Friday, October 30, 2009

Rust Belt


Title: Rust Belt
Author: Jessica Freely
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-434-3
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Erotic Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Seth Ingersol might be homeless, but he knows a worse existence is out there. He remembers his time in a place known as the Pit, where enslaved men perform as modern day gladiators. Seth does whatever is necessary for food and is happy with his meager shelter, until he meets David Baylor and learns there’s a possibility to have more.

David might be a bookworm but he’s nobody’s pushover. He sees Seth, when most of the city ignores the homeless. One act of kindness to the stranger is returned tenfold, when Seth comes to David’s rescue. One moment of compassion is the seed to a future filled with passion, love and a lasting commitment. But before they can have their happily-ever-after, Seth must find a way to resolve his past crime and David must love him enough to step back and have faith.

You never know what loops life will throw your way. Some tests are full of heartache, while others may just test your resolve. Then there are those that test your belief. Seth and David both had a great deal of all these tests along the way and always found a way to endure. I love both characters; there is no favorite between the two. Each man brings something unique to the table in Rust Belt. Seth is dubbed my brawny teddy bear, because he doesn’t enjoy causing pain. David is smart and caring, and some may categorize him as a bit naïve by some of his actions. I would like to believe he saw a part of Seth’s soul that no one else was privy to viewing. They make a great couple; each had the ability to make the other stronger. Neither tried to downplay the gifts their lover granted them. In addition, their goal was always to keep each other safe and happy. Who couldn’t love men like them?

Jessica Freely has written a fantastic tale about survival and love in Rust Belt. The developed storyline has a plot that is paced at a moderate rate. You don’t feel as if anything is rushed between these two. I could feel the emotional state of both men, from their happiness to their anger. It was hard not to feel my heartstrings pull because of their situation. I found the story an intriguing read.

Tied Up With Green


Title: Tied Up With Green
Author: Becca Dale
Publisher: Phaze
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-177-2
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

It’s tough being a career woman in a man’s world. Trea Daniels has dealt with the put-downs and the sexual advances with strength and determination. She’ll play their game but by her own rules and show them all just who wears the trousers around here, starting with her boss, Jason Green. What she wouldn’t give to see Jason restrained and begging for mercy.

Gorgeous, intelligent and oozing masculinity, Jason has woman falling at his feet but it seems all his attention is focused on one particular employee. He has admired Trea’s work ethic and ability to cope with all the hassles she faces but it doesn’t hurt that she is the stuff of fantasies. He’s certain she is interested but he will have to play things just right if he ever wants to see Trea Daniels taking orders outside of the office.

Tied Up With Green is a hot and heavy battle of wills from the start. Trea feels the need to put up a strong façade in the workplace. She can’t give an inch to her male colleagues but she enjoys the daily power struggles of the office. She’s willing to give as good as she gets and I couldn’t help but admire the woman for it. I loved the struggle between her and Jason. Jason is a man perfectly willing to submit to a strong woman and that is a very attractive quality in the character. The chemistry between the two is electric and the sex scenes left me more than a little hot under the collar. I was a little disappointed by the way in which the battle was ultimately resolved but with mind games and office politics galore mixed with a healthy serving of kink and heat, I definitely recommend Tied Up With Green.

The Curse Of The Pharaoh's Manicurists


Title: The Curse Of The Pharaoh's Manicurists
Author: Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
Genre: {M/M} Historical Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Charlie Doyle has just graduated from Dartmouth and after leading the quiet life of a student, he’s ready to move on to the adult phase of his life. He wants something new…a little excitement, which explains why he responds to an ad for an assistant to Edward Kilsby, Lord Withycombe; famous English WWI flying ace. Not only does Charlie get to put his new journalism degree to good use, but he gets to travel and experience adventures in the far-away lands he’s only dreamed of. What more could he want?

Within days after he’s hired, Charlie and Edward head off to London but they don’t stay in England long. Renowned archeologist, Sir Alexander Spencer has disappeared from a dig site near the Saqqara necropolis and Edward’s been hired to travel to Egypt and find him. Thus begins Charlie’s first taste of life as a secretary, traveling companion and friend. It also introduces him to things he never expected. London society, wild Paris nightlife, a dangerous ex-fiancé, a kidnapping, malaria, the Valley of the Kings, spirits, death, afterlife, and a wild return trip on the Orient Express. He also gets something else he never expected. The love and partnership of a good man…if they can survive a few mummies come to life and the anger of Anubis.

