Thursday, June 25, 2009

Winter Queen


Author: Aubre Dionne
Publisher: Mystic Moon Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mysticmoonpress.com/
ISBN: None
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

This is a haunting tale of the Snow Queen who shows her bitterness by luring men to their deaths for her hidden treasures. What she thought was once true love turned out to be a betrayal and she plans to make every man suffer for it, as she can see the truth in their hearts. While she guards the bridge that leads into her lands, she is already contemplating how she will take the life of her next victim. That is until Barrow Tiln comes along, and shows her that she can still love. Or can she?

Barrow Tiln loves the winter season best and as a child playing in the snow he sees the Snow Queen one day, falling in love with her. Once he became a man, and finds his fortune in life, he seeks her out. He will do whatever he must to accomplish his goal of reaching her, and he freely yields to her, because he wants her love.

Winter Queen is a quickie that gave me cold chills just thinking of being frozen but the beautiful description of the ice scene is fantastic. There were always some treasure hunter looking for bounties in a fabled paradise, and taking the risks that either killed them or give them wonderful finds. It was a nice surprise to see that Barrow Tiln was able to overcome the obstacles thrown in his path and showed the Queen her true feelings. How she came to live in the icy land is not a happy tale, and yet the descriptions of her wonderland are beautiful and deadly, for any person without a good intent.

Aubrie Dionne has written of a betrayed lonely Princess, who grew into a very bitter Queen, and what could happen when the right person comes along. Even though this is a short story, I was touched by the determination of Barrow Tiln to have the Snow Queen’s love. I am looking forward to reading more of this author’s book.

Sweet Caress


Title: Sweet Caress
Author: Tianna Xander and Bonnie Rose Leigh
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487- 296-1
Genre, Shapeshifter: Ménage {m/f/m}
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Charity witnesses a murder attempt before she and her sisters were to go on vacation. Right before they leave, someone takes a shot at Charity and her sisters. Since they are triplets, all were now in danger. To make it harder for them to be found, they ditched their car and took a bus.

Connor and Alastair were talking about getting a car to get to Virginia and literally ran into the sisters. They realize that Charity is their mate and take a protective role with the sisters since they now consider them family. The two men call in two other teams to help them.

Sweet Caress has a lot more detail about the Kinross Clan and their mating habits. Charity heard tales of the Clan while growing up and thought her mother was just entertaining them. She has to accept that these stories were true. The relationship between Charity, Connor and Alastair is very emotional and very steamy. I am enjoying the slow revealing of details about both the mating triads and the Kinross Clan. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series as the authors are slowly building the suspense in each book about the Clan’s quest for the Tree of Life.

Bases Loaded: A Going for the Gold Novel


Title: Bases Loaded: A Going for the Gold Novel
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-60370-733-6
Genre: Gay, Sports, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Brett is the first baseman for a major league team; unfortunately, he is also on their injured list. Hoping to complete at least one more year and go out at the top of his game, Brett and his long time partner, Benj plan to spend the off-season at a rehab facility.

As a physical therapist, Ralph has seen a lot of hard cases but none like his new client. He does not expect things to go easy yet he did not think the ball player would fight him at every turn either. It’s going to take more than just Ralph to turn things around.

With the help of Benj, Ralph and Ralph’s partner Jean, Brett has no choice but accept the changes life throws at him.

Even though this new addition to the Going for the Gold series differs from the previous books in many ways, it still fits perfectly. While the previous books centered on young athletes and their coaches struggling to make the Olympics, Bases Loaded tells the story of an established couple and the struggles they face as one of them tries to return to the game he loves. As in all Sean Michael books, the characters are the strong Alpha types or the cute quiet ones that have hidden strengths and wells of tenderness. The love and passion Brett and Benj have for each other, as well as the emotional turmoil they go through, comes across realistically, drawing the reader into this wonderful story. Readers will also fall for Ralph and his sexy Cajun partner, Jean, whose passion is just as strong as that of Brett and Benj. This is another great book by author Sean Michael. I cannot wait to see what sport he tackles next.

Quartetto




Title: Quartetto
Author: A.J. Llewellyn & Stephani Hecht
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-295-4
Genre: Paranormal/Historical/Ménage {m/m/f}
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Italian countess Caprice is living a life few can even imagine. A painter and writer, she indulges herself in her pursuits, most notably with the sinfully gorgeous Visconti twins, Marcello and Massimo. When an enigmatic Frenchman by the name of Philippe-Auguste walks into their lives, nothing is the same. He sweeps Caprice off her feet, much to the twins’ dismay, but then he quickly proves to want the twins just as much.

