Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Obsessed


Book Title: Obsessed
Author: K.Z. Snow
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-022-3
Genre: Vampire/GLBT
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Adin Swift was once a vampire, without dreams to haunt his sleep. Now he’s human again after having killed another vampire. He’s deeply devoted to Celia, the woman he’s given his heart to, but his soul, however, belongs to someone else -- his best friend, Jackson Spey.

Jackson is a powerful wizard and a close friend of Adin and Celia’s. When Adin finally comes clean with Celia about his strong attraction to his friend, she suggests Adin go to Jackson so they can spend some time working through it all.

When the weekend is over, though, where will it leave Adin’s heart?

Obsessed surprised me. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but by the end, I realized how deep a story it is. Adin is an admirable man -- very loving toward his wife, but unable to shake the growing love for his best friend. Jackson possesses more than just physical strength, especially at the end, but it’s Celia who shines, even if she doesn’t take center stage. As someone who understands Adin’s plight, I couldn’t help but adore Celia for her loving, trusting acceptance of who he is and what he feels.

The love scenes are amazingly hot, but it’s the ending that got me. The very last scene has a beautiful, tear-inspiring, sweet moment. You’ll just have to read it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Vampire Magic 4: Blood Oath


Book Title: Vampire Magic 4: Blood Oath
Author: Kira Stone
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-341-3
Genre: Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Kassian has lost his home and his lover. On a brighter note, he is about to become a Vampire Lord. Unfortunately, he doesn’t believe in magic, which is the key to gaining the position he is seeking.

Cypress is a master of the dark witchcraft and feels Kassian is receiving a gift he does not deserve. Nevertheless, Cypress will begrudgingly perform the ceremony. What should be a simple ritual turns into a deadly adventure that will hang lives in the balance. Both men will have to change their way of thinking and open themselves to love or a new resident evil will make Taggart’s Bend its permanent adobe.

Kassian still had that huge bolder sized chip on his shoulder. He was still angry with his former lover for moving on and finding a human mate. I felt sorry for him because he didn’t realize the only thing hindering him from finding love was his own attitude. Cypress was no better than Kassian. He also had a bit of darkness lurking inside of him that wouldn’t allow him to look past the fact that Kassian was a vampire, and see the man who dwelled within. I truly thought they were going to make me throw my hands up in disgust in some parts. However, when Kassian and Cypress finally accepted their bond, the fireworks were worth the wait. Kira Stone has delivered yet another wonderful installment of the Vampire Magic series. There is a mixture of action, romance and suspense in Vampire Magic 4: Blood Oath, which is sure to please fans and newcomers alike.

Shadow Queen




Book Title: Shadow Queen
Author: Christine McKay
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.cerridwenpress.com/
ISBN: 9781419917158
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Leahlisande Belkirk and Cerenth Kildarkee are two Dragon Queens of very different making. When Leahlisande’s (Sande, for short) home is destroyed, she’s taken to Cerenth’s keep. Hiding behind a guise as a servant, Sande endears herself, slowly but surely, to the temperamental queen. Sande’s new master, Quince, is beside himself with his growing attraction for a mere serving girl and her prowess with a sword serves only to confound him even more.

Cerenth is a queen trapped by her own kind, needing to produce a daughter to carry on the bloodline. Forced, more or less, to bed a less than savory Dragoon, Cerenth spirits off at night, desperate for a taste of freedom. She finds it in the arms of Zeb, a Water Dragon. But as war and The Hunter close in on the last remaining Dragoon queens, will Zeb and Quince be able to save their mates from a fate far worse than death?

Shadow Queen is an engrossing, complex tale of dragons, queens, sexy men and dangerous foes, all woven into a wonderful fantasy world. More than a romance, this is a fantasy novel not to be missed by fans of the genre. While the romances do indeed play strong roles, I was quite happy to find that the plot didn’t suffer. In fact, it’s the plot -- the danger, the intrigue, the mystery -- that kept me reading. Don’t get me wrong, though -- the romances are there, but not overdone.

