Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tooth & Nail


Title: Tooth & Nail
Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-692-7
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Paranormal
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Dylan Shaw is a hardworking nineteen year-old student and he doesn’t have any business inside a dance club in the Castro district. He’s a beautiful young man, literally dressed like an angel and despite being drunk, Dylan turns down a couple of overzealous guys, which results in him being attacked in the club’s restroom. Malic rescues the younger man and despite his interest, because of his age, Malic refuses to sleep with him. Dylan is everything Malic ever dreamed of for his ‘hearth’ but he’s afraid of hurting or burdening him with the dangerous life he leads.

The reality of Malic’s world won’t be denied and soon Dylan finds himself pulled into a paranormal life he never knew existed. To keep Dylan safe, Malic fights tooth and nail to push him away, in spite of the younger man holding the keys to his safety and most importantly, his heart.

Tooth and Nail is the second release in the Warder series by multi published author Mary Calmes. First off I have to say that I love the book’s title. Initially, I assumed that tooth and nail referred to how hard Malic would be forced to fight demons as a Warder – when instead that’s how hard he fights not to get involved with or hurt Dylan. It’s a cute and effective twist I didn’t expect but appreciated.

I found the dynamic between the gruff, big and burly Malic and the young, sweet and determined Dylan very entertaining. Talk about two vastly different personalities. Yet, Ms. Calmes uses her creative flair, added in fun bantering dialogue between the noble Malic and the persistent Dylan, threw in great secondary characters, a little fast-paced action and some danger and you have all that you need for an entertaining afternoon read.

Steamy Reunion


Title: Steamy Reunion
Author: Jambrea Jo Jones
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419930782
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Ambrose Firth was a geek in high school. Now, fifteen years later, Ambrose’s only inducement to go to a reunion is his yearning to see Noah Winters. Noah is still the star in all of Ambrose’s fantasies. Needing support in presenting his successful man image, as well as being momentarily single, Ambrose hires an escort to play the role of his boyfriend. Noah is everything Ambrose remembered with the exception of now; Noah can’t keep his hands off Ambrose.

Steamy Reunion is just what the title says; a well-written, humorous quick read that will definitely brighten a work break. The setting is Chicago. The characters are believable. Ambrose secretly had a crush on Noah. Ambrose was openly gay in high school. However, Noah was in the closet until college. When the two men meet at the reunion, Noah did not waste any time demonstrating his wishes to be up close and intimately personal with Ambrose on a consistent basis. Ambrose is in full agreement with this plan that perfectly matches his own. Jambrea Jo Jones has created an entertaining, sizzling tidbit that I enjoyed immensely.

An Earlier Heaven


Title: An Earlier Heaven
Author: D.W. Marchwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-640-8
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Jerry McKenzie never imagined becoming a husband and father. A year after he adopted his nephew and married the man of his dreams, Jerry still cannot believe how lucky he is. David Loewenberger feels the same intense happiness towards Jerry and William. The three have created an ideal family situation that filled a void in their lives. And while William is the perfect son, he has his fathers worried. Jerry and David want their son happy and to make new friends to share his time with. William isn’t a boy who wants quantity; he prefers quality, which is evident when he encounters a high school student named Cory. Cory has his own issues to sort out, but he’s got a heart of gold that is soon recognized by the tiny family. Is there room in the family for one more child?

An Earlier Heaven is the sequel to D.W. Marchwell’s wonderful story Good to Know. William has definitely grown since the first story. While he’s still young and reacts as only an innocent child could to some situations, his raw emotions brought out my protective mother spirit while reading this story. Jerry and David still have that passionate and explosive chemistry that reminded me of how good a relationship could be with the right mate. Cory was an added bonus to the drama. His pain and desire to have someone care about his was so real, I couldn’t help but root for him and hope that he would find the love and shelter he deserved with the family.

There were a few surprises along the way that kept the story moving along at a nice rate. Marchwell has done yet another fantastic job with creating a story designed to draw the reader in and keep you compelled until the final sentence. Those who enjoyed the first story don’t want to miss this superb sequel.

Shifting Perspectives


Title: Shifting Perspectives: Oliver & Angus
Author: Nerine Petros
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-063-3
Genre: {M/M} Shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Oliver is the only gay man as well as the only butcher a remote, rural community in Australia. ­The farmers keep Oliver stocked with first-rate meat straight off the farm, and Oliver in turn kept them stocked in the freshest, highest quality cuts you could find within a two days’ drive. The butcher is the first to meet the new family of five male shifters who moved into an abandoned ranch nearby, Oliver is intrigued, especially when the strangers place a standing order for a cow per week.

Shifting Perspectives: Oliver & Angus is an impressive launch to this series. The short story is well paced. The characters are creditable. The love scenes are sizzling. Oliver is human, but related to the town’s alpha. Oliver is immediately drawn to Angus who is alpha of the new resident pack. However, Oliver is not familiar with Angus’ breed or the breed’s mating ritual. Angus knew with the first sniff that Oliver was his mate and wasted no time claiming him. Nerine Petros has created a fantastic as well as an amusing first story that I enjoyed immensely. I look forward to the next addition.

