Saturday, October 10, 2009

Catch the Wind


Title: Catch the Wind
Author: Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921896
Genre: {M/F} Futuristic, SciFi
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jaegar Rosakaris, Tuirc’s crowned prince, is no stranger to a woman’s body. Known for his prowess, he has willing bed partners coming out of the woodwork. However, his appetite has finally made Jaegar bite of more than he can chew. Jaegar’s fate after an afternoon romp is a bond mate and his first taste of true love.

If the rumors are true, Riezell Guardian Major Dominia Alamaine is in for a special treat if she gets some alone time with Jaegar. She hopes the handsome package before her truly has the stay and size of a racehorse. Dominia believes he will be worth every shaky legged step she takes to return home. However, by the time Jaegar finishes, her heart will have a quiver to match the one in her uncertain strides. Moreover, the ache he creates in her stomach will have a matching ache residing in Dominia’s heart.

However, before they can reach their happily-ever-after, the couple will have to walk through hell.

Charlotte Boyett-Compo’s Catch the Wind is the tenth book in the WindVerse series. Jaegar may be living a personal a nightmare, but that hasn’t slowed him down where the women are concerned. After reading this book, I had to wonder if he compensated the affection he received from his partners for the love that he was denied. Dominia is a strong confident woman and the perfect mate for Jaegar. The author paces the events to give you a slow build-up to what takes place, and it truly sucks you into this story. Catch the Wind is expertly written with a finely tuned plot, brilliantly detailed setting, and fascinating characters. While leaving the main characters in the forefront, she gives you a glimpse of a possible new relationship in the making. The betrayal, jealousy, friendship, love, devotion, and finally revenge made me ride out quite a few emotions while reading this book.

Chasing Victory


Title: Chasing Victory
Author: Tory Temple
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-811-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Mitchell Baker is a seasoned professional stock car racer and he’s at the top of heap in his highly competitive field. There’s a lot to enjoy about his life. Mitchell drives the best cars, works with his best friend, travels all over the country and the public adores him. However, all isn’t right with his world. He’s tired of sponsors demanding wins, his nearest competitor drives him crazy, his driving has changed from his passion into a job and he’s tired of being alone. Mitchell knows his life needs to change and if his luck doesn’t change, he might just find himself out of the winner’s circle and job for good.

Every race is required to have qualified medical personnel available and Pacey Evans fills that need as a traveling track paramedic. He meets Mitch after a race injury and the attraction between the men sparks, hot and intense. It’s not long before Mitch discovers that his new lover is exactly what he needs, not only for his personal happiness, but for his racing status as well. Life throws him another curve when his lucky charm, Pacey, wants more than just a quick sexual encounter before a race. What happens when Mitchell needs to chose between his livelihood and his personal life? Can he keep the happiness he’s always wanted, or is his life destined to run in never ending circles, while he looks for a way off?

Chasing Victory is the first book with a racing premise that I’ve read, so as a non-sports person, I wasn’t certain what to expect. What I got was a pleasant story with just enough information on how the racing world works to make it interesting, without overwhelming a non-racing enthusiast with meaningless details. It even made me think about watching a few races on TV and that’s never happened before.

The story has a unique plotline and the author handles the tension and atmosphere, in and off the track, very nicely. The attraction between Mitch and Pacey sparks fast, and the no-commitment sex is hot, starting the men on a season-long affair. While the sexual encounters are frequent, they never feel forced or out of place. I felt I had a good understanding of Mitch and loved watching his emotional growth throughout the story, but the other characters, including Pacey, were enigmas to me. With Pacey being such an important part of the story, I would have liked to know more about what made him tick. I enjoyed the inclusion of Mitch’s ill father and his caregiver, but again the relationship left me hanging and if developed further could have added more depth to the overall story and Mitch’s relationship with Pacey.

The above being said…I did enjoy the story, but it fell short of its true potential to be much more.

Heart of a Warlock


Title: Heart of a Warlock
Author: Lyn Armstrong
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/F} Erotic Historical Paranormal
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Cipher Prose Nymph

An enchanted and magical journey between Lady Alayne Duncan and Laird Callum Roberts ensues after Alayne has been ousted by her clan and blackmailed.

Alayne struggles with her expected betrayal of the man she has fallen in love with while Callum is determined to never trust another woman after a past, heart-wrenching betrayal.

While Heart of a Warlock was an interesting, fast-paced journey of magical atmosphere, blackmail and love, I found I was a little confused by some of the seemingly forced explicit scenes that appeared to be inserted for no tangible reason necessary to the story line. Other than some of the awkwardly placed sexual encounters, I found the story had an enriched plot and overall detailed characters. Laird Callum is intriguing, brooding and sexy while Lady Alayne strives to do what she must to protect her sister, even though it comes at a high price. Overall, Heart of a Warlock is a fast-paced, well thought out, and executed read that will keep your interest until the very last word.

Brilliant Disguise


Title: Brilliant Disguise
Author: J. L. Wilson
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 9781934992456
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary/Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Now why would Shannon think she could handle the trouble she is in by herself and can she really trust the FBI? Her mother and friends think she needs to get help solving the mysterious threats surrounding her husband’s death and she is not cooperating. In walks Nick Baxter, whose intent it is to fool the small town folks with a fake job. What he doesn’t know is that they know exactly who he is, because her friends have been talking to each other. Shannon is always the champion for her family but doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself, unless it deals with her computers.