The Curse Of The Pharaoh’s Manicurists is the first book by authors Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and after this first taste of their writing talent, it won’t be my last.

Edward and Charlie are both endearing characters in their own way, and it would be difficult to decide which my favorite is. On the surface, it doesn’t appear that these two are compatible in the least. They come from different countries, educational levels, age, life experience and social status. Yet the authors have skillfully woven Charlie and Edward together, showing that underneath the surface, they are alike in the areas that matter most. I appreciated the slow build-up of their relationship, allowing their emotional connection to bind them together long before they consummated it physically.

Sparrow and Brooks have created a fast-paced and fun read and for a lover of ancient Egyptian history, a real gem, filled with rich details and vivid descriptions of an earlier age. I loved the whirlwind tour of London, the quick flight over the channel to Paris in a WWI fighter bomber, and the visit to the Parisian dance hall girls. All these and others are what bring the European historical part of this unique and interesting story to life.

As much as I enjoyed the entire story, and the rich secondary characters, I liked the parts after Edward and Charlie headed out into the desert on camel back the best. This is where the paranormal aspects of the story started, propelling an already quick-moving story forward even faster. The scenes in the Valley of the Kings and those with the mummies and Anubis are great, and filled with action and danger, providing rich historical details with flair, personality, and fun.

I, for one, would like to see more of adventures of lovers, Charlie and Edward, again in the future. Hint! Hint!

Brier’s Bargain


Title: Brier’s Bargain
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-28-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Gay
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Brier Blackstone is ready for the people around him to see him as a man, regardless of the brain damage he received as a small child. While he understands their concern, he cannot help but to feel hurt by their lack of faith in his abilities. The one good thing about his life is finding love with bodyguard Jackson Benoit. When he learns of Jackie’s injuries in the line of duty, Brier is sure there is only one thing that can get his lover back home, prayer.

Jackie knows he is a fortunate man. He has a man who loves him, good friends and a secure job. He refuses to wallow in misery over his injury and wants to enjoy life once again.

Brier wants to be a better man and if that means facing his past demons, he is willing to do so. Jackie wants to be a better lover and friend to the man who controls his heart. Will the two men find a middle ground before it’s too late?

Carol Lynne starts the new Bodyguards in Love series with a bang. Brier’s Bargain takes us back to the men we’ve come to love and delivers Brier and Jackie’s story. It was nice to see Brier take a stand. With each new event, he took a firmer stand and you could feel his emotions pouring off the pages. His tenacity proved the naysayers around him were wrong. While I could understand his brother’s way of thinking, I was truly ready to kick him in the knee a time or two. Jackie’s fear of losing Brier touched me. The story proves you can find love if you look past a person’s shell and learn to look at their heart. And Brier has the biggest heart and a deepest devotion to those he cares for. I found this story a joy to read and look forward to the next installment in this series.

Obsession of Jayde


Title: Obsession of Jayde
Author: Eliza Gayle
Publisher: Loose-Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737- 424-4
Genre: {M/FM} Ménage, {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Jayde has inherited her grandmother’s bakery and apartment building after her death. Another thing her grandmother left her is a beautiful moonstone necklace that Jayde decides to wear constantly.

Marc and Anthony are the protectors of the one who has the necklace. They see Jayde and realize they want her to be their third - not just be Jayde’s protectors. The fact that Jayde is wearing the necklace is worrisome to them, as they know the chaos that will come about if she continues.

While Obsession of Jayde is a good story, I felt that there should have been a little more information about the necklace’s background and exactly what it could do. Marc and Anthony realize that Jayde doesn’t believe them. Jayde is very insecure and is amazed that Marc and Anthony want her. The sex scenes between Marc and Anthony as well as between Marc, Anthony and Jayde will require lots of ice.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One Shot


Title: One Shot
Author: Rowan McBride
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-439-8
Genre: {M/M} LGBT Science Fiction
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Who knew one shot could change your life in the blink of an eye - surely not Nick Carlyle. Nick manages the global consolidation group for his corporation. His passion for numbers and ability to stay calm under pressure makes Nick more of an asset than he could realize. He won’t test the boundaries, regardless of how strong his desire is for a subordinate.

