Friday, November 11, 2016

Smart Bart

Title: Smart Bart
Author:  AKM Miles
Publisher: MLR Books
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN: MLR-1-02016-0630
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Series
Rating:  5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Bart has watched his older siblings find the love of their lives, one by one.  While he is happy for them, he can’t help being a little envious.  Although he has known he was gay for a while, he just did not feel like it was necessary to say anything since there was no one in his life.  But, then Eric steps fully into his life and Bart won’t have it any other way.

Smart Bart is the tenth book in the Scarcity Sanctuary series.  This book is about the last of the seven original boys introduced in the first book.  While it is not necessary to read all the books in the series before starting Smart Bart, you should read the first book to understand why Bart is special to so many people. 

In Smart Bart, Bart, now an adult, is working in the financial department of the hospital.  He finds himself drawn to one of the hospital’s young patients, Mark.  Mark is six years old and will die of cancer unless a bone marrow donor can be found.  Eric is Mark’s brother and guardian.  He’s been working three jobs to pay Mark’s medical bills, but it still isn’t enough.  Bart is as drawn to Eric as he is to Mark and he can’t help wanting to help.  When Eric shows up to visit Mark, and it is obvious that he has been in a fight, Bart steps in to help. 

After the death of their parents, Eric gets custody of his little brother.  Shortly after, Mark becomes sick and everything starts to fall apart.  Eric does not care what happens to him, he just cannot lose Mark.  When Eric starts to fall behind on hospital bills he goes to a loan shark for assistance.  Unfortunately, not even working three jobs is enough and soon the loan shark isn’t very happy. 

There is a lot that goes on in this story and, while there is a strong attraction between the men, with so much being thrown at them, and Eric not in the physical condition to do more than cuddle, Bart and Eric get the chance to learn more about each other.  That is one of the things I love about Ms. Miles’ books.  The men take their time rather than jumping into bed, so the relationship they build is a strong one.  This does not mean that the men don’t eventually heat up the pages. 

One of the other things I enjoy about this book, and all the others in the series, is that the author always brings back many of the previous characters.   There is an interesting twist with one of the characters that plays strongly into this book.  Then there is Soldier.  Soldier and Dillion are always there for their boys, and those they bring home, regardless of how old they are.  While some may see Soldier’s actions as being pushy, it is easy to see that everything he does is out of love. 

I would love to see more books in this series, and I am curious about what the author has planned next.

A Chance for Us

Author: Jake C. Wallace
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63477-722-3
Genre: {M/M} Vampire Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

New Vampire Justice Officer Max Kincaid is attracted to women only or so he always thought until he rescued Justin Masters from a fanatical vampire.

A Chance for Us is the second book in New Vampire Justice series. The plot is slow paced with less than convincing characters or actions to engage my attention. The setting mirror today’s privileged society of corrupt politicians, discrimination and civil unrest.

The characteristics of the vampires are the same as a human. Vampires eat food and drink synthetic blood; only the fangs distinguish them from the humans. The attraction between Justin and Max was more credible as friends rather than two men in love

The key point of this plot is finding the missing humans and vampires associated with the bite clubs. However, there is one exclusive bite club hiding a sinister connection to a fanatical vampire attempting to gain vampire domination over humans. Justin was one of the evil vampire’s hostages. The NVJ investigation of the bite club reveals a vivid description of pain slaves and masochists. Further investigation revealed how humans were constrained by the pain slavery.

Overall, focusing on the mystery premise as well as the profiling of possible suspects, I found A Chance for Us enjoyable. 
    



The Outfielders

Author:  Robert P Rowe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63477-868-8
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Sports
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Tony had his life planned out, but as often happens in real life those plans get tossed around until he is only living day by day.  With all his dreams dashed, at twenty-four,
Tony finds himself still living at home worrying that things are never going to change.

Tony is gay, but because he has grown up in a small town and is worried about what his family will say he does nothing.  He was planning on coming out while away at college.  But things don’t go as planned, and Tony finds himself working at the big box store that is slowly killing the town he lives in, instead.  If it wasn’t for his few friends, and the store’s baseball team, Tony doesn’t know what he would do.   

