Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Long Howl Good Night


Title: A Long Howl Good Night
Author: Delilah Devlin
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419931130
Genre: {M/F/M} Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Thanks to Mother Nature and the approach of a full moon, Aila Mack is a she-wolf on a mission to get laid. The messiness of a relationship or a pack doesn’t appeal to her, so Aila goes in a different direction to soothe her ache. With the help of an exclusive agency, Aila becomes a hooker once a month. She is shocked to discover that her assignment is with two clients, instead of one.

Jack and Kynan Parker are brothers who want more than a weekend romp with Aila. They want her as their mate and aren’t going to take no for an answer. Clans are desperate for cubs and Aila is a breeder. Breaking down the walls that Aila built around herself proves to be much harder than protecting her from a physical threat that’s waiting to strike. Jack and Kynan know they can make her happy, but if the men give Aila the opportunity to choose, will she make the right decision?

In A Long Howl Good Night, the next addition to the My Immortal Knight series, Kynan and Jack had a difficult time convincing Aila to stay with them. Because of her past, Aila doesn’t stay in one place very long and doesn’t become emotionally attached to men. Just because she’s a slave to her libido doesn’t mean Aila plans on letting a man control her. Jack and Kynan are as different as night and day. Kynan is an easy going shifter who would make any girl feel soft and comfortable. I loved him the moment he appeared. Jack uses a more abrasive approach with Aila. Even though he tended to piss her off much of the time, Aila couldn’t ignore the attraction she felt for Jack. The “good cop, bad cop” routine that the brothers used on Aila eventually convinced her that she could find the one thing she secretly wanted, and that was love. I tried very hard to not be annoyed by some of Jack’s comments and behavior but I never quite made it. After peeking into his mind, I did have a better understanding of Jack and his extremely dominate personality, but I still found myself migrating toward Kynan. In the end, I was touched by the family life that the three lovers settled into.

Delilah Devlin doesn’t skimp on the hot and heavy love scenes that will leave readers panting. Her characters evoke strong emotions, which always makes for a memorable story. My interest has been piqued, so I will definitely start from the beginning and check out this series.

Cold Winters


Title: Cold Winters
Author: AKM Miles
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-231-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Sheriff Cole Winters enjoys his quiet life in Deerville, Kentucky. The crime rate is low and most days are spent ensuring that the community is well taken care of. That changes when Mason Davenport shows up in need of assistance. Cole’s former skills will get dusted off when four murderers decide to pursue Mason and are willing to do anything to get their hands on him.

Mason and Cole soon discover a mutual attraction. With men out to harm Mason, will Cole stop them before their plans come to fruition, or will he lose the man he is falling in love with?

Some authors have a knack for delivering a well written story that has characters who grab your attention from the beginning. AKM Miles is one such author. Cold Winters takes us to a small town where even the smallest member of the community has a large personality. The supporting characters add a great deal to the story, which allows the best qualities of both of the primary characters to be showcased.

Mason has always wanted someone to love and connect with; someone he could share his life and dreams with. After spending time in Cole’s embrace, he was sure his search was over. Cole isn’t the type of man to play the field. He’s got a wonderful spirit and his community means the world to him, even the trouble makers. Regardless of what some of the locals did, he was not able to give up on them. It’s so easy to write people off as bad apples but Cole does not believe in taking the easy road. His compassion for those around him, especially Mason, makes him a likable character.

The rural setting made me miss my own small town where the community comes together in times of crisis. I loved Cold Winters. Not just because of the spectacular characters, action and suspense. Not just for the scrumptious scenes between Cole and Mason that are breathtaking. I loved it because it also delivers powerful messages on forgiveness, acceptance, love and the importance of helping your fellow man. There were a few moment where I felt tears at the lessons the characters learned during Cole and Mason’s story.

Those who’ve read previous works by this author will not be disappointed. Those new to AKM Miles will find a new author to add to their “Must Read” list.

