Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More


Title: More
Author: Sloan Parker
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-555-5
Genre: {M/M/M} Ménage, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Luke Moore is sitting at Haven’s gay sex club bar when Matthew Stewart inquires if Luke is available for sex. Luke finds Matthew attractive and asks if he is interested in adding a third. Looking around the club, Luke makes eye contact with Richard Marshall. The three strangers retire to a room for what turns out to be the most explosive sex they have ever experienced. Before long, the three are living together; however Luke’s father is making dangerous threats to sever the three men’s relationship.

Sloan Parker's More is an entrancing plot of political greed and secrets. The suspense slowly builds to answer Luke’s question that has been haunting him for fifteen years - why his Senator father hates Luke’s life. The characters are especially believable. Because of whom his father is, Luke is constantly moving from place to place, trying to avoid the stalkers hired by his father to track him. Luke settles for one night stands so he can steer clear of falling in love again. Although the love he shares with Matthew and Richard forces Luke to stop running from his troubles. His present anxiety is how to save his lovers from his father’s wrath. Matthew is energetic, in addition to being the youngest of the three men. His optimistic intellect and supportive personality helps to maintain Luke and Richard’s logic, preventing them from acting impulsively when problems crop up. Richard is decisive, he is not afraid to go after what he wants. He directs their relationship with an unassuming calm manner; he detests living alone plus he declines to conceal his lovers from his business society. Each man has suffered heartbreak in the past; nowadays they work to preserve an equal partner loving connection with each other. The intimate scenes are breathtaking.

More is an impressive, as well as exceedingly enjoyable, story.

Shine A Light


Title: Shine A Light
Author: K.C. Kendricks
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-648-2
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Hollywood and Broadway star Donovan “Van” MacKenzie’s life fell apart after his ex-lover, Lynn, outed him, posting details of their sex life, complete with color photos, on his blog. Unable to get a job in New York, Van travels 200 hundred miles west of Broadway to St. Charles and a small summer theater, The Globe in The Grove, for a 6-month summer run of a new play. There he finds Shane, a noted set designer, who’s in town for family reasons. The attraction between the men simmers, but below the surface, on meeting but soon boils over into a blistering hot passion neither is willing to deny. When both Van and Shane’s vehicles are vandalized, it looks like Lynn isn’t finished with trying to destroy Van’s life. Can these two lovers weather the brewing storm or will past hurts ruin their chance at a happy future?

Shine A Light is a delightful story of one man’s struggle to put his professional life back together after being outed by an angry ex-lover. Even with the seriousness of what’s happened with Lynn, it’s a fun and entertaining story, even if the plot is a bit predictable. Ms. Kendricks did a nice job expressing both Van’s unrest and anger at Lynn, and his uncertainty of getting involved with the much younger Shane. Can he keep up with his lover? Will Shane get bored with him? All these and other questions are handled with understanding and realism.

The characters of Van and Shane are likable and the chemistry between them is obvious from their first meeting. This 32K novella length release is definitely a love story, but the sex doesn’t overwhelm the other things going on within its pages. There’s plenty of time left for our guys to build a relationship and renew Van’s career, all while dealing with Lynn and his crazy determination to keep Van for himself. This contemporary romance is enjoyable, leaving the reader with that happy, satisfied feeling at the end.

Honeybone


Title: Honeybone
Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-513-9
Genre: {M/M} Thriller
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

US Federal Marshal Dean Honeybone awakens in an Australian hospital and has instant recall of the plane crash. Dean was escorting a serial killer of children back to the location of the first crime for imprisonment. The only survivors are Dean and nine-year old Kaia Pendleton. As Dean and Kaia convalesce, Dean discovers that serial killer Richard Stance is the only one whose body was not recovered from the crash site. Still recuperating, Dean takes a week long vacation on Wilson Island where he meets Jean-Luc Sebastien, the island’s French chef. The attraction is immediate and Dean is thinking of a career change. However, he has a nagging feeling that Richard Stance is alive, waiting to kill again.

Honeybone is the first book in the Honeybone series. In this installment, the events take place in Australia. The serial killer is outlined including his standard killing patterns. Dean is a US Marshal based in Washington. His interest and education prepared him for his cop position. Dean has good instincts, in addition to being aware of the smallest details. At the same time, it is Dean’s total focus on a case that makes it hard for him to have a relationship. Meeting Jean-Luc brings Dean to a crossroads; if he abandons his profession, will he be overwhelmed with regret? Jean-Luc already has regrets stemming from his breakup with his former lover and business partner. He has a healthy respect for nature, yet seems to be somewhat self-centered when it comes to compromise in a new relationship with Dean.

