Saturday, February 21, 2009

One on One


Title: One on One
Author: Cathryn Fox
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 9781605043760
Genre: Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Taylor and Christian are neighbors and friends. They both want one other but are not sure how to go about getting each other in bed without ruining their friendship.

Taylor has been feeling lonely and decides to pick up one of the men at a bar frequented by firefighters. Taylor doesn’t know that Christian has evidently made it plain to his buddies at the fire station that she belongs to him, which is why they haven’t hit on her.

She talks with some of her friends about Christian and her feelings for him but indicates she doesn’t want to lose his friendship, either. Taylor’s friends help her plan a seduction that starts with asking for his help to get ready to pick up someone at the bar. Taylor’s friends indicate this is a good way to find out if he has the same type of feelings about her.

Christian starts realizing that Taylor is trying to come on to him and he is willing to go along with her role-playing and pick her up at the bar.

This is a heartwarming story of seduction. Both discover that they enjoy exhibitionism. One on One has some hot sex involved, but this story is more a journey of seduction between Taylor and Christian as they discover more than friendship.

Wes & Toren


Title: Wes & Toren
Author: J.M. Colail
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-47-3
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

Wes and Toren are complete opposites. Wes is the resident bad boy whilst Toren is more concerned with his studies. So when Wes suddenly talks to Toren, things start changing between the two. Toren has had a crush on Wes for a long while and their friendship turns into something more. However, as their budding romance starts, they are faced with difficulties, which sees them both struggling through their early relationship.

Wes & Toren is a sweet story about two young men, from opposite sides of the track, coming together despite everything. The romance is tender and the characterizations are good, at times. However, the characters can sometimes come off as immature but I took that with a pinch of salt, as this does take place in a high school setting. The characters in my eyes were pretty one-dimensional, and sometimes their problems could come off as a little melodramatic. The language was pretty standard, and clean. However, the story is interesting enough to keep your attention for the duration of the novel.

Waiting for Willow


Title: Waiting for Willow
Author: Bonnie Rose Leigh
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 9781554871611
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Ménage a trios, Mild BDSM
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Willow decides to take the deposit to the bank late on the eve of Halloween. She feels threatened on her way and decides to go back to the pub she owns and wait for the next day. Willow is attacked outside the pub and wakes up tied to an alter at the cemetery after being kidnapped.

Derek and Quinn are werewolves who realize that Willow is their mate. They wanted her to have time to get to know them, but they’ve decided that on Halloween, they are going to claim her.

Both men understand that something is wrong when Willow doesn't arrive home. They start tracking her scent and find Willow tied up. Derek and Quinn are upset when they realize that the ritual will bring a horrible demon into the world. After saving Willow and seeing to her wounds, they start the bonding process to make her their mate.

Derek and Quinn, along with the sheriff, try to track down the kidnappers. After several attempts, they eliminate five of the fourteen members of the group. Willow endangers herself to try and save the next victim, only to find out the ritual has already been finished.

Waiting for Willow has some very hot sex scenes in it. The story line is not well developed though you could follow it. It also left you hanging about the rest of the kidnappers which indicates this book will be part of a series. Werewolves and ménage are a great combination in this story.

The Dom Next Door


Title: The Dom Next Door
Author: Violet Summers
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 9781606591192
Genre: BDSM
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Nadia and Alex are neighbors. Both like each other but are afraid of losing their friendship. She thinks he is an uptight Brit, and by accident, she finds out, he is a Dom.

One of the things I liked about The Dom Next Door is that Alex is very patient with Nadia and walks her through becoming a submissive. Alex explains about safe words and what is expected of her. This is also a very hot book. You feel like you are Nadia from the descriptions of things that Alex does and her reactions to it. I was constantly fanning myself and going for the ice cubes from Ms. Summers’ words. This is definitely one for the bookshelf.

On the Way to the Wedding


Title: On the Way to the Wedding
Author: Zachary Zangel
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-722-1
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Nymph Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

College Professor David Staller is shopping for his favorite brand of shoes when he meets the salesman for that shoe brand, Erik Bergstrom. Immediately attracted to each other, David and Erik start on a journey of sexual discovery and falling in love.

Zachary Zangel’s On the Way to the Wedding is David’s written chronicle of the events that occurred, leading up to their marriage. Erik has an ex-wife and ten-year-old son. Erik is also a virgin to man-love, but is enthusiastic about learning. David is a well-versed tutor in sexual positions. He also recounts all the bumps in the road they come across as he and Erik move toward a happy commitment. I found this an enjoyable story for the most part, but the casual threesomes did not reflect a committed couple in my mind.

Dept. 57: Crystal Captive


Title: Dept. 57: Crystal Captive
Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-896-9
Genre: Paranormal/Shape-shifter
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Nicole is working at getting back to the head reporter job at the Gossip Magazine. She was blamed for disclosing information after doing an interview, but was not the one who leaked the story to the press. Now she is on an assignment that will either break or make her career. When she intrudes on Dominici for an interview, at his beach retreat, mesmerized by him, she can only tell him the truth about her reason for being there. With her insecurities in full bloom regarding their relationship, Nicole second-guesses herself at every turn.