The tone is one of desperation -- in and out of love. The Hunter and his hounds make terrifying adversaries, and Dragoon politics only serve to fuel the fires. The world is rich in detail and as I read, I felt immersed in Ms. McKay’s beautiful land. I couldn’t ask for anything more out of a fantasy book.

When it comes to romance, Shadow Queen doesn’t disappoint. The intricacies of the relationships are so fine, if you aren’t careful, you could miss very important information. Quince and Zeb are very different in their personalities and mannerisms, but the one thing they share is the devotion to their mates. Cerenth and Sande are both strong, independent women who have secrets to hide, and at times, the relationship between the two of them -- whether they are confiding or dodging -- is as strong as their relationships with their dragon men.

I must point out one thing. In all my years of reading, I’ve never read a single kiss that held as much passion as the simple one below. This kiss is testament to Ms. McKay’s fine abilities to weave a beautiful love story…

Then she carefully reached up, cupped his neck and drew him down for another kiss. Her lips were as reckless as his had been controlled. She claimed him, drew his breath from his lungs until he had to sever their claim to catch his breath.

“That, my lord, is how one kisses,” she said softly. Then she slipped through the servants’ door and vanished.

He stared after her, bemused.

Shadow Queen is a prequel to The Last Queen, but as stated on the publisher’s website, it can be read alone. I fully agree. In fact, I’d say it’d be preferable to read it prior to The Last Queen, though that isn’t fully necessary. It just gives more insight into the Dragoons and their plight. I give Shadow Queen five nymphs and a Golden Blush.

The Pridelands 4: Griffin's Joy


Book Title: The Pridelands 4: Griffin's Joy
Author: Jade Buchanan
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-847-0
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx


Griffin and Mazin Bolen are twins who do everything together. Their level of sharing ranges in degrees, from the basic sharing of thoughts to deeply feeling the others’ needs. And right now they both need Joy Coleman. When Joy arrives at the family cabin, she not only gets to see her brother, but her missing cousin and all of their mates. Joy is delighted to see her family and meet the men and women who make them happy. But what stirs her blood is the handsome twins and the way they make things down low tight and aching for their attention. Soon, she will have to make a tough decision; stay on Earth or travel among the stars with the two men she was destined to meet.

Jade Buchanan definitely makes the men from the Prideland something to be proud of. Griffin and Mazin are opposites in ways but were of the same accord when it came to Joy. I knew it was tough for them to see so many others find their mates and not have someone of their own. I loved the fact that they identified who she was and took charge from there. Joy knew she never had one man who could make her feel the way Griffin and Mazin did, and recognized the gift of their caring. You’ve written a wonderful story Ms. Buchanan.

Querida


Book Title: Querida
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 1-60504-123-8
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Maddy Terrell is a forty year-old widow with a grown son, a busy life, and a time-consuming job as a hospital administrator. She’s not looking for a relationship. What’s she’s looking for is a ride to her niece’s wedding in San Francisco. When her son, Shawn, backs out at the very last minute, she finds herself chauffeured by his sexy Latino friend, Tonio.

Twenty-four year-old Tonio has lusted after his best friend’s mom since they met the previous Christmas. When he’s asked to drive her to a wedding, he jumps at the chance to be alone with her. She resisted his flirting at her Christmas party, but now he intends to show her just how much he admires and desires her. He’s determined that by the time their weekend in San Francisco is over, she’ll know exactly how much she means to him. All he asks for is a chance to show he wants more than a fling.

Querida is the latest release by the talented writing duo, Jamie Craig. While it has a classic older woman/younger man plotline, there’s nothing ordinary about this tale of love and desire. Its swirling emotions and passion, mixed with likable, believable characters, and realistic life situations make for an enjoyable and entertaining read. Give it a try.

Outlaw Lovers - Colter's Revenge


Book Title: Outlaw Lovers - Colter's Revenge
Author: Jan Springer
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 1-4199-0491-4
Genre: Futuristic
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

A virus designed to make women submissive has turned deadly, killing most of the female population. The government has issued a law that has taken away women’s rights and made them claimable by groups of men. Women have become no more than sexual property.

