Saturday, June 20, 2009

Security


Title: Security
Author: Mike Shade
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-723-7
Genre: Gay {M/M}, Contemporary, Ménage and more
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Ken and Bay have come to rely on one another for support and love. The death of their mother caused a rift between the twins and their father that has never healed. When their new bodyguards, Simon and Rick, arrive the twins believe it’s yet another ploy designed to keep track of them. They aren’t thrilled about having the men under foot and plot to get rid of Rick and Simon.

Rick and Simon are former lovers who were prepared to make a clean break until the call came for their new assignment. There was no way to turn this job down, and discovering what a prima donna Ken could be didn’t make it any easier.

The twins discover their lives are truly at risk, and are split-up for their own safety. Their closely unique bond causes the separation to affect them differently. While Simon and Rick’s training may come in handy to keep them alive, their personalities and understanding of the twins is what will help them nurture Ken and Bay during the separation while they get to know the men they have sworn to protect.

Mike Shade’s Security isn’t your average love story. Ken and Bay have loved each other since they were children. The death of their mother, coupled with the physically and emotional distance of their father, has caused them to develop a relationship we normally don’t witness. Mike Shade does a fantastic job of delivering the message behind this sensitive subject, by creating characters with the ability to pull at your heartstrings. Bay, the feeler of the group, is my favorite character. He knows everyone’s weakness and uses the information to help find harmony. He doesn’t have a selfish bone in his body, and would rather lose something he’s come to enjoy, than to keep others from being happy. Ken kept this story interesting with his ‘give them hell’ attitude. He didn’t believe in being coy and went after what he wanted. Simon and Rick definitely had me ready to place both of them over my knee, but after I got the full history, I could understand the uneasiness and hurt. The story has action, suspense, and enough erotic moments to keep readers sated. Mr. Shade delivers a well-written story that is sure to keep fans of twincest on the edge of their seats.

Seeking Truth


Title: Seeking Truth
Author: Francesca Hawley
Publisher: Jasmine Jade
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419922190
Genre: Historical/Het
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Verite de Sauigni is a person gifted with the ability to see a person’s aura and can tell when a person is not telling the truth. She has spent most of her life at a convent and she has no hope of leaving, thanks to her father who hates her. When Eaduin walks into her garden, looking for the healer, she almost faints remembering secretly seeing Eaduin during a visit to one of his lovers. Once she accepts Eaduin’s marriage proposal, there is nothing she won’t do to show him that he needs her for more than just a healer. Now that her father has finally shown up to accuse her of witchcraft in front of the King, due to the fact she will not betray her husband, she is almost hysterical with fear.

Eaduin, Baron Kempe is wroth with worry over his stepmother’s illness and will do almost anything to keep her alive. What he doesn’t expect is to find a woman who has the same sexual desires as he, and it takes some time for him to figure this out. All Verite does is confuses him, and most of all shows her trust of him. With loyalties in demand, the King finds himself in a dilemma of who to believe, and Eaduin was quick to give him the solution by combat.

Seeking Truth is a truly wonderful story of a hero and heroine, who must go through unnecessary risks to survive. The enjoyment of this book came from the characters with their personalities showing of how different people are, and how close siblings can be. The deceptions of both Eaduin and Verite’s fathers is interesting because it seemed they should have been brothers, they were so much alike in behavior.

From the beginning to the end of this story, the two main characters were determined to take care of their home. They had to find time for their overactive sex drives, and they were definitely well-matched. Francesca Hawley has given a fount of information related to healers, and the herbs needed, along with loyalty to family and the King. I look forward to reading other books by this author.

Car Wash


Title: Car Wash
Author: Shawn Lane
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 13: 978-1-60272-529-4
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Kevin Flaherty is grateful for his job at the car wash, considering he is in a financial tight spot. Kevin was laid off from his better paying job, forcing him to sell his motorcycle and now he has received an eviction notice. Knowing he has friends that would help, Kevin’s self-esteem will not allow him to ask. However, things take a turn for the better when Attorney Michael Bennett drives his Maserati in for cleaning. Michael remembers Kevin at fifteen years old as the cute, openly gay guy who had a crush on Michael, but he rejected the youth since he was twenty one at the time. Now nine years later, the all-grown-up Kevin is gorgeous and Michael wants him.

Car Wash is the heartwarming seduction of Kevin Flaherty. Kevin is a self-regulating man with moral standards that forbid him from begging or committing sexual acts for money, he is also realistic enough to know he could use a little help with his economic dilemma. Kevin is more than willing to work for a pay check; however, he is afraid that Michael is only looking for a Boy Toy. Michael is take-charge and bossy so when he pays Kevin’s bills and they have a fight over it, Michael is heartbroken because his only motivation is to show Kevin he cares. The incredible Shawn Lane delivers a well-written emotionally realistic romance featuring meticulous characters and sensuous love scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed Car Wash and look forward to reading more of this author’s fantastic man love stories.