Dominici Serafino is a shape-shifting dragon who works for Department 57, and he has serious trust issues. Then enters Nicole, who steals his heart, and neither of them has realize what is happening to them…. they are falling in love. He is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her from the Department, and feels the needs to be close to her. Because of his distrust in people, it’s harder for him to put his trust in Nicole with each story she has published.

Depart. 57: Crystal Captive is a fabulous story and I really enjoyed reading every page of this book! I was pleasantly surprised when two of the villains from previous books showed up and glad to have the renewed connection. These people are causing serious problems for all Talents that are employed by Department 57. There were some secrets revealed in this book about the villains, which allowed me a greater understanding of who the characters are.

The attraction between Dominici and Nicole is explosive from the beginning and only heated up more, the longer they are together. Lynne Connolly has done a wonderful job of continuing this intriguing series, with mysterious villains who seem to be able to get away, and couples that come together in love. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play, dubious consent, exhibitionism, and sex in partially shifted form, violence, and voyeurism.

Hot Cargo


Title: Hot Cargo
Author: Nicki Bennett & Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: Gay Romance/ Sci-Fi/BDSM
Genre: 978-1-935192-50-3
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Blaise Risner is the captain of the Golden Stallion, a small cargo ship, and he makes his living hauling/smuggling freight. The Confederation Army is searching for the reasons behind the series of destructive attacks on several galactic colonies, and thinks the numerous pirate ships are behind them. When the crew of the North Star captures Blaise and accuses him of smuggling, piracy, and other minor charges, it looks like he will be spending the next five years at hard labor in a penal colony.

The chemistry between Blaise and Peter is blistering hot and fiery, and after one intimate encounter, the sexually dominant Admiral comes up with an unusual plan. Instead of Blaise spending his sentence at a penal colony, he will spend his time on the North Star serving as Peter’s very personal assistant. The justice and punishment Peter dispenses is something they both come to relish, whether Blaise is on his knees or his back. It doesn’t matter that the mere touch of the other nearly sends them up in flames, because their relationship is defined by their positions, captive and captor, yet it’s not all. The relationship between Blaise and Peter is filled with misunderstandings, mistrust, and misconceptions. Can these two unexpected lovers find a way to navigate through the asteroid field of intergalactic war, personal emotional baggage and injury, and find the happiness they crave...together?

I wasn’t certain that I was going to enjoy Hot Cargo when I started it. The beginning of the relationship between Blaise and Peter is more than a little rough, and not in the manner in which the story is written. No, it is the hard-hearted and a cold manner in which Peter forces Blaise into becoming his sexual submissive, an underhanded form of blackmail, in reality. Except the attraction, swirling around them changes everything and does so rather quickly, because there is never a time that Blaise is taken against his will. This is where the author’s descriptive writing ability truly excels. They have taken a scenario, which might have been reprehensible and changed it into one of love and blistering mutual passion. They have done the same with Peter. He’s a hard character, a dominant and strong-willed man that could have easily been unlikable, but seeing the uncertainty, the depth of his feelings for Blaise…that makes him human.

There are definitely components of BDSM in this tale, and I’m left with the impression that Blaise had no hint of his submissive nature until he meets Peter and then he revels in the lust, desire, and passion he feels for the man. He’s also the more understandable of the two and I regret that, by the end of this intriguing story, I was left feeling as if I didn’t know Peter as well as I’d have wished. I wanted to know about his earlier life on Earth, what made him so cynical, unable to trust or open his heart and most importantly, who had hurt him. The sex between Blaise and Peter is hot and more than a little kinky, and Peter is definitely a hard-core top, yet his feelings for Blaise are often caring and tenderhearted. This is what changed my feelings for him, and made me wish for another story of these lovers. To see where they go after the last page of this futurist romance is turned.

Readers take note…the cheesy parts of the blurb doesn’t do this story justice.

Embers


Title: Embers
Author: Tory Temple
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-614-8
Genre: M/M, Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Caen Nymph

It’s been two years since Timber; Morgan and Chris are fighting as much as they ever had. However, this time things are changing and Morgan is keeping secrets. So, will their relationship survive when Chris finds out the devastating news of what his lover is hiding?

Embers is the sequel to the author’s fantastic first story Timber. Chris and Morgan are back on the scene after being together for two years. Both men are as different as night and day and because of that, they love hard and fight even harder. Morgan has been keeping things from Chris, which has resulted in more fights than usual. The thrilling part of reading these two characters is how raw they are. Most stories that I’ve come across in this genre rarely represent the bad points of being together with someone. The gritty fights and the horrible accusations are all a part of a relationship. However, what I was hoping for didn’t happen. Sure Chris and Morgan argued, but it seemed all over the place. Their disagreements seemed so rushed that I couldn’t actually care for either of their pain.

