Thursday, May 29, 2008

Big, Blooming & Wild: Man-grove


Book Title: Big, Blooming & Wild: Man-grove
Author: Celia Kyle
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-879-1
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


A bad day gets worse when Lily Atkins takes her obnoxious teen sisters and their friends on a canoeing trip that leaves Lily stranded. They left her stuck in the wilderness sunburned, dirty, and now on the verge of becoming ‘gator food. If she gets out of this situation alive, her sisters had better run for cover.

Trace Lagun noticed the extra curvy brunette when she arrived with her group to head out on the river. When the group returned without his woman, Trace took off to rescue Lily from the elements, and from any grove members with ideas to claim his future mate. He has waited a long time to find a woman to love and accept him and Trace had no intention of losing her now.

I never knew trees could be such sensual beings or make such a passionate tale like Big, Blooming & Wild: Man-grove. Celia Kyle has opened my eyes to these big, beautiful Botany shifters with Trace and I am digging their world. He not only has more stamina than an average man, he has more heart and allure. The things Lily sees as faults in herself are seen as endearing qualities by Trace and I love him for that. Once Lily accepts the fact that Trace is serious about her, things really heat up. When Trace finally shares his secret with Lily, I experienced a flood of emotions that are too wonderful to keep to myself. This is definitely a story that needs to be shared and I am glad Celia Kyle created such a wonderful plot.

Corporate Desires


Book Title: Corporate Desires
Author: Bridget Midway
Publisher: MS Fiction
Publisher URL: http://www.midnightshowcase.com/
ISBN: 1555-5488
Genre: Light BDSM/IR/Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


Edna Zulma has made quite a change from being Madame Z in the BDSM lifestyle to the sedate woman she is now. Since being released from jail, Edna now lives with her mother and is a glorified receptionist. She tries to follow the straight and narrow but so many temptations are trying to drag her back to her old ways, her parole officer and one boss in particular. And as always, her mother is waiting for Edna to condemn her soul to hell with her wicked, wanton ways. Her second boss Burton just might be the only good thing in her life right now.

Burton McCutcheon has desires that he was never able to explore during his marriage. The day Edna steps into the office, Burton is attracted to her. She might be the perfect woman for the company and the perfect woman for his fantasies. When Burton discovers Edna’s past life, he decides to change his methods of persuasion by showing Edna his true feelings.

Corporate Desires took me on a journey to many unexpected places and I enjoyed it. Even after being released from jail, Edna is still a prisoner of her life. She tried so hard to project an acceptable image to everyone and hide her true self. Being with Burton was the only time she could feel at ease. Burton, at first, seemed a bit harsh to me. I was relieved to find out I was completely wrong about him and that he had more character than I originally thought. Bridget Midway created characters that I doubt I will ever forget and another riveting installment in the series. I can’t wait for the next one.

Two on the Hunt


Book Title: Two on the Hunt
Author: Heather Hiestand
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.cerridwenpress.com/
ISBN: 9781419912566
Genre: Romance - Suspense
Nymph Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Sphinx Minx


Georgia Bellair is rebuilding a relationship with her almost five-year-old daughter Abby after conquering her postpartum depression and other mental problems. Abby has spent time in three different foster homes but seems relatively well-adjusted. The two of them are spending time on a sloop belonging to Georgia’s brother John, waiting to move into a more permanent home.

This is where they meet bounty hunter Mike McCready. There’s a certain electricity from the start and only Georgia is allowed to call him Yun.

Burglaries at the marina and Abby’s kidnapping quickly complicate things. Wannabe vampires and a vengeful drug lord add to the danger. Georgia’s effort to be a good Mother, and her feelings of shortcoming in this area, provides an extra emotional wallop.

Two On The Hunt is a stand alone sequel to One Juror Down. The actions of the first book color the plot heavily, but author Heistand provides all the necessary details to keep the reader on track.

Sister Cass and Brother John give Georgia emotional support. And Yun’s librarian mother is both helpful and wise. The bad guys are unique and interesting.

I would have liked more information about the vampire cult. There is a lot of action, although I had to reread parts to connect some of the plot pieces. The conclusion is logical and satisfying.

Yun is quite likable as a romantic lead. The love story is sweet and only mildly physical. Motherhood is Georgia’s first priority, but the author hints at much much more to come. Heistand is a capable wordsmith and I read her tale in one enjoyable sitting.

