Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Magician’s Chains


Title: Magician’s Chains
Author: Michelle Polaris
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419928819
Genre: {M/M}, Fantasy, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jesse had wanted a life of adventure, one that took him as far away from his home town as possible. Unfortunately, when tragedy strikes all Jesse’s plans go out the window. Years later, things are finally coming to a head and it looks like the only one who can help him is Savin.

Michelle Polaris’ Magician’s Chains will please those who enjoy fantasy, as well as BDSM. The story is strongly written, pulling the reader in from the beginning and leaving them wanting to know both men’s secrets. There are many twists and turns in the story, a couple of which I did not see coming, that keep the story from becoming too predictable. The fantasy/BDSM concepts are evenly matched so that one does not overshadow the other.

Not only is the story strongly written but so are the characters. Jesse is grieving the loss of his parents and the life he always wanted. He is so full of anger, guilt and shame that he can no longer control his emotions and worries that he may just hurt someone. When it became clear everything Jesse had gone through, it was easy to understand the feelings that he has been holding in. I am surprised that he did not blow up more often. Savin, a magician and Fae Prince, comes by his magic naturally. Unlike most, his is heavily steeped in BDSM and I wondered how something like that would really go over in Vegas. The chemistry between these two men is very intense. Be prepared as they burn up the pages almost from the beginning.

This was one intense, sexy and intriguing story that I could not put down. Read it today, as you will not be disappointed.

Truth in the Dark




Title: Truth in the Dark
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-530-2
Genre: [M/M] Fantasy, Twisted Fairy Tale
Rating: Recommended Read
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Deformed since birth, Naef, a, ugly, club-footed cripple, has led a painful existence, shunned and despised by everyone in his small fishing village except his mother and older sister, Gwen. He’s a bitter, angry man who lashes out viscously at the tiniest slight. His family is the only people he cares for and when his sister falls in love but refuses her suitor in order to stay in the village to protect him, Naef’s desperate to find a solution that will ensure her happiness.

Aerie-Smith lives on an enchanted island and after an unintentional slight to a Fae woman, he was cursed to walk upright in the form of a lion. He’s the cousin of Gwen’s suitor and he hires Naef as a companion for a year. At the end of their time together, Naef will be expected to complete a particular but regrettable task, after which he will be returned to his family.

While traveling by ship to the enchanted island, one morning Naef wakes to find his body’s been transformed by the same magic that curses Aerie-Smith and his people. Naef now has the perfect, strong body he’s always dreamed of, but that doesn’t mean he believes he’s changed on the inside—on the inside he’s still convinced he’s nasty and ugly. Naef doesn’t know why Aerie-Smith finds him likable, but he’s not stupid enough to turn down someone as gorgeous as his lion-king host. It’s not long before Naef realizes that dreams do come true, in the dark, in his lover’s strong arms.

Truth in the Dark was a totally unexpected jewel of a story. It’s a well written and twisted slant on the classic Beauty and Beast tale, with bits of heartfelt emotion, fun, desire and love interspersed throughout the story. It’s a true romance in every sense of the word and pulls at the heartstrings in the most effective ways. Be aware—this isn’t a sunshine and flowers type of story. Get the tissues ready.

The writing and character development is so good, the story so absorbing and the pace so fast, I don’t even care that the plot is a little predictable -- but not too predictable. The author still manages to throw in some unexpected and creative tidbits, making for a complexity I never expected in a fairy tale. The numerous secondary characters flesh out the story nicely and I particularly enjoyed the appearances of Naef’s protective sister, Gwen. Likewise the enchanted citizens of Aerie-Smith’s island—parrots, monkeys, sheep and every other manner of human turned animal..

Ultimately, Truth in the Dark is a story of Naef’s redemption, showing him that people are more than just the sum total of what appears on the outside. They are the goodness of the love and heart hidden within.

Her Two Dads


Title: Her Two Dads
Author: Ariel Tachna
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-413-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Srikkanth Bhattacharya gave up on the idea of having kids after he discovered his attraction to men. When his best friend asked Sri to be her private sperm donor, he anticipated seeing Jill and their child on occasion, without the complications of being a full-time parent. Hearing of Jill’s death and being faced with providing a home for their daughter scares Sri, but one look in her innocent eyes and he knows there are no other alternatives.

Jaime Frias is Sri’s roommate and will do anything in his power to keep Sophie and Sri together. Overtime, their friendship blossoms into love and the two create a family unit with Sophie. Sri is approached by Social Services, leaving him running scared. Will he have to choose between the man he loves and the daughter who owns his heart? Will they find a way to stay together?