The premise was there and I liked the way the author was going, because it was a topic that needed closure. However, it all seemed very superficial and the emotions just seemed a little forced.

Unfortunately, another downside was the erotic nature of the story. The author in my eyes can write some of the steamiest sex scenes in this genre. Whilst the sex scenes were hot, they also seemed randomly thrown in, which jarred me because it didn’t flow well within the prose.

There were scenes the author chose to write about Chris visiting his parents. To me that passage wasn’t very interesting at all, and I wish the author used that space to actually concentrate on the heroes, instead of giving the limelight to supporting characters that, in my eyes, didn’t need it.

The promising point of this story is that the author has two unique and fantastic characters that I could read countless times over. The author is a great storyteller and her language is superb. Sadly, Embers fell short for me and it is disappointing; I had anticipated this sequel since the author let the cat out the bag.

Forever, I Do


Title: Forever, I Do
Author: Koko Brown and Taige Crenshaw
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-870-9
Genre: Interracial Romance
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Rosalind Fletcher is a wedding cake designer, Ashley Benedict is a wedding planner and the two have been attracted to each other for years. Rosalind believes the rumors of Ashley being a playboy are true, so she goes into combat mode every time he comes to the shop with clients. One day, when his clients cancelled their appointment, Ashley not only got his chance to see the Wedding Couples Only Loving Room, but to taste a slice of the cake infused with Rosalind’s secret love spell. Alone with Rosalind and out of sight of customers, Ashley gives Rosalind a kiss she cannot resist. Convinced it is the love spell, Rosalind must find a way to break it.

Forever, I Do is a wonderful example of if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Ashley has been lusting after Rosalind for years and when he saw his chance, he took it. Rosalind wanted Ashley, but she is afraid he only wants a fling instead of love and marriage. She is so focused on a cure that she almost missed the sincerity of Ashley’s feelings for her. I enjoyed this enchanting romance immensely.

Deadly Inheritance


Title: Deadly Inheritance
Author: Jayelle Drewry
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-501-5
Genre: Paranormal (Vampire) Erotic Romance
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Gabrielle Murray has returned to Romania after her stepfather Roderick’s death. She takes possession of his castle, unsure just what exactly she’s going to do with it. She’s single, childless, and doesn’t need the ‘help’ of the snappish servants full of attitude.

During one of her explorative forays into the depths of the keep, she stumbles on the crypts. Intending to visit her mother’s tomb, she ends up rescuing two gorgeous, trapped men. Very gorgeous men.

Ivan Harker and his brother Erik have been imprisoned by Roderick for countless years. When Gabrielle frees them, bloodlust and near-insanity drive Ivan to do something unforgivable. In an attempt to ‘fix’ it, he brings about changes in Gabrielle neither of them can deny.

Question is how will she feel when she learns the truth of who he is and why he’s there?

Deadly Inheritance is a classic vampire romance reminiscent of an erotic version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Ivan Harker is incredibly sexy, as is his brother Erik. Gabrielle Murray isn’t a shrinking violet, and has a good head on her shoulders.

The plot is somewhat simple but in a good way. It keeps moving without any extraneous details to bog it down. The love scenes (especially the first kiss) are hot and arousing and it’s easy to envy Gabrielle when she’s in Ivan’s arms.

My only critique with the book is Erik. I would have liked to see more from him -- he seems to have disappeared somewhere in the middle. Presumably, it’s to escape the keep, but I, for one, would love to read his story at some point.

Overall, Deadly Inheritance is a great, erotic vampire romance sure to get your blood pumping in more ways than one.

Groceries: A Bent Story


Title: Groceries: A Bent Story
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: None listed
Genre: Gay Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Marcus is still as crazy about Jim as ever but he knows his lover needs to get out of his comfort zone and a little change in the day’s shopping plans are just what’s called for. Instead of a few hours roaming the grocery isles, Marcus and Jim spend the time in hot and sweaty sensual pleasure. The question is whether they will ever get to their afternoon shopping.

Groceries: A Bent Story is a fun and sexy look at what happens to Jim and Marcus when a trip to the store is delayed by a little quality time. These two are just as hot together as when we first met them in Bent. And, did I mention the couch, cock ring and flogger?

An Elf’s Magic


Title: An Elf’s Magic
Author: Lynn Crain
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-210-7
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Christmas/Elves
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Lacey Sinclair is not happy with her current job of nurse for a pediatrician who puts his image before the care of his patients. Upon seeing Cuinn again, after the wedding, she’s not sure what it is about Cuinn that makes her comfortable around him, but is willing to be comforted by him. Lacey knows that there is nothing that will keep her from being apart of his life, now that she has her memories back.

Cuinn Lochlin is depressed. He misses his soul mate Lacey, who he isn’t suppose to be around. His cousin brought her to a family function without permission, and was told by his father and Santa to use an amnesia spell on her, which left him feeling lost. Since Lacey will be with his family, he now has the excuse he needs to go home to be close to her.

