Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reparation in Blood


Title: Reparation in Blood
Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-935192-32-9
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy/Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

The war with the dark wizards continues and numerous members of both sides have fallen in the vicious magical fighting. Things turn dire for the Alliance when two dark wizards somehow manage to capture vampire, Orlando. Knowing Orlando can’t survive long without the blood of his lover makes Alain and their friends desperate to find him before its too late.

In need of help, Jean and others seek the assistance of the oldest and wisest vampire in the city of Paris, vampire master Christopher Lombard and for the first time in centuries, he comes out of his self-imposed seclusion. Finding a partner in the leader of the Alliance, Christopher joins the fight against the dark forces bent on the destruction of the members of the paranormal community and all humans.

Things are falling apart in the dark wizard stronghold and their leader, Serrier, is more dangerous and erratic with each passing day. Eric, who’s been on the side of the dark wizards, takes a chance at redemption with a decision that could affect them all. Does he and his lover, Vincent, help the tortured Orlando escape before it’s too late or does he let him die?

Reparation in Blood is the fourth and last installment of Ariel Tachna’s Partnership in Blood series and it takes up immediately where the previous release left off. The books in this series build on each other, so it is vital that they be read in order to understand the dark wizards, the battle, and the wildly different dynamics between the numerous wizard/vampire pairings. If you love paranormal tales, then give this outstanding series a try.

All the books in this series are well-written, and the plot flows easily from one to another. The world-building continues to be exceptional, the characters interesting, and the partnerships between wizards and vampires exciting and sexy. Ms. Tachna has done a wonderful job expanding the relationships of the couples we’ve come to know and love and despite the multitude of characters, their integration into the plot is seamless.

Not surprisingly, there’s lots of action between the two groups of wizards in this series-ending book. The overall plot is fast-paced, and it only moves faster as it nears the final battle. There were a few twists and turns which I didn’t expect (and which will remain hidden here), but in the context of the story arc, they make perfect sense.

Another thing I enjoyed was Ms. Tachna’s ending. Instead of finishing the book at the culmination of the battle, she gave us page after page of wind-down. We get to see the characters return to their normal lives, to rebuild, and move on. It definitely gives a good sense of closure to a world and group of people many have come to love.

Open Proposal


Title: Open Proposal
Author: Rosemary Gunn
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-576-3
Genre: {F/F}, {F/M/F}, {M/F/F} Contemporary, Ménage
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Samantha never knew she could love a woman as much as she does Eve. Unlike Eve, Sam has experience with men but has found true happiness and satisfaction with the woman who shares her bed. However, when Eve introduces sex toys to the relationship, Sam can’t help the desires that resurface. Eve isn’t hurt by Sam’s need but hates to see her lover unfulfilled so decides to invite the one man Eve knows will step in when the women need him most.

Roman has considered Eve his best friend since childhood. He’s glad she has found happiness with Sam and would do absolutely anything to keep her happy, regardless of the cost to him. When he receives a telephone call from his closest friend and her lover requesting something that he had only ever dreamt of, he can’t believe his ears. He knows the dangers of accepting the offer but lust and arousal win out over logic and the trio set a date to meet up. Eve and Sam are more than a little surprised Roman said yes but now that things have been set in motion, Roman isn’t the only one dealing with conflicting emotions.

One word best describes the relationship between Sam, Eve and Roman in Open Proposal – complicated. With such intense, long suppressed feelings hanging heavy in the air whenever they are together, I couldn’t see this ending without someone getting really hurt. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The passion among the trio was absolutely sweltering and it was wonderful to witness the characters’ worlds only truly being complete when they finally open up and are honest with one another. I have read little with F/F couplings and although I did thoroughly enjoy reading about Sam and Eve’s relationship, I did find it difficult to keep track of who was doing what to whom. I thought the introduction of a male character would help but I still found it hard picturing what was being described. Although this detracted a little from my enjoyment, the strength of character and plot far outweighed this and the intensity of the emotions sizzling between three likable characters makes me recommend this to all fans of the genre.

Knight Dreams


Title: Knight Dreams
Author: C. C. Wiley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-674-7
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Welshwoman Terrwyn possesses skills not exactly befitting a woman of her time. Her skill with a bow and her dreams of the future can’t help her brother, though, when the English king’s army calls. Terrwyn sets off to find him and, while posing as a man in the army ranks, ends up shackled together with an English knight. Forced into the company of her sworn enemy, she finds Sir James Frost may know how to find her brother, but he also holds much more: the key to her heart.

Sir James Frost trusts no one, save the king. He especially doesn’t trust the person he’s chained to, but the Welsh maiden Terrwyn inadvertently works her way into his heart, and soon James is torn between duty to the Crown, and the promise of true love.

