Saturday, October 3, 2009

Feather Possessed


Title: Feather Possessed
Author: Lorie O’Clare
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419924101
Genre: {M/F} Shapeshifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Shelly is one of Heath’s sister’s best friends and he has never really noticed her until the day his sister leaves with her mate. Heath does not like the way his brothers talk to Shelly and decides to follow her to apologize. Heath is basically blindsided by his feelings for her.

Shelly has always tried to walk the straight and narrow because of her family’s reputation and knows the town thinks she’s the same way. She has always wanted Heath but thinks he is out of reach. In the meantime, she ends up helping Heath handle trouble that is again brewing in Banff.

Feather Possessed continues to build on the story of a family of owls in Banff in this second story of the Raptors Revealed series. Heath and Shelly are both strong characters, though Shelly tries very hard to hide her insecurities. The two have a very intense relationship that will keep you fanning yourself as you become part of the story. Ms. O’Clare builds the suspense around the conflict going on between the owls in Banff and the leopards moving in. There are a few surprises toward the end and the clever way the author handles it leaves you waiting for the next chapter of this family.

Unlikely Hero


Title: Unlikely Hero
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-812-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Eric broke up with his ex-lover, Brock, nine years ago but he’s the first person the desperate father turns to for help when his adopted three year-old daughter, Josie, is kidnapped. Brock hasn’t seen or spoken to Eric since their painful breakup, but when he’s asked for help, he jumps in to help with money and emotional support. Adding Eric and Josie to his life turns Brock’s well-structured and tidy world upside down.

Despite the changes to his life, he’d determined to keep them both safe while the police and his private security guards hunt for the kidnappers, threatening Eric and Josie’s safety. Old memories of their former life together are hard to shake. Brock’s feelings for Eric have never gone away but he needs to keep them on a tight rein, if he’s going to keep Eric and Josie safe. Can he find and stop the people responsible before it’s too late, or will he fail and fall off Eric’s pedestal, failing as his hero?

Unlikely Hero is the latest release by talented, multi-published author Sean Michael. This one’s a little different, in that while there’s a lot of action going on revolving around the kidnappers, on the personal front, it’s slower moving and tender. Much of this change might be due to the inclusion of three year-old Josie in the plot, which would necessitate a different approach than what a reader would usually expect.

Eric’s a great dad and his willingness to put his daughter’s well-being first is a heartwarming part of this smooth flowing plot, as is Josie’s ability to turn every adult man she meets, to mush. Josie, and what happened to her, is crucial to the story and Mr. Michael did a great job capturing the essence of her young personality.

All the characters are easy to like and well-developed and the interaction between our two main men is intriguing, loving and realistic. The action portions are mixed seamlessly with the love and family portions and when Eric and Brock get around to sex, while trying to hide from Josie, not only is it humorous…it’s hot! The kidnappers and their connection to Eric was unexpected, as was the identity and shocking reasoning of the hateful person behind their actions This well-crafted book is definitely finding a home in my keeper files. Believe me…you need this book. Read and enjoy!

Damon's: Blind Date


Title: Damon's: Blind Date
Author: Sophia Titheniel
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-350-7
Genre: {M/M} BDSM
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jesse is a good-looking human and a bartender at Damon’s; however he is hiding the fact that he is gay. When Damon notices that Jesse never participates in any of the fun nights offered at the club, Damon and his lover Alyan set him up on a blind date with Alagos, an elf that Jesse secretly desires. Jesse soon discovers that Alagos is into bondage and introduces the sexual thrills Jesse can’t seem to get enough of; the question is how to convince Alagos to stay?

Damon's: Blind Date is the second installment in the Damon’s series, Damon being the name of the nightclub and the owner’s name. Sophia Titheniel introduces a human Jesse and elf Alagos who is a regular customer at the club. The well-paced story’s theme is meeting and matching potential partners. The characters are developed and there is plenty of sexual activity. This is an enjoyable saga for fans who like a little kink in their sex scenes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Saving Noah


Title: Saving Noah
Author: Carol Lynne & Cash Cole
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-064-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Noah Stoffel loves his small town of Schicksal, Kansas and its many supportive and caring residents, despite the drawback of everyone knowing his business. He’s a hardworking young man who left college to help his mother and spends most of his time alone. Noah’s known he was gay for years but has had little reason to expose his homosexuality until he meets the older Dexter, and he’s smitten.

