Saturday, October 30, 2010

Inhabiting The Night


Title: Inhabiting The Night
Author: Carolina Valdez
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-001-6
Genre: {M/M} Dark Fantasy, Shape-shifter, Vampire, Interracial
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Trent Edwards has made a promise to himself to find his brother and bring him home, dead or alive. Reports of his sighting lead Trent to rent a house in a mountain community, where he meets Martin Longhouse. Martin is immediately attracted to Trent and wants to help him find his brother. Both men have a few secrets they aren’t willing to share. While Trent being an officer isn’t a deal breaker, Martin’s secret could be too much for the officer to accept.

Will Trent find his brother? Will he leave Martin when the truth is revealed?

Carolina Valdez takes us to a small community where things that go bump in the night have learned to coexist. Trent is a good man who places nothing above his family. He knows something has happened to his brother and only wants the truth to come out. Martin’s solitude existence is tested when Trent hits the scene. He knows that their connection makes him feel things he never thought possible. While it scares him a bit, being without Trent frightens him more. They definitely heat up the pages. The residents of this small community are an eclectic bunch adding a nice variety to the story.

There was something that happened to Trent that left me baffled. If Ms. Valdez decides to give us a sequel maybe I’ll understand how Trent ended up in need of Martin’s service.

Overall, I thought the story was well written. The characters reeled me in and the setting was magnificent.

Spoils of War


Title: Spoils of War
Author: Kari Gregg
Publisher: Noble Publishing
Publisher URL: https://www.nobleromance.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60592-173-0
Genre: {M/M}, Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Micah was only nine years old when his homeland was invaded. Taken hostage and give to the invading King, Micah’s life has now become a living hell.

I loved Spoils of War. The author pulls you right in from the beginning, but readers should be forewarned that the beginning of this story is rough and may make some readers uncomfortable. Micah is one of those characters that the reader will have no problem caring about, and the pain and suffering he goes through will tear at your heart. The character of Eli is as strongly written as Micah. The patience and understanding he shows the young man helps Micah on his road to healing. These two men fit together perfectly and I could not put the story down.

Although Spoils of War is very good, it was short, only about 70 pages, and felt as if there was more story that could have been told if the book was longer – hopefully the author has a sequel planned for these two. Readers should not let the length of this book dissuade them as this is one they do not want to miss.

Undertow


Title: Undertow
Author: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: samhainpublishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-60928-216-5
Genre: {M/F} Historical Paranormal Shape-shifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Victor left behind a life of crime to help his Alpha build a place of safety for werewolves on a small Maine island. He’s had a hard life that’s prepared him for the harsh experiences that comes from living on their new home and dealing with the emotionally wounded young female wolves rescued from the brutal Boston Alpha only makes it more difficult. That’s particularly true when it comes to handling Simone, a woman whose wolf calls to his.

Simone comes from a rich society background but lost everything when she became involved with the man who eventually turned her. Even though she now has a chance to help broker peace between wizards and werewolves in Europe, she’s reluctant to leave Victor behind. During a return trip from the mainland with supplies, Victor and Simone are shipwrecked on a small deserted island, trapping them together during the full moon. While trying to survive, long held secret emotions are laid bare and despite his previous good intentions of staying away from Simone, Victor and his wolf now can’t let her go.

Undertow is the second release in the new Building Sanctuary series by author Moira Rogers. This book focuses solely on the relationship of Victor and Simone and how, despite coming from vastly different worlds physically and emotionally, they are meant to be together. The story is short at just under 70 pages, so the chemistry and attraction between them grows quickly—it’s intense, passionate and at times almost all consuming. These emotions are rich and vividly expressed by the author, making it obvious how the characters feel for each other.

Since the characters spend a great deal of the story marooned together the conflict in this story is all internal—their relationship and how they react to each other. So, if you’re expecting a lot of external action-packed conflict—well, you won’t find it here. What you will find is a fast paced and heartwarming story with two likable characters I want to see again in the future.

Untouched Places


Title: Untouched Places
Author: Grace Meadows
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-936394-02-9
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary, Paranormal
Rating: 2 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Why can’t life be like an erotic romance novel? Ruth Arnison has to escape to her fantasies to get any pleasure these days. What else can she do when her boyfriend Ray won’t commit and seems more interested in his sports than scoring with her? When she finds out the truth about Ray’s neglect, Ruth takes the first bus out of there, and straight into the arms of an Icelandic God. Things are looking up for our frustrated female but all is not what it seems. When strange goings-on threaten her very sanity, Ruth might just need her story-telling powers to save her.

