Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tempt Me Twice


Title: Tempt Me Twice
Author: Eden Bradley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-489-7
Genre: Contemporary M/M/F
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Jessie has been best friends with Paul since college and values his friendship more than anything else. She’s so glad he is happy with new love Noah but there’s a problem – she can’t stop her lustful fantasies. Having such a close relationship with Paul has left Jessie with the realization that she’s in love with him. For a long time now, she’s wanted to act on her feelings but has resisted, due to her fear of losing his friendship. She’s managed to keep a hold of things until now but it is making her miserable. The last thing she needs is a vacation with Paul and Noah, especially when she discovers Noah is just as hot and sweet as Paul. She can’t take much more of this…

I didn’t quite know what to make of the characters in Tempt Me Twice. Jessie is downright wanton in her lust for both men’s bodies. To begin with, this is very erotic but I eventually lost patience with her inability to face the reality of the situation and communicate her feelings. It’s understandable, though, considering the speed her relationship with Paul changes, she’d feel confliction and so the rollercoaster of emotions she is on is well portrayed.

As the story is written from Jessie’s perspective, the longing she feels comes across well but it would have been nice to get Paul’s perspective more as I think that would have added to the believability. However, Noah’s role is very well done. I never felt sorry for him, never felt that he was in danger of getting his feelings hurt. I was endeared to him because he can see the truth long before the others and he is happy to help.

Certain aspects to the story seem to fade away and that was a little unsatisfying. For example, there are hints to trauma in Jessie’s past and a lot of her decisions are influenced by her relationship with her father, which could have been further explored. Also, Jessie’s upcoming show at the gallery and her career in general are left at the wayside. However, the premise of friendship being cherished so much that people are willing to deny their true feelings to keep it is very strong and with some very erotic scenes backing up the emotion, I would recommend Tempt Me Twice.

For the Love of Blood: The Hightower Introduction


Title: For the Love of Blood: The Hightower Introduction
Author: Annie Alvarez
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-265-7
Genre: Paranormal/Vampire/GLBT (f/f)
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

After being tossed around from foster home to foster home, Izzy is finally making her way in the world as a half-witch. She finds work in a center that provides donors to vampires – a place for both vampires and humans to do so safely. While there, she finds herself drawn to Tamara Hightower, sister of the center’s owner. Tamara is feared by everyone, but Izzy can’t shake the lust she holds for the dominating vamp.

Izzy quickly proves that she’s not the type who submits willingly and in so doing, she catches Tamara’s eye as well. They settle into a love affair, but things become complicated when Tamara’s mother, Lady Hightower, summons them both. A war is brewing, and it seems it’s closer than any of them think.

For the Love of Blood: The Hightower Introduction is book one in what I assume will be a series. The love scenes between Tamara and Izzy are hot and well done, especially the scene with the pearls. Both women are strong and three-dimensional.

The plot seems a bit shallow but overall, it held my interest. I look forward to the next book in this series.

The One That Got Away


Title: The One That Got Away
Author: TC Blue
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-660-5
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Love isn’t cruel, but no one said the people who toy with our emotions wouldn’t be. Michael is a witness to this fact, thanks to his former lover Alex. Recovering from the breakup isn’t easy, even with close friends willing to lend a shoulder to cry on. When it appears their gentle nudging isn’t going to help Michael get out of his funk, his roommate Jim brings out the big guns.

Jim noticed there was something special about his best friend Michael from the start. While most men miss the hidden qualities that make him a precious commodity, Jim has come to savor all the unique attributes that make Michael sexy and alluring. Jim wants Michael to learn to live and laugh again, and his plan to become friends with benefits was a good idea, until he fell in love. One night, one kiss, one moment of passion leads them down a road of with no way to turn back.

TC Blue’s The One That Got Away takes us into the lives of Jim and Michael. These men see what lies below the surface and each feels blessed to have the other in their life. Michael’s inability to recognize his worth and beauty made him his own worst enemy. Jim’s lack of faith in their situation had him stumbling around in the dark, trying to figure out how to gain the one he truly loved, Michael. Their frailties helped these characters to burrow into my heart. While I couldn’t actually take sides because each made colossal mistakes, I was pleased when they acknowledged what they truly wanted. If I had to pick a favorite moment in this book, it’s where Michael finally saw how others see him. That was an eye-opening event, if I ever saw one. The story is about acceptance, self-love, personal growth, and the importance of friendship. I found The One That Got Away to be a delightful read.

Highland Beast


Title: Highland Beast
Author: Regina Carlysle
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921506
Genre: Shapeshifter Time-travel, Romance (m/f)
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Martha is an empath in hiding. She buys an antique mirror with strange symbols on it, and later that night, she begins to feel the lust and loneliness of someone else.

For 300 years, Silas MacAdam has been cursed and trapped by a witch he spurned. Silas has been alone, cut off from his people and waiting for the woman that can free him. When Silas sees Martha through the mirror, he realizes she could be the one to free him.

Highland Beast is a very intense love story that takes you back in time and back again. The intensity of the emotions that Ms. Carlysle reveals between Martha and Silas takes you on their journey with them. The sex between Martha and Silas is the get-the-ice-cubes kind. I enjoyed the surprise ending, as there is no hint until the last few chapters. This is one for the bookshelf, to be read again.