Who could imagine that fate would give you one shot at the man of your dreams? Riley Jameson has lusted after Nick since the first day they met. The handsome man’s intelligence captivated Riley from the start. Unfortunately, Nick is his boss and Riley wants more than quick glances.

Along comes a universal flu shot that changes both men, transforming the Nick from silent observer into stalked prey.

Being a tall woman, I never consciously consider how height could factor into a person’s life until I read One Shot. Rowan McBride takes us into the lives of Nick and Riley. What I love about this story is that it makes both of these characters take stock into their strengths. The men evolve over the course of this tale, becoming more aware of their abilities, accepting what is unchangeable and finally learning to fight for what’s important. Seeing Riley take charge had me squirming in my seat. He was so different from the man you first encounter, but his underlying character never changed. I think it made me like him that much more, that under the tiger dwelled a very tame teddy bear. Nick had my heart breaking when the ramifications hit him. However, spunk and determination to move forward made me rooting for him! The story is set primarily in an office setting, which allowed me to remember what role each man played and compounded the couple’s power struggle. There weren’t a great deal of erotic moments, but when presented, they are full of passion and raw magnetism. Definitely toe-curling action worthy of a cold drink and a blast from a fan. I found One Shot to be a fantastic read - buy a copy, you won’t be disappointed!

Dash and Dingo


Title: Dash and Dingo
Author: Catt Ford and Sean Kennedy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-067-3
Genre: {M/M} Historical Adventure
Rating 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

It’s 1934, and Henry Percival-Smythe is a quiet and unassuming man who loves his job as a researcher in the archives section at Ealing College in London. He’s also gay, in the closet, has a disapproving titled father, few friends and is obsessed with the Thylacine, better known as The Tasmanian Tiger. The strange mammal’s been hunted to near extinction by the Tasmanian government, but Henry’s certain a few might still exist and he wants to be the man to find them.

When Dingo Chambers arrives unexpectedly from Australia, Henry doesn’t know what to think of the loud, boisterous and overbearing man, who charges in and tries to take over his life. The man even hangs a new moniker on Henry within minutes of their initial meeting…Dash, for the hyphens between the two portions of his last name. Dingo’s determined to save the remaining Thylacine and he wants Henry to help him, and won’t take no for an answer. It doesn’t take long for Henry to realize that what Dingo wants, Dingo gets.

To my knowledge, Dash and Dingo is the first book co-authored by Catt Ford and Sean Kennedy and I hope it won’t be their last. In fact, I’ve heard rumors that this book is the first in a new series featuring the adventuresome duo and if true, I can’t wait for the new release.

As much as I like Dingo, Henry is a more interesting character, which is why it made sense for most of the story to be told in his viewpoint. After being raised in a straight-laced household, he surprises himself by going off on an exotic adventure of a lifetime. His personality has the most growth potential and I loved his huge sense of wonder with everything he learns and experiences while with Dingo on their travels. And grow Henry did. The authors did a wonderful job, and at a believable pace, changing him from a timid lonely mouse into a hardy explorer, with a devoted lover.

The authors have done an equally wonderful job of world-building. They skillfully made 1934 come alive with great descriptions and vivid details, giving the reader a good look into the society of the day, unfair aboriginal treatment and the difficulty traveling, whether by freight plane or ship. Having always been interested in history, Dash and Dingo was a gem and was not only well-written and plotted…it was fast-paced, fun and filled with lively dialogue.

Despite their obvious love of Dingo, one thing I did question was the Chamber’s family ready acceptance of his sexual preference, especially considering the era in which the book takes place. It just seemed a little too easy but then we never see what happened initially, so all might not have been as smooth as it appears here. As secondary characters, Dingo’s family are wonderful additions to the storyline and give it depth, love and Dash the sense of belonging he’d never felt in his own family. And Dingo…he was willing to share anything he had with Dash; his family, body and his life.

Please be aware that the ending of the book when our villain takes a more active role…well, it’s pretty gruesome, so take this as a warning.

Night Shift


Title: Night Shift
Author: Jenna Byrnes
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-17-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Action /Adventure
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Chicago has a new murder, and the South Side’s normal amount of danger has drastically increased. Homicide Detective Cullen Ryder knows finding the culprit is important, but discovering that the chief has formed a task force to handle the case leaves Ryder a bit flustered.

