Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Waking the Dead


Title: Waking the Dead
Author: Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow
Publisher: Loose-id
Publisher’s URL: http://loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-657-6
Genre: LGBT Contemporary Ghost Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Island life is good for writer Nick and his partner John, a local fisherman. They live, love and have family problems, just like everyone else. Yet, portions of their life together aren’t normal and never have been. Nick is still famous for seeing ghosts and Josh, his much younger brother who reads minds, is coming for a long anticipated visit from the United States. These three are having a nice visit until John’s niece, Caitrin starts to fight with her mother and a group of tourists with an interest in the local ‘standing’ stones arrive and one of them recognizes Nick.

Dealing with ghosts can be dangerous as Nick and John have discovered in the past, and this time they’re dealing with them close to home when Caitrin and Josh accidentally set free a pair of spirits trapped by a witches spell in a local cave. Once free, they possess two unwilling victims seeking revenge for a centuries old murder…theirs. It’s almost too much for even John and Nick to cope with but they must or someone won’t survive.

Waking the Dead is the third in Ms. Davitt & Snow’s ongoing paranormal series following the life and love of John and Nick. This story takes up approximately eight years after the last book with Nick’s half brother, Josh now grown. As in the other books, this one is well plotted, well written and filled with intriguing and interesting secondary characters that round out the tale. The interjection of both Nick’s and Josh’s paranormal abilities is well handled and done in a manner that is both respectful and realistic. While these two people have abilities that most don’t, they are never allowed to overshadow the human part of the story.

The love between John and Nick is still as tender and passionate as ever, and it’s great seeing them a little older, and that they have become more comfortable with their lives and each other. Josh is a great addition to the storyline and I hope that we see more of him in future books since his ability to read minds would make for very interesting plotlines. I loved the vividly described scenes with the two primary ghosts and the ones that Nick raised from the local graveyard.

I guess when it all comes to the end I can’t say enough good things about this paranormal story. It has a little something for everyone…love, passion, family, death, revenge, redemption and forgiveness. This story and the others in this well crafted series are definitely worth the read…and then a re-read again. Enjoy!

Night Critters: Must Love Dogs


Title: Night Critters: Must Love Dogs
Author: Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/index.php
ISBN: 978-1-59596-902-6
Genre: Paranormal Humor
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Roni Engelmann is looking for love in the wrong places until her friend Ana lists Roni with an on-line dating service. While reviewing the information of her profile, Roni gets a response from Corbin Thornburn, who states that the woman must love dogs. Roni has no problem with dogs since she happens to be a mixed breed were-dog. Corbin arranged a date with Roni. Now he must gain the courage to tell her the truth; he is not a human as stated in the e-mail, but a werewolf. The attraction is instant, and they make love on the first night. But problems occur with the parents on both sides. Each parent wants their offspring to marry someone from their own pack.

Night Critters: Must Love Dogs give a whole new meaning to interracial relationships with hilarious dialog and an outstanding array of characters. Picture this; Roni is a feisty Chuskie, husky mother and Chihuahua father, her roommate Ana is a vampire, Corbin is a wolf with a doggie grandmother. The obstacles with the fathers are they both want to maintain pack social status for their children. The very creative Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards communicated a well written spectacular tale that I enjoyed enormously.

Dark Needs




Book Title: Dark Needs
Authors: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher’s URL: http://phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59426-847-2
Genre: Paranormal, M/M, BDSM
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Ruby Minx

These two engrossing stories by the writing duo of Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael are now together in one novel, Dark Needs, but each novella is reviewed separately below:

Book Title: The Power of Two
Authors: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher’s URL: http://phaze.com/
ISBN: 1-59426-618-2
Genre: Paranormal, M/M, BDSM
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Ruby Minx


Dominic and Griffith are both dominant vampire Masters who live and work together, training their two human slaves Jason and Tage. However, Grif was not always a Master. Before he met Dominic, he was once a submissive to a Master who cruelly betrayed him, but Grif refuses to speak of the trauma and the still lingering effects it has on his ability to trust completely.

Dominic has wanted his old friend Grif for some time and there is quite a test of wills with teasing undercurrents between the two of them. Lately that hunger is threatening to change their relationship. Dominic has cared for Grif since he rescued him long ago and subsequently took him into his home; he has been the one constant for Grif over the years. This has led to tender feelings which are beginning to blossom between them. But at the same time there is also a power struggle going on because Grif feels that Dominic wants to be the ‘top’ in any evolving new relationship, and he will not allow anyone to control him due to the past betrayals at the hands of his old Master.

One aspect of the relationship between Dominic and Grif that is most impactful and very effective is the telepathic communication between them which allows for intimacy without any intrusions. This ability also lends an air of mystery and a different ambience to the budding romance between them.

The tenor of their relationship changes when Dominic signs a contract with a new sub, Tristan, a vampire who was once a sub to Grif’s old Master. Tristan was one of those that cruelly abused Grif, who is still too traumatized to confide in Dominic about his past with Tristan. As Grif struggles with his desire to submit to Dominic which conflicts with his role as a Master, this dichotomy leads to a situation where Tristan seizes power during Dominic’s absence and beats Grif to within an inch of his life. Dominic returns home in the nick of time. The brutal climax between him and Tristan plays out, crafted in true vampire fashion with lots of blood, and a dénouement that is really clever.

The Power of Two is a very powerful, intense book that is never over the top. The scene where Dominic whips Grif in the dungeon in D/s play, at his request, will resonate with me for a long time. What makes this so poignant are the emotion and tenderness between them when Grif asks Dominic to touch him during the whipping, and Dominic uses the whip like a caress as it kisses Grif’s body in a semblance of lovemaking. Afterwards, Dominic holds Grif in his arms for a long time in order to ground him, and the reader knows that, above all, this is about love. This scene gave me chills. Without a doubt this is one of the best books on vampires that I have read in quite some time. Stories like this are the reason that reading is my drug of choice. Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael have crafted a tale for the ages in the annals of vampire culture.

Because of the subject matter this story is very violent in parts and may not be for the faint of heart. However, I highly recommend this book as one that anyone would be proud to have on his or her bookshelves.

*******
Book Title: Dominion
Authors: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher’s URL: http://phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59426-771-0
Genre: Paranormal, M/M, BDSM
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Ruby Minx

In Dominion, the sequel to The Power of Two, Grif is recovering from the physical and emotional scars left by the brutal treatment he endured at the hands of Tristan, but he is still traumatized. To add another complication, he is having nightmares brought on by his treatment at the hands of his former Master, Quinn, who he thinks he saw one evening when he and Dominic are out dancing. He also continues to be conflicted by his need to submit to Dominic, as well as to dominate.

Jason and Tage are now sharing the stage with Dominic and Grif as their characters come alive. No longer in the shadows, they interact much more during D/s play and their bond and feelings for each other are heightened.

The love between Dominic and Grif is clearly evident in Dominion. Both vampires are more demonstrative as Dominic tenderly cares for Grif, who welcomes his protection. He is the only anchor in Grif’s world where reality is blurred and he can’t differentiate what is real. As his dependence on Dominic increases, their love is sorely tested when Grif’s old Master, Quinn petitions the vampire council to return Grif, his creature, to him as per their laws.

With the reemergence of Grif’s sire, the stage is set for fireworks. Dominic is summoned to a meeting of the Elders and when he protests in vain against returning Grif to Quinn, his is the only voice of reason. He returns home only to find that Quinn has already taken Grif away by force. When Quinn’s mistreatment of Grif is verified by a member of the Vampire Council, Dominic and Quinn fight to the death - pure vampiric blood lust.