Wrath’s Embrace


Title: Wrath’s Embrace
Author: Tawny Taylor
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921827
Genre: Paranormal, Ménage {m/f/m} Gay
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Cyr and Magus are possessed by the spirit of Wrath. As time goes on, Wrath constantly torments them and it is getting harder and harder for them to resist Wrath’s call.

Gina moved in with her grandmother to help her. This made Gina Cyr and Magus’ next door neighbor. Once they met her, both men realized that she was theirs and they could not believe the peace they felt in her presence.

The premise of the Masters of Sins series is that seven demons embody the spirits of the seven sins. To save the world, each demon was split into two men who carry the burden of these demons. Wrath’s Embrace is the first book. The author wove a very compelling story. The relationship that Gina has with both men is very emotional and makes her question her own motives and life. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Betrothed to the Enemy


Title: Betrothed to the Enemy
Author: H. C. Brown
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.nobleromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60592-039-9
Genre: Historical M/F Romance
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Having lost her father in the Battle of Hastings, Lady Angela of Parr is forced to travel to London for an audience with the brutal king of the Normans. Headstrong and defiant, she knows she must go along with his demands, but it doesn’t stop her from finding solace in the arms of a Norman knight.

Mortal enemies, Sir Damien de Anesi and Lady Angela share a love strong enough to weather just about anything. Will it be enough, though, when the king’s demands come to fruition?

Set in the 11th century in England, Betrothed to the Enemy is an entertaining read. There are enough historical elements to draw the reader in and give the characters a realistic world to inhabit.

While some of the sex seemed a bit too modern (to me, anyway), I still enjoyed it. Sir Damien is certainly sexy (who doesn’t love a knight with a chivalrous attitude?), and Lady Angela is not a typical wilting flower.

Overall, I found Betrothed to the Enemy to be fun – not too deep, but good enough to walk away with a smile on my face.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Club Shadowlands




Title: Club Shadowlands
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-133-5
Genre: BDSM, Het
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Jessica takes refuge at an isolated house after she loses control of her car, unaware it is actually a bondage club. She is very conservative and is intrigued by the interactions she sees.

Master Z watches her and at first thought she could be a Dom because of her confidence, but soon realizes that she is a submissive. He takes her under his wing and lets her have time to absorb what is going on around her.

Club Shadowlands, the first book in the Masters of the Shadowlands series, can be taken as an introduction to the bondage lifestyle. Jessica takes an emotional journey discovering things about herself and letting her insecurities out. The scenes between Jessica and Master Z were so hot that ice-cubes and cold showers were the order of the day. The author is very knowledgeable about the bondage lifestyle and I have to say this is one of the best books I have read, for anyone thinking about trying the lifestyle. Ms. Sinclair not only wrote her story with all the safeguards woven within, she included a blurb about safety measures before you started reading the book. Ms. Sinclair definitely deserves kudos. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Sins Of Arrogance


Title: Sins Of Arrogance
Author: India Harper
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-526-3
Genre: Gay, Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, BDSM (Light), {M/M}
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Carver Eliot is a good cop, whose strong will and lack of control continuously lands him in hot water. There’s not a rule on the books that Carver hasn’t attempted to bend or break. Unfortunately, after making one hotheaded decision too many, Carver is transferred to Zone Six and demoted in rank. While the venue change does nothing to alleviate his cocky attitude, working with David Logan will definitely take Carver down a peg or two.

Lieutenant David Logan’s steady climb in rank proves that he has mastered self-control. One look at Carver’s file and David knows yet another problem child has arrived, but one look at Carver’s body confirms this one might be a temptation too strong to pass up. David revamps his training program and puts Carver through his paces.

While their connection grows stronger, Carver is implicated in a crime spree hitting the zone. Is Carver still the strong willed officer with a lack of control, or is he being framed?

India Harper’s Sins Of Arrogance is the first story in the A Creatures Of Sin series. Carver’s rash decisions may not have been good for his career but they make for interesting reading. David’s style of “training” isn’t regulation, but seems to be just what Carver needs. Carver is a man who hasn’t had very many love him and stick by his side through the bad times. The department change allowed him the opportunity to connect with others and learn to love himself more. David bottled his feelings up. He had no choice but to give in to the desire and caring Carver invoked. Sins Of Arrogance is a fast-paced story, with believable characters and a few slightly unbelievable scenes, but the humor, smoldering passion, and setting more than make up for those situations. Not to mention, David definitely knows the many uses of his tools of trade, which added just enough kink to pop my big toe. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment and recommend this book to those who enjoy the genre.

