Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Pauper's Prize


Title: The Pauper's Prize
Author: Mark Alders
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-365-4
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Pavel has only known true kindness from one who truly cared about his well-being. As a pauper, it’s hard to barter for the food essential to his survival, but he makes due with what he is given. To gain the attention of the Viscount’s son, Wilhelm, shocks Pavel but the new found interest is the beginning of a series of events that will change their lives.

Pavel is a character who brings to mind all of the blessings we overlook from day to day. The more of his struggles I read, the more I reflected on my fortunate state. And through it all, Pavel took his lot without seeking sympathy. The point where it finally hit him, the unfairness of it all, not by just those who knew his state, but by his own hand made me sit up and take notice. Of course, he could do little about his station in life, but he was no longer willing to lie down and accept what was happening as easily as he once would have done. Wilhelm actually had his own demons to battle, but willingly embraced the idea of what would make him happy without internal conflict. This is a plus for the character after you witness the amount of external issues that crossed his path. If there is one thing that threw me off with the story, it was the actual gestures, and sometimes dialogue, that was part of a different era. The story has a number of messages included but the two that struck a chord with me were on self-love and friendship. Those who enjoy the genre will find Mark Alders’ The Pauper's Prize to be an enjoyable read.

The Price of Submission


Title: The Price of Submission
Author: Michelle Cary
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-989-8
Genre: BDSM, Ménage {M/F/M}, {F/F}
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Misty has to look for other employment when the club she is waitressing in closes. She is offered a contract to be a submissive for a year to a wealthy man, who is into the BDSM lifestyle.

Garron only hires his submissives because he doesn’t want the complication of a real relationship. Misty challenges this idea. He trains her to become his submissive and ends up falling in love with her. However, someone in his household doesn’t like it and is targeting Misty.

The Price of Submission is a wonderfully written book about two people with very different pasts coming together. Ms. Cary strikes a good balance between the different types of relationships each have and how they are handled even as the “playroom” is brought into their lives. Ms. Cary keeps the suspense about Misty’s enemy going to the end because it turns out to be a surprise. I will be reading this one again.

High Country


Title: High Country
Author: Michael Barnette
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-991-1
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Shape-shifter Paranormal, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Sci-Fi author Bradford Thorne wants this vacation to be better than the last. A month in high country appeals to his desire to elude an overzealous ex. The area draws on Brad’s childhood memories, producing a calm serene atmosphere. What he didn’t anticipate was the lustful need the owner, Sheelinn MacNamara, would invoke.

Sheelinn, Linn to those who know him, didn’t know authors came wrapped in such a delicious package. He would save his horse a few trips across the countryside if he could gain evenings with Brad, riding them both into the grip of ecstasy. What he doesn’t count on are the strong emotions that overtake him.

Brad isn’t sure if his ex has tracked him down, but something dangerous has transformed his haven into a scene from a horror movie. Will Linn save Brad from the evil thing that’s going bump in the night?

Michael Barnette takes us to picturesque Colorado for his latest story, High Country. Brad is handsome, intelligent and in prime physical condition. Even after the overbearing relationship with his ex, his libido is still thriving and ready for action. Linn has the demons from his past to keep him focused on not revealing too much to Brad, but something keeps drawing him in. These men didn’t take long to get up close and personal, but their interaction seemed to flow naturally and didn’t take anything away from the story. I will admit I was upset with Linn for all of twenty seconds until I figured out not so much what he was trying to hide but why he was attempting to hide it. There is just enough action and suspense in this story to keep everything flowing at a great pace. We explore their chosen professions on a surface level, which I appreciated. Delving too deeply would have added one too many detours and I was truly ready to watch this couple get to know one another. Michael Barnette’s stories always draw me in, and make me happy I took the time to pull his book out for a read. I have no doubt that those who enjoy the genre will be happy they picked up a copy of High Country.

Love’s Caress


Title: Love’s Caress
Author: Tianna Xander and Bonnie Rose Leigh
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-345-6
Genre: {M/F/M} Ménage, Shapeshifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Mercy doesn’t look like her sisters and doesn’t believe them when they tell her she is in danger. Mercy is almost kidnapped in the parking garage of the hospital she works at and flees to her grandmother’s cabin.

Cameron and Ewan have been sent to find and protect Mercy. They know that her sisters are Tu Braith to others in their clan. As soon as they get to the cabin, they know she is theirs. Before they can leave to join with her sisters, the cabin is attacked.

Love’s Caress continues the story of the Gordon Clan and their quest to find the Tree of Life in book 3 of the Kincross series. The struggle that Mercy faces to accept Cameron and Ewan seems to be more intense as they get closer to joining Mercy’s sisters and their mates. The authors keep the suspense going as this series leads you closer to finding the tree. The ending in this one leaves you waiting for the next book.