I wanted very much to like Untouched Places but unfortunately things just didn’t seem to gel in this story. Ruth is an interesting character with a very vivid imagination but I couldn’t really connect with her feelings about her relationship with Ray. The intended awfulness of Ray’s character and Ruth’s subsequent exit from the relationship was laid bare very quickly and without much emotional impact. Once Ruth has moved on to Torfi, the man who whisks her away to Iceland, her past troubles are never mentioned again, leaving me very despondent to her plight. I did like the idea of a story within a story as Ruth gets the opportunity to entertain those around her with tales of paranormal entities originating from Iceland but I just felt the plot was too confusing, jumping from one situation to the next without clear reasoning. There were ideas with real potential here but in my opinion, they were touched upon far too briefly to really satisfy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Troy's Surrender


Title: Troy's Surrender
Author: K. M. Mahoney
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-60272-757-1
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Western, BDSM (Light)
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Private Detective Troy Maxwell knew he should walk away from the job. He knew no good could come out of falling for the man he was sent to spy on. But that didn’t help Troy keep his distance. There was something about Rafe Morgan that called to Troy’s heart and awoke his body. The horse breeder’s lazy-hipped stride, handsome face and body honed from years of hard work won Troy over in the blink of an eye. But when the truth is revealed, will Rafe find a way to accept Troy in his life or is he doomed to walk away and repair his broken heart?

K. M. Mahoney knows how to bring a sexy cowboy to life. Troy's Surrender was not only understandable but inevitable. Rafe is a good man that understands the importance treating others fairly and with respect. Troy is more than meets the eye. His ethics kicked in and he knew hurting Rafe would be the worse possible outcome to the scenario. Together this couple ignites the pages with their raw passion.

The fast-paced story’s likeable characters and believable storyline made it a hit and I plan to read more from K. M. Mahoney in the future.

Seduced


Title: Seduced
Author: A. J. Llewellyn
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-681-5
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Mrs. Maverick seeks help from Paden Campbell when her son Sean vanishes. Closer investigation reveals that Sean Maverick, who is afraid of water, can be found in the sea. Paden and his lover, the rainbow-walker Track must battle an ancient ocean deity to unlock the mystery surrounding Sean’s disappearance.

Seduced is the second book in the Children of the Rainbow series. In this episode, Paden is starting to embrace his spiritual duty. Paden is an immortal with supernatural talents. Along with Track, Paden walks the rainbow to help locate missing people. As each clue of the mystery is revealed, Paden begins to understand the events leading up to the disappearance of Sean. Paden enlists the aid of his son-in-law, Kimo Wilder, to facilitate a rescue. Kimo performs a ritual of forgiveness so that Sean’s parents can atone for their spiritual disrespect. The true lesson Paden, as well as the Mavericks, learned is that the punishment for sacred insolence is to take away the opportunity to appreciate the emotional rewards of sharing life, love and family for a longer interval of time.

The remarkable A. J. Llewellyn has created another impressive installment to this series. Along with a well-written plot, cultural history, as well as exceptionally steamy love scenes, there is a Hawaiian Glossary included. I enjoyed Seduced immensely.

Memphis Rising


Title: Memphis Rising
Author: Haven Isley
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419929816
Genre: {M/F} Multicultural, Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

As head of the legal department at Wainwright Construction, Jury Yates is great at what she does. After discovering her new boss’ ancestors once enslaved hers, Jury seriously considers quitting. The attraction she feels for Beau wouldn’t let Jury walk away from the man who fuels her fire, yet unresolved issues won’t let her accept his proposal.

Beauregard Wainwright is the kind of man accustom to giving orders, not taking them. He likes have the upper hand in the office and in the bedroom. Jury’s genius mind and gorgeous body are driving him to distraction, like no other woman ever has. She is his dream woman. Destiny brought Jury into his life and Beau intends to keep her there forever. Can his charm override Jury’s stubbornness?

Memphis Rising is a heated story that sizzles from start to finish. Jury wasn’t afraid to call Beau to the carpet in front of other employees, which made for some very intense scenes. She knew exactly how to push his buttons and I couldn’t wait to see how Beau would react. I especially loved the trick Jury played on him in the limo. It was wicked and cute at the same time.

I knew racism would come up because of the slavery topic. Beau’s father wasn’t pleased when Jury was hired and I expected that. However, I was surprised by his reason for not wanting Jury in the picture. Haven Isley did a wonderful job of not making this story predictable and giving a happily ever after that I found touching. Jury and Beau make an excellent power couple and I know readers will love them as much as I do. If you adore a good boss and employee romance with some sass and depth, then you must read Memphis Rising.

Rain


Title: Rain
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-645-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

After two years, Brandon and Dustin have decided to tie the knot. Unfortunately, Brandon’s mom insists on helping. If that wasn’t enough, Dustin’s brother has shown up after a two year absence. Has he come to reconcile with Dustin or just to cause more problems?