Inventing the Abbotts


Author: Jerri Drennen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-59998-546-2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Nymph rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Bramble Nymph

Agent Ava Stanton feels like she is babysitting Thorn Abbott on his first undercover operation. She wouldn’t have agreed to do this particular job but since their target Evan Grayson had disposed of Aztec Security’s best agent Yancy Adams, she felt her colleague deserved the agency’s loyalty. Normally she is highly focused on the job at hand but this time, her new partner is creating havoc in her mind. Will they turn up dead like their colleague before they have a chance of ending up in bed?

Ava is one strong sassy woman who doesn’t let anything bother her. She can be deadly and fearless at the same time she is oozing sex appeal. As their target is supposed to have an eye for stacked beautiful females, she is perfect for the job and I loved the way she manages to get a rise out of Thorn every time the sleaze ball looks at her. Thorn is the perfect computer nerd, complete with spectacles. Their banter and spats brought life to the tale but I was really wondering about their secret agent abilities as their brains were working overtime with lusty thoughts.

The sex never happened when I was anticipating it and chose quite an unfortunate moment to pop up. When it did, I couldn’t savor it as I was busy picking up my jaw from the ground. The secondary characters were there to generate interest in the upcoming installments about the other members of the elite team of undercover agents. Evan Grayson was a lot wilier than I thought and his clever moves made him a crafty villain. A few surprises did raise my reading pleasure a notch but some totally insane moves had me shaking my head too. Ms. Drennen has nicely combined intrigue, misunderstanding and danger in the first book of Aztec Security series, Inventing the Abbotts.

If you can feed the silliness to the horde of angry alligators that snap out of the murky depths of the villain’s bayou, Inventing the Abbotts will be an interesting experience dealing with guns, drug runners and agents-on-the-run.

Mauvelous


Book Title: Mauvelous
Author: Jerri Drennen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-59998-704-X
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Nymph rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Bramble Nymph

Agent Mauve O’Connor made the mistake of falling into fellow agent Yancy Adams’ bed. When Yancy surfaces from a deep undercover assignment holding no concrete information on the deadly criminal he was tailing, Mauve just can’t turn around and start trusting him again. She wouldn’t have paired up with Yancy for a million dollars, but Aztec Security’s stability is on the line. Can Mauve wipe out the memories and find info on Evan Grayson before he goes on a killing spree and does away with Yancy for good?

Yancy has made quite a few mistakes in his life and their outcome should have erased his cocksure attitude. But close encounters with death still haven’t made him humble. I know I shouldn’t be smirking but the way Mauve deals with him is priceless. For some strange reason, she has the hots for him but is fully capable of deflating his overblown ego with her barbs. Their bitching and sparring took the illusion of love out of their relationship and the emotion was really well-hidden by both. Jealousy is the only other emotion that pushes them together as Yancy is trying to get close to the international criminal’s girlfriend Cadence Fleming.

The story line moved at a rapid pace with two protagonists thinking mostly about jumping each others bones. The sexual thoughts overwhelm the plot and sometimes you really question the lead pair’s sanity. As this is the second book in the Aztec Security series a few of the characters from the earlier book do drop in but it can be read as a stand alone. Yancy does have some emotional baggage but his attitude turned me off more than once. Cadence seemed like a nice person just caught in the crossfire. I would certainly have appreciated a bit more focus on action and undercover work.

I wonder why Ms. Drennen developed a relationship between the two people who had trust issues and never meant what they said. If you can tune out your sensibility station, you’ll learn a thing or two about trust and the importance of truth in Mauvelous.

Caddy-Did


Book Title: Caddy-Did
Author: Jerri Drennen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-59998-886-0
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Nymph rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Bramble Nymph

Cadence Fleming fell for an undercover agent who was just using her to find info. Her bravery in that particular encounter with an international criminal won her a job at Aztec Security. Agent Kent Jameson is not happy to train the rookie agent who is blonde but not dumb. As she becomes a major bother in his easy-going life, he is ready to dump the assignment. But survival training at the Aztec cabin introduces them to new dangers they weren’t ready for. Can this pair ignore their feelings long enough to dodge bullets that seems to find them at every corner?

I already liked Cadence when she appeared in an earlier Aztec Security book. She is charming here but appears a bit uptight. I think it is understandable as Kent is portrayed as being a complete jerk. At least I haven’t met anyone reeking of alcohol and sex on my first day of work. There is certain kind of restlessness in Kent that agitated me. I never found out the reason of his footloose ways but learned to enjoy whatever positive points he showed. Their clashes were powerful enough to move mountains and I enjoyed their arguments immensely. Strangely, Kent showed compassion when I thought he wouldn’t give a damn. Their dislike of each other slowly progresses into a truce and fast forwards into love. I just wanted Cadence to find comfort and didn’t question the way she got it.

