Saturday, July 24, 2010

Two Marked Men


Title: Two Marked Men
Author: Roland Graeme
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-448-0
Genre: {M/M} Historical, Western
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Henrique Vermudez wasn’t looking for trouble, but it found him in a small town named Repentance. Killing a man in self-defense leads to foiling a notorious gang’s scheme to rob the local bank, and meeting a man who could make Henrique wish he were a better man. And even knowing that Oren is hiding something isn’t enough for him to stay clear of the stranger.

Over time they will learn to love one another, while these Two Marked Men try to outmaneuver the dead man’s brother seeking vengeance.

Roland Graeme has definitely created a wonderful read in Two Marked Men. Henrique is too handsome for his own good and draws attention without attempting to. He is always ready, willing and able for a fast romp or a hard ride. His attraction to Oren may have started out with a fair dose of lust, but soon evolved into more. Oren’s story isn’t really shared until later in the story, but it clears up his desire for secrecy. I wanted to help the men do battle after I read all he survived through. The characters draw you into this story. Each has his own past to contend with, but they don’t allow their past experiences to halt their progression to a more committed relationship. Now, if we could only get Henrique to keep his zipper up, they could have a chance at forever.

Two Marked Men talks about rebuilding your life, learning to live beyond life’s hurts and disappointments, survival in the face of small odds, the importance of friends and recognizing your strengths. Oren finally learned how strong he truly is and learned to use his painful past as a catalyst in hard times. I enjoyed reading the story and anticipate more incredible reads from this author in the years to come.

Touch of a Wolf


Title: Touch of a Wolf
Author: Jez Morrow
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-61040-457-1
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-Shifter, Action
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

The day Matt meet Channing was the worse day of his life. The day Channing came back was the best day of Matt’s life. Or was it?

Touch of a Wolf is a shape-shifter, action-adventure story with some really intense sex scenes. While I loved the characters and the premise of the story, I found it also had a few weak points. Right from the beginning Matt and Channing will pull you into their story, the first time these two meet is hot so beware. Both men are struggling to overcome issues that will, not only hold the reader’s attention, but will play heavily into the plot of this story.

On the other hand there were a few areas, such as Channing’s withdrawal from cocaine and heroine, and the men being on the run that came across a little weak. It is easy to understand that as an undercover cop, Channing was forced to do things from being caught. Now, before heading to court, he is trying to get clean. However, his cold turkey withdrawals were just too mild to be believed, plus the fact that while Matt and Channing are on the run, Matt uses his ATM card, with no worry of being caught.

Touch of a Wolf is still a good story that’s full of action, and with a new spin on the werewolf concept that gives it a fresh feel.

Julian’s Jeopardy


Title: Julian’s Jeopardy
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-811-2
Genre: {M/F} {M/M} Paranormal Shape-shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Through genetic manipulation, government scientists have finally created a super-soldier, The Circ. As with the original group who can transform into great hulking barely human beasts, the current, more dangerous second generation are also psychically gifted in some manner. The four men on this team operate under a project title of Dawn Endeavor, working for a secretive woman, Mrs. Sharp, that they don’t completely trust.

Julian Hawkins takes his responsibilities as group leader very seriously and with two of the members now mated, the group dynamics are changing in ways he never imagined. Unfortunately, some things never change, which explains why Julian finds himself kidnapped and held prisoner by a groups of scientists determined to extract the key to his genetic code. After weeks of abuse, a woman meant to be his mate saves him. Months later he still isn’t certain she wasn’t a hallucination, so he’s surprised when their boss introduces her as the team’s new medical specialist. Can he trust this woman who holds his heart, or has she come for another reason—one that could get his team killed?

Julian’s Jeopardy is the latest release in the paranormal shape-shifter series, Dawn Endeavor, and since the plot and characters of these books are so heavily intertwined, I recommend they be read in order.

The action starts on the very first page and the plot speeds to the end like an out of control freight train. It’s a tale filled with dangerous scientists, crazy military men, close friendships, passion, love, desire and a few mysteries about Mrs. Sharp revealed. For a paranormal lover, it has all the components needed for an entertaining read.

I’ve enjoyed all the previous stories, but this newest book is now my favorite. I admit to being curious about Julian from the moment he was introduced, so I was thrilled to learn I didn’t have to wait for the last book in the series to read his story. He’s a complicated and interesting man, with a rigid core of strength and dependability, that’s become the backbone of his team and when he goes missing, they almost fall apart. It’s with the characterizations and relationships in this release that Ms. Harte excelled. Despite being changed genetically, at heart they’re still human, with all the pain, desire and problems that entails. These men and woman are a family and you can feel the love, caring and warmth radiating from the scenes.