L.A. Witt’s Rain is the sequel to Rules of Engagement and as such, the two books will need to be read in order. The author was able to pull the reader right back into the men’s lives as they prepare to get married. The love and chemistry between the two men is as strong as ever and they don’t waste any time showing it. When the author brings Dustin’s brother back into the story, Dustin’s reactions are believable and the reader can’t help but hope that everything works out for them. The readers will also find Brandon’s desire to reconnect with his brother realistic, as well as the outcome.

Rain was a great follow up, and a keeper, just as the first story was.

Now I Could Drink Hot Blood


Title: Now I Could Drink Hot Blood
Author: AR Moler
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-071-8
Genre: {M/M} {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Special Investigative Services agents John Benchley and his lover, and partner, Evan Garrett team up with a psychic assigned to the FBI, Dr. Gabrielle Dichenz. The victims have had their throats torn out plus all of the blood left behind catches fire in sunlight. These are not your usual homicide cases.

Now I Could Drink Hot Blood is a follow up story to And Hell Itself Breathes Out. The plot is well-written. The setting is Washington, D.C. The characters are creditable. John Benchley is head of SIS and his team investigates killings committed by non-human creatures. John is obsessed with solving cases so he has little time for a personal life. John’s relationship with Evan is a necessary connection. John employs sex as emotional comfort with Evan. I got the impression John’s sexual contact with Gabrielle is more a means to rebuild her self-esteem. Evan has the capacity to help John preserve his sanity. Evan is the stabilizer of the team. Evan’s compassion for others has a soothing impact on everyone he touches. Gabrielle has troubles with an abusive lover; nevertheless she continues to stay in that relationship until John insists on taking legal action against Gabrielle’s psychopath boyfriend. AR Moler has created an interesting storyline. I enjoyed the investigative details of Now I Could Drink Hot Blood.

The Consort


Title: The Consort
Author: Misty Malone
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-560-2
Genre: {M/M} Historical, Arthurian, Medieval, Bondage
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Prince Accolon’s father deems him useless until the day his brother was killed during battle. Accolon immerses himself in his faith in hopes of gaining the love his father has failed to give him. His status changes from spare to heir to the throne, removing any hopes he had of devoting his life to the church. Accolon loses one dream but another deeply rooted desire falls into his lap, thanks to Rhys.

Rhys understands Accolon’s family situation all too well. A passionate encounter with a stable boy leaves Rhys battered and scrambling to save his life. His father has given him a task he believes too difficult for Rhys to accomplish. The price of failure is death.

When the two meet, Rhys sees Accolon as a means to an end. Over time, Accolon’s compassion, love, and fervor leave Rhys hoping for a future filled with happiness. Will Accolon become the king of his heart?

The Consort is a fast-paced story, which takes place in Medieval Wales. Misty Malone does a remarkable job of transporting us into the period. From the description of the attire to the castle setting, her attention to detail makes this book come alive. I was actually happy that she didn’t dwell on using an abundance of the phrases and dialect of the time period. Ms. Malone created a wonderful read thanks to a mixture of sensual erotic moments, an intriguing plot, suspense and action scenes that explode off the pages.

Accolon and Rhys’ emotions rolled off the pages in waves. They both have a chasm of emotional depth that seems to break free and overflow when the circumstances made it impossible to ignore. Accolon’s painful relationship with his father damaged his ability to see his strength. He hid in the shadows until his brother’s death no longer allowed that to be an option. The damage done to his psyche didn’t surprise me. Rhys predicament was even worse. The more his past was revealed, the more I understood his lack of trust in people. Together, they healed and built a love that would stand the test of time. This is a fantastic story and I recommend it to those who enjoy the genre.

Capturing Perfection


Title: Capturing Perfection
Author: Trina Lane
Publisher: Total E-bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-300-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

At the young age of thirteen, Clayton Phillips and Logan Callen both entered the foster care system and found themselves living in the same foster home. The two boys quickly became inseparable, relying on each other for support as they moved through their teenage years. When graduation approaches, all it takes is a whispered confession and it changes both their lives when Logan leaves and joins the army. It’s not until sixteen years later that the men see each other again and it’s under horrible circumstances—Logan is coming home severely wounded.

Logan is suffering terrible bouts of post traumatic stress, can’t hear due to his injury and isn’t dealing well with his emotional and physical injuries. Clayton, a Boston Police Detective is determined that he and his childhood friend rebuild their tight personal bond. Both men have secrets. The biggest one and the one they’ve kept hidden from each other their entire lives is the most important—both are in love with the other. The question is whether they can overcome what’s happened to them in the past, work through the trials of the present and move on to a future together.