To Service and Protect


Title: To Service and Protect
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-347-0
Genre: {M/M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When Ethan Drake moved to Cattle Valley, he thought he’d left his dangerous stalker behind but when he starts hearing noises late at night, he’s not so sure. He’s called the police department numerous times but local Deputies Brian Allenbrand and Pete Nash have been unable to find any sign of an intruder. So when the noises start again, Ethan is reluctant to call the police, afraid of being known as ‘the man who cried wolf’.

Brian and Peter have been lovers for months and soon Ethan finds himself drawn into an erotic threesome, a world he never imagined he’d ever be a part of. Yet all isn’t smooth sailing for the new lovers. Danger is lurking in the shadows and it’s up to Peter and Brian to step forward and protect Ethan, no matter what the cost.

The latest addition to the Cattle Valley family of books is Carol Lynne’s To Service and Protect. It’s release twenty in the popular series and as much as I’ve enjoyed the others, this one’s my new favorite. I’ve been anxious to see Ethan find a man of his own since he first moved to Cattle Valley, so I was thrilled to learn he would be featured in this story. And in this case, lucky Ethan gets two guys.

Ethan’s a young man with a wounded heart and while the reader has gotten bits and pieces of his personality and history in the previous releases, Ms. Lynne has outdone herself with rounding out his character and bringing this sweet and likable guy to life. Peter and Brian were a little harder to get a handle on. They’re both dedicated and determined men and don’t forget sexy. Of the two, I found Peter the more grounded, but Brian the more interesting. Peter because he knew what he wanted, and Brian because as a widower with a teenage son, he doesn’t have a clue on how to control what was going on in his life.

Putting these three dissimilar men together into a hot and passionate threesome relationship is another example of Ms. Lynne’s creative flair. Add in Brian’s unruly teenage son Benny, an unforeseen stalker and a little help from Ryan and you have all the components needed for a well plotted romance with an attention-grabbing suspense element. Watch for The O'Brien Way featuring Moby Haines and Sean O'Brien, slated for release late in December 2011.

Mother May I


Title: Mother May I
Author: Drew Zachary
Publisher: Torquere Books
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-090-9
Genre: {M/M}, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

DB’s detective agency is finally picking up, allowing him to hire Sandra and spend more time on actual paying clients. Unfortunately, that means he and Jesse have the time to take Duke’s case.

Drew Zachary’s Mother May I brings back private detective DB and his lover Jesse, who just happens to be a ghost. Since the main, and some of the secondary characters, are already well established, it is recommended that you read the prior novellas in the Eye Spy series, in order to understand the rich history surrounding them. DB is just what you would picture a private detective to be. The tough no-nonsense young man is all about the job when he’s on a case, something that irks Jesse on occasion and leads to some funny scenes. Even with Jesse being a ghost, the author is able to portray a strong emotional and physical connection between the men. The fact that they have to work around more than the normal obstacles makes the sex between these two hot, so beware.

The case DB and Jesse find themselves working on will hold your attention. While the men tried to get a handle on what’s going on, the case brings more than a few of DB’s mommy issues to the forefront. I found myself laughing more than once as it became clear that Jesse knew just how to push DB’s buttons. When DB’s mother showed up, I could not decide whether to feel sorry for the men, or if Jesse got his just desserts for picking on DB.

I can’t wait to see what the author has planned next for these two and hope the next story is just around the corner.

See Me


Title: See Me
Author: Natasha Moore
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-234-9
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Being a hard worker doesn’t mean that you fit into the cliques at work. Lydia has gone through most of her life unappreciated and unnoticed. During the day, Lydia is practical and plain Jane. But night time is when she lets her inner diva come out to play.

Each night, Lydia transforms her apartment into a private stage, where she struts her stuff scantily clad. This is the only thing she looks forward to. As time goes on, Lydia gets more brazen with her performances, and realizes that her stage isn’t t as private as she thought.

The last thing Wes was expecting to see from his window was a siren baring herself to the world. A woman that bold and beautiful was the kind of woman Wes had to have and opportunity was knocking. More than sparks fly when Lydia lets Wes into her apartment and her head.

We all have aspects of our personality that isn’t shared with everyone. Lydia seems to be an extreme case of this, but I completely understood where she was coming from. Lydia closed herself off from people before they had a chance to reject her. Because of this, she needed an outlet for all her pent up frustration. Lydia sees herself as the drab image she portrays at work, but she is totally wrong. Anyone with enough nerve to strip in front of a window is far from boring.

Wes wanted more than just that one night with Lydia, but I was concerned that she wouldn’t give him the chance to get to know her. I’m glad that things worked out between the two of them and I got a kick out of the question mark that is left hanging in thin air. Natasha Moore has done a fantastic job of breathing passion into See Me and I know readers will eat it up like candy. I look forward to adding her to my list of authors to watch.