Vice Detective Trevor Stone is heading the new task force. With his killer body and looks, Ryder knows the man will be the next start of his late night wet dreams. The two begin their interaction on a clearly wrong note, but soon Stone and Ryder learn they have more in common than they ever could have expected.

Night Shift mixes action, suspense and a healthy dose of erotic roll play to create an impressive read. I’ll just admit at first, I didn’t think Stone deserved Ryder. More importantly, I didn’t think Stone’s ego would move over enough to allow anyone else into his heart. His attitude, at first, reminded me of why I don’t like some men. The arrogance and self-important attitude just put me on edge. I understood Ryder and sympathized with him. He sure didn’t win any jackpots, besides in bed, when he first gained Stone’s eye. However, eventually, it all settled down, allowing the men to move forward. The men prove that your partner doesn’t have to be perfect, just perfect for you. Jenna Byrnes has written yet another entertaining story sure to please her fan base, while drawing new readers.

Prime Obsession


Title: Prime Obsession
Author: Monette Michaels
Publisher: Liquid Silver
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578- 580-0
Genre: {M/F} Science Fiction
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Captain Melina Dmitos comes to the aid of the Galactic Alliance’s newest allies, the Prime, when her ship receives a distress call. The Prime are dying out because of the lack of fertile mates. Melina later finds out she is one of the “lost ones”, Prime’s that left Cejuru Prime during a particularly bad war, and had been adopted by her Terran parents.

The Caradoc’s are the leading family on Prime. Wulf Caradoc is the eldest son and knows he will probably be the last of his family until Melina comes to his ship’s rescue. Melina turns out to be his mate, as well as a battle-mate.

Monette Michaels has created a wonderful futuristic world in Prime Obsession, book one in the Prime Chronicles series. She takes you right into the story when you join the journey that Melina and Wulf take as they battle enemies of the Alliance and Prime, as well as the rebels on Cejuru Prime. Melina and Wulf are two strong people that are used to making decisions and who must now learn to trust each other. One of the reasons I really liked this story was that Ms. Michaels kept throwing twists into the mix that kept you constantly on your toes wondering how things would be resolved. I am so looking forward to the next book about the Caradoc Family.

Shell Shocked


Title: Shell Shocked
Author: Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks
Publisher: Pink Petal Books
Publisher URL: http://www.pinkpetalbooks.com/
ISBN: 9780982543566
Genre: {M/M} Pagan Inspirational
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

For Sean Dempsey, coming home from Iraq with artificial knees and scorched retinas is a tiny portion of his problems. However, it’s his panic attacks are the icing on the cake. The medicine needed for those and his constant pain has Sean feeling trapped and alone at times. Nevertheless, one trip to his local clinic is about to change his life.

Gabriel Herne has his own troubles, but he doesn’t allow life to get him down as it once had. A legless existence has made life hard for Gabe, but he muddles through and is thankful for each blessing as it comes. His latest blessing is in the form of a former soldier, Sean.

Sean and Gabe have a rocky road ahead of them, but with time, patience and love, the two men will come out better than anyone ever imagined.

I have to say that Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks never cease to amaze me with their stories and themes. I can always look forward to a bit of originality, mixed in with some tough life lessons in their books, as demonstrated by their newest release Shell Shocked. It was hard to choose which of these two characters I loved the most. Each of them had their share of baggage and I’ll admit I was humming Erykah Badu while reading this book. I seriously doubted their friendship could grow into a lasting relationship and was I ever wrong. The way they sought out their strengths and combined them without consciously doing it was something to behold. In addition, regardless of their less than ideal situations at times, they refused to let the other suffer. Gabe’s beliefs suited him and while it adds flavor to the telling of their tale, it doesn’t make the story about religion. I loved how it was incorporated in strategic locations, which to me symbolized its importance. Faith is a valuable tool that can help you float even during rough tides. These men had faith in love, their Gods and each other. This was definitely a feel good book for me. It proved that life might take away something you hold valuable, but you always get something twice as important in return.

