Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sanctuary's Price


Title: Sanctuary's Price
Author: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher’s URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-682-2
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Dylan’s Gennaro’s spent the ten years since he was changed into a werewolf under the thumb of a vicious, power-hungry Alpha but in the last months, his life has changed for the better. At least mostly, and it’s given him a chance for a little happiness. He has a new pack (which is at war), and a chance at building a life he can be proud of. The only thing that’s not going so well is his personal life. So, when he’s asked to help with a young outcast witch that nearly everyone in the pack is afraid of, he jumps at the chance. It doesn’t hurt that he’s attracted to the young witch, or that his protective instincts surge into high gear every time they’re together.

Orphaned at a young age, Sasha Wallace spent several years in foster care before her grandmother’s friend rescued her. Then years later when her mentor was killed in a power struggle, Sasha was left alone in the world again, and she’s grateful to the Alpha of Red Rock Pass for giving her a new home. Despite being inexperienced, she’s determined to repay her debt of honor and when she agrees to help in the war, gets much more than she bargained for; a trip across country, a vampire and a hostile pack ready to explode. She also gets a few new friends, a lover in Dylan, and the hope for a happy forever…if they can survive.

Sanctuary’s Price is the third release in the ongoing Red Rock Pass series by Moira Rogers and it starts shortly after where Sanctuary Lost left off. When the last release ended, I’d hoped that Dylan would be the lead male in the next, so I was thrilled to find he was to be the focus of this story.

The action starts almost immediately - when another dangerous problem darkens the doorstep of Red Rock Pass - and it only gets faster as the plot races to the end. Like the other books in this series, the world-building is exceptional, this time taking the characters across country and plopping them down in a situation that involves another desperate pack and this time, a vampire. The personalities of Sasha and Dylan are well-developed and likable, the plot flow smooth, and I loved having so many characters make a return appearance in the story. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Rogers does with one of the new additions to the pack…the vampire Adam.

Both Dylan and Sasha are endearing, but have so much emotional baggage that, at first, I wasn’t certain how Ms. Rogers was going to get them together. I think this is where Ms. Rogers excelled. She allowed these two to develop a tight personal connection before they jumped into bed with each other and once there, the sex is sizzling hot. I admit it. I like these two and I want to see more of them in future releases.

Tall, Mean & Darkly


Title: Tall, Mean & Darkly
Author: A.J. Llewellyn and Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.net/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-394-4
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

The last month of Gavin's life has been a living hell. While running errands, his wife is killed, leaving him to try and go on without her. When a gorgeous man shows up claiming to be his dead wife, Gavin begins to wonder if he has finally gone over the deep end.

Author's A. J. Llewellyn and Stephani Hecht are back again with their new release Tall Mean & Darkly. The authors put a unique spin on the old coming back from the dead theme by bringing back Gavin's recently deceased wife in the body of hunky Jackson. With the death of his wife fresh on his mind, Gavin is still deeply grieving and the authors do a wonderful job showing his despair and confusion as the story starts. When Jackson shows up and Gavin is confronted with a tall sexy man claiming to be his wife, he's not sure how to react. This twist, of course, gives the authors a lot of wiggle room and soon all kinds of mischief is going on. Not only do the authors bring these two together in a new relationship, but allow Gavin and 'his wife' to realize that maybe their perfect marriage wasn't always so perfect and that both of them needed to learn to compromise. Watching Gavin try to cope with Jackson, who knows things he shouldn't unless, of course he really is Gavin's wife, and busy body neighbors will leave the reader highly entertained. I have to admit that just imagining this big, dominate man scrap booking with a bunch of women, I could understand why Gavin would run on occasion.

Sundown Investigations (Collections)


Title: Sundown Investigations (Collections)
Author: Cat Marsters
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-172-5
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal/Dark & Urban Fantasy/
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

East Side Story - 4 Nymphs
Maria, a fledging vampire, is in New York City looking for a way to survive and runs into Ruarc. These two have a past that was not good for either of them, and they don’t want to be reminded of it. What happens next is more than they both could imagine, and the passion they share is explosive. When someone attacks them, they are forced to fight together, and that leads to the question both of them keep asking themselves…why are they supposed to hate each other?