An Elf’s Magic is a story that had me reading all the way through to see if the two lovers ended up together, and the fact that the lovers already shared a bond, neither were aware of only, made it more intriguing. This book had me laughing at the cousin’s constant meddling in the lives of others, especially Lacey and Cuinn. Revealing one of Lacey’s powers, and the help it would be for the elves was interesting, since I would have never thought that she was anything more than human.

This is a beautiful story that Lynn Crain has written about love, elves, and humans, who come together as they struggle for survival. I was very impressed with the twist of Lacey’s powers, making me wonder why her parents or grandparents never told her about their family history. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shared by Wolves


Title: Shared by Wolves
Author: Rena Marks
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419917202
Genre: Paranormal, Werewolves, M/F/M
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Virgin Nymph

Two werewolves and a human female married for five hours spelt trouble…or at least that is what Ellis Rae Morgan thought. Ellis was sold to the highest bidder, which made her stomach boil. She wouldn’t have love but at least she would have the finer things in life. Ellis and her best friend Jonathan would be staying in a home fit for kings and queens. She didn’t have to worry about her husband that much because he was interested being with another man. Jonathan would look out for her. However, Jonathan has a secret that is about to be exposed but before he can come clean, Duggan shows up!

Duggan and Jonathan are brothers and werewolves. Duggan shows up at the wedding reception and sees his mate. Ellis knows there is something between them but she’s only been married for five hours, go figure.

This story has drama, love, trust and hot werewolf loving that will bring you to your knees. Ellis fell in love with Duggan but it wasn’t an easy task. Ellis had to get to know Duggan and that’s where Jonathan stepped in. Duggan wanted his brother Jonathan to get Ellis ready for him to love her and Jonathan was more than pleased to do so. They had enemies that wanted to destroy everything that Duggan and Jonathan had built together. But, their love was a love to be Shared by Wolves!

Sex With Strangers


Title: Sex With Strangers
Author: Evangeline Anderson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419920868
Genre: Paranormal, Werewolves, M/M/F
Nymph Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Virgin Nymph

Lissa is an unwilling porn star and that old cliché of “My uncle made me do it” sounds about right. Due to her uncle’s gambling debt, Lissa has to touch herself in front of the internet camera, which makes her blood boil. This is not what she wanted to be doing at this time in her life. Lissa has two of the sexiest men for neighbors. Adam and Cal are werewolves and they can smell the scent of their mate right next door and it’s about to drive them mad. They must have Lissa as their bonded mate and in their bed as soon as possible but an unwilling boss might not let that happen.

Lissa, Cal and Adam have to make some difficult choices fast and their decision can cost them their lives. Lissa doesn’t want to do porn anymore because what she wants to do is live her life to the fullest with Cal and Adam by her side. Her boss is making it difficult by not letting her out of her contract. The decision will be made when she has Sex with Strangers.

Sex with Strangers will leave you wanting more, and with these three strong characters, you will find that three heads are better than one!

Thunderfire


Title: Thunderfire
Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419920219
Genre: Shapeshifter Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Life as a member of the rock band Pure Wildfire has been a crazy professional ride, filled with hot sex, screaming fans, and all the adoration any man could want. As the last remaining unmated/unmarried member of the band, Chris is feeling like an outsider for the first time since the band formed. Chris has always been a “love-em and leave-em” kind of man, so he’s surprised to discover he wants a committed relationship of his own and the biggest shock is who he wants it with…Ashley Westfall.

Ashley Westfall is sick and tired of life in the music world. Her eldest sister will hardly talk to her, her twin is spiraling toward self-destruction with alcohol and drugs and her father is a self-absorbed ego-maniac who only cares about himself. She wants a normal life, with a normal man, doing a job she loves in the art world. What she gets is a hot and sexy relationship with Chris; a man/shape-shifting firebird, who has been little more than a sex buddy in the past.

These two new lovers are thrust into the path of danger as she, the band and their mates are threatened by a dangerous society bent on their destruction, and her father is involved. Together, Chris and Ashley must fight the individuals determined to steal Chris’s power, all while struggling to find a way to make their love work in the face of her father’s deceptions and lies.

Thunderfire is the fourth and last release in the Pure Wildfire series by talented author Lynne Connolly, and it’s a nice ending for a totally enjoyable and entertaining group of stories. Chris was the least familiar of the Pure Wildfire band members to me, so I was very curious to what was going to happen in his story and who his female was going to be. That it turned out to be Ashley, who I admit to not liking in the three previous books, was a revelation I wasn’t expecting. Yet, when I got a better understanding of her and her personality and how most of her actions had been engineered by her manipulative father, I changed my opinion. I have to say that Ms. Connolly did a very nice job expressing the unsettled emotions of both Chris and Ashley in a variety of situations, and when she got them together…WOW! The emotions of both our hero and heroine are explosive and as blistering hot as fire, or a firebird.

