Saturday, April 4, 2009

Something Green


Title: Something Green
Author: Drew Zachary
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-018-4
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

For a ghost, Jesse has almost everything he could want. His sex life with DB is improving, their relationship is getting stronger and their business partnership is strengthening. However, that changes when Detective Joe Donners decides there’s more to DB than meets the eye. DB doesn’t believe Joe wants a nonprofessional connection and Jesse proves that even a ghost can get green with envy and jealousy. Then, to make things more interesting, Madame Yanya hires DB to help get rid of a ghost. Wonders never cease.

Drew Zachary hooked my interest with the first book in this series, and I’ve been faithfully watching for the newest releases. Jesse is funny, handsome, and working on becoming a top rate detective, regardless of the fact that he died in the eighties. DB is a walking dream lover and the soft spot he has for Jesse has worked its way to the surface. It was nice having him finally admit his feelings out loud. The sex is still something to behold, and the plot this time was a bit comical since Madame Yanya is a median drag queen who can’t find it in her heart to give her pesky interloper the psychic boot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Something Green and I am anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Dark Whispers


Author: Barbara Sheridan and Anne Cain
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
ISBN: N/A
Genre: Gay, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

NYPD Detective Daisuke Matsui was groomed to be a great officer by the hands of the one man he truly loved. Living his life as a youngster in a rough neighbourhood of Chinatown – he made a life for himself with the help of his good friend Ray. As an adult and not having his friend looking after him anymore, Dai’s life is thrown into turmoil when his district is infested with vampires. Not only that, his half-brother has got himself mixed up in the fold as well.

Liu Sakurai has been called upon by the Elders to help get rid of the new vampires who have suddenly caused uproar in their world. In the midst of murder and mayhem, Sakurai doesn’t expect to fall for the aggravating but amusing Dai.

Dark Whispers is the fourth book in the author’s Dragon Disciple series. Whilst Sakurai has popped up in the previous books, I believe that this story can be read as a standalone. However, to get a better understanding of the author’s setting, it is recommended to read the previous stories. It took me awhile to get to this book, mainly because the whole series is very action-packed and fast-paced that I needed a break from reading this gripping paranormal.

I love the author’s setting; it’s a very dark story that you can imagine on screen – the darkness of Chinatown and New York is very thrilling. It almost feels like a comic strip, and whilst I read the story my mind mimicked the way the movies Sin City and 300 were made. The language was rich and the imagery was superb, the premise was so much more than a romance story. It should be noted that Dark Whispers is not just about the relationship aspect; it has a whole back story that allows the reader to delve into the world the author’s have made. The relationship aspect happens very late on the story, but that does not detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel.

The character of Daisuke Matsui is superb. He is such a strong and wonderful character. He is also a character who faces a lot of turmoil about his sexuality. It was all so endearing and he was so appealing that I couldn’t get enough of him. Sakurai is a fascinating and seductive character but one thing he did not do is overshadow Dai, and together they are just a phenomenal pair of characters.

A few things I found a little uncomfortable and that just comes down to preference is the sex scenes. I would label as being in the BDSM region but I found the humiliation the characters faced during the erotic scenes to be a tad unpleasant to read. Lastly, there is a scene that I felt uneasy with, which showed Sakurai shifting through a sex scene with Dai. I have seen this aspect happen a few times in shifter novel/situations but it never sits well with me and I have to skip the scene.

Overall Dark Whispers is a thrilling addition to the author’s series. I loved the premise and the characters; however, at times, it did make me uncomfortable to read.

Bound By Blood: The Awakening


Book Title: Bound By Blood: The Awakening
Author: C.H. Scarlett
Publisher: Dark Roast Press
Publisher URL: http://www.darkroastpress.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Fire Nymph

Samanthra, the daughter of a king and sorceress, the sister of many and the betrothed of the unknown. Her Awakening is upon her, she can feel it. For her entire life her father, Dias, has been giving her potions to suppress the beast inside her soul in order to prevent her Awakening, as it brings about a prophecy that could be the end of her sisters, all 7 of them. Living in the land of Terah, Samanthra is High Priestess to many clans of immortal and mortal. Well respected for her power as well as for her compassion, Samanthra will do anything to keep her Awakening from coming forth so not to destroy all that she holds dear.

A storm brews in the land of Terah, one the likes they have never seen. The Elders cannot pin-point the imprint of the person behind the storm. The Elders retreat to a safe and secure realm in order to discuss the action to be taken by the realms to put an end to this high-energy storm.

Samanthra and her sisters are ordered to stay behind and not to attend the Beal-tene festival. Ignoring the wishes of her father and king, she and her sisters sneak out. This night however, is not full of festivities and happy smiles but horror, bloodshed and the beginning of her Awakening.

Darieus, The Father of the Blood, finally made it out of the Dead Sleep he was cursed to centuries ago. Now he is on the move with his brothers to find his Beloved and fix his bloodlines which evil has destroyed. Moving through the land of Terah, he happens upon his Beloved, his soul’s mate and is enraged to find she does not remember him, knows nothing of him, and is…terrified?

