Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Angel Moon


Title: Angel Moon
Author: Shayla Kersten
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419925146
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Terra shines like a beacon of light to both Angellums and Virkolans. Sorin wants to give his mate Teo that peace and tranquility, but it comes at a price. To gain the wealth needed for such an opportunity, they will have to claim the bounty on a renegade angel. Teo has only two loves…Sorin and his ship. The job is anything but easy and the enemy isn’t as easy to recognize as they would have hoped. Will they get the future they hoped for, or the future only they are strong enough to endure?

Shayla Kersten’s Angel Moon takes a bit of an old plot and adds sweet heat erotica and captivating characters, as only she could. There is so much more I want to learn about Teo and Sorin. While we are given a glimpse of their pasts (mostly Sorin’s), it only added to my thirst for knowledge. I could understand Sorin and Teo’s attraction and the dynamics of their relationship. Most of the story takes place in confined areas leaving the focus on the plot and resolution of key issues.

Ms. Kersten adds action and suspense to Angel Moon to keep the story interesting. While she does mix in supporting characters, they never distract from the main characters until the end. Those last pages are definitely a teaser, and I have a feeling Ms. Kersten will receive plenty of emails requesting a sequel for this well-written story.

Promises


Title: Promises
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-378-0
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Jared Thomas is lonely. Coda, Colorado isn’t a place a young gay man is likely to find the love of his life. In fact, the only other gay man in town is thirty years older and was once his teacher in high school. Living in the small town means living like a monk, but Jared loves being close to his family and the mountains and can’t imagine living any place else. In fact, the only time he left was to attend college, getting a degree in teaching, which has proved worthless in his homophobic hometown. Unfortunately, staying in Coda also means working in the family store and living alone, with only the possibility of occasional physical relief with another man, if he goes to another town to get it.

Newly hired Coda police officer, Matt Richards doesn’t know anything about Jared or his reputation. With common loves of professional football, hiking and mountain biking, the two men become good friends. In fact, Matt prefers Jared’s company to anyone else in town…and that includes all the single women. Despite the mixed signals he seems to be sending Jared, Matt claims he’s straight and even starts a relationship with Cherie, a woman in town, to prove it. There’s a lot standing in the way of Jared ever having a relationship with the man he loves…Matt’s affair with Cherie, his homophobic harassing co-workers at the police department, and an angry, belligerent and drunk father. Is there hope for these two men or will the outside pressures destroy their friendship and drive them apart forever?

Promises is the first book by Marie Sexton that I’ve had the chance to read and this entertaining romance was a great way to become acquainted with her writing skill. Be assured I’ll be looking for additional releases from this author in the future. Promises is written in first person…from Jared’s viewpoint, so I was often left wondering what was going on in Matt’s head and why he is doing some of the things he did. That being said, even if first person viewpoint books aren’t your cup-of-tea, I’d recommend you try this one.

There’s nothing fast moving about this well plotted book, so if you’re expecting a lust-driven rollercoaster ride from the first page to the last, then this gem of a book isn’t for you. However, if you enjoy a story that starts slowly as the men build their personal relationship, then you’ll probably enjoy this book. I’m not in any way saying that the plot is plodding or boring, far from it. In truth, it moves along at a reasonable and realistic pace; pulling in interesting secondary characters along the way, while allowing Matt and Jared to develop deep feelings for each other, before they hop into bed together.

I enjoyed seeing Matt stand up to his co-workers for Jared’s sake, and I think these scenes were some of my favorites. However, I think some of the best written were those involving Matt’s abusive father and down trodden mother, while visiting with Jared’s family over the holidays. It was so vividly described, you could almost see the disaster scene in your mind’s eye, or hear the venom dripping from the father’s drunken lips.

I’ll close before I reveal the dramatic final scenes. Rest assured that even though Matt’s buried deeply inside a huge walk-in closet, filled with obstacles, booby traps and several heavy locks, he finally manages to find his way out into the light of truth and right into Jared’s waiting arms; even if, at times, I didn’t think they’d ever get there. Read and enjoy!