Ms. Drennen surprised me at quite a few places towards the end. While I was enjoying the yummy sex, she gave the agents an opportunity to jump up and show some other skills, too. The sub-plot that involved the Aztec boss also meshed well with the lead pair’s love life. Caddy-Did is the third installment in the Aztec Security series and the best one yet. Trouble rears its head everywhere Aztec Security agents go and Caddy-Did has enough action and hot romance to satisfy its readers.

Exceptions to the Rule


Book Title: Exceptions to the Rule
Author: Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 9781419915772
Genre: Gay (M/M)/Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 5 nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Woodland Nymph

Nathan Daniels is an analyst for a Health Care Association out having drinks in a strip club with colleagues who don’t know he’s gay. When he heads to the bar to get another drink, he’s instantly attracted to the body pierced dragon tattooed hunk of a bartender.

As a bartender, one of Jamie Nolan’s rules is to never date a customer. Yet when Nathan approaches his bar and asks for a mojito, Jamie’s quick to make an exception. After meeting up for a bite to eat at the end of his shift, Jamie ends up walking Nathan home and surprises him by leaving him at his door with only a kiss.

It’s not long before they’re meeting for “lunch” at Nathan’s place and an afternoon of passion ensues. They also both realize there’s more between them than just the sexual attraction. On Valentine’s Day Nathan shows up at the club Jamie is working in and offers him a key to his apartment then has an unsettling confrontation with a man from Jamie’s past. Will this cause the lovers to split up?

Exceptions to the Rule is a remarkable and highly erotic love story between two men who appear to be too different from each other to make a relationship work. Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe have successfully penned a sexy romance about two charmingly irresistible men with one of the most memorable and lengthy sex scenes I’ve read in a while. If you are a fan of the m/m genre then do not miss this book; it is a must read and one I will not soon forget!

The Role of a Lifetime


Author: Jennifer Shirk
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-59998-953-0
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Nymph rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Bramble Nymph

Handsome movie stars and actors are only the world’s greatest creeps in Sandra Moyer’s book. Her stint with her actor ex-husband Steve has scarred her for life and she mistrusts each and everyone belonging to the breed. So, she is totally repulsed when celebrity superstar Ben Capshaw approaches her preschool to prepare for his big role. She isn’t ready for his brand of charm but he works his way slowly into her carefully guarded heart. Can she give him a role in her life or is this actor going to starve for her attention?

I would have loved to meet Sandra as she faces life without backing down, even for a moment. She has the kind of spunk that makes me admire her. Even though she is definitely type-casting Ben, I felt I should support her rather than argue her decision. Ben is a big teddy bear. He never shows that all that fame has gone into his head. Instead, his comfortable manner made me see celebrities in a new light. Despite not knowing anything about children, Ben adopts the persona of Big Bens and settles in comfortably in the toddler environment. His charm just creeps in slowly through the hard exterior Sandra puts up to discourage men. Despite belonging to two different worlds, their bond is instantaneous and I had a feeling that they’d work out their differences in no time.

I am a great fan of typical romance novels that provide total escape from everyday life. I was really pleased to find such a wonderful plot. Ms. Shirk’s style managed to impress me a lot as she drove her point across without leaning on graphic steamy scenes. The sexual tension makes you antsy but the actual proceedings are left to the reader’s imagination. The secondary characters all earn their places in this cute tale. Each and every character is so developed that I felt I knew them from somewhere. Sandra’s daughter, Hannah is bound to steal a few hearts along the way.

The storyline effectively portrays a woman's quest to find a comfortable life for herself and her family and the tale is told with a laughs sprinkled everywhere. The Role of a Lifetime is going to captivate readers with its warm family style romance. If you believe that everything happens for a reason, The Role of a Lifetime is definitely the book for you. I’ll look forward to each novel Ms. Shirk is going to write after this!

The Sun Child: The Eight of Cups


Book Title: The Sun Child: The Eight of Cups
Author: Cat Kane
Publisher: Torquere/Arcana
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-276-8
Genre: Gay Historical
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Returning home from a hunting trip, Yaotl is informed that it is time to start his duties as guardian to the Sun Child, the human incarnation of the Sun God. When Yaotl is presented to him, the Sun Child requests that Yaotl refer to him as Eztli, his real name. Neither man can resist the attraction between them, nor does Yaotl believe that Eztli is truly the Sun Child. Eztli knows the truth; he is an orphan stolen from his village as a child, and raised by the priests to be a sacrifice. Yaoti is faced with losing the man he loves or exposing the deception.