Tragedy strikes swiftly, however, and the plague hits Italy, wiping out the majority of Venice. With some of her closest friends dying, Caprice is heartbroken, and before long, she finds herself thrown into a mass grave, a brick in her mouth as the populace does with vampires. Can Philippe-Auguste reach her before it’s too late? And will they ever find their beloved twins again?

Quartetto is an amazing story sweeping through late 16th century Italy. The imagery is immaculate and grand, drawing the reader in without fail. From the first paragraph, I knew this would be an exceptional book, and I wasn’t at all disappointed.

The love scenes are true to the period and incredibly hot. Even the scenes of Caprice painting are done with sensuality and with every brush stroke, it feels as if you’re right there with her, feeling her pleasure and, at times, her pain.

The depictions of the plague were heart-wrenching and terrifying, vividly showing the horror of the disease that decimated much of Europe.

This was my first book by these two authors, but I guarantee it will not be my last. Quartetto is one book you don’t want to miss.

Masters of the Shadowlands 3: Breaking Free


Title: Masters of the Shadowlands 3: Breaking Free
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632- 965-2
Genre: BDSM, Het, Ménage {m/f/m}
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Beth is not responding to any of the Doms at Club Shadowlands because of the treatment she received from her sadistically abusive husband. Master Z finally tells her that if she cannot respond to Master Nolan, he will cancel her membership to the club.

Nolan realizes that she is too scared to lose control, so he slowly pushes her limits. As he helps her get past some of her fears and regain some trust in both of them, he starts to realize he cares for her deeply. It all comes to a head when her husband tracks her down.

Ms. Sinclair’s continues the Master of the Shadowlands series in Breaking Free. Nolan’s patience with Beth is very helpful in allowing Beth to overcome a lot of her fears and showcases the trust needed within a Dom/sub relationship. The scenes between Nolan and Beth will require cold showers and ice-cubes, as they are that scorching hot. Ms. Sinclair continues her showcase of the BDSM lifestyle; however, this story is about some of the abuses that can happen within the community. I feel Ms. Sinclair deserves kudos for this series and I will be reading it again. Anyone who enjoys reading about BDSM should add this to their collection of books.

Josh Lanyon Collected Novellas Vol. 2


Title: Josh Lanyon Collected Novellas Vol. 2
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-052-8
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Gay {M/M}
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

In a Dark Wood – 4 Nymphs
Tim tries to hide from a past memory through self-medicating daily with alcohol. He meets Luke, a detective, and isn’t quite sure how he allowed himself to be talked into going camping. When the detective takes Tim in search of an urban legend, Tim knows it’s a big mistake. He will have to face his past, as well as the truth about his current state. Will his first date with Luke be his last?

I Spy Something Bloody – 4.5 Nymphs
Mark Hardwicke has had enough of his life as a British agent. He’s ready to return to the love of his life, Stephen Thorpe; unfortunately Stephen has moved on. Too many years of waiting and not enough communicating has left Mark feeling like a stranger in the only place he considers home. Will Stephen forgive him or will Mark have to find a new place to lay his hat?

A Limited Engagement – 3.5 Nymphs
Adam is a young actor ready to lay it all on the line to have the man he loves, Ross. Ross is older, and he thinks wiser, and has little ambition to becoming a gay playwright poster boy, but Adam is ready to show him the error of his ways. Will Ross decide Adam has gone too far, or will he take a chance at love?

Dark Horse – 4 Nymphs
Sean hoped his life could get back to normal after his encounter with his stalker. When remnants from his encounter appear, Sean is frightened that the man he assumed dead is still out there lurking in the shadows. These events aren’t helping his new relationship with Dan. Dan would do anything to protect Sean, but he seriously doubts the stalker escaped death. Is the old threat still looming?

Ghost of a Chance – 5 Nymphs
Professor Rhys Davies’ latest book is on ghost haunting. When a friend offers his home and a reported haunted house to research, Rhys jumps at the opportunity. He didn’t expect to become attracted to his friend’s nephew, Sam Devlin. Sam is use to the boy toys his uncle brings around, but something about Rhys calls to Sam’s desires. If Sam keeps putting his foot in his mouth, he won’t have a ghost of a chance winning the Professor over.