Jealous Lover


Author: Brandi Michaels
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60504-584-9
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 1.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

Crystal fell in love, only to have her broken. Now three years later, she has become someone else but when Demetrius comes to one of her parties, she can’t help but be drawn to him again. Together, Crystal and Demetrius fall into a business relationship laced with lust but will Crystal be able to keep her heart out of trouble?

Jealous Lover does not start on the right foot for me; the first few pages are what I consider information dumping. Too much detailing on what Demetrius looked like and what Crystal was wearing just seemed irrelevant to me. I’m one of those readers that prefers detailing to be done throughout the story, as opposed to be given all of it in one go. Secondly, I found the characters to be one-dimensional and very irritating. Crystal, who should have walked away from Demetrius after what he had accused her off, was only too happy to fall back into bed with him. Demetrius came off as too robotic for me and I felt no connection with him, nor did I want to because his actions were not likable. The sex scenes were awkward to read – and the flowery prose became too much at times. Lastly I did not buy into the quick happily-ever-after ending; three years of heartache is too much to forget, and I found their happy ending too contrived.

Unfortunately Jealous Lover does not live up to its name; it wasn’t intense and I was waiting for the jealousy storyline that didn’t come up. It didn’t work for me on any level but I’m sure they may be a potential audience for this story.

GayLife.com


Title: GayLife.com
Author: Neil Plakcy
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-037-5
Genre: Romance, M/M
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Brian Cohen is sitting in his South Beach apartment, reflecting on his current unemployment status when he gets a phone from his best friend Stella, a fashion model that’s doing a local shoot and has a one day job for Brian. After work, Brian meets one of the male models and he informs Brian that his partner is looking for office help at GayLife.com. Brian rushes to the interview and is immediately attracted to co-owner Nick Petrangelis; however, Brian soon realizes his hopes to be noticed by Nick is a waste of time when he discovers Nick is in a long term relationship with the gorgeous male model. Brian is also about to discover that sometimes what you see is really an illusion.

GayLife.com is a hilarious and fascinating story narrated by Brian. Brian is a people-watcher who relates his observations; he also has an approachable personality which invites friends and co-workers to seek his logical opinions on issues including Nick. However, Brian is missing the intuitive intellect to find his Mr. Right. Nick is a business powerhouse with dreams of creating the ultimate resource website for GLBT. The very amusing Neil Plakcy illustrates some of the intricate details of constructing an internet business with this superb story which with most people can relate. The plot is actually that of the average working person and the characters are realistic. I particularly enjoyed the references to the hilarious T-shirt slogans along with Brian’s witty comments. GayLife.com is a great mood enhancer.

Feral Passion


Title: Feral Passion
Author: Stephanie Bedwell-Grime
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-572-6
Genre: M/F Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Xandra doesn’t like vampires - never has and never will; except her boss has assigned her to date the high-powered movers and shakers in the vampire community, in hopes of discovering who the mastermind is behind the large numbers of feral vampires currently terrorizing the city. Signing up with an online vampire dating service seems like the answer to her problems and while it does get her the dates Xandra needs to fulfill her task, it doesn’t provide her with any viable leads. That is except for one drop-dead gorgeous vampire, Dante.

Packs of feral vampires are appearing all over the city, attacking and killing anyone who crosses their path. It’s Dante’s job as Vampire Liaison Officer, along with the local police, to find out who is creating them, before there’s a backlash against the law-abiding members of the vampire community. He doesn’t have any leads, with the exception of Xandra, who’s suddenly started to date and interrogate male vampires while on a ‘date’.

The sparks fly between this mismatched pair and when Xandra is injured during a feral attack while she and Dante are on a date, he’s forced to give her an inoculation of his blood. He likes everything he sees about the woman who’s currently driving him crazy, but the question is whether or not she can be trusted. It soon becomes apparent that someone wants her silenced, but the question is who.

Feral Passion is the first book by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime that I’ve had the pleasure to read and with the high quality of her writing and storytelling, it definitely won’t be my last.

Ms. Bedwell-Grime does a wonderful job building an exciting paranormal world where humans, vampires and hunters exist together; often uneasily with fear and even violence but together, nonetheless. The story starts with a bang when a group of feral vampires corners Xandra in an alley and her back-up fails to arrive in a timely manner…again, leaving her to be rescued by a golden stranger. This nearly deadly attack is the beginning of Dante and Xandra’s association. The unease and mistrust each feels for the other is nicely expressed, as is their growing sexual tension and desire. When Xandra is forced to depend upon Dante for her survival, you can almost feel her frustration pulsing off the computer screen.

