Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mourning Doves


Title: Mourning Doves
Author: Angela Romano
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-89-3
Genre: Gay M/M, Science Fiction
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Leander is a Fox Kin, born with the attributes of a fox plus the ability to shift. When he was 15, Leander was ‘drafted’ into TASK, which was a result of getting caught hacking into their systems. Partnered with Epsilon, a genetically engineered Wylf Kin, both men are responsible for policing other abnormals. Both men have serious personal issues, yet each brings something into their partnership that balances the other out.

Madison has worked for TASK for some time. Although completely human, she has no problem jumping into a fight and is capable of holding her own until she meets Alex, the young woman Leander and Epsilon are trying to help.

Wolf has been in charge of TASK for some time now and when one of his teams comes under personal attack and is set up as traitors, Wolf will do anything to help them, even going up against his ex – Mercedes - if need be.

When a simple assignment to kill a Hunter goes wrong, Leander and Epsilon need the help of their fellow TASK members to figure out what is going on. Soon everyone is trying to keep Alex safe from her ex-turned-Hunter and find out whom the traitor really is in order to keep Leander and Epsilon safe.

The premise of Mourning Doves is an interesting one involving a mixture of shifters - kin, both natural born and genetically engineered, the obligatory secret government agency, bad guys - both human and monster, and a physic. While the writing and action are intense and the characters strong, I felt at times as if there was too much going on. Rather than center on one main couple, the story revolves around three couples, friends and coworkers. While the group has a strong family connection that is easy to see, I did not feel as if all the individual couples had chemistry.

David’s Dilemma


Title: David’s Dilemma
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-513-3
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

David Delaney’s life and home is in turmoil. His bigoted, homophobic father has Alzheimer’s and is no longer able to care for himself or live on his own. The diagnosis leaves David with no choice but to move his father into his home, shoving himself into a cycle of loneliness and fear that his father will wander off or set the house on fire.

Detective Travis Hart has just broken up with his much younger lover, and he’s feeling more than a little unsettled…and dare he say, old and boring. When David comes into the police station to report his father’s disappearance, the lonely detective has to fight his attraction to the distressed man. Travis wants a lasting relationship, but doesn’t want a quick-to-blow-over rebound hook-up. He wants a long-term commitment…he wants companionship, love, and forever.

Both men realize they aren’t ready to start a relationship, so they begin the friendship both men need. With multiple phone calls, they share their lives, listening when the other needs to vent their frustration; whether it’s David because of his father’s deteriorating condition or Travis and his cop job. Over a period of weeks, their attraction changes and their friendship morphs into the love they long for. The question is whether their new relationship can survive an event they never expected, or will it separate them forever.

David’s Dilemma is a well-crafted, entertaining and heart-warming romance between two men who are looking for a loving and committed relationship; yet, it’s so much more. It’s also a realistic depiction of the pain, guilt, frustration and anger an individual experiences when a family member becomes dependent, due to a debilitating illness such as Alzheimer’s, and the child becomes the caregiver.

Ms. Lorenz did a wonderful job expressing David’s Dilemma…a dilemma thousands of people deal with every year. How to best care for a loved one who can do longer live alone, or take care of their needs safely. Should they live at home, and when is the right time for placement in a professional care facility? These questions and others are thought-provoking concepts most individuals would prefer not to contemplate, but Ms. Lorenz tackles.

Watching the relationship between Travis and David’s relationship grow slowly from friends to lovers was a joy. Just as watching David Sr. spiral further into fear, anger and delusions was sad and all too real. So, get ready with the tissues because you’re going to need them with this intriguing tear-jerker. The emotional and physical intimacy…the attachment between Travis and David is intense, passionate and just what the two men need to fill the void in their lives. They need each other as much as they need to breath.

If you enjoy a well-written story with likable, interesting characters that nearly jump off the page, you will, without a doubt, enjoy David’s Dilemma as much as I did. Keep up the good work Ms. Lorenz. I look forward to your next release.

Lone


Title: Lone
Author: Rowan McBride
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-512-6
Genre: Gay M/M, Dark Fantasy, Werewolf
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Seth is no simple werewolf. Unable to completely change into a werewolf, he is what they call a Ravager; part werewolf, part human. Abandoned as a baby, Seth spent many years in the foster system and on his own. Knowing only abuse and danger, Seth has no knowledge of how to form close ties or what love really is. Then he meets Rafe and Seth realizes there is more to life than he knew.