Dominion is much darker than its predecessor, and the intensity is greater with considerable blood play. The BDSM elements are more evident and, at times, almost overwhelming. This sequel far exceeded my expectations. It is even better than The Power of Two as we are allowed to peek into the dark world of vampires which was only hinted at before. I found the writing to be smart and clever, and the story itself to be engrossing. The sex between Dominic and Grif is emotional, moving, sensuous and above all, loving. The end of the book leaves the fates of Justin and Tage up in the air and I would anticipate that their story is next on the horizon.

Because of the subject matter this story, like its predecessor, is very violent and may not be for the faint of heart. I highly recommend Dominion as a book that anyone would be proud to have as a part of their collection.

Diving In Deep




Book Title: Diving In Deep
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/index.php
ISBN: 1-59998-896-8
Genre: Gay
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Cameron Lewis is an instructor for Havers Safety Training Company. His position with the company keeps him flying to a new location every couple of days during summer months. Cameron is surprised to learn that one of the students is Noah Winthrop, Cameron’s best friend’s younger brother. It has been six years since they have seen each other. Cameron remembers Noah as the kid who had a crush on him. Noah remembers Cameron as his first love, the man who rejected him six years ago, but Noah is determined to get Cameron’s attention this time and keep it.

Diving In Deep is an exceptional story with distinctive characters. Cameron likes to be in control of all situations involving himself. He uses his job as an excuse to avoid being in a relationship and having to face possible rejection from Noah’s family members, but deep inside he knows he loves Noah. When finding himself in a predicament that forces Cameron to drop his in-charge illusion, he finally has to confess his true feelings. Noah will do almost anything Cameron asks. He has loved Cameron for years, but at some point Noah must accept that love is not enough when they spend more time apart than together. K.A. Mitchell has created an amazing tale of genuine emotions, humorous dialog and erotic love scenes passionate enough to satisfy even the most discriminating voyeur. This is a fantastic story that is enormously pleasurable to read.

Heart of the West - Hitched


Title: Heart of the West - Hitched
Author: Ann Jacobs
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 9781419915635
Genre: BDSM Contemporary Romance
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Brad McTavish is the town bad boy and no one seems willing to forget it, even though he’s reached his mid 30’s and wants to settle down. It might have something to do with the fact he runs the towns only BDSM dungeon, but to Brad even that and his ranch doesn’t hold much interest any longer. His problem is he doesn’t want just any woman in his life as sub and wife; he wants Keely and only Keely for that position. He knows he’s losing it when another Dom gets involved with her in a scene and he wants to rips the man apart with his bare hands. He lets her know that at least in his club no other man but him will be touching her…he’s staking his claim. Later that day when a blizzard strands them at his ranch, he seizes the opportunity to show her his non-Dom, ‘I’m a normal guy’ side. He wants to show her that, with him, she can have the ‘normal’ life she seeks while still having the sexual relationship they both crave.

Keely’s a headstrong woman who loves her Dom/Sub relationship with Brad, but fears letting it evolve into anything outside of his club, Roped and Lassoed. Bad experiences while growing up with her submissive mother and her Dom husband have left her unwilling to allow any man to have total control over her, no matter how much she enjoys what Brad does to her body. Then to make matters worse, she’s concerned what people will say if their relationship becomes public knowledge. After all everyone knows his reputation, what he does for a living and that he’s richer than sin. She is scared, apprehensive and an emotional wreck, but seeing Brad in his home environment opens her eyes, and allows her to see him as he really is. The question is whether she can allow herself to take the love and affection he offers, or will she let her deep-seeded fears cause her to run from the man who means the most to her?

Hitched is Ms. Jacobs’s second book in her ongoing Heart of the West series, and it’s another keeper. While not as heavy into the BDSM lifestyle as the first book, it still gives the readers a flavor of what it entails. But the biggest portion of his book deals with Brad and Keely in his home environment at the ranch where he shows her what an everyday normal life with him would be. What I loved the most about this story was Brad and how he goes about showing Keely how much he cares for her. He’s tender, compassionate and loving; everything that Keely wants and desires. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s sexy as sin. The passion between these two people is blistering hot, always threatening to burn the room down around them. In truth they only have eyes for each other.

The author’s details of Roped and Lassoed and the ranch were excellent, giving me a great visual of what the setting looked like, and the vivid descriptions of the blizzard conditions they endured for days made my teeth chatter. Ms. Jacobs’s inclusion of Jared and Ninia, Brad’s brother and sister-in-law, were perfectly placed within the plot, rounding out the story and giving Keely a wonderful example of what a loving relationship could be for them, if she’d just take the chance.

Look for the next book in this series with Lassoed.

Apocalypse Rising: The Knight of Pentacles


Book Title: Apocalypse Rising: The Knight of Pentacles
Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-252-2
Genre: Paranormal, GBLT (M/M)
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Ruby Minx

Mikhail, a Watcher Angel, has been sent to earth to save Andrew Blackwell. After saying goodbye to his lover that morning, Andrew goes into the shower. As he steps out, he sees Mikhail sitting on his bed. Angrily he asks him to leave but Mikhail tells him that he is there to save him. Suddenly the apartment door is smashed open and Mikhail grabs him quickly; the next thing he knows he is in a place called Caeli, a realm between Heaven and Earth.

When Andrew asks for an explanation as to why he is in Caeli, Mikhail tells him that Endtimes are nearing and no living descendant of Christ has been found. He is the next best thing, being a descendant of one of Christ’s closest and most trusted disciples, John the Baptist. Lucifer has ordered his death because, with him alive, there will always be opposition to the powers of Hell and Caeli is the safest place for him to be.

Andrew is very attracted to Mikhail but is concerned about his soul; he knows Mikhail was a Grigori and that they had fallen for mating with humans. But when he and Mikhail hook up he forgets about everything else – the sex is totally out of this world, unlike anything he has ever experienced before: Mikhail is everything he has ever wanted.

Can Mikhail keep Andrew safe? You have to read the book to find out.

Apocalypse Rising: The Knight of Pentacles is a delightful short story and, in typical Mychael Black style, he demonstrates considerable imagination in characterizations and locations. I’m hoping that a couple of the supporting characters will get their own story soon. The book is as funny, smart and sexy, with great dialogue as one would expect out of Mychael’s creative brain and I love the ending! A must read for fans and new readers alike.

Realms of Fantasy




Book Title: Realms of Fantasy
Author: Shayne Carmichael and Mychael Black
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/index.php
ISBN: 1-59998-905-0
Genre: Gay Fantasy Romance
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Hunter and the Prey
Lev is a beautiful angel sent to earth as a demon hunter. Alael is a gorgeous demon from the Order of Blood and a prankster. Alael finally corners Lev and claims the angel with a kiss. After some very passionate moments, Lev feels the fires of Hell and Alael can see the light.

Angels of Blood
Commander of the Chaos Order, dark angel Adon, is on a mission to reclaim Irael, an angel who set himself up as a god after escaping the council who mistreated him in the absence of his master Adon. It has taken Adon three hundred years of searching to find his lover Irael, and when he does all the secrets are revealed to Irael.

Unholy Need
Nichael, one of Michael’s angels, is on a mission to stop a mage from tapping into the Creation power. Also on a mission to stop the human is one of Lucifer’s minor demons Nias. When Nichael is given the duty to help Nias, they both find a powerful connection between them.

Order of the Highest
Talah is a fallen angel by choice and working for the Damnation sect, he was sent to spy on the Order of the Highest by demon leader Sepha. Aridas, the Order’s leader has claimed Talah, and now Talah is the object of desire caught between two powerful leaders.

The True Fall of Lucifer
Cast down from Heaven, Lucifer is separated from the love of Archangel Michael, but the interruptions to the power balance by a mage forces Lucifer to earth. His goal is to tap into the power and get close to Michael again. Feeling the shift in power, Michael arrives in time to rescue Lucifer and reveal the truth of their existence.