The background information surrounding both Dante and Xandra’s personal histories is placed within the story in such a way that it’s perfectly integrated; providing an understanding of why both act as they do, but never giving the impression of an information dump. The overall story is well written, fast-paced and with a complex plot that keeps you turning the pages. Add in great characterizations, realistic dialogue, multiple twists and turns, and a villain perfect to hate and you have all the components needed for a keeper romance. Take a hint from me and try Feral Passion. You won’t be sorry you did.

Roman Seduction


Title: Roman Seduction
Author: Laura Tolomei
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: Historical/Ménage {m/m, m/f, m/m/m}/Adventure
Rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Aurelius, a young man of Roman and Egyptian origins, finds himself intensely drawn to a Roman soldier named Attilio. He admires Attilio from afar until the soldier takes it upon himself to bring them together. Aurelius can’t deny his attraction but he has no idea what Attilio feels, if the man feels anything at all for him. His biggest fear, and yet his strongest desire, is to meet the one special person meant for him – and Aurelius believes Attilio is that person. Now he just has to convince the soldier of that fact.

Roman Seduction is more an interlude than a full story. While there is a storyline, it’s somewhat buried within the long passages of background information that would have been better served as dialogue.

The sex is hot, even if it is a bit modern for the time period. Out of the characters, Attilio feels to be the one most developed, though Aurelius has potential. There’s a depth of experience and secrets in Attilio’s past that beg for more with him.

Overall, Roman Seduction is well-written, though the information dumps can be a bit distracting.

Eyes of a Stranger


Title: Eyes of a Stranger
Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419919701
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Emotionally stressed, Anastasia Kirk is leading a life not of her own making and she is headed for a breakdown, without realizing it. Part of her problem is David, her fiancé’s best friend. He makes her realize that the life she’s planned is not the one for her and the relationship with her father is lacking. In the end, she reveals her true feeling to David, and comes to grips with the need to focus on herself more.

David Morgan has finally made his way to his best friend’s engagement party. When he finds out that the fiancé is Anastasia, the woman he met the night before and found himself strongly attracted to, he is shocked. Although he knew Anastasia would not change her plans, he was determined to help her see the truth about how the two most important men in her life controlled her. Despite the fact that David planned on leaving the country, he stays and helps her come to accept the true feelings she has for him.

While reading Eyes of a Stranger, I kept asking myself why Anastasia was torturing herself so much and about half way through the book, the answer became very clear - she is her mother’s child. There were times I wanted to shake or smack her, saying wake up and do what makes you happy! When Anastasia and David finally reach the point where they finally make love, I was thinking…okay what she going to do now?

Ms. Cooper-Posey has done a wonderful job of expressing how easily we can get caught up in what happens, when we concern ourselves with what others want. The secondary characters add the finishing touches to help bring out the true feelings of Anastasia, her fiancé, father, and David. I look forward to reading other books by this author.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vested Interests


Title: Vested Interests
Author: Monette Michaels
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-541-1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Attorney Brigit Bauer believes in fighting for what she believes is important. That’s why’s she’s involved in a local historic preservation group, fighting to keep areas of downtown Indianapolis from falling under a wrecking ball. It was her deceased husband’s pet project and Brigit’s determined to protect what he held dear. She’s a hardworking woman who devotes a great deal of her time and money to various charitable causes, some of which has earned her a few enemies. Now that Brigit’s finally decided to step out of mourning and live again, someone’s determined to see her dead.

Tony Pendrake is a former Navy Seal who currently operates T.P. Security, a successful, if unconventional, security company that does more than just install security systems and provide bodyguard duty. Interested in keeping the neighborhood where he lives and works intact, Tony joins the local group, determined to protect it. It’s at one of these meeting that he becomes acquainted, and enthralled, with the outspoken Bree. When the woman of his dreams is injured in a brutal attack, he’s determined to protect her from further harm and find the person or persons responsible.

Vested Interest is another well-written romantic suspense by talented author Monette Michaels. The story starts out with a bang and races to the end at break-neck speed, as a deadly and persistent unknown enemy threatens Bree’s life repeatedly. The plotline is complex, well-developed, action packed and filled with interesting, realistically portrayed characters, and I don’t mean just Bree and Tony. Ms. Michaels has created several wonderful secondary characters in the form of Tony’s men, Turk and Ivan, and Bree’s best friend/secretary, Rita.

While Tony is trying to keep Bree safe, their personal relationship is heating up; initially, not the sheets but their emotional and physical desire to be with and trust one another. This is all going on as Bree is threatened, again and again, by more than one killer. I truly appreciated Ms. Michaels’ ability to seamless insert the intense and passionate secondary romance between Turk and Rita. I enjoyed the bantering dialogue between both characters and was thrilled with the manner they got together.

