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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Enemies of the State

Title: Enemies of the State
Author: Tal Bauer
Publisher: Nine Star Press  
Publishers URL: http://ninestarpress.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-911153-33-7
Genre: {M/M}, Political Thriller, Series        
Rating: Golden Blush
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Ethan has worked himself up to the most wanted position in the Secret Service, head of the Presidential detail.  Having been with Jack since the race for office, Ethan has spent a lot of time with the widower.  Now in office, Ethan is surprised by his feelings for the new President.

Tal Bauer is a new author for me and after reading Enemies of the State, I will be looking for more from this author.  Enemies of the State is definitely a book for those who love thrillers and those looking for a book with a little more meat on it will want to pick this story up, as well.  The author has done an excellent job with the character and world building and readers will find themselves pulled in from the very beginning of the story. 

Ethan is a member of the Secret Service.  He has worked hard to make it to the top and is not going to let anything take his accomplishments away.  Ethan is also gay, something that is widely known.  He also has a love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation, something he is fine with.  He is honored to be in charge of the new Presidential detail, as Jack is someone he believes the country needs.  Once in the White House, however, the standoff attitude that is needed for the Secret Service becomes hard for Ethan to hold on to. 

Jack never imagined he would find himself in the White House.  When his wife died while serving the country, Jack realized he had to step up and do his part in making America safe.  Soon he found himself running for office, and 15 years later he is the new President of the United States.  Jack is a people person, however, and the isolation that he is suddenly faced with, due to his new job, leaves him a little lonely.

Jack and Ethan soon find themselves exploring new ground and both men are confused and worried.  Yet, as they struggle with the growing change in their relationship, they both continue to give everything to their jobs.  While the relationship between these two is a strong part of the story, and the author handles the many obstacles they face in a realistic way, it is not the only focus of the story.

The author uses many of the problems faced today as issues in Enemies of the State, giving the book a current up to date feel.  Several of these issues are the focal point for a group that is planning a major coup, not only of the United States, but other areas of the world as well.  The way the author handles this part of the story is amazing.  The twists and turns leave you wondering just who the bad guys are and, while I was able to guess one, some of the others surprised me.  I was up late into the night because I could not stop turning the pages to see what would happen. I think readers will be happy with the way the story was wrapped up. 

According to the publisher’s website, Enemies of the State is the first book in The Executive Office series.  I hope the second book will be out soon as I am very curious about what the author has planned next.

Clan McKinloch: The Boxed Set

Author:  Kaitlin Maitland
Publisher:  Loose Id LLC
Publisher URL:  www.loose-id.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-68252-176-2
Genre:  {M/F, M/M/F, F/F, M/M}, Contemporary, Collection
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Stars, Stripes, and Xmas Bells - 4 Nymphs

Trip McKinloch is in the Air Force and will be returning to his unit the next day.  When he meets Ashton at a Fourth of July celebration, they spend a wonderful night together.  What happens when they meet at Christmas and realize they have not gotten each other out of their system makes for some family drama for Trip.

Hearts, Candy, and Clover - 4 Nymphs

Gavin McKinloch opens his own bakery, but is still hurt over the situation with Ashton and Trip.  Ashton’s best friend, Luce, hangs around and wonders how she can make Gavin realize she’s the one for him while Gavin is trying to figure out if Luce could love him.

Kiss Cam Connection - 4.5 Nymphs

Micah and Brody have been together for five years, but they haven’t been able to find a woman they both can love.  They help out Nena at a ball-game, but forget to get her contact information.  Using the missed connections listing on Craigslist, they end up finding Nena.  Despite the men knowing she is what they want, Nena must make the decision to be part of a ménage relationship.

Junebugs, Haunted Houses & Jack o’Lanterns - 4 Nymphs

Donal McKinloch is trying to come to terms with his wife, Stacey, wanting a divorce.  A lot boils down to miscommunication and Stacey’s parent’s expectations.  Once Stacey realizes what is going on, how can she make it up to Donal, especially since she has to face his family as well.

Cupid, Mardi Gras & Auld Lang Syne - 4 Nymphs

Zoey has always known she is attracted to women and she is extremely attracted to Morrie McKinloch.  Morrie only knows she has difficulty with men but never considered another woman until her brother dares Zoey to kiss her.  Morrie now knows what she wants, but knows it won’t be easy coming out to her family.

Roses, Rallies, and BBQ - 4.5 Nymphs

Ossian McKinloch has decided he won’t start a relationship since his last one ended badly.  What he doesn’t count on is meeting Jax, Brody’s business partner, and his attraction to him.  The two men’s friendship becomes love, though both have some obstacles to overcome.

