Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hope by William Neale

Title: Hope
Author: William Neale
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN:  978-1-60820-629-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx 

Dumped by his closeted lover only to fall for a man who’s
already taken, Spencer Hawkins finishes up his fellowship
to discover he doesn’t have a job. For anyone on the outside
looking in, it seemed Spencer was failing miserably at life
in general, until one phone call changes everything. The
prospect of pulling up stakes and relocating to a new city
provides the one thing he needs most—Hope.

Hunter Harrison’s partner has left, abandoning not only
him but their adopted son whose heart defect has left them
in limbo awaiting a heart transplant that may not come in
time. It took meeting Spencer for Hunter and his son to
find something new to hold onto—Hope.
Building a love that can last a lifetime will take strength
and the one thing they found in each other—Hope

The theme of Hope illustrates how acceptance, compassion and Hope work together for the contentment we seek in life.  The main characters exhibit these traits. Hope is the story of Spencer Hawkin’s journey to happiness with Hunter Harrison.

Spencer’s acceptance of who and what he is, was the source of his breakup with his now ex-boyfriend. Spencer is gay and he embraces what life presents to him with a good attitude illustrated by Spencer’s episode of unrequited love for Cade featured in the third book Always Faithful. Spencer has the ability to open his heart as well as connect with others in a positive way. Spencer is a gentleman whose compassion allows him to love easily whether it is a sick child, friends or a potential lover; Spencer’s perception allows him to recognize the good in most of the people he encounters. It is these qualities that inspired Lucas and Rogan, the main characters in the first book Home to help Spencer acquire a teaching job along with a fresh start in Cleveland, Ohio.    

 Hunter Harrison is a single dad caring for his adopted son whose heart defect has him desperately awaiting a heart transplant that may not come in time. Spencer is Hunter’s son Ethan’s idol. When Spencer moved to Cleveland and realized Ethan lived close by, Spencer made it a priority to visit the child he met through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. From their first meeting Hunter and Spencer knew there was an immediate attraction between them. However, dealing with the unfortunate circumstances of his child, Hunter rejected any relationship with Spencer other than friends. Yet fate along with the power of hope brings about a positive change leading to a happy ever after.

My impression of Hope is that William Neale has written a part of his life story. The extraordinarily enjoyable romance engages the reader, inspiring me for a while to reflect on a beneficial idealism rather than dwell in a negative reality.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Rare Event by P.D. Singer

Literary Nymphs Interview

Title: The Rare Event
Author:  P.D. Singer
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: March 30, 2012

Tell us about your latest release

The Rare Event could be considered a contemporary historical, since it’s set in 2006, with some events straight out of the headlines. The Cardinals really did win the World Series (two of the characters are baseball fans), Google’s stock really did run up past 450, airlines were in turmoil, and the mortgage market really was crumbling. Jon and Ricky figure out how to make some money out of all this.

Ricky and Jon are hedge fund traders, colleagues, but with very different backgrounds, and very different hopes for the future of their relationship. Ricky hasn’t committed and doesn’t plan to, although if he’d get his head out of his butt, he’d notice that Jon is both anxious to commit and the perfect guy to do it with. Each of them has their own demons to explain why they tolerate the nonsense from each other that they do—it takes a long novel to unroll the whys, the whats, and oh, yeah, to make a fortune on the stock market.

The hedge fund that Ricky and Jon both work for is a bit on the shady side, more because of their horrible boss than for their investment style, and this is something the men are united on—something must be done about Edgar. But natch, they have different ways of taking him on. I did give poor Jon and Ricky a lot to cope with!

What inspired the story?

My local library branch has a rotating display of books next to the librarian’s desk. In order to expand my horizons, I pick up the book on the upper left corner, no matter what it is. This has provided some astonishing reading experiences.

