Thursday, December 31, 2009

Literary Nymphs would..........

like to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of our readers, authors, publishers and visitors!

May 2010 be a healthy happy and presperous New Year for us all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trial by Fire


Title: Trial by Fire
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-875-3
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Harry and his partner, Jack, have transferred from Homicide to Vice and both men hate it and the unwelcome changes it has brought to their lives. The stake-outs are dangerous, the drug dealers are too numerous to count and the late night shifts put Harry opposite of his lover Jason and their two best friends, Sammy and Peter. And to make matters worse, Harry and Jack can’t transfer to another department until eighteen months have elapsed.

The only thing that makes life bearable to Harry is Jason’s love and devotion and the two are counting the days until Harry can go back to Homicide. Disaster strikes when a drug ring stake-out goes bad, killing Jack and endangering Harry…physically and emotionally. With Jason supporting Harry while he heals, it falls to Sammy to hold everything else together and he’s wearing himself ragged, trying to help his friends and take care of Peter and the shop. When Sammy is ready to drop from exhaustion, it’s up to Peter to step in and take control, fulfilling the needs of his loving sub. It’s a case of friends standing firm in the face of potential devastation, because Harry might never be the same again.

Trial by Fire is the fourth and newest release in Sean Michael’s ongoing Between Friends series and it’s the most emotionally intense and painful book of the series, so far. With the change in work status, there’s a lot going on in Harry’s life, and it’s putting an emotional strain on him, and stress on his lover, Jason, and Mr. Michael’s description of this part of their life is spot on. The friendship between the Harry and Jason, and Sammy and Peter is just as strong and supportive as ever. In fact, Sammy really steps up and takes control when Jason needs him, putting his own health at risk.

What I didn’t expect was the rollercoaster ride of emotions with the suffering Harry underwent after the stake-out went bad. This portion of the story is where the author truly outdid himself. These scenes are heart wrenchingly painful, thoughtful, and well-written and shows the love and understanding both couple have for each other. I don’t know where the series is going with the next release, but I can’t wait to find out.

Daring to Dream


Title: Daring to Dream
Author: Grace Cox
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publisher URL: http://www.lyricalpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61650-087-0
Genre: {M/F} Erotica
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Sarah is a nursing student who spends her time either studying or babysitting to earn extra money to help pay for tuition. Sarah’s a shy girl with an unhappy upbringing and finds it difficult forming meaningful relationships, especially with men. Although she might not have much experience with sex, that doesn’t stop her thinking about it and there’s one man in particular who is feeding her lusty thoughts on a regular basis.

Jason thought he had it all – a good career, married and a baby on the way. He had no idea just how badly things could go. Jason doesn’t ever want to open himself up to that sort of hurt again. He thought he was content to work hard to give his beautiful daughter everything he never had as a child. He didn’t have the time or the inclination to make a commitment to anyone else in his life so why is it he just can’t put Sarah out of his mind?

Daring to Dream is a wonderful story of two people who had thought happiness was out of reach, finding solace in the company of each other. Sarah is a very likeable character who seems permanently poised on the verge of womanhood. Her thoughts are a whirl of hot, hard sex, mixed with fairytale romance where the good girl can get her happily-ever-after. Sarah’s mind was a very erotic place and I thoroughly enjoyed peaking in. Jason is characterized well as the man who puts those important in his life before his own needs and his mixture of emotions towards Sarah added a frustrating touch to the potential relationship. The plot was unpredictable and well-paced, leaving me very satisfied. I really warmed to Sarah and loved witnessing the sometimes awkward, at other times outrageously forward attempts at satisfying her growing need with fantastic results.

The Dog Next Door


Title: The Dog Next Door
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-847-0
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Keifer loves his job as a vet and the animals, the dogs especially, love him back. That might have something to do with Keifer’s little family secret; every month, he shifts into a wolf.

Felix has lived next door to Keifer for almost a year. Still recovering from the breakup of his last relationship, he hasn’t done anything but watch the sexy little vet. That all changes on the day Felix asks Keifer out for dinner and ice cream. It’s not long before the two men discover they’re compatible both in and out of bed, and they’re soon spending every spare minute together.

The only problem is Keifer’s shift during the full moon. He wants to tell his lover the truth, but is afraid, so instead, he comes up with an excuse for why he isn’t available. When Felix learns the truth, the question is whether he can accept all of Keifer…the man and the wolf, or turn away forever.

The premise for The Dog Next Door isn’t exactly original, but it’s still cute and makes for an enjoyable, quick afternoon read. The beginning scenes where Felix and Keifer get to know each other and go on their first date is fun (I loved the ice cream scene) and filled with realistic bantering dialogue. That goes for the final scenes when Felix discovers a strange ‘dog’ has turned into his missing lover, as well. I enjoyed those portions of the story very much. The sex, as always with a Sean Michael book, is hot, intense and well written; my only problem is the quantity that heavily weighs down the middle of the book, leaving me feeling a little adrift, plot-wise.

Iron Man


Title: Iron Man
Author: KyAnn Waters
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419924507
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

One of the hardest things Adam ever did was to leave his vampire lover, Rafe, and relocate to Washington, D.C. Being Rafe’s blood slave offered tantalizing nights in The Catacombs but Rafe wanted more. He wanted Adam to become his blood bond, and it’s was one step Adam was unwilling to take.

Adam’s back just in time to give Rafe the support he needs during a troubling time. As the two reawaken their passion, they also shed new light on their relationship. Will Adam have the strength to walk away a second time?

KyAnn Waters’ Iron Man is the second book in the Blood Slaves series. You couldn’t help but to be drawn to Rafe during this holiday season. He has so much weighing on his shoulders but attempted to keep a stiff upper lip. I knew from Adam’s initial reaction that it would be hard walk away from Rafe again. The two are perfectly matched in and outside of The Catacombs and make quite the handsome couple. Ms. Waters is bringing love and stimulating erotic scenes to us in this series and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

The Mistletoe Phenomenon


Title: The Mistletoe Phenomenon
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-342-1
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Holiday
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Life has taken an unexpected turn for famous glaciologist Magnus Carstens, with the death of his brother and sister-in-law. He’s the guardian of his eight year-old nephew Jakob and he’s taken a new job in Mistletoe, Wyoming, better suited for a man of science trying to create a stable home environment for a young child. He and Jakob aren’t in town a week when he meets Lance Rivera, working in his sister’s shop, Holiday World. Lance is pretty disillusioned with life. His lover left, taking all their money, he can’t get a job in his chosen profession and he’s unhappy and lonely. When a challenge puts the men under a sprig of mistletoe, it makes them both realize that what they want is standing right there in front of them. All they have to do is reach out with both hands to find love, happiness and the family they’re looking for.

The Mistletoe Phenomenon is a cute, endearing and well written Christmas story from the first page to the last and destined for a place in my keeper file to be read and enjoyed next Christmas holiday season.