Nick Baxter is an agent with the FBI, ready to retire. He has been sent on one last job, to find out Shannon’s involvement with her husband. What he discovers is not what he expects and he finds himself fighting his change of feelings for her, once he realizes that she is an innocent victim. He almost loses it when she is in danger, and decides she needs a guardian until the whole investigation is over.

Brilliant Disguise is a truly wonderful story that had me thinking about how close to true life this book is. The characters complemented each other with their interactions in each other’s lives. I found myself laughing, yelling and rooting for both Nick and Shannon throughout the story, because they needed each other to know what true love really means. There was too much involvement from the entire town, which thrived on gossip.

J. L. Wilson has done an amazing job of spinning this tale of murder, suspense, espionage, and new-found lasting friendships. It is interesting how much of a major role Shannon’s mother played in what was going on, and I loved her firm handling of all the male FBI agents that came into her life. I am very pleased with the ending, and won’t give away too much here. I enjoyed reading the story, and hope the author writes about some of the other characters, especially Nathan and Margaret.

Blood Eclipse Rapture


Title: Blood Eclipse Rapture
Author: A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-370-8
Genre: {M/M} Vampire, Futuristic
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Sometimes you have no choice but to give in and let go. Rory is at that point, now that his attraction to Carden has progressed from mild heat to sizzle and burn. Their passion overwhelms him, but he’s not the only person feeling the love only a vampire can invoke.

Carden wants answers as to what happened to his family. He is certain they are right under his nose and when he finally gets them, there is no stopping his fury.

Years of secrets, heartache, agony and betrayal all come to a breaking point in this latest Blood Eclipse series installment. Carden and Rory get closer than further away from a lasting relationship. There are too many hidden agendas and too many enemies for the twosome to have smooth sailing. We see Carden and what effect he has on the world and the man who loves him. There were a few episodes where I knew the pain and loneliness had to be devastating for him to react as he did. Seeing some of his true powers surface was something to behold. As usual, A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly have brought us another thrilling episode with Blood Eclipse Rapture that is sure to leave you speechless and anxious for the next installment, thanks to a clever cliffhanger.

Savage Storm


Title: Savage Storm
Author: Vonna Harper
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419922602
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Death is the only way Alika feels she can escape her abusive master, so she jumps into the sea during a storm. Instead of dying, Alika is reborn when she is saved by a man who would never hurt her. For the first time in her life, Alika feels desire and she never expected that. But, would Yahola be able to keep her safe?

Yahola has secluded himself on an island to pray and purify himself by spending time with his spirit helper. After seeing a woman drowning in the sea, Yahola assumes she is a gift from the spirits and goes to her rescue. The more time he spends with her, the clearer it becomes to Yahola that Alika must be his forever.

Two people’s lives are changed for the better when Mother Nature brings them together in Savage Storm. Vonna Harper’s description of Alika’s life as a slave captured my attention and made me feel as if I were in the story right beside the characters. Under such circumstances, it’s easy to understand why Alika wanted to end it all, but I am so glad fate threw a monkey wrench in her plans. I admit, I was somewhat confused over Yahola’s relationship with his spirit helper at first but by the end of this story, everything was much clearer. Yahola is a great man and warrior and he definitely earned my respect with his actions. I enjoyed the instant protectiveness he felt for Alika and the way he helped her to learn trust. These strong characters are both survivors and their story is one that must be read.

This story was previously available in the Storm Warnings anthology.

Batteries Not Required




Title: Batteries Not Required
Author: Anara Bella
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-622-8
Genre: {M/F} Erotic Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Dana Appleby has done the relationship thing to death and quite frankly, she isn’t impressed. She’s sick of making long term commitments to boring men who like boring sex; sacrificing the woman she longs to be both in the bedroom and in life, only for the guy to leave her! Dana decides enough is enough and makes a New Year’s resolution to focus on finding one night only, no strings attached, toe-curling, mind-numbing sex and she has just the man in mind to help her with her new mission – one Reese Cooper.

Reece knows he has quite the reputation and is happy to let people think whatever they like about him. He knows he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt; he just doesn’t do relationships and prefers to have a good time then move on. Dana had caught his eye back at the Christmas party and though he was sorely tempted, he could tell she was the kind of woman who would want more than he was willing to give so he kept his lust to himself – that is until he finds himself in a New Year’s Eve clinch with her.

He can’t believe his ears as Dana propositions him; she can’t know what she’s letting herself in for by asking for a one night stand. As she stands there looking as beautiful and tempting as ever though, there’s only so much one man can take. Reese has never met a woman quite like Dana before and he soon realizes he may be in over his head. With both Reece and Dana in unchartered territory, the unsettling feelings threaten to put an end to things before they’ve really begun.

Author Anara Bella has a winner on her hands with Batteries Not Included. I loved the character of Dana; she was easily flustered but strong and determined when she set her mind to it. She saw what she wanted in Reece and somehow found the courage to go after him, despite her past experiences, and I found that quite admirable. She knew what she wanted in the bedroom too and it was a very nice touch that she was self conscious about dirty talk – something I rarely encounter in the genre. Now Reece was quite the ideal man – thoughtful of his partner’s feelings and pleasure, just an all round decent guy but he never came across as unrealistic. It was wonderful to read the interaction between him and Dana. The story of two people at a crossroads at their lives in terms of what they want out of a partner was thrilling and made this a book I couldn’t put down. Truly a great read from start to finish.