Seth intrigues Rafe from the beginning; in fact the two end up in bed the first night they meet and are still living together three months later. Rafe thinks he knows everything there is to know about the man he loves until they go on a business trip to D.C and Rafe sees a completely new side of Seth.

I loved this story. The author does such an excellent job pulling the reader into the story that you can see Seth as the wounded puppy he sometimes is, and when he becomes the Ravager, the intense anger is also felt. Rafe’s reaction to both Seth and the situation he now finds himself in is a realistic portrait, as is his occasional shortness with Seth as things unfold. Lone is a definite must read for those who love shifters, but keep the Kleenex handy. If we are lucky, we will see these two again soon.

Devonshire


Title: Devonshire
Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-349-4
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Rose Golightly is getting married in a few months to the man she has fallen deeply in love with…Richard. Nothing, except her insecurities about herself, will keep her from marrying him, and he does everything possible to let her know how beautiful she is to him. As the wedding gets closer, she comes to know him more and her acceptance is total.

Richard Kerre, Lord Strang, turns out to be more than Rose expected, and she is a little overwhelmed by some of the things she is learning about him. Being a very private person, he shows a façade to the public and behind closed doors, Rose and his brother are the only ones to know the true man. Richard knows that he can’t live without his beloved Rose, and he will do anything to show her his love and loyalty.

Devonshire is the second book in the Richard and Rose series, and in this one I surely expected a wedding by the middle of the story…no such luck. It seems that these two are magnets for trouble one way or another, and it was very amusing to watch Rose grow from a shy wallflower to confident woman, going into a new and different society. Some of the secondary characters brought a lot of understanding for me with their interactions with each other.

Lynne Connolly does a wonderful job of telling of the struggles most young ladies have going from single to wife and the changes that go with it. This was a fast-pace story that spoke of illegal activities, murder, and how people learn to survive in adversities. I really enjoyed reading about the devotion that Richard and Rose had for each other, and the future they were about to embark upon.

Yorkshire


Title: Yorkshire
Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-269-5
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Rose Golightly, at five and twenty, considers herself on the shelf; an old maid too old for the marriage mart, so she’s settled for helping her brother’s family at their country home. While traveling to a wedding, she is confused by her mixed emotions regarding her pursuit by a young man and the other man she comes to love. Now that she has decided what she needs to do to help Richard survive the carriage crash, she can’t hide the feelings she has for him any longer.

Richard Kerre, Viscount Strang, has decided to dissolve the contract he just signed to marry a woman he can no longer tolerate. In the meantime, it’s love at first sight when he sees Rose upon his arrival at an estate they are both were bound for. As far as he is concerned, she is the only woman for him, and there is nothing he won’t do to have her. Even if that means he must fight his father and give up his fortune to do it.

Yorkshire is a fascinating story that immediately caught my interest and kept me reading to the end to see what would happen next. I was very appalled by the actions of the minster, spouting his personal religious beliefs of how people should behave. I was particularly unhappy with his pompous, look-down-his-nose attitude towards numerous other characters, especially the women. At first, the murders were considered an accident, and upon learning what happened only created more suspense, that added to the mystery of who committed them. There were a few of the characters that took on the task to solve them, and I was surprised to find out who dunit!

Lynne Connolly does a wonderful job with her creativity of all the characters, and the vivid descriptions of the period clothing, and the treasures at the manor. This is the first book in the series, Richard and Rose; and I am looking forward to reading the next story in this historical romance.

Bound to Him


Title: Bound to Him
Author: Ava March
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-928-7
Genre: BDSM LGBT Erotic Historical, M/M
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Call me Oliver…

Lord Oliver Marsden finally has the man he loves; if only he could get Lord Vincent Prescot to acknowledge his feelings. Oliver knows firsthand how longing for acceptance can make you bend to another person’s whims. His actions mirror those of Vincent, in some respects, when it comes to a desire for love but enough is enough! Oliver wants to hear his given name slip from the man who owns his heart lips like a drop of fine wine. He is ready to tear down the last remaining boundaries. Oliver wants love and refuses to accept less.

Vincent is proud of the man he has become. He has wealth and respect of his peers, but his father’s acceptance still eludes him. His father’s request for a favor could cause him to lose Oliver. Will Vincent decide his being in his father’s good graces is more important than having Oliver?

