Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Surrendered Victory


Book Title: Surrendered Victory
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-283-5
Genre: Gay/Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 4.5 nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Woodland Nymph

Reed Kauffman has never been with a man, but he’s about to act on that unfulfilled desire for the first time in his thirty-three years. He just beat out the competition, Quality Homes, by winning a contract for the family business to build more than a hundred housing units and after six weeks of flirting and dancing with each other, Reed is finally going to accept Dalton’s invitation.

Alan Dalton is a carpenter and one of the owners of Quality Homes. At the age of forty-three, he has an ex-wife and is the father of two college aged kids who don’t know he’s gay. Shortly after Reed surprises him by accepting his invitation, Dalton realizes he’ll be Reed’s first male lover and goes out of his way to take it slow and make him comfortable. After a night of passionate sex they both wake up the next morning wondering what happens now.

Surrendered Victory is a wonderful, sweet, sexy and emotional story of one man’s self-discovery and another man’s realization he may have found the one he’s willing to risk it all for. KC Kendricks has done a fantastic job and created two terrific characters you will like right from the start. Reed is a smart, sexy man whose confidence grows as the story progresses and Dalton is the perfect man anyone could hope to choose as their first lover. I quickly and easily found myself drawn into their story and caring about what happened to both of them. Surrendered Victory also has humorous moments, witty dialogue and a wonderful scene between Dalton and his son, Peter. This was the first book I’ve read by KC Kendricks and definitely won’t be the last. I strongly recommend this book to all fans of the m/m romance genre.

Faux Paws


Book Title: Faux Paws
Author: Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-975-0
Genre: Paranormal, Humor and Satire
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lucky Thornburn is working at Enrique’s bar while the owner is on vacation when Charm Merrill comes in requesting a drink and ice for her hand. Seems Charm and a bully exchanged blows. When the bully enters the bar, Lucky jumps to her defense. Charm doesn’t want Lucky’s chivalry, but she accepts his help because she is attracted to him, even though Lucky is a born shifter who can’t shift and Charm is a half angel. Once Lucky and Charm make love, they become a team anyone would be a fool to mess with, including Lucky’s brother JR, who is attempting to take over Charm’s property to build a shopping mall.

Faux Paws is the next installment in the Night Critters series. Charm is a feisty angel accustomed to taking care of herself. Lucky is a gallant werewolf who can be tough even if he can’t shift. Lena Austin and Tuesday Richards have produced another hilarious tale pairing unique critters together in a very enjoyable saga.

Ride


Book Title: Ride
Author: Cameron Dane
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-467-4
Genre: Western Contemporary Romance
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Risa Forrester has loved Sheriff Duke Boone for what seems like forever and over the last year, the attraction has only gotten worse. While the two might not have exchanged more than hot looks, nearly everyone in town seems to know of their mutual attraction. It’s an attraction Duke seems willing to ignore. After all, he’s years her senior, she’s best friends with his son, and he has his position in the community, as well as his job as Sheriff, to think of. Not to mention, he’s never recovered from his disastrous marriage and painful divorce when his son was a child. He certainly doesn’t intend to allow his life to become the fuel for small town rumors and gossip, which he’s certain involvement with Risa would cause. All his resolve changes when Risa decides on an all-out frontal sexual attack, and it’s not something the normally always-in-control Duke can easily ignore.

It’s only when Risa becomes seriously involved in the male-dominated sport of competition bull riding that Duke’s protective instincts come roaring to the surface. The fear of Risa becoming injured fuels his emotions and Duke is soon involved in a passionate affair with the fiery beauty. It’s almost like he’s become obsessed with his young lover, and his emotional unrest causes him to fight his feelings for her at every turn. Risa loves Duke, uncaring of their age difference, and she’d do almost anything for him…anything but give in to his heated demands that she give up her so-called fool-hardy bull riding. His ultimatum to quit the sport she loves forces the independent Risa to make some hard decisions, and her painful decision is that maybe she and Duke don’t belong together as she’d always thought. When Duke realizes his mistake, he must come to grips with his pain at having lost the one woman he loves, and then find a way to get her back into his life forever.