Realms of Fantasy is a dazzling collection of the dark and the light sides of the soul. Each story is well paced and well written with humorous characters that radiate emotions so intense, you feel them come to life. The erotic, sultry love scenes produce an increase in body temperature. The extraordinary Shayne Carmichael and Mychael Black created stories I found unparalleled. Each saga is incredible; I developed a real fondness for the demon Alael.

Men of the Void: Birthday Surprise


Book Title: Men of the Void: Birthday Surprise
Author: Nia A. Foxx
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-564-6
Genre: Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

The Void is a place between heaven and hell where lost souls with serious past indiscretions wait for someone to need them. Giric MacDumnall, handsome Highland warrior, is a current resident of the Void. When the sorceress approaches Giric and tells him his time in the Void has ended, the highlander accepts his new fate with hopes of enjoying his new consort: Sierra.

Sierra Cessinger has three best friends that she loves dearly. They were thrown together in childhood and never looked back. The ladies enjoy spending special occasions together so getting together for Sierra’s 30th birthday is the norm for this group, but the present they have in store for Sierra is definitely a notch up from the typical gift: Giric.

Birthday Surprise is the first book in the Men of the Void series. Sierra is sweet and funny. She hasn’t known the tender touch of a man for a while and having Giric arrive is the perfect gift. Giric is strong and determined. Gaining a woman who makes him feel a passion he has never known sends the highlander into overdrive. Watching Giric learn the ways of the modern world was humorous. I felt sorry for the Giric when he discovered how modern women dress. I thought the poor man would have a heart attack. Nia A Foxx delivers a wonderful story filled with whit and steamy love making. Those who love the author or the genre will find Birthday Surprise a delightful treat.

The Forbidden Island


Book Title: The Forbidden Island
Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/ebjmsite/index.php
ISBN: 978-1-55487-036-3
Genre: Paranormal, Gay, Ménage
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx


After a traumatic break up from his friends Kimo and Lopaka, Johnny Kaimana moves to Oahu, where he becomes roommate and lover to Alex “Aloha” Granger. Aloha is known as the music man as he sells CD’s of original Hawaiian music. When Kimo and Lopaka are looking for music for their wedding, they go to see Aloha and Johnny is there so they renew their friendship with Johnny and invites him and Aloha to the wedding.

Newly committed to each other, Johnny and Aloha struggle to move away from their sexual freedom that sometimes involved threesomes. Johnny attracts the attention of Mahini, a powerful Kahuna visiting from Niihau, the Forbidden Island. Mahini is obsessed with Johnny and puts a curse on him that causes Johnny to lose everything, almost to the point of death. The more powerful Kahuna Kimo comes to the rescue of first Johnny and then Aloha, who is the victim of a cop who obsessed with him.

The Forbidden Island is yet another exciting episode in the Phantom Lover series. Johnny is the former boyfriend of Lopaka. Johnny’s issues of not being able to commit to any one person is a wake up call for him in this episode and he learns how heartbreaking relationships can be if you are not both committed. Johnny and Aloha both learn the extremes obsessed unwanted lovers will take. The extraordinary A. J. Llewellyn produces another work of genius that transports you to the land of blended cultures, highlighting the passionate couples, and the mystical power of love and family. This is an incredible series that I enjoy immensely.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lovers


Book Title: Lovers
Author: Stone Richards
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://extasybooks.net/ebjmsite/
ISBN: 1-55410-980-9
Genre: Gay, Ménage a Trois, Contemporary Romance
Nymph Rating: 3.5 nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Woodland Nymph

Michael Baxter is the owner and CEO of Baxter Advertising and Marketing Agency in Seattle and has been married to Sharon, his college sweetheart, for twelve years. His business has consumed his life for ten of those years, leaving no time for a personal life, including not spending enough time with his Barbie doll wife. He doesn’t feel the same about Sharon as when he married her and finds it increasingly difficult to be intimate with her. Michael agrees to meet Cal, a prospective client, in the hotel lounge and when he sees him for the first time, he is immediately assailed with an unusual nervousness and surprisingly notices Cal has the most incredible blue eyes.

Cal Morgan is the owner of Morgan Enterprises in L.A. and is considered to be one of the most successful young entrepreneurs on the West Coast. He’s created a number of businesses, all dealing with the sport of surfing in one way or another. Cal is planning to open a new store within six months and needs extensive promotions and advertising. Cal likes to take charge and quickly suggests they move the meeting to his hotel suite. He then takes it upon himself to order dinner for them both and after commenting on Michael’s nervousness, proceeds to tell Michael he’s gay.

It’s not long before Michael reluctantly admits to himself he’s physically attracted to Cal. Having never been attracted to another man before, he starts to doubt himself and who he is. After a night out with Cal, Michael is unable to resist any longer and the next morning races to Cal’s room where they have sex unlike anything he’s ever felt or done before. Soon after Cal returns to L.A. and he’s all that Michael can think about. When his wife goes away for the weekend to Reno with a friend, Michael sees it as the perfect opportunity for him to fly to L.A. and surprise Cal. While in L.A. Michael discovers he gets a thrill from the risk of being discovered in public, he likes a little masochism and is even further shocked to discover he enjoys pain with his sex. On his next trip to L.A., Michael is further surprised when Cal tells him he’s bi-sexual. Can Michael learn to be comfortable with himself and his new found feelings? Will he and Cal ever take their relationship further and what about his wife?

Lovers is an enjoyable story of one man’s journey of self-discovery. Stone Richards has created a realistic and likable character in Michael and keeps you interested in Michael’s journey from beginning to end. The sex scenes are hot and very well written but I kept hoping to see more depth to their emotional connection outside of the bedroom. I recommend Lovers to fans of the m/m genre, as getting to know Michael makes it worth reading this book alone.

Out There In The Night


Book Title: Out There In The Night
Author: Laura Baumbach
Publisher: Man Love Romance Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrpress.com/
ISBN: 978-0-9793110-0-0
Genre: Paranormal, Werewolf, Erotica
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Midnight Minx

Dr Connor Jacy moved to Alaska because he always felt like his life was destined to be an adventure. Little did he know that by accepting a job in remote Alaska, he would be changing his life forever and setting himself on a path for one of the biggest adventures imaginable.

Adam is a spirit walker, more commonly known as a Werewolf. He is a guardian of the night and Alpha to the local pack. For over a century, Adam has patiently led his people while waiting for his destined mate and now the time has come for the claiming.

Connor is injured in an accident and found by Adam just in the nick of time. He has a bad head wound and is unconscious in the snow. Adam takes him back to his territory and nurses him back to health. He proves his love with every caring act and words of affection. Connor soon finds himself falling in love, even in such a short amount of time.

Adam has had a century to get used the idea of having a mate, Connor has only days till the next full moon and he struggles in accepting his new-found love for Adam. Just when everything seems like its going perfect, something happens that has you wondering will these two get their happy ever after.

I loved this book! There were a few places that I found a little confusing but the amazing plot and realistic characters compels me to rate this book a solid 5 Nymphs. Nothing is easy for either character and I enjoyed watching them struggle as it made them more real to me. Adam has to contain his jealousy of Connor’s ex-lover and at the same time, hope that his mate will choose to stay with him at the next full moon.

Connor is at that place in his life where he wants to settle down and find the love of his life, while having a few adventures along the way. Just when he looks like he is getting what he wants, Connor learns that Adam is a werewolf and if he is to be Adam’s mate he will have to give up all that he has known to stand at Adam’s side.

This book has everything a great romance story should have; an intricate and well thought out plot, great main characters and compelling secondary characters. The author’s talented writing had me emotionally attached to everyone in this book as I was driven to keep reading to the very last word.