Lance is a real sweetheart. You have to love this guy. He’s cute, endearing, loyal, knows how to handle just about every situation, aside from problems in his own life, and he wants a family of his own so badly, I found myself rooting for him from the beginning. Then there’s Jakob. After the death of his parents, this poor kid deserves to have two adults to love and take care of him. Finally there’s Magnus. In the beginning, this guy is so socially inept I found myself wincing at nearly everything that came out of his mouth. Despite loving his nephew, he doesn’t know what to do or say to make him happy. That brings us back to loving house-Dad-wanna-be Lance. He and Magnus might come from vastly different family and professional backgrounds, but they fill in the holes that life has left in the other. Overall, it’s a case of strange circumstances and timing and a little sprig of mistletoe, bringing three people together to form a loving family.

Shifters' Captive


Title: Shifters' Captive
Author: Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504- 873-4
Genre: {M/F/M} Shifters
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Some members in both the wolf and panther shifters clans are in a coma or have died. Sherrie is kidnapped after the wolves council is told that she will be able to help. John is not happy about kidnapping Sherrie, but does as he is told. He is very happy when he realizes that he is attracted to her.

Grant has been having dreams about Sherrie and that she is the key to saving his people. He and John are unhappy about having to work together, but Sherrie realizes that the three of them together create a bond that will break the hold on both shifter clans.

Shifters’ Captive is a very interesting take on using psychic powers to control minds and traveling on an astral plane. Some of the scenes sometimes seemed a little out of place, but you’re pulled right into the story with the author’s descriptions of the various situations.

John, Sherrie and Grant burn up the pages with their sex scenes and I suggest keeping ice on hand. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the twists that Ms. Dee kept throwing into her story that kept you guessing, as well as wondering, how the three of them would resolve getting trapped.

The Santa Mug




Title: The Santa Mug
Author: Patric Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-335-3
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Holiday
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

It’s been almost four years since his lover, Marlon died on Christmas Eve and during that time, Darren has pulled farther and farther away from his friends; he ignores the holidays and he spends most of his time depressed and in pain. Life goes on as usual until old friend Max invites him home for the Thanksgiving holidays. Long estranged from his own family, and used to being alone, Max’s large overwhelming family almost has him running for the hills.

Max has wanted Darren for years, and has waited patiently for him to get over Marlon’s loss. Spending so much time together, and seeing Max with his family, makes Darren realize how selfish and unhappy he’s been. He’s pushed his friends away, one by one, but through it all, Max has been steadfast and loyal. It also makes him realize what he needs and wants has been staring him in the face all along. All he had to do was reach and grab what was willingly given, and Max was the willing giver. When Max hand delivers a small gift left to him by Marlon, it heals his heart of pain, and open it up to a new beginning and a new love with Max.

The Santa Mug is the first writing by Patric Michael I’ve had the pleasure to read, and it won’t be my last. In fact, this little jewel is going straight into my keeper file to be read and enjoyed next Christmas season. The writing is tight and efficient, while at the same time, tender, hard-warming and emotional, allowing the reader to feel Darren’s pain and guilt, the depression and loneliness of his life. The author does an equally nice job opening Darren up to the deep and steadfast love that’s stared him in the face for months with Max. Wonderful, loving, kind and tender Max, who opens his heart, giving Darren the chance at happiness for the first time since Marlon died.

There’s nothing about this Christmas story that I didn’t like. Really. Nothing. It’s not what I’d call a rollercoaster fast ride, even though the story takes place in the short number of weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead, it progresses at a steady and determined pace, all the while dealing with pain, loss and feeling of guilt and rejection, but most importantly with love, acceptance and hope for the future. Give it a try. You won’t be sorry you did.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Buddy Holiday


Title: Buddy Holiday
Author: Willa Okati
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-462-6
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

T.J. and his wizard lover MacGowan are about to have the best Festivus present they could ever receive. With the promise of some needed alone time, the familiar and his wizard are about engage in a carnal night of pleasure. But even the best laid plans have a few bumps in the road and a very unlikely ally, the supreme Psychokitty himself, is going to help the men save their special holiday, for a price.

Will the tomcat finally come clean over secret plans that include his lover, or will he save that news for another day?

Willa Okati's Buddy Holiday takes us back into the lives of T.J. and MacGowan, who we met in Tomcat Jones. I absolutely loved the couple from the first book, and it was nice watching their holiday unfold. There is the reference to what could be a budding relationship between two characters, and I hope there is an impending story. The setting for part of the story takes place in what I would call a winter wonderland. Watching T.J. in the element was priceless and I couldn’t help laughing at the antics. The story has a mixture of humor and sensual lovemaking, and is sure to be a treat to those who enjoyed the first story.

Snared


Title: Snared
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-873-9
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Life is good for devoted lovers Billy and Montana. Every day they grow closer as Tanny comes to a greater understanding of the BDSM lifestyle Billy is teaching him. He’s still having trouble dealing with his feelings of worthlessness, inferiority and guilt over the death of his sister. Yet Tanny has many good things going on in his life. Billy is crazy about him; he loves his bookbinding apprenticeship with his mentor, Margaret and he’s happy for the first time in years.

Tanny’s junkie past comes back to haunt him and he suddenly finds himself a pawn of the police, thrusting him into a situation that threaten both himself and Billy. Things go from bad to worse when Billy is injured. Instead of finding comfort with their friends, Tanny finds himself bruised and battered, back on the street and on the run. It will take all of Billy’s love and devotion to convince his scared lover to come home where he belongs. The question is whether the emotionally wounded Tanny can commit to a permanent relationship that he doesn’t think he deserves.

Snared is the newest release in the Hammer novel world and the second dealing with Montana and Billy. It’s not necessary to read all the previous releases in the series, but I’d recommend reading Found, where Billy and Montana meet, in order to understand their relationship and that of their friends.

Once again, Mr. Michael has created a rich and well-written story of love and devotion, set in the world of BDSM. It is nice seeing the growth of Billy and Montana’s relationship as they work through personal issues, misunderstandings, painful past hurts and insecurities. Through it all, Billy is kind, loving and supportive; always giving his lover what Montana needs in their relationship, even if at times the way he goes about it makes Montana feel uncertain and scared. Together they’re working on and exploring Montana’s submission, while they tackle daily living and Mr. Michael’s done a very nice job handling this, at times, tense situation.

I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes with Margaret, Montana’s mentor. This older woman, while stiff and in pain with arthritis, is still a Dom at heart and is not above giving Billy advice, whether he wants it or not. She’s also just as likely to dole out love, kind words and support to Montana. While taking a bit part in the overall plot, she is nonetheless a great character who adds depth to the story and plays a vital role in the lives of the two lovers.

Montana’s past drug problems are still an issue, but he’s fighting and winning the need to fall back into the junkie world, but it’s a struggle. I have to admit that when he was forced into helping the police, I was furious, even more so when Billy was injured. What I didn’t expect was the plot twist involving Billy’s good friend, and fellow Dom, Oliver. I did however expect Billy’s outraged and angry response. I can’t wait to see what happens to Billy, Montana, Jack and Oliver in the next release, slatted for mid-2010.

