Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Keily Kisses 2: Burning Kisses


Title: Keily Kisses 2: Burning Kisses
Author: Jill Knowles
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-996-6
Genre: {M/F/M} Paranormal Ménage
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Before he witnessed a heinous crime and his life fell apart, Val was a top-notch arson investigator. Now he’s in the witness protection program and working for the Forest Service as the Head of Recreation in the Keily Ranger District. Being on the run from a deadly arsonist doesn’t allow for love but that doesn’t stop him from thinking Jet and Suzie would make a great couple.

Jet’s a fire elemental and professional freelance photographer and he’s been called to town to document a newly discovered and important archeological site. He might look and appear human most of the time, but he’s not, making him think he’ll never find someone to love him for who and what he is. On the other hand, he thinks Suzie and Val are perfect for each other.

Deputy Sheriff Suzie Quinn is the woman who’s fallen in love with both Jet and Val and her premonitions tell her they will eventually make a life together. She has two things to accomplish first. They need to discover the identity of an arsonist threatening Val’s life, the town and the archeological site and she must convince Val and Jet they’re worthy of being loved.

Burning Kisses is the second release in the Keily Kisses series by Jill Knowles and this one takes up almost immediately after Kissing Chaos left off. It’s entertaining, fun, sexy, and has an interesting paranormal archeological premise, mixed with just the right amount of danger, to grab a reader’s attention.

Val, Jet and Suzie have interesting individual personal/family backgrounds and their temperaments, talents and sexual desires compliment each other nicely. Ms. Knowles did a great job bringing these three dissimilar people together, all while they try to survive attacks from a crazed arsonist. The paranormal aspects of the plot are vital, but in no way overpower the romance or suspense portions, giving the book a nice balance and an even flow. Frankly, I want to know more about what happened at the archeological dig site in the ancient past to make it so ominous and dangerous. I like the little bits and pieces of information that have been revealed so far, but I want to know more.

The secondary characters are many in this release and it was great seeing some of the people introduced in Kissing Chaos, especially Jet’s brother Dax, and his mate, Maggie. Then there’s Ezra. This guy started off with an overbearing attitude I didn’t particularly care for, but by the end…well by the end, the author had changed him into someone easy to like, and one I wanted to know more about. The arson/suspense scenes are believable and action packed, and the villain a well-crafted lunatic. Read and enjoy.

Dreamlands


Title: Dreamlands
Author: Felicitas Ivey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-028-4
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

It’s been four years since Keno Inuzaka felt safe and loved. Four years, uncertain, wondering what will happen next but confident that no one could protect him from harm. Rescued and brought to Dreamlands after a vicious attack, Keno finds a haven and a place to heal his wounded spirit.

Samojirou Aboshi is a respected member of his lady’s court. The years without a companion have left him lonely and longing. The unexpected gift of Keno in his life is one that Samojirou cherishes. Samojirou will do anything in his power to protect the man who has brought joy back into his life.

The setting for Dreamlands flips between modern day Boston and ancient Japan. Keno is a beautiful shy young man, too brilliant for his own good. Samojirou is a handsome scholar, trusted and respected by those who know him. They dance around Keno’s issues and the secrets Samojirou has kept from the younger man. However, even with those obstacles in their way, they find friendship, acceptance and a budding love affair. The viewpoint changes throughout this story, allowing you to see the events unfold from multiple angles. Dreamlands is a fast-paced story containing a healthy dose of action and suspense. The character’s variation in personalities in this tale keeps this story interesting. I loved the quick wit of one character in particular, and was anxious to see the next truth hurled with deadly aim and accuracy. Felicitas Ivey does an outstanding job, not only writing the book from two eras but also elaborating on the different customs, attire and setting to thrusting you into a particular scene. I found Dreamlands to be a fantastic read, sure to thrill readers of the genre.

Heart's Afire: September


Title: Heart's Afire: September
Author: Philippa Grey-Gerou and Michael Barnette
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-583-1
Genre: {M/M}, Sci-fi, Interracial/Multicultural
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

High Heat - Philippa Grey-Gerou - 3.5 Nymphs

Roman Geary has a lot on his plate; his restaurant is going well and so is the catering sideline. Unfortunately, everything comes crashing down when his dreams go up in smoke - literally. When fire-fighter Jacob Niemczyk, comes to the rescue, he never expected to meet someone as hot as Roman. Can two men from different backgrounds make a go of it or is their relationship doomed from the start?

