Friday, September 17, 2010

Deep In The Woods


Title: Deep In The Woods
Author: Annabel Joseph
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419928680
Genre: {M/F}, {M/F/M} BDSM
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Sophie survives an abusive relationship and finally decides to reenter the BDSM scene. At a munch, she meets Dave, a fetish photographer and later ends up going home with him, which turns out to be the start of a long relationship.

Keep ice and tissues on hand as you read Deep InThe Woods. The author takes you on an emotional rollercoaster in this book. She captures both Sophie’s and Dave’s emotions and fears very realistically. The terror that Sophie has from her nightmares will take us back to childhood and our own nightmares and the feelings we had.

The relationship between the two is very dynamic and reminds us of the daily relationships we have with our loved ones. The main reason for Sophie’s nightmares caught me by surprise, as I would never have guessed this. The story could be any one of yours.

There is one ménage scene in this story when Sophie and Dave are joined by his best friend. This does nothing to detract from the story and in some ways helps with the resolution of the story, but makes me want to know more about Ryan. Though some of the storyline made me a little uncomfortable, I will be reading this one again.

Earth Enchanted


Title: Earth Enchanted
Author: Brynna Curry
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publisher URL: http://www.lyricalpress.com/
ISBN: 9781-61650-098-6
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

On her way to America to pay a visit to her brother, Ryan, writer Liv Corrigan is not focusing on her bad luck with men. She has telepathic abilities that keep the men from wanting to be with her but has finally met the one man who might be able to deal with her gift…Jack. During their evening outing, Jack senses something wrong and shields Liv from the danger. This leads to them spending more time together and her brother almost blowing a gasket because she’s staying with Jack.

Jackson Roarke is an ex-cop suffering from the loss of his wife and he spends his time writing books, trying to focus on not thinking about her. While at a book signing, he is stunned when he looks up and sees Liv, while she is asking him for an autograph. Jack finds that he wants to spend more time alone with her and asks her to do just that over coffee. One evening, Jack receives a ghostly visit from his wife, telling him that he broke his promises to her and that he was to not mourn her or stay alone. He begins to think in the direction of getting on with his life.

The title Earth Enchanted misled me and I found myself concentrating on the way the story went back and forth from the past to the present. This is the first book in the Elemental Magic series and I thought this story was quite enjoyable.

There were a few times I wanted to do bodily harm to both Jack and Ryan for their involvement in bringing harm to Liv. Jack had wallowed in misery for a year and until Liv came into his life, he seemed to need it to feed his guilt. All I can say about Ryan is that he is a basket case with his involvement in wrongdoing and should have done more to protect those he loved.

It appeared that Liv had her life planned well, except for a strong man to love her. She is a great writer of suspense and the constant mysteries she is always trying to solve I found very intriguing. I applaud her courage; to be able walk away from Jack with her heart in her hand and move on with her life.

Ms. Curry is very creative in her writing of a devious plot with a villain, murder, and a jewel thief, who I still am curious about. The historical information surrounding the necklace at the Smithsonian Institute that belonged to one of the wives of Napoleon, and the Hope diamond added a nice touch to the plot. Now having read the second book in this series already, I now have a better understanding of some of the characters.

Storming Hell's Gate


Title: Storming Hell's Gate
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-182-5
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Michael's sense of duty propels him to excel as an Archangel. He performs his duty of protecting mankind with no emotion; leaving others to fear his heart is as cold and lifeless as the statues which depict the Archangel.

Draco has a deeply rooted connection to Michael but felt unworthy of claiming the man for his own. A chance meeting reawakens his longing, while rousing a passion in Michael unlike anything he has ever experienced. When Michael discovers Draco is in danger, he charges Hell’s Gates to rescue the man who has touched him so deeply.

Their feelings take over, leaving little doubt either will be the same. Will Draco get his heart’s desire or will Michael decide his position in Heaven is more important?

Storming Hell's Gate is the fourth story of The City series. We watch Michael begin to identify with the emotions of humankind and factor it into his life, thanks to Draco. I had my doubts that he could be the man Draco needed. He reminded me of a very cold fish in previous installments, but soon his usual characteristic responses and actions alter. Michael’s encounter with passion was thrilling to behold.