Josh Lanyon Collected Novellas Vol. 2 is a blend of stories with characters ranging from police officers to actors. Picking a favorite was easier for me this time around. I enjoyed Ghost of a Chance because the characters seem to call to me more. Rhys is mending his broken heart, and the last thing on his mind is romance. Sam has a bruised ego and first refuses to take Rhys at face value. There was a point where I wanted to kick Sam dead in the knee. His issues with his uncle’s conquests shouldn’t have shaded his opinion of Rhys, especially because there was no proof of his assumptions. I loved how Rhys held it together, did his job, and still made room in his heart for Sam when he wasn’t sure why he felt compelled to do so. The suicide/haunted house mystery was an extra bonus for me. While each story has a different plot, the one factor among them all is that love is in abundance. Josh has compiled a wonderful selection of stories that are sure to please readers.

Heal


Title: Heal
Author: Treva Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-960-7
Genre: M/F Shape-shifter Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Arlin might be an Alpha wolf, but he’s also young and doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone but himself. It doesn’t mean he’ll shirk his pack obligations. That means protecting Ruth, the vet who saved Dunne, even if he’d rather be doing anything else. She’s older, calm, quiet, and always in control, and gives off a definite Ice Queen vibe that clearly says hands off. The problem for Arlin is Ruth smells hot and passionate; making him want to lick her all over.

Ruth likes Arlin, but thinks he’s nothing more than an attractive, sexy kid. Her problem is he also gets under her skin, making her tingle in places that have been icy cold for years. As the danger around her increases, she’s forced to trust him, not only with her life, but with her painful secrets.

Heal is the fifth release in Treva Hart’s ongoing shape-shifter paranormal series Alpha, and it’s just as fast paced, action packed and sexy as the previous releases. This story deals with two individuals first introduced in Beg and covers the development of their personal relationship, under dangerous and difficult circumstances.

The story is full of sexual tension and attraction between Arlin and Ruth, along with fear, reluctance and uncertainty. Arlin doesn’t think he’s good enough for a woman like Ruth and she’s concerned with her past and the age difference.

Add in Dunne, Tala, and pack Alpha Hunt, with his intrigue, politics and manipulations, along with new character, pack Omega Lupe, and you have a great group of secondary characters. I can’t wait to see where this plot goes in the next release, and I’d loved to see more of Lupe, Arlin and Ruth in the future.

Soul Familiar 3: Fated


Title: Soul Familiar 3: Fated
Author: Kate Steele
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-117-6
Genre: Paranormal, M/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Wizard Tyler Montgomery and his soul familiar Alex Layton are on the field facing their opponents for magical combat. This is the last test they must undergo and if they win, their shared bond will become permanent. The Council of Elders is there to witness the event and proclaim the winners. However, not all is as it should be! After having celebrated their victory, Alex awakens the next morning alone; Tyler had been taken away from him.

Soul Familiar 3: Fated is the final installment of this series. In this episode, Alex and Tyler have worked hard to fine-tune their magic and Tyler is more than capable of meeting the challenge. The connection that they share is also magnified in their lovemaking, allowing them to achieve the ultimate level of bonding. The very talented Kate Steele delivers another heartwarming story that radiates with the importance of love and trust in each other. I enjoyed this series immensely.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

REVIEWERS WANTED!!!!

Literary Nymphs is looking for reviewers. If you can give an honest, concise review without bashing, then we would be interested in talking to you. We review most genres of books.

If you are interested, please email us at reviews@literarynymphs.com with a written review of a book that you've recently read.

Thanks!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cheating Death


Title: Cheating Death
Author: Annie Alvarez
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-302-9
Genre: Vampire/Lesbian/Lesbian Ménage
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Izzy and Tamara are settling in together, their love passionate as always. But as things usually are with the Hightowers, nothing is guaranteed or simple. When Tamara’s sister Kaley does something unforgivable, it leaves Tamara with a precarious decision to make – one that will change Izzy, and their lives together, forever.

Now Izzy’s dealing with much more than a vampire girlfriend, and her new life is threatening everything – from the fragile status of their relationship, to Izzy’s very sanity. They have to find a solution and fast, or the fallout will be disastrous.

Cheating Death is book two in the Hightower series and a direct sequel to For the Love of Blood. This one had me from the get-go and the action rarely let up. The characters (not just Izzy and Tamara) were very well-written and fleshed out, and the love scenes were incredibly hot.