The incredibly talented A. J. Llewellyn has created a realistic story with a sinister theme that encompasses all of the emotions. The building plot is gripping, the intimate scenes are exciting. The crimes are mournfully realistic, so as to incite awareness of the dark side of humanity. This is an impressive cop thriller and I am looking forward to the next episode.

Warning: Contains references to a serial killer of young people.

Dead Double


Title: Dead Double
Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921872
Genre: {M/F} Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Sahara Taylor-Hughes has her business to run and when a gun-toting villain comes into her shop, her life is no longer her own. Because she looks very much like Logan’s dead wife, Micky, she will now become a part of a plan to retrieve vital information that could help the world. What she is not aware of is that Logan may be more trouble than she thought and her heart will become engaged with too many feelings of love for him.

Logan Wilde is into government espionage and doing some serious contemplating of quitting his job before another mission comes up. When he happens to meet Sahara, who he thought was someone else, while out for a walk, he knows that she is his chance at a peaceful life. He is angry with his ex-wife for becoming a double agent and he is trying hard not to take those feeling out on Sahara.

Dead Double is quite a story that takes you to some very exotic places, while still putting the main characters in danger. I am extremely proud of Sahara’s determination to see the mission through, even when she is given the information that can help or hurt the world as a whole. Her strength to go on, even after being injured on the hip, spoke volumes about her willingness to help. One thing was interesting for me is the true villain is never seen, but his flunkies were doing most of his dirty work.

Ms. Cooper-Posey had done it again by creating a wonderful story that could have ended very badly. What she did was give a lot of hope for a better future for most of the characters involved, and I was wondering about Sahara after completing her mission. I was not disappointed! There is one other surprise, and I won’t give it away here. I will say that you will want to rush to the end and it was hard for me not to.

So Much Better


Title: So Much Better
Author: Marie Rochelle
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-987-7
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

For over two years, the object of Keri Walker’s desire has seen her as nothing more than a valuable employee and a good friend. Lusting after a man who doesn’t see her as dating material is frustrating, but not being able to help him heal is breaking Keri’s heart. Why couldn’t the man see that she wanted to be there for him in every possible way?

Richie Davidson hasn’t been the same since his fiancé died and he isn’t sure dating is a good idea. It wasn’t that he lacked opportunity so much as he lacked quality women to choose from. Richie wanted a sweet and giving woman who understood him. Keri was the only woman who knew how to handle him, and lately Richie had been fantasizing about her handling him in bed.

I am a total sucker for a steamy boss and employee romance that entices you from the first page and So Much Better is this kind of story. When Richie and Keri kiss for the first time, I was tickled pink. It took Richie a long time to realize the treasure he had in Keri but when the bell finally dinged, Richie was all about getting his woman. I wanted to jump onto the pages and push the two together myself in several scenes. I felt like Richie and Keri were old friends because I knew them so well. A few moments had me fearful that Richie had messed up his future with Keri but fortunately, that didn’t happen. Richie’s brother and Keri’s best friend were excellent supporting characters and I am dying to see a romance between them. They were both too vibrant to disappear. Hopefully Marie Rochelle will grace readers with their story, because I know they will make a couple readers will cheer for, just like Keri and Richie.

Sweet Surrender


Title: Sweet Surrender
Author: Ashleigh Walton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-437-4
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Two years ago when his doctor told him his obesity could kill him, Derek went on a health-conscious diet and lost a hefty amount of weight. Now he’s slim, trim and determined to stay that way. However, it hasn’t changed how shy and self-conscious he is or changed the way he sees himself. Ready to begin graduate school to become an architect and tired of being alone, he takes a huge leap of faith by seeking out a boyfriend on the internet. Derek winds up with Gerry, a sexy, self-assured older man who owns a landscaping business.

The two hit it off immediately, but both are willing to go slow—to not jump into a relationship or bed with each other until they’re ready. So begins a series of dates meant to allow Derek and Gerry to build a friendship before they become lovers. Yet no matter how well things are going, Derek still worries he’ll end up dumped and heartbroken. Gerry has his own secrets—secrets that could drive a permanent wedge between him and Derek. If these two can learn to fully open up their lives, they have a chance at a future together. If not, it could destroy them both.