Throwing a Kink in the Kidnapping


Title: Throwing a Kink in the Kidnapping
Author: Abby Wood
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737- 437-4
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Melina decided to have the vacation of her dreams. This is her chance to let herself go, and Melina hopes to incorporate some wild sex into the trip. What Melina gets is an island adventure she won’t soon forget, thanks to Devon.

Devon spots Melina and decides to follow the beautiful woman. What he spies on a beach is enough to make him want to kidnap Melina and make her his own. He’s an arrogant man used to everyone obeying him without question and tries to talk Melina into staying with him for a while. However, Melina’s refusal has Devon flexing his muscles to prove how’s in charge.

Throwing a Kink in the Kidnapping is a fast paced story about a woman trying to find herself and ending up in a situation where she didn’t have a lot of control. I liked the fact that Melina was constantly doing the unexpected and kept you waiting to see what she would do next. One of the secondary characters was a perfect addition to this story as it unfolded, especially when Melina was first taken to Devon’s home. Devon was very controlling, even though he was extremely hot. Ms. Wood wove a good story that includes a bit of suspense toward the end of the book and gave you enough glimpses about the island to create your own paradise.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hot Comfort


Title: Hot Comfort
Author: Maura Anderson, Kimberly Gardner, Jet Mykles, Luisa Prieto
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-934531-83-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Cooking with Ergot - Luisa Prieto - 5 Nymphs
Dominic Abernathy, who is a real witch, is preparing for his cooking show, Midnight Gourmet. His guest will be Carter Brooks, who writes witch-hunting cookbooks that poke fun at witchcraft. Carter does not believe in magic, until something magical happens in the arms of Dominic.

Bittersweet - Maura Anderson - 4.5 Nymphs
Brandon makes erotic chocolate candy as a career. David comes to the shop to pick up an order of chocolates for his best friend's wedding; however, David is more intrigued by the shop owner, Brandon. They both feel the chemistry between them, yet Brandon must overcome his past before he can entrust his heart to someone new.

The Shape of a Heart - Kimberly Gardner - 5 Nymphs
Zach Jensen owned Bean Readin’, a bookstore/coffee bar. Still mourning the death of his partner, Zach is surprised by his immediate attraction to his new employee Keith Harte. Zach tries to resist but Keith is determined to win Zach’s affections. Just when things are heating up between the two, a demon from Keith’s past turns up to haunt them.

Giving Thanks - Maura Anderson - 5 Nymphs
A hasty change of plans for the holiday occurs when Derek told his father that he is gay. Although outraged on behalf of Derek, Troy realizes what matters most is the love they share for each other.

Devon Cream - Jet Mykles - 5 Nymphs
Steven Connolly decides to help a distressed Devon Pavenic while he is moving into the apartment upstairs. Steven is gay, as well as cautious, about dating straight men. Devon dates girls, although he does not find them very exciting. Spending time together, Steven and Devon discover it’s about who you love rather than what social labels you wear.

Hot Comfort is an excellent collection of five stories with a food theme. In each story, at least one of the men expresses his passionate nature through his culinary skills. Each story is well written with compassionate characters desiring a long term relationship. The lovemaking is sensual, giving the readers a warm and loving feeling. This is a fantastic anthology worth reading more than once, I find Hot Comfort thoroughly enjoyable.

Sex Type Thing


Title: Sex Type Thing
Author: Jade Falconer
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-501-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Rock star Ian Jeffries tries to avoid publicity. A few drinks and one fender bender later and Ian isn’t sure that’s still a possibility. Musician Tony Simpson knows who Ian is and knows his history well. Ian wants the matter settled and Tony just wants his car fixed but when the two recognize their mutual attraction, they decide the accident was the best thing that ever happened.

Ian is a bad boy tired of being scrutinized because of his past. Tony is a musician with a few kinks he likes to keep under wraps. The setting and plot for Sex Type Thing are perfect for the story. I would love to see the characters developed a bit more, maybe find out about Tony’s past. Jade Falconer has introduced two interesting characters that may have fans begging for more! Overall, I found the story entertaining and their sexual interaction mouth-watering.

Primal Passions


Title: Primal Passions
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-386-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Working as an EMT, Jacyn is used to bad nights but not like the one he is getting ready to have. During the chaos, he meets the sexy Logan who claims to have been sent by his brother. Jacyn grew up in foster care and knows little to nothing of his family history; something that comes back and bites him in the butt.

Logan has been assigned the task of finding Jacyn for his brother, leader of the felines. Logan is used to being an outcast so when he begins to develop feelings for the new shifter, he does the only thing he can - run.

If you love shifter stories, this is one for you. The author brings together two men who are used to being alone. When Jacyn and Logan meet, even the intense battle going on around them cannot keep their lust at bay. As the men hit the road, both Jacyn and the reader are introduced to a new world of shifters, one in which a war is threatening to destroy the felines. As the author builds this new world for the reader, we learn that things are not always what they seem.