Dexter Krispin is in town to visit his aunt, escape a problem from his past and to finish his doctoral thesis. He didn’t expect to enjoy the slower small town pace or to find a man he’s crazy about in sweet Noah. When his aunt warns him that Noah is too fragile and inexperienced to become involved with, Dex follows his heart and ignores her.

The men are crazy about each other, but something isn’t right with Noah or the town, and Dex can’t figure out what’s wrong. When he discovers the long held secret, he’s shocked and angry, knowing he must help his lover deal with his horrific past, or risk losing him forever.

Saving Noah is another great read by talented author Carol Lynne, and her first time with co-author Cash Cole, who I must admit, is unknown to me. I loved the calmer, more relaxed storyline and its slower building sexual intimacy. The numerous secondary characters added a lot of interest and background. The people in the town were important to Noah, emotionally and physically, and seeing their level of care was heartwarming.

The scenes involving Noah and his mother are short, but the authors nicely expressed the emotional interaction between mother and son. I admit it, the townspeople’s reaction every time Dex mentioned her, puzzled me, but it all became clear in the later portions of the story with the revelation of the huge and unexpected plot twist.

Dex is a great loving character, but I didn’t feel I knew enough of his background and emotions to get a handle on what made him tick. There wasn’t any doubt of his feeling for Noah, but I wanted to know more, and the problem from his past just seemed to drop away. Noah was definitely my favorite character in the book and I wouldn’t mind revisiting these two lovers again in the future…even if it’s just a holiday short. Hint!

Breaking The Devil


Title: Breaking The Devil
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-60737-433-6
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Contemporary Western
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Cipher Prose Nymph

Mack never thought he’d see Justin again after they shared an erotic encounter. Justin counted the miserable days he spent since he was forced to leave Mack, waiting until the day he could return.

This hot read shows the passion and love two men can share. It also substantiates the heartache, suffering, and trials others can cause two people with their narrow-mindedness.

I found myself exploring many emotions while reading Breaking The Devil. Anger at the prejudice, sorrow at the forced misunderstandings between the two main characters and finally, joy at the outcome. The love scenes can light a fire under anyone who enjoys hot, erotic, but respectful sex between two lovers.

If you want a sensual, sexy read with a rich plot, this is the novella for you.

The Vision


Title: The Vision
Author: C. L. Talmadge
Publisher: Healing Stone Books
Publisher URL: http://www.greenstoneofhealing.com/
ISBN: 978-0-9800537-6-0
Genre: {M/F} Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Here we have a story with so much deceit among the reigning factions for ultimate control and perfect timing for The Vision to come to pass. Helen Andros is the heroine, who will save the two races (the Toltecs and the Turanians) from themselves. She is a very caring tough-minded physician in the military, who won’t tolerate anything but the best in herself. Her life, while growing up, was very emotional and wounded by others because of her illegitimate half-breed status in Azgard, a realm divided by race and rank.

She is captured while trying to save the life of someone important she knew as a youth. When she learns the true identity of her father, who never knew of her, it leads to saving her from the death planned for her. Although it endangers her parent for his speaking out for her, it leaves them both confused and angry with her mother. She must come to the acceptance of becoming a leader, and act accordingly to save those she love.

The Vision is truly a fascinating story of political gains, murder, mystery, and the true love that will be needed to overcome the destruction planned for certain people. This is the first book in The Green Stone Healing series and the story told from the viewpoint of a Consort. I was overwhelmed at first, trying to figure out the roles of the characters, and the parts they would play in each other’s lives. Let me tell you, Helen’s actions had me wondering when someone would get her to step in line but she handled everything better than I thought she would. I was very impressed with her dedication to her practice and her determination to find answers for cures of any disease.

It is interesting that The Vision was revealed to Helen’s mother, through the otherworldly Mist-Weavers, who are ancient, secretive beings and their involvement with how the world would be. I am wondering if the characters realized the full impact of these beings, and the respect they deserved in saving the lives of the races. C. L. Talmadge has spun a wonderful fantasy tale that is only in the beginning stages, and I for one am looking forward to the next books in this series.

Face in the Mirror and Other Stories


Title: Face in the Mirror and Other Stories
Author: Nickie Fleming
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Publisher URL: http://www.roguephoenixpress.com/
ISBN: 978-0-9824833-7-4
Genre: Paranormal; Anthology
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Face in the Mirror – 4.5 Nymphs
Rickie has been living rough on the streets of London since running away from an abusive stepfather and a mother blinded by love. She thought she’d seen everything until Rickie hides out in a nearby abandoned house. A house that isn’t all that it seems. She hadn’t heard the rumors; she didn’t know the mysterious history of the abode but something draws her in and is trying very hard to keep her there. Well written and captivating, this is a strong opening story to the anthology. I love the English setting that is present in most of these stories. Rickie’s character is believable and the dialog flows nicely. The mystical element of the house was my favorite aspect and likable supporting characters make it an enjoyable read.