Capturing Perfection is the third release in Trina Lane’s Perfect Love series. It’s a tender and heartwarming look at the renewed relationship of two men reunited after years of separation. I really appreciated Ms. Lane’s use of a severely wounded veteran still undergoing rehab as one of her main characters. She tackled his disability, pain and post traumatic stress episodes head-on, handling them not just with creativity and flair, but with sensitivity, understanding and care. It was also obvious she’d done her research when it came to Logan’s surgical procedure, implant placement and follow-up, and I appreciated the details and how they impacted the storyline.

It’s obvious from the beginning that these two men had to work at their relationship and if Clayton hadn’t pursued it, it wouldn’t have happened. Ms. Lane got his persistent, dedicated and determined personality down perfectly. The man’s a bulldog when it comes to something he wants and he wants Logan back in his life, whole and healthy, and she did a nice job showing how he went about going after it. Logan is a such a damaged soul that you can’t help but feel bad for what happened to him, bringing to mind all the other soldiers during every war there has ever been.

The love between these two is decades old and it was wonderful seeing it blossom anew and grow into something larger and more dramatic. The sex between Clayton and Logan is blistering hot and passionate, but it’s also tender, caring, and sensual. I loved the commitment that they had for each other and how willing Clayton was to fight for Logan’s hearing—to make him whole again.

Beauty


Title: Beauty
Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-635-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Bruno Cannavaro and Freddy Goldman have been friends since childhood. In fact, Freddy saved Bruno’s life when they were in college. Bruno would do anything to help Freddy, including striking up a conversation with Holden Doyle, the man Freddy is engrossed in yet too shy to make the first move on. The problem is that Bruno is also attracted to Holden.

Beauty is a well-written poignant love triangle. The setting is New York. The characters are believable. The communication linking the characters is realistic. Bruno is a social worker in the youth protection department. Bruno and Freddy are more like brothers than best friends. Because of their non-sexual closeness, Bruno feels a responsibility to shield Freddy from any unrequited relationships. Freddy has an optimistic personality which allows him to misconstrue the emotional reality in relation to others. A musician since childhood, Holden plays with a rock band for enjoyment; his principal career is a paramedic. Holden is a considerate man who desires a long term relationship. There is one intimate scene with all three men. However, the story is more man on man intimacy. The emotional impact involves all three men. The exceptionally gifted D. J. Manly has created a fantastic saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Hell Rider


Title: Hell Rider
Author: Belladonna Bordeaux
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Publisher URL: http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59578-751-4
Genre: {M/F}, {F/F}, {M/F/F} Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Jocelyn is a half-fey woman who was hidden as a child and has ended up as an apprentice to a dressmaker. Lucius comes for her to take her to the Hellfire Club but ends up falling for her instead. Lucius is in trouble as he keeps Jocelyn for himself instead of turning her over to the club.

In this second installment of the Hellfire Club, Hell Rider is full of intrigue, betrayal and love. I was intrigued by the concept of Lucius, or Death, falling in love with a fey. The author did a good job of keeping you guessing about how their relationship would finally work.

Some of the scenes between Lucius, Jocelyn and Bahne seemed a little out of place, though Lucius and Jocelyn could scorch the page. The book can be read alone, though I recommend that readers read Primal Appetite before reading Hell Rider. I will be reading this series again.

Lovin’ Leela


Title: Lovin’ Leela
Author: Nichelle Gregory
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-299-2
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary, Multicultural
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

If her neighbor hadn’t moved to Florida, Leela Monroe would still have homemade banana bread and a quiet residence. The saxophone playing didn’t totally annoy Leela because her mystery neighbor was actually kind of good. However, listening to the all night sex-a-thons was getting to her, in more ways than one.

The combination of exhaustion and curiosity was too much for Leela to ignore, so she decided to march over and give the man next door a lesson in common courtesy. Moments after seeing Sam Ryan’s sexy grin and athletic body, Leela forgot all about sleep. Now all she can do is wonder if Sam is as good in bed as the moaning from his apartment suggests.

Sam persuades Leela to submit to the undeniable attraction between them, even though she’s leery. Because their relationship got hot and heavy so fast, Leela questioned Sam’s sincerity. After discovering something incriminating about Sam, Leela gives him the cold shoulder. Fortunately, Sam isn’t the type of guy to give up without a fight. At first I was annoyed by Sam’s defense and Leela’s reaction to it, but only for a second. This turning point in the story was a scenario that could actually happen and I welcomed the dose of reality. Without hesitation, Sam told Leela the truth and left the ball in her court. In this moment, any doubts I had about Sam disappeared, because he was deeper than I originally thought. I fell in lust with the spontaneous, passionate man who was Lovin’ Leela, and I know you will too.