The plot revolves around Izzy’s new… life and, as such, you’re left holding on for dear life as she spirals out of control. There were several times when I wondered how in the world she’d ever get out of the trouble she managed to find herself in, but that was part of the appeal. Cheating Death has a lot of depth and I greatly enjoyed this installment. Given how it ended, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book.

Inland Empire




Title: Inland Empire
Author: James Buchanan
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-732-9
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Detective Brandon Carr is excited that he and his detective partner have been selected to work on a task force, in addition to the arrival of his lover Nick O’Malley. Nick is still on disability and plans to spend a week with Brandon as well as pick up his Hearst from the impound lot. Brandon enjoys being with Nick again until a co-worker invites Nick to tour the police station. When the crimes the task force is working on leads to an internet gambling café, Nick is asked to use his computer skills in a sting operation. Brandon is torn between his co-workers discovering his true relationship with Nick and the danger the Asian gang represents.


Inland Empire is a well written, well paced cop thriller with murder, mayhem, erotic love scenes, as well as an emotional rollercoaster that will break your heart. Brandon is deep in the closet, afraid he will lose his job if they knew he was gay. His determination to remain hidden gives Nick the impression that he comes second to Brandon’s job. Nick tries to be understanding to Brandon’s fears; however his offered support is rejected by Brandon. Working together strains their relationship to the point that Nick is ready to break up with Brandon and not see him again. The amazing James Buchanan delivers an incredible plot with detailed law enforcement procedures, realistic characters and humorous interactions between the main and secondary characters. The lack of Gay Rights is also showcased in this arousing sequel to Cheating Chance. I suggest you read both stories in order to gain the maximum enjoyment of this fantastic series.

Fighting For Eternity


Title: Fighting For Eternity
Author: Shayla Kersten
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921728
Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

In the seventy years since Estefan Garza crossed paths with Karl Brandt, he has never forgotten the vampire who showed him passion and proved not all of his type are blood-thirsty killers who deserved to be executed. Now on the hunt for a rogue vampire, Estefan encounters Karl once more and their attraction is still there, stronger than ever.

Karl is shocked to see Estefan and surprised when he noticed he hasn’t aged in over seventy years. How is that possible? Karl wants answers and plans to gain them while he helps destroy the rogue vampire. After seeing Estefan again, he is sure of one thing, he has no plans on walking away alone. He wants Estefan in his life and there isn’t an obstacle that can hold him from his goal.

Fighting For Eternity is part of Shayla Kersten’s Eternity series. Karl has lived for hundreds of years and never felt drawn to anyone as he has to Estefan. Estefan has lived through hurts most would never be able to endure. He loves the members of his team, but Karl holds a sacred place in his heart. Estefan is Karl’s bit of sunshine during the darkest of times, and the special properties of his blood are only an added bonus. Ms. Kersten’s story has action, suspense, and sexual encounters that intertwine basic need, passion, love and devotion. This is a wonderful installment, and I have a feeling she will write, at the very least, one more book. I found the story delightful and look forward to reading more from Shayla Kersten in the near future.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chasing Smoke


Title: Chasing Smoke
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-578-8
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Daniel Gardner hates going home to Easton, PA to visit his family, but this year’s Christmas visit is different. His mother has sold his childhood home and he’s staying at the house to finalize the arrangements so she can move into her new home. He’s also using the longer than normal visit to escape his boyfriend, who wants them to buy a house together and he doesn’t. The one thing he doesn’t expect is to be thrown together with his teenage crush, Trey Eriksson, the boy who broke his heart when he left town for the Army.

After his father was accused, jailed and convicted of killing his mother, Trey Eriksson moved into the Gardner home. Up until he left for the Army, Trey fought against his attraction to Daniel and hunted for proof of his father’s innocence. Fifteen years later, he’s back in his hometown, working as a police detective and still looking into the death of his mother. He’s also accepted his sexual orientation, and that he was a jerk for leaving Daniel behind.

With the sale of Daniel’s home, clues to the innocence of Trey’s father are coming to the surface and both men are in danger. Not only of their being injured or killed, but also of falling back into the same intense physical chemistry that’s always drawn them together. The question is whether they can forget their past mistakes and work together to find not only a murderer, but a way back to each other.