Philippa Grey-Gerou's High Heat is a hot, sexy, story centered on two men who meet under less than ideal circumstances and while each is intrigue by the other, Roman is not at all sure he is ready for a relationship. The author does a great job showcasing Roman's confusion and insecurities, which are understandable with all that has happened to him lately. When these two do get together, the author makes sure that they smolder and rather than make everything prefect, she allows some of Roman's insecurities to linger. Ms. Grey-Gerou rounds out the story with Roman's acceptance of Jacob and everything that is involved with loving a fire-fighter.

Five Alarm Lover - Michael Barnette - 3.5 Nymphs

Del Preston has fulfilled his contract and can't wait to leave the mining colony Moon Three. The bonus he gets from rescuing a couple of "suits" during a recent mine fire is just what he needs to help him leave. Things start to change though after he meets one of the men he rescued.

Aaron needs his job, regardless of how he feels about the company he works for. That means not telling anyone how the fire really started or getting into a relationship with the hunky grunt that saved him.

Set off-world and with characters that are slightly other-worldly, Michael Barnette's Five Alarm Lover, has something for everyone. The characters are hot, their attraction immediate, and the mystery they find themselves in intriguing. The author brings across the fear, anxiety and need each man feels as they struggle with their desire for a loving relationship, in a manner that is believable to the reader. The mystery, while not the center of the story, is a nice subplot that helps seal the men's relationship.

Each month, Liquid Silver Books has brought the reader two stories centered on fire-fighters and those they love. September's addition to the Heart's Afire anthologies is sexy and intense, holding the readers attention and leaving them wanting more.

Warrior’s Cross


Title: Warrior’s Cross
Author: Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-030-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Cameron Jacobs is a nice person…everyone says so. He’s a normal man who leads an enjoyable but boring life, spending time with a few good friends and his four lovable but yappy little dogs. He’s also devoted to the 4-star restaurant where he’s worked at head waiter for eight years. His life is an open book, except for his crush on a tall, dark and handsome man who comes into the restaurant on Tuesday nights. It’s not until one holiday night of shared passion that Cameron’s life goes from ordinary to extraordinary, changing his world forever.

Julian is everything Cameron ever wanted in a man and his love and devotion makes him forget about the differences in their lives, at least for a while. When Julian’s secretive and dangerous lifestyle clashes with Cameron’s more ordinary one, he quickly learns that fear and mistrust can come in the most handsome of packages. As the differences between the men mount, Cameron must decide whether to walk away from the love he’s been looking for or whether he can live with the secrets and lies.

Warrior’s Cross is another well-crafted M/M book by talented co-authors Urban and Roux that’s going immediately into my keeper file. These two have a real knack for putting words on a page in a manner that pulls the reader into the story and it isn’t any different with this intriguing and complex suspense plot.

I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book where the primary characters are so different in every aspect of their lives and background, as they are in this interesting tale. On the surface, it doesn’t appear Cam and Julian have enough in common for a good fit as a couple, but the authors get them together and does it convincingly. Their relationship is allowed to build slowly, using interesting details, well-written and realistic dialogue, and a deep emotional connection…and don’t forget the hot sex. The secondary characters are vital to both the plot and flow and are interesting in their own rights. I found this particularly true of Blake and Preston, both of whom I’d loved to know more. Miri, Cam’s co-worker and friend, filled a need in Cameron’s life, but I found her a little annoying and definitely a cup half-full kind of woman.

The first half of the book is the build up of Cameron and Julian’s relationship, while the second deals more with the reality of being a couple and trying to work through the dangers and secrets of Julian’s life. I would have loved to know more of what Julian was thinking and feeling, but since most of the story was told in Cameron’s viewpoint, that wasn’t possible. It’s during this second section that the pace and action picks up, and as much as I’d like to delve into what happened, including the introduction of a deadly man from Julian’s past, it would result in to many spoilers. Read and enjoy!