A Feral Christmas


Title: A Feral Christmas
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-444-6
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

In looking for his lost siblings, Brent’s only lead is Daniel, a Hawk shifter who holds all the clues. His attraction for the man started with just a glance at a picture but the real deal is a whole lot more appealing. Daniel has been in hiding for years; unfortunately the arrival of Brent, a Jaguar shifter, means his enemy’s can’t be far behind.

A Feral Christmas by Stephani Hecht is the second book in The Lost Shifter series. It has the snappy dialog and one-liners that were present in the first book, making this story just as much fun to read. This story starts off with Brent on a mission for his pack, which is to find the Hawk responsible for putting feline shifter children in the hands of humans. What starts off as a simple mission soon becomes anything but. With explosions, both the literal and the sexual type going off, Daniel has no choice but to stick with Brent. If what authors say about characters taking over their thoughts while working on a story is true, then I feel for Ms. Hecht as both Brent and Daniel are a handful.

Even though this story takes place over the period of just a few days, it is packed with action, chemistry and romance. The author’s ability to draw the reader in with excellently written characters, intriguing plot lines and an ending that is sure to bring many more fantastic stories makes this series a must have for lovers of the shifter genre.

Never Say Never


Title: Never Say Never
Author: Jenna Byrnes
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-54-2
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary, BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

When Mitch Silver left Adam Reeves to pursue his rodeo career, Adam never thought he would return. Finally he’s found someone who cares for him, Nicolas Fontana. With Nicolas, Adam has also embraced his interest in D/s. Now Mitch has returned and he wants his old lover back. The trouble is Adam’s not the naive man he left behind and Nicolas refuses to give him up. Will Mitch find a way to regain his lover, or will he have to move on without Adam by his side?

Never Say Never is the second book in the Rose and Thorn Society series. Jenna Byrnes writes a compelling story about second chances, while mixing D/s into this entertaining story. I have to admit, there was one point where I questioned Nicolas’ motives but after looking at the events from his view, I could see why he reacted as he did. Nicolas shows compassion that few would during this story and made him my favorite character of the threesome. Adam’s ability to adapt to the BDSM world proved that Nicolas made the right decision in making him his partner. The sexual scenes were erotic and well written, and the characters are well meshed. I found Never Say Never to be an enjoyable read and would recommend it to those who enough D/s.

Bound and Determined


Title: Bound and Determined
Author: Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-450-3
Genre: {M/M}, BDSM, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Sterling accidentally stumbles onto a Dom and his sub while at a party. What Sterling sees soon has him wondering if that is what he’s needing. When he shows up at a local BDSM club, he is surprised to run into one of his old professors.

Owen hasn’t had a decent sub since Michael. His reputation of being difficult to please doesn’t help, either. The last thing he wants or needs is to take on a former student.

Authors Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow have teamed together to bring the readers an excellent story set in the world of BDSM. Bound and Determined tells the story of two men, one a novice and the other a long time member. The men already have a past history that would make a new relationship difficult. Yet as the authors bring them together, they do so in a way that the reader will enjoy. Sterling, who believes he has all the makings of a Dom, is surprised to find out otherwise; something that throws his psyche in turmoil. As the authors do an excellent job bringing the characters to life, it is easy for the reader to understand why this change is, at first, hard for Sterling to accept.

Owen is maybe a little harder to get a handle on. As a long time participant and well-known Dom, he is searching for the perfect sub. Although there were a couple of things regarding Owen that I wondered about, I felt he was the perfect foil for Sterling’s personality. His knowledge allowed him to ‘see’ Sterling and guide him accordingly. All of this leads to some intensely passionate scenes, of course .

The authors also do an excellent job showcasing the world of BDSM itself. Throughout the story, there are constant acknowledgments of the need for safety, as well as knowing one’s limits within a scene. If you enjoy BDSM stories, be sure to pick this one up.

Christmas in Killarney


Title: Christmas in Killarney
Author: Cash Cole
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-464-0
Genre: [M/M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Colin Zachary’s life is a mess. He has a serious case of writer’s block, his job in on the line, he’s lonely, bored, unhappy and his love life is nonexistent. Visiting Ireland for the Christmas holidays seem like just what he needs to brighten his spirits. Colin’s life takes a dramatic change when he wakes up, naked in the local church; Harry Gill rescues him and takes him to the home he shares with his lover, Morgan O’Hanlon to warm up.

With the snow piling up and the roads nearly impassable, there’s nothing to do but stay with the two hunky men until the weather clears. Being in the same house with Morgan and Harry jumpstarts his writing, almost as much as it fires up his libido, and the lovers make it clear they’d want him in their lives and their bed.

Things take a turn for the worse when money from Morgan’s Pub disappears and they suspect the man who’s been trying to buy O’Hanlon’s. If they don’t come up with the money, the employees won’t be getting the checks they expected and Morgan could lose his business. It’s a Christmas story of love, redemption, friends and hope for the future.

Christmas in Killarney is a quick, fun Christmas read with an intriguing premise and fun, sexy and likable characters in Colin, Harry and Morgan. There’s a lot going on in this novella length release and consequently, the author hasn’t supplied a lot of background information on the men. That’s all right in this instance, because there is just enough to give a good feel of each man and what made him tick, although I felt I knew Colin best.

Even if the secondary characters are few in number and play only minor roles, their integration into the plot is nicely done. I especially loved the local pastor, John, and the part he played in helping Morgan with his money loss problem. There’s lots of sexual tension and tons of emotional support between the three men, and when the community rallys around Morgan…it’s perfect, and shows the true meaning of Christmas.

Set Me Up


Title: Set Me Up
Author: Kat Alexis
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923180
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

After spending years caring for her dying father, Indigo Larsen decides to grab every opportunity life offers her by traveling the world. Ireland was the magical land that called to her and that was the place she would start. Nothing was going to tie her down now.

Aedan Ciaran is a leprechaun who is happy with his life as it is. Change isn’t something he looks forward to until it enters his pub in the form of a blue-eyed beauty. After a few drinks and a lot of sex, Aedan attempts to convince Indigo that they are bonded forever.

Before reading Set Me Up, I never considered leprechauns as hunky beings, but clearly I was wrong. Kat Alexis weaved such an attractive image that I am dying for more leprechaun love stories. Aedan and Indigo don’t waste any time heating up the pages with their smoldering love scenes. This clever spin on “the morning after” is amusing, touching and a definite must read.

The Drakhom Taboo III


Title: The Drakhom Taboo III
Author: Celia Jade
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: None Listed
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Ellen is the second partner in K & E Ergonomics and has seen her cousin and a friend find happiness with Drakhom men. She prefers dating Drakhom men but after her divorce, decided not to marry again. Max is looking for a wife and to start a family when he and Ellen are introduced. As Ellen decorates Max’s condo, they compromise about dating each other.

The Drakhom Taboo III is continuing the story of Drakhom men. The sparks sizzle between Ellen and Max so keep ice handy. I felt I had been as bowled over by Max as Ellen was by the way the author described the chemistry between them. Ms. Jade brings you into the story and keeps you glued to the end. Her half-vamp half-human men are definite eye-candy, packaged with a good dose of sensitivity that makes you want one for yourself. This story is a wonderful addition to The Drakhom Taboo series.