Ariel Tachna’s latest release Her Two Dads introduces us to Sri and Jamie. The two bachelors take on the responsibility of a newborn like pros. Where Sri is nervous because of his inexperience with children, Jamie handles the situation with the seasoned experience of an older sibling. Together, they make fathers any child would be blessed to have.

Ms. Tachna’s story takes you on an emotional ride; from the pain of discovering his friend’s death, the fear of becoming a parent, the realization of awakening feelings for his close friend, back to fear as their family unit is threatened. The characters have an emotional depth that makes you feel their happiness and pain, while you root for them and the precious little girl who has stolen their hearts. It’s easy to believe that, even though we’ve come so far in society, there are still those who have intolerance.

Her Two Dads is a fast-paced story with a well developed storyline that will leave you begging for more. It’s a story about overcoming hatred and bigotry, the joys of parenthood and discovering love when you least expect it. Those who have enjoyed this author’s stories will be pleased they bought a copy.

Only One Love


Title: Only One Love
Author: Marilyn Lee
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419928970
Genre: {M/F} Multicultural, Interracial
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Avantae Sovern and Cameron Graydove are friends with benefits and nothing more. Their sex life is extremely ebullient, but Avantae can’t help thinking it’s time to break things off with Cameron. Unexplained feelings and memories have Avantae convinced that the one man meant for her is waiting in the wings, and she intends to be available when he arrives.

His younger brother has fallen for a woman who is too old for him and Peyton Grayhawk is not happy about it. His plan to get rid of Avantae gets complicated the moment Peyton realizes who she is. The void Peyton had felt his entire life was replaced with a feeling of déjà vu, the second he sees Avantae. For longer than a lifetime, Peyton has been waiting to be reunited with Avantae, even though he doesn’t understand how it could be possible.

Causing problems in the Grayhawk family was the last thing Avantae wanted, but there was no way she was spending another moment out of Peyton’s arms. If Peyton chose his family over her, Avantae didn’t know how she would handle losing him again.

I fell in love with the Grayhawk brothers in the Long Line of Love series and each new story only reinforces that feeling. Peyton and Avantae have a history that is not your everyday love story, so readers can’t fight the building curiosity over what will happen next. There are twists and turns to this story that I never saw coming and I enjoyed the ride. Cameron wasn’t exactly let down easily, so my heart went out to him. If Marilyn Lee is as kind as I think, Cameron will have his own story, because I’m not ready to say goodbye to him yet. I was touched by the affection Peyton felt for his brothers and the lengths he would go to just to keep them happy. Being in love is supposed to be fun and easy, but poor Peyton’s relationship with Avantae is far from easy. Regardless of the hurdles the couple encounters, they overcome them all. If the loyalty and family pride doesn’t bring you to your knees, then the passionate love scenes will. Only One Love is a beautiful reminder of how you just can’t stop destiny.

Love Out Loud


Title: Love Out Loud
Author: Marilyn Lee
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419915482
Genre: {M/F} Multicultural, Interracial
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

A pending birthday and wedding serve as a reminder to Benai Peters that her biological clock is ticking, even though she is no closer to finding a husband. After meeting the wealthy, single and gorgeous Randall Grayhawk, Benai knows that her conservative life is about to change forever.

Randall and Benai are instantly attracted to each other, but Randall knows he has to fight against it. His brother Bancroft is interested in Benai and has made his feelings known to the entire Grayhawk family. Giving in to his desire for Benai would be a betrayal against Bancroft, and Randall couldn’t hurt his brother that way.

Things are already emotional charged in the Grayhawk family and Randall is concerned that Bancroft will slip deeper into the dark place he has gravitated toward. Benai is a temptation that Randall can’t seem to resist. Randall isn’t sure he can give Benai what she wants in a relationship, but he knows that he’s falling in love with her more and more each day. Can he repair the strained relationship with Bancroft and have Benai by his side at the same time?

Love Out Loud is the second story in the Long Line of Love series but I think readers will be able to get the full experience, even if they haven’t read the first story in the series. Although this series is packed with so many emotions that I strongly suggest reading each story. Bancroft isn’t himself lately, and the entire Grayhawk family has rallied around him to help. It becomes painfully obvious that Randall is the Grayhawk brother that Benai wants, even though Bancroft sees her as his woman. Even without this hiccup in the road, Randall has his own issues where women are concerned because of someone in his past. He wasn’t ready to share his heart again and he didn’t want to feel anything stronger than desire. Watching him struggle with falling head over heels in love with Benai made me angry and happy at the same time. Grayhawk men react to everything so passionately and because of that, I feel like I have front row seats in their lives. Watching Randall drop the cold and aloof act and finally come to terms with what he really wanted was a thing of beauty. Marilyn Lee has written another fantastic story that will leave readers breathless.