The inclusion of the other three band members and their mates was a nice addition, giving the readers a good sense of closure, and adding a depth and sense of family. The continuing story arc involving the PHR, Perfect Human Race, was nicely handled, including the actions of John Westfall, Ashley’s villainous father, a man perfect to hate. You won’t be disappointed in the final action packed scenes of this fast-paced book either, so take a chance and read this series. You won’t be sorry you did.

Necessary Evil: The Two of Wands


Title: Necessary Evil: The Two of Wands
Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-624-7
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, M/M/M
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Triarius returns to Wales, troubled by information he received while in Rome concerning crimes committed by his son Aldrich. Upon learning this news, Lance is upset with his lover for not telling him about the son before now, yet Lance can understand the sadness in Triarius for the coming justice he must dispense. Arriving days later, Apollonius is introduced to Lance; and immediately Lance knew that this was a man Triarius still loved. What Lance could not understand is why he desired Apollonius also.

Necessary Evil: The Two of Wands is the sequel to Sight Unseen and part of the Inferi Brotherhood/Romanorum series. In this episode, more of the vampire hierarchy is revealed with a hint of coming events. Mychael Black also includes the most tantalizing and well-constructed love scenes written in this series, made all the more sensual by the emotional connection of the characters. I enjoyed this installment immensely.

Elemental Love


Title: Elemental Love
Author: Renee Field
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419919114
Genre: Paranormal Shapeshifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Emert is an ancient Elemental, a being consisting of the four elements of Earth with the ability to change form. Emert has lived for centuries under the impression that he is the last of his kind so he was elated when he sensed another Other. What was more surprising was the fact that this particular Other was a female.

Sent to perform a job for her master, Ashanti was unprepared for the man she would encounter. In the blink of an eye, the huntress became the hunted. Emert introduced Ashanti to passion and desire while he addressed her longing for protection and love. With their souls bound together, Ashanti and Emert are required to have faith in one another to defeat an ancient evil out to conquer and control Elementals.

Ashanti travels the road of self-discovery and reawakening in Elemental Love. She knows of her powers and has used them in the past, but she never truly knew what they meant. A force to be reckoned with, Emert takes no prisoners when it comes to making love or making war. He gave Ashanti the love she craved for so many years but didn’t have a supplier capable of giving it to her. Of course Renee Field introduced a few supporting characters that I felt were strong enough for their own stories. I’m hoping this will become part of a series and give me a chance to discover more about Ashanti’s past, as well as gain more knowledge about the Elementals.

Journey Back To You


Title: Journey Back To You
Author: Adrianna Dane
Publisher: Amber Heat
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-424-2
Genre: Contemporary / The Arts / M/F / M/M/F / M/M
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs reviewer: Rose Nymph

Joshua Kingston has some serious making up to do before Frances Charles takes him back. They had been friends and lovers since high school but suddenly, without a word of explanation, he did something that she’s not sure she can ever forgive; he left her. The least he could have done was call to let her know he was alive, especially after the loss of their close friend and bedfellow Ricky. A traumatic event had affected both of them deeply. Frances had given her all into making Joshua a success, not that she saw it as a sacrifice; she knew very well Joshua was going to be a star.

His presence on stage took her breath away and deep down, she always knew she’d play second fiddle to his music but his departure had brought her world crashing down. For almost a year now, she’s struggled to rebuild her life and just when things are looking up, Joshua decides it’s time to make a comeback and he isn’t prepared to do it without her. There’s no way she can open her heart to this kind of pain again but she knows deep down that she’s still in love with him. Frances agrees to listen to his long overdue explanation. Is she ready for what he has to say?

Journey Back To You is the story of a very intense and explosive relationship between two people destined for greatness. There is a sense of electricity to the characters that captivated me from the start. Frances’ feelings of devastation at, seemingly, being abandoned by the only man she has truly ever loved pulled at my heartstrings and the way the author revealed more of the characters pasts through memories was stirring. I was totally wrapped up in their lives and the love between them.

Frances is a strong character that isn’t going to let Joshua get away with his actions without punishment. Although the author tries hard to make Joshua just as strong by him turning his life around and taking more responsibility, I can’t help but feel he was let off the hook by Frances a little. Although I tend to focus on the selfishness in Joshua’s earlier decisions, it is clear that his change in attitude makes Frances very happy and I can’t really deny her that. Journey Back To You was pleasurable to read and I’m just glad I don’t have that much drama in my life!

Gobsmacked


Title: Gobsmacked
Author: LB Gregg
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-184-3
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Mark Meehan furiously storms into church, but he is not there for the Ash Wednesday service, he is seeking revenge on his cheating live-in boyfriend, Jamie. Too angry to think about his actions, Mark finds a different use for the good book above and beyond reading. Returning to his apartment to remove all reminders of Jamie, Mark soon discovers Jamie has betrayed him in more ways than having sex with another man. Mark knows things could become dangerous, so he turns to his long time friend, Policeman Tony Gervase.