Sweet Surrender by new author Ashleigh Walton is a sweet romance and an enjoyable read. The writing’s solid, the characters well-rounded and likable and the plot realistic, even if a bit predictable. I particularly liked Derek. The young man’s taken control, lost weight and started a new life with a guy he’s crazy about, all while attending graduate school. The plot flows in a smooth fashion, interjecting interesting secondary characters, unrest, uncertainly and family angst at appropriate intervals.

I particularly enjoyed the portion where Gerry dealt with his homophobic mother. Ms. Walton handled this all too frequent situation with taste and care, while letting the reader see another side of Gerry—the pained but dutiful son. There are several bumps in the road of Derek and Gerry’s relationship, but the defining moment comes toward the end with an unexpected event which, here, will remain hidden. Just know that it’s handled well, realistic and totally flows with the established plot. Read and enjoy.

Highland Dawn


Title: Highland Dawn
Author: Donna Grant
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419923678
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Moira Sinclair is the oldest of three sisters and has accepted the lonely life of a druid priestess. With her siblings married and safe from harm, she now must go on a journey asked of her by the head of the druids, to save the Fae from danger. The purpose of her journey is to find a key to enter the realm of the Fae, and she must face secrets she has suppressed from herself for years. By her side is Dartayous, her protector who has been with her since childhood, and they have been at odds with each other since.

An immortal and powerful druid warrior, Dartayous has kept others at a distance, so that he didn’t have to watch them die. He keeps a very close watch over Moira as ordered by the head of the druids and she has found a way into his heart, without him realizing it. He finally surrenders his heart, but isn’t able to say the words to Moria craves to hear. It only made it harder for the two of them to communicate because in the past, they both resisted each other’s attraction.

I was very curious about Highland Dawn because there are so many ways this story could have unfolded. This is the third installment of the Druids Glen series and it’s truly a lovely read. When it becomes clear who the main characters would be, I really got interested. Moira and Dartayous kept their distances from each other and neither realized that there was love between them in the beginning of the journey. At times, I got frustrated with them and their stubbornness for not just talking things out.

Donna Grant continues spinning a wonderful tale of druids, finding true love and what can happen in the mist of danger. Even though Moira is a little distant with her sisters, they love her and want to see her happy, too. The main reason the characters keeps going is the prophecy surrounding the sisters and how it will be fulfilled, in order for their lives to be free of danger. Again Ms. Grant has wowed me and left me hanging on for more of the Druids Glen series.

Transcending Darkness


Title: Transcending Darkness
Author: Kate Steele
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419926907
Genre: {M/M} Werewolf, Interracial
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Owen Connors, a human, is in fear for his life, with Devin’s hand gripping his throat demanding to know who is holding Ryan captive. Now Owen is beginning to understand the unbroken bond shared by mates. Ashamed of his betrayal to the Stone River Pack, Owen recognizes he will be punished. Werewolf Sam Sterling also feels responsible; Owen is his future mate, still untrained in what it means to be a werewolf. However, Sam resolves to change that fact by means of edifying Owen with an instructive spanking.

Transcending Darkness is the second book in the Male of the Species series. The story continues from the first story with all of the incredible interactions between the detailed characters in this episode. The Stone River Pack was formed by Devin, who is an Alpha. All of the pack members are outcasts from their birth packs because they are gay. This is a well-written, well-paced emotionally realistic plot featuring Sam, the largest werewolf in the pack, and his human mate, Owen. Sam’s father, his birth pack Alpha’s enforcer, was a bully. When he tried to turn his son into a copy of himself, Sam left home, never to return. Sam’s personality is more passive; he declines to employ his size for intimidating others with his brute strength, unless it is mandatory. Sam takes a more forceful role with Owen as a means to educate Owen relating to bonding with werewolves. Owen is a hustler with trust issues, stemming from an abusive childhood; performing sex for money is his sole realism. He avoids being emotionally involved with anyone until he meets Sam, the only man Owen actually has feelings for. When the impact of his actions is exposed to him, Owen is overwhelmed with guilt. It is with the help of Sam that allows Owen to change his life and discover love and acceptance.