Knight Dreams is a sweet, riveting tale of medieval romance between two who should be enemies: a Welsh woman and an English knight. Terrwyn is feisty and definitely not a wilting flower of a maiden. She’s strong and determined, and she carries a sense of honor about her worthy of any knight. James, despite not trusting her, is endearing in his love and care for her, and his willingness to fight for her.

This is my first book from C. C. Wiley, but if Knight Dreams is any indication, it won’t be the last. I love the time period, and Wiley did a wonderful job in bringing out the best (and at times, the worst) of love and war in the Middle Ages.

Siren Song


Title: Siren Song
Author: Roberta Gellis
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 978-1-41992-142-1
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

William of Marlowe has obeyed his father all his life, until it came time to marry but Elizabeth was not the choice by his father. After his father told him she had married another, his bitterness was great, because they had promised to hold out. That only lead to years of loneliness for him; even after his wife had died, leaving him to raise his daughter alone.

Elizabeth’s marriage to Mauger was not her choice - she was lead to believe by her father that William didn’t want her. She and William have known each other since childhood, and expected marriage to each other without any interference. Knowing that Mauger had mistresses in the keep, Elizabeth is happy to be relieved of servicing him now that she had given him an heir and a spare.

This story starts off with secrets, deceit, and loyalty. Siren Song moves at a fast pace, and before I knew what happen, their lives changed. There is definitely more than one plot going on here, with one vicious villain, who’s determined to take out anyone who would interfere with his goals. I was very impressed with William’s ability to suppress his emotions for another man’s wife and still be around her.

Ms. Gellis has given quite a bit of history surrounding the characters, making each scene more realistic. I was not surprised at the behavior of the King of England, who seemed to be at odds with all his subjects; thank goodness for the Queen. This is the first book in the Royal Dynasty series, and I am looking forward to reading more about Raymond and Alys.

Bondage Betrayal




Title: Bondage Betrayal
Author: Lila Dubois
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578- 609-8
Genre: {M/F} BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Savannah and Roman have spent the last five years apart, thinking that they had been betrayed and left by the other. They had started exploring the BDSM lifestyle and made the mistake of going to a weekend party to learn more, experiment together and have a little fun until the host decided he wanted Savannah for himself.

Savannah is a sculptress and has made a name for herself. An architect friend of Roman’s has asked her to design a sculpture for a building owned by Roman. Neither is aware that they will cross paths and have to face their past.

This book is extremely intense. As you read Bondage Betrayal, you are drawn right into the story as Savannah. I felt like everything she was going through was happening to me. Some of the scenes between Savannah and Roman will have you going for the ice and cold showers. I have to give kudos to the author for giving you a glimpse of how a single situation within the BDSM world can go wrong. This book will keep your heart pounding and in your throat. This is one for the bookshelf.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dream Lovers of Gargoyle Castle


Title: Dream Lovers of Gargoyle Castle
Author: Sally Painter
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419925672
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Tessa McMurray is rebuilding her life, and what better way to start over than renovating a castle. With the help of Amy, her best friend, she is having the adventure of a lifetime. The work restoring the castle wears them out during daytime and their handsome dream lovers tap the rest of their energy at night. With castle legends and gargoyles that won’t stay stationary, these women have enough on their plates, but they will soon have to decide what they are willing to do for true love.

Sally Painter knows her gargoyles. Each of her men is always sexy and willing to go that extra mile in and out of his mate’s bedroom. Tessa and Amy have different personalities that keep the tale interesting and flowing, with very few bumps along the way. While each is determined when it comes to the project, they approach love differently. Tessa seems to fall in love with falling love, while Amy wants proof before committing. Their yummy dream lovers will truly make you want to join the mile high club. Dream Lovers of Gargoyle Castle is a great addition to the gargoyle stories, and will be a great read for those who enjoy paranormal erotica.

Seducing Maggie


Title: Seducing Maggie
Author: Sage Burnett
Publisher: Total E-Bound Publications
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907010-65-1
Genre: {M/F} Short Historical/Western
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Since the loss of her husband, Maggie McKean has had to take care of herself. It’s a hard, dangerous struggle for a woman to survive the harsh Montana prairie alone but she’s done it with pride and dignity. When drifter Rafe Jacob comes looking for shelter for the night, Maggie is more than a little wary of the stranger. She never knew that just the sight of a strong, powerful man or the sound of his authoritative voice could turn her into a quivering wreck of emotions and she does not like it one bit. She’s certainly glad she has her shotgun beside her because she has a sneaking suspicion this man is going to stop at nothing to entice her closer…

Seducing Maggie was just my cup of tea. At just the right length, I got a feel for the characters’ pasts, their daily struggles and the passion that can be ignited when least expected. Maggie has known the advantages that come from having a husband to protect and provide but has never fully understood the pleasure that go hand-in-hand with having a loving, giving partner in the bedroom. The way Maggie’s deceased husband is first portrayed led me to believe this was the story of a woman torn between remaining faithful to her lost love and the temptation laid down by Rafe, a drifter with a wicked look in his eyes. As the story progressed however, I see that although Maggie’s late husband went through the motions, he was severely lacking in emotion.

