Saturday, August 22, 2009

The King's Tale




Title: The King's Tale
Author: Rowena Sudbury
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-022-2
Genre: {M/M} Historical
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Dafydd is a simple woodsman with a not-so-humble beginning. The fourth son of Welsh nobility made Dafydd more of a burden than asset, so he decided to strike out on his own. He is drawn to the small kingdom of Lysnowydh and more importantly, to the man who will change his life forever, King Christopher.

For Christopher, there is no such thing as a marriage of convenience. The person destined to share his castle and crown will be the one he weds for love. Conflicts lead him to Dafydd’s humble dwelling one cold winter’s night. With that chance meeting begins an unexpected love affair. There are those who are not happy with the alliance between Dafydd and Christopher and would see the relationship stopped and the Welshman dead. Do they have the kind of love that can stand the test of time?

The King's Tale is a fantastic historical novel set in a beautiful seaside kingdom. Discrimination, both of race and sexual preference, are topics hit on heavily throughout this tale. In addition, to set this during a time where homosexuality was a hanging offense was priceless. To live and love freely during this era would truly have been a special gift.

Dafydd understood his position as a fourth son, and never allowed bitterness to seep into his soul. His tender spirit was frequently tested; however, you quickly notice he is a cultured man of honor who refuses to be broken. He took the ore out of a majority of those against the relationship, thanks to his ability to enforce without being forceful. I loved his quiet influence and gentle persuasion style of commanding. Christopher is not your typical king. He has his council but is no weakling, refusing to take his own thoughts and desires into consideration. Christopher’s ferocious attraction to Dafydd has him determined to claim Dafydd completely, regardless of the obstacles. The two worked well together, making a perfect love match. Even when they faced hard decisions, the other was there to help toe the line.

I absolutely loved this story. The imagery, plot and characters made this a winner from the first line. The characters genuine emotions rang clear through their actions and words, which made them personable. I was glued to this book after the first chapter, and I have a feeling those who enjoy the genre will feel the same. This is Rowena Sudbury’s first novel and her enthralling writing style has cemented her on my list of author’s to watch for future releases. Well done, Ms. Sudbury; you should be quite proud of The King’s Tale!

Note: This book contains explicit sexual content and situations that some readers may find objectionable: violence (rape of hero by villain)

A Woman’s Estate


Title: A Woman’s Estate
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921315
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Headstrong Abigail Lydden, who owns a bookstore, is leaving America for England. She is starting her life over with her son, Victor, who is the heir to an earldom. She is suspicious of how much involvement Sir Arthur, her son’s guardian, will have in his raising and the household where they will be living. When an attempt on Victor’s life happens, the first thing Abigail does is march the short distance between their homes to see Arthur and accuse him of shooting at her son.

Sir Arthur, nephew to Roger St. Eyre, didn’t want the added responsibility of having to watch over others. His only desire was to be a Member of Parliament, and work with his party to fight for the justice of the oppressed. He is more accepting of Abigail’s independence than most men would be and has decided he cannot live without her.

A Woman’s Estate is a fascinating story that centers heavily around politics and the peace treaties needed to end wars involving many countries. This is the fifth and final book in the Heiress series, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of politics discussed in this story. It was not the main crux of the book, although Abigail and Arthur’s budding romance heated up this story very quickly. Roberta Gellis did a wonderful job of describing the different scenes of the Mill, homes, and the area around the lake, and I found myself wanting to see what they looked like.

There are a lot of differences in the way children are raised in England and America and Abigail was having a hard time adjusting to the change. I kept going back and forth between two of the secondary characters that were causing mishaps for others, wondering which one wanted Victor’s earldom. I found out way more than I expected was happening between both houses.

I knew the characters loyalty to their home was strong because of how animated they became when discussing their points of views on the wars involving their countries. There is so much history given that I had forgotten. I really enjoyed the behavior of Abigail, who had a hard time adjusting to the British way of life. She is not what I expected and continued to surprise me with her quick wit and fierceness to defend America, along with her protection of her child.

Breaking Ground


Title: Breaking Ground
Author: Ava Rose Johnson
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923562
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Ray Jenkins has enjoyed a genuine friendship with Eric Richards for years. His decision to return to war has Eric reeling from shock and letting his guard down enough to show Ray the passion lurking beneath. Ray doesn’t understand these new emotions, but they are too strong to ignore. Two years later, Ray is sure of what he wants, the question is can Eric believe his once straight friend is ready for a commitment?