Monsters Past


Title: Monsters Past
Author: Laney Cairo
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-781-7
Genre: {M/M}, Sci-Fi
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Having left the evil Colonel Parkes and Eucla camp behind, Dan, Sid and Kit, along with her fox, Marlow are recruited into Military Intelligence. With basic training for Sid and Kit, and duty assignments for Dan, there should be little time to get into trouble. That doesn't work out and the three are once again in the thick of things. With the help of Paul Denson, a new team member, the group heads out to find who or what is causing monsters from Australia's past to pop up.

Monsters Past is the newest addition in the ongoing Liminus Australis series and is just as entertaining as Running the Nullarbor. Picking up not long after the end of the first book, author Laney Cairo once again entertains the reader with snappy dialog and detailed descriptions. Her account of the group's exploits had me laughing more than once and I could almost see poor Marlow wearing a barf bag on his snout. The enlistment of Dan, Sid, and Kit into Military Intelligence and the introduction of a new team member kept the story from being just more of the same. While the introduction of new and old enemies kept the story flowing, it will leave the reader waiting on pins and needles for the next installment.

Feather Down


Title: Feather Down
Author: Lorie O’Clare
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923159
Genre: {M/F} Shapeshifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Dover Down has been working with hunters and asked to look into some trouble that is going on with the owls, leopards, and the caribou wolves in Banff. He arrives in Banff bringing Darla with him for her to stay with the hunter that asked for Dover’s help.

Lana sees Dover and teases him. She later realizes that he is not aware of who her family is in Banff. Lana gets herself in trouble, as she wants to feel like an equal. She also feels that Dover is coming after her because her brothers trapped him into committing to her.

Owls value honor to the point of rigidness and Dover is no exception. Lana feels that her family set Dover up and that he is only with her because he is honoring his commitment. Lana doesn’t understand that Dover does want her for herself. The heat between the two calls for lots of fanning and ice. Feather Down is an interesting look into the owl society. Ms. O’Clare expertly weaves the conflict that the three shifter societies are experiencing into a very intense suspense story. This is the first book in the Raptors Revealed series and is one to add to your library. I, for one, am looking forward to the next book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Man’s Best Friends


Title: Man’s Best Friend
Author: P.A. Brown
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-075-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Todd Richards is tired of dealing with his cranky homophobic veterinarian so he’s thrilled when he learns a gay vet, Dr. Keith Anderson, has moved into the area. When one of his dogs is cut by glass, Todd has an excuse to get his first look at the new man and once he does, he’s enthralled. Not just by his gorgeous good looks, but by his kindness and love of dogs. All isn’t smooth sailing for the new lovebirds; the pain Keith suffers at the death of his parents nearly killing their love.

Trying to get their relationship back on track, Todd and Keith uproot their lives, relocating to Santa Fe, where they turn the small ranch they inherited from Keith’s parents into a B & B. Life is good but busy for the pair. They have guests to keep happy, Keith’s small vet clinic to run, horses to breed and train and a few local homophobic town people to deal with. Trouble starts when a group of rustlers target their expensive horses and two teens disappear on their property. Can these two lovers make their new complicated lives work, or despite their efforts, will their new life in New Mexico fall apart?

If you love M/M romance and animals, then Man’s Best Friend is the perfect book for you for a fun afternoon read. It combines two loving sexy guys with a couple of spoiled Dobermans, Shadow and Sleuth, and one perky Chihuahua, Taco, who tries to rule the roost, despite his size. I have to admit I loved the Dobes in this story; reminding me of my own Dobermans long gone, but not forgotten. The scenes where Shadow carried around his purple gorilla stuffed-toy were a hoot, and oh so true to life, for the not-always-so-vicious dogs, so many of us love.

Todd is a caring, fun and likable guy, and the story is told in his viewpoint, leaving me to wonder what was going on in Keith’s head…what makes him tick. From the beginning, it’s apparent both men are crazy about each other and while their physical relationship starts off a little quickly, Ms. Brown handles it in such a way that it doesn’t seem out of place or forced.

The book is almost written as two halves of the whole, and I have to admit that I enjoyed the second portion the most. While it was nice seeing Todd and Keith get together; watching the building of their Santa Fe life and the suspense of who tried to burn down the barn and rustle their horses was much more dramatic. Wanting to learn the identity of the culprit had me racing to the end. This is the second book by Ms. Brown that I’ve read, and while the pacing was a bit uneven, I still enjoyed Man’s Best Friend, and I’ll be looking for other releases by this author in the future.