Dr. Colter Outlaw met a beautiful sex slave while serving in Iraq and knew he found his other half. When he returns to free the woman he loves, he was greeted with a “Dear John” letter. Ashley Blakely found a haven in Colter’s arms and couldn’t understand how her trust could be so sadly misplaced. He promised her forever but all she received was more time with her sadistic owner. After years of plotting revenge, Colter is finally face to face with the woman who wounded his heart. He wants answers and is willing to do what is necessary to get them.

Colter and Ashley’s story was filled with twists and turns as well as missing links that help piece the Outlaw’s saga together. Colter and Ashley were carrying around so much emotional pain, I was shocked they could actually function and treat each other slightly human. I especially felt sorry for Colter. Men don’t seem to handle what they deem as betrayal very well at times and Colter was no exception. He harped on the past for so long, I was nervous that the truth would not be revealed. However, when the chips were down, Colter and Ashley proved just how deep their love flowed. They truly had each other’s back. Jan Springer has written yet another wonderful story about the Outlaw brothers. If you need a bit of action, suspense, and tantalizing lovemaking then Colter’s Revenge is just what you are looking for.

Bridge Over Troubled Water




Book Title: Bridge Over Troubled Water
Author: Vivien Dean
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-308-5
Genre: Vampire/Gay/Thriller
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Faced with a frat house massacre the likes of which he’s never seen, Brady Lindstrom has his hands full with the gruesome task of finding out just who -- or what -- tore apart a houseful of college guys, like they were made of tissue paper. Haunted by fears of vampires, namely the ones who murdered his lover, Cole Singer, ten years ago, Brady has a hunch he might very well be facing the monsters again. An unexpected visitor shows up to offer help, in exchange for shelter, and Brady is powerless to resist.

Cole Singer doesn’t know what to expect, but he needs Brady. Hell, he never stopped needing Brady. Literally torn to shreds at the hands of a couple of vicious vampires, Cole has no one else to turn to but Brady, and whether the man admits it or not, Brady needs him, too -- especially when the vampires turn to Brady as their next target.

Bridge Over Troubled Water was an amazing book. In fact, I pretty much read it in one sitting. There were several parts that had me tearing up due to the overwhelming emotions between Cole and Brady, even after ten years of separation. Their first kiss left me breathless, and I felt the tug-of-war in my heart, torn between them as they both struggled to accept that things changed over the years.

What I loved about Bridge Over Troubled Water was the fact that it held a very strong plot and the sex simply flavored it. That’s the kind of book I crave: one where I become so lost in the story itself, that when the characters come together (literally), it feels natural and not contrived.

Personally, I hope and pray that maybe Ms. Dean will write a sequel, because there’s so much left for Brady and Cole to rediscover about themselves and each other. That’s why I give this book a Golden Blush Award. It’s truly exceptional in every way.

Outlaw Lovers - The Claiming


Book Title: Outlaw Lovers - The Claiming
Author: Jan Springer
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.ellorascave.com/
ISBN: 1-4199-0062-5
Genre: Menage a trois or More / Futuristic
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Callie Callahan is a woman on the run. Trying to find a safe haven from the Claiming Law has landed her in a deserted cabin. She soon learns she can run but she can never hide. The love of her life has just shown up on her door wounded and in need of a bit of TLC.

Luke Outlaw may have a serious injury but the fire he carries for Callie still roars to life. Now that he had found her, he will do anything to protect and keep her. Secrets are a threat to the couple and Callie and Luke have a slight uphill battle to reclaim their love, trust, and to rekindle their relationship.

I enjoyed Luke and Callie’s story. The couple had been through so much, but faith and determination has brought them back together again. Callie knew, in her heart, that she would accept anything fate handed her as long as Luke was a part of the package deal. Some of the secrets he discovered hurt Luke and I was nervous that he would turn his back on Callie. However, in the end the couple did what was necessary to keep each other safe from harm. Jan Springer has written yet another wonderful part of this series with The Claiming.