Bound to Him is the sequel to Ava March’s Bound by Deception. Having Oliver and Vincent back was a wonderful treat. Oliver’s strength of character and mind shine in this installment. I was proud to see him take a stance, regardless of the outcome. There were moments where I truly wanted to take Vincent to task. Oliver is a man to be treasured and Vincent’s treatment was anything but, at times. However, Vincent pleased me when he decided to allow his heart to guide him, and the handsome Lord fell back into my good graces. The story has a wonderful balance. There were unforeseen twists in the plot that kept me off kilter, and the sexual encounters were scorching and written with a sensual flavor. I could almost see the dimness of the rooms, the flickering candles, and feel the warmth of the fireplace. Bound to Him was a wonderful sequel. I’m look forward to reading more of Ms. March’s delightful books in the future.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Ending


Title: Happy Ending
Author: LB Gregg
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-203-1
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Seth Weston is on the table waiting for his massage therapist Linda to come in; he has been coming to the spa once a week for a year to work the kinks out of his back and neck. Dealing with the strains of his job, in addition to grief as well as navigating the unfamiliar territory of parenting, Seth’s muscles are tied in knots. When the door opened, it is not the expected Linda who comes in, but a gorgeous masseur named David Cooke. Under the administration of David’s strong hands, Seth’s muscles are relaxed and his libido is completely aroused.

Happy Ending is a tantalizing romance with a well written, realistic storyline. Seth is perceived as arrogant and always in control when actually he is distracted by all of the chaos currently in his life. With the help of David, Seth becomes skilled at managing his personal issues with less intensity. David is more laid back with a capacity to be easily emotional. Also, he has been attracted to Seth for months; however he knew Seth did not become aware of him until that day at the spa. LB Gregg has created another exciting installment to the Men of Smithfield series. Each episode illustrates a different “how it began” couple and I look forward to reading more of these very enjoyable chapters, in addition to a possible update on the featured couple’s progression.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blood Hunted


Title: Blood Hunted
Author: Aline de Chevigny
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-200-0
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Het (m/f)
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Nicolai of Wolf House has stolen something of great importance to Draemor, head of Raven House. Kelly was Draemor's 'pet' – his slave to use and abuse at his whim. She put herself in constant danger to protect the other women of Raven House, but her heart remained with Nicolai.

Both houses have gone to battle and it's a fight to the death, but who will win in the end?

Blood Hunted is book 3 in Chronicles of the Cursed. This one was much better than the first two, I'm happy to say. The sex was plentiful, but the action balanced it well. There was enough intrigue to keep me interested, and by the end, I was cheering for Wolf House.

While there were still editing errors, the plot line held up enough that they didn't distract too much from the story. It does end with an open-ended touch that makes me wonder if there will be more to come. I'd certainly be willing to continue if so. All in all, Blood Hunted is far better than the first two books in this series.

The Ravenson Project


Title: The Ravenson Project
Author: Aline de Chevigny
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-088-4
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Het (m/f)
Rating: 1 Nymph
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Sharra is Malek's chosen keeper, but he takes her before the keeper ceremony can be done. Now Daemor, the head of Raven House, has the perfect weapon – and reason – do away with Malek and Mikael de Wohlf, once and for all.

Daemor's plans, however, aren't quite as foolproof as he thinks. Mikael and Bella de Wohlf step in to handle things in their own way, dropping Sharra and Malek into a delicate and potentially deadly situation.

The Ravenson Project is book 2 of Chronicles of the Cursed. Like the first book, Blood Red, it deals with interactions between two rival vampire houses. This one, though... From the very first page, it reads like an interlude from a longer book. It starts with action (of the sexual kind), and although it keeps the pace steady, this doesn't save the book from being lackluster.

The plot, what little there is, is vague and feels forced. The sex is well done, but even that doesn't solve the problems created by the same editorial errors in Blood Red. Furthermore, the end left me rather confused. It solved very little and seemed entirely too abrupt. I expected to go to the next chapter/page, and there was nothing more to read.

In the end, not even the sex could save The Ravenson Project for me.

Shift Change


Title: Shift Change
Author: Hannah Beckham
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-177-0
Genre: Paranormal, Action/Adventure, M/F/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Trinity Staten has more than shifting problems. Her biological father, Jessia, is out for blood and wants Trinity to take a nice long dirt nap. Newton and Merlin both have issues they need to overcome. They will have to work together if there’s the slightest chance to beat Jessia at his own game.

Shift Change is the second installment in the Shift Work series, and just as exciting as the first book. We get a bit more information on Trinity’s past, and are privy to the inner workings of Merlin’s and Newton’s minds. I knew they both loved her, but the degree becomes clear this time around. Jessia is a piece of work, who needs to be brought down a few pegs. Questions were answered while new mysteries took their place. Hannah Beckham delivered yet another action packed book with the characters I’ve come to enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed this installment and can’t wait to read the next story in this exciting series.