Nights of Desire


Title: Nights of Desire
Author: Marilyn Lee
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419912085
Genre: {M/F} Multicultural, Interracial
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Tempest Marshall’s plans to start a family were crushed when her fiancé was killed. Her carefully plotted future would have to be altered but there was still hope. All she had to do was find someone to help her get pregnant. Being a single mother didn’t frighten Tempest at all, but waking up naked in bed with her boss had her beyond dazed and confused.

Tempest thinks that Layton Grayhawk was drunk the night of the company party, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He was just tired of pretending that he didn’t want her and jumped at the opportunity to spend the night with Tempest. Layton knew Tempest wanted a baby and he wanted to be the man to make that happen. Things seemed to be working out nicely until Tempest dropped a bomb on Layton.

Tempest doesn’t quite believe Layton’s feelings for her especially when she watched him date so many women after his divorce, none of which were anything like her. He could have any woman he wanted, so why would he want her? Layton isn’t going to let Tempest get away with pushing him way from a chance at the life he wants with her, regardless of what she has decided. Even in death, her ex-fiancé is causing problems in their evolving relationship.

Once Layton explained his reasons for dating so frequently after his divorce, I was rendered speechless. Of all the things he could have said, that wasn’t what I was expecting. I liked him at the beginning of the story but by the end of Nights of Desire, I wanted to leap into the pages so I could have Layton for myself. The history between Layton and Tempest added a comfortable feel to their relationship and helped me relate to them easier. Layton’s physical and verbal expressions of love for Tempest were just perfect and made me jealous. Their story is the perfect introduction into the Long Line of Love series and I know readers will agree. Each and every one of the Grayhawk brothers will stir interest because they all have their own special charm that will draw you in. One can only hope that Marilyn Lee gifts us with a story about each of them.

A Wicked Caress


Title: A Wicked Caress
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/ebjmsite/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-607-5
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

All Noah ever wanted was a family. After living on the streets he finds himself in a make-shift family, one made up of outcasts like him. Unfortunately, they soon draw the wrong attention and Noah and his friends are held hostage by a crazy man. When Noah is finally rescued, will he end up with the family he always wanted?

A Wicked Caress is the latest addition to the Lost Shifter series. Both heroes are men we have met before. Noah, one of the lost shifter children, was rescued in the last story. It was also at this time that we learned of the hardships Noah has faced. It is understandable, therefore, that he would worry about whether or not he is worthy of his family’s, or anyone else’s, love. I liked that the author showcased Noah’s issues rather than glossing over them, making the story more realistic.

Seth is one of Mitch’s many soldiers and has issues of his own, least of which is the age difference between the two men. While I knew the author would find some way to bring these two together, I wondered how long it would take for Seth to see the light. Seth and Noah sizzle once they get together and I loved how Seth refused to let Noah’s past be an issue.

Since this is a part of a series with interwoven story lines, many past characters are present. The snappy dialogue and crazy antics will leave you chuckling, while the twist at the end leaves you wanting more.

This is part of an ongoing series, whose stories, while centered on different couples, have an interwoven plot. I would highly recommend reading this series in order so that you will have a better understanding, and appreciation, of the characters as well as the story line.

Angelic Surrender


Title: Angelic Surrender
Author: Crista McHugh
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-111-3
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Two years after seeing Anjali again, Will Vassago can’t stop thinking about her, who saw and touched him, the fallen angel. His desire for her hasn’t lessened, and now he needs her help to find a Skinwalker that escaped from Hell. Will is forced to be on the human plane by Heaven and he has the job of sending all demons back to Hell. The last thing he wants is for Anjali to find out what he truly is and that’s something he’s not proud of.

Anjali, an employee of the Kavanaugh Foundation and demon hunter in her own right, enjoys her job. She is shocked to find Will sitting on her sofa; making himself at home and she is fuming from the mess he’s made. After he explains why he’s there, she’s forced by her company to help him and she is trying to get the assignment over as quick as possible. That’s because she doesn’t want to lose control over her emotions or have her attraction to him become an issue.

Angelic Surrender jumped off at a quick pace and didn’t stop moving until the end, whew! There is a lot of plotting, action, murders and hot steamy sex going on throughout this story, with Will and Anjali at the center of everything. This is the second book in The Kavanaugh Foundation series and I thought that Ms. McHugh does a really great job of expressing her storytelling skill. The powerful villains, who added quite a twist to this book, were not who I expected and they didn’t disappoint with their scheming.