Draco’s story is one many can identify with ranging from his inability to identify self-worth, allowing other’s to taint his perception and finally his desire for what he considered unrequited love. Draco touched me with his ability to focus on Michael’s happiness, even when he reached his lowest point. Regardless of his yearning for the Archangel, he concentrated on making decisions out of love versus selfishness. That says a great deal about Draco and made him an even more likeable character.

Characters previously introduced grace our presence, and add their unique flavor to this story. Ms. Lynne ends this installment by mentioning another Archangel’s mate, so it’s a safe bet to expect more stories in this series.

I found Storming Hell's Gate an enjoyable read and recommend it to those who have a fetish for angels.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reasonable Doubt


Title: Reasonable Doubt
Author: Mia Watts
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-162-9
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Geo and Mark have been lovers for almost a year and have managed to keep it a secret from their family, friends and co-workers. Their relationship is tested when Geo’s old flame, Lauren, returns to head up an FBI task force and despite knowing he’s already involved, makes it clear that she intends to get Geo back in her bed. When Geo does nothing to discourage her, Mack feels hurt and begins to pull away, questioning and doubting their love and commitment. While they work the case and struggle to find a killer, the chasm between them grows deeper, and as the case ends, the question is whether their love will end with it.

Reasonable Doubt is the second release in Mia Watt’s Boys in Blue series and it takes up almost a year after the first book left off. It’s a nicely done sequel and shows the development and strength of Geo and Mark’s relationship after being together almost a year, but it also shows its weaknesses. Geo is strong and knows what he wants; Mark is more tenderhearted and afraid of being hurt. Ms. Watt’s did a very nice job in expressing the various emotions of both men and made me want to smack Geo upside the head for being dense on more than one occasion.

Her characterizations of Lauren and her FBI partner, Andy, were spot on - they are both obnoxious, but I at least like Andy; he was a nice guy, in a strange kind of way. Lauren was just plain strange and self-serving. Geo and Mark care for each other deeply and you can almost feel the passion and desire simmering below the surface even during their difficult times.

Overall the author has packed a lot of romance, passion and a good dose of angst inside this short 55 page read and she’s done it with flair, good character development and creativity. I’m very curious as to what Ms. Watt’s has planned for Geo and Mark in her next release.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys


Title: Bad Boys, Bad Boys
Author: Mia Watts
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-907010-07-1
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Geo Wilson has been work partners with Mack for three years and during that time, hasn’t thought of the other man as anything other than his friend. Between the similarity in their looks and the massive amounts of time they spent together, the other officers in the department have taken the calling them ‘the twins’. Recently, Geo’s dreams have taken on an erotic twist and Mack is the center of the action.

Mack would give his life for Geo and their friendship is important to him. One night, after a few too many drinks, Geo plants a kiss on his shocked friend. It might all have all been forgotten as part of an alcohol induced haze except they end up back at Geo’s apartment where he gives his friend an explosive round of oral sex.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys is the first release in Mia Watt’s new Boys in Blue series. It’s a fast read at only 37 pages, so there’s a lot packed inside its short length. Since both men in this story were previously heterosexual, I’d classify this story as an ‘Gay For You’ type tale.

Since the story is so short, the change in the relationship between Geo and Mack takes place at a very rapid pace-over a span of a few short days. They’re suddenly no longer just friends and work partners but emotional/sexual partners as well. The speed at which this happens doesn’t really do the story, or the relationship, justice and left me with lots of questions. The emotions between Geo and Mack ran hot and then got even hotter, almost getting them in trouble at work and putting them into a couple of inappropriate and unrealistic situations that could ruin their careers.

There is a little action and danger, which I really enjoyed, and it let the reader see both men from a different viewpoint-that of concerned lover. I actually enjoyed the later part of the story the best and by the end had the happy-for-now ending I craved. If you’re looking for a quick and sexy afternoon read, this story should fill the bill.

Dark, Deadly Love


Title: Dark, Deadly Love
Author: Denise A. Agnew
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-139-7
Genre: {M/F} Historical, Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Sir Ross Havenwood is haunted by his wife’s untimely death and the dreadful premonitions he dreams threaten to destroy his sanity. In years past, his visits to America to visit Alexandra’s father were very enjoyable and he remembers the young girl that spent so much time with him. When she becomes his ward after her father dies, he knows that he can’t care for her so far away.