The ‘bad guy’, the hired killer threatening Bree’s life, changed as the plot progressed but the man behind the danger remained the same. This villain was truly worthy of the title, Crazed Lunatic, and in order for Bree and Tony to get their happily-ever-after; he had to get what was coming to him. Death. That it was executed the way it was……priceless.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saving Trevor


Title: Saving Trevor
Author: Steve Sampson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-93-0
Genre: Gay M/M Contemporary,
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Eric and Nick have been a couple for three years. They have careers they enjoy, family and friends they love, and the freedom to enjoy life the way they see fit.

Trevor is a 14-year-old boy, whose whole life has just been turned upside down. Thrown out of the house after coming out to his overly religious parents, he finds himself on the streets.

When the lives of these three cross, none of them will be the same again.

Steve Sampson’s Saving Trevor was a very enjoyable read. The love and passion Eric and Nick show each other is beautifully portrayed by the author. Rather than messing up their relationship, the introduction of Trevor into their family only strengthens it. The author also does an excellent job showing all the emotions Trevor experiences as he comes to terms with himself as a young gay male and what that means to his relationship with his parents.

Josh Lanyon Collected Novellas Vol. 1


Title: Josh Lanyon Collected Novellas Vol. 1
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-006-1
Genre: Mystery, Romance, M/M
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Cards on the Table - 5 Nymphs
Former journalist-turned-writer Tim North uses his sleuthing skills to solve a fifty-year-old murder mystery. Unfortunately, his keen ability to weed out the truth isn’t as honed when it comes to understanding his lover, detective Jack Brady. The story delivers action and suspense with a light sprinkle of erotic encounters sure to delight.

In Dangerous Ground - 5 Nymphs
Special Agent Taylor MacAllister is recovering from a job- related injury and feeling his age. Vacationing with his partner Will Brandt is supposed to be a relaxing retreat until they stumble across evidence from a casino robbery. In the secluded California High Sierras wilderness, Will and Taylor will come face to face with the culprits of the crime. Does Taylor still have what it takes to bring the criminals to justice?

Sunshine or In Shadow - 5 Nymphs
L.A.P.D. Detective Keiran Quinn believes it’s time for a change. He loves his work but his partner Rick Murphy is putting a serious strain on his heart. When Keir tells Rick his plans for the future, Rick has no choice but to examine their past five years together, and decide if they can have a relationship beyond the badge. Will Rick step out on faith, or will Keir have no choice but to move forward without the man he loves?

Snowball in Hell - 5 Nymphs
Post-WWII is still an era where gay men suffer stiff penalties, if discovered. Reporter Nathan Doyle is tied to a murder but what he would rather be tied to is the bed of Lt. Matthew Spain. Matthew is a good detective and knows there is more to Nathan than meets the eye. As the men try to unravel the threads of this case, they will bind themselves into a relationship filled with love and adventure.

Josh Lanyon Collected Novellas Vol. 1 is a fantastic compilation about men who serve and protect. It’s actually hard to pick a favorite among the group, but if I had to choose, I would lean toward Snowball in Hell. The story took me for a ride, with its slow buildup to Nathan and Matthew’s attraction, surrounded by a mystery and sparsely coated with sensual erotic play. The focus was truly on the mystery and the characters learning to trust one another. If you are a fan then you know what to expect, but for newcomers, this is definitely going to be a treat.

Studs & Spurs


Title: Studs & Spurs
Author: JL Langley, Kiernan Kelly, Dakota Flint, Angela Fiddler
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-934531-55-6
Genre: Gay Cowboy Anthology
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

The Convenient Husband by J. L. Langley - 4.5 Nymphs
Tucker Delany moved away from his beloved family and the Bar D Ranch to avoid taking advantage of being the object of a teenage crush he believed Micah Jimenez had for him. However, four years later, with the family in a financial crisis and Tucker’s grandfather dying, Micah is determined to get Tucker to come home. Upon learning of the contents of his grandfather’s unusual will, Tucker grasps at the chance to marry the man he has loved for years, in addition to the thrill of discovering that Micah feels the same way.

Seeing You by Dakota Flint - 4 Nymphs
Dylan returns to the Lazy G after a fourteen month absence and a phone call from his sister. Upon his arrival, Dylan could not believe the broken down state of the ranch. Still grieving for the tragic loss of his lover and Dylan’s brother, Wade had no interest in anything. Determined to help his friend start living again, Dylan pushed back his own grief and guilt in an effort to assist Wade. Leaning on each other, Dylan and Wade discovered how to move forward and find happiness in living.