Wary Were


Title: Wary Were
Author: Celia Kyle
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-658-6
Genre: {M/M/M} Shapeshifters
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

For Christian, being a shifter is hard enough but having dual animal weres makes his life difficult. His playful cat and aggressive wolf keep him on his toes. After an altercation, Christian heads to Strange Hollow to begin heeling.

He encounters two men, who make him want a normal life, and townspeople who welcome him in. Unfortunately, the evil from his past has hunted Christian down. Christian’s sanctuary becomes a battleground. Is there a way to stop the evil, or will it kill all those that Christian begins to hold dear to his heart?

Wary Were is Celia Kyle’s latest release. Christian is the balance that Jarek and Ethan need in their relationship. Jarek is the strong type that most fear because of his size. Ethan is quirky and has an excessive amount of energy. I needed a vitamin to keep up with him. However, he makes the story fun and definitely knows how to keep the men happy.

Wary Were has suspense, action, erotic encounters and a nice flow. The town’s mixture of characters that were touched on didn’t overshadow the story. I found the story enjoyable and look forward to reading more from Ms. Kyle in the future.

Beyond Meridian


Title: Beyond Meridian
Author: CC Bridges
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-883-3
Genre: {M/M} Sci-Fi Futuristic
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Captain Rick Raine is sitting alone at a table in a bar when a young man takes the seat across from Raine. He introduces himself simply as Karl and he is looking for Raine. Karl is on a mission to rescue the woman who saved him from a life of slavery and now needs his help. After listening to the business proposal, Raine agrees to take Karl on as a crewmember, along with contraband cargo which will finance travel expenditures. Raine soon realizes that there is more to Karl and his mission than he was prepared for, like traveling into enemy space, clashing with privateers, the United Planetary Alliance as well as his attraction to Karl.

Beyond Meridian is an action Sci-Fi interwoven with a romance. The characters are likeable. Raine is a know-how, straightforward, amiable space captain or “spacer”; his self-regulating business is to transport all cargo, other than people. His detached position allows him to travel to other planets without breaking too many laws. Karl is engaging, concerned regarding the welfare of others and a little timid until it becomes necessary to do battle with an adversary; then he is swift and capable. The plot is well written, fast paced and captivating. The setting is very creative with space ships and robots. The love scenes are sensual. Beyond Meridian is a thrilling heartwarming saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Lessons in Seduction


Title: Lessons in Seduction
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-901-4
Genre: {M/M} Historical
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart's sleuthing skills have the King asking them to investigate the death of his former mistress. The team goes into this investigation a bit differently, as Orlando performs his duties undercover. With more clues than they could hope for, notes warning them to end the investigation and the couple missing one another, this case will prove to be quite a challenge.

Lessons in Seduction is the sixth book of Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries series. This has, by far, been my favorite installment of this series. We are finally privy to some of Orlando’s past. Orlando undercover as a professional dance partner was an added bonus. He definitely fell into character. For those who enjoy Jonty’s family, you’ll be pleased to know we get more time with them in this installment. The mysteries weren’t easy to solve. I love that about Charlie Cochrane’s books. You truly have to read them in entirety to find out who done it. The seaside hotel for the setting was an excellent choice. Another wonderful element to the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries series is the introduction of new locations. Then finally, Cochrane adds in suspense, humor, and touch of erotic play. Lessons in Seduction is a fantastic read you won’t soon forget.

The Dom’s Dungeon




Title: The Dom’s Dungeon
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id. LLC
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737- 492-3
Genre: {M/F} BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

The couple that took MacKensie in after finding her beaten on the street by her pimp makes sure she gets an education and gives her something to do. They sent her to Veterinary School and she worked in their clinic until their deaths. Because most people know about her past, she can’t find a job so MacKensie trades homes with Alex so she can find a job, move to Seattle and start a new future.

Alex did a good deed at the airport and ends up in the hospital with a stab wound in his shoulder. He returns to his house, determined to work something out with his houseguest, but finds she has picked the lock on his dungeon. Alex sees MacKensie playing around on his equipment, but decides to make a deal with her, hoping to get his former sub out of his life.