Author Stephani Hecht has started her new series The Lost Shifter with a bang. If Primal Passions is anything to go by, readers should expect a lot of hot sexy shifters and action packed adventure. As this is the first book, there are naturally some unanswered questions sure to be resolved in upcoming stories.

Wranglers: Voir Dire


Title: Wranglers: Voir Dire
Author: Vivien Dean
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-576-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Sam’s crazy about Derek, but is uncertain where their relationship is going. Truthfully, he doesn’t know if they have a relationship at all or if to Derek, he’s just a guy to have great sex with. They see each other in private and are never seen together in public, unless its business related. That’s why when Sam needs to leave town for a weekend in Napa Valley, playing best man for a friend’s wedding, he doesn’t tell Derek his plans.

When they unexpectedly meet at the dry cleaner’s near their office and Derek suggests they spend the weekend together, Sam confesses the truth. When Derek willingly agrees to attend the ceremony with him, it’s the shock of Sam’s life. They’ve never met each other’s friends and he doesn’t know how Derek will react to an openly gay couple or opening up their ‘relationship’ for the world to see. The uncertainty of Derek and the weekend makes Sam crazy and if he doesn’t stop knit-picking at his lover’s motives and reactions, he could end up pushing him away.

Voir Dire is the second release in Vivien Dean’s Wranglers series and for a proper understanding of the relationship between Sam and Derek, I’d recommend reading them in order.

Starting a few weeks after the end of Discovery, Voir Dire is written from Sam’s viewpoint and follows the possibility of change in his and Derek’s relationship from simple, ‘lets get together for great sex’ to something much deeper and more meaningful. The flow of the story isn’t a race; rather it’s a slow and thoughtful build up to the moment of change…that one brief second when a relationship can move on to the next step, or crash and burn a painful death. Ms. Dean did a nice job with the pacing and the plot and reactions of Sam and Derek were well written and realistic. I particularly enjoyed their bantering conversation and seeing them both in a pubic forum was a nice change of pace from the previous release.

Sam’s a nice guy. He’s small, feisty and a Texan to the core, who’s able to turn his good-old-boy southern twang off and on like a water faucet. At first, I wasn’t certain of Derek, but by the end of the story, Ms. Dean gave me a much better idea of what made the man tick and how much he cared for Sam. I look forward to learning more about this ongoing relationship and Derek in particular, with the next release. Enjoy.

Extinction


Title: Extinction
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-040-8
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jack McBain grew up listening to stories about the Beothuk people and their ability to shift into werewolves. A promise to his grandmother has kept Jack searching for survivors of this lost race. Now after years of research, Jack encounters a wolf he believes to be a Beothuk shifter. However, not only does this wolf hold the key to the long fascination instilled by stories, the wolf is the key to Jack’s future happiness.

Extinction is the first story in Carol Lynne’s new series Refuge Shifters. Jack McBain is a professor of Environmental Science/Wildlife and the first to admit his passion is more for the exploration of his study than the actual teaching of it. He’s a disciplined man of strong moral values. As the facts begin to unfold for Jack, I felt his betrayal; however I knew that the people in his past wanted him to discover his true purpose on his own. I think having things presented as a puzzle that he had to unravel aided in his devotion to the project. He doesn’t seem like the type of man you can force into a situation, but his inquisitive nature makes him the perfect investigator. The story is set on a few breathtaking backdrops that are sure to open your senses to nature and it’s array of smells, sounds, and beauty. The story contains a number of well-developed characters that I am anxious to learn more about. The wolf Jack meets isn’t your typical leader and when the plot unfurls, you’ll appreciate the twist Ms. Lynne adds to the story. Extinction has action, suspense, hot sex, and even hotter characters. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Patient Eyes


Title: Patient Eyes
Author: Andy Eisenberg
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-064-2
Genre: {M/M} contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jaden is a first year college student in Virginia. He has a girlfriend at home in San Antonio, Texas and always considered himself as straight. He has an affectionate nature and easily makes friends, not considering if they are gay or straight.

Brendan is a fourth year college student in Texas. He’s easy-going, quiet with a good deal of common sense. Although he is openly gay, he does not broadcast his sexuality to strangers on first meeting them.

Jaden is desperate to find a way to stay in school and be able to afford food, too. Working a part time job, Jaden is barely surviving. Help to his dilemma comes when one of his friends sets up an interview for Jaden with the porn site he works for. Not sure he can perform on camera, the thought of having three meals a day in the future was the deciding factor. Meeting Brendan at the San Diego porn site, Jaden is shocked to find that he is attracted to Brendan and during the taping, he is actually turned on by the man. Brendan too feels chemistry with Jaden and the sex scene immediately becomes a love scene between them.

Patient Eyes is an emotionally beautiful and at times, amusing voyage of discovery for Jaden. The well developed realistic plot spans over a three year time period. The in-depth characters are warm and loving. The love scenes are very sensual. Andy Eisenberg has created a superb story which focuses on the motivation for the choices made, the good and bad consequence on family relationships as well as the decisions Jaden and Brendan must deal with. Patient Eyes is an excellent happy-ever-after saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Kissed by the Sun


Title: Kissed by the Sun
Author: Catrina Calloway
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-052-1
Genre: {M/F/M} Contemporary IR/Multicultural Ménage
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Ben Strong and Dan Swift wanted more than the reservation they grew up on offered and joined the Montauk Police Department. They have never forgotten Carlee Davis. She had captured their hearts when she snuck away from her family and kept coming to the reservation when she was sixteen but they walked away.