Cameron Dane has done it again with her newest release, Ride, the fourth book in her ongoing Hawkins Brothers/ Quinten, Montana series. Unlike the last two books in this series, which were both M/M, this well-written and fast-paced western romance is straight M/F. While each story, including this one, can be read as a stand-alone book, it might improve character recognition to read them in order, but it’s not mandatory to enjoy this wonderful tale, just helpful.

Duke is a determined and hardworking man who is such a control freak that at first you think he’ll break before he ever bends enough to give in to his desire for Risa. Add in his unresolved emotional issues, along with their age gap, and I wondered more than once how Ms. Dane was ever going to get him together with Risa. Imagine my pleased surprise when she did it with taste and style, smoothing out the wrinkles in their relationship, including the little fact that Duke was old enough to be Risa’s father. Some might object to this pairing due to the age difference alone, but I can truthfully say this wasn’t an issue for me. The heart will lead where it wants, whether in literature or in real life. All we, as by-standers need to do is accept the love at face value and go on. No matter his faults, I found Duke a very likable character, with a tender and caring heart, and while his attitude might at first appear a little over-bearing, it was all based on the need to protect his heart and Risa’s life.

Risa is youth, fire, passion and determination, not only to win Duke’s heart, but to be the best bull rider she possibly can. It’s just unfortunate for her relationship with Duke that she loves her chosen sport…and he hates it, just as passionately. These are the moments when you see the grit and stubborn parts of Risa’s personality, the same traits that allowed her to survive a kidnapping and near rape when she was a teenager, and make her persistent when Duke tries running in the opposite direction. She’s also a good sister, friend and worker…a woman everyone loves and wants to protect, especially her brother who was willing to deck Duke for hurting her.

The passion simmering between Risa and Duke has been going on for so long that it was only a matter of time before it exploded, bathing them in the flames of mutual desire. I don’t care if there is a big age gap between them, these two are hot together. Perfect, and if they can each bend…just a little, they have a chance at a lifetime of happiness.

As I come to the end of this wordy review, let me make myself clear. The central characters are both intriguing and interesting on their own, and together a perfect match. The story is realistic, open, well-written, and having Risa participate in bull-riding as her chosen sport is an unusual twist for a female lead in a contemporary romance. Add in good integration of characters from the previous books and you have a story meant to be enjoyed now and in the future. This series is a definite keeper.

Hyacinth’s Light


Book Title: Hyacinth’s Light
Author: Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-012-6
Genre: Yaoi/Futuristic
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

On the planet of Delphi 3, empathic physicians are a rarity. Doctor Trevor Wainwright travels to the town of Phocis to investigate a strange illness that has run rampant over the small town. The town lives by ancient religious rules, and men loving each other can earn severe punishments. When Trevor meets the Mayor’s son, Quentin Grey, he is instantly attracted to the young man. His investigation into the illnesses leads to a startling discovery.

Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont’s Hyacinth's Light takes us into the future where same sex love carries harsh punishments and is frowned upon. Quentin finds a kindred soul upon meeting Trevor. Both men battle with their appearance and aren’t measured fairly because of their beauty. The story has a combination of suspense and spiritual references, while demonstrates the importance of faith. Hyacinth's Light is yet another wonderful story written by Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont that fans of Yaoi will come to appreciate.

Vinculum


Book Title: Vinculum
Author: James Hogue
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/zencart/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-373-4
Genre: Gay Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Todd Warren M.D. has one more hour before his shift ends at St. Michael’s Medical Center when strange things start to happen. First he knows what to do for people before he examines them, a monster comes in shortly after a trauma case, claiming the girl, then Todd protects the girl and his co-workers with real magic.

Connor is not sure why he is drawn to Todd’s hospital until he sees the magic at work, then he knows he has to initiate Todd to the world of immortals, ancient prophecies, and an attraction that neither one can deny.

