Jack his father picks Gregor, exiling Jack as a result. 

I really wanted to like Dog Days.  The premise of the book was really interesting and the story did pull me in at times, when it was not confusing me.  It was the characters that really kept me from enjoying the story however.  To me Jack, at times, bordered on being verbally abusive towards Danny and, while I realize that in this world dogs are low on the totem pole, every time he called Danny, Danny Dog, I found myself cringing.  I was also a little shocked by the ending, as I did not see anything on the publisher’s or author’s site that says this is the start of a series.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Play With Fire

Title:  Play With Fire
Author:  B.J. McCall
Publisher:  Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  07769-02506
Genre:  {M/F} Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Rating:  3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Being an obligation was not what Princess Raen had in mind, but that was how things were turning out.  Her whole life changed when her parents were murdered and her kingdom was taken.  Raen only felt safe in the presence of one man, but that man was off limits to her.

Arsdon is a dragon who served his queen well, and he vowed to do the same for Princess Raen.  If it was revenge the princess wanted, Arsdon was determined to help her get it.  If that meant being separated from Raen, then he would do it.  Time might help her adjust, but it was doing nothing to cool down Arsdon’s feelings. 

Play With Fire is the third installment in the Set in Stone series, and it opens with lots of emotion.  Immediately my heart went out to Raen because of the loss of her family.  Being a princess didn’t make her soft. I felt it actually made her stronger and more down to Earth.  She adapted so well to the sudden changes in her life and I admired that.  Arsdon’s loyalty made me like him, even though I was a little bent out of shape about the length of time he lived apart from her.  The proposal scene was the cutest thing and it caught me by surprise.  I think readers will embrace this love story with open arms.

Alien Hostage

Title:  Alien Hostage
Author:  Tracy St. John
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-78651-060-0
Genre:  {M/F/M/M}, Ménage a Quatre, BDSM, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Tasha is kidnapped along with her niece, Princess Noelle of Kalquor, to be used as a pawn in a civil war between the factions that want only purebloods on Kalquor.  Tasha is one of the Earth women that is supposed to mate with one of the clans to help with the repopulation of Kalquor.  Unexpected help comes from Clan Falinset.

Alien Hostage is the tenth book in the Clans of Kalquor series.  Kalquor has basically split into two factions, the purebloods that don’t mind being extinct within 300 years and those that want their people to survive by clanning with women from Earth.  I love the world the author has created as it is interesting, especially the reason for having clans.  Each clan consists of a Dramok or leader, the Imdiko or caretaker, and the Nobek or protector. 

The Basma, leader of the pureblood group, has resorted to kidnapping and blackmail to get his way. Clan Falinset, whose Dramok is actually the biological son of the Basma, does everything he can to keep his father out of his life.  Unfortunately, it is difficult as the other two members, Nur and Wekniz, have been recipients of the Basma’s shenanigans.  Clan Falinset hides Tasha and the Noelle once they escape the camp they had been taken to.

As the four adults learn more about each other and start learning to trust each other, they wonder if Tasha will be able to clan with the men since Falinset, Nur and Wekniz will come under suspicion, once their family ties are revealed.  That doesn’t stop them from having some very intense sex scenes during their time together.

Several characters from the previous books show up as secondary characters, including Norpak. Norpak is fascinating, especially with the act she does, and ends up being a big part of getting Noelle back home.  The resolution of the civil war was still up in the air by the end of the story and I am looking forward to reading the next story in the Clans of Kalquor book. 

As with Alien Embrace, Alien Hostage is available through this publisher if you reside outside the U.S., otherwise the book can be purchased at Amazon (hyperlink for title), which is where the author’s website sends readers in the U.S.  Readers also need to be aware that this series was published previously and has been revised for Totally Bound.

Exploring the Land

Author: A.J. Marcus, Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0772-8
Genre: {M/M} Werewolves Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Summer of 1969 Colin Abbey went to a rodeo for the first time. He was hoping to meet some cowboys like him. Told to stay at the ranch, werewolf Tomah refused to listen to the order and hid in Colin’s truck to protect Colin from harm.

Exploring the Land is the fourth book in the Wild Lands series. For the last hundred years, one Abbey family male has fallen in love with a wolf from the forest werewolf pack adjoining the Abbey family’s cattle ranch. However, Colin who is attracted to Tomah, refuses to follow the family tradition. Colin is afraid Tomah will shift during intimacy. Tomah is ready to give up on mating with Colin and return home to his pack. The trip to the rodeo becomes a revealing adventure for both men. 