The attraction between Sheridan and Julian is immediate and intense and adding her to the plotline as his love interest is a nice twist. Ms. Harte has written her well—fitting perfectly into Julian’s heart and world, and the healing gift is a perfect fit. She’s dedicated, loyal and loving but isn’t going to let anyone walk over her, including Julian. Oh, and did I mention there’s a little surprise coming for this totally human mate. Read and find out what happens. My lips are sealed.

*Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, ménage, and voyeurism.*

Lassoing Lara


Title: Lassoing Lara
Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419927812
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

After a few drinks too many, Brody Courage somehow manages to make it home in one piece. For a man who liked being in total control, it was a devastating blow to wake up and discover he was cuffed to his bed. All Brody could do now was hope that one of his brothers showed up.

Anger quickly takes a back seat to arousal when he realizes his tomboy neighbor, Lara Jacobs, is his rescuer. After Lara leaves, the fog begins to lift from Brody’s brain, leaving some very erotic memories. Obviously, he had sex with someone but until that moment, Brody hadn’t realized that someone was Lara. Apologizing to her will be a breeze compared to getting Lara to give him more than a one night stand.

Sometimes a person can’t see the forest because of the trees and that is the problem between Brody and Lara. Ever since they were teenagers, Lara had the biggest crush on Brody. The simple man never saw her as a woman, so how could she be his woman? Almost too late, Brody admits to himself what he really wants from life. Lassoing Lara has a sweet "girl next door" kind of vibe. The history between the couple makes the plot flow and keeps the romance from feeling too rushed. Usually I tend to identify with the female character, but Brody makes me feel so comfortable that I couldn’t be mad at him. N. J. Walters is definitely an author who has captured my attention and I look forward to more of her stories.

Uninhibited Fire


Title: Uninhibited Fire
Author: Aubrey Ross
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521- 426-9
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM; Shape-shifters
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Emily is helping morphs escape Alpha Colony, to get them out of the Department of Morphological Affairs (DOMAs) clutches that Emily’s family was instrumental in creating. While on a mission to try to track a rogue tiger and his mate, she comes in contact with Cruz and kidnaps him.

Cruz has been trained and then used as an assassin by DOMA for years. Now retired, he still takes occasional missions. He has been asked to get a prototype from Emily but finds himself a prisoner outside the walls of the colony.

The last installment of the Alpha Colony series, Uninhibited Fire, answers questions that begged to be answered. This book is intense, as you follow Emily and Cruz’s relationship after a huge misunderstanding. As the two learn to trust each other, they start working toward a common goal. Be warned that the sex between them is scorching. As their relationship progresses, so does the suspense.

We can all identify with some of the personal dynamics that happen between relatives and friends in this book, though I was ready to slap Emily’s cousin. The intrigue among some of the friends and enemies will keep you on your toes as you try to figure out how the main conflict will be resolved; it is very surprising. This series is one I will be reading again.

Seducing the Sheik


Title: Seducing the Sheik
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-177-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Gavin Burk was enjoying his solitude life until a close friend calls on his services for a dangerous mission. His expertise is required to protect Prince Ali Zahar and discover the culprit behind the escalating assassination attempts.

Ali isn’t a born leader, but does what he must for his small country, Jurru. The position was already difficult to deal with but the attempts hurting those surrounding the Sheik has added more stress to his life. The longer his tenure is drawn out, the more Ali feels trapped. Having Gavin’s support helps him through this trying time while giving them a chance at a future filled with happiness and love

Even with the knowledge of the threats and an uncertainty about people he should be able to trust, Ali stands by his convictions and only wants the best for his country and its inhabitants. When I first met him, his strength and genuine caring nature made me wonder why he wouldn’t be the leader, but as I read further along, I discovered he didn’t have the cool and calculated temperament necessary for that particular role. He leads with his heart on his sleeve, until someone he loves is harmed.

Gavin’s pain is still fresh. With so many believing his theory on a past event to be false, he doesn’t allow anyone close because he is sure the danger is real and still exists. The men heat up the pages with delicious erotic scenes designed to make readers melt. Carol Lynne has created yet another fantastic story for the Bodyguards in Love series. As always she throws in a hint about the next story’s main characters and I’m so excited to see who’s up for the chance to be bitten by the love bug.

Ms. Lynne’s Seducing the Sheik is a mixture of action, suspense, family drama, and the theme of new beginnings. It’s a fascinating story sure to have you begging for more.