Phoenix Rising: Strongman


Book Title: Phoenix Rising: Strongman
Author: Denise Rossetti
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher’s URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 978-1-41991-497-3
Genre: Gay/Fantasy
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Ruby Minx

Before Fortitude McLaren joined the Ten Nations Fair as a roustabout, he had had a varied career as a mercenary and a commander for 20 years. His air of command and toughness draw the other men at the Fair to him as their natural leader. The first time he meets Griffid Ringman, tumbler and circus acrobat extraordinaire, he knows right away he is in trouble and out of his depth. Griff is like his own personal drug that he is high on all the time and can’t get enough of. When Griff tells Fort that he is attracted to him, Fort is offended and makes it clear that he does not do men but he is fighting a losing battle. Griff wants Fort and he is single-minded in his pursuit.

Fort had spent his childhood living with a father who was a bigot and who committed acts of brutality against members of his own family. The Straight Church, to which his father belonged, preached that manlove was a mortal sin; anyone caught engaging in the act was hanged. Fort’s father took him to see a hanging before he was10 years old to make sure he got the message. Despite his upbringing and feelings of guilt, Fort is attracted to Griff and when they come together in the hidden valley, the sex or Crookedness as the Straight Church referred to it, is glorious and hot enough to melt metal.

Griff and Fort are wonderful together. These two characters are really likeable, with Fort being protective and wanting to take care of Griff, who shows him that he is quite capable of looking after himself as well as look out for Fort. When Griff is almost killed by the Hssrda, Fort is devastated as he cares for him, realizing that he loves Griff and life without him would be meaningless.

This book has everything, hot men and even hotter sex, a terrific story, fantasy creatures - some good (those wonderful Aetherii men with wings and a tail), some horrible like the Hssrda, great adventure and, even better, rough sex that becomes tender when you least expect it.

Strongman is the third book in the Phoenix Rising series. Denise Rossetti has done her usual remarkable job of bringing a foreign environment to life with characters like Fort, the complicated hero, Griff who is sex on a stick, and an imagination that does not take a back seat to any other author on the scene today.

This book contains scenes of graphic violence and may not be suitable for the faint of heart.

Beautiful Girl


Book Title: Beautiful Girl
Author: Shiloh Walker
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-59998-873-9
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Nymph rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Bramble Nymph

As the pampered princess of Pike County, Delilah Prescott had a perfect life. But one fateful night she just left her precious town, Prescott, Tennessee, without even glancing back at her family, wealth and the love of her teenage years. Blake Mitchell was the perfect boyfriend for the most beautiful girl in town. He lost all sense of direction when she left without a word. Battling his own wars for twelve devastating years made him grow up very fast and only dreams of Del helped him through the ordeal. Now that a ten-year reunion has forced Del to return to her hometown, how is she going to deal with her past and all those changes?

Del is a woman with a backbone. She makes a lot of questionable choices but given her age and the level of emotional turmoil, every move is understandable. Even after going through a tough time, Blake is a pretty straight forward guy. He makes you support him as he forgets himself and stands behind Del. They missed their chance at romance as teenagers but their sexual chemistry is near palpable. This relationship has suffered from absence and neglect and it is wonderful to see tender love softening their hard exteriors.

Fabulous characterizations and a tight grip on detailing add to the flavor of the well-written tale. While the emotional play is nerve wrecking, the intensity of it all wants you to go over and put everything right for Del and Blake. Flashbacks reveal past horrors and still making the reader livid with anger.

Many secondary characters surface but they don’t butt into the plot. Del’s mother Louisa Prescott Sanders and step-father William Sanders just made me shudder with disgust and I totally shared Del’s feelings about them. Many plot twists came near the ending throwing me for a loop and making me feel that the ending was a bit rushed. Other than that, Ms. Walker gained my respect as I finished off my box of Kleenex.

Beautiful Girl is a complex story dealing with a lot of unspoken issues that are kept tightly under wraps even in this day and age. Ms. Walker handled the serious topics with a firm hand and created characters that felt like real breathing people. Beautiful Girl demands readers with sympathetic hearts and understanding minds who can decipher the profound message that this truly noteworthy read delivers.

Eye Candy


Book Title: Eye Candy
Author: Amanda Young
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-639-2
Genre: LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jake Remora is a hard working interior designer. He has no room in his life for love or the hurt he associates with it, but will make time for a quick romp. When Kane Sharp returns to town, all Jake’s past hurts and his love for Kane comes back with the force of a tornado. Will Jake be able to forgive Kane of a youthful fabrication or will the pain from so long ago leave a permanent wall that neither man can scale?

Amanda Young has delivered a wonderful story in Eye Candy. The story is of love lost and hopefully found again. I was more than ticked when I discovered why Jake had become the man he was. I didn’t think that Kane deserved a second chance until he showed he would truly be there for Jake. Kane knows that his past lies hurt Jake, but never knew the severity until they come face to face over twenty years later. He knows that his love for Jake is still ever present and can only hope for forgiveness. Jake had to live with accusations and being judged unfairly by his community. After so many years of dampening his heart, he’s scared to trust in love again. Eye Candy is laced with suspense, a whole lot of drama, and intoxicating erotica sure to please those who enjoy erotic contemporary novels.

Lights, Camera…Monsters


Author: Lila Dubois
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 1-59998-303-6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Nymph rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Bramble Nymph


Tried of being portrayed as dreadful creatures, some monsters decide to come out and tell the human world the truth about themselves. As movies are their only information portal to the human world, Luke, Henry and Michael plan to make one about monsters. Nailing the divas at Calypso Productions was not in the plan, but when Luke catches the eye of creative director and producer Lena it gives a whole new meaning to his existence. Will Lena still help him when she finds out that she just had the best sex of her life with a real life monster?

Lena is a perfect example of a modern woman. She is totally comfortable with who she is. She has great pride and joy in her work and is happy with her circle of friends. I smiled secretly as she immediately offers to have dinner with dark and dangerous Luke. Outwardly, Luke may seem pretty sure of himself but on the inside, he is pretty clueless about human feelings and reactions. This uneven quality of his personality makes him more likeable. The attraction is immediate and intense, and the protagonists fall into each others arms before the reader can bat an eyelash. While instant sex should irritate the hell out of me, Ms. Dubois soothes the itch by developing the relationship beautifully complete with love and trust.

Ms. Dubois has skillfully infused freshness in her writing by tackling a topic that is comparatively new. After being overly bombarded with so many paranormal creatures, monsters seem fresh and intriguing. Their frantic attempts at learning everything about the human world are highly entertaining. Too much sex overshadows the plot and leaves questions in the reader’s mind. As this is just the first in the sexy Monsters in Hollywood series, I would expect the answers to eventually emerge from later installments.

Lights, Camera…Monsters sparkle with a bunch of deliciously hunky monsters and drags the reader into their new paranormal world with promises of more wicked fun. This is indeed an intriguing beginning and I hope we do get a lot more than that was said here. Get ready to be sexually charged with some monster loving!

Ta'e'sha Chronicles 2: Shards of the Mind


Book Title: Ta'e'sha Chronicles 2: Shards of the Mind
Author: Theolyn Boese
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-646-0
Genre: BDSM & Polyamorous Futuristic Shapeshifter
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx


It’s been two months since Thea’s horrible attack. She is still having nightmares and decides to find a way to get over the memories of the painful event and loss of her unborn child. Kyrin and Daeshen are supportive husbands and will do what is necessary to help their mate regain her confidence and regain their perfect sexual slave.

Sya’tia has been an intricate part of the threesome’s life and will soon be asked to join them in marriage. The Lady has sent a special present to teach the Ta’e’shan a lesson for abducting her children. The sentencing of Barik won’t be the couple’s only trying event while on Ta’e.

Shards of the Mind is the second book in the Ta’e’sha Chronicles series. I loved Theoyln Boese’s first book in this series and was more than pleased with its sequel. Between watching the havoc caused as a form of “punishment” onboard the Dark Queen and meeting the in-laws, the story was jam packed with humor, suspense and enticing erotic scenes. Thea is made of stronger stuff than most and takes no prisoners when it comes to her mates and their united happiness. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in this fantastic series. Theoyln knows how to create the perfect blend of elements to keep the readers enthralled.