The Beal-tene festivities bring Darieus and Samanthra together, not in love but in fear of the coming doom from the storm and all that evil brings. Can Darieus and Samanthra survive the coming events? Will Samanthra remember her soul’s mate and learn to trust Darieus? Alternatively, will Terah and all other surrounding realms fall victim to The Dark Matter of evil that blackens and kills the lands?

Bound By Blood: The Awakening is an impressive read. The story entrapped me and would not release its hold until the final page. Samanthra showed me what a strong, selfless woman could do when put to challenges and Darieus showed me that a man can be both warrior and lover without ever combining the two…well unless asked, that is. However, I will admit that the formatting of the PDF made it a little difficult to read. I am not an expert but the formatting was off.

C.H. Scarlett has won herself a spot on my favorite author list, and I will be waiting rather impatiently for the continuation of the Bound by Blood saga, and can hope that there is going to be a continuation.

The Obsolete Man


Title: The Obsolete Man
Author: Pepper Espinoza
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-494-5
Genre: Gay / Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Forty-five year old James Duran has shuffled his way through life. His job as a pre-press technician is gone and so is his wife. Everyone seems to be upgrading except James. He decides suicide is his best option, and a poetic way of ending it all would be to jump in front of the train that has taken him to work for the past twenty-five years. Even with thought of ending it lurking, there is one dream James wants to fulfill. He wants one memorable moment with a stranger from his train, the man who has occupied his thoughts and dreams since he laid eyes on him. With zilch to lose, James takes a walk and throws caution to the wind to meet his fantasy man. What he gains is more than he could have ever anticipated.

Pepper Espinoza is an author who knows how to utilize a minimal amount of space to give you maximum results and enjoyment. The setting is one most of us nine-to-five commuters see weekly. There are times I’ve waited on a train platform and wondered about the people surrounding me. James and Chad are regular working class trying to survive. Chad seems to have a job he thoroughly enjoys, while James was going through the motions. I felt as if James got caught up in the same dilemma most have encountered, by accepting a job out of need and not because it’s your dream job. Chad desired and cared for James, which are things that were missing in his life. Sometimes the small things make life worth living. I really hope we see more of these characters. If you prefer an ordinary “that could be my neighbor” feel with your gay romance stories, then you should pick up a copy of The Obsolete Man. You won’t be disappointed.

Called by Blood


Title: Called by Blood
Author: Evie Byrne
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-244-2
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx


Vampire Alexander Faustin has wanted to get married his entire life, despite how his family has teased him about it. When his mother sends him in search of his soul mate, his reaction to Helena is totally opposite of how he had planned to talk with her, and things get out of hand quickly. He got caught out in the daylight, not wanting to leave her bed, and it caused him to get burned badly by the sun. After his brother comes to help nurse him back to health, and then leaves him to tell Helena who or what he really is.

Being afraid of any change in her life, Helena MacAllister is existing everyday, but not really living after the death of her family. She is feeling a little disappointed and insecure with Alexander when, after a night of very hot sex, he needs to leave quickly without a valid explanation to her. Now that she knows the truth about him, she is having a hard time accepting him, but there is a longing that keeps her from running away. What she does is not what he expects and she is willing to compromise because there is nothing keeping her back.

Called by Blood is a fascinating story that leaves me wanting more of it, and I am very impressed by the main characters because of their reactions towards each other. Helena had a negative reaction to his offer of marriage because of her distrust of men who want to control her and is not very trusting, due to bad relationships. What Alexander shows her is not what she expects, or what she thinks should happen.

I found myself laughing and imagining the scene in the grocery store with her riding in the basket, and him touching or smelling everything racing through the store. Evie Byrne did a wonderful job of with this book in telling about how two very different people can get along together if they let love abound. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Taking Care of Business


Title: Taking Care of Business
Author: Jenna Hilary Sinclair
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-63-3
Genre: M/M Sci-Fi
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx


John Barrington wants to broaden his horizons and increasing business for his small-company is his ultimate objective. When he decides to take part in a seminar geared for CEO’s, he was unsure of the outcome. He walks away with a new friend and lover, Donnell.

Jenna Hilary Sinclair takes us into the life of John Barrington, one of the business owners affected by the Lindotion conflict. While John’s mind was focused on increasing business for his company, he knew his connection with Donnell was something he couldn’t ignore. John walks us through the events leading up to their relationship, allowing us to glimpse into his reactions, and emotions throughout this unusual courtship. While John’s perspective gives a clear account of how the men became friends and eventually more, I wished the story had more moments of one on one interaction between the two men. Overall, I found Taking Care of Business to be enjoyable to read.

Theirs to Capture


Title: Theirs to Capture
Author: Shelli Stevens
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 9781605044804
Genre: Erotica
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Virgin Nymph

Woman on the run! Delilah was running for her life and two potential mates were coming, with the objective of taking her hand in marriage. Pierce, Prince of the Tigers and Jason, Prince of the Lions; what is this Princess to do. Delilah trusted Jason, her longtime friend, but she only met Pierce briefly years prior.

Delilah didn’t think she was ready to take on a union with these two powerful breathtaking men. Being a healer for her people was her desire; not the pawn that her father had given her over. This was a union that must take place, for the sake of the people.