Carlee wants to finish art school but has to take over her family’s business, according to her aunt’s will. Carlee hates the family business and she knows her family resents the fact she is now in charge, though she tries to work things out with her cousin. Her aunt’s stipulation causes Carlee’s life to be threatened.

Kissed by the Sun is a good suspense story that has a lot of flashbacks throughout about the summer Carlee went to the reservation. Sometimes they were a little distracting. The relationship that Carlee, Ben and Dan have is a little volatile, though I waited with baited breath to see how the author was going to resolve the obstacles. The descriptions from the author left you in no doubt about their feelings for each other, but their childhood friendship colors a lot of what happens between the three of them. A few of the situations feel a little out of place, but I did enjoy the interactions between the three main characters.

Center


Title: Center
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-813-5
Genre: {M/M/M} GLBT Contemporary Ménage
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

The Center of Earth and Sky - 5 Nymphs
Grey and Raine are twins who have loved each other for as long as they can remember. The two times they were separated resulted in intense heartache, something neither wanted to go through again. When the twins meet Whit, Grey wonders if they are once again heading for trouble.

Whit is a schoolteacher looking for more than a one-night stand. When he heads out to his favorite bar, he never expects to end up with anyone like the twins.

I loved several things about this story. The first is how well the three characters Grey, Raine and Whit mesh; something that does not always occur in ménage stories. From the beginning, each seems to bring into the relationship a quality that completes the others. The characters are sexy and the chemistry intense, something the author conveys very well. There is also the fact that while this story covers the first year in the men's relationship, the author doesn't do a day-to-day account but rather tells key points of their growing relationship. We also get to hear from all three men as the story is told from all their points of view. Sean Michael's The Center of Earth and Sky is an exceptional story that many readers are sure to fall in love with.


Painting the Desert - 5 Nymphs
Grey, Raine and their center Whit have settled into a long loving relationship. With everything going well, the men are shattered when Grey becomes ill. Whit, who has always seemed to balance the two men's personalities, must now become even stronger in order to keep from losing the two loves of his life.

The three men from Sean Michael's The Center of Earth and Sky are back in this heart-wrenching sequel. The intense love and passion that was in the first book is still there; however, it is also full of anguish as well. The author doesn't pull any punches as he puts the men and reader through hell and back as the men deal with the illness that threatens to tear their family apart. It is difficult to say too much about this story without giving anything away, however, keep plenty of tissue on hand because this book is sure to make you cry more than once. As Painting the Desert came to an end, I could not help but hope that we have not seem the last of these three men.


Warning: Center tells the story of twins Grey and Raine and the man they fall in love with, Whit. These stories involve twincest and may be offensive to some readers.

Taking Karre


Title: Taking Karre
Author: Michelle M. Pillow
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923456
Genre: {M/F} Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Karre is no stranger to inter-dimensional travel. She uses it to avoid capture by the Divinity Corporation and has always stayed one-step ahead of them, until now. After one slipup, she is in the hands of her enemy with no possibility of escape.

Sir Vidar of Spearhead is a man of honor and will do as his king commands, even if that command makes Vidar seek out a bride. Vidar has no time for romance and even less time to find a wife but that is the last thing on his mind when he meets Karre.

Karre reminds him of seduction in its purest form and Vidar invokes an emotion foreign to Karre…love. Now if only they can find a happy middle ground to co-exist.

Taking Karre is the fourth book in the Divinity Warrior series. Karre and Vidar are one of my favorite couples. For once, the fight wasn’t really about the marriage and escaping, but about allowing the other mate to do what they did best. Karre is no shrinking violet and refused such treatment. Vidar knows his place as a man, warrior, leader and husband. He received the perfect woman. The couple had some earth-shattering encounters that will leave you breathless. A few truths come out in this installment and I’ll admit my guesses were completely wrong and I loved not being able to solve this mystery. I was shocked finally to discover the truth behind the enemy’s leader and how she gained so much power. The books in this series overlap at periods, allowing you to get a glimpse of the events the other brides encounter through the main character’s eyes. If you are just starting this series, I would suggest you read the books in the order published. Some of the events in this book will spoil what occurs in previous books. Michelle M. Pillow incorporates action, suspense and romance into this latest release. Fantastic job Ms. Pillow, you’ve created another incredible series!

Cherry


Title: Cherry
Author: Julia Talbot, Kiernan Kelly, Mallory Path, Kathryn Scannell, Dallas Coleman, Martin Delacroix, BA Tortuga, Taylor Lochland, JL Merrow, Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-755-8
Genre: Erotic Anthology - Various
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

No One’s Cherry – Julia Talbot – {M/M} Contemporary – 4.5 Nymphs
Friends Marc and Crispin are discussing sex, or the lack thereof, in Crispin’s case. Marc thinks Crispin is still a virgin, despite knowing Crispin was married to childhood sweetheart Amy for ten years. To Marc, when a man realizes he is gay, women just don’t count. When new guy Glenn enters the mix, Crispin starts to suspect a set-up but the guys just have to get used to the fact that Crispin is No One’s Cherry. A great opening story, Crispin is a good character with strength that is appealing. There’s humor, a little drama and a budding relationship that promises some steamy action, all adding up to a very enjoyable read.