Chasing Smoke is K.A. Mitchell’s newest release, and its pages contain two intriguing and complex characters that keep the plot flowing, and you reading from beginning to end. In fact, the realistic portrayal of Daniel and Trey’s personalities made the men nearly leap off the page, demanding attention. The expression of their emotional upheaval, angst and years of longing for the other, I thought was done particularly well, making it obvious that neither man was very good at admitting what he was feeling. With these two, history and emotion are constantly at play, which made understanding their personal and family history very important and often left me trying to wrap my mind around what was going on. When I began to question something, Ms. Mitchell would suddenly interject vital background information, allowing an “ah ha” moment. And the sex between these two is, get a fan, blistery hot and passionate.

The problem I have with the story is with the suspense element. It has great potential and bringing in the Vietnam era military service of both fathers was a great idea, but there are far too many holes in the plot, and too many strange circumstances, and questions left unanswered at the conclusion of the story. Even so, the relationship of Trey and Daniel and the book’s action, danger and excitement make this nicely paced contemporary romance an enjoyable read.

Trespassing All Hallows Eve


Title: Trespassing All Hallows Eve
Author: Laura Tolomei
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-157-5
Genre: Paranormal/Dark Fantasy/Gay {m/m, f/f}/Het
Rating: 1 Nymph
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Troy Haynes is a comic book artist who falls in love with his fictional heroine, Shield. She’s everything he’s ever dreamed of. So imagine his surprise when he meets her at a Halloween party! After an amazing night with her, Troy finds himself in another dimension. His heroine Shield is actually Brighit, a priestess of the Goddess, and she teaches Troy where the legends and tales of Halloween began.

The journey takes her through many places, finally ending in Celtic England, where she must fix a breach in the dimensional passage that is now letting unsavory creatures to travel from her home to Earth, and back.

Trespassing All Hallows Eve is the sequel to Roman Seduction, but it takes a far different path, for the most part. To be quite honest, I had a great deal of trouble finishing this book. It starts off strong, with Troy and his obsession with the fictional Shield. Even the sex with his heroine’s look-alike is hot. Then it all begins to unravel to the point where it’s virtually impossible to keep track of anything.

There are moments, far too many really, where information dumps occur right in the middle of scenes – even in the middle of conversations. In some cases, these complete tangents take up so many pages that it’s quite jarring to jump back into the present and then the original conversation is so lost that you have to go back all those pages to just remember what it was about in the first place.

I had hope for Trespassing All Hallows Eve when it started but by the end, I struggled to make heads or tails of any of it. I think, with a bit of revision and polishing, primarily in regards to the massive amounts of info-dumping and tightening the plot where needed, it has potential to be a good book. As is, though, I cannot recommend it.

Never Let Go


Title: Never Let Go
Author: Jourdan Lane
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-738-1
Genre: Gay {M/M} Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Devon Ashford took his friendship with Grant Caldwell for granted one too many times. Now the best-selling author is prepared to sever ties with Devon and move forward with his life. Devon, on the other hand, wants a second chance at their friendship and a stable loving relationship. Is it too much to ask, or will Grant decide he never wants to let go?

Jourdan Lane has a style that I’ve come to appreciate and her latest release, Never Let Go, is a great example. The characters are fascinating and appealing, the plot is well developed and the setting gives the characters the perfect opportunity to hash out their issues. Grant is trying to move past his hurt and believes letting Devon go is the only way to regain control of his heart. Devon knows if he fails to fight for Grant, at this moment in time, there will be no second chances. While I didn’t really fall for his excuse for his actions, it clearly was enough to cause Grant to doubt his reasons for walking way. In the end, Devon was ready to prove that he grew up and was ready to give Grant the love he deserves. I couldn’t help but like him at that point and wish him all the luck with regaining the love he so desperately wanted. This was a great read and I recommend it to those who enjoy the genre.

Cultivating Love


Title: Cultivating Love
Author: Addison Allbright
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-971-3
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Joe Durham comes home to find his lover of two and half years sitting at the table, with a stunned look on his face. Ed Jamison has just inherited a farm in Mayfield, NE. Knowing it was always Joe’s dream to own a farm of his own, they set out the next morning to view the property. Satisfied with the condition of everything and ready to begin working since Joe is already a farm hand and Ed is an auto mechanic, they decided to move as soon as possible.

Living together as a couple, Ed and Joe are a little concerned about how the small community would accept them; they received their answer to that question when Joe was deliberately injured playing baseball.