Out Of Time


Title: Out Of Time
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Love You Divine
Publisher URL: http://www.loveyoudivine.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60054-375-3
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Edward is a young soldier when his life is drastically changed. His newly altered state has left him with a bleak outlook on the future. When he meets Ambrus in the trenches during WWI, Edward had no idea exactly how much the vampire would change his life.

Edward draws Ambrus like a bear to honey. Younger, and too innocent by half, Edward pulls on Ambrus’ long lost emotions. Over time, Edward will try to learn to cope while Ambrus will relearn the meaning of love. Will Edward ever come to appreciate being a vampire, or is he doomed to wallow in self-pity?

Out Of Time is a tale of two vampires, each in a different place in their existence. Edward is coming to terms with his new state, and Ambrus wants nothing more than to help him through this time. The two make a great couple. Edward keeps everything fresh, while Ambrus uses his wisdom to guide the younger vampire. Their relationship is relaxed and easy-flowing, thanks to Ambrus’ patience. Clare London’s Out Of Time is an impressive read and a wonderful contribution to the Immortal Fire series.

Red Heat


Title: Red Heat
Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419922435
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Wealthy Talent sorcerer Chase Maynord, was devastated when he lost his beloved Jillian in a horrific fiery car crash. In the months since her sudden passing, he’s been lonely, but kept busy running his multi-national business empire. So, when a woman registers in his New York flagship hotel, using his dead lover’s name, he assumes it’s nothing more than a painful coincidence. He couldn’t be more wrong. The woman thought long dead is very much alive.

Jillian Miller remembers very little of her life before the crash, including her identity, and has been living the last months as Caroline Cross. She’s now an agent for the IRDC, a group dedicated to the destruction of all Talents. Her mission is to infiltrate Chase’s life, gain his confidence and get him into a position where he can be captured. The problem is, she’s beginning to remember, and between glimpses of her past and her cravings for Chase, Jillian doesn’t know what’s true or what side she’s on. If Chase can’t break through her mental barriers and restore her memory, she’ll likely die. He lost her once…he won’t lose her again!

Red Heat is the second release in Lynne Connolly’s new ongoing Storm series. It’s another exciting and well-written story revolving around Talents, the people close to them and the dangerous world in which they live. It’s a thrilling glimpse into an alternate paranormal world filled with love, passion, sizzling hot sex, intrigue, deceit, hate and betrayal.

I love Chase’s character; he’s the epitome of a true alpha male-sexy, strong, dedicated, determined, passionate, and willing to do whatever it takes to keep the people he loves safe. He’s also loyal to a fault and dependable. Certainly, the type of person you’d want standing beside you in a conflict…no matter what it is. Jillian is another matter. Knowing, at the beginning, that she was going to Chase with the intent of doing him harm made it difficult for me to develop any warm and fuzzy feelings for her. In fact, my initial dislike for her was so intense, I didn’t want to continue reading…but I’m very glad that I did. After Ms. Connolly had the chance to further develop the story, I saw another side to Jillian, allowing me to understand her and what she’d been through.

The second half of the book is definitely my favorite. Jillian and Chase have worked through many of their personal problems and Jillian has regained much of her lost memory. It’s during this portion of the story that we see characters made familiar in earlier Talent-inspired stories. These additional individuals help round out the story, giving it depth and the ‘teeth’ it needs in the continuing fight against the crazies in the IRDC. I can’t wait to see where Ms. Connolly goes with her next release in this new unique paranormal series.

Just Being Neighborly


Title: Just Being Neighborly
Author: Kaenar Langford
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923258
Genre: {M/M} Erotica Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Dayton Stewart knew his new home in Toronto was a good buy but when he meets his neighbor Simon Tate, he had a new reason to feel gleeful. Who knew he could pick a house with such a sexy neighbor? Now if he could just get Simon to do more than share simple conversations with him, he could die a happy man.

Simon knows there is definitely room in his bed for Dayton but is Dayton willing to share said bed with Mateo, Simon’s friend and lover? The three men create a sensual encounter of seduction in Just Being Neighborly.

Kaenar Langford incorporates light BDSM into this story. Their connection never delves deep into a possible relationship, but that doesn’t take away from the heat and passion. Ms. Langford builds on their attraction in a way that is sure to leave readers seeking out cold showers and even colder drinks.