First of Foot, Right of the Line – Kiernan Kelly – {M/M} Contemporary – 4 Nymphs
After being together for two years it’s time for F.B. to meet Matt’s family – and he couldn’t be more scared. Luckily, Matt is very understanding and ready to help ease the tension. Just when F.B thought he might get through this in one piece, a family emergency leaves him and Matt home alone with two crying children. Will it all be too much for the marine and his lover, or will F.B finally be able to let other people into his life? First of Foot, Right of the Line had me smiling throughout; with likable characters who felt real and who let me share in some very special moments in their lives. A nice mix of drama and comedy kept me reading to the end.

Nice Girls Do – Mallory Path – {M/M} Contemporary – 3.5 Nymphs
After making the local news, the girls are swarming around Alan. They all want a piece of the guy off T.V. but Alan doesn’t know the first thing about girls so goes to the one person he can trust – best friend Taz. Taz would do anything for Alan so when Alan comes to him for advice, Taz helps him the only way he can. Nice Girls Do is a change of pace from the previous stories and it was a little difficult to switch gears so quickly. There is a lot of substance in this coming-of-age story as I felt much was going on between Alan and Taz beneath the surface. I wish there had been more time to explore this because without the depth of character, it reads a little awkward at times.

Lessons – Kathryn Scannell – {M/M} Fantasy – 4 Nymphs
Danny’s at a disadvantage being human; not only do the Tengri race live longer but almost all have magic skills. That’s not to say Danny doesn’t have some skills of his own, but any Tengri worth his salt would take advantage of a human in such a high position in the Imperial Palace. If he is to remain close to the Emperor, he needs to make the most of his Lessons at the “entertainment establishment”, a task made all the more enjoyable thanks to Tsien Liu. This was a surprising and welcomed change in genre. The introduction to another world and race was very well done; Danny didn’t seem out of place in the alien setting and the chemistry between him and Tsien Liu was scorching. With such a wonderful build up, it was inevitable that I would be left wanting so much more when it ended but still, it was worth it to spend that brief amount of time in such a vivid world.

Just Like Him – Dallas Coleman – {M/M} Contemporary, Incest – 4 Nymphs
It may have taken him some time but Trent is finally heading back home; back to the one man who truly gets him and who will always be there for him; back to his twin brother, Ken. Trent may have messed up big time back when he was younger but Ken also has his regrets. They’re both a little older and wiser now but the hurt remains. Finally it’s time for the guys to face up to the mistakes of the past and grab what they want out of life. Although Just Like Him is the first story I have read involving incest, I felt uncomfortable reading about sexual attraction between twins. Putting my own tastes to one side, this was probably the best written story so far, the style of writing very appealing with characters well introduced. The complexity of the feelings between Ken and Trent was sensitively handled for the most part I personally just felt the erotic nature was out of place.

Who Shall I Tell – Martin Delacroix – {M/M} / {M/F} Contemporary – 5 Nymphs
It’s 1977 and Jake and Adam are associates at an Orlando law firm. They’re still young and will do whatever it takes to move up the career ladder, even sacrificing their personal lives to do so. When their boss asks them to represent a client who has been discriminated against because of his sexuality, they are unsure how to proceed. Concerns about the effect on their careers and attitudes in the workplace have Jake and Adam questioning just how much they are willing to sacrifice. Who Shall I Tell has it all; an interesting, involving self contained plot that satisfied plus likable characters with substance. This was a great snapshot of the loves and lives of a couple of young men trying to make some headway in an aggressive world that showed how their actions affect those close to them.

File Gumbo: A Roughstock Story – {M/M} Western - BA Tortuga – 4.5 Nymphs
Sam can’t believe he’s been screwed out of more points, all because he doesn’t have a following on the circuit like TJ does. He has busted his guts for so long he’s beginning to think he’ll never be as good as the likes of TJ or Beau. Speaking of Beau, he always seems to be just where Sam needs him the most at just the right time. God knows he could use the distraction right about now – he’ll just work on figuring out why things seem to click into place so well with Beau later. File Gumbo: A Roughstock Story has two very likable, down to earth guys in Sam and Beau. Reading about their lives, even in this short amount of time just felt good and relaxed, which was helped a great deal by a vivid setting and some authentic, often colorful language. It was just good to kick back and watch the sparks fly between these two studs.

Alpha Male, Beta Male – {M/M} Contemporary - Taylor Lochland – 3.5 Nymph
Vet Aaron has had a thing for Nathan, the 22 year old son of one of his best clients, ever since he first set eyes on him. He’s never acted on his feelings though as he didn’t want to seem unprofessional and besides, he’s almost ten years older than Nathan. When Nathan’s parents are out of town and a horse goes into labor, Nathan doesn’t know what to do so calls on Aaron in a panic. Can Aaron maintain his distance from the object of his desires long enough to do his job? There was a nice amount of tension and build up to the budding relationship between Aaron and Nathan in Alpha Male, Beta Male. It was enjoyable to get to know what makes Aaron and Nathan tick and the farm setting gave the story a homey feel but I feel the intensity petered out a little towards the end. I wasn’t really given enough time to really immerse myself in their feelings for each other.