Carry On


Title: Carry On
Author: Treva Harte
Publisher: Loose-id
Publisher URL: http://loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-669-9
Genre: Polyamorous Historical Werewolf Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Ned is a bouncer at a New York City speakeasy and his lover has recently been killed, the third victim of a brutal killer. He’s upset about Sam’s death, yet afraid that he might have been involved during a period he has no recollection of. He’s tense, nervous and doesn’t know what to do, always worried that the police will arrest him and put in him a small cage. Still he goes about his job of keeping the peace and trying to keep his employer safe from unwanted advances. When the owner, MaeBelle, hires Frank, a stone cold killer to fill Sam’s job and look for his murderer, Ned’s surprised to find himself attracted to the older and smaller man…a man whose dark eyes hide a secret from his past. A secret that leave him feeling dead inside, until their mutual passion makes them burn.

With Carry On, Ms. Harte has crafted an interesting and well-written story set in post WWI New York City. Her descriptions of the locale is vivid, allowing the reader to get a good feel for the period and I loved that she wrote the book in the unusual setting of a prohibition era speakeasy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a book before and I always appreciate when an author does something a little different. The characters of Ned and Frank were very intriguing and their sexual relationship hot and steamy, even if they met and come together under rather strange circumstances. Still these two wounded men compliment each other and fill a void; a hole that had left each of them empty and wanting.

I found MaeBelle, the owner of the speakeasy where Ned works, a little confusing. I guess it was her sudden and unexpected desire for Ned, who she’d barely noticed before he became Frank’s lover. Then there was Ned’s sudden desire for her when the man had been gay his entire life. I will honestly say I had a little trouble with this sudden change in both their attitudes, but for the rest of the story, the premise worked fine. Many of MaeBelle’s secrets were revealed by the book’s end, but I was left with lots of questions about Ned and Frank that I would have loved to have had answered.

Unarguably the best portion of the story, for me, was not discovering the identity of the killer until the very end. Then to find it was a secondary character I never expected was a great “ah ha” moment. I love it when an author keeps me guessing and in suspense until the last moment. While there are things about this story that didn’t work for me, there were more than enough to make it an enjoyable read.

Double Down


Book Title: Double Down
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-216-3
Genre: Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 3. 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

When Cass Davison joins her boyfriend Ronnie and their friends Patrick and Whitney for a few days of gambling in Las Vegas, she never imagines how it will change her life. Attracted to Patrick since the four met on a double blind date, she never expects him to challenge her at the gaming table for a single bout of mind-numbing sex.

Patrick Gerhart knows he’s obsessed with his best friend’s current lady, but that doesn’t stop him from making a bet that will change all of their lives forever if discovered. When he makes his challenge, he doesn’t really expect Cass to accept but is thrilled when she does. The question is whether one time with her will be enough or will he risk it all, for more.

The authors writing as the team of Jamie Craig has come up with another interesting story set in Las Vegas. It’s fairly typical of the notion as seen frequently on television commercials that ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’. Only as in real life, choices that are made in haste often come back to haunt you in the end, which is exactly what happens to Patrick and Cass when they give in to their mutual desire. These two had a sexual attraction that their current significant others can’t begin to match. In fact, these two are perfect for each other and their passion is only the tip the iceberg in their feelings.

The way the authors brought these two together was perfect for the setting of the story…a bet in Vegas. Those scenes in the casino were actually my favorite when Cass was struggling to keep her chips in the allotted time interval, while still wishing to lose. I felt I knew the most about Cass, and I appreciated that she really liked her boyfriend Ronnie and didn’t want to hurt him, yet she still couldn’t stop herself from doing something she knew she shouldn’t. Patrick just wanted what he wanted, no matter who got hurt. Ronnie and Whitney, the clueless significant others involved in this tale, were a little one- sided and more than a little flat, personality wise.

I’d like to say that I liked this story but I can’t, which is a shame since I generally love what these talented authors write. No matter how well the book was written or how well plotted and described, I just couldn’t bring myself to like the hero and heroine because of the way they went about their relationship. Skulking around behind the backs of their two best friends is not the way to endear characters to the reading public, no matter how realistic the premise, just as I’m certain it happens frequently in real life. I did like the ending from the point of the blow-up in Cass’s hotel room and what she and Patrick went through after they were exposed.

Hidden Impact


Book Title: Hidden Impact
Author: Adrianna Dane
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Publisher URL: http://amberquill.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-233-0
Genre: Gay / Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 5 nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Woodland Nymph

Reed is a widowed 45 year old architect with three grown children. For the past two years he’s been sexually and romantically involved with a man 16 years his junior, who happens to be his son’s best friend and his boss’s son! Having lived his life for his family’s happiness, Reed is very reluctant to bring their relationship out into the open. He’s afraid of not only alienating his own children but for Drew and his relationship with his own father, Reed’s boss.

Drew’s football career was benched after a knee injury and his lover, Caleb, left him as he would no longer be in the spotlight. As a result, Drew sank to his lowest point, and it was his dad who helped him get back on track by offering him a job. When he sees Reed at the office, he feels as if he’s meeting him for the first time and is immediately attracted to him. Drew quickly finds himself falling head over heels for Reed and after celebrating the completion of a big job one night late at the office, he’s surprised to find the attraction is more than mutual.

Two years into their relationship, they take a week long vacation together where Reed plans on ending things with Drew. Once Reed finds out that Drew told his sister about them, they get into an argument. Drew can not even think about losing the love of his life and plans on convincing Reed they’re meant to be together. Will Reed break it off with Drew or will he finally choose his own happiness? Will Drew be able to finally close the door on his failed relationship?

Hidden Impact is a fantastic love story of two men who obviously belong together but may not end up that way. Their relationship is a strong and loving one and Reed and Drew are always willing to talk things out and try to work through their problems. Kudos to Adrianna Dane for not only becoming a favorite m/m author of mine but for creating these two terrific characters that complete and balance each other. I enjoyed every page of Hidden Impact and only wish there could have been more. I highly recommend this story to fans of the m/m genre and to any reader looking for a wonderful love story.

Forgive and Forget




Book Title: Forgive and Forget
Author: A. Steele
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-651-4
Genre: Paranormal, M/M, BDSM
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Ruby Minx

Apollo, the sun god, and Zephyrus, the West Wind, had been friends three thousand years ago but Zephyrus disappeared from Apollo’s life the same day Apollo’s lover Hyacinth died. Apollo always blamed Zeph for Hyacinth’s death, now Zeph is back and apparently so is Hyacinth but is it really Hyacinth? Turns out Zephyrus also held himself partly responsible for Hyacinth’s accident all those years ago and he has brought an almost exact replica of Hy (Hy’s great, great nephew) for Apollo, to atone for his role in Hy’s death.

Apollo is so incensed; he grabs Zephyrus and returns with him to Olympus where, after a few misunderstandings between them are resolved, Zephyrus convinces him that he was not responsible for causing the accident. He also tells Apollo (or Pol as he calls him), that Hy was not faithful to him, as he was sleeping with both of them at the same time.

After Pol accepts that Zeph is telling the truth he decides to forgive him, but if he is not to blame for Hyacinth’s death then someone else must have caused the accident deliberately. He is determined to find out who was behind Hy’s accident and punish them. However, he realizes that he has an even bigger problem - Zeph. What’s a god to do?

Apollo keeps getting flashbacks of being in bed with Zeph but he can’t remember any of the details only that it was the best sex he has ever had. He soon recognizes that there is a really deep dark side to Zeph which calls to a part of him that he never acknowledged - a side that makes him want to submit and be mastered. Zeph refreshes his memory and Apollo perceives that the visions of him and Zeph in bed having unbelievable sex could be real. All I will say about the sex in this book is, oh my, what a rush. This story will make you want to go back in time and join the gods on Olympus.