Will proved to be the more caring fallen angel, instead of the hardcore demon keeper he portrayed to others. His attempt to keep Anjali from getting under his skin proved how much he missed Heaven and God’s love. Anjali’s determination to always control her life, and relationships with others, was interesting. There is not a lot of history given as to why she’s like that, only her parents were killed when she was very young.

The characters in this story are new to me, but well able to handle the dangerous situations they came upon. Some of the secondary character were a plus, along with forcing Will to solve the problems, and to me, this is creating more books! These books, so far, don’t have to be read in order but I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to read them.

The Boxer


Title: The Boxer
Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-820-4
Genre: {M/M} Erotic Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Bountiful… Regardless of what one man may lack in an area, there is always something they are supplied with in bountiful quantities. For Dane Connelly, it’s his ability to love and make those around him feel safe and wanted. He’s secure in his masculinity and enjoys his position in Noel’s life as lover, friend and companion but as he tries to hide the complications from his final fight, he endangers their relationship.

Noel is no wimpy lover, regardless of the damage done to his leg so long ago. All he wants is his beefy lover back in their bed where he belongs. And the threat of Narone, a former boxer and vicious killer, being on parole doesn’t help their situation. But Noel is a stronger weapon than even Narone could expect.

Will the men find a way to stop Narone from seeking his revenge? Can they reclaim the glow that has dwindled in their relationship?

Jan Irving, you are truly a master! The Boxer is the second story of the The Contenders series. Dane has grown a great deal since we first encountered him in The Janitor. I’ll admit when he finally put his foot down with Noel, I was shocked and delighted. While I know Noel only wants the best for his lover, at times I wondered if Dane wanted more control in some instances. I finally got my answer and Noel received a wakeup call. Noel has changed as well, thanks to the love of his gentle giant. There are times where my heart broke for Noel. He knew his life would never be the same if he lost Dane and was so frightened. It was nice to see things work out for the lovers.

The Boxer speaks of friendship, second chances, unconditional acceptance and rekindling a love too strong and stubborn to die. I absolutely loved this story and warn readers to ready a box of tissue for those tear jerking moments. There are a few secondary characters that I would love to see in a future story of their own, so I’ll cross my fingers. Those who enjoyed The Janitor will be delighted with this latest installment.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Infected: Prey


Title: Infected: Prey
Author: Andrea Speed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-468-8
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Infected - 5 Nymphs
Roan McKichan knows leaving his position with the police department was best for all around. His career as a Private Detective is rewarding, but he misses the complexity of his prior career. His latest assignment proves to be more difficult than Roan could have anticipated. To find a missing teenage boy he will have to use all of his senses and contacts. Over the course of the case, he will also have to come to terms with the fact that he is no ordinary born infected. Roan is truly the king of the jungle.

Prey - 5 Nymphs
A killer is preying on infecteds and Roan is approached for help by someone he never anticipated. Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, fears the killer has him in his sights and wants Roan’s help before he is assassinated. Will Roan allow his hatred of Eli to taint his inclination for a good mystery or will he rid himself and the community of two blights at once, Eli and the killer?

For Roan McKichan, snarky is his default mode and makes him a character you won’t forget. While I loved him, his lover Paris, stole my heart in portions of both stories. I could understand Roan’s fear as he discovers his abilities but with each revelation came my desire to see him push the envelope and discover his full potential. There is a fair amount of humor in these stories and I can honestly say I’ve never meet a character’s who closely resemble Roan or Paris. They are one of a kind! I still can’t go into my kitchen without giggling every time I look at an appliance.

I enjoyed the stories equally. They are well written with scenes that left me on the edge of my seat. For those who are expecting one erotic moment after the next, you won’t find that in this book. The men are attractive and very passionate about one another, but their sexual interaction is mostly alluded to. If you are looking for a fascinating mystery suspense story with shape-shifters that actually shift, pick up a copy of Infected: Prey.

Arcanum: Vervain


Title: Arcanum: Vervain
Author: Mychael Black
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-013-8
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Detective Jonah Pierce is the Head of Arcanum, the government’s paranormal division in law enforcement. When a new rash of vampiric murders begins, Jonah is called in to investigate. Following a lead from a witness who supplied a name and location of a potential suspect, Jonah is stunned upon meeting the alluring vampire dwelling in the old warehouse. Jonah knew he should refuse to give in to desire. Nevertheless, he found the temptation of the vampire too powerful to resist.

