Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sam’s Reviews


Title: Sam’s Reviews
Author: Jan Irving
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-900-3
Genre: {M/M}, BDSM, Mystery
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Sam’s life became a living hell after returning from Afghanistan. The only thing that kept him going was the romance novel he was determined to write. When his second book is rejected, Sam spirals back into hell. When his family needs him however, Sam is able to pull himself back together. During the process he meets Tall, the man should be his enemy but instead, becomes his everything.

Fans of author Jan Irving come to expect strong characters as well as strong story lines. Readers will be glad to know that they get just that with her latest release, Sam’s Reviews. The characters are amazing. Sam is an injured war veteran, who has not always adjusted well with his limitations. The way the author portrays Sam, his struggles with overcoming his injuries, substance abuse and caring for his family ring true. Sam is also all top. Tall, however, is an easy-going bottom who happens to be the architect for the new high rise going up in Sam’s downtrodden neighborhood. These two are drawn together from the beginning; you can see the pages heating up with every meeting.

There is also a bit of mystery woven into the story, as someone is out to run Sam and his neighbors from their homes. There are a lot of secondary characters who could fit the bill of bad guy and I must admit that it was the last person I expected.

All in all, this was a good story, both on the romance front and as a mystery. Sam’s Reviews is sure to get Jan Irving many new fans.

What Child is This?


Title: What Child is This?
Author: Z. A. Maxfield
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-907-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

It’s taken a bit of planning but Michael finally manages to finagle a weekend alone for him and Tristan at Christmas time. They’ve both been working hard at their respective careers and a little away time from the pressure of the jobs they love will do them both good, giving them a chance to reconnect and strengthen their already tight bond. It might even give them some time to talk about what they want for their future together.

The weekend gets totally derailed with a single phone call from the Apple House, telling Michael that three of the young homeless teens living at the LGBT house have gone missing. When one of the three asks the question of what would happen if they found an abandoned baby and didn’t report it to the police, Michael and Tristan don’t have any choice but to head home to straighten things out.

What Child is This? is a holiday sequel to Crossing Borders and while it would be helpful to have read the initial release where Michael and Tristan fell in love, this book can be read as a standalone without a problem.

I loved seeing Michael and Tristan a little farther along in their life together and that their love for each other is just as rock solid as before, but the story is so much more. It’s really two short Christmas novellas interwoven together with the Apple House and the abandoned child at the center. On the other side is the story of two young men, Prim and Jack, on the cusp of realizing their feeling for one another and their struggle to do what they think is right for the baby they find. On the surface, you wouldn’t think these two different storylines would work together, but never fear, with Ms. Maxfield’s creative talent, they mesh into a story that not only makes sense but pulls convincingly at your heartstrings. It doesn’t have a typical Christmas fairy tale ending but it is a satisfying and enjoyable holiday read, nonetheless. Enjoy.

Afterlife








Title: Afterlife
Author: Joey W. Hill
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419930959
Genre: {F/F}, {M/F/M/M/M} {M/F}, Ménage + more, BDSM,
Rating: Golden Blush Award
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Rachel feels unloved, ugly and has walled her true self inside since her divorce and the death of her son. Jon has been watching and waiting for the right time to make her his.

Wow! The author keeps you on a roller coaster of emotions and sexual heat that factor into Afterlife. My heart kept pounding as Jon made Rachel face her fears because I could identify with a lot of what she was going through. I felt in a lot of ways I was Rachel waiting for someone to really understand her. Jon had so much patience even though sometimes he got very frustrated with Rachel.

The men from Kensington & Associates support each other and go out of their way to help Jon in his quest to make Rachel understand he is there for the long haul, despite their age difference. In the fourth book of the Knights of the Board Room series, the men enlist their wives to help Jon try to break through Rachel’s walls. The incident with her ex brings things to a head and I felt that the author had a wonderful grasp of what it took to make Rachel finally face the fact that she was a beautiful and lovable woman.

Afterlife is also somewhat of a textbook in learning some of the basics within BDSM, though this was more about the submissive/slave side of serving a Master. Ms. Hill did a wonderful job weaving the elements together in the story. The secondary characters were an intricate part and I can’t wait for Ben’s story. This book can be read alone, though you will get the most enjoyment reading the first three in order. Be aware that books two and three are in print. I, for one, will be reading this series again.