Breaking Ground is a story about second chances, love, learning to live after the war and coming to terms with your true desires. Ava Rose Johnson introduces us to Ray and Eric. The two men are wonderful friends, which makes a relationship between them plausible. They have a deep connection and affection for one another. Ray is a man who enjoys being the hero. His time away has affected him mentally and emotionally, and supplied the fuel to propel him into understanding that life is too short not to fight for what you want. Eric works hard to achieve his dreams, but his doubts about Ray stand in his way. There were points in the story where he should have thrown caution to the wind and trusted in his friendship to know that Ray wouldn’t play games with him. I understood he felt hurt, and decided that maybe it was a bit more deeply rooted than what I could imagine. I couldn’t chalk his stance up to “saving a friendship” because of the action that followed his decision. However, overall, Breaking Ground is a well-written story with believable characters and steamy erotic scenes. Those who enjoy the genre should pick up a copy.

Bloodlust: Nighttime Magic


Title: Bloodlust: Nighttime Magic
Author: Marilyn Lee
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-285-2
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Neely Little John is being stalked and she has no idea why. When a tall, dark stranger comes to her rescue in the nick of time, she is unsure of his intentions. With no one close to her to care about her wellbeing, she struggles with getting on with her life. In enters Dimitri, who literally sweeps her off her feet, starting them on an emotional sexual ride that overwhelms them both.

Vampire Dimitri Dumont is reaching his maturity and part of it is bloodlust with his perfect mate. While he has watched her for some time, little does he know that Neely is that woman. Dimitri’s childhood fears from his father’s indecision of the love he had for two different women affected him deeply and he fears he will end up doing the same as his parent. He is struggling to forget her because he is not ready to settle down with one woman. Dimitri finds himself forced into his Feast of Indulgence because of his denial of his sexual attraction for Neely. His need for Neely causes him to be more forceful than he wants; however she is more than willing to help him accomplish his goal.

Bloodlust: Nighttime Magic is a wonderful story of what can happen to you, if you have an open mind to fantasy. This book speaks of mystery, love, steaming hot sex and a murder that takes place during Halloween. I really had a hard time accepting Dimitri’s behavior, because it caused more problems than it was worth. I wanted to smack him, and tell him to get a grip, accept the beautiful future awaiting him.

Marilyn Lee did a fantastic job of telling this story, and I am rooting her on writing more Bloodlust stories in the future. This book held me captive; I couldn’t stop reading until the end to see how the two lovers would overcome each adversity that arose for them and I was never disappointed.

Cattle Valley Days


Title: Cattle Valley Days
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907010-60-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

As the new mayor of Cattle Valley, Nate is obsessing over making the annual festival the best it’s ever been. He’s working nearly around the clock, devoting his time and energy to getting every minute detail perfect. The problem is that because he’s unwilling to delegate any of the decision making to others, he’s exhausted and his relationship to his partners, Rio and Ryan, is suffering. While the two men are proud of what Nate has accomplished, they can’t stop the feelings of hurt and regret at the changes in their lives. Ryan is unhappy and jealous and Rio is worried sick, literally, over what might happen in the future. They’ve only managed to push aside the fear and resentment threatening their relationship when tragedy strikes, reminding them of their love and strength..…together.

Carol Lynne never ceases to amaze me with her ability to pull the reader into her stories and she’s outdone herself with the twelfth release in this wonderfully written, emotionally powerful series. I admit it. I love all of Ms. Lynne’s stories, but the ones revolving around Cattle Valley are my favorites and Cattle Valley Days is the crème de la crème. With the annual festival as the story’s backbone, I expected a bit of silly, light-hearted fun, lots of hot sex and humorous snappy dialogue. Instead, Ms. Lynne gave her readers an intense, pain-filled, rather dark, emotionally packed story, filled with miscommunication, fear, a little angst, and a horrific tragedy that will change the inhabitants and town of Cattle Valley forever.

It was wonderful seeing characters from previous stories, in particular the Good brothers from the Good-Time Boys series, who came into town for the rodeo. I was happy to see a little more of quiet and unassuming Jay and then there’s newly arrived Ethan. I must admit I’m curious to see how having Cattle Valley’s existence plastered all over the news media will affect/change the town and its inhabitants. Will more people move into town, will they have trouble with hate and anger from the outside and what about Nate’s homophobic senator father? And don’t forget all the beloved people injured in the tragedy. I, for one, can’t wait to see where the town and its people are going with the next release in this must read series.