The amazing Kate Steele delivers another outstanding saga with engaging characters so real, it is similar to visiting with friends and sharing their current predicament. The love scenes are exquisite. The plot grabs your attention until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and look forward to the next installment.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

State of Mind


Title: State of Mind
Author: Libby Drew
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-430-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Espionage, Thriller
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Gifted Agent Alec Devlin’s latest assignment for the Organization has him trying to locate a rogue agent, Grier Crist. Soon after meeting, Alec is questioning the true reasons behind Grier’s trouble with the Organization. His snooping goes too far and the hunter soon becomes the prey.

Grier always considered being an agent a rewarding job. Recent events have him pondering the group’s motivation. His apprehension to trust those involved with the group causes Grier to sever ties and go into hiding. Alec isn’t someone he anticipated meeting, but his skills are a boon and vital to Grier’s survival. The two will have to trust one another and team up to discover the truth.

State of Mind takes us into a world of espionage and adventure. The story begins with a suspenseful scene, introducing us to Grier. I couldn’t help but be drawn into the tale at that moment. With danger surrounding him, he had sympathy for others without a second thought. I knew he was an honorable man and wanted to see him discern the truth behind the terrible events unfolding.

Grier and Alec both found themselves recruits of the Organization for similar reasons. Living through painful experiences in their youths shaped and molded their young minds, making them susceptible to the group’s offer. Even with those elements in play, they grew into strong determined men, with intelligent minds and compassionate hearts.

Libby Drew has created a wonderful cast of characters. Each brings something unique to the story. Alec’s personality and quick wit was too much for Grier to escape and drew the older agent in, slowly but surely. Their sexual relationship takes off slowly, but when it finally comes, they use their considerable talents to create an experience you won’t forget. State of Mind is a fascinating tale, with just enough action, suspense, and a drama to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

A to Z


Title: A to Z
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-414-5
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Zach Mitchell went to work at A to Z Video after graduating from college and years later, when the owner retired, he took out a loan and bought the store. The irony is that he hates movies. So, here he is, at age thirty-four, alone, with a job he hates, driving the same car and living in the same apartment. He even kept his former lover’s cat—who hates him. To make matters worse, his business is struggling and he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be able to stay open.

His life changes when Angelo Green enters his store the first time. Angelo’s smaller, dresses like an underage punk, grew up in a series of foster homes and has serious trust issues but despite their differences the two men become friends. When Zach’s break-up with his sleazy, landlord boyfriend puts his lease in jeopardy, Angelo convinces him to move the store to the small town of Coda, where their new friends live. The question is whether the change in location will save the store, while allowing their budding relationship to grow into something they’ve both wanted their entire life—a committed partnership.

A to Z is the follow up release to Promises by Marie Sexton. It was an unexpected find, and as far as I can tell, the author has yet to give a name to this series. It would be possible to read this book as a stand-alone but for a better understanding of the relationship of the secondary characters, it would be better to read them in order. From what I can tell by looking at her website, you should be able to find The Letter Z, a shorter third work available sometime in May.

The story is rather simple in nature, but that doesn’t mean it’s unable to keep a reader’s attention. From the beginning, Ms. Sexton weaves an interesting tale of two men who, by a chance crossing of paths, finds the one person meant for them. It’s not easy, as few relationships are, which means there are plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings, hurt feelings and angst. The personalities of Zach and Angelo couldn’t be more different. One is calm and laid-back while the other is tense and aggressive, which causes more than a few problems as the relationship changes from close friends to lovers.

The overall tone of the story is light, the pace fast, and the dialogue snappy. The point of view changes from Angelo to Zach and back again, so, even though written in first person, it still allows the reader to learn the inner thoughts of each man. Some might find this style of writing distracting but having the chapter designations made it work for me.

It was nice seeing Jared and Matt from Promises and moving Angelo and Zach to Coda a nice change of location for the story. Adding Angelo’s long estranged mother to the cast of characters was a nice touch, as was learning the background of what had happened for Angelo to end up in foster care. They all add history, flavor and interest, helping to pull the reader deeper into the story.

Only In His Dreams


Title: Only In His Dreams
Author: Shawn Lane
Publisher: Amber Quill
ISBN: 978-1-60272-659-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Darrell Lincoln loves his job as billing manager for a law firm but feels like his social life is in a rut. Working all hours under the sun isn’t going to find him friends, let alone the man of his dreams but Darrell’s shyness always did win out over logic. At least at the office, there’s the chance of spotting Travis Anderson, a partner at the law firm. Darrell thinks a handsome, successful man like Travis would never be interested in him but that doesn’t stop him from fantasizing about his boss’ chiseled looks and soft, tempting lips.