Late Shift


Title: Late Shift
Author: Hannah Beckham
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-176-3
Genre: Paranormal, Action/Adventure, M/F/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Hunter Trinity Staten was raised to be a demon slayer. When the hunter becomes the hunted, things seem to deteriorate for Trinity. Demons are showing up on her doorstep and a one-night stand altered Trinity’s chameleon abilities to an uncontrollable state.

Trinity seeks help from telepath Newton Price. She’s not trusting of those who work with demons, but Newton proves he’s just the man to assist in and outside of the bedroom. Not to mention the attraction to her best friend Merlin Davitch has changed from simmer to sizzle.

Merlin is the sexiest geek alive, and Trinity is ready to find out just what he keeps in his pocket protector. He loves Trinity, and uses his brains and connections to help understand the changes she is undergoing.

The three will have to work together if they want to solve the mysteries of Trinity’s shifting and the sudden flux of monsters showing up, not to mention Trinity’s attraction to both men.

I absolutely loved Late Shift. While Trinity is as hard as nails on the outside, she’s just like any other woman who wants to truly be loved by a man. Merlin is the kind of geek I would love to meet. Handsome, smart, and willing to do anything to protect the woman he loves. Newton has his own demons but he doesn’t deny his attraction to Trinity. The three make a fantastic team and I can’t wait to see what will happen next. Hannah Beckman brings us action, mystery, and some erotic scenes that I had to read twice (just for reference purposes). Late Shift, the first installment in the Shift Work series, is sure to be a hit for those who enjoy her stories and those new to this author’s captivating style of writing.

Betrayed


Title: Betrayed
Author: Cassie Stevens
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-508-9
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

To get through the stress of each day, Damien Walker needs the love and support of his partner, fellow Marine Vic Williams. After the vicious murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend, Damien needs his lover’s unconditional support more than ever before. Dealing with the fear and pain of his two small sons while trying to get along with his former in-laws is far more difficult than he ever imagined. Then Damien is stabbed in the back by two individuals who would rather see the men destroyed than allow them a chance at the happiness they crave. Can Damien stand firm in the face of the legal system, or will he have to make the decision to leave Vic behind, in order to protect his children?

Betrayed is the last release in the Together trilogy by author Cassie Stevens and it takes up immediately where Committed left off. From the very beginning of this well-written story, the feeling of uncertainty in the lives of both Damien and Vic is nearly palpable. The tension is so high, it almost pulses off the pages as the men struggle to deal with the aftermath of the murder of Damien’s ex-wife.

The physical intimacy and emotional attachment between Damien and Vic is just as intense and passionate as before, but now they have much more to deal with than just hiding their ongoing relationship. They have to deal with the police, an attorney, two scared little boys and two sets of upset and angry parents, plus one furious sister bent on causing trouble. There is certainly more than enough stress and baggage to drive a wedge between these two lovers. Yet, Ms. Stevens does a great job of expressing not only their strength and ability to cope, but also their love and commitment to each other.

While Damien and Vic remain the center of this tale, the romance portion, in some ways, takes a backseat to what is going on around them. The murder of Damien’s ex-wife and the new secondary characters and their actions, whether good or bad, propel this tightly constructed tale forward. And I have to admit, I was taken by surprise when the identity of the murderer was revealed. Maybe I should have seen it coming but I didn’t. Read and enjoy this one, but make certain you read the first two books in the trilogy first. Good work, Ms. Stevens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blackpoint Surrendered


Title: Blackpoint Surrendered
Author: A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-069-1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Thomas, with the help of his husband Matt, is learning all the fine distinctions of making movies. Matt is in charge of production and the production company proposes filming in Canada. When they arrive in Vancouver, Matt detects a change in Thomas. He becomes remote and Matt is feeling anxious since they have only been married for six months and Matt knows very little of Thomas’ past. Emotions that have been dormant for years come rushing back for Thomas, who is almost obsessed with locating his first love Daniel, a man Thomas never told Matt about. When Thomas meets Daniel again, after no contact between them for years, he realizes that his feelings have changed or maybe it was not true love Thomas felt for Daniel, but the happiness of a young man feeling cared for in a loving way.