Naughty Fantasies


Title: Naughty Fantasies
Author: Jade James
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-981-2
Genre: {M/F/M} Contemporary Ménage BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Jolie has asked her previous lovers to try out some of her fantasies, but they were unwilling and then end up dumping her. She decided to start keeping a diary of everything she wants to try. Jolie puts it in her purse one day and ends up losing it.

Mac Dumont has been watching Jolie and trying to get the nerve to ask her out when he finds her diary. He reads it and starts making plans to fulfill Jolie’s fantasies one by one.

Naughty Fantasies will keep your interest and make you wish you were Jolie. Jolie and Mac’s relationship is so intense it can melt ice so keep plenty on hand. Ms. James created a relationship between the two that starts out with both Jolie and Mac fearing rejection. I enjoyed the way she had Mac take charge and then backing off to allow Jolie space to decide what she wanted as both tried to resolve their insecurities about being accepted. This is one book you will not want to be interrupted while you read it.

Call Me Sir


Title: Call Me Sir
Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Publisher URL: https://www.nobleromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60592-048-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, D/s
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Joey has been going to Club Refectory for a year now and the only Mr. Right he's come across is not interested. When the other patrons start giving him the brush-off, the only choice left is to find a new hang out.

As soon as Joey came through the doors of Club Refectory Logan knew he was the one for him. Worried that Joey would not be able to handle his lifestyle, Logan decides to give him a little time. Now it looks like everything may just back fire on him.

I love alpha male characters and Stormy Glenn's are some of my favorite. Her alphas are always strong, both physically and emotionally; they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect who and what they see as theirs and they have no problems showing their mates their more tender side. The mates she chooses for her alphas may or may not lean to the submissive side but they are, by no means, weaklings. They will stand by their man's side and do whatever is needed to make their lives easier and Heaven forbid anyone should try to hurt their mate. Logan and Joey are just such a couple. Throw in a few misunderstandings, hot sex, a little public punishment, a couple of kinks, and one nasty father, you get Call Me Sir, Ms. Glenn's latest release. If you like the strong type or the mischievous, quiet ones, you are sure to love Call Me Sir.

Harley Street


Title: Harley Street
Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-642-6
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Richard and Rose have just returned from an adventurous honeymoon in Venice and are preparing to settle into their lives among the ton. They finally decide to begin looking for a house of their own, away from Richard’s interfering parents, who don’t approve of the way they show love for each other. When a maid in the household of Rose’s aunt is murdered, and Richard recognizes her, he is forced to reveal to Rose a dark secret from his past. Even with the deep passion they show each other, Richard is having a hard time explaining his past to her. Rose continues to be the strength that her husband needs to get through each situation that arises for them.

Harley Street is the fourth book in the Richard and Rose series and I was captivated by them from the beginning to end of their story. This couple didn’t follow the strict ways of tradition and they were always being watched by others, because of Richard’s past scandals. There is a lot of hot sex and a strong bond between this couple that completed them. It was very interesting how they decided to handle their ex-partners, knowing that they were the ones responsible for the assassination attempts on their lives. I thought that they should have taken a stronger stance with handling their enemies, and move on into the new life waiting for them.

Lynne Connolly has done it again with her descriptions of the Georgian era of powered hair, hoop dresses, along with the needed presentations into society. I was a little surprised at how much coldness Richard’s mother showed them. Especially when she acted as if, regardless of how bad things were, nothing fazed her or her continued attempts to control Richard. The ending left me wondering whom the next book is going to be about and finally put closure to the threat over their lives. This is a fascinating story, and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

White Wolf


Title: White Wolf
Author: Jianne Carlo
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-976-8
Genre: {M/F} Multicultural Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Gray White notices lights on in a house that is supposed to be empty across the lake from his home. He calls it in and then goes to confront the trespasser, only to find it is his little sister’s childhood best friend, Sorcha.

Gray is stunned when he realizes that Sorcha is his mate. Sorcha has always lusted after Gray, but has only come home because of a constant nightmare about her parent’s death. Sorcha is slowly regaining her memories about her childhood and the night she almost died.

As the two explore the deaths, other events start happening including a kidnapping. There is evidence that wolves might be sacrificing children so they can shift.

Jianne Carlo kept building the suspense in White Wolf. Though the white wolves can’t shift, they have many characteristics of wolves, which helps a lot in this story. There are several undercurrents and twists in this story that will surprise you. However, the author ties everything up neatly by the end of the book. Sorcha and Gray’s relationship started very fast, and they had several misunderstandings, as Sorcha was not a wolf. I will be rereading this one again.