Unbeknownst to Darrell, Travis has been keeping a keen eye on the hard working, gorgeous newcomer since his first interview. However, Travis has been out of the dating game ever since losing his longtime lover and is uncertain whether he is reading Darrell’s signals correctly. There are a lot of obstacles in their way, including Darrell’s over-protective family, but can Darrell find the confidence to show Travis how good it could be if only their dreams became a reality?

Only In His Dreams is the first book in Shawn Lane’s new Only Forever series. The writing moves at a nice, steady pace and the author’s style really drew me in. Darrell and Travis are likable, honest characters and their chemistry made for a compelling read. The nervous, shy interactions at the start really created a sense of anticipation that didn’t disappoint. I would have liked a little more time invested into developing Darrell’s family and Travis’ past to help connect to these two as there is definitely substance to the characters. Still, with a welcoming setting and supporting characters open to plenty of possibility, I can’t wait for the next installment.

Sex Scene: Take One


Title: Sex Scene: Take One
Author: Lee Avalone
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-353-5
Genre: {M/M/M} {M/M} {F/M/F} Vampire, Dark Fantasy, BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

From the outside, Hank Blue seems to have the perfect life. With a successful Hollywood acting career, millions of adoring fans and starlets trying to gain access to his bed and heart, you would think he had everything. However, on the inside, Hank is dying a slow agonizing death from denying himself what he truly desires. The trouble is if Hollywood finds out he’s gay, Hank could lose his career.

Wayne Reed watches his fellow actor from afar and wants him with a passion. Even though he knows he should stay clear of Hank, the attraction is too overwhelming. The opportunity of a lifetime presents itself and allows Wayne to introduce Hank to both of his personas, up close and personal. Will Hank prefer the mild mannered actor or his true identity and alter ego Drake the vampire?

Sex Scene: Take One takes place far away from the prying eyes of Hollywood’s gossip mill. I could understand the attraction Drake and Hank shared. Both men are handsome and gentle on the eyes, if not on your heart rate. Both have had years to become acclimated with the struggles of staying off the radar, for two very different reasons. However, when they get together they sizzle. The opening scene definitely grabbed my attention. There isn’t room left to focus on anything but the characters and their chance to enjoy what they have denied themselves. The tidy ending reminded me of what some real life Hollywood stars have done to keep their personal lives out of the media. I found the tale interesting and look forward to reading more of Lee Avalone’s stories in the near future.

A Prophecy of Destiny


Title: A Prophecy of Destiny
Author: Leiland Dale
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 0797734801330
Genre: {M/M} Werewolves
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Will Stanton is working with his grandfather in the family bookstore when he comes across an old trunk belonging to his grandmother. Will inquires about the trunk and his grandfather explains the contents are Will’s true heritage, in addition to his future. Reading his grandmother’s diary Will discovers the prophecy. Days later, Will meets Eric Bryce, the man who is destined to be his mate.

A Prophecy of Destiny is the first book in the Ancient Prophecy series. Before he found the trunk filled with ancient papers, Will leads a cheerful quiet life. He has affection for stray animals and unconsciously attracts them; this has always been puzzling to Will until he read his grandmother’s enlightening letters. Eric Bryce is a werewolf, who dreams of having a mate. However, because his pack members are dying from an unknown source, he stays close to home until the Ancient Ones reveal his part in the prophecy. Eric travels to Carlton, Washington to find his mate. Meeting Will, there is an immediate attraction between them. Both men have compassionate personalities along with harmonized principles. Neither man indulged in random sex before they met each other.

A Prophecy of Destiny has a well-written fascinating plot with believable characters that are very heartwarming. The intimate scenes are fabulous. The well-paced story embraces your attention. Leiland Dale has created an impressive and enjoyable beginning to this series. I am looking forward to the next installment

X-Factor


Title: X-Factor
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-935-4
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Game designer Henry Delloit is a bit of a loner and he lives in an isolated house on the outskirts of a close-knit mountain community. He enjoys his job, loves his home and spends countless hours during the snowy winter months walking through the area surrounding his house. He also enjoys watching X-treme snowboarding and when a competition comes to his area, he’s thrilled at the chance of meeting some of the participants.