CatNap


Title: CatNap
Author: Shelley Munro
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419922992
Genre: {M/M}, Shapeshifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Not wanting to deal with the interfering friends of their parents who have recently died, siblings Rohan and Ambar are moving to Middlemarch. The two are also anxious to leave before anyone can discover their shapeshifter nature. Rohan's also been keeping a secret from his sister; one that comes out when they rescue Kiran, a fellow tiger shifter.

Kiran has no idea who he is or where he's from. There are two things he is absolutely sure of however. One is that if the flashbacks are anything to go by, he's not sure he wants to know what happened to him, the other is that his rescuer, Rohan, brings out a craving that Kiran is 100 percent certain he has never felt before.

CatNap, the eighth installment to Shelley Munro's Middlemarch series, is an entertaining story of two tiger shifters. The main characters, Rohan and Kiran, fit well together as each provides the other with the love and acceptance they have always craved. The bond between them is strong and the sex intense. With the mystery of Kiran's past, the introduction of several previous characters, and the antics of Rohan's sister, the author keeps the story moving smoothly. While I have not read all of the stories in this series, I did find CatNap to be just as entertaining and well written as those I have. This is another fabulous story fans of Shelley Munro are sure to enjoy and if you have not yet tried one of her stories and love shapeshifters, give this one a chance. With plenty of passion, mystery and laughs (the soccer scene is sure to leave you chuckling) this book is one not to miss.

Healing Heart


Title: Healing Heart
Author: Thom Lane
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 9781596329973
Genre: {M/M} BDSM LGBT Fantasy Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Coryn is a young mage who recently completed his training. His gift of healing wasn’t always considered such, but Coryn has made the most of his abilities and the life he now lives. He has steeled himself into accepting a solitude existence until fate throws a slave in his path. How could a slave give a free man something he never knew he truly wanted?

Healing Heart is yet another wonderfully written story in the Tales of Amaranth series. Thom Lane brings us Coryn’s story, and switches the viewpoint between Coryn and his new slave throughout this tale. With the two main characters delivering a great deal of internal contemplation, the moderate pace of the story never increases regardless of happenings surrounding the two men. The small plague-infested town setting is perfect for this story line, limiting the number of characters introduced. The touch of suspense will keep the reader’s mind sharp, and looking for clues. I found this sequel to Dark Heart a delightful read.

Love Turns the Tide


Title: Love Turns the Tide
Author: Gail Pallotta
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.awe-struck.net/
ISBN: 978-1-58749-186-3
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

After relocating to a temporary job in another state, Cammie O’Shea starts her new job at The Sun Dial Newspaper. She is doing this as a favor for her boss at the Cedar Fork newspaper and she needs the different scenery to forget part of her past. When she meets her new boss for the first time, she is not sure of his reception, but needs to make a go of the business.

After being put off by Vic Deleona for an interview and then having to reschedule it, Cammie is very apprehensive on seeing anger he expressed at someone else when she was in his office the first time. Because of the deceit from her last relationship, Cammie isn’t eager to start anything with Vic, but he continues to find ways to spend time with her through the newspaper. She thinks he is too arrogant and demanding, and the only thing keeping her from ending their association is her concern over what her boss back home will do, if she quits.

When her new friend’s condo is broken into twice and vandalism done to her condo as well, she is confused about who would do such a thing. In strolls Vic to save Cammie from any further burglary being done to her. He even goes so far as to attend church with her, and that was a bonus with Cammie.

This is quite a surprisingly different type of story with a Christian aspect, and I want to express my appreciation to Gail Pallotta for creating such a fabulous book. Love Turns the Tide is a heartfelt story for me, and the bible verses added a nice spiritual connection. I loved the scriptures that were written, and it aroused my curiosity to find them for myself. The villain, although a bit confused, turns out to be a little misguided in his thinking, and he needed to feel more love from his family.