Three of a Kind




Title: Three of a Kind
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-713-8
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance, Contemporary M/M
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Butch may be a giant of a man but he has a soft spot when it comes to those in distress. Seeing Zane in dire need of medical care and a place to lay his head has him taking the younger man home. Zane is sporting bruises as if he met the business end of a bull. He’s wary of trusting anyone, but with a broken down truck and no serious cash at his disposal, the alternatives are less than safe.

Zane realizes he’s safer than he thought when he meets Butch’s lover Randy. There’s no way this strong confident man could really want him, right? Well Zane’s about to discover Butch isn’t the only one who has a hankering for him. Randy is also more than ready to take him into their home, hearts, and bed. Will Zane decide to stay and see how things could progress or will he decide to seek out greener pastures?

Sean Michael’s Three of a Kind is about earning trust, learning to live again and survival. Zane had his trust thrown back in his face and now has to live with the repercussions of his decisions. The simple fact of fighting and accepting part of the blame for his current state gave me respect for the young man. Randy reminded me of the Energizer Bunny, with his abundance of energy. His ability to speak his mind freely kept this story interesting and less melancholy during some of the sadder moments. Butch’s ability to assess situations and know the right touch, words, or looks needed to calm the waters made him the perfect balance for their threesome. Yes, the erotic moments were steamy, but the message in this story seemed more poignant. From the plot, to the characters and then the isolated area the three men called home, there was nothing I didn’t enjoy about this wonderfully written story. I wholeheartedly recommend Three of a Kind to those who enjoy reading the genre.

Homecoming


Title: Homecoming
Author: Regina Paul
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publisher URL: http://www.eternalpress.ca/
ISBN: 978-1-926647-65-4
Genre: Gay M/M, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Crew is back after a five-year absence and hopes his lover will still want him after all this time. The last time he saw Eagle, the two of them had been fighting and Crew was storming out the door. Now that he is ready to settle down, Crew can't help but wonder if he will get another chance with Eagle or if he has blown it for good.

Regina Paul‘s Homecoming is a hot and sexy story. From the time Crew and Eagle reunite until the time they fall asleep, these two are unable to keep their hands off each other. While the chemistry between the characters was evident from the beginning, I would have like to have seen how they came to be as a couple. There was also mention of them being a bonded pair yet there was no real explanation as to what exactly this meant. While I wished there had been more to the story I did find the book to be enjoyable.

Lessons in Discovery


Title: Lessons in Discovery
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Linden Bay Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.lindenbayromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60202-200-3
Genre: Gay/Lesbian Historical M/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

It’s been a year of blissful discovery, friendship, and passionate encounters for Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith and while sharing a cramped bed is fun, Jonty believes sharing a home would be better. However, a slight accident causing Orlando to lose some of his memory dampens their celebration. The year used to fortify their bond is now only part of Jonty’s memories and he will have to begin to build the trust and love they shared once more. Some of the residual effects of their friendship remain in Orlando’s mind. To wake up having a true friend opens Orlando’s mind and he is envisioning a less lonesome future.

The Master decides a recuperating Orlando is the perfect person to solve a four-hundred-year-old murder mystery. Orlando and Jonty tackle the mystery and use all of the skills acquired while assisting with their last two cases.

Will Jonty be able to accept just Orlando’s friendship if his memories never return? Will Orlando be willing to accept the true nature of their relationship? Working together is just the medicine needed to aid in the rediscovery of their past love affair, and bring out a new side of Orlando that Jonty would hate to see leave.

Lessons in Discovery is the third book in the A Cambridge Fellows Mystery series. Charlie Cochrane definitely knows how to keep a series interesting. The plot is simple but written with finesse and draws you in from the first page. The main characters are becoming two of my favorites to read. They truly bring out the best in one another, and their genuine love and affection shines through. The beautifully written setting and supporting cast, as usual, adds just the right amount of embellishment to this story and are smoothly incorporated. While the erotic encounters are sensually fervent, they never become crass. I thoroughly enjoyed Lessons in Discovery and look forward to reading the next installment in this series.

Tempting Tori


Title: Tempting Tori
Author: N. J. Walters
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://jasmine-jade.com/
ISBN: 9781419919381
Genre: Contemporary M/F
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Victoria Abrams has made up her mind to leave the ranch she’s been so happy working at, as a housekeeper. She has to, as she doesn’t think she can stand another minute looking at the man of her dreams without being able to touch. Tori thinks that J.T Courage is one stunning example of maleness and has no doubt that he’d ever see her as anything more than just the housekeeper. To be fair, she’s loved her time taking care of him and his brothers, turning their house into a home; she’s proud of the job she’s done and knows the men have had no complaints either but her heart just can’t take it anymore.