Different Strengths – JL Merrow – {M/M} Contemporary – 5 Nymphs
Michael’s been focusing on work a lot recently; it’s not like there’s much else in his life to pre-occupy him. Simply put, his sex life is non-existent – a fact that his client Rufus T intends to change with a visit to the local strip joint. Rufus doesn’t need to know Michael’s not into women but when he spies the bartender, it seems Michael might not be able to keep his secret for much longer. I absolutely loved Different Strengths; the first person point of view was very easy to read and helped me make a connection with Michael. Michael is opinionated, honest, and funny – all qualities that made me care about his happiness. Through his narration, I was able to learn about his difficult past and the healing he still needs to do – healing that the bartender may, or may not, be able to help with.

Graduation – Sean Michael – {M/M} Contemporary – 4 Nymphs
Bobby made a mistake the last time he was with Neil – he couldn’t help it, he was majorly freaked out by his feelings for the guy – but now Neil’s graduating and Bobby’s found the courage to face up to his mistake. As he knocks on Neil’s door, Bobby plans to apologize then leave but soon he’s inside Neil’s room and way out of his depth. Will he try to make up for the past, or will Bobby run away yet again? Graduation is the story of a confused guy who gets a second chance at discovering who he really is. Bobby is believable as someone who is sorry for his past actions and is sick and tired of being confused about who he is. Neil is a good guy who can empathize with what Bobby must be going through. With such good characterization, it was enjoyable to see the guys move forward in their lives.


Cherry is a wonderful mixture of characters, relationships and genres. With differing degrees of eroticism and intensity, there is a little bit for everyone in this anthology; whether you like witnessing the first stirrings of a romance or established couples spicing up their relationships, I highly recommend this to fans of the genres.


Contains a “twincest” story

On A Bruised Road


Title: On A Bruised Road
Author: Pepper Espinoza
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-430-5
Genre: {M/M} GLBT Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Edwin Masters is a pharmacist. He’s wanted a 1962 Alfa Romeo Spider 2600 since he first heard its powerful engine purr when he was five years old. It’s been a lifelong obsession and now, at age forty-seven, he decides buying his dream car is the perfect reward for reaching a twenty-year landmark in his life. He’s thrilled when, after a long search, he discovers a near mint-condition Spider for sale at a local estate sale. All it takes is one short drive and Edwin’s hooked, and willing to pay almost anything to the heirs of the original owner to buy it, and he does.

Finding the car is the dream of a lifetime, but buying it changes Edwin’s existence in ways he never imaged. It brings him into direct conflict with the ghost of eighteen year-old Cooper James, the young man who died in the car, during an accident forty-seven years before. Cooper’s been hanging around the car since the wreck and since his dad rarely drove it, he’s been stuck in the garage...alone. When Edwin buys the car, Cooper senses for the first time a kindred soul and the chance to get out into the world and have a ‘life’ that death denied him. That means Cooper’s trying to control Edwin and his life, and the young specter isn’t above terrorizing Edwin’s sexy new lover, Carson, to get what he wants. Edwin.

I’m going to say upfront that I’ve never understood an obsession for a car, it’s just not my thing, so I find it surprising On a Bruised Road appealed to me but it did. The opening scenes in which Edwin first encounters the Spider and he realizes something isn’t right, is a nicely written introduction to the paranormal aspect of this intriguing tale. The ghostly portion of the story is the background in this complex and unusual tale, but it still leaves room for the development of Carson and Edwin’s love.

Cooper, as the ghost, is an interesting character; an angry eighteen year-old male stuck with the car he died in and unable to move on. Ms. Espinoza did a wonderful job of bringing his personality to life, showing his great sense of loneliness, fear and the desire to have someone love him. Initially I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the guy, but his actions toward Edwin and Carson are so self-serving, controlling, and hurtful that my goodwill toward him didn’t last long.

Overall, all three characters are well developed, with varied personalities and interests, and the plot flow is smooth, and filled with regret, longing, love and fear. I liked Carson, but I feel like I know him the least, although what I did see was almost too perfect and forgiving to be realistic. Don’t get me wrong, the author did a nice job with the creation of his character. I just wish he’d had a few flaws. Edwin had his own regrets and mistakes in his life and buying the Spider turns out to be the biggest one of his life. Yet, if the car hadn’t entered his life, Carson might not have become a part of it either.

Ghosts and love stories don’t often mix, but don’t let the concept scare you away from this unusual contemporary paranormal romance. Give On A Bruised Road a try. You won’t regret it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Rose Among the Ruins




Title: A Rose Among the Ruins
Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-052-9
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

In the kingdom of Ageselm, same-sex unions are despised and forbidden. With peace on the horizon through a political marriage, war is finally coming to an end. Two knights--Rhicer and Kanath, friends for ten years--are celebrating one evening with wine Kanath pilfered when they discover that it wasn’t any ordinary wine. They drank a love potion. Now they have to learn how to deal with undeniable attraction between them when they’ve been taught to abhor it. Their secret meetings are all they have, but other forces are set to drive them into making a decision that will change their lives forever.

A Rose Among the Ruins begins and ends as a bard telling his tale. The imagery of the rose is woven throughout the story, culminating in a perfect ending. The love between Rhicer and Kanath, while originally magically-induced, is true. The love scenes are intense yet tender, neither man knowing exactly what to do with another man, but the love bringing a gentleness to their touches. The passion between them is breathtaking, almost more so than the sex itself.