It seems that Apollo and Zeph were bonded millennia ago but Apollo has no memories of being Zeph’s soul mate. Someone has been messing with his mind and that someone is Aphrodite, who was mad at Zeus at the time but could not screw around with the god of all gods, so she decided that Apollo, Zeus’s favorite son, was just as good a target for revenge. When Pol and Zeph go before Zeus to file charges against Aphrodite, their only witness is Hermes, the messenger god. Hermes is scared out of his mind to testify against Aphrodite because he knows she will hurt him, but he is blackmailed into doing so by our two scheming heroes who promise him a night to remember with Apollo.

The dialogue in Forgive and Forget like everything else in the book is fresh, scintillating and incredibly funny. All of the characters are bigger than life and Apollo is the biggest. To find out what happens to all these magnificent characters you will have to read the book. I can only say that this story will lift your spirits, make you laugh out loud and cheer for Apollo and Zeph and all the gods on Olympus who live to see another day due to the brilliant writing of A. Steele.

Ms Steele has done an incredible job with these familiar characters from Greek mythology and gives them new life with 21st century dialogue in this marvelous book. Forgive and Forget will be a great addition to the bookshelves or e-book Readers of anyone who loves a superb story.

All the Trees in Pearl


Book Title: All the Trees in Pearl
Author: Emily Ryan-Davis
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 978-1-41991-668-7
Genre: Western
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Margaret Redde is a thirty year old widow traveling to Pearl, Colorado. She has but two important agendas – to meet Ethan Carver and to make him her husband. With those two tasks completed, Margaret will finally have a place to call home.

Ethan has no idea of who this lovely woman is and has no need for a wife. And while Ethan has no plans to wed her, he is more than willing to bed her. But there is one thing that may make Ethan do right by Margaret – the fact that a Carver’s word is unbreakable.

The reasons behind the deception were both sweet and selfish in All the Trees in Pearl. Ethan is strong and a man who needs a permanent source of love in his life. Margaret is feisty and ladylike with a strong desire for a real home. While I believe the concept was wonderful and characters were strong, I believe a bit more detail on what Ethan found to cause his actions as well as on James and his hasty departure could strengthen what was already there. Emily Ryan-Davis incorporates humor and spicy lovemaking in this western. Overall the story is well written and I would love to see a possible sequel featuring James. People who love the genre will enjoy All the Trees in Pearl.

To Tempt a Wolf


Book Title: To Tempt a Wolf
Author: Colette Denee
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-59998-880-1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Cadon Sterling is the Shandai’s Moiadir (pack leader). He will be the first to tell you that Shandai’s are not werewolves, they are shapeshifters. Cadon’s tenure as leader is up and retirement seems like a sweet retreat. Unfortunately, a new Rune has surfaced in his small Pennsylvania town which he is expected to locate prior to the Vampyr laying claim. Couple that with a successor who doesn’t know his butt from his brains, and Cadon knows retirement won’t come swiftly or without a degree of overtime on his part.

Brielle Austin has a gift that keeps on giving. Unfortunately the thing it gives caused her to learn self defense and put out restraining orders, but hey what’s a girl to do! So Brie has tried to create a simple world with a simple existence. She makes sweets in her store Sweet Treats. Too bad the one man who can tear down her walls of defense has a sweet tooth.

I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed To Tempt a Wolf. The characters were delightful. Cadon was a good leader, strong and determined. As a man, he knew what he wanted and wouldn’t settle for less even if he was considered royalty. Brielle’s gift made her doubt the sincerity of any man claiming to want her. But when push came to shove, she started to judge with her heart instead of her head. The sub characters brought just enough to the stories to make the reader want to see them again. I especially loved Meg, the pack’s Enforcer. What I would give to see a man who could actually bring the Trvy down a peg or two. Colette Denee has delivered passion, danger and suspense in To Tempt a Wolf. I recommend this book to those who love the genre, and look forward to reading the next book in the Rune series.

Shadow of a Wolf


Book Title: Shadow of a Wolf
Author: Jez Morrow
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 978-1-41991-465-2
Genre: Werewolf / Gay
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx


Lieutenant Commander Jack Reed hasn’t cried since he lost his parents. But when his best friend was kidnapped one cold December night, Jack had to come to terms with a hidden truth: he was in love with Martin Winter.

Martin Winter is a FBI Agent. He and Jack have a great deal in common. Both no longer had a parent they can lean on and both are shapeshifters. Finding someone who shares the same ability seems like a godsend. When Martin returns, he goes to the one person capable of helping piece his life together: Jack.

Shadow of a Wolf is a brilliantly written novel. There is suspense, intrigue, action and spine-tingling sex throughout the tale. Martin is too beautiful to be considered handsome. His kidnapping has come with a high price. Upon returning, Martin’s not sure of who he can trust outside of Jack, but fears pulling him into a situation that could spell certain death. Jack knows he’s a handsome man, it’s been said too often to be a lie. And even with that knowledge and the wealth left to him by his parents, Jack is still down to earth. Now that he has Martin back, Jack is ready to step up to the plate and protect the man he loves, body and soul. Shadow of a Wolf was my introduction to Jez Morrow, and it was well beyond what I anticipated. I didn’t put the book down until the last word was read. If we are lucky there will be a sequel and the two men will find more shapeshifters in the future (one can hope). Readers of the genres will be elated with the novel.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Firm: Charmer


Book Title: The Firm: Charmer
Author: Tuesday Morrigan
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/index.php
ISBN: 978-1-59596-798-5
Genre: Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


Keegan Lionheart is known as “The Charmer” because of his ability to win over everyone, in the bedroom and the boardroom. Only one person seemed to be immune to Keegan’s good looks and nickel slick talk, the one person who he’d been given the task of charming. As far as Keegan was concerned, Daniela Davis was one coldhearted woman. His father had ordered Keegan to do anything and everything to keep her from leaving the law firm, so Keegan has to try.

Daniela Davis is a woman who longs for a husband and children someday. That day will never come while she continues working the long hours an attorney has to deal with. Resigning was the only option until Keegan offered his services. He promised to help Daniela lure Mr. Right into her life and keep him there, if she didn’t resign. So Daniela sold her soul to the handsome devil, with hopes of her solitude coming to an end.

With his special talents, Keegan was finding it easy to read Daniela’s dates, while at the same time finding it difficult to keep his eyes off her curves. Keeping his hands off her was impossible. Commitment, marriage and kids are definitely not on Keegan’s “to do” list, and Daniela wouldn’t settle for anything less. The situation gets more confusing when Keegan finds himself thinking about keeping Daniela for himself.

Morrigan created one irresistible matchmaker in Keegan Lionheart and his story is fantastic. I loved seeing Keegan’s secret being revealed by someone other than himself and the shock it gave him. Watching him fight the losing battle of love is hot, humorous and heartfelt. Daniela brings that man to his knees and does some charming herself. The Firm: Charmer is the first story I have read from this series, but certainly not the last. As usual with Morrigan’s stories, this is a must read.

Calendar Boys March: Kiss Me


Book Title: Calendar Boys March: Kiss Me
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-223-1
Genre: Gay Contemporary Series
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Mal Donnelly is a freelance photographer who always acts the part of a professional. Even while shooting on the set of a gay pornographic film’s special St. Patrick’s Day photo spread, he keeps his cool refusing to allow the man of his dreams, Alejandro, to arouse him. That doesn’t mean Mal doesn’t turn into a nervous wreck when he’s invited to lunch by the gorgeous hunk. There is nothing about Alejandro that doesn’t appeal to him, even if he is wearing green body paint. The question is can he handle having a relationship with a man whose job is having sex with others.