Rivers of Mist – 3 Nymphs
Marion Lacey is sick of the rat race and longs to escape. She thought she had found the perfect spot to relax - Hermit’s Close. The house seemed like the answer to her prayers but the townsfolk make her feel like there’s something wrong with the place. Her new neighbors seem nice enough; however, they are vague about the strange rumors. Also, why does nobody else notice the increasingly thick mist encroaching on her fantasy dwelling? There is a lot of promise to this story, the author built up the suspense very well and I empathized with Marion for wanting a change of pace. Unfortunately, the ending was too abrupt, with no real explanation as to what caused the mist or why it even existed. This was a great shame as I was left unsatisfied by the ending when the beginning really was skillfully done.

The White Horses of Porto Corvo – 4 Nymphs
Trapped in an abusive marriage, Lynda feared she’d never experience happiness again. She thought back to when times were happier when she truly felt free. Back then, when she went exploring, she never imagined she would find such a beautiful valley. She can’t help but think it’s time to go back. This is a very atmospheric story. The sense of hope for the future in the latter part is well balanced with the sensitive issues at the beginning. Lynda is a well written, complex character who drew a mixture of emotion out of me and it was a joy to witness her journey.

The Italian Garden – 3 Nymphs
Mark had always dreamed of exploring Italy but when he finally gets the chance, he is more than a little disappointed with the company on the tour. It doesn’t take long for him to split from the group and find his own adventure. Little does he know what’s in store for him when he stumbles upon a statue of a beautiful woman in a picturesque garden. He has been warned of the curse but can’t seem to tear himself away, despite the increasingly angry looking male statue across the way. I wanted to like this story but throughout, I could not escape the puzzling feeling of a man lusting over a statue. The writing didn’t build the mystical sense of the statues or why Mark would be so susceptible to the female statue’s charms. The plot itself wasn’t a problem but the way in which the story was told was confusing and consequently, I couldn’t really feel much at all for Mark.

The Witch of Hawestone Moor – 4 Nymphs
Marie felt stuck in a job with seemingly little prospect and has a serious problem with self-confidence. She doesn’t know how to break out of her current rut. Marie meets a struggling elderly lady and does the only thing her conscience will allow and offers the lady a ride. However, Marie soon finds out that there’s something very strange about this mysterious woman; she just can’t put her finger on what it is. Meeting this woman is either going to be the biggest mistake of her life or just the thing to get her back on track. I like what the author did with this story; creating a character that I could sympathize with and building up intrigue as to how Marie is going to find happiness. I was left guessing as to whether things were going to turn out well for Marie until the very end.

Falling Leaves – 3 Nymphs
Colin is devastated when his wife Cheryl leaves him. They had worked so hard to fix up the house and garden so that they had their ideal home. Sure, they didn’t have the perfect marriage; Colin’s so busy with work and Cheryl seemed to spend a lot of time in her beloved garden but for her to just wash her hands of it all makes no sense. Colin tries his best to keep up the maintenance but it proves too much work. The leaves just seem to keep on falling and Colin feels more and more trapped each day. This story had a very interesting plot but I couldn’t help but feel that I was made to work for it. The reason behind the strange behavior of the leaves is never really explained. The characters aren’t particularly likeable, which diffused a lot of my interest in the plot and a somewhat gruesome ending left me puzzled.

Candle in the Night – 4.5 Nymphs
Anna’s life, while growing up, wasn’t great but once her mum met Paul, things started to improve. Anna is sent to stay with her new aunt and while there, formed a lasting bond with her. Her aunt seemed to understand all her fears about life and through the years Anna was able to grow into a mature, independent woman, all thanks to the kindness shown to her. Now an adult, Anna learns of a strange myth that makes her see her past growing up with her aunt in a whole new light. This was the most charming story for me with very likable characters that I cared about from the start. It was nice to see Anna’s journey into adulthood and her relationship with her aunt progress. The plot was well-paced and the ending very satisfying.