Susie's Choice


Title: Susie's Choice
Author: Barbara Elsborg
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419920844
Genre: BDSM, Ménage {M/M/F}
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lovers Christian Harris and Joel Cooper are in need of a housekeeper, so they advertised and conducted interviews. Susie Hood is the last to arrive; she is late after having fallen off her bike and skinned her knees. Christian notices that Susie’s knee is bleeding and renders first aid to her. After talking for a short time, the men decide Susie will make an excellent housekeeper as well as wonderful addition to their relationship. Being bisexual, both men desire a female to share.

Susie's Choice is an out-of-the-ordinary ménage story. Christian is a writer, Joel is an American lawyer on loan to the London office and Susie has lived a quiet sheltered life at home with her father and two older brothers. The attraction between the three is immediate, as well as fulfills Christian and Joel’s need to protect and care for a woman. Barbara Elsborg has created a tale of discovery, sexual interactions and kink. Fans of these genres will find this story enjoyable.

Impacted


Title: Impacted
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-024-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary BDSM
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Nearing the end of his vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, stops at a well-known BDSM club. There he hooks up with a Dom named Red, a gorgeous young freckle-faced man with curly copper colored hair. After a life-altering scene in Scott’s car, the two men part ways, never imagining they’ll ever see each other again. Except fate has a funny way of intervening when you least expect it. Both are in for a shock when Robin Kennedy, also known as Red, arrives at his new job as a hygienist for a prominent dental practice, to find Scott is one of his new bosses.

Thrilled at having the opportunity to explore the kinkier side of their attraction, the two men begin a true Dominant/submissive relationship. Except seeing each other every day makes keeping the lines between professional and personal separate more difficult than they ever imagined. To make matters worse, the owner of the practice is rabidly homophobic, meaning Robin and Scott have to hide not only their sexual orientation, but their BDSM lifestyle as well. They’re perfect for each other, but Robin can’t stand the secrecy…the hiding, especially from an ass like their boss. Scott on the other hand is willing to stay in the closet until he can purchase the lucrative practice in a few months. The question is can the two lovers find a middle ground, or whether they will allow their differences of opinion to drive a wedge between them forever?

Impacted is an interesting, but often confusing look, into the lives of BDSM practitioners Scott and Robin. The opening scene where these two men met in a BDSM club and later have sex in Scott’s car is steaming hot and intense. In fact, all their sexual encounters are sizzling hot.

I wasn’t surprised when Robin ended up as Scott’s hygienist, but I thought they agreed to continue their relationship a little too quickly without giving thought to the possible life-altering repercussions, both professionally and personally. I did appreciate the scenes where Robin and Scott negotiated their Dom/Sub contract, giving the impression of longevity and seriousness, which might have been lacking without it. I believe there wasn’t enough time taken by the men to cover their professional actions and attitudes at the office. For the seeming seriousness of the contract for their personal life, the professional side was barely touched…at least initially.

I admit I never understood why Scott put himself into a position of working for his utterly intolerant, over-the-top homophobic boss when he had so many options open to him. Moreover, while I liked his old friend Susie, who made a great secondary character, I thought it odd that she just appeared at the dentist’s office, expecting and getting a job. This is particularly true since the owner of the practice, Ron, had previously hired Robin.

The scenes in the BDSM club where Susie was introduced to their lifestyle where nicely handled, but I would have liked to seen it followed through, instead of the focus shifting to a private session between Robin and Scott…it just seemed like a sudden jolt.

The thing that gave me the most problems was the Dom/Sub scene in one of the dentist’s chair in the office, of all places. When I saw it coming, I actually groaned, and I’m certain “Oh, no,” passed my lips. For two people who were trying to keep their sexual orientation and BDSM lifestyle hidden, having sex in the office was the worst piece of decision making I’ve ever seen.

Hunted Witness


Title: Hunted Witness
Author: Carol Storm
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-1-179-6
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary/Erotic/Suspense
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Jasmine Dumont is partying to forget her grief over the deaths of her parents and witnesses the murder of her friend, instead. When she comes face to face with Adam again during a meeting, after he ran out on her during a date, it’s not a pretty scene. With trust issues already, she’s having a hard time accepting help from him, and knows things might end badly.