Friday Night Jamie


Title: Friday Night Jamie
Author: Bren Christopher
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-887-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Jamie Morgan’s regular Friday night routine is to meet his friends at a club and this Friday is no exception. Jamie is on the dance floor with his friends when Matt Dawson joins them. Matt is interested in getting to know Jamie a lot better. However, Jamie turns Matt’s advances down. Jamie has very strict ideas about the kind of man he wanted to share his carefully ordered life with. Too bad Jamie’s dream man comes with so many deadly flaws.

Friday Night Jamie is a well written romantic suspense. The setting is New York. The plot has drama with a touch of action. The characters are credible. Jamie’s unsavory childhood is his motivation to succeed at his CPA career. Jamie is sharp and always on the alert for errors. It is this work ethic that suddenly has Jamie on the run from both the mob and the FBI when Jamie discovers a suspicious error in one of his accounts. Jamie also displays his snarky manner with Matt when they first met. However, that attitude changed after Matt comes to Jamie’s rescue on several occasions.

Matt is a thoughtful, patient man who knows exactly what he wants. Matt’s unwavering friendship allows Jamie a chance to scrutinize all of the facets of Matt’s many qualities. Jamie and Matt almost immediately progress into a comfortable intimate liaison. The lovemaking scenes are particularly passionate. Bren Christopher has created a fantastic, as well as, enjoyable saga.

A Touch of Magick


Title: A Touch of Magick
Author: N.J. Walters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: samhainpublishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-60928-240-0
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Rhiannon Sparks comes from a long line of powerful hereditary witches and she has trouble doing something as simple as lighting a candle unless she uses a match. To get away from her well-meaning family, she moves from California to a small coastal town in Maine, opens a small magick shop and quickly turns it into a success. Everything in her life is going well except for her love life—she doesn’t have one.

During an evening get-together with her two best friends, Ester and Maggie, she confesses to being a witch and the women cast a candle-magic spell under the full moon near Samhain. It was all supposed to be in good fun, except Rhiannon mixes up the words and asks for true love instead of a lover.

Who she gets is Deputy Ryland Stone, a sexy man who’s never allowed himself to get emotionally involved with any woman. Except when he meets Rhiannon the sparks fly – literally - and they nearly set the bedroom on fire. At least until she reveals her magical secret. Can he accept the existence of magick and Rhiannon for what she is or will Ryland walk away, leaving her heartbroken?

A Touch of Magick is the first in the new series Spells, Secrets and Seductions by author N.J. Walters. It follows the changes in the life of witch Rhiannon. She’s an interesting and likable young woman and the author did a nice job with her descriptions of the magick shop and what it sold, the vandalism problem, her friendship with Ester and Maggie, and what Rhiannon looked like. She did an equally nice job with the blistering hot passion between Rhiannon and Ryland, as well as Ryland’s difficulty accepting his lover’s magical heritage

Even though I liked Rhiannon, I still would have liked to know more about her family background aside from generalities; it would have helped to round out her personality more. Ryland is an intriguing man with a harsh family background he rarely talks about. He’s also dedicated to his job, sexy and so emotionally stunted, he doesn’t want to get involved with anyone—all he wants a little companionship and sex. I guess it’s safe to say I’m not too fond of him and aside from his physical attractiveness, I’m not certain why Rhiannon wanted him. At least by the end of the story both her and my attitude had changed.

I for one will be interested in seeing what happens to the characters in the next release. My understanding is that series is intended as a trilogy, but I could be wrong. That being the case, I’m thinking the other two books will cover Maggie and Ester. If you enjoy a touch of the paranormal, give this new series a try.

The Bouncer


Title: The Bouncer
Author: A.J. Llewellyn
Publisher: Total E Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-284-8
Genre: {M/M}, {M/M/M}, {M/M/M/M}
ContemporaryRating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Due to the economy and budget cuts, Kevin’s teaching dreams have come to a halt. Hoping to build a new life, he moves to Austin, Texas where he plans on helping his brother and brother-in-law run their bar. Seeing the close relationship his brother has with his new husband, Kevin hopes to find the same but is Cruz Dixon the man for him?

The Bouncer is another new novella by prolific author A.J. Llewellyn. The story is fast-paced and will keep the reader very entertained. All the characters come across believably. It is easy to see the attraction between Kevin and Cruz and the sex between them is hot. There are also a couple of ménages in the story that will leave the readers in need of a fan. The two men face a few complications since Cruz is a cop and Kevin finds himself doing community service, but these complications do not detract from the story.