Once Wild


Title: Once Wild
Author: Carol Gambill
Publisher: eXcessica Publishing
Publisher URL: http://excessica.com/
ISBN: n/a
Genre: {M/F} Erotic/Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Being abused by his father, while growing up, caused Shaun MacGregor to become very reckless in his teenage years. When he returns after serving eight years for killing his best friend, he doesn’t know what to expect from the townspeople. Or why he even came back to Ashland, Pennsylvania. Now that he realizes who has hit him with their car, his feelings are mixed about Maria helping him get home. They do find comfort in each others arms and know that it will be difficult to keep their relationship private because of their different backgrounds. Knowing that she might hate him, Shaun will have to face his past as his love for her surfaces and that is not an option for two people from different cultures.

Maria Bellicia is one of the rich kids, who’s father owns a coal mining company, and she has longed for Shaun most of her life. She is determined to help him after she sees he’s injured, when she accidently hits him with her car. She gets him to his place, and is a little confused by the feeling of comfort in his presence. She has a made a change in her life by helping others, being rich made her vain, and blind to the plight of the less fortunate.

Once Wild is the first book in the Breaking Out series and I really enjoyed reading this story, because it told of what happens to people that goes through the prison system. I found it fascinating that the two main characters were able to work their way through each adversity, along with spending time together. Shaun’s behavior was driven by his father’s rejections, and of others bullying during his school years which caused him to react without thinking his plans through first. It turns out that there was more than one villain, and one in particular I wanted serious harm to come to them.

Ms. Gambill did a fantastic job of creating a realistic plot and scenes in the prison, and mines. I must say here that the sex is extremely explosive. It was so sad that Shaun was on the receiving end of so much hatred from so many people in town, who wanted him harmed or dead. These people went through great lengths to carry out that harm, and I was rooting for Shaun and Maria’s happiness. I found myself racing to the end to see what would happen to these two, and I will not give away the ending here. This is the first time I have read a book by Carol Gambill, and am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Full House


Title: Full House
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-65-8
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

After seven years, Marco knows it’s time to come clean with his boss Kent. He’s not sure that the feelings he’s been keeping from the man will be returned, but there’s only one way to find out.

Kent can’t believe how wrong he has been about Marco. He does know that he plans to get the young man into his bed and his life.

This is the one story I have been waiting for since the Poker Night series began. The chemistry between these two has been noticeable from the beginning and I could not wait to see what the author had in store for them. When Marco’s secrets are revealed and Kent decides to make up for lost time, the two really burn up the pages. The sex is, as always, intense but it’s the connection between the two men that will really draw you in. The love they have for each other, as well as their playfulness, really comes through, especially in the backyard BBQ scene with the rest of their friends. The way Kent claims Marco’s family as his own is endearing and shows a whole new dimension to a character that came off as being very harsh at times. As Full House comes to a close and all the men have gathered together, it is easy to see how the friendships have grown since this series has started. What a wonderful story to end a great series on.

A Day in April 1944




Title: A Day in April 1944
Author: Ursula Grey
Publisher: Excessica Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.excessica.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/F} Historical, Erotic
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Lisette remembers what life was like before war came but it is of little comfort to her now. Working for the Resistance, she focuses what little energy she has left on continuing the fight for freedom. She will do whatever it takes to pass on the messages she has been entrusted with delivering, numbing herself to the dangers and horrors she sees along the way. She also provides assistance to those who seek shelter during their battle with the enemy. One such visitor, a weary American pilot, was only looking for a place to hide for the night. Instead, what Jack found was a deeply passionate, vibrant woman just waiting to be given the chance to live again.

A Day in April 1944 enveloped me in an emotionally draining yet ultimately life affirming world. The sheer doggedness to keep the message of hope alive and her knowledge that if Lisette were to perish, others would take her place were very powerful sentiments indeed. The pace seemed in keeping with the bleakness of the situation and so didn’t seem rushed, even during the longer passages of time leading up to the conclusion of the book. I never thought the mixture of eroticism and this period in history would work so well. The author was successful in combining the heat and passion of Lisette and Jack’s encounter with the seriousness of the setting; the sense of respect for the era is very much apparent in the writing. The comparisons between the first inklings of spring and Lisette’s rebirth were not lost on me. In fact, the imagery of the country, the people and the attitudes were superb. The characters seemed very real and it was impressive to see such substance to characters in this length of story. The experience of reading A Day in April 1944 was something very special to me.

L.A. Boneyard


Title: L.A. Boneyard
Author: P.A. Brown
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-018-4
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Work is never easy when you’re a policeman, something Homicide Detective David Eric Laine knows all too well. It’s a job filled with pain, suffering and the sobering reality of what one person is capable of doing to another. The case David gets with his new, temporary partner, Jairo Hernandez, is a gut-wrencher, with the brutal deaths of two young and pregnant Ukrainian women. Their murders are complicated and confusing, with few solid leads and few real suspects until the evidence leads them on a chase between the violent gangs that inhabit East LA and a decorated former Marine officer.

That’s not David’s only problem. There’s a physical attraction between him and Jairo from the moment they meet and Jairo, the married, father of two children, doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Can David control the situation, or will he allow the growing desire he shares with his new partner to destroy the life he and Chris have together?

L.A. Boneyard is the latest release in author P.A. Brown’s L.A. series, following the lives of lovers David and Chris, and it takes up four years after the men became partners. Like other books by this talented author, it’s filled with personable characters, good plot flow, a realistic and well written premise and has a nice integration and good balance of the suspense and romance portions of the storyline. She’s added familiar characters and new intriguing ones to round out the plot and add interest, depth and detail to a fast-paced story.

While the story is definitely about David’s struggle to find a killer, it’s also about his struggle to stay faithful in the face of an attraction he can’t deny. Both portions of the story are heart-wrenching in their own way, making life uneasy and difficult for both David and Chris. Ms. Brown did a nice job expressing the unrest in their lives and she did it so well that I have to admit, I didn’t like Jairo in the least. He might have been a good policeman, but as a human being, he left a lot to be desired. Chris is just as crazy in love with David as before, at least before it becomes obvious that something is simmering between David and his partner, and Ms. Brown excelled in these painful, emotional scenes. I can’t wait to see to what happens with Chris and David in the next release L.A. Bytes.

She’s Got Balls


Title: She’s Got Balls
Author: Mia Watts
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-090-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Contemporary, Erotic
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

When rookie Agent Chris Tarpington is handpicked for an undercover assignment, he didn’t anticipate wearing heels and an ugly dress. Being in drag may not be what he wants, but Chris knows not to tick off his superiors by voicing his complaint too loudly. Getting his new husband/partner on edge is a whole ‘nother story.

Detective Vin Pilk is a big man and commands respect without uttering a word. His superb record could grant him a wide selection of partners, but Vin knows the two departments put him with Chris for a reason.

What happens when the FBI teams up with local law enforcement? Sparks fly, and the criminals won’t know what hit them because the hot woman they sent in… well She’s Got Balls.