Adam Black, an ex-policeman from New York, who is now the sheriff in the Florida Keys, is called in to help protect a witness. He doesn’t want to do the job because he has not resolved issues with his female partner’s murder. Adam is persuaded by his friend to take the job, and hopes he can keep his emotions in check around Jasmine. He’s bent on keeping Jasmine alive, something he couldn’t do for his partner.

Hunted Witness is a quickie, but packed with hot sex, and a lot of action. I was kept wondering about the murder in this story, and didn’t figure it out until almost the end. Carol Storm does a wonderful job of writing about how the murderer set up someone else for the fall, but then needed to take out a witness, too. I found the secondary characters to be a wonderful addition to the story, especially the neighbor and boyfriend who gave Jasmine the information she needed to deal with Adam. This is the first book I have read by this author, who impressed me, and I look forward to reading other books by her.

Playing the Field: Served


Title: Playing the Field: Served
Author: J.M. Snyder
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-557-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Sports
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Colby's had a rough day and just wants a few minutes of down time. Stopping at the local watering hole, Colby isn't surprised when a sexy woman comes up to him; what does surprise him is why she's there.

Van doesn't usually let his sister approach men on his behalf but when you're in a new town, it always pays to be cautious. The instant attraction he feels for Colby seems to be mutual but what will happen when the two men find out they are playing against each other in tomorrow's beach volleyball tournament.

For those who do not yet know, author J.M. Snyder has been writing a series, Playing the Field, centered on the world of sports. Each new book highlights a different sport and with this recent addition, we get the perfect summer sport, beach volleyball. The characters in Playing the Field: Served are great. From the instant attraction Colby and Van feel to the annoyance their female relatives, Megan and Vallery project, the reader will be kept entertained and wanting more. Whether it is in the kitchen after a late night or on the beach wishing for privacy, the humor adds to this great story and makes this a couple I would love to see again.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Convincing Arthur


Title: Convincing Arthur
Author: Ava March
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-979-9
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Erotic Historical
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Leopold Thornton hides behind strong drink and lust-filled nights to dull the pain of not having his true love, Arthur Barrington. Ten years is a long time to wait for a second chance, but that’s just what Leopold has done.

Arthur’s career is all he has and his reputation is part of the reason behind his success. Associating with Leopold, a known debaucher, could sully his reputation and yet Arthur cannot seem to walk away without knowing pleasure under Leopold’s tutorage.

A short holiday at his country estate gives Leopold access to Arthur, away from prying eyes. He wants Arthur and no other will do; the question is will his scandalous past destroy his opportunity to finally gain entrance to Arthur’s heart, body, and love.

Leopold knows Convincing Arthur to give him a chance is pretty close to playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun, but refuses to walk away without trying. After ten years of aching for Arthur, Leopold is ready to make every effort to impress. I could relate to his feelings and understand each action. After watching the interaction between Arthur and Leopold, it was clear the men belong together. They had a way of feeding off each other’s emotions. The more time they spent together, the more I was sure they wasted ten years of what could have been a blissful relationship. Ava March’s descriptive writing pulled me into the era, as always, and allowed me to feel the chill in the air, and the currents of desire and need passing through the characters. I loved reading Convincing Arthur and look forward reading to future releases from this talented author.

Under the Moonlight


Title: Under the Moonlight
Author: Isabelle Rose
Publisher: Cacoethes Publishing House
Publisher URL: http://www.cacoethespublishing.net/
ISBN: 978-1-60695-011-1
Genre: {F/F} Paranormal/Lesbian
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Morgan Carbone is a hard-boiled detective who’s after a serial killer preying on young women. During an interrogation with the man, she’s attacked and her life is suddenly changed forever. Now she’s compelled to hunt down a vampiress, but what happens when her own emotions become entangled with the enigmatic woman she’s supposed to kill?

Under the Moonlight is a fast-paced story full of action--in and out of the bed. The plot is very intriguing, especially given some key players I personally loved reading. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that one of those players is a particular historical figure known for her… bloodlust. The love scenes are hot and never repetitive and the ending was wonderful.

If you enjoy lesbian vampire stories, I definitely suggest giving Under the Moonlight a read.

Roadside Strangers


Title: Roadside Strangers
Author: Marie Rochelle
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Publisher URL: http://www.cobblestone-press.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60088-435-1
Genre: Contemporary, Multicultural {M/F}
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a useless phone and battling the cold was more than Sienna Paramount needed right now. All she wanted to do was disappear for a while to lick her wounds and think. The stranger who stopped to help her could be a killer, for all Sienna knew. Plus, he seemed very annoyed by her presence. What choice did Sienna have except to go with him?