Rescue Me


Title: Rescue Me
Author: Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.silverpublishing/
ISBN: 978-1-920468-60-6
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Matthew Harmon has been left scarred, physically and psychologically, after a near-fatal car crash. Following dismissal of two female nurses, Matt hires male nurse James Hayden. James struggles to help Matt recuperate from his injuries, as well as confess there is interest beyond patient and nurse between them.

Rescue Me is a well written tumultuous romance. The setting is in California. The characters are believable. Matt is a financially comfortable businessman and also a hot tempered, sarcastic, homophobic jerk. He refuses to believe that he could actually be attracted to a man, yet he finds James irresistible. Matt’s emotional inconsistencies lead to physical violence on several occasions. James, in addition to Matt’s friends, tries to provide moral support. It is only when James moves on with his life that Matt realizes how much he really loves James.

An exceptionally compassionate man, James does his best to give Matt time to conquer the emotional scars Matt has carried since childhood. After months of fighting, as well as rejection following each time he and Matt make love, James acknowledges defeat. Rescue Me is an impressive story that illustrates love has no gender, in spite of predetermined thoughts. Scarlet Blackwell has created an exceedingly enjoyable saga.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Final Encore


Title: Final Encore
Author: Scotty Cade
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-657-6
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Billy tried to live his life for everyone else. Only after almost committing suicide did he learn he could only live for himself. That meant heading for Nashville, with hopes of having his dream. But does that include Ian or will Billy have to choose?

Final Encore is a great read that will be sure to bring author Scotty Cade many fans. The story is set in the music world of Nashville, yet, the music aspect of the story does not drown out the romance between Billy and Ian. Both these characters are easy to fall in love with. The men have suffered personally and the issues they faced have strongly colored their lives. The difference, however, is how the men have dealt with the issues. While Billy has tried to learn from the events in his past, Ian decided to hide from them. Unfortunately, this ends up causing problems in their relationship. While the sexual chemistry between the two men is strong, the author was also able to portray the non-sexual aspects, just as well. The love and care the two show each other throughout the story is just one of the things I loved about this story. There are several secondary characters that help flesh out this story and eventually help bring the story to a proper conclusion.

Gunnar’s Game


Title: Gunnar’s Game
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-853-2
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Shape-shifter
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

As a genetically manipulated super-soldier, Gunnar Tersch and the other members of his team, Dawn Endeavor, work under the authority of the scary and secretive Mrs. Alicia Sharpe. Their job is to travel the globe for the United States government, putting life and limb at risk, cleaning up the messes made by scientists out of control. Mrs. Sharpe is good at her job but has more than patriotism on her agenda; the team just doesn’t know what.

Gunnar is the strongest member of the group and when the team needs a little extra muscle, they can always depend on him and his ability to unleash his inner berserker. But lately he’s having trouble controlling his inner monster and it’s only gotten worse since he learned the truth about Ava, the woman he and his beast want to claim as their mate.

Due to a tragic event while a teenager, Gunnar’s convinced he’s a danger to Ava, but she refuses to keep her distance. She’s determined to use every trick in the book to get Gunnar in her bed. Unfortunately for him, she’s not the only person in their compound he has to worry about. There’s someone out to put an end to Project Dawn Endeavor and if they don’t find the culprit, they could all wind up dead.

Gunnar’s Game is the fourth release in the Dawn Endeavor series by author Marie Harte and it’s my new favorite. I’ve been anxious to read Gunnar and Ava’s story since it became apparent they were going to be a couple and I’ll say upfront that Ms. Harte didn’t disappoint.

It’s an action packed, fast-paced book from beginning to end and the simmering sexual tension and blistering hot passion between Gunnar and Ava is nicely done, leaving little doubt how these two verbal combatants feel about each other. It’s intense, physical and demanding, but they also give each other understanding and tenderness. There’s also plenty of interaction from all the other characters of the team that were introduced in the previous releases, making for continuity and a good sense of caring and family.

There’s a villain at work in the background, intent on destroying all Gunnar holds dear, and he and other members of the team must discover the person’s identity and stop them before its too late. This is where Ms. Harte excelled. She skillfully integrated the love story of Gunnar and Ava into the intense and dangerous suspense aspects of betrayal, hate, threats and deceit and did it without either storyline suffering. Here she also manages to introduce a new group of genetically manipulated men—this time psychics and the next series will be Power Up with the first release entitled The Lost Locket.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Ménage / moresome (m/m/m/m), sex in shifted form.

Serenity Lost


Title: Serenity Lost
Author: Amy Romine
Publisher: Extasy Books
Publisher URL: http://extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-695-2
Genre: {M/F} Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

While out of town, Eric and Rebecca meet in a bar and find themselves seared by their one night of being together. Afterward back home, they both regret that they kept their conversation general and never knew each other’s name.