Judas Steer by Kiernan Kelly - 4 Nymphs
Granger Blue signs on to a cattle drive for the Lazy J. From the beginning, unusual and dangerous things start to happen. Granger also notices that one of the younger cowboys can barely ride his horse. Intrigued by this, Granger appoints himself to learn about the young man and to discover who is behind the strange events that are happening. Billy Bower is on his first cattle drive, forced into it by his father. When Granger offers to teach Billy how to ride, along with sharing his tent, both Granger and Billy realize that there is more than friendship between them; they also realized that solving mysteries could be deadly.

Forgotten Favor by Angela Fiddler - 4 Nymphs
Mark McCoy is happy to be home at the Bar Nunn ranch after spending months on the rodeo circuit. However, that happiness is short lived when Mark and his favorite horse take a tumble, leaving him with a broken hip and leg. During his hospital stay, one surprise visitor is Jake Alastair; Mark had spent the last four years imagining what would have happened between them if they had not been interrupted after their first kiss. Being dependant on his father’s support, Mark was forced to distance himself from Jake, but Jake never gave up hope of being with Mark and the two of them were reunited because of Mark’s favorite horse.

Studs & Spurs is a fantastic collection of cowboy stories showcasing the hard, and sometimes, dangerous life of ranching and cattle drives. Each story is set in a different state spanning from Texas to Canada and features a second-chance-at-love theme. The very talented authors have created well written tales with some heartbreaking moments, humor, a touch of intrigue and a dash of chaos. I particularly enjoyed the amusing obstinate characters in The Convenient Husband. Studs & Spurs is a moving and impressive cowboy anthology that I enjoyed immensely.

Butterfly Tattoo


Title: Butterfly Tattoo
Author: Deidre Knight
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-134-6
Genre: Contemporary M/F Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

A vicious knife attack has left Rebecca O’Neill severely scarred, inside and out. Before the attempt on her life, she was an outgoing, popular actress with a role on a major sitcom. She had plans, a future and she certainly hadn’t considered the darker side of fame. However, a crazed “fan” took all that potential away, one slash of the knife at a time. Now she spends her time hiding her disfigurement from the world, preferring to work behind the scenes in her safe little bubble rather than open herself up to pain, ridicule and heartache. She had thought her chance at happiness was gone so when Michael Warner enters her office one fateful afternoon, she can’t explain the reaction she has to his presence.

An electrician who works at the studio where Rebecca’s office is, Michael has suffered a lot himself. Until last year, he had been in a committed relationship with another man for more than a decade. The two had lived happily with their daughter, Andrea, but all that was shattered when Andrea and her other daddy, Alex, were involved in a car accident that took Alex’s life instantly. If it wasn’t for Andrea, Michael would have lost the will to live when Alex was taken from him. Still, his grief is overwhelming him and friends and family are worried sick. At least Michael has been able to keep up with his work and has money coming in. When he meets Rebecca on a job, his reaction to her both surprises and worries him. The two connect almost immediately but Michael doesn’t think he can take the guilt of caring for another. Add Rebecca’s own insecurities and fears and it looks like things are over before they’ve even had a chance to begin.

The relationship between Michael and Rebecca is intense from the start. Their individual fears and concerns are well portrayed and realistic as the author is unafraid of showing the uglier side of people who have suffered awful trauma in their lives; the destructive side that both characters succumb to during Butterfly Tattoo. The daughter Andrea is the saving grace to these characters’ suffering and is a very strong character, in her own right. The supporting characters also add a lot of depth to this world. Although this story read a little slow at times and was perhaps a little long, I loved how each chapter changed perspective from Michael to Rebecca, giving us both sides of the story. There are some sensitive issues attempted here; grief, religion, spirituality and raising a child in an unconventional setting all handled extremely well. Butterfly Tattoo is a refreshing, honest, down-to-earth read that is well written and I would recommend to any fan of the genre.

Midnight Revelations


Title: Midnight Revelations
Author: D. McEntire
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-573-3
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal M/F
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Suma knew at an early age that the spirits had chosen her to be a skinwalker and the protector of her tribe. Being a guardian is a responsibility she takes very seriously except she never expected her people to turn away in fear, when her gift was discovered while saving a child. Now, Suma lives an isolated existence on the edges, watching her people from afar, and she’s do whatever it takes to keep them safe.

There’s a band of Rogue vampires running loose in a local state park and Rayne, one of the local Watchers, is sent to check out reports of a black wolf killing them. What appears a simple assignment at first glance turns into something much more complicated, when he discovers the Rogue-killing wolf is none other than the green-eyed beauty he recently met.