Ecco Rasmussen loves snowboarding but has never worked him way into the top group of competitors. It doesn’t help that his manager Blake Dobbs is a mean, possessive jerk, who thinks he owns Ecco. It’s gotten so bad that he doesn’t even allow Ecco to have more than a few dollars and Blake gets abusive when he doesn’t get what he wants.

The attraction between Ecco and Henry is intense from the moment they meet and when the opportunity arises to get away from Blake and the games, they take it heading to Henry’s home. Can these two vastly dissimilar men change like into love and make a life together, or will Blake and the world of boarding get in their way?

X-Factor is the newest release by multi-published author Sean Michael and it follows the unlikely pair of game designer Henry and X-treme snowboarder Ecco. I must admit that I don’t know much about this dangerous winter sport, aside from what I saw recently on the Winter Olympics, so the blurb intrigued me.

I like Henry; he’s a genuinely nice guy, who seems resigned to spending his life alone and then he meets Ecco—and he’s smitten. It’s like a light comes on, allowing him to see the possibilities if he’ll just reach out and take a chance on a little happiness. Mr. Michael has done a nice job getting these two men together, even with numerous roadblocks in their way. The flirting is fun, the passion intense, and the sex sizzling hot (like in all of his books) and frequent.

Blake makes a great villain and being an abuser of someone so much smaller than him, makes him easy to dislike. The descriptions of his rages and physical mistreating of Ecco are heart-wrenching and that he managed to get away with them so long, nothing short of amazing. These scenes add not only intensity and suffering to the story, but interest, color and depth.

I loved the vivid descriptions of the snowboarding events and the wintery-snow-capped scenery; they really brought the setting of the story to life. The ending is equally enjoyable but for entirely different reasons, and while I won’t divulge what happens, please know that it’s intense, fast-paced and gives a fitting ending to the story.

Ecco, while being in his late twenties and experienced in many things, talked like he was ten years younger. I found it both a little annoying and very distracting. At times, I even found it difficult to take his love for Henry seriously. As a trained athlete, Ecco had numerous options open to him. I don’t get why he didn’t report Blake and get away from him. It wasn’t as if he loved him, or didn’t run away from time to time. This part of the story just didn’t have enough explanation for me.

Hide Out


Title: Hide Out
Author: Katie Allen
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419927393
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Mystery
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Trevor Haas’ father is out for blood and Trevor’s option to run is void. His protection is now squarely on the shoulders of Officer Peter Giordano, and what a nice pair of shoulders he has! Trevor cannot help but hope the officer is gay, but has a feeling it’s just wishful thinking.

Peter takes one look at Trevor and knows this assignment might be his hardest. Taking Trevor to a small town named Honeysuckle seemed to be the perfect solution. When a murder takes place near their hideout, it becomes clear the town isn’t as quiet as Peter hoped. Peter’s expectation for a few quiet months to fix up his new purchase, while keeping Trevor safe, alters when they find themselves knee deep in the who-done-it.

Hide Out is the sequel to Private Dicks. Katie Allen has brought us yet another amazing story. There’s plenty of action, suspense, romance, humor, and sexual tension throughout this fast-paced tale. With just a slight touch of BDSM at play, the erotic scenes are charged and sensual.

I loved this small town. The residents bring their unique differences to the forefront, making the mystery harder to solve. I wasn’t quite sure who the culprit was and was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t guess the right person. Two supporting characters caught my eye, a neighbor named Danny and the town sheriff. If I had to choose, I would hope the sheriff is at least in the running. It didn’t slip my notice that he fully understood the alias Trevor used.

The symbolism of the house wasn’t missed either. The importance of a family, a home, and love stood out for me. Working together on the repairs gave Trevor and Peter the time needed to connect and build on their initial attraction. I wasn’t sure if Ms. Allen would be able to make Hide Out as interesting as Private Dicks, and I’m happy to say she accomplished that task without blinking. This story has secured a spot on my “must read again” list!

Moonlight Ménage


Title: Moonlight Ménage
Author: Stephanie Julian
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419927485
Genre: {M/F/M} Ménage, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Tira has kept herself from the two men she loves because she happened to see Nic’s death the first time she touched him. Tira, Nic and Duke were supposed to create a triad, but now she knows that is not possible. Tira also thinks Duke hates her because of it.