I have to say that The Dom’s Dungeon is one hot and very intense book, both emotionally and in the heat factor. Ms. Sinclair keeps the story flowing and I found that I was immersed into the story immediately. This story is a perfect backdrop for Alex and MacKensie and all the characters are strongly written. I enjoyed watching MacKensie come out of her shell and try to overcome her insecurities.

The journey that MacKensie takes is one that all new subs should read. The author gives you a very good look at some of the expectations of the lifestyle and how it is policed by members to make sure that all experiences are truly “safe, sane and consensual”. I recommend, as you read this book, that you keep lots of ice on hand and keep the fans going. This is a book that everyone that enjoys BDSM stories should have on their bookshelf and this is one I will be reading again and again.

Magnus


Title: Magnus
Author: Jambrea Jo Jones
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: liquidsilverbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-59578-627-2
Genre: [M/F] Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Colonel Joe “Magnus” Rivers joined the Marines after his father kicked him out of the house as a teenager and since then, his life’s revolved around the Corps. He believes in everything the United States stands for and lives to protect it and her citizens. When an attractive woman is unexpectedly assigned to his elite strike team, his world is turned upside down, threatening his composure, temper and career.

Emily Patterson isn’t a Marine; she’s an NCIS agent. Her mission is to infiltrate Mag’s team and discover who, in the group, is responsible for kidnapping foreign women and children and selling them into a sex slave ring. She’s been on undercover assignments before, but nothing in her experience has prepared her for the rigorous and often grueling routine Magnus puts his men through before each mission. Emily’s sore, tired and having trouble hiding her feelings for the hard-as-nails Marine. The question is whether she can clear his name before she tells him the truth and reveals her true identity.

Magnus is the first release in the new Semper Fi series by Jambrea Jo Jones and the only book by this author that I’ve read. Having lived with a former Marine for years, I can safely say, “Once a Marine. Always a Marine,” is a totally true and accurate statement. These dedicated men just seem to have a certain mindset, and Magus is a prime example of the type of men the corps puts out on a regular basis.

The first page starts with a common blast of military life…a dressing down by the unit commanding officer, in this case, Magnus. How appropriate for the opening. That’s one of the things that I enjoyed so much about this story; the raw reality of military life. The numerous scenes dealing with the members of the unit, training for their upcoming mission, are nicely handled as was the intensity and danger of the mission and the possibility of being shot. Overall, I felt these scenes were accurate and had a nice flow to them, with good emotions and vivid descriptions. The story backbone…the sex slave investigation, was very strong and filled with gut-wrenching emotions, which helped suck the reader into the story. However, danger is only part of this tale. It’s also filled with determination, dedication, strong moral and personal convictions and love between Emily and Magnus. Despite the inappropriateness of their involvement, these two burn up the sheets and when Emily is kidnapped…Magnus is willing to do whatever it takes to get his woman back and make the bad guys pay.

Finding Utopia


Title: Finding Utopia
Author: K.Z. Snow
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-503-6
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic Romantic Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

The Coven of Three members have all found worthy mates but it makes performing their job as the Powers of Regenerie difficult, at best. Win, Tole and Zee don’t know how to control their oracle, since they have no desire to perform any acts together to produce the sexual energy needed to power the Celestine. To make matters worse, the Dark Elves of Bildezir are plotting to take over the Utopian Metroplex. While the men leave to get answers on how to rectify their problem, new tribulations surface that could destroy Pablo and Win’s relationship. Will the Coven find a way to stop the Dark Elves and calm the choppy waters between Win and Pablo?