Exploring the Land is an enjoyable saga featuring some of the history of Colorado.  

Alien Embrace

Title:  Alien Embrace
Author:  Tracy St. John
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-78651-061-7
Genre:  {M/F/M/M}, Ménage a Quatre, BDSM, Sci-Fi, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Earth is now run by a fanatical religious government that will do anything to keep its citizens “pure”.  Amelia is an invited resident artist on Plasius but comes to the attention of the Kalquorians. What happens when cultures collide?

Alien Embrace is the first book in the Clans of Kalquor.  This is the first book by author Tracy St. John I have read and really enjoyed this book.  A couple of things need to be said about purchasing this book though.  The book is available through this publisher if you reside outside the U.S., otherwise the book can be purchased at Smashwords*, which is where the author’s website sends readers in the U.S.  Readers also need to be aware that this series was published previously and has been revised for Totally Bound. I also caution readers that the abduction scenario can cause some triggers as there are some scenes that may be construed as dubious consent.  That being said, I really enjoyed reading this book as the author created an interesting world.

Because of the problems regarding the population of the Kalquor, they have come up with an interesting social structure of three men creating a clan or family unit, which needs to find their Matara.  Amelia’s clan consists of a Council member, a medical officer and a soldier.  The Kalquor have some unique physical characteristics that make for some very intense sex scenes. 

Amelia has to overcome some major hang ups due to her upbringing on earth.  Most of her resistance to becoming the beloved of the clan is mental.  Even though Plasius’s people are very open about sex, even in public, Amelia has learned to ignore it as much as possible, even though her friends among them can’t quite understand. 

Cultures clash when Amelia becomes pregnant and marries into the clan.  Despite the bad guys and the way Amelia is taken from her clan, things work out.  The author has a way of describing things that will take you right into the story and got my blood pressure up with some of the intensity of the story.  I had to laugh at the way the Plasius leader took charge in one scene toward the end of the book.

I am looking forward to reading more stories in this series.  

*Hyperlink leads to Smashwords

Unconventional in Kansas City

Author: Anthology
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publisher URL: www.pride-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-78651-476-9
Genre: {M/M} Cowboys
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Kiss Me, Cowboy by Carol Lynne - 4 Nymphs
Eli Barron and Jesse Clooney are best friends and lovers, but when critical circumstances changes their plan to be together, the two men go in separate directions.  Eli stays at home on the ranch to support his widowed mother and younger siblings while Jesse escapes his homophobic parents by following the rodeo circuit.

New Vocations by T.A. Chase - 4.5 Nymphs
Layne Daly adopts and re-trains retired thoroughbreds. When his usual groom was unable to make it to Kansas City, Layne was in need of help.  Carl Stewartson, whose recent injury ended his broncs riding career, offers to help Layne with his horses and more personal things.

Stallions and Ice by Stephani Hecht - 5 Nymphs
Following family traditions, Brandon has been trained from a young child to play the major hockey leagues, although his skills only gained Brandon a position in the minor leagues.  Ethan was trained to ride in the rodeo circuit. However, a medical condition has deprived Ethan of a rodeo future. The mutual attraction between Brandon and Ethan, upon first meeting, has both men thinking about possibly altering their plans for a future together.

Playing with Fire by Jambrea Jo Jones - 5 Nymphs
Hayden McGrath owns a farm-to-table restaurant and entering the barbecue competition at the American Royal gives Hayden a chance to showcase his cooking skills.  Amos Vasquez is a ranch cook at a ranch repurposed into a ranch resort. Amos has two goals this year, win the barbecue competition and win back Hayden. Amos has decided that one night with Hayden is not enough.

Resuscitating Love by Devon Rhodes - 4 Nymphs
American Royal director Hill Pearson is still a cowboy at heart, but the long hours he spends making the rodeo events perfect is taking a toll on Hill’s personal time.  Dr. David Weinstein is Hill’s husband. Married less than a year, David is discovering their marriage is going the wrong direction; they are drifting apart instead of growing closer together. It seems to David that Hill is really married to the American Royal and David is a live in partner instead of husband.

Overall, this collection of compassionate short stories is vastly impressive and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the humor blended into Stallions and Ice as well as Playing with Fire.