Rebecca buries herself in work to forget that one night long ago and she focuses on her family and friends to try not to think about him. The only pressing problem is she now has a stalker, who is determined to drive her to an emotional breakdown. She is forced to call the police when the stalker leaves a nasty present for her and Eric is brought in to work on the case.

Eric Stiles works for the police department in a special unit, dealing with serial killers, and his brother Charlie calls him to keep an eye on a good friend. This friend turns out to be Rebecca Gailen and both of them are shocked to see one another again. When he realizes that she might be his brother’s girlfriend, Eric does his best to stay away from her, to keep from hurting Charlie.

Talk about a suspenseful thrilling book! Serenity Lost is just that and more! I truly enjoyed reading the first book in the Trust Me series, especially since I am left hanging in regards to whom the villain is and why they are so obsessed with Rebecca. There were times when I was cringing at the state in which the victims are left and cheering Rebecca on for her courage in not breaking down from the evil that stalked her.

There are a few times, during the story, when you think the police have gotten one person for the murders and then you find out they are pawns being used by the true villain. Ms. Romine really did a great job at storytelling, and she had me entranced until the end. Lo and behold, I am left hanging until the next book comes out! Read and enjoy!

Unspeakable Words


Title: Unspeakable Words
Author: Sarah Madison
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-688-0
Genre: {M/M} Mystery, Suspense
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Special Agent Jerry Parker is informed by his supervisor that he will be reassigned to work with Special Agent Flynn. Agent Flynn was flying in from Washington to work on the possibility of some new information for a cold case. Special Agent John Flynn is everything Jerry Parker is not. So it was no surprise that their investigative styles would clash.

Unspeakable Words has an interesting plot with a little twist, although the storyline requires some presumption by the reader. The setting is San Francisco. The characters are mostly plausible. Jerry is unhappy with his position as part of the information gathering staff. He would like to be part of the team that makes the arrests. Jerry is intelligent as well as detail-oriented. However, he lacks good people skills, which has caused Jerry to be overlooked for promotions.

John is charming and respected by his peers for his tenacity in solving crimes. What started out as two combatants working together cultivates into a friendship when contact with a strange artifact endows John with a curious ability. There is one scene of experimental oral sex. I got the impression this was an act of gratitude, because there are no romantic inclinations expressed by John. On the whole, Sarah Madison has created an out-of-the-ordinary story. I enjoyed the addition of the housecats.

A Tempting Distraction


Title: A Tempting Distraction
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-715-7
Genre: {M/M}, Shape-shifter
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Owen still feels as if he doesn’t fit in with his new family. Spending time in an old church is the only thing giving him any peace. That is until he meets up with Garrett again.

I must admit I did a little happy dance when I saw that author Stephani Hecht had come out with another addition to The Lost Shifters series. I was worried that once Mitchell had found his brothers, the series would be finished. However, the author continues the series with A Tempting Distraction, the story of Owen, whom we meet in the last book.

Owen is more complex than he appears. The young shifter, whom most thought was the less damaged of the three that were rescued in the last story, has kept his abuse quiet. Once the readers find out what Owen went through, his actions become more understandable. I wanted to hug him as he tried to handle all the changes going on in his life, especially after his confrontation with his brother, Seth and the coalition leader, Mitchell. The connection between Owen and Garrett is strong and the sex hot. Watching these two get together was fun, however, I could have slapped Garrett when he explains why he takes Owen the way he does.

This is one of those series that readers wish would never end and I am hoping the author has plans to give Shane a story of his own soon. I would recommend that you read the stories in order, as there is a lot of rich history that would be missed otherwise.

Deadlock


Title: Deadlock
Author: Moira Rogers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-325-4
Genre: {M/F} Paranormal Shape-shifter
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Carmen Mendoza’s life isn’t a bed of roses. She and her siblings were abandoned by their wolf-shifter father, leaving her psychic human mother to raise them. Now an adult, she’s moved to New Orleans where she works in a clinic dealing with the emotional and physical needs of the people in the supernatural community. The job is enjoyable but it doesn’t fill her own personal needs and her long string of unsuccessful shifter boyfriends proves it. Up until now, Carmen has avoided her father’s power-obsessed family but when they decide to use her as a pawn in an arranged marriage, all bets are off. That means someone is willing to use a witch and a dangerous, unstable spell to awaken her inner wolf. Carmen’s only hope is the one man capable of soothing her inner beast.

Alec Jacobson was once heir to all his family held dear but he fell in love with a human artist and walked away from the shifter world. His wife paid with her life when his cousin killed her. Now he lives at the edge of shifter society, serving as the unofficial Alpha of New Orleans, protecting its supernatural residents against its old fashioned caste system. When Carmen is attacked, Alec helps her but in doing so helps himself, by opening his heart to love. The problem is that Carmen is the niece of his worst enemy and the battle between them could turn the streets of New Orleans to blood.