Once Alexandra finds out that since her father is no longer responsible for her and Ross is her guardian, she attempts to intimidate the lawyer into letting her stay in America. She fails and now has to make her way to England from America to confront Ross. When he sees her coming off the train, Ross realizes that she has grown into a beautiful woman and he has to fight his desires for her, because of his responsibilities of her. Ross finds himself angry with Alexandra most of the time, when he is not lusting after her, knowing she is stubbornly refusing to keeping to society’s rules.

Alexandra Watson feels the anguished loss of her father and she now must show herself to her legal guardian, Ross. As she spends more time in London among the gentry, she is quickly made to feel out of place with her abrupt way of speaking. What she learns is that women are to be seen and not heard. That proves to be her downfall, but Ross is completely enchanted with her honest opinions.

While I was reading Dark, Deadly Love, it started out a little slowly and I kept wondering how it would end; then I could hardly stop reading, wanting to race to the end to figure out if I had the right villain. This is not the first story I have read by Ms. Agnew and I must say that she continues to amaze me with her well-plotted storytelling.

Alexandra is an intriguing character, who provided me with a wide range of emotions, and they ran from humor to wanting to put her over my knee. She really showed how badly her father spoiled her by allowing her too much freedom. At times Alexandra showed quite a lot of caring for those who were less fortunate and extended herself way more than she should have.

Ross proved to be quite a challenge for me to accept, with his constant living in the past and not willing to accept that life must go on. Living with his father’s disapproval for marrying a lady not worthy of him and inheriting his mother’s empathic abilities had him doubting himself. I was glad when he came to the realization of his true friends and his feelings for Alexandra.

The way this story unfolded is not what I expected, but had me thinking really hard about the villain or villains because of how Ms. Agnew slipped them in and out of the story when I wasn’t paying attention. This is a great way to spend an afternoon, if you are looking for a novel to keep you reading but it’s not for the faint of heart. Read and enjoy.

This book has been previously published.

Bark at the Moon


Title: Bark at the Moon
Author: Julia Davies
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59426-587-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Ret Alexander has an overwhelming magnetism to a man he has yet to meet in the flesh. His actions are borderline stalker quality, but there’s something about him that calls to Ret’s wolf. After a chance encounter, Ret is sure the attraction is mutual and he’s ready to get to know Andy McEwen.

Andy is new to town and not looking for love or a steady boyfriend. Ret draws his attention and he finds he wants to spend more time with the handsome man. However, after one night under Ret’s large hot body, Andy’s feelings increase leaving him uncertain of the cause. When Ret tells him the truth, will Andy run or will he accept the truth - that Ret is his mate?

Julia Davies’ Bark at the Moon is a delightful story about finding love where and when you least expect it and learning tolerance. Andy is a nice guy with a thing for leather. Ret is a wolf, willing to put himself out on a limb to claim Andy, his destined mate. The two began with fire and passion, which soon turned into a very bumpy road. Ret’s friends proved just how important it was to have a pack, and how much love they had for him. Ret’s vulnerable side comes out in the story and we glimpse just how much Andy begins to mean to him in a short amount of time.

Ms. Davies mixes suspense, drama and sensual erotic encounters to create a story well worth a read. Those who enjoy their shape-shifter stories should enjoy Bark at the Moon.

Stray


Title: Stray
Author: Ash Penn
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com
ISBN: 978-1-60737-813-6
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Terry has been waiting forever for his chance with long time friend, Marc. But then Dan shows up and Terry begins to wonder where exactly that leaves him.

Stray was an interesting story centered on three very complex characters that, at times, were hard to like and truthfully, the only reason I finished to story was to find out how it would end. I don’t see that as a negative however, instead I think it is a credit to the author’s writing ability that she was able to hold my attention even though I strongly disliked Terry, aka Tez. At first, it was easy for me to understand why Tez acted the way he did. He has been in love with his best friend for a long time and when he thinks they may have a chance, Marc brings home a young homeless man. Soon Tez’s behavior just becomes over the top and harder to accept. That does not mean he is the only one of the three that needs some help, he was just the one that grated on my nerves the most.

There are many misunderstandings in this story and more than a few twists to hold your attention. Although the author, Ash Penn, is new to me, this will not be the last of her books that I read.