If you’re looking for a romance with a twist, then you’ll love Shell Shocked.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Three Wrong Turns in the Desert


Title: Three Wrong Turns in the Desert
Author: Neil Plakcy
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-436-7
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

When Aidan Greene decided to work as an ESL teacher in Tunisia, he thought it would be a way to reclaim his life. Aidan didn’t expect to find days filled with danger and nights filling the arms of Liam McCullough.

Liam is a former Navy SEAL turned bodyguard. His once-closeted life as a gay man is still not completely open because of the beliefs in Tunisia about gays, but more open than it once was. Liam doesn’t have close friends and he likes working alone or he did, prior to meeting Aidan.

Aidan and Liam will have to use all their skills to evade danger and rendezvous with their Tuareg tribe contacts.

Neil Plakcy’s Three Wrong Turns in the Desert takes two men on a journey where one discovers his hidden strengths, and the other a lover he would be willing to commit to.Their differences make Aidan and Liam such a fantastic couple to read and watch. Aidan has a heart of a daredevil locked inside his tight little body. He is a cross between Martha Stewart and James Bond, able to arrange your flowers, cook a great meal, and help you escape dangerous situations. Liam is strong of mind and body. He has sheltered himself from hurt so long that he has no defenses left after Aidan starts to draw him in. I knew if anyone could break down Liam’s armor while enthralling the larger man, then it had to be Aidan. There is a multitude of sides to Aidan; his tenacity is too strong to overcome. The opening scenes drew me in and I knew I was in for a treat. The fast-paced story never slows down. The conflict and build up of the two men’s relationship was believable, and will have you on the edge of your seat. I’m looking forward to reading more form this author in the near future.

Just for You


Title: Just for You
Author: Jet Mykles
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-446-6
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Kevin has some great ideas for work; only his supervisor is making it impossible to see the bosses. When a gay man makes a pass at him, Kevin comes up with a plan that brings him more than he hoped for.

Justin is always picking the wrong guys. When he passes a gorgeous man while on his lunch break, he falls head over heels. But will it last or is this just another one of his bad mistakes?

“Gay for you” stories is just what it sounds like. One of the characters is straight with absolutely no desire to have a relationship with someone of the same sex. Then the new character comes in and there is an instant attraction, leaving the straight character questioning their sexuality. Sometimes the change goes smoothly, while other times it causes problems for everyone. If you like “gay for you” stories then you will love Jet Mykles' Just for You.

The characters have that classic Jet Mykles feel to them. Kevin is the straight quite one while Justin is gay, comfortable with who he is, and slightly dominate. Their attraction is obvious from the beginning, yet, with Kevin being straight there is some angst involved. The two men however pull you into the story from the beginning, making you care about them and what they are going through. The author rounds out the story by bringing in several key secondary characters, some of whom are there to help, others to cause problems, yet all help move the story along. This is a great story and one I will be reading again.

Damned by Blood


Title: Damned by Blood
Author: Evie Byrne
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-757-7
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Mikhail Faustin is the Prince of the Vampyr in New York and he is as cold as ice when dealing with offenders. The heavy weight of a lost love Mikhail carries around with him has him thinking he’s supposed to be alone because of it. It will keep him from mating with other women and he has nothing to offer anyone else, other than his true love. When he is told that Alya Adad is his destined bride, and the cause of his misery, he knows their fate is sealed. He does what no one expects, and finds himself learning more of his true self.

Alya Adad is a powerful woman, born a vampire, and she is a prince in her own right on the west coast. She isn’t going to let any man, especially Mikhail Faustin, take her by force or any other means. Murder is at the top of her list for control of other territories, and she is ready to take from him what he would of her. From her past life of being controlled, she is determined to never let that happen to her again, and Mikhail is who she would choose for a mate.

Dammed by Blood is the third book in the Faustin Brothers series and I have waited to read about Mikhail’s downfall to love. This story turned out to be even more of a challenge for the powerful prince and I am really impressed with his behavior throughout the entire book, of the control he had over his emotions. The plot flowed along very nicely, and there is a twist to it that I didn’t expect, but enjoyed learning.

With the history of how these two characters started out made the story more realistic for me and once they entered into the sexual needs of each other, there was no stopping. There is an added touch, which I won’t reveal here, but you will not be disappointed reading this book. Ms. Byrne did a wonderful job of bringing to life a very powerful story of love lost and finding it again much later.