Alejandro is the most famous porn star bottom on the market and he’s very convincing at what he does. He hasn’t had a lover for months. The problem is he’s tired of being judged solely for his looks and he wants to find a man to appreciate who he is on the inside, not one who just want to be with him because of who he is. He’s been watching Mal for over six months and when he gets the opportunity, jumps at the chance to ask him to lunch and then later to dinner. He goes into their new relationship with fingers crossed, in hopes that his new lover can deal with his profession. After all it’s just his job, even if it is sex.

The writing team that makes up Jamie Craig has crafted a tender and well plotted romance with March: Kiss Me that’s perfect for an afternoon read. It’s well written with two main characters that are not only interesting and well-rounded but likable. Mal and Alejandro are perfect together, even if they are both more than a little apprehensive about starting a relationship. Mal is afraid that he wouldn’t measure up physically and Alejandro just wants to be a normal guy…one who has a boyfriend willing to stay home and cuddle with him. While he might make his living in front of a camera that doesn’t mean he likes being on display when not working. I also loved that Alejandro was jealous and possessive of the plainer looking Mal, making certain that others knew he was taken. If these two guys can get over a few minor misunderstandings, they have a good chance at long term happiness, and I wish them well. I look forward to the next offering in the Calendar Boys series with April: Out of the Storm.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell


Book Title: Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Author: Cassie Stevens
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-231-6
Genre: Gay Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

As young college students, Neal and Elliott were in love and expecting to spend the rest of their lives together. Then the world, and Neal’s family, interfered and tore them apart, forcing them onto paths already laid out for them. Now it’s twelve years later. Neal is running for Congress and Elliot is using his law degree as a Marine Corps officer with the Judge Advocate’s Office.

These two former partners never imagined that photos taken while making love on the beach, during a college vacation, would be exposed on national television. Nor that the exposure would threaten to destroy the lonely lives they have each built while apart. Yet when the news is revealed, they rush to assist the other and find themselves back in each others arms. Now older, wiser and stronger, they are determined to find the happiness that was denied them for so many years, no matter what the cost.

While Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is rather short in length, Ms. Stevens has managed to include a great deal of story within its pages. Both Neal and Elliott are interesting and likable men who have created useful but lonely lives apart. They both realize that they made poor choices in the past, but now they are older, wiser and stronger, and not willing to let others determine their combined fate. Their past separation is painful, their reunion tender and heartwarming, and their continuing passion hot and enduring. These two men are perfect for each other and the years haven’t changed their feelings. Neal’s powerful father is the perfect villain for this tale of love renewed. If there was anything about this lovely story that I would change, it would the length...make it longer.

Fire on Ice


Book Title: Fire on Ice
Author: Deirdre O'Dare
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-232-3
Genre: Gay / Science Fiction / Futuristic / Action / Adventure
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Bard Welstaad is a formally dedicated Uni-fleet officer, but after spending weeks on the ice bound plant of Gelada fighting for something none of them understand, he’s thinking of retiring from the military. If not for the steadfast devotion and determination of his NCO and second in command, Gordon Farrell, the entire unit would likely have succumbed to the hordes of small and deadly native creatures attacking them at every turn. It’s not until Bard’s viciously attacked and nearly killed that he dares to admit just how important Gordon has become to him.

Gordon Farrell has worshipped Bard since he took over command of their unit, always knowing that nothing could come of his attraction to the younger man. Still that doesn’t stop him from desiring him, even if fraternization between any two members of a unit is forbidden. When Bard is injured, Gordon is finally forced to admit the strength of his feelings, knowing that nothing can ever come of his desire. So when Bard unexpectedly returns his affection, he’s willing to chance a single night of passion knowing it will be the one they will ever have together. Or is it?

Fire on Ice is a well written story with an intriguing futuristic military concept. The native attackers in this short tale are an interesting and original addition, so different from the usual native inhabitants in other Sci-fi stories. The author did an excellent job of describing the world of Gelada and the bitter cold weather the military troops were forced to endure while fighting for their lives. I could almost feel the chill in the air, and I hate being out in extreme weather. Both Bard and Gordon are loyal and dedicated men who normally put the good of others before their own desires, so it was refreshing to see them give in and finally do something for themselves. The passion and caring between these two felt real, and they will each do just about anything to keep the other safe. So when circumstances tear them apart, it’s more than a little heart wrenching wondering if they will ever find each other again.

Heart of the West - Roped


Book Title: Heart of the West - Roped
Author: Ann Jacobs
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 9781419912672
Genre: BDSM
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

While serving in Iraq, U.S. Marine Jared McTavish was severely wounded. Returning home disabled forces him to confront the possibility of never being able to participate in the BDSM lifestyle that has been the cornerstone of his personal life for years. Now, for the first time ever, this sexual Dominant fears he will never be able to satisfy the needs and desires of a submissive woman. After all, what woman would want a man no longer whole?

Nina Baker is a no-nonsense nurse working at the VA hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming where Jared is shipped for rehabilitation and physical therapy. Since the death of her Dominant husband while serving in the military four years before, Nina’s been lonely and without hope of experiencing the lifestyle she and her husband enjoyed. Then she meets Jared, and when she discovers his BDSM past arranges for him to be invited to a private dungeon. Determined to show this special man that he still has what it takes to dominant a woman, she dresses in her submissive best and hopes he likes what he sees.

Jared isn’t your typical romance novel hero. He isn’t perfect, either emotional or physically and that’s why I fell in love with his character. He’s scared, anxious, apprehensive and angry that his disability will rule his life and interfere with the personal and sexual lifestyle he enjoyed before his injury in Iraq. That’s what makes him such a great character in this story. He’s not only attractive, he’s likeable as well as realistic, and Ms. Jacobs has done an excellent job in making the reader understand his emotions and his fears. Jared might have been a kick-ass Marine with an attitude and a lot of testosterone, but at the beginning of this tale, his self-confidence and sense of worth are totally shot. You can feel the man’s pain and uncertainty, and this is what makes a great author; her ability to not only describe a scene, but to describe a person’s soul.

Adding Nina only added depth to a tale of growth and development…both personal and physical. These two are great together, and the sexual tension and chemistry is nearly off the scale with heat. They are two halves of a whole…the other half they have been looking for. They are two wounded individuals that need the other to heal from the wounds of the past. I loved that when Nina decided that Jared was the man for her, she didn’t sit idly by hoping he would make a move, instead taking an active part in fashioning her future. She might be a submissive woman, but she’s no one’s push-over.

Legend of The Autumn Wind – Book One Wind of Change


Book Title: Legend of The Autumn Wind – Book One Wind of Change
Author: Michael Barnette
Publisher: Mojocastle Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mojocastle.com/
ISBN: 1-60180-039-8
Genre: Alternate History, Fantasy M/M
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Shimazu Haruhiro, one of Shogun’s samurai retainers, sat in a tree watching the bandits waiting to attack travelers on the road. Haru is also looking for a young man and his sister, said to be traveling this way. His interest in this pair has to do with the Autumn Wind style of fighting and the magic from the wind spirits. As Akikaze Ryu and his sister Kazue are attacked by the bandits, Haruhiro observes the battle and fighting style. When it becomes apparent Ryu is badly wounded, Haruhiro enters the fight, killing the remaining bandits. Haruhiro has magical powers of his own, so he, Ryu and Kazue to a nearby inn and performs a healing spell. When Ryu is again alert, he and Haruhiro both realize they have a strong attraction to each other, even Kazue is aware of it. Haruhiro is a demon killer and he knows that with the magic Ryu and Kazue have power over, they could make a powerful demon killing team, so Haruhiro offers the brother and sister an apprentice position with him.