I have to say, my favorite part is the end: the final part of the bard’s tale, and the very last scene where the bard has finished it. Believe me when I say that you have to read it to understand. A Rose Among the Ruins is a poignant love story, rich in language and details, and beautiful in its entirety.

Putting Out Fires


Title: Putting Out Fires
Author: Sienna Black
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-480-0
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Fantasy Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Carlin Rhodes doesn’t know his true worth. Professionally, he is a dependable firefighter and trusted part of his squad. Personally, Carlin is lonely but refuses to settle for less or take a leap of faith to meet his soul mate. Faith isn’t waiting for Carlin to make a move; it shows him the man of his dreams, Zaid.

Zaid is no ordinary dancer. He struts his stuff across the stage at the Baseline but Zaid has other hidden talents most aren’t privy to seeing. Zaid is a Djinn, with the ability to call fire. The power remains right below the surface, but someone from his past wants it to come out and play.

Zaid finally found love and knows giving in to this hidden force will cost him Carlin.

Love and passion burn as hot as flames in Putting Out Fires. Zaid knows his allure and stays clear of power-hungry people. Carlin might be big and strong, but he’s shy and a touch naïve. That draws Zaid more than anything does to the handsome firefighter. Carlin notices his inhibitions slip around his new lover and it’s a heady feeling. The two make a nice couple. I respected Carlin’s desire for a forever relationship verses a just-for-now fling. However, I was shocked he didn’t have to beat the men off. His will must be iron clad, because I’m sure Carlin’s size and occupation combined would have made the installation of a revolving door necessary. The story was interesting, making me focus on various types of fire, natural, supernatural and internal. Sienna Black’s mixture of action, suspense, paranormal characters, and erotic heat made Putting Out Fires a fascinating read.

Bent, Not Broken


Title: Bent, Not Broken
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-19-1
Genre: {M/F/M} Ménage, GLBT Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

When a tragic accident occurs at Cattle Valley Days, Carol McGowan wakes in the hospital, in pain, and groggy, but finds George sitting at her bedside. She’s been attracted to the man for months, but knows he’s bi-sexual and in a long-time relationship. Carol had her heart ripped open when her own threesome broke up and as much as she wants George in her life, she’s scared of getting hurt again.

George is the secret lover and partner of closeted country music idol, Trick Allen. Almost losing Carol makes George realize he can’t go on living for stolen moments with Trick or coming in second to his career. George wants a life where he can openly show his affection for the person he loves and knows he’ll never have an open relationship with Trick. He makes the most painful decision of his life when he breaks it off with Trick, so he can be with the woman he loves.

Trick Allen’s been in love with George for almost two decades. In order to safeguard his superstar career, he’s kept their more-than-just-friends relationship hidden by building a reputation as a carousing ladies-man. Faced with losing the person he loves pushes Trick’s life into a crossroad and forces him to make a decision. Does he lose George forever, or does he come out of the closet and run the risk of destroying his career?

Bent, Not Broken is the latest release in Carol Lynne’s ongoing Cattle Valley series and like the others, it doesn’t disappoint. I have to admit that I was curious and a little concerned with how Ms. Lynne was going to handle this first story after the tragedy at the fairgrounds, but I didn’t need to worry. As usual, she’s constructed a smooth flowing plot with great characters, and handled their past hurts and emotional baggage with skill and flair.

Carol’s fear of becoming a third in an already established couple was nicely handled and using Nate as support when he’d gone through a similar situation, a great reminder of past books and characters.

I wasn’t certain that I was going to like Trick in the beginning, after learning how he’d treated George through their nineteen years together. It was difficult to understand how he could put the person he loved through so much unhappiness, but Ms. Lynne handled the conflict with tenderness, understanding and realism. The same is true for getting our threesome together and the only way to describe the sex is…hot! I for one am anxiously waiting for the next release in this great series with Arm Candy, featuring Mario and Asa.

Love, Like Ghosts


Title: Love, Like Ghosts
Author: Ally Blue
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-676-1
Genre: {M/M} GLBT Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Adrian Broussard is the son of Bo Broussard, the founder of Bay City Paranormal Investigations. He has strong psychokinetic abilities that he keeps a tight restraint on, and is afraid to share his secret with anyone.

Greg Woodhall is a theatre major and the only man who can cause Adrian to lose control of his abilities. Greg has secrets of his own that he is hiding.

The story takes place at Chapel Hill University, North Carolina. Adrian and Greg are working together to transform an old castle into a haunted house for Halloween. Although Adrian is there to learn more about Lyndon Groome, the ghost residing in the castle, he can’t resist the mutual attraction he feels for Greg. As the relationship grows between Greg and Adrian with a few bumps along the way, they still manage to join together to solve the mystery surrounding the death of the ghost.

Love, Like Ghosts is the next generation of Bay City Paranormal Investigations series. This well developed plot features Adrian Broussard, now a college student and discovering love for the first time. Added to that is the ghost and each step in solving the mystery. The characters are detailed and give the reader a sense of how they came to be in the emotional circumstances we find them in. The love scenes are sensual. The amazing Ally Blue creates another exciting installment to this series that I thoroughly enjoyed.