Finding Utopia is the fourth story in K.Z. Snow’s fantastic Utopia-X series. Win, Tole and Zee have found their own version of utopia, thanks to their new relationships. It’s nice to see how the power of love has altered their lives. I’ll admit I was a bit worried about how the issue with getting the Celestine to work for them again would pan out, but K.Z. Snow takes care of this flawlessly. Win and Pablo’s situation adds just a touch of drama to this installment. I really couldn’t see them calling it quits forever, but there were moments when it seemed impossible for any other outcome. K.Z. Snow has a way of creating calm from havoc. The introduction of a few new characters makes this story quite the read. Those who have enjoyed the series won’t be disappointed. If you are new to Utopia-X I suggest starting from the beginning. The first book has excellent references that will guide you through the series.

Warriors and Healers


Title: Warriors and Healers
Author: HJ Brues
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-289-9
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jeff Redbear, a Native American social worker, is waiting at the airport for the arrival of Dr. Daniel Ugarte from Spain. The Apache reservation is in desperate need of a health care center and Daniel agreed to volunteer his services. Upon first meeting, there is a immediate attraction between the men. However Jeff rebuffs Daniel. Several weeks later, Daniel meets and is attracted to Sean McCallum, the local sheriff. The associations of their jobs require the three men to work together on a regular basis and their magnetism expands into a promising romance until past fears cause uncertainties to obscure their newly created union.

Warriors and Healers is a heartwarming tale of Jeff, Daniel and Sean attempting to find their way into a committed three-way relationship. Jeff is a proud Apache, who feels obliged to rise above his fears stemming from past racial negative reactions. He feels he has betrayed his ethnicity by loving two white men. Daniel suffers from past mental cruelty and does not believe he is worthy of love. Sean is self-assured and enthusiastic about building a loving bond with the other two men. The focus of this complex storyline is the extensive emotional rollercoaster the three men endure. Each character is a multifaceted personality, which inserts a touch of realism to each man. There is no state mentioned for the location, only an indistinct description, so it was hard to visualize the setting. However, the focal point is an impressive from-camaraderie-to-love journey with moderate scenes of romantic exploration. I very much enjoyed Warriors and Healers.

Apocalypse


Title: Apocalypse
Author: A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-468-2
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic, Paranormal, Vampire
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

The Vampire/Human war took courage to get through. Carden, Rory, Thiago and Dennis are preparing for the next step, but only Carden is strong enough to take on his uncle. The threat to Rory is still present, and Carden is willing to do his part to save his lover and humanity. Is the ultimate price too high for the lovers or is there still a chance they will find happiness?

I absolutely loved Apocalypse, the latest installment in the Blood Eclipse series. Rory has a great deal to contend with and I was unsure if he would be able to handle it all. Dennis proved to be the one who stole my heart. His wit and dedication to Thiago make him the man of the hour. I knew Carden would take care of Rory; it’s something I’ve come to expect of the vampire and he’s never let me down. A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly mix suspense, action and toe-curling erotic moments to make Apocalypse a memorable book. They’ve introduced a few new characters who add just the right amount of spice to keep the story interesting. I’ll admit there were moments where I “thought” I knew who was who, and completely missed the boat. That uncertainty was a nice twist that kept me on the edge of my seat. From the setting to the plot, Apocalypse is a showdown you don’t want to miss.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fleeced In Stonington


Title: Fleeced In Stonington
Author: Rosemary Goodwin
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-889-5
Genre: {M/F} Mystery/Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Kate is excited that her business is growing, and her skills as an interior designer are needed by one and all. Now that she has almost gotten past feeling guilty about her husband, who died five years ago, she is progressing nicely with her relationship with Dutch. He is a hunk who knows what he wants, and he’s willing to wait Kate out for a permanent connection. She is concerned that her mother is not left alone, but wants him in her life.

Dutch is an ex-cop from New York City and looking for a quieter life in Stonington, New Jersey. He and Kate have previously solved a murder mystery together and now he is ready to move on to a Private Detective business. When the realtor comes up dead after their visit to his office, things progress rapidly, and they team up again to find out why people are being murdered. Dutch has the patience to work out all situations before him, and Kate is at the top of the list.