Freedom’s Treasure


Title: Freedom’s Treasure
Author: Janet Quinn
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-695-6
Genre: {M/F} Historical
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Sam is mostly content with his life, a free man who owns his own lands, instead of being one among many slaves. The one thing missing in his life is a wife and maybe some children, yet he keeps to himself and only spent time with his adopted family, when necessary. Then one day while working in the fields, he spies Jubilee walking on his land with two other slaves but one is hurt, unable to keep moving. Jubilee finds her way into Sam’s heart without his realizing it, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her by his side.

Jubilee is a runaway slave who is bent on finding her young son, who was taken away from her and sold at the tender age of four. She has searched for him for years, regardless of how big of a toll it has taken on her life to find him. A mother’s love is a strong bond to a child, but is it enough for her to leave Sam and the love he has for her? With her mistrust of whites, it becomes a battle of wits to stay by his side, and learn to trust others.

Freedom’s Treasure is quite a touching story, and one that tells of what two people must do to survive the dangers that come their way. I found myself wanting to shake some sense into Jubilee at times, but understood her reluctance to trust people with her freedom. Sam continued to surprise me with his torn loyalty between his family and Jubilee, and finally his building anger at her to make her choice.

This book reminded me of the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman, who helped other slaves escape the south. Jubilee found herself helping others get away from masters who abused the women and worked them to death, if needed. I had to side with Jubilee’s anger at one couple’s behavior, after she had done so much for them and her willingness to help them escape.

I enjoyed reading this book by Ms. Quinn, and realized that I have read other of her books too! There is a lot of detailed information given about the characters, properties and their secrets that they hold close to their hearts. If you decided to read this book, be prepared to be taken back to a time that may be a little disturbing to you, due to the abusive handling of the slaves.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Morgan's Vigil


Title: Morgan's Vigil
Author: Sophia Titheniel
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-438-2
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Chasing after his notebook, which had been thrown into the line of traffic, Morgan Lane woke up to see his body lying on the street; face down, blood dripping from the side of his head. Bewildered by this revelation, Morgan’s only thoughts were to follow his body to the hospital, in hopes of regaining his whole self again. Upon arrival, Morgan meets intern Derek Elbert; the only one who could actually see Morgan.

Morgan's Vigil is the second story in the City by the Bay series. The well written plot features events surrounding the LGTB help and support center based in San Francisco. The characters and circumstances are realistic. In this episode, Morgan is a quiet young gay man who loves to write poems. He has no interest in playing sports. Morgan is looking forward to the time when he will leave for college. His plans are to major in Modern Literature and Poetry. Because Morgan is smaller in stature than the football jocks, as well as being gay, Morgan is a target for the bullies. It is a bullying event that sends Morgan running straight into a speeding car. Morgan’s life is abruptly suspended into an indeterminate state. However, Morgan is not dead; he’s just out of his body. No one can hear or see him except Derek, a compassionate man who helps Morgan overcome his fears and find his place in life.

The incredibly talented Sophia Titheniel has created a reality series highlighting developed characters surviving some of life’s tragedies. Although the life-altering situation is heartbreaking, the outlook for the future is optimistic. The emotional elements are poignant. The character interaction is great and the sexual intimacy is fantastic. I enjoyed Morgan's Vigil immensely.

Solstice Mistletoe Effect


Title: Solstice Mistletoe Effect
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-478-7
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Lovers Lance Rivera and Magnus Carstens have moved in together and they have started building a family with Magnus’s young nephew, Jakob. It’s not easy being an openly gay couple in small town Wyoming and the stares and open hostility is difficult for Lance and Jakob to handle. It’s putting a strain on the adults’ relationship and when summer rolls around, all three agree that a trip to Sweden to visit Magnus’s parents will allow time in a loving environment to recharge their emotional batteries.

It’s obvious from the moment the three arrive that, not only don’t Magnus’s parents approve of their son’s relationship with another man, they intend to do everything in their power to destroy it. They feel it’s long past time for Magnus to put away his silly rebellion and do the responsible thing and marry. The woman chosen as perfect for the role of daughter-in-law is Sigrid, a former student and intellectual equal of their son. Magnus has never thought of Sigrid on a personal level and is totally oblivious to the manipulations going on behind the scenes. When he’s suddenly offered a prestigious position from the University of Stockholm, Lance fears the worse—that Magnus will chose Sigrid and his work over the life he has with him and Jakob.

The Solstice Mistletoe Effect is the second release in the new series Mistletoe Science and it begins a short two weeks after the first book left off.