Rayne and Suma might be on the same side, but Suma doesn’t trust him…doesn’t know the difference between a Watcher and a Rogue. On first meeting, the two are at odd but one thing is certain, Rayne needs for Suma to trust him…she’s his mate.

Midnight Revelations is the third release in D. McEntire’s entertaining paranormal series, The Watchers. Like the other books in this series, Midnight Revelations is fast-paced and filled with suspense, danger, pain, misunderstandings and fiery passion. The personalities of Rayne and Suma are well rounded and interesting and the story contains just enough background information for the reader to easily understand the unsettled emotions they are both experiencing. The inclusion of the Native American skinwalker component of the story is nicely handled, adding interest and a sense of cultural history. The secondary characters are varied…rogue vampires, a creepy exotic animal trapper, a couple of spirits, fellow Watchers, and Dana, the mortal willing to help Suma and Rayne, any way she can. There’s a lot going on in this novella length story that will keep your attention, so grab a snack and a soda then sit down and enjoy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tame Horses Wild Hearts


Title: Tame Horses Wild Hearts
Author: Alison Paige
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-534-4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Kate Mathers needs to be in control of her own life and having a stalker only makes it more difficult for her to accomplish her task. She is having a hard time keeping her personal life separate from her work and her horseback training for the kids comes first. In walks Joe Garity, who took someone else’s opportunity at camp, but he is a little old for learning to horseback ride. Because of her unemotional relationship with her father, she is not able to keep a steady man in her life; Kate doesn’t need him wrecking havoc with her emotions, or contradict her desire to try for a normal life.

Ex-cop Joe Garity has taken on the job of guarding Kate for her father, who now wants to make amends with his estranged daughter. He has developed deep feeling for Kate and that is against all his rules of “guarding the principle”, as he puts it. Here is a man who has never been able to keep a lasting relationship with a woman, and for him to let his guard down so quickly confuses him, because he thought he was incapable of love. He suspects almost everyone at the ranch of being the stalker, and his instincts have never let him down.

Tame Horses Wild Hearts is a wonderful story of two damaged people finding love in the midst of danger. The secondary characters really added to the story’s plot, and the way the stalker’s identity was prolonged kept me reading to find out exactly who was after Kate. It was very interesting when Kate and Joe finally were able to let down their guards, and talk about their own personal relationships with their parents, which was more healing for them than anything.

Alison Paige has done a fantastic job of writing about a mysterious, mentally ill person, who believes himself in love with a woman who has no knowledge of what is going on. I love horseback riding and it was a nice touch to have the scene at a camp for under-privileged children learning how to ride horses. The ending was not what I expected, but better all around for everyone involved. This was a great book to read and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Obsession


Title: Obsession
Author: Sharon Cullen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-537-5
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Het
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Tess Juran remembers exactly when her marriage started its downward spiral. She believed her odds of escaping divorce equaled that of a snowball surviving hell. News of her husband, Alex, being hurt in the line of duty arrives and all Tess can think about is supporting him when he needs her the most.

Alex loves being an officer as much as he loves his soon-to-be-former wife. Losing Tess isn’t something he’s proud of and if he had one wish, it would be a second chance to prove how important she really is to him. When an undercover assignment goes wrong, Alex finds himself asking for Tess, but never truly believing she will come to him.

Tess and Alex will not only have to learn to communicate again, they will have to endure and survive the hidden threats surrounding them. Will they find a way to work things out and give their marriage a second chance?

Sharon Cullen delivers action, suspense, romance, and a fair dose of drama in Obsession. Alex’s separation has given him more time to focus on his career and to hide from reminiscing on painful memories from his past. Tess has built her career and flourished during her months of solitude. She misses her marriage too much to tolerate the distance caused by Alex’s career but knows his being completely absent is less desirable. Ms. Cullen allows the couple to rebuild their connection gradually while igniting their passion. When they finally decided to hash things out, I could see the walls they built crack and finally tumble down. I absolutely enjoyed reading Obsession and plan to read other books in the Love on the Edge series.

Blind Desire


Title: Blind Desire
Author: I.D. Locke
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-722-0
Genre: Paranormal M/M
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

Ryzel never expected to get caught having a meal but that’s what happens when the incubus is caught red-handed at the back of an alley. Surprisingly, Ryzel takes a fancy to his captor and does his level best to get into the man’s pants. Quinlin knew he should have kept his nose out of trouble; now he has an incubus after him. He doesn’t know if he should be flattered or scared.

Ryzel knows what he wants, but Quinlin is doing his level best to avoid the incubus. However, it seems fate has a lot more in store for these two.

