Thursday, September 9, 2010

Down by the River

Title: Down by the River
Author: Rob Knight and BA Tortuga
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-61040-000-8
Genre: {M/M} Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Phillip, a Nevada District Attorney, receives a letter from a correctional facility in Baton Rouge, signed with a name he hadn't heard in twenty years. Grant Thibbideaux, owner of an excavation and plumbing business also receives a letter from the same inmate. When their past rears its ugly head, Phil and Grant must work together to face their demons.

Down by the River is a well constructed story of two childhood friends recapturing their bond twenty years later. The setting is Louisiana, illustrating Phillip and Grant’s life in the bayou. The characters are credible. Growing up poor, Phil and Grant had little more than their intelligence, along with the will to survive, to rely on. Phil earned a scholarship for a school in California. Grant went to LSU. Phil and Grant have always shared a secret mutual attraction. However, when they were teenagers they were afraid to reveal their desires for each other. Now that Phil has a political career on the rise, he is very careful about revealing his true sexuality. Renewing his friendship with Grant, Phil realizes that having a loving relationship with Grant is more important to him than political affairs. Grant’s only regret is the amount of time lost with Phil. Seeing Phil again after twenty years, Grant is determine to do whatever he can to support Phil, as well as keep them together. Rob Knight and BA Tortuga have created a memorably passionate romance with humorous dialogue, incredible love scenes in addition to realistic characters. I enjoyed Down by the River immensely.

Leather Nights

Title: Leather Nights
Author: Patricia Logan
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-61040-034-3
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Jake cannot believe he has become just another statistic. Once a top contender in the mortgage business, Jake has lost everything, due to the economy. Hoping to make a better life for his kids and himself, he heads for Texas.

Cade has worked hard to make a life for himself and his daughter. Since he does not flaunt his lifestyle in anyone’s face, the town has more or less turned a blind eye to his being gay.

Patricia Logan’s Leather Nights is a very good book. While some may consider it a gay-for-you story, it is also much more. Both main characters are slightly different than the norm. They are mature men in their mid to late 30’s, who have dealt with many of life’s struggles. Jake has lost both his wife and his livelihood, within a short period of time. Cade had a rough childhood that caused him to be reckless at times. They also have responsibilities in their lives that at times take precedence over everything else. The author has done an excellent job portraying these struggles in a believable manner. That does not change when she throws in their growing attraction and feelings for each other, the feelings of three teenage children and the town’s growing discord.

Although Jake never really had a relationship with another man, I loved that he and Cade did not pussy foot around their attraction and instead grabbed hold to what they had with both hands. The author also addresses the issue of gay bashing, bigotry and hate in a way that may be a little too intense for some readers. There was more than one tense moment that left me holding my breath. I loved this story and it is sure to be one that I will read again and again.

The Warrior’s Heart

Title: The Warrior’s Heart
Author: Sable Grey
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-0-85715-264-0
Genre: {M/F} Historical, Paranormal/Werewolf
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Jolan Lovasz has lived her entire life being controlled by someone else and she wants to escape to live her own life. The people she loves are disappearing around her, being killed by the man who intends to wed her, Count Mircea Dragomir, and her parents believe she is telling lies but little do they know his true persona. Jolan continues to plot ways to get away from him after witnessing the death of her maid, and knows that no one will help her or so she believes. Count Dragomir is a vampire and he intends to control all of the people in his area. In walks Viktor Kelemen, his sworn enemy, to save Jolan from the Count’s clutches, and hopefully his heart from her.

Viktor is overwhelmed by his father’s death and he, along with his wolf-shifting family, is bent on revenge. He has imbedded himself, and his men, among the guards that are to escort Jolan to her new life with the Count, but he knows that he must be prepared to change plans at a moments notice. The closer Viktor comes to reaching his goal of revenge, the more Jolan affects him, and his family shares the bond connection of his restraints to hold back from claiming her.

The Warrior’s Heart is a fascinating tale of a hero and heroine who must challenge a villain that could cause destruction throughout the area they live in. This is truly a gruesome telling of a villain who only thought of his own needs, and didn’t care who he hurt in the process of accomplishing his goals. I am amazed at how many different species that were included and thought that Ms. Grey did a great job of unfolding this well plotted story.

Viktor is so bent on vengeance that I knew he could succeed on his first attempt, but it would have ended the story too quickly. He and Jolan find a common bond, and begin to learn to trust each other more, and had me cheering them on to win the day. I must say that Viktor and Jolan enjoyed each other intimately with their hot coupling and when one of his brothers joined them, it can only be described as an overload of emotions.