The second book of Kate Bart Mystery, Fleeced in Stonington starts out with fraud and murder. The couple is working together again and with their decision to help save the town’s banks, who knows what might happen. I really loved the comments at the beginning of each chapter that gave tips about how to redecorate your home. Kate and her mom are from England and from time to time, revert back to their English ways.

I was very happy to see that Kate was able to get past the feeling that she was cheating on her dead husband and was able to move on with her budding relationship with Dutch. These two worked very well together, and Kate’s background as a private detective helped them to move faster on their fraud investigations.

Ms. Goodwin has created a realistic, believable story and I found myself visualizing the antiques described that were for sale. Let’s not count out the murders and the villain(s) managed to keep everyone involved guessing. At this point in the story we have the villain(s) starting to threaten those closest to Kate, because they had figured out who the main players are. That forces her and Dutch to move faster to keep themselves, and others, safe from harm. I can hardly wait to see where Ms. Goodwin goes next with the Kate Bart Mystery series.

Big Diehl


Title: Big Diehl
Author: George Seaton
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-115-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Military
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Sergeant Diehl’s usual morning arrival at the Fort Polk Company headquarters is anything but usual this day. Summoned to the Captain’s office, along with other personnel, Diehl watched the 9/11 attack unfold on TV. Shortly after military plans were set into place, Diehl is deployed to Iraq where he gets a first hand look at the horrors of war.

Big Diehl is an intuitive story created to raise awareness of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; a law that gives the impression of federally endorsed gay bashing as well as exterminating equal rights. Intelligence and ability to do the job should be the foundation of armed forces. Diehl is gay, and thanks to his friends, he is conscious of the downside of military life. On the other hand, the army is a way to escape the squalor he grew up in, as well as give him an opportunity to come to a decision concerning his future. The realistic plot features Diehl’s life as a soldier, his romantic attractions and his poignant observations of life. Although this is a short version of a future novel, it makes a powerful statement from the perspective of gay men in the military. George Seaton conveys an outstanding and expressively rational saga that I extremely enjoyed and I look forward to reading the upcoming longer version.

Lift Me Up


Title: Lift Me Up
Author: Rayne Auster
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-310-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Avery couldn’t believe his best friend could hurt him, but he did. At his lowest moment, he meets Dylan Kincaid, his new neighbor. An unforeseen incident will have the men traveling the road to relationship bliss.

Rayne Auster’s Lift Me Up is a quirky tale about finding love when you least expect it. I absolutely loved these characters. Avery has a wit and charm that most pushy bottoms could only hope to obtain. Dylan is the man you want to save you from yourself and help you get past bad experiences. Lift Me Up had me caught between laughter and needing a cool glass of tea. Rayne, you have to write a story about the best friend. From the way this story ended, I’m sure others will be hoping for the same thing. Buy a copy and enjoy, you won’t be disappointed.

Wanted


Title: Wanted
Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-465-1
Genre: {M/M},Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Mingo can’t help himself. When he falls, he falls hard, and not always for the right man. Coming off a bad break up, he isn’t looking to find anyone to warm his bed; of course that just means it’s the perfect time to meet the gorgeous Jason. When his job as a forensic accountant pulls him into a new case and his new love interest starts to act a little funny, Mingo can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of connection. What happens after Francois shows up is anyone’s guess.

Avid readers know that, at times, authors fall into a writing style and if their books do well, they seldom, if ever, change it. This does not mean the stories are bad; just that the author has found his or her comfort zone. With Wanted, his latest release, it is my opinion that author A.J Llewellyn took a huge step away from his comfort zone and succeeded. Although the characters are all strongly written, and the reader is pulled into the story from the very first paragraph, the formula in which this story is written is slightly different from what fans may be used to. Full of the hot, intense passion this author is known for, as well as twists and turns that are sure to leave the readers guessing, Wanted is an excellent story that will hold the readers attention till the end.

The story is also one of those that is hard to review because it would be very easy to let a key point slip out and therefore ruin the story for the reader. With that said, I would highly recommend this story and hope we have not seen the last of these wonderful characters.