Drive Me Daisy - 4 Nymphs
After fifteen years, Adam, a werewolf, realizes that he still in love with Daisy, a shape-shifter who can take on any form. Because he has been sent by the job to help her with a situation, it’s harder for him to stay focused and not want to make love to her. Daisy has moved on with her life after being used by the faeries and she is not happy to see him again, after fifteen years. These two have undeniable sexual attraction, and unfinished conversation. Daisy has a secret that will either make or break both of them before the job ends.

Get Lucky - 4 Nymphs
Lucky Harris loves her job, working with an elf fashion designer, and she takes advantage of the fashions available to her because of him. She has been having dreams of an incubus who is stalking her, and her question is….why? When she meets the man of her dreams, she almost has a total sexual meltdown. Now that she knows the truth about herself, Lucky is having a hard time accepting it. The heat level goes up considerably when she finds out that there are two men that want her and she explores her options.

Here Kitty Kitty - 4 Nymphs
Kat is not sure how she feels with two men vying for her attention, and she is in heat, so it doesn’t matter at the moment. What she didn’t know was that she had been bitten by a young werecat and Uncle Nathan is the one asked to save Kat from herself. She meets Wolfe in one of her class and she’s having sexual fantasies while looking at him. These two men don’t get along well, and have a bad history together, which neither of them wants to be reminded of. There is an understanding that settles amongst the three of them that will either bond them together, or tear them apart.

I have really enjoyed reading each story in Sundown Investigations. I guess it’s kind of difficult to accept that you spend your life living one way, and find out things are different. Then you begin to question the little things that have happened to you, and why others act odd towards you. Each story was quite unique and entertaining for me, with the insecurities of the women, and the determination of the men to have the women. The sex is extremely hot, and the relationships were destined for each of the couples.

Cat Marsters has spun quite a few tales that got better each time I read the next one. Each of the stories was packed full of emotions running rampant, fierce loyalty for some, and screaming hot sex for all of them. They all eventually found their way to Sundown Investigations for one reason or another, and it seems like a plus for the company of paranormals. I am so looking forward to the next set of stories by this author as she continues to wow me with her stories.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Bear


Title: The Bear
Author: P. A. Brown
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-580-5
Genre: {M/M} Gay, Contemporary, Fantasy, Shapeshifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Scott Thompson has a fascination with bears, be it the type that lives in the wilderness or the burly men he prefers in his bed. His parkland home has become the hunting ground for poachers and unsafe for the bears that live in the area. Scott’s week seems to deteriorate when he not only discovers a dead bear, but also finds one in close proximity to his home. He calls on the one man he trusts above all others, Luke Stadler.

Luke is the object of Scott’s most erotic dreams. His sheer size is enough to intimidate those in his wake, but makes Scott feel safe and secure. Their investigation doesn’t turn up a bear, but a wounded man, which leaves Scott wondering if he imagined the bear or if it was real. Will this sudden crisis be the catalyst to bring the two together?

I sometimes forget just how yummy bears can be, and P. A. Brown brought it all back in her latest release The Bear. The raw power and the desire to protect make these men mates you won’t soon forget. Luke’s description of men in bars had me barking in laughter and nodding in agreement. It’s nice to have characters who know what they like and refuse to settle for less. The plot isn’t overly complicated, but this story didn’t need it to be. Ms. Brown writes a wonderful paranormal tale about acceptance and love, and places it on a picturesque backdrop. Who could ask for more? Actually, a greedy reader like me could ask for more bear stories in the near future. Buy it and enjoy.

Trinity


Title: Trinity
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-694-5
Genre: {M/F/M} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Life is good for Renee Parcell, or at least mostly. She has a great sex life with her cat-shifter, lawyer mate, Galen, they have a home they both love and she’s the owner of a successful smoothie-coffee cart business. There are a few problems in her life that drive her crazy, but which she has no control over. Not all the members of Galen’s family like her, although only a couple have threatened her, Renee and her stepmother fight constantly and her father is cold, distant and uncaring. Then there’s the issue of her magic. Her stepmother and father have told her for years that her magic is wrong and unnatural, so she tries to ignore it, but Galen encourages her to seek training, afraid that without it she’ll get into trouble.

And it’s her raw magic that tells her something or someone is coming to change her life, and not knowing is making her nervous. That change comes when she knocks the groceries out of the arms of a gorgeous blond haired man, Jack Meyers, who happens to be the enforcer for the National Werewolf Pack. Renee’s attracted to the strange man and the new feelings appall her; Galen’s already her mate. The surprises keep coming. When Galen, Renee and Jack get together, wild magic surges and a rare and unexpected tri-mate bond snaps into place. Being mated doesn’t mean life is easy. These three have many trials to overcome, but the most dangerous is the mage trying to steal Renee’s power. It’s up to Galen and Jack to keep their mate safe and if they fail, the thief won’t have stolen just her magic, he’ll have stolen her life.