One of those friends is Alex.  Alex also works at the big box store and has been friends with Tony for some time.  But Alex does not know that he is the object of Tony’s secret crush.   When Tony’s “girlfriend” decides to help him get the man of his dreams, things go a little crazy.  

I loved the way the author used a gay romance story to help Alex and Tony find their way.  At times, it does get a little confusing, but bear with it.  There are a lot of emotions in The Outfielders.  From the confusion, friendship, lust and love that Tony and Alex feel, to the anger, fear, and acceptance that several of the secondary characters go through.  There are also moments of laughter.  More than once, i found myself laughing, usually at Tony’s expense.  The scene where Tony’s father gives the young men a new set of speakers is really over the top.  

The Outfielders is my first book by Mr. Rowe.  I enjoyed this story, especially as I live in a small rural town and could see the similarities between my town and Mr. Rowe’s fictional one.  The characters in this book are also well done, even the secondary ones.  I found myself curious as to how the story would play out, and i think others will like just as much.  

Guarding His Mark

Author: SA Welsh
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publisher URL: www.pride-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-78651-430-1
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Being a part of the Shifter Protection Specialists Inc. is not only a job, it is Khan’s family and he would never abandon his adopted shifter brothers. Nevertheless, a night out for some casual entertainment is occasionally desired. It was on such a night that king cobra shifter Khan met Dr. Casey Jameson, a scientist in need of venom to produce a life saving serum. Except the first night of their meeting, the focus was on producing a more intimate cure for what ailed both of them.

Guarding his Mark is the third book in the Shifter Protection Specialists Inc. series. The action filled plot highlights trust issues, greed, deception, betrayal and humorous interaction between characters. The characters are creditable.

Casey is on a personal mission to develop a cure before it is too late. His research shows that king cobra venom has the best potential for a successful serum. Casey is a brilliant scientist, but not very good at judging people. It is this flaw that causes Casey major problems.

Khan has trust issues stemming from the betrayal of his natural family, so discovering that Casey is a scientist, brings back bad memories of the past for Khan. However, the attraction between Khan and Casey is so strong that neither man can forget each other or the night they spent together.

SA Welsh has created an exceptionally enjoyable intense action installment to this series. From the beginning Casey’s life is in jeopardy and just when you think Khan and Casey have escaped, another attack immediately strikes without pause.  

Guarding His Mark

Author: SA Welsh
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publisher URL: www.pride-publishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-78651-430-1
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Being a part of the Shifter Protection Specialists Inc. is not only a job, it is Khan’s family and he would never abandon his adopted shifter brothers. Nevertheless, a night out for some casual entertainment is occasionally desired. It was on such a night that king cobra shifter Khan met Dr. Casey Jameson, a scientist in need of venom to produce a life saving serum. Except the first night of their meeting, the focus was on producing a more intimate cure for what ailed both of them.

Guarding his Mark is the third book in the Shifter Protection Specialists Inc. series. The action filled plot highlights trust issues, greed, deception, betrayal and humorous interaction between characters. The characters are creditable.

Casey is on a personal mission to develop a cure before it is too late. His research shows that king cobra venom has the best potential for a successful serum. Casey is a brilliant scientist, but not very good at judging people. It is this flaw that causes Casey major problems.

Khan has trust issues stemming from the betrayal of his natural family, so discovering that Casey is a scientist, brings back bad memories of the past for Khan. However, the attraction between Khan and Casey is so strong that neither man can forget each other or the night they spent together.

SA Welsh has created an exceptionally enjoyable intense action installment to this series. From the beginning Casey’s life is in jeopardy and just when you think Khan and Casey have escaped, another attack immediately strikes without pause.  

Cracking the Big Lug’s Shell

Author:  Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0893-0
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Series
Rating:  4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Vadim has sat back, and watched as all his siblings found their beloveds.  Worried about being alone, Vadim is shocked by who the Fates have chosen for him.  There is no way that someone as small as Kendrick could be meant for someone like him.