Bad Blood


Title: Bad Blood
Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-369-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

While Jesse may be attracted to Gabriel, there is one thing holding him back from acting on the desire coursing through his veins… his dislike of vampires.

Gabriel wants Jesse and is patient enough to wait for his chance. Jesse’s life is in danger, and while his luck seems to have faltered, Gabriel’s good fortune is working overtime. There is more to Gabriel than meets the eye. Jesse will have to decide whether to conquer his apprehension or leave Gabriel forever.

Bad Blood is the first book in Mychael Black’s new series, Spirits of Abaddon. We met Jesse and Gabriel in the Blood & Fire series. I couldn’t help but root for Gabriel after his introduction. Strong, handsome and smart, he has too much going for him for Jesse to tamper down his desire. Mr. Black gives enough detail on Gabriel’s origins to prepare us for the fight of a lifetime. Old squabbles have surfaced and there’s going to be hell to pay. He adds action, suspense and sizzling sex to make Bad Blood a book worthy of a read or two.

No Good Deed


Title: No Good Deed
Author: Lynn Lorenz
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-625-3
Genre: {M/M} Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Captain Daniel Chan straddles the fence that separates his true sexual inclination with a fierce determination that would make any bull rider envious. He still enjoys women and considers himself bisexual. Besides, working in a small town like Riceland doesn’t give Dan the option of coming out. He’s not sure how the department, or his neighbors, would react and has no reason to test the waters until he meets a man in need of some assistance, Mark.

Mark considers himself damaged goods. His last painful relationship left him with internal scars that still haven’t healed. Dan gives Mark a feeling of security he never expected to experience again. Can he trust his heart, body and soul to Dan’s tender care?

I absolutely love Lynn Lorenz’s newest release, No Good Deed. Dan isn’t your typical police officer. Being a Chinese American employed as a Captain on a small town police force was a nice twist to this role. I love how he could crack jokes with his neighbors; it made him feel like the person next door. His relationship with his Chief is also something that draws you in. They have a mutual respect and a great camaraderie that allows some comical conversations to take place. Then there is Mark’s relationship with Dan. It begins slow and smooth, gently building over time. I adored Mark and could clearly see why Dan was smitten. While Ms. Lorenz does deliver some sensual moments, she also includes suspense and action to keep the story flowing. No Good Deed is a page-turner you don’t want to miss.

Wishbone


Title: Wishbone
Author: Lauren P. Burka
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-911-8
Genre: [M/M] Historical Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

As a low class male whore, Wishbone lives and works near the docks and is forced to take on any and all clients, in order to earn enough money to survive. He’s even willing to take on a rich and mysterious shih-aan, despite their reputation for danger and violence. What he gets is more than he ever expected…food, cleansing, a night of seduction and an introduction to an alien culture that will change his world and life in ways he never imagined.

Sir is a member of the alien race that won a bloody war with the human race, nearly ten years ago. Posing as a rich and influential merchant, he spies on the human world around him; watching for signs of trouble, while gathering information useful to his people. When he takes Wishbone back to his home, he gets much more than he expects or wants. He gets a thief, servant, sexual partner and an intelligent student, willing to learn his language and culture, even when doing so will change his status in the human world forever.

When I started Wishbone, I wasn’t certain what to make of the book. It’s interesting and set in an intriguing and richly detailed historical fantasy world, filled with different races, complicated politics and some unusual cultural practices, but it’s still a bit odd. It also drags you into the story from the first pages. I particularly liked Wishbone’s character and thoroughly enjoyed the creative explanation of how he got his strange nickname. As the lone holdover from the family and home he no longer had…well, the only words that come to mind are sad and touching. I guess that’s why Wishbone initially fixated on Sir…he wanted a home, a safe place in the world and someone to love him.

I didn’t like Sir for at least half the book. He’s a hard character to understand. On the surface, he’s cold, calculating and emotionally distant from Wishbone and the other individuals in his world. He’s also a highly sexual being, with only a thin veneer of humanity covering the animal struggling to burst free. Sigh. That’s one thing I never felt I had a good handle on - exactly what the shih-aan race looked like. They’re not a typical vampire or a werewolf, but some kind of unique, interesting, and dangerous amalgam. I know I had the parts, but I could never picture them as a whole, in my minds’ eye.