Deadlock is the third release in the Southern Arcana series by Moira Rogers and while it’s not imperative that you read the first two releases in the series, I think you’ll have a better grasp on the richly developed world inhabited by the characters if you do.

Once again Ms. Rogers quickly pulls the reader into the politically charged world she’s created for this exciting and fast-paced series. Carmen is a dynamic and strong-willed woman stuck in the middle of a power struggle she doesn’t have any interest in. She’s hardworking, loving and kindhearted, and putting her together with her cold, power hungry family was a nicely constructed counterpoint. Alec is all Alpha male...determined to keep those under his protection safe. He’s a dominant, aggressive, no-nonsense kind of man but at heart, he’s still a deeply wounded hero with enough painful emotional baggage to sink any new relationship. The creation of his physical, mental and emotional attributes is the perfect winning combination and I can’t imagine that Ms. Rogers could have done a better job with him.

There is a return of the characters from the previous releases and they play a small, but important, role. Carmen’s family is the new additions to the plotline and they play varying degrees of importance depending on which side of the conflict they stand. The villainous ones, in the form of her uncle and father, are devious and easy to dislike, making it painless to wish them an unsavory end.

If you’re looking for a paranormal romance with lots of intrigue, passion and action, I think you’ll find this new Southern Arcana release will work nicely. The next book in the series, Cipher, is slated for release in September of 2011 so watch for it.

Sara’s Cowboy


Title: Sara’s Cowboy
Author: BA Tortuga
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60735-184-9
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary; Western
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Sara McGregor had almost completed her tour of the west. She had one more stop in Wyoming then she could finally return home to normality and finish working on her book. However, one encounter with Cal Pearson has Sara questioning everything she thought she wanted from life. Cal is the most irritating, frustrating cowboy Sara has ever met; a look, a gesture or a sly remark has her blood boiling. Why she didn’t just turn around and head back to her cozy, comfortable life the first time Cal called her “Darlin’”, she’ll never know. The fine line between love and hate has never been tested so powerfully as anger and growing passion battle it out with results neither of them saw coming.

Sara’s Cowboy is a scorching, erotic tale of two people blindsided by passion, chemistry and love. Sara is a stubborn character who has grown complacent with her lot. I love how her ideas of who she is and where she is going is tested through interaction with her cowboy. Cal just loves to antagonize Sara and irritatingly knows just where and how to push to get the reaction he wants. Their relationship has just the right balance though, as neither character is perfect and neither has it all figured out at the start. They need each other to really be comfortable in their own skin and that created the fantastic sense that their coupling was meant to be, if only they could reign in their hormones. There was a rhythm to the writing that helped immerse me into Sara’s world and the flurry of excitement at the end left a satisfying afterglow.

A Different Breed




Title: A Different Breed
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/
ISBN: 978-1-61124-025-2
Genre: {M/M} Vampire
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Josh is on a mission to kill all vampires. When Josh encounters vampire Richard in a bookstore, purchasing a fantasy novel, Josh follows Richard into the woods where an exchange of blows occur. Richard’s fist smashed into Josh’s jaw. Much later, Josh awakens to find himself in Richard’s home without any bite marks on his body. Instead of death threats, Richard acted like a civilized host, serving herbal tea while he and a wary Josh have a chat. This wasn’t how things were supposed to go, Josh mused.

A Different Breed is a spectacular romance that certainly lives up to the title. The structured plot is well written, as well as having a fluid pace. The storyline exemplifies a blend of wittiness, emotional interaction between characters and intrigue, with a hint of religious overtones. The characters are believable. Josh is not your average hunter; Josh is a brash, strong, no nonsense man who has a surprisingly natural ability to track vampires with a relentless cold precision. His abusive upbringing plus his loss at the hands of an evil vampire has hardened Josh, along with setting him on a personal mission to destroy all vampires. Josh believes “the only good vamp’s a dead vamp” until he meets Richard. Josh is immediately attracted to Richard; Josh condemns his feelings, yet he cannot resist Richard’s magnetism. Richard is an extremely loveable vampire. He is polite, considerate of others in addition to a protector of those he cares for. However, Richard does not hesitate to use his strength in battles with an adversary.

There is a special bond between Richard and Josh. The impressive love scenes demonstrate Josh and Richard’s sensual personality that had been in short supply for both of them and is now replenished in each other’s loving touch. Richard offers the stability Josh never had, while Josh offers the emotional healing Richard desperately needs.

Angel Martinez has created a magnificent story. A Different Breed is a thoroughly enjoyable saga, as well as an absolute must read for fans of gay fiction.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Between Darkness and Light


Title: Between Darkness and Light
Author: P. A. Brown
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60820-070-2
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Artist Stephen Fischer and Detective Russell Hunter travel in totally different social circles, yet, when a murder brings these two men together, they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other.