Talk about a very nice change of pace for me from my usual genres, and I hope that you will enjoy reading this book as much as I did.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of graphic violence and ménage sex.

Lift Your Voice

Title: Lift Your Voice
Author: T. A. Chase
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60272-737-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: Golden Blush
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Each man has his own war to fight, his own battles to win and his own demons to defeat. While some skirmishes are with other nations, others are more personal and can leave profound scars, visible for all to see.

Brandon McCollugh’s military career is at an end thanks to a road-side bomb. The wounded veteran is home for good and is unsure of how to reclaim his life until he meets an angel with a golden voice.

Music teacher Donald Frost lost most of his family and a budding career when his sexual preference was discovered. His attraction for men wasn’t tested again until he met Bran. Together, these men will heal, learn to love and find comfort in each other’s arms.

T. A. Chase’s Lift Your Voice is a moving story touching on learning to live again, heartache and suffering. What I appreciated most about Don and Bran was their ability to face the past head-on. They could have become victims and statistics but instead, became role models. While they felt hurt, frightened and sometimes alone, they never gave up completely. There was always a glimmer of hope and the knowledge that failure was not an option. Their chemistry began at the first glance and flourished with each new encounter.

The supporting characters were just as brilliantly written and gave support, and a swift kick, when the men needed it the most. Bran’s new position with the local landscaper is the perfect way for him to heal. Through embracing nature, it gave him a chance to reflect and learn to move forward in life.

What I respect about authors like T. A. Chase is the fact that the story is always fantastically written, the characters always unique and the plot is always sound. Lift Your Voice made me take a hard look at our military men and women and admire the sacrifices they make for our country. There is nothing better for a reader than to know the story won’t feel like a rewrite of an author’s previous works. And while the story is created to entertain, it’s always nice to be enlightened and inspired. Pick up a copy and enjoy - you won’t be disappointed.

A Bid For Love

Title: A Bid For Love
Author: T. D. McKinney & Terry Wylis
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60272-736-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

When he first agreed to participate in auctioning himself off as in charity event, FBI agent Asher Hall thought it was a good idea, but the closer the night came for the black-tie affair, the more uncomfortable he became. After he’s ‘sold off’, he heads off to Italy for a romantic weekend, curious and a little anxious to meet the anonymous winning bidder of his auction. What he finds is someone more male and familiar than he ever expected.

FBI agent Scott Jamison has been a good friend and partner to Asher for several years and during that time has fallen in love with the man. When the chance arises to get him alone, Scott jumps at it and is willing to go bankrupt to show Asher how good they can be together.

The question is whether the two men can make a life in the real world while still keeping the jobs they love.

A Bid For Love is the latest release by the writing team of T.D. McKinney and Terry Wylis. It’s a cute, endearing and often funny novella length story of two friends who turn into lovers.

I’ll admit up front that I really liked the unique and creative auction premise that these two talented authors came up with and thoroughly enjoyed the process the men went through as they admitted their feelings. Once Asher gets past his anger and hurt at what he thinks initially is a joke, his intimate relationship with Scott builds quickly. There’s bantering conversation, sweet seducing romance and tenderness but lots of passion and blistering hot sex, too.

Once they get back home there are a number of secondary characters, Holly and Noah in particular, who help round out the plot nicely. As expected most of the other agents in Scott and Asher’s office aren’t exactly gay friendly so having an undercover operation take place in a gay bar, forcing Noah and others to be actively involved is a hoot.

There’s not much angst in this story but if you’re looking for a pleasant way to spend a leisurely afternoon then this lighthearted, character driven romance should fit the bill nicely.


Title: Raen
Author: Michelle Hasker
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60521-475-7
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal, Shape-shifters, BBW
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

The shirtless photo from her online cowboy is the only thing that brightens Raen’s days. Meeting Dru unexpectedly has Raen torn between running into his arms and making a mad dash in the opposite direction.

Before knowing her name, Dru’s dragon is aching to claim the cheeky Raen as his mate. Even the possibility of frightening her away doesn’t keep Dru from laying all of his cards on the table. Hopefully, he gambles and wins.

Raen has her reasons for doubting Dru’s sincerity about his feelings for her, which are easy to understand. She has moments of self-doubt, but Raen is still a strong woman who knows how to hold her own. Readers will find it effortless to relate to her.

Raen, the latest installment in the Dragon Kin series, is a wonderful reminder of why I love reading about dragons. They never give up and will go to any length to win their mate. I doubt there’s a woman alive who can resist this kind of charm. Dru and Raen’s accelerated story ends more abruptly than I assumed, but it did leave me curious about what will happen next. Michelle Hasker has done an admirable job.