Blackpoint Surrendered is the fourth installment in the Blackpoint series. Because Matt loves Thomas so much, Matt becomes jealous at the threat of another man replacing him in Thomas’ heart; it is up to Thomas to show Matt how much he is treasured. They are the love of each other’s life and they both work at keeping their love strong by not giving into outside temptations. The awesome duo of A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly has produced another well written, emotionally realistic episode to this series. As always, I gained insight into the interesting background settings, in addition to the latest activities of Matt’s family. I enjoy the cleverness of how the title is integrated into the storyline; this is a fascinating, as well as enjoyable, series made even more exciting when you read it in its entirety.

Horizons


Title: Horizons
Author: Mickie B Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-87-9
Genre: Gay M/M, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Clark Stevens is Cal’s golden boy, the school’s star quarterback who can do no wrong. Everyone, from his family to his girlfriend and the scouts, want a piece of him. While Clark struggles to please those around him, no one stops to think what Clark might want or need. When Clark ends up in the hospital, he meets Jody Williams, a slightly older doctor who knows absolutely nothing about football.

Jody Williams is gay and proud of it. After his last relationship ended tragically, Jody shied away from future relationships by putting all his energy into his medical career. When the young quarterback comes into the emergency room, Jody is surprised by the sudden rush of feelings he begins to develop for him.

The two men develop a friendship that soon grows to love; however, their relationship is not an easy one as many outside forces try to tear them apart.

I enjoyed reading Horizons. While the book is filled with angst, there are some light and tender moments. The author does a wonderful job showing the love the two men feel for each other even as Clark comes to terms with being gay. The author does just as well with the secondary characters, whether portraying intense hate or complete support. I am sure this will not be the last book I read by this author.

The Protector’s Keeper


Title: The Protector’s Keeper
Author: Bonnie Rose Leigh
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-269-5
Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/f), Contemporary,
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Sebastian is in search of the werewolf King’s sister when he meets Catalina, his mate. He finds Catalina in the middle of an attempt by vampires to abduct her. Catalina finds a message from Samantha; this sets Sebastian and Catalina on a quest to find her before the enemy does.

As the story unfolds, Sebastian and Catalina team up with the king, were-bears and were-cats to fight a common enemy. The enemy is not only trying to destroy the weres, but is also abducting women and children to use in the experiments they are doing to create a hybrid vampire and were.

Their search takes them to several countries and they end up fighting for their lives. Added to their troubles is the fact that several of their number turned out to be working with the vampires.

The Protector’s Keeper was very interesting. This is a very good suspense story with several twists and turns that keep your interest throughout. Some places skipped about a little but not enough to cause a disruption of what was going on. I enjoyed a couple of tidbits about Ms. Leigh’s vampires. I recommend this book for anyone that likes a good romantic suspense story, along with some hot shapeshifters.

Dead Twice and for All


Title: Dead Twice and for All
Author: R.E. Wood
Publisher: Freya’s Bower
Publisher URL: http://www.freyasbower.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: M/F, Paranormal, Vampire
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Fire Nymph

He walked into a bar, looking for a drink. His usual weekend never started until Friday night when he didn’t have to worry about going to work the next day. His plans were changed when he caught sight of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She appeared lost, sad and angry all at the same time.

She was recovering from the death of her boyfriend; looking for someone to love again when a handsome man walked up to her, tripping over his own tongue. She asked him a single question and received the answer she wanted. Taking him back to her place, she showed it what it was like to love unconditionally.

R.E Wood did a good job of portraying love and loss in just a few pages; the heartbreak that was suffered after only one night had my own heart a little sore. However, not knowing the name of the characters until the final pages, kept me from becoming the lead character. I was unable to be them as I didn’t know them. They loved, lost, and that was incredible, but not knowing their names left it impersonal.

Blood Red


Title: Blood Red
Author: Aline de Chevigny
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-064-8
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Het (m/f)
Rating: 2 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Mikael De Wohlf lives up to his well-earned reputation as a ruthless vampire ruler. His methods of meting out justice are brutal, and he's earned the nickname Cereberus Gnosis, relating to the wise but vicious hound of Hell. No one has ever been able to tame him... until Annabella Micelli.

Annabella comes from a long line of humans who've sworn their allegiance to Mikael's clan, and she's spent the last several years as his personal assistant. She despises his cold-hearted ways, yet she can't deny the emotions and desires he ignites within her.

One way or another, Mikael will have her, though Annabella isn't one to be ordered about.