Resigned to the fact that she’ll never get what she truly wants, she goes to see J.T one last time but when J.T sees her, goodbyes are the last thing on his mind. J.T has big plans for his ranch and whether she believes it or not, those plans include Tori, in a big way. Tori is tempted, but she must remain strong, for her heart’s sake. If only J.T wasn’t quite so convincing…

Tempting Tori is a story of want and need; of what happens when you repress those feelings for far too long only for them to come bursting out when you least expect them, with sweltering results. Tori can imagine living out the rest of her life on the ranch with J.T but in her opinion, he just doesn’t seem to notice her and because of this, I really felt for the character and wanted her happy. As the story begins, J.T seems an enigma and I was intrigued as to what he was up to. I wish I could have read more of Tori’s life at the ranch to really get a sense of her longing for him and to get a little more insight into the plans J.T is trying to put together but the chemistry is still very apparent between the two without this. The author did a fantastic job building their desires and in making me care about the characters and I think this made the romance all the more erotic for me.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Conflict in Blood


Title: Conflict in Blood
Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-30-5
Genre: M/M Paranormal Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

The struggle between the Vampire/Wizard alliance and the dark Wizards grows stronger every day, making Serrier, and his followers, increasingly desperate to gain the upper hand in their ongoing magical conflict. They are actively seeking information to explain the power behind the unexpected alliance, and the dark Wizards don’t care whom they have to kill or torture to get it.

Jean Bellaiche, leader of the Paris Vampires, and his partner, Raymond Payet, are striving to lead by example by developing not only a viable professional relationship but a satisfying personal one, as well. Despite their efforts and the efforts of their friends, Alain Magnier and Orlando St. Clair, Thierry Dumont and Sebastien Noyer, strife, resentment, anger and misunderstandings threaten to unravel numerous uncomfortable partnerships.

As the war rages all over the city and the number of causalities mount, the alliance members fight to put aside their differences, while hunting amongst ancient texts for an answer that would swing the tide of war in their favor.

Conflict in Blood is the third release in Ms. Tachna’s four book series, Partnership in Blood. This series really needs to be read in it’s entirety in order to get the understanding needed to follow such a complicated plot with multiple important characters who move from book to book.

There are so many personalities, and so much going on in this plotline, it’s hard to believe that, in story time, only 3-4 weeks have elapsed since the first release. The partnerships between the Wizard/Vampire pairs are in different stages…barely able to tolerate each other, able to work well together and finally, those pairs who are true partners and lovers. I have to admit that while Alain and Orlando might have been the first couple, they are by no means my favorite in this intriguing and well-written paranormal series. Two other couples, Jean and Raymond, closely followed by Sebastien and Thierry, have replaced them.

Ms. Tachna continues to do an excellent job of dealing with Orlando’s abusive past, but her attention to the relationships of the other couples in the story has really caught my attention. Instead of making the partnerships either black or white, there are varying shades of gray, which changes still again, as the pairs become more familiar with each other. These differences are where the author’s ability truly shines, making the wizard/vampire personalities and their relationships widely varied.

There are two aspects of this paranormal tale that I particularly enjoyed. While the backbone of the story is the war between good and evil, the actual battles between the two sides never take-over or overpower the story of the developing relationships, whether M/M, M/F or F/F. Yes, there is pain, and death on both sides as the bad Wizards battle to take over, but that doesn’t stop life from going on. The other thing I was pleased to see involved Jean and Raymond, our wizardly brain…our wizardly scholar, who finally did what I’ve never seen before in a story with an ancient vampire and ‘young’ human. Why, I don’t know. Raymond asked about the history Jean had seen in his life/death time. Truthfully, I’d like to see more of this intriguing couple in the future. Maybe in another book taking place after the war is at an end.

Lastly, even though I’ve enjoyed the series so far, I still have questions that I’ve never seen addressed and I’d like answered. Why is the main battle happening in Paris? What makes this city so important? Why aren’t all of the Wizard/Vampire pairs housed in Paris, if that’s where the battle is taking place? Why haven’t we read of problems in other parts of France, and what about other parts of the world? Are the other areas problems free, and if so, why? All those and others questions need resolution before I can really call the series at an end.

The Cannibal King's Husband


Title: The Cannibal King's Husband
Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-159-9
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, M/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Kimo and his husband Lopaka leaves their family at their hideout in Scotland and are traveling on their mission by boat to Samoa. As revealed in the previous episode of the Phantom Lover series, Lopaka learns that his long lost father, Paden, is the Hawaiian Kahuna Council member who has the deciding vote on whether baby Kimo will be taken away into seclusion for magical training. Lopaka is apprehensive that his father will turn his back on his grandchildren the same way he turned from his children to be with his Samoan cannibal husband. The long trip is nerve-wracking for Lopaka, being surrounded by a surly crew who are a little jealous of his relationship with Kimo. Even their friend and boat owner, Nohea, featured in My Hawaiian Song of Love, was feeling the strain of being deprived of his husband and wife for so long. Kimo does his best to amuse Lopaka with sex games. Landing in Samoa, one thing became very clear to Lopaka; a man-wife is not equal to his husband on this island. What’s more, his father’s name is now Keneti and he is being held captive by the cannibal king.

In all of the Phantom Lover series episodes, the very gifted A. J. Llewellyn highlights the cultural traditions. In The Cannibal King's Husband, the focus is on the origins of the tribal tattoos and the tradition of wearing white to church. I found the dress code and public behavior laws interesting, along with the idea of cannibals living in the midst of the Christians. I thoroughly enjoy the visuals in Phantom Lover series; Kimo and Lopaka are always extremely arousing and very loving, the family interaction is a pleasure to read. The next installment title is Na Hiku; I’m looking forward to more exciting activity.