I liked this story because right from the beginning, you knew there was going to be a fight between these three. Delilah is strong minded but Jason and Pierce are a force to be reckoned with and they will not be stopped! Alpha males all the way! This was a great story and I wanted it to keep going. Delilah was Theirs to Capture.

Tag Team 3: Knuckle City


Title: Tag Team 3: Knuckle City
Author: Sarah Colter
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-647-6
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

A trip back from a special wrestling exhibition has Kerry, Lomian and Chad rushing a badly beaten man to the hospital for treatment. Discovering that “Knuckle City” has reopened isn’t something that anyone is happy about. The club has a reputation for drugs and illegal gambling. Since the Feds weren’t able to close them down the first time, Lomian and Kerry, along with the help of other wrestlers, have decided to do a bit of undercover work. Unfortunately, the club’s owner, Otto Chintz isn’t one to have the wool pulled over his eyes. Can they find the evidence they need or have they bitten off more than they can chew with the parties involved?

Chad confirms that he is the link needed by Lomian and Kerry to make their relationship stronger. I’m a bit nervous about the attraction Chad shares with another person, but I’m hoping when he told Kerry he loved him and wasn’t leaving, he meant that. Lomian proved his physical and emotional growth in this installment. Sarah Colter packed action and suspense in Tag Team 3: Knuckle City, and I’m revved up for the next installment of the Tag Team series.

Tag Team 2: Rebound


Title: Tag Team 2: Rebound
Author: Sarah Colter
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-591-2
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Big Bad Chad Baker, the new heavyweight champion, is preparing for a few days of R&R. Finding a distressed Kerry “Sunshine” Sutton in the locker room causes the big man some distress. He thinks Kerry’s a sweetheart and doesn’t like to see him sad. Discovering that the relationship between Kerry and his partner Lomian Sanders isn’t just exclusively set in the ring shocks Chad. His attraction to Kerry supersedes mere friendship. Over the week the two form a bond and Chad offers Kerry the love and support he needs. When the men come face to face with Lomian again, will Kerry and his wrestling partner have to break ties, or will they learn to work with each other once more?

Sarah Colter takes us back into the lives of Kerry and Lomian in Tag Team 2: Rebound. Kerry has royally messed up and Lomian is hurt and needs his space. Chad isn’t a squatter, but the opportunity to have Kerry is too big to just let slip away. I believe Chad is just the person Kerry and Lomian need to help them balance their relationship. The big man has a soft heart, and he’s older and more mature than his two counterparts. I found Tag Team 2: Rebound to be a delightful read, and look forward to the next installment.

The Dark Desires of the Druids 1: Murder & Magick


Title: The Dark Desires of the Druids 1: Murder & Magick
Author: Isabel Roman
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.ravenousromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60777-088-6
Genre: Paranormal/Historical/Erotic/Romance
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Raven Drake is a strong Druid, who has had to hide her magick from people who don’t understand her. She is promised in marriage to another strong Druid to keep the Druid line going, but has fallen in love with an outsider…Malcolm Wargrave. Because of her loyalty to her people, she is struggling with the decision as to whether duty or love comes first.

Malcolm Wargrave, Earl of Preston has given his heart to Raven without his knowledge and is totally surprised when he sees that he might lose the woman he loves. She is the recipitant of that love even though she is out of his reach, due to her engagement to another man. When he realizes what he feels, it is a shock to him and his intent is to let her go on with her life without him. But his determination will not let him give up so easily without a fight, and once he has made up his mind, nothing will change it.

The Dark Desires of the Druids 1: Murder & Magick is a very intriguing story of Gypsies, murder and a bonding love that will hold for all time. The characters in this book have very strong wills and it was difficult for them to acknowledge the desire for each other’s help in the time of need. The villains were so adept at killing; it was surprising that the Druids were able to figure out what they needed to do to stop the murders.

Isabel Roman does a wonderful job of describing the type of magick used by both the good and the bad people here. She brought to life a young lady whose only goal was to please her fiancée and parents without complaint because of her commitment to the Druid’s way of life. What she does is far more than what you expect, and the outcome is not exactly what you would normally read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Forbidden: Chocolate Kisses


Title: Forbidden: Chocolate Kisses
Author: Marteeka Karland
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-096-4
Genre: Futuristic, Sci-Fi
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


Tianna finally gathered enough nerve to go over and welcome her sexy-as-sin new neighbor with a cake. The surprise she got after being yanked into the house was the last thing Tianna was expecting, but definitely something she wanted. The man of her fantasies, Rikardi, seemed to have some fantasies of his own and he intended to act them out with Tianna.

Forbidden: Chocolate Kisses put a spin on the Welcome Wagon that left me laughing and lusting. Some of the truths that rolled out of Tianna’s mouth had me gasping in shock from her boldness. And, Rikardi was not even close to being shy either. I loved every moment of this fast-paced story and I am dying for more. Karland definitely has me curious about Rikardi’s right hand man, Damion. His character has too much appeal to not have his own story, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed in hopes that he has one.