Although there is not a lot of history given on either of the main characters, I really rooted for them to be together and to me, it seems they both needed each other. I am looking forward to reading more from this author, and can only hope she doesn’t change her style of writing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem


Title: Dona Nobis Pacem
Author: Willa Okati
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-789-3
Genre: {M/M} Gay Erotic Historical Western
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

The Old West town of Nazareth is similar to some cities of today. It’s full of opinionated people willing to kick a needy person, instead of reaching out to help. It also contains one person who stands out like a diamond among jagged stones. That person is Donnell, a mute saloon owner who understands his town all too well. Donnell extends a hand of friendship, but in the end, he finds something he could only dream of obtaining. Donnell finds love…

Donnell is full of charm, grace, and class, a fighter full of compassion and understanding. His first glimpse of the fragile soul requiring help but unwilling to accept handouts was priceless. Donnell is the type of man who gives you hope, when you think you have none, and he pulled at my heartstrings. Donnell didn’t waver from his goal regardless of the obstacles. The theme of brotherly love, second chances, and survival jumped out to me the most. What rang true with the characters was a desire to find peace and love where there was little chance of finding either. The plot and characters are well developed. The suspense-filled moments serve the purpose of adding spice and intrigue versus making the story into a mystery. I found Willa Okati’s Dona Nobis Pacem a delightful read full of passion. For those who enjoy Wild West stories, buy and enjoy.

Seeking the Balance 2: Lack of Control


Title: Seeking the Balance 2: Lack of Control
Author: A.R. Moler
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-793-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

The relationship between Mason and Cam is growing stronger every day; the partners spending as much time together as possible, while juggling flying a fighter jet and taking care of seriously ill patients. Mason is concerned about a sick child and he’s been funneling an excessive amount of psychic healing energy to him, in an attempt to increase the chance of survival. Its left him stressed, tired and a little crabby so when Cam sees a notation regarding an oncology appointment, he jumps to conclusions. Against his better judgment, but wanting advice from a colleague at Division P, Mason reluctantly agrees to accompany his lover on an easy ‘seeking’ assignment, except the situation goes horribly wrong.

Lack of Control is the second chaser release in A.R. Moler’s Seeking the Balance trilogy. Cam and Mason were great together in the previous books and nothing’s different with this one. While this story can be read as a true stand-alone, I still recommend that they be read in order for a better understanding of the nicely developed relationship between Cam, Mason and the psychic Division P.

This release is just a little over 17K, but it’s filled with fear, a few misunderstandings, danger, and the desire shared by two loving partners. I admit it. I like these as men as individuals and as a couple, they’re almost perfect. Their emotional and physical connection is solid, nicely written and believable, as is the heat of their passion. The scenes flow seamlessly from one to the other, making for a well-plotted and entertaining whole. I enjoyed the entire story, but my favorite portion was near the beginning when Cam was dealing with his fear at the idea of losing the man he loves. Those scenes were particularly well done and definitely pulled at the heartstrings.

Drawing the Veil


Title: Drawing the Veil
Author: Stevie Woods
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-190-1
Genre: {M/M} Historical Erotic
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

The day pirates captured Malik’s ship was the day he began lessons in life on cruelty and survival. Fate altered his happy existence into one full of regrets. The hard life he learns to endure, the pain he must suffer and the love he loses unites and ultimately creates the captain Ocean Pearl persona.

Drawing the Veil is the prequel to Beyond the Veil. Watching this tale unfold through Malik’s eyes, we glimpse his first experience with love and the crushing reality of his impending future. The story starts at a fast pace and maintains it until the very end. After reading Malik’s plight, I could finally understand his crass behavior when I first met him in Beyond the Veil. That he was capable of love after so much pain and heartache demonstrated his strength of mind and spirit. There is some disturbing subject matter that lays the foundation to the Malik we will later meet, so be forewarned when the blurb says “forced” it truly means that for all intent purposes. The author weaves themes of love and the importance of friendship throughout this tale. Stevie Woods delivered a heart-wrenching tale for those who wanted Malik’s story.

Within His Sight


Title: Within His Sight
Author: Denise A. Agnew
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578- 478-2
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Mary has negative feelings about dating cops, because of her family. She especially did not want to get involved with a SWAT member. Dace has wanted Mary since he first saw her. Dace’s fiancé died and he has not been willing to get involved and is trying to keep Mary as a friend only.