The Dark Desire of the Druids III: Desert & Destiny


Title: The Dark Desire of the Druids III: Desert & Destiny
Author: Isabel Roman
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.ravenousromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60777-108-1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Trying to save her friend from being killed, Arabelle Bahari almost takes Gareth’s life in self-defense. They come together in anger and have explosive sex. She is a specialist in Egyptian language and is asked to participate in deciphering information with Master Magickers, who have stronger magic. Knowing there can’t be anything more between her and Gareth because of his arrogance, she is determined to completely forget he exists.

Gareth, Earl Moore, is a man whose friends and colleagues call him cold and calculating until he meets up with a woman who takes his breath away….Arabelle. Once he gets a taste of her, no other woman will do for him. Despite how he feels about his new beloved, he still has to resolve his anger issues from being dumped by his ex-fiancé for another man before he can pursue her.

The Dark Desires of the Druids III: Desert and Destiny is an exciting story leading from the shores of England to the desert of Egypt. This time, we have all of the Master Magickers together to solve a mystery surrounding a jeweled box that came into their possession. The group of masters solved the problem of where the information is to help them find out more about their ancestors and find that they have to take a voyage abroad, which is not what they wanted to do.

An old enemy, Corwin the Hunter, is back again and making accusations that Arabelle is performing magic to anyone who will listen. After he kills Arabelle’s friend, Richard, in a warehouse then follows them to make an attempt on her life sets Gareth’s teeth are on edge. He knows he is going to have to do something about the enemy and instead gets injured.

Isabel Roman has done a wonderful job of writing about ancient Egypt, the Magickers power to control the flow of life, and how love will survive. I especially love the fact that she added a twist to the couple’s lives without their knowing. Once the group retrieved the book they were looking for, I felt as though there should be something more, and hope that Ms. Roman will make me a happy camper continuing this series.

The Dark Desires of the Druids II: Sex & Subterfuge


Title: The Dark Desires of the Druids II: Sex & Subterfuge
Author: Isabel Roman
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.ravenousromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60777-107-4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Morgana Blackthorne, a Master Magicker, needs to get her followers under control. She knows that Lucian is looking for her family and when they meet, they quickly become lovers, their joining fiery and explosive. This makes them realize what the two of them are facing is more than a simple attraction. As much as Morgana wants him, she knows she will not be able to bear his children, and it forces her to attempt to push him away at every opportunity because she knows he wants them.

Lucien, Earl of Granville, has been sent to look for the other side of the Blackthorne family magickers in America, and finds Morgana after a few inquiries. It is almost love at first sight for them but they both try to resist the feelings and they fail miserably. The main reason he is there is to warn them of the Hunters in England who want to persecute all Magickers and to reconnect with the families in America. Despite the looming danger, Lucien refuses to leave Morgana’s side, deciding to make their relationship permanent.

The Dark Desires of the Druids II: Sex & Subterfuge is a fantastic story that continues with Lucian heading off after the death of his parents. Even in this book, the mystery surrounding him and the connection to helping other Magickers is secretive. The secondary characters lent a lot to the story with their deception and control over everyone.

Isabel Roman had done a wonderful job of telling this story about how strong the female line was in the American Blackthorne family. The simple fact that Morgana put everyone else before her wants and needs, including her trusted cousin, James, and friend, Takoda, told me she had a great concern for others. I cannot wait to dive into the next book to see what happens with the Magickers.

The Protector’s Jewel


Title: The Protector’s Jewel
Author: Bonnie Rose Leigh
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-219-0
Genre: Shapeshifter, Paranormal (m/f)
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Alyssa’s mother was killed by a vampire and her life was saved by a family at a stop in the Underground Railroad. Alyssa now designs jewelry and uses her shop as a stop for the Underground Railroad to help were-wolves get new identities and lives.

Blake is a private investigator, who is helping his best friend and the king of the were-wolves find his sister. Rumor has it that his sister had been at one of the Underground Railroad locations when she was younger. What Blake didn’t realize until he showed up at Alyssa’s was that they are mates.

Blake is informed that his mother has been kidnapped and as they start looking for her, they receive a ransom request for a “Book of Spells” that could spell the end of both the weres and humanity. As the search for Blake’s mother and the book continues, the were-wolves meet the were-bears and the were-cats.

The Protector’s Jewel is the continuing story of The Protectors, the were-races that are attempting to protect humanity from the vampires. The were-societies that Ms. Leigh has created is wonderfully complex. This story has it all - romance, suspense and a wonderful storyline that keeps you glued to the book. The mating rituals of the weres are fascinating as the couples learn about each other and adjust to life together. I am really looking forward to reading the the rest of the Protectors series.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hidden Enemies


Title: Hidden Enemies
Author: Ravyn Wilde
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419920424
Genre: Romantic Suspense M/F
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Cole Matheson is in Texas on business. He isn’t looking for marriage but Cole will accept a mutually enjoyable night of hot lust. Something about Jenna Jessup is different. Their connection catches him off-guard and after two nights of passion, she vanishes with a top-secret book entitled Hidden Enemies. Cole will make every effort to get back the book and Jenna has nowhere to hide.