Gobsmacked is the first book in the Smithfield series. Mark lives a quiet life in the small Connecticut town surrounded by his supportive family. For years, he has desired Tony, but they never moved beyond friendship. Thinking his feelings would not be returned, Mark settled for Jamie. Tony secretly loved Mark, but had issues about coming out of the closet. LB Gregg has presented a fascinating cliffhanger that left me with questions I look forward to getting answers to, like where will Mark and Tony go from here? Will justice be served? I enjoyed this saga of interesting characters blended with a touch of humor and sensual love scenes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Wolfe Proxy


Title: The Wolfe Proxy
Author: T. D. McKinney & Terry Wylis
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-464-8
Genre: Gay Contemporary Romance
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

CEO Quinton Wolfe is known for not letting anything or anyone stand in the way of what he wants and that includes his new majority stockholder, young and inexperienced Jennifer Bowman. Quint needs Jennifer’s proxy vote at the next board meeting and he’s willing to wine, dine and take her to bed to get what he needs to keep the family owned multi-national company stable. Things don’t go as planned when Jennifer’s sculptor brother, Max, intercedes and makes a deal to become Quint’s sex toy in return for leaving his sister alone.

It soon becomes apparent that both men get more than they expected from their one night together. Neither can get the other out of their minds and they wind up heartbroken, lonely, and miserable. There are just a few little problems with being together and they all boil down to trust. Max is having trouble separating Quint’s personal versus public persona, and Quint is having just as much difficultly trusting Max and opening his walled-up heart to love and partnership. It’s all a matter of trust and if these two men can put aside personal hurts and misconceptions to allow their love to come shining through.

The Wolfe Proxy is a fun and sexy look at what happens after two men find love when they least expect it, and under very strange and unusual circumstances, which were a unique and creative twist. Max is out of the closet and has been for years. Quinton, on the other hand, isn’t and until he met Max, never planned to step out. These two men are as different as night and day…different jobs, attitudes, outlooks, opinions, and goals, yet their common ground is strong enough to let love grow. The authors did a nice job expressing these very things. This is especially true of Quint and his trust issues. The background information on his life was perfectly placed to allow the reader a better understand of his feelings and rationale, without it ever feeling like an information dump. The well-written scenes when Max emotionally falls apart after a misunderstanding with Quint are expressively painful and heart wrenching.

I liked these guys, and the overall plot was well done, with just enough complexity to keep the story flowing smoothly. Add in Max’s sister Jennifer and his best friend Sully, a burned out manufacturing facility, and some serious misunderstandings between Max and Quint, and you have all the components needed for an entertaining story that’s made for a rainy afternoon read.

Parole


Title: Parole
Author: Barton Paul Levenson
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publisher URL: http://www.lyricalpress.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: M/M Science-Fiction
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Hacker Mel Broward is currently serving time for his illegal work for the mob. While he has never committed a crime of murder, his protector has Mel considering ways of offing him to be free of the torment he endures. However, an angel has delivered a more productive source for his escape, well not quite escape. Mel can gain an early parole if he agrees to work for an alien archaeologist named Neertreffa.

In Parole, we share Mel Broward’s adventure and moments of self-dicovery when he decides to take Neertreffa up on the offer. The job isn’t as easy as he had hoped but it will give Mel a chance to see what he is truly made of. Neertreffa found Mel to be a worthwhile confidant, companion, and lover. Parole has some sex, action, suspense and a good fight scene. I liked the characters as well as the setting for this story and found it to be an enjoyable to read.

In for a Penny


Title: In for a Penny
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 96-201-101-438-1
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, M/M
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Raven Black hasn’t set foot on the Lazy C Bar Ranch since the day after the funeral of his beloved foster mother, Marty. Now seven years later, he’s been called away from his FBI undercover operation to find the people responsible for the theft of cattle from his boyhood home. That means he has to face his foster brother Zane, the only man he has ever loved who also broke his heart.

Zane Connor loved Raven as a brother for years, but when feelings changed into that of a lover, he freaked and threw the man he loved off his ranch. Now years later the death of a boy and cattle rustling gives Zane the excuse he needs to call Raven home again. The question is whether he can convince him to put their differences behind them…and stay.

In for a Penny is the latest release by talented author Carol Lynne. Once again she’s written a tightly constructed, emotional story, and packed it all within a short novella length that flows smoothly from beginning to end. I’ll admit up front that I liked Zane, but I loved Raven. There was just something about the tough-as-nails, tattooed guy on the outside, with the hurt-filled past he hid on the inside that pulled at my heart strings. You want things to work out between these two sexy guys and when they finally get together, all I can say is, watch out for the flames as years of sexual frustration come to the surface.