Mia Watts, I bow down to the generosity that is you. This is an excellent story filled to the brim with scenes and one-liners you won’t soon forget. I absolutely loved Chris and Vin, and refuse to choose between the two men. They have a ying-yang quality that makes their romance appealing. Vin has the biggest heart, shielded by that deliciously large frame. Chris is sarcastic enough to keep their days from ever becoming mundane. Together, oh the heat rolls off the page in Tsunami proportions. Ms. Watts adds humor, action and suspense to this well developed storyline to create another winner.

What You Wish For


Title: What You Wish For
Author: Alex Marcus-Jacobs
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-777-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Jared Cross just can’t figure out where he is going wrong. As he says goodbye to yet another chapter in his love life, Jared’s friend Jess is there, as always, to lend a shoulder to cry on. He wasn’t expecting Jess’ cousin to be there, though. Before he knows it, she’s giving him a Tarot reading, with results that leave Jared feeling more than a little uncomfortable and itching to get away.

Club Roman seemed like the perfect place to drown his sorrows and watch people for a while, away from the pressures of being the person everyone else wants him to be. When club owner Nicol Romanenko befriends him for the evening, Jared appreciates the consideration this interesting man is showing him and soon finds himself telling Nicol things he would never tell anyone else. He thought he had found someone who understood what he was going though but a proposition from the club owners makes Jared realize they aren’t quite on the same page…..yet. It’s time to stop running away and start making some important decisions if Jared is ever truly to be happy.

There is a lot going on in What You Wish For. Hints of D/s and the mystical theme of the Tarot reading, combined with a young, confused character unsure of his sexuality and trapped by not wanting to disappoint are all very good subjects but seemed muddled in the one story. Jared and his friends are college students and the author did a very good job portraying the somewhat self-absorbed but still “good kids deep down” attitude. I believed in Jared’s predicament and cared enough to want him to find the answers he so desperately needed. Nicol too was a character I warmed to without much difficulty. The idea of Jared wanting to find that special person who can treat him the way he needs to be treated and not burden him with expectations had a great deal of potential and there were some very strong moments to this plot. It would have perhaps been better to focus solely on this and give it more time to develop.

Winter Song


Title: Winter Song
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921537
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Raymond d’Aix is descended from French nobility and related to the King of England, by marriage. From his time in England at Marlow on the king’s errand, he falls in love with Alys, and must do what he can to win her father’s approval. She has made an unknown enemy when it is decided that her dowry will be lands in France.

The “thorn” in Raymond’s side, before and during his marriage to Alys, is his mother, who is determined to hate Alys even before meeting her. That’s because Alys is not her choice and as far as his mother is concerned, Alys is beneath their family in social status. Since he has hardened his heart against the hysterical acts they put on, he orders his mother and sister around before they really get started. This is a ploy to make him do what they want but with the change in him, it causes them to be wary of him and Alys is solely responsible for those efforts.

One thing for sure is that Alys can definitely handle difficult situations, from her time of running her father’s keep, and does so with her new family. With Raymond, involved as his father’s deputy, being kept away from her, they both begin to develop unnatural feelings about the other. What happens in one scene in particular is shocking and funny at the same time, due to Raymond and Alys’ strained emotions.

The introduction of Raymond and Alys in Siren Song made this book more enjoyable for me, and I was looking forward to seeing how Alys would handle his mother. In Winter Song, which is the second book in the Royal Dynasty series, there is more politics, plots, a kidnapping, and shrieking going on than normal. This story starts out with a joyous occasion, and moves into political gains sought by people of power.

Here again, Ms. Gellis does a wonderful job of making the scenes very realistic for me, and the behavior of some of the secondary characters is an added plus to the book. I found it interesting that Raymond and Alys were able to survive the interference of his mother, without knowing her true intent. When the villain shows up again after plotting Alys’ death, I knew there would be serious trouble to come. I am looking forward to seeing who the next book will be about, now that Alys and Raymond have established themselves in their new lives.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ice Cream on the Side


Title: Ice Cream on the Side
Author: Wren Boudreau
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-484-8
Genre: {M/M}, Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dylan is a successful architect in a gay friendly town. While his first boyfriend may have broken his heart, he has not let that stop him from sampling all the different flavors out there.

Michael is the town’s new art teacher and resident artist. He has no desire to start any new relationships, planning instead to concentrate on his paintings and the new exhibit he has coming up.

As this story starts out, you are quickly drawn into the main characters’ lives. The connection between them is strong and the passion hot. I loved the way the Dylan continued to be flustered by his reactions to Michael, even after the two of them became lovers. Yet, as much as I loved Ice Cream on the Side, I kept thinking “how will this sweet story become a murder mystery?” However, the author works the mystery into the story very smoothly and once it was worked in, I became hooked. As characters were introduced and the reason for the murders became clear, I began to suspect everybody. By the time this story drew to a close, and Dylan and Michael come together, I hated to see it end. This fast-paced book, a combination sweet romance and murder mystery, is sure to find a place on many keeper shelves

Gay for Pay


Title: Gay for Pay
Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-40-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Nate Lockwood wants to know what it’s like to have a man want just him, Nate, and not the money that comes with the Lockwood name. Entering a BDSM club and being auctioned off as a rent boy seems like the perfect way to get that wish. Unfortunately, the chief of security shows up dosing Nate’s dream.

Smith has a dream of his own; actually, vivid fantasies that all include Nate in some explicit activities. There’s a rule about sleeping with the boss’s son, but after witnessing Nate at the club that rule was neatly filed away in the junk folder.

Nate refuses to admit he’s gay, and by the time Smith is finished he doesn’t plan to just have the answer to why, he plans to have his man all to himself.

Kim Dare’s Gay for Pay takes us into the world of BDSM, but only treads lightly on the subject. I could appreciate this fact, because it allows of us to focus more on Nate and Smith. The men make a handsome couple, and the interaction seems natural and unforced. I found the story to be an enjoyable read.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Within His Embrace


Title: Within His Embrace
Author: Denise A. Agnew
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578- 624-1
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Leigh is thrown into close contact with Craig when they work together to finalize his brother’s and Leigh’s best friend’s wedding. Leigh thinks Craig is cold, unfeeling and a distraction she does not need.

Craig has no time for women, and certainly not Leigh. Craig knows that most women don’t want to stick around for the duration because a SWAT cop is constantly on call. Craig and Leigh continue to get thrown together and realize they both have feelings for the other. As things progress, several kinks are thrown into their relationship that could cost one or both their lives.

Within His Embrace is the fourth book in the Heart of Justice series. While I felt the story line was more in-depth than the previous books because you got more background on Craig and his brothers, there were more than a few typos that made me go back to reread a sentence or the paragraph. Craig and Leigh learned to trust each other slowly, as both had a lot of preconceived ideas about each other. The author did keep your interest throughout with the suspense in both the relationship and several incidents that put both in danger. When you read the passionate sex scenes between Craig and Leigh, make sure you keep ice handy.

This book has a bonus short story called With This Kiss about a secondary character from the Heart of Justice series. Ian and Pam started their relationship with a tragedy. Both have to come to terms with what happened as well as the almost instant attraction they have for each other.