Legend of the Autumn Wind - Book One Wind of Change reminds me of the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, with the sword fights and village wars. The Akikaze family are the secret guardians of the Autumn Wind, gifted by the wind spirits with magic and a fighting style exclusive to them. Only Ryu and Kazue survived an attack on the family, and only Ryu holds the secret. The meeting of Haruhiro, Ryu and Kazue is salvation for all of them. For Ryu and Kazue, it means not starving to death and a possible future and for Haruhiro it means having a chance at love and saving the human part of his soul. There is no actual love scenes in this story but the desire for intimacy is implied, the focus is on the intriguing plot. Michael Barnette has set the stage with action, demons, magic and creative dialog. I would suggest reading the glossary at the end of the book first for a better understanding of the various terms used in the story. This is an impressive episode, and I am interested in observing how this series will evolve.

ReneCade


Book Title: ReneCade
Author: Cameron Dane
Publisher: Loose-id
Publisher URL: http://loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-645-3
Genre: LGBT Contemporary Western Suspense
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Ren Boone has worked on the Hawkins ranch since he was eighteen, and he loves his jack-of-all-trades position with the three brothers. Now if his personal life would just run as smoothly, life would be perfect. Well not exactly perfect…that’s not going to happen since he has a crush on his best friend, who is also straight and engaged. Then there’s the matter of telling his father, The Sheriff, that’s he’s gay. On top of everything else, his pet ecological project is sabotaged and months of hard work destroyed. That brings him in contact with tall and sexy Cade, a man who makes his mouth water and other parts to his body to stand up and take notice.

Lawman Cade McKenna has moved to Quinten, Montana to escape the painful memories of what caused the left side of face and part of his back to be covered in heavy scars. He does his job thoroughly, quietly and with little fanfare, preferring to be left alone and afraid to get close to anyone. When he’s assigned to the sabotage case on the Hawkins ranch, he also finds himself fighting the attraction he feels for his boss’s son. As danger mounts, passion flares, but can he afford to open his heart to the possibility of love, or will fears from the past continue to haunt him forever?

Ms. Dane has done it again. ReneCade is another great story with likable, well rounded characters whose lives nearly jump off the page from the very beginning. Add in deceit, sabotage, fear of exposure, betrayal, a near death experience and a crazy ‘bad guy’ I never expected, and you have the needed elements for a page turning romantic suspense. It drives me bonkers when I can’t figure out who the culprit is in a story, and this one kept me guessing and then took me totally by surprise when the villain was finally revealed. I love that in a story.

I also appreciated that Cade wasn’t perfect…not just emotionally, but physically. All too often, characters that aren’t the epitome of male or female perfection are forgotten or relegated to secondary characters, but thankfully that is not the case in this realistic western. The fact that Ren was able to easily see past Cade’s scarring to the good and kind man underneath was both tender and heart-warming. These two men are great together…both in the bedroom and out, and their mutual passion sizzles. Now if they can just get past a little danger, a hospitalization, a few serious misunderstandings and a case of serious poor judgment, they might have a chance at long term happiness.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What the Cat Dragged In


Book Title: What the Cat Dragged In
Author: Kate Steele
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/index.asp
ISBN: 9781419914782
Genre: Shape shifter, Gay
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Bryan Gallier, in his lynx form, was lying in the tall grass with a rabbit in his sights but just as he was about to pounce, Kyle Brixton, in his owl form, swoops down and steals the rabbit. Bryan and Kyle had seen each other at the Shadow Den, a night club for shifters. Bryan wanted to meet Kyle, but every time he thought to approach him, Kyle would rush out of the door. After losing several rabbits to Kyle, Bryan set a trap that left Kyle passed out and in the clutches of Bryan. When Kyle woke up, he was tied to the bed. Bryan then proceeded to perform sensual torture to force Kyle to answer his questions. Reaching the end of his endurance, Kyle confessed that he wanted Bryan to notice him but what Kyle didn’t know was that Bryan had already noticed and wanted more.

What the Cat Dragged In is a hilarious prelude to the characters Bryan and Kyle and the prejudices they are faced with. Bryan and Kyle both have snappy attitudes that endear them to the reader. Although Kyle is shy with Bryan until he becomes provoked then they use sweet nothings like fur ball and feather brain. With the first intimate contact, it is apparent to both men that the intense desire they feel is more than lust, there is a bond between them. The gifted Kate Steele has the exceptional talent of combining real life issues with emotions that not only touch your heart, but opens your mind. This is an amazing story you should not bypass, I found What the Cat Dragged In to be a superb saga, and I look forward to the next episode.

Alliance: Clandestine Desire


Book Title: Alliance: Clandestine Desire
Author: Lyndi Lamont
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-230-9
Genre: Science Fiction, Gay
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lieutenant Behrin of the space ship Borivoy agrees to undertake a secret mission at the request of his former Captain Rulik, now a Ziganese diplomat living on the planet Mhajav. The mission is to offer amnesty to the rebel followers of Ludosh and bring him back for trial. Also along on this mission is Tai, a pacifist who opposes killing. There is an instant attraction between warrior Behrin and pacifist Tai. They spend the night before the mission making love, which adds more stress to the already stressful duty Behrin has agreed to. But they return to Mhajav, mission accomplished, and Behrin is faced with yet another problem. Rulik offers Behrin a choice in promotions; he can stay in Mhajav to oversee the amnesty settlement and continue a relationship with Tai or he can be captain of a new space ship and spend months away from the man he loves.

Alliance: Clandestine Desire is a story that inspires the turn of phrase, Please may I have some more. The very talented Lyndi Lamont creates a tantalizing plot with sensual love play and just enough intrigue to have you panting for more of Behrin and Tai, and more adventures in space. This is an amazing series; I look forward to the next episode.

Dark Secrets: Blood Ties


Book Title: Dark Secrets: Blood Ties
Author: Missy Lyons
Publisher: Phaze
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59426-861-8
Genre: Paranormal erotic romance
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

William Blackmore has been seeking his mate for quite some time. He is a vampire, and no mortal woman will do. At first glance, William knew Priscilla Dupris was his mate. All that is left is to claim her through blood bonding and sex. A simple feat, until he was confronted with a danger that could mean an end to both of their lives.

Priscilla is taken in with the handsome stranger from the moment their eyes met. William’s commanding presence would allow no less than capturing her complete attention. And before the night is through Priscilla finds herself agreeing to things no well brought up woman of the era would allow. But fate is a funny thing, and sometimes vindictive. Priscilla is left to fend for herself with one thought keeping her alive throughout the centuries: revenge.

They say that revenge is best served cold, and that is clearly evident in Dark Secrets: Blood Ties. Missy Lyons has created a fantastic story about love that has been found, lost and then found again. William never knew words could bite him in the butt and cause centuries of being denied the woman he loves. Priscilla finds herself wanting to kill and protect William at the same time, which I know was confusing to her heart and mind. The sex, when it finally came, was hot and torrid. The story is not drenched in sexual encounters (for those looking for a bit more action of the horizontal nature), but it more than makes up for it with plot and suspense.

Paladin’s Pride 5: Binding Llaryn


Book Title: Paladin’s Pride 5: Binding Llaryn
Author: Angelina Evans
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://changelingpress.com/index.php
ISBN: 978-1-59596-817-3
Genre: Futuristic, Sci-Fi
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


Llaryn is happy and adjusting to her new life with Paladin. They begin to bond in ways that has Paladin confused. Despite all of Paladin’s efforts, someone is making constant attempts to take Llaryn away from him. Both Paladin and Llaryn get hurt trying to escape their attackers. The healer and the protector may have to switch roles if they stand a chance of a future together.

The spark from this couple’s previous story grew into a forest fire in Paladin’s Pride 5: Binding Llaryn. Paladin’s desire for Llaryn is even more intense and their coupling is hotter. As always, Paladin gets what Paladin wants, when he wants. The scare of losing his mate prompts Paladin to welcome the changes in himself and become gentler. If you enjoyed reading how this couple began, you will enjoy their continued story even more.