Magnus and Lance make a great couple and it was nice seeing how they changed and grew in such a short period of time. I particularly like Lance, who took easily to his new status as house dad and primary care-giver of Jakob. The author did a nice job expressing the love he feels for Magnus and Jakob, and his continuing gut-wrenching insecurity. Lance’s feelings are a mystery to Magnus. It’s not because he doesn’t care but rather because he’s clueless and doesn’t understand the depth of his partner’s pain.

Reading a story set mostly during the Christmas holiday season when it’s sweltering outside is a nice change. That‘s especially true since the majority of the plot takes place in Sweden, a locale I’m unfamiliar with. I enjoyed learning about the Swedish holiday traditions, foods and attractions, making it doubly enjoyable since Lance and I were each seeing them together through the story for the first time.

From the beginning, I was drawn into this plot, and while parts weren’t exactly a surprise, it didn’t prevent the book from being a cute, entertaining and enjoyable read. I did have a couple of problems. I thought the responses and actions of Sigrid and Magnus’s parents were a bit over-the-top, especially the scenes that took place in front of young Jakob. And Sigrid’s threats and verbal abuse of Jakob is totally unacceptable adult behavior. If those had been handled just a little differently, I would have found them more believable.

Sparklers Lit


Title: Sparklers Lit
Author: Nicole Dennis
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://silverpublishing.info/
ISBN: 978-1-920468-04-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Erotic
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

When Cameron Graham arrived at his best friend’s Fourth of July celebration, the last person he expected to see was his former lover, Derek Taylor. Even eight years later Cameron has to admit the wounds are still open. Will Cameron allow Derek back into his life, or has he decided he can no longer trust the man who still holds his heart?

Nicole Dennis’ release, Sparklers Lit, takes us to a small town where fireworks are seen by all during the holiday celebration and the reuniting of Cameron and Derek. His initial reaction to seeing Derek didn’t bode well for a rekindling of the flame. I was surprised when Cameron allowed anything to occur without a clear explanation of where Derek’s been over the past years. But you soon discover their attraction is still alive and thriving and leads to intense welcome-back sex. I’m guessing, between their scare that leads to some of Derek’s situation coming to light and the epilogue, that Cameron was able to gain all the answers he needed to move forward. While I could understand Derek’s desire for privacy and protecting those he loves, I still wish I had clarity on why he put Cameron through so much pain in the first place.

I loved that this took place during Independence Day, a time of new beginnings through the fight for change. Cameron has moved forward, fighting to carve out a good future for those he loves, himself and his community. He is such a fun and dynamic character. He draws you into the story with his warm personality. There is a dash of humor in Sparklers Lit, and the supporting characters add a nice balance to this story. I found this story to be an interesting and entertaining read.

Love Means…Freedom


Title: Love Means…Freedom
Author: Andrew Grey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-518-0
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

When Stone stumbled upon Geoff and Eli’s farm, he never thought he would find the love and support he never got at home. After starting a relationship with Preston, he began to worry that everything would be taken away.

Preston did not care what the doctors or anyone else said; he was going to walk again. Maybe he hadn’t been on his best behavior when he and Stone first met but he knew that with the young man’s help, he’d be walking in no time.

The title in the latest Love Means series fits the characters perfectly. Both Stone and Preston have been facing issues that have kept them from living life to the fullest. For Stone, it was an abusive father and worse. That he would be mistrustful of others when first arriving at Geoff and Eli’s is understandable, as is his constant worry of not being good enough. Preston, on the other hand, may be your typical poor little rich boy yet he soon realizes he does not want to rely on someone else to do for him all the time. The intense anger he feels for his situation will ring true for the reader.

While the chemistry between the two is there, it’s not enough to sustain a relationship and soon they’re forced to deal with misunderstandings. One of the things I enjoy about this author is his ability to make the situations fit into the story so that when a twist does show up, the reader is not left wondering ‘what just happened’.

Love Means…Freedom is also full of secondary characters, all from the previous stories, giving fans of this series a chance to catch up on all their favorite characters. While each book can stand on its own, I would recommend reading them in order so that you can enjoy each new book as they come.

Untamed Hunger


Title: Untamed Hunger
Author: Aubrey Ross
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-354-5
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Alpha Colony turns out to be a “prison” for shape-shifters and Sasha has been stationed there to maintain order. Having sexual relations with one is forbidden but Sasha has been lusting after Grayson since she got to Alpha Colony.

Grayson knows that Sasha and the other military personnel have been lied to, but didn’t know just how far the scientists and people in power had gone until he met Sasha. He can’t get her out of his mind and eventually realizes she is his mate.

