Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ice Water in Hell


Title: Ice Water in Hell
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-128-3
Genre: {M/M/M} Paranormal, Erotic, Ménage
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Nicol “Nick” Ramsey remembers the day his lover Baz left Heaven. The pain still lingers but Nick wants to reclaim his lover. Moving to The City, with the purpose of reconnecting, has turned into a less than fruitful opportunity. Baz refuses to allow Nick access to his heart ever again.

Basileios "Baz" Kostopoulos remembers a slightly different version of that day, as well as his lover’s departing words. His feelings of betrayal linger and he cannot move past the hurt. Over thousands of years, only two men have dwelled in Baz’s heart, Nick and Galen. The murder of Galen has festered, thanks to Baz feels guilty over being unable to protect his young lover. The shock of discovering Galen living in The City is minute, compared to facing his murder. Baz has to face his past to secure his future happiness, or his enemy will claim Galen and Nick forever.

I was hoping Nick and Baz’s story would be the next in The City series and Ms. Lynne adds a charming character to the twist, Galen. The three men hit it off nicely, even with danger lurking around the corner. I liked Galen. He’s the perfect balance to these two Alphas. Baz has a great deal to get over, but the love of his two men seemed to help him pull himself up by his boot straps. The one who seemed to have the most to lose was Nick. He worked so hard to get Baz back, the idea of him walking way was frightening but he handled the situation well. Ice Water in Hell has a touch of action and suspense, with erotic scenes that melt on the pages. There are three new characters introduced in this story, and I’m hoping they will be the next ones to find the love they deserve. I found Ice Water in Hell to be a great read and am anxious for the next story of this series.

Simple Men


Title: Simple Men
Author: Eric Arvin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-428-2
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Chip is a well-loved football coach who, unfortunately, is having a bad year with both his team and his love life. For some reason, the women he has dated are just not doing anything for him and his current relationship is starting to crumble.

Foster is hoping his new job as the school’s chaplain will help him recover from a bad break up. He has no plans of getting into a new relationship but doesn’t want to spend all his time alone, either.

Readers will get an interesting story with Simple Men by Eric Arvin. The characters are strongly written and the story has enough twists and turns to keep the reader’s attention. While the characters do not seem to have anything in common, the pairing just seems to work. Both men are surprised by the instant and intense reaction they seem to have to each other. The author allows the men’s insecurities - Chip’s regarding his attraction to another man and Foster’s fear of getting hurt again - to play out, making the characters more realistic. When these two do get together, the passion between them is just that much sweeter.

The secondary characters are just as engaging. Whether it is Jason and Brad, two of the football players that Chip coaches, finding the path in their own relationship, Wendell the president of the college where both men work, or Lynn, Chip’s girlfriend and Foster’s best friend, each plays a part in this story that helps move the story along as well as keeping the reader entertained.

Lovin’ The Cowboy Way


Title: Lovin’ The Cowboy Way
Author: Kelly Wallace
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-699-9
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Cipher Prose Nymph

When spoiled Sarah Collins meets Raif Manning, to check on his ability to take care of her niece and nephews, she finds more than she’d bargained for. Raif’s sexy, easy manner is nothing like the tabloids have painted him and she quickly finds herself drowning in his gorgeous eyes.

Raif has put his playboy ways aside and is determined to settle down to take care of his now orphaned niece and nephews. When his sister-in-law, Sarah, stops in, his heart knows she’s the missing piece that will complete the family he’s longed for.

The chemistry between Sarah and Raif was believable and sizzled. I liked the way the characters didn’t rush into anything, tried to keep a level head about what was going on and explored the consequences their actions might have on others.

I especially liked the message that money and conveniences in life aren’t exactly the magical equation to happiness. Lovin’ The Cowboy Way digs into the “meat,” and allows the reader a front row seat to the most important things in life . . . love, happiness, laughter, and family.

A great read that I would recommend to anyone who wants a few laughs, some insight to the importance of meaningful relationships and a happy ending.