The Black Coach – 3 Nymphs
Long ago, the town of Hickering was terrorized by a horse drawn coach that would race through the streets. No one knew the driver of the coach but legend has it the devil himself was at the helm. Fast forward to the present and Cindy Phelps is about to find out firsthand the fear that haunted people in the past is still very much alive. She’s also going to find out that if a guy seems too good to be true, he probably is. This story was too disjointed for me. The historical introduction set the scene nicely enough but the link from past to present didn’t really work for me. The characters didn’t really have time to develop as there was a lot of plot to deal with and the ending was harsh, although the author realizes readers may feel this way so tried to set things right in the sequel.

The Black Coach 2 – 3.5 Nymphs
Cindy is fighting for her life as the legend of the black coach returns to Hickering with a vengeance. She realizes that things can’t go on like this any longer – too many people are losing their lives but Cindy never was one for believing in myths and magic; oh no, Cindy knows exactly what needs to be done to put an end to things. Whether she can actually bring herself to carry out her plan is another thing altogether. It was nice to see an attempt at concluding this story and the author was partially successful in giving us the happy ending that eluded us in the previous installment. There was still the sense of too much plot crammed in to a short space of time though and not enough character development for my liking.

Face in the Mirror and Other Stories has a nice variety of paranormal stories; some with a hint of romance, others more gruesome. The mixture of stories displayed the author’s talent for setting a scene, creating likable characters and leaving me pretty spooked by the eerie goings on. If you are a fan of the strange and peculiar, I would definitely recommend this anthology.

Bastards And Pretty Boys


Title: Bastards And Pretty Boys
Author: K.Z. Snow
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-618-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Charlie Larkin’s just bought a rustic lakeside cabin and his life is almost happy. A few months before, he came clean with his wife about his homosexuality and they’ve turned into good friends; that’s the happy part. He also has a possessive, cheating boyfriend of five months and a relationship that isn’t working; that’s the almost part.

He plans to spend his vacation fixing up the house and cleaning up the beach and if he gets up the nerve, try to get over his fear of the water. Charlie doesn’t plan to be attracted to the yummy guy, Booker, living next door. Initially, he resists involvement because of his relationship with Kenneth, but Booker isn’t a man easy to ignore, and the sexy neighbor's personal baggage can't be ignored, either. It takes both Charlie and Booker working together to devise a plan to deal with the problems of his unfortunate past, so he can be free and they can move on with their lives.

Bastards And Pretty Boys is an easy to read, lighthearted M/M romance chronicling the end of a bad relationship and the beginning a new promising one. Told in first person, from Charlie’s viewpoint, it focuses on what happens after Booker comes into his life. This all happens in a pretty lakeside location, which gives the story a calm, quiet, and relaxed atmosphere. I loved the scenes where Booker was trying to teach the phobic Charlie to swim…great original distraction techniques created here!

Charlie is a realistic character and the author did a nice job showing that he’s moved through the dark time of his divorce and moved on; that he’d grown and become a happier person by accepting the truth about himself. His reaction to the news of Booker’s shady past is equally realistic. He might have reacted a little hastily initially, but it wasn’t long before he rationally evaluated all the information, added what he knew of Booker and come to a conclusion. He wasn’t giving Booker up. I particularly liked this portion of the story and feel the author did a wonderful job with the pacing and dialogue.

I also enjoyed reading about Booker’s craft and Charlie’s reaction to it. I would have liked to know more of Charlie’s business and a little more of his personal information, to help round him out in my head. Kenneth makes a good villain-like character, but the true bad-guy (who will remain nameless) is a sleaze you’ll love to hate.

Dragon’s Blood


Title: Dragon’s Blood
Author: Brynn Paulin
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-053-8
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Erotic Shapeshifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Cipher Prose Nymph

Janos Aventech is an Elder dragon of his council, who has spent most of his life protecting his dwindling species.

Scarlett Mills is a human mate to the dragons, unbeknownst to her, and has spent the last seven years on the run after a brutal attack that nearly left her dead.

The descriptions, details, and characters are beautifully developed in this novella. I found a vivid picture painted of dragons, other creatures, other worlds and magic before me in this scenic read.

The rich details alone are enough to draw anyone into Dragon’s Blood, but add sizzling hot sex and you have a story that is near to impossible to put down until you get to the last page. I have no doubt I will be rereading this novella a few times.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wicked Hearts


Title: Wicked Hearts
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Romance Unbound Publishing
Publisher URL: http://romanceunbound.com/
ISBN: 9781448669264
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

It's been a long time since Reese has had to work hard for anything. His looks and relationship with Hank has always given him an edge. When Reese starts his new job, Hank shows up and things begin to get a little complicated.