Shadow of Doubt

Title: Shadow of Doubt
Author: JL Wilson
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60735-104-7
Genre: {M/F} Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Margaret Dalton and her boyfriend, FBI agent Nathan Stokes are supposed to be on vacation in the Bahamas, relaxing and enjoying the sunny weather. Instead they are cold and miserable, battling the weather in Possum Bottom, Minnesota where they’ve gone to see her lawyer for some inheritance business. When they find a frozen dead body, Nathan calls the local police, and they suddenly find themselves involved in a murder case.

Margaret and Nathan are forced to change hotels, due to unforeseen changes, and this time it’s on the Indian reservation next to a casino. While they are waiting for their room, another murder occurs, and this time the FBI has jurisdiction over the murder. Margaret becomes a suspect, along with a few other people, when the authorities’ finds out that she stands to inherit all of the properties.

Shadow of Doubt is an eventful story that had me wondering about how much history has changed our lives. JL Wilson wrote a very detailed and well-plotted story of deceit, jealousy and murder. I kept wondering about who the villain really was and how this story unfolded information about the situations that are revealed. While reading this book, I had to pay close attention, so as not to miss anything happening.

I thought that Margaret really had some issues with her relationship with Nathan. She would bring up the point at the oddest time and he is a sweetheart, telling her not to worry about it. Margaret is a strong woman, who stands on her own, and can be very controlling. Nathan is her match and he shows his love for her in a very strong way in this book.

Add in the secondary characters and you have a well rounded story filled with lots of secrets that led to heartbreak for some. It is interesting when you learn about how an inheritance can unfold details of people’s lives and the hidden lies that come to life. I truly enjoyed reading this story, and am hoping that JL Wilson will reveal more of her creative skill to us again in the near future.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Title: Relentless
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-0-85715-261-9
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Zane Mitchell doesn’t believe he deserves happiness, a mate who loves him or forgiveness. However, destiny is calling the shots, leaving little doubt that he can’t control his fate. He still remembers having no option but to kick Mika Blackwell out of the Gila National Forest pack. Forced by the elder’s demands, Zane wishes to this day he had the strength to deny them. Zane turned his back on his friend and his inclination for a male lover. But rejecting that is no longer an alternative.

Attending a mandatory meeting brings Zane in contact with Dux Ducis Aidan Criswell, his mate. Aidan isn’t happy to see who his mate is, but he won’t allow Zane to be harmed.

With persistence, Aidan will make Zane face his demons and discover hidden memories that will shed light on his painful decisions over the past years.

To say that Aidan is Relentless would be an accurate description. He knew, regardless of the overall shock of his mate’s identity, that the selection is never wrong. Shifters always get their perfect mate. There is a great deal of turbulence in this relationship and for a good reason. Zane’s actions make him appear to be a bigot. Clearly he made mistakes as Alpha but his love for the pack is unwavering. Zane’s ability to stand back and make decisions without including his ego proved that much.

Zane and Aidan heat up the pages with their aggressive style of lovemaking. There were points where I knew they would leave a few bruises, but I’m sure it only sweetened the memories to feel that ache.

Those who enjoyed Mika and Gabe get a healthy dose of the couple. Their inclusion brings balance to the story and helps start us on the road to finding answers that will strengthen both couples, heal old friendships and forge new allies.

If you’ve enjoyed the previous story in the Southwestern Shifters series, Rescued, hold on to your hats and enjoy the new installment, Relentless.

His One and Only

Title: His One and Only
Author: Shawn Lane
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60272-705-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary; Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Mark Stevens is more than a little annoyed when his important business call is interrupted by a man asking him out on a date. Sure, he’s at a party and really shouldn’t be isolating himself on his cell phone and sure, the guy asking him out makes Mark’s heart skip a beat but still, Mark has always put business first. Mark knows it’s a bad habit but it just seems to help numb the pain of losing his partner that little bit.

When Drew Richards first glimpses lawyer Mark, he just has to introduce himself. He can’t quite explain it but Drew just wants to know more about him – a task that’s difficult when the man just doesn’t want to know. He manages to convince Mark to meet him for coffee and after some initial unease, the two start to feel more comfortable around each other. Mark wants to let go of the past and he appreciates Drew’s patience as he stumbles on more than a few occasions but he’s not sure he can give Drew what he needs and deserves – someone who will be His One and Only.