Committed


Title: Committed
Author: Cassie Stevens
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-492-1
Genre: Gay / Contemporary / BDSM / Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Being career military is difficult on any relationship, so being male and gay only makes meeting a lover harder. That’s why Marines Vic and Damien, decide spending a weekend together in Las Vegas is the perfect answer to keeping their love secret. Except, they keep their rendezvous so secret that Damien doesn’t have a usable alibi to the brutal murders of his ex-wife and her boyfriend. It doesn’t look good when he’s found covered in blood and dirt, claiming to have been hurt while changing a tire, but if he confesses to being with Vic, it could ruin both their careers.

Committed is the second book by Ms. Stevens following the lives and love of two gay Marines. These two might have a few problems but there isn’t any doubt how much Vic and Damien love each other. This story is short at only 15K, but the author packs a great deal in its length that keeps the smooth plot flowing fast and furious from the first page to the last.

I loved Damien’s desire to protect Vic from exposure, and Vic’s determination to expose them both, to prevent Damien from being charged with murder. The sex between Vic and Damien is blistering hot, the love and passion intense and the emotional bond tight and lasting. Despite the difficulties these two men face, they are perfect for each other and always have the best interest of the other at heart. Add in dealing with their commanding officer, police interrogators and concern for two young boys who have lost their mother, you have an action packed story you’ll be sure to enjoy.

Animal Instincts


Title: Animal Instincts
Author: Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-146-8
Genre: Contemporary/Shapeshifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


Impulses of nature are too strong to deny for Anha and Mattayas, a lynx and a wul. They are brought together, only to be separated under harsh circumstances. Being from two different worlds doesn’t stop their mating, but it might keep them from being together. Anha’s nest won’t accept Mattayas and Mattayas’ pack won’t accept Anha. How can they make a relationship work?

True love does conquer all in Animal Instincts. Anha and Mattayas had many obstacles in their relationship but the couple refused to give up. Lyons created two exceptionally strong characters and gave me a more animalistic glimpse of their attraction. Some things are just meant to be, and that is how I felt about this couple. Anha and Mattayas faced tough decisions and I felt as if I were alongside them during those times. Hopefully their story continues, as I am anxious to discover more.

Yummy Love: Apple Crisp


Title: Yummy Love: Apple Crisp
Author: Kate Hill
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-086-5
Genre: Gay, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Cass has been a gardener at the magical museum for two years, after he left Grimton City. During that time, all the Transcendent Tree Sprites have introduced themselves except one, until now.

Fidel has stayed in tree form since becoming a Transcendent Tree Sprite. He's also been watching the new gardener. Drawn to each other after Fidel introduces himself, the two men are soon trying to balance their personal lives with solving a crime.

Yummy Love 3: Apple Crisp is the newest installment in Kate Hill's series. The story will keep you just as entertained as the previous books while catching you up on the story of Cass whom we met in the first books. The sex between Fidel and Cass is intense, yet clearly loving, from the very beginning. This series by Kate Hill is not to be missed.

Adder


Title: Adder
Author: Ally Blue
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-487-3
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Adder and his band mates are in need of a drummer after Adder and said drummer exchange blows on stage. When drummer Kalil receives a call from a friend who is a member of Adder’s band, Kalil jumps at the chance to join. The attraction between the two is immediate, but Kalil has a no-sex-with-band-mates policy and Adder is determined to be that policy’s exception.

Adder is a fascinating and turbulent romance. Adder is an on-stage exhibitionist who yearns to be adored for his music and sex with his fans is all part of the fame he desires. Kalil is serious about the music, but also has issues of jealousy when it comes to Adder’s flirting. What started out as casual sex between the intuitive Adder and sensitive Kalil develops into an unfamiliar territory they are both inexperienced in and don’t know how to navigate. The amazing Ally Blue has created a heart wrenching saga that radiates with unrequited love balanced with the obstacles to fame. I enjoyed this tantalizing story immensely.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ghost of a Chance


Title: Ghost of a Chance
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-898-3
Genre: LGBT Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

For Padraig “Paddy” Monaghan, the saying “no good deed goes unpunished” was unfortunately his life story. Ten years ago, Paddy died in a bar fight and has existed as a ghost since. After aimlessly wandering continents, he winds up in Boston the night before St. Patrick’s Day. Witnessing a man’s final moments on Earth presents Paddy with a rare opportunity. Not only is he given a second chance at life, he’s also granted a second chance to claim the love of his life, Gareth Reilly.

Gareth has only loved one man, Paddy. When he died, a part of Gareth died with him. For ten years, in his own way, he has mourned the loss but he hasn’t become a hermit. St. Patrick’s Day is Gareth’s birthday and he doesn’t have any special plans. A green-eyed stranger he meets at O’Toole’s pub may help him rethink that plan. Strong Irish Magic is at work, and while Paddy and Gareth are fated to be together, it can’t help these two make the final decision. They will have to rely on the strongest magic of all if they want a Ghost of a Chance for a future.

T.A. Chase has written a wonderful gay paranormal romance with two characters you can’t help to love. Both men didn’t have enough faith in themselves the first time around to make their intentions clear. The love was there, the desire was present and ready for the next step but they lacked the ability to follow through and claim what they truly wanted. Paddy’s reaction to seeing Gareth told me those ten years had changed him into a man of action. Gareth still wasn’t prepared, and I was happy he didn’t try to wait another ten years to get all of his ducks in a row. The love behind some of Paddy’s actions was so evident I was calling Gareth a fool if he didn’t recognize the gift he was being presented. Ghost of a Chance definitely quenched my thirst for romance, and the erotic scenes were full of love, hope, and passion. Those who love St. Patrick’s Day will put this on their list of holiday must-reads.