I’ve been in love with the Cascadia Wolves since I read the first book in this paranormal series, so I was thrilled when I learned Ms. Dane was releasing Trinity. Like the other characters in this keeper series, Renee, Galen and Jack are interesting, well-developed, passionate and sexy. Let’s not forget the guys…they can’t help going all alpha male, when it comes to defending and protecting their mate. As a threesome, these individuals are a perfect fit and Ms. Dane does a fine job turning an established couple into a loving mated trio.

The plot of Trinity starts quickly and picks up speed, until its racing as fast as a rollercoaster as it nears the end. There’s a nice integration of characters from previous releases, giving the book a sense of continuity. The sex, passion and desire is sizzling hot, the sense of family between the three mates, intense, and the danger to Renee, realistic and palpable. Then there’s the villain(s). They’re not readily apparent when the story starts but by the finish, it’s so obvious, I don’t know why I didn’t figure it out sooner. The reason behind their betrayal is despicable, and I didn’t see it coming. I can’t wait to see what happens with the next release in this keeper series.

Facade


Title: Facade
Author: Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-076-5
Genre: {M/M}, {M/F/M}, {M/M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jonas Hunter may be a little older than some in his chosen field but that just means he's been at it long enough to pick and choose his clients. When a friend passes his name along to Nicky Bryant, Jonas has no desire to take on a new client. But some people just can't seem to take no for an answer.

Nicky Bryant is THE fashion designer of the moment. Unfortunately, he knows how good he is and expects to be treated appropriately. When Nicky's assistant arranges for Jonas to pay Nicky a visit, it turns out to be just what he needs.

Author Zahra Owens takes two men that are polar opposites and brings them together in Facade. Jonas is a high priced escort who has been in business long enough that he only has to see a few clients a year. Making no excuses for who he is, Jonas is self-assured and very good at his job. Nicky, on the other hand, is a fashion designer who lives to shock those around him by being as flamboyant as possible. When the two men meet, neither expects to be so drawn to the other. Their insecurities often lead to misunderstandings yet it is impossible for them to stay away from each other. While this story covers a period of several years, it is fast-paced and does not feel drawn out in any way. This was one of those fun books to read with lots of interesting characters that helped the story move along smoothly. I am sure this book will bring the author many new fans.

Dark Elves VI: Awakening


Title: Dark Elves VI: Awakening
Author: Jet Mykles
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-431-2
Genre: {M/M} {M/F} Gay Ménage and more, Fantasy Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Eryhaen has a great deal of weight riding on her slim shoulders. Being a princess is hard enough, but to be the first born girl to the race of dark elves add an element of danger to her life. Eryhaen is fortunate to have her best friends and lovers Brevin, Lanthan and Tykir at her side. The three men provide safety and love to her life. What they don’t offer is a way to help her learn to control her magical powers. There is one person who has the ability to help Eryhaen, but will the three men have to give up the woman they hoped to be their mate?

Jet Mykles’ Dark Elves VI: Awakening takes us back to the underground caverns of the Dark Elves. This time around, Eryhaen is no longer that small child her parents can mold and control but a woman with her own mind, thoughts and desires. In addition, what I perceived as a very spoiled woman grows rapidly into someone who can one day help lead her people back to their greatness. We finally gain some resolution to the issue with the rogues and discover why the reasons behind the centuries of attacks by the various groups. The story moves along at a moderate pace with no slowing down. Each scene building on the next until the final paragraph, which I will admit had me in tears. Those who have enjoyed the Dark Elves series will not be disappointed, thanks to the wonderful mixture of action, suspense, and erotic encounters that will make you do a double take.

Pas De Deux


Title: Pas De Deux
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-583-6
Genre: {M/M} Mystery/Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

James Scott is a good man and an even better lawyer. He also believes that everyone is entitled to a competent defense. When he learns a young man, Hector Young jailed for murdering a young ballerina, is not only likely innocent, but being framed, he jumps to the rescue. There are a lot of people unhappy to learn the talented, hotshot defense attorney is taking on a pro bono case they want closed and that includes the DA and the new homicide detective on the case.