Rafe is Maggie’s second chance at experiencing the ecstasy two people can reach together, if she is finally willing to put herself before her upbringing. This was a fantastic path to take two likable, interesting and passionate characters down. I highly recommend fans of the genre read Rafe’s steamy attempts at Seducing Maggie.

Pulse


Title: Pulse
Author: Kate Hill
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-131-2
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Marc Claudius is a simple Roman soldier with a desire to become a great leader. Meeting the woman he is destined to love and protect changes that to a distant memory. Marc knows his Kushite noblewoman is more important than Rome. Their love will be tested, but Marc is willing to wait for the woman of his dreams, even if it takes two thousand years to gain her love once again.

Amina Banyon enjoys history especially the period where Rome and Egypt battled so fiercely. The first night Amina meets Marc she knows he’s no ordinary man. Her attraction to the student is beyond anything she has ever felt. Will Amina give Marc a chance to introduce her all the passion and love she has waited for, or will she fight the attraction?

Pulse, book 4 in the Mate Marks series, is a well-written tale about destiny and desire. Marc is a man of honor and discipline. His willingness to protect and love Amina goes way past the use of magic. The magic allows them to reconnect thousands of years later, but his love formed in the beginning is the foundation. Ms. Hill has created two fascinating characters in this well-plotted story. I love how she mixes history with the modern world to spin this tale, and look forward to reading more of her stories in the near future.

Beautiful Viking


Title: Beautiful Viking
Author: Steve Sampson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-084-0
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Eric has been wondering for some time whether he is gay. When he finds a flyer advertising an afternoon dance, he decides to find out, once and for all. He does not expect to find someone like Nick or to want to spend every minute possible with his new friend.

It does not take long for Nick to realize the gorgeous man in front of him is new to the gay lifestyle. Unfortunately there's just something about Eric that Nick can't seem to stay away from.

If you read Saving Trevor then you will remember Eric and Nick. In this prequel by Steve Sampson, the author brings us the story of these two strong individuals. Eric is just coming to terms with the fact that he may be gay and is, at times, shy and uncertain. Nick, on the other hand, is confident with who he is and is more than willing to help Eric out. While the men are drawn to each other from the very beginning, the reaction of those around them affects their lives in a variety of ways. The author does a wonderful job bringing across the emotions, both positive and negative, of all those involved. As their story unravels, the reader will gain a better understanding of the men's actions in the previous story. Beautiful Viking is a wonderful story and one prequel that should not be missed.

Alexandra’s Legacy




Title: Alexandra’s Legacy
Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-803-1
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

For all Alexandra’s life, it’s always been just her and her father, James, against the world. At age twenty-two she leads a normal, if boring life, working with her Dad at his garage. One day, in the blink of an eye, everything Alex knows and loves changes with the arrival of Joshua Striker. She learns her father has kept an important truth hidden from her. He’s the former Alpha of Wolf Clan Pack and she’s a half-breed werewolf. As the enforcer for the same pack her father left, Joshua’s job is to protect her from the male wolves bent on taking her as mate.

Keeping Alex safe, as they travel from Chicago to the pack compound in North Carolina, isn’t easy with werewolves and human bounty hunters hot on their tail. Joshua knows he’s in trouble the first time he scents Alex and his desire for her only gets stronger the longer they remain together. As much as he wants to take her as his mate, he knows the distraction could get them injured, or worse, killed. Claiming her will have to wait. Hopefully they’ll survive the journey.

Alexandra’s Legacy is the first in a new series, Legacy, by author N.J. Walters. I can truthfully say it’s a great werewolf book, with the potential for being a wonderful series, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next release. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal romances…werewolves in particular.

The story is well-written, has a smooth intriguing plot, and the background information is placed within the tale seamlessly. It starts fast and only moves faster, until it’s racing at breakneck speed, as the trip across country gets more dangerous the closer Joshua and Alex get to their destination. These two characters fit the mold of Alpha wolves perfectly…loyal, sexy, determined, deadly fighters, and passionate. When this werewolf couple gets together, watch out for the flames.

Blood and Roses


Title: Blood and Roses
Author: Aislinn Kerry
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-825-3
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Vampire Maikel van Triet just wants a meal and a day’s rest. To be the local vampire usually means no tranquil bedtime spent alone. His visit to a brothel brings him in touch with Arjen, a young man working at the establishment. Arjen wants nothing to do with vampires; having one in his bed is even less appealing. However, the coins promised are a decent night’s pay so Arjen decides to put his disdain for vampires on the backburner. It’s not as if he’s going to fall in love with Maikel, right?