Jenna was once a happily married woman. A traumatic head injury caused her loving husband to change into Mr. Hyde. The divorce may be final, but the attacks aren’t over so she has no choice but to flee for her life. However, hiding means leaving everything behind, including the man who reawakened her passion, Cole.

Hidden Enemies takes us into the life of a domestic violence survivor. What I love about Ravyn Wilde’s story is that Jenna didn’t just put her head in the sand and “hope” for a better tomorrow. She took the initiative and stood firm in her beliefs. Cole’s tough exterior is a shield for a man who doesn’t want anyone close enough to betray or abandon him. His heart is fragile and it was nice to see such a strong man show his true emotions. The characters imperfections gave them a real feel, while the plot and setting made Hidden Enemies a treat to read. I would recommend it to those who read the genre.

InDescent




Title: InDescent
Author: K.Z. Snow
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-563-3
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/Gay (m/m)
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Jackson Spey is an enigmatic, sexy wizard who has a rather unconventional relationship with his best friend. Lovers despite Adin’s relationship with a woman, Jackson fights against the emotions he knows his friend feels for him. Unfortunately, it’s the least of Jackson’s worries.

An old enemy has secured the Prism of Nezrabi, a powerful crystal that acts as a doorway to other planes of existence. There is a tear in the fabric separating the Prism’s world from the earthly plane, and Jackson Spey is the only one who can fix it. To do it, however, is not going to be easy. He will have to face many fears, some of which prove to be harder than anything he’s ever known.

The sequel to Obsessed, InDescent is another foray into Jackson Spey’s world of sex and magic. Once again, I found myself falling utterly in love, all over again, with Jackson and Adin. They are both beautiful but flawed men, and together, they are breathtaking.

K.Z. Snow paints an amazing picture of the magical inhabitants of the Prism and expertly zips Jackson through the demons in his own soul. The end result is more than I ever expected, and it only shows how strong Jackson and Adin’s love truly is.

If you read Obsessed, then I absolutely must insist that you read InDescent.

Touch Me


Title: Touch Me
Author: Sahara Kelly
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419919923
Genre: Contemporary M/F
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph


Eden Morell is an author who is afraid to tell her group of friends her secret about her writing. The reason Eden didn’t incorporate hot sex into her books was because she didn’t enjoy sex. She just didn’t see it as a toe-curling event. When a motorcycle God with long black hair enters her holistic medicine store, Eden begins to rethink her clinical views about the birds and the bees.

Professor Sean Rafferty looked at the woman with the ample curves and the sherry brown eyes and knew he had to have her. She was irresistible. Sean didn’t want to scare her by coming on too strong, but he wanted Eden to see herself through his eyes and realize how desirable she truly was.

Eden was awakened and got a muse the day she met Sean. That man was sexy and smart and the perfect match for Eden. It is always a turn on reading about male characters who know exactly what they want and waste no time going after it. She went from frigid to flaming because of this bold biker and I couldn’t have been happier for her. Eden has a life that most folks would be envious of. Her motley friends are exactly the kind of friends we all need, and I loved their conversations. I have fallen in love with them and can’t wait to read the rest of the Sexploration series. Sahara Kelly, thank you for touching me with Touch Me.

Awakening


Title: Awakening
Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-288-6
Genre: Romance, Vampire, M/M
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lucian Prescott is driving back to his home town to attend his good friend Charlie Hamilton’s funeral. Charlie had always been a little wild; however his death has Lucian’s cop instinct curious about the mystery surrounding it. Arriving at his best friend Landon James’ Bed and Breakfast, Lucian hopes there is an available room. Lucian felt guilty about calling ahead since he had cut off contact with his friends years ago. Fortunately, Landon is happy to see Lucian and introduces him to his boarder, Mapleton’s game warden Julian Danone. Intrigued and very attracted to Julian, Lucian renews his friendship with Landon, attempts to investigate Charlie’s death and tries to make sense of his sudden feelings for Julian.

Awakening is an intricate coming-to-terms romance. Lucian must acknowledge that he is gay and loves a vampire. Landon must confess to himself that the man he thinks he loves loves another man and Julian must deal with his past and stop running. The amazing D.J. Manly created a thrilling and immensely enjoyable story that begs for more of these vampires.

The Protector’s Destiny


Title: The Protector’s Destiny
Author: Bonnie Rose Leigh
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-113-1
Genre: Shapeshifter, Paranormal (m/f)
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Elizabeth is an author living her life alone because a vampire is hunting her. She decides to stop running and goes back to her home in New York.

Sam Woods is the leader of the werewolves and has been looking to bringing his people back together. Vampires are hunting them and most of his people have scattered. Sam is also looking for Elizabeth, unaware she is his mate.

Sam saves Elizabeth from a vampire and ends up being attacked by a bear. Elizabeth saves him and goes with him to meet the other werewolves that Sam leads. Once there, traitors and vampires try to kill both Sam and Elizabeth.