Within His Sight is one love story that brings lots of baggage to the relationship. Ms. Agnew is very descriptive about the different situations that eventually bring Mary and Dace together. The emotions between the two generate lots of heat and I recommend keeping ice water on hand.

Chocolate Covered Cheri


Title: Chocolate Covered Cheri
Author: Marteeka Karland
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-288-3
Genre: {M/F} The Fetish Club, BBW
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Just the sound of her boss’ voice made Cheri Dodson want to quiver. Apparently, he had decided it was his mission in life to get on her nerves. On top of that, he was just too damn hot for his own good and that was really driving Cheri crazy. She just had to avoid him as much as possible to keep her resistance from slipping.

Jedadiah Blackheart knew Cheri was special from the moment he hired her and he was ready to make his move. Work was the only opportunity he had to get under Cheri’s skin so Jedadiah decided to use work as an excuse to get her right where he wanted her, in his arms.

Sex and chocolate are an unbeatable combination that left me whimpering for more in Chocolate Covered Cheri. The things that man does to Cheri are so wonderfully wicked that I had to stand up and applaud literally. Marteeka Karland has a way with meshing dessert and desire like no other author, and I pray she has more such stories waiting in the wings. The banter between Cheri and Jedadiah is perfect foreplay because this couple really brings the heat, even before they become intimate. Once they each come clean with their feelings, things get even more erotic. This one is a must read that will leave you hungry, in more ways than one. I now see chocolate in a whole new light.

To Taste The Dawn


Title: To Taste The Dawn
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-560-7
Genre: {M/M/F} Ménage, Dark Fantasy, Vampire, BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jesse Madding is growing into a fine Guardian. Four years have passed since we last saw the trio. The foundation they built their relationship on is still solid, but there is always room for improvement. Gideon’s top priority is to ensure nothing and no one hurts Jesse. Emma still helps her men understand each other’s internal conflict. Jesse, well he has the toughest job of them all. Jesse has to face a few facts about being virtually immortal. He will have to learn to accept the constant flow of the universe because nothing stays the same. Jesse may be powerful enough to step through time and dimensions, but he cannot bring everything to a halt, regardless of his desire to do so.

To Taste The Dawn takes us back to Chicago for another story in the Master Chronicles series. Jamie Craig surprised me with this installment. I thought I would have to quench my passion for Gideon by re-reading previous books. The story has the action we’ve come to expect; however, the suspense is of a more personal nature this time around. Jamie Craig’s well-developed characters help create a fast-paced story that I found entertaining and enlightening. If you’ve enjoyed the series, you’ll definitely want to read To Taste The Dawn.

Don’t Look Back


Title: Don’t Look Back
Author: Michelle Cary & Amanda Young
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-565-2
Genre: {M/F} Suspense/Thriller/Mystery/Detective
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Cyndi Whitmore is not very trusting of people, especially her step-father, and she doesn't have many friends. She has moved on with her life by planning her wedding to the hometown boy, and has just finished teaching her last day of school before summer break. She’s learned the friends from her past are coming up dead, and it has her a little frighten that she might be next. Now that everything is looking up for her, and she starts to wonder if the life she led is catching up to her, after she has tried so hard to suppress it.

Deputy Braden Andrews has an easy job in a small town and his biggest worry is settling down. When a series of murders occur, little does he know that he will have to protect the prime murder suspect or how much he will come to desire Cyndi. He is willing to gain her trust almost any way he can, so that she will divulge the information needed to catch the killer. In the meantime, he is having a difficult time separating his professional duties from his personal feelings for her.

Don’t Look Back is a suspenseful thriller that kept me reading to find out who was committing the murders. Michelle Cary & Amanda Young did a fantastic job with this story, and I was quite surprised at who turned out to be the villain, having stayed in the background for so long. The electrical attraction between Braden and Cyndi left me hot and bothered, and I was rooting for them all the while.

I found myself liking Braden even more when he accepted his feelings without doubts for Cyndi, and Cyndi for being so determined to not look back at her not-so-clean past. These two authors did a fantastic job of creating very believable scenes and describing each murder vividly and the plot thickened quickly, I say well-done ladies! I look forward to reading more from these two authors, and hope that brother Mitch will be their next project.