Jacob Powers was sorry he stopped to help the stranded woman. It seemed the beauty with the smoking body wanted to argue in the middle of a blizzard, rather than be rescued by him. She had no idea that the only danger Jacob presented was the danger of making love to her before he could get her to his bed.

Sienna and Jacob didn’t stay strangers for very long, once they got to Jacob’s house. The freezing weather outside only stoked the flames between them and soon, the couple shed their inhibitions and clothing. The twist at the end added a kind of erotic sweetness and reminded me why I am a Marie Rochelle follower. Roadside Strangers is the kind of fantasy that will speak to your feminine side. Just as one door closed for Sienna, she was lead to Jacob by accident, and a whole new world opened up. If you enjoy surprises and new beginnings, this wonderful story should go on your list of to-be-reads.

Every Good Thing


Title: Every Good Thing
Author: M. Jules Aedin
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-087-0
Genre: Historical Fantasy {M/M}
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Arieh Sef'ea has been seized by the tax collectors, to be sold as a slave, because his parents cannot pay the property taxes due. Taken to the city of Keshe in chains, Arieh is stripped and oiled for auction. However, before the bidding began, the traders started a commotion; a ploy to advertise their wares and display the beautiful naked Arieh to the head soldier who came to restore the peace at the slave market.

Every Good Thing is a mind seduction and love story. Arieh Sef'ea is just coming into his manhood; he has been raised in a strict religion that forbids love between men, even the association with foreigners. He is also innocent of the human body and any sexual activities. The Keshen soldier is a very compassionate man who displays a great deal of patience with Arieh. M. Jules Aedin has created a fascinating tale that reminds me of an ancient Roman society. What I found most enjoyable is that the Master employs mental binding of the slaves as a means to garner obedience, only their clothes indicate ownership. This is a wonderful well-written heartwarming romance.

Julian's Second Chance


Title: Julian's Second Chance
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-090-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Julian Goddard remembers the handsome American from his trip to Sri Lanka. Their connection was unlike anything he ever experienced. The fear of the fallout that is sure to come from admitting he is gay causes Julian to take the easy way out and walk away from Alex. However, he discovers the pain is sharper than he could have imagined, if only he had a second chance…

Alex Williams will never forget his time abroad, or the British student he came to love. While they departed painfully, it still hadn’t dampened Alex’s love for Julian. Six years later, and a few valuable lessons under their belts, the two meet again. Has Julian finally discovers what’s more important? Is Alex free to give him the love he seeks?

Claire Thompson’s Julian's Second Chance takes us into the lives of Alex and Julian. They both handled being gay in two different ways and the pivotal moment that defined love was during the time they shared in Sri Lanka. The past could have left both men cold and selfish, but I would like to believe the sweet remembrance gave them something to hold onto. They both hoped for an opportunity to rediscovering love and to find a worthy partner and lover. Julian's Second Chance delivers a message about lost love, acceptance, forgiveness, and recognizing self-worth.

Eye of the Beholder


Title: Eye of the Beholder
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907010-25-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Bo Lawson’s been working on the Backbreaker Ranch for a year and during that time, he’s tried to get close to the man of his dreams, his boss and ranch foreman, Rance Benning. Bo has no idea of Rance’s history with men, and can’t understand his obvious aversion to getting involved. Bo has been HIV positive since he was a teenager and came to terms with the disease and what it means to his life years ago. Could his health and the potential danger to Rance be what’s keeping him away, or is it something else entirely?

Since the day Rance first saw Bo standing in line at Brynn’s Bakery, he’s been running scared, trying to keep his interaction with the sexy man dressed in tight fitting jeans strictly business. Seeing the gorgeous man every day makes the ex-rodeo champion a little crazy, forcing him to deal with emotions that leave him feeling defensive and angry. However, when Bo’s severely injured by a crazy bull, Rance must admit how much the other man has come to mean to him. The question is whether Bo can accept the horrible scars he carries, or will their ugliness drive the man he loves away?

Eye of the Beholder is book eleven in the ongoing Cattle Valley series and once again, Carol Lynne has presented her readers with a vividly described, heart-wrenching story, filled with pain, hurt, fear of rejection and undeniable passion. I’ve been intrigued with Bo since his introduction in Biker’s Vow. He’s a compassionate, caring man who’s always willing to help others, despite his own positive HIV status. Ms. Lynne did a wonderful job handling Bo’s illness by skillfully integrating the life-threatening illness, with tidbits of educational information, such as affects of the virus, safe consensual sex and proper nutrition.