Blood and Roses takes us into the lives of Maikel and Arjen, two very different men with a similar problem. People want them for the pleasure they offer, but no one sees past the transactions long enough to find someone worth loving. At first, I didn’t understand why Maikel was so fascinated with Arjen. Then I understood how lonely his life must be, to have people flocking to him for the wrong reasons. For once, Maikel found someone who wasn’t enthralled with him because he was a vampire. Arjen’s line of business makes it difficult to add feelings to any situation. There was a point where Maikel’s actions truly hurt him, but you see Arjen hold his head high and move forward with his life. He refused to give in and cry over the situation. I loved his strength and determination and had the upmost respect him at this point.

This well-plotted story has some interesting characters, but none overshadow that of our main two points of interest. The scenes between Arjen and Maikel are sensually charged. You can feel the emotions rolling off the characters and know without one word being uttered, they love each other. I truly enjoyed reading Aislinn Kerry’s Blood and Roses and hope to have more of her books as part of my collection in the near future.

Conquest


Title: Conquest
Author: S.J. Frost
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-089-4
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jesse wants to make it big in the music world. Unfortunately, the very talented musician has a hard time keeping band members. When a reclusive singer happens to hear Conquest playing at a local dive, he knows Jesse has just what it takes to hit it big.

Ethan can't believe what he's hearing. The last thing he expects to hear in the sleazy bar he's sitting in is the voice of an angel. Ethan is soon figuring out just how he can meet the man of his dreams.

I absolutely loved this story. Set in the music world, Conquest by S.J. Frost tells the story of Jesse and Ethan. These two are alike in many ways; both live for their music yet while Jesse is just starting out, Ethan is a veteran in the music world. While neither is willing to compromise on their music, both have made choices in their personal lives that leave them wondering if there is that someone special out there that's just for them. When these two meet face to face, the attraction is instantaneous and the author does a wonderful job bringing those feelings across to the reader. The fact that these two are soon living for the other is so clear to all those around them, which soon causes problems and made me want to smack some of the secondary characters upside the head. One of the things I enjoyed about this story was the lyrics the author has added to it. Conquest is one of those stories that you just can't wait to see how it ends, while at the same time, you don't want to leave the characters behind. Thankfully, the author has a sequel planned already. Hopefully, we will not have to wait long to see these two again.

Northern Lights


Title: Northern Lights
Author: Michelle Cary
Publisher: Amber Quill
Publisher URL: http://amberquill.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-553-9
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

From an early age, Brooke Hague has learned the hard way that letting people get close will only end up in heartache. A terrifying experience as a teenager caused her to flee her home, her family and her childhood. She fought hard to get her life back on track after testifying against the man who almost destroyed her but now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. All she wanted was to put the past to rest and move on. Brooke didn’t even tell her new friends, preferring to suffer the burden alone as she did not want to be pitied. Now the police want her under their protection and her friends are asking questions that Brooke can no longer avoid.

Nathan Lowery is no stranger to tragedy and can tell Brooke is a bundle of emotions inside, despite the calm exterior. He was attracted to Brooke from the moment his sister-in-law first introduced them but has felt stuck in the “friend zone” ever since. Suffice to say, his sister-in-law’s request that he take Brooke on as ship’s cook was quite a shock. Even more of a shock was Brooke’s acceptance of the offer. The Alaskan crab fishing season is hardly the place for the inexperienced, delicate Brooke but she seems to be able to trust Nathan. When the pressure of keeping her secrets becomes too much, stuck on a boat in the middle of the Bering Sea, away from the confines of the police and the potential danger from her attacker, might be just what she needs.

By far, the strongest aspect of Northern Lights is the setting. I was able to fully immerse myself in Brooke and Nathan’s lives and before I knew it, I was lost in the dangers endured and the passion Nathan and his crew have for their work. The atmospheric description of life onboard almost made me feel seasick at times and although I have never experienced crab fishing on the Bering Sea, the writing came across as very authentic with a lot of research put into getting things right.

The characters were believable; I cared for them and felt their pain as they had to deal with the trauma in their lives. The way in which both Brooke and Nathan’s past struggles are revealed slowly throughout the story was very well done and kept me intrigued throughout. The inner strength Brooke finds to face the nasty, vile man from her past was amazing and I was hoping for her happiness and closure throughout. Nathan, too, was a strong character although I feel there is more to his story that needs to be explored. This was certainly a book about Brooke moving on in her life and I’d like to see Nathan get the same kind of closure; something that hopefully will come easier with Brooke in his life.