Blind Desire is a good book, and even more so because it’s one of the few paranormal stories I have read this year that I have actually enjoyed. For the most part, I think the author did well with the setting of the story. The world building was solid and it allowed the story to flow progressively well. I liked the myths the author chose to use and how well the questions asked were answered. In some sense, it almost came off as education in a fictional format, which was quite interesting. Reading Blind Desires almost felt more like a learning experience at times. In essence, the world building and the structure of the story was solid as was the premise, which was both informative and pleasant to read.

The characters, however, were touch and go for me. Quinlin is blind and has a very touchy personality. He’s prickly and doesn’t take any nonsense which, at times, was appealing, yet highly annoying at other times. I found Quinlin too abrasive and melodramatic at times. Ryzel, on the other hand, was sweet and I felt Quinlin made him jump through hoops a little too much. Sometimes Quinlin came off more demonic than Ryzel in his attitude.

Blind Desire is a good book; however, it didn’t catch my full attention and I think, at times, there was too much detailing and information dumping, which resulted in its downfall. I really liked Ryzel but couldn’t come to care much for Quinlin, due to his dramatic personality.

Miami Moon: Vampire’s Lair


Title: Miami Moon: Vampire’s Lair
Author: A.J. Ryan
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publisher URL: http://www.eternalpress.ca/
ISBN: 978-1-926704-06-7
Genre: Dark Erotica, M/M
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jason Cain is lying on the beach in Miami, enjoying the sun. He has no money or job and no place to stay; although he is happy to be away from his Chicago home, along with the demands he faced there. Inquiring at the businesses located not too far from the beach, Jason is first surprised by a positive response to his job inquiry, then moments later, having second thoughts. However, there is something intriguing about the servant, Mayfair. Willing to listen to the offer Mayfair presented, Jason accompanies him to a mansion. The place was like nothing Jason had ever seen and he found the mansion owner, Xavier, different from anyone he has ever met, but then Jason had never met a vampire before.

Miami Moon: Vampire’s Lair is not your average vampire story. Xavier has a very interesting way of transferring power to Jason, who wishes to be turned. Feeling unhappy about his past, Jason is determined to start a new life, meeting Xavier helps him find his destiny. A.J. Ryan has created an impressive dark vampire saga that I enjoyed.

Soul Searchers - UPDATED


Title: Soul Searchers
Author: Reese Johnson
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.nobleromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60592-042-9
Genre: Paranormal M/M
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Werewolves Timber and Michal have been lovers and friends for centuries. The night fate brought them into their new existence was when Timber decided he would rather die with his true love than live without him forever. They’ve created a secluded haven in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and expanded their clan to include a mixed sexual orientation of members. The clan treats everyone as family and doesn’t allow room for prejudice opinions.

Jack is the neighboring clan’s leader and he has very different views. He believes Timber and his depraved group should either leave the territory or die where they stand. Will Timber find a solution to their feud before it’s too late?

Timber is a strong compassionate leader who puts his clan’s safety and happiness above all else. His love for Michal has grown over the years, and is the driving force behind his desire for peace. Jack is a man who doesn’t want to change with the times and his outdated views stir up a great deal of trouble. Reese Johnson writes about two strong leaders trying to protect their clans. While I believe Timber is the older of the two characters, he has had centuries to understand his sexual orientation isn’t a choice, and wouldn’t have it any other way thanks to the love Michal so generously supplies. The concept is wonderful; what gave me qualms was the story’s abrupt and neatly packaged ending. I can relate to reactions under stress but the situation wasn’t believable to me. There was too much going on for everyone to walk away with a smile as if some events never occurred. While I wasn’t deeply impressed I did enjoy reading Soul Searchers. In addition, for those of you who enjoy reading about sexual encounters where the characters change form, you will definitely enjoy a few spots. I can only imagine the number of highlighters poised and ready to brighten the pages of this book. If you have a kink for racy gay paranormal stories set on picturesque backdrops, then you’ll enjoy Soul Searchers.

Playing the Field: Play On


Title: Playing the Field: Play On
Author: JM Snyder
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-527-0
Genre: Gay, Contemporary, Sports
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Sean has been playing on his school's soccer team for a couple of years and, as a returning player, does not have to try out anymore. That does not stop him from watching the newbies who have shown up.

Cordero is a junior trying out for a position on the soccer team. When he meets Sean, the attraction between the two is instantaneous.

Once these two get together, they can’t keep their hands off each other. But will their attraction become a real relationship or just affect their game?

JM Snyder has added a great story to the Playing the Field series. Play On is my favorite so far, as the story revolves around two young men meeting for the first time as opposed to friends being reacquainted. The chemistry between them is strong, hot and instant. The emotions portrayed by the two men as they come to terms with the changes in their relationship are realistic. I can't wait to see what sport the author will tackle next.