Through A Midnight's Mist


Title: Through A Midnight's Mist
Author: Eric Del Carlo
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-550-0
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic Science Fiction
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

BlaqJaq and Nickerson had taken part in a blood sport in the city of New New Orleans, where they earned the new palmchips that had allowed them to escape Earth completely. Now married, they journey through space at their leisure until Nickerson encounters his former trainer and learns the name of the superior who prearranged his death.

Through a Midnight's Mist is the final episode of BlaqJaq and Nickerson’s adventures which started with Steel Sleet and the second book Blood in the Water. The wonderful storyline continues with BlaqJaq and Nickerson traveling in space and searching for a place to settle. The facts of how Nickerson became the prey of the government-sanctioned Hunt of Nine blood sport are revealed. The love he has for BlaqJaq, as well as his determination to keep him safe, is the only motivation for seeking revenge in Nickerson’s intellect. Growing up under earth’s surface where violence is out of control, BlaqJaq is amazed by the pristine sights of the colonies. Listening to the descriptions of Nickerson’s former life, BlaqJaq soon discovers that corruption existed out here, as well. BlaqJaq believes Nickerson's betrayal is one of those corruptions that must be rectified by an assissin’s code of justice.

The bond between the two men continues to grow stronger, they have complete trust in each other, their love is reflected in all of their thoughts and actions. The plot is well written and well paced. The characters are engaging. The zero gravity sex scenes are amazing. The talented Eric Del Carlo delivers a intriguing saga illustrating corruption and violence is part of human nature for those seeking power. Through a Midnight's Mist is a outstanding story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Light My Fire


Title: Light My Fire
Author: Lee Avalone
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-309-2
Genre: {M/M} Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Psychic Phenomena, Horror
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Lieutenant Craig Faulk is part of a special task force in Chicago known as the CDDC, Chicago Department of Demon Control. He believes in their work and wants his city to stop living in fear. The attacks on humans have escalated over time, leaving Craig to witness more carnage and brutality than most. He isn’t often rattled but discovering that the latest witness is alive shocks the cowboy demon-hunter. Craig then does everything in his power to help Steven Richter.

Steven’s experience with the demon was no nightmare, but his living reality. His tall handsome savior’s image is emblazed in his mind. He’s not sure of why he was able to survive the attack, but one look at Craig has him thanking his lucky stars. Too bad Craig is way out of his league.

Steven and Craig bring sexual heat and suspense to us in Light My Fire. Craig isn’t seeking complications, thanks to his more-than-complicated occupation. The former cowboy is set in his ways and likes order in his personal life. Steven’s painful past and less-than-honorable profession makes him believe he’s not worthy of love or commitment. Steven doesn’t know his own strength or worth, but I’m happy he soon learns the truth. I wasn’t sure if Craig would damage the fragile sliver of self-esteem Steven had hidden within. There were points where I felt he might be a bit callus, but then it became clear that Craig wanted to spare himself from a relationship gone wrong. The feelings Steven had for him wouldn’t allow that to become an issue.

Lee Avalone adds just the right amount of raw sexual energy and paranormal beings to Light My Fire to keep you on the edge of your seat! The settings draw you in and make you apart of the scenes. Buy a copy and hang on for the ride.

Knight of Pleasure


Title: Knight of Pleasure
Author: Simone Anderson
Publisher: Total-e-bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-050-9
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

After suffering terrible injuries while serving in Iraq, Dean Hudson was forced to give up his career in the United States Marine Corps. His physical wounds might have healed, but his emotional ones are just as open and raw as the day he was injured. If it wasn’t for his sister’s encouragement, he wouldn’t even leave the house. What good would it do? He’s a gay former soldier who lived with constant pain and who couldn’t even walk without a cane. Who would want him? No one, or at least that’s what he thought. Who knew that a weekend family outing to a Renaissance Faire would change his life--in ways he never expected.

Dom Ethan Moreland might be the co-owner of the popular brewery, Smuggler’s Cove, but on the weekends, he turns into a knight, complete with sword and armor. Despite his success in his professional life, his personal one, so far, is a bust. He doesn’t think he’ll ever find the man—the sub, meant for him. That all changes when he’s introduced to Dean, and then the only thing he can think of is making the physically scarred and emotionally wounded man his.