The secondary characters, especially Lupe, were great additions to the story, giving a nice sense of family and continuity. The bad guys and their actions are the backbone that propels the tale forward. They are the reason for Raven to come home, allowing him to connect with Zane. The true villain and the man causing Zane’s problems didn’t come as a surprise to me, but the motive behind his actions caught me off guard with its cold and calculating nature. Yet, his inclusion in the story gave Raven a type of closure he needed, allowing him and Zane to move forward with their lives. Read this one and enjoy. You never disappoint me, Ms. Lynne, so please keep writing.

Yummy Love: Coconut Cream Pie


Title: Yummy Love: Coconut Cream Pie
Author: Kate Hill
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-085-8
Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Shapeshifter
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Antjuan is a magical snake dancer and former priest of the El Templo Primero del Rio Caliento. Having moved to Grimton City after falling out with his family, he now runs a dance studio. Hoping to win the upcoming annual dance contest, Antjuan has been working hard but when an accidental overdose of compulsion dust sets him back, he decides to go to Hot River in order to center himself.

As prince of the snake shifters, it has fallen to Seth to make contact with humans. He would like to close the gap between snake shifter and others. While at Hot River, Seth saves Antjuan from drowning. The two men are instantly drawn to each other and make plans to return to Grimton City together. Soon there is a contest to win, a shelter to save, and the fears and misconceptions between snake shifters and others to fix.

Kate Hill brings us a hot story in Yummy Love: Coconut Cream Pie. The book is populated with a wide variety of magical beings and humans. The characters keep the story moving smoothly, while the sex between Antjuan and Seth burn up the pages. This story is worth keeping.

Taken


Title: Taken
Author: Anya Bast
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-378-4
Genre: Romantic/Sci-Fi/Futuristic
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Driven and determined, attorney Anne Elizabeth Michaels’ constant companion is her work and she doesn’t make time for fun and relaxation in her life. Since the death of her mother, her career has been her only focus but that’s about to change. Anne goes from powerhouse attorney to woman on the run when she notices someone or something focused on capturing her. While she was escaping, two men come to her rescue. However, Caleb and Van aren’t just two good Samaritans; they are her mates. The question is will Anne be content on another planet with Caleb and Van, or will she want to return to Earth?

Caleb and Van are fantastic loving, protective and dominant mates. Anne, at times, rode the infinite loop of “I want to stay, I want to go”. I started feeling sorry for the men at one point, wishing that DNA didn’t indeed play a factor in the decision-making. However, after she finally decided to go for it, they played nicely together and formed a happy threesome. Although some parts of the story are predictable, I found Taken to be enjoyable to read, especially with two handsome, attentive aliens creating images of how perfect men would treat the woman they love.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Papa Knows Best


Title: Papa Knows Best
Author: Jaxx Steele
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-123-9
Genre: Gay Romance
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Dominick Pappas is a young photography instructor at the University of Indiana. He’s also talented, handsome and impulsive, which explains why he approaches an attractive older man who he first sees at a popular local café. Papa is also persistent and he knows what he wants when he sees it. In this case it’s Professor Brad Louis who, at first, turns him down flat, with the explanation they have nothing in common, he’s years older and they come from different generations. It’s up to Papa to convince an emotionally wounded Brad to take a chance on a relationship he never expected, in hopes they can both find the happiness they are looking for.

Papa Knows Best is the first book by Jaxx Steele that I’ve had the opportunity to read, and it won’t be my last. Mr. Steele has constructed a heart-warming, sexy read of two men finding love with someone they never expected. Many readers are turned off by May/December romances in fiction, but I for one appreciate the appeal of the realism, which is why I was so thrilled when I first read the blurb for this story.

For an 18K length book, this tightly constructed short is surprisingly detailed and filled with vivid details, interesting background and two likable guys both with painful pasts. When the story started, I assumed Brad would be the dominant force in the relationship, so imagine my surprise when it turned out just the opposite. Mr. Steele did a nice job in expressing Brad’s uncertainly and unease, and an equally nice job in describing Papa and his willingness to give his new lover what he needed. I admit it. I liked these two guys, and would love to know more about them and their life together in the future.

Hollow Cove


Title: Hollow Cove
Author: Tuesday Richards
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-113-8
Genre: Paranormal Humor
Nymph Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Every Halloween, Booth travels back to Hollow Cove to spend time with Celeste. He hopes he can change her mind about living with him in the Mortal Realm. Regardless of how her family has treated her, Celeste can’t imagine life outside of Hollow Cove. Will this be Booth’s lucky year?

Hollow Cove is the first story in the Paranormal Investigations Team series. Celeste is a witch who wants a life with Booth, but her insecurities are holding her hostage. Booth, a wolf shifter, has loved Celeste since the moment they met. He moved to the Mortal Realm to make a better life for them, and he would make a fine husband. Next comes in a few supporting characters to round out the cast. There were elements of this story that seemed a tad bit off to me. One in particular was how Charlie, a vampire rival for Celeste’s affections is accepted by Booth towards the end of the story. It’s very clear that Booth has no love for the man, just from the nickname he dubs Charlie with. Celeste was wishy-washy and truly ticked me off a few times. The rollercoaster ride called “stay and / or go” that she rode for a good portion of the book got me seasick. All I know is if a loveable handsome man wanted to make me his queen, he sure wouldn’t have to ask me twice. I’m waiting for the next installment to see if Booth really is over Charlie’s attempts to gain Celeste or if he plans to open up a can of Whip-up-on-the-Vampire.