Arcanum: Vervain is a mesmerizing romance with an unexpected storyline. Jonah has mourned the loss of his younger brother Riley for ten years. Jonah feels guilty because he was not able to protect his brother, who was also a cop with the agency, from the vampires who killed him. Long before the death of Riley, vampires killed Jonah and Riley’s parents. Jonah and Riley had a very special bond, broken only with Riley’s death. After meeting the vampire that he cannot resist, Jonah faces several new dilemmas. The first dilemma is his feelings for the vampire; the second dilemma is the almost deadly betrayal of a friend. The well written plot is enticing. The characters are marvelously believable. The love scenes are breathtaking.

The amazing Mychael Black is a master at creating superbly unique vampires that tug at your heartstrings. I thoroughly enjoyed Arcanum: Vervain and hopefully, there will be a follow-up story.

Warning: This story contains situations that some readers may find objectionable: Incest.

Marrick's Promise


Title: Marrick's Promise
Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-160-3
Genre: {M/M/M} Paranormal, Erotic, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Marrick likes to take life by the tale, to live with no regrets, and refuses to allow fear to dictate his future. Being thrown to the lions, well that’s one event Marrick wouldn’t miss for the world. The ultimate thrill turns into the ultimate opportunity to meet his mates. The trouble is Marrick doesn’t want anything to hold him down and make him conform.

Blaine and Luther know what’s expected of them. They know the importance of learning to take care of your mate and how the human sacrifices fit into the grand scheme of things. Will the lions get him to understand their ways or is keeping a promise more important to Marrick?

Marrick's Promise is the second story in Kim Dare’s series Thrown to the Lions. Marrick is the perfect balance to Blaine and Luther. His lively personality and unwillingness to be the overly obedient submissive definitely keeps them on their paws. Blaine and Luther are attentive caring lovers who have as deep a learning curve about humans as Marrick has about lions. The three scorch the pages with their passion. Marrick's Promise is about second chances at life and the importance of communication. Ms. Dare has added a wonderful story to her latest series and I’m looking forward to seeing which lion is next in line to meet his mate.

Carried Away


Title: Carried Away
Author: Cerise DeLand
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419928611
Genre: {M/F} Suspense
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Grant Warwick, an ex-military man with his own security company, is in Venice for a possible new job and he feels like he is having a bad dream when he sees someone from his past. It’s Coco, a woman who he was in a hot relationship with until one day, she disappeared without a word to him. Now three years later, she’s walking back into his life and he’s not sure how her being in Venice is connected to his potential job. When she tries to apologize, he is not quite ready for it and he wants to hang onto his anger a while longer, but curiosity finally gets the better of him and he listens.

After learning from her father of the disaster of his last diplomatic negotiations, Coco Dalton believes she must find the identity of the men. She is a famous photographer requested by many companies, but working for the Agency undercover, and she now needs Grant to protect her, while she bring closure to her mission. With Grant back in her life, helping her to finish up what she started and to solve the death threats, their relationships heats back up again.

The title for this book Carried Away is exactly what happened between the two main characters. I must say that during their efforts to identify the faces of known radicals, they continually found the time to satisfy their sexual pleasures. It was almost too much sex for this to be a suspense story, and I thought it kind of strange that Grant let go of his anger so fast. From the danger that both of them found themselves in, it just didn’t make sense to me how they were able to forget about the need to be careful.

The plot started out well but stumbled along the way, which left me wondering who the ring leader was until the end. Ms. DeLand wove a story but I would have enjoyed it more if the book hadn’t ended so abruptly and left me hanging. I thought most of the secondary characters created quite a stir with their plotting, need for control and there were too many villains to speak of.

Life, Over Easy


Title: Life, Over Easy
Author: K.A. Mitchell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-146-5
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

John is trying to adjust to his new life and not doing very well at it, either. Hoping to meet someone new, he heads to a nearby party. What should have been a party to save the environment turns into the hottest sex he’s ever had.

Mason just wants to forget what he once had. So far, drinking and sleeping around has helped. That was until he picked up a virgin.

Life, Over Easy is the first book in a new series, Fragments, by K.A. Mitchell. Although from two totally different backgrounds, both John and Mason have faced recent tragedies that leave them searching for ways to go on with their lives. While John is trying to live with a life altering injury and Mason is trying to cope with the death of his lover, both men are going through the same feelings of fear, grief and anger. The author has done a wonderful job bringing these feelings across, and I wondered, at times, if Mason would ever be able to move on with his life.

The sex in this story is hot and as the men are not even able to see that they might have feelings for each other, I wondered just what was going to happen. With the help of an interfering ghost and John’s sudden new abilities, the author is able to move these two into a relationship that, quite literally, sets the house rocking.