Jeff is a computer geek with no sense of fashion and a desperate need for someone to love him. When the new guy in the office starts talking to him, Jeff can't help but wonder what he really wants.

As Claire Thompson's Wicked Hearts starts and the characters are introduced, I was shocked by Reese. He comes across as having little to no redeemable qualities, someone you just can't help but dislike. I could not believe that the author thought this would be someone whom the reader would see as a hero. Yet the author does a wonderful job, through flashbacks and the character’s own explanations, showing why the character is the way he is and turning Reese into a likeable young man whom you can't help but hope things work out for. It is also easy to see that the author picked an excellent choice when pairing him with the shy, reserved Jeff. Although neither believes in love, both men need and hope for someone to love them. When Reese's past comes out, affecting his relationship with Jeff, the growth both characters have gone through in their short time together becomes apparent. As the author takes the men on their journey, the reader won't be able to help go along with them, fingers crossed that everything will work out.

Single White Knight


Title: Single White Knight
Author: Brynn Paulin
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-906811-04-4
Genre: {M/M} Gay, Time Travel
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

When news of his true desires surface, Sir Alwyn the Black goes on the run. For years, he has dealt with the painful separation from his lover left wondering if he should keep going. Alwyn’s ready to make a change, however destiny decides another town is too short of a leap.

Toby Woods is an adjunct professor for a small private college. He has a passion for medieval history, and uses his knowledge for other projects. When the knight appears proclaiming to be his lost love, Toby cannot deny the attraction, but something holds him back from admitting the truth.

Their reconciliation balances on the tip of a very sharp sword.

Single White Knight is a story about love, sorrow, second chances and learning to embrace your true desires. Toby keeps his lifestyle hidden for a number of reasons. Coming face to face with Alwyn made him reexamine his life and make a few hard decisions. Alwyn wants to be Toby’s knight. Regardless of how he adored Toby, he drew the line on what sacrifices he was willing to make. I respected Alwyn’s straightforward and decisive manner. They are a very believable couple with their easy banter and passion, simmering close to the surface. The Midwest setting was the perfect location for this fast-paced story. I found Single White Knight to be a fantastic read.

Splashing Good Time


Title: Splashing Good Time
Author: Amber Skyze
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921063
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Reece is feeling more than a little frustrated right now. She’s been through a lot in the past but now she has money, she has a home and most important of all, she has the pool boy Nathan. She should be happy but fantasizing about that chiseled body hard at work each week without being able to touch has left her positively panting with desire. She just can’t seem to stop thinking about what Nathan would do if he ever got his hands on her. As much as she may want it though, there can never be anything serious between them, ever. He’s just too young for her.

Reece may not have noticed it but Nathan has been in lust with her ever since he started working at her place. He never dreamed he’d be able to act on his desires but when he catches Reece doing something she really shouldn’t be doing; at least not without checking to see if the coast was clear first, Nathan looses it. Before he knows it he’s jumped head first into Reece’s life but he soon realizes there’s a problem – she’s not looking for commitment; she’s not even looking for a lover. She’s just looking for a good time; something Nathan is more than willing to give but what happens the morning after?

In Splashing Good Time, the chemistry between Reece and Nathan is evident from the start and the opening scenes introduce the characters, as well as provide that first burst of eroticism. There was a lot of promise from then on - Reece is still dealing with a lot of hurt from her past and this is evident through her hang-ups with Nathan’s age. I don’t feel enough time was given to explore just why Reece kept pushing Nathan away and this resulted in Reece coming across as rather selfish to me, ultimately making me feel like Nathan was too good for her. The vulnerability of Nathan falling hard, only for Reece to knock him down had the potential to be crushing but this too was pushed aside in favor of sex, adding kink seemingly without reason. Splashing Good Time was definitely an enjoyable read with a lot of promise but I just wish more emphasis had been placed on exploring both characters’ feelings away from the bedroom.

Sand Hill Estates: The Murders


Title: Sand Hill Estates: The Murders
Author: Charles E. Wells
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-231-4
Genre: {M/F} Mystery
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Pary County, Georgia is an old southern town with old money, old families with powerful connections, and even older secrets. Matt’s family is long-time residents and he’s determined to discover the truth behind a seventy-year-old mystery, involving the wealthy Pary family and his own. His search turns the town and its citizens upside down, pitting the good men against the bad, in a battle to find the truth and shut down an illegal enterprise many are willing to kill for.