Understanding the Past


Title: Understanding the Past
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publisher URL: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60168-295-6
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Mason Richardson is a snow leopard shifter. Even after six months, Mason still is not accustomed to waking up beside anyone. However, Heinrich is his mate. In fact, the more time Heinrich spends close to Mason, the less pain and weakness Heinrich has. Haunted by the past, Mason struggles to open his heart to Heinrich. It was Heinrich’s father who created Mason, along with all of the other shifters living on the secluded ranch hidden in the hills of the United Mexican States.

Understanding the Past has an elaborate well-written plot of deceptions. The characters are detailed and the storyline is enthralling. The setting is a ranch in the foothills. Heinrich, and all the created shifters, had been held captive at von Mertz’s compound as part of the psychotic scientist’s sinister experiments. With aid from the outside, Heinrich was rescued and taken to the ranch. One by one the escaped, as well as wounded, shifters made their way to the ranch’s safe haven to heal. None of the inhabitants of the ranch could live in peace among the human society, so they remained secluded from the rest of the world. The storyline illustrates how small minded people fear what they do not understand, choosing to lash out with violence rather than seek knowledge. Also exhibited is the God-like syndrome men of science must guard against becoming a victim of. The very talented T.A. Chase has created a fascinating saga with an intense plot, along with fantastic love scenes that I found extremely enjoyable.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Raising Caine


Title: Raising Caine
Author: Reneé George
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-425-2
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Brad Caine wants answers and is ready to face the man who broke his heart twenty years ago to get them. The wounds are still fresh so maybe facing Victor Stalheim will allow Brad to find closure.

Vic remembers Brad as ‘Raisin’ Caine and has fond memories of the time they shared. The passion and depth of feelings is a fresh memory and Vic hasn’t allowed himself to focus on another man since their brief encounter. Work has kept him quite busy if you look at his success. But success is nothing without someone to love.

One misunderstanding caused a riff; can one night of fervor be the catalyst to help them heal?

Reneé George’s Raising Caine is part of the multi-author series Bedtime Stories. Brad and Vic’s attraction ignites the pages of this story. Brad’s pain is evident and understandable. While it was a product of unfortunate circumstances, it still made for a long two decades before he could face his once lover.

Vic was able to pull himself up from the events, far better than Brad. Granted, he didn’t try to find a dedicated lover or lasting commitment, but he did use the pain productively and channeled his energy into making his company a success.

I would say the couple is happy-for-now and have at least made strides to mend fences. The settings are great choices for the story. Each enhances the story and allowed me to focus on the characters and their interaction. Those who’ve enjoyed the series, M/M fiction, or Reneé George’s wonderful stories will enjoy reading Raising Caine.

Just Desserts


Title: Just Desserts
Author: Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-118-2
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Everything Chef Luc Tessier touches is successful, whether it’s it his five-star restaurant, popular cooking program or his oversexed personal life. The only blemish on what could be considered a perfect record is a scathing review by English food critic, Daniel Sheridan. Luc takes Daniel’s criticism to heart and is determined to do one of two things - either win the critic over by cooking him the best gourmet vegetarian meal of his life or use a hatchet to cut him into very small pieces. Luc gets the surprise of his life when his nemesis, Daniel, turns out to be a gorgeous man he can’t stop thinking about-he’s smitten.

Daniel definitely likes what he sees in Luc but isn’t willing to be called any man’s toy again, so he plays it cool, keeping his emotions in cheek. Yet over a series of weeks he’s relentlessly pursued with emails and numerous gifts, making it difficult to stay firm in his resolve. Different countries keep them apart until Luc takes matters into his own hands and shows up at a competition where Daniel is serving as judge, determined to win both the culinary prize and Daniel’s heart.

Just Desserts is the first work by Scarlet Blackwell that I’ve had the pleasure of reading and take it from me; after reading this delightfully well-written little novella, it won’t be my last. I admit it, I love to cook and watch cooking shows on TV, so reading a story revolving around a hot tempered, sexy and demanding French chef seemed like the perfect story to read and review. And then I discovered this famous chef cooked only vegetarian—whoever heard of this premise in a story—not me, so it was a pleasant surprise.

After reading the first few pages, I expected Luc and Daniel to be arrogant and stuck up, but in reality they each turned out to have unique, quirky and often funny personalities. The antics of these two kept me on my toes and turning the pages to see what happened next on their unusual courtship. There were times I grinned, others I chuckled and some I outright laughed.