Sparta Rose


Title: Sparta Rose
Author: Ginger Simpson
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publisher URL: http://www.eternalpress.ca/
ISBN: 978-1-926640-63-1
Genre: Western Historical M/F Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Ever since Ellie can remember, she’s wanted to make her Pa proud. After losing her Mother early on in life, it’s always been just her, Pa and their cook around until Tyler Bishop came along, that is. Ty is handsome and skilled and soon gets into Pa’s good books, much to Ellie’s annoyance. She’s starting to think that Ty is the son her Pa has always wanted, but Ellie isn’t going to let her heritage go to the likes of this cowboy without a fight.

Tyler can’t believe his luck when Mr. Fountain invites him into his family. Ty’s determined to make him proud and protect his newfound home from the wicked Bryant family, who live on the neighboring land. Mr. Bryant and his sons are nothing but trouble but when they start using devious tactics to rid the land of the Fountain family, Ty will do anything to protect the people he has come to love. It doesn’t help that Miss Ellie seems determined to distract him from his goal. If she’s not careful, her fiery temper is going to get them all into trouble.

I enjoyed reading Sparta Rose, with its interesting characters that I made a connection with and a story line that hooked me immediately. The era that the story is set in is well described and the language used paints a vivid picture for me although I couldn’t help but feel the historical references seemed thrown in just for the sake of it and didn’t really add to the story. To me, the lives of the Fountain’s and the Bryant’s weren’t really a result of the troubled times the story is set in - fighting over land seems quite common to me so I didn’t think the link was necessary. Bearing in mind though that my knowledge of American history is a little rusty, I can’t really comment on the accuracy.

The character of Ellie was very well portrayed. Still a child in so many ways but obviously maturing fast, she infuriated me at times with her stubbornness but had me sniffling at what she has been through and still endures. I don’t believe the author will be upset at me wanting to strangle her at times though as I think this was the desired effect. Ty takes a little longer to warm to but it becomes clear that he isn’t a threat to Ellie and her family at all. One thing I would say, I was expecting something a little different from what I got. The initial tension between Ellie and Ty had me fantasizing about when they give in to their feelings. However, as time went on I realized this was not on the cards, due to their age and the period it is set in. There are plenty of lust filled thoughts and sweet kisses but most of the characters, Bryant family withstanding, behave in the proper way. The ending annoyed me a little as although the characters relationship evolves nicely, I would much rather have read about it in detail, rather than skip forward five years in their lives. Although I could have done with a little more action between the characters, this was a very enjoyable romance story with fiery characters.

Broken Boundaries


Title: Broken Boundaries
Author: Evangeline Anderson
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419917950
Genre: Gay, Futuristic
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph


Earth found itself under attack and after being victorious, the government formed the Lunar Academy of Excellence in order to train future fighters. Eric Ferron and Chaz Brighton are two of those men.

Ferron, a Needler pilot and still grieving over the death of his last partner, is not happy being assigned a Newbie, who does not understand the ropes yet. To keep both of them alive, Eric will have to make sure his new partner understands exactly what being a Needler means.

Chaz was recruited from earth to be a gunner. Excited and nervous he can't wait to get started but once he reaches the Academy, he learns there are some things the recruiters forgot to tell him. Soon he's learning more than how to shoot down the enemy.

I thought Broken Boundaries was a great futuristic story. The interaction between Ferron and Chaz, as well as the secondary characters, is intense. The training they go through and the battles they face instantly brought to mind shows like Battlestar Galactica and Starship Troopers. A warning to the reader however, some of the sex has dubious consent.

A Promise Kept


Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Torquere Press
ISBN: 978-1-60370-652-0
Genre: Gay, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

Mason has been in love with his brother’s best friend Jack. In the closet and loving a ‘straight’ man, Mason decides to live his life accordingly – after all, he can’t wait for Jack. But secrets are revealed, making Mason question the trust in those he loves. However, his troubles don’t just stop there – with matchmaking friends and a serial killer who wants Mason for his own, will Mason get his happily-ever-after?

I had a couple of problems with this story, one of them being Jack. Jack for a quarter of the story is hardly in the story – so there is no reader connection there. He’s such a vacant character and most of the time he’s only really brought up through Mason’s undying commitment to loving him. However when Jack is introduced more fully into the story, I was put off by him. He was an Alpha Male; however he was so overdramatic at times I felt like I was watching a bad soap opera. For example if he didn’t get his way with Mason, he’d yell and shout at him and then run off in a corner and sulk. It wasn’t endearing at all. I’m usually one to root for the main heroes to get their happily ever after, but after this tale I kept hoping Mason would let Jack go and meet someone who’d actually care for him.

Another aspect is the repeating. The author would say something in one paragraph and then repeat the same thing in another paragraph. It happened a lot more in the last half of the story and it really jarred me. Another aspect that didn’t suit too well with me was the over-use of ‘I love you’ in the story. I wish the author showed me the characters love, as opposed to just throwing the endearment around constantly.