Prise de Fer


Title: Prise de Fer
Author: AR Moler
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-850-0
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Kelly Hendrick had a bad case of unrequited love for Professor Simon Randall and it’s been going on for several months. The man might not be his teacher any longer, but that doesn’t mean the reserved chemist is open to starting a relationship with a student almost ten years his junior, either. It’s not until the night Simon is nearly incapacitated with a blinding migraine that Kelly gets a chance to make his move, and happily finds his feelings are returned. Unfortunately, Kelly has a bigger secret to hide than his homosexuality. When Simon is attacked with a knife and severely wounded, Kelly realizes that he needs to come clean with his lover. The question is whether Simon can accept the truth of Kelly’s non-human genetics and embrace him and his wolf.

Pris de Fer is the latest release by author AR Moler and for a lover of werewolf books, it’s a keeper. Once again, the author has written a story with likable characters and a realistic premise and she’s done it with creativity, flair, a believable attraction between two interesting men and some sizzling hot sex.

I thought it was a nice twist to make Kelly a werewolf with little in common with his furry family. He’s interested in books and fencing, while his bigger, stronger brothers like fighting with their fists and claws. It’s not generally something you find in werewolf themed stories of any length, and made me appreciate that part of his character more. The scenes surrounding Simon’s attack and those following in the hospital are nicely done, as is Kelly’s love and protective instincts. Simon is an all around nice guy…one you want to find his happily-ever-after and Kelly is perfect for him.

This little gem might be short at 14K, but its pages are packed with fun dialogue, two great characters, passion, danger, and just enough werewolf to satisfy a paranormal lover. Give Prise de Fer a try; you won’t be sorry you did.

Wings


Title: Wings
Author: J.C. Owens
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-499-2
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

To Anyar, performing his duty as a guard is rewarding work. His latest assignment has him interacting with respected members of his race. Anyar’s strength, beauty and grace are alluring and captivate many, including the white-winged enemy prince, Vanyae.

Vanyae sees the black-winged guard and lusts for the man, as he has never longed for another. There is no other place for Anyar than in his bed. Vanyae knows the only way to make the wish a reality is to capture Anyar and make him a slave.

How far will Vanyae go to claim his prize?

As I read J.C. Owens latest release, Wings, I found myself wondering how far is too far to go, to capture a person for no more than a bed warmer. War has a very ugly side and sometimes with the proper alignment of the planets, a touch of beauty takes root and blossoms like a rare flower. That’s what happened to Vanyae and Anyar. There were moments where I wanted to take up arms for Anyar and find a way to free him. I didn’t like Vanyae after I saw what he had planned for Anyar but the more I read, the more it became clear that he could have done much more harm if he was willing. He may have taken Anyar prisoner, but Anyar returned the favor and took Vanyae’s heart. This enthralling fast-paced story is well-written and sure to increase J.C. Owens’ fan base.

Becoming Dinner


Title: Becoming Dinner
Author: Jenna Alexander
Publisher: Shadowfire Press
Publisher URL: http://www.shadowfirepress.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/F} Erotic, Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

A human female is on the run from deadly beasts that roam the forest under cover of darkness. She thought she had given herself enough time to get back to her village before nightfall but must have underestimated the length of the journey – a mistake that she will pay for with her life if she forgets her training, even for a second. If only she could stay hidden until the threat has passed.

Little did she know, there were more monsters hiding in the shadows than even she was prepared for. Just when she thought she had made her getaway, strong, powerful arms pull her back into the darkness. At first she couldn’t identify her new predator – all she knew was that whatever it was, it was very strong and very male. Only then did she notice the fangs...

Set at night, under cover of a dense forest, Becoming Dinner does a fantastic job of setting the scene. The sheer terror our main character experiences just trying to survive the night while attempting to get back home had me on tenterhooks. The way in which the darkness, the hunters and the chase were described created a very suspenseful and dangerous atmosphere, although there was some repetition of words that interfered slightly with the enjoyment. The author did a good job building an interesting world with some intriguing characters that I definitely think has potential for more.

Hero


Title: Hero
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-287-5
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Howard, AKA Hal, is a 32 year old construction worker. His deep religious beliefs and fear of rejection from his family has kept him from coming out. Morgan is a shape-shifter; a kitsune half breed, who also happens to be something more. It is the loneliness these two feel that will ultimately bring them together.

Hero, by Heidi Cullinan, is an interesting story that uses a mixture of Asian mythology, magic and love to bring together two men who desperately need each other. The main characters are very strongly written. The tremendous struggle Hal goes through as he learns to accept himself is realistic. His need for love, yet his fear of reaching out, is so believable that the reader can’t help but feel for him.

The struggles Morgan face are just as hard, if not harder. The one time he reaches out for the love he needs results in Morgan becoming trapped within a magical spell. Feeling un-loveable, Morgan has come to accept his fate. The things he goes through are so tragic that when he becomes free you can’t help but cheer.

The author has woven the men’s acceptance of themselves and each other into the story nicely. While the men’s personal growth occurs in such a short period of time, it is that growth that brings about the catalyst of the story. While Hero may be one of the most unusual shape-shifter stories I have ever read, it kept my attention till the end and is one story I have no problem recommending.

Forward Pass


Title: Forward Pass
Author: Ann Jacobs
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921650
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

The life of a professional football player is more than just fame, fortune and beautiful women. As a quarterback, Keith Connors has a few extra things to deal with. Becoming a single father leaves Keith with the problem of finding a good nanny for his baby boy. Fate steps in and brings him not only a woman from his past, but also the perfect nanny.

Tina Black is a small town girl dealing with the death of her mom and the horror of being raped. Taking a nanny position is the new beginning she needs and falling in love with Keith’s son was an added bonus. Falling in love with Keith, and possibly having him return those feelings, was something that Tina thought impossible. Surely a handsome, worldly man like him wouldn’t be attracted to someone like her. Or would he?

Forward Pass is the second book in The Gridiron Lovers series and it touched my heart in a wonderful way. I wasn’t expecting such deep emotion from Keith, considering he is a professional football player. He wasn’t ruined by all the fame and money, because he was really just an average guy. His honesty with Tina about one particular groupie made my jaw drop; I wasn’t expecting it. And I was amazed that Tina wasn’t as meek as I originally thought. The history between Tina and Keith was cleverly written and adorable. Ann Jacobs has made me a fan of the series, and if you read this love story, you will be too.

Reviewers Wanted!

Literary Nymphs is looking for reviewers. If you can give an honest, concise review without bashing, then we would be interested in talking to you. We review most genres of books.

If you are interested, please email us at reviews@literarynymphs.com with a written review of a book that you've recently read.

Thanks!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Wolf’s Mate


Title: The Wolf’s Mate
Author: R.F. Long
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-702-7
Genre: [M/F] Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

After Jeren and Shan escapes the clutches of her insane brother, she thinks they finally have a chance at a happy life together. Jeren’s hopes are dashed almost as soon as they reach the encampment of Shan’s people, and she learns the new female leader, Ylandra, hates her on sight. Even worse, the angry, vindictive woman wants Shan for herself and is willing to do the unthinkable to get it. Going against tradition, Ylandra uses an ancient, rarely utilized oath, binding Shan to her side…full time, as little more than a slave.