Hidden Heart


Title: Hidden Heart
Author: Thom Lane
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-892-1
Genre: {M/M} BDSM Fantasy Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Tiffin had no recollection of his past. His present and future have been spelt out clearly to him. He is a slave boy. The brand on his arm and collar around his neck make that clear to everyone around him, as does his state of undress. Being sold to a fortress that none have a kind word to speak of doesn’t make his life seem as if it will get better. But meeting Sergeant Zander adds hope to his dismal existence. Tiffin is prepared to do what is necessary to stay on his Sergeant’s good side, but his past holds something dark that could ruin Tiffin’s chances at the Sergeant and bring about a quick demise. What is a slave boy to do?

Hidden Heart is Thom Lane’s latest installment in the Tales of Amaranth series. Tiffin’s tale made me ache for him. While, for the most part, he took his predicament as well as could be expected, there were those brief moments where his grief could not be batted away like an annoying fly.

What I’ve come to see in the men who claim these slaves is that while they may not be all candy and roses, they have a deep desire to claim and protect what is theirs. They try to work within the rules set forth by the classes when they deal with their lovers, but make it clear that they care for them. Sergeant Zander is no different. While his occupation, appearance and background are different from the past men, his desire to protect his lover is the same. He seemed to fight the attraction a great deal less and was unwilling to let Tiffin slip through his fingers.

I’ve come to enjoy reading these tales. They aren’t your average love story. You have to look within the characters to see the connection and appreciate the bonds that are formed.

Roped Into You


Title: Roped Into You
Author: Marie Rochelle
Publisher: Phaze Books
Publisher URL: http://www.phaze.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60659-573-2
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary, Western, Interracial
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

A new career was just the change Leila Hilson’s life needed. Her love of children helped her decide upon being a live-in nanny. With the help of her brother, Leila lands a position with a rancher who has an eight-year old daughter. She’s nervous about leaving her family for the unknown, but Leila is positive things will work out. After meeting her new boss, Leila is positive that she can’t load up her luggage and get away from the horrible man fast enough.

Clayton Moore is a widower, who loves his daughter more than anything in the world. If he could keep the little girl happy and protected on their isolated ranch without another soul, Clayton gladly would. After a fiasco with the last nanny, Clayton hopes that Leila is the right woman for the job. In less than five minutes of meeting her, Clayton is torn between tossing her off his property and tossing her into his bed.

Getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t stop the attraction from growing between Clayton and Leila. However, the intrusion of other people and their boss-employee status does cause a few stumbling blocks for Leila and Clayton. Leila put up a good fight but once Clayton made up his mind, it was a done deal. Clayton’s daughter, Sam, was such a cutie that I wanted to take her under my wing. It moved me to see the changes that Leila made in Sam’s life. Never underestimate the power of a woman’s touch. Clayton was a wonderful father, but he certainly needed some guidance. That man is one doable daddy who found his match in Leila. She held her own and turned out to be made of stronger stuff than I originally thought. There are a few supporting characters in this story who add an element of unexpected danger and a twist that could lead to another story. Marie Rochelle has created another happily-ever-after romance, with a family appeal. If you have never read a Marie Rochelle story, Roped Into You is a great one to start with.

Uncaged


Title: Uncaged
Author: Kiernan Kelly
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher URL: http://www.torquerebooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61040-129-6
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifters
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Chocolate Minx

Gorilla-shifter Kong really hates cages. So when Dakota and his mate, Jax, fly in from Wyoming to the rescue, Kong is really grateful. Meanwhile, Reporter Derek MacCaffrie has a lead on a possible shifter living in the wilds of Wyoming. When Kong decides to leave Shifting Sands Ranch, he comes upon a house bordered by woods. Kong also discovers the wonderful scent of a human like none he has ever encountered before. Unable to resist, Kong enters the house to meet Derek who promptly faints dead away upon seeing a gorilla sitting on the other side the room.

Uncaged is the third book in the superb In Their Own Skins series. Previous books consist of Shifting Sands and Mark of Cain. Three bonus shapeshifter short stories included with the book are Glitter Palms, Divinity Park and Killer Love.