Untamed Hunger is the first book in the Alpha Colony series and holds quite a few surprises. The author gives you a look at the history of the shape-shifters that Ms. Ross created, as well as one very big surprise toward the end. Keep ice on hand when you read the scenes between Sasha and Grayson. Ms. Ross does a great job showing you Sasha’s vulnerability underneath her tough military exterior. As the story progresses you wait with bated breath, wondering where it will lead. I, for one, can’t wait to read the next book.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Forest of Corpses




Title: A Forest of Corpses
Author: P.A. Brown
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-164-8
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: Recommended Read
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Santa Barbara Homicide Detective Alexander Spider and his lover, Jason Zachary, have been together for seven months. It’s been a time of change and a rebuilding of the trust they once had in each other and their dominant/submissive lifestyle. Both are committed to the other and their relationship but Alex is still afraid he’ll lose control and he’s unwilling and unable to let go and give Jason the pain/pleasure that he wants and needs.

Jason comes up with the idea that he and Alex spend time together roughing it while hiking and camping for a week in the Los Padres National Forest. Alex is a city boy, who isn’t interested in the great outdoors, but he’s willing to do anything to make his nature-loving partner happy so he reluctantly agrees. During the trip, Alex learns a lot about both himself and Jason and over a period of days, begins to enjoy himself. The trip turns into a dangerous nightmare after the two stumble across a group of heavily armed marijuana drug growers and a couple of decaying corpses. It’s during their mad rush down the mountain that Alex gets shot.

A Forest of Corpses is the sequel to P.A. Brown’s The Geography of Murder and due to the ongoing plotline, I recommend they be read in order. Please be aware that the story is written in alternating first person viewpoint.

Once again, Ms. Brown has given her readers a book filled with great depth of character, grit, passion and desire. Alex and Jason are still as much in love as ever; they’re just having a few problems. I like these two guys. Alex is a big, domineering Alpha and despite his Dom personality, deep down he’s got a soft, loving heart and he wants Jason to feel safe and happy. Jason is just as crazy about Alex and he’s determined their relationship get back on solid ground.

The author has done an amazing job expressing what’s going on in Alex and Jason’s life, including their problems. Yes, initially Alex and his partner are solving a crime but that’s where the similarity to the first release ends. The backbone of this story revolves around Alex and Jason fixing their relationship and later, trying to survive. The camping trip through the woods was very well done, letting me feel Alex’s initial unhappiness and his developing joy in the out-of-doors. The descriptions of the areas they hiked through, the interaction between the few hikers they came across and their blistering hot lovemaking is very well done.

But where Ms. Brown excelled was the portion of the story from corpse discovery to the end. It was during these pages that the previous leisurely pace suddenly turned lightening fast as Alex and Jason struggled to survive the armed gunmen chasing them. I thought the scenes of the severely wounded Alex as he lay hidden were excellent, allowing the reader to feel his pain, frustration and disorientation as life endangering infection set in. She did an equally nice job with Jason on his frantic search for help, and his mama-bear assisted solution to dealing with the drug dealers is creative, unique and totally surprising.

Okay, I’m going to stop now. Just take it from this satisfied reviewer, get this book, read it and enjoy. I have great hopes that we’ll be seeing more of Alex and Jason again in the future.

Seduction in Paradise


Title: Seduction in Paradise
Author: Tianna Xander
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-566-5
Genre: {M/M/F}, Ménage, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

After being rescued from a camp where Sabrina and other women had been abused, Sabrina found an abandoned cabin. Later, she finds two young boys locked in a car and their parents dead from an animal attack. Sabrina must leave the cabin she is living in because has no more supplies and realizes she must accompany Luke and Daniel to Paradise.

Luke and Daniel found her in the cabin and stayed to help her until it became clear they must return to Paradise. The men know they have to tread lightly where Sabrina is concerned as she does not trust men even though she is their mate, and she is rejecting the idea. Luke and Daniel hope to overcome her fear and mistrust of them.

Seduction in Paradise is an intense story that has introduced information about the different societies within the world that the author has created. I could not put this book down, once I started reading it. The chemistry between the three is good, but the relationship they start to build is even better. The ending surprised me and I am so looking forward to the next book in the Paradise series. Ms. Xander added some very intriguing twists that should prove to be very interesting in the future.

Fuchsia: Fanged Trouble


Title: Fuchsia: Fanged Trouble
Author: Winnie Jerome
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61404-010-7
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Adam Sotiros, a werewolf, could not resist harassing Vampire Philippe Maquereau, whenever possible. Both clans had been at war for hundreds of years. However, the Department of Extra Normal Affairs had sent a team to try to negotiate a cease fire with the two groups, in order to avoid injury to humans. Things come to a head with the human race’s latest demand for the shifters and vampires to end the feud or be destroyed. The only solution is for Adam and Philippe to fake becoming bonded. The question at the moment, is the bonding fake or prophecy?