With Between Darkness and Light, author P. A. Brown gives the reader an interesting variety of characters, as well as a story full of suspense. Her characters are not the usual cookie-cutter perfect characters you might see elsewhere; instead they are at times flawed and unlikeable, yet, those are the things that keep the reader interested. As she has done with characters Stephen and Russell, she is also very good at bringing the attraction her characters feel across in a way that is believable for the reader. To see these two men, who have little in common, find their way together kept the story interesting and at times, kept it from being too heavy.

While it was easy for me to guess who the ‘bad guy’ was, the reason for his actions was totally surprising and the way the author finishes up the story was more than satisfying. Although parts of the story may be a little predictable, that in no way detracts from what is a very good story.

Once Upon A Secret


Title: Once Upon A Secret
Author: Christiane France
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-016-0
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Luke Fiorelli, owner of Fiorelli Exteriors, submitted a bid to design the gardens for Barrington Properties new hotel, currently under construction. In the split second it had taken for that bid packet to change hands, something miraculous passed between Luke and Travis Barrington III. Luke had known, for an absolute certainty, that the job would be his. Travis also felt the instant attraction to Luke. However, openly gay Travis is waiting for still-in-the closet Luke to admit they share the same wishes.

Once Upon A Secret is a well written seductive love story. The characters are believable. Luke is hesitant to break the close bond he has with his family by revealing he is gay. Luke finally realizes that maybe his family already suspects this is the case, given the fact that he is a mature man who has never shown any interest in having girlfriends. Luke and Travis are an ideal match in qualities. Both men are intelligent, as well as realistic concerning the developing relationship, family, and their careers. Luke and Travis ease into the liaison, respecting each other’s desires. The love scenes are breathtaking, inspiring a warm and cozy feeling all over. Christiane France has created a marvelous saga that I enjoyed immensely.

Cowgirls Don’t Cry


Title: Cowgirls Don’t Cry
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-256-1
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Jessie fell hard for Luke McKay but their marriage was far from the perfect one of love and companionship she’d always imagined. Now two years after the death of her unfaithful husband, Jessie’s ready to kick up her heels and try to find a little fun in the arms of another man. Things don’t go as planned when Luke’s younger brother, Brandt, steps in and spoils her fun, stopping her from making a terrible mistake. She’s angry, hurt and upset at his high handed attitude and determined to never take orders from another McKay man again.

Brandt McKay has been crazy about Jessie from a long time and he’s been avoiding her since the night he confessed his feelings for her and she turned him down. Brandt is suddenly faced with the proof of his brother’s infidelity when he learns Luke sired a young son who now needs someone to care for him. With no one else to help, he turns to Jessie, who reluctantly agrees—if Brandt agrees to shares her bed.

He’s determined to show Jessie he’s a one woman man and as the sexual heat simmering between them grows hotter, Brandt’s more certain than ever they belong together, not just for the short term but forever. Jessie is scared of her intense feelings for Brandt; he’s a McKay and she swore to never give a McKay man power over her again.

Cowgirls Don’t Cry is the 10th and latest release in the well written Rough Riders series by Lorelei James. In this contemporary romance series, each book leads into the next, so my recommendation is that they be read in order. If you don’t, I’m afraid jumping into the huge family with its complicated relationships will only lead to confusion.

Let me start off with the prologue. I think the story would’ve been better served if it had been omitted. Yes, its content regarding the intense emotional pain Jessie is going through is truthful but it also put her in a very unsavory light and her actions don’t fit her personality. I’m sure the author felt there was a purpose to including it but I’m afraid it might have turned off a few readers.

With the beginning of chapter one, the overall tone of the story changes dramatically. From here Cowgirls Don’t Cry becomes another great addition to the family of Rough Rider books and has a little of everything to keep a reader’s attention. There’s fear, pain, grief, passion, desire, poor family dynamics, love and hope for the future.

Despite her earlier rejection of Brandt, I liked that Jessie didn’t fight too hard against her growing feelings for him. Yes, she was understandably reluctant, based on her past experience with her dead husband, yet she allows her love to bloom and grow stronger throughout the entire story. Brandt is a rock, and a bit different from most of the other McKay men. He has a tightly controlled temper but he’s not abrasive, gruff or overbearing. Instead, he’s thoughtful, kind and considerate; just the kind of man the deeply wounded Jessie needs. That’s not to say he isn’t over-the-top sexy. The hunky cowboy is smoking hot and when he and Jessie hit the sheets, or any other horizontal surface, watch out for the flames.

It was wonderful seeing the vast number of returning McKay family members introduced in prior releases, and getting to know some of them better was a treat. One of the characters that played a more prominent role was Casper McKay, Brandt’s bitter and unpleasant father. The man was vile; making a good villain-like personality for the story and Ms. James did a great job developing him into a man you loved to hate. Landon, the illegitimate son of Luke was a cutie and made a great addition to the McKay family dynamics, and made an inspired way to bring Brandt and Jessie together.

I look forward to the next release in this keeper series. Read and enjoy.