With strong main characters, wonderful secondary characters and a storyline that will keep the readers attention, The Bouncer is sure to become a fan favorite and if you have not yet tried this author, The Bouncer is a good place to start.

Darkling Lust


Title: Darkling Lust
Author: Marteeka Karland
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-412-2
Genre: {M/F}, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Mary reads about Darklings and doesn’t believe what she has read. Two days later, Drykin comes to claim her and she realizes that not only are they real, but what she has done by reading the book.

Darkling Lust is the second book in The Darkling series. In this fast paced book, Mary has some decisions to make after she realizes Darklings actually exist. The chemistry between Drykin and Mary is good, but the emotions both feel and have to overcome are very realistic when confronted with new and frightening situations. The additional interactions with the two secondary characters add an interesting element, especially between Drykin and his brother.

The concept the author has created with the Darklings is interesting, especially about reading a book to find your mate and the possible scenarios that invokes. I am looking forward to future stories about the Darklings.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Under the Influence


Title: Under the Influence
Author: VJ Summers
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419929953
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Ben awakens without any idea where he is. Soon Ben realizes that he is in Max’s studio apartment. Not that he was opposed to waking up in Max’s apartment, Ben just wished he could remember how he got there. Especially since Max has never shown any initiative to get him here before.

Under the Influence is an amusing romance interwoven with a serious theme. The setting is a night club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The characters are believable. Max is a detective working undercover in the Candyland club to bust a drug dealer. Because of his immediate attraction to Ben, Max is sidetracked; he spends more time watching Ben than he does looking for clues. Patrons continue to overdose in record numbers, leaving Max frustrated by his lack of progress on this case.

Ben is a sociology grad student at University of Michigan. With his thesis on the Goth subculture finished, Ben has no reason to visit the nightclub anymore, other than his deep attraction for Max. Ben has tried to seduce Max for three months without success. When Ben becomes the victim of the drug dealer, it is Max who rescues Ben. Max and Ben’s one taste of intimacy is enough to keep them both returning for more. Under the Influence has a little mystery, emotional combat and fantastic lovemaking. VJ Summers has created an impressive saga that I greatly enjoyed.

Vigil


Title: Vigil
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-172-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Vampire
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Donte and Adin are still together, or mostly, but they continue to have serious differences of opinion. Donte is worried about the life and safety of his human lover and isn’t happy he continues to refuse to be turned. Adin, on the other hand, isn’t happy that his vampire lover can’t accept that a future as a bloodsucking immortal isn’t for him.

While they’re fighting, Adin agrees to meet a fellow book procurer and in a case of mistaken identity is taken at gunpoint to a secret location where he discovers a young teenage boy, Bran, in chains, who is for sale. Determined to rescue this boy, Adin pays the required money, but before he can turn him over to the authorities, Adin learns Bran isn’t ordinary at all. And he isn’t human either. That means Adin needs to figure out who wants Bran and why.

It also means Adin needs help. Not just Donte’s, but his friends Edward and Tuan, too. Because things aren’t as clear cut as they appear on the surface and sometimes danger comes in innocent looking packages.

Vigil is the sequel to Notturno and once again, ZA Maxfield has created a well written and plotted story that’s just as enthralling as its predecessor. The relationship between Adin and Donte is no smoother than before. They fuss, fight, feud, snipe and hurt each other at every turn but there’s never a doubt of how much this unusual vampire and his obstinate human lover care for each other and this is just one way the author has excelled. She’s taken these two vastly dissimilar men in experience and temperament and, with creativity and flair, crafted them into a strangely perfect couple.

There’s further development of the personalities of both Adin and Donte and we also get to see more of how deep their feelings have grown…their love, passion and commitment, despite all the danger, intrigue and betrayal that surrounds them at every turn. I liked learning more about returning secondary characters Edward, Tuan, Santos and Boaz and the addition of the mysterious Bran to the plotline was an interesting and unexpected development.