Sand Hill Estates: The Murders is a well-written and intricately plotted mystery with lots of deceit, betrayal, murder, and mayhem and so many villains it’s sometimes difficult to keep them and their activities straight. I loved the setting; I have a thing for antebellum style southern homes, and the seventy-year-old mystery pitting two town families against each other is a great literary hook.

Matt’s character is vital to the story, yet he’s actually only present in the beginning and ending scenes. Mr. Charles has instead shifted the focus of the story to Chuck, Matt’s younger brother and his female companion, Gail. The plotline involving Gail and her abilities is an important piece of the plot, but it and her relationship with Chuck never overshadows the mystery of what happened to Matt.

The seventy-year-old mystery is the background of the story, and the author did a nice job interjecting the historical background of both families and what happened. It also shows the ugliness and desperation of a few dangerous men, and the seamy underbelly of a corrupt town and county. The author handled these scenes well and unfortunately, they’re all too true in the real world. As is typical in this genre, it’s nice to see the bad guys get their just desserts in the end, and these guys get it in spades. Nice job, Mr. Wells!

Shield’s Submissive


Title: Shield’s Submissive
Author: Trina Lane
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280- 04-7
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary, BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Mark Shields has been watching Erica Cross for over a year, trying to decide if he wants to start a relationship with someone from the office. Erica has been fantasizing about Mark, as well. Mark thinks Erica is a submissive, but is afraid to approach the subject. Both are talking one night and Erica confesses that she has fantasized about being a submissive.

Shield’s Submissive is one of those books that I could not put down. Ms. Lane understands the fear that someone starting the BDSM lifestyle might have. Her explanations and the way she walked you through each step as Mark and Erica explored Erica’s desire will bring you right into the story. I do have one criticism about her story in that she did not go over the recommended safety measure of initiating a safe word for Erica, even if it had been only once. I recommend you keep plenty of ice on hand as you will need it as you read the scenes between Mark and Erica. Those that love a good emotional BDSM story will want to read this one.

Reader Advisory: This book contains brief m/m interaction.

Harder Than It Looks


Title: Harder Than It Looks
Author: Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Deke and Kasey are both stressed from their investigation. They are trying to find the people threatening their friend Jonny and his new mate, Luc. Vampire Kasey attempts to find a civilized way to relax while his mate, werewolf Deke, would rather do something more suitable to his animal nature.

Harder Than It Looks is a little sip and update on the fantastic characters from Belling the Cat. Also Deke and Kasey are the main characters in An Itch to Scratch and The Werewolf Code. The mystery is not yet solved and I can scarcely wait to see the next adventure the amazing Julia Talbot involves these superb characters in. Although I enjoy all of the characters, Luc is my favorite.

Lessons in Power


Title: Lessons in Power
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-750-8
Genre: {M/M} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart are enjoying the privacy their new home affords them. A request for their crime solving skills brings their quiet respite to a halt. However, the two soon discover that this mystery strikes closer to home, and will resurface painful memories from Jonty’s past. Will Jonty find the culprit while gaining the closure needed to move forward with his life?

Lessons in Power takes us back into the lives of Orlando and Jonty. The camaraderie has moved to content but still in love, as the two men grow closer in their relationship. Their teasing adds a nice dose of laughter to lighten some of the melancholy subject matter of this latest installment of the Cambridge Fellows Mystery series. This was a full-circle event for Jonty, with the past resurfacing. He was having a rough time of it, during this story, and I knew Orlando would be his rock to anchor him through this storm. The mysteries are set in internal twists that aren’t easy to see, but wonderful to watch unfold. I second guessed myself a few times during this story, and was still a bit surprised at the outcome. The erotic moments, strategically placed throughout this moderately paced story, supply just enough heat to reinforce the couple’s bond. I found Lessons in Power to be a delightful read.

Nuit Aux Trois


Title: Nuit Aux Trois
Author: Melinda Barron
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/F} {M/M/F} Erotic Paranormal, Ménage
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Cipher Prose Nymph

A mind-blowing, paranormal adventure shared by three roommates, Fletch Covair, Devlin St. Giles, and Quinn Nicholas at a haunted plantation in Louisiana will lead them to more than just things that go bump in the night.

While Quinn has had many heated fantasies about Fletch and Dev, she has never acted upon them, for fear of ruining their relationship. Unbeknownst to her, they’ve had a few fantasies of their own, which include her.

I loved the way Nuit Aux Trois brought out the beauty of a male on male relationship and showed how a respectful, sexual, loving alliance can be shared by more than two.