Breathe


Title: Breathe
Author: Sloan Parker
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-890-7
Genre: {M/M} Romantic Suspense
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Lincoln McCaw is attempting to anesthetize the guilt with beer at the local bar. Lincoln suffers from nightmares after he caused a fatal accident. Recently released after six months in the county jail, Lincoln must focus on family. His sister and her kids are counting on him. Jay Miller is sitting in the same bar, for the same reason, trying to move past his grief. Hearing the gossip of two other patrons mention the gay man sitting at the end of the bar, Jay decides to give in to his sexual fantasies of being with another guy. Jay strikes up a conversation with Lincoln, which leads to an appointment in the back alley. Wounds still raw are reopened when Jay realizes his clandestine sexual activity is with Lincoln, the man who caused Jay’s wife’s accident.

Breathe is a heartrending romance intertwined with multiple layers of drama. The characters are convincing. The story illustrates numerous facets of grief, giving an in-depth description of how each character is affected by the loss of a loved one. Lincoln is his own worst enemy; he constantly berates himself for the accident. He feels he deserves the anonymous veiled threats he started receiving while in jail. Lincoln will suffer through anything to protect his love ones, including sacrificing his love for Jay rather than cause Jay more pain. Jay tries to stay away from Lincoln, even though Jay craves the touches, along with the emotional support Lincoln provides. Both are admirable as well as compassionate men.

Lincoln and Jay realize grief is the catalyst of an already unhinged mind when the coercion directed toward Lincoln escalates into violent acts. Lincoln and Jay join forces to discover the perpetrator before someone is killed. Sloan Parker has created a superb saga that kept me on the edge of apprehension until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed Breathe.

Unfair Advantage




Title: Unfair Advantage
Author: Qwillia Rain
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-59632-806-8
Genre: {M/F/M}, BDSM
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Bryce has to get married or lose control of his family’s business. He has waited eight years to have Mattie. Mattie is still a virgin, but has always been interested in her boss. Bryce decides he is going to marry Mattie.

Anyone with an interest in BDSM will want to read the first book in Qwillia Rain’s series Diablo Blanco Club Unfair Advantage. It is a textbook for those just starting out in this lifestyle. I was very short tempered with anyone that interrupted me as I was reading. It will definitely keep a reader’s interest and raise their heartbeat a lot, so be prepared for some very hot sex and play.

Bryce has lots of patience and slowly introduces Mattie to his expectations from her. The chemistry between the two is explosive, but there are some issues that both of them have to overcome. The author resolved these, but at times I wanted to hit Bryce because he was so dense. The resolution that Mattie came up with could be taken right out of our own lives.

The secondary characters contribute greatly to the story, as things are worked out between Bryce and Mattie. One interaction between Bryce, Mattie, and Richard bring things to a head between the two main characters, as it creates a crisis in their relationship.

I have to say that I was very impressed by the author’s grasp of the subject matter. I will definitely be reading more from this author as I think this is one of the best stories that I have read about BDSM. Qwillia Rain will probably be added to my favorite author’s list.

Just a Cowboy


Title: Just a Cowboy
Author: Julia Talbot
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-055-8
Genre: {M/M} Western
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

As soon as Herschel hires Dalton to work on his ranch, he can tell there’s a story the new kid is just itching to tell. Herschel is more than happy to hear it as there is something about Dalton that just makes him want to give the guy a chance. Herschel needs to play it cool though as he has a sneaking suspicion Dalton will bolt the moment he digs too deep.

Dalton can’t believe his luck. A gorgeous, kind cowboy has given him a job, a roof over his head and a way to move on from his past. Dalton is also very aware of Herschel’s presence whenever they are alone, as well as the looks he keeps sending his way. He wants so badly for Herschel to be the one he can finally bare his soul to but uncertainty is eating him up inside. Before he has a chance to decide however, circumstances beyond Dalton’s control threaten any chance of a life together with Herschel. He knows the truth will set him free but can Dalton find the courage to face it once and for all?

The building of trust and confidence is at the very core of Just a Cowboy as Herschel and Dalton figure out a way to handle the cards they have been dealt together. The plot works itself out at a nice, laid back pace and it relaxed me enough to just sit back and let the story come to me in its own time. The development of Herschel and Dalton’s relationship moved on at a good, steady pace. The running theme of “problems not being as bad as you think they are if you just have the courage to talk to someone about them” is put into practice well and I loved Herschel being the voice of age and wisdom, as he found the delicate balance to ultimately show Dalton the way.

Marooned




Title: Marooned
Author: Sharon Maria Bidwell
Publisher: Changeling Press
Publisher URL: http://www.changelingpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60521-528-0
Genre: {M/M} Sci-Fi
Rating: Golden Blush
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Cosmonaut Vernon Attwater knew he would follow in his family’s footsteps and travel the stars. But what he hoped would be an easy trip turned into an adventure he would never forget. Marooned on a strange planet, Vern hopes he doesn’t fall prey to the strange creatures and become their version of chicken. With the help of Cresszna, a humanoid alien, Vern is saved from that predicament and lands squarely into another one. Vern always thought of himself as a heterosexual until Cresszna unleashed his style of seduction on him. Vern isn’t ready to explore the desire that Cresszna awakes in him and his denial soon puts a wedge between the men. Will they find a happy medium or will Vern grow to resent Cresszna over time?