Overall the story is top-notch, with a smooth flowing, believable plot and characters who I love to read about. The next release in the series, Matins, is slated for release in 2011. I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens to Adin and Donte next.

Master of the Abyss




Title: Master of the Abyss
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher: Loose-Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-880-8
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Suspense
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Kallie’s and Jake’s family businesses have entered into an agreement to benefit both businesses. Kallie is attracted to Jake, but knows he doesn’t get involved with any woman since the death of his girlfriend two years ago. Jake realizes Kallie’s a submissive and finds he is breaking his “one-night only rule”, because he can’t keep her out of his mind.

In this sequel to Master of the Mountain, Jake is still guilt ridden about Mimi’s death and doesn’t want to get involved with anyone. He is blindsided by his growing feelings for Kallie. Before coming to live with her uncle and her three cousins when she was fourteen, Kallie has always felt unloved. Kallie just knows that Jake won’t be able to love her and tries to accept what he gives, even though she loves him. Ms. Sinclair gives a very intense and emotional look at feelings that all of us have had at some time in our lives and gets the reader involved emotionally to the point you want to hit both of them on the back of their heads. The author also gives a realistic look of the relationship and protectiveness of families for each other.

Keep ice on hand as you read the scenes in Master of the Abyss between Jake and Kallie; you will be panting as the chemistry between the two is very intense. I enjoyed this book and recommend that both books be added to any BDSM lovers bookshelf to be read again.

Hanging in the Balance


Title: Hanging in the Balance
Author: Christie Gordon
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-652-5
Genre: {M/M} Vampires
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Julian is on watch duty when he notices another vampire across the street. All at once, the vampire is at Julian’s back with the tip of a sharp instrument against Julian’s neck. Julian’s would-be assassin is a fifteen hundred year old powerful vampire named Sebastian, who soon becomes Julian’s saviour.

Hanging in the Balance is the first book in the In Life and Blood series. The plot is a well written, well paced emotional drama. The setting is modern day San Francisco. The characters are believable. Julian was kidnapped from the hospital when he was only hours old by a vicious female vampire. Turned vampire at age eighteen to serve the self appointed queen’s household as one of her protectors, Julian has little knowledge of a normal human life or the true vampire laws. Julian is passionate, as well as lonely; he yearns for the freedom to find love. Julian has never known affection until he meets Sebastian.

Given orders to destroy Julian, Sebastian, an elder vampire of enormous strength, immediately recognized Julian as his eternal mate. Sebastian is an enforcer of the vampire laws. Although he can be ruthless, Sebastian is remarkably gentle with Julian, as well as a compassionate lover. These emotions are exhibited in the exceptionally sensual love scenes. Christie Gordon has created an impressive vampire saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Sarah They’re Coming For You


Title: Sarah They’re Coming For You
Author: Susan Kronick
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-936222-32-2
Genre: {M/F} Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

Sarah Pullman has gotten her Ph.D. in psychology with a specialty in paranormal studies and she is a medium, along with being a psychic. Since the tender age of nine, she has been haunted by evil spirits and she didn’t know how to ward them off but her guardian angel, her great-great-great-great grandfather Hermann kept them at bay for her. It didn’t matter where she was, there were times the evil spirits visited her, calling to her to come to them.

For fourteen years Sarah has taught at the university and as a medium, she also has cleansed unwanted spirits from haunted houses for people. She has had to keep most of the hauntings, and bad dreams, to herself because her family thought she was a little crazed. Sarah decides to take a trip to her ancestral home in Austria, to solve the mystery of the curse on her family. Her husband wants her to wait until spring and did everything to try to persuade her but she is determined, and knowing that her time of being able to fight off the evil hauntings is running out.

Sarah They’re Coming For You is a very unique story, and I must say that I really enjoyed reading this book. There were times when I wanted to tell Sarah to get a grip, but I understood that her years of fear from the evil hauntings had changed her behavior. Once I found out why she was haunted toward the end of the story, everything made more sense to me and I found myself rooting her on to complete her journey to her ancestral home to face the curse of the ancestors for her survival.