Boss Man


Title: Boss Man
Author: Marie Rochelle
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Publisher URL: http://redrosepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60435-286-3
Genre: Contemporary, Interracial/Multicultural
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

The attraction Fancy Shayne has for Maxwell Reed seems to be one-sided. She has finally decided to take Maxwell’s hint and has stopped asking him out. With the need for more money than her Tycoon’s Club paycheck supplies, Fancy applies for a job as Maxwell’s personal assistant/cook. Can she keep her love and lust under tight reins?

Maxwell knew Fancy strummed his body from head to toe like a well-tuned violin, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to give into his desire. If he hires Fancy, will he be strong enough to keep them from crossing the line of employee/boss to passionate lovers?

Boss Man is the second book of the Tycoon’s Club series. Fancy is feisty, beautiful, and smart. Maxwell has classified her by her job and not the woman within. He didn’t want to take the time to get to know her, because his attraction was already at the boiling point. I understand why past hurts held him back, and I’ll admit Fancy is a stronger woman than most to deal with attitude, and abrupt emotional changes. I’m looking forward to reading Cole’s story and seeing how he plans to regain the woman of his dreams.

Boys Down Under


Title: Boys Down Under
Authors: Maggie Nash, Sarah Dickson, Kate Murphy, Angela Verdenius, Jess Dee
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 9781601681577
Genre: Erotica
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

The Executioner (2.5 Nymphs) by Maggie Nash is a story about Nick and Maddie. Nick is trying to win Maddie back after panicking and breaking up with her about six months ago. Part of his strategy is to have several of his management employees go on a team building week in the West Australian outback. On the first day of the camp, two of his employees are killed, with evidence at first glance that a wild dog had killed them. As the story unfolds, it is apparent that another employee is the killer. I did not really feel any emotional connection to Maddie and Nick. Other than the title and one mention of The Executioner, there was no relationship to the story. I was a little disappointed in this one.

Hooked (2.5 Nymphs) by Sarah Dickson. Luke and Madeline meet on an island that is known for diving. Madeline happens to be a shapeshifter that is a five-hundred year old fish. Her mother was human so she has a compulsion to have sex every so often. She meets Luke and realizes he is different. As they both come to terms with their feelings, they also have to deal with some of the baggage of their past relationships. This was a nice story about finding your way, but I did not really feel the connection between Luke and Madeline.

Visiting Paradise (3.5 Nymphs) by Jess Dee is a wonderful story of seduction. Beth works as a legal secretary to Joe, who has fallen in love with her. Beth won’t date her co-workers or boss, but Joe wants to change that and takes steps to win her. The story flows as they cruise along. The sex scenes are okay but the author takes you on an emotional rollercoaster with this one.

Havoc Retreat (4.5 Nymphs) by Kate Murphy was very enjoyable even though it was the camping trip from hell... This story is about Matthew and Kate on a camping trip where Matthew wants to ask Kate to marry him. Murphy’s Law was so prevalent throughout this story. I loved reading this and laughed at some of the situations because they were so true. Ms. Murphy painted wonderful pictures with her words.

Operation Seduction (3.5) by Angela Verdenius is about Digby, a doctor, and Regan, a nurse who fly around the Australian outback providing medical services. Digby was Regan’s brother’s friend while they were growing up, and Regan remembers the digs he and her brother used to say about larger women. Digby didn’t realize how badly he hurt Regan and has decided he is going to change her feelings about him. What starts as a challenge ends up with both falling in love. Ms. Verdenius takes you on a very interesting journey of seduction. Operation Seduction is aptly named as Digby goes all out. I enjoyed the twist at the end because it is not quite the usual ending.

Overall, Boys Down Under is a fairly good read. I do feel that the blurbs before each story spoils each one a little bit for me.

Blood Ties


Title: Blood Ties
Author: Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-516-5
Genre: Gay Paranormal
Nymph Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Adrian Debrett is a mortal in demand for his special powers which he uses to guide ghosts to their resting place. At a party hosted by the San Diego mayor, Adrian gains the unwanted attention of Prince Gabriel Garland, a vampire seeking Adrian’s power to enhance his own. Caught up in a world of vampire politics, Adrian finds it hard to resist Gabriel.

Blood Ties is an addition to the Romanorum series. The featured character is Adrian, a mortal who befriends ghosts and other creatures and how he became a pawn to the vampires. Shayne Carmichael illustrates the first vampire’s history and the lengths that some vampires will go to obtain power and territory in this non-romantic episode.