The fourth and final story in Shawn Lane’s Only series, His One and Only is the story of a man who thought he’d had his one chance in love, only to discover somebody completely unexpected throwing him a lifeline, if only he can be strong enough to take it. Drew was a very endearing character but it took a while to warm to Mark and I couldn’t quite get why he acted the way he did some of the time. Drew didn’t understand Mark’s behavior at times either and although misunderstandings can be good tension builders, I’m not sure it completely worked here. That being said, it was enjoyable to read about Drew’s family and upbringing. There is a lot of potential to Mark’s character and aside from not always understanding his actions, I found him to be a good guy with depth and pain in his past that drew me to him. I was willing Mark to find the strength to accept what Drew was offering him and was satisfied by the conclusion to their story. I loved the epilogue as it was a nice touch to the end of a very enjoyable series. It has been a lot of fun to inhabit a world rich in gorgeous men with kind hearts, good souls and wicked action between the sheets.

Only His Heart

Title: Only His Heart
Author: Shawn Lane
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60272-692-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary; Exhibitionism
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

After first setting sights on Doctor Calvin Lassiter, Emergency Nurse Matt Walton felt the need to introduce himself. He had heard the man was cold but the doc’s good looks are just too much of a temptation for Matt to resist. Their first meeting doesn’t quite go according to plan but Matt thinks he has seen a glimmer of hope beneath the hard façade. There’s a reason Calvin is burying his emotions and Matt is willing to bet only he can be the perfect tonic for Calvin’s bruised heart.

Only His Heart is the third book in Shawn Lane’s Only series and shifts the focus from the law firm to the emergency room, with sweltering results. Calvin and Matt are both captivating, lovable characters with a great deal of depth. The chemistry between the pair was hot and there is one scene where Matt shows his more adventurous side on a roof top that I feel needs particular mention. It was fun to observe the plot unfolding, even if some of Matt’s choices drove me crazy as I just knew they were going to return to haunt him. The build up to the inevitable fall out of one particular moment of bad judgment on Matt’s part was very well done. It was painful to read as all the good work at getting Calvin to break free from his shackles was threatened but these characters are in it for the long haul, a characteristic of all the stories in the series so far that has made me come back for more time and again.

Gargoyle: Hard as Stone

Title: Gargoyle: Hard as Stone
Author: Cynthia Sax
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60521-399-6
Genre: {M/F} Dark Fantasy, Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Acon has accepted the task of securing a grotesque monster and delivering her to his brothers. Because of his Mountain God status, Acon wasn’t expecting to be affected by the gorgon. After laying eyes on his beautiful opponent, the only thing Acon wanted to secure was a place in her bed.

What Kyma wants most is the one thing she has never experienced firsthand - love. Loneliness and regret are the only emotions this daughter of Medusa feels until a mysterious giant offers her pleasure.

Things get interesting when the hunter realizes he’s at the mercy of the hunted. Kyma flips the entire situation on Acon and this causes a misunderstanding with Acon and his brothers. Obstacles crop up for the couple but fortunately, they are no match for fate. As cliché as it sounds, Acon is a perfect match for Kyma. He sees the beauty in her that few others see. Forever is a long time when you’re immortal and even longer when you’re facing it alone, as Kyma was. There was a moment or two when Cynthia Sax made me feel Kyma’s pain as it oozed from the pages. Gargoyle: Hard as Stone is a passionate read that puts life into perspective by breaking it down to the simplest form. At the end of the day, love is all that matters.

The Manituw

Title: The Manituw
Author: Lisbeth Jenkins
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60272-730-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Action, Adventure, Interracial
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

July Cyr’s life has been anything but easy. His mixed blood seems to trigger resentment of those around him as much as his parentage. July has learned to make life comfortable aboard his tugboat, the Manituw. Having his boat chartered by the British oceanographer came at a crucial moment. However, July gains more than a pay check when he needed it the most; he also gains someone to love.

Researcher Robert Silsbury arrives in Bonnenuit, Newfoundland and discovers his boat captain in jail. The man he spies behind bars is unlike what he anticipated and soon Robert realizes he’s never felt this way about any man. As the research progresses, so does their relationship. Both men are hiding secrets and willing to do anything to protect the other. Will they find a way to keep their romance or will it end when Robert flies back to England?

Lisbeth Jenkins’ The Manituw takes us into the lives of Robert and July. Their painful pasts have molded their lives to some degree and shapes how they view their current situation. While they handled the pain differently, it still has a way of surfacing even after years of lying dormant. Robert saw similarities in July’s situation that reminded him of someone he loved dearly. I could see his protective side come out, ready to defend and protect what was dear to his heart. July’s brand of protection was quite different. He thought keeping Robert safe depended on keeping him at arm’s length.