While Scott is willing to go with this gut instinct, Detective Owen Duke needs cold hard facts and evidence. Owen is relentless and dedicated, and it’s not long before he realizes someone is throwing up roadblocks in his investigation and he finds himself working with James, instead of against him. Together the two men explore their growing passion, and work to discover the identity of the real killer, while trying to keep each other alive.

Pas De Deux is the newest release by writing duo Jamie Craig and this one deals with cops, lawyers, defendants and the people determined to keep the truth hidden.

It’s a nicely plotted and executed story, and has a realistic premise (even if it’s been done before) that could come from the headlines of any newspaper in the country. The tale’s filled with believable details, has a steady flow with a good integration of primary and secondary characters, and there’s an even balance between the romance and suspense aspects of the story.

James is a likeable man who’s dedicated to the law and willing to fight for justice. He’s also attractive, charming, intelligent, determined and a workaholic. On the surface, Owen first appears cold, calculating and completely no-nonsense, but underneath he’s a man of passion and fire, who’s wholly dedicated to upholding the law. The authors take James and Owen, who start as uneasy adversaries, and skillfully turn them into men working together to fight for the truth, and ultimately committed, passionate lovers.

The villain might have been a little obvious (and who here will remain nameless), but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story. When the authors revealed the final detail of the ballerina victim I have to admit I wasn’t surprised, but it did give a sense of closure, knowing what actions fueled the killer to murder and a cover-up.

Pas de Deux


Title: Pas de Deux
Author: Jamie Craig
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-583-6
Genre: {M/M}, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 2.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

James is a high powered defense attorney who hasn't lost a case yet. When the body of a young dancer is found and an arrest made, James begins to feel like something is just not adding up, especially after meeting the young man charged with the crime.

Duke's a tough detective who doesn't have the time for someone like James but he doesn't have a choice. When he inherits the case, Duke ends up spending a lot of time with the hotshot lawyer. It's not long before both men are wondering what exactly is going on.

I had a hard time trying to decide exactly how much I liked Jamie Craig's Pas de Deux. I love crime stories and the concept of this story is a classic one; hunky cop and sexy lawyer try to help a young man accused of a crime. However, I was a little disappointed that, while the plot and the characters themselves are interesting, together something seemed to get lost. The story is a little too predictable with no real surprises. The characters are strong sexy individuals and although their friendship seems to be a strong one, there did not seem to be any real chemistry between them, a far cry from the author's usual couples. Although the secondary characters are predictable, they help move the story along smoothly.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ground Zero


Title: Ground Zero
Author: Mel Keegan
Publisher: DreamCraft
Publisher URL: http://www.dream-craft.com/
ISBN: 978-0-9807092-0-9
Genre: {M/M} SF Mystery/Adventure
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Working in the Paranormal Studies department of Franklin University keeps Lee Ronson and Brendan Scott’s minds sharp. The department works closely with Metro on cases that exhibit signs of being abnormal crimes that could have paranormal element. Their latest case is no exception. The affects of an unknown virus has the city working at less than half capacity, while an unknown culprit is terrorizing the area with a string of murders and robberies. It will take these men and their team to find the offender and put an end to his regain of terror.

Mel Keegan’s Ground Zero takes place in a futuristic South Australia capital. She uses a mixture of old and new imagery to make this story appealing and realistic. Lee and Brendan are lovers and co-workers and have a well-balanced alluring relationship. I enjoyed watching the men hash out the mystery surrounding the murders and thefts. Mel Keegan uses a host of supporting characters to pull this story together, while never overshadowing our two main characters. From the setting to the suspense and sensual moments of passion, I found Ground Zero to be a fascinating book and a pleasure to read.

Force of Attraction


Title: Force of Attraction
Author: Mandy M. Roth
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-699-0
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal SciFi-Futuristic
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

On the surface, the life of Dr. Marisa Langston seems perfect; she’s one of the doctors serving on a Commission spaceship and she’s engaged to Peter, the commanding officer of their ship. Her problem is her undeniable attraction to her fiancé’s best friend, Bradi a Lieutenant Commander on the same ship. Everything about the man either annoys or arouses her and she doesn’t have an explanation for the way he makes her body burn. Marisa decides the only way to avoid an uncomfortable situation is to stay away from the man as much as possible.