Though the story had some very good points, the writing was so much better. I’ve read some of the author’s previous works – which unfortunately did not work for me, because the language was too simple. However A Promise Kept was a much higher standard in that regards. Mason, the main hero, was a darling; sometimes he came off to much of damsel in distress, but I could let that go – and enjoy his sweet nature. The author introduced a hoard of supporting characters that helped elevate the enjoyment of the story for me, instead of pulling it down. The supporting cast were all wonderful in their roles, and the author slotted them in nicely within the premise.

A Promise Kept is an enjoyable piece, but it did come with some negative points for this reader. However it is a story a lot of people will enjoy within this genre.

Lessons in Desire


Title: Lessons in Desire
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Linden Bay Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.lindenbayromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60202-173-0
Genre: Gay/Lesbian Suspense/Mystery Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

After the St. Bride’s College murders, Jonty decides that he and his lover Orlando are due for a vacation. Orlando, on the other hand, had no true desire to travel, but gives in to Jonty’s request. The two take a trip to Channel Island of Jersey to soak up some sun, relax, and enjoy the fine cuisine. Instead, they find themselves drawn into another murder mystery. There are a few less victims, but that doesn’t cut back on the couple’s anxiety. Will the amateur detectives prove that the first time wasn’t a fluke?

Lessons in Desire is the second book in the A Cambridge Fellows Mystery series. Charlie Cochrane takes us back to visit with Jonty and Orlando. It’s been nine months and their relationship is still thriving. They are opening up more and revealing secrets, no matter how painful they are to relive. You can definitely see that Jonty and Orlando are getting closer in this installment. They still have their playfulness, and they’ve learned from mistakes made during their first investigation. Charlie Cochrane incorporates elements of mystery and romance in a historical setting that draws you into the era. I’m looking forward to reading the third installment in this series.

Lessons in Love


Title: Lessons in Love
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Linden Bay Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.lindenbayromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60202-149-5
Genre: Gay/Lesbian Suspense/Mystery Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jonty Stewart has taken a teaching position at his alma mater, St. Bride’s College. He’s excited and eager to begin his career. He forges a new friendship with Orlando Coppersmith, a brilliant mathematician who also holds a post at the university, and the men are complete opposites. While Jonty is outgoing and charismatic, Orlando is a classic introvert. But, with a bit of persuasion, Jonty will help Orlando come out of his shell to experience life as he has never known it.

Male students are being murdered, and it’s throwing a foreboding shadow over the school. Jonty and Orlando get in the thick of things and decide to do a bit of investigating on their own. However, will the price of their snooping mean death to one of the men, or are their amateur detective skills strong enough to figure out who is committing these acts?

Lessons in Love is the first book in Charlie Cochrane’s new A Cambridge Fellows Mystery series. Jonty is the good-natured friend you would hope to gain in life. Funny, sweet natured and handsome, Jonty is fascinating without making you feel overwhelmed. He is just what Orlando needs to help exorcise the demons from his past. The side of Orlando that has lain dormant for years is ready to be awakened slowly, and thank goodness, Jonty has the patience to ease Orlando into a new way of life. The mystery was weaved so there was no easy way to figure out who the culprit was. If you love period murder mysteries intertwined with a gay romance then you should enjoy Lessons In Love.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Re-Ignition


Title: Re-Ignition
Author: AR Moler
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-644-5
Genre: Gay Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Life changed for Griff Rieckert when a speeding vehicle struck him, shattering his knee in over twenty places. Now permanently disabled, the ex-FBI agent spends his days depressed and drinking too much, trying to dull the nearly overwhelming emotional and physical pain. It’s after a Tequila drinking binge that he wakes up in the bed of gorgeous pediatrician, Sean Avery.

As the relationship between the two men grows deeper, the depression, pain and frustration dogging Griff’s every step, lightens. He begins to piece his life back together and even think of a future which includes Sean, but all his hopes come crashing down when his lover’s life is threatened by an armed gunman.

Don’t let the short length of this story fool you. Re-Ignition by AR Moler is well-written, has a smooth flow and is packed with angst, passion, fear, threatened death, and hope for the future. I’ll admit it upfront, I liked Griff. There’s just something about the man; his alpha personality, his FBI background and the physical and emotional pain ruling his life that affected me deeply. Sean is just the kind of man Griff needs in his life; sincere, smart, sexy, kind and supportive.

The beginning scenes of Griff’s pain, and the developing personal relationship between he and Sean are very nicely done. But it’s those scenes in the later portion of the story where Sean is held at gun point that really caught my attention. They’re fast-paced and realistic, showcasing the talent of the author. I suggest you give this story a try; you won’t be sorry you did.

2050


Title: 2050
Author: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59426-673-7
Genre: Futuristic, Romantic Suspense, M/M
Nymph Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Detective Julian Anders is sitting at his desk when Psychic Richie England, comes to tell him and his partner about his visions of blood and death. Julian has his doubts about Richie’s ability until they find a body located in the area of Richie’s vision. A new serial killer is stalking the city of Ithaca.