I wasn’t sure how the story would end, but will say that I was pleased with the conclusion. The setting for this story is beautiful and left me mesmerized. Ms. Jenkins includes enough information on both character’s occupations to make the story believable without overburdening the story with too much detail. Those who enjoy a romance brewing on icy waves and with fierce storms as a backdrop will love The Manituw.


Title: Valhalla
Author: Mandy M. Roth
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60928-145-8
Genre: {M/F} Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Living in Odin’s heavenly paradise of Valhalla sounds like a walk in the park but for Linnea, one of the Valkyrie, it’s anything but. Even though she’s always followed the directives of the Elder Valkyries, she’s not happy about many of the things she needs to do to fight the evil looming on the horizon.

Her newest assignment makes her particularly unhappy. Now she’s leaping through time into the most important battles of time trying to get warriors with any supernatural powers to join the Valkyries’ cause. Unfortunately she’s in a battle against time. The vampire demons the Valkyrie maidens are fighting against are after the same warriors and she has to get to them before the bloodsuckers can attack and turn them.

Her quest brings her in contact with Kerr Laochailan and the love she’s desired for years. When it looks like her heart’s desire is within her grasp, Kerr is ripped away from her. Despite her deep emotional pain—her mission must go on—and she’s alone.

Valhalla is the second book in Mandy Roth’s Valkyrie series. She’s done a nice job with the characters from Norse mythology, but used her own unique creative twists and come up with a concept that’s new, fresh and original. Linnea is determined, dedicated and willing to do just about anything to fight the evil threatening the world, even if she doesn’t always like the way she has to go about doing it. She does have men in her life, many men, and some become important to her. Kerr is strong and powerful and their relationship is the most special in her life, influencing her actions for centuries. He is by far my favorite.

The world of Valhalla and its people are vividly described, leaving the reader with a good sense of the vast beauty of their surroundings and the fight against evil that drives them. Linnea is a great character and the author does a nice job moving her in and out of various time periods and countries, making her fit into each era seamlessly. Unfortunately, it’s also the part of the plot where it got confusing. There are just so many people added to the plot and different eras in the last portion that I got a little lost.

Aaron Bradley, Closet Detective

Title: Aaron Bradley, Closet Detective
Author: Timothy Owen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-61581-476-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Aaron Bradley has walked around completely unaware of the real world for years, not understanding his place in his family. Not having had to work for a living because of his wealthy deceased parents hasn’t helped him either, and Aaron still doesn’t know what to do with himself. His friend Joe has been a big help to him as his sounding board, on what to change in his life, and now Joe needs a favor from him. Joe’s girlfriend Candice has been avoiding him and Joe wants to know why. After lots of badgering, Aaron agrees to follow Candice and in doing so, takes his first steps on the path into a life as a detective.

Now that he is focused on Candice, Aaron meets Bo, a waiter at a local restaurant, and finds that they are attracted to each other. Aaron is surprised with what he initially discovers and Joe wants him to continue following Candice to gather more information.

While Aaron is doing his surveillance of Candice, Bo sees Aaron and wants to help him out with the investigation. The next evening, Bo goes with him while he is tailing Candice and they find out what exactly her activities are. Aaron is not willing to be a participant in her break-in, and tries to get her to leave with them. In the meantime, Bo is gently encouraging Aaron to step out of his closet and to be true to himself and accept that he is gay.

I really enjoyed reading Aaron Bradley, Closet Detective. It’s a very nice story of finding one’s true self and learning who your friends are. There is a lot of humor in this story with some the characters’ antics, and it has a villain who is not who I thought it would be. Mr. Owens’ creativity in writing this well plotted book had me hanging on all the way to the end, trying to figure out who the villain was.

At first I thought Aaron was a just a pushover for people to use when they got ready, but then he started finding himself. I was cheering him on to drop the dead weight of the people calling him to fix their appliances for free. Once he got past his feelings of neglect from his parents and his dyslexia, there is no stopping him from being a free spirit. Bo proved to be quite the handsome pursuer for Aaron, but he had his own issues to deal with and Aaron did help him to be able to get past them.

Here I am at the end of the book, and I’m left feeling a little lost with the way the story ended. I wanted to know what happened to Candice, who was hiding out from the law in another country and Bo’s dilemma with his family; hopefully in a sequel? The author did a great job with this book, leaves me looking forward to reading more from him.