Rance is a bit of an enigma. He gives the appearance of being cold and standoffish, at least until Zero Tolerance wounds Bo. It’s during this period of crisis and recovery that we get the first glimpse of the love, caring and passion lurking beneath his icy exterior. He’s not an easy man to understand and his refusal to explain his behavior, or open up to Bo, make beginning any kind of a relationship difficult, if not impossible.

Don’t get me wrong, there are serious undertones in this story but what makes it a wonderful read, and a true keeper, is the romance between two men who have enough emotional and physical baggage to choke a bull. I’m always ready to devour every Cattle Valley book and it wasn’t any different with this one. There’s just something about the interesting stories and fascinating people who inhabit this special town that pulls you in, making you want more.

Aurora’s Promise


Title: Aurora’s Promise
Author: Eve Jameson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921858
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Connyn Kilth thinks he has found the Magdalyne’s youngest daughter who escaped from IIyria. As they are leaving a café, Connyn saves Aurora from a Sleht attack. Connyn does not want to take a chance that Aurora will not accept him as her mate and decides to claim her that night, after taking refuge in a hotel.

Aurora tries to keep her secrets from Connyn since it will mean betraying her sister-in-law, who is actually the youngest daughter. Aurora also has the gift of magic so strong that it has not been seen in generations.

Aurora’s Promise takes you to llyria in this fourth book of the llyrian Destiny series. The role that Aurora has to play makes her very wary of Connyn since she thinks he only mated her because of his duties. The power struggle between them is very intense, but the sex is even hotter so keep plenty of ice on hand. The way Ms. Jameson resolves the conflict in the middle of a formal meeting is breathtaking. Her slight allusion to the last two sisters in this book will keep you waiting with baited breath for the next installment of this series.

Night at the Office


Title: Night at the Office
Author: Drew Zachary
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/M} Gay Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Who said working the night shift was boring? Greg’s job as a security guard is serving a purpose and isn’t something Greg wants to do for the rest of his life. He assumed tonight would be an ordinary shift, but discovers something to the contrary. The strange noises coming from his area lead to events that have Greg enjoying his Night at the Office.

Greg is your average person, enterprising enough to help his dreams become a reality. He takes what he has to do during his shift in stride. I could see the wheels turning in his head when he discovered what was behind the noises. The scene and plot are classic, but Drew Zachary adds just enough spice to give readers a reason to want to work late. I found Night at the Office to be an enjoyable read.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Off the Beaten Path


Title: Off the Beaten Path
Author: Katrina Strauss
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-982-9
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Travis Bell is a member of, and an asset to, his college lacrosse team. He treats the knowledge of his sexuality with the same strict “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the military. A mishap involving Omega Beta Pi has Travis in a tough spot. He can either rat out his friend or take the punishment. When he discovers that part of the reprimand includes spending a week in close quarters with Kyle Schafer, Travis thinks there are worse ways to pay penitence.

Kyle is a pacifist in his personal life but when it comes to the environment, Kyle stands strong in his beliefs. He knows his Zen-like state is in danger with the introduction of Travis Bell. Discovering Travis is gay is one thing, but keeping his attraction for the handsome athlete under wraps while the share a tent can prove to be tricky. Regardless of his attraction to Travis, Kyle doesn’t want to become involved. Could Travis be the one?

Off the Beaten Path takes us to a picturesque location where Travis begins to recognize the wisdom of the people around him, especially in regards to his choice of friends. He’s a sweet guy, but Travis is looking for acceptance in all the wrong places. Spending time with members of Omega Beta Pi has him seeing himself in a new light, and finally understanding he’s shortchanging himself. Kyle’s vehement reaction to controlling his feelings for Travis made me believe he was hurting more than he wanted to admit. I can understand why he found the circumstances frightening. When you look at their backgrounds and personalities, you wouldn’t team these two together for a single romp, but their differences make them a perfect couple.

Katrina Strauss knows how to write a book that makes you beg for more. The characters are believable and personable, there’s a sound plot, and a gorgeous backdrop and if that’s not enough, the sex is hot enough to bring Smokey the Bear out for a lesson on preventing forest fires. Kyle and Travis should have been required to make love in a fire repellant tent. Those who enjoy the genre are in for a treat.