Fuchsia: Fanged Trouble is an exciting well written story of two opponents who secretly love each other. The plot is action packed. The characters are believable. Adam and Philippe have a personal history together, which adds fuel to their existing dilemma. Their first meeting is one of combat on Adam’s part while Philippe had fallen head over heels in love with Adam. Philippe is old world elegance; he enjoys the finer things in life. He is well versed in financial matters, although using the internet for stock exchange information perplexes him. Adam is internet savvy, could care less about being fancy, and lives in the here-and-now world. Adam dislikes the smell of vampires; nevertheless, he had never found Philippe's scent objectionable. Philippe is the type of man Adam is most attracted to, although he tries hard to resist Philippe’s appeal. The dialog, as well as their interactions to each other, exhibited a love/hate relationship.

However, zombies invading the city become the starting place for Adam enlisting Philippe for help. The wonderful Winnie Jerome has created an impressive, as well as enjoyable, saga interwoven with humor and a touch of intimacy.

A King’s Ransom


Title: A King’s Ransom
Author: Aislinn Kerry
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-60272-706-9
Genre: {M/M}, Fantasy, Historical
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

All his life, Prince Luke has been taught to do his duty for his country. With his father sick and not expected to make it, Luke is forced to marry, in order to ensure his country has an heir. While on the way to meet his bride, his ship is overtaken by pirates and soon, Luke is wishing he was anyone but a prince.

When checking out A King’s Ransom on the publisher’s site, you will see that the book is classified as a fantasy. Don’t let that fool you as this story was one of the best historicals I have read in some time. From the very first paragraph, I was pulled in and, until the last page, I felt like I was in the middle of an old Errol Flynn movie. The characters are strongly written and I could not help being drawn to them. Conall is a pirate, happy with his life on the seas. Luke is a Samari prince on his way to meet his bride for the first time. Luke feels something for the rugged pirate from the very first moment, yet the author keeps things hopping as the young virginal prince comes to terms with what he is feeling. For Conall, things are slightly easier as having feelings for another man is nothing new to him, yet falling in love with a prince is not what he was looking to do.

With the on-again, off-again conflict between Conall and Luke, as well as the sudden problems with Samari, I could not put the book down. If I had any problems with this story is that it ended too soon. If you are looking for something to read that has a little action, adventure, humor, and of course hot sex, then check out Aislinn Kerry’s A King’s Ransom. You won’t be disappointed.

Beauty’s Beasts


Title: Beauty’s Beasts
Author: Teal Ceagh
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419928758
Genre: [M/F/M] Contemporary, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Riley Carson Connors grew up in the foster care system, without any knowledge of her parents or their past. She lives in Pittsburgh with her best friend Sabrina, avoids all emotional entanglements and is working diligently to graduate from college. Her world is tipped on its axis with the arrival of Damien and Nicholas, two dangerous vampires who claim they knew her mother and father. What they have to tell her is fantastic……and terrifying. Her parents were successful, and feared, demon hunters and the creature that killed them is now after Riley.

Damian and Nicholas were lovers for centuries but the death of Tally Connors drove them apart. They’ve come together for the sole purpose of honoring their dear friend’s request to protect her daughter. Within a few hours of meeting, Riley is on the way the New York with two virtual strangers, determined to train—to learn how to survive and win against the gargoyle, Lirgon. She also must learn to deal with her attraction to two Alpha vampires who play erotic mind games, and each is hiding a personal sexual agenda that’s simmering just below the surface. Which one does she want—or can she have both?

Beauty’s Beasts is the second release in Teal Ceagh’s urban fantasy series Guardian Bonds. It’s the first book by the author that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last.

The book is relatively short at around 140 pages but the author has packed a great deal of action, passion, desire, danger and sex within, making it a paranormal lover’s wicked delight. Damian and Nicholas are as different as night and day. Damian is sexy, fun, loving and charming, while Nicholas is brusque, cold and emotionally closed off; yet I liked them both. Riley’s smart, dedicated and a determined control freak who’s scared of getting hurt. The growing relationship of Riley and the vamps is the backbone of the story but training her to survive is what moves the plot forward. Add in Riley’s heritage, the newly resurrected rogue gargoyle clan killing unsuspecting New Yorkers and the demon, Azazel, and you have all the components for an entertaining read in a keeper paranormal series.