Blood Red is the first book in the Chronicles of the Cursed series. I had a hard time getting into the story, to be honest. There's a lot of potential here, but I felt that it wasn't given enough space to develop.

The characters are intriguing, but I think they could've been much better with a bit more details. Mikael's past was given in something of an info-dump at the beginning, but there weren't too many details for Annabella. The sex between them (and the sexual tension) was hot, but the overall storyline fell a bit flat for me.

Another point to mention is the editing. While I can overlook a few errors here and there, there were too many in Blood Red. From oddly placed commas, to homonyms and misspellings, the errors were distracting.

All in all, Blood Red is a decent attempt that hints at a bigger world.

Carey'd Away


Title: Carey'd Away
Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-505-8
Genre: Gay M/M, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

After a hard night of partying, the last place Carey wants to be is at the comic book convention hosted by the hotel where he works. Wandering the hotel floor making sure everyone is setting up okay and looking for a place to crash, Carey is surprised to see someone that just might make the whole day worthwhile.

Patrick can’t believe he let his friend talk him into helping her at the comic book convention. To top things off, she is late, which leaves Patrick to set up the area on his own. While cleaning up a mess, Patrick hears something that changes his whole day - a wolf whistle.

Carey’d Away is a fun, fast, read by J. M. Snyder. Taking place during the course of a day, the story tells us about two very different people. Carey, the overly confident hotel employee, and Patrick, the shy self-conscious young man who is helping a friend. Each intrigued by the other, the two realize that working the convention might not be so bad after all.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Loves for Alex


Title: Two Loves for Alex
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419922107
Genre: Ménage à trois or More / BDSM, M/F/M
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Alex is enjoying her time with Liam and Daniel. The men have taken her further in her submissive training than she ever thought possible. Their intense sessions have left Alex hungry for more, leading her to form a closer bond than anyone imagined possible expected. Alex is falling in love with her Masters.

Liam and Daniel have a great deal to work out. They both have strong feelings for Alex that threaten their relationship. Neither knows how to bring up the delicate subject without causing a riff, but the silence is causing more damage than good.
Liam wants Daniel to have an outlet for his dominant impulses, but won’t risk losing his lover. Is there a way to make this new situation work, or will Alex be permanently removed from the picture?

Two Loves for Alex is the sequel to Two Masters for Alex. The headstrong young woman isn’t using her womanly wiles to gain the advantage, as she would in the past. It was nice to see her embrace her role more. There were a few shaky moments but each character found a way to learn from each encounter. I’ll have to admit there were moments where I wasn’t particularly happy with a few of Alex’s decisions, but was happy to see them work out for the best. The story is laced with steamy sexual scenes and a splash of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Claire Thompson has written a wonderful story sure to entertain those who enjoy BDSM.

Reader Advisory: Story contains a sexual slavery scene that could be considered disturbing.

The Sarran Plague


Title: The Sarran Plague
Author: A.C. Katt
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publisher URL: http://www.eternalpress.ca/
ISBN: 978-1-926647-67-8
Genre: Science Fiction/Erotic/M/M/F Ménage
Nymph Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

When the Sarran Fleet returns home, the warriors are horrified to discover that their hated enemy, the Zyptz, have released a virus into the atmosphere, killing all the fertile females on the planet. Faced with the destruction of the Sarran race, the fleet heads out into the galaxy in search of a planet with fems capable of physically and psychically bonding to a warrior pair, thus completing a triad. After nearly two cycles, they find the planet they are looking for…Earth. Many fear the females on this small backward world will be unable to complete the bond the warriors need, but that fear is soon put to rest. As the fleet gets closer to their destination, the mental voices of fems are felt calling out to their mates. The women are afraid, alone, in pain and dying after being infected by an unknown virus that has decimated the fertile females of the planet.

The mate of Admirals Tonas and Jonal is one of those voices calling out into space…one of the women dying in agony. Once these two warriors mentally bond with their mate, Dr. Anya Forrest, they are determined to save her no matter what the cost, or what deal they have to make with a corrupt government.

The Sarran Plague is the first book by author A.C. Katt that I’ve had the chance to read, and I’ll say up front that I found this science fiction romance to be both entertaining and enjoyable. Ms. Katt has done a very nice job in her world-building, giving a comprehensive understanding of human and Sarran society under attack by unseen forces, bent on the complete destruction of all humanoid life-forms. I must admit that you don’t really learn much about the Zyptz race until nearly the end, and then I cringed at what Earth creature they resembled, and laughed at what could destroy them. That little addition was a perfect out-of-the-blue surprise I really appreciated.