Ms. Kronick has impressed me with her creative storytelling of ghost, mediums and evil spirits. She did a great job on the detailed research in this story and of the country of Austria. This really has me adding it to my list of places to go. The story is very well-plotted and the surprise towards the end of the book may shock you, but I won’t give it away here. If you enjoy a story with a good haunting story, I am sure you will enjoy this one!

Blood Heat


Title: Blood Heat
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-869-3
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Special Agents Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt anticipated bumps in the road for their budding relationship, but they came sooner than expected. Their three month old romance is already feeling the strains of their career, thanks to an assignment offer destined to split the team. What to do when a post is too important to pass up?

Taylor understands how hard Will has worked to gain the opportunity, but fears the distance will be too much to bear. Will is sure their relationship can still thrive; that they can work past the separation. Taylor doesn’t want his man to leave and is sure of one thing. His reaction as anything but supportive could come back to bite him in the butt later down the road.

Their relationship issue takes a backseat when Taylor and Will discover the location of a suspected terrorist. This assignment tests their resolve and resourcefulness while proving to us why they are such a fantastic team.

Josh Lanyon’s Blood Heat is the third installment of his popular Dangerous Ground series and my favorite of the releases to date. Will and Taylor’s array of differences helps create a wonderful balance in their professional and personal lives. They play off of one another’s strengths during this story and will have to learn to get over past fears that have built over the last three months.

You could feel the strain that the offered assignment was having on both of the men. While it was clear that Will wanted the job, he didn’t just brush Taylor’s feeling aside. He truly wanted his lover to understand that regardless of the miles away he would always own his heart. Taylor is a sweetheart and I found myself wanting to comfort him during this story. The idea of losing Will weighed heavy on him. The couple’s emotions danced across the pages and made me wish I could tie a rope on the assignment location to pull it a few hundred miles closer.

When you get past that conflict, there is plenty more to keep you occupied. This host of secondary characters added a multitude to this story. The one they pursued had a gambit of surprises waiting for my reading pleasure that had me rereading the sentences. I fell in love with Josh Lanyon’s writing style all over again during this story. Action, suspense, sensual play and even a few humorous moments are all packed into this novella. Mr. Lanyon made the most of every sentence in this latest release. Now my only question is when will part four be ready?

River of Need


Title: River of Need
Author: Shayla Kersten
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419931291
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

It’s been three years since Detective Kyle Shelton broke up with his lying, cheating and closeted ex, Dustin Eldridge. He definitely never expected to see the man again, especially not behind bars and charged with prostitution. Bailing Dustin out of jail is probably one of the stupidest things he could ever do, but Kyle can’t stand the idea of him staying locked up. But letting the man who broke his heart back in his bed is even crazier.

Lies about his sexual orientation have just about destroyed Dustin’s life. He’s lost his job, home, family, belongings and worst of all, Kyle. He has nothing left and he’s been forced to resort to turning tricks to survive. Dustin can’t believe it when his old lover comes to his rescue but when he does, he thinks for the first time in months that maybe…just maybe, there’s hope for a future.

The only problem is that there’s a serial killer on the loose and Dustin’s a suspect. If Kyle and the police really believe he’s capable of something so grossly horrible and vile, he might not have a future at all.

River of Need is the latest release by author Shayla Kersten. It covers characters met in two of her previous releases. This story isn’t a lighthearted, warm and fuzzy kind of read, so if that’s what you’re expecting, this gritty tale of pain, murder and redemption isn’t for you. But if you enjoy a fast paced, edgy story of one down-trodden man’s attempt to reclaim his life with the man he loves, I think this contemporary police drama is for you.

Dustin and Kyle have a long and painful history and Ms. Kersten does a very nice job expressing their pain, hurt and regrets from the past. This is particularly true of Dustin since he knew even before he lost everything that he was living a lie. The depth of emotion between these men is intense, as is their passion. Add in Kyle’s obnoxious partner and the serial killer plot lines and you have enough problems and distrust to kill a renewing relationship. The author manages to juggle all these different aspects and skillfully tie them all together into a cohesive whole that’s an enjoyable, and believable, read.

Note: For maximum reader enjoyment, we suggest also reading Hidden Force (Tony and Ryan) and Hidden Hands (David March), in which these secondary characters were heroes.