This story has a perfect blend of sex, sizzle and adventure. It’s a marvelous example of love forming from an attraction to a particular person, not just a particular sex. The only thing this story lacked was more pages.

Fireworks


Title: Fireworks
Author: Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Fireworks have always driven him crazy. Deke puts it down to the werewolf in him but every time one goes off, he has to work really hard not to start howling and barking at the sky – something you really don’t want to be doing when you are out in public. This is why he and Kasey are inside this Fourth of July.

Oh, the fireworks don’t affect vampires the same way, but Kasey always sticks buy his lover, however irrational Deke’s fears may be. It seems as though just being behind closed doors isn’t going to cut it tonight though, so it’s a good thing Kasey knows just how to distract Deke from the window. There’s nothing like ties and a whip to remind a guy that not all things explosive need to be feared.

Fireworks are a good snap-shot in the lives of two very interesting characters with a lot of potential for development. In a very short space of time, the author created scorching chemistry between Deke and Kasey, as well as an intriguing history, illustrated well by the intensity of the erotic scenes. I would love to read more about what has gone on in their pasts; what brought them together and the power struggle that must have occurred at one stage or another. I can only imagine what these two have got up to; the ups and downs of the relationship but it is apparent from this short story that they have it bad for each other and have for some time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dance of the Rogue


Title: Dance of the Rogue
Author: Cris Anson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923579
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Rolf has never felt he actually belonged in his family. He looks different and he is maintaining a bad-boy, playboy image. He sees Fantine in the parking lot at his brother’s bar as she is dancing in the rain and is intrigued.

Fantine is looking for Rolf, based on a letter a friend. Fantine lives life with a passion. Rolf’s brothers really don’t want to meet with her and dredge up some old memories about their mother, but additional evidence determines that Rolf is indeed her friend’s grandson.

Dance of the Rogue is the final book in the Dance series. Rolf has always felt like an outsider and Fantine blindsides him as she is not anything close to the women he plays around with. The author creates a wonderful suspense story as she explores Rolf’s and Fantine’s relationship and the budding relationship with his grandmother. She also neatly weaves the characters of the previous books into this story and answers the questions about the brothers’ mother. This book will draw you in as you read. Dance of the Rogue can be read alone, but I recommend you read the entire series.

All the Women in Pearl


Title: All the Women in Pearl
Author: Emily Ryan-Davis
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923814
Genre: {M/F} 19th Century Western
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

John Raincrow has never forgotten C.C. Carver. His once dormant feelings come roaring back to life when he sees the young beauty in a dusty saloon. John’s not sure of why she’s in the establishment, but he knows one thing for sure; he’s not leaving empty-handed.

C.C. dreamed of returning to Pearl and the family and friends who love her. The encounter with John rekindles her smoldering passion. Will John and C.C. finally have their chance at love?

All the Women in Pearl is the sequel to All the Trees in Pearl. John is a hard-working man with strong convictions. C.C. is ready to take charge of her life and reestablish a home in Pearl. While C.C. and John make a cute couple, I didn’t feel a true emotional connection to them. The storyline wasn’t as developed as I would have liked, but a western setting is always a bonus for me. I felt a bit rushed towards the end, but it could be a way to leave room from James’ story. Emily Ryan-Davis adds a dose of action and suspense, but allows the focus to remain on the reunited couple. All the Women in Pearl flows at a moderate pace from the beginning to end, while bringing old and new characters into this latest installment. Overall, I found the book to be a pleasant read.

Monday, September 28, 2009

R.I.P. Kate Duffy

We are so saddened to hear of the passing of Kate Duffy, Kensington Books Editorial Director. Her contribution to the romance community is undisputed (who doesn't have at least one fave author that Kate introduced to us?) and it won't be the same without her.


Rest in Peace Kate and THANK YOU!

Unrequited


Title: Unrequited
Author: Abigail Roux
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-051-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

It's only natural that attorneys and court bailiffs would be drawn to each other. When Victor's long time relationship does not seem to be going anywhere and an old friend invites him on a road trip, he jumps at the offer.

Shane knows Victor needs to get away from Owen for a while or things will just go right back to the way they were. Only as the two friends spend more and more time together Shane wonders if he made a big mistake.

Set over a short period of time and involving three men, Unrequited by Abigail Roux shows what can happen when love enters into a friendship. For some, love is returned while others are left wondering if it is time for a change. When Victor needs a friend, the author puts him and longtime friend Shane together for a road trip of tourist traps and sights around the Outer Banks. As the two renew their friendship, the trip also bonds them in ways neither one expected. When angst, in the form of Victor's ex, is introduced into the trip, it only makes their relationship stronger and more believable for the reader. From the snappy lines to the hot sex, the author gives the readers a glimpse of a strong couple who only have to realize what they have.