The secondary characters are few but important and the twist of having a sculptor, Nathan, involved in was a nice touch I didn’t expect. I also liked Sabrina, Riley’s best friend, and even though her part was rather small in the beginning, her return at the end sets up the next release, Sabrina’s Clan, very nicely. I anxiously await the next installment of this series. Read and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dancing with the Tide


Title: Dancing with the Tide
Author: Neil Plakcy
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-586-9
Genre: {M/M} Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

We sometimes find ourselves measuring life by accomplishments, goals and lessons learned. Fortunately, Liam McCullough and Aidan Greene have found a fun way to use that measuring stick, and the results are part of an ongoing disagreement. The men have moved beyond being partners in love to partners in business.

Singer Karif al-Fulan has just come out of the closet and isn’t greeted with understanding but death threats. While Aidan is still a newbie, Liam is a seasoned bodyguard who has honed his abilities. They will need both of the men’s experience levels to successfully keep their latest client safe and happy.

Dancing with the Tide is Neil Plakcy’s sequel to Three Wrong Turns in the Desert. While reading the previous story is beneficial, it’s not necessary if you want to read this standalone without difficulty.

The main and supporting characters are well developed and interesting. Aidan’s past history with men helps him relate to Karif’s plight. Eventually, Liam discovers he has a slightly similar experience with the young pop star, and it leaves him ready to extract blood and dish out pain. It’s hard for the men to treat the pouting young man as purely a client but they are able to maintain a level of professional decorum throughout the story.

There’s a splash of action and Aidan is his usual horny dog self, so get your cold drink ready and turn up the air. Those who enjoyed the first story won’t be disappointed. Mr. Plakcy once again proved he has a knack for writing stories that pull readers in and keep their undivided attention until the final sentence. I found Dancing with the Tide to be a fantastic read and look forward to seeing reading about Liam and Aidan’s next assignment.

Into the Tiger's Den


Title: Into the Tiger's Den
Author: Miza Izanaki
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Evan is sitting in the quiet of the park, contemplating his new life with his reunited twin brother, Dante, in addition to his new boyfriend Varian, a werecat. The issue is Dante seems to think he knows what's best for Evan, regardless of how Evan feels. When Evan sneaks out of town to visit Varian’s parents without informing Dante, pandemonium at Varian’s parent’s lodge prevails.

Into the Tiger's Den is a follow up sip to Ride the Tiger: The Six of Swords. The snippet is well written with interesting characters, who all work at The Body Shop, a gay night club. Evan is a shy quiet man who accepts Dante’s dictates even though they are not what Evan desires for his life. Dante is overprotective and, at times, overbearing when it comes to Evan. Varian is an easy going shifter who understands Evan’s dilemma and gives Evan time to resolve his problems with Dante. Miza Izanaki’s Into the Tiger's Den is a delightful, as well as enjoyable, update with a warm and realistic personality interpretation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Raising Kane




Title: Raising Kane
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-063-5
Genre: [M/F] Contemporary Western
Rating: Recommended Read
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Ginger Paulson is an independent minded woman who splits her time between working at her law practice and caring for her disabled father and small son. She’s also tall, smart as a whip and hates to ask for help from anyone, which becomes a problem after she slips and falls down a set of icy stairs, landing her in the hospital. Used to depending on herself, she doesn’t know who to turn to for help. Her son, Hayden, doesn’t have the same problem. He immediately calls his mentor in the Big Buddies/Little Buddies program, Kane McKay.

Kane is the only remaining older McKay cousin, who’s unmarried and childless. His days of partying until dawn are long gone and he spends most of his time working the ranch, with his little buddies or just hanging around his trailer, being bored and lonely. He’s kept Ginger at arm’s length for nearly two years but when he learns of her injury, rushes to the hospital, volunteering to take care of her, Hayden and her father. The feisty redhead might not like needing his help but he’s determined to stay at her side while she heals, showing her the domesticated, caring side of his nature. When she gets a little better, he also shows her the dominant side of his personality, a side that demands total control of their pleasure in the bedroom.

Please be aware that, although Raising Kane is the 9th release in the Rough Riders series, it actually takes place between the epilogue of book 7, Shoulda Been a Cowboy and book 8, All Jacked Up. While reading the books in the correct order would be beneficial, this one will work as a standalone without missing much in the ongoing character relationships.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series since I read the first release, but Raising Kane is now my new favorite. There just isn’t anything in this book that I didn’t like. It grabbed me on the first page and didn’t let go until the last word. The emotional impact is huge and watching Ginger, this control freak woman who’s denied her own needs, open her life, heart and body up to love is a joy. Then there’s Hayden. This kid is too cute for words and I loved his bond with Kane—how they enjoy spending time together. Ginger’s father, Dash, is just as strong willed as his daughter and he’s determined to protect his family, despite being wheelchair bound.