With a vast group of secondary characters, I can’t help but wonder who will be next.

Isaiah’s Haven


Title: Isaiah’s Haven
Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: samhainpublishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-60928-148-9
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Shape-shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Isaiah Striker always puts family first, which is why he’s traveled across the country to pick up the belongings of his new sister-in-law. He hates crowded cities and its streets filled with scared, hopeless, smelly humans. Isaiah longs for the clean-scented woods where his wolf can run free with his family and pack members. That changes the night he walks down a busy street and hears a female voice that calls to him – pulling the lone wolf inside a bar to a destiny he doesn’t want and didn’t expect. He has a mate and he’s not giving her up, no matter what happens.

Meredith Cross and her children have been on the run from her brutal pack for years. Through willpower alone she’s made a home, taking in several half-breeds needing her care and built a nightclub business, hiding her and her children in plain sight. They’ve safe until the hunters and purist werewolves find them, but now their lives and all she’s worked for is in danger. Meredith wants Isaiah, but is afraid having him in her life is dangerous -- her only choice is to put her pack first and send her mate away.

Isaiah’s Haven is the second release in the paranormal shape-shifter series Legacy. It’s another fast paced, action packed look into the world of werewolves and the hunters who seek to destroy them.

The characters of Meredith and Isaiah are interesting and unique. The author has done a wonderful fleshing out their personalities and making the reader understand what makes them tick by smoothly giving snippets of background information at critical points in the story. The plot is smooth, the emotions passionate and intense and the integration of the secondary characters seamless. I loved that Meredith wasn’t a sweet young thing, but a mature and responsible woman. She’s a dedicated alpha female who has had years of experience taking care of herself and her children-her pack. Isaiah is more of a lone wolf, but he’s equally as determined to protect the people he loves. He and Meredith are perfect compliments and when these two get together watch the passion and fur fly.

Desire of Three


Title: Desire of Three
Author: Jade James
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-818-1
Genre: {M/M/F} Vampire Ménage
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Alex, Haley and a vampire named Lucian must work together to catch a killer. However, all three are facing the same dilemma. Alex is finding it hard to deny his attraction to Lucian. Haley does not know what to do when Lucian approaches her about a long term threesome. Lucian realizes he wants Haley, just as much as he wants Alex. Maybe together they can love each other enough to make it work.

Desire of Three is the follow up to Kidnapped. The plot is centered on the mystery killer and the powerful drug named Xfactor that is being used to destroy vampires plus the love triangle of Alex, Haley and Lucian. The rules of the vampire covenant, and in agreement with the government, are to help the all-male population of vampires find their true mates. Vampires travel to Fantasy House to meet their match. Also for every set of vampires, there's only one woman.

In this episode, Lucian, owner of Fantasy House, is the vampire attracted to two humans. Vampires emit a spicy cinnamon scent that tells them who is suitable as a mate. Alex is overwhelmed at the thought of loving two people. Haley is afraid she will get left behind when Alex and Lucian join together. The storyline mainly exhibits the emotional turmoil of a three way relationship. Jade James has created an interesting futuristic vampire saga.

Experimenting with Ed


Title: Experimenting with Ed
Author: Katie Allen
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419928796
Genre: {M/F} Suspense, light BDSM
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Not satisfied with her job, Claire knows that her boss is not being honest about her research results and she is not about to stand by, watching him take the credit. She is not good with human interaction and when she is persuaded to go out with her co-workers to celebrate at a night club, panic starts to set in. Her boss, Gordon, comes on too strong to her and Ed, the handsome bouncer, comes to the rescue.

Now that Ed has made himself her protector, Claire accepts his offer and they slowly start a relationship because he doesn’t want her to be repulsed by his need to protect her. They find themselves on the run; she is faced with the reality of being without a job and needing Ed to give her the right answers for their future. After he rescues her from her apartment building fire, and numerous murder attempts, they are forced to find refuge with another of Ed’s friends, who holds the same secrets as he does.

Experimenting with Ed is a short story of a lab geek and a genetically altered man, who find love while on the run to survive the danger following them. This is the first book in the Human Design series and I am waiting to get more insight from the next story on why or how Ed was genetically changed. This story is not so forthcoming with much history on either of the characters and I felt they came together by chance because of Claire’s non-existent social life.

Claire’s shyness towards people wasn’t unique for a lab geek, but she made an effort to overcome it. Her honesty, and trust is a plus too, had me liking her even more. She had her moments when she forgot to be shy and she became hell on wheels.