In this installment, the residents of the Shifting Sands Ranch are publicly exposed. It is up to Alpha wolf Jax and bear Dakota to fight for the rights of shifters, along with keeping their family together. The plot illustrates all the unsavory sides of humanity when people are presented with diversity of any kind. Fame and fortune is the main motivators with a side dish of constraining anyone out of the ordinary. The characters are believable. Rather than suffer rejection from humans, as well as other shifters, Kong spends most of his time as a gorilla or adopts strange behaviors when in human form. However, underneath his façade, Kong is a considerate man. Derek is also a considerate man, when he realizes writing an exposé on the shifters may cost him Kong’s affection. Derek’s priorities immediately change, once he comprehends the magnitude of damage his story could cause. Uncaged is humorous, psychologically stimulating in addition to being heartwarming. The gifted Kiernan Kelly has added another extraordinary installment to this exceedingly enjoyable series.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Veiled Deception


Title: Veiled Deception
Author: Amy J. Romine
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL: http://extasybooks.com/
ISBN: 978-1-55487-737-9
Genre: {M/F} Suspense, Thriller
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Goddess Minx

It has been more than a month and Eric Stiles and Rebecca Gailen are still trying to recover from the deep trauma of having a stalker torment her, almost continually, for days. When the stalker wasn’t leaving revolting gifts for her, he was murdering women who favored her and that had Rebecca feeling guilty for their unnecessary brutal deaths.

As the two of them get back to their jobs and work on building a relationship they hope will last, Rebecca is starting to have feelings of dread and wondering if her life is really her own. Eric is forced to cancel an important appointment he has with Rebecca and that may contribute to a chain reaction that will change their lives forever.

Veiled Deception is quite a title and is the second installment in the Trust Me series. I thought that the first book revealed a lot of information on the villain, but I had an eye opener while reading this story. It shows a working love between the two main characters and tells of how much they are willing to go through to keep it.

Ms. Romaine has wowed me again with her generous way of spinning a suspenseful story of a villain who refuses to be stopped. She kept the identity of the true villain until almost the end of this book and I thought for sure it was a totally different person. Let me say here that I was not disappointed at all, and was thrilled at the generosity of the two main characters. If you are looking for a good book, I say read and enjoy.

The O'Brien Way


Title: The O'Brien Way
Author: Carol Lynne
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: http://www.total-e-bound.com/
ISBN: 978-0-85715-371-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

At one time, William ‘Moby’ Haines was one of the hottest male strippers in Vegas and he had all the money, men and freedom he could want. That all changed with the death of his father, forcing him to return home to Sheridan Wyoming to help care for his mother. Without much in the way of options for earning a living, he takes a job at O’Brien’s Pub, a forty-five minute commute from home in hopes of making a better life for himself and his mom.

Sean O’Brien’s been burned before and, despite his attraction to his new employee, has no intention of getting involved with Moby. His customers, on the other hand, have no problem showing their interest in the sexy man, making Sean see red at the disrespectful way they treat him. Sean’s ready to set everyone straight and if that means openly claiming Moby for himself, he’s more than ready to do it.

The O’Brien Way is release twenty-one in Carol Lynne’s ongoing Cattle Valley series and it’s another winner. Even though Sean’s been a resident of Cattle Valley for a while, we haven’t gotten to know him until this release and his family background is a real eye opener. So to is the family that Moby grew up in – a controlling homophobic father and a mother made to feel worthless by her husband. These two men have so much emotional baggage that it’s amazing either one could ever have a successful relationship. Yet, Ms. Lynne uses her creative talent and flair, along with a few interesting twists and turns, to bring them out on the other side stronger – and more importantly together.

I love the passion and desire between Sean and Moby but I also appreciate the new and changing relationship between Moby and his mother. After so many years of having his father stand between them, they now had the chance at the kind of mother/son bond they’d both always wanted. Add to this Sean, who’d never had a mother, and you have a truly tender but heart wrenching plot point that can bring a tear to your eye. It’s also nice seeing a few of the familiar characters from previous releases popping in and out. I can’t wait to see what happens with the next release Ghost from the Past featuring Rio.