Cutting to the Chase


Title: Cutting to the Chase
Author: Stephanie Morris
Publisher: Sugar and Spice Press
Publisher URL: http://sugarandspicepress.net/
ISBN: 978-1-936110-30-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Christopher Morgan doesn’t need his meddling mother to find his “Mrs. Right”; he knows the perfect woman for that position, Ashley Bennett. The fact that he hasn’t seen her in years doesn’t seem to dampen his feelings for his friend. A terrible accident changes all that, and Chris comes back in contact with the beauty who occupies his dreams. The kid gloves are off and Ashley is there to show him just how good she is at her job!

To say that Ashley has lusted after Chris since high school is an understatement. Regardless of her feelings, her fear of rejection and possibly screwing up their friendship dissuades Ashley from taking what they have to the next level. Now, at a moment when Chris needs her the most, Ashley has to put her feelings aside and perform her job. What will Ashley do when she discovers that Chris wants more than to rekindle their friendship? What happens when he wants forever?

Cutting to the Chase takes us to a beautiful ranch in Merzton, Texas. Chris and Ashley finally have the opportunity to act on their attraction and Chris refuses to deny what he wants any longer. I liked the character of the man. He did quite a few things in the story that had me rooting for him and told me he seriously desired a future with Ashley. Both come from strong loving families. I believe, with the years of watching their parents devotion, came the understanding of how marrying your soul mate enriches your life. Stephanie Morris’s story talks about the risks of love, life-altering situations and the importance of a supportive family that is sure to please readers of the genre.

Not Perfect, But Striving to Be


Title: Not Perfect, But Striving to Be
Author: Jey Hawkes
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-753-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

At six foot five, Joshua appears more suited to working as a mechanic in his uncle’s garage than he does leaping across a dance floor. In reality, he’s attending ballet school during the day and moonlighting in the garage in the evenings. One night near closing time, hunky fireman Elias’ truck breaks down and seeing the lights on, heads for the garage. Inside, Elias finds a barefoot Joshua, leaping around the garage, in coverall no less, with classical music playing in the background.

The men can’t deny their attraction and believe it’s worth exploring, but neither is certain they can make a relationship work. Elias has a dangerous job that Joshua isn’t certain he can deal with, and Joshua is graduating in a few months and will likely be moving, leaving Elias behind. Can these two new lovers find enough reasons to stay together or will they allow circumstances to drive them apart?

Not Perfect, But Striving to Be is short at only twenty-eight pages, but its length in no way limits the enjoyment factor of this hot and sexy story. The characters of Elias and Joshua are a good match, and the disparity in their sizes and occupations make for a nice contrast. Jey Hawkes, who is a new author for me, paces the story nicely, switching POV at appropriate times, allowing the reader an opportunity to get a feel for both men. The overall plot might be simple due to its 12K length, but nevertheless, it’s a fun, quick read.

The First Full Moon


Title: The First Full Moon
Author: Christie Gordon
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-348-7
Genre: Paranormal, {M/M}
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Returning to his Moss Beach cabin in northern California, Adam Ross observes an explosion at the shoreline below. Rushing to the site, Adam finds Necalli, the only survivor among the bodies of rumrunners on the beach. Taking Necalli up the slope to his cabin, Adam discovers that Necalli has lost his memory. However, that is not the only thing that is different about the beautiful young man. In addition, there is an instant attraction between them and Adam is surprised to learn that he cannot resist the forbidden desires of man-love with Necalli.

The First Full Moon is an intriguing story set in the 1930’s era with bootleggers and speakeasies. Christie Gordon has created a tale surrounded in mystery and emotional elements of tragedy, love and sacrifice. Although the story is somewhat dark, it is still an enjoyable read with interesting characters.

Never Too Late


Title: Never Too Late
Author: Marty Rayne
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-987-4
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Brice Delco is attracted to men but too shy to approach them. Thank goodness, his best friend Winter Chase knows just how to help him over this hump. Winter hires a male escort to help Brice get over his shy reaction and learn about the passion only another man can give him. However, this isn’t just any escort; it’s a man who invokes the thought of an orgasm from his looks alone, Dakota Knight.

Dakota is ready to retire as an escort. His past has hardened his heart to the hopes of finding love and acceptance. Dakota didn’t expect that his last assignment could offer him his heart’s desire, but that’s just what Brice wants to give him. The question is will Dakota let his guard down long enough to accept this rare gift?

Dakota wound his way into my heart when he was first introduced in A Gift Worth Sharing. His desire for love and acceptance made me hope to see him again and he finally finds bliss in Never Too Late. Marty Rayne delivers a story that is entertaining, while it delves into social situations that are far from light subject matter. Even while conveying Dakota and Brice’s past, she never allows the story to become morose. The story flows effortlessly and written with a style that is truly Marty’s alone. I’m looking forward to reading more from this talented author in the future. Those who enjoy the genre should pick up a copy of Never Too Late.