Told mostly in Luc’s point of view, the reader gets a good feel for the how he feels about food, sex and his surprise in discovering that he’s falling in the love with Daniel and his determination to win the man for his own. These two guys are good together and the author takes the men and the readers on a hilarious ride to Luc’s kitchen, where they have their first sexual encounter, through numerous emails, internet purchased gifts and finally to the culinary competition that brings them together again. Take it from this pleased reader, give this little culinary gem a try. You wouldn’t be sorry you did.

The Distance Between Us


Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-136-6
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Ethan Mallory and Rhett Solomon are facing a major dilemma. Their relationship is over. However, neither can afford to move out of the house they own together. The solution is to bring in more money by renting out a room. Kieran Frost is a sexy younger man who is more than happy to share monetary payments, as well as Ethan and Rhett’s bed.

The Distance Between Us is an interestingly erotic story. The setting is Seattle, Washington. The storyline consist of Ethan and Rhett living together under duress until Kieran enters the household. The characters are somewhat believable. Rhett seems to lack the ability to get in touch with his own feelings. His chaotic emotions swing from wishing Ethan gone to fear Ethan is leaving, in addition to bouts of jealousy when Ethan directs his attentions towards Kieran. Since Ethan is the first to announce the relationship is over, Rhett also suffers from wounded pride. Ethan fears permanent rejection from Rhett, so he speaks out loud what he perceives are Rhett’s unspoken thoughts. Kieran is a pawn, used by both Ethan and Rhett. It is Kieran’s observations that forces Ethan and Rhett to communicate with each other.

L.A. Witt’s The Distance Between Us is an enjoyable saga of current mortgage woes, with a generous amount of sexual contact for a pleasurable distraction.

The Bonding


Title: The Bonding
Author: J.C. Owens
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-838-9
Genre: {M/M} Fantasy Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Gaven still has a great deal of training to endure under Vlar’s less than gentle tutelage. The pain, mixed with pleasure, is something he comes to expect from Vlar. And while he tries to hate the man who has introduced him to such passion, his heart refuses to comply.

After so much time of not knowing his place, Gaven is thrust into yet another situation. When the passion between he and Vlar heightens, Gaven freely gives his blood to the Finnarian and the connection between the two changes. The deeper feelings baffle Vlar so he calls for assistance from one person he trusts to hold the answers - his father. The answer is simple, but can Gaven live with the new expectations?

J.C. Owens’ latest installment The Bonding is the sequel to Gaven. Gaven is still unsure of how he fits into his new position and life. While he has grown in many ways, he is still full of self-doubt. But through it all, all he wants is to be loved by those around him; to feel protected, cherished and recognized as a member of their community. His emotions are all over the place when it comes to Vlar, which made his life more difficult. Vlar is a hard being and while he’s not always a gentle man, he does care for Gaven. He sees what Gaven is too blind to see in himself…the strength, determination, and skills he possesses below the surface. He also understands that Gaven is worthy of love.

Those who enjoyed Gaven will be enraptured with the latest release. And if you haven’t read the first story I highly recommend doing so before you begin The Bonding for maximum enjoyment. J.C. Owens mixes action, suspense, and testosterone-driven erotic scenes to create a story that kept me enthralled from the first word to the final period.

Valley of Shadows


Title: Valley of Shadows
Author: Phoenix Emrys
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-546-3
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Historical author Ellery James is as successful as he is reclusive, shunning the spotlight unless absolutely necessary whenever he releases a new book. He’d much rather stay in his small hometown than take the chance of the media discovering his tightly held secret. It’s not just an ordinary secret, but a ghostly one that some people would consider crazy and by which he uses as the backbone for his popular novels.

His orderly life takes an unforeseen turn with the arrival in town of the handsome, but armed and dangerous, Boone Dantrell. Ellery can’t deny his instant attraction to this mysterious stranger, but Boone has his own serious problems and a depression that he can’t shake. As they grow closer, so does the danger dogging their every move and it’s not long before it become obvious that more than just chemistry is pulling them together. Even so, it’s a surprise to both Ellery and Boone when they’re suddenly center stage in an eons-old battle that if lost, could cost them not just their lives but their very souls.

Valley of Shadows is the first book by author Phoenix Emrys that I’ve read. It starts off nicely with some bantering conversation between Ellery and his editor. It gives the reader a good feel for his personality and how little he enjoys the trappings that go along with being a successful writer. He’s witty, sarcastic, a bit self-absorbed and uses a dingbat personality in front of the media. Ellery is a unique and interesting individual dealing with a strange ghost whisperer type of gift.