The Clan McKinloch Boxed Set has all five stories of the McKinloch series.  Kiss Cam Connection is part of the Missed Connections series but is a tie in to the McKinloch stories as well.  The McKinloch siblings work in the family pub with the exception of Trip, which doesn’t sit well with his parents.

I loved reading about all of them, but my favorite McKinloch sibling has to be Ossian also known as Oz.  My heart broke a little as I was reading his story and what happened between him and his friend from the Marines.  I hated Luke’s wife and was very relieved when Oz decided to try another relationship when Jax came along. 

Each story has a unique situation that each sibling has to overcome due to what is supposed to be a family curse.  Reading each story does give credence to the curse based on the trouble each sibling has getting to their “happy ever after”.  I will be reading these stories again in the future.

Closer by Morning

Author: Thom Collins
Publisher: Pride Publishing  
ISBN/BIN: 9781786514400
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery        
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dale is a B-list actor.  One who has always kept a secret, even from himself.  After moving from the States to England in order to be closer to his son, Dale has finally landed a role that may turn his career around.  He never expected to meet someone like Matt, or for life to start imitating art, both of which leave Dale wondering just where his life is heading.

Someone is killing young gay men, only no one has any idea how the victims are tied together.  On top of that, the murders resemble what is unfolding on the set of a new thriller being filmed in town.  Is there a connection or is it just a coincidence?  This is the premise the author lays out for readers in Closer by Morning and one that will leave you guessing until the end.  Readers should know that while the author is not overly graphic in his descriptions, he does touch on topics that may be hard for some readers to handle. 

While the murders are a primary point in the story and one that ties all the characters together, this book is also a romance. The author brings us two characters that can’t seem to help but fall in love.  Dale is an actor who has always struggled with his sexuality.  He has gone so far as to marry and father a child, one he loves deeply, to keep from admitting to himself, and others, who he really is.  Matt is a lawyer.  He is good at his job, but not at relationships.  He is also openly gay.  The men meet at an exercise boot camp and, while there seems to be a connection, they are afraid to say anything for fear of being wrong.  Of course, this does not last long and soon the two are forming a friendship that quickly moves into something more. 

I like the passion that exists between the two men. I also like that, while Dale is currently in the closet, he realizes he will have to eventually come out and is not forcing Matt to go back in.  It is interesting to watch the relationship develop between these two and thought that for all Dale’s fears of being found out, he could not seem to help the PDA’s from occurring.  I also liked the relationship that Dale had with his son and could not help but chuckle a few times when they were together. 

Matt is also a likeable character and I felt for him when it came to dealing with his ex.  I could not help wondering how someone as strong as Matt ended up with someone like Jamie, and if that would play an important part of the story.  I liked the fact that, while things did not work out well for Matt in regards to Jamie, he did not let that keep him from developing a relationship with Dale.  I also liked that Matt understood that Dale would need time to feel comfortable with the feelings that were developing between them and had no plans to force him into anything. 

Both men are surprised to find themselves pulled into the murder investigation that is currently going on.  Neither man can imagine that they would have any connection to the case, and I had to agree with them.  I was just as surprised as they were when everything started to come together. 

The author did a good job keeping this part of the story going.  He has peppered Closer by Morning with so many secondary characters that I could see one or more being the “bad” guy.  I was also surprised by the way the killer was caught and am sure readers will not see it coming.  Closer by Morning was an interesting read and I will have to keep my eyes open for more books by this author. 

Quit

Title:  Quit
Author:  Viola Grace
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:  www.extasybooks.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-4874-0800-8
Genre:  {M/F}, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Minerva is wasting away as she waits for her daughter to get out of the tank. Her daughter had to be put in it after she got to the point Minerva couldn’t keep carrying her.  What she didn’t know is that the father is on his way to make sure Minerva is still around to take care of her.

Quit is the 36th and last book in the Terran Times Second Wave series.  Minerva was one of the first generation of Terrans in the Terran Times series.  Minerva has a unique talent that has allowed her to act as Recruiter Norz for years.  Now as her role changes to wife and mother, she is chosen to fill another role that will be unique to Terra.

I loved Imbolt’s description.  He would definitely be memorable under any circumstances, but he fills his role as ambassador and later Minerva’s husband admirably. Imbolt also made sure Minerva got well and I had to laugh at some of Minerva’s minor rebellions when they first met.  They hit it off very well together. 