The Protector’s Destiny is the beginning of the story of the Loup-garou or modern werewolves. The twists and turns of the betrayals and vampires make for a very action-packed story. Sam does his best to win Elizabeth and allay her fears about their relationship. You feel as if you are in the story as it unfolds and learn about some of the history of the society that Ms. Leigh has created. I look forward to reading future stories of these werewolves and how she resolves the war between them and the vampires.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Physical Therapy


Title: Physical Therapy
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-933-1
Genre: LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Hope comes in many forms. A fresh start, strangers who support you, the discovery of something so strong it propels you to create your own hopeful situation, or a chance at love. For Jordan Jensen, three out of four aren’t bad odds. He’s moved to St. Nacho’s seeking a fresh start, and ends up becoming part of Ken Ashton’s new lease on life. If Jordan plays his cards right, he may get the fourth form… love.

Ken’s instant attraction to Jordan came when he needed it the most, reawakening his playful flirty side. The effects of an accident caused by a drunk-driver have scared him, physically and emotionally. However, thanks to Jordan he’s learning to move pass his grief, move past his pain, rebuild his life and admit his true nature and desires to his family. Most would think Jordan’s past problems with alcohol would remind Ken of the driver guilty of causing his current state, but Ken would rather be in Jordan’s arms than anywhere else.

Ken and Jordan won’t have an easy road but with patience and love, they just might find a way to make their relationship work.

Physical Therapy takes us back to St. Nacho’s where Jordan has decided to drop roots. Jordan is a character I wasn’t soon to forget. His inability to escape his past lingered on after I read St. Nacho’s. That trouble healing helped Jordan make some tough decisions, and created a wonderful story. I honestly couldn’t find anything I didn’t like about this book. From Ken, the injured man who was willing to let go and let love lead, to the supporting characters who definitely added laughter and the warmth of community to this book, to seeing Copper and Shawn again. The setting has a brilliant blend of down hometown meets California sun, and I can still hear the waves crashing on the surf. I love Z.A. Maxfield’s novels because of the balance between erotic encounters, building attraction, and solid plots that hold their own even if you remove the sex. Jordan and Ken are yet another group of well-developed characters who have left me captivated. Physical Therapy is a clear example of how the underdog can always rise up, that love takes no prisoners or excuses, and true friends love you unconditionally. If you enjoyed St. Nacho’s, you don’t want to miss this fantastic sequel.

NEG UB2




Title: NEG UB2
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-516-4
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Ethan Schwartz has just received the scariest possible news for a gay man…he’s been diagnosed with HIV. He loves his job, but his personal life is falling around his ears. He can’t understand how he contracted the disease unless the love of his life, and partner of six months, Brian infected him. The idea his lover was already infected, or cheated are the only thing that makes sense to Ethan, since he’s been celibate most of his life.

Without a family to turn to for support, Ethan does what so many individuals do in today’s electronic society. He starts his own blog, Off to See the Wizard of Poz, giving him the venue to express his thoughts, ideas and fears about the unexpected turn in his life; except he gets much more. He also gets unconditional love, support and hope from total strangers. And if Ethan will give him a chance, one of his blog readers might be the key to his future, and his happily ever after.

NEG UB2 is the sequel to Rick Reed’s recent release VGL Male Seeks Same and it takes up a few months later, on an eventful day, guaranteed to change Ethan’s life forever.

I admit that I’ve read very little where one of the main characters was struggling with a diagnosis of HIV, but it caused me to remember all the gay friends and co-workers I’ve lost track of through the years of job and location changes. What happened to those men who I used to see every day? Are they healthy and HIV free? Are they ill and infected? Are they dead? Or are they alive, well and happy? It also made me glad for the advances in medication that now allows most HIV+ persons to live long and productive lives. Is the diagnosis any less frightening than it was years ago? No, but now, at least there is hope. Thank God.

We follow Ethan, from the second his world falls apart at his doctor’s office, and watch as he struggles to come to grips with a disease which could potentially take his life. He goes through disbelief and fear very quickly as he tries to make sense of what has happened to his life, and what being infected means to his continued existence. Mr. Reed does a great job expressing the confusion Ethan and so many others when faced by such a fearful life scenario. What does T-cell and viral load mean? What are the drugs, Viramune and Truvada, and how could he pay for those life saving medications without insurance?

All these thought provoking concepts are touched on in this well-written, sincere and heart-wrenching M/M romantic sequel. While this novella is on the surface filled with Ethan’s bleak hopelessness; underneath everything, it gives hope for the future. So, if you haven’t gotten it just yet, let me say it so there isn’t any misunderstanding. I loved this story and can’t wait to see where the lives of Ethan and Brian go, so Mr. Reed, take my kudos for a job well done, and get to writing the next release.

Stepping up to the Plate


Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: Lulu Press
ISBN: 978-1-4303-0651-1
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Interracial
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

At sixteen, Stacy dropped out of school and now at twenty, he lives every day as it comes. However, things are starting to look pretty bleak with an abusive boyfriend. So his mother decides to step in and registers him to get his GED, despite Stacy’s reluctance. However, Stacy wants to prove that he can do something with his life, and he doesn’t want to let down his friend Ange – who has been the only constant thing in his life. At school, Stacy meets Darian, a wood shop worker and a person who suddenly becomes the most important person to ever enter his life.