When Ylandra forces Shan to participate on a suicide mission against their clan’s ancient enemy, Jeren is left alone to find her own place with people who hate her. She’s just making peace with Shan’s brother when a group of people from her home Holt arrives, trying to convince her to return and claim her birthright. Jeren loves her people of River Holt, but she loves Shan more. Helping them could destroy her soul and mean separation from her mate forever.

The Wolf’s Mate is second release in R.F. Long’s trilogy, A Tale of the Holtlands, and it takes up immediately where The Wolf’s Sister left off. It’s well written, fast paced and filled with interesting and unique characters. The premise might not be new, but the rendering of the situations and descriptions of the setting and clan life is nicely done.

Ylandra’s violent and erratic behavior is handled well, as are the scenes where she and Shan are taken to the enemy camp. There’s a great many secondary characters and they lend depth and interest to the story, all while helping to propel the plot forward. Shan is…well he’s Shan; strong, loyal responsible, dedicated, determined and totally in love with Jeren. The best part of the story is Jeren herself. I liked her in The Wolf’s Sister but in this release, she really grows and shines, as she turns into a confident and determined woman, willing to fight for her man. I’m very curious to see what happens to these two mates with the next and last release.

Need You Tonight


Title: Need You Tonight
Author: Katrina Strauss
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-478-7
Genre: {M/M} BDSM Yaoi
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Derek recognizes impulsive Blue as his true love. If he had his way, sharing Blue on any level wouldn’t be an option. That’s true until Blue witnesses Derek ogling one of his new friends, Dusty Sterling. Blue decides it’s time to give his master another strong body to enjoy and uses his skills of seduction on Dusty.

Dusty is blind and fiercely independent. He’s not as weak as others would like to believe, and has no trouble setting the record straight. Becoming friends then lovers with Blue and Derek is more than Dusty could have hoped to occur. When a new killer strikes the area, Dusty’s gifts help to ferret out the culprit. Will the men survive another evil presence or has their luck finally run out?

Need You Tonight is the fourth book in Katrina Strauss’ Blue Ruin series. Ms. Strauss mixes action, suspense, engine-revving erotic encounters and the harsh realities of life to create her latest release. We gain more background on Derek in this installment, and come face-to-face with some of the past that molded him into the man he is today. This story pulled me more towards Derek and I found myself wanting to hold the man who seems to take such good care of Blue. Blue starts to understand what he’s doing to their relationship and takes more stock into keeping Derek happy and fulfilling his wishes. I could see him maturing before my eyes, with a little less of the brat I love left to enjoy. The addition of Dusty was a great touch and I’ll admit he’s someone you won’t soon forget. The story has a believable storyline and well-developed characters. I don’t want to give much away, but there is another storyline that Ms. Strauss can pull out of this book. If we are lucky, she’s already begun the first draft.

Those who enjoy the genre should pick up a copy of Need You Tonight.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Broken


Title: Broken
Author: Dawn Kimberly Johnson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-088-8
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Alec rents a room from an old college buddy, he is surprised to see that one of his new flat mates is the handsome young man he had seen taking down a mugger a month previously. Although drawn to Eli, Alec is unsure if starting a new relationship is the smartest thing to do.

Eli knows he just barely exists after the death of his partner. He also knows that his friends are worried about him. When he meets Alec, Eli starts coming back to life again. When secrets are revealed, Eli does the only thing he can - run.

Dawn Kimberly Johnson brings the readers a wonderful romance story about two men struggling to overcome their pasts. For Eli, it is the tragic death of his longtime partner at the hands of violence. While he may have healed physically, mentally he has not which is something that colors his day-to-day life. The author’s portrayal of these emotions is so realistic that you can’t help but feel for all Eli is going through. Alec is also struggling with the effects of past relationships. When the author brings these two together, she does so in such a way that it does not detract from their pasts, therefore, making the story more realistic. Rather than having the men jump into some hot, steamy relationship because of the attraction they feel for each other, the author allows them to first become friends, thereby healing past hurts.

Although at times very heart wrenching, keep Kleenex handy as you might just need them, Broken is a very fulfilling story and one that will stay with the readers long after they have finished the book.

Ice Man


Title: Ice Man
Author: KyAnn Waters
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419925238
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Rowan enjoys being a blood slave. Giving blood and receiving unimaginable decadent sex from Theron is well worth every moment or it was until he met Brett. While Brett’s strength reminds Rowan of Theron, the similarity dies there. Brett gives Rowan a glimpse of what a real relationship could be like, and Rowan knows there’s no turning back. Can Theron and Rowan make a clean break or will there be consequences for ending the contract?

Ice Man is the first book in KyAnn Waters’ new series Blood Slaves. Rowan knows that Theron was the bridge to a safer existence and while he doesn’t want to hurt the vampire, he’s not willing to sacrifice his chance at happiness to appease him. I loved that about his character. He was strong-willed and willing to step out of faith to have what he wanted most. Brett’s past made his initial reaction to his new development with Rowan understandable. Contending with a bond built over years ruffled his feathers, but it made Brett step out of his shell and try harder to win Rowan over. Ms. Waters began the series off nicely and I’m looking forward to reading the next book, Iron Man.

Family Unit


Title: Family Unit
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-495-4
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Retired Marine Colonel Logan Wilde is proud of his years of military service. He’s not much different in civilian life as he was in the Corps; he’s dedicated, conservative and has a strong sense of what’s right and wrong. When Logan meets Richard while he’s out trick-or-treating with his young grandson, the sparks fly and for the first time in longer than Logan likes to remember, his motor slams out of idle and into full throttle. It doesn’t even matter that the man who’s peaked his interest is a liberal pacifist. The heart wants what the heart wants and Logan isn’t going to let a little thing like different beliefs get in the way of what he desires.

Richard has been raising his grandson, Nick, since the boy was three. To Richard, nothing is as important as giving Nick a safe, loving and stable home and even his attraction of Logan has to take a backseat to what is best for his grandson. It doesn’t help that Nick is standoffish and doesn’t take to strangers, or that the boy’s deadbeat mother is causing trouble again. Even with all the obstacles, Richard can’t deny his attraction to Logan and wants to be with him. The question is whether these two men can battle the outside forces, bent on keeping them apart, to make a loving family unit of their own.

Family Unit is the latest release from Z.A. Maxfield. Once again this talented multi-published author has penned a well-written story filled with an intriguing, smooth flowing plot, great characters and a realistic premise. It’s not often that an author writes a romance where one or both characters aren’t young sexy hunks. In this case, Logan and Richard fall into the sexy category, but both are far from young. They’re mature, responsible and loving men who just happen to be past the bar hopping and carousing part of their lives.