A Colossal Failure of Common Sense, the Inside Story of the Failure of Lehman Brothers, by Lawrence McDonald was the upper left corner book one week. Oh, man, was that a harrowing read, written by a former Lehman Brothers vice president, who watched every step of the collapse. By the time I was done with that book, not only did I understand the collapse of the mortgage industry, I had a plot bunny the size of Godzilla gnawing my ankle.


“Ricky, who do you think is going to be hurt worst if this trade goes bad?” Jon had used his “speaking to a lover” voice without realizing it until the last word left his lips.

“Edgar.” Ricky snorted. “He takes it right in his fat ass. With the rest of the investors, but him worst.”

“He loses money. What do you lose?” If Ricky would think, Jon would use his persuasion any way he could—his voice remained soft.

Ricky cut himself short. “My—”

“Your previously accrued bonuses that are still invested here, your job, your prospects of a job in finance, because he’s vindictive. He’ll make sure the closest you end up to big money again is as the driver of an armored car.” Compared to all those things, small matters like the fortunes and security of his colleagues didn’t bear mentioning, so Jon didn’t. “Lose any noticeable chunk of ten million borrowed dollars, and he’ll find a way of making you pay it back personally.”

“You’ve been keeping score?” One side of Ricky’s mouth twisted back.

“I know how much capital you control and what you’ve bought—I can do the math.” He could, too, but peeking was faster.

“Assuming that you’re right and I’m wrong, which everyone is, even though I’m not, how would you have me fix this?”

“Best case would be that you bought married puts when you bought the stock, but since you didn’t—”

“Back to that old monogamy thing again, huh?” Ricky interrupted.

“You know what that is!” Jon snapped. Ricky was too experienced a trader not to buy the stock at the same time as the options. Jon wouldn’t let him turn the subject.

“Yes, I know, but what I also know is that the stock would have to rise another couple of bucks before I’m in the black after I buy that.” Ricky voiced a more valid objection.

 “Better than losing enough to buy a whole street of those houses Lasker builds,” Jon countered, “which is what you’ll do since you’ve married the position. You can buy the puts now, for some price that’s low enough to not crimp your profits, since you think a fall to that level is out of the question, or you could put a stop-loss order on, which will cost you a flat fee.”

“And even if it’s triggered, it may still be too late.” Ricky slid closer to Jon, who had no room to scoot away, trapped as he was against the desk.

“So buy the options. But do something.”

Ricky was too close now, and came to his feet, leaning on the arms of Jon’s chair, close enough to breathe into his ear. “I’ll buy the options if you’ll make mad passionate love to me on the couch right now.”

Available now at Dreamspinner, at Amazon, and All Romance eBooks.

Where can we find your website?
 My site and blog are here, at

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sinders and Ash by Tara Lain

Literary Nymphs Interview

Title:  Sinders and Ash
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: Contemporary MM fantasy
Release Date: April 1, 2012

What inspired the story?
For a long time, I wanted to write a fairy tale romance. I mean really, all romance novels are a bit fairy tale-like anyway. Editors told me that fairy tales aren’t a popular genre, but the idea I had was not really a fairy tale as you often see them--satires with a lot of puns and tongue-in-cheek. I wanted to write a serious contemporary LGBT romance that was still loosely based on a famous tale. The result was Sinders and Ash. The book tells the story of a young man working in housekeeping at an upscale resort who meets the son of the fifth richest family in America. The rich man has to marry in order to secure his inheritance and is looking for a bride. The result is an erotic romance with a touch of magic.

Excerpt: Sinders and Ash by Tara Lain; MM Contemporary Fantasy

Work hard, stay anonymous and don’t expect much. That’s resort housekeeper Mark Sintorella’s philosophy of life. After being kicked out of his family home at sixteen for being gay, Mark knows what it takes to survive. But how is he going to stay anonymous when he wants to be recognized as a great fashion designer? And how can he control his expectations when he’s desperately attracted to Ashton Armitage, the son of the fifth richest man in America? If Ash doesn’t find a woman to marry he’s going to lose his inheritance, but he can’t seem to resist the beautiful kid who cleans fireplaces while hiding behind a black cap and heavy glasses. And then this crazy elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, has Mark running around looking like a fashion model wearing gorgeous women’s clothes. The clock strikes twelve and the wedding follows the ball. Two beautiful princesses line up for attention. But one isn’t interested and one isn’t a woman. Who will be the bride? Will the shoe fit? Only his fairy godmother knows for sure.