Sexually, Sir and Wishbone are pretty evenly matched, once the newness of their strange relationship wears off. They’re intense, physical, passionate and determined to make the other scream with pleasure and maybe a little pain.

The portion of the story dealing with Wishbone learning Sir’s language and culture and helping in his investigation of the local priests was my favorite. They allowed Ms. Burka to expand on Wishbone’s world and personality nicely, letting the reader become part of their rich, but sordid world.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Top Men


Title: Top Men
Author: G. A. Hauser
Publisher: Phaze
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-550-3
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Mickey and Jeff are both Alphas, tough cops who go out of their way to protect and serve. Teamed up together on the job, these two can’t seem to stay away from each other. Only time will tell if these two top dogs will make it or if their relationship is doomed from the start.

If you’re expecting this latest release from author G.A. Hauser to be as easy a read as the previous two stories in the Heroes series, you are in for a great surprise. Top Men starts off intense and stays that way till the very end. The characters are strongly written and the passion they have for each other means there is a lot of hot sex, some of which is in some very inappropriate places and times. Both men, however, are cops and, due to their occupation, very much in the closet. The intense sex is, at times on the raw side, which also departs from the previous two stories. This story revolves around Mickey’s need for commitment and Jeff’s uncertainty and not just the sex these two seem to have at every available moment. There were numerous times throughout the story when it was hard for me to like Jeff because of his attitude, yet it is clear that he and Mickey belong together. Readers will also enjoy the cameo appearances from numerous G.A. Hauser characters, all of whom enhance this story. An excellent addition to the Heroes series, Top Men is not to be missed.

Gay Divorcee


Title: Gay Divorcee
Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907280-68-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Grayson’s divorce has him saying humbug to marriage. Jones believes sexual preference should have nothing to do with the right to get married. A conversation turns into an invitation to share the Christmas holiday. Will it be enough to change Grayson’s Scrooge-like position on gay marriage?

Gay Divorcee is book five of the G-A-Y series. Jones is a man with a big heart. While he may not agree with Grayson’s attitude, he knows just what the man needs and is more than ready to deliver. Grayson’s past hurts may have tainted his opinion on marriage, but he was still able to recognize the good in Jones and couldn’t help but be attracted to him. They make a cute couple. Kim Dare adds just a touch of sensual play between the men to make the story tantalizing. I found Gay Divorcee to be an enjoyable read and a wonderful part of the series.

Crossroads


Title: Crossroads
Author: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60504-705-8
Genre: [M/F] Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Derek Gabriel grew up in a typical human family…except his had psychic gifts, so he knew of the supernatural world; he just wasn’t part of it. That is until he was attacked and turned by a rogue werewolf. Now two years later, he’s still struggling to control the demands of his inner wolf. It doesn’t help that in werewolf society, as a turned wolf, he’s considered a mutt, or that the woman he’s crazy about, Nicky, is pureblood, royalty, and the daughter of the most powerful Alpha in the country.

Nicky has never wanted anything to do with the complicated political maneuvering that rules the werewolf world…that’s why she left New York for New Orleans. The world she grew up in is far too restrictive and old-fashioned and the idea that her sole value is her pure bloodlines disgusts her. It also means she can’t be with the man/wolf she loves and that isn’t acceptable.

The lives of Nicky and Derek are complicated but they only get worse when Nicky’s twin, Michelle, rushes into town, steps ahead of a werewolf strike force sent by the ruling council, the Conclave, to deal with her. Now, all the wolves and humans that Derek loves are in danger and ultimately, it’s up to this newly turned wolf to issue a challenge that could reshape their complicated world. It could also get him killed.

Crossroads is the second release in Moira Rogers’ ongoing Southern Arcana shapeshifter series, and it picks up where Crux left off. This one can be read as a stand-alone, but due to the numerous continuing characters and underlying plot arc, I wouldn’t recommend it.