The story basically goes on about how he deals with this special aspect of his life while trying to appear as normal as possible to everyone else in his hometown and the world in general. That nearly goes out the window with the arrival of Boone and his little tag-along (no spoiler here). These two guys have an instant attraction that Ellery can’t really explain but would like to explore, even if Boone does scare the dickens out of him initially. Since the story is told in first person-from Ellery’s point of view-I had a good feeling for what made him tick but I can’t say the same for Boone. He was more of a mystery, even by the end of the story.

Ellery and Boone work well together as a couple, both in and out of bed, and they develop a deep emotional connection almost immediately—it’s abrupt, but believable. My problem with the plot started probably 2/3 of the way through when the already heavily laden paranormal storyline took a wild turn into multiple past lives, goddesses and other things too numerous to mention. This includes a bad guy that just suddenly appears out of nowhere. I liked the first 2/3’s, so be aware that with so much new stuff going on in the last section, you might have a feeling of confusion in the end.

Thief


Title: Thief
Author: Lily Harlem
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-1-85715-263-3
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

As long as she can accomplish her goal each time she goes out for a job, Kat is rewarded by her degrading boss, Carlos. Using her sexy attributes helps when she needs to steal a car from a male victim. John is nothing like the rest of the marks she usually gets drunk, and he proves to be more than she can handle. She knows that her time for this kind of work is coming to an end and she needs to move onto something profitable.

John Taylor is an ex-military man, living alone, and he falls back on his skills in the jeweler trade. He is making plans to change his life, or rather was, until his car is stolen by Kat, with his ill-gotten gains in it. John's bad knee injury is constantly nagging him, and he uses a large amount of whiskey to dull the pain. He finds himself falling for Kat.

Thief is more than I expected it to be and the main characters’ antics towards each other never ceased to amaze me. This is a very good contemporary story of how two people with heavily burdened pasts can find mutual happiness and learn to trust each other, at the same time. This book by Ms. Harlem is the first for me, and she did a great job of spinning a tale of what can happen when you put together two personalities that clashed.

Kat showed me a side of herself that she kept suppressed from herself, and understanding her history gave me a better insight into what lead to her becoming a thief. There is more to John than I thought, and I believe he had what it took to take a stand with Kat.

The villain showed that he had the ability to enforce his will on others by using his money, but not so much with John, who never turned down a challenge, and his military background played a large part of the reason he resisted. John is there for Kat, once he learned what kind of villain she is dealing with, and finds himself saving her life on more than one occasion. They are more involved than just hot steaming sex and begin to form something close to a comfortable relationship.

I found the outcome of this story very much different from the usual ones, but will not give away the ending here, because it’s more than I thought would happen. Read and enjoy.

Between a Fox and a Hard Place


Title: Between a Fox and a Hard Place
Author: Misa Izanaki
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-026-8
Genre: {M/M} {M/M/M} Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Aoi’s overbearing family deleted the word “no” from their dictionary long ago. His kitsune lover Itsuke has grown tired of their disrespectful treatment of his elf lover and, as always, is ready to make a stand. Aoi knows he’s fortunate to have such a wonderful lover, but fate steps in and sends him a second, Aya. Aya met the duo, under the misconception of Aoi being his father. When their sexually attraction is acknowledged, the threesome form a family of their own. While their union is tested by family issues and unforeseen injuries that will put a strain on their lives, they soon prove the strength of their love and devotion to their relationship.

Misa Izanaki’s Between a Fox and a Hard Place introduces us to Aoi, Itsuke and Aya. Aoi is a quirky elf with a love of dancing. Itsuke is a possessive kitsune, determined to keep Aoi safe from harm. And Aya, the youngest member of the trio, is the center of this relationship. Granted, he was the last lover to join, is the reasonable partner and the most mature acting member. The men have a thriving sex life that will keep the ice water flowing while reading this book. At times, it appeared there was more sex than anything going on in the story. But as you reach the final page you’ll begin to reflect on the lessons each of the men learned and see their growth, individually and as a unit. Aoi’s family adds just the right amount of drama to the story and when they aren’t in the picture, Aoi’s ability to find trouble fills in perfectly. Between a Fox and a Hard Place is a story about commitment, learning to trust, the importance of communication and love.