Knight of Pleasure is the first release in the new series, Smuggler’s Cove, by Simone Anderson. It’s a well written and plotted look into the life of returning soldier, Dean Hudson and his introduction into the BDSM lifestyle. But that’s not all it is. It’s also a story of emotional and physical healing, personal redemption and sizzling hot passion.

I have to admit that when I read the blurb I wasn’t certain how the author could get her wounded soldier into a BDSM relationship, but she did—and did it with compassion, creativity and flair. I particularly enjoyed the setting of the story at the Renaissance Faire, the knights and the accepting camaraderie of the other members of their band. Having gone to numerous such Faires through the years, it was nice seeing a little of the personal behind-the-scenes side of these groups. I thought the descriptions of their costumes, pageantry and the scenes in the fight list were very well done.

Dean—our deeply wounded soldier has little going for him until he meets and becomes involved with Ethan. Nothing in his experience prepares him for what life with a Dom would entail and Ms. Anderson did a nice job with Ethan and how he slowly introduces Dean into his world—never pushing, but allowing him to move forward into the alternative lifestyle at his own pace. Once together, Dean and Ethan make a perfect couple, each filling the emotional and physical needs of the other.

I look forward to the next release in Smuggler’s Cove and learning more of the people who frequent it.

The Gentleman and the Rogue




Title: The Gentleman and the Rogue
Author: Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-551-7
Genre: {M/M}, Historical
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Jem is picked up by the handsome, yet troubled, Lord, he is worried more about a possible set-up than anything else. As one night turns into more and Jem’s life changes, he soon realizes that he has more to lose than ever.

I haven’t enjoyed a historical this much in some time. Set in 1813 England, The Gentleman and the Rogue is the story of a battle weary military man and the young whore he picks up for the night. The authors realistically portray some of the unfortunate side effects of war when they created the character Alan. Alan is not only a war veteran, who not only struggles with PTSD, but he also fights his desire for other men, something that could result in his being hung, should his desires become known. The despair he feels leads him to make some dramatic choices. Jem is a young whore and as the saying goes, if you were to look up the definition of rogue in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Jem. He is cocky, brash and self-assured. In other words, everything Alan needs in his life. The authors do such a wonderful job developing the character of Jem that he just leaps off the page. The many different stories that Jem uses at times to get his point across had me laughing out loud more than once.

When the authors introduce elements from both men’s past into the story, the reader will not be able to put the book down. Throwing them from one situation to another forces both men to not only reevaluate their own lives but also their relationship with the other.

While I believe I may have read one of Bonnie Dee’s books before, Summer Devon is a new author to me. However, this story has made me a fan of both authors as The Gentleman and the Rogue, with its wonderfully written characters and story line, is one I will be reading again. Fans of historicals should not miss this one.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Velvet Submission


Title: Velvet Submission
Author: Violet Summers
Publisher: Liquid Silver
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578- 661-6
Genre: {M/F} BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Gregori is the head of security and also a submissive. Megan is a surgical nurse and a Domme. She only goes to Club Velvet Ice to release her tension by being in control and never uses her subs for sex. Gregori has fallen in love with her and tries to convince her she can have it all.

Velvet Submission is a wonderful next book in the Club Velvet Ice series. Gregori works very hard and eventually makes a decision that forces Megan to acknowledge some truths she doesn’t really want to face. I recommend you keep plenty of ice on hand as you read this book. The interaction between the various characters is interesting as you learn more about each one. This is one to add to your BDSM bookshelf.

Wolfsbane


Title: Wolfsbane
Author: K.C. Burn
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-545-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

MIA Agent Lachlan Carmichael is still coming to terms with the paranormal cases his organization works on, but has no trouble fulfilling his obligations. Years of training have made him into a competent and efficient agent. Carmichael refuses to lose a battle. His new case takes him to a small town, Rothburg, to investigate a portal opening. There’s more than paranormal activity awaiting Carmichael. Adam Farelli is going to change his world forever.