These two men couldn’t be more different…retired Marine Corps Colonel Logan and scared-of-guns liberal minded, Richard. Even though they’re polar opposites in opinions and life experiences, ZA does a fantastic job bringing them together and she does it with creativity, flair, realism and an immediate attraction neither can deny. As they grow closer and their emotional attachment deepens, their happiness is threatened from the outside when Nick disappears. Despite his opposition for what Logan’s military history stands for, Richard finds himself relying on those things he fears the most. Logan is willing to do whatever is necessary to help the man he loves and the child who needs him.

I admit it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I couldn’t read it fast enough to get to the end to find out what happened to these lovable men and Nick. In fact, it’s probably my favorite ZA Maxfield book to date. There wasn’t anything about this heartwarming story I didn’t like. Give it as chance. I think you’ll enjoy it too.

All’s Fair in Love and Advertising


Title: All’s Fair in Love and Advertising
Author: Lenore Black
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-291-2
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Calling Max neurotic is putting it mildly, yet this ad agency hotshot really flips after meeting a prospective new client.

Joe needs help saving his aviation company and heads to New York, hoping to keep the sharks at bay. He never expected someone like Max to come along.

As All’s Fair In Love & Advertising started, Max was, in no way, someone I was drawn to. He comes across very self-centered, believing that everyone else is always wrong or unable to do the job as well as he can. Yet, as the story progressed and Max meets Joe, who is not only the ad agency’s new client but also someone who knows exactly how to handle Max, Max becomes more and more human. Rather than seeing the changes occur in Max himself, the author lets you know how different Max is behaving by the reactions of his co-workers. The author also throws a few twists in for Max by having him attracted to someone totally different than what he would normally go for. While Max may be secure in his new sexuality, his friends and co-workers think differently and it is only after Joe comes along that they begin to accept the change. To add some excitement, the author throws in a little industrial espionage into the mix.

Although I thought this story had a bit of a rough start, and if I were to change anything it would be to learn a little bit more about Joe as the story seems to revolve around Max, I am glad I stuck with this very entertaining story.

Haulin' Hawg


Title: Haulin' Hawg
Author: Lena Austin
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-302-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Barkus, Kansas may seem like just another small town to some, but to Loren, it’s home and where he left his heart six months prior. He’s ready to take his relationship with BD to a completely new level.

BD has plans of his own, including a long promised experience of erotic play that is sure to have both men howling when he’s done. Will Santa bring the men coal or something more fruitful this Christmas holiday?

Haulin' Hawg is Lena Austin’s sequel to Bad Dawg and firmly cemented this author on my list of favorites. The setting and storyline development are perfect, as always. I’m still not sure how she knew to incorporate my favorite John Wayne movie into this story, but I was humming along and imagining I was the old woman handing BD a stick saying, “here’s a nice stick for the young fella.” The scene was priceless and truly made this story unforgettable. It was nice to see my favorite prairie dog learn how to “speak” when it was time to have his say. I know if there is by chance another opportunity to read about the couple, I’ll be the first in line to read the next story. For those who like their holiday theme stories served up with humor and spicy sex that will have you aching for your own biker, this one’s for you!

The Defense Rests


Title: The Defense Rests
Author: Vivien Dean
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-607-9
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

The relationship between Sam and Derek has changed dramatically since the men met. In a short time, they’ve gone from opponents in the courtroom to co-workers and lovers. Despite their open office status of boyfriends, they’re still a bit adversarial when it comes to work and the cases assigned to them. It only gets worse when one of the firm’s partners puts them together for the first time. Sam is uneasy, but willing to take the case, while Derek doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. When they learn the client is HIV positive and related to their boss, Derek grudgingly agrees. The two men must find a way to resolve their differences before the anger and uncertainty destroys them.

The Defense Rests is the third installment of four in Vivien Dean’s ongoing The Wranglers series. First up, let me say that I’ve enjoyed all the books in this serial type series and I’m anxious to see how the case and relationship of Sam and Derek is resolved with Judgment in late January.

Once again Ms. Dean has written another fast-paced and realistic look into the lives of these two intelligent, hardworking and independent men. She’s done a good job expressing the unhappiness and uncertainty of both Sam and Derek in learning the details of their upcoming court case. That goes double for Sam’s much easier acceptance of why the client needs them and Derek’s unhappiness and anger at the possibility of being forever labeled as ‘that gay lawyer.”

I admit to liking both men, but I feel I have a much better handle on what makes Sam tick than Derek. The men are still having vocal and loud disagreements, but that only means the makeup sex is that much hotter and intense. I’m anxious to see how this case makes a difference in their personal and professional lives. Read and enjoy.

Rules of Engagement


Title: Rules of Engagement
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-212-7
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dustin is having a tough time getting over his divorce and figures the best way to get a handle on things is to hit the bar. Things start to get a little crazy when the only person to hold his attention is the pool shark, looking for another victim.

Brandon is a professor and occasional pool shark at the local bar. Secure in his sexuality, he isn’t surprised when he starts to lust after the young man that approaches the table. It’s only later when his feelings start to get involved that Brandon worries.

The concept of realizing later in life that you are gay is not new in the M/M genre; however, author L. A. Witt puts her own spin on it with the character of Dustin. In Rules of Engagement, the author has taken a young man who has lived first under the thumb of a controlling mother, and then later with a manipulative ex-wife, and thrown him into a relationship with a slightly older man. The reader will find all the confusion Dustin goes through as he tries to come to terms with the changes in his life very believable. The character of Brandon is also strongly written. Secure in his sexuality, Brandon is willing to give Dustin the time he needs to figure things out. While I thought the chemistry between the two men was intense, and I could understand how this new relationship could be confusing to Dustin, I began to feel like Brandon was allowing Dustin to take a little too much time to figure things out and was glad when Brandon finally put his foot down. The journey the main characters go through in order to find their happily ever after is one that will hold the readers attention from beginning to end.

The secondary characters are just as strongly written and add a realistic layer to this story. The actions of Dustin’s mother were so outrageous that I could not believe her children have not intervened by now. As the story progresses and feelings, loss and personal growth come into play, this story is sure to be one the readers will enjoy.

Evolution


Title: Evolution
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-093-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Paranormal, Shifters
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jarek’s ready to begin his life at Refuge. The young cougar shifter has looked forward to making this his home for quite some time. Everything seems to be falling into place, including his friendship with stone man Mica.

Mica is coming to terms with emotions he never had in his previous state. He’s seen firsthand the passion that can develop and change into love, and spending time with Jarek heightens his desires for more. There’s only one man who can stand in the way of what his heart desires most, Suni.

Suni is the true Alpha of the cougars, but regards his solitude as a precious gift that he’s unwilling to part with. Meeting Jarek and Mica changes that, and Suni will have to decide if solitude is more important than the men who have filled a void in his heart.

Carol Lynne is building Refuge Shifters into a fantastic series and Evolution has become my favorite story. Mica, Jarek and Suni are all strong men, in their own way. It’s hard to pick a favorite amongst the men, but Mica finally won out by the end of the story. To know his past and see how far he came as a protector and then lover imbedded him in my mind. The setting is as breathtaking as usual, and I can only imagine what Ms. Lynne has in store for us next.