2050 is an incredible thriller with mystery, dark magic and romance. Julian and Richie are the good guys faced with solving the mystery and surviving the massacre. At the same time, a mutual attraction is developing between the two men. The amazing Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael deliver an extraordinary voyage into the deranged mind of a serial killer, plunging me into a realistic view of evil. The unique plot is powerful and gripping, interwoven with erotic love scenes to lessen the anxiety before being propelled back into darkness and the evil that dwells there. This is an outstanding story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Seducing the Hero


Book Title: Seducing the Hero
Author: Kari Thomas
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publisher URL: http://www.eternalpress.ca/
ISBN: 978-1-926647-47-0
Genre: Romantic Humor
Nymph Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Sphinx Minx

Colt McKnight is going to do his friend Jason a favor and protect Jason’s sister from a stalker. Baylie Campbell is a lingerie model and a kitchen witch, who has temporarily lost her powers. And she’s already being protected by a dog, a cat, a skunk and a potbellied pig.

Colt is recently divorced and caring for his wheelchair-bound sister Gina. I found this ex-detective turned cowboy a bit too macho, giving orders at every turn. But Baylie finds him irresistible, and sparks fly.

There’s a lot of silliness packed into this short story. Perhaps there is too much information and too little detail. I would have liked to know more about the stalker’s background and intent. A few more details about the life of a successful kitchen witch would have been helpful. But it’s hard to quibble with such enjoyable fluff. It’s a fun little fantasy.

Dragon Mate


Title: Dragon Mate
Author: Jory Strong
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921292
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Kirill has longed for a human mate for hundreds of years, but a centuries-old sorcerer’s curse has prevented him from experiencing anything other than the most distant of relationships. Now that the enchanted cup, which allows dragon-kind to have children, is again in dragon possession, he’s ready to claim his mate. Kirill’s determined to grab the woman he’s envisioned for years and take her back to his lair, never letting her out of his sight, or ever letting her return to the human world.

Unfortunately, for Kirill and his plans, Jazzlyn is just as determined to find her missing cousin, and nothing he has to say is going to change her mind. Her half-elf friend is willing to help, but she’s also going to make certain Kirill learns what it means to love and care for a human female. That where passion and love rule, the desire to hoard his treasure and protect, is tempered by the needs and wants of a human mate.

Dragon Mate is the fifth release in Jory Strong’s ongoing Supernatural Bonds series. Once again, the author takes the reader into the world of male dragons and the human females destined to be their mates. This book takes up shortly after the last release left off, but as with all books in this intriguing and inter-connected paranormal series, can be read as a stand-alone. I’m happy to report that several characters from the previous books are re-introduced, giving the ongoing storyline a sense of familiarity and continuity.

Kirill is a typical alpha dragon male; sexy, arrogant, determined to get his way and always thinking he knows best. Except, he doesn’t start out that way in the story beginning, when he’s forced to ask for help, and that’s what makes him so likable. Ms. Strong has done a nice job creating a character with a personality in flux, as he goes from a male without hope, to one determined to claim his mate and start a family. The same goes for Jazzlyn. She starts off rather quiet and uncertain and as the story progresses, changes into a woman who knows her mind and what she wants. When these two get together, the passion, desire and sparks fly hot as dragon’s flame.

The portion of the story dealing with the kidnapping and search for Jazzlyn’s cousin, Carolyn, propelled the story forward, without ever overpowering the underlying romance. The scenes where Carolyn was found, (you didn’t really think she’d die did you?), were nicely done, leaving a pleasant happily-ever-after for Kirill and Jazzlyn. It also left me wondering about Carolyn’s future, and whether she might find her own dragon mate in the future.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Diùra


Title: Diùra
Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-253-4
Genre: Fantasy, M/M
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

A powerful high priest, and according to Huna law the Keeper of Secrets, Kimo Wilder and his husband Lopaka celebrate their lives together with a third wedding ceremony; this time in California with all their family and some friends to witness the event. But there is a dark cloud hanging over the happy couple’s heads when they learn the Huna Council wants to take baby Kimo. What appears to be a family vacation to Scotland is really a mission planned by Kimo, who is searching for a way to protect their gifted son and survive the forces that could destroy him and Lopaka.

Diùra is book eleven in the Phantom Lover series. In this installment, long buried family secrets are revealed and doubts rise to threaten their love and security. The focus is on the children and family life, but Kimo and Lopaka still find the time for intimate interludes. The marvelous A. J. Llewellyn introduces another layer of intrigue to the mystical family of Kimo and Lopaka combined with arousing love scenes that whips up the libido. I really enjoy reading this series and look forward to the next addition, The Cannibal King’s Husband.

Give Me One Night


Book Title: Give Me One Night
Author: KC Kendricks
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-490-7
Genre: Gay Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Still on the rebound a year after a break-up, Brody O’Connor is only looking for a one-night stand when he spots a hunk in a bar during a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl. For most of the night, he and his mystery man chase each other from bar to bar, the sexual tension rising with every furtive touch or glance. When they finally get together at Brody’s place, sparks fly. Come morning… it’s over.

Or is it?

Evan Delapontes is everything Brody wants, but the risk of getting involved, of falling in love, scares Brody. It’s not until tragedy strikes, however, that Brody realizes there’s something more terrifying than love.