The actual style of writing took a little getting used to, a shaky start with some strange use of language interfered slightly with the initial enjoyment but I soon got used to it and was able to fully loose myself in Brooke and Nathan’s story aboard the Northern Lights.

Retribution


Title: Retribution
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-057-6
Genre: {M/M/M} Paranormal, Ménage
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

It’s been a long time since Daniel lost his Coyote pack and the former king still feels anguish and regret over their deaths. While he wouldn’t begrudge anyone love, his despair increases as hopes of finding a mate seem to diminish. However, Daniel won’t be able to claim love until he faces his past and does a bit of soul searching.

Guardian Ryker Allen has looked over Mother Earth’s shifter children for over a century. The loneliness he feels increases with each newly mated pair, but Ryker has a job to do and can only hope for the best. His feelings for Daniel are escalating with each passing day, but he knows he cannot mate a king, or can he?

Hakan is the guardian over the bird shifters, and answers directly to Father Sky. After living for over a thousand years, he appreciates the quiet of his isolated mountain. The guardian knows change is coming, and with the cryptic messages delivered by Father, preparing for the future may not be an easy task. However, the closer Daniel and Ryker come to the guardian, the more he is sure his future is tied to the two men.

Retribution is book two in the Refuge Shifters series. Daniel is the gentle member of this trio. His strength lies in his heart and soul and not in brawn. Ryker and Hakan both have a magnitude of power at their disposal. It scares Ryker at times, but Mother Earth was right for choosing him to guard those she loves. Hakan has lived longer than the two, and his hermit’s life worried me in regards to the two men approaching him for more. This was definitely an unfounded worry, because Hakan proved to be ready and able to allow the two men into his heart.

There are twists in this story. Some sweet surprises and others are melancholy revelations. Ms. Lynne has some interesting characters that we finally get background on in this installment. I can only hope they will have their own stories in the near future. Retribution has a combination of action, suspense, and sizzling erotic encounters that will keep the pages flying while you read the story.

Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld: The Awakening


Title: Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld: The Awakening
Author: Shakir Rashaan
Publisher: Kemi-Ka Publishing
Publisher URL: http://kemikauniverse.com/
ISBN: 978-0-578-01064-9
Genre: {M/F, F/F} Erotica
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Ramesses and Neferterri are preparing to attend a collaring ceremony of a new slave at Amenhotep’s estate, and are looking forward to a night out. When Ramesses is approached by a lady friend who wants to join his group of slaves, it may be a problem for her husband. Although the husband is a close friend to Ramesses, and a submissive himself, he still resists his wife’s actions.

Amenhotep is contemplating leaving his position as master of the BDSM group and start a new life elsewhere. He is accused of forcing one of his slaves, who came to him, and asked to be part of his group. It leads to Ramesses investigating what happened and clearing his friend of the charges. There is still another danger to Ramesses but he hasn’t figured it out yet. Because of Amenhotep’s new slaves’ jealousy it leads to more problems and when you are trying to be exclusive, that is not the kind of attention one wants.

It didn’t set well with the others of the group, and she will find that loyalty goes a long way with the members. Ramesses and Neferterri are at the center of everything going on, and I was very impressed with how they function as a couple. Ramesses is the liaison for the entire group and peacemaker for any trouble that arises for everyone involved. His own little group makes changes that was not expected and let’s throw in a plot against him and one of his close friends.

Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld: The Awakening revealed what goes on in the BDSM groups, and if you are not into pain or bondage, leave it alone. This is the first in the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld; who knows where the focus of the next story might be. I found the characters very interesting because they were determined to live normal lives and have a secondary persona to enjoy erotic pleasure in a different way. It showed that they are very trusting and pain/pleasure was at the top of their list. I loved the Egyptian theme and also the automatic loyalty/respect they had for the Dom/Dommes. Well, almost complete loyalty.
The author has a vivid imagination, and spun this tale very well for me. They made the scenes come to life, and had my respect for the safe words they used before going too far with some of the sessions. I thought that Ramesses and Neferterri handled every circumstance and worked through the rough situations beautifully each time. This reader was very impressed by the author, and wonder what they will come up with next.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Ghost Exterminator


Title: The Ghost Exterminator
Author: Vivi Andrews
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-718-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Life hasn’t been normal for Jo Banks since she started seeing ghosts at the age of six. Now as an adult, she’s at the top of her field and working as a Ghost Exterminator for Karmic Consultants. Jo loves her job…loves helping the ghosts find their way to the peaceful beyond, and the clients to find peace and quiet in a ghost free environment. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she arrives at her newest assignment and finds a Victorian jewel filled to the rafters with ghosts…and a gorgeous client who doesn’t believe in their existence.