Once Ginger and Kane give into their feelings for one another, their physical relationship is spread pretty evenly throughout the remainder of the story. Some readers might find the amount of sex off-putting but I didn’t find it so. The desire and passion always fit what was going on in the story and it never felt like it had been written solely for the purpose of another sex scene. Yes, it was frequent and graphic, but it was true to the new and growing relationship of Ginger and Kane.

There’s a fair amount of returning McKay and West family members interspersed throughout the story, just like in the previous releases. The author did a nice job showing the love, understanding, pain and passion of their relationships. She also wrote in enough new faces in Kane’s poker games with the younger cousins to fuel a few more books.
I have to commend Ms. James on her ability to keep the writing in this series just as fresh, focused, tight and entertaining in this last release as she was with the first. Great job and keep up the good work! I look forward to the next book in the series, Cowgirls Don’t Cry in early fall 2010.

Tangled Web


Title: Tangled Web
Author: Auburnimp
Publisher: Shadowfire Press
Publisher URL: http://www.shadowfirepress.com/
ISBN: N/A
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Andriel knows he must tell Lucifer of Abriel's schemes, regardless of the fact that most believe he is still a liar. Getting in to see him is impossible with Nathaniel still filled with hatred and jealousy, so Andriel circumvents Nathaniel and goes to Samuel. He knows if anyone can root out the problem and gain Lucifer’s ear, it’s Samuel. His actions help him to finally have an ally when he needs one the most.

Auburnimp’s fifth release of the Angels and Demons series, Tangled Web answers a few questions about Ariel’s captor, as well as grants Andriel an opportunity to gain what he wants most, redemption. I’m hoping he will finally go after a certain demon that carries a torch for him. The story sets us up for a few revelations to finally surface in the upcoming story, as well as begins to right some of the wrongs done to Andriel. I found the story a wonderful read and look forward to reading more of this series.

Shenandoah


Title: Shenandoah
Author: Ally Blue
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-166-3
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Publication Date: August 31, 2010

Bear and Dragon are traveling to Shenandoah, rumored to be a northern tribe where anyone who wants to join is welcome, and the only law is that you can’t harm another person. Bear feels compelled to find Shenandoah after dreaming of the lively city nestled in a green valley far away. However, Dragon didn’t believe in Shenandoah in the first place. He was going along with this plan only because Bear believed it. Along the way, they encounter many dangers like nomadic bands of bloodthirsty butchers who’d slice a man open, perform cannibalism then skin him and clothe themselves in his flesh.

Shenandoah is book 2 in the Mother Earth series. In this well written, well paced, thrilling installment, Dragon must conquer his fears of not being strong enough to emotionally support Bear. When Bear is wounded from a knife attack, Dragon’s healing skills are put to the test. Dragon realized that his love for Bear can withstand any challenge. Furthermore, he would never willingly leave Bear. Shenandoah is more than a myth to Bear. He feels summoned, through his dreams, to find the valley where his future awaits. However, Bear will reject this future path if it means losing Dragon.

The exceptionally talented Ally Blue has created an excellent plot that is action packed, intriguing with emotional drama and marvelous love scenes. The reference to cannibalism is tastefully summarized but not unpleasant. I especially enjoyed the references to plants used in healing. Overall, this is an exciting saga that I enjoyed greatly.

Through the Red Door


Title: Through the Red Door
Author: Devon Rhodes
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-169-8
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Morphers
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Kyrian loved his home until incidents began to occur and he thought it was haunted. Putting his beloved dwelling on the market was a hard pill to swallow, but it brings Seth into his life.

Seth knows the score when he sees the red door; he understands the significance of the color and it’s a recipe for pain for demons. The house is everything he could hope for and something there overpowers his senses. When he notices the home owner is injured and has no clue he’s an angel, Seth is sure he should retract his offer. A powerful demon makes his presence known and then Seth realizes he has to stay and protect Kyrian, even if it costs him his life.

Devon Rhodes’ latest release, Through the Red Door, is part of the Vampires & Mages & Weres, Oh My! series. Kyrian wants love and someone to share his home with. He doesn’t feel financial gains are as impressive as finding your soul mate. Seth hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to his interactions with angels. While he could have enacted revenge and made Kyrian a victim, he decided to allow his heart to run the show. I’m happy that he took that stance; the men make a handsome couple.

I loved this story! This is the first book I’ve read in this series, but I plan to add the upcoming releases to my list of future reads. Action, suspense and erotic scenes designed to make you squirm are awaiting you in Through the Red Door.