Sharon Maria Bidwell is a brilliant author who uses humor, suspense and erotic encounters to create a fascinating story. The two primary characters in Marooned are multidimensional and drew me into the tale. Vern’s quick wit keeps the story flowing. Cresszna is passionate and gifted with the patience of a saint.


Even with the language barrier, the two learn how to communicate with one another. That obstacle added a great deal to the story. They had to rely not only on verbal communication, but also body language to convey their thoughts and desires. We watch their relationship evolve from strangers, to companions and then to more over time. Vern didn’t understand how much he abused Cresszna’s kindness and almost lost someone who meant a great deal to him. Cresszna understood Vern’s quandary and wanted to make him as comfortable as possible. I found the story enthralling and look forward to reading more from Ms. Bidwell in the near future.

By Your Side


Title: By Your Side
Author: Willa Okati
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-883-9
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Critter Nymph

At thirty-three, Matthieu never thought he would meet the man of his dreams, or that that man would be eighteen year-old Roman. Seven years have passed and Roman is ready to show Matthieu that their love will never fade, but is Matthieu finally ready to listen?

Do you like May/December romances? If you do then you will want to get Willa Okati’s latest release By Your Side. Like many of the author’s stories, the reader will not be able to put this story down. By Your Side tells the story of two men who meet and fall in love, yet cannot be together. The two men meet the summer Roman turns eighteen and, while they give into the attraction they feel, there is also a big problem. The problem is that Matthieu is fifteen years older than Roman and to say the age difference plays a big part in the story would be putting it mildly. Readers will be able to understand the struggle Matthieu goes through as he tries to come to terms with their age difference and his feelings for the younger man.

The chemistry between them is intense and Roman, although much younger, in no way comes across as a mind-your-elders type of guy. In fact, I loved how Roman steps up in the story to show Matthieu that, while he may have gone off and lived his life, he still needs the older man to feel complete.

By Your Side is fun story by Willa Okati and one not to be missed.

Jake or Jack


Title: Jake or Jack
Author: D. J. Manly
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://www.extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-722-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

David Cole is a drug dealer who negotiates deals for Frederick Rivera, one of the biggest mobsters in New York City, and David’s lover. David had an appointment to meet a new contact, a man known only as Jake. Jake was supposed to pave the way to an elite group of Americans, who would pay top dollar for prime drugs. There is an immediate attraction between David and Jake, one that could quickly become a deadly disaster.

Jake or Jack is a well written, well paced superb urban crime story. The characters are remarkably convincing. David’s life is the product of parental emotional detachment. Without the needed support at home, David’s childhood dream to become an inventor was forsaken for street life. David has the dual role job of Frederick’s whore, along with drug mule, in exchange for Frederick’s protection; no one is allowed to touch David without permission. Upon meeting Jake, David experiences love for the first time. Jake is torn between duty and desire for David. Understanding the consequences involved, Jake waits three years before he reveals his true feelings to David. The amazing D. J. Manly has created a marvelous saga filled with emotional turmoil, apprehension, as well as fantastic lovemaking. I thoroughly enjoyed Jake or Jack.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Slow Ride


Title: Slow Ride
Author: Lorelei James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL: samhainpublishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-60928-301-8
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

The long-awaited wedding of Keely McKay and Jack Donohue is finally over but now the newly married couple has to endure the longest wedding reception Keely’s ever attended…her own, and it’s making her cranky. But at least she finally has Jack as her husband. Her hunky man usually gives her everything she wants, including sex anyplace and anytime she desires...so what’s with putting her off now that they’re married?

Jack is crazy about Keely and wants their first time making love as man-and-wife to be as sweet and romantic as he can make it. So while insisting they wait until they arrive at their honeymoon destination seemed like a good idea, after hours of exhausting travel it only makes his new bride angry. That means if Jack wants to get back on Keely’s good side, he’d better find the perfect way to sweep his cowgirl wife off her feet and fast.

Slow Ride is a free short story and takes place between the epilogue of All Jacked Up and the second chapter of Cowgirls Don't Cry. This little piece is a definite follow up to characters previously introduced and the reader should at least be familiar with the book where Keely and Jack get together.

Overall, the story is fun and sexy and it’s filled with lots of wedding day high emotional drama. Keely is just as passionate and strong-willed as ever and Jack is determined to do what he thinks is right, even if it doesn’t turn out that way. In the space of a mere twenty pages, Ms. James uses her talented creative voice and taken two beloved characters, mixed in multiple McKay family members and come out on the other side with a wedding day story that tugs at the heartstrings. It’s a great addition to the Rough Rider family of books and I look forward to other releases in the series.