Wyatt and Jo get off to a rocky start. He thinks she looks like a Goth Barbie and she thinks he has a stick…stuck up his spine. Events at the extermination give him a change of heart, when the spirits of two children wreck havoc. Now every time he relaxes or falls asleep, the kids come out to play; turning his life upside down with markers, bubble gum and other pranks he’d like to forget. His problems only get worse when Jo decides the ghosts have to go before Wyatt’s soul gets separated from his body. Unfortunately, just when she needs her ghostie exterminating abilities most, she discovers they’ve short-circuited, leaving Wyatt’s life and soul in danger.

Ghost Exterminator is the first full length release about the paranormal investigators of Karmic Consultants. I admit it. I like the premise for this paranormal series, and have great hopes that the author will continue to create characters and plots for additional books in the future.

Jo and Wyatt couldn’t be more dissimilar in personalities and life experiences and the author did a great job highlighting those differences, and changing their relationship from adversaries to lovers. The story is filled with intriguing primary and secondary characters, nice descriptions, realistic details, and fun, snappy dialogue.

I loved the ghost kids inhabiting Wyatt’s body and their pranks were perfect examples of the trouble little kids can get into, no matter the era. And let’s not forget the sex between Jo and Wyatt because it’s definitely hot.

More Than Blood


Title: More Than Blood
Author: Amanda Vyne
Publisher: Loose-Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.net/
ISBN: 978-1-60737- 444-2
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Gabrial Ferrar is following his former partner, as he thinks he may be involved with a blood ring, but stumbles upon an Incog operation instead. He steps in when Kel Sheridan is attacked as she is trying to make an arrest.

Kel is a crossbreed that knows what it is like to be outside the protection of the various Houses within the Vampire society. She is just as surprised and unhappy when it turns out she and Gabrial are bloodmates.

More Than Blood was a very different look into a vampire society. The author created an interesting one, though some of the differences within that society might have been expanded on a little. Ms. Vyne kept the story flowing with the suspense and mystery to the end. She brought you into the story, regardless of which character you identified with.

The heat and the relationship between Kel and Gabrial will melt ice and I, for one, would love to have Gabrial as a mate. Both have issues that they must overcome to be truly happy. Gabrial has additional angst as he has a duty to his family as well, but once he accepts the bond, is not willing to give Kel up. This is one story to add to the bookshelf and be read again.

Love Means...Courage


Title: Love Means...Courage
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-060-4
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

After losing his job, Len is unsure what he will be doing. When a friend tells him about her brother Cliff needing help, Len jumps at the job, even if he doesn't know anything about working on a ranch. Len can't believe that once again he will be working alongside his secret crush.

Cliff thought his life was set. He's working alongside his father on the family ranch, he has a beautiful wife, and a new baby boy. When tragedy strikes, Cliff isn't sure he will be able to survive. With the help of an old friend, Cliff soon sees that he has plenty of life to live.

Love Means...Courage is the prequel to Andrew Grey's previous story Love Means... No Shame. Set in the not so-distant past when being gay was even less accepted than it is now, this book tells the story of two men who gather the courage to accept who they are and go after a love that they cant deny. Although their lives took different paths after high school, the spark that was once there ignites again when Len and Cliff are brought back together. The character development is strong, allowing the reader to see the struggles the men are going through, not only with the start of a new relationship, but also trying to hold on to the family farm. The emotions of the men and their fear of being found out is understandable, given the time and area in which they live. With the telling of Len and Cliff's story, we are introduced again to the various family members and friends who made an appearance in the first story. We are also shown events that still have a hold on the family in the future.

While I enjoyed the story, for me, it was a little like trying to read a book after seeing the movie. The fact that I already knew how the future would turn out for these two kept it from being a great story. As it is a good story, however, those who read Love Means... No Shame will like this one as well. If you haven't read the first story I would suggest reading Love Means...Courage before moving on to Love Means...No Shame.

Sweet Oblivion 5: Elixir




Title: Sweet Oblivion 5: Elixir
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59596-446-5
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Michael and Wild Bill have put down roots of a sort, which isn’t always a good thing. When Michael wants to go back for his laptop, Bill isn’t so sure. He goes along anyway, and they end up in deeper trouble than they ever have been. Hunted by vamps, they manage to find refuge, but then Michael starts to change and Bill races to find help for him before it’s too late.

With Dr. Harmon and his live-in assistant Felice, Bill desperately searches for a way to save Michael’s life. It doesn’t help matters when Harmon offers Bill something he’s wanted for a long time: a chance to be human again. But will Bill take it?

Sweet Oblivion 5: Elixir is the fifth and final installment in the Sweet Oblivion series, and I mourned the end before I even read it. I adore Michael and Bill, and I love how this one is written--edge-of-the-seat action interspersed with entrancing love scenes.