For an unknown author (for me), I was very pleased to find that Ms. Katt pulled me into the story on the very first page and kept my interest until the last word. The story flow is fast-paced but smooth, and it has all the components needed for an exciting story, no matter what the genre. You’ve got pain, suffering, love, desire, and passion, a culture in flux, deceit, betrayal and blistering hot sex between Tonas, Jonal and Anya. What more could you ask? How about some interesting secondary characters, both human and psychic feline, who round out the tale nicely, giving it depth and forward momentum.

I don’t know if Ms. Katt has any intention of turning this book into a series, but I, for one, would welcome more tales of the Sarran warriors as they struggle to re-build their world and claim their destined mates.

Beyond Innocence


Title: Beyond Innocence
Author: Nikki Soarde
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419919299
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Silver Minx

Two men are shot and left for dead. A young family finds one with barely a pulse. Somehow, one of the men survives but doesn’t remember a thing. A physiotherapist named Marnie Grant becomes his only friend. She names him Luke Blue and helps him rediscover his life. Downside is those who left him for dead come back to finish the job.

This book was rather surprising. I kept trying to guess who Luke really was and when I thought I had it, Ms. Soarde changed it. The sex scenes were intimate enough to be almost romantic, but not like porn. I loved the overall plot of the story. I think the best part is the ending where everything comes together and is explained.

Seeds of Time 1: Blue Roses


Title: Seeds of Time 1: Blue Roses
Author: G.S. Wiley
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-702-2
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance, Contemporary, M/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Simon finds himself in an age-old predicament, when he discovers his boyfriend’s web of deceit. Brokenhearted Simon tries to move forward but his pain is evident to those who love him. His sister decides he deserves happiness and buys him a potion guaranteed to show Simon his true love. Simon’s opinion of the potion and its creator alters from doubter to true believer when he finds himself in the past.

Simon is a sweet man who illustrates realistic traits through action and behavior. He’s just like any other ordinary person who seeks love and acceptance. The extent of his boyfriend Adrian’s betrayal was enough to make me want to horsewhip him. I could feel the emotions coursing through Simon and my heart went out to him. G.S. Wiley did a wonderful job transitioning between the two periods. I felt as if I was standing next to Simon when he stepped out to discover his new surroundings. I’ll admit I was proud of his reaction through it all. Seeds of Time 1: Blue Roses was a wonderful way to begin a series, and I’m looking forward to reading more about the character and seeing what his next step will be.

Tarotica


Title: Tarotica
Author: Amber Austin
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Publisher URL: www.ravenousromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60777-092-3
Genre: Erotic Romance
Rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Miranda decides to fulfill her dream of traveling across country after her father dies. She starts in California and meets Eli in San Francisco. Eli is on the run because he discovered a disease in the vineyard he worked at that had previously only been found in France and has been threatened.

Both Miranda and Eli spend time together and alone, traveling to various states and taking different lovers. While both decide that they actually want to be together as a couple, they are reluctant to say anything.

The premise of Tarotica was using the 21 cards of the Major Arcana in the Tarot deck to take the reader on Miranda’s journey. The premise of the story would have been an interesting one if the author could have been consistent. I found the story a little disjointed and felt that some of the chapters had nothing to do with the symbolism of the cards they represented. I also felt the reader needed a basic understanding of the Tarot to even begin to understand half of what was going on or even to enjoy the story.

The Prize


Title: The Prize
Author: Kira Chase
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-281-7
Genre: Contemporary/GLBT (lesbian)
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Micki has lusted after and longed for Starlyn for two years. As the manager of the popular lesbian nightclub, TM's, Starlyn has watched Micki float from woman to woman, never landing anywhere long. Micki finally gives up, figuring Starlyn simply doesn't want her. Then TM's hosts a charity contest in which the winner gets a date with Starlyn. Micki enters... and wins. Now she just has to make the night one that neither of them – especially Starlyn – ever forgets.

The Prize is a well-written romance centering on two beautiful but lonely women. While the plot isn't deep, the emotions are, and when Micki and Starlyn finally get each other alone, it's worth the wait. The sex was very well done, soft and satisfying but never over-the-top.

Overall, The Prize is a feel-good lesbian romance, one I'd be inclined to recommend for someone looking for a light but fun read.