Stepping up to the Plate is a trademark J.M. Snyder story; filled with emotional and raw characters and a thrilling plot line that keeps you glued to your seat. Stacy is an interesting character that can frustrate you to no ends. But his determination, and his obvious need to do better in life, is really heart-warming and very inspirational. Darian is a wonderful character, and a lovely contrast to Stacy’s personality. Darian is a character you can appreciate because whilst he helped Stacy rebuild his life, he helped him because he had faith in Stacy and wanted him to succeed. The author wields a lot of emotion in her story that makes the imagery very vivid and lovely to read. I think my only downside was Ange – out of all the characters, he was the one I fell in love with and I felt rather sad for him, despite the fact I’ve read the sequel. However, Stepping up to the Plate is a wonderful story rich in characterisation and story.

Tell Me a Lie


Title: Tell Me a Lie
Author: Ronna Gage
Publisher: Freya’s Bower
Publisher URL: http://www.freyasbower.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: Contemporary M/F Short
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

After being hurt by her boyfriend for the last time and her belief in “happy ever after” shaken once again, Ava begins to evaluate her life. She had all but given up on the perfect man, so why is it she can’t forget the guy who came into the coffee shop where she works? When he turns up again in the same bar she chose to drown her sorrows in, she begins to think this is fate. However, she’s well aware that there are signs he might be trouble, so why won’t her body listen to what her brain is telling her? Something’s stopping her from letting go; maybe this time, things might be different…

Tell Me a Lie is a strong short story with believable characters and great chemistry between Ava and new man Ford. Ava’s boyfriend is always in the background, thanks to his bad treatment of her, but this story is really all about Ava and the possible future she has with this new guy. Intrigue and suspense builds nicely as we wonder who Ford is, what his deal is and if he’s really what Ava’s been looking for. The justification for the choices Ava makes based on a man she doesn’t know sometimes made me a little uncomfortable but her heartache makes her actions believable enough. The author does a good job of letting us see Ava’s inner conflict but this doesn’t last forever and it was very enjoyable to read Ava’s erotic fantasies become reality.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Gypsy’s Vow


Title: A Gypsy’s Vow
Author: Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-556-5
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Tired of being lonely and working at her father’s inn, Bess takes a much needed break to wander the market place. While walking around, she locks eyes with a handsome stranger who takes her breath away and because it is safer, she wants to return to the routine of normalcy. After her visit to his camp one evening, she knows that he is the man for her, and will have to stop her father from marrying her to the man that wants her. With Alexi’s vow to return for her, Bess tries to go about her life, awaiting his return but is having a hard time.

Alexi has found his true love in Bess and there is nothing he won’t do to have her with him, always. He knows that he must go slowly in order to bring Bess around to accepting his way of life as a gypsy and that is not an easy task. Now that he has a taste of her, there is nothing that he will not do to make her his completely.

A Gypsy’s Vow is a quickie that is fast paced and left me wanting more. I was not surprised by the father’s decision to marry off Bess, without even considering her desire for adventure, or see the truth of the man who wanted her. I was happy to read that she was the level-headed one of the family and continued to fight for her right to live the way she wanted. The history given on the characters is lacking and left me wanting to learn more about them. When the two lovers did come together, it was very hot and sensual each time.

Bonnie Dee wrote about the life of gypsies who wander more than any other people, and are very happy with their lives. I applaud Bess for her courage to do what it takes to be her own woman, and to take charge of her life; to live for herself, not her family. Being introduced to Aunt Edwina turned out to be the saving grace for Bess, in her time of need. This is a very romantic book, and it takes you away for a short period of time. I really enjoyed reading every word.

Getting it in the End


Title: Getting it in the End
Author: G.A. Hauser
Publisher: Linden Bay Romance
Publisher URL: http://www.lindenbayromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60202-163-1
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Mark Antonious Richfield might be gorgeous but he lives in Los Angeles, surrounded by any number of similarly gorgeous men…many of whom are years younger. He’s tall, attractive to both sexes, and has phenomenal long hair, all of which make for an attractive outer package. It’s unfortunate that he’s not as flawless inside.

Despite the fact that Mark has a great partner in ex-cop Stephen, he’s still obsessed with his best friend and former roommate, Jack. Mark’s desire for Jack has him begging for another chance for them to be together, which tests not only Stephen’s love for him, but threatens Jack’s partnership with Adam as well. No matter how hard he tries, Mark can’t stop wanting Jack, even though his desire could destroy not only his peace of mind, but his devoted lover as well.

Getting it in the End is the third release in G.A. Hauser’s ongoing Action! series and unlike the first two releases, which dealt with actors, this one revolves around four men who were previously secondary characters, Mark, Stephen, Jack and Adam. Ms. Hauser did a very nice job in expressing the fear, confusion and insecurity experienced by Mark, due to his emotional and verbal abuse while growing up. In fact, she did such a good job that I spent a good portion of the book not liking him… at all. Mark’s depressing, manipulative to the extreme, emotional and has a low self-esteem, but he’s also friendly, loving and giving. He’s a study in extremes.

Stephen just plain loves Mark. He loves him so much that he isn’t willing to deny him anything, even if that includes the couple having sex with others. The sex between these two is blistering hot, and happens so frequently that at times, it almost overpowers the story. Ms. Hauser did a great job with the scenes involving Mark and modeling, especially when he needed rescuing. That portion of the story had great depth of emotions and vivid descriptions, of not only Mark, but the three creepy photographers, as well.