I am going to miss this series.  Despite each story being very fast paced, the author transported readers to various worlds and created some unique societies on those worlds. I think it was wonderful that the series ended with the tie in to the first group of Terrans that went into space.  I will be reading the Terran Times Second Wave series again.

Marriage of Inconvenience

Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63477-528-1
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Dreamspun Desire        
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Release date: Aug 15, 2016

Kerry has always wanted to be a publicist for A-list celebrities.  He knows he has to pay his dues, but he’s tired of monitoring Twitter and Facebook accounts while everyone else gets the plum jobs.  When actor Jericho Knox screws up big time, Kerry finally gets his turn to prove himself, but is this really what he wants.

Let’s address the elephant in the room before going any further.  Marriage of Inconvenience is predictable from the very beginning.  If you ever read one of the many Harlequin romance books back in the day then the feel of this story will be a familiar.  That does not mean that this is not a book worth picking up. 

Kerry is out of his depth in Marriage of Inconvenience.  The career he has always wanted is not what he thought it would be, something that becomes clearer when he is thrown into the middle of a sex scandal.  I could not believe that Kerry did not think things through when he agreed to become “the man on his knees” in the photo that exposes Jericho Knox.  At the same time, I could not help but feel a little sorry for him as he starts to see the reality of the life he wanted.

Jericho, on the other hand, is an obnoxious actor who has the chance at the role of his life.  However, when he is caught in a compromising position it takes everyone working for him to clean up the mess and put a good spin on it.  In the beginning, it is easy to dislike Jericho a little.  But as the story moves on, the reasons for them become clearer, making it easier to understand his actions. 

These two are thrown together under tough circumstances and at first they clash constantly, which is to be expected.  As they get to know each other, and start coming together as a team, the attraction between them builds.  They do eventually heat up the pages of the book and it was good to see them finally come together for real, rather than for the press.  

Even with the predictability of the story, this was a fun book to read.  Fans of Ms. O’Shea are sure to enjoy this new book and, those looking at the M/M genre for the first time, can’t go wrong with Marriage of Inconvenience.

Protecting the Land

Author: A.J. Marcus, Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: www.extasybooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-4874-0751-3
Genre: {M/M} Werewolves Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Werewolf Justus is having a hard time adjusting to life on a ranch, the problem being he must stay in human form and wear clothes.

Protecting the Land is the second book in the Wild Lands series. An agreement made between the werewolf pack and the Abbey family has worked well for both groups. The Abbey family’s claim includes a forest that is the pack’s hunting grounds. Humans stay out of the forest and the pack protects the Abbey family from trespassers. Justus has been sent to guard the ranch.

Henry doesn’t know about the agreement nor does he know werewolves even exist. The only thing Henry knows is that Justus is not qualified to work on a ranch. When miners encroach on ranch property, secrets are revealed. 

Protecting the Land is an interesting as well as enjoyable addition to the series. Although Henry and Justus are charming characters, I mourn the lost of the more entertaining characters featured in the first book Claiming the Land

Bomb Tech

Title:  Bomb Tech
Author:  Fiona Roarke
Publisher:  Nickel Road Publishing
Publisher URL:  www.amazon.com
ISBN/BIN:  978-1-944312-060
Genre:  {M/F}, Romantic Suspense, Series
Rating:  4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer:  Amazon Nymph

Alex met Veronica when he gave a presentation to her class.  Later, he ends up rescuing her from a fake bomb in the middle of town.  With help from Alex’s family, Alex and Veronica try to find out who is trying to kill them.

Bomb Tech is the fourth book in the Bad Boys in Big Trouble series and introduces us to the fourth Langston brother.  Alex became a fireman after his time overseas as a bomb tech.  In this story, we learn more about The Organization, the private law enforcement group that was introduced in Biker and that Alex is being actively recruited for, since most of his brothers now work for them.

Once Alex and Veronica get together, the chemistry is intense.  They have a few obstacles to work through such as a stalker, houses blowing up and smoke bombs. Alex has to overcome his undeserved reputation with the ladies, as well. 

Alex’s brothers and their boss from The Organization help with safe houses and other resources.  I was very surprised about who the stalker actually ended up being as all the clues pointed to one of Alex’s friends.  The scene where the stalker was revealed raised my heartrate for sure. 

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the Bad Boys in Big Trouble series, as there is one more Langston brother we haven’t met yet.  While each story can be read alone, I recommend this series be read in order to get the most out of it as each story includes some of the previous characters.