Bradi knows his feelings for his friend’s fiancé are inappropriate and emotionally painful; he should stay as far away from her as possible…but he can’t. Life changes dramatically for Bradi and Marisa when their ship’s attacked and they’re forced to abandon ship in a small life pod. Being confined with Marisa is a blessing and a curse. Bradi’s desire to take her as his mate is on overload, and their pod is out of control and heading straight to a planet he’d hoped to never see again. The world where he grew up. Both Bradi and Marisa are uncertain of their future, but two things are sure; their passion can’t be denied and they both have secrets they want to keep hidden.

Force of Attraction is the second release in the Project Exorcism series by author Mandy Roth. It’s a nice follow up story and you can read it as a stand-alone if desired, but I do recommend they be read them in order. It makes for better continuity, once the numerous secondary characters join the story when Bradi and Marisa crash-land on his home planet.

The characters of Bradi and Marisa have great chemistry, and you can almost feel the heat radiating through the computer screen every time they got close to each other. Once their relationship becomes intimate, their emotional and physical bond is strong, lasting, sizzling hot and heartwarming to read. Bradi and Marisa are interesting and strong in their own right, and the secrets they are trying to hide, unique and potentially harmful, if discovered by the wrong people.

While I liked both characters, I had a much better understanding of what makes Bradi tick. I would have liked a little more information on Marisa’s background. With the action, twists and turns, there is more than enough going on to keep a reader’s interest. The old villain is still up to no good, and a new character, Peter, has a couple of revelations I wasn’t expecting.

Two In Two Out


Title: Two In Two Out
Author: G.A. Hauser
Publisher: Phaze
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-502-2
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Single paramedic/fireman Blake may not be overly happy with his life but he likes where he's at. He has no desire for either his family or his co-workers to find out that he's gay so he works very hard to keep that part of his life separate.

Hunter has already been ostracized once for being gay and has no desire to have the same thing happen in L.A. Hunter just never figured on being partnered with someone like Blake.

Two In Two Out is the second book in G.A. Hauser's Hero series. This time around, the story centers on a couple of hunky firemen/paramedics. Partners for three months, Blake and Hunter have become good friends, yet, regardless of how close they have become neither man is ready to reveal their deepest secret.

I loved this latest addition to the Hero series. The author allowed the men's relationship to build slowly over a period of time before changing their relationship into something other than friends. Rather than letting everything run smoothly, the author allows the stress of people on the job finding out that they are gay to play an important part of the story. The characters are lively and bring a lot of humor to the story, which made for an entertaining read. We are reintroduced to characters from the first book as the stories play out simultaneously. The author was also very clever and threw in a twist that surprised me, as much as it did the characters. It was definitely one of those "I didn't see that coming" moments. I cannot wait for the next installation and will be reading this one again soon.

Midnight Falls


Title: Midnight Falls
Author: R. G. Alexander
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-805-5
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal/Shapeshifters
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Liz, who is leader of the Diva vampires, finds herself too impatient to sit by idly, without a worthy cause. She has been called on to help find Jasyn Dydarren, who is missing. What she doesn’t realize is her actions are destined by the Goddess, and with her taking on the call, it will bring about the peace she needs from her past. When she arrives in the area where Jasyn is suppose to be, she encounters a man who reminds her of someone else and realizes that he could be her soul mate. She is confused until she learns who he is and it has her wanting to escape her fate, because she doesn’t welcome it.

Hannah, a vampire but she still considers herself a wallflower, has no desire to be heroic. Little does she know her involvement in helping Liz will set her on a path she has desired for years, and that is to become Jasyn’s mate. Jasyn has fought against their mating for too many years, because of his hatred of vampires, but knows Hannah is his soul mate. She is at a point in her life where she no longer wants to just sit around waiting for him, and especially with him close by, and she is determined to get him alone finally.

Midnight Falls is the fourth book in the Children of the Goddess series and once again, I am impressed with R. G. Alexander’s storytelling ability. This story continues on with the troubles within the different alliances, while trying to forge a peace treaty. There is a lot more history given surrounding Liz and her connection to the main family, and the darkness that threatens everyone. The different scenes that are described spoke of how intensely each group of the alliance were a part of this unfolding story.

As the plot thickened, everyone became more involved and there were quite a few surprises that I had not considered. I was kept trying to figure out who the Shadow leader was, and the reason the Shadows wantedthe confusion for the alliances. I must say that there is a lot going on, but patience won out in the end, and I am very happy with the outcome of this story.