Pennymaker turned and looked at Mark. “What are you working on?”
“Excuse me? I, uh, have to clean some fireplaces this morning. You know they keep the rooms cool just so they can use them? Makes work for me.”
“That’s not what I mean, of course.” He turned back to the rack, pushed some jeans aside. “Aha!” His hand shot through the garments to the dress form. He made an opening in the clothes and stepped through to stand beside the red dress. “Perfect. Just beautiful. What a talent.”
“Excuse me?”
The little man beamed at him. “You have exceptional design skills.”
God, it was hard to not be flattered. “Thank you, sir.” But how had the man known to look for the dress? Who told him?
Pennymaker walked over to the chair and sat. Creak. Hopefully the tiny man wouldn’t strain the old wood too much. “I would like to show that dress to some people.”
“Uh, who?”
“Let’s say some potential investors.”
No. He couldn’t get excited. “Uh, really, sir? You’re in the clothing business?”
“I’m in many businesses, my boy.”
Okay, try not to be suspicious. “How did you know I was a clothing designer?”
 The little man waved a hand. “That lovely T-shirt, of course.”
“No one told you?”
“Who would tell me?”
Had him there.
Pennymaker stepped back and surveyed the dress. “Now, who is your model?”
What? Mark cocked his head.
“Who did you set the dress form to?”
“Oh, uh, myself. I, uh, don’t have anyone else. I’m pretty slim so it works.”
“Perfect. Perfect. When do you have to be at work?”
This conversation was crazy. “In about an hour. This is my morning off. Unless they need me, of course.”
“Good. Put on the dress.”
“What?! Why?”
“We’re going for a little walk through the hotel. You’ll be my…niece. Go on, go on.” He made a shooing gesture with his hands.
Mark shook his head. “Sir, I know I fit the dress to me but that’s because I don’t have anyone else. I’m not a transvestite.”
“Never said you were, dear boy. But these people I want to have see the dress will be much more amenable to taking your designs seriously if they think of the idea themselves rather than my telling them. That’s how we all are, now isn’t it? So I want them to see the clothes. We don’t have another model and we don’t want anyone else in on our secret.”
Secret? “What if someone recognizes me?”
Pennymaker cocked his head. “That is very unlikely. You do a good job making yourself plain and unmemorable with your cap and glasses.”
Mark felt the blush. Shoot. The man had him dead to rights.
“Besides, people see what they expect and they certainly don’t expect to see Mark Sintorella in a dress. Now, put it on.”
Mark stepped behind the rack of clothing. He stripped to his boxer briefs and stopped. What the hell was he doing? He could jeopardize his job for this crazy-assed little guy with his hair-brained scheme.
The voice came from the other side of the clothes. “Do you have it on?”
“Sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but are you sure about this? I really need the money I get from working here.”
“Tut tut, my boy. Hurry. I want to make one tour around the lobby and public rooms before you start your shift.  Times a’wastin’. ”
Mark pulled the dress over his head and let it fall into place. The skirt was just full enough to swing when he walked so no one would notice his cock under it. “Uh, I don’t have any boobs.”
“Let me see.”
“See what? What I haven’t got?” He stepped out.
Pennymaker looked at him studiously. “Gorgeous. You don’t have breasts but then neither do some women to speak of. I’m more concerned about the hairy legs. Go shave, quickly.”
“What? Sir, I don’t think so…”
“This won’t be your only modeling assignment I suspect so think of it as a long-term investment. Consider that brilliant young model who walks the catwalks in both male and female shows. You’re at least his equal in beauty.”
“No buts. This is your future.  Now go!”
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