Cracking the Big Lug’s Shell is the 37th book in Ms. Richards’ Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This story centers on the last Kuznetsov sibling.  Even though he’s a big bad vampire, Vadim is a bit of a gentle soul, who has a “big” problem when it comes to relationships.  This issue has caused Vadim to have self-esteem issues.  When he meets the man the Fates have picked for him, he can’t help but take a step back. 

Kendrick is human and knows nothing of the paranormal world that exists around him.  He’s also trying to put a bad relationship behind him, something that is easier said than done.  When a large group comes into the restaurant and he is asked to switch stations, Kendrick is immediately drawn to the big man that comes in late. 

Like with all beloveds, there is an instant draw for the two involved, but that does not mean that things will be smooth sailing for the couple.  That is no different in this new story.  Both men have issues to overcome, but Kendrick is determined to get his man.  The chemistry between these two men is strong and they really heat up the pages.  While Vadim’s problem is easy to solve, Kendrick’s is a little more difficult. 

Fans of this series are sure to like Cracking the Big Lug’s Shell.  Since all the Kuznetsov siblings have now found their beloveds, I am curious as to who the author will move on to next? 

An Honorable Man

Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925506-29-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

The hunter is stalking New York City; his prey are the rent boys working the streets.  After several of his friends are found dead and a close call with the serial killer himself, Bobby Laughlin leaves town. However, Officer Danny Finnegan has volunteered to go undercover and needs Bobby’s help. Working together, Danny and Bobby end one of the nightmares plaguing Manhattan.

An Honorable Man is the seventh book in the Men of Manhattan series. In this episode, the series features the dark side of a city and continues the mystery highlighted in A Selfless Man. As the suspense builds, you start to see that Danny and Bobby not only become lovers, but they work well as a team also. Their compatibility almost screams permanent relationship.

Bobby is an orphan with heartbreaking beginnings, but he learned to survive the hurdles life threw at him to become a stronger man. Being a rent boy was considered necessary when no other options are available for a homeless gay teenager.

Danny is an openly gay man who always wanted to be a cop. As a teenager, Danny knew his sexuality would be a problem for some people, so Danny trained for years in martial arts to become a kick butt police officer that only a deadly weapon could best.

Sandrine Gasq-Dion has created an intriguing saga. An Honorable Man is very enjoyable with a few unexpected twists. One scene I could visualize is Danny dancing on stage to one of my favorite tracks of music. Plus, following the pattern of clues, I could guess the identity of the killer. However his reason for the killings was a total shocker.

A Selfless Man

Author: Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Publisher URL: www.wildecity.com
ISBN: 978-1-925506-28-0
Genre: {M/M} Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

New York firefighter Michael Callahan had never dated a guy before. Michael is not homophobic, he simply never had a strong attraction to anyone until he met Ryan Carter.

A Selfless Man is the sixth book in the Men of Manhattan series. The plot features the dangers firefighters face everyday, the dangers of being a rent boy, fulfilling dreams and a wedding. The theme of the Men of Manhattan series centers on the employees and friends of the Hawke Advertising Agency.

Michael is a compassionate man dedicated to saving people and being a firefighter was a dream come true for him. As for Michael’s romantic pursuits, his only requirement is a mutual attraction with a person, their gender does not matter.

Ryan, who has known he was gay since childhood, has been verbally beat down by his high profile homophobic parents who have convinced Ryan he has no value. It is only after getting to know Michael that Ryan begins to feel he is worthy enough to share a loving relationship.

A Selfless Man is best read in sequence in order to fully appreciate the secondary characters. The romantic comedy series begins with A Betting Man.

Michael’s brother is Tiernan Callahan; a NYC cop featured in A Healing Man. Ryan works for and is good friends with Casper Kennedy and Army Ranger Slater Cassidy featured in A Fighting Man.

Sandrine Gasq-Dion has created an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable saga.
A Selfless Man, like the other books in this series, highlights the emotional damage of parental gender rejection. However, the series also exhibits nurturing parents who love the person regardless of their sexual category.