Ed is a reserved person, hiding from authorities who want to use him for their own reasons, and his protectiveness of Claire earned him big points from me. It made sense to me why he tried to be nondescript when he was around others, so as not to draw unwanted attention and he has a humorous side.

This is a nice story by Ms. Allen and she does a great job of storytelling. Her plot is well thought out and making it more believable for me. The romance between Ed and Claire is steaming hot with a little BSDM thrown in and left me needing a fan and cool drink afterwards. Ed introduced one of the five men that are with him, Darwin is his name, and I think his story will be a good one too.

Doms of Dark Haven


Title: Doms of Dark Haven
Author: Sierra Cartwright, Belinda McBride, and Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737- 593-7
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Contemporary, Shape-shifter, Anthology
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Met Her Match by Sierra Cartwright - 5 Nymphs

Mira and Torin are partners. Torin has some rigid rules, which include not getting involved in a relationship. Mira goes to Dark Haven and Torin follows her. He is furious because he can’t stand the idea of another man touching her. Torin realizes that Mira is a natural submissive.

Educating Evangeline by Belinda McBride – 5 Nymphs

Evangeline is running and ends up going into a bondage club to hide. She starts panicking and runs into Harte. Harte knows she is a werewolf and calms her down. Both recognize each other as mates.

Simon Says: Mine by Cherise Sinclair – 5 Nymphs

Rona doesn’t want to settle for just one man after her disastrous marriage. She decides she wants to experiment and goes to Dark Haven to fulfill one of her fantasies. Simon spots her and slowly introduces her to BDSM. Simon tries to convince her that she is his and she doesn’t need to go out with other men.

Doms of Dark Haven is three wonderful stories about BDSM. While each story has its own set of issues that each couple has to overcome, each one has a relationship that is very intense and hot. Each of the various scenes played out between the couples will have you going for ice as they will leave you panting. All three authors have a good understanding of the BDSM lifestyle and will leave you wanting to read this one again.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stirring Up Trouble


Title: Stirring Up Trouble
Author: ZA Maxfield
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-130-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Because of pranks, rashness, as well as his sister’s bad timing, Toby Andrews has been blackballed from working in New York's temples of haute cuisine. However, Toby gets a chance at salvation when Evan Blankenship, owner of the failing restaurant Le Potiron, accepts Toby on a trial basis. Together, Toby and Evan learn what it means to be successful in business as well as in bed.

Stirring Up Trouble is a fantastic romantic comedy. The characters are in depth, with good chemistry between Toby and Evan. The secondary characters insert turmoil into the well written plot. Toby is a good guy who is very creative, in addition to being passionate, about preparing food. It is Toby’s passionate personality that leads him into acting without forethought in some cases plus the lack of freedom to create that inspired the pranks. Toby is a people-pleaser; he enjoys making the customers happy, including the small children who are fussy eaters. Toby loves Evan and is content to remain at Le Potiron creating delicious foods rather than move to a more up-scale place that would better match his chef skills. Evan loves to cook; however, he would much rather stay in the kitchen away from people. What started out as a working relationship between Evan and Toby soon grew into friendship and from friendship into lovers.

The incredible ZA Maxfield has a talent for writing compassionate love stories interwoven with humor. Stirring Up Trouble is an impressive and enjoyable saga. I look forward to the sequel coming next year.

Jager’s Mate


Title: Jager’s Mate
Author: Marisa Chenery
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: liquidsilverbooks.com
ISBN: 978-1-59578-718-7
Genre: [M/F] Paranormal Shape-shifter
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Daylen takes her job of being a cop seriously so when she comes across two men in an alley, fighting with swords, she steps in, ordering the men to put down their weapons. One man flees so swiftly, she can hardly track his movements but the other stands immobile, staring at her. At first the arrest of this huge man goes according to plan, until she suddenly finds herself pinned to the ground and he’s kissing her—and she doesn’t want him to stop.

Jager has waited centuries to find his mate and one whiff of the determined cop trying to arrest him and he knows the one woman meant for him is within his grasp. She’s beautiful, sexy and, he’s relieved to learn, also tough enough to survive as a werewolf’s mate. After one kiss of the little spitfires soft lips and Jager knows he’ll do whatever’s necessary to claim the woman as his own. The question is how to do it when every time Daylen sees Jager, she tries to arrest him.

Jager’s Mate is the newest release in Marisa Chenery’s current shape-shifter series, Roxie’s Protectors.

Daylen and Jager are interesting characters—both are dedicated, determined and ready to battle for what they believe is right. Their relationship starts off a little unusually, but I appreciated the creative twist of a sword fight in an alley and an almost arrest.