The Sun Child: The Eight of Cups is a sensuous and brilliantly compelling story of how myths and rituals are performed as a scheme to take advantage of peoples ignorance. Ezytli has blond hair and green eyes, which is uncommon among the tribe. Cat Kane provides a marvelous example of how righteous illusions are used to pacify the people rather than explore new ways to support finding a resolution. This is an outstanding and very enjoyable read.

Bound by Melody


Book Title: Bound by Melody
Author: Hunter Raines
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-850-0
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Gay
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Gilrain dreams that he and another elf are making love out on the cliffs of Santa Barbara, only to awaken to find that it was not a dream and his landlord is knocking on his door to serve an eviction notice. The other tenants saw a magical image of two elves making love broadcasted into their apartments and feared they would become sex slaves to Gil. No one wanted a Helif elf around; they are known for their ability to entice humans through sexual magic. Gil is not like the rest of his kind; he has learned to control his magic. It is for this reason that the other elf Arion sought Gil out. Arion is a Faer elf who has been infected with Helir magic and needs Gil to help him learn how to stop the madness. Using a binding melody to lure Gil to him, Arion discovers more than control, he also discovers love.

Bound by Melody is a wonderful fantasy of elves adapting to life among the humans. Gilrain is an outcast by choice among the Helif elves; he refuses to use his magic against the humans and Faer elves. Arion spent centuries being held hostage by two female Helir elves and now has trust issues. Hunter Raines has created a well written, distinctive story with genuine emotions and sensuous intimate encounters. I look forward to reading the next addition of this impressive series.

She Blinded Me with Science…Fiction


Author: Kally Jo Surbeck
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1-59998-908-5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Sphinx Mix

Bianca Kirkland and her best friend Gertie Rintinopolis are in Vegas for a working vacation. They have roles at a Star Trek convention, and Sin City is even weirder than usual. Bianca’s a big flirt, looking for fun without commitment. Six years with an old boyfriend named Toby have seen to that. Gertie is less glamorous and more thoughtful, but she has a secret that gets her best friend in a really unusual predicament.

Gertie is stricken with food poisoning, and Bianca has to take her role as a Klingon, marrying and baptizing an assortment of interstellar characters that keep referring to her as Commodore Lennan. Bianca is pretty well up on Star Trek, but she doesn’t understand this reference to an internet star on a role-playing game site. Cyberspace is a little too real for some of these trekkies.

Freewheeling Bianca doesn’t recognize Chief of Security Colby James as the scrawny chess clubber the in-crowd spurned in junior high. She wants his body and nothing more -- at first. He wants everything he couldn’t have as a lovesick teen. He’s a body builder now and quite a hunk. But those youthful slights still fester, even though the physical scar he earned because of the beautiful Bianca no longer hurts.

Gertie and bartender Miguel have a romance, as well, in this pleasant chick lit adventure. There’s lots of Starfleet trivia and silliness here as the characters grow and resolve their issues. The characters all make their share of mistakes and learn from them.

This is fluffy and fun.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Necuratul 2: Rasputin's Rage - REPOST


Book Title: Necuratul 2: Rasputin's Rage
Author: Sheri Lewis Wohl
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-655-2
Genre: Dark Paranormal Thriller
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Galena Popov, a member of Anima Mundi, finds herself meeting Catherine "Cat" Lohr in Vancouver to stop a monster. All of the members were initiated through acts of ridding evil from the world. And most of the time that evil resided in someone they loved. Galena was no exception to the rule. While she has decided that there is no room in her life for love, the trip proves the old saying: it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.

Robert “Bobby” Shepard, a childhood friend of Cat’s, is a high-end specialty shop owner. Rare pieces show up in his shop and while Bobby isn’t equipped with Cat’s gifts, he knows they could spell trouble for the residents of Vancouver. What he didn’t expect was the Russian beauty accompanying his friend. Bobby doesn’t know who should thank whom, but he is sure that Galena is the source of something more rare than any collectible in his shop: love.

Suspense, action and intrigue are incorporated with bits of history in Necuratul 2: Rasputin's Rage. Galena didn’t think she could love again until she found Bobby. Bobby is the first to admit he has been around the block a time or two but recognizes what he could gain by having Galena in his life. I love how Sheri Lewis Wohl allowed the heroines to save the day in this fantastic novel. This was drama at its best, with twists the reader never sees coming. A perfect sequel and a guaranteed must-read! I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series.