Duke loves Tira, but can’t seem to stop constantly picking at her and thinking Tira hates him. Duke thinks that she loves Nic more and won’t even consider him. Nic decides that enough is enough after eight years and decides the three of them will create the triad they should have and is hoping Tira and Duke will continue once he is gone.

The second book of the Lucani Lovers series takes you to some unexpected places. Moonlight Ménage has a lot of angst, as well as suspense, and gives you a better look into this society. In addition to keeping herself away from both Nic and Duke, Tira has also held off taking over the responsibilities to their people from her mother, due to her own insecurities. This book kept you on your toes as you wondered what would happen to the three of them. The three have some chemistry going, once they get together. As you learn about these characters, you get a very good glimpse of how their society is set up and I, for one, am looking forward to reading more about it, as well as how the ongoing mystery will be resolved.

Tall, Dark, Tattooed And Twisted


Title: Tall, Dark, Tattooed And Twisted
Author: Lee Avalone
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-394-8
Genre: {M/M} {M/M/M} Dark Fantasy, BDSM, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Vampires Sataire and Volmere aren’t comfortable with their new Hollywood home and want to keep the neighbors away. No need in making nice with the locals, if it’s not necessary. Their brand of sex is twisted and hardcore enough to make most run away screaming. Sataire hasn’t received pleasure from sex without the edge of pain in years, but that’s about to change.

Actor Clay Young isn’t naive when it comes to the paranormal world, but that doesn’t mean seeing his two friends becoming a snack to a few hot vampires would scare him any less. Clay escapes, but doesn’t get as far as he hoped. His adventure with the new neighbors has just begun.

Tall, Dark, Tattooed And Twisted takes us to sunny California, where anything goes. After their unpredictable evening, it’s no wonder Sataire and Volmere feel like two fish out of water. Meeting Clay and his friends was just what they needed to add spice back into their lives. Clay’s career is important to him, but he’s not willing to bypass love. He kept Sataire and Volmere on their toes. I love his two housemates, Patrick and Henry. The men add humor to the story, and prove never to judge a book by its cover. Lee Avalone includes action to the tale and a healthy dose of BDSM to get the blood pumping. For those who like their vampires with a bit of edge, this is definitely a story you’ll want to read.

Blood in the Water


Title: Blood in the Water
Author: Eric Del Carlo
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-748-1
Genre: {M/M} Science Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Nickerson and BlaqJaq are in the cargo pit of a black market shanghai-taxi, escaping the city after officials took away Nickerson's identity. Nickerson’s career as an assassin had been to keep the new earth colonies clean of the Earth-based criminal cartels. His superiors had betrayed him by entering Nickerson into a death sport. BlaqJaq, an enforcer-for-hire who lived in the undercity, had helped Nickerson survive deadly hunters in pursuit of him. Now the two lovers must fight for their freedom and survive new blood sports before they reach their journey’s conclusion.

Eric Del Carlo’s Blood in the Water is a fascinating follow up story to Steel Sleet, the first episode of Nickerson and BlaqJaq. This well-written storyline is of Nickerson and BlaqJaq’s river voyage, in addition to their battles with scoundrels who live on Earth’s surface wasteland. At the river's end, they discover the city known as New New Orleans. Here, they are offered a chance to earn an escape from Earth if they can defeat an opposing team in the upcoming bloodsport of Carnival. The characters are believable. Both men are honorable skilled warriors who fight to survive. They love and respect each other, along with being well-matched. Nickerson has experience living in cities and space colonies; he exhibits patience in educating BlaqJaq regarding life above ground as well as the verbal communication used. BlaqJaq is intelligent; he swiftly absorbs all the information Nickerson offers. The action scenes are exciting. The intimate scenes are captivating. I very much enjoyed Blood in the Water.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Promise Given


Title: A Promise Given
Author: Stormy Glenn
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerepress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60370-924-8
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

While helping his friends Mason and Jack, police detective Cooper Thomas was kidnapped and tortured by a serial killer, targeting young gay men. Now several months later, he’s not sleeping or eating well and Alec Whitley, the man he loved and lost, is back trying to discuss what happened in their past and explain why he left. Cooper appreciates the part Alec played in his rescue, but he’s not certain his heart can stand being shredded when Alec decides to walk away again. The only thing he can’t deny is that he still has feelings for his former lover. The question is whether he can take Alec at his word and give him another chance, all while trying to hunt down a killer before he strikes again.