Vinculum is an action packed fantasy with fearsome monsters, magic, scorching romance, emotional turmoil and of course immortals. James Hogue delivers a fascinating plot that keeps you hanging on the edge of your chair as each element of the puzzle is revealed. The love scenes causes a reaction to your libido, Todd and Connor’s attraction radiates through the computer giving you a cyber jolt. The story is well paced and each character has a detailed description. This is an amazing and very enjoyable story.

Dunmore Rising


Book Title: Dunmore Rising
Author: Gia Dawn
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-052-3
Genre: Historical Romance/Fantasy
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx


When Jiliana comes back from the Eastmyre to be a squire for Graham, she remembers who he is and it is too late to back out of doing the squire job. Once he is made aware of her martial arts, it will help the both of them to focus better throughout the tournament.

Sir Graham Dunmore is the youngest of his brothers and is competing in a tournament that he does not want to be in because he has to guard the prince who wants to keep his identity secret. By the time he figures out his feelings for Jiliana it is too late to back down and she is not helping the situation by being aloof toward him.

Dunmore Rising fell right into place for me as another wonderful story about mystery and love in Gia Dawn’s Demons of Dunmore series. With all the action going on at the tournament and the murders happening right under their noses made this a very enjoyable read for me. It is important to say here that the fairy godmothers were their usual meddlesome selves and stunned by some of the things that were happening beyond their control.

Gia Dawn has written a story with positive role models for women and the men who love and respect them. The love that Jiliana and Graham have for each other is what keeps them together through the rough times. I can’t say enough praises about this series that Gia has written.

Big, Blooming & Wild! Tied and Tempting


Book Title: Big, Blooming & Wild! Tied and Tempting
Author: Tuesday Morrigan
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-889-0
Genre: Sci-Fi/Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Yahara is a city girl with professional ambition who’s been given an assignment to create a new magazine spread for a well-known clothing line. After further research, she discovers that the firm’s definition of green and hers are two entirely different things. Now that she has wowed the client, they want Yahara to understand the importance of their line by getting in touch with nature. The only drawback – Yahara likes nature as much as she loves root canals.

Park Ranger Kauri is Yahara’s guide while in New Zealand. When he sees the mocha-skin woman, sporting enough curves to keep him busy for days, Kauri decides that a human mate could be worth the adventure. He sets out to help Yahara learn to love nature and him.

Big, Blooming & Wild! Tied and Tempting gives us a city woman’s view of the great outdoors. I loved watching Yahara and Kauri interact. While I understand Kauri’s hurt over Yahara’s unkind words, I was proud of him when he got over it, and proud of her when she admitted he made her world a better place. The two made rabbits look celibate by comparison. Ms. Morrigan had me laughing hard at some of Yahara’s statements. The poor woman really did not want to be in the forest and fought as much as she could, but with Kauri by her side, she could have saved the energy for other activities. From the conversations to the lovemaking, the couple flowed smoothing from one aspect to the next. If you’re looking for a strong story with bits of humor, steamy sex and a love story that makes you sigh, then you don’t want to miss Big, Blooming & Wild! Tied and Tempting.

In the Cards


Book Title: In the Cards
Author: Liz Andrews
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-707-8
Genre: Multicultural Paranormal Suspense
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

How do you tell your boss that you cannot stand the ground her brother walks on? Unfortunately, that is not a choice for Josie Weston. The physical aspects of Forrest Jankowski are a woman’s fantasy becoming reality; it’s the rest of the man that annoys Josie to no end.

After having a vision of his sister Rayne in tears, Forrest decides to travel to Colorado. From the moment he laid eyes on Josie, Forrest was attracted to her beauty and clueless of how to gain access to Josie away from work. Rayne’s announcement of taking a mini vacation was just the opportunity Forrest needed. The “alone” time not only grants Forrest the access he wanted, it steps up the advances of a stalker waiting in the wings.

Love and happiness is In the Cards for Forrest and Josie. Josie has a quick wit and seems to stay in a constant flux between love and hate for Forrest. Forrest has seen their future and is not going to let Josie get in the way of their fate. Liz Andrews has written a fantastic story sure to please. If you enjoy a mixture of danger, suspense, and tantalizing lovemaking then In the Cards is just up your alley.