Give Me One Night is a feel-good, enjoyable romance. Brody and Evan really are made for one another, even if they’re too stubborn to see it at first. The love scenes between them, while edging on purple prose, are still hot. The plot wasn’t angsty, but it fit the characters well. It’s a good book for when you want to read something light but with a touch of drama. I’ll certainly be looking for more from KC Kendricks in the future.

Soldier


Title: Soldier
Author: AKM Miles
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-637-7
Genre: Gay, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dillon has been looking out for a group of boys who have fallen through the cracks in the system. Living in a rundown home, making sure everyone is safe and has enough to eat, Dillon is just trying to stay below the radar.

Soldier has been back from Iraq for two years now, living day to day with no real contact with the world around him. While checking on some old family property, Soldier comes across Dillon and the boys. Soon his life is changing more than he thought it ever would.

AKM Miles’ Soldier is an excellent story. Rather than focus on just the lead characters, Dillon and Soldier, with the secondary characters playing in the background, this story revolves around the family the men and boys make up. The author does a great job bringing these characters to life; the scene at the pound will have you wishing for Kleenex. This book is sure to land on many ‘keeper’ shelves.

Emerald Envisage


Title: Emerald Envisage
Author: eXtasy’s Collective Mind
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-251-0
Genre: Various
Nymph Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

The theme is Green; eyes, hair, skin, jewelry, clothes and whatever else the clever eXtasy authors could dream up to entice you.

Lola by Alexis Anthony (3 Nymphs)
Patrons at a small cabaret are lured into the sensual songs of the green-eyed Lola as she performs her Special act.

The Necklace by Kira Chase (3 Nymphs)
Lara is packing to move in with her new boyfriend and still having mixed feelings about leaving her best friend when she finds the emerald necklace given to her by her grandmother in the bottom of her jewelry box. Remembering her grandmother’s words, the necklace shows Lara her future.

Green Eyes by D. J. Manly (4 Nymphs)
Kyle is sitting at the bar depressed over his cheating boyfriend when this beautiful alien named Rayon offers to do a good deed for Kyle. By the end of the night, human and alien discovered that good deeds have their own rewards.

Perfect Vessel by Tierney O’Malley (4 Nymphs)
Jade was on the verge of becoming mincemeat by her nasty boss when she is rescued by Kyr of Rhyn. Now out of a job, Kyr offers Jade a proposal she cannot resist, especially when she discovers the color green means lust.

Emerald Envisage is a collection of twenty one stories by seventeen authors. The stories are creative and enjoyable with enough assortments to interest all readers. This is a small example of the delightful tales to be found in this overall impressive collection.

Kissing the Blarney Stone


Title: Kissing the Blarney Stone
Author: Brigit Zahara
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921445
Genre: Ménage
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Maggie decides to visit Ireland and stay with her great aunt. Her aunt sends her distant cousin to pick Maggie up. Shamus also picks up a friend of his, Myles, at the same time. After getting Maggie settled, Shamus and Myles take Maggie out on the town.

Maggie has a wonderful night with the two of them, but a huge misunderstanding comes between the three of them.

Kissing the Blarney Stone has some very steamy sex scenes between the Maggie, Shamus and Myles. Maggie’s emotions were enough to feel like you were there watching her and feeling her anger. This is a fairly good ménage story.

The Best Revenge


Title: The Best Revenge
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-68-8
Genre: Gay Contemporary
Nymph Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Tyler O’Connor has spent years devoted to building his successful antique business, Tyler’s Antiques, and he’s had little time for a personal life. All that changes when he meets artist Mark Burke, when Mark’s mother decides to sell several pieces of antique furniture. The two men hit it off immediately, and Tyler is thrilled when the shy younger man asks him out on a date. Despite their mutual attraction, the new relationship almost blows up in their faces when Mark’s mother discovers he’s gay and throws the devastated man out of her house. With nowhere else to turn, he shows up at Tyler’s and finds the emotional and physical shelter he needs to heal.

Living and loving Tyler gives Mark something else he needs; the encouragement to pursue his career. Yet even newfound success is soured when hate and pain intrude, which is what happens when Mark is forced to deal with his arrogant and obnoxious brother after the death of their mother. Both Tyler and Mark are happy personally and professionally, but that doesn’t stop them from dealing with outside forces intent on destroying their lives, home, and peace of mind. In this case, The Best Revenge is succeeding and Tyler and Mark are determined to beat the odds and find their happily-ever-after…together!

The Best Revenge has an intriguing plotline and a smooth flow, but the writing didn’t give the story a chance to live up to its potential. Instead of showing the reader what was going on and hearing it from the viewpoint of the character, the author tells, never allowing the reader to feel the tension, passion, or fear that is going on in any particular scene. Then there was the tendency to use what I can only call ‘purple prose-like’ expressions during the love scenes, which drove me a little crazy.

I liked the love and support Tyler gave Mark, whether personally or professionally, offering him a home and a studio to use to create his art, and seeing him succeed against the odds was wonderful. The addition of several secondary characters added the interest and energy the story needed to flow forward in a cohesive and smooth manner. Mark’s brother definitely provided the villain for the tale, but I never got a good feeling for why he hated his brother so much.