I thoroughly enjoyed Crux, so I was anxious to see where the authors went with this, their newest look into the werewolf world. I was even concerned that Crossroads wouldn’t live up to the high standard set by the previous release, but I needn’t have worried; it was all I’d hoped for and more. The characters are rich and fully developed, the plot smooth and action packed, the locations vividly described and the background information and complicated werewolf politics seamlessly integrated. What the different characters have to endure is often heartbreaking and I wanted to say” just throw it all away and run” but they can’t. Most of the book I wanted to rant at the holier-than-thou attitude of the power-hungry ruling werewolf conclave. They made ruthless, cold-hearted decisions that benefited and protected themselves, leaving the everyday man (or werewolf, in this case) without recourse to complain.

Derek and Nicky are great together…passionate, protective, loving and the perfect counterpoint to the other. The secondary characters, and the part they play, are vital to the over all plot arc and rounds out the story , giving a nice feel of family and pack. Watch for the next release in this keeper series, with Deadlock, featuring Alex and a currently unknown female, January 2011.

Sins Of Omission


Title: Sins Of Omission
Author: India Harper
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-615-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Carver Eliot has turned in his badge and now enjoys life as a detective. Having David Logan adds spice to his bedroom but also hinders Carver’s dominate side from frequently entering the mix. Carver’s latest case will change all that. One missing girl, a club made for sin and past secrets will push David and Carver to decide which road to take. Is it time to give up on their relationship, or finally trust one another to share their pasts?

India Harper’s Sins Of Omission is the second book in the Creatures Of Sin series. We finally get a chance to see what makes David tick. To see his humble beginnings, then later feeling vulnerable and exposed, helped me to understand his dominant nature. It made his character more real to me and definitely sexier, if that was even possible. His internal battle with his emotions had me prepared to hold his hand while he faced his past demons.

The mystery was well written and the perfect catalyst. I could feel both of their apprehension to travel into the club. Ms. Harper knows how to keep a reader on the edge of their seat, anticipating the next predicament to come. I am anxious to see what bridges the two men will cross in the next story. Sins Of Omission is a page-turner you don’t want to miss.

Bull Rider


Title: Bull Rider
Author: Jade Buchanan
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-017-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Wesley Scott is at an employee get-together when he has the feeling that someone is watching him. Turning around, his eyes meet those of Isaac "Bull" Fintan. They introduce themselves; Wes is a DJ working at a radio station that is close to Bull’s ranch. What started out to be a one night stand quickly turns into a bright future for both men.

Jade Buchanan’s Bull Rider is a sexy and delightful short story. The characters are interesting. Wes is an average-sized man, and a little adventurous, who is attracted to big guys. Bull is a big man with a gentle nature. The plot illustrates various ways to entice and carry out acts of intimacy. Bull Rider is an amusing saga that I enjoyed.

Wylde


Title: Wylde
Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-375-9
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

To Noah Matthews, being a father is a role he won’t trade for any amount of money. His primary goal is to give his son, Josh, a good life. When he settled on a remote home near a small town, Noah didn’t expect to become attached to the local Chief of Police, Kell Farraday.

Kell doesn’t know the meaning of love and he’s not one for commitment. The more time he spends around Noah and Josh, the more he wants to become part of their family.

A painful part of Noah’s past resurfaces and a mystery starts to endanger the two people Kell considers his family. Will Kell be able to protect those he loves?

I found Wylde, Jan Irving’s current release, to be an enjoyable read. It’s a compelling story about a man needing a fresh start, an understanding son, and macho police chief. The supporting characters add a great deal to this tale. I’ll admit there is one concept that I found farfetched. There were too many characters with even a minute level of clairvoyant abilities. I couldn’t quite make myself believe this but thankfully, the story’s message eased me past this point. Wylde is about second chances at love and life. It’s a story about getting help when you least expect it and lastly, the importance of family. With a dash of humor, some sensual lovemaking scenes and a mystery to solve, Wylde is definitely a story you don’t want to miss.