As always, for me, Bill stole the show. Why do I love him so much? Oh, for things like this: Most people would’ve answered, “Surprise me.” But most people didn’t have Trouble with a capital “T” for a boyfriend.

How can you not love that attitude? I’ve read a lot of vampires, and Bill is one of my all-time favorites. He’s sexy in a grunge, bad boy way and his personality deliciously sarcastic and abrasive. Yet his love for Michael is soul-deep and while he’s not the sentimental type, it’s easy to see.

I pray Price will do more with the two of them. Until then, I’ll happily re-read all the stories.

Roan's Fall


Title: Roan's Fall
Author: Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-625-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Raised in an orphanage, Ansley has always been alone. She wants a better life for herself, and works long hours as a hair stylist, trying to save money for her own salon. When one of her regular clients, Roxie, comes in with the tallest, most gorgeous man she’s ever seen, Ansley’s smitten. She also can’t stop her instant reaction to the attractive hunk, but she knows he’s completely out of her league.

Protecting Roxie is a job Roan has trained for all his life, but following her into the hair salon makes him want to eat nails. Things change when he gets close to Roxie’s stylist, Ansley. The hard chemicals inside the salon might burn his nose, but they can’t block out his mate’s delicious scent. He knows that as a mortal, Ansley won’t understand why they’re drawn together and he has to fight his wolf, who wants to claim her as their mate. Now! To avoid scaring her, Roan’s determined to take things slow, but a wolf wants what a wolf wants, and sometimes the man is just along for the ride.

Roan’s Fall is the first release in Marisa Chenery’s new werewolf series Roxie’s Protectors and it takes up shortly after His She-Wolf Warrior left off.

Roan and Ansley are both great characters…interesting, lively and sexy. Their relationship is filled with passion and desire, and as with all mates, the desire to be together. The differences between their circumstances in life are handled well and the explanation of Ansley’s background is well-written, sad and heartwarming. Roan is a true protective alpha and Ansley, a spirited woman in search of love and a family.

Ms. Chenery did a nice job interjecting important primary and secondary characters from past releases into the plot of Roan’s Fall, giving this story a good sense of family, fun and continuity. She weaves a good tale of a wolf finding his one true mate, and the sexual desire that overwhelms them, but there was a disappointingly small amount of action and danger. The tale is definitely heavily weighted on Roan claiming his mate.

Sins of the Father


Title: Sins of the Father
Author: Anna O'Neill
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-831-4
Genre: {M/M} Historical
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

As a shinobi, there is one lesson everyone must learn; the mission is more important than your partner. Kaname understands the rule, but he doesn’t plan to follow it. When his young captain is injured, Kaname comes up with a plan to escape their enemies. Sora Sanada isn’t sure about the compromising position he will be placed in, and soon discovers how attracted he is to Kaname. However, a man of a disgraced family isn’t someone he should befriend, let alone wish to become his lover.

I’ve always enjoyed historical tales and Anna O'Neill’s Sins of the Father brings us an exciting story that is sure to delight readers. Kaname understands his past and while he doesn’t have the power to change people’s perceptions, he rises above the bitterness he encounters. Sora understands the ways of old, but would like to judge Kaname because of his actions and not those of his ancestors.

The plot and pace work for this well-written story. Ms. O’Neill’s characters are both believable and draw you into their personal dilemmas. With a touch of action, suspense, and perfectly timed erotic scenes, Sins of the Father is bound to leave you hoping for more. Read and enjoy.

Bite My Fire


Title: Bite My Fire
Author: Mary Hughes
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-680-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Elena O’Rourke has always wanted to follow in her father’s footstep and become a police officer. Now, she’s a probationary detective in her hometown, with a murder hanging over her head. It’s a case of solve the murder… and fast or lose her detective status. She has several things standing in the way. Nobody’s talking; she has more suspects than she can shake a stick at and gorgeous Bo Strongwell keeps turning up in places where she least expects him. Then there’s his strange apartment building and it’s even stranger inhabitants....which includes her sister and small niece, and so many unanswered questions, it makes her head spin.

Bo’s a sexy distraction Elena doesn’t need, but she can’t deny their attraction either or that his kisses and nibbles turn her knees to jelly. What she doesn’t know is that Bo is a master vampire, intent on keeping the people under his authority and the townspeople safe from rogue vampires. Together, Bo and Elena must struggle against their simmering attraction, while they hunt for a killer, and fight off a few vampires baddies, bent on destruction.

Bite My Fire is the second release in the A Biting Love series by author Mary Hughes. Once again, she’s written a fast-paced tale filled with intriguing characters, a colorful locale, snappy dialogue and plenty of sizzling hot sex. Even when the plot turned serious, it still manages to be fun and irreverent, and Elena’s antics caused more than a few chuckles.