The Huntsmen: Backtrack


Book Title: The Huntsmen: Backtrack
Author: Amber Green
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-715-3
Genre: Polyamorous Shape-Shifter Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx


Fort and Cassio are twin huntsmen and the owners of Double Deuce Security. Energy given off from sexual play is what helps them keep their humanity and not turn into hydes. Fort has watched his brother moon over women for years but the newest love interest is different. While trying to look into the woman’s past as a favor to Cassio, Fort discovers an unexpected treat.

Sugar, aka Sarah, has been on the run from Digger, a gangster with a long memory and an even longer reach. Sugar can’t get Cassio out of her mind and is hoping for one night of passion. She is shocked to discover she has just hit the two for one lottery. After experiencing Sugar, the twins make a few discoveries about her that makes them reawaken a promise they made to each other in their adolescence. Fort, Cassio and Sugar decide to team up and recover something very precious to Sugar before it is too late.

Amber Green transports us back to the 80’s in The Huntsmen: Backtrack. Fort and Cassio are both strong dependable men with clear differences in the personalities. Cassio is a pussycat who would enjoy a ball of catnip and Fort is a tiger who will pounce on you as if you are a freshly cooked steak. Sugar has had a hard existence since the death of her father. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I’m sure Sugar wishes she had a crystal ball prior to meeting Digger. He is a persistent scoundrel if ever I saw one. The story doles out its fair share of humor, suspense, and spicy encounters that will be well worth a read. I’m hoping the next book will enlighten us to what exactly happens to the three main characters.

Half Wild


Book Title: Half Wild
Author: Rhyannon Byrd and Madison Hayes
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/index.asp
ISBN: 9781419915406
Genre: Futuristic
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Sam Hayward and Jerri Burton are standing in their booth at the Annual Clothing Convention being held at Janus Palace in New Las Vegas, when naked male twins Kar’ Two and Kar’ Four fall from the sky. The twins are on a mission, but first they want to experience sex with a real woman. Jerri immediately claims Kar’ Two and Sam claims Four. The twins from the future also have a secret that may impact having a relationship with Sam and Jerri; the men are a combination of human and animal.

Half Wild is a marvelous story of ingenious characters intermingled with humorous dialog and an intriguing plot. Sam and Jerri are two feisty, independent and intelligent women who fascinate the twins instantly. The twins are gorgeous and competent protectors who know what they want and will fight to keep it. Rhyannon Byrd and Madison Hayes present a well written, intricate tale of sensuous love scenes, unique characters, and a stroke of drama. Half Wild has some very imaginative surprises that are most remarkable. I enjoyed this story immensely.

Calendar Boys June: Commencement


Book Title: Calendar Boys June: Commencement
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-280-4
Genre: Gay Contemporary Series
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Andrew Parish sat through four years of classes with Professor Levi McCrea. They’ve talked, sparred and challenged each other, day after day, often disrupting an entire class while doing it. Now it’s time for Andrew to graduate and he’s finally getting the chance to tell Levi how he feels about him. When he shows up at Levi’s front door on the eve of his graduation Levi doesn’t know what to think. He doesn’t associate with students outside of the classroom and he certainly doesn’t date them. Since Andrew is still technically a student until after the ceremony the next day, Levi doesn’t have any choice but to tell him no. Levi’s refusal doesn’t dissuade him and Andrew vows to return the next day. After all it’s already been four years. What’s one more day?

June: Commencement is the latest release in the Calendar Boys series and it’s another keeper read written by the talented duo writing under the name Jamie Craig. The story is rather short at a little over seventy pages, but those pages are filled with interesting characters, witty dialogue, realistic situations and explosive sex. I liked these guys…in fact I liked them so much I wished this story had been longer. The age difference between these two lovers could have lead to many intriguing conflicts, including Levi’s introduction to Andrews’s parents. That’s one meeting I’d loved to have read about. Get it. Read it. Enjoy it!