As far as Mark’s desire to have sex with Jack…let’s just say, I was surprised with the outcome, and I’ll leave it up to you to discover what happened with these two couples, and four would-be lovers. Watch for the next release in this series with Behaving Badly.

Molokai Man


Title: Molokai Man
Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Publisher URL: http://devinedestinies.com
ISBN: 978-1-55487-249-7
Genre: Gay M/M, Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jack seems to be having a rough time of it lately. He doesn’t seem to be able to sell any of his stories, he has the neighbor from hell, there is road construction going on outside his window and he is pretty sure his boyfriend is cheating. To top it off, his closest living relative has just died, leaving Jack with not only an inheritance, but a mess as well.

A. J. Llewellyn, the author of Molokai Man, took the old saying, “Nothing is what it seems”, and ran with it. While reading about Jack and the troubles before him, I kept thinking that at least he …, but then things would change and I began to wonder just how Jack was ever going to get his happily ever after. Those of you who have read Mr. Llewellyn’s books before know not to worry, as he always seems to wrap up his stories just beautifully and this one is no exception. Those who have yet to read this author's books, start with this one. You will not be disappointed.

The Kent Heiress


Title: The Kent Heiress
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921117
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Sabrina is no longer in love with her husband, Lord Elvan, because of his infidelities, which she has experienced first hand. Now that she knows Perce, her brother’s friend, is in love with her, she is determined to end her marriage, and not think about cheating with Perce. Even with her doubts from her husband’s affairs, she never gives up on Perce’s desire to marry her.

When Perce finds himself at a ball that Sabrina is attending, he finds it hard not to voice his emotions at seeing her again. Because of his position as an aide in the Russian army, he is torn between leaving her, because he feels the need to protect her, and obeying the orders he was given to obtain information. At different times, Perce’s temper and jealousy would get the better of him and he would say the wrong words to Sabrina, but he did love her very much.

The Kent Heiress is the second book in the Dynasty series, and continues with the war that is being spurred on by Bonaparte. I found this story very interesting because of the way Sabrina maintained her ice cold attitude with her husband, and the love she found with Perce with a war going on around them. In this story, the secondary characters were a plus and they lent a lot of humor for me. Although the Foreign Office head person was very untrusting, and a pain in the rear to Perce, he cherished his freedom, deciding to not work for them any more.

Roberta Gellis has written of a lot of history telling how some of the other countries felt about each other, and right in the middle of it, two people who needed to find a love that would last forever. The coldness that Sabrina perfected to keep others from approaching her, because of her position, wasn’t what I expected of her and the ability to be a diplomat’s wife, only made her more likable to me. There were times when the lovers were making assumptions about each other without cause because they had decided not to voice what they truly felt. I wanted to shake both of them until their teeth rattled for not communicating.

True Colors


Title: True Colors
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-95-4
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Months after the tragic death of his older brother, artist Zeke Roswell’s life has spiraled out of control and he’s lost nearly everything he owns to pay back his creditors. He’s been forced to sell all his remaining paintings and worst of all; he now has to sell the gallery he’s worked so hard to build. Enter wealthy and influential Miles Winter, who has his heart and wallet set on buying the gallery from a financially destitute Zeke. His plans are to renovate the space and turn it into a commercial success.

The initial meeting with Zeke, Miles and the attorney’s doesn’t go well. Zeke is filled with anger, hostility, anxiety and sarcasm at being forced to give up his gallery…his dream. After the sale is finalized, Zeke expects to be shown the door, not for Miles to offer him to remain in his studio apartment and a job as the artist director for the gallery. The men may disagree about nearly everything, but that doesn’t stop the passion simmering between them. Miles is drawn to Zeke’s zest for life, artist passion and talent, and Zeke is enthralled with Miles’ determination, drive and self-assurance. As the passion between them flares, so does the danger, as an arsonist strives to find the missing sketches rendered by Zeke’s deceased brother.

True Colors is the latest release by author Clare London and it’s a well-written and emotional ride from beginning to end. Zeke is a great character, who falls apart after the fiery death of his talented older brother. Their relationship was complicated, both personally and professionally, and Ms. London does a nice job interspersing information without it seeming like an info dump. It leaves the reader feeling included in Zeke’s emotional pain, instead of watching from the outside. At the beginning of the story, Miles is rather stiff and unemotional…a cold fish with few true friends. It’s only after being acquainted with Zeke that his life begins to change.

These two men couldn’t be more different and at times, I wondered if they would ever be able to get past Zeke’s attitude and anger, to develop a successful personal relationship. Ms. London did a great job showing the conflicting emotions of both men, as well as their desire. And watching Zeke initiate Miles to male/male intimacy…hot and passionate.

The secondary characters, Carter Davison and Red De Vere, are important to the story. Not just because they are the best friends of Zeke and Miles, but because of their own developing relationship, and the part they played in the discovery of the mystery ‘bad guy’. The portion of the story revolving around the missing sketches was particularly well done, and I was totally in the dark on the identity of the arsonist until the very end. I love when an author can keep me guessing, and Ms. London did just that. Good job and keep the stories coming.