Adam knows the perception of those in his small town is wrong, but their treatment still hurts. With so much riding on his decisions, Adam grins and bears their behavior. Carmichael’s appearance in the town takes the dullness out of his everyday life and adds a yearning that he hopes is mutual. When Adam discovers Carmichael is as small-minded as those of his town are, it leaves a deep ache as nothing Adam could imagine.

Carmichael’s lack of faith causes a chain reaction, thrusting Adam in imminent danger. Will he be able to save Adam and receive the forgiveness of the one man who touched him as no other has?

Carmichael and Adam bring action, suspense, and wicked sexual heat to us in K.C. Burn’s Wolfsbane. This was a fantastic story to begin the MIA Case Files series with and left me ready for the next release. Carmichael has his issues, but watching him come to terms with his past and accept what he had to do to secure his future made this story for me. There were points where he faltered and I was sure there would be no way to regain Adam’s trust, but K.C. Burns expertly shuffled the deck in his favor. I liked Adam. After you read his story, it’s hard not to respect him and recognize what a strong man he had to be to endure all that happened. The men compliment one another and make a wonderful couple.

All the settings for Wolfsbane created the illusions needed to keep the readers enthralled with the story. Some areas invoked laughter, while others teetered between being romantic one minute and sending shivers of fear up my spine the next. From the plot to the characters, there wasn’t one aspect of this story I didn’t enjoy.

Company Man


Title: Company Man
Author: Felicitas Ivey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-385-8
Genre: {M/M/M} Ménage, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Shaku Suihana is a Company Man, a professional assassin programmed to follow instructions without reservations. His newest assignment is more mysterious than the majority of projects he is called on to perform. Meeting Úlfur, who thinks Shaku is a man named Shiro, a man who disappeared twelve years ago, triggers emotions in Shaku he thought long dead. When the Company tries to kill Úlfur, he is magically transformed into Leif, a younger man who Shaku feels obligated to save so they go on the run. After meeting a mystifying sensei, Shaku gains some of his memories back and begins to mentally go over the puzzle of his past relationship with the two men, in addition to discovering the outlook in store for the three of them.

Company Man is a well written complex sci-fi thriller and romance. The intriguing storyline is about a worldwide company founded in Iceland. As a sideline, the company hires out their highly trained assassins, who will follow any directive including performing sex acts. The characters are fascinating. Shaku’s memory has been erased by the company. However, when he meets Úlfur, there is something familiar enough about him that his memories start to reform. Shaku is tired of speculating about who he is, yet he knows the outcome of failing to do his job. He is intelligent with good survival instincts, as well as determined to defend his lover. Úlfur appears to be a mentally flawed man, damaged by the company’s several attempts to end his life; nevertheless he is unique and lovable. Even with memory loss, he never forgot Shiro. The sensei cares for both Úlfur and Shaku; it is he that retains the memories of the past along with revealing a way out of their current dilemma. The love scenes are sensual, first with just Úlfur and Shaku, then the sensei joining them later into the story.

Felicitas Ivey’s Company Man is a remarkable saga that I vastly enjoyed.

Another Dream, Another Reality


Title: Another Dream, Another Reality
Author: Mechele Armstrong
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737- 533-3
Genre: {M/M} {M/F/M} Ménage, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

After Cassie’s birthday party, Cassie went her separate way, even though Aden and Leo continued their relationship. Cassie found she could not stay away and sought them out but is still very uncertain about their relationship, especially due to remarks made about her personal life at her work. After they go away for the weekend, Aden decides they have to talk and resolve issues within their relationship; one of which is trying to get Cassie to open up. Cassie is still not sure how she feels about this relationship and whether their feelings will still be the same in the future. Aden and Leo know they want some sort of commitment from Cassie, but aren’t sure how to get her to commit.

Another Dream, Another Reality continues the story of Cassie, Aden, and Leo whom we met in Another Night, Another Dream. In this story, you learn more about the three of them; what some of their dreams are and how they have closed themselves off from their feelings and each other. It takes the crisis of losing Cassie to open the two men up and forces Cassie to do the same as they face their individual fears. Some of the interactions are very intense, though at other times it feels like you only see the surface. The sex is very good between the three, as well as the individual pairings. I enjoyed reading more about the relationship between the three and some of their dreams.