Addison Albright’s Cultivating Love is a beautiful story of two honest hardworking men committed to each other in an equal relationship. Ed and Joe is an openly gay couple in every aspect of their relationship, except for both being too macho to show and state their emotions. They share a deep unspoken love for each other, which is very well illustrated in the story. The plot is an interesting analysis of small town culture. The characters are heartwarming with a touch of humor. This is an impressive saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Heartless


Title: Heartless
Author: Roxana Blaze
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419922404
Genre: Gay Paranormal, {M/M}
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Nighthawk travels through time, learning to atone from his many mistakes, with his spirit guide, Kaine. Kaine knows his protégé must endure this process of cleanings. Nighthawk’s spirit enters the bodies of people in similar situations as those he has harmed in the past to gain the full impact of the crimes he committed against others.

Raoul Fortier has just escaped a concentration camp, and has become Nighthawk’s latest host. Wearily traveling towards the Swiss border, Raoul encounters Kilian Rheinfeld. Kilian is draw to Raoul and has no qualms about sharing a few intimate moments with him. They soon discover their link and while it’s hard to believe, their strong connection makes it hard to refute. Will Kilian and Raoul finally find happiness together or are they destined to lose one another once again?

Roxana Blaze’s Heartless strategically places Nighthawk into yet another person’s life where he will learn about true love, betrayal, and forgiveness. Nighthawk has come to understand there is no way to escape his hellish adventures. While none of his hosts die or are harmed, most have to endure great pain and suffering. The attraction is strong between Raoul and Kilian, while the setting supplies a perfect backdrop for their meeting. The characters were interesting and believable. There were times that I didn’t know whom I had more empathy for because each of the men were scared from the events. While Nighthawk was the only one who needed to learn a lesson, it was a lesson all three men shared. Ms. Blaze has a way with the pen, and I’m sure others will enjoy reading Heartless as much as I did.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Geography of Murder




Title: The Geography of Murder
Author: P.A. Brown
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-055-9
Genre: M/M Contemporary BDSM Romantic Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Jason Zachary is in more trouble than he ever imagined. After a night of heavy partying, the last thing he remembers is hooking up with a gorgeous blond-haired man in a local bar parking lot. When he wakes the next morning and rolls over, Jason discovers he’s lying next to a dead man he’s never met. He’s hung-over, confused, scared and to make matters worse, there’s a cop, Detective Alex Spider standing over him, demanding answers. Jason is certain he didn’t kill the dead man but can’t prove it. Before he can wrap his mind around what’s happening, he’s arrested, handcuffed and charged with murder.

Alex Spider is a detective for the Santa Barbara Police Department and he’s not thrilled when he’s called out to an early morning murder scene…on a ship no less, and he hates the water. When he arrives and finds his suspect, Jason, asleep and in bed with the victim, it seems like a slam-dunk case. The only problem is, despite a few minor run-in’s with the law, Jason doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. The young man is adamant in his innocence…and Alex believes him. The question is whether Alex can prove Jason’s isn’t a murderer before it’s too late.

The Geography of Murder is the first book by P.A. Brown that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and after experiencing the quality of her writing, excellent characterization and complex plot development, it most definitely won’t be my last. If you’re looking for a quick read; a bit of fluff for an easy afternoon, then this book might not be for you. On the other hand, if you want depth, grit, passion, desire, deceit, suspense and a little kink, then this book is a must read, easily finding a home in your keeper file, to be read and enjoyed again in the future.

The book starts with a startling bang…or should I say a murder; and so begins the fast paced, rollercoaster ride of Jason and Alex. At the beginning, I couldn’t wrap my mind around how Ms. Brown was going to get these two dissimilar men together, so imagine my surprise when she did it, and did it with realism and creativity. I love a good murder mystery, the more twists the better and the author didn’t disappoint, but kept me guessing up unto the end when she revealed the true culprit.

I must admit that I’m extremely fussy about reading books written in a first person viewpoint. In this instance, I shouldn’t have worried, because Ms. Brown’s writing skill quickly pulled me into the story, and her use of a back and forth style between Jason and Alex, I thought was particularly effective.

The relationship between our two main characters starts a little stiff, as you can imagine, since Alex is the detective arresting Jason for murder. Yet, it isn’t long before Alex is trying to prove Jason’s innocence, and it’s not long after he’s released, that they begin a hot and steamy Dom/submissive relationship. There’s much to recommend this book, so in the end, all I can say is, read and enjoy! I did.