Ms. Chenery did a nice job bringing in the characters from the previous release, giving the book a good sense of fun, love and family. I particularly enjoyed the bantering interaction between Jager and Leif and Jager and Roxie; those snippets of conversation had me chuckling. Another aspect I enjoyed was Daylen and her ability to physically and verbally stand up to her mate—she isn’t a shrinking violet type of woman, but a strong-willed and determined cop who’s used to taking care of herself. Daylen’s a woman created to perfection for a werewolf protector; I just wish the reader had been privy to a little more of her personal background information—because it was pretty slim.

The book revolves around Jager and the claiming of his mate—with a little help from his extended family. The bad guy of this series, Miles and his men, play a very small part in the overall plot of this release and that occurs in the last few pages. I’m of the opinion that the plot would have benefited from a little more action on that potentially dangerous conflict front.

Hidden Treasure


Title: Hidden Treasure
Author: V.B. Kildaire
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
ISBN: 978-1-61581-439-8
Genre: {M/M}, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dorian is just as shocked as everyone else when the Queen of Connmeera sends him on a royal quest. He plans on doing everything in his power to finish his mission; he just hopes it will be enough.

Jaxom wants nothing more than to be a warrior. When his leader sends him off to search for a lost treasure, he knows he will succeed or die trying.

In Hidden Treasure, author V.B. Kildaire sends two young men on a quest to find a long lost treasure that’s important to both their countries. Along the way, they make a few personal discoveries as well.

Dorian is a poor relation to the royal family of Connmeera. He is shy, reserved and more times than not, unsure of himself. All these attributes come across realistically and left me wondering just what the Queen of Connmeera was up to. Jaxom is the total opposite. A high ranking warrior within the Ormslea military, Jaxom has no use for nobility. He’s handsome, intimating and secure in whom he is. Although they are as different as night and day, both men will do what it takes to complete their mission. Their journey is not an easy one, yet the author uses this time to help the men grow into the person they are meant to be. While not a light-hearted story, there are times when you can’t help but chuckle and as someone who gets ‘geographically embarrassed’, Jaxom’s frustrations with their map was something I could understand.

While their connection is evident from the beginning, a deeper more personal connection does not show up till later in the story. In some cases this may cause a story to drag however, that is not the case with Hidden Treasure. By giving the men time to get to know each other, the author has shown the reader just how strong a couple they make, which makes some of the final scenes more believable. The author is able to keep the reader’s attention till the end and when the treasure is revealed, I wanted to cry. This was a very interesting story and one I am sure I will read again soon.

Fall Into The Night


Title: Fall Into The Night
Author: P. A. Brown
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-713-7
Genre: {M/M} {M/F} {F/F} Science Fiction, Futuristic
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

The death of Terik u Selhdun’s father brings the chance to obtain the position of Ogema of Tiamat, a position those around him never thought he would obtain. Hated and conspired against since he was younger, Selhdun returns still refusing to deny his homosexuality. His actions still ruffle the feathers of his enemies and puts Selhdun is more peril than before.

An expedition seems the perfect way to escape those of the royal family and life at court, but is it enough to save Selhdun from the fate they have prepared for him?

P. A. Brown’s Fall Into The Night takes us to Tiamat and on a trip to Terra (Earth) where Selhdun will meet his fate but still not learn important lessons about the consequences of his actions. I cannot say he was one of my favorite characters. His inability to move beyond his suffering and loss made him susceptible to the will of those around him. There was so much power at his fingertips, but he was unable to wield it effectively or appreciate the few good things in his life. This short-sightedness wasn’t completely Selhdun’s fault.

To say that Selhdun’s father was a hard man would be an understatement. I can understand the necessity to be a strong leader; however his punishments seemed severe for the crimes and intended to invoke fear in those surrounding him. While he may have hoped to obtain obedience and respect, his actions caused insolence and an eternal sore that never completely heal. The acceptance that could have made Selhdun a supreme leader was denied and he became, in instances, as ruthless as those among his family.

This book, at almost six hundred pages, moves at a fast pace and will keep your attention. The story has references to sexual abuse of minors and those instances will allow you to understand why some of the characters have grown up to be so hard, determined and in other cases, a bit twisted when it comes to reality. But for others, their pasts allowed them to learn to find and appreciate love in its most basic of forms. The few books I’ve read by P. A. Brown have never let me down when it comes to finding well fascinating characters and a developed storyline. Fall Into The Night is definitely among the top few that I’ve read. I look forward to seeing what this talent author comes up with next.