Mating Season


Title: Mating Season
Author: Brenna Lyons
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher URL: http://www.loose-id.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60737-898-3
Genre: {M/F}, BDSM, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Zondra is looking for a dominant to help sate her quickening and she doesn’t want an Xxan male. She meets Evan Duncan at a club on base and decides he will do.

In the second book of the Xxan War series, Mating Season brings to light some of the societal mores since the war between the Xxan and humans ended. However, most of the book is related to the mating of an Xxan female and human, which has never been done. I found the process that the author created absolutely fascinating. Do keep ice on hand as things get hot and heavy between Zondra and Duncan.

A further complication within the book is the issue of relationships and ranks that also have strict restrictions within the military. I had to laugh about the reaction Duncan had when he ended up striking an admiral. Because of the situation between Zondra and Duncan, it was overlooked, which would never have happened regardless of the circumstances in today’s military. There was also an additional complication because Zondra also happened to be the Xxan’s leader’s granddaughter.

I felt the author also addressed the issue of interracial couples when one partner is from a minority. Though the Xxan have been on Earth for decades, there is still a lot of prejudice against them. The author handled the situation with Zondra and Duncan beautifully, though you are left knowing that nothing has really been resolved about the prejudices against the Xxan.

This book can be read by itself and I, for one, will be reading it again.

Closer


Title: Closer
Author: Charlotte Stein
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 978-1-60928-234-9
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amethyst Nymph

Judy had gone from being a normal train rider to a woman with a dirty little secret. Her daily commute was doing more than getting her to and from work. Being pressed in the corner with an anonymous man’s front to her back and surrounded by countless strangers daily gave Judy some of the best orgasms she had ever had. Each day, Judy fantasized about taking things a step farther until the day she got caught.

The attractive stranger by the window had seen Judy and knew what she was doing. Instead of a look of disgust on his face, Judy saw something else in his pale blue eyes. Maybe Santa was bringing Judy something different this year. Was it possible that this man shared her kinky fetish?

My curiosity was piqued by Closer, the latest addition to the Merry Kinkmas series when I read the blurb. Charlotte Stein did a good job of distracting me from the fact that Judy and Holt were getting busy in a public bathroom. They had some very passionate scenes that I think readers will enjoy. Judy had totally thrown caution to the wind, even though she did seem to give serious thought to some of her actions. There isn’t a lot of conversation between the two characters and Holt’s thoughts aren’t touched on that much until the end. He was obviously a good guy and I think Judy needed him. The story closed in what I think was the right ending and not predictable at all.

Runes Of Revelation


Title: Runes Of Revelation
Author: Deirdre O'Dare
Publisher: Amber Allure
Publisher URL: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure
ISBN: 978-1-61124-019-1
Genre: {M/M} Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Witchcraft
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Scandalous Minx

Clay Chiles is the leader of the Border Patrol’s Paranormal Operations Unit. He understands the importance of that role and refuses to allow anything to stand in his way. Clay has begun to think of those he commands as family and while he loves seeing them find love and lasting relationships, he cannot help but to feel a bit jealous of their freedom to admit their inclinations.

Elf Arondel Wanderer comes from a long line of royals. His mission - to help with the efforts to stop the evasion - seems simple until he encounters Clay. Clay is the man Aron has waited his lifetime for. While his mind tells him not to rush Clay, his heart and body longs to make the man his soul-mate.

Will Aron lose Clay before he’s had the chance to woo him, or will they gain the happiness they both long to obtain?

Deirdre O'Dare’s latest installment in the Thin Green Line series, Runes Of Revelation, brings us a romance that I thought I would have to wait months to finally read. Aron and Clay make a magnificent couple. Each is powerful, respected and aching to finally find love. Ms. O’Dare keeps it simple with these two. No elaborate conflict scenes or misconstrued events but a straightforward alliance as both team members and lovers. There is some action and suspense in the story, but I never had to wonder what was going on with this couple. It was refreshing to see two lovers just get it and understand that they belonged together.

Runes Of Revelation ends on a note that sets the stage for future tales. With so many elves and unmatched team members I can only guess where this is headed.

Those who have enjoyed past stories in this series will be happy they purchased Runes Of Revelation.