Dark Citadel


Title: Dark Citadel
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 9781596329201
Genre: BDSM, Het
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Kari goes to a beginner’s bondage class at Club Shadowlands with the man she is dating. She decides to leave when he starts showing a more sinister side. Master Z talks to her awhile and asks if Master Dan can take her through the first class.

Master Dan is a widower, who hasn’t quite come to terms with the anger he has about his wife’s death. Kari touches something inside him, but the closer he gets, the more he tries to push her away.

Dark Citadel is a fantastic second book in the Master of the Shadowlands series. Master Dan slowly takes Kari to places she has never dreamed of going. Kari has to overcome a lot of baggage from her childhood. The sex scenes between the two are so sizzling, I felt I needed a fire extinguisher to get through them so keep lots of ice handy. Ms. Sinclair has a way of letting you step right into the book and lets you feel all the emotions her characters experience.

Survival


Title: Survival
Author: D.J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
ISBN: 978-1-55487-297-8
Genre: Paranormal, M/M
Rating: 2 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Caen Nymph

Survival was the brain child of Russell and his lover Gray. Together they were going to make a mark on the music world, but when Gray’s stepfather pulls the couple apart, it’s Russell who is kicked out of the band and separated with the one man he loves.

Three years later and Survival is making a name for itself, but is nowhere near the stardom they crave to achieve. Gray hasn’t moved on, and Russell is making ends meet. That is until he meets Eddie, a former classmate and someone Russell can’t seem to remember all that much. Eddie promises Russell everything he wants, and as much as Russell wants to run away – he can’t seem to help but fall into Eddie’s hands. There is much more going on with Eddie, and Russell is finding that he is losing control over his own life.

I come across many authors who are a hit and miss for me, and I rarely give up on them – because they can either produce something I’ll enjoy or something that I won’t. D.J. Manly is one of those authors, and sadly for me I did not enjoy Survival. I’ll start off why the story did not work for me; the melodrama. Half the time, the story came off as a soap opera and whilst I enjoy the campy nature the author used in another series, here it just felt disconcerting. The writing was too simplistic, and with such an interesting setting the language was too basic. One of the main heroes, Gray was just too oversensitive and too much of a ‘woe is me’ character, that even though he’s a character you should feel sorry for, his melodrama was too much to bare at times. This follows into the dialogue which again I found too simplistic and I wanted the author to show me the character’s pain, the sorrow and the fear. Instead, it came off stiff and awkward.

Russell was pretty much a doormat and even though everything was out of his hands, I wish he showed more initiative instead of laying back and taking what was coming to him. Again, he should have initiated some sympathy for me – but he garnered nothing from me. The villain of the story was also another downside, and I was hoping for a thrilling bad character; instead Eddie came off as a B-movie villain.

For what I found redeeming about the story, it was how the author chose to have contemporary characters, in a paranormal setting. I found the idea fresh and different but sadly, the overall structure of the story was not executed well for me. I also liked the flashbacks the author used to show how good Gray and Russell were together, but again, it was a good idea but not followed through sufficiently well. I felt the author should have either started their relationship from the beginning or put more detailing into the flashbacks, because either way, there wasn’t much of anything to garner any connection.

It may seem I found many faults in Survival, and for me, there were. However, what I found was the author may have taken too many plot devices and it just didn’t gel well enough for me to enjoy it nor have any connection with the characters.

Dragon's Kiss


Title: Dragon's Kiss
Author: Ally Blue
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-577-1
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic, M/M
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Bear and his pack brother Lynx are sent out to capture whoever is trespassing on the Carwin tribe’s land. When Bear and Lynx find the man named Dragon hiding in the forest, they bind him to usher him back to the tribe counsel. Bear has an immediate attraction to Dragon and while it is perfectly acceptable to have sex with a pack brother, it is against the law to be intimate with men from another tribe. Perplexed about Dragon being alone and away from his tribe, Bear discovers that Dragon was banished for his interest in the old Earth way of life before it was destroyed. Secretly having the same thoughts, as well as questioning their current laws, Bear realizes he must make a life changing decision or deliver Dragon to his execution.

Dragon's Kiss is an intriguing futuristic tale of a new Earth. Mankind has destroyed their world and the new world that has emerged forbids learning as well as free speech; the new laws are based on fear. The amazing Ally Blue has reversed the evolution of mankind in this very creative and enjoyable opening episode to A Mother Earth series. I look forward to reading more of this impressive tale.