A Promise Given is the second release in Stormy Glenn’s ongoing series, The Promises, and takes up a few months after the first release left off. While it can be read as a stand-alone, for a better understanding of the characters and how they relate to each other, I recommend reading them in order.

I have to admit that I fell in love with Cooper’s character when he was introduced as Mason’s friend in the previous book. He was fun, kind, dedicated and loyal to a fault and his kidnapping and torture changed him in significant ways. Ms. Glenn did an excellent job expressing his fear, uncertainty and unrest, but she did an equally nice job describing how he dealt with having his old lover back in his life. These two men have a history that ended in years of suffering for Cooper and that he was able to let Alec back into his life at all is nothing short of amazing.

When I discovered Ms. Glenn was working on a sequel to A Promise Kept, I was thrilled and filled with hopeful expectation, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. This newest story is everything I hoped for and more. It’s well-written with a realistic plot that begs to be read, has vivid descriptions that pull the reader deeper into the story and delightful characters. Despite being separated for almost ten years, Ms. Glenn gets Cooper and Alec’s relationship back on track in a timely and believable manner.

The secondary characters, both old and new, are a wonderful and vital addition to the storyline. Jordan, Cooper’s police partner and Dominic, the owner of a local BDSM club, deserve a story of their own. I have to give a big kudos to the author for her great job of explaining BDSM clubs, what they’re like and the people who own or frequent them.

I, for one, am anxiously awaiting the next release in this keeper series. Fingers crossed its Dominic and Jordan. Hint! Hint!

Dark Man


Title: Dark Man
Author: KyAnn Waters
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419924668
Genre: {M/M} {M/M/M} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Vance wants answers! After the brutal murder and mutilation of his former lover, Vance is on a mission to bring the culprit to justice. He’s sure someone at The Catacombs, an exclusive all-male fetish club, holds the key to what happened that fateful night. Unknowingly, Tac, the club’s owner, helps him gain entry into the club. Now if Vance can prevent falling for the handsome man.

Tac is not only the owner of The Catacombs, but a Master Vampire who takes holding the fate of his sect in his eternal hands seriously. Secrecy is of the utmost importance, and Tac can’t afford to trust the wrong person, especially a human who isn’t a blood slave.

Nevertheless, Vance’s ability to submit attracts Tac as much as his stubbornness. After Tac introduces Vance to his secret world, will Vance accept Tac or run for the hills?

KyAnn Waters’ Dark Man is the third book in the Blood Slaves series. The series gets better with each new tale. We finally see Tac find out the true meaning of love and watch him fight it every step of the way. Vance has his own personal issues to overcome, as well as a secret to uncover. I wasn’t sure of his motives when he was first introduced, but found his cause admirable. A majority of this story takes place in The Catacombs, the BDSM club, and well as the underbelly of the club, that Tac considers home. It is a wonderful backdrop for this story. Vance has to understand how much his life will be altered with a romance involving Tac, so what better location than where Tac dwells. Ms. Waters’ has created fascinating characters for this fantastic series. She mixes action and suspense, mixed in with some luscious sex. I recommend Dark Man to those who enjoy reading gay paranormal romance stories.

The Genesis Clock


Title: The Genesis Clock
Author: Christine McKay
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921919
Genre: {M/F} Romantic Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Satyr Vael

Evie’s father spent all his life trying to piece together the Genesis Clock, a powerful tool created by the builders of the Tower of Babel to harness time and control it. With him dead, it falls to Evie to continue his work. Not everyone is so eager to see the Genesis Clock, though. While she races time itself to uncover truths and myths, Evie also desperately tries to escape those who would rather the thing remain a secret.

Aaron was sent to kill Evie, daughter of a deserter. Unfortunately, that’s proving harder to do than he imagined. Despite the job he’s meant to do, he can’t get her out of his mind. She’s forbidden fruit--the best kind.

The Genesis Clock, like all of Ms. McKay’s books, is impeccably written. She draws you in and doesn’t let go. The pages ooze with danger and intrigue, excitement and utter sensuality like no one but Christine McKay can do.

I love the breathless style of the prose--the intensity of the tombs, the heat of the sensual moments. Ms. McKay amazes me with her unending ability to pen a tale worthy of many re-reads.