The citizens of Meiers Corners are just as wacky and quirky as before and it was nice seeing Nixie’s character again, as well a few new and interesting additions to round out the town, and it’s cast of strange inhabitant. This is especially true of Elena’s dumb-as-a-rock partner, Dirk Ruffles, who apparently has the intelligence of a gnat. This clueless officer is hilarious and his inability to be hypnotized by a vampire great fun.

Triad


Title: Triad
Author: Cat Grant
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publisher URL: http://www.lyricalpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61650-104-4
Genre: {M/M/F} Contemporary Erotica
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Eric Courtland knows the importance of family. Moving to his Tuscan villa, and having an opportunity to marry Nick, has made his life with his wife Ally complete. However, the demands of work have caused the three to have to return to the United States. Their visit will include family emergencies and long forgotten enemies attempting to wreak havoc. They will soon learn nothing is powerful enough to separate the threesome.

Triad is Cat Grant’s fifth and final installment in the Courtland Chronicles. Each of the members of this marriage has matured over the years. While you will clearly see that they have become closer, you will also notice they have the typical marriage with moments of discord. Eric is never going to stop being controlling, I came to realize, but his motives are clearly focused on those he loves having a good life. Of all the characters, I would say he has grown the most. He no longer felt like a self-absorbed man but a husband and protector. The story has suspense and a few melancholy episodes that are sure to make you misty, but the new joys brought to the couple will take some of the sadness away. Cat Grant has written a wonderful ending to this series, and I’m beyond pleased with the final story.

Wild Angels


Title: Wild Angels
Author: Bethany Brown & Ashlyn Kane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-095-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

After being injured on the job, Detective Patrick Hawkins isn’t resting and hates to take pills, which means he isn’t recovering from his gunshot wound. His friend, Cam, buys a plane ticket and sends him to his ex-lover, Dr. Julian Piet, to recuperate for a month. Except Julian’s living with his boyfriend, Jack, which means Patrick’s staying in the guest room in a stranger’s house. Seeing the happy couple at all hours of the day and night makes Patrick depressed and lonely, or at least he is until he meets bartender, Brad Wilde. The two men get along wonderfully, even if Patrick does have self-esteem issues to deal with.

Life in the friendly small town takes a downward spiral when the little girl, Hallie, who lives next door, mysteriously disappears. Searching for her rallies the town and two couples together, but it also brings more problems; when the four men run across a decaying corpse in the woods.

Wild Angels is the third release in the ongoing Lost Boys and Love Letters series by authors Bethany Brown and Ashlyn Kane. Once again these two talented writers have constructed a well-written, plotted and realistic tale of M/M love in the modern world. In fact, this one is probably more true to life than most.

Nothing in life is smooth and uneventful and Patrick’s injury and chaotic recuperation period are two such examples. I enjoyed the slow build-up of the relationship between Brad and Patrick before it turns physical, and the authors do an equally nice job with the emotional aspect of their association. The touchie-feelie friendship of old lovers Patrick and Julian is a little odd, as is the ready acceptance of Julian’s new lover, Jack. Then there’s the sex. I don’t care if it’s between Patrick and Brad or Julian and Jack, it’s tender, caring and hot, hot, hot.

There is one near ménage scene where Patrick is an observer in Julian and Jack’s bedroom, so please be aware of its existence. Another unexpected twist was the disappearance of Hallie, and the subsequent townspeople fueled hunt for the little girl in the surrounding forest. Did I mention the bear?

The integration of characters from previous releases is handled nicely, and there are several new individuals introduced that I’d like to see get their own book in the future. Some readers might be put off with the ending, since it doesn’t give Brad and Patrick what we expect but an agreement to work through their problems is actually more realistic. I hope to see these two again in a future release.

Blood Slave


Title: Blood Slave
Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-32-0
Genre: {M/M} Vampire, BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Leland has a secret and trying to keep it from his friend Keats is no longer an alternative. When Keats turns up on clan property, Leland has no choice but to claim him as his blood slave, or let the other members have at him. Leland had no trouble sharing until he met Keats, and now he has to do everything in his power to make him into the perfect submissive blood slave, or hand him over to the others.

Kim Dare throws the heat up a notch with her latest book Blood Slave. Keats is definitely a brat, but the man knows the rules of being a submissive. Watching these two men create a wonderful erotically-charged humor-infused combination, I didn’t know if I should laugh at Leland’s predicament or cry for the man. It was clear he thought Keats was someone he wanted to keep around, but Keats’ behavior had me a bit nervous. I’m not sure if she has more planned for this duo, but I’ll be one of the first in line to see what happens next. If vampires, pushy bottoms and very dominant tops are your thing, then pick up a copy of Blood Slave.