Something Pumping


Title: Something Pumping
Author: Marie Rochelle
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.redrosepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60435-326-6
Genre: Contemporary/Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


Her good-for-nothing brother was doing his best to ruin Jaleena Falcon’s big day. She couldn’t understand what had him so upset this particular day, but Jaleena was tired of dealing with him. Just as it seemed all was hopeless for Jaleena, help arrived. Having the man of her dreams show up with a plunger was the last thing Jaleena was expecting.

Cage Harrison breathed a sigh of relief when a plumbing emergency gave him the perfect excuse to ditch his ex-girlfriend. Instead of concentrating on her toilet, all Cage could think about was finding out how Jaleena’s lips would taste. All he had to do was get her to say ‘yes’ to a date and the rest would be easy.

Things heat up quickly and Jaleena and Cage can’t seem to keep their minds or hands off each other. Business is booming and love is in the air but not everything is perfect. Between family members and Cage’s ex-girlfriend, this couple might have a wedge placed between them that could keep them apart forever.

Time heals wounds, they say, but I am still crushed by the length of time it took Cage to come to his senses and go after Jaleena. It’s a good thing he looks so good in a pair of jeans or I might not have forgiven him so quickly. Jaleena must be superhuman because I doubt I could have dealt with that bad seed brother, as long as she did. True love can conquer all, but not without some ups and downs, apparently, and Something Pumping is a perfect example of this. Marie Rochelle created characters that evoke strong emotions. Some of them I loved, some of them I hated, and others I just pitied. All in all, the suspense and sex balanced to make this story one that must not be ignored.

One More Word


Author: Dallas Coleman
Publisher: Torquere Press
ISBN: N/A
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

Henley is sick and tired of writing love stories. He doesn’t believe in them, but all his editor wants from him are weddings and babies. So when Henley gets a call from his ex-boyfriend, Jack, he does what he always does and goes to him, despite his ex being a liar and a cheater. However, this time Jack has something to say – but will Henley give him the chance?

I am quite the fan of Dallas Coleman, only because the author has fresh ideas and a very good voice. One More Word is an interesting piece and one that has some very fascinating characters. Henley is a writer – busy writing stories about couples in love. He isn’t feeling the romance after being burned by his ex-boyfriend. Henley is very amusing and even more so because the story is written in his point of view. Henley’s cheating ex-boyfriend Jack only comes into play near the end; however the description of the man was very good. I felt like I knew him for the short time he was introduced, and it wasn’t just because of the extensive detailing on Jack’s appearance. If there is one thing I would criticise, it is the ‘one-word’ sentence use. I despise that technique. I believe the author could have used a simple sentence to describe the emotions, instead of breaking three or so words into separate sentences. It does not add appeal or any charm to the story overall. However, despite my one qualm, I highly enjoyed this story and I do hope the author decides to visit Jack and Henley again.

Better Late Than Never


Title: Better Late Than Never
Author: Stephanie Morris
Publisher: Amira Press
Publisher URL: http://www.amirapress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935348-31-3
Genre: Interracial Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Randy Stroud has spent the past six years living with what he deems the biggest mistake of his life. When he left his high school sweetheart, Kristen Smith, without a fight, Randy knew his life would never be the same. He hasn’t felt complete since that fateful day, and seeing Kristen again solidifies that thought. Randy is now ready to do whatever it takes to regain her love and affection.

Kristen is the owner of a daycare center and is ecstatic over fulfilling one of her dreams. Unexpectedly seeing Randy and his young son helps Kristen discover she’s not “over” Randy, in fact she loves him more than ever.

Randy refuses to let a second opportunity for love to slip through his fingers. Will their romance remain a distant memory or can Kristen and Randy rediscover love?

Stephanie Morris writes about forgiveness, trust, and rediscovering love in Better Late Than Never. The story takes place in a town where few secrets remain such in this small close net community. Randy knew the moment he walked away from Kristen he made a mistake, but pride and fear wouldn’t allow him to ask for a second chance. Facing her was the kick in the pants he needed wake him up. Kristen was so hurt that day that she never moved on. One look in his eyes told Kristen her solution was more of a Band-Aid than a cure. I enjoyed watching this couple come to grips over this past hurts. There were a few slow moments for me in this book, but I understood the author’s need to give sufficient background information. I couldn’t comprehend some of Kristen’s actions when it came to Randy, especially allowing him into her bed with such uncertainty looming in the future. However, I have to admit the intimacy seemed to aid in them growing closer and strengthened their emotional connection. The supporting characters brought spice to this story, and had me hoping to see them again in the near future. If you enjoy stories about the one that got away, then you’ll enjoy Better Late Than Never.