Love And War

Title: Love And War
Author: M.O. Kenyan
Publisher:  Beachwalk Press
Publisher URL:  http://beachwalkpress.com
ISBN/BIN:  9781944270254
Genre:  {M/F} Contemporary, Interracial
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amethyst Nymph

Guillermo de Castillo doesn’t want to have fun on his birthday, the first one without his twin brother.  All of his attention is centered on finding the woman who ruined his family.  When punishment and passion merge, Guillermo is torn.  The guilt he feels over wanting Raven is clouding Guillermo’s judgment where his brother is concerned.  Is it possible he didn’t know his brother as well as he thought?

Raven hopes she can delete the memories of her abusive relationship from her mind when she looks into the warm eyes of a stranger.  He’s so familiar and yet so different at the same time.  Sleeping with him was no mistake, but it definitely complicates things when she discovers his identity.  Her daughter has to come first, so Raven is willing to do anything to protect her.  Both mother and daughter have gone through so much, Raven isn’t sure how much more they can take before life breaks them.

Kismet is a strange thing when it brings together Raven and Guillermo.  Raven is in celebration mode, while Guillermo is mourning his brother.  He is clueless as to how hard things have been for Raven and he sees her as an awful person.  Raven quickly lets him know that his brother was not as good and misunderstood as Guillermo thinks.  Though she shares some very deep things, she doesn’t tell Guillermo everything about her daughter, Maya.  Guillermo is determined to use Maya against Raven, but he develops feelings for them both so quickly, his plans change. 

Love and War touched me in many ways.  There are so many women like Raven.  She definitely deserved a second chance at love.  I am so glad Raven had a good friend and a mother to support her.  Maya’s situation just made me so sad each time I read about her problem and how helpless Raven felt in fixing it.  I was shocked how she didn’t realize who Guillermo was when she saw him, but perhaps ignorance was bliss for her.  Guillermo seemed to have a huge weight on his shoulder and I was glad to see that lifted.  Raven was the only way for him to move on and at first, he didn’t get that.  In the beginning he was so arrogant and by the end of the story he was just a big softie.  I love Guillermo and I know readers will be so touched by this story.  

Initiation

Title:  Initiation
Author:  Sierra Cartwright
Publisher:  Totally Bound
Publisher URL:  www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-78651-082-2
Genre:  {M/F}, BDSM, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Jennifer is interested in BDSM, but is very unsure about what she wants, so she tries an experiment with a Dom that leaves her wanting.  Logan sees her and is interested, but is not sure he wants to take on an inexperienced sub.  Choices are made after some mutual friends set them up.

Initiation is the first book in the Master Class series and the title is very apt as Jennifer learns about what she wants and what she can handle. Ms. Cartwright has done it again with her insight into the BDSM lifestyle.  Readers will note how references are made to Jennifer’s safe word and the word to say when she needs to slow down and discuss something to become more comfortable. 

Logan has had some problems in the past with women not understanding his job as a private investigator and the hours sometimes involved.  Jennifer has also had problems with men not understanding her need to stand on her own and her dreams of owning her own business.  While there is a misunderstanding as Logan finishes up a case, an understanding between the two is reached. 

The chemistry between Logan and Jennifer is hot. The scenes are very intense and the descriptions will make you squirm in a good way. 

I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the Master Class series.  Those that are familiar with Ms. Cartwright’s books will not be disappointed with this one.  In my opinion, Ms. Cartwright is fast becoming one of the top authors within the BDSM genre. 

Readers should be aware that this book has been revised and re-edited for this publisher.

Reviving the Land

Author: A.J. Marcus, Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0752-0
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Cattle rancher Timothy Abbey is feeling helpless; a long drought has caused the grazing grass to die along with some of the cattle. However, the humans are not the only ones suffering, the wild life left, leaving the wolves starving.

Reviving the Land is the third book in the Wild Lands series. The setting is a century after Elijah Abbey and werewolf Armand’s original agreement. If the Abbey family would stay out of the forest, the wolves will get rid of any encroaching humans. Both sides continue to honor that promise.

Now with the land ravished, werewolf Derek and Timothy are forced to come up with a new plan to help both the wolves and the Abbey family.

Reviving the Land is a lackluster storyline with lifeless characters and little conflict. However, I did enjoy the historical references featured.