The Storykeeper


Title: The Storykeeper
Author: Jade Buchanan
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-222-2
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jason Lark enters a bookstore that he has never visited before. Browsing through the books, he finds an old book with faded pages. While holding the book, Jason feels a sensation coursing through his body. Unable to resist the pull of the book, Jason buys it and takes it home. Examining the book and still puzzled regarding its lure, a man appears in the bedroom and he is the image of Jason’s fantasy lover. Enitan is a Storykeeper, an inspiration to human writers. Enitan is an immortal being, who felt a weird and wonderful connection to Jason. Never before has the desire to stay with a human been like this. Now that he has experienced love, Enitan must break the rules and discover a way to remain with Jason forever.

The Storykeeper is a charming and enjoyable saga of first love. Jade Buchanan has created an interesting, as well as a pleasant, tale featuring writers and one of their storytelling sources.

Turquoise and Leather


Title: Turquoise and Leather
Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907010-06-4
Genre: {M/M} Gay/ BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

George McAllister wants an experienced submissive to share his passion. One look at Eric Jordan and George believes he has hit the jackpot. However, what Eric knows about the D/s lifestyle could fit on a postage stamp. The mutual attraction has George breaking his own rules. Will Eric’s natural tendencies be enough incentive for George to want to collar and claim him?

Turquoise and Leather is Kim Dare’s first story in the Collared series. George is a trained Dominant seeking someone to call his own. In the beginning, I could almost feel his eyes on Eric and the heat between the two men. Eric is naturally submissive, but too bratty to allow anyone the pleasure of having complete control over him. Some of his conversations with George had me shaking my head thinking, “What is a Dom to do?” Their erotic encounters heat up the pages, while still showing George’s compassionate side. The story is a clear reminder of who holds the power in a D/s relationship. I found Turquoise and Leather to be a delightful read and look forward to reading the next installment in the series.

Master Of The Mountain


Title: Master Of The Mountain
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: # 978-1-59632-992-8
Genre: BDSM Full-Figured Heroine Erotic Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Cipher Prose Nymph


Logan is used to sex games since he and his brother own a mountain retreat where swinger and BDSM parties are a norm. Most of the time, he lays low at the get-togethers but when one particular swinger weekend brings Rebecca, the green-eyed city girl to his door, the Dom in him sees too much potential lying under her sweet demeanor to pass up.

Rebecca is on the brink of a break up with her long-time boyfriend. As a last ditch effort, she agrees to accompany him on a retreat with swingers. She figures out fast that the scene is not for her, and is completely unprepared when she finds herself on an exciting, untraveled journey of sexual play she’s never dreamed of with Logan.

I found Master Of The Mountain an exciting BDSM journey with just the right amount of domination, submission and respect. Rebecca’s struggle with self-confidence over her body’s imperfections was inspiring and the ultimate outcome proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Logan is a truly inspiring strong and loving man, and I found myself hoping that there are still men left just like him in the world. A scorching hot read that I will absolutely read again and again.

Hemovore


Title: Hemovore
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-634-1
Genre: {M/M} Gay-Lesbian Romance, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

When the world thought nothing could be as devastating as HIV, HHV (Human Hemovore Virus) proves just how wrong they were. The new virus takes over in stages and the result, if you survive, is a liquid diet of blood and an allergic reaction to the sun.

Mark Jensen has worked for painter Jonathan Varga for four years. Four years was enough time for Mark to toss the rose-colored glasses he used to view V-positives through to the ground for a thorough stomping session. However, the connection he feels for Jonathan has blossomed into love. Mark is sure his boss is hiding something, but decides to chalk the mysteriousness up as part of Jonathan’s tortured artist-type persona. He will soon discover the seriousness and danger lurking just within reach. Will Mark survive this ordeal?

Hemovore takes us into the lives of Jonathan and Mark, two men propelled by two very different agendas. Mark has seen a side of V-positives that most aren’t privy to, but it hasn’t stopped him from pining away for Jonathan. Actually, it is the fear of contracting the virus that prevents him acting upon his desires. Momma always said “Babe, watch those quiet men”. Well there is definitely more to the artist than meets the eye, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it all. The two make a great couple, Mark’s wit - Jonathan’s Money, Mark’s sassiness – Jonathan’s class, Mark’s style – Jonathan’s grace, it was like watching the making of a power couple. Jordan Castillo Price pounced on the idea of making a simple vampire love story with this unusual but compelling romance. The story is unlike any I’ve ever read about vampires. Hemovore contains a solid plot, intriguing characters, a suspenseful mystery, and enough satire to absorb the tiniest specks melancholy lingering behind. The story is a winner and I recommend it to those who enjoy the genre.