A Good Neighbor


Title: A Good Neighbor
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 13: 978-1-60272-574-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Dylan is a teacher at the local college and plays host to his two aunts every week, serving English tea and cakes. He is also having a secret affair with Neal.

Neal Whitman is a journalist who travels a great deal of time, yet he is faithful to Dylan and their secret affair.

During one of their weekly visits, the aunts try again to encourage Dylan to date his neighbor Josie. When they mention they thought she was home, he took their advice to visit. Dylan is met at the door by a warm embrace and kisses from Josie’s brother and his lover, Neal. The kisses immediately fast-forward to a lengthy session of lovemaking. After months of the same routine, both men are starting to wonder if this all they will ever have.

A Good Neighbor is a charming short story of life and gay love in a small town. Dylan has lived most of his life in this town and fears losing his job as a teacher, if he publicly acknowledges that he is gay. Neal is open about his sexuality but respects Dylan’s wishes to hide their affair. Clare London has created a pleasurable story with a standard man-love theme. As for the characters, I got the impression that Dylan is a little self-centered for a man looking for a soul mate; Neal, on the other hand, made all the concessions. Neither man showed any real emotions outside of the love scenes. The aunts are amusing, which contributed enjoyment to this lighthearted saga.

Dare to Return


Title: Dare to Return
Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: www.jasminejade.com
ISBN: 9781419920004
Genre: {M/F} Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Vivian has returned to her hometown for work and to put things in perspective for herself, and the man she loved….Paul. What she learns is the man she left behind is the owner of the company. She will have a hard time keeping her feeling under wraps, while assessing the company without judgment. Now she knows the feelings she has suppressed all these years and it is a shock to her. She is having a hard time owning up to still loving Paul and it will interfere with the decisions she must make regarding them.

Paul is a pilot, who owns a helicopter rescue business. He is a proud typical male and has followed his father’s traditional beliefs of their roles as men, and it might be his downfall with Vivian. Paul was always challenging her throughout their relationship to be more adventurous about living. When she walked away from him, he goes a little crazy, trying to come to grips with why she left and when he figures out that he is the cause, it only gets worse.

This is a different kind of story for me, about searching and rescuing people who have no respect for the water. I truly enjoyed reading Dare to Return and only wanted the best for all of the characters involved. Paul and Vivian have a deep history together, and the simple fact that both of them were stubborn and loved each other so much, it left me wondering if they would be able to overcome their differences. These two lovers had time to grow up, while being apart for seven years, and learn to accept the changes, along with the need to be together. It was really interesting when Paul finally realized his chauvinistic ways, when he had no choice but to face them down and it didn’t set well with him.

Ms. Cooper-Posey has done another wonderful job of spinning a story that kept me in suspense, seeing the helicopter in my mind gliding over the water. The lives rescued, and the almost crashes because of bad fuel, had me on edge, reading all the way to the end to know everyone survived. Vivian’s daring attitude winning her championships in all the watersports left me feeling very proud of her for those accomplishments, and wondering how far she would go before hurting herself. This is a fantastic book, and I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

Broken


Title: Broken
Author: Sage Whistler
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-08-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Taboo
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Gabriel hasn't seen his brother in seven years. While that may be normal for some people, it's harder than hell when your brother is not only your twin but also your other half. When Tristan gets into trouble and needs a place to start over, Gabriel sees this as a way to get his brother back.

Tristan can't believe he is finally getting to see his brother again. The only good thing to come from the mess his life has become was the call from Gabriel. Tristan's only worry now is that Gabriel will never find out about the love Tristan has for him.

Most stories that deal with love between twins usually follow the same pattern. The twins realize at an early age that the love they have for each other transcends that of brothers, they accept that fact, and then it's them against the world. Sage Whistler's Broken takes a different path all together that gives the story a fresh spin. By showing the characters as two very different individuals with their own tastes and needs, the author has further separated her story from the norm. The author also makes sure that the decisions Gabriel and Tristan make are not easily reached and the consequences realized. With Gabriel's band members and former lovers thrown into the mix, as well as family emergencies and criminals, Sage Whistler's Broken flows smoothly, giving fans of this theme a book they are sure to love.

Warning: This is a twincest story and may be offensive to some readers.